Archive for Hobbies

The Vanishing Voice

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2012 by urbannight

I intended to write more last year.  I made the same promise to myself this year.  I am not getting off to a good start.  On the other hand, I’ve been knitting a LOT more this year and I started playing a pen and paper roll-playing game and I started playing Star Wars The Old Republic.  I have more hobbies and interests than time for them all.  Too bad I couldn’t clone myself. 

But that is not the voice that is vanishing.  It is my literal voice.  The sound that emerges from my throat when I make shapes with my mouth and pass air over my vocal cords.  I blame it all on Yankee Candles.

I love candles.  I don’t have a problem with them.  So long as there are not too many concentrated in one location.  I can’t handle candle stores.  I didn’t even go into the candle store.  All I did was walk past it while looking for a gadget store that is no longer in the mall.  On one hand, it was a complete waste of time.  On the other hand, it killed my cords.

The intense mix of scents that permeated the passageway in front of the store triggered a coughing fit.  One that continued all evening and all night long.  I would feel perfectly fine until I started coughing.  Then it cased a weird, sharp pain in my throat.  Not a normal sore throat. 

When I got up this morning, I sounded raspy and weird.  As the morning has gone on, and I work at a job that requires me to take calls and talk to coworkers, my voice is getting odder and odder.  I feel perfectly fine until I try to talk. 

The only thing I can compare it to is the time I got laryngitis about 21 years ago.  I should probably stop talking to my coworkers and save my voice for the phone.  But it is a tediously dull day.  I thought it might be busy.  Another unit has all of it’s compilers out, so we are covering for them. 

I was hoping for a nice busy day.  Busy days fly by.  If I’m tired after a busy day I sleep well.  If I am tired as a result of boredome from a slow day, I end up wide awake in the late evening and unable to sleep at night.  The sad thing is that I never used to get bored.  We had a reorganization and restructuring of departments and job duties and now I have started suffering that stange contion. 

It isn’t that there is nothing to do.  It isn’t that kind of boredom.  It’s a mental condition.  If I have nothing to do with my hands, I can find things to do.  But unlike the past, finding things to do no longer properly engages my mind and I start to drift off into a general state of mental ‘blah’ that I define as boredom.

The end result is that I can’t chatter at people (not that I’m all that big on chattering) and I have less to do than planned so it is harder to distract myself from my painful, vanishing voice and make the day end sooner.

ShadowRun Character Development Draft

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming, Writing with tags , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by urbannight

With all the changes in the world, one thing hadn’t changed.  Tourism was still big business.  Small access roads led down to scenic overlooks were people could still take images of landscapes and points of interests.  This particular access road had been shut down some years ago.  It looked out over a small valley in which the Horizon Corporate Clinic stood.  It was a private hospital serving the employees of the Horizon Corporation.

An elf knelt low to the ground, coordinating the team currently inside.  Her part of the job was over and this was the rendezvous point.  Her iridescent, peacock colored, second skin suit blended in with the night and with the swirling mist that was coming in off the lake.  Her dark leather duster drapped over the ground as she kept her profile low.  Good thing she had black hair, but her fair skin had to be covered with a dark powder dusting.

When a competitor approached Illyanna’s team about sabotaging the renovations of the HCC, she was glad to take the job.  This was where her life changed.  A little bit of payback was a long time in coming.  Her family was a Horizon family.  Most of the Nakora’s worked for the company in one capacity or another in mid-level to high level positions.  In her teens, do to her good looks and classic ‘black-irish’ coloring, her family was grooming her for a public relations position, to become the face of the company.  A pleasant, cheerful, athletic young woman to speak for the company on the vids, at press releases, and in a variety of public functions.

After a riding accident resulted in a broken nose, she was rushed into the HCC to get it fixed quickly and make sure it didn’t damage her looks.  She didn’t expect to wake up to discover that the company had performed a forbidden medical procedure.  With the idea that they could use her to influence the competition, or anyone else they needed to interact with, they had altered her pheromones.

After that, she slipped away the first chance she got.  Hiding out among the lower layers of society, she found her way into the running business.  She could have charmed her way into a competitor’s company, but she wanted people to lose track of her for a few years.  At the same time, she found a brothel owner with the ambition and skills for greater things but lacked the resources to get herself into a better building with better girls. Illyanna did charm her way into a hostess only job, using the tailored pheromones to influence people into Madam Sakura’s establishment and into paying more.  As the money started rolling in, the madam was able to move twice into better building and then build her own place to her specifications.  She ended up with a high-class establishment that specialized in exotic tastes and catered to the rich and powerful.  Illyanna’s payment in this silent partnership was a suite of private rooms for herself.  Here she meet with contacts and clients she couldn’t meet in public venues.

Madam Sakura, herself, was a useful contact at times. But Madam Sakura could be counted on to look out for herself.  She might not sell Illyanna out, but business was business and information, like everything else, wasn’t free. She wouldn’t put herself or her business at risk for Illiana.

In fact, it was Madam Sakura who had set up the meeting with this Johnson.  It wasn’t the type of job she normally took.  She normally took information gathering jobs, corporate espionage, and the like.  Things she could do as an independent or with one or two short-term partners she had used in the past.  This job was different.  It would need a bigger team.  But when she learned the target, she couldn’t resist accepting.  She would have to rely on her occasional partners for some recommendations.

All of which is how she ended up on an overlook waiting for the rest of her team to get out of the hospital.  If it was just employee’s, Illyanna wouldn’t have worried about the people in the hospital. But it served their families, so there were kids there.  It wasn’t too hard to face a chemleak and get the place evac’ed.  For some reason, the employer’s wanted the sabotage to be big and splashy and to make it look like a political statement.  Everything was set, they should have been out by now.  Something was wrong.  The building went up in a blaze of colors.  It was loud, bright, and very pretty.  Not only was the new construction and the wing under renovation destroyed, they took out the entire complex.

Still dead air.  No communication.  After a suitable wait, in case the team got out just before the blast, Illyanna turned and cautiously went back to where she left her transportation. She made her way back to the main road and slipped quietly, and quickly, into town and into a group of people leaving the stadium theatre.

Was the team caught and delayed so that they didn’t make it out?  Was it a set-up and none of them were supposed to survive?  Did her team set her up and leave in a different direction?  If it was the first, she could still collect the fee.  If it was the second, Mr. Johnson would believe her dead and have no need to return to her office.  In fact, he would probably believe that the Madam would turn the rooms into more space for her to use.  He wouldn’t know that the one iron-clad contract between her and Madam Sakura was that those rooms were Illyanna’s.  No matter how long she was gone.  If it was the third case, then she didn’t know if the team managed to plant any evidence that might survive the blast and the fire.  She better lay low for a while.

… Over the course of time, she was able to talk, charm, and bargain her way to the data from the investigation.  Once she established that there was no information to link her to the explosion and that Mr. Johnson hadn’t set them up so the employer could avoid paying, she collected the fee and increased her lifestyle for a while.  She started to make connections with people in various Corps.  People with whom her father was in competition with.  And rumors of a Nakora working against Horizon began to spread…

43 Days. A Moving Experience

Posted in Apartments, Books, Economics, Entertainment, Life, Technology, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2011 by urbannight

43 Days until I want to move all my furniture. Is it to early to start writing about moving?

I’ve spent the past two weeks teasing myself with the floor plan. I’m so eager to be moved already.

I want to move on the third weekend in May. I have 6 weekends before then. Trying to organize packing this far out is a terrible challenge. It is hard to focus on specific areas.

My roommate is moving in next weekend. I am taking the day off because I’ve been informed that I get the job of directing the placement of his furniture in all the public rooms and he doesn’t care where the kitchen stuff goes just so long as he can find it.

I think I may finally have a plan for my stuff. Start with books and clothes. Pack the boxes I have and try to set aside a box each for donations. (I’ve gone through one of 10 book cases and only come up with 6 books to donate!)

The goal is to get rid of the two smaller brown bookcases that really are not in very good shape. So I really ought to try to weed out that many books. I will pack away winter clothes and costuming stuff. Of the three boxes of too small clothes I couldn’t part with 3 years ago, I’ll sort through and ONLY keep a few items as motivators. I’m moving with a friend who has an elliptical and the apartment has a really nice fitness center.

Of the clothes currently in the dressers and closet, I ought to try to weed out a good portion. Since I’m moving, it’s really a good time to break down and get rid of some of the beloved pieces that got an oil stain that would never come out, or mystery washing machine stains that were not there before loading into the washer. Since I’ll be saving every month, I should just start refreshing my wardrobe by one item a month. So I should purge it ahead of time.

Next will be my scrapbooking stuff and hobby stuff. (non-stitching) Not a lot of weeding to do in that stuff. But it is also stuff that I can easily not use before the move.

Weekend three should belong to organizing, sorting, and packing most of my computer and electronic stuff and returning the Cox Digital box to them. I will probably not going to have cable again. It is just too expensive anymore. And SyFy shows my programs on SyFy Rewind. So I can watch them eventually. I mostly use Hulu and Netflix at 1/8th the cost of my cable bill.

Weekend four is getting closer to move date so I can really start packing up the majority of kitchen and bathroom stuff. At this point I’ll start taking my boxes over as well. I can get my bathroom set up and half my clothes in my bedroom closets and start getting stuff organized. Maybe I’ll get a new computer desk and set it up over there ahead of time and when I move my computer at the end, I’ll put the sewing/computer desk in the storage closet. It collapses flat. I also want to get rid of the extra dresser I use for storage and the computer des I’m currently using. Move it to the previously mentioned sewing desk during this packing stage.

Weekend 5 will see to the packing and organizing of my very important stitching stuff and anything else I want to see handled with great care. And moving more boxes. I still need to find someone who can remove my defunct treadmill.

This brings me to Weekend 6. The last weekend before the big move. I’ll leave myself with basic bathroom and kitchen stuff. One week of clothing. Get everything moved over except the BIG stuff. And take over empty drawers from the dressers so it is easier to move them.

That leave 4 piece bedroom set. One small table with 4 chairs. 8 bookcases some only 3 feet some up to 6 feet. One entertainment center. One flat screen t.v. and one regular t.v. One sewing/computer table. One hope chest. One rocking chair. And my computer.

My biggest concern is finding people to help me move. Movers will cost a minimum of 200 dollars for a minimum of two hours. Not sure I can afford that, but I could try. If it went over 2 hours then it would be a real problem. Maybe I can move all the short book cases myself. (I’m doing the computer myself.) The end table I could possibly do. Not sure the collapsible sewing/computer table will fit in my car. But I could try it. I could probably get the 4 chairs in my car at one time. And the bedroom TV.

If I managed that it brings the stuff to move down to Bed-frame, Mattresses, Dresser w/ mirror, Tall Dresser, Table, Entertainment center, Flat screen TV, 4 or 5 Bookcases, Hope Chest, Rocking Chair, and maybe the sewing table.

Renting a U-haul is so much more affordable, but if I can’t find muscle to help me move (for the price of beer and pizza) it doesn’t’ do me much good.

I have to make that decision in the next two weeks so I can get it set up. That is the only thing I don’t have much time left on to make that choice.

The last two weekends in May will be for moving anything I didn’t get moved already and getting a professional carpet cleaner in and for doing the rest of the cleaning on my own. I do own my own carpet cleaner. But it doesn’t do the greatest job. Not when trying to clean up an entire carpeted area.

On the whole, I wish I could start taking over stuff this instant. I’m to eager to be in the new setting, in a lovely apartment, with a nice gym, no longer having to park on the street, no longer having to run the dishwasher to get the water hot enough for a hot bath, and saving some money each month.

Just writing this feels like a huge tease on myself.

Pre-Halloween Rant

Posted in Advertising, Apartments, Art, Books, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Food, Gaming, Holiday, Life, Movies and Theatre, Politics, Tea, Technology, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by urbannight

I am so far behind. And I forgot to record the first bill I paid for the 2 week cycle, so I can’t buy the last little details for my desk decorations.

I don’t even want to start on how far behind I am at home. I’ll get it finished and be set up for NEXT Halloween.

The more I try to organize my in progress projects and my hobby stuff, the more disorganized my entire home ends up. I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed.

I have to get laundry done and I didn’t get up early enough to go get my car moved to my apartment to load up the laundry. I’ll have to try for tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll luck out after work today and I won’t have to park 3 blocks from home. I hate carrying my laundry bags three blocks though the heavily visited Old Market area.

I went to grab my camera to bring to work. I want to take pictures of my Bayou inspired Halloween ides and I couldn’t find it. I wasted 20 minutes looking for it. So tonight I will jump on the Great Camera Hunt of 2010.

A co-worker is making me very angry. It’s been going on for three days. Now I feel like she is saying I took her pink zipper folder. I really have to get some pictures of me to use here because you will see that a pink zipper folder is not going to tempt me.

I have two nights to get ready for the Halloween Party and the Trip. I have not enough time. I will take a notebook to make some notes. Funny how that works. I decided to jump on the NaNoWriMo band wagon. See how it goes.

I’m cranky with Washington state that is having the bad form to talk about suspending refs who were donating their paycheck to Breast Cancer Research and using pink whistle. The pink whistles were getting them suspended. It flies in the face of what high school athletics is supposed to teach kids. Teaching community spirit by building team spirit. Teaching people to work together for a common cause.

I’m super pissed off about the Texas school who had a star player plea bargain his rape charges down and the school let him stay on the team and punished his cheerleader victim when she wouldn’t chant his name. That teaches the students that boys are more important than girls and rape or any assault is acceptable behavior for athletes.

I’m mildly cranky at the community in New York that tried to get a woman’s tree house for her daughters removed. Instead, the courts finally ruled in favor of the woman and declared it an historical landmark because her house is in an historical district and because of whom her house once belong to. But at least the system finally supported some one who deserved support.

My last cranky item is Superman’s new ‘edgy’ look. They are trying to draw in the Twilight crowd. Some thought Superman’s new look was too emo. What really got me was the glowing red eyes. Not only did they make him look emo, they made him look like an emo demon. I hate superman’s makeover even more than I hate Wonder Woman’s makeover.

I think that is the end of my rant today.

Short Shifting the Slumber Time

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by urbannight

I feel like I need to sleep around the clock.  I have been shorting myself on sleep.  Not a good thing to do. 

 

I spent the weekend past in my PJ’s sitting at the table working at one of my more insane projects.

 

http://www.123stitch.com/pictures/09-1086.jpg

 

This I spent 18 hours on it over Saturday and Sunday.  Monday I couldn’t stop and got in a few more hours.  After spending a couple hours trying to get my laptop set up to play anime so I could watch

 

http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Yamato_Nadeshiko_Shichi_Henge

 

English name is The Wallflower.   So by the time I got it running it was after 11:00 and I watched until 1:00 am.  Stitching.

 

Tuesday I did more stitching and watching shows.

 

Got in 24 hours stitching and don’t even have half of one pattern page on the project done.  The other one I’m working on has over 300 hours into it and not near half done.  This one has even more pages. 

 

I may be insane.

 

Needless to say, I’ve been up until 1:00 am Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights.  Last night I did not work on any projects and went to bed at 11:30 pm.  This is my normal.

 

I still feel like crawling into bed and sleeping straight after work.  I probably would too.  Only I have to drive way out to West Omaha to see how a dog is going before the owners head out of town this weekend.  He’s been really sick and is just starting to get better.  I won’t be home until about 3 hours after work. 

 

I want to go to bed.

Writing Hiatus

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , on September 15, 2010 by urbannight

In school I wrote all the time.  I wrote poetry, short stories, and random essays on things that popped into my mind.  While spelling was and is a weakness of mine, I worked hard on grammar and punctuation and organization. 

I would write a short story or essay inspired by the art on my folders for school.  I would make up stories as I went for my nightly walks.  I went to college and wrote, went to work, went to college again and majored in English Lit and took additional writing courses.

Then I graduated and stopped writing altogether.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve noticed a laziness that crept into my writing.  I’ve seen the deterioration of grammar and sentence structure.  And you don’t want to talk about my comma splices.  Or maybe you do.  I couldn’t say.

I’m not a grammar Nazi when online. But I do try not to look too stupid and uneducated.  I have several degrees after all.  And I really wanting to go back to school again because I’m strange and miss classes and studying and research.  I even started researching ancient East Anglia kings for something ‘fun’ to do. 

Part of this exercise is to work on my writing skills again and get them back up to par and work on my research skills for an age where technology now rules.

How did life get so busy that I completely stopped writing when I envisioned my future as a writer?

Sims 2 or Sims 3

Posted in Gaming with tags , , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by urbannight

I went back to Sims 2 because there were a lot of things about it I missed.  Now I’m missing things about Sims 3.

Sims 3 Sims are slightly smarter in that they will not do the potty dance until they pee themselves and if they are hungry they will go eat.  In S2, they will complain about hunger then go paint, or use the dance bar.  The strange thing about S2 is that when they have totally depleted the fun meter, they will keep going to the dance bar if there is one on the lot even though this item gives no fun credit.

But Sims 3 Sims won’t do many things unless you control them.  If they are outside, they won’t just start finding things or collecting things.  S2 will start doing hobby stuff on their own if nothing else is going on. 

I do like that you don’t have to put your S3 people on the bed to get the WooHoo option.  But S3 people, no matter the personality characteristics, are much easier to get together than S2.  There is no challenge to it.  I can make total opposites and get them together in no time flat.  Sims 2’s sign based personalities are more likely to create people that just don’t get along.

I REALLY miss alien babies which is why I went back to S2.  I suddenly realized what I needed to do to create a town of aliens and wanted to work it out.  It was so obvious that I don’t know why I didn’t realize it before.  More than anything from S3, I miss being able to change the peoples wardrobes after ever birthday and modifying furnishings.  Some furniture items have no properly coordinating carpet or wall colors/coverings. 

In S3 I don’t like that they took out the environment meter.  Oh, I like that I not longer have Sims going nuts because of the dirty dishes.  But I used that meter to determine if I had made a good house or not. 

I miss the vampires, witches, zombies, and werewolves from S2.  Actually, I’ve never gotten a werewolf or a zombie yet.  So in that sense, I’m still finding S2 to have challenges in it.  I also like the fact that I have SOOO many more hair styles and clothing from which to pick.  I miss a lot of my favorite outfits from S2 when I play S3, especially for the school age kids.  The S3 outfits are pretty horrible for that one age group.  

I was a little disappointed in the personality characteristics of S3.  I expected more difference in behaviors when you let them go on their own.  But they all act mostly alike. 

S3 lets you set favorite colors.  But there is no boost to the Sim when if you have them in clothes that have the favorite color or make living spaces in the color of choice.  If it has no bearing on the give them favorite colors?

On the whole, I really can’t say if 2 or 3 is better.  Maybe it will be more obvious once there are more expansions for S3.