December 31, 2014

Let’s Go 2014

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,Personal — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Well, that was something. Another year gone. Time for another recap!

January: Viewer Discretion Is Advised

-Better change my address after lots of laziness.
-Ooh, possible job. All the way in Frederick, though.
-Mmmm, almond cookies.
-Why does Downton Abbey have a viewer discretion warning? There’s never anything racy or violent in it…
-Oh. That’s their way of saying “trigger warning” I guess.
-Cat ran away! :(
-Volunteering at WES. Because unemployed and bored.
-I made chili! πŸ˜€

February: Backwards N Thing

-Making chili and guacamole and cookies for Superbowl.
-Prep ran long. Did I miss kickoff?
-Aww, I missed a safety?!
-Winter Olympics in Sochi!
-Ooh, US women’s hockey is about to take Gold against Canada…
-FUUUUUUU- They remembered they’re from a country whose capital is Washington DC. :irked:
-Didn’t get other suggested job, but got interview for another one with same company but much closer location!
-And I got it!!! πŸ˜€

March: 37 Cents Per Ounce

-Ski night!
-French brunch thing.
-New job!
-So many trainings and SOPs to read.
-Lego Movie!
-More snow!

April: Existentialism

-Huh. The lab doors unlock each other.
-Brookside on Easter Sunday!
-Philosophy discussion lunch. Followed by fajita dinner. Fun day!
-Hendrik and Sasha visiting DC! πŸ˜€

May: Next Door

-I shouldn’t have said that.
-Where’s my birthday cake? Everyone else got a birthday cake.
-Oh, I finally got it a couple weeks later. Okay.
-Trip to New York sounds great… just not with my family. :irked:
-Wow, hotel room right above World Trade Center site.
-Good thing I came. My family couldn’t steer themselves around this city for anything. πŸ™„
-Holy crap, this sauce is spicy!

June: Councilmanic

-Netflix!
-Kingdom Hearts!
-What do you mean my voting registration address wasn’t changed with my address change? They said it was!
-I hate provisional ballots. They’re as good as not voting at all. :irked:
-World Cup!

July: This Fruit Salad Is Spicy

-Fruit salad has no business being spicy
-Dinner with Pam!!!
-How to Train Your Dragon 2!
-I think I’ll go to… Ugh, it’s too hot to drive anywhere. Stuck in so much traffic.
-Memorial service for dad’s aunt with lots of distant relatives I never see.

August: Red Trail

-Welp, I’ve gotten myself addicted to GeoGuessr again.
-Smithsonian with little brother
-Every Simpsons ever!
-Nats game! πŸ˜€
-Finally successfully went to Calvert Cliffs for Day 100.

September: Photospheres

-Mmmm, Middle Eastern Bazaar…
-Perfect 25000 score in GeoGuessr!
-To Baltimore with little brother! To Aquarium and other stuff!

October: Wild Pitch

-Nats are in playoffs!
-And lost badly. Sigh. :irked:
-Winter Festival rehearsal time!
-There’s a trick-or-treater dressed up as the Eleventh Doctor!

November: Windmill

-Sugarloaf climb!
-Auction night! I’m a devil! πŸ˜€
-A drunk devil.
-Big Hero 6! I’ve seen a lot of movies this year.
-Wait, why aren’t they playing Christmas Canon much in the Christmas music lineup this year? :irked:
-Almond cookies! Trying to get it just right.

December: Give Us Hope

-Shoulder hurts.
-Holiday potluck at work. I think I’ll make hummus.
-I put a lot of chopped parsley into the hummus. Now it’s green. It looks like guacamole.
-Got to bake lots of cookies for Cookie Walk!
-And dress rehearsal.
-And Washington Ethical Society’s Winter Festival. I’m Pandora! And my little brother’s a prince!
-And I get to pull the Hope banner!
-Cookie Walk! There are my cookies! πŸ˜€
-Trans-Siberian Orchestra! Damn, Verizon Center is packed!
-Dinner with Victoria!
-Time for Christmas shopping. Oy.
-Running around at work giving Christmas chocolate to coworkers!
-And finally… Christmas Eve. And Day.
-For New Year’s Eve, saw Mockingjay in movie theater.
-And now I’ve posted an entry every day in December!

With 2014 about to be in the books, it leaves a few things dangling. Though I suppose every year should, what with the arbitrary nature of when we determine when a year ends and a new one begins. The next year could prove very quickly to be great or another let-down. I guess, of course, that remains to be seen. We’ll see if I have more to say this time next year. Or at least something more interesting.

We’ll see.

Happy New Year!

December 25, 2014

Π‘ РоТдСством!

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Personal — Katrina @ 9:25 pm

Oh, have I run out of Roman alphabet languages already? Er, no, there’s a few more. Next year, next year…

Well, nothing all that unusual about this Christmas. Same stuff. Work early on Christmas Eve, which was cool, not because I had to work but because I actually have a job at Christmas time for the first time in three years. Then cookie baking. Then putting up with family. Then church and Silent Night. Then wrapping presents. Then finally in bed at almost 6am, having been awake nearly 22 hours.

Anyway, it’s Christmas Day. Today is for joy. For love. For peace. For hope. For generosity.

We’re a bunch of assholes to each other much of the year, in many ways. But for this day, let’s just try not to be. Let’s at least be the peace we want the world to be. Let’s put kindness and understanding first. Let’s forgive and be together and be happy. Let’s put aside differences and annoyances. Even if just for this day. So that even when we go back to our normal rotten selves, we’ve at least had a taste of what could be. So we know it’s possible, at least in theory, at least in small doses.

Or, well, that would surely be nice. Anyway, I’m stuck with my family today. Excuse me while I get back into the fray. *cocks shotgun*

Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2014

Rondo alla Builders and Bashers

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Musical Musing,Personal — Katrina @ 11:45 pm

One of my favorite pieces of classical music is Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca”. Believe me, you know the piece even if you don’t know the name. Go find it on YouTube, listen to the first three seconds, and be all “oh yeah, this one!”

Told you!

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes. So, like I said, this has always been one of my favorite classical pieces. Just a few years ago, I finally taught myself to play it on the piano, though not very well. It’s a lot of fast parts and unnatural stretching of the hands for some monstrous chords! But I more or less got it down and have thus achieved a goal I’ve had a long time. Yay!

So how did this piece of music come to my attention? Did I hear it on a classical radio station at a special time that it stuck with me? Did I see or hear someone perform it at an event I attended?

Nope.

It’s one of the background music tracks in Lemmings. πŸ˜›

Seriously.

How I found what would become one of my favorites was hearing it repeatedly while trying to steer some adorable little blue-green idiots through a bunch of violent obstacles.

Here, give it a listen. It’s the first level here, Fun 11, and the first level in which it plays.

So, yeah, that’s some serious rocking out there. :cute:

But, no, it’s not weird. This sort of thing is why the music from Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda is so popular and beloved. Because we all spent so much time listening to it while working our way through these games that the sounds grew on us.

And, hey, I got lucky in that the Lemmings background track that caught my attention was one that was already a real piece of music and not one of the created-for-the-game tunes as several of the others are.

On a related note, all the above having taken place like literally 20 years ago, it was only a year and a half ago that I learned that one of the other Lemmings tracks is a modified version of Pachelbel’s Canon.

August 31, 2014

Cent Jours Quatorze

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places,Personal — Katrina @ 10:59 pm

On “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” earlier this year, a show that reaches unheard of heights of what one can ever imagine awesomeness can be (appropriately enough), Neil deGrasse Tyson condensed the life of the universe into a single year. In this cosmic calendar, the sun was created on August 31. That’s today! You know what else today is? That’s right…

DAY
100


It’s the last day of Round 14. So let’s recap.

Day 1, I’m off to New York City. Sound familiar? Well, this time I got dragged along with my family. Got a cool hotel next to the new WTC, though. Amazing views!

Day 2, still in NYC, terrible service at restaurant and mad dash to Penn Station to catch train home.

Day 15, Triple Crown Winner? Come on, California Chrome…. Nope. -_-

Day 21, sweet! World Cup games on big screen at work!

Day 23, Kingdom Hearts!!! Expert mode this time. πŸ˜€

Day 32, my voter registration wasn’t updated when I changed my address six months ago! I need to vote in the primary but don’t know where! Grrr.

Day 37, Frozen sing-a-long at WES… I WANT TO SEE FROZEN AGAIN!!!! So picked up a copy of it right afterward. Got How to Train Your Dragon, too, because why not?

Day 42, ‘splosions!

Day 48, me: “Wow. This fruit salad is spicy.”

Day 49, How to Train Your Dragon 2 in movie theater! Toothless is adorable!!! πŸ˜€

Day 50, think I’ll spend the midpoint at a state park on the Chesapeake… or not, it’s too damn hot outside and the beltway is backed up because of course it is. Back home. Try again some other time. And start replaying Kingdom Hearts 2.

Day 57, Planes 2 with little brother.

Day 64, very old grand-aunt’s memorial service and distant cousins.

Day 78, National Air and Space Museum with little brother! And flight simulator.

Day 90, EVERY SIMPSONS EVER!!!!

Day 93, Nationals game!

And finally…

Day 100. A WES platform with lots of pets! And afterward, some unfinished Day 50 business, even though the day was even hotter but at least no beltway traffic. Calvert Cliffs! After a two hour drive and then a two mile walk. Very nice. πŸ™‚

I think my memory is getting bad since I’m just not remembering much for these recaps. Or less of interest is happening. Or I’m getting more sensible about what I share publicly. Or I’m realizing this is a whole lot of Shit Nobody Cares About. There was also a conspicuous lack of any NYRA activities, namely an Annual Meeting. I need to do some interesting stuff.

Oh, well. As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close, well, I guess I need to do more interesting stuff. See you for the fifteenth round beginning May 24, 2015, in whatever form the world will be in then. Probably about the same.

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 14.

December 31, 2013

Clusterfuck 2013

Filed under: Christmas Time!,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 11:59 pm

*pant* *wheeze* *gasp*

Huh, what? Is 2013 just about over? Ah, it is. What a ride. Well, let’s get right into it with months named like episodes and a lot of cryptic notes.

January: Ball of Yarn

-These are some bizarre interview questions.
-Reading Deathly Hallows again.
-Les Mis with Kathleen, Alexander, and Pam!

February: Baskets

-LOL Superbowl power outage
-Hey, Ravens won the Superbowl! Even if being a Redskins fan means I should hate them apparently.

March: In the Garden of Brookside

-Got some NYRA stuff!
-Ugh. Alex’s house caught fire.
-Bill saw last year’s recap and accused me of libel. Inb4 same with this one.
-Hmm. Job paying a lot less than previous and still didn’t get it because not qualified enough. :irked:
-Laser tag!
-#26 Freewill

April: The Right Side of History

-Me, to Takoma Park: “Lower the voting age! All the cool places are doing it!”
-Holy crap, is this thing actually going to pass?!

May: Fifteen Percent

-Aww, crap, I turned 30.
-Hardy? You’re going to get over the lymphoma, right? Right?
-Oh. Only months left tops. :(
-Oh no.
-RIP fellow NYRAnian, fellow board member
-And on that same day…
-In Takoma Park… “Councilmember Smith?” “Aye.” “Councilmember Seamens?” “Aye.” “Councilmember Schultz?” “Nay.” “Councilmember Male?” “Aye.” “Councilmember Grimes?” “Aye.” “Councilmember Daniels-Cohen?” “Aye.” “Mayor Williams?” “Aye.”
-And with that, the voting age was lowered to 16 in Takoma Park, MD.
-Just like that… #16tovote
-Oh. I got a job! Finally!
-I can do this. Must do a good job.
-So many minus-80 freezers!

June: Coffeemaker

-Hang on. One of the background music pieces in Lemmings is supposed to be Pachelbel’s Canon and I somehow never fucking knew this?! MIND BLOWN
-Whoa. What’s that thing hanging outside the walk-in freezer?
-Coworker: “If you stop moving, it starts chirping. If you still don’t move, it starts screaming. And they have to come drag your ass out.”
-Eep. Hope I don’t have to go in there!
-Hmm. We just got a week off because there isn’t anything to do. Oh, well.
-At least we were brought back.
-Finally telling off someone at NYRA who needed a good telling off. πŸ˜€
-Alright, I should probably be more specific, but if I did, he’d probably whine about libel again. :cute:

July: Stop! Hook up!

-Woo, Nationals game!
-Speeding?! You can get pulled over for speeding on I-270? Interesting.
-Okay, fine, I’ll run for the damn board again.
-Job just moved to me new location. Big but same basic job.
-Wow, those man-down devices for the walk-in freezers are loud!
-NYRAnians calling to confront ageist sushi restaurant in Virginia!
-I think I just scared WES. I called them out for ageism in a platform response. πŸ˜›
-What the mother of crap, did I just get pulled over again?
-What do you mean I was tail-gating?
-Huh? I need to go inside the walk-in freezer? Gulp…
-Okay, this isn’t so bad…
-And I’m in and out. Did what I needed to.
-LIKE A BOSS

August: Blueberry Muffin

-First the Snipers in Baltimore and then some more NYRAnians in DC.
-It’s not Annual Meeting day, but it damn well feels like it!
-Time for Kathleen to go to San Francisco.
-Even if it requires driving her to the airport at 5am. Sigh.
-Hmm. MLK Library may have to do for the AM.
-We’ll connect NYRA-Twin Cities to the DC AM by video chat!
-Okay, this worked out.
-If this AM sucked balls. Oh, well.

September: Maybe

-I’ve been laid off again?!
-Oh, lovely, now a prolonged power outage after thunderstorm… This will be a while…
-Hmm. Just five hours. Could have been a lot worse. Okay.
-OMG I met Heather Corinna!!!
-NYRA board meetings on Google Hangout? This is pretty awesome!

October: Labyrinth

-Meetings to plan Winter Festival!
-I want to play Kingdom Hearts again.
-Dear God, forgot how awesome this game is.
-Oh, no, I’ve got a cold. On Halloween!

November: Spinach Bean Thing

-Auction!
-Time for Sugarloaf climb!
-Dad sold the house? Oh no.
-I’ll make that spinach bean thing for community dinner.
-I’ll make it again for Thanksgiving!

December: A Platypus and a Sloth Skiing in the Alps

-Ordered holiday cards late again.
-Taking little brother to Winter Festival!
-I’m a smug skiing platypus!
-Uh oh. We’re leaking water into neighbor’s house somehow.
-Fucking heating condensation pipe! :irked:
-Cookies!
-Last Christmas in Grandma’s house. :(
-Followed by a week straight of moving shit out.
-And then settlement.
-And the house is no longer ours. As of this afternoon.
-But we went out to dinner.
-And I’ve just barely made a post every day in December!

And the ball is dropping now, we close the book on the veritable clusterfuck that was 2013! Oy.

Well, let’s see what 2014 has up its sleeve… :scared:

December 25, 2013

Glaedelig Jul

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Foodz,Personal — Katrina @ 11:09 pm

I made cookies.

That’s the main thing. I’d been studying cookie recipes for about a week and got eager to finally try one out. Want to develop my own cookie recipe sort of. I’ve already got a muffin recipe, even if I haven’t made them in many years. But, it’s Christmas, so it’s cookie time, and I’ve put it off for too many years. Can’t just make and poorly-modify the store-bought Pillsbury dough. Got to make my own! πŸ˜€

Christmas is about the old and new.

So I watched specials. So I saw the family. So I went to the Christmas Eve late night church service. So I held the candle and sang Silent Night and for some reason found myself holding back inexplicable laughter. So I stayed up way too late wrapping presents.

And this morning I baked some more of my cookies.

Damn, they are good! If really goddamn sweet.

There’s white chocolate and milk chocolate and peanut butter and butterscotch! πŸ˜€

This morning, opened presents and saw the little brother get another damn train.

The new were my cookies.

The old is this old house that has belonged to my family since my grandparents bought it in 1965. Every Christmas of my life has brought me to this house.

And it’s been sold and we’re moving out next week before the year is even up.

Well… I don’t know what to say about that anymore. Certainly not giving any more details than that.

I’ve got a lot of Christmas traditions, from those lasting my whole life, such as the simple opening presents with family and having our feast of roast beast, and watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. To newer ones like the Christmas Eve night service, having gone to it every year since 2003, with a few times before then. To NYRA’s holiday cards since 2006. To Washington Ethical Society’s Winter Festival since 2009. And to whatever others may come in what I sure hope will be many more iterations of this holiday.

Can’t say it’s totally happy right now.

But I’ve got cookies. They’re awesome.

August 31, 2013

Lucky Thirteen

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 10:59 pm

Once more, it’s been ten days times ten, and here we are in yet another…

DAY
100

Alright. So Round 13 is just about in the books. Let’s review.

Day 1, fourth day on job. Yay employment!

Day 9, “Screw work. Let’s build a fort!”

Day 19, worst sushi ever… but with Victoria! πŸ™‚

Day 25, fun day of baseball, pizza, and video games with little brother!
(more…)

December 31, 2012

I Don’t Even 2012

Filed under: Christmas Time!,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 11:36 pm

This year began with what felt like a theme park boat ride, the craft drifting into a dark tunnel, and up ahead you can hear the splashing of rough waters, as the drifting boat moves steadily quicker. To… what?

Well, to all this…

January: Sorting Socks

-Starting the year with something sweet. And Brookside.
-Rocky Horror Picture Show at WES: your argument has never been so invalid
-Ow! Why is my side hurting now?
-And why is… my chest pain back?! Noooo!
-Ash is dead! Ash lasted a while. Awww. :(
-And now I don’t feel so good…
-Stomach virus! Ack! Haven’t had one in eleven years!
-Supervisor: “Stomach virus? WTF? Go home!”
-Me: “I have to change the temperature chart first!”
-A NYRA board meeting that didn’t devolve into fighting? Holy crap!
(more…)

August 31, 2012

By the Dozen

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 11:47 pm

Like every year so far this century, it began on May 24 and ends today on August 31, for today is…


DAY
100

With Round 12 coming to an end, let’s review!

Day 3, meeting Kathleen in Georgetown, finding place to park. Finding expensive parking meters. A nickel gets you a minute and a half. It says that. Make that finding world’s most sarcastic parking meters.

Day 9, Victoria has come to DC! We welcome her with dinner at Full Kee in Chinatown.

Day 10, to LGBT poetry slam with Kathleen at Busboys and Poets. Girl who won was quite awesome.

Day 13, uh oh, Kathleen needs to go to ER! Going to be a late night.

Day 17, charades! Well, more a game of Taboo we’re calling charades. Sort of both.

Day 21, first board meeting in almost five months. Passed a corporal punishment position paper at last. Then a whole lot of staff issues. And a repealed bylaw change that was foolishly done in closed session where no one could see it was being done. Ugh.
(more…)

December 31, 2011

Fearless 2011

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 11:07 pm

And… here we are! 2011 has run its course. Let’s review!

January: Unapologetically Fierce

-Nothing like a 7-year-old’s birthday party at a sports bar!
-Missed New Year’s Eve skiing but I’ll get up there some evening.
-Liberty’s restaurant says anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
-FFFFUUUUUUUUUUU-
-Uh oh! Big snowfall at afternoon rush hour on untreated roads!
-Three hours to go ten miles.
-Come on, car! Don’t get stuck. Doing great…
-Okay, now it’s stuck… just outside my house. Okay, COULD be a lot worse!
-Dinner invite! How nice!

February: A Reclaimed Minuet

-Superbowl Sunday! To Brookside. To climbing gym. To get fried chicken. To bake cookies. And, well, watch the game!
-Hey, lots of free sheet music for classical music online. Public domain!
-Uh oh! Lots of changes and of course fighting over NYRA’s website redesign.
-Yay! #16tovote on the 16th is a year old!
-Helping out in NYRA office on weirdly warm day. And burrito with Dave from weird burrito truck guy.
-WES Auction! I won a big urn! πŸ˜€
(more…)

December 25, 2011

Feliz Natal

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Personal — Katrina @ 11:27 pm

My world is changing. I’m rearranging. Does that mean Christmas changes, too?
– “Where Are You, Christmas?”

The days leading up have kind of sucked. Christmas is about joy and hope. I see much ahead that is uncertain.

Today and yesterday have been okay. Even through it all…

Still with watching the Christmas Eve Christmas specials…

Baked cookies! Mmmm!

The Redskins lost… -_-

Wrapped presents.

Why did I buy my stupid family so much shit?

Mmmm, cookies.

Wrap more presents.

Mmmm, cookies.

You know what? I can finish this later.

Off to see stupid family.

They weren’t sure whether to get a platter of mezze or a big platter of sushi or a big ass bowl of shrimp. So they got all of it!

Christmas!

Brother wants me to watch YouTube videos. Mom wants me to watch British sitcoms.

Gah!

Reading “Visit from St. Nicholas” to brother before he goes to bed.

Trying to leave but Mom keeps asking pointless questions.

Yay, got to church sort of on time!

Running down aisle while they’re singing “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

Breathlessly singing “Gloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooria, in excelsis deeeeeeeo!”

Wearing Santa hat all through service. LOL U MAD?

Time for the peace. Wearing Santa hat. “Merry Christmas! Peace be with you!”

Here it is… the highlight of my Christmas time… and perhaps of my year…

Raising my lit candle, singing Silent Night!

Back home… to it being 1am and all my neighbors’ outside lights still on and shining, long after they’ve normally turned them off.

Last wrapping, more staring off into the divine night… and off to bed…

But so many questions remain. So many things are uncertain. What will things look like this time next year? How will such changes change Christmas itself for me? And the biggest question of all, what can I do about it? If anything?

Do I just wait and see? Am I sitting on the answer and just don’t notice it yet? Do I know what the answer is but have chosen not to do it?

Am I even asking any of the right questions?

But, at Christmas Eve night, trying to go to sleep, what can be done now?

Now? For now, yes, maybe just wait and see…

And in the morning, the bright sun shining… at last Christmas Day!

Let there be peace, love, joy, hope, and giving!

I got a Slinky! πŸ˜€

December 7, 2011

Alarming Elantra!

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,Personal — Katrina @ 9:05 pm

Six years ago, I had a problem with my computer that turned out to be corrupted RAM. After it was fixed, after a month of annoyance and trying to troubleshoot it, I wrote the tale on NYRA’s forums and later posted it here. After that, because I had specified the error message and all, I found a lot of search hits going to that page, and I later wondered how many people I was helping, people who were in the same position I was.

I think I’ll do it again. This time with cars!

Namely, Hyundai Elantra. I have a 2007 Elantra. Last year, its alarm kept going off for no reason. Middle of the night. Neighbors surely wanted to murder me. And I didn’t know how to stop it. Searching online didn’t even help much. There was one night I was sitting up awake until really late waiting to shut it off if it went off again. I thought it stopped happening, that it was just one weird time, but my housemate told me it happened again. And again. :\

It’s a common Elantra problem actually. The alarm kept going off because there’s a sensor thingy under the hood that detects whether the hood is open, and if it thinks the hood is open when the car is locked, it sets off the alarm. When this happens, the sensor is always thinking the hood is open! I think the wind especially triggers it.

So I took it to the dealership and waited, wondering what they’d find and how much I was about to owe. Only to find they knew exactly what it was, replaced the sensor, and because my car was still under warranty, didn’t cost me a thing! Yay!

And I’m thinking about it again now because I have a neighbor who also has an Elantra and its alarm has been going off the past several nights! This neighbor probably also doesn’t know what to do, if he/she even knows about it. I’m going to go out and leave a note on the windshield telling them it’s the hood sensor and to take it to the dealership.

True, this might not quite be as helpful as the computer problem since my advice is still basically to go to the dealership and have them fix it, and could be costly if warranty is expired. Could be the neighbor knows this already but can’t afford the repair right now, and my note might come off as more obnoxious than helpful. But I guess I’ll still bet on helpful.

August 31, 2011

Round 11 Complete!

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 9:16 pm

“Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom. July is dressed up and playing her tune.” -Seals and Crofts, Summer Breeze

Now for the eleventh time and ten years exactly after the end of the first, here we are on this lovely…

DAY
100

The final day of this eleventh round of the 100 Days of Summer! A tradition dating back to 2001, finishing a round of each day occurring exactly ten years after the corresponding days of the original run. Began May 24 and ends today. Another summer has come by, and goodness, who’d have thought a round of the 100 Days of Summer that begins with me dancing on a giant piano could be so crazy?

Oh, yeah, I danced on a giant piano! Let’s get into the recap.

Day 1, horribly sleep deprived and feverish with an ill-timed late spring cold, I picked up Kathleen O’Neal in Georgetown and headed to Greenbelt, only to get pulled over by a DC cop for going the wrong way down a one-way street. Gah! Despite delay, got to Greenbelt and caught Bolt Bus and by noon we were in New York City! At long last, I got to Ferrara in Little Italy, where I’d wanted to go the last several times I went to the city but wasn’t able to. Then to a piercing place Kathleen wanted to see, then to the Met, then met Gella! Then to FAO Schwarz where I found the Big Piano and played Ode to Joy with my legs. Hehe. And by 7pm we just barely made the bus back to DC.

Day 2, still feverish. Sitting in a hot car fixes that right up!

Day 3, skipped work and went to NYRA office for annual meeting planning.

Day 5, laaaaate night of hanging out with Kathleen!

Day 6, still hanging out with Kathleen since previous day, saw 3am brawl in Adams Morgan, helped buy groceries at like 6am before finally getting home and sleeping! Also, poorly attended board meeting where some troublesome staffing changes were mentioned. And the summer NYRA drama begins!
(more…)

December 31, 2010

WTF 2010

Filed under: Christmas Time!,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 10:32 pm

And here we are. New Year’s Eve 2010, looking ahead to the still uncertain 2011. Though more on 2011 a year from now once it has actually occurred. Right now, let’s have a look back at 2010. It’s a year that from the get-go seemed rather, well, odd. Now through it, well, it was odd, certainly annoying much of the time, and certainly without a lot of the awesome encounters previous years had. Though with two heart-breaking losses. In any case, now for the recap!

January: Check Engine

-I think I’ll make guacamole
-Wow, this guacamole is fucking gross. Ack! Is this earwax?!
-Oh, I got the wrong kind of avocados. Okay.
-I need to get NYRA’s blog restarted.
-Ugh, NYRA online community is pissing me off, seriously.
-I’ll try this guacamole again, with the right avocados this time…
-Yummy!
-WTF?! Why is my check engine light on?
-Oh, I left the gas cap loose. Lulz
-I think I’ve got an idea for a hashtag Twitter campaign for NYRA.
-Still awkward and uncomfortable? Well, fuck you too then!
(more…)

December 25, 2010

Frohe Weihnachten!

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Personal,The Occasional Godliness — Katrina @ 11:09 pm

“Just look at us now, part of it all. In spite of it all, we’re still around! So wake up the kids, put on some tea, let’s light up the tree. It’s Christmas Day!” -Neil Diamond, You Make It Feel Like Christmas

Here we are again. It is Christmas Day! Through another year since the last one, we have lasted. Yay!

As usual, yesterday was another run of Christmas Eve, the longest day of the year. The Christmas Eve runaround leading up to the relative lull that is Christmas Day. Started with waking up, running to work to change a temperature chart, back home, wrapping presents, watching specials, listening to Christmas music, etc. All the way until around 7pm when once again my family went to my mom’s Greek friend’s Christmas Eve party. Ate lots of delicious food as usual, then I went to the 11pm Christmas Eve service at church like always. Wearing my Santa hat.

And listened to the sermon, which was about It’s a Wonderful Life, which the priest admitted to only recently watching all the way through the first time (iknorite?!) even though the church had been doing some activity before then supposedly about the movie. So, in other words, the priest admitted to professing to know about something that he in fact knew little about. Bizarre! :cute:

Well, part of surviving a church service when one has ideologically pulled away from Christianity like I have is to look at the whole thing as just some story everyone there is making a celebration of. Pretend nobody actually takes this seriously but that this is all just for fun. Hey, for most of the people there, that may actually be the case!

Once more, after communion, we all held candles, turned out the lights, and sang Silent Night. With joy.

And once more, upon the choir walking back down the aisle, we all sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Which I felt tempted to finish with a loud cheerful “Hell yeah!” But I resisted. Sorry. πŸ˜›

Then I talked to the priest, who’s known me for a while. I told him my realization about O Come All Ye Faithful.

Then I thanked him for not being Fred Phelps, and he took that as a compliment. πŸ˜†

Went home and prepared last few gifts.

And the NYRA website, which had been down for several horrible days, had at last come back. Just in time for Christmas! Christmas miracle.

Then went upstairs to my living room, on which I had put my colored lights. I gazed out at the divine night sky, watching for Santa…

And off in the distance, under a tower with one of them blinking red lights…

I saw a star.

I think. A star there in the night sky on Christmas Eve…

Or, no, it was actually the big electric star that on a tower that some nearby company puts up every year.

Hmmm… what a time to first notice I’m able to see it from my house! πŸ™‚

So I unplug the lights for the night and go to bed.

And in the morning…

It’s snowing.

Ever so lightly. No real accumulation. I wondered just what does and doesn’t qualify as a White Christmas. Do Christmas morning flurries count? Does it count if it’s leftover snow from several days ago? Does it count if it doesn’t snow until later in the day?

In any case, I drove to my family’s house with the tiny Christmas snowflakes whirling around me, and arrived at the house to my very excited little brother, who got a fancy new train set, and is right now running that train round and round and round and round…

And has been using the new saucer sled he got from Santa as a flying saucer full of aliens attacking the train!

And we had our feast, our feast of roast beast.

What does Christmas have in common with the United States?

They’re both crazy mixtures of stuff from a crapload of different cultures… yet white Christian conservatives seem to think they belong only to them.

And the Dallas Cowboys lost. Sweet.

Christmas.

Yeah.

December 6, 2010

The Amazing Ash

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Personal — Katrina @ 7:49 pm

It was four years ago today I lauded my legendary red eye tetra Cedric and his tankmates for their survival despite my astoundingly poor job of taking care of them and the aquarium.

Cedric, as you know, lived in my tank for an astounding four years and seven months, right up until about 23 months ago he swam off to fishy heaven. Nonetheless, his spirit lives on, that spectacular little fish who hung on to an admittedly boring life inside a little five-gallon aquarium, for such a long time. None of my other fish have done that!

Or, actually…

My serpae tetra Ash is about to beat that record! Cedric lived in my tank for 4 years and 214 days, the exact same amount of time it has been since my sister brought me Ash on my birthday in 2006, along with other serpae tetras Quigley and Templeton, plus sunset molly Pyro. Pyro died only a couple months later. Lost Quigley sometime last year. Last February, when the big ass Superbowl weekend blizzard knocked out our electricity for 30 hours, this meant my house went that long without heat, and as such the fish tank got really cold, killing my algae eater Stripe, and nearly killing Ash and Templeton, though once the heat was back on, they were fine again after a bit. Except Templeton died a few weeks later. Ash was all alone until May when I got another algae eater, Aurelius. So now it’s just the two of them.

Congrats, Ash! For your resilience under the care of someone like me, who should probably never ever be in charge of any living thing.

September 27, 2010

Shine On

Filed under: Personal,Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:12 pm

As you may recall, back on January 24, 2008, I lost my grandmother. As said in that title, she was supposed to live forever. But she didn’t. -_-

That’s okay! I still had another grandmother who was REALLY supposed to live forever! πŸ˜€

Er, no. We lost her last night to massive heart complications. :(

Widad S
March 25, 1926 – September 26, 2010

Nice job so far, 2010. First Nigel and now… my last grandparent! What the FUCK?! :doitnow:

Oh, damn, that’s right. My last grandparent. When I was born, I only had the two grandmothers to begin with, their husbands having died in the 1970s, long before I came along. Now they’re both gone, off into whatever happens next. Along with my grandmother, I suppose a certain aspect of my youth was lost with her. Now my parents are the elders. Weeeeeird.

So, what am I to do about it? I realize my response here seems very different from losing Grandma. Certainly doesn’t mean I’m mourning any less now. Just acknowledging that I perhaps deal with this differently from before, and, despite being related to them both in the same way, they still held different roles in my life.

And anyone’s death, especially a grandparent I suppose, serves to remind that we’re all like a whole lot of twinkling stars. We come into existence and shine and shine for however long before we are extinguished. Stars of course go billions of years. We humans go a hell of a lot shorter than that. So we must make sure we shine as bright as we can, and in doing so inspire the other stars to shine bright. Like a shiny chain reaction. Of shininess.

Yeah, what do you want? I didn’t study astronomy and got a D in physics. Whatever.

Anyway, scientific inaccuracy of metaphor notwithstanding, what are we doing to shine bright? What am I doing? Well, I’m with NYRA and as such trying to make the world better by promoting youth rights! Quite proud of that.

Then another thought occurred to me. My newly lost grandmother is my mom’s mom, the Arab side of my family. So, yeah, I’m part-Arab and working on civil rights activism. Nice.

I wonder what other Arab-blooded American activists there are…

Oh, wait…

SHIT!

I have a lot of work to do. :\

(Lower the drinking age.) πŸ˜‰

August 31, 2010

1000th Day of Summer

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 10:53 pm

That’s right. The calendar says today is August 31, which means it is at last…

DAY
100

So my friends, another hot sunny summer has gone by, yet another round of the infamous 100 Days of Summer, the tenth round in fact! Which means next year’s eleventh round, each day is the tenth anniversary of the days of the original! These days have a way of being crazy, mysterious, wonderful, and terrible. And today we celebrate completing another hundred of them! So let’s review!

Day 1, okay, got a new algae eater yesterday, a gold one. I’ll call him Aurelius!

Day 3, as usual, NYRA board is being annoyingly quiet about important stuff. Do I really want yet another year of this frustration and silence?

Day 7, we can’t let Hyundai and Allstate get away with running ageist ads, at least not without complaints! Get them! Also, saw Soul Asylum!

Day 8, okay, fine, I’ll run for another year on the damn board.

Day 9, wait, crap, I think our AC is broken.

Day 10, yeah, I’d say so. Outside unit isn’t even running!
(more…)

December 31, 2009

LOL 2009

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 11:51 pm

The year that began as elusive is now known and past, with of course the expected lulz. So, just like last year, here’s some random highlights by month. Enjoy!

January: Fort Belvoir

-Me to fye: You can’t ban unaccompanied under-15s from the store.
-Cedric?! Why… why aren’t you moving? And lying on the bottom of the tank…? :(
-LOL my boss set the dumpster on fire with his cigarette
-Holy shit, it’s Vicky!
-The Youngest Candidate viewing at GWU = win!
-Whoa! Slumdog Millionaire is… whoa!
-Vicky, Alexandria is a big place. Where exactly do you need to go?
-Okay, it’s “Fort Belvoir” not “Fort Belvick”. And Fort Belvoir is not in Alexandria.
-Obama! Obama! Obama!
-Screw work, let’s all just watch the inauguration.
-Uh, oh, acetonitrile shortage! If we run out, we’re screwed!
-ZOMG! Case Closed on Funimation channel!!!
-Yeah, great, ski lift, try to rip my arm off!
(more…)

August 31, 2009

A Fine Round Nine

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,NYRA Happenings,Personal — Katrina @ 7:24 pm

And… August has come to an end, for today is August 31, which means that once again today is…

DAY
100

Ah, another crazy ass summer full of the usual mixture of lulz and fail. Let’s review.

Got off to a slow start. On Day 7, for the hell of it, drove up to Gettysburg and drove around the battlefield a bit, and climbed on some historically significant rocks.

Day 8 I ate some awesome dumplings.

Day 10, trying to empower and embiggen (yup) the youth rights blogosphere so I started Youth Blog Tuesday on the forums. (I’ll see you in the September 1 installment!)

Day 14, went to the movies and saw Up. Movie about an old widower who somehow makes his house airborne with BALLOONS and flies to Venezuela to visit some waterfall, only for him and the stow-away eight-year-old to get back to the US at the end somehow, though never any mention how he got off the charges of reckless endangerment, crossing international borders illegally, transporting a child across international borders, etc. Cute movie.
(more…)

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