jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
Want to join me this Thursday night? If you haven't just gotten an email, respond here or contact me for info!
Hey locals, any interest in going on a snowshoe expedition? Weekends are best for me, but I have no particular plans. Some nearby location ideas.

And is anyone free for dinner on my actual birthday 2/18 (Thursday)? I want to have a movie/game party too, maybe the following weekend. Let me know availability if you're going to be close enough!
jinian: (zoomy sakura)
I joined Flight Rising a year ago today, and I've had a lot of fun and accomplished things I could be proud of even when things in my life were really hard. And it turns out my friends there like me a lot. Here's the anniversary card they made me.

wooo party

Feb. 22nd, 2015 12:00 am
jinian: (birdsquee)
Awesome party. Awesome cake. Awesome hard cider from roommate and alcoholic ginger beer from the store. Delicious tacos. Much Rock Band. Is fall down now.


Feb. 18th, 2015 10:58 pm
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
Greetings from the land of thirty-eight years old! I made it, and I have significantly improved my life. I hope this year will be characterized by good health and good job performance. Most of my relationships were already awesome, and I hope they stay so.

If local people are able to travel on Saturday, which, who even knows, please consider joining me eveningish at my place in Somerville for my favorite orange cake and a movie or two, possibly snow-themed but I am taking nominations. There may also be Rock Band and/or Scott Pilgrim game. Just PM me or comment if you're interested!
Best wishes to all.

And I think the sheer appropriateness of this bodes well for the new year?

jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
October 25
My elephant jack-o'-lantern from [personal profile] sovay's party. He remains adorable and on the porch. (And wow, brush pen and pumpkin are a great combination.)

 photo 2014-10-28-inktober25_zpsb46a0227.jpg

October 26
Black Forest cake made by me and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks. Fun with representational shading!

 photo 2014-10-28-inktober26_zps70f9fc7e.jpg


Feb. 18th, 2014 02:54 pm
jinian: (fft ninja)
It's my birthday today. I have graduated from being a square and am now a prime, which is likely the last time that will happen.

Feeling sad, which I think is due to not knowing what happens next with my entire life. There's funding for a project in the lab I'd like to work in (yay!), but they have to go through some sort of fair interview process and can't just hire me, so I do not yet have a job and might not. And, thinking I'd have cramps, I foolishly didn't plan anything for tonight. Currently roping my mom into taking me out to dinner.

Good things so far today:
I do not actually have cramps.
Slept in.
Wearing favorite jeans, which I mended last night while listening to 90 minutes of new Night Vale.
Carrying my shiny red e-reader, which I repaired over the weekend.
Nice messages from people (and my student loan provider, ?) about my birthday.
Nice message about another good thing.
Entertaining stormy rain.

Good things in the past year:
Got my Ph.D. dammit. It is okay if I am still feeling fragile, I was super awesome.
Figured out how to live alone and still have a relationship with Wim.
Got together with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks.
Did not have Crohn's Disease.
Made some nifty stuff including ramen bowls, a quilt, and a star dress.
jinian: (fft ninja)
Happy New Year.

I talked to the universe last night about what I want from the coming year. It's not a topic I can reproduce here, because one of the few superstitions from my childhood that I really believe in is that talking about uncertain good things jinxes them. I managed to articulate it, though, in the time just after midnight. I was listening to my local indie music station, which had finally gotten to curate the fireworks display music to excellent effect, and I'd been laughing about trying to stream footage of the very foggy fireworks (since my TV doesn't work with broadcast any more) and failing. There were some hilarious stills of BIG GLOWING BLOBS on the Seattle Times webcam, which also inexplicably gave me images of daytime and 8pm when refreshed. Gin and Limonata may also have helped my eloquence along.

The great thing about the jinx worry, though, is that in person I now have developed a way around it. See, we have this mask-on-a-stick of Buster Keaton from the SIFF movie marathon a while back, and he is so very solemn that somehow it's entirely logical for me to be able to say the unsayable if I hold him up to my face. If any jinx should fall, well, his movies are such that a jinx would actually help, or even be required by the laws of time travel to achieve those effects. And it would certainly go to the movie roles rather than to him personally, because the picture is black and white. My plan is flawless.

Thus I inform you: wishes exist, and I have managed to talk about them with Wim and to the universe both. May we all get what we hope for this year.
jinian: (takoyaki)

Mushrooms stuffed with balsamic-onion jam and some undetectable Brie.

That ubiquitous rosemary flatbread-stuff that is actually a giant cracker -- these are tasty but they break so unpredictably that I will never comprehend why we don't use the far more efficient cracker format -- spread with a thin layer of cream cheese and a cherry-jalapeno jam.

Fried mozzarella-basil wontons. I cannot speak to the marinara dipping sauce, as that is made of poison, but these were pretty good. They cooled quickly, though; one of the advantages of breading on cheese sticks, or of jalapeno poppers, is that the cheese is more insulated and stays melty better. I don't think there's a materials solution to the tradeoff of keeping it warm vs. napalm-like pockets of molten doom in a freshly fried food, though.


Pumpkin-pie-infused vodka, which we tried to come up with ways to use effectively. Bailey's was lackluster in combination. I suggested spiked vanilla milkshakes, but we didn't wind up trying it.

I made a drink that was mandarin-orange-flavored vodka and cranberry bitters with soda and lime, which my mom said tasted like nothing. "Is that what you like?" It is not my fault you have lost your taste buds to age, lady.


Turkey! I love turkey. And gravy, not particularly remarkable gravy but it doesn't need to be.

Smoked fowl. Cornish game hens? Chickens? I heard them called both, and they were of intermediate size. Pink and yummy. I only had a little, since one person can't have turkey and I didn't like to deprive him.

Mashed potatoes. Dairy-enabled this year due to Wim absence.

Sweet potatoes. Thank goodness no marshmallows. This was both delicious and weird, though: brown sugar and pecan topping, but also bananas mashed in. Unless you tasted after them specifically, you didn't know what that extra flavor was, but the bananas were strong and strange.

Brussels-sprout faceoff. Two people in my family like these things, and they've recently taken to trying to outdo each other in making them edible. I don't hate them, but I like almost any other vegetable better, so it was kind of impressive that I enjoyed both of the treatments pretty well. One was a breadcrumb and parmesan thing, and the one I liked better used balsamic vinegar and cranberries to almost entirely kill the sulfur flavor.

Some people eat dressing or stuffing. I do not, though we had both.

Cranberry sauce, topic of the great cousin schism. Although we're all on the same page about jellied vs. whole berry -- obviously jellied is correct -- we have an ongoing theatrical fight about scooping vs. slicing to serve. I am pretty sure I started it one year when someone had presliced the whole can, I mean, what was that bullshit?

(Interlude to visit my dad, who was collapsed in bed feeling terrible. He said he would eat a small plate of food if we got him one, so I made sure Mom took it to him later.)


Little cheesecakes with caramel and bits of candy bar on top. I was a fool to eat one without a plate under it, as the crusts were fucking crumbly. Some candy bars were Snickers and some were Twix. It was hard to argue with these.

Boozy Chai Pumpkin Pie, made from the very pumpkin that had infused the aforementioned vodka. No flavor accrued from the vodka, as one would expect, but the chai spice was excellent. Dense filling wasn't even really custard any more, too solid. Dark caramelized crust.

Ridiculous pumpkin tart that my mom had been talking about for a month. This was out of control. Springform pan, regular-tasting pie crust but it might have been supposed to have bourbon in, fairly standard filling, thick layer of salted caramel on top of the filling (!), candied pumpkin seeds on top of the caramel (!!). She didn't make the bourbon whipped cream, but there was already too much going on, so that was okay. Delicious but bewildering.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
There was a faux chestnut in the pizza place harvest display, all silly green-plastic spines. Wim and I were both delighted.

1. Felt better about going to family Thanksgiving. (Failing actually interacting better, I have the new 3DS Zelda game.)

2. Painted fabric looking good for baby square of doom.

3. Thai noodles and Leverage with Wim making us both feel better.

4. Email with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and very important Lucien cat.

1. Moderately intelligent cloning scheme generated by me!

2. Finished painting some very pretty coral, set the dye, and (this is critical) decided not to screw up my fingers and brain trying to finish the whole thing tonight.

3. Played Rock Band with my new drum pedal, which I had to buy on eBay since somehow the Goodwill only has the main drum-kit parts. Fun! Hilarious to observe myself failing to control my own foot!
jinian: (capybara)
(It's just that I am exhausted 100% of the time. Dear friends, next time I yell at you for doing too much while convalescing, you may give me the beady eye and a link to this.)


1. Crosshatched shadows on the trail.

2. Lab meeting went very well for feeling like I am getting fuck-all done lately. A little good discussion happened, and I seemed on top of the material.

3. Oh, right. Workplace bonding is also letting my coworkers comfort me. Really good conversation with new tech C.

4. Afternoon outing to find a great dress and hang briefly with a capygirl.

5. Bring It On has the typical problem of musicals, i.e., not enough music, but won my heart by closing on outtakes and Toni Basil. (Also Isis is HOT.)


1. People in costume! One person had very nice tall, wavy, rainbowed horns that I'm sure are associated with no particular fandom whatsoever.

2. My hair is PINK. REAL PINK. And the hairdresser was happy to get to do it.

3. Halloween decorations! Skeleton cutout in someone's window is holding forth on a topic of interest to it, possibly while stoned. (Also good: taking a photo made the bus move in traffic, hence the blur.) Also, a lighted inflatable trailer from which Death periodically peeks out.

Who comes up with these? )

3. Janelle Monáe is the best performer working today. She is my Michael Jackson and my Elvis Presley.

4. We wore outfits.

Black and white outfits. )


1. More outfits at the lab Halloween party.

I dressed as a cherry tree. )


3. People are being Janelle Monáe for Halloween and she's retweeting them all, it's so great.

4. When you believe in science and magic at the same time, the world is amazing.

5. Last day of antibiotics!
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
1. A perfect yellow ginkgo leaf for my coat lapel.

2. The glowing colors of everything at twilight: especially notable, a deep-pink dahlia shining with blue-tinged light.

3. Excellent date with Wim: cupcake acquisition, Gravity, eating red meat (a major craving this month) while talking over the movie and Vorkosigan novels/fic, reading the crowdsourced Jenga commandments, getting tipsy and playing Connect 4.

4. Someone was setting out creepy illuminated heads in their yard as I rode the bus past going home.
jinian: (capybara)
1. Chill time with cats and music and puzzles.

2. Matte top coat for nails! Expect the renaissance of the highway manicure, now with fog lines that don't wash off with water.

3. FAIR. Five-day-old piglets! Pygmy goats! Collections! Quilts! (There was this one quilt based on Just the Ticket pattern that really looked like razor blades. I think I can resist my tasteless parodic impulse. Maybe.)

4. Someone at the fair had a Super Calvinball shirt that made me really happy.

jinian: (bad wolf)
This morning I went to the Reptile Expo with Wim! Lots of great herps, including beautiful snakes with intriguing recessive genes. I loved that so many of them were sold with zygosity information, too. Aaaaand, ultimate cuteness again resides in my home: I got another baby axolotl. Hachiko! Number word beginning with H (Japanese 8 is hachi), to go with Hex, and the Shibuya Station Hachiko was a dog while axolotls are called "water dogs" sometimes. She has wild-type coloration and also GFP, green fluorescent protein; it's hard to see in her body without applying black or 405-nm light, but her pupils shine green instead of black. Pics soon. She's only about three inches long and has beautiful fluffy gills. Still too small to sex really, so her gender is merely grammatical.

Then we met up with rysmiel (and very briefly elynne), and got lunch at Hana then dessert at Dilettante. A wild m-pig appeared, and we all went to the lab real quick, then the Taiwanese Student Association's yearly Night Market. This year's available grass jelly was neither a hot drink nor a cold drink, but just the jelly itself in a cup. We also had tasty popcorn chicken, beautiful tea eggs, delicious watermelon juice, and some pork-mushroom rice in a leaf that I didn't try, but we were too full from before to do justice to the early short lines. Then there was sitting on the grass talking, which on my part involved being really tired, and I took people home.

Now: Hachi into her tank, cats on me, gin + Limonata, maybe Azumanga Daioh.
jinian: (algae)
o Mom started dinner without us on Easter, when I had texted ahead all responsibly to say we were ten minutes late. But that is the worst thing that happened so I guess whatever.

--- Argh I need a title for my thesis asjkgsusfgd.

-- Very moody.

o No email back yet from the latest appealing postdoc position.

+++ Wiscon program assignments! My panel made it to the list! And I hope the other panelists say yes, because AWESOME. Also I get to be on the ponies panel! I may require a plush Rainbow Dash for the occasion. (I'm up against a few things I'd like to attend; on the other hand there appear to be TWO dance parties on different nights, so yay Wiscon.)

- Effing experiments.

++ Set up Hex's new tank on new tank stand and made other significant improvements in living-room organization. Once the tank and stand prove themselves non-leaky I can move things into the shelving and reduce the room's clutter to previous unmanageable levels.

++ Cleaned the fucking WINDOWS like an ADULT. Also washed the curtains that had cat hair on them.

- Anti-abortion posters appearing along my walk to school.

+ They're coming down as fast as they're going up, and I have some ideas for satirical counterattacks.

+ Talked to E! She's a former department employee who's retired except for six hours a month, and I was lucky to run into her.

+ Dinner at the awesome Katsu Burger last night with my sweetie. 12-spice fries are a little too sweet but tasty, teriyaki chicken sandwich good. The deep-fried meats are, appropriately, their strength.

- Uwajimaya continues not to really be a Japanese supermarket, and this upsets me.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Saturday: Kinda tired and grouchy. Foolishly volunteered to bring dessert to parents' place (since we were celebrating all of our birthdays), which led to shopping around for it in multiple places where there were humans.

Delicious roast beef by Mom, though, and the dense chocolate cake was tasty. We met their new dog!

Sunday: Very grouchy; hid away from the world for a while and felt a lot better. Dinner at Pam's Kitchen with Wim's dad and stepmom, resulting in stacks of gifts as usual. Great food as always; the nice owner/waiter who knows us has almost the same birthday as me, and got us free cake and singing, too.

Monday: Moody but okay until almost time to go out. Cried BUCKETS over new MLP episode; if there was any doubt in my mind that it's a show about grad school, that doubt is gone. Then broke a glass as I was getting ready to go out, cried again, scaled down the going out, and repudiated the chocolate cake as the cause of all my woes. (Probably true, this was all migraine prodrome territory, and aspirin and butterbur helped.)

Pub dinner with m-pig was good, even though someone was getting emergency medical care in there at the time. And then we got to see Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns, one of my favorites and the quasi-sequel I think I'd only seen once before. We got in on volunteer tickets, which was an awkward moment as I didn't quite know how much to cover for that fact. And I got my picture taken with Totoro!

(That's the amazing umbrella from Kanazawa that comes out in maple leaves when it gets wet. Best umbrella ever, even better than the clear one with goldfish on.)
jinian: (real scientist)
My Development paper was accepted this morning!
jinian: (birdsquee)
Would anyone like a Year of the Snake card? From Japan until I run out, then I'm sure I can find more cute ones locally. :) There are also stickers!

I am currently v. disorganized, so I may not have your address even if I totally should. Put them in comments (all are screened) or email to jinian@.


hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

July 2017

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