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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
December 2008
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The wedding ATE this year.

Other notables: Getting published. Failing QE. New Cousin. Worst case of depression in years. Relationship with Mom had lowest point ever. Relationship with Dad regressed to where it hadn’t been in 8 years. Relationship with rest of family hits new highs. Deciding to be a little more girly. Emmy style.


  • Bear and I tried our hand with house plants. Experiment failed. At least we had pretty flowers for a while.
  • We were miserable sick for a while. That was no fun.
  • The wedding plans started in earnest after Christmas. Calls to J&P. Twin was frantic that wedding wouldn’t happen. pish.
  • Invitation were ordered.


  • Plants were still alive.
  • Bear tries brightening up the house for me. SAD was wearing on me a bit.
  • Learned Fair Isle knitting technique. Stranded knitting. Whatever.
  • Panic about not having dress. or food. or favors. or anything else except invitations was sickening. I think I at least had the church at this point. (I thought.)


  • I went wedding dress shopping by myself. Wow. That sucked. Not as bad as I thought it would, but it sucked.
  • Bear went for hotpot with me. He can seriously rock hard when he wants to.
  • My paper got accepted to the conference. YAY. (then realized it meant Lin couldn’t visit. SUCK.)
  • Mother and I were at a serious low point. (She was already pissed at me. Then I went dress shopping without her and I was pissed at her.)
  • Qualifying exam.
  • Bear’s office became shared space.


  • Found out I failed my qualifying exam.
  • Started crying over dress. Realized it was Mom I was mad at.
  • Started getting into tea stuff. No more bagged tea at all. Played with gaiwan and oolongs.
  • Bear and I were exercising regularly.
  • Conference. Fear. Pride. Being published. Wow.
  • Almost missing Bear’s bday due to said conference. Still managed to give him two very good and surprise presents.
  • Bear started panicking about wedding.
  • Father Doyle has a stroke. Priest panic starts. Realize church paperwork is a mess. Start of church hell.
  • Month was kinda busy all around


  • Bear, Carl and Lin were all rallying around me with the wedding. Started feeling better. Also more pressure. Only two months left.
  • Meet Deacon Joe. “What do you need right now?” LOL.
  • Addressing invitations. sucks. so. hard.
  • Went to NHSW. Bear went with me. We thought camera was broken. Bear took pictures manually.
  • Visited FL. Got lots of details out of the way. Ordered cake and flowers and all kinds of shit. Bear was AMAZING.
  • Theme of this month was basically that Bear can be superman sometimes.
  • I drove so much that month that I wanted to burn all cars for a while.
  • The knitting is dying a slow death.
  • Started reading fiction online. Heh.
  • Red eye flights are both awesome and horrendous.


  • Wedding panic is … overwhelming. Family issues got stirred up over and over.
  • Tomatoes!!!!
  • Advisor’s kid has brain tumor.
  • FFB’s acquaintance committed suicide. Bad news seemed to be flying all over.
  • Wedding costs started climbing.
  • Hair cut.
  • Wedding dinner thing. Pre-party. There’s a name for it, but I’m forgetting.
  • Quahogs. So. Yummy.
  • Meaning of life conversation. Bear continues to make life bearable.
  • Bear’s panic over the wedding hits hard. Possibly coinciding with tux rental.
  • Mother relationship wasn’t strained enough. Father relationship took a nosedive.
  • Rehearsal dinner fiasco. OMG.


  • Wedding jitters hit. HARD.
  • Days of cleaning. Weeding. Painting. Food covers.
  • Babies.
  • Pregnant J who still did food, painting, gardening, weeding, baby care, planning, consulting, drama management, taste management, music management, last second veil management, birthday party for one of her kids, sanity checks, still took her kids to piano lessons, horse riding lessons, ice skating lessons, and every other thing that everyone else forgot with her endless lists and double and triple checking. She is officially my superwoman. Ask me for some more stories about her sometime.
  • Building a dance floor.
  • Reading living while Grandma sleeps in the next bed and falling asleep at 2am. Getting up at 7am.
  • Picking Bear up a day early.
  • Getting wedding license.
  • Hotels. I hate being in charge of other people’s hotel reservations.
  • The Jamaican food fiasco. The panic. Do we rent an extra car? Will there be an overnight 6 hour drive to get it? Can we make people not BE STUPID?
  • Almost losing the cake. P almost forgot to reserve it. *sighs*
  • zipline.
  • BabyJ telling stories and wanting endless. pushes. on the swing.
  • Pressure washing the driveway.
  • Mom getting lost in the wilds of FL.
  • 6am crying convo with Bear about the food. DIDN’T IT TURN OUT OK??????
  • P making sure it wasn’t Mom that made me cry. Aw. I have good people.
  • Sitting in BabyG’s room for internet access.
  • BabyG bossing everyone around even though she can’t talk yet.
  • BabyG walking around in my wedding shoes.
  • BabyG’s shoe fixation.
  • Testing the gutter system. Well, everyone running around frantically every time it rained to see where the system was failing.
  • Cooking with Lin.
  • Lin feeding me and getting me water. LOL. Payback for England.
  • Midnight fight about veil about twelve hours before ceremony started.
  • Carl’s toast. um. yeah.
  • Lin’s getting math advice from Mom. um. yeah.
  • Bear’s family’s toast. Flipping upside when there is kissing on the TV. Priceless.
  • Most interesting wedding present? The priest. Heh.
  • Fireworks.
  • Baby tomatos. Rampant tomato plants. Start of the endless wait for them to ripen.
  • Practicing how to dance (making it up) the night before the wedding. lol. Bear and I rock. (picking “Only in Dreams” for the song. LOL)
  • Actually making L a grouch. Never thought I’d see the day. Wow those food covers were a good idea poorly executed.
  • Lin becoming a part of my family clan. They still ask how she’s doing.
  • Pulling ferns. Hazardous to health.
  • Chick-fil-a
  • No fish for veggie people. WILL THEY SURVIVE?
  • Ruining the fruit sculpture. I didn’t know not to pull the grapes.
  • Seeing Bear incandescant without the use of drugs. Seeing the glow not wear off for DAYS after.
  • Going back to work the day you get home. sucks.
  • Starting HW hell at my work.


  • The lost marriage license. Ugh.
  • The wait for ripe tomatoes continues with only four cherry tomatoes lessening the pain.
  • As I find less and less to read from publishers, I turn more and more to online fiction
  • Thank You card hell begins. Even worse than invitation hell.
  • Work sucks.
  • Church wedding picturs suck.
  • Started trying to track down video and other pictures


  • School starts back.
  • My Chem obsession starts.
  • First ripe tomatoes. SO GOOOOOOOOOOOD.
  • Shrimp pasta with homegrown tomatos.
  • Obsession slump. Stopped fussing with tea (still drinking though). Knitting is dead dead dead at this point.
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Makeup.
  • Coming back to life.
  • Felt like there were very very few good writers writing.
  • September sucked except for the tomatoes
  • Still trying to track down wedding pics and video.


  • Music obsession in general. (Bright Eyes, My Chem, The Pillows, The Velvet Teen, Vampire Weekend, etc)
  • Missing mp3 player.
  • Work really sucked. Wishing I’d gone the English major route.
  • Still felt like there were very few good fics out there. Tracked down one author to find out she had kept writing. Felt better.
  • Makeup becomes a habit.
  • Carl meets S. Wow that was fun.
  • Thank You card hell is still ongoing. Wow can I drag shit out.
  • J&P had the baby! J drove herself to the hospital. New cousins rock. Cannot wait for Christmas.


  • Carl visits. Except how he doesn’t.
  • Twitter.
  • Boots.
  • Birthday.
  • Thanksgiving.
  • The DRAGONS. (Bear continues to rock.)
  • Adele and Dresden Dolls and MGMT. DD brings up memories of Senior Project with Chris and Emmett.
  • Stood Chris up on accident. Flagellate myself. Avoid Chris. I suck.
  • Met AJ.
  • Trashed research computer. Spent break fixing it.
  • Decided meeting AJ was a good thing and I should not let my screw up with Chris or my antisocialness get in the way of allowing further meetings.
  • New tires.
  • Talked to Dad. Huh. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Opened lines of communication with other aunts.


  • Hair cut. Thank God.
  • Still playing with makeup. Acne is under control now though.
  • AJ is more awesome than I could have imagined. Previous panic was stupid.
  • Bought plane tickets two weeks before Christmas. Fun.
  • Realizing that while Lin doesn’t feature heavily in this post, it’s because she was there every day. Supporting and loving and letting me love and support. (Also I left her shit out cause she does her own list with her life stuff and I don’t need to type it up.)
  • Father Doyle died.
  • Met BabyMJ. Coolest baby to date. He doesn’t cry much and he has nonverbal communication DOWN. He tells you if he has gas, if he’s hungry, if he’s being held wrong, if he’s happy, if he’s just so-so, if he’s pumped, if he’s grumpy, if he’s bored. Since he doesn’t have full motor control like his next oldest sister, this beats BabyG. He also beats even BabyGirlC, who cried for the first few months then laughed for the next few until she managed to be a more balanced baby.
  • Got to spend a lot of time with BabyZ and BabyA whom I hadn’t known that well previously. Since they are 3 and 5 respectively and I haven’t lived at home in more than 6 years, this isn’t surprising. What is, is how we managed to become best buds in a week, beating out aunts, uncles, and cousins who actually live in the very close vicinity. I kinda have to ask if they all have their heads up their butts. I came so close to abducting BabyA, BabyZ and their older sibs.
  • Tentatively, Mom and my relationship is healed better? I’m waiting to see if it survives the next time I tell her she has to do her own homework.
  • Dad didn’t call.
  • I have realized I have one family that scares me. Honestly scares me, not just wow, they are weird, but wow, they make me feel sick and upset inside. One family that, for all the frustration and honest craziness is pretty healthy. And one family that I don’t fit into all that well. Yet. I also have family that loves me enough to come hang out on Christmas Day and merge with family 2 and then come back the next day and again fit herself around family 2. She’s kinda amazing. She’s my other other half. third. Whatever. She’s also a fantastic note to end this year on. Also, being grateful for four families is kinda an awesome thing.
  • So. 2008. Family. Bringing them all together and adding more to grow on.

Sometimes I miss all subtext

The other day, I was helping a coworker, we’ll call him Menace. For some reason, despite being a computer engineer, the guy has no basic Unix skills and lacks basic curiousity to figure things out on his own. Two very base things I would expect from anyone with the title or position of computer engineer. Which meant that when he can’t do something, I get to either do it for him or tell him how to do it considering the current development platform for our latest hardware is Linux. Half of me wants him to not learn, because it’ll keep him from fucking up the box. (I do that well enough on my own thanks and that’s with years of experience on him.) Half of me wants him to figure stuff out on his own so he’ll stop asking me questions. None of me wants to have to teach him things that 1) I learned on my own just because I knew I needed the skillset and 2) I learned years ago.

Right, there is a story in here, not just whining. I was going through some very basic stuff with him when my advisor and her friend LK stopped in. Now LK has worked with my advisor in our lab a few times. They’ve been friends for many years. They are also as different as night and day. My advisor is dry and calm and keeps her distance for the most part from her students. LK is a whirlwind of activity and sees no reason that you shouldn’t be her best friend. Or at least share the good gossip. A month or two after I got married LK whirls into the lab and looks at me and goes “How could you get married and not tell me?!”

Again, story. I’m teaching Menace and my advisor and LK walk into the lab. Menace and I stop and we all start chatting. This would be nothing new. She asked how I was enjoying married life, we chatted our a missing labmate, they talked about getting their grades done, etc. At one point we got around to being in academia. LK and my advisor ask the Menace if he is planning on becoming a professor. Menace says, “I don’t know.” Then they turn to me and ask the same thing, “Um. No. Not really.” I get the exact same surprised look on both their faces, but I pretty much didn’t take too much notice of it.

That evening I’m telling Bear this story and he groans. “Why didn’t you just say you didn’t know??”

“Because I’m pretty sure the answer IS no. But they did seem surprised.”

Bear was no impressed with my politicking. “Most likely they didn’t expect you to tell them that.”

So apparently I’m pretty dense. It could also be because I’ve never been shy about the fact that I enjoyed some parts of being a TA. Mostly just the student parts. Not the grading or being a grunt to 3 profs. Also maybe because when they walked in, I was helping Menace, and not with research or anything. *sighs*


Lately I’ve been thinking about the relationship between fans and artists. Between creators of works (of art, prose, music) and those who view, read, listen to those works. How the relationship changes depending on how popular a creator becomes. Well known or famous artists and writers and muscians.

Part of what has been consuming is the question of whether there IS a relationship between creator and consumer. Is it just that a creator creates and the consumer consumes. Is the object all that matters? If someone handmakes furniture, and you purchase and use that furniture, do you have a relationship with the person who made it? Does that change if it’s a novel or painting or song? Does it depend on how much of the creator is in the work? If it does, how can you tell how much is in it? How far then can the consumer presume upon that relationship? Does the creator need the consumer to presume? Without someone saying that piece of work filled something inside of me, does the creator still feel like they made something?

I keep coming back to the idea that it’s a good thing we don’t have to like the creator to like the creation. Children aren’t really an example, but rational people would try to not hold parents against their kids. Works aren’t sentient, but I think you can also make the same separation. Maybe, should.

I start thinking about this because I’ve started reading fiction online. Writers whose subject either is ignored by major publishers or who write fan fiction which can’t be published or who just write for fun or who self publish. I’ve also started thinking about this because I’ve become a fan of My Chemical Romance as in reading their blog and watching interviews. I’ve never done that before. I’ve had bands that I loved every song they put out before. In HS, most notably, it was Fleetwood Mac. Then later, Weezer, and then Ben Folds. The Delgados. Etc. But I’ve never gone looking to the creators, except to see other works. I’ve never taken the collective works and had that create an interest in the creator.

I think I’m finding that I actually am very good at separation. The My Chem guys are interesting, but it’s not changing how I like their music. Their music isn’t forcing me to have a continued interest in them. I’ve read and enjoyed books by people I know unpleasant things about. Here’s where it breaks down for me though. If I like a person, there’s a certain fondness for things they create that’s tied to my fondness for the creator. But it layers my opinion of the works, without obscuring. I can tell if some part of me thinks it’s shit or gold.


I went to take out the trash last night at one o’clock in the morning. It was snowing! Then I woke up this morning and a lot of snow had turned into slush. *sighs*

I slept well last night and woke up knowing I was rested, but I’m sluggish. Sucks.

I need game gift ideas. $100 limit. Help.