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 Just going to leave this here. Public stating of goals makes it easier to keep them, right?

Basic challenge 28/52
1. A book recommended by a librarian - Ths Just City by Jo Walton
2. A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long - Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook - Yeah, lots. I love audio books.
5. A book by a person of color - The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story - Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link, specifically "Lull"
8. A book with multiple authors
9. An espionage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover - We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling), read by Eddie Redmayne
12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by 
13. A book by or about a person who has a disability - Borderline by Mishell Baker
14. A book involving travel - Magic For Nothing by Seanan McGuire
15. A book with a subtitle - We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
16. A book that's published in 2017 - Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
17. A book involving a mythical creature - The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes
18. A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile - Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
19. A book about food - Sunshine by Robin McKinley
20. A book with career advice - The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective - Vampire Vacation by CJ Ellisson
22. A steampunk novel - Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
23. A book with a red spine - My Dad Wrote a Porno (Belinda Blinked 1 - Fully Annotated Edition) by Rocky Flintstone, et al.
24. A book set in the wilderness - Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you've never visited
27. A book with a title that's a character's name Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. This book breaks my heart.
28. A novel set during wartime
29. A book with an unreliable narrator - All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
30. A book with pictures - Many graphic novels.
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you - Home (Binti #2) by Nnedi Okorafor
32. A book about an interesting woman - Mirabile by Janet Kagan
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel
36. A book written by someone you admire - The Halcyon Fairy Book by Ursula Vernon.
37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven't read before - The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
40. A book you bought on a trip
 
 
Advanced Challenge 5/12
 
1. A book recommended by an author you love - Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel Older, recommended by Jim Hines
2. A bestseller from 2016 - The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
3. A book with a family member term in the title - Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillian by Richard Roberts
4. A book that takes place over a character's life span
5. A book about an immigrant or refugee
6. A book from a genre/subgenre you've never heard of
7. A book with an eccentric character - All of the Sin du Jour books by Matt Wallace.
8. A book that's more than 800 pages
9. A book you got from a used book sale
10. A book that's been mentioned in another book
11. A book about a difficult topic
12. A book based on mythology - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Yeah, I'd say it's based on myths.

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 WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME THAT THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR IS MAKING SHOWS AGAIN?!?!

*sings along to the Sparks Nevada theme song*
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 Five things for today

One - This semester's CS class is going to be awesome. Not only am I taking it with one of my BFFs, but also our professor is fantastically sarcastic with an engaging teaching style.

Two - I listen to more non-fiction books and I read more fiction. Part of this is because of the Great Courses series on Audible. Part of this is that if I actually have time to sit down and read, I usually want to escape. But right now I'm reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck". It's KonMari for the soul. I need this.

Three - Inauguration Day. Oh gods. I need to call my senators. Again. #RESIST

Four - In an hour, I'll be buying tickets to go see Welcome to Night Vale live. With [personal profile] replyhazy . I AM SO EXCITED I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF. Also, I get to go see PMJ with my sister in 9 days.

Five - Donating to Planned Parenthood. Partly because it's the right thing to do. Partly because people are awesome and help incentivize it. http://puzzlesforprogress.francisheaney.com/

Bonus - Going to write another Fairy Tale Fragment today. Not sure what about yet, not sure if I can make it upbeat and hopeful. But I'm-a give it a try. 
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https://twitter.com/fairytaletext/status/821344980191023105

Once, there was a lord who lived in the ghostly woods with a curious hen.

This was less strange than you may think. No one with any sense would live near or in the ghostly woods without an animal companion of some sort. Animals, as it is well known, aren't negatively affected by ghosts. In fact, they're critical for being able to tell if the visitor at your door is a living person or a ghost attempting to gain entrance. Even the choice of having a hen wouldn't have been considered odd by the neighbors. After all, if you're going to be living with an animal, it may as well be a useful one. True, most folks would choose a more easily domesticated animal, but it worked for the lord.

Living in the ghostly woods put a damper on one's social life. Travel after dark was inadvisable, even if travelling in a large group with many torches, lanterns, and a veritable cacophony of voice and instrument.(1) Still, the rent was cheap and the lord's nearest neighbors were a good hour's ride away. He had groceries delivered twice a month and was generally able to live a simple life, devoted as he was to his books and studies.

No, the problem was that his hen was curious. Generally, curious animals in the ghostly wood had a habit of turning into, well, ghostly animals.(2)  The lord had lost a hound to curiosity when he was a boy. He hadn't taken the logical step of swearing to never invite another curious animal into his life, though, which led him to the matter of the hen.

The hen, as I mentioned, was curious. It wanted to know things. Some of these things were good and some were troubling. The lord had learned that if he wanted to keep the hen entertained, he could put an hour glass in front of her. She would watch the sand tumble and be entranced. Other scientific endeavors led to the hall being filled with the smell of singed feathers (3), flooded (4), or on one memorable occasion, exotic dancers (5).

For all its faults, the hen had just barely enough sense to confine her curiosity to the lord's manor house. She would occasionally look out the window and was employed in evaluating every guest, but she never tried to venture outside. Most days, she was content in her nest in the corner and her collection of chicken-operated experimental equipment.(6)

One day, the lord left the house. He'd been invited to brunch at a neighboring manor (7), so he set out shortly after sunrise. He saddled his horse, left some extra corn in the hen's dish, and rode through the sun and shade. The hen, having not been invited to brunch, sulked in her nest.

The moment the lord was out of sight of the house, the local fairies, ghosts, and witches began attempting to gain entrance.(8) The windows, doors, chimneys, and vents were all warded, of course, which deterred many of the contenders. A few of the smarter ones attempted to cajole the hen into allowing them inside. 

The hen hopped up onto her favorite window seat to watch the show. The wards kept out the sound, but a few of the fairies had clearly been practicing their charades and put on quite a show, explaining through the power of mime why the hen should let them in.

The hen managed to resist all the requests for a time. She even took a nap. But when she woke up, everything fell apart. For there, on the lawn, a being appeared. It wasn't a ghost, for she would have recognized those. No, this was a wizard or a warlock. The hen flew to the door to allow the man in the house. 

Later, when the lord was trying to recover the front section of the house from the mess of chaos, he came across a note from the hen. It read:


Sorry about the mess.
I'll be back someday.
When you meet Bill, you'll understand.

The lord shook his head. Clearly, allowing the hen to subscribe to journals had been a mistake. Still, the lady's gift of a cat was turning out to be a serendipitous treasure. The cat, upon seeing the note, shook his head. Chickens, man. What did you expect?

The lord renewed the wards and made safe the house. The cat took up the hen's post, watching for intruders, ghosts, or anything else that it could chase. He was not curious. No, not in the slightest. He wouldn't be tempted by mere science. 

The woods watched and waited. They'd find a way in. Sooner or later, the cat would acquire an adjective and the woods would send out the call to gremlins, ghouls, dragons, or elves. Sooner or later.

 
---
(1) -  It is well-known that ghosts approve of silence and can tolerate harmony, but will flee from sounds that clash. 
(2) - Yes, animals leave ghosts. However, that's not important to this story.
(3) - What is this bright stuff in the fireplace - OH GREAT BIRD IN THE SKY IT BURNS!
(4) - What if I pick up all my shed feathers and stuff them into the drain of the sink? Oh, look, an indoor bird bath! Awesome!
(5) - Okay, so maybe it was a mistake to invent a contraption that could easily replicate letters and invitations. It was probably also a mistake, in retrospect, to automate an address book into the mix. In the lord's defense, however, he hadn't known that the address plates contained those names. Upon inspection, he found the names carved in his cousin's handwriting. He made a mental note to retaliate as soon as possible.
(6) - You can buy almost anything from a catalog. There are some EXTREMELY clever tradespeople these days.
(7) - Everyone who lived in the ghostly woods was nobility. Or enchanted. Or both. It goes with the territory.
(8) - They wanted to cause mischief of some kind or another. It wasn't personal, just business. 
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On
Downwood's right foot has decided to stop working. Stabbity pain and everything. So I took advantage of our sick leave policy and stayed home. Got kids on bus, got house picked up, got kid off of bus, and got Downwood to the dr. Work took this opportunity to explode, but I ignored it and continued running after kids, cleaning, and shopping.

Two
I'm exhausted. Like, constantly. Fitbit thinks I'm sleeping okay and long enough, but it doesn't feel like it.

Three
I went for comfort in my attire for today. Jeans that are far too big, WtNV shirt, Browncoat Whiskey hoodie, fuzzy purple boots, and my GitNB beanie. Not stylish, not pretty, but warm and cozy.

Four
I'm still actively angry about the results of the election. I'm calling DC frequently. I refuse to be gaslit and accept that this is our new normal. This is not okay.

Five
My next UW course starts on Thursday. I should really pay my tuition. It's about machine-level language, so not sure what we'll be doing. But I'll be taking it with [Bad username or site: bexdragon, @ livejournal.com] so that will be fun.

Bonus
I'm looking forward to sewing this weekend. My subtle Starfleet cosplay fabric arrived yesterday, so that's on the docket, as are some sweaters and quilt blocks. Sewing makes me happy. I like making things
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Before buying any fabric yesterday, I made a list of the things that I want to make and what I would need to make them. Other than time, of course. I need to go through my closet and weed out things that either don't fit or I don't like. I need to make room. Maybe. We'll see if this works or falls on the altar of "time? what time?"

I'm going back and forth between feeling much better and feeling still sick. I'm exhausted and feel cruddy, but not so cruddy that I can avoid doing all the things that I need to do every day.

I drew a thing with my Micron pens today. It was nice.

With the start of the new year, I can re-read some of my favorite books and get Goodreads credit. There are a few books that I re-read every year.I love it.

Everything is moving so fast and yet standing still. I'm not sure how that works... 
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Denver Fabrics sent me an email. They're having a sale on knit fabric. I love knit fabric. I love making dresses, sweaters, tops, skirts, pants, and basically all the things.  

I shouldn't buy fabric. I have a lot of fabric. 

But I have all these patterns. I have patterns I've tweaked over time to fit me exactly. I have patterns I've never tried. I need fabric for these patterns.

I shouldn't buy fabric. I have far too many projects already in progress.

Did I mention how I have patterns? And ideas? 

Maybe if I only buy fabric for specific things? Would that be okay? Maybe.

FABRIC!!!


(Also, this week's Myths and Legends Podcast episode is awesome. Go listen to it!)
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As I was getting dressed this morning, I realized I was living the dream of my middle/high school self. My hair is dyed and my glasses are cute. I'm wearing a beanie that proclaims "Glitter is the New Black". I have a black t-shirt, blue jeans, and combat boots. I have my boyfriend's husband's flannel shirt. And I have red lipstick. And can wrap confidence around my walk to make it all work.

Also, yeah, I still believe that the 90s were only 10 years or so ago. Next year is my 20th HS reunion. Not sure how I feel about that. 

I have enough money that I can buy a new lipstick, book, or music when I want. I have a handheld Nintendo gaming system.

So, you know, it's not all terrible. True, we're living in a country where the people who recently campaigned on a "No more corruption" platform have now started to declaw the ethics oversight ability of their governing body. But I can call my congressman and my senators and I can donate money and do what I can.

Also, I have a device that fits in my pocket and contains ALL THE BOOKS. Srsly. At one point I doubted the Kindle. Now I adore it. Living in the future.

Goals!

Jan. 1st, 2017 10:37 am
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 Goals!
1. Continue wearing more lipstick. Maybe also start more eyeliner and mascara. Maybe.
2. Continue learning languages. Spanish for sure, maybe something else.
3. Do the things that make me happy: coloring, drawing, sewing, etc.
4. Read.
5. Run a 5k.
6. Make mistakes. Try new things. 
0. Love my family. Encourage my kids. Play games with my spouse. Support charities. Call my congresspeople. Make the world a better place.
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I'm out of practice and habit of posting. I'm reading everyone, just not making any of my own contributions to the hivemind. The holidays are hitting me hard this year with exhaustion and hermitage and illness.

Both kids started coming down with head colds right before Hogswatch. I now have their colds. This is no fun.

We made a tactical logistical error in our Hogswatch travelling. We first went to Iowa to spend a couple days with my family. We then went straight to Illinois to hang with Downwood's family. On our way home from there, the back of the car was packed to within an inch of its life. It was impressive and reminded us why we don't make multiple visits - too much stuff to bring home.

Yes, the kids made out like bandits. Again. They got legos, dolls, giant fluffy blankets, clothes, and many other things. Downwood and I got a selection of lovely things, too. The gifts we gave seemed to be taken well, so that was a nice feeling. I also got many compliments on the dresses, leggings, and shirts that I made for myself and Emi. 

And there was food and booze. And both kids went on hunger strikes, eating maybe one meal a day. Maybe.

We still haven't been able to see Rogue One. Nor have we been to see Moana or Sing. I want to go, but haven't felt up to leaving the house more than absolutely necessary lately.

I came back to work yesterday. I don't have another vacation scheduled yet to look forward to. The Evil Empire only closes for actual Jan 1, so even though my counterparts will likely all be off on Monday, I'll be here.

I'm tired. I know I've accomplished things, but I couldn't tell you what. I'm ready for the holidays to be over and things to go back to "normal". Whatever that is.
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 When I get out of the habit of writing here on a semi-regular basis, it seems like a very hard thing to come back to it. Like, I get anxiety and stress about it, so I avoid it. Yay, me?

It's December. It's cold and dark. The societal pressure of the holidaze is upon us. 

Also, the world is continuing to fall apart at the seams. What the hell, 2016? What the hell?

My hair is amazing. This short reverse bob thing has continued to be a good decision. I'm spending more time on my hair each day, but I'm way happier with the results. 

Work is still crazy. This is neither new nor surprising.

I have a whirlwind trip to Dallas on Monday and Tuesday of next week. How whirlwind? My plane leaves at 7 Monday morning and I get back about 5 Tuesday evening. Yeah. I'll be in Dallas for about 26 hours. This is somehow a good use of my time. I has a confused, but am resigned to my fate.

This weekend is for maybe freshening up the henna in my hair, sewing, and coffee with the girls...assuming we don't get Snowmageddon on Sunday again this week.

The next weekend will be in Illinois. Again, assuming no Snowmageddon. 

Then the next weekend is Thanksgiving. I decided that we're grabbing a nearby hotel room instead of trying to find a place to sleep at Grandma's house. It'll be better for Alex, especially, to have a quiet place to retreat to. Also, my folks are grabbing a room in the same hotel, so we could maybe even split up the kids between the rooms if necessary. We'll see.

We'll be home on the 26th. I have a pedicure on the 28th and work on the 29th and 30th.

Then it'll be January. Maybe 2017 won't be quite the dumpster fire that this year has been. Or maybe it's gonna be even more "hold my beer, watch this" than 2016. Who knows? 
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Downwood's up at the hospital. He was having chest pains and shortness of breath and the EMTs took him there last night. I got the kids back to bed and then tried to stay awake to find out what was going on with him. So I tried to make my daily NaNoWriMo word count. The worry and upset crept into what I was writing. Eventually I realized that I wasn't going to be able to stay on target, so I gave up and just wrote what I was feeling. I wrote most of it with my eyes closed (see above about trying to stay awake).

I read over the last little bit of it just now. I'm....not entirely sure what I was thinking.

I present to you: Unedited Ramblings of a Tired, Worried Sabine:

And no, I am really, really tired. Faling asleep at the eyboard again tired. There needs to be an argument where bakerhas to admit that the machine isn't totally rea ready to discussion and leanring. Also, he investion needs to be strong and slow. Sometimes'Now, if someone else would tae a risk, tat'd be neat. Hus Hedird.

And now bed, I think. Not sue why I was thinking about my poor, defunct html code

Yeah, bed. Otherwide I need to start talking about some of the even wirder things going on in my  min. Also, Iceland is the center of dealing with things from the imort file. I had to write an autohokey scrip to be able to pull the dat from the view into the master. Then the Master decides what it needs/wants to send with a…not master, View-model. Then the view modelt post back to the database. And the circule of life, liberty, and the perusuirt of broken doorknos, I need to wonder if the dorornobs there have funny or lewed shaps. Or if they're just pling door knockers.



friday yay

Oct. 28th, 2016 02:52 pm
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I am sitting at my desk without my glasses. Both pairs that I have with me today are pretty tight across my ears. Add into the mix that I'm wearing a long purple/pink Arda wig, and I have a recipe for a splitting headache.

Pink/purple wig? Yes. I have my wig, my purple glasses, far too much eye shadow, my fluffy purple/pink ears and tail, pink tights, and the Moneta I customized into a business casual Cheshire Cat dress. So, yes, for our office trick-or-treating, I'm dressed as a terminally cute Cheshire Cat. I feel pretty.

Unfortunately, the trick-or-treating is from 4-5. Emi gets home from school shortly after 4 and has Girl Scouts at 6 and we live 30 minutes from my office. So I'll just be dressed up and handing out candy and toys to kids of co-workers. I'm disappointed and the kids are disappointed, but we can't bend space and time to make this work.

My plans for this weekend are to do homework, study for my midterm, decide what to wear to work on Monday, clean, and maybe sew. Maybe carve pumpkins, too. Anxiety is building up about many things, most of which I can't control. So I will do my best to get through October unscathed and deal with it later.

For now, though, I am pink and purple and adorable. That's enough.

weekend

Oct. 17th, 2016 02:29 pm
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Thursday - Med check at noon. I took a half sick day after it and just went home. I was headachy, but mostly just needed the mental health break.

Parent-teacher conferences went well. Both kids' teachers are happy with them. Alex, in particular, is so far beyond where he was last year, that his teachers are overjoyed.

Friday - Dressed up for Formal Friday in a vaguely western/steampunkish ensemble. I was happy with it. Came home and collapsed. We thought Emi had Girl Scouts, but our Google calendar tricked us. That was all to the good, as she didn't end up eating much dinner and probably would have been ultra-cranky at the end of it.

Saturday - Alex's cold kicked into high gear. Emi melted down about going to tap, but had a good time once we got her out of the house. I worked on work issues (upgrade happened in the wee hours of Saturday morning), CS homework, cleaning the kitchen, and sewing. I've made a good start on Hogswatch presents.

Emi and I made a tuna-noodle casserole that both tasted good and was safe for EVERYONE to eat. Alex had a couple noodles, but then asked for plain noodles. It was too weird to have all the things mixed up like that, but he tried it. So it was a win.

I ended up going to bed at halftime of the UW game. I am tired and need sleep.

Sunday - Homeboy was pretty miserable. Emi had been begging and begging, so we finally took our fall trip to the apple orchard. The walk from the entrance to the trees exacerbated Alex's asthma and he was totally miserable. Emi and I picked some apples and we were off. Fastest orchard visit ever. Still, we got some good apples, some fresh apple cider, and Emi got to go into their food area and buy some cider all on her own (Alex didn't want to go in, just wanted me to hold him, so Emi stepped up and was awesome).

I got all my laundry done and most of my homework. I still have a couple of bugs to work out of the homework and it's due tomorrow, so I'll be doing that instead of anything fun tonight. I got some sewing done and some more cleaning done. Alex just wanted to lay on top of Mom, so my productivity took a major hit. Still, I got enough done that I didn't beat myself up about it at the end of the day.

Today - zomg. Everything is on fire and full of bees. People across the country are panicking at me. I'm still kind of in a mode of  "Behold the fields in which I grow my fucks. Seest thou that they are barren?". My Calming Voice is getting a workout today. I haven't rolled a 1 on anything yet and my aura of "Magic of Tech Support" has already given me a couple of free saving throws.

Also, I'm tired. Alex isn't sleeping well, so neither are Downwood and I. Ugh.  But I'm wearing my new Nyx "soft matte lip cream" in Monte Carlo. It's a lovely bright red, though the matte texture is taking a little getting used to.

things

Oct. 12th, 2016 09:56 am
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I'm writing a political screed in iambic pentameter. Because why not.

I am frustrated with my current Comp Sci class. I do not enjoy lectures with this professor.

I am deeply enjoying Summer in Orcus (http://www.redwombatstudio.com/portfolio/summer-in-orcus/). It is lovely. I'm waiting to see how it ends before I start reading it to Emi. Because I know my girl and how she overreacts to "scary" things.

Alex was up at 4 this morning with an asthma attack. I got him calmed down enough to use the nebulizer, then Downwood got up and sat with him until that was done. My brain didn't want to go back to sleep. So I got a giant coffee this morning and am now fighting off the waves of anxiety that come with overcaffeination.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Because, clearly, I'm insane.

I've already worked two miracles this morning. One of the recipients will never give the thanks that are due. The other will be ecstatic. Because yeah.

I need a Mental Health Day. Because all the things above.

I have ambitious sewing projects planned for Hogswatch. See above about insane.
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The inside of my head is an entertaining place.

I've been listening to a new Great Courses series. It's called "The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague". So, of course, I've had Seanan McGuire's "The Black Death" on repeat in my head. So, of course, I played Plague, Inc's Black Death scenario a couple times.

Turns out, if you live in Madagascar, you're safe from the plague. I can kill the entire rest of the world, but Madagascar closes their port and I can't get any bacteria onto the island to get a foothold. Everyone else dies painfully, but Madagascar is safe.

Well played, Madagascar, well played.


Also, side note: My current favorite headphone sound for reviewing code and actually getting work done? The podcast Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap. I'm caught up on recent episodes, but it's still entertaining to go through the back catalog and picking episodes at random. Very funny and yet I don't have to pay total attention.

WOOOOOOO!!!

Oct. 5th, 2016 02:59 pm
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IT'S DONE! IT'S DONE! THE BIG PROJECT ON WHICH I STAKED MY REPUTATION AS A USEFUL SOFTWARE DEVELOPER IS DONE!!!

IT. IS. GLORIOUS!

AND DONE!

It's probably not as thoroughly tested as it would have been had I gotten it done far, far earlier in the dev cycle, but it does exactly what it claims to do. I have enhancements, sure, but it's READY FOR THE WORLD!

EVERYONE HAPPY DANCE!

All hail!

Sep. 27th, 2016 10:33 am
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Our Culinary teams close shop from 7-10 days before the Giant Werk Conference of Doooom to a couple days after. We do all the catering ourselves, so it's an enormous job. They feed ~20k people two or three meals a day, which takes a bit of time to prep.

They're back today. This is cause for celebration. I was really dragging after my first couple of phone calls, so I walked over to the nearest cafe for something hot to drink.

Their new special? Pumpkin Spice Latte.

It's officially fall. I haz a happy.
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A lady came up to us and said, "This whole event has been amazing and wonderful, but you two are the crowning gems of it. Your presence brings this to a level I didn't think was possible. Thank you."

She's our favorite. Both the King of Hearts and I agree on that.

Other highlights:
  • The owner of the company walked by. We engaged her in conversation and she smiled. She kept walking, which was nice, and didn't order our heads to be removed, which was even better.
  • The dancers dressed as cards hung out with us for quite a while. It was super-fun interacting with them, as they're all a bit crazy, too.
  • The cards played a game of speed chess with the chess pieces. All were moving at the same time and not necessarily in the correct method. It was hilarious and a few minutes of utter joy.
  • I got many compliments on my costume. I'm deeply proud of it.
  • One of my cards fell down laughing - quite literally! - when she heard me proclaim "A good execution never hurt anyone!" after someone asked me my opinion on beheadings. She hadn't heard me say that yet, though it had been my response all week. That right there? Why I do what I do.
  • Simply being able to have long, rambling conversations full of total nonsense. Things I can't even remember right now because they were so utterly random.
  • Making people smile.
  • Making people laugh.
  • Seeing coworkers and accosting them or dragging them into our revelries.

My heart is full of contentment and joy. I want to continue being the Queen. I want to have Cards to amuse me and do my bidding. I want to have a King to help me up and down off of stairs (the platform was super high and my dress is super long. not a great combination) and be deferential and completely hilarious. I want to have random people in the halls bow to me and people to smile when they see me.

I can keep some of this. I can keep the nonsense close to my heart and enjoy it. I can warm myself with the reminiscence of a job well done. I can use this as a light in dark times to say, "Yes, I love my job." I can use the attitude, posture, and manner as armor to defend me from the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life.

I just....I'm really, REALLY going to miss this. Not necessarily going to miss this bone-deep exhaustion and chest cold that's starting to get out of control. I'm going back to being an extra. That should be okay. It will eventually be okay. I'm just not okay with it right now.

...but I'm also very curious to know what NEXT year's Giant Werk Conference of Doom theme will be. I can continue playing dress-up and next year might be even more amazing than this year. One can hope.


Off with their heads!


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This has been a rather exhausting week. I'm coming down with a cold and by the end of the day, my voice is completely shot. This is not good for someone who spends most of her day on the phone.

Still, the getting up early and staying rather late have been worth it. Even now, as I sit in my office looking like I've made some rather regrettable personal grooming choices (crazy hair and "interesting" eyeshadow), I can still bask in the glory that has been the last few days.

It's not hard now for me to pull on the character of the Queen of Hearts. I play her as someone a bit more stable and a bit more considerate than Carroll or Disney would assume. I appreciate my King and am gracious and non-threatening to my guests. I am unafraid of grabbing random employees and dragging them into our interactions, but have threatened several co-workers with executions when they dared to address me by name.

So much fun. And so exhausting.

As the Queen, I will begin a conversation and interaction with any passer-by who makes eye contact. Eye contact and I start addressing you. I have conversations at VOLUME with the King or any of the other cast members who happen to be nearby. We sometimes have quiet, OOC conversations, too, but most of those are reserved for when we are truly backstage and out of the view of others.

It's hard for me to shed the character of the Queen. I talk more loudly than I should. I'm more forward in my statements - which are really turning into proclamations at times. It's a bit freeing and more than a little worrying. But it's also a huge amount of fun and I will be very, very sorry when I have to hang up the character after tomorrow's lunch. I won't have another chance to be the Queen until maybe the Costume convention next spring. I will miss her. I will miss feeling powerful and in "control" of the situation around me. I will miss the feeling of camaraderie and friendship I have with my other cast members.

Sigh. This, too, shall pass. It applies to both the good things and the bad things.

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July 2017

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