annathepiper: (Smile)
Here's a general update in the life of me!

I'm definitely grooving on the new job. The atmosphere of the office is very casual and relaxed, and I'm going to like this whole Agile/Scrum mode of getting projects done. I really like the idea of sitting down as a team at the beginning of a month and going, "Okay, we're doing these things, can you do this and you do that and you over here do this other thing", and then we all just go do it.

Also, I am desperately in love with the chair they gave me. It's super-comfy. It's leather. I can lean back in it and work and my back doesn't complain. At all. I will be able to put up with a lot at this job if they just let me keep this chair. <3

And I don't know if it's all the extra walking, the stress release of not having to worry about looking for a job, or both, but my energy level has gone up considerably. Sleep's still weird and I'm having to rely on sleep meds to knock myself out in the evening, but at least I'm starting to feel a lot more like myself than I have in months. Of course, this could also be tied in with not having to have any more saline fills either. But whatever the reason, I'm happy with it.

I am delighted to discover that one of my teammates is the lead singer for a local band called The Wages of Sin. He describes them to me as very Pogues-like, and while I haven't listened to enough of the Pogues for an informed opinion, I can authoritatively state that they do remind me a lot of Captain Tractor. This is a very good thing. It was also very cool to just be able to music-geek with him and provide evidence (a la the old Three Good Measures MP3s) that while I am strictly an amateur when it comes to making music, I do at least know what I'm talking about.

Should also note that another (former) coworker of mine, Eric Goetz, is a musician too. He's in a band called Central Services, and I plan to be checking them out next. Though they'll have to fight with Angelique Kidjo, the Chieftains (I mean, seriously, people, why the hell haven't I bought more Chieftains before now), Alexander James Adams, [ profile] vixyish and [ profile] tfabris, and [ profile] s00j for my musical attention. I've got a lot of recently acquired music I need to get caught up on.

Speaking of music, [ profile] solarbird has been doing open mikes again and had a very good time last night at the open mike at the Wayward, as well as doing a bit of open filking at Rustycon. I myself am saving my energy to drop in on Conflikt. So for the filk-inclined among you, I mean at least the ones who don't already know about it, you might consider coming by Conflikt and helping a little filk convention get its feet under it for its second year.

Last but not least I am in the middle of reading Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer's jointly written romance Agnes and the Hitman, and I am enjoying it immensely. I mention this by way of handing out props to the fine ladies at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, without whom I would never have known about this quite entertaining duo. More on this will of course be forthcoming in a review post.

Miles since September 30th: 195.7
Miles out of Hobbiton: 3310.3
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 473.3
Miles to Hobbiton: 1151.7
annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)
Today I had my first bit of notable walking since the surgery, taking the bus as I did to the massage appointment I'd scheduled. The massage was very soothing, a nice gentle working of the muscles along my back and shoulder, in between where all the incisions are; I think I'll want another one next week, perhaps with a bit more pressure involved. I almost fell asleep on the massage table, though.

The walking about wiped me out though, even with two stops on the way home to get food to fuel me up for coming up the hill to the house. But I made it, go me!

This, of course, was necessary just to make sure that I'll be up for taking the bus downtown for tomorrow evening's ritual annual Ogling of Newfoundlanders. Very, very much looking forward to that. I've arranged for myself, [ profile] technoshaman, [ profile] mamishka, and [ profile] casirafics to meet at Pike Place Brewery for dinner at 6, after which we'll be heading over to claim our seats for the show. [ profile] sutures1 and [ profile] kendaer may or may not be joining us! Any other local folks attending the show, if you're interested, look for us at the Brewery at 6. :)

I'm going to stop at Barnes and Noble to buy myself a little Moleskine notebook before the show. I want a small one anyway for carrying around in my backpack, but for tomorrow night's purposes specifically, I want it for taking notes on the show. Because there will be an LJ post, and I have learned that having my handheld on can distract others in the audience with the screen glare, so I don't want to do that. I'll just write out notes longhand, and a Moleskine will be a nice way to do it.

This will be one of the few good things about being under medical orders to sit the hell down during the entire show; I'll have more leisure to take notes. Hee.

I'll have to rest up a lot tonight and tomorrow morning to have as much energy as possible, I think. I've been sleeping very heavily, but almost too much, I think. [ profile] solarbird and I may head out tomorrow morning/early afternoon so that I can get the new pants I need, but much will depend on my energy.

At least I have all the drains out now, which is nice. I made the nurse at my doctor's office go ahead and take out the last one, since it had stopped draining anything over the weekend. But I'm still due to come back in on Friday for the first of the saline injections.

All in all the week is going well, and tomorrow, there will be Alan and Séan and Bob and Kris and Murray, and that will be Good. <3

Miles since September 15th: 10.5
Miles out of Hobbiton: 3114.6
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 277.6
Miles to Hobbiton: 1347.4


Sep. 15th, 2008 07:10 pm
annathepiper: (Loving You Grin)
So yeah, when WAS the last time I posted? The 10th? Let's see, what all I have I done then...

Read the fourth and fifth Vicky Bliss novels, Trojan Gold and Night Train to Memphis. Reviews are forthcoming! Have also commenced reading The Laughter of Dead Kings, and I fear that all this Vicky Bliss in general is distracting me from The Furies of Calderon. Sorry Jim. *^_^*;;

My team at work went out for an (aheh) "offsite team meeting" on Friday afternoon. Read, we went and saw Burn After Reading, the new Coen Brothers movie. Which was, like Coen Brothers movies generally are, quite funny. The highlights of the movie are definitely Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

Preparations are pretty much done for surgery on Thursday. Leave has been applied for, conversations have been had with Evergreen to confirm all my data, and such. And apparently my team at work is taking me out to lunch on Wednesday. To wit: yay!

I've been working to listen to the last of the music that [ profile] sksouth gave me to listen to during my last recovery period, too. Which means that I now have a pretty damned good set of people added to the list of people whose albums I really need to be buying: The Bill Hilly Band (or at least, the one album of theirs Sarah had), Angelique Kidjo, Habib Koite, Cherish the Ladies, and of highest interest to [ profile] seimaisin, Gaelic Storm. The album Sarah had was Tree, which I liked quite a bit more than the self-titled first album. More Gaelic Storm WILL be purchased. Just a question of when.

Speaking of music... for those of you who might like the Young Dubliners, apparently recently they got robbed. Some absolute jackass made off with the van that contained all their instruments and gear; more information is here. I've liked these guys ever since they performed with GBS in 2002, and I'm just bummed in general about this. So I made a point of getting their last remaining I didn't have yet off of iTunes. Go buy one of their albums! It'll help get them through this, and plus, they're just awesome anyway.

I have fallen down on the food log thing, I fear--mostly because it has taught me that my eating habits are very, very set. I am not really grooving either on the rough way I've been doing it. I will resume food logging after the surgery, I think. But I need a better way to do it. Possibly in Excel, like I'm doing my exercise logging.

Most importantly, Dara and I made a commando-fast road trip up to Vancouver, BC to visit [ profile] cow. [ profile] gerimaple and other Vancouver-based folks, apologies for not giving you the heads up! *^_^*;; We were only up there for part of Saturday and part of Sunday and were pretty heavily occupied the whole time; next time we come up for a longer trip, though, believe me, this will be announced more in advance. A post on the general awesomeness of the weekend is forthcoming, too!

Miles since August 10th: 92.9
Miles out of Hobbiton: 3104.1
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 267.1
Miles to Hobbiton: 1357.9
annathepiper: (Katara Healing)
OIA... )

Miles since July 27th: 36.2
Miles out of Hobbiton: 3011.2
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 174.2
Miles to Hobbiton: 1450.8
annathepiper: (Katara Healing)
I have not done weights in the past week. Part of me feels guilty about this, but that swollen bit in my surgery area isn't subsiding and I'm a little worried that I tore something there trying to do chest weight exercises. It's also starting to bruise up, and hurt a little more noticeably. So I'm going to call Dr. Towbin tomorrow and ask if he'll take another look at it. I have a followup scheduled with him for the 14th, but I'm not sure I want to wait that long.

Weight's still holding steady in that tight little range. I had some slips this week, snack-wise, but have tried to keep it more or less under control. And I've tried to compensate a bit for not doing the weights by walking more--doing the long walk in the morning, down along the goat trail to the Lake Forest Park bus stop, rather than the short walk down the hill to the stop at 60th.

Anyway, this is this week's report.

Food stuff... )

Miles since July 21st: 20
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2975
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 138
Miles to Hobbiton: 1487
annathepiper: (Katara Healing)
(Hrmm. I need me a good 'doing exercise' icon. Maybe something involving bending from Avatar: The Last Airbender, just to go with the Katara healing icon I'm using now.)

Haven't had an exercise/food update in a bit, so here's this.

I failed to do weights on Wednesday. This was not entirely due to lameness; there's this bit that's gotten kind of swollen where I had the mastectomy, and I'm a bit concerned that this has gotten aggravated somehow due to my recent chest exercises with the weights. I did have a followup with Dr. Towbin on Thursday morning (more about this in another post), and he seemed to think it was okay. So I did do weights yesterday morning. But in the meantime, I'm also employing the mini-icepacks I was given before during prior procedures, to try to encourage that swelling to go down.

I have not lost any weight to speak of this month so far, which I'll admit is a little disappointing. However, I also haven't had any significant gains. I've been hovering right around the same immediate area I was in at the beginning of the month. Given that my energy levels have been improving, I'm willing to chalk some of this up to the weights exercises starting to do a little fat->muscle conversion.

We had an article up the other day on the Times site talking about how food diaries work for people for one strong reason: that as long as you're honest with yourself about it, it provides accountability. People were quoted in the article as saying how they found themselves avoiding eating certain things because they didn't want them to be on their food logs. I myself have begun to experience this--it's how I've managed to talk myself out of oh, say, buying Zingers at the corner market store, or getting snack chips out of the vending machines at work.

I have also begun to look for alternate snack concepts like dried fruit packets from Whole Foods, stuff that would store well if kept in my desk drawer at work. Found some tasty dried mango bits that I may be sampling again. Y'all will also notice I've been plowing through Tic-Tacs like they were water. This is an attempt to satisfy the urge to keep my mouth occupied--with something that's hardly any calories.

Meanwhile, food data for the last several days, feel free to skip... )

And, the walking log:

Miles since July 10th: 22
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2955
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 118
Miles to Hobbiton: 1507
annathepiper: (Katara Healing)
Forgot to do weights tonight, grf. But at least I have done a bit more walking today than normal; I opted to take the long walk down to the Lake Forest Park Town Centre bus stop. I'll have to work in the weights tomorrow night, though. Can't do it Friday since Eddie.

Meanwhile, food data... )

I ate too much over the weekend, I think. And not enough fiber. Need to be more on top of that for the rest of this week.

Miles since July 4th: 11.1
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2933
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 96
Miles to Hobbiton: 1529
annathepiper: (Katara Healing)
This past week has gone pretty well with the weight loss overall, minus one too-heavy dinner on Tuesday evening. I am in fact currently the lightest I've been all year, which is a pretty nifty realization to make.

My appetite has started to significantly adjust, just by virtue of ditching the soda and aggressively managing the snacks. I'm kind of surprised and pleased that I'm not actually missing the soda very much. And, aggressive snack managing actually gives me a little bit of a something to look forward to in the evenings, now that I've discovered that good dark chocolate and good green tea go well together.

I had my first weights workout in ages on Wednesday night, using the 10's, which was about right--I broke into quite the sweat using them, but I was also able to do quite a few reps on the various exercises, enough that I might need to bump up to the 12's in the next session. That I was able to more or less remember how all the exercises went was a good thing, too. But I did also determine that 1) my "general Celtic" playlist (which has a sampling of various favorite artists off the iPod) is better for treadmill than weights, and 2) I really need to remember to stretch and warm up properly before I do these workouts.

I can still kind of feel the ache in my right shoulder, in particular. This was of course the side where I've had the surgeries and radiation, so it doesn't surprise me that it's weaker than my left.

I'll have my next weights workout tomorrow morning. And, if I play my cards right, I might actually break into the 170's by Monday--but we'll see. That's a good immediate goal, though I'm also thinking about the longer-term goal of how far I can get with this by the end of the year. Into the 130's by my 40th birthday is definitely within the realm of possibility.

And now, a bunch of food data!

Probably OIA, Only Interesting to Anna... )

And, walking:

Miles since June 29th: 13.7
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2921.9
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 84.9
Miles to Hobbiton: 1540.1
annathepiper: (Katara Healing)
Keeping that food log that the nutritionist instructed me to keep has been kind of interesting, if nothing else because it's underscored for me that when I kick the soda out of my diet and don't get nuts with the snacks, I actually eat... rather alright. There's room for improvement here, sure; for example, I need to remember to have just two pieces of pizza, not three, when we do pizza.

But even without having started the weights yet (which is on the queue to do tomorrow when I get home from work), I've already felt distinct improvement in my overall appetite. And I've lost about six pounds since the beginning of the month, which has been a notable but not alarmingly huge decline.

If I can keep this pace up, at minimum six pounds a month until the end of the year, that should knock me down into the 150's by December. Not quite where I want to be, but then, that's where I get to practice being patient and reminding myself that this sort of work will not be fast, and it'll be all about maintaining the alteration to my eating habits to make sure the weight stays gone.

So, here's what I've been eating for the last many days.

Food data, feel free to skip... )

And here's exercise data. Y'all may note I'm on my way back to Hobbiton; once I get there, I plan to do another pass through the entire Eowyn Challenge, but this time I think I'll follow Frodo.

Miles since May 21st: 8.5
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2908.2
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 71.2
Miles to Hobbiton: 1553.8
annathepiper: (Katara Healing)
Had the appointment with the nutritionist today, which went about like I expected, only longer--[ profile] solarbird and I were there for an hour and a half while this woman quizzed me thoroughly about my history with food and weight and such.

The good news is, she was pretty pleased with many of our already established eating habits, and she approved of my ditching the soda and of my strict snack rationing. The bad (albeit expected) news was that I need to bump up my fruit and veg intake, and also definitely resume my free weights exercises. I also need to ditch the efforts I'd started to have juice with lunch, on the grounds that juice is less helpful than having actual fruit. Meanwhile, Dara has been advised to edge the veg up during dinners, and the nutritionist made a good suggestion about putting the veggies on the plate first, so as to have them dominate the territory.

I am to keep up with this food log thing. And I think I'll be resuming the weights on Saturday when I'll have my first window of time free to work 'em in. Till then, I'll keep up with the current food habits; I'm already seeing improvement in my appetite just by ditching the soda and by rationing the snacks. And I've been inspecting the drink shelves at Whole Foods to see what I can purchase to drink with lunch that a) isn't water and b) doesn't have too many calories. The HonestTea brand seems potentially good; I found their "Community Green Tea" flavor today, which had only 34 calories to the bottle and just enough cane sugar and orange flavor to it to make it not too bad. I think this'll be my lunch drink for a while.

I think that in the interests of keeping this in the forefront of my brain, I shall start adding food log data to pertinent posts (like this one). And just to throw in other pertinent numbers, I'll resume more regular tracking of my walking as well. I'll slap this stuff behind a cut, though.

Meanwhile, the Stunt Boob has been acquired, and it's surprisingly comfy and natural-looking. Enough that it boggled both me and Dara. Should it happen that I have to postpone reconstruction surgery for whatever reason, I think I'll be able to put up with wearing this for a while.

Today's food and exercise stats... )
annathepiper: (Something Beautiful)
Just to pay appropriate note to the various and sundry other things that have been going on in my life:

Jam Reports. There have not been Jam Reports for the last couple of Jams, and I apologize in advance, but there will probably not be. I just haven't been focused enough to get proper Jam Reports written. However, it is worth noting that there is much promise with GBS' "Chemical Worker's Song" with the current set of voices. [ profile] cflute in particular has some very impressive harmonies coming together for that, and [ profile] kendaer is feeling some potential for rumbling out the lead on this on days when [ profile] mamishka isn't available.

On a related note, [ profile] solarbird and I went to go visit [ profile] stealthcello this past Friday night, which was made entirely of Win. She and her family have a lovely home full of lovely large Maine Coon cats as well as six two-week-old kittens, with whom we visited as well and ZOMG TINY KITTENS. Dara shared some of the music she's been working on, and Betsy answered with some of hers, and me, I was impressed by Betsy's shiny new black carbon-body guitar.

One giggleworthy moment of the evening: Dara hitting a chord on the mandolin and announcing that that sounded like "ass minor". Betsy's daughter lost it laughing, and Betsy herself pondered the question of what precisely "ass" sounds like. Dara's response, entirely inevitably: "Here, pull my finger!"

I will also not be doing review posts for the most recent BSG and Doctor, again because short on general levels of cope. I will however say that the most recent BSG was quite solid. We actually haven't watched the most recent Doctor yet, but will hopefully be getting that in soon.

Current book on the queue: [ profile] desperance's Bridge of Dreams, which I have scarcely begun, but already I am impressed by the liquid rhythm of the prose.

And because I could, I went and got RAM upgrades for both my MacBook and Dara's. Now Winnowill and Kiliandra both are at 2 GB, though I have observed that I'm still taxing the CPU a bit if I try to do too many things at once. Less so than before, granted, but the problem hasn't entirely gone away.

Working on listening to [ profile] s00j's Sirens, to be followed up by [ profile] vixyish and [ profile] tfabris's Thirteen. I have however also squeezed in Capercaillie's shiny brand new album Roses and Tears, as well as Nickel Creek's first album, since I've been meaning to listen to them for ages. This marks the first official time I have ever purchased an album calling itself country. However, listening to it, I find it definitely upholds the Alexander James Adams Principle of Celtic and Country Music, to wit: same music, different whiskey. ;)

Dara and I are planning our assault on Folklife this weekend and we are for once actually looking at doing three of the four days. We definitely want to hit the Celtic Band Scramble on Saturday, but there are things that interest us quite a bit on Sunday and Monday as well. I'm thinkin', a great big (not to be confused with Great Big) glorious burst of Folklife just before surgery should be a good way to get ready.

And, it has occurred to me that as I am about to be lying flat on my ass for two weeks, I can finally read Deathly Hallows.

And have another Movie Suckoff. Because there will be another Movie Suckoff, oh my yes.

Last but most definitely not least: tomorrow night, JONES. Meeting [ profile] casirafics and [ profile] mamishka for the midnight show at the Cinerama, and there will be much fangirling. What can I say. There are only a few people in the world that can really get me to fangirl, but Harrison Ford is one of them.

And, just because I haven't done this in ages, here's an exercise update as well. I am now on my way back to Hobbiton!

Miles since April 5th: 107.6
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2863.8
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 26.8
Miles to Hobbiton: 1598.2

ETA 10:42pm: Oh yes, I forgot to mention: my Ubuntu VM problem has been solved thanks to help from [ profile] blargh. The issue seemed to be that VMWare was confused by my machine's having both a CD-ROM and DVD drive, and when I changed the VM settings to tell it not to auto-detect a drive, it started behaving. So now I have a functional Ubuntu VM to use as a test platform at work. Go me! And thanks, Traest. :)
annathepiper: (Wet Strongbow)
It is raining like a crazy raining thing in the Puget Sound area tonight. This is kind of appropriate weather, as I got another rejection on Lament of the Dove today--so this leaves me with one active query still in the air. And that means in turn that I need to get a couple more queries out this weekend. At minimum, I need to hit the next two agents on my list of agents I'm interested in; if I get really ambitious, I'll fling out a couple of paper queries as well. (But I'm not sure I'm going to get that ambitious.)

On a related note, though, I am told by [ profile] mizkit that the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold contest is absolutely worth the time and money, so I will be preparing Lament to head in that direction over this weekend as well. I figure at minimum, I'm willing to put down the entry fee if it'll get me an interesting critique. More than that would, of course, be cake.

On the good side, though, I had lunch with [ profile] casirafics today, and we writer-geeked, and fandom-geeked, and expressed our mutual pleasure over the resumption of Battlestar Galactica tonight and Doctor Who tomorrow. Tasty truffles were purchased from the Dilettante Cafe after. Mine were eaten on the way back to work. Yum. ;)

Meanwhile, I will be making a pilgrimage to Dusty Strings tomorrow to finally get a replacement D string for my bouzouki, and hopefully also, replacement tuning pegs for the guitar. And [ profile] solarbird and I want to practice some on the Meg Davis song "Elf Glade" we've been playing in Jam, which should be fun.

And there will be BSG, and the Doctor, and [ profile] spazzkat has The Mist in on the Netflix queue, and that should be fun to watch tomorrow night. There are also rumors of a musical outing on Sunday afternoon; more on this on Sunday.

Tonight, though, I'll be enjoying my reunion with my and Dara's TV girlfriend, Starbuck!

Miles since (holy crap, has it really been this long since I did an exercise update?) January 13th: 171.7
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2756.2
Miles out of the Morannon: 39.2
Miles to Minas Tirith: 80.8
annathepiper: (Winnowill)
I pretty much took it easy this weekend, and worked on more tweaks to Winnowill; this was about all that I had energy for, and it was a relief to not have to do anything pressing. (I'm sad that I didn't get to go down to Rustycon with [ profile] solarbird, especially since she was well received with her big flute and the pieces she played, but oh well life's like that; hopefully I'll be up for Conflikt.)

This weekend's task: getting the Windows virtual machine installed. Yeah yeah yeah, Windows haters, shouldn't pollute the machine with Windows, etc., etc. I still need to run Money until I find a suitable native Mac-side alternative. And I still need to be able to VPN in to work, and have no word yet on when that'll actually work in Leopard.

A lot of techie details back here... )

And it amuses me to run one OS inside another, too. If I had a Linux VM running inside the Windows one, that'd be kind of like turducken.

Meanwhile, I have to note that it is a very odd sensation to have a sunburn on my underarm. That is a portion of the body not normally meant to be sunburned, and it's getting rather distracting and a little painful. I'm going to have to ask the doctor and the duty nurse about bumping up to some heavier duty cream for the last two weeks of zapping.

And I just reached Minas Tirith. Now I'm on my way to the Morannon, to help Aragorn lay the smackdown on some dead guys. This should be fun.

Miles since the 7th: 14.1
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2584.5
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 5.5
Miles to the Morannon: 132.5
annathepiper: (Hero)
Today I have read a novel (and posted a review of same), been reasonably functional at work, handled going to Zappy, and most importantly, I have written something.

Not much--barely 100 or so words on Child of Ocean, Child of Stars. But the long dry spell I've been suffering as of late has been extremely irritating. I know intellectually that it's okay if I haven't been able to write thanks to the radiation treatments draining my brain. This doesn't mean I like it. And if I am not able to write, I stress. Vicious circle, you know the drill, etc.

But tonight I wrote words. It makes me feel all accomplished and Jack-Aubrey-esque!

I still haven't managed to post the last Jam Report, but hey, I'll get there. Though as long as I'm feeling all catchy-uppy, here, I'm almost to Minas Tirith! (Gods, have I really not posted a mileage update in over a month?)

Miles since November 26th: 85.7
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2570.4
Miles out of Isengard: 777.4
Miles to Minas Tirith: 8.6
annathepiper: (Hard Day)
And since it was a four-day weekend, there's quite a bit of weekend to review!

Thursday: Day of Turkey, and as with previous years, we had the Murkworks Homeless Waifs Thanksgiving Day Turkeyfest. [ profile] flashfire came up from California to join us, which was neat; he brought his XBox 360 with him and there was much gaming mileage. More locally, we had [ profile] mamishka and [ profile] marzipan_pig and [ profile] sksouth and [ profile] darthhellokitty and [ profile] king_chiron and [ profile] dpatows and [ profile] epatows and [ profile] ypatows. Much tasty food was consumed. Jenga was played, as was Wii Bowling and other assorted Wii games. Kittens were mightily admired. As was their rightful due!

Friday: Day of going to speak with my radiation oncologist, as previously posted. Aside from that, there was a lot of lying around going "zzzzzz".

Saturday: Day of going out to see American Gangster finally, along with the aforementioned [ profile] darthhellokitty and [ profile] king_chiron. [ profile] mamishka had hoped to join us, but sadly was feeling poorly. The movie, however, kicked ass. It was on the long side, but I honestly can't think of a single bit that could be easily deleted since it's all vital data in there. The plot thread with Denzel Washington's character and the one with Russell Crowe's character are rather like two charging bulls closing in inevitably on one another until they collide with thunderous impact towards the end. Denzel put in a hell of a performance, flipping between dutiful son and loving husband to gangster with a frightening temper, and Russell was fabulous as always.

Saturday night, after I got back from the movie, we watched the BSG movie Razor on the Tivo. More on this in another post. ^_^

Sunday: Balancing the checkbook, oh joy oh glee, but there was also Jam! More on this, too, in another post. The Jam, that is, not the checkbook balancing.

Other general points of interest: I worked out with my boss this morning how to rearrange my schedule during my forthcoming radiation treatments. We agreed that I'd come in earlier than normal, which translates to "get to work by 8am". As I usually get in around 8:45, this means I'll have to get up 45 minutes earlier, too. Which means I have to get up at 6. Ugh. Here's hoping that it won't kick my ass too terribly much, both the earlier time for getting up and the radiation treatment in general.

The good news is, though, that I did work out how to get to Kirkland from downtown and then home again from Kirkland by bus. So I won't have to drive for any of it, yay. And I got updated FMLA paperwork into our HR department today, to cover all my bases in case the radiation fatigue I've heard about does actually kick my ass.

Meanwhile, the weather tonight has been atrocious, and I've been sneezing off and on all night. I had damn well better not be coming down with a cold, as right now is a perfectly godawful time for me to get sick. I'll be sucking on as many zinc lozenges as I can stand.

Miles since the 6th: 39.9
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2484.7
Miles out of Isengard: 691.7
Miles to Minas Tirith: 94.3
annathepiper: (Loving You Grin)
This weekend I mostly snoozed and read. I occasionally surfaced from Vicodin-induced grogginess enough to try to play Nethack, or poke at the books, or watch another couple episodes of Season Three of Remington Steele... but mostly, it was all about the snoozing and the reading.

[ profile] mamishka came over on Friday, bringing with her a Robert Redford movie to watch, Three Days of the Condor. More fun than I had expected, and for bonus points, the first Robert Redford movie I can actually ever remember watching. It was our general consensus that The Bourne Identity, at least in overall style, owed quite a bit to this movie.

[ profile] solarbird and I walked down to the shops yesterday afternoon because I was tired of lying around being tired, but that turned out to be too ambitious. The walk quite wiped me out. I'm feeling better today, though I did wind up working from home and took a nap partway through the afternoon. I am hoping to stagger back into work tomorrow, something close to my normal self. We'll see how that goes.

Last but not least, grateful acknowledgements must be sent out to [ profile] amaltheae for the gifts that showed up in our mailbox today: a DVD of one of my favorite Elvis movies, Kid Galahad, and a slightly battered copy of The Twenty-One Balloons. I plan to be charmed all over again by the former (it does have one of my favorite Elvis Serenades the Girl scenes in it, as well as far better acting than any Elvis movie has any right to claim in it), and charmed for the first time by the latter. Thanks, [ profile] amaltheae!

Miles since the 1st: 2.2
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2444.8
Miles out of Isengard: 651.8
Miles to Minas Tirith: 134.2
annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Relaxing)
So I neglected to mention last weekend that [ profile] spazzkat, [ profile] solarbird, and I went to go see Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Not as solid a movie as the original Elizabeth, I think. Yet Cate Blanchett was certainly queenly, and oh my yes the Errol-Flynnesque Handsome-and-Dashingness of that Walter Raleigh fellow was a potent force indeed (the Queen had a great eye for his, aheh, "immensities"). Anybody besides Dara and me grin at the "Bess tending her lady in the bath" scene? I mean, damn. Let's just say, after seeing that scene as well as the Queen pitching a massive hissyfit later, it was pretty evident that her royal jealousy was a lot less concerned with Walter. ;)

I also neglected to mention that after Jam this past Sunday, [ profile] technoshaman and [ profile] cflute left a coat and the chocolate sauce that had gone on the pumpkin pie behind. So I took them over to their place, which was the first time I'd seen it, and which let me see a few of the winding back streets behind the Murk. In return, they gave me two more Echo's Children CDs as well as the Echo's Children songbook. Yay!

As one might expect my reading rhythm has been mightily thrown off this week, but I hope to maybe finish up reading [ profile] rachelcaine's Midnight Alley. And it is worth a mention that I have finally purchased a copy of Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, as I did not actually have a copy in my library, which seemed a rather criminal lack. You don't get much more Classic Urban Fantasy than that book.

The kittens are steadily growing. In the last week in particular they've both suddenly become mightily aware of the virtues of being petted, which for me has meant that if I'm lying on the couch with my laptop, trying to write, one or the both of them will climb up onto my chest and purr like mad. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, this has been documented for posterity by Dara!

I have but a single episode left in Season 3, Volume 2 of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which has some prime silly in it as well as several episodes I remember vividly from when I watched this thing as a kid. No less than six, count 'em, six episodes where Captain Crane gets his head taken over by the Monster of the Week, too. I begin to wonder why the hell he still has security clearance, by this stage of the show. ;) I have not yet acquired any spectacularly crappy movies to watch during my recovery time, but I do not lack for stuff to watch; I've still got the Dresden DVDs as well as the rest of Season 3 of Remington Steele, and the discs from [ profile] ravyngyngvar as well.

I continue to add to the Buy Anna a Black MacBook Fund, a.k.a. my savings account. I hope to have enough bucks by the end of the year to get that computer--specifically the black one, since Dara and Paul both have white Mac laptops and I want to be able to tell mine apart. I'm pretty sure that once I get said machine, I will be calling it Winnowill--even if by rights any computer named Winnowill ought to be a Windows box. But Winnowill sounds cooler as a computer name than either Venka or Teir, and I've got too many past associations with Rayek to use that as a computer name. ^_^

To those of you who are so inclined, a belated Happy Samhain! I hope your celebrations went well. And belated Happy Halloween as well. We had a fairly quiet one here at MurkNorth; only about ten trick-or-treaters showed up, total. But we did get some interested reactions to the Japanese candy that Dara was handing out--these tasty little chocolate-covered biscuits shaped like mushrooms and acorns. They come in small packages, and you can buy a big bag of said packages at Uwajimaya. Since we had so few trick-or-treaters, we have quite a bit of this candy left. Oh darn, whatever shall we do with it?

And good luck to everybody out there tackling Nanowrimo this year! I will not be doing it officially, though as with last year, I hope to achieve the personal goal of 25,000 words written. Some of these will have to go into the tail end of Queen of Souls, but hopefully the rest of them will go into one of the skiffy novels I'm working on, Child of Ocean, Child of Stars. I'll be posting periodic updates on that to my writing journal as well as to [ profile] nanonov.

I am now in the Epilogue of Queen of Souls, which means the end is in sight and I should be putting out a call for beta readers on that thing real soon now. I am dubious that I will be able to finish it up this weekend, but we'll see how many braincells the Vicodin leaves me. I still need to send that inquiry postcard to Baen as well, and also review the state I left Lament in and see if there's further tightening up I need to do on its final chapters before I send some queries back out on it.

I have no brain to speak of this morning, thanks to the Vicodin, but have nevertheless been able to putter around and get some things done. I'm very thirsty, thanks to the anesthetic gas they had me breathing during the procedure; they'd warned me it'd leave me with a bit of a sore throat. But all in all, I'm feeling pretty good. And George has now jumped up on me twice demanding pets. Aww. Perhaps a good chunk of this afternoon will be devoted to petting the cats. ^_^

Miles since the 25th: 8.7
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2442.6
Miles out of Isengard: 649.6
Miles to Minas Tirith: 136.4
annathepiper: (Sean WTH?)
I found bouzouki strings at Lark in the Morning in this evening and cheerfully came home with two packages of them... only to discover that they are the wrong kind of strings. These are loop-end strings, and apparently, what I need are the ball-end type. I'm going to have to call Lark in the Morning back and find out if they've got any of the ball-end type and if I can take my extra package back to trade for them. I've opened one package so I expect that they won't let me take those back. Failing that, I'll have to check Dusty Strings.

On the other hand, I did at least successfully acquire a shiny new Kitbook, Heart of Stone! And since I hadn't been in Barnes and Noble for a while, I also wound up walking out with a new novel by Sarah Langan (whose first novel The Keeper I liked quite a bit earlier this year), a Mary Stewart (My Brother Michael), and the hopefully entirely amusing World War Z.

Miles since the 7th: 35.9
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2423
Miles out of Isengard: 630
Miles to Minas Tirith: 156
annathepiper: (On the Moon)
A PSA for those of you who have been following Blood Ties: the next episode due to air is now available on iTunes as a free download. Here's hoping that the show comes back a little more solid than the last couple episodes I watched. Thanks to [ profile] seimaisin and [ profile] hederahelix for the heads up on that! And speaking of TV-related PSAs, here's an advance warning for the BSG fans on my Friends list: "Razor", the two-hour Pegasus flashback movie, will be airing on the Sci-Fi channel on 11/24. I'm actually way more interested in seeing that than the resumption of Blood Ties, but I'll take both.

On a related note, I have finished plowing through Season Three, Volume One of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Muahaha. We're getting into hardcore crazyland by now, enough that the small number of reasonably sane episodes in this volume are actually kind of boring; one suspects that the writers were all going "Ah, hell, we did this idea in season 1. Back to the Monster of the Week!" The volume ended with a semi-sane episode, though. I think it was trying to lull me into a false sense of security before I dive into Volume Two later this month. Bring it, Irwin! I'm ready for the Mummy and the Mermaid and the Fossil Men! ;)

Until I get more cheesy Voyage goodness, though, I've been trying to do productive this this weekend. Errands have been run. Checkbooks have been balanced. Laundry has been done. Kittens have been well and thoroughly played with. My guitar has been tuned up again, and practiced upon; to my delight, I found I was able to play along with Heather Alexander's "Tomorrow We Leave for Battle" fairly well, and the rhythm line for the non-solo bits of "Faerie Queen" was surprisingly easy, with only three, count 'em, three chords. (I still need to replace the B string, though, and I still need to restring the bouzouki.) And I am pleased to have found [ profile] rachelcaine's Midnight Alley down at Third Place Books. Not going to read it quite yet since I'm still working on The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which is getting weirder the farther I get into it.

Tomorrow is my next medical appointment, which means I'll be late to work. We'll have to see how many other disruptions I get to have to my schedule this week; more on this in another post.

Miles since the 4th: 2.2
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2387.1
Miles out of Isengard: 594.1
Miles to Minas Tirith: 191.9
annathepiper: (Loving You Grin)
I got up this morning at oh-god-no-am, the wee small hour of five, an hour at which no civilized persons should ever have to stir. [ profile] solarbird made me miso soup, and I gobbled it down along with some breakfast tea and an organic peanut butter bar, and then we hastened off to Evergreen for this morning's MRI adventure.

Whoever'd done our reminder call had some screwed up information, though: they told us we were supposed to show up at 6:15. Which contradicted the piece of paper I'd been given by the nurse who'd scheduled my appointment, who'd told me to show up at 6:30. And once we got there, we couldn't figure out where the hell we were supposed to be. I'd originally thought we were supposed to go to Diagnostic Imaging, only when we got there, we found a sign that said outpatients were supposed to register at the X-Ray Film Library. So we went down there only to find two confused people there who had no idea what we were talking about, and one of them led us back to the Outpatient Registration desk. This was around 6:28, finally, and there a woman told us that yes, that was the right place. Only they were closed and wouldn't be open until 6:30. Trying not to heave an audible sigh, we waited on the bench until the lady was ready to take our paperwork.

After that, actually finding the MRI area was less annoying. A tech named Steve had me fill out a form and then change into a gown, and after giving me the rundown on what he was going to do, went at it. It took two phases, one face up and the other face down, and all told it took about 40 minutes. Not terribly annoying, and shorter than my previous experience with an MRI. I was given headphones and some classical music to listen to, though getting the headphones situated through the second pass of scans was a bit tricky. I wound up with piano music in my left ear and a whole lot of Loud around my right.

I won't know the results of the scan until Monday when I have my followup appointment with the surgeon; tomorrow I talk with the medical oncologist.

And in the meantime, I am thwarted, THWARTED I TELL YOU, in my attempt to locate a copy of [ profile] rachelcaine's Midnight Alley, which is apparently taking its sweet time showing up in local bookstores. I did at least finally succeed, though, in finding Koji Suzuki's Spiral at the downtown Borders. I am also surprised to find that although I have two, count 'em, two copies of [ profile] naominovik's Empire of Ivory tempting me, I'm actually not reading one yet. Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is refusing to relinquish my attention. More on this when I finish the book in a few more days.

Also, I feel an impending run of filk purchasing on iTunes coming on now that I've discovered that the Bedlam Bards' Firefly filk disc, On the Drift, is available for download and purchase there. So is the Persephone Pickers' Songs from the Verse. If I could round this out with [ profile] vixyish's "Mal's Song" as well as [ profile] cadhla's "Evil Laugh", I should have me quite a nice Firefly playlist to go along with the actual music from the actual show. ^_^

Tomorrow and Friday I shall be working from home to account for supremely inconveniently timed medical appointments, about which the bosses are being supportive since they know that when I say I will be working from home, I will actually be WORKING. In the evenings, assuming I can wrangle the rest of the edits out of it, I will be editing like a crazy editing thing. And I have ambitions of getting at least one query for Lament of the Dove out the door this weekend.

Miles since the 24th: 26.8
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2384.9
Miles out of Isengard: 591.9
Miles to Minas Tirith: 194.1


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Anna the Piper

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