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[sticky post] Welcome to Wonderland

In one way or another, I have kept a journal since age 12. I've kept an online journal called Musings since late 2002. My topics range from things that happen in my daily life to my thoughts on pop culture to my ponderings about everything from dreams to the secret thoughts of pets. In November 2007, I began mirroring it here, although I often included extras to this version, such as memes and quizzes. In February 2010, I stopped updating the original journal on my home page and instead started a writing journal there.


For some insight into who I am, read Intro to Alyce. For a guide to the many nicknames I use in my online journal, check out Who's Who in Musings.


The beautiful, sweet dog in one of my icons is Una, my best friend and nurse dog for nearly 11 years, who passed away on October 22, 2010. She was my inspiration, and she taught me how to be a better friend and mother; a better person. My son, Kung Fu Panda (KFP for short), benefits from all the caregiving skills I learned in those 11 years. My husband, The Gryphon, probably does, as well!


The goals I established when I first begin an online journal remain the same: this is a way to explore the tangential, the seemingly accidental observations many of us overlook but which may, ultimately, be where all life and all mystery hinges.

I hope to start blogging again on a more regular basis now that many of the commitments that have been taking all my time -- handling my Mom's estate, running Otakon Press Relations, moving -- are dying down a bit. There are still, however, quite a few boxes to put away before we are really settled in.

In the meantime, here is the second Wild Violet posting to come out in the past two weeks. Not yet quite back to the weekly schedule, but hey, it's progress!

Featured Works: Week of Sep. 25 (Modern Life)
Wild Violet is back! Humor, flash fiction/art and a review!

Featured Works: Week of Sep. 11 (Rebirth)

Letting Go

I grew up in a house filled with books. My parents, when they built the extension on the house before moving in, requested an entire wall of built-in shelves, which were always filled to overflowing. I had my own over-full bookcase in my room, as did my brother and sister. When we went through my Mom's estate, we discovered she'd added even more shelves, in every single room. It didn't quite look like a library, but it was obviously the home of a book lover.

Yet, despite how much Mom read, I don't remember her picking up books a second or a third time. Rather, I was the one who would often pull down her books on children's literature to look up lurid nursery rhymes and half-forgotten dark Grim Brothers tales. Except the the often-used cookbook shelf, most of them simply gathered dust. For decades. And then she adopted dozens of cats, and all those books became unusable.

I guess going through the experience has taught me a lot, and my thoughts on what I'm willing to get rid of have changed. Now that we are moving to a new apartment -- in a better school district -- we need to serious pare down our possessions. Aside from the poetry books and writing manuals that I often reference -- and my collections of comedy-related biographies and vampire books -- I am saying good-bye to a good number of books now that I might otherwise have wanted to keep. Even the shelves of books "to read later" are being sorted, as I have to admit that, much as I may have once intended to read "Women Who Run with the Wolves" and be a good feminist, or read the half dozen Bruce Sterling books someone gave me and be a good cyberpunk, I never actually feel like picking them up.

My final test when on the fence was the same thing I do in bookstores: open the book to a page and read. If what I see doesn't excite me enough to want to know more, it went in the donation box.

As we were going through things at our Mom's house, my sister kept reminding me, "Memories aren't in things; they're in us." It made it easier to part with objects that would have been destined to clutter up our homes the same way they had cluttered up hers.

Transitions and Tonic Water

Right now, I am drinking tonic water and orange juice, because my Dad, an osteopath, assures me it's good for Restless Leg Syndrome. Not because of the orange juice but because of the tonic water, which contains quinine, a remedy for RLS. Technically, I'm not even sure that's what I'm suffering from, but I do know that the back of my leg -- what's the word for the muscle opposite your quads? -- has been tensed up and hurting for a couple days now.

Naturally. Now that my back is starting to feel better after seizing up painfully two weeks ago, something else had to give. You know how, when you're near the end of the race, and you can see the finish line ahead of you, that's when your body starts to give in? I think that's what I'm experiencing.

I must be about to hit my second wind.Collapse )

Life Update and Sims 2 Legacy Challenge

A brief personal update: We sold my Mom's house at auction for less than the assessed value but about twice as much as we expected. The closing should come in a few weeks, and our estate lawyer is working on the estate taxes now. We hope to have everything settled sometime this summer.

I have scanned in most of the really old photos for which I am seeking help with identification. Some of my Mom's high school classmates, with whom I connected through Facebook, have been very helpful. One of her surviving cousins also promised to help with the older ones, and I plan to write a letter to another cousin who's been doing genealogical work on one of the branches of her family, my maternal great-great-grandmother's side, the Hamptons (who were, as it turns out, Quakers just like my maternal grandmother's line). A couple friends who have done genealogical work are very excited about helping me untangle the web of my family's past. I also plan to contact a woman who wrote several books about Frackville, PA, my mom's hometown, in hopes that she will be able to help identify some of the very old photos. If you're curious, you can view what I have so far, from the 1890s to the early 1960s, in albums on my Flickr account.

After the latest parent-teacher conference, in which KFP's kindergarten teacher expressed concern that our school district doesn't have a gifted program adequate for KFP's abilities, we will be looking for a new place this summer, in a nearby school district with a better program. Wish us luck!

In suckier news, I did something to my back yesterday morning. I was just dropping down to sit, and my back seized up extremely painfully. I didn't hear anything pop, so my husband, The Gryphon, agrees it is probably a muscular problem. I am treating it with ibuprofen, Icy Hot, and stretches. Unfortunately, my sedentary transcription work aggravates my back, so I have to remember to keep moving. I hope this doesn't last very long. The last time I hurt my back, it took almost two full weeks to get back to normal.

Meantime, I've found a new obsession/stress reliever/creative project. I have embarked upon a Legacy Challenge in The Sims 2, where I will play 10 generations of a family, starting with one Sim I created, Aurora Brandywine. If you're interested in that sort of thing, you can read about it on my Sims journal, (simalyce). Here are the first three installments:

The Rules

Aurora Goes to College

Aurora's Sophomore Year

LJI Week 19 Home Game - Internal Jukebox

This is my Home Game entry for LJ Idol Friends & Rivals (therealljidol). It's a day late, but since I'm no longer competing, that doesn't matter. I chose the topic "Greatest Hits," which happens to be a topic I suggested, but I hadn't yet thought about what I was going to write when I suggested it.

What will your greatest hits be?Collapse )

Vote - Week 18

Although I am out, I highly recommend reading and voting for the remaining contestants, many of whom are being unfairly overlooked in the polls.

Originally posted by clauderainsrm at Vote - Week 18
A few words from clauderainsrm:


For US residents, today is “Tax Day”. (Although because of Emancipation Day - tomorrow - there is an extension until Monday to actually get your taxes in.)

Why am I bringing this seemingly random thing up in a post about voting?

Because we are paying a toll.

This was the first week without byes, without a safety net.

Which means anyone who misses the deadline is eliminated.

In this case, that means impoetry is leaving us.

*kicks Brian*

Usually I’m sentimental. Not this time. *kicks Brian for such a hippie that he missed the deadline*

*kicks him one more time*.

Anyway - that’s one more spot forward for everyone else. Two more steps if you count that there is a sacrifice in this week’s poll. But that hasn’t officially happened yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

As for the rest of you - just because you are a little closer to the end, doesn’t mean you are safe.

The only thing “safe” about this week is that it’s safe to assume that you have some really good entries to read!

We are losing three contestants this week!

So make sure to read, comment and vote for your favorites! Then tell a friend to do the same!

The poll closes Monday, April 18th at 9pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!



Poll #2042403 Friends and Rivals, Week 18
This poll is closed.

The Ballot:

26(8.0%)
17(5.2%)
7(2.1%)
16(4.9%)
15(4.6%)
19(5.8%)
14(4.3%)
20(6.1%)
21(6.4%)
12(3.7%)
25(7.7%)
18(5.5%)
20(6.1%)
21(6.4%)
19(5.8%)
17(5.2%)
23(7.1%)
16(4.9%)
This is my Home Game entry for Week 18 of LJ Idol Friends & Rivals (therealljidol). I chose the topic "We must bear witness so that it scars us" which I would rather had read "We must bear witness to that which scars us."

Memento to self: remember... or not.Collapse )

Tags:

This is my entry for Week 16 of LJ Idol Friends & Rivals therealljidol. Of the many topics, I chose "When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it."

Straight from the mind of Toby Monster.Collapse )

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