noideadog: (meerkat)
Wow, internet-me hasn't really existed recently. Here's some things that have been going on:

Joel and I went to the (excellent!) Edward Hopper exhibition in the Whitney. Afterwards we noticed that we were in the path of some people who were making a film, so we had fun pretending to be Hopper characters in the background, sitting at the same table all introspective and isolated, physically together but not together, looking out the window, concentrating on our coffees, then breaking character and laughing like fools. We are so fucking highbrow.

Alex-cat and Lucy-cat are now able to be in the same room with only mild hissing and swearing, though she's still sad most of the time. I hope she stops minding soon. Alex sleeps on the bed until 6am or something and then runs in wild happy circles, ignoring strong language and feeble swipes, until we concede that we're awake. Asshole cat. On the other hand, I woke up in the middle of the night to turn over to the other side and couldn't because he was asleep on my head. It was unexpected and strange, but oddly comforting. Cats are great little people.

Last week was my birthday. I'm 33 now! It's my Jesus year! I probably won't create a major world religion this year, but I might learn how to make tonic water using the soda stream that Joel got me for my birthday. I love it. I ordered ten [unknown units] of cinchona bark and one [bottle of indeterminate size] of citric acid from a vaguely stocked website, so hilarity will probably ensue. There's a recipe here, if you want to play too: http://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com/2008/how-to-make-your-own-tonic-water/

We were in Puerto Rico. The hotel was a stupid resort but the sun was warm and the mojitos were tasty. You know what? I never, ever sit and do nothing for hours at a time. I sat in a hammock and I got sun on me and I read my book. It wasn't even educational! (Ok, I'm rereading the Baroque Cycle, so it was a bit educational, but that wasn't the point.)

My Sleep Thing is continuing. I'm waking up and getting sleepy at regular human times and it's a glorious thing. Key features include melatonin, f.lux software, a lightbox immediately after waking, protein-filled breakfasts, light-avoiding behaviours, and science. It does indeed appear to work. I have sexy yellow night glasses on order so I can work late without being oppressed by full-spectrum office lights too.

A bunch of us went hiking in the snow, and we'll for sure do it again. Winter hiking is much harder than summer hiking, studies have shown, but it does allow you to bring a thermos of coffee and a little something to warm it up, and that's not to be sniffed at. The snow was absolutely gorgeous. Hiking's brilliant.

And now we're going for cocktails, so internet-me will morph back into real-life-me again. Laters.
noideadog: (brain)
I'm doing a Sleep Thing which I'll talk about when I'm not typing on my phone with inaccurately autocompleting thumbs. (Summary: it involves science and tons of data collection and at the end I hope to be not reliably wide awake at 3am). One of the requirements, customised to my own personal sleep nonsense, is to start the day with a protein load while using my lightbox, to get the body's various clocks in sync. It's proving tricky.

The thing is that I don't really do breakfast anyway, and ugh, protein is particularly difficult to make work, particularly if you're not supposed to wrap it in delicious carbohydrates. For extra complexity, the lightbox needs to be the very first thing in the morning, like five minutes after the alarm goes off, so I don't have time to make eggs. So far it's been chunks of cheese or eating peanut butter from the jar.

What I'm saying is that if you have suggestions for protein-rich food that can be prepared in advance, you'd make my morning life more pleasant. I'm not really into farm meat, but I guess I could do little fish like sardines or something, and I'm all about beans and lentils if I knew how to have them for breakfast. Any ideas?

Posted via LjBeetle
noideadog: (lucy)
For the last few days, Lucy's been more like "shrug, I could eat." and less like "Holy shit it has been twelve hours since the last food and all of the cats in this family are close to death. Is that what you want? IS IT?". I wonder whether someone else in the neighbourhood is feeding her. She didn't do her usual Pavlovian breakneck tumble through the cat door when my alarm went off this morning. She didn't even head butt me. I... kind of missed it.

It's 7:30 and I'm about to go to work. I've noticed this weird thing where if I set my alarm for 8:15, I'll still be dreaming about puppies at 10, but if I set it for 6:45, I'll be at my desk while the office is still deserted. Pink-eyed and with early morning coffee burning an ulcer in my gut, sure, but awake and mostly functional. Working theory is that my brain thinks we're going to the airport or something. Have a nice trip, brain!
noideadog: (Default)

In the last three goddamn hours I have:

  • finished reading the Foundation Trilogy
  • trimmed and reorganised my Reader subscriptions, adding categories, removing dead feeds, finding better ones.
  • read the last several months of lots of blogs and forums about Brooklyn, learned that one of the two buses I ever take is being cancelled (the B71) and investigated the arguments on both sides of the Gowanus Super Fun Superfund.
  • wished for strata of localised social networking so you can start at high quality posts from your neighbourhood, and work downwards, a lot like deciding whether you to display comments with a ranking below 5 on slashdot or youtube. (Also filters so I can grep out ' lol$')
  • played Echo Bazaar on my phone and read the EB blog and some associated wikiage.
  • regretted reading about bedbug infestations
  • thought at length about the last episodes of Doctor Who Season 4 and how they could have been made as good as they deserved to be. What a waste of that ensemble. My heart crashed when I heard the first "exterminate". Ugh. (Though, ok, points for "Daleks do not accept apologies.")
  • stared at the ceiling while listening to the cat snoring and wondered whether we should get her a bigger box to sleep in so that she lies out more flat and whether cats get back strain and also what about RSI.
  • not become noticeably more tired.

Bored, dudes. Too brain-tired to do anything useful; not sleepy enough to sleep. If I'd realised I was going to be awake this long I'd have started a game of Civ.
noideadog: (coffee)
The moving boxes arrived just before 8am. I don't think I even became fully conscious while I dragged my carcass to the door, mulled over whether one tips people who are delivering things that the same company will later collect, didn't, and then folded back into bed. Zzz.

My sleep cycle has been drifting later and later, and it was around 4am last night when my scheduler finally convinced the rest of my brain that it was not time to go ride bikes. Ugh, waking up hurt a lot. Recent sleep-resolutions were called upon: without enough sleep I'm useless and stressy, and I decided a while back that being well-rested will always trump having a normal human schedule. Which is to say that I woke up again at 1pm. *streeeeeeeetch*. And I'd do it again.

Lucy loves the towers of boxes. You know in the Sims where each Sim walks up to a new object all "!" and "What's this?"? Our girl does exactly that with anything she hasn't seen before, or presumably anything she hasn't already marked as her own. I plugged a new WAN card into my laptop once, and she immediately identified as a thing that hadn't been there before. I was impressed.

What do you think of these? Cat stairs!.
noideadog: (meerkat)
I have decided to embrace insomnia. No more trying to sleep just because society declares it sleeping time. I have few time commitments and flexible working hours: from now on, when I'm not sleepy, I shall go do something else.

This moment of profound thought brought to you by realising that it was bright outside and I had no reason not to be in the park.

Sometimes I wish that wisdom came in books, with long lists of "Here's something that you might not have considered" to evaluate. I suppose that's what philosophy is, kind of, but I'd like something a bit more immediately practical: the nature of being is all very well, but what you really need is "By the way, if you're irritable today you might be dehydrated." and "You don't have to stay friends with people who make you feel bad, you know" and "if you always keep your passport in the same place, you'll always know where it is", and all of the other bits of life knowledge we have to work out for ourselves or distill from teen magazine advice columns.

Maybe I should make a livejournal community for modern day practical wisdom we wish we'd found earlier.

This morning I passed a rather good poster aimed at encouraging kids to not die of obesity. It had a picture of a kid in a playground and it said "Be a player. Play for an hour before school.". No stern admonishments about "get exercise" or "this stuff is good for you" or "be healthy", just "play". I think that's lovely.

Anyway, I guess playing for an hour before school is what I've been doing. Time for school.
noideadog: (buttercup)
Rough night, of the sort where you start to suspect a malevolent supernatural being is prodding you awake every time you reach the edge of sleep. Zzz.. whuh? Whassa? [repeat]. I saw the sun come up, and then I guess I slept at last until the cat politely reminded me (with head butting and much encouragement from Joel) that she needed breakfast. Going to walk around the block a bit before going to work to see if I can jump start my brain, which currently is sputtering and cutting out.

Yesterday we went exploring neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, this time Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. TMBG have a song about Brooklyn which says "Let's celebrate Brooklyn now. Even the Gowanus Canal", so I wanted to look at that too. It's not bad, if you squint a bit and direct your gaze into the middle distance and pretend the scrap metal barge is a people barge, and pretend the oil streaks are patterns of pretty light. and don't inhale. Apparently the fact that the water is moving at all represents intense effort by conservation groups. People who do that kind of work are really brilliant.
noideadog: (coffee)
I'm slow of brain and scattered of thought today this week, but here's some things that I'm finding interesting:

First wedding plans: we're looking at May 2010, a fairly small reception, and (I guess) the Dublin registry office. We need to read about what options atheists have for getting married. We're discussing taking each other's citizenships as well, but I need to read more about that too.

Kindle: the kindle continues to be fantastic. I love it so much that I just bought a book (the Kite Runner) that I already had in real life, because it's more comfortable to read on the kindle. It's the best bit of technology I've bought since my powerbook.

Sleep: what the hell is going on, brain? My sleep patterns have become irregular and weird. 9:30pm last night. 2am the night before. 5:30am the night before that. Getting up in the morning is very painful, and I think the weird sleeping is a big part of why my brain is so slow this week. Joel reinstalled the seratonin-lamp on a timer, and it woke me up at 8:30, which hopefully will push me back into some sort of sleep routine. I truly hope so anyway: I haven't been in work before midday all week.

Java: I did a html/css/javascript class today, which was informative and fun. I've developed a new appreciation for formally learning things that I already mostly-sort-of know; it's enjoyable to convert that to solid understanding. Half way through Stanford's CS106A, I've learned far more than I expected from an elementary CS class. For example, as a non-object-oriented-programmer. I never really grokked why it was considered to be so powerful; there was a perfect lightbulb moment about a week ago where suddenly it was so obvious. Wow! I couldn't believe I hadn't understood before. I wanted to wake up Joel, all "Oh my god! Look! Things can know how to do stuff! Other things don't have to know how they do it! This is amazing!". I was quite ridiculously excited about it. Learning java has made my python better too.

Arabic: Arabic starts again next week. I'm looking forward to learning some Arabic grammar, and I've been trying to squeeze some vocabulary into my brain in advance. I have a huge stack of index cards, and I'm going to only write the words in the Arabic alphabet, and try to get less reliant on the handy transliteration. It's slow, but it's fun.

Comic con: NY Comic Con is the weekend after next, and there are approximately seven million guests including (yay!) Bryan Lee O'Malley, author of one of my all-time favourite comics, Scott Pilgrim. I feel like I should be more excited that Brian Michael Bendis, (author of my actual favourite ever comic, Alias) will also be there too, but he's written so much in the last year, and so much of it was crappy, that the excellent stuff from his past is now tainted. Other guests include Garth Ennis, Mike Carey, Joss Whedon, the Penny Arcade gentlemen, Greg Rucka, Alex Maleev, Seth Green, and Grant Morrison, but alas not J. Michael Straczynski who was signed up but then had to go collect his BAFTA instead.

Speaking of Scott Pilgrim: Michael Cera is going to play him in an actual movie. I can't imagine a translation to the screen not sucking, but Michael Cera is a very good start. Hey, have you guys seen Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist yet? It's awfully sweet. (Is "awfully sweet" a good one-line summary of every role Michael Cera has ever played?)

And speaking of happy things: if there was a life backup utility, and I knew I would one day have to save my life at a particular point, I would pick this week. Life is incredibly good and I am grateful to my ancestors and Joel's and the people who founded universities and domesticated cats and invented air travel and set up the internet.
noideadog: (brain)
My advice to you today: if you're using NyQuil to help your cold, set more than one alarm clock.
noideadog: (buttercup)

Nap pod
Originally uploaded by xymb.
Things I like today
- Nap pods. You sit in there and pull over the door, and adjust the height (with a button which makes a pleasing vizzzzzzwhirrrrmrrrr noise), and put on the headphones and sleep for twenty minutes. And even if you don't get completely to sleep, it's lovely. Mm, napping is great.
- California. It's no New York, but it's fun to be here, and a novelty to be able to see the horizon. And the lack of humidity is refreshing. Yum.
- Being in the 'View. (That's the centre of the universe, as far as The Company's concerned). I always get less done here, but it's for good reasons like catching up with people I don't see often enough, going to cool talks, learning things that hurt my brain, and meeting people who I previously just knew as usernames.
- Doing the sums and realising that 43% of my take-home pay goes on rent. It's a relief; I started to think I had a drug habit I was somehow hiding from myself. ("You do spend 9 times the GDP of Peru on comics", suggested Tiarnan)

Things I don't like today
- Sunburn. I sat under an umbrella, but the sun moved. I'm almost convinced I could smell burning, but that might be insane. Hurts like bejesus anyway.
- Fake corporate happiness. "We're thrilled you've decided to make the Residence Inn your home for this week! We're overjoyed to be able to offer you a mediocre breakfast! We're in tears of delight because you used the laundry service!!" Ok. Jesus. Enough is too much.
- Python. I'm still working on liking it, and it's still a slow, slow process. My objective of "write no shell scripts this quarter" is already hurting.
noideadog: (insomnia)
In kids' stories there's a phenomenon whereby any protagonist who needs to wake up at a particular time can plan to do so by saying the appointed time several times before sleeping, or by counting to the time, or in one odd case I remember, by banging her head on the pillow three times to make sure she'd wake up at 3am.

Is that sort of thing possible? It seems too prevalent to be entirely made up. And if it's at all real, how does it work?




It's nearly 4am and I can't sleep, because I stayed in work until twenty minutes ago and my brain is full of javascript. I .. don't love javascript, I have to tell you. No matter how obsessively you style and indent it, it still looks like a big mess. Also, debugging it is not even a bit fun. It does make web things happen very quickly, but I'm not sure it's worth the loss of joy. What it makes me think of is this: you know when you have some clothes hangers tangled together, and you're trying to pull them apart, and on the way out, one of them snags on something else that's hanging up, and knocks it onto the ground, and in the end it's just this big snarl of clothes and metal and you're regretting ever deciding to tidy your room? Writing javascript is exactly like that, for me.

Someone in work called me a bourne shell ninja during the week, and I'm still kind of entertained and enamoured by it. What a fantastic thing to be. (Though I use bash really, of course.)

I don't think anything else is going on, except that a black cat-sized shadow just walked across my feet and scared the crap out of me.
noideadog: (meerkat)
Aishling mentioned, quite frankly, that I had horrible bags under my eyes. I hadn't known. I pffed the comment at the time, of course, but I can't help noticing now that the skin under my eyes has a colour palette of charcoal to purple. It's probably not ideal. What does one do to look better-rested please? More sleep doesn't seem to be the solution you might think.
noideadog: (culture)
Today I slept and slept, then hauled myself down to the Nuthouse Cafe for delicious broccoli and brie soup, then slept a whole lot, then kicked off "Bach's Similar Artists" on last.fm and read The Crucible[1], then slept some more. I sneezed more, but coughed less. I think I'm on the mend. Not likely to make it to work tomorrow though. And I'm tiiiired, as if I hadn't slept in days. Funny how that happens.

This evening, [livejournal.com profile] rockpaperaxe and [livejournal.com profile] microgirl came to visit, bringing CDs, fairy cakes and excellent conversation. I have good neighbours :-D

[1] I hadn't read or seen this before. It's extraordinarily good, but I'm not rushing out to see it in the theatre. Reading the play is harrowing enough; I imagine a good production would be unbearable. Anyone seen it anywhere?
noideadog: (insomnia)
Dear universe,

You didn't listen last time and I know that it's my own fault again and that I should have gone to sleep four hours ago as a show of good faith and then maybe you'd owe me anything on this, but if you could see your way to not paging me at 8am, that would be so lovely.

With the greatest of respect,

Tanya
noideadog: (nyom)
I worked very hard today and then I had three courses of fondue. Deeply satisfying day. Sleep now.
noideadog: (insomnia)
I've spent this week trying (science!) to organise my life, go to bed earlier, get up earlier, become a better and more productive member of society. a leads to b leads to c leads to d.

Three days in, let's call it a resounding success. Take small victories where you find them, I reckon. Supreme efforts of determination are getting me to bed before midnight, chanting "Shut up brain; It's sleeping time", and mostly falling asleep pretty quickly. It's a new one on me. I hate sleeping before I'm dead on my feet; everything in the world becomes more interesting the later it gets in the evening and I'm always loathe to check out of it earlier than I have to. I tend to wake up face down on whatever I'm reading, lights on, glasses smooshed into the pillow, irritably smashing nearby objects in case they have a snooze button. Not this week.

I've been out of the house before 9am for three days in a row. Three days! If you don't think this is impressive, this is because you don't know how chronologically challenged I am. Getting more sleep does make this easier, which is completely obvious but worth reminding myself as often as possible. It's hard to continue doing sensible things unrewarded. Regulated sleep doesn't give immediate benefits, not really, and it's having one major side effect..

.. which is that I am absolutely shattered. I'm too tired to think. I'm too tired to live. I'm so tired that I've been putting off standing up and leaving for twenty minutes now, which in the context of being tired is about as stupid as you can get. In the last conversation I had, I forgot what we were talking about. I've had a document open here for an hour, and do you think I can remember what I was planning to put in it? Writing in livejournal is the path of zero resistance, thankfully. Livejournal doesn't judge you on talking crap. (This is still the case, right?)

But wouldn't you think eight hours a night is plenty? Wouldn't you? I'm constantly irritated by the frailties of the human constitution when confronted by anything a bit different. We're creatures that are made out of food; wouldn't you think we'd be more adaptable? I'm almost certain that this is the fault of fluorescent lighting and office environments, but I can't remember why I believe this.

Fluorescent is spelled u-before-o. What a weird word. There aren't many like that, especially when you remove the -uous and quo- words. I never noticed that before.

Ten minutes nap, then hometime. Buddha bags ftw.
noideadog: (random)
Heathrow again. The incoming flight was delayed, and the outgoing flight is with a different airline, so I had to buy a new flight. With money! Travel insurance will sort it out I'm sure, but in the meantime I have the vast inconvenience of sitting in the BMI business class lounge (no free wireless, if you can believe it), eating snacks and catching up on the last fifteen hours' worth of email. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon in Heathrow.

Last night, which was Monday night, even though it's Wednesday now[1], was way too hot to sleep much. I was still reading at 4am and I was awake and in the shower by 7am, and I think that'll hurt a lot later on. I watched movies on the plane instead of sleeping: Brick, Crash and Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room. The last one was by far the most horrific. Actually, I didn't think it was madly well presented -- I hate the modern documentary format of reconstructed scenes, pseudo-appropriate song lyrics and symbolic clanging images -- but it told an incredibly frightening story. I'd heard the basics of the Enron scandal before of course, but, seriously, I had no idea.

The other two are excellent movies. Brick's more enjoyable by a factor of infinity. It's a lovely overdone film noir with femme fatales, Sam Spade dialogue and all the film noir cliches you could wish for, but it's set in a high school. It's gorgeous to watch.

As for Crash.. well.. it's.. very good? It's upsetting and shocking and just a bit too real to be comfortable to watch. Did it win the Oscar? Of the other nominated ones that I've seen, I think it deserved it over Walk The Line, Brokeback Mountain and Good Night and Good Luck. It's extremely powerful, enough that you feel that it's going to cross the line into being obvious, but then it doesn't.

Something completely different. In SFO I bought a Moleskine reporter notebook. I've been coveting one for ages, and between it and my mechanical pencil, all of my writing-things-down needs are now fulfilled. There was a neat art installation at SFO of 120 old saxophones surrounded by four bars of music, so I wrote that down, and there were signs telling everyone to be nice to other people (In San Francisco, that's THE LAW) so I wrote those down too. It's an unreasonably attractive notebook. Moleskines are unfathomable. There's really no justification for what makes them so attractive, unless it's sheep-like consumerism and brand awareness, which I suppose it could be. Or sheepish consumerism, which is a different thing. Or sheepist consumerism. Sheepism would be an excellent word, if it was a word.

Notebook. Yes. It has a little pouch in the back that's exactly the right size to hold a passport. I foresee a beautiful future of going places and .. writing things down. Or losing the notebook today. That would be in character too.

[1] Aren't timezones amazing? I expounded on this in Mountain View and was told that I need to fly from California to Australia and back a few times to knock this novelty out of my system. It's seventeen hours ahead, but you're flying east to west so you think it's seven hours behind, but a day earlier.. how cool is that? (Not at all after the first time, apparently.)
noideadog: (travel)
Friday evening. I called into the apartment briefly to dump my laptop before heading to SF, but I've been sitting for forty minutes now, and it's hard to get up again. I'm almost considering not going until tomorrow. I have such nice plans for tomorrow though: breakfast pancakes, touristing and BSD fangirling at Berkeley, shopping for dancing shoes, North Beach Italian food for dinner, saxophone-worship at a jazz club.. it'll be a lot easier if I'm actually in SF before lunchtime. But.. tired. Sleeeepy.

This week has been quite hard work. Productive, and a lot of fun, but there is a great deal to do, and many long meetings. It's so warm too. It's sticky. I love the sun, but by the end of the day I feel like I've been wearing the same clothes for a week, and not slept at all. It was pretty stupid not to catch up on the sleep I missed while flying, but if I had, I would have missed two excellent evenings of beer and silly conversation with [livejournal.com profile] ob_v and work people. Complaints about being tired just stop being valid once you admit you were in the pub, don't they?

I've worked hard, all the same. My brain is tired and achy. Actually, I spent a few hours this afternoon in a data centre racking equipment, and although it's the only bit I'd be able to explain to my dad and have him consider it work, it was such a release. It was awesomely relaxing. I never get to do physical work like that.

Complain complain. Shut up Tanya. Ok, I'll stop.

You know, I'm really not going to San Francisco. The longer I stay here, the more comfortable I get. I'll go tomorrow. The decision makes me feel bad and guilty and relieved. Hurray!

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] mr_wombat, water the plants, would you please? The chillies just need enough to make the soil damp. Talk to the geranium and tell him how well he's growing. He's a little insecure.
noideadog: (insomnia)
There's a nice thing where you drop ice into water and the ice splinters inside and it looks crystalised and really pretty. There's another nice thing where you go to sleep before 4am, but I don't know if it's as nice as the crystal ice. Especially when the ice is shaped like penguins. That's better than nearly anything.

I went to a mortgage dude today (expect this to come up at eight month intervals for the rest of my life if you keep reading my livejournal). Since last time I checked, the amount of apartment I can afford has moved from 230k to 261k. Unfortunately, the price of small apartments outside Murdererville has moved from 300k to millions and millions. I'll catch up eventually. It's more interesting than depressing so far. I'm filling in forms to be approved in principle, in case a Donnybrook millionaire decides I'm her natural heir and I need to buy a moving van to take me to my stuff to my new Ailesbury Road pad. That happens sometimes, I think.

[Poll #749765]
noideadog: (insomnia)
I can't sleep. I'd really like to sleep. Waking up at 2pm is never a good idea on a Sunday. Currently I'm irritated with everything that exists, apart from Ozy and Millie comic strips which have passed the last three hours very nicely. This has been a fairly crappy weekend actually. Least it's over now. Roll on tomorrow.

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