erynn: Gaelic merman image (Lynx looking)
Today's tit squish went quickly and easily. We were in and out and back home quite quickly; [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor ended up driving instead of [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson, as he wasn't feeling too well today.

I got email back from the consulate about the problem with the scheduling website. I'm now able to log in and will be able to make an appointment. They are available starting in October, though I still have to wait to hear back from the sib before I can actually make an appointment. I also have a couple more questions to ask the consulate visa office, though I will now be asking them one per email in the hope that their short answers will actually have something to do with the question I'm asking. They were quite timely in responding to the query about the scheduling website, though, so that does make me feel a bit better.

I got absolute zero sleep last night. I drank tea with caffeine too late in the day and it kept me from being able to get to sleep at all, though I did rest at least for a couple of hours. I'm hoping to get a little bit tonight.

Later this evening, I got hauled over to McMenamin's for a little dinner. Usually we'd have gone to the AFK, but we felt like trying something else out instead. I had a nice baked mac & cheese made with four cheeses, and a quite nice pomegranate cider. The cider was a little drier than I prefer, but not to the point of tasting off to me, and there was a hint of pomegranate flavor to it on the edge of my tongue that was really quite tasty.

I have an inquiry about the first bookshelf I listed on craigslist. Someone wants to come by tomorrow about 1:30 to get it and to look at some of the ones in the garage to see if they will want any of those, as well. The more stuff I can get out of my garage, the better. As I get stuff out of there, it means I'll have less to worry about moving when the condo sells, or when I leave for Italy, whichever comes first.

Papers got printed out today for the dog's veterinary certificate. I have to email the USDA vet in Tukwila to ask a couple of questions about the forms and how they are supposed to be dealt with. The instructions that came with the packet are mostly clear, but I like to be certain what I'm dealing with when filling out paperwork that will determine whether or not I'll be able to put the dog on the plane when it comes time to move him.

When [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I were sitting waiting for my tit squish, we talked about figuring out what kind of thing I should wear to the consulate for the appointment. She hit upon one of her friends, who works at a fancy menswear place and has a degree in fashion design or some such. He apparently would be quite happy to help me deal with this sort of quandary. It's just such a different thing than what I usually have to deal with that having some input from somebody with a clue would be really helpful for me.

Looking at the website for the visa application appointment really hit me today. There's a tightness and a hard ball of anxiety in my chest because looking at their calendar suddenly made all of this feel very real. It's no longer in the realm of the abstract, where I'm just collecting pieces of paper. It's a situation where I can see actual dates ahead of me where things have to be finished, deadlines, and a sense that I actually have to do something if I want this to happen. It's not that I didn't feel like things were happening before, but this gives it a certain concrete existence for me, where it felt more theoretical before.

Of course, on the website there was yet a third variant of the list of things needed. This one was slightly more specific, thankfully. And it said that only one person can go to the appointment, so even if the sib were to come to hold my hand through the whole thing, he couldn't go in with me. That'll save us some money, anyway, not buying a plane ticket for him.

The waterfowl begin to align. As long as it isn't the stars doing so, raising great Cthulhu from his aeons-long slumber beneath the waves in R'lyeh, we're probably okay.

I sleep now.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to the park today to pick salal berries, but they were really substandard there. Most of them were dried out and a lot of others were moldy, which was really pretty nasty. We ended up picking from along the sidewalk by the lake. It was closer to the road than I liked, but at least they don't use lead in gas anymore, so I wouldn't be too worried about lead poisoning or anything. They washed off just fine and we got three bags full, which got cleaned down to two big mixing bowls full of berries that are now sitting on the counter on paper towels drying off a bit. I'll put them in the food dryer tomorrow, as I don't want to leave them in overnight. Last time I did that, they got crispy, which really doesn't do much for their flavor.

I spent part of today updating some of my software for the new computer and messing with the email so that it works again. Last night being able to send was sporadic but I think I've got it together again now, and it's been sending consistently again. Bills got paid, though the charge for the new computer hasn't showed up on the credit card yet. I'm sure that'll happen soon.

My Dead Can Dance hoodie showed up from [livejournal.com profile] miss_adventure today, which has delighted me to no end. I wore it out when I went grocery shopping tonight. I hadn't been out for more than just a day or so's worth of stuff since I got home from Europe, so I had rather a lot to pick up, but there were some nice Washington peaches that felt and smelled ripe -- it's hard to get peaches in a store that are actually ripe enough. They're often either grainy or crunchy. I think these might turn out okay because they're fairly local and they claim they were "tree-ripened," though what that means these days is anyone's guess. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow when I have one for breakfast.

As noted in my other posts today, I did a blog page on finding the Wayside Well in Kildare, and Hiraeth Press posted one of my poems to their website, which made me quite happy. I sent off the link to the publicity person at Immanion. I also sent off a copy of the manuscript to [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill for a poet friend of his to look over. I hope he'll like it.

Tomorrow I'll probably do #writechat for a while and then work on some more material for the EBC presentation. I have photos that need to be taken and things that need to be scanned for further slides. Fortunately, Word and PowerPoint both still work on this version of Mac OSX. I'm definitely liking the new larger monitor. It's at a better height and I have a lot more space to deal with things.

Today's mail, along with the hoodie, also brought a fairly lengthy health practices survey from the VA. A lot of the questions are not particularly answerable (for me at least) in the format they've laid it out. So much of their stuff can really only be answered as "it depends on how I feel that day," which they really don't have allowances for. I'm going to have to give some serious thought to my answers. Also with the VA, Wendy called on Friday and left me a message that the spirituality group starts again on the 6th, for a four-week session. Things are shifting yet again, so they're needing to figure out how to handle it. But it'll be nice to see everyone again.

Carrying the huge box with the computer in it yesterday really messed up my arms. They're very sore today, as they were last night. Hauling four heavy bags of groceries tonight didn't help much, sadly. Monday is the CR schmooze. Tuesday is the steampunk social at AFK. Wednesday I have a meeting with a couple who want someone to do a handfasting for them. Thursday Jeff's back to help with finishing up (I hope) the EBC presentation. In the midst of all that, I have to deal with scanning things, photographing things, writing up text slides, and expanding on some of the material I've got for the presentation outline.

Tired Erynn is really, really tired. Probably should cork this yummy apricot cider, pop it back into the fridge, and head for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (fern spirals)
Today [livejournal.com profile] fififolle and I went for a two-mile walk along Ennerdale Water (as everyone keeps telling me, "there's only one lake in the Lake District"), along the lakeside (waterside) and up on a trail that led us through the forest and over a couple of small footbridges across a stream. It was really good weather for a walk early in the day. There was sun, a reasonable temperature, if slightly cool, and a little bit of a breeze. I got some really cool photos of the landscape, of the trail and the waterfall, and of a number of variety of mushrooms along the trail, as well as a butterfly, and some sheep that we encountered being herded along the lakeside road by a couple of shepherds and a dog. I think I get to fill in one of my Rural England Bingo squares or something.

Upon encountering one of the bridges, Fi and I realized that we must, perforce, play Poohsticks. I mean, what else to do you do on a footbridge over a rural English stream? Really? (I won. Her stick was too small to see it emerging from under the bridge. She insists that she didn't see either of the sticks.) We also found some lovely ripe blueberries along the trailside, which we nibbled upon. We spotted a tiny frog under the foliage as well, but it got away too quickly to get a photo. It was a brownish one, and about an inch or so long, very small. There were quite a few cars in the car park, but we didn't encounter nearly as many people as the number of vehicles suggested. We did see a fair few people out in the wonderful weather, but there was a lot of peaceful walking without crowds of tourists today.

The walk was about two miles, which was right on the edge of what my hips were able to take today. She'd suggested a couple of options, one of which was this and the other would have been a considerably more strenuous bit that involved a hill and closer to five miles. I knew that I really would not be up to it, as I'm all crampy at the moment, and this would have aggraveted it considerably. As it was, I needed a fair bit of rest once we were finished.

We drove out to another nearby stone circle after our walk. This one was right next to the road -- closer to the road than Castlerigg was, in fact -- but out in a much more deserted area. Fi tells me it was on Cold Fell, and it rather did live up to its name. The landscape was quite bleak and there was a brisk bit of wind blowing. We had originally thought we might have lunch at the circle, but it was too chilly, so we ate lunch in the car. I did get quite a few photos of the circle, though, as we were the only people around. This circle, known as both Blakely Rise and as Kinniside, is a circle that was "restored" in about 1925, with the stones once again set upright, and kept in position by being cemented. These days the cement is covered in moss, but you can still see bits of it around the bases of the stones.

From the circle, we could see the Irish Sea in the distance, and mountains north of us, which she said were in Scotland. I waved to Scotland, as it was about as close as I'm likely to get on this trip. I don't know if I'll ever get closer. She also said that from the top of the hill across the road from us, on a clear day, one might theoretically be able to see the Isle of Man. She's never seen it herself from there, as she's never been on a sufficiently clear day, but from the Isle of Man one is supposed to be able to see Ireland, Scotland, and England, at least, and possibly Wales, if I remember correctly. it's situated ideally for that, at any rate.

After spending some time at the circle, we headed down into a small town nearby, where we stopped at the Shepherd's Arms hotel and pub, and had half a pint before proceeding back to Cockermouth to do a little shopping for necessary bits and bobs. We picked up a few kinds of cider to try for dinner tonight and tomorrow. There were a couple of pear ciders, and one that was just spectacular, in my opinion. It was from a Swedish brewery called Kopparberg, and it was elderflower and lime flavored. Really amazingly good. I have been told by the lazywebs that it can in fact be acquired online in the US, so I'm going to have to order some to share with friends of mine who appreciate St Germaine elderflower liqueur, which has a similar but much heavier and sweeter taste. This is light and perhaps very slightly acidic (the influence of the lime, most likely) and really quite extraordinarily good. The cider was had with a dinner of pasta and salmon, with a spinach-ricotta sauce for the pasta, and a little spinach on the side. Quite lovely.

After dinner, Fi showed me chunks of the olympics opening ceremony (we fast-forwarded through the parade of atheletes). I don't recall ever having seen an olympics opening ceremony before, but some of this was pretty hilarious. Parachuting Queen Elizabeth with James Bond was pretty much drop dead funny, imo. It was all wildly British, so (as an American) there were occasional moments of WTF for me, but I did follow most of it. The various Interpretive Dance bits rather lost me, but reminded me of the days of my Lone Gunmen fandom, when we would threaten to do interpretive dances for one another on fic themes. "I shall now do an interpertive dance..." was a fairly common IRC comment.

Neil was watching a lot of the weight lifting stuff today, but he used to do that when he was younger, so he has a rather up close and personal appreciation for it. There was a little gymnastics and some synchronized diving as well, though some of that was the result of channel-surfing. They have 20 channels, all showing nothing but olympic events. I don't think you can actually watch anything non-olympic-related in the UK at the moment. I suspect it would be high treason. Unlike the reports I've been hearing from the US, however, they're giving really broad coverage of a lot of events and nations, so it's not All UK All the Time, as NBC has been holding the coverage hostage for Americans only.

In the midst of all of this, I was told that my ballot arrived early last week for the primary elections on August 7th, and I won't be home to vote. There's no way I could get the ballot shipped to me and sent back in time to be counted. I have only rarely missed an election of any sort since I started voting back in 1980, so this is rather a painful point for me. I would never exactly consider myself traditionally "patriotic," but I do care about what happens in the US and I tend to think that not voting is abdicating at least some of one's responsibility as a citizen, even when the options are not terribly good ones. There have been moments when it might as well have been "Cthulhu or Darth Vader, you choose!" Sometimes I think all I can really do is vote to minimize harm on a national level, but in local elections and ballot issues, I do think some difference can be made. I tend to always support school and library levies just on general principle, unless I know there's something bad/fishy going on with a particular one. Of course, anything at all with Tim Eyman's name on it gets jettisoned due to absolute loathing of the man and everything he appears to stand for. That bastard is personally responsible for a lot of the infrastructure problems in the state right now, and I am unlikely to ever forgive him for it.

Plans for tomorrow have yet to be discussed, but on the 2nd I'll be off to Penrith to check out Potfest and meet Stephen, a gent I met over twitter, who will be showing his work there. I'm quite looking forward to this.

And now I shall attempt to get something vaguely resembling sleep, as it's abouto 11:30pm here at the moment and my body is not necessarily thrilled with me. I'm doing my best to both do interesting things and get enough rest to be meaningful. It's a difficult balance when I want to do ALL THE THINGS. We'll see what tomorrow brings, eh?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (fern spirals)
Today [livejournal.com profile] fififolle and I went for a two-mile walk along Ennerdale Water (as everyone keeps telling me, "there's only one lake in the Lake District"), along the lakeside (waterside) and up on a trail that led us through the forest and over a couple of small footbridges across a stream. It was really good weather for a walk early in the day. There was sun, a reasonable temperature, if slightly cool, and a little bit of a breeze. I got some really cool photos of the landscape, of the trail and the waterfall, and of a number of variety of mushrooms along the trail, as well as a butterfly, and some sheep that we encountered being herded along the lakeside road by a couple of shepherds and a dog. I think I get to fill in one of my Rural England Bingo squares or something.

Upon encountering one of the bridges, Fi and I realized that we must, perforce, play Poohsticks. I mean, what else to do you do on a footbridge over a rural English stream? Really? (I won. Her stick was too small to see it emerging from under the bridge. She insists that she didn't see either of the sticks.) We also found some lovely ripe blueberries along the trailside, which we nibbled upon. We spotted a tiny frog under the foliage as well, but it got away too quickly to get a photo. It was a brownish one, and about an inch or so long, very small. There were quite a few cars in the car park, but we didn't encounter nearly as many people as the number of vehicles suggested. We did see a fair few people out in the wonderful weather, but there was a lot of peaceful walking without crowds of tourists today.

The walk was about two miles, which was right on the edge of what my hips were able to take today. She'd suggested a couple of options, one of which was this and the other would have been a considerably more strenuous bit that involved a hill and closer to five miles. I knew that I really would not be up to it, as I'm all crampy at the moment, and this would have aggraveted it considerably. As it was, I needed a fair bit of rest once we were finished.

We drove out to another nearby stone circle after our walk. This one was right next to the road -- closer to the road than Castlerigg was, in fact -- but out in a much more deserted area. Fi tells me it was on Cold Fell, and it rather did live up to its name. The landscape was quite bleak and there was a brisk bit of wind blowing. We had originally thought we might have lunch at the circle, but it was too chilly, so we ate lunch in the car. I did get quite a few photos of the circle, though, as we were the only people around. This circle, known as both Blakely Rise and as Kinniside, is a circle that was "restored" in about 1925, with the stones once again set upright, and kept in position by being cemented. These days the cement is covered in moss, but you can still see bits of it around the bases of the stones.

From the circle, we could see the Irish Sea in the distance, and mountains north of us, which she said were in Scotland. I waved to Scotland, as it was about as close as I'm likely to get on this trip. I don't know if I'll ever get closer. She also said that from the top of the hill across the road from us, on a clear day, one might theoretically be able to see the Isle of Man. She's never seen it herself from there, as she's never been on a sufficiently clear day, but from the Isle of Man one is supposed to be able to see Ireland, Scotland, and England, at least, and possibly Wales, if I remember correctly. it's situated ideally for that, at any rate.

After spending some time at the circle, we headed down into a small town nearby, where we stopped at the Shepherd's Arms hotel and pub, and had half a pint before proceeding back to Cockermouth to do a little shopping for necessary bits and bobs. We picked up a few kinds of cider to try for dinner tonight and tomorrow. There were a couple of pear ciders, and one that was just spectacular, in my opinion. It was from a Swedish brewery called Kopparberg, and it was elderflower and lime flavored. Really amazingly good. I have been told by the lazywebs that it can in fact be acquired online in the US, so I'm going to have to order some to share with friends of mine who appreciate St Germaine elderflower liqueur, which has a similar but much heavier and sweeter taste. This is light and perhaps very slightly acidic (the influence of the lime, most likely) and really quite extraordinarily good. The cider was had with a dinner of pasta and salmon, with a spinach-ricotta sauce for the pasta, and a little spinach on the side. Quite lovely.

After dinner, Fi showed me chunks of the olympics opening ceremony (we fast-forwarded through the parade of atheletes). I don't recall ever having seen an olympics opening ceremony before, but some of this was pretty hilarious. Parachuting Queen Elizabeth with James Bond was pretty much drop dead funny, imo. It was all wildly British, so (as an American) there were occasional moments of WTF for me, but I did follow most of it. The various Interpretive Dance bits rather lost me, but reminded me of the days of my Lone Gunmen fandom, when we would threaten to do interpretive dances for one another on fic themes. "I shall now do an interpertive dance..." was a fairly common IRC comment.

Neil was watching a lot of the weight lifting stuff today, but he used to do that when he was younger, so he has a rather up close and personal appreciation for it. There was a little gymnastics and some synchronized diving as well, though some of that was the result of channel-surfing. They have 20 channels, all showing nothing but olympic events. I don't think you can actually watch anything non-olympic-related in the UK at the moment. I suspect it would be high treason. Unlike the reports I've been hearing from the US, however, they're giving really broad coverage of a lot of events and nations, so it's not All UK All the Time, as NBC has been holding the coverage hostage for Americans only.

In the midst of all of this, I was told that my ballot arrived early last week for the primary elections on August 7th, and I won't be home to vote. There's no way I could get the ballot shipped to me and sent back in time to be counted. I have only rarely missed an election of any sort since I started voting back in 1980, so this is rather a painful point for me. I would never exactly consider myself traditionally "patriotic," but I do care about what happens in the US and I tend to think that not voting is abdicating at least some of one's responsibility as a citizen, even when the options are not terribly good ones. There have been moments when it might as well have been "Cthulhu or Darth Vader, you choose!" Sometimes I think all I can really do is vote to minimize harm on a national level, but in local elections and ballot issues, I do think some difference can be made. I tend to always support school and library levies just on general principle, unless I know there's something bad/fishy going on with a particular one. Of course, anything at all with Tim Eyman's name on it gets jettisoned due to absolute loathing of the man and everything he appears to stand for. That bastard is personally responsible for a lot of the infrastructure problems in the state right now, and I am unlikely to ever forgive him for it.

Plans for tomorrow have yet to be discussed, but on the 2nd I'll be off to Penrith to check out Potfest and meet Stephen, a gent I met over twitter, who will be showing his work there. I'm quite looking forward to this.

And now I shall attempt to get something vaguely resembling sleep, as it's abouto 11:30pm here at the moment and my body is not necessarily thrilled with me. I'm doing my best to both do interesting things and get enough rest to be meaningful. It's a difficult balance when I want to do ALL THE THINGS. We'll see what tomorrow brings, eh?

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erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
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