icepixie: ([Fringe] Olivia Peter dancing stars)
1. Poster sessions are literally science fair for grown-ups. There's a big hall with a bunch of posters up on boards, and their makers stand by them and talk about their project to everyone who comes by. This seems like a much more sensible way to run a conference than the humanities version, where people get up on stage and read a paper they have written at the audience.

2. Many of the scientists my office supports are fun to hang out with socially.

3. I no longer have the ability to walk or stand for more than 45 minutes without SIJ/lower back pain disabling enough to require a 10-minute sit-down, and if I want to do more than two of these 45-minute sessions, I require the assistance of vicodin.

One of these things is not like the others...

Despite that, I took some nice pictures of the National Zoo (not quite a mile from the conference hotel) and the hotel itself. It was by far the swankiest place I have ever stayed, or possibly ever set foot in.

Pictures, including several of pandas Doing Stuff.

Chicago!

Oct. 20th, 2014 01:19 am
icepixie: ([B5] The future will be furnished in Art)
Well, despite some setbacks, I had a very nice trip to Chicago to see [livejournal.com profile] rowdycamels and buy some skates.

Setbacks, for the curious )

Anyway, enough about those. Good things! I had a fabulous experience at Rainbo Sports out in Glenview, despite it being a bit of an odyssey to reach from Chicago proper. But hey, at least trains and busses actually go out that far!

One of the skate shop gurus and I mutually decided to put me in the Jackson Premiere boots, which were exactly the ones my research had suggested would be best. Technical details about the skates and the experience )

By fortunate coincidence, Open House Chicago was this weekend, so we did as much of that as possible. On the Loyola campus, we went to the Art Deco chapel (kind of bizarrely concrete and Communist) and Art Deco skyscraper (much cooler and prettier), and downtown we went to the Fine Arts Building and the Sky-line club. The latter was somewhat disappointing--the view was okay but not great, and other than it was just a rich people's club, which was interesting for a few seconds but no more--but the Fine Arts Building was fun. It's another lovely building, Victorian this time, and going on stage was lovely, as was visiting the luthier's workshop and seeing stringed instruments in various stages of completion. The building has a bunch of artists' studios and rooms where music teachers give lessons, so those were fun to peek into as well.

We also went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, in large part because it was cold and raining out and it's tropical in there, and got to see the greenhouses that aren't normally open to the public. Once it stopped raining, we went to the zoo, where the male lion put on a show. I'm pretty sure he just wanted to eat the small children staring at him through the glass, taunting him with their tender deliciousness.

Because I am nothing if not a dealer enabler, I brought along my China Beach DVDs, and we took a tour through some of the best episodes during the evenings. I'm pretty sure I have a convert, muahahaha.

We had some very good meals this weekend, too. To continue the Vietnamese theme begun with China Beach, we ordered in Vietnamese one night, and I got to try pho for the first time. WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE? Man, that's good. It was also the most interesting delivery meal I've ever had. I got a quart-sized plastic barrel of beef broth with delicious, delicious spices; a Chinese takeout box of rice noodles, beef, and two different kinds of onions; and a ziploc bag of bean sprouts, mint leaves, jalapeno slices, and a couple of lime wedges. Make your own meal! Needless to say, I had pho for three days straight and there was still some left over when I left.

I had delicious gyros from two different places, including one...Egyptian fast food place? downtown called Naf Naf Grill, which had the most amazing garlic tzatziki sauce. I think I was unconsciously trying to rebuild my iron levels after the massive blood loss with all the red meat this weekend. (ETA: Not that it worked...)

Good trip! Would do again without cough syrup-splosions, bronchitis, and hemorrhaging!

Things

Jun. 22nd, 2014 05:31 pm
icepixie: ([Photos Stock] Sunflower field)
This week I started the 3-5-year journey of allergy shots. After about three months of three times a week, I can go down to once a week for a few more months, then every other week, and finally once a month by about the one-year mark.

And the shots are definitely plural, as I get four at each visit, two in each arm. (Good thing I didn't test positive for mold allergies or some of the weeds. I think that would've taken it up to eight.) Thankfully, the needles are tiny and barely pinch, though that's very dependent on the shot technique of the nurse. *eyes bruise from Friday* It's also nice that the building is less than a block from my office, so it's easy to go over on my lunch break.

The biggest annoyance is sitting in the waiting room for thirty minutes after so that I can be near medical help in case of anaphylaxis. It's not unpleasant; it can just get noisy if lots of people are there.

*

I go back to skating in a week. It's going to be my last lesson with C before she moves away. :( I guess at some point I need to approach the other coaches I have in mind and see if they're taking new students now.

A lot of the other adult skaters have started taking a drop-in beginning ballet class held by the Nashville Ballet. (There's lots of cross-fertilization between skating and ballet skills, which is the only reason I would consider it, as it's not really my favorite form of dance to do.) I'm tempted, but it gets out kind of late on Mondays, and depriving myself of sleep at the beginning of the week tends to end badly.

*

Since I have to use up my banked leave, I'm thinking about a vacation to Charleston, SC, sometime in September. My parents may or may not be coming along. The boat tour to Capers Island looks absolutely fantastic, and there's of course a plantation house with gardens (pick any Southern city and there will be a bare minimum of three plantation houses with gardens within thirty miles), and the architecture is supposed to be very cool. We were originally going to do the Outer Banks in North Carolina, but that lost its luster when I realized how much driving you have to do between the different attractions, and how much of a pain it would be to see some of them, like the wild ponies around Corolla (you have to rent a 4x4).

I hope I don't pick a week when a hurricane hits that part of the coast. That's always a possibility in the spring and fall.
icepixie: ([Photos Stock] Sunflower field)
Returned from adventures in the Pacific Northwest! I have 680 photos on my camera card, lots of souvenirs, and my knees are still protesting at five days of wandering around a city, hiking up a mountain, and traipsing around in assorted woods and on assorted beaches, so I think it was a vacation well-spent. A full report will have to wait until I get my photos loaded onto my computer (and also for Ellen to send me the pictures she took of me in front of a windmill, getting attacked by a Dalek, and enacting a Star Trek redshirt's death, because I feel no photoblog of this trip would be complete without those), but for now, highlights:

- Traveling with [livejournal.com profile] rowdycamels! Getting to meet and hang out with [livejournal.com profile] rivendellrose!

- We won the weather lottery. It was sunny or partly cloudy for the entire time we were there, minus some car travel time and about half of the downward part of a mountain hike (though at that point, we were so glad it waited to start hailing/raining until we were out of the snowy part of said mountain that we didn't much care). I actually got a bit of a sunburn on my nose.

- Seattle and the surrounding areas have amazing food. That was the best I've ever eaten on vacation--or possibly at all--in my life. Every meal was incredible, whether it was seafood, Thai, vaguely-Mexican vegan, crumpets/pastry/fruit from the Pike Place Market, whatever. We got ourselves a cooler and did most lunches as picnics, and even those were great, although possibly some of that was because we were so hungry from hiking or long drives that many things would've tasted good.

- I got to walk through Cicely! It was awesome! And yes, I did indeed buy the t-shirt.

- I drove the entire length of Seattle in rush hour traffic and survived! I also drove in and around Pioneer Square and survived!

- Tuuuuuuuuulips. So many tulips.

- Evergreen trees everywhere.

- We did not die by falling off the side of a mountain. Although I think we came close more times than I would like to think about. There's one section of the trail up to Lake Twenty-Two that has already featured in my nightmares, and probably will continue to do so for some time. I don't think I took a picture, but imagine a very steep drop on one side, a tall, crumbly snowbank lining the other side all the way up the rest of the mountain, and a slippery, ice-crusted, nine-inch-wide "path" between the two. We should've turned back, but as was our constant refrain, "We've come this far!"

- Speaking of Lake Twenty-Two, there will definitely be pictures, but for now, the experience in a nutshell: "This isn't a trail, it's a creek/rock field/eight-foot-high snowbank!"

- While Deception Pass bridge and state park were very nice, Google found us an even better city park in Anacortes on a spit of land sticking out into the sea, where we watched the sun set over the San Juan Islands. (Admittedly, it was a very windy, very cold spit of land. Still.) Also, we got to wander among some very friendly deer.

More to come later. I don't know that I ever quite adjusted to Pacific time, largely because Seattle is so far north that it was still daylight until about 8:30, which was so bizarre for late April that I just gave up on ever figuring out what time it should be. But while I'm not sure it feels like midnight now, after the past several days, it definitely feels like BEDTIME.
icepixie: ([Other] Birds on a wire)
I'm planning to take some vacation time in early April, and I think I want to go somewhere for part of it. I'm not sure where, though, so I'm opening the floor to suggestions. Where should I go? Financial and time constraints limit me to the continental US or perhaps parts of Canada. I'm planning to take a week or maybe six days off, and I want some of those days to be spent at home doing nothing, so any trip is probably going to be limited to four or five days, including travel time.

What I most love to do on vacation is take pictures. (You may have noticed this.) I like walking around in beautiful scenery--beaches, mountains, meadows, lakes, I like pretty much all of it--though not hugely strenuous hiking and definitely not camping. I also love museums, interesting buildings, and other big city cultural and historical things. I have been equally thrilled with the Smithsonian in DC and wandering around on mountains in Arizona. I'm not much for just lazing around on a beach, though; there should be more to it than that, even if "more to it" is a historical lighthouse or something. Nightlife holds absolutely no interest for me.

Places where one needs to rent a car are fine, although I try to avoid driving in snow; public transportation is equally fine.

For some reason, Santa Fe is calling to me. It sounds nifty and pictures of it look cool, and the weather would probably be decent. In the other direction, Cape Hatteras is also on my to-see list, and this would avoid the tourist season (and I don't swim anyway, so a cold ocean doesn't matter as long as the weather is warmish). I'd like to go to the Pacific Northwest someday, but early spring might be too cold and rainy. Boston, perhaps? The idea of it makes my historian's heart go pitter-pat. Or I could go back out to California; I hear the Big Sur drive is lovely.

But most importantly: anyone want to meet up somewhere interesting? Or meet up where you live?
icepixie: ([Movies] Myrna Loy as a blonde)
Okay, so the thought of the HTML necessary to embed 117 clickable thumbnails of my Los Angeles photos in the text makes the baby Jesus cry, so here they all are in gallery form!

And below the cut is the narrative that goes with them.

Friday: Beachy things )

Saturday: Fruit, art, fire, and a movie [vague spoilers for Liberal Arts] )

Sunday: Bones and stars )

Monday: A brush with stardom! )

And then I came home, and promptly found that we've skipped the nice part of fall and gone straight to the need-a-jacket-and-real-shoes part. Damn. Perhaps I could go live on the beach?

Vacation

May. 19th, 2010 06:34 pm
icepixie: (Default)
So! I think my parents and I have decided to go to Washington, DC, in the second week of June. (Since we're driving, we're going to stop here along the way, too.*)

I plan to spend as much time as humanly possible in the Smithsonian buildings, but what else should we do? Myself, I like museums/history museums, interesting architecture, and flowers. Presumably the National Mall provides all of these things in abundance (maybe not the flowers), but will we miss interesting things by limiting ourselves to that area?

I also have the lifelong inlander's natural response to journeying within fifty miles of an ocean, namely, OOOOH A BEACH I MUST LOOK AT IT! I am assuming this is feasible as a day-trip sort of thing, since we'll have a car, but am not entirely certain. Suggestions?

* We are not foolish enough to try and drive around DC. The plan is to stay at a hotel in a VA suburb on the Metro's blue line, as it goes directly to the stop labeled "Smithsonian," and take the Metro into the city in the morning and back out in the evenings.
icepixie: (Look up)
I've been working on a list of all the places I want to visit before I die. Here's the list. You will soon see a theme, and I'll give you three guesses as to what it is. The first two don't count.

The List )


Hmmm. Obviously I need to become fabulously wealthy in short order if I want to be able to do all that. Anyone got any surefire stock tips?
icepixie: (Adama/Roslin grin)
Less than three weeks until I'm in Chicago!*

Less than five hours until the new BSG!

Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

* Sekrit message to Pezzers: I was looking up info about Navy Pier, and I see they have a really cool-looking stained glass museum there! Free admission! ...Yes, I realize I may be the only person on the planet to use "really cool-looking" and "stained glass museum" in the same sentence. Er. Anyway, pretty!

Top Fives

Mar. 8th, 2007 12:25 pm
icepixie: (Canal boats)
Answers to everyone's "top five" questions herein! Wow, you guys asked a lot of questions. Thanks! (You can still ask me my top five anything, and I'll ask you another top five question back.)

Um, these aren't in any sort of hierarchy. Each member of a top five got slotted in as I thought of it, not because it's number one or four or whatever. They're sort of top five groups rather than lists.

[livejournal.com profile] vallentine asked about my Top Five Places to Visit/Travel To )

[livejournal.com profile] serendipityxxi asked about my Top Five Characters and Why )

She also asked about my Top Five Pet Peeves )

[livejournal.com profile] sleepingcbw asked about my Top Five Poems in the English Language (excluding epics) )

[livejournal.com profile] wildtiger7 asked about the Top Five Books I Most Want to Read )

[livejournal.com profile] rowdycamels asked about the Top Five Things I Want to Do in the Next Five Years )

[livejournal.com profile] aervir asked about the Top Five Holidays I've Been On )

She also asked about my Top Five Items of Clothing )

[livejournal.com profile] weyoun21 asked about my Top Five Things to Do on a Rainy Day )

By the by, the Chamber Singers are performing in town tonight! I am definitely putting in an appearance, and will have a full report when I return. :)
icepixie: (Look up)
MyPhotoAlbum seems to be back up, so now you can actually see all the photos I linked to last time. I've also added the oh-so-cute miniature pony pictures and some more of Dartmoor.

And that's it for Europe. Kind of sad to be done, really...
icepixie: (Finding Neverland)
Here's the second-to-last batch of June photos, these being from the Scotland/Northumbria trip. Go to the usual spot for Stirling, Loch Katrine, Edinburgh Revisited, and Alnwick Castle & Gardens. Those of you who've been waiting patiently for pictures of my Wild Hairy Haggis, check out the Edinburgh album.

I realized I never did any kind of write-up for this trip. I don't intend to do a full one now after a month has gone by, but here's a few things the pictures don't necessarily address:

- It was ridiculously cold for June. Like, highs in the low 50s. Disgusting.

- The steamer ship on Loch Katrine was actually a working steamer that I took a ride around the loch on. Talk about cold. 1.5 hours out on open water, and you're moving as well. Brrrrr. So pretty, though. Loch Katrine is located in the Trossachs National Park, which is sort of like the third point of an imaginary equilateral triangle connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow. It bills itself as a miniature version of the Highlands, and I'd say that's pretty correct. The mountains aren't as high as way up north, I'm sure, but they were spectacular enough for my purposes.

- Much love for Edinburgh tourist shops that took advantage of the 10:30 PM sunset to stay open well into the night, thus giving me something to do on both my nights in the city.

- The train ride down the eastern coast is even prettier in summer than in winter.

- Edinburgh Castle and Princes St. Gardens are also prettier in summer, although the desloation of winter does suit that gray mass of volcanic rock upon which the castle perches.

- The grounds at Alnwick look massive on the map, but are actually not as huge as they seem. They're packed with stuff, though, as the photos should attest. I'm so glad it was the height of rose season when I went there.
icepixie: (Sunflower)
Same bat time, same bat place. These are various leftovers from Exeter and Topsham and the Dover pics. Chartwell, Leeds Castle, and Salisbury/Stonehenge should be up tomorrow.
icepixie: (miles to go)
So the big news for today is that I ran afoul of a bog.

Of course, there's backstory to this. Ellen and I decided to spend a day on Dartmoor as my last bit of Devon before I leave the country for good. We went first to the Minature Pony Centre, where I nearly imploded from the cuteness, especially of the foal that made him/herself my special buddy. There are many pictures, which I will share at some point soon after I get home (and have access to my webserver again). These things are smaller than some dogs I've known. It's crazy. There was a baby goat that was roughly the size of a small cat. It was all definitely geared towards the under-five set, but cuteness is for all ages, is it not? We were, however, wishing we'd worn shorts instead of pants, as it was quite hot out in those paddocks. (And I cannot believe I'm calling what could only have been 75F at the most "hot." I'm going to die when I get back to Nashville.)

Anyway. Then we continued on to the place we did our first Dartmoor hike and took the same path for a while, this time taking a different fork than the previous October. Saw a nice bridge, saw a bunch of cows, lots of sheep, etc. etc. Climbed a small tor, which was entertaining. Watched the mist roll in, because oh, wait, it's Dartmoor, and it isn't Dartmoor without mist.

After the tor, we decided to take what we thought was a fairly well-marked shortcut back to the town. There was practially a straight line between the tor and a part of the path closest to the town, but the real trail took us on a big loop before connecting, sort of like the two legs of a triangle versus the hypotenuse. To continue the geometry metaphor, we took the hypotenuse, which kind of turned into a sheep path, and then not a path at all. We didn't get lost (well, not exactly...not for more than a few minutes, anyway, and that was mostly because we couldn't see over the hill to where we knew the path was), but we did kind of run into a bog. And there was no way to get to the real trail except to go through the bog. Now, it is, technically, possible to get through a bog without getting too wet as long as you can quickly figure out which plants have root systems and are thus solid enough to step on and which most definitely do not. Hint: Tall bushy things? Good. Reedy things with bits of cotton fluff stuck to them? Very, very bad. However, if you're not entirely cognizant of the fact that there is a bog there, and not just a very enthusiastic stream, it can and will get muddy. Me not quite so much, but Ellen was having serious issues up to her knees.

My boots were already on their last legs and needing to be replaced within a month or so (three years of love, including wearing them for much walking daily for five-month stretches, will do that to a pair of shoes), so this was just the proverbial nail in the coffin. Hey, at least I don't have to pack them. This totally served a purpose in helping to eliminate the amount of stuff I need to shove into suitcases tomorrow.

Kent trip

Jun. 9th, 2005 07:50 pm
icepixie: (Dancing on Starlight)
Oof. So I stayed up until 4:30 last night reading Alias fanfic, and I paid for it by having action-packed spy dreams. Except I think all of the spying might actually have involved Jaye and Eric from Wonderfalls, or at any rate characters from a show that's not Alias. There was something about photographs hidden in a ceiling and evil grandparents and someone getting nearly run over by a bus, and there was a lot of running around and jumping off buildings and climbing into underground tunnels.

*

Kent trip )

So, yeah. That was Kent. I took lots of pictures, which I will upload at some point when I get off this Alias fanfic bender (courtesy of the fine folks at Aequabilis).
icepixie: (miles to go)
Back from Kent. Saw pretty things while I was there. I would write more about them, but I dosed myself up with Benadryl this afternoon (it was either that or scratch my eyes out and sneeze myself into the river at Topsham, and by about noon, the Benadryl Fuzziness (tm) sounded like a better option) and I'm not quite up to typing out a long thing right now. I need to go into town tomorrow and get some of that 24-hour non-drowsy antihistamine. Or figure out some other way to get my body to DEAL WITH PLANTS and not go haywire in the spring.

In other disappointing news, I didn't get much money for the books I took to the bookstore in Topsham today. They aren't big on books with writing in them here. (This was never a problem at the store in Rivergate, but maybe they don't care as much since they only give you store credit, not cash, for books.) I could feel the disapproving look through the phone when they called me back to tell me what they'd bought and what they'd given in disgust to the charity shop down the road. I got enough to cover my train fare and a little extra, though, so I suppose it wasn't a wasted trip. I had a giant cream tea while I was there, anyway, and those are always fun. And it's nice not to have to, y'know, lug five million books back across an ocean.

Ugh. So sleepy...

Piccies

Jun. 1st, 2005 12:39 am
icepixie: (Finding Neverland)
A few Hyde Park pictures are you know where. Baby swans! Eeeee! There was a guy who had a squirrel eating out of his hand, but I didn't catch it on the camera. Ah, well.
icepixie: (miles to go)
Ennui, thy name is me. I have no desire to do anything today, much less work on my Satire essay. (This may have something to do with the depressing weather. Exeter has developed the capability to be both warm--well, "warm" in the sense of "not exactly freezing"--and clammy at the same time, not to mention completely clouded over. It's amazing.) I should be excited about this essay. It's Serious Academic Work on Wonderfalls and Alice in Wonderland, and what's not to love about that?

*

I desperately need a haircut. It's touching my shoulders, which it hasn't done since I was seventeen. It's gotten to that stage where it's all limp and greasy except for a few hours right after I shower. It's falling out in, well, not clumps, but in alarming amounts. The split ends are out of control. It's kind of neat to be able to put it up in a ponytail and have almost all of it go in, but Chandra, at some point this week, I must set up a time to have you chop of some of this mess.

*

My trip to Wales (Monmouth, Symond's Yat, Tintern Abbey) looks less and less likely, as the one hostel I found in the area (possibly the one hostel in all of southern Wales, or at least the only one within walking distance of a train station or bus stop) seems disinclined to return my e-mail about booking a bed. I might try calling them, but the more I think about it, the more I think I might rather spend those three days catching up on my day trips. I still need to go back to the cute little town of Topsham and have a cute little cream tea and see if the guy at the cute not-so-little used bookstore will take some of these 40-odd tomes I got for classes off my hands. And we still haven't gotten to the miniature pony center or the otter & butterfly sanctuary on Dartmoor. Plus there's the crazy spinster house in Exmouth that I want to see (and possibly copy when i get to the crazy spinster stage myself). And Stonehenge or Avebury would make good day trips.

Still doing the Kent trip at the beginning of next month and the Loch Lomond/Loch Katrine/Alnwick Treehouse Thingy towards the middle. Hey, [livejournal.com profile] vallentine, are train tickets from Stirling to Edinburgh cheap if you buy them the day of? National Rail says they're £3.75 for singles to and from if I buy them online, and it would be easier just to buy them when I get there, 'cause I'm not exactly certain what time I'll be going in either direction.

The Lake District idea died an ignominious death with Whitney bowed out and I decided I wasn't all that interested. Maybe when I'm older and richer and can come back here and rent a car. (Trying to organize June via public transportation has been especially difficult, moreso than any other trips I've planned. Argh.) There might be punting in Oxford with Certain People before I fly home. We will do our level best to emulate Three Men in a Boat, I'm sure.

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