artyartie: (o'brian-idlepaintedship)
I don't know how many e-mails I've titled "Long Overdue Update," and when I really think of it, this really isn't that overdue, just "a bit tardy."

My nana is doing well, though I know she wants to be completely better soon. She hates being a burden on other people, even if it's a perceived burden, but like, oh, all of us have told her, we just want to be sure she's safe on her own. Realistically, I know I can probably only stay for two more weeks from Friday, as I do need to get home before I leave. But we have fairly good days up here - we make coffee and read the paper, do a puzzle on the patio, watch TV or rest in the afternoon, and I try to get in a walk after Jeopardy. My Nana and I are Jeopardy freaks. :) A new Asian supermarket just opened up, within ten minutes walking, and it's absolutely wonderful - I can buy cheap produce and seafood, so the quality of our meals should go up. Last night, I made an oven-fried red snapper that came out very tasty, even if I couldn't make it with the side dishes I wanted, namely red potatoes and broccoli.

Today I got a day off with my dad, and we finally, finally got to return to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, which we had visited 22 years ago. It's still just as wonderful, and we honestly had just as much fun as we did when I was five. After lingering for quite a while, playing with all the exhibits (and munching on organic popcorn), we walked around the faux ruins in the Palace of Fine Arts and took lots of pictures. Afterwards, we stopped at Boudin's to pick up some sourdough (because leaving the City without a loaf of sourdough is against some sort of law), and then stopped at Fog City diner for dinner. I ordered pot roast with a cabernet sauce over mashed potatoes, and the first bite was pure foodgasm, though it was so filling we didn't even get to sample dessert.

Tomorrow my mom is here, and doesn't leave until the afternoon, so we may try to get out with her. And as of this Friday, I have four weeks until departure, which is both exhilarating and terrifying. It's making my brain go into hyperactive procrastinating mode, which is the last thing I need, since I want to be as prepared as possible before I arrive. I just need to structure my time a bit, and unhook the DSL when I need to, as wonderful as it is to have it. Last year I managed to become decently productive while watching a Netflixed show in the background - maybe that's worth another try. Lately, BSG is just gobbling up my soul, and I've found a great British comedy, Black Books, that I think many of you would enjoy.

Anyway, that's the most relevant updates - hope everyone's doing well, and happy beginning of term to all of you starting class tomorrow!

artyartie: (o'brian-idlepaintedship)
Last night, walking home to get the mail, I nearly did a little dance. I had walked on the decks of the Surprise that morning! Sat where Stephen sulked, caught a glance of Killick's precious kitchen implements, leaned over the side in vain to find the seat of ease. The crew must have wondered at my geeky grin, especially seated at the stern, but I imagine they're used to it. My family didn't come with me - at one point, it was a possible punishment for my brother to come with me - but I saw many other families, including a father, teaching his wide-eyed daughter about the Battle of Trafalgar (they have a diorama of the battle on the gun deck). I was so touched by this scene, and being my natural effluvious self when it comes to all things naval, I had to chime in - I hope they weren't too startled. And while the lower decks does host the 'Pirates of the Pacific' exhibit, and hence the somewhat gawdy captain's cabin, they made it clear this exhibit was a separate entity. Though after my museum studies class, I was somewhat disappointed with their exhibit design - it was black text, Times New Roman at that, against white board. Ahh well.

These photos are just of the Surprise - later this afternoon I'll post pictures of the Star of India - and I was more pleased with those photos. But it was an absolutely incredible experience, to finally see the Surprise - I only hope it isn't years before I return.




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artyartie: (buffyangel-ivegotatheory)
The drabbles for this week's [livejournal.com profile] rome100 challenge, Future, are just not coming tonight, so I'm going to finish packing and head to bed. I'm off to a conference in San Francisco which should not only be educational and productive, but will include the night tour of Alcatraz, bread bowls of chowder, Ghiradelli chocolate sundaes, the Wine Country, and other things purely for enjoyment. Oh, and working on that pesky paper in the rare moments of free time.

While the drabbles are being stubborn (mostly because there are so many alternate futures one can imagine), I have the worst sort of plot bunny. It's a plot warren, actually, and I probably won't seriously start writing it until May, though I'm starting to block it in my head. It's a Rome fic, of course, Cicero centered, of course, incorporating his daughter and yet trying to stay true to the show's canon. So far, the bunnies are warm and fuzzy, and I'm anxious to start working on it - but not until every assignment and my thesis prospectus is turned in. That should be excellent motivation.

And speaking of Cicero, Imperium, which I am now 200 pages into, is simply incredible. It took me about 10 pages to get into Harris' style, but his characterization is so vibrant, I could hardly put the book down. Tiro is a keen observer, Pompey is a soldier who never should have played in politics, Terentia is shrewd and fiery, Tullia is adorable, and Cicero is so very human and rich and flawed and - read this book, if you'd like another look into ancient Rome. It's out in paperback in August, if you don't want to pony up for a hardcover, or can't find it at the library.

So, in all likelihood, I won't be back until Sunday - so if I don't answer posts or stories, it's because I'm living it up in Northern California!
artyartie: (Default)
It's like Yuletide, all over again! Only with more olive oil.

I recieved an absolutely wonderful Brutus/Cicero story, Words and Deeds, by [livejournal.com profile] babel. It's thoughtful, sorrow-tinged fluff, which sounds impossible, but it just works so well, especially with these two. Go read it, Rome fans! Go check out [livejournal.com profile] rome_fic to read the challenge entries that have been posted.

Meh, I haven't had my coffee this morning and I can feel it. Such a little addict. But I'm taking my sister out for lunch - it's my last full day home and I want to do something for her - and I think we both get cabin fever, cooped up here. Tonight, it's off to my Nana's for tamales (yummmmmmm!) and then it's back to school. I needed this break so badly but it just went by so fast!

Yesterday we went to the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and it was worth the wait. The building itself is so achingly beautiful, it's a work of art in itself. It's built of Italian traverntine, and I brushed my hands over the walls, thinking at least this was a bit of Italy I could feel right now. The exhibits were amazing, of course, from the Roman frescoes and statuary to the 19th century paintings to the sumptuous French furniture that made me feel like Marie Antoinette. The gardens were also pure art, and were a treat for the eyes, nose, and ears (the stream that runs into the main pool changes tone the closer it gets to the pool). I should have pictures soon, but I simply want to go back now - and go to the Getty Villa in Malibu, of course.
artyartie: (Default)
Changing to daylight time today and jet lag is *killing* me. But my sisters and I went to Universal Studios and had a pretty fun time - I will try to post more about it when I'm, say, coherent! Just wanted to let you all know if it takes me a little longer to reply to your posts/comments, the fact that I'm home is why - though one of our wonderful neighbors has open wireless!

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