hildy89: (Default)
Hello everybody. Isn't it a fine day? *growls* All right, enough of my Tracy Lord impersonation...

I am home! Yes, I traveled down to Florida for the holidays. It was warm for the first day and then the cold front showed up with vengeance, just as everyone else in the Northeast was buried in snow. I'm glad I prepared for a variety of weather possibilities. DC seems to have completely missed that boat, which is pretty typical for this area. I'm just glad I didn't have to fly a day earlier or later. As it was, we were delayed an hour and a half in Melbourne because they didn't have a de-icer. That cut squarely into my layover time Atlanta, so I had to make a mad dash for the Hartsfield former cylon train and hope I could get to my terminal in time -- no mean feat. At least I'm home safely. I'm slowly trying to catch up on LJ/etc. I had very little proper computer access over the holidays; I mostly made do with my phone, which is fine for twitter, but not great for anything else.

This was a quiet Christmas for my family. We're still in doctors and recovery mode to a degree. I'm a little depressed to see my father -- so vibrant and intelligent and barely able to move or concentrate for long periods.

Discovered my parents adore Top Gear (not surprising given my father's love of cars) and HGTV and several antique/pawn shop related shows. Ironically one show we found on HGTV was on this year's White House Christmas decorations -- would have loved to see that *before* I went on the tour so I'd know the significance or notice particular things.

Still need to find time to watch the Doctor Who special. I have stayed surprisingly unspoiled.
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.

Home!

Dec. 27th, 2008 04:50 pm
hildy89: (Default)
So after a week in sunny warm central Florida, I returned home to DC. The trip was mind boggingly problem-free. There was nearly no line to check a bag, go through security and catch a taxi home. And my bag was the second one off the baggage claim. It's like someone said "Let's go easy on her this once". Considering how bleah the Christmas turned out, it was nice. I had a good time and I enjoyed seeing my parents, but I'm glad to be home with my bed and my computer and my schedule. I came down with something over Christmas, but I'm mostly feeling better, except for the right leg that's giving me issues off and on.

After I came home, I splurged on some books at my sad and depressing little BDaltons and had a late lunch at Noodles and Company. There won't be many more occasions to do this. They're finally giving up the ghost and closing down. Once that store goes, I'll have to go over to Clarendon for books. Even stalwart local Olssons has closed down as well.
hildy89: (Default)
So I awoke way too early this morning to bundle myself up to go to National Airport. When the taxi dispatcher tells you to stay warm, it's probably a warning of how bad it is. We may have gotten into the 20s when I left. At least it was clear and sunny. I don't even want to think about snow and ice in that equation.

The airport was the usual organized chaos. I had to pay even for the first checked bag which ticked me off, especially since it's credit cards only, no cash. I know it's the way things are going with the airlines, but it still bothers me. Alas I discovered one distinct minus to leaving this early -- the Borders hadn't opened yet. *sighs* The flight boarded on time, but we were delayed half an hour because some of the maintenance equipment was having problems. Some poor lamb behind me managed to lose her Ipod in the airport waiting area; her mother was not amused or sympathetic. I put on my headphones on my now ancient Dell DJ and listened to music for most of the flight.

I still have to say -- DC is a pretty city, especially from the air, spotting all the monuments. Usually I'll spy the usual threesome, but this year I also saw the WWII memorial too.

After my arrival, my parents and I had an okay lunch at Cici's pizza, which is a buffet style deal with pizza, salad and dessert. My uncle sent me a book on city foxes for Christmas present to go with his charitable donation in my name.
hildy89: (reading glasses)
Home from the Philly excursion. I had a nice time with the family, although disappointing on some fronts and flat-out frustrating in others. I managed to snatch a few photos of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Olympia & Becuna. The museum's exterior was under heavy construction, which I tried not to capture in my photos. If you like quilts, they're having a lovely exhibition of Gee's Bend quilts until December. Alas the new Perelman Building for their costumes/textiles exhibits was extremely sparse, but they only opened last year. Still I saw more tapestries and textiles over in the main building. We did the Olympia & Becuna on a very bright Monday morning, so it was hard to get good photos without the sun messing up the light. I do wish I'd gotten a picture of Baldwin's Book Barn, an used bookstore my parents remembered in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It's a converted 1820s barn with nothing but used books, mostly hardcovers. It covers over four floors of all topics imaginable. All the photos are up on Flickr.

One thing I had forgotten about with the new computer was the razza-snarl of reinstalling the old HP digital camera. Since I couldn't find the disk, I used the backup from the laptop, hoping it would have what it needed. For now it works. But it only steels my resolve to get a new camera at some point.
hildy89: (jeff/hilary)
So I am in Florida for the Christmas holidays. The plane trip was surprisingly uneventful, considering the horror stories I kept hearing. I landed in concourse A and took the train over to concourse. Of course they changed our gate number later. We only left about forty-five minutes late, but again not bad, at least we got there, unlike some of the people stuck in Chicago.

The weather varies between balmy and cloudy. The sun couldn't decide whether it wanted to come out today. But it's a welcome change from DC hovering in the early 40s.

Today was mostly shopping at the local mall. One of the stores was in the Christmas spirit. Instead of calling for a particular salesperson, they apparently had codenames. So we heard "Prancer and Vixen to the customer service counter..." (For some reason it makes me think of Hilary and Jeff in "Christmas in the Airwaves":

Hilary: "Oh, Jeffrey!--why every Christmas do you start acting like Santa's reindeer?"
Jeffrey {puzzled}: "Reindeer? Ah, what--like Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen?"
Hilary: "Yes. You start dashing out with some dancer and prancing around town, you vixen."


Probably not the image the store was going for...
hildy89: (blue box)
So tomorrow I leave for my annual trek to Florida for Christmas. I get the joy of flying through Southern Cylon HQ aka Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta. A long time ago and many Dragon Cons ago, I flew down to Atlanta and missed my flight home. But I have fond memories of the tram with the glowing red LCD that looked like the Cylon Centurions. I'm not wild about changing planes there, but maybe it'll be better than O'Hare?

At least I'll get a short break before I have to deal with work stuff.

Is it 2008 yet?
hildy89: (fountain pen)
I've gone ahead and backdated the Sunday recap from last year's Baltimore trip.

I should break into a rousing chorus of "Good morning Baltimore", but I'd say Miss Saigon would be more appropriate with "The Heat is on" because dear god is it sweltering here. The heat was absolutely brutal. The only relief was the few breezes you could catch on the water taxi. Even some of the shops had signs promising air conditioning, which was a welcome little break, before heading back into the sauna.

Saturday in Baltimore with books and fountain pens and storms oh my! )
hildy89: (blue box)
Baltimore trip day 1 )
hildy89: (home)
Actually it's more like 100 and we won't even discuss the heat index involved. I'm planning on staying in for lunch. At least my co-worker is out for the bulk of the week, going to a Beyonce concert. She's usually freezing in this office, so she turns on her space heater! In August! Not what you want to feel blasting when you come into the room.

Last month or so, I was debating whether I'd do my usual birthday visit to Baltimore. But my hotel didn't have any rooms available initially, so I thought "Well, I waited too long, it is August." Yesterday rooms had opened up. So I may be visiting my wacky art deco city by the bay after all.

Barry Bonds whacked home his 756th home run to pass Hank Aaron -- a record I never thought I'd see beaten in my lifetime. I wish it was someone more... likable? I rooted so hard against him when he played for Pittsburgh. Funny thing I root even harder against him now. As I feared, he hit it against the Nationals. On the bright side, the Nats won the game and are now tied for last place with the Marlins, rather than holding the basement by themselves. Maybe things are looking up. And football is returning. It won't be summer forever.
hildy89: (thursday)
I am writing from the lobby of the Media West hotel in Lansing, using their wireless to catch up on two days of email and LJ. I had good intentions of updating on a regular basis like last year, but nothing works out the way you expect it to.

It must be Thursday or They don't want me to leave Chicago, do they? )
hildy89: (thursday)
I'm so ready for a vacation.

I realized last night while talking to my parents that I'm switching in and out of time zones on the trip to Lansing. That's going to be weird. Not nearly as weird as the train trip from Virginia to Alabama where we were several hours late to begin with, switched time zones, and then also got the daylight savings "Spring Forward" as an added bonus. I had no clue what time it was by the time I arrived in Tuscaloosa. Oh, the things I miss from those days... and don't miss.

At least I won't have Dad's enjoyment of O'Hare at like 3 a.m. many years ago. There is that.
hildy89: (our first date)
I made it safely to Florida for the Christmas holidays despite a rather trying day. I arrived at Reagan National a little behind schedule only to discover my flight to Melbourne was delayed by an hour. That delay increased to three as the day wore on. The door seal on our plane was having issues, so they were busy getting it fixed. Unfortunately we had a mumbler giving announcements for our gate. I swear I could understand every other departure in that corner except mine. And every time someone mentioned it, she'd blame the surrounding noise. So needless to say, I was just happy to board the plane and get on with it. We actually had to go outside to board the flight, rather than use a gangway.

Then I discovered that to my horror I had seated in front of a babe in arms and her parents. A rather vocal one, in fact. I could deal with that. I could even deal with her jostling and occasionally hitting the back of my seat. To their credit, the parents did try to shush her. Unfortunately, when the flight started, they opted to use a portable dvd player to entertain her... without headphones. Isn't there supposed to be a rule or something about that? Someone objected and they did turn it down a little, which was fine for the people five rows back, but I could still hear it. At least the child was quiet. Then came the descent. She was having inner ear issues. I sympathized whole heartedly. I am told I had many inner ear infections in my youth. However, my adult ears could have done without the wailing and screaming.

I definitely don't need a heavy coat here in Florida. Yes, hate me all you like, even in short sleeves, I'm sweltering. It's December. I don't do late 70s this late in the season! Still waiting to hear word on Discovery's return. For some reason I feel like quoting "Space Camp"... "It seems I remember reading something about the shuttle landing in White Plains or something..."
hildy89: (bree)
I don't think I ever finished off my Baltimore travelogue from August. The day I left off was my busiest day on Sunday. In retrospect, I should have pushed myself to do some of it on Saturday, rather than cramming it all in one day. I don't know whether it was just the muggy awful weather condition or what, but I just didn't have the same energy I had hoped for.

Taking a tour of my Baltimore Nano )
hildy89: (our first date)
Having a decent time in Baltimore. It's shaping up to be a very different trip in some ways. The weather is muggy and overcast and threatens thunderstorms all weekend. The hotel room can't decide it's just freezing cold or humid or both for amusement. So while I did some general shopping, I didn't really do much, except stare at a few of my favorite architectural buildings. Only I would have a love affair with an art deco bank building. I hope to have pictures eventually. I still think "Alter Egos" should open with a scene on its heights, but I haven't been able to write it properly. On the other hand, I came across a lovely book I should look more closely at soonish, talking about the postwar era Baltimore streetcar system. I had been asking myself how people got around Baltimore, especially before the water taxi system. Obviously I didn't remember "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" very well.

For those fans of [livejournal.com profile] overdue_comic, [livejournal.com profile] merhawk has created [livejournal.com profile] unshelvedreader for those who want to talk about the strip. As long as you don't talk about the book club... 'cause... there's a rule, y'know?
hildy89: (our first date)
So despite the week from hell, I'm in Baltimore as planned for my birthday jaunt. I'm staying at my sorta favorite Radisson. They have wireless internet now. Alas they have no Sci Fi Channel, so I shall be seeing the Gates at some other appointed hour. Very sad that.

The train trip went fine. I still think I can joke that I can get to Baltimore faster than I can commute home on the Metro... and the train wasn't even going high speed. The room is far smaller this time around, but I'm not staying on the swankier club level or anything.
hildy89: (home)
I'm spending some time condensing and sorting all my graphics/writing/etc files on my desktop and laptops. I'm anticipating needing to take the laptop with me on some upcoming trips so I never want to say "I can't work on X because the file is on the other computer." At some point I need to consider an external hard drive for the heftier files. I wish I knew whether I could run Musicmatch off one of those. The music takes up most of the room.

And I'm flailing and debating the birthday trip. I had planned a short weekend in New York under the "I never go anywhere" excuse. But it's now Sunday and I still haven't bought the train ticket yet. I did go ahead and take the Monday off work. If all else fails, I'm contemplating a short day trip up and back to Baltimore for research and sightseeing all the things I didn't see before. Except no art deco hotel to inspire me... What to do, what to do?

GIP from [livejournal.com profile] glimglamoury because I needed a local icon and good cherry blossom memories.
hildy89: (carnevale venizia)
"It's 90 degrees, have mercy, John please..."

Sorry I'll stop singing. (Be glad it isn't Nelly!) But it's really really hot out there, which I'm sure is not news to anyone. Ironically my apartment felt fine when I came home. Alas the humidity crawled in over night and made it unbearable.

One last follow-up from this year's Media West. The last t-shirt I ordered finally arrived, so I can celebrate the new Stargate seasons in style. Unfortunately it's too hot for me to wear them. Oh well, at least I won't be able to bemoan the lack of fannish t-shirts for next year's con.

I signed up for a writing submission slot in August. I'm contemplating rewriting the first couple of chapters for "Where or When". It'll be the first time I've submitted any of my Nano related material. I'm hoping it'll help me jump start finishing the damn thing.

Still contemplating the New York trip for my birthday. I realize late August is probably the worst time to visit the Big Apple, but the only other time will be in October for that manga convention and I may not be able to make it up to the city from there. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Cons

Jul. 12th, 2006 08:35 am
hildy89: (crimson hero)
Huh, apparently the group doing AnimeNext is planning an manga oriented edition in October, called MangaNext, set to be held in Seacaucus, NJ. Unsure how one gets there though, since I do not speak the NY/NJ transportation system fluently enough. Presumably I'd have to transfer from Amtrak? And it's certainly cheaper than Katsucon or Otakon and smaller which is a blessing. I'm not sure I can deal with 9000 people anymore.

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