melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
I succumbed to the siren song of Tumblr and have actually posted a tiny bit of content there, and I do mean tiny. I started out collecting gifs and jpgs of my favorite hobbit -- Billy Boyd, if you must know -- and with the assistance of a dear friend who pulled me up the learning curve, I have branched out. I even have two followers. I feel so vindicated validated.

No, I am not leaving you, beloved LJ. We may have a tempestuous relationship but I will cling to you like Spanish moss to a live oak. Facebook is too ephemeral and Twitter even more so. Tumblr is for pretty pictures and, well, I don't understand Pinterest at all. I may not visit you every day, LJ, but you're still my favorite.

In other news, I slipped below 200 pounds, weight-wise, and am wearing a slinky-ish dress at work in celebration. I say "slinky"; it's not at all scandalous with it's high boat neck, cap sleeves, and knee-length hem. But the dress hugs my curves like it's on rails, if you know what I mean. My closet may be nearly empty, but the stuff left behind makes me happy.


Jun. 21st, 2013 11:43 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Ratatouille: Sly Remy by nicodemusrat)
It's totally your fault, Tumblr.

No, really. I was almost (almost) perfectly okay with not having dipped my toe into the Freeman/Cumberbatch "Sherlock" universe but someone (well, several someones) keeps posting adorable gifs and I've loved Martin Freeman for a very long time and I find Sherlock Holmes a terribly intriguing character and there was nothing on TV tonight and the series is on Netflix so, if you're still reading through this run-on sentence, you know where this is going...

Smitten. Head over heels smitten. Puppy-dog, can-I-carry-your-books, waiting-by-the-phone smitten. AND, happily, so is Hubbyfink. Unfortunately, he is not the night owl that I am and I am being a good wife by not watching the next half dozen episodes before dawn. Nnnnngh.

(As an aside, I cannot WAIT to hear Smaug now. Until tonight, I knew next to nothing about BC; I am now stoked.)

Tumblr is also to blame for my DRIVING NEED curiosity to see "Hannibal". Why did I not jump onto that show during the season? More importantly, why does NBC-on-demand not have the entire season available?? WHY???

Oh, don't mind me being all flustered and not-quite nerd ragey that I can't have a cannibalistic serial killer in my virtual life. I'll cling to the sociopathic detective and his Hobbit companion for the time being.
melaniesuzanne: (Meme Sheep)
(Swiped from [ profile] shalmestere)

I Am A: True Neutral Human Sorcerer (5th Level)

The nitty gritty. )

I am amused by the detailed results in that I have the same score for Neutral Good and True Neutral, and I'm slightly more Lawful than Chaotic. Gnome and Halfling are both one point behind Human (which tickles me since my first two D&D characters where a gnome and a halfling, respectively. As for class, I am so very far away from Paladin; this is me completely unsurprised.

I figured I've been Neutral on the "Lawful-Chaotic" axis since I flaunt laws which I think are stupid, but not if I think I'll get in trouble. I'm amused to see my personality test reflect that. In a nutshell: I'm Batman.

Detailed results )
melaniesuzanne: (LotR: Merry & Pippin what the...?)
Nerdiness ahead.

Last night, in between watching Sunday's episode of "The Talking Dead" and part two of "Top Gear"'s new and improved adventures in Africa episode, we had the theatrical release version of "The Two Towers" on as background noise.

"I can't watch the non-extended edition of the movies," I complained to Hubbyfink as I swept the kitchen while he unloaded the dishwasher.

He gave me the side-eye and asked, with some trepidation, why not.

"Not enough Merry and Pippin," I replied. "They're the best part of all three movies."

He was aghast. "But what about Aragorn? And the Rohirrim?? And Helm's Deep???"

"Those are your favorite parts of the movies, and they're okay I guess. But in the theatrical release of 'Two Towers' it's just Rohirrim and then slogging through with Frodo and Sam," I lamented. "Right now in the book, the battle of Helm's Deep is over and Gandalf and the gang have arrived at Isengard where Merry and Pippin are filling them in on what they've been up to. I'm almost finished with that half of The Two Towers and then the Frodo and Sam part starts. Maybe it'll be more exciting in the book?" (N.B. I'm currently reading the trilogy for the first time.)

"Mmm, not so much," Hubbyfink replied. He then dropped his voice conspiratorially. "When I watch the movies by myself, I fast forward through the Frodo and Sam parts."

Me too, my darling. Me too.
melaniesuzanne: (une souris)
There are times when I miss being free-spirited. Of course, I didn't feel free-spirited at the time. But there was a time when the only encumbrance, per se, I had was my cat Basil and the rest of my belongings fit in my car. I used to call myself a gypsy because I'd moved in and out of seven houses/apartments over the course of two years. Now, I'm not saying that was an ideal arrangement, but it didn't bother me. The constants were my kitty and my friends.

These days I feel overwhelmed by my possessions. They're just things: some cheap, some expensive, some with memories attached, but most are just taking up space. I want to focus less on the material and build up the ephemeral. I want experiences. Despite my natural lack of grace, I want to learn to dance. There are even times I want to take acting lessons. I tell myself, "You're too old to do something so silly." But, you know, one is never too old to do silly things. I need to shake up my status quo and stop settling.
melaniesuzanne: (LotR: Pippin impish)
I know: it's hard to imagine. I'm just as shocked as you are.

Anyway. Last night, Hubbyfink mentioned something about a project that James McAvoy will be in (which I cannot for the life of me remember what he was talking about) and I responded, "Oh! You know what I just realized a couple of weeks ago? James McAvoy was Mr. Tumnus!"

Hubbyfink gave me a 'well, duh' look. He pulled a lot of faces at me last night.

Since we saw "The Hobbit" in December I've been trying and trying to "see" Sylvester McCoy in all his Radagast-y glory and I just couldn't. Today, though, it finally clicked. I've been looking for 3rd Doctor Jon Pertwee under all that make-up when it is actually the 7th Doctor under there.

Don't mind me. I'll be over in the corner face-palming a bit and maybe staring at Pippin pictures.

(The time for multiple posts is courtesy of several conference calls which I don't need to pay much attention to.)
melaniesuzanne: (Born to shop)
Despite working in the telecommunications industry for just shy of sixteen years (holy crap, where did the time go??), I haven't been one to jump on the leading -- much less bleeding -- edge of technology except for being an early adopter when the HTC Droid Incredible debuted. So, it was with trepidation and a lot of angst that I finally plunged into the tablet market. I researched and pros and cons of the Kindle offerings and the Droid offerings and the various generations of iPads. I resisted the iPad because of the way Apple locks you into doing things their way and because of my affection and affinity for Droid products. Unfortunately, the current generation of Droid tablets have received low marks across the board and the big brothers of my darling basic Kindle rated even more poorly. So when I spied a good deal on a refurbed 3rd generation iPad, I leapt.

The retina display makes it a beautiful gadget, there's no doubt about that. The difference in quality of the display between Hubbyfink's 2 and my 3 is stark. But when it was time to start transferring data to it I became less and less enchanted with the device. I won't say I was in a rage last night, but I was definitely put out by the ways I couldn't organize my data and files without sweat and tears, but thankfully no blood. Hubbyfink, who is an Apple aficionado, patted me on the head and made sympathetic noises as I ranted "why can't I make this act like a Droid system??" (Don't answer that: it's a rhetorical question.) Don't even get me started on iCloud. I'm sure it's lovely and wonderful, but the Amazon cloud already has my music and book purchases and there's no Amazon Cloud app for the iPad. Of course, there's probably no iTunes app for my Droid phone, but I haven't gone looking for it since the only reason I use iTunes is to update my ancient iPod.

Oh, what problems to have, eh?

I told Hubbyfink last night that I'd begun regretting the purchase Sunday night and very nearly woke him to tell him that I didn't want the iPad anymore and I'd give it to him and he could sell his. He gave me a who-the-what-now face and nodded sagely when I realized that it was day three of my owning the device and my inevitable buyer's remorse had set in. Some of it was the realization that I have a perfectly functional laptop and smart phone and e-reader and music player and I didn't need yet another gadget. Oof. Typing out that list makes me feel like even more of a consumer whore.

AAAANYWAY, I'll eventually get used to and appreciate/enjoy my pretty new toy. In the meantime, it makes playing Cut the Rope a lot easier than on my phone's small screen. ;)


Jan. 29th, 2013 11:35 am
melaniesuzanne: (Stress!)
Changes may be coming in this spring, but I don't have details or specifics or even a timeline on when things will get rolling and it's driving me CRAZY. As the kids say, serenity now! Patience, grasshoppah. It's a good change, if it happens, but I'm still trying not to get twisted up in knots with anticipation.

Vague post is vague, and I hate being that guy. But if everything falls through, I don't want to have proverbial egg on my face.


Dec. 14th, 2012 12:57 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Merry Ratmas!)
Thus far, today is a good day. It's a refreshing change from how the other days have been. I mean, they haven't been bad but they've been stressful for both Hubbyfink and myself. I've had good news about several different work projects which has almost made up for the (many) times over the past couple of weeks when I wanted to burst into tears from frustration. Hubbyfink's project from hell will HOPEFULLY be resolved today and then he can finally no longer be a wadded up bundle of stress. Happily, neither of us has been taking our respective stress out on each other.

I received confirmation last night that the Arkansas-bound and Tennessee-bound boxes of gifts arrived unscathed. All of my shopping is complete, wrapped, and under the tree. Unless he's been hiding things, Hubbyfink needs to start his shopping. That's not entirely true. He ordered a gift for my brother (who's name he drew) last week (because I wouldn't let up on nagging him about it). In other Christmas news, the cats have not destroyed any ornaments (as of this writing, anyway) and the sacrificial plastic ornaments fastened to the lower branches around the center of the tree have done a fantastic job of both keeping the four-leggeds entertained and reflecting light back through the bare spots amongst the branches.

Obligatory tree photo )

The tree doesn't entirely look like that anymore. I have compulsively rearranged the ornaments several times to fill in holes and blank spots. I spotted the most grievous hole while on the sofa last night and Scott actually physically held me down to keep me from jumping up to rearrange again. I wriggled away by claiming that I needed to get my dinner from the oven and then zipped around him to move one ornament from a less-than-ideal spot into the hole. Much better.

We took to calling Oreo "Smaug" and Margie "Little Smaug" because they both jealously guarded the bottom of the tree. At this point, neither can fit under the tree because of all of the gifts, so Smaug curls up on his favorites at the periphery. I know he'll be happy to crawl back into his tree cave in a week and a half.
melaniesuzanne: (Batty by bitsy_icons)
This is my brain.

Id: I want cookies!

Ego: We don't need cookies.


Ego: All right. We can have a cookie if we ride our bike to get it from the grocery store.

Super-ego: You don't need a cookie. You need to do crunches, squats, and eat some celery.


Ego: Look, I said we could have a cookie if we take the bike instead of the car. Not only will we get a teensy bit of exercise en route, we could also ride around the neighborhood and look at the new Christmas lights that have been put up since the last night ride.


Ego: There. It's settled. Saddle up, body.

Super-ego: I think we should ride to Leesburg and back for that d@mn cookie. It's only twenty miles...


The hell?

Jul. 14th, 2012 07:23 pm
melaniesuzanne: (DW: Aye aye cap'n)
Scott was flipping through the channels and landed upon G4 which is covering San Diego Comic Con. Right now, John Barrowman is interviewing Anthony Bourdain.

Brain whiplash.
melaniesuzanne: (Bike: rat)
The weather was absolutely gorgeous when I got home from work and I decided to give my darling single speed cruiser Kate a little bit of love. She gets neglected as I choose Lily the hybrid for my commute and Circe the road bike for distance training. Kate is adorable -- there's no denying that -- but I have the tiniest bit of buyer's remorse because she was SUCH an impulse purchase and isn't the most practical bike around.

I cruised up and around the neighborhood, mashing as hard as I could to get up hills and hanging on for dear life while coasting down. I've decided that I really, really don't like coaster brakes because 1) I can't kick the pedals into a good take-off position when I stop, and 2) it's hard to stop quickly without skidding. There are so many downhill sections that end with a stop sign and I'm less than excited about sliding into cross traffic.

That being said, I still enjoyed being out and about on my sweet little bike. We explored some gravel roads along the W&OD and Kate was as sure "footed" on that gravel as a mountain goat in craggy environs. I would have been nervous on Lily and there's no way Circe could have gone through that area. My sturdy Kate surprised the heck out of my by handling the bumps and ruts and loose gravel with ease.

When we got back on the paved trail and I was pedaling with all my might to get uphill, I thought that swapping out the cruiser's pedals for SPDs would help me move the bike more efficiently. And then I realized that I was thinking about a CRUISER. It's practically the antithesis of clipless pedal material!


Apr. 26th, 2012 03:00 pm
melaniesuzanne: (silly)
Got a call last night from the accounts receivable department of a mail-order pharmacy. I had mailed in some scripts and asked them to bill me. That was all fine and good, but AR wanted to know how I would be paying the $600 for 90 day supplies of my two scripts.


Apparently, the script that cost ~$2 for thirty days from a retail pharmacy was going to cost me $470 for ninety days via mail order. (The other script was two-thirds the retail cost which was a happy surprise.) AR lady was sympathetic to my confusion, put my order on hold, and suggested I contact my insurance company to find out why they weren't subsidizing more of my mail order. I spent the rest of the evening fretting and fuming except for the part where I read a third of Chamber of Secrets.

When I got to work this morning, I visited the pharmacy's site and reviewed my prescription history. Everything looked normal until I got to the most recent order and realized that the brand name drug was in that order. I've been using the generic with no ill effect so it was worth my while to call the mail order pharmacy again and ask about that.

It turned out that the brand name cost is $490 for ninety days while generic is $5 for ninety days. There was no hesitation on my part when I changed the order to generic. Megan the CSR was an absolute delight to work with, and we'll be diligent about marking that "Generic is okay" box in the future.


Apr. 20th, 2012 10:40 am
melaniesuzanne: (Stress!)
I may need to break down and purchase some Febreeze for the office. My cube, specifically my chair, is beginning to smell like a gym thanks to sweaty workout clothes. :/

I'm so sorry, coworkers.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Firstly, many, many thanks to ichseke AND moshah (as of the end of the day) for their donations to my fundraising efforts for ADA. Their generosity has put me at 46% of my $1,000 goal. THANK YOU!

Secondly, not that we're in the market, of course, but our current townhouse is a starter home and we're always grabbing for-sale flyers to compare interiors and prices in this area. My last townhouse was in Herndon and I loved living there because it felt like an actual town and not just a suburb. While riding around Herndon last night, Hubbyfink snagged a flier for this house.

Front porch, bay window, original wood floors in amazing condition, claw foot tub(!) and gorgeous tile in the bathroom, built in bookshelves. Built in 1900 with remodeled kitchen and baths. Mere steps away from Old Town Herndon and the W&OD. It's almost perfect -- there's no garage -- and it is, of course, way out of our price range and, more importantly, we're not in the market.

Hubbyfink is picking up a couple of lottery tickets tonight just in case.

Aaaand there's an open house on Saturday. We should be back from the DC ride in time... I am such a masochist.
melaniesuzanne: (swordwork)
Despite my -- well, I don't want to use the word love in this instance -- appreciation for zombie and post apocalyptic literature and cinema, I don't actually believe there will be a zombie uprising. I do, however, think that being prepared for severe weather, long-term government shut down, financial collapse, etc isn't a bad idea. I've started squirreling away things like water jugs, OTC medicines, and other items which will make life more comfortable if something happens and the trains no longer run on time regular store shipments can't get through. Seeing how picked over the local grocery store in Corolla, NC, was after a hurricane swept across the Outer Banks just before a Ravenstreet beach week drove home the idea that stocking up on necessities wasn't a completely crack pot idea.

Scott gave me a not-quite hairy eyeball last night as I perused items such as emergency blankets and waterproof matches and bug out bags while we watched one of those "When Aliens Attack" shows. He thinks I'm overreacting. The thing is, I haven't actually started acting. I kind of feel like I'm going to have sneak canned goods into the basement much less the machete. I kid, I kid. I don't want a machete; I want a sturdy baseball bat.
melaniesuzanne: (Internet Homer by sparklypoof)
I couldn't wait. As soon as I got home -- okay, maybe not as soon: I did carry the recycling bin to the basement and garbage can to the back yard and retrieve the mail and pet the cats -- I rescued all packing material from the paper recycling bag, wiped the Razr of my personal information with a factory reset, configured the Incredible enough so the phone function would work, and hightailed it to the Verizon store. The salesperson who assisted me Friday night was surprised to see me back so soon. After sufficient fondling of the HTC phones -- in addition to all the research I did yesterday -- I pronounced the Rezound as the phone for me.

I have been a happy camper ever since.

It's still bigger and heavier than the Incredible, but it's definitely smaller than the Razr and fits more comfortably in my hand. Plus, I know where everything is located and the buttons, except for the power button, are in the correct places. The mini USB plugs in upside down, but since I tend to aim the plug incorrectly more times than not, now I may actually get it correct more often than not.

I've got my apps where I want them and my contacts are all synced. The settings are to my liking. Tonight I shall go nuts with personalized ringtones and all will be right in my little technological world. For a minute, anyway, according to Hubbyfink.
melaniesuzanne: (I'm in ur tubes)
Buyer's remorse: I haz it. The only things I haven't regretted purchasing are the Jeep, Hubbyfink, an HTC Incredible, my bike, and the green laundry basket I purchased my freshman year of college. Seriously. That laundry basket is just as sound as it was the day I bought it twenty years ago! Why can't everything be that sturdy?? Granted, I didn't purchase Hubbyfink, but I haven't regretted hooking up with him.

The latest object of my scorn is the smart phone I purchased Friday night. My Incredible has been a dependable and useful tool for the past two years. Unfortunately, it's been showing its age (see above lament about sturdiness) and it seems that the phone is end-of-support since newer and whizz-bangier phones are what people want. I know: wah, wah, wah; my phone is old and buggy; poor me.

I spent last week researching and decided that the phone which would do everything that my current old phone could do and more was the Motorola Droid Razr. It had glowing reviews from amazed tech geeks AND was vaunted to have superior call sound quality. I raced to the Verizon store when the paycheck hit Friday and made a beeline for the Razrs. I was slightly put off by how BIG the phone was, but it seems like every smart phone now is large to support humongous screens. Oh well. The Razr was supposed to do everything I wanted and I purchased it and some accessories without a second thought. I then spent most of Friday night, all of Saturday night (until 1am), and a small portion of last night trying to bend the phone to my will.

We're mostly there, but Hubbyfink has noticed and commented that I'm not having fun playing with my new tool toy phone. The buttons are in the wrong place. I miss the HTC Sense and other "look and feel" things. Plus, the phone is too big for my hands. I can't comfortably hold it and type. I figured I'd be stuck until I thought, just before slipping into blissful sleep last night, that I should check the return/exchange policy.

Hot diggity darn. I read on the website and then verified with an actual human that there's a fourteen day window for returns/exchanges. WHOO HOO! I'm rescuing the boxes from the recycling bag tonight and packing everything back up for a trip to the store tomorrow. On paper, it looks like the HTC Rezound might be a good replacement for the Incredible, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I'll make phone size a top priority as I feel up phones in the store.


Jan. 30th, 2012 11:46 am
melaniesuzanne: (Black water by valo_queen)
More weird dreams this morning in between bouts of not sleeping because I was too warm or too cold or squished by cats (Oreo is a large cat who has to take up a lot of space while Margie is a small cat who thinks she needs to take up a lot of space). I've been overheating a lot during the night, waking up bathed in sweat and having soaked through the sheets. Perimenopause, maybe? Doesn't that kind of thing follow heredity lines, though? Both my grandmother and mother were definitely NOT in menopause at this stage in their lives; in fact, they were both pretty heavy with child. Or maybe the comforter is just too heavy for this mild winter and I'm getting too squished by overly-warm kitties and I'm being a bit of a hypochondriac. Blah.

I'm not logging the dreams this time because they are much too embarrassing because of the people involved, but part of one was mildly influenced by all the zombie fiction I've been reading recently. Good gracious, there's a lot of zombie fiction out there. I'm trying to balance that out with Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Hours. I loved the movie version of the latter, but I'm finding the actual book to be soporific. Maybe that's what I should pull out when I can't sleep. I've also enjoyed two cinematic versions of Dorian Gray and am looking forward to reading the actual story and discover what was left out. As for Jane, I have no idea about that story beyond it being "gothic".

That's all I can sneak in for now. There are more sales forecasts to analyze and network designs to finalize. Good times. No, I really mean that this time.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Dream one. )
Dream two. )

And then Margie hopped on my arm and I woke up.


melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

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