ichinichinemasu: (Sleepy Arthur)
2015-04-21 12:43 pm

House

 It's been a while since I posted...yes, I'm still alive!

We are now moved in to our new house. Packing drove me crazy, but the day of the move itself went fairly well. We moved little stuff in the morning, and then hired Mambo Movers to do the larger stuff in the afternoon. Best decision ever! Not only did they lug furniture down three flights of stairs in under an hour, they were cheap, and charmingly hipster.

The first week in the house was challenging. It felt a bit like we were camping out in someone else's place. It took a little while to unpack the kitchen (and a lot of other stuff is still unpacked) and things kept breaking...the washing machine, the medicine cabinet, the deck is wobbily. Which led to an "oh my god, what did we do" moment. But now that we've been in there for about a month, it's much more familiar. I can cook in my kitchen, which has loads more cabinet space. I'm liking the back yard and the neighborhood.  Especially the neighborhood! It's alive! There are people outside all the time, and everyone so far is very friendly. I also love that the house is full of possibilities to make it more our own, unlike the rentals.

In the process of making it our own, we hired someone to come in and rip out all the carpets and refinish the original hardwoods next week, during which we will stay at my parent's house (potentially awkward). The following week we hired a painter to come take down all the wallpaper and paint. Yes, hired! It may be a waste of money, but is a HUGE gain of time, especially for two people who work 40 plus hours a week. After that, I will be able to truly unpack, start hanging paintings and rearranging furniture and buying things, which I'm especially looking forward to. After that, it will really feel like our own!

ichinichinemasu: (Default)
2015-01-20 04:10 pm

Changes

Lots of changes coming up in my life, if all goes well!

Last weekend we went house shopping and this weekend offered a bid on a home. Sadly, the buyer had it priced unrealistically high and was unwilling to play ball, so we might have to move on from that one. But we're going to keep on looking. Only downside is it's three months rent to break our lease, but I'd rather break it now when there's a ton of homes on the market and the mortgage rates are low, rather than risk looking in the fall and not finding anything or finding it for a higher price. I'm so grateful that this time around we have an agent who really knows what she's doing and is willing to talk us through each step of the process. She was the one who talked us out of buying that first home for too much money (really, what agent does that? a good one, I guess).

Our area administrator also stopped by my work on Saturday to talk to me about my application to become a branch manager. I was too chicken last time to put my name on the list, but this time it came up and I decided to give it a shot. After all, I don't want to waste away at my current branch for the rest of my life. And I feel like at times I know as much as a branch manager does. Anyway, she stopped to talk to me about the position and encourage me to go for it, which was really nice of her and great news. So I may be moving into a new job and a new home soon, fingers crossed.
ichinichinemasu: (Reading!)
2014-12-23 11:56 am

"Holiday" Movie Binge

So yesterday, while I did my baking, (3 different sets of cookies for my family, his family, and work, so time consuming!), I decided to have my own holiday movie marathon- of Star Wars, that is! Star Wars was my religion when I was growing up. I mean the originals, not that prequel crap that came out more recently. My uncle bought me a VHS copy of A New Hope when I was like 10 and I haven't looked back since. I not only watched and re-watched the movies but I read all the extended universe books I could find at the library.

Since I became a "grown up," though, my obsessions have kind of fallen by the wayside. It was so comforting to go back and re-watch the movies. Not only that, but I noticed things I hadn't before. Just like a good book, you get different things out of the movies depending on the time of life you consume them. When I was a pre-teen I had no sympathy for Darth Vader. I didn't much care what happened to him in the end. Now though, I realize how easy it is to give in to anger and fear, and I was so glad to see him redeemed. I also understood the romance between Han and Leia more, having my own smart-mouthed scruffy-looking nerf herder at home. And I almost cried at the end when everyone was reunited. How good it must be to live for something worth fighting for instead of day-to-day tedium at work. I used to think life was like that!

Anyway, I can't wait for the next installment to come out next December. I may well be in the midnight showing.
ichinichinemasu: (Default)
2014-11-13 04:52 pm

Married Life

I keep forgetting my last name has changed. It's kind of funny. I'll email one of my regular presenters at the library, and they will write back "Oh wait, ARE YOU MARRIED??!" and my immediate reaction is "Wait what, how do you know that?" followed by "Oh right, my email now says Mrs. G."

And I'll still sign my old last name on credit card transactions sometimes. My one friend caught me doing it, and I said "Well, THIS credit card hasn't changed yet!" when really I just forgot.

It's a strange experience. I think it will take me a while to get used to. It kind of makes marriage seem more real. 'Cause otherwise, it's just me and my man living together like we have been for the last two years. Except not, like little things like this.
ichinichinemasu: (Sunflowers)
2014-09-11 01:57 pm

On Sweating for the Dress

I have been dealing with a digestive system disorder off and on over the past year-- sometimes I'm well enough to drink alcohol even, and sometimes all I can take is gingerale and pretzels, if that. My doctors and I haven't quite figured it out yet. The GI believes it's IBS, but I am more inclined to think it might have something to do with the angioedema that keeps cropping up. Most of the time, though, my medications keep it under control.

This weekend I went away for my bachelorette party to the Pocono mountains. It was a fantastic time-- once I got my stomach under control. It is frustrating to have a condition you can't control, because it shows itself at inconvenient times. Will I be well enough for my wedding? My honeymoon?

I was fitted for my dress on Tuesday. My grandmother joked, "Now you can't gain any weight!". Today I sat down to lunch and found myself happily enjoying the cinnamon sugar pita chips I was snacking on, when I was hit with a pang of guilt. I'd better stop eating these, I thought, or I might not fit my dress.

And then I realized how stupid that was. I should be happy I can even eat, let alone eat too much. I lost 15 pounds this year through no will of my own...I've always been fine with who I am. I wouldn't say I'm fat, or skinny-- maybe comfortably plump. Yet while I am a size 12 in normal people clothes, I am a size 18 in wedding clothes. Why?

The Wedding Industrial Complex does a lot to make girls feel bad. If you aren't the skinny blonde model on the front of the wedding magazine, well, you better work hard to get that way. If you don't have the perfect cake made out of cupcakes or flowers arranged artfully in mason jars then heaven forbid what people might think of you.

In my opinion the idea of "sweating for the dress" is perhaps the worst of the lot, though. Who cares what you look like? As long as you are healthy enough to enjoy your day, why punish yourself? It is one day out of your life that is supposed to be a celebration. For me, if I can have an attack-free day I will consider it a success.

Anyway, just something I've been thinking about. Offbeat bride does have an awesome article on weddings for people with chronic conditions here.

ichinichinemasu: (Sunflowers)
2014-05-07 08:29 pm

Gift from the Sea

 I am doing much better these days...I am finally getting back into the world, thanks to the miracles of modern medicine and some hard work on my own part.

I read recently Anne Morrow Lindbergh's short book, "A Gift from the Sea." I read it originally because I thought it would be somewhat autobiographical. Instead, it was something much better...a reflection on how to achieve happiness and personal fulfillment in the world as a woman. It's just as applicable today as it was fifty years ago. She recommends learning to be alone with oneself and communing with nature; simplifying your life to the best of your ability; and to learning to ride with what you can't control. I think about it now every time I walk in Pennypack. I try and observe the simple beauty of nature and the animals and birds in the forest, and it does help me feel better, as silly as that sounds.

So I saw this poem posted today in the Poetry community, and I had to save it:

The Peace of the Wild Things - Wendell Berry
 
 When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

ichinichinemasu: (Frida Kahlo)
2014-03-22 12:23 pm

Strength

The way my month has gone (health/mental health issues/totaled car but thank god we are alright), I need a reminder that I am in fact strong. This poem that popped up in my feed was perfect:

Love Letters from Helen of Troy 
by Elisabeth Hewer

you always feared god-born achilles 
the most of all your fellows.
his divinity wove him taller,
better, quicker, stronger.

well here's a secret for you:
my father was a swan,
and the monthly blood on my thighs 
is two-parts ichor.

you think achilles was of impressive descent?
touch me one more time.
maybe it's time we found out
what the daughter of the mightiest god
can do.

look to your kingdoms.
i am coming for them all.


And another... )
ichinichinemasu: (Default)
2013-11-30 09:26 am

rip

One of my best friends from high school, David, passed away on Thanksgiving from brain cancer. The two of us had a complicated history but I choose to remember him as just that--my best friend from high school. We were both outsiders and we got each other right away. We listened to the same music, we loved the same movies. We went to everything together. We saw a Live concert just because I loved them, we went to a Neil Gaiman reading just because I loved him (and Dave was on crutches; Neil was extra special nice to us because of that). We were partners in English and in Physics, so much so that everyone always expected us to work together on class projects. He was a maverick. He flew outside of the lines in everything. He climbed on desks and leaned back in chairs, he talked all through class, but whenever our teacher would question him he would know right where they were in the lesson plan. I think my favorite memory of him will always be in the high school cafeteria: we were discussing our favorite band, Third Eye Blind (haha the 90s), and he stood on the back of the chair with his arms outstretched, reenacting how Stephan Jenkins came out in the crowd and stood right in front of him. Whenever I felt alone in high school, he was there. I met my very best friend and maid of honor through him and I will be forever grateful that he gave me a place in this world.

Rest in peace, Dave. I understand that phrase now. I am not very religious but I have to believe that you are in a better place. I am sorry I couldn't be a better friend to you in the end, but I will always honor your memory.

ichinichinemasu: (Librarian)
2013-06-10 08:35 pm

Back in my day...

We had to walk to school up hill both ways in the snow. Well no, not really. What we had to do was much worse. We had to read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair as summer reading. I distinctly remember sitting by the pool being absolutely traumatized by images of children cutting themselves and/or falling into vats of food and dying, or the so very many gratuitous rat details in the book. It was the worst. I understand it was also an important book about a terrible moment in american history, but, I have an active imagination and don't do well with those sorts of things.

I am compiling a summer reading list now for my job. Do you know what high schoolers today get to read? The Lord of the Rings. Seriously! Never once in a million years would I have been able to read a cool book like that for assigned reading. Kids today have it so much better. I also noticed that the reading list for Catholic girls school is like ten times better than the list for public school, but then I would get into lamenting the decline of public education and I really am still too upset to go there right now.

Another thing this list has got me nostalgic about: the amazing epic fantasy I immersed myself in as a teen. When I think about Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings I can still feel the magic. I can feel the thrill that reading those books gave me. I lived and breathed those books for a long time. I'm a little sad, because I can't think of any books these days that affect me in the same way. Sure, I read the first two George R.R. Martin novels. But they didn't feel like epic fantasy to me, I think mostly because the magic isn't there...or, even more than that, the idealism of the other two series. I felt more like I was reading about some crazy historical family and all the terrible things they did to one another. Which, hey, is valid entertainment. But it's not the same feeling.

I really wish I could find a book like that again. Maybe that's part of becoming an adult, losing some of that fascination with literature.
ichinichinemasu: (Sylvia Plath)
2013-05-14 08:16 pm

And then there's this lovely song

And life to remind you that you don't really have it all that bad...

ichinichinemasu: (Sylvia Plath)
2013-01-22 03:38 pm

I'm just going to leave this here...

Because it's awesome. And I know exactly how she feels.

ichinichinemasu: (Frida Kahlo)
2012-12-26 04:02 pm

Christmas Wrap-Up

Well, Christmas wasn't too bad this year. I wasn't stressed out to the point I couldn't eat anything, anyway! That's always a win. And I managed to take off on Christmas Eve, which also made it a lot less stressful. I just couldn't get in the mood, though, no matter how much I tried. I don't know if it was the perpetually warm weather...or the being an adult thing. The more I think about it, the more I've determined that Christmas is really for kids. The best part of my Christmas was seeing Tom's niece and nephews open the presents that we picked out for them.

Otherwise, not much new to report. I got a lot of lovely presents, including some new kitchen supplies (a cast-iron skillet!! a food processor!), a beautiful sapphire necklace from Tom, and various sweaters and alcohol. I think I'll need some of that tonight ;).
ichinichinemasu: (Default)
2012-05-16 03:15 pm

On Growing Up

I love Jezebel. Found this quote in an article on graduating today:

"People act like college is this gateway to adulthood, but it's really just more playtime. Adulthood is the gateway to adulthood. It's not that you're not smart, but I'm like a decade older than you and I'm STILL half baby. I only know like two things at this point, and I am literally the Albert Einstein of being in my twenties. You're going to keep learning stuff constantly for the next 50 years or so, so just calm down and let the learning happen."

I feel like I'm still really bad at being an adult, aside from paying all of my bills on time. I never quite feel Grown Up, even if I am going to be in my late twenties (!). And I think I've learned more about being a grownup this past year than I had my entire college career.
ichinichinemasu: (Librarian)
2012-04-03 12:04 pm

Pinterest

I've moved most of my online social communication these days over to facebook, since LJ is dying slowly. But another social tool that I've become addicted to is Pinterest. I know, I know...the pretty bookmarking website for girls. But I actually like it a lot. I've found lots of cool recipes (my favorite aspect of it), fashion, and library-related bits of interest there. I am susiequeues (http://pinterest.com/susiequeues/) if you have an account or I can invite you, if you want.

In work related news, April 18th will be my one year anniversary in my current position, which means a promotion and a raise. And another girl is coming in to help staff the department. And thus my April schedule is a bit more forgiving than it has been.

In fandom related news, there are so many good TV shows these days I don't know what to do with myself. Mad Men is back, and Game of Thrones is back! Community resumed its long-delayed second half of the season! The new TV show Smash is awesome. Still hanging in there with Once Upon a Time and 30 Rock and Revenge as well. Plus, I have Season 2 of Downton Abbey to watch on Netflix...I am so spoiled.
ichinichinemasu: (Librarian)
2012-02-01 03:23 pm

You know you're a librarian when...

Had another one of these moments today. You know you're a librarian when you march up and down the periodicals aisle, making sure everything is just so and there's the perfect amount of room for the collection to grow.

Also when you alphabetically organize your own home book case.

This may be more my OCD tendencies showing, than my librarianship showing, but in this case the two worked perfectly together to make things shiny. 

...yeah, I laughed at myself.
ichinichinemasu: (Librarian)
2011-12-06 02:47 pm

Librarianship

And for today's dose of random: I never thought I'd be so relieved once a magazine fixed their numbering. You know you're a librarian when...
ichinichinemasu: (Sleepy Arthur)
2011-12-02 04:46 pm

Once Upon a Time

So, I saw the advertisements for Once Upon a Time and thought it was a television show right up my alley. I love fantasy, I love fairy tales, I love the idea of setting these into a modern context...and it's by the writers of Lost! Okay, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I did like Lost for the first few seasons it was on. However, I saw a pretty bad review of the first episode on io9, to the tune of "it's sooo cheesy," so I avoided it.

Then I started hearing other things from non-critics about it. My family said it looked good, [livejournal.com profile] anthropotree told me other fans liked it, and Tommy said he watched it (which surprised me...until I remembered he's just a closeted nerd. He watches Pawn Stars! And enjoys superhero movies. Enough said). So then I gave in and watched an episode. And promptly devoured all six or seven episodes that are out so far, in two days. Yeah, it's cheesy. But I like the feel-good fairy tale setting. It's an awesome show to watch when you're feeling down, and need to cheer yourself up and turn your brain off for a while. Put it this way: if you enjoy camp, you'll enjoy this. But don't take my word for it, all the episodes are streaming on abc.com. With only limited commercial interruption! Come on, someone else has to tell me I'm not crazy.
ichinichinemasu: (Librarian)
2011-11-14 10:50 am

Community

I finally have my computer back! The guys at Bundy computer were pretty bad, though. If you ever need a computer repaired I would recommend NOT going there. After two weeks they called me back to report that they couldn't see any problems with my network card. But I wouldn't have dropped it off if there wasn't any problem...and then I couldn't pick it up until I had a day off since they close at 5:30. Anyway. It's working okay right now, but when it next fritzes out I'm going to get a card from ebay and ask one of my computer guys to replace it.

In my time without computer access at home I checked Community out from the library and marathoned that. I really like that show. It's funny, and the writing is pretty clever. The first season ended in a way I wouldn't have expected, which always impresses me. The characters are all well-developed and diverse, and Chevy Chase even stars as a slightly lame old man student. I have a hold on the second season once it comes in to the library. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth checking out.
ichinichinemasu: (fight like a girl)
2011-08-29 09:16 am

Crossposted from Goodreads, because why not?

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finished this during Hurricane Irene over the weekend. I very much enjoyed the book, much more so (unsurprisingly) than the TV series. With the book you really got into the character's heads and got much more detail about the plot. Probably the strongest aspect of "A Game of Thrones" were the characters. Complex and real, they manage to be sympathetic even when they are on a side you shouldn't be cheering for. The other thing I liked about "Game of Thrones": there are no "good guys" and "bad guys." Everyone does terrible things. Everyone does good things. People screw things up even when they're trying to do good. Unlike other fantasy novels, this one felt very real because of that: the humanity in the novel is grounded. No epic heroes to be found here.

Of course there are still dragons and horselords and moats and castles and battles, so it's still very much a fantasy. It follows a series of plotlines: in one, Lord Eddard Stark must leave his home in the North of the country to serve his friend and King as his right hand, with dire consequences; in another, bastard Jon Stark goes to the Wall, a fortress located in the very North of the country that blocks it from the demons who live beyond it; in another, deposed Princess Daenerys marries a foreign warlord to raise her own army to take back the throne. With so much going on it's easy to see how this series sprawls across five thousand-page books, but it's also very compelling. Definitely moving on to the next one.

View all my reviews

Hope everyone survived the weekend!!