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Sophie Hatter

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Christmas shenanigans 2012 [27 Dec 2012|02:17pm]
Christmas 2012 was a new thing for my family, since for the first time they came out to Los Angeles for the holiday. Normally we go to either Austin or Boston, but as neither was practical this year, we tried a different approach.

The good stuff!Collapse )

The bad stuff!Collapse )
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Things learned at last night's karaoke [11 Nov 2012|07:55pm]
Things learned at last night's karaoke:

1) Everyone who goes to karaoke sings Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." Everyone. Not only did we sing it ourselves, but on later trips out in the hallways, we heard no less than FOUR other rooms singing the same song.

2) Five Long Island Iced Teas is too many.

3) The only thing that can make karaoke better, is having someone in your group who knows ASL, so she can stand up next to the screen and provide translations of the lyrics. :)
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The Flim Flam Ticket 2012 [17 Aug 2012|12:17pm]
(Sung to the tune of The Flim Flam Brothers.)

[Approaching Election Day in AMERICA. A crowd of VOTERS stands outside the white house, frustrated and angry because OBAMA and BIDEN are not improving the economy fast enough. Suddenly, an huge, clunky vehicle labeled GOP TICKET 2012 appears on the horizon and chugs up the road towards the white house. The vehicle clangs to a stop, knocking over one of the pillars of society as it does so. RYAN and ROMNEY jump out.]

Well lookie here, co-ticket of mine, it's the same in every town
Empty wallets, dry bank accounts and not a drop of money to be found
Maybe they're not aware that there's really no need for this teary despair?

That the key that they need to solve this rude recession you and I will share

Oh you've got opportuni-ty
Right here in this communi-ty

RYAN: He's Mitt -- ROMNEY: He's Paul --

We're the world famous Flim-Flam brothers
Pandering politicians unparalleled!

We're GOP, and that's exactly the reason why, you see
You should take all your tax money and give it back to me
In the form of tax breaks for the wealthy,
To stimulate their spending --

More tax breaks than a bank could spend in all its days of lending!

(I doubt that!)

So take this opportuni-ty
Right here in this communi-ty

RYAN: He's Mitt -- ROMNEY: He's Paul --

We're the world famous Flim-Flam brothers
Pandering politicians unparalleled!

I suppose by now you're wondering
'Bout our peculiar mathematics

I say -- Our shared fiscal delusion

And I suppose by now you're wondering
"Where is this promised recovery?"

Any wonk can make a claim and any governer does the same

But Mitt and I have an idea most unique and superb
Never tried before and surely never failed

A supply-side economy!

Folks, it's the one and only, the limited-time sale

The most unconscionable --

Inconceivable --

Indefensible --

I-can't-believable --

Social Darwin Right-Wing Darlin' Ryan Randian Budget 6000!

So what d'you say, mister?

We want supply-side economy
In this very community
Please Paul, please Mitt, feed us all this bullshit
With your Social Darwin Right-Wing Darlin' Ryan Randian Budget 6000!

Mr. President, I would be ever so honored if you might see fit to let my coworker and I borrow your constitutionally ratified, popular and might I add overwhelmingly Republican authored Affordable Care Act for our little demonstration here?

Uh, sure, I guess.

A new economy!
In our community!

Ready Mitt?

Ready Paul?

Let's take in our haul

And show these gentle people a marvelous world of trickle-down economics!
Watch closely, my friends!

The fun begins!

Now, here's where the magic happens, right here in the fiscal sector. The tax money you gave to us returns in the form of stupendously imbalanced, outrageously over-the-top deductions and tax breaks to the one-percent wealthy! Any minute now, ANY MINUTE, those billionaires are going to be putting that money right back in our economy to produce an overwhelming flood of knock-your-socks-off trickle-down investment return in infrastructure, increased manufacturing demand and elevated hiring!

Feel free to take a sneak peak!

Now wait, you fellers, hold it!
You've gone and oversold it!
Your appeal to the common voters won't compare
For the most important detail
Can't be found in free-market retail
And it's compassion, friends, Medicaid and Obamacare!

Well I'm glad you called that out, Grandpa, I say I'm glad you called that out
You see that we're very concerned about elderly for the time it takes them to vote

Yes sir, the over-55 group won't be bothered, so don't trouble your head
So whaddya say then, voters
Care to buy into our fantasy
And the bill won't come due till today's seniors are all dead

What do you say, folks? Do you see what the Democrats can't? I see it clear as day! I know she does! So does he! C'mon America, you know what I'm talking about!

We're saying you need

Supply-side economy
In this very community
He's Mitt, He's Paul,
They're the world-famous Flim-Flam brothers
Pandering politicians unparalleled!

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[05 Jul 2012|10:04pm]
And the road winding goes
From golden gate to roaring cliff-side
And the light is softly low
As our hearts become sweetly untied
Beneath the sun of California one

And the wind tastes so sweet
As we lay our eyes to wander
And the sky, it stretches deep
Will we rest our heads to slumber
Beneath the sun of California one

The Decemberists (Castaways and Cutouts - California One)
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Life updates [12 Mar 2012|10:42am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

In the last couple weeks I have knocked out two fairly big items on my to-do list! The first was that, midway through February, I finally womanned up and registered for the CompTIA A+ Hardware Certification Exam. For the next week and a half I basically shut myself in my room (the sudden onset of a cold helped with that too) to study, using some very good study materials provided by one of my temp agency employes.

I took the first half of the exam on 2/28 and the second half on 3/1 in Garden Grove. Much to my surprise, I passed both halves on the first try! This was a HUGE relief because 1) both halves of the exam require a substantial fee, which has to be paid each attempt, and 2) the second half was much harder than the first and I wasn't at all sure I could pass it. But I have!

This doesn't make any immediate changes in my status, but it's a nice ornament I can hang on my resume next time I go looking for a job. It basically moves me from the pool of 'unskilled' IT workers to the lowest rung of 'skilled' IT workers. Sure, there are lots of people out there more certified than me, but would they be willing to work for peanuts?

The second half was that I finally went out and bought a bicycle! I'm so excited -- this is the first time I've had a bike since I returned to the USA from Japan three (and a half -- sheesh!) years ago. It ended up costing way more than I originally intended to spend (sigh) but that's what tax refunds are for, yes?

I quickly discovered that I am SO OUT OF SHAPE it's not even funny. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given that it HAS been three years in an essentially sedentary lifetime. And I'd been generally unhappy with my overall gaining weight/losing condition, which getting the bike was in part intended to fix... But even taking the bike out for a quick spin on the afternoon that I got it, I couldn't go more than 5 minutes riding around my apartment complex without exhausting myself! Gah! I pushed myself back to the garage and my legs felt like jelly for the rest of the day.

Obviously the plan of riding this bike the seven miles to work in back is going to need to be a plan-in-progress. Here's hoping I can maintain the discipline (and opportunities) to ride this bike enough to gradually strengthen the leg muscles.

I'll try to get a picture of the bike at some point.

In other general debilitation news, even though the cold from a few weeks ago ought to have passed, I still find myself with occasional baffling symptoms as if I were sick. I have been experiencing a chest-ache that also corresponds with a chin/lower jaw/front lower teeth pain that I used to associate with swimming in chlorinated water. I've also been experiencing sudden odd moments of dizziness/glassiness/zoning out that I hadn't had in years. My roommate suggests that both of these could actually be allergy symptoms, since it's tree-sex season in San Pedro. We've had to keep our apartment shut up fairly tight despite the generally beautiful weather.

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ITT: KATHY TALKS ABOUT HER CAT. [17 Feb 2012|06:42pm]
[ mood | content ]

I've been thinking about making a post like this for a while. There's no particular hurry, but one of the purposes this journal serves is as a diary I can look back at in years to come. Some day, not today, hopefully not for many years, I will lose Chrestomanci: so I'd like to take the moment now, when my memory is still unclouded by grief, to talk about why he's so special to me.

Chrestomanci is an all-black kitty with mostly yellow eyes. He has a very few white hairs on his chest or belly, but mostly he is solid, glossy, thoroughly black. I decided when I went to get a cat that I wanted a black cat specifically, because they have a harder time finding homes. I asked the shelter lady for a few qualifications: a black cat, male, between six months to a year old, who was affectionate.

I got all that I asked for in spades, and more.

Here are some of Chrestomanci's awesome features. Collapse )

I am so, so lucky to have Chrestomanci sharing my life. Here's hoping that no accidents or untimely illness will take him away from me for years to come.

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[03 Feb 2012|01:43pm]
As social media progresses, I find myself more and more often thinking about my life in terms of Facebook status-length updates, rather than Livejournal-length blog posts. Especially since even aging_parents has caved and gotten a Facebook, I seem less and less motivated to actually talk about my boring life. All I can say is, I'm glad I never tried to get into Twitter. The truncation of my thoughts to the length of a tweet would be depressing.

But here are some enumerations of my shorter status updates:

Finished my taxes yesterday -- yay!Collapse )

Chrestomanci and Dusty are loving the sun in the spare room.Collapse )

No BlizzCon this year. Woe!Collapse )

Speaking of road trips, I actually made one out to Phoenix a few weeks ago to attend the birthday party of a friend. Eastern California really is singularly ugly territory. Deserts have their own kind of beauty -- and there's more than one kind of desert -- and mountains do too, but the mountains of E.Cal are irregular and lumpy and brown. Unattractive. However, if you are planning a visit to Arizona, winter is definitely the time.
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The close of the year [31 Dec 2011|07:24pm]
Well, goodbye, 2011. Time for your much more easily divisible brother, 2012. At least the world isn't predicted to end until December, so we don't need to worry yet.

2012 was a year of upheaval for me. Not necessarily a BAD year, but a very tumultuous one. I made some big decisions, and some big changes -- moving down from Seattle to LA being the primary one. I'm not sorry for the move -- at this time last year, I was in a rut and I knew it. Now I can at least hope I'm where I need to be, moving in the right direction for the future I want. Still, I hope there aren't too many big moves like it in the future; I'm starting to get mighty tired of picking up my life and resettling it every year. Here's hoping that 2012 is a year of making steady progress instead.

All of my friends and family members have had pretty busy years too; some good, some with pretty awful things in it. But still I hold up my glass and wish, as I wish every year: happy new year, everyone, and may the new year be even better than the last!
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There oughta be a law [13 Dec 2011|01:33am]
Good lord! How did "early December" turn into "two weeks until Christmas" so fast? There oughta be a law.

The good news is, my current contract (which was originally set to run only till the end of December) has been extended to mid, late January. Thus giving me an extended time to make a few decisions. They also want me to go full time for the next few weeks, which is great! in the sense of having some extra cash to cover my Christmas gifts this year, and bad in the sense of not having time to do anything else.

The bad news is, most of the things I had hoped to accomplish towards the end of this year, well... have not been accomplished. The CompTIA exam is still not taken, and the screenplay I'd hoped to write is still not cracked. Well, these were only self-imposed deadlines, nothing has been lost... nothing except time, anyway.

On the domestic front, one of my roommates moved out last week, and I seized the opportunity to move into her room. It's got a much better view, the window opening out over the harbor (instead of onto the walkway! yikes!) but more importantly, I get full signal bars here. :Db
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dream diary [24 Nov 2011|07:51pm]
Just in case anyone is interested (although I don't expect that anyone would be,) I've created a new journal -- aletternotread -- which I will be using to record particularly interesting dreams. I figure it's better than boring y'all with it here.
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[21 Nov 2011|06:53pm]
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think those angels were really phoning it in.

"So what's our assignment?"

"We're supposed to bring news of the Christ's birth to the humans."

"Seriously? Are you kidding me? Doesn't the Father realize that there are like, two hundred million of them on Earth by now? This is gonna take months!"

"Well look, there's a hillside, there are some humans. Let's announce the news to them and then go get drunk."

"Sounds good to me. Technically, the humans are informed!"
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Holiday season update! [18 Nov 2011|07:54pm]
[ mood | hungry ]

Gosh, it's been a while since I updated!

I still haven't gotten around to taking photos of the apartment and surrounding area, my bad. You will just have to take my word for it that it is lovely...Collapse )

And all set to go to Austin to see family for Christmas!

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The San Pedro life [29 Aug 2011|01:58am]
[ mood | optimistic ]

Well, I am settled in San Pedro. Haven't updated much because there's not much to tell -- the past two weeks have been quiet. Quiet is good. I still haven't gotten around to taking photos (whoops) but I'll just give a general update.

My quiet life in Harbor Gate...Collapse )

I won't feel really settled in until I get a job and know what my new routine is going to be -- but I'm feeling pretty optimistic so far. I'm glad I came back here. I'm starting to remember why I was so happy here before. Tomorrow I will investigate the park down the road, possibly check out the Goodwill just to see what they carry, and make one more attempt to make my posters stick to the funny textured wallpaper in here.

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Things that always happen when I get sick: [13 Aug 2011|02:16pm]
Chronicles of illnessCollapse )

In non-illness related news, I made the trip from Austin to San Pedro and am safely ensconced in my new place. There was a minor meltdown (so to speak) outside of Junction, Texas...Collapse )

If you need my new address and I didn't get it to you in the first wave of emails, drop me a note and I'll email it to you. When I'm feeling somewhat less awful I'll attempt to get pictures of my new place; it really is a beautiful place and a beautiful area. Also, nightly lows of 62, daily highs of 78. SO THERE.

Just one box (mostly misc stuff that goes right to the closet, and decorations) left to unpack. Starting Monday, sick or not, it's time to start attending to car-related necessities and other chores... like finding a job.

At least I finally got my final paycheck in the mail. yay~! now they just need to send my stuck-till-the-end bonus. =(
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Signal Boost: Return of the DDoS [07 Aug 2011|05:27pm]
Originally posted by deathpixie at Signal Boost: Return of the DDoS
For those wanting to know more about the recent DDoS attacks, yes, it looks like it was the Russian government trying to shut down the dissidents again.

While it's frustrating not to have access, LJ is a lot more than a social network platform. From the article:

"LiveJournal isn’t just a social network. It’s also a platform for organizing civic action. Dozens of network projects and groups mobilize people to solve specific problems — from defending the rights of political prisoners to saving endangered historic architecture in Moscow."

So while I know many are considering the move over to Dreamwidth and other such sites, supporting LJ is a way we can help support those who use it for more than a writing/roleplaying/social venue.

Also, as a FYI, LJ is giving paid users effected by the outage two weeks of paid time as compensation.

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Last few things [31 Jul 2011|08:51am]
[ mood | anxious ]

And after a week of glorious sunny weather, Seattle returns to cold rain just in time to see me off. =P

Today I am finishin the packing up of all my stuff and I expect to be on the road with my truck by afternoon. I expect to spend tonight in Portland at Barb's place, but after that things get tricky.

Can anyone recommend to me hotels that one can stay on that are pet-friendly? I'm probably going to stop once near Sacremento and once above Los Angeles (probably in the Santa Clarita area) but I can't be more exact than that yet. :(

Also, and this is a related problem. Would any of my friends in the LA area be willing to do me a big favor?

I'm arriving in LA on Wednesday, but although I have a place to stay, I won't have a car. I need to fly out to Austin (on Saturday morning) and drive my parents' old car back. In the meantime, is there anyone who can keep Chrestomanci at their place? I know it's a big favor, but I'm worried about him, and it's a lot to ask my new roommates who I have not even met before this day to look after him for four or five days immediately following a move. I will ask them, of course, but it would not be unreasonable of them to refuse. =(

cats make things so complicated... -_-

Even if you can't... well, I'll be down south soon, so we should arrange a time to meet up!

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Lots of sociability the past few weeks! [18 Jul 2011|11:36am]
For Fourth of July, I went down to Portland to visit my friends there (well, Oregon City.) Did you know you can actually see Mt Rainier /from Portland?/ That's an entire state away! Jeez.

I had a good time, although I couldn't stay long enough to set off fireworks (had to work the day before, and after, so I really only stayed overnight.) We went to OMSI, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It had all the usual Science Museum stuff, as well as an exhibition of video games! There was one display that had Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast, reassuring me that I still remember how to kick ass with Kilik.

Friday I had my goodbye-Seattle party, on which it rained drearily, as Seattle attempts to console my sadness over leaving by reminding me how much I hate the weather here. It's been /really/ awful this year. :\ We got maybe four sunny days /in all of June./ But despite the weather and the traffic, we went out to the Rock Box, the awesomest karaoke place in seattle (why? cos they have a liquor license!) and then to GameWorks afterwards for dinner, skeeball, and DDR.

Yesterday I went to Harry Potter, which was fun, and to an authentic Japanese restaurant, reminding me of how little I was ever able to appreciate real Japanese food. But it was fun! This Thursday I'll be going out to dinner with some coworkers, and on Friday I'll be taking a day trip to the Columbia coast -- that is to say, the actual Pacific ocean off Washington. Never been there before, so I wanted to go there at least once before I leave. I expect it to be striking and scenic and utterly unsuitable for swimming.

Since then it's been busy, busy at work. Mandantory half-lunches have become a regular thing. As more people leave (but the new people aren't quite trained up yet,) more and more of the work has fallen onto the plates of the people who are still here. One of my coworkers commented that this is great for his resume, as he now gets to list himself as the SME for half a dozen different systems. I myself have been 'promoted' to workload manager of a couple different queues on weekends -- weekends are getting hit the hardest, since we have the fewest people to begin with.

Job search begins in earnest. If I haven't found a lead by the end of this week, I'll have to secure housing without knowing where I'm going to be working... Can't be helped.
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Packing as a hobby [27 Jun 2011|09:00am]
My roommates and I have taken up packing, more or less as a hobby. Every day or so one of us will bring in a new cardboard box, fill it with stuff, and put it in the empty downstairs room where our previous roomie moved out. Chrestomanci thinks all these new boxes are awesome!

It's kind of astonishing to discover 1) how much stuff I have that I forget I have, and 2) how much I think to myself "But I can't pack this, I'm still using/might need this!" even when I obviously haven't used it in months.

I'm being somewhat ruthless, but not TOO ruthless. I can't help but consider that one of the reasons I never seem to be able to manage to save money is that I move every year; when I move, I ditch a lot of stuff, and then when I get to my new place I have to buy it all over again. (Things like dishes, and especially decorations or Christmas lights.) Since I'm not limited this time to only what I can pack into 3 carry-on bags on an international flight, I'm taking the time to save more stuff than I otherwise might.

Also, how is it that every time I remove a book from the shelf, two more appear in its place??
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Bipolar [18 Jun 2011|11:13am]
Sorry I've been quiet. It was one of those "don't want to update until I have time to talk about a whole long entry" delays that seems self-perpetuating.

Cut for emo.Collapse )

I'm afraid of making the wrong decisions.

Not of failing. Is that an odd distinction to draw? I guess it's because I usually succeed in what I've chosen to do, at least so far in life. But I haven't always chosen the right things. I'm afraid of ending up in a bad situation and having nobody to blame but my own stupidity.
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Facing some decisions... [24 Apr 2011|07:51am]
[ mood | unhappy ]

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates such things!

Now for the bad news.Collapse )

So the upshot of all this tangle is that I need to decide whether I am staying in Seattle for the time being or moving to either Los Angeles or Austin, and if so which, before I look for a job. And making that decision is going to require that I make a decision on the school question first. And I don't have enough information to do that right now. And I don't know where to look.

I'm not freaking out just yet, but it's hovering out there somewhere.

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