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Not very long ago, I bought myself a Wacom tablet (small Intuo5, if you're keen on the gory details), with the idea of ultimately drawing scenic XFO myself. I used to draw a lot as a kid, but ultimately stopped when I got to be in about high school or so; I don't remember what the immediate catalyst was for this. Shortly after I got the tablet, I bought a copy of One Zentangle a Day (Beckah Krahula); you can read more about Zentangling here, but I bought this one in part because it's supposed to be non-representational, and consequently the onus of producing any sort of likeness is off me.

I think once I've done the entire book, I'd like to go back and do it in traditional media as well. As groovy as the Intuo5 is, I think that would give me a little more control in some regards (I've already discovered I like drawing faces better with traditional media).

This one is called Static, and looks absolutely nothing like the picture in the book. The shading is particularly crap. Ah well, I can only get better, right?

Click if you dare! )
xifeng: (Default)
Title: Fish and Chips and Vinegar
Author: Wang Xi-feng.
Challenge: [community profile] daily_prompt. Original.
Warnings: Offstage character death, more a mention than anything.
Summary: 1991. Fish and chips are the best!

Fish and Chips and Vinegar )

LOL BEE

Nov. 19th, 2012 09:40 pm
xifeng: (Default)
YOU GUYS, I DREW A BEE:

Cut so it doesn't break stuff )

Someday I hope to draw moderately more realistic bees.

The end.
xifeng: (Default)
Title: Platform 9 3/4
Author: Wang Xi-feng ([personal profile] xifeng)
Challenge: [community profile] daily_prompt. Original.
Warnings: Mild language.
Summary: 1930. Alisja isn't sure this is real.
Notes: I have lived my life in calculated ignorance of the Harry Potter franchise, and boy does it show here!

Platform 9 3/4 )
xifeng: (Default)
I am not pleased with this one, mainly because I think it's obvious where my sympathies lie, but, you know, at least I've finished something. Someday I hope to write something that isn't total crap. Mad props to the Balto-Slavic Glossary, whose words I butchered in order to create the line of Nastrántsy that appears at the end of the piece.

1945. Anna triumphant, and ghosts of the past.

Go Ask Alice )
xifeng: (Default)
Title: After the Party
Author: Wang Xi-feng ([personal profile] xifeng)
Challenge: [community profile] daily_prompt. Original.
Warnings: Language, verbal abuse.
Summary: 1918: Anna cleans up another mess.

After the Party )
xifeng: (Default)
Title: I Can Go Anywhere, And Do Anything
Author: Wang Xi-feng ([personal profile] xifeng)
Challenge: [community profile] daily_prompt. Original.
Warnings: Offstage violence.
Summary: 1927. Alisja is innocent, and Anna corrupt.

I Can Go Anywhere, And Do Anything )
xifeng: (Default)
I've deleted all the old entries, because a.) they're all on LJ anyway, and b.) I don't think I want to use this space for the same things I use LJ for. So we'll see what comes up.

I suspect there's going to be a lot of Fun With Words, as fair warning.
xifeng: (Default)
So, for the three people who aren't aware of this by now, I had myself sterilized in March. Since I had hysteroscopic sterilization rather than a ligation (Essure, the trade name, is safer and more effective than having one's tubes tied), I had to go in for a follow-up HSG in June. Here follows the annoyance of dealing with Hospital's billing department. This isn't really a rant, just a minor annoyance.

Round 1: In July, I receive a bill for $343. The bill states that Hospital has not received my insurance information, which is bullshit because I provided my current insurance card at the time services were rendered. While I do have $343, I would vastly prefer not to take it out of my savings, and I would also vastly prefer that my insurance pick it up, since my sterilization met my deductible for this year and this kind of thing is the reason why I carry insurance.

Round 2: I call the billing department, only to find that they have billed my Lol-Mart insurance. I explain that I don't have any coverage through that carrier anymore and haven't done since 2010, and that they should have a copy of my current insurance card on file. They can bill my insurance or they can eat $343, whichever. I provide them with claims information for my insurance, and am told that they will file a claim.

Round 3: I receive an adjusted bill for $12.69, since Hospital has billed my insurance. That's more like it! I mail a check for $12.69. Subsequently, my bank account shows that my check has cleared. Like an idiot, I think we're done here.

Round 4: I receive another bill for $12.69, which doesn't show anything different to the previous bill. WHAT FAGGOTRY IS THIS. Lolmom thinks it's due to the nature of their billing software, which is probably set to send out bills at certain intervals, and that it just crossed in the mail.

I mean, if I do in fact owe them another $12.69, I will gladly pay it, but I would like to make sure I do in fact owe them $12.69 before I do that. I would also like this to not wind up in collections over something that isn't my fault.
xifeng: (Default)
So I've read some books in the past week, and because I'll read pretty much anything these all happened to be romances and X-chan and I were talking about things we hate in romance novels, which inspired my curmudgeonliness here. (Also, as you'll have guessed, I really don't believe in love, so I'm just basically irredeemable.) Fortunately, my library has a large collection of Harlequins to keep us amused, so if enough of you are "entertained" this will probably become a regular feature. (I also plan to get to snarking my huge teen-girl series collection, as promised last year. Life keeps happening.)

I stole the blurbs off Amazon, because I'm interested in mocking the ridiculousness and not the blurbs. It's probably a good idea to assume that everything contains spoilers. It might also be a good idea to assume that the sex scenes are mocked below. So without further ado, let's begin!

Black Magic )

Texas Two-Step )

Live-In Lover )

And th-th-th-that's all, folks! More stuff coming in the future.
xifeng: (Default)
Oh God we had this thunderstorm and the temperature dropped like 15 degrees (from the low 90s to 79 when I was driving home) and my skull is full of snot and I cannot stop sneezing and I'm breathing through my mouth and it's all so fucking horrible and the worst thing is I cannot call in tomorrow. Well I can but just because we can do something doesn't mean we should and it's only allergies, not contagion and plague or anything. I mean it's only going to be a four-day work week anyway.

So instead of doing anything useful or productive I spent my evening blowing my nose and looking at pictures of grilled cheese sandwiches on the Internet, which is arguably nutritionally better than eating a real one. Not that I can taste anything anyway.

Going upstairs to wash my face and pretend I have The Black Plague. Yay!

Ow My Head

May. 27th, 2012 10:44 pm
xifeng: (Default)
Oh, look, someone just booked a room for InConJunction and now has to go. Experts speculate that this tack will work for Ikasucon as well.

In unrelated news (related in the broader sense of "going to events"), I went to the Rendezvous at Vincennes today. I had gone in 2010 and wanted to go last year, but other and more important events prevented me, so it was nice to go this year.

Pictures of Eighteenth Century Big Battel (my favorite part of the event) coming tomorrow, but right now I have a recurring pounding headache and think I may have inhaled Pollen From Across The Wabash in Vincennes (which is on the Wabash River, which constitutes the Illinois state line), because when I went to work after the Rendezvous (yes, I almost always do volunteer for overtime), I was sneezy and sniffly and hadn't been earlier.

Night!
xifeng: (Default)
So I went to Indianapolis. (I had hoped that I would feel differently about it but no, still hate hate hate Hate HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE Indy. Or more accurately, I hate the original city planners, whom I hope are lying at the bottom of the White River with cement blocks attached to their feet. I also hate this "there are no through streets and all streets must be one-way streets" bullcrap.)

Now I'm back.

More on this subject later, but right now my top priorities are throwing my laundry in the wash, humping my suitcase upstairs, turning on all the fans, and going to bed.

Complaints

Apr. 28th, 2012 01:58 am
xifeng: (Default)
1.) Dear body, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and hormonal birth control (also possibly the new implants in Fallopian tubes): Please decide whether we're menstruating or not, and act accordingly. I am tired of finding surprises in my underwear. Either bleed normally or don't bleed, I don't care, but pick one and stick with it.

2.) Dear brain and possible undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome: Just because there is Russian history does not mean we have to read it all like a goddamn spaz. This is how we got burnt out and--No. NO. STOP FLASHING BACK TO THE LIBRARY. WE WILL BE THERE AGAIN SHORTLY, PROBABLY ON MONDAY AFTER WORK. THIS IS MANY THINGS BUT NOT TRAGIC. Also, STOP FLASHING BACK TO THE SAN ANTONIO LIBRARY BECAUSE WE'RE NOT GOING THERE EVER AGAIN. That entire period of our life more or less sucked and had like three redeeming qualities, remember?...No, we don't need to be worried about what happened to the David King biography of Trotsky. Worst-case scenario, it's been withdrawn and we'll pick it up for like $1.35 at the Friends of the Library book sale. Or, you know, on Amazon.

Speaking of Amazon. CLOSE OUT THE AMAZON TAB. CLOSE IT OUT. NOW. WE'RE NOT GETTING BOOKS THIS WEEK. WE JUST BOUGHT CLOTHES (and spent way too much, but in fairness I did need bras and some more workplace-appropriate shirts and I had the money). NO BOOKS. NO BOOKS FOR WHINY BRAINS.

...Oh, fine. FINE. If I go upstairs and read some of The Prophet Armed or whatever, will that shut you up for five minutes?

3.) Dear flist: Back later.
xifeng: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] zyphryus, my great love! I have no idea if you will see this but I figure it is worth a shot. (Also I know this is short notice, so I understand if not doable.) The Indianapolis Opera is playing Faust the weekend after next (4-6 May), which I should like to see. I should also like to see you if the planets align! (And anybody else on the flist in Indy too, of course.)

I am still doinking with timing; the 4 May performance is at 8 p.m. local and I know there is NO way I will get up there by the time it begins unless I take off work, which theoretically I could do and in practice I am not doing because opera just isn't really a compelling reason to take off work. There is no 5 May performance (because that would have been easy and solved my scheduling problem, so, you know, not happening). The 6 May performance is at 2 p.m. local, which is copacetic for me in that I wouldn't have to drive in Indy in the dark, and in that I would probably still be back in Spavinsville at a reasonable hour. (On the other hand, once I returned to Spavinsville after 3 hours of opera and 4 hours of automotive transport, my activities for the day would be limited to "check e-mail, go to bed", so this would require me to have laundry and things arranged well in advance.)

ANYWAY! I seem to have decided that I shall do this thing (somehow), so pl0x advise? :D
xifeng: (Default)
This morning, I rolled out of bed, went to go get my every-other-weekly pedicure (because my feet get nasty without much provocation and I'd rather pay someone for them than do it myself), and found that it was much colder in the house than outside. My toenails are relatively subtle this time, if one can consider fluorescent pink to ever be subtle. (We're moving into sandal weather, so I have to look normal for a while. I don't favor shy and muted colors.)

Then I went to go get my ears pierced. (This is going to be the last hole in my lobes; I'm going to gradually move on to other stuff after this.) This is my third lobe piercing (for both ears), so I know the drill by now; the pain wasn't as bad as when they try to draw blood at the doctor's office, but now we've moved on to the HOLY SHIT MY EARS ARE ITCHY AND THERE ISN'T ANYTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT stage.

And THEN I went to the library downtown, where they were having a small book sale, and since I cannot help myself if I see books, I immediately relieved them of a stack from the history and biography sections and they relieved me of $13. I got A Delusion of Satan (about the Salem Witch Trials), which I'd only been wanting forever, and Chrysanthemums and Thorns (which I seem to recall [livejournal.com profile] duokinneas read a while back but that was about 5 years ago so I don't even know). I got other stuff, but that's what springs immediately to mind.

Anticlimactically, I then came home and made dinner. We had smoked turkey sausage on the grill pan (I'd wanted to grill outside, but the sky kept making noises like it was going to rain), cheesy biscuits, and coleslaw. The coleslaw was a little on the Cajun side, so I halved the cayenne pepper to avoid cruelty to lolmom, whose delicate system cannot tolerate the spicy food.

Lolmom has finally had the porch roof fixed, after lo these many years; one of the parishioners at her church is in construction and does roofing, and they're friendly, so when he hit a slow patch, they came over earlier this week to fix the roof. No more need we worry about it caving in and killing the next person who steps foot on the roof! Lolmom is very excited about this, as it means that once the porch is hosed off, she can go outside and enjoy the weather. She's especially looking forward to this on Mother's Day (for the British and Australians on the flist, our Mother's Day is in May), when X-chan will come up again to help her clean out the garage and we'll have tea for dinner. (I told lolmom I could either spend the day in the garage or the kitchen and to pick what she wanted. She chose the kitchen. I have no idea what the tea menu is going to be, aside from turkey and avocado sandwiches.)

I am looking at the beginnings of a draft and I have given one of the main characters a tail and I do not for the life of me remember why this is. I assume it will be important at some point.

Also: [livejournal.com profile] arisha, I owe you a response to your lengthy comment on Troy, Achilles' character arc, &c. Will get to that but probably not tonight; still have things to do that aren't done. (Go me.)
xifeng: (Default)
This will be brief, as X-chan is here and in any case I don't want to spend Easter weekend on the Int0rbuttz, but we were talking about my father's people. X-chan has been doing the genealogy on that side, which so far has eluded me, and I asked if she'd been able to find out anything about Great-Grandpa's parents, which is where the line ends.

Turns out, it was quite a lot. They came through New York (just as I suspected), where my great-grandfather himself was born (not in Philadelphia, as I'd always believed); X-chan was able to get census records for the 1920s and 1930s, and it turns out that quite a lot is different to what I previously thought I knew. Great-Grandpa had a sister named Violet (whom I didn't know about) who worked as a newspaper clerk for one of the Philly rags along with Louise F*******, Great-Grandma's sister, which seems to have been how my great-grandparents met. Great-Grandpa himself worked for the WPA as a timekeeper from about 1937-1940 when Grandpa was a kid.

And then there was this capper:
X-chan: Great-Grandpa's parents came through New York. His father was Russian and his mother was Hungarian. I think they married in the United States, since Great-Grandpa's father was married once before. Either it didn't take or he was a widower.
l33: I always heard it was the father who was Hungarian and the mother was a Romanian.
X-chan: Nope, Russian. Says so on the census. They might have misheard him, I guess, but...[shrugs]
l33: Huh. We are Russian. How 'bout that.

Furthering the Russian connection, Great-Grandma had another sister, Stephanie, whose husband Julian fought for the Tsarist army during the Great War, although he was an American citizen. (You could do that in those days. Why is the world so small now.) After the Revolution, he joined up with the White Russian army (the loyalist forces who battled the Red Army and ultimately lost). Then he came home and was a lawyer for 45 years, which seems rather pale next to the epic struggle of good and evil. I thought this was interesting even if I am a little embarrassed that anyone in my family fought Communism.

Bonus points if we subsequently find out that someone in my family lived in Ukraine in the 1890s and knew the family Bronshtein (and their rabble-rousing kid). I'd be surprised - the H*****es prefer colder climes - but one can fantasize.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
xifeng: (Default)
This has been the Week from Hell, culminating in seven hours at work today. On the plus side: it's Presidents Day weekend, so I don't have to work Monday, meaning I actually have a two-day weekend!!!! omg, and tomorrow I dine wherever is reasonably priced in Bloomington.

("Tomorrow" is secret code for "Sunday", due to this weird mental quirk I have whereby if I haven't been to bed yet, it's still the same day, regardless of what time it is.)

Also, I got my labwork back from my doctor. My blood sugar is 93, so if you consider that the mid-90s are the start of the prediabetes danger zone, I am well and truly out of it. (For now.) Plus: no girlbits cancer! RESULT.

On Tuesday, I call Dr Gynecologist about Essure, and hopefully that will be the start of never having to worry about reproducing again.

I am tired and stressed and just really, really want a cigarette, but I know if I have one, it'll turn into two, which will turn into the rest of the pack, which will turn into my quitting when the overtime is over, which will mean I quit sometime in 2014 and I just don't know that I want to go down that road.

SUPER YAY

Feb. 11th, 2012 09:22 pm
xifeng: (OMG YAY)
On the bright side, while I am freaking the fuck out about ye olde labwork (still not in) -

1.) I would like to call your attention to the magnificent silver vehicle parked in my driveway. As of last week, I own it free and clear. No more car payments for another 5-10 years, I hope!

2.) Speaking of that self-same magnificent vehicle, I took it to get an oil change and the brakes checked this morning. (It's been a couple of years since the brakes were looked at, but brake failure isn't something I want to play around with.) The mechanic came out while I was waiting and said to me, "Miss H*****, that is a fine vehicle!"

Since these words are not usually used to describe nondescript Toyota sedans, I wasn't sure if he was being sarcastic, and he went on to say, "No, seriously, it's fine. The brakes are working fine, the filters are fine [they should be, they're not six months old], the battery is fine [it should be, it's not two years old], everything is in really good shape, but we just found a little corrosion around the battery terminals..." I figured an extra $35 that might prolong the life of my battery was a small price to pay, so end result: I walked out having dropped about $75 instead of the $460 I had anticipated paying for new pads and rotors. Either someone up there likes me or someone up there has a black sense of humor that I haven't found out about yet.

3.) I went to G.D. Ritzy's with Lauren this evening, largely a spur of the moment thing. I hadn't previously been, and while it was greasy and delicious, I don't think it's going to be somewhere I frequent on a regular basis - way too much fat and carbs! (Speaking of, I get back on the wagon tomorrow, because I would like to knock another 20 pounds off my frame.)

4.) I have knocked out 4 hours and 29 files in the office today, so have done all the overtime I am required to do this weekend and am at leisure to decide whether I want to get up at ass o'clock in the morning tomorrow and put in some more hours. (Since up to 12 hours are approved, I was really tempted, but I still have to do laundry, pack a lunch, generally get ready for my week, and do some other things.)
xifeng: (Default)
+ I've received a second debit card in the mail. Basically: I didn't know the bank would automatically renew mine (this varies from bank to bank), so was sure to order a new one just before the old one expired. Today, I ripped open a letter from the bank only to find a shiny new debit card therein. I don't need two, so I expect to waste my first break tomorrow morning getting this sorted.

+ My physical was yesterday. Results are not in yet, which is typical (it takes the lab longer to look at a Pap than it does to look at blood), but I will spaz left to my own devices. I'm actually more stressed about the Pap than I am about the bloodwork, despite having no reason to feel that way; I have no history of abnormal Pap in lo these many years of having them done. It's just that this year I'm planning to finally break my ladybits, and I want to make sure that there are no underlying ladybits issues that need to be addressed first. The waiting is always a wrench. They'll call the house, so I expect to waste my second break tomorrow afternoon getting this sorted.

+ I was going to go to Bloomington this weekend. I am going to go get my brakes fixed instead. (They're probably not broken, but it's been a couple of years and I'd like to get them looked at and taken care of before reaching the point where I can't stop. Silly of me, but we all have our little idiosyncrasies.) I may only be able to get one set fixed this weekend, depending on what needs to be done and how much it's going to run me.

+ Next week at work, we go to a new time tracking system, meaning that we'll all have to be at work by 7:55 to clock in so that, after the startup dialogue takes 20 years to do its thing, the system will register the first punch of the day at 8:03. EFFICIENCY!

+ SO MANY FEELINGS. WHY ARE FEELINGS ALL BAD. ALSO WHY DID I QUIT SMOKING. The main thing I am feeling is how much my shoulders hurt and I don't like this very much, so it's probably time to fire up the bag-o-rice and go to bed.

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