Names

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:04 am
zhelana: (original - canoe)
[personal profile] zhelana
What would you name your kids if you have any?

Astrid May for a girl, I don't know about a boy. Kevin likes the name Astrid, and I do too, but it's really his choice. May is my middle name, my mother's middle name, my grandmother's middle name, and my great-grandmother's middle name. So it's really important to me to keep that.


the rest )

90F - 64F : Sunny

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:33 pm
zhelana: (Original - Something Fishy)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up just in time to eat breakfast before I had to leave. Today's adventure was the zoo event. I got to the volunteer check in table and they sent me to the room where the mascots would be dressing so I could guide around a mascot. I waited until an hour after my shift started, and the guy for the flamingo costume never showed up, so I went to get Sarah, who told me to just go in and enjoy the event. I talked to one of the docents somewhat about the elephants and their plans to expand the elephant area and maybe get a bull so they can have baby elephants. This led into talking about pregnant Qinu the beluga at Georgia Aquarium.

There were stations to get wine, beer, and food all over the zoo. I wound up getting one cup of sparkling mango wine, and then eating the food. It was good. I couldn't eat two of the things because they had seafood, but I got some steak, and a piece of a taco and some donuts. I discovered that it's impossible to see the gorillas with wheels - there just isn't a ramp onto the observation platform. So that made me sad, especially as there was someone with a microphone talking about gorillas up there, and I would have liked to listen.

I wound up watching the elephants for a long time, and the sun bears, and the pandas. The sunbears were clearly distressed that it was past time for them to be off exhibit and behind the scenes doing whatever they do there. They were pacing in front of the exit to their exhibit and occasionally jumping up on it like "let me in!" I kind of understand - it was 90F and they're black bears. But they're from Malaysia, certainly they should be used to hot weather? The tortoises were off exhibit with a sign that said "even Atlanta can be cold to a tropical animal. Check us out starting in late spring" - did I mention it was 90F out? Certainly that's not too cold for anything that has an outdoor enclosure in Atlanta?

I started driving home, and Kevin called to tell me he'd ordered me dinner from someplace we'd never eaten at before. So, I came home to dinner, and when I answered the door, the dog ran past me, and jumped on the guy with the food. He started jumping and screaming, which of course makes the dogs think he wants to play, so they're jumping and barking too. I collect my dogs and my food, and start to close the door and he's out there with his pants leg pulled up yelling "ma'am, ma'am!" so I peek out the door and he says "do you have the peppers?" I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about and he keeps gesturing to his leg asking for peppers. I finally say, "I have no idea what you want," and he says, "fine then I'll call the cops!" Since there was not a mark on his leg anywhere, and I have no idea why he wants peppers unless maybe he wants me to pepper spray my dogs, I tell him, "you do that then," and kick the door closed. Why do people who are afraid of dogs take jobs as delivery drivers? Honestly, get a job as a cook or something where you don't have to interact with people or dogs if you're afraid of dogs. Anyway, I'm seriously stressed out because I don't want him to report my dogs to the police.

travel plans percolating...

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:20 pm
orangerful: (force awakens)
[personal profile] orangerful
has anyone been to Costa Rica recently?

Brainstorming a "Girl's Trip" for February and this was my friend's suggestion (and it is for her - she is a Mom of two and I suggested we get away for a few days so she can just have some time to herself and leave the kiddos with Dad).

I mean, I've been practicing my Spanish for a few months now! Duolingo says I'm 50% fluent so that should at least be able to get us to a hotel and airport...and the library LOL (because every foreign language teaches you how to ask where the library is!)

Anyway, if you've been to Costa Rica and have any tips/tricks, let me know!

Crush

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:36 am
zhelana: (Original - Gatlinburg)
[personal profile] zhelana
Write about your first crush. Who was it?

I don't recall ever having a crush on anyone I knew in person, because I seem to have always recognized that that way lay sex, and I wasn't interested. I did have a celebrity crush on Jonathan Brandis, and his character Lucas Wolenczak from seaQuest DSV, which was probably my first and only crush in a way that you'd actually think of as a crush.

the rest )

90F - 66F : Sunny

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:07 am
zhelana: (original - handbasket)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up at 2 this afternoon because Kevin woke me up taking a shower. He was working from home and apparently decided the way to deal with this was to wake up at the moment he had to be at work and then take a shower on his lunch break. We got subs from Jimmy John's which I was able to shove in my mouth just in time to walk out the door.

Stop one was my therapist's office. Traffic made me a little late, but since it was apparently a 60 minute appointment instead of my usual 30 minutes, that was fine. We talked about goals, and talked about writer's block. She basically wanted me to look at what I have accomplished instead of what I haven't accomplished.

I came home and talked to Kevin for half an hour before heading out to my father's house. I got to my father's house a little early and he was in the shower, so I entertained myself with his dog until he was ready to go. Tonight's adventure was the Temptations and 4 Tops concert. Of course it's more like Temptation and 4 Top because only one man survives from each group, and they've filled their ranks with younger men. I thought the concert was alright, but the 4 Tops for some reason were singing everyone else's songs. I mean, I know you could fill an hour with 4 Tops hits, but for some reason they played Mack the Knife, and My Way and several other songs that I didn't even know that weren't their songs. My dad was pretty disappointed, and he wasn't alone - people were leaving the concert in droves. Our entire aisle emptied out before the end of the concert.

I got home at midnight, and talked to Kevin for an hour since the dogs woke him up barking when I walked in the door. I immediately took my meds, as I had forgotten both at lunch and dinner (since I never ate dinner), and I was starting to go into withdrawals. I'm still clenching my jaw and pretty uncomfortable, though it's starting to get better.

Hair

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:22 am
zhelana: (Marvel - Puny God)
[personal profile] zhelana
How do you do your hair/makeup? Why?

It's long and curly. I just brush it. I don't do makeup. Because I really couldn't give a flying fuck.

the rest )

89F - 66F : Late night thunder

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:32 pm
zhelana: (X - forever my love)
[personal profile] zhelana
The bad decision train left at 4am, with me too tired to stay up until noon, and with too little sleep available to wake up at 11, so I didn't get to temple this afternoon. I did temporarily wake up at the appropriate time, but then I was like "there's no transliteration in the books and you stumble too much to say the prayers, so you won't get anything out of it anyway, and you'll have to park across the street which will be a hard and painful walk and your back will hurt before you even start standing up to pray. So I talked myself out of it and went to sleep.

Kevin called at 11 and said he was done with work for the day because he has to work Saturday. Then when I woke up at 2 he still wasn't home. Apparently he called Brian and wound up going out to lunch with him, and decided I wouldn't know because I'd be at tmeple, so he didn't tell me he wasn't coming straight home, and I was very nervous by the time he came home. Now he has two days of working from home, plus he gets to get off early on Friday (next Friday I think not this Friday), to make up for the hours he did work today.

We talked a little bit, then I went to Panera to meet Tia and Klepto. I wrote over 1000 words on my Star Trek short stories, and then started reading DW for about half an hour because my brain was just not having any of it. My brain had better get over this not having any of it by November because I'm relying on a successful NaNoWriMo to finish my goals for the year. I think it'll be better when I have a novel I'm writing instead of the short stories. I hope.

Came home, read LJ, read my bat mitzvah portion over again - the first half of it came easier, the second half came harder for some reason, even though I know most of the words in the second half of it. Read my Bible, and generally prepared for the end of the day.

Anyway, Shanah Tova to the Jews, and Happy Mabon to the pagans, happy Friday to the rest of you.


Another Friendzy


happy fall multifandom friending meme!

Mmmmmm coffee scented candle love

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:57 am
christina_maria: (Coffee and a Book)
[personal profile] christina_maria
 Gah!! This candle smells soooo yummy.😍😍 I love it! I haven’t even lit it yet, and it smells amazing.

Of course… that it smells so yum means they’ve totally sold out for now at Bath & Body Works online shop.
 
I also have one now called ‘Hot Cocoa and Cream’ that smells yummy as well, but in a baked brownie way almost. It too is sold out now.  harumph.
 
 
So there will be no stocking up on them for this lady, dang it. ☕ I hope they at least restock a few times before it gets discontinued.  I would totally buy a couple more to save for later.
Honestly, I wish they’d stop discontinuing the scents I love. *lol*
 
When they occasionally do bring back a discontinued one I find it never really smells quite the same though. I’m not sure if it’s a change in ingredients, or in the amount of scent they use the second time round when bringing a scent back. Never quite the same candle though.
 
 
I do still have their yummy Italy Espresso Cafe candle (that came out a year or so back).
It had sold out and then got discontinued (naturally) … and so, even though I love how yummy it smells, I use it very sparingly so I can have it longer.
 
 
I tell you what though.
It’ll be a sad candle day when I finally use up the Italy Espresso candle, but at least I have the Coffee one and Cocoa one to take it’s place now.
 
 
It smells so good.

101 Update

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:10 am
zhelana: (seaQuest - Remember when)
[personal profile] zhelana
Progress This Week

Go to 30 meetings - Went to a dance practice tonight

Post 100 situations prompts to AO3 - Another one is posted.

Fill a second 100 situations with a different fandom - Wrote 2 more prompts

Learn 30 new things through wikipedia - I learned about Brezhnev's legacy.

Take golf lessons - one more week in the books.

Listen to 90 other podcasts - I listened to an episode of Backstory on myths and legends in American history.

Read the entire Bible - Still in 2 Kings

2 people

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:08 am
zhelana: (original - alone)
[personal profile] zhelana
Two people you want to be with right now.

Dylan and Yves. I guess one of those is actually possible, if I call and make some time.

the rest )

92F - 65F : Sunny

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:19 pm
zhelana: (seaQuest - cocky)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up inexplicably at 8 this morning. Despite this, I did not go to PSWC. I was pretty lazy until time to go to my dentist appointment. I spent some more time in bed, and on the internet. Then I went to the dentist. It was not as horrible this time as last time. At least, I didn't leave bleeding and crying. I set up a return appointment, and an appointment with the actual dentist (the VA one person does cleanings and another person does X-rays and other stuff). Every time I go in this woman "discovers" cement on my teeth from my braces that I had 20 years ago. And tries to scrape it off, each time unsuccessfully, but with lots of the scraper skipping off of it and going into my gums.

Also, I really want to know what the receptionist's job is there though because when I asked him to check me in he's like "check in at the automatic kiosk" and when I asked him to check me out he's like "check out is around the corner" So what the fuck is your job dude? You're working awfully hard at not working there.

If I had had brains, I would have brought my laptop and went to a coffee shop, but I don't have brains so I came all the way home, and sat online for an hour then talked to Kevin for an hour, then went back to Decatur to go to the SCA meeting. There was a business meeting at the beginning of the meeting, where we talked about upcoming events, most of which I am not going to. I don't think I'm going to any more events this year, actually. I may change my mind and go to Red Tower in 2 weeks, but they aren't having any classes, and I don't think I can shoot long enough to make that a whole day activity. So, I don't really know what I'd do with myself.

After the meeting we had some dancing. I danced with Ximon, and Justina danced with the dance Mistress, but I don't remember her name. Also this cute little 3 year old girl danced with Justina and they were adorable. The list of dances for 4 people is small, and I think we did most of them.

Then we went out to dinner at Imperial, where I had a burger and Mac and Cheese. Never again with that mac and cheese. The top was burned, and I made the mistake of stirring it so the burned pieces mixed in with the good pieces, and it was just disgusting. I picked at Deborah's french fries, which were better. We talked about travel, and the military, and I'm not really a fan of discussing the military. It's a thing that happened, and I'm glad it did, but I'd rather not talk about it. They were talking about family members who refused to talk about military service though, and I was like "sounds about right!" For what it's worth, my grandfather, who was a mine sweeper in north Africa never spoke about it either. Until he got Alzheimer's and thought he was living it.

L'Shanah Tova, y'all.

game rambles

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:14 pm
orangerful: (senua)
[personal profile] orangerful
Yeah, I made a Senua icon. I'm obsessed. Deal with it.

I can already feel the gaming hangover setting in - anything else I pick up to play I'm like "Ugh, this is not as emotionally engaging as Hellblade!"

I did pick up Witcher 2 again. I do enjoy that game but I can't play it when Tim's daughter is around because the Witcher does love to get it on with the ladies. The sex scenes are pretty explicit, even if they are a little ridiculous since the graphics are not top notch (the game is several years old). I need to read the novels, Tim has all of them, and they seem like fantasy I could actually get into.

If you are in need of a spooky game for October, we just finished Layers of Fear and it was CREEPY! Tim could hear me screaming from downstairs because there were so many jump scares and startling moments. I actually made Sylvia control the character because I was too terrified. It says to play with headphones on but I couldn't even play with the lights off LOL. It doesn't have a whole lot of replay value but if you can get it for $10 or less, it's worth it.

We are going to see "IT" tomorrow after work. Which means it will be a long night because the movie is just over 2 hours LOL. Oh well...I may have failed to mention the run time to Tim. Shhhhh

PSA: Library Jobs !!

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:26 pm
orangerful: (Default)
[personal profile] orangerful
Come work with me! My library system is hiring Library Associates. All you need is your bachelor's degree in ANYTHING and fantastic customer service skills - though a willingness to do storytimes would also help in most cases.

Click here for details

Feel free to share with anyone you know who lives in Maryland and is job hunting. This is a great gateway position into public library work! (Outside of Maryland is fine too, but it is expensive to live here so just know that going into it)

What are you reading Wednesday?

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:14 am
zhelana: (Firefly - girls)
[personal profile] zhelana
What have you just finished reading?

The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-boats by William Gerouxby - I don't understand why this book was called seven brothers, Mathews is a county, not a family, and the book was about a much larger segment of society than seven brothers. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating look at a mostly forgotten part of WWII, and men who had a higher mortality rate than every military branch except the marines.


What are you reading?

One Way or Another by Annette Laing - No progress this week

The Jews of Khazaria by Kevin Alan Brook - I wonder if part of the reason we have so little information about these people is that they competed with the Russians, and eventually, the Russians won? I'm only 28% of the way through this book, which is surprising because he never references the idea that he'll introduce more evidence after chapter 8 and I'm already on chapter 6.

2 Kings - There's a lot of murder and death going on. I think it's succession wars?

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink - This book is more oriented towards businesses than I was expecting. It's still interesting, because it talks about ways to motivate people and stuff, but I am not the intended audience.

Dream Date

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:03 am
zhelana: (original - aliens)
[personal profile] zhelana
What would your dream date be like?

I would go to a beach and talk and then go on a dinner cruise and see dolphins jumping while we ate good food.

the rest )

89F - 66F : Sunny

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:40 pm
zhelana: (potter - look)
[personal profile] zhelana
Today was not a very good day. I had a horrible nightmare last night, and woke up exhausted. I only stayed up for 30 minutes before deciding to go back to sleep. Then I woke up 2.5 hours later to the alarm. It was time to take the cats to the vet. I trapped them, and shoved them in carriers, which they were very vocal about expressing their hatred of. We drove to PetSmart for our 3:00 appointment. When I left, at 4:30, without having been seen, the 2:00 appointment was still there and hadn't been seen either. I had places to be so I set a new appointment, and left. Now I have to traumatize the cats again, next week, and I'm sure when I put them in carriers they think they're going to get dumped back at the pound because that happened to them several times before we got them, and more than half the times of their lives they've been in a pet carrier they've either ended up at the pound, or a new home. So I'm sure they're scared shitless of this whole process. Of course, I would never get rid of my kitties, but they don't know that.

So anyway, then I went to meet Klepto at Starbucks. I wrote about 500 words in an hour and a half, and then decided to come home and take a nap because my brain was not cooperating. I slept for about 2 hours, then woke up and read the internet for a bit.
orangerful: (lara croft video games)
[personal profile] orangerful


So, I can't stop thinking about this game. I flew through the 8 hours of gameplay time (well, it took me more than that because I am a very cautious fighter LOL) and I miss Senua already.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is the story of a warrior woman whose lover was murdered by invading Norsemen and she has decided to go into hell to free his soul.

But Senua is not a normal woman - she hears voices. Her mother heard them too. They whisper to her, constant companions since she was young. These voices have kept her separated from the rest of her tribe, which is why she wants so badly to find Dillion's soul - he was the one person who truly cared for her. I know this sounds cliche, but I have to say that love is the one force out there that will make people challenge gods, even if those gods are not their own.

I love how the game just drops you into the story - no tutorial mode, not even a flash of instruction on the screen to coach you. You must figure it out (even if that simply means hitting "pause" to bring up the control menu) - the game designers have faith in your abilities to play from the start and they don't want to pull you out of the narrative to go through some clunky "What does the A button do?" screen or cheesy flashback to find an excuse to learn how to make your character walk.

I really feel like this game is another great example of video games as art. I feel like to show how a thing is art, you must give examples of how it brings out emotions in us that no other format can; how it can tell a story that would not be nearly as powerful as just a printed page or even as a moving image.

I played Hellblade as the creator's suggested: with headphones on. This let me experience the voices the way Senua did - hearing them immediately as our shared quest began and growing both frustrated and fond of their chatter. I don't think the printed text of a novel could have done this for me and while I can be emotionally connected to a character in a movie or tv show, you can't become them the way you can in a video game. And while I don't think I was ever Senua, I felt like I was with her the whole way.

I know this game is already getting a lot of push back from people with mental illness. Ninja Theory, the game design company, did a lot of homework in trying to represent the different ways psychosis can feel. I've seen at least one reviewer who are not happy because they suffer from mental illness and didn't think the game represented them, and I can understand that. The designers could only do so much and they reached out to professionals and got as much feedback as possible but they can't know what it is like for someone and no game will really ever replicated that experience.

I am coming from a completely different place, and this game really made me think a lot about all of the voices in everyone's head and how some of us can shrug them off and others are forced to hear them. The voices of self doubt, of fear, of resignation beside the voices that also push you on. I've never suffered from psychosis and I can't even begin to understand what life would be like for someone living with it, but for those 8 hours, I had those voices in my ears and it made me think of how hard that can make everything - if I was struggling in a fictional world to run forward and stay focused, what must it be like for someone in modern society? No idea, I know I can never know.

While I didn't love the ending (too soon, I wanted more), I loved the game as a whole. I really enjoyed that it was more than just a button mashing fighter game and that the (thankfully few) boss fights all had strategies to them. It reminded me of Legend of Zelda and how each "boss" was more than just a simple fight, you had to pay attention. There were just as many puzzles and hidden things to make me want to keep going, and bits of Norse legend peppered through-out which made me want to go find Neil Gaiman's new book and see if there were more to those legends.

It was a beautiful game, I loved seeing it on my screen, watching Senua wander the mystical world. I really hope we have more adventures with her.

For more details about the game and how to buy a (digital only), visit the official Ninja Theory site.

Tears

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:01 am
zhelana: (Marvel - Iron Man)
[personal profile] zhelana
Are you good at holding back your tears?

Nope

the rest )
orangerful: (pinkie OMG)
[personal profile] orangerful
I forgot to tell ya'll but WE HAVE A FLOOR AGAIN!



The tile was installed two weekends ago and we love it. Really brightens up the entire kitchen and just really makes it a nice room on it's own rather than just flowing into the living room area. Dishwasher has also been repaired too which is just fantastic. I know it was saving us money in our energy bill BUT I really was tired of dishes piling up on the counter (#firstworldproblems). The deal is whoever makes dinner, the other has to wash dishes and considering how many pots/pans I get dirty that can't go on the dishwasher, the addition of plates/bowls/cups on top of that was making things crazy. So, yes, repair the dishwasher, save my marriage XP

In the world of Impulse Purchases, my spatula designed by Kristen Bell arrived in the mail last week too!



Proceeds went to the No Kid Hungry program so it was for a good cause. Also, I <3 Kristen so much and this is probably the closest I will get to having her autograph so yeah. I'm a dork, it makes me smile. If you didn't see her shenanigans with the senior citizens during Hurricane Irma, I highly suggest browsing her Instagram/Twitter feed for a few minutes.

When we went to Wisconsin this summer, Tim went through the boxes of stuff in his parent's basement for things that he wanted to bring back (this is what happens when you buy an SUV). Anyway, one of the treasures we did find were his Star Wars toys, mainly a few large vehicles. So last night, in a fit of cleaning, I rearranged some of my Star Wars shelf to highlight our vintage collection (I reclaimed my toys from my parent's house last year but hadn't made space for them). I don't have it all out yet, but I got a few things in nice prime spots to hightlight them:



I still have a few figures I'd like to display plus a LARGE collection of micro-machines playsets. #nerdproblems - I am going to either move or maybe even downsize my Yoda collection as I don't really focus on that anymore. My collecting focus for Star Wars now is mostly LADIES.

Last but not least, I finished playing Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice last night and OMG THE EMOTIONS!



I want to do an in-depth write up later but this game was beautiful and I loved the story, which kept me going even when the game got rough. It was very short, about 12 hours, but it was a smaller gaming company. Tim got me fancy headphones right before I started playing it so I got to have the full experience since it recommends playing with nice headphones that can give you the full range of sounds.

I love Senua. She is right up there with Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite: I want an action figure of her for my desk.

...actually, I have that "Make your own Funko Pop" downstairs...maybe I could make myself a little Senua! PROJECTS!!!!!!!

Bedtime now - I am trying to finish the last two books for a conference I'm attending next month. Neither of them are grabbing me as much as the others so it has been a struggle. Plus SO MANY good books are coming out right now and distracting me with their covers and blurbs. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! #librarianproblems

A Friendzy

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:36 pm
zhelana: (Frozen - hug)
[personal profile] zhelana
My friend Ben is hosting a friendzy!

Click here

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