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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.

Catchup

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!

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: (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.

Vacation!

Feb. 24th, 2014 10:36 am
owlmoose: (star wars - han woohoo)
T and I are going to Dubai in the third week of March! To visit my friend M, who's been teaching there for a couple of years, and also to see the mega-architecture and experience a very different kind of place. We've been trying to get this together for awhile, so to suddenly have it happening at almost the last minute is a bit daunting, but I'm more excited than not.

Any suggestions for surviving a sixteen hour plane flight, possibly in sub-optimal seats, are very welcome.

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: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
I know there are some of you out there. I'm going to be down your way soon, on September 22nd and maybe a few days before that. Anyone around? Anyone want to get together? I don't know my exact schedule yet, but I'm probably driving, and I have to leave the morning of Monday, 9/23. Drop me a line if you're interested.
owlmoose: (quote - bucket)
I keep promising to update my journal more often and then not doing it. Well, no time like the present. Five things make a post?

1. The Winter quarter concert is over, and it went well. Now we're on a brief break until April, when we start rehearsals for Beethoven's Ninth. That's such an awe-inspiring piece, and I'm really looking forward to it.

2. DOINK! sign-ups are open through Friday!



It's no exaggeration to say that DOINK is my favorite event on the fandom calendar, except maybe the Kiss Battles. I've been participating in DOINK since the very beginning, and I've gotten and produced some of my very favorite stories in the process. If you are at all interested, check it out. Even if you can't make the official schedule work, the mods are always in need of betas and pinch-hitters (I find writing pinch-hits to be especially satisfying).

3. I just realized that I never posted anything about my latest cat drama. Cut for pet health issues. )

4. Is anyone surprised that I started playing FFX-2 right after finishing FFX? No? I didn't think so. In other fandomy things, I am still doing the 30 Day Grey Warden Challenge, but I've decided to post my answers only on Tumblr. If you're interested, you can follow along on this tag, and I'll probably also do a master post when I'm finished. Speaking of master posts, I really need to make one for the DA Kiss Battle, and I'll plan on doing that this week. Hold me to that, Internets.

5. Although it might be a challenge with cat care, I'm planning an overnight trip to Napa with some friends next month, as part of my extended birthday celebration. Hey, I turned 40. That rates a birthday month, doesn't it? Despite living in the SF Bay Area since 1986, I've almost never been to Napa, so I'm looking forward to that, too.

LA Weekend

Jan. 31st, 2013 10:23 am
owlmoose: (california - freeway)
So I never did report on my weekend in Los Angeles! The reason for the trip: my friend A currently has a student membership to The Magic Castle, which is a magician's club in Hollywood. She's been talking the place up for years, so I jumped on this chance to go, roadtripping down with a few other friends (S, E, and DK) for the weekend, and we did some other stuff while we were there, including a Warner Brothers studio tour (highly recommended if you have even the slightest interest in television or film-making -- look, Stars' Hollow! and Central Perk! ) and Disneyland, where I hadn't been for over a decade.

The Castle was pretty awesome -- we watched four shows, including two in the Close-up Gallery, which were the best since it only seats 30 and so no one is more than a few feet from the stage. So you get a great view of what's happening, but both magicians were so good that the closer view didn't give the game away. Also awesome: two magicians were in line with us for a show, and they did a bunch of card tricks while we waited. A says that kind of thing happens a lot.

Then Disneyland, which I love. Non-ironically, even. Yeah, it's all fake, but so what? It's still brilliantly designed, and the rides are fun, and it's neat to see all the kids -- big and small alike -- walking around with a bit of wonder on their faces. Maybe I'd burn out if I went more often, but I go rarely enough that I can still get excited, every time. I hope I get back sooner than 10 years from now.
owlmoose: (stonehenge)
We returned from our annual Christmas trip to San Diego today. It was a pretty good visit -- uneventful flights there and back, a quiet Christmas at home with curry chicken and Scrabble and pie, then took a drive up to Orange County the next day for the big holiday dinner with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. It was a good trip, although not without its stresses. Minor family drama under the cut. )

I'm not getting together with my parents until mid-January, so we get this weekend free of family obligations. On the agenda: relaxing, more Mass Effect, and a fondue party on New Year's Eve for which I'm coordinating the food. Should be fun.

I hope everyone who celebrates had a great holiday, and I wish you all the happiest of New Years!
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.

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