Seinfeld - Serenity now

Now that I've got a bit of a respite from the asswhupping that was January 2009....

Yeah. So 2009 did not start off well for me, which is why I haven't been around LJ, or the Internet in general, for that matter, since New Year's.

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Now things are finally relatively back to normal, and so it is catch-up-on-LJ time. The good news, however, is that I managed to finish my Harry Potter reread during those crazy weeks. (Obviously, I did have some free time, but between the health crises and dealing with Meghan on my own, I often was way too braindead to open up my laptop; it was a lot easier just to pick up a book and read.) I even read Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages. I plan to do another reread sometime much later in the year so that I can note down all the things that kept occurring to me as I made my way through the books, but one thing I have to say now is that I liked Deathly Hallows MUCH more the second time around. Maybe it was because I read the other six books right before it (whereas the first time around, a good year and a half had elapsed between my reading of the first six and my reading of DH), or maybe it was because this time around, I savored the prose and thought about the concepts rather than rushing through to the end so as to finish before getting spoiled accidentally.... I don't know, but I just really thought it worked much better this time, and the details clicked much better. Even the epilogue bothered me less, although I still maintain that it was sort of lame. Actually, I think the biggest problem with the epilogue also plagued the interactions from Snape's memories a few chapters before -- namely, stilted kiddie dialogue. It's so strange: JKR wrote amazing dialogue between children in the entire series, but utterly failed at writing kid!Lily, kid!Petunia, and all of the next-genners in the epilogue. I didn't have a problem with the concepts she was putting forward, but the execution just didn't work at all.

Anyway, so now I am recanonified, which is a relief. Names and events are once again fresh in my mind, and I feel ready to get back to ficcing. I'm also going back and reading old theory essays (like over at Red Hen) on my iPhone while I'm nursing Meghan, because those keep me thinking about all of the intricate plot points and help inspire some of my fic.

I'm also reading Harry, A History (you know, the book by Melissa Anelli, webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron). I think fandom itself fascinates me almost as much as canon. I only wish I had discovered fandom earlier, like during the three-year summer, and that the forums over at The Sugar Quill weren't dead.

Well, enough blabbery for now. I've got tons of e-mail to catch up on, as well as weeks worth of flist. Thank goodness you can now backread your flist by date (if you're a paid member). *takes a deep breath and plunges in*
The Office - Xmas Bears Beets BSG

Fitness and Fortune

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In other New Year's news, I went and switched my necklace around. It's a gold pendant, and on one side is the Chinese character for longevity, and on the other is the Chinese character for fortune. My grandfather had given it to my mom ages ago, and she gave it to me when I was 18 and half-dead from my first ulcerative colitis flare. I prefer to wear it with the "fortune" side showing because I like that character better, but even though I'm not the superstitious type at all, I've made a point of flipping it over to "longevity" (which is more health related than fortune to me) whenever my colitis rears its ugly head. Then, when I'm healthy and the new year comes, I flip it back to fortune. Well, having gotten sick again in March 2007, I had flipped it to "longevity." I got better in April, but when 2008 arrived, I was 7 months pregnant, and so I wanted to keep the health-related side showing. I know, I know, it's just a pendant, and it's not like it actually influences events, but for some reason I've been really weird about it. Anyway, so I didn't flip it. But now I'm healthy and Meghan is out and healthy, so it's time to go back to fortune.

Ugh, and I totally taste garlic. Jack and I went to a Korean buffet for dinner, and we had tons of pulgogi, kalbi, squid, and other meat you cook on the grill in front of you. The best way to eat it is to wrap it in a piece of lettuce with chili sauce, miso sauce, and raw garlic. It's SO SO SO good, but then the garlic lingers for like 18 hours, and you wish you hadn't eaten it at all -- it's on your breath, it comes out of your pores...and worst of all, well, let's just say a lot of air freshener is required. SO GROSS.

...OK, clearly Jack is continuing his nap rather than coming down to watch Get Smart (the recent remake, with Steve Carell), so I think I'm gonna go up there with a nice glass of water (SO thirsty) and continue reading Goblet of Fire.
Moody Mentos

Happy New Year's, y'all!

Mine was a low-key New Year's. Plans with Jack's BFF never came to fruition, which was a good thing, because even if Meghan weren't teething and consequently in a shit mood and exhausted, it would have been hard to deal with her at someone else's house for three to four hours past her bedtime. So instead, my parents and grandmother came to our house and we watched Ratatouille and the first two episodes of the first season of Family Guy (which were surprisingly awesome -- a lot of shows get off to a rocky start, but Family Guy was hilarious from the get-go; I can't believe I once thought this show was lame and stupid). Then we watched the ball drop and had a very last-minute toast with sparkling grape juice. (Jack had some wine earlier, but my parents and grandmother don't really drink, and I can't imbibe much because of the breastfeeding.)

The night was capped off by some unexpected hilarity courtesy of Fox. We tuned in maybe 7 or 10 minutes after the ball dropped, mainly because the programming on NBC and ABC was complete crap. I must be getting old, because I had no idea who most of the "stars" on it were, and we were thoroughly WTFed at people like Kelli Pickler (I barely know who she is -- just that she was on American Idol -- but her glitter eyeshadow made me wonder if she was trying to be a Cullen) and the Emilie de Ravin lookalike (who the hell was she???) up there with Ryan Seacrest being all, "OMG THIS IS A LIFE-CHANGING MOMENT FOR ME! THIS IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL MOMENT OF MY LIFE! I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS!"

...Dude. It's Times Square. There's an assload of people. It's fucking freezing out. And while those are three fairly extreme things, I would hope that these chicks had more significant experiences in their lives than that, like...oh, I don't know, singing in front of millions of people as an American Idol contender? like Emilie de Ravin? Yeah, I don't know, but seriously, hasn't she ever done volunteer work or seen a rainbow or turned out an amazing performance or done anything more life changing than gabbing on a microphone in the freezing cold while surrounded by thousands of drunk people on national television?

Anyway, so, not being interested in hearing the Jonas Brothers sing and all that, we switched to Fox. And there was this host guy who looked like he was hired straight off of some really low-budget reality series, like a CW ripoff of Cheaters or something, and he's interviewing some really ripped shirtless dude who looks like he just stepped off a romance novel cover and a heavily made up skinny chick with voluminous auburn hair and large boobs who looked like she just got off work at any of Vegas's strip joints. For a moment, I questioned whether I had tuned in during some weird elimination ceremony of a reality show; maybe Fox was showing When Strippers Attack 2 instead of New Year's programming? But no, according to my channel guide, it was New Year's in Las Vegas. Which...sort of explained things, but not really, because it was just that sketchy.

I still have no idea what that part of the show was, especially since they said something about the guy stripping down to a G-string in his show, and then when he walked away he was wearing assless jeans, so there was a little cartoon circle (that, if I recall correctly, said, "Happy New Year's!" inside it, but I might be making that up) over his butt, and the low-budget-looking host was all, "Oh my goodness, assless chaps, I don't know if you can show that on live TV!"

But as awesome as all that was, it is not the awesomeness of which I speak. That awesomeness was the build-up to Robbie Knievel's jump over the Mirage volcano, wherein the announcer, accompanied by low-budget graphics, gave about five to seven different scenarios in which Robbie Knievel could become severely injured or die a gruesome death. He was all, "...and in this scenario, if Robbie Knievel makes the jump too late and the pyrotechnic people release the fire too early, he will go through the fire and crashland, bouncing ten times and suffering crippling injuries in addition to devastating and life-threatening burns!" And then you see the graphic of a motorcycle speeding up the ramp, catching fire in the volcano, and crashing multiple times. The last scenario was the absolute best one, in which Robbie Knievel falls INTO the volcano. The announcer actually called it a "deathride" scenario, if I recall correctly, and he said that Robbie Knievel would die from ghastly burns all over his lungs, something like that. I was dying of laughter and had to replay the last scenario (via DVR capabilities) because my dad was in the bathroom at the time, and it was something that truly had to be witnessed.

And then, of course, Robbie Knievel had no problem making the jump, so the whole thing was totally anticlimactic and didn't look difficult at all when it was over. GOD, we need more programming like this.

Anyway, I'm going to scrape up what sleep I can, since Meghan is still waking up way more often than she should because of the teething pain. I wish you all a wonderful New Year's Day as well as a brilliant 2009! &hearts
Blow me (dandelion)


From dinner tonight at the Chinese buffet:

(Posting from my iPhone, so I don't know how to do alt tags. It's a picture of a fortune cookie above a fortune that reads "You have yearning for perfection.")

I'm not even going to make the obligatory "in bed" joke.

ETA: Sorry about the pic size and the annoying blank space above it. I don't know how to fix it.

HP - Luna says Nargles are watching

Movie canon has invaded my braaaaaain!

I'm about a fifth of the way through Goblet of Fire and thoroughly appalled at how much movie canon has sunk into my brain, to the detriment of book (i.e., real) canon. I almost forgot that Beauxbatons and Durmstraaaaang are really coed. And that's just one of many instances. Now I'm scared of what the movie version of HBP will do to my brain.

*goes to continue reclaiming grey matter for canon*

Incidentally, this is my first post via the LJ app for the iPhone. It's pretty useful, especially the shortcut keys for HTML code.

Meghan - :O

195 >>>>> 37

It just hit me that icons are basically pieces of flair. I paid $175 for extra flair.


And yet, I don't regret it. *goes back to digging up icons for near-future upload*

Oh, wait, in other news, I think I'm going to do yuletide next year. I subscribed to the comm to see exactly what it's all about, and when all the reccs started coming in, I was pleasantly surprised and quite impressed. I mean, there was Saved by the Bell fanfic -- and it was GOOD. (It's here, in case your curiosity gets the best of you.)

Other randomness: I wiki'ed my high school the other day and found out that Nora Roberts was one of the many celebrity alums. (Others include Goldie Hawn, Connie Chung, and Ben Stein.) I've never read any Nora Roberts -- romance isn't so much my genre -- but I thought a few of you might be amused by the news.

Life in Meghanland is a bit tumultuous right now. She's been sick with a fever for the past two days. It's nothing serious, no cough or sniffliness or upset stomach or anything, but she's been really whiny, cranky, and clingy because of it, and she hasn't eaten much in the way of non-breastmilk foods. I am also almost positive I feel a tooth starting to push up under her gums (it's about time -- homegirl is nine months old and toothless!), which I'm sure is not helping the situation. Her fever went up to 102.5 yesterday, but it didn't get nearly that high today, so I think she's getting better. Hopefully tonight won't be as bad as the last couple, where she was waking up every 2-3 hours -- and sometimes every 15 minutes! Poor girl....

ETA: GAH. I hate how you can't rename an icon without LJ changing every instance you've used that icon in the past to your default icon. I want to rename a bunch of icons so that there's more of a system to their names (which will make it easier for me to select from them), now that I can have nearly 200 of them, but all of my old uses of them will go to the default. Grrrr.
Meghan - :D

Year in Review meme

Pilfered from ishie, a "year in review" meme, because I want to reflect on the incredible, life-changing year that was 2008:

Where did you begin 2008?
The 2007 holiday season was very busy for Jack and me. We visited his family in California from December 14-25, came back to the DC area for a day and a half, and then went to Boston from December 27-31. Our flight back home on New Year's Eve arrived around 7 or 8 in the evening, and we went straight from the airport to Jack's best friend's apartment in Crystal City. We rang in the New Year with him, his fiancé, and his family, surrounded by delicious homemade Syrian food, a very hyper toddler, and lots of good cheer. I was about 29 or 30 weeks pregnant at the time, and Meghan was moving like a madwoman inside of me. Little did I know that was nothing compared to how she'd be outside of the womb!

I was also newly out of work, as I had left my job mid-December to go on early (and ultimately permanent) maternity leave. It was a new beginning for me, and I was feeling it every day.

What was your relationship status by Valentine' s Day?
Happily married and ecstatic (and anxious!) about Meghan's impending arrival. I also came down with a bad cold on Valentine's Day and spent the next week, including my birthday, being all clogged up, but unwilling to take cold medication (on account of the pregnancy).

Were you in school (anytime this year)?
*sigh* I'm still in school. As in, my poor master's degree remains unfinished, pending my writing of a term paper and a thesis. One of my goals is to get the term paper in before May, so that I don't break the professor's prior record of having a student turn in a paper three years late. It's not even that it's that hard to write; I just need to find the motivation and book Meghan-watching time with Jack.

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Yep, for Meghan's birth, but thankfully not for my ulcerative colitis, which has been in remission for 20 months -- the longest amount of time ever in the going-on-14 years that I've had this disease! I was in the hospital for four nights (including the night I gave birth), because Meghan had jaundice and had to spend time under the phototherapy lights. I do plan to write up the story of Meghan's birth and hospital stay, but I will save that for another time.

Did you have any encounters with the police?
Unless you count when we went to the police station to make sure we had our car seat installed correctly, no.

Where did you go on vacation?
HAHAHAHAHA! Not with an infant! We did go to Antigua for a babymoon, but that was in October 2007. But after our end-of-2007 trip to Boston, the only other place I went was Atlanta for my BFF's baby shower.

What did you purchase that was over $500?
Yeaaaaahhhh. I'm sure there were a number of items. I'm sure all the BPAL I bought adds up to well over that. And we just swapped out our Infiniti FX for a Mercedes ML 320 Bluetek. And then there was furniture.... I don't even want to think about it. Moving along....

Did you know anybody who got married?
My brother and Jack's BFF!

Did you move anywhere?
To Mommyville. And the Land of No Sleep.

What sporting events did you attend?
We went to four different Orioles-Red Sox games at Camden Yards. Meghan enjoyed every one of them!

Where do you live now?
In northern Virginia, in the townhouse we bought almost 2.5 years ago.

Describe your birthday?
Well, I was still getting over the really bad cold I came down with on Valentine's Day, so that sucked. But Jack surprised me by making last-minute reservations at 2941, a really swank restaurant nearby. We've been pretty low key about birthdays over the past several years, but it was a nice surprise to go somewhere fancy, especially since we knew everything would change once Meghan came along. Unfortunately, my nasal congestion made it hard for me to truly enjoy the food, and of course, being pregnant, I couldn't drink any wine, but it was still a really nice evening.

What's the one thing you did but thought you would never do in 2008?
I'm sure there were a bazillion things I swore I would never do as a mother, but ended up doing anyway, like co-sleeping. But I can't think of anything really major that I thought I wouldn't do. I mean, I gave birth with no anesthesia, but I had been planning to do that. Hadn't expected to add pitocin to the mix, though, so maybe I'll count that: giving birth naturally WITH pitocin.

What has/have been your favorite moment(s)?
I'm not going to say Meghan's birth itself, because that was full of turmoil and screaming and crazy intense pain. Don't get me wrong: The birth was definitely amazing and memorable -- and not just the birth itself, but the process leading up to it, where Jack, my mom, my dad, my brother, and my sister-in-law were all supporting and helping me through my labor in invaluable, intimate, and important ways. But my favorite moments are some of the little bitty moments with Meghan, like being on the receiving end of one of her joyful smiles or the time several days ago she drifted off to sleep in my arms as I stared into her face. It's during those times that I'm filled with an incomprehensible amount of happiness and wonder.

What's something you learned about yourself?
I am capable of so much, both mentally and physically. I can actually take care of an infant competently. Whenever I'm afraid of trying something, I need to just do it; a lot of the time, it takes confidence rather than special talents. And, like Meghan, I am hellbent on being independent and not accepting help from others unless I have no choice.

Any new additions to your family?
Hmmm. Oh, right. Yes. :D

Made new friends?
Yep, through a local mom's group. And a few people here on my flist! ♥

Favorite Night[s] out?
Well, I don't get many of those anymore, but I did enjoy seeing Coldplay back in August, even though I was dwelling on Meghan (who was being babysat by my parents) and the potentially engorged state of my boobs most of the time.

Any regrets?
I wish I had blogged more about Meghan, especially during her early months. But I'm not really sure that's a regret, because if I had been blogging, I wouldn't have been holding her, snuggling with her, staring at her, etc. I do sort of regret wasting precious hours of life watching A Shot at Love 2 With Tila Tequila.

What do you want to change in 2009?
I'd like to read more. And sleep more. And write more. And knit more. And, along those lines, I'd like to manage my time better. ...and as evidenced by the time I'm spending on this meme, I'm not off to a good start! :P

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
At restaurants.

Change your hairstyle?
Not really. Although I did manage to dye my hair back to its natural dark brown, only to discover that no one really liked it that way, so now I've got some golden/auburn highlights again, albeit subtle ones.

How old did you turn this year?
31. But that doesn't bother me. I feel ageless at heart.

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
Lose the baby weight. And read and sleep and write and knit more. And manage my time better. *sigh*

Anything embarrassing?
No. I'm not easily embarrassed, though.

Got arrested?

Did you get sick this year?
Well, aside from the cold I got in February, I had a million colds and allergy issues after giving birth. But no intestinal issues, and for this I am profoundly thankful.

Start a new hobby?
Does mothering count?! I don't have time for hobbies, yo! I can barely squeeze in my fandom stuff as it is!

Are you happy to see 2008 go?
I don't know. It was a good year, especially compared with the previous two. It is the year of my daughter's birth. But I'm also ready to enjoy 2009.
Twilight - sparklepeen for Xmas

Update: Meghan and TwiLOLOLOLOL

Between a frantic fit of HP rereading, preparing for the holidays, playing flist catchup once again (although not nearly as drastically as last time), and going through the daily motions of chasing an infant around the house to save her from herself, I haven't had a chance to update. But there are a lot of random and completely unrelated items I've wanted to jabber about, so here goes.

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In other news, I got a permanent account here on LJ, so go me for spending even more than the zero dollars I had allocated at the start of this whole fandom adventure. Now I have 195 icon spaces and need to fill them! Any suggestions for stuff I might like (or any icons you want to make for me *bats eyelashes*) are greatly appreciated. I especially want funny icons in the following fandoms: Harry Potter, anti-Twilight, The Office, and Homestar Runner. But I also would love recommendations to anything that is purty or reminds you of me and/or anything I would like. :)

I'm gonna stop here before this post gets too unwieldy. I've got other shit I wanted to mention, but I'll save it for later -- it's seriously just random crap anyway. But I did want to say that to anyone who gave me their address for a holiday card, I haven't forgotten you! I just...haven't printed or sent my cards yet. Procrastinators unite...tomorrow!

But here is some holiday cheer, in picture form:

Meghan in a Santa suit and Abbie in front of our Christmas tree

Yes, that is a Santa suit Meghan is wearing.

Happy holidays, y'all!
LiveJournal - because you...

Love, Outings, and Onesies

Everyone needs a little anonymous fangirling from time to time, right? So if you feel like it, drop on by my thread at this year's Secret Santa Style Holiday Love Meme and tell me why I sparkle harder than Edward Cullen.

Last night was another good night from Meghan. We were at a friend's house for dinner, and she fell asleep around 8:30 or 9 after I had nursed her there. We left maybe half an hour later, and when we got home, I had expected she would wake up and I'd have to nurse her back to sleep (which is more mommy friendly than the alternative, which is letting her cry until she falls asleep), but it turned out that it was as easy as bringing her in the house and putting her in her crib! (She was already in her PJs -- her Red Sox ones :) -- as we had changed her when she started getting tired after dinner.) EASIEST BEDTIME EVER, YAY! I'm not used to just setting her down and going about my business! Anyway, she slept until around 4:30, so another 8 hours from her, more or less! I was fairly satisfied with 6 hours in a row; 8 is a dream!

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Anyway, then it was off to the newly renovated National Museum of American History with the several brave souls from hp_dcmetro who fought the terrible Boston-style frigid wind to meet up. We had a great time deeply absorbing the exhibits shooting the shit and amusing ourselves with the sculpted Imperiused George Washington statue (and his big feet and long...sword) and Meghan's upside-down antics. And in_a_tizzy and I made the incredible discovery that I knew her fiancé when he was 1 year old, because his mom used to babysit me before and after school when I was in 5th and 6th grade! I was also friends with his sister, who was one year below me in school. Small world, man, small world. Anyhow, if you live in the DC metro area, come join us next time!

Also discussed during the outing: My absolute need to make or buy a onesie that says, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good." And quite possibly "Mischief managed!" on the back. Meghan needs some HP threads, man! One of the activities at my baby shower was making puffy paint onesies, which is why she proudly rocks clothes that say things like, "That's what SHE said!", "Made in China" (which is a snark at Jack's parents, who hate China -- they are Taiwanese -- and go on and on about how you should never buy anything made in China), and "The results are in... You are NOT the father!" Although these onesies just might be the best Maury onesies ever. Anyway, the onesie activity was really fun, but nothing HP related came out of it, and this must be rectified.

In other news, I'm hosting Meghan's playgroup tomorrow (well, Monday, so today) at our house, which I'm pretty excited about. I was sort of against the playgroup idea for a while, just because I didn't like the idea of randomly getting to know strangers just so our kids could play together. I've got a few friends with kids Meghan's age, more or less, in this area, so I was just going to stick to them. But then I realized that I need to provide her with regular activities and opportunities for social interaction, and it's good to get out of the house and meet people. Our days go by so much faster when there are activities involved. So I joined this local mom's Yahoo! group that a good friend had recommended, and the people there seem to be really cool so far. The playgroup is a teeny, tiny subset of that; last time, which was also the first time, four of us met up at a nearby mall (since no one was able to host it at their house that day) and got to know each other. The kids didn't get to play much, since it's hard to do that at a mall, but we moms got to chat, and that was really nice. So I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. My house isn't all that babyproofed, but that didn't seem to phase the others, so I'm trying to relax about that and just enjoy the interaction.

OK, it's 1 already, so off to bed!
Twilight - Edward Maybelline

Twilight on Ice

Courtesy of cleolinda's linkspam:

All of Edward's condescending yearning and stalking would be way more fun if he were doing it while flitting about the rink in puffy shirts and tight trousers, tossing off triple Axels of romantic angst and throwing Bella into the air before catching her with one hand (subtext: "You must not love me BUT I LOVE YOU but stay away BUT NOT TOO FAR AWAY let me stare at you NO I MUSTN'T but I will LET ME TOE-LOOP MY FEELINGS don't look at me EXCEPT DO I am dangerous TIME TO SPARKLE").

I would so go see that. I'm sure it'd be 100 times better than the movie, which I'm convinced must be 100 times better than the book. Well, I'll find out the latter next weekend. Sparkletiems, everybody!

I need more Twilight icons. ...and I can't believe I just said that. But I think a marriage of stillshot from the movie and "Growing Up Cullen" quotes would be beautiful.