Angelic Eye for the Gendered-Species Individual

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May 26 2014

10:07: kick off with momentum
Friday night I was too tired to write. Saturday I mostly spent at $programmer's wedding, which was very traditional and quite sweet, though I wilted earlier than most attendees. And yesterday went rather well with pleasant online chat until the bit where while out for my walk I tripped over an uneven-ness in a road I was crossing and fell flat; no harm done at all, save to skin my knees in ways I can't recall doing since my age was in single digits, and jolt me some so instead of settling to write I watched War Games and more Gurren Lagann and had soothing icecream.

Also, I have discovered a new modality of writing-related anxiety dream, which is that of having a modest career with a couple of novels out and then discovering that an incidental criminal character has coincidentally much similarity to a real-life criminal who sends minions over to "put the frighteners on" one.

May 23 2014

15:34: still, if it makes you happy
I am not overly taken with the "updates" to lj's interface.

I am still here. The long weekend was full of being sociable with jonsinger and my uncle J, including driving out in the rain to look at rapids on the river, and a lovely long dinner at Azuma, and a party in our place Saturday evening which was most fun, and dim sum Monday morning. And now J has flown back to Ireland safe and sound and papersky has set off with jonsinger on the first leg of her signing tour. Following which departures I have done a fair bit of moving chairs back to their normal rooms and taking the kitchen curtains (which had been down since the kitchen repair) to the laundry, picking them up tonight, and similar scales of settling household things. I have also seen the new Godzilla, which I would sum up as delivering what it says on the tin; bought myself a new pair of summer shoes as the last pair were reaching the end of their natural lifespan; obtained a Fringe schedule and made an initial pass at identifying potentially fun things; and started to watch Gurren Lagann, which as of the first three episodes is striking me as amusing and fun with a couple of regrettable elements - I gather it does impressive things later on, and also that avoiding spoilers is a particularly good thing in this context.

Tomorrow is $programmer's wedding. Sunday morning I shall sleep in. I have no idea whether I will have energy to write tonight; will make that decision after dinner, and if not, maybe Sunday evening or Monday.

Still nothing on funding.

May 16 2014

12:14: 41 is trying hard to be as awesome as 40 was.
New Welcome to Night Vale live show playing in Montreal June 30, and I think we will be the first anywhere to see it.

And I have just obtained a ticket.

Current Mood: squeebounce!

May 14 2014

11:56: this is not a simulation
Friday night was dinner in French Connection Montreal with visiting tnh and pnh and papersky , which was well into its usual range of excellent delicious, particularly the bison.

Saturday I took the train to New York, read Debt and about half of The Hydrogen Sonata in transit, was met by daharyn and made our way home and ordered dinner in and had a basically quiet night.

Sunday we had planned to go out for bottomless brunch, but the brunch place was full of huge TVs and looked a little bit too Irish pub for me. So we tried the German place across the road and I had exactly the sort of soothing food that reminds me of Heidelberg. Then that evening we swung by the Strand and then saw VNV Nation in concert; I'd not realised this was their second show in a row at this venue (the Bowery Ballroom) and a goodly number of people had come to both shows, so the setlist was quite different and cool. (They played "Genesis", which I was beginning to doubt I would ever hear live. Squee !) The supporting artists were, as seems traditional for VNV in North America, kind of terrible. Then we staggered home being rueful about how a couple of hours of jumping up and down and punching the air makes it clear we are not seventeen any more.

Monday lunchtime we went out to the German place again and I had an alligator sausage and a chicken and rattlesnake sausage, which were both very good. Also there was Orphan Black and there was Night Vale and then we had dinner with my uncle J in daharyn 's reliable local Indian, which all went very well.

Yesterday I woke up ridiculously early, and made my way to the train on time, and J and I had a conversational twelve hours or so (there was some delay just north of Albany) and got home in time to have a nice big dinner of interesting sausages and rice. And this morning tnh and pnh headed off, and I have made my somewhat tired way into work. My arms are still kind of sore.

May 8 2014

13:53: "And now for something completely different... "
Godzilla haiku.

(And now I can't stop writing my paper as a series of haiku.)

May 5 2014

08:45: happy birthday
Happy birthday to the estimable daharyn , with hugs and looking forward to seeing you next weekend and concert and lots of fun stuff.

08:25: not the same as all the rest
Downtime weekend not quite as restful as hoped; kitchen was not finished Friday, so I had to take stuff out to the laundry, and getting a service wash done of a Saturday means being to the laundromat asap after 0900 in order that they'll have it ready for pickup that day and then going back for it after 1500, so less not having to watch the clock than is ideal. Kitchen should be finished today, the second half of the tiling is going down now, but one is not supposed to walk on it for 24 hours after it is set down, so it will be tomorrow evening before I move almost everything back. Except for the stuff that lives under the sink, because a plumber is coming to look at that tomorrow and hopefully then replace the damaged pipe Wednesday.

So in the meantime, I have run around doing errands, I have cleaned the bathrooms and got the guest bedroom ready, I have hung out and chatted with various cool people online, I have spoken to each of my parents, I had a sushi lunch on Saturday, and I have reread some Grant Morrison. I have also done entirely too much dropping of things, walking into things, and nearly stabbing myself in the wrist with a goat bone, which was a new one by me. (There are reasons why I do not generally tend to eat meat off the bone; slippery oddly shaped bones with sharp edges fight back.)

May 2 2014

14:33: things not to do in web design
...that's a perfectly reasonable image of a happy-looking model if you are advertising your summer fashion line, but if you're going to have the word "sundresses" across it in large friendly letters, you really want to check that a slightly narrower window than you were expecting doesn't crop the first letter because the sort of business that suggests you are running is quite different and probably not in a good way.

May 1 2014

09:05: "He say you blade runner."
Kitchen renovation is proceeding rather well, the walls are painted and I understand the new floor tiles should start going in this afternoon.

Work appears to have got to a point where pretty much everything significant I do is waiting on somebody else right now, and it's easier than usual to get imposter syndrome when I am mostly doing housekeepingy things like checking the inline documentation in old code and backups and organising work mail and so forth. Combining this with being in work two hours early because of timing of kitchen-renovation fellow and I am feeling non-trivially unstuck in time.

The weather here is grey and rainy and has the precise edge of chilly that I emigrated to avoid, which does not help mood. Nor does the gap between "it is below freezing" and "someone on the bus thinks opening a window is a good idea" getting narrower and narrower help, here.

Only Lovers Left Alive hit me in some very mixed ways, some I liked a lot and some I winced at (Immortality means never brushing your hair ever again. *shudder*) and has left me with a nagging urge to watch The Hunger again.

I have some not particularly choate thoughts about the emotional difference between aspirations and consolatory daydreams for me trying to condense, in that a large part of what's consolatory about consolatory daydreams is them not requiring me to do anything; many of mine are all sorts of scales of physically impossible.

I have the formal invitation to $programmer's wedding and I really should respond.

Current Mood: nibbled to death by cats

April 28 2014

08:40: one of us the hunter, one of us the prey
Kitchen-fixing fellow started at 0700 this morning, and so I got into work two hours early; the plan is to do this more or less all week. Also, going out to Chase with papersky for dinner tonight, to see Only Lovers Left Alive tomorrow, writing Wednesday, trying to finally go to the Polish place in the old port that plans keep not working for Thursday, and... I have no idea what I am going to do Friday evening other than crash hard. P will be en route to Quebec City for Boreal. I may well opt for sushi.

Other than moving things out of the kitchen, and general cleaning up, most of the weekend was going flop. There was Civ and chatting with people online and soothing music and reading my book and hot baths and some 2048 and it all worked reasonably well on the whole.

April 22 2014

14:48: between the cracks and hollows, the earth is good
Busy busy busy busy busy.

redbird 's weekend visit was lovely, in a low energy sort of way with much Scrabble and quiet companionship and also wandering around the Botanical Gardens yesterday, despite my back acting up some. This week's plans include the third season of Slings and Arrows and general pausing for breath, as it looks like the kitchen-fixing person will be here the following week. (Starting at 0700 each day. I sigh dramatically.) Train ticket for NY purchased. Planning mail to Uncle J sent. (My brother fomorian was involved in the 1000th anniversary Battle of Clontarf re-enactment/celebration on Friday and it would appear such of my family as were there had a great time.)

April 16 2014

14:26: film review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
In brief: feh. I saw it in a $5 theatre and I suspect it was the kind of thing where my satisfaction/expenditure balance would have been about right for seeing it in the dollar cinema, if the dollar cinema were sensibly predictable and less of a cast-iron pig to get to.

spoilers for Marvel movies in generalCollapse )

April 14 2014

13:11: weekend
Saturday involved going out to look at kitchen flooring, to be sure we agreed on one P and I could both live with; this unfortunately led to catching the tip of the third finger on my left hand under a package of 45 vinyl floor tiles, and it is now quite colourfully bruised. Also there were soup dumplings for dinner. Yesterday, then, I hid in a hole and read and played Civ and so forth, which was helpful. Weather here is a bit nuts; high of 21 and probable thunderstorm this afternoon, low of -10 tomorrow night.

April 11 2014

16:13: Rock me, Carl Linnaeus
Conference survived.

On the whole, pretty good, though not quite so fun as last year's, partly because it was more clinical-oriented and less organisms-other-than-humans, and partly because now that Big Data is recognised as a thing it would appear that many curators are having to fight off ill-informed "Big Data means we no longer need curators" comments.

My poster was presented and that went well; it's a rather dense poster, and it was interesting to note where in the explanation people lit up with "Oh. That's cool!" depending on what their field was. I have useful ideas for taking it further which I will probably be focusing on early next week.

Hotel was a touch shabby, and sauna was particularly disappointing.

Tuesday night involved walking for an hour to get to a restaurant $project_manager was very keen on going to, to find it was jammed full and had an estimated hour's wait; to my relief and amusement it was also a block and a half from the Swan, where papersky and I ate with rezendi and partner a couple of years ago, so there were good burgers (our Swiss colleagues said they were the best they ever had) and there was good beer, and I had oysters wrapped in bacon. All that walking directly on top of two hours standing at a poster session, though, was a less good thing.

The washing machine has stopped working, and we plan to get a new one in a couple of weeks as part of doing the major kitchen fix immediately after redbird 's imminent visit. Meanwhile I am lugging occasional bags of things to the laundry, and spent some of yesterday walking around with a superfluous container of detergent in one hand feeling like an extra in a surrealist movie.

Toronto this past weekend had many Games of Thrones posters, with "VALAR MORGHULIS" on them in much bigger letters than anything else. It was a good thirty seconds after I saw one that I realised I was thinking "of course we don't have them in Montreal because that isn't French".

I am giving thought to seeing Winter Soldier next week if only for the proportion of my usual online browsing grounds that are currently talking about it.

April 2 2014

10:23: misreadings that can really throw the impact of an argument off, #14
What the text said: Pre-Columbian.
What I misread it as: Pre-Cambrian.

April 1 2014

11:39: Lots of planets have an Oxford Street.
Unexpected wet snowstorm over Saturday night made for more heavy trudging going to the choral concert with alixsin on Sunday than expected. A most enjoyable Carmina Burana, with some lighter stuff that was less to my taste (I am not a Broadway musical sort of person.) And then we went for dinner at au Bulle de Carre and for dessert at Juliette et Chocolat and that was all very pleasant. Also have been watching and really enjoying the second season of Slings and Arrows. There is a possibility of crotalus_atrox and partner being in Montreal second half of July, which would be very nice; and this morning had a confirmation as to which data will and won't be available in time which thus allows me to finish my poster. So by the end of the day I should have a nice sharp Despicable Me-type nose after all this putting it to the grindstone.

March 27 2014

16:35: getting there
About half of my poster for $conference is done. I am confident that I have an effect, that I have demonstrated it in ways to convince $project_manager, and that I have come up with good visuals for it. The only real problem is that this is sufficiently abstract a notion that explaining what I am doing in the confines of one poster is a bit of a challenge. I am hoping to have data for the second half tomorrow.

Vericon was a lot of fun, and had some lovely hanging out with people including nineweaving and rushthatspeaks and txanne . I also came back from it absurdly tired because of notably uncomfortable hotel. I am bubbling over with writing-related notions, most of which connect on quite a bit later on in the book than the next couple of chapters alas.

March 25 2014

16:49: on the other hand
Sometimes when I budget two days for getting something done and fear it will expand to twice that, I get it done in a day.

The occasional day of "oh yes, I am actually kind of good at this" in a dayjob context is good for the ego, because imposter syndrome is a nigh-constant companion here most of the time.

10:19: Real Science
Good news: finally found what appears to be a statistically solid model showing that the effect I was looking for exists.

Less good news; the person who was supposed to prepare the other dataset that we were going to check correlations with tells me now she can't do it. So I have a couple of days of frantic coding to do instead of finishing up the poster and printing it imminently.

Cheering things appreciated, and don't expect to see me around much this week.

March 19 2014

15:30: "share you with the one who will mend what falls apart"
Work: Data release has had about as much done as I can do in this context; $bio_boss is leaning on me for some of the things that $colleague does, but $colleague and I have access to different relevant sets of things so that would involve chasing sysadmin people for access to yet more servers, which isn't happening right this moment ($colleague is away this week). There looks like being another data release coming fairly soon but right now that's going through people a step or two upstream of me and is unlikely to be my issue for another few days. Inherited project of doom and gloom continues to get nowhere slowly and painfully, and $project_manager is to my great joy seriously considering cutting our losses, particularly given the assessment in a meeting yesterday that we are well capable of doing the really core bits from scratch by ourselves in the time remaining. Real Science; results don't look hugely positive, and I have not yet got enough to really start work on the poster for $conference in Toronto , which I am trying hard not to be fretful about. Have sorted travel and accommodation for it, anyway.

Writing: this project is thrashing about and really alive and I am going to do more tonight yay.

Being sociable: had a nice dinner out at Ouzerie with Z and A at the weekend, though Ouzerie's meals tend to be very much of one thing and very little else, which even when it is a very good thing, can be not quite what one wants. Planning to see season 3 of Game of Thrones at Z and A's place during the week after Vericon or so. Lots of fun and soothing online conversations with lots of people. Going to Vericon on Friday yay !

Winter: really could be over any day now. That would be just fine.

2048: have won. Which should make it more use as a fun Zen game without being addictive.

March 10 2014

13:04: Weekend With Unexpected Suck
explanatory imageCollapse )

Other than that, it was quiet and there was walking around, and house cleaning, and being too headachey and tired to write Friday so writing Saturday, and getting a couple of other annoying things out of the way, and it was generally just the sort of relaxing I needed. And while I dislike getting up an hour earlier, it does have positive impact on the range of times I can plausibly chat with people on the other side of the Atlantic for the next couple of weeks. Winter's still not quite letting go, though.

March 7 2014

12:34: "You'd think part of omniscience would be knowing when to stop."
Went out for all-you-can-eat sushi last night; the place by Snowdon has become bring-your-own-alcohol, which is a mite annoying.

The Halloween skeleton and vampire and suchlike in the tunnel under the railway line, which I walk through every day on the way to work and back, were not particularly to my taste in October, but painting them seemed to give some small kids some fun. Them still being there in March really does seem a bit much. (Also when you've recently reread the Tales of the Continuing Time, the graffito that just says "Ring" is far more ominous than any of the others. As I observed to rushthatspeaks , we have graffitists from all over the hemospectrum. That one's in black.)

Work continues Sisyphean, though $bio_boss appeared cheerful about it this morning for a change. And $colleague will be away from 2 and for all of next week, so this particular bit involving her should be over with soon. $programmer is getting married on May 24 and I am invited.

March 3 2014

16:48: "If you were happy all the time you wouldn't be human. You'd be a game show host."
livredor was very helpful in earthing my foul mood Friday evening, but after that and then going out again to get beer because my brain was not in gear enough to remember to do so on the way home from work, I did not start writing until after 8 and got less done than I wanted. Saturday I listened to the new Welcome to Night Vale with daharyn , Z and A came over for St. David's Day dinner, which was very pleasant, and I spent most of the rest of the day playing Civ, and also finally got it together to clean up all the documents from when I went through the place like a whirlwind back in autumn looking for a specific piece of official paperwork, shove them into folders and stow them out of the way. And yesterday was cleaning and a hot bath and unexpectedly watching L'auberge espagnole again with E on the grounds that it's one of the best depictions of university being realistically awesome I have seen and probably therefore a positive motivation for someone in high school. (I was very amused that the rating at the beginning of the film mentioned that the film contained language; it does indeed. French, English, Catalan and Castilian, a bit of Danish, it has more language in it than any other film I can recall seeing.)

It's been an irritating-ish work day of being on standby for $colleague needing occasional bits of urgent help with her part of getting the data release ready for $bio_boss while trying to focus on datamine stuff and not getting any progress made there either, and fearing that every little creak and click presages imminent collapse of my ceiling in a deluge of smelly water again. And now I get to go home, which is very nice, though the -23 windchill on the way may be less so.

February 28 2014

19:09: dealing with a foul mood
Good friends help. Food helps. Mash-ups also help. (I am only endorsing the music here, not the videos.)

10:07: writing-related observation
It is amazing how much any half-dozen random things on my readpile can reinforce the urge to write something with a first-person protagonist who a) has a sensible, stable, generally positive and low-drama love life and b) regards it as generally none of the reader's damned business.

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