azurelunatic: Chickens saying "Cluck Cluck Your Mother's" (cluck)
Been a while since a proper update! This is not quite a proper update, but at least it's substantial?

"I found whistles, maracas, 5 hour energy, coffee mugs, headphones, and a cellphone charger, but I did not find the other webcam."

Faceblindness! It's fun for the whole family! I'm not sure if I've properly told the "some woman" story about my faceblindness on DW as yet, but it's become my go-to story for "no, really, Rev. Lunatic is faceblind" though to be fair, Mama says that it took seeing Tay walk (well, bounce) in the airport to recognize her, since she's changed a lot.

However, in compensation, I have a small non-face-related superpower. I had a really fun encounter in the past year-ish where lb showed me some photos from his mid-90s college crew, and I was able to identify lb in a group photo where lb himself wasn't quite sure which of two people he was. This was based on my knowledge of how lb stands, and another photo which established what lb was wearing. Read more... )

I cannot perform this party trick with just anyone, but I can usually spot Purple in very large group shots if I know vaguely where he was in the crowd. Sometimes it's based on a sneaker. (Purple wears white sneakers that trend increasingly towards grey and ragged until he gets replacements. He also lounges ostentatiously, Kirklike/catlike. I find both somewhat endearing, but I would.)

One of my forms of comfortgoogling is chicken pictures. Current small pet peeve: when any old picture of a hen on a nest is used to illustrate "broody". Broody is a very specific state of chicken, generally characterized by unwillingness to get off the nest and hoard eggs, and sit there until the chicks hatch. Broodies are cranky, will cut you, have flattened themselves on the nests with wings slightly out away from their sides, have their necks pulled way down into their feathers and their tails raised so usually the tail-bump is higher than the head. They make a characteristic rhythmic "clook ... clook ... clook ..." noise (similar to the syllable of the rapid "buk-buk-buk" tidbitting noise but more spaced out, and more relaxed than any part of the "buk-buk-buk-buk-ba-DAWK-et!" alarm call which often follows egg-laying, fox sighting, bush rustling, or Disturbance in the Force). If you try to steal their eggs, they will growl/roar and also try and cut you.

Fishie is finishing up sophomore year at college. (OMG, how time flies.) She'll be 20 soon. She's majoring in computer science now, and doing things like acing the midterm where the median grade was ... not super great. The teacher for that class will be pleased to write her an academic recommendation, and says that she'll be able to do anything she puts her mind to. I am so proud of her. She works so hard, and she's getting so much better at picking her battles. She has been figuring out her summer activities: after finals, she goes to her internship Down South. After that she may wind up going to see her grandma, and after that, spending time with a friend in San Diego.

The concept of "like 5, 6 nice" has entered our dialogues because Fishie's Terrible Mom #yamappendix would make a big deal like "I AM BEING THE NICEST PERSON EVARRRR BECAUSE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH" when doing normal and expected things. So when Fishie encounters people who are being genuinely kind, she is equally floored by small kindnesses that don't inconvenience others, and big kindnesses which do inconvenience others. It's all pegged at like 10 nice for her, when someone with a scale that isn't at "Mommy is an abusive fuckwad Read more... )" might view it as maybe a 3,4 nice.

For those who don't dwell anywhere near Silly Valley and also aren't tapped in to the latest tech tat, "hoverboards" have been A Thing for a while. It used to be that there was just the one dude at work who rode one around, and he was proficient and discreet except for how he was going pretty fast and kind of gliding. Now, of course, many tech bros with more money than sense either have one of their own, or have access to one. Thus it was that one dude who I IRC with wound up in the ER one fine evening after doing a wipeout on his hoverboard while at work. In a subsequent all-hands at his company, there was a safety admonishment about unwise hoverboard usage.
Tech Bro 1: "haha bet I know what happened."
Tech Bro 2: "hahah yeah I heard about that."
Tech Bro 1: "sucks that K had to go to the ER tho."
Tech Bro 2: "wait, K had a wipeout too? I was talking about X."
Tech Bro 1: "Oh, what happened with X?"
Multiple hoverboard collisions in one week: not a good thing.

One of the best days of my young life was the day my father brought home a label-maker. It was a about the size of a large typewriter. I recall it having a few large font wheels. We started labeling everything. We kids dubbed it "The Advance", because it had a large key labeled "Advance" in place of an Enter/Return key. The key fed blank tape.
One of the most tragic and terrifying days of my young life was the day when the label-maker caught on fire. I saw black smoke rising up out of it, and immediately began screaming and jumping up and down. Fortunately it was winter. This meant that the appropriate response, which my dad immediately took, was to unplug it, pick it up (it was smoking, not flaming) and hurl it out the front door into a convenient snowbank.
After that we didn't have a label-maker anymore.

"I feel like both of these perspectives are valid, but they're not compatible."

Being around a whole whackton of other non-binary-gendered folks has helped me focus my gender identity feels some. It looks like the identity that best fits is agender. Non-male-identified, though sometimes I present masc and sometimes I present High Soft Femme. Though maintaining High Femme feels kind of like the thing where you're clamping down in the vain hope that you won't bleed all over everything before you get to a bathroom with supplies.

"... a bit of a radfem (without the skateboard)" (said of a radical feminist who might not so much be the "raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadical, duuuuuuuude!" kind)

Hard problems in gender, privacy, and community safety: where is the line between outing and community safety, when you happen to know that someone who has Caused Problems Before is in a community [a different one] under an identity that is at least slightly discontinuous with their old one, and the new identity is tied to a gender marker change (and the old identity is really most sincerely dead)? (Tentative answer: take it case by case and hope you get it right.)

Once upon a time, Reverend Lunatic gave themselves hiccups as the result of an orgasm. Once not that long ago ... Read more... )

I have started watching the Great British Bake-Off, finally. It is so charming! I appreciate that all the contestants and guests are treated respectfully by the editing and camera, in a way that US television rarely does. And it's just so amazingly sweet!

Now that the conference is wrapping up, I'm down to just job-searching with a side of wrap-up work, not job-searching AND ALL THE CONFERENCE. This makes more time to tidy. Last fall, I'd decided to re-arrange my apartment. It got halted halfway through, and the result was nothing short of chaotic (though better arranged for certain things like sleep and computer). I decided that enough was enough, and I would work slowly but steadily in the direction of making it guest-appropriate. It's been coming along nicely, though it still is like a bit of a wacky game of 2048, where you have to calculate and carefully merge two things into the same space without upsetting anything else or making anything important too hard to reach quickly. This has resulted in random acts of mending, because part of this is seeing problems and fixing them.

My favorite hair ornament is a little basket of wires that's secured with two long metal spikes with glass knobs at the ends. Unfortunately, our relative heights are such that when I wear it, I spike Purple in the face with it when he hugs me goodnight. I have determined that I will seek alternate updo-securement, and have located a thing or two which should work better. Purple was a little "but you didn't have to -- it didn't draw *blood*!" when I showed him. :>
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
So I headed off to phone's party! phone lives not that far away from the conference venue, and the party was already swinging pretty vividly when I got there. I found parking (leaving a space behind me) and came in, bearing a small potted rose and the tray of sandwiches. The apartment was cheerfully decorated visible from outside with some delightful purple fairy lights. The level of sparkle visible from without was only a hint at the level of sparkle within. phone's boyfriend answered the door. He is an elegantly flamboyant man of a certain age, with a flair for striking outfits and costumes. On this occasion he was wearing a skin-tight silver jumpsuit with a mesh sweater over top and also amazing high-heeled silver holographic boots. He was not the only person wearing a super-sparkly outfit that night, as there was a guy in a long robe and top hat both made out of flat-sequined silver fabric (with reflectors larger than my beloved late disco ball dress, but similar). There were all sorts of colored sparkly lights. I got a drink and found a chair in the corner, where I wound up chatting with Jen, who has a small flock of chickens and a number of amusing (and occasionally terrible) stories involving them. Exactly my kind of person. Her husband was also at the party. phone tried to troubleshoot the rainbow fairy lights.

I texted Purple to let him know I was there, since I hadn't seen him. He texted back to say he would be there in about 20. And in about 20, I saw his silhouette through the patio door, and then he was coming out back and saying hi to phone and taking his accustomed place next to me. We had a silly exchange and he ruffled my hair. When he wandered off to grab a drink after a while, the party shifted around, and a small crowd gathered in my corner. I noticed him come back with drink in hand, notice the crowd, shrug, and strike up a conversation with someone near him. I wasn't bothered: Jen and I were getting on quite well.

Jen is a non-techie. phone's boyfriend is a non-techie. Jen, Jen's husband, phone's boyfriend, and I got in a discussion about some of the ways that conversations involving techies can go. The phrase "I need sympathy, not troubleshooting" can be key. (I looked fondly over at the very nicely sympathetic techie holding the neon green drink, holding forth on some topic with phone.)

The party shifted again, and sight lines between Purple and me were restored. We flashed an ironic wave at each other, and Purple made a semi-apology for not having come back directly that matched my assessment. (And, again, I'd been having a great time talking to Jen, so it wasn't like I was completely on my own at this party, even though I knew three, now four, people there out of quite a few more than four.)

It turns out that not only was Jen's husband at the party, but Jen's husband has known phone for years and years and years online, and has also known Purple for years and years, but this was the first time they'd met in person. The meeting was pleasing to both of them, and I was delighted to witness it.

It began to get chilly, so everyone went inside. I had already passed my step count for the day, so standing up was not the best idea for my back, but it was the best idea in light of the crowd. I wound up in the kitchen chatting with Jen's husband, tucked comfortably in a corner at Purple's elbow. There was enough light, finally, that I could see what was on my plate. I sighed and showed Purple some diced bell pepper. He laughed at me, and explained to Jen's husband that I had been in an un-merry war with work catering over bell peppers.

Jen's husband changed places with phone's boyfriend, and desserts were sampled. Someone found the raspberry bars; Purple nabbed one; I asked if he could pass me one; he handed me the first while claiming another for himself. Raspberry bar relay. Despite my back's complaints, it was nice being there: insulated from the most intense bits of crowd, but still engaging.

phone wandered up and chatted with us while his boyfriend circulated. People started filtering over to say goodnight to phone and wish him happy birthday, including the guy who had been wearing the disco ball robe until he'd changed back into street clothes.

At length the party size shrank, until at last it was phone and his boyfriend, Jen and her husband, Purple, and me. I was in one corner of the couch, Jen was curled up next to me, and eventually her husband sat down at the other end. "Fuck" is not just a spice, it's punctuation, except most editors would take a red pen to that many punctuation marks. It turns out that when Jen and I get going, we might sort of feed off each other a bit. phone likes it when I swear about the helldesk software, because when I get going, I really get going. Sometimes I get somewhat creative beyond the mere f-bomb, too...

At one point someone claimed that the iPad was not a data entry device; I declared that one could helpfully render it one by means of a portable keyboard, and that I had one in my pocket. Purple claimed that I had too many things in my pockets. Someone, perhaps phone, made a "Precious" joke, and my hand diverted its path. I had been going for the pocket that contained the keyboard. I was now going for the shorts pocket with the little brocade box with the mirror inside: the one that just that morning I had loaded with a few BPAL vials, a USB stick, my pair of shiny peacock earrings, a lip balm, and other bits of jewelry that I hadn't wanted to wear while possibly hauling tables around at the conference. Including -- I held a shiny silver ring aloft. phone cracked up.

Shortly after midnight the party broke up. Purple had parked right behind me, so we walked out together. He stuck around while I fished through three bags in search of my satnav, which I found in the last place I looked for it, then very carefully dodged the spikes in my hairdo after hugging me goodnight. I'm not usually quite so spiky!

To say "this party was better than any of Shawn's parties" demeans this party merely by the comparison, but that's the only referent I have for some of the vibe. This was what Shawn's parties wanted to be when they grew up.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
So Saturday plans were: go down to the shared workspace that the nonprofit has some space in, orient my volunteers, then see what Purple was up to.

Turns out that in fact it took an entire 6 hours for my old laptop (which is the traveling one, now) to download and apply 2+ months' worth of updates. I was actually able to get some work done on it in the meantime.

Later on in the afternoon, getting towards evening, someone poked his head in the door. He was wondering if I knew where there might be a public toilet?
I did a quick risk assessment and said that I hadn't the earthliest, but would he like to use ours? So he did, and then asked what organization I was with, with implications of "and maybe do your org a solid" so I gave him the info, and he gave me his card, and it was one of those nice little being-kind-to-fellow-humans moments.

I called Purple and checked in; he was in fact up for dinner. We set a time. Then one of the volunteers was running late, so I bumped it out by another half-hour. I brought the computer out opened up and set it on the passenger seat to complete its updates. When I parked near Purple's building, I saw that it was asking for a reboot. So I told it that it could reboot, then locked everything up and went in to say hello.

Purple was on the phone with a friend who was shopping for srs bzns camera lenses. I excused myself briefly, then settled in on the other end of the couch with my phone to check up on the various things the internet had been saying in my absence. (And again with the second call.) By the time he was finished up with that, I had gone through my internet, so great timing.

We went in search of dinner. He had a place in mind, and lo, it was tasty. There was the usual amount of giggling.

I wound up telling him about a case of mistaken identity from a mutual friend. A mutual friend had seen the name "Purple", had seen the tag #AzureLsInTrouble, and had come to some understandable (but incorrect) conclusions. Hilarity ensued. Extra hilarity ensued when I told him about it. That gave way to a thoughtful discussion about some meta-issues around the specific type of mistaken identity.

Then we were back at his place, and we settled in on the infamous couch to watch some Dead Like Me, some Black Mirror (the one with the Willow Grain, in which I reflected that lawyer-boy ain't no Simon Illyan, and that I feel good about my life choices), and then some Black Books and Parks & Rec as unicorn chaser. We wound up pausing the Black Books episode with Manny clinging to Bernard's ankle as he heads for the door for the following exchange:

Azz: "Ahh, that reminds me of a Shawn incident."
Purple: "Er... what?? And ... which were you?"
Azz: "Did I not tell you that one, then?"
Purple: "Apparently not! Were you the one clinging, or the one being clung to?"
Azz: "Shawn had stolen my condom."
Purple: *erupts in giggles* "That still doesn't tell me which one you were."

My ideal vision for this weekend had included the concept of some time spent on a couch with a friend, leaning on each other and both reading, and I am happy to say that substituting watching well-picked TV works nearly as well.

Purple introduced me to the spider over his door. He's not sure if it's a real spider or just a shed exoskeleton, but it doesn't hurt to be polite! (Especially at that size.)

Next week is going to be ... a bit hectic. zomg.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
It turns out that when you start at a place of "sometimes tech support does the Wrong Thing" and go through "Internet Explorer lets you do the cool but unsafe things you want to do, but also lets the bad guys do them too", you can wind up posting a poll on Twitter about frequency of naked/bare-assed (towel-less, for the courteous nudists amongst us) couch-sitting.

It all started with Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly's terrible customer service moment at work. She is naturally terse in her communications, and doesn't really bother with saying things which should be self-evident. Her workplace has these coats (some variety of lab coat for hardware geeks) and a service that they pay rather a lot of money to clean and maintain these things.

She noticed that hers was getting variously ratty -- missing button, a torn pocket -- and wrote a note: "Please replace." She signed it, and stapled it to the coat so it wouldn't get lost.

When the laundry came back, she found her coat. Same button missing. Same torn pocket. She was baffled -- until she found the name tag. They had replaced the name tag.

This prompted tales of some of the shenanigans that can ensue when least-good tech support and customer service ensues, including my epic fight with tech support over some java. The relevant bits were about trying it in IE and messing about with the settings.

Purple pondered about IE, with the general concepts that sure! IE is great for doing a lot of things that you want to do -- and letting the bad guys do it too. (Oops.)

"Yeah, you can shove that website straight in your trusted zone," I snarked.

Purple debated me on this: he wasn't entirely sure that the buttockal regions should be the "trusted zone"; didn't most people distrust things emanating-- ?

The discussion skipped into the topic of couches.

"Doesn't everybody?" Purple asked, meaning, sit on the couch butt-ass naked, or at least, well. Minus towel.

I facepalmed extensively. "I've SAT on your COUCH!" I said to Purple, in (entirely put on) tones of Great Betrayal.

His response was very much a sorry-not-sorry. I undermined my Performative Woe very shortly after, asking after his weekend plans in a way such to announce my intent to invade his couch if that was all right with him. ("That's what clothes are for..." I said in response to Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly's wish for some form of barrier to put between her and places where anyone else's butt has been.)

We went through the bestworst method of dyeing Y-fronts to disturb the TSA (even-ish tea underdye, with a second round to add more splatter, vs. the red tie-dye effect...) (passing the broccoli test by simultaneously saying "red" is ... maybe not the best way to pass the broccoli test). From Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly's dawning horror, it was clearly time for a subject change. We looked at her. "So how about that weather?" we asked in perfect stereo. She remarked upon it.

It turns out that key lime pie gets harder to share when you have two people stabbing into it tines-down from two different directions. At a certain point the inertia of the rest of the piece of pie is no longer sufficient to keep it in one place. Cooperation ensued, with one person holding the pie still with their fork while the other one pulled a bite away. We split the last bite amiably.

"That Weather" made for a short farewell. It was raining fairly firmly. Purple hugged me and we chatted a little, then we split.

I do so love rainy nights.

I am trying to get caught up on housework, in addition to work-work and applying for jobs. A little bit at a time, go me. Today I dug out the stepstool and a 9v battery and replaced the battery in the smoke detector before it started chirping at me. Go, me. (Stretching to reach it was painful and terrifying, but I did it.)

My impostor syndrome around guerrilla QA is pretty well faded. I used to be surprised when I found myself engaged in chasing down a random bug for a thing that I was using. I'd genuinely thought that the only system I'd ever have that kind of expertise on was LiveJournal. Purple met me when I was still regularly surprised by it. This time, I found myself explaining to Purple that really, the only thing I found surprising about the bug documentation I was sending to Slack was the universally friendly and helpful attitude of the Slack customer care people.

You could perhaps see the lightbulb emoji flickering into yellow above my head. Not quite an hour later I found myself additionally going:

04:30 PM azurelunatic: I think any job application where you can point to "and this is where I've interacted with your technical support" as an additional reason to hire you is possibly a good one
04:35 PM azurelunatic: my answer to "what is the importance of manual qa testing?" includes "it's really hard to annoy an automated test suite"

This weekend will involve waking up much earlier than I'd like to be up, viewing the Computer History Museum event space, and doing other work stuff on Sunday. After that's over, I'll poke Purple and see what he's up to. I hope to then invade his couch. ^_^
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Purple and I kept trying to connect for our now-traditional midweek dinner but kept missing. Monday was supposed to have been a conference meeting with R, but it got delayed until Tuesday, so Tuesday was out too; Wednesday neither of us was feeling it quite. So it was today.

There's this little place that I know Purple and R and I have been before; that's where Purple suggested today. (I think our fourth that time may have been the Other Guy? or maybe phone? or zune? idk. It was the time R was complaining about some of the bus-related tour shenanigans on one of her vacations.) Purple was up for that place again tonight, and I was amenable. So we went. I was running a little early, and called him. I was just being led out to see a table when he arrived, and we settled down to contemplate what exactly we wanted in the way of food.

We wound up splitting the rissoto of the day and a four-seasons pizza (olives, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and some sort of pork-based preserved meat). Purple ordered a drink, and I claimed a sip. That was not the best idea -- the rum was very much on the top. He sloshed it around and I got a second sip, which was nice and gingery. (Mr. Bananas had had lunch with pickled ginger that day, which got Purple in the mood for something with ginger, and the drink was just the ticket.) My current relationship with alcohol )

It turns out that the phrase "make sure you don't have any olives down there" is possible to interpret in a dirty fashion. (Purple does not enjoy olives. I do. Therefore all the olives were mine, and it was my responsibility to remove them from the shared slices.) Purple laughed at me as I removed an olive from his piece.

It turns out that when you're trying to validate that about 10 terabytes of data copied over successfully from your old NAS to your new NAS, it can take about a week once your tool is working. Purple's adventures continue.

I'm not sure how the topic came up, but he mentioned some work by some actress who'd been in things that go over his grossout humor threshold, and (since the topic was right there) apologized again for subjecting me to Drawn Together. I pointed out that he was much better than BJ in the department of regrettable media, as he had suggested it in good faith (it does contain many concepts I'd enjoy!) and upon realizing that I had not enjoyed it, reassured me that I could and should safeword out at any time, and he wouldn't hold it against me except that he'd keep my preferences in mind for future recommendations. (Which I don't really count as "holding it against me", but potato potato1.) Purple resents being put in the same category as BJ (or Shawn, really) on much of anything, as it's ... rather a low bar. "Hi, you're a decent human being." Which ... point.

We were both contemplating dessert. Half a dessert each. He was in mind of the bread pudding, as it wasn't as frightening as one might think, but we wound up having cannoli after some debate. Mmm, cannoli. There were bits of candied lemon peel in the cream, and I had to have a moment.

"What?" Purple asked.
I looked over at him in surprise.
"I thought I just heard you squeak?"
"Lemon peel again."

I mention here for the sake of documenting my Complicated Feelings About Things: Lengthy feels. )

While we and some others had been eating outside, a great big white van had pulled up in a somewhat traffic-and-parking obstructive way, and a guy in well-worn work clothes and a safety vest had got out with equipment. I had overheard something vaguely about waiting to start until after "these people" were done eating. Around about when we finished dessert, the guy hauled a little portable generator over and plopped it on the hood of a car (presumably his?) and stepped in the puddle of mysterious liquid on his way to get at some of the other equipment, disturbing the surface enough for me to tell that yeah, that was pee there. He then pried open a 6-inch or so access cap of some type. Water, and not clean water, burbled forth and started overflowing the sidewalk into the gutter.

Purple and I decided that now was a really great time to split. So we headed garageward. He'd parked down on the bottom, but he decided he'd walk me upstairs to my car.

Read more... )

Of note: that guy in a certain social group who does that "your mom" jokes a lot, was sort of oblivious to the other guy who had said "my mom's dead". DON'T DO THAT. Purple contributed that one of these days Mr. Antisocial Butterfly is going to get socked pretty good for making the wrong "your mom" joke to Purple.

And I will see him tomorrow! ("It's forever!" he joked at me, and I immediately stifled the impulse to declare that he was being Pippin.)

1 Backwards. On roller skates. ^
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Friday: working on stuff, followed by dinner. Purple got interrupted with a work crisis right before dinner, so it was a bit delayed (I wound up calling him to see what was up, to find that he was in fact on the phone with his boss) and he wasn't able to stick around to chat after. He sort of glomped me inside and was about to run out, except the lobby was filled with a very dense group of people all "leaving" (chatting and not leaving and not letting anyone else through) for a bit.

Saturday: so there's this "traditional holiday" filled with eggs and rabbits and zombies. Went over to a friend's to celebrate, having first put myself in zombie makeup. There was egg decoration, an egg race with zombies vs. humans, nachos, games, and general merriment. Got to see JD, Ryan, and [ profile] xlerb among others.

Egg decoration started out somewhat vaguely traditional and then went off the rails. Glitter aside, it all started going weird when someone busted out the stick-on rhinestones and someone said "Are we going to bejazzle an egg?" at which point I went "... yes. Yes, we *are*." I dumped an egg in the pink dye for a bit and grabbed a pink Sharpie. Someone handed me the pink puffy glue and the red glitter glue. I found a brown Sharpie and drew an asterisk.

Thus there existed in the world for a brief time a very delicately decorated egg that matched a certain hat I'd made in some respects, except this one had blue glitter standing in for stubble, and once the outer glue had dried I applied a triangle of judicious rhinestones.

The play-dough sculpture was just obnoxiousness. The crocheted hat was educational. This one, I am starting to suspect a bit of a pattern.

We all picked up and headed for the beach, which was a short walk up a bit of a hill after crossing the highway. This guy's house is not in much of a better position than my apartment, when the Big One comes. I found myself picking my way down a legitimate sand dune. I paused and considered, then flomped myself to the ground, positioned myself deliberately, and turned over.

Reader, if you have never rolled down a sand dune onto a beach? It is an experience. Up and down ceased to have a meaningful distinction. I had started the journey deliberately and under my own control, but I had become the playtoy of friction and gravity, who were arguing about who got custody, and arranging to place sand in every crevice which could be induced to accept sand. It was glorious, and also dizzying.

I sat there for a moment or five before getting up.

One of the other guys grabbed my cane from where I'd accidentally dropped it on the way down.

I was on Team Zombie. Our mission: to intercept and crush any eggs being transported on spoons by Team Human, before they were put into the safe haven of the base. It was wild. There was running, yelling, giggling, and rather more tackling than intended. The rules may be adjusted next year. We were super popular with the seagulls.

The hill looked a lot bigger from the other side. It took me a while to get back up, particularly as I realized I should put my sandals back on halfway up. By the time I got back, the line for foot washing was nearly clear. It's amazing how much sand you wind up wearing, though I think I was wearing less sand than I had been wearing glitter.

We had nachos and played games. It was good.

In May, Eurovision!

Sunday: Called Purple to ask what he was up to, since I was headed down for Palo Alto for a hack day meetup. He registered intent to spend the day in quiet contemplation of the sins of some of his hardware. (He always sounds so surprised and pleased to hear from me on the phone.) So I got done a few things before heading down, and had a nice afternoon working on this and that with R and talking about the Northern Lights with her and the other lady there.

Upon reaching home, I finally started getting the (now previous) Media Tower bookshelf unloaded of all its accessories and electronics, and moved the small Ikea table to its new place. I shall now figure out what exactly to do about placing the other elements, but I think that was one of the more difficult/obnoxious parts.

I still have no idea what I'm going to do to celebrate April Fool's Day. It's quite literally a religious holiday for me, which means I take offense at the assholes who have mistaken playing nasty tricks for foolery (although goodness knows the trickster gods are not what we would call nice). (Just because the gods get away with being asshats doesn't mean that humans should get away with that shit.) The coherent version of this rant is: "What happens when someone takes your prank seriously? Who gets hurt, and how badly?" Therefore I tend to prefer absurdist and surreal installations rather than taking advantage of my friends' willingness to trust my word on things.

Last year I put an appropriate error message in a room which someone else had inexplicably decorated as the inside of a Windows XP box. (It had been a perfectly functional break room. Then it got a corporate branded "cloud" makeover, and I just took it to the next level, complete with start button that played the startup noise.) This year I don't have the same platforms available to me. We'll see what happens.
azurelunatic: stick figure about to hit potato w/ flaming tennis racket, near jug of gasoline & sack of potatoes (XKCD)
Last weekend: pleasant dinner with Purple and Ms. Antisocial Butterfly, followed by FOGcon and Seanan's book launch party and more FOGcon.

There followed a week of mostly face-down in Freelance Conference Stuff, interspersed with the odd doctor here and there.

I entered into a dialogue with one of the doctors about gender, and how I don't want any. The upshot has included a formal entry of a note to this effect in my demographics section, my proper honorific (Reverend), and swapping my gender marker to Unknown. We'll see what havoc this plays on my medical records.

This came up in discussion with Purple, and some extensive clowning followed. The upshot of all that was that I may actually have a short-form description of my actual gender, which is: Langford Death Parrot.

Thursday evening, my general feeling of malaise resulted in a short walk down to the hot tub, where I soaked my ergonomically annoyed muscles and listened to some neighbors chat about this and that. One of the horror stories involved some really disturbing behavior from a random small child involving a watermelon. I went back and googled; I didn't find anything about a kid (not surprisingly), but I did find a story about an increasingly acrimonious divorce case which had included the following escalating bad behavior:

Includes implied threats of violence. )

Today was beer bash at Virtual Hammer, followed by dinner.

Purple had a baby shower before beer bash, which was why he was late. (The baby is a co-workers; he's not pregnant.) I warned him about the bread pudding fruit pies (not recommended) and he emerged about 15 minutes later, having been waylaid by a random conversation with a random friend. He is a sociable guy! He was slightly chagrined at having taken so long when he'd said he'd be right back, but I can't complain, since I benefit from this habit of his fairly significantly. (He's very sociable, and observes that I can be very sociable when I know someone, but rather less with new people.)

phone arrived, and Purple had just wondered if Mr. Tux were going to show up at all. I looked at my watch and said that it had just gone five; Mr. Tux didn't usually arrive until at least then. Sure enough, Mr. Tux emerged a few minutes later. R wandered through and chatted with the crowd. My hair and my earrings and my headphones all match. It's great!

Surrealist Band Guy dropped through and visited for a bit.

The fire pit did not light. Someone, not me, will need to file a ticket.

I'd been working steadily on the current dreamsheep, and Purple asked was it the nose I was working on. I sort of distinguish between "nose" and "chin", although in sheeps it's pretty much the same area. Purple took that distinction, and ran with it to some pretty terrible places. He later contemplated the topology of my original plan, and asked some fairly salient questions about the double-eversion phase and terminology related thereto, and also the stealth phase. "Why does this sheep have a green asshole?" The nose vs. chin question led down a chain of logic which ended on etsy with the phrases "docking muff" and "machine washable" (very important, that last).

We'd thought that Ms. Antisocial Butterfly wouldn't be joining us for dinner, but she called. She doesn't leave town until tomorrow. So we decided on a dinner location (Mountain View) and topic (pizza).

The rubber chicken for help system ticket 1,000,000 has seen better days. I had handed it off to Purple upon leaving, but it was in bad enough shape that he really did not want it around. We ceremonially consigned it to the trash, after a last commemorative picture.

Circumstances under which gender-policing can be actually hilarious: mention of genitals, non-explicit. ) Purple is great and I want to keep him. We headed off for dinner.

Purple and I circled the first parking garage and failed to find a spot. (I got there first, I believe.) We went up the second, and finally found spots on the fourth floor (out of five possible). I found mine, then he arrived and parked just as I was getting out of my car, so I waited for him while he juggled bluetooth and phone and he joined me at the elevator. Ms. Antisocial Butterfly had arrived on time, and we were a little delayed for once.

Ms. Antisocial Butterfly disapproves of any cracker-eating jerks who give her initials a bad reputation.

We had salad and wings and pizza and scurrilous discussion. Purple commented on weaponized earrings, after observing how my earrings do a delightful little shimmy when I shake my head. We iterated on that a bit. I draw the line at explosions near my ears.

Walking back, he helped me liberate my long loose hair from my briefcase strap, pulling it a bit in the process and apologizing. His weekend plans include heading off with Cousin Antisocial to see the aunt and uncle and helping them haul stuff around, then coming back on Sunday and presumably collapsing a bit. I may inquire after sociability on Sunday, but am not expecting necessarily anything. :>

I have no idea what I'm doing for April Fool's Day.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
So after getting back from the family shenanigans, I have been living a fairly quiet existence, interspersed with a certain amount of human contact.

I have a conference-running gig right now, which is taking up a substantial amount of my time. It's keeping me busy and contributing to my general well-being (i.e. it's not volunteer, though it's below my pro rates).

Wednesday evening, I inquired of a certain engineer whether he was up for dinner-and-human-contact, which he was. Wednesdays might be becoming a new tradition. Choice of dinner venue is always an interesting debate; this time he was in charge due to root canal recovery. It turns out that even when you take the Lunatic out of the shop, you do not take the shop talk out of the Lunatic.

One of the minor bits of amusement that ensued was thanks to StPatience. She's a friend from #adventuresofstnono, and is also about on Twitter. She saw a tweet about the possibly forming new tradition of Wednesday night dinner (why yes! I would be delighted to have dinner with you next week!) and interpreted it ... hilariously differently. She hadn't connected the Purple who I was clearly rather fond of, with the [wallet name derivative] she knew from #adventuresofstnono, and this led to some interesting assumptions. I clarified. We found the entire thing hilarious.

Friday was rather rainy. I appreciate that in the weather, though it would be good if there wasn't wind damage or flooding. It was also beer bash down at Virtual Hammer, which would not have been sufficient enticement to head down thattaway, but my favorite ghosts had a bit of a game night planned. (It being first Friday, Purple was otherwise occupied, or there'd have been dinner as well.)

Purple called while I was on my way down, to let me know where beer bash was being held (not in the usual place). I was glad to know that! I parked accordingly, and no sooner had I scaled the steps (stairs are a little more of an option now! yay knees!) than my old team spotted me and proceeded to glomp me with enthusiasm. It was Researcher Sweatervest's last day! It was good to see those of the team that I saw. I was waylaid and glomped by the Dean as well.

I had a bit of trouble locating Purple (unusual for me) but finally did, thanks to the wonders of mobile telephony and his distinctive hair. We grabbed food and a table. Acidhelm spotted us and joined us, which is always fun.

The Dean is pretty well convinced that one of the reasons he is in HR is so that they can keep an eye on him. It's good to be amongst the few that he can let his metaphorical hair down around!

I had not realized that when the ghost crew said that the games were "in [certain dude]'s office", what they meant was an entirely different company and office building. Acidhelm and I exchanged numbers and he gave me the address, that I might find the place and be let in, if I opted for game night.

The woe hit me pretty hard as Purple and I took the access road back in the direction of the central garage, and he petted me reassuringly for a while. We made terrible jokes at each other, including the concept of UL rated "dance clubs" -- bonky items made for dancing. It's harder to get them safety rated with an approval for indoors.

I was eventually feeling human enough to talk myself into wandering down in the direction of [certain dude]'s office, knowing that once I got there, I'd most likely feel obligated to join games.

And join games I did, albeit with a detour for bubble tea and the latest Price-Healy novel. The game of the evening was Roll for the Galaxy, and great fun was had.

One of the small traditions that's also forming is inquiries after weekend time. Purple's Saturday plans involved setting up his new NAS (again), and watching TV. After putting in some work on conference stuff, I headed down thattaway in some pretty vigorous precipitation. I got introduced to the new big chunk of storage, I watched as he updated some of his music gear, and then we settled in for Shaun of the Dead (fun). There was a dinner run, then we sat back down with the first episode of Drawn Together (DO NOT WANT), an episode of Elementary (it was burning a hole in his DVR, and I enjoyed it), and some Arrested Development (always fun).
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Doctorstuff has been burning through most of my ability to cope with anything and everything, in routine and especially out of it.

I am planning to go to the Seanan McGuire book release party this evening (September 5th) at Borderlands Books in SF.

I am also planning to hide in a hole the rest of the weekend unless someone who is Not-People has a better idea.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
With the reassurances from the Fixing The Goddamn Helldesk Software team that they are prioritizing things correctly, I have had more brainspace to notice and complain about other things in the workplace. Notably, while I was trying to order office supplies for some of the new arrivals, things went fractally wrong. In addition to the ill-trained tech from Tuesday, I discovered that the new system is spitting out .pdf instead of .html in email. I was mispleased. I complained. I discovered that in fact there were more things going poorly than I'd imagined, complete with a cameo from our friend the WHAT THE FUCK PLUGIN ARE YOU USING training site, yet again being used as documentation.

I am not allowed to attempt to own that circus or make them into my monkeys.

Friday involved the now-customary dinner with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. I had fun until my uterus decided that it was going to send spikes through every part of me, after which point I waited for the ibuprofen to kick in. Purple petted my arm reassuringly, but declined to take my uterus for the low low price of FREE TO GOOD HOME.

Saturday I ventured forth to get fruit, then curled up in earnest with the Lynburn Legacy trilogy. Specifically, I had the first volume on hand in hardback, and while I did have to pause at several points (first for fruit and then a few more because TOO MANY FEELINGS), I discovered that it was the soulbonding epic that we deserved.

I stayed up until maybe 5am reading the rest of the trilogy.

It's been too hot. I've been snuggling up to ice packs.

I emailed Darkside to let him know that I'm still alive. He emailed back Monday night. I reckoned he might still be up and we haven't talked in months, so I called. Yay.

I had lunch with Purple and crew on Monday and Tuesday, but Purple had dinner with a friend on Monday, and HOA stuff Tuesday, so we didn't have the customary walking-out chat. I was expecting to have my lunch replaced by a conversation between Haystack and a vendor that I needed to be a fly on the wall for, but Haystack got the app upgraded without the vendor intervention. Tomorrow will be the next conversation between same, and since I'm the in-house Linux expert (expertise: broke* a zone file in uni, cried about it; knows to be super careful with anything involving rm) I really do need to be there. One or two of the team data center guys will be there too. (When I said something about wanting to start up the app's version of Tomcat when the VM boots, one of the data center guys went all

The Canadian Guy looks mystified, saying "Ay danno, halthcare?"

at me and tossed me a link to Stack Exchange. So.)

* Turns out you really do need to increment your serial numbers.

Today I had lunch with Purple's crew, tried to figure out questions for tomorrow's thing with the app vendors, did some administrative stuff and other tasks. I also had one of those terrifyingly emotionally naked philosophical-disagreement-except-for-me-it's-less-abstract conversations with Purple. More on that in a short bit.
azurelunatic: Parental Advisory: I Say [animated changing curse word] A Lot (fuck)
Guide Dog Aunt threw a game night on Saturday. It took me a little longer to get ready than I'd hoped, but I did get over there. There was a Cards Against Humanity game in progress, and I was dealt in.

My aunt is all about the house rules that say that the purpose of the game is to have fun, so there were a few un-fun cards quietly put in with the used cards. Another common house rule is that if you don't know what it is (or don't admit to knowing what it is) you don't have to play it. Some people chose to ask things like "Who's Michael Bay? What's 'queefing'?" and many people were enlightened. "I didn't know there was a word for that!"

"What's Harry Potter erotica?"
"Well, when someone loves the Harry Potter books a lot, and writes little stories..."
"Oh! ... How do you know these things?"

One of the people who was new to the game was enticed in to play just one round, for the second go. By the second time we had got around the table, she was gleefully choosing a slightly weaker card, out of kindness to the current czar.

I won one hand by pairing "In this world there is nothing certain but death and ____" with "Soup that is too hot." Guide Dog Aunt agreed mightily.

It came time to cease partying, and everybody went home. I stuck around to help clean up all the fun, and with three people working at it, it was fairly quick. I caught up with my aunt, and then went home and went to bed.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Up at fuck o'clock to attend a helldesk fixit summit in place of someone who could not make it. Despite Mr. Wizard Beard's attempts to incorrige me, I only dropped the F-bomb once. (The conference call was recorded.)

Lunch was very tasty. There was a small crowd including Purple and Murraya. The tale of Pippin Peeing On Steph's Couch has become one of Purple's Storytime With Azz standards for the cat crowd.

I finally got back in to Jabber, after a week and a half without.

phone was back in town; this resulted in a group dinner. I did the bulk of the poking at things to make a group decision this time. I felt fearfully grown up.

Assembled were Purple, me, R, Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly, phone, and phone's semi-mythical boyfriend who looks surprisingly like Hard Gay the pop culture icon. He was charming and it was great to finally meet him. I have provisionally dubbed him the Fab Chef.

Since phone had mentioned something about my daughter being off at college, I had to briefly explain Marmalade Fish and accidental child acquisition. My choice of phrasing to explain started with: "My uterus is exit-only!" Fortunately R, phone, and Purple are used to statements from me which would be bizarre from any other person.

This year's Diversity beer bash is next week; not only may phone show and join me at the gayest table, but the Fab Chef may as well!

Beer was dessert for Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly and phone, but the rest of us sought gelato. I had a minor panic attack due to claustrophobia in the crowded line & interior. Minor as Purple didn't notice it.

We found a table outside and chatted. Purple's coconut gelato made a bid for escape. I gave him my extra napkins. As he finished and I observed him discreetly scrubbing off his fingers on his jeans, I asked did he want some water. He demurred. "Let me rephrase. I have a water bottle in my bag." He did, to a bit of giggling. Then it was Storytime With Azz And Purple, our relatives and their explosives tag-team edition. Overall a very fun evening.

I gave Purple a heads up that I had been at the edge of cope for crowds. Next time will be better. We have a plan.

We had parked in the same garage. We hugged goodnight and then soberly talked about parenting (and how my fishmum mode runs in parallel to my phobias so I can handle more as fishmum than as regular Azz).

Tomorrow will be a shopping run with Tif.
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
Despite it having been timechange weekend, I had got to bed early, and then woke up disgustingly early, fully perky and ready to get things done. I had a leisurely morning where I did not feel obligated to do any of the things, just get dressed and pack. It was fortunate that I'd woken early, as all of my alarms were set to only go off when I'm at home, and be silent when I'm elsewhere (like at work, but also at hotel). I hauled my stuff downstairs, checked out, and then realized that the valet queue was ridiculous. I promptly found a chair, parked my bags, and joined lobbycon.

I got a chance to chat with Wendy; that was nice.

I saw [ profile] ckd; the name on the badge didn't mean much to me, but the blue shark picture did. "Oh!" I said. I know that shark! You are a helpful person who I have known in passing for years! So that was nice. He passed along greetings on behalf of [personal profile] aedifica as well.

Having seen him sillydrunk and being a fucking perfect unicorn the night before, it was no surprise that Naamen was gloriously hung-over.

The next little circle over was having a fascinating conversation about Supernatural. I had thoughts and feelings. It was thus that I met [ profile] geardrops and [ profile] doriangrayscale.

For the record, my feelings about Supernatural season 5 episode 22 are as follows:

I was recommended "I Feel Better", by Hot Chip, which is … a bit surreal. I think this was around when lunch arrived, because Carrie had fries, and they were very very hot. There was basically nothing vegan on the menu, which is unfortunate.

Seanan had been Out of Town, but made an appearance for Lobbycon, in all her mantis shrimp rainbow hair glory. It was very good to see her!

We got around to exchanging twitter handles, and mentioned our strategies for dealing with some of the low-content sorts of people who seem to exist to recycle the same five links every three hours on Twitter. I was abruptly reminded of something I'd seen during an [off-topic] discussion of home automation.

"They're -- tweeting like a lightbulb," I said in disgust, and then had to explain.

Emma and Cynthia came back through, and that was great. Topics included Janelle Monae (yay afrofuturist art) and so many books and shiny things. There is a tool that will let you know when bands you like are going to be local to you, but I am not sure where to find it. I need to check out . I did not know that Ellen Kushner had written not just one but several Choose Your Own Adventure books:

At some point after the valet line had cleared out, I retrieved Vash to load most of the heavy things.

Shweta and husband re-appeared also, and I went fishing for mippos with my party cane. (I have a cane with a rainbow tie-dye scarf attached to the front, and I had added a little book of paper for the con.)

Eventually it came time for the wrap party. That included some review of what had gone well, and who needed to either be sat down with a sock in his mouth or shown the door.

So there was a panel (which I didn't wind up going to, but sounded very interesting if I'd actually been making it to any panels) about how Whitey Brings Civilization is a toxic meme in general, and maybe when we're writing we might not want to do that thing.

So Whitey McMansplain in the audience stood up and started talking, apparently. Read more... )

Eventually the wrap party too was wrapped. Wendy and some guy who also had some muscles carried some soda down for me, as I was willing to take some home, but was sort of limited in what I was willing to carry at once. We loaded it up into my car. The valet dude on duty observed that the car sort of felt like he was going to die when starting. This was a Known Problem.

I headed home, not being quite up for Dinner With People after such a delightfully social weekend. This is such a lovely fun con, and I'm planning to return next year.

I curled up in bed early (for me). Before I fell asleep, I remembered that Aahz had been wearing an "I Break Rule 6" button, so I googled the phrase to see if I could find out the backstory. The backstory is amazing:

My unexpected early rising schedule would continue for some time yet.
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
So the last actual update from me was pre-FOGcon; I'd run afoul of beer bash and decided that I was going to be miserable at home in my own bed. I woke up cheerful and perky and drove in. This time the valets were much better briefed on the event; I was asked if I was here for the thing. I was. Yay!

There was exactly one person at the convention this year who I was hoping to avoid. It was the person who used to play some role in gathering up issues for That Damn Helldesk Program and had some organizational role in the releases. I had met her in person exactly once: she was sitting at the other pole of the horseshoe table across from me, looking quiet, serious, pale, and vaguely miserable.

Naturally, she was working registration desk when I arrived. I wasn't sure which name they would have filed me under (for credit card purposes I gave them my wallet name as well) but it was under the correct name, albeit with my wallet name on the back. I declined the offer to reprint, and scribbled out my wallet name with some vigor. She didn't mention work and neither did I; I don't know whether she recognized me.

As I was looking at the description of the panel in the nearest room, and debating which panel I wanted to go for, someone called me by name. The correct name. It was [personal profile] emceeaich, who I hadn't seen since the rollout of ALL THE NEW THINGS. And where [personal profile] emceeaich is, [personal profile] cynthia1960 is often nearby, in this case being fitted with a very nice corset.

We decided that since it was noonish, lunch was probably an excellent life choice, and so we headed up to the lobby. The lobby combines restaurant, bar, and general lobby lounge area, with a dedicated restaurant section behind the large freestanding wall that composes the bar, and then lounge in front of it. However, restaurant service isn't limited to the restaurant area, which makes for a pleasant, but sometimes chaotic, experience.

Someone stopped by to chat with Emma and Cyn; something about her demeanor suggested she recognized me, but hers was a very common name; it turned out she was [personal profile] metaphortunate! Hooray!

After lunch I went to the downstairs lobby to figure out what panel(s) I wanted to see. There were plenty of people about. I chatted with a few of them. I pulled out my traveling laptop George to check my mail.

Before I made any sort of decision about panels, it was check-in time at the hotel, so I did that so I'd have a place to leave some of my gear. I relaxed in the quiet for a bit, then figured I'd wander panel-wards by way of the con suite, which was on my floor.

I walked in to a con suite full of awesome women talking about weightlifting. I was enthralled. These are the sorts of conversations that don't tend to happen when bros are bro-ing about being bro-ful and loud, and I could have enjoyed an entire convention just like this. And that was how I met [personal profile] kshandra, and I recognized [personal profile] forestofglory's name but couldn't place the exact acquaintance. (Someone whose badge name was Melissa was saying a lot of the awesome things, and Michele from the concom was there being awesome too.)

When I was packing for the convention, I had tossed a number of things into a large transparent plastic box, just the right size to fit in a large tote bag with some room left over. It is in fact large enough to hold George, some jellybeans, several menstrual pads, makeup, hair pins, glitter, a notepad, a package of highlighters, and some other random things. I had found a few packages of pop rocks under some boxes on my bookshelf while shuffling things around in preparation for moving (whenever that's going to happen). Long story short, [personal profile] norabombay was totally overreacting and I did not die from eating shelf pop rocks. And I tossed one in the box, because why not.

The discussion turned from weightlifting to obscure dietary restrictions, and someone mentioned that one of the weird ones was lactose in pop rocks. People were sort of baffled, because why do POP ROCKS need MILK. I remembered that I had tossed it in the box. I whipped out the package of pop rocks. Yep, lactose.

Cliff wandered through. It turned out that describing the helldesk software to someone who used to work on is an actively painful experience for that person. It is a solved problem, and Virtual Hammer has attempted to re-invent the weasel by glueing several gerbils together (which, I might add, would be doubly illegal in California).

Saw some people who are identified in my notes as Wendy and K. [personal profile] ethicalslut identifed my Dreamwidth d button, and we got a picture together.

The banquet was next, and ethicalslut was looking to pull together a table of interesting people. I was amenable to joining this table. I identified someone in line who I thought might be [personal profile] firecat, and I was correct. Also at the table were Aahz, and several other people.

The banquet was great fun. After that, there had been a lot of people, so I went up to my room for a bit.

I decided to go for some lobbycon time. I ran into forestofglory, and this time had managed to identify people we know in common ([personal profile] kaberett, among others). Shweta Narayan was passing through, and they and their husband sat down in the group, and I met the Designated Extravert of the group, the adorable, cheerful Mippo (a tiny stuffed animal which looks like the delightful intersection of Moomin and Hippopotamus). Emma and Cyn joined the group as well.

There was an unfortunate incident with Shweta and some too-hot water, and ice became necessary. It was lovely to meet them though!

I got a large amount of loonembellishment done.

Eventually I was dizzytired and went off to bed.
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
Sometime after I get a decent night's sleep, I should write in more detail about FOGcon, especially as I took notes.

A few important points before I do go the fuck to sleep:

I went to this con hoping to avoid one specific person. That specific person was literally the first one I saw, and she looks much happier than she did while attending the meeting from hell led by the Buck-Stopper and the Buck-Stopper's Thug.

I can in fact have hella fun doing Lobbycon and winding up attending exactly zero panels.

One rogue light socket can perform a Denial of Service attack on your whole smart house.

There are certain classes of (usually self-published) authors on Twitter who don't actually bother to be very human on Twitter while cycling the same ~5 self-promotional links over and over.

"They're as useful as ... tweeting lightbulbs!" I said, hearkening back to the previous conversation about the smart house.

I had no idea that I knew (directly, vaguely, or friends-of-friends) so many people at this convention.
azurelunatic: Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics.  (murdered by lunatics)
I had been chatting with [personal profile] sithjawa on Friday night about weather. Specifically, we had been discussing the nature of "sleet" and "hail", in light of a SF Bay Area weather forecast about same.

The types of sky-water under discussion were:
Non-small and often irregular chunks of frozen sky-water
Small, round, frozen pellets of sky-water
Fluffy crystalline structures of sky-water
Half-frozen, half-liquid sky slushie

I held that sky-slushie is sleet, and small frozen pellets are still hail. No one was disputing the large frozen chunks being hail, nor the fluffy ones being snow. Apparently some places call the small round frozen pellets "sleet", and the sky-slushie "wintery mix". I hold that "wintery mix" is the worst kind of snack food, and involves some ungodly mix of different types of cold precipitation.

I woke up earlier than expected. This was good, because it let me get started. I had vague hopes we'd be able to actually get to the 2:30 movie in Union City. So I had breakfast, did some car-cleaning (including the long-awaited swap of foot mats and vacuuming), and I was out by sometime after 1.

Tif and I had tried planning our afternoon around seeing Jupiter Ascending, but the "wintery mix" falling out of the sky ensured that we would be too late to see the 2:30 showing where we wanted to go. So we went to Home Depot (across the way from our usual shopping pursuits) via Starbucks.

Now, the thing about seeing a movie that's not doing so great at the box office is, the box office stops giving it that many slots as things trail off. By now, Jupiter Ascending is at two usable showings per theatre, max. (By "usable", I mean that neither of us should be having with 3D.)

We discussed where to go next. She had some errands to run at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. We found one of those was just a few miles down the road. Then she got the idea to see if there was a theatre anywhere near that.

Not only was there a theatre near there, but it was showing the movie within a reasonable length of time. We hit the road, and it was not terrible, and Tif even had time to text back and forth with Fairlight a bit, teasing him a little about his upcoming birthday. (Happy Birthday! Hope it was good!)

We managed to get to the mall, find the theatre, get parked, get tickets, navigate the concessions, find seats, and take turns in the bathroom, before the movie started. I sat back down in my seat just as the screen wavered into the logos.

I went into Jupiter Ascending expecting the following things:
Read more... )

What I got:
Read more... )

Was it good? Well, there were two action sequences during which I could have easily taken a bathroom run with no real harm done to my understanding of the movie. Which is often a sign that the editor needs to take up a sawed-off pool noodle and wallop the nearest Wachowski with it.

Did I enjoy it? Heck yes.

We located BB&B, our reason for coming to the mall. By this time it was very dark and also rainy. The shades were sort of drawn and it looked very deserted. We sort of wondered if they were even open. They were basically deserted inside, but open. Unfortunately they did not even have the section she was looking for, but we only learned that after going around the entire store. Then the one open register closed just as I went up to it, so we checked out at customer service.

Tif did something terrible to her foot over the last few months. Recently it has progressed from kinda not good to ow kinda fuckin' broken. I assured her that she would be taking the little cart at our next stop.

The reason I do these shopping runs with Tif, besides that we always enjoy ourselves on them, is that Tif doesn't drive. The reason Tif doesn't drive is that she doesn't have a license. The reason she doesn't have a license? Well, that involves a little bit of a lack of depth perception, which is sort of a really bad plan at highway speeds.

Tif had a certain amount of trepidation about the topic of driving a store scooter.

It all went basically okay, though. Our usual hour of attack means that they're restocking the store and have made the aisles into a general accessibility nightmare, but either there's that or there are crowds, and at least giant pallets of god-knows-what don't give me the crawlin' freakouts. So there were a few tight corners and one place that she tried to back out of but stuff was in the way and eventually she asked me to clear the way forward and I did. But she drove the thing! And she did stunningly well at backing up for a novice.

Our plan was that we would eschew any frozen groceries until after movie and/or dinner, but Tif was tired enough after that round of shopping that she reckoned we could go further afield if we didn't have to come back for frozen stuff: she could get frozen stuff elsewhere. So we went in search of a Red Robin. There was one just down the way, Google said!

Google steered us to a really deserted-looking mall. The mall itself was very closed after 9pm. The parking lot was sparsely lit. There were some neoned-up outbuildings, but we saw a car maybe once every five minutes.

"This is where go to get murdered by lunatics," Tif said quite definitely, or words to that effect.

There was no Red Robin. Tif found another one, somewhere at the ass-end of the Bay. We thought we could get there before they closed, and we thought right!

Unfortunately, apparently movie popcorn has gluten. :( So Tif did not enjoy the post-movie time as much as she otherwise might have.

Having a character named Mike and having a buddy named Mike who occasionally shows up in work stories results in some really awkward namespace collisions. My character Mike, when his books are -- okay, Mike says that they're not his books, they're his wife's boo -- MIKE YOU FUCKER, THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW YOU GOT MARRIED -- ks, and he's just the chatty one one who can see me -- anyway, when I'm working on those books such that they're in my brainspace, he is the Mike, and all others are lesser. (He says thanks. And points at the terrible Mike in his class group.)

On the way back, we stopped off in a friendly parking lot in San Bruno so I could fish the ibuprofen out of my handbag, and a diet coke out of Tif's groceries in the trunk. Then we got stuff unloaded back at her place. I got annoyed enough by the rapidly cycling streetlight that I looked up how to report those. Because it's San Francisco, there's an app. Because it's a poorly funded local government dealie, it's got problems. Because I'm me, after I reported the streetlight, I sent feedback on the app via their very broken in-app feedback link. I'm not sure how they managed to do that thing, but it's amazingly broken.

Sunday: sleep, laundry, and sorting BPAL.

I have three little ammo cases mostly full of BPAL imps. I keep them alphabetized. I will be exploring certain means of identification.

I had played in perhaps a few too many of [community profile] synecdochic_decants' circles, so I had many things to file ... especially as I had just got a shipping notice of more on the way.
azurelunatic: Dreamwidth is powered by [disco ball] (dw disco)
I woke up and got online to the devastating news that Leonard Nimoy had died.

Some months ago, Purple and I had discussed the way that both of us, and a lot of weird nerd children, had had a particular alien who had helped us get through a fuckton of loneliness and rejection by our alleged peers. His alien had been Mork. My alien had been Spock. After I cried hysterically in #yuletide for a few minutes, I guess the brief idea of calling out grieving floated through my mind but didn't attach to anything: I knew without even having to think about it that the news would be bouncing through #cupcake and [off-topic] and I would be among fellow mourners. I grieve with thee.

While my fingers and eyes were working, my brain spent a good chunk of the morning before lunch curled up next to a friend.

Over lunch (pizza, because the burritos are contaminated this week) I happened to mention that I'd gone to bed without writing about the day on Thursday night. Purple asked how much I typically wrote. I made a reasonable guess. After what I reckoned to be smiling at the quaint measurement system, he was impressed, because 3-4 kilobytes of text is not a small amount to just dash off, and he would probably not generate that much text about what he'd done in a day (and this is why he doesn't keep a journal). I allowed as how some days were more than others, and I did things like foreshadow and put in running themes. I gave the SUV thing as an example of a thing that I would have woven throughout the day until it reached the culmination in the parking lot. "You wouldn't have even recognized that it was the same guy who passed us if I hadn't told you!" he pointed out. (Let alone the part where I didn't even register that someone had passed us.) Hooray faceblindness.

So tonight, after writing up Thursday properly, I checked to see how much text I'd generated. That one was a little over 9 kilobytes. Oops.

Purple and I had been having a quiet conversation about Leonard Nimoy, a bit, and I was feeling sad, when Lennon Glasses Guy and one of the other lunch crowd turned to Purple to ask them to solve a debate: what exactly did it fuck up when there were two copies of one mac address on the same network. That got Purple going. He's the guy that everyone turns to as an authority about many of these things. So he held forth. It turned out that he had in fact personally experienced the bad effects of a MAC address conflict at work. His not!boyfriend had said: "Purple, I just logged in to your dev box..." Turns out a lab machine had faked the same MAC as Purple's. Oops.

I asked Madam Standards how many colors black I was wearing. She had not realized that there was so much variation in the things that she had thought were just 'black'. This was apropos of The Dress. (She and I do not see eye to eye.)

Got a chance to chat with my manager on her way out the door. She's had the flu, and there were allergies overlapping; she said something about all the yellow dust. I made an Amber Spyglass crack. She giggled.

Between all of the things that were going on, there was no milkshake run. radius discovered that he was actually kind of hungry, and his side of the office had run out of M&Ms and no one had restocked them in the afternoon. There were also no gingersnaps.

I reckoned that I needed a walk to clear my head, and it was also time that I checked in with lb's Overlady, so I decided a supply run could be in order. I grabbed a few little plastic cups and got together some chocolate covered espresso beans, a ginger cookie out of my break room, and some M&Ms. That was a little more than was easy to carry, so I stuffed the espresso beans in a mug, balanced the cookie on a napkin on top, and carried the M&Ms in my other hand.

Going out doors is easy. Going in doors often requires a badge. So I swapped the M&Ms to balance them on top of the cookie, operated the badge with my right hand, and opened the door with my left hand -- and promptly spilled the M&Ms off the top of the cookie onto the floor. As I tried desperately to salvage the situation, the cookie toppled as well.

I picked up the scattered M&Ms, looked at them and the cookie sadly, and put them in the nearest compost trash. Friends don't give friends floor cookies. At least I had the espresso beans, protected within the cheerfully patterned mug.

radius was glad to see the espresso beans. I cautioned him against overenthusiasm, as caffeine poisoning often offends.

My next stop was lb's Overlady, who gave me intelligence that the new guy, the one who was taking over everything after the last three clowns had been shuffled out, was also not much longer for the company, and his last day would be ... Friday! Yay! She urged caution and diplomacy. She was also glad to see the chocolate covered espresso beans.

A friend in another department did some research. Now, there is always a small element of Musical Executives. It is a very small valley. Thus we learned a few things:

The incoming exec implemented something based on the same root technology as the helldesk program at his old place.
The incoming exec is therefore unlikely to discard the helldesk software out of hand.
The incoming exec may actually know what $SOFTWARE looks like when it's functioning properly.
The incoming exec, if we are very very lucky, may recognize the helldesk situation as being terrible.

Lannister has a helldesk derivative of her own to deal with. She did not escape unscathed.

I'd had to do my hours first thing in the morning, because this was the day that the Old Contractor Management Company was letting go of me, and therefore I had to do my hours ASAP so they could get them put in ASAP and get everything done in the coming week. So 7pm was my deadline. I'd be done by then. Purple pinged me about dinner. I assented. This time I would not do dumb car tricks!

Purple thought he saw a little white car behind him as he made the U-turn, but it was a different little white car. It's so hard to tell these things in the dark.

We wound up attempting to explain Cards Against Humanity to Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. It was great.

I saw a guy who looked almost exactly like the guy who runs the Secret Milkshake Bunker, except he was wearing an orange headband, walking out. However, my facial recognition skills are dodgy at best, so Purple was not at all sure that this was the right guy.

Purple got something with a side dish of sour cream. So did Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. Mine didn't have it. Purple had extra, and offered me some. My knife was covered with the very bright red sauce that was all over the ... cheese thing.

"Sorry for getting my sauce in your sour cream," I said.

Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly made the face that meant that she was thinking dirty, dirty thoughts.

I made the appalled face, and it was only a tiny bit forced. "Oh god no," I said. "I know we're very close, but we're not THAT kind of friends."

Purple didn't entirely follow exactly what she'd meant, but he knew it was entirely filthy. Heh.

I have been enjoying doing all the bill-related math in my head. It makes a fun exercise for me. It had been a while since I'd refreshed my cash on hand, so I retrieved some fives and rather a lot of ones. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly stared. "Why do...?"

"Ice cream," I said. That didn't actually answer anything.

Purple clarified: when you get a $3-and-something serving of ice cream using decimal currency, you get a lot of ones. I'm not actually a stripper. :D

It came time to go home. I claimed a hug goodnight. "See you tomorrow!" Purple started to say, and then corrected himself. We both had plans. Mine involved shopping with Tif, and Jupiter Rising. He said I'd have to tell him whether he should watch it or not.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
00:31 Sunday, 22 February, 2015
While Purple and I were hanging out in the parking lot the other night, we mentioned that we hadn't heard owls in a while. Immediately thereafter, there was a screech. Owls.

00:10 Tuesday, 24 February, 2015
Heard back from the place where I applied. I don't know if there are any other blockers, but I would need the raise before they could accept me. Agh. (My 1:1 for tomorrow is canceled on account of the flu, on the part of my manager.)

This morning was canceled for me, on account of allergies. I woke up before my alarm in an amazing state of allergy snot. I took a claritin and washed out my nose, but it took a while to actually be able to sleep. When I did wake up, it was afternoon.

I grabbed some lunch and came in, and headed up for milkshake at the appointed time (as soon as I looked at Purple's IM status to ask him if he was heading soon, and saw that he'd been idle for five) and it was good. I wound up walking up with my administrative friend, There was shirt color silliness, as everyone when I arrived was not matching. Purple was maroon, lb was purple, I was (per usual) black. When Mr. Zune arrived, he was green. "So what color shirt is radius wearing today?" we greeted him.

This was an unusual enough greeting to make him threaten to leave us, but after we "explained" (that we were being nonsensical), he guessed black. lb guessed orange (as he is vaguely aware that radius owns an orange shirt). When radius arrived, I said, "You're right!" to Mr. Zune. The shirt was in fact darkish grey. "Light black?" someone said. It was a bit of a running joke that afternoon.

Australia is, in fact, trying to kill everyone. phone's train was canceled on account of it was hit by lightning. We made radius attempt to explain these things to us.

Later, there was a different, and sadder, kind of train problem closer to home. When Caltrain meets a vehicle on the tracks, nobody wins, but physics favors Caltrain. Twitter tells me that two people died, one in the first collision and another in a subsequent one.

Conference planning continues.
Research planning continues.
Evaluation of the potential new tool continues.
The people responsible for the helldesk tool will get back to me about two questions I have had.
Closing a window did not fix the weird howling fan problem audible from radius's office.
The mood lighting in radius and Purple's building's bathroom has been fixed.

Five years -- nearly six, now -- is a long time. Fishie doesn't fully remember those early days anymore, so it's part of my duty as a fishmum to point out some of the changes I've noticed between then and now, and what I think of them. I am so, so proud of her.

Purple had some last-minute stuff for an internal papers thing, and I was on the point of grabbing one of his favorite candies and heading over to his building to say goodnight and I was going the hell home, when he finished up, and we wound up in the chilly parking lot.

I saw a meteor, but by the time he turned around, it had gone from a green-white streak into a collection of orange sparks and vanished.

We laughed about cats and hens and dogs and terrible/hilarious tv shows, then headed off for dinner and home.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Got up. Shambled to work.

Lennon Glasses Guy needed external speakers for something. I happened to have some of those, and conscientiously labeled them before dropping them on his desk. It's not that I distrust him, it's that it's company-branded gear at a company awash in same, and I kind of like those little speakers and would prefer that someone not think they were abandoned and pick them up and take them home.

Realized, at length, that it was 12:45 and there should probably be some lunch at some point. Pinged Purple, who went approximately, "OH CRAP!" and sent the lunch call. There were cupcakes with a really nice raspberry buttercream frosting. One of the days this week, I'm not sure which one but not today, involved a guest re-appearance of the Rollercoaster Tycoon. He's just down the street, so he dropped in to pay the non-badged lunch surcharge and hang out with the gang.

The blond bearded whitedude designers of the Monkey House have set up a Slack team for the department, in service of chatting in a more lively fashion while planning the internal conference. I immediately set up RSS integration for the related not!Facebook groups. I shall have to ask them about IRC/XMPP gateway setup.

This week's hallmark of my reviews-of-external-stuff to teammates has been bluntness.
"Maybe we could have pizza?" Madam Standards asked, at the Tuesday meeting that was meant to have been about menus for the conference.
"[catering] pizza is crap," I said, and then looked around in the hopes that nobody from catering had been walking by to overhear me.
"What do you think of [file-sharing software from the Borg]?" the shorter blond bearded whitedude asked me at the Thursday conference meeting.
"Unusable," I said. The reaction around the table indicated that they'd been expecting a much more lengthy and perhaps angry rant.

Someone at lunch also brought up the topic of catering pizza, and Purple and I reacted with horror. Purple started to explain it, but seemed unequal to the description.
"Take some really mediocre yeast rolls, about two inches thick," I started. "Smear a thin layer of pretty terrible tomato sauce on that. On top of that, some crappy pepperoni, and mozzarella--"
"Plastic," Purple added. "It's the stuff that turns to plastic after you heat it."
"And after broiling it for not quite long enough, leave it to sit for 45 minutes before serving," I concluded.

There was some discussion as to whether this was supposed to constitute "deep dish", due to the height of the bread layer. The overwhelming consensus was that it did not.

"Hitchhiker's Guide," Purple said. "Tea."
"YES!" I agreed. "It's like an alien who does not know how to cook described pizza to a robot cook who does not know how to love."

The facilities team has promised to clean the I-believe-it's-probably-not-butter off the new couch in the quiet room. Perhaps when I'm feeling a little more bold, I will inquire if there are any spare couches which could be deployed in my building's rec room. It turns out that sometimes you can get amazing things to happen if you know who to ask for them.

radius inquired after people up for a walk, as he was paying a call on a department somewhat east of the milkshake bunker, in order to collect some hardware in exchange for bugs. (This, in fact, was the event that made me look at the clock and go "oops", lunchwise.) I readied a diplomatic pouch (in the chocolate-based-diplomacy sense) and we wandered off. Notes on technology were exchanged. A lot of his expertise involves some deep file system stuff. I explained the basic concept of Slack. He mentioned that stateful implied deeply integrated logging, and how sometimes the department we had just visited occasionally said things which oughtn't to be on the record, and sometimes logs therefore disappeared. I decided to look into how that worked on Slack.

ajlunatic: also I was chatting with one of the guys and a feature that I don't know if Slack has is, occasionally there are things which get said which ought not to have been said, and should be scrubbed from the logs
talldude: hmm that's a good point
(10 minutes of FAQ-trawling)
ajlunatic: so the answer here is: if you say something which should be unsaid, please promptly unsay it, via the handy little gear.
shortdude: hah yep good policy!

The speakers worked out for Lennon Glasses Guy and his team. He returned them. I showed him my doorbell, as knocking on my cabinet will get my attention, but not actually activate my "this person is here for me" routines. He may borrow the speakers again next week. I gave him directions to find them, should I not be present: in the shelf under the flower-crowned loon head, right next to the refrigerator. Directions within my cube are perhaps not conventional.

I disappeared down the rabbit hole of attempting to figure out externally-facing website possibilities for the conference. The thing that the helpdesk pointed me at looks as though it last had its documentation updated in 2009. I may go yell into the team Slack a bit.

Now that fishie is a grown-up, she is learning that the Fishmum is somewhat more flappable than previously evident. Fishmum does in fact experience anxiety every now and then!

I like the battery capabilities of the new phone case. I do not like the implied bounce-resistance capabilities. I will be sitting down with it and some sugru in the near future. I will also have to meddle with the settings on my watch, as the replacement arrived. I got the watch bands switched over (nylon strap for me, thanks) and got the old face packed up to go in the mail.

Eventually I pinged Purple. ("Ping?") In a tiny relief to that part of me which constantly fears that being left out of one thing is a sign that I will be left out of All The Things and should take that as a signal that I am Not Part Of The Group, without overt prompting he asked if I was good with a particular dinner venue. I displayed caution over the possible V-D clogging-up of same; he figured it would be good. (And, perhaps, may have made a reservation.)

There was wrapping up. We headed out. He arrived first, and managed to score a very near parking spot. I did not score same. I found street parking, then found him inside. I hadn't felt the buzz from his text, but he'd sent a very thoughtful text about his location within the building. I'd just been wandering around looking for his hair.

Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly arrived, at length. She'd had Quite Some Time looking for a parking place. We proceeded to have a lovely dinner. Purple needed a large slab of beef in service of not being anaemic. (Anaemia: the opposite of a super-power, unless wacky magnetic shenanigans are involved.) The phrase "the odds are good, but the goods are odd" as applied to the men of Alaska, does not imply that their second and fourth balls have been eaten by bears. (N.B.: do not request oral sex from bears, unless it's the hairy gaydude sort and you have that sort of relationship.) Purple is still impressed with that conversation in which radius and I managed to not-say some really terribly inappropriate things in IRC.

The bench attempted to eat my badge when I stood up. I am happy that I picked a badge reel which is generally over-engineered for the purpose, because my stuff tends to take quite a beating.

I called [personal profile] amberfox; it's been a while! Phone-based hilarity prompted me to stop at the rest stop in order to call her back after a dead spot dropped the call as I drove through it, and then when she tried calling me, my headset didn't wind up picking up until she'd disconnected.

I am plotting a talk for Open Source Bridge, but so far it's not made it into words.

Tomorrow may involve touring another apartment complex, if I can pry myself out of bed.


azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
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