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It's the End of the World as We Know It
Ramblings from the Circle City
"Somewhere in the world, two aardvarks are humping." -- KafkaExMachina

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I should have posted this last Sunday but between recovery and work this week I just didn't have a chance.

I finished. I finished really well (for me). I set a new PR!!! I had a goal of finishing in under 3 hours clock time. I almost made it. I finished in 3:01:56 officially! Woo-hoo - go me! The weather was cool in the earliest part of the morning but by the time I got to the track, the sun had come out and the wind had died - I definitely over-dressed but I at least had the brains to change out of the long-sleeve shirt to a short-sleeve before we set out to the start line. If I had spent a little less time in the bathroom at the track, I probably would have been close enough that I might have been able to sprint the last bit - but if I hadn't stopped and run cold water over my head/neck/wrists, I probably wouldn't have had the energy for a sprint.

Here's the official results:

Not bad if I say so myself. The last 5K is slower than I normally do a 5K but after 10 miles already, it's not bad.

So I need to push a little bit more next year to finally accomplish my first goal - maybe do a run/walk next year and see what kind of PR I set!

And here's a picture of the Finisher's Medal:

It's really cool: it's the Pagoda at the IMS showing the Yard of Bricks and a little race car - and the race car moves back and forth across the bottom!

The-Lovely-Wife accomplished her goal this year - finishing without pain. Her time wasn't her best (in fact it was her worst) but she finished pain-free and had NO recovery issues this week either.

I'll have another post later today to catch you all up on other things.

ETA: Oops! Meant to thank all those that wished me luck when I set out for the start line, especially avidbeader and mjryan.

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I'm off to the mini marathon.

Wish me luck!

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Yes, folks. It's been a while.

To bring everybody up to date...

I do have a job - I've been working since mid-September. I'm back in contracting ... working for one company (TEKSystems) who are body-shopping me out to another company (EDS up in Kokomo who has connections with the office in Troy, MI) who has a contract with a third company (EMD - Electro-Motive Diesel formerly known as GM Locomotive). I'm programming new GUI's for the locomotives' computer control systems. It's pretty interesting work. Unfortunately I had to take a pay-cut to get the job. It's been a little tight these last few months. Also, like I said, the EDS office I work out of is up in Kokomo which is a 48 mile (one way) commute. Fortunately, since this is case, I only have to go to this office once a week (Mondays) and the rest of the week, I'm working out of the house! I'm kinda living the "dream job" a buddy from a few years ago wanted: being able to sit at home in my pajamas (or whatever) doing my job.

This is part of the reason why I haven't been on LJ in a long time ... I tend to get side tracked if I start reading (I once spent an entire day reading some stupid wank over at Fandom Wank). So I made myself a promise that I wouldn't get involved in reading LJ until I could discipline myself to keep "job time" separate from "other time". It's hard enough to ignore (at least until "lunchtime") chapter alerts for stories I'm following at various fanfiction sites. It's bad enough that I've got stupid "Dr. Phil" and "Montel" on in the background (I have iTunes for chrissake - I should run it more often and just turn off the boob tube).

I've been mostly successful - lunch "hour" sometimes runs "two hours" while I keep up with Sunrise Over Britain or Off Balance or Biding My Time. But I've finally allowed that I'm really depriving myself.

And so I'm finally allowing myself to come back to all of you, my friends.

I want to thank all of you (especially alissomora, abigail89, idealfacade, junesrose and mione1977 -- sorry if I missed anybody) for birthday wishes (I did peek at LJ around then). Turning 50 was really no different than turning 49. I'm just in a new age-group in my races now.

Speaking of races ... yes, I am doing the 500 Mini-marathon. The-Lovely-Wife is, too, but we trained in different time groups this year. She had so many problems last year that she decided that she's going to go a little slower this time. So I'm going to try and push myself and try and finish in under 3 hours officially. For that reason, I won't be taking pictures along the route this year - sorry to disappoint you all :).

Well, that's all I'm going to post tonight. It's late and I need to get up early to drive to Kokomo tomorrow morning.

So, folks ... what have I missed? ;)

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Well, there is nothing to do but say it.

I've lost my job. Nothing performance related (at least mine). The company just wasn't performing. They let me and about eight other people go on Tuesday - apparently including the Director for my department.

I just don't know what else to say.

The family has already made some adjustments. We're canceling our hotel reservations for the convention next week - we'll still go to the con, we just won't have our "mini vacation" this year.

We've also canceled all of whatever (tentative) travel plans we had - so we won't be going to North Carolina this year. Sorry abigail89, I guess we won't be able to meet up again in Ashville. And ja_stephens, I was really hoping to meet up with you in Charlotte this year while visiting with my sisters, niece and new grand-niece. And avidbeader, aren't you somewhere in this vicinity? Well, maybe next year.

I hope the market for 49-almost-50-year-old maintenance programmers is better than what I went through nearly 15 years ago. It took me 6 months to find something last time - and I was younger and had an inside man to get hired there.

Wow. I've been at this company 14 years. At least that means I get a fairly substantial severance package. And the company is paying the first two months of COBRA and paying for placement services.

It's going to be hard to start all over again. I had just gone through a "personal self evaluation" a couple of years ago when I went to my high school 30th reunion. I had decided then that rather than "looking around" trying to find "someplace to retire from", rather than "starting over" again - I had decided that I really liked where I was and I could live with myself if I retired from that company. I didn't need to pimp myself out to some "large" corporation just to retire from.

Bah ... now I'm just depressed so I'll leave it at that.

Wish me luck.

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First of all ...

http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Glitter Graphics
http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Glitter Graphics

You were one of my first discoveries when I entered the fandom over at FictionAlley. Before I started my own LJ, I had yours bookmarked (which I still have in my favorites folder). I love your writing - yes, even your D/Hr (somehow you make it believable). Over the years, I've gotten to know more and more about you. I was sincerely flattered when you asked me to beta a chapter of LiaC (which I hope, hope, hope your muse returns to you soon).

I hope you have/had a wonderful, joy-filled day.

Memage gakked from annearchy:One Word AnswersCollapse )

Damn that's hard to do with one word answers and no explanations. So much more that I could say.

Smoking Update: Day 3 and still no anxiousness in the morning. Should I be worried?

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Current Music: Rachel Ray on Food Network

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Well, I've finally done it. I've set the date and begun the process.

I'm quitting smoking.

A little over 24 hours ago, I put on my first patch. Yesterday was okay. I only got a little jumpy in the afternoon when I normally would get away from my desk and go outside for a smoke break. I still went downstairs and stood out in the smoking area and talked with a couple of friends/co-workers there - smoking by "proxy" I suppose. When they were done and went back upstairs, I was still feeling a bit jumpy so I walked around the block a couple of times. I was a little better after that but it was still tough to get through the rest of the day.

I was a little more surprised this morning. When I got up to take the IRS to work, I didn't have that "morning craving". Normally, I smoke my first cigarette right when I get up - usually during my morning bathroom (is that TMI?). But I didn't have that. And I feel pretty good right now. I guess tomorrow (and the next few days) will really show how well I'm doing.

So wish me luck.

Of course, this means I'll have to change my default icon now, won't I?

To keep me in a good mood (and hopefully the rest of you will enjoy it, too), here's something that came across one of my Yahoo groups.

Harry Potter Fanfic We'd Rather Not ReadCollapse )

Wow! That was a long list.

Well, I've got a plumber group coming over to flush and inspect the water heater that was installed last year in a while so I've got to go and move some stuff around in the basement. Hopefully I'll be back online in a while and can actually read some of your journals (and maybe even comment in them - gasp!).

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Howdy, folks. Just a quick note before we head out to shopping.

Yes, I've been away again. I have a really valid reason this time.

With all the storms and rain and hail we've had lately, my phone line has been cutting in and out (even after the storm) - and being still on dial-up, it hanging up every 10-15 minutes leaves one very frustrated indeed. Had AT&T/SBC out to the house this week and apparently one of the lines running to one of the jacks had a wet short in it. (My house is really old - around 90 years or so - so all of the lines for my jacks run on the outside of the house). So I had them cut off that line and install a new jack in a more convenient location (i.e. closer to the computer in the living room).

And with things busy at work I haven't had time there to read or write LJ for the last few weeks.

This is just a quick note to let everyone know I'm still alive and I'll make a longer post later - hopefully with a report on our Mini-Marathon race. Sorry for not responding to you aome - like I said, with the phone issues I've barely had a chance to be online much less respond to folks. Plus, like you said, didn't want to spam lissannej's LJ.

Talk to you all soon.

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Well, in less than 24 hours, we will be on the road doing the 13.1 miles for the 30th running of the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. Yes, I know I've not kept everyone up to date on our training progress for the Mini-Marathon (not that you were all that interested in hearing how we were doing). But training went real well (for the most part) this year. The Lovely Wife only missed out on our longest walk (due to mild intestinal problem) but she still did 9 miles that night. When I finished the full 12 that was scheduled, I felt good, even with the new blood pressure meds. And she feels real good about it too. We're really looking forward to it.

Lots of cool people here for the festival this year, too. Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers (the winners of the first two Mini's) are here to help celebrate. There is a book celebrating 30 years of the Mini-Marathon: it's called "A Mini Splendored Thing" (apparently not (yet) available on Amazon -- I'll provide a link later when I find one). The Lovely Wife is quoted on page 43: "When you're crossing over the bricks, it's chills. You're way excited. It's the whole energy of the place." Squee!

This year they are doing the post-race party right there in the Rest & Recovery park. So we may just stay all day. Lots of entertainment and food (and beer?) will be available.

Unfortunately, we may not be able to. The IRS has something scheduled with his gamer friends and he's picking up several food/cheese/vegetable trays from where he works and he gets off of work around noon but his friends won't be picking him up until 2:30. We will probably barely reached the R & R park by noon -- gun time: 7:30; 30 minutes for us to reach start line = 8:00; 3 - 3.5 hours for us to complete the 13.1 miles = ~11:30. 10-15 minutes to get through the "finish line" area (pick up free food/water/gatorade, have pictures taken, look up "official time", etc) = ~11:45); find our training group's recovery tent, etc, etc, etc.

We may just give him cash for cab fare.

Anyway, we will be taking our digital cameras again. I'll take as many interesting shots as I can and post them (probably sometime on Sunday after we recover).

Remember how in the past we've had to go move the IRS out of the campus dorms either the day of or the day after the Mini? Well, he graduated last year, so that was the last time we would have to do that, right?

Wrong. The Whirling Dirvish's girl friend lives in a campus apartment here in town and she's moving out this weekend. Fortunately, her folks have been moving most of her stuff out over the week. But they only have a small cars and she has a rather large bookcase to be taken home (plus a couple of other large things - TV, computer). So we've "volunteered" to help move the bookcase on Sunday.

Mini-Rant. No, not a rant about the Mini-Marathon. It's about story summaries.

You know when you're going over the page of summaries (especially at Portkey) and they have excerpts from the "latest/current" chapter? I don't so much mind this.

But people, people, people: please, please, please leave your ORIGINAL summary there, too. I'm crap at remembering titles to stories I'm trying to follow -- so I can't tell if your story is one I'm reading if I don't have a summary -- even if it's crap summary, I usually remember something about the story if I can see a summary. I don't review enough to keep enough Portkey points available to add stories to my favorites in order to get update notices (I know -- my bad. I really should review more but it takes me a while or takes me a couple of readings to absorb a story/chapter and by the time I feel I understand or feel how a chapter is, I forget)

So please keep your summaries!!!!!


Well, I've got to start getting things ready for tomorrow. Wish us luck and see you on the other side!

p.s. I will also have another fandom post probably on Sunday as well.

p.p.s. Damn ... someday I need to get a race icon of some kind -- either one from the mini-marathon or a Walkers one.

p.p.s.s. Oops, almost forgot: Happy Birthday (tomorrow) to 54321sherry. Hope you have a good one! One of these days we'll have to get together when you come up here to Indy.

ETA: GIP! I just downloaded a pic for the Mini-Marathon from the 500 Festival website.

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I seem to be constantly apologizing here. I'm sorry for not updating regularly, but RL has been really, really crazy lately. To illustrate, I present the following:

I'm now a great-uncle.Collapse )

We're continuing our Mini-Marathon training every Wednesday night. So far, we're up to 10 miles. This, however, has also led to some more health-related problems for the wife. Nothing with her feet (per se) this time - she's been able to keep up with the mileage without the previous blister/black-toe problems. No, this time she's having problems with the leg itself as well as some other problems.

Health IssuesCollapse )

I'm actually updating my LJ while downloading my TurboTax updates. Yes, I know, I'm a procrastinator.

Sunday April 2Collapse )

Indy's Immigration RallyCollapse )

I bought a couple of new programs for my computer. They are database programs to help me catalog all my movies, CD's, books and comics. It uses a bar-code scanner to look up info on the internet. Part of my not updating is me sitting at the computer and scanning each item and the program calling out to 3 or four sites to get the data and on a dial-up, this can take some time. So far, I'm at 216 movies and still 3 full shelves of the rack to go. Then I get to start on the books and CD's. Comics will have to be a summer project.

I hope to upgrade to broadband very very soon.

My DilemmaCollapse )

See you all again very soon.

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Current Mood: complacent complacent
Current Music: Local News

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Well, alive at least. And physically well. Am just really depressed because it's raining ... again. And my roof is leaking. And I can't get it repaired (more likely replaced) until it stops raining ... which probably won't be for a few weeks (this being Indiana in the spring where virtually every weather front passes through and stalls.


Bugger again.

On to something not so depressing.

My "Friends Of" list is growing. Wow! I know I've friended a few new folks over the last month or two (sorry mjryan, I didn't know until recently that you had a new journal name ... must have been while I was "on hiatus" last year). Thank you all who have added me.

Story recommendation: I know many of you have been around the HP fandom a while (I know, I've been around 2 years and I still consider myself a "newbie") so many of you have already read these but the "Paradise" series by AngieJ is absolutely fabulous. I just finished reading it (all 1500 some-odd pages of them). In "Trouble in Paradise" she builds this wonderful additional world surrounding HP with other magics and groups (Voldemort is just part of the evil in the world). And it tells the tale of the marriage of Ron and Hermione from a H/Hr shipper's point of view and how "successful" that marriage would be. And she does this all from the perspective of only Goblet of Fire!! Of course canon-wise (e.g. post-OotP and -HPB) the "world as we know it" is quite a bit different. But she weaves this entirely believable plot about how the Second Voldemort War would be and be resolved and how the post-war world would be 10 years later based on the information from the first four books.

And it's told from a perspective of someone outside the trio - Angelina Johnson-Weasley.

And then it gets even better. In "Paradise Lost", it's three years later. Hermione has left the wizarding world and works as a Muggle doctor for the CDC in America and the troubles set up in "Trouble" are coming to a head. It's about the journey to solve the mystery of "evil" in the wizarding world, the threats of the evil cabal ... and how Harry and Hermione finally come together. AND the first time they make love (that we "see") is the HOTTEST, heart-thumping-est non-anatomically-described love scene I have ever read. Quite literally my jaw slackened, my heart was racing and (as I was at the Y and in the middle of a slow walk on the treadmill) I had a rather embarrassing reaction to it. *meep*.

Anyway, if any of you H/Hr shippers out there have not read this yet, go do so now. It is truly worth it.

As I have finally finished this series, ceilidh I can now finally begin (re-)reading "Full Circle" (full_circle_). You apparently finished it quite quickly while I was "on hiatus" last year. I have no idea where I left off reading it before, so I'm going to have to start at the beginning again. I may even have to go back and read a bit of "The Last Time" to remember bits.

Cut for 'Best Picture' meme-ageCollapse )

Well, now that it has taken me 2.5 hours to construct this post, I'll sign off.

Mini-Marathon Training Update - Week 6: We had a "rest" week this week - only 5 miles (because of the 10K training race last week). Pace: stabilizing at around 14-14:30. Conditions have been good (other than the "hard" drizzle in the last mile this week). 7 miles this Wednesday.

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If one grew up in Chicago, you know that there are many things you must do before passing from this mortal fold: see Buckingham Fountain at night during the summer; go to the observation deck of the Sears Tower, lean your body over the rail and put your forehead against the window to look down; visit the Magnificent Mile at Christmas-time; wander the lobby of the Palmer house with your head back looking at the Botticelli-like ceiling...

As of February 28, 2006, one of the "must do's" will no longer be able to be done. The end of an era of history happens in Chicago on that date when The Berghoff Restaurant closes its doors. I won't repeat the history of the restaurant here (you can read all about it on their web-site) but I will relate some of my experiences to you.

I can remember going there with my dad as a kid. I can remember, when I was working downtown in the Loop, walking from Water Tower Place on a few Friday nights down to the Berghoff just to stand in line at the bar to get a fresh carved corned beef sandwich to take home for dinner (and usually eating it on the way home on the El). The wife and I went there with some friends last August when we were in Chicago for a half-marathon.

When we moved to Indianapolis 20+ some odd years ago and after the boys were born, we thought we would have time to take them there at some point in their lives. After all, it had been open for over a hundred years! It's not like it was going to close any time soon, right?

Oh, well.

When we heard in a report on NPR about them closing, we decided to take a road-trip to give the guys the chance (the last of their lifetime) to share in our memories of this wonderful place.

Both boys had slight scheduling problems ... the IRS had to work first thing in the morning and the Whirling Dirvish had a morning class. Not a problem, we'd just make sure we left immediately from picking them up. We invited the WD's girlfriend to come along.

Little did we know ... pic-spamCollapse )

I just have to babble about this next bit. Went to Cosco's last week to do our shopping. We alway scan through the video tables to see if there's something to pick up. I've got almost all seasons of all of the Star Trek series' except "Next Generation" - it was always over $100 (usually $129) at most places, and it was the only one of the series' that I'd not gotten any of because of that.

Score! They had the first 3 seasons of TNG at $45 each! Woo-hoo! The only person that I know of that got it any cheaper was madlori when she bought hers used off of EBay at $25-35 per season. If they keep it up with the following seasons I guess I'll be completing my Star Trek collection sometime soon.

Mini-Marathon Training Update - Week 2: Last weekend we had our first official training run. Distance: 5K. Time: 44:54. Pace: 14:29. Weather conditions: cold, snowy, slushy streets, windy. Not bad time for the first actual race. And considering the weather conditions.

Wednesday's training session was not so good. Distance: 4 miles. Time: 59:08. Pace: 14:47. Weather conditions: cold, windy. Our group leaders are supposed to keep us within range of our planned pace. They seem to be "working up" to that point. I may have to "push" them a little this next week - we've just got 4 miles again but if we don't get up to pace during our training sessions, we'll never be able to maintain it when it comes time to do the actual race.

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Howdy, folks. Wow! Two updates in the same week!

First off, Happy Birthday abigail89! You sure got a nice present from whimsicalmuse! (Now let's see if I can finish this post before midnight so it counts for today!)

Now on to the recs as there are quite a few of them:

Let me start with some non-HP stuff ...

Hey ceilidh, have you seen this recipe from M&M's: Lovely Ladybugs

Would you pay for this? Firefly Season 2 via subscription. I WOULD!!

Who else besides me missed this? Jim Henson Company planning Dark Crystal sequel. Way cool. The Dark Crystal is one of my favorite movies of all times (I still watch the DVD when I can convince the family). And now there is a sequel planned? It's called The Power of the Dark Crystal and they are trying to get as many of the original performers as possible back. It is supposedly to be released sometime this year but filkertom reports today that they've just selected a director so we'll see.

On to the HP stuff:

If you have not read Sunset Over Britain, march right on over to fanficauthors.net and read it.

Summary: Harry's life at the end of his 5th year was in utter chaos and his life was not going to get any better any time soon. From the flames, a brotherhood thought dead will reemerge, a family will break, trust will be destroyed, an enemy will change their path, a father will finally be found, a love will bring hope, and a hero shall rise from the ashes to become the legend he was born to be.

It's H/Hr, it's SuperPowered!Harry (with a very plausible reason), Evil!Ron and Evil!Molly (sorry if you folks don't like that but there is a reason for it), MassivelyManipulative!Dumbledore, TrulyEvil!Voldemort, it's got a little bit of smut and IT'S COMPLETE!! (Well, after a fashion - there is a sequel in the works called unsurprisingly Sunrise Over Britain). It also has a very believable mix of Muggle Great Britain as well (OMG ... they nuke Stonehenge!).

Bob and Alyx are a great husband/wife writing team. He writes, she edits. And the best thing about them is that they update on a regular basis! Seriously, they post a new chapter (in the sequel, now) every 7-12 days! It's like getting Christmas twice a month!

While I'm at it, I'll go ahead and rec just about all the authors over at fanficauthors.net. It's a site run by the great Jeconais (the author of the hilarious This Means War) and he's "collected" several authors that have either been deleted from fanfiction.net or had their Yahoo groups deleted. A couple of my other favorite authors are there: kinsfire (hey there, Kins!) and his wife Dorothy (writing under the name Ishtar), Full Pensieve. Dorothy also has permission and is in the process of archiving Copperbadge's fics ("Stealing Harry", etc).

While I'm on the subject of Jeconais, he's been on a "kick" lately of writing just about anything except his usual H/G. Want H/Hr with that special Jeconais flair? Try: Like A Sister (really any fic with a line like "So she’d found and explored the internet ... She’d never look at Kirk and Spock the same way again" should be read). How about some Harry/Padma? How about The Object Lessons Trilogy (a three part story about such things as getting a glass of water or watching paint dry). Want believable Harry/Pansy? Try: White Knight, Grey Queen.

I'd rec just about anything by nonjon. Yeah, I know, it's on fanfiction.net - what can I say, it's the only place he posts (that I know of). But if you want seriously (Siriusly?) demented (dementored?) humor, you have to read his "trilogy": Where in the World is Harry Potter?, The Untitled Cheekquel Project and You Did What?. Absolutely. Positively. Seriously. Demented.

I've got some more recs to pass on, but this post is getting long so I'll save them for later.

Finally ... not a rec but wife and I are doing the mini-marathon again. We're training again with the 14 minute pace group. If wife can keep up with that pace, we'll walk the route together again; if not and she has to move down to the 15 minute group, I'll move up to the 13 minute group and try and set a personal best (3hrs 5mins but it was unofficial as they black-flagged the race that year). Will keep you all up to date on training again this year (at least that way I have to post at least once a week).

Mini-Marathon Training Update - Week 1: Distance: 3 miles. Time: 43:58. Weather conditions: Clear, warm, 50-ish degrees. Not bad for the first night but we both over-dressed for the conditions. It's hard to get the number and thickness of layers right at this time of year and with the wacky weather (second warmest January on record) it's even tougher.

Oh, well. I've missed my midnight posting deadline. Sorry about that abigail89, now it's a belated birthday. See ya all again, soon.

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Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: TV on in the background - don't know what the IRS is watching

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Hello there out in LJ-land! Long time, no update, huh?

Sorry about that.

I really do have a lot to catch everybody up on. No, I'm not going to do it all at once. But over the next couple of weeks or so, I hope to bring everybody (well, everybody who's interested) up to date with what's been going on. Well, since I've gotten a couple of LJ nudges from a few of you, here goes.

Tonight I'll just post a humorous quickie.

Over Christmas holidays, we went and saw the "Lord of the Rings" touring exhibit here at the Indiana State Museum. It was really, really cool. Lots and lots of stuff from the movies: clips, interviews (some of which I think were on the extended DVD's), costumes, armor, swords, weapons, demonstrations of the various technologies that they used for filming Massive crowd scenes.

One of the demonstrations that they had was the technology they used to change people's sizes - like when they had Sir Ian and Elijah on the cart together in "Fellowship" and it looked like there was a huge difference in size between them. It's simple, really - all they do is set up two separate benches, one normal sized, the other over-sized and film the people on them then electronically paste them together. Well, The Whirling Dirvish and his girlfriend tried this out and the results were quite funny. We got pictures...

Pictures of Hobbits under here...Dial-ups beware of large imagesCollapse )

Well, more to come soon. I honestly will try to keep up with everyone and keep everyone up to date with me.

All my sympathies and well wishes to annearchy. I hope your trip to New Orleans, while for sad reasons, went well.

Oh, and whimsicalmuse? Funny post the other night.

BTW, the icon for this entry really has nothing to do with the post other than the fact it's about the TWD and his girlfriend. I really need to pay for more icons and then get some LOTR ones.

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I finally, finally, finally finished my triofqf for the Third wave (that was due way back in March!) and have posted it. It's a continuation of my story "Snowbound" and is inspired by simons_flower's fics "Gryffindor Girls" and "Gryffindor Boys".

Please follow the fake LJ-cut and read and review:

(Someone Else's Eyes)

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Gakked from just about everybody.

Go to Music Outfitters and put your birth/whatever year into the search box. The first link is likely the top 100 songs of that year. Cut and paste that list here. Bold the ones you actually like. Understand that the word "like" in this case means, at the very least, "wouldn't immediately change the radio station from." Pick a favorite. Underline that favorite

The Class of 1974Collapse )

Gakked from annearchy:

MononWalker's LJ stalker is logansrogue!
logansrogue is stalking you because they have nothing better to do with their time. They are also eating your food when you aren't looking!

LiveJournal Username:

LJ Stalker Finder
From Go-Quiz.com

Interesting only because logansrogue was talking last night about her mom and dad being home and all the food she is/going-to-be eating.

Current Mood: amused amused

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Hello, all. I'm back. (Well, at least back on LJ).

No, I haven't died. No, I haven't quit LJ. No, I haven't left the fandom - although it was a close call after reading the Book-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named (more on that later).

Let's just say I've had a very tough spring. Where did I go?

First of all, I was writing a fic for the triofqf that was just giving me fits. Bits and pieces were coming together and others just didn't want to be written. So I made myself a promise: no LJ until I was done. Well, guess what? The muse thumbed her nose at me and went on holiday. She called in every now and then so I was able to make progress on it - slow, excruciatingly painful progress, but progress none-the-less. So I finally finished it - and that's after giving up on one scene entirely.

Request: Anybody up for a quick beta of my triofqf piece?

Question: tarie, is it too late to post it for the Round 3?

And the killer aspect of the whole thing? I went to a writer's workshop a few weeks back and one of the things they talked about was to keep writing no matter what. "Write, write, write" they said. Write anything. Write SOMETHING. If a story is giving you problems, work on something else: another story, an essay, a blog - ANYTHING. So apparently by proscribing myself from LJ I was unintentionally sabotaging myself! *headdesk*

Second of all, between work, mini-marathon training, a_chapter_a_day which while I read the chapters I didn't do any commenting on because of my previous no-LJ commitment (again, *headdesk*), keeping up with all my Yahoo groups (it takes me close to an hour each morning to read my daily digests - and I only belong to 14 groups and not all of them have a mail every day), keeping up with stories I've been following off of LJ - i.e., Portkey, Kinsfire's fics, Jeconais' fics, a gazillion Harry-in/out-of-Azkaban fics (it's this new fic-fetish I have) - *whew!* - after all that I had very little time to even look at LJ land much less read everybody and/or comment.

Thirdly, I had two (count them: TWO) graduations this spring: the IRS graduated from Purdue a week after the mini-marathon and he's now moved back home for at least the next year while he figures out how to get a teachers certification out of his Physics degree; and the Whirling Dirvish graduated from Tech High School at the beginning of June and he will be living at home while he goes to IUPUI starting this fall. Didn't someone say that once the kids get older, they move out and you get an "empty nest"? *Sheesh*

Fourthly, I had another wedding in Charlotte, NC in the middle of June. abigail89, avidbeader and vicariousleigh: sorry not to have contacted you all to have a meet-up but we really only spent the weekend in Charlotte and a couple of days in the mountains at the in-laws. We barely had time to visit the relatives (including the ones at the wedding) much less try and get out and see others. And I've told my sister that she can't do this three years in a row.

Finally, there is IT - the Book-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named and the Interview-From-Hell. What can I say? I liked the book. I was disappointed in the Book. I loved parts of the book. I loathed parts of the book. I thought the interview, while both informative and coy, was insulting. Apparently I'm delusional and stupid.

I'll not write a review of the book. Others have done so and more more eloquently than I can: madlorivoldort, lissannej, scribooty among others. Liss, I love your review and while I don't completely agree with everything you said, I agree with most of it and you said it elegently. For ranting purposes, there's hbp_wtf.

I will post something about it. It will be mostly a rebuttal of JKR's comments and quite a few observations. It will probably say a lot of things a lot of other people have already said - I just want to say it for my own sanity's sake. Like I said, I'll post something - it will probably be within the next week as I'm still getting my thoughts organized about it.

So, I'm back. I'll try not to stay away anymore. I'll hopefully have more time to keep up with everybody and say a few things to you all.

So ... what did I miss?

Current Mood: pensive pensive
Current Music: "Hitch"

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Don't know if anyone else has seen it yet. The Today Show just had the unveiling of the cover for "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"

WAY COOL! It shows Harry and Dumbledore standing over what very well could be a Pensieve. Lots of green color makes it rather ominous, though.

ETA: Uploaded icon of new cover! WOO-HOO!

Current Mood: excited excited

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Just this morning I received a wonderous gift. See the new pretty icon? It was made by the wonderful demosthenes91. It's to go along with my short humor fic A Few Choice Words over at Portkey.

Thanks so much, Tara!

I'l have another post later tonight ... Promise!

Current Mood: giddy giddy

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*sigh* I really hate January.

I'm a plant. I "suffer" from SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. In the short, gray days of winter and I stay indoors more, my body doesn't get enough sunlight which causes (in me) a mild form of depression. I have a full spectrum light that I normally turn on at 4 in the morning but the bulb broke some time ago and I haven't replaced it yet (I know, lazy me).

I don't want to write. I don't even want to read (but I still do). I have 70+ people and a dozen or so communities on my flist and if I miss a day it takes me 4 or more hours to catch up with everybody. And that doesn't even include commenting! How do you people with hundreds on your flist do it?

I know I promised to post more often, read less and write more, review more. *blech* I just can't seem to do it.

I'll try and do several things here.

1) I *hate* these people (not really ... just really, really, really envious that you guys can do this). lizardspots drew a wonderful pic of girl!Harry and girl!Ron and within a few hours (A FEW HOURS!!!111!) both calliope14 (A Little Bit Twisted) and tarie (Just Us Girls) wrote fic (and incredibly HOT fic) to go with it!?!?!

*GAH* I hate my silent muse.

2) Mini-marathon training begins this week, so hopefully I'll be a little bit more LJ active if people want to keep track of my progress.

3) Desktop meme gakked from likebunnies and bunches of other folks See the prettyCollapse )

4) gakked from eibbil_libbie: What are my friends doing nowCollapse )

5) Watching PS/SS last night I had a thought. Ponder this:Collapse )

Wow, I wrote something! Welcome back, my muse.

Later this week, I want to do an analysis of the seven tasks of the Sorcerer's Stone. I know it's been done before, I just want to get my thoughts together about it and what you all think.

Now that it's taken me the better part of an hour to post this, I'll sign off.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone soundtrack

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