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Feb. 14th, 2013

Valentine's Day

Hat tip to [personal profile] matociquala for reminding me of Vienna Teng's City Hall, a song about Valentine's Day. (Specifically, Valentine's Day 2004 in San Francisco.)


To all my friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances, you are all awesome and I'm taking today to celebrate having you all.

Nov. 23rd, 2010

My true meaning of Christmas

I discovered a Christmas song I liked*. A bit early. Anyway...

White Wine in the Sun, by Tim Minchin

It's a song about how the singer isn't religious and doesn't like the consumerism of Christmas, but he really likes Christmas because of his family, and how he's passing the close-knit family he has down to his little daughter.

it just made me think about my mother and our family. I'm going to be visiting my aunt for Thanksgiving. She has a big to-do every year -- before my grandmother died, it was four generations of family under one roof. Normal attendance is my aunt and her husband, kids, and their spouses and kids, my uncle Donny and his family, my uncle Bobby and one of his daughters and her kids, my Uncle Jay, and me, plus friends who need a place to spend the holiday. (My cousin Martha has brought friends, and her husband has brought his fellow grad students so they have somewhere to be during the holiday.)

Also, both my grandmother's family and my grandfather's have a family Christmas party of people descended from their parents (so descendants of my maternal grandfather's parents and descendants of my maternal grandmother's parents). My grandfather's family also has a summer reunion usually hosted by my Uncle Jay and some of my cousins-once-removed up the coast in August.

But, every Christmas so far, I've gone home. To see my mother and brother and sister and brother-in-law, and usually my dad and stepmom. And some close friends who are family in all but blood. Someday, maybe, I won't be able to get home over the break. I hope never, because that's what Christmas is to me. I'm not religious and the gifts, unless home-made, are things I'd buy for myself. But it's about being with the people that I care about, and doing things like having meals and watching movies and talking.

* Because someone put a cover of it on a Christmas album and people threw a fit about the fact it was sung by someone for whom Christmas wasn't about Jesus.

Nov. 7th, 2010

Holiday Plans

So, for folks in the Boston and Nebraska areas, I made my holiday plans. I'll be visiting my aunt and uncle (and cousins) in Boston over Thanksgiving, and should have Saturday free for bumming around the city. Or Friday, but I want to stay on hand to help my aunt clean up -- she normally hosts most of her brothers' and sister's family in the East Coast area for Thanksgiving, taking over from my grandmother. Plus anyone who needs a place for the holiday. This can mean up to two dozen people at one table. (My aunt is a domestic genius to manage this. I'd be ready to go after people with a carving knife.)

Christmas, as usual, will be spent with my family. I'm home from 20 December to 5 January.

I also suspect I'll be doing cards, but more info on that later.

Nov. 4th, 2010

Considering how many things on my Christmas List for Relatives are books or CDs or DVDs, I wonder about using an Amazon wishlist so Mom, Dad, Jenn, Ben and various friends don't have to play the telephone game to make sure no one gets the same thing*. Downside is that a lot of the utility of that is removed if, say, Dad prefers Barnes and Noble or Jenn decides to buy hers in person. A site that had an independent registry would be nice... but I have no clue how something like that would make money.

Either that or I give someone like [personal profile] yuuo my password and tell my family to email her if they buy anything for me so she can take it off the list.)

Other than that, I can think of some things I won't ask family for, on the off chance that anyone reading this wants to buy me shit.

* I have gotten the same book from multiple people. It was Stranger in a Strange Land and I was in my high school 'must read all the classics of SF" kick.

Dec. 20th, 2009

Christmas with My Friends

I need to call Sara -- normally she starts calling my mother as soon as she thinks I'm home, but now the home phone is gone*, and I don't think she has my cell.

Anyway, last night I had my Christmas celebration at [info]yuuo and [info]emilie_burns's place, with [livejournal.com profile] mirisa_ardruna and her son. I got a Mars book (with red pen so I could add in new stuff) from Jen and Zanne, and a pair of fingerless gloves (my hands and feet get cold easily, even inside) from Kim. Jen and Zanne made dinner, so that was also nice -- we had bratwurst, sauerkraut and potatoes, with Kim's cookies and my fudge for dessert. We were going to watch a movie, but dinner ran late, so we just ended up hanging out.

I <3 my friends, by the way.

More writing today -- foolishly I agreed to pinch-hit for Yuletide, despite having defaulted on my primary claim. Mostly because the pinch-hit canon was shorter, and I had coincidentally re-read it recently, while my primary claim involved watching 20-some episodes of anime to make sure I had the voices right. I still have the idea, so I might do the primary claim as a New Year's Resolution.

(Plus, the pinch hit lets me do comedy, which is one of my favorite things to write.)

* Mom got rid of the landline once Ben graduated high school. She and Ben both have cell phones, and she was already using her cell for long-distance calls instead of paying for long-distance on the house phone. More and more it seems like that's the new trend.

Jan. 1st, 2009

Happy New Year!

So, I spent my new year in the traditional manner -- I played video games and trivia with Sara on the Eve, and then got up late and watched football with Mom.

(Go Big Red! It was a good bowl game for Nebraska, with the team rallying in the second half to win the game. Less good that a lot of the points Clemson did score came from fumbles & interceptions.)

Anyway, I'm trying to think of Resolutions. I'm thinking that I should try to write every day* and I'd like to get in shape.

* Within reason. If I get the horrendous stomach flu I had last November, I'm gonna spend the day in bed with the largest ambition being to keep food in my stomach.

Dec. 24th, 2008

Merry Christmas

I just finished the afghan I made for my sister - I didn't know if I'd get it done before the holidays (my goal was 'I'm not hauling the thing back to Ithaca, so it'll be done or left by the 4th'.) Anyway, it's wrapped beneath the tree.

Everything else is wrapped, with bows and stuff on it. Ben and I just got done watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in between flipping to check the score on the Notre Dame vs Hawai'i game. (After the first quarter it wasn't that good -- and watch me eat my words since I didn't see the final quarter at all.)

I've been sneaking cookies all day (okay, two cookies), and there are pies on the counter. There's a blanket of snow on the ground, and I'm tired enough I'm going to drop off to sleep soon. Sadly the mad dash to finish the afghan meant that I didn't get to read Hogfather again like I planned. Oh, well...

Happy holidays to everyone.

Dec. 20th, 2008


So, I figured out why I didn't log onto the 'net at night. The insulation in the spare room's window stinks. My fingers are freezing here.

Christmas at Dad's was all right. Sadly both Dad and I had outstanding gifts towards one another -- the coffee mug I ordered got there the day after, and Dad said one of the books he got me was lost in Outer Mongolia or whatever. Anyway, I ended up with books and games, and Mom found out from Ben later that he Really Really Wants Chrono Trigger. (I got to explain to Ben why Chrono Trigger DS was not on the Best Game of 2008 -- mostly because the original is on the Best Game of the SNES Era list)

Yes, I'm playing Chrono Trigger now. I'm already on the way to get Frog back in my party. Also trying to do it without the walkthroughs, unless I get stuck.

Also reading -- I got three books by Charles Stross, and have read two. (See this is why I only brought four books with me on the plane.)

I don't know what else to say, besides that my hands are cold, and it's spreading to my toes and nose and I want to stop typing because of it. Oh, yeah, turned in my Yuletide story.

Dec. 17th, 2008

Welcome to Nebraska

So, I made it to Nebraska, safe and sound. Despite iffy weather the whole way out, losing my scarf somewhere between Ithaca and Chicago, and a flight crew that was an hour late getting into Chicago, causing us to be an hour late to Omaha. Jenn picked me up since she works in Omaha, and drove me back to town.

Jenn showed me 84th street as we drove into town, which is a lot more built up than I remember. That and the bus system has gotten worse. I didn't think this was possible, but I guess cutting out half of the routes does that.

Mom also got high-speed internet, which means I can now go online without tying up the phone line. I'm supposed to help her set up wireless as well, which means I can use my laptop online. (She also got a spiffy used Mac from my uncle Donny, which should let me work remotely over break.)

I'm hoping my dad's present gets here safe and sound within the next two hours. It arrived in Omaha, and is supposed to be out for delivery, but I haven't seen it yet. We're going over to Dad and Marjorie's to celebrate the holidays, since they are heading down to Florida for winter break. (Marjorie has a 'thing' about winters, and only stays in the northern half of the country for them since that's where her paychecks come from, and finding somewhere in the South that will take two chemists would be not fun.)

I should be online sporadically over break, and certainly in e-mail contact. Friday, we're decorating the tree with Jenn and Matt, and we're supposed to do the big Christmas thing at lunch on the 25th, so Jenn can visit Matt's parents for their dinner as well. (Jenn trying to negotiate with her in-laws is a family tradition -- Matt's mom doesn't seem used to the idea that Matt's in-laws would like to see the happy couple too, and Matt has extended family in town and we don't, which complicates things.)

I sent out cards on Monday, so I hope everyone gets them who wanted one. If not, I can try to make up a pretty e-card for you all.

Dec. 8th, 2008

My Weekend (Plus Cards)

I've been moody recently. Possibly because I've been bad about taking my meds. I have an anxiety disorder, and generally unless I take my meds, I get this kind of bull-in-a-china-shop feeling when in any sort of social situation, that any sort of action is going to break something. Yeah, this ain't fun, and it's usually distinct from my PMS symptoms (which is mostly just crying at anything). On the plus side, I don't get any of the other fun symptoms of SSRI withdrawal, the anxiety just comes back and if I try to restart, I go through a week of being tired, just like when I first went on the meds.

Anyway, my weekend was fun. )

Also, on Friday, I am sending out Christmas cards. If you want one, comment and check to see if I have your address.

Feb. 14th, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

So, I'm going to tell a Valentine's Day story.

When I was growing up, my mother used to give each of us kids a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. Heck, she'd still do it when I was in college, and last year she sent me a care package with chocolate and a new purse and hat. It sent us a message about what Valentine's Day was about -- celebrating love in all forms, whether it be familial, friendly, or romantic.

So, I was a bit surprised when I got to college and discovered a lot of my single friends hated Valentine's Day. Because to them it was about couples rubbing it in their face that they were together, and greeting card and chocolate companies making money off of things.

So, I guess I just want to extend the hand of friendship to you all, and hope you have someone (or many someones) who loves you on this day, whether it be a lover, a friend or a family member.

Since I can't give you all chocolates, (and virtual ones don't taste as good), have some pictures instead:

Scientist Valentines

Astronomical Valentines

Dec. 17th, 2007

I'll be home for Christmas...

Everything is done. I even finished my Yuletide fic -- I'll post a link to it when the reveal comes. About the only thing I didn't get done was to color my MRCAeX and MAX pictures. I have them scanned and I'll color and upload them at home.

So, until then, I'm heading to Nebraska.
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Dec. 11th, 2007

Real Life Stuff

I am so tempted to, after grading is done, to take a mental health day off and just use it to catch up on all my projects -- Yuletide, my MAX and mrcaex projects, and Christmas gifts. Maybe Thursday, especially if there's miserable weather.

(And maybe pick up something to hold all my CDs/DVDs)

I'm also doing [info]12dayschristmas, but I'm also not starting that until I leave for Christmas break. (I'm going to try to do 12 fandoms, with one getting all 12 days, one getting 11 days, and so on...)

In holiday news, the holiday party was a sucess. Sadly, only one professor kareoke'd, though several of the office staff, many grad students, and even some of the people catering dinner. (Though having Dr. Bell and his three grad students (all Martian geologists/planetary astronomers) sing 'Rocket Man' by Elton John cracked me up. Especially the second verse:

Mars ain't the kind of place you raise your kids,
In fact, it's cold as Hell.
And there's no one there to raise them, if you did.

And all the science, I don't understand, (Dr. Bell told the others to take this verse.)
It's just my job five days a week.
A rocketma~n.
A rocketman.

Dr. Bell also did "Sweet Caroline", which I have a special fondness for, as it's a song I associate with my mother's family.

(Also, apparently Dr. Bell has a Wikipedia page. My advisor doesn't have a Wikipedia page, though he's mentioned on the Icarus page.)

Dec. 7th, 2007

Oh, I forgot...

Sometime in the next week or so I will be making out holiday cards. If you want one, feel free to leave an address here.

Dec. 4th, 2007

The Second Thing Of Chirstmas That Is Such a Pain to Me...

I had a box of little light clips over the weekend, when I ran out of lights and put off finishing decorating for that. I now do not know where they are. I have the little sticky tabs that hold them to the wall, but no clips. Things would be helped if they weren't made of clear plastic.