janetlin: (Liam)
I don't really have a purpose for this post, other than to share this pic I took of Liam at our family Easter party yesterday.

Liam at Easter

That look on his face is so perfectly him, I just can't.
janetlin: (Miranda)
God is watering my lawn for me right now, isn't that nice of Him? I could sit in front of an open window right now just breathing because it smells so lovely.

On the other hand, sniff, see ya next time, summer.

On Friday night I didn't bother going to bed, because Mom was showing up at five in the morning on Saturday so I could drive her and Rich to the airport 'cause they're going to be in Canada for a week. So I did that, came home, and still didn't bother trying to sleep, because [livejournal.com profile] kiwifruitbat had to be at work at eight in the morning (usually he's an afternoon/evening worker). This change in his schedule was because he, too, had a flight on Saturday and will be gone for a week. His step/adoptive grandfather died at the end of August, and the memorial was today (well, yesterday New Zealand time, now), so he flew home for that. I sort-of napped while he was working (couldn't actually sleep because the kids were awake and playing in the front room and in need of occasional food/drink/diaper changes), picked him up at 4:30 and drove straight down to San Francisco. Made good time, too, despite having to use a new route because the Bay Bridge is closed. We at least knew this ahead of time and mapquested accordingly.

I thought I was done with this bullshit of putting him on a plane and sending him across the ocean. :(

On the upside, in a nice poetic circle-of-life moment, his sister had her baby yesterday, so yay for him being an uncle (by blood this time), _and_ hopefully he'll be able to see/hold his nephew before he comes home.
janetlin: (ScarGold)
Okay so that's been forever. :-s Sorry guys.

Things is good, in fact that's why I've been pretty quiet around here. Found a couple of panfandom rp comms and have made some great connections with the other players and am having a shitton of fun playing Ronon Dex on board Serenity, and Scarlett O'Hara who is now married to Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin (don't look at me like that, it actually works!), and a very slow-burn relationship building between Janet Fraiser and Wolverine (again, trust me, not as weird as it sounds).

I have also discovered tumblr in the meantime. Oh god. That place is a bigger timesink than facebook. More fun, too, fortunately, but yeah, not so good for productivity.

Except when that productivity is writing. 'Cause almost a month ago, an intriguing historical au prompt for Rumpelstiltskin/Belle came across my dashboard, and it's been eating my brain and I have a TWENTY CHAPTER outline and the rough draft of the first chapter is already about 3k words and I'm only 2/3 through what's supposed to happen there. Sooo yeah this is shaping up to be a frakking novel and if I take only two weeks (that's rather fast, for me) to write each chapter, I'll be at this for the better part of a year. It's... kind of terrifying. I haven't written fanfic of any kind since *blows off the dust and cobwebs* February of _last_ year. And I've never tackled something this big. *wibble*

So I'm kind of scared but also super excited and I'm trying to get at least this first chapter together before I get sick of the whole idea, and then hopefully get some momentum going to carry me through the rest. My rp Gold/Rumpel, [livejournal.com profile] chianagirl, is being a fantastic cheerleader and sounding-board and I like having someone to talk to as I write and who shares my giggles whenever the characters have an amusing interchange because she gets all the inside jokes.

The kids are great: Morgan just started FOURTH GRADE on Thursday, Liam is walking but still only babbling vowel sounds and glottal stops (where'd he learn that?!), though there are several words/commands/requests that he understands and with which he complies with gratifying frequency.

We've bought our tickets to New Zealand for [livejournal.com profile] allova's wedding next year. Yay! That'll be a lovely trip and some nice time just the two of us because the kids are staying home with my mom.
janetlin: (Holiday: Christmas)
Despite Liam's thing rather throwing off the last week and a half, Christmas at our house ended up going quite well. Mom and Dad had expressed... well, not quite reservations, let's call it helpful concern about us hosting. "It's an awful lot of work," and "You don't have to make everything by hand. Get as much store-bought as you can and save yourself the trouble." Poo, that's half the point! I like cooking. I'm no chef and I wouldn't even really call myself a foodie, but I like actually _making_ things. Not just throwing something pre-cooked into the oven to warm up. Someone in the family, I forget who, at one point tried to vaguely ask me if I was interested in getting a bread machine. Heck no. A) If I had warm, fresh-baked bread readily at my disposal I would be at least twice as overweight as I am now. B) I like making bread with my hands, getting dough under my fingernails and sneaking "quality control" taste tests, braiding it into a pretty loaf or rolling it into buns. I enjoy the process, even if it is a damn lot of work. Okay, bread was a bad example because I did, in fact, let Dad bring store-bought rolls tonight. Because bread is, as I said, a damn lot of work, and there was an entire meal to also prepare and I didn't want to sink that much time and effort into just one part of it.

Alan and I banged out our menu _weeks_ ago. We collected all the recipes and I went through them and made a master grocery list, and also a list of what all was needed to prepare each dish: what sizes of pots and pans, baking dishes, serving paraphernalia, etc. I borrowed Grandma's Lenox Christmas china (which needs to be washed by hand. Boo). I was just sitting on "Go" and then everything got thrown out of sync. For a good part of yesterday I thought it was Friday, and so much that I had meant to prepare ahead of time consequently didn't happen. Steaming and pureeing pumpkin for the pie, boiling eggs to be deviled, laying out the china and silver on the sideboard. Man, I had it so beautifully plotted out.

So, instead of the rather leisurely gift-opening morning I had thought we'd have, pretty much right after stocking presents Alan and I disappeared into the kitchen. We had to cut out one of the hors d'ouvres because the deviled eggs were delayed, and were _very_ unhappy to find that the can of sweet potatoes we'd bought for our family's favorite sweet potato/pineapple/marshmallow dish were spoiled. (Will in the future buy two cans just to be safe). By the time everyone actually sat down we were about an hour late. But only an hour! And the dishes we did have came out well. And we don't have a ton of leftovers. Except for that pumpkin pie, which only had _one_ piece eaten! (There were eight of us) I think it may be time to retire it for a while. It's tasty and a classic but the downside of a classic is that it can be overused. Alan made trifle and we were all much more interested in trying out this tasty new thing.

Speaking of new things, I experimented on the family by making a carrot ginger soup I'd never tried before (to make, I mean; I'd had it in a restaurant), and it turned out to be a big hit! Even Morgan liked it and some of the grownups had seconds. Score! And wassail. I'd never made wassail before but it's soooo good and I think I'll brew up a batch for game night next week. Oh, and speaking of carrots, Liam _loves_ them, which is good because Popa got us a Baby Bullet and lots of accoutrements so we can make food for him. The farmers market is going to be getting a lot more of our money now. ;)

So, yes, all in all a really good day, even with an "oh god what did I get myself into?" freakout in the middle of food prep. I have a husband who gives awesome hugs so all is right with the world.

I am so blessed with him, and with all of my family who filled my house (house!!!) with love and laughter today, and even my family in other houses. I'm blessed that even though things are tight, we had food on our table and presents under the tree. Oh, presents, that reminds me: Morgan's grandmother and aunt (my former in-laws) even sent Liam some presents in their shipment to Morgan this year. Isn't that sweet and awesome?
janetlin: (Default)
It's funny that LJ being down makes me desperate to post when I haven't done so for over two months.

A big part of the radio silence is that my son was born two days after my last post. He's healthy and everything went relatively smoothly, but I was in the hospital from 9:30 am on the day he was born (Friday, and for the record he wasn't born until 11:04 pm) until Monday evening; and I want to post his birth story, but as you can probably infer, it's a bit of a long one, and as I have an infant on my hands now, opportunities to sit down and write up such an epic tale are thin on the ground. Wow that was a hell of a sentence. Anyway, because I'm a bit neurotic, I haven't wanted to post anything else in the meantime, because OMG it would be out of order! And the world would start spinning backwards or some crazy thing like that. So.

I promise I'll get it posted. It will probably involve me writing it down longhand in the snatches of time I have here and there, so that when I do have computer time all I have to do is just type it, which goes much faster than actually having to think while I'm at the keyboard. Plus when I do get on the computer I'm easily distracted by catching up on Twitter posts and Facebook because you know, SOMETHING INTERESTING MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED WHILE I'M NOT LOOKING.

I asked Monkey to keep the baby company for fifteen minutes while I take a breather (oh my gosh, he is high maintenance like you wouldn't believe, wants to be held all the time, and freaks out if he's awake and can't see another real human in the room with him. He's lucky he's cute because it's _exhausting_). She's been wonderful, if perhaps a little _too_ desperate to be helpful, and too effusive in her affection for him. But I would of course much rather have that than have her be resentful and not want to have anything to do with him.

And now it's lunchtime.
janetlin: (Default)
Today I went to the Motherhood store in the mall to return the ill-fitting maternity clothes that gave me so much consternation in my last entry, and am very pleased with what I brought home in exchange. The store had my Easter dress in the next size up, so that was a straight-across trade, and I got some t-shirts and a blouse for work, and a long white skirt that can dress up or down because, dudes, I am _so_ tired of wearing cords or jeans every single day.

Dad is doing really well. He's home now, Rew and I were going up there periodically throughout last week to help him out with the things he can't quite do (drive to the mailbox/grocery store, fill his bird feeders, sweep the porch, etc.). He was trundling around with a walker and then a cane but the last time I was up he was walking unaided. He said he was still carrying the cane when he walked outside, just to be safe, but inside the house he didn't need it. And this morning I got an email saying he doesn't think he needs us to come up regularly anymore. Which probably translates to once a week for mail and groceries.

Since he can't drive anyway, he loaned me his Jeep for a few days and we bought Morgan her first bike as a birthday present. (Have I mentioned this? Maybe on Facebook) I had forgotten just how exciting and cool bikes are to kids. She wants to ride it _all_ the time, and sadly since I'm not able to run alongside her, we're limited by Alan's schedule. It's also interesting to watch, because I'd also forgotten the process of learning to ride. It's really a tricky thing at first: the balance, moving your legs at an even rhythm, steering; it's a lot going on at once. Of course to one who has learned it, it's all second nature, but as I said it's interesting to watch her learn it for the first time, and try to find ways to explain to her things that are intuitive to us now.

Oh, birthday presents. I alluded to mine and then didn't follow through. In my family there's a bit of a tradition that when you turn thirty you get a cane (because you're _so_ old, right?). Alan married in after his 30th so on our honeymoon I got him a carved kauri walking stick with paua inlays. At my birthday brunch, Dad gave me mine, eliciting "Oh, yeah, I was wondering about that..." from my mom and brother (it's been a while between the youngest of the parents/aunts/uncles and me, the oldest of the cousins/grandkids. Rew's next!). It's pretty and kind of Victorian, black with a silver and pearl knob on top, but I hope not to need to use it for a good long time. Except maybe in a larp. It would be an awesome prop. ;)
janetlin: (Default)
Today I went to the Motherhood store in the mall to return the ill-fitting maternity clothes that gave me so much consternation in my last entry, and am very pleased with what I brought home in exchange. The store had my Easter dress in the next size up, so that was a straight-across trade, and I got some t-shirts and a blouse for work, and a long white skirt that can dress up or down because, dudes, I am _so_ tired of wearing cords or jeans every single day.

Dad is doing really well. He's home now, Rew and I were going up there periodically throughout last week to help him out with the things he can't quite do (drive to the mailbox/grocery store, fill his bird feeders, sweep the porch, etc.). He was trundling around with a walker and then a cane but the last time I was up he was walking unaided. He said he was still carrying the cane when he walked outside, just to be safe, but inside the house he didn't need it. And this morning I got an email saying he doesn't think he needs us to come up regularly anymore. Which probably translates to once a week for mail and groceries.

Since he can't drive anyway, he loaned me his Jeep for a few days and we bought Morgan her first bike as a birthday present. (Have I mentioned this? Maybe on Facebook) I had forgotten just how exciting and cool bikes are to kids. She wants to ride it _all_ the time, and sadly since I'm not able to run alongside her, we're limited by Alan's schedule. It's also interesting to watch, because I'd also forgotten the process of learning to ride. It's really a tricky thing at first: the balance, moving your legs at an even rhythm, steering; it's a lot going on at once. Of course to one who has learned it, it's all second nature, but as I said it's interesting to watch her learn it for the first time, and try to find ways to explain to her things that are intuitive to us now.

Oh, birthday presents. I alluded to mine and then didn't follow through. In my family there's a bit of a tradition that when you turn thirty you get a cane (because you're _so_ old, right?). Alan married in after his 30th so on our honeymoon I got him a carved kauri walking stick with paua inlays. At my birthday brunch, Dad gave me mine, eliciting "Oh, yeah, I was wondering about that..." from my mom and brother (it's been a while between the youngest of the parents/aunts/uncles and me, the oldest of the cousins/grandkids. Rew's next!). It's pretty and kind of Victorian, black with a silver and pearl knob on top, but I hope not to need to use it for a good long time. Except maybe in a larp. It would be an awesome prop. ;)
janetlin: (Default)
Went to see Dad after work today, and despite the receptionist telling me - when I called on my lunch break - that he was in recovery and would be moved to his room soon and should be ready for visitors by 3pm, they were only _just_ wheeling him into a room when we got there at six thirty. Yeesh. Glad I didn't try to get there earlier.

He's in good spirits and seems to be doing well. No word from any doctor to the tune of, "The surgery went well, here's where we stand..." etc, though. Hopefully someone will check on him this evening or tomorrow morning and there will be more information the next time someone goes to see him. As I mentioned, he was only just getting settled into his room when we were there this evening. He did say that there was no pain in his legs, which hasn't been the case for a very long time, so yay!
janetlin: (Default)
Went to see Dad after work today, and despite the receptionist telling me - when I called on my lunch break - that he was in recovery and would be moved to his room soon and should be ready for visitors by 3pm, they were only _just_ wheeling him into a room when we got there at six thirty. Yeesh. Glad I didn't try to get there earlier.

He's in good spirits and seems to be doing well. No word from any doctor to the tune of, "The surgery went well, here's where we stand..." etc, though. Hopefully someone will check on him this evening or tomorrow morning and there will be more information the next time someone goes to see him. As I mentioned, he was only just getting settled into his room when we were there this evening. He did say that there was no pain in his legs, which hasn't been the case for a very long time, so yay!
janetlin: (Chapel)
Early tomorrow morning, my Dad is going into the hospital for spinal surgery. As I understand it, he has bone spurs inside one of his vertebrae and that's causing constriction of the spinal cord/ nerves. This is the latest (and hopefully finally accurate) explanation for the chronic pain he's been feeling in his lower back and legs for, oh, months now. He hasn't been able to ski at all this season (most of you don't know Dad, so I'll just tell you, not skiing is a BIG DEAL), and even back when the weather was nicer he was already feeling poorly enough that he didn't do as much hiking or rowing (in that snazzy boat we made a while back), or riding his motorcycles as he normally would. There have been various diagnoses and treatments in the meantime but it would seem now those were only addressing the symptoms and doing nothing about the actual problem. So, hopefully they've got it now, and "carving out the pumpkin" will fix him back up again, and then I'll be the only one moving slowly and making multiple attempts at rising from the couch and groaning whenever I stand up from the table. Which reminds me about my birthday present, but that's a longer and unrelated story so I'll tell you about it later.

He's got four days of recovery in the hospital before one of us gets to take him home, then a couple weeks off work recovering at home, some physical therapy, and hopefully back to 100% in three months. Plenty of summertime left to fish from his rowboat.
janetlin: (Chapel)
Early tomorrow morning, my Dad is going into the hospital for spinal surgery. As I understand it, he has bone spurs inside one of his vertebrae and that's causing constriction of the spinal cord/ nerves. This is the latest (and hopefully finally accurate) explanation for the chronic pain he's been feeling in his lower back and legs for, oh, months now. He hasn't been able to ski at all this season (most of you don't know Dad, so I'll just tell you, not skiing is a BIG DEAL), and even back when the weather was nicer he was already feeling poorly enough that he didn't do as much hiking or rowing (in that snazzy boat we made a while back), or riding his motorcycles as he normally would. There have been various diagnoses and treatments in the meantime but it would seem now those were only addressing the symptoms and doing nothing about the actual problem. So, hopefully they've got it now, and "carving out the pumpkin" will fix him back up again, and then I'll be the only one moving slowly and making multiple attempts at rising from the couch and groaning whenever I stand up from the table. Which reminds me about my birthday present, but that's a longer and unrelated story so I'll tell you about it later.

He's got four days of recovery in the hospital before one of us gets to take him home, then a couple weeks off work recovering at home, some physical therapy, and hopefully back to 100% in three months. Plenty of summertime left to fish from his rowboat.
janetlin: (Breakthrough)
I've made a few different resolutions for this year, and may still make more, but so far today at least I'm on track. Woo hoo! 1 day down.

I want to be more serious about my writing, which means make a point to sit down every day and get something out. Ideally of course this would be stories, but even nonfiction stream of consciousness and/or blogging counts as eventually I will run out of real-life stuff to talk about and start making stuff up. ;) To that end, I've dusted off my Writer's Book of Days for daily prompts, and am using http://750words.com as recommended by [livejournal.com profile] eonone to keep me on task.

I had this fantastic idea that instead of making a big scary (and vague) resolution like "keep the house clean" I would instead word it as "do one bit of house-tidying every day." See? Much less scary. I figure it will be easier for me to stick with it if all I have to do today is scrub the toilet. All I have to do tomorrow is vaccuum. The day after that is sort the mail that's accumulating on the buffet. Etc. Now, the apartment is in such a state that unless I go crazy and do a binge one day, it might take me into February before the place as a whole is tidy. But hey that's February and that means I have the whole rest of the year to carry on just doing one thing every day and I will never have to stress about my house being a mess. That sounds pretty awesome.

We're planning to go to church tomorrow morning (another resolution), and my perennial one is to stop biting my fingernails and I'm happy to say that I didn't today. There was much cuticle-nipping and filing whenever I got the urge instead. Morgan is into having her nails done so I think if I can institute a weekly manicure day for both of us, that will please her and help me quit biting. Plus it's a big-girl bonding thing and that's time that I will spend particularly with her, so hopefully she won't feel forgotten or overshadowed when the baby comes. I know a certain amount of that is unavoidable, but both Alan and I are aware of that potential so we're putting things in place ahead of time to stave it off. Alan's time specifically with Morgan, for instance, is teaching her to swordfight (I think I mentioned us buying wooden swords at the pirate fair last summer or fall for this purpose? Well, it's finally started happening). And of course the good thing about instituting these things now is that she won't associate them with the arrival of the baby, won't feel like everything changes all at once. Instead she'll have these nice familiar routines she can depend on when so much else is different.
janetlin: (Breakthrough)
I've made a few different resolutions for this year, and may still make more, but so far today at least I'm on track. Woo hoo! 1 day down.

I want to be more serious about my writing, which means make a point to sit down every day and get something out. Ideally of course this would be stories, but even nonfiction stream of consciousness and/or blogging counts as eventually I will run out of real-life stuff to talk about and start making stuff up. ;) To that end, I've dusted off my Writer's Book of Days for daily prompts, and am using http://750words.com as recommended by [livejournal.com profile] eonone to keep me on task.

I had this fantastic idea that instead of making a big scary (and vague) resolution like "keep the house clean" I would instead word it as "do one bit of house-tidying every day." See? Much less scary. I figure it will be easier for me to stick with it if all I have to do today is scrub the toilet. All I have to do tomorrow is vaccuum. The day after that is sort the mail that's accumulating on the buffet. Etc. Now, the apartment is in such a state that unless I go crazy and do a binge one day, it might take me into February before the place as a whole is tidy. But hey that's February and that means I have the whole rest of the year to carry on just doing one thing every day and I will never have to stress about my house being a mess. That sounds pretty awesome.

We're planning to go to church tomorrow morning (another resolution), and my perennial one is to stop biting my fingernails and I'm happy to say that I didn't today. There was much cuticle-nipping and filing whenever I got the urge instead. Morgan is into having her nails done so I think if I can institute a weekly manicure day for both of us, that will please her and help me quit biting. Plus it's a big-girl bonding thing and that's time that I will spend particularly with her, so hopefully she won't feel forgotten or overshadowed when the baby comes. I know a certain amount of that is unavoidable, but both Alan and I are aware of that potential so we're putting things in place ahead of time to stave it off. Alan's time specifically with Morgan, for instance, is teaching her to swordfight (I think I mentioned us buying wooden swords at the pirate fair last summer or fall for this purpose? Well, it's finally started happening). And of course the good thing about instituting these things now is that she won't associate them with the arrival of the baby, won't feel like everything changes all at once. Instead she'll have these nice familiar routines she can depend on when so much else is different.
janetlin: (Thinky thoughts)
Q&A MEME
- Leave a comment saying, "Die Fragen, Fraulein!" ;) (or, you know, whatever)
- I'll respond by asking you five questions to satisfy my curiosity.
- Update your journal with the answers to your questions.
- Include this explanation and offer to ask other people questions.

from [livejournal.com profile] trustme1013
1: World traveler that you are, if you could have it your way, what bits of Kiwi life would you incorporate to US life?
Oh goodness. I especially love all the little environment-friendly things that are just a given there and how there's no (or very little), "you're just an alarmist, tree-hugging hippie" attitude in backlash. New Zealanders know they have something beautiful and precious and they do their damnedest to take care of it. I like both the sentiment and the practice.

I also love the profusion of skirts and dresses. I never really thought about it before (though I had been told Americans are peculiar in the omnipresence of blue jeans), but the first time I went I was surprised by how many women I saw doing everyday, normal stuff in skirts, where I would have expected pants (be they jeans, capris, khakis, whatever). I don't know if that's because the feminist movement didn't hit there as hard or what, but I like it. Whenever I'm there I take the opportunity to buy cute and simple skirts and dresses, 'cause it's hard to find ones here that aren't, well, dressy.

2: What do you miss most about Cottey? (Besides me, of course!)
I miss the suite life, the socializing, the built-in circle of friends who were always nearby so I never felt awkward or that I was going out of my way or imposing myself upon them just to hang out and do... really not much of anything. I miss the five-movies-for-five-bucks weekends for those of us who were staying in the suite. I miss the goofy, housekeeper-angering shenanigans like upending the couch and making a tent (no we are not too old for this!). I miss coloring books as stress relief during finals week (again, not too old). I miss Raney and not having to think about what to fix for dinner. I even actually kind of miss the weather, the extreme differences in the seasons: the really hot and muggy summer and yes even the bitterly cold winter. If it's going to be cold, dammit, be COLD. Namby-pamby forties and fifties is just lame. If I'm going to bundle up in a coat and scarf I want it to be worth it. Also snow. Cold without snow is pointless.

3: What is it about Russian that rocks your socks?
Hee. It's just beautiful. And I found it much easier to learn (and remember) than German because it sticks to its rules of grammar better. I think the teacher plays a big role, too. I liked German with Dr. Pearson but when I took it out here it was meh. So I think I lucked out with a Профессор who made Russian very, very fun to learn. Also the alphabet is just plain cool. ;)

4: What one book would you have as required reading in school?
Hm. There's so much that already is required reading, it's hard to say. I think, though, rather than an individual book, I would wish for more cultural diversity, especially in high school. I took a "World Literature in English" course in college and it was _such_ a revelation. I think the only non-American book we read in high school was Les Miserables. And, well, Shakespeare. Also the insights I got from my Victorian Novel course, especially about the rise of commodification and xenophobia and racism are very relevant and would do more good for young adults starting to vote and going out into the world than, like, The Yearling.

5: Do you think your life would have been different as a younger sister instead of an older sister?
I really do, yes. Throughout my life I've felt like... a trailblazer, to put it nicely (less nicely but more often I call it a guinea pig). My parents were learning how to be parents, I was learning how to be a kid and how to grow up, without even older cousins to serve as any kind of example. So I was/am very timid and unsure and with a sometimes paralyzing fear of Doing It Wrong. I think if I'd had someone to look to and follow, I would be confident - and therefore more capable - and more of a risk-taker. That coupled with my insatiable curiosity (currently tempered by aforementioned paralyzing fear) would have led to a _whole_ lot of mischief, yes, but also a lot of valuable life experience in general that I think I really missed out on, and without which I kind of feel handicapped now that I'm staring down the barrel of 30 and big-time, no-doubt-about-it adulthood.
janetlin: (Thinky thoughts)
Q&A MEME
- Leave a comment saying, "Die Fragen, Fraulein!" ;) (or, you know, whatever)
- I'll respond by asking you five questions to satisfy my curiosity.
- Update your journal with the answers to your questions.
- Include this explanation and offer to ask other people questions.

from [livejournal.com profile] trustme1013
1: World traveler that you are, if you could have it your way, what bits of Kiwi life would you incorporate to US life?
Oh goodness. I especially love all the little environment-friendly things that are just a given there and how there's no (or very little), "you're just an alarmist, tree-hugging hippie" attitude in backlash. New Zealanders know they have something beautiful and precious and they do their damnedest to take care of it. I like both the sentiment and the practice.

I also love the profusion of skirts and dresses. I never really thought about it before (though I had been told Americans are peculiar in the omnipresence of blue jeans), but the first time I went I was surprised by how many women I saw doing everyday, normal stuff in skirts, where I would have expected pants (be they jeans, capris, khakis, whatever). I don't know if that's because the feminist movement didn't hit there as hard or what, but I like it. Whenever I'm there I take the opportunity to buy cute and simple skirts and dresses, 'cause it's hard to find ones here that aren't, well, dressy.

2: What do you miss most about Cottey? (Besides me, of course!)
I miss the suite life, the socializing, the built-in circle of friends who were always nearby so I never felt awkward or that I was going out of my way or imposing myself upon them just to hang out and do... really not much of anything. I miss the five-movies-for-five-bucks weekends for those of us who were staying in the suite. I miss the goofy, housekeeper-angering shenanigans like upending the couch and making a tent (no we are not too old for this!). I miss coloring books as stress relief during finals week (again, not too old). I miss Raney and not having to think about what to fix for dinner. I even actually kind of miss the weather, the extreme differences in the seasons: the really hot and muggy summer and yes even the bitterly cold winter. If it's going to be cold, dammit, be COLD. Namby-pamby forties and fifties is just lame. If I'm going to bundle up in a coat and scarf I want it to be worth it. Also snow. Cold without snow is pointless.

3: What is it about Russian that rocks your socks?
Hee. It's just beautiful. And I found it much easier to learn (and remember) than German because it sticks to its rules of grammar better. I think the teacher plays a big role, too. I liked German with Dr. Pearson but when I took it out here it was meh. So I think I lucked out with a Профессор who made Russian very, very fun to learn. Also the alphabet is just plain cool. ;)

4: What one book would you have as required reading in school?
Hm. There's so much that already is required reading, it's hard to say. I think, though, rather than an individual book, I would wish for more cultural diversity, especially in high school. I took a "World Literature in English" course in college and it was _such_ a revelation. I think the only non-American book we read in high school was Les Miserables. And, well, Shakespeare. Also the insights I got from my Victorian Novel course, especially about the rise of commodification and xenophobia and racism are very relevant and would do more good for young adults starting to vote and going out into the world than, like, The Yearling.

5: Do you think your life would have been different as a younger sister instead of an older sister?
I really do, yes. Throughout my life I've felt like... a trailblazer, to put it nicely (less nicely but more often I call it a guinea pig). My parents were learning how to be parents, I was learning how to be a kid and how to grow up, without even older cousins to serve as any kind of example. So I was/am very timid and unsure and with a sometimes paralyzing fear of Doing It Wrong. I think if I'd had someone to look to and follow, I would be confident - and therefore more capable - and more of a risk-taker. That coupled with my insatiable curiosity (currently tempered by aforementioned paralyzing fear) would have led to a _whole_ lot of mischief, yes, but also a lot of valuable life experience in general that I think I really missed out on, and without which I kind of feel handicapped now that I'm staring down the barrel of 30 and big-time, no-doubt-about-it adulthood.
janetlin: (Holiday: Birthday)
I woke up today feeling pretty yick. Like, take a wastebasket with me in the car on the way to work, and possibly leave early if I didn't improve kind of yick. Fortunately, neither of the above were necessary, and the day in fact turned out to be pretty darn cool. When I checked my email at lunch, the top page of my inbox was _full_ of Facebook notifications of people leaving Happy Birthday messages on my wall, and two LJ notifications of virtual gifts (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] jinxed_wood and [livejournal.com profile] eonone!). That made me ridiculously happy.

Then my boss/aunt and coworker brought out a chocolate cake that apparently had been sitting in the kitchen and I never saw it. Funny, 'cause usually I end up going in there at least once every day. But I guess not today. Which worked out well, because the surprise was nice.

Then Mom came to get the car seat out of my car because she's taking Morgan for the weekend. I'll come back to this part.

I finish work, come home, la de da, take a shower, shave my legs, and was going to treat myself to a manicure. But as I was walking to the car, it occurs to me that since I don't have an appointment, I might have to wait, and if that goes too long I'll be in the middle of the manicure when Alan gets out of work and calls me to pick him up. So I turn around and walk back inside and play around in the patio garden instead. Now, I never thought I was the gardener type. But I frickin' love playing with my flowers. I repotted two of Morgan's plants, one of which desperately needed it because it was pretty pot-bound in its little container (I think the troop leaders didn't expect the girls to actually take enough care of their "mystery seeds" for them to actually grow). I only belatedly realized that I probably ought to put gloves on instead of doing it with my bare hands, but dirt is fun. I saved my daffodils from a snail - do snails burrow? this one seemed to be burrowing - though the agapanthus in the parking lot on the other side of my wall might not thank me for that ;).

I've distracted myself. Birthday, yes. Alan called when he got off work and I went and picked him up and we drove to Buca di Beppo for dinner. Where Mom, Rich, Morgan, Dad, and Rew are all waiting for us. O_O !! My sneaky bastard husband (which some of you may remember from a few years back) had my whole family in on this surprise for like a _week_! Even Morgan! Since when can five-year-olds keep secrets this well?

So Mom says that she was actually kind of worried when she saw me earlier in the day, that I might be suspicious that she didn't give me a card or something (didn't even occur to me). I'm usually not this clueless. I'm generally the wishful thinking type who puts two and two together and comes up with five. Dad and Rew even took that into account and conspired; they figured Dad's little Miata with his vanity plate sitting in the parking lot would give the game away, so they parked Dad's car at Rew's apartment and drove to the restaurant in Rew's car. Which I parked just _one_ car away from when we arrived. I noticed nothing. And I am told that as the waitress was walking us to what I thought was our empty table, I actually looked right at the full table in the corner (where Rew was carefully hiding/distracting Morgan) and it still didn't register until Alan pointed to them and Mom waved at me and Morgan popped out from behind Rew and said, "Surprise!" Dang.

So outside of the embarrassment at being so oblivious, it was a lovely evening. The food was nom and the company was good, and it turns out Rew's plans for tomorrow have been scrapped, so we will be able to go up to the County and introduce Dad to the BSG boardgame after all. Yay!!
janetlin: (Holiday: Birthday)
I woke up today feeling pretty yick. Like, take a wastebasket with me in the car on the way to work, and possibly leave early if I didn't improve kind of yick. Fortunately, neither of the above were necessary, and the day in fact turned out to be pretty darn cool. When I checked my email at lunch, the top page of my inbox was _full_ of Facebook notifications of people leaving Happy Birthday messages on my wall, and two LJ notifications of virtual gifts (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] jinxed_wood and [livejournal.com profile] eonone!). That made me ridiculously happy.

Then my boss/aunt and coworker brought out a chocolate cake that apparently had been sitting in the kitchen and I never saw it. Funny, 'cause usually I end up going in there at least once every day. But I guess not today. Which worked out well, because the surprise was nice.

Then Mom came to get the car seat out of my car because she's taking Morgan for the weekend. I'll come back to this part.

I finish work, come home, la de da, take a shower, shave my legs, and was going to treat myself to a manicure. But as I was walking to the car, it occurs to me that since I don't have an appointment, I might have to wait, and if that goes too long I'll be in the middle of the manicure when Alan gets out of work and calls me to pick him up. So I turn around and walk back inside and play around in the patio garden instead. Now, I never thought I was the gardener type. But I frickin' love playing with my flowers. I repotted two of Morgan's plants, one of which desperately needed it because it was pretty pot-bound in its little container (I think the troop leaders didn't expect the girls to actually take enough care of their "mystery seeds" for them to actually grow). I only belatedly realized that I probably ought to put gloves on instead of doing it with my bare hands, but dirt is fun. I saved my daffodils from a snail - do snails burrow? this one seemed to be burrowing - though the agapanthus in the parking lot on the other side of my wall might not thank me for that ;).

I've distracted myself. Birthday, yes. Alan called when he got off work and I went and picked him up and we drove to Buca di Beppo for dinner. Where Mom, Rich, Morgan, Dad, and Rew are all waiting for us. O_O !! My sneaky bastard husband (which some of you may remember from a few years back) had my whole family in on this surprise for like a _week_! Even Morgan! Since when can five-year-olds keep secrets this well?

So Mom says that she was actually kind of worried when she saw me earlier in the day, that I might be suspicious that she didn't give me a card or something (didn't even occur to me). I'm usually not this clueless. I'm generally the wishful thinking type who puts two and two together and comes up with five. Dad and Rew even took that into account and conspired; they figured Dad's little Miata with his vanity plate sitting in the parking lot would give the game away, so they parked Dad's car at Rew's apartment and drove to the restaurant in Rew's car. Which I parked just _one_ car away from when we arrived. I noticed nothing. And I am told that as the waitress was walking us to what I thought was our empty table, I actually looked right at the full table in the corner (where Rew was carefully hiding/distracting Morgan) and it still didn't register until Alan pointed to them and Mom waved at me and Morgan popped out from behind Rew and said, "Surprise!" Dang.

So outside of the embarrassment at being so oblivious, it was a lovely evening. The food was nom and the company was good, and it turns out Rew's plans for tomorrow have been scrapped, so we will be able to go up to the County and introduce Dad to the BSG boardgame after all. Yay!!
janetlin: (Default)
We had fun at the bonfire tonight. Mom taught Morgan how to roast marshmallows - you know, one of those valuable life lessons one learns in Girl Scouts ;). Morgan flipped a bit when the wind picked up and made the flames bigger, and also when Mom accidentally let a marshmallow catch fire. But she did enjoy pulling off that outside layer and then sticking the rest of it back in the fire to do it all over again. Tee hee.

Idalene, my mom's aunt and Teri's (the hostess) mom, was watching Morgan dance to the Christmas music and said she looks just like I did at that age, and like Mom did too. Yeah, there's no wondering what you'll look like when you grow up, in this family. And I might be biased, but I think the women in my family are pretty good-looking and age particularly well, so that's not a bad thing.
janetlin: (Default)
We had fun at the bonfire tonight. Mom taught Morgan how to roast marshmallows - you know, one of those valuable life lessons one learns in Girl Scouts ;). Morgan flipped a bit when the wind picked up and made the flames bigger, and also when Mom accidentally let a marshmallow catch fire. But she did enjoy pulling off that outside layer and then sticking the rest of it back in the fire to do it all over again. Tee hee.

Idalene, my mom's aunt and Teri's (the hostess) mom, was watching Morgan dance to the Christmas music and said she looks just like I did at that age, and like Mom did too. Yeah, there's no wondering what you'll look like when you grow up, in this family. And I might be biased, but I think the women in my family are pretty good-looking and age particularly well, so that's not a bad thing.
janetlin: (Default)
Things is good lately.

Morgan has started kindergarten and _loves_ it. When Alan and I went to pick her up after her first day (she had been staying at her Montessori school until six, but we thought it might be a long first day, so we showed up at 4:30), she and her classmates were walking across the playground in a very nice single-file line. "Mommy, Daddy, we're going to the music room, come with us!" No amount of us saying we were there to pick her up would dissuade her. She never even stopped or stepped out of line to talk to us or give us hugs or anything. Just Music! Now! and I got the feeling that there might be a Scene if we tried to remove her, so we went home and came back an hour and a half later. When we asked about her day on the ride home she said she was so happy that she almost cried happy tears. HAPPY TEARS for school! Oh, baby love, don't you ever change.

The weekend before school started I took Alan and Morgan to Great Clips to get haircuts, and since they were cheap I decided to take the plunge I'd been thinking about for a few months and get one, too. Fifteen inches later. Locks of Love should be very happy. Oh, and I discovered my hair is _wavy_! WTF where'd that come from? My hair's always been straight as a pin (though it at least takes a curl well for those times I bother to futz with it), and this late in the game I don't think I can blame post-pregnancy hormones. Anyone else's hair randomly do something radically different at some point in their life?

I have a little bit of remorse when I look at the pictures from Chimera and realize that my hair is now anachronistic for most of the games I'm interested in, but that's what wigs are for, right? Alan enjoys not having to fight with my hair to bite kiss my neck, which, you know, isn't so bad from this end, either. ;) And it's _sooo_ much cooler; I can't take heat the way I used to and even ponytails weren't helping much. Also, dude! I hardly use any shampoo at all now! Showers go so much quicker! And my hair dries like *that*! Well, relatively: it used to take a solid hour of blow-drying. And it's still as thick as ever, but that, coupled with aforementioned waves, makes for volume liek woah. Plus it bounces. I feel all cute and girly even when I don't do anything to it. Which is most of the time because I'm not exactly dressing up much these days.

Alan has started work at Kohl's and it sounds like he's impressing people there. Yay! He's got himself up to 40 hours this week so here's hoping they decide he's worth it and keep him at that level. I probably still need to find something at least part-time for myself.

Eek! Speaking of which, I need to go pick him up.

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