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: (slingsandarrows-geoffreylake)
Tomorrow I'm off with my Nana, up north, and so my Internet access may be very, very sporadic for the next few weeks. It's uncertain when she'll get DSL service, so it may just be once a week when I can get a day off and get to Panera or my uncle's house.

*deep breath* As much as an Internet break would help me be more productive, it's a scary thought!

My nana is doing better every day, though I know she's been a bit sad about the move. Moving is a fairly emotionally draining experience, but hopefully once we move up there, she'll meet new people, even if we have to drag her and her walker out to do so. She's a fairly reserved person, but I think with all her family encouraging her, she will get out a little more.

As for myself, I'm doing fairly well, though today, packing up the last of her stuff, I know I was hitting the end of a rope - when I get stressed, I feel queasy and my legs turn to leaden Jello, if that makes sense. Unpacking will probably be fairly stressful, especially considering my mom will be there. I just hope everyone can be civil - if not, I'll ply them with margaritas until they are.

See, booze makes diplomacy easy - unless it turns it into a complete mess.

So, take care of yourself, everybody, and I'll try to get on when I can. Take care!

artyartie: (buffyangel-beautifulbuffygeek)
I've been a little lax in updating, as things here have been a bit crazy, but are starting to look up.

My nana fell almost a week and a half ago, and it turned out she had a broken hip. She's in fabulous health, otherwise, given her age, but she's always had a tendency to fall. They didn't do surgery, and decided to let it heal on its own, so she only had to spend two days in the hospital, but she had to do her rehab in a convalescent home. Luckily, she was there for barely a week - I think it was a little overwhelming for her. I came to stay with her every day, and she had plenty of company, so she wasn't alone much - and we kept her well-plied with food, as the food there was absolutely inedible.

So after some physical therapy with some amazing people, both skill and personality wise, and with sheer willpower, my nana got mobile enough to come home with family help. So she's been home since Saturday, and I'll be staying with her for the rest of the summer, even when she moves up north. We've always gotten along pretty well (she is the only person here who'll play Scrabble with me), and so it's really just like visiting her, only a *lot* more involved. And she goes to bed early, so I have a bit of time to myself in the evenings, though honestly, I find myself falling asleep around 10. The rest of this week may be a little manic, trying to add packing up the rest of her things into the daily routine. And finding time to do thesis work, as I can't exactly forget about that.

So that's the update - hope you all are doing well in your various places!

artyartie: (rome-teamcicero)
I'm currently circumventing certain state laws, and have, oh, about eight hours to kill (they think people read so damn slow online), so I have no excuse not to post!

This weekend was rather good, in retrospect. I went with my Nana and Mom to a small family gathering, and ended up talking to one of my mom's myriad cousins who is quite the amateur astronomer. We ended up chatting about Shoemaker-Levy (he knew both Shoemakers and a friend of Levy's), comets we have loved, lunar astronomy, and the Hubble Deep Field, among other things. We were both happy to find someone who could share our interest and enthusiasm - ever since I was very young and my parents gave me a telescope and The Astronomy Handbook, I've been enamored with the heavens.

Sunday my mom, dad and I ended up going to a Dodger game, and though we missed the first two innings due to LA traffic, and thus most of the scoring, it was a fun game, despite the heat. [livejournal.com profile] ainsley, I took some pictures, and even bought you a little souvenier! Afterwards, we went down to Santa Monica to kill some time, eating at a wonderful restaurant on the Promenade, watching 1408, and doing a little shopping. Borders was open late, thankfully, so I ran in and bought Roman Blood by Stephen Saylor, the first in his Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, who is quite the character himself. I'm 90 some pages in and its a wonderful book, and it makes me wonder, again, about the writers of 'Rome.'

What the hell did they have against Tiro? Everyone else certainly fangirls him madly. He's the speaker of Imperium, Robert Harris' wonderful novel, and everyone loves him. Cicero, Tullia (in an absolutely adorable scene), Caesar, Crassus (in a rather disturbing scene) - everyone wants their own piece of the good secretary. Just from the first section I've read, Saylor has wonderfully captured Cicero and Tiro's early relationship, and even while the young Cicero is haughty and fussy, he has a gentle regard for Tiro, who is described as a lovely man with a mellifluous voice (unlike his master at this point). And Tiro? Oh, he certainly has his fun in a most amusing section around page 80.

And so again, what was up with Batboy!Tiro in the second season of Rome? I know they were out to portray Cicero as negatively as they could, especially in the first season, but why, oh why, did they have to do this to his intelligent secretary (who had been freed long before Cicero's death) who was probably more handsome than his master? It just makes me more angry the longer I think of it. So from now on, any stories with Tiro will be with a Tiro of my own choosing - because these books are starting to make me a Tiro fangirl, too.

And in happy academic news, my adviser finally e-mailed me back in response to my update - and all is good! I rather can't believe it, though he isn't the type to just say everything is fine when things aren't. Now that it's almost the middle of July, England has been on my brain every day - today when I was walking home I was imagining walking down the lush green lawns of Greenwich, beneath the cool columns, besides the Thames. Only two more months! But now I feel more prepared, academically. If only the finances will improve in the next few months...

artyartie: (drwho-whoa)
Some random observations from the past few days:

I am so, so glad I re-watched the 1995 Pride and Prejudice *after* I finished Rome - I was giggling and cringing (mostly the latter- it's such an utterly unsympathetic character) through each and every scene with Mr. Collins. Though I noticed some new things in the background - like Mary and Mr. Collins talking during the Netherfield Ball (poor Mary, she actually laughs and looks happy), and the almost conniving look in Charlotte's eyes when she invites Mr. Collins to dinner. Sadly, the special edition has hardly anything to make it special - only a featurette with the crew and two actors, David Bamber and the actress who played Mrs. Bennett. It's rather hilarious that they're both rather soft-spoken people, playing such flamboyant roles. But Mr. Darcy still makes me melt - especially puppy!Darcy at Pemberley with the smoldering gaze.

Now that I've sent my thesis update off, I'm waiting rather anxiously for the feedback. I had so much nervous energy I cleaned my sister's kitchen, top to bottom, when I babysat for my nephew on Monday.

My nephew, evidently, is now the biter in pre-school. He was pefectly fine for me, but then again, I can bite back. We read, a lot, shared some grapes, had an adventure playing sports games on the X-Box (we liked Madden 06 the best), and tried to learn the difference between the word tickle and tackle.

My mom's been in something of a mood for the past few days, and while I don't quite regret coming home for the summer, it's always far more trying than I remember. I feel like my mom's dumping post for all her grips about my nana, my sisters - I wonder who she goes to when she has to talk about me. My sister and I have the not-too-baseless fear that the strained dynamic between my mom and her mom will end up being repeated.

Anyway, happy belated Canada Day, and Happy Independence Day (in an hour) to all the fellow Americans on the list - and it's Horatio Hornblower's birthday, too! That so beats sharing my b'day with Ann Landers and Dear Abby.
artyartie: (buffyangel-buffystudygirl)
Last night, my sister, cousin and I spent the night at my dad's (technically my sister's dad - we have a lot of remarriage in my family so it's a bit complicated), in the town where we lived for a few years with my maternal grandparents, Simi Valley. I usually don't care for suburbs, but with this connection, I've always held a special love for it - and while this hometown has gone to pot (as I told my cousin, at least we haven't had any shootings within a five-block radius since I got here), Simi Valley has stayed rather beautiful.

And it's added some fun places to shop.

We trekked to the new outdoor mall, via the bus, and after testing a Tempur Pedic matress and looking in Anthropology, I wished I was going into a field that had a little more money. But I did buy one very practical purchase - an international adapter for my MacBook charger thingy. It's a small purchase, but it makes me excited, just buying it.

Speaking of the British Isles, on Sunday I could say I was perhaps vaguely within the proximity of Ioan Gruffudd - we might not have seen him while we were at Universal Studios, but hey, I was standing where he might have stood a few hours later! But we had a great time - there were no lines, and we tried a new 'ride' of sorts - it's a haunted movie set walk through where people hide in the dark and jump out at you. At one point, we were screaming just because the people in front of us were screaming. But my sister did nearly beat the crap out of some mummy who leaped out at her. Those people must take a bruising.

Tomorrow we're headed to my nana's - I'm bringing my Scrabble board and my insanely difficult reading with me - it's legal theory, and some of it is rather dense and time-consuming to navigate. My update for this week is going to kind of suck - I'll only have two books and one article read, but I have some strong thoughts on an alternative research question - one with more sources than my primary question, sadly. My advisor is away until the end of the month, so I hope by then to have quite a bit more done. The process of the worth ethic continues.
artyartie: (buffyangel-beautifulbuffygeek)
Just a quick update to say that after a mercifully uneventful trip, I'm back home for the summer. Today I've managed to unpack and play with my nephew, and that's about all I aim to accomplish! We have a decent wireless connection via a neighbor and DSL, so I should have good Internet access this summer. Hope you're all doing well, and I'll hopefully probably, make a better post tomorrow.

One random but very cute story - I was watching American Idol, reluctantly, with my mom and sister last night, and they had the Fantastic Four cast in the audience. Ioan was looking especially yummy and I let out this very fangirlish giggle and told my Mom he was my Welsh boyfriend. My Mom's answer - "Oh, he's cute!"

Wonder if I can get her to watch Hornblower with me this summer. ;)
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!

Pictures!

Oct. 20th, 2005 10:20 pm
artyartie: (Default)
Talked to my sister for just a few minutes tonight, right before the little guy woke up. I got to hear him, making the most adorable little cooing noises, and I just got tears in my eyes. I can't wait to meet him at Christmas - he is so very, very wonderful, I just know it. And my mom just sent me pictures - look below the cut!

the newest little star in the sky )

Thank you all so much for your comments, congradulations and wishes, and just for sharing in this joy!

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