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Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

There is so much terrible, it is overwhelming. racism. sexism. fighting. division. the terrible earthquakes and hurricanes. no direct impact just, depressing to have to call senate and house all the time to keep insurance.


Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? "Spiritual" can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

I did get to see new zealand and australia though. it was amazing. bucket list check.


Describe one thing you'd like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

Having moved, and knowing if I have 24/7 compatibility with my primary. A new job would be nice. I hate not knowing, I hate being on hold.


How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

i want to figure out why i always have headaches, am always tired, in so much joint pain. I want to be better at the gym. i want to have free time. i want to read. i want to play games. i want to get laid more regularly and scenes more often.
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Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

I honestly can not think of anything?
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Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you're especially proud of from this past year?

I would like to have actually managed to have free time...
I am glad I did get to travel again to another country. I want to see many countries and all the states.
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Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

OLT Event, I got to see friends in Philly which was great.

I visited, on my own, Australia! new zealand! That literally has been a goal of mine for many years. See the name AmazonV, think Xena. It was good, but the pain of the flight was terrible. I didn't get to do as much as I wanted, but it was still cool. I am glad I did it, too bad I couldn't have stayed longer.

Health- I was deemed pre diabetic, had an endless (still have) headache, arthritis, joint pain and other things resulting in many doctor visits. I also now semi regularly goto the gym and practice yoga. talk about things I never thought I would do. The flight joint pain sparked the flurry of specialists.

I visited friends in texas which was great. so spread out.

I maintained both my partners, although lots of kerfluffles.

I went back to williamsburg for the first time in a long time, with Y&M and my primary. It made me think of poppy.

Primary had surgery, and apparently just pops awake after and feels fine. I watched him a bit and drove him. later in the year he had to return the favor for me. Why won't they remove my uterus?

i spent me and one of my partners birthday's in vegas, interesting to see it off season.

I hosted a fancy dinner party with silver and china, i enjoy such things and was glad it went well.

we went to my primary's friends wedding, he was in the wedding. I got to see his hometown, meet some of his friends and family, and goto universal and disney!

we has hackers on a farm 2 HOF2 - not as busy as 1, but it was a good time. except we forgot to put a thing under the pig. thanks to mary and matt for being firefighters it worked out.

I tried meditation, i really. it's not for me.

I tried 21 days of gratitude, I did it. I am still a cranky bitch.

I tried to step back, i did stop running classes and munches but still saddled with hackerspace and still overly busy. I am a failure at no.

I visited both the VA RF (primary and metamour), and MI RF (other partner and friends). <3 faires.

My tea is now in the hotel roanoke! and alexander black house. Still considering closing though due to the amount of work to benefit. I got slapped with way past due taxes (litter, $10/year) I had NEVER heard of. ugh. stress.

I got to attend the 25th year of defcon, it's gotten so big ... i just want to see friends

I went to my first ever Dragoncon with my primary. it was very fun, but too many people too crazy, not going back. such awesome costumes! jim butcher was awesome in person, so was alex kingston, karen gillian. i learned tricks for sewing with patterns (buter paper, adjustments, curvey sewing collective), played mage for the first time and got in some shadowrun. I also went to the EFF IOT sex toy talk as well as a tea duel, my first ever. it was silly and fun.

I am exhausted and depressed and waiting for the next year to be over and for me to hopefully be medically straightened out.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
what hurts
some of my toes
my ankles
my knees
my left hip
my back
my left rib / chest area
my shoulders
my elbows
my wrists
my fingers
my neck
the inside front of my head
my left eye
my left eyelid


and this is for days and days
knock it off already
amazonv: (TARDIS)
So many the same shops, the same things repetitive and not too different or exciting

Cities the same too, it's some of the odd sights that vary, is it worth it?

wish i had better recon on betals beach so i could have managed the lake

should have considered train between in country locations?

pick places next to transit or rental car, too much on uber (esp with latest revelations)

hobbit holes were cool, should have gone twice

tours took me things i might not have seen otherwise, good

perhaps longer in each place (but that would have been less places)

overall, now off the bucket list, glad i went, but unlikely to go again, such a long flight

much disappointment in humanity, vandalizing PLANTS, buildings, not following directions (using flashes on nocturnal animals), not managing their kids (smashing on glass and scratching at animals), littering in amazingly beautiful locations...
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 20


checked out

took train to airport

checked in at airport

flight syd->lax

wiped phones and latops en route

Luggage took forever
CBP took forever, and i have global entry

got to my lax to atl as it was boarding

then atl grabbed some food, i forget what


clt met with driver who took me home to virginia

did slight bit fussing around, it was past 10pm Feb 20th
didn't get to see alex
did get to snuggle cats
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Sunday Feb 19


I slept poorly due to white night
and was up early to get to the airport
checked out
Train to the Skybus to the Airport
I took the first available train in the morning, and I had to add a few more dollars to my opal transit card

Check in for flight
train into downtown
checked into hostel

Then i went to the Sydney eye tower
reconfirmed I am afraid of heights
But i had purchased that combo pass so it was paid for and was a nice view

Then wandered about in the Westfield mall, Din Tai Fung steamed buns for lunch

Next up was the Queen Victoria building - tried to goto the beautiful tea room on the top floor - but it was closed for a wedding. ended up at once in the center - The palace tea room

Lingonberry green tea
Green, vegetal, hint berry, barely
Two cup pot, one cup, second very strong tannen

Finger sandwiches

not interesting, or impressive, didn't bother to finish.

Then town hall train stop

Back to hostel

then went out for dinner

steamed buns

oliver brown for dessert

rained on me, so end of wandering

back to hostel

packed up as much as i could

amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 18
Woke early, not as early as hoped
A bit gassy from the Aussielent
More aussielent for breakfast, and chocolates
Off to the Queen Victoria Market – lots of stalls etc. some of fruit, cheese, meats, mushrooms, clothes, souvenirs, jewelry, etc etc.
I got a finger lime and a giant fig – all the figs are giant here ~$1
The fig tasted like a fig at home
I got a flat white and croissant ~$9 it was actually light and fluffy
Another USB-c charging cable to see if it works better $12
Arc Lighters didn’t buy as trying to do carry on only
Jewelry & souveniers $90 for friends & partners
Next up was The state library chill out beanbag area again with wifi and power. It just started raining so that worked well.
Next I went to Melbourne Central – huge mall! Had a wander around. I don’t recall buying anything?
I stopped at Ramen Ya in the food court for food and tea – it was tasty $
Then wandered more (again don’t think I got anything)
As I left I got a macroon $3 it was good
Then I headed to Chinatown, which I had wandered near but I found the gates, small and not that great of a Chinatown IMO
Then I hit the Alchemists Refuge – a bar under a gaming shop, had a cider $8
Then I wandered around white night, got a boba $
Wandered more it is apparently white night, whatever that means, there is musical acts and streets are closed and places are staying open late. Apparently this happens all over? I’ve never heard of it, nor the girls in my hostel room.
Headed back to hostel
Taking some notes then off to sleep
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 17
Slept in as the girl on the bunk below me was sleeping in and blocking my locker (lockers are under the bed here). So I played on my phone.
She finally checked out. I changed and got ready for the day.
I then headed down to the kitchen and made Aussielent vanilla for breakfast. It was a bit hacked as I didn’t really have proper supplies.
Next was The National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne Australia) – aka art museum.
I took a break part way through for tea and scones. The scones were dense and the tea was OK (English breakfast).
Items of note: I love Monet, I love pointillism, I need to properly display my kimono, I spotted a worth dressed and grabbed pictures for Nikki, I took a picture of a pretty grandfather clock as it reminded me of my grandfather, and of course lots of tea things from various eras and cultures. Not a fan of the modern.
After finishing the museum I headed to The Block Arcade (Thanks to The Devotea for the suggestions)
First stop was Hopetoun Teas $22
As predicted there was a wait and everyone was drooling over the pretty cakes in the window. I got the bruchetta and congo bongo black tea. The flavor came out best with a touch of sugar.
Then I popped in a spice shop gewurzhaus $27.45
I ended up buying ras el hanout as theirs has more in it than mine and I wish to compare. I also got some duck spice to use with duck since I get that from my local farm.
Then a chocolate shop Haigh’s. I got a delicious dark chocolate covered ginger chocolate, a salted caramel chocolate, a milk chocolate heart, a dark chocolate heart and a chocolate covered marshmallow. I also got to sample the dark chocolate honeycomb. Note it was good but not better than good stateside chocolate IMO – of course most things are better than commercial chocolates (Hershey). $8.66
Then back to the hostel for laundry $18 and shower. Shower had mold – no wonder I have not been breathing well.
Hanging out a bit in the chill out area, Aussielent and chocolates for dinner, then trying to sleep early.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 16
Slept in a bit again, I think this vacation is too long for me, I am going to return exhausted which is bad as I have no recovery time when I return.
I had some Lady Devotea and toast for breakfast. Vegemite is salty sticky, black thick spread. I don’t get the appeal.
Packed up.
Blessed Cheese for lunch. I had a chai latte, cheese and bread. Very tasty. Apparently the selection of cakes has decreased recently though.
Stopped in a spice shop.
Winery – Coriole - enjoyed the nero the most. Tastings seem to be free in Australia!
Winery – Penny Hill - Black Chook sparkling chilled red shiraz – pretty good! Enjoyed their merlot the most
Had The Devotea tea at Au Pear. Lovely tea, lovely place.
Then it was time for the airport – it was actually pretty busy, luckily we got there with time to spare.
Once I cleared security I grabbed a chili hot chocolate then right on to the plane no waiting.
After landing I got the Skybus and then the Train to check into United Backpackers once again.
I just had some Aussielent and passed out.
Surprisingly this is the first time ended up in a top bunk.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 15
I slept in@ around 9am I awoke and then had tea and breakfast, I tried wheat bix.
I got to try Amba, one of the limited edition teas (cherry, rooibos, black) here. Enjoyable cup, too bad dried fruit is so PITA to make (time).
After breakfast there was a bit of box folding.
We followed this up with a quick trip out for some groceries. $3 toothpaste
When Lady Devotea came home we sat down for lunch with some Zealong teas.
And now I’m goofing about on the internet.
After that was going out for fish and chips at the beach, it seemed very American, deep fried breaded fish, potatoes and bananas (YUM), along with a cloudy but colorful sunset.
After that we wandered home and chattered for a while and then did a set of tim tam slams with chai – it wasn’t a specific chai it was an impromptu chai. That happens with tea addicts.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 14
Went to bed early and slept in, until 8?
Got dressed, packed some, and headed out for breakfast.
Used yelp to find a lovely small creperie, Roule Galette, that was run by two French women (strong French accents, muttering French, had recently been back to france). $20
Excellent crepe (cherry tomatoe, swiss cheese, egg, arrugala), and a lovely pot of T2 english breakfast tea (not amazing but much better than the bagged nonsense I have been getting).
Went back to hostel and packed up.
I headed out to the state library which has a bag check but not big enough for my bag. I was disappointed.
But they have a reading nook with electricity, bean bags and wifi so lurking here for 2 hours catching up on internet and viewing their 360 google view tour. Close enough I guess.
After catching up on the internet for a bit I headed by train then SkyBus to the airport.
At the airport I got a cup of tea $4, a teabag, sad but not bad, tea drop Malabar Chai.
I listened to “Side Jobs” for a bit and I noshed on two protein bars I had and finished off my jelly beans, then it was time to board.
I had somehow overplanned and could have spent a bit longer before heading to the airport, but oh well.
Loaded onto the plane, got free cookie and juice and listened more to my book.
I was greeted by The Devotea at the airport and got to ride home in the bright yellow Devotea-mobile. We headed off in the midst of rush hour to The Fortress via a shop to grab some items for dinner.
Once at the Fortress Robert went to cook a dinner and dessert up.
While he cooked I got the grand tour from Lady Devotea along with some tea.
We also ran into a huntsman – Australia is full of terrifying bugs.
We of course had dinner with tea - Alishan Tillerman Tea Co..
Dinner was extra special as it was with Saxon – the other Devotea in Australia – and her partner Eve. We all had a lovely dinner.
After dinner we were all a bit tired and passed out.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 13, 2017
Woke up 2am
Dressed, packed
Uber to Wellington airport – apparently 7th most dangerous airport due to wind
Got there when they opened, 3:30, which was 2.5 hours ahead of my flight, they recommended 2-3
The Air New Zealand employees were not there yet
4:00 checked my bag in
Wandered a bit then went past security when it opened
I ended up changing $10 NZ for $5 AU - woo exchange fees :(
They have adopted the same bullshit security theatre 1 baggie of travel sized liquids in carry on only.
Past security I got a flat white and parfait
Then flight, 4-5 hours
On which I got breakfast as well, I guess I am a hobbit
I talked to a new Zealand native on the way to Australia for her son’s second wedding
And also napped a lot
Arrived at some early hour
Got the SkyBus to somewhere
Then got a train from there to the hostel
Checked my luggage in – room not ready, when paying though they assessed a credit card use fee.
Walked to the shrine of remembrance
It is a bit of history of all the conflicts Australians have been involved in, along with specifically remembering many specific units/battalions/soldiers.
Impressive, and depressing that humans keep doing this to one another over and over, and putting faces and stories to numbers in history books.
I then has lunch at Jardin Tan (lunch botanical garden). Ginger beer and noodles and beef. They also charged a credit card fee. This seems to be popular here? The food itself was good, but prices here seem high. Service was also spotty.
I wandered all the garden, with many backtracking and getting lost. I am a concussed goldfish even with a map and GPS.
A bit before closing I got a pot of earl grey and scones with jam and clotted cream at The Terrace. The scones were moist and light and fluffy. The tea however was a bag, and although a full leaf pyramid sachet (temple tea co), not very flavorful. I noticed signs for high tea and based on my experience and the price they were asking, I do NOT think it would be a good idea.

The oaks were massive and gorgeous. I love old trees. If I lived here I would make a picnic basket of tea and scones and a book and sit under them on nice days and read happily all weekend. I stopped by the grey garden because it sounded amusing, and had the temple of the winds (book title). I was amused to see a California garden there. And of course the camellia collection. I can only imagine how beautiful everything is in the spring.
All that walking has made my feet quite sore.
Also, I hate people.
People-smashed flowers – aka sat or stood in flower beds to get better pictures!
People-stole plants, and the garden has had such an issue they can not afford to restock any longer!
Children-ripping flowers to smell them, encouraged by their minders.
People-defaced flowers – as in graffiti.
People-smoked, I can’t imagine that is permitted (due to rubbish created)
People-kanoodled. I am not a fan of PDA but I can withstand a bit of hand holding and being sickeningly cute, but I hate anything more from anyone.
I hate humans
Now back at the hostel grabbing a bit of wifi and planning tomorrow before I go get some water and pass out. Tomorrow I have to fly again and will have my giant bag….so contemplating sleeping in and being absolutely wasteful. It seems awful to do though.
The more I travel the more I realize most places really are the same. Perhaps I’ll get the travel bug out of my system and stop trying to see everything. Besides I fall apart physically when travelling. There are some unique things per place, but perhaps instead of running around like crazy I can just see 1-2 things leasuirely?
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 12, 2017
Woke up
9:00 Mojo café for a flat white and honey/butter toast for breakfast $12
10:30 – 1pm Weta workshop there and back again tour
It was AWESOME, I could see Hitsman and Volk and Kurt doing this for sure. Hitsman seems to have looked into it but doesn’t like the unpredictability of employment. Chainmaille, leatherwork, sewing, 3d printing, forging, just so much awesome. I wish I had the talent for it.
1pm+ Te Papa museum $10
Very interesting. I happened upon it while they have a Snowden exhibit. Also confirmed I really am not a modern art person.
At the museum café I got some Tip Top (ice cream) Hokey Pokey (honey) flavor $3 as I had heard about it / seen ads. It was a good ice cream. Hats off on the butter (tastes like fresh kerrygold), cream, and ice cream in new Zealand.
Coffee – the flight hanger (one of the baristas was a winner at the national championships) and a feta and spinach scone. They love their cream and butter here so much.
So windy!
But yes so far all good food and coffee
Then walked to get some whiskey and crème brule at The Library.
Got myself lost on the way home, as per usual. I am directionally impared.
Then back to the room to pack, shower, and do some internet.
I think that is all I managed :(
amazonv: (TARDIS)
I woke up and finished packing.
8am Breakfast at the B&B – tasty fruit, eggs (fresh from her chickens), toast, tea – really lovely.
9am She drove me to the airport
It wasn’t a long flight to Wellington, a bit bumpy though. Apparently, they are known for wind.
At the Wellington airport – I ended up buying ice breaker merino 30% off shirt and underwear $
I got the Buss 9$ downtown then walked to the hotel.
I checked into The Amora Hotel. It was not bad, great view.
Hotel included free wifi, free laundry room and free soap!
I did 1 load of laundry 1 wash, as there was only 1 washer, but needed to do two. The sand and just dirty clothes had left me wearing my last clothes – and I had even hand washed the underwear the night before.
I ended up doing a hang dry for the first load as the dryer was full.
Then it was time for my High Tea I had reserved at 3pm $
After tea I checked on the washer, and it was still full
So I wandered about, part of which was establish where my weta tour picks up tomorrow.
I also got to wander through the “Wellington Night Market. In Left Bank off Cuba Street on Friday and Saturday nights, 5pm - 11pm, the market offers people a new food and shopping experience, along with a variety of entertainment, including live bands, cultural dance performances and karaoke.”
I decided since Wellington is known for craft beer to have dinner at the Black Dog Brew Co – brown and bread and spread tray (pesto, hummas, caramelized onions) $
On the way back to the hotel I stopped at a convenience Store and grabbed $5 water
Once back at hotel I checked the washer, still full.
So I took advantage of having the internet - I checked a job a friend had alerted me to at a tea company, but I was not qualified.
Then I checked washer – nabbed it right before someone else, there is only one. Set timer to go flip wash load 2 from washer to dryer in 30 min
First load of wash is strewn about the room
My shoes are still wet from yesterday – and sandy
Again tried to catch up on internet
When the second wash was done the dryer was still busy and the room was closing soon
So both loads of laundry now wet and strew about room
Upside there was a fireworks show for some reason in the harbor I got to enjoy.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Wake Up! Sydney Hostel
Always seemed to be someone at the front desk, which was great. The staff were also all pleasant and helpful.
Free wifi in the lobby, pay in the rooms.
ATM in the lobby is handy.
I was able to check in early in the day and ditch my bags to make site seeing easier which was great, some places are very picky about check in time.
I liked how I got the key on a lanyard.
I had a 4 person room. It was clean, but the bed was a bit thin and it was set out with a comforter not a top sheet which was odd to me. The locker was a bit skinny and barely fit my pack.
The daily announcement is startling as it starts wake up! But it’s at 5 or 6pm.
There seemed to be one boys and one girls bathroom per floor. It got a bit dirty unfortunately as the day went on.
Each floor also had one laundry on each floor with 2 washers and 2 dryers. They only took 2$ coins and cost 4$ each (8$ a wash and dry total). Luckily the staff are always ready to makes change. There is wash powder in the vending machine for $1.
The location is super near public transit – Central Station is down the block. It is also near food and convenience stores. In addition they have their own café and bar as part of the hostel. When you check in you get a voucher for one free coffee in their café. I got a late and it was good. I also tried the bar for dinner. The burger and fries were good, nothing amazing but not a bad price (relative to local restaurants) and not bad quality.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Greenlane Manor Motel Auckland New Zealand
Very nice woman at check in helped me check in and helped me figure out where to head for food and best ways to get transit about. She also offered me a glass/carton of milk. New Zealand likes milk.
In my room, which was very clean and a good size there was a great booklet of local attractions and restaurants.
It is located near a train station and near shops and restaurants.
In the room I had an electric tea kettle, fridge, dishes, cups, silverware, microwave, toaster and instant coffee and tea.
The location, at least my room was a bit noisy as it is near a road.
Warning: Limited front desk hours, a maximum daily MB limit on wifi
Overall I would stay here again and would recommend it.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Atura Blacktown
I made a reservation at the Atura Blacktown through Expedia. On arrival I found it was not really that accessible by public transit (the bus stop is only about 1 km away, but there is a major highway in the way), so I ended up spending more than I would have liked on uber. I highly recommend using this hotel if you have a car.
As far as the staff – they were helpful, pleasant and I very much enjoyed them. They were happy to answer questions, suggest things, and call up a taxi as needed.
The room itself was clean, a good size, and had everything I needed. Please note the kitchenette is actually dishes, silver wear, drink wear, coffee maker, microwave and sink. There is a lack of fridge. There was not excessive noise or light and the bed was comfy.
I was amused it was cruise ship style lighting – you had to put your room key in a socket near the door when you entered to power up the lights, a smart thing but took me a few minutes to figure out.
The hotel buffet breakfast was a bit pricey – 27$ but offset by the green voucher (let them leave your sheets during your stay and get $10/day). I don’t eat much so I may have been better off finding a grocery and having breakfast in – but again no car. The food was good, but I find the breads in Australia a bit dense compared to the US. I had things like bacon, eggs, waffles, peaches and cream, tapioca and fruit, coffee, tea, Danish, croissant, potato pancakes, and some other cold porridge thing.
There is a pub and a drive in within walking distance.
There is a lobby bar – but I didn’t try it.
Overall I would recommend this place and stay again, but only with a car.


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