owlmoose: (ffx2 - crimson squad)
I've seen a lot of commentary about the difficulties of going home for the holidays in these divided political times -- people stressing out about the prospect of political arguments, coming up with strategies for dealing with the bigoted uncle, and so forth. Although I have my own family stresses, I count myself very lucky that politics is not one of them. (At least not among my mother's family. My dad's family, and T's family, are another story, but they aren't local -- when I talk about getting together with family, I generally mean my parents and brothers, and my mom's siblings and their kids). We fall at various points along the liberal spectrum, but at the core we have similar enough beliefs and values that when we argue politics, we're debating the details, not more fundamental questions like whether racism exists. As I mentioned at one point, it was a relief to be able to assume that no one at tonight's dinner voted for Trump (I do have one brother who's a Bernie Bro, and I expect he voted Green Party; we steered clear of that particular topic, which is fine since he lives in California where his presidential vote was essentially irrelevant) or supports his policies and beliefs. Not to say there weren't debates or arguments -- we're a big loud family who likes to talk about controversial topics, so of course there were points of disagreement -- but because they came from a place of fundamental agreement and respect, we're able to have actual conversations that rarely end in hurt feelings. It might be one of the ways I am most fortunate in my family of origin, and this year of all years, I don't take it for granted.

Thanks

Nov. 24th, 2016 09:42 pm
owlmoose: picture of a snow leopard (cats - snow leopard)
It can be rough to find things to be thankful for in these troubled times. And yet overall I remain relatively happy and content with my life. I am fortunate in so many ways: my stable marriage to a good and caring person; my healthy kitty who stayed healthy; wonderful friends in my daily life, my online life, and around the world; a job where I do meaningful work and have flexible hours so that I can pursue my other interests; a family that loves and supports me even when they don't always understand me; healthy and financially stable enough that I don't have to expect too much energy worrying about my basic needs.

And of course I have fandom, and every single one of you reading this, even those I don't know that well, even if we've never spoken directly. Fandom has brought so many good things into my life and I can't imagine a world without it. So thanks to you all, from the bottom of my heart. I hope everyone who celebrates is having a good and low-stress Thanksgiving, and a very happy Thursday to all.

Holidaze

Nov. 23rd, 2016 11:53 pm
owlmoose: (tea - teabag)
Various events will be changing up my usual holiday celebrations this year. Because my cousin who's hosting Thanksgiving wants to spend the day with her late mother's family -- it's their big all-family gathering day -- we're getting together on Friday instead. So tomorrow, for the first time ever in my life, I will be having Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant, with some friends and their family. It's weird to think that I won't be going anywhere tomorrow, that I'm not baking or assembling some dish tonight, that we have the entire morning and afternoon to ourselves. Not bad, just weird.

Friday, then, will be family day (which means no Moose Day celebration, though it's been years since I organized anything for that anyway). On Saturday, I'll attend a Gilmore Girls marathon. Most years, I go to a "Friendsgiving" dinner on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but that's not happening this year, because the friends who host it are packing up their house for a massive remodel. Which makes Sunday another unexpectedly free day. I expect all of these events, and relaxing days off, will be fun and lovely, but I'm a fan of tradition and ritual, so all these changes are throwing me off a little.
owlmoose: (hepburn)
Thanks to the reminder from [personal profile] umadoshi that More Joy Day is coming, on Thursday, January 14th. It's an idea that's beautiful in its simplicity: on More Joy Day, perform one action that's intended to put more joy into the world. From last year's post:

Remember, even a small act is all that's needed. A call to a friend you haven't talked to in awhile, flowers for a neighbor, letting someone in front of you in line, leaving a happy comment on someone's fic or vid or podcast or graphic, sharing a pic!spam of joyful moments on your journal, giving someone a compliment, planting a tree, or taking a moment to smile at someone else as you walk by them.


I participated in this last year by writing a happy flashfic -- one that made me smile, made other people smile, and it even made the characters happy. I'll try to do the same this year, but even if I have to content myself with something smaller, that will be enough.

I've been thinking for awhile now that I would like 2016 to be a year where I focus on the positive, both in fandom and on the internet generally. I tend to be an optimist by my nature: someone who tries to focus on the bright side of things, to find reasons to like things even when they're flawed. Between the election year and my continued employment uncertainty, there are enough stressful things in my life without making the Internet yet another source of it. Of course, this doesn't mean never saying anything critical ever -- that's neither realistic nor something I would actually want, since casting a critical eye on media is half the fun of fandom, for me. But I want to be more mindful of what I'm putting out in the world. More Joy Year? It certainly can't hurt to try.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
Spent the day with family up in Santa Rosa, starting with a visit to my parents' place to exchange gifts with them and hang out a little, and then we went over to my uncle's to eat. We made the mashed potatoes, from a new recipe, and they came out quite well. My younger brother, who moved back to California this year, joined us for dinner, so this the first Christmas that my nuclear family has celebrated together in something like eight years. A happy occasion to be sure.

I received three books and a Barnes & Noble gift card (which I will turn into a book), meaning that every single gift I got was a book. It's like they know me or something.

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates, and Happy Friday to everyone. :)
owlmoose: Closeup of Melinda May (marvel - melinda may)
Today, I am thankful for Jessica Jones, which I just finished. I thought it was excellent, and I hope they give her a second season. I will have more thoughts when it isn't 12:30am.

Also I am thankful for family, and turkey, and that the desserts I made all went over well, and that I broke wordcount minimum on my Dragon Age Reverse Big Bang (though there is still a fair amount of story left to go). And, as always, for all of you wonderful people, both those I've met recently and those who have been around awhile. Thanks for coming around and sticking around. :)

I hope everyone who celebrates had a lovely Thanksgiving!
owlmoose: photo of little owl in a stocking cap (owlhat)
I made two desserts in one day, with only one unscheduled trip to the grocery store (I misjudged the amount of cream cheese I would need). Apple crisp and pumpkin cheesecake bars, both of which have been popular with my family in the past. So it should be good.

Tomorrow, I prepare the salad, to preemptively make up for all of the sugar that I'll be feeding them.
owlmoose: (otter)
In Nashville for my brother's college graduation. It's sort of a weird time because he's also (very) recently (and somewhat suddenly, from my perspective) divorced, and also lost his job not too long ago, so lots of personal changes all at once. My parents are also here, and his relationship with them is a little bit strained, so I anticipate a weekend of much family wrangling and negotiating.

Still, I am very proud of him for finishing his college degree, especially in the midst of so much personal upheaval. I hope he's proud, too.
owlmoose: (cats - tori sun)
Went up to Santa Rosa for Thanksgiving with the family. (No matter how long I live other places and how much I like them, I still have a little thrill of thinking "I'm home" when I drive into Sonoma County.) Good meal, good to see family, good that I get to have a second Thanksgiving with friends on Sunday.

I hope all of you who celebrate had a lovely day, and a very happy Thursday to everyone else. :)
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
Wind Flight won Dominance!!! Woohoo!

This was our first successful dom push since I got involved (and only the fourth time that Wind has ever been dominant), so I'm pretty happy and proud. :) I didn't make quite as much money for myself, since my training time was limited (stupid broken finger), but you can bet that I will be taking advantage of the discounts. (I bought one lair expansion already.)

The rest of today was taken up by a free science fair at AT&T Park and a friend's birthday party, so really a good day all around. :)
owlmoose: a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded by fog (golden gate bridge)
It rained last night. I do not begrudge anyone being happy about this, since we can use every drop of water we get. Still, I really wasn't ready for summer to be over -- especially since in SF it never really started this year.

A more pleasant thought: tomorrow is T's and my tenth wedding anniversary. We spent some time casting about for ideas of how to celebrate (we have other plans this weekend and so can't go out of town), and hit on the thought of going to a ballgame. It's one of the last games of the season, and the Giants are on the verge of clinching a post-season berth, so it has the potential to be exciting. Also, we decided to splurge on the fancy club-level seats, which we've never done before.

Ten years, wow.

Wedding!

Jun. 8th, 2014 12:52 am
owlmoose: (ff12 - ashe)
I am just back from [personal profile] lassarina's wedding, which was great fun: a lovely ceremony, a tasty dinner, and a fun dance party. I am really happy that I was able to come, spend some time with [personal profile] seventhe, finally meet [personal profile] lassarina in person, and hang out and chat with some of her friends. There were even fireworks! Probably it was a coincidence, but I prefer to believe they were in honor of Rina and her paladin. :) My feet are tired, and I'm a bit wet from waiting for a cab in the rain after, but it was worth it.

I had been thinking of going to the Field Museum tomorrow. Depends on how early I wake up and how much of a pain it is to get there if it's still raining. Then I'll be seeing [personal profile] tanyad again for dinner, yay! Home on Monday, and fun as this trip has been, I'm looking forward to that, too. A week and a half is a long time to be away from home.
owlmoose: (california - freeway)
I suppose it would be more accurate to say "hitting the air", since most of my travel will be by plane, but that doesn't have the same ring to it. ;) Anyway, it took a bit of wrangling to get all these ducks in their row, but on Thursday morning (early, so so early), I'll be leaving for a week-and-a-half three-city epic trip:

  1. Thursday: Fly SFO to Boston, at 6:45 in the morning. :\ Why, god, why? (Answer: because it was this or the red-eye, and I'll get more sleep this way. But still. Guh.)

  2. Friday: Road trip to Bryn Mawr with A!

  3. Friday-Sunday: 1990s decade reunion at BMC. This is the first time I've ever gone to Reunion in an "off-year", and I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a less structured visit -- there's a few events for the '90s cluster, but it should mostly be just hanging out and chatting and relaxing at the Mawr. Anyone reading this planning to be there?

  4. Sunday: Road trip back to Boston.

  5. Monday-Thursday: Hanging in Boston. This is where I expect to have the most free time. If anyone is in the area and wants to hook up for coffee or whatever, let me know!

  6. Friday: Fly Boston to Chicago (once again stupidly early in the morning).

  7. Saturday: [personal profile] lassarina's wedding!! :D I am very excited to finally meet her face to face (although I have no expectations of quality time, given that it is a wedding). I hope to get some time to hang with [personal profile] seventhe and meet other folks, too.

  8. Sunday: Meet up with Tumblr people, details pending. I should probably get on that.

  9. Monday: Fly home in the early afternoon (one reasonable flight time, yes!).


Sounds suitably epic, right? :) I can't believe it's only a couple of days away.
owlmoose: (da - varric)
In contract to last years multi-week extravaganza, I had a nice low-key birthday today: vet appointment in the morning, quiet afternoon at home, dinner out with a few friends. The vet trip was Tori's regular check-up, which now happens every couple of months or so. The news was extremely good -- all of her blood tests came back in the normal range for the first time ever, so we can keep tapering down her meds. Best birthday present I could have gotten.

I did get another gift, for myself: an iPad Mini, dark gray with a bright red cover. Finally, a multi-purpose tablet that's exactly the right size for me to use as an eReader! Is this the moment that I being to shift away from paper books? Perhaps, although I don't expect I'll ever ditch them entirely.

Tomorrow will be another quiet day, and then Friday is the first day of FogCon. Yay, FogCon! If you'll be there, let me know and we can find a time to meet up.
owlmoose: (BMC - cloisters)
[personal profile] auronlu asked for a school memory. Although she said it didn't have to be a memory of our our shared alma mater, Bryn Mawr College, of course it will be. I have some good memories of high school and before, and from grad school, too, but nothing has had such a formative effect on who I am and whom I will be than my years at Bryn Mawr, and the women I met there. Of course, to then sort through everything memorable that happened during those four years and choose a single moment is nigh-on impossible. But here's one that came to mind right away, because it's probably first time I remember having a crystal realization that I was in the right place, and had surrounded myself with the right people.

So, step with me into the Wayback Machine to March 5th of frosh year, my 19th birthday, the day before Spring Break. It was a weeknight, unseasonably warm for early March, and everyone was busy running around trying to wrap up their schoolwork and pack to get out of town, so I had no expectation of any real kind of celebration. But still, a couple of hours after dinner, a couple of friends -- I don't remember exactly whom -- dropped by my room with a blindfold. Fortunately, I had good, trustworthy friends, so I let them lead me blind out of the dorm and across campus to the Campus Center. There, on the steps, I was met by a most surprising sight: a whole bunch of our friend group, with lit lanterns*, and a pint of Ben & Jerry's (New York Super Fudge Chunk, if I recall) festooned with candles. They sang Happy Birthday, swinging the lanterns in unison (more or less :) ), and then we had an ice cream feast, right there on the Campus Center steps.

It was such a little thing in so many ways, and yet it sticks with me, as one of my favorite birthday memories as well as school memories. Because I felt, in that moment, like I belonged. That I had found a community of friends, connected to the much larger community of Bryn Mawrters. That, for the first time ever in my life really, I had found people who would go to some trouble to make me feel special and loved. Some of the women who were on the steps that night continue to be among the most important people in my world, and I can't be more glad of it.

*Every Bryn Mawr undergraduate is given a lantern during her first semester. (See a photo of [livejournal.com profile] madlori's lantern, and super awesome tattoo based on it, here.) The color is based on your class, and mine, like Lori's, is green. There are various traditional events at which we light our lanterns and sing songs, and leaders called songsmistresses move them up and down to keep time, which is called swinging. If this all seems weird and/or arcane to you, I understand. :) But it was meaningful to me.

So, 2014

Jan. 1st, 2014 01:50 pm
owlmoose: (cats - black kitty)
I spent last night just the way I like it, with a small group of friends, talking and laughing and eating, pretty much the perfect way to ring in the New Year for me. I hope you all had a similarly fun and/or peaceful New Year's Eve, as you prefer.

2013 was a weird year for me in many respects. In large part, it feels defined by the things that didn't happen -- I didn't find a job, I didn't travel really (just a few local trips), or get any substantial projects done. I look back and wonder where it all went. I don't do New Year's resolutions really, but I do plan to take better charge of my time in 2014. Give myself a schedule, and go ahead and give myself permission to make long-term plans (for travel, for writing, for personal and home improvement projects, for figuring out my random nagging health issues*) regardless of what happens with the job situation. Once I find a permanent job, then I'll adjust. No more waiting around for things that are out of my control.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and secure 2014. Even if I haven't been around these parts as much lately, I still consider all of you here in journal-land to be my online community, and I'm so, so glad to have you. :)

* )

Holidays

Dec. 29th, 2013 02:15 pm
owlmoose: (cats - teacup)
Last full day in DC. We had a quiet Christmas day. Then we went out the next three days, visiting the Pentagon Memorial (mostly because the architect was a classmate of mine at Bryn Mawr), the Library of Congress (at last!), the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum (which is the home of the Space Shuttle Discovery), and Eastern Market in Capitol Hill.

Today was brunch and now football -- my sister-in-law's boyfriend is a big Packers fan, and they have a shot at the playoffs, so no way he is going to miss this game. So we are all in the TV room, hanging out by the fireplace and the Christmas tree, the early games on TV, nice and cozy against the rain outside. It's been a good visit. But I'm definitely glad to be getting home tomorrow.
owlmoose: (california - freeway)
Posting to DW/LJ from an airplane. Living in the future is pretty sweet, if more expensive than I thought it would be (Virgin America had the wrong prices posted on their website) and also much slower (I had to turn off image loading on Tumblr).

Currently enroute to Washington DC, where we will spend the holiday with T's family. I can't actually remember if I mentioned it here, but T's mom moved from San Diego to live with his sister in July. She can't really live on her own anymore, and although moving cross-country might not have been the ideal solution, it was the compromise everyone could best live with. It's a little different, making a cross-country trek for the holiday rather than just bopping down to Southern California, but we do what we must. At least it's not supposed to be terribly cold this week. And I hear that DC is beautiful at Christmastime. So I hope it will be a nice trip. It's been pretty smooth so far.

We'll be in DC for a week, and I'm not sure how online I'll be. Probably at least some, given that T and I have four Internet devices between us (two iPhones, an iPad, and my computer). But if I don't see you, I hope those of you celebrating have a lovely Christmas, and that everyone has a good week. :)
owlmoose: (tea - it's good for you)
As usual, we had a family dinner at my uncle's place in Sacramento. I made an apple crisp, which was well-received. There was turkey and potatoes and rolls and two kinds of stuffing. No pumpkin pie, alas, which I will have to rectify at some point this weekend. I get along reasonably well with my family, so visits are not usually too stress-inducing.

Also, I discovered that my brother D is a brony, which on reflection ought not to be too surprising -- he's really into a lot of other animated shows, so it makes sense that My Little Pony would be in the mix. I'm more amused by it than anything, and also by the utter confusion of the elder generation that adult men have flocked in droves to a cartoon targeted at elementary school girls.

I hope that all of you are having an excellent holiday, or simply a fine Thursday, wherever you may be.
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
Today was a pretty nice day. T took the day off, and I wasn't scheduled to work, so we slept in, went out for Thai lunch, and then just walked around -- hit the Ferry Building (but didn't buy anything), watched the ice skaters at Justin Herman Plaza, checked out the holiday decorations at the Embarcadero Hyatt. Then we came home, where I made apple crisp for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner while T played Grand Theft Auto Online. The crisp is just out of the oven, and it smells fantastic. I wish I could eat it now.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah preparations are going well, for those of you who choose to make them! :)

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