floatingleaf: (akasha)
Did I mention summer?... Well... it lasted about two days this time. For most of this week, it's been quite cold again - it even SNOWED a tiny bit yesterday. No, I am not kidding. Just a handful of flakes, really - but dear Lord. In mid-May. O_O Fortunately, the building management had turned the heating back on before the temperature dropped too much. It's been on every night/morning since then... including today. This afternoon was warmer, though... so we will see what happens next...

I have a hard time focusing at work - it is as though my brain has gone on vacation already, and keeps obsessively running through the "to do" list (or pondering what to pack - will it be warm enough for summer clothes?... will it rain?... which of my sandals are the most comfortable for walking?... etc.etc.etc.). Last night I spontaneously decided to dye my hair - well, I've been meaning to do it for a while, but lacked motivation... until I realized we will be taking pictures, and I do want to look halfway decent on at least some of them, and a nice hair-color might help.:) So I did it, and it turned out rather pretty, if I say so myself. Bright, but not too vivid for my pasty complexion.;) The shade is called "copper blonde"; I have to remember this, because I usually assume that anything saying "blonde" isn't going to come out right on me... and so I get something darker, which then turns out way too intense/purplish for my skin. My natural hair color is a rather pale greyish brown at this point - so I can pull off lighter shades than I used to. Blondish reds come out almost golden...

Anyway - I stayed up too late fiddling with the hair, then woke up too early and couldn't sleep anymore.:/ Too much excitement, I suppose. I sooo need a break from the tedious everyday routine - but, unfortunately, my body/mind has the annoying habit of translating almost any breaks in routine into anxiety. I'm like a cat who freaks out because someone moved its favorite pillow; even if I am the one who decided to move said pillow, and so there's really no conceivable reason to complain about it. *sigh* My brain understands that, but apparently my body doesn't. Well, at least I got my acupuncture this morning, so my upper back isn't made of concrete... yet. *mirthless smirk*

The VC fan community over on Dreamwidth is still exploding - so many comments, so little time.:) And my most popular fic on AO3 - The Mirror - has 365 hits as of right now (!!!). I had never really entertained the concept of HUNDREDS of people reading my porny little snippets - so it is a bit of an "OMG I'm famous!!!" moment.;) LJ doesn't give you the number of hits, so I never really knew how many people read my stuff (beyond those few who took the time to comment). I'm still sort of struggling to wrap my head around that...;D

That is pretty much all the news I can focus on at the moment. Might still check in here before the trip - but then again, I might not. So please keep your fingers crossed for my sanity just in case...:P
floatingleaf: (violets)
OK, so I know I didn't post anything here last weekend. Despite having every intention to do so. I'm not even sure how that happened, considering I actually had Monday off, so it was a long weekend. Said Monday was spent running some errands, which included applying for a passport. I still don't know for sure that I will actually get to use it - but there is a good chance that I might, and I want to be prepared just in case.:) Cryptic, I know. But I really don't like to talk about things that aren't certain - call me superstitious if you like... *shrug*

This weekend was shorter, but more productive, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that I am plagued by PMS (sometimes it makes you useless, other times it gives you tons of nervous energy that must find an outlet). I shopped, I cooked (twice!... well, cooked and then made a salad), I did laundry... I even watched a movie. David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis. Which is absurdly brilliant - or brilliantly absurd, however you want to look at it. I mean, for the first 5 minutes I was all, "OK, WHY did I decide to watch this?"... but then at some point I started clapping and squealing with laughter. Which possibly proves that my own sense of humor is nearly as twisted as Cronenberg's (or his favorite actor Viggo Mortensen's... LOL). Anyway... I loved it, as disturbing as it was, and I watched the entire lengthy "making of" featurette too, for good measure.:)

Also, summer seems to have finally arrived. As of yesterday. We barely had any spring to speak of, but apparently it's summer now. Who needs spring anyway - it's so last century... *sigh* Don't get me wrong - yesterday the weather was beautiful, and it felt sooo good to go outside in a summer outfit, for the first time in God knows how many months... but today was just grey, muggy and suffocating, much like it often happens here in July/August. No transition period whatsoever. It's like May has been cancelled, and we are stepping from early April right into late June, or something. But then, what do I know - it could be cold again tomorrow...

I just want nice weather two weeks from now - not necessarily here, even, only in New York City.:D Yes, I will be there in less than two weeks. O_O I try not to drive myself crazy angsting about various travel-related things (like going through airport security, for example - which I haven't done since 2009, and which is possibly much less pleasant now than it was at the time).

Oh, and I am also permanently distracted by Skype (honestly, I can only think of ONE day in the past week or two where I didn't send or receive any Skype messages at all). And the VC community on Dreamwidth (yes, I did help a certain someone prepare ANOTHER discussion post about The Vampire Lestat recently, why do you ask?...;P). And AO3, where I have put up a few of my Aragorn/Legolas ficlets. Which are getting lots of kudos, I might add. I also wrote another drabble in the VC fandom. So yeah, I definitely have enough stuff on my plate to justify letting my LJ participation lapse a bit. But I still feel bad about it... *sigh*
floatingleaf: (akasha)
My plane tickets to New York have been booked. It still feels surreal, but now I have proof that I didn't actually imagine the entire thing.;)

Also, today is the first day in at least a week that I haven't used Skype at all. A few nights ago, I actually found myself chatting simultaneously on Skype with [livejournal.com profile] burnadette_dpdl AND [livejournal.com profile] cloudsinvenice (yes, she lives across the Atlantic, but she was having insomnia and decided to say hello :). Which was more manageable and fun than I expected it to be.;)

I even got a Skype message from some random guy whose username didn't ring any bells at all, and whom I instantly blocked. Only pre-approved contacts, plz! By the way, none of my old Polish friends have followed my suggestion to GET ON SKYPE ALREADY, and somehow I don't think they will. Oh well. That only means they have to wait until I find the time to email them again...

The weather is improving slowly. Still rather cold, but at least the sun came out. SOOO tired of wearing winter clothes. Especially considering I haven't gone shopping for any new ones since... I don't even know when. I'm pretty sure I haven't been on a single "retail therapy" trip all winter. It was just too cold and disgusting to go out on weekends. Plus, I had enough stimulating activities to occupy me at home (the Vampire Chronicles fandom and SKYPE, of course :D). But I desperately need a new set of bathroom rugs... and I could also use a whole bunch of other stuff. Too bad I just spent almost $200 at Whole Foods (had to restock on some toiletries, vitamins, herbal remedies etc.). *sigh* (in addition to booking the abovementioned plane tickets, I might point out) So I really should go easy on my credit card for a while...

Took Monday off next week, because apparently I need an extra day to manage cleaning, laundry and other household tasks (spending massive chunks of time on the interwebz/Skype chats might possibly account for this... but you can't really expect me to prioritize dealing with dirty underwear OVER discussing matters of LIFE and DEATH like vampire-themed fanfic and/or fanart, now can you?...;P). Plus, I have a lot of PTO, and the boss already warned us NOT to save any significant amounts of it for December, since we are going to be very busy then, and she might not be able to approve any vacation requests for more than 1-2 days at a time. Which is why I am taking a whole week off around my 3-day trip in May. So I will have plenty of time to pack and get ready without rushing around in a frenzy... and then also plenty of time to recover from the experience after I return.:D Not that it's likely to stop me from experiencing major travel-angst at some point... but it just might be a little easier to handle than it would be if I had to rush. So I am very glad it's a luxury I can afford...
floatingleaf: (window)
Another week hurtled by like a blazing comet.;) The highlights? OK, let's see...

1) The strange and mysterious ways of a menstrual cycle past the age of 40. If you can call that a "highlight". *snort* possible bit of TMI under the cut )

2) I will be going on a little weekend trip towards the end of May, to visit New York City and a certain lovely person who lives there (do I need to be any more specific?... yes, I mean the only person I keep mentioning here with alarming regularity since last summer, LOL). Read more... )

3) Met a friend for dinner on Friday. We hadn't seen each other in many months, so we had plenty of catching up to do. After bringing each other up to date on what's going on in our lives at present, we moved on to other mutual acquaintances - and let's just say I got a little more information than I bargained for, LOL. Read more... )
floatingleaf: (pensive orli)
I spoke to my mother today, and found out that my parents are going on a road trip to the Appalachians in October. For a week, from the 3rd to the 9th. I don't know where exactly, and mom couldn't tell me either, since dad is the one planning the itinerary - but the main thing is, they are offering to take me along. And I am torn, because I haven't travelled anywhere in forever, and I love mountains and forests and the rich colors of autumn foliage... but on the other hand, spending most of the time up close and personal with my mother for an entire week?... Gods no. *shudders in acute discomfort* If it were just my dad, I could handle it - or at least if my sister & brother-in-law were also there to deflect some of her attention - but with only my parents, the BOTH of them, it would get pretty stifling pretty soon. I would be the only witness to their petty squabbles and the many ways in which they like to ridicule and demean each other, and I would be expected to take sides and/or diffuse the conflict, which would totally take the fun out of this vacation for me. And I would never have a moment alone, because I would be sharing the car and any hotel rooms with them all the time. Plus, my mother would most likely be hanging on to my arm whenever possible. Which might be fine for a few hours every once in a while... but not for an entire week. My need for personal space would probably drive me nuts very quickly. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl a little. And yet... I am well aware that no one else might ever give me such a convenient opportunity for an almost free vacation, precisely because I don't socialize and don't keep in touch with local friends who go on trips like this. And I am hardly going to take a road trip to the Appalachians by myself - especially with no car. *sigh*

So, I said I would think about it. I told them about my plans to attend the film festival, so I can use that as a reason why I'm not going (I can hardly tell my mother the real reason, can I?). Btw, the festival starts on the 6th, and it is rather likely that A Dangerous Method will be shown during its first few days - so if I went on the trip, I might miss it. But the festival schedule isn't out yet, and probably won't be until the end of next week, so I don't really know. Plus, the film is going to have a wide release pretty soon afterwards anyway. And I haven't seen/heard any news about Viggo planning to attend the premiere. However, if it turns out suddenly that he does, and I miss it because I'm somewhere out in the wilds being driven crazy by my mother... I don't even want to think about that, LOL. So I guess that's a no. But damn it!... MOUNTAINS. *bites lip*
floatingleaf: (lotr love)
Okay... where do I start???... *takes a deep breath*

For the benefit of anyone who might care, or could possibly have been wondering about my atypical silence, here's the explanation: MY INTERNET CONNECTION DIED FOR TWO WEEKS. Yes, that's right. Two weeks. For no apparent reason. Read more... )

But, as fate would have it, those past two weeks have been quite eventful, and I probably would have been posting like crazy if I could... so now trying to squeeze it all into a single entry (because I don't know when I'm gonna have time for another one) seems like quite the challenge. I guess I'll just briefly point out the highlights, so to speak.

1) I spent last weekend at the [profile] texas_retreat. It was lots of fun, and I am amazed at how much effort the organizers of this event put into making it a great, memorable experience for us all. Read more... )

2) Watching Appaloosa was a delightful experience in itself, as well - except for Renee Zellweger's character, who simply didn't sit well with me, from start to finish. I wouldn't go as far as to say that she ruined the movie for me... but I found her intensely annoying. I'm glad she wasn't Viggo's love interest. *shudder* I wasn't too thrilled by the ending, either... but that's all I'm gonna say for now. No spoilers.:P

3) On October 29th Viggo will be in Chicago for the Good premiere at Chicago Film Festival!!!!! I was lucky enough to grab a ticket for the event soon after they came on sale, and I fully intend to take the day off, team up with [profile] akashaelfwitch and do some stalking.;P

4) Two days before that, on the 27th, I am scheduled for my citizenship exam (!!!). Read more... )

5) There were so many LJ posts I meant to respond to, and so many emails I meant to write, before I lost my internet connection that I seriously don't know where to begin. I will certainly try to catch up as best I can, but there is no telling now long it might take (my vacation is almost over, it's back to work on Monday, and for all I know, I'll probably be trying hard to keep sane until sometime in November... lol). So if you don't see a comment from me where you would normally expect to see it - or if you see one a week or two after you posted something - please don't think I've been ignoring you on purpose. I'll get there, hopefully, at some point. It's just that this is probably the craziest fall season of my (so far) relatively uneventful existence... *wipes brow*
floatingleaf: (be gay)
Sooo... yeah. I'm back. Got here last night around midnight, spent today catching up on my sleep, email, flist and grocery shopping.:) Now there's just enough time left to post a quick update before the regular RL grind swallows me up again, starting tomorrow.:|

The trip was fantabulous. The journey itself - at least from here to San Francisco - is a different story, but that's a topic for another sordid post which would take far too long to start on right now. What matters is that I DID get there, and enjoyed my stay at least as much as I expected to - if not more. It was a very liberating experience. Of course, hanging out with LJ friends & fellow slashers is always a liberating experience; but this time it was intensified by being surrounded by hundreds of other people who were at least as pervy - and proud of it - as we were.:P I still don't know much about Japanese yaoi manga, but I know I would gladly attend another event like this - if only to soak up the joy, enthusiasm and freedom of expression that were so palpable throughout. It was, quite simply, a celebration of happiness and beauty. So many people were wearing gorgeous costumes it must have taken weeks to make; it didn't really matter to me that I wasn't familiar with the characters they were portraying. Just the spirit, the creativity of it was enough to make me walk around with a huge smile on my face - all the bigger for knowing that these were GAY characters who inspired such dedication and worship. Predictably, most of the con attendees were women; but there was a whole lot of gender-bending going around in all directions.;D And gender-bending ALWAYS makes me happy. *deep satisfied sigh*

Apart from the con itself, we had plenty of fun exploring the city, browsing some of its most glamorous shopping areas, sampling its culinary delights and just hanging out together. On Friday night we visited some absolutely stunning gift shops in Chinatown; on Saturday, we were taken for a ride by [personal profile] annie00732 - who lives close to San Francisco - to see the famous Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf; on Sunday, we had lunch with [personal profile] salixbabylon, then went out to see Eastern Promises again (fifth time for me... lol). We walked a LOT, and ate much less than we might have; and what we did eat was mostly light and healthy (sushi, Indian & Thai food, plenty of greens & veggies etc.). I suspect I might have lost a noticeable amount of weight. *bounces happily* Not that I was really thinking about it much at the time; but it's a nice bonus.;)

Anyway... gotta go now. Will post more about the trip as time allows. I did some shopping at the con, and there's other things I'm very excited about... but the day is almost over, and staying up past my bedtime is something I've had rather too much of over the past few days. It was all perfectly fine when I was younger; but now my body seems to need a very regular sleep/wakefulness schedule, and whenever I screw that up, it lets me know in no uncertain terms how it feels about that. And it's not a nice feeling. Not at all.:/
floatingleaf: (black hat)
Just a little update tonight. My trip to San Francisco is drawing near - I'm leaving on Thursday afternoon. I'll be meeting up with [profile] akashaelfwitch, [profile] namarie120, [profile] helynhighwater, [profile] elvishlady09 and [profile] ana_lib_elf; and possibly a few other people who live around the area. I can't wait to see everyone - especially Ana, whom I had never met in person, but whose writing style (and feedback to other writers, including my humble self!...;) I absolutely adore. I will be sharing her hotel room for two of the four nights, since Namarie's room was already pretty crowded before I decided to join in.:)

I hope to buy some yaoi books and do at least a little sight-seeing - but the main purpose of this trip, for me at least, is socializing with all the lovely ladies. I bet we will have plenty to talk about...:D

In other news, I can't believe how little I've been eating lately - very small portions and mostly just chicken/fish + veggies, without rice or pasta or any other 'stuffer' to fill myself up. And I don't really feel the lack. And I'm pretty sure my weight is dropping, even though I haven't exercised since I got my period last Wednesday. My coworker, who hadn't seen me since Thursday, told me this morning that my face looks smaller.(!) And so does my stomach, imho. I have no idea whether the scale would confirm it, but clothes don't lie, and some definitely feel less tight on me than they used to. Well... we'll see if they stay that way after the trip, I guess.:P But, as [profile] namarie120 wisely said, food consumed on vacation has no calories; so I will stop counting on Wednesday.:) Hopefully, my newly shrunken stomach is not going to suddenly start demanding more than it can take all over again...
floatingleaf: (beautiful stranger)
Okay. So [profile] akashaelfwitch has talked me into attending a Yaoi Convention in San Francisco on the last weekend of October.:D I got my vacation request approved by the boss today, and was just trying to book my flight. And guess what? I get a weird message saying that the security code on my credit card does not match that of the issuer. Whatever in hell's blazes that means. Needless to say, that is my one and only credit card, and I've never had a problem with it before. In fact, I used it just now to purchase a song from the iTunes Store - just to see if it works. And it does. So why does Orbitz give me crap about it? True, my bank changed the security code and expiration date on it back in July - but that was BEFORE I booked the flight to Toronto, and I had no issues with that whatsoever. Holy crap. *seethes*

Anyway. It's past my bedtime now, so that is all. I will try again tomorrow. If it doesn't work, then well... no trip, I guess.:[
floatingleaf: (vig rox)
Back from Toronto. Still alive.:D Though maybe a bit off balance. Emotionally, I mean. Like when you've been looking forward to something for a very long time... and then, all of a sudden, it's over. And you don't even know how that happened. *sigh*

For the record, I did see Viggo. Up close. On the red carpet. For about 30 seconds or so.;) I even scored an autograph.:P But there was no eye contact or anything personal to this encounter, really - thanks to the tall, lanky German woman right behind me, who monopolized his attention by showering him with gifts and generally doing everything short of pushing me out of the way (even though we'd been there - me and [livejournal.com profile] namarie120 and [livejournal.com profile] willowwing - minding our spots for several hours before she showed up). It was typical, really, and I am not surprised in the slightest - just a tiny bit chagrined, perhaps (I'm really good at the subtle art of understatement, aren't I?...). Though, from a more practical standpoint, it might have been for the best - because if he had actually looked at me or said something, I might not have been able to display any semblance of normal brain activity.;) I was pretty much half-paralyzed, holding on to the railing for dear life and clutching my copy of Coincidence of Memory with shaking fingers.:P

Anyway... he looked absolutely gorgeous, too good to be true somehow - and that could be why it didn't quite register with me that I'd really seen him. I'm still not sure I believe that he is an actual human being.;P

As for the movie, it was every bit as intense as I expected, and managed to surprise me a few times despite the fact that I had read all the spoilers.:P The violence in it is pretty graphic, true; but if HoV wasn't too much for you, EP won't be either. In both films every graphic, disturbing scene serves a purpose in character/plot development; and that is enough for me. There is no lack of psychological depth and interesting nuances. The entire cast is impressive, and the Russian accents sound very real too. All in all, a gripping, believable story that makes you feel for the 'bad' guys just as much as for the 'good' ones; even if they're not played by Viggo.;) I'm really looking forward to seeing it again... and again. Watching Viggo on the big screen is one of my favorite and all too rare pleasures, after all.:P

Another unforgettable aspect of the trip was getting to know [livejournal.com profile] willowwing, whom I had never met in person before and who is certainly one of the sweetest, kindest, most warm-hearted people I ever encountered. I don't think I've ever felt that relaxed and comfortable in the company of someone I barely know. It's a gift... and I think people like that were put on this earth specifically for the benefit of the shy and reserved.;) To gently and effortlessly pull them out of their protective shell and let them bask in the warmth of genuine, unconditional approval. The amounts of positive energy I could feel radiating from Willow during those few days have charged my battery for many weeks to come.:)

And that is really all for now. I could say more, but it's getting late and my brain is shutting down.;)

But before I nod off... here's the evidence I didn't actually dream up the whole thing )
floatingleaf: (psycho)
Time flies, people. Oh, does it ever. So, long story short, I am leaving for Toronto TOMORROW. I am also currently in a state of mild travel-panic, even though I pretty much have everything ready (I checked the flight details, arranged for the airline to notify me in case anything changes, thought over which clothes I am going to pack etc.etc.etc.). I just get that way before every trip - especially if I am the one in charge of getting somewhere on time, so to speak. I am constantly afraid that something will happen to prevent me from accomplishing this, that time will slip away from me somehow, that I will forget something important and have to go back to get it etc.etc.etc. Even though that never happens, because I am far too anal not to check everything ten thousand times over... lol. I actually think that this frantic running back and forth imagining I have overlooked something might be taking me more time that anything else - but feeling too relaxed and confident isn't good either, because that's when I start doing things really slowly, and then all of a sudden it's much, much later than it should be.;) Why do you think I'm usually late for work? even though I usually have 'plenty of time' when I wake up in the morning?... Time is a very subjective concept for me.:) I've struggled with it since I can remember. I'm always either late for something, or much too early, because I was too scared that I would be late (in the case of travel, it's mostly the latter; which is a good thing, I guess...;P). Neurotic much? *sigh*

And, of course, the more I WANT to go somewhere, the worse it gets - so, in this case, I'm positively maniacal.:P All the glowing reviews for EP I've been reading over the last few weeks (Mortensen tour de force and the like) are quite enough in themselves to make me swoon with anticipation; and the thought that we actually have tickets for the gala (thanks again, [profile] namarie120!!!) is almost too much. *flips over*

Oh well. One thing at a time. For now, let's concentrate on getting there. I'm going to worry about my sanity later.:P

In other news, I lost 3lbs with Weight Watchers. In two weeks, since last week's meeting was cancelled and we didn't get weighed then. I know it isn't much; but it is something (more than I expected, to be honest), and it tells me that the program actually works. I'm probably going to gain it back during the trip, but that's OK; after I return, I will lose it again, because now I know I can do it. There's no hurry - at some point (by the end of this year, hopefully) I am going to become the new, slimmer, healthier person.:) It's not like Viggo will care much either way if he happens to notice me three days from now.:P

(EDIT: [profile] akashaelfwitch is a darling and will drive me to the airport. I'm feeling much, much calmer now. *deep sigh*)

OMG

Jul. 30th, 2007 11:30 pm
floatingleaf: (mmm)
Just booked my plane tickets for Toronto. Looks like I am REALLY going there. OMG. *blinks*

I am NOT going to think about the possibility of actually seeing Viggo in person, because that just might be a little bit more excitement than I can handle. *wibbles*

Shit, it's late. *shuts up and logs off*
floatingleaf: (orliwink)
Snagged from [personal profile] rainweaver13. And, again, we got the same result.:)
Not that my writing could ever come close to either hers or Virginia Woolf's... BUT. The 'inside my own head' focus is definitely there.:P







Which literature classic are you?




Virginia Woolf: Orlando. You are a challenge, for outer events, the outside world, the time etc. play no importance to you. Your focus is in writing, in gender issues, and inside your own head. Self-analysis and exploration of yourself as well as the outer world hold great importance to you.
Take this quiz!








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In other news, I am FINALLY going to see POTC:AWE tomorrow. With [profile] akashaelfwitch, who has seen it four times already (ahhh, the sacrifices we sometimes make for our friends... ;D). Yes, I had to wait for her to come to Chicago again, because none of the few friends I have here would even consider seeing a Disney movie.:P And I can't really explain to them why I want to see it - not without going into the whole slash thing. Because otherwise I probably wouldn't want to see it either. Btw, I just pictured myself saying something along the lines of: Yes, I want to see this movie for Orlando - not because I fancy him, but because I think Viggo does. Heh. I bet the look on some of my friends' faces would be priceless.:D

Also, my throat feels extremely dry, constricted and scratchy for some reason. I keep drinking water and hot tea with large amounts of honey, and still it doesn't get any better. Could it be some infection?... Last time I got a nasty larynx inflammation that lasted a week and required antibiotics, it was also the height of summer. I hope this one is just a side effect of my allergies, or possibly air conditioning, which does make the air extremely dry - but I have a feeling it might be something worse. I woke up this morning feeling like I had spent weeks in the Sahara...LOL.

another random topic change under the cut )
floatingleaf: (sultry)
So, it seems that the big LJ suspension scare is over. I was nervous there for a moment, even though my most questionable interest is probably "elladan/elrohir" - provided, of course, that the anti-freak police knows who they are and realizes they are actually brothers.:P Very fictional brothers, and certainly very mature (hundreds of years old... LOL), but still. I'm sure some people might possibly be offended at the idea of them having a sexual relationship. But then, some people seem offended by the very existence of gays, lesbians or transgendered individuals - which, of course, does not mean that said individuals should pretend not to exist. It is not possible to please everyone, and LJ is definitely not the place to start trying, IMHO.

That said, I sincerely hope I don't get suspended because I posted a few little ficlets implying twincest between Tolkien's characters. In fact, will probably post another one in the near future (if the muses continue to cooperate).:P

I have contemplated going "friends only" - but there are reasons I don't want to do that, so I'd rather wait until it becomes absolutely necessary. It's kind of sad that some people have to do that, IMO. Even if I totally understand why. I just used to think that LJ was this wonderfully open community, where you met new friends just because you were "out there" on the web... and well. Uhm. Yeah. It sort of isn't anymore. *sigh*

In other totally irrelevant news: )
floatingleaf: (walker)
Yes, I did spend most of yesterday cuddled up in bed with My Precious Fanzine.;P I am about half-way through it now, and most of the stories are amazing - as well as the drawings. I think I will wait with giving specific feedback until I'm done - but let me just say that I haven't laughed or cried so much in a long time... (especially in one day, lol)

I am still behind on reading the fics on my flist, by the way - even though I have hardly been doing anything else at work for the last week.:D Therefore I am also bad at commenting lately - but hopefully that will change in the near future.

And finally, let me throw in some more pics from the trip. Not Nola itself this time, but the vicinity - particularly the magnificent plantation called Houmas House.

the charm of southern Louisiana )
floatingleaf: (perfect murder 2)
Here I go again...

more Nola pics )
floatingleaf: (peace)
Here is another batch of Nola pics from BEFORE the disaster. There is no particular significance behind my choice of photos, their order etc. - other than purely aesthetic reasons. Just a series of random, colorful impressions...

here they come )
floatingleaf: (Default)
I've been mulling this over for a few days, but finally I decided that I will post some pictures from our trip. Not to emphasize the contrast between BEFORE and AFTER, but to remind everyone how breathtakingly beautiful this city used to be... and reinforce the hope that some day it might look like this again...

New Orleans, two weeks ago )
floatingleaf: (perfect murder)
I am still feeling down. I know I should be happy to have escaped Katrina and maybe do some tribal dance of gratitude for being rescued from the Apocalypse that is New Orleans at the moment... but I just can't stop thinking about those that weren't so lucky. Can't stop wondering if all the people we had met and talked to are still alive. I had never been so close to any major natural disaster, never KNEW anyone who actually was in real danger... and I find that it does weird things to your brain...

Then there is the destruction of the city itself - all those charming places we had walked through and admired (and vowed to come back to see again...) only a few days back... as well as the places we didn't get a chance to see at all - like Anne Rice's house or the Lafayette Cemetery (yep, we had that planned for Sunday). It's all so surreal somehow. Like a bad horror flick. Only bad horror flicks make me laugh, and this chills me to the bone...


OK. Let me try to change the subject. It's been three days since I came back, and I'm only about half-way through checking my email. I am on just TWO Yahoo!Groups, and I get 800 messages per week. Good I'm still on vacation, or I would never ever catch up...

Then there's all the fics that have been posted during my absence. I would love to devour them all, but I honestly don't know where to begin. There's also the A/L ficathon on L_A_S, starting today. And I will probably receive my "Just Words" fanzine early next week... And soon after that, there will surely be some exciting reports from the Toronto Film Festival...

It all seems too much for my tired and confused mind right now. I feel sort of guilty for trying to enjoy myself - while one of the most beautiful cities that ever existed is slowly being wiped off the face of the earth... *sigh*
floatingleaf: (aragorn)
Well... hello everyone (especially [personal profile] romi and [personal profile] gairid). I am back from my lovely vacation in New Orleans, Louisiana. And I totally mean it when I say it was lovely - up until last Saturday, when it suddenly turned into a nightmare. I guess I should consider myself lucky to be alive. And even luckier to be back in Chicago, instead of on top of some hotel roof or inside the Superdome. Because that's where I would be if we hadn't turned on the news on Saturday night. We had NO IDEA what was coming, and the locals (hotel reception, waiters, people on the streets) seemed to know no better. They said: oh, don't worry, just stay inside the hotel until the hurricane passes through, and you're gonna be just fine (should I add that our hotel room was on ground floor?). We almost believed them - up to the point of stocking up on dry snacks, water and alcohol to help us endure the obligatory confinement (we were originally supposed to leave on Monday afternoon, but our flight was rescheduled for Tuesday... and I really don't think there are any flights leaving NOLA on Tuesday, which happens to be right now - with the airport and 80% of the city under water!). Then we turned on the TV and saw a totally different picture. We went from vague excitement to cold nauseating fear within a half hour. We started calling around, and found out that not only are there no flights leaving the local airport any more, but also no buses, trains or rental cars available anywhere within our reach. We panicked. We made desperate calls to most of our family and friends in Chicago, begging for someone to come and get us - which probably wasn't the best idea in the first place, since it's a 15-hour drive and they might not have been able to enter the city at all by the time they arrived. Anyway... by some miracle, we finally found a taxi driver who agreed to take us to the nearest still active airport, which happened to be in Baton Rouge (80 miles away from New Orleans). He waited for us while we packed (I never knew I could pack that fast, lol). We paid him $200, which was nothing compared to what some other tourists from our hotel paid to get out of the city. Then we had to book our return flight, which cost us $650 per person (they only had first class, going through Memphis, Tennessee). And that is exactly what we had paid for the WHOLE trip (flights, hotel reservations and sightseeing tours) while ordering online. Not to mention the fact that I had to call my dad in the wee hours of Sunday morning, asking him to pay for my ticket, since I don't own a credit card. But FINALLY, after a full night of horrible tension and most of the next day spent in airport waiting areas or on planes, among other scared and exhausted people, we found ourselves back home - mesmerized in front of the TV, watching the news. Realizing only then what a narrow escape it really was (the airport in Baton Rouge closed down only a few hours after we left). Scared and grieving for the people who didn't make it on time. And for the city itself - that magical place that we fell so much in love with. I will write more about the positive aspects of our trip... and there were many (after all, we only left one day earlier than we had planned - and that was sheer luck as well). But right now I'm sort of not in the mood - which I'm sure anyone can understand. Besides, I still have a LOT of catching up to do as far as my Yahoo mailbox and flist are concerned... so I will write more when I'm ready. For now, thank you for caring about my safety, and I hope that other people you care about are safe as well. And [personal profile] gairid - I did send you a postcard, but I have no idea whether it actually left the city (I dropped it into the mailbox on Saturday). Who knows - maybe you'll get it in a couple weeks...;)
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