October 2013

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fullygoldy: text = Put your bitchface on (Bitchface)

I hate calling the Help Desk at work.  It's for all IT-related topics, including proprietary systems and cell phones.  Today though, was the 2nd day in a row that while my VPN connection was in effect, I could not access 3rd party web sites.  So if all I wanted to do was work, that wouldn't be a problem, right?  Wrong.  Because our company utilizes a variety of 3rd party web sites and programs.  So, here I am trying to approve a vendor's invoice, but I can't get to the site, because my VPN won't let me.  Sure, I could disconnect and reconnect through my own home server, but why should I have to do that?  It worked perfectly fine on Monday, and every day prior.  Why would it suddenly STOP?!

I call the Help Desk.  The first time, I have to hang up because the agent, Carolina, says she can't hear me (on my cell phone). I ask if I'm too quiet or if the connection is breaking up.  Her answer is neither. I'm making a WTF face.  She finally decides that the issue is loud static. I'm not hearing it at all.  I hang up and try again with a land line.

Now I'm speaking with Miguel.  I explain my problem.  He says, "so what you're saying is that when your VPN is connected, you can't access any of the company internet sites."  Um. No.  In fact, I said the opposite.  "Oh, right, OK, please hold a moment."  After awhile, and several more "please holds" he asks "Is it okay if I take over control of your computer?"  Here we go.  "Sure," I say.

M:  go to your URL bar and type in www.rooms.hp.com
FG:  you realize this won't work, right?
M:  what do you mean?
FG:  I am connected through the VPN, I won't be able to go to that site.  If I disconnect from VPN to let you remote access my computer, you won't be able to see my problem, because it's related to the VPN connection.
M:  Just a moment, please hold.

He comes back and starts walking me through the steps he'd have taken.  We get to where he wants to use an automatic configuration script.  He says the box should contain either of 2 options, and starts telling me them.  However, my box is empty, so I ask what I should type in the box, because while his English is good, his accent is occasionally difficult to parse.  He is surprised the box is empty.  Another hold.

M:  type http
M:  type backslash
FG:  should there be a colon after the "p"?
M:  no
FG: Ok, http\
M:  no, wait.  put a colon (to my ear it rhymes with column, sounds like colum, it takes a couple tries to get on the same page)
FG:  http:\
M:  no, wait.  make that a slash
FG:  forward slash?
M:  yes

we get that done, wipe all my temp files and browsing history, reduce my security from medium to "allow ALL cookies", reset defaults on a few other pages, and now it works.  Except, now I have to deal with extra cookies, and I'm betting that at least one of my now default settings is going to bite me on the ass, so I'll be on the phone with the Help Desk soon, trying to get that fixed.

Seriously?  If it was working 2 days ago, and I didn't do anything to change it, how did wiping my customizations resolve the issue?  If anything, it was the automatic configuration script.  Why they teach the front-line Help to automatically wipe everything every time they touch a machine is beyond me.  It's a step above rebooting, but shouldn't they at least ask if I've made any changes or installed something new recently?  BEFORE they start wiping stuff?

Secondly, why is it that every time I call, I end up catching/correcting at least one mistake?  This time they were minor, but one time the dude nearly deleted my entire email archive when I gave him remote access.  Maybe I can get that job when I "retire."  Then I can spend my days wreaking havoc on people's systems, and giggling when I hang up the phone.

fullygoldy: Woman reclining under text block (Queen of Fucking Everything)
This year, I was more specific with my contributions.  In addition to the regulars:  Habitat for Humanity, Planned Parenthood and the Wheelchair Recycling folks, I added Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation, Second Harvest Foodbank, and was delighted to find Be the Match (the bone marrow registry).  I don't know how I missed them before - maybe they're new, or maybe I hadn't looked in awhile because I haven't specified more than 3 organizations before.

I also love that my employer matches my contribution.  It makes it possible for me to direct more money to the campaigns I care about most, and to spread it around a bit further.  I couldn't contribute meaningfully to 6 orgs on my own.

The breakdown:  Food, Shelter, Mobility, Women's Health & Reproductive Rights, and something personal - Bone Marrow Donors.  All of these are near and dear to me, and I've directly benefitted from a couple of them.  50% Healthcare, 30% Home/shelter, 20% Mobility.  I'm breaking out Mobility for the first time because it's not totally healthcare, and it's not totally home, but it's also critical to a happy, healthy lifestyle.

It's a painless way to contribute and it feels good to do so.  And almost every organization I've named in the past has send a thank you card or newsletter at some point in the following year.  It's a nice reminder on a rainy day that I took 10 minutes to do a good thing.
fullygoldy: white text on red (Never to old to Squee)
Bottle Shock (2008) was recommended to us by a beer friend, even though it's about Napa winemaking in the 70s. Since I'm from the South Bay, Napa is a big part of my background noise. I knew how to select and order good wine and pair it with my food long before I was 21.

So it has Alan Rickman as the supercilious Brit wine connoisseur who decides to pit California wines against the obviously superior French wines (he lives, eats and breathes in France) in a blind tasting competition. He's hoping to become more fully accepted as a member of the French wine elite with his ploy.
He's got this great line, when Jim Barrett asks "why do I feel like you're an asshole?" he replies, "I'm really not. I'm just British, and you're not." ADDFLLKJFSDALKJ!!

Bill Pullman and Chris Pine are the Barretts, owners/father-son team at Chateau Montelena - the struggling winery is on the edge of bankruptcy. Chris wears this godawful wig through the entire film. In the back of my head I kept hearing Kathleen Turner saying how awful the wardrobe in Peggy Sue Got Married was.

Freddy Rodriguez is Bo Barrett's best bud and Jim Barrett's employee/wine making rival. I loved his portrayal of Gustavo Brambila.

Eliza Dushku plays a pivotal role as a bartender (really), and Bradley Whitford gets one (also pivotal) scene as a professor at UC Davis.

It's hilarious to look at this and think about the technology leap in the past 50 yrs. If only they had cell phones - they wouldn't have to drive all over the countryside to communicate with each other, it wouldn't be nearly as dramatic either!

All in all - it's a pretty good story. Some fun moments, some heartache and angst, and then a happy ending. Plus some fun science facts and snooty Frenchmen getting schooled.

Two thumbs up :)
fullygoldy: text = If there's a slashers' heaven, I bet they've got a hell of an archive (Slashers' Heaven)
AO3 has this feature called "mark for later" which is really cool. If you're looking at recs and you want to read something, but you can't do it right then, you can mark it, and when you have time, you can go to your History and filter for the "marked" stories. Very nice, very nifty.

However, the History itself is awesome. If you don't clear it, it shows everything you've ever read or just looked at, and it even keeps a count of how many times you've viewed each item. So, if you're particularly lazy, you don't even have to "mark for later" - you can just go to your history and scroll to the story you meant to come back to. Of course, that only works *well* if you go back soon, otherwise, you have to scroll through several pages of works, but I will hit a few stories in the morning, so that later, when I'm standing in line somewhere, I can call up my history on my phone, and totally get some reading in without having to search for likely candidates.

AO3, how are you so awesome?!
fullygoldy: text = Put your bitchface on (Bitchface)
This week is already sucking beyond the telling. And most of the telling is way TMI. Suffice to say, DH has been back to the urology clinic 2 days in a row due to complications, and now he's attempting to fall asleep in bed with a new catheter/bag setup that is supposed to stay in until Monday (6 days). When he came home from the initial surgery, he only tolerated that one for 3.5 days. He's already so uncomfortable (for reasons) that I can't imagine this going well.

Also, he's got 2 new meds, and a proposed treatment plan for a 6-wk course of chemo that he can't undertake until he is fully healed from the previous surgery, and at least 3 follow up appointments next week.

In other news, the boy is attempting to buy a new-to-him car. He needs a co-signer of course, which, I guess I'm okay with, seeing as we co-signed for the girl's school loan.

And one truly good thing:
The girl had her 20 week ultrasound last week, and ta-da! Grandbaby is a boy! He's already tall, thanks to daddy, and everything looks good.

Seraphim

Sunday, September 8th, 2013 08:59 am
fullygoldy: text = If there's a slashers' heaven, I bet they've got a hell of an archive (Slashers' Heaven)
Last Tuesday, I started with a new therapist. I'd asked for recommendations at the beginning of summer, and called around and checked with insurance and finally found one that met my preliminary criteria (not-poly averse or unaware, in my PPO, taking new clients, not located inside the hospital (billing issues), experienced with people who've had therapy before).

I have an interesting relationship with therapy. Every time I've decided to start, as soon as I took action, I started feeling better. Not just in the "I've finally taken action" way, but in the "I'm able to look at my stuff and rationally start dealing with it" way. This time was no different. I know what my main issues are, I just need someone to help keep me on the path of addressing them instead of ignoring them. I'm pretty self-aware, so a newbie therapist isn't going to help me get unblocked this time around. For me, the result of being ready to examine my shit is that I start examining it, labeling, categorizing, drawing the connections. So in the two weeks I had to wait for this appointment, I accomplished a lot of pre-processing.

Then Tuesday morning, I awoke from what I'm calling "the Seraphim dream" (I don't name all my dreams, but I've got a handful that have stuck with me through the years, so). I don't actively practice any religion, I'm not even actively meditating these days, but I was raised Pentecostal, went to parochial school for 7 yrs, was fascinated by Judaism, married into the Catholic church (temporarily - we left shortly thereafter), the kids were baptized Episcopalian, and most of their "organized" experiences had to do with the quarterly observance of pagan rituals. I'm pretty steeped in religious imagery and symbolism.

In the way that dreams are, this was very clear and vivid while I was dreaming, and I had to work at holding onto the salient bits upon awakening. I was speaking with a man, whom in the dream I knew well, and trusted. He was a spiritual guide. He invited me to come to his place of worship, and visit the inner sanctum. He felt I was ready to face and accept what I'd find there. I was skeptical, but open-minded. We traversed a park-like setting, all lush green flora and blue blue sky, to enter the sanctuary. In the auditorium space, there were a lot of people, who mostly ignored me as we passed through. We entered a smaller chamber, there were much fewer people, and they were openly suspicious of my presence. Again we passed through, to an even smaller place where there were less than 50 people - some of whom actually questioned why I was there, why I was being allowed access to the "holy of holies." I was a stranger, and obviously not one of the flock. They all had prior claim to the honor. My guide murmured quietly to them, and they subsided, and we continued to a regular looking door which he opened, inviting me to go through.
I stepped into a small chamber, somewhat like the anteroom to a lab. It had light blue walls, and there was a work surface neatly covered with trays of seedlings. The seedlings were being tended by two beautiful women wearing French blue coveralls. The coveralls had a little patch where the nametag would go, but I can't recall what the emblem was, other than a white oval. The women had dark skin, and shiny black hair which fell straight to their shoulders. They were tall, lithe, graceful, and very serene. My guide closed the door behind me. There wasn't room for 4 adults in the space, though with the 3 of us it didn't feel cramped. I guess they took turns speaking with me, but I don't remember the conversation exactly.
It seemed like they asked me the usual getting-to-know-you questions, but somehow, we already knew each other well enough that the words had many layers. I somehow expressed my guilt or shame for not doing enough, not being enough. "In what way?" I tried to give specific examples - say, political activism, or feminism. These are important to me, and yet, I don't actively pursue opportunities to advance these topics. Each time, they replied, "But do you not do *this*?" "Have you not done *that* with *these* results?" I allowed that I had done those things, I just didn't feel they were good enough to count. "And if you were to speak with someone else, who had done these things, and felt as you do now, would you not reassure them that it was good? That it was *enough*? That there was no need for remorse?" They were so gentle and loving, and their kind support and forgiveness undid me. I wept grateful tears, for having been brought to this place, and held in such esteem and understanding.
Then I woke up. It was a new day. I felt so serene, and a little fiercely glad that I could give myself this dream. I was totally aware that my subconscious was sending me a message of acceptance and peace. That I could forgive myself when I didn't even know I'd been seeking forgiveness. It was my own permission to treat myself kindly, and to cherish all that I've accomplished. I was also a little smugly proud that my subconscious had dressed my Seraphim in actual work clothes, not a Star Trek unitard leaving nothing to the imagination. They were women, women of color, and they were getting their hands dirty. The journey through the sanctuary was pretty common symbolism, but on reflection, it totally reminded me of "The Church of All Worlds," which gave me a giggle too. "Oh brain," she said with fond exasperation.
I shared the dream with my therapist, and with my therapist friend who'd given me the recs. They both agreed that with these kinds of dreams, and the ability to interpret them, therapy time would become obsolete. Of course, you can't just call on your subconscious to get your house in order on command. But it did drive home the point, I think, that I'm not a beginning patient, and that I'm ready and willing to do the work. Plus, I have a new, totally awesome dream to add to my collection.

AFK

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 07:25 am
fullygoldy: Woman reclining under text block (Queen of Fucking Everything)
Going camping for the rest of the holiday weekend. Remote site on a lake - have to boat across the lake to reach it. Hopefully it will be restful and not rainy. Have to keep DH from over-exerting - he's still not allowed to carry anything other than his guitar. Our camping friends have pledged to help out in that regard.

Question

Thursday, August 29th, 2013 07:57 am
fullygoldy: Sheppard Knows What Boyz Like (Boyz)
Are all the BSOs in fandom emotionally constipated? Is this why we love them? I'm failing to come up with any examples of emotionally intelligent and healthy characters being slashed together.

I mean, there's Jed Bartlett, but he has (equally awesome) Abby and therefore, doesn't need a boyfriend. Is there anyone else?

MERLIN!

Monday, August 26th, 2013 10:35 pm
fullygoldy: Woman reclining under text block (Queen of Fucking Everything)
Okay, we just finished Merlin.

You know, the worst thing about the once and future king legend? It never ends well. It doesn't matter who tells the story, Arthur always dies at Mordred's hand. I hate that kid. And Gwaine! NOOOOO!

There was a lot of good stuff - the reveal to Arthur was handled well. Gwen was awesome, and it's amazing where they left her. But every frickin episode had a shot of a full moon at some point. Really? The moon is always full in Albion? The show isn't nearly as campy as the latest Robin Hood from BBC, but we still have to do a lot of suspension of disbelief. I wasn't really happy with the change to the Morgana/Arthur/Mordred relationship - it didn't serve the story, but I guess it was more palatable to the censors' idea of the target audience. And also, what about the years of peace, then the slide into desolation and the final quest? What about Merlin as the fully realized sorcerer acting as second? Bah. That was a lot of fodder that got left out.

Imma live in fanfic land from now on. Much happier stories about Merlin &
Arthur. Like this gem: The Crown of the Summer Court by astolat http://archiveofourown.org/works/40561

Yeah, DW is messing with me again and I don't have the patience to fiddle with the html.
fullygoldy: Yellow Roses (Default)
Little Sam came home yesterday! He's 5 lbs, 3 oz!!

Here he is:
Superman

Big Sis is happy to have him:
Big Sis and Little Bro

It's such a relief and blessing to have happy news today. Here's hoping that trend continues throughout the month.

Teen Wolf

Friday, August 16th, 2013 10:50 pm
fullygoldy: white text on red (Never to old to Squee)
I've managed to get up to Lydia being attacked at the prom. What I've really noticed so far is that Scott is neither as dumb as fanon would have you believe, nor is Stiles as smart.

Very little Derek so far, and none of the rest of the pack proper yet. Also, I didn't realize that Peter would be sort of attractive too. He seems a bit young for the creepy older uncle part, but then again, "older" is relative, especially from a 16 yr old's POV.

DH came home from his evening out, and said "what are you watching?" incredulously so we watched the last 5 min of that ep, and then turned it to something else. No telling when I'll get to see what happens next, since I'm almost never home alone.
fullygoldy: text = Put your bitchface on (Bitchface)
My all-in-one printer finally died. Since I use it for work, I asked my manager for permission to get a new one. The most likely replacement part was $92 and a whole new printer was $120. Unfortunately, the new printer also required all new ink, because they don't make my model anymore. So I ordered the newer model, the 6600 instead of my trusty 6500.

Was it naïve of me to think the newer model would have all the same features as the previous model? Apparently so. I paid extra for 2nd day delivery, and it arrived late Tuesday. Yesterday morning I set it up, stripped off all the packaging (the quick-start card is very specific) and tried it out. My 2-page document printed on 2 pieces of paper. "Oh yeah, I need to change that setting so it will automatically print two-sided."

Um. Nope. Can't change that setting. It doesn't DO THAT!!!

After much searching, I find a list of footnotes in tiny print. Number 13, the last note says automatic two-sided printing is only available on model 6700.

facepalm 4EVER.

I am a Food Snob

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 09:21 am
fullygoldy: text = Put your bitchface on (Bitchface)
Probably not a surprise to most of you.  But in the past week I have been inordinately annoyed by people who obviously don't know how to cook and yet presume to write detailed descriptions of a character's cooking process in their fic.  I feel that it shouldn't be that big a deal - it's just color for the story, right? Not integral to the plot in any way.  And yet - I'm sitting here yelling "it's not made that way!" instead of enjoying the story. ::sigh::

Currently, I'm mostly reading Teen Wolf, and fanon is split on Stiles' cooking skills.  It seems the majority opinion is that he cooks "fairly well for a teenager" to "surprisingly well for anybody."  There is also a faction that is convinced he can't operate anything more complicated than a microwave, which might be my preferred faction from now on.  Because seriously?  Anyone who can make a decent spaghetti sauce/marinara knows:

1) You don't buy 3-4 of the most perfect slicing tomatoes you can find and turn them into a giant pot of bolognese.

2) You don't slice up tomatoes, saute them with onions and garlic, and 30 minutes later produce a "thick, shimmering sauce" for 15 or so people.

PEOPLE!! Tomato sauce from scratch is a labor of love and a complete pain in the ass.  You use Roma or paste tomatoes - many pounds of them - to get one glorious pot of sauce.  It takes hours to cook off the water in those tomatoes - if you used a slicing variety it would take DAYS.  You can make (and I learned this from a hand-me-down Italian family recipe) wonderful marinara with plain canned sauce as the base.  It still takes more than 30 minutes, but the results are much more consistent than starting with fresh tomatoes.  My mother is a great cook, but she can't make a tomato sauce from scratch that is worth the boxed pasta she serves it on. 

Can we please just have Stiles' signature dish be baked mac 'n cheese or something?  How about pot roast?  The wolves would like a nice pot roast, wouldn't they?

Can It Be 2014 Now?

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 03:54 pm
fullygoldy: Yellow Roses (Default)
The good news:
The girl is pregnant and due January 31, 2014. She hasn't had too many icky symptoms, and the first ultrasound (they do them at 10 wks now!) looked good. She and the baby-daddy have committed to parenting together, but they so far haven't decided they *must* marry, so I have hope that their eyes are as open as they claim. DH says we'll shorten "Grandma Goldy" to GG. :)

The bad news:
DH had a systoscopy on Thursday. They scoped his bladder, and the way they get in there isn't fun. There's a growth on the bladder wall which will be removed surgically on the 20th. He's scheduled to be admitted for 24 hrs "given his history." These "cancerous" growths come in two flavors, we're told. It could be sitting on top of the bladder wall, and the removal/biopsy process will completely eradicate it, OR it could be embedded and require further treatment. I spent the first 4 mos of this year helping him recover from cancer #2. I am SO not looking forward to spending the last four doing the same thing.

So, I've got a list of potential therapists for me, since I seriously need someone to rant to (and did so before this lovely discovery), and I'm staying flexible for our Labor Day camping trip (remote camping, paddle the canoe across the lake to get there stuff), because either he won't be up for it, or he will, but he won't be able to do any lifting or paddling. I'm cancelling our plans to go to Paso Robles in Oct. Even if the body is willing, the checkbook won't be. The next two weekends have fun stuff planned, so I'm going to try to focus on that and not start worrying about the surgery until the 19th. This weekend I'm reading an embarrassing amount of Teen Wolf fic. Go me.
fullygoldy: text = Put your bitchface on (Bitchface)
From July 2 to 7, I was in Nashville, TN for DH's family reunion. The reunion was for his mother's side of the family, and many of the cousins there he hadn't seen for 25-40 years. His maternal grandfather had settled in Macon, GA, and the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Texas were heavily represented. So, his family has become southerners by default over the years.

It takes a long time to become a southerner. I lived with DH in S. Carolina for over 12 yrs, and I never managed it. He was originally from Maryland, and had moved there 20 yrs earlier than I did, and was not fully assimilated (I'm pretty sure if he had been, we wouldn't have been together this long). We've been in WI for 14 yrs now, and I think it only took about 2-3 yrs, 5 max for us to be assimilated. It's easy to point out the clique-ishness, how the famed "hospitality" is superficial, the conservative politics, the preponderance of churches, and the ever-lasting racial prejudice. They'll nice you to death, and call you hon or shug, but they'll tear you apart at the least sign of non-conformance. The first thing you're asked upon meeting someone new is "where do you go to church?" If you're not part of the flock, you're fair game for whatever chicanery or moral judgment they feel like imparting. Do I sound bitter or cynical? In over 12 yrs, I became truly close to one person other than DH, and she was originally from Ohio. This wasn't for lack of trying, but I am and always will be a California-tree-hugging-liberal-bisexual- Yankee-feminist. I will never be enough of a southern belle to live comfortably in that culture, no matter how many servings of grits, fried okra or greens I consume.

Recently, DH has been making noise about missing the south and his family, and wondering if we might migrate back there "someday." My gut reaction was "HELL NO" with all of the above flooding my brain at the mere suggestion. And yet, I miss the magnolias and dogwoods and azaleas something fierce. My dad is there with his steps and step-grands in addition to DH's family. "How bad could it be?" whispers the little voice in my head. And then we go to Nashville.

We had a lovely time, mostly. It would have been better with about half the rain (rained steadily for all but our arrival and departure days). The downtown, touristy area was fun, with live music in every venue, and surprisingly tasty local brews. The scenery was pretty, the traffic was annoying, but aside from downtown areas, there is no walking or biking to your destination. The south is more spread out and sprawling and reliant on automobiles than even California. But. There were two encounters with DH's family members that snapped me right back to reality:

1. I spent a fair amount of time chatting with a cousin who is one year older than me, so you'd think we'd have some things in common. And we did. She asked me a lot about my job, and I was happy to discuss it. She grasped the concept of what I do and what my company does pretty quickly and had thoughtful questions. When she asked why we moved to WI, I explained I was transferred by my job of the time, and we loved it so much that when that job ended, we stayed. The next day, she had an equally interesting chat with DH, centered on his bone marrow transplant and how grateful we are that we ended up in such a stellar location for the treatment of his type of cancer. After which, she came up to me and said, "I thought you told me you moved for your job, but after talking to DH, I now know you moved for his medical condition." I reiterated that we did move for my job, and it was several (7) years after the move that he was diagnosed and treated. His health had nothing to do with our decision to move or stay. She would have none of it. We had moved for him and his reasons alone. God had put us on that path. I had forgotten how easily my wants or needs or talents would be dismissed for the male-based narrative of the southern culture. I spent a few more frustrating minutes trying to right her misconception, and then gave up. I left that encounter feeling that even the fact that I'm a rock star at my job, which allows me to fund/finance all the medical drama of the past 7 yrs has no merit. I only have this job so that DH could survive his tribulations, it has nothing to do with my ability.

2. We brought a bottle of Bos Meadery Pomegranate Pyment to share with certain family members we knew would appreciate it (mostly all are DH's nephews and nieces). I was carrying it around and pouring out samples to whomever wanted, when one of DH's uncles expressed interest.
"What is mead?"
"It's honey wine, would you like to try some?" I went into my usual spiel about mead, and how this is called pyment because it also has fruit added. He kept staring at the label, and finally asked, "but why do they call it a 'meadery'?"
"Because that's the name of a place that makes mead."
"But why don't they call it a winery?"
"Because it's not really wine, it's made from honey, so it's called mead." At this point I felt like I was conversing with a toddler. The uncle was older of course, but he was by no means doddering. In fact, he's still a practicing Dr.
"Well I had no idea they could grow grapes up in Wisconsin."
"Um. There are no grapes in mead. It's fermented honey. This has pomegranate for flavoring, but no grapes."
"But isn't Wisconsin to cold for grapes?"
"Actually, we have some thriving wineries in Wisconsin, but this isn't wine. It's mead." He finished his sample and wandered away, which seriously was a good call on his part, as I was about to go postal with frustration.

And that's it in a nutshell. No matter how knowledgeable or skillful I am on any given topic, my gender automatically trumps all cards. No man will follow a woman out of the south for her job, and mansplaining is a way of life. If there are mixed genders in the conversation, then no matter what, the man will be the most knowledgeable and informed and have the most correct opinions. After that, knowledge and veracity are assigned by age. The younger person will never contribute anything of worth to the conversation, much less win an argument. Knowing what I know, feeling what I feel, why would I ever voluntarily live there again?

eta: DW isn't letting me use the rich text editor, and it's also not taking my html for the cut tag. argh.

Vacation Report

Saturday, July 6th, 2013 11:50 am
fullygoldy: text = Put your bitchface on (Bitchface)
We've been here 3.5 days, and it's only rained twice:  the first time for 3 days, and now, half a day so far. UGH

No sunning this time around, although we did have enough dry weather to spend a few minutes in the hammock on Wed.

The Grand Ole Opry and Alison Krauss were great, plus, I was introduced to the musical stylings of Jamey Johnson - wow, loved his "I Fall to Pieces" duet with Alison.  It was the 20th anniversary of Alison being inducted into the Opry, so she was having a great evening.

The Opryland Resort is a zoo - there was a 3-hr line to check in on the 4th (thank all the deities we didn't need to do that), even with 12 people running the desk. 

Downtown Nashville had a carnival atmosphere, even with the intermittent rainshowers, and we had the ribs at Rippy's and Yazoo Pale (local brew) and DH, the girl and her BFF went in together on a "Buy 1 Pair, Get 2 Pairs Free" deal at Boot Country.

Today is more family things at the resort, tomorrow is the nearly 12-hr drive home, where the boy will finally have to own up to his Worker's Comp injury he got the day we left.  The girl reported on him, and he's declined to call or answer the phone since then.  He cut his thumb at the base - through the tendon and nerve there, but it sounds like he's going to be okay.  Still.  2013 can you let up, PLEASE? What the hell did we ever do to you?

Family

Saturday, June 29th, 2013 05:02 pm
fullygoldy: text = On the internet, no one can see your wrinkles (Wrinkles)
 DH is a grandpa again!  Wednesday, Samuel Joseph arrived, 9 weeks early, to T&C.  He's only 2.5 lbs, but his lungs and kidneys are working, he's off all respiratory support, and his parents and 5-yr old sister are very happy.

Unfortunately, they went through nearly this scenario twice before, with neither of those babies making it through the first 12 hrs.  So it's been a rollercoaster the past few years, and they're financially strapped.  Haylie was full term and has been perfectly healthy and delightful, so that's a blessing.  DH wants to send traditional presents.  I think we send checks.  Like monthly.  For awhile.  

They had to move back in with T's mom back in April, when T lost his job and C's car was repo'd in the same week (we're hearing this for the first time today, probably because they knew what we were going through at the first of the year).  I know they sound pitiful, but they were really doing well for a long time (they've been together since high school!).  The economy has just been killing them slowly over the past 5 yrs.  A big part of it is their location, because they're both really well-liked and respected by their employers.  ARGH.  I'm all worried about my 2, who are working for peanuts and both still living at home (one has rebounded twice, the younger one hasn't left yet), but T&C are nearly 20 yrs ahead of mine, and now they've got Sammy.  ::wringing hands::

Miscellany

Saturday, June 29th, 2013 04:15 pm
fullygoldy: Woman reclining under text block (Queen of Fucking Everything)
  • Woke up this morning from a pretty weird dream. My boss from 10 yrs ago was telling me to be prepared to be assigned to one of two projects happening next year in FL. One was in Pensacola, the other at Ft Bragg (which is actually in CA). But I was still doing my present job for my present company, and the region I work in does not support projects in FL. I am in the "North" region which supports all of Central US and Canada <shaking head>. So geography and personnel aside, the weird thing was that DH was really against the move, temporary or permanent, and also against me "commuting" for it. In RL, DH has stated he'll follow me anywhere at this point, as quid pro quo for the past 7 yrs. His dream attitude though was very similar to his attitude 10 yrs ago. Hmmm-maybe that's why it was the 10 yrs ago boss in the dream. In RL, the furthest away project I'm contemplating now is in Tomah (2 hr drive), so not so bad.
  • Last weekend, after some shopping, we stopped at Vintage Brewing for a snack and a couple pints. I had the Schwarzfahren, a Schwartz or black lager. Very tasty, and much much better than the guest Black IPA from nearby One Barrel Brewing. That Black was an unfortunate example of what-not-to-do with a black beer.
  • While at Vintage, we saw an hour or so of the FIFA Championship Cup. Technically safe for work, but JIC )
  • Also at Vintage, I finally had what my brain has for years been telling me "White Chicken Chili" should be.  This was rich, creamy, delicious chicken meat stewed in a creamy chicken broth, with white beans, and apparently a ridiculous amount of pepper jack cheese melted in to make it creamy and thick.  I am going to figure out how to make this at home.  The bowl was $5 and well worth it (which is not really true of about 90% of the menu.  The food's mostly good, but it's always over-priced in my opinion).  Another "White Chicken Chili" recipe in this town, at a very popular retro-diner, is actually red chili with chicken breast instead of ground or shredded meat. So not what my mouth gets ready for when reading that title.
  • Tuesday is the first day of my week off.  We are driving to Nashville, TN for a family reunion on DH's mother's side.  It's being held at Gaylord Opryland Resort, and I am way too cheap to stay there.  Everything, and I mean everything was ala carte.  Rooms, wi-fi, breakfast, parking, plus the usual taxes, and a $13/day "resort fee" (what's that for? the pool towels or something?").  Instead, we rented a cabin on a lake (in Lebanon, TN) that sleeps 7 for the price of 3 fully expensive nights at the resort, thinking the adult kids in SC would drive up and share.  Nope.  The girl and one of her girlfriends will drive down on Wed night arriving in the wee hours on Thurs, but that's it for the roomies.  We have tickets to hear Alison Kraus at the Grand Ole Opry one night, and two nights (Fri & Sat) are devoted to the reunion.  We plan to visit Antique Archeology, the distillery in the same building, and find super excellent BBQ while there.  Other than that, we'll be laying around the lake soaking up the sun (I hope).
  • Let me ask you: if you were going on a 10-hr road trip, what time would you leave?  I was thinking, since it's vacation, and I'm supposed to be relaxing, that I would like to get on the road between 9 and 10 am, with arrival probably by 8 pm.  This would generally keep us away from any type of rush-hour traffic, morning and afternoon.  DH has announced that he wants to leave at 2 AM to arrive no later than 1 pm on Tues (Originally, I was only going to take off half of Tues).  We were getting irritated with each other this morning while discussing it, so I said, "fine, let's get the car packed up on Monday, and then whatever time you actually feel like getting on the road, we'll get on the road."  I figure it will be closer to 4 am when we leave, but we shall see.
  • I am having technology issues.  Since the last iTunes update, I have been unable to get my music to update. I have new music loaded on my hard drive that I want to put on my phone, but every time it syncs, it only takes all the same music it already had.  This used to be easy.  What the hell am I doing wrong?
fullygoldy: text = Put your bitchface on (Bitchface)
Today has been pretty sucky.  Work "team" shenanigans, a-fuckton-of-work-due-at-the-end-of-the-day-dumped-on-my-desk-at-noon sucky.  I finished that, at the expense of a bunch of other stuff that needs doing, and with the aid of a Capitol Amber for the last hour (working from home has a few perks).  I believe I will avoid thinking about work for at least 48 hrs now.

And our Wisconsin legislature has been up to all kinds of crappy shenanigans this week.  If I think about THAT with any amount of the attention it deserves, I will spend the weekend in tears.  Suffice to say, this slut votes, and I'll keep voting until they pry my voter registration card out of my cold dead hands.  And then I will haunt their asses for all eternity.

On the upside, DH finished a couple of painting projects.  So now our 4 side dining chairs are a deep deep blue that matches the console we're using for the bar, and the 2 end chairs are a buttermilk yellow.  The yellow and blue farmhouse theme is complete in the dining room.  The three hand-me-down bar stools in the kitchen (formerly forest green legs with honey stained seats) are now the same blue as the cabinets with black seats.  I love my kitchen, and this is just icing that makes me happy happy.  I'm calling this the anti-dote to today's suck, and planning to have it carry me through to Monday.



Summer has flirted with us all week, so this evening, we're going to hang out with some friends, and hear some music I've never heard before, and view some cult classic movie, and probably imbibe in too many adult imbibe-ables. So there, Friday. You're not the boss of me.
fullygoldy: text = If there's a slashers' heaven, I bet they've got a hell of an archive (Slashers' Heaven)

I got dragged into TW last year, and while I don't read it quite as zealously as my other fandoms, I've come to enjoy it quite a lot.  I don't have a lot of canon for it yet either (4 eps! Still!), but I plan to catch up someday.  I read in a lot of fandoms without benefit of canon, so NBD.

The thing is, most people write Derek as a nearly completely dysfunctional, averbal clam, and Stiles as way-too-mature/brilliant/self-aware for his age.  And it's mostly okay.  I mean, this is like a live-action Scooby Doo, so being populated with two-dimensional cartoon characters isn't really a turn-off.  But that's what fanfic is for, right?  Sure we fix plot holes and background holes, and narrative inconsistencies, among other things, but character exploration is also a big part of that. 

I've spent many happy hours wallowing in the dumb-but-pretty world of TW fic, with no regrets.  So recently, I've been reading more TW that treats Stiles and his peers as actual teenagers, and Derek as fairly functional, moderately self-aware, and capable of verbal expression/interaction.  I asked [personal profile] dira  about it while pre-reading The Boy and The Beast, because of course she was the first one I'd noticed breaking from the fanon characterization.  She had a pretty solid argument, and even pointed out that I would see more of this *onscreen.*  That makes me even more sure that I'll catch up eventually.  TV can be horribly mindless, so knowing the show isn't going to be a total cartoon is appealing.

Any road, I'm liking the trend toward more 3-dimensional portrayals, so I wanted to rec a few:

The Boy and the Beast by dira sudis - this is long (>100k words) and has a great Stiles portrayal, plus it's all his POV, so the immature teenager trying to do his best really stands out.  I've rec'd this before, but this list is thematic, so.  Also, I just have to say, dira's writing is so beautifully nuanced that it's like the written version of surroundsound.  On my first read, I mentioned an inconsistency that threw me out of the story (and truthfully might never have bothered anyone else).  She said she'd think about it.  When she was finally done done, I reread from the beginning.  It wasn't until days later that I realized she had fixed my issue, and done it in such a seamless, unobtrusive way that she kept me grounded in the story so that I reread every word as if I had never seen the previous drafts.  AWE.

Line in the Sand by kellifer_fic  - Stiles has to grow up faster than anyone around him wants, Derek will do anything to keep him safe, including discussing the best plan and relying on pack, friends, and acquaintances.  Under 10k words

Wash Me Clean by tigerlady/shetiger - this kind of blew me away.  Stiles is maybe a bit too mature, but I framed it as him rising to Derek's level because he wants the relationship to work.  Lots of relationship negotiation, sharing of feelings, and an entirely-new-to-me portrayal of water sports and why it works.  I am always interested in learning why kinks work for people.  I had previously found a pretty good explanation through White Collar and Glambert fics.  This was revelatory.  Med length, <40k words.

State of Readiness by girlguidejones - this is where I have to thank [personal profile] jerakeen  for compiling and sharing TW recs.  I don't know when I would have found this, if it weren't for her.  She is genuinely my source for all the good in TW. Med length, 40k ish.  Stiles is a teenage boy with all the temptations and struggles that entails, but he's also on the cusp of adulthood, with all the challenges and struggles *that* entails.  Derek is an adult who feels his responsibilities to his pack acutely, and knows he's in love with a kid.  If that means he has to change his ways and express his thoughts and feelings, and mentor his pack, well then, that's what he's going to do.  He's walking a line, and he gets tripped up sometimes, but he never loses sight of the goal.  I kinda love this Derek A LOT.

Pretty Much a Big Deal by dira sudis (just posted last night, short but sweet, <4k words).  Ah, dira.  You make me so happy.  I love this Derek too.  It was supposed to be a "badsex" fic, but there's really nothing bad here.  More relationship negotiation, with a very self-aware Derek.

ION, I had a long drive last week, and reheard Meatloaf's "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)" and spent nearly the entire song cackling over what a GREAT Teen Wolf vid this would be.  Alas, I am not a vidder.  If anyone out there loves me enough to make me a vid, this is the one I want! okay? okay!

fullygoldy: Yellow Roses (Default)

This week has been exceedingly hard for me emotionally. I'm going to cut-tag for length, but I'm not going to apologize for content.  

This is what being a woman looks like right now. )*discussion of rape, sex, double standards and the standard things that might make you scream if you're female, an ally or you know, human.
fullygoldy: text = On the internet, no one can see your wrinkles (Wrinkles)
I won't be at WisCon this year.  DH is turning 60 the same weekend and decided to throw himself a big party.  Since the first 15 weeks of this year were so tough on him, and he seriously didn't think he was going to make it to this birthday, I couldn't really object to celebrating one more circuit of the sun.  Usually I do Wiscon Friday to Sunday and spend Monday with DH.  But we're flipping it around this year. 

Some good friends offered the use of their farmhouse and land, so we've got a crowd gathering on Saturday afternoon, kegs of homebrew (Porter and Amber), a bluegrass/ newgrass band playing after dinner (Piper Road Spring Band), and an old fashioned "Low Country Boil" for dinner.  There will be musical jamming all day, and a bonfire after dark, and people spending the night in tents and such. Sunday will be farm-fresh brunch, cleanup and recovery.  It will be fun (even though I'm more of an 80's music gal), but alas, there won't be any fangirls (that I know of) attending.

I'm thinking I might be able to break away for lunch or an afternoon meetup with anyone who is still hanging around on Monday, so if you're up for it, please let me know.  I'd be delighted if all I got to do was hang out in the lobby and hug on people who I might not see otherwise.
fullygoldy: McClane & Matt in profile (Live Free or Die Hard)
Just finished my first viewing of Lincoln.  It's definitely going to take more than one viewing to take it all in.  But my favorite bit has to be the evening of the successful vote, when Rep. Stephens (Tommy Lee Jones) returns home and presents the official Bill as a gift to his housekeeper.  Then he retires to his bed, where they share a very ordinary kiss, discuss the events of the day, and revel in their success.  It's a beautiful, intimate and utterly domestic moment.

I never saw it coming.  Obviously, I didn't pay close enough attention to the political figures of the day.  I've got a decent mental map of the military figures, but really didn't bother with the motivations of the guys who got to cast their votes before now (this is partly because this was not "my" war - I was always much more interested in the Revolution).  I continue to be surprised that so much legislation that has been passed in this world has been swayed by wanting to do right by someone's beloved. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has finally appeared convincingly as an adult.  He looked much to much the kid playing dress-up in Inception, but here, where he was a young man whose parents wanted to keep him from enlisting, he is much more mature *and* believable.  Maybe it was the facial hair? JK, his angst, his pain over doing the right and honorable thing, so that he could live with himself after - well done.

Is the age disparity between Sally Field and Daniel Day Lewis weird to anyone else? And yet, onscreen, it was not apparent.  Their portrayal of the Lincolns' grief, the gaping whole in their personal lives was palpable, these people who had to carry on, doing the right thing, the hard thing, because it needed doing and they were there to do it. 

I'm impressed.  The acting, the cinematography, the focus on such a short timespan.  It's worth seeing.  About halfway through, I also remarked that everyone in it, regardless of age, looked appropriately worn.  They lived in hard times by our standards, even if they hadn't been at war for years.  They lived in a time when life was short and hard and fairly desperate.  I liked that none of them were all shiny, glamorous, smooth-skinned and young.  We owe so much to our forefathers and foremothers.  We forget too easily that our current lifestyle and society would be impossible without their legacy.
fullygoldy: text = If there's a slashers' heaven, I bet they've got a hell of an archive (Slashers' Heaven)

DAY 7: Count your fannish blessings. Post about (at least) three fannish blessings, for example, three reasons you love your fandom or fandom in general, three happy fannish memories, three people who've inspired your fannishness.
 

  1. Archive of Our Own. Hours of delight and awe right at my fingertips. I like the new search and page arrangement quite a bit. I love being able to dip a toe into or dive in the deep end of any fandom that strikes my fancy.

 

  1. Kradamadness. Even though it's basically inactive now, Kradamadness is how I came to embrace a certain subset of WIPs. I used to be highly WIP-averse, but the fun and silliness inherent to Kradamadness meant I could participate (mainly as a reader), enjoy WIPs, and let go of them if they were eventually abandoned. After all, there was always something new around the corner. I didn't have to feel betrayed if a story ended up going nowhere. I have choices!!

 

  1. Porn. I've always (since a ridiculously early age) liked reading porn. And fandom has given me a nearly infinite supply of well-written, non-skeevy porn. (Yes, I realize that fandom in general is also still quite encumbered by poorly-written and/or skeevy porn.

 

  • Porn sub clause a. Reliable recs so I can totally avoid the poorly-written and/or skeevy


  • Porn sub clause b. A back button that I'm not afraid to operate (okay, that's not from fandom specifically or exclusively, but it's a very fine fannish blessing anyway)


  1. New forms of Expression. This can range from staying up-to-date on the latest RL slang (SRSLY? ORLY? w00t! were all introduced to me by fandom), staying up-to-date with fandom-specific slang (Paul Gross arms, BSO, PWP etc), or picking up expressions from my favorite characters.

 

  • Exhibit A: Just the other day, during my monthly update, I told my pantheon of managers, "okay, that's one impossible thing sorted. Only 5 more to go before breakfast." They were slightly bewildered, but they understood me from context. I smiled enigmatically.

 

  • Exhibit B: Today, I realized that I now can really empathize with the GenKill boys, because my latest project has me fucked sideways, without benefit of gun lube, and the sand in my ass is KILLING me. Thank you Brad Colbert and Ray Person for helping me to get this off my chest.

 

  1. Kinkmemes. These are a really good way to expand your horizons. I'm just sayin'.**

 

  1. Making New Friends. How wonderful is it that anyone can go from leaving anonymous newby feedback, to direct interaction with authors/creators, to being granted access to their RL entries, or meeting and interacting with them face-to-face, to being allowed to co-beta the most awesome/popular thing that's dropped on fandom in recent history?!?!

 

  • I could list nearly every single person on my DW reading list/LJ friend list as a "fannish" blessing (a very few of you aren't fannish, alas). You all enrich my days with your wit, wisdom and generosity.

 

  1. I say unto you, verily, Fandom is a blessing.
     

*does anyone actually need this cited?
**see what I did there? And there?


fullygoldy: Yellow Roses (Default)

[personal profile] china_shop's annual event is underway.  Today it's rec 3 fanworks more than 6 months old.

In the YKINMK category:  Good Boy by leashy_bebes  is just old enough to qualify for today's challenge.

Animal play, puppy play, these are not my kinks, but this story is surprisingly sweet and hot.  Avengers, Tony/Bruce
Tony is exhausted, sweet, and needy, Bruce is smart and generous.   At 3459 words, it's not a huge investment to try something different, which is how I discovered it.  I'm glad I did.  I should have bookmarked it when I first read it, because it took way too long to relocate this morning, but it was worth it.

In the Older Man/Younger Man category:  A Burning Patience by Mazarin221b Lewis, Lewis/Hathaway, 4717 words

An old dog learns some new tricks.  Mild kink exploration, touching and hot, and totally needs a sequel.

In the PWP category, since I cannot seem to find the one that starts off in a California Pizza Kitchen:  How's That for a Sign? by accol  Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick, 2624 words

accol is a good writer, and these bite-size stories are great for standing in line, etc.  Brad in a wet T-shirt is irresistable.

I seriously need to relocate the California Pizza Kitchen story though - I've been searching AOOO all day, with no luck.  The thing is, they're so damn smart.  The words they string together are unbelievable, and unbelieveably hot.  Plus, the pretty doesn't hurt a whit.