ak: (Default)
( Dec. 25th, 2010 03:58 pm)
ahhaha, xmas is made of so much fail. went to my parents'; my mother was sulking because of something my dad had said to her earlier*, and refused to participate in trimming the tree. so my sister and i put up the whole tree while my mother sat on the couch, passive-aggressively doing sudoku and not-watching a very depressing religious xmas concert at approximately 75% over the tolerable volume.

a little later, my dad and i confronted her. "what's wrong," my dad asked her. "nothing," she replied. i, of course, feeling quite hormonal, burst into tears and dramatically declared that she needed to tell me what to do to put her in a better mood because everything was depressing and horrible. this, apparently, was the reaction she'd subconsciously been looking for, because she immediately quit sulking and cheered up, and the rest of the evening wasn't too bad at all. she even got up at one point to fix the tree where my sister and i had fucked it up. (frankly, i didn't think the tree needed any fixing, but i would have died sooner than risked putting her back in that deadly mood.)

i got a new down comforter and pillows, as well as a lovely new sewing machine which i'd requested. (my dad of course *had* to mention later that had i failed to come up with a request, he would've been forced to get me an iPad. he meant it, too. fml.) stayed the night but came home as soon as humanly possible.

idk. it ended up being a nice enough evening with family, and everyone was more than happy with the gifts we'd gotten one another, but we just can't seem to get there without silly drama. ever.

*he'd said something about my sister and i trimming the tree before i came over, and she'd replied, apparently jokingly, "so i'm not allowed to participate?" to which he'd replied, also jokingly, "well, you always get in a fight over it" (which is not even true omg it was a JOKE), and then it turned out it hadn't been a joking conversation to begin with and she didn't speak to anyone for approximately four hours. even after observing this for 30+ years, it still baffles me.
ak: (Default)
( Dec. 20th, 2010 10:29 pm)
it all started a couple of weeks ago. i work at a health food shop, so i see a lot of sick people on a daily basis, and i hear all about how bad this year's flu is and how it goes on for-fucking-ever. i reflected on the fact that i always come down with the flu on xmas eve, or on the first day of my winter vacation, thus ruining precious time off.

a week ago, i thought, "what if i just gave myself permission to get sick *before* the holidays this year?"

instant success! \o/

went home early on friday, was told to stay home saturday so i could "get over it" by monday, in time for one of the busiest weeks of the year. well... this morning saw me on the phone, booking an appointment at the local clinic.

legally, my employer is supposed to pay for basic privately provided healthcare. in practice, however, this isn't happening, as it's "too expensive." what happens when you use the municipal health services, though, is that the first appointment you get is to see a nurse, who will write you up three days' sick leave (or, in my case, four, so i could have a week's break with the christmas holidays). after the three days, if/when you're still sick (and i haven't actually managed to get over my yearly flu without antibiotics for a sinus infection ONCE in the past ten years), you can call in again and get a dr's appointment for meds and another three days to a week of sick leave.

PAID sick leave.

you'd think my employers would have caught on by now as to how it'd actually end up being about a week's worth of my salary cheaper for them to just let me fucking see a doctor. but, hey, an extra week off *and* i'm not too sick to knit? bring it on!

so, yeah. i'm at home, snorting salt water, chugging cough syrup and knitting.

i also got myself a christmas present. i think i deserve it :}
ak: (Default)
( Nov. 30th, 2010 09:08 am)
+ sufjan's xmas album still on repeat. in fact, sufjan is pretty much on repeat all the time.

+ this post is in constant danger of being annihilated through the fact of an orange cat butt hovering perilously close to the mouse while the head of said orange feline is right in my face, demanding kisses.

+ we have 30+ cm of snow and temps around -15...-20c. winter descended upon us on the 18th, a month to the day earlier than last year.

+ my bike has dangerous-looking studs on the tires. things i've learned about winter biking: when it's closer to zero, pedaling isn't as heavy, but the snow is infinitely more slippery. when it's cold, pedaling gets much MUCH heavier but the snow is somehow stickier so one is not in constant danger of falling on one's face.

+ bought cross-country ski boots and ski wax yesterday. the latter is made with tar, which is how i can be sure it's made in finland. we like to put tar in unlikely places. cough drops, shampoo, ice cream...

+ was asked to write a short (very short!) article for the chain's internal newsletter. 600 characters is ridiculously short, but i almost managed it. in the absence of an entirely new job (still waiting, though i now doubt i'll hear back from the place i interviewed with the week before last), these little crumbs are tasty enough to keep me interested i suppose.

+ i really really really like my new coworker, so that helps.

+ made raw chocolate last night. it came out a little grainy because, even with a hot water bath, i still couldn't get it warm enough for the cocoa butter to melt completely. but it's very nice nevertheless.

+ the heat has come on rather unexpectedly (it's been absent the last three winters i've lived here) but it's still kind of cold. i mean, +16 isn't bad - i didn't have to break out the third layer until last night.
ak: (Default)
( Nov. 28th, 2010 02:22 pm)
+ made french toast with rum flavoring instead of vanilla. YUM. real rum, maybe, next time?

+ listening to sufjan's songs for christmas album.

+ waiting for the dishwasher to be done with the dishes and the washer/dryer to finish its magic before heading over to the parents' for sauna and dinner.

+ knitting a sweater for a friend's dog*, using an existing dog sweater as model. it's a very interesting construction.

+ thinking of decorating doggy sweater with a row of kitties at the collar.

*the dogs are partaking in a competition in January, and apparently sweaters are mandatory.
ak: (Default)
( Nov. 12th, 2010 10:38 pm)
two things:

1) Adam Lambert is amazing, magnificent, larger than life, and just about any other superlative you can come up with.

2) there's a good chance i will have a shiny new job by the end of the year.

the latter of these two is actually what i'm dying to talk about, but nothing's definite of course. i have an interview with a pharmaceutical manufacturer next week, and in the meantime i'm also waiting to possibly hear from another pharmaceutical company. i can't fathom when or how it happened, but i've managed to acquire a reputation in the field for knowing quite a lot about nutraceuticals in general, so once i started telling people i'm looking for a job, word spread. in all the right places.

and then ADAM!!! last saturday, my sister and i set out for Helsinki shortly after noon. there were 300 people ahead of us in the line outside the venue, and it was freezing in spite of all the handknit things we wore. the man inspires all kinds of freaky hysterical behavior. such as: i witnessed a girl calling someone to inform them she'd seen a glimpse of Adam's denim-clad ass through a window... and i was actually mildly jealous.

doors opened after six, we headed straight for the bar, and i managed to get slightly drunk off a small bottle of hard cider. there was a fence separating the bar from the sober folks that was anchored on cement blocks, and that's where i stationed myself. turned out to be what saved me, too, because we were about twenty rows deep and had i not stood on the block, i wouldn't have been able to see a thing. on the other side was a v. sweet older glambert who ended up spending half her time defending a gaggle of pre-teens, chaperoned by a 16-year-old, who were in constant danger of being crushed by selfish bitches pushing through the crowd who claimed they had friends in the front row. DON'T WE ALL, YOU RAGING IDIOT.

and then Adam came out, and WHOA. he's so tall, and the glittery top hat (with feathers!) rather predictably just added to the effect. he towered over all 2,500 of us. asdfkjhgdf i can't even describe it. he was just unreal. and so glittery.

and then he sang.

everything anyone's ever said about his voice is true, and then some. people talk about the helium effect, and it was very pronounced. it can't be an issue with the sound mix, because 80 shows into the tour, they would've figured out a way to fix it. it's like this extra tone on top of his voice. i've never heard anything like it. his voice is absolutely magnificent. yeah, it's good on the album, but it's even better live.

there was dancing and boy kissing and a little bit of ~suggestive hip action (bb was sick with a cold, tho, so nothing too crazy - it was funny, btw: when he spoke, it was clear he wasn't feeling well, but when he sang, you couldn't tell at all) and then all too soon it was over and there was very nearly a stampede to finish off those of us who weren't dead yet. (dead or unconscious - there were six or so fainters in all, i personally witnessed two D:) it took us 45 minutes to get our coats; people were having panic attacks in the crowd and i swear we were *thisclose* to a v. bad situation (2,500 people, two doors, a total of six people working the coat check, do the math). in the end, my sister and i ended up splurging on a taxi instead of taking the train home.

yeah. i'd go again in a heartbeat, though. because, well, all of this.
ak: (Default)
( Oct. 10th, 2010 01:15 am)
one of these days, i'm going to write a real actual post about:
1) the fundie blog i just found that... you know what, words can't adequately describe what she does, so have a link.
2) how knocking on my new next-door neighbor's door every saturday night is getting kind of old (not to mention, rather hard on my old, withered knuckles) - to his credit, it should be stated the young man has been found sufficiently drunkenly penitent each and every time i've told him i can hear the music. at 1 a.m. grrr.
3) how utterly unenthusiastic i am about my impending long weekend on a greek island, which i anticipate will be spent watching people get drunk and working on whatever piece of knitting i manage to smuggle in my carry-on luggage.

said post will likely also contain bragging about the general awesomeness of my cats and a detailed description of adam lambert! in concert! live! OMG!!!!!! ...just four weeks from tonight.

so stay tuned.
ak: (Default)
( Feb. 11th, 2010 09:50 pm)
1. Signed up for the Knitting Olympics today. Not Ravelympics (too complicated, omg) but the *real* Knitting Olympics. I'll be [starting and] finishing a project I promised my sister over a year ago, Kate Gilbert's Wisteria - I've had the pattern and the yarn forever. Time to make it happen. (Let's pretend I don't have at least two other Very Important Projects to complete.)

2. A few weeks ago, I was approached by a company that imports a well-known brand of supplements and organizes lectures about nutrition and herbal medicine, asking me if I'd be interested in giving lectures. I said yes, and negotiations have now progressed to the point that they're going to start setting up their schedule, and I'm going to start drafting a presentation. I'm excited, because while at this time, all it's going to be is a gig (or four or five) this spring, there's been some indication that they're actually looking for someone as a long-term solution. Of the three people they're mainly relying on for lectures at the moment, two are self-proclaimed nerds and frankly not great at the whole speaking-in-public-loud-enough-that-people-can-hear thing, and one is a big-name nutritionist who's notoriously busy and hard to book (not to mention her presentations tend to be all over the place because she never has time to prepare). I'm cautiously optimistic, but think if I play my cards right, this has an excellent chance of spawning/becoming a viable job in the medium term.

3. We still have a metric shitton of snow, it continues to be cold, and I can't remember the last time I enjoyed winter this much. (A customer told me this is all just god's way of proving us wrong about global warming. Sigh. I don't even argue any more. It's like fighting windmills.)
ak: (Default)
( Dec. 31st, 2009 04:13 pm)
this happened at the mall where i work this morning.

what's kind of freaky is that there was zero information given out. the gunman was on the loose for about 45 minutes before there was any announcement at all. & when there was, they said "we have just received information that all shops may remain open." (this, mind you, while i'm standing at the door looking at people running by and other shops closing.) of course it took them less than thirty seconds after that to backtrack & say, in essence, EVERYBODY GET THE FUCK OUT RIGHT THIS SECOND. so out we went, and still there was no information, just a lot of rescue vehicles and a bomb squad and, eventually, helicopters. after hanging around for a couple of hours and having an unmemorable cup of tea in a dingy cafe, we finally managed to wrangle a fireman into telling us it would be several hours before anyone could be let back in, so we called our employer, who very graciously allowed us to go home for the day (i'm thinking this had something to do with the fact that *she'd* been getting a shitton of calls asking her if *she* was okay. which of course she was, cozy at home having a day off.)

it was cold outside, really fucking cold, a lovely sunny day with loads of snow. the girl from the shop next door had no mittens so i gave her a pair of mine. i'm going to make her keep them and knit myself a new pair. that's the one image i have of this day, her wearing my mittens.

i told everyone i was going to be okay, but turns out there are many devious ways this sort of thing can fuck you up.
ak: (Default)
( Nov. 1st, 2009 02:02 pm)
1,674 words into NaNoWriMo and my main character has already turned into a creeper who lusts over her barely-legal cousin. This is what happens when you can't decide which one of three (potentially four) stories to write and decide to just stick them all together and let them sort themselves out.

Also, Dr. Wicked's Writing Lab FTMFW!!!
ak: (Default)
( Oct. 14th, 2009 10:12 pm)
Drive-by posting today's Favorite Fundie Pick:

Sarah Palin is a huge inspiration and role model for women everywhere.... pro-life, pro-family, pro-freedom!

Just in case any of y'all are wondering what to get me for exmas :D :D :D
ak: (Default)
( Oct. 12th, 2009 01:56 pm)
I am now the proud owner of a chain tool. Everything I know about bike maintenance, I've learned over the past five days. Tire-changing, I've discovered, is nowhere near the most challenging thing about it, even lacking tire irons (thank heavens for a good set of Allen keys, is all I have to say about that!). Changing the chain is where the trouble starts. It's somewhat symptomatic of Everything That's Wrong With Me that it was only *after* I'd broken my hands and gotten a cold waiting for my sister to return from the store with a new saw that I discovered there is, in fact, a tool specifically designed for the act of breaking bicycle chains so that they can yet be easily put back together.

I bought my chain tool from an old man in an ancient bike shop whose beard held the menu for the past week at least, and whose hands looked exactly as mine would after working on bikes all day (three days and 30 to 40 hand washes later, my fingernails are still black). It was the fifth or sixth place I went; apparently, bicycles are supposed to go into hibernation in October and only come out after the snow is gone. (This fails to explain the wide availability of winter tires.)

I'm going to save the actual work for tomorrow morning, I think; it started raining while I was out - which, by the way: I wouldn't mind if it started raining just as I stepped out the door, but it keeps happening once I'm *just* far enough from home to not want to turn back to get my umbrella - and I've been running a temperature since Friday, so I'm going to devote the rest of my day off to resting up.

This update brought to you by Why Yes, I Know My Life Is Boring.
ak: (Default)
( Oct. 9th, 2009 01:05 am)

1) I have a new desk. It is made up largely of awesome. It has five drawers, and through the miracle that is Facebook, I have figured out things to put in each drawer. One of the things that's going to go in a drawer is sanity. IDEK any more.

2) Today, my coworker A. demonstrated a scary (though admirable) amount of knowledge in the category of things-that-make-me-tick. "You hate people, Santa Claus, Christmas elves, monkeys, clowns, and children," she said, "and you love your cats, Adam, knitting, bicycling, and lattes." (Yes, people, the gospel of Adam Lambert. It is spreading. Prepare yourselves.)

3) Somehow, the conversation turned towards M/M sex and I got to introduce my coworker to the concept of prostate stimulation. Diagrams, yay.

Carry on :D
ak: (Default)
( Aug. 21st, 2009 09:20 pm)
as in, gratuitous icon post. as in, no news apart from the usual.
ak: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2009 10:11 pm)
1) My fandom is officially the most badass fandom ever. I could give you 20+ examples from this week alone, but I'm not going to even bother, because every time I think the limit of epicness has been reached, something happens that tops it. PUN INTENDED.

2) I can't imagine how I ever lived without my iPod. Scratch that - I *didn't* live - I merely existed.

3) Here, have a video.

ak: (Default)
( Aug. 5th, 2009 06:24 pm)
My tolerance for asshattery has increased exponentially since I started reading all these fundie blogs, but every once in a while, the blip on the rage-dar gets a bit too loud for comfort. Like today.
and I am here to proclaim the best ever painkiller after morphine: DL-phenylalanine. It makes the pain go away *and* puts you in a good mood, all at the same time. And doesn't fuck up your liver or stomach lining.

What else? The cats are in fine form. I don't think a day goes by without someone puking. I also wake up in the morning with kitty drool all over my nightshirt, from being used as a security blanket all night long.

ONTD_AI continues to be a mindfuck of epic proportions. Then again, it's everything you'd expect from a community in which 1) clever trolling is pretty much encouraged, 2) the next round of the kink meme starts the day after the previous round finishes, and 3) the main otp ships itself. It's eating up my life - am allowing myself this fling, though, because it'll be over all too soon when the tour finishes.
you know it's time to step away from teh youtube when you realize you *still* know the full lyrics to this song - and EVERY SINGLE SONG on the "related videos" list.

hi, attended catholic university. brb, getting guitar.
ak: (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2009 04:25 am)
I nearly got killed yesterday. It was a sordid story involving me on my bike, obeying traffic rules, and a crazy guy going 30-40 km/h over the speed limit and not braking, in spite of speed bumps. I managed to brake with literally a fraction of a second to spare. I actually saw myself fly in that split second. Funny thing is, we ended up going around the block in opposite directions and he nearly hit me a SECOND time as he swerved into a parking lot. Words were had. My sister went out a little later to get pictures of the car and license plate and said she's 95% certain the same car nearly ran her over last week.

It's a slight consolation that at the rate he's going, this guy's going to meet with a wall/light post/other instrument of fate sooner rather than later. NGL, I wouldn't mind being there to see it.

How callous of me.
ak: (Default)
( Jul. 21st, 2009 10:56 pm)
What has my life become, that the thought of RPS no longer squicks me to the core?

and not just the reading of it.