la_belle_laide: (morticia)
How did I not write about Halloween yet? It's been that busy, I guess. It's funny, really it's when my Mom has days off that I have the least amount of time to read or write. That's because she minds the baby for me during his nap, and that's when I get the chance to do things like laundry, cleaning, shopping, decorating (or undecorating,) cooking and things like that. When it's just me and him, he sleeps on my lap for 2 hours and I spend most of my time on the computer.

Halloween was really nice. Jo-chan was here. I was Morticia and CJ was Pubert Addams. My Mom had the day off. I answered the door for a few hours, then when Boychild came home from school and his other halloween activities, we all went out Trick or Treating really briefly, along with his Mom and Dad.

pics below the cut. )

The whole thing was really low key, but nice for his first Halloween. It wouldn't do to take him to a bunch of things and overwhelm him.

Last night I went to see Taking Back Sunday, but that's a different post, isn't it?!

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Oct. 20th, 2013 10:50 pm
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)
The day that CJ was supposed to have his hip x rays, we drove way the hell up the damn island only to be turned away because the dr had taken the day off. The receptionist said they'd called us, but I didn't have any messages. And there was another family there, too, who had to turn around and go back.

I think that Dr.s make too much money, and they don't have to care about business and patients. I recently had to leave my Dr of 20 years b/c I switched insurance and the receptionist was just like, "Bye then."

So, now I have to make another appointment, this time going to our usual place, except it's a whole big thing b/c tis one particular Dr does't take our insurance. So now I have to get prior approval, have all his charts faxed to insurance, etc. Ridiculous.

Tomorrow I have two clients, then a Dr appointment myself (just basic yearly stuff.) Next week I have another appointment with a new Dr, and to get this mark on my shoulder looked at, just in case.

But Tuesday is going to rule. I took a spa day for myself, as an early birthday gift. So I'm having a massage and reflexolgy. I can't effing WAIT. After that, my good friend Durga is coming for a visit. She lives in Seattle, and she's coming here to help her Mom move there with her, so that they can live together. I think that's fabulous. Last time I saw her was January. We broke into Tesla's old lab. (It's being refurbished now as a science museum, which makes me very happy. But I will miss breaking into it.)

Also, a few nights ago I ate some baby carrots and then spent the rest of the night barfing them up. This is probably because of the Government shutdown, since the FDA wasn't working and they didn't inspect food for salmonella. Republicans made me puke. Typical.

Every year after my birthday, I start a new blog file. (I write these up before posting them, and save them in a doc file, because you never know when your browser is going to crash and erase everything. Also because I like to keep my blogs on my hard drive.) So this will probably be my last entry for "blog40." So I'll end with some photos and a link to a video.

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The other day I was going around the house talking in a POTC Davy Jones accent--don't ask why, I have no idea--and I did this fake tentacle-shaking sound. I don't even know what possessed me to make that noise, but this was the result. (LJ no longer lets me embed videos. WTF.)

And yes, I am willing to do the most moronic and ass-headed things to get him to laugh like this, LOL.


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la_belle_laide: (mantis)



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Last year on the 7th, I peed on a stick and got a + sign. That day, I went for a walk alone on the beach and thought, "This time next year, I'll probably be bringing a little baby on my walks with me." I had a sense that it would be a boy, too. I kept thinking "He."

Today I took Callum to see the biggest thing on the planet: The ocean. I dressed him in his little Aloha shirt and off we went.
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It's best after Labor Day, when all the tourists are gone and it's free to park.

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A nice lady took a pic of us, and we chatted for a while about how nice it was without the crowds. She told me her daughter was having a baby and she was so excited. ^_^

I walked on for a bit, and it was important to me to put some ocean water on Callum's feet and his face. I wasn't about to unstrap him and dip him in. The water was dang cold and it was too sunny. He can't wear sunblock yet so I didn't like to take him out of the shade. But I just wanted to put it on him, so I cupped some ocean in my hand and dipped his feet in that. We live on an island, you just have to feel the ocean as soon as possible!

It's strange because he'll never remember it, and he didn't even really understand it. It was just like, a loud, big blue wobbly thing that he was seeing, right? With no sense of how vast or how important it was.

There were some surfers out there, because the waves were pretty good. On our way out, I met this guy who said, "I love your umbrella!" and I said, "I love your surfboard!" I asked him how long he'd been surfing and he said about 42 years. He said he gave lessons and offered to let me have a go. I told him I'd been surfing a few times and had really liked it; that my son might want to surf someday, and if so, I'd want him to learn how. He told me where he works and gave me his email address.
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Happy surfing, dude!

It's Sunday. Jo-chan comes back tomorrow, which is nice. I work early tomorrow and Tuesday, but it's not so bad. My clients have been really awesome to me. Yesterday I had my absolute favorite client, Betty, who is 90 years old. She bought some bibs and burp cloths and gave me a really sweet card.

Anyway, tomorrow after work maybe Jo-chan, Mom, Boychild's Mommy and I will do something together. And Boychild when he gets home from school. Then at night once Callum is asleep, Jo-chan, Mom and I will have a bit of ice cream and watch Merlin.

Autumn is around the corner! ^_^

ETA: I've been taking CJ to do one thing on every off day, before his long nap, just to get us both out of the house. Even if it's a walk to the bay, traipse through the woods, or grocery shopping. Note to self: If there's nothing else lined up, take him to those little local farm places and start collecting gifties for that one long-distance friend. You know the one.
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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A year ago on the 25th, it was a Saturday, and I went to the fertility clinic where they took me in an hour late. So I sat around watching a show about sea turtles and reading a magazine about Doctor Who. Then I went into the office, where I read Sherlock Holmes while I waited, because, as I told the nurse, if this worked, I wanted to have a smart baby. She said, "I Mama is smart, the baby will be, too!"

I left cautiously hopeful, and here I am today, with a little boy sleeping on my lap.

I try to take Callum somewhere for an hour or so every afternoon. It gets us both out of the house – though we can't ever stay for too long because of Haku. Today I decided to take some DVDs I'm trying to get rid of to the Yellow Barn by the library. But the library and Yellow Barn were both closed, and the drop boxes only accept books. I just gave about 50 books to my neighbor across the street for her yard sale.

So there I stood in the parking lot of the library, holding Callum's carrier on one arm and a huge bag of DVDs and tapes in the other, in the hot sun, when a blond woman in a sundress approached. She was on foot, and the only other person in the parking lot.

She asked, "Are you looking for something?"

I explained that I wanted to get rid o all of these DVDs but didn't want to just leave them there.

She said, "I walked over here from the shelter for abused and displaced women. I hope it's not rude of me to ask, but we don't have a really big video library there and one of the girls was just saying that she wanted to see more movies."

Wow, imagine that?! What great timing! I told her she could have all of them. She said, "How fortuitous! What are the chances?"

I gave her the bag, then offered her a ride back to the shelter, since it would be a long walk carrying all the DVDs. She accepted, and so we talked on the way back about astrology and baby names. (Because she really liked the name Callum. And she got it, too. "That's Gaelic," she said. "Colin is another version of it.")

Then I was going to take Callum for a pleasant walk through the cemetery down the road and take some photos, but I had forgotten my damn camera! >_< So instead, we visited my Mom at her work. Drex was working there too and he came to say hi.

It's funny, originally I was going to go to the store b/c I'm out of chocolate, but I didn't have any money to spend so I decided on the library instead. Neat!

Two days ago, I took Callum out to brunch with Lady Chrysanthemum, Empress and Snarklit. I have been missing the hell out of them so it was such a wonderful day, getting to see them. We haven't trained together in so long. I haven't trained in over a year, Empress is in school AND working at a dental clinic, and she now trains somewhere else. And Chrysanthemum has taken time off to be with her daughter, who was waiting on a baby of her own – who was just born yesterday!
She got in a little Grandma practice first:
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And here's the lot of us, the old crew:

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We talked—of course—about how much we miss Ye Olde Days of training, when we were all together at the cute, cozy school. When the Gold Dragon was there, and a bunch of really nice kids, and all the other folks who used to train with us. When our Kwon was like a family and we all had some TV Trope-ish role in class. It all kind of started to change when we moved schools, and different people came in and old ones left.

I still want that back. I miss it enough that I'll wait to have it again.

Well, we were all just feeling nostalgic, I guess. One day, Callum will train and hopefully I'll be training again, too. These people will always be my brothers and sisters.

Welp! It's been chilly at night and hot during the day, but you can definitely feel a hint of fall even in the afternoon. It's just a smell on the breeze. Jo-chan's school starts tomorrow, so she'll be living here part time. Can't wait for her to come back! Mom, and Boychild and Boychild's Mommy, and Callum and I have been going for evening walks on Mondays. It'll be nice to have her along, too.

Speaking of, she's having a BBQ later that Callum and I are going to. We're going to discuss the logistics of getting us all to Disney in 2014. :D

And so Autumn is around the corner! Yesterday I was looking at the FB pics a friend of mine posted. She's from HitRECord and she has this beautiful little boy. (He's so cute and smart, he's got his own section in the TV show! Which I'm going to be on, too!) Anyway, she has a pic of her and her son at around 6-7 months or so, walking through a pumpkin patch. Callum will only be 5 months in October, but I can't wait to get a pic like that, myself. :)

He's about to wake up any minute, so I have to cut this short!
la_belle_laide: (mantis)



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Callum will be 12 weeks tomorrow. They say that's the end of the "fourth trimester." There's definitely been a difference, too. Less crying, more laughing. On and off more sleeping, too. Two nights ago he slept for five hour straight! Then he went back to the 2 hour thing. :/ But hopefully that is a sign of things to come.

Two Saturdays ago, July 27th, I returned to work, SUPER part time. It felt so good to be out of the house though, to have some adult time, and to be useful to people again. My first client tipped me $100. O_O WOW. And the two new therapists there said that there were a ton of clients just waiting for me to come back. Felt really nice to be needed like that.

The day after I went back to work, the weirdest thing happened. I took the dogs and Callum outside, like I always do in the morning. The dogs went running to the front yard while I carried Callum after them. They ran straight past this:

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How the hell does my SIGHT HOUND miss something like that? Sucker was over 3 feet long!

My first, extremely human reaction was to recoil in horror. Then I grabbed my camera (still holding Callum!) and started snapping some pics. I crouched down to get a little closer, thinking "Dang, that's the biggest garter snake I've ever seen!" Then later, I googled my "garter snake."

WRONG. It is a northern black racer. An effing CONSTRICTOR, known to bite often and hard if you scare it enough.

Yet, it just chilled there (or whatever verb snakes do when they're just sort of there,) and looked at the both of us. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was looking at Callum; yes, I know how wonky that sounds. But interestingly, his birth year is the year of the black Snake. I thought that was super cool.

Right after that, we were sitting outside in the chair, and an osprey (ka 'io o ke kai – Callum's Hawaiian name,) was circling overhead. Pretty neat.

Let's see, what else. HitRECord continues to be interesting and supportive. The TV show is coming up on 70-some-odd days and we're going to be in it. :D I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

I also sent out a bunch of query letters to some new agents. I haven't done that since before Callum (CJ for short, okay?) was born, and it was awesome to get back into that.

The other news is that SB is moving away. He's 25 and I knew this time was coming. Still, my memory is so clear of when he was CJ's age and living with us. I guess a part of me thought he'd always be right there, just a few miles away, coming for day-visits even as an adult. It kind of guts me that he's leaving. But he has this adorable new girlfriend and they are moving in together, in upstate NY. I can hardly believe it. Wasn't I just playing Ninja Turtles with him the other day? (Actually, that's not too far-fetched. As far as I know, he still does pretend to be a Ninja Turtle. ;D ) I just hope that he'll be able to come to Disney with us in Oct. '14. They (he, his GF, and Jo-chan,) are going with Boychild and his Mom and Dad this coming December. Wish I could go, but CJ is way too young.

Jo-Chan will be coming back here to stay for 4 days a week at the end of August, so she can get to school on time. I'm really looking forward to having her around again. She is part of our little family and I want her to be a big part of Callum's life.

Right now CJ is napping (this phase where he can't nap unless he's sleeping on or close to me or my Mom; he's currently on the boppy pillow on my lap as I type,) and the damn crow is causing a huge racket. I can hardly stand the noise but at least he's not screaming, as he's lately taken to doing every time CJ falls asleep. It's like he's got a goddamn sensor. He wakes the baby 9 out of 10 times and I have to spend a good amount of time getting him to sleep again. It drives me up the damn wall because, even though I know it's irrational, it feels like he's doing it on purpose. >_<

Well anyway, so I'm looking forward to Autumn now and all the good things it's going to bring: Jo-chan staying over again, trips to pumpkin patches with my new baby, the HitRECord TV show (and maybe some money from that too! AFAIK we are getting paid in advance!) and who knows what else. I just feel like it's going to be a really good time! ^_^


ETA: Here's something weird: I'm suddenly allergic to eggplant. I used to eat it all the time. Then I had it the other day, and I got this huge rash on my lips. WTF?
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)


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Welp, 8 ½ months, the day of the baby shower!

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Here is the story in pictures (and probably some words: ) )

Oh, and here were the two cakes:

Yes, this is a Tiny Story from HitRECord:

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And with this one, all I want to know is, WHO ATE URANUS?
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It was extremely hectic, with about 55-60 people there. The day started out freezing, like about 38 degrees. But then it warmed up enough to go outside. I had my family members, Kung Fu family, Hula sisters, old friends from The Bad Place, new(ish) friends from the job I'm in now, neighbors, and even some people I didn't know. Some of them were my Mom's co-workers, who came to bring her Grandma gifts. :D

I'm pretty sure I have everything I need, even if it's not assembled yet. I had been looking forward to the baby shower forever. Now that it's done, the only thing left to do is have the actual baby.


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la_belle_laide: (Default)



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Today is the first day of summer and it is hot as balls up in here. It's like 90 degrees or something. Yesterday it was in the mid 60s. WTF. Not complaining, because this is the weather I absolutely love.

Yesterday (after having my first client simply not show up for a 90 minute treatment, and leave me sitting there for 2+ hours not getting paid,) I came running home to catch the 3:45 of Avengers at the Island 16. (That's far away, for those who don't know.) This was a very important viewing, you see, because SB, Jo-Chan and I took the Boychild to see it. It was his first ever cinema movie. Boychild's Mama let us borrow her car (and her kid,) and we made it just in time. We got Boychild some ice cream and popcorn (you have to have popcorn for your first time at the movies!) and got into the theater as they were doing the last two trailers.

I know it's tough for kids in the movie theater sometimes, because they can get bored, because it's dark and loud, and because they sometimes don't get the "indoor voice" thing. But he was so good during the whole thing. He was a little nervous in the beginning because it was loud and explodey, and he hid his eyes when Bruce Banner yelled really loud at Natasha. But then after that, he was really into it. His favorite was the Hulk, and you can guess his two favorite parts. (Don't want to spoil it for anyone.) He loved the "boss fight" at the end, with the "big puppies from outer space." (The Chitauri. Those were "big puppies.") Only once did he comment, "This is kind of long," but then that thing with Hulk and Loki happened, and he literally squealed with laughter. He really had a good time.

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Today, I think we're doing Jo-chan's birthday. Actually I'm not sure if that's tonight or tomorrow, but I think it's tonight. Jo-chan is staying over again to watch Haku tomorrow while I have my dr. appointment way the hell up the island ffs.

Oh, I should mention: Monday, I had my first ever acupuncture treatment. Umm. It was intense, let's just say. I really didn't feel the needles going in, but once they were already in, then, yeah. There was one that was so weird. She put it in Kidney 3 I think (it was hard to tell because I wasn't looking,) and it felt like someone shocked the bottom of my foot. Strangest bunch of sensations ever. Very achey, sort of. I'll be going in again, and this time it will be with the knowledge that it's not 100% pleasant. So there's that.

FFFFFFFFF it is so hot. The pool is open, but it's all brown and gross. Glassworker and her husband came over to help take the cover off. They found thousands of tadpoles in there. Which should not have been a surprise, since there's been a bunch of frogs yelling all spring, in the trees behind the pool. I just had no idea they were doing the nasty in the pool cover! So Glassworker and her husband rescued the tadpoles and took them home to their pool which they don't use, but are going to turn into a water feature with frogs and stuff. Nice! Meanwhile, my tree frogs are still singing like crazy. Maybe they'll put some tadpoles in my pond, or maybe they already have. I hope so! Haven't seen a lot of frogs or toads around here in many years.

But a lot of things seem to be coming back to this neck of the woods. Last summer, I saw all sorts of crabs in the bay, like moon crabs and spider crabs. Snails are back, and horsehoe crabs, and tons of mollusks. Maybe the local environment is getting better. I hope so! It seems like a good sign.

Seems like Jo-chan's party is tonight. Cool. Tomorrow, my Dr. appointment; Friday, bring Haku to the chiro with me; Saturday, work; and then who knows. Going to see either Prometheus or MIB3 with Dragon one of those days, though.

Happy summer, everyone!

la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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Today was glorious (if still COLD,) and I got to have lunch in town with The Empress, Lady Chrysanthemum, and Snarklit. We were to celebrating Empress's graduation, and we went to the same little place that Chrysanthemum and I went to over the winter. I had to leave the dogs of course, which was nerve-wracking, but my cousin stopped by here to check on them while I was out.

The restaurant is cute, but the parking situation is abysmal and I practically had to park in Nassau and walk the rest of the way. Here's a little moment that I liked: As I walked toward the restaurant, a dude was walking toward me, maybe a few years younger than me or thereabouts. I smiled at him because I felt like it and he tipped a pretend hat and said, "Good afternoon, Miss. How are you?" I told him "Fine, thanks; have a great day." The whole thing with the fake hat tip was so cute, and I was really pleased.

Anyway. I told Empress I'd stand outside and flag her down. While I was standing there, looking at my messages, some guy drove past and yelled "HEYYYYY!" I mean really? What is that supposed to accomplish? I looked up to give him a stink eye, just in time to see him rear-end the person in front of him. LOL dumbass.
Empress drive by about a minute later, and I said I'd show her a parking spot. So she was driving down the road and I was running down the opposite side of the road to show her to a place. A woman behind her kept standing on the horn (I mean, she could have gone around really easily,) and I looked over to see what was going on and the woman yelled at me, "MIND YOUR BUSINESS."

Thanks, Riverhead.

By the time we all got parked, they had given away our reserved table outside. WTF.

But we went inside and ordered, and talked about chili peppers that can kill you, duriens, monk-hood, travel, and eventually of course, Kung Fu. Chrysanthemum gave us each these little, knitted Kung Fu keychains that she'd picked up in Bangkok. Awesome.

We ate our lunches and yammered on for an hour or so before going down to the river to walk around and take some photos.

Lunch and Peconic River )

After a while we walked back to freaking Nassau pretty much to get to our cars. I was home by around 3.

I took the dogs outside and I had the weirdest feeling of like, some strange kind of peace, mixed in with a touch of melancholy, I can't even describe it. I took a pic of these flowers in my yard:

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The only time I can remember this specific feeling was August 6th 2006 after a Hula show that I did once. And the day was kind of terrible really; I was unhappy with the show, the people who hired me, how I was treated and everything. Yet that day when I came home, I remember exactly feeling that totally serene and strangely also melancholy feeling.

But it's a good feeling, that's the weirdest part.

And it was immediately followed by a sense of panic: "It's so nice today. Something bad is bound to happen." Which is ridiculous and I promised myself I wasn't going to let anxiety backtalk me like that anymore. Let's see if I can keep that promise.

Work tomorrow, then Mother's Day festivities probably with cousins and Mom and possibly aunt, and then on Monday after work I think I'm going with CeceAnn to see Avengers. CeceAnn hasn't been to the movies since The Birdcage, not even kidding. 1996. That's like a tragedy. Tuesday, work and Kung Fu and then etc.

Good times, though.


la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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I've been doing lots of yardwork this year on my days off. This is the first year since Dad that I've actually made an effort to make things nice again out there. I kind of had a block against it for a while – I guess because Dad would always lend me the gardening tools, help me set things up, stuff like that. But this year, maybe it's a combination of having a little pool again, and of things having looked like total hell for the last few years (and the broken aviary, stuff like that,) that's making me want to tidy up and Have Nice Things again.

Here are some springtime photos: )

As you can see, both dogs are up and running again (*knock on wood!*)

Last night at Kung Fu, we did some staff drills. The *clack clack clack* sound of the staffs hitting against each other is pleasing. I know it's a martial art, but it sounds friendly. I was partnering with Snarklit.

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Empress came hobbling on by (she sprained her ankle) and the three of us started talking about maybe doing a group outing or something, going for lunch and kayaking when Lady Chrysanthemum gets back.

Apart from that, there is some stuff going on in other aspects of life which I will eventually need to address in some locked posts.

Meanwhile, here are some phrases that people searched when they found this LJ:

tricks to a great fa'arapu - Keep your feet super close together. Bend your knees. When walking, go up on your toes. PRACTICE. :)

she looked at him again and smiled as she undid the buttons of his shirt. he felt her doughy fingers on him - Hmm, that is a part of my ms that I posted for a meme that a literary agent sent around. That was fun, but who is googling my phrase? O_O

who is the father of kaumakaiwa kanakaole - Kaipo Frias? I think?

silmaryn for dogs - It's good stuff, but expensive if you get it from the vet. I'm not sure where else to get it, BUT, if the liver problem is not acute, then straight up milk thistle can help. :)

i'm stuck in my bra - O_O I'm sorry to hear that. This happened to me once, when I had to wear a halter heart monitor.

hypochondria als ms fears - I went through this recently. If you want to talk, send me a message. :)

how long does milk thistle take to work - That depends on what the issue is, the severity, your age, size, and the dose. But often you can get results in a few weeks.

sifu sihing sije - Your training instructor (translates to "uncle," actually,) your elder training brother, and your elder training sister.

ewan mcgregor pillow penis - I'd sleep on it!

hesher std - I thought so, too!

"illusionary crime against sephiroth" - I always liked how Cloud was the only one who acknowledged that Sephiroth was actually a victim, as well as a villain.

why does my cornea peel - Maybe your eyes are dry?

Anyway, I hope at least a few of you found what you were looking for. That's nice when that happens, isn't it?




la_belle_laide: (Default)



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So this, then, was the holiday season of '11. I quite liked it. I got a tree for the first time in three years, and it was a good tree, not too tall or short. In fact it's still up – gotta take it down Sunday, really, along with the rest of the decorations. I hate that.

I got to spend time with people I see all the time and still want to see more, and also with people I haven't seen with in a while.

The 22nd, a Thursday, was our Kung Fu party. We haven't done one of these in a few years, either. It was swell to get back into that. We went to the grill around the corner from our school, after class. When we all came in wearing our uniforms, the waitstaff got goggly-eyed. One of the servers said, "Are you all Shaolin people?" We're not, but that's what people tend to think. She laughingly asked us not to break anything, and said she loved our "Gi uniforms." Or Ghi or whatever the Karate ones are called. "Wear the Gi with pride," she said. No one corrected her.

The food was delish, the laugher was sincere (because the jokes were funny,) and the dessert was shared. At the end, The Empress and I took our traditional Bad Angle Photo, which we do every time we all go out together.

Kung Fu party pics. )

On Friday the 23rd, I got to hang with my two best friends from high school. (Tangent: I did have two more friends in high school, and one of them I still hear from sporadically, and the other, I don't know what became of him. His name was Jimmy; He was teenytiny, played guitar, and we used to go out to lunch every day and do stupid things like photocopy our body parts, loiter around the candy stores, break bottles against the wall of Pergament, set fire to leaves, and generally act the fool – but we never got caught.)

ANYway, these two friends I still keep in regular contact with, after, what, 23 years now? Durga moved to Washington (we lived in Seattle as roomies briefly in the 90s, and she loved the state and eventually went back,) and Drex lives close enough that we still get together now and then, mostly for video games. So, Durga had come up for the holidays to spend time with her Mom, and she came by here for a few hours. I invited Drex along, and we had the old gang back together. Drex brought over a 30 gallon fish tank he has no more use for. We went to my Mom's, had pizza, and laughed until we cried. Holy crap, Drex can really tell a story and get everyone larfing all the larfs.

I had to work early the next day, and the mini-party ended around 1:30 AM. Before they left, we took pictures in front of my tree, re-creating the Nativity. ^_^

Xmas eve eve )

I worked on Christmas Eve. One person tipped me double, another didn't tip me at all. I guess it evened out.

On actual Christmas, Mom and I took turns visiting Boychild's Mama/Boychild/Mom's side of the family at their house across the street. (Boychild's Daddy was working a double.) CeceAnn was there with her three kiddies, and also my Aunt, the one who was in the car accident this past year and lost her leg. It was good to see her smiling and looking well. I went over there while my Mom watched Haku, and then I took Haku back to mine and my Mom went for her visit. She brought over Grampa's shirt to give to my aunt.

Boychild's Mama baked up a storm, which I am still eating, actually. The adults played with the kids' toys, and for the third time in one week, I laughed until I cried.

Crimbo 1.0 )

And this is where I laughed myself dehydrated: here's Mimi having a helluva time trying to say "Ghostbuster."



Then Xmas night, That Guy I'm Seeing came by in his new (well not new-new) truck. We had some egg nog and I gave him this gold paper crane I had made, with a tag that said, "drive safely" in Kanji. Except the paper crane looked really dorky and he thought it was a pterodactyl so we decided it would be a lucky, golden pteranodon instead.

I worked on the 26th and 27th. To all my clients and co-workers, Christmas was over, but I still had one more gathering. SB, Jo-chan, UD (their Dad, my Uncle,) and Boychild's Mama with Boychild all went to my Mom's for belated Xmas dinner.

There weren't a helluva lot of gifts going around, but what there was, was awesome. Pajamas, socks, handwarmers, things like that. Some people don't even get those, you know. I had given SB and Jo-chan their gifts already, last month. It was Skyward Sword, and who wants to wait for that? I had also pre-ordered them ages ago, and got one for Boychild, too. When I gave him his Skyward Sword game, he danced around the room singing, "OH YEAH! OH YEAH! I GOT IT! I GOT IT!" I just missed recording that; it was awesome and totally worth the wait.

Boychild had gotten, from his parents, a replica Master Sword and Hylian Shield, which everyone had to take turns playing with, especially my Uncle. He's pretty much as big a gamer as I am, maybe even bigger.

One other important thing that happened was this: For a long time, my Mom has been trying to get Dad's music/interviews/rehearsals/ramblings from reel-to-reel onto CD. The reels are ancient, and so are the players, and she had no way to convert them. SB is majoring in music and he's got this incredible wealth of technological knowledge, and resources too. So SB and my Mom spent hours in my Dad's music room, not only figuring out the RTR (and a few of us sporadically came and went to help out – I actually remembered how to set up the RTR! WTH!) but mostly it was SB and my Mom, talking about my Dad (his uncle) and this and that. He's a really good boy who was extremely close to his uncle and I think this was a nice thing for both of them. I love that he gets to help preserve—really save—my Dad's music and history. But, that was only the preliminary "this is what you need to accomplish this, and this is how it works" thing, so he'll be back to actually upload them one of these days.

Also, I got Jo-chan what I thought was a really fly gift, and she was totally pleased with it. A few weeks before, we were hanging around talking about which type of character we would be in the world of Legend of Zelda. We all agreed she'd be a Kokiri. She wondered if anyone had ever made or sold the "Kokiri Emerald" from Ocarina of Time. I was so dang thrilled to find one for her on Etsy. So that was really awesome, too. And my Mom get her an Adiposian from Dr. Who, because the three of us watch that show together.

Boychild, for the first time ever, picked out the gifts he wanted to give to everyone, from the store and from his pre-school sale. For me, pink pajamas and awesome socks, along with a Santa Clause ring. For my Mom, pajamas (I forgot which color!) and black socks, and a keyblade charm from Kingdom Hearts. For Jo-chan, pajamas with kitties on them and something else which I forgot. For SB, Ninja Turtle pajamas. How he knew that SB is the biggest Ninja Turtles fan ever and has been since the womb, practically, I will never guess.

Pics!

Crimbo 2.0 )

And that was that. Now it's Friday, and I have work tomorrow, New Years Eve. But that's cool, I don't do NYE anyway; it's not my thing. I don't ring in the new year or anything. In fact, I'll either be watching Torchwood or Dexter, or I'll be in bed reading the new King book. I'm about a quarter of the way through.

Oh, probably about a quarter of the way through Skyward Sword, too. Two of my cousins finished it in days. Me, I like to stretch it out as long as possible. Like today. Instead of starting the new dungeon, I walked around with the Gust Bellows and blew on all the NPCs I could find. I posted it to Tumblr and somehow it became very popular. (Not as popular as my "Tenth Doctor/IT IS DEFENDED from the pepper spraying cop" Meme that I did, which ended up on the official BBC Tumblr with over 3500 reblogs. But still popular. ^_^ )

And now, onto 2012/Year Of The Dragon. I will keep working, recording, reading and playing, keep writing, keep querying, and I will KEEP ON TRYING TILL I RUN OUT OF CAKE.
la_belle_laide: (morticia)



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It occurs to me that this entry is going to sound remarkably like the one I made five years ago, when I went to see 30STM on Halloween in Philly. Train rides, meeting people from the internet, a loud, crazy, intense show, a dark-haired boy on stage wearing a white tux covered in blood, getting lost at the end of the night and trying to find my way home, and then running into said dark-haired, white-tux, bloody boy before leaving. How strange is that?

But this was HitRECord's Halloween show, and was more audience participation (to a point) than rock show. Although there was music. :)

So let's start from the beginning, shall we?

The Beginning. )

Earlier in the week I'd made plans to meet up with my brother for lunch. I hadn't seen him in two years, more than that maybe – not since Dad died. (And I can't even begin to tell you how strange it is that when I write that, I'm still like, "Wait, what?" Tangentially, I can only just imagine how Joe must feel when he refers to his brother, who was only 36. It never gets easier, I think.)

ANYway. So I was texting SB and Brother on the train, trying to work out where what when and how, and autocorrecting like a fiend. "Hey sis we're going to meet my neo and then go to blacker." "OK neighborhood fit." "I can't want." "GAGA!" Somehow it all worked out, and I met up with Brother at 2 PM at Penn.

Walking around the city with my family. )

Around this time, I'd had my stupid wings on for about an hour, and I was already done with them. The left one kept sagging and trailing behind. Cutting them apart at the bottom was a huge mistake. My shoulders and back were already aching from trying to hold that one stupid wing in place. And I hate standing on line and doing nothing. Well, almost nothing. A homeless guy asked me for $ and I gave him some, then he sang to me for a few minutes.

Before the show. )

With that thankfully out of the way, I decided to get SB and I some of the free masks they were giving away. This was Joe's idea, BTW: to have everyone in these masks go running out of the venue and then down Bleecker street after the show. So off I went to got the masks, when I heard the beginning of my Dad's Halloween song, Night Of The Goblins. It's unmistakable, because it starts with a creaking door, followed by a heavy bassline. I stopped what I was doing, started recording, and ran back into the main room.



That's SelDeLaTerre going "OMG is that your Dad?" ^_^

I kinda had a feeling they were going to play it, because it was doing really well on HR, and people were using it for all sorts of remixes and such. Also, Dr. Gory had put it into his "Halloween" folder, so I sort of had a clue? But I still semi halfway didn't expect it. My Dad would have loved this, for his song to be played in front of hundreds of people on Halloween night. :)

Shortly after that, the show started. For anyone who doesn't know how HitRECord works, all the music, animation, sketches, voiceovers, art and everything is done by people in the community. So the opening sequence was put together by a group of people from the site. Very very cool.

Josephine is here for your pleasure. )

Joe actually did the first 1/3 of the show in the latex/crinoline/tights/wig getup, at a few points going into the audience to chat with people about their costumes. I found that really nice and very trusting. Recently, at the last HR show, someone actually interrupted a sketch he was doing with Neil Patrick Harris, because she wanted to be a part of the show. I felt really bad about that, like the trust between the company and the audience was broken, and I had really been hoping that it wouldn't affect future performances. Clearly, it didn't. Joe went around with his camera, interviewing people. He got people up on stage to dance along to Nebullulaby.

While Joe changed his costume, we watched a short film about Halloween. I was in it twice. :) I can't wait to see the full version of it, because I want to share it around. ^_^ Another high-five.

insane existential clown maniacal pedagogue beast, fairy tales, and not-so-subtle feminism )

Again, my feminist soul was punching the air. :) It's so nice when people get it. So quietly, and with such a sense of fun, he totally shut down victim-blaming and the whole "serves her right for not doing what we told her to do" moral-thing. I think Joe's Mamma taught him right.

A few more short films from the site, and Joe came out in his final costume, which was basically the same exact costume I saw Jared Leto in five years ago on Halloween. I had total deja-vu and for a second I was like, "Did I get here in the TARDIS or something?"

...for no mere mortal can resist... )

Once outside, the bouncers started telling us to clear the street. Hi, there's like 600 people here and it's Halloween – that's probably not going to happen.

Meanwhile, Sean Lennon goes walking by... )

A few minutes after that, Joe came out of the venue. He was just like, "Okay, follow me!" And everyone just started marching down Bleecker Street, a few hundred people in variations of the same mask. Impractical maybe, but cool. )

I'm not even cutting the rest of this, sorry.

So, we chilled out on the street for a while, walking around and looking at costumes. I passed some guy dressed as the Eleventh Doctor and I yelled out, "Doctahh!" He smiled and zapped his Sonic Screwdriver at me.

Then SB's friends came to pick him up. We met them in CVS and I warned them to drive safely because crazy people were out. That's my SB you've got with you, so please don't drop him etc.

Then I was alone and walking around the city. I tried to see some of the parade, but it was too crowded. I thought, "I should go back to Bleecker Street. I'm probably missing something."

So I did. It was around 10PM and most of the HitRECorders had already dispersed. I was bored and I started to realize that the show was actually over and I should probably get back to Penn Station because I had to work the next day, and an earlier train would be better after all. Except I didn't know my way back to Penn, and there were no other HR people on the street, and suddenly I felt a bit lonesome.

Until I saw three people walk by hurriedly wearing the HR masks. I was like "Oh thank goodness, more people from HitRECord!" and I reached to touch the arm of the guy closest to me, to get his attention and see if they were maybe heading back to Penn Station too. But before I could, some girl kind of grabbed the guy in the middle, squealing and giggling and asking for a picture and the guy was kind of like, "Oh, okay sure," but it was clear that he was in a huge hurry to get where they were all going. The girls got their picture and ran away being all like "OMG OMG OMG JGL!" And then I was like, "Oh, huh, well that's Joe, then." He had his guitar on his back and was headed uptown. (Oh, his guitar, by the way? An awesome, bat-looking thing.)

So basically I was just like, "Excuse me, don't mean to bother you or anything, but I wanted to say thanks and give you this."

This is when it got really neat, because Joe turned around like he expected another fangirl or something, but then he was like, "Oh, JulesKD! It's nice to see you!"

I was like, "...Wut."

Then the guy next to him goes, "Oh, JulesKD! Hi, I'm Jared, it's really nice to meet you!" (Jared is Jared Geller, the co-producer of HitRECord.)

They introduced me to the third guy, who was with the band but damned if I remember his name (and he was so nice, too!) all the while I was standing there going, "Umm, wow, okay."

Then Joe went, "You're also called Shan something, or Shon something" and I was like, "Huh?" I had no idea what he was talking about, I thought he was getting me mixed up with someone else. He was like, "No, I mean on Twitter, you have that other name."

WTF, HOW DOES HE KEEP TRACK?! "Oh yeah, Shonagon_chan, of course!"

Then Jared went, "Yeah, we had you in the LA show, you were talking about chocolate," and again, I said, "I was??"

Joe said, "Yeah, in the Re: Love collab, you said that love was like chocolate and we used that bit in our show."

By then I was just totally flaily-handed and blushing and feeling both flattered and stupid and I just shoved my handful of fake flowers and crow feathers at Joe and was like, "Here, these are for you, those are real crow feathers in there and they are super good-luck" and everyone was like "OMG yeah, your crow!"

ASDGHA;DFKLJHGS;DFJH etc.

He asked if I had enjoyed the show and I was just like, "Yeah, totally, awesome, awesome, just awesome, so much fun, fantastic, it was really great and awesome, words, words, words." Because in person, JGL is very bright and shiny and sparkly and looks nothing like he does on screen – although maybe that's because he was covered in blood? He's also about an inch smaller than I am and a real knockout, the kind of guy who looks better in person.

Joe said, "Well you look amazing tonight, I love your costume and I really hope that someone recorded you, because I'd love to see that on the site."

I said that unfortunately, to my knowledge, no one had. And that's when I probably should have said, "So why don't you record me?" but I also sensed that he was still in a hurry and I really didn't want to bug any of them any more than I had to.

He said, "You should try to go around and record as much as you can. The entire city is a performance tonight, right?"

"That's right," I said, "I got some stuff at the park earlier, but the parade is mostly over."

"Get some costumes on tape," he said, "and see if you can get anyone to tape you, too."

I kind of sensed that they all needed to get going, so I said, "Well thank you guys so much, I'll let you get going, but thanks for the show and you know, everything."

"Well, thank you for coming," Joe said, "and thanks for the bouquet, too. Get home safe" etc. Then, everyone shook hands with me again and they were on their way.

I really wish SB had hung with me a bit longer, because this is the kind of thing that invariably happens to me. I don't know how it works, but I seem to have a sense for where shiny and sparkly people I want to meet are going to be, and I have a tendency to nearly walk directly into them. That's a good thing.

I got lost on the way back to Penn Station. I didn't even know where to begin, so I started asking random people for directions and every single goddamn effing person told me something different. I was going to spring for a cab, but then this group of people came up to me and went, "We're lost. Can you tell us how to get to Penn Station?"

I said, "Let's be lost together."

We ended up on the subway—the wrong one, actually. It took us about 8 blocks from Penn, and we decided to just walk the rest of the way, asking directions at every intersection.

Halfway there they decided to all get high, and they became very giggly and noisy. Then we passed this guy lying on the sidewalk in a pool of spaghetti vomit. A girl leaned over him, trying to get him to stand up. I stopped and asked if they needed help and she said, "No, he always does this." CHEERY! But I do mean he was in a POOL OF VOMIT, there was so much of it.

Well, we got to Penn Station at 10:40 and I said good night and safe travels to my stoned, erstwhile companions. I just managed to catch the 10:44 train, and I was settled into a seat and on my way home.

In Hicksville, most people got off the train and I switched seats to face forward. I was still wearing my mask and this girl sat across from me and said, "HitRECord?" Turns out she was at the show too. I think there are 3 people from Long Island on HR, and we were all there that night. The rest of the way home we talked about art. There was a really attractive guy in the seat across from us, and I kept looking at him and he, strangely, kept looking at me. When we got to Ronkonkoma I said good night to my fellow LI HR-er, and the attractive guy said good night to me, with a smile. It was really nice.

I was home by 1:45 AM, in bed by 2:30, and unable to sleep until around 4.

At work the next day I was exactly what I'd warned the receptionist I'd be: too exhausted to function, makeup not entirely removed, and way too pleased with myself. But, well, I still did my job and then went home.

Then I sat down to record a recap, which I'll be posting just as soon as HitRECord us back up. (It's down for maintenance today.)

All told, this was a really special Halloween. And not just because I saw (and talked to) OMG JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT or whatever, but because I got to hang out with my brother and cousin, I met some fantastic people, took part in a show that I was really proud to be in (the feminist stuff, OMG, so much win.) And because I got to talk to Joe and Jared and their really sweet friend whose name I CANNOT GODDAMN REMEMBER, even though everyone remembered mine. :/

I know every Halloween can't be like this one, but it's enough that I get a Halloween like this every few years. ^_^

Lunch with bro and SB )

I was trying to record, actually, and pressed the wrong button like I always do, and so here is a pic of Joe's bits and pieces. Sorry, JGL, sorry.

So umm yeah, that was that. :)
la_belle_laide: (hula)



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A few days ago I got a message from a west-end Hula sister named Makanani about a Hula/Tahitian workshop in Stonybrook. WHAT? I am so out of the loop on this stuff. And it was with a NZ/Tokelau-based band called Te Vaka, and Hawaiian singer/dancer Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole.

I had a seminar with the Kanaka'ole family years ago, and it was the most intense seminar ever. In fact, I'm pretty sure I went home injured after that one, because I just didn't warm up enough. He is the son of one of my favorites, Kekuhi Kanahele, and he's an awesome singer in his own right. (But, dude, I just really love Kekuhi. I remember when I went to that seminar years ago and I saw her in the elevator. I couldn't even talk to her. That's how ridiculous I am.)

If you've heard of the epic Holo Mai Pele then you know of the Kanaka'ole family.

So! How could I miss it! I had gathered that since the workshop was free to students of Stonybrook, it wasn't going to be an actual Hula workshop, but just a basics introduction. I could have skipped it and just gone to the concert later that night, but I figured, what the hell, ten bucks for watching this epic Hula dancer show the basics to some locals. Maybe I would get some pointers on how to teach total newbies, right?

And I actually did. He had the entire class dancing within two hours, which is something that I didn't manage to do in two weeks with my class over the summer. He was very kind, but didn't waste any time, only teaching four basic steps, what they meant, and then going right into a Hula that he had written. There's just something about him that conveys it so that people understand immediately. I need to find that.

After, there was another workshop by Te Vaka. I figured, "Oh cool, Tahitian!" But then they went on to teach Tokelau, Tuwalu, and a Samoan slap dance! I've never done any of those before. Well, i've learned a slap dance or two, but this one was new to me. And I've never done a Tokelau dance before. There was one that was really cute, a child's nursery rhyme, and it was basically just, "Oh my gosh, you're gonna fall! You're gonna break your leg/arm/neck... Oh my gosh, you're gonna fall!" It was really cute. I think I liked the slap dance best though.

After that, Te Vaka set up and played, and told us all do just dance however we wanted. I was there with the west-end group Dance Aloha, and out of the 40 or so group of people, we were the only ones with any exposure to Polynesian dance. So we got out there and did our stuff. It was so much fun.

After the workshops, I had two hours to kill on the campus, and I desperately wished for internet access. Time was, I could amuse myself for hours by writing in my notebook. I did that for about an hour, then that wasn't enough and I ended up wandering around, looking at things and taking photographs. I walked until I got blisters. Then I went to dinner at the school restaurant "Jasmine" which was really nice. Sat outside in the little Chinese-themed garden and ate some veggies and rice.

Then I met back up with Dance Aloha and we had tea together, catching up on old times. I got to meet some new dancers, too.

I went to my car and mastered the art of changing into a mu'umu'u in the front seat. We lined up at the VIP entrance (the perks of being a dancer!) and took seats in the second row. While waiting, we chatted some more, catching up on different shows, halau gossip, the times we performed together, etc.

Makanani started talking about her toere drum and I was like, "OMFG, where did you learn to play Toere?" And she said, "The Orlando seminars. They started doing that, but you haven't been there in years." Well, yeah, pretty much. I haven't been to Florida in three years, and since Dad died, it has been like this barely conceivable thought. I explained that to her and she said, "But it's been two years since your Dad passed. Get yourself ready and come back to Orlando." She was kind of right, too. I mean, I deal with memories of Dad every day, here in his home town. I can't go to Home Depot or Best Buy without thinking about when I was there with Dad, and obviously I'll go back to Orlando some time. I don't think I could really stay away forever. Makanani said, "You don't have to actually go to Disneyworld. But I can get you in for free if you wanted to." She also said she has a house there, and all I would have to pay for is a plane ticket and the seminar, which is like $40.

I warned her that if I did this, I would probably need some time to go busting out into tears randomly. But, I'm considering it, depending on the price of a plane ticket. We'll have to see about that. I miss my Orlando friends.

Kaumaka came on first. He not only sounds like his Mom, he looks so much like her it's eerie. And aside from having such a gorgeous voice, he was hilarious and sweet. I honestly remember him a little differently from 8 years ago. In the seminar he was totally hardcore and took no crap – but I guess, you know, different venue, different circumstances, different expectations. Here he was just a laugh-riot between songs. He did a rendition of Hi'ilawe that I've never heard before, and he told a different story about it, too. See, I had been told that Hi'ilawe was just about growing up by this waterfall, and being the favorite of your parents and grandparents. But apparently the kauna is about having a visit from a lover, and the rumors that follow it. O_O Hmm, something to remember!

Te Vaka came on and did a high-energy, amazing show. Their music is traditional, but with modern elements. And the dancing by the two girls, OMG, incredible skill. I will never look like that, god. They were so fantastic.

After the show, there was a meet and greet, and I got to talk to Kaumakaiwa. We talked for a bit about Long Island and I told him that if he was ever out here again, I would be glad to show him around the real Long Island, with the cliffs and oceans and spooky places. I said that Long Island was Ka Mokupuni Lo'ihi and he was delighted. We posed for some hilarious pictures, too.

Right before I left, one girl (the girl with dreads, in the pics below,) said she figured I was a dancer, and she was really interested to follow up on this. She's local, and she wondered if I gave classes anywhere or would teach her. I gave her my card, and the card of my massage therapy job where I teach in the studio upstairs when enough people sign up. She was really interested and I hope she'll sign up.

Then, another woman came up to me and said, "I was there the night you performed that solo." I was kind of speechless. She said it like it was some kind of known thing. I asked her when it was, and she said a few years ago in Huntington. "Oh! 'O Pana 'Ewa,' I think! With the pu'ili stick?" She was like, "That's the one, that's the one! Everyone video taped that, it was amazing, we still talk about it!"

O_O

I knew a few people recorded it, because I actually got the video from someone I didn't know, a few months after the show. But I didn't know it was a thing that went around the local Hula community. Like, "Oh, the girl who did O Pana 'Ewa, yeah I recognize her."

I felt both flattered and old. ^_^;; (Oh, the video above that is of me dancing with Makanani.)

Before I left, Kaumakaiwa told me that the green dress really worked, and I should always wear green because it was a good color for me. Which is funny, because I had been thinking about maybe switching to red and going with a different style for once. But hmm, maybe it's a sign.

Then I drove home in the rain (and I'm not sure if I got a ticket or not, because something flew off my windshield wipers when I started them – but I can't imagine what I would have gotten one for because I was parked in "VISITOR'S PARKING" with no time limit, WTF,) and by the time I got home I had a huge headache from being thirsty.

And of course, here are some pics from all of yesterday!

Dancing to Te Vaka! )

Kaumakaiwa performing )

Te Vaka on stage, and everyone on stage for the finale. )

Me with some Dance Aloha folks: )

Yeah, I totally struck a pose with Kaumakaiwa! )

All in all, what an epic night of dance. It made me really long to get back into the workshop/conference/seminar scene. I've got to give that some thought.



la_belle_laide: (hula)



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So, here is the rest of the story with Haku's blood test results.

His T4 is 6; normal is 8-40. So that is very low! This could eithe rbe caused by phenobarb, and/or it coul dbe causing his seizure threshold to lower, as well. Either way, it looks like more phenobarb might not be the answer. At any rate, I'm not rushing into it. He's going on thyrotabs, a low dose, which doesn't have side effects. And he's got a thyroid panel next time in 4 weeks. Let's see if this works!

In other news, my Hula class is finished up until after Labor Day. That's it, then; summer is nearly over. Less than a month left. Only one dancer from this class is able to return. She's bringing a few friends for the next session, too.

So, here are some stills from videos of our last (so far) class:

pics and such )

In that last one, one of the girls had brought some friends and family, and so we did an impromptu "recital" for them. Then the two dancers high-fived and said, "YAY, WE DID IT!" It was really cool. ^_^ I had such a blast teaching, and I'm already planning what the next hulas / lessons are going to be.

Now we're bracing for this hurricane, which had really better not hit on Sunday, because that's the day of the Bai Shi ceremony, ffs. Tuesday in Kung Fu we did sparring, mad, crazy, intense sparring, 27 rounds. I didn't sit a single one out. I love sparring. :D We're doing more of it Sunday before the ceremony, too. So I've got to remember to bring a change of clothes for the restaurant afterwards. Gonna be a box of frogs, this one. Well, if the storm holds off. Expect tons and tons of pics, of course!

la_belle_laide: (D)



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So these are the notes I took on Haku's bloodwork:

Liver elevated, only slightly. 131 is normal he is 197. We'll wait on that. T4 can affect liver too.

Kidneys are okay

Thyroid low .3 - going to add free T4. Probably tuesday.

PB is a bit low 15-45 is normal and he's 24. So room to grow.


I'm so pleased that his kidneys and everything else (aside from liver) are within range. I'm concerned about his liver values because he's only 6, and that's a young age for it to start spiking already. This could be from the phenobarb (which is why I'm hesitant to raise it once a year) but a little research showed me that liver values can also be raised due to low thyroid. His vet is sending out the rest of the blood for a free T4, so that will tell a bit more.

Last year when he had three seizures in a day, I panicked and rushed to raise the phenobarb without checking everything else. So now I'm trying to chill a bit and look for more options. Actually I'm waiting for his other vet to call me back, so I can throw some ideas around with her because she is amazing.

In other news, on Wednesday (today is Monday) I released three birds: Reid, Penelope and Emily. I've seen Emily flying around the house, just today I saw Penelope, and every single day I see Reid. He comes back to the aviary a few times a day looking for food. So I've taken to putting worms and seed in a dish for him in front of the aviary door. He flies gorgeously and he won't let me catch him to put him back in. He's weathered a few thunderstorms and heavy rains already, so I know he's doing all right. He just wants the food I was feeding and doesn't want anything else. A few years ago, I had a few starlings that kept coming back for about a month after release, but aside from them, I think this is the first time that a bird has so aggressively hung onto his aviary. Literally. Like, right now, he is clinging to the aviary door.

Here's a pic of him as a baby in my hand, and then from the other day, free and plucking around for food outside the aviary. )

Anyway, I held back Hotch and Morgan, because Hotch's wing still doesn't look good enough for release, and Morgan had some crappy tail feathers. They're in the aviary still, with Car.

Inside I still have JJ and Rossi, as well as Rose, all sparrows.

You know what I forgot to mention? I started watching Dr. Who. I guess it was only a matter of time before I got into it, right? And now I really like it. Which I guess is also to be expected.

So let's see. Today I was off from work (just didn't have any appointments,) but I went in to get a treatment myself. How nice! Paycheck won't be as awesome next week and I'll just have to make do. But it's a nice day off, at any rate. And Wednesday is my last Hula class until part two starts. Two women are staying, two already dropped out, and I have two more who are definitely interested in the next group of classes. Those will start after Labor Day. It's a really nice little setup I've got there. I'm happy with it.

Also there is a nice guy who wants to hang around with me, which is always fun, isn't it? We'll code name him Kiros, because that's who he always reminded me of, Kiros Seagill from FF8 (he had the same hair when we met, like ages ago.) yesterday we went to the beach and then decided we were going to make a Kung Fu movie one of these days. So that was pretty cool.

I have work tomorrow, one 60 minute and 2 90 minutes (that adds up to like, four treatments the way I look at it.) Then Kung Fu. Last Hula class of this session on Wednesday. Off Thursday and Friday, work Saturday, and then on Sunday is the Bai Shi ceremony, and I'm not even gonna lie, I am so nervous about that. I've been to one, but I still feel like I don't know wtf to do and I'm going to mess it up and do something ridiculous. And we have to give a speech, too. *flutter*

Also recently, the Empress has been involved in this project. Basically she's auditioning for a movie and the prospects keep getting narrowed down, and she remains in the top five out of thousands. OMG. SHE WAS HAPPY. )

What else what else what else? The new pool is up. It's been up for about two weeks, but we can't seem to get the guys to come and finish the job. All that remains is to put in the skimmer (lots of cutting into the liner for that) and hook up the filter. So the pool is half-filled and the water is already all green and junk. Also, today is the first chilly day. It's nearly the end of summer already. *Mourn* You'll note that above I said the words "Labor Day" as if it wasn't too far off. It's really not.

And it's not just the temperature either, that's closing in. It's the light. Today is the first day that I noticed that "end of August" slant of light, you know. It's hard to ignore, once you see it.

*Sigh* The turn of the wheel, isn't it?



la_belle_laide: (mantis)



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Today it hit 105. See, now this is my summer day. It was already 95 when I went outside at around 10 AM to take the dogs out. Mmmmm that is some delicious weather. I realize I'm the only person on the planet who loves this, but I do. And tomorrow is going to be even hotter. Of course, I will be at work, where even in the warmest room (which they considerately give to me,) the AC is cranked down to freezing. However, I'm allowed to close the vent, which I do.

While I'm talking about work, I want to talk about this one CD that gets played on repeat there. Every time it comes on, it's so loud, with these overwhelming strings. It's supposed to be relaxing, but it's like a six-minute funeral dirge. It is so awful. It comes on and all I can think about is protracted death scenes and long, painful farewells. It's six minutes of mawkish noise and I hate it. I hate it so much I very nearly have to buy it, just so I can put it up somewhere and say "Isn't this song a mawkish dirge?!" and have everyone agree with me. It's called "Breath of Morning" which to me sounds like "morning breath" but whatever, that's not even the point.

Sad, overbearing songs aside, let's see, what else is going on aside from the heat? I got a new betta fish, that's one thing! His name is Shemar. Don't even laugh at me. He's pretty. Check him out.
Shemar )

See how he's mostly blue, but the red shoots out from his body to his tail and fin? He's really cool looking and badass so his name is Shemar.

Now, everyone look at: my leg )

It looks a bit better, right? It's stopped oozing blood at least, but still bruised up. When I came home from Kung Fu on tuesday though, my ankle got all swollen again and I had to ice it. Still, it doesn't hurt except down by my ankle where there is a hard little knob of pain. Actually, it's starting to itch. Now you all know.

I also want to show you guys my ice peen, and I'm not even putting this behind a cut because it's too amazing. This is an actualfax ice cream I was eating the other night:

Photobucket

Okay, so I did the top of it on purpose by sucking on it, but come on now, seriously. WHAT IN THE WORLD, how did it get to look so... Just so. You can't even deny that that is amazing.
Photobucket

It's like art. I was only being a little bit cheeky and that's what came out. I haven't been able to replicate it since then. BUT I WILL KEEP TRYING.

And here is me today )

I look like someone's overheated Italian Mama in a sack dress. I was inspired to go outside and pick some grapes after I took this photo of myself, so that's what I did. I picked grapes and I gave them to my aviary birds. (Six of them now: Reid, Penelope, Hotch, Emily, Morgan and the ever-present Car. My two sparrows, JJ and Rossi, are still inside. Good batch this year though.)

I know what else I wanted to document. The other night, I started watching Dr. Who. All of my friends are really into it and I was looking for another show that I could set down and enjoy every few nights or so. I've only seen 3 episodes as of yet, but so far I like it. It's made me miss London, even though I was only there briefly. I think often of going back. I really hope to, someday.

Oh, and! I'm reading Atonement. God, what prose! But according to every review I've ever read, no matter what happens between page one and the end, it's the final page that breaks your heart. Every review is saying something like "I'm writing this after sobbing for a few hours." So I'm really curious as to what happens on the last page. I can't wait to get there. Well, and dreading it, at the same time.

I think that's about it. Anything else would have to go into a locked post.

And I have to remember: go dancing in the park Monday!


la_belle_laide: (hula)



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Today was a strange one. I did end up going to the ocean for a bit. I brought some Hula stuff, and my camera, thinking to recreate the photos from a few years ago. That didn't work out so well, but I'm still glad I went.

The beach was crowded for a Monday, so I had to walk a ways to get some distance on the cluster of humanity that I was trying to avoid. I found a nice quiet space all to myself and thought it would be fun to dance a little, so that's what I did. Then I saw this older lady coming towards me so I stopped, and pretended I hadn't been doing anything.

She was dressed (sort of) in a bikini which she wasn't making too much of an effort to actually wear, using the halter tie in a very distinct way. She came up to me and said, "Please don't stop dancing! I love your joy and you're reflecting the beauty of Long Island!" I went, O_O.

Well from there we just started chatting. She asked my name and when I told her "Jules" she said, "Isn't that wonderful! Not just one of them, but ALL of jewels of the sea!"

She went on to tell me that she was a: spiritual advisor, reflexologist, past-life therapist, and nudist. We talked for a long time about nude beaches and how women should be allowed to go topless just like men, and in fact the law saying women had to keep their tops on had been repealed (has it?) but that people were too immature to deal with that kind of thing in public. We talked for a while about Hawai'i, Long Island, music, and all that kind of thing.

She asked if she could touch my shell necklace, the really realy super long one from Hawai'i and I told her, sure. She wrapped her hands around it and said "I can feel so much energy!"

Then she said, "I want you to know, I love Native Americans, I feel a kinship with them."

I figured that she had made a guess that I was NDN or part NDN or something, so I said, "Oh, that's cool. I'm Choctaw, or Cherokee, or both – never did figure it out."

We talked about Native music for a while and then I asked if I could photograph her. She was like, "Little old me? Really? Let me get into my pose!"

Her pose. )

I was like, "Man, she seriously does not give a single good goddamn what people think – good for her!"

Then she went away for a bit. She came back again while I was taking videos of myself practicing poi balls. )

She had two shells in her hand, one of them was shaped like a heart and she wanted me to have it. Then she handed me a blue shell, saying, "I found you some wampum, too."

It was so cute and sweet, and I wished I'd brought my purse with me so I could have given her some of my shells too.

Then she went on her merry way (I say that literally, she really did go on her merry way) and I swear to god, when I turned to look at which way she went, she was gone. I know that's cheesy but it's true.

She kinda made my day. I kept dancing and goofing off after that, because I wanted to try to make some retro looking photos out of stills. Or even not retro looking, I don't know wtf I'm talking about.

Anyway! )

After I looked at those pics, I realized, you know what? Self? Quit worrying about your weight. So yeah, you can kill a quart of Cherry Garcia in a night. It's not like you do it every night, and hey, check it out: you're not fat. You're kind of thin, in some pics.

Anyway, so I chilled out about that.

My day actually went on from there when I went into the grocery store, ending with me getting so flustered that I forgot to buy my stupid chocolate, but that goes in a locked post because I'm never sure who's reading but trust me, it was a good story, a funny story so typical of me and my spazziness and my utter FAIL that I can't leave it out.

Oh, speaking of the chocolate, I'm looking into just ordering a case of 30 of them each time I almost run out. I buy about five bars a week so I think that might be a cheaper alternative. The only kind I really love, love, love, I mean the only chocolate that really nails that one particular spot I have, is Chocolove's 77%. Other chocolate is good, like Lindt and Girardelli, but that one bar is sometimes so necessary and I eat about half a bar a day. It's ridiculous.

More in a locked post.


la_belle_laide: (D)


We had another broadsword seminar last Sunday, where we completed the form. Again I had to bring my wonky Haku along with me, and everyone was very patient with him, and he was a pretty good boy.

This week also marks the return of a training brother who was around when I first started; I mean like, very first started, my first few months, when I was a white-belt. After a few years away, he's back again and that's really nice. Let's name him Kiros after Kiros Seagill, because that was the first thing I thought of when I met him. (He had similar hair and, well, was similar.)

And I guess it's all right to say this now, because it's out of the bag and the whole school now knows about it. Sifu is planning another Bai Shi ceremony, which is where a Sifu "adopts" certain Kung Fu disciples into the lineage. He did one a few years ago, and one many years before that. This will be the third one, which makes it pretty rare. Well anyway, I was one of the students he chose for the Bai Shi. So that is pretty fly! Because it's quite an honor / responsibility. Also he chose Lady Chrysanthemum, Snarklit, and a few others (whom I've never really named because a few of them are still new to me, even if they've been training for 8+ years. Remember that our old school closed and we moved to the bigger school last Autumn, merging all the classes.)

If you're wondering about Empress and Gold Dragon, they were Bai Shi'd a few years ago. :)

Not sure when the ceremony is going to be, but I'm looking forward to it! All sorts of Sifus from all over the place are going to be there. And after the ceremony, we all go out and party. I like getting together with my training family in any context, so it's going to be quite the experience.

So that's why I've been sort of tight-lipped about Kung Fu lately, because I didn't want to spill that news before everyone in the school knew, and since lots of them read this LJ (*waves*) I was practically sitting on my hands, waiting.

Anyway, at the sword seminar I think I pulled every muscle I own. I thought today maybe I'd broken my femur or something and was walking around on a compound fracture. Like in that, 'you dread sitting on the toilet' kind of way because you know it's going to hurt like hell. But then I went to class and my broken femur felt much better while we were doing kicks. By the time I came home, my femur was broken again.

But I still had fun showing the sword form to a training brother who hadn't done it yet.

Pics of this. )

That there is my shiny new blade, the weapon-grade one. It's lots of fun learning to use it without cutting off my ear.

Now then, what else? Oh, I know. My beautiful Handsome Bob died a few days ago. Don't know why or how, except that when I got him the manager warned me that he might already have been a bit old. Still, I don't seem to have any luck with bettas, do I?

And apart from that, my Gran's dog Belle is looking worse and worse. Some of you know Belle, the mastiff that my Gran left behind when she died. Belle's about 12 now, which is ancient for a mastiff. It's getting to the point where she can't walk. She needs a sling to go outside every time. But it's a tough decision, because when she's hungry, she still gets up to eat. I always feel like if an animal can still eat, they still have something to live for.

Still, I can tell it's getting close to the time. That's going to be a tough one.

However, I've finally got some birds too! Remember a few weeks ago when I had that "sparrow" named Jack? Yeah, I have lost my touch big time. That was no sparrow, that was a Cardinal. So now his name is Jack Not Sparrow, and he's gone to live with my lovely bird-friend, Crow-Lady.

After Jack left, I got a message from my beautiful friend Jennel from The Bad Place, saying that they had a few birds for me, if I was willing to take them. One of the vets there, I've remained friends with. Let's call her Dr. Gillian because she looks like Gillian Anderson. Dr. Gillian brought 3 birds in cardboard carriers to my shiny new job. I was so happy to see her, and she told me how glad she was that I was working in such a beautiful and mellow place these days.

The birds are lovely, too. One baby robin (which I later found out they'd kept for weeks and weeks instead of handing it over to a rehabber, wtf?) and a robin with a broken wing. And also one that mystified everyone which was supposed to be a grackle, but instead is a wee baby redwing blackbird. BB RWBBs are such a treasure. I haven't had one on years, and I'm thankful he's with me. His name is Reid, after Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds. The fledgling robin is Penelope, and the broken-wing robin is Hotch. Remember I had a rescue budgie named Derek? But I gave him to the kid next door.

Here are some pics of this year's babies and rejects. Here are some pics of this year's babies and rejects. )

In doggie news—my doggies, that is—Sano is totally off pred. Huge joyful hurrah for that, and knock on wood. Haku's got all 4 feet on the ground and has less of a limp. He actually tried to do his Saluki run the other day. And he kind of did it, too. Hesitantly at first, and then with an obviously remembered joy. I was like, "HAKU, NOOOOOO!" but my heart was like, "HAKU, YEEEESSSSS!" Still I had to put a stop to it, though, because really he's still on a broken leg. So. Soon though, I hope.

Jo-chan has been spending lots of time over here, helping mind the Boychild. I'm grateful for the help, but really I'm also grateful to see her so often these days. She and Boychild are so funny together, too. They remind me of me and SB, when he was that age. Fun times. ^_^

I think that's all the news that is fit to print. There is stuff that's unfit to print, of course – or at least unfit to print in an unlocked post. I may or may not print the unfit stuff in a locked post. :D





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la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



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Last night was what we had been looking forward to for months: Distant Worlds! It was a little nerve-wracking with catching all the different trains, esp. the Atlantic Terminal which has a tendency to shut down at random times etc.

Jo-chan and I left at around 3:45 and were at Syosset train station around 5. SB wasn't far behind and we got some snacks and water from Dunkin Donuts, got our train tickets, and were on our way. (Note to self: That nice conductor was right: when in doubt, get off-peack tickets. DO NOT listen to the idiot woman on line in front of you and buy PEAK tickets when you're going west in the afternoon. *Kicks random woman*)

Train rides were pretty quick and went smoothly, and the BAM center was literally right around the corner from the Atlantic Terminal. It was a 3 minute walk, 5 at most. We got there, had a look around, and then had another snack upstairs at the BAM cafe, which was really cool. That done, we got our awesome orchestra seats by raound 7:30, and waited, chatting with the folks around us who were just as excited and geeked out as we were.

Jo-chan and I were the only ones in any sort of costume. I'm glad we went subtle. Actually, in the bathroom, two girls were like, "Oh my god, Raine! And Edea!" We were like, "Oh yeah, score. Someone got it, at least."

We all somehow expected Nobuo Uematsu to be the maestro, the MC, really anything. But instead, he came out on stage, took a bow to thunderous screaming and applause, and then took a seat in the audience next to some very lucky fans. He's so cool, with his musical note doo-rag and his long, floofy hair.

They opened the show with the general theme to Final Fantasy, and went right into Liberi Fatali. It wasn't the kind of show where you could be screaming and stomping and cheering, like Video Games Live, so reactions from the audience were limited to whispered "ahhs!" and "OMGs!" and quiet squees. I saw a lot of people hand-flailing just to contain their excitement during their favorite numbers. Personally, I would have gone for Liberi Fatali alone. As I mentioned in a past post that song and I have history.

History. )

The live version is, of course, amazing.

The show went really heavy on FF7 and FF8, for which I was personally so thrilled. They did a little FF13 too, and some Chocobo stuff which was awesome. And the live version of JENOVA blows away about any version I've ever heard.

I have pics and videos of much of this, but they are mostly crap, since filming and photographs were prohibited, and everything was done on the sneak.

At the end, though, I just shamelessly started recording. I couldn't not, because Uematsu came on stage to sing One Winged Angel with the choir. I can't even tell you how epic that was. (Of note: The choir was singing the words "ira vehementus" when I'm sure the actual words are "ira vehementi. And I saw Uematsu singing "ira vehementi" also. I just thought that was weird.) I swear I also still hear "haryuu no hanekata the last two times, instead of "Gloriosa Generosa."

The ended the show with One Winged Angel, of course, because you can't follow that. It's impossible.

We had our meet+greet tickets, which was part of what the ridiculous extra cost was for. It was mad expensive, but we all thought, really, when else might we get a chance to talk to Nobuo Uematsu? Maybe even never. But we were concerned because the last train out of Brooklyn was 10:55 unless we wanted to either get a cab to Jamaica and wait until the 1:38 train (and if we missed that one, the next train out was 3:20. WTF. No one wants to sit in Jamaica station at 3 Am.)

So even as the orchestra started leaving, we jumped out of our seats and to the one, teeny tiny elevator. We were actually the first ones to the meet and greet. Uematsu came up at around 10:30. Well, I guess we all kind of lost our cool for a bit then. I wanted him to sign my soundtrack. It's the original, from ages ago, which you can't really find anymore, or so I'm told.

So I went up first, and I forgot the word for "sountrack." I just went, "Uematsu-san, thank you so much, could you sign my, my, my, my.... my thing, my soundtrack paper thing?" He was like, Sure, sure! And I was all "oh, thank you, thank you!" He asked if I spoke Japanese (I might have gotten totally ridiculous and stuttered out an "arigatou gozaimasu!") and I was trying to remember how to say "a tiny bit," (chiisai, chiisai!) but couldn't remember, so I just said, "a tiny bit. BUT I TRY VERY HARD."

Umm, then I moved aside from SB who went, "Umm, wow, thank you for the music, umm, HAHAHA!" and shoved his ticket to be signed. Uematsu was very obliging and he was like, "Oh, you're welcome," and SB was like, "THANK YOU FOR COMING TO NEW YORK, HAHA."He couldn't stop grinning. Then he said hi to the conductor, Arnie Roth, who also signed his ticket.

Jo-chan came up next, and she had the presence of mind to actually FORM WORDS to him and have an actual conversation. She told him that Final Fantasy came out when she was five, and that his music had been a part of her life since childhood. He asked her, "Did Final Fantasy come out when you were five, because I doubt that," and she said, "No, Final Fantasy VII, my favorite." He asked her if she had played when she was a child and I jumped in and said, "They both played Final Fantasy since childhood, I insisted." Everyone got a laugh out of that.

We got our pics, thanked them both again, and then sort of floated euphorically out of the building.

Outside, Jo-chan said she'd been close enough to smell his hair, and we decided that he smelled like the Promised Land, or newly formed Materia.

When we got to Atlantic Terminal, they had a gate across the entrance. I pushed it aside and went inside anyway, where some guards were like, "No, no, you have to take the elevator, the stairs are closed!" I was like, "Umm, why are the stairs closed? And there had better be a train at the bottom of the elevator."

Fortunately there was, and we caught it in time. We made the 10:55 train by a ten minute margin; that's how quickly it was all over. We were laughing and ridiculous for the entire trip back.

We got back to Syosset at 12:15 AM. Jo-chan got a sandwich from Dunkin Donuts, while SB headed back to campus.

We were back at my house at 1:15 AM, which was such a relief, when my worry was that we wouldn't even catch the 1:38 train.

But anyway. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful concert, what a fantastic experience. We got to talk to Uematsu-san, and Jo-chan expressed for all of us what we wanted to say to him.

Pics, of course! )

Too cool to cut!
Photobucket

Squee, squared. Pun more or less intended. :)

Today is much less awesome, but that doesn't belong in a post about things like this – I don't want to cheapen or lessen the thing that happened today by mixing it in with my fannish joy, because it's, sadly, too serious in nature for this stuff.

More later, but for now, I'm going to hold onto lsat night's joy for a while.
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



statistics for vBulletin



Last night was what we had been looking forward to for months: Distant Worlds! It was a little nerve-wracking with catching all the different trains, esp. the Atlantic Terminal which has a tendency to shut down at random times etc.

Jo-chan and I left at around 3:45 and were at Syosset train station around 5. SB wasn't far behind and we got some snacks and water from Dunkin Donuts, got our train tickets, and were on our way. (Note to self: That nice conductor was right: when in doubt, get off-peack tickets. DO NOT listen to the idiot woman on line in front of you and buy PEAK tickets when you're going west in the afternoon. *Kicks random woman*)

Train rides were pretty quick and went smoothly, and the BAM center was literally right around the corner from the Atlantic Terminal. It was a 3 minute walk, 5 at most. We got there, had a look around, and then had another snack upstairs at the BAM cafe, which was really cool. That done, we got our awesome orchestra seats by raound 7:30, and waited, chatting with the folks around us who were just as excited and geeked out as we were.

Jo-chan and I were the only ones in any sort of costume. I'm glad we went subtle. Actually, in the bathroom, two girls were like, "Oh my god, Raine! And Edea!" We were like, "Oh yeah, score. Someone got it, at least."

We all somehow expected Nobuo Uematsu to be the maestro, the MC, really anything. But instead, he came out on stage, took a bow to thunderous screaming and applause, and then took a seat in the audience next to some very lucky fans. He's so cool, with his musical note doo-rag and his long, floofy hair.

They opened the show with the general theme to Final Fantasy, and went right into Liberi Fatali. It wasn't the kind of show where you could be screaming and stomping and cheering, like Video Games Live, so reactions from the audience were limited to whispered "ahhs!" and "OMGs!" and quiet squees. I saw a lot of people hand-flailing just to contain their excitement during their favorite numbers. Personally, I would have gone for Liberi Fatali alone. As I mentioned in a past post that song and I have history.

History. )

The live version is, of course, amazing.

The show went really heavy on FF7 and FF8, for which I was personally so thrilled. They did a little FF13 too, and some Chocobo stuff which was awesome. And the live version of JENOVA blows away about any version I've ever heard.

I have pics and videos of much of this, but they are mostly crap, since filming and photographs were prohibited, and everything was done on the sneak.

At the end, though, I just shamelessly started recording. I couldn't not, because Uematsu came on stage to sing One Winged Angel with the choir. I can't even tell you how epic that was. (Of note: The choir was singing the words "ira vehementus" when I'm sure the actual words are "ira vehementi. And I saw Uematsu singing "ira vehementi" also. I just thought that was weird.) I swear I also still hear "haryuu no hanekata the last two times, instead of "Gloriosa Generosa."

The ended the show with One Winged Angel, of course, because you can't follow that. It's impossible.

We had our meet+greet tickets, which was part of what the ridiculous extra cost was for. It was mad expensive, but we all thought, really, when else might we get a chance to talk to Nobuo Uematsu? Maybe even never. But we were concerned because the last train out of Brooklyn was 10:55 unless we wanted to either get a cab to Jamaica and wait until the 1:38 train (and if we missed that one, the next train out was 3:20. WTF. No one wants to sit in Jamaica station at 3 Am.)

So even as the orchestra started leaving, we jumped out of our seats and to the one, teeny tiny elevator. We were actually the first ones to the meet and greet. Uematsu came up at around 10:30. Well, I guess we all kind of lost our cool for a bit then. I wanted him to sign my soundtrack. It's the original, from ages ago, which you can't really find anymore, or so I'm told.

So I went up first, and I forgot the word for "sountrack." I just went, "Uematsu-san, thank you so much, could you sign my, my, my, my.... my thing, my soundtrack paper thing?" He was like, Sure, sure! And I was all "oh, thank you, thank you!" He asked if I spoke Japanese (I might have gotten totally ridiculous and stuttered out an "arigatou gozaimasu!") and I was trying to remember how to say "a tiny bit," (chiisai, chiisai!) but couldn't remember, so I just said, "a tiny bit. BUT I TRY VERY HARD."

Umm, then I moved aside from SB who went, "Umm, wow, thank you for the music, umm, HAHAHA!" and shoved his ticket to be signed. Uematsu was very obliging and he was like, "Oh, you're welcome," and SB was like, "THANK YOU FOR COMING TO NEW YORK, HAHA."He couldn't stop grinning. Then he said hi to the conductor, Arnie Roth, who also signed his ticket.

Jo-chan came up next, and she had the presence of mind to actually FORM WORDS to him and have an actual conversation. She told him that Final Fantasy came out when she was five, and that his music had been a part of her life since childhood. He asked her, "Did Final Fantasy come out when you were five, because I doubt that," and she said, "No, Final Fantasy VII, my favorite." He asked her if she had played when she was a child and I jumped in and said, "They both played Final Fantasy since childhood, I insisted." Everyone got a laugh out of that.

We got our pics, thanked them both again, and then sort of floated euphorically out of the building.

Outside, Jo-chan said she'd been close enough to smell his hair, and we decided that he smelled like the Promised Land, or newly formed Materia.

When we got to Atlantic Terminal, they had a gate across the entrance. I pushed it aside and went inside anyway, where some guards were like, "No, no, you have to take the elevator, the stairs are closed!" I was like, "Umm, why are the stairs closed? And there had better be a train at the bottom of the elevator."

Fortunately there was, and we caught it in time. We made the 10:55 train by a ten minute margin; that's how quickly it was all over. We were laughing and ridiculous for the entire trip back.

We got back to Syosset at 12:15 AM. Jo-chan got a sandwich from Dunkin Donuts, while SB headed back to campus.

We were back at my house at 1:15 AM, which was such a relief, when my worry was that we wouldn't even catch the 1:38 train.

But anyway. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful concert, what a fantastic experience. We got to talk to Uematsu-san, and Jo-chan expressed for all of us what we wanted to say to him.

Pics, of course! )

Too cool to cut!
Photobucket

Squee, squared. Pun more or less intended. :)

Today is much less awesome, but that doesn't belong in a post about things like this – I don't want to cheapen or lessen the thing that happened today by mixing it in with my fannish joy, because it's, sadly, too serious in nature for this stuff.

More later, but for now, I'm going to hold onto lsat night's joy for a while.
la_belle_laide: (Mappy)
This is the story I grew up hearing:

In the 40s, the US was working on a secret project that would make ships invisible to radar. This is why a huge radar tower was erected at Montauk Point – it's right there on the water, and in the 40s no one knew from Montauk, it was the end of the world, the edge of nowhere. Not a huge tourist attraction. Supposedly, these experiments were based on Einstein's Unified Field Theory, and the inventions of of Nikola Tesla. I guess it makes a vague sort of sense if you think about how Einstein was trying to figure out a Unified Field theory—which was to unify the general relativity with electromagnetism--and Tesla's electromagnetic motor. Plus the fact that they both lived on Long Island for a time and they worked together. Tesla actually had a lot going on here on Long Island. He was a homeboy.

Anyway, so they built this radar tower and the experiment was on a ship called the USS Eldridge which spent most of its time in New York harbors, but on this particular day, started out in Philadelphia. The experiment was called the Philadelphia project, or the Montauk project, Project Rainbow, Project Phoenix, Project this and that. Supposedly, in order to make the ship invisible to radar, they were going to bend the light around it using electromagnetics. Remember, this is just a legend, there's not a lot of ACTUALFAX around it.

Instead of making the USS Eldridge disappear from radar, whatever they did erased entirely from view. Poof, gone. Not only could Montauk's radar tower not pick it up, but even the naked eye could no longer see it.

However, forty minutes later, the Eldridge popped into existence in the harbors of Norfolk, Virginia, where it was surrounded by a greenish glow. It hung around there for a while, but before anyone could get out there (or, apparently, could get any photographs,) it disappeared again.

Then, as the stories go, it showed up in the waters of either Philadelphia, or Montauk again. The green glow was gone, but when people got to the ship, all was not well. The sailors were either dead, dying, or insane. When you tell this part of the story, you're supposed to make it really spooky. A few of the sailors were found fused into the hull of the ship.

It doesn't end there. The legend continues entirely at Montauk and Brookhaven from here on. The sailors who lived were taken from the ship and locked up beneath Camp Hero for mind-control experiments. Meanwhile, at Brookhaven, scientists had gotten hold of this wormhole through time and were studying ways to re-open it.

Another part of the story claims that the Eldridge showed up once again at Montauk, this time in 1983.

The radar tower is long-since shut down and Camp Hero now a national park where you can walk along dangerous, undermined cliffs, ride horses, and have picnics in the shadow of the tower. However, the tower itself is still closed and gated off. You're not allowed near it under threat of jail and fines. According to local legend, unfortunates who have been caught lurking beyond the gate are threatened at gunpoint by crazed military types, and some people disappear from there forever.

However, the gates are always cut open and never repaired, and people obviously get in and out of the tower with ease.

Two years ago, out of freaking nowhere, the radar tower started moving again. No one has been able to explain why or how that happened. It stopped and hasn't moved since.

Basically, the most enduring legend about this place is that Montauk Point houses an actual worm-hole through space-time. It's actually not a secret or conspiracy that Brookhaven does a lot of dicking around with space, matter and particles, and that they've poked and prodded a bit at experiments with time. It also seems to be a fact that even though the Camp Hero radar tower is shut down, it still sucks up massive amounts of electricity, according to the one power company we have out here.

There also seems to be some evidence of an underground facility, if you look closely enough. Whether or not people actually go down there, if it does exist, is also just local legend.

There are tons of websites about the Montauk Project conspiracies. The websites are frankly really idiotic. Like, obviously idiotic, painted in prism-rainbows and pcovered with bad drawings of aliens, nebulae, monsters, and death-rays. They're not meant to be believed; they're meant to make you roll your eyes and consider how stupid people can be for believing in junk like this. Like,seriously: aliens, yetis, Tesla traveling forward in time to hang around Montauk circa 1992, human experimentation, forcing psychics to create matter from nothing, and rampaging monsters. Yeah yeah right, the whole thing is so ridiculous, just look at the nonsense that gets made up! Camp Hero is just an innocuous state park, a piece of history having nothing to do with anything. Only really naïve and ditzy people buy into anything else.

But bits of Camp Hero's history lie stuck at the bottom of muddy banks or behind door-less, concrete buildings. They just hang out there, strangely unmolested by the public, for the most part. I really do wonder why that is? I found a really cool, ancient looking piece of equipment there myself yesterday, and I really, so badly, wanted to break a piece of it off and take it home with me. But I didn't, after all. I left it alone. How did it get there in the first place, and also why hasn't anyone touched it in years?

Well anyway. I went through the broken fence, and no one threatened me with semi-automatic weapons. I went into the spooky, dark tower. I looked at an underground viaduct or something. I got a little bit lost on my way out and couldn't find the hole in the gate again. When I did get out, I couldn't find my car. My imagination is such that I actually did check the date on my cell phone. ^_^;;

I took some pictures, naturally.

Your intrepid tour-guide, HitRECorder JulesKD!
Photobucket

Here we go! )

A bunker kind of thing. )

Officially, the Radar Tower. )

Don't be going into these places. )

A tunnel that leads who knows where? )

Inside a creepy house. )

Pieces of bricks and metal and junk. )

Two views of the tower. )

Ring this bell that doesn't exist. )

Graffiti on the outside of the tower. )

Door to the tower. )

Inside the tower, with and without flash. )

This building had no door. )

Pieces of this weird gauge/thermometer kind of thing. )

Look at this rude tree. )

And the lighthouse. )

My fear for Camp Hero is that eventually it's going to be totally sanitized and sterilized. They're going to clean it up, take down the cut-up fences, open the doors and make it into a museum or something lame like that. They'll start officially acknowledging the legends instead of brushing them off, and they'll turn it into a totally harmless, wry, elbow-nudging bit of, well, of camp, if you'll pardon the pun. I like Camp Hero as it is now: forbidden, dirty,broken and secretive. I like the idea that all the idiotic conspiracy pages are a smokescreen for something that actually happened, that they are diversionary tactics to make people who talk about it look not just fringey, but pathetically misguided. "Oh, time travel yeah yeah whatever, did you hear the one about the Yeti?"

I think that total sanitation is ultimately going to be its fate, though. Already you can chill out and have a sandwich right there, under the radar. Sad.

Oh, I made a little video while I was there. My camera battery was dying the whole time so it's just a bunch of snippets cut together. Eventually I'm going to take the sound out and use this on HitRECord for the time travel collab. (I have to take the sound out 'cause not only it's got crappy sound, but because there's a song playing in the background, obviously.)

I did this originally just for me, and with HitRECord in mind without the music/babbling in the background. But if you watch it (and please do!) keep in mind that I do babble, and that I basically live inside my own head and make lots of references that no one else would get. ^_^ Umm, though some of you will recognize the Resident Evil 4 references.







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