danuv: (repose)
red wine man, red wine.
danuv: (repose)
Apprently when Chava gets drunk she leaves drunken messages for kpop stars on instantgram.
danuv: (repose)
I got started on my granddad's letters over the weekend scanning them, slipping each page and envelope or clipping into individual sheet protectors, organizing them into binders, uploading them to the wordpress site I set up and transcribing them.

It's so fascinating to see a picture of their lives and family coming together. I didn't know my granddad's mom, she died when I was a baby, but my mom loved her dearly. She, my mom and my granddad are/were all very similar in temperament. Very very social. They had a huge group of friends and family that they were involved with.

For '43 & '44 there were two stacks of letters to my granddad, he was 16-17 for these and they're mostly from the girl he was chatting up at the time or from an older friend who had gone into service before he did. Shortly after he turned 18 in Jan of '45 he joined the Navy and for 1945 I have an enormous box of letters that he wrote home and letter that friends and family wrote to him. 1946 has its own huge box. I also have three big bundles of the letters written to his older friend that had gone into the service a few years before he did. None of us have any idea why my grandfather ended up with his letters and I'm still not sure what I want to do with them.

I've gotten about 6 weeks of his letters home done and am into the first month of the letters to him from his family. It's so strange that I'll be typing along and suddenly his mom will say something that reminds me that they were in the middle of a war. A mention of a conversation she had with the mother of another older boy he was close to who would end up dying in the War, a few sections where she talked about someone his dad worked with who found out his brother had died overseas. I can't even really imagine.

It's a huge job ahead of me, going to take forever but gosh so interesting.
danuv: (repose)
Instead of posting anything meaningful I'll just babble about something trite.

I will never for the life of me understand how any group of people could desexualize the Asian male. Eric Mun, So Ji Sub, Cha Seung Won, Jang Dong Gun, Joo Jin Mo, Kim Nam Gil, Joo Sang Wook all so fucking hot. And those are just the older guys and just Koreans. I try to avoid lusting too much after the younger ones but do make an exception for Sung Joon (god that voice) and there's a bit of a soft spot for Ji Chang Wook. He's more adorable than omfg sexy but I wouldn't theoretically kick him out of bed either. It also doesn't hurt that Korean tv seems to play mostly to the female gaze and there are copious shower/shirtless scenes. Thank you Korea.

Lascivious old lady out.
danuv: (repose)
I've now lost an entire weekend down the ancestral rabbit hole. Found a new site that I want to migrate my genealogical records to so I spent hours and hours on my bed hunched over my laptop typing in names and dates and then looking up census records, death indexes, grave sites, marriage licenses and pictures and am almoooooost through my great-great grandparents. I got slowed down because as soon as I start doing anything with records, chances are good that I'm going to find some new clue to chase down. I'm also emailing people I haven't talked to in a decade to get permission to post photographs they've sent me. This has led to long conversations today with a second cousin of my mom's that I never met about my great grandmother's photographs and that entire family.

Mom brought over three boxes of her grandmother's photographs and two big boxes of letters from World War II, mostly correspondence to and from my grandfather and his family and friends. I spent days going through the pictures, organizing them by size which I assume relates to either the camera or processing method, and then by camera rolls where possible (many were stamped with numbers on the back) and then tried to organize it by decade where I could. There are pictures from the teens to the early 60's and I also have my grandfather's photographs which cover from the 50's to the 80's. Then I sorted all the letters by date.

I feel this enormous responsibility to figure out the best way to preserve all this material and not just to preserve it but to make it accessible to the people who are interested in it. So many people have contacted me over the years with photographs of my relatives and ancestors and I'd love to be able to do the same. It feels like keeping these people alive in some way. So many of them are just gone and forgotten but when I look at a picture like this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/danuv/16289496417/ I want to know who that fellow was. His name is on the back but right now I don't know who his parent were. Did he marry? Did he have kids? Are there grandkids or great grandchildren out there who have never seen a picture of him? Was he a troublemaker or a laid back sorta dude? How was he related to me? Why do I have his picture now? What kind of life did he lead?

I have dozens and dozens of pictures that make me go through the same thought process. I have to get all of this stuff scanned in and figure out some way to organize it all, not for posterity but for my own sanity. I already feel like this makes me kind of a crazy person... or totally a crazy person. Pretty much 95% of the people I end up corresponding with about these things are 70 and up. I always cross my fingers when I email someone I haven't talked to in years because I know someday they won't be able to write back. Do they have children or grandchildren who want to hear their stories? Do they write them down? I wish I'd done better about that when my grandfather was alive. He loved talking about these kinds of things but I trusted my ability to remember too well and didn't even think about him being gone until it was too late.
danuv: (repose)
It's amazing even years after you feel like most of the healing is done and that bridge has been crossed how something much less significant but with similar emotion (like rejection) can resonate across an old wound and spike the pain again almost like it never left. I wonder what we'd look like if all those internal scars and tattoos were visible on the outside and how much I'd learn about myself then.
danuv: (repose)
I love seeing that big notice that my social capital is less than 10 on my profile. Thanks LJ. I feel much better about myself today.

Just as my never ending cold was starting to slow down, I caught whatever the crap it is that Issy has which she got from Tamara and Alder that I had assumed was the same thing I had. Apparently not. Dragging us in for strep tests this morning. If Issy and I are positive I'm making Thomas get one too in case he's an asymptomatic carrier. We have seriously, not exaggerating, had someone sick in this family every week since Christmas.

Last week I go to check my bank balance which by normal people standards probably would have been low but by our standards should have had a decent positive balance and see that we are actually overdrawn. I look down at the pending charges and see that the water company for the condo we just moved out of charged us $282. Thomas calls and is told that despite the fact that our previous month's water bill was $44 and we've never had one over $80 we're still on the hook for all of this because the water meter shows an increase in usage. It wasn't even a full month. They suggested that we take it up with the property management group because yeah... that's going to go well. We don't even have keys to the place anymore. So basically we're getting fucked on this one. Yay.

Happily our gas and water bills for the new house were like $5 and .16. Not for a full month of habitation but still.
danuv: (repose)
Last week felt like it was a month and like I spent more time at the hardware store than I did in my new house. I know this isn't actually the case but damn. Thomas is back at work today so it's time to settle into our summer routine. I'm looking forward to getting back to some semblance of normal even though our normal now is going to be a completely different thing than it was. I still feel like a traitor for moving to the 'burbs. It was a difficult choice but I think it was the right one.

Thomas seems to really be enjoying doing stuff around the house. I don't think he expected that. The man is incredibly smart when dealing with anything computer related but following instructions meant for normal humans is a challenge for him. He replaced our bathroom sink faucets last night and I had to explain to him that one should not have leftover parts at the end. They're both leaky. He's going to try and figure that one out tonight.

I ran out of coffee beans on Saturday so we drove the three miles over to the square in Marietta and checked out the farmer's market there before locating our new coffee bean source. Both were great. The market is a good bit larger than the one in Grant Park and runs on Saturday and Sundays. The coffee shop roasts beans twice a week and is fully staffed by OTP hipsters. There's a great comic store nearby and also a solid gaming shop. We found a small chain movie theater that is cheap and has free refills on cokes and popcorn and caught up on our Marvel movie watching. Totally enjoyed both XMen and Cap. America.

Finally got to do some work in the yard on Saturday, cleared up some dead bushes, took out some unwanted volunteer trees, pruned my rose and rearranged flower bed borders. Also got my herb plants potted and set an heirloom tomato in a big pot on the patio. I didn't think it was a good idea to try and plant a full on veggie garden this year but I want some 'maters. Hopefully the bunnies that are everywhere won't eat them.
danuv: (repose)
Word on the neighborhood forum is that a guy got shot and possibly killed right behind our house around 6-7pm at the Marta stop that Thomas uses in the morning. Rhiannon says she heard it but didn't bother telling anyone. Guess she's so used to the sound of gunfire now that it just doesn't ruffle her anymore. Not too thrilled about that.

House closing stuff is making me a nervous wreck. I don't really have a reasonable reason to be a nervous wreck but yet I am. Tamara closes tomorrow. They're trying to move our closing from the 30th to the 25th. It would be nice to have it done.

Rhiannon came home today complaining because her lit teacher gave her a 100 on this project she worked her arse off on. Only she and one other kid in the class completed the assignment and the teacher threw a fit and told them all she was giving those two a 100 and they didn't have to do their final report. Rhiannon is bummed out that she worked so hard on it and isn't actually getting the grade for the work she did. Hopefully the teacher will go over it anyway. I'm glad my kid had that reaction though.
danuv: (repose)
I'm about to hit one of those periods in life where everything shifts. We're going to be moving out of Atlanta once school ends. We might even be purchasing our first home. Maybe. Grant Park, our little pocket of the city, has been our home now for 11 years and now I'm leaving it for the burbs. I keep ticking off all the reasons why we're leaving but it isn't really making me feel better.

Rhiannon's high school experience has improved remarkably since we got her off the bus. It seems like about 75% of her issues stemmed from the unsupervised assholes bullying her there. I'm also going to admit that I made some horribly racist assumptions about her ability to find kids with similar interest in a school that is something like 98% African American from some pretty rough areas. She's found a pretty sizable group of girls who love anime or have other interests in common with her. Yeah, that was pretty dumb of me. Lesson learned. Apart from some problems with keeping a consistent teacher for French and a Broadcasting teacher she just doesn't get along with... oh and that Biology teacher who said that we "evolved from monkeys" and when Rhiannon politely questioned this (one of her dad's pet peeves so she knew better) got a "monkeys.... apes... same thing" back, apart from all that she's doing well there. She even got a 100 on her midterm in Math last week. Go girl!

So if the problem were just Rhiannon and the school, we'd stay. What is going on here mostly is that the Becks are leaving. The Beck family is made up of Tamara, Alder and Griffin. Alder has been Isadora's best friend since kindergarten. They're more like half sisters. We live literally across the sidewalk from them and at this point they spend most evenings and a good portion of the weekend at our place. Tamara and I have grown very close over the past few years too. They are part of our family now. High school is going to be hard on Isadora. It was a difficult transition for Rhiannon and she's a lot tougher than Issy is. Isadora is an incredibly sensitive and sweet kid who sadly inherited my predisposition for depression. She's doing ok right now but I'm worried about high school for so many reasons. She needs Alder. She really does. And if I'm being honest I need Tamara and Tamara needs me.

So we're moving.

If we are able to buy the house we want, we'll be down the street from Tamara. We'll have a huge backyard for Jack to play in. The kids won't hear gunfire on a regular basis. It's unlikely that a police chase will end by our back door. Homeless people probably won't sleep in our car. The girls can go for walks without me worrying they'll get robbed (as happened to Rhiannon's friends while walking home from school recently). There's a neighborhood pool. I'll be able to grill and garden again. Last night Tamara and I were talking about how much light pollution there will be since the community is right next to a very large state park. Isadora perked up and asked, "Does that mean we'll be able to see stars?!". My kids have grown up not being able to really see the stars. There's even a town square a few miles away that has a farmer's market with the same vendors that are at ours basically.

It isn't going to be a terrible thing but I'm still about half happy, half sad.

In June I turn 40. Cripes. I've just about decided that this is the time to get one of the two tattoos I've thought about for years. I don't have any right now because even though I have a pretty clear idea of what I want, I needed them to be connected to some major event in my life. I feel like this is shaping up to be the right sort of time. Later in my life I want to get a Duchamp tattoo (one of his works not a giant Head of Duchamp cuz that would be weird unless maybe it was Duchamp as Rose Sélavy but still... no) but this year I think I'm going to go with this piece of embroidery that kind of started the art nouveau movement called Der Peitschenhieb (or Cyclamen, or The Whiplash). http://www.muenchner-stadtmuseum.de/en/muenchner-stadtmuseum/highlights/obristpeitschenhieb.html Now I need to start figuring out how one picks a tattoo artist and then do that.
danuv: (repose)
Since when is it ok for a group of people who were supposed to be all about freeing their members from cultural and societal constraints to turn around and tell those same people how they ought to express themselves, dress and live? Totally rhetorical question, btw.

Also, bourbon is good.
danuv: (repose)
This week has pretty much reinforced the idea that I just need to stop having person to person communications as much as possible since nearly every single one of them gone wrong, been wrong or done wrong.
danuv: (repose)
I've spent a lot of time this week watching what I'm sure is a fairly trashy UK archaeology show. It is light and entertaining and is constantly reminding me how much I love learning about tangible links with the people of the past. I always wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a kid though then it was of the biblical variety.

In early August, Issy goes back for her last year of middle school, Rhiannon goes to her first year of high school (cripes!) and Jack is starting preschool. His hours are not really long enough for me to do anything productive with (he's in from 9:30-1:30) but I really need to spend the next year figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I can think of a number of options that seem appealing. There's a state college down on the southside of town where our State Archives moved to that has an archival studies degree, or I could go and study history or to be a librarian. I suspect I'm well suited for any of those and would enjoy those careers. There are some areas of Atlanta's history that I don't feel have been well researched that I'd love to delve more deeply into.

There are a few problems with me going to school. First there's my mental state. When I try to imagine even going to the closest college here (GA State) my stomach knots up and I feel like puking. It's just an overwhelmingly terrifying thought. I've gotten my depression under control for now... haven't had a major blurp (a not a word word) of it since early fall but I know my anxiety is ... well not something I can deal with.

I never went to college, never took my SATs, never filled out an application, never took any basic classes. I can even fathom having to take any sort of math classes. I sucked at it in high school and I'm quite sure what little I struggled to learn has left me entirely, also it feels like an enormous waste of time.

Thirdly, even if I got those issues under control is it even worth doing at this point? Will I be employable in a field I actually have any interest in? College is expensive and I have two girls who are going to be headed there in fewer years than I like to think about.

I -have- to do something because I know that me + no kids in the house eventually will lead to serious depression. It's a matter of self worth. I LOVE learning things and I think for someone who never went to college I can hold my own in some areas. Ok so they are really weird areas but hey.

I feel like this is the same ground I've been treading for years and years. Putting it off for another 6 years by having Jack might not have been the most courageous or brightest thing to have done but damn I love that kid and I've never regretted having him for one second. But really I'm an awful homemaker and never found the kind of deep satisfaction in being a mum that some people get. I've always had to hold on to some other identity for myself. Part of me wishes that I did and that I had some kind of crafty artistic talent so I could just hobby myself on into the future but it's just not me.

I'm very aware of how lucky I am to be in the position where I don't have to worry about earning a living or anything so this isn't really a complaining or whining thing. I'm grateful but if I could just blink myself a new life I'd wish us all to the UK where I could volunteer on dig sites for the rest of my life. Damn that'd be fun.
danuv: (repose)
Had a very relaxed long weekend. Took the kids to the Renn Fest on Saturday. On Sunday Thomas and I watched the new season of Arrested Development and then on Monday we did the last five episodes of Dr. Who with the kids.

I've had the treadmill in my room now since mid April and except for the few days before I left on vacation and the time we were away, I've used it at least 6 days a week. Not a terribly long period yet but I'm actually enjoying it. I'm getting a heart rate monitor this week so I can use that to start making sure I'm doing what I need to be.

Mom had a CT scan before we left and they found a small spot on her kidney. They're going to have to remove it before they can tell if its cancer or not. I'm going with her to Emory on Monday to talk to a urologist. I'm worried but trying not to overreact. The urologist who saw her last week says that even if it is cancer he thinks its highly treatable. It's coming at a really crappy time though. My sister in law who just lost her dad to lung cancer last year found out that her mother has pancreatic cancer. She's not doing well at all and my sister in law needs to spend time with her which means my mom has been taking care of her three kids (all age five and under).
danuv: (repose)
Glued to the news this morning as I'm sure many others are. Crazy.

Got my treadmill into my room last night. It's a sturdy machine and should allow me to transition from walking to jogging as my fitness improves. I have no doubts that I'll use it because I really do like walking and enjoyed jogging during the period I was doing it, I just have trouble leaving the house to do it.

Last Friday I went to a yarn/knitting market with my mom and just really didn't handle it well at all. Too much chaos, too many people with giant bags and too little spatial awareness. Tuesday I had a dr's appt so I asked her if there was something I could take just when I knew I'd be in a stressful situation. She gave me a prescription for Xanax. We'll see how that goes. I don't get into situations that bother me that much too often.

Set us up for the local CSA again this year. When we get back from WDW I'll set up the meat one as well. Looking forward to it. I'm really really ready for some good ripe strawberries. Maybe we should go strawberry hunting this weekend. It's the first weekend for our local farmer's market so maybe someone will be selling berries.
danuv: (repose)
Thomas and I reinstalled WoW after Christmas and fell down that rabbit hole again. *sigh* I'm not raiding so it's not quite as bad as it could be (I'm not an addict, it's cool... ). I'm not very good with moderation when it comes to online gaming. The good thing is that I'm much more social when I am there and that seems to carry over into my real world interactions. It's like when I don't play it's -that- much easier for me to withdraw and talk to no one.

Meds seem to be helping. I had a period Sunday where I thought I was getting depressed but it passed. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Tamara got me the Pina documentary for Christmas, well she preordered it and it came last week. I'm watching the actual movie now and will hit the supplementary disc next (go go Criterion). The movie has all these little clips of interviews with Pina's dancers and one of them near the beginning of the film talks about how Pina's choreography was her vocabulary and it made me crack up because after I watched the movie the first time I completely and totally forgot about that bit and said the exact same thing over and over again because it's so very true for me. Had I found this when I was a teenager, I think my life would have been very different. Not better, I do love my life, but different. It makes the movie pretty difficult to watch.

I see the Boy Scouts are considering changing their policy about gays in and leading their troops. While it's not the full on change I'd like to see (they apparently are going with 'it's ok to be a bigoted troop if you want!') I'm so so glad that things will get a bit better. Thomas and I were talking the other night about how quickly attitudes towards homosexuality are changing in this country. It's amazing and wonderful. It's happening so much faster than either of us thought it would. I bet in 10 years a lot of this is going to be in our rearview mirror and anti-gay crap will be confined to a few nutjobs. *fingers crossed* It's one of the few issues in this country that I really feel positive about.
danuv: (repose)
Over the weekend I had a stomach virus, Monday morning Thomas wakes me up to tell me he's lost his keys which wouldn't be a big deal except that it has our only mailbox key (which currently has Christmas presents stuck in it) and the thingamabob that lets him get on to his VPN at work so he can't work from home wihthout it. Rhiannon stayed home sick on Monday with the stomach bug while I spent all day cleaning and doing laundry trying to find Thomas's keys and catch up from having been sick all weekend. Issy comes home from school and says her head itches. I check and yup, lice. Rhiannon has/had them too. Commence maternal freak out and total hysteria.

So today has been spent doing laundry. The poor machines have been running since 7am yesterday with a brief rest while I didn't sleep last night and were back at it by 7am and haven't stopped since. I still have 7 bags to go. All bedrooms were stripped of linens and pillows, stuffed animals bagged and hauled to the garage for three weeks and all surfaces vacuumed the crap out of. Treated kid's heads, about two and a half hours of picking nits on the first run through (per kid) an hour and half on the second run through (also per kid) and will do a third before bed so that they can go back to school tomorrow.

I am so very glad Jack is a boy. If he ever gets lice I'm just shaving his darling head.

We never did find the keys.
danuv: (Default)
Tomorrow we're driving up to Murfreesboro, TN for a hacker con Thomas is speaking at. Our van needed to have its brakes worked on and we wanted to rent a car for the drive anyway so that worked out well, it's giving us small car envy though.

There's pretty much not a single talk at the con that interested me so I'll probably spend most of the time in our room reading and knitting. Sounds dang good to me. I do however now feel a compulsion to visit Murfreesboro's main attraction, The World's Largest Cedar Bucket (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_Largest_Cedar_Bucket ... seriously), there's a Civil War battlefield right near the hotel I may visit too. I might try to find a movie theater, there are lots of films out I want to see.

I let Thomas pick out my hair dye and what was supposed to be auburn ended up dying my roots red. I look sort of like a Falcon's cheerleader pompom now but I really don't want to deal with redying it before we go so I think I'll drag out my old goth makeup and just try to work it. It'll go with my new boots. Maybe. Probably not. Oh well, fuck it.
danuv: (Default)
Halloween went well this year. Jack, despite having illness #339857 of the year, rallied and had a great time. Isadora not only managed to do all her trick or treating in high heel, sometimes running down the broken and cracked sidewalks to catch up with her friend, but got through an entire day in them claiming they didn't hurt her at all. I know I gave birth to her and all but sometimes I wonder how I produced such a "girly" child. Issy wanted to dress up as the main character from an anime she likes. My dad made her costume from pictures off the internet.

With pink hair but flat shoes for the Halloween dance on Friday. Second pic shows the shoes but not the pink hair (or the tiny Buzz Lightyear).

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