I would do the usual introductions, but I don't think they're necessary. If you don't know me already, visit my personal page. It'll save us both a lot of time.
At the moment, things are going swimmingly. My wedding plans are going quite well by dint of the fact that my parents are organizing the whole thing - note to would-be brides: having an indulgent father makes things a lot easier! My fiance Alex has the next three weeks off, so he's very happy, too. Happy fiances are certainly vital to weddings, as it's a little hard to have a ceremony if the groom ran off to join the circus the week before the ceremony.
Although I think I'm the one most likely to be running away. I hear the betting pool on my leaving Alex at the altar has gotten quite substantial. My friends' faith in me is touching...
Not that I blame them, mind you. I love Alex to bits, but I'm nigh-infamous for being commitment shy. It's the whole security, don't-want-to-be-open-to-being-hurt thing. Of course, not opening up also means you'll never meet a person who can make you laugh until you hiccup. I learned that one the hard way, during several man-eating phases and long, hard looks-inward. Just for the record, I'm very happy. I don't really care how the wedding turns out, because we'll be married at the end of it, and that's the important part.
Other than the fact that I think I stomped on Jennifer's toes earlier this morning - an occurrence I'm getting used to, it happens every three months or so - life is good. Despite the fact that Jenn and I can spat like cats at times, I can't deny that our friendship has taught me a lot - not the least of it being about myself. If there is an issue between us again, I just hope we can take care of it before the Bachelor/Bachelorette party on the 15th.
Ah, fortunately it seems that there is no problem. I just misinterpreted something - phew!
So, upon resolving to use my
commute time as journal time, I then realize that it's a little hard to
write on a palm pilot while standing on a commute train. Oops. I guess I had
better treat is a challenge for both my inner ear and my hand-eye
Actually, I had hoped to have the time - and a seat! - to do some work on my latest bit of popcorn writing - a little fanfiction based upon the movie "The Matrix"
Unfortunately, almost everything I write these days is 'popcorn'. Either it's fanfiction or stories about my roleplaying-game characters. I enjoy writing them, but I can't avoid the persistent feeling that I'm cheating by using somebody else's setting or paradigm.
A-ha! A seat!
Where was I? Ah, yes, 'popcorn' writing. One of the reasons I keep writing my rants for The Maternal Jackal is to reassure myself that my brain hasn't completely rusted shut.
Still, I rather doubt that 500 not-too-derivative words per month are really sufficient to counteract the thousands of words I spew forth the rest of the time.
A person who writes for an audience of one is pretty much doomed to get that and nothing more, I think. Shame this realization didn't come to me a few years ago...
Ok, it's actually the 12th
now. Is it a violation of some unwritten journal ethic to write material the
8AM and I'm already cranky - not a good sign, considering the hectic day that I know is ahead of me.
Unsurprisingly enough, the main reason is family. Because my father got tickets yesterday for the visiting family to go see a baseball game - and him with them - on Saturday, Alex and I have to go pick up my cousin Graham who is flying in that day. This wouldn't be any aggravation, but our "Last Gasp" party is scheduled for Saturday - all day. Now it looks like we're going to have to cut our plans to have a picnic on the mountain and a chunk of the boy/girl time, too - because Graham's plane lands on the far side of town at 1:30PM and anyone who has traveled internationally knows how long it takes to get through customs.
Grr/sigh... I certainly don't want to deprive my dad of a day out with his brother and family, but Alex and I have had these plans set for weeks - and I had decided to ditch a bridal shower (strange ritual that it is) in favor of some girl-time on Saturday - now severely curtailed.
In the interest of family unity (aka: anything for a quiet life) I'm sure Alex and I will rearrange our plans and fetch Graham. It would be beyond rude to pay for a shuttle to go get him. I'd be pissed if I arrived in an airport expecting to be picked up by family and found a stranger waving a card with my name on it instead....
When is this day going to end?
I'm standing on the train home - as usual - and today was a vexing day, very vexing. I managed to forget every single thing that I had to remember today. I forgot about the new guy starting in my office - and I'm the one supposed to remind everyone else. I forgot about a dinner engagement and a whole bunch of other commitments, besides.
So much for my thinking that the wedding wasn't getting to me. I would have done everyone a favor if I had just stayed in bed today. Ugh.
And the day took a lovely upswing when I learned that curing Buffy - a pet mouse that Alex and I adopted - will cost more than $85. Sure, you can't put a price on a life, but $85+ seems a little steep for an ounce o'mouse.
Still, it was me who insisted that she go to the vet, so I guess I should quit complaining. If only Alex's pet insurance policy covered small rodents!
I don't feel so good for getting upset about spending so much on a pet with a maximum life expectancy of 12 more months, but with the wedding coming up so soon, well...money's a concern. If only the car repairs - the bloody thing decided that it didn't get enough attention at the garage last week and has just vomited up its timing belt - hadn't hit on the same paycheck as the rent...
And to top it all off, I just
slept past my train stop (I got a seat, obviously).
Drat, I don't like feeling cranky. I had better shake this mood before I get off the train - otherwise I'm liable to spat with Alex the minute I see him.
My word, yesterday was a bad day.
It took the best part of a very good dinner at the Lark Creek Cafe to improve my
mood to the point where I wasn't snarling at people. I'm surprised my parents
didn't hurl the marble wine-cooler at me.
I hope that today is going to be a little less frazzled than yesterday...
Topic change: Alex and I are going
to be getting another cat after the wedding. Our current cat, Tigger, demands a
lot of attention ALL of the time, and it's finally occurred to us that he might
be missing the company of another cat. Tigger used to have a kitty playmate, but
he left with Alex's ex-wife. So another kitty may help satisfy Tigger's demands
for luvinattention. And, of course, Alex and I like the idea of having a kitten
in the house. The last kitten I helped raise was my mom's cat, Misha, who is
eleven years old, now.
So I'm a sucker for cute fuzzy things, so what?
Yet another topic: You would think
that now that I've got vast chunks of my family over here visiting, I'd stop
having my bizarre stress-dreams about them.
It's a little hard to explain, but whenever I get seriously stressed about something, I tend to have a dream where I'm in the UK, and have just realized that, whilst I've been there for weeks, I've wasted all my time and now I'm in a panic to do all things that I wanted to do during my visit - including visit my family. You don't need to hit the books to figure out what that all means.
Anyways, so the family is here now, and I'm visiting with them almost every day, but it seems that my subconscious has decided to fret about not having enough time to sufficiently bond with them or something. Great, even my unconscious mind is insecure and selfish...
And of course. it's these little moments of illumination that keep adding rocks to Johanna's Caern O' Vexation. *sigh*
I'm such a stress cookie right now, most of it internally generated - which further stresses me because I don't feel that such stress is really valid - that I feel like I'm going to *POP* any minute now.
Memo to self: no caffeine today and take some vitamins.
Uh-oh. My memory slagdown has
apparently gained sentience and is now causing massive brain-failures in my
administrative counterpart, Kerry, in the Experience Group in my office. She's
not terribly pleased and has said that she doesn't want to catch my
"pre-wedding dinginess". Fortunately, she has a good sense of humor.
Tomorrow will be better. With one thing and another, and the fact that I have promised every single person in my department a beer for putting up with me this week, I've decided to just go whole-hog and I'm buying a quarter-keg of Red Hook for a TGIF happy hour. If nothing else, it might earn me a modicum of forgiveness. :)
marginally better only because I had fewer things to forget! Still, an
improvement is an improvement, and shouldn't be begrudged.
I'm in a much better mood this morning for a couple of very basic reasons. The first is that today is my last day at work for two weeks, yay! The second reason would be that my Grandma, Peggy, and her boyfriend Gerry arrived last night, double yay!
I got to see my dress-so-far and it looks wonderful! It makes me wish I didn't look so horrid in light colors. Heh, maybe I should have defied Susan (my mother) and gone with a Gothic wedding. :)
A quick note to my readers - both of you - I tend to refer to my parents by name - Susan and Christopher - because they told me that they preferred that to "Mom" and "Dad". Their point was that they had lives beyond parenting me - and Susan in particular thinks that while "mommy" has a fairly affectionate ring to it, "mom" always sounds like a preface to an imperative.
There, now you know.
Alex's best man, Dave,
will be flying in today, and I'm looking forward to meeting him. Our apartment -
rightly called "Arkham" - is going to be crowded with both him and my
cousin Alison staying with us for the next week. If I get aggravated, and I'm
sure I will, I'll have to remind myself that it's not THAT bad and a small price
to pay for seeing the family again.
Don't tell anyone, but I'm really a very gooey sentimentalist about family.
My eyes are burning from squinting at this Palm Pilot, and I'm near the end of my commute, so I think that's enough for now.
Argh! I just spent twenty minutes typing in today's journal and my computer hiccupped and ate the bloody thing!
Deep breaths, Johanna.
Okay, I'll live.
Went to go see "The Mummy" again last night, for the benefit of visiting family. My recommendation is to not see this movie more than once. Once you've been wowed by the special effects, you are then left free to notice the terrible dialogue and lackluster acting. Of course, the actors aren't the star of this movie. Poor bastards.
Alison wants to go see the "The Matrix" and I think I can just about sit through it for the fourth time - oh the sacrifices I make! By the time Alison gets back to England, she's going to have the jump on all the summer movies!
Today is the bachelorette party. The girls are doing the traditional thing: lunch, shopping, dinner and drinking. I don't know if I'm too keen on drinking myself into the ground, but I don't think I'll be getting much choice in the matter. Maybe a severe bout of liver abuse might enable me to relax, dammit.
Before any of that, happens, however, I have to run over to Susan's for (cue: thunderclap) the dress fitting. I don't think I've gained any weight since the measurements were taken, but this will be the test of it. As soon as this wedding is over, I'm joining a dratted healthclub - I've not had the time before now!
Happy dance! I got my two-volume Egyptian Hieroglyphic dictionary in the mail yesterday! Scary as it may seem, it's going to be a useful reference in this house, between my casual Egyptology habit and our need for cool props for Cthulhu and Vampire LARPs. Of course, knowing my luck, I will accidentally craft The Papyrus for Summoning Horrible Things That Are All Slime and Antlers.
Yesterday was the intramural bachelorette party and I had a pretty good time. My friends Lisa, Jennifer, Kat, Trish and my cousin Alison marched off to the local mall and shopped up a storm. It seems that all I really needed to break my foul mood of the last week was a shopping spree - a remedy I'm sure my mother would endorse.
After that, we headed out for dinner with the boys, where we waited nearly two hours for a table because the dratted Outback Steakhouse will not take reservations. If their VP of Public Relations happens to be reading this, take it from me, if you start accepting reservations, you'll be much less likely to have to cope with the spectacle of a seventeen 20/30somethings hanging around outside your establishment talking loudly about computer software and dominatrix boots.
Just before dinner, we had picked up my cousin Graham (Alison's brother) and I have to agree with her assessment that he got all the good genes in the family - he's tall, thin, has a good skin tone, etc. My initial reaction upon seeing him again was "Whoa! Who gave my cousin permission to turn into a hottie?". Actually, that was my second reaction. My first was "Holy shit! He grew!" Mind you, the last time I saw him, he was 14.
Dinner was yummy, of
course, and then the drinking was supposed to begin. I think that having a
large, heavy meal wasn't the best idea, as all my energy leaked out of my shoes
and had I been given a choice between going to bed, or going to the pub, I would
have taken the bed. However, tradition must be followed, and the group headed out
for a quick round at our favorite hangout.
Our favorite hangout was populated by the cream of Walnut Creek's lower-middle-class society and a really shitty cover band. The best part about them was their poster that stated Abernathy's Bar and The San Francisco Muscian's Work Furlough Program Announces... So we got out of there pretty quick.
Given the fact that
the music sucked and that our buddy/co-host Brook had stocked up his place with
an awful lot of booze and chocolate, the party then moved to there.
By the time we got there, I was ready to swear that I had caught Graham's jet lag as I felt completely wiped out. The young 'uns seemed to be pretty keen on the idea of drinking themselves into the ground but I - who is usually eager to kill her liver - wasn't keen on the idea. Alex and I actually bunked out of there pretty early, with a semi-conscious Graham and slightly surly Alison (she had been having a pretty good time) in tow.
It's Sunday afternoon,
and Alex and I are taking advantage of the fact that Alison is out for the next
day at Yosemite to clean up the house a little. I'm going to be cooking dinner
for a few friends on Wedensday night - those whose lives do not depend
upon seeing The Phantom Menace on opening day - and I'm already
fretting about what to serve, etc.
I may kvetch a lot, but I really love cooking for my friends. They just have to understand to stay the hell out of my kitchen while I'm doing it. I'm a bit funny about that. The best way a guest can help me get ready for dinner is to amuse themselves somewhere else while I cook. Usually I toss a bottle of wine into the living room and tell Alex to make conversation for as long as it takes. As The Maternal Jackal says, "As long as you're serving your guests good wine, they won't care how late dinner is."
Alex is tidying up the living room right now, and I think I've goofed off enough. It's time for me to get back in there and help him. Fortunately our remaining houseguest, Dave, is perfectly happy to amuse himself while we scurry around muttering about floor-mopping and what we're going to do to that damned cat if we ever find him - Tigger likes to leave little 'presents' for us, sometimes...
Whee! I'm on vacation! Of course, today isn't going to be solely dedicated to lazing and loafing, but I think I might be able to make time for a little of that.
Today's tasks include
I've got to go get started on my day, dear reader, so I'll post a little more up here some time later.
I think my tolerance
for my fellow man is getting lower every day. Alex and I just got back from
running errands - everything on the above list and then some - and I once again
am firmly convinced that most humans are nimrods. Intolerant? Sure, but I don't
see why I have to be tolerant of ill mannered, undereducated, short sighted
But I'm home now, and can calm down with the shiny new books I got at the store - and Dave bought me a very handsome edition of The Book Of Going Forth By Day, wasn't that nice of him? I look forward to poring over every detail of it. Heh.
Hm, I want to find an online transcription of the I Ching. If you've got any suggestions, please e-mail me. Don't ask why, it's going to be a surprise!
Yow! That was not
fun! I just had the unpleasant task of communicating my mother and cousin's
displeasure with Jennifer's
attitude. I hate being caught in the middle like that, but I can understand that
what I consider a normal level of brash forthrightness and candor can be
interpreted as overwhelming arrogance and thoughtlessness by one who doesn't
know her. I honestly didn't notice Jennifer's remark - upon first seeing my
cousin Alison - of "Whoa! You're so skinny! I'd make two of you!" as
particularly insensitive, but it was pointed out to me that had my cousin said
"Wow, Jenn, you're twice the size of me!" it would have been met with
However, it seems that after a nice meal at the local Mexican joint, things have been settled and egos salved. I just wish I could shake the impression that Alison is continously miffed with me for unstated reasons...
|Meng / Youthful Folly||Chen / The Arousing (Shock)|
|Even the foolish can attain widsom by modestly following the Sage||The shock of unsettling events brings fear and trembling. Move toward a higher truth and all will be well.|
Wow, Egyptology and
erotica, when read close together before bedtime can produce some very
distracting dreams. I'm not sharing the details, but... oh my!
If naught else, it's put me a in a pretty good mood this morning. I don't know what we're doing today. The plan initially called for taking my cousins into the city to do Haight and Castro streets, but now I get the impression that they might prefer staying home and recovering from a monster trip to Yosemite, yesterday. Or they're going to go to Napa.
I must admit, given the choice between grubby homeless people on Haight Street and a sunny afternoon in wine country, it wouldn't be too tough to decide.
I'm still stewing
about yesterday's upset between my family and Jennifer.
I sympathize with Jenn's reaction of "And why couldn't they tell me
this?" as I suppose the answer "Because they're English."
wouldn't hold much water with an American. It sounds like a cop out, but it's
true. What an American may call lying, an English person calls being
Oh dear, now Jennifer is convinced my entire family hates her, which is a gross exagerration. If they were angry with her, well, let's just say that I wouldn't have been used as a middleman. Poor Jenn would have just shown up at my mother's house for a fitting and gotten sliced to ribbons by Susan's razor tongue.
I suspect that this whole incident has been blown out of proportion by Susan, but I had to react to it as best I knew how. I promised Susan I would talk to Jenn about her "attitude" and then I had a patented Susan-and-Johanna-getting-full-and-frank discussion with Susan about how Jenn's got her own life, her own issues and don't you think that perhaps the little remark that got this all started was said without thought and was an accident?
So both sides got horribly criticized by me. I'd rather have had equality without anyone having any horrible moments, but pressure had to be released before my mother exploded...
Jennifer made a comment in her own journal - which is where I learned how upset she was - that she was on the verge of leaving the wedding after I talked to her, but she realized that would have been a very stupid mistake. Good call, my friend. I would really hate to have to end a friendship over a tempest in a teacup.
|Sheng / Pushing Upward||Chia Jen / The Family (The Clan)|
|Activity grounded in truth brings progress and good fortune.||A healthy family, a healthy country, a healthy world - all grow outward from a single superior person.|
Keep your temper today, be willing to compromise, rather than argue. Patience wins out in the end. Do what is best and right for a situation - try to be a good example for others.
Given the frequency and nature of "Full and frank" discussions I've been having with my mother, today's casting is good advice.
Had a very nice dinner with Alice and her boyfriend Brian last night. It's very odd to be hanging out with her after a ten year absence punctuated only by occasional Christmas and birthday cards. We still have a lot in common - like geekiness and bibliophilia - but it's rather hard to figure out where to start. In our usual fashion, we managed to catch up on each other's lives in about ten minutes over a cup of tea. I'm sure that as time passes, new conversations and commonalities will arise.
It seems that my
cousin Alison has chosen to stick with staying at my parents' house. I feel like
a horrible hostess to admit it, but I'm relieved. It has nothing to do with
Alison. It's a case of Alex and I find one house guest bearable, and two - Dave
is still here - a little hard to bear. I hope Alison is having a jolly time with
the family at the other household, and look forward to seeing her at dinner
Yes, I'm entertaining again. Fingerfoods and friends - simple and fun. Alas, my friend Terry can't make it - but his girlfriend Kat was reluctant to explain why. I certainly hope he isn't ticked with me and Alex. I suspect, actually, that it may have more to do with his hellish work schedule lately, although Alex thinks he may be ticked with another guest who's coming. Both possibilities are complete guesswork on our part, and I'm sure we'll learn the truth later today.
Drat, I feel like I should be doing more with everyone but I don't seem to have the time!
On a happier note, the
jeweler will have Alex's wedding band made in time - phew! We're using some old
ring settings that Alex's mother, Joanne, gave him. They even include her baby
ring, and a ring that belonged to his great grandmother. Apparently coping with
old gold - and the solder used to attach the fittings to the rings - is a bit of
a challenge for the jeweler, but he's confident he can make it work. Very keen!
And back to depressing, again. It seems that Joanne's emphysema is getting worse, and it's going to cost her a lot of effort to come to the wedding. Even if we suggested that she stay home, we know there's no chance in hell that she would - and both Alex and I want her there. But the fact is that Joanne apparently doesn't have much longer to live - a year at the outside - and that's not a cheerful thing for a son to hear just before his wedding. Alex's sister is trying to 'shield' him as much as possible but I think that's doing more harm than good.
It's a weird thing to say, but I kind of wish Alex and I were able to consider children immediately, as I know an incipient grandchild - despite the fact that Joanne already has two via Melissa - would give her a new lease on life. But kids are not in the game plan yet - not for a while!
I have reached a new personal high in geekiness. I just used my celphone to make a call, so I wouldn't have to go offline while doing it. It's definately time to get a second phone line...
|Kou / Coming to Meet||Liu / Treading (Conduct)|
|Darkness reappears unexpectedly. Caution and reticence are in order.||Lasting progress is won through quiet self-discipline.|
Continue to exercise patience and avoid the pitfalls of ego and arrogance. Work to resist temptation and calmly walk away from confrontational situations.
Again, given the current pre-wedding tension, this is very good advice. With everyone so highly strung - including myself - it's very easy to be snappish and argumentative. Bad feelings and ugly fights can be avoided with a little effort and sacrifice.
Last night's dinner
went well - albeit with a severely truncated guest list. I certainly hope it
isn't an omen for the wedding. Two guests canceled at the last minute, two never
responded to the invitation, two got lost and turned back to their hotel, one
was too tired to show and two others - a couple - broke up yesterday.
It's that last one that has me nervous and a little flabbergasted. Terry and Kat - the couple that just broke up - are both good friends of mine and to find out that they've called it quits is a hell of a surprise. I know that they're both adults and they'll survive the experience but, damn, it can't be pleasant. As long as the situation doesn't devolve like some breakups where the mutual friends feel obligated to "blame" one of the two involved, I'll be very happy. Fortunately, those two are pretty smart and mature, so I don't think I have to worry about that this time around.
The next fun thing is going to be coping with the small horde of people who have been holding torches for Kat or Terry for the past few years. They'll consider the news their long-awaited chance at their chosen. Lust knows no etiquette alas, and it certainly ain't considerate...
In other news. I've
been running around doing the pre-wedding bit and I'm trying to type this entry
while wearing acrylic nail tips. It's bloody difficult! I don't know how others
do it. Still, the nails look very nice and, at the moment, that's more important
than typing speed.
We picked up Alex's ring today - made from rings given to him by his mother - and it looks wonderful. It's a very light gold with a golden sheen to it that almost floats above the ring surface. It's so nice that I'm thinking about having one made to match in a couple of months, when I have the money. Contraiwise, I love the wedding band that my grandmother gave me years ago that I've been wearing constantly as my "Public Transport Psycho-Be-Gone Device" that I'm not 100% sure I'm going to change rings. Time will tell, I guess.
Today's arriving guest list - Ross Milne (friend of the family and, yes, I did steal his name for one of my screenplays), Auntie Elsie, Auntie Phil (sisters of my Grandma) and Aunt Greta (my mom's sister) and Beth Coughlin - a high school buddy of mine who - by some miracle - managed to get leave from her posting in Korea for the weekend.
Every now and then, I pause to hyperventilate and I feel just fine. Alex is eating heartburn medicine like it's candy, but really, we're doing great! We've not had and disasters yet and, if sheer prayer has any effect on reality, we're not going to have any mishaps - there are too many members of my family muttering pleas skywards...
That's enough for today, Beth is due in the house at any minute.
|K'un / Oppression (Exhaustion)||Ta Kuo / Preponderance of the Great|
|An unavoidable tmie of adversity. Quiet strength insures a later success.||There are great pressures at work. By meeting them with modesty and patience, you avoid misfortune and meet with success.|
Feelings of frustration are caused by clinging to false, selfish goals. Understand that not everything can be under your control, and learn to adapt when situations move beyond your familiar environment. Don't push ahead just to satisfy your ego - there are greater needs than yours in the universe. Be aware of possible conflicts between your desires and your work situation.
Hm, I suppose that the fact that I spent an hour last night bitching about how I don't intend to spend my life as an administrative assistant might have some relevance here. Otherwise, I think the universe is gently reminding me that my dreams of an ideal world will differ from reality.
Gack, what was I thinking when I bought Lapsang Souchong tea yesterday? If anybody wants a box of it, just e-mail me. It's far too smoky for my taste. I'll even pay the postage.
The brain-meltdown continues as the rest of the English contingent has shown up and my high-school chum, Beth, as well. I'm really happy to see Beth again, as she's a good friend and I hate the fact that the Army is always sending her off to the other side of the globe. The joys of a military career, I guess.
Meanwhile, my mother deserves a knighthood for grace-under-pressure. Last night she managed to host about 16 people for dinner - half of them fresh off a plane from the UK and out of their minds from jetlag - and she pulled it off without a hitch. Susan quite wisely chose to keep it very simple with barbecued steak and lots of salads but, still. I would have shrieked at everyone to get out of my house and then ordered myself an extra large pizza with all the comfort-food toppings.
And one can learn the oddest things from family. My aunt Greta (my mom's little sister) has told me that apparently red meat has a horribly aggravating affect on arthritis. Greta has nasty arthritis herself - all her life - and so she has to watch out for these things. Just another reason to quit red meat, I suppose - although it didn't stop either of us from tucking in to a steak. My arthritis isn't too bad during the warmer months, so I was able to justify my piggishness.
Another side-effect of all this visiting is my mind is getting bent out of shape about the size of the world. Thanks to the internet and other modern marvels, the world really is a small place. From my computer I can read the London Times, zip e-mails back and forth between far flung buddies, etc. It's like I could just hop in my car and be in the UK in an hour or so. But of course, that's not true and it causes a weird tension, kinda like it's on the other side of the looking glass. Seeing everyone this week is only going to make it worse after they've left. Drat.
Time for me to pack my bags and get ready to go down to the wedding location... I'm not nervous, really, I'm not.
|Tui / The Joyous, Lake||P'i / Standstill (Stagnation)|
|True joy is experienced by those who are strong within, gentle without.||In times of stagnation, attend to your attitude.|
Things are pretty much beyond your control at this point, but your attitude still has an affect on those around you. Make an extra effort to be polite and well mannered, because if you're grumpy, you're going to bring everyone down.
Let's see, I get married tommorow, there's certainly no way out of it - not that I'd want to get out of it - and I long since relinquished control to the Stress Monster and to Susan. Still, if I act bitchy and stressed out, that's going to have a bad affect on everyone. So I better dig down deep and keep a smile on my face, no matter what.
I'm getting married today, 12noon PST.
I draw the line at uploading to my website on my wedding day, sorry guys. If only my mother didn't object to a webcam at the ceremony!
Well, I'm a married woman now, but I don't know if I'll have time to upload new content. :)
Well, I'm a married woman now, but I don't know if I'll have time to upload new content. :)
The wedding was wonderful. I didn't have a breakdown or screech at anyone, much to my surprise. The highlights would have to include:
Mind you, there were some bad points.
Alex's mother was really roughed up by the drive and had to miss the ceremony. As his family was leaving, Alex's sister takes me aside and says "Things are really bad. We're going to take her to the hospital. But don't tell Alex." What?! Like it would be so much better to keep that from him. Naturally, I talked to him immediately, and he agreed with my call. However, she's doing much better now - she didn't have to go into the hospital - and I'm a lot happier.
Alison and I had a nice - if brief - conversation, and I think I've managed to drop the slight snit I was brewing about her attitude. I think it was all just a case of not knowing how to relate to each other, nine years on.
Although it seems that Alison and Dave are relating just fine and are hoping to find a hotel room tonight to, um, continue that relationship. I wonder if Alison is going to tell the family the truth, or simply ask me to cover for her. :) We'll see, I guess...
A couple of friends failed to show - I hope that BJ did't get lost. Terry decided to give things a miss, as he is still apparently very messed up by the end of his relationship with Kat. Kat, on the other hand, apparently has a date with my ever-prowling cousin Graham. Hm, so much for my worrying about her mental state. It seems that our mutual friend, Nick, tried to tell Graham to back off and Graham laughed himself sick. Ah well, both parties meant well and seeing as how Graham goes back to the UK on Wednesday, I don't see anything major brewing out of this incident.
|Chin / Progress|
|You progress like the rising sun. The brighter your virtue, the higher you rise.|
What can I say to that? From here on out, things can only get better.
Today was another fun
day. Alex and I took Ross - a friend of the family and one of the visiting
English contingent - to Alcatraz. Like many area residents, I've never actually been
there, and it was nice to finally go.
We took the ferry over at noon and spent a few hours taking a tour around the cellhouse, walking around the island and learning way more about the ornithology of Alcatraz than I ever thought I'd need to know. By the end of the day Alex and I, having recently purchased a reproduction cell key and a set of the rules and regulations of the prison - were thinking fiendish thoughts about adding a side plot to the script for Evil At Bay, which is a Cthulhu LARP we ran earlier this year...
Unsurprisingly enough, the resemblance between the federal penitentiary and the structure featured in the film The Rock was superficial at best. :)
Last night, a gaggle
of us saw the movie - The Phantom Menace and it was alright.
It would have been tons better if there had been no Jar Jar Binks - a character
with 'merchandisable alien' written on his forehead - and a rather more
charismatic actor playing Anakin Skywalker. I swear they were poking Jake Lloyd
with a stick to cue him...
The political side of the plot was amusiing enough and, of course, the Jedi-combat rocked. I went expecting some fun eye-candy and that's what I got, so no major dissapointments. I'm sure I'll be seeing it again with my dad pretty soon, and I'm not against the idea.
Sorry readers, nothing of any earth shaking importance today. Of course, if that's what you're looking for, you're reading the wrong journal...
|Ko / Revolution||Ta Chuang / The Power of the Great|
|Devotion to truth enables revolution.||To achieve true power and true greatness one must be in harmony with what is right.|
In entering a new phase of life, one must strive towards one's highest goals while retaining a modest bearing. False hopes and arrogance won't acheive anything.
Unsurprisingly enough, marriage can be considered a new phase in life - even when I've been dating the fella for the best part of three years. My good friend Stephen told me that he discovered that the first year of marriage is a hell of a learning experience, and I believe him. I'm looking forward to finding out!
Very early morning
note - I finally finished the first draft of my Matrix fanfiction.
Yay! Yeh, yeh, it's popcorn writing, I know. But at least it's something.
It's been so long since I started it, I was really afraid that I would lose
steam before finishing the first draft, which would just doom the whole project.
If I can't finish the first draft within a couple of weeks of starting, I may as
well forget the whole thing. But now I've got that draft down, polishing and
formatting won't be too much trouble.
I just have to make sure I take my time with the polish. A big drawback of mine is a tendency to rush the finishing of anything I've written. I'm a lazy writer, and I tend to forget that just because I understand what I've written, it doesn't mean anyone else does - as I'm sure this journal sometimes illlustrates...
I just got an e-mail
from Terry - one of the triad in Serious
Moonlight. He's getting ready to run Return to the Temple of Terror
and needs some last-minute help. Usually, Alex and I would be far more involved
in the process, but we all realized that Alex and I would be utterly useless for
the entire month of May.
But now that the wedding is over with, I'm looking forward to helping out in whatever tiny ways I can. I don't want Terry getting too used to coping without us. :)
Alex made an interesting observation. Based on the three games that we've run together, it seems that Alex and I are more into the high-history/low-mythos plots, and Terry is into high-mythos/low-history. It has made for some hairy arguments in past games, but if we can get our styles to gel a little better, things would be great.
Frankly, I leave all the complicated plotstuff to Terry and Alex, because they know the mythos so well - and they're both way more devious than I will ever be. I just like creating interesting, encapsulated characters that can work within the limited context of a one-shot game - and digging up cool props. I'm easy to amuse.
I'm also terrible at coping with stress, and I got way too snappy with my co-GMs last time around, so I think its for the best that I'm not in the loop with a game immediately after the wedding. Actually, I'm amazed that Terry's going ahead with the event, given the recent meltdown in his life. But maybe I shouldn't assume that everyone is as fragile as me, no?
Yay! I'm so happy! I finished the polish on my Matrix fic. It's not quite ready to go up on my site, yet, as I have some cutesy ideas involving some fonts and graphics for the online version of the story, but it should be ready to go in a couple of days. *Phew* Thank heavens it's done
|Chia Jen / The Family (The Clan)||Yu / Enthusiasm|
|A healthy famly, a healthy country, a healthy world - all grow outward from a single person.||Proper enthusiasm opens every door.|
This is a good time to turn your focus inward and study your own goals and attitudes. In particular, your attitude may be hindering potential success and your souring your relations with others. It is entirely possible that any obstacles you are currently encountering are attributable to your own improper behavior.
Try to notice bad habits - such as being selfish or needlessly stubborn - as soon as they occur and immediately quell them. Also examine your chosen goals and ensure that they are valid. Dedicated pursuit of a foolish end is a terrible waste of your time and talents.
Or, to put it simply: Smile and the world smiles with you - and no matter how efficiently you may do it, tying a can on a dog's tail is still a waste of your resources - and the dog's.
It's 12:21AM and I've
just posted my Matrix fanfiction Una
Carmine up for good or ill. Take a look if you're feeling adventurous.
Alas, the 'silly version' isn't quite up to snuff yet, as I haven't figured out how to link to the uploaded font files so that a user may download them to their own machine. Suggestions would be appreciated, just take a look at the code on that page and drop me a line letting me know what I've done wrong. :)
Today has been a
pretty light day. Lots of unwinding and time with Alex. As I feared, I'm
suffering rumbly guilty feelings for not spending enough time with Alison,
Graham and other family visitors. If I wasn't running around doing wedding prep,
I was utterly stressed out, or asleep. It was also very hard trying to figure
out how to re-establish a relationship after such a long time apart.
In my cousins' case, I expect I should have just sat down and drank a shitload with them, but my wimpy immune system had me convinced I was coming down with something, and I was damned if I was going to come down with a cold before my wedding. Drat.
But it seems that Alex's best man, Dave, was more than happy to take up the slack in that regard. I think he was a tad bit intimidated by the English capacity for drink - and the fact that it's a tradition for the family to buy the best man all he can imbibe and then some, after the ceremony. I think Dave's lucky he didn't swallow his tongue on the wee hours of the 23rd. Of course, I could make a sly comment about that situation and Alison, but I think I'll just leave that at the innuendo level...
As I say, a quiet day.
|Hsiao Ch'u / The Taming Power of The Small||Kou / Coming To Meet|
|You are temporarily restrained. It is a time for taking small steps.||Darkness reappears unexpectedly. Caution and reticence are in order.|
This is not a time to be taking on new battles. If you feel compelled to correct someone else's behavior, do so tactfully and ensure that you yourself are acting as a good example to them. This is a good time to take modest, long-term actions, rather than recklessly pursuing an immediate or overwhelming goal.
I think that this could be a warning against not taking enough time to recover from post-wedding burnout. If I blithely wade into new activity - such as back to work - without being fully rested, then I'll be utterly useless to all concerned.
It looks like I'm about to burn off a day in hell. I have agreed to take The Aunties (actually, one Grandma, her boyfriend, and three aunties - all the same family) to San Francisco tomorrow. Apparently my Auntie Elsie wants to eat lobster on the wharf, and my mother is trying to convince her that, first of all, the local specialty is crab and, second of all, it'll cost her a fortune... I think I'll leave that discussion to my mom.
|Lin / Approach||Fu / Return|
|Good approaches the superior person.||A time of darkness comes to a close.|
You have worked hard for a worthy goal, and now it is near fruition. The times may have been hard and the demands great, but the reward is near. Be wary of falling just short of the finish - this is not the time to rest on your laurels or to let your good behavior lapse. Resist any urge to show off or to be arrogant and take quiet satisfaction in your success.
Does this mean I can't make everyone look at my wedding photos?
It's official, I must be mad.
There are two reasons for this. First, I'm about to take The Aunties to San Francisco for the afternoon. I love these women dearly, but 'culture shock' is not in their vocabulary. I will no-doubt be an appropriately gibbering wreck when I get to tonight's Serious Moonlight event.
Second, my little popcorn Matrix fanfic, Unplugged has grown tentacles and the characters are demanding a series. Why is it that my fluffy writing ends up sucking up more of my time than my valid writing? Probably because it's more fun... As long as this doesn't turn into another Dead Time fiasco, I'll be fine. That's one series that will always be one story short of completion.
Well, I'm off to get the Aunties now, wish me luck!
|Ta Kuo / Preponderance of the Great||Ta Chuang / The Power of The Great|
|There are great pressures at work. By meeting them with modesty and patience, you avoid misfortune and meet with success||To acheive true power and true greatness one must be in harmony with what is right.|
Readers, I'm sorry, but I'm horribly tired and extremely busy. I promise to have a full report on the blast I had with my family and Serious Moonlight - and why Terry and Brian deserve medals - tomorrow.
I'm a naughty girl and have not kept this up as I should have. Thirty lashes with the wet noodle, immediately!
Taking The Aunties out to the city wasn't nearly as traumatic as I feared. I think I was the only one who got irritated by the hour-plus wait for the cable car from the wharf - but I really should have known better. None of the aunties fell into the Bay and I refrained from punching any of those dratted street performers in the face, so it was a good day.
The evening was taken up by Serious Moonlight's latest game, Return to the Temple of Terror. The game went very well, although bloody GameCon can kiss this troupe goodbye from their convention. It's too boring a story for strangers, but suffice to say that their shoddy administration and communication has totally turned me off to that event - and the other GMs, too, I suspect.
Anyways, the game went
really well. Terry and his helpers knocked themselves out creating a great space
for the players - many props, cool lighting and very atmospheric - and I
manfully quelled any feeling of jealousy. Terry's a great GM and I think it's
only a matter of time before he decides he doesn't need me around in the group
any more. I love creating characters and sewing up cheesy monsters, but Captain
Paranoia (a right bastard who lives in all our heads) is saying that he's got
much better help in the form of our mutual friends, Trish, Brian B. and Brian
T., and why should he need a Limeychick who turns into a big nervous wreck
before each game?
Of course, I am telling Captain Paranoia to get stuffed, but he's a resilient creature.
At the moment, Brian
Wiatr, one of my old Connecticut high-school friends is visiting for a day or so
and that's lovely. So, of course, I've left him in the living room with Alex
while I write this. I never said I was a great hostess.
Seeing all these old friends in such a compressed period of time is definitely messing with my head. As I've mentioned before, the internet has already fooled me into thinking the world is a very small space - an impression that is only dispelled when I look up air fares. Now that I'm seeing a whole bunch of family and friends - from the east coast, England, even Korea - it's perpetuating this sense of everyone being very close. Which is all very nice until they leave and I still want to see them. Yes, the phone and e-mail are lovely tools, and if it wasn't for them, most of my friends would have given me up for dead years ago, but it's not the same as being there. And then I get all sulky and annoyed because I saw so-and-so just now and why in hell can't I see them again?
Bah, very maudlin. Time to change topic.
The fanfiction beast
has definitely woken up from hibernation. I'm currently filing the serial
numbers off a story that I had originally designed for Rachel
DuNoir and turning it into a James Bond story. I intend to set it in what I
consider its proper place - namely the late 1950's, complete with megalomaniac
commies and women who are nothing but trouble. It should be great
fun if I can get my Matrix
fanfiction characters to shut up for one damned minute.
Once again, my popcorn writing is at the fore. I swear, I'm going to finish one of my 'almost-done' screenplays this year, if it kills me!
Wow, my friend Kat has just told me that she's thinking about moving to England. She's quite young, and working on her MS Certification - which means the world is her oyster. I think making a major move like that when you're young is the best way to do it, but immigration is a bitch, I know... Still, I think that if she makes it over there, she'll love it, at least for the first couple of years...
|Li / The Clinging, Fire||Sun / Decrease|
|Cling to the power of higher truth.||Be still, lessen the power of the ego, and misfortune will be avoided.|
Do not abandon your principles in a moment of pique or selfishness. Take care not to neglect the things that make you who you are - your ideals, dreams, etc. Resist the urge to lash out in reaction to others' poor behavior - instead, act as a better example for them to follow.
I'll admit it, I have no idea what relevance this one has on my life today - unless it's referring to the case that my hormones are raging and jumping up at down at everyone. Apparently no-one has told my hormones that married women are supposed to be meek and blind. Yeh, right.
A little blue. Saw Brian Wiatr off today, and the last of the visiting family will be departing in the next few days. Post-wedding letdown is finally striking, I think. Probably for the best that I'm back to work tomorrow. I certainly hope all the brain cells that I lost in the weeks before the ceremony have grown back in the meantime. Although given the amount of wine I've been drinking, I doubt it...
So, of course, I set
out to fight the blues by stopping by the local department store and picking up
some new jeans. If there weren't a fantastic number of laws against it, I would
spend hours sitting inside a dressing room cubicle with a notebook,
eavesdropping and writing down bits of conversation. Today's highlights include:
Oh, this is so Barbie! Isn't this Barbie? I've gotta get it! This makes me look like a margarita... Well, everyone knows but his girlfriend of course, and no-one's going to tell her. What's the point of a girdle if it's wrinkly?
I think the best dialogue fodder is to be found in the changing rooms of the lingerie department...
Following the trend, I'm about to head out and do more shopping with my friend, Jennifer, but I'll be visiting Alex's mother, first.
I haven't had time to do my I Ching yet, today, sorry!