Apparently I either blog about events, or I throw random things at you and run away. May as well embrace the pattern, right? :-)

Breaking Bad
I finished the series this past weekend. I... don't get the hype. I mean, it was a good show, and the first two seasons were great, but... well. Apparently I can't get over the idea that someone with lung cancer would have to resort to meth cooking to pay medical bills. Welcome to America.

Luther
Season 3 is on Netflix. I know how I'm spending my evenings this week.

Knitting
My biggest recently completed project is a wedding gift, so we'll have to hold off on showing that to you until after the party. But here, have some obnoxiously bright socks I made for Afghans for Afghans.

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And here's yet more proof that, if a dye can break, I will break it. No matter what.

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Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid in Scary Blackberry. Which comes out of the packet black-purple and turns into brown and teal on yarn. I no longer have any respect for people who let their kids drink kool-aid, by the way. Nobody should be ingesting that stuff. It's great for yarn though :-)

Car
After a month and a half of waiting for parts, I'm finally getting my ignition switch fixed this weekend. Thanks, GM. You've pretty much guaranteed I will avoid you for the rest of my car-buying days. Speaking of, I should start saving for a new car. This one's hit 118,000 miles recently, and I have a feeling (knocks on wood) that it won't make it to 200,000.
Spider-Man 2
At first, I really liked it. And then it was surprisingly sweet and romantic and funny. And then I wanted to burn all copies of it with a blowtorch. So, that evens out to "it was ok" I guess?

Charity
I sent off a box to Afghans for Afghans.

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And donated a skein of handdyed yarn to the Yarn Harlot's karmic balancing gifts.

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And did I mention I'm running a 5k for charity in the middle of August? Because I am.

Reading
Picking a 1000-page book as part of a reading challenge that counts the number of books you read may have been a terrible idea. Then again, it's going quickly. May have something to do with the 3 hours I spent at the shop getting my car fixed this weekend.

Weather
I seem to have missed spring. Or maybe we just didn't have one. At this point, it's 88 degrees, and I hate it. This does not bode well for actual summer.

Science is awesome
You can now see what the ISS crew is seeing (unless there's a camera outage).

Left for this work meeting way too early - in my defense, the drive was expected to be 2.75 hours across a number of freight train lines, so heaven knows how long it could have taken. Now killing time in a coffee shop it took me way too long to find (people, you need a bigger sign) listening to the guys at the next table create a church playlist (I'm assuming) and mucking about on the internet. Which kind of loses its appeal when all your usual killing time bookmarks are on your other computer :-P

However, the drive was really nice thanks to the Bloggess audiobook I remembered I had on my iPod :-) I swear, it'll be almost done by the time I get home. But at least I'm entertained and don't have to listen to the weird country stations that are prevalent in most of northwestern Ohio.

In other news, I am totally sleeping in on Sunday. Because I realized I haven't done that in like three weeks, and damnit, it's time for some quality time with my pillow. (That sounds weird. And is pretty terrible writing. Sorry.)

So yeah. I've really got nothing else for you.
I haz it :-) It's been a very productive weekend so far. For some reason, getting stuff done has seemed like a very good idea.

- Took the car into the shop to get the turn signal fixed. That apparently involves removing half the bumper to get to the light bulb (Chevy: being incredibly complicated is our thing, apparently), resulting in a relatively long wait, but at least the place has a nice waiting area. And I did get quite a bit of reading done.
- Did some necessary shopping while at Polaris. Got a pizza sheet and cooling rack as well as more hangers at Bed, Bath & Beyond, spending most of my gift cards. Sadly, no duvet cover - the cheapest I could find was $60, and it was ugly. Guess I'll have to wait until the next IKEA trip to complete the set of sheets I was given before Christmas. Also went to Lowe's for a blocking board (otherwise known as foam insulation).
- Said blocking board is currently holding a scarf thingy I made a while ago for blocking. Once that's dry tomorrow, I can block the other scarf that also still needs it.
- Also got some necessary clothes items, even if the quest for a couple more work sweaters was thwarted by ugly colors. Apparently it's another season of mustard yellow and pea green.
- Did a bunch of dishes. Also did a load of laundry and am currently thinking about doing another one. May wait until tomorrow though.
- Cleaned out both email inboxes to the point where everything in it actually needs to be there. Bookmarked a number of work-related things - the university does EVERYTHING online, apparently, so I want to make sure I know how to get to everything. Still need to sort through some of the paper stuff sitting around, and file everything that can be filed.
- In related news, I have completed more than one-fifth of the points I can get this year for my health insurance incentive. I love how I can totally complete most of those without much effort - there's so many options that technically, exercise wouldn't even have to figure into completion. This week, there's a webinar for slowcooker recipes - is that perfect for me, or what? :-)
- Still have to do my French lesson for today. However, it's not even 3pm, so I have time :-) I'm thinking after the chili finishes cooking I can have a bowl and then do the lesson.

Since we skipped Of The Week Sunday, and I don't really have anything coherent to talk about... we continue a great Yarn Harlot Tradition :-)

I spent the weekend taking care of 30 horses and a very old but lovable dog, which most means getting up early to provide food and entertainment, staying around to make sure you're there when the horses want the entertainment to end, provide more food, and stay around in case someone decides to hurt themselves in the middle of the night. Nothing happened, even if some idiots must have thrown firecrackers onto the pasture... all I got is lights and noise, so I have no idea what it was, but the horses didn't like it. Except for the ones who were sleeping :-P

Ruben (one of the horses) sleeps with his eyes open and has very vivid dreams. It's a good thing I know this, because otherwise I'd have gone with either stroke or heart attack.

Also, apparently horses can get food stuck in their throats if they eat too quickly. Then they try to throw up, but can't. It's about the scariest thing I've ever see a horse do. Luckily things resolved themselves between calling the vet and the vet arriving, but dude, that was freaky.

Last night, Ming actually snuggled for about 10 minutes. These are rare moments. Then she goes off and hits Murdoch, given the noise I heard coming from the living room :-P He probably sat in her spot on the sofa or something.

I haven't turned on the TV for like 4 days. Obviously I don't have to worry about the expense of cable (or a TV for that matter) for a while.

The Department of Labor is ok with me working for Very Large University :-) Which completes step 1 of 3 of the visa process. Now we wait for Homeland Security (well, Citizenship & Immigration Services, but they're part of HS) to make sure I'm not a terrorist, and then I go to Berlin to tell an embassy employee that I'm planning neither a wedding nor a terrorist action once I get to the US. And then I frantically spend loads of money on a move :-) My biggest worry is getting a decent apartment in time; everything else is just going to be fine, dangit!

And with that random use of a semicolon, I'm off to do my French homework :-)
I wrote. Then the computer ate my post. So I wrote again. And the computer ate the post again. Now I have commandeered my cousin's Mac and wireless internet... we'll see if that helps :-)

So, long list of random then?

- Moved. Like, over a month ago. Even have my own room set up at this point, which is awesome except for the fact that I'm right above the big stalls where the retired horses live, and barn owner feeds at 5:30 in the morning. While I'll get used to it eventually, it's dang early at the moment.
- Other than that, living at the barn is awesome. Even if it is about as dry as the Sonoran Desert right now. It's raining here right now, so I hope some of it came from farther south.
- Speaking of "here," I'm currently in Berlin interviewing/learning how to be a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders. If I make it through Saturday, I'll be one of those people who tries to get shoppers to donate money. Except way less annoying, because MSF is awesome and actually understands that harassing people who don't want to be harassed doesn't do anyone any good. I think it'll be a pretty cool experience - even if (heaven forbid) I get sent home early for whatever reason :-P
- NOAA people are reading stuff I wrote for freelance boss. And then call freelance boss to ask about the research I covered. Score!
- No green card yet again this year. However, freelance boss still has to hear back about a funding proposal that basically included funding for a job for me. So, there's still hope.
- Talked to German guy today (as you are wont to do in Germany) who has been job hunting for about as long as I have been, and he hasn't had any success either. I really hope he doesn't turn out to be an idiot (I don't think he will, but you know), because hearing him say that really made me feel better about myself a bit :-P
- I like Berlin. I could live here, too. Hear that, universe? That job I applied for a while ago would still be just fine by me.

That about covers it... I'm sure there's more, but right now "look, I'm alive!" will have to do :-)
Tradeshows exhaust me, every single time. Even if it's just a day or two, all that standing around smiling at people gets to you in the end. So imagine how I feel after a week of all that. Plus, I caught some kind of a tradeshow virus, which is now going to force me to mostly stay home and rest for the rest of the week.

Random thoughts from this past week:
  • Train travel (including subways) for some reason makes me feel all grown up and European. Even when the trains are crowded and I end up sitting next to some guy apparently running a company off his phones - who needs an iPhone and a Blackberry? Though not so much when the train just doesn't show up and the announcement about it doesn't come on until after I called the German Rail hotline and told them their train didn't show up. And they wonder why nobody wants to pay their ridiculous prices for traveling.
  • Germans seem to love complaining. Either because they don't feel like actually finding out what the problem is, like the couple at the station who whined about missing their flight because the train didn't show up instead of calling the hotline on the poster behind them. Or the guy who said all of the horses on the paintings I was selling looked sad - "don't you see it too?" Well, sorry dude, but even if I did, I wouldn't tell you. And no, I won't give you a discount for dissing the goods. Please go away.
  • You see the funniest people at tradeshows. The guy with the United Federation of Planets jacket. The (possibly Italian) guy wearing a black suit and bright purple patent leather dress shoes. Or the people wearing cowboy hats, cowboy boots, giant belt buckles and "USA" jackets with not only the Stars & Stripes, but also a Confederate flag... who did not speak a word of English. Of course, there were crazy outfits that also made sense: a complete Native American look on a guy from the saloon builder's booth, the ladies in Baroque and Renaissance dress doing riding demos, or the guy in the kilt who ended up being an exhibitor for an English riding vacation place (yeah, I know, technically wrong side of the English-Scottish border - I didn't care).
  • On a related "some people are crazy" note... who puts a Confederate flag in a backyard garden in Gelsenkirchen?
  • Train stations occasionally have their own kind of random. The lady at the paper shop where I wanted to buy a notebook was too stupid to put a sale sign on the right stack of notebooks, apparently. And the "snack box" at the Asian place turned out to be a large-sized takeout container filled to the brim with fried noodles, then topped to the edges of the foldy lid with fried chicken. Needless to say, the snack lasted for two full meals :-)
  • I hate getting up early, but I do not hate being up early once I've had some coffee and gone outside for whatever reason. Sunrise over foggy fields, early morning dogwalkers and random geese raising a racket because I said good morning while walking past their pasture were just a few reminders of that fact this time around.
  • I prefer tradeshow prep to actual tradeshows. It must be all that potential - you tell yourself it'll be a good show, the booth is all clean and organized, and your feet don't feel like you're standing directly on your bones yet. Then the first day rolls around, and reality hits :-P Also, German tradeshows have no freebies. I came back with one free pen and a couple of bags of hoof care oil for the horses. Ok, and some moor earth horse treats. But dudes. One pen. And no sticky notes.
  • We did, however, drink sparkling wine with a very drunk winemaker dude (what's the word for people who make wine? I don't think I ever knew that), as well as very good white wine we bought some bottles of. Boy was he drunk... apparently he'd been sharing the sparkling wine with all of the exhibitors, starting around 9am each morning. In his favor, he was rather entertaining :-)
I am glad it's over though. Not only do I have a cold now, but I was too exhausted each night to get anything else done, and I have some serious catching up to do. Plus, we're painting the new place, and plan on moving within the next month. Busy busy busy... but it beats sitting on the couch pouting about being jobless.

One more week until Christmas! And two more weeks until New Year's. We have incredible amounts of snow, it's been way below zero (Celsius) for the past few days, and just in time for family celebrations, I caught a cold or somesuch. Woohoo... not. But at least a nice Sunday in means I can drink lots of tea with honey to keep from coughing my lungs out :-P



if it looks like this coming out of the mailbox, it probably shouldn't have gone in there in the first place. Just a thought.

Love,
Me


May your nights be starry, may your days be bright, and may 2010 be everything you want it to be.

Random Fact

Nov. 8th, 2009 07:28 pm
The Girls Gone Wild tourbus is bright pink, covered in pictures of scantily clad blonde girls, and currently heading west on the Indiana turnpike. I could have lived without ever knowing any of that, so I'm sharing to lessen the mental imagery in my head :-P
I really should get started on blogging last week's vacation - otherwise it'll all be old news by the time it gets read :)

I left Friday night to go up to Columbus and stayed at the hotel there. My flight left at about 7:30am on Saturday, so it really was the only choice, and even with the cost of the hotel, the flight I got was quite a bit cheaper than the alternatives. I always wonder if I'm just bad at searching for trips like this, but really, it's just a strange world of airfares right now. But that's a rant for another day :)

I got to Miami in one piece, with luggage (miracle all by itself) and without wanting to throw up on the plane (thank you happy-pills-that-look-like-hallucinogens). While I'm not a big fan of the Miami International Airport, their taxi hail system is awesome: you tell a steward at the curb that you need a taxi to, say, Miami Beach, and he hails one for you and makes sure all your stuff gets loaded into the cab. Miami also has set fares to certain parts of the city, to avoid having tourists ripped off, I guess. Traffic was horrid as expected - it was spring break season after all - but I got to the hotel just fine. They didn't have my room ready, but at least I could store my lugagge and have lunch by the beach.

Most of the rest of the day was spent in the room, alternately napping and watching TV, until my mum came in from Germany. We had a celebratory "happy vacation" drink at the pool, and really only planned to let her have a smoke and then go back to the room, but that was sort of where the trouble started. You remember how this was spring break season? Well, we barely made it down to the beach (it was dark by this point, but decently lit with people around) when we look over to see a guy walking down the beach, stark naked except for a baseball cap, carrying his clothes. Ok, he's probably drunk, he'll stumble on and we don't have to worry. Nope, he walks right up to us and asks us what time it is. We both make a concerted effort to keep looking at his face (not really that difficult), and he keeps wandering up and down the beach for a bit. Mum and I giggle, but don't think that much of it.

Except the guy comes back. And asks us if we want to help him win $100. "No, thanks." "But all you have to do is give my friend back there at the hotel *points to balcony* a thumbs up if you think I'm big." You know what's coming, right? Yeah, dude proceeds to give himself a... yeah. Naked guy, on beach, with a... you know. At this point, every time he says something, I just reply "you really want to leave now." "But..." "You really want to leave now." I mean, I wasn't scared, but seriously annoyed and sort of creeped out. At least he took the hint and wandered off to find a more willing accomplice or something, but wow. We had fits of the giggles for the next ten minutes. Welcome to Miami, I guess? I know why I'm not a big fan of that city :)

Tomorrow: getting on a cruise ship. More difficult than you would think.
My Winter Solstice / 4th of Advent evening



And the reason [livejournal.com profile] greenwillow77  is totally awesome :)



Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, and Happy "whatever Winter Holiday I missed" :)

Uhm...

Dec. 4th, 2008 02:07 pm


You think they put a pentagram in the middle of Regents Park on purpose?

That's right folks, first snow of the season. It's starting to stick to grass and non-concrete surfaces, so I think that means it's officially winter here in Nowheresville, Ohio. Stay tuned for traffic updates when people realize what the white stuff falling from the sky is.

Me, I want to curl up on the couch with the massive pile of DVDs I borrowed from [livejournal.com profile] lexsara , drink tea and hot chocolate, and enjoy it before it gets really icky. Happy November!

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