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A Girl Called Harmony. [entries|friends|calendar]
alias Natalia

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[22 Jan 2009|05:13pm]
God bless you, USA Network. There's an awesome Psych/Miami Vice one, too, which is priceless as we've been using our Christmas gift of Netflix subscription to watch endless episodes of Miami Vice, Rockford Files, Cagney & Lacey, and Magnum P.I. on instant queue. And new Burn Notice tonight!!!

Not even Month 3 of the 6 to 9 that I have to wait out and I'm already going stir crazy. I have my requisite hour set aside to drool over townhouse rentals on Craigslist daily but a girl can't subsist on hardwood floors and refinished cabinetry alone! I'm entering the HGTV Dream Home sweepstakes every day and driving Jason crazy yelling at the realtors on House Hunters, whom he claims are as bad as reality show contestants. I'm in the process of clearing out and curating purging</srikeout> scorched-earthing the vast majority of my earthly possessions right now, so hopefully whatever size and shape of space we end up with, we can make it work.

For as beautiful and detailed the zones are, and as unique and innovative the quests are, and as original and fun the new content is, Wrath is proving to be boring as shit so we really don't play beyond the 4 hours a week it takes to clear all existing raid content. I think I'd like to play a city-building game, but not SimCity. Maybe a city-exploring game? Does such a thing exist?

I have 3 to 6 more months to keep chasing dreams, pretending I belong to an accomplished class that I do not. I make myself write and draw every day. I have plenty of story ideas, but the older I get the more ridiculous it always seems. What am I writing for? But then when I'm not doing it, I feel even sillier.
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[12 Nov 2008|10:27pm]
I fucking hate Katy Perry and yet I can't stop listening to her (at least, a few of her songs). The only possible reason can be brainwashing.

It's only fair; in other segments of life I feel like the world around me is in some medicated state of rapture and I somehow ended up in the control group.

Project: Russkii Refluency is proceeding apace. I abnegated NaNo this year to concentrate on it.

Well, P:RR and Wrath, of course, which we are going to now head to GameStop to pick up. I'm Tom Kruse and I invented the HoveRound, and I know it'll take you wherever you want to go. Including Northrend, bitches. Fat Arthas all motoring up the slope to Icecrown and slipping back a bit coz he can't get traction. It's on now!!!
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waaagh, tuppence a bag, lame dance party, blizzcon, etc [07 Oct 2008|02:56pm]
WAR stuff, incl crazy bird lady Mary Poppins referencesCollapse )

WoW stuff, also incl crazy bird lady Mary Poppins referencesCollapse )

migraine stuff, incl Wesley Willis techno rave referencesCollapse )

real life stuff, incl BlizzCon and the Strike Team approach to shoppingCollapse )
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on the past month's activities [20 Aug 2008|10:43pm]
-GenCon was incredibly geeky and incredibly awesome... as are the best things in life, I suppose.

-I passed the Foreign Service Test!!!! but must wait until December to find out if I passed it enough (?)

-Emboldened by the fact that I was in the lowest 5%, BMI-wise, of GenCon attendees, I pigged out at Fogo de Chao and am even to this very day meat-drunk and empathetic with sausage casings

-With everyone's back to school posts, especially daskrehbiel's and smokingguncafe's adventures in John Grisham novels, I am rethinking my grad school plans for fall '09 and cherishing my stress-free, study-free, (nearly) work-free life. Then I look at my bank account and cry.

-...But I spent $300 on jewelry alone at GenCon anyway.

-...and will probably spend another hundred bucks at the scrapbooking fair this weekend.

-My brainwashing as a Mac user is complete, as I got all huffy at the Dragon Age demo when they said they didn't have any plans to release a Mac version of the game. (towards the end of that video you can hear my horrible witch cackle)

-Alex ran us through the first few encounters of 4th ed. with centurion73, Greg, and the most awesome random guy we found who ended up setting on fire the old mentor we were desperately seeking and then tried to cover up the murder. "Kobolds must've got 'im." He took the terrible secret to the grave, as we were in fact killed by kobolds the very next day.

-I'm creating an awesome new techno genre in Garage Band incorporating the finest lines of Bollywood movies. MIND IT

-Reverse hyperextensions can bite me.

-We got BlizzCon tickets. Super excited, but I don't know if we'll be flying there from Tulsa or DC still. aaagghhh Will the peoplewatching be even better than GenCon? Smaller attendance, but probably higher percentage of fat cosplayers.

-Last Night on Earth, Godlike, and Call of Cthulhu were also played at GenCon. I approve of all.

-Downtown Indianapolis is amazingly cool and I wouldn't mind living there, honestly. You can walk EVERYwhere you need and it doesn't become a ghost town/warzone after 5pm. Only two things I couldn't find that I needed desperately were decent coffee and new issues of the Economist to satisfy my Georgian nonsense craving. (And not that I equate Starbucks with decency, but seriously, who's ever heard of a thriving urban setting that didn't have 3 Starbuckses per square mile? It was ridiculous!)

-Blood Elves in Naxx gear are so hot.

-William Gibson's Spook Country is a huge disappointment.

-Portishead's ten-year-gestation album 3 is not.

-As fun as it is lifting weights in my living room every morning before doing work, I can't wait to live in an urban area again where I can walk 5 miles a day without even thinking about it. At least we're having a freakishly (but beautifully) cool summer. Back to bike riding!
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[11 Aug 2008|06:36pm]
Thank God that Solzhenitsyn did not live a few more days, so he did not have to see that his country has learned nothing.

[16 Jul 2008|01:07pm]
We have devised a precarious contraption involving super glue, a Manhasset music stand, a portable DVD player with external speakers, the treadmill, and Jeffrey Donovan. We can now watch Season 1 of Burn Notice while exercising, but one exuberant sprint (or one enraged 110-pound collie) may send the whole thing tumbling down.
Big Scary Certification Test Saturday. Eep!
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Ashamedly Switched [10 Jul 2008|09:45pm]
You know how some people call bulk warehouses (like Sam's or Costco) $100 Stores, because it's impossible to leave them without having purchased at least $100 worth of merchandise? Well, on Monday I learned that the Apple Store, which I have long feared even setting foot in because of the unnerving, glowing, cultish aura around it, is my $3000 Store.

I know. I know. She who has long derided the entire Mac mentality is now the proud owner of a 3.06GHz, 4GB of RAM, 24" display iMac. And loving every pixel of it.

But I've used iPods without issue in the past, and I've been thoroughly pleased with my iPhone this year as well. In fact, that's what brought us into the intimidating Apple Store in the first place--centurion73's iPhone was acting up. We walked into the store, made an appointment to speak with a tech an hour later, took care of some shopping around the mall, and went back for the appointment. They poked and prodded it for a few minutes, and handed him a brand-new phone with all his data copied over, at no charge, no questions asked.

In the few minutes it took for that transaction, I checked out the specs on the iMacs. My Sony Vaio, which has already caused me no shortage of headaches in just the year I'd had it, was hobbling along now with corroded innards courtesy an unpleasant exchange between it, our dog's tail, and a full glass of water. This after having to replace the hard drive on it twice already because something was screwy with its RAID0 config.

I've been using laptops as desktop replacements for as long as I've had my own computer, and frankly I'm getting sick of them. In order to house all the power I need to get by with just a laptop that can handle the various resource-intensive programs I need (Photoshop, WoW with 8 billion add-ons, and my own horribly bloated, inefficient coding projects) then every laptop I've owned has been as close to unportable as a portable machine can be. Throw on the snakebed of wires needed for mice and other peripherals as well as battery packs to sustain the beasts and I resemble Houdini performing an escape from padlocked chains--a contortionist act that invariably results in spilled water (the Vaio), white wine (the latest Dell, mid-first Nefarian kill), and Red Bull (the preceding Dell, mid-Compilers project completion).

Jason bought me an assortment of sippycups this week to aid with the liquidity issues, but seeing as how any time I go coffee-shopping or traveling I prefer to work old-school, relying only on notebooks and iPhones anyway, I was looking for an actual desktop machine. No more scorching hot processors leaving permanent burn marks on my thighs (yes, I really have this). No more hunching over screens to throw out my back. And for god's sake, it'd be nice to have an actual number pad just for once that doesn't require yet another cord to trip me.

So I started pricing desktops, especially all-in-ones, but lord, they were a lot of clams for not a lot of processing power. I looked at towers but the best I could come up with was an HP with 2.8GHz and 4GB on Vista for--shudder--$3200. I hated Vista on the Vaio because I had to strip away all of its redeeming features just to be able to run the damn thing without stuttering.

But the specs I saw on the top-of-the-line iMac were... surprising, to say the least, especially relative to the price tag. I never expected Macs to be comparable in price to PCs but there it was. And knowing that for the same RAM requirements I'd be running an OS that required far less processing power, freeing up a lot more space for my apps, was very tempting. But then there was that whole "using a Mac" business to get past.

We hunted down the least... well... Mac-looking clerk in the store and started grilling him. Can I still do this, use this? Yes, and you can do it this way and that. I hate giving up autonomy for the way my files are stored, and it seems like Macs take control for you. Well, you can change these settings and still have the control you want. What about these programs I love, this functionality? All was revealed. Our clerk admitted that he understood exactly what stigma we had against Macs and Mac users, and that it was his goal for us to leave the store with our minds changed. And two and a half hours later we left the store completely changed in our opinions. We came back two hours later and bought my iMac and accompanying software, peripherals, and service plans.

And now Dad has bought an iMac AND Air of his own after seeing mine in action.

It's taken a bit of adjustment, but the flexibility and functionality I have now is amazing. I never, ever thought I'd be using a Mac, and I don't think I'd be nearly as happy with one prior to now, but the current state of Macs and the integration of every single product and item they make really makes it ideal for me. I love that I can sync up my data across the board for any program I use, for both my desktop and my phone and perhaps one day a tiny laptop as well. My programs just sing on the thing. Jason just sits and drools at my screen and says that he wants one, too.

But don't worry--I've thrown away every apple sticker they've given me (I think like 6 at this point). I'm not going to be lusting after Steve Jobs anytime soon. I'm just happy to finally have the computing experience I've always wanted; I just never imagined it would come from a Mac.
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Tell ya where the light is [14 May 2008|08:14am]
Wandering around Connecticut Ave singing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, revelling in the staid rowhouses, spotting the world's saddest excuse for a drag queen (shaved legs but not nascent neckbeard?!?), prepping for interviews, counting the hours till my honey arrives. Feels so good to be "home"--hopefully the last time we'll ever have to book a hotel in DC.
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what keeps you up keeps me up [30 Apr 2008|01:39am]
I can't compare to a dream whose shit you've yet to smell.

[02 Apr 2008|03:04pm]
New job*, new glasses**, new treadmill, new thousand-page book to lug around. It's been a good week.

* short-term, part-time thing while I wait on exam results.
** contact lenses and allergy season mix like martinis and prozac.
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[16 Jan 2008|04:48pm]
One month's distance from a writing project = the difference between "Wow, with just a little tweaking, I think I could really get this published!" and "Oh dear god burn it now stupid plot stupid writing stupid opening throw it away and write something as completely removed from this as I possibly can."

I'll wait another week and try the whole objective editing shtick again.
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[09 Jan 2008|12:00pm]
This will be the year without fear, the year of finishing what I've begun.

I've always felt ill-prepared in everything I've done: friendships, school, jobs, relationships, projects, self-improvement, understanding the world around me. As a girl I made the unfortunate mistake of believing adults when they told me I was smart, and I glided by on that momentum for far too long, bewildered when it somehow failed me. I've ran from challenges that frightened me. I've weaseled my way out of obstacles I should have met head-on. I've deluded myself into believing what was convenient. I've been speechless around people I should have listened to. I've gotten lost in the moment, only to somehow believe that it was the bigger picture.

I'm sorry. That doesn't even begin to make it right. But I'm sorry.

I started last year, but this year it's official. After months of searching I've located my spine, and my clear vision of what I want, who I want to be, and how to get there. I realize so many past misdeeds are a cause long lost and I can't even try to atone for them, so I will leave them where they are, but I won't let them happen again either.

I've deleted all my old entries. This journal is going to be used primarily as my personal progress tracker. If that bores you, I understand, I won't be offended if you go. If you feel like sticking around, I welcome the support (or criticism).

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

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