sigelphoenix: (tarepanda wiggle)
The Palazzo: It earns the 5-star hotel rating with its giant suites and ridiculous number of flatscreen TVs. Unfortunately we were running around so much that we didn't get to fully enjoy the luxury of the room. I was glad of the cushy bed and elegant bathroom, though.

Phantom of the Opera (or "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular"): I enjoyed this even more than I thought I would. Phantom has never been one of my absolute favorites, so I didn't expect to be affected as much as I was. It probably helped that our seats were in the dead center of the front row (though that meant I had to crane my neck to see the chandelier special effects) and the Vegas production is all about the fancy set effects. But I enjoyed the cast, particularly the Phantom, who clearly put a lot of effort into his physical performance along with his singing (imitating genteel gestures, facial expressions, trembling when Christine kisses him). And he made "Stranger Than You Dreamt It" actually tragic, and his final lines made me tear up.

I was momentarily knocked out of the spell of the show when Raoul showed up to rescue Christine at the end, and his white shirt had somehow become conveniently ripped open to display his manly cleavage. XD

Le Cirque: I went to this restaurant last year, and brought [personal profile] ratzeo this year because I wanted him to experience a fancy/expensive restaurant that was actually worth the cost. The food was as delicious as I remembered (they made a cucumber soup flavorful and tasty), and the atmosphere was not too you-only-matter-for-your-money.

O: I've seen 3 Cirque du Soleil shows now, and O is my favorite for overall experience - I was enthralled by every scene (with the exception of the comedic clown interludes, which were just okay - but I never seem to be won over by their comedic scenes). I like Ka better for its music, and for the spectacular scene where the Sister and the Firefly Boy use the sashes (which, sadly, was a type of act that didn't feature in O). But O has ridiculous use of rings, trapeze, parallel bars, diving, etc.

[profile] shadawyn and [profile] irishninja's wedding: It went off without a hitch! I think they're glad it's over, though.

[personal profile] ratzeo's and my first honest-to-goodness vacation together: ♥ ♥ ♥

The cats: We were only greeted with a minimal amount of vomit upon our return. Also, Drannor was very sweet; I picked him up when I walked in and he licked my forehead in greeting. Later when I took a nap, he spooned with me the whole time (he's usually a love 'em and leave 'em type who will cuddle for a few minutes and then find his own spot on the bed). Kershach, on the other hand, played it cool and didn't act impressed with our return. He didn't actively shun us, though, and now, 8 hours after I got home, he has finally flopped and showed his belly for me.
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 01:45pm on 20/07/2010 under
I wish that being around impressive people left me feeling more inspired than intimidated. Right now it's the other way around.

When I'm in my element - when I know the parameters of a situation - I feel like I have the confidence and energy to be as fierce as I need to be. But I'm not a natural leader; when I don't know my way around a situation, I sit back (hide) and wait and watch. In my current mental and emotional state, this results in letting inertia take over and me not moving beyond this point. And then I feel bad. But if someone comes along who knows (enough of) what they're doing, and acts, I feel inspired ... and then intimidated because I know so little, and have done so little. And then I feel bad. When really I want to be ... if not fighting alongside them, at least supporting them actively.

Sorry for the crypticness. I don't think the details are important here, so much as the general trend.
sigelphoenix: (rilakkuma)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 08:27pm on 17/05/2010 under ,
I was going to write an entry about my angst over failing to save the world (insert self-mocking hyperbole here) due to how my employment by an institution results in my complicity with the institution, and how I know it must be possible for me to use my (limited but existent) power as a cog in the machine to do some substantial good, but I haven't been able to figure out how yet. I was going to - but I'm feeling tired and not really up to that level of self-dissection, plus I have a best friend (and, not so incidentally, roommate) who is willing to sit and look at me and listen to me, even though he doesn't know how to solve my problem, and for now that's actually what I need.

So, instead, I will share a recipe for oven-fried chicken that makes me wiggle with pleasure.

As always, I have some tweaks: first, use as much salt as you are comfortable with, rather than what's written. The recipe calls for soaking the chicken in water with 2 tablespoons of salt, then adding 1 tablespoon of salt to the flour coating, then sprinkling with salt before serving. While I know that the chicken doesn't pick up most of the salt in the water or the flour, that still seems like way too much to me. I went ahead and used the 2 tablespoons in the soaking water, but reduced the salt in the coating to a teaspoon, and didn't add any salt after cooking - and it still was a bit too salty for my taste. (I did add a tablespoon of lemon pepper to the flour mixture, but it was this salt-free blend.) My recommendation would be to keep the salt when soaking the chicken, because it seems to do some sort of useful brining action; but eliminate the salt in the flour coating. You can always add salt to taste afterward.

I supplemented the chicken with white cheddar macaroni and cheese (note that I used 1% milk instead of whole, because that's what I have on hand, and it tastes fine and creamy enough to me), and oven-baked asparagus. (Toss asparagus spears with a teaspoon or so of olive oil - just enough to lightly coat - and sprinkle a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, while you heat the oven to 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit. Put your baking sheet/pan in the oven while it preheats, so when you drop the asparagus in it sizzles. Bake the asparagus for at least 5 minutes, no more than 10, until just tender.)

And now I'm drinking the blackberry soda I had with dinner, and I'm feeling pretty content.
sigelphoenix: (orz)
I'm semi-joking about the "spring curse" part, but it's interesting to note that one year ago (give or take a few weeks) was when the water heater in the apartment two floors above us burst and rained on our unit ... >_>

Our fridge is borked. It didn't stop working completely (thankfully), but it somehow stopped cooling enough, and our freezer got to fridge-temperature and our fridge got to nearly-room-temperature. We're not sure when the problem started - I finally noticed the bizarre temperatures last night as we were about to go to bed, but since it wasn't a sudden shutdown it could have started much earlier. In fact, I noticed something on Friday - a package of bacon I put in the freezer Thursday night was not frozen as solid as I expected, but since I don't have experience freezing bacon I thought it might have something to do with the fat content, or the fact that it was a solid block of meat. I wish I'd recognized that as a red flag at the time, but, well, hindsight and all.

Anyway, the good thing is that the mystery problem resulted in unequal warming of the freezer, so while the stuff on the top definitely went above freezing, the stuff on the bottom remained cold enough to stay frozen. Since I keep most of my meat in the bottom drawer, and since the amount of raw meat I have in my freezer probably breaks triple digits in monetary value ... yeah, I'm glad. O_o Some other stuff that was stored in the bottom and/or back of the shelves also remained solid, but a lot of stuff went fridge-cool, so now I'm trying to determine what is safe enough to keep or needs to be tossed. Right now all of it has been moved to a fridge in a vacant unit in the complex (yay for a responsive manager who answers her phone at 11pm and gives you the key to the empty apartment!).

So, to keep myself from stewing in irritation and frustration, here are some happy things:

1. [personal profile] ratzeo is very good in a mini-crisis (and probably a major crisis as well). While I was gnashing my teeth at the thought of losing hundreds of dollars' worth of food, he called our manager (which resulted in us getting access to the empty apartment) and also was the one to figure out that the bottom of our freezer was still frozen (which resulted in me being less upset). This is pretty much how we operated when Drannor developed FLUTD, and I know the pattern - once I've gathered my wits I will pursue the solution with laser focus, but before that I have to overcome my desire to hide my head in the sand, so having [personal profile] ratzeo there to act as my rock keeps me going until I reach that point.

2. I am frustrated that this is the third time I've dealt with a broken fridge (the first two were at my old house, not this apartment), and frustrated that this comes on the heels of another unexpected expense, Drannor's emergency vet trip. BUT, I know that this is by far not the worst household disaster that could happen, and this is definitely a "you better cut back on eating out or buying books for a little bit" kind of setback, not a "this means I can't make rent" kind of setback.

3. Yesterday was actually a good day, and the whole weekend a good weekend. I got to play [personal profile] ratzeo's game, went to pick up my bridesmaid dress with my sister and her fiance, and met her fiance's parents' shiba inu.

4. This morning I saw Drannor take a drink from the "waterfall" part of the cat fountain. I've seen him do it a couple of times now (as opposed to just drinking from the bowl), so I hope this means that the moving water appeals to him, and catches his attention to make him drink more often. (Kershach, on the other hand, has only now progressed to drinking from the bowl. Poor water-fearing scaredy-cat.)

5. In other news about Drannor, we're done giving him meds. Anyone who's had to medicate an animal (or probably a small child) knows that that is something to celebrate!
sigelphoenix: (kershach)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 09:23am on 08/03/2010 under , ,
I spent the night covered in cats. Drannor curled up on top of me for the first time (he's slept with us since day 1, but always next to us, never on us). When Kershach got onto the bed, I was afraid he'd be upset that his spot was taken, but he settled on my legs and then he and Drannor groomed each other on top of me. ♥ I woke up at various points in the night, unable to turn over because I was weighed down by fuzzbutts, but it was worth it.

This morning they were being kind of butts - Kershach did his usual "wake up and feed me" routine, and Drannor ... I'm not sure what Drannor wants, honestly. He purrs and walks on the pillows and sticks his nose in your ear and paws at the covers to be let underneath (and then comes right out again). Which is all very sweet, but completely prevents any attempts to catch those last few minutes of sleep. Oh well.

And then I fed them their breakfast kibble and watched two fuzzy lumps hunched over with their heads stuck in their bowls. I'm still excited to see Drannor eating. :D

[personal profile] ratzeo saw me off to work in the morning. ♥ Normally he's still asleep when I leave, because he goes to bed many hours after me, but this morning he stayed up until I would be awake. So I got good morning kisses. Also, much as I love the cats, human conversation in the morning just can't be beat.
sigelphoenix: (rilakkuma)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 08:53pm on 31/12/2009 under
Me, I'm sitting at home in my comfy sweats. I decided not to go to a party tonight, because I have three D&D games scheduled this weekend and I wanted to stay home and make sure all my characters got levelled. My priorities are either very wrong or very right.

Anyway, I haven't posted to my journal in a long time, but since I've used it to help me record life happenings in the past, I figured I should poke it back to life before the year officially ends. So here's a brief, sometimes shallow overview of things I remember that were significant to me in 2009:

2009 )

2009 ... wasn't the kindest year to me, in a few ways, but I'm glad I had it. I've had a lot of blessings throughout, and I know that the difficulties I've faced are manageable and not permanent. I don't just accept the next year, but rather am determined to make it worthwhile.

So here's to 2010. May it treat you well, and give you reason to feel joy and wonder at being alive.
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 05:05pm on 13/04/2009 under , , ,
Between work and dashing off to a meeting with my old Women Studies classmates -

1. OUR APARTMENT IS BACK!!! The work was completed on Friday(-ish ... the carpet was shampooed, and it wasn't really dry until the end of the weekend), but on top of that we were faced with the prospect of cleaning up the detritus of the repairs, re-assembling our apartment, and moving out of our campsite in the empty unit. But we did it! And we're back home!!

2. [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo and I did the bulk of the work on Saturday. Well, correction - [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo did a big-ass load of the work on Friday night, while I was taking a nap. (Sneaky wonderful bastard. :P) But anyway, by the time we were done it was past 8:00 in the evening, I was tired and didn't want to cook, but I was starving and also wanted to get the hell out of our apartment for a bit. We ended up going to the Sand Point Grill to try it out. Not only was the food delicious, they have a Saturday special where a fixed price gets you a three-course meal made from local ingredients. A nice little place, and we plan to go back when we have another reason for a fancy-ish (read: pricey) dinner.

3. I got an ergonomic keyboard at work to help with my tendonitis, and I'm totally in love with it. I think it's helping the pain - I have a brace that I've been wearing, so it's already been getting better, but I think the keyboard is helping on top of that. Plus it's got quieter keys than my old clacky keyboard. I kind of want to steal it for home on the weekends. :x

4. Vienna Teng's new CD, Inland Territory, is lovely. And I get to see her perform it live next week!

5. The aforementioned meeting. I haven't seen these ladies in months (or more!).
sigelphoenix: (Default)
I've heard that phrase a lot in relation to conversations about oppression and privilege - a reminder to members of privileged groups not to take criticisms of privilege as directed at them individually, or as criticisms of their personal character. I know it, and of course I think it's important. But, uh, it's not always easy to remember it myself.

So, I wanted to rewrite that sex question meme, right? And I did, with lots of help from others. But of course, that doesn't mean that it's perfect, and today I saw some comments criticizing a couple of questions in the new meme.

In which I attempt to do some learning, and maybe teaching, from my mistakes )

I don't think I'm going to issue yet another version of the meme, because I can see myself editing it into eternity. I'll probably include a note with a link to this post, acknowledging that there are still problematic questions, that the meme can be answered partially or not at all according to people's preference, and that other, better ones can and should be made.
sigelphoenix: (Default)
The latest news on our apartment is that it's less full of noisy fans (about half of them were removed), but the ones that remain will be there for another week. :| I don't much like the idea of staying in this holding pattern, but as long as the forward progress continues, I'll take it even if it's slow.

To keep my mood up, here are some happy things ...

1. I went to the gym yesterday after work. Part of me didn't want to go, because it was another obligation on top of everything I'm dealing with. But really, my weariness is both mental and physical, so getting in a workout where I just concentrated on healthy physical movement did me good.

2. I wrote a fic last night, my first one in over a month. Considering how mentally wiped I've been since before the whole mess with the flood, I'm especially happy I managed some creative output under these circumstances. It was a really quick, spit-it-out-and-post-the-first-draft fic, but strangely enough I'm happy about that. It means I could write something imperfect and post it without agonizing over it.

3. The process of writing was also quite fun ... The only piece of furniture we took to the vacant apartment was our mattress, so I sat at the foot of the bed with my laptop in my lap. [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo, who was already asleep, was within easy reach, and Kershach chose to curl up right next to where I sat, so I could pet him as I typed. It was totally quiet, no fans going or street noise, just me and my boys. ♥

4. It's sunny today! It actually is starting to feel like the beginning of spring.

5. I don't remember everything I dreamed about last night, but I do know it included a super-slashy Batman/Nightwing sequence. Great mood booster, first thing in the morning. XD
Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 01:06pm on 24/03/2009 under ,
I should say, because I didn't in my last post, that [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo and I are really grateful about how lucky we were. I mean, if you're going to have catastrophic leaking that's so bad that it requires the loss of your floor and ceiling, this is the way to have it. We didn't lose any furniture to water damage, and I don't think any of our books got damaged.

I think the lack of irreversible damage is part of why we're managing to be pretty calm about all of this. I mean, for [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo to be un-stressed is impressive, but for me it's downright unheard of. There was a point at which this kind of situation would've prompted me to rail at the heavens or whine a lot or cry or something. I feel like I've made progress, and I'm glad for it - this, plus our relative luck, means that I'm not wasting my time stressing and can just concentrate on taking care of things as they can be taken care of.

For now, we've been given access to a vacant unit in another part of the apartment complex. This is helpful, so we don't have to fall asleep to the nighttime serenade of VVVRRRRRRR from the various fans and dehumidifying machines filling our apartment. :Db

Our apartment is still habitable, in the strict sense of the word - it's just that we've got about half a dozen of those machines going and filling up the place, and to make room for them, most of our furniture has been shoved around and all the doors in our apartment have been removed. Also, in the affected area, the carpet was taken up and the padding removed, and the first layer of the ceiling was torn off. Since the living room wasn't affected, the water damage specialists put in a giant plastic sheet, cutting it off from the rest of the apartment, which provides a visual (if not audio) barrier. So, as you can imagine, it's not a terribly pleasant place to be right now.

And poor Kershach. T_T )

So we're managing decently right now. Thanks to everyone who gave us well-wishes and offers of help. Here's hoping that the repairs go smoothly and we can go back to living in our home soon ...
Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
Music:: "Bless the Child," Nightwish

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