azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Without further ado: The New Windows )

In other news, Bill has been feeling industrious - plus, he's had the week off. So he's been working on the next project, one I thought would never get done: he's been painting the dreaded Orange Room )

And of course, because it wouldn't be me if I didn't include them: KITTENS! )
azriona: (Default)
The camera is working, and thus, there are pictures.



Look at the cute kitten at your own peril. Of course, I'm biased, but she's still way cute.
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
My NetFlix queue obviously does not want me to see Chasing Amy, because today I received The Shipping News instead. Of course, I watched Mrs. Brown last night, so it was sort of a Judi Dench double feature. I liked both movies, although I have to wonder if watching Americans try to speak with British accents is half as funny as hearing Dame Dench speak with a Canadian one.

Is there anyone else out there who defines a good movie by whether or not it makes you want to go to the library afterwards, either to read the original story or just to learn more about the historical personage within?

Cleo went to the vet today for her last distemper shot. Gabbie and I arranged it so that she and Asmodeus would have appointments at the same time, so they had their first chance to play since Thursday. Picture! )

Anyway, Cleo is tired (distemper shots make you tired, or so the vet says. But with cats, who can tell?), as am I, so we're off to bed.
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
The topic of conversation around DC today (other than the state funeral, which we listened to on NPR) was the recent announcement that the Fairfax County Library system is planning to ditch some of the classics in favor of more contemporary novels.

I found this story particularly intriguing, since I (a) use that library system and (b) was just at the library on Sunday and checked out Henry James's The American, which while is not actually on the short list, could very well be on the long one.

Honestly? Though in the last month I've checked out two books that are considered classics (Pride and Prejudice being the other, whereupon I rediscovered why I hate Jane Austen), in general I don't think this is such a bad thing. Before you flay me, let me add that I don't think it's a good idea to get rid of every single copy of any classic book. I think any good library system needs to own at least one or two copies of not only the classics, but of books that people want to read. However, I don't think it's necessary for every branch of a library system to own one or two copies of the same book. It's a waste of space, particularly when the Fairfax system is really good about moving copies from one branch to the other very quickly.

(Sometimes too quickly. I can only get to the library once a week at most - but a book I requested arrived in 2 days, and by the time I showed up to retrieve it, my time had expired and it had been sent back to its original location.)

Getting rid of every copy of any book is not a good plan - but culling the stacks to make room in a seriously overcrowded library system in order to make room for new titles is something that happens every day.

***

In other news, Asmodeus goes to his real home tomorrow. I tried explaining this to him, but eh, cats. He just blinked and pointed out that it was well past dinnertime.

Pictures! )
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
It's that happy time when I have ten minutes, and thus you're all treated to:

Kitten Pictures! )

Kittens!

Dec. 3rd, 2006 09:51 am
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Introducing:

The Kittens )
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
S has sent me pictures of the kittens. Cleo is slated to be mineminemine, but Asmodeus still needs a home.

(Those who wish to tell me that I ought to get two cats instead of one: I direct you to register your complaints with Bill, who has decreed that there will be only one cat. I have no say in the matter.)

Pictures! )
azriona: (Default)
For those interested, pictures of the Technicolor Townhouse have been posted. Sunglasses optional. As is becoming my habit, the link will open a new window.

It is a bright, sunny day in Virginia this morning. Despite the fact that it's Columbus Day, apparently trash was picked up this morning. And here I thought it was a federal holiday - aren't public services such as trash pick-up and the like supposed to be suspended on federal holidays? I have empty boxes upon empty boxes that I'd like to throw out! Gah. I shall have to create a pile in the library and just wait until Thursday to cart 'em out there.

At some point, I should collect the morning paper and wake the husband. We are meeting other Bishkek folks for Thai today, as it was Rachel's favorite food. Showering beforehand would probably be appreciated.
azriona: (Default)
Today was a good day, all things considered. The weather was sunny and surprisingly warm, considering it's been freezing cold the last few days. When we got back from Charlottesville last night, we turned on the heat for the first time, it was so cold. Today, we turned it back off again and opened up some windows. The nice thing about our living spaces being on the second floor of the townhouse is that we get a much better breeze blowing through - plus, more windows for that breeze to blow through.

I haven't been in central Virginia before. I'm sorry the weather was so horrific, but for Saturday, it seemed appropriate. It rained in the morning but by eleven had tapered off. But the clouds still hung low, brushing the tips of the rolling green mountains that surrounded Rachel's family homestead, and from the hilltop cemetery, there was the most incredible view of the surrounding valleys. So pretty. The wind was blowing so hard the color guard had difficulty standing; at one point, while some governmental muckety-muck was talking, I watched a bird overhead soar motionless in the air above. A crow, maybe, but that might be my own interpretation, based on legend and Hollywood movies. (Birds and flowers, can't give you the names for any of 'em.) It stuck by, though, through the whole day, even on the drive home. Every time I looked up, I seemed to see that bird soaring just in the corner of my eye.

This morning Bill and I got a call from a friend in from overseas, and ended up going for dim sum with her. The last time we did dim sum was in Boston, years and years ago, and this time we went with someone who actually knows Chinese - she asked questions and ordered things in Chinese, and when she finished, Bill taunted her, "Show-off." Now, if there were a Uighur restaurant in DC, we could take her there and return the favor, but sadly we're out of luck. Bill's only other option is to use his Urdu, but there's not so many restaurants here where it comes in handy.

But the food itself? Pretty good. I haven't had Chinese this good since leaving Bishkek - which of course leads me back to Rachel, because that was always the plan after a Saturday trip to the seamstress's, was to follow up with lunch at Shao-lin, and order five or six different things and as much jasmine tea as we could possibly drink. (No rice. Why waste room on rice?) Dim sum seems to be more authentically Chinese than anything else on the menu, which sort of makes sense, when you figure that the majority of the folks who eat dim sum are the ones who are familiar with it - i.e., not Americans.

After dim sum, we went down to IKEA, ordered the rest of the furniture for the house. Click for pictures )

So, today was an okay day. The house is taking shape, slowly but surely (I plan to photograph tomorrow morning). Missing Rachel goes hand-in-hand with missing Bishkek, which I do, not in the least because it is tied up with missing the life I had there. I can picture Bishkek, but it is hard to picture it without her. I thought it might be easier after Saturday. I don't know exactly that it is.
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
A general announcement:



Photographs from the Red Canyon hike are now up and available for your pleasure. They're open to the general public - no passwords or supersekrit handshakes necessary. To see them, please click the above picture.

(This is partially in preparation for tossing all the noteable photographs from the last two years up for general viewing.)

As always, commentary on broken links and general layout is appreciated.
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
Had to share these - one of the other Red Canyon hikers took two intersting pictures of me during the hike - one is just plain funny, the other is too good for words.

Pictures! )
azriona: (Gratuitous picture post)
I went on a horseback-riding trip on Sunday - we were supposed to go Saturday, but the trails were still too muddy after Friday's rains - and it proved to be a very...um...interesting experience. Mind, the last time I was on a horse was a good twelve years ago, and the time before that I was at summer camp in junior high.

(So yes, I'm all sorts of sore today. Basically, moving hurts. Typing hurts, if you really want to know.)

Anyway, despite the fact that (a) I'm not all that confident on a horse; (b) I didn't know what to expect on the trip; and (c) I'm seriously over-protective of my camera, I decided that the event would be an excellent opportunity to take pictures.

To spare you the suspense, my camera came home safely and without bruising. Sadly, the same cannot be said about me.

Anywho, following the example of the laudable [livejournal.com profile] here_be_dragons, who posts her photos directly to her LJ, I've got the ten pictures I liked the best here for your amusement.

A Horse in Any Other Language )
azriona: (YakLove by me & here_be_dragons)
I went through the photographs from last week's trip to Osh Market yesterday. I'm posting my four favorites here - although I would caution those with weak hearts or easily upset stomachs not to click, because I went into the meat market.

*snicker*

Pictures! And a yak! Well, lots of yak, but all the same.... )
azriona: (cat in a box)
Insane weekend, what with birthday barbecues and weird weather conditions, and yesterday it snowed of all things, and I haven't been much in the mood to post, but had a few things to share with you all, so here I am.

1. Yes, folks, it's the poll we've all been waiting for: Bill's Final Challenge is having its showdown. Will it be Monty Python, or Microsoft, that takes over the world? You decide! It's a battle between good and evil, and currently in the lead is...well, go vote, and you'll find out.

2. And once you're done there, there's a doctoral student at the University of Calgary who needs some help with her research. While the quiz partially deals with Harry Potter, you don't need to have even read the books to take the quiz - and I think she'll end up using those people as a sort of "control group" for the rest of us loonies. So if you have a spare half-hour or so, please do take her quiz and help her out. (That is, it took me half an hour, although she warns that it might take as much as an hour. I sort of doubt that, but I read fast.)

3. Have been feeling more or less out-of-sorts the last few days; no idea why. Might be the weirdness of trying to find an apartment from halfway around the world, although really it's Noel doing all the footwork. Might be lonesomeness. Might be impending reverse culture shock, because having been there once, I can safely say that it is not a barrel of monkeys. (Unless we're talking smelly, sticky, poo-throwing monkeys, in which that about sums up the feeling exactly.) Anyway, one of the very few things holding me together at the moment, or so it would seem, is that one of the betas has been whipping through the O.S. at speeds of light and sending me an email every day or so, and reading those is like a breath of extremely fresh and pine-smelling air.

(Which is not meant as a slap on the wrist of the rest of the betas, as I know you all are very busy and whatnot. Only I haven't looked at the O.S. once, and I feel such a painful sense of loss not getting to play with my characters. And I've only lived with them for three years - JKR is doomed, I tells ya.)

4. S sent me a picture of Lou today )
azriona: (shopping orgy)
Argh. I have broken every single embroidery needle I own, as of this morning. Bleh. There's more on the way, luckily, but God knows when they'll get to me. Either I can sit and wait, or I go riffling through old or new patterns and kits to see if I can't locate something I can use in the meantime. I can't watch TV and not cross-stitch; I'll only end up snacking on things I shouldn't be eating anyway.

(This would not be so bad if there was less to snack on, but Bill has a habit of going to the base and buying up chips and dips and other things we can't otherwise get here - and with good reason! - so there's almost always something fattening in the pantry. Much to my dismay. If he at least would remember to take the three or four packages I need mailed to the post office there, it wouldn't be so bad, particularly the box for his mother that has been sitting in my kitchen since OCTOBER.)

This, if anything, is one of the things that really annoys me about being overseas. I am so utterly dependant on other people to get stupid small things done, like going to the post office, things that otherwise no one would ever think twice about, that it utterly frustrates me to incomprehension of how everyone else takes those small things for granted. /rant

In other, more cheerful news, I have determined that fellow expat R is never going to meet either [livejournal.com profile] isewforsatan or [livejournal.com profile] phillyexpat if I can at all help it, because the three of them together in a mall would be a dangerous combination, particularly if armed with my credit card. They would have way too much fun. Yesterday's conversation with R in Tsum:

R - You need this Coach bag.
Me - I like my purse.
R - Yes, it's very nice. You're not twelve any longer. Time for a grown-up purse.
Me - Well....
R - See? Leeeeaaaattthhhheeeeerrrrr......faaaaabriiiiiiic.....pweeeettttyyyyyyy.
Me - Stop it!
R - You do it to me all the time. I'm returning the favor.
Me - Well...it is soft....
R - Don't you like it?
Me - .........yes........
R - BUY IT.
Me - Um...
R - BUY IT.
Me - Well....
R - BUY IT.
Me - Okay.

I'm telling you, coercion is dangerous when in the hands of the person standing next to you.

The grown-up purse I bought and the one I almost bought. )
azriona: (Threads)
Well, here we are about a year after I began, and I've finished off the second page of Erised. Yay me! I am pleased to present to you....

Page Two of The Mirror of Erised, Complete! )

Overall, I'm awful pleased. Woo-hoo, me!
azriona: (Default)
I should get an icon for gratuitous picture posts. Anyway, since I had that whole spat of having things framed (GOD, I love living in the third-world sometimes), I thought I'd share a few - including the one that [livejournal.com profile] ani_bester did for me.

(I'm sort of sorry now - I left a lot of good family pictures in storage that weren't framed, and if I'd brought them, I'd be having them framed now for super cheap. Ah well.)

The first pic is what Ani did for me - the rest are all art pieces bought in China.

Six Pictures Under the Cut )
azriona: (Default)
Thought I'd share these with those interested. (Those who I'm actually going to see in the States: I'll be printing off copies of them for you to look at, so don't worry about peeking here.)

Pics of the Rug )
azriona: (Default)
R and I did some Christmas shopping today: we stopped off first at Asahi. Usually when in Asahi, I say hello to my favorite rug: silk on silk Iranian, 280 knots per inch (or some such ridiculously high number), gorgeous. I love this rug. I have always believed that I shall never own this rug.

But to my infinite shock and horror, my rug was no longer hanging in Asahi. I was rather sad, but I'd also heard through the embassy grapevine that a new person in town was also coveting my rug. I figured someone would get an excellent Christmas present, and after sighing at the inferior rugs left it its place, continued on my way.

In the meantime, I found an excellent present for Bill, and was so excited that when I got home, I asked him if he wanted to get it right away. (I was also concerned that he might see it and purchase it for himself.) It's a tee shirt that has printed on the back: "Revolution Tour: Tbilisi 2003, Kiev 2004, B 2005, Tashkent/Andijan Cancelled".

Anyway, he loved said tee-shirt, and after giggling like a mad-man, asked if I wanted my present early too.

"YES!" (For lo, I am greedy.)

Guess what he gave me??? )

I knew he'd gotten me something good, but there's a family with a pregnant cat, and I figured he was going to let me have one of the kittens.

Bill: Would you have rather I gotten you a kitten?

Me: No, this is better. Rugs are forever. Kittens are worth about fifteen years.

Seems the whole embassy was in on the plot - Bill says he had to apologize to most of the husbands already.

Yup. Best husband in the entire GALAXY.

Speaking of which, also got a bootleg copy of Hitchhiker's Guide to..., and expect to watch that tomorrow afternoon.

 

azriona: (cat in a box)
Every night before I go to bed, I check to make sure the kitties aren't in the bedroom hiding. Usually this is not difficult, as Abby can be found either in the extra bedroom or on one of the chairs in the kitchen. Lou has a tendancy to hide in the closet, though.

Last night, however, Lou wasn't anywhere to be found. Now, I knew she hadn't slipped outside, since I'd seen her after we'd locked up for the night, but I wasn't sure if she'd found a new hiding place or not. Finally, I was reduced to picking up jackets and blankets and pillows, wondering if she'd crawled beneath. (She does that, especially recently as I've been in bed sick, and it's nice and warm under the covers.)

Bill had thrown his pants on the chair in the entryway when he got home. I think this has something to do with the fact that for about three weeks during grad school he worked for a Kennedy, and the habit of going pantless rubbed off. On the off-chance that Lou had crawled under them, I tried to pick them up.

Note the use of the word "tried".

Apparently, Lou wants in my husband's pants (picture) )

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