sienamystic: (flowermachine)
Planning for the Italy trip has been fun - there have been a lot of changes since I was last there so things like pre-purchasing some of our museum tickets and train tickets ahead of time has been a new deal. Wonder of wonders, the website for buying train tickets is very easy to navigate. The whole "nicer faster trains which require reserved seats" is not something I needed to do. Of course, the first time I had to buy a train ticket in Italy I ended up buying three of them (unsure that I was buying the right one) and ended up on a super-slow milk run train that was a great introduction to the Umbrian countryside but which was not so good for meeting my contact for the study abroad program in a timely fashion. He ended up picking me up a train station or two ahead of my destination and thus I got my first intro to the Italian driver.

It's also letting me stretch my expenses over multiple months, which is pretty great. By the time we get there the only costs I'll have to incur are food and some incidentals, which can still add up, but at least they're slightly more controllable.

I'm so wound up about this trip that I'm going to have to do some work to avoid mentally crashing after it, I think.

The husband has gotten into Zentangles recently - or rather, he prefers the mandala shapes over the freeform ones that you're supposed to lay down yourself. This has led us both into the world of the adult coloring book, which was something that I always vaguely knew was soothing but had never really thought about until it became a bit of a trendy thing. Relatives in Manila, my sister, a billion people on Pinterest - and after my Amazon order arrives, me too.

In ladyparts TMI news (avert if squeamish, although I won't get graphic), I've just made my first foray into the world of the Diva Cup. So far so good, although there were some interesting shenanigans the first time I tried to fold it up correctly and put it in. As in, boinging across the bathroom and bouncing comically. This is the second day I'm using it and so far so good, although the whole business of eventually being able to do it in a public restroom has me a little dubious.
sienamystic: (surly bonds)
There are few things that tell you you're in the future as posting an online journal entry from an airplane. Usually the wifi isn't free and I don't bother paying for it, but I had an idea for the draft I'm pecking away at and decided to spend the $2.50 just to get it down before I forgot about it. So I'm at a window seat, looking out a the great wing of the airplane and the clouds lit with the setting sun and looking just like they do in a Constable painting.

We're returning from southern Florida, where I with great delight danced at my dear friend's wedding. She's marrying a very sweet guy, and it was heartbreakingly wonderful watching her beam from ear to ear throughout the ceremony and reception. The bride and I and my friend Persia, also in attendance, met somewhere around 1990 in high school and have been friends ever since, so spending two days in the company of Persia plus getting time with the bride when we could (lots of family and other friends who all need attention!) and all in all had a marvelous time. My husband is also great friends with both of them and he has had a great time as well, especially since we had a little time on the beach. Not, alas, in the actual water - in the rush to pack we forgot that swimsuits would be nice, and anyway it was raining intermittently the whole time - but we got to hang out and sniff the salt air and listen to the waves for a little bit.

The ceremony was very brief (a family member who is also a justice of the peace married them) and Persia and I cried shamelessly, and then there was dinner and dancing and it was all wonderful.

Oh, and the husband has also fallen in love with the area we were in (He's always been a beach guy) and is now agitating to move there. There is a wonderful museum in the area that we visited the morning of the wedding but alas there would have to be some convenient vacancies open because I think their staff is not much bigger than ours is and so they probably don't need extra registrars hanging around.
sienamystic: (commedia)
Just got back from a meeting of the book club I'm a part of. We were discussing Fangirl, and talked about writing fanfic myself (one other girl there has) and some of the other ladies had read it. Amusingly, the person I'm closest with was basically, "I don't get it - not the attraction to reading it or writing it, and same with cosplay and other fannish stuff because it's all just make-believe like when you were five and pretending you were a puppy" so it was an interesting conversation. (I did not tell people where to find my fic or even what my fandoms were - both would be bridges too far! I did say that I was just writing one before I got to the party, which is indeed the case - yay for Be-Compromised.)

Anyway, I think I'm kind of the old lady of the group, although perhaps not by a whole lot. It's not a big deal in that specific sense, because I get along well with these people, but I'm really starting to...worry isn't the right phrase. Hmm. I feel like I'm not where I'm supposed to be in life, I suppose. Which for me means that I worry because I don't make a lot of money, feel pretty useless and uncertain about the whole career thing, and wonder where I'll be in five years.

God, I mentioned my salary in a conversation over Thanksgiving with just me, my husband, my father in law, and my stepmother in law and SMIL said, bewildered, "Isn't that the level where you get food stamps?"

Uh, ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I'm surprised I didn't hide under the table for the rest of the trip.

I need to get back to therapy, but I don't know if it was helping me get anywhere. I feel like I need someone to whip me into shape, not listen to me.

But mostly, there has been a potential medical issue that's cropped up recently that's part of it. I'll go into a little bit of lady TMI here so stop reading if you're squicked by it.

So, I just had my period, like...two weeks ago. And I'm spotting again, right now, a not insignificant amount. And there are a lot of reasons that could be, but none of them are a whole lot of fun. It's possible I might have inherited my mother's endrometriosis - there are possible signs that could back that up. There are also the possibility of polyps. And there's also the possibility that I'm about to go into perimenopause. I'm 39. I am definitely old enough for it. But somehow the idea of it has set off little sirens in my head, ALERT, ALERT, ALERT.

I see my dr. in a week and a bit, so I can ask her about it then. But it's just roiled up all my insecurities about who I am and what I do, and I'm not sure how to process it all.
sienamystic: (Heyer - wealthy)
So, we don't use our phones all that often. I tend to be faster about responding to email, my lengthy chats with friends and family don't occur on a regular basis (and I can Skype my sister for those long talks if I need to), and basically the thirty-five bucks a month I spend on my Verizon plan seems like a waste when I look at the fact that they give me 500 minutes and I've used, this month, all of 65 minutes. Bemo is in the same boat - actually, he uses his phone even less. We've been out of contract with Verizon for a couple of years now, so there's no penalty for leaving.
Since we're looking to save money, not spend more, upgrading to a smart phone (which I'd actually use all the time, but not as a phone!) won't be happening - anyway, I have my Touch and the netbook for portable web access which gets me by. So when March arrives, I've decided to switch our phones over to a prepaid company called Page Plus. Their program called The Twelve is twelve bucks a month, and gets me 250 minutes, 250 texts, 10 MB of data (which I'll never use because I have a dumb phone). They use the Verizon network, so my coverage shouldn't change.

I was turned on to Page Plus via Metafilter, where it's been discussed very positively, but I'd love to hear from any of you guys if you use them and find them decent or terrible.

Also, I expect the whole transition process to be about as fun as putting leeches on my eyeballs, but it's gotta be done. That fifty bucks we'd save can be put to so many more useful things than pissing it away on phone minutes we never use.

Also also, I went back to aikido for the first time after falling down the stairs and bruising my bum, so of course sensei started things off with rolls and slap-falls and break-falls. I think I now have a bruise on my bruise.
sienamystic: (Bourne)
Bemo and I met up with some friends in Wilber, NE (The "Czech capitol of America!") for their annual Czech Days Festival. It's a really nice event - one of those small-town things where they're happy to have you there spending your dollars on funnel cakes and touring the tiny museum, but they'd be there anyway, with their giant range of polka bands (from little kiddies to oldsters), dancers (ditto), electing the queen, prince, and princess of the festival, and eating kolaches, the traditional danish/jelly doughnut-esqe pastry that the town is very proud of.

Their little town museum is also a fun place to wander around. It's full of scary department store mannequins dressed in historic costumes, odds and ends that townsfolk have donated, period-rooms-of-a-sort (complete with listening stations consisting of a cd player and headphones), and a woman weaving rag rugs sitting in the storefront.

wilbur 002
A display of wrenches

One of my museum-coworker friends said that it made her feel great and sad at the same time - it was awesome that the townsfolk could come in and point out a dentist chair to their kid and go, "I sat there when I was your age! It was so scary!" But we both feel sad about the fact that nobody there knows how to preserve most of this stuff long-term, and it's deteriorating before everyone's eyes. Generally, these museums are run on a budget of minus five, and have a volunteer staff who love their collection but don't know how to care for it in the slightest. I think there are publications geared towards these sorts of museums, but they may not know about them. Perhaps we could find a way to send them over, but sometimes it doesn't matter if you know how to preserve, for example, a heavily beaded dress (hint - don't let it just hang off a regular hanger and don't pin post-it notes to it with straight pins) if you don't have the storage furniture, staff to store it, money to buy acid-free tissue paper and the training to know how to pad it out carefully, mannequins that will hold it without stress, etc.

surprised stuffed bunny is surprised )

We then went to the Wilbur Hotel and ate duck with dumplings (and sausage with dumplings, and pork with dumplings) and really incredible sauerkraut that I surprised myself by scarfing up with great enthusiasm, and rye bread, and the aforementioned dumplings with were little extruded tubes that looked a lot like string cheese and had gravy on them, and applesauce and onion rings (Bemo insisted) and more kolaches and lemonade.

hot men holding swords from days long ago )

And then we all waddled over (sauerkraut and those dumplings made for a pretty heavy meal) to a nearby quilt show. At this point Bemo and I bid them farewell and headed off to Omaha to look for a dress for me (they apparently went off and found a tank, judging by a photo I just saw on Facebook). I found a dress in Von Maur (a chiffony purpley pretty thing) that will work as my Best Woman dress for mom's upcoming wedding, and I'm glad I found it because I was feeling discouraged about the poor selection of dresses I had been finding up until now. (PS, am feeling discouraged about my weight and my eating habits again, which is funny to say after a description of eating sausage and dumplings, but it's mostly my day-to-day eating that I'm fighting with again, and so am feeling particularly unattractive and not in the best frame of mind to buy a pretty dress.)

And then we bought cat food and dish soap and diet soda and cleaning products because I am going to try and not leave my catsitter a filthy apartment to face. And we came home and did laundry as a giant storm rolled in, all yellow sky and ferocious winds and a few tree branches down in our front yard right as it started, and also the power flickered but thankfully didn't go off. It's cool and I have the windows open, much to the delight of the cats. Ratchet is particularly chuffed as he's been permitted to escort me to the basement laundry room a couple of times (he's good about not getting stuck anywhere or running off and evading me, so he gets to trot down the two flights of stairs and howl at the doors of the storage areas down there. I do not know what is in his tiny cat brain.

Tomorrow will be spent cleaning, I think. And lazing about, that too.
sienamystic: (the game's afoot)
It's once again time for our big jazz concert that runs every Tuesday in June. The first day is tomorrow, and I'll be one of the volunteers. And lucky us, it's shaping to be close to a hundred degrees! I've invested in a pair of clearance rack paper parasols. I expect them to catch fire at some point during the festivities, from the sheer force of the blazing sun that will be beating down on our poor little heads. Maybe I will bring big buckets of ice for us to put our feet into. I have a hat and some sunscreen as well.

Nevertheless, it's usually a very fun event, with the music playing, a mini farmer's market and happy people with picnic blankets and frisbees and kids and beach balls. We used to allow dogs, but a couple of years back a lady let her ill-trained and under-socialized dog attack another person's dog, and the decision was made to ban them altogether. Which sucks, because it was fun to see people with their pups, many of whom loved the opportunity to sniff a new butt or two.

This year I'll not be helping to run the scavenger hunt, but will instead be running a sort of museum shop booth. So, yay. We'll see if any of my magnets sell! I have to make more, but haven't been able to sit down and do it.
sienamystic: (Giles exposition)
Ah, the co-op. Where I can have an interminable conversation with an 80+ year old woman about air conditioning filters, show a woman where the non-dairy, gluten free mac'n'cheese lives, so her kid can have something that looks "normal" while they try to figure out what he's allergic to, and flirt with a cute, dim young man in a long prairie skirt who was trying to get to Oregon eventually "because the energy is better there, you know?"

Also, I was so proud of myself for roasting a gorgeous whole chicken, and then I realized I had left the little "diaper" on the bottom by accident. I'm working on the idea that it's still safe to eat. It will be dismembered tomorrow for salad and sandwiches.

Also also, there was racquetball played (very badly) by me and the Bemo, and also some walking and light jogging on the indoor track, and then I went and undid it all by making chocolate chip cookies. Seriously, I need to cut this shit out. Eating at night is my biggest bad habit.
sienamystic: (little twin stars)
Strangely, the first Bryson I've read (don't most people start with A Walk in the Woods?) about a trip through England just before he and his family move back to the United States. I picked it up on a whim, and I love it, and will be reading more. He's got an entertainingly conversational voice, a fantastic observational eye, and an endearing way of expressing his opinions, which are sometimes unexpectedly sharp and candid, even if not always entirely serious.

In other news, I have commenced another round of Operation: Startle Co-Workers and am wearing my cute little sixties-esque dress as opposed to the series of t-shirts and capris/jeans that they've seen me in the past few weeks. I have also Done Up my face, although my allergies are conspiring to make my mascara and eyeliner evaporate.

Off to go handle an artist's monograph (waggles eyebrows).
sienamystic: (Let them eat cake)
Actually, here's something more cheerful. A co-worker (and friend - she's the driving force behind the playreading group) snuck off and got married last week. Once we discovered this, we had this little tableau waiting for her in her office when she got back.

post-elopement celebrations

detail, post-elopement celebrations

Museum people know how to make their own fun.
sienamystic: (the game's afoot)
My sister leaves today for a jaunt to Malta and Barcelona. I think we can safely say that I hope she has a fabulous time, and that I am green with jealousy (or is that the new High Definition Primer in Redness-concealing green from Make Up Forever that I have smeared all over my forehead?) She has promised to bring me back something fun, so I'll be in an endless state of anticipation until I get my presents. Then I'll sniff them in the hopes of getting a tiny whiff of Other Lands.

Yesterday was a stinky, sweaty day of moving things and sitting around and then moving things again, to get photography on sculpture for an upcoming Geometric Abstraction exhibition. Unsurprisingly, our Brancusi photographs like a dream - it's all creamy, gentle lines and elegant, understated texture. I was working with a photographer I've never dealt with before, so there was a little getting-to-know-your-workstyle stuff happening as well, but I think it all was a success. Hopefully I'll get the photos back soon, as deadlines are looming.

To make up for how gross I felt at the end of the day yesterday, I put on my new 60s-ish dress and some nicer shoes that I never wear and actually put some makeup on this here face and purtied myself up. I'll snap a photo to share at some point. Maybe I'll borrow a fetching necklace from the store. The makeup will have to be reapplied because I'm going to swim over lunch, but heck, it's just more practice.
sienamystic: (Annie from Community)
Pondering what I want to say about aikido, training, and the mat being a safe space to be wrong, something that I need more of in my life.

Have just accomplished 1/4 of one of my big work projects - getting a three ton sculpture moved to a temporary location. Will do the same with a smaller sculpture, and then bring them out again and place them in new locations around the campus. It was a gorgeous, blue-sky day, just the kind where you enjoy spending your whole morning outside watching a large piece of metal be gently tugged out of the ground, put on a truck, and then moved to a secure holding spot by a passel of very nice, very burly men.

Spent some time today trying on clothes and hating all of them, which, as is not uncommon with me, turned into a violent loathing of my body and the deep belief that I was nothing more than a grotesque animated potato of a human being. Target had nothing that looked good or fit well, and Lane Bryant was turning into an endless parade of disappointments. And then a woman put a dress back reluctantly next to me, saying, "It's cute and I love it, but it's not me," so I had a peek at it. It was a really cute black and white print dress, very 60s, with a sort of round collar neckline that I know is flattering for me, and I ended up buying it, despite it being a little pricey. I may return it since I have the sad feeling that it will join the other couple of awesome dresses I rarely wear, but then I'd love to use it an an excuse to get an great pair of shoes for my wide-ass feet. So, using an expensive purchase to rationalize another expensive purchase! Uh, go me?
sienamystic: (This is art)
So it looks like I will, after all, be teaching an intro Art History class at a nearby small uni. They rescheduled the class to make it an evening one, and now comes the paperwork - I have to get my transcripts sent over to them, go visit the campus and meet everybody and fill out some forms, etc.

I'm super nervous. I may be asking for teaching tips and ideas...this is the first class I've ever done on my own and not as a TA, where the decision making wasn't in my hands. I'm excited as well, but eep! Thankfully a coworker with an art education master's degree and lots of enthusiasm about syllabus planning (with, strangely, no desire whatsoever to actually stand up and teach a class herself) has offered to help. It'll be fall semester, Monday evenings - safely outside of my normal working day, which is what the hitch was with the original time the class was scheduled for.

So I have a lot of time to plan, and will hopefully not be too stressed out juggling three jobs come August. I suppose I could give up the co-op job then, but will have to see what the finances look like.
sienamystic: (This is art)
Taxes done, forms sent off to hopefully correct an error from last year's taxes, forms sent off to student loan people to hopefully get some easement in that area. Still feel like I'm drowning in bills and paperwork, but at least I'm not quite up to my nose yet.

Cats at the vet - looks like Kit's bite is easy to treat and will just take me pilling her for a bit, which sucks because she's a strong, wily cat, but I can get it done. If Ratchet continues to try and bully her, I'm going to make a very attractive pair of earmuffs out of him. I think part of the problem is that we're in a smaller place now, and they feel like they can't stake out their own territories, or maybe they're getting a bit bored. Yesterday I made sure the front door to the apartment was shut and let Ratchet run up and down the stairs and stare out the big front window. If he could fit in the harness I bought ages ago on a whim, I'd take him out for a walk, but he's the size of a small (tubby) dog and I'd have to invest about forty bucks in a bigger harness and leash for him. At least he made himself very happy marking the corners of the hallway with his face.

Bemo's ECT still continues, with them expressing happiness that he's doing better and talking about starting to taper him down to twice, then once a week. This irritates me because it was presented as something different - a course of 8-12 sessions (we're on 15 now) which would be able to be stopped without any drawbacks. Except now I'm being told that you do taper them off, and that if you just stop sometimes the patient regresses and you have to start all over again. This is not information I was given to start with. I'm not sure if it would have changed anything had I known, but I'm still disgruntled about it. Also, Dr. ECT (she of the irritating hairstyle and stiletto boots) wants to change his meds, except he won't see her once he's done with the ECT, and I'm not going to change things on her say-so, psychiatrist or no. Bemo will tell his meds person about the changes Dr. ECT is suggesting, and get the two of them to talk...but I hope Dr. ECT doesn't bully the meds nurse into changing things when there's no need for it. Except there may be a need, because while he's getting better, he's not exactly Mr. Bright and Cheerful. (His sense of humor has come back some, and the crying fits have lessened but not disappeared, but he still has a lot of anhedonia and is now worrying about what will happen if the disability doesn't come through, if he'll ever be able to work again, who would ever hire him and could he even do a job again...) So who the hell knows...certainly not me.

Also, I'm not thrilled to have to continue to take big chunks of time out of my day for this - it's about three hours, two of which I take as sick leave, and while I'm feeling very grateful for a job that lets me do it, it obviously can't continue for too much longer.

And on that note, off to see some people about a sculpture move.
sienamystic: (iron man)
Finally got a chance to see Inception, although through an odd route. I bought it for my sister's boyfriend via Amazon, and that apparently meant I got it as a rental myself, so I watched it last night. I'm sure it misses some of the oomph on a small screen, but it was a really fun movie even if it wasn't quite as uniquely clever as I heard people describe it. Great acting all around, a fun concept, lots of twists and turns. I think I'll want to own it eventually, although I'm so lame - I only own a handful of DVDs and I never end up watching them, for no apparent reason. But if something I own shows up on TV, I'll sit and watch it that way, instead.

Spent the day back at the co-op:

My life in the checkout lane

and made a complete hash of it when I went to count down my drawer, because I had forgotten my technique. I spent about a half-hour too long frantically adding up little stacks of numbers, convinced I was ten bucks off and oh noes, and it turned out I was fine - maybe a little change off - but I will hope that tomorrow my brain is back online and I can actually do the process I've done several times now without issue. Blah. I had a system. Why couldn't I remember my system?

Trying to get a group of clothes together to sell. I have some random stuff, and a pair of nice dresses that I've only worn once or twice, and I don't just want to put them up on Ebay for a buck. On the other hand, I don't know if they're worth consigning or if people would be interested if I posted them here. Will think about it. I'm not looking to make a killing, but I would like twenty-thirty bucks for the dresses, since I paid about seventy apiece for them.

Want to go to the gym tonight, but am feeling lazy. Will try and push out the door.

Giant ugly lamp in living room has died. Am happy that it's gone, but don't want to pay for a new lamp. Impasse! I am considering several smaller lamps, which give nicer light, except I kind of need a bright light for fussing around with my collage/stamps/jewelry stuff.
sienamystic: (skeleton)
It's Dia De Los Muertos time again, and the museum's Great Hall has once again been filled with skeletons and skulls of all shapes and sizes. My giant sequined skull from two years ago has been borrowed to perch on top of the revolving doors, surrounded by tissue paper flowers and (fake) greenery, tissue paper flowers mark the intervals of the double staircase, an ofrenda takes up most of one of the galleries, papel picados hang from the windows, and the various paper mache constructions from schoolkids are everywhere.

This year, they didn't get the chance to work with the college students like they had in the past - sadly, I think that class was scrapped due to budget issues - so the paper mache pieces are not quite as well constructed, although they're definitely full of brio. There was a rash of falling heads overnight, and a couple of them simply fell over, but they've been tended to. Skeleton Godzilla trampling a city skyline has his head firmly attached, Skeleton Hello Kitty sits next to a very charming Skeleton Cheshire Cat (I'll place a bid on that one, but I'm sure I'll be outbid handily, because it's adorable and people will fight over it), a skeleton cowboy stands across from a skeleton Monopoly Man and a wee tiny and sort of disturbing Skeleton Ninja. Oh, and a Skeleton Spongebob is also in the Great Hall, as well as a Skeleton Stewie, which I hope a high schooler and not an elementary school kid made. Hell, I'm even a little dubious about a high schooler watching Family Guy, but they probably do.

Photos to follow if I can snap a few - especially of the Cheshire Cat.
sienamystic: (This is art)
Have been helping a little bit with the install of our forthcoming ORLAN exhibition, "The Harlequin Coat." Part of this involves being hugged by mutant clothing on chairs.

Hugged by Orlan
sienamystic: (Reading Woman)
(Hee, between tonight's Leverage and White Collar I can finally grouse about how tv is getting my profession All Wrong.)

1953 girl's fashions

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