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This and that
Dee with wine and suspicious look
brit_columbia
Hello people of Earth, and any off-world aliens or improbably sentient animals who may be reading this.

I apologize for being gone from LJ for so long. I don't know why, but December/January are always low-energy times of the year for me. All I want to do is hide and drink red wine and eat chocolate and avoid humanity. That last part, as you may imagine, is quite difficult to pull off. Or rather, it can be done, but then everyone is somehow left thinking that there's something wrong with me. It's a fine balance, I tell ya.

It's now January 06th here on Canada's West Coast, and I believe I have almost recovered from December and adjusted to the fact that I have to remember to write 2013 on everything that requires a date now. The way the years fly by is kind of scary. I feel more mortal than usual. My solution to feeling mortal is to seek out red wine and chocolate. Hmmm, I detect a pattern emerging here.

Anyway, here are some random things that are new with me:

1. I went clothes shopping yesterday and realized that all my December excesses have led to a weight gain. Why do all department store dressing rooms have to have such hideous lighting? Bought new clothes anyway. I found a lovely sophisticated and understated knee-length dark gray dress with a draped front and a black faux-leather waistband. I feel very elegant wearing it. I wore it today just to hang out at Starbucks, writing on my laptop. I plan to look elegant and classy as often as possible this year.

2.  My husband can't find various important papers of his, so he is employing his usual tactic of claiming that he gave them to me-- in the distant past, of course. As in, five or six years ago, so as to reduce any chance of my recalling any of the details. However, I know I would have refused to take charge of his documents. I learned early in our marriage never to take responsibility for his stuff. Single girls: take note! Make sure your future husbands look after their own important papers. Don't relent even once, or you will be in for a lifetime of blame and unjust accusations.

3.  Those of you who read this blog fairly regularly already know that I now have a Kindle and that I am willlingly handing over dollar after dollar of my hard-earned money to the huge corporation that is Amazon, and what's more, liking it. I have become disastrously addicted to clicking that fateful "Buy now with 1-click" button. As a result, I am doing a lot more reading than I used to. I have always been a person who will at least try to comment on videos and blog-posts that I read, but I haven't made a habit of writing serious or balanced reviews that span multiple paragraphs. I think it's because it reminds me of writing book reviews in school, and also because I often have a lot of trouble articulating exactly what I liked or didn't like about a book or a movie. I have no problem zeroing in on one or two points, but the ability to write something balanced and perhaps helpful to other consumers has long eluded me. Anyway I've decided I have to get over that, just like I once got over my rigidly held conviction that I had no sense of direction and that it was my fate to get lost all the time and arrive late for things. Since the early nineties I no longer get lost. Attaching a compass to my key ring helped enormously, but it was more of a mindset-thing. Now I'm belatedly deciding to get over my fear of writing reviews and sounding like an idiot. So look for more book reviews on this site starting soon. Like maybe even this week.

4. I have rediscovered what an excellent sleep-aid Nyquil is! I have to take half doses or it knocks me out for about 12 hours. Who's got time to sleep for 12 hours? If I didn't need to get up and go to work every day, it would probably be rather nice to get that much sleep.

5. A Japanese friend sent me a box of Rummy bars for Christmas. What is Rummy, you say? Why THIS is Rummy. http://napajapan.com/Product.asp?product=199  and it is only the greatest chocolate bar in the entire history of the universe. Except there is a new product, Melty Kiss Rum Raisin chocolate, which is taking on Rummy. http://www.amazon.com/Raisin-Chocolate-Alcohol-Japanese-HA-ICIC/dp/B005107296. She sent me mostly Rummy bars, but one Melty Kiss because it is a new product. Both kinds of bar are SO delicious! Well, maybe not so much if you don't like alcohol, because they're quite, well, 'rummy'. I'm still working my way through them. I have three chocolate bars left. No wonder I gained weight. But how enjoyable it was. *happy sigh* Someday soon I must swear off chocolate for a while and return to drinking black Americanos instead of mochas.

Let me know how you guys are doing. Are you making resolutions? Enjoying Christmas loot? Managing to avoid that nasty cold that's going around? I'm interested to know!

 
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Hey Brit! So nice to hear from you again! :)
Stupid me managed to catch a cold. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I wanted to start going to the gym on a regular basis this year, and now this! It's so unfair.

Oh yes, I enjoyed my presents very much, but now the joy is over - I read all the books and mangas, watched all the animes and ate all the candy, and now it's time for school again. I don't want to! But I have to because the final sprint of my time in school is starting and I'll have to learn very much for my graduation exams soon.

But apart from that, I'm doing fairly well. Although I need a bit money at the moment. I spent it all on books and christmas presents. Blame amazon (but I guess you're doing that enough already). I have not one cent left on my bank account! (okay, but I have a bit christmas money at home). I hope my parents will transfer my pocket money to my bank account soon because I just finished reading "Raised by Wolves - Matelots" and I want nothing more than to order the next book of the series! I'm officially addicted, and I blame you for it, because if I remember correctly, you once suggested this series in an LJ post. I love this series sooo much! *sighs happily*

By the way, that chocolate you talk about sounds very delicious. My father loves a chocolate that is very similar to the one you're describing (thanks to the many Swiss and Belgian chocolate brands, we have a quite huge variety of different chocolates here in Germany as well).

Aaaand I'm writing to much again! But I guess you don't mind. I hope. :D

Hey, yourself! So sorry to hear about your cold. My husband has had one too for the past week. Despite using the same kitchen hand towel, touching the same doorknobs and tap handles, and sleeping next to him every night, I have somehow, so far, touch wood, not caught it. I hope you start feeling better soon!

So, you're reading Raised By Wolves, huh? I got to the second book in the series, then there was a long wait, and then exactly the same thing happened to me that happened with the Harry Potter series. I never finished the series. But I often think of the Raised By Wolves Books. They have their flaws, but they are quite powerful and unique. I will finish someday, but because I know I have to re-read the first two books to recapture all the threads, it has turned into a big project.

That chocolate IS delicious! I even wrote a review for Melty Kiss on Amazon. And I just bet you have a multitude of wonderful chocolate choices in Germany.

Never worry about writing too much. I'm always thrilled to get comments of any length. There is no such thing as 'too much', although, being a wordy sort of commenter myself on occasion, I know that LJ has a limit to the number of words you're allowed to put in one comment.

I think my cold is nearly gone, but probably I shouldn't say that because then it will come right back...
Praise your immune system! Mine sucks big time every winter.

I had the same problem with Harry Potter. When the last books came out, I read it only out of principle and because one of my best friends was still very obsessed with it. Afterwards, I totally lost interest. If I hadn't been bored one winter and hadn't picked up Harry Potter 5 (the only book that I owned back then), I would probably never have watched all the films and forgotten completely about such an amazing series. This very thought makes me sad, so I'm glad I found back to my favourite wizard after all!

I feel the same about comments, but there are so many people who always apologize about writing too much that I got the impression that there have to be some people out there who don't like to read long comments. But I guess writers like us don't belong to these weird people.

I see what you're doing! I'm onto you, girl. You're leading me step by step back to the Harry Potter books. The first five are still in my bookcase....

Hehe. That's my intention.

I found a lovely sophisticated and understated knee-length dark gray dress with a draped front and a black faux-leather waistband. I feel very elegant wearing it.
Mmm, sounds elegant indeed! I love the feeling of going out and feeling classy as frak. :)

So look for more book reviews on this site starting soon. Like maybe even this week.
Yay! Can't wait to read them.

Sorry to hear about you general blah-ness. Believe me, I know the feeling of just wanting to hide, stuff my face, and read books/watch TV shows. XP Hope you get your energy back soon!

I didn't make any resolutions this year, since I don't really find them useful, but I'm enjoying the last couple of weeks before I go back to school, as well as enjoying the bag of raspberry-filled dark chocolate squares I got for Xmas. Howsabout you? Any resolutions of note?

There's a lot to be said for feeling classy and elegant! So far I have not yet been seriously rained on while riding my bike in my pretty clothes. I've been lucky this winter. But I absolutely knew you would home in on that part of my post, since you and I are both going through a re-girlification thing at the same time! I can't believe I used to skip make-up and wear wrinkly shirts to work.

...hide, stuff my face, and read books/watch TV shows pretty much sums up how I'm feeling nowadays. I wish there was some way I could get paid to that, because I;m darned good at it.

Resolutions? Hmm, that might be a whole 'nuther post. But I think it's safe to say that looking sophisticated and writing more reviews will be on it. Oh, and I'm also determined to finish writing an original book and submit it for publication this year! I'm at 27,136 words on my M/M Regency historical novel. I'll stat publishing excerpts when I get up to the 35 to 40K mark. The Roman one is on hold while I figure out how to shorten a gigantic sex scene where a gladiator deflowers the virginal son of a senator.

OMG, I didn't know you wrote Regency! Can't wait to read it; there's absolutely nothing in the phrase "M/M Regency historical novel" that I don't already love. ;D

The Roman one is on hold while I figure out how to shorten a gigantic sex scene where a gladiator deflowers the virginal son of a senator.
Y'know, I know of authors who take the bits that didn't make the final cut (especially the sexy bits) and post them on their LJs, either as sneak peaks or after the book proper has been published. Because, y'know, a good bit of porn is a terrible thing to waste, and I know I would sure want to read it!

How could a huge Georgette Heyer fan like moi resist writing a gay Regency? So far, we have posting inns, servants, racing curricles, and a Yellow Bounder, an overbearing seme of a Marquess, heirloom diamonds, and of course, jewel thieves!

You know, the sexy bits in the Roman story are so immensely long that they're crowding out the plot. I think your suggestion is an excellent one.

It's quite an enjoyable sex scene, if I do say so myself, and the thing that has been holding me back is that the two characters really get to know essential things about each other's characters during it. That's why every time I dive in, determined to shorten it dramatically, I falter to a stop because of how much it advances their relationship. But it won't do the way it is, so I have to do something.

I've blocked out an allotment of words for each of the key plot-advancing scenes, and it definitely does not leave enough room for a ten thousand word sex scene! (not kidding-- must control self better in future....)

*sneaks in*
*waves "Hooray for gigantic sex scenes!" flag*
*disappears again*

*helps prop up "Hooray for gigantic sex scenes!" flag*
*tacks up "Hooray for emotionally-resonant, character-developing sex scenes!" banner*
*flees*

Where did this gigantic flag and banner come from? What will the neighbors think? Those Jehovah's Witnesses that come to our house twice a week are going to be shocked.

I think I'd better dust off that sex scene and read it again. Someday it will be brought out into the light.

How could a huge Georgette Heyer fan like moi resist writing a gay Regency?
Ooh, have you ever seen the Hornblower movies? They're a series of either really long episodes or fairly short movies, and, OMG, it goes waaaaay beyond subtext and into actual text. Like, normally I feel like yelling "just shut up and kiss him, you fool!" at the screen, but this time, it was quite literally, "take your hands out of each other's clothing, people are watching!" And the main couple (sorry, really no other way to put it) is ADORABLE - it's all h/c and mutual ass-savings and, basically, more slashiness than you can shake a stick at.

the thing that has been holding me back is that the two characters really get to know essential things about each other's characters during it.
If I may say so this is precisely my favorite kind - I don't much care for the character-free kind where you can plug in pretty much any m/m pair and have it more or less make sense. So now I doubly can't wait to read it, because, yay, plot-relevant sexytimes!

No, I've never seen the Hornblower movies, but now you've got me really interested! Is it new? Is it a TV series? What is it and where can I find it?

I don't really care for sex scenes where the characters could be anyone. I like there to be an emotional connection.

It's definitely not new - it ran from 1998 to 2003, and I guess it's technically a miniseries, because each episode (there are 8 in total) is about an hour and a half long, but there are distinct seasons, story arcs that hang together decenetly, etc. As to where it can be found, lessee... Amazon has it, if they ship to Canada, but if they don't and/or you don't want to blow a not-inconsiderable amount of money on something you're not sure about, and depending on how you feel about downloading stuff, I can see about torrents. YouTube also seems to have it up, wonder of wonders (first part of the first episode is here), although, given how harsh YT has been on this kind of thing recently, no telling how long that'll last...

Here are the Wikipedia and TVTropes links, which should give you a little more info to go on, to see if it's something you want to spend your (extremely limited) time on. And don't worry, I won't be offended if you don't, you've got enough on your plate already! :)

I don't really care for sex scenes where the characters could be anyone. I like there to be an emotional connection.
Same. Always heartening to find this attitude in writers, as well as readers!

*friendly wave*

Red wine and chocolate and elegance FTW!

(In mega-introversion mode myself, so that's all I'll say for now.)

You know, this mega-introversion thing must be catching because lots of people I talk to have it. I've got groupons that are going to expire because I can't be bothered to call friends and go out. I just want to stay home day and night. Well, okay, not when my husband is interrupting me every few minutes to edify me with something he read on FB, but hey, that's what Starbucks is for.

Brit, don't mind enjoying chocolate and wine, it's epidemic! In my case though, I seem to favor quality beers at the time. And the best company for them is my boyfriend (I'd prefer to call him partner, as there is a common suchlike word in finnish, and it's got a bit different connotation from boyfriend, which is, at least in my mind, a bit high school, and married we are not - neither is even a member of church), and the second best is sausage, or chocolate for some dark and rich stout or schwarzbier. Who has energy for friends?

I seem to think of little else than eating. Even ultrasound findings of a kidney remind me of pastries.

Well, the uni lectures are coming to an end, and even at work I have a small pause at this point. Maybe after this reading ends we will have time to travel around a bit.

Nyquil seems to be a combination unlike those we have on the market. Dexthrometorphan we have as cough-supressors as well. But you have two sedating agents there - especially that sedating antihistamin would explain your (excess?) sleep.


I seem to think of little else than eating. Even ultrasound findings of a kidney remind me of pastries. LOL! My God, you're just like me. Not that I've ever seen an ultrasound finding of a kidney, but all kinds of random things make me think of food. From long years of experience, I know that this can be fixed by exercise-endorphins, but when it's cold and dark and rainy outside, it's hard to work up any enthusiasm for that. Of course I could go to the gym, but that's such a social experience that sometimes I don't feel up to all the smiling and small talk. So far this week I went to the gym for a half-hour workout on Sunday, skipped Monday because I was feeling cocoonish and anti-social and the red wine was calling, went on Tuesday and then skipped Wednesday due to having to work until nine pm. Tonight I must definitely go because I just ate half of a 97-gram Lindt chocolate bar with orange and pistachio pieces embedded in it.

I've got to be careful with Nyquil. It's really effective, and I sleep deeply and have interesting dreams, but it's very hard to wake up and be productive. I wish I could sleep like a normal person. Part of it is my body's extreme resistance to the absorption of magnesium, I think.

You know, I've been thinking of returning to beer because I like it less than red wine and it doesn't complement quite so many of my favorite foods, so I eat less if I'm drinking beer. But the problem with that is that beer needs to be cold and I want warming drinks nowadays! But now you've got me thinking about beer and sausage, mmmm!

I hope you and your partner get to travel a bit on your break. Are you thinking of traveling around Finland, or going elsewhere?

First of all: Sorry for being so slow. Today I had one of my exams, only one more to go. Now I think I can congratulate myself and at least spend this evening as I please :).

I actually think beer goes even better with any food that wine, because, for me, there's even more diversity in beers and every one of them tastes so good :). Some lighter ones are awesome with fish and some dark with chocolate and any with sausages and bread and and 8). Not that I've been drinking them at the moment.

I think we will just travel a bit around seeing relatives, he has to work and study, so we can't unfortunately really travel abroad or anything. I might even go to work on March so I don't bother his working at home. I'm also thinking of buying myself skis and learning to ski (earlier, I've been going once in a winter with skis at least 15 years old). Maybe just this and that, reading some books maybe.. (At the moment I am reading, not that I really progress there days, Wolf Hall, and before that The Marriage Plot - I always borrow my books from a friend, or actually, he even picks them up for me :))

Only one more exam to go-- whoo-hoo! I hope it's out of the way soon.

You're right about beer and chocolate. What a dangerous combination. I know that ever other red wine lover in the world seems to think that red wine and chocolate complement each other, but I just don't see it. Or taste it, rather, in this case. But beer and chocolate? They greet each other with open arms!

I really don't know enough about beer to know how to match them to foods. Perhaps a little research is in order! Something to look forward to.

Skiing sounds like a wonderful idea. I haven't been skiing for many years, although when I lived in Vancouver I went all the time because there were those three ski resorts on the North Shore, as well as Whistler/Blackcomb just an hour or so away. I never got the hang of cross-country skiing, though. I liked easy, downhill, trail-type slopes. My big fear was always that I would fail to pay attention to the signs and inadvertently find myself stuck on a black diamond slope, from which I would have to be very publicly rescued by the Ski Patrol guys. Hmm, that sounds like a plot for a short story, doesn't it?

Anyway, good luck with the last exam and then enjoy your time off! I'll let you know if I discover any awesome beer/food pairings.

Oh, Brit, one more shift to go and then, then, freedom! The exam is over! 8)

Yay for you! You're almost there. I'm excited for you!


Brit, glad to hear you're doing well.

My dear! So nice to hear from you! I hope you're doing well, too. I see you've still got a thing for the ruggedly handsome Callum Keith Rennie.

Hello! Just catching up (again, sorry!) and enjoyed reading your entry, particularly the bit of advice in regard to Important Documents. My Hubby does EXACTLY the same thing. :)

Oh no, does he? This is our punishment for being helpful and capable. I sometimes think my husband needs a full-time personal assistant/secretary. If I ever win the lottery, I will hire him one.

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