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Feb. 1st, 2016 12:58 pm
kshandra: jointed teddy bear, standing upright, wearing a faux-leather flying helmet and jacket, goggles, and "silk" scarf (Aviator)

kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
I'm doing my best not to freak completely out, after what happened last year. We are in 200% better shape on every possible front (which, of course, does not mean either of us is 100%, but I'll take what I can get), but I don't think I'll relax completely until we are actually on the freeway heading east.

I am never really prepared to go - I don't think anyone ever is. But I am so ready to be there.

kshandra: A spoof of the Guitar Hero logo, featuring a home karaoke machine (Karaoke Hero)
For those of you who have been around long enough to remember the stereo saga, these are the same sub and amp (and enclosure). A friend helped me pull the system out of Barnum after the accident, and I'm simply not motivated to install them in Bailey. (I'm not sure where the faceplate is for the deck currently, or I might consider selling that, as well.)

Pictures here. Asking $200 OBO; if nobody's interested here or FB, we'll post it to Craigslist in a couple of days.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
I still owe people a proper write-up of our trip. This is not that post.

[personal profile] gridlore and I had a delightful experience with a Taksi driver on our last day in Istanbul. We got in his cab at the Military Museum on the "new city" side of the Galata Bridge, hoping to be taken to the Mosaic Museum in the old city. He had almost no English and did not recognize the location we were asking for. We stumbled through a few options before finally settling on Ayasofya (which was within walking distance).

Our driver was about as unfamiliar with the Old City as some of my former SuperShuttle co-workers were with the SF Peninsula, and took us on a hysterical tour of smaller and smaller streets winding our way up from the coastline, with him occasionally stopping to stick his head out the window and ask for directions from passersby. We wound up down a short hill from the Imperial Gate to Topkapi Palace, located on the back side of Ayasofya. He actually took less than the fare posted on the meter (I think because he didn't want to fuss with making change), we thanked him, and we made our way up the hill.

I find myself wishing we'd taken his picture. I'm hoping it wasn't Erol, or Mustafa.

http://bianet.org/english/people/176372-stories-of-those-who-lost-their-lives-in-ataturk-airport-attack
kshandra: Animated: Film-style countdown clock, indicating "Next Mood Swing in 3...2...1..." (Mood Swing)
Talk of mental health and eating habits behind the cut )
I still owe folks an actual post about the trip; our postcards have finally started arriving (postmarked 2 May - our own fault for asking the front desk to send them rather than finding the post office, which was apparently right by the Ayasofya), and once I've got them all back and in order, I'll be able to order my thoughts a little better.
kshandra: (Wedding)
It's going to be at least another week or so before Doug gets them all rotated and annotated properly, but the raw collection is here. Enjoy!
kshandra: Cartoon: Garfield face-down in his cat bed, a single Z in a word balloon over his head (Z)
[personal profile] gridlore and I are home again, after an amazing week in an amazing city. There will be stories and photos to follow, but at the moment I have been awake for 24 hours, and need to stuff food in my mouth before I crash and burn.

Thank you all, again, for making this dream come true.
kshandra: (Wedding)
"There comes a point past panic," a friend of a friend once said, "where all you can do is turn the ignition." They were talking about BurningMan prep, but it seems equally apropos here.

Our bags are packed, inventoried, and ready to be locked down for transit. Tomorrow's outfits are picked out and ready to go. We're both freshly shorn; I even had time to get my nails done.

The author's hand, holding a passport, modeling a fresh set of Jamberry nail wraps
Jamberry nail wraps in Boysenberry and Passport[retired].

We are less than 24 hours from our scheduled departure time.

Let's do this.
kshandra: Frank the Goat, swearing in comic-book fashion. Text: "LiveJournal: Proudly uniting foreheads with keyboards since 1999" (Livejournal)
The subject of journal-versaries came up elsewhere this morning, reminding me "Oh, yeah, I started mine in March, didn't I?" So off I went to look it up.

Created on 5 March 2001 (#69080)


Fifteen years. That's ONE-THIRD of my life. And considering how ephemeral things on the net so often are, rather miraculous to consider.
kshandra: Sinfest character Slick sits at his laptop, poking the keyboard; the words "refresh refresh refresh" hover over his head (5-Minute-Refresh)


An excellent overview with minimal voiceover (not least because half the video was shot on the sly). His comments about the lack of adjustments on the seat are things I've heard before; he's got nothing nice to say about the food, but this is still better than anything I've ever had set in front of me at 30,000ft. (And hallelujah, he showed us the lavatory. That was one of my biggest concerns, no pun intended.)

I'm still trying to decide whether or not the forward/down camera on the video display is helping with the panic dreams I've started to have. I'd really like my pre-9/11 love of flying back now, kthxbai.
kshandra: jointed teddy bear, standing upright, wearing a faux-leather flying helmet and jacket, goggles, and "silk" scarf (Aviator)
I took Friday off from work so [personal profile] gridlore and I could run some travel-related errands during business hours. Our first stop was the travel desk of our local AAA office, where we were able to book a 7-day tourist pass that covers a good 2/3 of the things we wanted to do, including the Big Bus Tour, a hammam visit (Galatasaray, rather than Hurrem Sultan, but that's a minor quibble), a Bosphorus dinner cruise, and admission to both the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. We also booked our transportation from the airport to our hotel and a day trip to the Princes' Islands. Anything else we want to do on the trip we can probably leave in the hands of the hotel concierge at this point.

From there, it was up to SFO; I'd found an ad on FB that was offering a "summer pass" for Clear, and we needed to go do our biometric scanning to complete the registration process. It took a while to figure out where we actually needed to be - the Info Desk was less than helpful, and we initially wound up at the TSA Pre-Check office, not realizing (as is apparently true for most folks) that they are separate programs - but once we were there, the process was simple, and the staffer we worked with was great. (As an added bonus, Clear also operates at AT&T Park, and our passes will cover the one Giants game we're going to make it to this year.)

Once we were done with that, we headed over to the ticketing counter for Turkish Airlines; the one thing I hadn't been able to do online was book our seat assignments, and since we were in the building anyway, I figured doing it f2f wasn't going to hurt matters any. We have the same seats for both flights: 7A-B, which don't get great reviews on SeatGuru, but even a bad seat in Business Class will be better than anything in Economy. (And as Doug noted on FB, we live next to a railroad track, so it can't be any worse than that.)

Five weeks. Now is a perfectly good time to panic. ;-)
kshandra: Personal avatar from the short-lived MMO, Glitch (Default)
There were many reasons [personal profile] gridlore and I budgeted for business class seats when we set up this campaign. While others were more important, this was definitely on the list.

https://medium.com/@thefatshadow/what-it-s-like-to-be-that-fat-person-sitting-next-to-you-on-the-plane-85006e263778#.3v7yh1uw2
kshandra: a stack of hardback books, spines facing away (Books)
As some of you may have seen elsewhere, [personal profile] gridlore and I bought a Kindle Fire HD6 last month (for the trip, for his inevitable next hospital stay, etc.). We have a LOT of ebooks already that I've converted to the appropriate format(s) using Calibre. But no matter what transfer method I use - sideloading them from Windows Explorer or syncing with Calibre - the files ONLY show up in whichever profile is open on the Fire at the time. Exceptionally maddening: I used the Send to Kindle option to email myself a book as a test, confirmed receipt in my profile, then switched to Doug's profile and WATCHED IT DISAPPEAR from the corresponding location.

Anybody have suggestions for what I might try?
kshandra: Cartoon of a young girl, a purple streak in her hair, at a computer; the text reads "dear blog, I HATE EVERYONE!" (I Hate Everyone)
I already had one parent blocked entirely on Facebook. I just unfriended the other.

Comments disabled. Please do not reach out to me by other methods.
kshandra: Rich Uncle Pennybags, pockets turned out and palms upturned, over a background of Monopoly money (Broke)
I placed an order with our bank for a supply of Turkish Lira - we'll be charging most of our purchases to the debit card, but having cash on hand for tipping housekeeping at the hotel, etc. is always a good thing. They called this afternoon, and I'll be able to pick it up tomorrow.

EDIT: I found out from the bank when I went to pick up the money that there's a 3.8% surcharge on foreign-currency debit transactions, vs. a $5 flat fee for using a foreign-currency ATM. Looks like I'll be getting to know where the nearest bancomat is.

Stock photo of Turkish Lira, showing a fan of bills in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 denominations, plus coins in .05, .10, .25, .50, and 1 denominations.

"We need to visit more places with pretty money," says [personal profile] gridlore.
kshandra: (Wedding)
Istanbul at sunset, as seen from the water, with Galata Tower in the distance

A generous benefactor has made up the last not-quite-$300 to get us to our $12,500 goal (the $8,500 you see on the site, plus the $4,000 contribution from my employer).

Our flight leaves in 81 days.

This is really happening, and I will NEVER have the words to thank you all.
kshandra: (Wedding)
Several days on, [personal profile] gridlore has begun to think that perhaps the latest unpleasantness wasn't a pancreatitis flare, after all...

As those who follow me elsewhere on social media saw, I came home from work on the 14th to find Doug running a fever of 102. I sighed, figured it was time for another case of pneumonia, and started packing a hospital bag. (With his extensive medical history, 103 is our "grab your coat and a book, we're going to the ER" marker.) We're both so accustomed to things going all the way wrong at once, I'm amazed it actually occurred to me to try OTC meds, but it did, and he dropped three points in as many hours. Crisis averted, we set an alarm for the middle of the damn night so he could take a second dose at EXACTLY the six-hour mark to make sure the trend continued in the right direction, and otherwise got on with our lives.

While the bullet was mostly dodged, Doug has spent the ensuing week with a deep, bronchial cough. Round about lunchtime yesterday, he suggested that maybe he'd simply strained his diaphragm/esophagus from all the exertion. Perhaps the biggest point in favor of this theory is the fact that he never lost his appetite (some of you may recall just how big an issue that was last summer when he was diagnosed).

I'm still looking at the rest of that 6-pack of Kaliber with an incredibly wary eye, though.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)


I remember watching this live, and how completely shattered I was as Bowie dropped to one knee in the middle of his set and recited the Lord's Prayer.

If there is a hereafter, I can only imagine that Freddie was waiting at the gates with a drink and a smoke.

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kshandra: Personal avatar from the short-lived MMO, Glitch (Default)
kshandra

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