katernater: (winter (c) // Baby it's cold outside)
Order -- and power -- has been restored to the universe. As Lil was kind enough to report yesterday, the whole region was hit with a nasty ice storm two nights ago, stripping over 120,000 homes in the area of power. I made it in to work okay, but I was standing back at the production table at about four o'clock yesterday afternoon when I heard a huge crash outside the window behind me. A few seconds later, the entire building lost power. A tree had crashed onto the transformer outside. The Powers That Be disbanded us for the rest of the afternoon, and I drove home to a house without power. The ride home was eerie. We live in the Maumee River basin, which is clogged with old oak trees. The trees, already dead for winter, were weighed down with about three hundred extra pounds of ice, which made them curve in toward the street and gave everything a really claustrophobic feel.

We lit a few candles and hoped that the power would come back on. I'd heard reports that some of the surrounding counties wouldn't be with power until Sunday. Luckily, ours came back on at about six o'clock last night and we've been sitting with our fingers crossed ever since, hoping that another tree won't fall and keep us in the dark again.

For all the destruction, the area is really lovely with all of the ice.

Some pictures that my dad and I took of our backyard )

I spent part of the afternoon on NikeiD.com, designing my shoes. I originally wanted a pair of Shox like the ones House wears, but I thought my feet would look too clunky in them, so I opted for a pair of Cortez, which the House, M.D. Guide days he wears after Season Three. They kind of remind me of bowling shoes, but whatever. They'll be terrific when I'm going to and from class in the spring.

I have two and a half days of work left before I'm completely done. Todd finished up his duties yesterday, and he'll be using the extra time off between now and our move-in date to schlep a few more things up to the apartment, most notably a pair of bookcases that I received from my parents as a birthday present. I brought three or four boxes of books with me when we went to sign for the apartment last weekend, and I still have at least two times that number yet to pack. My mom is excited to get some attic space back.

Wow. I just realized that Todd and I move a week from Monday. The rest of my life is really picking up speed now.
katernater: (alone (w) // A life in packing crates)
I think the stress of work has started to imprint itself on my subconscious. Last night I had a dream that Linda, our digital media supervisor, prescribed me Ritalin to help me remain focused during the day. I was so relieved. Like, in dream terms? I was as relieved by that as I am when the giant mutant shark (that haunts 80-90% of my other dreams) gives up chasing me while I'm swimming off Amity Beach. I think I've got a handle on my stress level. Of course, when a webbie gets an insta!medical degree and starts prescribing you medication, there might be some latent stress issues that require your attention.

I called Valparaiso this afternoon with some follow-up questions about financial aid. As of today, it looks like I'm good to go. Tuition is about $4300/semester for nine credit hours (which is considered "full time" for all graduate students) and I was told that books are about $400-500 on top of that. That leaves me with a nice cushion I can use to pay rent, utilities, and occasionally eat something outside of the Frozen Foods section. I won't get a check until I go through the financial aid interview process (read: fill out an online Promissory Note), but I should have enough money in my checking account right now to put down a couple months' rent when Todd and I go apartment hunting. Which was supposed to happen this weekend but, with the Obama thing, I don't know if I'm going to be able to go. Todd was talking about going by himself and photodocumenting anything of note, but I don't want to put all of that on his plate just so I can work the phones for a few hours. We can't really put it off much longer at this point, either, because we're so close to leaving (3 and a half months, approximately) and having a place to live is, you know, kind of important.

Being a grown-up is terrible. You have to make all of your own decisions. Balls.
katernater: (dexter // Normal people are so hostile)
We got up early today to take my little brother to college. It's strange not to have him around the house. Not that we saw one another a lot anyway, but as far as brothers and sisters go, we could like one another a lot less than we do. It's sort of a running joke in my family: my brother and I are as removed from one another, personality-wise, than other brother-sister duos that I've met in my life. Kel is very analytical. I give the example that, even at a very early age (we're talking two or three here), he'd take all of his Matchbox cars from this giant bin we stored them in and spend hours -- literally, hours -- arranging them on the floor according to make, model and colour. He's always been a very organized kid. Predisposed to maths and sciences, excellent at making black-and-white comparisons for logic's sake. He's a planner. I, on the other hand, eschew iCal and usually resort to using the calculator on my Mac to do even the simplest kinds of mathematical calculations.

I could tell that he was a little apprehensive when we dropped him off. Like most incoming freshmen, he's never really been on his own for a long period of time. He's never tasted that kind of independence. But, knowing him, he's going to settle into the rhythm fairly quickly. Plus, he's only about forty minutes from home, which will make the transition a whole lot easier if he wants to come back on the weekends. He's going to do fine. I couldn't be prouder to be his older sister.

Todd went along, too, to help us move him in. We were walking around the campus and both of us were already comparing it to Valparaiso; we're definitely ready to go back to school. We'll go apartment hunting in a couple of weeks. We're thinking one or two bedrooms (two if we can get it, because we'd like a library slash office) but we're ready to compromise, keeping in mind that this is only a "starter apartment", and that we can pretty much settle anywhere as long as we're together.

I have tomorrow off for the holiday. I should attempt some level of productivity but, uh, you know how that usually turns out.
katernater: (d'aww (h/r) // Ever the best of friends)
The vinyl of Let It Bleed is, not unlike a paramasturbatory fantasy, one of those things you take with you into a dark room and work out until all manner of demons inside of you are exorcised. I like to listen to it when I'm alone.

Todd bought me the London LP today. Plus, I've always wanted an excuse to use the word "paramasturbatory" in an entry.

We went out at midnight last night to get House S4, and Dexter S2 on DVD. If you ever want to feel better about the direction your life is going or if, like me, your tastes run toward the mildly masochistic, check out the midnight crowd at Walmart. The lighting in that store never changes, so it's kind of like you're standing at the North Pole experiencing six months of blue-white daylight. And, like the North Pole, Walmart is filled with lumbering white creatures trying to stock up on their winter fat. Not that Todd and I set a very progressive example for our midnight run -- we weren't exactly equipped to pass the Grey Poupon while wearing our very function-tops-form pajama pants. While we waited for a sloe-eyed stockboy to unpack the goods, another customer standing nearby gave me a knowing look and said, "I bet I know what you're waiting for. Gossip Girl, right?"

I felt a little bad about myself.

I mean, I'm sure it's a great show and all, but, seriously, you guys --

Photobucket


-- good taste is nothing if not overt, desperate, and a little more than slightly pathetic once the pictures are developed.
katernater: (love (xf) // Monsters and butterfly nets)
Oh my god, somebody wrote House/Iron Man crossover fic.

Honestly, what did we ever do without the internet?

I had one last travel log post in me, but it was mostly the unpretty, uninteresting bits about the return flight (they had Iron Man on the plane and I watched it one and a half times; I think I've actually reached my saturation point with that movie) and the fact that the airline lost my bag again and how it took three days to ship it to my house, leaving me in a bit of a dilemma about just which family member's toothbrush I was going to borrow each day in the interim. KIDDING. (I totally stole Todd's.)


Photobucket
katernater: (pretty (j) // There she goes again)
Here's the second assembled part of our European travel log.

DAY 4 : COAGH, COUNTY CORK, IRELAND )

DAY 5 : DUBLIN, IRELAND )

DAY 6 : LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND )

DAY 7 : BELFAST, IRELAND )
katernater: (cate b // Fuggi regal fantasima)
I kept a hand-written journal while Todd and I were in Europe for two weeks. What follows is my transcribed notes and thoughts for each port of call, as well as photographic evidence that Todd and I actually, uh, have a relationship. If you're interested in how Todd popped the question, this is the entry to read. There will, of course, be more to follow.

DAY 1 : LONDON, ENGLAND )

DAY 2 : LONDON, ENGLAND TO SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND )

DAY 3 : ST. PETER PORT )
katernater: (loved // To the top of my stairs)
Todd proposed to me in Trafalgar Square. I said yes.
katernater: (loved // To the top of my stairs)
Todd is pretty fantastic.

Even now, a year and four months down the line, he's still capable of surprising me. Last night, for instance, after we had spent most of the day shopping (I'm a little squeamish about all of my purchases today, especially about what it'll do to my checking account tomorrow), we went out for drinks at this little dive bar and, for about an hour, the conversation centered around 1) the logistics of panfandom roleplaying, and 2) how Michael Crawford will always be THE Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, no matter what Andrew Lloyd Webber says, does, or writes into a ham-handed sequel. The man let me talk about this kind of stuff and, what's more, he remained interested.

Even when I was on my second beer and I started to drop my consonants under the table and, for lack of a better option, resorted to using hand gestures to describe the end of the first act of The Phantom of the Opera because he's never seen it ("So, all of a sudden, the chandelier is like --" [pantomimes choking something with hands] "-- and everybody in the audience is like --" [panic face] "-- and the Phantom is like --") I could tell that he was still listening, still interested, and that's something about Todd that completely amazes me.

A lot of what goes on inside of my head ends up staying there, if only because you can't find many "normal" people around who're willing to listen to me talk, ad nauseum, about House, or roleplaying, or how my heart literally slaps against my ribcage when I hear the string section of an orchestra slide into a crescendo on a minor chord (like it does at about 5:14 during this song, thus giving us an audible emotional insight into the hero's conflicted heart.) See what I mean? Most people don't want to hear that kind of stuff. You're skimming right now, aren't you?

Todd is the first person, maybe in forever, that I've trusted enough to be able to share some of these things with. I mean, really talk about them, not just say something like, "Oh, yeah, I roleplay" and then immediately make amends for it with, "I know it's dorky, right? Order me another drink with one of those grown-up paper umbrellas in it."

I can be myself with Todd. Maybe the most real version of myself that I've been in years. To have that kind of freedom -- to be able to share ideas, thoughts, and passions with somebody else, and to not be afraid that you're going to looked down on for them -- has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. And, in less than seventy-two hours, Todd and I are going to embark on the biggest adventure of our lives to date. I can't imagine sharing that with anybody but him. I can't imagine doing a lot of things without him.

Aaaand if we can make it two weeks together sharing the same cramped cabin and not want to kill each other (at least most of the time), I think we'll be okay. I mean, we'll always have Paris, right?

Whoa.

Jul. 20th, 2008 12:28 am
katernater: (batman (j) // Freak off his leash)
Uh, combined? Todd and I spent over $950 on clothes and sundries today.


I think I need a lie down.
katernater: (batman (h) // Gotham's white knight)
On my way to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight in about a half an hour and, for serious, you guys, trying to plan for seat availability for a midnight anything is sort of like planning for an invasion in the Middle East (except that there's popcorn and, unlike WMDs, you know that the seats are there somewhere because a high-placed source at the CIA says so.) I'm ridiculously excited for this film. All of the reviews and feedback that I've read has said that the movie meets, if not exceeds, all the hype surrounding it. I came home from work and took a nap so that I'd at least bank a little sleep for tomorrow. I still want to be able to function, no matter how high on bat-fumes I get tonight.

Europe is officially less than a week away and the full force of what I'm doing is beginning to sink in. A co-worker of mine is going to New York City for the week to celebrate her twenty-first birthday. She was telling me about all of the wonderful places in the city that she plans to go (the club scene, of course, as well as a couple of chic little coffee houses and comedy bars) and, while she was talking, I found myself thinking, Wow, that sounds like an awesome time. I wish I was going to New York -- wait. This weekend has been dubbed Pack-A-Thon 08, with a subhead of Buy-Random-Crap-You-Don't-Really-Need-But-Imagine-Will-Be-Trendy-In-Europe. I'm texting Todd every morning, now, with a countdown report (7 days!; 6 days! Are you excited yet?), as if he has no concept of the Gregorian calendar. The More You Know...

My Blog A Penguin Classic book arrived today, as well, which means that I'll have reading material for the plane, and a conversation starter whenever someone at airport security looks inside my purse to see if the number of Tic Tacs I'm carrying jives with airline safety regulations:

Airport Security Personnel [passing the big whining wand over my hips]: "Rousseau, huh? Did you know that he was abandoned by his father at an early age and then went on to father five children by a servant girl?"
Me [WeeeeoOoOoO!]: "He also campaigned for independent thought in his literary works, and tackled such lofty subjects as organized religion, the societal imperative to conform, and the sleeping monster of an organized political state."
Airport Security Personnel: "I also hear he was a bit of a ponce. Would you remove your shoes, please?"

Or, you know. Something like that.

Also? This song uses the word "butt" a lot. HEE.
katernater: (hai guyz! (rdj) // Out and about)
Photobucket

I still have to buy new underwear! And toothpaste!
katernater: (batman (j) // Easy peasy one two threesy)
Todd bought The Dark Knight midnight showing tickets!

Also:

[Note on counter beside plate of cake - Mother's Handwriting]: Somebody eat this.
[Note to the left of empty cake plate - Father's Handwriting]: If I must.

Lulz. Family love cake.
katernater: (xf (msr) // Our stars are the same)
Oh my gosh, I'm so lame and cave so easily under pressure. I traded in Trauma Center 2 because I couldn't look at the box without getting nervous. So I swapped it for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass which, by comparison, is probably just as nerve-wracking, what with all the battle shenanigans and goings-on. I promise I'll stop talking about my DS, you guys.

The year is picking up so quickly! Two weeks from today -- two weeks from right now, actually -- Todd and I will be on our way to London. We've been planning this trip for almost eight months and it's hard to believe that it's actually happening. Todd is a ridiculously thorough planner (which is good, because I'm, uh, not so ridiculously thorough) and I've barely had to do anything to this point. Now, as the 23rd is gamboling closer and closer, I'm realizing that I have to pack and plan and itinerize so I'm not stressing out at the last minute. I promise I'll stop talking about my trip to Europe.

By the way, did anyone pick this up when it was released yesterday? I saw a poster for it at Target this past weekend, but it didn't give a description of exactly what was on it. Today, on my lunch break, I stopped by the store and checked it out: eight episodes selected by Chris Carter and Co., which are supposedly a good lead-in for the feature length sequel. I have seasons 1-7 already, so I'm not sure if there's anything I'm missing. They have the WonderCon panel on there, too, but I figured that I could just YouTube it. Thoughts? Anyone?

I am buying this when it comes out on the 22nd. And this when it comes out next week. I bought the score to Batman Begins when it came out, what, two or three summers ago? At that time, I was working downtown at an office building, stuffing 10,000 envelopes for insurance collectors. I was able to listen to my iPod while I worked and, honestly, it might've been the only thing that kept me sane.

Someone posted this in the [livejournal.com profile] tonypepper community the other day and it reawakened my love for Iron Man: nerd nerd nerd nerd nerd )

...I think I need to find other ways to occupy my free time. You know, that don't make me seem like I'm twelve.
katernater: (content (a) // Some passing afternoon)
Todd and I went to the mall last night to buy a couple pieces of incidental luggage for the trip. We both have suitcases, but Todd didn't have a carryon and, because it's virtually impossible for me to walk out a department store without at least two bags slung over my arm, I came away with a stylish little travel tote from London Fog, which will be perfect for the plane. As a birthday present, I bought Todd a messenger bag from Banana Republic, which adds up to, oh, about sixty cubic feet of bag space between us. Perfect. Not that either of us have too much to bring on the plane -- iPods, a couple of books, Hulk Hands -- but you can't plan for a trip like this without having the ubiquitous "honey, are you sure this will fit in the overhead bin?" conversation with your significant other. Just as it's required to participate in several other pre-travel rituals (the haircut, mani/pedi, language classes, underwear shopping) because, let's face it, everyone in Europe knows that Americans are 1) well-groomed, 2) fluent in the native language, 3) wearing very attractive lace knickers that, in retrospect, probably weren't the best thing to wear on the day of the all-walking tour of Dublin.

This trip is going to be surreal. It's hard to believe that, in less than a month, I'm going to go from

this:
Photobucket

to this:
Photobucket

If I've Googled correctly, I believe the gentleman on the right is none other than David Mundell, Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale.
katernater: (love (h/s) // Between Baltimore and me)
Photobucket

katernater: (lulz (rdj) // So glad we made it)
[Text message conversation]

Me: My Astronomy Picture of the Day looks like two penises colliding.

Todd: They must be part of the Musical Theater Nebula.

Me: OH MY GOD YOU JUST KILLED ME.
katernater: (iron man // An inaccurate representation)
We've had some pretty heavy thunderstorms over the last week or so and, apparently, the Finger of God came down from a gap in the clouds and poked a hole in a water main across the street from our building. We haven't had water for the last two days. This means no coffee, no fixes for compulsive hand washers (like myself) and, most jarringly, no bathrooms. The gender distribution of the firm is 90/10, men. Which means that the guys can stand around holding their yanks at the non-functioning urinals while the women of the group -- four of us -- are forced to drive to a building that is five minutes away, just so we can go to the bathroom. RIDICULOUS. While it's not the company's fault, there has to be a better way to go about the business of...taking care of business. There's a large window facing the street, allowing us to see the city/highway crews doing what they do best: standing around looking at the hole, like they're trying to figure out how to get to the money on Oak Island without causing a structural collapse. Jesus. Is this what I'm paying taxes for?

I was able to get away for lunch today, and Todd took me to the galleria to get a Cotton Candy Blizzard from Dairy Queen. You guys. Seriously. I look forward to this Blizzard of the Month all year long. I'm practically hyperactive for it. Last year, Todd and I were in Chicago at another mall (I promise, most of our other dates are more exciting than eating at Sbarro's) and I practically maimed him when I saw Dairy Queen had brought it back again. They need to keep that flavour around all year. 'Appeal to the twentysomething-caffeine-addict and eight-year-old-with-ADHD demographics.

I have to start parsing out my book collection. I can only take so many with me when Todd and I move to Valparaiso. I've already got a "Must Have" stack that's about hip-height. Because, you know, I never know when I'll absolutely need Nick Cave's novel, or a book about wildly creative genetic mutations in human beings. I also need to start looking at bookshelves. And humidors.

I am so excited about the rest of my life.

[ETA:]
And, oh my god, I love panfandom RPG crack. House and Wilson switched bodies over at [livejournal.com profile] thisisarea42 (Cuddy also de-aged to 21!) and the ensuing shenanigans are CHOICE. Hey! Tony and Pepper totally switched bodies, too! I love people who meddle with the status quo.
katernater: (bored (xf) // Many hobbies and interests)
My productivity is a lot like my wireless internet connection. In that it never works when I want it to, and that it's often waylaid by pornography. I'll be halfway through a project -- for instance, filling out the online forms for my federal student loans -- before I'm distracted by at least sixteen different trains of thought, each of which requires some form of immediate investigation and follow-up. For instance, as I was typing that last sentence? I was simultaneously thinking the following:

- Has Billy Zane done any quality movie since Memphis Belle?
- What would I look like as a blonde?
- What would Billy Zane look like as a blonde?
- Do Elvis Costello and Diana Krall share an iPod?
- What would happen if Todd and I had to share an iPod?
- Would I get more respect in Europe if I was a blonde?
- I think my iPod could take Todd's iPod in a fight

I did finish filing for financial aid. It just took me a couple of hours. And I've also been considering a nap for the last three hours, but now it's getting to that sticky point in the day where you end up having to forfeit any hope of napping because it's too close to bedtime. It's nap limbo.

I've got to go do something productive.

Like watch television.

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