Monday, February 27, 2006

We're everywhere!

Even the New York Times!
This is the group we normally play with when we go into the city to game. I know all the guys in the photo and think it's a riot that they're in the NYT. Sam is awesome, and I love that he's getting to play now instead of eating all the mods. Someday I hope to get to actually play at a table with him. He's one of the best DM's I've ever had, but if he pulls out a battlemat (the grid on the table), look out! And while there are many ways I might describe Neutral Ground, "parlor" is NOT one of them! The place is a giant, loud, bare room. And I also have to disagree with the comment "(Women are a clear minority in almost all serious gaming circles.)" I think we're almost completely absent in casual gaming environments and only a minority (but a much larger percentage) in "serious gaming circles". Those of us who do play, tend to play lots. I know almost 10 women within a 2 hour drive of me that play almost weekly. That might not sound like a lot, but trust me, it is! I even have other female regular blog readers who game. Hi Joanna!
Now I need to sleep...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Somethings are just too cool!

Like seeing your friend's name up on for her upcoming book! We went into NYC tonight for NYComicCon, mostly for the SciFi network event. (Which in the end we skipped most of). We met up with our friend Helen and had a great dinner first, then hit the show floor. It quickly became apparent to Helen that no, Brian wasn't just going to have "a quick wander", so we left him behind and made our way through the show. Two rows later for us, and he was still at the booth where we'd left him :) . The one booth Helen wanted to stop at was DelRay's as her editor was supposed to be there. He was, and he even had with him the latest batch of the artwork proofs that had only been received today. It's a really cool thing to be at a show like this looking at art proofs for a book you've been hearing about for months. She had a hard slog to get it done and turned in on time, but she made it. And this morning someone told her it was already listed on Amazon. So, of course, I had to check. And it is! (Click the title of this post if you want to see it). I wouldn't expect a photo of the cover anytime soon as it was decided earlier today with LucasFilm to redo the cover artwork as they weren't happy with the first set. But now I know it'll be out in October, and I'll be preordering it. She'd just better not make me pay to get it autographed! ;P
It's after 1am and I'm beat, so I'm off to bed, I just wanted to post this while thinking of it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

OMG... I just hurt myself laughing!

I finally broke down and bought an membership. It's a website/service that deals in audiobooks, which I've been addicted to since working at the library in highschool. We love choosing ones for our drives home, it's a really neat way to pass the time. And with well over 30 hours of driving over the Christmas holidays (before snow delays), we've got the time! I've been eyeing one for several years now, and I finally broke down. I'll be getting a new iPod out of the deal too, but I'm waiting for the new product announcement on Tuesday before I order one. =) So, for our first book, we chose a collection of celebrity interviews done specifically for . Hermmm, that's not normally Heather's thing, you're thinking. That's true. ;) But these were done by Robin Williams. So far I'm almost through his interview with Whoopi Goldberg. I've had to stop it several times to catch my breath from laughing too hard. Especially the part where she makes Robin Williams choke. Now that's a comedy accomplishment! It was well worth it. This interview was taped just after she finished her one woman show on Broadway, tickets to which were Brian's Christmas present last year. It was neat hearing her talk about it. Apparently she must have been having a great time with us. We certainly were having a great time with her. She says the show's length would vary tremendously from night tonight depending on how the audience was reacting. Some nights they only got 40-50 minutes. We got just over two hours! The only thing I'm not happy about with is that the deciding factor for me was that they had the Lord of the Rings full trilogy, unabridged when I checked the site about a week or so ago. I figured the membership would be worth its cost just for that. Today, I get it set up, search for Lord of the Rings, and come up empty for the books! They'd better be back!
Off to more listening, Billy Crystal's up next!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


We got whammed with snow this past weekend. It was wonderful. The highest ever recorded snowfall in Central Park. We're estimated to have had just over 24 inches (70 cm) all from Saturday night through Sunday. Percy wasn't so sure about it...
Have I mentioned I love winter?

And my indoor tulips bloomed on the Sunday morning of all the snow. A beautiful reminder of spring with all the snow falling in the background.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Some overdue updates AKA General Ramblings

Walk to Rivendell.
I found a kind of cool (but admittedly geeky) group of walkers who have actually mapped out the journeys of the hobbits et al from the Lord of the Rings. They’ve got a great supportive and caring group on Yahoo! that I’m now very happy to be part of. It’s kind of neat to see where I’ve gotten to. I’m a geek. Get over it. And I’m finally out of the Shire! I figure if it gives me a concrete goal to work towards, that’s a very useful thing. I’ve walked over 50 miles already this year. That’s over 80km for all you non-American readers! Walking is good for me, good for my weight loss and good for my stress levels. It just eats up a lot of my stitching time!

Permanent Residency
We’re in the final stages of gathering everything we’ll need. I’m still trying to get my long form birth certificate from the Ontario government, but there’s been problems. I’m waiting for the letter that’s supposed to tell me what they are. Uggghhh... The joy of dealing with government agencies. We did get Brian’s though with no problem. Once we have all of it, we file, and then wait. And no, we have no idea how long the wait will be. According the their website they are currently processing “Current” applications for our category, but who knows what that means. I do know we’ll have to go for an interview and get fingerprinted before it will be finalized. At that point, we can legally live in either country, and work for whomever we darn well please. We don’t plan to stay on Long Island. We’ve made some great friends here, but the cost of living is just too high. It’s not worth it. We don’t have any specific plans on where we’d like to go, other than Brian doesn’t want California and I’m not keen on Florida. Ideally we’d like something in the midwest, but we’ll probably end up back in New Jersey or Pennsylvannia. You have to go where the work is.

Brian’s Writing
Is really picking up steam. Thanks to some very good needling from Joe, his next module has to be done by about 3:30 this afternoon. The first playtest is Saturday. Then one re-write, a second playtest (which I had better get to do!) and it gets submitted. He gets such pleasure out of it, I love to see when he’s just in that groove. I know it’s a hard thing for others in non-creative fields to understand how satisfying it can be. It just fills a need in him that makes him feel so good. I need to encourage this, so even after we get the Permanent Residency and he can work, the plan is for him to get something part-time and continue writing. I know it’s not exactly traditional, but I’m very grateful we’re in the position where we can do that. We could be better off financially with Brian working full time and miserable, but I’d rather we enjoyed our lives. We’re not lacking in any of the essentials. We have a nice apartment and a new car. We have friends who come over every week and have fun. We can splurge on some things when we want to, or decide in time and plan ahead for bigger cost items. We won’t be taking a lot of glamorous vacations, or travelling nearly as much as we’d like, but we’ve got time for that.

Having kids
This topic comes up way more often than I’d like. Butt out! It’s our decision when and if we decide to have kids. No one else’s. And we’re certainly not doing it because it’s what others have assumed we should do. I’m thrilled for our friends who are parents, and love hearing about all the kids. I’m certainly not against our having kids. But it will be on our schedule, not anyone elses. We've never done anything the traditional way, so why would we start now. (Other than the wedding itself. Did I really promise to obey him?) :)

I guess that’s all for now. Take care, stay safe and hug someone you love today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

WIP Roundup...

As promised...

HAED's Titania Quickstitch

Snowman in the Middle (gaming stitching piece)

Butterfly Song (my first piece with silks and a BUNCH of new stitches)

Dracolair's The Phoenix

MLI's Queen Anne's Lace

Weekend Update... Now new and improved on Tuesdays!

Weight lost: 1 lb gained :( I'm blaming hormones.
Miles walked: 8.5 (almost made goal!)
Days on-diet: none, but I started back today...

Since I've had a couple of questions, here goes: the miles are mostly on a treadmill at the Y, but sometimes outdoors/shopping. I love the treadmills at the Y because they've each got individual TV's with headphone jacks, so if I can find something interesting on, I'm much more likely to actually do a decent distance. I also love the cross-country program on the one set of treadmills, but that 10% incline is a killer! I've come a long way from when I was happy just to do one mile, to where I can easily do 3.5 (with brain stimulation) and feel like I haven't done much. I've also been including miles done on the rowing machine now that I can slowly start that up again since my back is (mostly) healed. Only a half mile this week, but it was a start! I'm mostly doing okay at staying roughly on diet when not logging it, but I think the incentive of logging will help, so back to it I am. I've set myself a fairly easy goal (1lb/week) and we'll see how I go. I'm perfectly okay with it if I get "ahead" of plan!

To the other Heather, welcome! I gasped out loud in horror reading about your HAED piece. Even Brian (DH) knew what that must have involved! It looks like thankfully you weren't that far along with it, but still! I've started the Titania quickstitch from them and love it so far. Look for an update soon! Thank you so much for actually commenting.

There was an unexpected death last week in the stitching blogger's community. I've read the person's blog for months now and never left a comment to let her know I was enjoying it. It makes me sad to know she doesn't know how many she affected. My heart goes to her husband and family.

If you (or any other UK readers) want me to make any other purchases here in the US for you, let me know. I know how expensive it is in England. I couldn't believe what it cost me even for just the three skeins I needed of DMC when I was a student at U of Bath in 1999. Bet you didn't know that about me!

We had a blast going to Jersey on Sunday. I was a very good girl and only bought three patterns, and I think Jen came away with 5. I've hooked her on the TW concept. She's got the fabric to start Romeo and Juliet, and I can't wait. I think it'll be spectacular. I bought: Bestitched's Medieval Miniature #2, TW's Peacock (and Unicorn) Petite (as prelude to doing the full peacock tapestry!) and an absolutely adorable one called "You can't spank Grandma". It's very samplerish and says "Many a child is spoiled because you can't spank Grandma" . Brian and I couldn't resist it. I stuck to my promise and only bought patterns, no fabrics or anything! Aren't you proud of me? I also sorted out all the framing for Queen Anne's Lace for when she is done. Yes, you read that right, I've pulled her back out. I'm so close to finishing her after all these years, and I just want a quick finish for myself. Photos to come in the big "UFO update" post I'm working on. I just have to photograph them all first! I also picked up the special adaptors for my floor frame so I can use Q-snaps in it, and I am a much happier camper. Tonight Brian's got his writing class, and I'm going to veg out in front of the TV with about two weeks worth of General Hospital on my DVR. It's so sad I'm back to watching it, but only during stitching time, and I still keep the remote close so I can skip the irritating characters!

To family members reading this, leave me comments so I know you're out there! I know Janet said she's read it, so someone is! I originally started this blog so you'd have a better idea what's going on with us down here. Same thing for anyone else out there...

Oh, and one last funny thing...

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Quick reminder to local readers/stitchers

My old LNS in Jersey Cross Stitch Unlimited is having their annual Super Bowl Sunday Sale and Show this weekend. It's in Mercerville and easily accessible by highway for anyone else that wants to come by! Hours are 11am to 3pm, and we figure to be getting there about 11:30 depending on traffic. Late lunch to follow at Mastori's in Bordentown.
{excited dance for getting to go cross-stitch shopping for once!}

Thursday, February 02, 2006

For those not inured to the high cost of living here, sit down first!

We picked up the local civic council newsletter today. One of the articles was on how pleased town council was at the fact that a new development of condos was 'helping those in need' by including 50 affordable housing units in the $260,000-$500,000 range.
Yes, you read that right. And that's for condos, not even houses!
There's a reason we don't plan to stay on Long Island...
Oh yeah, and our rent went up yesterday :(

But on a positive note, I did walk 3.5 miles today!