noideadog: (Default)
Something very exciting happened to me today. I was playing Words With Friends and I suddenly realised that I had the word LAQUER, and that I could put the Q on a triple letter square and then have the whole word cross a triple word square and get all of the points. Holy mackerel! Later, when I remembered that LAQUER isn't a word, I was a bit disappointed. That is how life goes.

Hello Livejournal! It's been a while really, hasn't it? How are you? I'm well. Life's pretty good. Here's a surprisingly good pictorial summary of what I've been up to for the last few months:

I guess the biggest thing to mention is that I'm 30 weeks pregnant. Mental, huh? We're making a small girl who is currently known as poppyseed because we found out about her when she was very small indeed. We're looking forward to meeting her, but for now I'm also enjoying pregnancy a lot. It's very pleasant! Should I be stressed? I'm really not. Is that because pregnancy hormones? If so, they should bottle it. This is a good brain-state.

I think we're pretty prepared. We've seen a couple of daycares, which were both fine, and we've bought most of the baby-related gear we're going to need. No, that's such a lie, we've bought the Big Book of Trains and nothing else, but people have given us some clothes and things and I expect we'll get her somewhere to sleep and some other stuff as we realise we can't do without it. We're fighting the good fight against things that are pink and/or frilly, and our families are mostly on board with that. I'm sure we won't be able to protect her from the evils of gender normativity forever, but at least she can have baby clothes that aren't made for delicate flowers.

Is she likely to be a delicate flower? I doubt it, but who can predict what a new human will be like? She's probably doomed to inherit hay fever, shortsightedness and a tendency towards depression, but in return, she should get a geeky brain and a tremendous capacity for liking things. Are any of these things even genetic? We'll see.

Other things have been moving along pleasantly. I went to Ireland for a wedding, Aruba for some snorkelling, Baltimore for a conference, and Chicago to meet Mark and V and to kayak while looking at skyscrapers. I planted and tended some vegetables which grew spectacularly until the first heatwave, then all fried. We'll try bigger pots next year. Our cats are well. Alex is now distinctly a teenager. Lucy is exactly Lucy. They still don't like each other much.

I did this great algorithms class with Coursera and now I'm doing their equally great compilers class. The quality of these free online courses is quite astounding. The format's perfect too: it's easier to learn when you can to speed up or pause the lecturer as appropriate, and of course it's refreshing to do a course where nobody can ask "Is this on the exam?". Learning for fun is the most enjoyable kind of learning.

We've been working on de-chaosing our house, getting rid of clutter, making an easy place to live. We just finished a bathroom renovation -- the proper-sized house project I've ever owned! -- and have learned quite a lot about how to hire contractors, what things to clarify in writing, and (crucially) what things we like. Joel's been working on something much bigger -- a plan to gut most of the main floor of our apartment -- and has worked out a fairly ambitious plan with a local architect. It's a plan that we won't have time to implement this year, but it's there and I think it'll be good when we do. In the meantime, we'll try to get some insulation in before poppyseed arrives, because New York gets cold and our upstairs exterior walls might have been designed to be perfect thermal conductors.

Work is a lot of fun right now. I'm doing a bunch of things I really enjoy, and will be sorry when it's time to go on leave.

And, oh, lots of other things, but this is already too long. It feels good to write here though. I should do this more.
noideadog: (coffee)
Today I'm wearing my "I'm blogging this" shirt, but I'm not really blogging anything at all recently. I don't have any sentences. No good words. It's like the linguistic part of my brain is off doing something else. It's weird though, sometimes I'm the sort of person who can watch paragraphs flow out of my fingers and onto the screen and then read them back all "yes, that is exactly what I mean", and other times every sentence is slow and painful and, no matter how much I hammer against it, I can't make it say what I want to say. You should see my drafts folder right now: I could probably explain myself more clearly in interpretive dance.
noideadog: (Default)
Hello, livejournal!

I'm in Belgium, which is close enough to home for me to declare that I'm back. I take the Eurostar to London tomorrow. After that I have six days in Ireland, and then I'll be back in New York for a few days before the LISA conference calls me away to Boston :-) And then life goes back to normal, or at least as normal as it gets in mid-December.

I've read back a couple of weeks, but that's as far as the friends page malarkey goes. What have I missed? What have you been up to for the last three months? If you'd care to give me a soap opera recap, I'd love to read it.
noideadog: (travel)
Hello! I've made a blog for the trip I'm taking this Autumn. Because duplicated internet content is one of the great first world problems of our time, I'm not going to crosspost to here.[1] If you care about my adventures in applying for visas and buying travel washing lines, I invite you to subscribe to, or [ profile] whereistanya.

The travel blog will contain limited immorality and and no bad swears. Debauchery as usual (gardening, naps, reading classical novels, nice cups of tea) will continue here.

Thank you for your time.

[1] I might note on G+/twitter when it's updated though. Is that a good thing to do or does everyone on the planet use RSS by now?
noideadog: (Default)

And a test from pixelpipe.

That's Joel, waiting for our house to boot.

In summary, both Pixelpipe and Moby are kind of crap. They're both a bit flaky to set up, they both have rubbish configurability, and it's annoying that neither of them have bothered with the automatic text correction (capitalisation/punctuation/turning "im" into "I'm") that most android apps do. However, they do seem to post pictures to livejournal, so I'll keep them both and see which is least annoying over time. Testing ends.
noideadog: (Default)

Posted using

Edit:So, the "reduce picture size" option reduces file size, not image size. Well, that's fair enough. Let's see if Pixelpipe does any better.

Btw, we're going with the top colour there. It's called "antique moss" and it's even more, like, "I AM FUCKING GREEN, OKAY?" in real life. It makes me really happy.


Oct. 26th, 2009 03:04 am
noideadog: (Default)

Posted using

Edit: Why am I posting a random picture of saucepans? Because I'm testing this application which sends pictures to livejournal. For the record though, I think all these shiny pots and pans in a row are really lovely.
noideadog: (meerkat)
Dear blogfriends,

I have so terrifyingly much to do that I'm frozen in place trying to decide where to start. I'm going to be a grown-up and not read livejournal or feeds for a few days. If anything is going on in your world that I should know about, please leave me a comment or email.


noideadog: (Default)
The Lewis comment spambot (dutifully marked as spam, IP logged, reported to LJ multiple times, put behind a captcha page, and screened so only I see them) is officially wrecking my head now. I got 55 anonymous comments (and therefore 55 emails) on my things I like post. Assholes. Locking comments to registered users.
noideadog: (travel)
Of the 133 people on my livejournal friends list, at least 46 are currently living abroad[1]. Does that seem high to you? Even discounting the third of those who are Google-related, it seems like a lot of movement around the globe. One of the advantages of being us, and being now, is that we have such access to ideas and people from all over the world. I suppose though that all of this exposure means that we're no longer so very strange and different from each other that we really bring a lot of diversity-value. It's an age of miracles, nonetheless.

During a meme, months ago, [ profile] inannajones asked me to write about the Irish in America. Like often happens, writing it down was the first time I really tried to solidify my opinions on the subject, and I was surprised by where I ended up. I realised that my notes on building a community abroad were not exclusive to Irishness in America; they could be equally applied to Anythingness in Anywhere else. So I locked the post to think about it some more, then stumbled across it again today. I wonder if a third of the people who read this will have felt exactly the same way:

Before I moved here, I was scornful of the Irish abroad and all their clannishness and flag hanging and nationalist music. This changed abruptly when I went to a Saw Doctors concert. I watched a room of irish-in-america sing along with songs about "Galway is far away and this place is strange and it hurts my heart", and this is what I suddenly realised: these people really mean it.

This was a surprise, because I didn't mean it at all: I miss specific people and things of course, but so long as I have internet and a good sized city, my lifestyle doesn't need to change when I move. The weather will be different and the city's awesomeness level will be different and some days I'll be lonely for people, but cityness transcends geography. In any decent city you can find novelties and knowledge and fun and events and interesting passers-through; there will always be people with curious brains and you can always find people who think like you think. If I move from one big city to another, I don't have to stop being like me. I'm just being me somewhere else.

Some of these dudes at the Saw Doctors concert, I realised, can't be them any more. If you're in a small town and you're not an internerd, and then you're transplanted to a big city, away from your friends and your football team, to a land where drinking three pints at a go makes you an alcoholic and the things you like to do in the evening just don't exist any more, that's a whole other thing. Ok, that's probably obvious. But it wasn't obvious to me! I thought that these people who come to New York and try to replicate their small-town Ireland lives were just not trying very hard. But it's different, isn't it? They can't so easily bring home with them, or find comfort and familiarity in metropolitania. Of course they'll try to meet other Irish people and hang out with them. And of course their kids will be brought up with the Glory of the Homeland and the lamenting of the lost family and fragments of Old Country tradition. That stuff doesn't really apply to me.

And then, and yet, when I got access to the Rosetta Stone language learning site, the first thing I did was spend two hours brushing up on my Irish. And when I hear myself say something in an accent that's not mine, I think about how to change it back. I sometimes consciously deepen my 'u' vowels and slur my 't's and drop my final consonants, things I barely knew I did before I moved here. I don't want to lose my voice. For all the citizen-of-the-world that I consider myself to be, for some reason it matters that I'm from where I'm from.

If I were to have kids, they'd be American kids. Isn't that strange?

Is there anything there that's not true for Anywhereness in Anywhere? Does everyone suddenly understand and make peace with their own community abroad?

In general, I think that a Foreigner-in-Foreign will end up having very much in common with another person who has been a Foreigner-in-Foreign for the same length of time. I suspect that we have similar experiences with how the rules are subtly different, and negotiating life is a little less fluid, and you find yourself unsure if you just did a wrong or embarrassing or rude thing, and how you get angry with yourself some days for being on edge or sad for home when everything is working out more easily than you could expect.

Or how even if you speak the same language, it's more work to make yourself understood, and how people laugh at the wrong parts of what you say, and nod even though they maybe don't understand what your point was, and have body language that you can't automatically read, so you're not certain whether they understood, and you end up repeating yourself. And then how your palate changes, and your vowels change, and some assumptions so long-held that you never even thought about them get subtly tweaked, and you get a whole host of new things-that-are-obvious that you never would have had otherwise, and that will frustrate you when you go home and nobody else has changed their mind in the same way. I think these might be universal emigration pains.

[1] This doesn't count people who I were living abroad until recently, people who are moving abroad very soon, or people who I don't know nationalities for. 'Abroad' is defined as any country they weren't born in.
noideadog: (coffee)
I don't normally put my surname on things. My first name is a unique enough identifier for the parts of the internet that matter and, for the rest, I don't like to be too searchable. There's no particular reason for that -- my internet presence is reasonably well spelled, and there's nothing I've written since I've left college that I'd be ashamed to put my name to -- but it's a habit that I've never seen a reason to break.

I've been thinking about this recently though, and I'm starting to see the value in presenting an internet profile which is distinctly you. Part of this is something that [ profile] olethros mentioned a while back, that people who aren't on facebook still have a facebook silhouette. Without a profile, your profile is defined by the people who mention and tag you. It might be worth being there just so you can exert a small measure of control over what you look like there.

The bigger reason is that there are so many people online now. Even if you have a relatively uncommon name, the odds are high that there's going to be someone there who could be mistaken for you. There's no guarantee that you won't be embarrassed by them.

Right now Joel and I are applying to join a co-op, and it's very reasonable to expect a potential neighbour and business partner to check us out online. There are at least three other people on the internet with my name, at least one of whom is either very young or dangerously vacuous. It frightens me that someone might think that that person is me.

Anyway, my longwinded point here is that today I attached my real name to my twitter account and to my Google profile, so there's some of me on the front page of a search for my name. Both of those link directly here. And if you're reading this because you're a member of the co-op board for that place on President Street, then you've done some good detective work. Please say hi! I promise that Joel and I are ok neighbours.
noideadog: (Default)
Really interesting comments, both online and offline, on my locked-up-brain post. I love that some people are like "Yes of course" and other people don't understand what I mean at all. I will think some more on what this all means and report back. You're on tenterhooks, I can tell. (I'll reply soon too. Thanks for the comments!)

In other news, this weekend is Pride, and there's a street fair and a parade and masses of other things. The Company has a bunch of people in the parade, and I was thinking of going along and waving my flag if they'll have me. I'm not certain that it's ok to be in the parade if you're marrying a dude and you're not a dude, but I reckon that's it's similar to people from everywhere celebrating Irishness in the Patrick's Day Parade. Wouldn't you think? Is anyone else going?

In other other news, the cat is sprawled out on the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World giving her underbelly a thorough scrubbing. A cat and an atlas makes a good still life, I think, but I'm not sure exactly why. It's just a good combination.

Six Feet Under now. I have only seven episodes left, in the world, ever.
noideadog: (coffee)
I've had this livejournal account for almost six years, and this is my 1600th entry. The evidence suggests that maybe I talk an awful lot of shite.

Dudes, I am so out of it this week. Do you have days where you have just no attention span at all? What causes that? I'd blame last night's over-indulgence, but it's been like this all week; I've been getting enough sleep and enough fresh air and not eating more sugar or caffeine or starch than usual, but I just seem to not be able to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a go. I keep forgetting what I'm doing and wandering off.
noideadog: (a plan!)
Yuck. I hate them, but whatchagonnado? Added captchas for anonymous comments.
noideadog: (drum)
Gosh, I bet this and this are getting a lot of hits today.
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
Do you remember the days before blogging when maybe your friend or acquaintance or complete stranger would have a small illness, and they'd just go ahead and have it, and you wouldn't have to suffer through a blow by blow account of how it was at any particular moment?

Do you remember those days fondly?

I love the idea that my LJ people are "my friends" and "my acquaintances" and "my complete strangers". Because even though I only know you on LJ, and you might be a convincing fiction, you're still kind of mine. We're all kind of each others'. Do you know?

The tired and sick caught up with me and I was very sad and oddly scared earlier, but the right person said the right things, and that's all it takes sometimes. To make life even more like a movie, the sun has dipped low, and the room is soaked in orange light like honey, and chose Belle and Sebastian, and then Nouvelle Vague, and it's.. really.. it just is. You wouldn't believe it. It's unbearably beautiful.

And I'm not a snot elemental any more, just someone who works in the medium, and I think I can go back to work tomorrow. Life returns to normal. Thank. Christ.
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
LJ tags are great because you can go back and read all the japery you've ever committed or find all the things you thought were hilarious at the time, without having to read any of the day to day rubbish. I conclude that there hasn't been enough japery recently. It needs to be fixed, though I can't imediately think how.
noideadog: (links)
Nyom coffee nyom. I am no longer sick. Joyful tones!

I just realised that I never made a post saying "Hey, my friend OB joined livejournal and you should read his journal!". You should; it´s very funny. Check out [ profile] ob_v.
noideadog: (drum)
Tina made a livejournal. Check out [ profile] horsemeow! Admire the uncontrollable pinkness! Swoon at the grammatical idiosyncrasies! Leave PG-13 comments! Recommend nice kid-friendly journals she can friend!

I'm on call, so we're confined to quarters. We're making our own fun.
noideadog: (natural dancer)
Wrote this up last night, but then our Internet went away.

A while ago I made a post asking for bike icons. People sent me icons. I planned to get around to posting them. Time passed. You know how it is. This evening I finally got around to copying, resizing and, in one case, extracting from a word document.

Edited to add one I left out.

Here is my Bike Icon Poll. No, Bike Icons should not be called Bikons :-) )


noideadog: (Default)

February 2014

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