gwyn: (bumble _hellsbelles)
And now begins our long international nightmare of waiting till the Yuletide 2012 archive goes live. It's kind of fun seeing all the people yelling "Bears!" and then making the cutoff, just squeaking in.

I am very excited about it this year. For the past three years, I have been either traveling, working on a tight deadline, or in a hospital tending to my dad while working on a horrendous deadline. This year I have nothing! No one is dying, no one is ill, I'm not going anywhere, and most importantly, I HAVE NO WORK. I can actually read. I think last year I read like 10 stories. And I never really had the time to go back and search for the things I wanted to read. So this year I plan to make up for it. I'm gonna wake up on December 25, and get my cereal and my iced tea, and pull out my Nook Color, and go to town. When the battery dies on that, I will get out my laptop.

And in between I will try to work on my Festivid.

Apropos of my post yesterday about our dismal, depressing, sucktastic weather again this year, I give you one of my favorite pics from Hawaii. These sweet little zebra doves were settling in for the night on a branch right outside my door at the Four Seasons Manele Bay. And that waterfall pic was taken right outside my freaking door.

doves

waterfall
gwyn: (teevee jim ward morris)
Urg, every time I sit down to do an update or talk about something legit, something else comes up and consumes my life. I got a new foster dog in on Thursday, it was supposed to be a chill female Yorkshire terrier and it turned out to be a male Yorkie with significant health problems. Still, he was adorable, and I took him on Big Adventures yesterday but I could tell he was increasingly sick, and the bladder stones that were a problem and were going to have to be dealt with through surgery had become urgently bad. By the time we got home in the evening I finally got a call back from one of the rescue group ladies and they said to take him to the urgent care place, which I did. I hated leaving him there, poor little guy, he's been through some pretty severe trauma lately, but I couldn't keep belly bands on him enough -- he was just peeing ALL the time, and was seriously lethargic. I was concerned he wouldn't be able to handle surgery, but they did get the stones and he is resting, so I can pick him up tomorrow. And the best news is that the people down the street who have a female Yorkie met him Thursday evening and were really smitten, and without my prodding have already put in an application for him. So not only will he go to a really loving home, he'll be about six doors down from me! Win-win.

I wanted to write about TV, but I guess I'll have to do sound bites in 25 words or less:

Fringe: I...didn't sign up for this?

Revenge: I love Nolan's new 'do. Everything else is just taking up space.

Dexter: I think the people who write this have been in an experimental psychotropic drug program.

Homeland: Is KILLING me with its goodness and suspense and just basically HOLY SHITness.

Boredwalk Empire: Enough said. I don't know why I keep watching other than Jack Huston.

Happy Endings: Yay! They are back! Why doesn't everyone watch this show?

Castle: If a lead actress in a series had gained as much weight as Nathan has, she would be fired. (I still love Nathan.)

Alphas: I would just really rather they fight crime than conspiracies. Or just Gary fights crime.

Modern Family: Still cute after all these years.

Big Bang Theory: Please just spin off Penny, Amy, and Bernadette. The guys can appear occasionally.

Hunted: Could be interesting. Jury's still out.

Arrow: The only thing that will wake me up on this is when Nick Lea and Mitch Pileggi inevitably show up.

I still can't get interested in Person of Interest despite watching it a few times. I don't know what it is that everyone sees in it -- I maybe need to sit down with fangirls or something. But it just leaves me cold (possibly it's that I think Caveziel and whosits are kind of creepy dudes...), yet many people I like love it. And Teen Wolf is a nonstarter for me, which basically means I am missing about 80 percent of Tumblr posts. And Elementary might have been the only time I would ever happily watch anything Sherlock related, but it just seems like another CBS procedural to me. I don't know. I'm desperate for a new fandom, though.

Here, have a Hawaii pic:
Plumeria
Plumeria blossoms

Hmmmmm

Sep. 12th, 2012 01:31 pm
gwyn: (buffy monanotlisa)
So, say you were to wish to make a vid about people doing brave or heroic things or trying of making the world a better place, discovering their inner superhero. Stuff with more of a fantasy element than a horror/faced with trauma but sticking it out kinda thing. What would you want in that vid?

I'm thinking Star Wars (the originals, duh), Harry Potter, Star Trek movies, ET, prooooobably the Avengers movies in their discover phases but not totally sure, and I can't decide about Lord of the Rings. And here's what else I can't decide: whether to go for TV because then one gets Buffy, Firefly, Angel, but one also has to deal with the nightmare of aspect ratios for the 4:3 shows mixed with movies in the 16:9 and of course the widescreen tv in between. Or, also, whether to include animation in it (such as the Pixar films).

This hypothetical vid is going to take the better half of a year, I just know it, and I can't start until I stop dithering. Help.

I plan to write about Vividcon here at some point. I finally got the last of the books kicking my ass off on Monday and am now trying to catch up on the new books that are less ass-kicky but still need doing. I haven't had any time at all to deal with con reports. It will be so long gone that it won't matter, but I still want to write it down for me.

I've also been dealing with a difficult foster dog -- a chihuahua named Gizmo, who's pretty much the tiniest dog I have ever seen and a real sweetie, but who was peeing FOR DAYS on my coffee table and my very expensive rug I bought for my birthday last fall before I found out. I did at least see the poop every day -- even with the door open and him able to come and go as he pleased, he would come inside and crap on the rug. Every. Single. Day. And unbeknownst to me, also peeing. The Fuzzy Wuzzy Rug Co. (seriously, wouldn't you hire a company called Fuzzy Wuzzy? I mean, I ask you) came and took it away this week, but they said it's unlikely the yellow stain will come out completely. I am bereft. I love that rug, and I'm just sick at having it be ruined before it's even a year old.

So I got some homemade belly bands from one of the rescue people, we call it his panties, and put a maxi-pad in it. He does not like wearing it, but it seems to be doing the trick -- the other day he actually went and stood by the back door, so I took it off and he went out and peed AND pooped outside. I was very proud -- it's so sad that my life revolves around a thing that isn't even two pounds, and whether it goes potty. Getting him to go potty is just...an ordeal. Every night we go through this ritual, and now I have to put him on the leash and take him outside the back yard to get him to go before I gate him up in the kitchen. He hates that too, or being put in his crate when I go away, but I can't trust him even with his panties on, so... I think he's starting to understand that the house is not for potty, unless it's on the piddle pads -- this morning I got up later than usual and he'd actually peed on the piddle pad. Progress comes in small steps.

My friends are always going on about how they'd never have female dogs, blah blah, and I will say that I have never had a female foster pee in the house unless it was on a pad, and they've only ever pooped as an accident and made sure to do it on the tile. THe males have consistently been the ones who have chronic accidents and marking behavior, and it really enrages me when there's no reason -- door's wide open, they can go outside and mark to their heart's content. Gah. This makes me more intent than ever that I'm getting a female when I finally settle on one dog (she said, after falling in love with two of her male dogs).

I had my official assessment last week on my fitness training. It was...depressing. I haven't budged one ounce on weight, and only .07 on body fat. The numbers for the breathing test and my blood pressure were a lot better so they're trying to encourage me to focus on that, and I might have lost one or two inches in fatness size, I don't know. They keep hammering on the eating aspect. I know this is a big issue. I don't eat often enough and when I do it's often not the right thing I need. they recommended this service called Chef by Request, where they focus on the right nutrition for people in fitness programs and bring you all your meals, plus snacks, but the bastards haven't bothered to call me back and I kind of thought, fuck it, if I'm going to pay that much money for basically a personal chef service that's not entirely personal, why not just get a real personal chef.

This has actually turned out to be harder than I thought, as every time I found someone who sounded good, they don't come to my neck of the woods. I'm going to call a guy today who might be a possibility. I couldn't possibly feel more like a douchebag than to hire a personal chef, but...I'm losing the war with my nutrition/eating, and I know that, and I may not make the kind of real progress I'd like if I don't do something. I can cook, but I'm often so drowned in work and so stressed out that I can't, and I'm a sucky cook who's afraid of complicated recipes so I stick to things that might not really work for what I need to do. And I've been trying to do a lot of things for other people with my dad's money, so maybe I should try to do something for myself.

I also called a housecleaning service and they came last week and did a deep clean, and will be coming every couple weeks. This was a hard thing for me to do -- I like everything just so, and they put stuff back in the wrong places, etc., but I can't even take the time to clean my house and I'm a neat freak. It's just gotten to a place where I want to cry all the time looking at how shitty everything looks, and I'm scared because there are spiders everywhere from the fact that there are cobwebs everywhere because I can't find the time to clean under and around stuff. At some point you have to ask yourself if your OCD is more important to you than having your house livable, and if you're working to live or living to work. Like they always say, no one ever said on their deathbed that they wished they'd worked more.

I'll see how it goes, but boy do I feel like an assface for having a housecleaner and a personal chef (maybe). I'm an old, single, fat, freelancer with no social life, but hey, someone comes to clean my house and make me food! ::dies of shame:: My mom would probably be rolling her eyes in a Tony Stark-level face, but my sister and dad would probably go, good for you. I never know which ghost to listen to. It's hard to let go of "things I can do for myself" and think more in terms of "things I don't do for myself but I should."

I'm also in the middle of trying to remodel/redecorate. It took me until this year to figure out that whenever someone I love dies, I go into remodeling mode. I did it after mom, I did it after my second mom Mrs. O, I did it in a huge way after sis_r, and now after dad_r. I don't know why I didn't see the pattern before, but there it is.

Maybe when all this is done and I've settled into being a douche who hires people to do things she can do, I'll have more time to write fic and...gasp! real writing, and vid. If I can ever figure out how I want that vid to go.

Have another Hawaii pic. I think, though am not entirely sure, this may be a peach palm.

Palm tree
gwyn: (dean pelton)
I hate posting pics of myself (I hate taking them, so I rarely do), but I have to show off my cool new hair! I went for my pre-VVC cut and color and I couldn't decide what to do for my hair, but I knew I wanted something pretty dramatically different. I was thinking of either doing a ruby/burgundy red with something else, or what I was really leaning towards, a silvery grey/lilac like Kelly Osbourne's hair here. I'm probably one of the only people who likes her hair like that, but I do. ANYways, I ended up opting for a burgundy shade with flame red and violet sections, and I really like it! I think I would have liked the Kelly hair, too, though. Maybe next time. I have a feeling it will already be fading by con time, but here's what it looked like today -- each picture looks a little different because for some reason, the three separate colors only came out in different light (the ruby in sun, the flame in shade, and the violet in indirect sun). Go figure. Just ignore my fat ugly face.

Hair! )
And an extra pic of Mr. Baby, who had to check out the camera. Poor little guy, he's really wilting in the heat and so scared of the fan.
Blues

_____

Something I've meant to say for a long time and I never remember/think to do: If anyone wants to do a podfic recording of any of my stories, you are more than welcome to. I'd love to know about it if you do, but this is blanket permission. Also, if you want to pick up after a story or continue something of mine, you're welcome to, I'd just love an acknowledgement. Snady worked on me about this for years, and I wish I'd had the chance to tell her I'd changed my tune about things.

I can hardly believe it's five days till VVC. Augh! Five days!!! WTF. How did that happen? I need to make some dvds and get my shit together. I do have a fabulous outfit for Club Vivid (and now fabulous hair), but I don't think I have a single other thing ready. Entirely unprepared. Gah. If all goes well (and it rarely does with O'Hare) I should be in the hotel by 3 or so.
gwyn: (dean pelton)
I hate posting pics of myself (I hate taking them, so I rarely do), but I have to show off my cool new hair! I went for my pre-VVC cut and color and I couldn't decide what to do for my hair, but I knew I wanted something pretty dramatically different. I was thinking of either doing a ruby/burgundy red with something else, or what I was really leaning towards, a silvery grey/lilac like Kelly Osbourne's hair here. I'm probably one of the only people who likes her hair like that, but I do. ANYways, I ended up opting for a burgundy shade with flame red and violet sections, and I really like it! I think I would have liked the Kelly hair, too, though. Maybe next time. I have a feeling it will already be fading by con time, but here's what it looked like today -- each picture looks a little different because for some reason, the three separate colors only came out in different light (the ruby in sun, the flame in shade, and the violet in indirect sun). Go figure. Just ignore my fat ugly face.

Hair! )
And an extra pic of Mr. Baby, who had to check out the camera. Poor little guy, he's really wilting in the heat and so scared of the fan.
Blues

_____

Something I've meant to say for a long time and I never remember/think to do: If anyone wants to do a podfic recording of any of my stories, you are more than welcome to. I'd love to know about it if you do, but this is blanket permission. Also, if you want to pick up after a story or continue something of mine, you're welcome to, I'd just love an acknowledgement. Snady worked on me about this for years, and I wish I'd had the chance to tell her I'd changed my tune about things.

I can hardly believe it's five days till VVC. Augh! Five days!!! WTF. How did that happen? I need to make some dvds and get my shit together. I do have a fabulous outfit for Club Vivid (and now fabulous hair), but I don't think I have a single other thing ready. Entirely unprepared. Gah. If all goes well (and it rarely does with O'Hare) I should be in the hotel by 3 or so.
gwyn: (hardison swell day ruttadk)
Wow, we had an amazing thunderstorm last night around midnight, right over my house at one point. It's never like that -- the lightning is usually over the water, down the hill from me, or over east toward the Cascades, so having it right on top of us was a trip. I watched it for over an hour, and the cats were like, "What the fuck?"ing all over the place, but I was very excited. I loooove lightning from a safe distance. Poor Mr. Blues, though -- he'd just started getting back to his normal self after all the fireworks on the 4th, and still spooks a little too easily, and last night just kind of sealed the deal. I'm not sure how soon he's going to be back to normal.

I half expected Thor to arrive with it. Which is my segue into my subject line. So, I have no idea how this happened, but I've become quite smitten with Loki, specifically Tom Hiddleston's face. At first I didn't get why people were so enamored of him, but, and I guess it must be Tumblr and all the endless gifs of his face or something, but I'm all madly in love with him now, like fannish cupid has hit me with an arrow and I am quite unhappy about this! Because a) I didn't really want this to be a big fandom for me, super large fandoms scare me, and b) I don't get Loki at all, and I don't like that kind of character. I don't like maliciousness for the sake of malice, I don't generally like sociopathic behavior, and murderers are not an appealing type of character to me. I especially dislike villains who want to rule the world or enslave everyone or destroy the world or whatnot...that's always struck me as the lamest type of idea, and that's what superhero comics villains are usually all about.

So imagine my quandary. But his faaaaace. I love his ridiculous flip hairstyle in Avengers, and his absurd outfit and helmet (and I wondered all throughout Thor if anyone in Asgard ever wears, like, casual Friday clothes or anything, because they're always strutting around in leather and armor and full metal gowns and breastplates, and man that would be uncomfortable -- doesn't anyone ever just chill in godlike sweats and a t-shirt?), but mostly his huuuuge eyes and haunted gaze and his very large Chicklet teeth. Why? Why, fannish cupid, have you done this to me? Also, I really didn't like his character in Wallander and his hair was terrible, and so I kind of dismissed him long ago, and people should not suddenly bounce back into your interests like that. They should stay put. (Also, no I will never watch War Horse.)

So now I guess it's official that I love everyone in Avengers, sigh. Large fandoms with huuuuuge back story and canon really worry me -- I'd love to write, but I don't know enough to know if I'd just be doing something already done, and I can't wade through lots of fic because I don't have enough time to read my work, as it is. Bleh. I suppose I'm going to have to get icons.

Fitness training continues apace. My IT band is really problematic. I feel really unmotivated and I have to leave in about a half hour for today's session, and I really battled that on Friday. I'm not sure what to do -- I guess I'm already tired of it. I have to keep focusing on that dress for VVC and my clothes closet and being able to sit at my computer.

Here's two very different types of heliconia at the McBryde Garden:
Heliconia
Heliconia
gwyn: (ordinary day _silent_rage_)
It looks like the installation for summer may have finally succeeded in Seattle. It turned out to be nice today, and they say, although I'm not sure I believe it, that it'll be nice all week, maybe even getting up to 80 by end of weekend. The rest of the country is broiling, of course, and so I haven't wanted to bitch about yet another miserable Junuary here, but I just don't think I can handle another summer like last year. I didn't get any raspberries, most of the flowers didn't bloom... at least I could finally take the covers off the patio furniture today and work outside for a bit. Now it's holiday for assholes time, with m-80s going off constantly, scaring the hell out of the cats. Glad I don't have a dog right now.

I want to go read Avengers fic but my eyes are so tired. I've been working pretty much nonstop today trying to finish this book, and my eyes and shoulders/neck hurt from reading so much. What to do, what to do?

My workouts are kicking my freaking fat ass. I just... I'm kind of astounded not just at how bad a shape I'm in, but how hard they get you going even though you're a complete mess. I mean, they don't waste a lot of time. Right now, my hamstrings are so sore I feel like crying every time I try to sit down. One of the big problems is my IT band causing my left knee serious pain, so the other day they actually tortured me: they rolled a rolling pin over my IT band using their body weight. I have not felt that kind of pain in a long, long time. I was in tears. I know I needed it -- there aren't a lot of ways to loosen IT bands -- but jesus h. christ, that hurt. It's a bit better, and I have to get a foam roller to work on it at home, but in the words of Emilio Lizardo, "Jesu Christo, it's a to make the ganglia twitch."

I've finally gotten to a point where I can be on the treadmill, though I can't go without using my hands for support for too long. Still throws me off balance. If I can get better track of my time, I'm going to try walking up there for my cardio. Still, I'm proud of myself that I'm going, and I hope maybe by the time VVC comes up, I can zip up the fabulous dress I got for Club Vivid a little easier.

I'm thinking of Snady a lot lately. At this time last year, she was on the slide downhill, and suffering so much. July is always going to be When We Lost Sandy. Hence the title of this post, which are lyrics from 4th of July, Asbury Park by Bruce Springsteen.

Here's a pic of a flower called alpinia purpurata, from McBryde Garden in Kauai. I thought it was a type of ginger, but I guess it's not!
Alpinia
gwyn: (serious bznz littlespank)
I have gotten so fat in the past two years that most of my clothes are too tight, and my back problem just never seems to get 100% better. The two might not necessarily be related to each other, but I went back to the chiropractor a few weeks ago after a long time away and my back getting worse, and he strongly emphasized that i need to get stronger. I confessed to him that I don't do the back strengthening exercises he gave me much, because I have so much trouble getting up and down off the floor with my creaky old joints.

I signed up for a place he told me about, called Fitness Together, which is all personal trainer, all the time. You have a regular time for your workout, and the space all to yourself and your trainer, and they work to keep you motivated, steadily increasing your fitness. I HATE exercising. I have never once achieved that high people supposedly get from it (I'm convinced they make that up to encourage themselves to keep going and it's all lies, wretched lies), and I don't feel energized or pleased afterward, only tired and achy. But this shit is so expensive that you kind of have to keep going, otherwise you're wasting your money and it's harder to just put it off as much as you can like with a recurring-fee gym membership. I can still go to the Y and swim, but they'll work with me on cardio, strength, endurance, and strength. We're emphasizing strength, you see.

I'm not looking forward to this in the least -- three days a week, plus nutrition counseling (which, fortunately, I can switch to sessions, because having edited a newspaper about nutrition, there's not a lot I don't know already, and the fact that I know all this stuff hasn't ever affected my ability to eat the things I know are wrong for me). I was very clear with them that the kind of thing many trainers do -- shouting "you can do it", pushing someone past their limit, expecting someone to remember routines -- are exactly the kinds of things that will make me walk right off. They spend a lot of time with you so they can find things that work for you and don't make you hate it. Well. They have an uphill battle with me, but... between my back troubles and my weight, I know I need something.

Man, between this, my mind-bendingly expensive chair, and the chiropractor and massage, this back thing is costing me a fortune. I guess it's a good thing I'm at a point where I have so much work I have to turn things away. And thank god I get to take it off my taxes. Yeesh. My first appointment left me sore everywhere, and that was just an assessment! Tomorrow I go to get a full workup -- heart rates, body mass, etc. So depressing.

This is my second go-round on the fitness bandwagon. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it sticks.

Today's Hawaii pic: an orchid at the McBryde Garden.
Orchid
gwyn: (dean pelton)
Last night, Olive stayed out all night (when the weather finally turns nice, she will do this, like, she can't believe it's nice out finally or something). I get so worried. I didn't get to bed till after 2, and I always have trouble sleeping when she won't come in, so I get up constantly to call her. The last time I did, I heard birds tweeting and the sky was that incredible shade of deep blue where you know there's a bit of light, but it's still twilight out. I couldn't figure it out -- I hadn't been in bed that long. Then I realized, oh yeah, it's summer solstice, shortest day of the year. Amazing!

So, I haven't paid much attention at all to the fic that poured forth from the Avengers mania, but reading [personal profile] belmanoir's Thor/Loki roadtrip series is making me want to read more. I think, honestly, there's not a pairing I wouldn't like, but I'm especially interested in Coulson/anybody (I can't even tell you how much I adore Coulson. He is my new fictional spiritual fiance -- I would never leave him like that ungrateful cellist!), Clint and Natasha together, and Clint with whomever or Natasha with whomever, as long as she's not portrayed as weaker. I could also do Loki if someone's good at explaining him. But honestly, I like them all (science bros!). I'm afraid, though, to walk unprotected into these waters. I would love some recs. Stuff I like -- angst (real angst, not OMG I Have a Hangnail "angst"), hurt/comfort, road trips, plotty save the world stuff, and most of all, cracking dialog. I do not like kink stuff, bdsm, anything with babies, or heavy AUs (I like "what-if" AUs, where one small change alters the course of everything, but there better be some consequences). Actually, now that I mention it, I love stories with stakes -- no, not the Buffy kind, the kind where things are at stake, where there are consequences to things. I enjoyed the Thor, Cap, and first Iron Man movies, though I didn't think they were the genius works everyone else thought they were, so characters from those are fine (Peggy! Bucky!). Also, spelling and grammar really count with me. What would you rec for someone with my requirements? Anything?

I need to get started on my 100 things challenge. I will!

And here are the pics of the day from Hawaii.

Anole lizard
Anole lizard
Anole lizards around the McBryde Gardens at the National Botanical Gardens on Kauai.
gwyn: (CJ upside down)
Today I went down to the Danish furniture store to see if I could find anything in teak -- that used to be the standard for all Scandinavian stuff, it seemed, and yet nowadays you can't find anything at all. A lot of the midcentury modern pieces I've been getting are in teak, and I wanted to try to match that type of wood, but since it's regulated now, it's next to impossible to find in anything but furniture for wet situations. But even though I didn't find that, I did stumble on this chair, which I'd seen a while ago but didn't really file it away in my mind like I should have. It's an incredibly pricey investment, but I sat in it and my back felt -- I'm not exaggerating here -- instantly lighter and felt so much better. I used the little handle to recline, and the whole chair moves back to become a zero-gravity chair to really stretch your back out. It was the first time I'd felt pain-free in months and months. I kept hoping no one would come by to ask if they could help me just so I could lie there like that.

It also comes with an optional tray laptop desk that you can swing around and work on instead of having to put the laptop on your legs, and I tried different reclines with the desk and they all worked really well. So I bought it in ivory. It's going to be three to four weeks before I get it, but I am really psyched. Considering how much time I spend on my laptop for my work, and that working lying down wrecks my neck even if it might help my back, this is a solution for both situations. It's going to be a tight squeeze, but I think I may have to get rid of my sectional couch (woe! I wanted a sectional for like my whole adult life) and get a smaller vintage couch or maybe another of these chairs and a vintage chair for company... no more lounging around on my couch in piles of people anymore, I guess, but I don't have large groups that often, even though I'd like to.

I don't really like the color options they have, they're uniformly unappealing to me (the closest they had to taupe was "cashew" which felt like it had a green undertone), so I went with ivory even though I've tried to eradicate white from my house. It seemed the least offensive with the walnut color wood. I really wanted to get away from leather too, but at least the "bonded leather" is recycled from scraps, so there's that. My little guy loooooves to destroy my leather furniture, so I've been trying to replace things with things he can't annihilate. Want chair now.

Sorry I've been so lax about posting pics. These are mostly front the Koloa Cemetery, including the horses I met there (I love how the one guy has a piece of grass in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully, like, "Ayuh, ayuh. But ya cahn't get theah from heah..."

More Hawaii pics )
gwyn: (CJ upside down)
Today I went down to the Danish furniture store to see if I could find anything in teak -- that used to be the standard for all Scandinavian stuff, it seemed, and yet nowadays you can't find anything at all. A lot of the midcentury modern pieces I've been getting are in teak, and I wanted to try to match that type of wood, but since it's regulated now, it's next to impossible to find in anything but furniture for wet situations. But even though I didn't find that, I did stumble on this chair, which I'd seen a while ago but didn't really file it away in my mind like I should have. It's an incredibly pricey investment, but I sat in it and my back felt -- I'm not exaggerating here -- instantly lighter and felt so much better. I used the little handle to recline, and the whole chair moves back to become a zero-gravity chair to really stretch your back out. It was the first time I'd felt pain-free in months and months. I kept hoping no one would come by to ask if they could help me just so I could lie there like that.

It also comes with an optional tray laptop desk that you can swing around and work on instead of having to put the laptop on your legs, and I tried different reclines with the desk and they all worked really well. So I bought it in ivory. It's going to be three to four weeks before I get it, but I am really psyched. Considering how much time I spend on my laptop for my work, and that working lying down wrecks my neck even if it might help my back, this is a solution for both situations. It's going to be a tight squeeze, but I think I may have to get rid of my sectional couch (woe! I wanted a sectional for like my whole adult life) and get a smaller vintage couch or maybe another of these chairs and a vintage chair for company... no more lounging around on my couch in piles of people anymore, I guess, but I don't have large groups that often, even though I'd like to.

I don't really like the color options they have, they're uniformly unappealing to me (the closest they had to taupe was "cashew" which felt like it had a green undertone), so I went with ivory even though I've tried to eradicate white from my house. It seemed the least offensive with the walnut color wood. I really wanted to get away from leather too, but at least the "bonded leather" is recycled from scraps, so there's that. My little guy loooooves to destroy my leather furniture, so I've been trying to replace things with things he can't annihilate. Want chair now.

Sorry I've been so lax about posting pics. These are mostly front the Koloa Cemetery, including the horses I met there (I love how the one guy has a piece of grass in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully, like, "Ayuh, ayuh. But ya cahn't get theah from heah..."

More Hawaii pics )
gwyn: (dean pelton)
Sorry that it's taken me so long to start uploading pics from my trip. It's driving me crazy that I can't post the pics here from my Flickr account; does anyone know the trick to that? It's weird -- I can't post the direct links to the pics there in ANY of my forums, not here, not Tumblr, not anywhere. It makes no sense to me. Anyway. I thought I'd just start out with some random stuff from the beginning, and maybe post a couple big picspams, and then start posting a photo or two at a time. Since I took 667 photos (too bad I didn't take one less! Then I could have had 666 from the one trip), I think it would drive people nuts to look at that many photos. These are from the first couple days I was there.

Cut for extreme size )
Arg. I am having a nightmare of crap with the UW over my class that's less than a mere two weeks away. They took me off payroll, so I can't access my email, which meant I never saw the new form to fill out to reactivate my employment, and they've never sent me a contract, but they keep sending me contracts for a guest lecturer spot I did in April over and over and over again (but never for the one I did in May). This is just... a nightmare. I'm trying to be nice to people, but christ on a crutch, what a clusterfuck. I may never get paid at this rate. If just one person had bothered to tell me they severed me after my class last year, I might have been able to anticipate this (probably not, because I was not expecting such a colossal fubar experience). And I love how they keep saying "severed," which calls to mind Section 1 on La Femme Nikita, where you are cancelled.
gwyn: (liz lemon go to there)
Sorry that it's taken me so long to start uploading pics from my trip. It's driving me crazy that I can't post the pics here from my Flickr account; does anyone know the trick to that? It's weird -- I can't post the direct links to the pics there in ANY of my forums, not here, not Tumblr, not anywhere. It makes no sense to me. Anyway. I thought I'd just start out with some random stuff from the beginning, and maybe post a couple big picspams, and then start posting a photo or two at a time. Since I took 667 photos (too bad I didn't take one less! Then I could have had 666 from the one trip), I think it would drive people nuts to look at that many photos. These are from the first couple days I was there.

Cut for extreme size )
Arg. I am having a nightmare of crap with the UW over my class that's less than a mere two weeks away. They took me off payroll, so I can't access my email, which meant I never saw the new form to fill out to reactivate my employment, and they've never sent me a contract, but they keep sending me contracts for a guest lecturer spot I did in April over and over and over again (but never for the one I did in May). This is just... a nightmare. I'm trying to be nice to people, but christ on a crutch, what a clusterfuck. I may never get paid at this rate. If just one person had bothered to tell me they severed me after my class last year, I might have been able to anticipate this (probably not, because I was not expecting such a colossal fubar experience). And I love how they keep saying "severed," which calls to mind Section 1 on La Femme Nikita, where you are cancelled.
gwyn: (shirley tripping balls grosserpepper)
This is why I love my neighborhood: This garage is on the alley next block over.



And a couple blocks up, we have the Psychic Barber, which [personal profile] sdwolfpup featured on her Tumblr page recently. (The story is that there was a psychic shop next door to the barber, and both had their neon signs done by the same guy. When the psychic went out of biz, the barber bought her sign and added it to his.)



------

On the other hand, some bad things happen walking the dog: Bodie bit a young girl last night when she ran over to try to pet him. And then today bit both the facilities guy at my dad's place, and the head of nursing. He was fine with the nurse's aid. I think he's scared when people bend over to pet him on the head, or sees it as a threat. So far he hasn't broken skin, but... it's pretty upsetting. I was horrified about the girl. I think he was in a bad mental state, overexcited because the family's chihuahua was barking maniacally at him.

The parents were OK with it and not angry at me, and said it was a lesson for her not to reach out to pet unknown dogs, but I kinda thought, um, well, there are better ways to teach that than having a crazy wall-eyed dog go "rawrrawrsnarl" and bite you. It's making me feel dismayed about him finding a home. The pooping issues as well. He can be really cute, but also pretty awful.
gwyn: (shirley tripping balls grosserpepper)
This is why I love my neighborhood: This garage is on the alley next block over.



And a couple blocks up, we have the Psychic Barber, which [livejournal.com profile] sdwolfpup featured on her Tumblr page recently. (The story is that there was a psychic shop next door to the barber, and both had their neon signs done by the same guy. When the psychic went out of biz, the barber bought her sign and added it to his.)



------

On the other hand, some bad things happen walking the dog: Bodie bit a young girl last night when she ran over to try to pet him. And then today bit both the facilities guy at my dad's place, and the head of nursing. He was fine with the nurse's aid. I think he's scared when people bend over to pet him on the head, or sees it as a threat. So far he hasn't broken skin, but... it's pretty upsetting. I was horrified about the girl. I think he was in a bad mental state, overexcited because the family's chihuahua was barking maniacally at him.

The parents were OK with it and not angry at me, and said it was a lesson for her not to reach out to pet unknown dogs, but I kinda thought, um, well, there are better ways to teach that than having a crazy wall-eyed dog go "rawrrawrsnarl" and bite you. It's making me feel dismayed about him finding a home. The pooping issues as well. He can be really cute, but also pretty awful.
gwyn: (ordinary day _silent_rage_)
The backyard project is complete, and I have been really lax in posting here about it, because I'm kind of tired and my back hurts a LOT from all the stuff there still is to do back there. Even when you pay someone to do most of the work, there's still a lot of ... work to do. Funny how that is. Some of the things have been changed -- I had to move some plants around due to sunlight issues (we finally had actual sunshine for one whole day, so I could see which plants were getting too much/not enough), and I have a lot of shape pruning to do, and plantings of my own.

The landscape designer really homed in on some things I said that weren't really what I wanted, and so I have to go out and get a lot of my own things. There is a ton of groundcovers -- about 100 of these little Japanese sedges alone, not to mention the hundreds of versions of sedums -- that I would have much preferred to be flowers, so that's kind of a drag. This is the hard part of ceding control to someone else to design something. I would have liked more time to have input and make plant changes; that's my biggest complaint and the thing I'm most unhappy about. So, lessons learned, on to the next project, I guess.

But it is a lot nicer, regardless of the plants I like. And everyone stops by on their walks to talk to me about it, and compliment it, and now I have some space and furniture to sit outside and sip wine with people, so that's all good. The kitties are loving it, though I think they miss some of their things, like the tree trunk they used to sit on and scratch on. I'm going to have to go find them a trunk. (And sorry, my livejournal layout cuts these off on the sides; you can see the whole pic by clicking it if you want.)

Huge picspam ahead )
gwyn: (ordinary day _silent_rage_)
The backyard project is complete, and I have been really lax in posting here about it, because I'm kind of tired and my back hurts a LOT from all the stuff there still is to do back there. Even when you pay someone to do most of the work, there's still a lot of ... work to do. Funny how that is. Some of the things have been changed -- I had to move some plants around due to sunlight issues (we finally had actual sunshine for one whole day, so I could see which plants were getting too much/not enough), and I have a lot of shape pruning to do, and plantings of my own.

The landscape designer really homed in on some things I said that weren't really what I wanted, and so I have to go out and get a lot of my own things. There is a ton of groundcovers -- about 100 of these little Japanese sedges alone, not to mention the hundreds of versions of sedums -- that I would have much preferred to be flowers, so that's kind of a drag. This is the hard part of ceding control to someone else to design something. I would have liked more time to have input and make plant changes; that's my biggest complaint and the thing I'm most unhappy about. So, lessons learned, on to the next project, I guess.

But it is a lot nicer, regardless of the plants I like. And everyone stops by on their walks to talk to me about it, and compliment it, and now I have some space and furniture to sit outside and sip wine with people, so that's all good. The kitties are loving it, though I think they miss some of their things, like the tree trunk they used to sit on and scratch on. I'm going to have to go find them a trunk. (And sorry, my livejournal layout cuts these off on the sides; you can see the whole pic by clicking it if you want.)

Huge picspam ahead )
gwyn: (CJ past)
I can't believe I forgot to post my pics from Escapade in March. Man. I was putting some new photos in my program when I realized they were all still sitting there, so I thought I'd go ahead and post them, even though they're late and don't really connect to anything anymore. And I have a whole post of kitty pics that I've been saving up too, and forgot about as well.

Way back in March, I was sunning myself in California )
gwyn: (CJ blues)
One of the fears I have of returning to the outside work world after being at home 24/7 for three years is that Olive, who is such a social and friendly and active cat, would be frustrated and beyond lonesome during the day. So I wanted to get her a friend, and I know she came originally from a hoarding home, with 43 other animals, and then after that she lived with someone who already had a male cat, so I figured that it might be easier for her to adapt than my previous animals. And most sources agree that an older female accepts a new younger male much easier, so I went looking for kittens at the same place I got Olive, only they seemed to be fresh out of them. I dithered for a little bit and was kind of busy, but this weekend looked good, so i went on Petfinders and found Sterling, a lovely little fellow, it looked like, and Morris, another orange tabby, who are always just easy, lovely cats. They both were at the same foster home.

I've always been a little reluctant about foster homes because I hear such terrible tales of the fascist foster organizations and how difficult they make it, but this woman was really nice on the phone, and she'd had a lot of calls about Sterling, but Morris was already adopted. She decided that it would be good for me to take Sterling, though, since I'm older, have my own home, etc. Most of the other callers were younger and she thought they'd do better with some of her other kitties.

So, Friday night in utter hell traffic, Sterling came home to live with me and Olive. Which, unfortunately, Olive is most displeased about and is not really getting much better. I had expected the worst from her when the remodel started, because it just seemed too much for a kitty to handle, but she came through with flying colors. And here I expected the best from her, but she's being pretty damn mean, and the poor guy is exiling himself to the bedroom now that I've opened the house up to him, just because he's gotten so scared of her. (I think this is exacerbated by the three bully cats next door who are twice her size and have taken to marking everything and beating her up.)

He's somewhere between 4 and 6 mo (vet thinks maybe 5 and a half), and he's a lovely grey and white, with a long tail and big feet and still a fair amount of blue in his eyes. His fur will get shinier, I can tell, and it's this beautiful blue-grey, and so I have decided to call him Blues -- or more formally, Mr. Blues Sterling, Esq. I've always liked Blue and variations on that as names, and Blues, the Capetown police detective Charlie takes a shine to in Charlie Jade was one of my favorite characters in the show, and it seems to fit him. Plus, that way I have two colorful names for kitties. I don't think I ever much call my kitties by their names, and I can't seem to type Sterling at all, so Blues will be easier, and I'll still call him both at some point anyhoo. He has the sweetest, cutest little meow I've ever heard, and he trills more prettily than a Tribble; he also is quite a purr monster.

Olive has found a box as a new home, which I put on top of the dining table. I hate the thought of her hiding there to avoid him, but she's really pissed she can't come in and sleep on me, and things seem very out of sorts. Blues is a bit scared of a lot of things -- sharp noises like pulling the blind strings, appliances, etc. He's fascinated by the computer, as long as it doesn't make noise (the startup sound is really scary). He loves to be kissed and cuddled and he is fond of hanging his head off my arm and stretching his feets out and just chilling that way. He likes to play, but he seems suddenly scared of toys right now so I'm trying to ease him back into them.

Anyway, I'm hopeful they will get used to each other. I want her to have a friend. He's a darling little guy if she'll just give him a chance.
Pictures of Blues )

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