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I have just posted my final DS article, and my queue stands empty for the first time since I've started writing for them. I have the next ten days off! \0/

This semester being chaotic as it's been, I have slacked in my holiday duties this year. I didn't send out any cards, and I didn't even squeak out a drabble. I look forward to the day when I can devote time again to my art and to people I care about. In the meantime, though, I wanted to send holiday greetings to my online and fandom friends, who have so generously supported me and my work over the years. I appreciate it more than I can say and regret that offline obligations have kept me from properly reciprocating and expressing my appreciation as I like to do.

I wish each of you the best of holiday seasons. Thank you all for your friendship and support--both are such appreciated gifts throughout the year. Happy holidays!

Dawn
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(Okay, take two. Yesterday, Pengolodh Lord of Gondolin decided to throw a hissy fit and black out right as I was proofreading the final paragraph of this post. And LJ only saved half of the draft. GRAR! Guess that's what I get being a Feanorian sympathizer who calls regularly upon a lord of Gondolin to aid her heretic efforts ...)

Happy New Year, flist!

The Rest under the Cut for Being Potentially Dull, Boring, and Rambly )
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Tonight, Bobby and I had our traditional Christmas Eve supper of pizza and wine. Too much of both.

The dogs each got a taste of wine too and some new food called "Holiday Venison Stew."

Anyway, since Thursday, I've been sick with something like a flu. It certainly seems something more than a cold, though I haven't had the flu in so long that I wouldn't know it if I had it. But I've been miserable and sick and in pain for the past three days. Today, I finally started to get better ... a little.

I took off from work on Thursday to give myself time to heal, then felt good on Friday and felt good upon waking up on Saturday ... but then I went and worked a shift at the Aquarium without having eaten enough, and I think my immune system rebelled and told me to fuck off and let the flu viruses have their way with me. As my shift progressed, I felt worse and worse, with a sore throat and body aches, and by the time I got home, I was quite miserable.

Now Bobby and I had planned our annual trip to Hershey Park Candy Lane, and I was determined that I would not miss it, so I took a nap and some ibuprofen, and we made the hour-and-a-half drive north. I was good until we were standing in line for The Claw, and these kids in front of us were swinging on the railings, and I started to get really cold. The operator announced that they were having problems with the ride and would have to shut down for a while, and Bobby and I decided not to wait ... well, that was the beginning of the end for me.

Yesterday, I was so sick and hurt so badly that I spent too much of the day in bed.

But I'm feeling better today and managed to make my ice cream treats for tomorrow (after thoroughly disinfecting myself and every surface in the kitchen). The inlaws came over last night and brought me a food processor that they weren't using, knowing that I wanted one, so I had fun causing trouble with that today, mincing chocolate bars and graham crackers and ginger snap cookies (for pies, not just for the hell of it). They brought the Goldens their Christmas presents too: these rope toys covered in threads (hard to describe, especially while on the heels of a red-wine buzz), that the Goldens have really enjoyed. They fell asleep last night, each with his head on his new toy, just like two little kids. One of the toys is red and the other is green; the green one looks like a head of kale.

Unfortunately, the muses have had the flu too, and while I'd reserved this weekend for catching up on my gift stories, I have written exactly 541 words of new stuff, so I think it's 99% certain that I will not finish all of the stories before New Years, as I'd hoped. Alas, I am writing full stories (versus drabbles, which was my intention), so anyone who complains ... >:^( I'll finish by early January at the least.

Anyway, so that's been the culmination of the holiday: misery and flu, though I'm feeling pretty good right now, on account of healing and lots of local red wine. Also, Bobby has been a Grade-A sweetheart, taking care of his sick, miserable wife. I asked him to take the clothes out of the dryer for me last night, and I found them neatly folded this morning. Awwww ... I mean, I rarely even fold the clothes right away after taking them out of the dryer!

To those of you who celebrate Christmas, have a safe and merry holiday!
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If you heard something that sounded like a whoop of great glee, that was me finally finishing my holiday cards for this year. If you requested a card from me, then you should have it already or it should arrive shortly; I sent out the cards for online friends first, last week, since they were going all over the US and world and I wanted to give them plenty of time to arrive. I know that Maryland-to-Maryland cards, at this time of the year, generally only take two or three days, so yes, my family got pushed to the back of the line! :^P

I am home sick from work today, since I woke up at 4:30 with the start of a sore throat and a head that felt like it was filled with cement. Since there was absolutely nothing for me to do at work today--I would have spent the day finishing my cards and writing gift stories--then I did not see the point of going to work, prolonging my illness, and exposing all of my coworkers and the inmates to my illness, right before Christmas when people don't need to be miserable and sick and sneezing over their roast beasts. (*eeewwww*)

My illness is totally my fault. This year--as in pretty much every December since I officially arrived at Adulthood--I did too much in too short of time. Sharon and Kirsty are over for the holidays, and we all went to dinner last night, and after everyone left, I got into the shower and went to bed at 10 o'clock like a little old lady because I've been exhausted for weeks now. And I'm still annoyed that this year, for the first time in years, I never got to making candy. So those of you who usually get candy from me for Christmas: I am not snubbing anyone. I am snubbing everyone because I didn't make candy at all! I hope to make up for it with some most awesome ice cream pies.

But the good news is that I am feeling better as the day progresses. The day off has also served a nice secondary function in letting me get some things done that I've been neglecting. Like laundry. Yesterday, after spending the day constantly rearranging the waistband of my underwear because all I had left clean were too small and kept digging into my hips (tmi, I know), then I realized that, yes, I need to brave the freezing cold laundry room and do some washing. (Though my lovely husband bought me a small portable heater for the laundry room! Awwww ...)

Some Cornballish Rambling )
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I've been too busy to write in my LJ (horror!) but I do want to remember this holiday. I did lots of stuff...hence being too busy to write about it all in my LJ. I will now attempt to write a brief summary of each (no rambling, Dawn!) and post the appropriate pictures.

December in Pixels )
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Christmas was great. Bobby and I celebrated that night with a bottle of champagne and a pizza. We both got a little silly from the champagne and I discovered that blowing across the top of the bottle drives Alex a little nuts. It makes a deep, spooky sound, and Alex couldn't quite figure out what to think. This was hilarious to us, after drinking the whole bottle.

We watched The Polar Express but Round Two of drinking kicked in for me then, and I fell asleep before the end.

This was Alex's first Christmas so the gifts never actually made it under the tree, else he probably would have devoured them--or at least ripped up the paper. On Christmas morning, however, we decided that it wasn't worth it to try to keep the discarded paper from him, robbing him of his fun and ours--since being constantly vigilant and yelling at a three-month-old puppy is not all tinsel and joy. Since it only comes once a year, we let him rip the discarded wrapping paper to his little Golden heart's content.

Which resulted, of course, in the whole floor being covered in tiny bits by the end of the hour. Not fun to pick up but he had such a great time...and it tired him out for the rest of the day!

We took pictures, but most are on the SeaLife (!!!) so I will upload and post them later. I only have roughly two thousand pictures to post from the past month anyway.

The Surprising Booty )
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Well, the gifts are wrapped (with a little help from the muses) and so it's just a matter of enjoying the rest of the evening. I did get an early gift! Bobby came in this morning and said that he was giving me one of my gifts a day early. He said that when I saw it, it would make sense.

So, he went into his closet and brought out...a brand-spankin-new Steve McNair Ravens jersey! Just in time for me to wear it while we played the Steelers today.

I'd gotten my first and only Ravens jersey in 2001, the year that we went to the Super Bowl. It is so old and so well-loved that most of the printing has come off of it, so it is really just a tattered purple t-shirt with lots of tiny holes in it.

Cut to Avoid Perception of Malicious Gloating to Steelers Fans on Ye Flist and for Those Uninterested in Football )

Anyway, Bobby and I had proclaimed that this weekend was reserved for much eating and movie-watching. We went to see three movies over the course of twenty-four hours. On Friday night, we saw A Night at the Museum (fantastically funny and clever; do see it if you want a fun movie!). For Saturday matinee, we saw The Holiday, and last night, we saw Apocalyto for some lighthearted holiday cheer. I won't say how much we've eaten; just trust that it involves four different restaurants and truly disgusting quantities of food.

Christmas Eve is a special tradition for Bobby and me. We don't go anywhere or do anything (aside from going out to lunch for still more eating *wince*). We wrap our presents and lounge around. At night, Bobby makes meatzza for supper, which is a loaded vegetarian pizza. This year's meatzza will include vegetarian pepperoni and sausage, red peppers, green peppers, banana peppers, onions, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, and unnamed seasonings.

The meatzza comes because my dad always made pizza on Christmas Eve, and this was one of the things I thought I'd miss the most when Bobby and I moved out on our own. Silly, huh? But it's sometimes the smallest things. So Bobby made me pizza for supper that year, and it has gradually evolved from a frozen pie and a cup of soda to a meatzza with Italian salad and champagne. Yummmm....

Before we have the champagne, we'll drive down to the historic district to take Alex for a walk and take some pictures of our hometown at Christmas, then drive to look at some Christmas lights. After the champagne, we'll have eggnog with Puerto Rican Ron del Barrilito (that's a kind of rum) and watch The Polar Express.

Meanwhile, Bobby has also given himself an early Christmas present. He made the very reasonable argument that it would be a shame to get the SeaLife camera on Christmas and not know how to use it. So I let him get it out to read the owner's manual and learn how to use it. So far, he's used it to take some pictures of Alex.

Alex hasn't gotten any Christmas presents yet, but his stocking is filled and overflowing on top of the bookshelf, and every now and then, he glances up at it with wide, hopeful eyes. Just like a little kid at Christmas.
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I don't really know what I'll be doing--or not doing--in the days to come, so while Bobby is playing EA football on his 360 and I have a minute, I will say...

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

I know, that is a very original message. In fact, the HTML code is longer than the actual message!

I am so thankful for all of you flisters. (And those of you without LJ accounts who hang around on occasion as well!) Your wisdom, support, and good humor when I need it the most really does keep me going on some days. Thank you!

I hope that everyone gets their wildest wishes on this holiday season. (Why do I have visions of scores of scantily clad Elves leaping from cakes?) Have a safe and happy holiday!

Yay!

Dec. 19th, 2006 10:28 pm
dawn_felagund: (Default)
First order of business:

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] nienna_weeper!

What a truly special Christmas card! We have it hanging on our refrigerator (in the words of Bobby, "out of reach of all carpet alligators") and adore it! Thank you! *hugs*

Second order of business:

Cards and stuff have been sent, so if you requested one, you should get it in the next couple of days, USPS willing. It's all in their (capable?) hands now, so I hope that all arrives as it should!

Third order of business:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting   Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting   Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting   Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My Ravens are not only in the playoffs but won the division! Woo! This is only the second time in our ten-year history that we have won our division. The other time was not the year that we won the Super Bowl, oddly enough. So now we're aiming for a Week One bye, which means that we have to win both of our upcoming games (Steelers and Bills) and the Colts and the Chargers have to lose at least one of theirs. Not likely but *crosses fingers*.

More Orders of Business )
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Well, the holiday season is upon us again, which feels a bit odd since my mind is still stuck back in September and the weather in Maryland has been in the '70s so perhaps more fitting to September! Alas, the official holiday season is less than a week from beginning, so I must get in my holiday post before it is too late.

Last year, an ambitious Dawn Felagund wrote stories and sent candy to people on her flist. I am afraid that I will not be able to be so ambitious this year. I don't know if I'm going to be able to make much candy (those of you whom I have promised candy will get some eventually, though it may arrive at a completely random time. Happy Arbor Day! Have some candy! I am teaching candymaking to my friend Tammy at some point, so whatever I make in the way of examples will probably be shipped out to friends since the best way to kick a candy habit, I've learned, is to take up making confections oneself! Which is good for my friends and assures that my butt will continue to fit in my new trousers.)

But, I would like to do something for my friends this holiday season. For one, if you would like a card, leave me your address, and I will send one your way. (If I have your updated address already, you'll be getting a card, so no need to ask. If you've moved since last Christmas, please leave me an update?) Comments are screened, and I will not un-screen any comments that have personal information in them. You may also email me at DawnFelagund@comcast.net.

Secondly, I would like to offer writing. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to manage full-length stories this year. I had twenty requests last year and barely made it--though it was a fun challenge and has made my portfolio quite fat. However, I would like to write drabble series for my friends. Many of you will be getting a drabble series, like it or not. ;) However, I am open to suggestions and requests of any nature (and even those of you who are new or quiet or don't have LJ accounts--please feel free to speak up and ask for something! Most of my favorite stories started as requests from friends and flisters.)

My hope is to post a drabble series each day through the month of December (with modifications to account for my holiday travel schedule). I'm open to nearly anything; however, I ask that requests be for either original writing or Silmarillion/Elf-based fanfic. Sorry, I don't do Star Trek or Harry Potter or Wheel of Fortune fanfic. Requests can be as broad or specific as you'd like; I do all ratings, both het and slash, so requests for pr0n are always honored here. ;)

So, in short: If you want a card, leave your address. If you want a drabble series, leave your request. Simple enough.

And I will eventually get to answering my comments, some of which are two weeks old. I had intentions of doing so tonight, but here it is after midnight, and Alex has a veterinary appointment tomorrow morning, so I'd best be getting my booty to bed.
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Yes, you read that correctly. Last night, Bobby and I officially began--and finished--half of our Christmas shopping.

Picture it: Dawn sitting at the desk, painting Meryth's cloak in a color called Goblin Green; Bobby sitting on the couch with his laptop surfing SCUBA sites. Now Bobby and I had made an agreement that Christmas this year is not going to be the exorbitant affair of years past. It has always been my philosophy that holiday monies are best spent doing things that will be memorable in years to come rather than buying junk that will be under the bed and forgotten by the New Year. Anyway, at last, I got Bobby to agree. Since we decided to pursue this whole underwater-as-a-hobby-and-career thing, we have been eyeing up a camera called the SeaLife camera, which is a top-of-the-line digital camera that functions both above- and underwater. We decided that rather than driving ourselves--and each other--nuts with piles of unneeded gifts this year, we would split the cost of the SeaLife camera, which we will both use and enjoy.

The SeaLife camera with all things included--including the strobe--costs (hold on to your seats, misers) $999. Yes, one of those "if I end it with a nine then no one will notice how dear it is." Harumph. You can buy the camera by itself for just over $500.

Returning to our happy picture of Dawn with green-painted lips (from licking my brushes all of the time; that detail in AMC does not come from nowhere) and Bobby surfing using the latest in Internet technology, Bobby suddenly blurts out, "Oh my god, I just found our SeaLife on sale on scuba.com--the whole package, strobe and all--for $500."

Silence falls.

"That's pretty cool," Dawn says, after verifying that the usual price is in fact about a grand, and goes back to painting Meryth's cloak--and her lips--a nice even Goblin Green.

More silence but one with a vivid imagination can hear the wheels turning in the House of Felagund.

"Soooo..." says Dawn.

(Now, just as background, Dawn is the Official Skinflint, Cheapo, Miser, and Tightwad of the House of Felagund. Bobby has to put her back in line all the time. Just the other night, at the movies, Dawn wanted a soda and realized that she had forgotten her coupon for a free one. "Oh, well," she said. "There's always next time." "Dawn!" Bobby shouted. "You can still get a soda!" "But it's four dollars for a medium....")

"Soooo..." says Dawn the Penurious again. Bobby gives her a careful look. "Are you going to get it?"

"I don't know," says Bobby, who has had enough ill-fated run-ins with his miserly wife to have learned to ask, "What do you think?"

"Well," says Dawn, "if we think of it logically, it seems foolish to wait three months and pay $400 more for something that we want to get anyway."

"True," Bobby agrees.

"We can put it on the credit card and pay it off when we set aside money for Christmas. And we can even keep it at one of the parents' houses so that we're not tempted to use it until Christmas. Then it will feel like we got it then anyway."

"True," Bobby agrees, and silence falls again. A few minutes later: "Soooo...should I order it?"

Now what do you think the outcome was?

(Though perhaps in honor of her penny-pinching forefathers, Dawn did advice to wait to add the $60 wide-angle lens until a later time.)
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Happy 2006, everyone! As Bobby so kindly pointed out, we are now halfway through the first decade of the new millenium. Since I'm old enough that graduation (1999) and Y2K feels like just yesterday, I find myself a bit stunned by this. Where does time go??

(Somewhere, Bobby is muttering about Elves and fan fiction and noveling projects....)

How I Spent My New Year, in Hopefully Few Words )

I do have one favor to ask of everyone: If you requested a holiday story and have not let me know through a comment or another channel that you have received it, would you please do so? I have several stories still "unclaimed," and while I realize that a lot of people have been away for the holidays, I need to know who I need to begin pestering personally. (And pestering I will do...I didn't spend hours on those things to have them wither away, unread, because people missed my first post. Nor do I want people to miss their stories simply because they were offline for the holidays.) So if you could just let me know through comment or email that you have your story; I don't need to know if you've read it or liked it--this is not a ploy for concrit or comments--I would appreciate that. (If you've already left me a comment or email to this effect, of course, ignore this.)

To those who missed my first post, the holiday gift stories are tagged here, with the first post giving a summary of each, as well as labeling to whom each belongs. Thanks to all and Happy New Year! :)
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To everyone: I hope you had a wonderful Christmas or are having a wonderful Hanukhah or simply enjoying your holiday season, however you choose to celebrate it. This has been a wonderful Christmas holiday this year for me, with the chance to share much with friends and family and the feeling of being appreciated and accepted in turn. I didn't always have this, so it's been wonderful to share the holiday with all of you this year.

Holiday Rambling under the Cut.... )

Friday night was the Capitals/Canadiens hockey game. Some of you might remember mention of a bet made some time ago...the Caps are my favorite team and the Canadiens are Bobby's, so for the first time ever, we went to a sporting event rooting for different teams, in our different jerseys. We had a bet that--if the Caps won--he would have to read one of my fanfics, of my choice. If the Canadiens won, I'd have to watch the hockey game of his choice on TV.

Well, my Caps came through for me, with a 4-2 victory.

What this means is that I have to choose a story for Bobby to read. And I would like to ask my readers and friends for help with this. So I'm happy to hear your nominations, and I will post a poll later in the week. Now there are a few stipulations:

1) I'm not going to make him read all of AMC. However, I know people will want to nominate it. So if you feel an itching to force my hubby to read AMC, please specify a chapter or a PoV section. Preferably, though, it should be a chapter that can stand on its own, without a lot of knowledge of AMC backstory...what little bit of it there is.

2) Bobby is a big boy and can handle sex, but I'd rather not choose a story written solely for sex since he can get the real thing and I don't know how squicked he'd be reading his wife's story about Elves gettin' it on. (Bobby, you can chime in and ask for pr0n, if you'd like! :^P)

3) He's already read the Stupid Sil Play and he's also read "The Election Farce of Nargothrond."

4) Living with me, he has a remarkable grasp of canon and characters, so don't be put off by issues of canon. He can name all of the sons of Feanor, for example (although he forgot poor Curufin last time I asked....)

All of my short stories are archived in my LJ here and all of the AMC chapters are archived here. (Incidentally, I just realized that the first short story listed was written for Bobby...weird....)

Back under the Cut, Fell Beast! )

For those of you who didn't see the post, the holiday gifts are all finished and are posted here. And a big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] arandil13 for the card, [livejournal.com profile] juno_magic for the charming e-card, and [livejournal.com profile] ford_of_bruinen for the wonderful ficlet! Belated thanks also to [livejournal.com profile] rhapsody11 and [livejournal.com profile] alassante for their thoughtful holiday emails. I'm still working my way through my flist, so if you posted something for me to read and I have not yet, then I will. Soon! Promise. :)
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After a day of crazy posting, at last, the holiday gift stories are unlocked.

First of all, I must give sincerest thanks to [livejournal.com profile] juno_magic, who clued me in to Deepest Sender for LiveJournal, saving me hours of inserting HTML tags as I usually do. It was much easier to cut and paste and tinker with the source rather than my usual habit of scanning the story for italics, centering, or special text and adding the tags by hand, which is fine when posting a single chapter or story, but gets a bit hairy when you have twenty stories to post.

But enough of geek stuff! It's the holidays!

I must say that I really enjoyed working on these stories this year. I've acquired a lot of new bunnies as a result and thank you all for giving me such a creative variety of challenges to keep me occupied. (I'm not sure that Bobby will agree with this...he'll probably be glad to ask, "What are you doing tonight?" and getting an answer other than "Writing holiday gifts." :^P But I didn't hear him complain when I gave him his story.)

All of the holiday stories are tagged here, if you want to see them all in one place. In addition, below the cut, is a list of them with summaries and ratings and other things that people generally like to know. Two of the stories are original fiction, and they are friend-locked for their protection, as they are part of the legends that make up the world I write about in my original fantasy stories. So if you've been reading along with my stories and haven't yet friended me but want a look at these, simply leave me a comment and I'll add you to the flist.

Of course, as I wrote twenty stories in about a month, they are rough and many need a lot of revision before I'll consider showing them outside of my LJ. Per usual, I appreciate people's thoughts on stuff--both good and bad--if you feel inspired to leave me a comment. Also, three of these stories will be part of longer works, although I've done my best to include sections that can stand on their own somewhat.

I should mention also that they are posted in no particular order, certainly not in the order they were written. More like the order in which I grabbed them at random from my Data Deposit Box! So the placement of your story is no indication of how interesting I thought your idea was (I liked them all, to tell the truth) or how long I spent on it. A lot of the posts are also backdated to keep my flist from being spammed with a half-dozen postings today.

Sincerest thanks, as always, to my readers and wishing all the happiest of holiday seasons!

Story Summary List )

Happy Holidays!
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Yesterday, when I came home from work, I noticed something was wrong as soon as opening the apartment door: the vacuum cleaner was out.

I didn't get it out, and no one in this household vacuums except me, if they can help it.

The Great Christmas Tree Disaster )

Why I Love Being a State Employee )

Edit: The day of this post, of course, Bobby had to prove me wrong. By vacuuming. Gah.
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Friday was The Doomed Holiday Concert at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. I call it "doomed" because, of course, it was tainted from the get-go by that snafu earlier in the week, which has yet to be resolved by the way, although the 'gund (my evil half) is going to poke the sleeping monster later today.

Fundies in Their Undies )

Oh, and I'm taking orders for the "Fundies in Their Undies" calendar. Just let me know. ;^)
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Bobby and I have an annual tradition of visiting Hershey Park for the holidays. It started nine years ago, during the first Christmas that we spent together, when we went with his family. We were sporadic in visiting after, but now that we have jobs where we can take time off and receive a semblance of income, we make it a point to go every year.

This Weekend )

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