jinian: (c'est la vie)
Harvard stopped paying me on May 31, and my new job didn't start until the following Monday, so I took the chance to finally go to NYC with grad friend A the way we'd been talking about for months! It was perfect weather, sunny and cool, and we had an excellent time.

Thursday
We agreed that getting there early wasn't worth getting up super early, so we met at the bus station at 9. It's nice to be comfortable enough with someone that you can just read and listen to music together for a few hours.

First New York meal: a corned beef reuben at the Starlight Diner. It's near the bus wasteland, and we needed food. A had gyros, and both our dishes were good but extremely large! I ate the other half of mine for dinner.

First activity: the Met! They were having a Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons fashion exhibit, which was amazing. We only had an hour and a half, story of my life when it comes to the Met, but honestly that's about all my joints can take of museum time without being able to sit and rest a lot. The fashion exhibit was glorious and made me even more disappointed in the basic bitches who went to the Met gala without even touching on the theme. There were plenty of ways to look sexy and interesting while still being avant-garde in Kawakubo's collections.

A kept trying to stop and look at paintings. No, if we don't go directly to the thing we want, we will be looking at everything else forever. We look at permanent-collection paintings after the limited exhibit!

She did have a brilliant idea afterward, though. We needed to eat New York cheesecake. Two Little Red Hens had good reviews and was reasonably nearby, and turned out to have excellent cheesecake, plus somehow 100% perfect lemonade. We didn't try the cupcakes, but they looked good too.

We checked out our hostel after that, which was a weird one -- there had been a deal on hotels.com, so we'd booked a king-size private room. In a hostel. Well, it did turn out to be a private room with its own bathroom, and rather nice though entirely without appliances, but the mattress was very clearly a full size. Good thing neither of us is a wild sleeper.

A went out for a walk to admire the sunset, I rested and took aspirin and read a Courtney Milan novel. (Books on my phone, so much easier to carry around all day.)

Friday
In the morning, A's tamagotchi woke me up at 7. Thanks for that. More reading time! A got up at 8 and we headed off to find breakfast at Bagels & Co. I had a sesame bagel with cream cheese and fresh orange juice, and it became very clear why they charge so much for cream cheese: sheer volume. We also each got a rainbow-colored egg bagel (pride-related?) to take home; mine is in the freezer awaiting suitable toppings.

We had thought of going up to NYBG, but it's pretty far really and A can probably get sent there for work at some point, so we stayed in Manhattan instead. First stop: the Natural History Museum. We looked at very many dinosaur and mammal remains, and near the cool drawings of animals whole/muscled/bones-only we met a security guard. He complimented my spaceship shirt (based on this design) and asked if I was a pilot. No, I said, a scientist. He asked where we were based, and when we said Harvard he asked if we knew Neil deGrasse Tyson. We do not! But he does. He, in fact, gets into a Michael Jackson dance-off with him every year. Sadly, it didn't happen while we were there.

Next we took a walk along the High Line, which was much longer than last time I was in New York, absolutely hipster-saturated but a really lovely aerial park. We got pretty hungry during this but failed to find actual food in the area, so we headed off toward the Strand. My phone had run out of data (Twitter autoplay, RIP) so A was navigating, and she found that at our bus transfer point there was a Sushirrito. This is apparently a Bay Area chain, and it was highly amusing and delicious. They have a machine that makes the nori-and-rice wrapping, which is really clever, then the humans apply fish or whatever (A had chicken katsu, I had yellowtail), plus veggies and other good things. They are very tasty but less well thought out than burritos as to what happens at the ends of the cylinder.

We went to the Strand, which was actually the first time I'd been. A good bookstore. I got The Star-Touched Queen and a souvenir magnet. We left in good order with just enough time to get the obligatory Jamba Juice, which has considerately moved to be more convenient, at Penn Station, and dash to the bus.

The last adventure was at the Burger King at the bus rest stop in CT. A got not only chicken fries, which cost twice as much as chicken nuggets for being long and skinny and better spiced, but also... mac n' Cheetos. The latter is horrifying and hilarious, it's Cheeto-shaped deep-fried Kraft dinner, I do not understand who came up with this.

I made it home by midnight and then my knee hurt for four days, but oh well, it was a very good trip. :)
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
1. My assistant, whom I have gotten hooked on Hidden Sweets in Harvard Square, went there last week and texted to inform me that the beloved grapefruit gummi candy of song and story has been discontinued, and that HS was already out. After partially recovering from my shock, I went to the internet and ordered a 3-lb bag of them, which has now arrived. Next step: confirm their correct identity by eating a precious single one. Then I can set up a safe-deposit box.

2. I felt really good today. I've been managing energetic or physical well-being or motivated lately, but today I felt like me, pretty much all day. It was wonderful. It's been way too long.

3. Now I just need something to do with this ridiculous upswing of libido. (Total Prince immersion maybe not helping here.)

4. Completed the writing style guide for the Brightshine Jubilee storybook finally! Now I have something to refer bitches to when they try to start with me about whether "archeologist" is misspelled. I'm really excited about this project, even though it's making me stressed about Flight Rising overall. C came up with it and plans to typeset the whole thing, and I wound up lead writer because I got stuck managing the "omg we can't possibly have a pirate theme pirates are evil" drama into "okay we're having seafaring adventures and here is how it ties to the site canon." And of course since I'm the only person involved with the project who can herd cats, that's where all my energy is going. Please can you do the thing you said would be done a week ago, M, thx. But! Style guide is done, all the pages have been claimed by artists and writers, all I should need to do now is a little light whip-cracking and then final edits.

5. Currently reading Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney. I had trouble getting into it at first because her style is a little overdone, but by chapter 2 I was on board. She swings from childhood attention-getting antics to reminiscences of queer-liberal-musician callout culture in 90s Olympia, says she can't call herself a musician and then comes out with deeply considered ideas about the nature of performance. I never lived in Olympia or Redmond, but I'm from nearby enough that I have my own ideas about them, so reading about them is a mix of familiarity and prejudice-confirmation (i'm sorry but evergreen college) that has me grinning over the book constantly.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Last night:

  • Tried and failed to nap, because I kept having interesting creative thoughts, first about work and then about ceramics. Dang it, brain. I eventually had to get up and write them down before I forgot them, so that was the end of that.

  • Met up with [personal profile] genarti and [personal profile] skygiants at a very noisy, very ironic tavern in Davis. Attempted to convey to Beth the full glory of the dragon-game drama currently transpiring. Had tasty potato tacos (but they could have cut the avocado up a lot smaller than that) and some glorified chicken strips with glorified ranch dressing, plus an Original Sin cider from NY that was dry and pretty tasty.

  • Went to Apple Cinema, pointed out the ice cream flavors, and saw a shadowcast Princess Bride production at midnight. The movie remains really fun to watch, especially in a theater full of people enjoying it, and the shadowcast had some good moments (though the movie was more compelling). Shrieking eel as pool noodle was especially amusing.

  • Found out the MOST AWESOME THING: in two weeks there will be a chiptune/retro-video-game-inspired Rocky Horror, with songs covered and animations made and OMFG. I am surprised I'm not standing in line for this already, I don't know how anything could possibly be more appealing to me.

Today:

  • Got up without enough sleep and went to pottery. Sat outside in the sun when I was too early, very nice day. Trimmed two big bowls successfully and went through the bottom of one so proceeded to convert it into an orchid pot with cutouts in the shape of the Light Flight emblem. Shut up. :)

  • Hung around after pottery for an extra half hour talking to my teacher about pottery ideas and employment and random stuff. I need to bring snacks if I'm going to hang around after class, I get too hungry!

  • Goofing off.

  • Successful napping.

  • Bubble bath. (Lush Ultraviolet. I'm excited about some of their Mother's Day releases coming up, but I should maybe use more of the Easter stuff first.)


Weekending successful so far!
jinian: (c'est la vie)
In getting-over-my-ex news, I have:
  • Watched a bunch of Leverage by myself.

  • Made waffles (and done some other nontrivial cooking).

  • Gotten to where going to the grocery store merely makes me feel badgerish rather than panicky.

  • Finally thrown out the food that I had made to share with them when they decided to disappear instead.

  • [TMI] Made it all the way to orgasm without accidentally fantasizing about them and veering off into anti-erotic misery.[/TMI]


In general awesome doings, I have:
  • Gotten my bike into rideable shape.

  • Made an apple pie and won work's (very small) Pi Day contest with it.

  • Kept up decently on my job.

  • Successfully taken almost all of my absurd medication schedule on time.

  • Given excellent presents to people.

  • Polled for dragon game festival themes, including having to contact someone I didn't know to check that we weren't stepping on any toes.

  • Managed a fuckton of drama about dragon game festival themes, including whipping up a storyline that incorporated multiple suggestions.

  • Appeared to have an actual immune system -- still not all the way better but quickly recovered back to generally-crappy instead of getting a bad cold.

  • Designed and drawn lineart for an elaborate (representational-plus-celtic-knot) mythical snake design on a bowl, to be further painted in underglaze.
jinian: (zoomy sakura)
I woke up in a good mood on Friday (sushi aftereffects?) and then had therapy. Therapist is onto me, as I have complained to Twitter already -- she refuses to hear only about the things that are going well now and directs me back to how the one terrible thing is getting its miasma everywhere. So that was hard but probably a good idea.

Saturday I had pottery as usual, and while the kiln is getting a lot slower since it's the end of the quarter I did get my Hallucigenia bowl back! It's ridiculous and great. I glazed the trilobite-stenciled bowl and another one, so hopefully those will be done by next week, and threw a couple more bowls that I was very happy with. One quite big, with lovely thin walls that really wanted to buckle downward, and my teacher was finally not being monopolized by Miss Working-On-Commission for the entire period and showed me how to save it and a less accident-prone way to do shaping. Always nice when I get instruction from my instructor!

Then [personal profile] genarti picked me up for our small hiking trip. It wasn't warm at all, but dry and clear was good enough for us. We drove out to Rocky Woods Reservation, which turns out to be adorable and very well maintained, with nice flexible trail options that don't doom you to an hours-long loop if you don't want to commit. There was an orienteering event that we both agreed we probably would've wanted to join in if we hadn't come at the end, but instead we had quite good sandwiches and a giant pickle from an aggressively quaint deli in the nearby small town. (How quaint were they? So quaint they had three kinds of store-brand soda bottled for them, bearing labels printed with an image of their storefront, complete with printed sign pointing to it in case you forgot who and how cute they were.)

Hiking with Beth is great. We climbed rocky hills! We saw a beautiful vista! We got distracted by trees and rocks! And also a weird nut (diagnosis after rock-based dissection efforts: one of these bare trees is a young walnut). And part of the trail being paved with compressed shredded roof shingles.

Then we joined a bunch of people downtown to watch Mermaid, which was hilarious if disturbing in parts. The cops! The shoes! The ceiling fan! The slingshot! The cranky assassin auntie! The badass magical grandma! (We could all have done without the teppanyaki scene.) We got food at a good Vietnamese place, which I'm about to have leftover clay pot rice from, and went by a bakery on our way home too.

Then I came home to find that pretty much everything we needed for our Flight Rising event was done to my satisfaction, and got a lot of very nice sleeping done. This morning (now that the push has started and we have some dragon data to play with) I made spreadsheet wizardries happen, took another nap, and have had time to just relax. I'm reading the weirder novels of Andrea Host, and can definitely recommend The Pyramids of London for wacky steampunk vampires and gods. Very eventful days are fun, but my health is still not great, and lying down a lot today has also been excellent. I also watched a bunch of Leverage, and I'm working on a music mix for a friend.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Ate many sushi for [personal profile] heavenscalyx's birthday, which she quite incorrectly paid for, and then amazing hot chocolate at Burdick's. A good time was had by all despite the singular lack of available booze, and the promise of punitive bowls will be fulfilled at a future date.
When I say I'm interested in local candy, people keep trying to give me Necco wafers. I know they're from around here, but you can actually get those anywhere for some reason, and, more importantly, they're terrible.

Zagnut bar
Hershey Co., Hershey, PA

Hershey is distributed all over, of course, but this one isn't found in the West for the most part. I've heard of it a few times in books, so I was interested already.

Okay, I admit that on opening this I was completely expecting chocolate. Nothing about the outside of the package says anything about chocolate, but it's a candy bar! They have chocolate! Instead there's a malty-tasting, slightly crumbly coconut coating over... what is this stuff? It's like a mildly coffee-flavored version of the inside of a Butterfinger, only in plates instead of thinner layers... with salty peanut butter in between. This is all so confusing.

Confusingly delicious. Yum. Gonna buy this again sometime.


Clark bar
New England Confectionery Co., Revere, MA

This is also a Butterfinger, but a weird Butterfinger. Chocolate coating, peanutty crunchy sugar interior, more like one hard crunchy layer than multiple layers at all. This is too close to one of my favorite candy bars and as a result just tastes off. I'd rather have the usual, thanks.
jinian: (mokona dessert!)
Some might say that when bacteria are lurking in one's sinuses making one's life miserable, it's not the time to feed them additional sugar. Those people (1) are not as miserable as I and (2) probably didn't just get second-tier antibiotics to help kill this thing.

My interest in local confections was seeded by growing up in Aplets and Cotlets territory* with occasional treats of Mountain Bars** and abetted by Steve Almond's fine book of candy Americana, Candyfreak. Somehow, despite seeing local candy now and then around here, I hadn't gotten around to trying any. In my last sickie trip to the Market Basket, though, I had to get enough stuff that I couldn't go through the express lane as usual, and what did I see in the impulse rack but two different kinds of unfamiliar candy bar?

Milk Chocolate Mallo Cup
Whipped Creme Center
Boyer Candy Co. (Altoona, PA)

Although this was the first time I had seen this candy, it looked very much as if it had been there since 1974, as a delicate brown piece of cellophane curling at the edges clung to its retro wrapper. Well, I couldn't very well turn that down.

To the eye, each paper cup is the same diameter as a Reese's cup, but they're definitely deeper. Their chocolate coating is blobby and uneven, but shows some of the same appealing, delicate corrugated edge as a Reese's. The first one I pulled out had leaked "creme" onto the wrapper, though, and was difficult to extract.

I found tiny bits of something in the chocolate, texturally much like crushed Kit Kat cookie. Presumably this is the coconut from the ingredients list. I am not a connoisseur of fluff, but I would say the cups contained ordinary marshmallow fluff.

The bottoms were paper-thin and the fillings well off center -- I'm not seeing great production values here, Boyer. Overall, though, the flavor was good, nice chocolate and more satisfying than expected.

Sky Bar
Necco (New England Confectionery Company, Revere, MA)

This one I had seen before, but been dubious enough not to ever pick up. It's a Hersheyish chocolate coating, neatly pressed into four sections with ridged semicircular designs, which I tasted separately.

Caramel: good, thick and not runny
Vanilla: fondant scanty and gooey, more vanilla than a creme egg but not good
Peanut: very good, like the caramel but with peanut flavor, well matched with the chocolate
Fudge: the same as caramel and peanut but chocolate-flavored, which I tend to think is inherently gross (cheap hot fudge sauce, ugh), but works in this setting

I might get this again if all the sections were peanut, but as a novelty it held its own even with the inclusion of the subpar vanilla section.

I declare this experiment a success and will keep my eyes open for more interesting local candies in the future.

* My verdict: Ew, nuts. These are basically Americanized Turkish delight, jellied soft blocks of fruit flavors. The nut-free candies from the same company are much better in my opinion. Also, no, apricots are not called "cots" "locally".

** Chocolate mixed with chopped peanuts, creating a rocky texture, surrounding a flavored fondant center. The cherry kind is best.
jinian: (queen of cups)
Mom wound up having much less energy for doing things than either of us expected, but it was okay and we still had a good time.

Tuesday we got discount tickets for things, and she went on a trolley tour while I worked a bit and hoped my boss would contact me about a Skype meeting. (He did not.) I gave up about four and we went home, read, petted cats, and watched tv. This is when I pointed out my romantic situation and she somehow jumped from my generally-friendly poly arrangement to lesbian drama specifically about the person who was a jerk to her recently and happens to be a lesbian. Sigh.

Wednesday I got a Zipcar and we drove up to Salem to the Peabody Essex Museum, where we vastly enjoyed the Strandbeest exhibit. I got to push one around and make its legs go! (video) The exhibit on Native fashion was also very well done, and we had perfectly reasonable pub lunch once we found a place that was open. Very cool outdoor stick art as well, tall thin nestlike houses.

Instead of going out to a movie, I showed her the Avengers, which she hadn't seen despite liking Iron Man and Thor. She recognized Mark Ruffalo, which as someone who knows him only from the MCU I was rather bewildered by. It's nice that I can just feed my visiting mom leftovers; I know not everyone has this relaxed attitude.

Thursday I had pottery class, and she chose not to come. It ran a bit long, but we managed to meet up at Shake Shack for lunch so I could pass on the gospel of the gingerbread milkshake. Then we went over to my work (one stop on the bus so we didn't have to walk, which gives you an idea of her mobility level) and I showed her my samples, the DNA robot, and the herbarium cabinets and sheets. We were planning on the department holiday party, but she wasn't really up for it and didn't mind not seeing the Natural History Museum (horrifying to me but there it is), so we went home in easy stages of walking and bus.

We talked about how she could maybe get her fitness up, but it's hard to be motivated about this stuff, and she's not sure how much of the problem is left over from her heart attack vs. joint problems. Motivation is even harder when you don't know if the annoying thing will help.

Unfortunately she didn't get to meet anyone except a couple of random co-workers and the annoying roommate (who was at least on good behavior). The roommate I like lent her his bed, so at least she had a good impression of him from a distance!

I'm more worried now than I was, and probably so is she, but I feel like our relationship is all right, so that's an improvement at least. And I get to see her again in a couple of weeks.
jinian: (lost sakura)
The beauty of my situation right now is that there are so many worst case scenarios. It's really impressively efficient.

I did eat one of the things I made tonight, which was Cook's Illustrated sweet potato soup. The shallots softening gently in unsalted butter with sprigs of thyme were one of the best things I'd ever smelled, and the hot-water soak to break down starches is a fascinating idea that seemed to yield all the textural improvement that the article promised. Our blender lid is a leaky piece of shit, but I managed in the end to blend the soup without actually injuring myself. After getting sidetracked into mopping the floor, which is always a good idea when you haven't eaten in an unknown amount of time, I ate the soup with the recommended maple sour cream, and it was delicious.

The black bean burger stuff is allowed to sit hydrating for up to 24 hours, so I will plan to finish making that tomorrow, when my mother is here, or isn't.
jinian: (mokona dessert!)
I took a long lunch on Friday and ate a giant plate of nachos -- if I get to go back to NYBG there will be return visits to OK Mr. Pancho. On the way back, I visited the exhibits on the Garden grounds.

Model trains and Japanese chrysanthemums )
I went to Cider Days last Sunday and tweeted some things about it, mostly during the Cider 101 tasting event. Here they are.

Only missed one cider. Whew.
November 8, 2015

Perry! Good variety names; Bloody Bastard, Butt, Merrylegs. Tastes nothing like pears, but good.
November 8, 2015

Oh crap, perry has naturally occurring sorbitol. Cross fingers I don't get a migraine. D:
November 8, 2015

Oliver's Traditional Perry from England, made with wild yeast, strong delicious smell of sweet pear. Going from dry to sweet is a good plan.
November 8, 2015

Possible flavors in this cider: smoke, cloves, band-aid. (Audience: band-aid?!)
November 8, 2015

Herefordshire cider: smoky tannic no thank you
November 8, 2015

French process of cider making is called "keeving", results in Martinelli's only alcoholic. In French it's called "defecacion", hmm.
November 8, 2015

West County Redfield cis ?% ABV, really delicious, beautiful amber color due to red-fleshed apple.
November 8, 2015

(I later found the West Country open warehouse sale and bought two bottles of this! Another one, too, very champagne-like. Probably saving them for Thanksgiving.)
Redfield trees are apparently beautiful too! Pine Hill Orchard will sell me juice, apples are bad for eating but good for pie.
November 8, 2015

(They would not, actually, though I got many apples and petted a baby pygmy donkey.)
I like vinegar a lot, but Millstone Farmgate cider is a bit much for me.
November 8, 2015

They're making the valid point that more acetic ciders are better paired with foods than sipped straight. I probably would love it with fish
November 8, 2015

Busting out the weird aerator corks for the natural cider from Asturias. Still very acidic!
November 8, 2015

Basque cider! Definitely more funky than the Asturias varieties, and fun stories from the speakers about their cultural cider adventures.
November 8, 2015

Would have been handy to have L along for driving purposes. Whee. Hope I can find a food in historic downtown Deerfield.
November 8, 2015

(I could not. Where was the small fair that we found last year? Not near the hall where they held the tasting, but I couldn't figure it out.)
Last one! Eden Ice Cider Heirloom Blend, v sweet and 10% ABV. Tricky to get apples to freeze on the tree, harvest & juice then concentrate.
November 8, 2015

I waited a little bit to sober up, then looked up the other event locations on my phone and drove to a market with burgers. They had a maple burger! It was delicious. Ate it outdoors in the wind and great fall weather.

Unfortunately my later adventures took place in rural hilly areas and were thus not tweetable. Lots of very pretty countryside, though.
jinian: (mokona dessert!)
(The easiest of several owed posts.)

Dice into 1/2-inch cubes and boil until done, about 10 minutes:
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large potato

Drain and cool.

Mix together to make dressing:
Mayonnaise, 2-3 tbsp
Fig balsamic salad dressing or similar, about 1 1/2 tbsp
(If the people eating can have onions and chili, tamarind chutney could be good here too. Something tart and fruity.)
Salt, about 1/4 tsp
Freshly ground black pepper, about 1/2 tsp
Five spice powder, tiny pinch
Spicy brown mustard, about 1 tsp
Dried thyme, 1/2 tsp

Add about 1/4 cup frozen peas to the potatoes and fold in dressing until well mixed.

Optional slightly weirder ingredients that were very good:
One diced apple (treated with lemon to avoid browning)
Nasturtium flowers

today

Jul. 26th, 2015 12:00 am
jinian: (FHL cockles)
Roommate left. I left her a note and cleared out, since she had pretty obviously wanted the room to herself for packing up.

Chilled out before dinner, then went and ate a lobster. I sustained only one minor injury and got lots of food out of it. I remain fine with lobster in a way where you can have most of it and I will eat this clam chowder. (The chowder was great, the corn on the cob was terrible.)

Talked to several live humans and sang the Amphioxus song. One of the pictures on the wall is Gertrude Stein! The description of which person in that photo she is is ambiguous. Met a person who is my research cousin -- Ph.D. advisor's former postdoc's student, but we're both doing completely different things now. She is going to an Edward Gorey museum tomorrow and will tell me the results. (I have no plans with any humans tomorrow and am EXTREMELY PLEASED about that.) Another person told me where the bioluminescence is supposed to be best observed, and exhibited the scrapes he had gotten failing to see it.

I am better at clambering than he is. I saw the ctenophores! I was expecting more of a gentle glow, but they flash like tiny lightnings in the water between the blocks of the jetty. I splashed at them a few times and got them to blink, but then some waves arrived and they developed a whole storm, shallow and deeper and semi-periodic, very beautiful.

(Also thank god for privacy and Mad Max poly femmeslash.)

What with the lobster party, I did not manage to get any food from the dining hall to squirrel away in case I need to eat before brunch at ten, but I can find something if I have to. Maybe I will be able to sleep late! Unlikely but possible!
jinian: (no comment)
Weird, obvious dreams: Taking care of an entire colony of ~bats that kept being different and I didn't know what to do; the cockatiel ones, the kangaroo rat ones, the ones with so many fleas. Actual Bat cat's front legs giving out and him being distressed. :(

Bat's slight jaundice is visible even to me now. I couldn't see it even when I looked for it on Monday, though the doctor could, but since Tuesday I've been able to. I talked to the vet on the phone yesterday, and he says that the meds are doing their thing in that Bat can eat and drink, but the jaundice getting worse is not at all a good sign. His diagnosis has been upgraded to "malignant tumor" for sure rather than just an extensive one, though we did think lymphoma already. I am to call in a week or if anything changes dramatically. Bat seems more like both his old self and a cat who is obviously feeling low on energy. I don't know how long it will be.

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks has been hugging me a lot at some personal inconvenience (though partial compensation was received in the form of hamburgers), and I am doing okayish thanks mostly to them. I also got to see grad friend C yesterday and take her to Shake Shack while she was in town -- she's defending in a week and a half, and we were as comfortable with each other as ever despite the year apart. She hasn't had the best year either, but I realized that our dynamic (which I've summarized as complaining before) feels very affirming. Sure, we bitch about how terrible things are, but look at us being there and unbroken talking about them disrespectfully.

[ETA: argh and now Bat chewed his pill this morning so it tasted terrible and he got freaked out and I have a cat bite injury ;_; ]

update

Jun. 24th, 2015 11:03 pm
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Getting work done at work this week.

Good appointment with therapist Monday. After which I went somewhere I hadn't been before, got a Ms. Marvel trade and Squirrel Girl #4 and ate frozen yogurt, and eventually managed to find Good Vibrations. Treating myself and also being a quality person who does things in the world.

Hurt my neck as a direct result of GV visit and woke up with nasty headache. Unsure of cost-benefit here as both make strong cases.

Had an adventure with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks. After being confused by inferior maps and displeased with the hot soupy weather, we did find our rose-garden goal, and then there was a convenient and free train, and ice cream for dinner. Then showering. I remain very grateful for such an excellent partner and also for the central air at my apartment.

Getting real work done really, like, I did PCR today and ran it on a gel and all. Still working out some damnfool crap from my botched reappointment, but mostly doing well right now.

Spate of fun hectic planning on dragon game, unfortunately spurred by bad news of cool people leaving our subgroup. But I drew a trout with which I am pleased.

jinian: (bold bananas)
One evening last week, I was walking down the hill with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks past the community garden, and I saw a bright green bird in the undergrowth. What was a lovebird doing there? Unusually and luckily, the garden was actually open, so I went in and, with a little help, caught the bird. It seemed small if it was a lovebird, maybe a young one, and it wasn't going to make it outdoors despite its alertly biting the heck out of my hand as I held it. (In retrospect I think it was actually a parrotlet, not a bird I'd encountered before -- all green with a flash of blue on its behind, and the photos look right.) We were discussing how to keep a bird safe from cats at either of our houses until its owner should find it, but, also unusually and luckily, there was a cop parked right there, and I asked him what one should do with a found parrot. He called Animal Control and they came within about fifteen minutes to pick it up. They keep it for a couple weeks waiting for an owner to prove ownership by answering security questions, then send it to "a nice shelter" for adoption. The cop was very nice about the whole thing. I hope the bird is doing well; it had a bare tummy and some caked-on waste, but it seemed so alert that I think it was only messy because of its scary day out huddled on the ground.

Later that evening, there were magical cookies. I'd made some of my regular peanut butter cookie dough and just put it into the fridge. Keeping dough overnight vastly improves regular chocolate chip cookies, so when we baked some of the dough I wondered if it would be better. YES. YES IT WAS. Somehow butterscotch notes were in there, and the cookies were completely amazing. Had I measured the peanut butter? Of course not. As of last night I have now made another batch of dough, some of which is in the fridge right now, to see if the miracle can be repeated. Maybe the almond milk is important? We shall see.

In other news, I am going to Woods Hole (apparently some people haven't heard of it? most famous marine laboratory in the US) for a short course this summer! Being at the beach for ten days in late July will be great, and I will learn a lot about molecular evolution that's going to be very useful for my job. My mom says we visited there on my college tour (20 years ago, I remember nothing), and she wasn't impressed because it wasn't fancy, so it's probably exactly the sort of marine station I already know I love from Friday Harbor. Looking forward to it very much!

Also I am very brave today. I made an appointment to talk to my surgeon again about going on hormones to suppress the endometriosis, because I'm having trouble again already. I really hate being on hormones, and what she wants to do is a shot that lasts three months (so no take-backs). Potential issues include: BASICALLY MENOPAUSE, plus all the other wonders of getting sick more often and lacking mental focus that I've already had from hormones. This is fairly terrible, but apparently my other option is chronic pain, which isn't acceptable either. So, we will discuss it on May 6.

update

Apr. 6th, 2015 02:02 pm
jinian: (lost sakura)
So things are still hard. Little things are okay, normal level of engagement a lot of the time, normal level of enjoyment when previous is true. Bigger things are harder.

Yesterday I was pretty awesome. I had planned a duck egg curry dish that [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, [personal profile] gaudior, and I could all eat, which is not as easy as one might hope, and I ran around getting stuff for it and was reasonably clever in doing so, all good. I went to the flower market and was charming at people and came away with herbs and flowers, then planted them like an awesome person and texted pics to people. Then I sat down a bunch, then went to go cook. [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and I concocted a really amazing curry paste, and it was mostly me driving (though I maintain that my cooking-invention is of lesser quality than theirs generally), and we made a food and it was really good and I had been inventing it for days. And then it was over, and I didn't feel that much about it at all. I had enough interest to put into it, so that was good, but it wound up feeling pretty meh.

So that was discouraging. Life is hard and scary, I was hoping to be able to feel really happy about making something good, but that's not what happened. Made it tough to get going this morning. Even if I do awesome things I might not feel awesome, and okay yes depressed friends and lovers I get it now. But here I am at work doing things and going to seminars and being good to people, so fuck you depression.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Fannie Farmer's mac and cheese is fuckin' amazing. (I used 2% milk and light cream, so proooobably I won't get sick from too much fat. Also I figured it could use a couple cloves of microplaned garlic, as many things can.)

This week's Song Exploder is about the Korra finale. You can hear the notes the composer got about spoiler!

I got a bunch of stuff done at work this morning. After that I was tired and floppy all day, but it certainly felt good to be efficient for a while.

ETA: OH ALSO BTW JUPITER ASCENDING and this playlist about it. Like I said on Twitter, how are people surprised that a Wachowski movie is ridiculous? It's not like the Matrix makes any damn sense. (I can't be the only one whose instinct on watching it for the first time was to think we were meant to be making fun? Alas, that was not what the host of that party had in mind at all.) But Jupiter Ascending is hilariously, awesomely ridiculous and also beautiful to look at.
jinian: (fft ninja)
I'm playing two browser-based games pretty intensively right now. They've thoroughly distracted me from a replay of Dragon Age and even from Super Mario 2, proving once again that "casual gaming" can be anything but casual. The first is Flight Rising, which has elements of JRPG battling (but could we have quests or someing though please), breeding simulator, and actually casual gaming (the Fairgrounds includes a match-3 switcher, bubble puzzles, memory game, etc.). You've probably heard about it already. FR's dragons are incredibly cute, and it does the breeding sim thing very well, though I've got to say that when your genetics are explicitly non-Mendelian restricting your inbreeding to five generations makes less than no sense; I assume that bit is attempted social engineering.

The game that I'm spending more time with, because unlike Flight Rising it is really good at getting your sustained attention and real-world money, is Here Be Monsters. I never played Glitch, but I first heard about HBM as a substitute for it: crafting, farming, making your own little settlement. There's fishing, gathering of herbs and trees, and trapping of magical creatures -- you're some kind of humanoid magical creature yourself, a "Folk", but the story is that corrupting meteorites are hitting the world and you have to trap your sentient magical buddies, who get demented enough to be trapped when they're corrupted, so you can cure them. They give you magical items and gold as thanks for being healed.

The startling thing about HBM to me is how sensually appealing it is. I mean, I'm amused by the almanac entries (written in character, and she cannot even with abalone), most stuff is visually pleasant, and crafting is satisfying enough to hold my interest. But people spend a lot of time and energy on their homes, when there's very little reason to design them that heavily. I take great pride in my naturalistic Australian-bush arid place, and oh my GOD have some of my in-game buddies gone to town. One has planted flowers to produce a giant logo of what I assume must be their favorite sports team. Another has the largest possible home area crammed with every object available, which has to have cost substantial real-world money -- and they reorganized the entire thing into a different layout last week.

The appeal of the food is the most surprising part. I find myself foraging for blueberries when I'm someplace that has them, because mmm I haven't had blueberries for a while. I am tempted to pick mangosteens and rambutan, even though there's no good reason to do it now that I have far more efficient food. Crafting all the kinds of food possible is fun, and I am very tempted to set up a cost-benefit spreadsheet on them because I know some of them have a much better return than others, but the ones I tend to settle on are optimized for how many energy points I have at the moment vs how many they restore... and also how yummy they sound.* I cannot eat the Caramelized Silver Perch; it is made of electrons and thoughts. But it sounds so good, and I am drawn to it.

There's no reason to make food I would really like to eat, or to grow catnip around my settlement, yet I do those things because they're pleasurable in my mind. I am relentlessly practical in other ways! The house serves no in-game purpose other than looking like a house, so I still haven't upgraded my tent. Herbs, trees, and food, though, I am all over, because they appeal to my sensual imagination. I haven't encountered a game that did quite this before, and it's fascinating.

* Okay, sometimes how adorable they are too. The inarizushi! We have to do this with inarizushi in real life sometime, [personal profile] rushthatspeaks!

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