brilligspoons: (asshole)
Internet, I am pleased to say that I made it through yet another family Thanksgiving without punching any of my siblings. It was a close call at some points, but I restrained myself by choosing to pour myself another glass of wine rather than engaging. Hooray! I'm growing as a person! Among other things.

It was nice getting to see my nieces and nephews, too (Dad, Cathy, and I Skyped with Sarah and Kathi on Thursday afternoon - UGH THEY'RE SO CUTE). Bella and Gavin are both getting taller, and it's TERRIBLE. Bella's only 9 and already at my shoulder height. :( Look, I really enjoy not being the shortest person in the family with them around, and I'm just not prepared for them to be bigger than me quite yet. Luckily this dapper little gentleman still has some growing to do:

Monsieur Evan )

(Best thing: he likes to play hockey - my brother is a hockey coach - with spatulas, oven mitts, and bottle caps, so he spent most of Thursday doing that in my parents' kitchen. I may have died from cute a couple times.)

Anyway, in non-family news, the Teen Wolf Holidays 2013 fic collection went live today! Check it out here. There are 60 stories all told, which is AWESOME. :D
brilligspoons: (iron man YES)
So, I made a thing on Friday night.

Pic! )

My shoulder is still radiating pain down my right arm from cranking the forge blower (as seen here) and swinging a hammer down on an anvil for a couple hours, but GUYS, blacksmithing is fun! I mean, frustrating as hell until you figure out what the fuck you're doing (and even then you spend an inordinate amount of time going OH GOD WHY IS THE IRON NOT HEATING UP WHY IS THIS IMPOSSIBLE), but that's pretty much how all crafty-type things are for me. The dudes at the forge were really nice and hilarious, neither [livejournal.com profile] sky_was_green nor I came away with any serious burns or anything, and I kind of want to go back and make more stuff. Maybe in the spring? We'll see.

Anyway, I got to hang out with Tina and Decklin's cats for a few hours on Saturday afternoon, and then there was the Project Runway finale and Iron Man 3 to watch. Yesterday I played a lot of WoW, caught up on The Voice, and did laundry. So...I was a little productive, at least.

Also yesterday morning: Bella facetimed me for help on a school project. :D :D :D Am the most ridiculous of ridiculous aunts, I realize, but I can't help but be pleased that she wanted to consult with me. She had to paint a pumpkin to look like a character from a book and answer some questions about personality traits that the author explicitly shows the character having with examples. Luckily for all involved, she's reading the first Harry Potter book and I have scary recall abilities? So we settled on honor and curiosity as the traits to focus on, and I gave her specific sections of the book to reference.

Yes, my $100,000 degree in English literature finally gets some use. \o?

Oh, and Yuletide assignments went out! I'd be a lot more excited if I could make myself write anything at all. BUT. I matched on two fandoms this year, so if I can kick my ass into gear, maybe I'll write my recipient two stories. :D? Still need to figure out how my TWHols fic is going to work, too, but I think I know the main plot. I'm also still interested in doing NaNo next month, but I need to sit down and work out more character details and do some world-building before I fully commit. Maybe I'll do that this coming weekend.

Okay. Let's do this, Monday.
brilligspoons: (evolution!)
This week in Television I Devoured: The Almighty Johnsons.

I totally admit I started watching it because my Dean O'Gorman problem reached the level previously occupied mostly by Holland Roden and Dylan O'Brien (so, like, the epically attached to his face level - but I'm trying to play this one cool, hush), but the rest of the characters hooked me by the end of the first episode. Also, I'm deliriously happy that they're filming series three right now, because I watched the series two finale this afternoon, and MAN. There may have been some sniffling and flaily NO NO NO NOT GOOD hands from me, is all I'm saying.

(I'm still processing the whole thing, otherwise I'd have more thoughts for you. I will say one thing: if series three could be all about the goddesses lounging around the apartment above the bar, drinking together and giggling a lot, I would be a very happy Retbot. Dawn can come too, because she's great and I love her the MOST, and she needs a vacation from Anders.)

(No but really, I have a lot of feelings for and about Dawn. She is my favorite.)

Anyway, that's sort of my life right now, besides writing and work and occasionally having epiphanies about Teen Wolf.

Here, have some pictures of my niece and nephews to make up for my boringness. )
brilligspoons: (time-traveling nazis)
IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING HOW READY TO BE ON VACATION I AM

SPOILER

IF YOU GUESSED "VERY READY"

YOU ARE CORRECT

Like, I've gone over everything with Kyleigh and emailed all the people who will have to deal with shit while I'm gone, and I still have to get all the way to 2:45 tomorrow. PLUS the person who does all the checking on my reports every month hasn't said anything to me about them since I told her they were ready (Monday!), and if she waits until tomorrow to do this, I...am going to be SO CROSS with her. But I will also make her edit everything because VACATION.

I really should have taken tomorrow off.

Anyway. The Museum of Natural History has a special exhibit on whales (!!!) going on right now, so I am now 1000% more excited about taking Bella and Gavin there next week. I don't even care if they don't give a shit about whales. I'll make up for it by taking them to the space show, or something. Regardless, the trip should be sufficiently nerdy and ~*educational*~ and satisfy Julia's request that we don't just sit around the house all week.

Mom and Dad are going up to CT for Easter, so Cathy and I are off the hook for that morning. We've decided to celebrate by eating all the pancakes Hoboken has to offer and making sure our aunt's old champagne glasses still work by drinking all the mimosas (for science). We feel like this is the best possible way for us to spend our not-holiday.

In conclusion:

Evan. )
brilligspoons: (cuddlebot needs love)
An explanation of sorts. )

I have one episode of Hawaii Five-O season 1 left. Kind of scared to watch it, BUT. I'll do that tonight and let you guys know if I die or not. The last few episodes have made me clutch my heart all the way through - just. CHIN HO KELLY, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING. KONO, YOU ARE INSANELY BADASS (and also you are Steve Junior and adorable and I love you). DANNY AND RACHEL AND GRACE. STEVE IN SEAL-MODE MAKING A BATTERING RAM IN THE FOREST AND HOLDING IT STEADY WHILE HE TAKES A CALL FROM DANNY.

lskefnlsknfslknf CAN'T. In fact, I can't so much that I bought the DVDs for myself. They, uh, showed up yesterday. \o/ WHAT EVEN IS THIS SHOW, YOU GUYS. :D :D :D :D :D

Okay, so. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's do a commentfic/meme of sorts. Comment with a pairing, and I will write you a few sentences of fic about their ~romantic excursion. Go go go!
brilligspoons: (dying)
[livejournal.com profile] therealljidol Week 3: Coprolite

I got all excited when I saw this week's LJ Idol topic (well, more like after I figured out what the word meant) - "YES," I said to Kokomo (my teddy bear and constant companion). "Yet another opportunity to tell people the story about my niece pooping in the baby pool! I love telling that story." Alas! I realized shortly thereafter that I'd written about that for LJ Idol last year, so I guess I have to find something else to talk about. Le sigh.

Don't worry, you're safe from more entries about my nieces' and nephew's bodily functions. For now.

***

So about a year or so ago, my sister Julia calls me and asks, "Hey, where's your Kirsten doll?"

"Hi Jules," I reply, "nice to hear from you. How's life?"

"Very funny," she says. "Where's the goddamn doll? Bella's been asking me to get her one, and I'm not sure I can justify throwing $100 on a doll when you already have one."

For those of you who don't know: the Pleasant Company has been producing a line of dolls based on fictional historical characters known as "American Girls" since 1986. Each doll represents a unique culture and time period in American history - for example, there's a Native American girl named Kaya whose story takes place in 1764; there's also Rebecca, a Russian-Jewish girl from 1914, and Addy Walker, who escaped from slavery with her mother in 1864, and a couple others. Each doll comes with her own book series, five somewhat formulaic stories that are designed to educate and empower.

(Er, don't take me calling them "formulaic" the wrong way - they're awesome! They're part of the reason I love history so much! But looking back on them now, they're all sort of the same. Not a bad thing, just making an observation.)

I don't remember asking my parents for one back in the day, but I suppose I must have. Regardless, a Kirsten Larson doll (timeline: pioneer era, 1856) appeared under the Christmas tree when I was 9 or 10, and I played with her somewhat faithfully (she was a regular character for at least 4 months in the soap opera all my stuffed animals were a part of, married and divorced Kokomo twice) until we moved to a new house when I was 12.

Then, as I'm sort of wont to do with a lot of my possessions, I lost track of her. I didn't think I'd thrown her out, but when Julia asked me about her, it'd been 12 years since I'd last seen the doll. The way things go in my family, she could have been tossed out into the cold and eaten by wolves for all I knew. (Spoiler: she wasn't eaten by wolves.)

But because I live in Boston and the rest of my family in Jersey, I kept blowing Julia off. "I don't have a clue," I'd tell her repeatedly. "If you're so keen on finding her, look for her yourself."

"You're such a brat," Julia would say to me.

"Yes," I'd agree. "Your point?"

Anyway, two weeks ago she and my brother-in-law were going down to Key West for a short vacation, and I offered to babysit with our other sister for the weekend. They accepted, and then Julia told me that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to tear Mom and Dad's house apart and find the doll. I sighed dramatically a lot but agreed - the kids could go play at the park with Grandpa for a couple hours, giving Cathy and me a break from their craziness, and I'd brave the attic in search of Kirsten.

Dad very graciously shifted the heavy attic door for me before he took the kids off our hands, and I very carefully climbed up there and crawled around the exposed patches of insulation to where there was a pile of dusty boxes all marked "MARGARET - STUFF."

"How likely is that?" I asked myself. "I never have this much luck."

Sure enough, Kirsten was in one of those boxes, buried under a couple sweatshirts and skirts I hadn't seen in 13 years. I picked her up and sniffed at her, then recoiled.

"Oh yeah," I said. "You've definitely been the victim of Dad smoking inside this house since we moved in. I am so sorry."

I made my way back down with her (but not before I managed to slam my head into one of the crossbeams because I made the rookie mistake of standing up) and sent a quick text to Julia - the squirrel is in the tree, I repeat, the squirrel is in the tree.

You think you're funny, she wrote back, but thanks, I will send her off to the doll spa when I get home.

(Yes, the doll spa. You can send your dolls in to the company to be fixed up - it's pretty nifty, I think.)

So the outcome of this year-long doll quest is that my niece will be inheriting (a hopefully better-smelling) Kirsten this Christmas. As reluctant as I was to participate, I have to admit that I'm pretty pleased to be passing her off. Uh, mostly because this gets me out of actually buying her a present. That's the best.

Oh, hush, she's getting the first couple volumes of Tiny Titans and Marvel Adventures: Avengers out of me, too.
brilligspoons: (no tea no work)
[livejournal.com profile] therealljidol Week 1: When you pray, move your feet

Gavin and Bella throw their backpacks on the floor and go tearing through the house and right out the door to the backyard once we get home. Cathy and I exchange a look and laugh as we move our groceries into the kitchen. She lifts the blinds on the kitchen windows and watches them chase each other up the ladder on the playhouse.

"They'll be fine out there by themselves, right?" Cathy asks me. She turns away from the window and hands me the bag of tortellini we bought especially for the kids.

"It's their swing set," I reply, "what's the worst that could happen?"

I pull out a pot from the cabinet next to the stove, and as I start to fill it with water, Bella comes rushing back inside. Over the sound of the water, someone is screaming in pain.

"Gavin's crying," says Bella. "He fell, I think."

"Oh, jesus fucking christ, not now," I say, and I rush past her and out the door. Behind me, I hear Bella tell Cathy that I said a bad word in the middle of Jesus' name, but Cathy's response to her is lost in the haze of oh god oh god oh god please let him be okay and thank GOD I kept my shoes on going through my mind.

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