sarea: (Default)
Bad news re: my garden. :/ I have worms! And not the good kind! The sad story. )

Yesterday my cousin B. arrived and we went to Paseo for lunch. For some reason, maybe because it was a weekday and it was gloomy, I didn't think it was going to be very busy. BOY WAS I WRONG. It was packed! Not as packed as I've seen it on the weekend, but throngs of people were there. I mean, yes, they have the best sandwiches in the world, but still. We didn't eat until 1pm (we lucked out and got a table -- there are like 5 tiny tables; it is the smallest place imaginable). Was worth it though; I asked B. how his sandwich was and he said one word: "Amazing." If you live in Seattle and have never had a sandwich from Paseo, you are missing out. The original location is in Fremont, but they recently opened one in Ballard that I've been meaning to try. I recommend the #2 roasted Cuban. So. good. They only take cash though, and go early because they sometimes run out of bread. Each sandwich runs about $7.50.

Since we ate a filling lunch so late we decided not to go to El Gaucho after all. The experience would just have been wasted on us. Instead, we went to the 35th Street Bistro as they're doing Dine Around Seattle. It was very good, but frankly not worth it for dinner. It wasn't actually much of a savings since they're not super pricey anyway.

After dinner we headed to Qwest Field (which, embarrassingly, I didn't even know that's where the Sounders played until Elle told me). The Sounders game. )

This weekend: I am not allowed to do anything but work on my D/G fic exchange story. Period!
sarea: (Default)
So, totally random thing. Thursday is the opening game of the Seattle Sounders (our pro soccer team), and I got an email today from our VP's admin saying that our group got 2 tickets to give away and they had done a drawing to pick a name for who would win the tickets and it was ... me. LOL. So random. The cool thing is that my cousin is arriving in town that day for his PhD program interviews and we were going to have dinner, so now we're going to have dinner and watch a soccer game. It will certainly round out his trip here! Plus, I love winning things. If only Mega Millions would cooperate.

Tonight K. and I are going to Olivar for dinner. It's another one of those upscale restaurants we've been wanting to try. I love food of all kinds, and I've found that hole in the walls can have BETTER food than places where you pay 10x as much (you just have to find the right hole in the wall), but she definitely prefers upscale food/experiences.

I'm impatient and keep checking the starter pots and garden beds, wondering why they haven't sprouted yet. I'm also fatalistic and am convinced that none of them are going to, ever.
sarea: (lily & marshall)
Okay, I've been a member of [profile] doggie_pix for many months now, and there have been maybe 5 posts total. Suddenly today there are like, dozens! Post after post of doggie pics! I'm glad the community is more active, but does everyone have to post all at once? I'm going to have to stop watching it if this continues.

The pest control guy has come and gone. If you really want to know about my pest problems. )

Also, the fic-writing situation is becoming dire. I've made a deal with myself; for every sentence I write of this journal entry, I have to write a sentence of fic.

Had a very good weekend. First was Saturday, which I've already written about. Next was Sunday, with the D/G gals! Yay! What a lovely bunch of ladies: [personal profile] adelagia, [personal profile] elle_blessing, [profile] lyndsiefenele, and [personal profile] slitherhither. <3 Y'all are fab. I hope you know that. Can't wait to get together again.

I woke up early, so made my way to Kirkland with the intention of checking out some of the consignment shops there before lunch. Boring shopping talk. )

Then was lunch w/ the D/G gals, and we managed to make it through almost the entire meal without mentioning fandom, but then of course we HAD to go there. I mean, it's what we have in common! It's why we were meeting up in the first place! I'm sure it sounded like total gibberish to anyone who might have overheard us, and that's perfectly okay. There was a tense moment when Draco/Hermione was mentioned and I wondered if there was going to be bloodshed, but we managed to make it through with all limbs intact.

It was such a nice day that when I went home, I actually did some gardening. I know, I'm as shocked as you are. Earlier that morning (I told you I got up early) I'd gone to buy some seed packets and soil. (I really don't understand all the different varieties of soil there are, or how to use them properly, but I hope that dirt is basically dirt and if I use potting soil outdoors it won't totally ruin everything. I mean, nature has somehow managed to propagate itself all these many years without the help of mankind, so surely if I don't use fertilizer correctly it won't backfire on me too much?) I 'planted' some of the seeds (depending on what it said on the back of the seed packet), including: zucchini, carrots, beets, chives, Swiss chard, and watermelon -- just for fun! Then, again due to packet instructions, I started some little indoor ones, such as 3 kinds of tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and cauliflower. I really, really want the tomatoes to do well. That's the only plant I really care about. The other ones will be fun to see if they do well, but if they don't, I won't be too sad about it. But man, I really want dozens and dozens of tomatoes. Also it'd be great if one or two of the basil plants did well. But that's all I'm really hoping for. The watermelon, especially, is totally pie in the sky. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of that.
sarea: (Default)
My latest confession: I hate social media. Rant under cut. )

So the big hush-hush thing at work yesterday was that my manager is leaving. Sigh. Better than me being fired, but still not great news. He's a really good manager, I like him both personally and professionally, and while I'm happy he's moving on to something he wants to do more, I'm also very wary of what this means for our team. More specifically, what sort of person they'll hire to replace him and how I will get along with this person personally/professionally (because as we all know, asshole/bad managers are the WORST), and more generally, are they going to try to use this opportunity to change our group composition?

This week seems to be crawling by. The last two days I kept thinking/hoping were Fridays. Sigh.

I think I know why I've been feeling particularly tired the last few days. Not only am I kind of an emotional wreck, but Talis has been getting up 2-3 times during the night to drink water. It wakes me up because I'm a light sleeper (and his slurping up water is loud), but what's really irritating is that I usually also have to lean/get out of bed in order to pull him back onto it, because it's too high for him to jump, and he just stands there and whines and whines until I do it. Interrupted sleep is the worst; it makes me feel like I haven't gotten any sleep at all.

While my cousin's here, I'm thinking of taking him to El Gaucho, Steelhead Diner, and Senor Moose. I know, I'm totally obsessed with SM. Maybe after going again on Saturday I'll get over it and won't want to go again so soon w/ my cousin... but I doubt it.
sarea: (Default)
So very tired today. I don't know why; I didn't get less sleep or anything. In fact, I might've gotten a bit more than I usually do with my new go-to-work-every-day schedule. Still don't feel 100% in terms of emotional health, but I just have to accept the fact that there is absolutely nothing I can do or could've done to make things better. This was just totally out of my hands, and while that in itself brings its own kind of hurt, the sooner I accept it the better I'll be. Of course, it's always been hard for me to trust people and now I imagine it will only be that much harder.

The handyman came this morning to check things out, but not much came of it. He's sure that the insulation in the yard is from the birds, but that doesn't discount other critters. His recommendation is to go with someone who can do the extermination (if any's needed) and the handywork at the same time, and he's going to put me in touch with someone. I don't even want to think about what all this is going to cost, especially if the critters have done any structural damage to the house. He and most people I've talked to about this have all assured me that this is really common stuff. I guess I've just been lucky in that the 5 years I've had the place there really hasn't been all that much work to do... now it's all falling apart! /dramatic He also suggests cleaning the moss off the roof come summer and powerwashing the deck.

Oh but I didn't note the most exciting thing about the yard... the garden! Okay, it's mostly all dead from winter frost and what looks like critters chewing on stuff, but guess what's growing! The garlic I planted! I am very excited about that. It was the crop I really wanted to do well, and which I planted that weren't from seedlings (not that it was hard). The shoots are several inches long now. I should have about 12 garlic bulbs once they're ready to harvest (need to recheck the timeframe, though I know they need to grow a lot more and dry out, that I remember). I'll probably save 3-4 of them for replanting in the fall. The best thing about garlic, other than being delicious, is that it keeps critters away; they don't want to eat it. I do need to get on top of planting other things though, otherwise the lovely garden [profile] romanticalgirl's hubby helped me build will go to waste, and it'll be the most expensive garlic ever. LOL. What I'd really love to plant are tomatoes and basil. Need to find out when to start planting those.

Did I mention that I finished "Eclipse"? Thank god it's over. I haven't started "Breaking Dawn" yet and probably won't until next month, after I've written my D/G Exchange fic (which I am behind on and am trying not to freak out about it) and after Esalen. There was a very short period in Eclipse -- about 5 pages -- that I kind of got into and thought, hey, maybe this will turn out to be OK. Nope. SM lost me soon after that. I bet I'm the last person in the world to read this book, but just in case, cut for spoilers. )

Hmm, have the sudden awful feeling I might be fired or something. My manager has requested two sudden, out of cycle meetings with two of my coworkers (the 'stars' of our little group) while me and an underperforming coworker did not get any such invite. Ugh, I hate this feeling. Though at this point it might even be a welcome catalyst for change.
sarea: (Default)
Okay, so there's definitely something in the crawl space, and it's either birds or rats. I suppose, could be both. Maybe they've got a time share going on. Anyway, so I've been hearing the scratching/scurrying noises in the morning as usual (sometimes I stand on my bed and pound on my ceiling, which stops it for awhile). However, the other day I actually ventured out into the backyard, and all over the ground were pieces of insulation. The fuckers have been tearing out my insulation to nest!! Arrgh. When I bought the house the inspector had warned me that the ventilation holes (located right below the roof) had been pecked at by birds, and that I would probably need to watch for that and replace them eventually. Today I noted that 3 of those holes have indeed been pecked out.

Two of my coworkers think it sounds like rats, as it's similar to what he experienced at their old house (the early morning noises, the scurrying). My cousin's husband and two other coworkers think it's birds. I was thinking the latter, too, because I could imagine them flying out of the little ventilation holes with the insulation and dropping it on the ground ... but why would rats make the effort to drop it out of the holes? If they were tearing it up to nest, wouldn't they just fling it aside in the crawl space, not actually tidy? But then maybe it's just that I'd rather it be birds than rats. Tomorrow a handyman is going to come check it out and give me an estimate for how much it's going to cost to repair the damage. I guess I'm also hoping it's birds because they'd be easier to vacate than rats... for the latter I'd also have to call on pest control.

I've been in a really bad place emotionally the last few days. It is really amazing how insensitive and hurtful people can be. Even more amazing considering they're doing it to people they claim to care about. I was raised the Chinese way. I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people's misery, and to eat my own bitterness. (from the Joy Luck Club) I guess I wasn't raised the Chinese way, because I'm TRYING to desire nothing and swallow my own bitterness so that it doesn't spew on everyone else, but it's not really working.

I'm hoping my fairly fun/busy schedule the next few weeks will help me reach a place of zen calm. This weekend is fun with [profile] corianderstem on Sat (and a repeat trip to Senor Moose, woot!) and the DG girls on Sun. On Thurs my cousin arrives for his PhD program interviews and I'll see him again the following Sun. Then that Friday I am flying down to LA. On Sunday my mom, aunt, and I will be driving to Esalen for our week of relaxation and posture/back classes (and meeting my cousin and her family there). I have put down my deposit so hopefully these plans will not fall through. Then I leave the following Monday back to Seattle. Hopefully as I'll have a couple of days free I'll get to see [personal profile] ropo and [profile] jade_okelani while I'm down there.

I tried out the New Yorker for a bit, but 4 issues later, I've canceled. It's just not very relevant to me nor fit what I was looking for. I wanted something newsy that wasn't pure, dry news, and with little to no celebrity fluff. It didn't quite hit the level of news I wanted, but was fine about the second. However, the fact that it comes every week is just too often for me, and I end up skipping the first half of it due to the same movie summaries that are in every issue, play summaries, and other NY-specific things that I don't care about. I mean, given the title of the magazine I'd expected that to a certain extent, but thought it might be tolerable. It's not, considering that there's really just 1 or 2 articles per issue, and sometimes they don't even strike any interest in me.
sarea: (Default)
My cousin is hooked on A Song of Fire and Ice. Mwahahaha. She said to be sure I gave her the 4th book before I leave (on Tuesday!). She's in the middle of the 3rd book and was shocked -- SHOCKED!! -- when you-know-what happens.

Have you ever seen the movie Taken? It's one of those movies I was vaguely interested in when I saw the preview for it, even though the premise isn't very original. However Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and Maggie Grace are in it and I like all those actors. Anyway, it didn't seem to make a big impression on anyone I knew so I totally forgot about it (though I guess it did well at the box office. But so do movies that are worthlessly inane, so...). But it was actually a really great action/suspense film! I would totally rec it. I mean, if you are OK with violence. The female roles are really, really lame though -- I have no idea why FJ and MG would agree to them. I mean, they're not A-list actresses or anything but they certainly can do better than typical-ex-wife and super-naive-teenage daughter. Also, MG was *so* miscast. I mean, she played a 20-something on Lost, and in this movie, which was made after Lost, she was supposed to be a really young 17 ... it was ridiculous. She was 25 when the movie was made. She did a lot of running in the movie and I don't know if that's just how MG runs or if she was trying to appear younger, but she seriously looked like Phoebe doing the crazy running on Friends.

Took S. to the airport super early this morning ... it was hours before sunrise (cry). Afterward went over to my cousin's to help with the kids. Of course, catastrophe ensued. )

I have to do my dishes and laundry, then pack. I'm procrastinating because there's so much crap I need to remember to bring and I just know I'm going to forget something, ugh. I'm going to be gone so long I'll have to remember to pay my bills. >< I still haven't decided if I want to pay the fee to check in a bag or not. The convenience of it makes me want to do it, but the part of me that chafes at giving the airlines even one red cent more than I have to doesn't. It's just not right that even the first one costs money.
sarea: (puppet angel working)
Happy day-before-U.S.-T-Day!

I am so tired. Up late last night and then had to wake up early, bleh. And why was I up late? Playing WoW. That's right, I've gone back to the dark side. S. is constantly raiding and they were looking for a healer and I still have friends in the guild, so why not? I'm just going to take it far less seriously this time and also accept no positions of responsibility. That's really what ruined it for me last time. Another thing that's kind of fun is that I'm a disc priest now. :D I've never healed with a full disc spec, usually I went holy or holy/disc. It's taking some getting used to, but I actually like it. It's not THAT different from holy, though disc is less useful as a direct raid healer (it's more of a damage mitigator). Very good single target healer though (so good for MT, though possibly not as good as a holy pally, damn their plate-wearing hides). The biggest thing I'll have to get used to is that meters mean exactly squat for me now. So much of my usefulness comes in the form of, as I said, mitigation, so until meters start counting absorption rates I'll always be lowest on the healing meters. I'm fine w/ that as long as the guild realizes that, but it seems unlikely. People are and always will be obsessed with meters. Still, I'm having to think about my gear very differently than I did before. I used to stack spirit like crazy and now I wouldn't spit on it if it were on fire.

When my mom was here visiting she mentioned that she thought my hair was too dry. I was like, really? I mean, it's not brittle or anything, but it certainly isn't all satiny and silky like those models in shampoo commercials. She was like, yes, sometimes what I'll do is put olive oil in my hair, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then shampoo and rinse like normal. So last night I tried it, thinking my hair was going to be awesome. It wasn't. It was the opposite of awesome. It was greasy and disgusting, even after shampooing. I knew there was something wrong when I was blow drying it and it still looked wet even way after it would normally have been dry... and that's because it WAS dry, it was just greasy! Ugh. Luckily after washing it again this morning my hair's back to normal. Though that could be because I made sure to use Big (by Lush), which is really good about removing oily deposits. I should probably use that less than I do because using it constantly is probably very harsh on my hair, which is probably what made my mom make the remark about my hair being dry in the first place.

My car's still in the shop. With the Thanksgiving break coming up it's probably not going to be done until mid to late next week. Sigh. I really, really miss my car. It's even less now that I miss the luxuries as it is that I miss something that's MINE, that has all my little knick knack stuff in it, that I don't have to think of as temporary, etc. One good piece of news (though, only relatively -- it's not as good as, say, not having been rear ended in the first place)... early on, I insisted that I wanted brand-new OEM parts (as in, genuine Lexus parts. They hit a car that had that, and were not going to get away with replacing with generic parts). Everything was agreed to except the bumper, in which they wanted to use a reconditioned part (but which was a Lexus part) rather than a new one. After the whole nightmare with the rental (oh yeah, I need to share the letter I wrote), I really didn't want to have to fight with Farmers about the stupid bumper, and yet I felt aggrieved. I mean, the accident was their fault, the difference between a new bumper and the reconditioned one was $150, and on a $6,000+ repair you want to quibble about $150?! Screw you. The auto body shop (which has been great) said that what they could do was to order the reconditioned part, try to find something wrong with it, and then say that they couldn't use it because of XYZ reason. Since I was/am sick of dealing with all this crap I said that was fine, because a bumper is a bumper, not an engine. Anyway, apparently the reconditioned part came and there *was* something wrong with it, like the tabs didn't fit my car or something, so the auto body shop ordered a brand-new OEM one for me like I had originally wanted. So HA, stupid insurance company.

I finally had my blood tested again, and while my cholesterol wasn't good, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, either. Yay for that. I can't remember the specific numbers for each thing, but basically my LDL was a bit elevated, but my HDL was OK so that helped a bit. What's not so good is that apparently my thyroid was up again. This happened last year and when I got retested it was back down to normal... now it's up and I'm going to be tested again in 3 months and if it's still up my doctor's going to refer me to an endocrinologist. :/ Why is my body doing this to me, why. But speaking of my doctor, apparently she was selected by Seattle magazine as one of the 2009 doctors of the year! Coolness. Now I have to give a shout out to [profile] romanticalgirl for referring me to her. :D

I've been playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village on my DS. I loves me some puzzles! Some of them drive me inSANE though.

Going to have a very quiet Thanksgiving (as I do every year ... I hate flying so I can't imagine flying home for the holiday when I'm going to be going again in December). It's just going to be me, my cousin, and her 6-month-old baby. She didn't want to travel with him, so her husband/daughters are going to his family gathering w/o them. We're ordering one of those prepared meals from Whole Foods, which was (imho) hideously expensive, but neither of us could face the thought of cooking a big Tday meal just for the two of us.

Finally, I snagged a plane ticket for my December vacation for like, the best price ever. Seriously the best price I've ever paid to travel to SoCal -- $59/one way for a nonstop flight on Alaska. Usually it's more than double that. Of course, I'll have Talis with me so that's not all I'll have to pay. His flight in the cargo hold costs $100/one way, which is seriously highway robbery since it's not like he gets any special treatment and is basically treated like a piece of luggage. Grrrr airlines. Still, it's cheaper than boarding him or shipping him off separately.

Oh -- because I said I'd post this. The letter I wrote to Enterprise/the story of how they wronged me. It's really super long though, so if you're not interested in reading a bunch of ranting/complaining, do not click. Bad, Enterprise! Bad! )

Catch up

Nov. 20th, 2009 12:18 pm
sarea: (Default)
Still in the throes of post-accident stress and frustration. Still experiencing occasional soreness in my back, especially by my left shoulder blade. Had a really crappy rental experience with Enterprise -- until last year I had no problems with them whatsoever -- and am now with Hertz. I will be writing them a letter that I will share with all you fine folks so I don't have to write about the specifics multiple times. :D

I really, really, really miss my car. I didn't realize how accustomed I'd become to all the little amenities until they were gone, from big things like my in-dash navigation to little things like being able to raise and lower the passenger-side window with one click. I am considering replacing my car with a hybrid (though one with many of the amenities I've mentioned) and am planning to test drive a couple this weekend.

Had the best dinner with [profile] corianderstem the other night at the Dahlia Lounge. We were going for the 3-for-$30, but ended up doing something slightly different instead. My cousin had left me a voicemail that I got right before entering the restaurant to say that it's Dahlia's 20th Anniversary, so if you walk in and say, "Happy 20th anniversary, Dahlia!" the first 20 people get that day's prize free (they do something different every day, for a month). The day we went happened to be "Tom's favorite duck dinner free." (Tom being Tom Douglas, famous Seattle chef and owner of the Dahlia Lounge.) This was lucky because originally we were going to go on Thursday, and Thursday's prize was 50% off the wine tab, which would have been useless to me personally as I'm not a wine drinker. Anyway, the 5-spiced duck was FANTASTIC, so good. It was served over a bed of spicy chopped Brussels sprouts with acorn squash and pear. (My vegetarian friend J. had wanted to try Dahlia also, but I had already made plans with A., and it's probably a good thing since she wouldn't have eaten the duck!) We both started with their grilled bread salad, which was also out of this world. For dessert I had the famous triple-cream coconut pie (excellent but for the coconut shavings, which I'm not fond of in general) and A. had the creme caramel, which was also really good. As we were leaving they gave us a package of 2 big chocolate chip cookies for the road (probably left over from when the Dahlia Bakery, right next door, closed for the day) -- and the cookies were delish also!! I'm really fussy about cookies, so it's actually amazing to me how much I liked it. I ate half and gave the other half to S., who also isn't a big fan of chocolate chip cookies, but said, when he was done, "That cookie wasn't big enough."

Anyway, they're still doing giveaways for the month of November, as well as the 3-for-$30, so I would go back in a heartbeat! Only disappointing thing was that the Golden Ticket prize that night (brunch for 4 at Lola, Tom's mediterranean-themed restaurant) was not won by me or A. LOL. But after the great experience we had, getting to win that might have been too much.

Wow that the UC Regents are hiking tuition fees 35%. Not that I actually think it's a bad or unfair idea. But thank goodness when I went to UCLA it wasn't as high as that!

Edit: Oops, also meant to say -- A., you were right, Lady Gaga's vid for "Bad Romance" is awesome.

Also, music related ... I think "Backspacer" might be Pearl Jam's best album since "Ten." I loooooooooove "Just Breathe."
sarea: (scorpio)
Just checking. It's June, right? And I live in the northern hemisphere? Then why the hell is it 56° out and raining? I really hate it here sometimes. >< If it's a choice between freezing even in four layers of clothing or being sticky and hot, give me the latter. I can't play WoW when my fingers are frozen!! Or write, for that matter.

Speaking of WoW (yes, wasn't that a good segue?), Blizzard is doing another one of their promotions. If you're the least bit interested or curious about this thing that consumes so much of my time, I can send you a link for a free 10-day trial, just let me know. Full disclosure is that if you decide to become a paying member, I get 30 days free. But I don't even care about that, honestly -- I just want more of you guys to play! <g> And the first hit is free! ;)

So last night at work, there was some emergency thing that needed to be posted after hours. Work bitchery. )

So, as y'all know, I really love the manga Hot Gimmick. I just found out that apparently, a novel was written from the manga, which has an 'alternate' ending to the manga itself. It's really irritating on the one hand (I hate the "let's try to please everyone all of the time!" mentality), but on the other hand it's kind of neat to see how influential public opinion can be these days. I still consider the manga to be the official canon, particularly since Miki Aihara didn't even write the novel, she only illustrated it. I'm vaguely curious about the novel, but if it never gets translated to English I'll be fine with it, since I like how the manga ended.

Does anyone else have the bad habit of reading multiple books at one time? I'm constantly doing that, mostly because I'm lazy and don't like to carry books around, so I have one in the car, one in the family room, and one in my bedroom. Also, sometimes I just get in the mood for a certain kind of book. Currently I'm reading: Speaker for the Dead (Orson Scott Card), Gaudy Night (Dorothy Sayers), and American Gods (Neil Gaiman). Very different in tone, and so far I'm enjoying all of them (even if Sayers can be a bit painful at times).

Happy Friday!
sarea: (cappucino)
It's been ages since I ate a Mon Cheri chocolate, but they were on sale (4 for $0.89!), so I got them. And OMG, I'm sorry, but all those expensive chocolates out there have NOTHING on Mon Cheri. It might be the best thing I've ever put in my mouth! (But I think the true winner is the seasonal strawberry-rhubarb crostada from Maggiano's. Deah gott is that good.)

The other day, I got out of a ticket for the first time in my life ever. It was also the first time I've ever been quite that stupid when doing something deserving of a ticket. See, I was trying to get home through horrendous rush-hour traffic for an MC raid. I have to switch freeways at one point, only it was bumper-to-bumper heinousness. When I got to the point where the freeway I needed was coming up, I decided that waiting for 10 minutes so that I could get past the painted island, when there was NO ONE in the lane I needed to get to, was a waste. So I pulled over the island ... not noticing the cop RIGHT BEHIND ME. *facepalm* Of course he immediately flashed his lights and I pulled over onto the shoulder. He was cute, and young (early 30s), and said that the fine for what I did was $320. I was like, this is just great, I'm going to be late anyway, and I'm out freaking $320! I gave him my license, and while he was checking on that, pulled out my insurance and registration docs too. But when he came back he said he was only going to give me a warning, and never to do that again! W00t!

So, my house is painted. My mom was obsessed with it being a really light color, but now I'm not that thrilled with how it turned out. It's like a very pale lime green, with white trim. The green could really be darker. :/ The painters did fine, no issues there, it's just the color we chose that I'm not entirely happy with. Oh well. At least it does look nicer in general, though. And most exciting of all -- I've hired a gardener! Finally!! I've given up the idea that I'm actually going to be able to maintain my yard by myself. My lot is 10,000 sq ft, my house is 1,500 sq ft. You do the math. He's going to do a one-time "fix" of the place, and then he'll come out once every two weeks. It'll be great, I won't feel like I'm living in the jungle anymore, and my neighbors can stop giving me Looks.

It's been really warm the last couple of days, and I hope, hope, hope this means that summer's officially here. Sometimes the weather plays cruel tricks on me and gives me warm days, then it's cold/rainy for a month. :(

Last night after a BWL attempt that cut short (shammys who can't kite ftl), I made pizza dough!! Well, failed to make the yeast work twice, and then hit gold on my third attempt. (I told you I'm no good at nurturing living things!) My cousin's husband made this for us on Sunday night (they're health nuts who homemake their baby's food, like yogurt, into which they mix avocado and carrots and flax. What the hell is flax), and it was really delicious. Here's the recipe for the dough. He made two pizzas: one with pesto, tomato, and fresh mozzarella, and one with tomato sauce (again homemade), cheese, spinach, and prosciutto. Mmmm. My only complaint was that there was not enough of either. My next food adventure is going to be this Chicken Tikka Masala, which I think [livejournal.com profile] significantowl linked. I looooooove Indian food, but I've never made any because there are so many spices and it's so complicated. But doesn't that look amazingly good?? OMG food pron. <3
sarea: (blood elf gal)
I think it's time I finally came clean in public, in case anyone didn't already know: I am a giant nerd.

I'm not alone in this, a fact for which I am hugely grateful, but that does not take away the fact that I am a giant nerd. What's prompted this bout of confession, you ask? Well, the fact that [livejournal.com profile] corianderstem suggested we get together this Friday night, and I can't, because I have to raid. In fact, I raid pretty much every night of the week except for Sundays and Thursdays, and even on Thursdays sometimes I'm not available, because I'm doing instance runs with [livejournal.com profile] seldon, [livejournal.com profile] jade_okelani, and [livejournal.com profile] akscully.

Most of you probably don't even know what I'm talking about, and that's good. You don't really need to know, and I've spared most of you by making the vast majority of my WoW posts just for other WoW enthusiasts. But I think one public post acknowledging my giant nerdiness is in order, as well as an explanation of what takes up most of my time these days.

So here's the unvarnished truth. )
sarea: (veronica profile)
1) My mom has returned home, which I am both sad and relieved about. I enjoy spending time with her, but I don't think I'm meant to spend 24/7 with anyone unabated. I need my 'me' time ... without interruptions (particularly in the form of nagging and/or guilt trips). It's best if I live about an hour away from my parents, and about 15 min away from friends.

2) I'm going to have my house painted! )

3) Can't wait till summer's really here and I can have my first BBQ on the deck!

4) I've watched all of S1 of Nip/Tuck, most of S2, and spoiled myself rotten on S3. Spoilery thoughts. )
sarea: (cappucino)
I think we all knew this already, but my mom pwns me. Since she has been here (~5 days), she has:

1) Cleaned out my garage (Yes! You can actually park two cars in there now!)
2) Cleaned my kitchen (The Campbell's soup boiled over, Mom, and I didn't know what to do with the stove after that)
3) Rearranged/tidied my cupboards (So that's where all the lids to the Tupperware containers went!)
4) Tidied up my room (I'd almost forgotten what it's like to not trip over something in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom)
5) Weeded the front garden area (Those were weeds?! And I thought they were kind of pretty...)

She even inspired me to call around for quotes on how much lawn maintenance will cost! (Okay, so she kind of shoved the flyers in my face and was like, "CALL THEM.") One place never returned my call and another one needs 5-7 days to do an analysis. I have a big lot and the grass is all overgrown, so I don't know how much to expect. My mom and cousin say $200-300, but that seems really low to me. After the one-time fix, I'm not sure whether I should invest in a lawn mower and actually cut the grass myself (the chances of me actually doing this on a regular basis seems slim), or to hire someone to come biweekly or monthly to do it. Depending on cost, the latter is probably the more realistic option. Why can't my 15-year-old WoW friend live closer? I could make him do it for me. I would also like to paint the house, inside and out, but the lawn is more important atm.

Oh, and I forgot -- she also cooked dinner one night, making some of my favorite dishes. The plan is that she will cook one more time before she leaves, so that I will have lots of leftovers to tide me over for a bit.

If I am totally useless in the cleaning/tidying/cooking department, she only has herself to blame for not making me do any of it while I was growing up. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I feel memey but none of the recent memes appeal to me. :/
sarea: (veronica sleeping)
A few of you have reminded me that it's been a really long time since I made a post to LJ. And now that I see the date, and the date of my last (non-WoW) post, I can see that you were right. It's been over a month. I just got out of the groove of posting, and now there's too much and too little to say at the same time.

The most important thing that's happened since my last entry -- and the reason I just haven't been up to updating my journal although it needs to be mentioned -- is that my grandmother passed away. Some of you knew that she was sick. She appeared to be getting better for a time, but, well, she was 90 years old and is now at peace. She was my last living grandparent, and while in later years our communication grew limited, she will be missed.

Other updates: )

And just because it's fun, I'm turning this into a game. Two things I said in the "other updates" list above are NOT true. Can you guess which they are??? ([livejournal.com profile] jade_okelani and [livejournal.com profile] akscully are not allowed to play ... they know too many of my dirty secrets.)
sarea: (peter carrying lucy)
You know the day's not going to go well when you wake up with a headache. Seriously, why does that happen? I slept pretty well -- I'm a good sleeper in general, and don't know why this would happen. Usually the only thing that can actually cure my headaches is sleeping. But since I got it while sleeping this time, logic says that that wouldn't work. So I guess the only thing I can do is suck it up. I hate sucking things up. <--- Don't comment on that.

There has been a lot of drama in my life lately. A lot a lot. Some of it was really making me question my own sense of self and all that (existential crisis?). I mean, you kind of have to, when stuff like that comes up, because if you don't it's like you're just burying your head in the sand. Anyway, things are slowly resolving themselves. Not in a cotton-candy way; the end results aren't exactly ideal, but at least I've found my footing again and can have some perspective on the situation(s).

(Seriously, is there anything more annoying than a telemarketer? I don't blame the poor people doing their jobs, but the acts of telemarketing/spamming/junk mail should be OUTLAWED.)

Re: the Oscars. This was possibly the least interesting (to me) Academy Awards in awhile. I saw only one of the best picture nominees (the one that won, and I was one of the few online people who was glad about it, it seems), and everything else kind of went right over my head. I was bummed that "Chronicles of Narnia" didn't get a nom in the score category; I thought it was fabulous.

I've finally finished the 4th Darren Shan book. Don't have much to say about it, since it seemed like more of a bridge (a la OotP) than anything. About to start the 5th. Also am almost done w/ Prince Caspian (I've only ever read The Lion, etc.). At this point the Christian allegories are coming hot and heavy. Also, I don't like Susan. And I have warmed to Edmund. Peter still my favorite by far.

I haven't written a word (story wise) in weeks. My desire/ability to write seems to have deserted me. The only thing I'm good for now is betaing Jade's stories (two of which are in my inbox). In fact, I should go do that, before MM members flay me.

And, hi everyone. :-)
sarea: (kate winslet)
Happy birthday to my cousin, who is officially an adult today! Dude, I'm so old. I still remember when I used to change his stinky diapers. O.o

Another day, another online game to suck at. Do any of you play Sudoku? Or at least know what it is? I first heard about it from [livejournal.com profile] kstanley when she whipped out a puzzle and showed it to me and Jade when we were in New York. I remembered it the other day when I was bored, and found this place, which provides thousands of free puzzles for you to try and work out. Let me just repeat: I suck at it. My fastest time on the Easy level is almost 14 minutes. It's all, "91% of people were faster than you." *facepalm* But that's okay, I keep playing, and I'm improving. :P Edit: 8 min, 14 sec. Woohoo! Only 65% of people are faster than me! 7 min, 16 sec.; 55% still faster than me. :(

I have been extremely unimpressed with the people at work lately. I seriously wonder sometimes if some people should just never interact with other people. Let's see, what's happened:

1) During a weekly team meeting (general assembly of about 35 people), our GM started to do his goodbye appreciation to a member of our team who's leaving. He's been here for 7.5 years. Anecdotes were told, praise was heaped, etc. In the middle of it, someone else pipes up, "Oh, I just want to say--" And we all expected him to share something about our colleague who was leaving. Instead, he goes on and on about some work-related thing, brushing off the goodbye as if it were done with. I think the general consensus of the room was, WTF is wrong with you? At the end of his spiel, our GM was like, "So ANYWAY, back to our regularly scheduled program..." and went back to the goodbye stuff. The interrupter isn't a bad guy at all, but dude, learn some social skills.

2) One of our freelancers turned in a story late, because his son had been in a skiing accident and he'd been with him at the hospital for the surgery. He explained this when turning in the story. Business owner's response? "Thanks, I'll look at this and get back to you with any edits." NOTHING about writer's son. OMG take some sensitivity training. Luckily my editor jumped in and said some kind/appropriate words, but it was kinda too late to make up for Dunderhead #1.

3) At the goodbye lunch for the colleague from #1, I ordered fire-seared tuna. It came with two steaks, and I could only finish one, plus a bit of the veggies and rice. The remainder was bundled up into a take-out container. I tossed it in the fridge at work. A few hours later, I was feeling peckish and figured I'd finish the rest of it. Hunted high and low. NO LEFTOVERS. OMG why would you eat someone else's leftovers??? Can you possibly be that hungry? What if I had a cold? Eww. Just EWW. Let's not even get into the total rudeness of taking something that's not yours. The only acceptable scenario here would be if someone mistakenly took my container (it was in a white clamshell box) thinking it was theirs (I saw a white styrofoam box that had chicken parmesan and pasta in it). Otherwise, I'm just like, "........"

I'm having tons of fun with the Valentine's Day stuff in WoW. How do you make those candy hearts? Someone gave me one, and I don't know how he did it.

Oh, I also meant to say that I finally got and finished the last of the Mediator series by Meg Cabot. I really think she's losing her touch. I loved the first five books, and the last one was ... blah. Blah in pretty much the same way Avalon High was blah. Maybe she should stop writing 50 books a year and concentrate on 10, so that they can actually be good. Also, I'm almost done with book 4 of the Cirque du Freak/Darren Shan series. I have a number of questions/comments, but those will have to wait. Work calls. :P
sarea: (mandy moore)
I have a love/hate relationship with [livejournal.com profile] romanticalgirl. You see, she's the one who got me into Veronica Mars and House. Which, I love those shows now, but it's just more TV I have to watch and more DVDs I have to buy. She also got me hooked on Lego Star Wars (Xbox game), with promises of seeing a pregnant!Lego!Queen Amidala. Recently, she's been writing masses of King Arthur fic, and waxed poetical about it during a dinner, which prompted me to buy it (used cheap online, but hasn't arrived yet). Then she gave up candy, but naturally had to introduce me to my first bag of Kissables (I think she's an agent of Hershey's), which I spent the last week or so unsuccessfully trying to find in stores (finally scored some yesterday). I love the taste of the chocolate in Hershey's kisses (yes, it's different from other chocolate!), so these mini M&M-like ones are just the yum. Yes, like I really needed to get addicted to a new kind of candy.

However, she also recently wrote Corridor, a hot little D/G ficlet, so right now I love her. She doesn't often write D/G, so this was a treat indeed.

But to further showcase my slacker status, and to prove that she's still got some D/G cards up her sleeve, [livejournal.com profile] lissannej wrote Observations of a Malfoy, which you should also check out immediately, if you haven't already.

Woe, where is my muse?? Woe.

+++

In other chocolate news, I finally found the chocolate-covered whole hazelnuts that Cadbury's makes, which is not sold regularly in the U.S. (do not ask me why, I do not understand why such a travesty persists) and bought a few boxes, even though it was kind of expensive. I mean, the boxes aren't very big (you only get like 30 nuts per), and then there's shipping on top of the already-pricey chocolates. :-S That place is, as far as I've been able to Google, the only place where you can actually buy them in the U.S. Anyway, after eating them again, I have to say that it was totally worth it. They're soooooooo good.

+++

Random question for those of you who are more knowledgeable about tax/investing-type things than I am (which is possibly everyone, most pets excluded): How much am I allowed to put in my Roth IRA yearly? I think the number depends on other factors, but I do not know what those factors are, so do not know how much I'm allowed to put into the Roth. Thanks to anyone who can shed some light on this very dark topic.

+++

Why I love the Sears washer repair man. )
sarea: (LoVe - thank you)
Hmm, I should really get some more icons to round out my selection. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with 80 Logan/Veronica icons, but I could probably use some variety.

***

I'm sad because my coworker has told us he's leaving the company in order to take on some hoity toity position somewhere else. He's only been here a year, and initially I wasn't even sure how well we'd get along. He was replacing someone whom I considered a good friend (another woman, at that). We started having lunch together regularly and it turned out that he was really cool and we really hit it off. And now he's leaving. :-( It was nice working with a friend. I can't imagine I'll be as lucky with his replacement.

***

I should give up reading WIPs and wait for them to come out on DVD. Wait... Something like that, anyway. Somehow, I got to reading two WIPs on FIA even though I normally avoid WIPs like ... not the plague, exactly ... like fast food. I know it's not good for me, I know the momentary satisfaction is fleeting, and yet the temptation is sometimes just too much for me to resist. DAMN YOU, WIP WRITERS (including me).

***

Christmas/New Year's: Got a lot of sweet loot. Jade, Robbie, and I totally went off each other's Amazon lists this year, and I must say the results brought joy and merriment to all. After all, how can you go wrong with books, DVDs, and CDs?? After burning stuff for each other, it was like getting 3x the loot! :))

Also saw a number of movies. I've already mentioned The Family Stone (see it!!) and King Kong, but Jade and I also saw Crash. I don't think it's playing in theaters anymore, but I highly rec it. It was really, really good. It left me so drained afterward that I didn't think I could see it again, but I've changed my mind. It was just a great movie -- I'm hoping it'll be this year's Sideways and get nommed for an Oscar! I believe the guy who wrote it also wrote Million-Dollar Baby.

My parents and I went to Vegas during the last couple of days of my trip and saw my brother (who was there working). I won $5 playing the penny slots. :)) (Hey, that's like the equivalent of winning $500 from a regular slot machine!) I also saw that "Avenue Q" was playing at Wynn (fairly boring and run of the mill, for the new A-list hotel in town). I wish I'd known earlier so I could have booked tickets.

***

A little story about my friend K. and her recent wedding. With pics! )

***

And now, for WoW business. )

***

Two new Meg Cabot books have come out -- I haven't read either one yet, but of course I will: Size 12 Is Not Fat (adult contemporary, mystery) and Avalon High (YA, and yes, there are shades of the Arthurian legend w00t)
sarea: (I need a hug)
Dear LJers,

I am such a pig. Yesterday our admin sent out an email, saying that she would be ordering Jersey Mike's subs for everyone who was coming into the office today. I asked for a footlong, because 6 inches is never quite enough (*snicker*). But JM's 'footlong' is more like 2 feet long, and I've eaten half of it, and now I feel all nauseated. Oh, there were also barbecue chips involved. Urrrgh. But at least Talis can eat the rest of the roast beef.

Also, I fully aware that I'm usually a terrible procrastinator, but this year has been one of the worst. As of today, four days before Christmas, I have gifts for exactly five people (one is my cousin, who told me what he wanted; one is my mom, who bought herself something and told me to pay her back for it). I have not written one single Christmas card. Of the people I still need to buy gifts for, I have zero idea what to get them. And I can barely fathom that I will have to pack, put my dog into a carrier, and get him and me on a plane in three days. I feel like I live in some weird dimension where time speeds by me while I'm wandering around idiotically (like some hunter has just used scattershot on me). All right, that's not that different from a normal day, but really, the month of December has been completely insane.

And yet I'm stuck sitting here at work, wondering why the hell any of us are still here, eating coconut Slices that [livejournal.com profile] lissannej sent me. (OMG TEH YUM.) And let's face it, if I weren't here, I would be at home playing WoW, not doing anything actually productive.

The only things that have made me feel remotely Christmasy this year is a) the Narnia movie; and b) [livejournal.com profile] starlettegurly's drawing of Draco and Ginny in the snow.

Bah humbug.

Love,
Your friendly neighborhood Grinch

Edit: OMG, I saw another SWERVE van today. It looked like an ambulance, and on it, it said something like "roadside assistance" or something. It is *so* hysterically funny. They even have a Web site: http://www.goswerve.com/!! Their motto is, "Changing the way people drive." =)) I want to meet the founder of that company.

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