monanotlisa: claire temple profile, her looking down, milky-white light on the left (claire temple - daredevil)
I used to consider just put the following into my blog bio: "If it's on Stuff White People Like, I (i) have either done it, (ii) want to do it, or (iii) am currently in the process of doing it."

Of course, now that's outdated. STILL TRUE, THOUGH. As I realized today in the neighborhood cycle store, talking about strapping a bike to the back of my Prius, my trips to wine country, and idly wondering about where to source my next fix of organic goat cheese.

This is brought to you by the last week's events, namely Sandra Bland's death in police custody. My idle musings on a random morning are probably not the musings of the Black men and now women around me; I spent the last two days just listening to my friend H., who was shaken...not in a sudden realization that could have been her (it could) but in a straw-that-broke-the-camel's back way. She said that she forces herself to believe we are just seeing the brutality that has always been there in the United States; that it is not more: just more visible.

::

Now I'm waiting for a new friend that I met while hiking in Castle Rock Park in the Santa Cruz mountains over Fourth of July weekend.

Hiking in Castle Rock -- aptly named! )

I don't know if I mentioned it here, but her sister just stared at me, at her, our rapid-fire conversation tossing around topics, and said, "Oh my God, it's like you are the same person!"

(She's running a little late due to traffic. Saturdays from San Jose to Oakland are rough.)

::

Tonight, I'm doing the bucket-list thing of speed-dating: My work wife hounded Groupon-like sites for a while, and eventually found us a deal. We'll be meeting in San Francisco in the evening, do that thing, and eat at a Senegalese place in the Mission that comes recommended.

Tell Me Now

Jul. 5th, 2015 09:39 pm
monanotlisa: (chibi johnrodney - sga)
Congratulations to the United States Women's National Team! The USWNT have grown even more as a team, since 2011 and throughout the tournament, into worthy champions. Football musings )

::

Life at work has been...interesting. My work wife and I finally acquired a new boss and more; we then saw our colleague, who felt he could finally take his hat, bid us all adieu. You win some, you lose some? Not just a metaphor! The only constant thing is change, y'all.

Inspired by the recent spikes of interestingness, I decided to take my first day off in 6 months and do the long weekend so common in the USA: Together with d.irge* and her quasi-niece, we went for a 31-mile bicycle ride through Sonoma with wine-tasting and picnic thereafter -- just the three of us with our young grad-student tour guide riding our bikes from Downtown Healdsburg to the Sonoma Overlook. The next morning, I enjoyed a balloon ride over Napa Valley that I recommend to absolutely everybody. Finally I made my way down the Bay to spend the rest of this Fourth of July weekend with [personal profile] ascian, husband, and Li'l D, which included doing a Silicon Valley get-together to watch the football finale. <3 I think the only low point, literally, was Li'l D (featured prominently in my Instagram account) taking a tumble down the front door steps earlier today; thankfully he seemed still scraped up but in good spirits by nighttime.

* Whom I met in BtVS fandom but have known for long years now, and who has in fact met my parents and stayed at our house.

::

I don't want to talk about Greece. In fact I think I can't.
monanotlisa: (vm - duh)
Since some of you read this for real life:

No worries; I've also been feeling more chipper lately, what with key changes at work, and some cheerful happenings in real life --

as always, my last five Instagram posts tell you something about my latest activities in San Francisco. :)
monanotlisa: claire temple profile, her looking down, milky-white light on the left (claire temple - daredevil)
In case you thought the self-indulgence was over:

Than Our Gentle Sin (3528 words) by monanotlisa
Fandom: Daredevil (TV), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Matt Murdock/Claire Temple
Summary: Claire thought she could walk away from --

well, from most of it.

As always, R&R...no, wait Forget the review; just write me some Claire/Matt. The pairing's way too obscure for a big-time hit Netflix show, which is startling given how scorching hot Rosario Dawson and Charlie Cox are together on screen.

There's actually a new Claire/Matt vid, if you want a preview? Because it's not a pairing if fandom hasn't vidded it to Snow Patrol. IT IS KNOWN.

(If you think to yourself, Wow, that's a ton of fic from someone who couldn't be bothered to pen even some responses to, like, the Holiday 2014 Meme. And you're right, and it's only the usual external framework that made me do it: Remix Redux 15: The Dirty Dozen closed its sign-ups *checks clock* exactly 32 minutes ago, and I wanted to qualify in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I guess that means I'm an MCU fan now?)

monanotlisa: Clarke and Lexa just after their kiss, closeup, in front of a yellow background -- eyes closed, tender (clexa - the 100)
Yesterday, I was driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, toward Marin County to the north of the Bay in the last light of dusk, and it struck me that I've come so far: sitting in my own beloved hybrid car, going from a mid-day barbecue with school friends in the Mission District of San Francisco to an evening house boat birthday of a professional pal in Sausalito before driving home to the beautiful home where I live in the East Bay. The sun is shining, as it's wont to be out here in the East Bay, and illuminating this sweet, quiet dining room.

This is not to say life is perfect. I still struggle with large-scale developments at my workplace that are not about me but affect me directly...up to and including my ability to stay in the United States. I still wish -- rather desperately too -- for more time with my closest friends, my sister. I still wish I were completely healthy; it's a constant bummer to structure every decision around my physical and mental limitations.

I also struggle with all the Facebook posts portraying others' lives as so much more beautiful and happy, but dude, don't we all. I'm totally part of the problem, not the solution on The Social Network, but I've vowed to post more here, where posts are a lot more honest, multi-faceted, and real -- real as in "meaningful," not necessarily as in "meatspace."

(Bonus Clarke/Lexa icon, because I tried to get one of my more more media-oriented queer Berkeley girls to watch The 100. Think I'll pitch the show to her again tonight; IT IS AFTER ALL ON TEH NETFLIX.)
monanotlisa: Chime giving Moon the side-eye for breaking protocol again. (chime & moon - raksura)
So. Let's find out how it is to run a 5k on opioids!

My female reproductive system is a dick, so to speak )

UPDATE -- run was great! :) No problem at all; could've kept going for another 5k. Running talk )

Have a panorama shot from Thursday's training run, though (click for full-size):

 photo IMG_4610_zps57fb7299.jpg

California. I love it.
monanotlisa: (bobbi morse - aos)
1. Swam across a bay & back today. Admittedly, it was a small one, but still -- it's not straightforward paddling across a part of the ocean; the waves let even my swimmer self struggle a little.

2. If you come to Sydney, you too should have High Tea at the Park Hyatt. It's good, the gluten-free option for sure, and the view is breathtaking in the sunshine.

3. After yesterday's excellent evening with [personal profile] the_grynne and [personal profile] calculare, I met up with [personal profile] tielan today, and we talked life & fandom both. David Boreanaz' facial expressions! Maria Hill being a pragmatic badass! Natasha Romanova and her moral compass!

4. FEAR NOT; I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN THE DECEMBER MEME. Not unexpectedly, it will stretch into January.

5. Although there was no mention of her in our Agents of SHIELD chat, I just had to make that Mockingbird icon. My sexual orientation for the foreseeable future will be "Bobbi Morse."
monanotlisa: (john lost in space - sga)
[personal profile] forestgreen asked about the "Most challenging things about being an expat."

My experiences mirror the institutional and structural inequalities many other expats face in the United States.* I know, I know; I can go back to my home country if I don't like it here. )
monanotlisa: (omar - the wire)
No justice, no peace. This really is the darkest timeline.
monanotlisa: (alan/na - song of the lioness)
Greetings, greetings! This post is brought to you by my love for crockpots and gluten-free beer from Belgium, namely Green's Dubbel Dark Ale. (Please spare yourselves the disappointment and don't sample any of their lighter offerings.)

But for all playing the home game, here's my real life: Ouch, but also yay? Health stuff. Please feel free to skip; it's purely physical. )

Fannishly, I am pretty much delirious with happiness over The Good Wife: Yes, there are a few key decisions I think are questionable, but otherwise this SIXTH SEASON SHOW is firing on all cylinders, and I will quote it to my dying day as not just the best show on network tv (which is entirely uncontroversial by this point) but, more importantly on an artistic level, the show that managed to re-invent itself in vital ways throughout. I feel other shows have done such, namely as my beloved Fringe, but in conjunction with some of its re-inventions Fringe shifted its focus away from the protagonist, which is something TGW has thankfully never done.

More shows coming up: Agents of SHIELD; Sleepy Hollow; Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Feel free to ping me earlier on any of those.
monanotlisa: (natasha - avengers)
No, really: currently wearing a snazzy black jacket while sitting in front of my computer by the window, looking out at my front garden, the trees and the street in my home in California.

It's been two long weeks after I could finally come home, after unexplained visa delays, rebooked flights, and airlines that simply forgot about my gluten-free meal so I couldn't eat for a while. But now, after I finally slept in last weekend and got to go to wine country with a friend who then drove me down to the Bay from the winding roads of Sonoma, I'm better.

(Thanks also to [personal profile] verity for helping me out with my newly-acquired crockpot courtesy of my friend and colleague whose mother is a Black Friday Huntress).

Feel free to drop notes into the comment section of things I may have missed, beyond my dear old friends, I mean. <3
monanotlisa: (deep end)
...I will always take pleasure in using this icon.

Greetings from Germany; I am alive. "Well" would be stretching it a little, but the visa interview could presumably have gone worse, because at the end the clerk told me I would receive my passport back "by Tuesday at the latest." Which would be excellent, for Wednesday just so happens to be the day scheduled for my flight back.

If this were Twitter, I would obviously hashtag this #phew.

Of course, then rode the ICE train to my home town, and the family situation is what it is. Cut to protect from terminal illness tales )
monanotlisa: (olivia b/w half-smile profile - fringe)
3 x Non-Fannish Things

1. I'm flying to Germany tomorrow for family reasons. Aside from the great loss of money through flights and unpaid vacation time, the preparation for the trip caused me considerable grief: because even if your United States employer has paid 10,000 USD for you to get you the temporary foreign worker visa known as H1B? You still have to actually be granted the visa in your home country after another lengthy and expensive application process and an in-person interview. The US official in the consulates can and sometimes does refuse it. But then again, grief is the watchword of this trip home anyway.

2. Been eating all the ice-cream. ALL THE ICE-CREAM. When you're in the Bay Area, head over to Tara's Organic Ice-Cream, Bi-Rite Creamery, and Smitten Ice Cream

3. The weather is still gorgeous here in the East Bay, even in late October. I am not looking forward to gray skies and rain, endless drizzles and wet clothing (but at least houses are well-insulated in Germany).

3x Fannish Things

1. [personal profile] selenak gives us a fantastic MCU Captain America Has No Man Pain rant.

2. Continuing the Marvel news --
a. I'm still ridiculously in love with Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanova. If you want to cheer me up in any way, they're the ticket.
b. Those comics are really addictive. Ongoing series I follow: Black Widow (2014); Hawkeye (2012); Ms Marvel (2014).

3. Other shows I watch:
a. The Good Wife, A+++, BEST SHOW ON NETWORK TV STILL
b. Sleepy Hollow, A-, with the sweetest and, let's face it, most attractive protagonists, and my favorite current sisterly relationship on tv. If only the history were slightly less ridic.
c. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: B-, not enough Simmons and Skye but great May so I remain hopeful.
d. How To Get Away With Murder, B+, overblown plot in a ridiculous alternate universe of graduate school education, but Viola Davis is endlessly compelling in an acting tour de force, and Alfie Enoch is beautiful. The on-screen dudesex sex doesn't hurt a bit either. Plus, anything that evokes Donna Tartt's The Secret History is a must-watch for me.
e. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, A, love love love it; still firing on all cylinders, and it makes me laugh.
f. Arrow, B, let's see where it goes -- hopefully not killing more [spoilers], and hopefully getting [spoilers] together.
monanotlisa: (omar - the wire)
1. Currently waiting for my sister to call me back, because I am abusing her empathic yet razor-sharp self as the ultimate advice-giver. You familiar with that Sartre lecture about the young man during WWII who asked him about whether to join the Free French forces or stay home with his ailing mother? Moral of the story aside, my situation's not nearly as dire, but boy howdy, it sure feels that way. Thanks a lot, brain.

2. Had a good weekend, at any rate: Beat a big strong lady of my acquaintance at arm-wrestling at 1am during Scotch Night, admired an old gent on the dancefloor swing like it was still 1950, and was fed a multi-course dinner in a chaotic but beautiful home in the hills of San Francisco.

3. Work is...yes. On the plus side, I had an infinitely soothing conversation with my new(ish) boss today, who flat-out acknowledged in a discussion of United States and to a good degree European society that no, wait, the problem wasn't that the pie was getting smaller; it is that less and less people have more of that fucking pie.

4. Sports-wise, my successful and completely painless 5k made me reach for the stars, basically: How about another 5k? A 10k? How about emulating Katniss, Merida, Alison Argent, or Kate Bishop, and learning archery? Other suggestions for intense sports not requiring any sideways knee action including torque welcome!

5. I know I've posted these elsewhere, but check out my work wife and my favorite project manager for the Company Picnic 2014. Culture Committee Members (and winners of the overall teams contest, hel-lo) represent!
monanotlisa: (cleavage! - sga)
Life, I mean.

No complaints, really. I know; that's indeed coming from me! In the recent few weeks, apart from being over-worked and keeping up with my exercises and such, I have managed to

1. indoor sky-dive during a Department Offsite (with obvious team-building elements) down in the Bay,
2. climb across various ropes and ladders in the treetops and zipline through the forest with a bunch of Bay Area professionals, as well as swim in Lake Tahoe,
3. enter a friendly baking contest at work and gaze lovingly at my creation for a sad Monday,
4. show this beautiful house and enjoy an artsy Oakland dinner with a former colleague of mine from ye olde place of work in Germany who currently & temporarily works on the East Coast for one of the big players in my field there, bringing his little son and his once-again-pregnant wife, and
5. celebrated the German World Cup victory with friends and workmates at a sports bar down the street from my house (all of us painted black-red-gold, of course).

There's more, but, y'know. We love lists of fives, we do.
monanotlisa: Chime giving Moon the side-eye for breaking protocol again. (chime & moon - raksura)
When they tell me to stop and smell the roses, I'm pretty likely snort and just rip the poor flower out to curiously sniffle at it while hurrying from one place to another. But.

This morning, at my garden gate, I realized my Clipper card, the charge card for public transport in the Bay Area, was not in its usual pouch in my swag-bag. Of course, I was already a little late to head out to the BART station. I stopped, hesitated. The card was probably in said bag. Most likely I would be able to find it rummaging through said bag while walking briskly to the station. But then I thought better of it: I walked a few steps back into my new house's (beautiful, serene) front garden, sat down in one of the terrace chairs, and calmly unpacked my bag. Found the card, but then, there was this loud buzzing noise just behind my ear, then by my ear...

CUE MY DISNEY PRINCESS MOMENT.

Probably should have broken out into a merry song at that point. Speaking of cues, perhaps my li'l familiar left because it I totally missed mine.

(Sidenote, I watched Lilo & Stitch with A&R the weekend before last. It is the best Disney movie that feels basically nothing like a Disney movie. <3)
monanotlisa: Steve Rogers jumping down against a bright blue sky with clouds, his shield centering the eye. (steve rogers - captain america)
Not that I ever thought this particular love of mine was in any way unusual, but turns out that I am really not the only Steve Rogers fan at my company.

So the Culture Committee, of which I am a member, has been planning a Fourth of July -- well, technically it's on July 3rd -- Film Viewing. We came up with three properly patriotic movies, among them Independence Day and The Sandlot, and our office manager polled all co-workers.

Captain America: The First Avenger won...by one vote. \o/ I get to watch Steve Rogers during a long lunch break and get paid for it! Thank you, universe.

P.S.: My work spouse turned to me and said, "I voted Captain America just for you." <3
monanotlisa: (scrubs! - duh)
It's summer in Berkeley! So, you know; I came home and immediately turned the heat and the lights on.

::

Now I'm not so sure about this raw vegan curry I got at the store the other day...s ago. I don't think it's supposed to ferment? But it's too expensive to toss!

If I don't check back in tomorrow, please sue Whole Foods and donate the damages to the OTW. Cheers.

::

Oh, do you too use Picasa -- or did you, and then the forced Google+ integration drove you insane?

Here's a direct link to force Picasa, old-skool display style.
monanotlisa: (explore - sga)
I know, it's mostly *crickets* around here these days, but I've been so happy to see some of y'all update about life and fandom both, so let's see. Literally.

With my friend Vee, I did a little trip down the San Francisco peninsula down to Half Moon Bay; the weekend after, I went to Seattle to see [personal profile] pukajen, got to know [personal profile] prime_meridian, and managed to pull poor [personal profile] minim_calibre into a game of Cards Against Humanity in a cider bar where all of us drank way too much and stuffed ourselves with gluten-free pub foods. All excellent, except I wasn't quite energetic enough by the end to meet up with [personal profile] gwyn, which I hope to do next time I'm up in the City of Flowers. (Flowers love the rain, it's true.)

Cities by the Water )

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