noideadog: (black books)
I started listening to Rebecca on my cycle home this evening. I wasn't initially impressed -- I have very little time for dream sequences and florid prose; you get one (short) paragraph to tell me what the mist on the hollyhocks in the garden looked like and then there had better be some plot, sharpish -- but by chapter three I was hooked. As usually seems to happen, I'm surprised and pleased at how enjoyable (as opposed to just worthy) a classic can be.

The audiobook's good too. It's well read and the narrator brings out the viciousness of the character descriptions with appropriate vehemence.

"There was nothing for it but to sit in my usual place beside Mrs Van Hopper while she, like a large, complacent spider, spun her wide net of tedium about the stranger's person."


No spoilers please; I'm not far in.
noideadog: (black books)
Meme from various people in honour of World Book Week with some extra categories I made up.

Books I am reading:

- Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories, by Lauren Groff. We're reading this for book club. I don't read a lot of short stories, so this is a change of pace, and not one I'm sure I like. The stories are engaging, but this format may not be for me. Once I make an investment in getting to know some characters, I like them to stay around a while. Which goes some way to explaining...

- The Confusion, by Neal Stephenson. This is my second read through of the Baroque Cycle, and this time I'm taking notes and reading the history of the time in parallel. I enjoyed it a lot the first time through, but it's a joy to my heart this time. I would just read this constantly all day if I could. I've also bought the same book on Audible (such luxury!) so I can listen to it while I'm running. It'd be fantastic if the Kindle and the Audible editions synced bookmarks, so "Sync to furthest read" knew how far I'd gotten on the audio version too. Kindle and audible are both owned by amazon, so maybe it will happen some time. I love this book-reading future.

Books that recently blew my freakin' mind:

- Gödel Escher Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter. Even thinking about it makes me do a big grin like this: :-D It's very clever and genuinely delightful.

The last book I received as a gift:

- Simon's Cat from Paul Gliceas. It's from the guy who made these videos, and it does a lovely job of capturing the absurd behaviour of small fluffy terrorists. It's very sweet.

The last book I gave as a gift:

- Probably Cooking for Geeks for Joel for Christmas.

The nearest book:

- I wish I could say Knuth, but that's a tiny bit further away than The Definitive ANTLR Reference. Bo-ring. I'm sitting at Joel's desk right now while an electrician works on my study.

Books I recently gave up on:

- Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. 75% of the way through and I lost the will to even try to care. I liked Galapagos (quite a lot) and Slaughterhouse Five (well enough), but this did nothing for me. I can't even remember what it's about now.
- A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. How can this be from the same dude who gave me a Fire Upon the Deep? This is seven million pages of losing my mind through boredom. Yawnorama.

There is an electrician in my house today, bringing us new power outlets, a digital thermostat, and a vibrant soundtrack about the failings of the carpenters who put up our walls. I've learned that considerate carpenters would have left some apertures for, for example, a worthy electrician to run cables into the walk-in closet that is now my study. Unfortunately, this was not the kind of contractors who worked on this house, so he needs to run the cables above the door frame, along the ceiling, back down to the floor, through vents, and so on. It means that there are a few more holes in our walls than there were this morning. They're tidy holes, so I'm not too bothered, but he's clearly irritated at not doing an invisible job, and I'm admiring the professional pride of someone who cares about their work. It's a good deal.

Usually I'd be pretty uncomfortable at this point -- if you've read this blog recently you'll know that I hate and avoid this kind of interaction -- but the difficult parts are done and I've already ascertained that one does not tip an electrician, so I'm uncharacteristically relaxed about what happens after this. It helps a lot that the guy is a bit nerdy and cautious of movement, not overbearing or macho at all. Dealing with nerds is so much easier. I speak fluent nerd. Maybe I'm also getting better at having someone doing work for me while I code in the other room, but that might be asking too much at this point. Nonetheless, a step in the right direction. Well done, me.

He just came in to ask, for the second time today, if it was ok if he used the bathroom. Absolutely not, I said. (I mean, obviously not, but I always think this and find myself hilarious.)
noideadog: (black books)
From almost the end of Quicksilver:

"...he was distracted by an assistant who held before him a large book of engravings of diverse fishes. Pepys frowned at it for a moment. Then he recognized and rejected in the same instant, with revulsion. The R.S. had printed too many copies of it several years ago. Ever since, Fellows had been fobbing copies off on each other, trying to use them as legal tender for payment of old debts, employing them as doorstops, table-levelers, flower-presses, et cetera."

Anyone know what this is about? I assume it's a clever reference to something (some famous text we now wish we had an original copy of?), but it's beyond me. The scene is set in 1689, if that helps, and the RS is the Royal Society of London which, I just learned, totally still exists. I bet it's less cool in real life though.
noideadog: (Default)
Life, in several sentences:

Our cat got lost during the week but I haven't had time to write about it. Short version: we found her again, but, despite concentrated efforts to reassure each other that cats get stuck in places sometimes and it's not a big deal, you just have to go get them, we were pretty anxious about cars/dogs/poison/voodoo/whatever. It meant we got to talk to our intimidatingly laconic Italian neighbour though, and he was helpful, if gruff.

The taxi commission lost property site didn't find my phone. Actually, they didn't even look; they automatically close your ticket without telling you unless you know the medallion number of the cab. Useful service. Their site lists a phone number for the police precinct that deals with taxi lost property, so I guess I go there next. In the meantime, The Company's phone people issued me a new sim in under a minute and I've got a borrowed G1. Tiarnan warned me that I'd have about two hours of being happy about knowing what time it was again, and then the old technology would start to be unbearable. He was wrong. It was more like an hour and a half.

I went for a run this morning and it was pretty cold and my legs just weren't into it. I need to either get better at warming up or get used to the idea of being in a gym all winter. Sometimes running is like "FUCK YEAH LIFE IS GOOD!" and sometimes it's like "I could be eating chips right now. Why would anyone do this ridiculous torturous thing?". Today was the latter, but worse.

Cycling home last night was pretty nice though. Manhattan's much easier on the way home because there's a bike lane and no construction. Brooklyn seems to have bike lanes and excellently marked paths in only one direction though, so coming home was a symphony of "What do I doooooooo?"s and "Am I supposed to be... oh shiiiiit!"s. Manhattan's the scary part though, so I'll swap being lost and confused in Brooklyn for a clear run across the city any time.

We're going to DC this evening for the Rally To Restore Sanity. We've watched a lot of West Wing recently (thanks for votes on my poll a while back by the way!) and so I have Expectations of what DC will be like. They're unlikely to be correct. The cat's locked in the house while we're away (this is a direct consequence of the aforementioned lost-ness) and she's already crabby about it.

Work has been unusually busy, and for the last three weeks everything I touched turned into three other things that were pretty broken and pretty urgent, but it's calming down now and I've left a good trail of fixed stuff behind me. Or a trail of hairless yaks, if you subscribe to the industry terminology.

I'm about half way into Gödel, Escher, Bach, the Ulysses of computer science (there's an argument that that's Knuth, but I know several people who have read all of Ulysses. Go on, fess up if you've read TAOCP.). It's astonishingly good, much more witty and linguistically delightful than I'd expected and of course as clever as a clever thing on a particularly clever day. It's brilliant fun actually. I find myself exclaiming and laughing out loud on the subway. Highly recommended if you like thinking about things.

It's 12:38 and I should go to school.
noideadog: (meerkat)
This weekend I: was taught how to fry tacos by people who care a lot about the art of frying tacos, took my in-laws hiking in Cold Spring, went to Comic Con, ate a lot of cheese, continued reading A Deepness in the Sky (I'm finding it hard to care about any of the characters and I don't know why that is), read chapter two of GEB, watched lecture 18 of Stanford's Programming Abstractions course (C++ templates are stupid-looking, seriously), ran in our neighbourhood after dark (and got reminded that I should be wearing higher visibility clothing; this is why we need Joel's mom to visit from time to time), and helped triage the emergency hospitalisation of a miniature schnauzer two thousand miles away. The dog has a cracked pelvis and a broken jaw, but will survive and might even learn a lesson about chasing cars. (A lesson that will require a lot of expensive surgery. Stupid dog.)
noideadog: (black books)
Oh, something else I was thinking about. Is it weird if you buy a second copy of a book because you lent someone your first copy and you want to lend it to someone else and you're impatient? Also, what are your criteria for getting rid of books? I'm doing (or trying to do) a minor cull and I've been able to find about three that I can bear to part with. I gave a lot of books away before I moved here and since getting a kindle, I only buy books that I want to _have_. It seems to work out at a lot of books though, especially comics. I guess we need more shelves. I liked someone's idea that everything that can be bought on the internet belongs to you and that the internet is storing it for you in case you need it in future (which you probably won't), so you don't need to hoard. I find it hard to implement with books though.
noideadog: (meerkat)
This weekend I: hiked in the Palisades (the giant stairs and the aptly named 'long path'), planted lavender, made english muffins, ran in Doc Martens (not very far; it's hard work), finished reading The Unfolding of Language, ordered a Scooba, worked on my green card application, walked the whole way across Manhattan and back again (which took about fifteen minutes because I was on 175th street), continued watching Seinfeld (24 episodes left ever), and played way too much Dragon Age. It's good, but I'm starting to regret starting it. I'm twenty hours in, and I can see it growing to fill all of my available free time for the next year
noideadog: (meerkat)
This long holiday weekend I: got paged a bunch of times, planted tomatoes, lima beans, cranberries, zucchinis and courgettes, went to the garden centre (I am old I am old), started on phase two of Project: Have A Goddamn Lawn, ran a couple of times and recorded it using MyTracks, implemented linked lists (still learning C++), baked soda bread, watched Doctor Who, The Middleman and Veronica Mars, started reading iRobot, continued reading Mansfield Park (what odious people, especially the heroes), watched fireworks from a hammock, bought blackcurrants at the farmers market, drank good porter, assembled IKEA furniture, got quoted in my favourite Brooklyn blog (, and didn't start on my green card application even though that was the one thing I had to do this weekend. Next weekend!
noideadog: (meerkat)
I've been ignoring the problem of my visa expiring in November, so it's lucky that The Company's immigration people are on their game: they sent an email yesterday asking for information so that they can do all of the work. Sounds good to me! Hopefully I'll be able to do the interview in Toronto (it's the only embassy I can get to without flying), but if not, I'll be back in Dublin at some point in September or October. I guess I should apply for a green card some time, if only to get into the Real People line at the airport.

Since my passport is here anyway, I'm finally getting around to filling out the emergency contact section. I told it Joel's name, and the google voice number he forwards to whatever phone he's currently using, but I ignored the address field. Addresses don't seem very relevant any more. It kind of doesn't matter where you are. I love this unwired future.

Speaking of weird alternate realities, I was deciding what to read next on Aldiko, and one of the options was a Jane Austen book I hadn't heard of. "!", I said. Everyone knows that there are exactly six Jane Austen novels, and this seventh one blinking into existence on my phone's ebook reader threw me way off-balance. We're clearly in a parallel universe. I finished Lady Susan last night, and it's not bad; it's worth smoothly switching realities for. If I could now move into one which uncovers a lost episode of Spaced, that would be ok too.
noideadog: (booze)

From Powells Bookshop, Portland
Originally uploaded by xymb.
Tanya: "All we did today was go to a bookshop and then drink good beer"
Joel: "That's not at all true! I had two cocktails."

So, yeah, Portland, that's working out for us. From the outside, I thought that Powell's bookshop didn't look like such a big deal, but the inside is somehow bigger than the outside, and it is, actually, all that and more. They have so many books that their categories get cute and funny: not just fiction, but romantic fiction, and romantic holiday fiction, and (I swear) romantic vampire holiday fiction. I was entertained that there exists "nautical fiction" and Joel was amused by "paranormal romances" and all of that was just in the first ten minutes before we headed off in different directions for two hours.

The comics section seemed weird and unbalanced -- a ridiculously complete selection of indie/small press comics, but missing some obvious things -- until I realised there was a whole separate superhero section, and a whole separate manga section, and, by the way, that in turn had whole separate "young adult" and "yaoi" sections neatly separated out. Lots and lots of books. Tons of them. Powells is worth coming to Portland for.

Since we're not in the final city of our trip, since books are heavy, since I vowed not to get carried away, I restricted myself to only books that aren't available on Kindle and books that I wouldn't run into at Cosmic Comics or The Strand; I had to stop anyway because my arms were aching.

Later we drank some beers, then came back to the hotel for a nap, then drank more beers. For posterity:

  • Deschutes Brewery Obsidian Stout: Beer Advocate gets all excited about this, but I didn't think it was very interesting. It's a decent stout, but it's lacking enough individual personality to stop me comparing it to other stouts I have known. And I grew up, as it were, on Guinness. It's fine, but not worth the 6.8%. If you're going to make a strong beer, it has to give something in return.

  • Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter: This, on the other hand, was delicious. Really rounded, maybe a bit thin, but full of taste and character. It's sort of burnt and chocolatey, but without trying too hard to make a burnt and chocolatey statement. You get excellent beerness with this undercurrent of sweetness that's not overpowering at all, but rather makes a perfect balance to the hops. This is a fantastic beer. A++ would seek out again.

  • Stone Brewery Smoked Porter: Although it sounds like damning with faint praise, this was a perfectly adequate, perfectly drinkable beer. It wasn't the sort of thing that would make you want to sit down and write to the brewer, but if it was on tap at a bar, I would happily down one any time. It's full and rounded and it's very tasty. The sort of thing you would put in your fridge. I had a second one; what more compliment does it need?

So, books and beers and that's what we saw of Portland today. As I put on twitter today, we're not exactly touristic overachievers.
noideadog: (coffee)
Things about New York that I find heeelaaaaarious, #1 in a series:

Fashionable people wear wellington boots. Fashion wellies! You see women on the subway and in the office all perfect hair and designer everything and big shiny wellies. It makes me so, so happy.

Everything is busy and pretty good and much the same as it's been for a month, except a bit more rainy. Work, subway, poke at projects around the house, do Arabic homework, ignore email, try not to think about wedding planning, read under the blankets for half an hour after I should have been asleep, be woken up by the cat trying to open the door using violent percussion. The last one is entertaining when I'm awake, mental annoying when I'm asleep: I'm not sure whether she really believes that attacking the door will make it open, or if she knows that we'll eventually get angry enough to get up and let her out. Same thing I suppose. We're so well trained.

Arabic homework now takes up a couple of evenings a week, as well as any commutes where I get a seat. It's good fun, but time-consuming, and I still don't have a solid reason for learning the language. That doesn't mean that I want to stop, but after our teacher made some dark predictions yesterday about how nobody keeps studying it for fun after Arabic 4 (we're at Arabic 3), I feel like I should make some sort of decision about what the point is. It might need to be more concrete than "Well, I like learning stuff, and I like travelling, and I like linguistics, and I like cryptography and puzzles, and the Middle East is really interesting, so a widely-spoken language that uses a different script is as good a thing to learn as anything else. I mean, it's better than not learning it, right?". (This reason is pretty compelling so far)

In another year or something, I can take a sabbatical from work, and I'd love to go live in Beirut or Cairo for a couple of months and eat a lot of foul do an intensive study class and/or volunteer for [something arbitrary]. It's something to think about anyway.

I'm reading "Logicomix, an Epic Search for Truth" which is a comic about the logical foundations of mathematics and the life of Bertrand Russell. It's also telling the story of the team who are writing the comic, which is a technique that I like. Stories within stories make for a rich reading experience, and comics are really powerful at twisting threads together.

Speaking of entwined stories, I'm also reading Neal Stephenson's The System of the World and oh god I can't remember who any of the characters are I'm looking forward to some day being finished it, and starting again at Quicksilver, and reading the whole way through again and having a clue what's going on. It's... very good? ambitious? epic? intimidating? impressive? intricate? difficult? enjoyable? f**king enormous? Yes it is.
noideadog: (black books)
"The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book...". Heh. Quite.

I seem to remember that Knife of Dreams was actually not that bad, comparatively, but I can't remember much about it.
noideadog: (coffee)
In case of emergency, it's good to have the Kindle stocked with classics, entertainments, educational literature and things I should already have read but for some reason am not drawn to. I'm soliciting recommendations in all four categories. What should I read, please.
noideadog: (black books)
I'm reading the 1001 Nights and, you guys, either the translation is really lacking, or the ancient Persians spent most of the time bored out of their skulls. These are not gripping stories. If Scheherazade tried the same tactic today, there is not a chance in hell that she'd have made it to day three. She'd be in the middle of relating what the djinn said to the fisherman about the wazir, and Shahryar would completely lose it and have her killed.

Even if she skipped the poems.
noideadog: (monkey!)
Joy can be a verb! "Shah Zaman ... saluted him and joyed with exceeding joy and caused the city to be decorated in his honour." What a fantastic expression. How are we not using it all the time?

Edit: In other news: sesquipedalian.
noideadog: (monkey!)
Happy Christmas night, you chaps. Have visions of sugarplums, and all that. It's 2am and we've just torn ourselves away from irish coffees and Apples to Apples and sent ourselves to bed with strict instructions to sleep quickly so that Santa Claus will come. True to form, Joel and I are sitting side by side making sure the Internet is still there. I hope Santa won't mind too much.

The tree is busy with presents, but I'm most excited about a single one, a homemade (by me) epic adventure story called "Mister Bunny has a nice day", complete with badly drawn pictures of Mister Bunny going to the park, watching a jazz band, eating icecream with his close friend Clarissa Sheep, et cetera. Mister Bunny wears a top hat and carries a red umbrella, and he's the consequence of Tina insisting that her present should not be a book. She was adamant. "What if it's a really good book?" "No!" "How about Mister Bunny Has A Nice Day?" "No!" "He goes for a walk and everything. It's brilliant!" "No!" "Seriously, it's a bit scary at the end because you think that Mister Bunny might be a bit lost, but he knows the way back, it's fine." "I don't want to read about Bunny" "Ah, now, that's a bit familiar. He's Mister Bunny to you. Show Mister Bunny some respect." "Sorry Mister Bunny". And so on. The rest of my family think we've lost our minds, but Tina and I find ourselves quite hilarious, and I think the manifestation of Mister Bunny tomorrow morning will go down very well indeed.

My phone charger is somewhere else, so I'm not contactable by text message or phone call for the next few days. I'm checking email at intervals, but slowly, because Perlico is a bag of shite.
noideadog: (black books)
It looks like everyone has the same favourite Anathem quote. I liked it so much that I copied it into my notebook, and the one person I evangelised the book to texted me the line when she got to it. I keep seeing it in sigs and status messages all over the place, and it makes me happy every time.

But it's a pretty huge spoiler for the book, of course )

Anathem goes on a bit, but it's worth reading. There's fantastic world building and an exciting story, and it gives you plenty to think about and argue about after you've finished. My only objection is to the endless, endless dinner conversations where various theories are slowly described for the benefit of the reader.

"This reminds me of your theory of X"

"Yes, it is like that. Although we both know all details of the theory, I propose that you describe it at length. I will interrupt at intervals with footnotes."

"That makes almost no sense. Why do you want me to tell you your own ideas?"

"Because exposition is difficult"

"Well, as you know, fifteen years ago you began studying in this particular area of science.. "

Oh, you know. It gets a bit silly, I think, and a bit dreary, but if you can ride through that stuff (and you do need to, or you'll have no idea what's going on), Anathem is excellent. The world Neal Stephenson describes is fabulously detailed and believable, and it's linguistically a lot of fun to figure out where some of his words are supposed to have evolved from.

Have you folks read the Baroque Cycle? It feels more approachable (and by approachable here I mean less likely to cause lower back strain) on the Kindle. Do you recommend it?
noideadog: (coffee)
I don't know which is worse, that our new mop has an instruction manual, or that I honestly needed to read it to figure out how to insert the batteries. Normally when I say "We live in the future", I mean that the world is an exciting, wondrous place; I'm not so sure about this one.

I wanted to write about a bunch of mundane but interesting-to-me stuff, like how going to Bed, Bath and Beyond (land of tinny muzak and heavily scented everything) on a weekend close to Christmas is probably proof that I'm too stupid to live, and about this amazing travel bookshop I found entirely by accident (and gave most of my life's savings to) today, but I've just had an American Trilogy (rye, apple brandy, regan's bitters and big chunks of ice) put into my hand, so I'm going to stop internetting and go enjoy that instead. Life is good. Oh, and it's snowing! Happy snow day, nyc!
noideadog: (travel)
Happy thanksgiving, Americaners!

Yesterday was an excellent, A+-keep-up-the-good-work day. We mostly drove around, me exclaiming, Joel pointing out things from his youth: his schools, his university, his favourite restaurant. Said favourite place had the best Mexican food I've ever had, the best in the world, Joel reckons, and I'm happy to accept it. I'd read that New Mexico's state question is "Red or green?", and I found that pretty funny at the time, but they do indeed ask that everywhere you eat. These are a people who are serious about their chiles. And quite rightly so; their chiles are amazingly good.

The palette is different here. Lots of earth tones, oranges, browns, reds, pinks. Flat buildings in browns and beiges. Large clean motorways with a high incidence of shiny pickup trucks. The horizon remains far away. It rained last night, and the air is fresh and delicious. I leaned out the car window and stole pecans from the tree, learning how to squeeze three together to crack and open the middle one. I saw fields of cotton, and fields of fluffy grass. The part of my brain that requires novelty was deeply satisfied. The part of my brain that enjoys things being like they are in stories was happy too.

Billy the Kid operated in Mesilla, a town near here where we had dinner with Joel's parents and cousins and uncle yesterday (and it was just like family dinners should be, friendly and teasing and embarrassing stories and good food and everyone liking each other. Also, sopapillas.). I was pretty excited by a kitschy Billy the Kid souvenir shop beside the restaurant, but it turns out that every little building has its own story about how BtK walked its boards at some point. Tourist tat is so great. I resisted the cowboy hats and stucco salamanders (barely, in the latter case) but bought a knife in the shape of a gun with a picture of John Wayne on the handle for my dad, a big John Wayne fan who will find this extraordinarily classy. Joel insists that this entitles him to a giant green leprechaun hat next time we're in Dublin. I like Joel a lot.

I'm reading The Hours by some dude. I picked up the book to idle away half an hour at an excellent second hand book shop here, then got engrossed and had to buy it. It's tremendously good, and it's the reason I'm a bit bleary today; I continued reading it long after my eyes had insisted they wanted to close last night (I don't know if it's still tremendously good if you don't already like Virginia Woolf, but I suspect it still is.)

The clanging from the kitchen makes me think that I should be a good guest and get in the way in the name of "helping". Thanksgiving preparations are social and a lot of fun.
noideadog: (nyc)
Everything is pleasant. A busy Autumn is coming up, but for now we have the last days of summer, and it's all rather lazy and nice and unremarkable. As an illustration, here's a description of the last day in the life of me:

We ate Thai food.. After work yesterday Joel and I ordered vegetarian Thai food and watched Six Feet Under in the Sysops lounge in the office. I ate a good green curry and some of his fake duck. Fake duck shouldn't be good, so I never order it, but it always is and I always end up stealing some of other people's.

.. and watched tv.. We're eight episodes into Six Feet Under, and I'm really enjoying it. I think Brenda's just wonderful. Joel reckons she's high-maintenance and possibly insane, but I don't think this detracts from her being cool. He thinks Nate is too clean cut and uncomplicated, which I agree is probably true, but he's -very- pretty. I hope that the Ruth actress won a lot of awards for the show, because she's excellent.

.. and then I read some and played with the cat. Afterwards, at home, I read the next chapter of The Audacity of Hope (I'm in love with Barack Obama. How could anyone not be?), and the first two chapters of The Satanic Verses (I recognise this as the sort of book where it takes me a while to catch the rhythm and start enjoying it rather than just appreciating the linguistic cleverness), while Joel went on a voyage of random discovery on wikipedia, learning, among other things, what forms of lying the Jesuits consider morally ok. Lucy joyfully stalked (but did not catch) a buzzing fly for most of an hour. It made me realise this:

  • Here are some toys I have bought Lucy: a cardboard thing on a bit of wire, a fluffy hedgehog, a ball with a bell in it, a ball on a spring, three bags of catnip.
  • Here are Lucy's favourite toys: the brown paper bag the comics shop guy puts my comics in, a cork, the strings on the edge of the rug, the cellophane bag toilet paper comes in, real or imagined insects.

We had a lazy morning..This morning: We woke up, had good sex, then went back to sleep until 1pm. I don't believe it's possible to have a better start to a Saturday. We had brunch (poached eggs, apple martini) in Vynl. It was one of those mornings where conversation is extra easy and perfectly in sync, and you realise all the reasons you like the other person, without it being a big deal.

..and talked about dogs..We did some planning for my family visiting in two weeks (erk!) and continued a long running quest to find a type of dog we both like. West Highland Terriers might be the winner, though I appreciate what he sees in funny-looking Boston Terriers.

..and went online, and then considered going for a beer. I bought a bagful of catfood for her ladyship, while joel collected the laundry, and then I came into the office, because I'm on call until 8pm and it's a nice quiet time to finish some code I'm working on. I haven't done any of it, of course, but I probably will once I've read the entire Internet. Later I think I'm going for some Belgian beers and frites with Amy, whose sister is visiting.

It's not the sort of lifestyle where you'd be rushing out to buy my autobiography, I grant you, but I'm happy with how things are just now.

I was going to get my mum a gift voucher for her birthday, which sounds like a horrible-daughter present, but which she'd really like. If it was a voucher for Tiffany's and then we went to Tiffany's together, I think that'd be pretty cool, don't you? I've been working on an itinerary for them while they're here, something that strikes a balance between what all four of us need:

  • seeing everything (my mum's objective. She wants to say "I was there!" when she sees things on tv. Plans include the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street)
  • having a nice restful time and eating food that is exactly like food at home (my dad's objective. My dad has never been to Foreign, apart from resorts in Spain that are filled with Irish people. Plans include Irish bars and lying in the sun in Central Park.)
  • shopping until we're dropping (Tina's objective. Century 21, Macy's, probably Bloomingdales though she's not their demographic)
  • making my dad's eyes fall out of his head in shock (my objective. We're going to see skyscrapers, the subway, Chinatown and the residents of expressively gay Chelsea.)

The closer it gets, the more I think that maybe five days is too many days. I so hope we don't drive each other crazy, but I'm fairly certain that we will.

Between the parental visit, going to LISA, New Mexico for Thanksgiving (in laws!), exciting things at work, two evening classes and THREE They Might Be Giants concerts, this Autumn's going to be quite busy. I'm half-considering giving these guys some money too. You could ask 'Tanya, are you really considering Manhattan as the place to learn to drive?' and I would say 'Well.. a bit, yes', and you might continue with 'Would you agree that that's incredibly stupid?', and I would have to concede that it probably is. Maybe, though. Joel's mom told him that there are lots of quiet roads around where they live, if he'd like to teach me to drive there. I'm certain that that's a horrible idea, but it did put the germ of an idea in my head that maybe I should be using this time when I have few friends and not much going on to get some skills. Otoh, there's plenty going on this Autumn. It's something to think about anyway.


noideadog: (Default)

February 2014

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