edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Posted a poll requesting help in deciding which story to tackle for this year's [livejournal.com profile] wipbigbang challenge. If you have not already voted, please do so! I work better with guidelines than when left entirely to my own devices. *wry*

2. Bought tickets to the NYS Baroque concert.

3. Went to the concert, which was lovely. :)

4. Watered my houseplants.

more items under the cut )

16. Made a rough outline for the scene I want to insert in "Second Chances" and emailed it to myself so I will hopefully be able to start writing while at work tomorrow.

And now, I think, it is time for bed. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am debating going to a NYS Baroque concert at my church on Saturday evening. It's relatively obscure stuff, to wit:

The Sweetest Sounds

Ravishingly beautiful cantatas, arias, and instrumental music: Bach’s cantata BWV 82a "Ich habe genug;" a new flute concerto by Vivaldi, Thomas Arne’s The Morning, a Handel concerto grosso, and more.

Laura Heimes, soprano; Steven Zohn, flute; Marika Holmqvist, Boel Gidholm, violins; Dan Elyar, viola; David Morris, cello; Heather Miller Lardin, bass; Deborah Fox, theorbo; Michael Beattie, harpsichord


Tickets are $25. If I ordered one online today or tomorrow, it would be held for me at the door. And I'd have an hour and a half between the end of work and the start of the concert to grab some kind of dinner...

Should I?

*dithers*

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ETA, 3/24/17: I bought them. This is a little silly from an "I need more sleep" perspective, and also from an "I need to save money" perspective... but there's more to life than just surviving, you know? And I could use a little beauty right now. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Did not go to church, because the weather was terrible and also it turned out to be a drama/improv program week for the high school kids, which confuses me since I am pretty sure the schedule I was given in December said this was supposed to be a regular week with drama/improv next week. As this is the second time I seem to have been wrong on my dates, I am beginning to suspect that the DRE just straight-up gave me the wrong schedule. I must ask her for the real final program date at tomorrow night's planning meeting, since that's kind of relevant for my Not the IRS availability.

2. Put away the parts of my laundry that were air-drying.

3. Continued tidying my apartment in preparation for company, which included collecting trash from my wastebaskets and taking a bag out to the trashcan.

4. Family visit!

more items under the cut )

...

And now, I think, to bed, because I am very tired.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I put on my big-girl panties and went to the concert. This was the right choice; it was awesome. :D

There is a thing live music can do to me, where the right combinations of volume and style and melody/harmony (and sometimes lyrics, though that's much less vital) make me feel like my whole body is a tuning fork vibrating along. And I cry. They're not sad tears. They're not even happy tears, particularly, though the tuning-fork feeling is definitely positive. They're just a weird involuntary quirk of my nervous system: hit the right trigger and I go floaty and my eyes drip.

Rev. Sekou and the Holy Ghost hit that for me three and a half times tonight.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Problem: the ficlet I am trying to write is like pulling teeth, and I cannot get the transition from intro to actual plot stuff to work.

Potential solution: toss out the entire thousand words I've already written, jump right to throwing the proverbial monkey wrench into the idyllic afternoon, and watch things play out from there. If any of the scene-setting was really important, I can work it into some dialogue later on.

...

I am not up to making such drastic revisions tonight, but I think I will get on that tomorrow.

---------------

In completely unrelated news, I am thinking of attending a free concert at my church tomorrow night. Rev. Sekou and the Holy Ghost will be performing at 7pm at First Unitarian. I'd miss the first fifteen minutes or so, because of closing the rental office and walking down the hill, but I really want to get out and DO THINGS this year (after spending the past couple years mostly treading water (thanks, depression!)) and this seems like it would be both affirming and challenging in useful ways.

Plus, you know, good music. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Added the necessary scene to my DDSS fic, researched a couple factual issues, and made some preliminary edits. Then I got Vicky to look over the beta draft and made a bunch more edits in response to her advice. (I probably would have made even more than that, but the archive went live three hours early so oh well, maybe after they're no longer anonymous.)

2. Went with Vicky and Mom to see A Child's Christmas in Wales as performed by the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival... oh wait, excuse me, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. (I always forget they got fancy. My image of them is frozen around the mid-90s, back when I was part of their Junior Corps: aka, when I did unpaid summer ushering and concessions work for them in return for free drama lessons. I quit when they started requiring payment for the lessons while still not giving any monetary compensation for the ushering and concessions work.) The performance was very good. We had seen it at least once before, many years ago, but none of us remembered more than vague impressions so it was effectively a new experience. We were all pleasantly surprised by how many songs there were -- really, it's as much a musical as a play.

more items under the cut )

23. Started working through the DDSS archive. Hopefully I will finish that on Tuesday and can then get properly started on the Yuletide and Yuletide Madness archives.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
Did the Service Auction thing.

The dinner this year was not really to my taste, particularly since the only starch was rice that had been (to my mind) ruined by the inclusion of dill. (I suspect other people might consider the cilantro the ruining ingredient.) So I had two small ground-beef-with-stuff-in balls (kofta, perhaps???), some green beans, and a little salad and called it a meal. Oh, and a glass of red wine. Because wine is good. So is dessert, and I raided the dessert table like a ninja immediately after I finished dinner. :-)

Then I spent about four hours cleaning and putting away stuff: first dinner dishes and glasses upstairs in the annex, then tables and tablecloths, then more dishes and glasses downstairs, then tables and tablecloths downstairs. I also helped consolidate the unsold items from the silent auction (and the sold but not yet picked up items), and just generally tidy up a bunch.

My hands are very dry/wrinkled from all the soap and water, and my feet and ankles hate me.

But! I did end up grabbing a bidding number, and I got into the live auction for the relevant ten minutes to bid on one thing I particularly wanted, and nobody else bid against me. So I got two tickets to a Baroque music concert on the weekend right after my birthday for only $25, which is an absolute steal.

So that was nice.

And then I came home and baked a batch of brownies, because yesterday my hospitality team leader sent out an email asking people to please sign up for a list of empty tasks this Sunday and I foolishly said, "Yeah, okay, I can bring a coffee hour snack." *headdesk* Anyway, they are baked and cut and sealed in plastic containers for me to carry into town in the morning, and I am GOING THE FUCK TO BED.
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
1. I think I'm doing pretty well in my tax course so far. I got 90% on the first quiz (would've been 100% but I counted dependents instead of exemptions and forgot you can exempt yourself, whoops) and 100% on the first graded review. I have also not had any problems with the software, aside from the known practice environment glitches, and have played around a little to see what making random changes in the case studies' givens will do. In a few cases this has gotten downright weird since I've been messing around with credits and deductions we haven't yet reached in the textbook, but hey, what's the point of a safe play-space if you're afraid to break stuff?

2. I have two prompt!ficlets left to write, and am willing to accept more prompts until October 1 if anyone is still interested. This round has been almost entirely Homestuck, Naruto, and Narnia, but I am more than happy to write in other fandoms if you have an idea you want to see.

3. I may be dogsitting Dottie from late October through the first week and a half of November. Watch this space.

4. My dentist called me today and said it's about the time I usually have an autumn appointment, and would I like to schedule one? I haven't been to the dentist since a year and a half ago, I think, because I've been unemployed and dentists are expensive. I am apparently prone to cavities, though, so I probably should go and even get X-rayed... but X-rays are even more expensive than a basic checkup and cleaning... *weighs options, reaches no conclusion, tables the issue until next week*

5. I will be picking up some extra hours at the health garage next week when another of the front office staff goes on vacation. Yay money!

In other health garage news, we were supposed to switch over to a new computer program today, but implementation was delayed because of various issues. This is not the first time implementation has been delayed; apparently the program in question was originally meant to go live this past spring. O_o

The switch will make part of my job simpler by rendering it irrelevant, but it will make other parts a lot more complicated, because among other issues, the new program does not have any way for the front office to access clients' financial information. Do they have a copay? Do they use a sliding fee scale? Do they owe us a back balance? Who knows! We sure won't! (We do have a kludgy workaround involving manually updated tables in Word documents, but that is a gigantic pain in the neck and I am not looking forward to it. I really hope that issue gets addressed and fixed before implementation actually happens.)

6. Yesterday was Porchfest. As always, Downstairs Neighbor S volunteered our house as one of the stages, so I got to listen to some nice jazz while I took a nap after church. Later in the afternoon I went to hear Boss Lady and her band play a few blocks down my street, and caught up with Sweetheart who was also there to listen.

Porchfest has been getting bigger every year, and this year my church got in on it! We moved Sundae Sunday (which celebrates the invention of the ice cream sundae -- in Ithaca, in 1892, by Unitarians! -- and is an annual church event) from the first day of fall services to the 27th and served ice cream sundaes to anyone who walked past. We also had three musical acts on the porch of the parish house. So that was fun. :D
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Quick weekend report:

The bus trip was uneventful, though it began oddly. See, the bus station bathrooms were closed (though at least the men's room was apparently functional??? some dude ignored the chunk of plywood blocking off that area and used it, anyway) so I had to go across the street to GreenStar, the local organic coop grocery store, to use their restroom before the bus arrived. But aside from that, everything went as scheduled.

The dinner party was very enjoyable. Susan was able to stay long enough to actually get some dinner rather than just hors d'oeuvres, and it was good to catch up on what Mr. and Mrs. M, and Mr. and Mrs. G (...I guess actually Rev. and Mrs. G, now?) have been doing.

On Saturday Susan and I met downtown to have lunch at Romanelli's pizzeria, and then saw a 1pm showing of Age of Ultron. I enjoyed the movie. It wasn't terribly deep, but I went in expecting two solid hours of entertainment and that is what I got.

more thoughts behind the cut -- beware of spoilers! )

In summary, I think Age of Ultron may end up being the Iron Man 2 of Avengers movies: a bit of a hot mess, partly because of middle-volume slump and partly because it's trying to cram in too much setup for other story threads, but still highly entertaining.

Anyway, moving on! I had an early-ish dinner at home with my parents, and then went on a slight adventure, otherwise known as "finding a church in Mendham," and then "finding parking." I was successful at both quests, though not without a couple setbacks. (In other words, one road had no street sign, and the church had no parking lot.) Then I listened to Susan's concert, which was a joint thing between the church choir she sings in and a subsection of a local chorus called the Masterwork Camerata. It was all sacred Christian music: a Gloria by Vivaldi; then three shorter pieces performed only by the Camerata group; then selections from The Messiah by Handel. The performances were good, and the church acoustics were wonderful.

On Sunday I went to church with my parents. It turned out to be the Coming of Age group's week to run the service -- that always leads to interesting results. In this case, we got a slideshow of a trip to Boston, several teens presenting short statements of their beliefs and general outlook on the world, teens presenting the results of trying to live out one of their beliefs for two weeks, and a lot of musical performances. Also bubble machines, because who doesn't love bubble machines?

And then I drove back to Ithaca, stopping several times en route to give Dottie a brief walk. The end. :-)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. My parents are going on a road trip down in Virginia and the Carolinas in May -- I am not entirely clear why, but hey, whatever. It will be much more convenient for them not to bring Dottie along, so I will be dogsitting from roughly the 2nd to the 23rd.

The current plan is for me to head down to NJ, probably by bus, on Friday the 1st so I can attend a dinner party Mom is throwing for some family friends. This is relevant because the reason they're friends is because they are the parents of my two long-term best friends. Susan is definitely invited, and if Cat's around that weekend, she is naturally invited as well. On Saturday or Sunday I'll drive back to Ithaca in one of my parents' cars, which I will have possession of until they come to collect Dottie a few weeks later.

So that will be interesting.

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2. I went to the mall today and bought six pots and a bag of dirt at Target, but alas, my Girl Scout cookies had not yet been delivered to Not the IRS so I couldn't bring them home. Hopefully they will arrive by Tuesday, which is my next scheduled shift.

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3. Speaking of Not the IRS, there have been some schedule changes as we head into the last weeks of tax season, and I've picked up a lot more hours in April. Yay money and a reason to get out of the house!

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4. I've been working through The Age of Revolution (and also rereading an old book on the Committee of Public Safety -- Twelve Who Ruled: The Year of the Terror in the French Revolution, by R. R. Palmer), and it occurred to me that I had no idea what the Marsellaise sounds like. So I looked up the lyrics and listened to a couple YouTube videos, and you know, it's pretty bloodthirsty and all that, but damn that's a catchy tune!

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5. I received beta feedback for the Jade/Dave/Terezi crossdressing porn fic, but I haven't quite been in the right mindset to sit down and seriously think about story structure and revisions. Hopefully I'll get that done Saturday or Sunday.

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6. It took me several days (not all consecutive), but I finished doing a close rewatch of Manhunter and writing up a... well, it's not a transcript and it's sure as hell not a summary -- it is pages and pages too long for that word to be accurate -- but anyway, writing up kind of a scene-by-scene breakdown of the plot, dialogue, and some of the visuals and sound choices, plus some thematic comments and notes on differences from Red Dragon the book. I've sent the DVD back to Netflix, and will do a similar analysis of Red Dragon (the 2002 film) when that arrives next week. And write up the book, of course.

Then I'll mash them all together into something vaguely equivalent to my "let's compare three versions (book, BBC, Disney) of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to each other" project. Not because I need to or anything. I just find that kind of meta interesting. :-)

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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