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Thursday, March 5th, 2015 21:24
Sarah's doing science again. With a blowtorch!
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 18:27
The verdict was that there is no evidence of a clot, so the likelihood of DVT is near null.

Watching the Doppler imaging on the screen was fascinating.

They will be sending the images and results to my doctor who will then decide whether to order a different test or see if the bump goes away by itself.

It does behave a bit like a shin splint, so it could very well be that.
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 20:19
I feel that The Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks failed in part because it didn't have the courage of its convictions and the sets and costumes weren't quite up to the job. On the other hand I think The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky succeeds quite well at what it is trying to do, I'm just not that interested in it.

More under the Cut )

It's just, at the end of the day, this is one of the show's big spectacular two-parters with an emphasis on action and humour. It knows what its doing and, like Planet of the Ood feels less like a place-holder than many episodes in seasons 2 and 3, but I think I prefer Doctor Who stories when they are being a bit cleverer than this and possibly that when they are silly, that they are a bit cleverer (and possibly more serious) about the silliness.
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 17:30
[08:16] <_Simon_> however, I am delighted to see that there is a page entitled "List of unicorns".
[08:16] <_Simon_> ...which is in the category "Low-importance literature articles".
[08:25] <kaberett> shd clearly be categorised as zoology
[08:46] <_Simon_> as opposed to mythology? :-)
[08:46] <exor674> mythical zoology?
[08:46] <kaberett> cryptozoology? :-p
[08:48] <exor674> kaberett: isn't that what you do when you accidentally RSA your cat?

#675 -- #dreamwidth, 2015-03-05 - submitted by [info - DW]azurelunatic in Dreamwidth

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 23:19
Originally posted at

Andrew and I took some time off work this week to declutter our house in a very serious way: we emptied piles of boxes remaining from our last house move (3 years ago), we donated about ⅔ of our books and nearly all our computer games to the Lifeline book fairs, we assembled the Ikea wardrobe that’s been in flat packs for over a year since I impulse purchased it.

It’s an exercise in saying goodbye to some of the dreams and beliefs of the Mary of 15 or so years ago. Or not. For example, I’ve well and truly accepted that I won’t ever play judo again (my right shoulder would need a reconstruction first) and so giving away the gi was fine. I was sort of surprised we still had it. But apparently I am not willing to accept that just because it’s been 15 years since I took a recorder lesson that I will never seriously play again, and couldn’t bear to throw out the instruments or the sheet music. Perhaps next time. Giving away our games was somewhere in the middle: I’ve wanted to be the kind of person who finishes Dragon’s Age (or Baldur’s Gate back in the day) for most of my life, and I just never quite do. I can finish games in the Diablo franchise and that’s it. That said, it’s hard to know long term; the big problem with hobbies is, why would I have them and squeeze the very little time I feel I have with my family even harder? Once the children have hobbies of their own, it may be different.

Right now we’re in a bit of a maelstrom of change as it is. Still getting used to V being in school, which is further away than his daycare was and so the commute is longer. Still getting used to packing lunches, finding uniforms, managing his schedule for after school care, drama lessons, sports day (Tuesday), news day (Thursday). Work is churning a bit, I’ve spent my holiday flipping in and out of work tasks surrounded by seas of books and broken baby equipment on their way out of our house.

I think I may have started on a nostalgia kick going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel with Andrew at the Moonlight Cinema. Not because of the movie, but the venue. It’s an open air cinema in Centennial Park; I first went there in 2001 to see Lantana with Sandra. Andrew and I saw Secretary there, Yo Mama Tambien, Casablanca, Gosford Park, Priscilla Queen of the Desert… But all many years ago, mostly lugging one of my ludicrously over-catered picnics there from a Bondi Junction supermarket. (It’s not a picnic unless there’s cheese and dips and a few varieties of fruit and some cold meats and at least two breads, am I right?) It was always a good reunion for the university crowd who weren’t as naturally in touch over summer.

But when we moved to Hornsby we were about two hours on public transport away from it, and by the time we moved closer again, we had kids. Our kids are not the out-after-dark type: A in particular sleeps extremely well, but if and only if she’s in her own bed. And the last thing I want to do with my supposed free time is spending it interviewing babysitters and negotiating their availability with them so we haven’t gone out at night much at all in the last five years. But, I was under the gun over summer with V’s daycare shutting down for a break, and finally connected with a babysitter agency, and so now, as a side-effect, we can go out at night and the agency worries about finding a sitter.

And so, back to the Moonlight Cinema. It was a bit spooky, not least because the park has now been altered to suit the cinema rather than the other way round. I’m pretty sure they’ve removed an awkwardly placed tree, and very sure they’ve flattened the ground and laid new turf so that it’s not a game of claim-your-own-dusty-rut before the movie begins. It was already true the last time I was there that there was catering and so there was no burden of cheese-and-dips-and-fruit-and-all to lug in and to feel around for awkwardly in the dark. But it was still odd.

I’m still a young enough adult to be continually surprised how long ago some of my adulthood was.

Tomorrow we are having a post-clutter day, and going to the beach together in the morning followed by lunch at The Boathuse. Andrew and I have almost never gone to the beach alone together. Less nostalgia and more creation.

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 01:16
Did I mention I got more BPAL? I got more BPAL. I ordered myself some labels off Amazon, and two more little boxes.

Got in early. Was scared I'd calculated my calendar wrong, but actually hadn't. I arrived at a few minutes after 10, but the customer call wasn't until 11. The researchers did their thing, so I was off the hook as far as notes went.

Lunch was nice. There were only bell peppers in like two of the things, and those could be avoided. Thank fuck. I had a burrito.

I first got into a ticket war with, and then avoided, a helpdesk guy. (He closed it saying it was a dupe of another. I re-opened it because my symptoms were entirely the fuck different. He IMed me. I set myself to away after about 10 minutes.)

I mentioned to Purple a crush I may have started to develop, on an engineer with no known disqualifications. Purple teased me gently.

Helldesk apparently did not dump a load of ghost notifs on me today. I am sort of surprised.

I promised Carmageddon that I could come in for notes for the Thursday late-morning research. Yay.

I am so, so, so proud of fishie, who has been doing things that she might not have had the nerve to do even three months previous. Based on a little bit of experimentation with a lowball dose of her anxiolytic, she may have discovered a dose that is still effective, but she feels safe taking while in a public place.

Purple has now encountered the Men Explain Things To Me article, and IMed me with thoughts as he was reading through it. He identified the largest number of clue-averse, Pathologically 'Right' splainers in his life as 'Nutrition And Health Expert' women. We discussed Oblivious And Pathologically 'Right' Splaineyness as a cross-gender trait. Then I asked him whether he would consider me a misogynist. He wouldn't, but saw my point that hating women was not a man-only trait. Then I mentioned that despite not actually disliking other women, I had in fact discounted the technical expertise of other women, just because I am so steeped in a culture which undervalues and dismisses women's technical expertise. Hello unconscious bias! Then he hit the part where none of the men who had condescended their ignorant asses off to this woman had ever actually apologized. He was appalled, because saying sorry is his first step when he's wrong. Then he dug a bit into some of the body language based biases he has, and how that has the potential to go wrong based on other common things. I like this one and I should like to keep him around.

I told him about BJ vs. the Phone Cord. Fuckin' BJ.

Pi Day is approaching. I expressed my hope for pie. radius expressed his pie recipes. I tagged his wiki page helpfully.

Purple declared that he was thinking about escape around 7. Around 7:15, I pinged him to see where he was. He could finish that up at home, actually; he'd be right there!

Five minutes later, and no Purple. I puttered around putting little things to rights (hanging up a phone left on a conference line for two extra hours, re-doing my calendar, doing a checklist) and he eventually appeared.

I have learned that one of the inevitabilities of having a Purple in my life is that Purple has a lot of friends. Purple knows a lot of people. Despite his best intentions, he can have unexpected hallway conversations that last an hour. I am occasionally the beneficiary of these. I am lucky enough to be a person with whom he enjoys quasi-scheduled parking lot conversations. There's only so much time in his weeks. So how can I actually complain when someone else gets some time? This time it was only about 15-20. He was still sheepish.

One of my nails got a near-perfect coat of polish. Since it was some good polish, it dried before it could get scuffed, and the top coat dried before it could get scuffed either. Showing off nail polish in the low light of the parking lot is hard.

When I got home, I labeled BPAL and reviewed my step count. March 4th = bump-up. Whee!
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 00:44

Came in early for the meeting between me and the helldesk people.

The meeting was not bad and now the vaguely project manager shaped person knows what the old ticketing system was like on a high level (High level overview of the security model: the person filing the ticket controls the "make this shit public/private" tickyboxes) and therefore why R&D feels this entitlement to see tickets related to public building areas of places that they inhabit. The engineer was sensible as always.

There are a few main problems:

* A lot of unrelated stuff is crammed into the same tower of responsibility because it's under the same management hat.
* Due to the back-end architecture, it is technically complex and perhaps unmaintainably tedious to grant public/private piecemeal amongst that tower of responsibility.
* Splitting them off into different towers at this point would be possibly fuckheadedly difficult.

Fortunately, the good engineer had a great idea.

Unfortunately, the next release is in April, and that release is jammed worse than the elevator at the Let's Ignore The Fire Code Fandom convention. So we're looking at May at the earliest, and of course it has a lot of possible things which could go wrong, so it needs extra testing.

Meanwhile, ghost updates continue.

I took notes for Carmageddon on his call with a small group of users.
Naturally, I was coughing while taking notes, until I punched a hole in the random lemon that was sitting on his desk and started sucking on it.

Then there was lunch, which Purple had called early, and I got to a bit late.
The cafe manager bought my lunch. She'd looked over the burrito station and gone a bit ballistic on them, because they clearly had not got the memo about not putting fucking bell peppers all the fuck over everything. I had, meanwhile, gone for whatever the wok was cooking. I could smell what the wok was cooking, and it smelled good. (I fished out the bell pepper chunks. You can fish bell pepper chunks out of stir-fry much better than a burrito.)

There was a meeting to discuss menu for conferences, which was supposed to be more of the committee, but wound up being just Madam Standards and me. Madam Standards was leaving a little later that afternoon for a road trip, so we made it brief.

No milkshake today.

Called helpdesk to complain about the 12 ghost updates which had just dropped in my inbox. Meanwhile, while I was on the phone, 6 more arrived.

Purple called time at a sensible hour. We walked out into the parking lot. We were nearly at my car (I'd parked nearer the building than usual due to my early arrival) when something whizzed past us from behind, quite close and very fast.

radius hollered at us from the bike, and circled us several times while making conversation and doing his best drunk bicyclist impression. We were amused. I giggled helplessly as he buzzed off into the night.

Earlier in the day, I'd issued what I'd felt was possibly an invitation to a flamewar on a mailing list. (Despite Purple's assumption, it was not [off-topic], it was an external list.) My feelings were that this one person had said basically 'hey you'll be working way over 40 hours on a regular basis PLUS you'll be pushed way past sensible performance limits, isn't that a great challenge?' and I thought this was a bad idea on par with giving Shawn a flamethrower in a barnful of hay. So I said as much, although phrased a little more tactfully.

That developed into a more serious conversation about overwork with Purple.

I called Dawn, who was having some family hard times. What is it with people's grandparents dying lately?

I came home to find that no one had taken me up on the possible invitation to a flamewar front, and there were several very thoughtful responses agreeing with me.
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 00:19
Weekends always fuck up my sleep schedule. I did get six hours, and four hours of bonus nap on Sunday afternoon, but that wasn't enough, even though I did have nice clean laundry. That left me in a cranky as hell mood.

Purple worked from home, which is certainly a reasonable life choice for him to make (I didn't inquire as to why, and he didn't volunteer any information). That does make work a bit quieter and generally with a lower chance of hugs.

I popped into the cafeteria hoping that, having last week nearly actually started crying when one of the cashiers said something friendly about hoping I'd found what I'd wanted (I had not wanted a sandwich, I'd wanted a burrito, but there had been too god damn many bell peppers), that the message would have been passed on.

The problem with bell peppers:
Read more... )

The message had not been passed on. At the burrito station:

* Possibly-Spanish rice, garnished liberally with chopped bell peppers
* Light beans, garnished liberally with chopped bell peppers
* Dark beans, garnished liberally with chopped bell peppers
* Mixed grilled vegetables, with bell peppers as about 1/4 of the mix
* The meat I would have wanted, with bell peppers soaking in the juice
* The meat I would have settled for, if not for the bell peppers sprinkled over it
* The meat which probably would have had too much spice and/or tomato, but I might have tried, except that, too, had bell pepper all over it
* lettuce
* sour cream
* guacamole
* tomatoes, which I also need to be careful with Read more... )
* cheese
* various salsas, which, see the problem with tomatoes

At this point my blood sugar had started to do the thing. I popped over to the next line, which had chicken curry that I wasn't altogether certain about, but it was a short line and I was reasonably sure it wouldn't actually make me sick.

I stomped back to my desk and crankily picked at my curry. I knew that the bell peppers were not the thing actually giving me emotional flux, but they were certainly not making things any better. When I stomped off to the bathroom before declaring it time for a milkshake walk, I sobbed for about thirty seconds in the hopes that it would make me feel better. It didn't help much.

The helldesk thing is just complete escalating woe. At this point I've been getting like a few dozen ghost notifications a day, and the person who has been placed into a project management sort of role doesn't seem to understand why someone might want to be involved with someone else's facilities ticket.

Lunch being unsatisfying, I declared it time for a milkshake walk. radius stopped by my cube, and we went upstairs to retrieve Mr. Zune if he was about. He hadn't been about, but he was walking back toward his desk just as we approached. We waved him over, and he came with us.

There is still one peanut butter truffle taped to the local helpdesk door.

radius's weekend had included darning the little holes that a Macbook had chomped in his bright orange software-from-my-friend's-department t-shirt, and so he was wearing that. Mr. Zune and I admired the darning.

We greeted our faithful milkshake bunker commando, the one who knows me by name (but pronounces it subtly wrong in a way that no longer feels alien). I mentioned that I'd thought I'd seen him on Friday, but I wasn't quite sure. It had indeed been him -- there was a painful saga involving a malfunctioning trunk lift on a vehicle. There was bleeding.

I selected a cheese danish with a scoop of the chocolate-chocolate-chip ice cream, lactose be damned. (I believe I had in fact remembered to take my milk-pills this time.)

I related the saga of That Time I'd Not Recognized My Own Sister to Mr. Zune and radius. radius let me know that at some point in the future, "all of this" (his below-shoulder mane of mighty hair) was going away. He held up his badge for comparison/inspection. I studied it carefully.

Despite milkshake, I still had the headache.

I did hear back about the bell peppers. The cafe manager was apologetic and understanding. And then I told her about the various ways I had tried to give feedback. She became very apologetic, said she would get on the asses of those responsible, and could she comp my lunch the next day?

Purple's general understanding and patient qualities have been somewhat strained by the bell pepper saga. He is not actually sufficiently in the hospitality planning department of life to recognize that no, there is actually a problem when the same commonly averse/allergic ingredient is in all the dishes at one particular station. His position is that it's a common enough ingredient in the cuisine, it shouldn't be surprising that it's present. My position is: in EVERY GODDAMN DISH THO?!?!

There is research to be done, and believe me, I am still alive. I scheduled research participants. Yay.

At a reasonable hour, I decided it was time to pack up and go home, in part because I still had the headache. I said goodnight to Purple (who, happily for me, does show up on IM when he works from home) and went home.

Whatever I did to my hair, I regret it. I spent part of the evening brushing it out, with a spray bottle of oil to help the knots slide apart. I think part of the problem is that some of the ends have reached an awkward length.
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 19:50
People may remember that I was buying copies of Zoë Keating's music last year for folks to support her and her family during her husband's cancer treatment. Sadly, he died last month.

She wrote to her newsletter list today that she's trying to figure out what her music career will look like as a single parent with limited touring. You should still, or maybe especially, check out her music today!

(Note: I'm not acquainted with Zoë, nor Jeff, I'm just a fan. No need for condolences.)
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 23:30
1. I woke up before the alarm today (thanks, kitten). I can't say I was thrilled about being woken up at five, but it did give me time to eat breakfast before work.

2. I only have to work half a day tomorrow! Looking forward to maybe taking a nap when I get home.

3. Thanks to all the overtime I've been getting, plus one paid day off for Presidents' Day, this week's paycheck and the next one are going to be nice and hefty!

4. Carla made some really tasty chicken and rice tonight.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 23:20
It was my day off, and I managed to leave the house! On my bike!

Like I posted on Tumblr, this was the vibe for most of the afternoon: "Yes, I know this free event will be fun, but I don’t know if I can summon up the energy to actually get myself there." Tagged #yes free booze #yes blocks from my house #but ugh i'm so happy naked.

I did not attend the inaugural Louisiana Sisters Cocktail Competition naked, either. I did ride my bike down MLK in a rather drunkerly state. Look, people are pigs. I got there 10 minutes into the event, and all the food was gone. These were bites, not plates. But people were piling the bowls up with tasty noms before I got any.

I also may have sampled all 9 cocktails, which were generous pours that were mostly booze. The bloody mary garnished with squares of cheese grits was the clear winner, if only for savory simplicity. Yay, NOLA.
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 00:43
It's all too easy to dismiss, diminish
your sharp-edged individual brilliance
as untidiness, as more work than
you're worth. Try this:
Needs direct sun with good support,
for preference, south-facing walls;
and well-drained soil and fleece in frosts
and water when the weather's hot.
Slow to flower, rarely fruits;
give the thing at least five years.
Mind the thorns, the strangling vines;
mind the poison the sap bears.
Grant me leave instead to make this promise:
yes, you're brash and loud and take up space;
perhaps you're snide, opinionated, lacking grace;
but darling, what you don't quite seem to grasp
is that your weaponry can be defence
and ornament at once; can, in point of fact,
be precisely why it is that you're beloved.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 16:18
Poll #16508 The Plague, Part Wev
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 48

So apparently not even a throat so sore your doctor swabbed you for strep gets you out of having to eat a food occasionally if you don't want to feel horrible.

View Answers

... seems legit
25 (52.1%)

No, wait, how is that possible? I demand a recount!
23 (47.9%)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 20:10
Speaking of giant pink brains, which I have been doing intermittently since the Randomizer served up Time and the Rani...

To be brutally honest, I'm not sure big pink brain effects have progressed a great deal since 1987. The Ood central brain is definitely one of the weak points of this story both in terms of scientific plausibility and in terms of special effects.

Beyond that observation I'm not sure I have a great deal to add to my comments when the randomiser served this story up. It has the potential to be both strange and complex but in the end decides to focus its energies more on running around than examining the ideas it raises.

I had forgotten (though I think there was some discussion when the story first aired) that the Doctor and Donna end up as figures of reverence in both this story and Fires of Pompeii. NLSS Child noticed and commented upon the link directly. It's an interesting idea, especially given the way Davies is building the Lonely God characterisation for the 10th Doctor, but I think it must have been a coincidence since we don't see it repeated again.

It's one of the season's weaker stories, but it holds up pretty well, all things considered and doesn't feel like a place filler in the way some of the stories in seasons 2 and 3 appeared.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 10:37
1. Forgetting to clean the lint filter in the dryer and starting a fire in the laundry room.

2. Gingivitis.

3. Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

4. Unpaid library fines.

5. Getting botulism from canned food.

6. Getting cancer from having to go through airport body scanners, even though I have TSA Precheck

7. Getting salmonella from drinking a cocktail with raw egg white in it.

8. Splinters.

9. My cats getting rabies, even though they're vaccinated and don't go outside.

10. Defamation lawsuits.

11. Making a mistake on my taxes.

12. Toenail fungus.

13. Eating the wrong part of rhubarb.

14. Amtrak derailments.

15. Getting falsely accused of sexual harassment.

16. Sunspots causing bugs in my code.

17. Not understanding IEEE floating point.

18. Celery.

19. Split ends.

20. Stepping on a power cord.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 11:37
The funeral service last Tuesday was really lovely, and we received many kind compliments on our singing. I found out that it was recorded and that I am scheduled to receive a copy of the DVD, so I might be able to share that performance with you all in the future. The handbell festival this past weekend also went well, despite my not being able to attend most of the Saturday morning rehearsal, because...

Saturday morning was Connor's last basketball game, and his coach was so determined to get him to score a goal, he stood him under the basket and had everyone else on the team pass every ball to him. It took about a dozen tries, but when the ball finally went through the net, everyone - not just everyone on our team, everyone watching - let out a huge cheer for him. He was so excited! I think this has been a really good experience for him because he's so easily discouraged, but he's learning that practice and persistence pay off.

The weather has been particularly wonky lately. Last week we had a day of school and two choir rehearsals cancelled due to freezing rain and the threat of snow, which briefly materialized Wednesday night only to completely melt by the next morning. Yesterday and today we have T-shirt weather, but we're supposed to get another winter storm tomorrow.

Last night Heather's husband invited me to accompany him to see Shpongle in concert, which was very colorful, loud, and fun. On Friday evening, I have tickets to see San Fermin perform with the symphony, and on Sunday, Heather and I are hoping to take a road trip to Atlanta to see the Tannahill Weavers.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 08:23
He misunderstood, and it wasn't his creatinine levels that were high, it was his creatine kinase levels.

Now, creatine kinase also gives you an idea of renal function, and the levels being high can mean trouble (including muscular dystrophia, but if he had that, we'd probably already know, because doesn't MD start really young?).

But, you know what else can cause high creatine kinase levels? A really hard workout in the weight room.

On the Tuesday evening on the week his blood test was done, John had a session with a new trainer, and she REALLY pushed him. He still had pretty bad DOMS (Delayed-Onset Muscular Soreness) on the Friday morning, which was when he went in for his blood tests.

So his doctor was relieved that something like that had happened. He ordered new blood tests that John has to go in for this coming Monday or Tuesday (to his preference between the two) and he is basically banned from the gym and other strenuous exercise until then.

So we're sitting and waiting, but everyone is pretty confident it's only exercise-related muscle breakdown.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 04:14
Some of these are "quick hits", since I've gotten lazy about taking full notes, but still.

Behind the cut: Thorns, Event Horizon, The Bloody Sword (*), Relics of Herself (*), Midnight Mass (*), Hagiophobia (*), Yellow Metal With Mingled Purple Blushes (*), Gingerbread Sin (*), The Fruit of Paradise (*), 13 Ad Lunam (*), The Lotus Tree, Shining Beak of Pure Horn (*), Delicate Ambrosial Dews of Heavenly Nectar (*), The Antikythera Mechanism, Thieves' Rosin, Libertine, The Phoenix In Summer (*), In Templum Dei, Creeper Dragon (*), Minamoto no Yorimasa and the Lotus Root Flower (*), Mars Alator (*), Ruined Roses (*)

now you smell it, now you don't )
Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 00:18
I had been chatting with [personal profile] sithjawa on Friday night about weather. Specifically, we had been discussing the nature of "sleet" and "hail", in light of a SF Bay Area weather forecast about same.

The types of sky-water under discussion were:
Non-small and often irregular chunks of frozen sky-water
Small, round, frozen pellets of sky-water
Fluffy crystalline structures of sky-water
Half-frozen, half-liquid sky slushie

I held that sky-slushie is sleet, and small frozen pellets are still hail. No one was disputing the large frozen chunks being hail, nor the fluffy ones being snow. Apparently some places call the small round frozen pellets "sleet", and the sky-slushie "wintery mix". I hold that "wintery mix" is the worst kind of snack food, and involves some ungodly mix of different types of cold precipitation.

I woke up earlier than expected. This was good, because it let me get started. I had vague hopes we'd be able to actually get to the 2:30 movie in Union City. So I had breakfast, did some car-cleaning (including the long-awaited swap of foot mats and vacuuming), and I was out by sometime after 1.

Tif and I had tried planning our afternoon around seeing Jupiter Ascending, but the "wintery mix" falling out of the sky ensured that we would be too late to see the 2:30 showing where we wanted to go. So we went to Home Depot (across the way from our usual shopping pursuits) via Starbucks.

Now, the thing about seeing a movie that's not doing so great at the box office is, the box office stops giving it that many slots as things trail off. By now, Jupiter Ascending is at two usable showings per theatre, max. (By "usable", I mean that neither of us should be having with 3D.)

We discussed where to go next. She had some errands to run at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. We found one of those was just a few miles down the road. Then she got the idea to see if there was a theatre anywhere near that.

Not only was there a theatre near there, but it was showing the movie within a reasonable length of time. We hit the road, and it was not terrible, and Tif even had time to text back and forth with Fairlight a bit, teasing him a little about his upcoming birthday. (Happy Birthday! Hope it was good!)

We managed to get to the mall, find the theatre, get parked, get tickets, navigate the concessions, find seats, and take turns in the bathroom, before the movie started. I sat back down in my seat just as the screen wavered into the logos.

I went into Jupiter Ascending expecting the following things:
Read more... )

What I got:
Read more... )

Was it good? Well, there were two action sequences during which I could have easily taken a bathroom run with no real harm done to my understanding of the movie. Which is often a sign that the editor needs to take up a sawed-off pool noodle and wallop the nearest Wachowski with it.

Did I enjoy it? Heck yes.

We located BB&B, our reason for coming to the mall. By this time it was very dark and also rainy. The shades were sort of drawn and it looked very deserted. We sort of wondered if they were even open. They were basically deserted inside, but open. Unfortunately they did not even have the section she was looking for, but we only learned that after going around the entire store. Then the one open register closed just as I went up to it, so we checked out at customer service.

Tif did something terrible to her foot over the last few months. Recently it has progressed from kinda not good to ow kinda fuckin' broken. I assured her that she would be taking the little cart at our next stop.

The reason I do these shopping runs with Tif, besides that we always enjoy ourselves on them, is that Tif doesn't drive. The reason Tif doesn't drive is that she doesn't have a license. The reason she doesn't have a license? Well, that involves a little bit of a lack of depth perception, which is sort of a really bad plan at highway speeds.

Tif had a certain amount of trepidation about the topic of driving a store scooter.

It all went basically okay, though. Our usual hour of attack means that they're restocking the store and have made the aisles into a general accessibility nightmare, but either there's that or there are crowds, and at least giant pallets of god-knows-what don't give me the crawlin' freakouts. So there were a few tight corners and one place that she tried to back out of but stuff was in the way and eventually she asked me to clear the way forward and I did. But she drove the thing! And she did stunningly well at backing up for a novice.

Our plan was that we would eschew any frozen groceries until after movie and/or dinner, but Tif was tired enough after that round of shopping that she reckoned we could go further afield if we didn't have to come back for frozen stuff: she could get frozen stuff elsewhere. So we went in search of a Red Robin. There was one just down the way, Google said!

Google steered us to a really deserted-looking mall. The mall itself was very closed after 9pm. The parking lot was sparsely lit. There were some neoned-up outbuildings, but we saw a car maybe once every five minutes.

"This is where go to get murdered by lunatics," Tif said quite definitely, or words to that effect.

There was no Red Robin. Tif found another one, somewhere at the ass-end of the Bay. We thought we could get there before they closed, and we thought right!

Unfortunately, apparently movie popcorn has gluten. :( So Tif did not enjoy the post-movie time as much as she otherwise might have.

Having a character named Mike and having a buddy named Mike who occasionally shows up in work stories results in some really awkward namespace collisions. My character Mike, when his books are -- okay, Mike says that they're not his books, they're his wife's boo -- MIKE YOU FUCKER, THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW YOU GOT MARRIED -- ks, and he's just the chatty one one who can see me -- anyway, when I'm working on those books such that they're in my brainspace, he is the Mike, and all others are lesser. (He says thanks. And points at the terrible Mike in his class group.)

On the way back, we stopped off in a friendly parking lot in San Bruno so I could fish the ibuprofen out of my handbag, and a diet coke out of Tif's groceries in the trunk. Then we got stuff unloaded back at her place. I got annoyed enough by the rapidly cycling streetlight that I looked up how to report those. Because it's San Francisco, there's an app. Because it's a poorly funded local government dealie, it's got problems. Because I'm me, after I reported the streetlight, I sent feedback on the app via their very broken in-app feedback link. I'm not sure how they managed to do that thing, but it's amazingly broken.

Sunday: sleep, laundry, and sorting BPAL.

I have three little ammo cases mostly full of BPAL imps. I keep them alphabetized. I will be exploring certain means of identification.

I had played in perhaps a few too many of [community profile] synecdochic_decants' circles, so I had many things to file ... especially as I had just got a shipping notice of more on the way.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 22:52
1. I got another small translation job from [personal profile] kiwimusume. :D

2. Carla made a really delicious macaroni and cheese casserole tonight.

3. I went to help out with the West Covina remodelling and now it's over and I don't have to do that again! :p Also while I was there, I took pictures of stuff I wanted to get in for our store, just like I did when I went to help out with the Costa Mesa remodel. (Now the trick is just finding time to sit down and go through the photos and look up all the barcodes.)
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 23:10
About living with an Optimiser without losing your mind.

Said thread having left me with an irresistible urge to tell people how I think onions are best cut. As this is high on the list of Worst Things I Could Do over there - quite right, too - I have come back here to do it.

So, these are My Opinions:

0) Dried onions and frozen onions - which in Canada can be bought in large bags at M&M Meats, among other places - are terribly under-appreciated.

1) Always use your very sharpest non-serrated blade. The onion juice that makes you cry is released by crushing the flesh of the onion, so the more you minimise this the less irritant is released.

2) Putting the onion in the fridge for an hour -or the freezer for ten minutes, but don't forget about it - before you cut it does, actually, help.

3) Keeping your mouth tightly shut from the moment you cut into the onion until you walk away from the cutting board helps a lot, but if you once open your mouth it stops working. I do not know why this is so.

4) Cut the ends off first, so that you have flat spots to stand the onion on rather than it being able to roll around. This may save your fingers if you do get teary-eyed.

5) When you put them into the pan to cook, starting them off on low and increasing the heat in stages will minimise the amount of onion juice that gets into the air to irritate your eyes.

6) If you do end up with streaming eyes, rinse out your mouth and nostrils, not your eyes. Putting a cool washcloth over your eyes is soothing and gets your lashes clean, but your eyes are already cleaning themselves.

7) Food processors are not, in my opinion, suitable for chopping onions due to an excess of crushing activity and subsequent fumes.

Please share your opinions about onions freely - with impeccable courtesy and bountiful goodwill - in the comments. Anonymous commenting is on (on DW) but screened, please do sign your anonymous comment in some fashion; initials, nicknames, etc. are just fine, I just want to be able to tell y'all apart.

n.b. Rice Cookers may also be discussed.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 16:21
This past weekend we went to visit my fiancé's family, in Ottawa.

His aunt and uncle were super excited to show us their new toy. A sailboat in the Caribbean that they will charter out when they aren't using it. (They have money, well-earned too!)

It took my brain 72 hours to process that, not only do I know people who make enough money to own a sailboat anchored in motherfucking Tortola, but that we've been invited to go out on it, when our vacation time can be taken at the same time and the stars align just right.


Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 22:00
The Dominators is, famously among Doctor Who fans at any rate, the Doctor Who story which focuses on the perils of pacifism. It must be said, I don't think it really makes this point, even though it was the writers' stated intention. In part this is because it seems to be a tale of one terribly stupidly complacent culture invading another terribly stupidly complacent culture and the prevailing stupid complacency rather overshadows any other point the story may be trying to make.

However, first we should consider the costuming )

I think there is potentially a really interesting story to be told examining the problem of pacifism in the face of an aggressive enemy with no interest in what anyone thinks. Sadly, this isn't it. It is tempting to suppose that its failings arise from being written by two men who had lived through the second World War being confronted by hippie culture and conflating all its aspects into the idea of pacifism - except that the Dulcians appear to be, primarily, a culture of old men and at least part of their problem is an extreme unwillingness to deviate from the status quo. However once you set aside the fact that both the Dominators and the Dulcians are mostly just rather stupid, its a fun and charming romp which show cases its regular cast well.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 14:18
About John's creatinine levels (he was called to go see his doctor, they gave him an emergency appointment today), and the possible clot in my leg than about the breast thing.

Clots freak me out more than the thin possibility of a breast mass.

Because I'm weird and I don't like the unpredictability of clots.

Also, and this amuses me greatly, the doctor ordered a blood test to see if I have coeliac disease. I'm amused because I scoff at the gluten-free fad (NOT at people who have very real reasons to avoid the stuff, but at the fad-dieters out there), mainly because it downplays the seriousness of people who have to avoid it if they don't want to get seriously ill.

If I have a positive diagnosis for coeliac, watch me get very mad at people who don't even know why they are avoiding the stuff!
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 12:14

I am preparing a packing list for war, because I'm going to need a little extra space for my heraldry stuff. Not a lot, no more than a good foot, but that's still a foot of space I need to find in my car. Eep.

Here's my list: list o' packing )

Anything else, I've got to try and figure out myself. This is what I've come up with for a few minutes of thinking, but I know I'm forgetting something. (I just added toiletries and towels to the list. I knew something was wrong. But what else?)

One of my knitting projects is definitely going to Gulf Wars with me. I may take pictures of Royals holding my knitting if I spot HRM Danielle. She'd get a kick out of if, if she's got the time. She is also a knitter. She made a fantastic hat for HRM Caillen with RAM HORNS knitted in. I may have to look for that on Ravelry.

I have a list of who needs what forms for Herald's Point! Meridies just needs 1 color, 1 black and white and 1 name - same with Trimaris. Ansteorra needs 2 color, 1 black and white and 2 names. Gleann Abhann needs 2 color, 1 black and white and 1 name. I'm going to make a couple of sheets with that information and laminate them for war. I think it will be useful.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 18:30
"And that's how we get Typhoid in Aberdeen"
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 13:40
It is a delight to me that I had a conversation on Sunday night in which I pointed out to facesfriend that I do not, in point of fact, know them very well -- I started paying any consistent attention to their existence about 6 months ago and we started dating about 4 months ago (which is weird for me; I am really not used to getting to know people by dating them); he looked gently baffled and said he thought that, in fact, I knew him pretty well. I paused. "Okay," I said, "my predictive model for your behaviour is based on a relatively small sample size, and what data I do have isn't necessarily representative." "Right," he said, "that makes sense." Hurrah for human interactions wherein I get to express myself like that and it's just okay; this is, of course, some of why Hel bemoans that there's no way they can ever write dialogue that is an accurate representation of conversations they have with friends, because nobody would believe people talk that way in real life.

(Tangentially relatedly, but only sort of sideways rather than directly: I am having a pretty bad case of the I-am-not-allowed-to-want-things/I-am-not-allowed-to-be-wanteds this week. Not entirely sure why, but it's a thing; sorry if I go a bit spiky and weird on you.)
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 08:53
Previously unread.

Is-so-far as I can tell, this is a halfway decent Western story draped somewhat competently in Chinese saga drag. That's based on having watched a fair chunk of Chinese fantasy film, but no other cultural experience.

Good read? On the whole, yes. Reading this book while in rather extreme pain from a badly twisted ankle, I kept zoning in and out during the first story, so it was kinda hard to tell what was happening (there's either a fair bit of repetition, or I couldn't keep my pages straight, or maybe a bit of both).

I'm happy I've read it, but I am, frankly, unlikely to re-read.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 10:15
1. Well, I got a little more sleep, my period is over, the weather is nicer and I guess I'm feeling a bit better overall.

2. Still no apartment, still utterly fucked on grad school (SO, SO FUCKED). At some point I have to own up to the fact that I'm way past the red zone and I have to buckle down and start using every goddamn resource including friends who could maybe give me advice but to whom I don't want to admit my failure and work colleagues who have a slim chance of helping but who I absolutely hate asking. It's just, this will take so much emotional and mental energy, it would be difficult to do on a good day. In the middle of apartment hunting and other drama it's... difficult. I need to have like a billion unpleasant conversations with people I don't know, the thought of which makes my skin crawl, and all for the slimmest of chances at "victory".

But it's this or give up and I guess I'm not done clawing at the world to give me this thing yet.

3. This morning [personal profile] roga and I and a friend of hers who slept over all got up at roughly the same time and were going about our morning routines together ([personal profile] roga and I don't normally see each other in the mornings) and it made me suddenly excited for Amsterdam. Ah, April, when I will get to share a bathroom with two of my favorite people in the world. LOL. It's very weird - because, like most introverts I know I am in no way someone who enjoys being social in the morning - how much I'm yearning to be stuck in a tiny room with two other people and one bathroom. But, I don't know. Maybe it's that I've missed close intimacy with loved ones. Maybe it's that I just want to be on vacation already, somewhere away for a week. Probably a lot of it has to do with the fact that I met both of these friends in the military, so there's something familiar and comforting about sharing close quarters with them again.

4. Remember how I lost my ipad recently? Well, I decided to just say fuck it and buy a new one. I use it all the time, if I wait until buying it is smart or appropriate I'll spend a year suffering. Well, I bought the newest model (actually cheaper than mine was originally) and it turned out to have a faulty battery. Going to the store to replace it means leaving work early, driving 30+ minutes in traffic in each direction. I won't even tell you how much time and money I've already spent on this shit, but finally I got it replaced. Guess what - the new one they gave me also has a faulty battery. AHAHA. HAHA. /o\ Someone please shoot me. The store currently refuses to just give me a refund, I wonder how much of their merchandise I'll have to go through and how many hours and days of my life I'll have to spend paying for my fucking stupidity in losing the original tablet.

5. On twitter I was recently talking to [personal profile] anatsuno about American History X and how it cemented my love for Edward Norton in a weird way. tw: Neo Nazis )
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 00:00
I woke up and got online to the devastating news that Leonard Nimoy had died.

Some months ago, Purple and I had discussed the way that both of us, and a lot of weird nerd children, had had a particular alien who had helped us get through a fuckton of loneliness and rejection by our alleged peers. His alien had been Mork. My alien had been Spock. After I cried hysterically in #yuletide for a few minutes, I guess the brief idea of calling out grieving floated through my mind but didn't attach to anything: I knew without even having to think about it that the news would be bouncing through #cupcake and [off-topic] and I would be among fellow mourners. I grieve with thee.

While my fingers and eyes were working, my brain spent a good chunk of the morning before lunch curled up next to a friend.

Over lunch (pizza, because the burritos are contaminated this week) I happened to mention that I'd gone to bed without writing about the day on Thursday night. Purple asked how much I typically wrote. I made a reasonable guess. After what I reckoned to be smiling at the quaint measurement system, he was impressed, because 3-4 kilobytes of text is not a small amount to just dash off, and he would probably not generate that much text about what he'd done in a day (and this is why he doesn't keep a journal). I allowed as how some days were more than others, and I did things like foreshadow and put in running themes. I gave the SUV thing as an example of a thing that I would have woven throughout the day until it reached the culmination in the parking lot. "You wouldn't have even recognized that it was the same guy who passed us if I hadn't told you!" he pointed out. (Let alone the part where I didn't even register that someone had passed us.) Hooray faceblindness.

So tonight, after writing up Thursday properly, I checked to see how much text I'd generated. That one was a little over 9 kilobytes. Oops.

Purple and I had been having a quiet conversation about Leonard Nimoy, a bit, and I was feeling sad, when Lennon Glasses Guy and one of the other lunch crowd turned to Purple to ask them to solve a debate: what exactly did it fuck up when there were two copies of one mac address on the same network. That got Purple going. He's the guy that everyone turns to as an authority about many of these things. So he held forth. It turned out that he had in fact personally experienced the bad effects of a MAC address conflict at work. His not!boyfriend had said: "Purple, I just logged in to your dev box..." Turns out a lab machine had faked the same MAC as Purple's. Oops.

I asked Madam Standards how many colors black I was wearing. She had not realized that there was so much variation in the things that she had thought were just 'black'. This was apropos of The Dress. (She and I do not see eye to eye.)

Got a chance to chat with my manager on her way out the door. She's had the flu, and there were allergies overlapping; she said something about all the yellow dust. I made an Amber Spyglass crack. She giggled.

Between all of the things that were going on, there was no milkshake run. radius discovered that he was actually kind of hungry, and his side of the office had run out of M&Ms and no one had restocked them in the afternoon. There were also no gingersnaps.

I reckoned that I needed a walk to clear my head, and it was also time that I checked in with lb's Overlady, so I decided a supply run could be in order. I grabbed a few little plastic cups and got together some chocolate covered espresso beans, a ginger cookie out of my break room, and some M&Ms. That was a little more than was easy to carry, so I stuffed the espresso beans in a mug, balanced the cookie on a napkin on top, and carried the M&Ms in my other hand.

Going out doors is easy. Going in doors often requires a badge. So I swapped the M&Ms to balance them on top of the cookie, operated the badge with my right hand, and opened the door with my left hand -- and promptly spilled the M&Ms off the top of the cookie onto the floor. As I tried desperately to salvage the situation, the cookie toppled as well.

I picked up the scattered M&Ms, looked at them and the cookie sadly, and put them in the nearest compost trash. Friends don't give friends floor cookies. At least I had the espresso beans, protected within the cheerfully patterned mug.

radius was glad to see the espresso beans. I cautioned him against overenthusiasm, as caffeine poisoning often offends.

My next stop was lb's Overlady, who gave me intelligence that the new guy, the one who was taking over everything after the last three clowns had been shuffled out, was also not much longer for the company, and his last day would be ... Friday! Yay! She urged caution and diplomacy. She was also glad to see the chocolate covered espresso beans.

A friend in another department did some research. Now, there is always a small element of Musical Executives. It is a very small valley. Thus we learned a few things:

The incoming exec implemented something based on the same root technology as the helldesk program at his old place.
The incoming exec is therefore unlikely to discard the helldesk software out of hand.
The incoming exec may actually know what $SOFTWARE looks like when it's functioning properly.
The incoming exec, if we are very very lucky, may recognize the helldesk situation as being terrible.

Lannister has a helldesk derivative of her own to deal with. She did not escape unscathed.

I'd had to do my hours first thing in the morning, because this was the day that the Old Contractor Management Company was letting go of me, and therefore I had to do my hours ASAP so they could get them put in ASAP and get everything done in the coming week. So 7pm was my deadline. I'd be done by then. Purple pinged me about dinner. I assented. This time I would not do dumb car tricks!

Purple thought he saw a little white car behind him as he made the U-turn, but it was a different little white car. It's so hard to tell these things in the dark.

We wound up attempting to explain Cards Against Humanity to Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. It was great.

I saw a guy who looked almost exactly like the guy who runs the Secret Milkshake Bunker, except he was wearing an orange headband, walking out. However, my facial recognition skills are dodgy at best, so Purple was not at all sure that this was the right guy.

Purple got something with a side dish of sour cream. So did Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. Mine didn't have it. Purple had extra, and offered me some. My knife was covered with the very bright red sauce that was all over the ... cheese thing.

"Sorry for getting my sauce in your sour cream," I said.

Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly made the face that meant that she was thinking dirty, dirty thoughts.

I made the appalled face, and it was only a tiny bit forced. "Oh god no," I said. "I know we're very close, but we're not THAT kind of friends."

Purple didn't entirely follow exactly what she'd meant, but he knew it was entirely filthy. Heh.

I have been enjoying doing all the bill-related math in my head. It makes a fun exercise for me. It had been a while since I'd refreshed my cash on hand, so I retrieved some fives and rather a lot of ones. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly stared. "Why do...?"

"Ice cream," I said. That didn't actually answer anything.

Purple clarified: when you get a $3-and-something serving of ice cream using decimal currency, you get a lot of ones. I'm not actually a stripper. :D

It came time to go home. I claimed a hug goodnight. "See you tomorrow!" Purple started to say, and then corrected himself. We both had plans. Mine involved shopping with Tif, and Jupiter Rising. He said I'd have to tell him whether he should watch it or not.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 23:30
1. I bought Donkey Kong Country 3 and Tropical Freeze! :D I'm holding off on the first two DKC games, since 3 is the one I liked best and at $8 each it was kind of steep to buy all three of them plus Tropical Freeze, even if Tropical Freeze was 30% off. (Also I am now out of room on the Wii U's internal hard drive, so I guess I need to buy an external one. D:)

2. After all the rain we've had this year, our little lemon tree out back seems to be coming back to life. This morning Carla even found two teensy lemons on it!

3. I had such a nice relaxing day off! I wish I'd actually done a bit more translation and stuff, especially since I hardly ever seem to do any on work days lately, but oh well. It was nice to just relax and do nothing.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 00:27
It's been one of those weeks.

Updates on two of the things that have made it a hell of a week, for the people who I've told bits of this to and who would like an update:

* The city did finally come by on Saturday, one week to the hour from when we reported the unexpected water feature and a week and a day from when we reported the freeze, to replace the meter and stop the leak. So that's something, at least. (And the meter reading they reported when they changed it out was the same as when it first broke, so hopefully we shouldn't be charged for it. I'm still not underestimating the Baltimore Department of Water & Wastewater's ability to fuck things up, though.)

* Sarah's grandfather, who had been in the hospital at the beginning of last week and went into hospice care at the end of last week, died Friday night/Saturday morning, peacefully in his sleep. (You can tell Sarah's father, an amateur geneaologist, wrote the obituary; it has full names, including middle names.) He was a hell of a guy and the family will miss him.

I've also fucked my hip, fucked my spine, and fucked my knee. (No, really, it's making unpleasant crunching noises every time I put weight on it.) Which of the three is more painful and annoying at this point depends on how far I've been overcompensating for the previous "more painful and annoying".

On a slightly bright note, the best addition to our kitchen gadgets ever, the Anova Precision Cooker sous vide thermal circulator, has been doing double and triple duty for the past three weeks or so. I can safely say that if you have any interest in cooking at all, you want one of these things. Perfectly cooked proteins, every time!
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 18:14
I was supposed to have a check up including a Pap smear today.

That Pap smear did not happen.

See, starting in December, I started noticing a bit of a dip forming on my left breast. So I mentioned it to my doctor. Well, she did feel something, but the words out of her mouth were "It feels like it's probably just an abscess." (I looked it up, and it does fit the bill for sub-areolar abscesses, so she's likely right.) However. Due to my mammary reduction back in 2003, I have a LOT of scar tissue. To the point where the doctor said something along the lines of "Too much is going on in there, so we'll order an ultrasound or a mammogram to make 100% sure it's benign, just in case." That is one of the issues that is often found with breast reduction surgeries, is that they might have to order extra and not always necessary tests to be sure of what they felt.

On the plus side, my lymph nodes all feel normal, which is a really good sign. With the size of what she felt, if it were cancer (but it's not placed where most cancers show up, another good sign), my lymph nodes, at least on that side, would be swollen or lumpy and that whole area would be more of a mess.

So I have to choose if I want to go to the private sector, or the public sector (the difference between having a breast ultrasound done in within a month, or waiting a little over two months for a mammogram, also, the difference between paying $100 which may be non-refundable out of pocket and being covered by Quebec's public healthcare), then make an appointment.

I also have had a bump on my leg she's investigating. It could be an injury I didn't realize I had, but it could also be a clot, so I have an ultrasound for that in the next week or so (they'll call me to set up an appointment).

AND I FINALLY HAVE AN EPIPEN PRESCRIPTION! After 18 years of trying to get an Rx for one due to my severe allergy to sole! WAT?!

My Pap smear has been rescheduled to April. LOL.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 12:16

Title: Himegoto
Original Title: ヒメゴト~十九歳の制服~ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Audrey + Krim
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.

Chapter Summary: Kaito confronts Yoshiki about what happened with Mikako.

Chapter 33: Men and Women
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 21:10
Valentine's Day in our household almost invariably ends up being a family affair for some reason. This year Tame Layman and I faffed about discussing booking a restaurant and then going to a play or something to fill up the time (the babysitter comes in a minimum 4 hour stay). We decided to go to see Top Hat tried to figure out how to fit the evening showing around a meal, then decided to go to the matinee at which point we thought we might as well take NLSS Child with us. We can cook a perfectly nice meal, we said, at home.

So on Valentine's Day we (all three of us) went to a show. Then we (all three of us) had a slap up meal - although only two of us drank the champagne (NLSS Child being firmly of the opinion that alcohol in all its forms is a great evil that should never pass her lips) and then we (all three of us) decided to watch a video together and NLSS Child picked In the Forest of the Night because Tame Layman hadn't seen it yet and it was her favourite.

It was a nice day but I'm not sure I'd describe it as romantic )
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 12:40
We had an SCA event last weekend! Not this last weekend. But the weekend before. It was Lord Tynk's Ragnorok and Roll event. Brent did his usual and won a God of Rock throne because he won the archery tournament. It was awesome. It's a really nice chair. I think he'll like using it at Gulf Wars.

I did Gulf Wars prep all weekend and Friday. I didn't go into work Friday because my brain was playing tricks on me. So I put my brain away and did prep. I got two under tunics done up, but one ended up too small in the waist and will need alteration. The other came out just fine.

I also worked out and got another pair of mittens cast on, but not worked on. I need to work on those because I don't want to take them to Gulf Wars, but that would be a neat visit for them. Taking them all over Gulf Wars and taking pictures of them. Like the Yarn Harlot does with socks.

Nerd Fitness Rebellion Six Week Challenge! I took it and am working on it. It's going well so far.

I changed the desktop background to daffodils. And my phone background. I needed something springlike. I am so tired of grey weather.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 17:30
This is crossposted from, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Hello Kitty Crochet is a book I have coveted since I knew it existed, in part due to nostalgia as I remember getting little cute Japanese things on occasion as a kid, but also because it just looked like a fantastic set of amigurumi crochet patterns with lots of details and cute photos.

Hello Kitty Crochet: Supercute Amigurumi…
Hello Kitty Crochet: Supercute Amigurumi Patterns for Sanrio Friends
by Mei Li Lee

J’s parents were sweet enough to get me a copy for my birthday. So of course, the thing to do is to make the titular character and send her back with a thank you note! I have no idea what they’re ever going to do with a little Hello Kitty, but what has one ever done with Hello Kitty other than admire her, really?

I finished her head pretty quickly, then got side-tracked by something else so there was just this severed head lying around the house for a week:

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

Eventually, though, she got some more body parts:

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

The strange one there is the bow. I am quite sure that there’s an error in the book, because they have you doing 4 sc and then 3 sc in one, which would give you a total of 7 sc across… but then the next line says you should turn and do 9 sc plus another 3-in-one. Does not compute, Hello Kitty. Through looking at the pictures and some online research my best guess is that you’re not supposed to turn your work front to back but rather make an oval by crocheting around the other side of the original chain, so that’s what I wound up doing.

Here’s a picture where you can see it better:

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

And here’s one so you can see that she does indeed have a tail:

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

What you can’t see is that she has washers in her butt to make her a bit weighted and not top heavy. I debated putting a rare earth magnet in there too, but I couldn’t really think when that would be useful, so I went with just the washers.

To fill out the post, here’s some photos with a Hello Kitty Makeup box I got when it was on sale at Sephora:

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

Very kawaii, indeed. I’d originally intended to felt her, but once I got her features on I didn’t want to mess them up. Maybe next time!

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

If you don’t know how big that box is, it might be hard to tell how big she is. Here’s a shot with a ruler, although the one I have with the ruler up and down didn’t turn out so well, so you’ll have to guesstimate from the one where it’s beside her. She’s a little under 3in high.

Hello Kitty Amigurumi

Aside from the issue with the bow, I found the directions pretty clear. They’d be suitable for a crochet/amigurumi beginner if you’re eager to try her out. I can’t wait to try some of the other patterns in the collection!

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 08:59
Realistic assessment, I may not get through a full work day today. Last night I suddenly stopped being able to put weight on my right leg and any movement in my hips was painful. I got to the bathroom on 2 canes. I can put more weight on it this morning and have taken some tramadol. It is hard to bend over and also to turn over in bed, sit upright, etc. Very painful and sharp. Pain/tingling going down my leg into my foot. The "good" side is also aching but not super sharp pain.

I made my tea, ate some crackers, bent over to put cat food in the bowl (mistake)

Could not find my (spare) glasses and had to painfully tidy things up till I found them. They were in the bed in the first place I looked of course. I need to get new real glasses.

I will be very cautious today and will get d. to bring my walker up out of the garage.

Not going to despair. Laying low.

Wrote to my doctor to say what is happening. I will need some vicodin and I think a day or two of lying still. I am not sure whether to skip PT on Wednesday or try to do it. Right now I would not be able to get there anyway. But maybe by Wed. can do it with a ride (which I have already lined up)

Calling the pain clinic now to make sure my next sacroiliac injection is scheduled.

About to get my period so "not despairing" may also not completely be realistic as I usually have about half a day of PMS existential crisis/mood where I doubt everything and cry.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 12:20
Right, so scent is an important thing for me, right? Using familiar scented products (shower gels, moisturisers, perfume, etc) is very grounding and helps me remember where and what my body is, and so on. Consequently I tend to keep shower gel of my own at partners' houses.

Currently, the shower gel I have on the go at facesfriend's is Original Source Raspberry & Cocoa.

It turns out that Original Source only use a limited range of dyes in their shower gels; Raspberry & Cocoa is the exact same colour as the Black Pepper & Chilli MANLY MAN MAN MAN shower gel. It is genuinely quite difficult to tell the difference between the two if you're half-asleep and wholly-myopic.

... guess what facesfriend has acquired a bottle of. GUESS.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 08:58
Book list )

Linear extrapolation says "114 books by year's end". I suspect, right now, that it will be more, because linear extrapolations in the first quarter have, hostorically, been too low. The March 2014 prediction (3 months, rather than 2) was for 112 books, but the total was 141.

February held only a single new author, but there's at least one more coming for book 2015 - #20.
Sunday, March 1st, 2015 23:30
1. It rained so much today. It even hailed for a while! It's supposed to rain tomorrow, too, though I don't know if it will be this much.

2. I have tomorrow off! Originally I was planning on going to lunch and karaoke with a former co-worker, but I had to beg off because I'm just so exhausted. I have to go to West Covina on Tuesday to help with their remodelling, and I don't have another full day off this week except tomorrow, so I was really feeling exhausted at the thought of going out. Now I'm just looking forward to a relaxing day of staying in and doing nothing.

3. We had steak quesadillas tonight and they were so delicious!
Sunday, March 1st, 2015 22:34
Past 30 days, I watched two big budget explosions and superpowers nonsense movies. They were pretty much both just "render-farm eye-candy", which appears to be all anyone in hollywood wants to risk putting on screen anymore.

One was from 2008, called "Iron Man". It was about an ultra-rich, weapons-selling, middle-aged, all-american loner man who escapes his bachelor pad of sports cars and sexy assistants to fly around blowing up poor middle eastern and central european people up in a super wish fulfillment power suit story.

One was from 2015, called "Jupiter Ascending". It was about a poor, toilet-cleaning, young immigrant woman who escapes her crowded family basement to fly around with a new space werewolf legionnaire boyfriend blowing up imperial slave-world-owning villains in a space opera wish fulfillment secret princess story.

Rotten tomatos aggregate critic score for the first shows 93%. For the second, it shows 24%.

That's about all I have to say about that.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 00:03
Today I took out my camera for the first time since it broke (the zoom is dead, so it's useless for birding, but still manages ok for regular photos*). I wandered around taking pictures of trees, psshing out birds (chickadees mostly, but some CAGO flew over), and realizing how important it was for me to start keeping a physical notebook on me again.

Not just because it helps me remember to practice IDing trees. Even when they're leafless.

Or because I just want more reminders of the things I do and see. 

Or because I have so many wonderful thoughts I forget to write down.

But because writing thoughts down and taking pictures and IDing trees, even when they're leafless, breeds and feeds those thoughts within me. Because the pictures I do take with my phone have been mostly utilitarian and joyless** - while taking more with a camera eventually gets me to set up shots - see things in a new way, small details. All of it takes me inside and outside myself in experiencing the world.

*I'll replace it when I'm a millionaire
**except the ones of my cat
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 01:50
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Sunday, March 1st, 2015 19:02
I gave myself until March 1st (hey, that's today!) to decide whether or not to turn in my grad-school applications and pursue my Masters in rehabilitation counseling (basically, counseling adults with disabilities).

I've decided not to do it. At least not this year. Rather than spend next year doing school and work both, racking up more student-loan debt, and changing career paths, I've decided to spend that energy/time/money on actually finishing some writing projects. This week, I'll decide which project(s) I'll be prioritizing, but I already feel happy and relieved, which is one way I can tell it's the right decision for me.

I may start blogging a lot about writing. I will try to be considerate with cut tags. Wish me well.
Sunday, March 1st, 2015 14:31

Entirely successful estate sale day! I now have:

  • a dining table and chairs, could use some polishing
  • a sweet oak rocking chair and rocking ottoman that fit me very nicely
  • a set of small curves for drafting patterns, should do sleeve caps nicely
  • books! One on needlework stitches, an anatomy coloring book, Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, and one that cx might like with pictures of urban/industrial infrastructure.
  • embroidery hoops
  • a steel dough scraper
  • misc. glassware

I still need:

  • wood polish
  • an office chair
  • shelves for the kitchen
  • a filing cabinet or something for papers, electronics, etc. to go near the desk
  • rugs?

ETA: Eh. The beeswax hand salve I made will work for polish.