dumbledore and snape :: harry potter studio tour :: england, may 2017
So - we moved to South Florida. Where I don’t know anyone outside of my coworkers…
Cue the Ohana writing group on Facebook. Ohana always comes to the rescue. And so I met K.
And K invited me to go to a Not-At-ComicCon thing in Lauderhill.
And we cosplayed.
Pleased to meet you, I’m Katniss Everdeen. You can call me The Mockingjay.
No seriously. I cosplayed as Katniss. I had a bow and arrow and everything.
And it was fucking FREEING.
No, dude. You have no idea.
Here I am, in a place I’m already uncomfortable in, waiting to meet a girl I only know from Facebook… and I’m doing it in fucking costume.
It was the best experience ever.
K and I are going to go back to that place next time they have a thing.
I will be in full cosplay.
Cuz I’m the motherfucking Mockingjay, bitch.
So, now that that’s out of the way, there’s so much I want to say about the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but I don’t have the words.
I literally don’t have the words. Not in English. Not in Ukrainian. Not in Polish. And definitely not in Spanish.
Yeah. Spanish. Because South Florida.
I don’t plan on ever leaving my current employer, but I figure as a now-Floridian surrounded by Spanish-speaking neighbours and co-workers, that it might be a good language to learn. At any rate, it will look good on my resume and I can learn from all the mistakes I made studying Ukrainian.
But I digress.
So, I accidentally came out at work. My co-worker asked me if I liked Harry Potter when I was talking about our plans for London, and it slipped: Yeah. I totally love Harry Potter, but I’m a book canon nerd so I’m knitting myself things in the Ravenclaw colours as they are described on Pottermore and in the books. And, oh, by the way, I write Harry Potter fan fiction.
AND THEN, when I got back from NCC with K, I told that same worker that I cosplayed as Katniss Everdeen.
Thankfully, she told me that she thought I was cool because I embrace my inner nerd and have fun with her.
My inner nerd is kind of cool.
But yeah. Hi. I’m 42 years old, write slashfic about Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, and dress up as a 16 year old girl.
When I’m not knitting Harry Potter costume parts, that is.
I am damn proud of those stats…
i wish i could read that :: lviv, ukraine
I came to the conclusion today that life is supposed to be one big adventure, and if it isn’t, you’re doing something seriously wrong.
I know. It took me 42 years to fully appreciate something I should have known all along, but sometimes, I’m a little slow.
We’ve been through a lot since the first of May (*gigglesnort*) - the hubby came down for a job interview, we sold the house, went to London, and moved the hubby and the dog down here. And I bought a more Florida-friendly car.
Let’s talk about that first, since I just took delivery of my new car… My 2015 Forester wasn’t the love of my life and hadn’t been for some time. It couldn’t compare to the 2008 that had so many issues I had no choice but to trade it in. I’ve been thinking about making the jump to a new car since the combination of traction control and ABS tried to kill me during a bad snowstorm this past winter, so once the move to Florida was done, I started shopping.
An online friend recommended MINI and since that’s one of the few brands still available with a stick, it was a no-brainer to take one for a test drive. Holy mother of fuck are they slick! I fell in love immediately and since it’s me, they didn’t have one with the options I wanted on the lot. BUT, there was one available that was headed to Texas; it was going through customs when the salesperson found it. We intercepted it and, now, it’s mine.
In case you were wondering, a 95 pound German Shepherd DOES fit into a MINI Cooper 2 door hardtop.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that aligned to get me to Florida - some of those things are decisions I’ve made but come to regret, some of those are crazy fucked up decisions I probably shouldn’t have made in the first place, but the end result is that I’m happy. Really, truly, happy. The bipolar has gone to wherever it goes when it isn’t flaring (for want of a better word), and the people I work with are all kinds of awesome. For the first time in a very long time, I feel at home at my job. I always struggle to find that place, and I haven’t been able to do that for a very long time. I think I’ve managed it…
London was a blast - we checked out an Arsenal game and I sat behind the *perfect* Gunner. He was HYSTERICAL. I learnt so many new words! Did you know there are about twelve different ways to call the opposing fans ‘wankers’? I didn’t.
Then, we journeyed out to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. That was an adventure! My friend and his wife took us because they don’t live that far away. We took the Tube to Rickmansworth and whilst we waited for a cab at the train station, we chatted with the most wonderful cafe owner. He was great - drew us maps and told us all sorts of things about the Gunners / Arsenal FC.
As for the HP tour? I can’t… there aren’t enough words. It’s something you have to experience and well worth the trip from London.
We saw The Cursed Child too… not bad, but not great. It was the first night with the new cast and well, I have strong feelings about Scorpius Malfoy. The actor playing him didn’t portray him the way I saw him when I was reading the play.
And speaking of reading the play, I’d read better fan fiction, but watching the play took kind of took the sting out of the crappy story. Some of the ways they portrayed the magical bits, were… shall I say it? Magical. I don’t know if I would pay for a trip overseas just to see the play like some people had, but it was worth the trip since we were headed back to London anyway.
We also took a day trip out to Highgate Cemetery, resting place of Karl Marx and Douglas Adams. I was way more impressed by how subtle DA’s marker was. It was nice to stand there and pay my respects to someone whose work changed my life in multiple ways. As I said, both on Facebook and in person, so long, and thanks for all the fish.
The best parts of the trip were definitely those when we threw the guidebooks away and just wandered. We adventured in between revisiting favourite tourist sites and I think that made the trip so much better than the last one.
OH! I don’t know how I could have possibly forgotten this, but WE SAW THE FUCKING QUEEN.
We were walking towards Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard when a helicopter landed not too far from where we were. Then, a black car came down The Mall surrounded by cops. I noticed that it had the Royal Standard on it and looked into the car. And there she was. The Queen.
I might have actually yelled, “DUDE! THAT’S THE FUCKING QUEEN!”
There were tourists ahead of us who hadn’t even noticed. I feel bad for them - stuck in their maps and books, they had no idea what they were missing until it was too late.
So yeah - London was a huge success.
The job is a huge success.
The hubby and the dog are here.
My new car is pretty.
Life is good right now… and it’s only going to get better the closer we get to October.
i *so* need this on a business card
So. Life changed a lot since that last entry.
I decided that the situation that I was questioning wasn’t being blown out of proportion by the bipolar and was an actual situation that required an actual response.
I hadn’t felt like I fit in at my old job since I started. I answered to the Controller, but worked for the Service Manager. The org chart made absolutely no sense and the conflicts between service and accounting got worse. I was constantly stuck in the middle of situations I shouldn’t have been in simply because I was in the middle of the two departments. It’s no way to work.
Of course, once I gave my notice, my position was changed to answer to the Service Manager. Apparently, the same conversation I’ve been having for TWO YEARS was finally heard and acknowledged. There’s other drama involved, too, but none of it affected me as directly as this limbo I was in.
I submitted a few resumes… and several weeks later, I got a job offer I couldn’t turn down. I uprooted my entire life and moved to Florida. If you know me at all, you know that Florida is the very last place in the US that I would want to live. BUT. Apparently, I can be bought with a nice title and a decent salary.
I’m not going to name drop, because I don’t want people finding me (hello, bipolar entries!), but there is only one job worthy of that kind of move. Besides, if we’re friends on Facebook, you already know. It’s not been a big secret over there.
I got the offer on the 7th. They wanted me to start on the 17th, but I pushed it to the 24th. I spent those two weeks meeting with Realtors, getting quotes from moving companies and working full time.
On the 22nd, I packed everything I could fit into my car and headed to Southern Florida. I got here on Sunday around 1 PM, moved in the pouring rain and started work on that Monday.
When I do things, it’s certainly go big or go home.
My furniture is somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard. My husband is still in New Hampshire.
I’ve got an air mattress, a chair, and a small table. I have a stool for the kitchen island.
I’m living in a fucking bachelor pad.
On a related note, I had applied for a job with this company back in 1997. I still have my rejection letter, so I’m framing that and putting it in my cube.
Good things happen if you’re persistent and willing to take huge risks… like I said, there are some jobs you can’t say to, no matter how crazy accepting the offer makes your life.
Florida doesn’t yet feel like home, but once the husband is down here and the house is sold, it will be much, much, better.
Until then, I think I’ll go hang out with Eddie the Alligator.
(That’s a real alligator, by the way. He lives in the canal next to my office and he’s been seen so often one of my coworkers named him.)
OE at MSG - 03.04.17 :: easily the best concert i’ve ever been to. ever.
Today’s my Hitchhiker’s Birthday… it’s been kind of meh, to be honest.
Saturday was the 25th anniversary of my mother’s death and I decided to go to CT. I ran in almost knee-deep snow (in sneakers!) to her grave and spent 20 minutes spewing every negative thought I’ve had during the course of those 25 years. Yeah, it was fucked up, but it was SO freeing.
After that, I stood at the side of the road and read a blog entry to my grandparents. It was the blog entry I wrote about our trip to Lviv. My pronunciation sucked, but the thought was there.
Totally random - next to my usual parking spot, they were preparing for a burial. It was a woman I’d grown up with, a close friend of my grandparents. Wasn’t ready for that.
Another totally random thing - my uncle’s been dead for FIVE YEARS and the stone hasn’t been updated yet. FIVE FUCKING YEARS. WHAT THE FUCK IS MY AUNT DOING?!?!!?!?
Once I got my fill of hanging out with dead people, I went to my little brother’s house for a birthday lunch. It was a good time. We went for a walk and shared some deep things that we both needed to unload. I don’t want to go another six months before I see him again… I’m not sure I can go another six months without seeing him again.
Then, I went to a BMS show in Cambridge. So nice for there to be a show only an hour from home. Their drummer’s been problematic since he started and this show was particularly horrid. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the old drummer was there. He was singing because one of the other members had laryngitis and it did not go over well when he pointed out that the drummer was too loud or too fast.
It was a nice break from the shitshow that my life is. I’m working through a lot of things right now and I’m not sure what’s being exacerbated by the bipolar and what’s just really fucked up. It’s harder to make decisions when everything is murky. Either way, I knew which decisions need to be made and I know what my decision is… I just don’t have the balls to pull the trigger and walk away from a situation I might be reading wrong.
Я не здамся без бою.—> The story of my life right now. *sigh*
i do love me some dylan o’brien
Oh boy… where do I start?
Trump won the election and based on his picks for White House staff, we’re looking at four years of Hell on Earth. (And that’s my sugarcoated opinion.)
In happier news, Ukraine was a sort-of success.
I didn’t use as much Ukrainian as I wanted to because some of the waitstaff in the restaurants and coffeehouses made me feel foolish. Although I could order off the menus, I asked for English versions so that the Hubby could read them as well. That said, I did manage to understand a lot. Too much.
And the coffee… OH MY DOG. Lviv’s reputation as having the world’s best coffee is definitely well earned. I can’t believe how much coffee I drank.
I definitely want to go back. It’s a beautiful city. One I could probably happily move to. IF the Hubby could get over the culture-shock.
That aside, it was a life changing vacation.
Part of the trip was a visit to my grandparents’ village and once we got there, our interpreter/tour guide jumped out of the van and started asking people on the street if they knew any of the names on the list.
They knew Maria and Stefania Winarska. They still lived there… despite the War and everything. In fact, they escaped being captured by hiding in the woods. I was totally expecting a house or a gravestone. Instead, I found my grandmother’s cousins.
Yeah. Living, breathing, shared DNA.
I still can’t get my head around it.
As our luck would have it, though, the Lufthansa pilots went on strike just in time for our trip home. Loved Lviv, but we were so ready to go home by that point that we were not happy that we were essentially stranded. It cost us over $4K for a one way ticket home. With a 9 hour layover in Madrid. (That sucked in so many different ways, I can’t even describe it. Never, ever, ever flying through Madrid again.) The only silver lining is that I got trip insurance and that should reimburse us for all our extra expenses.
Work is continually weird and stressful. I can’t go into too many details, but let’s just say that I’ve been dragged into a power struggle. There are things that aren’t right and I’m confirming suspicions. However, that puts me squarely on The Other Side… the side that’s going to get someone fired, or cause them to quit. I’m not comfortable with where I wound up, but I know it’s necessary. It’s stupid things like taking over the bank reconciliations because they haven’t been done properly (I KNOW!) and I’m the only one without access to the bank account. Of course, the person that involved me in this mess may quit if they don’t get their way. If I get passed over for their job AGAIN, I’ll follow them out the door.
There’s absolutely no winning in this situation…
And finally, I decided that I wanted to focus on learning Polish. I need a break from Ukrainian and it’s a similar enough language that I should be OK. I was going to take December off from everything, but I am chomping at the bit to start. So… I signed up for PolishPod101 and will start doing the homework in earnest today. I also signed up for two other classes - one about motivation (because I’ll need it to jump back into the Ukrainian in January) and one on using social media. The three were so cheap due to Black Friday that I couldn’t help myself. I also bought a German course for J. I suppose I’ll end up learning German myself at some point, but for now, I’m going to focus on PP101 and going back to old Ukrainian textbooks and focusing on acquiring new vocabulary.
Oh. I lied… I gave up on the artsy-fartsy BuJo and moved into a little, itty, bitty Field Notes notebook. It works ridiculously well for work and my personal life isn’t that packed chock-full of to-do items to justify the time making pretty spreads. I may do an excel spreadsheet for work (I found a beautiful template) in order to track the skills I’m learning at work (as part of the power struggle). I deserve another raise and I’m going to prove it…
Also, the Field Notes subscription plan? TOTALLY WORTH IT. I have more notebooks than I know what to do with. I have $70 worth of notebooks and I’m only halfway through my $97 subscription. Amazing!