moderate_excess: (Lion)
So yesterday was a bad day. I think you can understand. But I wasn't the only person being dealt a crappy hand.

I had committed myself to working at the gallery on Magazine street for Art for Art's sake yesterday, so I pulled myself together as much as possible and went and did my job. (I also sold the new octopus vase I didn't get a chance to photograph.) On the way home, I picked up a chocolate cupcake, because damn. Sometimes you just need a chocolate cupcake, yanno?

Just after I turned onto Carrollton my phone rang; it was my room-mate, asking if the white car in front of the house belonged to one of the landlords. Um, no, and why do you ask? Because they might need to move it to get the tow truck in. There had been an accident right in front of the house. When I got to my block, I found traffic being routed around, so I had to park on the side street. There was a police car in the travel lane with its lights on, and when I came up the sidewalk, I saw my old neighbor who is selling his house on the phone, and a big SUV with severe front end damage up against the curb. What I thought at first was the neighbor's car in his driveway turned out to be the other vehicle involved in the accident--it had been hit from behind and pushed over the curb, grass and sidewalk, and had partially crushed the big iron security gate across the neighbor's driveway.

There were a few people standing on the corner, and a woman and a man on my front steps, the man talking on his cell phone. As I came up the walk I saw the woman go into the house with my room-mate. It turns out that they were the drivers of the second car and they had been coming to visit the room-mate. They'd just slowed down, had their blinkers on, and were pulling over into the parking spot in front of the house when the other driver slammed into them. Witnesses said he'd been going a pretty good clip when he hit them. He had been taken to the hospital. Apparently, alcohol was a factor.

The landlord called to find out what was happening. He and his wife had also been out for the evening and had gotten a call about the accident from their teen-aged son, who was home. He'd called the neighbor, too, which explains why he'd been there (the neighbors moved out quite a while ago). They arrived not too long after, and we stood around sympathizing and looking at the flattened plants and marveling that the second car had gone through a pretty small gap between the big oak tree in the front and the afore-mentioned white car. On closer inspection, you could see a scrape along the rear bumper of the latter, but no real damage.

Eventually, the tow truck came, and after a lot of faffing around and trying to drag the car around, someone had the bright idea to see if it could be driven out of its position. They managed it with a lot of scraping and grinding of metal and a little smoke from the front tire. Somebody came out and swept up all the debris--not sure if he was with the city, or the tow company.

Room-mate's friends decided discretion was the better part of valor, and called a cab to go to the emergency room to get checked out, just in case. I would have driven them, but until I clean out the car, there's only room for one passenger.

I came in and turned on the TV, ate my cupcake, and then settled in with some water and pretzels. The room-mate (I have to come up with a good nick-name for her) came in after her friends had gone and kept me company. We watched a couple of episodes of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and chatted about inconsequential stuff, which was about all I could handle at that point. I'd been exhausted when I'd left the gallery, and it all finally hit me like a brick and I turned off the TV and said goodnight at about 12:45.

I hear her moving around in the kitchen, so I'll go ask how her friends are doing.

I hope your weekend is better. (And my sympathies to another friend in California who was also in an accident yesterday, while taking her cat to the vet. She and the cat are ok, thank goodness.)
moderate_excess: (Harley in the Sink)

Thank you to everyone who has expressed support this last week. Harley's decline was sudden and unexpected, and has left me with a large hole in my life. Unfortunately, it also left me with a large hole in my finances. I find it incredibly difficult to ask for money from anyone (even people I've done work for--it's a thing), but I have been persuaded that it's ok to allow myself to ask for help when I'm in dire need. And I am. I'd really like to be able to pay the utility bills this month, as the money I'd set aside for them has gone directly to the vet.

So I've set up a Paypal button (I hope I did it right). If you feel so inclined, I'd very much appreciate whatever you can give.

Thank you.

moderate_excess: (Harley in the Sink)
1996(?)-October 1, 2011. You were a great cat, a wonderful and loving companion. You will be missed.

Harley

Harley
moderate_excess: (Default)
I'm in Portland, about to get back in the van to drive to Kansas City, thence to the airport and home for a week. The last show of the great traveling Summer roadshow is the following weekend in KC; after that it's one-day drives.

This last weekend has been great fun--celebrated the 50th birthday year and 20th anniversary of dear friends [livejournal.com profile] kateyule and [livejournal.com profile] davidlevine, met a lot of neat people and saw a lot of old friends. I didn't do half the things I thought I would, but I did do some unexpected things (glow-in-the-dark pirate-themed mini-golf)(which just used a week's supply of hyphens). I finally got to meet lj friend [livejournal.com profile] calendula_witch and her sweetie [livejournal.com profile] markferrari, as well as [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne and [livejournal.com profile] markbourne. I didn't have much of a chance to visit with the latter, but had a delightful and funny conversation with [livejournal.com profile] calendula_witch and [livejournal.com profile] markferrari.

My finger still hurts. I looked it up, and the initial injury was on July 13. WTF, body? I'll be definitely going to the doctor when I get home.

I stayed in Portland today because I thought it would give me a chance to do some last minute things and see a few people I'd missed. Alas, none of that happened. Queries went unanswered, phone calls weren't returned, and here I sit at the computer thinking I should have just left this morning after all. Well, I'll go in the morning and have two very long days of driving. On Thursday evening I'll be home. That will be nice.
moderate_excess: (Travel)
I've been home for two weeks and I don't feel as if I've accomplished a damned thing. Which is probably justified. I mainly sat around on my ass and looked at the computer; playing games, reading LJ and occasionally FB, doing crossword puzzles. I did get the internet hooked up, and bought a couple of used TVs from a hotel, got a free TV that needs work (but then, you know all this if you've been paying attention). Sold two little pieces of glass and promised to make at least two more on my return. Bought some books to replace the ones the cats peed on.

Utterly failed on: getting my ex-room-mate to call me back, going to the doctor to get my damned finger looked at, getting my book-design website up and running, reading more than one book, and contacting Patrick at Papier Plume in time to actually do some work for him.

On the other, other hand, I did get out of the house about half the days I was home, I made it out to a movie with friends (Guns, Germs, and Steel, all three parts), had people over here to watch a movie (Amelie), lost some of the weight I'd gained on the last road trip, and stocked up on all the things the room-mate will need to look after the cats.

Why yes, I'm about to head off again. Back to Portland, OR, for the Art in the Pearl show, then staying on for a week for a social engagement. I had thought I might be able to head up to Seattle for a few days after that, but Kate booked my tickets without consulting me and now I'll have to leave that Monday to drive to Kansas City, where I'll be parking the van and flying home for a week. *sigh* It's probably better for my wallet, but I am sad that I won't be able to see some people ([livejournal.com profile] lintninja, I'm looking at you).

After the KC show, we'll still be pretty busy, but I'll be able to come home in between shows. That will be nice. I think I need to move stuff around in my work space now that the couch is back in the living room. There's something about either this corner of the room or this chair that aggravates my allergies. I may need to cover the chair or get a new one. Who knows. And yes, I'm rambling. I put color on my hair 17 minutes ago and I'm letting it process. Oh, that's another thing I failed at. I bought a new kind of hair color (only ten minutes!) but then mixed the conditioner into the squeeze bottle instead of the color activator. D'oh! That's $10 down the drain. At least I know this brand and color and I had it on hand. I should have had my glasses on when I was reading the little tiny type identifying the tubes of substance. Does this mean I'm old? Grey hair and reading glasses... Bah.

OK, I'm not really grumpy. My ride is picking me up at 4am to catch my 6am flight, so I may just stay up all night reading. Or I may snooze. Isn't this exciting? Which will it be! OK, it's almost time to go rinse this stuff out. See you on the flip side.
moderate_excess: (Travel)
Greetings faithful readers (if there are any left). When last I wrote I was in sunny Seattle looking for people to have dinner with. I am now home (until Thursday). So what's been going on, you ask? Let me get out this handy nutshell here...

Readercon was a blast.

Driving from Boston to Ann Arbor long but uneventful.

Ann Arbor art fair was incredibly hot (several people from the fair ended up in the hospital), and then it rained on the last day during load-out. We have a new booth which is heavier and takes a lot longer to put up and take down. In the process of loading the bundles of steel poles from the frame, I jammed my right index finger. I shrugged it off at the time, as we were trying to get everything in the van without getting it soaked, but it started to really bother me after we'd finished.

The drive from Ann Arbor to Bellevue went well. I was able to stay with my parents the first night, and discovered that apparently every hotel room in the state of North Dakota is booked for the summer. Who knew? I ended up staying in an outrageously expensive room in downtown Jamestown, that had a jacuzzi tub in the bedroom and a swag valence over the bed with a little crown on it. I saw some amazing dust devils in Montana.

Bellevue art fair went well. We stayed withing walking distance, which was nice. My finger was hurting more and more, though, and it was a challenge to write up the receipts.

After the art fair, I stayed with friends ([livejournal.com profile] anoisblue and [livejournal.com profile] kenhighcountry) who have a beautiful new house on Star Lake in south Seattle. A trip to the drug store netted me a handy little finger brace, as I figured a doctor wouldn't be able to do much other than immobilize the finger, broken or not. I made a few trips north to socialize and managed to see a few people. Lunch and a trip to the Ballard Locks with [livejournal.com profile] juliebata, a movie and dinner with [livejournal.com profile] holyoutlaw and [livejournal.com profile] fringefaan (Cowboys and Aliens: "no cliche left unturned," but a lot of fun), lunch with [livejournal.com profile] kate_schaefer, and dinner with Andy Hooper (winolj) and Carrie Root (winolj, iirc). The rest of the time I relaxed by the lake, sat in the hot tub, wrestled with banks on the phone, and went to another movie with [livejournal.com profile] anoisblue and [livejournal.com profile] kenhighcountry (Midnight in Paris, which I was seeing for the second time and love). Also dinner at the Night Kitchen with Eileen Gunn and  John D. Berry, followed by a Vanguard at a spectacular house in Queen Ann, attended by many of the usual suspects. Have I left anyone out? I hope not. I ran out of energy and didn't organize a big get-together and missed a few people, but may head up to Seattle after the Portland show.

Drove from Seattle to Portland, OR to get the van's emissions testing done and renew the tag, then to Sun Valley, Idaho. It was nearly a  perfect show. The weather was fabulous, the people were all lovely, and Kate brought along a friend who has been working with her in New Orleans. She was delightful to get to know, and wonderful to have helping in the booth. I jammed the finger again at load-out and engaged in some rather colorful language. A trip to the bookstore I remembered (now in a new location and sadly reduced in the used book department) netted me a lovely little limited edition book with illustrations: Creatures by Padraic Colum with drawings by Boris Artzybasheff, number 9 of 300, signed by both author and illustrator. I got it for half-price, which was a really good deal. The illustrations are stunning, the poetry rather less so.

Drove from Sun Valley to Portland. On the state highway leading to the interstate, I drove through a lot of haze, which smelled like smoke from wildfires, but I never saw anything or heard anything on the news.

From Portland I flew home. I could have driven form Sun Valley to Reno for the Worldcon, but the old room-mate had moved out and the new one moved in while I was gone, and I had the feeling I really needed to get home. I'm very glad I did. When I got in I discovered a number of unpleasant things, including that the old room-mate, Al, had stopped scooping the litter, and my desperate cats had resorted to using a pile of paperback books on the floor of my library and the toolbox in my craft closet for their needs. I lost two out of the three October Daye books I'd gotten with my birthday gift certificate as well as an Alexander McCall Smith book, two Sookie Stackhouses and two Dexters. Also lost were the first two Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books. The worst discovery, though, was finding that the new room-mate was giving Harley his pill in half cans of commercial cat food rather than the tiny amounts of tuna I had specified. Despite having reminded Al countless times that he should not feed Harley anything other than his prescription food, apparently he thought it was OK to give him regular cat food anyway. I'm just grateful that Harley doesn't seem to have developed dangerous symptoms from his FUS. As the new room-mate seems to operate on the ask forgiveness, not permission model and has trouble with communicating, I shudder to think what might have happened if I hadn't come back and Harley had gotten blocked up. I also had to do a fair amount of setting things to rights and moving furniture, but the apartment is almost back to normal now.

I felt a bit bad about having so many problems to explain to the new room-mate, who didn't know any better. I should have left an instruction sheet, I now realize. But I suggested we paint her room, which appeared quite dingy, and she eagerly agreed. A trip to Lowe's and a day's labor later and her room is now a buttery yellow, which is much nicer. I also picked up a bookshelf and a little storage tower  for her from the curb.

The finger still hurts. It's been over a month. I called my doctor, but couldn't get an appointment until September, which is fairly unusual for them. I am distressed, as there is glass work I want to do and I don't think I can do my precision cutting with my index finger out of commission.

In an attempt to replace Al's big screen TV, I ended up buying two 27" TVs from a hotel that's upgrading to flat-screens. I didn't realize until I got them home that they reeked of cigarette smoke. I don't know if I can do anything to get the smell out. I also found someone on Freecycle getting rid of a 51" rear-projection TV, so I borrowed a truck and some strong backs and picked up up and brought it home. Alas, the color guns are out of alignment, and the image is warped. Not sure if it can be fixed.

There was a movie night on Tuesday with the Intelligent Conversation Meetup people: a German film, Antibodies (Antikorper). We had a rousing discussion afterward about what worked and what didn't and why.

Thursday I fly to Portland for the Art in the Pearl fair, and then I'll be staying for an anniversary/birthday party the following weekend. I'm not sure if I'll be driving to the next show city (Kansas City) and flying home from there or leaving the van in Portland, then making the long drive just before the show, or taking my time driving back and visiting people along the way. I really need to make up my mind soon.

And, as usual with these things, that ended up being a largish nutshell. Hamlet sized, perhaps. Now to answer some emails and run some errands.

Contact!

Aug. 4th, 2011 08:57 pm
moderate_excess: (Default)
I'm in Seattle for a few days in between shows and really getting into just relaxing and seeing a few people and not stressing. That said, I do want to see folks. I'm planning on attending Vanguard on Saturday night, but have that day wide open. Anyone want to get together?
moderate_excess: (Default)
I appear to have a room-mate. At least until April 15. Now all I have to worry about is the current roomie moving out without letting the cats out, and the transition going well in my absence. I admit to a bit of trepidation about not being here, but it can't be helped. I've removed all my things from the TV cabinet and the coffee tables, all my wine is out of the wine cabinet, all my glass and extra books out of the bookcase in the hall, and I've gotten down my microwave from the storage area and the furniture pads he brought with him. I think everything's set. Tomorrow I'll close the pocket doors to make it easier to isolate the cats during the move.

I leave tomorrow afternoon and won't be home again until after Aug 15. The new girl seems to have a good head on her shoulders. I'll leave instructions on giving Harley his pill and such like. I don't think I'll really count on it until the old room-mate is out and she has moved in. You never know. At least if the worst happens and she can't move in after all, the landlords said they'll take care of the cats.

[edit] I'm really going to miss the big TV and the movie channels. And I'm going to have to have the cable modem transferred to my name. I don't know if that can be done while I'm gone, but I'll have my room-mate look into it. I need to remind him that the router is mine and the cable modem also.
moderate_excess: (Purple Prose)
Today I'm attempting to write a journal entry in the morning, rather than thinking about doing it late at night and deciding against it. I think one of the reasons I don't generally do this is that as part of my morning routine, as soon as I sit in my desk chair with my coffee and toast with chevre, Beamer (the fatter of the two black cats) claims my lap. Often she will occupy it for several hours, and I have a hard time kicking her off in order to write. In part because she will then sit on the edge of my desk, in front of the monitor and stare uncomprehendingly at my lap and the keyboard thereon, with occasional attempts to take back the territory. If I wait for her to leave on her own, it's not a problem. (When I sit at the computer, I lean back in my chair and put my feet up on a little cabinet under the desk. The mouse sits on the desk to my right, and when I decide to type something, the wireless keyboard gets moved to my lap.)

So here I am, writing in the morning.

Harley woke me up several times in the wee hours by having a love-fest in my hair. Covering my head with a pillowcase didn't deter him this time and I had to go fully under the covers for as long as I could stand it. And then I had awful dreams with people in parades getting horribly maimed in IED attacks. I woke up out of one at 8 am and decided to get up even though I hadn't gotten to sleep until 3 am.

On the fourth, I worked for a while on the website for Papier Plume (no tricky coding, just adding things to the site) and then shot off an email to someone in my Intelligent Discussion meetup group to see what they were doing. Going to the movies, it turned out. I finished my work, dithered for a few minutes, then headed out for Elmwood. I wasn't thrilled about the choice of movies (they were going to see Bridesmaids and Transformers 3) but I decided I could stand the first as long as I was seeing it with friends.

Can I just say that, as I am not a fan of humiliation humor, Judd Apatow movies are really not for me. I laughed a little, squirmed a lot, and found myself grateful for the romance plotline, as filled with fail as it was. And the woman next to me, who is an otherwise delightful person, comments in a normal speaking voice on the action and scenery. She did it during The Tree of Life, too, but I put that down to the odd venue. Nope. Note to self: don't sit next to her during a movie you actually care about watching.

After the movie, I met the other person who had come (I was late), had a nice chat with him and encouraged him to come to tonight's showing of Memento at my house, and then the organizer of the meetup and I discovered that we were the only people left. I expressed my sincere doubts about seeing Transformers, and he suggested that he was open to seeing something else. I was interested in two films: Super 8 and Midnight in Paris. The former wasn't showing for another hour, and it was only 20 minutes to the latter, so we opted for that.

I'm not going to post a detailed review (partly because I hate to write them) but I will say that while I enjoyed it, my companion said it wasn't as good the second time around, which I can totally understand, and the little inner critic only reared its head a few times to snark about spoiler )but overall it was fairly inoffensive.

I came home to a slightly freaked out Spot, who was outside the fence but was happy to come in when I opened the gate. It's not an impermeable fence by any means, but I think he was disoriented from all the neighborhood explosions and alarums. I petted him for a while and gave him some food, and he was back to himself in short order.

Yesterday I went to the optometrist to have my eyes checked and found that a) more time had passed than I had thought (3 years) since my last exam, and b) my eyes had changed quite a bit and new glasses were definitely called for. I picked out some nice frames that fit my criteria (won't fall off my face and have clip on sunglasses) and happily discovered that they were on sale for 60% off. Of course, my eyes were dilated when I picked them out, and I had a bit of trouble focusing, so I hope they look good when I can see. During the exam, we discussed the fact that I have an unusually large optic nerve, and she recommended that I get a full workup for glaucoma. My eye pressure is fine--even excellent, but she seemed to think there was reason for concern. Huh. I mentioned that my doctor in college had remarked on the anomaly and hadn't seemed to think it was a problem, but hey, that was 20 years ago. Medicine moves on. So I'll see my new doctor when I get home and see if it's possible to get that done without bankrupting me. (Well, maybe not. A quick search shows that it is a known genetic anomaly, and is responsible for a high number of misdiagnoses of glaucoma.)

Last night I made banana bread rather than throw out the over-ripe bananas I hadn't gotten around to putting in my fruit salad. As usual, I ate about 1/4 of the first loaf shortly after taking it out of the oven (in small slices... many many small delicious slices). At around midnight I noticed a small figure on my porch and looked out the window to discover my landlord and family were home from their summer trip to Colorado, and they had brought a muscle car on a trailer which they were backing into the driveway. I went outside, chatted a bit, helped guide the trailer in, and gave them one of the loaves.

Tonight, I have a bunch of the meetup folks coming to see Memento, so I need to clean. Naturally, I am sitting here writing long-winded journal posts. Ha! Work-avoidance at its finest.

Wow, that ended up being longer than I expected. Oh well. It'll end up in the tl:dr category for some people, I imagine. The rest, will, I hope, be at least moderately entertained (or at least diverted).

Updatery

Jul. 3rd, 2011 04:35 pm
moderate_excess: (Tree Roots Ft. Jackson)
What I've been doing lately:

Trying to find a room-mate.

Designing and laying out the Readercon Souvenir book. (Done)

Working for Papier Plume in the French Quarter.

Getting to see a few friends as they come through town for various conventions.

Still looking for a new laptop, with a 17" screen at least. Suggestions welcome.

And today, it being a day off, I decided to go rummage sailing, and found a nice wire shelving unit that works perfectly for organizing all my shipping supplies, a set of 5 lb weights so that I can work on my arms, and a sack full of books from a delightful older lady who is selling her big, beautiful house and now must clear out 40 years' worth of accumulated stuff. Meeting her was the highlight of my day--fellow bibliophile, lover of  fairy tales and classic children's literature, art, etc. We had a great chat and I would like to keep in touch with her. She may be moving to an apartment not too far from me, so that would be nice.

A terrific thunderstorm blew through about 3 hours after I got home, and I hope she was able to get everything inside. It came down in buckets, with intense thunder and lightning. My power flickered, just enough to turn off the computer and the cable box, but otherwise stayed on.

The volunteer cat has taken to expecting his dinner when I come home. He's a sweetie. The kid upstairs calls him Spot, and when I called him by it today, he turned around to look at me. His bigger, oranger brother hangs out every so often, but doesn't want attention the same way. And the other day I saw a small black and white cat under the car in the driveway, and a gray and white kitty with a collar on the sidewalk. Spot was in the yard, and acted very territorial. Heh. It all ended peacefully, though, so I am glad of that.

I have an appointment with my optometrist on Tuesday. I'm hopeful I can get a new pair of reading glasses that are not bifocals this time. The ones I have drive me crazy, and have lost their power to let me see in extreme close-up. The drugstore ones work in a pinch, but a few hours of wearing them to work on the laptop or read, and I get a headache.

The cats are well. Harley still stands on my head in the morning when it's time for his pill. No sleeping in for me!

Aaaand I still haven't found a new room-mate. The girl I met last week seemed great, but the apartment is just too far by public transport from where she needs to go every day. *sigh*

And that's the news from the swamp, where it's in the 90's every day, with afternoon thunderstorms.

NYC Monday

Jun. 14th, 2011 11:04 am
moderate_excess: (Travel)
Yesterday was a lovely day out, and I got to spend some of it tromping around Midtown with [livejournal.com profile] elisem. I met up with her at the bead shop, was dazzled by inventory, then we walked to the shadow of the Flatiron where we veered right and plunged into Eataly, which from the outside looks like a small cafe. As I remarked to Elise, it's bigger on the inside. Much, much bigger. Like a whole town bigger. I had the lasagna with roasted eggplant, tomato, & mozzarella (Pasta al Forno alla Norma), and Elise had the Agnolotti del Plin, which is little meat filled pasta pockets in a butter sauce. We were both very happy with our selections, and with the fresh mozzarella appetizer. I have to say though, upon some reflection, that the olive oil they drizzled on the moz, and had on a plate for the bread, was not as tasty as I would have liked. It was too mild, and didn't bring anything to the party. We had a great time catching up, although I had a lot of trouble hearing her over the noise.

We parted ways at the subway next to the Flatiron, and I walked over to 7th Ave to catch the 1 train. It wasn't until I thought to check my phone that I realized it was 9pm! Wow, that day went fast. My foot was hurting quite a bit by the time I got off at my stop, but I popped in to D'ag's for some breakfast food anyway. I've been there often enough on this trip that I recognized the cashier, and she talked me into applying for a D'ag card. Saved 80 cents! Ha!

Today I have to post the room-mate wanted ad on Craigslist, and then Katya and I are looking at plans for late this afternoon. It's partly cloudy and chilly, with predicted thunderstorms and scattered showers. We'll see. As Katya says, weathermen lie. (Also, I need to find a Container Store and pick up some zippered mesh bags for the tool box. Note to self.)

[edit]New travel icon! Yay! I got *something* done today.
[edit]Posted Craigslist ad! Woohoo! I'm on a roll.

Updatery

Jun. 13th, 2011 02:06 pm
moderate_excess: (Highway sign)
So I'm here in NYC. The flight up from NOLA to Baltimore was a little late getting out of the gate, but not too much, and things seemed to be proceeding apace. Then, about a half-hour from when we should have been landing, the pilot announced that we would be landing shortly, but not in Baltimore; we were being diverted to Norfolk, VA. Apparently, a huge thunderstorm had rolled through BWI, taking out the power for a bit and grounding everything. They were back up and running, but all the gates were full, so we had to wait until some of the back-log had cleared. We were on the ground about an hour or so. Everyone was very nice, no-one got rowdy or insulting, and I didn't need to stand in the long line for the bathroom, so it was all good.

When we did finally land, we had to wait quite a while for our luggage, and then the conveyor, after spitting out three pieces of luggage to the delight of the passengers, suddenly stopped and started emitting a harsh warning buzz. Jammed. It took another 15 min for a guy to come over, climb up onto the top of the conveyor, move the jammed piece of luggage, and then push the reset button. Fortunately, again, the other passengers were very pleasant and I had a couple of good conversations while waiting. Then my bags came down the chute right away, and I was able to get out to the curb where my parking shuttle was waiting. Yay for timing!

I got to [livejournal.com profile] marstokyo's house before midnight, had a quick bite of dinner which she had kindly saved for me, and crashed out.

The drive to NYC was pretty uneventful, but took a bit longer than the 3.5 hrs Mapquest predicted. Ha! Connected up with [livejournal.com profile] ksp24 in midtown to get her keys, found a parking spot around the corner from her apartment and managed to wrestle my giant suitcase up the two flights of stair to her place. I settled in a bit, looked for but didn't find the cats, and then headed out for a little walk after the long drive. I ambled over to Riverside Drive, which is always lovely, and strolled up and then down the little promenade at the top of the park, listening to my audio book. I hung out on a bench, sent some texts, and listened to the book some more while engaging in the fine past-time of people-watching.

I had to get the van down to the parking garage at 8pm, so I did that and took the subway back uptown. Katya was running late with her plans, so I stopped at the Dagastino's on Broadway where I got a small salad and some fruit and yogurt for the weekend..

Saturday morning was set-up at Lincoln Center. I had to be there at 6:30 to start unloading the van. Kate and the boys showed up just as I was finishing scouting out the site, and I got the van into a good unloading spot. Kate hired a guy (Ken) off Craigslist to help with the unloading, and he turned out to be a perfectly affable guy in his mid-30s/40s. I unloaded while everyone else hauled the stuff up the stairs and to our spot. The festival opened at noon, which is about when we were finished.

What a day. It "mizzled" all day long, and we were constantly moving things in and out of the booth. We weren't able to display the more delicate work, and the cramped space made working a bit awkward. I rigged up a set of tarps and plastic sheeting and kept things mostly dry inside. We really do need a new booth, though. It got colder as the day went on, and pretty soon my light-weight short-sleeved jersey dress and sandals weren't cutting it. I added a velvet jacket and long skirt from inventory and ended up looking like a Ukrainian woman from the turn of the century. Back to my roots! I kind of liked the look, actually.

The show closed at 9pm, and we had the booth shut down and zipped up by 9:30, at which point we all just headed off to our respective quarters (Kate had her son and his friend with her--two tall teen-age boys who spent most of their time off in the city or sitting around reading). I had a bowl of fruit and yogurt and crashed.

Sunday was a bit better for time--I didn't have to be there until 9am, and the show opened at 10. The weather was perfect, and even though I had prepared for rain, I didn't need any of my tarps and sheets. Yay! We had some moments of dead time, but it was a decent day. We started putting things away around 8:30, and Ken came by at 9pm to help take down and load the van again. Even though I'd been having some pain in my foot, I went into hyper-drive and powered through on a wave of adrenaline. We had the van completely packed by 11pm, at which point we were all ready to simply collapse.

Kate and the boys had moved to a hotel across the street from LC for the night, and after I parked the van in the LC garage again, we tried to get dinner at our usual restaurant attached to the hotel. Except that it was hosting a private party. The restaurant around the corner was closed, as was the other hotel eatery. We soon discovered that there was no place within a short walk that was open at 11:30 on a Sunday night, so we ended up ordering delivery from a diner and eating in the hotel lobby. Not the best in fine dining, that's for sure, and a bit of a disappointing after-show meal. Ah well. I ended up getting back to Katya's at 2:30 am.

So today I've read my emails, handled a bit of correspondence, made some plans for meeting people, and moved the van from the LC garage to one just down the block from where I'm staying. K is off on errands, and I'll be meeting [livejournal.com profile] elisem around tea-time. It's a lovely day out there, and I'm happy just to sit here by the open window, enjoying the breeze and catching up with life. After putting in 29 hours of work over two days, I'm taking a little rest.

I have a few plans for the rest of the week, and then we do it all again next weekend. It's intense bursts of hard work, but it's a good life.

Hmmm. I need a good icon for on-the-road posts.
moderate_excess: (A Ride? What a good idea!)
Thursday, June 9 (yep, that's this Thursday): fly from NOLA to Baltimore, pick up the van and drive to [livejournal.com profile] marstokyo's house.
June 10: after a nice breakfast, drive to NYC, stay with [livejournal.com profile] ksp24.
June 11 & 12: Lincoln Center art show. With luck it won't rain or be in the 90's. Ha! Odds are excellent that it will be exhausting.
June 13 through Friday June 17th: Probably stay with [livejournal.com profile] ksp24, then transfer up (as in farther uptown) to [livejournal.com profile] rosefox and [livejournal.com profile] sinboy's lovely abode to house- and cat-sit.
June 18th & 19th: weekend two of the Lincoln Center show. And yes, for those of you following along from home, that means putting up the booth and taking it down again twice.
June 20th: drive to Boston. Stay...??? Maybe at a nice motel with a sleep/park/fly option.
June 21st: fly home to NOLA at 6:55 am

Looook intooo the Fyooo-tyerrrrr... )
And that's as far as I can see into the future. If we'll be in the same place at the same time, let's see about getting together! It looks as if I may be on the West Coast for quite a bit of time this year, so staying with friends and doing things on the cheap would be a definite goodness. Last year I spent way too much money (but I had a great time).

*whew*
moderate_excess: (Bat Country)
I'm about to head off to "church". The reason I put that into quote marks is because it's really a Unitarian Universalist meeting in a building that's very un-churchlike. But it's Sunday morning, and it's ostensibly a religion (one that welcomes atheists like me), so, "church". I go at the behest of the parents, and I am here to indulge them. Really, though, it's a nice bunch of people and it could be much, much, worse.

And now a question, assuming anyone is still reading this. I am looking into both a new laptop and digital camera. Do you like what you have? What do you have? In the laptop I am looking for a large screen, aluminum case (for durability on the road), a fast processor and as much RAM as I can get. I'm also not going to get a Mac, for the simple reason that I have a lot of money invested in software for the PC and I can't afford to re-invest in the Mac versions. Also, they cost twice as much. I'm trying to stay under $1,000. Also, battery life is important, as are at least 3 USB ports, and a blu-ray player would be sweet.

As for the camera, I'd like it to be fairly compact, have a nice large viewing screen that you can see in strong sunlight, take good pictures in low light situations, and be good for taking close-up pictures. It also needs to mount on a tripod.

Any help you guys could give me would be great.

Off to church!
moderate_excess: (A Ride? What a good idea!)
After a pretty sedate couple of weeks post-surgery, things are picking up. I'll be working Jazz Fest starting Thursday, and then heading out on the road the next week. I have people coming over tomorrow for a movie, and I had planned to clean the apartment today, but that's been delayed a bit because I've been on-line for hours trying to work out my schedule for the next few months to see if I can actually make it to WisCon over Memorial Day and maybe Readercon as well. It took a lot of fare searching and comparing and actually writing things down on a pad of paper, but I think I've got it.*

I'll be coming to WisCon after all (that's a sure thing). However... I haven't got a hotel room. I can afford to share with one person. I cannot afford a room all by myself (I'm figuring Thursday night through Sunday night, checking out Monday). Anyone have a room and need a roommate? Or know of anyone who does? I'm a quiet non-smoker who needs a bed to herself. Not as much of a late-night person as I used to be.

I'm still trying to figure out the logistics for Readercon. Possibilities include driving the van from NYC to Boston June 20, leaving it in secure parking, flying home to NOLA, then returning to Boston on July 13 for Readercon and driving to Ann Arbor on the Monday after the con.

OR I could drive from NYC to Detroit, park the van there, fly home, fly to Boston for R-con, then fly from Boston to Detroit and pick up the van. We set up for the Ann Arbor show on Wed., July 20, IIRC.

I would much prefer the former, as there is one fewer flight and I'd have the van to get from the airport to the con and anywhere else I want to go. It's a bit more expensive for parking and I'd be paying for the extra gas the detour to Boston would entail. OTOH, the flights are cheaper. I'll have to run it past Kate and see what she thinks. Of course, if I could find someone in the Boston area who I could park the van with for about 3 weeks, that would be ideal.

So the summer schedule is filling up and it looks like I'll be away from home a lot. I'll probably be in the Seattle area between Aug 1 &10 (with transportation) if anyone wants to get together. Crash space would also be welcome. My schedule after that is still unclear as we're waiting to hear from some other shows, including Art in the Pearl in Portland on Sept. 3.  



*Wednesday, May 11 I'm driving to Bethesda, MD for a show there. After the show, I will leave the van in a secure lot near Baltimore airport and fly to Madison on May 16. I'll be staying with my parents and helping them with house stuff until WisCon (social diversions welcome! Dinner! Movies!), and then I'll be flying home to NOLA on Wednesday, June 1. I'll fly back to Baltimore on June 9 and drive the van to NYC for the Lincoln Center show.
moderate_excess: (ceci nest pas une icon)
I know I've been absent. This last weekend I was in Atlanta for the Dogwood Festival* I got back home about an hour ago and have tried catching up on LJ and Facebook. Alas, I am wiped out and not focusing well. I have to be up at about 5am and at the hospital between 5:30 and 6am for my gall bladder surgery.

So I've taken a pain pill and I'm climbing into bed now with a book and the cats. If all goes well, I'll be back in the afternoon. See you all on the flip side.



*Sorry I didn't make contact with any Atlanta friends--I've had low reserves of people energy for a little while now, and they were nearly exhausted by the end of the weekend.
moderate_excess: (Proceed...)
Today I had my surgical consult about getting my gallbladder out. All things considered, it went remarkably smoothly (if taking a bit over 5.5 hours) and I now have a bright shiny appointment with a surgeon to have the inconvenient organ removed. I'll go in for my pre-op appointment on April 12, where they will tell me all the things I will need to do before the surgery, then I'll get in the van the next day and drive to Atlanta for the Dogwood Festival. That Monday I'll drive the van back, and bright and early Tuesday morning, April 19, present myself for the operation. That'll be a heck of a week, all right. Fortunately, I have no heavy lifting scheduled until the second week of Jazz Fest, and even then the lifting will be much lighter than usual and we'll have more help.

I'm actually looking forward to having this done with. Having a clear diagnosis with a clear solution to my problem is an amazing breath of fresh air. I'm so used to being a mystery case that I am shocked when a doctor knows what's wrong with me, let alone how to fix it.

They tell me that after the surgery I can eat anything I want. I'll still stick with my usual low-cal eating, but I may just have to go out for fried green tomatoes. For the thrill. Because that's how I roll.
moderate_excess: (Chickweed "what?")
I'm unusually far behind on my on-line correspondence this month. We had quite a few shows in Florida and I've been on the road a lot. For some reason, firing up the computer at the hotel after a long day on my feet just isn't that appealing.

The most recent show was in Winter Park, just outside Orlando. It ran the same weekend as the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, which a number of my acquaintances were attending, but after 11 and 12 hour days I just had no thought whatsoever of trying to find the convention and sit down for a drink with anyone.

I did, however, go bowling. With artists. This, as it turned out, might not have been the best idea in the world. It's been since I lived in Madison that I went bowling last, and ye gods, my body was so not ready for it. After a few practice frames, my legs were on fire, especially the tops of my thighs. It felt as if I'd just spent a day in the saddle rediscovering unused muscles. But I played through the pain, and managed to make the low score for our team, which very nearly (but only by 2 points) got us the trophy for worst players. Alas, it went to a team which had lost two of its members early, and took a full half hour longer to finish than anyone else. They got a fabulous piece of glass and have to create the trophy for next year. It would have been amusing for our team to have "won", as we were all assistants. But I feel confident I could have produced a good trophy should it have come to that.

It was fun, I talked Kate into actually bowling (!) and I think she had a good time, in spite of herself. I, on the other hand, have been in pain ever since. I think I pulled something in my thighs--the quadriceps, I'm fairly certain. It hurts to stand up or sit down or go up and down stairs. It's a sharp, tearing pain in the tops of my thighs, about midway between groin and knee. I've been resting and icing and taking pain pills, and it does seem a little better today, a full week after the initial injury. I should be at the French Market, but I'm just not up for it, physically.

It was a week for injuries, that's for sure. On Tuesday at the shop in the Quarter, I burned myself demonstrating wax seals for a customer (half-inch long blister right alongside the nail of the middle finger on the left hand). Setting up the booth on Thursday, I dropped the Easy-Up on my foot, tearing the skin on one toe and giving me a spectacular bruise, and then on Saturday during the day, I dropped the stand for our patio umbrella on my ankle. I am a hazard to myself, I tell you.

So now I'm home, since Wednesday. The cats are getting a bit less clingy and Harley's stopped waking me up every three hours to tell me how much he missed me and nibble on my hair and head-butt me. (I did have to resort to putting a pillowcase over my hair to deter him and get a bit of sleep.) I've mostly caught up with LJ, although I wasn't able to go all the way back to the point where I'd left off. The fridge is restocked, the books to be read pile has been added to from a visit to the picked over corpse of the local Borders, and the laundry is... still not done. But I'm getting to it.

Tomorrow I go in for a surgical consult for the gallbladder. Oh, right, speaking of which, I had a genuine attack on Thursday morning. I had to take a hydrocodone and lie down. I had been feeling a bit sanguine about the whole situation, but now I want that sucker gone.

And now I come to a dilemma. Life at home is just about as stable as it's likely to be for a while. I have to take Harley in for his thyroid check this week, for which I will have to shell out almost $100. The cat food is getting low (another $30), and the rent is due. If I had worked today, I suspect I could have covered that all, and I do have a check coming for some work I did in the Quarter, which might help. I'm squeaking by, but there is no room in the budget (I probably shouldn't have bought books). So naturally, the world has decided I need another cat.

I don't want another cat. Or rather, I do, but I don't think it's the right time at all. Harley is enjoying being top cat and is very territorial, to the point of attacking a rather large dog who lived with us for a time. I'll be going back out on the road for several months, and that's stressful enough on him and Beamer without adding a new kitty to the mix.

But there's this yellow cat who has decided that she wants to live with me. She showed up on my porch last night and meowed at me through the screen window. I went out, thinking it was the big orange cat I'd been seeing off and on in the area, who enjoyed a pet or two before going on his determined way. It wasn't. This cat jumped off the porch as I approached, but then circled around through the yard, looking at me and meowing, before climbing the steps and approaching with caution. As soon as she rubbed her head on my hand, however, all shyness vanished. Soon I was sitting on one of the porch chairs and she'd climbed onto my lap.

I was sure she belonged to someone--she was clearly socialized, if a bit skittish at first, her nails weren't razor sharp, and she didn't seem to be starving. On the other hand, her coat was a bit dull, and she had no collar. She's a pale yellow, the ghost of an orange tabby, with a sweet triangular face and yellow eyes. She's very sweet, and just wants to be loved. It was with reluctance that I went inside last night, but I hoped she'd make it back to her home.

This morning, she was sitting on my windowsill. Uh-oh. She meowed at me, and I went out to say hello. Again, she jumped off the porch and hid, but came back when I called her. She was very loving, rubbing against me and meowing. She has a very quiet purr--easy to miss--but so obviously loves to be paid attention to. What a sweetie. When I came back in this morning, she followed me to the door and it was very hard to leave her outside. I am mindful, however, that she may be carrying something, and I don't want to bring her in and possibly expose my cats. I washed my hands thoroughly before petting my own guys, who were wondering what the hell I had been doing out there.

So. Cat. My instinct is to take her to my vet and get her checked out--disease, age, microchip, etc. And then see about either finding her a home or taking her in myself. But it's Sunday and my vet is closed, tomorrow is my surgical consult, and even if she's still around on Tuesday, I just don't have the funds. There is a no-kill shelter here, but I feel funny about calling them in. I think I would feel more positively about adopting her if I wasn't so worried about how Harley would take it. He's my elder cat, and has earned his place in the sun (and on my lap). I don't want to take that away from him or stress him out with a challenge to his territory. *sigh*

I guess I'll see if she's still here by Tuesday and play it by ear. Maybe my vet would be willing to take her for adoption.

So, that's my life at the moment: injury and inconvenient cat. How's yours?
moderate_excess: (New Haircut)
That I am finally home (for four days), and am now going to lie on my couch with the cats and watch TV before coming back to LJ where I now have a reading deficit of only 560 entries. (There was no internet to be had at almost every place we stayed.)

It's good to be home, though.
moderate_excess: (cake-rat)
To the ever enigmatic but always poetic [livejournal.com profile] rock_drill!

My Day

Feb. 15th, 2011 12:46 am
moderate_excess: (Heart cookies)
Today didn't feel much like Valentine's Day or like my birthday. It was in some ways a patchwork day, with much of it passing as any other day working in the French Market, with occasional reminders of those two calendar markers. I had some truly lovely customers today, and no obnoxious jerks! What a lovely birthday treat, I say. And I made a lot of sales, which made both me and Patrick happy.

I had thought about going out somewhere in the Quarter after the market closed, but by the time everything was packed away and loaded into Patrick's car, the day was beginning to catch up with me. So I headed home and settled in for an evening of television with the cats, and entirely too much left-over food.

I did find a wonderful surprise waiting for me on my kitchen table when I got in: a large box of gourmet chocolate covered strawberries from an old friend. Oh, my. I ate too many of them, but they were sooo delicious! As a matter of fact, I've eaten more these last two days than I really ought, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if I gained ten pounds overnight. Oof. But it's all been totally decadent and worth it.

I read my valentinr this morning, and found them to be anonymous and fascinating, and a bit mysterious. And I feel like a girl with secret admirers, which delights me. So thank you.

My house smells like roses and flowers (I have two bouquets of mixed flowers which I have not identified, plus a pair of lovely roses), and it makes me smile.

Wow, this is a disjointed post. I feel as if there are things I meant to say when I sat down that have flown out of my head like startled pigeons. Perhaps they'll have roosted when morning comes.

Tomorrow I have to go to the DMV to renew my drivers license, because even though I could have renewed on-line or by mail, I want a new picture, dammit! And to change the number under "weight". Yeah.

Time for bed, now, and sleep, and purring cats. Goodnight dear friends.
moderate_excess: (Heart--bleeding heart)
OK, people. This is just sad. Only 4 valentines? Really?


My Valentinr - nevsmith
Get your own valentinr







Not that I judge my self-worth based on a little internet widget, but, hey.

Shameless

Feb. 12th, 2011 11:59 pm
moderate_excess: (heart-clockwork)
Also, only two more days to send me a valentine!

My Valentinr - nevsmith
Get your own valentinr

*Whew*

Feb. 12th, 2011 11:56 pm
moderate_excess: (cake fire)
Well, I made it. Finished cleaning the house at about 4 pm and started cooking. Got the hummus done and started on the frosting for the chocolate cake, and then the doorbell rang. It felt like only the blink of an eye and my house was filled with people. I did manage to get the frosting done (chasing people into the living room by turning on the food processor), and after getting wine glasses down and putting chips in bowls and veggies on plates, and all the other little food-related things I needed to do, I poured myself a glass of wine and joined my guests.

Thank you to all of you who made it out tonight--it was really lovely to see you and I enjoyed your company.

My strategy of inviting people from all aspects of my life worked beautifully. Everyone got on well with everyone else, stories were told, there was a lot of laughter, and quite a bit of food got eaten. Nowhere near as much food as I had made, though.

Oh, lord, I have so much food left! I bought stuff for sandwiches and we never even got to them--there was so much snack food there wasn't room for dinner. I still have half a loaf of banana bread, half a bundt cake-shaped poppy seed bread, half the chocolate cake I made, two containers of hummus, grapes, potato salad, carrots, celery, tri-color peppers, roasted mini bell peppers, olives, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, sesame seed rolls, ciabata bread, herb baguette, pita, sliced turkey breast, sliced chicken, Genoa salami, several kinds of sliced cheese, brie, goat cheese, some sort of semi-hard cheese, crackers, chips, peanuts, and almonds. I could feed a small army! Oh, and a couple more bottles of wine than I had at the beginning of the night. There's no possible way I can eat all that. Oh well, I'll figure something out. If you're local and want some food, give me a shout.

It was really lovely to have a house full of people. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it--I need to have get-togethers more often, especially now that the house is *clean*.

Oh, and as a bonus, I wrote a guest blog for a friend's food blog, Calorie Factory, and it went up today. Check it out, and please boost the signal: Salvation and Banana Bread in New Orleans
moderate_excess: (cake fire)

...do I do this to myself? I skipped the French Market today because I am woefully behind on my Clean All The Things project in advance of my party tomorrow. I also have not done any of the baking I need. Why yes, I procrastinate. But, in the things done column I can list the following:

Made groceries (spent over $100 on food and failed to buy any of the staples I am running out of)
Cleaned the inside of the refrigerator
Decluttered, dusted, and swept bedroom and living room
Emptied the vacuum cleaner and cleaned the filter
Put away all the books piled on chairs in the library
Wrote a guest post for a food blog

To do:

Scrub spots on floors
De-fur chairs and couches
Sweep library, kitchen, and bath
Vacuum

Clean bathroom [will do tomorrow--I'm wiped]
Bake (banana bread, poppy seed bread, chocolate cake)
Clean kitchen (no sense in doing the floors before I bake and get flour all over)[also to do tomorrow]
(Tomorrow) make appetizers and get out serving and eating things
Have fun

Progress

Feb. 9th, 2011 11:33 pm
moderate_excess: (Ikea Cat)
Even though it somehow doesn't feel as though I've accomplished very much, I actually think I have. I did find places for all the glass, but it involved doing a complicated shuffle of shelves and their contents. I had to re-arrange the back room quite a bit to make getting to things easier and more efficient, broke down a bunch of boxes that were in the way, stored some things "just for now", put the big shipping boxes my printer and mixer came in out in the storage room, did two loads of laundry, and packed up a box of glass to ship. I also did a little legwork on a possible glass job that is looking less and less viable as I work on it. Bother.

The vacuum filter did not get cleaned, as it has been raining out there all day and it's not a job you want to do indoors. It is preferably done standing over a garbage can, upwind. The forecast for tomorrow looks promising.

I made a list of possible foodstuffs for the party. It's a pretty big list. Of course, I always over buy for these things, but since I'm doing much healthier food these days I am hopeful that the presence of left-overs won't be such a terrible thing.

I am contemplating calling in a professional to help me with the heavy-duty cleaning. I just don't know if I can get someone on short notice. Like, tomorrow. 

There is also a stack (by which I mean about 5 stacks) of books in the library with nary a place to put them. (Did I say five stacks? I meant ten.) Some of them are the erotica I took out of the little bookcase in the bedroom to make room for the to-be-read books that I moved from the other bookshelf so I could use it for glass. My life is just a big sliding blocks game.

What to do? I suspect the erotica may go into the back room for now, until I figure something out. I need more bookshelves, that's for sure.

My Valentinr - nevsmith
Get your own valentinr
moderate_excess: (Chickweed "what?")
I'm starting to think seriously about the food for my party and realizing that it's been a very long time since I've done this. Since my focus has been so much on baking over the past 10 years or so, that's what I instinctively think about to make. But it's a very different thing to make something to bring to someone else's party and what to serve at your own.

The weather looks to be sunny but on the chilly side, so there is the possibility of using the grill. My landlord has made great progress on the back yard--the steps are in, most of the paving blocks are in--so this has become a real option. And so now I'm faced with decisions on that. In the past, when I've had parties with Joe, he was in charge of the grill and we provided chicken and hot dogs and hamburgers, and if people wanted steak, they could bring it themselves. Once we did provide steak for everyone, and it was pretty good, if a little time intensive to get everyone's meat done to the right degree. I would really rather avoid that. One of the difficult things for me right now, in re grilling, is that I have become functionally vegetarian. I will occasionally order something with chicken when I eat out, or fish if it looks good, but I haven't had red meat in quite a long time. I don't really even like to have chicken, because the factory farms are so repellent.

Grilled veggies are good, but I know they won't satisfy most people. I wish I could afford to do salmon, but it's a bit too dear for me (and I won't buy farmed fish, either). So should I perhaps ask people to bring whatever they would like for the grill? Or should I just hang up the idea of grilling altogether and do a buffet? As I think about it, that sounds altogether a more sensible option, and folks can enjoy the outdoor space for socializing if the weather is nice.

So, food. It's a bit late in the day to be asking people to bring a dish (and damn evite for not giving me that option anymore), although I suppose I could send out an email. Here I am going to explore the group mind (assuming you all play along). Tell me what things you like at a party. Snacky things, sweet things, buffet meal things, drink things. I feel as if I'm completely starting over at this. (This is probably a result of the way I've come to view food over the last few years--my relationship to it has completely changed, and I find that I am often left with no viable choices when at potlucks once I rule out high-fat, high-additive foods.)

What do you bring to parties? What food do you naturally expect to be at one, and feel disappointed not to see? And if you are coming to my party, would you be willing to bring something? And what would you like to see on the table? Your answers are much appreciated.
moderate_excess: (heart-clockwork)
Well, ok, technically day 2, since I did a bunch on Sunday, but since I'm thinking I have three days to clean this entire place, today was day 1. It may not seem as if I got a lot done today--there's still a lot of mess and piles of things, but the piles are now sorted, many pieces of paper put into file folders, and I actually took care of some correspondence that had gotten shunted aside to deal with later. Activated the warranty on the new printer and stand mixer, replied to a jury summons (just in the nick of time), and got a couple of desk drawers into better order. I did not, however, find my calendar from the first part of last year, which is what I was originally looking for when I opened those drawers. Oh well, it will turn up eventually. When I no longer need it. I also came across my appointment letter for the surgical consult for my gallbladder for March 18. Now it's on my calendar, and the letter is on my bulletin board where I can find it and it won't get buried again.

And now to sleep, and hope to have more energy for tomorrow. On the agenda: cleaning the vacuum machine filter, finding places for all the glass cluttering up my work space, clean off all surfaces, and dust. Thursday: clean the bathroom, sweep and mop floors, vacuum rugs, de-fur couches and chairs, and clean the refrigerator. Friday I'm working in the French Market, and Saturday is the party. Agh!

My Valentinr - nevsmith
Get your own valentinr
moderate_excess: (love every one)
In the spirit of the season, I am adding a little Valentinr widget thing to my journal. Valentine's day has always been an odd holiday for me, as it is also my birthday. Those of you who know me have heard my plaintive meeping about two holidays in one and romantic birthdays and how none of my boyfriends have ever seemed to get it right. But this year, I'm done with all that. I'm having a party in advance of the day, and will probably do something nice for myself on the 14th, which may mean simply staying in and watching movies. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't welcome Valentines wishes from my friends.

So here's the widget thing, and I may add it to the bottom of any posts I make from here on until next Monday.

My Valentinr - nevsmith
Get your own valentinr
moderate_excess: (New Haircut 2)
It can be hard to type when you're being stared at by a little black cat at close range. Especially a clearly disapproving little black cat. Especially one who keeps trying to walk across the keyboard. Well, it *is* my bed-time, according to Harley.

Things accomplished today: cleaned the worst of the kitchen (stove, cabinet and drawer fronts, sink), cleared off the table, and... that's about where I petered out. And then I sat on the couch with popcorn and watched the game with that disapproving cat (who nonetheless approved of having a warm lap). As I was watching by myself, there were the occasional soft cheers and once I waved my vestigial fore-paws in the air and said "yay." Very quietly. So as not to disturb the cat. And my preferred franchise won! (Go Packers.)

Tomorrow there's more work to be done on the CAC awards, and I need to tackle another room. I'm leaving the floors to the last, since they get dirty so fast. Oh, I did go through a new cookie and biscuit cookbook and flag some recipes that look both delicious and simple, and for which I already have the ingredients. I was briefly thrown by the fact that they all called for caster sugar, but then discovered that the bag of superfine sugar I bought at Winn Dixie is the same thing. I will not, however, be making vanilla sugar, after pricing vanilla beans at the Whole Foods. Good grief!

I'll be working in the market on Friday, to give me a full weekend for the party (i.e. I won't need to worry about staying up late on Saturday). Which means that, really, I only have two full days for cleaning, plus two evenings after work. I hope I can get it all done. Not to mention the baking and cooking. Hmm. Still have to figure out what food I'll be making other than baked goods.

My landlord seems to be making excellent progress on the back yard, and has promised to have it ready and steps installed by Saturday. This would be amazing, as it's been years since I had a usable back yard. Now I need the weather to cooperate. If things look good, we might be doing some grilling! I'm excited and a wee bit nervous--this is the first party I've thrown as a single person since J__ moved out. But I used to do it all the time in Madison, so it's just a matter of getting back on the horse. And getting more invitations out.

evite

Feb. 4th, 2011 03:38 pm
moderate_excess: (New Haircut 2)
Boy, they've changed evites quite a bit since the last time I used them, and not for the better. I remember being able to add a message within the invitation itself, as well as specify things like menus, what you would like people to bring, with even a little pull down menu that kept track so that you didn't end up with six potato salads and no hot dogs.

Now, it's what, where, when, and who, and a little message you can include in the email. And that's it! No customizing, no pictures of your own, no menu planning. I am not pleased.

Are there any other e-invite sites you would recommend?

New Haircut

Feb. 3rd, 2011 05:00 pm
moderate_excess: (Default)
OK, it's done. I really like it. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get any pictures that really show it well--somehow it flattens out under the camera lens. Maybe it's the angle. Anyway, here are a few (bad) cell-phone pictures so you can see for yourself. Two I took in the mirror, two I had someone else take. Here we go... )
moderate_excess: (A Ride? What a good idea!)
Turns out my hair appointment isn't until tomorrow at 1 pm. Gosh it was cold out there (really wanted warm gloves), but I got a few things done as long as I was out and about.

Plus it gives me an extra day to fiddle with photoshop! Yay! Like this, for example )

Guest List

Feb. 2nd, 2011 11:54 am
moderate_excess: (cake fire)
I'm putting together the invitation to my birthday party and noticing that quite a few email addresses in my address book look suspiciously old (i.e. aol addresses) or that I have more than one for some people.

If you're coming to my party (or even just thinking of coming) and would like an invitation, PLEASE leave me your email address either in a comment here with your real name (comments will be screened), or send me a message o LJ, or even send me an email. I'm trying to get these out soon, as there is only a week and a half to go and I know people like to be able to plan in advance.

Thank you!
moderate_excess: (cake fire)
Well, Poo.

I just found out that I have a free ticket to the Contemporary Art Center's SweetArts ball on, you guessed it, Feb 12. Which is, for those of you playing at home, the date I have selected for my 50th birthday bash. Tickets go for $150*. The event starts at 9pm.

I went last year, and had a pretty good time. So, my dilemma would seem to be two-fold: 1) some of the people I want to invite to my party will also be invited/going to this event, and 2) I would kind of like to go to this event.

HOWEVER, and this is where I deviate sharply from past thinking and behavior, my party is going to be kick-ass, will have a lot of people I really want to spend time with, and mark a milestone in my life, as well as a turning point. The other? Just a snooty party for rich people with a lot of Beautiful People in fancy clothes eating tasty tasty morsels from some of the best chefs in the city. OK, that last part is tempting. But I will have tasty tasty morsels from my own (and hopefully others') kitchen!

So, fear not, party lovers. The event is still on. I'm taking it as a challenge.



*It would be bad form for me to sell my ticket, as the event is a fund raiser for the CAC.
moderate_excess: (Default)
What do you all think of this one?

Me with Sally Fields' Hair, 2

Also Sally Fields' hair, from a different style. I also fixed my teeth, which I would like to do for real.

Personally, while I like this one, I'm not sure I have the volume of hair to pull this off without a lot of fussing with blow dryers et al.

I have an appointment with a stylist for 1 pm tomorrow.
moderate_excess: (Default)
I've decided I need a change in hair style. Something a little different. So I've been looking around on-line for styles that I think would suit me and are appropriate for my age and face shape. I've found a couple that I like, and with a bit of crude photoshopping (really, I need to take a class) I've grafted them onto my head. I rather like both of them. What do you think? I decided to put these behind a cut for your and my sanity )
moderate_excess: (get fuzzy)
Dear News Media: When you use the term "Obamacare" instead of the act's real name, you are no longer reporting objectively. You are buying into the re-branding by the conservative opposition. It's the Affordable Health Care Act. Get it right, and stop doing the conservatives' work for them.

Weather

Jan. 31st, 2011 12:49 pm
moderate_excess: (Streetcar)
Seems like a lot of weather going on out there where most of you live. Ice predicted for Dallas, monster blizzards for SE Wisconsin. Here, it's lovely and mild, highs in the 70s, thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow, but that's fairly typical. However. The predicted highs and lows for tomorrow? 74/36. Yep. Can you say cold front? I knew you could. And while those of you in more frigid climes may scoff, that's a bit chilly down here (read: natives will be bundled up in heavy coats, scarves and hats*. Tourists will shiver a bit in their light jackets and some will wander around in shorts (with beers in their hands)).

And now for my walk. Better enjoy it while it lasts.


*BTW. Warm gloves? Not for sale anywhere I've looked down here. And I can't find mine.
moderate_excess: (Glass Octopus)
I just finished laying out the type for the awards for the Contemporary Arts Center's 2011 SweetArts event. The text gets etched onto very large crystal ice buckets (about 12" high by 11" across the top) made by Mignon Faget. The tricky part of etching lines of text on the surface of a truncated cone is that you have to create the text on a curve so that when it's placed on the glass, it will flatten out and look straight. I'm not describing it well, but if you wrap a piece of paper around, say, a tapered bar glass, and draw a line parallel to the top of the glass and then flatten the paper out, you will see that your straight line is a curve. I have to match that curve exactly for this piece of glass. It's a bit of a PITA, but it's done, now, and off to the sign shop to have the resist cut out of vinyl for etching.

My reward for all my work (and helping put the resist on and blast the pieces) will be a ticket to the event, which was a lot of fun last year.

And now I can feel virtuous and do something else.

I need a glass-working icon. I thought I had one, but it's gone...

[edit] Made one!
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