bloodygranuaile: (Default)
How is it this weekend already? Last weekend, I had an epic weekend, and was all like "I should definitely write about my epic weekend so I don't forget about it," and boom, now it's THIS weekend already. Wow.

Anyway. Last Friday, I went out to Worcester, rather late in the evening, where I watched the second half of Mirrormask at Josh & Keen & co's apartment, which is the one right above Bones & Flowers, the awesome pink occult shop. Then I slept over at Liz and Emily's apartment. Spider, a.k.a. Captain Underfoot, did not seem to care. Saturday morning, Liz and Josh and I got up early (like, same-time-as-we-get-up-during-the-week early) to don our garb. I was thrilled for an excuse to wear my Bride of Dracula nightgown again, and my beautiful red leather corset with the Kevlar panel, and all my other fun stuff that I have spent a somewhat unjustifiable amount of money on over the years considering how little of it I can wear on a regular basis. (In high school, this sometimes didn't stop me wearing it anyway, but alas, I am a grown-up now with a strict Business Casual dress code most of the time.) I also had what was intended to be a medieval-timesy sort of manicure:

Apologies if it is le blurry; it's an iPhone pic.

We did the fun ritual of going to a normal people establishment for breakfast and getting funny looks, then Liz got in her Cube and Josh and I got in the Black Pearl (I let Josh drive because I still hate having passengers for long rides) and we drove to Ansonia, Connecticut, of all places. My dad's family is from that Valley. Some of the family still lives in that Valley, namely, the ones I haven't spoken to in the longest. So I was all like "Ahhh I'm weirded out" because of voluntarily spending time in southern Connecticut, and then we found out that Liz was also going all "Ahhh I'm weirded out" because she used to perform at the other Ren Faire (that has since closed, but was trying to shut down Midsummer Fantasy anyway, and whoa is THAT a funny story) that used to be at Warsaw Park, when she was part of Phoenix Swords like eight years ago.

Pat let us in for free, since it is his Ren Faire and he can do that, so that was pretty awesome. And then pretty much the first thing that happened when we got inside the Faire was that I ran into Jacques ze Whippeur, whom I have not seen since we were in high school. Then we looked at all the shiny things the vendors were selling and starting spending unconscionable amounts of money, and ate unhealthy Faire food, and watched some (generally bawdy) performances, and were huge dorks, and general Ren Faire stuff. Jack's whip act has gotten a lot more sophisticated since MHS' talent show; it now involves fire. A bunch of other acts involved fire, too, and after the day Faire was over, all the fire-related acts got together and put on an evening show, which was an Improvisational Fire Show, which is one of the most unsafe things I have witnessed people do on stage (er, on chessboard?) in my life, but was also ten different kinds of AWESOME. (I counted.) Sadly, Liz had to leave before the improv fire show, but not before buying a chainmail thingy that goes around the shoulders but isn't a hauberk or a cowl (I can't remember the term). Josh bought a red-and-black leather pauldron with gorgeous ornate steel studding. Pat bought badass bracers from Lusty Leather, which is apparently his first step towards having real garb, which is weird since he owns a damn Renaissance Faire (which means he gets DISCOUNTS, the bastard). I bought... oh my goddess, I decided I wasn't going to buy any more articles of clothing, so I didn't; I just bought an ungodly amount of accessories--black and red, leather and iron, lots of skull patterns. A black and red leather beltpouch with skull-and-crossbones embossed into the leather. A Viking-style iron dragon ring and an iron dragon hairpiece to match my iron Thorshamar from Sweden (I also had a really awesome conversation with the blacksmith about Thorshamars [Thorshamaren?] and blacksmithing). A black-and-red-beribboned steel tiara with a skull pendant on it (to match my silver hair twist from the last Faire I went to). A boot dagger, now that I am a grown-up and no longer prohibited from spending my own money on pointy things. Between buying unnecessary shinies, food & drink, and tipping the entertainers (I tip generously to anyone willing to set themselves on fire for my amusement), I must have spent nearly two hundred dollars on Saturday. (I figure I can afford to do that... uhh... once every year or three.)

Speaking of drinks, I learned a new recipe at the pub. It's called a Beesting, and it's a shot of mead dropped in a glass of cider. It is hardcore delicious.

But perhaps the highlight of the day was the Crime & Punishment show, where I was accused of singing off-key and informed that I was to be put in the Iron Maiden until I confessed. The dungeonmaster (I honest to gods almost just wrote "dungeon maester") helpfully decided to show me how to properly get into the Iron Maiden by making the Sheriff demonstrate. Once the Sheriff was strapped down onto the one bed of nails and the other was laid on top of him, I was made to stand on top of the lot, so that I could understand exactly what was going to happen to me, but at that point the Sheriff retracted his accusation. (I suspect they picked me for this demonstration because I was one of the smaller people in the audience at that time. Sadly, I am still underweight, despite attempting to bulk up. The pictures Josh took at the Faire actually kind of worry me; I cannot tell if I have actually gotten that waifish or if the effect is exaggerated because Faire garb is so bulky, but I look like a twelve-year-old boy in my corset, and it's supposed to be a powerful corset.)

Anyway, here is an awesome picture of me standing on a dude in a portable Iron Maiden:

Yeah, so that was awesome.

Sunday I spent most of the afternoon proofreading, because I had taken work home due to the holiday, but it was actually pretty awesome, because I went down to the coffeeshop my new roomie Ellen works at and worked there while drinking chai lattes and feeling like a pretty hip artsy sort of hourly wage slave/pedantic punctuation minion, in my long black dress and iron jewelry. (I now feel compelled to wear ALL my iron jewelry ALL the time, because IRON JEWELRY.)

Monday was the 4th of July! I went back to Ellen's coffeeshop, where I actually got several pages of writing done for the story Liz and I outlined a while back, so that was productive. Then I hung out with a bunch of Ellen's friends and we ate hot dogs and drank gin and tonic before heading down to the river to see fireworks. We founds a good spot on a footbridge under the main bridge over the river by BU (sorry for the preposition overload). The rest of the group eventually split to try and find a better spot, but it's damn crowded by the river in Boston on the 4th of July before fireworks, so Ellen and I stayed where we were a drank more gin and tonic out of the tonic bottle ('cos we're classy). Fireworks didn't start til a ridiculously late 10:30 (what. the. HELL, Boston), so we ended up only staying for like the first twenty minutes, because tired and work in the morning.

Then it was back to regular work week. This week is apparently the busiest week of the year for real this time (as opposed to two weeks ago, which was also supposed to be the busiest week of the year), which is fine with me, because that means they bribe us to work overtime by giving us dinner.

I did do a very stupid thing this week, though: I ventured back onto the Internet long enough to learn that a large proportion of Like Totally Super Smart Rational Better-Than-Everybody Atheist Dudes (including, sadly, Richard Dawkins) cannot for the life of them figure out what could POSSIBLY be at all creepy or disrespectful about ignoring a woman for several hours of designated social time in a social space, waiting until she says that she is done socializing and is going to bed now, and then cornering her in a small windowless room whose doors only open at certain intervals at four in the morning and asking her back to your room for coffee. Seriously, what ISN'T creepy and disrespectful about that? Even if by coffee he actually meant coffee--can you simultaneously go back to your own hotel room and somebody else's? No. Can you simultaneously go to sleep and drink coffee? No. Ergo, SHE ALREADY ANSWERED THE QUESTION. People who continue to ask questions AFTER you've answered them are generally not my top choice of people to hold conversations with, since "able to follow speech" is my number one requirement for conversing, and I do not think I am alone in this. Anyway, apparently pointing out that this is not the #1 guaranteed Most Effective Strategy Ever for getting more girls to voluntarily decide to expend time, effort and money to attend your parties is HUGELY MEAN AND OPPRESSIVE AND IF I WANTED TO BE TOLD HOW TO TALK TO WOMEN I'D MOVE TO IRAN. (No, someone actually said that.) Like, dudes, pick a goal and stick with it. You have every legal right to be a raging douchebag. However, good fucking luck attracting anybody to your movement with "Atheism: It's Not Iran" as your fucking sales pitch. I grew up in the Catholic Church, which is one fucked-up institution, but it's not Iran EITHER. In fact, everyone who lives in the US is already living not-in-Iran! Richard Dawkins pulled some whiny "why-are-you-talking-about-X-when-Y-is-happening" concern troll move (and by the way, Mr. Super Brilliant Scientist, she was talking about this because THAT IS WHAT THEY ASKED HER TO TALK ABOUT, go bitch at the panel booker if you think it's not an appropriate topic) about how Western women should just shut up and be grateful--and, presumably, expend time and effort and energy and money actively physically attending atheist conferences and supporting the movement, since THAT WAS THE FUCKING TOPIC--because women in other countries have to suffer FGM. Of course, by that logic, I should ALSO shut up and be grateful and make sure I get my ass to Mass every single Sunday and donate to the collection plate at Church, because after all, the Catholic Church only told me I couldn't hold their most important job because I was a girl, they didn't actually mutilate me, which is the only thing that counts. But somehow, I do not think that is what Dawkins was advising me to do. Seriously, sometimes I wish I didn't have the Internet just so I didn't get sucked into hearing about this shit. (On the other hand, the Internet also provided me welcome brain and faith-in-humanity relief in the form of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which involves actual rationality and not just semimystical intonations of "SCIENCE! RATIONAL! BIOLOGY! GENETICS! EVOLUTION! SSSSSCCCCCCCIIIIIIIEEEEEEENNNNNNNCCCCCCCCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" like they're magic argument-winning incantations that will strike your enemies dumb and allow you to control their minds. If it doesn't work, chant louder!)


This weekend, I am going to relax and not spend hundred of dollars. My goals for this weekend are to get at least halfway through rereading A Feast for Crows, to go to the gym, and possibly to get some writing done.
bloodygranuaile: (wilde untamed thing)
So... didn't make it to nearly 100 this year. Too much TV. Whoops.

(1) means a reread for me; (2) means I read it for school. I left out some book I read about EB5 investor visas, because I can't remember what it's called (except maybe "EB-5 INVESTOR VISAS") and it was more of a pamphlet anyway.

[Poll #1662452]

If you're interested, last year's book poll is here. It was longer.
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
So, some of you may remember that my junior year (two years ago), I got into a ridiculous car accident the day before Thanksgiving. You may also remember that last year, I got into a slightly less ridiculous car wreck the day after Thanksgiving, and had a parking ticket waiting for me in Worcester when I got back.

This year, Thanksgiving week is ALSO sucking hardcore re: cars.

I stayed at Anders' place Sunday night after the Blind Guardian concert (WHICH WAS AWESOME), and parked on the street because that is what I usually have to do in Worcester, despite the frequency with which cars on the streets get stolen and/or vandalized. Monday morning I went to my car to go to work and discovered that the passenger-side window had been smashed in, and my GPS had been stolen. (I tended to 'hide' it by putting it on the floor as under the seat or as far under the dashboard and I could fit it; it didn't fit in my glove compartment because the TomTom was taped to its bulky dashboard mount, because the suction didn't work properly, because nothing in my life ever works quite 100% correctly. And usually I deal and just duct tape shit together and am like WHATEVER, SEE, I AM A CHILL PERSON WHO IS NOT BENT OUT OF SHAPE BY DUMB LITTLE THINGS, and then something like this happens, and then every minor thing that goes wrong makes me go all OH NO SOMETHING TERRIBLE IS GOING TO HAPPEN I AM SO STRESSED I CANNOT DEAL and then I cry, for like MONTHS, until I just can't be that stressed anymore and go back to duct-taping stuff. But I digress.)

My first mistake in dealing with this was in calling AAA and having them tow it to the Chevy dealer down the street, on the basis that since I have a Chevy and they fix Chevies, they could fix my car. Turns out they do not do auto glass. They recommended me to a company who does do auto glass, but did not have my window and would not have had it in stock for at least another day, which was not good as I had to go to work. This company did not offer to collision-tape the window so I could use it in the meantime. Googled "auto glass massachusetts" and made twenty phone calls in one hour (I counted) and managed to find a JN Phillips in Worcester that had my window and could get it out to me that day and called my insurance to cancel the overnight order from the other company. They said they would have someone out to me by 2h00 or 2h30 at the latest.

JN Phillips dude showed up at 3h30 or 4 and informed me that he could not put in the windowpane because the window motor was broken. Talked to Diamond Chevy dude who said he could order the window motor and it would get here on Friday. I was not happy but need my window fixed, so I ordered it for what, according to the Internets, appears to be three to five times the parts' actual price. Also, the invoice that I have because I had to prepay because it was a "special order" says I bought a window regulator. I do not know what that means but the Internet tells me the motor and the regulator are different.

Anyway, JN Phillips dude told me he would call in another JN Phillips dude to collision-wrap the window so I could go to work the next day, and that that would take about an hour and he would call me as soon as it was done. Did not get phone call. When I called them back, they told me the collision wrap was done (yay) and had in fact been done a ten-fifteen that morning (uhh... what?). By this time, the Chevy dealer was closed, and the otherwise totally unprotected outdoor parking lot was blockaded off by large shiny Suburbans, which seem like a nice target for Worcester carjackers, and do nothing to protect the cars in the lot from anyone willing to do damage to the cars, but did prevent me from taking my car that I had not in fact had any work done on so I could get to work on TIME the next morning. So I was late.

Today, I went to the auto shop in Bedford for an oil change and to have the leak in my car looked at, which I was originally going to do Monday. Leak turned out to be a rotted fuel tank, so replacing that was expensive, but is now done. They also looked at the window, determined the problem was the power switch (which the Internet tells me is different from a window motor OR regulator), and replaced that for less than half the price of the motor-or-regulator that I bought. So there are two possible scenarios here:

1. JN Phillips will NOT be able to replace my glass on Monday because the switch AND the motor-or-regulator were fucked up, and I will have to pay to get the damn motor-or-regulator installed, and go at least another day with loud plastic sheeting where my window should be, OR
2. JN Phillips WILL be able to replace my glass on Monday, meaning only the switch was fucked up, and the expensive special order motor-or-regulator is THE WRONG PART, which will make me wonder if they even actually LOOKED at the window or just listened to what the GLASS technician said, and I will have to do my best to be assertive and demand a refund even though they don't do refunds for special orders (that sounds like a good reason to not ever keep anything in stock so EVERYTHING becomes a special order AND you don't have to pay for storage! that should be fucking illegal!) on the basis that the part was sold to be under false pretenses; ie, that it was the part I needed to fix my window, even though it was not.

I am having trouble deciding which one of these scenarios would piss me off more.

And if I cannot get the part refunded, it is looking like I'll probably be able to sell it online for like... a QUARTER of what I got it for. Fuck you, Diamond Chevrolet. I will not be going back to you ever again, unless every other car shop in Massachusetts simultaneously explodes.

So now I get to drive to NJ tomorrow with no window, risk the Black Friday sales to try and get a new GPS at a price I can afford after having spent more than I made this pay period on my crappy old car, drive back with no window, and try not to spend another unnecessary cent for at least the rest of 2010.

Also, I seem to be coming down with a cough, which is part of why I am up and ljing angrily at midnight when I have to get up at 6h45 tomorrow - I went to bed three hours ago and I kept waking myself up.

Anyway, back to bed to hope it goes away by morning. If I actually get sick tomorrow I am going to have to punch something.
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
2008 New Year's Resolutions:
1. Be more assertive
2. ONLY READING ONE TERRY PRATCHETT BOOK IN A SEMESTER IS UNACCEPTABLE. I WILL NEVER MAKE THIS MISTAKE AGAIN. No wonder I've been depressive; I've been neglecting my Pratchett so badly I managed to *forget* about such wonderful inventions as Bilius, the oh-god of hangovers. WTF, dude. I may go buy me a Pratchett book today, in fact. For medical purposes.

In related news, the "Hogfather" TV special is hilarious. I might buy it, except then I would own too many Christmas movies for someone who hates Christmas. Especially since I rescued "A Muppet Christmas Carol," "A Muppet Family Christmas" and "Babes in Toyland" from getting thrown away. I admit I love Muppets but I was never aware of liking Christmas movies. But since any movie prominently figuring a skeleton in a Santa suit will probably be a Christmas movie... *shrug*

St. Patrick's Day needs more movies. Although it currently has better music, so that's okay.


bloodygranuaile: (Default)

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