Estara's Journal
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Estara's LiveJournal:

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    Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
    10:08 am
    Merry Christmas!
    It was a heck of a year at the job, worse than 2013, and I got into a depression because of it (although that has built up over the previous years and is one of the reasons I stopped reviewing on Goodreads in June 2013) - however I'm finally taking steps to deal with it openly. Financially there's no alternative equivalent to this job.

    Healthwise was fairly ok. My trip to London for Loncon 3 was an amazing and perfect gift of a trip which shines a beacon. My family is fairly ok healthwise themselves - bar the age of my parents.

    I read all your posts every day, as I always do and you help keep things in perspective, so I'm wishing you all a Merry Christmas or a Peaceful time of the year depending on whether you celebrate.

    I should be back at my PC on the 27th.

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
    1:38 am
    A Healthy New Year, Everyone

    The old one may have ended in a severe cold, but then "the only way is up" as Yazz used to sing ^^. Thank you for all your amazing posts and conversations and support when I needed it, I hope I can do the same for you again (although not posts, I guess - Goodreads and my book reviews are totally fulfilling my posting desire), as well.

    Current Mood: hopeful
    Sunday, December 9th, 2012
    10:47 pm
    Valkyriesailor with some beautiful pictures from her opera house
    Which has a Nutcracker Festival going on. I'm so envious

    Current Mood: envious
    Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
    9:15 pm
    They love Chuck Norris in Hungary ^^ - youtube video
    Okay, this is so brilliantly an ode to Chuck Norris and at the same time taking the mickey out of Uma Thurman's character in Kill Bill, Rambo, Facebook, Terminator, Superman, Kung Fu Panda, Steven Seagal, Bruce Lee, Hong Kong martial arts movies AND the song "Moves like Jagger" - all in Hungarian that I really advise all the people who get updates from my LJ (who aren't that many, heh) to watch the youtube video at Valkyriesailor's LJ (our resident Hungarian).

    Especially good should you need a grin today ^^.

    No previous knowledge of Hungarian is necessary to enjoy the show.

    Current Mood: amused
    Monday, October 1st, 2012
    5:06 pm
    And All the Stars is out today - and I'm sponsoring an ebook giveaway ^^
    On GoodReads, though, guys, because it's too hard to keep juggling various commenters on various sites. Here's the info:

    There's a paperback giveaway on GoodReads officially, but I want to spread the joy via Smashwords (which offers drm-free versions for any reader and allows gifting) and sponsor one lucky ebook reader to read this fun book for free.

    If you write a review that's nice, but I won't even ask for that, I just want more awareness for this fun scifi fantasy apocalpyse.

    How to take part:
    - Comment on my GoodReads status update until Wednesday, 3rd

    - I'll close the competition around 7 pm my time and use one of those random comment drawing things on the net to pick one of the commenters (I'll obviously count the comments first ^^)

    - Then I'll message you and you tell me your e-mail and I send the gift link to the e-mail you tell me.

    Void were prohibited. Always wear a hard hat on a building site. Keep calm and carry on.

    Current Mood: excited
    Thursday, March 1st, 2012
    7:55 pm
    Happy World Book Day - crowdfund Judith Tarr and get a book - available worldwide!
    On this World Book Day, help Judith Tarr get her newest novel co-op published at Book View Café! For a Kickstarter donation of $5 you get the finished ebook (various formats), that's a bargain for a novel and Book View Café sells worldwide via Paypal - and anyone who can use Amazon Payments can support Kickstarter!

    If you haven't read her yet, how come? She's the goddess of historically based fantasy (especially where horses are concerned).

    Read moreCollapse )

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Saturday, February 25th, 2012
    3:41 pm
    A reminder that Con-or-Bust ends Sunday at midnight
    And I have a British edition of Code Name Verity up for grabs! It only comes out in the US in May and as a hardcover at that. The book is here, the signed bookplate by Elizabeth Wein to be inserted is here, too!

    Help a good cause!

    Current Mood: hopeful
    Sunday, February 12th, 2012
    12:06 pm
    Help con-or-bust AND get Code Name Verity at the same time.
    So Booksmuggler Ana gave Code Name Verity a perfect ten and made my day this Friday (it had been one of THOSE days at school) and then I read on various LJs that con-or-bust was just starting again for this year (and admin Kate Nepveu pointed out that they hadn't had as many offers as they usually do).

    I've bid and won there before, but I've also wanted to offer a post of my own - my usual problem is that I have some nice used books, but what with all the new and signed books offered that is not very tempting (and the real rarities are so heavy they would cost an arm to send to the US).

    Since E.Wein has hinted at sending me an autographed copy of CNV, I've decided to put my just arrived, unread copy of the UK paperback up for auction. This way people outside the UK get the book months early and hopefully I get a few more bids to raise a bit more money for Con-or-Bust. I have a huge link bonanza here about the book and reviews of it.

    I even have a bid already ^^, but hope to sell a bit higher than that.

    Current Mood: pleased
    Friday, February 10th, 2012
    3:26 pm
    Code Name Verity - Fabulous Finale at the Booksmugglers and an offer!
    Considering I really hinted, nagged and mentioned on blog and email, Booksmuggler Ana was really patient with my insistence on her reading CNV (but then I had read reviews of hers of books with similar tropes - good and bad: female pilots - World War II - spies; come to think of it I think the nearest book in this vein had been a disappointment) - but I was SO SURE she would love it that I put my money where my mouth is and sent her a copy via Bookdepository (when stupid cancelled the preorders - Ana lives in the UK), even though we had taken steps to organise a possibility for her to read the book in time for the release week already (*shifty eyes*).

    She gave it a perfect 10, called it one of the Top Ten of the Year books and thanked Chachic (who is a renowned Book Blogger herself - just have a look at her incredible Queen's Thief week this year and the star-studded posts and comments) and me for convincing her to try it (so now I'm back to crossing my fingers she'll get into Gen-in-Ethiopia, too ^^).

    There"s more to read and a possible Book Depository offer after the cutCollapse )

    Current Mood: giddy
    Thursday, February 9th, 2012
    9:17 pm
    Code Name Verity - LinksUpdate 2
    A shout-out to all the people I'd been trying (by leaving mysterious hints about female friendship, female pilot in WWII and lots of tissues needed) to convince to eventually read Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity - on a thread of Rachel Manija's, I remember, and wherever else...

    Code Name Verity

    And may I just give you a further impulse to buy it - especially if you want to know my real life name ^^ - Elizabeth Wein was kind enough to mention my checking her German in the Afterword of the book (and very graciously overlooked the ages it took me to nerve myself up to read a book where Nazi Gestapo tortures one of the heroines: I'm very grateful that they weren't turned into caricature monsters, but remained humans - having made/making some very bad choices and perpetrating horrors onto others).

    Current Mood: accomplished
    Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
    9:06 pm
    Code Name Verity - LinksUpdate
    There's a new blog post linked at my link aggregation page for the book ^^

    This is shout-out to all the people I'd been trying (by leaving mysterious hints about female friendship, female pilot in WWII and lots of tissues needed) to convince to eventually read Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity - on a thread of Rachel Manija's, I remember, and wherever else...

    Code Name Verity

    Current Mood: energetic
    Monday, February 6th, 2012
    8:58 pm
    Public Service Announcement: CNV day is here!!! - 3rd Update!
    A shout-out to all the people I'd been trying (by leaving mysterious hints about female friendship, female pilot in WWII and lots of tissues needed) to convince to eventually read Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity - on a thread of Rachel Manija's, I remember, and wherever else...

    Code Name Verity

    Don't worry - I'll only be doing this until February 10th (when the blog tour ends)

    Read moreCollapse )

    Current Mood: excited
    Friday, January 6th, 2012
    6:28 pm
    Resolved meme via chomiji - but I think I did the 12 days meme before...
    In 2012, estara resolves to...
    Overcome my secret fear of dark ages.
    Apply for a new rpg.
    Tell my family about books.
    Find a better anime.
    Volunteer to spend time with shadowservers.
    Take evening classes in manga.
    Get your own New Year's Resolutions:

    I thought it fit quite a bit ^^. LJ only, by the way.

    Current Mood: amused
    Sunday, January 1st, 2012
    1:37 am
    Healthy New Year to you all!
    I'm so thankful for my online friends and acquaintances in 2011. Your posts always were great distractions, sometimes were fascinating new ideas and discoveries and occasionally real emotional help and succor.

    This was the year that I really used GoodReads to the max and got my reading groove back - and mostly managed to write something about every book I'd read. Apart from comments I haven't written so much regularly since... 2007? At least?

    Here's some creative stuff that I really enjoyed on the internet this year:

    Current Mood: thankful
    Friday, December 23rd, 2011
    11:14 am
    Merry Seasonal Greeting everyone!
    I should be back before New Years, but I am off to my parents today and I know that my mum expects me to help her out with my little niece staying over for a bit - which is no hardship ^^.

    I hope you all have a peaceful holiday and if YOU should be offline until after the New Year, a very Healthy New Year to you all.

    I would especially like to thank the people who listened to me this March with my mum's major illness. You really were a valve to release pressure with your kind thoughts.

    Current Mood: thankful
    Sunday, November 20th, 2011
    5:44 pm
    BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way
    Originally posted by write_light at BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way

    Via Sharon Lee, author of the Liaden Universe: 

    Spread the word, even you're not a US citizen, it is important for everyone!! It easy to do and it can change everything. More info by clicking on the banner.

    Website Blocking

    The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users.

    Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users

    It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook.

    Chaos for the Internet

    Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn't be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

    Read this analysis from

    Get on the phone and call your representative. Express your disapproval. Tell him or her exactly how you feel, and that you don't support this. Tell your friends to call their representatives, their Congressperson, and complain. Mention that you are a registered voter that takes your civic responsibility seriously and that you will use that vote to express your feelings about this.

    “We support the bill’s stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting,” the Internet companies wrote in Tuesday’s letter. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.”  The chamber-led coalition in support of the bill includes Walmart, Eli Lilly & Co. and Netflix.

    Google and other opponents of the legislation argue that restricting the Internet in the U.S. sets a bad international precedent and that the language defines infringing too broadly.

    Current Mood: worried
    Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
    4:49 pm
    I really should write a final update on my mother's situation
    Especially since salimbol asked me about it quite a while back AND I can combine it with the announcement that my internet will be spotty to non-existent until Friday because I'm visiting my parents who are taking care of my little niece (whom I haven't seen since Christmas, really). I had a doctor's appointment for a check-up today, so I drove back down to my flat - which does have internet ^^. Anyway, about my mum:

    I saw her at Easter for a few days, a week after she came out of that follow-up rehab hospital near the Chiemsee (she’d been there for three weeks). She has adjusted much more to having lost her breast and I had the feeling her fears for her possible future were put into perspective by meeting so many people worse off than her. She also really liked most of the therapists at the hospital.

    She still has twinges of pain when her new bra and the pseudo breast get near the scar where the drainage tube came out – I remember that being the case with my gall bladder removal, too.

    She can’t raise her arm there as high as she used to, but she’s working on it.

    In honour of my visit she started making a salad for grilling… I’m not sure if that was such a good idea. I occasionally remember to ask if I should assist her, but the balance between not wanting to give the impression I think she’s enfeebled and having a sense of when she would welcome assistance are tough for me to judge. I always did better with clear requests.

    She even wanted me to come along shopping in Nuremberg, so we did that on Tuesday after Easter, but I think that was a bit too much so soon – she hardly tried on any clothes and we went back by train to Pleinfeld a few hours earlier than we would have done before.

    Later she mentioned she might have tried on some trousers “but I didn’t want to make you impatient” – it is understood that I don’t like going shopping and never have, so after asking me to come along and maybe assist her, that’s a bit of a weak argument.

    She is actively looking around for further physical therapy or self-help groups and stuff. She’s not so happy that the doctor in her local hospital doesn’t seem to have much of an idea of what’s on offer there, so we looked on the internet and found some places.

    If all else fails, she can always go to Nuremberg again, that’s where they operated on her at the breast centre and they are MUCH better organised regarding after care. She’d just like it to be local, if possible.

    Currently she has full movement back in her arm, but what with my niece growing apace and my mum and dad not being any younger, she no longer carries her so easily or swings her around. This is something Leonie will have to get used to, heh. She still isn't happy with her short-term memory and thinks the medication is the cause (I'm not so sure, I think it started quite a few years ago). Her hair is doing fine, which is good.

    She does her physical therapy stuff locally and that seems to be satisfactory, too.

    Current Mood: busy
    Monday, March 7th, 2011
    12:20 am
    An update on my mother
    Well, it's one and a half weeks since her surgery now, and she's been home since last Tuesday.

    I visited my dad last Saturday (pretty lost and very quiet alone in the big house, visiting his friends at the pub too much - basically I think he's drinking too much wine, but that's a whole other topic) and then the two of us drove up to Nuremberg hospital's special breast cancer unit recovery rooms - which are housed in a new addition built in 2002 and are two-person rooms with beautiful appointments (for a hospital), they even have en-suite bathrooms (sink and toilets for EACH of the occupants with HEATED towel rails, heh).

    Mum had sounded more like herself on each consecutive phone call and so she came across when we saw her - like herself but easily tired. Usually she wants to sit in a chair the whole visit through - she didn't do that this time, I bet because the pull from the removed breast on her neck muscles was quite a strain (it still is, but much better than last Saturday, according to her last phone call today). She showed me her scar which looked pretty good (I was comparing it to my gall bladder removal experience), but obviously her right breast is gone. They won't have to take out the stitches as they used material that will be absorbed by the body.

    Her major complaint today was that it really hurts ("gives me some twinges") when she gets up after a good night's sleep (which she says she has). She gets neckaches from the irregular weight distribution still and is impatiently waiting for this Thursday, when she'll get the special bra and silicone pad replacement of exactly the same weight as her lost breast - although she's aware it won't be completely painfree, connecting with the scar tissue.

    Dad has been very helpful (I think he really needs her as a purpose, he doesn't seem to manage to find one on his own) and she's been organising her regular cleaning lady to come more often and do more than before. She is very relieved to be home, but - while in hospital she was amazed at how much she could already do and how high she could lift her arm - now that she's in her own well-known surroundings she realizes how many things she CAN'T do now.

    Today she had her first kafeeklatsch - much shorter than usual, only two and a half hours, and no self-made cake, but storebought (the horror! - but she's much more pragmatic about this than I would usually have expected) with my dad pouring the coffee to two old friendly couples. But from how short she kept our conversation (only 20 minutes and stopped from her side) I think that was as much as she can handle right now.

    She hasn't even given a thought to what day of this holiday week I should visit (and help out with things she doesn't want to ask the cleaning lady or my dad), which is very unlike her, so I'd say she's on the mend but is realising that it will take longer than it has done with previous surgeries.

    I told her Elizabeth Wein plus daughter would be running for her, too, and she was amused.

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Sunday, February 27th, 2011
    6:37 pm
    1001 Movies you should see before you die meme - via meganbmoore
    I'm doing this on the supposition (to be proved) that I'll have seen a whole lot of old stuff - if I can recognise the English names, as most of this I would have seen when German TV only had three channels, at a time where we watched movies all the way through even if we didn't like them - as a family... hmm well, mostly with my Dad ^^. Mom reading or knitting something, my brother doing whatever.

    huge list of moviesCollapse )
    Yes, I definitely can see two periods - films seen with my parents on the tv and then in the late 80s to the late 90s movies I actually watched in the cinema. I haven't gone in years - my tastes have changed and if I wanted to watch an English language movie I'd get a DVD these days, not go to the cinema where I get a German translation. But mostly when I watch something I watch anime, heh.

    Also: I visited my mum yesterday, she's doing quite well and showed me her scar (which looks really good to me, but she does say that it's a total change not having the weight of her breast there - she really needs to do training to carry the weight equally and not get a krick in her neck).
    Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
    7:36 pm
    It all went as well as it possibly could, according to my brother
    Update on my mother's operation - and may I say I'm sitting here with a wet shimmer in my eyes from all the well-wishing. Thank you so much, whether we have had a lot of contact or not here on the internet, for thinking of her. Thank you also to Amy and her regular monthly prayer offerings!

    Kai, my brother, had come late in the evening yesterday, to take my parents to the big breast centre in Nuremberg hospital (certified by all kinds of institutions and with a large number of these operations per year; a place even her local specialist had encouraged my mum to go to) as she was to check in around 6 a.m - they were early which is always a relief to my mum's Prussian genes.

    There was a bit of hurry as the lady who got the second bed in the two-bed-room actually was hurried into pre-op and taken there forthwith, but while mum had to hurry to unpack, etc. then there was suddenly quite a bit of a wait and they told her it would likely take until 11 a.m. until she got into the op theatre.

    So she sent dad and Kai back home (which is where I was chewing the furniture a bit, because mum will always put up a brave face to make it easy on us - I know my dad wouldn't be useful and they only had taken one car, but Kai could have sent dad home in the car and taken a taxi to the train station - and I rued the fact I hadn't asked for time off after all, they're pretty good with that at my school if you can make it clear why it's necessary), but Kai says she was still really tired from lack of sleep the night before and the early trip, so she was on the verge of sleeping for a bit anyway.

    They returned in the afternoon when she was waking up from surgery and it seems to have gone as well as it could have gone - they did take off the right breast, and the sentinel lymph node, which has shown no sign of cancer. So the current verdict is that they are pretty hopeful of having gotten all the malignant matter out at once.

    She'll still have to be checked for bone cancer cells I believe, but no awful surprises in this operation.

    Again, thank you all SO MUCH for your good wishes and prayers! I love you, my dears! *hug-in-thought*

    Addendum: Kai has advised me that she was much too groggy to be aware for much, and that I should wait until tomorrow to phone, and I haven't spoken to her yet. I think I'll phone just for a very short while, so she knows I'm thinking of her.

    ETA2: I spoke with her for about five minutes and she's still pretty groggy, but I told her of all the well wishing from as far as the US and New Zealand, and she was a bit amused/surprised/grateful/embarrassed about it. She wants to sleep mostly, so I tried to be short and loving.

    Current Mood: hopeful
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