Archives for 2011

Happy New Year!

Having a low key evening.

Wishing you and yours a great evening and much happiness and prosperity in 2012!

Reader

Reader

A few of my real booksI’ve always been a reader. I read before I went to school, and one of my proudest achievements was finishing a chapter book about Hellen Keller when I was in the first grade. I read the whole thing in one day.

In Jr. High and High School, whenever we were assigned books to read in class, I’d read the whole thing the first weekend. (And then neglect to do any of the homework, but that’s a different story.)

I’m the person who needs to bring a book with her everywhere she goes. Before I had my Kindle, that meant I’d always have a large purse or backpack with me (depending on whether I was reading a paperback or hardcover.) On week-long vacations, I’d bring at least 5 books with me, just in case.

If I don’t have a book to read, I get twitchy.

So you can imagine what I mean when I say that the Kindle is a product designed just for me. Now I can carry hundreds (thousands) of books with me all the time. If I don’t feel like reading any of them, within a minute I can have a brand new book appear on my home page.

Sometimes I overdo it. I glut on reading. Like this week. I read three books in three days and stayed up way too late to do it. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. In the aftermath I don’t seem interested in reading any more books. Yet. Which is fine, I can get laundry together, watch videos, write – all the things I was not doing when I read these books (The Hunger Games Trilogy).

Edmund has this thing he says, “Reading is FUN-damental.” I think he got it from a public service announcement, a poster, a commercial, and he always stresses the FUN*. Reading is fun. I love to go into another world and live life as another person, to be rooting for the protagonist, to be transported to a land of delight. Fun is fun. Fun is reading. But it is also important. Everyone should read a book every now and again.

*Okay, I just Googled it. Reading is Fundamental is a non-profit agency that promotes reading (duh). Reading is FUNdamental was their slogan.

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What are you reading?

The Big Show

The Big Show

Tix for Comedy ShowWent to so Bob Marley’s Holiday Show at Merrill Auditorium tonight. It was great! George Hamm opened, and both Georgie and Bob delivered the goods. You know it’s a good show when you leave exhausted from laughing so much.

I was going to post about when I used to do Stand up – rest assured, I never had a big show like this. But my brain stopped working. So I’m going to bed and will write about my time doing stand up later. And post some more pix from the show. Good times.

So if you want to go to the show, here are the deets:

PortTIX.

And the flyer:
Bob Marley Holiday Shows

Can’t Blag. Busy. Mockingjay’s got me

Can’t Blag. Busy. Mockingjay’s got me

Hunger Games TrilogyOkay. This post will be short and sweet. Why? Because I’d rather be reading.

As you may have deduced from the picture to the left, I am embroiled in The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I read the first one on Monday, the second one Tuesday and the last one I am reading right now.

And yes, I am saying that if you haven’t read these books, you should. Like the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, great books for teens and adults.

That is all. Back to the book I go!

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What are you reading right now?

In a Funk

In a Funk

Self-Portrait 12-27-2011Edmund noticed it last week, and I’ve noticed it too. I’m in a funk. A little maudlin (without the alcohol.) I suspect that even though the only thing in my life that changed was that I’m not going to school anymore, it’s because of this major life transition, i.e. I’m not going to school anymore. I’m not going to school anymore! Yikes!

Part of it is that this whole life transition thing really hasn’t sunk in. We are still in a time of year I wouldn’t normally be taking classes, I’d be enjoying a break before the spring semester begins. It isn’t real yet.

I have lots of projects I want to do, but I am plagued with insecurity and doubt. What if they don’t work out? What if I fail? Soon I will remind myself that it doesn’t matter if I fail, I just got to do it. [And then I think, what if I fail?] I know I need a bit more time off. This weekend will be for laundry (yes, I’ll do the laundry, jeeze) and office cleaning and vegging. Starting at the first of the year, I’ll start working on those projects again, and work on some goals:

  1. My goal. To be in a funk:
  2. Or a funk:
  3. How about a funk:

Okay, that worked. I feel better already.

Naptime

Naptime

Today was for naps, kitty snugglin’, and a trip to the movies (by myself) to see the new Mission Impossible. Today was supposed to be for laundry, but I was able to postpone it due to an understanding husband. My reason: overwhelming laziness. He bought it!

Now all of you people with in-house washers and dryers, stop being such judgy-judgersons. When we do laundry we need to take it to a laundromat. Which requires preparations. Putting clothes in bags. Throwing bags down the stairs. Putting bags in the car. Driving to laundromat. Jockeying for a big washer. Finagling for enough dryers. Folding all the clothes and stuffing them back in bags. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. And I couldn’t be bothered. We take turns doing laundry, and it’s totally my turn – since Edmund would often do many weeks in a row during school. But I wanted my day off to remain a day off. Doing laundry seemed too much like work.

If we had our own washer and dryer, it would be so awesome. Because if we needed clothes we could do just enough laundry to get by. But since we go to the laundromat, we need to do them all in one fell swoop.

My day started off with the best of intentions. I woke at 9:45 am, thinking about doing laundry. I laid down in bed and played with my phone. Then Squiggy decided to snuggle between my legs. Clearly a nap was in order. I woke up later, after extricating myself from Squiggy without disturbing his rest, and went online. It was after noon. The tide had turned. Instead of thinking about doing laundry I was thinking about how to get out of doing laundry. A quick text conversation with my husband determined that he would purchase some new underwear and socks, and I was off the hook until Saturday. [Note: he does need new underwear.]

Then, pumpkin pie for brunch, movie and now I am gearing up to play one of Edmund’s Christmas Gifts with him, Dominion Hinterlands. Good times.

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What did you do today?

Merry Merry

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas everyone. I took a day off from the internets, and it was fine. Good food, awesome family, naps, gifts and Doctor Who made for a great day.

Christmas Eve Festivities

Christmas Eve Festivities

Dot and Edmund Pre-ShaveTonight Edmund shaved Dot’s head. Wait a minute, let’s start at the beginning.

Today Edmund and I got up first thing (8:15 am) and got ready to pick up Dot (my Mom’s BFF since forever) in Hallowell. We left our house at 10:15, got some MickyD’s for breakfast and sped up Interstate 95 toward Hallowell. We grabbed her from her apartment and drover her back to the WB (Westbrook) and my parent’s house. In the mean time, Bill (my younger brother) drove down from way up North, and we met well. And ate many things. Like cheese and meats and cookies and chocolates and such. And things like this:

Garlicky Cream Cheesey Bready Wreath

And this:

Chicken Wrapped in Bacon. Sweet Bacon.

I talked Bill and Dot into going to see the new Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows movie with me. And we saw it and it was fine. Then back to my parent’s house for more food. Mmmmmm.

Dot wanted her head shaved. She just went through some chemotherapy and it’s falling out, so she wanted to help mother nature along. My brother brought his clippers and the intention was to have him do it. Bill asked Ed if he’d do it and Ed said sure! And I helped. By whipping out the camera!

It begins! The De-hairination

View During

Love these faces! My fave picture in this set.

And after. A job well done.

Now I’m home and getting ready to go to bed. Tomorrow we will be going back over to my parent’s house for more food, to open some presents and tease each other senseless. It’s a beautiful thing.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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What are you doing for Christmas? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, do you treat it as just another day?

Kid Pack

Kid Pack

Kid Pack of Popcorn and SodaWhen I go to the movies I like to get the popcorn and soda. Sometimes I get a hot dog and soda. Sometimes I get popcorn, soda and candy. And sometimes I get a hot dog, popcorn and soda. I know. It’s wicked expensive. What can I say, I have expensive tastes.

Sure, I could smuggle in a can or bottle of soda, but frankly, I prefer fountain Coke. I have smuggled in popcorn before, but I don’t like to. I felt guilty. And they frown on big bags or backpacks nowadays, making dishonest snack smuggling harder.

Today I was not too hungry, so I got a kid pack. [Pictured above.] It has just enough popcorn and you can get either M&M’s or Gummy Bears. I usually get the M&M’s, but have had so much chocolate lately I got the Gummy bears today. The soda size is smaller than I like, but since it is a kid pack, I suppose it’s just the right size. Funny though, they only have one kind of straw. So the straw I used is GINORMUS – 3 times the size of the cup itself!

I like to arrive at least 20 minutes before the movie starts. Okay, that’s a lie. It’s really 30 minutes to an hour. Saying “20 minutes” makes me seem more normal. I like to get a good seat, read my book for a while, go pee a few times. I start getting antsy at about 15 minutes before the movie starts, especially if I’m not at the movie theatre yet. Today I arrived a half hour before the movie, bought my ticket, went pee, and then bought my kids pack. [I washed my hands around there somewhere too.]

I saw Arthur Christmas: Totes recommend! Very funny, appropriate for all ages.

Anyway, before Arthur Christmas they played a video. A Justin Bieber video. I have, to this point in my life, avoided watching any Justin Bieber videos. And here I was, trapped in my movie seat, having paid $7.50 for my ticket (matinee price, yo), watching a Justin Bieber video (which follows*). And it was okay in its steam punky, Santa-clausy, break-dancery, Justin-Bieber-wants-to-be-next-Michael-Jacksony goodness. See what I mean:

So, Merry Christmas everyone.

*Video also posted in honor of my biggest blog fan Tracey, who requested “More Bieber” on my website. This post is for you, Tracey!

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What do you think? Do you like Justin Bieber?

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

Fire in the WBMy landlords invited us downstairs for pizza and a little solstice bon fire. Now my hair smells like smoke. Then we went in an took a look at their Christmas Tree. Kathy collects Hallmark ornaments, she has over 4000 of them, and she picks a theme every year. This year it was birds. She thought of doing a Star Wars/Star Trek theme – I told her she’d have to invite us in to see that.

Then Ed and I played Dominion. And I DOMINATED Edmund – I won two games in a row. And then we stopped playing. Because I was on a roll and didn’t want to end it. This is because Edmund usually wins. We’re fairly evenly matched, for the most part, but Edmund usually wins in whatever game we play. It gets frustrating. Usually I win enough times to make it still interesting for me to play, but I’ve had a pretty bad losing streak in the past month, so I will rest on my laurels.

And then I watched the latest episode of American Horror Story, which is also the last of the season. A fantastic show – yet the season finale has me flummoxed. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it, but if I see you in person and you want to discuss the show with me, let me know.

And when I am done writing here, I am going to read a book. This book, to be exact. A fun, light, frothy romance with humor and stuff.

Like Edmund, I am having a dull night. Not that my night was dull, far from it. But I am dull. My brain is dull. Brilliance is not to be had. And that’s okay. I will read my book, and cuddle with the hubby, and be grateful for this gorgeous day.

Holi-Daze

Holi-Daze

Super Grover Tops our Tree! Circa 2005Tomorrow, December 22nd, is this year’s Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year. Normally the Winter Solstice is on December 21st, but since it is based on the Earth’s position from the sun, it varies in time, and sometimes date, from year to year. I have no plans for the Solistice, per se. I’ll work, then go home and hang out with the husband. A low-key day, about what I can handle right now.

To the left is our first Christmas Tree. It’s from 2005 – our first year living in Maine together (I grew up in Maine, Edmund is from New Jersey). It is also our last Christmas tree. Why? I started going back to school in 2006 and–do I really need to explain? I suspect that next year we will see a resurgence of treeness. At least that’s my plan.

Otherwise, I am pretty much all set for my Christmas preparations. We’re going to go to my parent’s house for dinner, Edmund is cooking a ham, my Mom will make many desserts, my brother Bill will come down to Westbrook, Dot will be visiting from Hallowell, and it will be fine. Super-fine even.

I found out that my semester grades are both in, an A for my Memoir class and, as I discussed yesterday, a B+ for my Stats class. That’s all I needed to get my degree in Sociology with a Math Minor. My final GPA is 3.752, which makes me magna cum laude. It also makes me tickled pink!

The thing is, I’m still twitching. I have a bunch of projects on my plate, stuff I want to do, but I am forcing myself to wait until after Christmas to start working on them. I need the time off. (I don’t mean time off from work. That would be nice, but I blew it all this year. My last couple of vacation days were used to finish up my school work for this semester.) I need more veg time, and to have my non-work time be stress free. So I blog and play games with my husband and read and watch tv and videos. Pretty nice so far. I will not be going anywhere New Year’s weekend, Edmund is working, so it will be a great time for me to nest and get myself going again. I am not planning on going on any trips in January, instead I plan on getting my personal shit together, literally (cleaning my office) and figuratively (What’s next for Lanna?).

I will be away the first three weekends in February, it will be strange to be away and not feel guilty because I’m not doing my homework. Strange and fantastic. First I will be going to A Feast of Lights in Holyoke Mass, Edmund isn’t called to go, so I invited my pal Trish to come with me. If she can’t, I’ll advertise for a roomie. The next weekend I will be going to a workshop with Orion Foxwood. Love working with him. And lastly, over President’s Day weekend, Edmund and I will be going to Boskone, the NESFA’s Regional Science Fiction Convention, which is held in Boston and is one of our favorite annual events. We will be joined at Boskone by his parents, Chris and Henry, who drive up from Pennsylvania and put us to shame at the number of panels they attend and the circles they run around us.

After that, who knows?

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Are you dazed by the Holidays?

Lanna is Trivial!

Lanna is Trivial!

Lanna is Trivial!So my Christmas shopping is done! Tonight Edmund and I met for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. We did what we always do – played trivia, mostly against each other. Wait, that’s not exactly true. Edmund was playing against everyone else, and I was just trying to beat him. He was successful. I was ahead for a few rounds, and then not so much. Also of note, when he first got there, he accidentally spilled his water. Since I sat across from him, this water ended up mostly on my lap. I have since forgiven him. Mostly.

And then I braved the mall area [and the dreaded WallyWorldPlace]. Now I am wrapping presents.

This concludes my post for today.

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How are you doin’?

This Post is on Fire!

This Post is on Fire!

Stack of StatsI’m typing this on my Kindle Fire. The experience, so far, is super annoying. Sigh. However, it is good enough for me to consider leaving my huge laptop home when I travel anymore.

The picture to the left depicts the materials I used to finish my take-home Probability & Statistics final that I passed in a week ago. Although I didn’t get my test grade back yet, I did check for my final grade. And it was a B+! Very happy about that.

A quick post is all I can handle right now. Will need to come up with strategies for upcoming posting on the Fire. I couldn’t insert a picture, even if it was already added to the Media Library. Furthermore, I just gave up typing on the Fire – if you have over 50 words and make a mistake and then try to go back to fix it, it is almost impossible to insert the cursor where you want it (the text editing window for the body of the blog post does not allow for quick navigation.)

And, if you have more than 10 categories, forget scrolling down to select one for the post. [This will likely make sense only to those who use WordPress.]

All that said, I didn’t get the Kindle Fire because I wanted to do blog posts with it. I got it because I wanted its video and music and reading and web surfing capabilities. And its otherwise awesomeness. So, it will work in a pinch. Now I’m going to save this draft and open the post back up on the Fire and try publishing this baby. Cross your fingers for me!

Bureau Of Awesome

Bureau Of Awesome

BofA #04: Feta Dip of AwesomeFor the past couple of months Edmund and I have been doing a podcast together on the Bureau of Awesome website. Here is the most recent episode, which we recorded last night: #04: Feta Dip of Awesome: Holy crap we forgot to press record edition.

Yes, we forgot to press record, and had a great conversation going for about a half hour (which is the normal length of one of our podcasts) before we noticed it. Wait a sec, that’s not exactly true. I forgot to press record. It was ME. Sigh.

You might know that I also have another podcast with Alexis Lyon called the Lex and Lanna Show. Due to our schedules, we have not been able to meet regularly meet. As you know, I’ve been going to school. Funny thing: so has Lex. Now that I am done with school my schedule has freed up so I can be more flexible and meet when she can meet. We’re still enjoying it so we will keep on keeping on.

I love doing podcasts. I use a H2 Zoom audio recorder, which means I can record just about anywhere. In the coming year I forsee much more podcasting. I will continue with the Bureau of Awesome and the Lex and Lanna Show and I have some other ideas kicking around that seem like they’d be fun. The only requirement is that I amuse myself. And since I am easily amused, it’s a no brainer!

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Do you listen to podcasts? Do you make podcasts? Tell me about it.

Caturday

Caturday

Lenny Chilling in my ChairDo you have cats? As you may have guessed, if you’ve been reading along here, we have two cats, Lenny and Squiggy. Pictured to the left is dear Lenny. The Lenster. Lenny Lenster. Lenny the Nudge.

Do you have pets and do you come up with weird names for them? Me neither.

When I do my nighttime stumbles to the bathroom, Lenny will weave around my legs, and then plop down on the floor in front of the toilet while I, you know, do my business. Why? I don’t know. He rolls around and otherwise looks adorable. I’m not the most cheerful person in the morning (we’ve discussed this) and usually I’m trying to maintain my calmness so I can go right back to sleep. I note the cuteness, but I do not pet him. Instead I coldly make my way back to bed. In effect, ignoring the cute.

Squiggy on my chairThis morning it was Squiggy at my feet in the bathroom. Looking adorable. At first, due to my myopia, I thought it was Lenny, but then I caught sight of Squiggy’s handsome face with its distinctive black spot on his nose. Definitely Squiggy. I ignored him like I do Lenny. However, I found Lenny at the foot of my bed. And when I got back under the covers, he came back and laid on my chest and forced me to pet him. Clearly it was Lenny time.

And clearly, Lenny and Squiggy were in cahoots! Cat-hoots?!

So today, on Caturday, Edmund and I will spend together. Cuddling with our cats and otherwise enjoying life. And waiting in anticipation for the next time its Lenny Time, and for who will be the lucky recipient of such.

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Do you have cats or any other pets? And do you give them silly nicknames?