22 June 2010 @ 04:49 pm
Visited the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston today with my mother, who is in town. I had been away from the museum for a long time after I worked there and I hadn't ever fully explored the new building. I'd gone to special exhibits but never taken the time just look at the permanent collection in its new digs. What a doofus.

Whittering on about art and a couple of photos I scavenged from the internet )

On the downside, the gift shop is still as frustrating as ever. It's light and airy and so much nicer than it used to be but they still carry artsy items that don't really relate to what you've just seen in the galleries. Mom and I were looking, hoping to find something resembling some of the ancient vessels we'd seen upstairs and loved, but there was nothing. But that's a quibble. I have fallen in love with the new building and can't wait to go back.
Current Mood: impressed
03 June 2010 @ 08:57 pm
1) Nine more days until Stonehenge Apocalypse!!! It stars Misha Collins, Torri Higginson, Hil Harper, Peter Wingfield, and Brent Stait. That's a lot of something for everyone. Sadly destined to be a horrible Syfy movie of the week crapfest but it's going to be awesome seeing favorite actors trying their best to convince me that Stonehenge is out to END THE WORLD.

*sigh* Once again the archaeologists are cast as the bad guys as they seem to kick off this version of the apocalypse.

2) O HAI Robert Wisdom! Supernatural's Uriel is now Burn Notice's Vaughn. Nice to see him again, this time in suits properly cut for him. He's looking good but I find it hard to trust him.

3) A Quick Guide to Understanding the Channel Mixer by [livejournal.com profile] nomadicwriter -- Handy tool, that channel mixer. Extra happy making is the Teal'c icon on the tutorial.

4) Spent today at the Houston Holocaust Museum. The architecture, more than reminiscent of a crematorium, was disturbing. That was the point of course, but the psychology of willingly walking into it was unsettling; just the first of many, many disquieting experiences. The audio tour was narrated by Mandy Patinkin and was one of the better ones I've ever heard. No point in lingering on the bad other than to say that it never fails to horrify and depress me. I'd heard about Denmark's remarkable actions before but now I know more. One of the few moral bright spots in a dozen years of depravity.
Current Mood: thankful
27 May 2010 @ 05:23 pm
1. Iconfest has ended. Final tally was more than 1,000 icons made in two weeks! Here's the Master Post in case you're interested in looking through the final results. All of the icons have been sorted by maker's name. I managed to contribute 36 icons. I'd hoped for more but I think that's a respectable number.

2. True Blood Season 2 has landed in my hands finally. I'm completely unspoiled so keep that in mind when commenting here, please. :) I'm looking forward to some escapism. Which brings me to...

3. Yesterday was an anniversary of sorts for me. Boring, emotional, personal crap. tl;dr stuff. )

So, anyway, back to my point. Yesterday was this anniversary for me. I'd looked forward to it for months. Weeks. Days. Hours, even. I wondered many times how I would manage to reach it. And...well, I didn't realize that the day had happened until today. I was so busy talking to new friends, making last-minute icons for Iconfest, feeling guilty that I'm behind in organizing [livejournal.com profile] sg1_lims, and generally having a good time that I didn't even realize it had happened.

So, thank you to my friends in my analog life and to my squee buddies in my digital life who have helped me survive with hope for the future and a lot of laughter in the present. Yesterday could have been weepy and maudlin and full of woe is me but it wasn't. ♥
14 May 2010 @ 08:05 pm
It has been far too long since we had a proper thunderstorm. I've been listening to one blow in all evening and now it's finally got enough steam to force air in through the crack under one of the doors. The wind is a wonderful, eerie sound that would be right at home in a creepy movie.

I love thunderstorms. When I'm inside and dry, that is.
Current Mood: happy
28 February 2010 @ 10:09 pm
The closing ceremonies reminded me why I love Canada so much when they turned the malfunction from the Opening Ceremonies into humor. Canada has some of the most breath-taking scenery and Vancouver is my favorite city but the very best thing about Canada is its people. Gotta love a nation that can laugh at itself. If we had to lose both hockey gold medals, I'm glad it was to Canada. I can't think of a better nation to come in second to.

I'm looking forward to catching up with my television shows (I heart my DVR) and getting back on a more normal sleep schedule.
Current Mood: impressed
18 February 2010 @ 03:44 pm
I won't say that it's an entirely done deal but I had a 2.5 hour meeting today with a good friend (whom I owe a really nice meal out and undying gratitude) and the board of a local archaeology non-profit. They need someone to be in charge of field labs, who can program in VBA, and who has experience as a material culture analyst. It has been a reeeeeeeeally long time since I was paid to be an archaeologist but I appear to meet their needs. It's contract work, which is not something I've enjoyed in the past, but the work that the foundation is doing is fascinating and it would be working for the public good so I am willing to reconsider.
Current Mood: ecstatic
15 December 2009 @ 01:37 am
I have a new computer! (Well, a new CPU.) It runs Windows 7 -- and I'm favorably impressed. It's well-designed, it runs ALL of my favorite freeware downloads, it runs the 32-bit software I already own, and it runs all of my hardware of varying ages. Sad that this is a surprise but I'm grateful nonetheless. If I can just figure out how to make Windows Explorer show me the file extensions, I'll be a happy camper. (I'm sure I'll get used to the loss of menus in various applications but I'm slow at adapting to this particular change.)

I cannot say the same for Word 2007. What in the world did they do the menus? More importantly -- WHY?!? It took me far too long to figure out how to find, "Save As..."

In a perfect world, I'd have purchased a 27" iMac, a brand new license of Photoshop CS4 for Mac for it, and had two huge monitors. (I dream of having all the Photoshop palettes on one screen and my graphic on another.) Alas, money was the determining factor so I chose to go with a Windows box. I'm not unhappy, though, as my new toy is zippy and works with my very nice quality speakers, my printer, my monitor, my array of external hard drives, and my iPod.
08 April 2009 @ 09:18 pm
So I've been pretty absent around here for a while. I don't want to go into the details but tonight the Better Half decided to call it quits with me. I'm pretty torn up at the moment and not ready to talk about it. I can't claim to be surprised as we've been, god how I hate the euphemism, "growing apart" for some time. I hoped it was something we'd work through but that was not to be.

I have to either find someone to move in here quickly -- unlikely with my less than friendly dog -- or I need to move out. I'll be okay but I'm still reeling since I thought I'd found my soulmate. Now we begin the long and tedious task of disentangling 16 years together. For now I'm a bit lost but I expect that once we get started on the joy that is dividing furniture, appliances, CDs, books, etc. that I'll have some structure to hang my life on.

I doubt that I'll be around any more than I have been as I expect to be pretty busy and more than a little bit stressed.
06 October 2008 @ 11:58 pm
Like most (all?) Americans, I've been trying to figure out what the hell happened to the financial system, why we have the bailout plan we have, and whether I should think it's a good thing. Most of the sources I found are either too superficial or filled with jargon I didn't understand.

A month ago, I had the good luck to catch an episode of the radio program, This American Life, which explained the background of the housing crisis. It was phenomenal. This Sunday, I caught part of another episode, which explained the bailout, credit default swaps, why the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers forced AIG into financial straits...and how the meltdown ballooned out of the commercial paper market freeze. I had to leave before the show finished so I made it a point to search out the online version; it was just that good.

These programs are aimed for an audience with no knowledge of the U.S. financial system and they take the time to explain the terminology in easily digested words. :) Each one is an hour. If you're interested in listening to them yourself, here are the links:

The Giant Pool of Money: A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR News. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall Street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s? It all comes back to the Giant Pool of Money.

Another Frightening Show about the Economy: They'll explain what happened this week, including what regulators could've done to prevent this financial crisis from happening in the first place.

Both are free to download from the links given. The second is available this week only on iTunes as a "This American Life" podcast for free. :)
26 September 2008 @ 10:00 pm
Dear McDickhead,

NEWSFLASH: It is possible to have a philosophical difference on political issues without it being due to your opponent's, "just not understanding."

You came across as a condescending dick every single time you repeated it. I'm a bit sensitive, perhaps, but it struck me as a subtle race dig to imply that Barack Obama fails to understand the issues. That he somehow can't handle the fundamental concepts. That's patronizing and manifestly untrue. Also? Prattling on about someone not understanding when you're the one who chose a running mate who has to be tutored in order to achieve her current level of incoherence? That's some serious chutzpah.

Absolutely no love,

p.s. Yes! I have electricity, cable, AND internet just in time to see the debate. :)
Current Mood: disgusted
My brother is moving in with us on Sunday.

In the past year he lost his job in the mortgage industry, finalized his divorce (giving nearly everything he owned to the ex-, incl. the furniture, household, & kitchen stuff we bought him before they got married), apparently worked some deal for Volkswagen to sell off his car that hadn't worked in over a year but for which he couldn't afford repairs & insurance anyway to satisfy the last few months on his car note, worked in a laptop repair facility that was a modern day sweatshop before his ride to the building disappeared when his coworker got a new job, and has generally hit bottom.

He has had a rough year. Our first task after moving the paltry worldly goods he has left is to get him a job. One I can drive him to and pick him up from as Houston is NOT known for its mass transit system. *sigh*

Tonight and this Saturday I'll be cleaning out all the junk I have in the guest room. I have no idea where it will go; it's in there because I don't have anywhere else to put it. I suspect I'll miss tomorrow's Pride Parade for which I bought two expensive bleacher seats, damnit, because I'll still be working on it all. (I still have my bone collection in there from my days as a faunal analyst. I'm guessing at this point I could throw it away. I don't know anyone in need of a type collection who can come to get it before I move the brother in on Sunday morning. Good thing it's heavy trash on Tuesday.)

Our house is *small* and it already houses the two of us, the dog, Joe's business, Joe's recording studio, and the Flying Fish Sailors merchandise. I suspect everyone's stress levels will be running high for the next several months.
Current Mood: worried
24 April 2008 @ 12:36 pm
I'm going to start using my LJ in a new-to-me way: as an exercise & diet diary. I plan on recording my thoughts, struggles, victories, defeats, books I've read, etc. about food & eating, exercising, and my battle to get fit. And then STAY fit.

This has nothing to do with the usual content of my LJ and I suspect it will contain little interesting content so my current plan is to take it all private. However, others on my f-list may be cutting a similar path and find that having a place to talk about it might be useful.

If you suspect you might want to read, think about, or discuss these sorts of issues, please comment here. If there's interest, rather than making my entries private I'll f-lock them and make a special filter for those who want to wade through it all.

This is going to be mostly navel-gazing, so consider yourself fairly warned.
16 April 2008 @ 11:15 am
I've been putting off dealing with the fact that I need more exercise for a long time. Yesterday I finally pulled up my big girl pants, joined a gym -- and got a personal trainer. Read more... )
01 April 2008 @ 12:33 am
Every Monday is yoga night. It has been for several months now. I'm in level 1A, which is sort of like training wheels yoga, and it's kicking my ass. I enjoy it but some of the things we do? Jee-zus. Sometimes they're difficult things and I'm okay with not being up to it. I'm simply nowhere near being ready to do a handstand so I'm okay with sucking at attempting them. (I do NOT want to think about what upper level yoga students are doing. Pinky stands? Wrapping both legs around their necks?)

It's when the move is easy that I despair. Like tonight. During one of our rest periods, we're supposed to sit back on our heels with our toes flexed under our feet. This is supposed to stretch the bottoms of our feet. Wrong. I feel no stretch. What I do feel is intense agony in the knuckles between my big toes and my feet.

In a former life, I was an archaeologist. An archaeologist whose specialty was analyzing human remains, in fact. I regularly analyzed how a person's life wrote itself on his or her bones. You can tell that someone kneeled a lot during life with her feet in that hyperdorsiflexion position because it deformed the bones. Finding it in a skeleton? Way cool talking point. Having it in my own body? Totally not cool pain point.

Every Monday night for a couple of five minute periods isn't enough to deform my metatarsals radically but the changes it causes are associated with osteoarthritis in that joint in older individuals. A couple of hours after finishing the class, those joints hurt. I think that's a move I'm going to have to pass on in future sessions -- but I hate being such a wimp over something like *kneeling.*

I feel compelled to report that I'm not a complete loser in the kneeling department because after that we kneel with our feet pointed rather than flexed and that's 100% comfortable to me. :)
29 January 2008 @ 09:38 am
Amy and I prevailed against The Yoga Curse this past Saturday -- with the help of [livejournal.com profile] yams69 and his family -- and I finally took my first yoga class. I had way more fun at it than I ever expected and I can hardly wait for the next one. :)

What is the Yoga Curse? I'm glad you asked... )

It was worth the tribulations in getting there but I'm hoping we've banished the Yoga Curse and can just enjoy the classes without the hurdles from now on.
Current Mood: determined
24 October 2007 @ 11:35 am
Has anyone received tickets yet for the Con in NJ? I haven't yet but I've dug out my statements and printed copies to have in hand when Creation inevitably bungles the tickets.

So, here's the final itinerary I've come up with. Not a whole lot of changes. I need to get to NYC earlier than planned so that I can catch dinner with [livejournal.com profile] la_directora before she takes off to work on a film. I've added in a side trip to the Smithsonian this coming Sunday, though I know it'll make me weep for all of the stuff I *won't* have a chance to see.

Itinerary )

[livejournal.com profile] yams69, [livejournal.com profile] mcroft, and [livejournal.com profile] immlass -- PLEASE look over this schedule and make certain it still works for you. If not, don't be shy about telling me. I can happily adjust so that I spend more time at the Smithsonian or I can go to Manhattan a day earlier and catch more time with [livejournal.com profile] la_directora, maybe a full day at the Cloisters or some time at the Frick? There's always more to do than I have time so you won't hurt my feelings. :)
11 October 2007 @ 03:03 pm
Happy Coming Out Day!

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

Happy (Belated) Columbus Day to my American friends who celebrate the day!
11 September 2007 @ 06:17 pm
[livejournal.com profile] hwrnmnbsol has just posted one of my all-time favorite Tales from the Job Site, CHONNNGGG. I first read the story almost a decade ago and I still love it.

In high school, he went to a rival school and was my academic nemesis. I lost out to him all too often. It wasn't just in math or science -- one talent geniuses weren't uncommon and I could have taken comfort in being better than he in SOMETHING -- but math, science, literature, writing, history, and on and on...he was always winning the places I wanted. I'm sure he had no idea that I would mentally groan when he'd walk in the test room.

He didn't necessarily endear himself by turning up in my college freshman orientation group (ARGH!) and immediately dating the woman in the group with whom I'd bonded. He was sort of omnipresent. I doubt he was aware of how he'd thwarted me for years when we each still teenagers. Fortunately, I've mellowed over the years and now I can appreciate that, if I had to lose out to someone over and over and over and over and over (ok, I may still hold it against him a tiny bit), it was to someone who is brilliant.

And now, I want to go and get up to some stack mischief -- but you'll have to read the piece to get that. ;)
11 September 2007 @ 09:26 am
"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means."

This was the Einstein quote of the day a couple days ago and I had reason to reference it yesterday in a discussion of those whose sole contribution to problem solving is telling others what they're doing wrong. I just wanted to stash this some place where I could find it in future discussions.
01 July 2007 @ 09:59 am

I LOVE this photo! It was taken by [livejournal.com profile] mrkamikaze and it's the best capture of the MFAH's light tunnel that I've seen.

I worked at the museum back when they were expanding and I recall the angst that went into deciding what to put in the tunnel between the new and old buildings. At first, it was to be a simple hall and they were going to install cases to hold some of the museum's admittedly scanty collection of Native American arts. Then that got bogged down in the politics of marginalizing non-Western art to "pass by" status and the wank was long and bitter.

I'll admit, I rolled my eyes when they announced that the tunnel would, itself, become a work of light art. How wrong I was. The light shifts color and it's very, very cool experiential art. A bit disorienting to walk through but it's brilliant.
Current Mood: impressed