Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I found this meme and thought it would work well to wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday:

  1. Where will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Thansgiving itself is at DH's father's house, and the next day is another dinner at DH's brother's house. Oh, they all get along, it's just that my SIL wants lots of leftover turkey. :)
  2. Will you travel to get there? 4 hours/250 miles or so, 4 states. Since we left Thanksgiving mid-morning, there wasn't much traffic at all once we got off Rt 1 in NJ.
  3. How much time, if any, do you have off work for the Thanksgiving holiday? Well, I don't have an active project right now, so I'm off. DH had Thursday-Sat off, but needed to work on Sunday.
  4. Are you going to be cooking? I brought a pumpkin pie for Thursday (and I was the only one who had any, but that's ok because it's what I wanted), and I made green bean casserole for Friday.
  5. Will you have turkey or something else? turkey!
  6. Do you ever go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner? Once. I liked it ok, but my mother HATED it.
  7. Do you eat Thanksgiving dinner earlier, later, or at the same time as you usually eat dinner? One was at 5:30-6, about normal for me. The other was at 3:30, early but normal for family holidays.
  8. Will you go to a church service on Thanksgiving day? Nope.
  9. Will you, or have you ever, volunteered at a soup kitchen serving Thanksgiving dinner? No.
  10. Do you enjoy cranberries? Yes, but I forgot to bring the can again. No cranberries on Thursday, but Friday we had cranberry-orange relish (too orange for my tastes)
  11. Will you get a free turkey from anyone this year (employer, grocery store bonus program, etc.)? Nope. Didn't buy enough close enough.
  12. What are you thankful for? So many things. My health keeps improving, my business keeps growing, my husband, my family, in-laws I *like*, cats seem healthy, etc.
  13. Will you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade? Yup! Watched a bit Thursday morning on CBS - blech. SIL had recorded it so we watched it Friday at her house, this time on NBC - much better.
  14. Have you ever actually gone to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC? Yes, my aunt & uncle took me once when I was younger. Those balloons are scary. Oh, and where I went to college (Stevens Institute of Technology), they used to blow up the new balloons on a Saturday before Thanksgiving, so I got to see those all the time then.
  15. Will you watch football games? Blech. No
  16. What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition? Watching the parade between doing stuff. I miss being at my parents' house, though.
  17. Will you help do the dishes after dinner? Err...I was bad, I didn't help. At my mom's I would have because she would have said, "Dry this."
  18. Do you like pumpkin pie? So much that I made it to make sure I got one. Good thing, since there was pumpkin-coconut flan, pumpkin cheesecake, and pecan tassies, but not pumpkin pie. I would have been sad.
  19. Is there someone you wish you could be with this Thanksgiving? I miss my family, but I can't be in two places at a time, and we go there for Christmas. Logistically, it works out better this way.
  20. Will you go Christmas shopping on “Black Friday” or are those people just crazy? Crazy! If I go at all, it's later in the day. Didn't go this year.

So, yeah, it was a good Thanksgiving. I OD'd on my niece and her sweetness. :)  It was a very relaxing weekend for us, partly because I forgot my asthma med and avoided any heavy activity to compensate *rolls eyes*. I had a good time, I just still want that time machine, so I could go to both familys, you know?

Posted at 12:11 pm by Allura

Sunday, November 25, 2007
What Holiday?

You Are Easter
You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.
Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.
You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.
For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.

What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone

Posted at 12:31 am by Allura

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Pay = Good

A check showed up yesterday for 3 projects from one client. Sweet! Since the RPG contracts typically pay 45 days after publication, it can be a long time between the work and the check, and consequently, it can get a bit frustrating or even depressing. The answer is really to have more work, from more clients. So, with that in mind, I'm thinking about what some of my options are:

  1. More RPG clients, especially non-d20 ones, given the uncertaintly over the new licensing from WotC. I can think of a few, but I wonder if I'll be hampered by not playing all of their games? Depends if they want rules proofing, and if they do, I'll just have to make sure I include time to learn as I go.
  2. Fiction publishers. I'm going to poke at this market, but without an English or similiar degree (mine is a Bachelor of Engineering), it may get interesting. Also, they don't usually do detailed editing at the publisher level.
  3. Fiction authors. This I may have better luck with than publishers.
  4. College papers, particularly dissertations. There's a few colleges around here that to which I could advertise.
  5. Corporate documentation. A busy company might find it worthwhile to freelance larger documents out. I'm kicking myself for never following up on the pharma guys that wanted someone to proof their work since English wasn't their first language. I was too sick at the time to approach them.  But, that plus working on a letter for Manna made me realize that there might be a market there.
  6. Websites. My SiL has already commented that I could proof sites, and I certainly have the technical background to not only proof the reading, but check for links and otherwise test the site.
  7. Stitching magazines. Why not? I have a specific one in mind for this, actually.

So, what have I missed? I could get into at-home drafting work, but I'd need autocad and possibly a bigger printer. Not sure I want to get into that expense right now. In general, that would be a whole other business, basically. The important thing is clients that are going to be comfortable working without meeting me. Although...I think there's a webcam around here and I know there's a decent headset with microphone, so I could meet via video conferencing. Also,I'm not sure how to price myself on some of these other options. Up till now, I've been charging by the word, based on the count that comes in (using Word's word count feature); this way, I feel comfortable adding or subtracting words as needed. I'll have to do some research to get a feel for rates for other projects and how they're priced.

Posted at 04:01 pm by Allura

Monday, November 19, 2007
Guess what I'm drinking?

Posted at 12:04 pm by Allura

You know...

...your chest is large when the cat thinks it's perfectly reasonable to sit on it while you're still sitting up straight. And he's not a small cat!

Posted at 12:47 am by Allura

Sunday, November 18, 2007
Morning Agita

Ok, so it happened after noon, but I wasn't done with my first cup of coffee, so whatever...

Two weeks ago, I received an automatic notice about a new moderated message to my FlyingWithFibro group. That's nothing unusual; all new members are moderated until they post, so we can keep spammers out. The message says,

"hi I found a good free site that can help with everyday life-site by someone with fibro since 1999 as they share tips & info that has worked for them. Please email me if you want the weblink as I hope it helps you!" 

Sounds like spam, right? Even if it's not, it's just poor netiquette to ask people to email you in your very first post, AND it's not really on topic anyway, because the group is about tweaking Flylady while you have a chronic illness - something they would know if they had READ the intro paragraph. But, I'm feeling generous, so I reply with,

"I'm rejecting this post, because it sounds awfully like spam. If it is not, I apologize. If you have something to share, please feel free to share it with the group by sending a link, and possibly a small snippet of the article. This list is meant as a discussion site, however, so it's not appropriate to immediately start asking people to email you off list. Feel free to change your introduction post and resend it."

Not bad, I thought. Gave them an out if they're not a spammer, whatever. So instead of sending a new, on-topic post, or leaving the group, I get THIS back,

"It's not a spam it's a website how someone is living with fibro since 1999 but however you feel is up to you my calling from God is to help others with fibro no matter what anyone thinks and I don't need to spam anyone to do it. You can remove me from your group their are a lot better fibro groups out their that God has put me in touch with and right people to help as I really don't care do defend myself to anyone here on earth so best of luck to your group I hope they are getting help and keep going on with their fibro and your group makes a diffrence to someone!"

Umm...ok. Your faith has WHAT to do with my expressly non-religious group? Oh, and insulting my group size, THAT's real mature and a way to get yourself listened to. At this point, I'm up for a good argument,

"Next time, send the website, don't ask people to email you for it. That sounds like you're harvesting emails. I'm merely protecting my list members. There's too many people trying to make a buck off those who are ill, and so I am cautious.

As for your religious calling, it is irrelevant to our group. The group you subscribed to is about using Flylady.net while ill with such things as fibro, cfs, me, lupus, etc. If you wish to participate, feel free, but keep the topic in mind. It's not a general support group; it has a more narrow focus."
No answer, so I figure that's it for now. He doesn't unsubscribe, so maybe he'll join in on the real topic. Whatever. Then this morning I get another moderated message alert, and it's from him again,
ARGH! Oh, and he's got a link to his site in our carefully constructed links section. So I check out his blog. Eh, more broken English "advice" on living with fibro. Could be useful, I suppose, but he's still not joining in discussion, just trying to get traffic to his site, the one with google ads on it...So, no. Reject and I'm done with this guy,
"Still spamming your site instead of joining in the discussion, or even, *gasp* reading what the group is about. You're banned..."
Amazingly, he replies again, with MORE stuff about his faith...
"With my trust in GOD my site will be huge to help others with fibro as I have no trust in humans! Fibro is not to just talk about on small group site more then 6 million suffer from USA !"
He just doesn't get it, does he? I don't CARE about his religious beliefs. I care about him being freakin off topic! And my "small group" is 300+ messages. Meh. Last word from me, because I'm CRANKY,
"Fine. Complain to God then. Because I don't care.
Our group has rules and a topic, and you obviously think you're too good to follow them. Belief in God does not let you ignore rules on earth. Deal with it.
You're banned and that's the end of the discussion. Further discussion will be considered harassment and reported to yahoo."
Why, oh, why do people think I even care about their faith, never mind that it's at all relevant to the discussion at hand?!?  I hate that attitude. Our group has multiple faiths, and somehow we all get along. It's important to some, and it's reflected in their actions, and that's cool. Beyond that, though, it's just a non-issue. Sheesh. I run a private group. You have to make me want you in it. This exchange? Not the way to do it.

Posted at 01:40 pm by Allura


It's snowing on Rt 78 in NJ. Before Thanksgiving. Someone tell Al Gore he has his global warming chart upside down...

Posted at 01:30 pm by Allura

Friday, November 16, 2007
Circle Obsession

As I sit here waiting for the benadryl to kick in, I wanted to share my latest stitching obsession. I WANT Cirque des Cercles. Want. Right now. However, it's a good thing I don't have it, because I can't decide what colors to use. They have some color ideas here, although none of them "wow" me, likely because they're just colored graphs, not actual stitching. There's a whole gallery here, however. Check out the third one down, the green one. It's BEADED. Someone is nuckin futz. :) From reading up on various forums, it's apparently much easier to stitch than it looks. See, unless you get really fancy, it's all one color of thread. You pick a variegated thread, get anywhere from 5 to 10 skeins of it, and just start stitching. It's big, but not complicated.  But, wow, does it look impressive.

I've got several ideas in my head. I'm liking greens on natural linen, blues (maybe shading to white) on black - although I don't know if I'll like working on black fabric, the original golds on black, I love that red to blue fiber on linen, etc. Maybe darker blues on a light, opalescent fabric? See what I mean? No pinks or purples, I think, unless I did it as a gift for someone who loved them...umm...no, still no. :) 

Also, I've seen at least two ideas for making partial use of the chart. One is to stitch a single circle as an ornament, and, incidentally, test a color combo. The other idea was a section done as a bookmark. See those 3 circles on the left side, in the middle? The bookmark started at the border and worked in, half a circle's width.  Each circle was a different color (red, orange, and yellow, iirc) and the edging was a fourth (gold, I believe). Very nifty.

So, yeah. I want. And I'd love to hear/see more color ideas.

Posted at 03:21 am by Allura

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Image Meme

Here's the idea behind this meme:  you type the answer to each question into a Google image search, and you pick an image from the first page of results.

1. Age at next birthday:

2. A place you'd like to travel:

3. Your favorite place:

4. Your favorite objects:

5. Your favorite food:

6. Your favorite animals:

7. Your favorite color:

8. Town where you were born:

9. Town where you live:

10. Name of a past pet:

11. First name of a past love:

12. Best friend's nickname:

13. Your screen/nickname:

14. Your first name:

15. Your middle name:

16. Your last name:

17. Bad habit of yours:

18. First job:

19. Grandmother's name:

20. College major:

Posted at 11:14 pm by Allura
Comments (2)  

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Holiday Blues

Thanksgiving is next week. Nearly every year since we've been married, we go to DH's family's house for Thanksgiving. Since they're 4 hours away, it makes sense to go there for Thanksgiving, when he typically has a day or two after for vacation, and go to my family for Christmas, which often falls in the middle of the week. So, that's what we've been doing. The problem is that I miss my own family's traditions, and yesterday that hit me hard. I think the "trigger" was listening to my mom talk about her & my sister's plans for baking.  PMS doesn't help, either. *wry*

My issue is two-fold. The first is that as an English-only speaker, I am now largely outnumbered by the bilingual English/Spanish speakers. In particular, the ladies of my SMIL's family all prefer Spanish, which tends to leave me out of things. Last year, I tried speaking with the guys, who mostly have less command of Spanish, and sorta got the "why's she talking to us?" impression. Umm..guys? I'm a geek. Trust me, I have more in common with you. Oh, and half the family is busily trying to pretend they're NOT geeks. It's ok to be a geek! It'll give us all something to talk about! Sheesh.

The other aspect is food related. I'm used to Thanksgiving having a VERY fixed menu, and a much more formal affair than it is at DH's family's. We started with one of a few things: a flounder bisque, lasanga or another pasta, maybe another soup or cold antipasto. Dinner was turkey (of course), stuffing, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes (with marshmellows!), green bean casserole (fresh grean beans, please), broccoli with cheese sauce, rolls, and usually some other random thing that Mom came up with. Dessert included apple crisp, apple pie, pecan pie, and coconut custard pie. Those are the basics. DH's family is more...flexible. Let me put it this way: I'm pleasantly surprised to see there's going to be turkey at all (I emailed SMIL & FIL this morning to find out). Actually, emailing them has settled my mind a bit. It sounds like it's going to be a bit more American-traditional. I know it's hypocritical of me to expect that when my own family often includes Italian accents. But, c'mon, there shouldn't be a question of whether there's going to be a turkey! Sure, if you have enough people that you need another main, too, I can understand that. But first choice is turkey, people. You know, the bird that lost the competition to represent our nation? Good thing, too; I'm guessing bald eagle isn't very tasty...

This year, we're going to stay with BIL & SIL, and on Friday, they're having Thanksgiving II. SIL & I both agreed that we want something a bit more traditional, plus she wants turkey leftovers. :) Of course, she's thinking traditional southern American and I'm thinking traditional Mid-Atlantic American...Also, I slept a bit better at their house. That's another issue: SMIL's family is large, and as the more distant relatives get first pick, we ended up on the futon last year, out in the family room. BIL & SIL have an air mattress that is a step up, plus their office has a DOOR on it. We have fun with them, so I'm glad we're staying there.

One way or the other, I'm going to try to get my green bean casserole, my canned cranberry sauce (I like fresh, but I need my canned), and pumpkin pie this year; I'll just have to bring it myself, I guess. I know it's not fair to expect my husband to go to my family for every holiday, and really, I don't want to do that to him. I want to go to both families, not skip one for the other. Still no time machine, though, so I'll just have to do my best to bring my memories with me.

Posted at 04:42 pm by Allura

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The personal blog of a freelance RPG editor, former engineer, wife, mom to two cats, voracious reader, cross-stitcher, pianist, gamer, browncoat, etc.

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Current Stitching: The Dreamer and Big Girl Panties

Current Editing: Crown Tales for Dark Quest Games

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