acroyear: (foxtrot snowball)
1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate, or better still, Tea.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Hides them behind the bar, tosses them in a magnetic box or a gift-bag w/ tissue-paper, and loads the car to take them along 'cause we rarely do stuff in the house right now.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
white, built-in to the tree.  we have some externals but they got so tangled up taking them down from our first one at the house (heck, they didn't even come down 'til April!) that they'e never been out since, other than some were used as decorations for an MSFB.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, excepting occasional plastic stuff.  Having pets usually meant no real plants in the house.

5. When do you put up your decorations?
About once every 3 or 4 years.  Knowing we're not going to be home kinda puts a damper on it, and usually the performance season after fest is so busy (3 weddings, 2 out of town, plus business trip, plus revels) that faire itself hasn't been put away by the time the holiday arrives.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Christmas ales.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
When the holiday is on a saturday, having 90 minutes of only snow and christmas related Looney Tunes cartoons on TV while we opened the stockings and waited for the 'rents to get up for breakfast.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Never really a definitive time.  I just sort of eased out of caring about "the truth", as I went from waiting for santa to "being" santa.  I still use "Santa" and "Rudolf" as a "from" person for the lesser gifts that are to the house as a whole (e.g., DVDs and the like).

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Not really, but that's 'cause we usually went to late services.  The rule was stockings opened immediately upon waking up, then wake the parents (at a reasonable time) to show off, and after breakfast gather for the tree.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
A combo of stuff of mine that used to be on my parents' tree, and stuff of Cyd's that used to be on her parents', and a few odds n sods...though I just got a GREAT idea for an ornament, but I'm not going to say so here.  Watch this space after the holidays.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love Love Love, even the crazy like last year.  I make it a point of making sure "work from home" is an option so I can park with the computer, the coffee, and some music, and just hack away in sweats. I *REALLY* hate years without snow, particularly a few years back where the entirety of Feburary was below freezing (for HIGH temps) but not a single snow flake the entire time.  Suffering without any rewards, in my opinion.

Our first Christmas in the house (and the only one we hosted for both families at once) was 2002.  It was also my first "white" Christmas ever. :)

12. Can you ice skate?
Not at all.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I couldn't say what a fav was anymore.  After 40, they start to fade a little...

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
General atmosphere.  Nothing specific, though I'll notice if something's missing.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Christmas ales.  Didn't we ask this already?

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Based on the past few years, "driving" would be it if someone were to objectively look at it, as we spend time at both 'rents.  Maybe someday we'll have the time to host our own again.  MUST catch A Christmas Story during the 24 Hours marathon at least once.

17. What tops your tree?
A star of some type.  Haven't pulled the tree out in a few years to know (see point above).

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Both. :)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.  "Skating" from A Charlie Brown Christmas.  "Snow" by Lorenna McKennitt.  Several tracks from the out-of-print Celtic Heartbeat Christmas.  My most recent rediscovery is George Winston's Holly and the Ivy.

On the other hand, any song I hear more than 3 times in a single day while shopping or sitting in a restaurant has simply got to go.  "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" has made the "I hate you this year" list several times running (including this year).  The "White Christmas" movie version of White Christmas I can do without - I prefer the version from Holiday Inn.

20. Candy Canes?
Not really.

21. Do you feel Christmas is too commercialized?
No more than anything else in this society.

22. Real tree or artificial?
Artificial, and pre-wired.  Allegies, the overwhelming smell, needles everywhere, the need to water, the need to keep cats OUT of the water, all add up to "no thank you" for real trees.

23. Do you put lights up on the outside of your house?
We did our first year.  See above (they didn't come down 'til April or May, and they're still tangled up)

24. Do you do a Christmas Dinner or Supper and who cooks?
Usually our mom's cook at each of their respective houses.  I cook any time we host.

25. Is your family the everyone unwraps gifts at once sort or do you do it one gift at a time as the others watch?
Everybody is handed out one, we all open at the same time, show everybody, and repeat.  Nobody opens another 'til everybody's opened the current set.

26. Do your pets share in the festivities?
Max did.  Viv kept her distance.  The rabbits stayed in their cages, usually.

Adding a question:

27. What's your fav holiday movie?
An American Christmas Carol, starring Henry Winkler.  Transposes the story from industrial revolution Britain to early depression Concord, MA, and emphasizes the "dying unloved and unremembered" better than the original book (and most of the films) did, though the Patrick Stewart comes close.  A Christmas Story is a darn close second, of course.

updated...

Jun. 6th, 2010 06:24 pm
acroyear: (this is news)
...with 2 more (Utah, Nevada) that had previously only been visited through airports (and I tend not to count those).

Visited US States
My Visited US States


Get your own Visited US States Map from Travel Blog
acroyear: (vendaface)
we've had plenty of "what were you doing on a very bad day" meme's for anniversaries, particular the annual tributes we make to 9/11. How about something more positive and (hopefully) festive?

10 years ago this week, we were all planning how we would celebrate the transition from 1999 to 2000.  How about, on Thursday, we all post what we did that night?

Ok, seed planted.  You've got 3 days to get your stories straight with anybody who might tell you that you were too drunk to remember... :)
acroyear: (if you can't beat 'em)
Not every movie is worthy of an Oscar. Hell, some movies aren't worthy of anything much but scorn and derision. The Razzies were born in 1981 and as long was we are all copping to the great movies we've seen, let's fess up to the not-so-great ones we've watched... either in a theater or in the private shame of our homes by highlighting them in bold.

Mind you, not all of these in theaters (those I italicized), the rest were usually just HBO back when there wasn't much else to watch on TV in the long afternoons except MTV, or in the R-rated case in the 80s, sneaking to watch them after the parents went to bed...
the list of those that didn't make the cut didn't make the cut... )
I note the leveling off towards the end (none from 2003-onward) as I simply started spending my time more carefully...glimpses on HBO of some (like Cat in the Hat) reaffirmed my decision to not bother.

Of all of those, the only one that saddened me was Cannonball Run II - the first film was a piece of brilliance in how all the actors were satirizing themselves and the worst stereotypes that the critics accused them of (which, of course, meant the critics didn't get the joke and panned the movie anyways).  The second was just sad.

Of those on the list that I think don't desrve to be on it?  nevermind, there aren't any.  Newsies comes close...I guess I was just a touch too old to appreciate it at the time.  I'm older now so maybe I should give it another chance?

BTW, where the hell was Breakin' Two, Electric Boogaloo?

Lone Ranger had potential, but just fell horribly flat.  I really wonder if Disney can actually get their new one to bite, given how few other westerns have done anything since Unforgiven.

Some of those we own but haven't really sat down to watch.  Same with the oscar nods list.

For the Best Picture nods, it's better I just list them without the whole bolding thing, 'cause there ain't that many:
Chariots of Fire (one of my all-time favs), Raiders, ET, Tootsie, Right Stuff, Amadeus, Killing Fields, Dangerous Liaisons, Driving Miss Daisy, Dead Poets Society, Field of Dreams, Awakenings, Beauty and the Beast, Fugitive, Forrest Gump (I've seen every scene - I just don't know if I've ever seen it all in order, and certainly never in one sitting), Four Weddings and a Funeral, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Titanic (just like Gump, never all in one sitting), Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth, Saving Private Ryan (again, never in one sitting), Couching Tiger (only 'cause it was on the plane), LotR: Fellowship, Moulin Rouge (need to see that again), LotR: Two Towers, LotR: RotK, Master & Commander (on the plane - we own it but haven't watched it since), Finding Neverland, Good Night and Good Luck (on the plane)

and that's it (ok, maybe more than I thought).  of the recent ones, only Frost/Nixon interests me, but not enough to not wait for HBO.
acroyear: (makes sense)
uh, and so am I...

Slashdot | A Quantitative Study of How Memes Spread:
"A survey of about 3,000 people who were tagged in a '25 Random Things About Me' note on Facebook found that memes spread through social networks in a remarkably similar way as diseases [CC] [MD] [GC] do. A biologist who looked at the data says that '"25 Things" authors can be seen as "contagious" under what's known as a "susceptible-infected-recovered" model for the spread of disease,' with a propagation factor of 0.27 in this case. But like an infection, the whole thing died out as quickly as it exploded once the number of 'victims' — people who were willing to write 25 things about themselves — was depleted."
acroyear: (normal)
which I just posted on Facebook. cut for size )
acroyear: (sigh)
I went to the 6th image of my 6th Picasaweb album and found this:



One side of the Duomo in Florence, at night.

why not?

Nov. 4th, 2008 11:17 am
acroyear: (decisions...)
1. Stop talking about politics for a moment or two.
2. Post a reasonably-sized picture in your LJ, NOT under a cut tag, of something pleasant, such as an adorable kitten, or a fluffy white cloud, or a bottle of booze. Something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS.
3. Include these instructions, and share the love.

acroyear: (this is art?)
When you see this, post in your own journal with your favorite quote from The Princess Bride. Preferably not "As you wish" or the Inigo Montoya speech.

Well, why didn't you list that among our assets in the first place?
acroyear: (makes sense)
yeah, i know most of you would expect me to mention Edwards or other cases around the creationism debate, or even Loving which I've mentioned before, but no, one actually is bigger to me.  The odd part is not what the court decided itself, but how bad reporting on an issue and a case can actually influence how a case is interpreted by future judges and lawyers.  The case in question is Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, which is often considered to be the "corporations are artificial people" case.  details... )
acroyear: (more coffee)
Take a picture of yourself right now.
Don't change your clothes, don’t fix your hair...just take a picture.
Post that picture with NO editing.
Post these instructions with your picture.



Taken (in my office) by my brand new kodak m863!  Italy, here we come!
acroyear: (who)
When you see this, post a line from Douglas Adams in your journal.

"Well, you're a beautiful woman, probably."
acroyear: (good grief pertree)
meme from everywhere - when you see this, quote Doctor Who.

Well, you're a beautiful woman, probably...
acroyear: (goof)
What do you ask someone you've known pushing 20 years? ;-p

does that count as a question?

1. Why JMU?

Believe it or not, the marching band I eventually didn't join.  They were the post-show band for a band competition I went to my senior year.  About the same time was their first year at #1 for "regional liberal arts university" in Newsweek's annual study.  All of that caught my attention and wham.  Mine you, freshman year I didn't join the band 'cause I was too late to register for auditions and bandcamp, and after that I kinda fell out with the music program over disagreements with how Music Theory should be taught, which I've written about before.

I'd also applied VT and my parents college, Stetson.  Today, I might have given the Oberlin material a closer read, given how many "folkies" kids go there.  It's one of the few schools with a morris side.

Yeah, VT was "second choice".  Back then, at least at schools as large as Robinson, VT was the school you went to if you couldn't get JMU (and JMU for some was where to go if they couldn't get UVA).

2. Which do you prefer, Marillion w/Fish or Marillion w/Steve Hogarth? Why?

Had it just been Season's End and Holidays in Eden and continued in that direction (which was the impression in '92), I'd have been a Fish-only retiree.  Brave made me a true H appreciator, and everything since has been excellent.  Not always "better than the one before it" (I actually don't like Somewhere Else as much as Marbles, and Anoraknophobia, like Radiation and Holidays, sounds much better live than the studio), but always worth following.

Plus, as I've aged, the over-stressed angst of Fish's lyrics in some cases, poetically expressed certainly, has gotten a little tiring.  I've learned to appreciate a little more objectivity over the personal, subjective approach.  As such, my fav Fish lyrics also happen to be for songs that H is most likely to sing, like Warm Wet Circles.

That being said, side two of Misplaced Childhood can still reduce me to tears if I let it...

3. Because I'm getting old and can't really remember and because so many Vax nerds were also members of SFFG...Were you in SFFG and why didn't you ever go to MDRF with us?

My early involvement with SFFG was to get that coveted SFFG_ account on the Vax, and with it another half-meg (1000 "blocks") of that ever-valuable quota...to think, 20 years ago we were scraping for half-a-floppy.  Today I have terrabyte disk just lying around on a tv tray waiting for me to decide what to fill it with...but I'd give one of these drives up to have back electronically much of what only exists in print-outs in my garage, or in memories.

Early on while trying to be active, I couldn't do trips 'cause I was flat broke the vast majority of the time...already, the record and CD habit was out of hand. :) There was one time that Frank Ford and others were in Chandler, getting ready to head out to MDRF (this would be fall of '90), and I merely had to say "have fun" 'cause I had only just found out and had no cash at all...

Beyond that, when I did want to get more active, my weekends were Ponderosa's, not mine.  So no Feast, no MDRF trips, not much of anything except Thursday DAKs.  Managed to make it free for the first Madicon, though.

The only record of any SFFG involvement with me at school would have to be one of the yearbook photos - I wore a suit backwards (ala Mork in the debut) and faced backwards so the camera saw "Cousin It in a suit".  :)  That same pic had Rob/Ronin as "the invisible man" (head in bandages, trenchcoat, etc).

4. Did we ever run into each other at one of the greater DC fandom gatherings (Balticon, Evecon, etc.)?


not before JMU - my first Evecon was '90 (I now recall that I ran into you and Drew that year (not Drewman/Scruffy, the other Drew), most other cons being after graduation.

5. If you've read the Harry Potter novels, list them in order from most favorite to least favorite.
If not, the book that you've read recently you've enjoyed the most and why.
  1. 4 Goblet
  2. 5 Order
  3. 3 Prisoner
  4. 7 Hallows
  5. 6 Half-Blood
  6. 1 Philosophers/Sorcerers
  7. 2 Chamber
3 is probably the tightest.  4 had the most "extras" but at least they were interesting.  2 is certainly the weakest, and also made for the weakest film.

6 had everything a good novel in a series needed...except a plot. :)
acroyear: (geek2)
1) Where did you and Cyd first meet?

Seems to be the most popular question I get asked.  I'll just direct you to the previous one...

2) How many instruments do you play? At what age did you pick up your first instrument and what was it?

There were keyboards (piano and a cheap and LOUD air organ) around my house all the time as a kid, but I didn't do anything seriously until 5th grade, taking up the clarinet.  Switched to bass clarinet in 8th grade.  Quit that after graduating (oh the irony - I got interested in JMU because of their marching band, then never joined).

Everything I do at faire has been built up in the last 10 years (Tambourine, multiple whistles).  I also have a number of other instruments (bass guitar, bazouki, more keyboards) that I'll take more seriously when the legs tell me "ok, that's it, you're done."

3) What goals in life have you not met yet and which one to you do you want to meet in the next 5 years?

A kid.

yeah, that pretty much covers it.

My only other goal in life is to somehow have more free weekends and free time, but
  1. that has proven to be utterly unattainable, and
  2. goal #1 is a blunt contradiction, as there's no such thing as a free weekend after that...
4) What was the first Ren Faire you attended?

MDRF in '93 is the first any would recognize, but my 9th grade English teacher used to host one in the school cafeteria for all freshman students (he only stopped when they bumped him up to teaching 12th grade English).  I visited MDRF in '93 and '94, one day only, and by 95 was working it as a dancer.  I'm about to enter my 14th season, and Cat & Fiddle's 8th.

5) I think this is going to be a question that I ask everybody. What would you do if you won the million dollar lotto?


First get into the argument with [livejournal.com profile] faireraven over "pay regularly" (which guarantees we get the whole amount) vs "lump sum" which is usually a cut (and will get cut again by taxes).

Second is to pay off all the debts and set aside some as a safety-savings net for my parents' IRA.

Third will be new cars and start looking for a house.

Fourth, after we have the house, then we'll talk new furniture.

Oh, and then I'll go buy all of the Celtic CD's I'm behind on in my collection..by flying to Ireland to get them. :)
acroyear: (lazy day)
1. What do you do to unwind from this insane work schedule you have?

If I don't have reasons to stay busy in the evening, I just have classical music and a wee dram of scotch upstairs in the comfy chair, whilst reading a book (which is generally non-fiction).  Within seconds (and we demonstrated it yesterday), the cat (the black one in the icon) will be in my lap purring.

Update: since I haven't had that kind of time, instead the last week has been Muppet Show season 3 any chance we can glance at the TV for more than 10 minutes at a time.

And actually, the work schedule has been kinda normal - I'm 10-7 most days, no problem.  It's the weekend schedule that, in spite of everything I've tried to stop it, has gotten utterly out of control with no weekends without *something* going on until, yes  I'm about to say this: December.

2. I was there when you and faireraven were engaged, and again when you married. How was it that you met?

Invasion.  After having met some of the California crowd at MDRF's invasion '98, I decided to spend a little cash and join the RPFS invasion in California, memorial day '99.  She was there from Jersey, we kinda met among the crowds during the wench walk (with my bells I was kinda hard to miss), and we were talking on and off all weekend, particularly at the Irish Bar.  Most of the Sunday and Monday, I followed like cute puppy dog, to the point of coincidentally being next to her when the Poof kiss-in happened behind the Brassy's Booth (r.i.p.). :)

3. Why Morris Dancing?


The Beer. *

4. You have an amazing music collection and quite the ear for it. And yet, I do not know if you play an instrument. Do you, and if not, why?

Played Clarinet and Bass Clarinet in middle/high school, but never seriously enough to make it to the top-notch.  I never practiced, as it was "good enough". I was always more interested in the music and its complexities more than just my part in it (plus even being lazy it was still an easy 'A').  I'd like to think I'd make a good conductor and music teacher, if I didn't need to actually be good at playing anything as part of the process...and If I didn't find the current mechanisms for teaching theory to be insanely boring and pointless. **

I've never had the discipline/patience to get terribly good at anything unless I'm a natural.  Most things I never practice at.  I even hate it conceptually. "If it doesn't come naturally, leave it." -- Al Stewart.

I do have the Tambourine for Cat & Fiddle sets, out of necessity, and the whistles for kid-entertaining up close and for when she breaks a string.  I have several other instruments I likely will take more seriously when the legs stop and go "ok, that's it; you're done.", and have been using them, particularly the whistles, more actively in Morris practice nights.

I sing as well, but though I know the musical innards of complex works like Rite of Spring and Close to the Edge with incredible detail and depth, I have a severe handicap with remembering lyrics.  Whatever I'm doing, the 3rd line of some verse will simply "vanish" and nothing I can do aside from the paper in front of me will allow me to recall it.  Hence, as much as I want to add songs, Cat & Fiddle has remained a strictly instrumental act.

5. You have been given an all-expenses-paid vacation to wherever, for three weeks. Where will you go, and what will you do?

I have two vacations "in my head" that I have no idea when I'll get to them.  In 3 weeks, I could fit them both together, however, each is better in the right time of year...
  1. Return to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.  Best done in the end of July, in order to catch the Broad Cove concert and dance.  I haven't been back since '97 and it kills me every year that something else comes up to keep me/us from going.

  2. Driving Across California.  Better done in February or March.  Fly into San Francisco to see old friends (and the city itself for the first time), then drive across to Sacramento to see [livejournal.com profile] capi (you'd understand I'm sure!).  Drive south and over into Redwood Forest country and then into the LA & San Bernardino area to hang out with the other California friend set, along with a day in Disneyland.  If there's time, continue south back through San Diego and catch the things we didn't on our one-day pass-through in '06, like the San Diego Zoo and Coronado Island.
My company gives a "5 year splash" (5 days instant vacation, which you can combine with your regular vacation build-up, and $2000 cash to help pay for it) when we reach that employment milestone, and I'll cross that line in January of '09.  If [livejournal.com profile] faireraven can travel, I'll want to try a subset of #2 over, say, 8-10 days.  Frisco, Sacramento, Redwoods, San Bernardino/Arrowhead, and finally Anaheim/Disney.  That should cover most of our LJ friends out there that we rarely see nowadays, and a good part of the state that I've never been through...

* I've been told by [livejournal.com profile] thatliardiego I should stop there, so I did, but you can read more here.

** This is a long-standing problem with me since freshman year college.  Much of "theory" is taught as rules without reasons, simply "it's the way Bach did it so that's what you'll regurgitate back to me" and while that might work for teaching 2nd graders arithmetic, it doesn't do a damn thing to inspire me as a mathematical expert university student with 6 years of "proofs" under his belt.  I don't take "rules" anymore except as philosophical axioms (which themselves are still debatable), so without the "why", I quickly became bored and depressed with the class and the concept.  ESPECIALLY when I was an experienced enough listener to be able to pick out an exception to every "rule" they showed me.  I could probably respond to a different way of teaching it, one that showed the evolution of these rules more historically and how the exceptions to those rules in the 20th century developed, but nobody bothers that way since I'm in such a minority for my attitude.
acroyear: (normal)
Lets do James Lipton's Actors Studio interview finale (as adapted from Bernard Pivot).

1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
4. What turns you off?
5. What is your favorite curse word?
6. What sound or noise do you love?
7. What sound or noise do you hate?
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
9. What profession would you not like to do?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

and the answers have gotta be short, first thing that comes to mind

1. What is your favorite word? - cool
2. What is your least favorite word? - busy.
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? - complex music
4. What turns you off? - willful ignorance: an intentional lack of curiosity and desire to keep learning
5. What is your favorite curse word? - Mother Puss-Bucket (from Ghostbusters)
6. What sound or noise do you love? - my cat's purr engine (or the first "pop" of a scotch bottle being opened)
7. What sound or noise do you hate? - I'm with Johnny Depp's answer: the vacuum cleaner.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? - teaching; specifically math, science, or history
9. What profession would you not like to do? - anything involving seeing blood
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? - good enough

pass it on...I'll go searching for m last answers a few years back and see what's changed
acroyear: (good grief pertree)
cut 'cause most of you won't care )
acroyear: (twuuwuv)
1) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
A.
No. I've been seriously involved in a very silly relationship for over 8 years. :)
acroyear: (Default)
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