darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Hi everyone. It's my birthday! Which, after 57 previous ones, isn't all that big a deal. But I took the day off work, had acupuncture, went out to breakfast-for-lunch, got my nails done, and came home in the very cold December evening to eat really rather a lot of French chocolate.

I was dreadfully sick last week--like bedridden-and-housebound for six days, miss-Thanksgiving-dinner level sick. It was mostly just the worst cold in the world, I think. At the nadir of it I ruptured an eardrum and had conjunctivitis in both eyes, so I was half-deaf and half-blind and it was generally awful. (Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar, diluted on a cotton pad and wiped along the lower lid, stings like hell but makes short work of the pinkeye, by the way.)

Long story short, I'm a million percent better now, though still a bit hearing impaired in the one ear. Back to breathing, sleeping, and riding my bike.

Hand of DarkEmeralds with silver sparkly nail polish
Birthday nails


Hardly any job left in my life now:
Retirement Countdown showing 25 days, 23 hours
Retirement countdown

Miscellany

Jul. 3rd, 2013 08:45 pm
darkemeralds: Baby picture of DarkEm with title 'Interstellar Losers Club' and caption 'Proud Member' (Geekery)
1. Coffitivity, the app I mentioned the other day that provides café sounds, is turning out to be something of a small miracle for me. On low volume, through earphones, it's like prosthetic concentration. I've been able to read! Really focus without skipping around, something I thought had been lost to me forever.

I sense that my mind is mildly but actively tuning out the pleasant babble and somehow kind of sequestering itself in a narrower space, where focused work can take place. Not only have I been able to get through boring work materials, but I'm seven chapters into Mike Carey's The Devil You Know--the actual written version. I'm very pleased about this.

2. Six days off work started this evening. A couple of them will be spent down at Lincoln City on the coast with my good pal [personal profile] roseambr. We always have fun at the beach.

3. An editing job has come my way. No pay--it's a swap: my time and talent in exchange for credit and referrals as I try to launch a side business. The manuscript is a health program based on some very interesting dietary restrictions. It's passionately presented by the healthcare professional who has designed it, but she's not a writer. I can see a future for myself in ghostwriting, frankly.

4. Is this pingback function on LJ new? For the first time today, I got an email notification that someone had mentioned me in a LiveJournal post. I like it! I hope DW is considering something of the same kind.

I'm testing it again right now: [livejournal.com profile] emeraldsedai
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
The trouble with the Daily Posting commitment is that...well, there are bound to be some posts of virtually no substance.

Ahem! First of all, I bought one of these off NoMoreRack a couple of weeks ago.

A pink USB flash charger

It was on my desk just like that a couple of days ago. Norm walked up and after observing it, asked--very hesitatingly--"Um...what is that?"

LOL. I resisted the obvious crack and said, "It's a USB flash charger." Which it is. Very handy little device. You charge it, it charges your phone. Seems like it might save the day on a long flight.

Second of all, also in technology, my 83-year-old mom just got her first smartphone and is learning how to text. This is a major breakthrough for the I Heart Bell Telephone generation. Personally, I find text messages as heartwarming and welcome as letters in the mail used to be--and I hate talking on the phone; it will be interesting to see whether they make my mom feel more connected or less.

Third of all, as a follow up to the brain-cascade and migraine events of the past couple of weeks, it has taken several days, but I'm feeling "normal" again, whatever that is.

PS: NoMoreRack is the tumblr of bargain-shopping-porn. Don't go there unless you're feeling strong.
darkemeralds: (Cat)
Hello! I have nothing to say--or rather, things the intelligent articulation of which will take more time than I've currently got.

So, cat picture. )

(I also have to admit that the last few evenings have been taken up with "Avengers" homework, which is to say, watching Ironman, Ironman 2, Thor, and Captain America. I'm ready for Joss now!)
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Tra-la-la. I'm at work on a Sunday morning because I just couldn't bring myself to come in on a dry Saturday. Somehow, yesterday, between sleeping till the crack of 10:30, and having a typically revelatory conversation with [personal profile] ravurian that lasted through the middle of the day, and writing, as a result of said conversation (thank you, R!) a couple of brilliant-if-I-do-say-so-myself paragraphs of the new novel, and a mad bout of wool-winding (not, as [personal profile] ravurian himself would say, a euphemism: I was frogging some unsuccessful knitting projects and putting the yarn up for another day, and to say that I became a bit obsessed with the balls my new ball-winder makes would be to state the case mildly), and knitting practice swatches for my hyacinth Arpeggio, and watching Sherlock, it was suddenly 3:00 a.m. and not only was my Saturday gone, but also three hours of my Sunday.

So anyway.

Here I am in my gray cubicle at 11:30 on a rainy (OMG rainy again) Sunday morning. And yet still procrastinating. I couldn't find the light switches, and of course this is the World's Tallest Basement, so it's not as if light pours in at the tiny and widely-spaced windows near one of which my desk is not situated, so I'm in the gloom with a desk lamp and the comforting glow of my high-productivity dual monitors. And we don't run the HVAC on weekends, so I've got my little hot-flash fan running. And we also don't open the garage on weekends, just to inconvenience those pesky Sunday terrorists, so Eleanor O is parked down on the porch instead of safely indoors.

And Eleanor O is wearing all her baskets because as soon as I'm done procrastinating and I get an ass-covering-modicum of work done, I need to go to Trader Joe's, New Seasons, Fred Meyer and Sally Beauty Supply to buy all my crap for the week, and then stop at my mom's to drop off Sherlock, because fandom knows no age limits and she's a huge Bendy fan and bought the DVD as soon as it came out. For the subtitles. Uh huh.

So anyway.

Work. I can do this. I can! I focus my mind, and as I do, I begin to remember what the hell task I'm supposed to be accomplishing. It's coming to me now...
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (moth)
A year or so ago in a fit of "I should be a more colorful person," I bought a whole massive set of bed linens, pillows and curtains to transform my gray bedroom into a den of delightful color. Raspberry, orange, banana, aubergine and lime--it was a fuckin' fruit salad in there.

I gratefully put the brights away for the winter, but then a week or so ago, thinking that spring must come eventually, I got them out of the closet, aired them, and redeployed them.

This morning I couldn't stand it another minute. I folded all the someone-else's-colorfulness Ikea linens into a big neat folded pile, and got my grays and violets and cloud-colors back out.

Oh, the sigh of relief.

The moral of the story is: know yourself, be yourself, and don't waste a bunch of money at Ikea trying to meet a mythical standard of what interesting people should prefer in their interior décor.
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
It's laundry day chez DarkEm, and after stripping my bed to wash the (dark gray) sheets, I turned around and saw this little tableau.

Piles of bedding, some sweaters, boxes, and furniture, all in shades of black, white and gray

All that's missing is the aptly-named Graydie the cat, and my black Dutch bike.

Some external-feeling voice in my head tells me that I should try to be more colorful, that an interior scheme that looks almost identical whether photographed in black and white or in color, placed in a city that is often the same way, is somehow poor-spirited.

If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have guessed that the kind of healing I've undergone just lately--in which decades of burdensome beliefs have been dissolved--would have resulted in a desire for more color; in fuchsia walls and Caucasian rugs.

But I really like these non-colors. Black and white feels crisp and clean. Gray feels calm...

...I kind of like the Caucasian rug idea, though.
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I just chopped up every vegetable in the house, sautéed them all a little, and added a can of garbanzos and a bunch of chicken stock. That counts as soup, right?

Talk about satiety! One bowl of that stuff was mighty. (Also pretty tasty.) And there are at least eight bowls left in the pot. And hardly any calories. I'm starting to get the hang of this.

Meanwhile, books. )
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
The barometer is, evidently, skyrocketing and the shower scene music from Psycho is a fairly apt representation of the way my inner ears feel right now.

And speaking of the shower scene music from Psycho, is anyone else loving Scott Caan in Hawaii 5-0? He's just such a banty rooster. I like the show way better than I thought I would, mostly because of him. Which is strange because little stocky blond cock-of-the-walk attitude guys usually aren't at all to my taste.

And speaking of taste, I made a gluten-free lime pound cake yesterday, mostly while listening (again) to [personal profile] pandarus' fabulous The Student Prince. (Really, some of the most stand-up-and-cheer fiction I've ever read, fan- or otherwise! Highly, highly recommended.) The cake came out yum, and now the limey deliciousness reminds me of the terrific payoff scene where Arthur grants the interview, which I was listening to while applying lime glaze.

And speaking of payoffs: I just watched episode 12 of Rubicon. Wow. Just, wow. That show! I've never encountered that kind of slow-building, totally controlled long-arc story on television before, and holy crap, did it ever pay off in this latest ep! It was a brilliant, dark climax to the arc, and will be the starting point for a scary and exciting new arc. Amazing writing and acting.

And speaking of writing, Restraint chapter 39 is almost done at last.
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
Ed the contractor brother in law came by this evening to collect a payment for his recent outstanding work on the mudroom, and ended up hanging out and looking over all the projects that my poor little house still needs (or at least wants very badly).

I think knocking out the wall between the kitchen and living room might be the next big thing. But not this summer.

Meanwhile, here's a delicious thing: Cut three strips of bacon into small squares and fry 'em up, then add a small onion, finely chopped. Add a couple teaspoons of grapeseed oil.

When the onion is cooked, add one medium Yukon gold potato, shredded in long shreds then rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner.

Cook it all till everything's brown. Then eat it. Yum!

Miscellany

May. 25th, 2010 11:12 pm
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Food. While [livejournal.com profile] serenity_valley continues to rock the bento, my own quest for portable eatables has taken a different direction, and lately I've been using an assortment of tins, tied in a bandanna furoshiki, to get breakfast and lunch to work with me.

Lunch! )

Glee. Not my favorite episode this season--too much Rachel and not enough Sue for my taste--

but... )

Riding around on two wheels. We've had mad rain lately. Monsoon-style, Amazonian, drenching downpours. Portland's been in the path of some stuttering wave of storm-fronts and it's like someone's flicking the light-switch off and on, and making the barometer go up and down, and though it's annoying and sometimes painful and really, really wet, in between the storms you get some really beautiful skies.

Like this. )

This little break for miscellany has been brought to you by Chapter 31, which is finally finished and posted.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Abdicate)
[personal profile] general_jinjur said it was okay to do this meme instead of writing, because she is a Leader in Fandom and she did it.

The meme of the moment )

I NEED A WRITING STICK! SOMEONE NEEDS TO BOP ME ON THE HEAD WITH IT!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I watched the new Doctor Who the other day, and I kept thinking, Gah! Who does he remind me of?

It was the satin nightgown that clued me in... )

And in other news, yay, LJ outage! Welcome Dreamwidth tryer-outers!
darkemeralds: Screencap from Where The Hell Is Matt (Matt Dancing)
In case you haven't seen this public service announcement about the census, well...

darkemeralds: Photo of fingers on a computer keyboard. (Writing)
Peppier. Hee! Great word.

Maybe it's the encroaching virus that will not manifest, or maybe it's just work fatigue or stress (or the damn news of party politics escalating into armed hate-war, Jesus H Christ), but the old energy ain't what I'd like it to be for a Friday.

So, what's lovely in the world? What has cheered you up lately? Tell me something good. Show me a pretty picture. Or link me to a joke. I really need a pepper-upper.

Fridays should feel better than this.
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
On my way to work this morning, some 800 number called me (I pulled over on my bike to take the call because I am opposed to Distracted Cycling *prim*) and said that--get this--a 99-cent iTunes charge had triggered the fraud alert on my debit card account.

Ninety-nine cents.

I don't use iTunes, and they said that iTunes is a prime testing-ground for card-number theft. So they called me and told me to have my debit card shut down.

Of course, I duly did this, and no financial harm was done--not even the $0.99. So yay for that. And because it takes them two weeks to issue a new card, I was given a weird temporary card with no numbers on it. This will work in ATMs and at card-swipes like the grocery store checkout.

But it just dawned on me: no internet shopping for two whole weeks. Ack!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Dear Saturday in January,

Thank you for being sunny. [livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 and I had fun cleaning and lubing our bikes out in your sunshine today, even though that sounds sort of nasty (and my fingernails are still a little black). Also, thank you for inspiring my venerable Mama to make breakfast at her house this morning. I must learn how she makes those little thin silver-dollar pancakes.

I appreciated your being chilly enough to inspire me to take a long hot soak in the Bath Tub of Resuscitation this evening while I watched Sean Maher being handsome and a little against-type in "The Mentalist". And also, the Mentalist totally had the hots for him, so that was fun.

You were a good day.

Love,
DarkEm

PS: Tell Sunday that if he wants to copy you, that would be all right with me.

Life

Jan. 16th, 2010 08:43 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
In common with everyone on my flist and in my circle, I want to be respectful of the catastrophe in Haiti and the Haitian people's suffering. I have nothing of value to offer here and have given what I have to give to the Northwest Medical Teams, who are by all accounts a stellar and effective on-the-ground relief organization.

On a much more positive note, I want to express my heartfelt congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] kernelm who in just the last couple of hours got himself hitched, and has evidently, in the old-fashioned way, been made the happiest of men by [livejournal.com profile] virtualinsomnia. At least two of my flist are at the wedding, and as these folks are part of my fandom roots from the early Firefly days, I'm happy and excited for them all.

And then, a propos of nothing, there are kitty pictures! )

11/11

Nov. 11th, 2009 05:57 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
You may have noticed that I've been taking part in National Blogging Month by posting every day, but I'm at a bit of a loss today.

I don't have a lot to say about war veterans that I haven't already said, and while I love the idea that there's some special numerological power in the 11/11 date, I can't say that I've ever witnessed any particular magic from it. Maybe in two more years when it's 11/11/11? IDK.

What I can say is that [livejournal.com profile] kispexi2, through a series of pointed questions about Restraint (the Regency J2 AU I've been working on for a year), nudged me off the writer's block this morning; I rode my bike to work (yes, I had to work--I'm at work right now) in the chilly sunshine at 11:30; I had a lunch with [livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 at the Heathman Marble Bar (wild mushroom fettuccine and an ale--it was yum) for two hours right after I got here; and and now I'm going to don my helmet and pedal on home in what I hope is the still-dry evening.

Okay, maybe there's been a little magic.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Supernatural 5.08: My overall assessment is "dumb episode": no forward plot motion, still more uncomfortable and shark-jumping-esque self-referential hilarity, and another new player in the Apocalypse Games.

I laughed, I admit it. And seeing Jensen shot in bright, colorful light for a change was interesting and strange and made his eyes very, very green (though frankly, he and Jared are both far more beautiful in the greyed-out Supernatural world). It was amusing, but come on, let's get on with it! Stop with the fanservice already, Kripke.

In other miscellany, I NEED A CAMERA. Mine was stolen months ago, and I'm about ready to splurge on a replacement. I miss taking my unartistic little illustrative photos.

Oh, and I liked this, from Warren Ellis by way of Wil Wheaton:

At least half of all writing involves just sitting and staring into space. Letting your brain out to hunt down ideas, bringing them back all warm and bloody between its teeth.

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