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cathyn: (Default)
My good friend [livejournal.com profile] joeguppy posted recently regarding the cowardice of those who supported Proposition 8 here in California, supporting the measure to deny equal protection under the law to a whole class of people, but at the same time not wanting that support to be public.

I agree that this displays abject cowardice.

Let any who read this know that I support freedom. I support love. I support the rights of anyone to marry anyone else, man and woman, woman and woman, man and man, or any multiple configuration thereof. I support happiness. I support the government staying the hell out of people's private lives as much and as often as possible.

I don't anticipate ever running for office, though I have been advised to do so, that I would be good at it. I don't believe I can or would, as it seems in the American version of democracy, only liars can really get elected, and my integrity is worth more than a single vote. If I ever do run for office, the position stated above will not be forgotten, or set aside for the expedient of seeking votes.

[livejournal.com profile] joeguppy asserts that his marriage affects no-one but him and his husband, but I would disagree a little. The happiness they bring each other affects me. That they are so in love lightens my heart, and spreads a little more light in the world. Keep loving each other, gentlemen, and to all my other friends, love those you love with all the intensity and passion you can muster, that love beats back the darkness of the world, and the world is a better place because of your love.
cathyn: (FoodPorn)
Last night was magnificent culinary adventure! I made two things, one in prep for later assembly, the other for immediate NOMS!

Choux pastry is something that had eluded me in the past, but I was trying it from having watched someone or other do it on TV, and didn't have it on DVR for rewinding. It was a failure, and I kinda gave up. Found a recipe for it, and it seemed simple enough, not nearly as complex as the last guy I saw demonstrate it, and it turns out the second impression was accurate. Boiled water, added butter, added sifted flour, stirred like mad. Added four eggs one at a time, let cool a bit, spooned into a pastry bag, squeezed out blobs onto a cookie sheet, baked in an oven pre-heated to 425, cooled and filled with white chocolate pudding. AWESOME!!!

The other thing I madwe was the farce for my Pate du Canard en Croute, pork, veal, salt pork (it's really hard in this tiny area to find plain ol' pork fat, but since the recipe called for an aggressive salting, I figured salt pork and no other added salt would work, and i was right!), cognac, Madiera, and some fresh herbs. This now awaits the duck, pastry, and eventually the serving knife!
cathyn: (FoodPorn)
...Made mayonnaise. It came out good. I knew it would.

Continuing to be inspired by St. Julia, I decided a few days ago to make Pate du Canard en Croute, which was the last dish Julie cooked in "Julie and Julia". Watching the movie I had one of those moments like in every movie with sword-play, you know, the "I could take him" moment. Julie was preceding with trepidation regarding boning a duck. I said aloud (having done it before) "Psh, that's easy, I can bone a duck!" To which [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour said "I know you can." Her faith in my skills inspired me to buy a duck yesterday, and at 12th Night this year, we will have a dish to snack on that should wow any who see it.

What's all that have to do with mayonnaise? Well, there's some back story here. Like many people of my age, we grew up watching St. Julia as our mothers (and of course sometimes our fathers) learned to cook from her. This as one might expect lead to many of us learning to cook or at least be very open to Culinary Adventure. In my kitchen hang photos of St. Julia and my mother, paying tribute to the two people without whom I'd never have taken up cooking at all. While I'm not going to take Julie's route of cooking everything in Julia's book in a year, I feel the need to expand my skills by learning what I want and think [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour would enjoy. Mayonnaise is a special challenge for two reasons. First, every time it is mentioned, my lovely wife says "YUCK! Mayonnaise sucks!" (having only ever had the kind from the store, which is hardly the same thing) and second, my mother often and rather vociferously commented on how terribly difficult making it was. For these two reasons I was convinced that I needed to master it, so that I could do something mom thought was hard, and so I could give the girl a chance to legitimately hate mayo.

So I made some, directly from Julia's recipe, which I won't post here, just buy the book already if you don't yet own it. [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour loved it, dipping her brussels sprouts in it with glee. I thought it was ok, owing to the oil I used, olive oil, pomace grade to be exact*, which really has a bit too much flavor for mayonnaise. There will be another batch made, with a much lighter oil, much of which will end up getting converted to one of the flavored sauces and served with the Duck dish on Saturday.

All in all I am pleased with the mayonnaise experiment, and in a few days will post the full report on the Canard.

Also, in an entirely unrelated note, a lovely Daddy Long Legs spider has taken up residence on the back of my flat-screen monitor, and every so often pops her head around to say "Hi!' It's quite cute.

* Please do not take this as an invitation to try to talk me into buying/using "Extra Virgin Olive Oil", I don't care to hear it. I have tasted dozens and dozens of olive oils, of many grades, and after exhaustive study, have determined I prefer the taste of the pomace grade, as it actually has a taste. Extra virgin tastes very very bland to me, and if I need oil with no flavor I save money and buy cheaper oils.


Dec. 14th, 2009 03:02 pm
cathyn: (Default)
Haven't posted in a bit, a fair bit to talk about.

Still looking for work, but things are looking up. It might be more accurate to say I'm still looking for interviews. I see lots of jobs I qualify for, send tons of resumes and cover letters, and rarely hear back from the companies. The "looking up" part is where I see my network expanding and more nice people sign up to look for jobs for me each week.

Fighting again. I took a few weeks off because I mangled my hand. Of course, my first time back in armor everything feels wrong again, sword's too heavy, shield's *way* too heavy (in its defense, it is brand-new never been fought with before), and I perceive I have no endurance. In reality I spent 9+ hours in armor, most of that fighting, drilling, or moving around, so the endurance is still there, but not how I want. To complicate things, I was back just in time for the Duke Brannos Seminar at DeGrendelus Martial Arts Academy, sponsored by HRH Uther. To say I learned a great deal would be an understatement. To say I got my ass handed to me multiple times would also be an understatement, but really, where is the shame in losing every fight to the host, Sir Gemini; the instructor, Duke Brannos; and almost every fight to HRM Titus. Right now I'm considering myself to be the Kansas City Chiefs, a former champion in the midst of a rebuilding year, losing a lot but still able to make some plays and win a couple against heavily favored opponents. I'm hoping this is my Brett-Favre-of-the-Jets season, to be followed hard upon by a Brett-Favre-on-the-Vikings season.

The new home is coming along really well. The painting is done, save for minor touch-ups. Today will see the kitchen finished, and likely the very minor leak in the master shower repaired, as well as the garage move-in phase 2 (electric boogaloo) executed. Not too many projects left on the trestleboard, and none of a large nature, until the middle-distance future where the kitchen gets remodeled, but I don't think I'll be executing that alone, professionals will likely be engaged.

On the state of The Colossus, I am still deeply in love, getting healthier, hand is stepping back into line, post-honeymoon weight loss is nearly complete (222# on Sunday, 2# over my target), and I am quite happy here in California. The home nearing completion makes me feel good, like even though I am unemployed I am Getting Things Done(tm). Later this week there will be a trip to SJSU with Official Transcripts in hand to check in on trading in my hard-earned box-tops credits for something in a delicate sheepskin. There will also be some poking of the PMI webiste to see if I am still eligible to to test for the PMP.

With work areas being organized, I will soon be able to step it up on more projects I have in planning. There will be some lapidary. There will be some jewelry making. There will be some bronze casting. There will be some sewing of properly researched and constructed Saxon-era clothing, as well as some Italian, and most certainly Swedish garments emerging from the shop.

Right, then.

HAPPY! HEALTHY! BOLDLY LEAPING INTO ACTION! (a super-hero might say "Heigh ho, Silver!", "Up, up, and away!" or "Stay ACTION AWESOME!" here. The run-of-the-mill Colossus is content to leap into action, once he gets his shoes on...)
cathyn: (Johnny!)
Fought tonight at Brion and [livejournal.com profile] ysabella_dolfin's unofficial practice, and things went well. I did not feel like getting geared up, but [livejournal.com profile] korwyn was having trouble analyzing a shot he landed poorly last time he fought, so we did a bunch of walk-throughs and that got me in the mood. I was kinda tired and kinda achy, like I was getting a cold, but I strapped it on anyway. I'm noticing something my body does that I am in love with. I was feeling ooogy as described above, right up until I fastened my chin-strap, then suddenly all those symptoms vanished, as did my achy shoulder which I got while sleeping last night.

So, looking through the bars, I did throw and land some shots, got hit a few times, and was having fun. After knowing him for over nine years, I finally got to fight HE Brion of Bellatrix, something I've looked forward to for years. It went one, maybe two fights, when it happened.

Cue n00B mistake in 3...2...1...

Me, sword and center-grip teardrop (teardrop from now on), him florentine. Us, warily circling each other. Him, swinging a lovely shot that should've just slid below the edge of the teardrop and hit my right thigh, just above the knee. Me, jumping out of the way, and raising my left leg, clearing the right leg out of the way so his well-aimed shot missed it, and SLAMMED into my left shin, about 5" above the ankle, along the posterior of the medial edge of the tibia. We finished the fight, me on my knees in penance for having target-substituted, him on his knees as he is a man of honor. When the fight was over, I limped off the field an dtook off my kit, as I could no longer carry enough of my weight on my left leg to continue fighting. The goose-egg on the side of my leg is impressive, angry red, and keeps sending threatening messages to my brain regarding my stupidity.

Pain. Pain is the lesson-teacher. Pain shows us things we should not do again. I should never lift my foot 10" off the ground in a fight again as long as I live. I hope I've learned this lesson well and truly. As Musashi-sama says, "You must think upon this deeply". I am sure every time I fail to be thinking upon this deeply for the next few ways, pain will remind me to continue studying.
cathyn: (Dr. Jayne)
I am sure that some time in the very near future, some dumbass with a journalism degree will start referring to the balloon hoax fiasco as "BalloonGate". Probably once the court hearings start. Mark my words...
cathyn: (Default)
...something bright, shiney, and discussing being back in Oslo after a lovely trip to Bergen. But I can't. Today the words were silenced by the loss of a friend. I most likely won't end up posting again until we're home. My heart goes out to Sven and those closest to her, to Caid, and to everyone who will from today forward be deprived of her smile.
cathyn: (Default)
So, we get to Bergen, and promptly leave. Well, sorta. We got in, walked around a bit, shopped for an umbrella, smiled when it got sunny to celebrate my arrival, then went to the tourist board and booked a Cruise of the Fjords! It was AWESOME! The scenery was incredible, we saw rainbows, waterfalls, super-cute shore-side houses, and over 600,000 fruit trees. We took a bus from Bergen to Norheimsund, caught a boat which then took us to Eidfjord (with stops in many cute little towns on the way), then back on the bus and up to the tallest waterfall in Norway (the name of which has of course slipped my mind). OMGSCENERY!!!

We got back late, I cooked a simple dinner, then we read books and slept late.

The next day we had a slow day, touring a couple nice museums, shopping (but not buying any tourist-crap) in Bryggen (old Bergen), saw some *really* old building foundations, and maps of the development of Bryggen the fishing village to Bryggen the Hanseatic trading post to Bergen of today. Dinner was even fantastic, we found a Ethopian place, tucked in among the lutefisk shops.

Today we're posting about our adventures, then going to the Lepersmuseet, and two other museums, writing postcards, drinking coffee, and waiting for a train to Oslo at 2300. Gah, what a day! Also, read [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour's post, she's better at this stuff than me.

See ya'll soon!


Sep. 24th, 2009 07:38 pm
cathyn: (Default)
Not gonna write too much, but thanks Jenny! Jenny lives in Uppsala, and volunteered to be our tour guide today showing us all the sights and joys that lovely town has to offer. We took some nice shots, I am *totally* inspired to make a scepter inspired by the one removed from the grave of Catherine Jagellonica. Also, I got to see the Sture Murder Clothes. I've been dying to see them after having first read about them in Arnold, then digging and digging to find the story of the murder (yeah, I've been onto this story line since long before the webbernetz made research so damned easy.) I believe that when we get home, modifying the existing patterns to fit my measurements and then making one or more of the outfits is *very* high on my agenda! I am so excited!
cathyn: (Default)
The UK portion of our adventure has drawn to a close, with little left but a couple hours in Heathrow waiting for our flight home, about two-ish weeks from now. The trip so far has left me with some great memories and feelings, and some I'm not so happy about.

The good:

  • Hastings
  • Westminster
  • Haggis!
  • Castles in general
  • Hadrian's wall
  • Tower of London
  • Taking the Tube all over London (Cheap! Convenient! Cool as hell!)
  • Walking everywhere else
  • Unseasonably perfect weather (Really, Scotland should hire me to provide such things)
  • Cobblestone streets
  • Snickleways, closes, and all other manner of narrow path/roadways that come from more than ten centuries of urbanization
  • IRN-BRU!

I'm not going to talk about the stuff I didn't like, it's pretty common stuff, and not really worthy of bitching about. No sense in bringing anyone down with petty griping. ;)

Suffice it to say I love Scotland, almost as much as I loved Ireland, and would probably be happy living in either, though it's never gonna happen. We simply put have too many friends at home, and really would be lonely without the lot.

Sweden looks to be just as much fun, but with a little less time to check things out, thought that shouldn't be too big a problem, as there isn't as much we want to see. For now there are plans for three days here, a trip to Uppsala to see Viking stuff and The Sture suits(!!!!) with a native guide we've never met but has been reading [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour's journal for some time now, and then back to Stockholm before heading to Oslo and Bergen, then home. I will keep you all posted with the ongoing adventures of the International Couple of Mystery
cathyn: (Default)
Day 5 (of the 7-day Haggis Tour, not the whole trip)
Took the ferry from Ullapool to Stornaway, 2.75 hours on deep water, it was very cool! Once on the Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebridies) we drove to the northern tip, to a place called Eoropie Beach, where the surf was pounding the coatsline, and our guide mentioned if we'd been there a month ago we could have taken surfing lessons. No thanks, not in the North Sea/North Atlantic. Shortly we visited a church, about 200 yards away, St. Mongo's (or someone else, I missed the real name, sorry), which is a lovely, tiny, old place, one of the few buildings we've seen the was pre-Norman Invasion that had not been rebuilt sometime later. Allegedly if you run seven laps around the church, then sleep inside overnight, your insanity is cured. Think to yourselves now who *you* think should be buying themselves tickets to Scotland.

Callanish Standing Stones was next (cal-an-ISH) was very cool, as was Dun Carloway Brock, a 2000 year old stone fortress that you really should read up on later. Since much of the day had been eaten up with the long ferry ride this just about ended day 5, save for cooking Sweet Curried Lamb Chops for my angel.

Day 6
Drove down from Lewis to Harris (two Isles in name only, as they're connected by land), home of Harris Tweeds. Shopped but did not buy and hand spun and woven wool, as I couldn't take the £25/meter price. We then took the ferry over to the Isle of Skye, stopping first to let traffice of the other vehicles on the ferry die down. This short stop included following our noses to the fantastic Isle of Skye Brewery where many of our fellow travellers bought "supplies" for the bus ride. Next we stopped for a long walk on Luskentyre Beach, where one of the Aussie girls on our tour celebrated her 30th birthday. In short order after followed Cuth-Raing (Quiraing), where many scenes from "Highlander" were filmed, and we were buzzed by helicopters filming stuff for the next Harry Potter film, and a kangaroo burger was consumed by Yours Truly. Thence to Kilt Rock, Fairy Falls and the Old Man of Storr. We dipped our faces for seven seconds each in the Slagackie River, and are now the 17 most beautiful people in the British Isles, before drivintg past Eilean Donan Castle (more movie settings) and off to Fort Augustus for the night. In Fort Augustus' "Highland Center" we were treated to the "Original Highland Strip Show".

Day 7
The drive back to Edinburgh. Along the way we stopped at the Commando Memorial (not raised to all who wear their kilts correctly) and listened to a song exhorting the Scots to throw off English rule permanently and name Sean Connery as Head of State. We had lunch at the Drover's Inn, where Rob Roy frequently ate, and gave himself fatal blood poisoning. Edinburgh came into view, and we made our way to our hotel for a nice night in reading and trying to watch the 13" tv that is on a metal shelf 8.5" from the floor. Very wierd.

More news as it comes in, next stop, Stockholm Sweeden!
cathyn: (Default)
Pshew! What *didn't* we see in the last three days!?!

Day 1 (uh...Saturday?)
Dunkeld Cathedral, River Tay, very very lovely, sun was shining (wait, this becomes a theme) grass and trees were radiant, it was amazing. Off to short lunch in Kingussie, then to the Hermitage (one of two we saw in the same couple days) then to a nice Neolithic site, Clava Cairns, which were incredibly well researched, down to paterns of what stones were placed where. Then to one of the major hinge-pin sites in all history, Culloden. Our guide went through with his speculation (and I have to say I love this sort of thing) about how much different the world would be had Bonny Prince Charlie ignored his traitorous advisor, and instead of turning back north to his eventual defeat at Culloden, completed his march on London and demanded his Crown from George II. Yeah. Possibly no American Revolution. Probably limited "Imperialist" expansion and therefor no "Empire that didn't know a sunset". No Victorian sexual repression. All sorts of depredations on the rest of the world carried out by the Hanovarians and their descendants would have been different. Not necessarily completely avoided, but of the small number of events upon which the fate of the world was we know it, Charlie's effort to restore the Throne of England to the Stewarts is one with terrifically far-reaching, yet easily considered variables. Wow, what a thing to waste hours pondering. I really love this stuff.

After that we went through Inverness up to Loch Ness, then back to Inverness for the night. A highlight of Day 1 included the lunch stop. A guy on our tour is deaf, and has an amazing bionic ear thing, which allows him to hear, pretty well, really. As we were ordering, he kept trying to get the waitress' attention, and she managed to completely ignore him, though he was speaking quite loudly enough to be heard. As she turned to walk away without taking his order, he asked "What, are you deaf?!?" which cracked me up, as well as the rest of the crew.

Day 2
We had an early ferry to catch, so I must title day 2 as "OMFG4:30AM!!!" which is the hour the day started, in order to be on the bus in Inverness at 5:30, and thence to John O'Groats, the northernmost point of Britain, for a short photo-op before getting the 0930 ferry to Orkney. Somewhere in here the sun rose again, and the weather was bloody FABULOUS! There we saw and learned the story of the Churchill Barriers, the Italian Chapel, before heading to some very old rings of standing stones, Stenness Henge and Brodgan Henge. After that we toured the amazing yet somewhat bland Skara Brae, where the level of preservation is incredible, but obtained by keeping people far from the old stuff, which was contrasted the next day at a different site. We the hit Birsay Palace before heading to Kirkwall for the night, where we ate the WORST CHINESE FOOD EVAR!!!

Day 3
We visited a site contemporary to Skara Brae, the Tomb of the Eagles. Instead of being owned by the government it is in private hands, so instead of a sterile "reproduction" of the site we got to enter both the stone-age burial site and the Bronze-age settlement site, touch the actual stones and artifacts, and even the 4500 year old skulls. Much cooler, more intense than Skara Brae by far. We had a great deal of driving to take care of, so we got the the ferry by noon, sailed back to the mainland, and drove about 170 miles on single-lane roads at very low speeds, stopping for a stroll on a beach (yes, once again the weather was TERRIFIC, much to the comment of everyone we met) and into the Atlantic/North Sea, and again for Smoo Cave, and the Village of Tongue, where many "I <3 Tongue" shirts and stickers were purchased. We also had a very brief photo-op stop at sunset at the ruins of Ardvreck Castle before rolling into Ullaport for dinner and deep sleep.

Day 4
Our mid-tour day off, where [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour and I planned on a huge mountain hike to work off all the crap we ate the day before (ginger fudge and Orkeny Ice Cream), and of course, after three magnificent days of sitting in a bus seat in brilliant sunshine, it rained. Bugger! We still hiked up a mountain, got soaked, drank lovely tea, and did laundry. Soon will be the group dinner and then more with the sleeping.

Loves ya all, Intrepid Readers, stay tuned for another exciting chapter, when next I have connectivity!

Short post

Sep. 9th, 2009 06:32 pm
cathyn: (Default)
Made it to our tour this morning after another half-night's sleep in the thin springy hostel bed. My hip still hurts. Got on the bus headed for the Lake District and stuff, in England. Stopped at the Scotland/England border for a photo op. Stopped and had a pub burger and saw the richest cream I've ever seen for pouring in coffee, kinda like molasses consistency, it was a thing of beauty. We then dropped further south and saw a nice chunk of Hadrian's Wall, and climbed a substantial hill to something of a hill-fort/sheep pen. Tres cool. We stopped for a potty break at a place with an artisan bread and cheese shop and grabbed a loaf of wierd looking "muesli bread", which turned out to be pretty healthy, no butter was harmed in its manufacture, and DELICIOUS!!!

Oh, yeah, the "Hay!" thing. [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour does this thing when we drive passed fields with hay bales, where she kinda quickly points and says "Hay!", gets me looking every time. Today we passed a field with unbailed hay, and I pointed and exclaimed in my best Curly Howard impersonation "Hay Mow!" She cackled madly. A bit later we saw a giant pile of those rolled up hay bales, covered in black plastic, and she called out "Look, Haydrian's Wall!" Much hilarity...

Ah, York...

Sep. 7th, 2009 08:01 pm
cathyn: (This is all I have)
As mentioned on facebook, apparently the Library in York, where the only publicly available internet access can be found, LiveJournal seems to be considered porn. So, three days of post for the price of one, but don't worry, York is much small and less densely populated with cool stuff, so there's not that much to write about.

First day there we walked from our lovely B&B through the city wall, past York Minster, and all around the very quaint shopping area. Quite nice, but mostly a mix of modern clothing stores, very old pubs, and trinketry (yes, I just invented a new word). Somewhere in there we found a stand where a very nice man will drop twelve squeezes of batter into hot oil and make you a dozen donuts on the spot for the grand price of £2! Awesome, fresh hot donuts! We ate these as we walked to the Jorvik Viking Centre, which as it turns out is about 10% cool artifacts and 90% hokey-as-hell carnival ride "time machine", though the ride does glide you slowly through some reproduction and some 100% authentic material buildings representing what Jorvik was probably like in the year ~900AD, down to the stink. Among the cool stuff was an actual skeleton complete with wound analysis based on nicks, dents, and healed fractures of the bones. OK, but not worth the money. We then decided to walk around a bit more, and stopped by Betty's for Cream Tea. Really, it's hard to beat, delicious tea, and fresh hot scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. What's not to love? The Shambles were also very cool, but our guide describes them thusly: "The Shambles is a winding cobblestone road, narrow and looking exactly like the road must have looked in 1560. That is if everyone in 1560 was dashing in to buy tourist junk in the 30 minutes they had away from their bus."

After the tea (not to be confused with "Afternoon Tea", which seems to be something of a complete meal) we'd decided to walk around the town wall for a bit of exercise before heading back to the B&B. We planned to head out for fruit, cheese, and bread for our dinner later, but instead we bought a bag of ice. As we set out on what should have been a 1.4 mile walk on the wall tops, a hornet flew directly into my face, hitting high on my cheek and bouncing into my eye, which of course caused me to clamp my eye shut to protect it from danger. Sadly this had the effect of capturing the hornet against my face in the folds of my eyelid. I dug a finger in to dig him out of my eye, not yet knowing it was a stinging insect, when he simultaneously stung my cheek about .5" from my eye, and bit a chunk out of my nose. I'll post pictures later, but the hole in my nose was about 1/8"x3/16", rather large, really. At that point I got him away from my face and he hit the ground, where [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour stomped him to paste. Remembering the trouble I had last time I got stung (think "hospital trip at Pennsic two years ago"), we fairly dashed back to the B&B where my benadryl was, stopping only long enough to grab a bag of ice. The rest of the evening passed with us watching TV (me from one eye), dropping off to sleep, and my sweetie waking me up every 20 minutes to either put on or take off the icepack. This seems to have worked pretty well, the swelling was gone in about 36 hours, and no other symptoms have come up.

The next day we toured York Minster, which has far more dead bishops and far fewer dead kings, though the climb up to the top of the tower was well worth the effort, even in the very cold rain. The stained glass was good, and the screen of kings (fifteen kings, from the Bastard to Henry VI) was really cool. We then went to Clifford's Tower on the way to the York Castle Museum, which is one of the most poorly named museums I've ever visited. They have a wing dedicated to soap, shampoo, and domestic cleaning devices, another to kitchens through the ages (which actually *did* interest me) and lots of other things utterly unrelated to York Castle. It was also £7.50, way too much, but came with the bonus of being affiliated with York Museum, which, for £1.50 extra you could also visit, which turned out to be cool, including having the Coppergate Helm and several other artifacts of great interest. Somewhat better museum, much better stuff.

While at Clifford's Tower, we came upon a sign which drew our immediate consternation. For about a week by this point we'd been touring and paying for plenty of sites that were all part of the National Trust. The sign at Clifford's Tower was unlike any sign we'd seen any place before, flogging not just membership in the Trust, but WEEKLY PASSES for EVERY SITE in the National Trust, for under £40 each!!! DAMMIT!!! I am certain we spent far more than that on the various admissions we'd paid along the way, having that pass would've saved us a bunch of money. If you come over for any more than about a day visit, look into the weekly All Sites pass.

But, I digress.

The next day, Sunday, yesterday, we took the train to Leeds, having pretty much exhausted the list of things to do in York. In Leeds we did the one thing every SCA member does, toured the Royal Armory. Less cool than I had hoped, with the displays being kinda spread out, a little less...densely appointed than I'd hoped, and chaotically jumbled, not following any organized time-line that I could detect. We went from jousting suits to modern police gear to the War of the Roses to Japanese armor, and so on. I took lots of pictures, particularly of a particular Japanese helm, and the "Black and White" suit. Back to the train, and back to York, where we bought more fruit, some carrots, bread and gouda, then retired to the room, put our very weary feet up, watched cricket highlights and then a movie while eating dinner.

Next morning we awoke and headed for Edinburgh, which I'll tell you about in the next exciting chapter in the thrilling tales of the INTERNATIONAL COUPLE OF MYSTERY!
cathyn: (Default)
Me: What'd we do yesterday?
Her: Everything.

Bugger. My tiny reminder journal is back at the hostel, so I'm gonna have to wing it.

Yesterday we walked for about ten hours. Five hours of hard-core pickin' 'em up and puttin' 'em down, and five hours of ambling and touring.

We started the day at the Tower of London, which was both lovely and kinda disappointing. The fortifications and history were awesome, seeing Traitor's Gate up close was very cool, and seeing the very window the Princes in the Tower looked out was also cool (RICHARD WAS FRAMED!) We took the Yeoman Warder's tour with Steve, one of only two Royal Marines on the Warders currently. Fascinating! Absolute command of the details, but able to tell them interestingly, and let us know the places where history is unclear in very entertaining ways. We saw the location of the Block on Tower Green. We saw the place in the White Tower where the Princes (alleged) bodies were found, while heading inside for the very disappointing exhibit of Henry VIII's armor through the years. Three suits and a lot of speculation. Walked around, ate lunch, and saw something else...can't quite remember...oh yeah.


OMG Awesome!!! You've seen the pictures, but that cannot compare to seeing them from two feet away! Diamonds bigger than your eyes, the stone from AEdward the Confessor's ring, and MY VERY FAVORITE ROCK ON THE PLANET, BAR NONE: The Black Prince's Ruby! I was, and still am, all a-squee!

Eventually we ended up in the Chapel where Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard repose. At that time we talked a bit about other things historical, among these was Jack the Ripper and his deeds in Whitechapel, which it turns out our Yeoman Warder also leads guided tours of. More about this later.

We then took the Tube to Temple Station, got out and walked to the all-too-famous-due-to-the-Da-Vinci-Code-crap Temple Church to visit the effigy of the Greatest Knight of all, William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, who we know as the Earl Marshal. Not as evocative a visit for me as Battle, but a worthy pilgrimage for a Knight.

After paying my respects to that Great Knight, we headed for the British Museum, where we saw much, took a bunch of piccies, and had a lot more walking. The Sutton Hoo collection was a big highlight for me, as was the Rosetta Stone, and the bust of the Pimpin'est Pimp in Pimpdom, Rameses II. I took quite a few photos of the Collar of Estate for the Most Noble Order of the Garter, research for a project I have in mind. We spent several hours there, had a snack, then went to meet Yeoman Steve and Saucey Jack!

We walked through the streets of London, and across into Whitechapel, listening to Steve's terrifically engaging narrative, saw the sites of four of the five murders (one's been completely covered by a brewery, now defunct), talked at length about the suspects and the other contemporary killings that were originally ascribed to Jack but since dismissed as the work of others, until the finale where Steve revealed to us the name of the killer, and the conclusive evidence which he has held in his own hands. Suffice it to say I am quite convinced. It was me. I was the Ripper all along, and I would've gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't have been for those meddling Yeoman Warders!

Nothing to post about today, we slept for about eleven hours, did laundry, and are cooking at the hostel tonight, so, move along, nothing to see here. Next stop is York, where I'm sure there will be something to write about.
cathyn: (us)
We went to a tea shop and had Cream Tea, which as it turns out is a delightful cup of tea, accompanied by scones, jam, and clotted cream. Perfect! Then we took the train back to town the Tube to Covent Garden, and got tickets to Avenue Q, which was splendid. Between ticket purchase and show opening, we had time to eat at "Belgo", a fantastic Belgian place [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour knew from previous visits.

All in all the day was perfect. A deeply moving experience for me early, then lightness and glorious company the rest of the day.

I am having the best honeymoon EVAR!!!
cathyn: (Default)
Took the early (yet off-peak) train to Hastings today, and toured the battlefield. There's a big part of the tour dedicated to the Monastery and such, but I really could have cared less about anything but the field where the Bastard usurped the Throne from its Rightful King. I walked the field, stood in places the invaders must have stood, daunted at the climb ahead of them to reach the Saxon positions. I felt nothing, other than "You shouldn't have come" thought softly to the Normans. We walked around the bottom of the field, then climbed the slope towards the drawn-up Saxon lines, and I began to feel it. A longing, a pain. As we neared the top, the rain began to lightly fall. We reached the top, where the path was that must have wound right through our lines, where thousands of Huscarls met their deaths and I felt it. I tried to summon the song, written by my friend Andrixos, "Requiem for a Huscarl", but in it's own way it is too cheerful, telling the tale of a warrior who fought for his King, and died before the defeat, and among who's last words are "...for it seems the battle is won." This line brings me to tears each time I hear it or sing it, as I know the truth. As I walked the lines where Huscarls fell, I sang to myself the song "I Will Mourn My King". Then I visited the marker denoting the place where it is believed King Harald fell. There I sang to his spirit "Song of the Shieldwall". I took many pictures of Senlac Hill, both from the bottom and from the top, took pictures of Harald's marker. I knelt beside it and did something lame. I am the 91st Huscarl of Calontir. In the rain on the top of the stone I traced my 91 with my finger, knowing it would be every bit as permanent as Harald's reign. The entire visit touched me deeply, with sadness, and with the honor that was given to me by Eringlin King when he made me a Huscarl, and connected me to the men on the hill, my brothers. I didn't wear my medallion, I didn't wear my hockey jersey, but I wore my Axes on my heart.
cathyn: (Default)
Flying first class on Virgin Atlantic was the single most enjoyable flying experience I've ever had, which is saying something when it is noted that I A) am a many-time member of the Mile High Club and B) did not renew my membership on this flight. Holy crap a boy could get used to that kind of luxury!

We left SFO on Thursday afternoon, flew for about 9.5 hours, and arrived in London at 10:30 Friday morning, all very agreeable times, really. I watched both "Gran Torino" and "Watchmen" on the flight, which left me quite tired enough to get 4-5 hours of sleep, and wake up at the previously noted very seemly hour. We took the Tube to the hostel, got checked in, showered, and napped, then went to see some of London. We ended up in Soho, which was great, despite the redolence of Warren Zenon references. Then home for sleep, even though we did not in fact eat beef chow mein at Eho Fooks. Or however it's spelled. ;-)

Saturday we took the Tube to Trafalgar Square, puttered around a bit, then toured the National Gallery, where I saw many of my favorite paintings up close and personal, including HRM Charles I astride a rather large horse by Van Dyck (which I am too lazy at the moment to google for), "The Arnolfini Wedding", and "SUNFLOWERS"!!!1!eleven!! Vincent is my favorite artist of all, and they have four of his paintings diplayed. His genius is incomparable. After a while we went and had bread, cheese, fresh fruit and stuff on the stairs in Trafalgar, then walked around more, finding Jermyn Street and window shopping suits and custom made shirts like little demons, thense to the oldest cheese shop in England where we bought a petit munster and a nice piece of Shropshire Blue, and then a small mistake was made. We found Fortnum and Mason, and I found the candy counter. Twenty quid later I left with four decidedly small bags of four decidedly amazing treats. We made them last for about three days, which works out to about £6/per day, so it wasn't all *that* bad. Later we wandered up to Picadilly Circus, which was bright, flashy, and little else. All in all it was a very fun day.

Each night since landing we've been having a tiny bit of trouble with sleep. Getting to sleep is fine, but we seem to wake up at about 3-4AM, lay awake for an hour or so, then get back to sleep. It's the only jet-lagish symptom we're having, though.

Sunday we went to Hampton Court, as did everyone else in England. It was a pretty nice place, obviously the setting used for a couple of the higher-budget Henry VIII films, but it was simply too damned crowded to enjoy. There was jousting, and it was rather skillfully done, quite impressive show, really, but otherwise the madding crowd was less than wonderful.

Monday (Today!) we had every intention of getting up at 7:30, setting out for the train station and heading off to Hastings. However, noting that "waking up at 3AM" thing, dawn broke for us at about 10:30, and by the time showers and breakfast were managed, the clock at the train station read "The Crack of NOON!" Yeah, we got a late start, took the 90 minute ride to Dover Castle, and then discovered that GUIDEBOOKS LIE! LIE LIKE RUGS I TELL YOU!!! "Arriving at the Dover Priory station, you find an easy fifteen minute hike to Dover Castle..." the fine book prevaricated. Fifteen minutes, STRAIGHT UP THE SIDE OF EVEREST!!! The walk was short, indeed, but steep, very very steep. We didn't discover the depths of this lie until after we toured the mildly cheesey yet terrifically cool "Painted House Museum", which is essentially a small modern building set up over the top of an archaeological dig of a 2000 year old Roman house that was partially destroyed by the Romans when they decided to build a permanent wall around the town. The dig was terrific, in that they covered all the material they unearthed getting down two thousand years, including everything that hed been built and subsequently destroyed over it, like a 5th century hut, an 11th century Saxon weaving shop, a 17th century bakery, a 19th century Victorian garden, and a 20th century parking lot. Teriffically impressive.

Then there was the scaling of the fortress. In the Roman museum there was a 3D representation of the path from the town destined to become Dover, at near sea level beside the harbor, up to the Roman Lighthouse, the oldest building on the British Isles (or so they claim, perhps excluding some stone lintel-thingies her and there) across the back end of the harbor then up a set of switchbacks up the side of the mountain. UGH. We skipped the bus ride deciding we'd see more of Dover afoot, and after a short bit of climbing saw little but our shoetops. Eventually we made the first leveling off ot the mountain, at the WWII era tunnels and gun emplacements. Interesting, but not what we came to see, then uphill a bit more to the Roman Lighthouse and Saxon-era church (secretly what I came to see, but shhhhh) which as a Huscarl was right up my alley. I loved the place, and was rather amused with the alter cloth hanging in the side chapel, called the Chapel of St Michael the Archangel. Represented on the cloth were the expected St Edward the Confessor, St George, a couple more I did not recognize, and St Carolus. In a Crown. Wearing riding boots and a Van Dyck beard. I must ask someone more learned, but did the Anglican Church Beatify King Charles I when I wasn't looking? I have photos I'll post later, but I'm pretty sure the "St Carolus" (Charles) as depicted was Charles Stewart.

Later we went to the Tower of Henry II, which was awesome and beyond awesome. There are many ruins of castles all over England, but this is one of the finest maintained places I've ever seen, and looks for all to see as being as close as is humanly possible to what one would think it must have looked like in the 12th Century. If you are planning to tour castles, tour this one, it's fantastic. They even had an actor protraying Henry II enthroned, having discourse with Sir William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembrook, and a personal hero of many and many many others in the SCA.

Afterwards we went to a pizza place across from Victoria Station and had a terrific dinner, then home to post for you, and thence to bed, and with that, Gentle Readers, I will close this post. See you all soon!
cathyn: (Default)
Off to Europe shortly, back in 6-8 weeks. I'll be checking email, but won't have a phone, so drop me a note or post something for me and I should see it.

Also, I hope to be posting about the adventures, but don't expect "War and Peace" as I hope to enjoy Europe more than I write about it. ;-)

Try to not burn down the webbernets while I'm gone!
cathyn: (us)
That girl totally married the crap outta me!

The past three weeks have been a bliss-filled whirlwind of activity. Got married in Vegas by Elvis, in the company of a good number of friends. Flew to Maine and the Maritimes, ate tons of lobster, collected rocks on a beach in the Bay of Fundy, saw tons of lovely sites, and fell even deeper in love with my angel. Flew back to Indiana with no small drama to pick up her car, then drove to Albuquerque to see my beloved mentor, [livejournal.com profile] sandradodd. While there we went to 10k Waves, puttered around Old Town (amazing architecture, cool stuff, all entirely co-opted by the tourist-trap crappy souvenir industry), and a bunch of other NM scenery. Had huevos rancheros and Frontier roll on the way out of town before driving to Flagstaff AZ where we met up with friends of [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour, late of House Beckenham and currently B&B of Ered Sul. Great people, great stories, Himalayan food for dinner, followed by staying up a bit too late watching poker on Hotel-O-Vision. A highlight of yesterday's travels included a fantastic intentional detour through Painter Desert and the Petrified Forest. HOLY CRAP is it lovely out there!

Twelve hours in the car today, luckily tanking up in Kingman AZ so as to avoid the gas station that lies somewhere out there in the blistering sands of the Mojave that is rumored to sell gas to drivers who failed to plan ahead for the bargain rate of ~$7.50/gallon, or so we heard.

As usual, [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour is the best traveling companion EVAR! I'm so glad I met her, so glad she asked me to marry her, and so glad Elvis said "I now pronounce you man and wife. Thank you very much..."

Tomorrow should be the web-monkeying episode of the show, wherein I change the "Getting Married!" webpage to "It's a done deal", complete with links to many many photographs, and the complete wedding on video!
cathyn: (Dancing skeleton)
So, Beloved Readers, we find ourselves in a modestly squalid hotel in Wendover UT. We've had kindly adventures, seen new cars, old cars, fast cars, slow cars, and scenery, glorious scenery. Big huge skies, bright bright sunshine, and damned near 2000 miles under the treads. Priscilla's been a champ through it all, though she was none too fond of the stiff headwind in Wyoming. That dropped her under 30MPG for a while, but she recovered nicely when we got into the hills of Utah, beautiful lovely Utah. Utah is lovely in the winter, all covered in snow, and even prettier in sunshine and greenery. Simply gorgeous.

(Right, Mr. Author, sounds good, but a bit thin on detail, elaborate a bit, please?)


We left Indiana at 0730 Friday, pretty much exactly on schedule, after the fantastic folks at Get-A-Sam picked up our single 8'x8'x16' pod that I managed to pack the entire house into with the muscular assistance of the Squire-boys hauling heavy things from upstairs to down for with me, and the fabulous International Woman of Mystery packing boxes and providing enthusiastic support and motivation (read I tried to keep her from having to carry anything heavy). Indy to Kansas City was Smooth and uneventful, and we got in some nice walking before dinner at my favorite restaurant in KC not named Arthur Bryant's, Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ. Love the place, haven't eaten there in over twelve years, every bit as good as I remembered, and in all that time, the price only went up $3. Mr. Cody was unhappy with the accommodations, and let us know by multiple episodes of 20 minute sessions noisily moving his cat litter from one side of the box to the other and back again. Call it three hours sleep had by all, all night.

Left KC at about 0800 on what turned out to be quite a long leg, a good bit over 10 hours before arriving in Denver CO. Went through town to avoid the eastside tollway. I hate tollways. In town, traffic was severely bottlenecked at the I-70/I-25 junction, so we detoured onto 36. No biggie, got a tiny bit turned around, arrived about 10 minutes later than estimated. Not bad really. Met up with Bela, Anna, Mav, Cailie, Carrie, Max and Yaz at Pinnochio's. Food was fab, company was better, and then we went sleepies. The next day we ate at Lucille's in Longmont where your Humble Narrator had beignet and cafe au lait. Then off to the coolest museum I've ever been in, not due to the qualiity or variety of exhibits (which really were good, too) but that the docent let us across the ropes several times to not just get closer looks at the stuff, but to let us touch things, play the pedal organs, and even let us try to figure out how some of the things work. It was awesome. More with the good food and good company that night, and there is a joke afoot that I am DYING to see the punchline of, but I can say no more.

We awoke early this morning, ate continental brekkies, and hit the road. Mr, Cody was a bit more restless as he'd had a whole extra day out of the box, and it seems he'd settled in at the second hotel and thought we'd finished traveling. He registered his complaints long and loud, until the diazpam kicked in anyway. We then had a delightful drive punctuated by "ooohs" and "ahhhs" as the windy plains of Wyoming gave way to the green green hills of Utah. Sounds funny to say that, as I'll bet it seems a bit funny to read, as most seem to think Utah is a desert. Some part of it is, but wow is it really verdant in other places. Eventually the green subsided and gave way to the expected salty salty desert, which eventually led to Exit 2 - Wendover UT, not to be confused with West Wendover NV. Just on the other side of an intersection, West Wendover is full of casinos and...um...cabarets and "gentlemen's clubs". Strangely, however, it seems there is no grocery store in either Wendover, so we ended up lunching at Subway. Again. The food is good, consistent, and fairly healthy. So, Bob's your Uncle, we had lunch.

Tomorrow is the big 9+ hour final leg of OPERATION: REPATRIATION AND RESCUE and it's grand finale in Sunnyvale. See you in the funny pages!
cathyn: (us)
In roughly 24 hours or so, the fine folks at Bright House Networks will come and pick up their DVR and router, one of the many steps taken in the wrap-up phase of the curtain-call for "Indiana - a play in Three Acts". In the next 24 hours, I will read news, lay in the arms of my sweetie while looking at LOLCATS, play some Twirl, update stuff on facebook, check email, verify movie times, and log a bit of FO time. Odds are very good that after that, my presence on teh webbernetz will be limited at best. In my time AFK, I will most certainly do most if not all of the following things:

  • Love my fiance
  • Marry my fiance
  • Chill with THE KING in Las Vegas
  • Drive across the country
  • Drive from Maine to P.E.I. with my wife
  • Drive across the country a second time
  • Move all our worldly possessions to California
  • Eat several servings of Pho in California
  • See many friends in Colorado
  • See many friends in New Mexico
  • Go to the gym some
  • Fight my friends in the West
  • Hop on several different airplanes, trains, or ferries in Europe while pursuing something mysterious
  • Generally enjoy myself in the company of the single most fascinating and wonderful woman on Earth

Yeah, that about sums it up. I'm sure there will be many opportunities to get online, check email, post short "where are they now" blurbs, and generally take a peek at the digital world, but regular access and usage shouldn't be expected, and please don't be upset if you don't get a reply to an email for a week or two for the next couple months.


cathyn: (Satan Jr.)


In roughly seven days, [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour and I will be jumping in the car and heading to California via Kansas City, Longmont CO, and West Podunkia UT. Our time in Indiana draws to a close, and our time in Northern California begins. I love change, hate moving, and can't wait to be there!

If we have treasures of yours that you'd like back, better ask soonest!
cathyn: (Default)
Heading to St. Louis this weekend for some sight-seeing. Can anyone out here in LJLand give me the low-down on good fabric stores there? We are specifically seeking silk satin, and have been having great difficulty finding it. The one time we found it the color selection was exactly one, and the price was nothing short of highway robbery.

Thanks in advance for the info!
cathyn: (THRASH!)
...and I hate "Hungry Day". This phenomenon was noted long before I started in on any weight loss programs. Every so often, roughly monthly, but I've never marked them on a calendar to assess the frequency, I have a day where no matter what I eat, I am still hungry. Yesterday was one of these. It may be the first time since starting HMR that I broke 2000 calories in a day. I ate a cereal, two shakes, a bar, four entrees, half an acorn squash, two cups of corn, a plum, an apple, a pear, half a bag of kettle corn*, some pickles, and some olives. Those first four are about 1400 calories, and the veggies all have loads of their own. Balancing this, we walked yesterday, from our house to the home of [livejournal.com profile] marlburian and [livejournal.com profile] bokrog, about 50 minutes round trip, so for me about 400 calories of PA (physical activity). Enough to bring the net intake down a bit, but not that much.

For the last week I have been on a tiny plateau of my own, sitting solidly at 222 lbs. Imagine my surprise this morning after Hungry Day showing up on the scale at

221.5 LBS!

I have not weighed this since shortly after winning Calontir Crown in November of 1996. I dieted and fought four times a week, went from 245 lbs to 221 lbs, won the Lists and immediately stopped my training. By Coronation five months later I weighed 245 again, but it was ok, all my clothes fit again.

I am mightily pleased. Half a pound from my goal, and down hugely from when this began. January of 2007, I move from ABQ to IND weighing 283. 21 months later I am down 62 lbs. Over one fifth of my body weight gone. I am healthier in every way, BP is down, cholesterol is down, joint pain is *way* down, depressive phases are down and easier to come out of by will alone. In short, for me a healthy weight is reaping benefits everywhere.

To everyone out there who is on this same path, big ups! Keep rocking the exercise, keep rocking the veggies, remember that it took years to put on the weight, and it will take months to get it back off, but getting it off is TOTALLY worth the struggles we're going through. To everyone who's thinking about it but not sure they can do it, I promise, you can. It ain't easy, but it can be done. Call me, write me, whatever if you want to talk about it. Call or write [livejournal.com profile] g0atface, I can't imagine a better, more supportive coach, who has the cred of having walked the walk.

* On HMR, one can eat any of the 94% fat free microwave popcorn including my favorite, Kettle Korn!
cathyn: (Default)
On the music meme, I was tagged by [livejournal.com profile] djsparkydog with Slayer and [livejournal.com profile] marlburian with a much tougher choice, da Chairman uh da Muddah Fuggin Board, Frank Sinatra. To make it easier, I'm not gonna post links to lyrics or anything, you'll just have to find your own sources for the songs if you want to hear them for yourselves.

I did it my way! )

p.s. One of the funniest things I've seen in a while was on one of the early episodes of "The Sopranos" where Tony had organized the monthly poker game, regularly attended by some affluent non-mobsters, including Frank Sinatra, Jr. At one point, Jr.'s dithering on a bet, and Paulie Walnuts harrasses him, calling him "Chairboy of the Board". Friggin' killed me.
cathyn: (THRASH!)
I was given Queen by [livejournal.com profile] g0atface, who claims to defy expectations, which I reckon is her way of saying she thought that I figure she'd give me the Red Elvises or Metallica.

Comment on this post and I'll give you a band. Don't worry, I'll make it one you know and love. You put your ten favorite songs by that band on your LJ and challenge others to do the same. (My own codicil: If I don't know what you like you get randomness and I expect you to play along anyway!)

And two by two, my human zoo... )
cathyn: (us)
So, I met this girl.

I went to Pennsic this year, and was playing the single-but-still-wounded-from-the-divorce thing, but this year I had started the turn-around towards single-and-guardedly-hopeful thing.

So I met this girl, we had a wonderful and tender evening and when she left in the morning it kinda hurt in the shiny way, like "why did I let her go". There was a spark, one might say. I saw her a couple nights later, and watched her from a distance, that spark growing. We got to hang out some, too. Then I got tired, asked her to come with me, but she was busy being the life of the party, so I went home alone. I started falling.

I woke up the next morning knowing she was heading off to Scotland for three weeks, and was pretty determined to let her go. Pennsic fling, and all, eh wot? Then the dark voice spoke up and said "Hey, you, you remember that longing the other morning? Remember how your heart flutters when you see her smile or hear her laugh? It may well have been a Pennsic fling, but she touched you deep man, and you'll kick yourself for years if you don't go find out." I dragged up out of bed, talked to her, told her how I was feeling, and asked if we could stay in touch. She said yes. I was falling.

She left for Scotland, but not before inviting me to October Crown. I bought my tickets that very same day. I was falling.

Crown (our second date) was spectacular, me being romantic and well prepared for romance, her trying to be aloof but interested, and failing miserably at aloof, but succeeding admirably at opening her heart to possibilities. I was done falling, I had fallen. Completely.

We started talking about how much it hurt to be apart, and how long it would be 'til our next time together. I was scheduled for many long weeks away from her before coming to visit. She surprised me by showing up a bit early for our third date, which was supposed to happen in California, but instead took place in Indianapolis. It went amazingly well, as did our fourth date, here in Indy the week before Thanksgiving, and blended into our fifth date, a plane trip to SJC and Thanksgiving week with [livejournal.com profile] j_i_m_r and [livejournal.com profile] callistotoni and family, etc.

We started talking about living together, as the time apart was a terrible thing. I was resolved to wait until my first anniversary at work, being a very loyal man, and being hugely in debt to [livejournal.com profile] faheud for rescuing me from a terrible situation in New Mexico by offering me a snacky gig with his company, I was going to give him a full year, and then give him 3-4 weeks notice so I could help train my replacement before leaving behind my house for the distant Western Shore.

Remember the agony I mentioned at being apart from her? It kept getting worse, even though we now had A PLAN(tm). This was something of a surprise, but we were managing, talking a lot, and noting that we had plans to see each other for the long X-Mas shutdown at $COMPANY, as well as the weekend trip to NM in mid-December. It still sucked, though.

Several somethings happened kinda simultaneously, all of which pointed to the idea that me leaving Indy was a BAD IDEA(tm), and that [livejournal.com profile] g0atface moving here made much more sense. We talked more, and the decision was reached. She was leaving California and moving into the Hermitage. Suddenly the weight of separation was lifted. Suddenly things seemed much easier to deal with.

There you have it, my Constant Beloveds, the news. I will soon no longer be rattling around in my estate alone, my dearest Lady will be joining me here, where we shall work at making my house Our Home.

For a year or so, anyway. Then we're likely wooshing away for the land of the setting sun.

Wish us luck, please...

Your Humble Narrator

p.s. She writes it much better than I do, feel free to read her announcement here.

p.p.s. Good my friend [livejournal.com profile] faheud, I hope you don't mind an extra resident next year in the Tavern, as it appears we have company...
cathyn: (Default)

Long posties, some romance, some travel notes )
cathyn: (FoodPorn)
Part of how my sweetheart eats involves leaving out things that have been processed beyond recognizability, part is eating smaller portions more often, and then exercizing hard to keep a good balance, and part is eating delicious food, even if the ingredients are "bad" for you, just reducing either the amount of "badness" per dish, or eating *much* smaller portions of "bad" dishes. I invite her commentary here to confirm wether I really am getting it or not.

With these ideas in mind, I reworked an old stand-by to be both delicious enough for her to eat, and healthy enough for anyone. Without any further ado, I present you with

Click for the recipe! )
cathyn: (DietPost)
[livejournal.com profile] g0atface came for a visit Monday, and as hard as this may be to
believe, every passing minute found us falling deeper and deeper in love. I am all
a-squee, like unto a schoolboy.

The past few weeks for me have encompassed a great deal of travel. Really.
Three weeks, four interstate trips. Hardly any excersize over the course of it
all, save for this last week. However, good eating habits prevented my lack of
shaking my boo-tay at the gym from affect me negatively. I returned from West
Crown weighing about 240, and in three weeks of inertia gained back about 5
lbs. This week with ramping up my good eating habits in the presence of my love,
I hit the scale yesterday morning, and it showed me standing at a solid 238.
This puts me at a nice even 45 lbs less of me now than when I moved to
India-no-place. 75% of target weight loss achieved. There was even a delightful reward
from my sweetie for hitting this milestone. In case you haven't figured it
out yet, she is made entirely of TEH AWESOME. I even bought new pants and a belt, all set for (drumroll please)


All good things come to their eventual ends, and this merry week of ours
concluded with me kissing her goodbye on the curb at the airport, and watching her
vanish within to be whisked back to the wilds of Northern California. She will
be coming back in about ten days, and I can't wait to see her.
cathyn: (us)
I posted something last week that probably should have been made public, and I have just made it so. Instead of pasting the post here, you get linky:


If you haven't seen it before, maybe you go look now. If you'd like to read the companion post, click here:


This one might be secured at the moment, but trust me, in the next few hours I'm sure the author will unlock it.

cathyn: (Meme!)
The fun part will be when completely un-pre-aranged, she cuts and pastes this into her LJ or just replies with her answers, and we'll see how far apart we are...

Some memeage, kinda romantic )
cathyn: (Default)
Costumers all tend to have a specific era or genre that appeals to us aesthetically, which is fine, but sometimes we get too focused and fail to appreciate other eras or genres that might suit our body type, our facial features, or even just challenge us to think outside the box a little bit. So, I'm opening the floor for suggestions: Give me one costume you'd want me to wear, and why. Picture links appreciated.

In other unrelated news, I gots it bad...
cathyn: (Default)
As described the other day, I am making another basse to fight in. This is the lining:

It's a yard each of green and purple satin, cut in 3" strips and then sewn with .5" seam allowances. The final yield is a piece 45" wide by 1.33 yards long.

It will be lining pieces inside the doublet of the basse, cut to make a nice herringbone meeting at the back and sides. It is all I can do to not go in the sewing room, cut the strips a second time, and make a nice piece of green and purple paly-bendy. Now *that* would be lunacy.

Madness! Madness I say!
cathyn: (Dr. Jayne)
Behind a cut in case you're bored by diet and excersize stuff )

There was a deer in my yard this morning, looked like big well-healed antler gashes down its side, though this early in the year, it hadn't started growing antlers of its own, or it was a doe that had run afoul of some farm equipment or something. I watched it eat for about ten minutes, then came up to write.

In other news, my internal soundtrack hates me.
cathyn: (Satan Jr.)
Finished HP7, not gonna talk about it here, no spoilers from me, and frankly, I'm happy to say that among the entirity of my friends list, no other spoilers have appeared either, BRAVO!

Off to bed.
cathyn: (Hammertime!)
If I had a digital camera, this post would be accompanied by photos of the now absolutely completed Dining Room in my house. Cranberry paint, oak table and china cabinet, red and gold brocade drapes, red and gold tapestry, and an antique bronze chandelier. Two rooms down, eleven to go! Next I think will be the master closet. Pool table green, cherry furniture, brown rug, good lighting, maybe even modern track lighting. Should be pretty easy, more money than time, as the closet unit parts are pretty spendy. I already have the carpet, and the paint color is selected.

Then the master bath...
cathyn: (Satan Jr.)
So, this weekend was grand. I finished a major task at the office, which left me feeling jazzed rather than exhausted as I have been for the last several weeks. Add to that I'm recovering from a mighty cold, and my weekend was kinda set.

I got to bed kinda early friday night, but the cold knocked me out pretty good, about twelve hours of sllep all told. I woke very energized, and feeling something I haven't felt in months, MOTIVATION! So, I got out the tools and buckets of stuff, and painted the hallway. It's now a very nice blue, covering the horrible off mustard/desert sand color it had been. I still need better lighting in the hallway, but that will come.

Strangely this did almost nothing to drain my MOTIVATION, so I put my bookshelves together and unpacked ten cases of books. Organizing them after the haphazard way they were thrown into the boxes by my movers was quite the chore, and stil not a completed one, but it got me through waiting for paint to dry, and the second coat of blue was added Saturday evening, followed by buckets full of Zzzzzzzzzzzzzs.

Sunday morning dawned and I found I was still MOTIVATED! So I removed the tape in the hallway, taped off the bit of blue that touches the dining room and painted it, too, a lovely Cranberry color. Sadly this took quite a bit of paint, so I had to go to $HOME_STORE and get more paint. And curtain rods. And outlets, switches, and switchplates. And a chandelier. And then ran like hell before I spent even *more* money. Came home, applied the second coat, wanked online for a while, pulled up many more feet of blue masking tape, and then moved the oak furniture into the dining room. On top of the red area rug that needed to be vacuumed and shampooed *twice* from whatever happened to it during the move. Then I mounted the brackets and hanged the red and gold brocade curtains. The room looks amazing. As soon as I get a good digital camera, I'll shoot some snaps and post them here for your viewing pleasure.

Hmmm, almost 10PM, and still kinda Motivated. Maybe I'll poke at the rest of the books. Or maybe I'll hang the lovely tapestry that was my housewarming gift from [livejournal.com profile] faheud...


Jun. 14th, 2007 12:43 am
cathyn: (Default)
Illinois NAZIs.

I hate Illinois NAZIs.

When they die, they become Indiana Zombies. More friggin' zombies than you can shake a stick at, and I'd know, I shook a stick at alot of 'em today. Turns out this Cardinal gig is good for more than just selling indulgences and a snappy wardrobe. Remember the crap in AD&D where Clerics can turn undead? Yeah, it works. I make with the blessing, "spectacles testicles wallet and watch", and poof (well, really it's a wetter sound than poof, maybe more of a "splortch"), they shuffle off their immortal coil. Damned good thing, too, I had a massage appointment at 8.

In honor of the survival of mankind, join me now, Brethren and Sistren, as we recite the Patermonster*

Our Father, which art a zombie,
Shuffling be thy Gait.
Thy clothing's torn.
Thy mind is worn,
In Romero as it is in Fulci.
Give us this day, our daily brains.
And forgive us our gnawing,
As we forgive those who gnaw at us.
And lead us not into shotguns;
But deliver us from fire:
For thine is the cemetery, the morgue, and the deserted farm house,
For ever and ever.

*courtesy of the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] ferrousoxide
cathyn: (Cold War Supervillain)

The Minister has directed me to announce that after many delays and a season of ruined crops due to poor weather, The Hermitage now has bi-directional satellite connectivity with TEH INTARWEBS. Colonel Bondarenko reports that he is monitoring the quality of this connectivity *so* closely that it joyfully runs at 12.5% the speed of the wild claims of the imperialist running dogs at Comcast, for only twice the price! REJOICE AT OUR GOOD FORTUNE, COMRADES!

That is all, return to your labors on behalf of the State!






Apr. 21st, 2007 02:20 am
cathyn: (Hammertime!)
Flew into DIA today, and picked up my rental car. Turns out the Nissan 350ZX kinda sucks. The driver's seat is narrow, and kinda hard. The steering wheel seems a tiny bit geeked to the left. The car handles like a pig. Well, that's not exactly accurate. It handles like a pig at most legal speeds. Once you break 70, things start to seem what I might call "normal". The car actually drives like a Caddilac at about 100. Smooth, responsive, agile, but still like driving. It's when you break 120 that you see what the fuss is about. Strangely, the car still doesn't feel much like it's going "fast" at that speed.

It almost seems like you're jogging when you break 140. Not jouncing and jostling, but moving with a small degree of haste, though not too much.

Much to my disappointment the road got squirrely before the car did, and I did not break 150. Tonight's top speed was 149. This is not to say I topped out the car, but the road got a little too crowded to make that spped prudent, which is roughly equal in my mind to more than three cars in visibility. Sadly I have not driven this fast in far too long.

Did I mention that at 149 the Nissan 350ZX feels like gliding on a polished marble sled on a sheet of melted chocolate silk?

Now, much beloveds, I will retire to my comfortable hotel bed, and sip at some 20 year old Port, Graham's Tawny Porto to be exact. Life, as it turns out, is grand.
cathyn: (Default)
She wrote this in celebration of the impending holiday, and I though that there would be some small number of you who read me and not her, so I asked on her behalf if I could share it here...


Our Father, which art a zombie,
Shuffling be thy Gait.
Thy clothing's torn.
Thy mind is worn,
In Romero as it is in Fulci.
Give us this day, our daily brains.
And forgive us our gnawing,
As we forgive those who gnaw at us.
And lead us not into shotguns;
But deliver us from fire:
For thine is the cemetery, the morgue, and the deserted farm house,
For ever and ever.

If you enjoyed it, praise her as she deserves. If you're offended, hammer me as I brought it to your attention.
cathyn: (Bloodbunny)
My condolences to [livejournal.com profile] marlburian, [livejournal.com profile] bokrog, Erik and The Great Zandroni on the passing of the best dog on earth, who departed our company today.

Rest in Peace, Perseus Hound.

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