owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
Today’s adventure was a trip to the Marin Headlands. We walked down to the Point Bonita lighthouse, where despite many drives around that area I had never been -- its hours are very limited (only Saturday, Sunday, and Monday afternoons), and T had always warned me off visiting because the hike involved a steep loose-gravel trail and a rickety bridge, two of my least favorite things thanks to my fear of heights. But fortunately, his information was out of date, because they rebuilt the bridge in 2012, and presumably paved the steepest parts of the trail at the same time. So I found it perfectly accessible for me, and it was worth it.

Point Bonita the oldest lighthouse on the West Coast of the US, and the last in California to become automated. Because it’s still in use, we weren’t able to go up and see the light or the lens, but there were nice exhibits on the history of the lighthouse and the shipping lanes past and present. And the views were excellent. We also saw seals and hawks! So I'm glad I was able to get there.

I posted a few pictures on Tumblr. Nothing special (and no wildlife, alas -- they were too small and far away), but some nice views of the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge.


Jul. 2nd, 2015 07:37 am
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
We are back from our travels! Actually we got in yesterday evening, but I pretty much crashed (and slept off and on for about 10 hours). I will do more proper trip write-ups later, but for now please feel free to cruise my pretty pictures on Tumblr.

I doubt I will fully catch up here (and definitely will not catch up on Tumblr), so if there is news you would like me to see, drop me a comment!
owlmoose: (book - read in bed)
Back home, briefly, while I prepare for the next leg of the trip. I had thought about making arrangements to fly straight from Las Vegas to Europe, but I’m really glad I didn’t -- it’s nice to have a night off, in my own bed, and a bit of extra time to pack. On the other hand, I’ve been thinking of this series of events as a single trip for so long that it’s weird to be here.

I have, as promised, been posting pics and occasional other things to Tumblr, at the following tag: KJ on summer vacation. Las Vegas was fun, if very, very hot -- yesterday it reportedly got up to 113°F (45°C)! The highest I ever saw on my app was 109, which is bad enough. We saw a show and had a fantastic steak dinner, and today we spent mostly lounging by the pool and then had another fantastic dinner, tapas this time.

I doubt I will post much to my journal during the trip, so if you want to follow along, check out the Tumblr tag linked above. Otherwise, I'll see you next week! :)
owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
I can't quite believe that it's upon me so quickly. My next two weeks look something like this...

Tomorrow: Work, dinner with friends.
Friday: Write (two stories -- one final, one draft -- due before I leave), last-minute travel shopping, pack.
Saturday morning: Fly to Las Vegas.
Sunday night: Fly home from Las Vegas.
Monday afternoon: Fly to Nice.
Tuesday afternoon - Sunday 6/28: Cruise!
Sunday afternoon: Fly from Barcelona to Amsterdam.
Wednesday morning: Fly home from Amsterdam.
Wednesday night: Sleep forever.
Thursday-Friday: Continue sleeping forever.
July 4th weekend: Family stuff, probably.
Monday, July 6th: Back to work.

And I thought May was busy!

I expect to have extremely limited Internet access in Europe, since I don't have an international data plan on my phone, and we only get 100 minutes of free wi-fi on the cruise (you read that right: 100 minutes total, for five days, for both of us, which is purely terrifying). I'm sure we'll be able to find cafes and such with wireless from time to time, but for the most part I'm steeling myself to be offline, particularly before we get to Amsterdam. I do want to do at least a bit of travel blogging; most likely I'll post to Tumblr, because it's so much easier to post pictures there. I'll let you all know what the tag is, in case you want to follow along. :)
owlmoose: (let go)
Suddenly, you look up and realize that you haven't updated in far too long.

It turns out that June hasn't been much less busy than May -- work, birthday party, travel prep, Flight Rising profit push, two stories due this week, shopping trips (I got a couple of fabulous new dresses for the cruise), interview for a freelance thing (still haven't heard back though), and now the month is half over and I leave for Vegas in five days, Europe in a week.

I'm really excited about my upcoming trips, but when it's all over, I hope I can spend some more quality time with my couch.
owlmoose: (BMC - cloisters)
Had a fantastic weekend at the mothership, reconnecting with old dear friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in a very long time, as well as with people who I didn't know that well in school. One of the things about being a Mawrter, for me, is that we share a bond that goes beyond who we hung out with for the four (or however many years) we spent there. A kinship with the place, and each other, that affects us all and brings us close together. At every reunion, I spend hours chatting with at least one person I barely knew before, and come out of the experience with a new old friend. And even if we only friend each other on Facebook and see each other every five years, the connection is there, and it's important. There's a reason I make a point of going back every time.

Somehow I ended up agreeing to be class co-president for the next five years. I've been thinking about getting back into volunteering, might as well jump back into the pool with both feet. Right? Also yikes.

Now, to work on catching up with my life and taking a few weeks to breathe before the whirlwind begins again...
owlmoose: (tea - tea cup)
1. My trip to Nashville concluded with relative success. Various potential family dramas were sidestepped thanks to everyone being on good behavior (if not always their best), and I got to spend time with my brother and my nephew, neither of whom I see nearly often enough. I may be seeing much more of my brother soon, which is good news although not under good circumstances.

2. I was on a podcast! [personal profile] renay invited me to come share my thoughts and feelings about Avengers: Age of Ultron on [tumblr.com profile] fangirlhappyhour. It came out today and can be found here, or on the podcast provider of your choice. I recommend you check it out not just today, but in general, for [personal profile] renay and [twitter.com profile] booksmugglers's biweekly conversations on all things fannish, which are always a great time.

3. More travel coming down the pike! My 20 year college reunion is only two weeks away, and I'm getting excited about that. Then, in June, a friend is having a bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas, which was supposed to be a long weekend but then I found out that T was being awarded a Mediterranean cruise by his employer. Okay, that's not a thing that happens in real life, is it? Except apparently, it does. So I'll come home on Sunday instead, and then on Monday we fly to Nice. I have to admit that I have a hard time believing that this is something that's actually going to take place. I might not fully accept it until I get off a plane in France. More about all this later, I am sure.

4. I'm still trying to decide whether to go to Baycon next weekend. I've never been, and I actually can go this weekend (often I'm out of town or have other conflicts), and Seanan McGuire is Guest of Honor, and there are many interesting things on the schedule, so that's all really exciting. On the other hand, I have something happening literally every weekend this month, and June is shaping up to be super busy as well, so it might be nice to have a few days off. Still contemplating.
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: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
Who missed me? I was in DC for the long weekend, visiting T's family since we didn't make it out there for Christmas. I am definitely on board with this "going to the East Coast for a holiday other than Christmas", although except for the flights being way cheaper, I'm not sure that February is much of an improvement. Next year maybe we'll try to guess at cherry blossoms.

Now I am home, fighting off a cough (it's bad enough that I'm skipping chorus tonight) and trying to get back into the swing with work, writing, and anything else that takes more brain power than Flight Rising, which has been about all I've had the mental energy for lately. Oh, and I finally watched Outlander! I find myself wondering if the Scottish actors actually speak Gaelic, or if they're learning the lines phonetically. (Answer: No, and in fact the actress who plays Claire is the only person in the cast who speaks it. Ironically enough, since her character is the only one who doesn't!)

Some spoilers. )


Oct. 25th, 2014 12:18 am
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
Back from Hawaii! It was an awesome trip except for the part where I fractured the tip of my left middle finger while getting out of a boat. So it's in a splint and my typing ability is rather limited. So I will forgo the long stories for now. Meanwhile, if you want to see pictures and other things, I recommend checking out my Tumblr tag. :) T took a zillion pictures and I'll point you toward those, too, when they're ready.

Busy Busy

Oct. 12th, 2014 10:56 pm
owlmoose: (da - varric)
Two new temp jobs, Giants in the playoffs, out of town friends visiting, chorus starting again, various DOINK! mod projects, getting more involved in Dominance battles in Flight Rising. Lots going on. Keeps me on my toes.

Hey, speaking of Flight Rising, there's a registration window coming very soon! It opens tomorrow at 5:30pmAM, Pacific Time, and lasts for 24 hours. If you're interested in breeding and playing with pretty pretty dragons, come join! Tell them owlmoose sent you. :) Then tell me, and I'll give you a dragon, and some other cool stuff. :D

And then, on top of all this, I'm leaving for a week in Hawaii on Thursday. Two days in Oahu, and then five days on the Big Island with a bunch of friends to celebrate S's birthday. Which is exciting, but it feels like there's still lots to do between now and then. Not complaining, though. Not even a little bit.

Sometimes, life does not suck.
owlmoose: (Default)
For as long as it takes me to eat lunch, anyway. I'll probably get myself some more substantial online time tomorrow.

So, hello! The packing has gone really well -- so well, in fact, that we're almost finished and now have very little to do besides wait for the movers to arrive on Thursday. If anyone within reasonable driving distance of north San Diego county wants to get together, let me know.

The new-to-me car is in great shape. I expect we will have many adventures together.

Now that I'm here with all the world of the Internets in front of me, I find I don't have much to say. How are all of you?
owlmoose: (hp - monsters)
Tomorrow afternoon, I'm leaving for a week in San Diego to help T's sister, W, pack up their mom's house. This trip has been planned for awhile, since before T's mom went through a bad patch a couple of weeks ago. So there was some thought that we might have to cancel, but now things are stable and we're still on -- my SiL arrived in California yesterday.

We don't have to clean out the house completely -- this is just a first pass, to move some of the furniture and other things to Virginia, where my MiL moved in with W a little over a year ago. Still, it's going to be a fair amount of work. On the plus side, I'm getting a car out of it; T's mom had two cars, only one went with her to Virginia, and this way we don't have to figure out how to sell it. On the downside, I'm going to be in a house with no Internet access for a week. I'll have my phone, and I'll check in from there as I can, and I might escape to a cafe a time or two, but for the most part I'll be offline. So we'll see how that goes. If you need me, email or IM is probably the best bet.

This will probably not be the worst trip ever, but I don't expect it to be the most fun, either. So good thoughts and (phone internet) viewable distractions will almost certainly be welcome!
owlmoose: (otter)
Unfortunately, we had to postpone most of our staycation adventures due to illness, but we did make it down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium today. :) I put a selection of pictures up on my Tumblr -- go for otters, octopi, cuttlefish, and other critters! As usual, it's likely that T's pictures will be better than mine, so if he gets around to processing, I'll share those, too.

We also took a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium! It was presented as an otter tour, but it was really more of a shortened version of the usual backstage tour with a particular focus on talking about the otter facilities -- we didn't actually get to see any off-exhibit otters, or any of the spaces they use, although we did get a quick look at live video feed of the mama otter who's currently fostering two pups. (They keep baby otters out of the public eye most of the time, because they don't want the pups to get too used to humans; it causes problems when they get released back into the wild. The one we saw earlier this year was an exception, because it was the first pup that adult had ever fostered, so they didn't expect him to be releasable anyway.)

(PS: if you like baby otter pictures, you should click that link. I can't remember whether I shared here before, and I suspect it is relevant to many of your interests. ;) )

Anyway, so it was interesting, but not quite as otter-tastic as we had hoped for. However, we did pay several visits to the otters on exhibit, and also saw at least three gamboling in Monterey Bay, so it was worth it.


Jul. 7th, 2014 08:39 pm
owlmoose: a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded by fog (golden gate bridge)
Heh heh week without posting, oops. Hello writing goals, nice to see you as you fall behind me into the dust.

I mostly blame Flight Rising. How dare you be so addictive, game? The dynamics of its economy are both fascinating and frustrating to me. It's an extreme buyer's market, at least for dragons -- I make way more from selling battle loot than I do from buying and selling dragons. In a month of playing, I've never sold a dragon on the open market that didn't get exalted (in other words, "deleted from the site permanently"). I've been doing some advertising on Tumblr and the site forums, and that helps, but it's more work than I had really wanted to put in on what was supposed to be a fun distraction with some pretty dragons.

The dragons sure are pretty though. So it's still worth it, so far.

In other news, T had some PTO to use up and decided to take a stay-cation this week. So that he doesn't spend the entire time sacked out on the couch in front of Grand Theft Auto, we have a number of adventures planned: one day in Marin County, another at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (we're taking the behind-the-scenes otter tour!), probably a couple of museums in SF, a baseball game with my parents on Saturday. It should be fun, if busy. Watch for pictures. Especially of the otters. Yay, otters!


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 [tumblr.com 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: (california - freeway)
I've actually been back from Dubai since Sunday afternoon, but I was so out of it yesterday that I didn't communicate much -- I had about enough brain power to veg out on Leverage (about which more in another entry), and that was about it. I'm still pretty zoned today, but I figure I ought to at least check in while the trip is still fairly fresh in my mind.

So, the trip was fun, and really interesting. I think Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are probably more culturally different from here than any other country I've visited. On the surface, I suppose it's not so different: Dubai is still a big city, with a very international population (something like 15% of the population of the UAE is Emirati; there are some Arabs from other nations, but the vast majority are immigrants), but I kept being startled by things -- I don't say surprised, because it makes sense when I think about it. Like how most mosques are closed to non-Muslims (unlike churches in European countries, and temples in Japan, which in my experience are usually open to the public, if sometimes with limited hours). Or how no restaurants sell pork products (you don't realize how much you'll miss bacon until it's gone), and water is only available for sale in bottles -- no glass of tap water on the table. Or the way that public displays of affection between couples are frowned upon, including married couples (T and I aren't super snuggly in public, but we are in the habit of touching each other on the arm or the back, and we kept forgetting ourselves). Or -- on the plus side -- the plentiful clean public restrooms (I have never been so content to use a toilet in a train station). Little things, for the most part, but they often struck me.

But we saw lots of cool stuff. I posted many pictures to my Tumblr along the way, and once T has his photos up, I'll share those as well. Some highlights were our two trips to the Burj Khalifa, which is not only the tallest building but the tallest human-made structure in the world, the beautiful Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the aquarium at Atlantis, Jumeirah Mosque -- that was less about seeing the mosque, which is unremarkable from a design perspective, and more about the Islam 101 lecture from the tour guide, which was quite interesting -- and going out to the desert for dinner and a show, complete with a dervish and sword fights on horseback.

I'm glad we finally got it together to make this trip. Unlike some of the places I've been (Paris, Italy, Japan), I don't feel a strong tug to return any time soon (if nothing else because the trip is so long -- 15 hours on a plane each way! If it were half the distance, it might be a different story). But I can definitely say it was good to go at least this once.
owlmoose: (tea - tea cup)
Not much to say about today. I went to two panels -- the Guest of Honor "reading" with Seanan McGuire and Tim Powers, which ended up being a fairly loose and fun Q&A because neither of them like to do readings, and another panel on secret worlds in fiction, which despite covering a lot of the same ground as Friday's panel ended up feeling quite different. Then I decided I needed a real lunch, so I skipped out on the wrap-up session and headed home, where I have been alternately relaxing and trip planning. Soooo much to do in the upcoming not-quite-a week, yikes.

I do plan to write up and share my to-read list, per [personal profile] renay's request on Tumblr, but since some of my notes are a little vague, I have to do a little research first. Hopefully in the next few days.

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