noideadog: (monkey!)
I have been called "sweetheart" twice today, but once was an old Egyptian dude and once was an old Greek dude, so you can't object, can you?

The old Greek dude is the proprietor of a diner that serves a very fast, very reliable spanakopita with plenty of Greek salad. Greek dude is exuberantly friendly, and has a strong accent that I sometimes have to concentrate to understand, and makes a good cup of tea. I think he's fab.

Today I'm wearing a t-shirt that has "The Mesopotamians" written in big blocky letters.

Greek dude: "What does your shirt say?"
Me: "The Mesopotamians." (This is going to be hard to explain. I hope he doesn't ask what it means)
Greek dude: "What does it mean?"
Me: "You know, the ancient culture around where Iraq is now? Like the Sumerians." (I bet they're called something totally different in Greek)
Greek dude: "Meesopotaamia!" (Well, approximately this)
Me: "... yes!"
Greek dude: "Between the Tigris and the Euphrates" (though of course he pronounces them differently than I do. Different vowels, different emphasis. His are probably closer to the original, wouldn't you think?)
Me: "Exactly."
Other guy behind the counter: "What's that?"
Greek dude: "Mesopotamians. They live between the Tigr.. ah, you don't understand. You are American-Greek. You don't know."
Me: "You're Greek-Greek, right?"
Other guy behind counter: "Ancient Greek. He personally drove out the Persians."
[Everyone laughs companionably like the end of an episode of the A Team]

I loved it. I also like that Greek dude didn't think it unreasonable that someone would wear a shirt celebrating the Mesopotamians. I need to get one made that says "I <3 Hammurabi" or something and go back in there.
noideadog: (they might be giants)
My internal battery had just one bar left, so I nearly didn't go to TMBG this evening. My wastenothing upbringing won out though -- I couldn't not use the ticket -- so, after a good hour of faffing about at home, I dragged myself over to the Poisson Rouge for the second half of the gig. Aw, they're so great. One of the nicest things about going to TMBG here is that pretty much everyone in the room is a big nerdy fan, and when they sing something like "The best thing about New York City is you and me", everyone has these enormous happy grins. I really love that. I was so wrecked when I arrived, and then I was yelling Damn! Good! Times! with everyone else, and then my brain-battery was fully recharged. I'm glad I went.

On a similar glad-I-went theme, yesterday I went to the gym, which is a thing I never, ever do, and actually I enjoyed it a lot. The only other time I went to a gym before, whoever I went with was into treadmills and those stair-step things, and it was just pain and hard work and horrible jarring impacts. Going with Diane showed me that it's possible for the gym to be fun, because she likes things like elliptical machines and bikes where it's actually kind of exhilarating to try to go fast. It was like running down a hill. It was pretty cool.

Last night was also about champagne and quesadillas at Diane's house and having, I swear, an earnest half hour conversation about poo, which is something I've missed from living with [livejournal.com profile] mr_wombat.

Today, Diane and Kristen and I did wedding dress reconnaissance, and I discovered that it's easily possible to spend $10k on a wedding dress if you want to. (Luckily, it's also easily possible not to. But some people really do.)

What else? I finished Stanford's intro-to-java and started learning C++ (which was the point of learning java, to soften the beating that C++ would deliver). So far it feels a bit similar to stabbing myself in the eye. Everyone says it gets worse once you know it, so that's nice.

And, look, the Big G next big thing is finally announced. I think this is neat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UyVmITiYQ
noideadog: (they might be giants)
New York people: anyone going to TMBG at the Poisson Rouge on January 28th or 31st?
noideadog: (they might be giants)
Last Arabic class before the final exam. Well, 'final' is a misnomer, this being semester one of four, but many of the class are dropping, repeating or postponing, so it was our last class together. The teacher told us what a nice class we were, how much she'd enjoyed teaching us, how all of our hard work would make us the pride of semester two, and so on, but I'm afraid we all sat there with big eyes, terrified by the last unit of the book which had introduced some bewildering technicalities and made it clear that many sticky grammar problems were in our future. The future, you could say, is tense. (You're right. I'm sorry.) After the exam, we're all going out to a Middle Eastern restaurant that the teacher particularly likes, where I'm certain we'll all be too embarrassed to try to pronounce anything. I'm looking forward to it.

I see that TMBG are playing the Poisson Rouge again on January 31st. This isn't exactly a surprise, because I think they're averaging at a gig a month here at this point, but what's nice about it is it's two days after anniversary of my move here (I've been here almost a year!), and one of the first things I did here was to go to a TMBG gig. That was my first unaccompanied nighttime subway journey, (the more milestones you note, the more you have to celebrate; the first unaccompanied daytime subway journey had happened a couple of days earlier) and I was clinging to my NFT Guide To New York, and reading all of the station names with anxious intensity, and feeling very big and clever to be out and about on my own. It was a wonderful concert too.

The other thing is that I have Christmas plans. Gosh, flights are a bit expensive, aren't they? Here's my schedule:

Wed 17th: flight from JFK to Shannon
Thu 18th: land in Shannon at 10:40am. Stay with A in Galway.
Fri 19th: in Galway. Evening train to Dublin.
Sat 20th: in Dublin, shopping with family, annual Quiet Couple Of Pints drinks with trjh
Sun 21st: in Dublin,
Mon 22nd: in Dublin, in the office. Joel flies in to Dublin.
Tue 23rd: bus to Kells
Wed 24th: in Kells
Thu 25th: in Kells
Fri 26th: in Kells, probably family stressed by now
Sat 27th: bus to Dublin, d&b's party
Sun 28th: in Dublin.
Mon 29th: early flight back to JFK

If there's stuff going on that I'm invited to, please let me know :-)

Edit: Invite [livejournal.com profile] digamma too!
noideadog: (they might be giants)

John Linnell
Originally uploaded by xymb.
"We want cake! Where's our cake!"

Here's my favourite part of the TMBG concert on Saturday: John Linnell singing "Seven". I find "They're coming in now. And there's a lot of them" in Linnell's exasperated, weary tones to be perfectly funny. And the whole audience yelling "We want cake! Where's our cake!" was just joyous.


The video is on this video podcast starting at 40s. Highly recommended.
noideadog: (Default)
Damn! Good! Times!
noideadog: (they might be giants)
They Might Be Giants & Les Chauds Lapins at le Poisson Rouge next Saturday. My parents will be here, but since they arrive late on Friday, they'll presumably be quite tired by Saturday night. The venue's close to where they're staying anyway, and "doors at seven thirty" probably means that I can show up at ten and be annoyed by the end of the support band. Tickets only cost $25 anyway. I love ticket prices here.
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: (they might be giants)

IMG00003.jpg
Originally uploaded by xymb.
Lots of things recently.

Let's start with TMBG who were the best they've ever been. (Setlist and reviews at http://tmbw.net/wiki/Shows/2008-02-02). They didn't have a support band, but rather opened for themselves, playing a full separate set as "the best TMBG tribute band you'll ever see". They started with Damn Good Times and I wished [livejournal.com profile] gerrowadat was there so hard that if wishing had power, he'd have found himself transported through space and time and sitting on the lap of the bearded gentlemen in the row in front.

The Beacon's entirely seated, but they made everyone stand up at the start. It still wasn't a perfect jumping around concert venue (a lot of people sat down again,) but we coalesced into little bunches of standing people, and it worked out ok. I realised at one point that there was no reason to stick to my assigned seat, and watched the latter half of the concert from the front of the balcony, leaning precariously over the bar.

For the second set, they wore suits and played with a horns section. Quite delightfully, they played Cowtown :-D It was scary though. They said "This is the first song we ever learned to play together, and now we've come full circle because.." and I was -tense-, thinking that they were going to announce their last gig or something, but it was just that it was the most recent song the saxophonist had ever learned. So that was ok too.

They closed on a quiet duet of New York City with no band. God I love those guys.
noideadog: (Default)
TMBfG,b!

I am at The Beacon on 74th and Broadway, which, check me out, I found all on my own. This place is a nerdfest. As I said to [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom, who I ran into downstairs, I keep thinking I know people, but they're just archetypes.

Gig starting!
noideadog: (they might be giants)
Three-shot-latte. I am typing like the fucking wind.

So, TMBG was Wednesday and I haven't gotten around to writing about it yet.

I spent most of Wednesday shouting "Corn! Fucking! Mo!" and "TMBfG, baby!" (Joel's very tolerant) and getting into a state of high excitement, and fairly skipping down the street because it was TMBG night, and TMBG are approximately my favourite thing in the world, especially when they're supported by Corn! Fucking! Mo! and playing in New York and I'm going to see them with my boyfriend and everything is as good as it can possibly be. I should probably apologise to anyone I spoke to on Wednesday, because I honestly don't think I heard a word they said. TMBG! TMBfG! And so on.

And they were great. Of course they were. Pretty weird gig though if you hadn't been playing the new album on loop for the last month, because they started with I'm Impressed and Take Out The Trash, finished on the (awesome) Mesopotamians, and played a whole lot of the rest of it in between. Most of the people around me didn't seem to have heard the new album; I think they enjoyed it plenty, but there wasn't the rocking out one would expect. They did play Birdhouse, and The Sun and Istanbul, but not lots of other things they usually play. No She's An Angel, no Particle Man, no End of the Tour, no Doctor Worm, no Boss of Me. It was not a gig that really rewarded the casual fan. It was a gig that absolutely rewarded the obsessive fangirl. I felt rewarded :-D

They did a horns section which included "the euphonium. An instrument so good that they called it 'the euphonium'". Joyous, is what it was. I love TMBG.

And they played New York City. If you can imagine.
noideadog: (they might be giants)
TMBG this evening are being supported by Corn Mo! I thought this week couldn't get any better. I was wrong. TMBfG,b! 200f7,b! I am a being of pure joy.
noideadog: (they might be giants)
I'm now three days from New York City, like in the song. 2007 may be my favourite year so far.
noideadog: (they might be giants)
The more I listen to it, the more I really like the new TMBG album, The Else. It's just as well, because it's almost the only music I have on my work laptop. I should have thought of that. I currently especially love "I'm Impressed", "The Cap'm" and "Bee of the Bird of the Moth", but my favourite songs on TMBG albums always shift several times before settling.

In very related news, I am going to New York in fourteen days. I have to not think too hard about this, or everything else in my brain shuts down, unable to compete with the awesomeness of it all. People say "Hi Tanya, how are you?" and I reply "14!".
noideadog: (they might be giants)
This LJ icon is my They Might Be Giants icon, used for posts about two things

1) they might be giants (obviously)
2) being ridiculously, extraordinarily happy about something

Today I get to use it in both contexts to say that my boyfriend (Joel, btw. I should probably mention him some time. He's really rather nice.) got us tickets to see They Might Be Giants in New York. New York is also where he is.

Lucky Girl: So Good!

I am going to New York in 38 days. (It's sooner than its ever been and now it's even sooner. (And now it's sooner still.))
noideadog: (hair)
Nyom nyom nyom cookies nyom. Today's a worky sort of day, but I took some time out earlier to go to Safeways so I can stop stealing Amanda's tea. Amanda's my roommate here. She doesn't seem like the sort to engage in tea-related murders, but I reckoned it was better not to risk it.

It's extremely pleasant to walk through Mountain View, listening to the They Might Be Giants podcast and looking out for interesting things. The sun was very shiny today and the things were of particular interest. There's a little green park just to the west of our apartment here, with a flapping American flag, and in it I saw the most interesting thing of all. There was an old man, and he was standing in the park looking into the middle distance in a manner reminiscent of a man waiting for his dog to finish peeing so that they could continue their walk. He had no dog, but quite a large tortoise, and I don't know what he was waiting for it to do, but I can only conclude that it finished, because he scooped it up and got back into his car. I said "God Bless America" out loud and continued through the park grinning like a loon.

The rest of the journey to safeways was a bit uneventful after that, though the podcast was excellent, and then I did some shopping, managing to buy over $100 of stuff including Rockstar and Froot Loops and Advil and Ben and Jerrys and no tea of any kind. I got kind of carried away.

Outside the shop, three little kids in uniform ambushed me, talking excitedly over each other about cookies and customers and other things I couldn't quite follow. It was brilliant. I don't know how people can say that there's no culture here when there are girl scouts selling cookies and old men walking their tortoises, and flapping flags and other amazing things.

The box reckons that an average serving of girl scout cookies is two cookies, which makes me wonder who this average person is and whether they're willing to share their secrets. I've had eight cookies so far (edit: twelve), and I'm starting to think that the thing that would make the remainder of this box taste better would be some nice purloined tea.

You know, I complain about Robert Jordan's characters taking a whole chapter to cross a field or have a bath, and it doesn't stop me writing an entire livejournal entry about the time I went to the shop and then ate biscuits. Good ol' mundanity.
noideadog: (they might be giants)
Good thing: I was in work early. I'm wearing a new tshirt.
Bad thing: That's because we got a 06:30 flight from London, after three hours sleep. I had three meals between midnight and 9am, none nutritious, and I've had two mugs of coffee that feel like they're burning straight through my stomach. And I slept in the tshirt. [livejournal.com profile] bringaisce made us up a song about being Stinky, Stinky on a Plane.
Best thing of all: TMBG!

We thought we'd be very late, rushing in from Stansted as we were, but it was completely the opposite and we ended up close to the stage. It would have been better if we hadn't been right behind a group of Horrible Children though, pale, nerdy types who'd met each other on a TMBG webforum and just hooked up in real life. High on actual human contact, they decided that a good game would be to make paper aeroplanes with their names on and continually throw them at the stage to see whether they'd be read out. They were advertising their forum, you see. Flansburgh asked them to please stop and half an hour later a security guard told them to stop OR ELSE, and fifteen minutes after that, the perkiest of them was pulled out of the crowd and, we can only hope, given a bit of a beating. The others spent the rest of the gig looking perturbed and texting people. It's very hard to rock out when the only people between you and the stage are facing the wrong way and fretting. Retards.

But TMBG were fantastic, so it was ok. They played most of the stuff I hoped they'd play (Still no Man It's So Loud In Here. C'mon!), and also a selection of their Venue songs from the last tour, pointlessly and wonderfully narrated by Jonathan Ross. Jonathan Ross! The music was great and there was lots of opportunity to jump around like an idiot, but they didn't talk that much. I don't think I'd particularly recommend buying the concert on mp3 if they release it. Linnell was in brilliant form and grinning a lot, but I think Flansburgh was pissed off with the Horrible Children and the Strange Hairy Leopardskin-wearing Heckler and just wanted to be done. They still encored though, so they didn't totally hate us. Probably. It would have been better with a less annoying crowd, but it was still brilliant.

I think I shouted a lot. My throat is operating at 40% efficiency today.
noideadog: (they might be giants)
I think [livejournal.com profile] bringaisce said it best. TMB[f]G[,b!] in London (not the Astor-eye-ay. sadly.) on the 26th. Gliceas, DoC and I are heading over after work. Anyone else going?
noideadog: (Default)
I'd like to present the first of my hair colour designs for the year, from a collection I've been working on. You'll need mix yellow and blue first, and then add some brown. It's called "Baby Poo". From the Oops collection.

As ever I'm a few days behind on LiveJournal, so everything that seemed so bright and journallable at the time now seems a little pointless[1].

London was Londony, which is a word that means "brilliant!". I sort of wish I lived in London. TMBG were loud, charismatic, enthusiastic, encoreful, bloody good. I think it may have been better than their 2001 concert which has until recently ranked as Best Concert Ever. The support guy, Corn Mo played rock accordion, in the way that Jack Black would if he was in the Dawkness and also played rock accordion. I realise that this doesn't sound exactly great, but it was. Exactly great. I hope he comes to Dublin some time.

We nerded in the science museum like big nerds, playing with the rubbish but compelling Future and peering wistfully through windows at the locked Digitalsomethingorother floor. The Future is pale blue. Computers in the future are large, white and flat, with one button and one dial. In the Future, we will compute on giant iPods.

Just got (a good chunk of) my deposit back from the last house. Four hundred and forty two euro! I could buy a regularly-sized iPod and be like the cool kids, or an iRiver and be like the less cool, but distainful of iPods kids. Or there's always a Visa bill that could suck it up. There always is, isn't there?

The rabbits broke bounds last night. I spent something over half an hour this morning trying to frighten/coax girl-rabbit out from under the bed with a stick and a carrot. (Rabbits are metaphor-free). Considering that she'll have forgotten it all, would it be cruel to leave her locked up when boy-rabbit gets out for a run this evening? It probably would.

[1] Unlike the vast majority of livejournal posts which are vital and relevant, obviously.
noideadog: (me)
This train for.. Cockfosters.

I love London. [livejournal.com profile] bringaisce and [livejournal.com profile] cliph and some people who don't LiveJournal and therefore are outside the scope of this paragraph are going to London next week for TMB[f]G[,b!]. What's in London that's cool to do that I didn't do the eighteen thousand times I've been there being a tourist?

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