a garden in riotous bloom
Beautiful. Damn hard. Increasingly useful.
fresh cuttings 
me and xtina
Vacation, part 2!

MondayCollapse )


Tuesday
We woke up to light snow, which was alarming in that "how is it already winter?!" way as well as the "I hope I don't have to drive in this" way. By the time we finished packing up, the snow had stopped, and though it was cloudy, it wasn't too windy. The proprietor was just coming back from an errand as we departed around noon, and we thanked her effusively and promised to visit again. It was really a great place to stay.

We went back to the beachlet, found a nice place with a little bit of everything--sand, shells, rocks, seaweed, trees, leaves, pine cones--and then we spoke from the heart about how much we love each other and love the relationship we've built and want to keep doing this thing we're doing. We talked about trust and equality and goofy in-jokes too. I don't remember what either of us said exactly, X probably doesn't either, and there's no recording of it. We served as our own officiants and our only witness was a seagull. It was exactly the wedding we wanted.

We hugged each other and shivered a bit, both from belated nerves and because it was getting pretty cold. Then we retrieved my phone from the car and I took a picture of us. "Smile like you just got married!" I said.

Me and X with big big smiles

I called Josh (who had known that we were planning this, of course, and has been marvelously supportive) and my parents and brother (who were entirely surprised and very happy for us), and we headed home.

Eloping is pretty awesome. :D I don't plan on doing it again--I'm pretty sure two spouses is my limit--but I recommend it highly.


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me and xtina
X and I are on vacation!

FridayCollapse )


SaturdayCollapse )


SundayCollapse )

Misbehaving bodies aside, it has been quite a splendid trip so far. We're already talking about making it an annual thing, budget permitting. Tomorrow, depending on weather, we might go take a walk in a nearby county park. We head home Tuesday afternoon.


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23 September 2013 02:38 - "A whirlwind of activity"
busy-good
I'm home. I'm very, very glad to be home. My week in Arizona was wonderful, but being away from home and my partners and our cats was really hard. It's so good to be back.

Java's pancreatitis took a turn for the worse while I was away. He's still sick but doing a little better: eating and drinking on his own (though still not eating enough), mostly angling himself correctly in the litterbox, moving around slowly but still getting himself from place to place, snuggling and purring up a storm. Prognosis is unclear at this point--as with any unwell 18-year-old cat--but he's getting the best possible treatment short of going to a hospital, and we're all quite certain that he's happier at home with his people than he would be anywhere else. He's a fighter and clearly determined to stick around as long as he possibly can.

J and X are worn out from kitty care and worry, and I'm rested from a week of vacation, so I'm taking charge of household things. Tonight I made big batches of lentil soup and vegetable soup. I'm very pleased with the innovation of leaving out the garlic in the vegetable soup (I wasn't at all in the mood for garlicky things) and stirring in a teaspoon of miso paste to replace the missing umami. We had a hearty dinner and have 12 servings of soup in the fridge and freezer. I also bought ingredients for chicken stew and waterzooi, so I'll make those tomorrow or Tuesday. It's easier to make stew on a weeknight when you're having something else for dinner and so it doesn't matter if the stew's not ready until 10 or 11 p.m.

I'm focusing on food because X doesn't cook and has intolerances that make ordering in impossibly risky, J is too preoccupied and worn out to cook, and I get home too late on weeknights to do much; keeping us all fed is a tricky proposition. I'm very grateful to [personal profile] regyt, supertailz , nojojojo , and my mother, who are helping us stock our freezer. [personal profile] teaberryblue is going to come by on Wednesday and help me clean so the place isn't a total wreck when s00j gets here on Thursday. [personal profile] novalis is going to cat-sit on Thursday when all three of us have to be at work. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life.

Also done today: got plenty of sleep, showered and dressed, bought incontinence pads since Sam is anxious and Java is clumsy and that means lots of peeing on the floor, got J out of the house for a grocery store run, arranged for X to have some uninterrupted time alone, gave them both lots of hugs and helped them sort through all the messy difficult feelings that come up at a time like this, reached out to the abovementioned folks for help and to further-away friends for e-hugs and support, sent regrets to the friends having weddings on the next two weekends, emailed my boss about swapping my day off from Tuesday to Friday (X is working from home Tuesday, so if I can move my day off to Friday then that's an extra day of around-the-clock kitty coverage), ran and emptied the dishwasher twice and washed a couple of big things by hand, emailed the Readercon concom saying that I won't be able to call in to Sunday's meeting, bleached my humidifier, took out the trash and recycling, tidied the dining table, left a loving note for J and X, remembered to put my MetroCard back in my wallet, cuddled Sam a lot (I missed her SO MUCH), and very gently patted Java and encouraged him to keep fighting. I feel quite productive. Of course now it's an hour and a half past when I meant to get to bed, but I can blame that on jetlag, right?

I have made a to-do list to stop myself from further bustling. It's long, but that's fine; it doesn't all need to get done in one day. Really. It doesn't. No, really.

Locals, do you have an inflatable bed we can borrow in case the one I just bought doesn't get here before our lovely houseguest does? We meant to order one sooner but it's been a week.


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boots, potential, travel, feet
(I bet X knows the song the subject line comes from. It's been stuck in my head off and on the entire weekend, for reasons that will become obvious.)

There are two ways I could describe the trip that [personal profile] xtina and I took this past weekend, to New Orleans for World Horror/Stokers Weekend.

-----

The glum versionCollapse )

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The happy versionCollapse )

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Both versions are true, of course.

The reason that version #2 feels more true to me is that traveling with X turns out to be just plain wonderful. We'd never taken a trip like this before, and it was very much a trial run for next year's London/Paris trip around Worldcon, so there was a bit of pressure on us to Do It Right. X has frequently been known to say "I hate travel!" and we're both anxious types, so I was worried we would just stress each other out. But no, we're totally compatible, we relax each other, we want the same things out of a trip, we like the same mix of scheduling and spontaneity. X soothed me through bumpy flights and I supported X through a massive social situation full of strangers. Our good cheer barely faltered throughout the entire weekend. It's a cliché, I know, but as long as we were together we really didn't much care whether we were in Miami or New Orleans. We joked around and loved each other and relaxed, and came home full of affection and gratitude for each other. Despite everything, it was in some ways one of the best vacations I've ever taken.

I mean, yes, it would be nice if the next vacation we take together involves neither illness nor flight mishaps. But now we know that if those things come up, we can handle it just fine and still find ways to have a good time.


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17 October 2012 08:33 - "Home is where the heart is"
peace, garden, home
I am home, home, home, with a kitten kneading my leg, a wicked case of jetlag, and a girlfriend who is corporeal and awesome and gorgeous and hooray.

Between the vacation-relaxation and the crisp autumnal air, I am all full of ideas for self-improvement and life-improvement. Clean all the things! Stop going dancing! (Miriam and Alex moved away and Nina doesn't go anymore, so it's hard for me to get excited about it now. Other dancers are friendly but they're not my friends in the same way.) Cancel therapy! Work out more! Save all my money! Spend all my money on beautiful sturdy necessary things! I will try not to go overboard.

But seriously, this jetlag. I woke up at 7 a.m. That's obscene. Tonight I am damn well going to stay up until 2, even if Xtina snuggles against me and falls asleep, which was totally my undoing last night.


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13 October 2012 22:15 - "Smart but not bright"
boots, potential, travel, feet
Wow, it's been a week since the last day-by-day post! How time flies.

More brief recapsCollapse )

Paris, at lengthCollapse )

I really can't even begin to describe how much fun we had in Paris. To my surprise I fell in love with the city, a place I inexplicably used to dismiss as "just like New York but in French"! Paris is entirely unlike New York. It is its own wonderful self. I can't wait to go back.

Friday was all about lounging around, cuddling and talking and petting the cat. We went out for a very nice dinner with Paul Kinkaid and Maureen Kinkaid-Speller and then came home for more lounging around. It's what we were in the mood for and that made it a good day.

Today (Saturday) we were hoping to take a long walk with [personal profile] lizw, but she had to cancel. By the time she realized that and texted us, we were already in central London, so we strolled around for a bit and then rang up Geoff for last-minute lunch plans. By the end of lunch, Josh was looking flushed and tired, and he admitted he was probably coming down with the same cold everyone has had. We curtailed our wandering and headed "home", where I finished writing this up while he got some chilling-out time. Then some lovely people came over for a little dinner party (and I hope they'll friend me on LJ/DW/Twitter so I can keep up with them) full of laughter and booktalk and goodness. The wine we bought in Paris was uncorked and generally enjoyed, hurrah. Now Josh is sleeping off his cold and I'm puttering about online until it's time for my phonedate with X.

Tomorrow, perhaps seeing Bonnie and Rachel, perhaps seeing people coming over for some sort of meeting, and packing. Monday we go HOME.

I haven't really been hit by achy homesickness on this trip, just gentle quiet nostalgia; but the more I think about it, the more I miss it. I miss Xtina, especially when we're doing things that I think she'd like to be doing, like eytmologizing French and just wandering around exploring a new place. I miss the cats, especially Sam; Miss P is lovely but she's not my cat. I miss New York, though London and Paris have been really wonderful. I miss sleeping in my bed, in my room, in my apartment. I miss home. It's been a truly great trip, occasional hiccups aside, and now I'm just about ready for it to be done.


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11 October 2012 01:51 - "You've made my life so glamorous"
laughing, joyous, frubbly
Josh and I are in Paris! This is the first time I've taken Josh to a non-U.S. city that's new to him, and he's beside himself with delight. Open-air markets that sell tasty food! A tiny little Jewish quarter in the middle of the gayborhood! Buildings! Shops! Tea! Everything is amazing! His joy is infectious and it's making the trip absolutely splendid. He loves the city and has been gamely trying on French phrases for size. Next time we'll come for longer.

(We keep trying to figure out how to do that and running up against the harsh reality that none of us can really take a month off in the middle of 2014, so my crazy idea of 1 week Loncon + 1 week London + 1 week Paris + 1 week County Cork is unlikely to happen. But gosh it would be lovely.)

Today we enjoyed lunch at Le Saint Augustin with aliettedb (duck confit!), learning how to work the entry gates and train doors on the Metro, not finding any bedbug traces in our adorable tiny efficiency hotel room, long walks down meandering streets, olives, tea made with fresh mint leaves and toasted pine nuts, buying Hanukkah candles (best Parisian souvenir ever), a truly sublime dinner at Wadja with my uncle, a lovely midnight stroll back to the hotel, and figuring out how to snuggle on the adorable tiny twin bleds in our adorable tiny efficiency hotel room. Plans for tomorrow include bread for breakfast (I might brave a croissant, with appropriate preparation), a picnic lunch, and dessert from Berthillon Glacier (recommended by fraterrisus ), plus lots more wandering around. Should be awesome.

Much as I've loved our social whirl in London, it feels so good to be really on vacation, going wherever and doing whatever. More like this, please.


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9 October 2012 11:32 - "The bottomless wallet"
baggage, processing
Things I must make sure to bring when I travel because there is no guarantee of being able to obtain them outside the U.S.: a partial list.

* Mucinex (guaifenesin) in the granules-for-kids formulation. I just had to take two spoonfuls of nauseating "blackcurrant"-flavored syrup. BLECH. (Yes, I have a cold; not a bad one, but I really want it gone before we go to France tomorrow.) And whee, I did not do my homework and forgot that I must take guaifenesin a) with food and b) before bed, rather than what I did this morning, which was take it a) on an empty stomach and b) before going out for the day. Plus c) I left the house without taurine, so had no good way to counteract the ensuing slow-burn panic attack. *facepalm* On second thought, maybe best to avoid guaifenesin altogether, as I appear to be getting more sensitive to its side effects.

* My preferred brands of body wash, hand cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, face stuff, and toothpaste.

* A printer. All the documents I might need while traveling, pre-printed.

* Taurine.

* Waterproof shoes that are really comfortable to walk in. It might be time to invest in a pair of hiking boots--and it is definitely time to get the soles of my dress shoes repaired.

* Unscented l*undry detergent. Apparently it just doesn't exist in England. Best solution we've found so far: judicious amounts of Ecover all-natural detergent, extra rinse cycle. But still!

* Guaranteed non-dairy drinking chocolate mix. Cadbury's has "flavourings" and "may contain milk". I don't trust it.


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boots, potential, travel, feet
(If anyone other than amadea gets that quote and knows why I'm using it without Googling, I will be most impressed.)

We have been getting to know many of our friends' young children while in town. So far all have been entirely charming.

Brief anecdotesCollapse )

There was also briefly a teenager but we didn't rate her attention.

Tomorrow we go to a party where many other children will be running around, ages babe-in-arms to teen. Should be fun.

I frontload with cute kids because otherwise the trip so far is a bit comedy-of-errors-ish, sometimes with more error than comedy, and I wanted to emphasize that we really are having a good time! Just not quite perfect, but then, what trip is?

Brief recaps are still cumulatively longCollapse )

I keep thinking "from here it should get less busy" and then actually looking at the calendar. Tomorrow: lunch, afternoon party, evening party. Sunday: hanging out with Graham some more, hooray! Monday: wandering around the city with friends, dinner party. Tuesday: going to visit friends, maybe dinner with other friends. Wednesday: go to Paris, dinner with my uncle. Thursday: more Paris, come back late. Friday: dinner with friends. Saturday: stroll with Liz. Sunday: pack. Monday: go home. So... no, it never really does get less busy! But I knew going in that this was going to be a busy, social vacation, and as long as we keep getting an hour or two at "home" in the evenings to relax and unwind, I'm fine with that.


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30 September 2012 02:19 - "East End boys and West End girls"
dual citizenship, UK
It's been a hectic few weeks. Xtina and I had possibly our worst fight ever, lasting all of three minutes and involving one snapped exchange; we patched it up quickly and well, but it was still stressful for all of us. Shortly after that, I got drunk on sleep deprivation and crossed a boundary she'd specifically asked me not to cross, and it was a few days until we could sort it out (by which I mean, until I could properly abase myself and explain in detail just how appalled I was by my own behavior). A week ago, she and [personal profile] regyt broke up, and I did my best to be Switzerland and support them both through that. X and J and I spent a chunk of last weekend restructuring my schedule so I get more sleep and spend more time with them and do less mad scrambling around, at least in theory, and I found that surprisingly emotionally difficult (more on that in a later post, maybe). Then on Tuesday, X went to the ER with what four different doctors thought was appendicitis; fortunately it turned out to be a painful but non-dangerous thing that didn't require surgery, or Josh and I wouldn't be in London right now.

Oh right, Josh and I are in London right now.* My younger cousin got married tonight (in an impressively well-blended Jewish/Christian ceremony), and last night was the rehearsal dinner, so I've been keeping my usual schedule only on UK time. Family obligations are a great cure for jetlag! I adore my cousin and her new husband and am very happy to see them so happy. Our families get along really well too, which is always wonderful. We have received many invitations to visit the groom's family in Ireland; maybe we'll go when we come out for Loncon in 2014.

* X was invited to the wedding, because my family is awesome--they even addressed her invitation to "Xtina"!--but she's introverted enough that she would not have been made happy by my plans for an immediate big family gathering followed by two weeks of nonstop socializing with a whole lot of people she's never met. On top of that, she's recently become more prone to motion sickness, which makes long-haul flights pretty intolerable. Therefore, she's home taking care of the cats and enjoying two blissful weeks of solitude. I'm sure she will come to London with me someday, but this trip was not the right trip for it.

And now it's 02:00 London time and I should sleep. We've been staying at Geoff Ryman's flat while he and his partner are out of town, so we've been able to keep our own schedule while we adjust to the new time zone and do all our family things, but tomorrow we head up to Graham's place for a few days and he's an early riser, so I don't want get too deeply into the night owl habit and miss a lot of time with him while one or the other of us is asleep.


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25 August 2012 04:28 - "A triumph of your will"
accomplishment, craft
Today was a fucking epic rockstar day.

1) I slept. Not a ton, but it was good sleep and I got up feeling well-rested.

2) I did every single thing on my to-do list plus two things I had forgotten to list, and every part of the day that was about timing went like clockwork.

3) I bought plane tickets for the London trip!

4) I went to lunch with zia_narratora , and ate spicy curry, and my ear unblocked! And the curry was yummy and the conversation was too. Tea is such a lovely person.

5) I had exactly enough time for a haircut between lunch and workout, and Yelp led me to a great barbershop. My head is finally fuzzy again! Five weeks between haircuts is really way too long.

6) At my workout I did PUSH-UPS. And TRICEPS DIPS. And they felt so good that I did them again. And I still had enough arm afterwards to high-five Chelsea, the awesome trainer I've been working with. (I also had a less fun moment when I was doing a lot of core work, which means tensing my abs--those very same abs that I have carefully taught myself to deliberately relax as an antidote to panic attacks--while leaning against a balance ball. Being literally wobbly amplified the emotional wobbly and I had to take a breather. Chelsea was lovely and brought me water and then stepped out of the room so I could center myself. I sat there and thought, Well, I have paid $85 to have this studio for an hour, and if I want to spend 20 minutes of that hour crying I can do that. But I don't think that's how I want or need to spend that money and time, so let's keep going. We did and it was just fine. So I call that a net win.) Chelsea even gave me homework, so I can keep working out my arms in between sessions. I cannot even explain how exciting this all is. I never thought I would do another push-up, ever. Today I did thirty of them! From the waist, not full-plank, but still. Tremendous.

7) I edited 4000 words of the book I'm working on.

8) "At some point I must try Julia Child's chicken waterzooi," I said, and tonight I did, since J and X and I were dining with friends who weren't interested in fish. The creaminess of it reminded me of many years ago when Mi Cucina on Hudson & Jane was a good restaurant and served utterly sublime pollo y rajas con crema with wonderful crispy cubes of potato (if there's a name for those in Spanish, I don't know it), so crispy potatoes became our side dish. We drank Thomas Henry chardonnay, with which I promptly fell in love--glorious notes of caramel!--and sopped our bowls with French bread and it was very, very good.

Crispy potatoesCollapse )

Chicken waterzooiCollapse )

Both recipes supposedly serve four, so we doubled them. They just barely served six. Fortunately the waterzooi is intensely rich and we had bread as well as potatoes, so no one went hungry.

(recipes crossposted to [community profile] omnomnom)

Afterwards we went out for gelato. I am so full, my goodness.

Many thanks to our hosts d_aulnoy (who shopped) and schrodingersgnu (who helped with cooking) and our dining companion vschanoes (who cleaned), all of whom made delightful conversation as we stuffed ourselves. What a marvelous evening.

9) I briefly entertained the Gnubaby and felt only somewhat awkward and at a loss. This is an improvement over my usual interactions with babies. I am not a native speaker of baby, but X is planning to have one in a couple of years, so I'm taking every opportunity to learn. (This is an extra reason why I'm really looking forward to hanging out with my friends in London who are parents, and especially the poly parents.) The Gnubaby was getting a bit tired-cranky, but I distracted him by tapping his shoulders in waltz time, which worked very well. d_aulnoy says we can come over and practice baby anytime we like, and I think we may take her up on it once X is out of crunch mode at work and J and I are done traveling.

10) On the way home, J and X helped me sort out some of my feelings about charging for advice. More on that in another post.

11) I brushed the cats and now they are all sleek and soft. Well, Sam was already soft, but now she's softer. Java's getting lazy and arthritic in his old age and he doesn't always crane his neck all the way around to lick his back, so he gets mats there sometimes, and I like to brush them out. He tolerates it. Sam doesn't need the brushing, but she loves it and boofs the brush and purrs like a Harley and is all cuddly after. They are such good kitties.

And now I have stayed up far too late reading the archives of "Scandinavia and the World" because I sent the link to schrodingersgnu , so I will feed the kitties and pass the out.


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10 August 2012 04:12 - "And away we go"
boots, potential, travel, feet
Josh and I are finally firming up our fall travel plans, hooray! (X will not be joining us on these trips, alas.)

Chicago, August/September
Aug. 30 (Thursday): arrive ORD, 12:40 CDT
Aug. 30-Sept. 3: Worldcon
Sept. 3-Sept. 5: Seeing friends, maybe touristing
Sept. 5: depart ORD, 18:12 CDT

Hotels/crash space: Staying at the con hotel until the morning of the 3rd, staying at the Raffaello after.

London, September/October
Sept. 28 (Friday): arrive LHR, 10:30 GMT (it's not still BST then, right?); pre-wedding dinner in the evening
Sept. 29: wedding
Sept. 30: post-wedding activities; move from Chez Geoff to Chez Graham; Readercon meeting
Oct. 1: day with Graham
Oct. 2: day with Graham, moving from Chez Graham to Chez Clute
Oct. 3: visiting [personal profile] ailbhe et al.
Oct. 4: visiting [personal profile] reddragdiva et al.
Oct. 5: moving from Chez Clute to Chez Miss P.
Oct. 6: birthday parties
Oct. 7: R hanging out with Graham; J doing river valley walk
Oct. 8: hanging out with [personal profile] djm4; Third Row dinner in the evening
Oct. 9: unplanned
Oct. 10: Paris! and dinner with mon oncle
Oct. 11: more Paris! and back to London
Oct. 12: dinner with Maureen and Paul
Oct. 13: long walk with lizw
Oct. 14: unplanned
Oct. 15 (Monday): depart London in the early afternoon

Plans without dates attached yet: Attempt to get all of Third Row in one place for some raucous meal or drinks thing, attempt to see all the London PolyBis and their impressive array of children, introduce fjm to glib_dichotomy and academoose if they haven't made that happen on their own yet, go on a long long long walk with grahamsleight , maybe dragoon djm4 into another trip to Bath because the last one was so tremendously awesome, maybe visit folks in the Oxford area, maybe take a side trip to Paris (I still can't believe J has never been to the Continent, must fix this) and/or Dublin (J's favorite city). Already wishing we could take a whole month for this trip and go tooling around Europe. Maybe someday the three of us can do that. Funny how two weeks apart from X now sounds a really long time, where we used to go months and months and think hardly anything of it!

If you are in or near either city (for fairly broad definitions of "near" in the case of London, as you can see by the side trips) and want to get together during those unplanned times, let me know. I sent out some emails but I also know I missed people, there are some I don't have emails for, etc. And if you're going to Worldcon and want to book a meal or a meeting, let me know that too; my schedule's quite open.


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10 July 2012 02:23 - "Yes I see the city by the sea"
boots, potential, travel, feet
Hello from Camberville!

Saturday was a fun day. I got 3.5 hours of sleep at home and dozed some on the bus (usually I sleep well on buses but the guy next to me kept nudging me in his sleep) and still managed to dance my heart out at Miriam and Alex's wedding dance. It was SUPERB, and a wonderful reintroduction to dancing after taking the summer off: terrific music, excellent program and callers, talented and personable dancers (many of whom were also hot and queer, and one of whom blinked at my name tag and said "Oh, you're Rose Fox! I follow you on Twitter!".) It felt so so so good. Also very sweaty. And good. Afterwards emilytheslayer and Stefan picked me up and took me back to their place, where we hung out and chatted and I got a tour of their new house ("This is the library, you can come here when you feel homesick for your living room"). I passed out at an unheard-of 1 a.m.

...because I needed to get up at 8:30 to leave with them at 9, since they were going kayaking. I took the T to Porter, got lunch, and grabbed a bus to M&A's new place, which is quite lovely. We hung out a bit and then I napped for a while and had a hilarious dream where emilytheslayer had written a story that was meant to be a confession of her crush on me, and I recorded it for a podcast but didn't know it was about me, and then ages later I shyly told her I had a crush on her but that I didn't think she was interested and she said "But... the story! Didn't you know?" and then we had a good laugh about it. After I got myself woken up, I talked with Josh for a bit and then went out to Alex's brother's partner's birthday party, to which Alex's brother's partner had graciously invited me despite not knowing me at all... and of course one of the people there said "Oh, you're Rose Fox!" and turned out to be a poly writer who's planning to come to Readercon. Because the world is tiny. (I do mean tiny. There were four (4) adults in addition to M&A and Alex's brother and the birthday celebrant. What are the odds of me running into someone who knows of me in such a situation? 100%, apparently!) The party was lovely and the vegan Thai food was excellent--the best fake meat I've ever had, really genuinely would-happily-eat-again quality--and then we went home and I got work done and had a fabulous IM conversation with Xtina after M&A went to bed. Eventually passed out at 5:30.

Today was a sloth day. Sloth day was excellent. There was sleeping (though I made myself get up at 12:30), and slacking, and shopping, and supping, and strolling, and more slacking, and it was very very good. Felt like a real vacation.

Tuesday is a work day. I will be working from Diesel in Davis Square after 4 or so (lunch date, then tea date, then I need to get a haircut--I'll probably try this place, since I love me some barbershops and apparently the queer ladies like it, unless someone suggests another) until people show up for Tuesday-at-Diesel, at which point I will socialize a bit if people I know are there and then head back to Miriam and Alex's place for dinner. So come to Tuesday-at-Diesel if you want to say hello!

The barbershop opens at 10, so if I get up early enough I could stop there on my way from M&A's place (which needs a name) to Davis. Hmmm. That means going to bed now, though.

...I am actually tired. (I'm still at 13.5 hours of sleep debt, according to the sleep tracker app on my phone.) I could go to bed now. I think I could even fall asleep now. I will try that.


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30 June 2012 05:12 - "Around the house"
peace, garden, home
Things I want to do this weekend:

* Get quality time with Josh and Xtina, severally and together.

* Cook in ways that don't involve sweating over the stove. Josh has proposed making brisket, which we can do with the digital pressure cooker while we hide in our air-conditioned bedrooms. (Though really the kitchen and living room are not at all bad as long as there's a breeze. Maybe we should buy a fan for the living room to encourage said breeze.)

* Do other housework: sort and put away l*undry, sweep, do ironing, prep walls for Xtina to paint. I think J and X are planning to caulk around the tub. (Yes, in the bathroom that was completely renovated not five months ago. The contractors, unsurprisingly, did a lousy job with cheap materials.)

* Get some work done.

* Write the rent check. (In fact, I'll do that now before I go to bed, so I don't forget.)

* Plan my trip to the Boston area. I will be there July 7 through 15, as Miriam kept telling me to take a vacation and spend it with her and Alex, and finally I agreed that this might be a good idea. I will be at Readercon from the 12th onward but will have lots of free time for socializing before that, especially during the day. Bostonians and Cambervillains, let me know if you want to get together. I just applied for Zipcar, so I may be able to be vehicle-enabled while I'm there.

* Sleep reasonable quantities at reasonable hours.

Speaking of which, time to brush my teeth and sack out.


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24 May 2012 02:48 - " #protip "
spark, aha!, insightful
Useful things I have learned or figured out recently:

* When staying at a hotel or spending a lot of time in a climate-controlled space where the air is very dry, drink coconut water--at least a liter a day. Bring it with you or buy it nearby. If traveling by air, see if you can buy some in the airport once you're past the security line. It will rehydrate you much more effectively than water, without all the artificial crap (and vile taste) of Gatorade. Also recommended: just before bed, apply lip balm and hand moisturizer. (In that order. It's hard to get the cap off the lip balm if your hands are slippery.)

* If you experience anxiety-related muscle tension, apply heat to those muscles to reduce your anxiety. A hot bath or shower works well. A heating pad is even better. Warmth is emotionally comforting, and will physically relax you as well.

What useful things have you recently learned or figured out that you wish you'd known years ago?


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3 October 2011 03:33 - "Go big or go home"
boots, potential, travel, feet
Well, I did both.

The weekend's been too busy for much posting or even tweeting. V. short version:

The short version of four very busy days turns out to be pretty longCollapse )

When we got home we found important things like kitties and beds, which we fell upon with cries of joy. We snuggled each other and petted the kitties until I got fidgety with the need to unpack, and then Josh went to bed and I unpacked, and I beat my previous high score on Big Money while discussing #OccupyWallStreet on Twitter (the irony does not by any means escape me), and now I have spent an hour and a half writing this supposedly quick recap and I should really go get some sleep.

It was a very good trip. I'm very glad we don't have any further travel planned until January. (Which reminds me to book our Arisia hotel room.) It will be wonderful to have a nice quiet autumn at home.


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loved, happy, satisfied
This has, without question, been one of my best vacations ever.

Worldcon was fantastic. I had about seventeen times as much fun as I expected to have. It was all the best parts of being a pro among pros (bullying the press office into getting me an embargoed list of Hugo winners so I didn't have to haul my laptop to the ceremony, giving publishers advice on advertising and promotions, hanging out and chatting with [excessive namedropping redacted]) and a fan among pros (I got to fangirl Tim Powers! And Deanna Hoak! And Greg Bear! And Alec Adams! And Daniel Abraham! And, entirely unexpectedly, M. Christian!) and a fan among fen (dancing at the Regency tea dance, bouncing in my seat and singing along at the Tricky Pixie concert). A week ago we were quite certain we weren't going to Chicago in 2012, but now I really, really want to go. Fortunately the Chicon press liaison told me press get in free, so we don't have to scramble to get memberships before the rate goes up. I have been informed that this last may not be true, grmph.

Driving is fantastic, even in stop-and-go traffic. Weekend road trips are definitely in our near future, finances permitting. (Two-day car rental from Enterprise or equivalent looks to be about $80, plus another ~$40 for gas. Zipcar would be double that and Hertz On Demand would be triple!) I really want to drive more powerful cars, though that would probably lead to me exceeding the speed limit by dangerous amounts. I just need to figure out how I got so much in the habit of engaging the parking brake without developing a commensurate habit of releasing it.

Time with my father was fantastic. I don't even know how to write about it, except to say that I am tremendously glad we made it happen.

California has, surprisingly, been fantastic. Even the occasional bit of melancholy hasn't bothered me much. Tonight we went to a restaurant right near Josh and Hope's old place, and I didn't get so much as a twinge-and-sigh. It was just a nice time at a nice restaurant. (The horchata was delicious... and tasted just like my horchata. WIN.) I think I am really shaking off the last of the bad memories while building up a whole bunch of good new ones. Josh keeps talking about wanting to live here again for a few months; maybe in another couple of years I'll be ready to do that. If not, I can always stay home with the cats.

Being on vacation from work has been fantastic. I feel rested and rejuvenated and ready to get right back to it.

Being at home in my own bed with my own kitties will be FANTASTIC.


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9 August 2011 23:07 - "California's all right"
green, books
We're in California! On VACATION! We will have to work on our vacation--my plan to do three weeks' worth of work in two days inexplicably failed--but it's still a vacation.

We're in the SF Bay Area for a week and then off to Worldcon. (Here's my Worldcon schedule.) If you'd like to see us while we're here, drop me a note.

It's 11 p.m. here which means it's 2 a.m. in New York which means it's bedtime. I love that being permanently jetlagged on the East Coast means no jetlag at all when I travel to the West Coast. I just have to be careful not to get myself on Hawaii time.


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22 July 2011 05:04 - "When will TBA be performing?"
zombie, retro, tired, groggy, video games
Major upcoming events:

July 22-31: Xtina visits
Aug 6-7: royal_spice visits, Miriam maybe also visits
Aug 9-23: San Francisco and Worldcon
Aug 26-29: Joe visits
Sept 10-11: In Boston (Readercon debrief, party)
Sept 29-Oct 2: In Boston (Ig Nobels, TMBG concerts)
Oct 14-15: Synergy dance weekend
Oct 18-23: Graham visits

Plus the day job, freelance work, planning next year's Playford Ball, planning next year's Readercon, frequent trips to Boston to visit Miriam and Alex and my brother, etc.

If there are any big important things coming up in November, I don't want to know.


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boots, potential, travel, feet
I have been lax in updating mostly because I don't have time even for a brief diary entry. Expect this state of affairs to continue through August.

June 15 was... Wednesday? Yes, Wednesday. I got work done and then went to KGB. I am now a Glen Hirshberg fan; his reading was terrific. Harry Connolly and Nevenah came by and joined us for the usual dinner afterwards. This conveniently allowed me to give Nevenah keys to our place for cat-sitting this weekend.

June 16: I took the day off, mostly because I really needed one, and showed Harry and his family around the city, later joined by Josh. Harry and his wife and son are awesome and we had a great time. I only got a little sunburnt.

After we parted ways with them we went down to Babeland only to find that they don't carry the item we were looking for. That left us near Nyonya, so we decided to go to Nyonya for dinner. There was a 20-minute wait. We then decided to go to New Kim Tuong, and walked over there. They were closed. In desperation, I asked Yelp for a suggestion and it pointed me to Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge Street, which I had never been to. We walked over and it turned out to be this:



Not quite the sit-down restaurant we were expecting. Augh.

Josh was about ready to give up and go home, and we were both pretty footsore from all the tour-guiding, but I was hungry and didn't want to wait for food, so I declared that we would get dumplings and eat them in the park. When we walked in we found there were stools and a counter, enough of a breeze to make the place habitable (once a family of tourists cleared out), and a menu with astonishingly low prices. Five dumplings for a dollar?! We requested two orders, plus a serving of sesame pancake with duck for $1.75 and some drinks. Best $3 dinner I've ever had. The thin-skinned dumplings were straight from the frying pan and had minimal structural integrity; the filling was very tasty. The wedge-shaped pancake was the real winner, stuffed with duck, cilantro, shredded carrots, and scallion. I may have to go back there for lunch occasionally. (It's not exactly near my office, but the F to the D is pretty quick.)

Having eaten, we went home. I had planned to get work done and chat with Xtina but was useless on both counts due to sunburn, so I wrote a slightly incoherent Genreville post and then passed out.

June 17: Let myself sleep in. Eventually woke up. Let Josh know I was awake. He brought me peanut butter on toast because he is awesome.

We have a household rule of "no sex before breakfast". Conveniently, peanut butter on toast is breakfast. We were somewhat later leaving the house than we had planned but for some reason nobody minded.

We got down to Chinatown just after 3. Fortunately there was a 3:30 bus. While we were waiting for it, rain started pouring down. The trip took six hours and was only that short because the driver decided it would be cool to hurtle down the shoulder of the road at 60 miles an hour past all the stopped traffic. We did get to see an oddly colorless sunset--maybe the rain interfered with the refraction?--and a couple of really pretty misty rainbows when we weren't covering our eyes and praying for deliverance. I napped a bunch and then caffeinated at the rest stop and got some work done on chapter 5.

We made it to Boston alive and are now comfortably ensconced Chez Belm. We socialized very briefly but I couldn't manage much peopleness, so for the last four hours or so I've just been enjoying hiding in my lovely solitary guest room, doing fun things like admiring the software Dmitri is building for Readercon scheduling (SO PRETTY) and settling Xtina's upcoming visit dates (SO YAY) and negotiating with a potential freelance client and editing this chapter down to 5000 words (well, 5300, but that's good enough). I think the caffeine is finally wearing off; time to get some sleep.


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23 May 2011 00:28 - "On the road again"
planning
Bostonians and Cambervillains! Josh and I could really use crash space the night of June 18th, and possibly the 17th as well. If you have some to spare, please let me know, especially if you're going to a certain party on the 18th (which will, incidentally, be my unofficial birthday party, since my birthday is the 19th--no presents, please, but all well-wishes and general cheer gratefully accepted!).

Northern Californians! We're planning to take two weeks to visit San Francisco and environs before and after Worldcon, which is August 17-21 in Reno. The plan looks something like this:

August ???: fly to SF
August ??? to 16: socializing!
August 17: get a ride to Worldcon with some Bay Area person who's driving there (by then I should have my license and be able to help with the driving)
August 21: Josh gets a ride back with whoever drove us to Reno while I drive back with my father, probably taking the scenic route through wine country
August 22 to ???+14: more socializing! (which I hope will include meeting a lot of my father's friends and introducing him to a lot of my friends)
August ???+14: fly home

If you're in the area and would like to see us, and especially if you can offer us crash space and/or a ride to and from Reno and/or you have some input as to what those opening and closing dates should be, please let me know.

Everyone! If you will be in New York June 17-19, July 14-17 (when we'll be at Readercon), and/or late August and would like to take care of our cats while we travel, please let me know. We really want a cat-sitter who can stay at our place, ideally a freelancer who will work from home, because Java is still intermittently ill and it would be great to have someone who can get him to the vet right away if need be. Other than that, they are very low-maintenance, sweet, happy kitties who love making new friends. Also, staying here means unfettered access to our enormous library of fantasy, science fiction, horror, children's books, erotica, and assorted narrative nonfiction with an emphasis on gender studies and urban history, plus enjoying a lovely and spacious apartment (with air conditioned bedrooms, I hasten to add) in one of New York's greenest and friendliest neighborhoods. We are dead broke but can pay you in baked goods, books, and endless gratitude.

Wow, this is going to be a very busy summer.


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icky girl stuff, woman, body, belly
As my fragrance allergy has gotten worse, I've been moving away from perfumed body care products, and finally the only one left was my shampoo and conditioner. Yesterday I got a bottle of Burt's Bees Baby Bees unscented baby shampoo/bodywash, figuring that if I could use one product for washing my body and my hair, it would cut down on the number of bottles I carry when I travel, which is always a good thing.

Product review followsCollapse )

Hooray! Now I just have to find four genuinely leak-proof 3-ounce bottles and I'll be all set. Why oh why do Pitotubes only go up to 1.7 ounces and PKoh bottles only up to 2 ounces? GoToobs apparently crack and leak. Maybe this Eagle Creek bottle set is the way to go.


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8 July 2010 02:02 - "Glittering in hyperspace"
boots, potential, travel, feet
Meeting friends for dinner at 17:30.

Need to be at the hotel by 17:00.

So at South Station by 15:30. (Thence to the red line to Alewife, thence to the 350 bus to Burlington. MBTA's trip planner claims this will take 65 to 75 minutes, depending on whether we catch the 16:20 bus, which goes directly to the hotel, or the 16:40, which drops us at Cambridge Road & Burlington Mall Road.)

So on the bus to Boston by 11. 11:00 Bolt Bus is sold out, feh; next one's at noon. MegaBus says 10:15 or 12:15, double feh. That means we'll have to go down to Chinatown for the 11:00 Lucky Star.

So leave the apartment by 9:30.

So awake and out of bed by 9. No, 8:30, because I have to pack and shower.

So alarm set for 8.

So to bed by 2. Which is, uh, now.

This is much better than when I thought we had to be at the hotel by 3! But I had still better go to bed now or getting up will be a real pain. Fortunately I can sleep on the bus. Also I have NO WORK TO DO. This is awesome. A vacation without any work! Who knew such a thing was possible?

Must charge my iPod overnight! Where did I put that cable?


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2 May 2010 16:39 - "Sweet to surrender"
illness, safety
HOME HOME HOME KITTIES HOME

I think I'm mostly over the food poisoning from something I ate at SFO just before getting on the plane--a wretched end to a lovely trip. Please take a moment to spare a kind thought for the people around me who were stoic while I was learning just how simultaneously glorious and awful it is to make use of an airsickness bag. The ick was compounded by a 90-minute cab ride through stopped traffic with no air conditioning. V. grateful for our home a/c right now, and also for sinboy , who just brought home soy milk and bananas for high-calorie gut-soothing smoothies.

Sam and Java have both come over to snuggle with me, so I think I have been forgiven for going away. (That or they just want to hang out in front of the a/c.) I missed my kitties SO MUCH. *loves on them a lot*

My laptop is fervently backing up. Poor thing, away from its home network for so long.

Have unpacked much of the fragile stuff and it all seems to have come through intact. Hooray!

Okay, back to collapsing.

EDIT: Sam peed in one of the suitcases--one we'd mostly unpacked, at least, and it didn't get on anything except the suitcase itself--so I guess now we're really officially home. *sigh*


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1 May 2010 21:04 - "Do be do be do"
examined head, introspective
(not a travel-related post)

Just sent this to my therp:
Hi J.,

I'm going to take a break from therapy for a few months, maybe longer. So much has changed recently and I feel like I need some time to just exist in my new life and experience it without getting too analytical at it. (This is highly out of character for me, I know!) I've really enjoyed working with you, and I'll definitely drop you a note when it seems time to shift into a more analytical mode again.

I hope your wedding goes blissfully smoothly!

Cheers,
Rose


--
This is who I am today.

Don't get too attached to it. I may truly be somebody else tomorrow.
--Keith Hamilton Cobb
The signature randomizer picked that one without any input from me. I am very amused.

Apologies for radio silence; have been on Twitter since getting back into the States, but have been waiting to post to LJ until I have time to write up my trip notes, and then got distracted by reading The Passage. The short version is that everything has been completely awesome. More later.


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