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Quiet day

Jan. 1st, 2017 11:34 pm
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
I imagine that with enough exposure, I will learn the loops and angles of my partner's handwriting. The addressed envelope on my clean desk already seems less alien.

I cleaned, for new year's eve. I wanted to start the year with a clean desk and no dirty dishes. And it came to pass.

I got a solid start on my quilt. It's going to be haphazard, I know. But it'll be my kind of haphazard. I swapped out the old broken keyboard for the new one. Same model. I won't be able to keep using the same model forever, but I hope to get another four+ years out of the new one. By that point there may be something new and delightful on the market.

My watch isn't keeping proper track of my average step count. Ordinarily I'd expect some fluctuation as days pass, but it hasn't done that. So I'll have to look at the averages elsewhere. And it turns out that my average actually passed my goal, the goal that had been out of sight between the surgery and the depression. So now I've got a new goal.

At some point my feelings about LiveJournal became, approximately: "I love and trust my friends there, but they're not the ones making the decisions." And now I hear that it's possible that there's no-one working there that I know anymore. (Well. I knew one person in the Moscow office, and had heard the names of others, so I wouldn't want the Moscow office to be trampled by angry yaks.) And the servers no longer have California IP addresses, and (I hear) some pro-Ukraine blogs have turned up missing, after the move. And there are much weaker protections on user privacy over there.

So that's a thing that's happening.

I don't know what country has the best user protection laws these days. There's a new [site community profile] dw_news post up, on the recent events.

Cloudflare, DW's CDN, was hit particularly hard by the leap second. Earlier, there was a DW web server misbehaving. kab got Mark out of bed for that one.

There's now a need for Russian-speaking volunteer support. The old is new again.

I made the mistake of getting chewable vitamin C tablets, instead of the easily swallowed variety. While I'm swallowing them all the same, this means that their fake-orange taste leeches onto the tongue. This would be less of a problem, except my spironolactone is peppermint-flavored. I'm becoming accustomed to the orange-juice-and-toothpaste effect of taking my pills, now...

Part of the quiet effect of the day is less chatter with my partner. Uncharitable words about the ex. )
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (blue star)
So, what a year.

* (2015) Learned I was losing my beloved administrative assistant/Yelling as a Service job, due to Silly Valley contract shenanigans.
* Mourned this loss...
* ... until I learned that my entire second department was being downsized and offshored. Then I got mad.
* Read the riot act about same to the CEO, in front of a whole-company meeting.
* Worked to hang on to some of the important friendships I had made over the course of my four years.
* Helped run a conference!
* Learned that someone I knew in my youth had gone on to do something that they really oughtn't to have done, and dealt with that information the best way I knew how.
* Presented at Open Source Bridge.
* Got up the nerve to declare myself to the person I'd been low-key flirting with since the last Open Source Bridge.
* Was kissed by this person. (Kissed them back.)
* Didn't do anything super dumb.
* Started the sort of heavy-duty communication that a very intimate but complicated relationship is going to need, just in the off chance one developed.
* ... Ooops.
* Helping my friend (and, later, dearest primary partner) begin the long, painful, and difficult process of Dealing With All The Things.
* Hysterectomy. (Plus tubes, ovaries, and bonus lymph nodes.)
* Cancer.
* Made things actually official with my primary partner, much to the relief of everyone following the saga.
* Radiation.
* Recovery.
* Fuck my sleep schedule.
* Declared my feelings to someone else, also with a not-terrible outcome. :)
* Started making tentative plans for relocation.
* Fishmummed, and saw my baby girl for winter break! #nobodydied #homefortheholidays

This was not a quiet year for me.

Compared to this time last year, I'm cancer-free. I'm in a relationship that is like a substantial external battery of capability and cope, and we seem to be mutually supportive and both still a little codswalloped over our good luck.

A lot of things about 2016 have sucked, but getting my uterus out, getting together with my partner, getting my partner pointed in the direction of freedom, and starting a very interesting conversation with a certain former co-worker -- all of those were good.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (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 [twitter.com 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.


Feb. 26th, 2016 01:21 am
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Eldest Aunt (Aunt-Fayoumis) is turning 70 ergo there is a family reunion at her place.

Guide Dog Aunt decided we would drive down (after some hesitation due to not knowing how her new meds affected her after coming down with Bell's Palsy on Monday) and therefore both of us overpacked but we got the gear in her car and drove.

We swapped off. She took the first bit, I took some afternoon, she took LA rush hour, then I got us the rest of the way there.

Between us, we packed 13 cucumbers.

We stopped to chat with [personal profile] sithjawa and meet Gabrielle, who is the best behaved small-to-medium-sized dog I have met. She is unfailingly courteous and asks before eating your snacks.

Purple told me to remember 10 & 2. I told him he was an asshole. (When I tell him this in person, it's typically accompanied by a fond smile and a shoulder bump. Lacking this in email, "lol", ":-P", and "<3" became involved.)

If you run into a book called Florence of Arabia, don't fucking bother. The only person I didn't dislike intensely within the first 7 chapters was the heroine, and I didn't much care for her; the person I hated second least was a now-dead drunk driver. The fictional politics of the imaginary Middle Eastern countries smacks of smug American reductionism and flaming liberal Islamiphobia of the worst kind.

We arrived first. Getting through LA took a while.

Mama and my dad are here now.

The water tastes strongly of iron and sulfur. It in fact tastes like the water at the babysitting job from hell from 1996. Hello flashbacks! Happily they are no longer super damaging, just surreal.

I asked for the wifi password before anything else.

I will do laundry in the morning. (Lost home apartment laundry room keys. Oops.)
azurelunatic: Axial tilt is the reason for the season. (Festive red & green text; diagram of Earth's axial tilt.) (axial tilt)
I wore my hair loose on the 18th. We went out to lunch to say goodbye to radius, who is heading back to Australia in the new year. (He is from Australia, and had only planned to spend ~2 years in the US; he's coming up on 10.) Lunch was nice: it was radius, Beldorion, Mr. Netflix, lb, Mr. Wizard Beard, Purple, and me.

After we got back from lunch, some more work.

I broke the bad news to JJ (the guy who used to work on Kipper/Llama).

Then the beer bash. I went out a little later than usual, and wound up at a table with radius and some of his guys. (He realized, somewhat later, that he hadn't made any introductions; that was okay.) There was shop talk.

Purple showed up, and Mr. Tux, and the Dean. We talked Star Wars. The Dean was super stoked.

Purple wasn't up for dinner (between lunch and beer bash) so we talked a while in the parking lot before splitting for home.

I cleaned for much of the weekend. I had resolved to entirely rearrange the apartment before Fishie visited, so there'd be room for the air mattress. I had started, but of course put off most of it until the last weekend. I did get my bed moved across the room first, which was one of those exercises which involved moving things piece by piece, traffic jam game style. One of the wheels on the bed frame had fallen off, which made things much more interesting. Then I moved the "computer-industrial complex", which necessitated some fun with the new uninterruptable power supply. I, er, may have forgotten to turn it on...

I had overplanned for Monday. I'd hoped to run some errands (including picking up the new UPS); I did get those done, as well as pick up some marshmallows and toasting forks. My intended small Solstice gathering got rained out. I tried to at least light the fire pit against the darkness, but it was too rainy to ignite. Purple and I walked out to our cars, said goodnight, and then I went home for more cleaning, and lighting a candle at the appointed hour.

It was nice, sitting around in the dark but for the light of a candle (well, and my computer screens). Peaceful. Renewing.

It's dark as fuck, but we've got fire, man.
azurelunatic: Yuletide status is: Flanick (yuletide: flanick)
I got two lovely things:


Ghosts in the Machine (1954 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Foreigner Series - C. J. Cherryh
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Bren Cameron

Bren slips back and forth between memory, dream, and reality. (Set mainly between Foreigner and Invader.)

This is a ghostly, lyrical little piece about Bren's man'chi, caught between two worlds and multiple states of being.


Piña Coladas in Margaritaville (100 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Escape (The Piña Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes (Song), Jurassic World (2015)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Additional Tags: Drabble, yumadrin, Yuletide Treat, Yuletide Madness Drabble Invitational

Save the Piñas, save the world.

This fun drabble crosses over the Piña Colada song, Wasting Away in Margaritaville (so totally the same dude), and Jurassic World.

azurelunatic: Chocolate dessert, captioned No Artificial Shortages  (no artificial shortages)
"Fucksgiving" may have entered my life as someone's typo, but it is now the Thursday-in-November holiday of choice. Its rules are simple:

Gather together as many compatible people who you give a fuck about as practical.
Have a good meal.
Think of the things that you give a fuck about.
Think of the things you thank fuck for.

So upon seeing the new Double Union space, and that there was a substantial and functional kitchen, I hit upon the idea of cooking. There was a conversation while cleaning up from the (awesome!!!) Halloween party. We could bake cookies! Have fresh-baked cookies every time we went! Have parties which involved cooking! THANKSGIVING!!!

So I resolved to host a Thanksgiving party at Double Union, for members and guests.

It turned out that [personal profile] quartzpebble was able to make it, with a delightful friend whose acquaintance I was very pleased to make.

There is not yet a full set of kitchen tools at Double Union, so while there were enough foil baking pans, it was a good thing that I brought a cookie sheet with me, to stabilize the pan underneath the very heavy turkey. It took four hands to get it out without spilling.

I'd been cooking, crocheting, and watching The Middleman before people showed up; after people showed up, there was cooking, crocheting, lock-picking, putting things away and sorting things, and subversive artwork. (Subversive artwork is always such great fun.)

Wednesday through Sunday was poodlesitting, so I was at my aunt's with the poodle most of the rest of the weekend, though [personal profile] emmah and [personal profile] cynthia1960's party was Friday, and my crocheting and I went there too. Once I finish the current project I really must start in on Sex Ed Hat II: What The Dickens!?!?

I did get the opportunity to finish watching The Middleman over the weekend. It is good. I discovered it was still in my crocheting bag on Tuesday, and so now Purple has borrowed it.
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Wednesday and Thursday were both fuck o'clock meeting mornings. I went. I took notes. Parking at work has been wacky lately due to the neighbors sharing the lot by my building.

Thursday evening was a party at my hackerspace. I went first in search of a fake knife suitable for my costume. The Halloween shop was super super crowded. They had a couple knives but none quite suitable. Then I went in search of toilet paper, as I was nearly out. (Things that make me glad to be an adult: not looked at with suspicion for buying toilet paper the day before Halloween.) I looked for a knife there, but again, no luck.

I showed up at the hackerspace. Parking was not a problem. I ran into a bunch of people I already knew (from online and off) and had several delightful chats. There was someone dressed as Deep Dream, and an awesome Clipper Card.

There was a paper circuits station, and a buttonmaking station. I helped a few people learn the button maker. I then tried my hand at combining the little light and the button, and learned a few practical considerations.

Eventually it was late and the cleanup was nearly over; the key member in the R2D2 dress was a little stressed about getting people to leave. A few people had just gone upstairs to examine the library, so I gave them a few minutes.

Then I clapped my hands very loudly a few times. In my third-best carrying voice, I thanked everyone for coming and declared it a delightful evening. And if they were not actively engaged in cleaning up, I added, they could please feel free to make their way towards the exits.

I figured out the knife problem while I was at the hackerspace. Read more... ) I dressed in full-on pajamas: curlers and a kerchief, a pink nightgown top, fuzzy South Park pants, and bare feet in my sandals. I carried my iPad for illustrative purposes, and kept a helpful big plastic wine glass as well. Losing a knife fight to YouTube: terrible experience, hilarious and alarming costume.

Friday was the work party. I showed off my costume to my team and random other people.

Eventually it was party time. I wandered over to the emergency tent with my emergency kit. I helped keep the fort held down. Eventually Purple came in. Eventually I wandered up to join him, and located him, and shortly located Mr. Zune as well (in town again briefly; he moved up to the Seattle area). Mr. Zune finally met the Chicken Guy. I snagged some of Purple's cotton candy.

There had been a DJ. We decided to go in to the concert area on the big lawn. The security guys were demanding to see badges and wristbands. I made to present mine; the security guy said "I know you!" and waved me through. "Oh no! You have a knife in the arm! Call the emergency response team! Wait, you're the emergency response team! Help yourself!" A real cut-up, this guy. ;)

We found a place at the top of the slope with half a view of the stage. It had a great view of the steepest part of the slope, which was inhabited by a tiny Darth Vader, several stormtroopers, and countless Elsas and Batmen. They started out running around; eventually they would all start tumbling down the hill. It was adorable.

We mostly chatted; the musical act was not terrible but also not super compelling. Mr. Zune promised to let us know if he thinks a ducking is imminent, so we can attend. In the event, he will have to be back in Silly Valley so his team can do the ducking promptly, as otherwise they will try and get it done in some other way.

Purple and I ditched out shortly before the set ended, and did one last sweep of the food stalls to see if there was anything else we wanted. I got some chicken and cornbread and a snowcone. Purple got some questionable cherry popcorn. I claimed one piece. That was quite enough. We watched the crowds stream past and out.

The DJs were still going strong as we walked past, and were throwing Jonas Brother and candy themed pillows to the enthusiastic teenyboppers moshing on the lawn. The song involved going down and doing shots; I felt it was somewhat incongruous with the tiny children bouncing around enthusiastically. Purple and I watched the fun for another few minutes. He didn't register the song as being as incredibly inappropriate as I did. (Google and I eventually tracked it down: it is in fact "Timber", Pitbull feat. Ke$ha. Ahem. Read more... )
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
So I had some very specific plans for the 4th:

* Appropriate snacks
* Beach presence
* Things that go boom

I ventured forth and got the fruit before everything closed, but found myself a little reluctant to leave as early as I'd planned. Eventually, around 7:30, I wandered out with my little green wagon. As an afterthought, I tossed in a blanket, since I thought it might get windy or chilly. This was a great idea.

I saw some people in the little area off apartment complex property near the beach access, but I decided to wander further down. Eventually I wound up near the post office. I tried lighting my candle-in-a-jar with the big bbq lighter, but it was so windy it kept blowing out.

There were already people lighting things off, despite the lack of darkness. The people across the road finished up their thing and helped me light my candle. (Later, it blew out.) They left some sparklers with me and headed off.

I saw some large German Shepherds trotting around, with no human in sight. They trotted across the road. In the middle of the road, the skinny one started humping the chubby one. They came up against the beach fence and kept milling around and humping. Then they came up to me. I was not thrilled about the idea of other people thinking that I was these monsters' person. I got up and backed off. They followed me, crowding up against me and whacking into my wagon (the candle was out) and if I'd been slightly less steady on my feet, they'd have knocked me over. (They, amazingly, did not jump up on me.)

Someone pulled up in a minivan. She opened her door. The dogs pelted across the road. "Those your dogs?" I called.

"NO!!" she said, and as the dogs swarmed the van, slammed the door shut. The dogs kept humping each other right by the van. She drove away, as they showed no sign of leaving her alone. At that point I called the non-emergency number. The dogs trotted off in the direction of the Safeway parking lot.

A police car pulled throuh. The area was sort of humming with various forms of law enforcement. In the gathering dusk I saw an open back door, two furry shapes with long tails, and the back door being closed. Later, the animal control truck pulled up.

I'd picked a great spot for fireworks. I lost count of the number of groups who found a parking spot, let off their fireworks, then headed off. I could see down the coast a ways, and then the illicit displays up on the hill in the gap between buildings.

The low murmur of podcasts in my ear kept me company. I wrapped up in a blanket burrito and nibbled blueberries.

At length I was tired of trying to light sparklers, and the fireworks had diminished. I packed it all up and wandered back, pausing briefly by the group who had been spinning fire earlier.

Sunday, I stayed in. The dogs had been microchipped.

My tweets

Jul. 5th, 2015 12:08 pm
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Read more... )
azurelunatic: White capslock text on black background: AS OF 0700 GMT, OPERATIONS HAS DECLARED CASE *CAPSLOCK*. (case capslock)
So! That was an eventful Christmas!

Christmas day: First I chilled out at home, and also slept. Then I went over to my aunt's for dinner. She had decided to have a sausage festival, wherein her loving family would taste different types of sausage, olive oil, and vinegar. In theory it was a good plan! In practice, the sausages were all a little more spicy than anyone else was planning on. The habanero sausage was a bit much for everyone except Infamous Cousin and me, even cut into small chunks. I made a little sandwich of it with some of the nice sourdough, and found it spicy but good. (Infamous Cousin was waiting for me to run wailing for the milk, but bread was sufficient.)

All the kids got the same thing: frying pans. I introduced my aunt to my sister's and my word for "hit upside the head with a frying pan" in our private childhood language before unwrapping. (It is a language of few words, but we had a word for that specifically.) Very nice nonstick ceramic frying pans, it turned out upon opening, and money. I was deeply touched by the unexpected generosity and need to write a proper thank-you note.

Read more... )

I'd planned to get together with JD, and perhaps Purple, on Boxing Day. I picked up JD; Purple was otherwise occupied (friends needing help moving, most likely, or maybe not wanting to go 40 miles one way to see a movie even if it is with friends). We saw Into the Woods (the new movie adaptation) and had a great time.

Having realized that a deposit on an apartment in a cheaper part of the Bay Area was unexpectedly suddenly within my reach thanks to the generosity of Aunta Claus, I floated the possibility of being roommates to JD. He'll discuss the idea (and the proposed location) with Ryan. I dropped him off and then scampered to a bank location which I hoped did co-branching with my credit union, as a quickly-deposited check clears faster than a tardily-deposited check, and gathers more interest besides.

I was crossing the street when my phone rang. I had been expecting Nora, as she'd called earlier, and I'd called back, and we'd missed each other, but it was a number not in my phonebook. I debated not answering it. Then I peered at the screen as I got to the other side of the road. 907. Alaska. My parents' emergency cell. "Is everything okay?" I asked Mama.

Everything was not okay. My father was in the ICU, Medical details. ) By this time, he had started to become a good deal more cantankerous, which was a good sign.

Read more... )

They released him on Monday. Mama was a bit later than she might have liked to be and did not get to chat with the cardiologist herself, because she and some neighbors were busy moving the god-damned bed down the fucking stairs. Certain stubborn old coots have been braving the stairs, which haven't the slightest hint of a railing, through back problems, ankle problems, and various iterations of the heart problems, but this was Quite Enough. I gather that Mama made an executive decision, and lo, it was done.

We'll see what happens with the plumbing, also.
azurelunatic: Axial tilt is the reason for the season. (Festive red & green text; diagram of Earth's axial tilt.) (axial tilt)
Saturday: sleep, mostly.

Sunday: I woke up and then was slow about getting myself together to go off to the Gaymer December Shindig. I dressed up! ) The event is usually held in the church of one of the guys. It had stayed in the same location between this year and last year. I discovered a parking garage around the corner from the church, so I picked that instead of trying for street parking.

[personal profile] jd was there, and Dave, and [twitter.com profile] xlerb, and many of the usual suspects. I had brought a package for Dave and then a package for the White Elephant. I brought the Bigger Blacker Box. I brought a sack of little oranges.

The door of the church is kept locked outside of regular hours. I came in partway through an Ongoing Saga with some little old lady. Apparently earlier she had asked to come in and then cussed at people and told them they were Hitler when she was either not allowed in or shown the door. I was there when she asked to come in to eat her doughnut (and was refused). Later, she started messing with the security doors, and made them a hazard to the sidewalk, so someone had to go out to fold them back up.

[twitter.com profile] xlerb and I commiserated about our most favoritest ever helldesk software, to wit:

"Tell me you're not using $NAME."
"I'm so sorry. I wish I could."

Not only is it the $NAME he knows and loves ... knows, it's $NAME with a terrible and heavily redacted skin stuck over it, one that has no horizontal scrollbars so it becomes unusable even when wide content has tried to goatse it. (I used the little hand gestures.) Also, Beldorion was told off from the mob with torches and pitchforks for excessive vigor.

The thing about watching Dr. Who Christmas Specials on Netflix is that if you start from the same place each year, that's the same thing you'll watch. So there was the spider lady with all the eyes, and Donna, and the darling little adipose beasties, and the Doctor popping up over the side of the cube, and all was familiar and happy. I got some more loonembellishment done, and one of the existing buttons fell off. I'll have to sew it back on.

I joined in a game which had a lot of improbable beans. The politicking was hilarious.

Then there was another game, which I think was Betrayal at House on the Hill, in which Dave was the traitor and also won.

Finally there was the White Elephant (which waited for our game to finish up), which was fun. It combined White Elephant, Werewolf, and various characters from various Christmas/winter-themed things (The Grinch, Max the dog, Santa, Jack Skellington, various reindeer and elves, Elsa). Since I was wearing a tiara, I represented the 1% in the debate over who was the Grinch, in that pretty much everybody said "She's the 1%, it's probably her!" Although I did last until the final 3.

There was a surprisingly small amount of present-stealing, though it heated up at the end. I wound up with a tote bag from the Gaymer convention and a stuffed frog. It is a cute stuffed frog. Dave mentioned the origin story later.

The guy who got the chocolate shared, and there were some dramatic readings from the by-now-at-least-fourthhand book of porn. The pages did flip, and were not stuck together. There was also some kleenex in the package.

It was a lovely evening, and I think we did our part in holding back the darkness.

I gave JD a ride, and we got a chance to talk; we'll try and get together for Boxing Day.

I have a meeting tomorrow at 11am, to try and take a tour of the place we want to have the conference.
azurelunatic: A cartoon bee flying. Captioned "that'll give you, er, BEES."  (bees)
It turns out that the timer set via NFC chip on my phone does not go off when I'm on a phonecall. So I was later than planned to the family Thanksgiving thing. I brought:

* a box of Trader Joe's turkey gravy, in case my aunt was not in a gravy-making mood
* a jar of IKEA lingonberry sauce, in case no one else had thought about cranberry sauce (both Tay and Aunt-Fayoumis did)
* Sparkling cider, Costco-size
* Cards Against Humanity (and Crabs Adjust Humidity), the Bigger, Blacker Box

The turkey took quite some time in the oven. Dinner was going to be around four-ish, but the turkey had other ideas. There was food!!

Read more... )

It was at Guide Dog Aunt's house, so she and Woodworking Uncle were there. Aunt-Fayoumis had come up from SoCal. Tay and her Young Man came down from the city. Hipster Cousin was at home in Portland, and while Infamous Cousin had spent the night, he had several things to go to -- cooking at Mom's in the morning, helping his girlfriend with her cooking in the morning, going to another party in the afternoon, and then heading back to his girlfriend's.

It's been 14 years since Woodworking Uncle was at my erstwhile Overlady's new gig, so it's doubtful that many people there will remember him now.

My sister had been threatening to make cricket and earthworm flour cookies. She brought them. They were the little round gingersnaps, made with whole wheat pastry flour, coconut flour, and of course cricket flour and earthworm flour. They were mostly insufficiently gingery and sort of dry gingersnaps, despite Tay's Young Man drizzling more molasses on them. Tay said that they smelled sort of like dog food, and that it was the same scent from the cricket flour. I tried one. It was not terrible, but one was enough.

There was cooking and chatter and fun. The poodle is still in the Cone of Shame: he has five more days in it, for a total of 30. He seems much more energetic than the last time I was over. Kit, aka Sharkface, remains glossy and ever so enthusiastic. She was out in the yard; Guide Dog Aunt went to bring her in, but she was too wound up. So they played very energetic games in the back yard for a while before bringing her in. She got tucked in her kennel with a kongful of kibble and then a chewie, which she very enthusiastically demolished.

The table centerpiece was a fairly large squash, flanked by pomegranates and tangerines. Aunt-Fayoumis had polished the tangerines, as they hadn't been up to her exacting standards.

Everything was delicious. (Except, perhaps, the cookies.)

I mentioned the rule against me blowing bees in the courtyard to Tay, and then we were suddenly reminded of one of our dad's stories. I sent two emails: first, Purple, advising him that there was apparently a family history, and then Dad, to ask about the exact story (as I didn't want to get it wrong). This morning, he'd remembered it:
I was eating lunch outside [in Berkeley] with some friends, I noticed that an uninvited yellowjacket was cutting out a piece of meat, eating my lunch! It was positioned such that thumping it away was unreasonable, but I had a straw! I pinched near the mouth end of the straw with my thumbnail because I didn't want a yellowjacket down my throat, and placed the suction end near the backside of the miscreant glutton, sucked hard, felt and heard the insect hit the pinched part, and blew it into the bushes! Table companions showed astonishment behavior.

I don't believe that I had this consciously in mind on that lovely late summer day when I bounced the yellowjacket off Purple's arm. (The version that Tay and I remembered was slightly more embroidered and had ended, Shawnlike, in him spitting out an astonished and angry yellowjacket. The real version is still great.)

After dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity. It was the first time for Woodworking Uncle and Tay's Young Man. There was some joking that Tay and her Young Man might be cheating, because of how often Tay chose her Young Man's submissions. And apparently when Hipster Cousin and his girlfriend played Balderdash, you could tell which was Hipster Cousin's because of all her giggling.

My eternal Cards Against Humanity house rule is: this game is for fun. If there is a card that is not fun and is actually terrible, it should not be played; if I think it's terrible too, I am open to throwing it out; if I don't think it's so terrible it should be thrown out, it should nonetheless be withdrawn from that game, marked on the front, and perhaps not put in play in future games; cards which continue to be flagged as terrible should be permanently removed from my deck even if I don't personally object, because enough of my friends won't have fun with them. I have thrown out several so far, and will probably continue to do so into the future.

The best card )

Tay packed me a very full bag of "creepy cookies" to take to work. I will, of course, tell everyone what is in them. I may make some ginger-lemon frosting, to improve the taste.

I slept through most of Black Friday, though I did accidentally help blow up [twitter.com profile] LikeALiar's phone during a meeting, woops. She'd asked for recs! And then we all got in a very intense discussion of The Magicians.

I kind of loved it, because both Harry Potter and Narnia lied to me, and I was that kind of very bright student. Quentin is also a little shit, and both Quentin and the author don't give women a fair turn. I can't think about Quentin as a man, rather than as a person, or I get too stabbity. Seeing Quentin helped me move on from being Quentin.

Tomorrow there is going to be something going on at Guide Dog Aunt's. I hope I'll be awake. And then Sunday, I'm planning to meet up for coffee and fibercraft with [personal profile] quartzpebble. Yay!
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Choose no more than two of the following: quick/convenient, inexpensive, Friendly Neighborhood Establishment. Which is to say, it was time for Vash to get his oil changed, and work vs. my sleep schedule vs. the need to either schedule or walk in hella early at the Friendly Neighborhood Establishment was not a good thing. So we went for the Not Actually Cheap place.

It was raining, which was lovely, although it did not give pause to the intermittent banging of various construction in and around my building.

I arrived in time for lunch. It was a smallish group, and fairly subdued. lb was home with what we hope isn't a broken butt; he had a bad fall while skating yesterday afternoon and one of the #adventuresofstnono crowd took him to the ER. (He's not part of Purple's regular lunch group, as he has a regular lunch group on his own floor.) So regardless of the rain, he wouldn't be out skating today.

Mr. Zune reported a hella awkward thing going on yesterday; I'll have to ask for an update at some point.

A lot of people were out, either working from home, on PTO, sick, or supervising small children partying hard.

I got the package from [personal profile] synecdochic! I have not fully explored it, but OH MY GOD THAT IS A LOT OF IMPS. HELLA DECANT CIRCLE IS HELLA. I can't remember just now whether I ordered the Pumpkin Spice Everything or whether it was an extra, but it plays rather better as BPAL on my skin than it does as variously edible confections. Clearly those spices are something I should look for in other blends. This is night and day vs. that one cinnamon one which smelled like hellfire and yelling on me. Also, All Saints was the perfect choice for a sniffie empty bottle in addition to the ordered imp -- it is exactly the kind of white florals which my skin loves so much. And the combination of adjacent All Saints and Pumpkin Spice Everything is something I'd like to explore further.

When we got to the possibly-social portion of the evening, I pinged IRC to see who was up for social. The only one who seemed to be around was Purple. I wrapped one bit of stuff, and wandered over with things. He'd been called into a nearby office. I left stuff on his desk and headed back to get a few more things done. Once he re-emerged, I came back over. We had popcorn, and rum in soda. Eventually his regular Friday night dinner buddy (a friend from his last workplace) called. He declared that he wasn't trick-or-treating (at which point I launched a well-timed, well-aimed bit of candy). He asked if I'd like to come along. Yes, I would.

It was good to meet his friend. She seems quiet, but really damn awesome, has the right kind of terrible sense of humor, and great at either not noticing or ignoring on purpose a host of irrelevant distractions. (Purple: "... wouldn't notice if a whole bunch of clowns marched into the workplace." Her: "I would notice; I would simply ignore them.") Knowing the likely size of the dessert, I asked for two spoons. Purple was still not up for dessert. I therefore took the other half home for later. (Yum.) (He would have claimed it for later had I not, however.)

Chatting on the side of the street between our cars is a somewhat different vibe than chatting in the cozy work parking lot. No hug, but that was all right. There doesn't always have to be a hug.

I had a candle quietly lit for a while after I got home.

Somewhat after midnight, I opened the traditional new text file for NaNo. Not sure what I'm doing this year, but it is what I do in November.
azurelunatic: Thalia, Muse of Comedy, in a plaster relief sculpture. She is adorned with an ivy wreath, holds crook & mask (Thalia)
17:56 2013-11-29
It has come to my attention that people are woefully uninformed about certain episodes in the Thanksgiving narrative. For example, almost no one mentions the part where Squanto threatens to release a bioweapon buried under Plymouth Rock that will bring about the apocalypse.

Thanksgiving! (Thanksgayming)

As is becoming startlingly frequent for me, halfassed my Thanksgiving plans, but had a lovely time.

Read more... )
azurelunatic: We're about to set a weirdness baseline the likes of which the planet has never seen.  (weirdness baseline)

Apparently I never arrive anywhere, I just sort of ... appear. This according to Madam Standards, who was discussing my trick of doing this with the Party Commandant. (I really have to figure out a name for her that sticks.) I sort of appeared at the morning meeting yesterday (I'd come up via the elevator from the parking lot level, instead of walking down the path) and I was already in the auditorium because I'd arrived an hour before.

Read more... )

The Nervous Dev continued checking in items; I continued with my keen and slightly less caffeinated QA, and dealt with other inbox items between times. Then I prepared the briefing packet for 2nd Thursday.

Eventually I was just sore and feeling sort of weepy, so stomped over to Purple's office with an "obscenely large" (my manager's phrasing) blowpop. Sex jokes and boundaries. )

Then I went home and eventually got sleep.

It was a 2nd Thursday! I woke up before my alarm and got going, noting in passing that Tuesday's general wrath and Wednesday's woe were explained by the sudden #bloodcannon.

Even with the refueling and packing for the picnic, I was at work very early. I could have used more sleep, but trying for it would have thrown a disproportionate delay into the commute, and that would have been bad. But! I had the comfy chair! So I curled up and tried for a nap in my cube. I realized shortly that I would have to prop my feet on my desk chair in order to actually rest. So I did that, and woke up a half-hour later, feeling refreshed enough that the cup of coffee was optional and ultimately small.

The meeting was sparsely attended but went smoothly, after the guy on the other end of the phone called back for a better connection (yay).

I wrestled with syncing the pages off the pen. I'm taking this as a warning sign of some sort. By the time I got them off, it was just about time to leave for the picnic, but things were already wacky even before we left.

One of the guys had brought a football, and they were tossing it about in our beautiful just-us-chickens lobby area. Designer Bro had Researcher Carmageddon throw the football so he could throw himself down on the seats while diving and catching it.

Me, to various in IM: If they break any of my bottles of syrup, I'm going to pour the rest over their heads and send them to the showers.

The Randomizer walked up while all this was going on, and declared that we needed scooters to properly take advantage of our lovely long and clear hallway.

"Skateboard jousting!" I called from my corner.

"Yes!" he said.

Then we all started heading off to the picnic. I got one of the last good parking spaces. I had a bag of gear, including a towel, some bubbles, a squirt gun, and of course my hat.

"Not THE Hat?" Purple asked later.

I knew, of course, what he meant by "THE Hat". It wasn't that hat. I explained: for those who have not been introduced to the definitive hat, there are three other candidates. One is my venerable Purple Hat, by which I was known in high school. One is my Pride Hat, which looks like an Easter bonnet collided with a Pride parade. The third -- well.

The base is a screaming fuchsia straw hat. Then I Happened to it, armed with a trip to the dollar store and a hot glue gun. There are any number of very vivid, mostly tropical, flowers. There are ribbons. There are test-tube style neon plastic shot glasses. There are little umbrellas. There is a pair of sunglasses shaped like margarita glasses. There is, incredibly, a drink container shaped like a pineapple or palm tree (it's not quite clear which), to which I attached a pinwheel. The effect is aggressively festive.

Reactions were mixed between horror and delighted hilarity. To my delight, one of my uncle-managers declared that it was almost worthy of Carmen Miranda. I received compliments from complete strangers. The most common question: "Did you make that yourself?" Purple pointed out that if I hadn't made that myself, that would mean that such things were available for purchase somewhere out there. I didn't think at the time to point out places like Etsy.

I laid out my towel on the lawn, setting down my bag of gear. Designer Bro found the supersoaker. Designer Bro filled it up. He declared team amnesty -- and then caught sight of Researcher Carmageddon. "Except for Researcher Carmageddon," he amended, as Researcher Carmageddon spluttered damply. Researcher Sweatervest was next under fire water.

I sat on my towel and waved my bubble wand. One of the interns joined me for a bit. Madam Standards showed up and declared that again I'd managed to just appear rather than arrive, and made sure that I was properly sprayed down with sunscreen. #whofishmumsthefishmum #fishmummingtheunfishmummable

Lunch was late, but tasty.

There was a game involving not talking shop, with little ribbon and card necklaces which you had to surrender to the person who asked for them if you said one of the forbidden words. Designer Sparkles, who is hella competitive, declared that she wasn't playing. Most of the team promptly donated their necklaces to her. Word got around, and soon a very large number of people did likewise.

There were prizes for various things. The no-shop-talk game was one of them; Designer Sparkles was in the top 3. I believe she and someone else tied for first place, but I could be wrong; there was a difference of 4 necklaces between first and second place, and one was a tie.

I won the prize for best hat. There had not even been a contest for best hat until I had walked in and won it. The prize I picked was a picnic/beach blanket.

Mr. Zune was there, as he is an organizational second cousin and therefore in this department, and we talked about the logistics of having Shirley Temples at work. (I have pomegranate syrup, and we discussed how to keep the cherries -- I said that it would have to be in the condiment shelf of the milk fridge, and accept that it would be shared.) I had been the first to ask for a Shirley Temple at the bar -- it was within an hour of leaving time, and I wanted something fun but safe. The bartender had been waiting for someone to ask. :D

I'd lost track of how I'd gotten to know Mr. Zune, except of course work IRC, but he was able to fill in -- he'd known [twitter.com profile] xlerb first, and had thus been introduced to the rest of the #cupcake crew.

I threw myself into the transcription when I got back.Read more... )
azurelunatic: Blue-iced cupcake with sprinkles.  (cupcake)
I have a lot of hair. I wore it loose for large parts of today in honor of the holiday. Today was also Very Hot, resulting in more stacking of my hair on top of my head when not otherwise occupied. It was a lot of mode-switching. It's currently insufficiently blue.

I wished Purple a happy Beltane. He wished me one as well. Then he asked me what exactly the holiday entailed. "Fire, flowers, and ... other things," I said.

"...Bunnies?" he said, with his eyebrows also.

... yes.

So that resulted in me telling him about the bunny pie incident.

Yesterday I discovered that a particular goddamn 32-bit program didn't even want to let me sort 10 rows in a 40,600-odd row table. I upgraded to the 64-bit version, which incidentally was also three model years (one whole version) newer. Since those programs come in clusters, I was also treated to the center-bulgingly flat version of the current email reader. We'll see what I think of it in a week, but it managed to touch off my sense of something being terribly wrong, and also ugly.

Purple complained about the switch to flat-and-ugly on a recent iOS update. I'd also seen that switch, and had been unimpressed but not aesthetically offended. This, at least at the outset, aesthetically offends me. Re-tuning the display helped some, but not as much as I was hoping.

There is a current vigorous debate about both figurative and literal transparency in the workplace, manifested with those with (newly frosted) glass conference room walls throwing stones. (It's not buttercream, and therefore I disapprove.) Purple grumbled. Designer Sparkles posted to not!Facebook and told me that I needed to 'like' it. (I 'like'd, and then shared it with that group with known strong opinions about frosting, #cupcake.) Mr. Zune 'like'd. Purple screeded a bit. (Good man.) My manager was tactful in her words, and emphatic in her sudden @ of one of the number one folks from HR. A facilities upper-management type appeared in response to the summons and 'splained a bit.

Mindful of my status and my desire to not rock the wrong canoes, I muttered a bit in private chat with Purple, mentioning that these were some of the things that I might not say due to my status. He allowed as how he might (giving Designer Sparkles the chance to do so first).

Intending to give him carte blanche to echo my concerns as his own, I said the following: "you are welcome to strip-mine my back-channel for anything useful, dear engineer" -- before realizing exactly how that sounded.

We have not yet received notice of the date of the impending move, which sets us back at least a week. Purple thinks the other half of his department may be moving after the Maker Faire weekend, because some people in his destination building are moving the week before Maker Faire weekend.

It is very hot. Did I mention that it was very hot? It hit 94 in Palo Alto.

I accidentally knocked my glasses into Purple's doorframe, and he teased me a bit about it. I was amused. We got into the topic of cats and the "I totally meant to do that thing" thing. He explained that there was also the "if you laugh at me I'm going to hurt you" mode -- most of his childhood cats were the sort who would come up and swipe at you, rather than hork in your shoes or pee on your bed. But many things are forgiven when you scritch a cat behind the ears. Many things react well to being scritched behind the ears! he said earnestly.

It turns out that if you scritch an engineer behind the nearest ear, first the engineer may lean into it, then other factors may catch up and he may look at you sort of funny. (It was, in fact, downright hilarious.)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)

(Lyrics are nsfw, and also performed in ASL.)

Happy Beltane.


azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
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