joules_burn: (*CoolStory*)
[personal profile] joules_burn
I've become extremely closed when it comes to the online world.  Hilarious considering I once posted 5 times a day about anything and everything. Vented and worked out whatever was bugging me.  But that's some history right there, and this is now.  I don't even tend to tweet about many things that are actually going on.  So, let's do the whole year in a hand-basket.




1. Fat Budgies
2. Secret Agent Slacker
3. Life in Still Life
4. LOL Cats LOL U
5. Pirate Wedding Halloween
6. Christmas Countdowns


While this year ended busier than any I can remember having, it started out quite slow.  [livejournal.com profile] konora had been living here a while, and we were pretty much playing house like everyone would imagine.  ....when they aren't imagining us doing kinky things instead of the actual horrors of our 5 year old style relationship. 

1. Kon has mentioned her terror budgie Pique a lot.  But we were spending tons of time out or downstairs, and Kon was beginning to work a lot, so the idea of getting more budgies to keep Pique company was thrown about.  In my quest to become a spinster cat lady, I made it happen.

  I'd never seen a budgie all pale and purple gray and she was definitely a dumb little baby, all happy and fat.  And absolutely in LOVE with another little male baby.  I brought them both home, not knowing that her first and true love... is actually food.  They're named Bubbles and Clu, and Clu is a coward like males are, and unfortunately doesn't get as much love and attention from Bubbles... who loves food.  She's at least a year old now, but she appears to have skipped puberty entirely.  Her cere is still white.  [livejournal.com profile] konora's lawlie powers appear to have effected her the most.

I probably shouldn't have, but I definitely don't regret it. Of course, easy for me to say when they're all in Kon's room, but Clu is the quietest male budgie I've ever seen, and Bubbles is so very, very food oriented and innocent. You speak to her and she just fluffs out her cheeks and wants you to open the door so she can climb onto your hand.  That hand is a millet MACHINE and she wants to ride it like a mechanical bull.

2. I got the best birthday present in the world this year, as well. A new job!  My new boss was driving me nuts, so I used some connections (I.E. Begged) to get brought over to another department and managed it.  It was much quieter than my old job that used to eat my life, and net security is a bit cooler than end user and contract support.  Of course, it's getting all kinds of busy now, but it still can't hold a candle to the irritation I was experiencing under my old leadership.

3. I've never lived with someone that I had this much in common with before.  On one hand, it's probably a little creepy.  I know almost all of my friends on and offline think we're totally banging- when they aren't calling me asexual without my prompting, that is.  I mean, I might as well be married.  We have a joint membership to the zoo of all things.  We haven't used it nearly enough, so I want to go quite a few times here in the early spring before it expires.  Make it worth it.  Then think of renewing, because it has given me a chance to test out my camera for what it's best suited towards.  Mainly, bright outdoors shots.

My camera is entirely digital, and non-SLR, but it isn't a total lightweight.  It has problems with low light, but bright light has it running marathons like a champ, and I'm still completely childhood fascinated by animals.  So, while this year wasn't a writing or fine arts inspired year, I did get to play very lightly with photography.  My mother loves to paint water fowl, so a good project might be getting her lots of shots from the atrium and see if she wants to paint any of them now that her knees have been replaced.  That's the nicest I'm gonna get. 

4. While we're on the subject of niceties and animals, yes. My mother got her knees replaced.  And for each replacement, since I'm the 'closest' to her house, I was absolutely volunteered to go every night for two and a half weeks each stint in order to watch her dogs.  Now.  I love dogs.  But my mother has been spending the last decade living like a hoarder.  With great enthusiasm.  There may not be stuff piled up to the ceiling, but the pain and her long life of depression lead her to pretty much live as filthy and lazy as possible.  I'm blaming this, entirely, on the apparent rash of pet deterioration that went around for about two months.

My mom's dogs are old, yes, but I ended up having to take a different one to the vet each surgery.  The first, Snuggles, was a train wreck to begin with, and when I examined her,  she had very obvious tumors growing on her belly.  I didn't have to put her to sleep, but even I could see that this was likely cancer.  I probably made her more comfortable than she'd been in years, getting her shaved and washed and giving her medications.

The second time, my mom's youngest decided to do something I'd never seen before first hand.  She up and had a seizure.  It hasn't been repeated, and we have no clue what caused it, but that was another lovely trek.  Then, come Thanksgiving a few weeks later, my cat rocked the sickness like a rockstar.  Right there on Friday afternoon in the midst of a holiday weekend.  I thought, initially that it was just a very bad UTI flare up and really really wanted him to be able to wait till Monday.  So, I watched him.  For about an hour.  I knew he was in pain, but I was trying to gauge just how bad it was, kept wanting it to be less serious than it was.

But he was too freaking tender, too unwilling to move and refused to eat.  So, I figured that a blockage was more likely.  Unfortunately for my wallet, how right I was.  It was probably the biggest 'test' of the year.  By that point, I was still playing with the idea of going to Botcon next year.  AA was already a scrap, and my bank account has been dwindling since both my roommates are so reamed by the current job market.  But maybe,  maybe I could foot Botcon for me n Kon.  A waste of money, to be sure, but still a possibility. 

And that's part of what I weighed when I had to face treat or put to sleep.  Honestly, his looks maybe of the charts, and he may Stockholm on me harder than any TF fic has ever managed to portray, but he's also the source of most of the problems in my house.  I have to keep him in a crate due to paranoid/territorial/litter box avoidant behavior. He attacks Kisa preemptively, whenever I'm not around. Roommate2 despises him. He's on psych meds, and his four foot tall crate has to sit at the end of my bed, taking up space in my room.  Things would have been easier if I just let him go. Drop a bit of money and put him to sleep and maybe have money for other things.  Even if I didn't go to Botcon.

But a urinary blockage is so so treatable.  And he's only five years old, so so much for the trip and the fun and, oh look at my emergency funds dwindle.  At least I have an annoying, 15 pound cat.  My bet is that he and Kisa will both live to be 30, just so they can hate one another and be a general disruption as long as they can possibly manage. 

5. I've never been a fan of weddings.  My brother tied the knot Catholic, damn it, and I'm even more traumatized by the fact that he ruined my 21st birthday by having his rehersal that day.  All the way till 11PM. On the other side of the city.  And basically lolololol when I kept glaring at him. My only consoluation was that he hated that crap as much as I did.

That, and when he singlehandedly pissed off most of his Italian wife's family by chugging the wine during the ceremony.  My side of the family laughed.  Proving that no matter how little we have in common, at least troll runs true through our blood. 

I could tell that all of my friends had similar stories at least as irritating or much worse than mine, because when a Halloween party featuring a wedding was discussed in passing, the majority of them made a face.  This face of stark, blank horror and reluctance, even when the full description was Pirate Wedding

I'm pretty sure I qualified as maid of honor.  My friend seemed entirely set upon not bothering or pushing her wedding on anyone else. She was doing it all solo while trying to keep it thrifty.  All the shopping.  All the craft.  It was depressing just to think about, and I hate weddings.  I offered to keep her company while she shopped.  Listened to her lament and asked for advice about the boquet she'd made herself. 

It's not like I had any desire for that sort of thing.  I'd already decided to undertake another secret project when I'd first heard about this unholy ceremony.  I'd made a rum cake before that she'd absolutely loved. So she asked me to make it, but mainly because she couldn't afford a decorated cake.  I'd never made a wedding cake before.  I normally don't even bake desserts on any sort of regular basis.  So, for some reason.  I thought about making a tiered cake and just went.  Sure.  Why not. 

She still got her rum cake.  I think I got about ten migraines.  Not only did I decide to figure out how to work with fondant- while making marshmallow fondant from scratch (forget store bought anything, right?), but I'd also decided to make each tier a separate flavor.  The bottom tier was vanilla cake with strawberry filling and cream cheese frosting.  Easy, right?  The top was a rich chocolate cake, filled with bavarian cream and topped with whipped frosting.  I seriously doubt I will ever again try to 'learn craft for a deadline' the way I did things this year.

I decided to make traditional bavarian cream.  Let me tell you.  Instructions don't work quite so well when you're dealing with a 5 degree difference between thickened and curdled and the recipe fails to mention anything about that delicacy

I'd also like to say that Italian merengue whipped frosting apparently doesn't set very well down here in humid hotland.  But I was determined.  I redid that merengue twice before I gave up on it and went for a more regular whipped frosting. And that bavarian cream was so light and deliciously not over sweet that I plan to make that again just for myself. 

I've never had regular fondant, but I'll say one thing.  The marshmallow version is stickly like a bitch. The top tier was my first attempt, and I had it pretty well figured out by the second.  And she got her rum cake to go along with it. 

And I got to go 'Holy shit, not unless someone pays me'.  And I mean it.  Even though I'd love to try some delicate piping next go around. 

At least Kon got to get well and truly drunk for the first time, which didn't go towards helping our 'not sleeping together' proclimations towards the others at all.  Granted, her 'heeeeeeeeey' was a response towards everyone.  She wasn't clinging to everyone else's arms. 

6. My sister has six kids.  And, when it comes to Christmas, I count them as the most important presents to situate.  The magic of the season has left me, yeah, but I can't take that sort of thing away from a bunch of kids.  Well, one of them is 18 now and making me feel hell of old, but anyway!  My sister is pretty much my entire family to me.  She's the one who's always mattered the most, so I put a lot of that energy into giving her kids gifts.  And I don't know why, but they halfway idolize the crud out of me.  I don't know if it's years of kicking their butts at video games or just listening to me and my sister talk smack, they think anything I do is astounding. 

Unfortunately, this year's 'anything' was having the bright idea to learn to do chainmail jewelry. I was already learning anyway, right?  I'd already started with the bits I made for my necklace out of left over niobium and the helm weave I'd done for [livejournal.com profile] konora's bracelet, right? 

What I failed to take into account when just beginning, was just how gung ho I am about doing things properly when it comes to anything, much less these guys.  And I realized halfway through the first bracelet that I could not give them all the same one.  Six kids, most 2 years apart, and very keen on their own individualism despite how cohesive they are as a family. 

The same weave for everyone just in their favorite colors wouldn't be cool enough.  Obviously, the answer to my cheap Christmas plans was to order more rings, keep to the neoprene for ease of wear and cost, and try out any weave that caught my fancy when it would have been much simpler and faster to do a persian 4-in-1 for everyone and call it a day.  No.  Grant likes dinosaurs and dragons and Megatron, so I should obviously weave him some dragonscale and figure how to pull that into a bracelet.  And oh, Logan needs something abnormal to go with his apathetic love for weird and quirky things. Why don't I just do a round captured with some hematite beads while I'm sitting down here at Starbucks, having the illusion of a life. 

I couldn't work on them while I was visiting, but apparently the younger kids were too young when I still lived near enough to be over there all the time.  They didn't know I could draw.  In true family fashion, I was accused of tracing a few times by seven year olds and ended up drawing the abstract boxes I made them draw into their own face.  With their shirts and bug eyes and basically any other way you can make fun of kids. 

Grant kept making me draw pokemon, but not the cool pokemon that I like.  He wanted the pokemon that he liked.  The obvious solution to him wanting me to draw him an Emboar was to draw that Emboar holding cake.  Emboars love cake. 

From what I've heard they were at hit, at least.  So much so that the younger kids won't wear theirs because they're afraid of messing them up and getting them wet or something..... afraid of getting chainmail wet.  Oh, you guys. 

And as if this post wasn't long enough already.  This is all I can post about until I see [livejournal.com profile] ladydragon76 tomorrow.  I wouldn't want to spoil her presents before she gets them tomorrow. :3 More tl;dr later.

on 2012-01-02 11:10 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sherrasama.livejournal.com
I DID NOT GET MANLY TEARS LOOKING AT THAT CAKE AGAIN. -SO- DID NOT.

on 2012-01-02 11:17 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] juushinkan.livejournal.com
ARE THEY MANLY TEARS, OR ARE THEY THE REMNANTS OF MY CAKE THAT SAT IN YOUR FRIDGE AND IS NOW A PERMANENT PART OF YOUR BEING FROM EATING IT?

on 2012-01-03 02:03 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sherrasama.livejournal.com
I ate that cake until it made me sick. And the I ate some more. It's been gone a while now. OMNOM,

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