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Today I'm thankful for the really good relationship I have with my mom. I called her this morning, and it was nice to catch up and chat.
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Today I'm thankful for my family. We're changing things up this year and doing Thanksgiving/Hanukkah with just my immediate family. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my family. I wish I were closer to my brother (which is going to be harder because he's moving out of town), but I really like hanging out with him when our family does get together. I also appreciate having gotten to know his girlfriend better over the last year or two. And I really, really appreciate the relationship I have with my parents. I know how lucky I am to have been raised by such wonderful people and wonderful parents, and to have a such a wonderful relationship with them now where they support me while also treating me like an adult, and I'm deeply, deeply thankful for it.
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Today I'm thankful for my dad, who brought me pomegranates. I don't have the dedication to eat very many of them, but I like eating some of the seeds in the fall.
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Many of you probably already know all of this, but some of you are new, so hi! Have a meme.

Meme! )
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Today I'm thankful for my family. We had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner, and my brother and his girlfriend both came - and stayed even longer than my cousins.
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Today I'm thankful for the good timing that meant my mom and I got to have lunch with my aunt and uncle who were visiting from Atlanta as well as my grandparents.
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My mom and I went down to Sacramento last month to see Wicked. She saw the San Francisco production a few years ago; I knew almost nothing about it except that it's different from the book (which I haven't read anyway) and that it's femslashy.

Spoilers, ranting, and a recs request. )
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Coworker L's partner A now works for us. I've heard L start to call A "sweetie" or a diminutive version of A's name more than once. This is what originally got me thinking about the use of endearments, and then I asked for endearment suggestions for something I was writing and got back the same answer from three different people - and it was an answer that doesn't feel right to me for the story. I did not grow up in an endearment-using household. My mom will sometimes call us "kiddo" or "sweetie" and one of my grandmothers used to call us "kid," but that's about it. For myself, I'm most likely to use endearments when talking out loud in response to a TV show or celebrity interview ("honey," "sweetheart," etc., and usually in an "Oh, honey, no" sort of context) or with small children who I will call "kiddo." A quick google didn't lead me to any useful research on the usage and prevalence of endearments (surely some linguist has studied this), which means I'm going to rely on anecdotal evidence from you. So talk to me about endearments! Do you use them? Did you grow up in a family that used them? Do you hang out with people who use them? Have you noticed patterns in how people use them/who uses them? Would you expect people from different regions to use different endearments? What about people in different professions or in different socioeconomic circumstances? Would you expect men and women use different endearments? Have I used the word "endearments" so many times that it's now lost all meaning?
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Today I'm thankful for all the things that haven't made it into a post yet:

I'm thankful for friends: [livejournal.com profile] siryn99, who has become one of my closest friends over the last couple of years. [livejournal.com profile] inlovewithnight, with whom I've had a lot of internet and plot bunny based fun. [livejournal.com profile] icanbreakthesky, who I feel like I know so well from her Twitter. Twitter's whtesde, whose replies always make me laugh. Sarah, who I finally managed to spend time with a year after she moved back to the area. J, who is one of the coolest people I know and who I got to hang out with for the first time in years this summer. All the people I'm forgetting: I'm thankful for you too.

I'm thankful that I saw my brother more this year than any year since he went to college. (Context: we've lived in the same town for most of that time.)

I'm thankful that I have a job, and that said job comes with health and dental insurance.

I'm thankful that my health is generally good. I'm thankful for the Babycakes cookbooks and the general availability of foods that make eating vegan and gluten free easier and easier.

I'm thankful to live in an apartment I love. I'm thankful to be in walking distance of the library, and short distances from everywhere else I go on a daily basis. I'm thankful to live in Chico, which is a lovely town full of trees and whose traffic is really not that bad, even though we keep growing.

I'm thankful to have had so many fun travel and concertgoing adventures this year, and that so many of them were with wonderful fangirls.

I'm thankful that my mood this holiday season is so much more relaxed than last.
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Today I'm thankful for my parents. I have really awesome parents, and I know I'm lucky to have that.
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Today I'm thankful that my grandparents live in Sacramento. It means instead of planning infrequent full weekends with a lot of driving to visit them, we can just head down for dinner whenever. (Like today.)
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Today I'm thankful for my parents. I am really, truly lucky to have amazing parents, and tonight I hung out with them for a bit at the event where my mom was reading some of her poetry.
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So far thirty doesn't feel all that different, although I do like the number thirty better than the number twenty-nine.

The biggest thing I'm doing to celebrate this year is taking charge of my birthday. I had one really good birthday a few years ago when [livejournal.com profile] allegram and [livejournal.com profile] dedalvs were up visiting, but my birthdays have been not the best for years and years. Not for any real tragedy of a reason; they've just been minorly annoying. I've said for a while that if I could get away with it, I would do away with my birthday celebration all together. See, I don't really want to spend the evening of my birthday spending a lot of time with a lot of people, especially when I've had the repeated experience that people don't want to do what I want to do. A quiet night at home where I can read, write, or watch a movie is my idea of a good time. (I'm not wholly antisocial, just a bit of an introvert.) Last year or the year before I tried doing lunch instead of dinner, but that didn't work out particularly well: one set of cousins was hungover and couldn't make it, and my brother goes to San Francisco to party for New Year's Eve and wasn't back yet. So this year we're doing dinner tomorrow night instead. (Although the cousins who are usually hungover are recovering from the flu and not yet ready to get off the couch and won't be there anyway. My mom says my brother initially said he would be there, but he also said that of her birthday which he then couldn't make, so we'll see.) That means I'm enjoying a quiet day at home today.

Specific things I've done/plan to do today:

Following on [livejournal.com profile] lakeeffectgirl's New Year's Eve plans, I watched The Bourne Supremacy earlier, and I think I'm going to watch The Bourne Ultimatum later. Jason/Nicky forever! I also bought the newest Michelle Sagara book last week, so I might go read for a while.

While watching the movie, I also wrote thank-you notes and organized some of the stuff that's been lying around on my dining room table for months. That might not seem like a fun birthday activity, but I like organizing and I like the idea of starting out a new year with at least some of that taken care of.

My mom's asked me if I had anything new to go on my wish list about ten times since I got a job. I keep telling her no. (As of about one-thirty yesterday, she said I was so far getting a cake. We'll see if she did something creative or just went for things off the list.) The reality is that my life is pretty pared down to essentials, and eating really good food actually is a treat for me, and something I'd rather have than anything else I could think of as vague wants. (The snack foods I put on my wish list are things I'm slightly less likely to buy for myself because they're either expensive [nuts] or impossible to find [Sunkist Fruit Gems], and gift certificates make me feel like I can splurge a tiny bit.) So now I'm going to talk about food.

I decided I wanted pizza for dinner on my birthday and that I could spend the money on the ingredients for it since I got gift certificates for Hanukkah and Christmas, and then I discovered that S&S no longer carries the vegan, gluten-free pizza crust I was buying. They do carry another kind, so I'll be trying that out for dinner with Passionate Mango coconut milk yogurt (something else I love but is hideously expensive) for dessert. Yum! Tomorrow night is Thai food with raw "cheese"cake for dessert.

I wasn't going to cook for lunch, but then the thing I really wanted was something that had to be cooked: rice, black beans, and sauteed bell pepper and onion. For the black beans, I've been heating them in a pan with a little bit of water, some garlic (I stopped cutting up my own and started just buying jars of chopped garlic), salt, and whatever spices seem good to me at the moment (today it was a little bit of cayenne; I think I liked it with red pepper flakes and a dash of sage better). For the bell pepper and onion, I just sauteed them on medium or so with some salt, pepper, and garlic. I also had some chips, some of which I ate with the main lunch stuff and some of which I ate with what I've been laughingly calling lazy salsa (cut up tomato). I managed to burn the rice on my first try. This is the third or fourth thing I've burned in that particular pan, so maybe I've just ruined it.

The bottom line of all of this is that I'm so far having a very nice, quiet birthday. Thank you to everyone who's been a part of it! I've gotten all kinds of lovely emails, tweets, Facebook comments, and even a v-gift. Some wonderful, anonymous person also gifted me with six months of paid time, which I'm excited about. I was thinking about letting my paid account lapse, but now I don't have to. Thank you so much, wonderful, anonymous person!
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Today I'm thankful for everything I haven't mentioned yet. I'm thankful for my family, for my health, for having a place to live. I'm thankful for fandom and everyone in it. I'm thankful for bandom, Fuck City, and the Jonas Brothers. I'm thankful for Mercy, FlashForward, So You Think You Can Dance, and Friday Night Lights. I'm thankful for YouTube, LiveJournal, Facebook, and Twitter. I'm thankful for Jezebel, Penny Arcade, PostSecret, and Cake Wrecks.
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Today I'm thankful to have spent the day with family I don't see very often - including two cousins and an aunt who I think I last saw at C's bat mitzvah. C turned 18 in September.
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Wow, am I having trouble remembering this this year.

I'm thankful my brother came to family dinner night last night. I haven't seen him in a while (um, now that I do the math, "a while" means "four and a half months" - since Father's Day), and it was good to both see him and meet his new girlfriend.

I'm thankful for yoga. I'm amazed every time by how much better I feel after doing yoga.
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Today, I'm thankful for my family, especially the part we spend a lot of time with. My aunt cooks delicious meals for holidays, and for the twice-monthly family dinner nights she hosts. My cousins are interesting, caring people who chose wonderful partners. My parents are interesting people in their own right, and amazing as parents. My brother is one of the most interesting people I know, and he always has hilarious stories or fascinating facts to share. I am truly blessed to have the family I have.

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Ruth Sadelle Alderson

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