etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2014-05-24 01:51 am
Entry tags:

Shopping

So one of my favorite grocery stores to shop at has those little personal scanners so you can scan your groceries and bag them as you shop.  I love that feature - because I can break up my types of items and nothing gets squished having been bagged by some high school student who just hasn't a clue.  So I tend to shop there for most of my normal food.  I also shop at Whole Foods for specific things (their instant oatmeal packs are better for one, and I can get my organic shampoo there).

But today I was in the scan-your-own groceries store.  After you scan and bag, you can use the self checkout and it takes your order and automatically loads it to the machine.  Tonight I paid cash.  I was supposed to get a few dollars and thirteen cents back in change.  I got the few dollars, but I got twenty-two cents instead.  It actually took me a few seconds of thinking "that's not right" to figure out what happened.  A group of young, male, employees were congregating at the employee station to take care of self checkout problems and I approached and asked them... "So, that machine gave me two dimes and two pennies, instead of one dime and three pennies... do you care?" And each and every one of them paused to parse the fact that a.) the machine failed at change, and b.) that I was actually asking them if they wanted to correct the issue.  Then, almost in Dolby Surround Sound I got "no, not really."

So I paid nine cents less for my groceries than I was supposed to.  But if they didn't want the hassle of figuring out how to square it with the machine... who am I to argue?
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2014-05-20 09:25 pm

Hockey...

I feel like sometime soon I will be all stockholm syndromed into Hockey fandom.  Between my BFF's sudden decent into loving hockey two or three years ago and being ... well, not forced, but encouraged to listen to her babble... I found out today that when work takes me to Toronto in July the social event for the meeting will be held at the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Which... doesn't exactly make *sense* but whatever the host wants...
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2014-04-23 10:28 pm
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Recently had my LJ anniversary...

Last Thursday its been ten years!  Ten years of fairly regular updating in this space.  Huh.  Looking back it both doesn't seem that long, and also seems way longer.  But it has only been ten years.

In other news, we are totally unsurprised it is cloudy and raining outside (and has been for a couple of days), because supposedly, there is a meteor shower going on up there and the weather is being a little bitch and not allowing us to see.  Since that is usually what happens when cosmic events happen (lunar eclipses, meteor showers, comets), we are not really all that broken up about it because it makes no sense to rail against that you can not change.  But a little bit sad we can't go out and look up and see meteors!  If it is clear where you are, totally go outside for a while and look up!
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2014-04-18 10:46 am
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Huh.

So I will be the first to admit my family doesn't have a whole lot of traditions.  And we are pretty okay with changing our minds at the drop of the hat (too tired to do a big spread for Thanksgiving? No problem).

I was raised - nominally, mind you, Unitarian.  In a Unitarian church in New England, which admittedly has the most pomp and circumstance of any Unitarian church I've ever been in or heard of.  Sunday school we learned a whole lot about other religions of the world.  For example, in fifth grade we learned all about Passover and even had a mock-Passover luncheon where we set the table and asked the questions and tasted the traditional foods and tried to understand how it all fit together in the Bigger Picture of Religions of the World.  We did stuff like that throughout my years of Sunday school - that was the one that I can most vividly remember, even if some of the details are fuzzy (and yes, we substituted grape juice for the wine - we were TEN).

I sort of left that all behind when I graduated high school, and don't really do anything church-like in my life.  So Easter doesn't mean that much to me, personally.  I'll probably go have lunch with my folks, because that is what I try to do on Sundays when I am not doing anything else.  Easter was my paternal grandfather's main religious holiday.  He did traditional lamb dishes and had the family together and it was as foreign to me as anything.  I still can remember the one Easter we made it to join with them, they had no idea what to do with the two vegetarians in my family.  My mother and my brother did not get to eat a lot while there (honestly, neither did I, because the lamb/egg/peas dish did not look at all appetizing, and the roasted half-a-lamb - well, I wasn't sure it was fully cooked).

Anyway, traditions.  We don't really do them.  So I don't understand this Easter egg bread I have started seeing in the grocery store.  WHY do people bake whole in-the-shell eggs into bread?  What do you DO with them when you go to eat the bread?  What happens to the eggshell?  I mean, I get the Easter/Ishtar/Ostara connection to rebirth and spring and fertility.  Bunnies, eggs - all of that.  But how did baking raw eggs into bread become part of the traditions?  And do folks color the raw eggs first just for fun, or is there a purpose to that?

Anyone?
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2014-01-25 07:00 pm
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'Splain something to me?

So my BFF has gotten into ice hockey.  Just one specific team that she roots for or is dismayed by in turn depending on whether they are winning or losing.  This is fine, I have no problem with ice hockey - I haven't been super interested in ice hockey (ever) before, but I've now watched a few games because, well, BFF.

She was trying to explain the reorganization of the leagues/regions/what-have-you.  Something about east and west but also within east and west there are blah blah blah.  Whatever, I kinda tuned some of this out.  All I really heard was Because Reasons.  I am fine with that.

But when I got confused I went and googled the reorganization on the NHL site and what I DON'T understand is why Florida has two professional ice hockey teams.  And why California has THREE.  Although New York also has two (three?), and for gods know what reason TENNESSEE has a team.  Really?  TENNESSEE?

I mean, wouldn't it make more sense to have ice hockey teams where there is actually, y'know, a possibility of ice?

Don't even get me started on the silly names of some of these teams (I mean at least penguins actually have something to do with ice and that kind of makes sense, but ducks? ...).

I do take a great perverse pleasure in quietly rooting for whatever team it is her team is playing against, so there is that.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-12-25 07:06 pm

Santa was VERY good to me!

I wanted a specific thing.  This is not a NEED but a WANT, I am well aware.  But I knew it would be too much $.  I've been saving (and the $ from my xmas bonus at work was earmarked for this thing).  At best, I thought I might get a check with $ toward the purchase of this specific thing.

My parents splurged big time and got the specific thing for me.

I have some new tech to play with (omg - I got *exactly* the specific thing I wanted!).

Plus my 5.5 y.o. nephew was extremely excited that he got to pick out gifts to give everyone, and was SUPER EXCITED to give me earrings (which probably sparked the whole family debate of whether or not I have my ears pierced.  My brother thought I did not, my s-i-l insisted I did.  For the record, they are double pierced - and have been at least single pierced for the last twenty-five years.).

I have never seen a little girl SO EXCITED to get a pair of boots (exactly the UGGS she wanted) as my almost ten y.o. niece.

It has been a super exhausting, but super good day.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-12-02 07:47 pm
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Interesting...

So I know the vast majority of you through fandom of one flavor or another so I feel okay with sharing this... I've very slowly come to realize something interesting.

Men write fanfic somewhat (and obviously) differently than women.  I know the majority of fanfic is written by women, but there are men who do it, too (and are fine writers of it).

I've recently found several authors who self identify as men (whether they are or not, well, who really knows on the Internet, right?).

And every single one of them have had their female characters want to be gently touched in the breast region.  And felt up, or ogled, or played with or whatever - perhaps sooner in the relationship any girl I knew would be comfortable with (and at younger ages, too).  I don't know (and didn't know) any girl at fifteen who absolutely knew how they wanted to be touched and had the confidence to flat out tell - no *instruct* a boy exactly how, where, and how much.  That is a very male fantasy, and something most girls need time and maturity to grow the confidence for (and experience of doing).

I don't mind the focus on the boobies - really - and some of the authors are very "fade to black" when it comes time to actually describe the boobies (I swear most women slash writers are more comfortable describing men's junk than these menfolk are describing the bit (or lot) of skin between a girl's chin and her belly button.  So far most of what I have gotten is "warm").  And most of the female sexual releases are described by how she sounds rather than what she looks like or feels like or anything else.

Most of the boys in these stories are grateful for the instruction, and willing to be led sexually, but perfectly able to also be "gentlemanly" about it.

I haven't found the men writers to be too much into writing the femslash - they're all about the het so far (never mind the slash of the menfolk variety - I am sure it exists but I haven't found much).

Anyone else have other observances between men fanfic writers and women fanfic writers (or people who put themselves out on the interwebz as male as opposed to people who put themselves out as female - or even those who never self identify as any gender)?
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-11-18 05:53 pm

Graze...

So I recently started receiving Graze boxes (www.graze.com/).  Which, if you don't know what that is is a healthy snacking service where you make a whole bunch of choices of things you like, love, or are willing to try (unless something completely turns you off or can't eat X, you should at least put all snacks in the try category - then you can rate them after you've had them).  And every two weeks (or four weeks, or every week) you will receive a box with four snack packs.

I've had two boxes and only one of my trys was a complete dud.  And since I despise apples in anything but the fresh-off-the-tree-preferrably-still-on-the-core-not-skinned state, I immediately trashed anything with (dried, whatever) apples in it.  I also can't stand bananas, so for the same reason anything with dried banana went into the trash. I went through the entire list trashing anything where even one of the ingredients turned me completely off - but left things that could go either way, So everything left on my try list is everything else.  Which comes down to about half the possible snacks (they have over 90 snack boxes listed, so thats still a lot!) and I've now tried about 6% of my possible list.

Each box is $6.  Which is $1.5 per snack box.  And you can end the service (or suspend it if you're going to be traveling) at any time.

Which is really a kinda long winded way of saying I've got codes if anyone (in the US) wants to try Graze. 
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-11-13 08:59 pm
Entry tags:

....

So I have figured out that Wednesday night is when all the stores in the mall have their most awkward, uncomfortable-speaking-to-other-human-beings employees working.

I was trying on boots (shut up they're Danskos and super comfy) and the shop dude would NOT stop nattering at me in the most awkward, let me stick my whole leg down my throat and then chew it off STILL TALKING way possible.

I wanted to tell him, just stop TALKING already!  You are making me embarrassed FOR you on how much you are bombing at small talk!  Really really BAD small talk.  And the thing is I am sure he was miserably AWARE how bad he was at small talk - but it was like he couldn't stop himself.

And then I wandered in to look at the pretty (and extremely expensive) teapots in another shop and the shop dude there accosted me with a million and one facts about the teapots and asking me all sorts of questions about what teapot "called to me."

Whatever happened to the polite greeting and then letting the shopper GET ON WITH IT, BY HERSELF?!?  I mean, I do not need people fawning over me while I shop.  Or trying to engage or whatever.  I thanked them all very politely, but I probably would have stayed a little longer and considered my choices IF THEY HADN'T CHASED ME AWAY with all their awkward chatter!

Lesson learned.  Go when there are more shoppers about than a really slow Wednesday night!
etakyma: (The Tea Bot)
2013-11-03 05:29 pm

For the "Ways I have Injured Myself" casefile...

Putting up easels in the foyer spaces at the hotel In pinched part of my left palm in the easel.  I have two oval shaped blood blisters that I have been icing on and off all day.  I haven't had blood blisters since I was a kid.  I forgot how much they hurt.

I could totally use a nap.  And not have injured myself in wildly weird ways.

Vancouver could use more sunshine and less rain.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-10-20 11:54 pm
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I usually ignore television commercials...

... but I'm not gonna lie.  The Fruit of the Loom ads with the race car pit crew doing their thing in their boxers makes me laugh every single time.  And the announcer is talking about how high performance their underwear is in crazy prose.

Well done, ad people!  Clever ad, that is entertaining *and* was good enough I remembered your product. (Yes, I realize there is the stunt woman action sequence for the ladies, but it was the crowd of guys swarming a car in their undies that I saw first).
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-10-16 09:19 am

I Hate It When...

...the Christian Conservatives on my FaceBook feed post a ton of Christian Religious Right Crap all at once.  I don't mind the stuff that is political - everyone has their political views.  It is the social stuff that annoys the hell out of me - the "boycott the Muslim-themed post office stamp!" the "put God back into the holidays by saying 'merry Christmas' instead of 'happy holidays!'"  Its the exclusionary tone of this crap that gets me.

Unfortunately, most of the folks that post and repost and REPOST this stuff are mostly relatives.  So I can't just remove them from my facebook feed.  And I don't mind the posts about their animals and all the horsey-themed homilies and such.

The best I can do is hold my tongue and not post snarky socially liberal shit back to them.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-10-01 08:35 pm
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Agents of SHIELD

So there are mixed reviews all over my flist about Agents of SHIELD.  I am totally enjoying it in all its frothy ridiculousness.

No idea if it will last - but the non-stop action and snarky commentary is currently a lot of fun.  I love that the team includes three pretty cool female characters. Do they have their issues? Sure.  But it is a frickin' television program that doesn't invite a hell of a lot of navel-gazing.  I mean its "canon" is a series of comic books with improbable and crazy premises.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-08-27 10:01 am

(no subject)

I am done travel for the next two months, woo hoo!  The CRAB ATTACK injury is still healing, but I finished the antibiotics.  I also now have the rest of a tube of prescription-strength antibiotic creme to add to my travel kit (personal note to self - must refill my bandaids).

This summer has been a good one, though, even with the extreme high temperatures throughout most of June, July, and August.

On another note - Anybody know anything about KudosCon?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/565819342/kudoscon

I mean, other than they are putting together an event in less than six months...
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-08-15 05:59 pm

And in the "it could only happen to me" file...

Currently on vacation with some friends.  We rented a beach house and while swimming on Tuesday morning I got savagely pincered by a crab (pretty sure it was a crab, but I didn't actually lay eyes on the bugger).

Since I was bleeding pretty good, and crab are not clean critters (and the injury is on my foot - side/bottom - which right there, who knows what got into it as I was exiting the surf and wandering the beach back to the house), I am on a course of broad spectrum antibiotic for ten days.  Thankfully there is a plethora of walk in clinics in the area, and between my insurance and my FSA I was just fine - but the day has been labeled "CRAB ATTACK!" in our minds forevermore.

Peter Parker got cool superpowers when he was bit by a spider.  Bruce Banner ran afoul of something radioactive ... as did Matt Murdock - both of them were changed by the experience...  Me?  I get a totally pissed off crab and nothing to show for it but a foot injury and a vague sense of unease when I look at the sea.

...although I am not certain I would WANT to run around sideways for the rest of my life like a crab.  So there is that.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-08-07 03:37 pm

Jetlagged but recovering...

The last few days have been not quite a haze of jet lag, but I certainly know I've hopped time zones.

Germany was fantastic - I hope we go back!  I got to see the Victory Column (totally near the hotel - we were on that end of the Tiergarten) along with random men-killing-things statues (they used to hunt wild boar on the lands of the Tiergarten, so it really isn't a surprise). And the Deutches Technikmuseum (social event for the win with train cars!) and the Checkpoint Charlie museum - right at Checkpoint Charlie - the guardhouse is still there with taxis and buses whizzing by it.

Lots of things I didn't get a chance to see - like the Brandenburg Gates - they were on the opposite end of the Tiergarten from where we were and I just didn't have that much free time to try to go see them.  I went to the Checkpoint Charlie museum instead.

I am gearing up to go on vacation - which is my next big ADVENTUR!  Hopefully a ton of relaxation and driving around the area dorking about small history bits with friends.  Low key.  And maybe there will be enough breezes to fly a kite or two.

I find as I get older I care less and less about what "people" think.  Introvert that I am people wear me out, but it used to be paired with social anxiety where I would push to do something even knowing I would maybe have a good time doing it, but would pay for it later with exhaustion because people tend to suck my energy dry (except for when I am on stage, where, oddly, the exchange works the other way).  I have less anxiety about saying no.  Maybe it is age.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-07-21 10:35 pm

Road Construction

Is all over my town.

There are two ways to exit my neighborhood to the south, and two ways to the north.  In both cases you have to get to the main road and head east or west on it before you can actually go north or south.  About six weeks ago, one of the routes to the south (westerly) was closed for bridge repair - the most convenient one to my bank, to the closest Stop and Shop, to the closest Whole Foods, to the main Post Office.  Its just a CONVENIENT way to leave my neighborhood.  Closed until (at the very least) Fall.

Okay, I can still go west to go south - I just have to go alllll the way around.  About ten to fifteen minutes out of my way depending on traffic (tertiary roads, highly traveled, and looping back to where you were, just on the other side of the closed bridge). Annoying but do-able.

Leaving my neighborhood the up and around way to the west, there are traffic signs indicating a traffic pattern shift starting tomorrow.  Road crews are going to be doing a widening project, so traffic in that direction is going to be even worse - they expect heavy usage and major delays.  I go that way ALL THE TIME.  I don't want more construction happening there!

Getting out south and east is the same traffic pattern as usual, but getting IN south to the easterly direction they've put in another detour to do some sewer repair - also going to take a couple of months to complete, but totally messes with the traffic pattern in the other spot.

Going to the north east or west is still clear of construction, but getting out of the neighborhood to head towards civilization (Mass Pike and Route 9 are both *just* south of my neighborhood) is getting annoying and time consuming.

I am super happy my town is doing much-needed repairs to its roads and infrastructure (water mains, sewers, etc.) but having it all happen at the same time is a little... weird!  There are like four bridges closed in my town for repair.  Orange DETOUR signs are up everywhere.

On the plus side, a bunch of pot-holey roads have been repaved lately, so there is that.

On the minus side we've had two weeks of plus90 degree weather, I do not envy the construction crews working outside in this weather.  This week should be marginally cooler (mid eighties instead of mid-to-high nineties).  But I'm off ADVENTURING to Europe mid-week anyway.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-07-17 11:08 pm
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Grieving Rituals

Whether it is a wake or sitting shiva or something else where family and friends gather to mourn the beloved dead, before or after the formal funeral or memorial services, they all have things in common.  People gather to talk and grieve and laugh and love.  To eat and drink and support each other.

I've been to many, and I am certain sure going to be going to many more.  As family, as friend, as supporter, as mourner, to pay my respects and laugh and cry.

I've buried all my grandparents, and most of my great uncles and aunts.  I've buried cousins and friends and neighbors.  This is not surprising.  Everyone is always moving forward toward a certain end point - the only surprise is if it comes sooner rather than later.  My first memory of death is from when I was a junior in high school.  One of the young men in my brother's class died the weekend before he was to graduate from high school.  It was a heck of a beginning to the summer.  I had a graduating class of 147 - three of which I know for certain have passed away - two from cancer, one unclear.

Tonight's grieving ritual was not unexpected - he'd been battling cancer for three and half years, and had been declining slowly but steadily. His daughters and their families were here for at least his last week, and they are there to support their mother now as she tries to navigate life after.  After she lost her partner and lover and husband for the last forty years.

Of the two of them, I knew her first.  But he was always her biggest supporter and fan, and he was always there in the background, a quiet man with a wonderful sense of humor and they turned to each other as if in the other they found their sun.

I will miss him.

RIP JLG 1945-2013
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-07-14 10:32 pm

Unexpected....

Today's major accomplishment:  I helped my mom wash their dog.  This was an item on my father's "things I want to happen today" list.  But after lunch, he was watching golf (ladies PGA - Park won) and fell pretty deeply asleep (he thinks it is some of the meds he is on right now - I mean, the man had pretty serious open heart surgery less than eight months ago and it takes a long time to recover - he's also 78).  Mom and I were puttering around as we do and I mentioned at about five if the dog was going to be bathed it should be soon.

We totally took the dog out on the deck and hosed him down and shampooed the heck out of him.  He was a little confused, but didn't seem to mind (much).  And an hour later when my dad woke up and I told him we made sure he could check that off his list of things to do he was shocked he hadn't heard us do it.  He had no idea it was happening (we were, no lie, about twenty five feet from his chair on the other side of the glass door).

So they are doing well - and their dog is clean.  I also discussed my mother's cousin - who keeps unearthing things on the Interwebz - this time some paintings my grandmother did were auctioned off in 2008 and the records from the auction house for the sale are online (and two paintings my mother did over forty years ago went in the same auction - I am thinking they were items from an estate because all four paintings were likely bought at the Kendall Gallery in Wellfleet - both my mom and my grandmother had work there for a few years in the late sixties early seventies.  Blasts from the past.
etakyma: (Technobabble SG1)
2013-07-11 05:51 pm
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Perspectives on early childhood memories.

When I was a small child, my maternal grandparents (both now gone - each lived into their nineties, but they are at rest) lived in a charming little house on Cape Cod.  The "Orleans" house.  The one on Harbor Hill.  It was a charming little Cape - I remember they had red walls in the living room.

This past weekend my mom and I were going through family letters and photos (her cousin is looking for photos and now I have a few to scan and send to her).  Mom made a comment about the space my grandmother made for me.  My brother got the bedroom, and I got the bed shoved in an upstairs alcove dormer area.  The hallway between the two bedrooms.

It has *never* occurred to me that that was a weird set up.  That me sleeping on a cot in what amounts to a hallway was in any way strange.  My mom's perspective was that I was (possibly purposefully) shafted because my grandmother did not want to put me in an actual room (and as I recall they did have another room - a little sewing room the cot could have just as easily been put in there).

At the time I thought it was kind of cool - my grandmother had set up a cozy little corner with a table and lamp and she always left a book for me to read.  Although looking back it was kind of odd that people were always traipsing through my "room" because it was in all actuality a hallway.

Then came the two years my grandparents refused to talk to my mother - or any of the rest of us (family Drama with a capital D) and after that time my brother and I never stayed overnight with them anymore.

Then my grandparents started to move around the cape - every couple of years they bought a new house.  Until my grandfather sold his last house to my dad.