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1. Taxes done and filed!

2. Toby and Theo have squished themselves into their little wicker cat-house and are purr-snoring away.

3. I have queued up a truly hilarious number of Arrow gifsets over on Tumblr. *facepalm*

4. For lunch: pork & hominy chili (aka cheater's pozole verde). Om nom nom.

5. I made a batch of my favorite cookies earlier this week, and now that the taxes are done I am going to go eat one.

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I haven't had a proper dinner party in ages, so last night was fun; I had a couple of local friends over, we made a fire in the fireplace (the cats approved), we hung out chatting and drinking the first half of a bottle of wine before we even got to the food.

Menu: salad of butter lettuce, fennel, and blood oranges with orange-mint vinaigrette; salad of cannellini, roasted red peppers, and shallots (all from my garden!) with lemon vinaigrette and plenty of pepper; chicken tagine with olives, apricots, and preserved lemon; and, for dessert, pears poached in red wine with shortbread cookies on the side.

And then we sat around chatting some more while Toby tested all the laps and Theo made everyone throw toys for him to chase.

This morning I slept in (o luxury!) and had challah french toast and the last of the bacon and a cup of the really excellent tea that [personal profile] astolat introduced me to last spring, and then I clicked around seeing who made various Festivids (a few "I knew it!", a few surprises, a few "wow I should have guessed that" moments), and now I am going to have a late lunch, get some groceries so I can make beef stew for dinner because while it is a gorgeous sunny day the high is supposed to be -16F with windchill, and try to get some work done this afternoon while the stew's in the oven and the laundry's in the machine. And if I finish my work with time to spare, tonight I am going to open a Premiere file for the first time in a while, because Festivids has inspired me: I love vids, and I miss my stupid hobby. ♥

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It's been a week, people. There's been the obvious emotional upheaval -- I have been on a hair trigger all week and on more than one occasion have had to excuse myself from a meeting or whatever to cry in the bathroom: dignified adulthood, party of 0 -- but also straight-up physical exhaustion; I brought home 40 student drafts last week and 2/3 of them had to be handed back on Tuesday and the other 1/3 by today, so I have been staying up past midnight and getting up at 5am and that is just not the way I live my life under normal circumstances, okay? I am really, really tired. (I do get a bit of a break this weekend, which is good.)

That I have survived as well as I have has been largely due to my students, who have gone above and beyond this week. I am so proud of them and so glad I get to hang out with them. Being in the classroom has been extra-draining, because I don't feel up to being ON like that, but it doesn't really matter how I feel, I *have* to be on -- and the reward is that by focusing on them, I can get out of my own head for a little while.

ETA: I should say: I am probably not going to be up to answering individual comments on Monday's post, but I appreciate them all so, so much. Thank you.




...so, hey, thirty posts in thirty days! Weird. I still have things to post from VVC and from London, I have some thoughts on Glee I want to try to post before the new season begins, and I will probably have at least a few things to say about the season premieres of some of the other shows starting up next week. I want to keep posting regularly, though perhaps not daily; the problem with daily posting is that I end up prioritizing posting over commenting, and thus I have weeks' worth of other people's posts open in tabs waiting for me to have the time *and* brainpower to comment. If the goal of 30-in-30 is to make things feel more friendly around here again -- and that has been the goal for me -- commenting is at least as important as posting.

Also important: vidding. My reasons for not-vidding lately are many and varied and only some of them have to do with being busy with other things -- pretty much all my vids have been made when I was busy (...or should have been busy) with other things anyway, so that excuse has always been flimsy. I am no workaholic and I do not live a life of constant toil, but I also don't generally have great sweeping vistas of free time stretching out before me, and yet somehow vidding has happened, albeit intermittently, over the last eleven years. I need to remember that that wasn't magic; I made it happen by making specific choices about my time and what I do with it.

...I have posted some version of that paragraph an embarrassing number of times over the years, but I'm largely at peace with that at this point; it is clearly one of those things that I just have to go on re-learning periodically. Ah well.

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The heat broke last night, and my work life is under control for the moment, which means that for the first time in ages I was able to do all my normal weekend things (rather than frantically trying to catch up on work stuff and/or holing up in my bedroom with the window a/c on). I harvested a ton of stuff from the garden and cooked on and off all day -- rosemary foccacia, my favorite summer tomato soup, melon soup with ginger-cucumber salsa, the latest version of the summer squash and corn soup that I love at this time of year, beans for the tortilla soup I'm planning for later this week, tomatillo sauce for the chicken-and-chard tacos ditto. In between rounds of cooking I did all the laundry (like an adult!) and folded it (while watching Gilmore Girls, yay) and shelled beans and cleaned shallots and made my favorite furniture-polishing solution (lemon juice, white vinegar, and flax seed oil) with which to refresh the coffee table and dining room table and a few other items. And now I've had a shower and I'm in clean PJs, tucked into my freshly-made bed, with cats dozing by my knees and feet.

I had a lot of things on my to-do list that didn't get done today, but I'm okay with that; I needed a quiet day of picking beans and checking melons and peeling tomatoes and folding t-shirts and listening to my backlog of song-of-the-day podcasts, and I got it, and now I feel a little calmer, a little steadier, a little more ready to push forward into the next few weeks.

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You know how sometimes you avoid something, and avoid it, and avoid it, and then avoid it some more -- because it's going to be stressful or time-consuming or whatever -- and it hangs over you like a black cloud for weeks, and then you actually DO IT and it takes like fifteen minutes?

...yeah.

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Normally I am pretty good about getting things done on Saturdays. Then there are days like today, where it's hot and humid and all I have done all day is harvest a bunch of stuff from my garden and then marathon Gilmore Girls and fold a few loads of laundry and eat the stuff I harvested. (Late peas and strawberries! Early carrots!)

And now I am getting ready to have a Caesar salad for supper (romaine lettuce from my garden, homemade dressing and croutons) while drinking a glass of vinho verde and watching yet another episode of Gilmore Girls.

If I have a second glass of vinho verde I will probably start mentally vidding that Lorelai/Luke idea that sisabet and I were kicking around seven or eight years ago. *facepalm*

Happy Saturday, folks.

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Left Escapade (which was fun, though I doubt I'll go again) with a bad cold, which made the flight from LA a decidedly unpleasant experience: runny nose, headache like the wrath of god, ears popping constantly and then refusing to pop. Good times. Came home to not one but TWO separate instances of Work Drama. Spent most of Wednesday sleeping, which was really the only sensible course of action. I'm feeling better now, though you wouldn't know it from my voice, but this has really been a Lost Week; my only accomplishments of note have been catching up on TV and making lamb tagine and chicken quesadillas with pickled jalapeños, because I needed food spicy enough that I could actually taste it.

In other news: I have reached this awkward moment where I feel the need to decide how long I wait for a fic to update before changing its pinboard tag from "wip" to "wip:abandoned." Nine months? Twelve months? Fifteen? I didn't have to think about these things before I started reading fic again, dammit! Sure is reinforcing my aversion to reading WIPs, though.

I am spending this afternoon in fandom mode, but I'm not sure yet what that's going to entail. I ought to send feedback on all the fic I read en route to and from Escapade (courtesy of my new ereader, whee!), but I am also feeling the urge to vid. Except I can't decide whether to continue on my All Small Fandoms All The Time trajectory or throw myself into the ridiculous fluffy Glee vid that I've been circling anxiously for months now. Decisions, decisions. Originally posted at Dreamwidth || Read comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth

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It's been one of those days wherein the only reason I'm accomplishing anything is because I'm avoiding other things that I want to do even less. I am so, so ready for this semester to be over. I have a ton of things to do over break, but most of them are things I can do in my pajamas. That sounds really good right now.

Also: I miss vidding. I would like to vid again someday. Or even watch vids! That would be cool.

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I'm having an informal dinner party tomorrow to celebrate a cluster of January and February birthdays. And because even an informal dinner party at my house requires planning, I've just spent half an hour checking recipes, making grocery lists, and sketching out what needs to happen when and what things I can do ahead.

the menuCollapse )

I should probably go clean the house a bit in preparation, and then I can have some leftover stew for dinner and settle in to fold laundry and watch last night's TV. Yay, weekend!

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As of this morning, I have reliable internet at home again (after nearly three weeks without it, which let me tell you has wreaked havoc on my computer updating and bill paying as well as my online socializing). The new cable modem power cable arrived yesterday, and I got it plugged in, but... still had no internet, despite the computer thinking it was connected.

So this morning I called the cable company and had, to my considerable shock, a tech support session that was brief, pleasant, and successful: I talked with a very nice guy named Steve who solved my problem almost instantly and who, when I told him I had to do an XP repair install because I'd just upgraded my motherboard and processor, gave me a trick to avoid having to get the system reauthorized by Microsoft. "I figure the more you can work around those guys, the better," he said — a sentiment with which I heartily concur. While we waited for the system to reset we chatted a little; I told him I'm a teacher, he told me about his daughter who's a teacher in Des Moines, and in general we got along famously; the whole thing took about ten minutes. I suspect I may have used up my miracle quotient for the foreseeable future.

I'm actually typing from work, though, because I had to come in for a meeting — actually a meeting postponed from Monday; both meetings have now failed to happen. The person I'm meeting with has been sick, so I understand the cancellation; what I neither understand nor appreciate and as a matter of fact am COMPLETELY FUCKING FURIOUS ABOUT is the failure to contact me ahead of time to let me know so that I wouldn't have to come in to campus on a day when I'd normally work from home. There's this newfangled invention called the telephone that I gather is pretty effective...

At any rate, this weekend I can finally get around to watching recent vids, *ahem*ing sundry TV eps, uploading various things (::waves to sdwolfpup ::), and possibly even posting about vid-related stuff... not to mention getting the vidding system up and running so I can, you know, vid again before I grow old and die.

In the meantime, let's hope I can hang onto my temper. ::sigh::

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I got up at a reasonable hour, had a productive morning that included working on syllabi and baking the bread I left rising overnight, made lunch, ate lunch and then folded laundry while watching last night's ep of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (verdict: imperfect but smarter than I expected, and it's nice to have two kickass women on my screen at the same time). And now I should be productive again, except... I appear to have hit the wall with that. I mean, sure, I want to spend the afternoon knitting and working on garden plans, but I want to spend most winter afternoons that way, and most afternoons I suck it up and do other stuff anyway, because that's what has to happen.

But a few minutes ago I looked up from the open book in my hand, the one I've been consulting as I tweak the plans for this upper-level class, and I realized I'd been staring at the same page for at least twenty minutes with, as far as I can tell, no cognitive activity whatsoever.

My slackerdom, let me show you it.

I'm going to do some yoga and see whether that helps. If not, I think I'm going to camp out on the couch with some yarn, assorted scale drawings of the yard, and (inevitably) a collection of cats, and see what happens.

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I'm home before 9 pm for the first time this week. I hardly know what to do with myself other than luxuriate in the mere fact of not being in my office.

Wait, scratch that; I do too know. I'm going to crank up the stereo, make myself a proper dinner (gingered pork with onions and green beans), catch up on e-mail, and order computer parts.

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It's time for my annual attempt to find a datebook that I like, and I'm hoping some of you can give me recommendations.

For the past ten years I've used one of those monthly planner things, the kind that opens up to a two-page spread of each month, with lines in each day's box for noting appointment times, etc. I adopted this style of planner because I have a lot of trouble thinking ahead, and I need to be able to see the entire month at once or everything beyond the end of the week pretty much evaporates as far as I'm concerned. The monthly planner worked just fine as long as a lot of my day was structured by school and work commitments that were so regular I didn't have to think about them or write them down — they were just always there.

Now that I'm in charge of keeping myself on track, I still need that month-long here's-what's-going-on, but I have also turned into a daily listmaker; I keep an ongoing tally of things that I have to get done today, tomorrow, next week. This list lives in a series of little notebooks (some very nice, some not so much) that I also use as my all-purpose repository of Things That Need Writing Down.

The montly planner + list system has been working well for me, but it occurred to me a few weeks ago that what would really make sense would be for me to try to find a planner that combines them in some way — that has full-month layouts and day-by-day appointment listings with room for notes. The only one I've been able to find had lots of room for appointments, but not much room for daily lists.

Suggestions?

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This evening over dinner (mirrorthaw's excellent lasagne, my very fine sourdough bread), truepenny and I discovered that we both picture coffeeandink as looking rather like Stitch (because of her icon, which we both adore). [ETA: Upon sober reflection, I remember saying that *I* picture mely as looking rather like Stitch, but am not certain whether Truepenny actually agreed or was just humoring me. We did agree that the Stitch icon is unbelievably cute.] This came up because Truepenny dreamed about Stitch last night, or possibly during a nap today (I wasn't quite clear on that part), and I dreamed one of my typical apparently-I-study-realism-even-in-my-sleep dreams wherein mely was here for WisCon and all of us were in my living room watching BtVS DVDs, and Truepenny and mely fell asleep on my couch.

Yep, that was it. The vast majority of my dreams are either boring in their normalness or else are actually about me being bored (those usually feature my 10th grade Algebra II class in some way).




In other news, I amused myself earlier by making one of those anime avatar things that have been going around lately. Actually, I made two.Collapse )

Now you don't have to picture me as whatever produce item I'm currently obsessed with, though now that I think about it a case could be made for my resemblance to a pummelo.




ETA: I guess it's not a GIP if it's not gratuitous, but look at my new icon! Milk and bread in addition to fruits and vegetables!

This icon is made possible by renenet , who turned my account back into a paid account just so I could upload an icon with milk in it. She is so very very very much my favorite...

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Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Seam, "Pale Marble Movie"

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I should be working on this job letter. Instead, I have been:

- answering work-related e-mail, which, admittedly, needs doing, but I've been putting it off for days and am *only* doing it now because I'm putting off something else.
- thinking about Tiptree's "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?", which I read last night before bed.
- thinking about Robin Chapman's The Way In, which is one of those books of poetry that I ended up liking very much overall without any particular favorite lines.
- running errands: mailing CDs and SVCDs, picking up official transcripts, and stopping by the best video store in town, which is having their annual 99¢ foreign film week (Almodóvar film fest, right here).
- contemplating moving literary biographies, letters, and author-specific criticism from the fiction shelves (in the bedroom) to the academic shelves (in the study), since that element of the shelf problem remains unsolved.
- contemplating swapping quote books, nonfiction, and history with poetry/drama, since my continuing commitment to acquiring and reading new-to-me poetry means those shelves are getting kind of crowded.
- restraining myself from starting a books database, not because it wouldn't be a good idea but because I am far too lazy to maintain it, and I know I only want to start one because just at the moment I would rather do pretty much anything than work on this letter.

And now we can add "writing whiny LJ posts" to the list. Fantastic.

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Current Mood: scattered
Current Music: nothing. I'm *trying* to focus. it's just not working.

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I'm still ISO extra shelves for my main bookcases. Of course it's just my luck that the company that made them went bankrupt — wait for it — last week. So the company has piles of shelves in their main warehouse, but can't sell them to me because the bank's taken over.

::bangs head against wall::

Meanwhile, I bought another bookcase, because while visiting what feels like every furniture store in town to see whether the shelves that they said on the phone "might work" actually work (no, no, no, and no) I found some that match my desk and were cheap because they're a bit scraped up (i.e. they already looked like they would look by the time I got them home in my tiny car).

Speaking of my desk, I've decided to move it. This means rearranging the entire study, which is probably a bigger undertaking than I should be attempting, but I've already cleared everything off the desk as a preparatory maneuver. My desk is huge when it's not cluttered with crap from seven different projects. Note to self: keep desk cleaner, idiot.

Now I just have to get all the books off the big bookcase, unplug the computer and stash it somewhere, and start moving stuff around. Because I have moments of great cleverness, I've even measured everything to make sure the proposed new regime is a viable option, space-wise.

But first, I have to wait for my dad to call me back so I can explain to him for the 97th time the difference between the <br> and </p> tags. I should never, never, never have mentioned to my parents that I can do HTML stuff.

But — again with the moments of cleverness — I have fortified myself by making excellent cream of mushroom soup for lunch, and having two glasses of red wine to go with. I may not be at my best mentally, but I'm a hell of a lot mellower than I was an hour ago. We'll call that an improvement overall.

And now I have to go mollify the cats, who are informing me in no uncertain terms that Change Is Bad.

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Current Mood: artificially mellow
Current Music: The Jealous Sound, "Bitter Strings"

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1) If you've ever wanted renenet to visit you but worried that your apartment was too small or too loud? Stop worrying. I have just discovered that she cannot be wakened by the sound of the food processor being employed to aid in the creation of cinnamon rolls. This is the old kind of Cuisinart (I think it's about as old as I am) that weighs about 27 pounds and, when used, sounds like I've installed a small airplane hangar in my kitchen. Please note that, because of the way the apartment's laid out, I was using this device about three yards from her head.

2) Yesterday I finished updating the quote books (mostly with commentary tracks from various DVDs that I watched before the holidays). I've filled Vol. 15 and have started Vol. 16. One of the first quotes in the new volume is an exchange from the Firefly "Train Job" commentary track:

Tim Minear: That's a cool floating train.
Joss Whedon: Yes. Floating trains are cool. And I'll tell you why: 'cause they're trains! And yet, floating.

Which, okay, possibly funny only to me, but in my head very funny, because of reasons covered variously here and here. Can I pick the important parts of an episode or what?

3) While working on the quote books, I entered a couple of conversations I'd just discovered lying about on scraps of paper. The first two transpired several months ago at the Lao-Thai restaurant around the corner; the third dates from the watching of a TTT commentary track (I believe it was production/post-production).

friend criteria, personal horror movies, and mobile movie setsCollapse )

Now I'm going to go see if I can wrestle my computer into accepting that I want to vid. I really, really want a new computer. If only I'd taken up vidding a few months sooner, I would have waited and saved enough more money that I wouldn't be in this fix. Or at least not such a painful version of this fix, because I know perfectly well that no matter what my computer's capabilities, I will always want more. But really, this is ridiculous. *sigh*

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Current Mood: lazy sunday morning
Current Music: Jimmy's Comet, "Third Fence Post" (in my head)

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I woke up at 6:30 this morning to go swimming and promptly realized that I've come down with the nasty cold that's been afflicting truepenny and her spouse. Bleah.

So: no swimming. Got a little work done this morning, read poetry while taking a long hot bath, went out around lunchtime to help protest management's crappy bargaining proposal (I'm sure standing around in the cold for an hour did wonders for my health, but a union gal's gotta do what she's gotta do), and came home for soup and an afternoon of antihisthamine-enhanced brainfog.

I've already watched some Farscape (notes to come), and just found while checking the mail that my VividCon DVDs have arrived, so I plan to settle in on the couch again soon for some quality vidwatching, brainfog notwithstanding. renenet was healed by vids at VividCon, so I don't see why I couldn't be healed by the DVDs.

I've been accumulating mental mutterings towards a ramble about my current vidding state, but I think that needs to wait until I've watched some vids by people who aren't me. For, um, perspective. Or something.

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Current Mood: congested
Current Music: Innocence Mission, "Wonder of Birds" (in my head)

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The past 36 hours have been exceptionally tedious and frustrating, to the point that even listening to early- and middle-period R.E.M. for the entire three-hour drive home could not alleviate my irritation.

My solution to this problem? Stay in tonight and watch a pile of vids. And then possibly stay up too late watching Farscape. And then buy maple candy at the market in the morning.

I like this plan. I'm proud to be a part of it.

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Current Mood: aggravated
Current Music: R.E.M., "It's a Free World, Baby"

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1) I got a ticket to see Josh Rouse this weekend. Woo!

2) I stopped at the post office to mail off packages to various and sundry, and while there discovered these kick-ass new stamps with snakes and turtles and stuff, which I got because I needed stamps anyway.

3) As I was parking my bike, I noticed that my speed/distance tracker, which I put on the bike sometime in early August, indicates that I've reached 175 miles, which isn't bad for basic commuter biking. Now I'm feeling inspired to do a nice long ride this weekend to get it up over 200.

4) As I was coming out of the departmental office just now after a round of bureaucracy with assorted blessedly patient department staff, my diss committee second-in-command guy, of whom I am very fond, stopped me to say that I've been nominated for "a boatload" (his term) of teaching awards this year. To which I say: damn right, and about fucking time.

If I don't post again for the next few days, feel free to assume that I've been hit by a bus as part of a big ol' cosmic re-balancing of karma.

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Current Mood: jubilant
Current Music: Kris Delmhorst, "Bobby Lee" (in my head)

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here's luck
User: heresluck
Name: here's luck
Website: heresluck.net
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