azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
  • Mon, 13:27: Vash's Check Engine light has turned off, but he's still due an oil change & the driver's side door doesn't unlock from outside anymore.
  • Mon, 19:09: I protect my team. [Image: cookie butter cups: with handwitten "WARNING: GLUTEN! so much gluten omg"] http://t.co/3KAQlEC3q8
  • Tue, 01:09: My fitbit #Fitstats_en_US for 3/16/2015: 7,673 steps and 3.3 miles traveled. http://t.co/gFMrr7HEB6
  • Tue, 06:04: I think the same asshole passed me in a no passing 25mph zone last night and this morning.
azurelunatic: Cover of O'Reilly's Owl Book. O RLY?  (O RLY)
Weekend!

Saturday, I drove down to Sunnyvale and toured an apartment complex. I liked it. We'll see if/when my raise comes through. (Purple says that on this one, I'm a dude.)

Vash gave me a bit of trouble on the way back, so I should see about getting him checked out.

So on Saturday, everybody got a note through the door that "investor inspections" were imminent. So much of the rest of my long weekend was either housework, or fervently ignoring housework. I am not Actively Displeased with the current state of the apartment, however I am not Pleased either. The packing has been making this easier, and I suppose the cleaning has helped the packing.

Tuesday:
Got a message from the Commandant that she was out sick, and I should take point on this morning's meeting. Okay! So I did some last laundry-roundup and vacuuming, and went off to work in good time to walk up to the secret milkshake bunker, saying hi to Purple on my way as he was coming in. He was in search of Beldorion. I thought I vaguely knew where he sat, but I was at the wrong end of the wrong floor of the wrong building. (Purple was able to find him okay, though.) The heavy equipment I'd seen at the end of the parking lot turned out to be unloading a whole bunch of trees; they looked like small redwoods in large wooden planters.

The Dean is ringleading the playing of a cricket tournament on the big screen. It turns out that none of the cable networks that we get seem to be running it, but there's an online thing. Some of the guys waxed enthusiastic. Yay for them.

The meeting went well! We have a better idea of what we're looking for this year, and some of last year's cracktastic experiments won't be repeated. I mentioned some of the constraints, like gluten-free, and that cut out Hawaiian as a theme, as all their soy sauce has lurking wheat. Partway through the meeting, the lady from catering spluttered and pointed out the window. For all the world like a tall ship under full sail, the top half of a redwood cruised by smoothly. For a brief fantastic moment I thought: Wow, it must be windy out today. Then, as the forklift emerged from behind the wall, the absurdity of the thought struck me. Another two redwoods followed it, to our collective giggles. We called our attention back to the task at hand, and got into logistics and table rental. We shall inquire to see whether there are cafe tables which can be pulled from storage before we see about rentals. From around the corner coming the other direction scuttled one of those same redwoods, beating a hasty retreat from who knows what ent-eater.

On the way back, I wound up telling Madam Standards about the time Shawn tried to make mac-and-cheese.

Purple sent out the lunch ping. Just then, one of the engineers who had through main force of will not screamed about the helldesk software on the You Must Be At Least This High In The Org Chart For This Ride field trip, had a question about how one shipped things. I had answers! I wound up creating a shipping ticket for him, and he jumped through the hoops to get his own login, as he sees himself shipping in the future. This did render me a bit on the late side to lunch, but that was all right.

Mr. Zune: "Is someone else about to be introduced to the Sticky Box?"

I left the shipping ticket on top of the Sticky Box for the engineer to find if he came back before I did.

My choice of food includes prep/waiting time as well as content, so it was the wok for me, even though that would result in picking out hot and cold peppers. There was a seat next to Purple, which I happily claimed. I grumbled about the housecleaning and apartment search some. I had a fantastic headache by that time. Purple told tales of one apartment he'd moved out of, where the place was going to be demolished after he left. The guys had told him he could "have fun", but he'd been too exhausted from moving to do anything entertaining like write on the wall in something that looked like human blood. Somehow this resulted in escalating jokes, with a live goat tethered (with food and water) in the middle of a salt pentagram ("Oh, I would have thought the sacrifice would have been accepted by now!"). Purple joked about using glitter in spells, and I started giggling. That made my head pound. "Oh god, I shouldn't be laughing," I said. Purple patted me on the back and allowed how he possibly shouldn't have been joking about that either. "No no, it's that I have a headache," I wheezed. Then I told him about a certain infamous writer of spellbooks who suggested glitter as a substitute for candles. Not to represent fire, but as a focus object. "So that's why you have a disco ball!" he declared. I mentioned that I might have possibly unnerved people in the past with the giant Christmas light pentagram on my ceiling in college. Heh.

The engineer had picked up the shipping ticket by the time I got back, and mentioned that my cube is certainly unique.

Lunch and lack of sleep and stress and dehydration seem to have been the headache, because post-lunch, caffeine, hydration, and giggles put me pretty much right.

Mid-afternoon, I looked out the window at just the right moment and saw two heads, one golden and one dark-with-a-bald-patch, walking past. It was clearly lb and Purple, going in the general direction of the milkshake bunker, walking fast. I had a quiet Moment -- a pang of left-out, and a swell of happiness that they were getting friend-time that they clearly needed to have. The happiness won, but not without a little bittersweet thread. But I don't have to be part of everything. In fact, I probably have more than my fair share of Purple's time. I can't begrudge another of his good friends some alone-time, in context of that.

Lennon Glasses Guy showed up for the speakers just as I was heading into my research meeting. I directed him where to find it: loon head, fridge, right next to the fridge. In the research meeting, Researcher Carmageddon picked my brain about things we'd like to know that I collected as a matter of course when they came up. They will come up with a list and cross-check. It is the time of year that Researcher Sweatervest has become chilly again, so he was wearing one of his namesake sweatervests. This one looked nicer, and new. Polka-Dot is out sick, and Haystack seems to be out of state due to a death in the family, but had called in.

In conference-driven development news, the Dreamwidth development activity makes me happy, and sometime when my hair is not trying to catch figurative fire I need to sit down and go through code tours looking for docs bugs.

Things in the helldesk software keep getting fixed from time to time. Apparently broken attachments had been un-broken. I cruised into the quiet room to assess the state of the stain, which was non-crusty, probably a drink spill. Then I went into my own building's relaxation room, took a picture of the sad little room with its foosball table, and emailed in a ticket suggesting that if an unloved but unbroken couch could be found in storage, this would make the room a little less sad -- both answering an actual need and testing the attachment situation, which seems indeed to have been remedied. (Trust, but verify.)

In clearing through my inbox, I paused and actually read one of the [off-topic] posts that I'd skimmed earlier in the day, and then paused again.

#cupcake
ajl: from [off-topic], regarding a cricket tournament: "We could always streak it from the laptop."
ajl: does some gentleman on [off-topic] feel like making a private reply including https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streaking ? I feel this is a disambiguation vs. "streaming" which should not come from a lady.
Upon which statement, several corners inquired whether "lady" really applied in this instance.

Purple had a programming situation which eventually turned out to be an unexpected NULL instead of the nice little object the program was expecting. Mommas, don't let your variables grow up to be un-initialized.

I wanted to get one last email finished before going home. It was quick, but Purple still arrived while I was wrapping up, and put out the Beacon and curled up on the nearby couch with his iPad for a few moments. "I should have waited for a reply instead of just coming over, huh," he smiled.

The parking lot saw terrible stories of dudes setting fire to their packages on video, plus other tales of fire and nether regions. (Hint: "I just got a new high-speed camera!" is not a good reason to light a fart. Sometimes, Purple's friends can pull dumbass stunts too.) We chatted through The Aristocrats, my lack of balance and the attendant jazzhands, and that time that I was the person doing the crazy religious ranting on the bus. I'm okay with informational embargo while a hole gets patched, but er. Ahem. Purple was understanding. My knees were not so understanding. His tire still has a nail in it. There was an owl, but only one this time. Perhaps it's in the owl-house, and not a cardboard box? Or perhaps it's in a redwood.

Purple got roped into doing a thing tomorrow and Thursday, so his lunch availability is low. My team probably gets custody of me, then, or maybe I shall join lb's table.

I chatted with Amber on the way home. Home included a relieving lack of paper stuffed in my doorframe.

Tomorrow will be another day. Thursday will be another inspection (announced Monday morning). Bluh.
azurelunatic: Seated baby in incubator shell with electrodes.  (Cyteen)
13:49 Saturday, 17 January, 2015
Today I woke up, decided to have a nice lie-in, and lolled about in bed for a bit. Pelvic floor exercises may have been involved. So then I rolled over to get out of bed and felt that peculiar sensation and ran *very carefully* to the bathroom, to find that one of the epic, epic blood clots had fallen out into my underwear. If I had "nice" underwear anymore, it would have been stained into ruin. As it is, it's merely stained, and it's been rinsed so the blood will drip out of it and won't cause a scene no matter how late I am with the laundry.

22:46 Sunday, 18 January, 2015
The thing about starting a tale "There are way too many $NAMEs in my life, so I label them; this was Shrimpy $NAME..." is that when you are done with the tale, the other guys at the lunch table are looking at you bright-eyed, and then ask, "So which one..." and nudge a shoulder in the direction of the engineer who has brought you to this lunch table. Because clearly they have a grasp of the important issues.

"Purple," you answer.

"That's not so bad," they murmur.

Purple provides further color commentary, and the guys nod understandingly.

00:01 Wednesday, 21 January, 2015
My weekend was sort of a mess. The theme turned out to be "flooding". There were the events of Friday, of course. Then there was Saturday night.

Saturday night was going to be the night where I stayed in and watched the code push roll and kept on top of the comments. Then, about 5 minutes before push time, came a conversation shaped approximately* like:

Tif: Azz, what's your weekend like?
Azz: uh, sleep? maybe?
Tif: could I get a ride to Home Depot for a wet/dry vac tomorrow if I order it tonight?
Azz: sure?
Tif: OH THANK FUCK YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT MY WASHING MACHINE JUST DID ALL OVER MY KITCHEN FLOOR AND IT'S SPREADING TO THE LIVING ROOM
Azz: Hold that thought, let me see if my shopvac swings both ways.
Azz: So, guess what! Also, I'm bringing the steam cleaner. Have pants on; I ride at midnight.

* actually it was 12:30-ish, by the time I left

So that happened. Which was why by the time it was all over, we swung by a diner for much needed breakfast lunch dinner breakfast, and then I didn't get to sleep until 9:30am because Costco gas was almost open by the time I passed that way, and then I was a little hyped up, and ... yeah.

So my sleep schedule was a little discombobulated all weekend, culminating in going to bed around 8pm on Monday, waking up at 11, only realizing it was because I was hungry at 12:30 ... and nothing in the kitchen looked like food. So it took a while to get back to sleep after that, and then I was up and out the door and actually to work before my first alarm went off. It was just as well, because there was a conference meeting, early-ish.

The thing about PCOS is that you find yourself accepting situations like "and then I bled through my second overnight pad of the day in under 4 hours" in stride, and people like Madam Standards are looking at you aghast and saying things like "And why didn't you get me to drive you to the hospital!??!" because apparently for the more typical uterus, this is a bloody nightmare.

Party committee kickoff went all right, if sparsely attended. I had a few words of caution: yes, by all means, improve on last year, but don't get into a game of one-upmanship with last year.

At lunch, I keep being The One With The Internet. So I showed the guys what Purple meant by "caber toss". The Rollercoaster Tycoon hung around to chat with Purple and me as the other guys wandered off. He's a very energetic fellow, and we'll miss him.

On the way out from lunch, I explained to Purple that flooding had been the theme of the weekend. "And there was Friday, of course," I said.

"Refresh my memory? One or two words?" he asked.

I could have been deeply obnoxious, but instead of the verboten #bloodcannon, I chose the tame but evocative "Menstruation."

Rollercoaster Tycoon, who sits in the same building as Purple and hadn't yet entirely split off from our little group, would have done a spittake had he been drinking anything.

I feel a little overwhelmed by the number of demands on my troubleshooty nature. There are three distinct things at work. Researcher Haystack is Shocked and Appalled by some of the shenanigans of some on-premise-hosted software the team is considering, but compared to *cough* the current thing, he nearly fell out of his chair when the external vendor's thing turns out to be night and day better than the homebrew thing with the wack UI actually is.

It could have been a milkshake day, but the meeting overlapped that.

The former intern who is leaving so unexpectedly soon (announced today, last week is this week) is doing so because his wife is going back to Korea to accept a much-hoped-for university teaching position. Which, if you're doing that, that is an entirely legit reason! The ladies (the Dogesitter, the visual designer who shares the office with the very buff guy, and Designer Sparkles) were talking about how sharing offices tends to mean that someone leaves. I noticed that Sparkles phrased it as "and [Overlady] kicked her officemate out" even though, in the most technical sense, Haystack is the one who has remained with the company and on the team. (Exceptions include, of course, the Stage Manager and Non-Boring Manager, who have been roommates forever, Madam Standards and the Norseman, and the lady with the tiny dustmop dogs and the Hawaiian Shirt Dev. The Monkey House used to have three, and now it has two because the guy from Bulgaria chose the peace and quiet of a cube, so now it's just the two skinny blond bearded white guys who are fortunately different heights so I can tell them apart reliably. Not to mention all the people off in other buildings.)

Some of the recruiters were making the rounds, hoping to see some of the more unusual things people have done with cubes. It was "our guy" (someone the others recognized but I didn't), who was giving the tour to someone from Cambridge and someone from Home Office, Arizona. I shared espresso beans. I don't have much out of the ordinary wall-wise, but the interior is an entirely different matter. Most people's cubes do not contain a large metal rooster, a disco ball, a very tiny mini fridge, or a couch. To say nothing of the loon hat.

The evening saw me rapidly getting cranky to where Everything was Terrible, more so than Friday night, as I told Purple. Friday night had been hilarious, if horrifying. This was tedious and I was cranky. Unfortunately, this was not the helpful sort of cranky that lets me successfully explain why the suggested fix is insufficient. Sometimes you ride the flux, sometimes the flux rides you. Declining to explain Emory, I instead found a snack, and that made many things better.

My friend's department has discovered that the helldesk software generates flowcharts. They are really, really, really inexplicable things, and a source of wonder and terror all at once.

Some of the helldesk software tickets are reaching revolving-door level epic status. The Stage Manager and I are both generally of the opinion that until the fix is live, we stay on an open ticket about the issue. To make matters even better, the helldesk software is now issuing duplicate notifications about each change, one for each type of tracking number. (There are two now, thanks to the hilarious way they stuffed the implementation in sideways at the beginning in an attempt to not scare the horses. Things done to "not scare the horses" tend to be ... less good ... if the 'horses' are in fact Companions...)

It was, however, time to go home. I poked Purple and he came to collect me. His hair was freshly washed, and formed spirals that shone silkily in the lights of the parking lot. The top of his head was fluffy. Because both of our brains went there, I told him that no, he was not a pink fluffy unicorn. "You're a Purple fluffy unicorn!" I told him.

It turns out that "purple unicorn" is now on the List of Unfortunate Phrases. "One-eyed purple unicorn" is worse, and "one-eyed weeping purple unicorn" is just right out. From there it was a quick step to Weeping Angels. (Steph declares that Weeping Angels, like loon units, do not belong in the pants.)

#dammitpurple is not a regular hashtag in my things. #AzureLsInTrouble is, but that's a slightly different thing.

Fetched dinner, and about a zillion tubs of cold soup for when nothing else is food. Did laundry. Reloaded laundry card. Checked mail. It was a good mail day, all told:
* spam
* W-2
* utility statement
* two free drink cards from Starbucks because their survey sucked
* my 2015 sticker from the DMV

So that's my tomorrow morning before work sorted then! An alcohol wipe, a sticker, and a coffee. I can live with that.
azurelunatic: "This problem is too complex to be resolved without a cup of tea."  (tea)
06:13 Saturday, 10 January, 2015
Further in the department of eerie similarities, Purple and I have stomachs with similar opinions about the thought of a too-early breakfast in most cases. Though I have harder limits on the other end -- if I wait more than three hours, I'm likely to also be in trouble.

00:44 Tuesday, 13 January, 2015
Things I have done: renewed my car's registration, done my smog.
Things which have not yet happened: got the stickers.
Things which have happened: got pulled over to check that everything was in order because I didn't have my stickers on yet.

My heart rate is mostly normal again (this is the third-and-a-half time I have been pulled over in ~19 years of driving; the first was a headlight out in Alaska, the second was for a FasTrak and Arizona plates, the half was accidentally getting between the cop car and the person they were actually pulling over which took *talent* let me tell you!) and now this. So I do not have experience with this. Even though I am demographically very safe as far as encounters with police go, it gives me the shakes. So the cute young white nerd-boy fencer type cop making small talk while he ran my license and confirmed that yes, I had in fact re-upped all the things and just didn't have my stickers yet, was really surreal.

My laundry will be out of the dryer in a little bit. By then I may be ready to go to bed.

So Friday had a beer bash, at which I actually didn't feel like even any of the sangria. I had a great time chatting with lb and radius and Mr. Netflix; Mr. Zune joined the table as well, with his amazingly fluorescent yellow sweatshirt with the reflective stripes. He'd said it was amazingly bright; the lint it gave off said it was amazingly bright; the lint made it look greener than it actually was. By comparison, the tie-dye orange and white shirt that radius was wearing? So very, very, very tame. Mr. Wizard Beard passed by and said hi.

"We were talking about you this morning," he said. "[Somebody] was telling me how you were yelling at [vendor], and I was like, 'That is the $NAME we know and love, that sounds like something she would do!'"

"... Except it wasn't me," I said.

So there are two $NAMEs at work who berate misbehaving vendors for great justice.


Purple had sat down with various people from his team, at the next table over. I shifted my attention back and forth, but mostly stuck with my table. After a while, Purple came over, snagging the chair that Mr. Zune had abandoned. Other people scattered as well. In the end, it was lb, Purple, and me.

I was introduced to "Fine Art", or, "Data's painting is making me dizzy." It is very much a thing that has Come From The Internet.


We contemplated going over to the fire pit. People were there. We contemplated (without going over there) the sorts of conversation which would possibly cause co-workers to scatter. "A nice coconut glaze" was involved, and phrases which might make Jonathan Swift spray coffee.

As we got up to head in various directions, one of the lights illuminating a tree shone in people's eyes, between Purple's legs. "I'm Old Gregg!" he proclaimed.

Old Gregg, from The Almighty Boosh, had been mentioned in my presence before. I then hunted down and watched the episode when I got home. I do not believe that I would recommend it to 100% of my readers.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0647529/
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz1pqk_the-legend-of-old-gregg_fun

This thing is nearly 10 years old now. Some parts of the episode are hilarious and I would recommend them to anybody; the thing where Vince the fishing neophyte is in the boat is particularly nice. Some are ... things that I would issue warnings about.

Discussion of the thing; involves gender, anatomy, and 2005-era clowning with same as super unfunny and harmful stereotypes. )

So ... that's a thing I saw, all right.


Saturday, I went on a shopping run with Tif. There were some bridge shenanigans, so I decided to go the long way. We did some errands in Mountain View, then went across the bay for dinner and kitty litter. Cat videos led to owl videos, which resulted in a discussion of owl cafes and how easy it is to accidentally domesticate wild owls (very; they're smart birds of prey who like to know where their next meal is coming from). Since we were on the approach to the exit I take for work (en route to coffee), that reminded me of the discussion I'd had with Purple about owls living in cardboard boxes. "So there are jobs for them if they can't work in the forest anymore," I said, and followed it up with deeper absurdity. "They can go to work in a cafe instead of being in the unemployment line."

It is good to have a cane to retrieve bags of kitty litter from the back of the deep deep shelf. I pulled another one forward for the next person, as I might as well not make them summon a minion to climb up there and get it when I had the means of retrieval directly to hand.

I am plotting a Valentine's Day hat. It has the potential to be magnificent or terrible.

We did get to see Dorothy, our favorite cashier, on our way out the door. She looked more shrunken and tired than I remember her. :(

Into the Woods' earworm duration is about a week for Tif as well. She'd managed to compound it by singing "Into the lift to leave the mall to go to dinner!" on the way out with a whole crowd of lolita-gowned ladies and one bemused guy in a suit.

Sunday I finished Ancillary Justice, which I'd started a week ago but put down when I felt poorly and started to hurt unbearably. Last week, I'd been having trouble engaging, and felt it was slow going. I also was having trouble regulating my body temperature and other unpleasant details. This week was much better, and between one thing and the other, I had to stay up until I had finished it. I must now get my hands on the next book and also start reading all the various meta which I have been carefully avoiding.

Some spoilers, I think. )

In terms of fannish expression, I was suddenly taken with a desire to make for myself a set of small jeweled pins to represent current and past major people, places, and events in my life. I feel like icon sets represent the same sort of thing for the LJ/DW people I know, and I am super curious what sorts of pins other people would have. I wouldn't mind seeing that spread around the fandom, with or without concept art. It may help that I was decanting a whole long bunch of buttons which no longer fit my Purple Hat into a drawer that night...

Today (Monday) I joined work with Lunch already in progress. There was some giggling. Later, I did some dredging through terrible ticketage, and came up with the yelly-faced conclusion that it's not just *any* tickets we're unexpectedly locked out of, but facilities tickets, which is just a motherfucker of a situation. In IRC, I used phrasing such as "clogged all the urinals with jolly ranchers" to illustrate the sort of situation that other people in the building would legitimately need to know about, but toned it down for the ticket.

Eventually it came almost four, and that saw both Mr. Zune and me in search of ice cream. We chatted by the fire pit. The Angry Tattooed Man came by, and was introduced to Mr. Zune. It may have been Thursday that he'd recommended http://www.yelp.com/biz/rabbits-foot-meadery-sunnyvale-3 to me. I need to do another compilation of Things Azz Should Not Do At Work, as those are often amusing.

After more whacking my face against my email and the thingy, it came time to go home. I was nearly actually all packed up by the time Purple came over. (I had also figured out a thing to do with shelves, and the loon head was proudly displayed.) We chatted in the parking lot. My knees started to get mad, so we walked all the way down to Vash, and chatted some more. Ducks are terrible parents. Our geese, for all the evil inherent in the species, were good parents, and Friendly was friendly and Tou-Tou was loyal.

I explained some context around how much Thursday's casual treatment of the speech-crash-with-napkin-conversation had meant to me, including some terrible generalities about Shawn as a conversationalist. And yet, Shawn is the terrible ex I'm still willing to speak to. I explained the time BJ and Darkside met, and BJ's takeaway from the encounter. (Darkside is a half-inch taller than I am, and at the time I believe he might have been pushing 120 when soaking wet. Scrawny little geekboy. BJ tops six foot, and has a good 30+ pounds on Darkside. Somehow, BJ left with the impression of a guy who towered over him by at least an inch, and who could absolutely take him.)

It's the terrible exes who get the wacky stories. I gave a brief tour through some of my excellent to not-so-bad exes (and the two reading this? Excellent.)

I got to the takeaway place 10 minutes before official closing, but after they'd turned off the lights (it was, after all, a slow Monday night). I got a bit extra for my troubles, though the selection was what it was. They seemed mildly pleased to have an extra sale and that much less waste.

So it was even later by the time I drove home, and we know how that went. I did check the mailbox on my way up from the laundry. No stickers yet.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
21:05 Saturday, 03 January, 2015
Got car oiled & smogged.

Napped.

Called Darkside. We have both now seen the Into the Woods movie. We spent quite some time thinking up hilarious stunt casting. The best one was Nathan Fillion and John Barrowman as Princes.

I've been reading through my 2014 entries, and will eventually post some sort of wrap-up.

01:43 Tuesday, 06 January, 2015
Sunday night/Monday morning early was kind of dreadful. Read more... )

I felt a bit lagged at work, but nonetheless got some things done. I went to lunch a bit later than usual, because Purple was logged out on IM and hadn't emailed back when I pinged him for lunch. He was at the table with the guys when I came in (having looked up from work to realize that it was time to wander over regardless); he found the text he'd tried to send me in his outbox, having not sent.

Turns out he'd come in to find that his computer's hard drive had died. So off he went to find one of the desktop techs...

When I headed back in, I saw the Lizard Prince (who is still a helpdesk tech off in Executive Land, which is now up on the hill instead of one building over) waiting for the shuttle, and headed out to chat with a handful of candy. It turns out that building-helpdesk is at 50% or worse between vacation and sick leave (and sick kids and hurt pets and breaking the *other* leg tripping over the dog, and so forth). Which would prove to inform a lot of Purple's day...

Conference planning is proceeding what I can only conclude is apace. The Commandant has unlocked the committee email address (fucking helldesk tool is involved) and there is a committee starting to gather/be voluntold.

lb snagged me for a milkshake run, having missed Purple (in what would prove to be a Saga later) and we talked various things, including shop. The Godwin-denying fellow went to a meeting which involved various people including the current buck-holder, and got an update which he variously flakily relayed. I have also been hearing things which I used to corroborate that tale in slightly more coherent ways.

The one dude got his sawed-off pool noodle and his phone fixed, yay!

Fishie slipped on some ice and tweaked both knees; she's feeling much better now but is under fishmum's instructions to continue taking it easy. Her winter break job seems to involve a decent amount of Being A Warm Body. After the first day, she is sort of wondering How Grown-Ups Even Live. She has also been learning to shop for groceries to feed herself, how to estimate what she'll need in the way of groceries, and many other prime Adulting skills.

Purple may have managed to forget his badge at home today, so I let him in and then gathered up my stuff.

He had a sort of terrible computer day, with one thirty-minute fix chaining into the next, with bonus time searching for an actual helpdesk person in the office and on duty. First, his hard drive died. Then, the power supply. And the fan's rubber shock mounts had basically crumbled away into nothing, so it was rattling about terribly, and had to be replaced. And one would think that helpdesk has the tools for various jobs, but in point of fact the screwdriver was not the right shape... I offered a pointer towards my own toolbox, and next time he'll know where to look. Helpdesk did get one from Facilities or something, however.

Since it had been a while, we did spend some time out in the parking lot chatting. That is always nice, even if this time it was a bit chilly.

This weekend I gave radius my contact info, and let him know that occasionally there were #cupcake-and-friends dinner events. He gave me his personal email domain, and instructions to be creative (it's got a catchall address). I appreciated his endeavor, and figured that "vuvuzelalullabye" was a reasonable starting point as a response.

Purple and the Other Guy were plotting maybe something this week for a #cupcake-and-friends outing. (The Other Guy is "and friends" often enough, as he Does Not IRC.)

There was that time that the Army was trying to recruit my sister. Tay had just been talking about her desired career plans, so when I picked up the phone and it was a recruiter, I had some answers. "No, she's a pacifist."
Recruiter: "We have plenty of jobs that don't involve killing people! What does she want to do?"
Azzlet: "She wants to be an itenerant minstrel."
Recruiter: "We ... have a band?"
Azzlet: "No, thank you." *click*

Purple's dad once managed to get himself into some trouble that it took some doing to get out of: during the height of the McCarthyist red scare, you don't go on a rant about how the US Army is the closest thing to proper Communism that the US has, when the Army asks you if you happen to know any Communists. (The Army was not super amused.)

I began to lose my balance somewhere into the second hour of chatting, and Purple very kindly escorted me over to my own car. It wasn't that I was exactly losing my balance in that I was falling over and needed to be propped up, it was that the direction of "up" had begun to be a bit ambiguous, and Purple was a helpful guide in the proper direction.

Once home, I had a few things left to do. I fired up the tv, and re-prioritized my tivo queue a little. Agent Carter. No more HIMYM. That's a lot of Mythbusters repeats. Etc. Since it was also mentioned, I decided to see whether Galavant was something I wanted to see more of.

In which I explain to sithjawa my feelings )

So yes, I think I shall see more of this.

It was laundry night.

I also got a facelaser, upon recommendation from a friend. (I have pale skin and dark hair. This makes me an excellent candidate for laser hair removal.) We shall see how effective it is on me. So far, I have tried on the lowest setting. I have also decided that the recommended numbing cream is possibly a more unpleasant sensation than the zapping.

Gender-feels. )

Status

24/10/13 17:31
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Car: retrieved, operational.
Self: exhausted, naptime.
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
When you make the comparison "X is like Y at Microsoft", the folks who did Y at Microsoft may not be amused.

My Overlady's officemate's double take at the end of my digression about [livejournal.com profile] onyxrising's housemate and the squid eyes was epic.

Car pick up tomorrow morning.
azurelunatic: Vuvuzela emitting sound waves in a black and yellow road sign style icon (noise)
Car is still in shop for Replacement 3 of the offending parts; this time they're using OEM parts, and the second part has yet to arrive as of 3:30-ish today. So bus again. At least the BART strike is over (for now) so the SamTrans stops are not fucked like they were during the strike. (For whatever reason, the SamTrans stops that were inside BART grounds rather than adjacent were moved to be adjacent, causing general chaos and confusion and also me standing around sockless in the cold fog for an hour last night.)

We've figured out how to shave a little time off the commute. By catching the other bus instead of the one bus, we can catch the long haul a good twenty minutes into its haul, instead of at the beginning. By repeating the process in the other direction, we can ditch an hour due to the flaky connection with the late-running bus. But beware, as the earliest departure time from work is just about the right amount of time to catch the last of that bus. (However, if we've missed it entirely, we can continue to the end of the line and get the late bus. Which is hourly. And a long wait.)

Tomorrow it happens again. Tomorrow there is also the chance that I get to meet some of the more interesting, if not affable, fellows from an adjacent department, due to scheduling hilarity. It's unlikely that I'll be gravely needed, but I'll be at work anyway. Robin Sparkles and I were chatting over lunch, and the topic came up; I got to tell the tale of my introduction to the guy that she thought I was talking about. I've honed the story, it's now down to: "And then I found out how poorly the following elements combined: [off-topic] list, the phrase "with all due respect", the phrase "bite me", and the reply-all feature."


The commute is made reasonable via podcasts, which I was going to describe to somebody but the comment is surely piled under several hundred others in my inbox now, and gods know when I'm going to dig out. So:

The Nerdist: Newly subscribed, yet to listen.
Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction: ditto
Today We Learned: ditto ditto
Nerdist Writers Panel: ditto ditto ditto


How I Met Your Mother: ditto again, and I'm really looking forward to a creator-side view.

KQED: This Week in Northern California: I'm not sure this is updating. I need a better local news type podcast. Also maybe some actual weather.

NPR Programs: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me: Mostly enjoyable with some cringeworthy moments.

NPR Programs: Fresh Air: I like that the format includes both long stories and little snippets. I'm not as charmed by the way the weekend one repeats stuff I've already heard, but that can sometimes get weeded out.

NPR Topics: World Story of the Day: Informative. Short, and can be used as buffer between long-format.

MSNBC Rachel Maddow: Yay Rachel Maddow! Politics news that doesn't make me want to get stabby (well, not at Rachel, and someone else saying WHAT THE FUCK NO I MEAN WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE makes me less stabby in general).

Fandomania: Fannish type stuff. Updates weekly. Decent but I'm not super enthused.

SF Squeecast: Seanan's on it and it's awesome. Various speculative fiction type writers talking about generally fannish related things that delight them, with bonus witty banter, hilarity, and occasionally cat-related incidents like Alice trying to eat Seanan's microphone.

Slashreport: Podcast of my heart. This is the podcast that convinced me that maybe I should listen to podcasts, and then it reminded me that hey, I grew up with radio, maybe audio format was a good thing for me.

Welcome to Night Vale: Speculative fiction radio show of my heart. Clicks hard with a lot of people; doesn't click hard with some. I'm one of the ones for whom it clicked. Hard. And I fell in love instantly.

The Hidden Almanac: So [livejournal.com profile] ursulav heard descriptions of Night Vale, and got a particular mental image of how it was. Then she listened and it wasn't. Now her husband narrates The Hidden Almanac. You know those updates from [livejournal.com profile] ursulav's garden? Now imagine that as filtered through the same blotter paper that Night Vale was licked off of, in compact 4-minute segments. (The updates about the historical points and especially the lives of saints requires no filtration, they just are that weird.) Includes amazing messages from the sponsors, which need listening to from the beginning. There are only sixteen episodes. That's just over an hour of listening. Start now, they're small.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
There are clothes.
There is pizza in the refrigerator.
Bags are packed.
Don't forget iPod and headphones, or the bus fare in the little floral change purse.

A shopping run after work would be a shopping run that will then ride the bus. This is not recommended.

(So, the car situation? They're going for OEM parts now; the parts are expected to arrive Sometime Monday; due to the logistical stresses of attempting to get back to the mechanic before they close at 6pm, plus the way the driveway's getting resurfaced, I'll just pick 'im up Tuesday, assuming they're finished by then.)
azurelunatic: aerial view of freeways.  (freeway)
So on my way back from work when I was changing lanes at highway speed, he lurched a bit.

Then when I was speeding back up from like 40 after "the cone zone", he lurched again.

And when I was contending with a hill on Skyline, he didn't wanna change gears going up hill and expressed this through interpretive dance, or shuddering and refusing to accelerate past that point.

I had a few things to say about that. (Link contains tumblr non-autoplay audio, with a great volume but small variety of barracks-language.)

BACK TO THE MECHANICS.
Tags:

YAY CAR

17/10/13 02:22
azurelunatic: aerial view of freeways.  (freeway)
Got woken up by the call about my car being done. Acknowledged. Went back to (what must have been much-needed) sleep.

Picked up car. He'd had some of these symptoms before (less pointedly) and it had been a few things. They replaced those parts then. They replaced those parts again, at no cost to me under warranty, and that started him behaving again. Since the dude said that a stretched timing belt could in fact cause those parts to go bad, I went for the timing belt replacement. And they got it under my budget too, which was such a relief. "Now you can eat this month," dude said as I checked out, and not that far off the mark too, hah. I have a little container of chocolate covered espresso beans for them. I should drop it by tomorrow.

He still rumbles at me some when I leave him stopped in gear, but he's always done that, and this is not -- not the same as the bad. I see it like a waveform in my head: usually it is round and a little lumpy, sometimes square, but never outside of the borders. When it goes outside of the borders it is bad. Not too high, not too low.

There's a fuel system leak detection pump that needs replacing; I'll see when I can get that done. More urgently, tires and whatever's up with that power steering fluid. Strong arms will only take you so far, and I have hella commute, which is wearing on the tires.

Refueled. A random older man hailed me as he got out when I was getting back in the car, that he liked my bumper stickers. The stickers on my actual bumper are a rainbow Pride strip and a little bisexual flag square.


This all is such a relief. I told my manager in Tuesday's 1:1 that I was about up to my nose-bridge in work, but having my car back operational would get me below my chin again, maybe even down to my collarbone.
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Car is still in the shop. Parts that were bad last time he was lurching and coughing are again. They replaced those under warranty at no cost to me.

That being done, I inquired after the timing belt. I got a quote. I looked at my accounts and swore just a little bit. I called back and confirmed I wanted the belt and water pump done now.

Hope to pick him up tomorrow (later today).


Taking transit to work has me hitting 1.5 of my current step goal, if not more. Part of it is being shaken around vigorously inside the bus. Part is not. Holding on is not a small amount of work. I like admiring my cane muscles. When I have to sit sideways, I hold on to the rail and I move with the bus, and my weak arm, even my weak left arm, feels titanium light.
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Vash is now doing everything that I said he was doing for the mechanics. They'll get to him Monday.
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
OUR STORY SO FAR: Vash's engine has never been perfectly smooth, but he has better and worse days. I am attuned to the sound and feel of this. After the family reunion trip, he started running worse in a way that I was reluctant to venture far afield with; I turned around on Monday because I didn't trust him 30 miles to work, hoping that an oil change would do him some good.

The oil change did him enough good that I was willing to take him to work Thursday, even though the mechanics were unable to duplicate the problematic behavior. Thursday evening he failed to start after work. I returned home on the bus, alternately cursing and praying that a jumpstart would either fix all that was wrong or at least get him back to the mechanics without a truly painful towing fee. (I didn't remember about my chintzy towing plan until much later.)

A jumpstart got him going, reluctantly. 1.3v is not a good voltage for a car battery to be carrying. I got him to my mechanic's at roughly fifteen miles per hour, mostly flat, flat-out terrified until I stopped being terrified and started being awesome instead. )
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azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
  • Thu, 14:42: Uncle Davy wanted to carve "For a good time, call" in my dad's outhouse. I suggested the UAF atomic clock number.
  • Thu, 18:25: FUCK ON A TRUCK CAR WON'T START BUS TIME
  • Thu, 18:27: Transit estimate puts me home after 10 with 1 bus to spare
  • Thu, 18:30: Anybody who feels like researching palo alto mechanics feel free
  • Thu, 18:35: Possibly battery, no time to summon security.
  • Thu, 18:36: Security can do jump starts.
  • Thu, 19:45: RT @courtneytrouble: Get Fisting Day T Shirts, Stickers, and Greeting Cards! http://t.co/MgC0aHRkMh designed by NOMY LAMM you guys!!!
  • Thu, 21:15: Alas waiting again for bus.
  • Thu, 23:23: Safely home. Tired. Fantastically cranky in potentia.
  • Fri, 00:17: Invisible corn. Carlos knee-deep in invisible polenta, wearing his second-best "what even is my life" face; Cecil narrates. @infamousfiddler
Read more... )
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
a whole lot of worry )
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azurelunatic: aerial view of freeways.  (freeway)
I dropped my car off at the mechanic last night. I got the call this afternoon -- the oil change was done, but the tech had yet again failed to make him make that sound. So I asked them to do the local shuttle service thing that they do, and took the tech around the parking lot a few times, then around the block. Nothin'. The closest it came was a steering column thunk when turned to the max (not it; I didn't even register it) and one tiny little scraping noise that I more felt than heard, and the mechanic didn't hear or feel at all.

I promised to bring him in while he was actively making the noise and do a test run right then, and started to fuck off to work, via the drive-through.

The drive through is in a stupid parking lot with stupidly placed humps and bumps. I went over one on the passenger side but not the driver side, and on the next major steering adjustment after that -- THERE WAS THE FUCKING SOUND.

I drove back to the mechanic with triumph (and french fries), but naturally all the techs were slammed. So I fucked off to work, complaining to [personal profile] norabombay the whole way.

The mechanics and I are on for Saturday morning, assuming trollcar is still trollin'.


Unrelated to that, my digestive system was (being) revolting, and I had no idea why. This evening? HELLO MENSTRUAL CYCLE. So that explains that.


Also unrelated, but much nicer: I took the chance of calling my BFF this evening at what would have previously been too late on a different schedule of his, and we had a pleasant hour or so of chatter while he attempted to navigate the ins and outs of baby's first MMO. (Aww.)

I often go to him for sensibility checks on things. This time I asked him how he'd make sure people stayed off the pavement while it was being resurfaced. He mentioned barriers and signs. He didn't think a date/time would be a good idea, because what if something happened that it took longer than the estimate to cure/dry/whatever? Smart man. Smart, smart man. I love him for his braaaaaains. The lolarious wrongness of scheduling things such that the entire apartment complex had to park on the street at the same time didn't hardly come up.


Tomorrow morning is work! Early! I am again the official notetaker. Hilarity will ensue.
azurelunatic: DW: my eloquence cannot be captured in 140 chars (twitter)
In the last 24 hours, I posted the following to Twitter:


Follow me on Twitter.
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Too many of my journal entries start with something akin to "I recently had an experience that I just had to tell you about," but it is none the less true for its repetition.

Tuesday evening, coming home from work, I had a near-death experience. I was on 35 heading for my particular preferred exit into Pacifica, as that is how I roll, and I was both sick and tired, and thus my attention was suffering. There was also a hill that crested just behind me. There was also a driver in a pickup truck, who I assessed in the aftermath to have been going about 80, who I did not see at all. I did, however, see the yellow light, see my distance from the yellow light, see the heavy traffic, and made the executive decision that Vash and I were stopping for this yellow though his brakes might complain, because no good could come of running the yellow and potentially part of the red. So I stopped. And he bitched at me. And from behind came this *noise*, and I only registered it as wild honking when the driver careened around me and Vash, going about 80. Clearly he had not reckoned on me actually heeding the traffic light.

My immediate reaction, of course, is to caress Vash's steering wheel as I sit shaking at the red light, telling him what a good baby he is, and how I am going to get him that goddamned oil change I'd been promising him the very next day, before work. (I'd had a strong presentiment to avoid that route home and maybe take him to the place I got his oil changed the last time on my way home, but I was figuring maybe I could wait until Saturday and do it somewhere less expensive and closer.) Also he needed his blinker looked at, and probably his brakes, and in any case, morning and a full service auto place.

Morning, albeit a groggy and cranky morning, saw me at the full service auto place on the one corner, laptop in tow so I could catch up on email and Twitter and stupid Facebook clicky-games, hoping they could squeeze me in for an oil change, get his brakes looked at, and get his rear turn signal replaced. The fellow warned me it might be a while, but I figured I'd sit myself down and have a bit of a wait; I had books besides.

I emailed my team at work to let them know I'd most likely be in after lunch. By one, I was nervously emailing my manager to ask at what point I should throw in the towel assuming a 30-40 minute commute. (She emailed back shortly after that letting me know that all was well, and I was doing fine right where I was using my little laptop as a portable office in the car shop, because I was able to resolve a few things for her from email right then and there.)

It was four before I got out of the auto shop, with two new rear brake cylinders, as the old ones had been leaking fluid and I could have lost brake fluid pressure at any point. And furthermore, there was steel sticking out of a tire. Hoooly shit. (There was some entertaining byplay with the light -- they'd replaced the rear brake light, not the rear blinker. Oi. But that got straightened up right smart.) I went very delicately and slowly home on the back roads, via the pizza place right next door, and immediately I got in, put the pizza on, and got petted by Momma Rah a bit, I called up the auto shop. "Hi, this is $NAME, I was in the shop today, and I'd like to make an appointment for Saturday," I said. "Yep." "What time you got?" "Great! See you then!" (Any paraphrasing in this conversation is at the "yes", "yeah" or "uh-huh" instead of "yep" level, rather than any more substantial differences.)

Clearly driving at 65mph for 40 miles on a tire with exposed steel was not a life choice that the Fishmum should be modeling, both for role model as well as health and safety reasons. Thus it was determined that I should give Caltrain a try as a means of getting to work. I reasoned that since the later trains had an unbelievably shitty bus connection to the workplace, that I would go for as early as I thought I could, and perhaps I could even practice my espresso-making wiles for my poor beleaguered Overlady, in the throes of Potential Intern Screening. (Work has fully automatic espresso machines in each one of its snack kitchens, at least in my building that I have seen. I have only used a home espresso machine before, of a different manufacturer.)

I stayed up inadvisedly late staring at various inexplicable transit combinations and attempting to figure out which would be the most felicitous. Going in at my usual time was in fact unlikely to actually get me there in shorter than more hours than I wanted to spend in transit, as most of the ways to get from Caltrain to near-ish work involved commuter routes that didn't exist closer to lunchtime. I wrote down times, and was able to then cobble together some ideas about the latest I could arrive, and suchlike. I determined that really, I needed to leave Pacifica as early as I could get up. I set my alarm for 5:45.

It was cruel, cruel timing that had me thinking mournfully of Davy Jones (and slightly resentfully at the daydream believer, who had a whole extra 15 minutes of sleep). I dragged myself out in time for the 7am bus (and as it started to drizzle, my thoughts turned to Darkside, taunting me about my affection for the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher by mockingly singing "Don't Stand So Close To Me"). I poured more money into my Clipper card (the tube that used to hold scented bath product holds dimes and nickles very securely; the mini M&Ms tube holds quarters nicely but not securely) and by the time I hit Caltrain, I realized that I would be on the last run of the commuter bus I was planning to take. The train was delayed by a signal indicating that another train was on the tracks. I amusedly tweeted the conductor's humorous comment, and found myself retweeted by the Caltrain Diaries.

Delightfully, a friend was on my same train, and we said hello as we got off. I looked around for the bus stop, and only managed to locate it by the taillights of the departing last commuter bus. I settled in to wait, determined that, well, this time I was going to find out about some of the other options, and wasn't it lucky that I had time to spare.

The route of the other bus was weird and I did not recognize any of the landmarks. Unfortunately my grasp on local geography was still tentative, and the route maps did not give enough context to be helpful, and Google maps were... similarly unenlightening, as their suggestions were unfortunate and unrealistic. Thus it was that I wound up at the other end of the line of that particular local route, and had to get back on going the other way.

The driver told me once we had hit the one street, and it was a bit of a hike. I duly hiked, and then discovered (to my vague annoyance, but not surprise) that she had had me get off on the first street of the crossroads that I mentioned, and naturally around the corner on the other street of the crossroads and much closer to my destination, was another bus stop on that very line. Next time I will know.

After that auspicious beginning, the workday proceeded with very little fuss. I tangled with the espresso machine, and managed to catch most of a rather emaciated trickle of espresso coming out both horns of the double-shot thingamajig in an awkwardly tilted paper cup. A once-mentioned joke from the beginning of time came to pass (one of those "wouldn't it be hilarious if" things), and there was some brief amusement. There was a can't-miss-this company meeting that I'd missed (technically), but it's understood that not everybody can make it at the appointed time, and thus watching the video after the fact is a valid life choice. I had that on while I separated bits of post-it with sensitive information from the underlying paper scroll, and managed to defeat the rest of the box of scrolls on my desk while I was watching it. Heartened, I faced off against the espresso machine once more, and managed to flood the counter while steaming some milk (it was perfect) and had a caffè latte.

The battery on Fruitz (my bitty once-laundered iPod shuffle) ran out just as I was getting off BART on the final leg of my journey. Then my Clipper card did not open the accessible gate, and by the time the nice guy determined that it was the gate and not my card, and the gate needed rebooting, the once-hourly bus was just pulling away. And then in the cold wind I discovered that I had made a deep error.

Anthologies are fun. They're a little sampling of what's often some pretty excellent stuff. I had one that I'd been saving for no particular reason; I'd liked the writing of the person organizing it. I like humor, and I like vampire stories, and I was delighted at the combination. Other non-vampire horror, well, as long as it was funny, right?

One of the first five stories in the book was the opposite of funny. Now, tastes differ, and I am sure that I know at least two people, and people who I like and respect, who would find the story fascinating, if not hilarious. I am not either of those two people. The story started out bread-ovaries-lactation-squick (not even bread-eggs-milk-squick) and got worse from there, in ways that pinged my this-is-actually-a-problem way. Read more... ) I am still debating whether I should get rid of the book or slice the story out of it with a razor, because I don't want that on my shelf. I'm not buying another Kevin J. Anderson anthology again. If he thinks that story fits in a supernatural horror humor anthology, I don't want to read the collections he makes.

The sheer indignation kept me warmer in the cold wind, and I did eventually get home, on the next bus. I spent more time in, on, or waiting for various forms of transit than I did at work, and I was gone more than twelve hours.

I won't be needed tomorrow, so I'll be getting some sleep. I think. I hope.

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Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺

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