gwyn: (bumble _hellsbelles)
Behind again! I was racing to finish my book, which was due today, and then also deal with this whole new insurance thing and figuring out what to choose for new health insurance. As much of a proponent as I've been for having a national health care system, this new situation really isn't that great for me, since I'm being forced to pay for a lot of things I won't ever need. The subsidy helps a bit, but not nearly enough, and being a freelancer, my income is so completely unpredictable that it may come and go, or I'll be forced to pay back any assistance I get if I earn too much. I'm just really all kinds of sick about it, and I don't really see any improvement in my situation -- I still have a ridiculous deductible, and it still doesn't cover about half the things I will use it for, or more. Basically I'm paying almost the same amount for less and I have to go to a different insurer to keep my doctor. Do not like. I'm really glad people who couldn't get insurance before can, but...I really hope this thing will shake out and improve in the years ahead. Because right now it kinda sucks.

Then I had to work on my Yuletide story. I wish I had a beta for this. I don't know a single person who knows this fandom who'd be a beta, and I can't find anyone who's offered on the beta list, and...it really stinks and could use help, but I'm kind of stuck. I also want to write a treat for someone in the same fandom, and hope I can squeeze that in this weekend.

Anyways, for this entry [personal profile] paris7am asked: When you think about the fannish community, what is the best memory that pops up?

Which is pretty hard! I've been in fandom a really long time. And so many things are just gone from my memory, like the early cons I went to. And there are things that aren't specific memories, but more like feelings about ideas -- the way fans support each other in times of need, or the way they create community by developing everything from benefit zines to web archives.

But I have a couple memories that will probably always stay with me in a particularly special way. The first one is the time we brought our Professionals vid A Fire Is Burning to Virgule and heard the response of the room. I'd never been in a situation like that -- part of the creation of a work that had this huge, overwhelming response from people in the same room with me. I mean, I'd been a writer most of my life, and throughout school I had had really positive responses to things I'd written, teachers who helped me get things published, entered my stuff in writing competitions. And I'd had some stuff published on my own. So it wasn't like positive responses to things I'd created was entirely new to me, but that kind of situation was entirely new. To be in a room with people who were into the same things you were, who saw value in this work you'd created, who went positively apeshit over this thing...it was overwhelming. I'll never forget it, ever.

And I loved the way people rallied around Sandy when her cancer came back, hell, even the first time when she was in treatment. None of us really knew what to do, because Sandy was kind of the center of our universe in a lot of ways, our relationships and groups of people had been formed around her. So seeing people rally together to do everything from helping to paint her house to creating vid shows of Media Cannibals work to journals where people could post fanfic for her, that was really cool. I've seen this for other people as well, and it's just something I think fans are particularly kind about. I think we're often the kinds of people who put our money where our mouths are, you know?
gwyn: (sonny crockett)
I had to take Olive to the vet today to have some teeth extracted -- this makes the second kitty in the past five months to have major dental work done and extractions. Neither was something I'd budgeted for, but I could see the bleeding holes in their teeth, so I know it was something that had to be done. I wish these two weren't so fucking psycho about having me touch their mouths -- I brushed Emma's teeth her whole life, and even though it was difficult, she didn't turn into a Tasmanian devil over it, and her teeth never had problems. Anyways, she won't have anything to do with me. When Blues got the antibiotic and pain shots, he was loving and hilariously stoned; Olive is just even warier of me than ever and can't seem to sleep. She just sits and stares out the window. She's such a good kid, I hate having to hurt her so much.

I still haven't loaded my pics from Boston and London yet. I am just so far behind. The two books I've been proofing both came in late, so I'm under really stressful deadlines. I am also desperately scrambling to finish my premieres vid for VVC, due in a couple days, and then today we lost power in a cool thunderstorm when lightning hit a major power line in my area. Fortunately I could keep working on my book without power, but I had been sitting there trying to figure out some clips for the next section of the vid and then blam. It's the first time though that I've ever seen the lightning bolt hit the power source -- it was kind of fascinating. I was watching out my kitchen window when the strike came, and there was a flash of light over the hill, and the lights went on and off for a while and then finally just out. We don't have these much in the Pacific Northwest, so it's always kind of spectacular. We got our power back after a few hours, much faster than the SCL said we would (they initially said tomorrow around noon). I have to give them kudos for doing it so quickly, but my vidding mojo was gone by the time it was back and now I'm staring hopelessly at my timeline.

So, I don't have much that I feel fannish about these days, and this year pretty much all my shows were either 1) disappointing me a lot, b) ending either by shutting down or being canceled, or III) taking a turn for the dark. Warehouse 13 has been one of the few happy places I had on TV -- I don't really pay a lot of attention to the plots, but I like the interactions of the characters. Last week's show, though, introduced a really personally painful plot element DO NOT WANT ) DO NOT WANT.

And speaking of my vid, would anyone be interested in rush betaing a Miami Vice vid? I'm not finished with it and I will be working down to the wire, but I think it's pretty awful and I could use another eye. The thing is, I've talked about this vid for YEARS with Snady, and then [personal profile] killabeez edited the song for me, and so I finally could make the vid I wanted to, but putting it together just turned out to be...well, maybe with Sandy at my shoulder it would be a good vid. It probably would. But without her here, it's just floundering. The ideas I've carried around for all these years don't seem to work, or mesh, or carry off. I suppose it was just too much of a burden for the poor vid to carry. But god I miss Snady. She would figure it out and gently point out to me what was wrong and make me laugh about it.
gwyn: (brideshead eponwyn)
Getting ready for my trip next week has been interesting. It's been a really long time since I've been anywhere internationally, outside of trips to Canada which I guess don't count? But nowadays, apparently, you have to put what's called a travel memo or travel flag on your plastic, and since people pretty much use plastic exclusively now, you don't want to leave home without it. I wouldn't even have known except that my first hotel in London actually charges for the first night, and my credit card company called me with this "random check" on my card. Thinking it was some kind of scam (because they didn't explain it at all), I didn't call back, but then I was out with Snady's partner B and tried to buy dinner with the card, but it was declined, then it was declined again, and I was like shit, I better deal with this.

So that was my edumacation on international travel these days. I dutifully called all my credit card companies and debit card, also because I had no idea what any of the CC PINs were so I had to have them send me that information again. If I understand correctly, they use PINs for CCs where I'm going, rather than signatures like we do here. I'm crap with numbers, though, so I have to figure out a safe way to carry those PINs with me. I can't remember any of my passwords, either. :-( This ought to be very fun.

I also found out that my iPhone 4 from Sprint does not have a SIM card, so I cannot do international roaming. I'll have to buy a phone card or a burner phone while I'm there if I need to call anyone -- since I'm having a hard time finding anyone to meet up with, though, that's probably negligable, and I'm sure my hotels can book me tables if need be. I'd like to do at least one big afternoon tea. I bought a book called Tea and Cake London, and there are a lot of good tea shops I want to check out, but formal tea for one just seems so very sad, don't you think? Still, if I did nothing else but hop around London having cream teas wherever I can, that wouldn't be so very bad.

The big thing causing me agita right now is a play. So, my absolute favorite in the whole wide world is Judi Dench (seriously, you thought I just liked her because she's M? Mais non), and turns out she's treading the boards in the West End in a play with...Ben Whishaw. Yes, M and Q are in a play. And not just any play, it's about the meeting between the woman who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland (one of my favorite book series ever), and the boy who inspired Peter Pan. It's like this was made for me. But of course, it's sold out. Been sold out for long before I knew I was going to England. Tickets, when I've seen them online, are going for hundreds of pounds. It's been hard to locate one for my dates. They release a small amount of low-cost seats each day in the morning. However, as everyone who knows me knows, if it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. I've never had any luck getting into a play I wanted to see in London, ever. I fear the likelihood of me getting a seat is small. I got some good advice on Metafilter about ways to maybe see it. But it's stressing me out fiercely. Right now I'm torn between abandoning all my food budget for a ticket I spied online, and asking the concierge at my second hotel (the first one doesn't have one, apparently) for help. But I'm only there for a couple days, so that feels weird.

Anyway. I have to stop worrying about it, because I'll make myself sick. Which I'm already dealing with because of stress anyway. Or maybe it's cancer, I don't know -- the symptoms of ovarian cancer are the same as pretty much menstruation, menopause, or stress. Handy, that. But at my recent checkup it looked like the CA 125 numbers are elevated, and that's been on my mind a lot lately. I recheck in June, but it's so hard to know if it's significant. There is no way to test for ovarian cancer, it's notoriously difficult to catch, but CA 125 markers are at least one thing you can look at -- however, people with high levels often never get cancer, and people with no markers at all show up with stage 3 cancer. You just have no fucking clue, and so it may be a largely useless test...or it could be very useful. It's impossible to tell.

Ever since sis_r died, I've been kind of waiting to see if I get it. The likelihood of a twin having the same cancer is pretty high. But it's still weird when you get that "they're still within normal range, but it's definitely higher than normal" note. I've also got some skin problems, and having had skin cancer so often, it worries me. (You're also at a higher risk of ovarian cancer if you've had multiple basal cell carcinomas, as I have.) I know there's nothing I can do till I get back, but...erg.

So that's been on my mind. The other thing that's been on my mind is that thanks to [personal profile] killabeez's mad song editing skillz, I am finally going to be able to make a vid for VVC that I have wanted to make for 15 years. It was never possible for one reason or another. The only bad part is that a) there's a shitload of source and I have to figure out how to narrow it down, and b) Sandy and I talked about it all the time, and she won't be here to see it. Which kinda kills me.

Tonight I'm getting my hair colored. Haven't decided what colors I want. I'm seeing someone different, and I don't know how good they are, so it could be interesting.
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: (changry grosserpepper)
God, I've been like the worst DWer/LJer lately. I've been catching up on all the life I've lost the past few months, well, the past year really. I have many things to post about, but I keep finding excuses not to. Plus many of my shows are back, and I have ALL the feelings about so much of it.

But in the meantime... I really want to urge you all, female and male and neutral, to read this article from Discover magazine on the science of the Komen issue and how even worse than the recent defunding issue is their crap science that is possibly killing women. It explains, in understandable language, what most people don't know about this disease and the issues surrounding it. I used to talk about these things with Snady, and it still makes me boil with rage that the things we've learned aren't more common knowledge, that we have to dig for this information because the messages that *are* getting out there are so very wrong.

Seriously. Please read it. Spread it around, even.

Thisnthat

Jan. 21st, 2012 12:09 am
gwyn: (walken wonderland)
I owe many of you emails; I will respond, I promise, I've just been kind of hunkered down, trying to finish all the work that was giving me so much stress. I sent the last book off yesterday and spent the rest of the day screwing around. Wednesday was a month since Dad died, and it's starting to really feel bad; in the first few weeks, I didn't have time to feel the loss, but now it's really hitting me. It also doesn't help that Dad and I always checked in with each other when it snowed, and we've had major snow here in the Northwest, along with serious ice storm damage, and it was something we always talked about. I kept reaching for the phone, and I find myself doing that every day.

The service was really nice; thanks to everyone who provided me with music or ideas. I think it worked out really well. It was small and very few people said much, everyone was shy, I guess, but afterward we were there for a really long time talking to people. I saw some cousins I haven't seen in decades.

All I've really done, though, is start the balls rolling for all the paperwork and legal stuff, but with the somewhat paralyzing snow (I swear to god if I hear one more smug asshole transplant from some other part of the country go on about how stupid Seattleites are in snow I will cut a bitch; you cannot drive in half a foot of snow and ice up 16% grade hills and over frozen bridges, you dumbass hillbillies, and you should just go back where you came from) many people haven't been in offices. It feels like when he died -- the holidays then, with all the attendant excuses. It's just taking forever to get anything done. At least I finally got the death certificates so I could notify some people.

I'm glad that I'm finished with some of the work, so I can concentrate on other things. My house is a sty because of all the work not allowing me to clean, it's actually reached a (for me) gross stage. One of the nice things that happened was I had to get a new washer/dryer -- no, really, that was a good thing. When we did the remodel, they put in a utility closet room which they built to house my all in one unit, the little Euro combination washer/dryer in one.

I like them when I've used them in Europe, and I liked my friend's a lot, but the model I got, an Asko from Sweden, was one of the worst purchases I've ever made. At first it was plagued with problems from installation and bad information; then over time when it was settled, it just turned out to have so many problems, so many things going wrong, but I couldn't justify spending the money on something new and there were very, very limited options for what would fit in there. I was happy when it started really malfunctioning in the past year; well, not happy because it was burning my things in the drying cycle, but satisfied that I would have an excuse to get something new. I settled on the Bosch Axxis washer and condensing dryer (because they didn't put in a dryer duct when they put in the utility room), and they installed it ten days ago and all I want to do is laundry. I love it so, so much! It has changed my life. I can now put in heavy things without having to sit by the machine the whole hour or so to make sure it doesn't leap across the room! I don't have to worry that it's going to catch on fire! And I got the stacking kit that has a pullout shelf, so I can sort the things I want to line dry before I put something in the dryer.

The convenience of the all in one was lost on me, because I realized that as much as I often leave clothes in the washer till they mold, if I just stay on top of that more, it's better for me because I line dry most clothing, and only use the dryer for a few things. I'll save on everything, which means a lot to me. I'm always amazed at people who go to great lengths to live green, and will spend a lot of money to buy things that are ecological, but they won't update their appliances. Next up is a more efficient fridge, so I'm going to start saving for that.

So yeah, that's how sad my life is. I'm excited by a washer and dryer. There is seriously nothing else going on. Well, except Festivids. I'm really looking forward to the vids tomorrow. I'm especially hopeful for Southland and Justified vids -- with the series starting up this past week, I'm just more into them than ever and I really want to see some vids for them! Also, WHY is everything on AT THE SAME FRIGGIN' TIME? Justified, Southland, White Collar, and Tabatha Takes Over (which, with the new title, I almost missed because it wasn't on my season pass) are all on at the same time. My season passes are all fucked up and apparently the DirecTV tifaux doesn't know how to grab the second airing on cable shows, because they were all fucked up and weren't going to record Tabatha at all. I just don't get it. It used to be Thursdays, now apparently it's Tuesday night. I felt sad, too, because I dropped White Collar down on my priority list; I thought the new season started out with a whimper. There were some good moments, but it just fell flat, especially at the end. The bloom is off the rose, unfortunately, because of the plunder storyline, and I just want to punch Mozzie in the face instead of hug him, and don't care anymore. Bleh. Why did they do that? I hate them for making the show less appealing to me.

I spent a really nice day with Sandy's partner B last Saturday and we went to the eco home design place, and poked around at an antique mall. Man, I'm just missing Sandy so much. We have a Cannibals bash tomorrow, and they just feel so surreal to me now, without her there. B feels her presence, has visitation dreams and the like, and I never have had that with my sister or either of my parents, but I told her to please tell Snady to come visit me. I want to talk to her again, hear her hysterical laugh. The last email she sent me was about a story that she told me about in great shame; I told her to send me the link and she wrote in the subject line, "This is it: the most embarrassing fusion ever," and then the link, with the comment "I have to admit I adored it, but I don't think that speaks well of me..." I keep reading the email, but I don't want to read the story, because then it will be over and I won't have her to respond back to.

Augh. Nevermind me. I'm just a sad old worn out thing.
gwyn: (yuletide lights)
I am at full DefCon level 1 on my panic for Yuletide. I finally started my story tonight and I think it's going to suck balls and I'm so afraid of giving somebody crap. Bleh. And I have so much work and am so far behind... i just don't know what I'm going to do. It would help if my dad wasn't in crisis mode, but that's another story. Today I had to waste a lot of time dealing with stuff about him, and afterwards I wanted to go somewhere and scream and cry, so instead I did what any sensible person would do in moments of extreme personal crisis: stop at Denny's. A French slam breakfast does help you get through a lot of problems.

So to avoid actually doing the things that are stressing me... I'll do a meme! Gakked this one from [profile] kassrachel/ [personal profile] kass.

My year in 40 questions )

Skype me

Oct. 13th, 2011 12:11 am
gwyn: (hardison swell day ruttadk)
Anyone have Skype who'd be willing to be called/call me so I can test out this new headset microphone I need to use for a webinar in a couple weeks? I asked a friend but he didn't have it and wasn't willing to DL it, the rat bastard. I figure someone here should have it. You can e me privately at gwyneth at drizzle dot com.

In other news, Bodie the adorable dog has gone to a new foster home, which makes me really sad. He needed someone who could deal with his bad behavior, and there was a person who specializes in bad Boston behavior, and they figured it was the best thing for him, which of course I agree with. But damn, I liked having him here, and it was cool to have a dog named Bodie, you know? He was such an adorably goofy little guy. Hopefully the biting will get controlled and he'll find a fantastic home that appreciates him and doesn't dump him.

The rescue group was on a local morning show last week, and Vlad, the darling dog I posted about a couple weeks, was on, walking his new three-legged walk. Poor little dude, but apparently he's so much happier and bouncier having the dodgy leg gone. I wish we could have brought Bodie but there was no way with the biting. (And if you might have a buck or two to spare, Vlad's ChipIn page doesn't expire for two more days, and they've only raised less than a quarter of the money needed for the leg surgery, the kidney stones, and the trachea problem -- we would love you for your donation if you could make one!)

Today I went downtown to the Pike Place Market for a few hours; I realized it's been way too long since I just went and putzed around. I stopped at my favorite informal restaurant there, the Crepe de France, and had a lovely ham and cheese crepe and read a book on my Nook Color, then picked up some marrons glace (glazed chestnuts) at DeLaurenti's for the marrons glace ice cream I'm going to make. Also picked up some tea and tea supplies at Market Spice. Fortunately I did not have much cash, so I avoided buying baby donuts and unusual pastas and the lard-based cakes and pastries at the Mexican sisters' shop, but I did not avoid buying a ginormous bouquet of purple and pink dahlias. Anyone who's been to the Market knows you can get these amazing bouquets there for like $5 or $10, which are the size of a small child (seriously, my arm ached by the time I got back to the car from carrying it).

While I was eating, I remembered that a couple years ago, I was sitting in Crepe de France and looking out at the tourists bumbling around outside it when I saw someone who looked familiar. He was standing there for a while, looking around, trying to decide if he would go in or not, I think, and then I realized it was [personal profile] minotaurs. I was about to get up and go talk to him, even though I kept thinking, no way, he lives in San Diego, it can't be him, but then my crepe was ready and by the time I looked back, he was gone. It was only a few weeks later he died so unexpectedly, and I found out he'd been looking for work before he moved up here. I was just so shocked by his death that I forgot seeing him for a long time, and now I regret not having gone after him that day.

I seem to be thinking a lot of melancholy thoughts right now. Thinking a lot about Sandy, and missing her so very badly, and as the weather gets crappy, I'm feeling my sister's loss so much more. This is the time of year when we usually planned for her visit home for Thanksgiving and our birthday. It's just so depressing.

I got a request today from someone to translate my Fast and Furious fic into Chinese, which is kind of a kick. Who knew it was a huge fandom over there? I've kind of lost track of the languages some of my stuff has been translated into -- it's not a lot, but I just can't remember which ones except for Japanese. I have to admit, it's really exciting when someone asks to do that.

I signed up for Festivids. This may be a huge mistake, but I'm going to give it the old college try. I requested all 8 allowed fandoms, but I'm sure I won't be matched on MDs, Catch and Release, or Buckaroo Banzai, but probably more like Justified, Middleman, or Contact, Charlie Jade's kinda iffy too. But I signed up to do a shit-ton of fandoms, a mix of safety and series fandoms. I'm taking the cumulative advice of others that the more you sign up for, the easier it will be. Who knows? It's weird how intense the '80s nostalgia is in the fandoms listed. I don't have that, since I was all growed up by then and it seems a lot of people who are younger than me have a strong attachment to the things they saw then, when they were younger.

And now I feel really stupid that I didn't nominate Case Histories, the detective series Jason Isaacs did this past year on BBC. OMG so good! I finally caught up on the discs I ordered a couple months ago, and I need to write up a long Men Who Make Me Happy post about him, and about the series. I pray that he will do more Jackson Brodie things, but with his new series on American TV, Awake, coming up, I'm not sure he'll have time if it's successful. (Flail! Jason Isaacs on my TV every week.) But that's a subject for another post.

Skype me

Oct. 13th, 2011 12:06 am
gwyn: (hardison swell day ruttadk)
Anyone have Skype who'd be willing to be called/call me so I can test out this new headset microphone I need to use for a webinar in a couple weeks? I asked a friend but he didn't have it and wasn't willing to DL it, the rat bastard. I figure someone here should have it. You can e me privately at gwyneth at drizzle dot com.

In other news, Bodie the adorable dog has gone to a new foster home, which makes me really sad. He needed someone who could deal with his bad behavior, and there was a person who specializes in bad Boston behavior, and they figured it was the best thing for him, which of course I agree with. But damn, I liked having him here, and it was cool to have a dog named Bodie, you know? He was such an adorably goofy little guy. Hopefully the biting will get controlled and he'll find a fantastic home that appreciates him and doesn't dump him.

The rescue group was on a local morning show last week, and Vlad, the darling dog I posted about a couple weeks, was on, walking his new three-legged walk. Poor little dude, but apparently he's so much happier and bouncier having the dodgy leg gone. I wish we could have brought Bodie but there was no way with the biting. (And if you might have a buck or two to spare, Vlad's ChipIn page doesn't expire for two more days, and they've only raised less than a quarter of the money needed for the leg surgery, the kidney stones, and the trachea problem -- we would love you for your donation if you could make one!)

Today I went downtown to the Pike Place Market for a few hours; I realized it's been way too long since I just went and putzed around. I stopped at my favorite informal restaurant there, the Crepe de France, and had a lovely ham and cheese crepe and read a book on my Nook Color, then picked up some marrons glace (glazed chestnuts) at DeLaurenti's for the marrons glace ice cream I'm going to make. Also picked up some tea and tea supplies at Market Spice. Fortunately I did not have much cash, so I avoided buying baby donuts and unusual pastas and the lard-based cakes and pastries at the Mexican sisters' shop, but I did not avoid buying a ginormous bouquet of purple and pink dahlias. Anyone who's been to the Market knows you can get these amazing bouquets there for like $5 or $10, which are the size of a small child (seriously, my arm ached by the time I got back to the car from carrying it).

While I was eating, I remembered that a couple years ago, I was sitting in Crepe de France and looking out at the tourists bumbling around outside it when I saw someone who looked familiar. He was standing there for a while, looking around, trying to decide if he would go in or not, I think, and then I realized it was [livejournal.com profile] minotaurs. I was about to get up and go talk to him, even though I kept thinking, no way, he lives in San Diego, it can't be him, but then my crepe was ready and by the time I looked back, he was gone. It was only a few weeks later he died so unexpectedly, and I found out he'd been looking for work before he moved up here. I was just so shocked by his death that I forgot seeing him for a long time, and now I regret not having gone after him that day.

I seem to be thinking a lot of melancholy thoughts right now. Thinking a lot about Sandy, and missing her so very badly, and as the weather gets crappy, I'm feeling my sister's loss so much more. This is the time of year when we usually planned for her visit home for Thanksgiving and our birthday. It's just so depressing.

I got a request today from someone to translate my Fast and Furious fic into Chinese, which is kind of a kick. Who knew it was a huge fandom over there? I've kind of lost track of the languages some of my stuff has been translated into -- it's not a lot, but I just can't remember which ones except for Japanese. I have to admit, it's really exciting when someone asks to do that.

I signed up for Festivids. This may be a huge mistake, but I'm going to give it the old college try. I requested all 8 allowed fandoms, but I'm sure I won't be matched on MDs, Catch and Release, or Buckaroo Banzai, but probably more like Justified, Middleman, or Contact, Charlie Jade's kinda iffy too. But I signed up to do a shit-ton of fandoms, a mix of safety and series fandoms. I'm taking the cumulative advice of others that the more you sign up for, the easier it will be. Who knows? It's weird how intense the '80s nostalgia is in the fandoms listed. I don't have that, since I was all growed up by then and it seems a lot of people who are younger than me have a strong attachment to the things they saw then, when they were younger.

And now I feel really stupid that I didn't nominate Case Histories, the detective series Jason Isaacs did this past year on BBC. OMG so good! I finally caught up on the discs I ordered a couple months ago, and I need to write up a long Men Who Make Me Happy post about him, and about the series. I pray that he will do more Jackson Brodie things, but with his new series on American TV, Awake, coming up, I'm not sure he'll have time if it's successful. (Flail! Jason Isaacs on my TV every week.) But that's a subject for another post.

Bleh

Sep. 15th, 2011 03:46 pm
gwyn: (wes-faith chokeanddie)
Life is definitely giving me the blues lately. First world problems, but they are really getting me down.

The last few times I've visited my dad, he's been really weird, not really very present, and I have to practically yell at him to get him to focus enough to get things across to him. He sits all hunched over in his power chair, or he is on the bed, perilously close to the edge. A few weeks ago, they had him move back into the nursing center for 14 days, while they observed him to see if they could figure out what was causing his falling problems and confusion. I think, to be honest, he's just... kind of checking out, body and brain, but it's hard to tell for sure. Now I have to go to the doc's tomorrow with him, because his legs are swollen and he's not feeling good, so they're concerned for his kidneys. Each way, the trip costs $100 if they can't get the transport from the place he lives and we have to call the Tri-Med folks.

I'm behind on work, and I'm desperately overscheduled. At one point, if I can't catch up with the book I'm on now, I will have three books -- two proofreads and one copyedit of a huge travel guide -- as well as preparing for the webinar I'm supposed to do in Nov. and the stories for the magazine I do a lot of work for. Gah.

And of course, there's a shit-ton of stuff to do that takes me away from work. Part of the problem is that I lost the past two days trying to get this #$%$%^*!@#*&@#$ Nook Color to work. I bought this thing from a guy on Craigslist and when I met up with him, I saw it in action and tested it out and it worked fine. Got it home, and started setting everything up, poking around at everything, and enjoying it, and then it disconnected with a MAC error. Mr. Killabeez explained to me what that was, and I contacted tech support at my ISP, and we spent the better part of yesterday working on it.

It seems that after I turn my router off, it will work, and then drop within about 20 minutes max. I took it to the B&N store near me yesterday on my way home from dad's, and they couldn't get it connect at all, so they did a factory reset for me. It worked! The books I'd tried to DL finally came through, I picked up a couple magazines and apps, and for about 5 hours last night everything was hunky dory and I thought it was finally fixed. But of course it dropped, and today I tried to use my neighbor's network, but we couldn't get it to connect at all. I'm just kind of at the end of my rope.

The B&N customer service people said that even though it's second-hand, I could still get a new one and that they have an open ticket on it, but I'm not sure if that means I'll lose my books and stuff I DLed. I'm just depressed. I want things to work. If I could have afforded an iPad, I would have gotten that, because at least I know that would work. I've seen all kinds of stuff all over the support boards, and one person even said that my router manufacturer said that Nook Colors wouldn't work on it and we were pretty much SOL, but that was in January and you'd like to think these morons would fix it by now. My ISP on the other hand said his daughter has a Nook and a Kindle and they've had no troubles with the same router. I just don't even know what to believe anymore -- nothing helps: SSID, security settings, whatever. The only time I can connect is if I turn off the router and the Nook, and then turn them both on, but it doesn't last.

When it was working it seemed like a pretty nice device, and would defintely help me at these endless doctor appts. with Dad. But I don't know if being able to borrow library books or lend books to others or play angry fucking birds is worth this headache. I even bought a cute cover but I don't want to put it on!

So now I'm behind on work, frustrated to the point of tears, have a headache, and am depressed and worn down about Dad. Yay? Sunday is the memorial for Snady, too, and that is just making my heart ache so badly. So far, it's been really easy to be in denial -- to just think, she's unable to make it to get-togethers, she couldn't come to the con, just kind of act like it's temporary. I think the memorial will be when it really hits me that it's irrevocable. Do not want.
gwyn: (changry grosserpepper)
All day today and yesterday, I've been in this seriously annoyed space. I'm just cranky about almost everything. It started when I was looking up some stuff on Fanlore for preparing this Media Cannibals site, and I discovered someone had slapped a label on one of my old vids (that isn't even online, yeesh), and it's continued through trying to work on my CVV vid (WHY can my clips of Yentl not work in any format? Why must they keep scaling despite my best efforts to bring them to 100 percent? WHY SO DIFFICULT?), and my neighbor has had contractors engaged in ceaseless jackhammering under my window for days now and I can't block the sound out beyond muffling it a tiny bit.

I just can't pinpoint why things are making me so crabby. I'm mildly work-stressed, but that's not it. The jackhammering, maybe, because it's coupled with every fucking morning getting a wakeup call from her doberman pup with his endless barking. But usually I get on with the day. Last week I had gone downtown for the dentist (not cheap -- it's 8 dollars just to park for an hour and a half, and I don't have insurance, so I have to pay for my cleanings) and they had moved my appointment off the books for some bizarre reason, and I was so pissed I walked out without rescheduling. I'm feeling poor, which always makes me testy (thank you VVC for emptying my pockets!), but that was worse than I usually react to people messing my day up.

I'm cranky about the fanlore thing for some reason. Someone at some point slapped a label on my old vid that follows David Duchovny in his kind of girly roles with "genderfuck," and it really pissed me off. I hate labels, I don't label my stories or use warnings (except for stories containing major character death, because my friends hate stories with death and I like my friends), and it just really irks me that someone feels they can slap a label that I feel is so reductive on my vid without asking me. No one is going to see it, no one is going to look up info for tape 4 or whatever, I know this, and logically it doesn't make sense to be pissed about it, but I am. Is it that I don't like the term, because I think it's reductive? Is it that I don't like someone I don't know slapping things on my stuff? Is it that I wasn't asked? ::shakes fists at sky:: I don't know!

I can take it off, but since I don't know who put it there or why, it'll just come back again (that's my main reason I haven't been active on fanlore for a long time; the fact that you can make factual changes or clean/clear something up, and someone can just come in and mess it all up once you're done is frustrating to someone who makes her living correcting errors) most likely. I need to do some cleanup to some things about Sandy and the MCs that I've seen in the pages, but you never really know what else will come along after you've done that. I don't know why people love labels so much in fandom. I have a love/hate relationship with tags -- I love them when they tell me that a story is, for instance, Michael/Mahone slash, but when they start getting into labels that codify something complex with simplistic words, then I get all "bleh" about them. It gives me a headache. But I don't know why! I want someone to come along who can explain my crabbiness to me. This is something I would have talked to Sandy about and she would have made me laugh at myself and decrabbify.

:: is now crabby AND sad::
gwyn: (mad men sally rainbow)
I've wanted to write up something about VVC since I got back, but between being busy and not knowing how to say what I want to say, it's been impossible. This week has been insane and won't stop being that way until after tomorrow, and I would really like to put the finishing fixes to my Club Vivid vid, but I just have to get through until tomorrow and then I can work on it.

teal deer about Vividcry 2011 )
gwyn: (abed tv grosserpepper)
I have many, many things to say about VividCry 2011 (TM, [personal profile] sdwolfpup), but I am under a serious huge deadline and I have to spend some time thinking about how to express it. I had dreaded it in many ways, because I knew there would be a lot of crying around the loss of Sandy, but what I hadn't expected was the level of moving vids and conversations and other things that made this a... I don't know what the word is. Cathartic? Not quite right, because I'm still sad. Transformative? That might be, although there were a few minor unpleasantnesses that made me feel not entirely different from how I normally am. But it was very, very special, and I have things to say about that.

So for now I will post the first of my premiering vids from the con. I need to do some tweaking to video files for my Club Vivid premiere (and I also have some things to say about the theme I worked with), so I'm not sure when that will go up. I will just say that SDW is right and that one of the clips really should be changed, but I can't figure out what to do with it, so here it stays. I think the Viddler file is kind of bad, but I'll put streaming here anyway -- the DL is a lot nicer.

I had such a ball making this. I don't know that I've ever had a fandom with such a wealth of material to work with in just two seasons. I've wanted to vid this song for about 15 freaking years, since I first started vidding, and to have finally, finally found the fandom for it just makes my heart grow about three sizes.

This Must Be the Place
Artist: Talking Heads
Fandom: Community
File: Divx avi, 38MB
It's a locomotive that runs on us.

Streaming:
gwyn: (paul god)
It's really hard to believe that next week I'm leaving for VVC. I can't believe it's time. I alternate between wishing I wasn't going and needing to go very badly so I can hug some people. It's just very, very hard to conceive of going without Sandy. There have been times we took the same flight, even, her and Rache, and that that wasn't even a possibility, let alone of seeing what she would wear to Club Vivid or hearing what she'd say at vid review, makes this so... I don't even know what the word for it is. I have a pretty big vocabulary, but I have no idea what word could describe this situation.

Every day, it's stepping through life like it's all normal out there, but I am just so, so desperately sad and so deeply pissed off. And I'm not even as close to Sandy as many. Was close to. It's hard to get the verbs right. I have a room alone this year and I have a bad feeling I'll be in it too much, feeling lonely and sad. I'm bringing my laptop with me for the first time ever, so it'll be easy to shut myself off with the internets, but I hope I can spend some time with people I haven't seen for a few years. Well, as you can see, my head is all over the place.

I'm getting my hair color today and a trim, and I want to do something really different, like some color stripes. Maybe blue or purple. I suppose on a woman of my age it's ridiculous, and I have to bleach my hair which kind of makes me ill, but I seem to go through these things when something bad happens. When Dad was on hospice, I kept thinking of going on a huge, really insanely expensive cruise through the Mediterranean or to Australia, and if he hadn't got better, I might very well have. Which is crazy because I am somewhat afraid of being on deep water -- in my defense, OK, I saw Jaws and the Poseidon Adventure at a deeply impressionable age and was terrified of being stranded in an upturned ship in the middle of shark-infested waters ("Eleven hundred men went into the water, 316 come out") or freezing to death or drowning. (And of course, I saw Poseidon more than a few times in the theatre, since I had a huge crush on Gene Hackman in that -- now there was a priest you could dream of defrocking!) After sis_r died, I constantly thought of getting a tattoo, which... I have freakishly sensitive skin and the idea of that kind of pain is abhorrent to me, yet I thought about it all the time.

But I digress. I didn't get a CVV outfit or anything. I just couldn't find the excitement or energy. I have a fabulous vid show that will run on Friday (Riot Grrls: Women in Action), but it's tinged with melancholy for me because part of what motivated me to put it together was the love I shared with Sandy over strong, kick-ass female characters. A couple of the vids in the show are ones I discovered in one of her vid shows, in fact. It's still going to be a great vid show, though, and you should come watch it -- I have two premiering vids in it, and have found some wonderful, wonderful female action hero vids with a great balance of contemplative and quiet with fast and furious. At vid karaoke, I will be singing Crush Story, if anyone would like to join me -- I just hope I don't cry in the middle of it.

I will have all day Thursday open (I'm coming in very late Wed. night) and not really know what to do with myself. I was hoping to see my friend who lives there, but she is on vacation with her family, and I haven't heard from someone else I would love to see. Me and heat are unmixy, so the idea of hiking to the el station and going into town kind of overwhelms me, and I'd like to go on the museum field trip some folks are going on, but I know I won't have the energy. ([personal profile] spasticat, are you around next week?)

Now I need to work on fixing up my two premiering vids so I can upload them after the con. I can't believe the whole summer has gone by without me doing that.
gwyn: (nebula blue wizzicons)
About one of my earliest fan fiction stories, These Things Do Not Remember You, Sandy asked me where the beautiful title had come from. It comes from this Conrad Aiken poem.

Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, beloved,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart that you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always,
—They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.


Your touch will never pass from any thing, any one, beloved Sandy.
gwyn: (sharpe sad wizzicons)
Today was a very bad day. I spent most of it up at the hospice center where Snady is right now. When I saw her on Tuesday, she was able to watch what I have so far of the remaster of Hair, and it made her really happy; I also told her about the media cannibals web site greensilver is building for us. It seemed like she would be with us for a while yet, and she was conversant, aware, and just very present.

Unfortunately things slid downhill a little yesterday, and by today were very bad. She's not really responsive of aware, and by late this afternoon, the doctor had said she would probably only be with us for 48-72 hours more. Some of us were able to step into the room and say our goodbyes to her or just tell her we love her, and tell her caregivers that we love them.

I'm typing this curled up in a ball on the couch, one handed, and crying, so I apologize for the typos and errors and lack of capping. This is agonizing enough to see without having the ptsd flashbacks i'm having about sis_r, and all of us surrounding her are pretty much basket cases. Most of her family is here, and some of her dearest friends as well, and I feel like she can probably hear that everyone is giving her so much love. Her pain seems to be under control, and that is a blessing, because she was suffering very, very much last week. it made me happy that I could show her the vid on tuesday and that she wanted me to stay in the room and talk while she went to sleep; i know how all bout me that sounds, but it was just this thing where i felt so connected to her and that she knew i love her and that my presence was at least some kind of comfort for her. oh, all that still sounds so all about me, i guess I don't know any way to say that wihout sounding that way. but it meant a lot and at least i can hold on to that instead of how she looked today.

A bunch of us have been camped out in the activities room, talking about fandom and Sandy and how much she means to us. It's good to have people to share the love with. I was totally alone when sis_r died, during her illness and after, and it was so painful, so agonizing. Not that this isn't agnozing; it's killing me to watch someone so vibrant and full of life and who brought that to so many people fade away. I love her so much, so many people love her so much.

when i left on tuesday, they were taking a patient who'd died out in a body bag. I think until then I'd held it mostly together but that was when i lost it. fuck this fucking disease.

please send her your love and prayers if you're a praying person. light a candle, a light, sing a song, plant some flowers.
gwyn: (don and coop raeyashi)
(For some reason, none of my recent DW posts are cross-posting.)

No doubt a lot of you have seen the posts about Sandy [livejournal.com profile] sherrold today, whom we often typed as Snady (if you see people referring to her that way, don't freak -- it was a thing). For those who haven't seen the others posts, [livejournal.com profile] movies_michelle has an update here with some info on things you can do, and why it's been so quiet about this. I hope people can understand how difficult it's been to watch this unfold, and how much those of us in town wanted to respect privacy, and also, simply, that we had hoped this was just a temporary setback.

I was talking about this yesterday with some other fans -- how, even though she and I lived ten minutes away from each other, and saw each other all the time, I didn't really enjoy going to cons when she wasn't there. Which is completely nuts, but as so many others have noted, she IS fandom to a lot of people, and her presence at a con was undeniable. You could hear here everywhere, her loud laugh (she once joked to me, the first time I had the Media Cannibals at my house, "Now you know why everyone wishes I came with a volume button!"), her infectious enthusiasm. And up till, really, two days ago, she was still planning to go to VVC. And who knows? Maybe she will. She has gone far beyond their predictions many times already in this.

Snady is the very definition of the phrase "force of nature." When we started hanging out, she welcomed me in and let me participate in making vids with the group, and even though for years we bickered and quibbled about things, she was always this person who meant so much to me that the bickering and quibbling weren't enough to drivve me away. And she and I made good vids together! I loved working with her on them, and I always, always learned something I never thought of before.

One thing I don't think many people realize is how influential she has been even to vidders who don't know her. Sandy was one of the early vidders who pushed this fannish art form into new directions, did things no one else had done previously. Her ideas about technique and style and theme have flown down to younger vidders, and they don't even know it. I wish more than anything I could spread that word -- that a lot of what many of us do right now came about because of Sandy pushing those envelopes back in the days when we made vids with bearskins and knives. Sandy is the original vidding hipster, babies.

I chatted with her yesterday and told her about remastering Hair and the new Media Cannibals site we're putting up with all the old vids. I could tell she wasn't well enough to see what I've got so far with Hair, and I'm really sad about that, but I could also tell that made her feel so comforted and happy. Even though she may not get to see it, I'm still going ahead with it. She is, and always will be, fandom to me, and to so many others, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that her legacy is not forgotten.
gwyn: (don and coop raeyashi)
No doubt a lot of you have seen the posts about Sandy [personal profile] sherrold today, whom we often typed as Snady (if you see people referring to her that way, don't freak -- it was a thing). For those who haven't seen the others posts, [personal profile] movies_michelle has an update here with some info on things you can do, and why it's been so quiet about this. I hope people can understand how difficult it's been to watch this unfold, and how much those of us in town wanted to respect privacy, and also, simply, that we had hoped this was just a temporary setback.

I was talking about this yesterday with some other fans -- how, even though she and I lived ten minutes away from each other, and saw each other all the time, I didn't really enjoy going to cons when she wasn't there. Which is completely nuts, but as so many others have noted, she IS fandom to a lot of people, and her presence at a con was undeniable. You could hear here everywhere, her loud laugh (she once joked to me, the first time I had the Media Cannibals at my house, "Now you know why everyone wishes I came with a volume button!"), her infectious enthusiasm. And up till, really, two days ago, she was still planning to go to VVC. And who knows? Maybe she will. She has gone far beyond their predictions many times already in this.

Snady is the very definition of the phrase "force of nature." When we started hanging out, she welcomed me in and let me participate in making vids with the group, and even though for years we bickered and quibbled about things, she was always this person who meant so much to me that the bickering and quibbling weren't enough to drivve me away. And she and I made good vids together! I loved working with her on them, and I always, always learned something I never thought of before.

One thing I don't think many people realize is how influential she has been even to vidders who don't know her. Sandy was one of the early vidders who pushed this fannish art form into new directions, did things no one else had done previously. Her ideas about technique and style and theme have flown down to younger vidders, and they don't even know it. I wish more than anything I could spread that word -- that a lot of what many of us do right now came about because of Sandy pushing those envelopes back in the days when we made vids with bearskins and knives. Sandy is the original vidding hipster, babies.

I chatted with her yesterday and told her about remastering Hair and the new Media Cannibals site we're putting up with all the old vids. I could tell she wasn't well enough to see what I've got so far with Hair, and I'm really sad about that, but I could also tell that made her feel so comforted and happy. Even though she may not get to see it, I'm still going ahead with it. She is, and always will be, fandom to me, and to so many others, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that her legacy is not forgotten.

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