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Well, THAT was a disappointment...

I just sent the following letter off to Fathom Events.

To whom it may concern:

My husband and I were on vacation with extremely limited access to the internet when you announced your special screening of Young Frankenstein back in late August/early September. Not wanting to run the risk of the event selling out while we were away, I purchased two tickets for the AMC 16 Cupertino Square.

At the advertised start time this evening, we were shown the Fathom Coming Attractions reel over the audio for the movie. Close to 15 minutes later, we started getting the video of Mel Brooks live on the 20th Century lot - with no audio. It was another five minutes before we got the correct audio, and were finally able to enjoy the remainder of Mr. Brooks's presentation in the Zanuck Theatre. When that portion ended, we got another five minutes of slides, then returned to the film, which had apparently continued to run in the background - and again, no audio.

At no time during this process did a member of theatre staff or management come in to address the audience; when multiple attendees went out to talk to the staff to ask what was going on, the responses they received were largely dismissive. My husband and I finally left the theatre 45 minutes into the advertised run-time, having seen less than ten minutes of the scheduled event as it was meant to be seen. We spoke with the manager on duty, who half-heartedly apologized and claimed that they were having problems with the "live DVR download."

I have attended a number of Fathom screenings at multiple theatres throughout the SF Bay Area over the company's 11-year history, including NT Live's Coriolanus, the Grateful Dead Meet-up at the Movies, and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary screening of Day of the Doctor. I have NEVER been so thoroughly disappointed in a screening.

Hopefully, you will be able to retrain the employees involved and ensure that my experience is the last of its kind in that location. I look forward to hearing how you are able to resolve the matter.


This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1354007.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


I never dreamed I would write these words.

Someone I once considered my closest friend has betrayed the very social circle I introduced him to thirty years ago.

I doubt you're reading this, Jim, but if you are: I still love you, but I don't trust you any longer, and I may not be able to ever again.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1353893.html. Comments disabled in both locations.
[personal profile] gridlore and I are in agreement that this was our last year tent camping for That Thing In The Desert. We've done some basic research and determined that we are looking for a used 13' travel trailer (something like a Scamp or a Casita). For health reasons, we are specifically looking for Deluxe models with an onboard flush toilet.

We're not going to be doing any serious shopping until February when our tax refund comes in, but expect lots of stupid questions from us once we get to that point.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1353634.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


Back when dafydd and I were still together, it was common (perhaps even traditional) to hear him declare in early September, "Well, time to go fix what Burning Man broke."

He only ever said it about his truck. [personal profile] gridlore and I aren't that lucky.

As noted in his own journal, Doug broke three metatarsals in his right foot while we were starting to tear down camp on the final Monday night of the event. I asked, more than once, if he wanted to go to Medical; he declined, and I was too brain-fried, despite having veto power, to insist on it.

It was Wednesday morning before he finally admitted "Okay, this isn't just the neuropathy; something's fucked up." Fortunately, Renown was a direct shot up 2nd Street from our beloved Grand Sierra, and everyone we worked with there was terrific. They got him splinted up and sent us on our way with crutches and both print-outs and digital copies of his X-rays. (They offered him The Good Drugs, as well, but we would have had to fill the script while we were still in Nevada, and we were already nervous about what Medicare was going to do with this visit. Fortunately, Doug had had the good sense to pack the rest of the meds he'd been given for last month's procedure, so he wasn't in complete agony.)

Meanwhile, I keep looking down at my own right shin and wondering WTF is going on...

As noted in the tweet above, I finally stopped trying to grin and bear it on Sunday and took myself to Urgent Care. The doctor I saw said I should get an ultrasound the next day to rule out a possible abscess, and come back to see him once the test was done.

15 minutes after calling me to schedule said ultrasound, they called me back and said "We're cancelling that appointment, the doctor wants you to go to the ER instead."

Where I spent two hours and $200* to get diagnosed with leg pain. Dude, I told you that when I walked in here.

I spend the next two days faithfully taking the Motrin they gave me, then email my primary physician for a follow-up appointment when I don't see any improvement. (I'd also had truly atrocious blood pressure readings on both Sunday and Monday, and figured the sooner I got that seen to, the better.)

Gratifyingly, they called me this morning as I was getting ready for work, saying they could fit me in. Confusingly, my BP was back to what passes for normal for me (136/84 - not great, but miles better than the 209/95 they got in the ER on Monday). Reassuringly (if a bit frustratingly), my doctor said "Yeah, it's a contusion, and where it is will take a long time to fully heal. Keep it elevated, heat or ice depending upon what feels better."

In the words of the National Enquirer's old gossip column: "...and how was YOUR week?"

* It was going to be $250, but when I stopped by the cashier's office after today's appointment, they gave me a Prompt Payment discount. File under "linings, pewter."

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1353322.html. Feel free to comment in either location.

T minus 7 hours to launch

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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1353135.html. Feel free to comment in either location.

FOR SALE: Alpine Subwoofer & Amplifier

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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1352719.html. Feel free to comment in either location.

İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı

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.


This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1352416.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


Getting my feet back under me

Talk of mental health and eating habits behind the cutCollapse )
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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1351741.html. Feel free to comment in either location.
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!

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1351607.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


[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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1351375.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


We interrupt this vacation...

...to mourn Prince's passing in the only appropriate way.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1351012.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


"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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1350815.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1350383.html. Feel free to comment in either location.

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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1349418.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


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. ;-)

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1349337.html. Feel free to comment in either location.


Istanbul, Update 29 - Flying While Fat

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.


This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1348715.html. Feel free to comment in either location.

Technology is thwarting me.

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?

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1348606.html. Feel free to comment in either location.

Just how I wanted to spend my afternoon.

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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1348258.html. Comments disabled in both locations.


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.

This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1348094.html. Feel free to comment in either location.



We're flat broke, but hey - we do it in style....

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