alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Well, #$$^#! And #$%^^$#&&** don't bother counting placeholders because I'm just venting, not substituting.

Can I put everything in two grocery bags and a cleaning supply tote....
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Sigh. Life is too complicated.

I'm heading for OK soon, after I finish editing and printing a copy of a story to read, loading a flash drive and uploading to Drop Box, packing, assembling the rest of the food...I do not travel light!

And then there are things like three orders/financial things to attend to before leaving. Cat instructions. And hitting the storage shed, and Good Fellas....argh!

See you next week!
alfreda89: (Winter)
I have returned from Arizona. I survived the flight home. No, I didn't get bumped anywhere, but I was four hours late overall, which meant I got home at 4 am. My cat sitter, an extremely kind person, came to get me.

After this experience, I can report this:

It was pleasant and sunny when I was in Tucson.

In Denver it was 9 degrees F and the snow was blowing like a speech by President John Adams. My coat was packed, and I am SO going to find the money for a lighter laptop, later this winter. The extending walkways were COLD.

My sister and her family were not eaten by a tumbleweed as large as the minivan they rented for the drive home -- but it was close.

My father has been pumped full of meds, and his cough is finally improving -- we were afraid it was pneumonia, but it was only an infection. Still, at 79 and not excellent health, there is no "only" coupled with infection.

I love my family, but it is good to be home! Now, I just have four more scarves to crochet....

Oh, and PS -- if you want to read Fires of Nuala on-line free, look fast. Book View Cafe's front page gets revamped in January, and serialization is going away. Samples will remain. People seem to like to read a sample and then buy, as opposed to reading weekly on-line. That's okay -- but change is coming!
alfreda89: (Tea -- the universal cure (ask the Docto)
Well --

I have made it to Tucson. I have made it to the family compound. I have discovered that my father has cable -- but not roadrunner. His computer is so %$#@^ that if I close one of many windows open? The entire browser closes down completely, forcing me to open a browser again work my slow way back to gmail and points south. If LJ vanishes again, I'm gone for the duration.

Thanks to the Live Journal underground and International WoW friends I have reached T's gaming friends, and they are delightful people. Not only that, but M/MIL V is an LVN and was kind enough to stick me with a needle you may pray never to meet. We get to do it again four more times, thus adding regularity to my visit.

It's the twilight zone because not only am I having a wrestling match with the Internet, I can only get an AT&T signal in the corner of the dining room. Also -- not all Whole Foods are equal. I did not go with my intuition, and did not buy any arame seaweed while in Austin -- one less thing to tote, although I did pick up kuzu. Does Whole Foods Tucson north have seaweed? Yes. Does it have the kind of seaweed I like to saute and eat? No.


I would be surfing for the macro store I've een told is here, but I keep getting tossed off the net. So -- I am here, and would be pleased to get together for dinner, or dessert, or hot chocolate (it's cold here!) with any Tucsonites available and wishing to kibbitz.

I planned to look online for a part-time job at UT or TX state, but the Internet struggle interferes with that. Starbucks could be in my future, if I can steal the car. I need to discover if I can find a job there right now -- or if I need to move outside the city limits to find REALLY cheap housing...or even to Tucson.

That can be elaborated on at another point. Let us go to still another reason why this is the Twilight Zone. Did you know that Starbucks now has *oatmeal*?

Can't risk spellchecking -- later --
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Feels like Autumn; USA color (WA))
American Airlines is discontinuing minimum miles flown for their AAdvantage club people. You must fly either Elite or before 11/2009 to get minimum points. Gold and platinum card holders are exempt.

"Effective January 1, 2009, we are discontinuing the minimum mileage guarantee for non-elite status members for flights on American Airlines, American Eagle®, AmericanConnection®, oneworld® member airlines, AAdvantage® participating airlines as well as rail service and codeshare service booked under an AA flight number."

Of course, this pushes us further into buying solely on cost and convenience. Whole Foods learned this when they discontinued their stamp card for every $5 spent on WF vitamins. Something changed for them, so they brought back cards a few years ago. Now, a stamp per checkout, and when full, $10 off vitamins. Not as good, but something.

Perhaps mail order was cutting into their vitamin line's profit.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (A light in dark places)
This is the kind of thing I just don't understand:

Hanover -- On Friday, Oct. 12, Dartmouth assistant squash coach Hansi Wiens was sitting in the lobby of the Highgate Springs customs office on the U.S.-Canada border, waiting for agents to finish interviewing his fiancee, Valeria Vinnikova. The pair had been in the U.S. for three months, and they were crossing into Canada hoping to secure an extension of Vinnikova's visa.

That didn't happen. Instead, Vinnikova rushed out to Wiens, weeping, and pressed a necklace into his hands. The couple spent about two minutes together, Wiens recalls. Then a group of uniformed officers put Vinnikova in handcuffs and leg shackles and told Wiens to drive away.

Vinnikova, 21, was arrested for a minor infraction related to her visa paperwork, Wiens and lawyers involved in the case say, and now faces a deportation order that would bar her from returning to the U.S. for 10 years. The scenario is a nightmare for the German couple, who were just settling into Hanover as Wiens begins his coaching career with Dartmouth's athletics department.

“I can't live for 10 years without her,” Wiens said.

As Mr. Wiens said:

“It's not like this is a country that we're at war with. Germany and the U.S. are supposed to be friends,” Wiens said. “We love it here, and we'd like to live here if it’s possible.”

Peter Jamison can be reached at or (603) 727-3234.

This woman has been in custody without review for a MONTH. How can this be in our best interest? That we make enemies of our allies? That the way we make it "all right" is to say: "They do this to us, too"? Can you imagine how the US would react to the Germans treating one of our citizens in this manner?

Is anyone else uneasy about the next time you leave the country?

And what can be done? You can't write a senator who is not your senator -- they won't take the emails, they toss letters. I'm posting this so if you know anyone in the Dartmouth region, make sure they know about this -- make sure the local reps and senators are protesting.

Part of what made America what it is -- the good things -- are the immigrants who continue to make us a great country. We were all immigrants once, and we need to get this hysteria at the borders fixed pronto.

I didn't mention much about my trip to California this last time -- other than to grouse about the dumb lab situation -- but I did get a double-take at my drivers license when I went through the airport line. I was bone thin back then and looked pretty awful, the opposite of the current problem -- and my recent passport was taken with the puffiness in my face. So when I have both of those with me, I may just have a problem next time I need it as ID. It may be worth the price to have a new picture only for one more year, so it looks more like the passport...which also is a horrible shot of me.

I am so ashamed of my country. And I don't know what to do, because my senators only care about the people who put money in their pockets.


Aug. 31st, 2007 03:13 pm
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (DontWannaCat)
Does anyone else ever agonize about hotel reservations? I hate to do this, and now I have to go every six months to San Francisco, and make sure that come H#$% or high water, I make the appointment. But San Francisco is expensive like you would not believe. I've gone twice, and for some reason the price of rooms is up -- Hilton has doubled for the O'Farrell location. It's enough to tempt me to go only two days -- but I can't get a Saturday overnight if I short myself, thus effecting the package price.

I've checked Priceline and Cheap Tickets -- Both hotels I'm considering have a couple of "Hotel from H#$%" experiences, despite being 4 star. I did Hilton before, but even as a package it's $800 a person this time. So, Hyatt and the former Marriott (Parc 55) are getting the hard eyeball. Doctor is on Sutter.

Actually stayed two days in South San Francisco last time, at a great Hilton Garden Inn, then dumped the car and spent one night downtown -- double the price, of course. Even the Garden in is up 50%. Is there something big in San Francisco the weekend of the 18th of October?
alfreda89: (Peppermint Peach Tree)
Yes, I haven’t read LJ for days – too busy on the road. So, if I missed anything important, let me know. On another note, here’s part of the report:

It was back to San Francisco once again. The best way to do this is always to stay over Saturday night – it does mean the best price on fares. I wanted my appointment to be on Monday instead of Friday this time. I wanted my doc to have the option of running some special tests that can’t be done Friday – the blood won’t last until Monday. Also, I wanted to examine other options. W had mentioned a desire to see Muir Woods. I knew this was a must-attend event, so I said yes, let’s get a car and do it. He poked around and found out that Winchester House was a reasonable drive, and asked if I’d want to see it.

I’d been in love with Winchester House since I read Michaela Roessner’s (sp?) SF book VANISHING POINT, so I had to see it. This meant Friday for Winchester House, Saturday for Muir Woods, and Sunday for a museum, we hoped. We stayed outside of SF for two nights, and then the third in town at the Hilton O’Farrell.
what the heck, it's an adventure! )
0 dark thirty comes early )
0h, the trees! )
Next time? More museums and wine country – W is ready to get some wine education.
Into The City )
down to business )
I know the next scenes in Allie 3 and the Curse Book – so, the week’s work lies ahead of me. With some time in there for a client session, some webbing, and finding the rest of the #$%@ receipts!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Yes, it’s time for the trip report. [ profile] 1minnesotagirl and I had to leave a day late, due to stupidity on several levels. Fortunately, it wasn’t stupidity on OUR level, so we got the heck out of Austin and headed for Oklahoma.
Travels on ice )
The First thing you did not know about winter in Minnesota: your toes start freezing in Kansas City, KS and do not improve even when the car heater is warm enough to melt body fat. The toe heater packs were needed, but which bag were they in? Clearly, the Thor-Lo hiking socks weren’t going to be enough. Tomorrow, the merino wool socks!
Peg Kerr leads us astray with Diablo Chocolate )
The Second thing you did not know about winter in Minnesota: if you use the windshield wiper cleaner (Special de-icing type bought at Wally World) and the heater has NOT been blowing on the window for 15 minutes, the spray will freeze on the window, requiring you to stop and scrape the silly thing.

Merino wool sock day. A definite improvement, but not quite the right solution.
Of psychics, bookstores and closets )
The Third thing about Minnesota Winters: Thorlo-Socks with a Merino sock overlay are just the ticket for February.

The rest of the week, writing was accomplished, family things were removed from R’s closet and packed deeply in the van, I worked on R’s shoulder and suggested things for her to ask her PT/doctor about, and we met an old friend of [ profile] 1minnesotagirl’s for lunch.

Still no real oatmeal, or sweet potatoes.


Who ever heard of a brunch place in the snowy north without real oatmeal?
We go native – Indo-Pak, that is )
Tomorrow, I will try to report on ConDFW, which as always was a great con.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Peg -- didn't want to post the phone# in the journal. We're aiming at getting there for dessert! See you soon --


Feb. 4th, 2007 11:31 pm
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Is a relative word. We have made it from Austin to Oklahoma City, where BevHale and MM have fed us chicken parmesan, salad and homemade sourdough bread, with flourless brownies to finish. This is good.

The bad? Well, the Oklahoma City street department tore up the bridge we were going to use to get to our destination, so of course we went on to the next place to turn over/under I44. Instead of finding a two-way access road on the other side, we quickly were on a deteriorating macadam road, then potholes big enough to swallow the van, then dirt, then dirt and pits....petering out to a shack with a For Rent sign. In the dark.

Immediately, I thought: "If you had seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you'd know what NOT to do." Then I told 1MinnesotaGirl: "I'm going to try not to get us killed." And proved that I could spin an unfamiliar vehicle on a dime and beat a path out of there...despite the gas needle heading toward zero.

And I was so hoping for an uneventful trip! ;^)

THEN -- Bev promptly pulled out this gorgeous web site with handmade Chinese jackets and dresses, and Japanese kimonos, and way too many tempting things. Clearly, saving money toward something new for World Fantasy is the order of the day.

1MG has crashed, and I too must make an attempt to get some sleep. It's 800 miles to Stillwater, MN, so we will try to swap off driving. (1MG goes first -- I drove today, because she needed a day to veg.)

Pleasant dreams, all --
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
So we're leaving a day late. But I think Sunday will be a launch. Bev Hale time on the way back, and I hope dessert, if not dinner & dessert, with Peg Kerr!

And 1MG as a traveling companion. Here's hoping it's smooth going!
alfreda89: (Peppermint Peach Tree)
Yes, I have managed to get myself into the caravan leaving for Minnesota Saturday. [ profile] 1minnesotagirl needed a driving companion, and her daughter needed a therapist. The Critz work I do is probably gentle enough to help her and not hurt me. It's not disk surgery, but it might help R a lot.

Plus, I know how to do museum packing. So I'm on the "packing the antique china" detail.

Any Minnesotans want to help me find a slice of flourless chocolate cake/torte? I'll settle for awesome creme brulee, but chocolate must enter into the visit. Between illness and major life upheavals, I lost track of several Minnesota writers in the last decade. And there are others I don't actually know yet, although I appreciate their humor and zest for life via LJ.

So -- if anyone would like to distract us on this journey, just holler. It's going to be a fairly fast turnaround. I'm taking my computer and the adapter for the car, and will have to keep writing to entertain 1MG while she drives.

When I am asked Do You Have a Sleeping Bag? )
We hope for a day off en route. )

I should point out that it took until today for me to find the acid-free tissue paper to wrap the new ornaments in. So the tree is still up. But I didn't get to enjoy it much in December, so having a January tree has been nice. Normally it comes down the day after 12th Night.

I am in no position to throw stones about things staring you in the face that need to get done.

Writing level -- furious planning and research this day, followed by editing eight pages and writing three more. With more to come tomorrow.

*Corrected from mohair. The socks are mohair -- the scarf is baby alpaca wool.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
Never did find ANY sweet potato fries... )
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
A day of spending more for breakfast than I usually spend for lunch, seeing my doctor, and almost making good my threat to buy a pair of shoes that cost $1,000 – if they fit well. Stay tuned – food, shoes, and panicked Visa requiring me to call and admit that I was really me!
the search for steel cut oatmeal and sweet potato fries )
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
Boy, I'm a terrible correspondent this month. I have been to a writing convention in Austin (ArmadilloCon) and a massage therapy convention in San Antonio. Both of them were interesting and informative. My energy levels were much better than the previous conventions -- I used the Coriolus, and this stuff ROCKS! I finally got to meet [ profile] tia_tarina, who told me I could probably use a fountain pen to write, and corrupted me by loaning me several.

Thus allowing me to corrupt W. We're such viruses.

Now, no more conventions for a while -- not until World Fantasy in early November. On the other hand, I'm going to San Francisco on family business come September.

Anyone have suggestions of what to do? I see the specialist on Friday, but will be there by noon Thursday, and leave Sunday AM, thereby getting the slightly cheaper rate for a Saturday stay-over. We won't have a car ($46 a night PARKING IF you are staying at the hotel, more if not) but we're in West Union Square, so we aren't far from the cable cars.

One big thing is on my list. I hear there are actually shoe stores close to my hotel (the area is office buildings, hotel, shoe stores, and one bookstore. We can deal -- ) I cannot find a pair of dress shoes that fit my obscenely narrow heel, wide ball of foot, and Morton's syndrome. And I've broken both little toes just to complicate things. I haven't had a lot of problems with my toes yet, but they're laying in wait for me.

So -- black boots, and/or black strappy things. I will settle for either, but both would be nice. I am taking a %##@! amount of cash, prob Traveler's checks (no, I don't like debit cards, why do you ask?) and am ready for the possibility of paying someone to make a last of my feet.

And I thought learning to stand correctly and getting those spasmed muscles to relax would make it easier to find shoes! Hah!

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