icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Future notes for myself:

How To Get The Icarus To A Party

1 - The Icarus must buy a dress or some new outfit/jewelry for the event. Simply buying a ticket does not suffice. There must be preparation effort involved.

2 - The Icarus must know someone at said party.

3 - The Icarus must either be the driver, or have someone else drive to her house, ring the doorbell, and pry her little hands off the doorjamb.

4 - Preferably, it will need to be warm, or else the Icarus must be permitted to wear something warm.

I still want to go somewhere all dressed up, but not a party. More someplace where I can drink in the atmosphere. I'm checking out the performances at The Kennedy Center.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Happy New Year, from me and Rothy-boy, his soft little white paw kneading the air. May it be a good one for you all.

*raises a bubbly glass*
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I've now talked to a friend, my aunt, and my ex. I was kind of hoping that someone would talk me into going, and one friend did, but mostly folks are in total agreement with cold little toesies:

My ex: "This is like you and that ferris wheel. You hate heights. You white-knuckle it all the way around. I don't know why you'd go."

My aunt: "You don't know anybody there? I don't blame you. It's really cold out tonight."

I miss Seattle and want to go home.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I'm getting cold feet about going to the New Year's party tonight.

Yes, it would waste a $25 ticket. But staying home warm and safe tonight seems like a much better plan than going out alone. I'd have to drive, I'd have to park, it's cold out, I'd have to walk through unfamiliar and faintly dodgy neighborhoods in high heels by myself.

It's not sounding like fun to me right now.

I could get brie and fine chocolate and just keep my usual New Year's tradition of parking in front of the TV. My ex has his plans and I don't have to hear all about them. I can avoid his calls all week and instead do something fun tomorrow, like go ice skating.

That sounds infinitely more fun than going to a party in DC tonight.

I put on the party dress just now and I don't feel happy.

I feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.

I went to google maps and planned out my route. Called the place and found where I could park. The parking's farther away than I'd like, and I didn't like the area where I'd have to walk through.

I planned this poorly, this is stupid, and I think I'm taking this party dress off and hitting Whole Foods instead.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I had an early night on Wednesday. Done at 7pm, hot diggity! Normally I think first of my paycheck and complain. But not Christmas week, oh, heck no.

I arrowed straight to the local Cineplex to see The Hobbit. At long last.

In the back of my mind, a little voice told me: "noooo... go home first...."

I argued with it. "If I go home, I'll stay home. It's a miserable night out. The snow has been rained on and it's cold."

But the little voice persisted: "Go hoooommmmme." I staunchly refused.

The show was at 8:30, so I had just enough time to buy my tickets and grab some Thai (mmmm, peanut sauce...). Finished din-din at exactly 8:30.

I handed the clerk my ticket right when the lights started flashing. Security guards appeared. And the movieplex started to evacuate.

Fire alarm.

Several hundred of us stood in the rain for ten minutes, grumbling and confused. Management tried to shoo us away from the doors. "That was a fire alarm! Get away from the building." (Amusingly, no one could hear him, but they saw his signalling and gathered Closer.) You see, the main thing school fire drills teach us is that it's never a fire.

And it wasn't. A workman in a neighboring health club had been soldering and set it off. Nevertheless, no one knew that at the time, and the movie folks told us it would be another forty-five minutes before they'd reopen.

Forty-five minutes in the rain. Standing in slush.

I attempted a different theatre, but I'd missed it. The next showtime was too late to be feasible.

If I'd listened to that little voice....
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I'm insane. I never go out, not without a boyfriend or date or -- or something.

But nothing was coming together for New Year's, and somehow I got sick of waiting, didn't like the idea of being at home, watching TV again. Not that I don't enjoy watching the ball drop on TV. But this year I wanted to go out.

So I picked an outing in DC, bought tickets, and darn it, I'm going.

But it's so different from what I usually do that ...aaaaaaaah! I'm nuts. Not so worried about the party as I am about getting there, parking, and getting back. (No need for a designated driver: I don't drink.)

I might have a miserable time. But darn it, just once I'm going out for New Year's Eve.

And not to a Chinese diner.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
The State of the Icarii (that sounds like something out of Twilight)

...which is less the state of the Icarii, and more the state of the Icarii household.

We're now up to ten living people in one townhouse, including four cats.

I expected a quiet winter so (boldly!) signed up for two challenges: my yearly SGA Santa and, for the first time ever, Yuletide.

Ha.

My cousin, hours away in West Virginia, had her baby in October. She's only 24, the baby was unplanned (though she had been admiring baby clothes and her friend had just had a baby and everyone had gone, "uh-oh..."). The boyfriend's a mere 20, neither have any college, though they had well-paid union jobs at a chicken plant.

Fresh from the C-section and on maternity leave, my cousin promptly started doing too much. The doctor ordered her to pick up nothing heavier than a moist towlette.

Thus she moved in here to get help from family. Her boyfriend, in addition to crashing after work, seemed to have the TV-based notion that "the woman" would care for the baby. She stayed with us during the week, while her dad drove her and the baby back to West Virginia on weekends. (A six-hour round trip.)

Then their slumlords decided to exterminate some mice, but they used the wrong poison. Instead of the kind where the mice get sick and run away to writhe and die in agony elsewhere, they used the kind where the mice twist and die on the spot. In the vents. So the place filled with the scent of death. My cousin stayed here and raged over the phone alternately at the slumlords ("What's the problem? We killed the mice, didn't we?") and her boyfriend.

Got a little stormy around here.

My cousin's never been the quietest person in the world at the best of times (S. calls her "the T-Rex"), and she and her boyfriend of course were having a tough time adjusting. They'd been together no more than a year, and nine months of that was her pregnancy. *facepalm* She did seem unduly angry with him, however.

Finally she admitted that over the summer her boyfriend had been served paternity papers for his ex-girlfriend's two-year-old. (He would have been 18, oh man.) The test had come back positive and he'd suddenly had child support to pay. The ex had other support as well (family? job? I don't know) so she was doing just dandy while my cousin and he couldn't make ends meet. He promised her that he'd work overtime to pay it, but of course it proved impossible. My cousin hadn't told the family because, well, who can blame her? But getting relationship advice from parents ignorant of the whole picture had proved too much.

At that point, my aunt and uncle weren't too happy with him either, and they invited her to stay here, go to college, while they helped care for the baby. Her boyfriend's allowed to stay here, too, on sufferance, provided he gets a local job. I'll be helping my cousin with her FAFSA come New Year's, and fortunately we're about five minutes from a good community college. I'm trying to convince people to give her boyfriend a shot because, although he's so trailer-park he makes me squirm, he does seem to mean well, the cats like him (which speaks of a gentle character), and he's not much older than my high school students -- of course he's immature.

Their little family's taking the upstairs spare bedroom once they get out of their lease and, well, there're details to work out. But she's very intelligently not counting on a 20-year-old with two kids.

The bright spot in this has been the baby herself. The languid little lady is calm, cool, and collected, easily passed like a toy from one relative to another, loves baths, and started sleeping through the night within six weeks. She only fusses when you don't have her food NowNowNow. And thank god. My aunt and uncle, first-time grandparents, are agog and adoring. She's even good with me, and I'm REALLY not into babies. At all. But it's fun to watch her hand-eye coordination develop and see her start tracking her surroundings. (I confess to being the type to chant foreign languages so she can develop a near-native accent, start looking around to make sure there are plenty of books in her environment, and plan a possible scholarship to a Montessori or Waldorf school, at least for her early grades. I haven't started playing Mozart for her yet, but it's only a matter of time.)

Yuletide? SGA Santa?

Yeah.

I feel guilty for bailing, and sad. This is the first SGA Santa I've missed since 2006, and it was my first-ever Yuletide. But the distraction level has been rather high.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
This coming weekend I get Three Whole Days Off.

In A Row.

I never get more than one day at a time, here and there. A Friday and a Monday, like that. I've had two days in a row off for Christmas (though I worked Saturday and Sunday) and it's been wonnnnnnnnnnnderful.

You guys get this every week, eh? I hear tell of this thing called "weekends" and I dare say it is a good idea.

I must find something To Do with my Three Whole Days Off. In A Row. I'm in a tizzy, I'm so pleased.

Maybe I could go figure skating? Karaoke? No, need a group for that.

*stymied* I don't get time off. What do I do?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Normally, if I don't have a boyfriend, I spend New Year's with a book (or fic), chocolate and some sparkling cider. I click on the TV somewhere around 11pm and watch the ball drop at midnight.

This year I'd like to do something where I can dress up (and perhaps come back before midnight for my chocolate tradition). I've been thinking about this off and on since Thanksgiving. Nothing's come of my ongoing flirtation with the cute-bouncy art teacher -- or rather, I decided I'm probably too old for him and I've pulled back the hounds. I'm keeping the connection until I find out more of what he wants.

(The only drawback of looking young is that twenty-something guys are sometimes seriously looking when you're merely cougaring.)

S. is busy that night, which is just as well, I need to stop relying on him as my back-up date.

Thoughts? Ideas?

I'm thinking culture, arts, music (alas, I missed all the Christmas concerts a week and more ago). There's that production of the Iliad that doesn't warrant dressing up but might be interesting....
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
This year I did ... things. Retreat and stuff. Some original fic. And got involved in a time-consuming relationship.

I didn't think I wrote any fic. But hey, yeah, I did.

This won't take much of your time. )

Yup. That's it.
icarus: (Fairy Glow)
Happy New Year, All!

*kisses the kitties*

Here's to a good one.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Watching those people in Times Square, I instantly want hot chocolate.

It's toasty by my fireplace, people.

I had SGA Santa recs somewhere around here....
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Hellooooooo, techies! I'll trade you a drabble for advice.

It is time.

The laptop I have on indefinite loan from [personal profile] gblvr (hi! *waves*) is now sadly out of date. I can't upgrade from Firefox 2.0.

Slowly over the last few months Gmail, YouTube, Pandora, Twitter, Facebook, have all either stopped working or informed me they're running stripped down versions so "please upgrade your browser!"

AO3 informed me the reason I can't reply to comments is that I'm running Firefox 2.0 so "please upgrade your browser!"

Evernote doesn't work, Flash doesn't work.... This month, Pandora stopped working entirely.

That's it. I'm not going through the holidays without my music.

I'm poking at www.newegg.com to see what I can get to rope my ex into build my own system.

My requirements:

- Ridiculous amounts of hard drive space for downloaded eps and gazillions of copies of novel-length fics (draft 1, draft 23...) and all that music
- The standard USB and HDMI ports
- CD burner
- Decent (but not gamer level) video card
- As upgradeable as possible (which usually means the fastest possible chip) since, as you can tell, I hang on to computers for a while.
- I never take the laptop anywhere, so a desk system is fine.

Two questions.

Firstly: What video card should I get? The ex is used to gamer video cards and has no idea what to get for someone who doesn't need to run, say, WoW.

Secondly: What chip should I get? The ex says that the rate of change is so steep these days, it makes no difference, it's out of date in two years. True. But people who keep up with technology don't understand -- you really can push it. And I do. [personal profile] gblvr's laptop was new in 1999.

And here's your drabble:

Aliens For Thanksgiving )
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
For my birthday, I threw apples into the field for the deers.

I hung up a suet block for the birdies.

I turned on the new gas fireplace for Junior, who sprawled on the carpet by the fire, paws in the air. He's so relaxed now, he looks like he spent the day at the spa. Rothy's cleaning himself on the rocking chair. Toe chomps. Very important.

Beyond that, the three of us did absolutely nothing.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h. Yeah....

Oh! And I had Thai delivered. Mom and I were going to go to see Twilight, but I didn't want to move, so she and my aunt went and I'm going tomorrow. She look around my place and said, "Hey, someone did a good job decorating." (Heh. She did it.)
icarus: (Happy Rodney by Monanotlisa)
Happy New Year everyone!

For those of you who can see the sky, it's a full moon tonight, and a blue moon at that. So step outside under the stars and have a look for me.

Looks like a special auspicious beginning to the new year, eh?

The authors for the [community profile] sga_santa fics are revealed tomorrow. I have two guesses on two authors (both of which I'm pretty darned sure of, though I've yet to eat the chocolate dipped snow shovel on the one where the author showed up to tell me I'm wrong -- what? I needed the shovel!).

I did two stories for SGA Santa, one for the main fest. Couldn't resist and did a pinch hit. One of those two I'm particularly proud of. I rub my hands in glee to be able to post it here.

This is the time of year for the fic round up, isn't it?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Happy birthday to me... happy birthday to me....

WG has a pressie for me -- the flu!

I'm staying home, drinking juice, and hoping I can cut this off at the pass. But somehow I'm perfectly happy. I guess that's because WG's home too. And even though he's sick, he's here. And that makes me purr.

Ooo! Time to get him more hot tea.

Happy birthday to me... happy birthday to me....
icarus: (Happy Rodney by Monanotlisa)
Ah.... a three-day weekend away from classes and work.

So far the language intensive is intense, after five straight hours in class we're tired, but it's manageable. Twenty hours a week of class time. Ten-twenty hours homework.

Ten hours a week I'm tutoring. The tutoring office is an oddball place in the summer. Today we were playing fifties music and doing the twist, so, um, not exactly a grueling office environment.

I intend to start my reading for the honors thesis this Saturday (WG and I are going to curl up in bed and read together). Other weekend plans include Out Of Bounds. All I need to do is write two more scenes of Out Of Bounds and I'll be able to post another large section. You know how it is with a chaptered fic. You write a piece in advance. Then there's a lot of bridging to be done.

I'd also like to write the SGA 2007 Flavor of the Year essay before season five kicks off. Hmn. Maybe if I write it in sections when I have no-shows in the tutoring office....

Oh. Hello there. Forgot you were listening.

*goes back to pondering weekend plans*
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
The Holiday Letter and Why It Must Die

WG and I are back from our trip to his relatives. I feel like I have to strip off chainmail, drop the battle ax on the floor, un-hunch my shoulders, unbuckle the bucklers, to slump into the couch and try to recover. If I step into the shower I'm sure blood will run down the drain, not all of it mine.

His family is the sort where I wish I could hire a black actor to pose as WG's gay lover and leave their heads spinning.

WG's mom is not well, but I'll leave that for another post when I'm less physically and emotionally wrung out. Everyone I owe comments and emails to, I'm sorry. I'll get to it as soon as I can. It's taken two days to remember that I don't have to defend everything WG and I do, second-guess every smile, attempt to read through the pleasant bullshit and the occasional harsh comments like stabs in the back.

Which brings us to the holiday letter. I have the one from WG's sister in hand.

The holiday letter is already a bad idea. First, a letter is meant to be personal. Sending a xeroxed copy to 900 of your closest friends and relatives means that you can't tailor it to your audience. The holiday letter therefore is by necessity tiresome and bland.

Second, the fact that it's a holiday letter forces one to include only happy, upbeat news. This wrings the letter dry of anything your friends and family actually want to hear (how you really are) and replaces it with a layer of falsehood as phony as a wild west storefront. Everyone is left either rolling their eyes or reading between the lines.

Third, the need for approval from part of your audience (mom and dad, Aunt Mabel?) causes one to puff it up with all the accomplishments of your family, i.e., bragging. We're back to that problem of audience again. What's appropriate and pleasing to Aunt Mabel is noisome and irritating to your best friend from high school.

Fourth, and this is what happened to WG's sister this year: how do you write a light and superficial account of a bad year? The year your mother started chemotherapy that didn't take and you're at the end of your rope? The year your daughter finished college but now has to struggle with barista jobs while she finds work? The year your son did nothing noteworthy, is in a career path that isn't brag-worthy, and your husband edged one step closer to retirement because he needs more time to keep you from falling apart?

The smart person skips the holiday letter that year. The foolish attempt to gerrymander the facts and end up with a steaming tower of bullshit. Allow me to read a few choice bits (Icarus shoves glasses up the bridge of her nose):

Their daughter has "launched herself into the working world" and is "sending out resumes while holding down three part-time jobs, including coffee barista (but not at Starbucks!)."

Their son is in his third year of college learning construction management and "loves life."

Her husband made a big change with the goal to "allow more time to pursue life and liberty (and golf)."

She (remember, end of her rope?) is "still staying off the streets" while working at the paper. "Somebody needs to get the news out."

Not word one about anything real.

I ask you all to please, don't do the horrible holiday letter. But if you must, save your dignity and skip the bad years. Those poor little facts can't stretch that far. Your best friend from high school, tormented as she's been by years of your bragging, can tell.



P.S. On the back of ours she wrote how great it was to have us over (like hell...) and how much she enjoyed their gift basket (she hated it, we could tell). No wonder WG's bullshit detector works so well.

Appendix one: The full text of that letter, for those who are interested or are fortunate to never have received one and don't know what I mean: )
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Hi folks, [livejournal.com profile] wildernessguru and I are visiting his family. I hope you're all having a wonderful, sparkly Christmas with piles of pressies, too much food, and every comfort.

WG and I had our Christmas before we left, collapsing on the bed and opening pressies by candlelight after we finished packing. He loved his, ahem, ring (I'll leave it to your imagination what kind of ring, from what you know of us *cough* *cough*), the Betty Page spanking t-shirt got a howl of laughter, and then we came to the main event. The big box that had him dying of curiosity. The tag said, "you will have many hours of enjoyment."

He roared with laughter when he opened... a paper shredder.

"She loves me!" he beamed, hugging the box.

To give you a little background, WG receives lots and lots of mail. He's always been very security conscious and goes through the trouble of ripping things into teenie, tiny pieces before he throws it out. He enjoys this the way a cat likes trampling on wrapping paper.

This shredding habit has always made me nervous, and whenever I've been missing, oh, important tax documents, the finger of blame has pointed. He's wanted a shredder a long time, and I've said "no way." Slowly, over time, I realized that we always found them and he never shredded without due consideration.

He will be so happy, shredding.

As for me, I'm wearing a watch for the first time since 1992. I'm not anti-watch, I'm just unusually good at destroying them. I finally gave up almost 15 years ago, but I'm trying again. It's a beautiful elegant imitation of a Skaagen.

Then... oh then there's the one you'll love:

He bought me a pair of binoculars. Really good ones.

For a minute I couldn't for the life of me figure out why... then I remembered those terrible, sky-high seats for the U.S. Nationals. Oh my god. I tried them out and I can see two blocks away clearly.

He loves me. *hugs binoculars*
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Awww... whoever sent the little stack of LJ gifts, thank you! A very merry Christmas to you, too.

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