valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
So my parents moved to this little teeny town that's located in the northern lower peninsula, on the west coast. Right on Lake Michigan. And even though I've visited and vacationed there many times, I still find it interesting and beautiful. I thought you guys might be interested in seeing some of the stuff I saw. And there's valis chatter to accompany, of course.

I forgot my camera for both of my trips in the past two weeks, so I took subpar pics with my phone. Forgive me in advance.

Bad photos under cut )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
36 days. Y'know, after a month of being away, it really starts to seem like I'm never coming home, in a way, and my mind and body adjust--and then I come back home. So I'm just trying to figure out what this house is, what this life is, what I should be doing now now now. I'm in a spacy kind of daze.

The trip was quite fun, as it can be, and we had lots of adventures. Chiefly the Five Hundred Miles of Ice Death Defying Drive. We drove through scary stuff on our way to AZ. There were cars in the ditches everywhere and jackknifed semis and it was really frightening.

I wish I could remember the fun things and the amusing little exchanges. There were so many funny moments. But I didn't write anything down, and now it's all a big mess in my head.

The one thing that stands out about this is that I think it was my last trip to AZ. 95% certain. This is the twelfth year that I've gone there, and I think it's my last. This makes me really sad in some ways, and not as sad in others. But it's probably for the best.

I meant to write while I was there. Instead, I read. And took down notes for the Original Fantasy Novel That Might Get Written Eventually. And I came up with an idea for a Riptide story (okay, fine, I wrote about thirty of them in my head, but this one might actually get written) after compulsively reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. I went through this brief 'Nam period several years ago, and now that I've been reading Riptide fanfic and thinking about their backgrounds, I find that I'm once again fascinated with 'Nam. I've read a couple of the stories in tTTC before, but this was years ago, and it was a revelation to read them again. I really think I need to write this story.

My Google Reader for blogs is backed up by 945 entries, lol. I don't even want to think about how far back LJ is for me at this point. So for the next couple days I'll be catching up. I regret to inform you all that I will be speed reading and might not catch every single facet of your entries. :(

Missed you all. Missed the internet like a physical thing. Could not stop thinking about S&H h/c stories and wanting to read them. Grah. Still, so glad to be home.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
The funny pics! At last!

No more pics tonight, I promise. I still have eight million cemetery pics, but I'll do those over the weekend.

Eight images under the cut. )


Aug. 16th, 2008 10:01 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Am posting from the road. Thank goodness I bought Husband a broadband card for his laptop!

Met up with [ profile] marginaliana and co. and had a fantastic, amazing dinner and conversation--I am already missing them very much.

The drive was annoying--lots of construction. We are now in Yarmouth, our destination.

We did pass by a rest area with a bagpiper standing and playing next to his car. I am not making this up.

And now we are at the Motel "Condo" of Much Disappointment. I am serious. The bed comes down from the wall (Murphy bed) and is not even the size of the full bed we have at home. And the full bed barely fits us as it is (remember, I am a big girl!). There are no places to put our luggage, because there's only a front room and a bathroom. No luggage rack. Almost no furniture except for a bookshelf and an entertainment center. Argh!

All I wanted was a working tub and a queen size bed. I'm now afraid of trying the tub tomorrow morning.

Thank goodness it does have a fridge and a microwave.

Talk to you soon, flist.
valis2: Stone lion face (chicken foot)
On the drive back I passed a shaggy, grey-haired Charlton-Heston-as-Moses man holding a hand-lettered sign painted on a giant piece of cardboard.

I looked closer, thinking it was some sort of old-school "REPENT" sign.

Wrong. It turned out to be his Myspace account name.


Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:48 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I actually got back late Wednesday night, but I've been on a bit of a get-stuff-done kick, so I've delayed my triumphant return entry. Of course, at this point I've waited too long, and the trip is already receding from my mind.

Anyway. I bought too much, saw a lot of fun things, enjoyed myself, and worked and worked and worked, as is the way with these trips.

I did read a few books. Real books! Not fanfic! Srsly!

Let's see...notable things...

  • There's a giant boulder by the side of a freeway in New Mexico. Someone has painted the words "Fraggle Rock" on it.

  • I saw a license plate that read "LOTR" and my fannish heart was quite gleeful.

  • A woman came through one of the shows carrying her doll. She showed the doll the merchandise and asked her if she liked it. She kept shaking it over the different displays. The doll was pretty magnificent--she was attired in a sumptuous outfit, with plenty of accessories. One of the other vendors freaked out and told her to leave his booth.

  • I saw something I've never seen before - a rainbow around the sun. A circular rainbow. It was awesome.

  • There was a huge ice storm in Missouri, and everything was covered in thick, thick ice. Pretty but sad.

  • Watched the eclipse through the sunroof of my car--I guess it is good for something.

  • Am halfway through the livejournals. Whew! I just finished reading the L journals. Then after that, it's off to the insanejournals.

  • On the way home a Snupin story popped into my head and wrote itself, right in front of my eyes, from beginning to end. I hope I have a chance to write it very quickly before it fades.

  • Oh, and the super sekret project collaboration thingy with [ profile] gmonkey42 has been greenlit!! Eeee!

I'm so happy to be home.

I bought a very cool list journal (main website here) at a feminist bookshop in AZ. The one I bought has an Ando Hiroshige print on the front. I spent most of the trip trying to organize myself using this journal--I've made about a billion lists, and they're sorted by topic. I'm very excited about this.

My friend, who is also a listaholic, told me the secret--she goes through the list each and every day, revising, adding, crossing off. That's where I fall through, you see; I blunder off the edge and go rudderless through the piles of work, and then by the time I get back to the list, it's outdated.

So. New plan? Listing, each and every day. I must convince myself that this is not a waste of time. And yet, I spent yesterday and today working, and have not consulted the list journal yet. *headdesk*

I missed you, flist!

And THANK YOU to the most wonderful [ profile] _grainne_ for her sweet virtual rose gift! *giant hugs* Now if only we could convince them to give virtual squid...
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
So I went on a week-long trip to FL with my sister and my parents. I forgot my camera, but fortunately my sister and my father let me borrow theirs.

Highlights? The Ringling Museum in Sarasota rocked. Though what interested me was that they were more into being a Real Museum than a circus museum. So the Real Museum was awesome, and better than the circus museum. But, considering the industry, it's surprising that anything survived, honestly.

We also went to a couple parks, one in Hommosassa (something like that). And we ate. It was a nice trip.

One of the most fun things I did was sneak off by myself and join [ profile] gillieweed and her precocious teenaged daughter for a day at the Tampa Renaissance Festival. We had long wondered what it would be like to bring together two weirdness magnets, and lo and behold, within ten minutes of entering said festival, we spotted Peter Pan. Yes, that Peter Pan. I first saw him on VH1 on a program about Obsessed Fans, and I've seen his website before. Gillie & I have had lots of conversations about him, and then...there he was! We nearly died. Seriously.

So I went up to ask him if we could take a picture of him (thank heavens Gillie had her camera!), and he said, in a much put-upon voice and with a melodramatic half-roll of his eyes, "All-right." Gillie's daughter had no clue who he was, so Gillie sent her up as the sacrificial lamb. "But who is he?" asked the daughter. Gillie told her that he was Peter Pan, and was promptly corrected by the man himself, who insisted he was more of a "fairy, elfin thing," gesturing to his wings.

Afterward we giggled like loons.

More adventures, and pics of Peter Pan and boats and sponges. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Came back to the usual defriending/friending (well, when you're gone 30 days, you expect one but not the other, so that was pleasant).

Forgot my camera, so last year's pics will have to suffice.

Came back to an astonishing thing...the wonder that is [ profile] florence_craye sent me a squid/cuttlefish blanket!!! (!!!) THANK YOU!!! It is majestic and oceanic and I will treasure it always as I cuddle my cuttlefish within its fleecey folds. *adores*

Am trying to catch up on LJ, as I finish sorting out pictures of Barbies for the Barbie Pantheon post, which is upcoming. I'm through the C's at this point. whew!

I also had the very strange experience of being in a hotel in Missouri and suddenly hearing something about Harry Potter on CNN (turned out, it was the release date for DH). Strange, though, because in my head I always think, well, if I can't see it nothing is happening, la la la, and I always forget that the rest of the world likes HP too, not just LJ fen. heh.

Reread HBP (finally!) while on the trip. Wow. I had several thoughts while I was reading it, and cannot remember any of them, except I thought it was rather cruel of Ginny to trip Ron when all he wanted was a little peck on the cheek from Fleur. In fact, I am still a little surprised by the Weasley clan's rather extreme reaction to Fleur. She didn't sound particularly awful to me.

I had nearly the same reaction at the end, which went something like this: aaah, oh noes, how could you do that, Severus? And with such a steely calm. You're a badass, that's for certain. I'll bet you know some Dark Bedroom Magic as well.

I missed everybody, in short. I was at a different show this year, only five days instead of fifteen, and did not get to hang out with my Afghani buddy, nor did I eat delicious Afghani food, nor witness a casually horrific tooth-loss incident.

Also, I ended up with a nasty sinus infection the day BEFORE we began setup. I was so sick the first day of the show that I wanted to pelt customers with loose change.

I only have one story, honestly, and it didn't even happen to me, but to my WI friend.

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I just walked in the door from Hawai'i. It was LOVELY and AMAZING and I had a great time.

Up until the last eighteen hours.

I woke up in the morning to discover that a blood vessel had burst in my eye, and my eyelid was terribly swollen, so we nixed the morning pictures we were going to take.

I wanted this fabulous dried apple banana that I had first discovered in Australia. I had the Maui guy save some for me. We stopped to pick it up on the way to the airport, and were told it was his day off. So no dried apple banana.

My friends dropped me off at the airport at 8:52 pm EST (2:52 HST). I got on the plane, and the people who sat down next to me had TWO twenty month old boys. YES. TWINS. Who screamed and cried for the first flight to Kona.

I bought a horrible sandwich from the plane (take heed, you of few plane flights; you no longer receive free food on long flights), and it was evil in my tummy during the rest of the flight, and made me feel sick.

Then, during the second flight to Chicago, one of the twins sat in his mother's lap next to me and slept, kicking me in his sleep through the entire flight, meaning I got almost no sleep. Maybe about a half hour. Then the plane is late getting into Chicago. I race a mile across O'Hare and grab the flight to Detroit, blissfully unaware that my luggage is not so speedy, and that it is, in fact, actually taking the next flight out because it apparently needed a bit of leisure time. So I get to luggage. I have to go through the whole thing, explaining every possible item that could be in my luggage EVER, and exact descriptions of the luggage. I decide to wait the two hours just to see if it shows up, and it does, so I drive home.

Worst drive ever. Normally I can get a little bit sleepy while driving, but this was a whole new level of sleepy. I was slapping myself like a lunatic (which is my drastic last resort). I was turning up the radio. Singing. Shouting. Hitting my head against the steering wheel. Rearranging luggage in the back seat. It didn't matter. After a mile I'd be nearly nodding off again. And this is an hour and forty-five minute drive.

I get home to find out that I ordered the wrong item AGAIN for the THIRD TIME and now I have to go through the embarrassment and waste of time to order the right thing and return the wrong thing.

And worst of all, very worst of all, I've been juried out of a FANTASTIC show I've done for ten years. I am so depressed about that. I did not have new slides made (it can run about $400-$500, and I thought, well, I'm always grandfathered into this show, I don't need new slides because I'm not trying to get into any other shows) and then when I sent in the application I realized that they were no longer grandfathering people in. I am so totally unhappy. It was a rather economically priced show, and I always did terrific business there, with repeat customers every year. I'm so upset!

I look like a tanned, completely wrecked version of myself, with hair flying about, giant Red Eye O' Scary Ooo Scary, and dazed ugh look in the other eye.

I haven't eaten since the Sandwich of Doooom, so when I got into the apartment I thought I should have a sugary drink of some sort, but nothing too acidic, and found that the fridge contained only orange juice and a lone bottle of IBC. I said no to the orange juice. The IBC is just what I'm looking for, I thought happily. At last! Something works!

The cap was rusted to the bottle and I almost couldn't get it off, and it looked funky, and I ended up pouring it down the drain.


There is no food either. I can either eat ice cream or lettuce, and right now, neither sounds happy.

Thank goodness the rest of the trip was absolutely marvelous.

Pictures and babblings about Hawai'i to follow soon.

*hugs da flist*


valis2: Stone lion face (Default)

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