Nov. 16th, 2014 12:08 am
owlmoose: (cats - lexi innocent)
For the second night in a row, T and I went over to a friends' home for dinner. Last night: Mexican take-out. Tonight: home cooking (chicken parmesan, and we made a salad, and someone else brought pie and ice cream). Both nights: good company, great conversation, and way too much food. It's a good life.

Dining out

Nov. 13th, 2014 11:40 pm
owlmoose: (teamoose)
One of my favorite restaurants in SF is reportedly closing by the end of the year (the owner claims he won't be able to afford the new SF minimum wage, which, whatever, dude, it's a slow rise over three years, and your restaurant is popular; just jack up the prices a little and you'd be fine. Seems to me he was looking for an excuse to get out and took the opportunity to score political points -- he made the statement before the proposition even passed) so I went with a group for dinner tonight. A bowl of sangria, a pile of macaroni and cheese, apple crisp and make-your-own s'mores at the table. It all adds up to a good night, especially when you add in casual conversation with four of my best friends.

This is my Thursday Night Dinner crew -- a rotating group of about 20 people who take turns arranging dinner at a restaurant, almost every week on Thursday night (or sometimes Wednesday, depending on schedules). And this has been going on continuously since 1998, which is rather amazing, really. Sometimes we try new places, other times we visit old favorites. Luna Park is one of those favorites; I'd say we get there about once a year, on average, usually when I'm craving comfort food. I'll miss it, but I'm sure I'll find something else I like just as well. And hopefully the next one won't balk at paying its staff a living wage.


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: (kh - roxas)
So I never did get around to posting about Bryn Mawr or Boston, and here I already am in Chicago. The short version is that I'm having a very nice trip, filled with seeing friends old and new -- so many people at Bryn Mawr, quality time with A and hanging out with her friends, meet ups with two separate college friends and then the marvelous [personal profile] tarysande in Boston. Then today was basically a continuous meet-up, going from one friend to the next: lunch with [ profile] rhiannon42, coffee and a walk around with [personal profile] tanyad, and dinner with one of my best friends from BMC, who lives in the Chicago suburbs and whom I hadn't seen for several years. (Seven years? Can it really have been that long? I think it may have been for another Chicago wedding, back in 2007. Wow.) Then tomorrow is [personal profile] lassarina's wedding, and I know several folks who will be there, and the connections just keep coming.

I like a lot of things about traveling, but maybe one of the best things is that I know people in so many parts of the world, such that almost everywhere I go, there will be a friend there. That's pretty amazing. And you know, in part, I have the Internet to thank for that. Thank you, Internet, for creating such a wonderful wide network of amazing people to be in my life.
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: (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 [ 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.

Good day

Nov. 16th, 2013 10:12 pm
owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
I spent most of today hanging out with two friends from Tumblr: [ profile] autumnyte and [ profile] heretherebdragons. Evidence: 1, 2. We spent the afternoon wandering around Union Square and Nob Hill: ate ramen, walked the Grace Cathedral labyrinth, shopped for chocolate, bought hats (see evidence #2), went for coffee and pastries, and chatted happily for hours. This is the second time the three of us have gotten together, and it's always so much fun.

Meeting fandom people in the offline world is the best.
owlmoose: (ffx2 - paine smile)
Things I have done this weekend:

-- Slumber party in the living room.
-- Made memes over coffee.
-- Ate burgers at Five Guys. Then brought home the leftover fries and melted cheese over them, with bacon and sour cream. Oh yum.
-- Went to the library, admired the signage, and forced myself not to line up book spines with the edge of the shelf.
-- Took a walk through a nearby woods. I got to crunch through leaves for the first time in years.
-- Trawled the depths of YouTube for everyone’s greatest hits.
-- Read comics, specifically the first two volumes of "Avatar: The Promise", about which more at another time.
-- Got my ass kicked at Mario Party.
-- Watched RuPaul's Drag Race, Game of Boobs Thrones, Eddie Izzard, and Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire.
-- Got a room to ourselves in a pizza joint to watch the Bills play the Jaguars. Featuring wings, calzones, and a ranch dressing explosion.
-- Went to the bookstore, because how could I spend the weekend with [personal profile] renay and not go to the bookstore? My purchase was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the third volume of "Avatar: The Promise".
-- Drank. A lot. I think I had more Jello shots this weekend than in the entire rest of my life combined. Lime and orange made with raspberry vodka, highly recommended.
-- Pulled every muscle in my body laughing. I think I’ve found myself in tears or doubled over, unable to breathe, approximately every five minutes.

It's official, I love this weekend.
owlmoose: (hepburn)
After a drive, some errands, and a booze run, we are now settle in for the night with food, games, and delicious adult beverages (I have a lemon drop in hand as I type this (not literally)). Considering how much hilarity we had just driving around town, I predict that this is going to be an awesome, awesome weekend. :D

I might get my monthly wrap-up post done today, or I might not. Given that I'm experience typing fail already, it might be a terrible idea, or it might be highly entertaining....
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
Today, I flew to Memphis, TN, where I ate a BBQ pork sandwich at a restaurant within a mile of Graceland. I had no idea Graceland was just in town like that. It was closed, of course (we drove by at like 9:30pm), but all lit up for the holidays.

Tomorrow, I meet up with [personal profile] seventhe and [personal profile] justira to drive over to [personal profile] renay's place for a weekend of mayhem and shenanigans. At least, I hope there are shenanigans. I have been promised some, after all. And if the world ends from the sheer confluence of awesome that will commence, I guess the Mayans were just a few days off.


Nov. 23rd, 2012 11:41 pm
owlmoose: (cats - teacup)
Too much food, too much sangria, too much fun. Dinner was awesome but I think I need to crash -- time to curl up in bed with more water and my iPad.

But first, the friands, which were delicious and received with much acclaim. Have some food porn. )

Good night Internets, I will see you on the morrow.
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
Not a lot to say about today, despite it being busy. I met up with a friend from Tumblr for lunch, which was awesome, and then got together with a bunch of folks to help another friend pack for a move. Probably more running around than I should have done on my concert weekend day off, but it was worth it.

Yesterday's concert went pretty well. One more show tomorrow, a week off, and then we pick up right away for a special concert in January. I am excited about the new venue -- the first Monday in December is our first rehearsal in the new space, and I'm so eager to get a look at it.

Sorry I am so boring today. That's what happens in November -- you get to learn how mundane my life really is....
owlmoose: (cats - tori sun)
I need to keep this quick because my houseguest will be here any minute, but I didn't want today to pass by without taking a moment to share my gratitude for the Internet and the people on it -- everyone who reads and everyone who lurks, friends and acquaintances old and new, the people who give of their time and energy to make fandom and Internet community happen and the folks who cheer them on from the sidelines. My life would be the poorer without every single one of you in it, and I hope you all know that. Group hugs for everyone!

Much love, always, me.


Nov. 23rd, 2011 09:59 am
owlmoose: (tea - it's good for you)
The coffee is fresh, the Panera is warm and smells like cinnamon, I got my favorite table, and I have lots of ideas for the continuation of the crossover fic percolating in my brain. A good start to the last day of a short work-week.

This holiday is going to be really busy, but I also hope really fun. Thursday is Thanksgiving with family in Sacramento. Then a second Thanksgiving on Friday with friends, which has started happening more often over the last couple of years, and I love it. We're making desserts for both -- I plan to pick up ingredients for apple crisp at the Farmer's Market today (assuming I'm not too late...) and then T is going to whip up a Fromage Blanc Bavarian for Friday. (One large cake, not many little cakes like in that picture.) Then Saturday is a small Moose Day (observed) celebration, and on Sunday, I collapse.

Oh November. Usually a busy month, but this time it has just been non-stop, from the opening bell. Let's hope that at least the opening weeks of December are a little quieter...
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
In a short while, I leave for the airport, fetching A for a weekend of fun, frolic, and They Might Be Giants. Shows tonight and tomorrow; tomorrow's performance is being advertised as a "Flood Show", which is a pretty darn exciting concept.

Meanwhile, in lieu of substantial content, have a very thoughtful comment regarding the experience of being an introvert online.

And also, this may be my favorite thing in the history of the Internet. And that's saying something.

I hope everyone is having a splendid weekend.
owlmoose: (tea - it's good for you)
With too much booze but lots of yummy food, and a backed up kitchen with a kickass waiter who made up for it by bringing us free fries (before he took our orders, even -- I like a server who makes pre-emptive amends) and only charging me for the burger I originally ordered rather than the steak I had to get instead when they were out of burgers. And good company, of course, although that's pretty much a given on Thursday nights. So overall, I count my evening as a rousing success.

And now it's a little late and I'm a lot tired (possibly largely because of those three drinks I had, and also because of work ughness, but I'm really not going to get into that when I'm in this state of mind), so it's time for me to head to bed. Good night, Internets.
owlmoose: (writing - slave)
A friend invited me to a writing day at his house today. I've never done writing in a group setting before -- by myself in cafes, yes, all the time, but never with other people who were also writing during specified blocks of time (social hour, two hours of writing, half hour break, two more hours of writing). I was curious to see how it would work for me -- would being in the presence of other writers, all (as far as I know) working on original fiction, some friends and some strangers, make me too self-conscious to write? I wasn't 100% certain I could be productive.

Four hours, 4,434 words, and a near-complete draft of my Mega Flare story later, I can safely say: yes, it does work for me, and very well. Especially for the kind of word dump writing I need to do today. I plugged in my headphones, mostly turned off the social Internet (I kept access up for checking maps and stuff, and did look at my mail a few times, but I purposefully logged out of IM), and just wrote. Every scene that I knew I still needed to draft, plus a couple I didn't know I needed until I started writing them. It was an excellent exercise, and I'm feeling much better about my chances of getting this story actually done.

Next step: stitch the thing together (I'm trying out Scrivener for the first time, which I think has been pretty effective for a longer story written out of order; I really wish I'd had it for "A Guardian's Legacy") and see what's missing. Then write what's missing, smooth the transitions, fix up the end a little, and come up with a title. Totally doable in five days. Right? Right.
owlmoose: (B5 - Ivanova)
I had thoughts on the article about the agent who asked two authors to de-gay their YA novel (a story which has now come under dispute by the agent in question; my thoughts on the resulting pushback are best summed up in this tweet by Scott Westerfeld, but I digress). It turns out that [personal profile] renay also had thoughts, and we bounced those thoughts around and off each other, and we posted the results over on [community profile] ladybusiness:

Your thoughts on our thoughts welcome!
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
Because I worked the Saturday before last, and my school was closed for Good Friday, I was blessed with a four-day weekend, and it was glorious!

Thursday: I started the day with a writing morning, for the first time in ages, during which I nearly finished a draft of my [community profile] ff_exchange story. Then I came home and worked on my Dragon Age replay all afternoon, followed by a lovely dinner with lovely friends and lovely wine in Alameda.

Oh, Dragon Age. I am so into this game, it's kind of ridiculous. To the point where, after a bit of agonizing, I broke down and bought the Ultimate Edition. To be fair, that cost about as much as buying Awakenings (the primary expansion pack) and one of the smaller downloads, so it'll probably be more cost effective in the end. Still, I have to face the fact that I have now purchased another copy of a game I already own. Does this make me a bigger geek than I already am?

Friday: Culinary adventures on the Peninsula with SE! We started with lunch and cupcakes at Vanilla Moon, then wandered down the street to an olive oil shop, where I was unable to resist walking out with a bottle of balsamic vinegar flavored with tangerine. It was really neat to taste dozens of oils and vinegars, play with blending the flavors, seeking out the perfect vinaigrette or dipping sauce combinations. The shopkeeper was really knowledgable and helpful, too.

Other stops included a taiyaki shop in San Mateo (little fish-shaped pastries filled with custard, bean paste, and other delectables including Nutella -- yum!); three attempts at finding a bakery in Redwood City that culminated in tea and pastries at Pamplemousse, which is our go-to place for such things; a spice store with a huge and fascinating stock; and a wander through Kepler's. Then we met up with T and SF for a tasty Japanese dinner of yakitori and other small plates, followed by a trip to Beard Papa for a cream puff dessert. Great food, great fun. I consider it rather a miracle that I didn't end up bringing home anything more than the vinegar, three jars of spices, one book, and half a dozen macarons from Pamplemousse.

Then we came home and played some Portal 2. This is a theme that will recur.

Saturday: The day of errands and lounging. Washed the car, got groceries, played Portal, made dinner, played more Portal, got some writing done, probably would have played more Portal but my wrists said "No." Fortunately, the writing went okay, on that front. I wrote the last little bit of my FFEX draft -- it needs a lot of work still, but at least that first runthrough is finished -- and then I started the Dragon Age fic that has been nagging at me ever since we finished the game. Well, one of them, anyway. Where all this will end up... we'll see.

Sunday: Easter Brunch! R and S hosted, we made hash browns, more yummy food was eaten, more good company was had, and then we dyed eggs. I don't think I've dyed eggs since the SKERG* Easter Brunch of 1997. There were some real beauties, too. Then we came home and played some Portal 2.

Oh, Portal. We started with multi-player cooperative, which is interesting and challenging. I would say, so far, that it's every bit as good as the first one. But I'll hold more complete thoughts for another day.

And so that was my four-day weekend. Which I really, really needed. And now, with luck, I'll be ready to go back and face the daily grind, rejuvenated and ready for more.

*SKERG, for the uninitiated, was the nickname for the apartment where I lived with four other people for a couple of years after college, so named because it was the most pronounceable combination of our first initials. I forget who coined it, but it stuck, to the point where we still refer to it by name, even though the household broke up almost 13 years ago.
owlmoose: (stonehenge)
[personal profile] lassarina asked about my experiences playing Tabletop (or what I think of as "pencil-and-dice") RPGs.

I have long enjoyed playing RPGs. My introduction to the genre came from [ profile] oswulf, who was a big fan and had all kinds of systems; D&D, Gurps, and Star Frontiers are the ones I remember offhand. Starting from our pre-teen years, we would play whenever we could, which was unfortunately not on a regular enough basis to get a long campaign going. But it was still always fun, and led to, among other things, a life-long running gag regarding the dangers of chairs.

The first time I ever got involved in a regular campaign was during my college years -- not while I was away at school, but when I came home for breaks. D and S, the guys I was sort-of dating during much of that time (yes, at the same time; yes, they both knew about it; yes, it's a long story that's only tangentially related, and maybe I will tell it sometime, but not today) were both big gamers, and D invited me to join a long-running Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign that he'd been running since high school, and I gladly accepted, taking on an Elf ranger-type fighter who hated humans and didn't much care for other races, either. That campaign led to many others; some of the more memorable were a couple of Star Wars games (one in which I played a hotshot Imperial pilot who defected after Yavin, and another in which I was the daughter of a spaceship manufacturer who went into business for herself shipping X-Wings to the Rebellion -- she is officially my favorite player character ever), a few rounds of Call of Cthulu (to the GM's consternation, I decided to play a woman famous for writing books about organic gardening, which is not your usual Cthulu mythos character), a Teenagers from Outer Space campaign that sadly ran for only a few sessions but featured some of the most fun I've ever had gaming (I played a goth girl who drove a black VW Thing with the best stereo system in the known universe), and a one-night D&D one shot where I ended up getting myself and most of the rest of my party killed in the gladiator ring. I've also dabbled in Mage (the character I created for that game is one I've thought about resurrecting for a story some day), Champions, and Shadowrun.

After graduation, I moved away from that group of friends, and I've never been in a position to game regularly since. A couple of years ago, I was invited to play in a short campaign run by Jed, in a system he created himself, and that was one of my best gaming experiences ever; it was more like participating in an interactive story, which when well-done is something I love. I like a GM who can think on their feet and allow the players some freedom while still guiding them down the intended path.

I've done a couple of one-shot live-action RPGs also, run by my friend E, and they were a blast. I would definitely be up for doing something like that again. One thing I've never done is acted as GM myself, and I'm perfectly fine with that -- I think I'm much happier as a player, along for the ride.

Would I play regularly again if the opportunity presented itself? Probably, although making time for regular gaming sessions is tough, as we discovered during Jed's short-term game. That's the main reason I haven't sought out a gaming group -- time. That said, if another short-term gaming opportunity comes up, you can be sure that I'll jump on it.

Finally, no discussion of RPGs would be complete for me without a mention of dice. I love dice. I love how they look, I love the feel of them in my hand, I love the sound they make when they're rolled. There's something so tactile about them, unlike any other fidget toy. I have many more sets than I reasonably could need, just because I think they're awesome.

30 Days of... Project! Complete list of questions / Ask a question on LJ or on DW.

In other news, I didn't quite finish the story. Almost; I could probably post it as is, but really it needs at least one more editing run to be presentable. Fortunately (?), Yuletide signups have AO3 running so slowly that we decided to extend the deadline by a week to save everyone the frustration of trying to upload, so I have a bit of a reprieve (and so do the rest of you!). Fingers crossed, it will be ready in the next couple of days.

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