tarotgal: (Breaking Down)
In full disclosure, it's the time of the month when I'm incredibly emotional. That being said, I found out about Mary Travers (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame) passing away on the news about an hour ago and I'm still in tears. I remember their music from my formative youth ;-). I must have watched their concerts on television a dozen times at least while growing up. Honestly, Puff the Magic Dragon always made me cry at the end. Heck, lots of their songs still make me cry (and now I have Blowin in the Wind stuck in my head). I always thought of her as one of the strongest women ever. She sung songs that I, a kid, could understand and love. She was political and an activist. And she could hold her own around two guys! I totally wanted to grow up and be her. Of course when I grew up and learned more about them, their music, and heard about her struggle with leukemia, I admired her all the more. You can bet my Peter, Paul and Mary mp3s are going to get a workout in my iTunes tomorrow.

tarotgal: (Default)
Sunday I volunteered a little for the campaign- went out distributing flyers and knocking on doors. I went to the Obama rally last night in Manassass, Virginia. 8.5 hours of my life spent well in the company of 90,000 others. http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/11/the_last_obama_rally_draws_900.html
I got to see him at his very last rally before election day and didn't get home until 2am. But it was totally worth it. My county went blue. VIRGINIA went blue (for the first time in, I think, 44 years). And now Obama will be the next president.

It was so thrilling to vote for him, too. I stared at my ballot after filling it out (paper ballots for the first time in my life) and just honored the moment. I feel so lucky that I get to vote. And it's even better when the guy I support wins.

I could not be more thrilled. I'm crying with happy and still a little stunned. Thank Gods this election is over. This is phenomenal.

My senator and house representative won, as well. Very happy. Now I'm just waiting for all the returns on the ballot issues/measures. There was only one in VA, and it'll pass. But I'm concerned about Prop 8 in CA, 102 in Arizona, etc. The fight continues...
tarotgal: (Hufflepuff)
I'm back home from New York. Some rocky travel moments but generally the trip went infinitely better than expected. And the concert was FUCKING AWESOME! I've had 'Voldemort is Awesome' stuck in my head all night- damn it for being so catchy. Naturally there were parts that weren't so much fun and I wasn't a fan of some of the early acts, but nothing went terribly wrong and other things totally make up for everything and then some.

My highlights include:

*Meeting some people from other meetup groups (MD, NY) and podcasts

*Buying a Hufflepuff house tie for $8 cheaper than I was expecting it to be

*Getting an awesome brainstorm about what to do for a pumpkin if DADA does a pumpkin carving thingy for our Halloween party on the 18th (I'm not saying what it is but I'll hint that the idea is Marauder-related)

*Getting a total plot bunny during Remus singing his Valentine's Day song and pulling out my notebook to jot down the basics- and having someone offer me a light so I can see what I'm writing

*Giving a BookCrossing copy of Book 2 to someone who sat down at our table whose first few books were lost to a recent flood

*Being trapped in tight quarters in the Merch room right behind older Draco for, like, 2 minutes *heart stops beating from the excitement* (Though, to be honest, I'm more of a Justin fangirl if we're going on looks alone... but it's not a choice I'd want to/have to make! LOL)

*Getting to see Oliver Boyd live for the first time (hmm. Will probably have to get a CD of his now- two of his songs made me cry even though I've heard them before)

*Falling in love with some new bands (Nagini & Alistair- Nagini autographed the CD I bought and I stalked Alistair for ten minutes but chickened out approaching since I didn't have anything for him to autograph it with and Swish & Flick, which ROCKED the house)

*Whompy opening his act with Draco/Harry and Whompy totally stealing the concert thanks to backup by Justin & the Dracos even though he wasn't the closing act. He had an amazing set.

*One of the Myrtles and Remus singing the duet from Dr. Horrible together!!! (That alone made my day)

*Justin, Whompy, both Dracos, and Remus all singing the Beatles' 'A Little Help From My Friends' and messing up a half dozen times even though they were reading off cheatsheets but totally getting points for trying and looking so good hugging each other and ending a fantastic summer tour season together in a blaze of glory

*Keeping each other awake in the bus station until 2am by discussing all of our favorite HP fanfics (I'm sure the others in the cafe enjoyed the smutty plotlines LOL)

Totally worth every second of getting no sleep and stressing out/worrying. Fucking incredible.
tarotgal: (HIMYM- Apple Orchard...)
Thought I'd put both reviews in the same post and be all musically fandomy together.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings Live Score Performed at Wolf Trap-
Basically, they took the score out of the movie, turned the dialoge and sound effects down a little, and showed the movie on a big screen while the Filene Center Orchestra, The City Choir of Washington, and the World Children's Choir performed the score live in front of us. I was just a few rows back in dead center during the first half, then moved over to be with friend and was a little off center after that. Before the performance, we met up with the local DC Ringers group and had a picnic up on the grass. They were a great group (and one of them has now joined my Harry Potter group, too) and I feel less intimidated about going to another one of their meetups now. They seem like a great bunch who appreciate fandom, not just Tolkien (I was worried they'd be serious book people and would laugh because I haven't read the Silmarillion fully).
After the picnic, I went down and took my seat, snuggled up under my warm AIDS Walk fleece and my jacket and my fleece blanket. So nice and warm. The music was incredible. I got shivers all over at the beginning with the rings. It starts out beautiful- and people clapped at the title's appearance. And of course we all enjoyed the fun Hobbitty scores. But it only got better from there. The lead vocalists were INCREDIBLE. And even more amazing was the fact that the woman was standing about 20 feet away from me, singing in elvish in the sweetest, most beautiful voice. Better than Enya-- better than anyone. OMG. I tried to pick my favorite part. At first, the trip through the mines was definitely my favorite. With the drums and the children's choir in the background as Gimli expressed his grief over his kinsmen... and then when they were battling. When Gandalf falls and all sound except for music goes... it was overwhelmingly beautiful. And then the post-mines moments touched my heart SO much more. It's the first time I ever saw the movie on the big screen, too, having missed it in theaters the first time. And then the Lament for Gandalf... and the singers right there- RIGHT THERE- so fantastic. Really, the whole thing was amazing to watch. Oh, and they did the whole closing credits. Which is LONG. But by the end, I didn't want it to end. Why couldn't they have done the extended version? heehee I SO hope they do the Two Towers next year as planned.
ALSO, during the first part I was sitting next to someone who had clearly never seen the movie before. Someone leaned over and explained to her that was PJ during his cameo. And then during the wraiths' pillow scene in the inn, she JUMPED in her seat in surprise. So neat to sit next to someone and experience it all over again. heehee

Harry & the Potters-
Wow. I wasn't sure what to expect from my very first Wizard Rock concert. I was worried, since I didn't know all the songs (I'd been listening to the same 17 Harry & the Potters songs on repeat on iTunes all day so I did know some!). The opening bands and Dumbledore the MC were good. I enjoyed a collection of clips they put together with Samwise's speech about heroes not turning back as the voice-over. There was everything from Harry Potter to Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Sounds weird but it totally worked. heehee And the bands (Math the Band and Uncle Monsterface) were good- not fantastic, but silly and fun and good musicians. They all definitely had Unlimited Enthusiasm, that's for sure. They named their tour properly! There was lots of band swag to buy (I made it out alive with just an HP Alliance button and a Dumbledore Wants You to Wizard Rock the Vote poster). I hadn't had dinner because I had to leave from work to get my car from the garage (passed the state inspection! Whee!) and then drive into DC- gods, I was scared. If I hadn't had Jill the GPS I would NEVER have found the place or the parking lot (which was basically a guy sitting behind a fence taking $9 from anyone who drove in). It wasn't the best part of DC, so I was worried about being there alone. But I got to the club all right and joined the line... and then friends showed up after that. We ended up being a party of... *counts* 11. Plus two friends of the LOTR convert, so that makes 13 in the end. They had a fun "send a postcard to friends" feature, but I didn't have y'alls addresses on me! So I'll send you postcards in spirit. heehee Both Harrys worked the crowds during the opening acts and we roped them in for pictures (I got to sit next to Joe!Harry!). They're both incredibly sweet and down-to-earth and just wanted to see everyone have fun. And when they got up there to perform- MAN they were fun! And LOUD! And fast. And they played all their best songs and a few I didn't know. I was THRILLED they played my favorite: Cornelius Fudge is an Ass (is soooo catchy) and my other favorite: the Human Hosepipe (I especially like the Cedric parts. Mmmm... Cedric parts...). But they played everything from Save Ginny Weasley to Hagrid is fun to Hug. We'd just had a book 5 discussion meetup and had been all over the Umbridge- OMG She looks like a Frog song so when that came on, all the club members cracked up with our private little joke. There were also two lovely Back to the Future references! As we were learning the dance moves for the Hagrid song, one of the Harrys quoted Marty's lines about "watch me for the movies and try to keep up". I laughed but I was one of few who did. The guy behind me said "only, like, 10 people in this whole place got that". I turned around and nodded in agreement to him. Then, later, they announced it was going to be a sweet song and they intro-ed it with the main part of Earth Angel- complete with holding their hands up to make sure their fingers weren't transparent. Very clever. And they were damn good. Fantastic singers and musicians but they also really knew how to work a crowd. It was fantastic. Even ended with blow-up dragons and balloons thrown out at the crowd. And they did an Encore, which was great. I really enjoyed it! I felt like a dork standing there because I don't dance (unless it's choreographed like the Hagrid song), but there were a few people around me not dancing also, so that was all right. And I still loved it. SO neat to hear them live in a crowd of fellow Harry Potter fans!

I already reserved my space for the free concert on Saturday. AND I just bought a Remus and the Lupins album on iTunes today. I was listening to Draco and the Malfoys songs all day, so I'll switch to the werewolf tomorrow. Yay for musical HP geeks!
tarotgal: (Horatio)
It's 8:36pm and I'm still at work.

Why? Because there's a huge storm going on in my area. One storm came through around 3 today and we got an emergency evacuation notice so we all headed down into the basement of our building- where we stood around, ate Chex Mix and gummy bears- until it was over. There was a tornado but it didn't go past us. It did kill a guy in our county, though. Not good.

Then I stayed late at work because my writers' roundtable group is at 7 (I get there around 6:30 to set up) so it doesn't make sense to go all the way home and then out again. At 6pm I got a phone call from the library saying the meeting was canceled because the power at the library is out. So did I go home then? No.

I stayed here because there's no power at home. And here I have food and light and power and the internet. So at least I can follow the box score of the Stanley Cup game and eat dinner. And catch up a little on pervy_werewolf. I got another Tornado warning from the university (where I work) at 8 but it said to take shelter in a building, not go to the basement or anything like the last one. And right now raining just a little and there's a little thunder. The huge part of the storm and the hail has passed by. It's supposed to get bad again around midnight, so I'm planning to go home before that (most traffic lights are out- but it's mostly right turns all the way home for me except for the very first turn, where the traffic light is on anyway).

But if it gets bad again, I could very well be stranded here at work for the night. There's a spider about 2 inches in diameter in my office somewhere, too. Don't really want to bunk down for the night with him. But I've got a jacket and sweatshirt and my Eeyore blanket here at work (boy, I'm a dork) and I have cheese and crackers and beverages and stuff to eat for dinner that I don't have at home.

Kind of fun, actually. Except for missing the game. HELP! I want to listen to it online but I've been everywhere and can't find a live feed! Okay, so reading Remus pr0n is a good time waster while I listen to the emergency broadcast signal on the radio. But I'd like to listen to the game as well :-)
tarotgal: (Hockey is love)
I'm really proud of my boys. They played hard and won when it counted in order to get as far as they did. There's not much that's more exciting than a game 7 in the playoffs... except maybe a game 7 that goes into sudden death overtime. And even though they technically lost tonight, I'm so very proud of my Capitals nonetheless because they never quit and they epitomize everything I love in hockey. They did such a good job for their first time as a team to the playoffs and I have high hopes for the future.

That being said, I'm a mix of emotions. Proud, yes, but also incredibly PISSED at the refs. That non-call in the second fucking cost them the game. That was totally goalie interference, incidental or otherwise, and should have been called immediately. That was a deliberate move and should have been called. I'll never budge from that stand. So in my mind, the Caps absolutely should have won that game. Pisses me off that it came down to a STUPID ref-related call like that.

I'm also incredibly sad to find out that afterwards, Olie, my goalie, took his name plate off his locker. Sure, we have three goalies and we bumped him out of number one spot for Huet, but he's been part of the Caps organization for so many years- I can't even picture the team without him. It's so very, very heartbreaking to think about what must be going through his mind- that that might have been his last chance at the cup, that he's being replaced, that he couldn't get his team there. Absolutely breaks my heart and puts tears in my eyes. I love him and would love to see him stay and not retire. He was with us for the hardest times and never lost faith in the team. I don't want to lose faith in him.

So... the end of an incredible season. The Caps went from first to dead last with no hope of succeeding to Southeast Division champions in third seat with home ice advantage at the playoffs! Ovie blew the league away (I look forward to the awards ceremony) in more ways than one. Our new coach deserves coach of the year more than any other for turning the team around so incredibly. And the boys really bonded as a unit to go further than anyone thought they would. Apart from winning the cup, there's absolutely nothing else you could ask of a hockey team, and I'm proud that to say they're my boys. Let's Go Caps! I'm looking forward to watching the race for the cup, of course, but already I can't wait until next season :-)
tarotgal: (HP- Famous)
So... I'm famous again! I e-mailed my morning show on Mix 107.3 and they read my e-mail on the air! I could have died of happy.

They were talking about American Idol, and how certain performances of songs can move us because of the performance, not strictly because of the lyrics. So I got to work, said my hello's and shot them a quick e-mail. My e-mail is in italics below and their comments (paraphrased) are in bold:

We were talking earlier about performances that have made us cry and we got an e-mail we wanted to share. It's from Kate in (omits the name of her town) Virginia. She writes:

I was driving to work this morning before 9 and heard the discussion about songs that make you cry because of the way they are performed. I had to write in.

I'm a cry baby. I cry at anything- even some movie trailers! And, certainly, when I went to see Billy Joel in concert I was moved to tears when he
sang Downeaster Alexa and Goodnight Saigon

Oh, that's an amazing song. Very moving, for sure. Billy Joel's concerts are always fantastic.

but those songs have powerful lyrics and always make me cry anyway.

Even though so much makes me cry, the only really good example I have is Superman by Five for Fighting. I had always liked the song but it wasn't
until I heard them perform it live in studio on your show on the anniversary of September 11th that the song really struck me. I was driving and had to pull the car over until I stopped crying.

John Ondrasik is a great friend of the show and he was kind enough to perform that song for us live in studio. I think we were all moved and honored to have him play that for us. It's hard not to get choked up during that song, that day being what it was.

The performance was so raw and powerful- not to mention well-timed. I was so glad to see that track on the Jack Diamond Morning Show CD, and
it still makes me tear up when I listen to it, where the original recording doesn't.

Love your Show, Babe!

That's so great to hear, thanks for sharing that with us. It was wonderful they let us include that cut on the CD. There are actually a few really powerful songs on there. Another one is when Blue October played Hate Me and talked about the story behind writing that song....

They went on a little after that, went to commercial and played some music, and then they started up again, talking about the CD since soooo many people had been contacting them, asking about it. Apparently you can buy it on Amazon.com now, which is awesomeness. During the first issuing of it it was only available in limited release at area Target stores and I went almost every day looking for it for weeks. I kept calling stores- they'd sell out in an hour. So when they ordered a second printing of it, they offered it online on their website and I immediately bought it- because there are a few songs like Superman that I had heard performed on the radio and *loved* them but there were also a bunch I hadn't heard (because I don't get up as early as some people). And it's all for charity, which rocks. But I probably would have bought that whole CD just because of Five for Fighting's song.

Oh, and Jimmy replied to my e-mail with:
Thanks so much for your email. It's hard not to tear up in those moments.

But, hey, yeah! They read my letter on the radio! I was thrilled I got to share :-) Because those were really special moments for me and my music appreciation. Twas nice to share it with the morning show I've been listening to for... oh, what's it been? 15 years? 16? One of these days I really MUST go in on Friday and meet them in studio. It's on my 101 goals in 1001 days list for goodness sakes.


Feb. 12th, 2008 06:10 pm
tarotgal: (HP- Famous)
Aw crap. Channel 9 local news stalked me when I went to vote today. They called me a "young web designer" lol. But they interviewed me before, then showed me standing in line, giving my name, voting, and then interviewed me afterwards, too. I freakin HATE being on camera and talking in public. And I'm all over the damn place. The interviewer said I was the first "young person" she'd seen all day but, still, OMG how embarrassing! Gods, my coworkers are all going to see it now *hides in a corner* At least when they edited it, I didn't sound stupid. But... yeah. I'm famous *hides again* My mother taped it and wants to never delete it. Oh gods no. Why me?! LOL

But the IMPORTANT part is that I voted! Yes! Did my civic duty, even if I was undecided until this morning and then wavering a little when I got onsite. I would seriously be over the moon happy with either Obama or Clinton, which is why it was such a tough decision. I like 'em both. Of course I'm closer in views to Gravel and Kucinich but I'm still happy with the way I voted.

It was nice to see so many people turning out to vote, too! There were, like, 40 people in line ahead of me at 11am when I'd have assumed everyone was at work.
tarotgal: (Clearly excited)
OH MY GODS! Greg Fox mentioned me in his blog entry this week! Okay, so, he mentioned, like, a hundred other people, but still, I screamed out loud and bounced in my seat like a happy fangirl.

Incidentally, what does it say about me that I read: "Yet... what's the one thing that [Breyer and Jean-Pierre] definite'y don't have in common?" and I actually guessed what that thing was in about half a second? I laughed out loud when I got to that part in the post and I was actually correct. I think it means either I have a very strange mind... or I just watched the briss episode of QAF. Or perhaps both. Probably both.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, he mentioned me in his blog entry! Scroll waaaay down or search for 'Kate' and, yeah, that's me. *blushes furiously*

I'm home!

Feb. 3rd, 2008 10:24 pm
tarotgal: (Writing- heartbeat)
Wow. What an utterly exhausting conference! It was WONDERFUL, though. I didn't have to man the cash register much- I mostly worked the help desk and ran around crazy helping out and setting up the computers/network/printers. Registration opened at 8am each morning of the conference, which meant I had to get up at 5am and get down to start setting up at 5:45am every morning. We took everything down every evening at 5 and set it up again in the morning. We had complaints, naturally, but VERY few compared to what we'd anticipated given that the conference sold out before it began for the first time in AWP history. Even the board dinner and meeting went surprisingly well.

Bad moments:

*Our Express train (which goes 140 mph) hit a shopping cart on the tracks on the way to DC, just out of Baltimore. Bad smell of rubber burning, then the train stopped for nearly an hour. The speed regulator was busted so we could only go about 79 mph max and the slower (non express) train passed us along the way and made it to NYC first. LOL We got in much later than we should have... but I managed to read 'Fight Club' from start to finish during my travels that day, so not a total loss.

*Lack of sleep and having incredibly sore feet! Also, inability to watch Capitals games and Torchwood.

*Dinner at a Greek restaurant- that took 3 hours from start to finish!

*Maids changing out my towels even though I hung them on the "don't change" towel rack AND not giving me a bath mat towel twice for some reason

*Not being able to go to more events (I'm glad I got to go to two, though!)

Highlights of my week:

*Eating a special vegan dish made just for me at Bobby Flay's restaurant

*Listening to Kristin's music while stuffing 7,000 bags with coworkers (she played a Moulin Rouge song just for me!!)

*Talking to conference people for an hour while waiting in the LONG taxi line in front of the hotel- then splitting a cab with a Computer Science-teacher-poet who is close friends with one of our board members

*John Irving's keynote address KICKED ASS! He's very handsome and very funny and I loved his advice about writing as much as his personal stories- his reminder that LOST was on in case we wanted to skip his keynote to go see it was also wonderful

*Being able to order a lemonade through room service that cost $6.95 and not worry about it because I had $200 left in my per diem

*Meeting some famous writers at registration including: Francine Prose, Ha Jin (who was wearing a stylish AWP baseball cap!!), Russell Edson (I made nametags for all his personal guests), C.D. Wright, and Billy Collins (I made badges for all his guests, too, and then he asked my name and shook my hand and thanked me personally for all my help *so exciting*)

*Getting to see the Presidential Suite at the Hilton and eat a few items in the continental breakfast there because the VIP who was supposed to be there couldn't because of food poisoning. And, oh, the view from the penthouse!

*Going to the Strand bookstore and being overwhelmed by so many awesome books. The Hornblower books I had hoped to get were all the wrong covers *pout* but I did spend, like, 2 hours shopping/browsing and even climbed up a ladder to get some books off one shelf on the second floor. I ended up buying for myself: Captain Horatio Hornblower (hardcover, containing 3 of my favorite books in the series), Kyle's Bed & Breakfast (hardcover!!! I keep lending out my paperback copy and it's a bit bent and I didn't even know it *came* in hardcover! Sold in a real store! How could I resist?), Lord John & the Brotherhood of the Blade (unabridged on CD for a spectacular price- it's my new favorite book ever so, yeah, I couldn't resisit owning a copy on CD), Legends II (on cassette tapes for less than $4- has only the Lord John story and the Terry Brooks story which are the only two in the collection I care about anyway- I have it in hardcover but, yeah, audio Lord John goodness!), AND a kickass strand bag that is going to become my new fandom convention bag, I think. It's thick and gorgeous and I can't stop hugging it

*Being unable to flag down a cab in NYC so walking an extra block and stumbling upon Forbidden Planet, the coolest comic book/fandom store I've ever been in. Happy things there: Angel comic I just bought off eBay since it was sold out in my local store(doh!), thousands of dollars of fandom figures and displays including: a Duncan MacLeod one that I would have purchased had his kilt been plaid and if I'd had a good way to get him home without crushing him and Prison Break figures(Squee! for $130 each), issues of Fantastic Four comics I'd never seen before (including one I bought that has Johnny hunched over in the doctor's office, hugging his stomach, saying "I don't feel so good") with complimentary boards & bags, and several fandom patches I was planning to buy online for $7.99 each that were only $3.99!

*The Frank McCourt & Billy Collins reading (only other event I got to go to) that was fucking HILARIOUS! I got to sit up in the special "Reserved- VIP" section- which might be the only time in my life I ever get to sit in a VIP section- it's good to be staff *G* Frank told stories and read from Teacher Man (interjecting bits of humor here and there) and I laughed a lot but also loved what he had to say. Then Billy read his poetry and I was laughing SO hard I literally had tears running down my cheeks, down my neck, and onto my chest. Seriously, some of the funniest stuff I've ever heard in my life. Especially his 'suddenly' poem and the one about the writers' workshop. Oh gods, I REALLY hope we were recording that one to go on the podcast so it can be shared with the world because it's too funny for just a few thousand people to have heard it.

*Walking around Times Square- twice- without incident, just enjoying the scenery and not getting too pissed at the commercialism :-)

*Seeing RENT on Broadway- and crossing something off my "To Do Before I Die Life List". And because is was VERY good. The set was a little more elaborate than the other 3 (travelling) performances I've seen. The venue was SO much better- even though I was in the second-to-last row, it was almost like being right up on stage with them because of the way the theater was set up- very intimate. The sound quality sucked most of the time (a little too loud) and the performers were obviously not top-notch, but they were very good. Usually when I see RENT performed I make it to 'Life Support' without crying. This time, I teared up during 'Rent' and started crying during 'Glory' (and that's saying a LOT because Glory is one of my least fave songs and Roger isn't one of my favorite characters). Mimi- played by first season American Idol 3rd place chica- she could REALLY sing! Mark- his mic really didn't love him but he was very good in the role- I was more than satisfied. Roger- punk hair(?!) but played the character EXTRA angsty and was SOOOOOOOO good at that!!!! (*dies happily*) Angel- a tad too masculine for my liking, but his sick scenes were done very well and he/she was extremely loveable. Joanne- perfect, just perfect- I especially loved how she spoke some of her lines instead of singing them. Maureen- had bright blond, short lesbian hair that REALLY threw me but her voice/singing and acting were absolutely incredible so easily forgiven. Collins- not the best singer in the cast at all (sad) but one of the best actors (happy) and did a great job of some of my favorite Collins moments (namely the sarcastic ones and the hurt/injured scenes). Even though I didn't adore the Angel and Collins portrals, the two had the BEST chemistry. Even when the focus was on other characters, they were touching or holding each other and when they were in focus the love was so easy to see without being overdone/unrealistically fake- it was so beautiful. Also, my favorite number 'You'll See' was PERFECT!! The way Angel, Collins, and Mark grinned and rocked back and forth with Mark in-between them, hugging/smothering at the end of the song until he jumped up with his "Let it be, Boys" line was AMAZINGLY ADORABLE! Also wanted to note that during 'La Vie Bohem' at the "on this night when we celebrate the birth" moment, most productions I've seen have Maureen up on a chair/table pretending to give birth and then someone making a crying baby sound. This time, she started out like she was pretending to give birth but instead sneezed *G* She also mooned Mr. Gray(Grey?) which was rather nice- definitely didn't do that in the production I saw at my college! The mooing wasn't as loud as I would have liked, but that's okay. The intermission was also very short. Oh, the part Collins usually sings during '525,600 Minutes' was sung by one of the general cast members because, yeah, the actor wasn't the best- during his huge Cover You reprise in Act II he wasn't impressive either- clearly a very limited range. And the Roger actor wasn't the best singer either- had to work for some notes and fought to harmonize when singing with others. But his voice was so rough and he was so angsty/broken up that I still melted bigtime- I honestly think he played 'Your Eyes' at the beginning- solo/unaccompanied by the orchestra- which was beautiful. ANYWAY... the point of seeing it wasn't to criticize- no performance is going to be perfect and the beauty really is to see it live and as a one of a kind performance, which it definitely was. Certainly worth the $68 to see it live for a 4th time. Definitely a performance I'll never forget.

And the best part of the whole week...
*Seeing Doc!!!!!! (Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda) She was my Creative Writing teacher back in high school and, honestly, the first person who really encouraged and inspired me to write. I'd taken classes before, but hers were special and advanced and she was an amazing critiquer and so supportive and like a second mother to her students. She's the Poet Laureate of Virginia, too. I knew she was an AWP member a while ago since I archived 30 years of our magazine issues and had seen her picture in one, but I didn't know she'd be at the conference and I hadn't seen her in 9.5 years. I was working registration and she walked past and we saw each other and then did a double-take and then I rushed around the booth and we hugged and caught up and OMG Doc!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, the most wonderful part, for certain. We exchanged cards so we can stay in touch, too. *happy sigh*

So, yeah. A great week, all in all. Had a lot of wonderful moments on my own and also went out with coworkers a few times and actually had a great time during those occasions, too. Definitely the best AWP conference experience for me so far (out of just the two). It's nice to be back, naturally, and I have 500+ e-mails to wade through, but it was a wonderful trip.
tarotgal: (Faerie)
Wouldn't you know it? As soon as I finish my report, out comes the photos from the official photographer :-)

You can find them all here: http://www.pixievisionproductions.com/gallery/faeriecon2007?page=1

There's a great selection. Some of my favorites:

Froud is Da Man!-

The Storyteller (who can play both flutes at the same time)-

Faeries Dancing in the Snow-

A few more at the Balls-

Jen (I think he stayed in our hotel, actually)-

Chris with his balls-

Faerie Fashion Show-

Scott Huckaby-

Ted Nasmith playing/singing-


Panels & VIPs-


Jun. 6th, 2007 11:47 pm
tarotgal: (Clearly excited)
What a year for hockey! I love the Ducks. I mean, I LOVE the Ducks. They're one of my favorite west coast teams... but I didn't want them to win today- ONLY because I desperately wanted the season to go just a few games longer. I love the Sens, too; it's a shame one team had to lose. The playoffs are so incredible and intense... it's always so bittersweet when the cup is awarded and then, suddenly, it's 3 long months until hockey comes back! *cries*

Still, it was freakin fantastic to watch the Ducks win tonight! The handshakes and the posing for photos and Scott getting MVP! All those happy boys! The brothers winning- and the handoff of the cup from Scott to Robby- aww! Teemu Selanne crying with happiness on camera (I don't want him to retire!) Gigy with that smile! The mini-Prongers! What a great end to the season. Quack!


Apr. 5th, 2007 12:07 am
tarotgal: (Slash- boys cuddling)
News from TG!

1. I posted a Legolas/Gimli fic on the sneezefic list. Thank you for the bunny, Lady Korana. I haven't quite snapped out of writer's block yet but I'm on my way. Yayness.

2. I've been spending some time working on this Acefic I started in January. I've workshopped it twice at my writer's roundtable group and Tina was nice enough to beta it for me. It's in a good place right now :-) Yay for that, too.

3. My Tartan Day challenge at BookCrossing is going very well! More than 50 books released for it so far... of course, many of those were because of me, but that's not the point.

4. Speaking of the writer's roundtable... as of 9pm tonight, I am the new moderator/organizer of the group! So now it really is MY writer's roundtable group :-)

5. The Capitals won ANOTHER game! This means two games in a row! OMG we're on a roll! I'm going to the next/last game of the season on Saturday. I hope they can keep up their winning streak for it.

6. I found the following post-it note on the window of my car when I left the library tonight:

More of the yay! :-)

7. I actually have some more exciting news to post... but as it hasn't been publishd yet, I don't want to say anything yet. Okay, it's not a story or anything- so don't get TOO excited- it's something for work and it's really small.
tarotgal: (Obi-Slave)

I'm going crazy with happy over the United States Postal Service. Not only are we getting special R2D2 mailboxes... but also.......

Star Wars Stamps!
Vote for your favorite to be added to the collection *cough Obi-Wan* (It's a really difficult decision, though... I like a lot of them)


Yoda, Vader, and OBI-WAN on special priority mailers. I'm totally buying a few. Look at the respect that nummy Ewan boy gets!!


I haven't done this yet, but it looks cute and fun... and a chance to win a trip to Celebration IV.

tarotgal: (Hufflepuff)
The year isn't quite over yet, but I'm fairly confident this is as far on my resolutions as I will be getting.

New Year's Resolutions 2006:

1. Lose more weight
Accomplished: not really
Well, I did work out a bit this year, and did lose a few pounds. But I stopped mid-year or so when I started working 4 jobs. The important thing is I haven't really gained any weight this year. So that's not too bad.

2. Make more progress on my 'fandoms I want to get into' list (Horatio Hornblower, Farscape, Firefly, Band of Brothers, Starsky & Hutch...)
Accomplished: yes
I made it through the whole Hornblower series and watched a half dozen Farscape episodes. Still have miles to go before I sleep.

3. Finish a draft of a possibly publishable novel
Accomplished: no
Not even close. Except that I think I have a good novel-sized bunny to work on in this pre-series Strokes Jamie fic 'Under Lock and Key'. So I started a possibly publishable novel. Definitely didn't finish anything.
However, I did try getting a short story published. And I did write a short article for BC that did get published. I also bravely went out and joined a local monthly writing group that has been inspirational and motivational. So not an entirely uneventful writing year. Slow and steady...

4. Release more than 25 books into the wild for Bookcrossing
Accomplished: yes
Ohhh yeah. Thanks to participating in a whole bunch of challenges, I released about 300 this year! And I registered more than 500. I've participated in RABCKs, direct releases, controlled releases, Sunset Missions, Bookboxes, Bookrings, and Bookrays, as well as getting more than 20 wild release catches.

5. Try to do at least one thing on my "things to do before I die" list (or at least write a bigger/better list- it's only got 7 things on it right now- how pathetic!)
Accomplished: yes
My list now has 26 things on it. And I actually did one thing on my list this year: I went to a Billy Joel concert. Horrid seats, but that didn't matter because the concert was absolutely fantastic. I laughed and cried and loved every moment of it. Definitely glad I did it.

6. Write letters to my two high school friends I've lost touch with
Accomplished: yes
I sent them Christmas cards with short notes written inside, as well as my family's newsletter. I don't expect anything to come of it, but it makes me feel better to have reached out and finally done this

7. Teach an adult education course or become a part-time tutor
Accomplished: no (but that's okay)
I did place a few calls in January to adult education places nearby about teaching but never heard back. I also researched some local tutoring companies I could apply to. But I got a full-time job and that sort of killed my free time and I prefer to do the work I'm doing now. Though maybe in the future...

8. Practice reading people better and get better at giving them what they want from me
Accomplished: maybe
I think I've been better at it, certainly. But still not to the level I would like. People are such a mystery to me still, in a lot of ways. LOL

9. Tell people more often how much I love/appreciate them
Accomplished: maybe
I've been better at this, too. But need to keep at it.

10. Finish all my Strokes works-in-progress (prior to New Year's storyline)
Accomplished: not really, but I'm satisfied with my progress
I got a TON of stories prior to that storyline written, including a whole Beginnings series I'm incredibly happy with my progress on it, due entirely to NaNoWriMo. So nearly all of my prior 2006 stories have either been begun or have been finished. Plus, I'm thrilled with the new characters that have jumped out at me and new storylines taking place after the New Year's fic.

11. Give more feedback (and do so promptly)
Accomplished: maybe
I've been a little better at times during the year, and worse at other times. For all that I read, I really should write more feedback, both in the SF world and in all the communities where I'm active or lurk.

All in all, I think I did a good job. I give myself a lot of resolutions so that I feel better at the end of the year just to see that I've accomplished some of them. Several weren't very easy to measure, so it's hard to evaluate them. I think I'll revise my 2007 resolutions to make it easier at the end of the year. Anyway, I'm happy with this year. Incredibly good BC progress, obviously. NaNoWriMo was such a lot of fun, and my fun writing in general has been a joy from the May Challenge at pervy_werewolf to giftfics I finally finished to the ABC's of H/C to Strokes really growing. The move to the new house went well, even though I'm still not quite done unpacking almost a year later. Sad to see my childhood house go, but it's a milestone to note. And then, of course, working up the courage to apply and interview... and then landing my dream job. And getting a good performance review and a slight raise that just kicked in this month. I raised more money than ever at the AIDS Walk (thank you all again). And I haven't had a mental breakdown in months. So it's been a good year for me. Obviously, not without it's bad points. But, in general, a good year and I'm happy with my progress with my resolutions which was what the post was all about in the first place :-)
tarotgal: (Fight AIDS)
I didn't make an entry about the AIDS Walk because I was exhausted on Saturday. Utterly exhausted! I had a dream the night before that I overslept and missed the walk completely, and I kept waking up worried that I'd done just that.

So on 4 hours of sleep I headed to the Metro station at 6:15 Saturday morning. My stomach behaved itself (probably because all the bad stuff struck me on Friday morning, LOL) and I made it there without getting lost on the streets of DC :-)

This year was the 20th AIDS Walk Washington.
The Washington Post did a fair article about it here- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/07/AR2006100700706.html

The walk:
-I checked in and got my spiffy volunteer T-shirt and my assignment: Freedom Plaza (which is where check-in was)
-I was put to work in the incentives tent! They moved it to the plaza this year, not in the Warner building like last year (which was cramped for those purposes). I've never worked incentives before, so that was LOTS of fun! I got to check in the teams and give them the shirts, hats, etc. that they got based on how much each team raised.
-I got to sit behind the table, at the front of the tent... not out of the rain and not out of the wind. And when both struck, water GUSHED down right on top of me from the tent overhang! It lightly rained most of the morning, but we did have about 10-20 minutes of HEAVY rain. I had my rain jacket on, but it didn't help too much at times. The temp was in the 50's and I wore gloves for a while, but it was hard to write and highlight my list that way. But I like the cold and wet and it was an adventure.
-My team captain was the same one as last year (Scott) and both he and his fag hag, Jen, remembered me from last year. Yay! They drive up from Richmond every year to do the walk (which is about 3-4 hours) and brought another friend in tow this year. Was nice seeing them and hanging with them again.
-Even though it was a "gloomy" day out, we still had an okay turnout. Less than 4,000 people showed up to walk in the cold and rain.
-Unfortunately, we ran out of T-Shirts for the walkers about an hour into it! Lots of people were annoyed about that (sorry people!) and I had to be one of the few to break the news to them. But we all wrote down their names and circled the team names on the master lists, so incentives could be ordered and given to them. Lots of people tried to convince us to give them fleeces instead. But as t-shirts were $50 and fleeces were $500 we didn't go for that. The pens stopped working in the cold, on the soaked paper... so that was an adventure. But we managed to make note of everyone.

Fun/good moments:
-Just playing "It's a Beautiful Day" on the sound system so loud they can hear it in the White House doesn't actually make it a beautiful day when it's 52 degrees out and pouring rain.
-Witnessed a guy doing a fabulous Mary Tyler Moore impression done in the middle of Freedom Plaza, hat and all, before the opening ceremony.
-We decided that, no matter how sweet the guy is when holding another's hand, a gay man just can't be called a fag hag. Spread the word.
-We didn't realize that our tent was just before the finish line, which wasn't really a finish line, just a few huge bunches of balloons that we got to pop when it was all over. So we didn't notice the first few people to walk by and finish, but once we realized it, our incentives tables turned into a self-proclaimed cheering section. But we all feel guilty about those first few people.
-I got to check in the DC One team. I knew they were walking and thought it would be great to meet the group since I'm a big One supporter. Iit was cool that I got to be the one to check them in.
-One team I checked in was a pair of guys (a little older than me and VERY cute) who raised more than $500 together. I asked them their team name and one guy said "Anastasia Beaverhausen". I laughed and looked at him funny, then looked down at my list and realized he was actually telling the truth. The guy leaned over and cracked up with a "Man, you mean they actually listed that as our name?" Much laughter was to be had by all. I gave them their incentives. They ended up as one of the first groups through the finish line.
-One team I checked in consisted of two older women and a cat. Yes, a cat. In a baby stroller with one of those nets covering it so the cat couldn't get out. The cat had a bed and toys and everything. I don't even remember what the cat looked like (was hard to see through the net) but it had a sign on the side I remember. Said something like "I represent all the pets left behind because of AIDS". Brought tears to my eyes, actually. Not that it takes much, but I thought it was very sweet.

We raised more than $500,000. Which is a pretty good figure for a rainy day. Unfortunately, it's not close to the amount raised back in the years. It's sort of sad that people don't see it as a big cause like they used to, because of all the drugs nowadays. But after seeing so many people touched by it at the walk, it's great to know there are still people out there willing to spend a Saturday helping. And thank you to everyone here who helped by donating! It really means so much to me. I'll be sending out thank you notes this week :-)


Sep. 21st, 2006 06:40 pm
tarotgal: (Fight AIDS)
I'm volunteering again this year for AIDS Walk Washington. As this will be my 6th year participating, I'm hoping to raise more money than I ever have before. So I'm sending this around to everyone I know and thought I'd post on my LJ's as well in case any of you are feeling particularly sweet (as you always are anyway) and generous as well. No worries if you can't donate- I'll still love you! But if you can spare a little, I would definitely appreciate your support for this worthwhile cause.

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Whitman-Walker Clinic. You can donate online any time before October 2.

If you have any questions about this, let me know!


Sep. 11th, 2006 01:24 am
tarotgal: (Default)
So I've been crying off and on for 4 hours now. I watched 'WTC View' which I knew would have me crying, but was a fantastic movie and I'm glad I watched it anyway. Mostly it's all these specials about the kids who lost parents and the firefighters that keep pushing me over the edge.

I had to write this for therapeutic purposes tonight. I doubt I'll get much sleep tonight and I almost considered taking a personal day today, but I do feel better after writing this. It's Strokes-verse (duh) and not edited (duh).

9-11-01 )


Jul. 5th, 2006 09:40 pm
tarotgal: (Writing- heartbeat)
Hope everyone had a good 4th of July! It's not my favorite of holidays, but I did watch a few fireworks on tv in-between looking out the window to make sure the idiots lighting them in the street weren't too close to my finally-paid-off car.

Didn't get much sleep last night. Couldn't fall asleep. Dunno why, but ever since I last washed my sheets the pillows and blankets just don't sit right any more. Very annoying.

Anyway... went to work and had a good day. I love my work *hugs my work* After work I went to Walmart and bought some things (under $10, I'm a real big spender) and then I walked over the Burger King. I eat fast food maybe four times a year. Usually it's Wendy's but Burger King has Morning Star Farms veggie burgers. So I treated myself to a meal for dinner. Then I drove over to the library and learned how their computers with internet usage system works (it's pretty impressive- in Iowa you just signed a piece of paper, here you scan in your own library car and it assigns you a terminal and (if it's already being used) it has a display you can watch with the minutes counting down until your terminal is ready) Hmm. I just layered parentheses badly... ugh, I got little sleep last night and I don't care about syntax right now. LOL I checked out the next hockey romance novel in the series (I still have to read #1 but I've read #2 and #3 and #5&6 haven't been published yet! ARG! Can't wait!) so I'm dying to start that even though I SHOULD be finishing Wicked or doing work for one of my old jobs.

The whole reason for going to the library was the monthly writer's group, though. A nice turnout for a rainy day- 9 people including me. It was lead by the woman of a girl I went to high school with. She was kind of a... I dunno how to describe her, but social outcase is being nice. She was in my girl scout troop for a number of years, too. Her whole family's a little... again, wierd isn't going far enough. I really don't know how to describe them, honestly. ANYWAY, it was nice. Four people read their works and we all gave feedback. I brought a story I'm having trouble with but didn't read it. I didn't feel comfortable jumping in like that my first time. But I hope I gave a little good feedback. And maybe next time I'll read. You totally can't walk into a group of strangers in conservative red state Virginia and start reading a story set in a gay club, you know? Of course, the story I'm working on now is all about a het relationship and doesn't take place much in the club, but the boys are there and I didn't want to throw that in people's faces the first time before I sized them up, obviously. As two of the people were very military, I'm glad I didn't read. Though one of the women is clearly a pagan and has a dog named Winter Solstice so, really, I think the whole group is pretty open minded.

So, yeah, it was good. I look forward to it next month. Not sure my story can wait that long... but I'm having such a hard time with it, who knows? It's just REALLY nice right now, surrounding myself with writers. Now if I could just get an intelligent, caring, artistic boyfriend with a propensity to catch colds, I'd be all set ;-)

All righty. I'm playing with a Strokes story about Robert right now. It's close to being done, which I'm happy about. Then I can get back to Julia's story and figure out what the hell to do about it. Grrr. Why won't it cooperate with me?

EDIT: OH! I almost forgot to mention! On the way home on the radio I heard 'Hips Don't Lie' by Shakira which has been my absolute favorite song since the end of May. It's the song I equate with my Strokes story 'Okay' (not yet posted) and I'm totally in love with it. And Shakira isn't too bad either... But, yeah, quite a coincidence it being my current favorite writing-related song coming on the radio as I was driving home from a writing workshop! I cranked it up, naturally. So happy :-)


Jun. 26th, 2006 10:20 pm
tarotgal: (NCIS Abbs Five)
First day of work went well. The people who were there when I arrived didn't know what I was supposed to be doing, and the network was down, and nothing couldbe done about it. The person who knows what I'm supposed to be doing is on vacation. The person who knows a little (the director) was 2 hours late because of all the flooding.

SO it was interesting. I have the equivalent of 200 pages of alien text... wait, no, I have the equivalent of maybe 50 pages of information written on small scraps of paper and post-its. Passwords, account names, URLS, etc. Half of it I could understand but didn't know what to do with, and the other half is a complete mystery to me. I have two computers (and my own office which, yes, has a window looking out into a happy forest and a dead cicada on the windowsil) and files were all OVER the place on them. No idea whathalf of them are about... but I managed to find some and understand some. It'd be better if I had some idea what was going on. But the stuff the director did know was all hardware. I am CRAP at hardware so I looked like a fool. I've never been a network admin before and here he is talking about system volumes and backing up databases and restarting the network and committing passwords to memory and not telling ANYONE at work. Yikes. SCARED! I feel VERY overwhelmed on that side of things. But strangely optimistic at the same time.

But the people are soooooooooooooooooooooo nice. One of the girls just started working there two weeks ago, and everyone's just really friendly. Definitely my kind of people, too. I especially liked the "When to Use Who vs. Whom" explanation on the whiteboard in the conference room. I love those people. *G*

I have to go in early tomorrow to start up the network (OMG I'm terrified- NO idea what I'm doing, LOL) and then go to orientation for the day. Then I'm going to my old job at 4:30 to work for a few hours. It's only Monday, though, and I'm already exhausted. I didn't get much sleep last night. Was nervous and hungry and nervous and I kept waking up every 10 minutes, scared I was going to sleep through my alarm. Then Maxwell Demon woke me up at 6:30 by chewing on a granola bar wrapper (yes, I can sleep with the TV on 5 feet away but the soft sound of a cat chewing plastic wakes me up and makes me sit straight up). I watched a bit of Angel on tv (which was on when I woke at 7am... and 7:06am... and 7:15am... etc. and on when my alarm went off at 7:45am) so that was a nice way to start the day. Nummy Angel and his Irish flashbacks...

Anyway... I'm overwhelmed but happy. I think I'll be more excited once I get into the swing of things and figure out what goes where and how to access all the files everywhere. And when person comes back from vacation with actual assignments for me. heehee


Contents of this journal include: sneeze fetish references and lots of hurt/comfort, short fics and/or WIPS, everything from gen and het to slash and femslash, everything from G to NC-17, random ramblings about my life and fandom obsessions.

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