melcreada: (utena ring)
It feels so weird to be posting again. It's been 7 months...wow.

So, bad stuff first. My wonderful father passed away in April of this year. He fought that cancer for years before it finally got the better of him. And although I miss him like crazy and think about him every day, part of me is glad that the battle is over. Those last few months were so hard - anyone who has watched a loved one in pain knows what I mean. You would gladly cut an arm off if it meant they wouldn't suffer.

Everyone has been strong and supportive and my brothers and sister and I are focusing on making sure my mom is okay. She's a pretty tough cookie, but I worry about her being by herself too much. Everyone is so busy and it's hard to remember sometimes in the day to day rush.

But lest you think this is going to be a completely maudlin entry, I actually do have a couple of good things to report. First, my brother and his wife had their second baby last week, a sweet little girl they named Isabella. So tiny and adorable. Cannot wait to dress her in a million cute outfits, LOL.

The second piece of big news is that I am going to India for work. !!! I will be in Pune for 10 weeks starting in mid August and ending at the end of October. The coolest part is that I was able to tack my vacation on after that trip so I will take 10 days to visit Nepal and Bhutan, which are two of my bucket list countries. !!! The best part is that my company is paying for all the airline flights, so I am saving quite a bit there. The only bad part is that I will be doing this all solo. JP is not really up to it, physically, and we are not up to bringing him over, financially. So. Boo. But...India! Nepal! Bhutan! I am really excited and so glad I got to tell my dad about the trip before he passed. He was really excited for me.

Anyway, I guess that is enough for now. No idea if I will try to keep this up or not. We only have one computer in the house now and it's impossible to type on my iPad and the crummy excuse for a keyboard that you can attach to it.

But I'll try to check in semi-regularly...I hope y'all are doing well. Sending good vibes and happy thoughts out into the ether...
melcreada: (happy pooh!)
Just got back from our Winter Wonderland trip to Alaska. We went in search of the aurora, snow, and absolutely no work! We stayed at the Aurora Borealis Lodge, apartment-like rooms with huge windows, located on a mountain side 20 miles northeast of Fairbanks. Everything was perfect! We had four nights with aurora (one night was mind-blowing) and two days of snow. We went sightseeing, played in the snow with the lodge owner's lab (a delightfully smart dog named Sitka), and enjoyed the outdoor hot springs in Chena. And at night, we stayed up looking at the night sky, marveling at the northern lights and the millions of stars.

Here are like ten out of 1300 photos...enjoy and admire my restraint!



melcreada: (Default)
It's time for what is becoming a bimonthly check in. Very bad, but what can I say? When did I get so busy? Seriously. I don't have kids or a demanding family or a wide circle of friends. And yet, somehow...my days are filled. Not with important or exciting things. Just...things.

I hope everyone had a good holiday. I was off this past week, so mine rocked. Tomorrow I return to work. Blargh. At least it should be a fairly quiet week (I hope). I don't think I mentioned it, but my boss got a really big promotion and now has only VPs reporting to her. She was nice to me, though, and placed me in a Technology/Project Support team run by her bestie, so I feel pretty safe for the time being. I am still working on that horrible project, but I think they will probably yank me off of it (or so my boss promised, but we'll see).

I am 40 now. It feels weird to say it. No big shindig or trip or even a weekend at Nay-nays, which is my normal way to celebrate. We had to postpone because we were both too busy. And I wanted to take a "dream" trip for this birthday, but since my brother just had his baby and tickets to Alaska were hovering around the two thousand dollar mark (for me and JP), I decided to postpone that as well. Instead, we went to Yuma to see my brother, his wife, and the baby (cutest thing ever, but I'm not a gusher so I will leave it at that). I am actually okay with being older. I think I freaked out a couple of years ago, so I am mostly over it.

We had a nice, quiet Christmas with no drama or problems. I have enjoyed this week off so much that I really want to look into retiring early. I guess I can't avoid a financial planner any longer, although I've been doing my best to not think about annuities and life insurance and IRAs. Yuck.

In concert news, I don't think I mentioned that JP and I went to see The Civil Wars, who were totally awesome and cute and wonderful. They performed in Austin, at Stubb's Barbeque, so I spent a lot of time looking around for people older than us, LOL. And apparently, I am hip as shit because every teenager I know (all three of them), were supremely jealous when I told them about the concert. If you get a chance, check out their music. They rock.

We also went to see Louis CK, also in Austin. He was flipping hilarious! Nice, long set. He got this annoying shithead thrown out of the venue, which was awesome. We almost didn't make the show because I took us to the wrong concert hall. What can I say? Sometimes I am sleepwalking through this life.

In movies, we saw The Hobbit (excellent and wonderful and Richard Armitage is my boyfriend...I saw him first!), Hotel Transylvania (a little late to that party but it was really good - Genndy Tartakovsky is my hero), Pitch Perfect (cute, but overrated IMO), and This is 40 (so fitting). My only beef with that movie is my frustration with the "bankruptcy" plotline - they run small businesses, drive a BMW and a Lexus, live in a big beautiful house and have parties catered...and they have money problems?! You don't say! I wanted to scream at them, "Sell your fucking shit!" Sorry - I have a beef with people living beyond their means and acting like it's so unfair that they get into financial predicaments. I have been driving the same Jeep wrangler for 12 years - suck it up, motherfuckers!

Ahem, anyway. I guess that is enough for now. Have a safe and happy New Year!
melcreada: (marie antoinette le hangover)
Have been out of touch because my life is both busy and humdrum. Not that I mind...I used to crave constant change and now...eh, not so much. I guess in my heart, I love ruts.

My mom and I went to Houston last weekend to see the ballet. It was Romeo and Juliet and the dancing was sublime! I love the balcony scene and also the death scene in the tomb. Romeo dancing with the unconscious Juliet is so sad and beautiful. *sob*

Mom and I stayed at the swanky Lancaster Hotel, enjoyed some cocktails, and generally had a smashing good time. The company sent me a coupon to get tickets to their next show for 50% off, so I think we will go again. It's Madama Butterfly, which I love as an opera, so hopefully the ballet will be just as wonderful. I will use the discount and spring for better seats because we were in the balcony six stories up, and mom got wicked vertigo until they killed the lights.

This weekend, we went to my cousin's wedding and it was a typical Tafoya experience. My dad scared the Hell out of us driving to the venue in the Hill Country. All the winding, tiny roads are not meant to be taken at 55 mph. Then, the ceremony was outside and it was so hot, one of the bridesmaids passed out. Down like a ton of bricks. Then my sister got into it with not one, but two of the wedding coordinators/staff. To be fair, both were incredibly rude and trying to hustle a bunch of old people around, including some of our relatives. So my sister let them have it. Otherwise, the event was lovely. The lady who owned the mobile bar recognized me from my friend's wedding two weeks ago, where she was also set up. So embarrassed because everyone was like, "Of course the bartender recognizes Melissa!" >_<

And finally, just wanted to give my dad a Father's Day shout out: he is the best father a girl could ever have. He doesn't always agree with the choices we make, but he always supports us. He sacrificed so many things for our family and has always taken great care of us. My sister was remembering the best piece of advice my dad ever gave us: always walk away from a fight if you can, but if they back you into a corner, throw the first punch and hit them so hard they can't/won't want to get up. LOL - oh, my dad...
melcreada: (geisha glasses)


Tranquil, eh? Someone better tell my blood pressure that. Everything else is lovely...

Thanks for the meme, [livejournal.com profile] annearchy!

Your rainbow is intensely shaded violet, indigo, and blue.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a tranquil person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it. Friends count on you for being honest and insightful.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.





We went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is completely awesome, touching, funny, and the best travel commercial for India that I have ever seen. I swear, if work ever gives me the chance, I am totes going!
melcreada: (avatar - sokka to the library!)
Anyone else jonesing for a proper vacation? I need to get away from work for more than a day or two and I need it stat! Unfortunately, the mechanic looking at my Jeep today will probably be getting that vacation money. *cries* My broken things, let me show you them.

But seriously, for the Jeep being 11 years old, I'm not surprised that I've been having car trouble. Hang in there, darlin' - I can't afford a new vehicle yet!

So, 100 Healthy Things memage! I have three!

4. I started working out again this week. It hurt. Do not want.

5. I went to see my opthamologist today in spite of my loathing for visiting doctors and also the fear that this will be the visit that she finally diagnoses me with glaucoma (it runs rampant in my family gene pool, among other things). My exam went fine, although every year she gives me more tests, scaring the beejeezus out of me.

6. As a reward for not crying (she always does double burn-y drops because my eyes are so hard to dilate), JP and I went to see the Darwin exhibit at the Witte Museum. It was great - they had a bunch of his notebooks and letters, as well as fossils and original plant specimens. As much as we biology geeks know about natural selection, we knew almost nothing about Darwin himself, so learning more about him was awesome.

Near the end of the exhibit, there were some notes and a video with modern-day biologists talking about creationism and intelligent design. The most startling thing? A poll taken in the U.S. about 10 years ago stated that 57% of the people questioned believed in creationism. Why don't we let that marinate for awhile.
melcreada: (ouran totally made of awesome)
I need to post more often...I miss everyone!!!! I'm sad LJ is not the busy, thriving community it once was, but I don't think I will leave it. I try to get on Facebook but I just can't like it the way I like LJ. And don't get me started on Twitter! My verbosity will not be bound by 140 characters! LOL...

Work has been going well. Although we are ridiculously busy and I feel like my head is going to explode, my boss recognized me in a great way - she arranged for me to get tickets and passes to the company suite for the Spurs vs. Lakers basketball game last night. It was a great! Of course, my boss' new boss was supposed to be hosting, so JP and I dressed up and I was mentally preparing myself to be in business mode...but then he didn't show up while we were there! So, we ate fajitas and blondies, had a couple of sodas, and went to watch the game from our plaza-level seats. And yay, we won! So much fun.

Today, we are packing up the car and driving to Mustang Island (North Padre) for a couple of days in the sun! See y'all on the flip side...
melcreada: (dr. who cartoon)

Something about spring always makes me want to travel. So I am sitting here, daydreaming about trips. Also, we are going to the coast in a couple of weeks. Yay!

Okay, that's it. Have a kitty pic! Here is Tut-tut (he has black lines around his eyes, like an Egyptian painting), who enjoys watching His Girl Friday:

melcreada: (Adult!)
Work continues to be ridiculously busy. I don't mind, but it does seem kind of pointless - in a company of this size, hundreds of projects get kicked off, only a few are ever completed 100%, and of those, even fewer have serious benefit. Seems like a lot of wasted time to me, but what the Hell do I know?

So, instead of blathering on and on about that twaddle, I give you: DREAM VACATIONS! Yes, I have many places I wish to visit and only a handful of them are financially possible right now (and let's face it, the grand ones are only happening if I win the lottery). So let's start with a biggie. Bora Bora!!! I would love to stay in one of those huts right on the water, with the glass floors and the stairways that sink into the clear blue water...



melcreada: (geisha glasses)
Thank Jeebus and the holy goats that it is the weekend! Trying to get the energy to

1. Get out of bed
2. Make breakfast
3. Color hair
4. Clean up the master bedroom

Things are not looking too promising.

Refinance goes on apace. They sent me a copy of the drive-by appraisal and they weren't kidding! A couple of blurry shots of the front of my house obviously taken from a moving car, LOL! I don't know why that cracks me up, but it does. I see that they took the picture on an early weekend morning because the sun is not quite all the way up, the porch light is still on and my Jeep is parked out front. I see you, Appraiser Man. Creeper.

Still loving The Civil Wars. I guess they are classified as folk singer-songwriters, but there is a strong bluegrass element, kind of a throwback. It's great. 

I'm sorry this post isn't more interesting but I have been living and breathing work and it's really not worth discussing. Next time, I will talk about something cool, like my plans to go to Alaska!
melcreada: (real genius - up the dosage!)

For some reason I am reading like four books at once, which was fine when I was young and sharp but now I'm just confused and grumpy. Also, my attention span keeps getting shorter and shorter as I get older and older. Verrah scary.

I felt like posting, but I really had nothing to say. So, yeah. Here's what I came up with...


Things I Am SO Ready For

1. The muthafuckin' weekend
2. Taking JP to see Esther's Follies Friday night (which also means hanging out in Austin, woo woo!)
3. Visiting the Kid and his wife in about 6 weeks (San Diego, here I come!)


Things I Am SO Over

1. Eating healthy (so. difficult. especially after a whole year of eating crap. delicious crap.)
2. Work. Do not get me started - it's just depressing.
3. Getting my finances in order (I know it's important, but boring!)

I am listening to Nelson's (Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection. I approve of their use of parenthesis.
melcreada: (i will never learn)
I'm back. And exhausted. While on "vacation," I spent about 1 hour relaxing and the rest of the time running around trying to round up family and check on my parents and keep the Kid and his wife company since she wanted to see and do everything on the cruise ship. Still, I'm glad I did. Now I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing this Friday and Saturday.

I've been trying to catch up on the flist and I'm almost done. It seems like some of y'all have been having a rough time and I just wanted to pass out hugs to [livejournal.com profile] iammine and [livejournal.com profile] ryoneko and also give my condolences and the biggest squeeze ever to [livejournal.com profile] sardonicynic. Thinking of all you ladies as I sit among my unpacked suitcases, grateful to be home and just a little disoriented.

My little one-eyed kitty Kyo nearly died while I was gone. Thank goodness JP was here - he took Kyo to the vet and cared for him so well that I could barely tell how sick he had been. The vet wasn't sure what was wrong, but apparently Kyo's digestive track just shut down. The vet gave JP some vile, all-purpose meds and somehow they seemed to work. That cat has defied the fates again and again.

I haven't uploaded any pics from the cruise, but I thought I would leave this on here - I bought a piece of artwork on the ship (I am weak when it comes to any kind of art, whether it be a cel, a painting, or a giclee print, which is what this is):



Oh noes, no more wall space!!!

melcreada: (sm - usagi gnash!)
Well, I'm off - my family and I are flying to LAX tonight and tomorrow we are boarding a Carnival cruise ship for a week. My stress levels are at maximum, but hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be sipping a margarita or similar, bidding a fond farewell to dry land.

I'll be checking my email once or twice, but for the most part I will be incommunicado for the next 10 days or so. Take care, flist and see you on the flip side!
melcreada: (Adult!)

Ugh. Wild fires are raging 15 miles north/northeast of us and everyone seems to be losing their shit over lack of containment/drought conditions exacerbating the situation/etc. I am going to sit here and pretend I am a pretty, pretty princess until I can get a grip. What made it real to me was that my work just instituted their "Red Alert" system, where they call you and tell you that there is bad weather/dangerous conditions/the Apocolypse happening and to be careful. I just got 2 voice mails and 2 text messages from some creepy disembodied voice. 

Two weeks to go until I depart for the family cruise. My parents, Paul, and I are flying to Los Angeles to meet up with the Kid and Traci to go on a Carnival cruise. I am looking forward to spending time with my family, but preparing for the trip has been a pain because everyone keeps asking me questions, but I can't remember 5 minutes ago, much less 5 years ago (also JP always took care of planning our previous cruises and no one seems to want to ask him anything).

All this plus my own planning and the thought of navigating my parents through airports and onto the ship just makes me want to lie down. And never get up. Wah, wah, wah - me and my middle-class, first world problems, eh?

The local playhouse is putting on Xanadu: The Musical and I have already bought tickets! I don't have...high expectations, but if someone wants to put on rollerskates and pretend to be a Muse while singing Magic and Suddenly, then I am honor-bound to go and watch them do it. Yay!

Okay, time to go be a grown-up or something.

melcreada: (hp - rupert & emma)

Got back from Fort Davis last week and I've been running around like a crazy person ever since. We had a blast at both state parks (nearby Balmorhea had a giant spring-fed swimming pool). The Davis Mountains are beautiful and lonely. No cell service at the lodge (although we had cable TV...score!).

We went to the highest point in the park to star gaze and watch passing storm fronts. We drove up to the McDonald Observatory (still not totally impressed, but we had a cloudy night and didn't get to see the giant telescope). Fort Davis proper is like two blocks long and everything is mom and pop-type places. No Walmart, no fast food. It was totes awesome, but I don't know if I could have survived more than a few days there. However, all in all, it was a fantastic vacay - exploring the parks and Fort Davis (the actual fort is really cool!), vegging out, kicking back with my Kindle in the middle of the afternoon.

Peektures )

In other news, we saw the documentary Buck, about the real life Horse Whisperer. As predicted, I cried through a respectable portion of it. But it's a sweet and simple film with a beautiful message. If you are an animal lover, you will love it.

Also, we went downtown to catch Harry Potter again but while we were killing time at Rivercenter Mall, JP had his wallet stolen. >__< Thankfully, they found the wallet (minus the cash and credit card) at the bottom of the pool at the Marriott Hotel that is attached to the mall. They made off with about $30, but JP cancelled his card right away and the thieves missed the Game Stop card and movie passes. All in all, best possible scenario for a robbery.

We did wind up seeing Harry Potter (but not then...IMAX comped us tickets for the following day) and I did like it better the second time around. I dunno...spoilers? Highlight to read: 

I love Alan Rickman and I thought he did a great job in his flashback scenes, but something about it left me cold. Like, if you didn't know the story already it was just as if he lost his childhood friend, not the love of his life. I guess I felt a bit cheated. I also wish that they would have shown the other people who came to fight for the Order. It wasn't just a handful of adults and children versus thousands of Death Eaters. Voldemort was creepily AWKWARD but I guess they were trying to make him tragic? A slice of his back story would have solved that.

Anyhoo, all the kids were great and I cried when McGonagall did the spell on the statues and when Harry was talking to his mom and the Maurauders (dude, his dad gets NO screen time...where's the love for poppa?!). I also hate how his parents are too old...they were killed when they were what, 21? They are not aging well in the ghost world. I actually liked the fan fiction ending on film...it seemed sweet and not totally cheesy and forced, the way I felt it was in the book.


So, overall, I did enjoy it although it wasn't exactly how I envisioned it. I have begun re-reading all the books. YAY!!!
melcreada: (hp after all this time? always)

What's up, flist? Not much to report...just one more day of work and then this weekend we are off to the deserts of west Texas (forecast: rain...of course! LOL).

Stolen from poetry community, to commemorate the end of the space shuttle program:

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew -
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Yayness!

Jul. 13th, 2011 10:22 pm
melcreada: (daria hearts trent)

I took Friday off so I could go see the midnight showing of Harry Potter.

Aaaaand we'll just let that sink in for a moment.

Actually, JP and I just watched 3 hours of HP specials on the Biography Channel. ♥ 

But my REAL news is that I also took a couple of days off at the end of the month so we could go to Davis Mountain State Park in west Texas. We are staying at the Indian Lodge and plan on visiting the McDonald Observatory and Balmorhea State Park (it's nearby). So lots of swimming and stargazing and being out in the middle of nowhere.

In other words, a perfect vacation. ^____^
melcreada: (Adult!)

I want to go on at least one mini-vacation this summer, but I don't know where to. A state park would be nice, but it's hotter than Hades outside and the extreme drought makes me a  little nervous about being in the middle of very dry grass/trees. I wouldn't mind the beach again, but I have a feeling JP wouldn't be too keen on that. Maybe a weekend getaway at a resort with a really big pool...Hmm.

I just finished A Wilder Life, about a woman who is as obsessed as I used to be with the Little House on the Prairie books. It was an excellent read, wherein she learns to churn butter, visits all the Laura Ingalls Wilder museums/sites, and even accidentally stumbles on an end of days training farm. Good stuff! Made me dig out my old set. Loved, loved, loved these books as a kid. Upon returning stateside from the Philippines, my parents even took me to Mansfield, MO, to see Laura's last home (much to the chagrin of everyone else in the van). I admit I was a little disappointed, but I wouldn't mind going again to check it out.

I love my Kindle so much, but I HATE all the typos in the books! Flames, flames. On the side of my face. I mean, I am not perfect but I am not being published, either.

Which brings me to another quirk I have discovered while perusing titles for my Kindle - it seems like there's a lot of...self-published work out there. It's weird to see it side-by-side with established authors and publishers. I especially like the books in the non-fiction section that explain how we are descended from aliens and giants. Also, I don't know if it's a "real" author or not, but some guy is claiming that Obama's administration is a "thugocracy" and I nearly wet my pants with laughter at the gangsta picture on the cover:



It's hard out there for a pimp-president

Seriously? I am more gangster than Obama and my idea of a swinging good time is a Pride&Prejudice marathon on the telly.

So, in conclusion: FIX THE EFFIN ERRORS, AMAZON/KINDLE!!!
melcreada: (all this bullshit)
What's up, my LJ peeps?

Cut for those who don't want to hear about my tummy troubles... )

In non-disgusting news, JP and I attacked several Blockbusters, buying up used Blu-rays for $4 each. Good times. I bought Red Cliff, parts 1 & 2, so I am really looking forward to finally watching that. I heart John Woo! We watched Scott Pilgrim tonight and I thought it was pretty funny and clever. They never went too far with teh emo and the ADD, chop-chop transitions kinda grew on me. I wouldn't mind checking out the comic...

Tomorrow I am going to visit my grandmother's grave with my mom and sister. So if the world ends, at least I'll be with family and I'll already be in a cemetery. I love it when a plan comes together...

Next week is San Francisco!!! I am so excited!!!
melcreada: (pocahontas spirit)

Tomorrow is Friday, Friday, Friday!!!! Working 4 days a week is sweet, but getting up at 5am is BRUTAL. Seriously, that's just not natural! After work nap is now mandatory...

Nay-nay is in town, so hopefully tomorrow night will include dinner and shenanigans!

So, the reason we went hiking the other day (other than to get off our lazy asses) was due to our purchasing a year pass to all Texas state parks. So now I am making a list of all the parks we want to go to. Methinks my 3-day weekends will come in handy this summer! I will become more healthy and hike-errific (but I will not eat granola bars, this I swear).

Seriously - check this out. I'm going to go all "Thoreau on Walden Pond" here, except no pond and also no mother to do my laundry:



Several of the parks have groovy retro or native-style lodgings, which I think is cool. Especially if I don't feel like camping, LOL!

Hmm, I thought I had interesting things to say, but I guess not. Oh, well. What's new with you guys???

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