erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
More photos from last year's trip to Europe. These are from the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, from the grand parade. Most of the photos I got were taken really haphazard, holding my camera up over my head to get shots over the crowd. I was not the only one doing this. Below the cut, musicians and dancers!

On to Brittany! )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (OBEY THE FIST!)
Before I headed out to the VA today, I typed up a quick letter to deliver to the Patient Advocates office about the "educational" poster mentioned a couple of days ago. I didn't have much time, so I just dropped it off rather than staying to talk to them. I had to get up to my appointment, and the office would be closed by the time I was done. I did include my phone number and email address, so with any luck they will get back to me.

When I got up to the WTRC, though, the poster was gone! Denise had talked to Wendy. She didn't even get through the whole discussion -- she just described the poster (Wendy is blind so would never have seen it) and Wendy said she totally understood the objections, et voila, the poster she is removed. Now, with any luck, if there are further copies in other clinics, the advocate's office will be able to take care of that.

Several of the other women in the group today had heard me talking to the chaplain intern last week and they said they'd not felt comfortable with the poster either, so I got a lot of props for taking on the system and getting the thing removed.

KAPLAH!

Photos from Venice. Yep, I took them. They are pretty awesome. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
I took Garuda down to the garage today and got his 120,000 mile maintenance (he's at 129,000 at the moment, but I was too busy with Europe this summer to take him before this). While that was happening, I went over and finally got my hair cut and bleached so I could re-dye it. Now it's lovely and short but that means my head is cold, and that'll take a while to get used to again. Hats, my friends. They keep my head warm.

While I was there, I looked into getting the windshield replaced. It's cracked almost all the way across, and has been for quite a while now. They said they could do it, and quoted me a lower price than the windshield replacement people who did it last time, so I said yeah, let's go for it. This means I'll be back at the garage tomorrow about 1pm for a while, while they replace the glass.

When I got home, I got the rest of my beta back from [livejournal.com profile] random_nexus. The britpicker did some work today, but I haven't seen anything back from her yet. I did talk to her for a bit on skype text chat, though. She was going to work on it today, too, and I'm hoping I'll have her notes back by the end of tomorrow.

I'd been hoping to go dancing with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor today, but the pulled muscle in my thigh from yesterday was still achy, so no joy there. I stayed home and finished up the beta edits so that I can deal with the rest of it when it arrives.

I uploaded a few photos from Prague, so here are four of them for you to have a peek at!

Prague )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
My reminder woke me up at 2 about the appointment I'd cancelled. I still need to reschedule the orthotics fitting appointment. I'll do it when I have braincells.

Last night I ended up finally cutting the silver ring off my finger because it had been causing some nerve impingement for quite some time, making the fibro/tendonitis in my right hand worse. I wasn't thrilled, but I couldn't get the ring off otherwise. There will likely be a dent in my finger for a few weeks until things repair themselves.

I was hoping to get a little done on the upcoming Samhain ritual, but just didn't have the wherewithal. I didn't go to bed this morning until nearly 8:30. I didn't get out this evening to the AFK because I was just too tired. The day was largely taken up with doing some dishes and spudifying in front of the computer reading fanfic, because I couldn't find the brain cells to do anything else.

Tomorrow Qi from the steampunk group is coming by for tea and to see some of my photos from Europe. [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor informs me that she's done some recording of the Gaelic prayers from Circle of Stones and hopes to do some more tomorrow evening at some point. As soon as the sound files are available, I'll let people know. C in Arizona updated my Preserving Shrine website yesterday with info about Fireflies at Absolute Zero so, for the moment, it's got everything up to date. I'll update again when the sound files are available.

My arms hurt. I need to work on the Samhain ritual. I got a nice, supportive note from one of the folks from the schmooze about my departure. This pleased me. We'll probably get together at Travelers from time to time after my VA appointments - we used to see one another at the CapHill Travelers when it was still open.

I'm very tired. Off to bed. I may read a little bit before I sleep, but it's definitely time to crawl off between the sheets.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Magical Sigils)
I was feeling pretty under the weather today and a little slow. I hung out with some friends online for a while, and tried to take some photos for the EBC presentation, but the lighting wasn't working. I'm not quite sure how to fix it, but I'll try something different tomorrow for the same pieces.

The CR schmooze was this evening and I ended up hauling the laptop over and showing some of the photos from the first half of the trip. I was too tired to stay afterward for dinner at Charlie's. I'm not sure anyone actually went this month. I did get to see [livejournal.com profile] wire_mother briefly, though he had missed his ferry, and his backup foot ferry wasn't running because of the holiday, so he didn't get there until after 8pm.

When I got home, I put my trip photos (and some others) onto an SD disc that I'm going to send to my mom, along with a little USB drive that can read one. That should take care of her problems pulling photos from any of my websites. I'll need to mail them out to her later this week.

And Tired Erynn is really tired so I'm going to crawl off to bed. With any luck I might even get a little sleep tonight.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Healer)
I've posted a new page on my Searching for Imbas blog with a map and photos describing in detail how to find Brigid's Wayside Well in Kildare, Ireland. Given the trouble I initially had finding the place, I thought it would be a service to other pilgrims. You can find the page here.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
Hung out with [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht today and talked with him about possible PCon proposals. I've decided that one of them will be a session on Airmed, Miach, and Dian Cécht, regarding Irish healing deities beyond Brigid, but also dealing with their whole story and why I think most folks misinterpret Dian Cécht's motivations. Anyway, I need to come up with a halfway decent blurb for it.

I've been too aching and brain-dead today to do much of anything requiring actual focus, but I did speak to my neighbor who is on the condo board about the whole few months out of the country and temporarily renting out my condo thing. She said a few months would be more like a house-sitting situation and shouldn't be a problem with the board at all. It's not like I'm wanting to permanently rent the place out. I told her if I were going to do that, I'd be trying to sell the place, so no worries there. That said, now I need to find a "short term" (3 or 4 month) renter for next fall/winter. [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht had a couple of interesting ideas on that might or might not work out, but I've given him leave to check into the possibilities. I'm also looking at a house exchange website, though that would require somewhat more flexibility than I might be comfortable with. I'm just not sure. Anyway, that's one large potential obstacle to my possible Venice plans out of the way.

I ran the outline of the EBC presentation past [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and he said it looked good, then suggested one possible addition to the outline, so I had him make a note of it. Always good to have reasonably complete coverage.

Email arrived today from Hiraeth Press with some possible cover art bases and I commented on the ones I liked best and sent the note back. I told Jason I'd try to have the edited manuscript back to him by Monday, considering how crappy I was feeling today. He's said no rush, but I'd like to get it out of the way as soon as I can so I can focus on the EBC presentation without distraction. The PCon proposals are also due the same weekend as the EBC is occurring.

As usual, I'm asking for suggestions -- what would you folks like to see from me at next year's PCon? I'm willing to entertain proposals from you all, as you often have some pretty good suggestions. When my own brain is not functioning at its best, I am especially grateful for your thoughts.

And, finally, seven photos from my travels behind the cut )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Inis Man)
Over the next few days/weeks, I'll be going over my photos from the trip and culling the bad ones. I'll also be posting some of the ones I like, though not in any particular order. Here are three from my day at Peel Castle.

Peel Castle door, Peel Castle doorway, Peel, Isle of Man

Peel Castle door, Peel Castle, Peel, Isle of Man

Peel Castle from the promenade, Peel Castle, Peel, Isle of Man
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Inis Man)
Over the next few days/weeks, I'll be going over my photos from the trip and culling the bad ones. I'll also be posting some of the ones I like, though not in any particular order. Here are three from my day at Peel Castle.

Peel Castle door, Peel Castle doorway, Peel, Isle of Man

Peel Castle door, Peel Castle, Peel, Isle of Man

Peel Castle from the promenade, Peel Castle, Peel, Isle of Man

Venice!

Aug. 13th, 2012 10:09 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
We headed out on the train early-ish today, after swapping the more expensive rental car for a cheaper one. The train stopped at every podunk town on the way, but we got there eventually. Once we got away from the train station, the city was not nearly as crowded as either of us had expected. We wandered along the streets and over the bridges, grabbing some lunch and making our way to St. Mark's Square. I took a lot of photos, as one might expect, but the line for the cathedral was quite long and I really wanted to go out to Murano and see the glass makers and the museum there.

We took the "bus" (foot ferries) out to Murano and were pretty much immediately herded into one of the glass factories for a short demonstration. I did buy some glass, but with the sib speaking Italian, we actually got 10 euro off the price marked on the shelf, which was a nice discount. After a little something to drink (it was hot today and very sunny), we wandered across the bridge to a small glass museum - it's not the famous one with the glass sword and whatnot, but they had a really fantastic collection of 1st and 2nd century BCE glass of many different types. I wasn't so impressed by the post-15th century stuff or,really, the modern art glass, but I was pleased to have gone. Away from the immediate vicinity of the museum and the glassmaker, the streets of Murano were almost deserted. Of course, half the population was probably away for the annual August holidays.

There were a lot of places for sale or for rent in Venice. I'm half tempted to see if I can find a way to spend three months or so there, just exploring things. A day, or even a week, would be utterly inadequate to see all the cool stuff there is to be seen. It would be a hell of a lot of walking, but it might just be worth it.

I'm looking now at mailing most of my stuff home, as I have clothing and everything already there, and just traveling with the delicate stuff and a change of clothes, toothbrush, and the electronics. The change of clothes would be in case something went splah with the airline and I ended up stranded overnight. I doubt it's very likely, but things do happen. What gets mailed out from the base at Aviano will be US postage rates rather than overseas rates, and considerably cheaper than mailing it from an Italian post office.

We got dinner once we returned to Venice proper from Murano, getting seats outside along one of the canals. I wish I'd been able to stand up on the boat back, as I'd have gotten some really incredible photos of the Grand Canal, but I was too tired to even consider it. Even right now, my feet and ankles are rather swollen, and I'll be taking some pain meds before I go to bed. We got back to the train station just in time to catch the train heading back to our stop. There was a little excitement there, as at one of the stops, a woman had her purse stolen. There was some yelling and flailing and the train pulled out. Not much anyone on the train could do.

Once back in Aviano, we stopped briefly for a gelato, which was a very pleasant way to end the evening. Tomorrow is the sib's birthday. We're going to stick close to home for the next couple of days, talking to some of his friends and seeing some of the local sights. There's a castle in Aviano that I might be able to see. Thursday is my flight home, in the morning. I am so very tired but wouldn't trade a minute of all of this for anything.

Venice!

Aug. 13th, 2012 10:09 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
We headed out on the train early-ish today, after swapping the more expensive rental car for a cheaper one. The train stopped at every podunk town on the way, but we got there eventually. Once we got away from the train station, the city was not nearly as crowded as either of us had expected. We wandered along the streets and over the bridges, grabbing some lunch and making our way to St. Mark's Square. I took a lot of photos, as one might expect, but the line for the cathedral was quite long and I really wanted to go out to Murano and see the glass makers and the museum there.

We took the "bus" (foot ferries) out to Murano and were pretty much immediately herded into one of the glass factories for a short demonstration. I did buy some glass, but with the sib speaking Italian, we actually got 10 euro off the price marked on the shelf, which was a nice discount. After a little something to drink (it was hot today and very sunny), we wandered across the bridge to a small glass museum - it's not the famous one with the glass sword and whatnot, but they had a really fantastic collection of 1st and 2nd century BCE glass of many different types. I wasn't so impressed by the post-15th century stuff or,really, the modern art glass, but I was pleased to have gone. Away from the immediate vicinity of the museum and the glassmaker, the streets of Murano were almost deserted. Of course, half the population was probably away for the annual August holidays.

There were a lot of places for sale or for rent in Venice. I'm half tempted to see if I can find a way to spend three months or so there, just exploring things. A day, or even a week, would be utterly inadequate to see all the cool stuff there is to be seen. It would be a hell of a lot of walking, but it might just be worth it.

I'm looking now at mailing most of my stuff home, as I have clothing and everything already there, and just traveling with the delicate stuff and a change of clothes, toothbrush, and the electronics. The change of clothes would be in case something went splah with the airline and I ended up stranded overnight. I doubt it's very likely, but things do happen. What gets mailed out from the base at Aviano will be US postage rates rather than overseas rates, and considerably cheaper than mailing it from an Italian post office.

We got dinner once we returned to Venice proper from Murano, getting seats outside along one of the canals. I wish I'd been able to stand up on the boat back, as I'd have gotten some really incredible photos of the Grand Canal, but I was too tired to even consider it. Even right now, my feet and ankles are rather swollen, and I'll be taking some pain meds before I go to bed. We got back to the train station just in time to catch the train heading back to our stop. There was a little excitement there, as at one of the stops, a woman had her purse stolen. There was some yelling and flailing and the train pulled out. Not much anyone on the train could do.

Once back in Aviano, we stopped briefly for a gelato, which was a very pleasant way to end the evening. Tomorrow is the sib's birthday. We're going to stick close to home for the next couple of days, talking to some of his friends and seeing some of the local sights. There's a castle in Aviano that I might be able to see. Thursday is my flight home, in the morning. I am so very tired but wouldn't trade a minute of all of this for anything.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GONZO!)
Having got the laundry done, we went off to see a couple of local sites. One was a little church/shrine up on the side of the mountain where a local guy had a vision of the Virgin Mary back in the 20s or 30s. It's now a church/park/bar (yes, you read that right) where the locals go and hang out. After that we went to an underwater cave system that is the source for a stream, coming out of a deep, blue hole under the side of a cliff. It's pretty dramatic. There's a little restaurant there and the locals consider it a tourist spot, thought it's essentially unknown otherwise. It's apparently very popular with cave divers. I'll have to look up more information about the place once I get the sib to give me its name again. We also visited another river's headwater, where it comes out from under the mountain in enough volume that there used to be a water-run mill there. Some pretty dramatic stuff.

The sib went off to do a couple of errands and left me to catch a little rest here, then we went out to dinner at a restaurant at the edge of a pond, on a fish hatchery. They grow their own trout and serve them at the restaurant. Very tasty, and had a lovely conversation with his friends.

Tomorrow we'll be heading down to Venice on the train. Once we get out of here it'll be about an hour's trip. We called Mom on Skype and talked to her for a little bit; she was pretty excited to hear from us. And now, I'm really fried, so it's time to wash the green dye out before I go to bed. Had to re-apply this evening because there won't be enough time for it tomorrow. I'm just hoping I won't collapse from exhaustion tomorrow - Venice is supposed to be hot and sunny, and I'm already really tired. I'm getting near the end of what reserves I have and am looking forward to getting home.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GONZO!)
Having got the laundry done, we went off to see a couple of local sites. One was a little church/shrine up on the side of the mountain where a local guy had a vision of the Virgin Mary back in the 20s or 30s. It's now a church/park/bar (yes, you read that right) where the locals go and hang out. After that we went to an underwater cave system that is the source for a stream, coming out of a deep, blue hole under the side of a cliff. It's pretty dramatic. There's a little restaurant there and the locals consider it a tourist spot, thought it's essentially unknown otherwise. It's apparently very popular with cave divers. I'll have to look up more information about the place once I get the sib to give me its name again. We also visited another river's headwater, where it comes out from under the mountain in enough volume that there used to be a water-run mill there. Some pretty dramatic stuff.

The sib went off to do a couple of errands and left me to catch a little rest here, then we went out to dinner at a restaurant at the edge of a pond, on a fish hatchery. They grow their own trout and serve them at the restaurant. Very tasty, and had a lovely conversation with his friends.

Tomorrow we'll be heading down to Venice on the train. Once we get out of here it'll be about an hour's trip. We called Mom on Skype and talked to her for a little bit; she was pretty excited to hear from us. And now, I'm really fried, so it's time to wash the green dye out before I go to bed. Had to re-apply this evening because there won't be enough time for it tomorrow. I'm just hoping I won't collapse from exhaustion tomorrow - Venice is supposed to be hot and sunny, and I'm already really tired. I'm getting near the end of what reserves I have and am looking forward to getting home.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
We got through the Alps with a minimum of traffic or slowdowns. There were some slight gradual changes from Austrian styles to Italian styles as we crossed the border, but that part of Italy used to belong to Austria, so I wasn't surprised. Once we had passed through a few of the tunnels, though, we suddenly came to a place where the architecture was markedly more Mediterranean, even in the mountains.

We got to the sib's place in Pordenone, dropped our stuff, then headed over into Aviano for lunch at one of his friend's restaurant. I had some really delicious grilled calamari and polenta, then we went to the base at Aviano, where we are doing some laundry and I'm using the free wifi in the community center next door. The sib has hard wired internet but has never actually had a visitor who needed wifi, so he doesn't have it. I'll be confined to either using his or using wifi on the base or a cafe in town until I get home.

Tomorrow we will probably be going to Venice. After that, we're likely just to relax and do a few local things but not much else. He's tired from the trip back from Prague and I'm kind of on the edge of being utterly fried myself. I can hardly believe it's nearly done. At the same time, I'm really looking forward to being home and collapsing in a heap. I really do need to.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
We got through the Alps with a minimum of traffic or slowdowns. There were some slight gradual changes from Austrian styles to Italian styles as we crossed the border, but that part of Italy used to belong to Austria, so I wasn't surprised. Once we had passed through a few of the tunnels, though, we suddenly came to a place where the architecture was markedly more Mediterranean, even in the mountains.

We got to the sib's place in Pordenone, dropped our stuff, then headed over into Aviano for lunch at one of his friend's restaurant. I had some really delicious grilled calamari and polenta, then we went to the base at Aviano, where we are doing some laundry and I'm using the free wifi in the community center next door. The sib has hard wired internet but has never actually had a visitor who needed wifi, so he doesn't have it. I'll be confined to either using his or using wifi on the base or a cafe in town until I get home.

Tomorrow we will probably be going to Venice. After that, we're likely just to relax and do a few local things but not much else. He's tired from the trip back from Prague and I'm kind of on the edge of being utterly fried myself. I can hardly believe it's nearly done. At the same time, I'm really looking forward to being home and collapsing in a heap. I really do need to.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Having a quick breakfast then on the road for the sib's place. Weather is clear and bright. Looking forward to the trip!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Having a quick breakfast then on the road for the sib's place. Weather is clear and bright. Looking forward to the trip!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
After our arrival in Salzburg and settling into the guesthouse, we hopped on the bus down into the main area of town. It's been beautiful weather today, if overcast. We wandered around a bit so I could take photos, then went to the Mozart museum. The place was laid out in a pretty confusing way. Lots of "exit this way" signs that actually led down to the next level of the museum as well as out. It could have been signed slightly more clearly. While it was interesting, I was disappointed at how much of the material was facsimiles and reproductions.

We were a little tired after that, so wandered around in search of a restaurant. We stopped at an Indian place because the sib couldn't remember the name of the place (or where it was) that he usually eats while in town. The food was good and was not nearly as sweet as what I'd been having in Europe so far. Well worth nibbling upon.

When we were done with dinner, we went to see if we could visit the catacombs. They were locked (only open a few hours a day), but we did tour the cemetary outside, which was just amazing. I got some fabulous photographs of ancient headstones, modern family plots, painted metal memorial markers, and wonderfully gothy material as a live Mozart concert played in the background. Something very dramatic - might have been a bit from Don Giovanni, but I don't know enough Mozart to be sure. It's high festival season here and concerts are going on everywhere around the city.

The sib and I decided to sit outside in the guest garden (used advisedly, as it's a little enclosed courtyard) and have a drink. I set up the iPad and asked the sib to order me a cider. He wasn't sure what I meant, nor was the lady at the bar, so he came back with a huge class of apple juice with fizzy water in it. I took one taste and knew that it wasn't what I'd asked for. Fermented, I can drink cider. Unfermented apple juice does horrible things to my intestines. I went into the bar and tried to explain what I'd meant, but she'd never heard of alcoholic cider, so I had to order a glass of wine instead. I'll end up paying for the juice, but there's not much to be done about that. It's sitting here on the table staring balefully at me.

Tomorrow we'll check around some more of the Salzburg sights before heading south to Italy. The sib says his place is about four hours from here, depending on traffic. It should be some spectacular scenery, as we are already pretty high up in the Alps right now. Despite the early morning traffic in Prague, this has really been a lovely day.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
After our arrival in Salzburg and settling into the guesthouse, we hopped on the bus down into the main area of town. It's been beautiful weather today, if overcast. We wandered around a bit so I could take photos, then went to the Mozart museum. The place was laid out in a pretty confusing way. Lots of "exit this way" signs that actually led down to the next level of the museum as well as out. It could have been signed slightly more clearly. While it was interesting, I was disappointed at how much of the material was facsimiles and reproductions.

We were a little tired after that, so wandered around in search of a restaurant. We stopped at an Indian place because the sib couldn't remember the name of the place (or where it was) that he usually eats while in town. The food was good and was not nearly as sweet as what I'd been having in Europe so far. Well worth nibbling upon.

When we were done with dinner, we went to see if we could visit the catacombs. They were locked (only open a few hours a day), but we did tour the cemetary outside, which was just amazing. I got some fabulous photographs of ancient headstones, modern family plots, painted metal memorial markers, and wonderfully gothy material as a live Mozart concert played in the background. Something very dramatic - might have been a bit from Don Giovanni, but I don't know enough Mozart to be sure. It's high festival season here and concerts are going on everywhere around the city.

The sib and I decided to sit outside in the guest garden (used advisedly, as it's a little enclosed courtyard) and have a drink. I set up the iPad and asked the sib to order me a cider. He wasn't sure what I meant, nor was the lady at the bar, so he came back with a huge class of apple juice with fizzy water in it. I took one taste and knew that it wasn't what I'd asked for. Fermented, I can drink cider. Unfermented apple juice does horrible things to my intestines. I went into the bar and tried to explain what I'd meant, but she'd never heard of alcoholic cider, so I had to order a glass of wine instead. I'll end up paying for the juice, but there's not much to be done about that. It's sitting here on the table staring balefully at me.

Tomorrow we'll check around some more of the Salzburg sights before heading south to Italy. The sib says his place is about four hours from here, depending on traffic. It should be some spectacular scenery, as we are already pretty high up in the Alps right now. Despite the early morning traffic in Prague, this has really been a lovely day.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
It took us longer than we'd hoped due to traffic through Prague and some other slowdowns, but here we are at a guesthouse in Salzburg. It's still early enough in the day to try doing a few things and we each have a 24-hour bus ticket. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

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