noideadog: (monkey!)
Oh, dudes, I'm having such a nice long weekend. Thanksgiving is a great holiday. No stress, no obligations, just eating too much, taking naps, doing things that are fun, and appreciating all that is good in your life. Those are things I like! Usually we've gone to Joel's family in Las Cruces or Seattle, but this year we can't stray so far from home, so we've had to entertain ourselves. Which we did: Joel made enchiladas and I made biscuits (in the American definition of the word, which means 'scones that you don't have to count as dessert'), and that was about as energetic as it got on Thursday.

I'm trying to streamline the biscuit recipe so I can make them for breakfast on Sunday mornings without (a) taking more than ten minutes of prep time or (b) covering myself and the kitchen in flour. The ideal workflow here is that Joel goes out to get the coffees, I have biscuits in the oven by the time he gets back, and he makes Julia Child-style omelettes while I set the table. And then we do a Thursday NY Times crossword while eating eggs wrapped in biscuits. I won't deny that I have simple needs, but this seems to me like the best of all possible Sunday mornings. After three practice runs, and having to eat 12 biscuits each (in the name of science), I think we've got it all figured out.

On Wednesday, Tiarnan and I went to see Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway. It was great fun -- it's much funnier and louder than I expected and the rhyming is far more entertainingly ridiculous -- and it was a while afterwards before my brain stopped trying to squeeze everything into iambic pentameter. Which reminds me of this.

The other excitement from Wednesday evening was coming home to find the last step of our renovation done and the house pretty much free from chaos: the contractors had called in during the day and installed our ceiling fans. Woohoo! They'd left their ladders and tools though, and I was standing under the speedily spinning fans and wondering about that when I noticed the note that said "ceiling fans are missing screws". So that could have ended hilariously, but it didn't.

It's nice to be almost finished. The insulation works and, between the excellent paint job and the new furniture, this looks like a room that adult humans live in. Putting the pictures back up will make that even more true and so will getting some curtains but, even without those things, the change is remarkable and makes me happy. I've been frustrated by our lack of house-progress over the last three years. It's reassuring to prove that we can make things happen when we try. [ House pictures, if you care for such things].
noideadog: (coffee)
I groomed the cat, and now we have a noticeably smaller cat. Seriously, it's not natural the amount of hair and dust and fluff that comes off her every time she brushes against any surface. I had to hoover the walls.

Stu and his friend Andy are here, and we celebrated that with mediocre Italian food and too much to drink, ending up sitting on high stools at the gay bar across from my apartment, chatting up the barman. Deadly fun it was, until this morning when I broke my lifelong winning streak of never having upchucked for alcohol-based reasons. This morning was a very unhappy time for me, as was a large portion of the afternoon. I was glad I'd brought Andrews Liver Salts with me. You can't buy that stuff here, apart from in speciality Barry's-Tea-And-HulaHoops shops like this or this, and I've never found anything as effective for curing what the label politely calls "the symptoms of overindulgence". I don't know what Americans use for making their stomach a bit fizzy and happier. Americans, what do you use for making your stomach a bit fizzy and happier?

Lest you think my life is all dull, I should tell you that today I also paid our electricity bill. We got a letter explaining that we were due to be disconnected in six days, and I realised with some alarm that those bills I've been ignoring haven't been paid automatically from my bank account. I phoned up to pay, and the electricity company man said that it wouldn't affect my credit rating. I do hope that's true. I've only recently got a credit rating of any kind; I'd like it to stay pristine.

[livejournal.com profile] the_antichris was here earlier in the week, and road-tested our guest bedroom. It was jolly nice to have a visitor, and even nicer that it was Chris who is, as several studies have shown, a very cool person. We went to see Boeing Boeing, an adapted french farce about Josh-from-WestWing living in Paris and being engaged to three women at once. It took me most of the first act to warm to it -- it's not a subtle play, and the characters are one-dimensional and stereotyped -- but I suddenly realised that I was watching it with the wrong expectations; once I switched over to thinking of it as something like an Abbot and Costello sketch, I loved it. It's over-the-top because it's supposed to be, and that makes a big difference.

I saw a poster for "http://www.princessbridegame.com". Someone with a windows box have a look at the trial version and tell me if it's any good?
noideadog: (culture)
Were all the guys in Shakespeare's time just stupid? "Oh, I wish my Hana (that's Rosalind, if you're paying attention) was here, because I am so sad and in love, and I wish she were here instead of you, peasant woodcutter, who is identical to her apart from that you're wearing trousers, but oh! how I wish she was here.". Seriously, how oblivious would you have to be?

Honor! was fun. Well, ok, Honor! was afflicted with Disney-like songs about love and.. well, honor!, I suppose, but was saved by a talented cast, and some perfectly funny lines. Best parts were 1) a song about being a grey Go piece (whose "oddity is a commodity" during wartime) which made me laugh out loud a lot, 2) the way they played with the original play and actually noted that it was a bit weird that every single character happened to be in the forest at the same time (Sorry, that's a spoiler), 3) the exceptionally funny lewdness of ..ehh.. whatever they called Phoebe, and 4) the time when one of the characters said he was "very very very very sad", to make his haiku work, and the other characters were disgusted by it. Anyway, I enjoyed Honor! a lot.

(Things I don't love about living here, #1 in a series of 10: words like "theatre" and "honour" are starting to look spelled wrong.)

In other news, our cat has an ear/eye infection, and needs four separate medicines twice a day for the next twelve days. Ear drops, eye spooge, antibiotics, some other pill thing. In otherother news, seeing the vet today cost just under $600, counting bloodwork, medicines and everything. That's two roombas. I'm just saying.
noideadog: (nyom)
Outside the theatre for Honor! (a Japanese musical interpretation of As You Like It, seriously), waiting for Diane, so taking the opportunity to do a quick update.

We're still not really unpacked. Joel's dad's coming to stay tomorrow, so we bought a guest bed. It also arrives tomorrow and may even fit in the closetguest room once we take out the stacks of clothes, cat accessories and obsolete cabling. And if it doesn't, then it's going to be very cosy here for the next few days.

Macbeth was very fine, very enjoyable and impressive. I studied him in school, so most of it was at the back of my brain all ready to be recited, but it's excellent that it still has the power to stir emotions even when you know exactly what's going to be said next. The witches were creepy, and you know what else? There's a lot more funny in there than I ever remember getting out of Macbeth before. I've read reviews saying that this is the one Macbeth you need to see in your life, and while I know that reviews like this are only true until the next production, I've honestly seen nothing that shook me like this one did. It was very good, is my inadequate review. It was wonderful.

That said, we were drunker than is ideal for Shakespeare, and that might have helped keep everything at its emotional peak. We celebrated our anniversary with a meal at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, the restaurant at the Four Seasons here. It was much posher than we are, with very special-occasion prices (a martini at the bar, for example? A cool $25+tip.). I enjoyed it very much.

We had the taster menu, where you get seven courses of whatever the chef reckons, plus accompanying wine for each course. Oh my! Bread; gazpacho soup; langoustine; petis pois puree (mushy peas to you and me); dippy asparagus and poached egg; scallops; monkfish; jelly; sorbet; espresso and tea. And wine and wine and wine. And oh my god it was good. I thought I didn't like port. Joel thought he didn't like darjeeling. We both thought we didn't like scallops. It was an opinion-changing meal.

Diane's here. More later.
noideadog: (culture)
Iron Man was sold out everywhere, so instead we saw Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. It was less bad than I expected, and there was a unicorn in it. The best bit was when the projector broke down near the end, and after the projectionist had fixed it, some dude in the back yelled "Rewind it a bit!". This was in real life, I mean.

Luckily, we have tickets for Macbeth on Tuesday, so balance will be restored. Having missed Patrick Stewart as Macbeth in London and then in Brooklyn, I'm grateful to whoever decided to do a run on Broadway too, just for me. And on Wednesday, Diane and I are going to see As You Like It, except that apparently it has samurais. Culture is like a box of chocolates.

Tuesday's also our first anniversary. This time a year ago I was asleep was vaguely aware of the existence of a sysop in New York with a hot accent, but had no idea what the weekend had in store for me. A whole year. Joel's clearly a tolerant man, and this will be the first year of many.
noideadog: (insomnia)
When I'm the omnipotent ruler of the universe, I'll fix it so that whistling can only be done outdoors. Like, there'll be some acoustic science that means that whistling just can't be heard indoors. I think this is kinder than my original plan of setting fire to people who whistle in the office. It goes. Through. My. Head. It also goes through my Sennheisers, unless I turn the white noise up really loud. I think it's the most irritating of all the irritating office noise behaviours, easily beating the other front-runners:

- leaving your phone/pager on your desk to ring while you're not there
- using speakerphones
- bringing your child to work and talking to it in a stupid, cutesy voice
- calling your child at home and talking to it in a stupid, cutesy voice
- playing music too loud
- singing along to bits of the music in your headphones

I suspect that the most annoying one of all is coughing, which I do for about three months a year, so I could probably get off my high horse here.

I didn't get enough sleep. Joel's sick again, poor boy, this time with glandular fever, which is called "mono" in the US. It's not dangerous, but it's an uncomfortable thing to have, and he's not sleeping well, which, despite his best efforts to not disturb me, means that I'm not sleeping well either. There's no quick fix for mono; you can treat the symptoms, but to make it go away, the only cure is rest. So it's not entirely good timing that the next two weeks are when we move house, and go to Dublin and Rome.

I lay awake until after 5, glaring at the ceiling and thinking Dark Thoughts, and was woken before my alarm clock by the cat headbutting me. Actually headbutting. She's gotten over the angst, now that Joel is back, and she's reclaiming her position as the Keeper of the Schedule. I should have asserted my authority, but I got up and fed her instead. This is where it all goes wrong, I think.

Yesterday we saw Fight Girl Battle World, an amazing play by the Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company. It's every sci-fi movie ever, stuffed full of fun and in-jokes, montages, puppetry and choreographed fights and it's the funniest thing I've ever seen on stage. Put this together with the very clever special effects, and you end up with one of the most perfect pieces of theatre you'll ever see. But only if you're a nerd.

I skimmed the last few days of my friendslist, since I haven't been online much. Usual request for notification of anything good or important that I missed, please.
noideadog: (Default)
I've got more internet this afternoon, so here's a proper update.

The first thing that I didn't mention yesterday is that Joel has been quite sick with abdominal pains. We went to a doctor while in London, but the painkillers and antibiotics she gave didn't help much. It got bad enough that we went to the emergency room late last night. They reckon it's a kidney stone, but they're concerned because, two ultrasounds and an X-ray later, they still can't find it. They're keeping him for another night, and tomorrow he has a cat scan.

(I got to watch them do the ultrasounds. It was cool!)

The painkillers are doing miracles, and he's not in much pain now, which is a big relief. It's also a relief that there are trained people looking after him now. He's frustrated about potentially not seeing the Acropolis, of course, and about the continued absence of moussaka from our lives, but it's a weight lifted to know that the decisions are now being made by people who know what they're doing. (It's a hell of an improvement on the two of us reading the labels on medicine and trying to guess what to do next.) We can come to Athens any time; it's much more important to spend time now on making sure he gets better.



Even apart from that, life's been interesting. There was a very small earthquake yesterday, which was exciting, but not dangerous. Well, actually it was a pretty big earthuake (6.5!), but we were on the edge of it, and it was very far underground, so the world just trembled a bit. I woke up, wondering why the bed was shaking, dismissed it as too mathematically complex for my half-sleeping brain, then thought no more of it until someone asked whether I'd felt the quake. "Huh! That's what that was!". My first earthquake. It was neat.



Before Athens, we were in London, seeing Ian McKellen be King Lear. He's rather good, isn't he? It's a bit of a struggle to not see Magneto (Joel sees Gandalf. I see Magneto. I wonder if anyone was watching it all "That's Iorek Byrnison!"), but I liked it very much. The people around me mostly did too, the best faint-praise damning coming from a teenage girl on a school trip: "It wasn't as boring as I thought it'd be."

In London we also went to see the Museum of Stolen Objects, the best of which is the incredible Mesopotamian/Levant stuff. They have a clay tablet letter signed by Hammurabi, ordering two dudes to come to court. It's just there! You can look at it right up close (through glass, of course). If you read cuneiform, you can probably even make out his name. My tiny mind, it was blown. Last time in the British Museum, we really just had time to see the Rosetta Stone; it was excellent to work through a bunch of the exhibits and marvel at the stuff other ancient civilisations were working on.

London was pretty good actually, but we were glad to get back to euroland again. Working in sterling is crippling. I'm told that it's even worse coming from the dollar; the usd-gbp conversion is so bad that things cost about twice what they're worth. It's bad enough that I'd be put off visiting the UK again for a while, without a particularly good reason. I wonder if it's had much of an effect on tourism in general.

Also, how are they charging four pounds for a single tube fare? How can they do that? How is that even possible?

Enough for now. I've spent siesta-time online; should probably go look at the outside world some more.
noideadog: (culture)
We have tickets for the Royal Shakespeare Company's King Lear in London on January 2nd. And we reckoned, since we're going that far east anyway, we may as well stop off in Athens on the way home. Well, ok, that makes no sense at all. But we're going to Athens in January :-D
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: (Default)
First, two recommendations. If you've ever complained that there's nothing to do in Dublin (and indeed if you haven't):

Go see the Public Shakespeare production of Twelfth Night, which is outdoors in Stephen's Green at 1pm and 5pm every day until September 9th. It's set in the 1980s, which works very well. It's extremely funny and it's free!

Go see the Casino Marino. I can't believe something that beautiful and interesting has been a fifteen minute bus ride from the city centre for all the time I've lived here. If you go in the next week and a half, you can also get an [livejournal.com profile] sshi tour of the place, and that's extraordinarily fun. And it's as near to free as makes no difference!

It's been a great weekend. Work drinks (and chair adventures!) on Friday. On Saturday, my visit to the Casino, tea with Brid and Una, dinner with Powerman and Ciara, then home to tidy my room and watch all of Season 1 of Spaced. Today, brunch and Shakespeare with Bernard and Gliceas, city wandering and shopping with Gliceas, long overdue saxophone practice, some music theory study and finally dinner with Victoria and her parents. If I was a Sim, my Social and Fun bars would be +++++.

I made Sims of my family the year I got myself Sims 2 for Christmas. They looked and acted pretty much like us. Lots of that Christmas was spent watching our simselves interacting and having lives. It was creepy. My dad dismissed it as incomprehensible, but the rest of the family watched in increasing horror.

Ooh, Voodoo Sims is a scary idea. Or a really bad plot for a horror movie.

I'm going to sleep now.
noideadog: (culture)
Powerman's new play[1], Can't Pay? Won't Pay! is on in the Teacher's Club on Parnell Street all next week. It's a very funny political farce set in Dublin in the 1980s. It's going to be excellent.

Anyone interested in coming along? I'm planning to go on Wednesday, but if it works better for people, I could make it Friday instead.

[1] There are probably some other actors in the play, and the director may feel a little proprietary about it too, but it's still Powerman's play :-)
noideadog: (culture)
I tried to post something about Waiting For Godot just after seeing it, but the internet connection dropped just as I was sending it. And then I tried to make the post below last night, but esat chose that moment to take another dive. And just now I tried to post it and my browser crashed. I can only conclude that firefox is not a Beckett fan. And wish I'd something more momentous to vainly try to get past my computer's censors. Here is my anti-climactic opinion about Waiting for Godot. (I'm saving to to another file before clicking Update Journal, obviously.)

Waiting for Godot is strange and wonderful. Lots of it is funny, but the funniest bit is at the interval when everyone in the audience is looking at each other to see whether it's over or not, and nonchalantly picking up their coats to -readjust- them on the chairs if it isn't. It's great though, all electric and wordy and surreal and still very real. It's been coming into my mind unexpectedly all day and surprising me with quotes I didn't know had stayed with me. I'm glad I didn't waste it by studying it in school.

I note that this is in stark contrast to [livejournal.com profile] sares2000's opinion :-)
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
[livejournal.com profile] saoili, [livejournal.com profile] spacetweek, [livejournal.com profile] mollydot, [livejournal.com profile] cliph, other people:

Ok, we seem to have consensus on Tuesday 2nd. If you still want to go, book a ticket by calling the Gate on 874 4045. Tickets are 28 eurodollars. We could get food beforehand in 101 Talbot, or the @ccess cafe, or that pizza place or something. And while that's happening, someone could fill me in on everything I need to know about Beckett please :-)
noideadog: (drum)
Ah, the things we admit on the Interneweb. I've never seen or read Waiting For Godot. I'd like to though, and it's in the Gate on April 25th. Would anyone like to go?

Anyone else using Google Calendar? It's pretty excellent.
noideadog: (natural dancer)
My extremely awesome and talented friend Paul Powerman is in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream tonight. It's on at 8pm in Temple Bar, in SS Michael and John, around the corner from Isolde's Tower. Tickets are 7.50 at the door.

Gliceas and I are going along. I've (shame!) never seen or read AMND, so I'm really looking forward to it.

I know this is short notice, but if anyone would like to join us, give me a shout.
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
Actually, I should say more about yesterday, just so that I can use the expression "upside-down for artistic reasons", which is something I've been longing to get into conversation. Getting up was hellish, but trekking the eighty miles or whatever it is to Rathfarnham was well worth it, because I got to see Mary and [livejournal.com profile] dmcaul's six day old baby, Matthew. My god. Babies are old-meaning-awesome. Other people's babies are awesomest of all, because you can hold them, and get all of the hormonal benefits that provides, and then give them back when they crap themselves. [livejournal.com profile] dmcaul has Plans to have Matthew beaten up in school by teaching him algebra and chess at three years old, so I gave him a quick geography lesson in front of a map of the world too. It's important that he have a well-rounded education. It'll give school bullies more to work with.

[livejournal.com profile] rbpixies was at a swing dancing workshop last weekend learning, among other things, those swing moves where the girl spends time in the air. They're called ariels, I think because afterwards you can't feel your legs. We didn't get anything to demonstration standard, but we got three moves working pretty well, though not in accurate time. And of course I spent a great deal of the afternoon upside-down for artistic reasons.

Last night was the Fallen Angels Cabaret, a sort of a cross between a 20s burlesque and a Fast Show-type political sketch show. I'd have liked it more if they'd split it into two shows and stayed with one theme or the other, but it was good fun. Fearless Powerman sat us in the front row, where we were picked on all night. Thank you Powerman. We appreciate you. I had by far the lightest time of it, merely having my chest size mocked, and being sung to too intensely by a lady clad only in underwear, fishnets and a short coat. The others were given rather a harder time, Ciara being singled out as a troublemaker, Powerman getting more attention than anyone else in the audience - and deserving it for being the only person in the row not sitting in a defensive posture - and Paul having his phone number demanded by one of the skankier characters at the interval. We left him to it and, to be fair to him, it was at least five seconds before we heard, "Uh. 087.." from around the corner.

Needless to say, this was.. discussed in the pub later. It's a pretty good show, though finished in the Project for now so there's no point in me recommending it. I should go to the theatre more often.
noideadog: (Public Service Announcement)
I see that Dublin By Lamplight is on in The Helix in April. This is the most beautiful, entertaining and funny thing I've ever seen in the theatre. It's really wonderful. I can't recommend it enough. You should go see it.

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