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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in (Re)Becca's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
6:50 pm
...For anyone who keeps track here, rather than on FB...particularly, for the subset of that group which has small children... :-)

Game "Night" now comes with onsite kid-wrangling services, thanks to my elder niece. (Yay!)
Sunday, November 21st, 2010
11:16 am
Cross-posted....
Okay! Slight changes to timing, but here goes:

When: 12/26, starting at roughly 2 p.m.

Where: My parents' place, northern VA. Let me know if you need directions and/or an address.

What: Game night!

Will you be in the DC metropolitan area on December 26th? (Yes! - well, hopefully some of you, at least.) Do you like to eat junk food and laugh at bad jokes? (Yes!) Well, then:

I'll provide munchies and games. (The games are really a flimsy excuse to chat and goof off.) Feel free to bring games or food to share, if you feel the need - just nothing with peanuts or peanut butter.

Also, feel free to bring anyone else whose presence you think would improve the evening (just pls try to let me know first?). We'll probably start around 2 pm, although feel free to come by later - we'll be there till 8 or 9 or so. It's usually a small and rotating group, but a lot of fun.

As always, there will be hot cider!

Hoping to have a rough count of attendees (so there will be enough food) - if you plan to come, could you respond here, drop me an email, or RSVP on FB to let me know? Thanks!
Saturday, July 10th, 2010
8:28 pm
(Maybe a real update to follow; maybe not.... I keep meaning to post one and it just never happens, somehow. That's OK; I keep meaning to have a life and it also just never happens. Somehow.)

So I'm sloooowly re-awakening my Facebook page. (Yeah, I had one; I created it in college and immediately forgot about it.) Apparently it's the wave of the future. Who knew? (Am I allowed to talk about that on LJ, or will they send the special LJ police to come get me?)
Monday, April 26th, 2010
9:22 pm
Paper? That's so... quaint.
Say a favorite author of yours has released a novella, but released it only as an ebook. It can be downloaded in lots of interesting file formats, but all you have to read it on are your computer and possibly an iPod. It's around 90 pages - not too long, but not a quick read by any means.

How would you read it?

Me, I'm leaning towards printing it, although I think Megan may disown me for that. I sit in a desk chair and stare at a computer all day, and by the end of the day I really want to curl up on the couch (or the floor, or whatever) and not look at a computer. (This may have something to do with why I'm not online so much anymore....) So I need something portable, and easy on the eyes. A Kindle, apparently, might work - but I don't feel like dropping $200 (plus or minus) just now. So it seems like the solution is to print it (duplexed, of course), staple it, read it, then stick it on the bookshelf just as I would any other book.

But at the same time, I feel like there has to be a better solution out there. I mean, I'm not scared of technology (generally). I like my computer. I just nead a reader-friendly solution here. Does it have to involve flattened tree pulp?
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
6:11 pm
After being told by everyone and their brother that How to Train Your Dragon was really cute, M. and I went and saw it last night. It is, indeed, really cute. (We were playing hooky from our usual Tuesday evening routine of vacuuming the house & cleaning - it's a thrilling life we lead!) If you haven't seen it, and you're in the mood for a non-serious movie with animated dragons, well - what are you waiting for?

In other news, both grapevines in the backyard have come back from last year (despite some serious doubt) and the raspberry canes are both doing swimmingly. Hopefully we'll actually get some fruit out of them, one of these years. I'm also trying to sprout passionfruit seeds upstairs, with the end goal of planting them along the last unencumbered fence out back. I love passionfruit, but it's expensive, hard to find, etc, etc. However, several of the cultivars should grow around here - we're a little closer to tropical than most of the rest of VA, by virtue of being insulated by this big old ocean. The 4 varieties I'm trying to sprout are all hardy to at least 20 F, and one of them to below 10 F. Hoping for luck here....passionfruit vines would be so cool.

Aside from all the serious stuff in the news this past week, I've really gotten a kick out of listening to announcers trying to pronounce "Eyjafjallajökull". (Please tell me I'm not alone here - ?)
Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
9:26 pm
Spring? What spring?
This weekend was gorgeous. Now, all of a sudden, it's summer - highs near 90. Wow. What happened to spring, anyhow? I could use a few more days like Saturday or Sunday!

On Sunday we took Jezebel for a walk around Fort Monroe, partway around the battlements of the old fort. She handled the leash and the walk pretty well, although she got a little freaked out at the loud bouncy toddler we briefly encountered - but I can't really blame her for that. She handled the family with the quiet teenager quite well, and let him pet her for a few minutes. I've actually never been on Ft. Monroe before (despite working a stone's throw away), and it's really interesting. Someday soon I'll have to go back just with Megan and walk the whole way around the old fort - Jezebel got too warm and had to quit halfway (that's what wearing a dark gray fur coat will do to you).

We got back and expanded the little flowerbed out front, moved the "leftover" daffodils from their temporary planters into the ground, mulched it all, etc. (By "we," I mean "mostly Megan," if you're going to get technical.) Also finished a few other projects which I can't remember just now - but it was a fairly productive weekend. Yup yup.

....Also in the midst of finalizing plans to go see my Gram in May, which I'm looking forward to. We're flying out of BWI, which isn't as convenient as Norfolk or Patrick Henry, but which was a lot cheaper. Astonishingly so. And the flight is directly into Grand Rapids, which makes things much smoother too. Michigan in May - it should be warm enough down here that the cool is nice, but early enough that Michigan's gigantic deer flies aren't quite out in force yet! (I hope. You can almost get carried off by one of those bloodsuckers.)

In other news, I think Friday's XKCD was pretty wonderful. Just in case you didn't see it.
Saturday, March 27th, 2010
8:58 pm
As if the kitchen weren't enough of a mess already
...this afternoon, I made chocolate-filled quail eggs based on the method described here. They're incredibly cute, and easy - although certainly not quick. I added an extra step of drying/sterilizing the eggs in a hot oven, which sped the process up (no overnight drying) and also reassured my inner paranoid side (several of the quail eggs were cracked/moldy, and while I didn't use those ones, I wasn't confident that a cool-water rinse would leave the rest in a state where I wanted to eat chocolate molded into them).

Holy run-on sentences, Batman.

Also starting plans for a lunch for University. First attempt at a vegan chickpea/carrot curried stew went rather well - beef stew I can throw together with almost no thought, but a substantial stew without meat takes a little more care (at least for me). Also used my lovely, lovely KitchenAid to make up 36 breadrolls which I shall stick in the freezer and thaw in a couple weeks* to see how they handle it. Spent part of Thursday evening trundling around the wholesale club with a pad & paper writing down prices. There is a spreadsheet on the horizon.

In unrelated news, we found out how Jezebel was staying so well-fed when she still straying around the neighborhood: one of the neighbors (across the street & two houses down) was feeding her. "I wanted to keep her, but my wife wouldn't let me." She apparently made friends all over the neighborhood - the church next door also knew her well. Megan's an introvert, I'm an introvert, Spot is definitely an introvert, but I guess the cat is an extrovert. Go figure.

*coincidentally, probably, just after Pesach - yeah, I know the deep-freeze is technically in the house, shush
Thursday, March 11th, 2010
6:25 pm
Every silver lining has a cloud? Or, more cat rambling:
The problem with having a very friendly, social cat is this: when you don't socialize with her as much as she'd like, she gets angsty. And she misbehaves.

When I was home sick for a couple days with the Martian Death Cold, she was thrilled - lots of people-time! The next week, though, we were out of town for a weekend and then busy several evenings. She still got petted, and played with, but clearly not as much as she would have liked. So she knocked things off shelves, and took to climbing on the table again, and started "play"-biting just a little too hard. Stressed cat. So we're making sure now to actively spend time with her, not just make sure we pay attention to her as we go... She needs to learn what is and isn't allowed when she's bored/lonely/wants attention (cute or ferocious games with toys are OK, getting on the kitchen counter and scattering things around isn't). However, we also adopted a cat we knew was highly social, and so we're making sure she gets her social needs met.

Which just sounds kind of dirty. Anyhow....

A couple people have suggested getting a 2nd cat, but I'm not fond of that idea for a couple of reasons. First, I wasn't sure about getting this one in the first place (although I've warmed to the idea), and I'm really not sure about getting another. It is an adjustment to have another critter living in the same house, and I'm not sure I can adjust that gracefully again. Also, though, I'm just not sure it would work: there's no guarantee the two cats would get along, and there's no guarantee the other cat would be as well-behaved as Jezebel (and despite the acting-out, on balance she is a pretty well-behaved cat). And there's no guarantee another cat would satisfy Miss J's "interaction craving" - she seems to really want people-time. And adding another cat to the mix would just mean less of our time would be free for her.

All of which may be rationalizing what basically comes down to selfishness. Hard to say.

Overall, though, she's adjusting to us, we're adjusting to her, and we've definitely gotten past the "company manners" stage but nobody has strangled anyone else yet. :-) She's still terribly cute, and very talkative, and sheds enough fur that I think we could collect and spin it (except Megan won't let me, for some odd reason).
Monday, March 1st, 2010
6:30 pm
M. and I have been sick with some kind of crazy cold for about 2 weeks now - it just won't quit. In my case it has "officially" turned into a sinus infection, so I've got antibiotics* as well as lots of tea and chicken soup. Hopefully they help, because I'm really ready to be done with all this. (I'm sure M. is too; she's been sick a few days longer than I have, at this point.) I stayed home from work a couple days last week, which thrilled the cat - I slept on the couch, she slept curled up on top of me. Every time I moved, she'd wake up just enough to start purring again. Terribly cute.

KASF is right around the corner, which should be fun. On the flip side, it looks like we won't be able to make Baronial Birthday - it's the same day as the memorial service for my aunt, up in Alexandria. (Less fun, but much more important.)

I can't believe it's March already. Where did February go? (For that matter, where did 2009 go?)

*I'm of two minds here - what I had previously heard about sinus infections was that they were just as likely to be viral as bacterial. Whether or not you take antibiotics, the outlook is generally the same: get some rest, plenty of liquids, and call the doctor back if you aren't better in a week. Philosophically, I might prefer not to take antibiotics as a first course of action at this point...but realistically, since the doctor prescribed them without my asking, I'm feeling pathetic enough to just take them on the assumption that they may help.

Current Mood: whine whine whine
Saturday, January 30th, 2010
11:14 am
snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow
Guess what? It snowed! In fact, it's still snowing. We woke up to around 2-3" already on the ground at 7 a.m. Took the cat to her vet appointment (caaaarefully - they haven't even plowed much of I-64 yet) and got home around 10:30. I'd say there's about 4" of snow on the ground now, up to 6" in spots, still coming down.

This is so awesome.

Yesterday my boss very generously said that if it snowed overnight, nobody had to come in to work today. So that's good too. :-p
Thursday, January 28th, 2010
5:57 pm
(Shhh!)
(We might get snow tomorrow, but don't say anything or you'll jinx it.)
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
6:39 pm
More cat
Yesterday was Jezebel's spay appointment. She seems to be recovering well, but last night she was incredibly loopy from the pain meds she got before leaving the vet's. Picture a cat, lying on her side on a stair, head turned upside down, eyes open but not tracking anything, legs extended straight out into thin air.... an incredible combination of pathos and humor. Turns out she was pregnant, too, which doesn't surprise me at all (the vet had said it was a slight chance but for some reason I just kind of felt like she was).

...in other, mostly irrelevant news: last week I tried (and almost succeeded) to make purple sweet-potato bread. That's bread made with purple sweet potato, not purple bread made with sweet potato, although I was really hoping for the latter result. Instead, it was just kind of a weird, subtle tan/mauve. Very difficult to describe; not really purple at all. Tasted good, though.
Friday, January 22nd, 2010
12:08 pm
Stupid divide-by-zero error.

Also, is it just me, or does "This expression is typed incorrectly, or it is too complex to be evaluated. For example, a numeric expression may contain too many complicated elements. Try simplifying the expression by assigning parts of the expression to variables." not suggest a divide-by-zero error at all?

Gotta love Access (motto: Now 75% Stranger than Excel).
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
7:02 pm
It occurs to me, in hindsight, that we could have named the cat Midrange. Not sure anyone would get the reference, though. (I think it's Piers Anthony? It's been too long.)

Last night (actually this morning, I guess) I had a dream I actually remember - probably because I woke up in the middle. It involved Towson, redglasses, someone I didn't recognize, and a cafeteria (but not TJ's). You know, people talk about remembering deep, meaningful dreams... honestly, the only ones I seem to have are random, short, sometimes funny, but generally without plot.

Then (to make the morning even odder) I woke up early, and awake. I almost never do that - and usually if I wake up from a dream, I feel drugged and zonky for half the day. Not today, though! Nope, I was up, and my mind immediately suggested that if I got out of bed right away I had time to run by Krispy Kreme and pick up donuts before work. So, off I went. Very surreal. My mornings usually involve snoozing the alarm about 4 times, groggily getting dressed, and dashing off to work with just enough time to arrive before I'm actually late.

... the cat (I really need to get used to calling her Jezebel; in my mind she's been "The Cat" for so long that it's almost a name by now) is curled up on a rug in the corner of the room, pointedly ignoring me. We misread the directions on the cat food, you see, and for the first several days we fed her about 1.75x what she should have been getting. Then we re-read the bag (for some reason), went "oh shit," and scaled her back to what she should be eating. She's now convinced she's being starved, of course. She just had dinner, and a second helping is nowhere to be found, so I'm getting the cold shoulder. However, she's a social enough critter that she has to come into whichever room I'm in, so she isn't too far away while snubbing me. And if I sit down on the floor she'll come over and curl up in my lap. Weird cat. Very lovable. Very co-dependent.

Is it too early to feel like 2010 is flying by? IB12 is this weekend, and it has really snuck up. February is right around the corner - which means the weekend in Vegas is right around the corner too (yay!). It's close enough to the start of the year that cossaccountant is still mostly living at work, but not as much as before. And if February is right around the corner, March is next... and with March or April it should be the right temperature to finally tan the rabbit hides that Kim so kindly gave me last year. They've been sitting in the chest freezer, waiting for a week and a half where I won't be out of town any days, the weather is expected to be above 40ish but below 70ish, and (here's the important part) after I've actually purchased alum or whatever else I need and actually gotten my act together. Sigh. I have so many projects I want to do, but this one really does have a time limit. I don't know what freezerburn looks like on raw skins, but it probably isn't pretty.

I don't tend to make resolutions for the new year, but if I did they should probably have to do with follow-through and direction. :-)

Current Mood: chipper
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
7:32 pm
Meow.
So.... we have a cat. (At least for now - see below.) Surprised? Well, so are we.

After a few nights sleeping on the porch (in subfreezing weather), we decided it was reasonable to assume the neighborhood cat was actually a stray, rather than someone's outside cat. Took it to the vet Monday, found out that "it" is actually a "she." She's between 1 and 2 years old, a medium-haired muted tortie, and a little under 7 pounds. She had an ear infection and roundworms, but nothing more serious; the vet thinks she hasn't been fixed, though. (And there's a slight possibility she's pregnant, but hopefully not.)

So she got her shots, got ear drops and ear wash and some skin stuff for the roundworms and pills for fleas (just in case - although she doesn't appear to have fleas). She didn't care for the ride to or from the vet's, but she was just fine during the visit itself - made friends with the tech, assistant, and the vet. Need to make follow-up appointments to complete her vaccinations and get her spayed.

We're running a "found cat" ad in the paper for the next few days - the paper lets you do that free, which is nice - but I honestly don't think it's likely that anyone will call. She's been in the house for 2 days, effectively living on our porch for several days before that, and nobody seems to have missed her. There are no "lost cat" signs up, nobody asking around, zilch. Ah well.

But I suppose the silver lining is little Miss J herself (provisional name is Jezebel, a sort of backhanded reference to just how calm and well-behaved she has been). She stayed shut up in the downstairs bathroom until she proved she knew how to use a litterbox (and, coincidentally, until we had cat-proofed the common areas of the house). Since then, she alternately follows us around or curls up in odd corners; after a little coaxing she did play with one of the toys we got her. And last night she let me trim all her front claws on the first try, which I think is remarkable.

So far, we can't get any real nice pictures; but as soon as we've got some, expect to see far more of a little gray cat than you ever thought you needed to see.... :-)

Current Mood: sleepy
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
8:20 pm
Exercise (from a non-exercise person)
I know this sounds like a "well, duh!" moment, but I have just realized that my exercise routine has made me more flexible. Who'd have thought, right?

The waaay-back story is this:Collapse )

So, there's all that. And this evening as I was doing my stretches, I realized that I can lock my knees, bend over, and put the palm of my hand on the floor. Now I wish I had paid more attention when I started all this, because I'm pretty sure that in November I couldn't touch my knuckles to the floor without bending my knees. Not a big difference, but a noticeable one. Not a significant exercise program, but (at least as far as I'm concerned) much better than none.

Current Mood: hungry
Thursday, December 31st, 2009
5:04 pm
First of all, a pre-emptive happy new year to everyone!

...M. and I had an enjoyable (if, as usual, not very restful) trip up to see our folks over Xmas. Stayed a few days with her parents, a few days with mine, saw lots of people and generally had a very good time. Game night on the 26th was fun; hopefully we can do the same thing again next year. On the 27th, Mom, Megan, Molly, and myself (that's a lot of Ms) went to see A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre and then went out to dinner afterwards (Olive Garden - Molly's choice). The "ladies' afternoon out" was a present from Mom to Molly, and I think Molly really enjoyed it. She's 11 now, and getting to do some things that are more grown-up is one of the perks. :-)

Unfortunately I had back spasms on the 28th, which was the day we were driving back down. So Megan drove the entire way (because she's wonderful), and also did the vast majority of packing the truck before I even woke up (also because she's wonderful). I popped some heavy-duty painkillers so I could help her *un*load the truck at this end; that actually seemed to help a lot, because it let the muscles ease up enough that I could actually work them and get them moving. Gotta remember that for next time: take the meds, then don't just sit around but go do something!

Oh, and Chris, I haven't forgotten about the 5 words meme. (I'm just being a slacker, which may not be any better.)

Back to wondering why my panettone won't rise... cheers!
Monday, December 21st, 2009
10:11 pm
More on Game Night
As promised, slightly (very slightly) more specific information...

Where: still my folks' house (DC area). Again, if you don't know where, just ask.

When: December 26. Here's the new info: Starting around 4 p.m., running until we all get tired (or until I get tired - and I'm a geezer before my time, so probably not much later than 9ish). Anyone who shows up markedly before 4 will be thanked for volunteering to help move a drum set up from the basement. We will be thrilllllled to see you. Don't say you weren't warned!

What: food, board or card games, etc, etc. Chitchat.

Who: you, especially if you know where my parents' house is. :-) If you don't, and you email me and ask, and I don't know who you are, then we'll talk.

What to bring: yourself. Nothing else is necessary. If you want to bring something, that's lovely, but please make sure it contains no peanuts in any form whatsoever. (Especially if it's a board game.)

That's all, folks.
Friday, December 18th, 2009
5:58 pm
Weather envy
DC is supposed to get 1 to 2 feet of snow tonight.

I'd just like to point out that I am soooo jealous.

We are supposed to get 1 to 2 inches of rain. Maybe, maybe, we might get 1/2" of snow very briefly tomorrow night.

That is all.

(Yes, I know if I lived somewhere where I got more snow and therefore had to drive in it/deal with it more often I wouldn't be so gung-ho about it. Logic isn't the point here.)
Monday, November 30th, 2009
5:49 pm
Oh great.
We have critters in the walls.

Time to call the nice people at the pest control company, I think.

... On the upside, there's also an incredibly cute gray fluffy cat in the neighborhood who has been coming over to say "hi" occasionally. It's what I think of as a puppy-cat: likes you, likes being petted, likes company, wants your attention, etc, etc. (Not quite as friendly as seebeesea's Jenny, for anyone who has met her. Same basic philosophy, though.) And did I mention cute?
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