May. 12th, 2011 09:03 am
moonwise: (lala star)
When I was a kid, my mother's parents used to rent a condo in Highland Beach, Florida for the winter. My mother and I would go down to visit them over Easter break for a week in the sun. There was an old lady named Helen Lammerding who lived in the same complex, and she used to sit by the pool and make kittens out of yarn. I became friends with her because of those kittens, because I always wanted the newest and cutest kitten she was working on. Throughout the years, when I went to visit Grandma and Grandpa, I always spent lots of time with Aunt Helen, and we were pen pals when I wasn't visiting.

Aunt Helen was very talented at crocheting (I still have a chick-and-egg that she made) but what she really loved to do was play Scrabble. I used to play with her all the time once I got old enough. I was never very good at the game, but Aunt Helen was very patient, and she taught me a lot about the game that I had largely forgotten until now.

In my office, all of us kiddies now have smartphones, and we've been playing Words with Friends together. It's a Scrabble knockoff, and it's buggy, but we're having fun. The poignant part is that playing this game makes me think of Aunt Helen, and her lessons about little words that use the 10-point tiles, and opening up a triple word score tile, and other Scrabble strategies. I don't remember them all, but I remember playing with her and having a very good time. Normally I am cutthroat-competitive at games, but in this case, I don't mind having my ass handed to me.

The last year we went to Florida, before my grandmother died, Aunt Helen was also ailing. I was thirteen at the time, and I'd outgrown yarn kitties, but we played a game of Scrabble or two when she was feeling up to it. I didn't hear from her again after that, and she has certainly long since passed away by now. In a weird way, I feel like I'm honoring her memory by playing this silly game, because it helps me to remember all the days I spent hanging out with her in her apartment, watching soaps and talking. Aunt Helen is the reason I know the words to "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," because that was her song with her husband.

Not that any of you asked, but if you want to play with me, my username is Section211.
moonwise: (Default)
I haven't updated in a while.

1. I no longer has kitchen floor. After hearing how much it was going to cost us to rip it up and the dispose of the rubble, husband decided he/we were going to do it ourselves. Some parts have been painless, but the part where we poured methylene chloride-laced floor stripper all over and then chieseled up floor paper was not.

2. We went to the opera to see Madame Butterfly for the first time on Friday 10/19. It was a good experience, but next time we will try to be more careful about the location of our seats. We were aaaaaaaaaall the way over to the right in the orchestra.

3. Wine pressing over the weekend. Imagine my excitement. Ate myself stupid.

4. Learned to fake a taiko knot by following a tutorial at the Immortal Geisha forums. Now I have a Halloween costume, w00t.

5. Thursday we leave for Florida. ...Yay?
moonwise: (lala ru rain)
We had a pretty full weekend. Saturday we went to see "Letters from Iwo Jima," which was very good, though we didn't know it was all in Japanese! (Not that this was a problem, except that we were sitting in a row behind a guy with a big head, and we had to move b/c his noggin blocked the subtitles.) It's funny, after watching so much anime, I feel like I should understand Japanese by osmosis or something.

house hunting )
moonwise: (Default)
Cruise was very fun. We were supposed to visit St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan, and Haiti, but thanks to Tropical Storm Chris, we were diverted after St. Maarten and went to Nassau, Bahamas instead. I was very disappointed to miss the last two ports, but whatcha gonna do. Five days at sea is way, way too many, though I do have a very nice tan now.

We got our most basic cert for scuba diving, w00t. Pity we didn't get into the Bahamas a tich earlier, b/c the staff had offered to complete our Open Water cert if the opportunity arose. Scuba is much fun and we are definitely going to do it again - we're already considering another cruise that hits better scuba areas like Cozumel and Belize. Sadly, we had our open water dive in St. Maarten, and the dive site there wasn't as good as the snorkeling site we went to in St. Thomas, where we saw a lot more fish and green sea turtles.

Shopping in St. Maarten rox0rs if you are a jewelry h0r like me. Got a pair of very nice tanzanite earrings for a rockbottom price, plus a full set of fire opals. My SIL and I bought liquor for prices that would make you cry - $11 for a liter of Tanqueray, $7 for a bottle of Malibu rum. We also bought some of the local poison, Guavaberry liqueur, since you can't get it in the States and it did make a nice colada.

Best drink of the trip: Frozen Banana Bailey's Colada (aka BBC.) Just sit me in the sun and bring me these all day long, and I will be happy.

Boat was huuuuuuuumungous, lots of places to go and see, but the flip side is that there were a LOT of people, and a startling number of the morbidly obese. The ship's pools resembled photos I've seen of public pools in Tokyo at about 1 PM on a hot day. We tended to take the water either early in the morning or at about 5 PM, when people seemed to wander off to get washed up for dinner.

We had the late seating at 8:30, which I would not do again. We were usually so deep in a food coma by the time we left (and our waiter Ismet kept bringing us extra food) that we rarely did much besides go to bed. The people at our table were very nice; there was a pair of honeymooners from Barcelona, Spain, and another pair from Delaware.

Our stateroom was very spacious. The Q's treated us to a balcony, which was nice for drinking champagne at sunset and for drying bathing suits and wet clothing at the end of the day. One cute touch was the appearance of towel animals on the bed when the attendant came to turn down the bed for the night - we got a stingray, a dog, a bunny, a monkey, and a manta ray. I learned to fold some of them on our last day.

Getting off the boat was relatively painless, though we had a short tussle with some of the customs staff (to sum it up, people are stupid, and stupid people like quoting rules at you just to see you try to deal with an impossible situation, like that you obviously cannot lift all the bags at your feet when your husband has just crossed the Line of No Return to find your SIL, and then you are told you can't leave your bags there, and you can't lift them all, and you can't leave your bags unattended to find a porter, but your husband Is Not Allowed to walk back ten feet to help you. Thankfully, one of the staff had a brain and escorted my husband back over No Man's Land to help me with the goddamned bags, and now we have learned a lesson.) We were home by 11 AM, and husband had two F1 races to watch, and soon we will go out for Japanese.

Looking forward to all the Otakon reports.
moonwise: (Default)
I biked to work today, because it was Bike to Work Day!!

Not quite from home, though - we started out at a local bar establishment called Cryans, because we can go after work and drink a lot of beer it was a reasonable ride from work. It was hilly (for me) but not more than a half-hour ride, and the rain held off long enough that we had a decent trip.

This weekend I'm going outlet shopping with [ profile] jaina and it will be Good. I am in dire need of at least one pair of brown work shoes, and possibly also a fabulous pair of heels to wear with my fabulous jeans that I can't fit into yet. But we're working on it.

ETA: DUDE, I won the raffle for the bike! Hurray!

...WTF am I going to do with another bike?
moonwise: (renji_pantsu)
Interesting combination this weekend of Fun and Suck.

Since husband's friend Jeff was available to help us move furniture, we rented a truck and a storage shelter and planned the move for Saturday. I emailed my parents to let them know I was coming on Friday, didn't receive a response and didn't think anything of it. Then, on Friday, I learned in the morning that they had decided to go visit their friends in PA because one of them is recovering from surgery.

more... )
moonwise: (lala storm)
Phew. I feel like I've been on a treadmill since the middle of last week.

cut for length )
moonwise: (Default)
Phew. After three straight days of running around like ninnies, we have an entire evening to sit down.

Wait, did I say that right? I meant "clean up house and put away presents."

No rest for the weary, so on the 22nd, we both took the day off in preparation for the holiday rush and to clean the house up before our friend Jason came over for Festivus Eve dinner. It was a pleasant and warm evening, and as we said to Jason, it's about the only thing we do during the holidays that we have complete control over and actually want to do. We watched part of "A Christmas Story" (which I still think I haven't ever seen all the way through) and then it was more than time for bed.

Husband and I opened our presents with one another the next morning, and we had a happy morning playing with our new toys. Husband got a bunch of compilations of old video games that we played until it was time to leave for PA. My parents invited us for a fancy dinner at Lacroix in the Rittenhouse Hotel, so we drove in all haste to husband's parents' house, visited a bit, got dressed, and hurried off to Philly. Dinner was very fancy, and the service was first-rate, but the problem with these avant-garde restaurants is that the items on the menu that aren't seafood tend to be game meats. I tentatively tried a rabbit leg, adding to the list of "Cute Animals I've Eaten." Not sure I'd eat that again. Possibly the weirdest thing I tried was the bleu cheese ice cream. Now, I adore stinky blue cheese with a passion, but it's disgusting when made into an ice cream. Bleh.

Early on the 24th, we went to the Radnor Inn to have breakfast with our friends from Buffalo. They were very happy to see us, and Wyatt was well-behaved. We had some downtime with the in-laws until they went off to their two Christmas parties (something husband was a bit irked about; we were sorry they didn't set aside some time for us on Xmas Eve.) At any rate, we went off to Longwood Gardens for their annual holiday display in the gardens and the Conservatory. My folks and my aunt were also going to the same place, but we didn't plan our evening around them; instead, we met up for the Christmas organ concert/singalong in the Conservatory, and a good time was had by all. Husband and I decided not to eat at the gardens and instead opted to try to go out to eat, but all the restaurants were closed, so we ended up making pasta back at the house. We decided to go to vigil Mass at St. Thomas at Villanova, because I like to feel all Christmas-y like that, and my parents had decided to go to that Mass as well. The music was spectacular (except for a very strange arrangement of "Veni, Veni Emmanuel") and it was exactly midnight when the Mass let out, so you could say that we heard the bells on Christmas Day in the morning.

Our Christmas Day was a bit chaotic. P and G decided that they'd stay the night to open presents with us and Mom and Dad Q in the morning, and they brought both their large dog and the dog they were dog-sitting. I am not fond of dogs, so it was something to put up with, but P & G's dog is pretty well-behaved, and the other one wasn't too obnoxious either. After breakfast, we tidied up our things and headed out to my parents' not long after the in-laws left to visit other family up north. We had presents with my mom and dad and stretched it out a couple hours. My mother made dinner, and we made a valiant attempt to watch "Babes in Toyland" after dinner, but husband and I were pooped and we didn't make it through. We did get a nice long sleep out of it, though.

Now we're home, and I'm looking forward to a day off tomorrow, though it'll be a working holiday. Got to get that cosplay done! Hoo-ah!
moonwise: (lala star)
Dayamn, I haven't posted hardly at all in the last couple weeks. The holidays seem to suck up so much time.

Most of what I did all weekend was bake. Bake and bake and bake, and I still didn't get as many batches done as I wanted to. The list so far:

  • Cantuccini (almond cinnamon biscotti)
  • Chocolate chunk biscotti
  • Pistachio orange biscotti
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate fudge cookies
  • Maple walnut bars

    Plus the other stuff already in the freezer. I'm astonished that I killed 5 lb of flour already.

    We went to visit my husband's uncle in the hospital on Saturday. On Halloween, he had what looked like a cold, but the cold didn't go away. They eventually thought he had a superbug and administered super-antibiotics, but his lungs are still inflamed and the family is worried. He had a biopsy, and the results will be in next week. Uncle Joe seemed to be in good spirits when we saw him, though, and he might go home today or tomorrow.

    Husband and I also made a trip up to Mitsuwa in search of Japanese toilet paper (don't ask, it would take too long.) They appear to be making some serious renovations to the food area, because the noodle stand we always go to has moved elsewhere in the supermarket, and the area by the windows is completely blocked off. For lunch, we had udon with beef, which was full of ginger and very tasty. Sadly, my husband made big frowny faces when I wanted to get Pocky, so no Pocky for me. They had sesame Pocky, too. :( Oh well, another time.

    Sunday was the big Eagles/Giants game at 4 PM, so we stayed in. Now that we have the Waffle Maker of Gratitude, it's become a Sunday morning tradition to have waffles. I baked cookies until [ profile] fireceremony texted me for a chat, and then it was time to watch the game. Despite the decimated O-line, the Eagles put up a fight, and our D-line rolled right over. At least Feely managed to hit the winning field goal, which saved our 1st place in the division, since KC couldn't put Dallas away. :P

    Got to do some Xmas shopping this afternoon. Wow, less than two weeks until Christmas.
  • Turning 30

    Sep. 20th, 2005 03:17 pm
    moonwise: (hooray!)
    I was all set to be bummed today, but the gods were smiling on me. Every day should be like today! This is why:

    The Giants won last night


    I had a hypothesis that the two compounds from two different vendors that I've been comparing were different compounds (which means Company 2 is lying) and I was RIGHT


    My House and Coupling DVDs arrived today


    Husband is making dinner for me


    I have birthday cake to eat!

    I will enjoy the happy while it lasts. ^_^


    moonwise: (Default)

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