Update

Feb. 23rd, 2013 08:43 pm
rhienelleth: (mass effect shepard)
Hi LJ! Long time no talk. :) I've missed you.

Lately, I've really been missing livejournal, and posting here, and the feeling of writing down things that are somehow important to me in the moment and sending them our into the ether, and reading my f-list and...well, you get the idea.

So, lately some things have been happening that I'm pretty excited about. Bullet list update, I think.

~ I am about halfway through my Masters program. God, I am so tired of school. But at the same time, uber excited about applying to a second Masters in Popular Fiction, so I can get back to my one true love: writing popular fiction.

~ Our pellet grill of awesome continues to be awesome. We are going to build a permanent shelter onto our deck for it for next year, that's how much we love it. Because it rains a LOT here, and we do not want to give up year round grilling. I am cooking filet mignon and lobster tails on it tonight, because the grocery store had a post-Valentine's Day sale. It just doesn't get any better than that.

~ In approximately three weeks I'm going to be in Disneyland!!! I am so excited, I am obsessing about it. I dreamt about it last night. I cannot WAIT to be there. We are buying annual passes, because this Christmas, we are going back with family. Yes, Rhien will be spending Christmas in Disneyland. :D

~ I may have a job soon. TA-ing online. My first job requiring the BA. The pay is not great, but that does not seem to diminish my excitement. Maybe it's just the idea of actually earning money again? I should find out in the next few weeks, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

~ I am possibly having too much prosecco tonight. Is an entire bottle too much? I suppose I will find out in the morning.

Hmm.

Feb. 2nd, 2011 09:57 am
rhienelleth: (wardrobe - jinxed_icons)
 So, this morning one of MSN's headlines was something like "jobs that make $30 an hour", so curious, I clicked on it.  It's an interesting, but I suspect not exactly conclusive list.  Why?

Well, #10 on the list was:

Writers and authors write material for scripts, magazines, books, websites and other publications.                 

Hourly pay: $31.04         

Annual salary: $64,560

Really?  How did they come by that number?  Is that an average of some kind?  Like, take all the script writers in Hollywood, some of whom might get paid six figures for a single script that may never even get made into a movie, and average them with all the authors out there who can't afford not to quit their day jobs - something like that?  (Disclaimer: I'm sure there are script writers out there who can't quit their day jobs, either.  I'm just saying.  Usually a script sold in Hollywood goes for a LOT more money than the average book contract.)  

Just how did you get those figures, MSN?

Also as an aside, I happen to know that a teacher equipped with a Master's degree and seven years of teaching experience doesn't even make the National average income.  At least in this neck of the woods.  How freaking sad is that?  Teaching is ridiculously low paid.

Update

Dec. 16th, 2010 07:23 pm
rhienelleth: (fredgeorgenhermione)
 Still sick.  This is NOT a fun bug.  (Not that any of them are.)  I'm on day five, and yet fever still comes and goes, although less often than it used to, and mostly only in the evening as I get more and more tired.  My sore throat has become this almost-laryngitis thing that I can feel on my vocal cords...just in time for a weekend filled with Christmas festivities with friends!  No, no laryngitis!  Ugh.  

My paper on Beowulf...who knows how it turned out?  I was half delirious with fever at the time.  I can tell you that for the first time in this class, I did not get full points on my other assignments for that week, which does not build my confidence overmuch.  This particular professor is hard, and a real stickler for late work.  He let everyone know he did not consider wintertime illness an excuse for it, which is why I did the thing instead of e-mailing him and asking for an extra day.  Which wouldn't have mattered much anyway, since I was just as sick the next day.  

As several people have asked me about my comparisons of Luke Skywalker and Beowulf, I may post it here under a locked entry after grading.  You know, if it's fit for reading.  We'll see.  I can tell you my comparisons had to do with good vs. evil, heroic sacrifice, and the hero's journey.  (My essay focused on Beowulf as a heroic figure.)  What I can't tell to you, is if it turned out mostly coherent or not.  I really hope so, since it would suck to go from a 100% in the class, to dropping a whole letter grade because I caught the stupid flu during the final week.

In other news, I managed to break my little toe a couple of days ago.  I stubbed it on the coffee table.  It hurt just as bad as those things usually do, but the thing is, it continued to hurt whenever I put pressure on it, and now it's blooming these lovely deep purple colors from my toe, all down the top portion of my foot.  Nice!  First broken bone in my life.  I wonder if this is a sign my bones are starting to get more brittle?  I am *cough* in the upper half of my thirties now.  

In other, BETTER news: OMG, MASS EFFECT 3 has been announced for Christmas of next year!  *clasps hands together*  I know what I'll be asking Santa for!!  The teaser trailer already looks awesome!  Shepard!  Garrus!  Kaiden!  (Oh, Kaiden; there better be some kind of payoff for the ME2, Bioware!)  Watching the trailer made me want to replay ME2.  That was such an awesome game.  (Other than my Kaiden quibbles.  And really, Bioware even got me to care despite those, those manipulative [bleeped].)   A WHOLE YEAR AWAY!  Well, I'll have Dragon Age 2 come March.  That'll occupy me for a few months, anyway.  And then I'll replay ME2 right before ME3, I'm sure.  Maybe I'll even start with ME1, although the mechanics of that game piss me off, so maybe not.

AWESOME!

Dec. 9th, 2010 12:59 pm
rhienelleth: (Sokka_awesome - dolphin__girl)
 I have, more than once, had issues with our local post office.  Issues of packages mysteriously not arriving at their destination, or taking two weeks, when it should only take two days.  This all might be just one random post office worker causing me grief, but the upshot is, I hate going to the post office more than most people.  Every time I have to go there and mail something for a customer, I get irritated and grumpy for no good reason.  

Recently, Amazon offered a postal scale for $20 during their Black Friday deals.  I thought, what the heck, and picked one up.  I was fairly disappointed when I signed up for the USPS's Click n Ship service, only to discover they didn't offer the affordable first class mail option, and the cheapest I could print from home through them was the more expensive priority mail service.  So, I thought I'd give paypal's shipping option a try.  OMG, it's awesome!  In about five minutes, I just packaged and bought postage for my most recent Etsy sale straight from my paypal account, so it comes right out of the money paid to me for the item.  It came with delivery confirmation, an e-mail to both me and the customer, and even tracking, for the same or less than it would have cost me to drive to the post office, stand in line, and basically spend an hour of my life getting something mailed.  

Janice, please let me know if you received an e-mail with tracking capabilities.  Because if so, that is the most awesome feature of this entire thing!  

I may (almost) never go to the post office again!  *is off to go put the package into outgoing mail*

rhienelleth: (Default)
 My husband is 36 years old.  The man still wears some clothing he had in high school.  When he leaves for Japan every year, I used to clandestinely go through his socks and throw out all of the unacceptable ones - because he would just keep wearing them until he literally couldn't because of the holes.  He buys a vehicle, and then drives it until it's old enough and broken down enough that the upkeep is more hassle and expense than the car payment on something new.  In recent years, this pathological need to keep and/or use things until they are completely used up has eased up slightly - for instance, now I can go through his sock drawer when he is home!  

Until yesterday, he'd been using the half sized kid's chest of drawers he's had since he was five.  Four drawers about three quarters the size of a regular dresser drawer, maybe, and one of the drawers completely broke apart a few months ago, making it impossible to use.  He needed a new chest.  He's needed one for years, but this was really, really bad.  Last week, he kept complaining about how cluttery our bedroom is.  But when I looked around the room, the majority of the clutter involved piles of his folded clothes all over the floor.  Unfortunately, we can't really afford to buy anything right now.  On the other hand, if unemployment extensions remain in limbo, we really won't be able to buy anything anytime soon.  So, yesterday I stopped by a local furniture store that is family run and buys directly from the distributor, offering lower prices than most of the big chains.  I looked at all their chests of drawers and tried to figure one into our budget.  I found one marked down to clearance out for $180.  Ouch, even at a really good price.  But we cannot continue stacking his clothes on the floor.  So, I came home, and strategized how to convince my husband of this.

I started off by measuring the space his old dresser occupied.  Then I told him "I have a proposal for you."  

Immediately wary, he waited.  I went on, explaining very logically about the clutter and his clothing, and his broken childhood drawers.  He looked at me, then stared at his chest of drawers.  

"But, I drew a picture of the Millennium Falcon on the back of that when I was seven," he said.  

I put my hand on his shoulder and answered, "Yes, precisely."

He went on, not wanting to spend the money, etc, but I did, too, explaining how he cannot continue using the floor as his dresser drawers, and that chest is a broken down piece of old furniture that no longer functions, yet takes up space.  He didn't want to spend the money right now.  I countered with "Yes, but if not now, when will be able to?"  He had no good answer, and in the end, we went and picked up his new chest of drawers.  He took some of his Japan money for it, even though he is nervous about having enough this year, with the exchange rate.

Now, of course, he is very pleased with just how much he is able to fit in it, and how un-cluttery our bedroom suddenly is.  Amazing, when you have six full sized drawers to put things into, more than doubling his previous space.

My husband is 36 years old, and this is the first time in his life that he has ever used a full sized, adult chest of drawers.  Sometimes his need to hang on to the past is annoying, and other times it is endearingly amusing.
rhienelleth: (Default)
I have new dishes!  Or, I will as soon as they arrive.  Macy's had a great one day sale today, so not only did we get them for 40% off, but we got an extra 15% off at checkout.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the colors I wanted to buy, so we ordered them, and they'll be delivered to my door in five to ten days. :D

Now I have to try and decide what to do with my old dishes.  They're Mikasa, a retired pattern called Casa Blanca.  Even used-like new, they sell online for $59-69 a five piece place setting!  I just about choked.  So, my initial inclination to just toss them seems a little...wrong.  Just because I don't like my dishes doesn't mean someone else out there isn't coveting them as much as I coveted my lovely square Fiestaware!  (Although why, I'm not sure.  Sure, it's Mikasa, and pretty.  But the plates are too flat, the bowls are too shallow...anyway, they just don't work for me, however collectible they might be.)

And I have twelve place settings of the dang things.  Twelve!  Not to mention the sugar bowl and creamer.  And....maybe something else, I'm not sure.  But anyway, I have a lot.  I wonder if there is some special site on which to sell dishes?  I don't want to charge that outrageous $50 a place setting.  That's ridiculous.  I think my m-in-law got them all on sale for the wedding, anyway, so she probably spent $30 a place setting.  She suggested I find a way to sell them for $20-25 and I was like "What?  No one's going to pay that for used dishes!"  And then I went online and looked.  Boy, was I wrong.

Anyway, I'm in a quandary about what to do with them.  I know I don't want them anymore.  And regardless of my own feelings for them, knowing what they're being sold for elsewhere just makes me cringe at the idea of throwing them away.  Craigslist?  Ebay?  Amazon Marketplace?  IDK.  I have a few days to figure it out, while I wait for my lovely, lovely new dishes.

Two sets each of cobalt, paprika, peacock, and chocolate.  In the square, did I mention that?  I adore them.  It was actually really hard for me to decide, not just on colors, but also between the round and square sets.  But the round came with these shallow bowls that seem kind of useless to me. (My problem with my current bowls.  I think most of them have hardly been used.  I know my cups and saucers haven't been.) I like deep, substantial bowls.  Soup bowls.  The square Fiestaware bowls, while hard to stack, are really cool looking, and substantial.  I also liked the coffee cups with the square set better, and my m-in-law and I both decided that ultimately, the square plates just have more character.  I am so excited for them to come!  I can't wait to eat off of them.  Does that seem silly?  Now I have all sorts of things to ask for on my Christmas list.  My m-in-law told me today "if you want a good Christmas, write down numbers and colors of what you want and get me a list by November.  Macy's always has a great sale in November."  Hee! :D

rhienelleth: (Default)
 I am so excited!  Through the convoluted twists of fate, a good friend of mine who is a semi-professional photographer, and a connection made through him, I am getting a new/used camera, as in new to me, but gently used by the previous owner.

I've been complaining to my friend for probably two years that my pictures for my jewelry just are not all they could be, and he's told me time and again that a point-and-shoot like my little Canon Sd700 isn't going to give me the sort of shots I want - sharp, macro, colorful images.  They're okay for what they are, but I see other jewelry artists' photos and know they could be better.  Anyway, I've had many a long conversation with my friend about what I'd need, but the short answer is, a digital SLR camera and some different lenses, which no way can I afford right now.  While most photo hobbiests and pros go for Canon or Nikon, my friend swears by Pentax.  He's played with them all, and he says his Pentax gives him just as good a photo as the other two brands, but for whatever reason, the company does not choose to spend $$ on advertising the way Canon and Nikon do.  The plus being, you are not paying for that advertising when you buy the camera, meaning the camera's are slightly more affordable.

But let's face it, still outside my price range.  Which, being currently unemployed, is zilch.  However, I've still talked with my friend when we've seen each other, and he's taken the time to let me play with one of his 35mm cameras taking some simple macro shots by turning the lens around backwards.  (I know, it didn't make sense to me, either.)  Yesterday he was over here again, and we talked some more.  He let me know Pentax had come out with an entry level DSLR he thought might be good for me (the K-x), as I could find a body for about $500 if I hunted around.  This is still too rich for me right now, sadly.  He said my other option is to find a good older model, used, which could be had for anywhere from $300 on up depending on how old I wanted to go.  Me being me, I did a bunch of research and found some forums and talked to some people about what I would need, and I ended up making a deal on a couple years old model, in trade for some jewelry!  It is in fact the very same model my friend uses, so he should be able to help me if I get totally lost or stuck!  Very soon, a Pentax k20d will be mine!  14.6 megapixels to replace the 7 I've been using for the past several years.  My friend is setting me up with extension tubes, and the camera is coming with a vertical grip (extra battery) and a fixed 50mm lens that my friend says will work great for what I want to do.

In a few short days, this will be my new toy:



I wasn't even really looking for a camera right now.  I just knew eventually, I would need to upgrade, and I was researching with that eventuality in mind.  My little Canon's been great for like five years, but it has its limits, and it's getting kind of old.  I used my sister's new Powershot this past weekend for Rosalia's birthday, and I was totally impressed and jealous at the photos it took, and that was just a newer point-and-shoot.  This whole DLSR thing has just kind of fallen into my lap, and while I'm ridiculously excited, I'm also pretty intimidated.

Honestly, I am a little worried this is too much camera for me.  My picture taking skills are pretty terrible.  I don't even mess much with my Canon settings, and the whole point of a camera like this is the customization it allows the user.  But playing around with my friend's 35mm and lens has been pretty neat.  I don't know.  It has a completely different feel than my pocket camera that is just....fun.  It's hard to explain.  For someone who takes crap pictures, I'm pretty excited to get it and play, and I'm already planning how to pack it to Disney in March.  I'm playing with the idea of adding foam inserts to my purse.  I did that to a gym bag for Mark's big video camera, as any of the pro bags for it were stupidly expensive, and it worked out really, really well.  It also doesn't (and wouldn't) look like a camera bag, which makes me feel better as far as potential thievery goes.  

*waves*

Jul. 2nd, 2010 10:46 pm
rhienelleth: (aang - kelpchen)
 Why hello f-list!  Long time no talk.

Well, see, Mark just got back from his annual three week trip to Japan.  And like most years, I didn't have time to be bored while he was gone.  It seems like my friends and family take turns making sure I'm not lonely when he leaves, which is very nice of them, and leaves me with little time for things like checking and posting to LJ. :)

It also left me little time for writing.  Well, what time I had for writing was totally disrupted by that first week of stress over the trial, if anyone remembers me posting about that.  A brief recap: a tenant owed us a couple grand in back rent, and yet instead of quietly leaving when we filed for an eviction, she instead filed a motion and took the thing to trial.  An actual trial.  It stressed me out to the point where I made myself sick for about a week.  And at the trial, she basically had her Mom and boyfriend testify to how nothing in this old house works or has ever been repaired (complete BS).  It went on over the allotted hour, and so we had to break for a 2 hour lunch and come back for more.  In that time, she went and researched a bunch of oregon laws, and quoted them (they had nothing to do with her specific situation, actually).  Since she did this, instead of making a ruling, the judge said he needed to review the new things she'd introduced (he seemed quite irritated) and he would be issuing a verdict by mail.  

That was almost two weeks ago.  We still haven't received a verdict, but my m-in-law called the courthouse today, and while the judge hasn't filed the paperwork yet, he apparently ruled in out favor.

Now realize, we filed for eviction in the first week of June.  It is now the first week of July, and do you think this woman has paid a dime for June's rent?  This thing just dragged on and on, and we got totally screwed for another long month.  Her ex-roommate has also warned us she's very likely to destroy whatever she can just to be vindictive as she moves out, ie holes in the walls, broken doors, trashed carpet, etc.  She has officially become "worst tenant ever" in our mental record, and that's saying something.  

Anyway, best I can say is it's finally over, and I can't wait to see the back of her.  Also, my f-in-law is back, and that means he can deal with any personal confrontations that might have to happen to actually remove her from the unit.  Yay.

In the meantime, I am enjoying having the husband back, and looking forward to being able to write again now that I have some down time. In fact, for the first time in a really long time, he and I will be writing together!  Separate projects, but still.  It'll be nice.

In other news, I'm eating lettuce out of my garden, and the tomatoes have flowers but no fruit yet.  :)  And my green beans are growing!  

Oh, a book rec: while trying to take my mind off stressful things, I recently read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I gather this new series has been getting a certain amount of acclaim and hype, although I had no idea until I was already reading it.  It's a very interesting first person narrative in something of a post-apocalyptic future, in which children between the ages of 12 and 18 are forced to participate in a lottery each year for a reality show called the Hunger Games.  It's sort of like Survivor, if instead of voting and eliminations, the contestants are literally vying to be the last person standing and thus attempting to kill one another.  

I absolutely loved it!  A very gripping voice in the MC, Katniss, great characters (Peeta!  Cinna!  Rue!) good writing, and a rather different sort of book than a lot of what's out there right now.  It also ends on something of a cliffhanger...okay, maybe not a cliffhanger, but when I reached the last page, I actually let out a small scream and said to no one in particular "No!  You can't end it there!"  Lucky for me, book 2, Catching Fire, was already out.  Alas, the third and final book doesn't hit shelves until August, which can't get here soon enough for me.  Another sort-of cliffhanger!  I must know what happens!  Gah!

Saw Knight and Day.  It was totally unbelievable and all kinds of awesome and fun.  In a Mr. and Mrs. Smith sort of way.  I would see it again, and I don't even like Cameron Diaz, normally.  

I also saw - and yes, I know this is dangerous ground, but I just couldn't not see it - The Last Airbender.  What to say?  Non-spoilery thoughts behind the cut, but even so, kistha and dthon don't read until after you've seen it. ) 

Addendum

May. 11th, 2010 07:44 am
rhienelleth: (sarah - charming_syrai)
 I went to bed last night thinking about all of this, and woke up wanting to add to my post yesterday.  

I am a very aware and proactive person when it comes to my personal safety.  I've studied a martial art for going on 16 years.  I have a CWP, and I almost always have a weapon on my person, though it is more often my Benchmade than a gun.  I am careful.  I try not to put myself in potentially dangerous or risky situations.

And yet, even with all of that, sometimes I still do.  Saying someone should remove themselves from a situation, or not get in one in the first place is all well and good, but 1) It's not always as easy as you think, and 2) Everyone makes mistakes, and they're always easier to see in hindsight.  

 As you may know, my husband and I manage rentals for my f-in-law.  Now, both Jim and Mark have said they're not really comfortable with me showing units to prospective tenants alone.  Sometimes, I do it anyway.  Why?  Because it's sometimes just easier for me to get to it now, than to try and schedule something when my f-in-law, my husband, or our on site manager can be there.  Especially if I've talked to a woman on the phone, I feel safe.  Plus, I'm trained, right?  And there are other tenants around, usually, in the units next door.

But they might not hear anything.  Tenants in rentals tend to tune out noise unless it gets really obnoxious.  That woman on the phone?  She could be setting me up.  She might not come alone, or someone else could come in her place.  In the ten years we've been doing this, not once has it been a problem.  But it could be, and I know it.  

Worse than that, last year when I was visiting our on site manager, who happens to be one of my best friends, at about midnight, we had a noise problem.  One of our tenants, a Mexican man who DJs and looooooooooooooves to share his music with the whole neighborhood during the summer, had begun blaring said music.  It's pretty distinctive, so I knew who it was, and I knew right where to go to ask him to turn it down.

We'll call him B.  B also really likes his drink, and in the summer he likes to party, drinking and sharing his music.  I've dealt with him on more than one occasion, and I already know going in that he's a very friendly, happy drunk, who always tries to press a drink into your hands when you tell him to please turn down his music.  Other tenants often party with him, so there are usually people going in and out of his garage, where his DJ equipment is set up.  Now, I personally don't care much for B.  Whenever there is a real issue, like he's late paying his rent, or he's parking in the wrong spot, he has this attitude about him that says "You're a woman, and therefore I don't have to listen to you."  No, really.  I've made my husband go and deal with him before, because he won't really listen to me.  But he's always turned his music down when asked, so walking down there on that particular night didn't seem like it would be a problem. 

But, when I asked him to turn it down, he couldn't hear me.  He was in the back of his garage.  Some guy I'd never seen before was sitting in a chair back there with him, and there were a couple of other tenants outside their own unit smoking, and drinking from cups that looked like they'd already visited B and gotten a little something.  The garage door was halfway down, no doubt in a vain attempt to control the volume coming from inside.  I walked into the garage so he could hear me.  Mistake #1.  Of course, Mr. Happy Drunk tried to give me a drink, which I refused, and wanted me to listen to this one song before he turned it down.  Because it's a good song, you know.  And then he has to introduce me to his cousin, and when I shook that man's hand, he said something in spanish I couldn't understand, but B was happy to translate once he found out I didn't speak Spanish (which he already knew, but had to ask again due to the copious amounts of alcohol keeping him from walking straight.)  

His cousin thought I was very, very pretty.  Now, about this time was when I realized just how dangerous a situation I had walked into.  I knew, some part of me recognized it all before then, but that cousin was nowhere near as drunk as B, and he kept trying to touch me.  A hand on the arm, on the shoulder, but still, it made me very uncomfortable.  He was also huge, much bigger than me.  B kept laughing and telling him to leave me alone, but really, it was obvious he'd be no help if something happened.  That damn door was half down, the music was really loud, and something awful could happen before anyone else got to me.  

It was about then that my friend decided I'd been gone for too long and came looking.  I still remember the sense of relief when she walked into the garage, we reiterated the need to turn down the music before the cops were called, and left.  Stupid, I thought.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  To walk into that garage in the first place.  To stay there to be polite and listen to some song I didn't care about.  To not get the fuck out the instant I felt something off.  Stupid, and it could have ended very differently.

If something had happened, I admit, I probably would have partially blamed myself.  Because I should have known better.  It is a common victim response to blame yourself.  But the fact is, whoever decides to bully, attack, or rape you is the one to blame.  Should I have not walked into that garage?  Absolutely.  But I did.  That doesn't mean I gave any kind of consent for anything that might have happened. I am a smart, savvy woman who takes a very proactive approach to personal defense, and yet...it still happened to me.  

The victim is never to blame.  
rhienelleth: (sarah - charming_syrai)
Apparently, there has been another Con-related...thing.  (I say another, because of the Boob Incident two years ago.  My post on that here.)  I came late to the explosion across LJ this time, but from what I've been able to piece together, it actually has to do with an incident that happened two years ago at a Con (NOT the aforementioned Boob Incident), and someone subsequently being banned from said Con now, in 2010.  I'm only getting things fifth hand, apparently, so I don't want to go into the specifics here - it does appear no one was actually raped, but there was a situation with sexual or potentially sexual overtones.  More than that, I'm not going based on fourth and fifth hand accounts from other people's journals.  I wasn't there, and I have no eye witness posts to link to.  

But the responses to all of the above are what apparently has a lot of people really upset.  It seems the word "responsibility" has been bandied about, leading to discussions on victim blame.

I would think anyone who's read this journal for awhile would know my stance on that, but just in case, read the subject of this post.  

The victim is not to blame.  I say this as a 36-year-old woman who has been the victim.  As someone who has a concealed weapon's permit, regularly goes shooting, and has taught a women's self defense class multiple times.  I say it as someone who believes with everything I am that all women should be trained to protect themselves.  NOT because if they don't take that step, they're responsible if something happens.  NO.  But because I die a little inside with every story I hear about another victim, and there are a lot of us.  Because I want to hear more stories about how a potential victim escaped her attacker, or situation.  I do not care if a woman parades naked down the street, or goes out clubbing in pasties without underwear.  I don't care if she walks home to her apartment at 2:00am, alone, after six drinks in that exact dress. NONE OF THESE THINGS MAKES AN ATTACK HER FAULT.  

Are they risky behaviors?  Yes.  Absolutely.  I would always advise a woman to never walk home alone at 2:00am, drunk, or not.  But if she does, and something happens, it is NOT her fault.  Whoever robbed/raped/beat her is at fault.  PERIOD.  

So, I think I've stated that as clearly as I can.  

At the same time, I still advise women in general to take a self defense course - preferably something ongoing, as it is unlikely you'll recall something from a two hour class you took four years ago.  Get a concealed carry permit, go shooting, be familiar with whatever weapon you do carry, whether it is mace or something else (I know someone who got a face full of her own mace, because she used it when the wind was blowing toward her, instead of toward the guy who was threatening her.)  Don't walk home from the bar by yourself at 2:00am - in fact, don't go to the bar by yourself.  Go with three or four friends you trust, one of them a designated driver for more safety reasons than just driving.

But, that's just advice.  It has nothing to do with fault or blame.
rhienelleth: (handbasket - marinarusalka)
The exciting portion of our evening:

Zoey, our beautiful husky/lab mix, likes to chew things when we leave her alone.  This has largely disappeared, thanks to use of the Kong and liberal application of things like peanut butter, giving her something to work for when we leave her.

However, some things are just too temping to resist.  Like two mostly full bags of Easter candy, specifically, miniature Snickers, and Butterfinger eggs wrapped in foil.  My husband left them on the coffee table after playing a couple maps of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 earlier tonight.

I came into the house a little bit ago to find both bags empty, and the contents eaten, foil wrappers and all.  

That's like 50-60 individual wrapped chocolates.

A quick call to [livejournal.com profile] kistha, who was kind enough to call the veterinarian she used to work for, yielded these possible plans of action:

1. Watch her, and as she looks like she's doing fine, let the mess pass through her system, resulting in a probable few days of diarrhea tinged with blood.  Feed her boiled chicken and rice during this time, to help calm her aggravated intestines.  Which, really, how can they NOT be aggravated?  I'm pretty sure consuming two entire bags of Easter candy in one sitting would make me sick, and that's without the foil wrappers.

2. Administer some hydrogen peroxide, which will apparently induce explosive vomiting.  

Um.  None of these options sound good, you know?  But better than the dog dying because foil and chocolate get stuck halfway through her system, or the chocolate gives her a heart attack.

I have rice cooked in chicken broth on the stove now.  *sigh*  This would be so much easier if she would just throw up on her own.  Mark is all for feeding her the peroxide and letting that happen.  I'm a little afraid that would result in her throwing up all night, so I'm voting for option #1.  



 

Lion Cubs!

May. 3rd, 2010 08:07 am
rhienelleth: (cats at play)
 You quota of cute for the day, the Bronx Zoo has Lion Triplets!

"It's more than just how cute they are..."

Yeah, that's what you think, mister!  Sure, it's nice to think of people learning about these animals, etc, but really, seriously, honestly - people come see them for the cute factor.  And who can blame them?  The video is great.  He's all talking seriously, and here are these cubs, rolling and wrestling and beating tufts of grass about.  HEE!

Why?

Apr. 29th, 2010 07:54 am
rhienelleth: (sarah - charming_syrai)
 A man in China went into an elementary school class full of kindergarteners, and stabbed 28 of them.  This is just the latest in a series of school attacks that have China hurting, angry, and confused.  

Let me just say, I am horrified this happened to a class of kindergarteners.  It's tragic whenever a school is targeted, but God.  What kind of person does that?  Mentally ill, sure, but...children, and so very young.  Why??

This all sounds pretty familiar, except for the choice of weapon.  I have long held that a knife can do just as much - if not more damage - as a gun.  Knives are quieter weapons, and statistically, I'd rather get shot.  You're actually more likely to survive a gun shot wound than you are a knife wound.  I know, it doesn't seem possible, but it's true.  60% of gunshot victims survive due to the nature of the wounds, while knife victims don't have nearly the same chance.   Knife wounds bleed out, and if the knife wielder knows at all what he's doing, they do it fast.  Gunshot wounds bleed, but have a tendency to self seal, which means less bleeding and more time for help to get there.

There are several videos floating around that show knives vs. guns.  I attended a knife and gun seminar once taught by a guy from the British SAS, and let me tell you, not once did the "attacker" with the gun (or attackers in some cases) beat him when he had a knife in his hand.  

In any case, it is sad that even without access to guns, school attacks are still going on with other weapons.  I am not shocked (at least by that aspect), but I wish I could say I was.
rhienelleth: (Default)
 It seems I've gone so long without a general post, I have too many things to talk about.

Well, first the sad news.  I have managed to fry something on my espresso machine.  :(  I apparently left the steam button on all day and overnight all unknowing, and have likely burnt out the heating coil or possibly the thermal fuse.  Either are beyond my skill to repair, and so I'm calling espresso repair places to see what can be done.  In the meantime, I am managing with inferior coffee.  The horror!!

I finished the lastest Dresden files book by Jim Butcher, and as last year's entry in the series, this one will make my top five books of the year list.  Wow.  Jim wasn't kidding when he entitled the book Changes.  I am very unhappy that we now must wait a whole entire year to find out WTH happens after that season finale-esque cliffhanger ending.  

But the book was excellent.  Probably my favorite so far in the series, which is saying something.

One of my crit partners got a full manuscript request from the Donald Maass agency, which is pretty nifty stuff.  I don't have any exact figures or anything, but they're probably the oldest, most prestigious literary agency representing genre fiction out there.  That's not to say other agencies are any better or worse, but when the client list is as large and full as theirs is bound to be, getting a request for a full is pretty awesome, even if that's as far as it goes.  (Which I hope it won't be.  This particular writer is long overdue for such things as landing an agent and getting published.  He often says it's anybody's game in our little crit circle for who will succeed in that area first, but I feel strongly that I'd rather he get there before me.  Of the five or so novels of his I've read, I would buy any one of them off the shelf, and then buy everything else he ever wrote.)

My own writing, well now that Norwes is past and the sewing machine is packed away, I'm back to that third rewrite of Nemesis.  I'll keep you all posted, and perhaps I'll even post a snippet soon.  

I've had a couple of jewelry orders for the first time in...awhile.  A sign of improving economic times?  Perhaps.  One can hope, as selling jewelry has become less a hobby and more a stay-home-and-work necessity of late.  I'm contemplating how to make that a reality.

All my TV shows are headed toward season finales, and it seems like the seasons just started, somehow!  I was less than impressed with the Criminal Minds spinoff set up episode of last week.  It reminded me painfully of NCIS: LA, which was a crushing disappointment.  I'm not sure I'll be tuning in if it gets the green light.  Chuck continues to be awesome, as does The Vampire Diaries.  I've been drawing out my watching of the last season of B5, to extend it just a little longer.  I don't want it to be over! :(  

I'm all caught up on the pretty trash that is Spartacus.  The husband has even started watching, but he can't quite get past the overdone fight scenes.  Although he says it's a lot like a train wreck - so bad you can't look away.  We'll see if he continues past the first few eps.  I doubt it.  He is less drawn to all the pretty naked muscle decorating the screen, after all.  

USA is apparently planning some sort of spy show, so you all know I'm there for that when it airs.  I need another spy show in my life.  :)

I'll close with some jewelry pics.  First new stuff I've made in a really long time.  Mixed metal earrings.

Copper and garnet )

As usual, more pics and info at my Etsy store.
rhienelleth: (Default)
 After eight and a half straight hours of sewing today, I am now sitting down to some fantastic sushi and a vodka tonic.  The sushi place just down the hill from us finally opened, and since the grocery store is in the same little shopping complex, I was able to get some tonic water and limes.  And I picked the husband up a small pepperoni from the "gourmet" pizza place we've never tried right next to the new sushi place.  Turns out, they also have regular pizza the husband will eat, and damn if that pepperoni doesn't look amazing.  

Of course, I'm sticking to my fantastic sushi.  The lady behind the counter talked me into trying their blackened tuna roll - eight pieces for $5, and wow, it is yummy.  I also got my "usual" tempura shrimp roll and unagi nigiri (fresh water eel - mmmmmm.)  

I am in a nice place of bliss, at the moment.

Oh, before I sign off, we saw How to Train Your Dragon yesterday evening.  What a fantastically adorable movie.  I actually want to see it in the theater again, I liked it so much.  Usually I only say that about Pixar CGI animated movies.  
rhienelleth: (wherever you are)
 Last night on my way home from a friend's house, I witnessed an awful thing.  Ahead of me a large SUV and the large truck behind it were stopped in the road, and I was irritated as I came up on them and they stayed where they were.  It was clear they hadn't hit one another, and the way they were positioned made it seem as thought the front vehicle, the SUV, was just deciding whether or not they really wanted to turn off the road, and the truck was deciding whether or not to wait, or just go around them.  Shortly thereafter, the SUV did pull off to the side, and the truck did go around them, but only to pull off a few feet down.  As I was wondering what this was all about, movement in the yard beside them caught my eye.  

At first, it looked like two cats fighting, maybe.  It was dark, and hard to see clearly, and I think my brain was trying to make sense of what it was actually seeing.  Because a few seconds later, I realized it was a good sized dog, thrashing wildly on the ground because it had been hit by one of the vehicles.

It was an awful image of that poor animal in pain that has been burned into my mind.  :(  I cried.  I almost stopped, but there wasn't anymore room to pull over, and it was clear the people in the truck had stopped to aid the people in the SUV with whatever needed doing.  

But I still see that poor dog whenever I close my eyes.  Mark said when they're thrashing around like that, death is probably very imminent.  He meant it to be comforting, but all I can think of is how much pain it must have been in.  

I wish I hadn't seen it.  

I came home and hugged Zoey until she was like "Okay, crazy woman, let go of my neck!  Sheesh!"  

I feel very sorry for whoever the owners are.
rhienelleth: (Default)
 ...on my vow to routinely read/post to LJ, post my layoff.

*clears throat*

Hi LJ!  I've missed you.  I've had several things I've thought about posting, from sprouted flour/bread, to the fantabulous birthday a friend had recently, wherein I got the treat of being spoiled right along with her (at a really real spa.  A women's only spa.  With scrubs, and massage, and moisturizing wraps, and these rooms that are heated and lined with things like charcoal, or salt, or jade.  It was pretty much the most awesome thing ever.)  I've thought about it, I've even opened a post window a few times, and something always pulls me away before I write it.

So, on the sprouted flour front - it's interesting stuff!  I do think it has a slightly different flavor, all by itself, and it's expensive, so my recent breadmaking has been using 1 cup of sprouted flour to 3 cups of regular.  This produces a loaf that looks, tastes, and feels like regular white bread, but 1/4th of it is this sprouted flour that has the chemical make up of a vegetable, not a starch.  I think this is a compromise I can live with, health and expense-wise.

I have been working on the last of the edits for Nemesis lately.  I'm so close to being done...and yet magically, it seems there is always another few chapters til the end.  

I'm almost done w/S2 of Babylon 5. Does this really require a spoiler tag? )
Also, the husband and I have been working our way through S2 of Damages.  We've decided it's like The Shield, except with lawyers, a little less sex, and a little less horror, but just as many twists, turns, excellent characters, gripping drama, and train wreckage, in its own way.

Don't get me wrong; The Shield is one of the best written, best acted, best done shows from pilot to series finale ever done.  This is not a bad comparison.  But I would never, ever, be tempted to re-watch it.  Once was quite enough.  It still has the most traumatizing finale to a season of television I have ever seen.  I am watching Damages, and thinking "So, will S3 or 4 of this show be like that?"  Because it feels like it totally could be.

It's an awesome show.  If you like shows like...like Dexter, or Deadwood, you should pick up Damages.

I'll try to check in here more regularly.  I miss all of you guys.  I think about you, even when I'm not logging on, and I'm reading more often than I'm posting (which isn't hard, truthfully.)



rhienelleth: (Default)
 In keeping with, well, keeping to a schedule, I'm going to try to do my usual read LJ/post thing every day.  
  
Yesterday, I admit I didn't do much.  I cut out some patterns in preparation for costuming.  I played some Mass Effect (preparing for the release of ME2 soon, not that I'll be buying it right away, more's the pity.)  Today, I worked on jewelry, and followed up with the unemployment claim I filed.  Turns out, I'll be taking a $600 per month hit to what I used to make.  *winces*  That's a lot of money to suddenly not have coming in.  And apparently, the Unemployment office is backed up, so who knows when I'll get my first check.  Of course, Oregon has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.  *sigh*

In the meantime, I'm watching Babylon 5 for the first time.  A friend has been trying to get me to watch it for over a year, and now I finally have the opportunity to do it, and get her season boxed sets back to her. :)   It was hard to get into it at first, but I'm on episode 8 or so of S1 now, and it's keeping me entertained.  

No news from the old job, not that I expected any right away.  In the meantime, I'll just keep writing and making jewelry.  Once Nemesis is done, I'll look further into some freelancing.  I need to do something the help make up the money I'm suddenly not earning.  It's been a long time since I had to worry about having enough money for things like groceries.  I don't much like it.  

In any case, here's some pretty photos for you of a recent custom order.  If you've been waffling about ordering something from me, now would be a good time - no waiting!  :D

Shiny )
If you're interested, here's the listing for a ring like this one in my Etsy store.  
rhienelleth: (Default)
 Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my last post.  Really, truly, thank you.  I appreciate it so much.  Yesterday was this strange mix of people at work being sympathetic and angry on my behalf (I can't tell you how many Feds came through to tell me how they think this is all so much BS) and other people pretending nothing was wrong and not looking directly at me (mostly the contractors I work with), as though not making the transfer and being consequently laid off were catching.  

My boss was super nice and obviously feeling terrible about it all.  At about 3:00pm, which is 6:00pm back East where all the Big Bosses are, he received a personal phone call the Mr. Boss who is in charge of this entire transfer.  Mr. Boss has NEVER spoken to my boss before, and he called him up personally and mentioned me by name, telling him which sub-contractor they think I should send my resume to (part of the problem in all of this is that no one seems to know which sub the admin positions are going to fall on).  While not a guarantee, this is encouraging news.  (Although I haven't heard great things about this particular sub contractor, but hey, who knows?)

Someone is obviously rattling some cages over this, which makes me feel a little better.  I'm not forgotten the moment I'm out the door.

Then my boss let me leave an hour and a half early, and helped me carry out my stuff out, and hugged me and said how it was a good six years, which it was.  I got a little teary (actually, I cried several times over the course of the day).  

So, today is the first day of waking up and having no where to go.  I woke with a migraine this morning.  Not exactly surprising.  It's mostly gone now, and I'm about to go and fill out my unemployment paperwork.  In the meantime, I'll catch up on Wednesday night's tv, and then make some jewelry today.  I want to write, too, but I'm not sure I'm in the right frame of mind.  Apparently, my current mood is making itself known in my face, my body language, my voice, and my writing (so says one of my best friends.)  I don't want to hurt Nemesis with it.  

I promise, my pity party won't go on forever.  I will post about something else soon - maybe even today.  I know there are so many worse off right now.  I am grateful for what I have.  And hey, I should be able to finish those revisions to Nemesis right up now!  :D

Blah.

Jan. 13th, 2010 02:44 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
No good news today on the job front.

My boss took me out for a farewell lunch today. The good news: several people here on site will continue fighting for us after I'm no longer on site. The bad news: for all intents and purposes, tomorrow is my last day.

I know some people who have had moderate success in the freelance writing world. Writing articles for various websites and the like. I'm thinking about looking into that, instead o just sitting around collecting unemployment and waiting for a job that might not come. Anyone have any advice about how to get into that? I do have a (fiction) pro sale, so that's some experience, I suppose.

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