Dec. 6th, 2010 11:37 pm
hildy89: (girl friday)
So I've discovered Echo Bazaar twitter/facebook game due to [ profile] havocthecat/[ profile] butterflykiki's posts. It's an interesting dark Victorian/steampunk mish mash. It's a little tricky getting the hand of gameplay. I signed up under an alter ego, which may or may have been the wisest idea. You can't really invite friends if you don't follow anyone. If anyone is interested, please see selawall. If I was posting bits of my name, you'll recognize Cecilia (or "Sela" as she goes by) as my leading lady. Somehow I think I've developed a spy character... not intentional either. Oops. Fannish friends might recognize the user icon I'm using for this incarnation -- Rebecca Fogg might be more appropriate considering.
hildy89: (fox in winter)
I've had an eventful week here. Monday combined both absolute joy (first day of real job, winning Nano again) and utter horrors (parents and apartment woes). I won't go into specifics over the woes, except to say I hope the worst is nearly behind me.

In my budget crunching, I changed my Netflix so I was only getting one dvd at a time. I might have switched to streaming-only if the selection was better, but I always found something else I was curious about. But there was still time before it went into effect, so I wound up with three Elizabeth I related dvds in the house. The first one was the second dvd in David Starkey's "Elizabeth" series. He also wrote a biography on Elizabeth and has some rather inflammatory comments on the "feminization" of history. His tv series included dramatizations of different periods of her history. I think my biggest issue was not identifying his so-called experts on screen. Even when I turned on the subtitles, the info was nowhere to be found.

Then I turned on "Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen", a Masterpiece Theatre series featuring Anne-Marie Duff as Elizabeth and featured Tom Hardy as a very clean-shaven earring-ed Robert Dudley. I still can't quite decide how I felt about this miniseries, especially the rather sideshow view of Elizabeth's court. In some ways, some of it felt more accurate than the glamorous Cate Blanchett movie and others more ridiculous, especially once you reach Elizabeth's older years with the brat Essex. Also felt like the first half of the series played up the interactions with Elizabeth and her ladies and the later part was all about the young courtiers/new generation gaining favor. I did adore the soundtrack which featured the Mediaeval Baebes' music.

All this made me want to rummage through my library for Elizabethan books to read -- Christmas trip is coming soon.
hildy89: (Default)
So I spent another Thanksgiving in the hinterlands of Fauquier County along with most of my mother's immediate family. Everyone was delighted about the new job and wanted to hear all about it. For once, I didn't feel completely put upon. I always felt a little "When are you going to get a real job?" with them. Then we visited the grandparents' new place out there. I honestly was surprised they picked such a large house for an elderly couple. I suspect the location being not far from my uncle and his wife was a major selling point. I'm a little torn. After my parents' place, my grandparents' house was so familiar. They've always lived there. I suspect it'll be an adjustment for everyone involved.

One useful thing: my uncle finally ripped a copy of Terry Oldfield's "In Search of the Trojan War and other tv themes" LP I bought off for me. The quality isn't the greatest and several tracks wound up stuck together, but maybe I can edit them with Audacity or something. I did have to add all the track information though. You learn to appreciate CDs and the title lookup -- I'd hate to do that for multiple LPs.

Also: Way too early for Christmas music for my tastes. I'm more ready for *snow* than I am for Christmas. I don't know what that says about me.
hildy89: (happy holidays)
To use the old Helene Hanff quote, "I write to say I have got work." To wit, as of today, I am no longer a temporary employee. My current assignment liked me so much they've been plotting behind the scenes a way for me to come aboard as full time permanent staff. So guess who starts on the 29th? I have to tell it was the most surreal moment when they tell you "you have to give notice". Bwahuh? I'm used to assignments coming to me on Friday and saying it's over, not saying farewell to the temp agency of 10+ years. It's hard to believe it's been *that* long. Today I actually received the offer sheet and hopefully once the background checks out, everything will be good to know. I'm still in a happy daze of "Is this really happening?"

My father is improving. He had another procedure yesterday, but he seems to be recovering nicely. I suspect the worrying will subside... oh who am I kidding? After a certain age, you always worry about your parents, don't you?

Nano is trundling along. Hopefully I should hit 40K tonight. I'm a little nervous about tomorrow's writing, since I'll be spending it out in the hinterlands of Fauquier County.
hildy89: (newsflash)
Has anyone installed Office 2007 in Vista? I was having issues with a security update so Microsoft suggested I reinstall Word. Okay, fine, I found the dvd and tried to reinstall it today, figuring it'd be a simple fix. But setup.exe keeps crashing on every attempt. From what I've read it's some sort of Data Exception Protection issue with Vista, but I can't get around it. Suggestions?
hildy89: (fox in winter)
The local Episcopal Church held a labyrinth walk tonight. The labyrinth walk was held in their common room, not in the actual church. Their labyrinth was on canvas, laid out in the traditional Chartres Cathedral pattern. Candles along the far wall provided the only lighting. Aside from the occasional bustle of workers or cars outside, the place was silent with no music intruding in the moment. Walkers removed the shoes before entering the labyrinth.

A keeper was there to answer any questions. She asked if I'd walked one before, because I seemed to know what I was doing. She did reassure me on one thing – there's no one way to walk a labyrinth. Take it fast, take it slow. Include as much prayer or ritual as you feel comfortable, especially before you enter it. I found myself watching some of the others. One person seemed to visit each of the corners of the center point before leaving. Another stood in place and took deep breaths at each of the turns.

I wound up walking the labyrinth twice this time around. Walking one still feels like a long winding balance beam for me. I deliberately slowed my pace down on the second time through, trying to steady my rhythm. I tried taking smaller steps and breathing more. I suspect I'd be a very bad meditation student.

I don't how to explain it. It's a very quiet experience. I literally come out of it not wanting to even speak for awhile for fear of shattering that feeling. Every noise feels intrusive and yet it also seems very distant and far away when you're in the labyrinth.
hildy89: (girl friday)
So Saturday I joined [ profile] pinkpolarity and [ profile] darthblitzkrieg for the semi-annual pilgrimmage to the Maryland Renaissance Faire in Crownsville. The weather was unseasonably mild for early October. I wasn't physically in the mood to deal with garb, so I went in mundies. The place was packed even for the late afternoon. The parking was madness, nearly at crawl both going in and going out. I don't know if they were simply very badly organized this year or more crowded than usual, but it made the experience less enjoyable. But with the smartphone handy, [ profile] pinkpolarity and I traded fannish bingo ideas to pass the time by.

Funny how things work out Exhibit A: Two years ago, I observed that a labyrinth necklace nearly had me at Echo & Wild. This year one came home with me, my lone purchase at the Faire aside from food. They also had a Carnevale mask necklace I rather liked, but rather more than I planned on spending that weekend.

Everything comes around Exhibit B: while walking over to my local Metro, I noticed a sign up on my nearby Episcopal Church. They're hosting a labyrinth walk open house this Thursday evening. Since it's on my way home, I may stop by. I haven't walked one since that Unitarian Church labyrinth walk. Maybe it's time.

Only real black spot on the day was discovering that South Carolina had defeated Alabama. So much for the hopes of repeating as undefeated. The curse of Steve Spurrier continues. I hated him at Florida, I hated him with the Redskins...


Aug. 15th, 2010 08:14 pm
hildy89: (newsflash)
Saddened yesterday to hear about [ profile] susanmgarrett's death. I was aware of her in Forever Knight fandom when she was one of the first posting long fanfiction on the lists. I encountered her afterwards at MediaWest or livejournal. No matter where I encountered her, she was always friendly and helpful. You will be remembered fondly, Susan.

And I'm really tired of losing people I know... *spontaneously hugs friendslist*
hildy89: (girl friday)
On the spur of the moment, I joined a 48 Hour Read-a-thon. The idea was to pick some books you wanted to read and to see how far you could get over the week. I attacked my pile of crime books. By some miracle, I managed to finished Richard Castle's Heat Wave and Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon, the latter I've been meaning to finish for literally ages. I blogged about it over here. I will probably post a fuller review of Falcon once I get my thoughts together. I suspect a rewatch of the Huston movie may be in order with a comparison against the pre-code version. Since I don't drink, I'm not sure whether watching "Satan Met a Lady" sober is a good idea. Maltese Falcon is most definitely not a romantic comedy of any stripe.

One thing it did remind me I've put off was my eyes. I dug out my reading glasses, which helped a lot, but my eyes adjusted so well I'm now worried about my eyes. I haven't had an eye appointment since the last time I went to Pearle and went into hock. My old doctor moved so he's in the same building as my allergist, but he's no longer with Pearle. I still haven't decided whether I'll go back to him or find someone closer. I've heard horror stories about nearly every chain. I've also seen suggestions to take your prescription to one of the online places -- but then how do you know which frames to pick? It's almost worse than buying shoes online. And I have about as much chance of anything fitting right.

The Choir

Jul. 25th, 2010 08:32 pm
hildy89: (girl friday)
I really need to update my icons. All the ones I have are winter oriented. And it's so not outside. DC is sweltering along with the rest of the Southeast. I made the mistake of going to Tysons today with the slight hope of a well air-conditioned movie. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea, so Inception was sold-out. Lesson learned about buying tickets ahead of time. Or making do with a different theater.

The last couple of weeks I've been watching BBC America's The Choir with the delightful earnest and extremely young choirmaster Gareth Malone. He's four years younger than I am. NPR's Monkey See blog wrote up the series when it debuted. Having spent four years in my own high school choir, this series gave me such flashbacks. It's compared to a "real life Glee", but really there's more "Sister Act 2" to me. These kids have no musical training or background. Some only know pop/r&b stuff, so the classical pieces like "Gloria" and Faure's "Canticle de Jean Racine" they sing are a bit challenging. What was amazing was comparing my experiences. 20+ years and 3000 miles and there's not as much as you'd expect. The sopranos are still bossy, the boys really have trouble getting their act together and the altos have to save everyone. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

If you get a chance, watch it. I'm enjoying it immensely. Even if it's in 80s stereo.
hildy89: (girl friday)
Er, oops, I have meant to post an update here. I'd love to say I'm massively busy but not really. Work continues, although this has been a weird week with the long holiday and then con.

I'm heading off to my first big comic book convention next week in Charlotte. Heroes sounds a tad more manageable than say New York or San Diego from a crowd standpoint. SDCC is sounding like one of those pricey five star restaurants where you need reservations a year in advance. I'm despairing that I don't own nearly enough comic book geeky t-shirts for the occasion; someone might mistake me for a mundane!

I've bit the bullet and joined the smartphone generation. I wound up with a HTC Hero with the Android OS. It even has a pretty red case now, so it matches the mid-life crisis laptop.

Aside from one massive fanfiction project, my writing output has been paltry.
hildy89: (newsflash)
TVShowsondvd posted an update on the Ellery Queen dvds. I'm curious about the running time since there were 23 episodes (one was 90 minute pilot). But as far as I'm concerned the important part of the news is the release date -- August 24th -- two days before my birthday. It's like they know me or something.
hildy89: (Default)
After using up my camera on local snow photos, my photos from St. Augustine are up on Flickr. I do wish I'd captured more of the wacky architecture but they're not too bad. I'm still deciding which snow photos to share. None of them really convey how bad the storms were.
hildy89: (snowy fox)
I speak to you from the snowy wastes of Northern Virginia. The Snowmaggedon continues to dump more snow on us. Usually we get one massive storm like this every ten years or so. Mother Nature and Father Winter are clearly fighting again because this is our *second* of those storms. My faux balcony is completely filled with snow. I can only imagine what the rest of the neighborhood looks like. The wind is a low howl up and down like it's some lost wolf cub out on the streets. Or maybe it's National Zoo wailing about losing Tai-Shan... *catty is catty* I don't think we'll be digging out anytime soon. This is a bad one.
hildy89: (Default)
DC is looking to the skies anxiously tonight. We're supposed to get a ton of snow tomorrow through Saturday. I went ahead and did a grocery run on Thursday for necessaries. Work has shortened my little return assignment sadly with the possibility of coming back sometime next week.

That sums up the bad news. The good news is several fold: The foot doctor says I can switch over to two shoes, if I take it easy and do some calf stretches. I seem to have solved the computer issues last night with Windows Update & Chkdsk utility. One of those things did the trick, because I'm back to my usual browsing and writing and working. Safe mode was going to drive me nuts especially not having sound. Taxes are done and refunds are coming my way.

Curious news (if you know me -- I do not take after my namesake Ms Child): I have attempted boiling red potatoes and haven't killed myself that I can tell...

And the sad news today: Days of Our Lives' great matriarch Frances Reid died at the age of 95. She played the serene Alice Horton, everyone's favorite grandmother. I watched Days back in college. I remember when MacDonald Carey died in 1994 and they took out the second half of the credits. Only he could say "Like sands through the hourglass..." And I was reminded of Douglass Watson's death in 1989. He was already gone by the time I started watching AW so seeing the SoapNet reruns was like a revelation. And I remember what a hammer hearing him toast Thanksgiving in that 1988 rerun saying "I give you life!" knowing he'd be gone all too soon. We joke so often about death in soaps, but this... *cries*
hildy89: (fox in winter)
I've been having my share of computer problems this month. My desktop needs more memory like whoa, so it barely runs anything right now. At first I thought my laptop problems were limited to needing a new a/c adapter, because of all the error messages I was getting when it was plugged in. And then Saturday in the middle of a mindless chocolate making game, the computer froze and crashed spectacularly. It splits between two stages. I can either get it to work in safe mode and *only* safe mode. I pulled off all my documents but not music or pictures. Or it can't find the hard drive at all and suggests I "reseat it". Has it become loose or something?

Needless to say, I'm utterly terrified. Software I can troubleshoot, hardware is another story.
hildy89: (reading glasses)
RIP James Mitchell.

You delighted and bedeviled everyone. You danced like a dream in "Oklahoma!" and "The Band Wagon". And then you became the most rascally old coot of daytime as Palmer Cortlandt on "All My Children."

You, sir, will be missed.

James Mitchell in Band Wagon caps )
hildy89: (newsflash)
[ profile] ellen_kushner has posted the devastating news that Kage Baker, author of the Company series, is fighting for life. Here is the letter posted by her health caregiver about her current state. It doesn't sound good.


Jan. 13th, 2010 06:05 pm
hildy89: (girl friday)
So I went to see the venerable podiatrist today. He's treated everyone in my family so he and the staff always ask about my parents and how they are. After the exam and x-rays, he determined that there were no broken bones, just some fun ligament damage. He's going to treat it as a sprained ankle. So I'll be in the cast for another three weeks. Hopefully the time off will be enough to give it time to heal properly. The first week is going to be a killer though.
hildy89: (Default)
What haven't I done recently?

If you answered "hurt your foot", congratulations!

I was off to a ENT doctor appointment downtown. My allergies and I are disagreeing again, what else is new? I was slightly turned around because the office moved to a new location, so I opted for the bus, because it's cold and it was closer to the stop. So what did I do? I promptly stepped off the curb of a nearby hotel and twisted my left ankle. Ow and OW! I was more or less able to stand and walk for a bit before that shocky feeling set in. After I stopped for awhile, I asked the nice parking attendant at said hotel for directions. I should have turned a block before the hotel and walked up. But then we wouldn't be having this nice chat over an ice bag, would we?

Fortunately because I have had so many of these injuries, I have the aircast, sock, and bandages already. It pays to be prepared. So I foresee another visit with the nice podiatrist soon.

I am not a happy camper right now.


hildy89: (Default)

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