Today is

Apr. 27th, 2012 09:11 am
pegkerr: (Default)

TODAY IS
THE 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
OF THIS BLOG.



6177 journal entries (here's the first one).

48398 comments received
11,070 comments posted on LJ, 59 on DW

Thank you to everyone who has been reading along. You've added immeasurably to my life, watched as I've created a family with my wonderful husband and cheered and given support as we've raised our beautiful daughters. It's been an honor and privilege to gain the window into your lives you've given me in return.

I'm going to keep on going!
pegkerr: (Default)
where we had a simply splendiforous time. The girls were extremely satisfied and we count it as an entirely successful vacation.

Infinitus was held at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. I moderated the luncheon panel on Friday, about fanfiction. I was able to relax and enjoy the conference more once that obligation was over. The panelists all seemed to think it went quite well. There were papers delivered about the books, but a large part of the draw, of course, was the newly opened park. On Friday night, there was a special event held privately for about 1500 of the conference attendees who were fortunate enough to score tickets: a private party, just for us, held in Hogsmeade, between 10:00 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. (well, actually about 2:00 a.m., when they turned out all the lights in order to convince us to go home). We went through the shops and did the tour of the castle, which culminated in the signature ride: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The queue for the line snaked through the castle itself, which was great fun: you got to see Dumbledore's office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Mirror of Erised, the Gryffindor Common Room, etc. There were amazingly convincing moving talking portraits on the walls, occasionally squabbling with each other. It was just so much fun, and then the ride was worth the wait. You actually felt as if you were really flying!

Fiona and I went on the ride that night, but Delia and Rob didn't get a chance to do so before they shut down for the night. At the end of the evening, we got into a conversation with the Sales Manager for Orlando, who was in charge of keeping our group happy. She offered to take my family on a private VIP tour of the park the next day (!!!!).

So the next day, Saturday, that's what she did. She couldn't have been nicer. The daytime crowds were much bigger, but with her accompanying us, we simply walked to the head of all the lines. She gave us her employee discount in all the shops, too, so we happily explored Honeydukes and Zonko's, and each bought souvenirs to take away with us. We had lunch in the Three Broomsticks. She gave us complimentary Chocolate Frogs when she dropped us off at the hotel again. It was a truly incredible day.

Besides the papers at the conference, there were Wizard Rock performances, and the video premiere of A Very Potter Sequel. Which was hilarious! Fiona and I also saw the musical performance of The Final Battle, which was composed by Lena Gabrielle of The Butterbeer Experience.

The girls had a great time in the vendors room. They'd been saving for awhile, and we gave them some money, too. Fiona finally settled on her house--she's a Slytherin--and got a set of robes. Both girls got posters for A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel and got the cast to sign them. Fiona also got a wand (Sirius Black's, very striking). Delia's wand was sold out in the park (she wanted the Elder wand) but she plans to get it later.

It was wonderful to see so many friends at the conference. The girls, of course, had people greeting them everywhere, as they were recognized from my Livejournal. A real highlight of the week was finally meeting [livejournal.com profile] aome for the first time.

Sadly, we had to leave eventually. We drove back to Minneapolis, stopping to do college visits at Beloit College, Lawrence University and Eau Claire University (of Wisconsin) along the way.

I have to go back to work tomorrow. Wah.

Best. Vacation. Evah. Sincere thanks to HPEF, which did so much to enable our family to go.



pegkerr: (Default)
Today's the 8th anniversary of the date I started my online journal. Here was the first entry.

Thanks so much everyone, for making me laugh, sometimes making me cry, and for making me think. I've made great friends here--some of them the best I've ever had, even if we've never actually met--and I've gained more support (for both me AND my family) than I could have possibly imagined on that day so long ago when I nervously made my first post.

Love you all, gang. I plan to stick around for a good many years to come.
pegkerr: (Default)
Read this. [livejournal.com profile] vichan says:
LiveJournal has done something stupid again.

Let me rephrase that: LiveJournal has done something REALLY f*ing stupid.

Links to about 150 e-commerce sites that users post to their LiveJournals are being redirected through a 3rd party website. These redirected links also open in a new window.

Among other things, this redirection strips any existing affiliate links and inserts a different affiliate link.

I first heard about this from my sister. At first, I wasn't having the problem she was talking about, but I poked around some more and finally figured out how to get it to happen on my end. If I click on this link: GlutenFreeBay.com (a website containing gluten free recipes) while logged out of LiveJournal, the link pops up in a new window and doesn't appear to be gluten free recipes at all. Instead, it takes me to eBay.

These links are being directed through something called "outboundclick.net." From what people have been able to deduce, this redirection is triggered by certain keywords in the URL such as "buy" and "free."

This is a huge, huge problem, LJ. It's sneaky, it's dishonest, and it's a violation of our privacy.

Why else is this a problem? It is potentially stealing revenue from LJ users.
I don't have the tech knowledge to evaluate this first hand, but it sounds bad. Read more here, with links with further information and information on how to use the admin console to opt out.

Update: [livejournal.com profile] jimhines says: See Kyle Cassidy's update at http://kylecassidy.livejournal.com/585577.html

Sounds like LJ is pulling the code, if they haven't done so already.
pegkerr: (Delia)
Delia has started her own livejournal. We went to see the movie "Julie and Julia" this weekend, and fired up by that example, now she is interested in possibly trying a recipe-a-day project, perhaps for a month to start out. Please drop by [livejournal.com profile] ooh_pretty_mine to welcome her to livejournal and say hello, and you are welcome to follow along, if you'd like to see Delia blog about her various artistic endeavors.

(For those who missed the earlier announcement, Fiona now has her own livejournal at [livejournal.com profile] bookloverfio.)
pegkerr: (You'll eat it and like it)
I was reading my friends list and ran across an entry by [livejournal.com profile] lollardfish, talking about his adorable son Nico. In the comments, [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan mentioned in passing that she was eating some pumpkin ice cream. When [livejournal.com profile] lollardfish lamented his lack of pumpkin ice cream, I was suddenly overcome by an irresistible urge. So I went downstairs, dished up some vanilla ice cream, microwaved it for ten seconds, opened a can of pumpkin and threw a 1/4 cup on top of the ice cream and mixed it all together. I'd never done such a thing before, but it was so ravishingly delicious that I went down and fixed myself second bowl. Uh, because I need more vitamin A, right?

I find it funny that a passing comment from a woman in Massachusetts would set off a food craving for me here in Minnesota.

Tell me about an instance where something you've read on LiveJournal influenced you to do something, maybe something you've never tried before. Big or small--whatever. I know some of you started the 100 pushups program because you read about it here. What else?
pegkerr: (Default)
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] barondave. Hmm. According to this, I am 42.6% interesting.

So, pegkerr, your LiveJournal reveals...Click here to find out )

You are... 1% unique and 14% herdlike (partly because you, like everyone else, enjoy yoga). When it comes to friends you are a total whore. In terms of the way you relate to people, you are wary of trusting strangers. Your writing style (based on a recent public entry) is simplistic.

Your overall weirdness is: 14

(The average level of weirdness is: 27.
You are weirder than 26% of other LJers.)

Find out what your weirdness level is!





So . . . my journal style is "simplistic." And I'm a "total whore" when it comes to friends. I am not sure I was ready to be so insulted this early in the morning.

Hmph.
pegkerr: (Family)
I went to work today, but I was really quite distracted. I'm certainly better than I was Tuesday, but I struggled throughout the afternoon with coughing jags, and I continually popped cough drops and sucked down cup after cup of tea. I kept calling home to check on how Delia was doing (better, thank you, although she's still coping with neck and shoulder pain), and to talk with Rob about logistics and insurance matters. I called my parents and sisters, and I called Kij. At a certain particularly low point this afternoon, I sat at my desk and cried into my hands, hoping that no one would walk by and ask me what was going on. Fortunately, no one did.

When work was over, I rode my bike home, and came upstairs and checked my email. There, I found a message from [livejournal.com profile] madlori that ABSOLUTELY BLEW ME AWAY.

*stunned disbelief*

Friends list, how can I possibly thank you enough for your kindness and generosity? Since I learned of the drive that [livejournal.com profile] madlori organized to raise money for me and my family, I've been struggling with how to precisely articulate how unbelievably touched and overwhelmed I feel. Me, a writer, at an absolute loss for words! But I realized eventually that I could never hope to find words perfect enough to possibly be worthy of the gift you have given us. But you know, that's okay, because it's a gift beyond anything I deserve, no matter what I've done, no matter how well you think I write, and how much you love reading the stories I've crafted about my life and my family. When life strikes you as hard as our family's misfortunes have been hitting me, the only way to get through it is by grace. I have always valued you, you know that, and I've often told you that I consider you my posse, watching out for my back. Tonight, I sit here with tears in my eyes and humbly say that you are more than that. You are grace to me, both secular and divine, however you understand it. In this, the most terrible year I've had for a long time, I am so grateful to have found in you a grace to help give me the courage I so desperately need to get me through these trials. I will remember it and hang on to it, no matter what is still to come.

The girls thank you, Rob thanks you, and I thank you, from the bottom of all our hearts.

Blessings and kisses,

Love,
Peg
pegkerr: (Default)
From my post 5/5/08 "The Tree and the Sun." Click to see close up:



This was sure pretty when I printed it out. I'm going to hang it above my desk at work, and add it to my Trees collection.
pegkerr: (Default)


EMBODIMENT PAPER JOURNAL PROJECT 2008 | LEARN MORE + JOIN


This is an interesting community to watch, because people do such imaginative things with their journals. As I've noted before, I've been keeping a daily journal since the age of 14 (and I'm 47 now). I'm such a creature of habit about it: I always buy the same type, the At-A-Glance Standard Diary that has one page a day:


Standard Diary Standard Diary



But, as I've noted several times this past year, I've had some unusual trouble this year keeping it up. I've skipped days at a time, which is something I never used to do. My entries feel dry and uninteresting, and I continually fight the feeling, "I've said this all a million times before, so why repeat it?" Partly it's the depression, of course, and perhaps part of the trouble is that I'm keeping this LiveJournal, too, and the two sort of compete for my energy. And frankly, the LiveJournal is rather more fun, because I can add links and pictures and get comments back. But I still would like to keep up a paper diary, too.

I wonder whether trying to get boldly experimental, like some of the folks at the [livejournal.com profile] embodiment community do, would help. I've never considered myself much of a visual artist, but perhaps if I added more of an element of play to the paper version, that might help?

Do you keep a paper journal as well as your LiveJournal? How long have you done so? How do the two different journals perform different roles for you? Why do you like to keep both? What do you do to keep the paper journal interesting for yourself? How have your journaling habits changed? (As you got older, your life changed, as you added LiveJournal, etc.)

Icon meme

Oct. 18th, 2007 09:52 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
I got this meme from [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha:

Comment on this post. I will choose seven userpics from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are using them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so others can play along.

Here were the icons [livejournal.com profile] minnihaha K. asked me about:

This is from the movie Sense and Sensibility (of the Jane Austen novel of the same name) and it pictures the actress Emma Thompson in the part of Elinor Dashwood. Throughout the book (and movie) the reserved Elinor ("Sense") stands in contrast to her sister, the romantic passionate Marianne ("Sensibility"). At the course of the novel, Marianne, who has always rather looked down upon Elinor for what she terms her coldness, learns that Elinor feels just as passionately as Marianne herself, except that she (unlike Marianne) exercises discipline over her emotions for a variety of reasons: because it is more honorable, more temperate, and because she does not wish to give her family and friends pain when she herself is hurting. My emotions have always been a difficult part of my own character to manage, and much of the process of my maturation has been learning how to handle them appropriately. I have adopted what I call my "Elinor Dashwood" mode (and I use this icon) to describe those times when my emotions may be tumultuous and painful, but I do not feel it is appropriate to make a parade of them, or to speak directly in my LiveJournal of what is bothering me. See this entry where I began the metaphor, and all of my entries tagged "Elinor Dashwood" here.

and Both of these icons (as well as my default icon) are representations of what I have come to call the Holy Tree. I first became aware of the term by reading Tolkien: he loved trees dearly, and they became central to his mythology, as depicted in The Silmarillion. (In the first manifestation of the world, there was no sunlight or moonlight. Instead, there were the Two Holy Trees, Telperion and Laurelin, from which shone golden and silvery light.) This idea has mingled in my imagination with my favorite poem of all, Yeat's The Two Trees. (I was introduced to it by Loreena McKennitt, who sang it as a song on her album The Mask and the Mirror.) The poet speaks of a magical tree which grows within the human heart, and contrasts that with a false vision of a blasted, barren tree, which may be seen when demons hold up their bitter glass (a mirror). To me, this poem is about one of the central struggles of my life, and it words it so beautifully. I am too apt to believe the demons who hold up the bitter glass, and show me a vision of a blasted and barren tree. I have been trying to see more clearly the holy tree, which the poet assures me grows within my own heart. The song is also a damn good description of cognitive therapy, one of the best I've ever read. When depression gets its claws into me, my tormentors are, indeed, the "ravens of unresting thought," who shake their ragged wings, alas. The key, the poet says, is to turn the eyes away from the bitter glass, with its false vision of the blasted tree, back to the holy tree within the heart. The first tree icon, highly stylized, I posted because I was considering it as a possible tattoo (it was on the cover of a devotional booklet distributed by my church). I still love the design, but I know it would have to be simplified and I am not sure I will ever do it (the idea of my getting a tattoo does horrify some members of my family). The second tree icon was taken from a watercolor done by Tolkien himself, picturing the Mallorn trees of the Golden Wood (from The Fellowship of the Ring).

This candle is an evocation of another important concept from Tolkien: A light in dark places, when all other lights go out. (This is a reference to the Vial of Galadriel, which was a source of light to Frodo in the cave where he encountered the spider Shelob. I use this icon when the depression seems to be waxing and the Light seems to be waning. I use it to remind myself that there is still light there, and I need to remember and draw courage from that.

This is a line from Pride and Prejudice, something said by the insufferable, bossy Lady Catherine DeBourgh. I swiped it from www.pemberley.com. I thought it might be good to use when I wanted to comment on other people's journals, although since I swiped it without permission I feel guilty about having it and so I haven't used it that often. It was actually these Pemberley icons that gave me the idea of creating my Tolkien icons.

This is a picture of the ice palace in St. Paul, taken from the air, at night. I was trying to write a fantasy novel, where the central character was the architect designing it. Unfortunately, I lost my way, and the book has been abandoned for now.

Wow

Jul. 29th, 2007 10:24 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
I just realized that this journal recently received its 30,000th comment.

My, you people are loquacious.
pegkerr: (No spoilers)
I am re-posting this information to help all those who wish to remain spoiler-free to manage to do so:

(As for my own policy, I will not post any spoilers for either the book or the movie before the release. After the release, I will put everything even slightly spoilerish behind a cut-tag.)

To turn off communities on your friends page, add

?show=p

to the end of the URL, i.e., http://pegkerr.livejournal.com/friends/?show=p

Some good advice from commenters with further instructions on how to avoid spoilers:

From [livejournal.com profile] ceildh: If you are determined not to be spoiled, you may want to be careful if you are subscribed to LJ notices, and get notices when someone adds you as a friend - a troll with a spoilery username such as "ddore_dies" could friend you, which seemed to happen a lot last time. (Edited to add: This has happened this time around with harrypooter and wasteofpages) Also they could comment to you, which you'd get notification of, so you may want to temporarily enable commenting as friends-only or turn off receiving comments by e-mail. you can do this by going to http://www.livejournal.com/manage/subscriptions/ and unchecking the appropriate box.

You can avoid seeing your commenters' icons if you turn off icons and then read comments to your posts only on your Recent Comments page (you have to be logged in, and then go to http://www.livejournal.com/tools/recent_comments.bml and read them there).

Remember that if you have set up a spoil-free group among your friends list of people who have agreed not to post spoilers except under cut-tags, people can comment to them with spoilers, esp. if they haven't set their comments as friends-only. Think twice before attempting to read comments on any one else's journal.

[Edited to add: Note: [livejournal.com profile] bohemianspirit warns that you should SAVE A COPY OF YOUR CUSTOM ADJUSTMENTS before making any of the following suggested changes.]

From [livejournal.com profile] laurel: This is the page you want for turning off userpics in your LJ style/scheme (assuming you use a S2 style). 'Course that just applies to your theme so only works when viewing your f-list with your own journal style (not whatever the default LJ style is).

If you care about mood icons, you can adjust those settings from the look and feel tab and say that you want all mood icons anywhere to be the ones you set (rather than what others want in their LJ posts).

All this stuff should be under www.livejournal.com/customize/ (just in case my other links don't work).

Oh-- another simpler (maybe?) way is available from this page. You can have all icons replaced with a placeholder image. Took me a while to find that page, you think it'd be somewhere obvious!

(Yeah, yeah, this is all somewhat absurd, I'll admit. I am going to great lengths: Rob's going to be checking my e-mail for me this week. But I'm hoping it's going to work to keep me unspoiled.

Oh, and yeah--go ahead and laugh at me if you like, but anyone on my friends list who spoils me will be personally banned from my journal, any personal friendship, of course, will end immediately, and every available curse will be called down upon your head unto the seventh generation. Don't say that you weren't warned.

pegkerr: (Don't let it rankle!)
I have no idea what this means, but apparently my LiveJournal weirdness quotient is very low. My writing style is "simplistic," which I find mildly insulting. Clicky here for details )
pegkerr: (Elinor Dashwood)
I have been looking at my friends page only sporadically for the past couple of weeks, being distracted by real life. When I finally cottoned onto the fact that apparently LiveJournal made a Very Big Mistake and now is Very Very Sorry, I considered that this would be a good opportunity to make a thoughtful and interesting post touching upon corporate governance and public relations, fandom and fanfiction, the boundary between fantasy and reality, the appeal and danger of the taboo, censorship, trust, and protecting children vs. free speech.

But you know what? There has already been an awful lot of ink spilled bytes slaughtered on this topic without my contribution. And frankly, right now I have enough drama in my own life without commenting on somebody else's, even LiveJournal, as much as I love it. I'm having a hard time even mustering up much of a reaction as a result. I know that this affected tons of people on my friends list, and I love you all and hope you don't pull up stakes and move elsewhere. For the time being, I'm too busy coping with my own life to muster up the energy to go storming off myself to another blogging service, so I'll still be here.

And I hope I find my energy to make interesting posts again someday. Really.
pegkerr: (Default)
I just realized: my guestbook link at the top of my journal disappeared. Where did it go and how do I get it back? (I am afraid I can't remember how I set the darn thing up in the first place, but I remember that it was a hassle to figure out how to do it.) Can anyone more tech-savvy than me answer this? (Er, [livejournal.com profile] legomymalfoy? Bueller? Anyone???)
pegkerr: (Default)
I've been missing vast swathes of my friends list; it's a combination of busyness (all that dojo cleaning) and other life stuff that's been going on--please be aware that it's not personal, and I don't mean to snub anyone. Anyway, I just ran across the discussion over the 2007 Hugo and John W. Campbell finalist list. Congrats to everyone on the list, etc., etc., but as has been pointed out, the list (along with all the other major sf/fantasy award finalist lists this year) is very embarassing in one respect: there is only ONE woman's name on the list, [livejournal.com profile] naominovik, for His Majesty's Dragon (which is an excellent book, by the way, very deserving of the nomination, and you all should read it). Anyway, in all the discussion, [livejournal.com profile] sdn cleverly ran the 2006 Hugo nomination list through a website called Regender.com and came up with this. Interesting food for thought, no?

It's fun to run a lot of websites through Regender.com. Like the first chapter of Genesis, or Google News. Or this Livejournal. Apparently, in another life, I am Peter, married to Robin, and with two sons, Dennis and Frank. Who knew?
pegkerr: (words)
Interesting article here detailing some of the considerations for authors who are trying to decide whether or not to blog.

In case you haven't figured it out in the five or so years I've been blathering here, I rather like blogging. And it's pleasant that at least some of you seem to enjoy reading what I have to say.

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