Yesterday I got an operation! So far it was a really good idea. Here is what went down.

long! )
Having a return of serious digestive badness since the whole IUD debacle, so I'm feeling very low on energy and brain. Still, I have some things to say!

Changes in anime art styles over the last several decades are something I had noticed but not qualified this way.

It took tumblr like five minutes after the movie announcement to write a Captain Marvel post-credits scene that causes me to squeal in incoherent delight.

Hilarious send-up of Jonathan Franzen from Twitter.

I have some TOUGH DECISIONS to make about further #scishirt options for this week. XKCD was required, so I wore that yesterday. Today is the shirt Wim brought me from Meguro Parasitological Museum. I guess I'm going to have to go with sentimental value -- Plant Disease, FHL evo-devo course, and Monterey Bay Aquarium -- rather than any of my cool conference shirts or ones that just have plants/animals.

Last night when I was trying to eat food, I had truly amazing applesauce from [personal profile] rushthatspeaks. Wonderful stuff.

cider days

Nov. 1st, 2014 09:53 pm
jinian: (mokona dessert!)
This morning I got into a car with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and [personal profile] gaudior and we all drove off for two hours to western Mass (thanks in part to the phone GPS lady) to Cider Days, because we love apples. It was rainy and chilly, but we got food before starting to drink, bought $5 glasses, and then joined the gigantic over-capacity hard cider sampling and discussion panel room.

The panel involved lots of fascinating jargon, lots of semi-reasonable molecular biology, and plenty of delicious and unusual ciders. People were coming around with bottles of each cider the panel talked about, and all the panelists seemed to work together to make ciders from Pine Hill Orchards juice. It got pretty hot in there, so between that and the ciders' alcohol content (usually around 10%) I was ready to go before the end. We didn't leave until after they called out us late-coming youngsters and said how great it was that we were interested in cider-making, though. :)

I was really there to taste local apple varieties, though, and I got to do that next. It was raining enough that I had to take notes on my phone instead of on paper, but that worked out pretty well despite autocorrect's attempts to interfere. Lots of apples from Second Chance Orchard were laid out on long folding tables with labels under each, and you just picked up one of the many little knives and cut them yourself. (Not what I'm used to, but sure!) The standouts of that tasting were the King David, a great crisp apple with well balanced flavors, and the absolutely delicious Sweet Winter Pennock. I also loved the Jaegers Reinette (my notes read "sweet perfect"), and Bancrofts seem like they'd be great for cooking.

We got cider doughnuts, which were excellent, and looked around the tents a little. I felt bad for not buying things, since we were some of the few people there in the rain, but I do not actually require any very nice baskets.

Next stop, Clarkdale Fruit Farms! More of the old heirlooms I'm used to, like Cox's Orange Pippin and Ashmead's Kernal, but also intriguing new names like Westfield Seek-No-Further ("delicious balanced") and Hubbardston Nonesuch ("sweet good"). The Enterprise is a better tarter Empire, and something that autocorrect turned into "Crimson Gold" had almost a syrupy start but developed into a really delicious experience. I found a new favorite for my apple favorites list, the Esopus Spitzenberg ("complex strong well balanced") and bought a quarter peck of them, along with some Golden Russets, which have a cool bimodal flavor profile, sweet at the core and tarter outside. I will love this farm forever for having a chart on the wall of where the varieties arose. Esopus Spitzenberg is a NY native, it seems.

On the way home, we stopped at a Friendly's. Nostalgia value for [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and me! Valuable protein for everyone!
jinian: (birdsquee)
1. Made plans to hang out with [personal profile] gaudior and also hopefully remediate the current state of litterbox doom.

2. Sent a personal comment to the FCC about the cable company merger. (Surprising no one: having worked in telecom, I am agin it.)

3. Preordered Ancillary Sword! Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow!
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Less pain, better sleep, yaaaaay!

Our front desk person pointed out to me some bird's nest fungi right outside the building, and I got a decent picture with just my phone and a hand lens. Must charge my real camera with the good macro lens and take better ones!

Saw a seminar about the history of the glass flowers and invertebrates.

Helped out J with a very annoying administrative task.

Sent difficult email in a way that I think was both fair and loving.

More fun links:
"babe can i show you my d*ck"
Natural 20s and natural 1s
Anime glasses for all
Aretha Franklin covered "Rolling In The Deep"
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Wim sent me a few things in a small package, which eventually reached me despite going to the sublet first. He generously included a packet of Swedish fish candy, but one of the other things in the package was a sweater of mine that had somehow gotten into Wim's deadly mothball-packed stuff. (There are at least two chemicals that count as mothballs, and one I am okay with while another is nauseating. These are the horrible ones.) I put the sweater through the wash. The candy, well.

So I sent him this haiku to inform him of the problem.

Days later, unwrapped
Swedish fish waft on fall winds
The smell of mothballs
jinian: (mokona world)
Mostly things are being very very stressful right now, because I am learning that one should NEVER EVER use U-Haul's U-Box service. For one thing, everyone I have spoken to there assured me that it is 100% impossible to change the payment method on an order after the order is placed, which... is a thing that businesses can do...? Not U-Haul, though! Also I have spent multiple hours on the phone talking to over a dozen people, getting nothing but runaround and confusion from people who were mostly rather nice but entirely unable to help me, because they almost to a one mentioned needing more training. Once I had found, through sheer luck, the one department that is able to change orders in the computer system, they proved to be unable to change them usefully -- my stuff's guaranteed-delivery-by date is now LATER than before. Aaaand last night when I called in having never gotten a confirmation for the promised pod pickup last Friday, I discovered that no such pickup had occurred, it was scheduled for this coming Wednesday. Ask [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and [personal profile] gaudior how happy I was then. I talked to the location manager, who said he would try to expedite it, but basically I am planning to move to my new apartment without my stuff being there (however frustrating that may be, and it SO IS) because NONE OF WHAT I WAS PROMISED IS TRUE. There will be some fucking refunds over this, I tell you what.

But! On Saturday for almost the whole day I was able to ignore that clusterfuck, and here are some good things.

1. When I was heading out to do errands, I found adorable free art on the sidewalk! I almost went past it to do my shopping, but decided I'd better grab it and take it home right away. There is a leopard and a giraffe, who must be like the giraffe first-grade teacher because she's leading three little giraffes, and they're all in a very flat-looking jungle. It's great.

2. Subsequently I went back out again and did my errands like an adult.

3. Nap.

4. For the first time here, I had a good interaction at the video store. Having watched The Fortune Cookie last night and found it dark and upsetting more than funny, I have to retroactively question the guy's judgement, but it was awfully nice to talk to an employee at that store who had the slightest interest in talking to customers. Plus, they had a display of Star Trek novels for $2.50, which included Uhura's Song in great shape, and when I bought it I think I managed to promote Hellspark to him effectively!

5. I had a lovely walk home from Porter in the still-humid-but-cool dusk, including a stop at the yogurt shop (where I resisted feeling like a jerk and told them how to cook their mochi a little longer to stop it being chalky, because it's been that way twice now and I want to eat it if it's good!) and walking a way I hadn't gone before to tie my mental map of the area together. There was a big pavilion set up outside Harvard Yard where they often put them for events, but no event right then, so a little kid was riding their bike around in it, which cheered me up even more.

6. Joss Whedon's 2012 film of Much Ado About Nothing is not perfect, but it's mostly very good, and there were several points that I've never seen done so well before. Unfortunately the person I was watching it with hasn't seen/read it a million times and didn't have subtitles, which made it a lot harder to follow. Sorry, J. I may watch it again myself before I take it back, though. :)
jinian: (bold bananas)
Friday:

My bus to NYC was delayed, first by traffic near Waterbury, CT, which somehow made the driver think getting off the highway to putt through small towns and part of Waterbury was a good plan, and then by some kind of accident or procession when I was almost there, which caused traffic backup and additional wrongheaded-seeming detours. But [personal profile] skygiants met me, and we got Thai food with her roommate before all walking down to the Film Forum for Double Indemnity, which was pretty great because: (1) Barbara Stanwyck, (2) nerd hero, (3) man/murderin' OTP, (4) chocolate egg cream. Admittedly the last could easily have applied to another movie, but it didn't.

Saturday:

The free exhibit currently at the Fashion Institute of Technology is "Exposed: a history of lingerie", which is highly worth seeing for many reasons. The most amazing individual pieces were the current student projects -- really stunning though in some cases impractical. I think if I got to pick any pieces from the entire thing to wear they'd be the absurd 60s giraffe-print bikini set and the student project like blue-and-black birds' wings, though there was also some very fine corsetry. Luckily for us, we happened to meet a lady there who told us all about an exhibit of ballgowns at another museum. Over bagels afterward it became extremely clear that we had to go to that on Sunday.

But first, another movie: Stella Maris with Mary Pickford. When I told my parents about this, they pooh-poohed the idea that anyone would NOT know all about Mary Pickford; she was married to [filed in my head under "some guy"... um...] Douglas Fairbanks! And had a ranch that my dad went to? past? when he lived in the area. Silent movies for free with live accompaniment are always good, and this one especially so, with amazing acting by Mary and an actually interesting Q&A afterward. Boy, though, the one short that they said was considered lost could remain lost. It wasn't so much a visit by the Racism Fairy as the Racism Fairy spreading herself in naked glory all over the screen, and there were other problematic elements as well.

It was a bit too late to get to the regular botanic gardens at that point, but we trotted off (through what amounted to hiking trails at times) to the Central Park Conservatory Garden, where we found a fountain commemorating Frances Hodgson Burnett. [personal profile] skygiants maintains that the child-nymph represented in bronze must in fact be what FHB looked like. Would statuary lie to us? The garden did some lovely and impressive things with shape, repetition, and leaf color, and also the bathroom windows are nifty openable octagons.

We did in fact feel tired at this point, despite the comparatively clement weather, so we got some very good Indian food (I hadn't had aloo paratha in so long!) and went home to fall asleep over books.

Sunday:

Brunch! Mexican restaurants are dangerous when tomatoes are a problem, but I negotiated it all right and the food was tasty.

Then, off to the Met to see the ballgowns: "Charles James: Beyond Fashion". The curators were really, really into this guy. In the main gallery, the walls were mirrored and adorned with his self-important quotations, including the original EMPHATIC CAPITALS, and the placards were frequently pretty over the top as well. Most of the clothes were intriguing-to-wonderful, though, and even when I thought he missed the boat I could generally see what he was getting at. The exhibit included robot arms holding cameras and projectors, which along with large electronic displays allowed some really intuitive and beautiful ways to display the garments and information about them. (They also allowed there to be a sign asking that you not touch the robot arms because they're fragile. Aww, little robot armses.) Apparently James started as a milliner, which you could see in his structural mindset, but they sadly didn't have any of his hats available, even in photos.

I made good time coming home, which was good because I hadn't charged my persnickety e-reader correctly. I napped some and made it back with 1% battery left on my phone!
jinian: (c'est la vie)
I am alive, just withdrawn! Feeling crummy much of the time due to digestive badness and icky soupy weather. However, recent highlights include:

- Weekend in Manhattan (racing friend, giant rocks in Central Park, HTTYD2 3D, "Seattle-style" teriyaki, the Jane Hotel, the High Line, boat tour: all A+ would trip again; bus AC going out for part of the ride: D-)

- Trip to UConn greenhouse to collect plant material for research (for which I awesomely sourced liquid nitrogen from a welding supply place when my university hookup was somehow completely out, and from which I brought home a new living plant friend as well as all the tissue samples I needed)

- Fine fireworks show and stunning lightning-and-rain storm as ably described by [personal profile] sovay

- Finished a quilt top, found and assembled a suitably interesting backing

- Reading All The Georgette Heyer with occasional dashes of Tamora Pierce
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Wow, I have really not been posting, sorry! I have some patchy notes from the last ten days.

I missed posting this little story before: I donated one of my shelves to the grad lounge, because someone had taken the one that lived there and just stacked the books on the floor where it used to be. WTF. So I took one of mine that I needed to get rid of anyhow, and with Wim's help and that of grad friend M I moved it into the same spot. Because I'm me, I also borrowed a Sharpie and wrote a verbose dedication on the side about how I was donating it to the grad lounge so don't take it, jeez, what is wrong with people.

Saturday (31 May) was my last day in Seattle. I didn't make it to the Sadako statue to donate my string of cranes, alas. Wim and I did epic cleaning and move-out with excellent help from beaq and jod!

My mom got a tattoo from Josh at Slave to the Needle, based on our own design and actually including a micrograph of my thesis work! (Pink koi for a daughter, lily pad, lens-view of Arabidopsis epidermis that looked exactly like the image I provided. Carl Zimmer will hear of it when the inflammation has gone.)

Lovely day, and I saw the mountain!

I left early since I still had to repack for my flight and see my family before leaving and sleep with my kitties, which felt really weird. But those were my jobs, and I did them successfully.

On Sunday (1 June) my flight was uneventful except for the bit where before it they made an announcement that was a total lie. They announced first in the gate area that it was going to be a total lie and we should not worry, then announced to the airport generally that our final boarding was completed and in two minutes the doors would close forever. I guess some people hadn't shown up yet and they wanted them to?

Also we got extra space in my row when someone moved, yay.

Saw [personal profile] rushthatspeaks! And a bunch of other people, and ate [personal profile] gaudior's awesome birthday cake. And got into my sublet with a minimum of trouble.

Monday (2 June) had such a pretty sky. I was worried that other places' skies would be too inferior to Seattle's, but not at all. (Yes, I am a dork, thanks, I have been informed. But I love the sky, it's one of my favorite things to look at.)

Also on Monday [personal profile] gaudior and I went shopping together, yay!

My note from Tuesday reads: well at least i should be done bleeding really soon if it keeps up like this.

Unfortunately, I was not. Why can't I ever fucking skip a period when they're disrupted by stress instead of having ones from hell?

After that there was lots of work! I got all kinds of administrivia taken care of early on, and sorted out a bunch of samples, and met a ton of people. This week I'm planning to do DNA extractions too, so I am feeling like productive girl in the workplace, go me.

There was also lots of jet lag/failure to sleep in a new place, which was less good, but I think I'm mainly through it now. It's still kinda hot though.

And I had a guest this weekend, which was a ton of fun though perhaps also not that conducive to sleeping! We went to the Natural History museum, where I get in free (especially if we break in through the Herbarium building instead of going to the front desk) and poked around Harvard and Central Squares, and mocked the non-square squares, and watched movies (Ponyo and Avengers) with varying degrees of attention, and snuggled lots, and generally had a wonderful time.
jinian: (wtf Martel)
Thursday Seattle things:

listened to Mudhoney playing at the top of the Space Needle on the KEXP song of the day

wild roses and ceanothus on the Burke-Gilman trail

put on flannel and got rained on

Taco del Mar with sweetie

Friday good things:

1. It's Kylee's Day of Zero Dignity with Foodstuffs! Licked the spilled lemon filling, put my mouth over the exploding pink lemonade bottle. :)

2. Keiko got me Esau. So touched.

Saturday? good things:
absolutely fucking died laughing at this
it's the surprise element, something i have seen a million times with a gloss that is snarky as fuck

Monday Seattle things:

Samurai Noodle with grad friend C

sold books at Twice Sold (ballard one = old u district one, the same guy!)

Wednesday Seattle things:

EJ Burger, the best chocolate milkshakes in town!

Hana with Marie and Wim (including rained on, driving to Cap Hill because we're sure parking will exist on Wed night, paying for parking because it does not)

Thursday/Friday:

Dinner at Tup Tim Thai! Fun waiter was still fun, though we only saw him briefly this time.

OMG got cats moved. Hilarious. Not the best night's sleep ever. :) Every half hour or so Squeak would have to hiss again (at Bat, at my hand, at the existence of the room which was unfamiliar and thus offensive), and I would try to block her from whatever was pissing her off.

Still finding new places to walk in my neighborhood. Found gorgeous honeysuckle on two trellises, smelling sweet and golden as they looked, a few days ago. This morning, a turquoise house with turquoise-and-blue-checkered door.

So so tired and feeling regretful and panicky. Mover coming this morning at 10. I will prevail!
jinian: (birdsquee)
Friday:

1. Laser killing cells with PI.

2. Black locust smell OMG.

Monday:

1. Delicious lunch at U:Don with [livejournal.com profile] thatmathchick! Both the company and the ume-shiso inari onigiri were unusual and very pleasing.

2. E-stim at the acupuncturist's. Okay then!

Tuesday:

1. This may be the best I have ever cut my bangs.

2. Confocal computer is getting fixed! Hurrah! Didn't think it would be here in time before I left.

3. Mock orange blossoms in my hair for the last two days. Looking forward to being in a lab that's less pathogen-sensitive so I can have and wear other plants.

4. Fun fun times in game chat and out of it.

good things

May. 6th, 2014 11:29 pm
jinian: (mokona dessert!)
1. Crying happy tears over breakfast because of Advanced Ambulatory Ichthyology. (The crying moment was about 85% of the way through, if you're curious.)

2. I ordered a smartphone and data service, since I figure that will help with surviving effectively in a new place. Very mixed feelings about this, actually, but I will enjoy it!

3. A racing friend is having a birthday Monday and I am going to send her a package of fun things! I love doing this stuff. Hopefully more people will send things to ME as a result, too.

4. Came home at lunch and had Aleve and laid down with heating pad for two hours... and then was cramp-free. Wow. May it continue so!

good things

May. 1st, 2014 12:33 am
jinian: (birdsquee)
1. Got grouchy about "rape" in a gaming context and said something! (The people doing it at least kind of listened.)

2. Guy gunning his motorcycle engine in response to enthusiastic yells from the sidelines cracked me up.

3. Ate food without feeling terrible!

4. Had a lovely walk through my springlike neighborhood on this absurdly warm day.

5. I think this acupuncturist is going to work out!

6. It's a secret. Such a great secret.
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
1. Slept until 11:30. Aw yiss.

2. Saw Short Peace, four short anime showing together at the Grand Illusion, and all were excellent. The first, "Possessions", is flawlessly wonderful. The one that was most like Akira was not the one by the director of Akira; that was the beautiful tragic one told on a scroll, in fact. And it's a little odd that the first three are all historical or historical-fantastic and the last is postapocalyptic. Highly recommended, though.

3. Wim and I ate Hawaiian food and fixed a lawnmower and got a bunch of moving boxes and played Rock Band.

4. Had a conversation with racing game people about Dicentra formosa (like a bell, like angel wings) and Rafflesia (Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles). Delightful!

5. My Question Block Lamp played the invulnerable-star music for the first time ever. I love Easter eggs.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Smells in the world. Mexican orange, the odd remaining apple blossom, grilled meat from Agua Verde, lilacs, rosemary.

2. Lazy Saturday with sewing.

3. Mercedes Lackey has justified her existence: the Bards have version control.

4. Talking about Miyazaki movies!
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Thursday:

1. Single-serving cups of tiny kosher dill pickles in the grad lounge! Never seen these before. Charming and tasty.

2. Katsu curry don and seaweed salad.

3. Wim likes his quilt so far.

4. Blood Simple and Rainbow Nerds.

Friday:

1. Morning with sweetie.

2. Moyashimon socks.

3. Sunny beautiful day.

4. Spent time with Elynne for the first time in ages! Got lots of sewing and talking done, ate and drank tasty things.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Came home early (due to migraine, sigh) and ate healthy food and swanned about in a t-shirt, a slip, and beribboned knee socks.

2. Stoned migraine dreams are really quite something.

3. Ran into my friend after being magically summoned into chat! I'm glad I got to see him, even if briefly.
jinian: Hana, Chisa, and Fujiko from 7 Seeds (three is for victory)
Well, today contained news of something truly terrible and tragic, but there were still good things.

1. Before I heard, I had a nice, if short, lie-in.

2. I got a hug from PI.

3. My friends online supported me, including several of you ♥ -- reason, hugs, and adorable pictures.

4. I bought and planted pansies by the little crabapple tree, which is blooming beautifully.

5. Balanced tasty dinner.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Managed to sleep in until noon.

2. Absolutely beautiful day.

3. Well, I was listening to the Smiths far too unironically, but then I listened to "Bigmouth Strikes Again" a few times and attained the correct mode of Smiths-listening. There is no taking seriously "now I know how Joan of Arc felt" and the fact that she had a Walkman.

4. Bought a little charm made of candy-colored rubber bands from three little girls who were going door-to-door with them. I asked if they'd made it themselves, and they said, "yes, well, kind of, our friend made it." Sounds legit. :)

5. Wow, The Winter Soldier was very different than I expected and totally amazing. Plus, when we went out to dinner at the Hi-Life, I ate actual nutritious food! (Primavera salad: baby greens with golden beets, farmer's cheese, pistachios, roasted chicken, honey-grapefruit vinaigrette.)

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