vamysteryfan: (Default)
2017-07-23 01:15 pm

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend

It's roasting hot here in DC. We've had so many days where the temperature was over 90 F.

Last weekend, I volunteered at a three-day conference for WordPress, an interesting blogging platform. I worked registration, which was a great way to meet new people while still in my comfort zone. The I got to go to sessions for free. I learned a lot.

Yesterday I used up a couple of gift cards at the bookstore. There's nothing like browsing actual books. I'm currently reading All the President's Menus by Julie Hyzy. The main character is a chef at the White House. It's light, fun fare.

Work has been really busy. We started 43 new people on 2 projects on Thursday. Tomorrow, we are adding 40 people in the morning and 20 in the afternoon. Good times.

I still take photos, but I haven't figured out a good hosting solution. Anybody happy with what they've worked out?
vamysteryfan: (Default)
2017-07-14 02:10 pm

Allons, l'enfants de la patrie!

 Happy Bastille Day! I am reminded of a fanfic where Ronon casually observed that the first two weeks of July are a party of nations.

I am attending a conference where I hope to expand my skill set. I'm volunteering for several shifts instead of paying for it which is very nice. So far I have learned new things and eaten a very nice banh mi.

It is roasting hot and very humid in DC (our typical July weather). I hope everyone has a nice weekend!
vamysteryfan: (Default)
2017-07-10 12:21 pm

Finally saw Wonder Woman

 I thoroughly enjoyed it. The casting was good. Chris Pine and Gal Godot had such chemistry. The special effects were good. I did not see the plot twist near the end coming, so that was good. I liked that scene where Diana achieves her goal but it doesn't have the results she thought. I might go see it again. The place was pretty crowded.

I took Sister 9 to see it for her birthday. We went to one of those nice theatres with the reclining chairs. Bonus - they had expedited my new glasses so I could see it much better. Afterwards we went out for burgers, and had a chance to catch up on all the news. 

Oh, yeah, the glasses. Even though there is surgery in the near future, the eye doctor thought they were essential and expedited them.  They are meant for distance. I don't know if this happens to everyone? When I get new glasses every three or four years, there's always an adjustment period as my brain adjusts to the changed input. Basically it just means that the world around me is really curved for a few days. I can't walk down the street with them on  or I'll fall. When I first sat down in the movie theatre, I thought the rows were curved. Nope. It's kind of trippy.
vamysteryfan: (muse of fire)
2017-07-07 10:10 pm

Really bad donut day

 It's amazing how much these highly paid attorneys want their carbs.  Both the donut people and bagel people shorted us on the delivery, so there was much crankiness in the land.

Busy week. Two projects ended, one started..I treated myself to a pulled pork barbeque sandwich dinner. Yummy
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
2017-07-03 04:13 pm

Anybody ever had cataract surgery?

Went for an eye exam this morning, the first time in four years. (I tried to go once last year, but I had to wait for an hour and a half. They said they would see me in another 45 minutes so I left)

The doctor was horrified at mine. I have to schedule a consultation with the surgeon. I'e been looking things up on the internet but any info from people who had it done would be welcome.
vamysteryfan: (books)
2017-07-03 03:07 pm

Let's get back to books

I'd like to get back to posting short book reviews at least twice a month. My reading has slowed down some, but I still like mysteries and histories.

Ten Restaurants That Changed America by Paul Freedman. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.It's a social history, a gift to foodies (with all the photos), an exploration of American history, and more. Freedman chose 10 restaurants to act as lenses on the development of America. Delmonico was the first true restaurant and he uses it to track the transition of entertainment from home to outside dining. He focuses on Antoine's to discover  the African influence, as well as one of the more shameful aspects of American history. Schrafft's shows the rise of women dining out respectably. Howard Johnson's was made for the interstate highway system. Le Pavillon and its ilk shows the rise of French influence. Chez Panisse. exemplifies the farm to table movement. But it's so much more than that. It resonated with me personally because I could relate to at least some of the restaurants. I remember HoJo's and the ice cream and my mother being able to enjoy a Manhattan at the same time. I ate at the Cafe at Chez Panisse shortly after it opened. The service was abysmal but the food! I was too young for Schrafft's but I remember Chock Full o' Nuts. Freedman also discusses whether there is an American cuisine and the homogenization to American taste. !0 Restaurants is well worth reading from so many viewpoints.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye
by Michael Connolly. I finally got to read it and I ended up reading it in one sitting. Harry is now a part-time investigator for San Fernando as well as a private eye. The book combines the search for a serial rapist with the search for a possible missing heir. Los Angeles plays a pivotal role as usual. I need to read about the Arts District now. The book is beautifully written and tightly plotted. I love following Harry's internal world. There are some interesting snippets about Vietnam.

Clair DeWitt and the City of the Dead
by Sara Gran. It is set in New Orleans not long after Hurricane Katrina. Kind of depressing, because Katrina was so terrible. The book had a kind of surrealistic style that I'm not sure appealed. Lots of drugs and drinking and elliptical references, plus the sudden yet inevitable betrayal. I'll still try the next book in the series.

Murder in the Marais by Cara Black. First in the series, it is set in Paris around 2000. I kind of remember the politics of the era, which heavily influence the narrative. It's a very political mystery with roots going back to World War 2 and the Nazi occupation of Paris. Kind of depressing. I will try the next book in the series.
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
2017-07-01 12:15 pm

Happy Canada Day!

 to all my Canadian friends! 

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival has opened. The theme is The Circus. No animals, but clowns, acrobats, etc. It's hot and humid as befits July in DC. It will take place this weekend and next. I always enjoy going, no matter what the theme.
vamysteryfan: (books)
2017-06-26 02:01 pm

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Mine was good. Saturday I went to the National Capital Area Barbeque Festival. It's a big deal here. Lots of competitors, including military chefs, lots of food, lots of vendors. Giant Supermarkets, one of the big sponsors, thoughtfully set up a health booth where anyone could get their cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose checked. My numbers were all good. I then went and ate ALL the BBQ meats! Pork, beef, chicken, even crabcakes. I'm sure my numbers weren't as good after I was done. There was nice music, mostly American country and rock, in contrast to the Jamaican music last weekend. Near the exit there was even a stand giving away free Tums samples. So thoughtful!. I remembered to put sunscreen on my face but not around my neck so I have a lovely collar of sunburn. I just keep throwing moisturizer on it.

Sunday was a little mellower. I wanted to try two new-to-me mystery authors, so I got the first two books in their series from the library. Murder in the Marais by Cara Black is set in Paris around 2000. I kind of remember the politics of the era. It's a very political mystery with roots going back to World War 2 and the Nazi occupation of Paris. Kind of depressing. Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead is set in New Orleans not long after Hurricane Katrina. Also kind of depressing, because Katrina was so terrible. The book had a kind of surrealistic style that I'm not sure appeals. I'll still try the next books in both series.

Also I love my Kindle. I borrowed an ebook on 10 Restaurants that Changed America by Paul Freedman. Some parts of it are making me so nostalgic for my childhood. There was a restaurant chain near the highways called Howard Johnson's. Great ice cream. I remember going there.
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
2017-06-17 01:41 pm

Happy Weekend!

Busy week at work. We started new people on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then ended other projects on Thursday and Friday.

Did I ever tell you about Donut Day? Every Friday, the company brings in bagels and donuts (from Krispy Kreme!) for all the workers. We get fancy cream cheeses too. Honey walnut, jalapeno pepper, chive, along with the usual. I'm the one that puts them out once they are delivered. Man, you'd think these people had never seen bagels before. I almost have to beat them off with a stick to have enough time to set out everything. My reward is a blueberry glazed donut. Yum!

I have an interesting weekend planned. Today is Awesome Con in DC. I am wearing my Whovian T-shirt, TARDIS socks, and my new Doctor Who charm bracelet. I look ordinary next to some of the other people. I am with my peeps!

Tomorrow I am working at a Jamaican Jerk food festival. I did it last year and came home reeking of barbecue smoke. Good food and music, though, so I think it will be fun.
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
2017-06-14 10:01 pm

Saw one of my besties tonight

He's such a sweetie but he sucks at taking care of himself. He had a bellyache but ignored it. His appendix ruptured and he got peritonitis. He's on massive meds and is staying with his family. He came into town for a doctor visit and we finally had a chance to catch up. I hugged him to pieces. I can't lose anyone else right now
vamysteryfan: (books)
2017-06-10 12:26 pm

That was the week that was

And I'm glad it's over.

Very hectic week at work. 54 people started Monday, 12 on Tuesday, and 6 on Wednesday. One project went on hiatus for a week, one project switched offices, and 6 people left. That adds up to a lot of fiddly paperwork and logistics for me.

There's one IT guy at work who's kind of a jerk. I give him the benefit of the doubt a lot, but Friday I came close to clocking him. Four of us were at a farewell luncheon for a colleague. We were talking about work issues and out of nowhere he said "You probably don't understand what we're talking about" to me. Never have I wanted to Gibbs-slap someone so badly. Casual ageism/sexism lives.

My uncle John passed away over. I hadn't seen him in 20 years and only recently found out he had Alzheimer's. I still feel bad for my cousins.

This is Pride Weekend in DC. There's a parade later. Lots of businesses are flying the rainbow flag which is nice to see.

I haven't been reading enough fun things lately. I'm off to the library to find some nice murder mysteries. Enjoy the weekend!
vamysteryfan: (muse of fire)
2017-05-31 05:22 pm

It's driving me nuts

I'm trying to remember a quote from Lewis Carroll. It's probably from Alice IN Wonderland. It's something like "A word means exactly what I want it to mean." It might be the Duchess, it might be the Mad Hatter. Any Carroll fans out there?
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
2017-05-31 02:41 pm

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Finally saw it over Memorial Day weekend with Sister 4. It is mostly wonderful. It has the best opening credits ever. The big battle scene near the end dragged a bit, and the very end was designed to be a tear-jerker. Did not (once again) recognize Karen Gillan under all the makeup. Great soundtrack, great cameos, and the Easter eggs during the closing credits were great! All in all totally worth it.

I'm planning on seeing Wonder Woman this weekend - we saw the trailer and it looked terrific. Some of the other upcoming films looked intriguing, especially Dunkirk.

Other than that, it was a quiet weekend. I needed the extra downtime. Worked on job-hunting, looked for apartments, the usual errands. Hope everyone had a great one!
vamysteryfan: doll me (doll me)
2017-05-27 02:34 pm

Memorial Day Weekend

It's starting out cloudy, but then I'm not a pool person so I'm okay. I just hope it doesn't rain for the parade or concert.

Memorial Day is now inextricably tied to motorcycles for me. That's because of the annual "Rolling Thunder" ride, where bikers gather in DC and on Sunday ride from the Pentagon, around the Mall and then gather at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Last year there were upwards of 250,000 of them. But they zoom around town all weekend for various events and gatherings. One thing I never knew, on Friday, any bikers who have arrived gather at Washington National Cathedral for a blessing of the bikes ceremony. I think that's kind of cool.
vamysteryfan: (butterfly)
2017-05-26 04:46 pm

Happy Friday!

After 7 or 8 consecutive days of gloom and rain, we finally had some sun this morning. Changes everything, doesn't it? Alas, it's clouding over again, just in time for rush hour. We have a 3-day weekend coming up. I plan to stay in the jammies as long as possible. Please pass over a cabana boy to keep me company.
vamysteryfan: (muse of fire)
2017-05-25 04:17 pm

What a week

Warning: Rant Ahead

I haven't written in a while, just because I've been completely swamped at work and at home.

Last Friday, we were coasting though the afternoon, just waiting for the weekend. My boss was thinking about going home early. At 2:30 we get a call that 100 people are starting on a short term project THE NEXT MORNING. Mad scramble ensues as we try to prep their workspaces, prepare their paperwork and handouts, and generally get ready. The onboarding Saturday morning was a nightmare, mostly because a newer staff member decided she had a much better procedure than the one we've been using for months. Chaos ensued.

It's a high security building but no building staff were on hand - the notice was too short. I spent most of the day walking people between the front door and the elevator and badging them upstairs. I put in 10,000 steps on one short hallway. I stayed until 6:30 trying to finish paperwork.

I told everyone that I would be there at 8:00 am to start letting people in. I got there at 7:45 and there were already 6 people waiting. Couldn't even get coffee. Cue a repeat of the previous day, letting people in and badging them up in the elevators. But Sunday they forgot to make arrangements for me to get a lunch break and a restroom break. I had to make a fuss about it. Most of the fulltimers didn't even show up that day. The project didn't end Sunday night after all. It actually lasted until Wednesday afternoon. We had people coming and going at all hours, but building staff finally got them temp badges.

At least I'm not in the HR department. Processing all that paperwork so people could get paid on time must have been crazy.

he less said about where I live the better. I've been having terrible arguments with my housemates. I'm looking for a new place but it's slow. There - that's off my chest. I have a nice class tonight I'm looking forward to and tomorrow's Friday!
vamysteryfan: (Default)
2017-05-16 11:56 am

uhhh, HappyTuesday?

I had a reasonably fun weekend. I spent a lot of money on myself, anyway. I got my hair cut short for the summer. I was way overdue for a haircut, but I didn't want anybody touching my scalp until it was less sore. And I sprang for a few new clothes, shampoo, conditioner, lotion. Sprucing myself up for the hotter weather, I guess. There was an artists' open studios tour. I usually go on that every spring and buy some cards. The paintings are way out of my price range, but the cards are nice to share. Fortunately, the weather cleared up for Sunday, so it was nice walking around.
vamysteryfan: (butterfly)
2017-05-12 04:50 pm

Happy Friday!

Hope everyone has nice plans. And if you are a mother, hope your day is properly celebrated! If yours is still with you, be sure to celebrate her! This week went by really quickly. It was unusually cool and rainy here in DC. I kind of feel my get up and go has got up and went. My energy level isn't up to par. I'm hoping to make this weekend productive, at least. Whatever your plans, have an ab fab time!
vamysteryfan: (Default)
2017-05-02 04:57 pm

I'm back

I had an amazing visit with Sister 10 out in Arizona. We did some sightseeing, ate some good food, and generally talked and caught up on things. It's been a year since Sister 3's passing and my other siblings aren't at a stage where they can talk about it. But we could. And I think she liked the extra company on the anniversary. I know I did. We went out during the daytime, but stuck close to her home in the evenings, except for one night. We went to a mariachi conference closing night. https://www.tucsonmariachi.org/ Three hours of mariachi music! A lot of it was beautiful music with words that were lost on me since I don't know Spanish. I enjoyed it a lot. My photos will be available RSN but here's some links to our top stops: Tucson Botanical Gardens https://www.tucsonbotanical.org/ It featured a Frida Kahlo exhibit Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum https://www.desertmuseum.org/ It reminded me a lot of Moonridge, except Moonridge focused on the Alpine climate and they focused on Arizona (obviously) DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun http://degrazia.org/ A terrific place to wander around. I took tons of photos and am still sorting them out.
vamysteryfan: (butterfly)
2017-04-25 03:21 pm

"Not dead yet"

Referencing the Monty Python skit. My face looks much better, but I'm still getting horrendous headaches. I need a haircut very badly but the scalp is still sensitive. An eagle chick hurt its leg in the nest and had to be rescued. It wasn't until I saw the man in the nest that I had some sense of scale how big they are. http://wtop.com/dc/2017/04/dc-eaglet-rescued-nest-returns-home/slide/1/ Niece 4.1.1 (she's 5) now wants to be an "Eagle Vet." She reenacts the rescue. Too freaking adorable. I'm spending a long weekend in Arizona visiting Sister 10 soon. I'm so looking forward to it! There will be photos!