stgulik: (wand up the nose)
So I decided to take the day off yesterday for my birthday. It was a nice, peaceful day, spent reading, writing a little fanfic, watching a movie, and going out to lunch with my daughter.

I'm enrolled in the Dramionelove fest again this year. I have an outline, but inspiration hasn't struck yet ... Time to kick myself into high gear so I can make the deadline.
stgulik: default icon (benita)
So, we said our good-byes to our dog Daisy last week. Cancer has taken another good soul. Now she's gone, and my husband, my daughter and I have been searching for all our best pics of her and passing them to each other on Facebook chat. A sort of three-person memorial service for the internet age.

When the other two dogs line up for Milk Bones, they leave the exact amount of space Daisy used to take. It'll be a while for that space to close up, I'll bet.

They are both terrier mutts with lovely, tiny brains, and occasionally they seem to wonder why it's just the two of them. Here's the weirdest example of their befuddlement. (Don't read this while eating.)

Seriously )
stgulik: default icon (benita)
My dog Daisy is doing really well on her new anti-inflammatory medication. It's designed to shrink the bladder tumor and let her get back to a more normal lifestyle, and so far, it's really helped. Her strength is back and she even seems to be putting on a little weight. She might even enjoy a trip to the dog park!

Now if only the weather would cooperate. I'm afraid we did not venture out much this past weekend; the temps in Northern California reached 100F. The next person that kvells about "sweater weather" will get a swift kick from me.

Room makeover news )
stgulik: default icon (benita)

Well, my poor dog Daisy has been diagnosed with cancer. She is 13. Sonograms and x-rays revealed a tumor in (near?) the bladder, as well as nodules in the chest.

Read more... )
stgulik: default icon (benita)

Playing around with the new Stranger Things title generator while listening to the original cast recording of Cabaret on YouTube. And by original, I mean the 1966 version, thank you very much. Liza Minelli did credit to the show later on, I suppose, but I loved the original cast the very most. When I was a toddler, I used to dance around the house and sing all of Sally Bowles' numbers. They thought I didn't understand all of her double-entendres, but I did. Even way back then, I had a head for sin.

Tonight we bought my daughter a car. It's the first car I've ever bought that I don't actually get to drive! That is a very weird feeling.

Exhausted. Car paperwork always takes so long. Let's go see what's on Netflix.
stgulik: default icon (benita)
Greetings from Central California, where we are in our nth straight summer of drought conditions. We're thinking of changing our state bird to the vulture. We're thinking of changing our state tree to the cactus. We're thinking of changing our state fish to a box of Mrs. Paul's breaded fish sticks (packaged in Vermont). You get the picture.

But it's not all bad around here. I've heard from some lovely friends this summer!
Gifts! )
stgulik: default icon (benita)
My new office neighbor likes to listen to music at his desk. I like it utterly quiet. Now, I already decided on the first day not to say anything to him, because a) he actually keeps it really quiet by anybody else's standards, and b) I have my own office door and I don't mind closing it.

But today, he's listening to the soundtrack to "Rent." And I'm torn! Do I shut my door and concentrate, or do I listen and risk singing along?
stgulik: default icon (benita)
Turned in my [ profile] dramionelove piece over the weekend. And the companion piece is sitting in Google Docs, patiently waiting for the fest to be over so I can share that one, too. [ profile] rzzmg is trying to tempt me with another prompt before the deadline, and I'll definitely pick one, but I'm also turning my attention to the [ profile] sshg_promptfest with its May 31 deadline.

Work is really going well--a statement I never thought I would make again. Yesterday, my paper was printed and bound and the first copy delivered to my office door. What a marvelous feeling! And it would never have happened with my old boss. In the past, he outright killed one of my projects and smothered another one with weekly "updates" that turned into patronizing lectures on microeconomics. The paper was delayed so long, the client withdrew their request for the study. I'm not saying I was blameless in this mess. I'm not the world's best analyst. But he's the one who promised the deliverable and then frittered away a year playing academic lecturer to a captive audience instead of supporting me as I tried to move the project along. Not that I'm bitter.

But he's elsewhere now, and the bottleneck is unstoppered, and our papers are actually allowed to be finished again. And suddenly, I actually have a full week's worth of work these days! I've been busy and happy about it. Yesterday I even forgot to feed my Neko Atsume kitties; by the time I remembered them, they had wandered off to [ profile] toblass's yard.
stgulik: default icon (calm carry a wand)
Over the weekend, I got inspired and wrote my little 1k-word [ profile] dramionelove promptfest piece in one sitting. But when I went to check the submission terms again, it seems I forgot an important point: the story must be written from either Draco's or Hermione's POV. My story is written in the POV of a third character. Rookie move! Hell's bells! HOW many fests have I written for?

Anyway, I'm still really excited about the thing I wrote. I'll probably do the same story line for the fest, but tell it from Draco's perspective. When the fest is over, I can put up both stories as companion pieces.

Guest room update )
stgulik: default icon (keep calm and go to hogwarts)
Boy, the more I hear from friends and acquaintances on the internet, the more I think I must be part of the minority, because Daylight Savings has absolutely no ill effects on me. Never has. I have no idea what everyone else feels, or why it's always so hard on them. And I'm grateful! It sounds horrid.

It was a quiet weekend. Worked a little on our future guest bedroom. There are now four big boxes, filled and taped up. I borrowed a handcart from our next-door neighbor, and once the rain lets up, we'll transfer the boxes to the garage. Little by little, the job gets done. You may wonder why I don't make our daughter help with more of this project. The first reason is, she's tremendously busy with work and school; it's difficult to get her to schedule any time here. And the second reason is, she created this mess, but she's pretty useless about reversing the process. I mean, she's brilliant; she'll go far; I admire her in many ways. But whenever I put her to work on this room, she either gets depressed and can't part with things, or nostalgic and can't part with things. Progress is slow, to say the least.

And this is no job for Groom because his knees are so terrible, he could get down on the floor, but there's no guarantee he would stand up again. Please know that in the grand scheme of things, he does his share around the house, so I'm cool.

In fanfic news, I submitted prompts to the [ profile] sshg_promptfest and put in a request for Draco/Hermione prompts on [ profile] dramionelove. In case I didn't mention, the Dramionelove entries must be 1,000 words max, which works well for us commitmentphobes. Quite nice. Check it out!
stgulik: default icon (My Dear Lupin)
Once again, the neverending paper, the one I've been working on for months, is done. On Friday afternoon we emailed it out to the client, and we invited her to let us know about any factual errors. My boss says she won't honor any requests for the addition of whole topics, though. The paper already has 40 pages and about 125 endnotes. If the client wants more on the subject, she can ask for a separate piece. I've covered everything in the original request, and frankly, my colleagues and I are collectively tired of the topic. :-)

My boss promised my next assignment will be on a more fun topic. How to get her to agree to let me write fanfiction ...?
stgulik: default icon (keep calm make coffee)
The first manic throes of empty nest syndrome are over. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) a mild yet sticky cold slowed me down for a week, and now I'm thinking a little more calmly.

Creating a guest room from scraps )

In other news, I bought a tiny, second-hand espresso machine at a yard sale. It's darling. I kind of want to name it, but I know that's just a symptom. Anyway, I know nothing about espresso-making. Do you buy special beans? Special grind? The instruction manual is somewhat vague.
stgulik: default icon (benita)
It's Valentine's Day, and I'm happy to say my groom and I are celebrating by giving each other a 100% guilt-free pass on buying any cards, teddy bears, chocolate or flowers. We've already had a busy month, emotionally and financially. The nicest thing we could do for one another is a pleasant Sunday together, without props. At the agency Christmas party, I won a year's membership to the local history museum. We are visiting today and I am going to develop a system that lets me, in one year's time, learn everything in the museum. EVERYTHING.

Ridiculous empty nest musings )


Jan. 30th, 2016 09:26 am
stgulik: default icon (My Dear Lupin)
The paper from hell is done. Its Drop-dead Due Date was yesterday, close of business, and we managed to get it PDF'd and to the client with ten minutes to spare.

Ten minutes, baby!

There was a little dancing, I'll admit.

Next week, we dig back in and format it for printing, but that's going to be comparatively easy.
stgulik: default icon (benita)
The paper I mentioned in December, the one that was supposed to be finished Dec. 30, was given a much-needed extension. Reviewer comments showed us we had more investigation and more write-up to do. So our new deadline was set for next Friday, a week from today.

And then, we drink.

But wait! We cannot drink yet! Because the next day, my daughter moves out. Yes, she and her friend Ashley finally found an apartment close to campus and fairly close to our house (to take advantage of laundry privileges, I am informed). So I think most of the weekend will be taken up with helping them box up their stuff and hauling it to their new place. But after that! Oh, yes!
stgulik: default icon (avada kedavra)
It's 9:20 and I'm holed up in the Room of Doom.

My husband and I were watching West Wing earlier this evening when my daughter strolled through and casually mentioned:

a) she can't access Netflix on the TV in the family room, she hasn't been able to get on wifi for two days, and everything's running on the pricey 4G from about here ::gestures:: to the other end of the house,


b) she downloaded Windows 10 on her laptop last night and something's not quite working.

Both these things put my husband in an absolute tizzy. The wireless is borked AND someone had the audacity to download Windows 10 without his royal permission? I swear, he wouldn't have gotten this upset if she'd announced she was pregnant.

I decided it might be a nice night to vacate the common rooms and catch up on Tumblr. When I last saw them, my husband had set up my daughter's computer while she was watching a TV show on DVD, like in Pilgrim times.

Here in the Room of Doom, where the wifi works perfectly well for whatever reason, I just watched home videos of the Sense8 cast at a table reading. That means we are one step closer to a Season 2! omg omg omg I hastened to follow all the Sense8 cast members with Instagram accounts, because Season 2. 
stgulik: default icon (keep calm make coffee)
Well, I'm not yet at work on a Thursday. There's a heater repair man in the house right now, cleaning out the coils or whatever, getting the heater ready for winter. His name is Javier, and he doesn't drink caffeine, so that kills my excuse for making another half-pot of coffee on this chilly morning.

Last night, my husband and I watched "Mockingjay Part One," the next-to-last installment of the Hunger Games movies. Not sure if that was its exact title. Didn't see it in theatres when it came out, though we are devoted to the books and the movies, because we wanted to watch it right before the last installment is released. As we expected, the movie was very, very dismal. It reminded me of Deathly Hallows Part One, with its slightly dry chronicling of the run up to the final battle. But there were some heart-pounding moments, too. It was fun to see Effie Trinket, parading around with her nose in the air, insisting she was a political prisoner. There was Phillip Seymour Hoffman, alive and well. He played his role so wonderfully--a Capitol man whose career was spent orchestrating mock battles, now in the middle of a real war and rather out of his depth (for a while). He was so good, and it made me miss him very much. And oh, Katness singing the folk song for her friends at the water's edge ... We all cried at that part, I have to admit it. We are more than ready for Part Two.

Aaah! Javier has turned on the A/C! Nooo...
stgulik: default icon (pinup witch halloween)
A big wave to the flist! I'm here to prove to [ profile] akatnamedeaster that there are still a few flisters hanging around LJ these days. I do admit I have been lurking instead of posting, though.

At the start of October, I could tell the month was destined to be chaotic, and it was! The bad news was, there were two deaths in the family. My husband sprained his wrist so badly, he has to have a cast and he sleeps sitting upright out on the couch! On the plus side, there were two birthdays. My brother had outpatient surgery and has made a complete recovery. And my kid is playing piano in her college's production of "The Music Man." So we've kept quite busy.

My Promptfest piece was severely delayed by this oddly busy October. I'd say I have 2k words written of a story that deserves 5k worth of love. So I really have my work cut out for me before the 29th.

At work, life imitates my fanfic world. I have a paper that's due November 1, and I'm quite far from done. The drop-dead due date isn't until December 31; this November 1 due date is my boss's. If she knows I've gone as fast as I can, it will be uncomfortable, but not the end of the world. So the situation isn't as dire as the Promptfest, amiright? That deadline is set in stone.
stgulik: default icon (benita)
The sidebar on my livejournal Friends Feed includes blog posts from sites that pay to advertise there. So far, the only blog that has ever shown up is Oh No They Didn't!, a gossip site. Once in a while I see something click-worthy.Read more... )
stgulik: default icon (snupin funny mine)
Went out to dinner last night with my daughter and her boyfriend. We went to some Italian franchise that's become really popular. Their gimmick is, certain meals on the menu include a second portion that is already boxed and ready to take home. You order your "today" meal and your "tomorrow" meal in one transaction. It's clever. Some of us couldn't even finish our today entrees, so we brought a lot home. And I learned again that it's not economical to order wine with my meal, let alone two glasses of it. Why do I do it? Because it's fun and I can afford it at the beginning of the month, oh yeah. But it's home cooking and iced tea again until October, folks.

Read more... )


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