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Valerie
18 February 2019 @ 07:52 pm

The weather was a little wild, a little stormy this past week. It was only a four day work week but it felt a little long but not because most of our building was at a conference. There was a sort of quiet to the office that helped with the monotony of the work.

Kevin Smith as Ares

This week marked the 17th anniversary of the death of Kevin Smith (“Ares” on Xena and Hercules). I loved seeing the simple remembrances from people who worked with him. I loved remembering those conventions when I met him as well as remembering those times hanging out with my friends. It amazes me that even now, seventeen years later, I can still think of him with so much love and only a touch of melancholy. I am grateful for him because of the friends I have to this day. I can still hear him in my stories…

Rugby begins!
Super Rugby has begun!

Super Rugby is on! My Crusaders won their first match. Yah! I am so happy that it’s rugby season. I love watching on Friday night or a very early Saturday morning. It’s always strange when the games are on during the actual day (those are the ones in Argentina or the last game played in South Africa). I love hearing the different accents and recognizing the names of the players and officials…

MOVIES
Alita: Battle Angel – Yes for $4 movie tickets from T-Mobile! We saw this on Friday night after work. Alita was well done in technical terms– the special effects looked natural, the action was exciting. When I had seen the trailers, I think I expected something different from what the movie showed us. I don’t know anything about the manga either so I went in watching the movie with fresh eyes. I enjoyed it for the most part.

love the likes
I love the likes a bit too much

This means he reads the comments on his posts, right?

Have a great week, y’all!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

This past week reminded me of my first days in my most encompassing fandom– the Herc/Xena days. I suppose one could call me a Xenite but really, I was all about the male guest stars. They were my focus. I loved the shows, wrote role playing stories that took place in that universe, and attended the conventions. Meeting the different actors made me appreciate them on a personal level and my adoration expanded to not just their characters but to their work before and beyond the shows. It was the early days of fandom on the internet, before social media, before smartphones.

It was a heady time. It was a time full of lessons that resonate even to this day.

KSOFC Brunch 1998
KSOFC Brunch 1998

I was part of my first (and I think only) fan club. I wasn’t part of any inner circles those days though I do remember sitting down for drinks with my friends and some of the behind the scenes folks (a producer and show writer, I believe), so I did have my moments. I was in it to connect with other fans and maybe, just maybe make friends. And on that score, I made some great friends who are still my friends now.

Did I crave some attention from the actual actors? OF COURSE. Whether it was getting that autograph at a convention or a photo with a favorite, I absolutely wanted those moments. I had my favorites and for them I created fansites. Some of the sites were one of many for a particular actor but a couple became the only ones for the particular actor and eventually they trusted me enough to personally reach out. I even call one a friend.

The Ray Bradbuty Theater
Erik Thomson in The Ray Bradbury Theater “By the Numbers”

I did those sites on my own— the webspace was on my dime, the screencaps and sound bites were on my time. I found articles and interviews and posted them, always careful to give proper credit. I even posted a few fan contributions. I wanted to share my favorites with other people and I loved when fellow fans allowed me to share their experiences on my sites. My sites were my pieces of appreciation for my favorites and in a couple of cases, I earned their attention as well.

William Gregory Lee as Zack on Dark Angel

I never “worked” for any of my favorites but one allowed me to use his name as the URL for my fansite and I felt an obligation to keep that site as up-to-date as possible. We chatted a lot and he sent me photos and news whenever appropriate and I dutifully posted. I enjoyed our interactions and keeping up the website but eventually his work had many lulls and I moved on to other things.

One of my favorite parts of being part of the Xenaverse was the role playing stories. I played in the Temple of Ares and we all “shared” Ares in our stories, most of us not claiming him as our own but understanding he was a god who shared himself with his priestesses. (Just go with me on this.) Our loose rules including not marrying any canon characters to our characters (as our characters were not canon being more “Mary Sue” and the like), claiming canon characters as our own (no, they weren’t devoted exclusively to our characters), using the canon characters contrary to their storylines in the shows. Most of us adhered to these loose rules and a lot of us, when using the other priestesses, were respectful to the relationships established by those priestesses.

Of course, we had some folks who didn’t want to play within the confines of the rules. Not all of us had the same vision of the temple and those people wrote stories that were contrary. Sometimes it didn’t matter. Sometimes the stories were one-offs. It was only a problem when someone used our role-playing characters in their own stories without allowing for what those characters had already established. We didn’t always handle it in adult ways and sometimes people would leave, to be never heard from again.

Strike Back
Sully on Strike Back

In recent days, I have been loosely attached to some fan groups. Nothing totally official but I have been blessed (and I do not use that word often) by associating with like minded fans where mutual respect is paramount in our dealings with each other and our chosen artist. I have also been part of groups where someone has let ego get in the way. I learned to look beyond the pettiness and to the artist. He (because let’s be honest, I back the fellas more ardently than the ladies) is always my guiding force. He doesn’t need to know the behind the scenes conflicts. He doesn’t need to know when one of us isn’t acting in the best interest of the whole group. He doesn’t need to know that no matter how ONE might purport to be the main driving force, there’s a group operating under the banner. No, he only needs to know that we ALL adore him and support him in his endeavors. He only needs to know that we are there for him.

I have been guilty of wanting all the love for myself. Why else create those long ago websites for my fellas? I wanted to feel the shine of their attention. And I was lucky enough to have that. Along the way I learned that just because that shine went to someone else didn’t mean that it was being taken away from me. I learned to be grateful to be able to share in any of it. I learned that the friendships borne out of the mutual adoration was just as important if not more so than getting the attention of that favorite. Now when I “work” by linking to an article, tweeting about the latest role or song, I do so because I want others to feel what I feel. I want them to feel the magic of that favorite, the joy of their work, the beauty of their creations.

a candid shot of one of my favorite moments
one of those fun fangirl moments

When I work with fellow fans, I do so with the hope that we’re all on the same page. Sometimes it works out and sometimes there are conflicts. Much of the time, it’s about ego getting in the way instead of the primary directive– shining light on the favorite. When conflicts arise due to ego, it needs to be called out, whether it’s mine or someone else’s. How we all react to being called out or to the calling out is the test. Do we lash out in pettiness or do we step back and take stock?

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie
03 February 2019 @ 10:28 pm

I’m glad that I keep track of my days on my Google Docs because sometimes I forget when it’s time to write the blog. Even now, I’m writing on Sunday night after the Super Bowl and trying to watch Strike Back.

this will be mine
I just can’t quit 1888 Design

Let’s talk about that Super Bowl for a moment. The best thing about that rather boring Super Bowl was Julian Edelman getting the MVP. He deserved it for sure. Goff wasn’t ready for the big show and Brady didn’t play like one of the greatest of all time. He was mediocre at best. The defenses of each team did their jobs for sure. BUT OH MY GOODNESS, that game was boring.

We did have a good time at our friends’ place for the game. It’s always great hanging with them.

happy for this guy
Good for this guy!

1888 Design had another sale and OF COURSE I had to buy something (that owl above is coming to me). I seriously LOVE 1888 Design and now I even have my own discount code! WHAT?! Yes, when I get the mood to buy something there and there’s not a sale, I can still buy because I won’t have to pay full price. SO COOL!

Mmmm, lumpia!
we brought lumpia to the Super Bowl party

So there’s going to be a Xena convention in 2020 to celebrate the 25 anniversary of Xena’s premiere. They’ve announced three guests so far and my wandered about who else could possibly attend. I posted an instagram story and tagged Erik Thomson. I thought it would amuse him and I hoped he would reply and he did! He’s free those days of the convention. If he gets booked, I might have to really consider going so that I can finally meet him in person. How exciting would that be?!

GS cookies
Girl Scout cookies

It’s February now, which apparently means Girl Scout cookies as well as the transfer request open enrollment. Joyful times!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie
26 January 2019 @ 11:15 pm

Was it really just a four day work week? It felt like a regular work week. I don’t know why but by the time Friday rolled around, I was quite ready for it. Oi!

this shot is 20 years old!
with Dean, Ryan, & Joel

So that shot with Dean, Ryan, and Joel is TWENTY YEARS old. I know, it’s crazy, right?! So of course, I just had to mention it on twitter, as one does, and I tagged the trio along with Chris Conrad because I was wishing he was in the shot as well. Plus I might have known he would at least like the photo. Well, he ended up replying!

Can't help but adore Chris Conrad
What a sweetheart!

Y’all know how much I freakin’ LOVE when the fellas like or comment on my stuff. His reply put a smile on my face. I replied back to him, telling him how I have a Young Hercules poster that’s signed by EVERYONE but him and it’s killing me… I just have to say, he’s a total sweetheart and I’m glad he’s still out there doing the work for us to watch. Also, this made me want to finish watching Patriot. (Have not finished the first season or started the second yet because we got distracted? But seriously, it’s a great show!)

The picture with the boys was taken on William Gregory Lee’s birthday (although I wouldn’t meet him until almost two years later). I sent a tweet out to wish him Happy Birthday. I’m sure he didn’t see it but maybe someone he knows did.

I do love being in green
love wearing green

I parted my hair on the other side this week for some reason. I really don’t know why except I wanted to make my hair do other things. Of course, parting my hair differently shows off my “sparkles” more and I’m not sure how I feel about that. And I found a RED hair! I’m not sure what’s going with that…

Good movie!
I saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

On Monday, I walked to the movie theatre to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I really enjoyed it! I thought it was funny and heartwarming and adventuresome. I can’t remember the last time I saw an animated movie at the theatre and I’m glad this was one of them.

my other instagram acct
my other public instagram account

So I opened up that private Instagram account I have. Oh, you know, the one that “model” wanted to follow. Within a day or so of making it public, she unfollowed me. I’m not sure who she thought I was or what I might be posting but it was obviously not what she expected. Whatevs, chick!… I’m no really publicizing the account from my usual spots but if you want to see what so far are Hipstamatic, black and white photos taken on my iPhone, you are most welcome to follow me on that account. I won’t Instagram story on that account but I’ll post quiet pictures now and again…

this old thing that fascinates me
this thing fascinates me

My dad offered this to me when I asked how long he’s had it. I said no but I probably should have answered, “Not yet,” because now I’m thinking it would be kind cool to have it. I could hang it in the kitchen or something. It’s fascinating. Where did he get it? Why is it so familiar to me yet I can’t see it anywhere in my memories?…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
22 January 2019 @ 07:54 am

I tell you what, this week just seemed to drag. Maybe it’s too much about looking forward to the long weekend (thank goodness for the long weekend)! Or maybe it’s just that time of year, after the holidays and the turn of the year. Or maybe it’s just winter time telling us to rest.

my workspace sometimes seems fangirl oriented
when the work space is a bit fangirly

Work is starting to pick up a bit. Transfers start next month and I’m getting lots of calls and a few emails about it all. I’m trying to be as prepared as possible but I know it’s going to be madness come February. Part of me is looking forward to it. Isn’t that strange?

when I want to feel mysterious
gotta love the filters on the photo apps

So how about something a little strange? The “model” found one of my private Instagram accounts and even though I hadn’t posted anything to that profile, she requested to follow me. I wondered how she found me. After I got the request, I thought that perhaps I’d use that account to post more photographic shots. So I decided to open the account to public and now she’s my only follower, which is freakin’ weird but oh well. Perhaps other people will find it and follow me. Otherwise it’ll be quite odd to have her be my only follower. Ye gods.

Pizza at Paxti's
the “Matt Cain” at Paxti’s

Saturday night we headed to Livermore for dinner (pizza at Paxti’s) then a birthday celebration at the Railroad Saloon. Fun times! I stayed in the pool room even though it was smoky in there because I could sit on the hard couch and it was cooler compared to the main bar area. Plus we could hear the music well enough in there. I was the designated driver (of course) so I had one beer and just drank water the rest of the night. I had a good time people watching and chatting with friends. The birthday girl seemed to be having a good time. I hope she had a good time! I bet she doesn’t remember seeing me at the bathroom before we left.

us
we look tough?

Thoughts in bullet form…

  • I unfriended someone on FB because when we saw each other again in person, she didn’t remember me AT ALL. Look, I get it, we haven’t seen each other but a few times. So I’m sure she won’t even notice that I unfriended her…
  • We started a re-watch of Game of Thrones. We want to watch so that we are all caught up for the final season premiere in April. Watching the early eps know what we know gives the actions more meaning.
  • Hubby got a new phone, the iPhone XR. It was inevitable, of course. Now we both have new phones and his is actually larger than mine. This is probably the first time in at least five years that I have the smaller phone.
taken by hubby's iPhone XR
taken by the iPhone XR

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie
13 January 2019 @ 05:55 pm

The first full week of work for 2019 just seemed to last FOREVER. I experienced some discontent in regards to work but I’ll get over it because why waste time on things that I cannot control? I’d talk about it here but who knows who might read it so…

truth right there
yes, I’m nerdy enough to take a picture in front of a window…

I finally got to take my picture in front of the window featuring Henry Cavill. Seriously, it’s probably the only way I’ll ever get a picture with him but I’ll take it! I posted a version on my Instagram and tagged him. I hope he at least saw it and that it gave him a chuckle. Maybe?

I'm easily thrilled
I’m easily thrilled

I love that Sullivan Stapleton (@sullygram77 at Instagram) has taken to liking comments made on his posts. I know it’s not just me but I tell ya, I super appreciate every little heart drifting my way. I adore him no matter but now I really really adore him.

Hubby had to go out of town for a couple of days so I was on my own for one night. What wildness ensued? Oh, I watched iOS Today and MacBreak Weekly then an episode of Strike Back and Xena. Yes, this is what happens when I’m home alone. I hunker down and watch tech shows then balance it out with some action shows. Fun times!

I started the week with maybe my Achilles tendon hurting. I was limping the first part of the week and then suddenly it was better. I have no idea what I did to hurt it nor what I did to heal it. Of course, now my other foot is hurting for some reason. Is this about getting old? If it is, I am so not having it!

wine after work
wine after work

So you remember that “model” who blocked me months and months ago because she perhaps didn’t like me fangirling over her boyfriend? Well, I have a feeling that they have perhaps parted ways. Why do I say so?

  • She wrote a somewhat cryptic post on her Instagram. (I don’t follow her but I sometimes check out her profile in case she posts him.)
  • When I saw that he did not reply to her post nor like it (you know, because it shows such things), I went over to his Instagram and discovered that he was no longer following her (not her public profile nor her private one). I checked out her profile again and saw she was also not following him anymore.
  • I found the above points curious but it wasn’t until the next day that I actually checked out his Instagram page and looked through his posts to find that every photo featuring her or the two of them had VANISHED.

I’m going to be honest, I find the whole thing rather, ummm, delightful. I have this feeling that he was the one who ended it. I’m mostly delighted because now I hopefully don’t have to see her face anymore. She can go back to whatever obscurity life has in store for her. And I can go back to actively supporting him as one of my fellas…

See, Henry Cavill in my town!
Henry in Brentwood

We went shopping with my Dad on Saturday so that he could buy a new laptop and phone! He wanted a new computer but he still wanted to do what his current (OLD) computer can do so he’s keeping his old computer for his copying purposes and using the laptop for everything else. He wanted a smartphone so we steered him to the iPhone XR. It’s his first smartphone! He has an iPad to the iPhone won’t be totally alien. It was fun going electronics shopping even if it wasn’t for us.

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
06 January 2019 @ 12:37 am

Welcome to 2019! We were actually awake at midnight. We watched one of the local channels for local fireworks (well, San Francisco fireworks). It looked pretty windy out there!

my watch said Happy New Year with little fireworks
my watch said Happy New Year with baby fireworks

I’m not sure what kind of format I’m going to use this year for my blog posting but I suppose I’ll keep up with the weekly posts along with random posts. Maybe. For example, I still need to post my Apple Watch review but I don’t want to add it to a weekly post (unless I don’t have much to say that week, which is a possibility).

First movie of 2019 - Aquaman
my first movie of 2019 – Aquaman

Aquaman – FINALLY got to see this one. I meant to see this during my time off but the whole wonky tummy thing kept me home. I went to the movies on Friday after work because it was a half day. Walked to the theatre and had a small popcorn, enjoying the movie from my usual seat in the auditorium… I enjoyed the movie! Jason Momoa is a joy to watch and the movie beautiful and adventuresome. I would love to see it again and I know that when it’s time, it’ll be part of my movie collection, probably in 4k.

one Friday morning
a morning shot

TV

We binge watched a couple of Netflix shows during break…

  • Pine Gap – This Australian show was a great watch! It was great seeing Jacqueline McKenzie (she was in The 4400). I enjoyed the international intrigue and hope it gets a second season. The ending was definitely open ended enough for another go. Fingers crossed for more!
  • Tidelands – Charlotte Best and Elsa Pataky head the cast of this Australian Netflix crime drama with a fantasy twist. I enjoyed this show very much and once again, another show with just enough of an open ended finale. Questions were answered but what’s next? Did the people who looked as if they died actually die? Why did the cast have to be so damn pretty?! (The one who plays Dylan, OH MY GOODNESS. He’s scrumptious!)
Sully and his Frankie dog
Frankie and his human Sully

I put up a poll on Twitter and Sully won. He gets to play the fella in my next story. I started a story but didn’t have him in mind for the main fella so I’ll probably start a new one. He is fun to write as the fella in my stories and since my last story starred Henry, I suppose it’s time for Sully. He’s due.

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
29 December 2018 @ 12:03 pm

I had intended on at least seeing Aquaman during the week but I’ve been the ultimate homebody all week because of a questionable tummy. It has totally played on my inherent laziness but it’s also been annoying because I wanted to see the movie and walk to the library since the weather has been cold but so beautifully crisp and perfect for walking out in the sunshine. Ah well, such is life, I suppose.

my top 2018 nine at instagram
Sullivan Stapleton comprised my most like posts at Instagram because OF COURSE

I knew that when I started getting a whole bunch of likes to my Sullivan Stapleton posts at Instagram that he would be part of my best nine of the year. I didn’t realize he would be ALL of my best nine but I’m not really mad about it. I love that he’s getting all the love. I remember a few years back when I was the only one really posting about him on Twitter and now he’s getting some much deserved attention.

I started writing a look back on 2018 then thought, if I want to look back, I can just look back at my posts, right? So do I look forward and muse on my intentions for 2019? Perhaps I just stay in the here and now? I’m going to go for random thoughts in bullet form…

  • Another year here in this house!… We rent our current residence and we had our annual inspection this week. It’s nice to know that we have this place for another year. It would be nice to lock in for more than year but this is how the property manager works. At the end of it, I have a cleaner house and promise myself to keep it neat and clean (which doesn’t last very long).
  • Harry Potter – I finished my re-watch of the movie series (which I had started back in November) as we bought the digital version on iTunes because the bundle was on sale. I still cried at the same parts and still felt that melancholy when the last movie ended. I watched a lot of the behind the scenes extras, all of which were quite interesting.
  • Corner Gas – If you have Amazon Prime, check out this quirky Canadian comedy! We watched back while it was still airing (not sure how we did since I’m not sure if it actually aired here in the US but…) and it was recently added to Amazon Prime TV so GO WATCH IT.
  • Digital movies & tv on sale! It’s that time of year when the digital retailers slash prices on all kinds of movies and television. I’ve already bought the aforementioned Harry Potter series, The Meg, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, The Player (short-lived tv show starring Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes), Chuck, a few seasons of The Big Bang Theory. Whenever I buy digital movies, I try to buy movies that are Movies Anywhere because then we can watch on iTunes or Vudu (or Google Play, FandangoNow, Microsoft Movies and TV). I wish they had the same thing for television shows.
the gift piece
bird skull pendant

When I was watching the last couple of Harry Potter movies, I noticed that Bellatrix had a pendant that reminded me of the pendant in my last 1888 Design delivery. Now when I look at my pendant, I’m going to think of Harry Potter…

Intentions for 2019

  • Write more… I’d like to edit the stories I’ve written but also write a new story besides whatever I end up writing for National Novel Writing Month. Maybe I’ll dip into my sci-fi/fantasy epic or just finish the romantic trilogy I started a few years ago…
  • Read more… I absolutely need to read more. I should use that digital library card more often than not since it’s so easy…
  • Visit the library at least once a week… I love our new library and I love spending time there. I’ve only checked out one book so far. Perhaps one book a month from there should be a goal…
  • Health awareness… I started a program a few months ago and it has made me aware of my food intake and exercise (or lack thereof). I’m going to continue the program and try to reprogram my lazy self to make better choices.
  • Take more pictures… I have a great phone that has a great camera so maybe it’s time to use it for more than Instagram stories. I have some cool photo apps and photo editing apps– it’s time to use them more.
the moon one night
the moon one night

Here’s to a sparkling 2019 to you all!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
26 December 2018 @ 01:33 am

Happy Holidays one and all! I hope you had a most lovely Christmas and have awesome plans for the rest of 2018.

the latest beauties from 1888 Design
my latest pieces from 1888 Design…

I ordered another piece from 1888 Design and it arrived in time for Christmas! Merry Christmas to me! Since I was a returning customer, I received another piece as a ‘thank you’ gift. I love my new piece, called Sea Foam, and had been eyeing it for the longest time. I ordered it on Thursday and it delivered on Tuesday, probably the fastest I’ve ever gotten a piece in the mail. I cannot wait to wear it!

with the Festival Cinemas crew
with the Festival Cinemas crew

On Saturday night, we headed out to Livermore for a party. It just happened to be the same night as a Festival Cinemas reunion at a nearby Red Robin. I was hedging about going but my friends started messaging me and after a bit of going back and forth, the hubby took my phone and ordered me an Uber. It was my first Uber ride and my driver (Carlos) was great! I am now spoiled because he was such a good driver… It was great seeing my old Festival Cinemas workmates! I can’t believe we all worked together decades ago. Facebook certainly kept us all in touch in various ways but it was lovely how easy it was to just sit and chat with everyone about our lives and our memories. My friend even had a photo album from those days and for some reason I was in a lot of the pictures. I’d say I was photobombing but apparently I didn’t mind having my picture taken back in the day.

a picture of a photo in a photo album
1991 with the reason I started working at Festival Cinemas

I’m glad I went to the reunion and I hope the talk of getting together in the summer pans out and I get to see everyone again. It’s good to talk with people who knew you long ago and to hear about their lives beyond whatever they might post online.

Friday yummies
Friday goodness

Friday (yes, I’m working a bit backwards here) was a lovely day. No school in session and eating all day! Then we got off work early, so even better! The morning was the staff breakfast at the high school. Thank you, FFA! Later in the day, we had our holiday luncheon. The evening was the hubby’s holiday dinner. Definitely all added up to a great way to end the work part of 2018.

it rained on Christmas Eve
rainy Monday

And now the random…

  • It rained Christmas Eve and we actually went to the grocery store after the hubby was off from work. We’ll not do that again, I think. When we were home, my stomach turned on me and I’m still not recovered. Not sure if I ate something bad or caught something while we were out but it’s a good thing I’m home right now…
  • We watched American Renegades on Christmas Day. I enjoyed the movie, mostly because Sullivan Stapleton is in it and I like watching him run around shooting guns and being a military man.
  • Speaking of Sully, I LOVE that he’s gotten to liking the comments on his Instagram. I LOVE getting that like from him because I know that he’s seen my words and how awesome is that?
  • I’m not getting that Harry Potter coat because when I ordered it, it was out of stock. It took over a week, almost two weeks really and three messages to get a resolution and I’m still a little miffed about it.
  • I ordered concert tickets for Old Dominion mostly because Jordan Davis is opening for them! I also ordered VIP for Jordan because I want another photo with him and all of that. The concert is in April and I’m counting it as an early birthday present to me.
holiday ornaments and lights

And that’s all for now. I hope to have week fifty-two up before 2019. Fingers crossed!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie
16 December 2018 @ 07:51 pm

The Liberty High School Lions football team won! The Lions defeated Sierra Canyon 19-17 Saturday night, Dec. 15 to capture the 2018 CIF State Football Championship Division 1A title in Norwalk, CA. The game was on tv and we watched it at our friends’ house. The commentators kept calling Brentwood “corn country.” Yes, we have awesome corn here but we do have other things going for us here. Oy!

Cooper is wondering who the strange lady is...

I wore my Liberty staff shirt (thank you, LHS!) while holding the baby called Cooper. He’s a sweetheart! I even gave him his bottle. I enjoyed my time with him very much. Not sure if he’d say the same about me but since he mostly slept and ate, he was probably all right with me.

City Park

The weather has been cooling towards winter temperatures, which I am just loving! I love being able to wear sweaters and coats. We took a walk in the park the other night to check out the Christmas trees. So pretty.

I had a whole other post ready about my Apple Watch but I’ll save that for another post, I think.

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie
09 December 2018 @ 04:38 pm

This week felt like a total grind. I don’t know why. I was more annoyed than not and some of it I can trace. I’m trying to work on keeping everything at an even keel but lo, when you’re irritated about something, it so eats at you sometimes.

sometime I bought

I need to stop with the retail therapy, I know. I saw the above coat online and coveted it for day before I decided not to get it. I read the online reviews and the buyers said it ran small and I was going to maybe buy a size I should wear as opposed to the size I’d normally wear. I was proud of myself then a couple of days later, I checked on the coat again and saw that they had added my size and dropped the price by a few dollars. Well, I ordered it. Why the hell not, right? It’s still “processing,” which makes me a little anxious but nothing to be done except to wait.

Santa at the end of the parade

Our town’s holiday parade was on Friday night and it was great getting out in the cool night and drink wine while the parade passed by. Yes, I parked myself in the patio area of the wine bar and watched the parade and the people. It was fun! The parade was supposed to be a few weeks earlier but the smoke from the fires made for poor air quality and the parade was postponed. This might be the reason the parade seemed shorter. Still, good times!

On Saturday, we headed out the Walnut Creek to the Apple Store! They have a new location (across the street from the old location) and it’s spectacular. We had a purpose going to the store and I walked out with a new Apple Watch!

My new Apple Watch!

Apple Watch Series 4, Space Gray aluminum case with the black sport loop, cellular. Yes, I can make calls on my watch if I want to talk into it like Dick Tracy. Or I could use the Air Pods for calls as well. I downloaded a couple of playlists to the watch and I can connect the Air Pods to listen if I don’t want to use my phone for playing. The husband says the new Apple watch is my Christmas gift so Happy Christmas to me!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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Valerie

National Novel Writing Month is over! I’d say sorry for not writing each week but I’m not sorry I kept focused on my novel, which hit the 50,000 word count on November 25, 2018. The novel ended with 53,319 words and will needs LOTS of editing. I think I lost a little creative juice towards the end but I plowed through and managed to actually end the story. I might want to re-work the ending. We shall see.

National Novel Writing Month stats

So what happened the month of November?

  • Elections – Let’s see how it all shakes out. I voted (early and by mail, glorious!) and that’s all I really want to say about that.
  • California fires – The fires up north and the fires down south were utterly devastating. Most of the focus here in the Bay Area was on the fires up north because the smoke from those fires drifted down our way and affected our air quality in a huge way. On the Friday before Thanksgiving, our school district and the surrounding school districts all closed because of the air quality. We saw relief during Thanksgiving week by way of a most welcomed storm that cleaned the air and brought us much needed water.
  • I continued my daily walk to the library during my lunch break. I used the time there to write my NaNoWriMo. It’s a lovely way to get away from the office during the work day.
  • I drank too much wine at the Wine Stroll the Saturday after Thanksgiving. But hey, I tasted some damn good wine. Oh, and we made the local (online) paper!
  • I bought another 1888 Design piece and I LOVE IT! It was on sale and whenever 1888 Design has a sale, I’m always tempted to buy something.

The best part of November was my sister and her family visiting for Thanksgiving week! It had been three years since their last visit. It’s always a treat seeing them and my nieces have gotten so big! My nieces and my cousins’ kids took another picture with Santa at the mall and looking at it made me realize that this would probably be the last time we’d see all the girls together as “little girls.” Two of the girls are ten now so wow, time FLIES. (My nieces are nine and four.)

Highlights of Thanksgiving week included:

  • Hanging out with my sister and cousins and their families at our cousin’s house. We ate, watched sports, and chatted. Always love hanging out at my cousin’s house!
  • Breakfast with more family! We had breakfast at Elio’s in San Leandro with my dad, our cousins, our aunt and uncle. We were a big and lively group. The food was delicious and the company even better. We wandered over to my aunt and uncle’s house to visit a little and meet the new baby (granddaughter of my cousin).
  • Pictures with Santa at the mall. I don’t know how parents do it but just walking the mall with six girls is a little exhausting. But they had fun and we had fun and that’s the important thing. Oh, and pictures!
  • Thanksgiving Day with family. I love when we can spend a holiday with family. We went to our cousin’s house in Pleasanton and she made a fantastic meal. I am so grateful to have such a loving family who share their days with us.

Thanksgiving highlights
Thanksgiving highlights

I love when my sister and her family visit. I love seeing my nieces and watching them and talking with them and just giving them big hugs. I’m glad that we stay in touch with technology and such. Thank goodness my sister actually posts on FB and Instagram with updates on her girls.

sisters
sisters

Our weather went from warm/almost hot to super chilly/sometimes rainy. I do not mind it much. I like when it’s hoodie weather and if it even gets cold enough for an actual coat, all the better!

First Street
the day of the wine stroll was cool & cloudy…

I always never feel ready for the holidays. November has become my favorite month because I seem to focus well enough to write a novel. When December rolls around, I’m almost disappointed because I’m no longer in that writing frenzy. Since we don’t decorate at home, this time of year usually just means it’s getting colder and I could possibly have time off at the end of the month, which is pretty awesome.

the library at night
the library the other night

I have other things I could recount here but sometimes certain things in life need not a public airing. So here’s to getting back to writing weekly posts!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie
05 November 2018 @ 08:59 pm

It’s Monday and I totally forgot to write an entry for week forty-four so what you’re getting now is off the top of my head and random.

This week saw the end of October and the beginning of November, which means NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH! Since the first of November, I have written more than words than the pace and I’m determined to have at least 30,000 words by the end of next week because my sister and her family are due to visit. How excited am I?! I am SO EXCITED!!!

I’m ahead of the pace for my novel but I need to do better if I want to hit my self imposed 30,000 by the middle of the month. All the pre-writing and planning of the characters and plot certainly helped once I started writing. I can’t wait to see where the story goes and I look forward to guiding my characters to their bliss.

LOVE this song

I bought Lacy Cavalier’s latest song, “Cheating on U” and spent all of Saturday morning listening to that song on repeat. IT IS SO GOOD. The lyric video just takes it to another level.

Did you vote on November 6th? I did!

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

MOVIES

American Assassin – Finally got around to watching this movie and I liked it! The main actor, Dylan O’Brien, did a fantastic job of playing Mitch Rapp. I enjoyed the action and intrigue and thought it was all well done. I loved seeing Taylor Kitsch as the main villain. He was smart and crazy and always in control even if his intentions were nefarious.

Domain – William Gregory stars along with Britt Lower and Ryan Merriman in this movie so when I saw it was available to buy (I found it on Vudu), I had to get it… It was a fascinating movie with fantastic performances by all. Of course, I watched for Greg and he does a great job in it. The movie leaves you pondering a few things.

Greg Lee
Greg as Boston in Domain

WRITING

National Novel Writing Month is next month aka in a few days (whenever this gets posted). I have been distracted by my new phone but I’m trying to jot down ideas here and there in my new Rocketbook Everlast notebook. My characters are mostly set but I’m still not sure about a few things, like specifically what the main male character does for a living. I’m also wondering if I have enough actual story to write 50,000 words. We shall see!

ROCKETBOOK EVERLAST

This probably goes under tech freak chick– I’m so digging the Rocketbook Everlast notebook (getrocketbook.com)! I have all the sizes for the Everlast (the two personal ones are the letter sized and mini, the one at work is the executive sized). I love notebooks and one of the folks at work turned on our department to the Rocketbook notebook and so most of us in our department got one each. I think I was the only one to get the executive sized one but it’s great for my use. I had also ordered the mini to try out on my own (I received it before my work one).

my rocketbooks

The notebooks are reusable as long as you use a Frixion pen, which are erasable. (They’re so much nicer than the old school erasable pens that were just a mess.) You write in the notebook, then use the Rocketbook app on your phone to take a scan. The app can then send your notes as PDFs or jpgs to the cloud place of your choice. I have my work notes sent to OneNote, my writing notes to Google Drive. I also designated a destination to the hubby. When you’re finished with the pages, you take a cloth with a bit of water and wipe down the page, thereby erasing it. You wipe it dry and then you can write again.

It is so neat!

It’s not cheap but a reusable notebook will eventually pay for itself (perhaps?). The pens are also a bit pricey but they write well enough. If you love notebooks as much as I do (I love notebooks and blank books), this is definitely one to try. I love how it uses technology and I even thought how fun it would be to write letters on printed pages and scan to keep a copy. You know, for reasons.

hello from me

I am definitely going to use the letter sized Everlast to write for my novel next month. I usually handwrite portions of my novel during the day then transcribe at night. Now I can have the scans on my computer and even transcribe them on Google Drive (though the results are a little questionable).

IPHONE XS & LAST BABBLES

I am still enjoying my iPhone XS very much. I still can’t bring myself to do a real battery test. I only went one day without charging my phone during the work day. I’d like to try it again but I haven’t. I am still very impressed by the speed as well as the smoothness of use. And I really love the camera.

sunglasses

library stairs

Yes, I’m still going to the library! The crazy thing is that “my spot” is always free and since I walk all the way to it, I can’t help but sit there and not anywhere else. I do want to try out different spots in the library but I do love the view from my seat.

this view

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

 
 
Valerie

The iPhone XS – my non-expert review of my new shiny phone

Quick specs
model: iPhone XS
color: Silver
capacity: 256 GB

more info => https://www.apple.com/iphone-xs/specs/

First impressions…

iPhone XS

Of course, I love it! It’s pretty and it’s fast and it’s new. I didn’t have a choice on the color and basically just took the one they had in the capacity I wanted. If I had had a choice, I probably would have gone for the gold colored one even though my previous phone was the oh so pretty Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus. I bought the silver XS and it’s now in a case so it really doesn’t matter what color it is (though you can still see the silver of the buttons).

iPhone XS

The XS is smaller in hand than the 7 Plus but the screen is the same. I don’t feel like I’m looking at a smaller phone but when I’m holding it or slipping it into my pocket, I feel the difference. I love rocking a smaller phone but don’t think I wasn’t tempted by the XS Max. If the store had it in stock, it could have ended up being my phone. But I’m quite happy with the one I bought.

I went two days without a case and I loved it. It’s scary rockin’ a new phone, a glass one at that, without a case but I managed it without a mishap. I have a case now because the hubby doesn’t trust me to always be careful. What can I say, I drop things! Of course, having a case means I get to use my Pop Socket and I love my personalized one (it’s Kiari with Ares and Hades).

CAMERA
morning autumn colors

I don’t carry a camera with me anymore– I depend solely on my phone now for taking pictures. It’s crazy, right? And yet this has pretty much been my reality for about three years now. I gave up on my point and shoot and have relied on my trusty phone to capture moments in my life. My iPhone 6 Plus took the first picture of me and Tyler Rich and when I gave it up for my iPhone 7 Plus, I did mourn it a bit. My iPhone 7 Plus took the first picture of me and Jordan Davis as well as me and Jacob Davis (along with his cohorts) so it had its photographic moments as well.

Octoberfest

One of my first days out with the XS was to our Oktoberfest. Dachshunds, beer, brats! I took some pictures and videos. I was actually impressed with the quality of the selfies in portrait mode. My selfies in the park turned out pretty spiffy and I’m sure it was a combination of good lighting and the camera’s ability.

I’m so impressed with the camera that I bought a $5.99 camera app (Halide) just because I want to take better photos and maybe learn more about the intricacies of the camera on my phone.

BATTERY
I am super paranoid about the battery on my phone. I know, if I was truly concerned, I might think about other phones but I am quite entrenched in Apple’s ecosystem and really, there are many ways to optimize the battery. Of course, some of the tips out there just don’t work for me because 1) I want to use the phone as intended the way I want to use it and 2) many of the tips involve disabling things that I’d rather keep on.

My daily work habit is to charge my phone after lunch so that it can be 100% by the end of my work day. Even though I don’t have a commute or anything like that, I like have a phone fully charged at the workday’s end. So far, I’ve only not charged my phone after lunch for one day, just to see what the percentage would be at the end of the workday. I don’t remember the percentage but it was pretty decent (above 50%). This was with normal use (checking messages, listening to music, light social media). Since that one day, I’ve plugged in my phone after lunch. I probably don’t need to do so but since I’m not actually using the phone while I’m at work, why not let it charge, right? Still, it’s probably a little silly considering I do carry a powerbank in my purse. Oh well!

From what I’ve seen so far, the battery does a good job. I will at some point actually truly test it by going at least two days in a row without charging after lunch but I just don’t know when that day will be.

OTHER STUFF & CLOSING
iPhone XS

The display is gorgeous. I’ll let you read the specs on it but suffice to say it’s lovely on the eyes. When you touch it, it’s smooth and responsive, almost silky. The XS doesn’t seem like the same kind of fingerprint magnet the 7 Plus was but maybe I just needed to clean my 7 Plus more… I’m still getting used to the new way to get to the home screen (I sometimes feel for the home button) but I think I’m getting the hang of it. The apps seem a little faster and most of them work as they should…

Part of me wishes that I could have seen the iPhone XR in person before buying the XS but I was always going to want the XS so it’s really more just curiosity about the upcoming release than anything. Coming from the excellent iPhone 7 Plus, the XS is a very worthy upgrade for me. Even though I probably wouldn’t have minded the XS Max, I’m glad to have a smaller phone this time. I would definitely recommend the iPhone XS…

Yummy!

me

the library

at C&C

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.