jinian: (c'est la vie)
Saturday I had all day until my train at 7pm, so I planned to go to the Cloisters, since I didn't manage it last trip and it came highly recommended. It's great, loads of interesting European Christian art in a building specially constructed to incorporate pieces of other buildings.

Read more... )
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 )
State: I feel normal-sad a lot of the time, but I really seem to be losing track of how long it's been between things happening. It's hard to know what feelings are justified and what's just getting upset over nothing. I don't feel sad about my dad, just sad, and volatile in other ways sometimes, and not enjoying things I should. Currently investigating therapy, because I actually do have a lot to cope with and not a lot of wherewithal. (Plus, really no experience with making things happen despite long-term depression. Normally I watch a movie and make cookie dough and go to sleep, and feel better in the morning.)

from when we saw Great Lake Swimmers )
looking for a greenhouse to volunteer in )
digital painting )
seedlings )
mosquito horizon )

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: (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!

inktober 8

Oct. 8th, 2014 11:38 pm
jinian: (baby dalek)
The good camera's SD card adaptor doesn't seem to be working right with the laptop any longer, and I don't have the cable handy, so we have a not-so-perfect phonecam image today. This drawing was inspired by co-worker J from downstairs telling me about how she grows sixteen different kinds of columbines and how one of the students a few years ago was so EXCITED because he wanted them for his research. This is one of the great things about the herbarium: people there actually love plants. (You'd be surprised how little a lot of molecular biologists care.)

 photo 2014-10-08-inktober8_zpsf2937c9e.jpg
I didn't actually get to my drawing last night since I was busy coming home from NYC and dealing with considerable cat mess, but I'm caught up now!

Silly Oktoberfest commemorative apple cider drawing for Saturday, since that's what I was up to. I feel that the apple should have a little hat, but couldn't quite work out how to place it. Atop the stem? Of microscopic size?

 photo 2014-10-04-inktober4_zps689d89c0.jpg

A gooseneck gourd for yesterday. It came out much better than I expected! Especially since my original attempt was a complicated chrysanthemum that I erased too much and messed up my paper, so I chose the gourd as a shape that fit into the un-messed-up space.

 photo 2014-10-06-inktober5_zps305b9dda.jpg

I bought a brush pen on Sunday, which I'd been wanting to on the first day of the challenge, and I'm really happy with it so far. I think the little garden snail was the perfect subject. The one I saw this morning had a light olivey green shell, not brown like all the snails I've seen before.

 photo 2014-10-06-inktober6_zps2907a269.jpg
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: (birdsquee)
1. Beautiful flowers everywhere, including giant clematis in periwinkle-blue and darker purple, and pink with darker pink stripes.

2. Katie Kate!

3. Hilarious conversation about Superman's penis.
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.
Saturday:

1. Still highly amused by Wim's link to HIGH END CUSTOMIZABLE SAUNA EXPERIENCE.

2. Managed to mow some lawn before the rain got heavy.

3. Lovely quiet day of making stuff and thinky writing.

4. Looked at a whole lot of extremely fine pictures of Kat Dennings. Yum.

Sunday:

1. Caught up on Welcome to Night Vale. Blown away by the latest Weather: Eliza Rickman's "Pretty Little Head"

2. Haphazard hair-pinning for maximum cuteness was a runaway success.

3. Ukulele-playing girl in the back of the bus was a pleasant background, then she seemed really happy when some guy told her he was enjoying it, so I told her too before I got off and she was flaily-happy. Adorable!

4. Stayed up way too late watching The Dark Crystal in chat with racing friend. Oops. Such fun, though.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Lilacs and Mexican-orange and redbud all just started blooming.

2. I did thrilling things with necklines today.

3. Racing game people are fun.
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. My Pickwick crocuses wide open with honeybees all over them.

2. From racing game:

Pengy: so what is with this zen mode
me: zen passport
Pengy: what's it for?
me: enlightenment


At the end of the race, I got the Enlightenment achievement.

I did not plan that.

3. Light and sunny outside past 4pm!

4. Email from new boss about exciting short course this summer, covering exactly what I'll need to know for new project.
jinian: (bold bananas)
Because it helps.

1. Daphne odora in full bloom

2. Getting some stuff organized at work

3. Weird Al on MLP:FIM

4. Delicious caramels
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Virtuously making my bed up with clean, lavender-smelling sheets. I enjoy my decadent bed. (It's amazing how much decadence is in the mind. And the number of pillows.)

2. Transplanting little African violets into self-watering pots made by me!

3. My arm that was strained last fall started hurting when I carried too-heavy groceries, and it's been long enough since it hurt all the time that I was mystified by what its problem was. Yay healing, however slow.

4. Savage Love works really well as something to do while cleaning the kitchen. I think I'll try Radiolab for Friday chores.

5. Beef stew with potatoes and carrots and kale and kabocha.
jinian: (Thalictrum uchiyamai)
1. I found mokusei! <3 <3 <3 I loved the mokusei when I was in Nagoya last year, and I keep sniffing around hopefully this fall. Followed my nose to an apricot smell in south campus today and found one, neither of the main types from Nagoya but close enough.

2. Doing useful tasks at work and getting things done does make me feel better, even when it all seems really overwhelming because I'm still so tired.

3. The existence of a Cadbury Screme Egg cracked me up, so of course I had to buy it. They weren't even included in the post-Halloween discount; drugstores know what they're doing. It is just as good/bad as the usual kind, but the fondant is swirled greenish.

4. Lehua honey from a former undergrad who visited the lab from her new home in Hawaii. Possibly I wasn't really supposed to appropriate the entire jar, but everyone else can have my share of the macadamias, so it seems fair enough to me.
jinian: (dandy highwayman)
1. More catty moments from scientific papers: "Nectar and/or pollen are the only floral rewards traditionally investigated. Such myopia has impeded full understanding of flower-visiting organisms." (Also: oh for the days when you could get published by licking your study organism and describing the flavor.) (Also also: bees are not as efficient as bomb calorimetry.)

2. I remain disproportionately amused every time Dan Savage says "ball crushers" as part of the Extreme Restraints ads. There is such relish in his voice.

3. Sassed a dude about using "Hello Ladies" as his salutation to me and PI in professional email. I mean, really. I did appreciate the image of the Old Spice guy working on our microscope, and said so.

4. TINY CHAINSAW ON A STICK I want it so bad

5. Marzipan chocolate made Rainbowgrad friend H really happy. I have rarely seen anyone quite that happy.
jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
1. I did get more sleep this morning! And I had such the best dream. A fun outing to a street market led to frustration and misfortune, but then to adventure and magic and sexy dress-up times and potential new lovers. What a great way to wake up. Who cares if the police are still after you when you have all that?

2. Rewatched Dororo before it was due back. Spammed Twitter about it, amusing mostly myself (but I was so amused).

3. Oh, sed, why did I ever doubt you? You are so hard for me to remember how to work, but you did exactly what I wanted in no time at all.

4. I got the result I was looking for out of my transcriptome data! What I thought was likely to be happening does seem to be happening! This makes it MUCH EASIER to write about intelligently for possible fellowship. Someday I will figure out how to do the overall analysis with the weird data I have been given, instead of a very targeted one on just the genes I wanted, but whatever.

5. I am really enjoying fall so far. It was gloriously blustery with pouring rain today, in the way that usually doesn't happen here -- no thunder, though we've been very lucky with that this year too -- and I was the annoying person who was out in it going WHEE instead of being crabby about getting wet. Plus, the grapes up the street that always smell good have grown a gigantic crop and smell proportionally.
jinian: (garden yukito)
1. Unreasonably excited about scratching off the silver stuff on the back of a gift card.

2. Janelle MonĂ¡e tickeeeet!

3. Useful things to help myself feel less terrible: made definite plans with M-pig for tomorrow, and organized the seeds from my most recent publication to put away.

4. The arch of passionflowers at the greenhouse has really grown in over the past couple of weeks, smelling all fruity and wonderful, and the crape myrtle in the Medicinal Herb Garden is blooming now too.

5. I found a really big stick and gleefully hit some English ivy with it.

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hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

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