Having dreams about things like uprooting tree trunks that would otherwise grow back trees and accidentally exalting hatchling pixeldragons that I should really have done more with. Yes, thanks, subconscious, I am aware that I will be shutting off uterine possibilities.

Came down with a mild cold today, ugh. Rested rather than working, even though we're time limited on the demo equipment, because I really must get well before Monday. It might not be as mild as I thought, though, since I also failed completely to parse a knitting pattern for something I've made before. Probably it's what Dad had while I was there, in which case it's not a really bad bug, just makes you tired mostly.

Roommate is still not home, which is a little nice and a little weird. I assume he's still at his wife's, and alive and all, though it's been two days longer than expected. Anyway, I am sticking to my chore routine even though he won't be bothered if the kitchen's not cleaned daily, because it turns out I like it clean too. (Mostly I pride myself on being able to work in tight spaces, so not cleaning is a weird way to make there be tight spaces so that pride can occur; my brain is weird.) Also I don't bother putting on pants when I have to use the bathroom in the night.

Foxglove Summer was pretty great and I remain happy that the U Bookstore SF section drives to Canada occasionally or whatever they do to get my UK editions.

No idea wtf my uterus is up to. I had the PMS backache on schedule, and then... no bleeding. Perhaps I have scared it into submission? I am not going to argue if I don't have another period before the surgery, but it's a bit strange. That and I'm worried it's actually gathering its strength for one last round of epic misery, ha.
jinian: Hana, Chisa, and Fujiko from 7 Seeds (three is for victory)
Awesomeness by me:
- Took antihistamine nose spray
- Managed to get an herb refill, since my tummy is very sad and has been for a while (was on a half dose, running out when taking more)
- Taped most of the kitchen boxes and stowed them in the attic
- Marked the wall for the motion-detecting light
- Paid rent, including figuring out incidental cost splits
- Cleaned the kitchen very well
- Made us a chore chart with foil stars


All of the United States of Pop songs are amazing and go beyond mashup into cohesive audio collage with original song structure, but the only one that runs through my head regularly and still makes me smile is 2009.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
More unpacking! Negotiated what of mine is going in the kitchen, so the rest can go to the attic. Still working on the clothes, but having more room to play Boxes of Hanoi in will help a lot.

Swept the floors like an awesome person.

As a household, we have hit some kind of critical mass for silly ice cube trays. From C: koi, UFOs/moons. From me: brains, robots/clock-keys. From M (and his person J): delight and plans for drink parties.

Nice dinner with roommates, maybe the last time we'll cook outdoors this season.

It's been too long since I watched a movie with my person J. Donnie Darko turns out to be pretty great! (Warnings: fridging, very scary Patrick Swayze, bad therapy.)
jinian: (baby dalek)
I was foolish and mopey last night, but many things are nice.

- Almost done quilting the Wim quilt. (I should've thought of working on it last night, probably would've felt better.)

- Unpacked many clothes, though I need a good dresser to organize things before doing much more.

- The weather is a thing that is nice now! Walking is pleasant and it takes 5-10 minutes less time to get anywhere than my summertime estimates. Beautiful skies too.

- The fish Lord Nelson built a bubble nest just because. I guess he is feeling sassier!

- I've been sleeping pretty well even with importunate cats.
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
Accomplished some things at work!
- Found out what food my food-ignoring fish had been eating before I got him, so hopefully he will condescend to eat the same kind again
- Ran a gel (confusing result and not sure what to do, but I saw it)
- Talked to facilities about installing a necessary cabinet for my work
- Researched and ordered a new analytical balance
- Enhanced my mind by reading papers
- Initiated minor interaction to support reportedly lonely new student

Praised for my hard work on grantwriting!
I had a bonus assignment over the weekend (which annoyingly coincided with J's visit, but I kinda need the money and it only took about three hours), and my boss praised me a bunch for it and wants me to co-write some other papers for co-authorships. Woot! He tends to praise high, but "brilliant" is always nice to hear. :) And I'm smug about my making the grant subtly more progressive in its phrasing -- you wouldn't think you could get a lot of politics into a grant, but between referring to Tibet vs. "the Tibetan region" and pointing out that North American plants had been newly discovered by Western botany during the historical period, not (as implied) by all humans, I am pleased with myself.

I got a loooooot of books unpacked.

Such good vids that I finally made time to watch! Pacific Rim ones but also very well done Katniss.
jinian: chibi Hana from 7 Seeds working hard! (hana stivver)
1. Smut Peddler 2014 is ouuuuuuuut! ♥ I may have read some of it at work and then been physically and socially uncomfortable as a result.

2. Racing game reunion today! Got to swap gossip with some people I haven't talked to in a quite a while, though we were still missing a few. Must make time to hang out there occasionally.

3. Hair re-pinked! (Bleaching pretty patchy, though. Need much better mirror skills if I am to bleach the back of my own head.)

4. The large bookshelf is attached to the wall, because I am smart and persistent. I figured out how to put it together, which was a learning process but totally worked, and then worked out a scheme to get the new stabilizing boards screwed into drywall anchors. Didn't work the first time because my screws were too short to account for the space between the wall and the shelf, oops, so I got two other sizes today and the one I thought would work did. Small one will be easy-peasy, and then books can be unpacked.

5. I get to see [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and J tomorrow.
jinian: Hana, Chisa, and Fujiko from 7 Seeds (three is for victory)
It took the movers 40 whole minutes to bring my stuff into the new place. The trick was getting it to them. I will discuss that later, though. Right now I am busy lounging on MY BED.
jinian: (worms' meat)
Yesterday:
17:10 cats land in Boston as air cargo
18:00 cats arrive at home and disperse themselves invisibly into the apartment while i refuel and return the Zipcar
18:30 I return to the apartment and easily find Bat, whose idea of hiding appears to be simply becoming flat while adjacent to an armchair (he later improves on this by wedging himself between the chair and an ottoman); he does not wish to interact
19:00 Squeak begins intermittently living up to her name but cannot be found
19:20 Squeak consents to be discovered and petted, but only in the bathroom; vast puffs of fur emerge from her body
20:30 Squeak happy enough to play with me in the kitchen; Bat still wedged; Diz whereabouts unknown
21:00 Batty amenable to petting, emerges from hole only to be hissed at by Squeak and to emit strategic aromas; litterboxes are used and food is eaten; Diz whereabouts unknown

Today:
00:00 Squeak curled up behind my knees on the couch; Bat eating dry food in my bedroom
??:?? coalescence of Dizzy from the ether to be thoroughly petted; re-evaporation of Dizzy
04:00 Squeak discovers the fine echoing properties of the hallway where my roommates sleep and is forcibly relocated into my room with closed door; as the couch is surprisingly uncomfortable, I accompany her
06:30 after ongoing shenanigans including Bat in and out of the bedroom, I admit that I am awake and get some cereal
7:30 despite grouchy reconfined Squeak, fed Kylee is able to zonk out again
10:00 I awaken with Squeak curled adorably in the small of my back; now that it is daytime and my roommate is awake, she is not whining at all; Bat has burrowed hilariously into the cushions of the armchair; Diz whereabouts unknown
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
1. Slept and slept! Despite not having a real good bed. Being in my own space is excellent.

2. Cleaned the sublet nicely and dropped off keys for the person I was subletting from.

3. Figured out where to recycle fluorescent bulbs (the hardware store) and did so. Also got some necessary things for the new place.

4. Witnessed the use of a cat back pack! I'm told that the cat does not like the pack but does enjoy bike rides.

5. Fixed the busted shelving so it no longer comes apart and actually looks pretty good. I started by just nailing on the backing, but the front was still loose, so I borrowed a drill and some spare screws and fixed it properly like an awesome person.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Queer fashion mark hit: there were mutually approving glances with a lovely purple-haired boy in a gauzy floral skirt.

2. Helpful massage left my very sore shoulders and grumpy hip/back area still sore, but much more amenable to being stretched easefully.

3. Found free shelving! It is definitely of the "better than no shelving" furniture tier, but hey, that's where I'm at.
jinian: (algae)
1. Awesomely wrote to a person about a summer sublet in Cambridge and heard back.

2. Got rental contract info from Wim.

3. Ate entire bowl of udon with egg and kabocha, like a person with a digestive system.
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: Hana, Chisa, and Fujiko from 7 Seeds (three is for victory)
Tuesday:

1. Super fun conversation about the pronunciation of "gif" -- this conversation, which occurs near me periodically, is not normally so great, but we had the right combo of linguistics knowledge, history, pickiness, and just messing with people to make it highly entertaining.

2. My sinus-throat doom got worse! That feeling of burning pain represents vindication and rightness in my going to the doctor Monday. Also that I need to drink lots of tea with honey. (Yes okay this as positive is a stretch, but I really did feel all justified and correct for a sec there.)

3. Revised NSF deadlines came out! Friday for me. I am all excited to turn it in, but I have a bunch to do before that.

4. I cleaned off my entire dining-room table. This is huge and totally counts for Tuesday chores. Even if I just moved part of the load to a chair.

Wednesday:

1. PI is back and was really happy to see my printed thesis copy on her desk! She wants me to sign it. And write something. And draw a picture maybe. (So adorable.)

2. This proposal is going to be really good when we're done whaling on it, because I am a badass and so are my sponsors. This collaboration is great right now.

3. My experiment today, for which I had planned five hours, took only two and provided a really interesting result.

4. I had a good dinner with M-pig despite eventually getting v. antsy about not working.

5. Lovely sunshiny day, lovely foggy night.
(Note: there are no actual stairs.)

In only one aspect, my dorm life is starting to remind me strongly of William Sleator's creepy YA novel House of Stairs. We have motion-controlled lights, and we are being classically conditioned.

Bedrooms have normal light switches. Three-position switches allow you to turn the lights all the way on or all the way off in the public rooms, which is a fine thing to do in the toilet stalls during the day or when you're trying not to wake up all the way, respectively. (Not so good when people turn them on and then wander away assuming they'll turn themselves off.) In the hallways, though, motion detection is the only option I've found, which means when you're hanging out in the hallway talking to people and not actually pacing or anything, the lights will frequently shut off.

And then we all start waving our arms. The electronic eyes (which I would actually like to be more all-seeing, they've got these annoying blind spots) flash red and give us our lights back.

For a while, until we have to perform again.

The other deeply unsettling thing about the dorm is actually a thing about Japan as a whole: there is no oven in the kitchen. Two microwaves, two refrigerators, two induction-heating and one radiant-heating burners... and a little "grill" drawer that you can put, say, grocery-store tempura into to heat it up.

[I had just assumed there was an oven here]

[And I was worried about not having a cookie sheet]

Is there any place in the English-speaking world that you would possibly have a real stovetop range but no OVEN? This is truly shocking and upsetting to me, as I am a stress-baker deprived of nearly all outlet. I guess I could make and eat cookie dough, which is what I mostly do at home anyway, but not having the option for baking is like wearing a chastity belt or something, it takes the joy out of the stages prior to completion.

You may have noticed I made pie recently. This is because the lab office has an oven, the total capacity of which I estimate at about 15L. My colleagues are shocked at the energy inefficiency of giant, electric American ovens. Actually, I'm not sure they believe me that such ovens exist, though I think they acknowledge the existence of giant, culturally necessary turkeys. Our Russian student has also corroborated my assertion. (The ovens. Well, turkeys too, actually.) When I had lunch with my co-TA and some students today, we discussed this important matter, which distresses her as well. At least I have oven-deprivation commiseration.
jinian: (lucky cat)
Wim is gone and so are the upstairs neighbors, so it's just me in a house that normally holds four humans. As the upstairs cats do not appear to have gone mental yet like last time their people were away, this is awesome. It's been all chilly and rainy here for days now, though. My wrists hurt, stupid weather. It is meant to be August.

Progress:
  • Bed pieces are all 100% painted.

  • Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo: Pretty cool. A documentary without much narration or overt interviewing, mostly just looking at insect fans in Japan, from commercial collectors to little kids keeping stag beetles as pets, with a few voice-over segments trying to tie love of insects to mono no aware and similar declared elements of the Japanese character. I am happy to know what the "konchu saishu" from the Shonen Knife song means.

  • Glee s1: Too many of these people are stupid, but there's singing (even if it's heavy on the Autotune). Cannot stop watching.

  • Helvetica: Many people are bigger type geeks than I am, and I just bought a zip sweatshirt that says KERN across the gap and think it's hilarious. Good movie. Thrilled to see Hermann Zapf himself! He made Optima and Palatino! And some of the other interviewees were awesome; I think is was Michael Bierut who killed us dead every time he came on.

  • The Invincible Pole Fighter and The Mystery of Chess Boxing: Tremendous fun. Both pretty serious for kung fu movies (though Ghostface Killer was clearly high at all times), both quite well done. I think it's the only time I've seen the Grand Illusion completely sell out; there were chairs in the aisles, and normal occupancy is 70. (The Stranger Suggests listed it, so we knew to get there early.) As usual for the Illusion's special features, there were stories about where the movies came from -- stashed under a stage in a dedicated Shaw Brothers theater in Vancouver Chinatown, and dumpster-dived, in these cases.

  • Electronic ARC of Cryoburn: No in-person Ekaterin, alas. I think it's a little better than Diplomatic Immunity. Worth the money!

  • Currently have picked all the ripe evilberries from the yard, where they are trying to overrun the plum trees, and am stewing them up with last year's blueberries for something that might be pie filling or just go on ice cream, we'll have to see.

  • Cat pee state is improved. We don't think they're doing it actively any more -- a couple days' surveillance (the Urinary Panopticon) showed nothing worse than sock theft from the hamper in progress (burning with cuteness). But good lord the smell just keeps coming up from under. Am seriously considering replacing the carpet-padding.


Unrelated to my life, there have been some really good anti-rape campaigns lately:
http://bitterbuffalo.tumblr.com/post/910431591/whats-this-an-anti-rape-campaign-that-focuses-on
http://thecurvature.com/2010/06/29/scotland-anti-rape-ad-tackles-she-was-asking-for-it-myth/
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Whereas I have taken [livejournal.com profile] lakmiseiru to the train this morning so she can be a mad backpacker for a couple of weeks, and

whereas [livejournal.com profile] hattifattener is also going to be taking off for a few days to build a yurt soon, and

whereas my bed is almost done being painted so will occupy less of my evening time soon, and

whereas I need to get the fuck out of my cat-doomed house quite often, but

actually I still need to stay off my healing foot, so many summery activities are unwise,

here is a partial list of stuff for me to do in the near future.

Today or tomorrow: Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, a documentary about the Japanese love for beetles. Come on, Wim, you ordered radio-controlled Mushiking toys from Singapore, we have to go!

Before Sunday: Finish watching Glee s1 and watch Helvetica, which I coincidentally rented on the Swiss National Holiday.

Maybe: Open the Darth Vader door. Its sign says "Experiment in Progress. Do not open this door!" and then it has a picture of Darth Vader's head underneath it. I have so far escaped opening it, but this may not last. I think the experiment in question must be "see how long Kylee can resist the shiny, candy-like button."

Maybe: Buy and read the electronic ARC of Cryoburn. I'm sure there are plenty more fun details to find out by reading it myself, but I am overinformed at present and it sounds like there's no Ekaterin to speak of. But that's just me being cranky, really; there's no way I'm not reading this soon.

Probably: Get trackpad (now routinely doubling my clicks) fixed or replaced. Bonus if the entire cover can be replaced; some slivers are missing and it's awfully grubby.

Soon: Blog the Herbarium Foray before it fades into the mists of time. I have photos and paper journal, just need to spend the time.

Saturday August 7: Old School Kung Fu Double Feature at the Grand Illusion! The movies are The Invincible Pole Fighter and The Mystery of Chess Boxing. (Ooh, awesome, http://www.grandillusioncinema.org/ has trailers!)

Friday August 13: OMG SCOTT PILGRIM. Very tragic story, I actually had a pass to an early screening and forgot about it. *facepalm* Totally going opening day! Even if it were bad, which it won't be, I think I may owe the movie for causing the artist to finally finish the series before it opened. (Also, want video game now. Recursive referentiality FTW! Time to buy a PS3, I guess.)

Wednesday August 18: Mary Roach at Kane Hall in re: her book about travel to Mars. The talk for Bonk would have been more fun without reading the book, so I will not read the book before then.
jinian: (mokona world)
Other notes:

Shonen Jump came like a week and a half ago. I still haven't opened the package.

It's IBARW again! In addition to collecting links for Wednesday posts, I plan to post some reviews of books by POC as suggested by [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija. (See also [livejournal.com profile] ibarw, [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc.)

Trip to San Juan:

++ As You Like It in the rain
++++ As You Like It in the amazingly dramatic sunset thunderstorm with rainbow
++ As You Like It in the costume shed

- Dansko glorified-zori in unstable walking/scrambling contexts
+ walking up the fire trail
+++ startling many vultures in Hidden Cove! as they were eating a dead deer!

++ trade-in book credit at Serendipity! (good idea, Wim!)
+ praise from proprietress for having all but one book usable
+++ The Root Cellar! I remember this book! and Blanche Passes Go

. confirmed that the only bookstore I hadn't been to doesn't exist, despite having a sign

-- when you reserve at the last minute, you get the stupidly expensive hotel room

--- bad sunburn that hurts scratchily all the time, especially when trying to sleep
(I'm applying scads of aloe, drinking fluids, and even taking aspirin)

weekend yay

Oct. 4th, 2008 01:54 pm
jinian: (Thalictrum uchiyamai)
A hectic week has been survived. I got my research proposal draft in to my co-workshoppers on time, and my lab meeting went very well (except that I forgot one thing I shouldn't have). Teaching is going well so far -- one student got really snippy about taking her own sample of some limited material, but I had enough else to do that I was able to just leave her alone the rest of the section.

The U Bookstore finally called me to say Half a Crown was in last night. Acquired at 6pm, finished by 11, made of awesome. I've also now read McKinley's new Chalice, perhaps even more wonderful, and I have the new Gaiman and Cecil Castellucci's Beige as well as the 2008 Best American Science and Nature Writing. Orgy of reading, your time is here!

There's stuff I need to do in the lab this weekend, but I don't feel terribly compelled to do it right this minute. Time emough to sit around with cats and heating pad, and enjoy the high winds sweeping by outside. It's true that our curtains ought not to move when the winds are on the other side of the glass, but I've got blankets.

Recommended reading: "Hey There, Joe Six-Pack" by [livejournal.com profile] copperwise.

salad

Sep. 30th, 2008 10:05 pm
jinian: (mighty pea)
It's amazing how productive and domestic one can become when faced with an unrelated deadline, especially when writing this particular grant last year produced vast amounts of frustration. I even post to LJ and answer email!

So are we all just fucking appalled at the terrorism in Ohio, or have people not heard about it? I haven't seen much comment, and I know I am just fucking appalled. How do we get through to these people?

Interesting music videos from [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks may distract you somewhat from previous item.

Slow progress is being made on civilizing the home, with some help from Tom Swift and His Custom Book-Shelves. This is good because soon it will be cold. I'm not at all sure how winter is going to go in this house, considering how cold it's been in here when outside hasn't been that bad.

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