noideadog: (culture)
So, who's watching Downton Abbey? I don't understand why I wasn't -- it's Dame Maggie Smith plus a lot of people in hats, seriously, why was it even in question -- but I just started and now I am. No spoilers please, I'm only one episode in.
noideadog: (meerkat)
1) It's raining outside.
2) Alex just brought us another dead mouse.
3) Alex does not have wet fur.

He earns his keep, that one.

Joel's watching Fringe, which, by the way, is entirely incomprehensible if you start watching in the middle of season 4. It makes no sense. I'm reading about combinatorial algorithms and drinking a delicious Captain Lawrence Espresso stout. This isn't really a sustainable combination: soon I'll be just drinking the stout, and after that I'll be having a little nap.
noideadog: (nyom)
Today was Cooking Day. We picked two episodes from Good Eats's extensive back catalogue, and watched them online: first Okraphobia, then This Spud's For You. Rarely has our dual-culture household been so inadvertently parodied.

Okraphobia's a well named episode. It's such a bizarre food. It's vile when it's raw, and fibrous and slimy when it's cooked. What's not to hate? No, I'm lying, Joel made breaded okra a while back and, well, deep fried anything is good, and Glen tells me that he made okra back when we shared a place in Donnybrook, and that I liked it, though I have no memory of this event (Sorry dude. You deserve better friends.), but okra, basically unpleasant, right?

Some random dude I didn't know even came over to tell me this at the greengrocer's. "You really cook with that? It's all mucus, no? I prefer brussels sprouts. They taste terrible, but they're good for you. Did you ever hear that broccoli prevents cancer? I'm not saying that it does but that's what I heard but you didn't get it from me, ok?". (Anyone in New York who speaks to you for no reason is crazy. There are no exceptions.)

But we watched the episode anyway and we drooled a bit over the fried okra and by the time Alton Brown got to the tomato and okra stew (with cardamom, yum), I was sold. Holy crap, that thing looked good. So I went out to get the okra and some tomatoes and an onion and we made it ourselves and it was actually pretty good. I mean, a bit woody and a bit slimy, sure, but acceptably so. And of course we did buy okra out of season, transported from Mexico, so there's no way we didn't deserve them to be not at the peak of greenness.

It's not rocket science, but it's a lesson anyway: for future Good Eats Cooking Days we'll be better about picking episodes that are about food that's in season, and we'll use what we can get at the farmers market. New food tastes better than plastic-wrapped food. Studies have shown this. (If this sounds like "these people cook around once a month and it's a complete novelty every time", there's a reason that it sounds like that.)

We also made the best baked potatoes ever. It turns out that the trick is coating the skin with oil and salt before baking, and then (house modification!) filling it with a shitton of butter at the end. "I'll just have a bite", Joel said, and then "You'd hate this. I'd better have both". He's having a carbohydrate nap in the other room now.

And that was our Saturday. I hope yours was nice too.
noideadog: (Default)
My green card application is so nearly done. All that's left is a letter from HR (already requested), a bank statement (on my computer waiting to be printed), ten passport pictures (eight Tanya, two Joel) and a plate of sushi to keep Joel alive until his pager quietens down (ordered). It only took three hours once I got down to it. That's always the way with procrastinated things.

I'm watching Jeopardy on the TV at the sushi place. This is pretty fun trivia. I see why people like it.

Posted via LjBeetle
noideadog: (buttercup)
Things, things, stuff.

I have a callus on my engagement ring finger where my ring rubs a bit when I go to the gym. This is SIGNIFICANT and SYMBOLIC and I like it a lot, because I'm a sap.

I watched the available episodes of Glee and I thought it was ok, though drowning in obviousity and Hallmark life lessons. It is important to be true to yourselves, my friends. Ah the music is a lot of fun though. I'll keep watching, but I'll do something else at the same time.

Back in college, exam time of year meant that everyone would make vast advances in how effective their .vimrc and .procmailrc and .muttrc files were (these are the settings for your editor and email if you're a nerd). You can tell that it's a busy time of year around here, because all sorts of cool little applications and changes are getting sent out, and everyone's window manager is looking really good. People will work on anything to avoid thinking about the difficult approaching deadline. As for me, I found an important business reason to go looking at old geocities pages to find animated gifs, so I could hilariously embed them in an automated daily report, and demand doughnuts from my team in exchange for removing them. God, so much to do, but it was funny (if you find that kind of stupid thing funny, which of course I really do.)

I went to the climate change flashmob at Union Square at lunchtime today (see?). It had a small turnout (around 30 people) so wasn't much of a mob, but it went off ok. There were events going on all over the world today, so it probably doesn't matter that there weren't many people at Union Square. I wonder how the other New York events worked out.

I don't know what else. Here, have a caterpillar.

noideadog: (nyc)
Everything is pleasant. A busy Autumn is coming up, but for now we have the last days of summer, and it's all rather lazy and nice and unremarkable. As an illustration, here's a description of the last day in the life of me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Between the parental visit, going to LISA, New Mexico for Thanksgiving (in laws!), exciting things at work, two evening classes and THREE They Might Be Giants concerts, this Autumn's going to be quite busy. I'm half-considering giving these guys some money too. You could ask 'Tanya, are you really considering Manhattan as the place to learn to drive?' and I would say 'Well.. a bit, yes', and you might continue with 'Would you agree that that's incredibly stupid?', and I would have to concede that it probably is. Maybe, though. Joel's mom told him that there are lots of quiet roads around where they live, if he'd like to teach me to drive there. I'm certain that that's a horrible idea, but it did put the germ of an idea in my head that maybe I should be using this time when I have few friends and not much going on to get some skills. Otoh, there's plenty going on this Autumn. It's something to think about anyway.
noideadog: (Default)
Things that I like today
- Chelsea. I went to get takeout Italian last night, and on the way home passed a dude giving out free samples. I was in a hurry to get pasta in my belly and I didn't stop, so it was half a block later that I registered that he was saying "Try the new KY!". I love living in Chelsea :-)
- Kindle. the Kindle is so great. It's a fantastic purchase. I read all of Making Money and I'm now halfway through Lord of the Flies. It seems like it's faster to read than paper, but that might just be the novelty of a new toy meaning that I read all the time. I certainly read for almost all of yesterday. Only bad point so far: if I read in public, someone always asks about it, and I get into a conversation about its merits, and I think that could get old. But the Kindle! The screen saver is a different line-drawing each time, and it looks like it's drawn on paper. It's hard to look at these pictures and remember you're using a screen.
- Ashes to Ashes. From the people who brought you Life On Mars comes a similar idea, a few years later. Everything that LoM did for cop shows of the 1970s, A2A does for 1981. The shots, the theme tune, the music: it's perfect. I love it so much. Potentially more than LoM, in fact, since the cultural references are my cultural references. Episode two has George and Zippy from Rainbow. So good.
- Family. My sister's wedding grows ever closer, and the excitement in my family is a lovely thing. I was the the phone to home as she was asking a cousin to be a bridesmaid, so heard enough background shrieks of excitement and joy to keep me in a good mood for weeks.
- Family again. My mum and dad went out with friends last night, and my dad almost had a small accident when he missed a step and stumbled. But he landed in the lap of some (very amused) beautiful blonde woman, so he didn't mind, my mum said, pretending to be indignant.
- Coffee. Freshly ground Costa Rican something something. God, that's good coffee.
- Being oncall. Well, so long as I continue not being paged, it's great to have an excuse to laze about the house all weekend, reading and relaxing and for once not feeling guilty about wasting precious free time.

Things that I don't like today
- Dark clouds. Enough rain. Let's have some daylight please.
- Gardening failure. The wilting lemon tree loses two or three leaves every day and is showing no signs of thriving. Tell me how to help you, lemon tree! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
noideadog: (links)
We were reading bits of the How To Survive A Robot Uprising book out loud, and [ profile] ob_v read "Today.." in momentous tones, so I said "..still wanted by the Government, they survive as soldiers of fortune", like anyone would under the circumstances. And it's practically a law that whenever anyone mentions the A Team in any context, someone has to hum a bit of the theme tune, and OB did so, and it was the most normal of pub occurrences except that he was singing instead because the theme tune had lyrics.

So cool! In France, it's called L'Agence Tous Risques and BA is called Barracuda and it's exactly the same music, but there are words to it. [ profile] ob_v kindly translated them for me.

Fill in the "Ten years ago.." bit for yourself first. I'll come in just after the dakkas.

The A Team! It's truly
The last chance at the last moment.
The bad tricks, the bandits
The A Team pays them cash[1]
If injustice is waiting for you
The A Team waits for it!
For the victim [2] who has no choice left
Suddenly they will appear
Inside the dangers, those cold-blooded[3] kings,
Those travellers without visas
Fought the right fight.

[1] this is a french metaphor similar to the english metaphor "pays them back"
[2] victime, which is female, and now I'm wondering whether there was ever a movement in French like there has been in English to use gender neutral words to describe people. I'd guess that there is, even though the language implications are a bit different when a table is a girl and a monkey is a boy, but I suppose I'll survive without knowing until tomorrow. Edit: from [ profile] spacetweek, of course there is. Interestingly, it's largely concerned with exactly the opposite, creating female names for processions, rather than removing them. That's a thought-provoking article.
[3] though it means more 'fearless' than 'unfeeling'

There's more, but that's as much as we had time for and to be honest I'm afraid it might have reached a glorious zenith with cold blooded kings and travellers without visas and that anything after that will be a disappointment. Anyway, it's good to know the A Team are international. (Crossing the border to Mexico to throw grenades at bad men who are growing opium and bullying small business owners doesn't really count).
noideadog: (hair)
Lost 3x01. Gosh. That is all. [ profile] mr_wombat, hurry home so we can talk about this :-)
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 [ 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)
A thing that is weird here is that you're flicking through tv stations and you hear theme music you like, and you say "The Drew Carey Show! Brilliant!" and then there's 90 seconds of ads between the theme tune and the programme. Isn't that kind of mad?

I ran out of books. I watched tv.


"Veronica Castillo is worried only that her boyfriend has forgotten his oath towards her..
'I can call him and sometimes he's not even at home any more.. sometimes I wonder'"

Yes! Do you "sometimes wonder" about your boyfriend? What can you do? Hey, why not get a trashy tv program to follow him and record what he does? Look, watch how Scumbag Character X Holds Hands with an Unidentified Woman. Let's follow him! Now, some shots of the grieving girlfriend. Oh, she'll forgive him of course. She Just. Needed. To Know. (This is the first 45 seconds of the programme, incidentally).

This is on television. The protagonists choose to televise this! People watch Cheaters! enough that it's worth their while televising it. This is very scary.

I blip-blip-blipped and found

Advertisements for phonelines:

"*plastic lady* I must confess. Something in your voice made me want to connect"
"*plastic man* I'm glad you did. I'm feeling the chemistry."

Advertisements for colleges:

"*sincere wise voice* Nine out of ten graduates get a job in their chosen field within six months. Nine out of ten.. now that's an impressive number!"

Isn't all of this kind of mad? I'll freely admit no longer watching tv at home is a function of my lifestyle as much as it is a choice against insanity, but seriously, this is not good. This is injecting heroin into your eyes. People should not do this.

*blip* *blip*


Ok, that's enough of that for another six months.
noideadog: (culture)
My god. Watched the pilot episode of Battlestar Galactica. Pulled up televisionwithoutpity to see whether there were easter eggs and in-jokes I missed. Accidentally read the two line summary for the final episode. Special, that's what I am.
noideadog: (culture)
Last episode ever of the West Wing.

Season finale of Lost.

I'm extremely satisfied. To say anything more would be spoilerage. It's been a most satisfying evening. Only thing is that it feels like I'll never need to use bittorrent again. I have no further television needs (until Lost season 3, I guess, and everyone knows they're going to make that be rubbish for their own amusement.)

Overall, a very good, very enjoyable evening.
noideadog: (meerkat)
How many of the Magnificent Seven can you name? I mean the actors, of course, not the character names. I could only name three, to my shame, but had "oh god of course it was" recognition of three more. (Nevvererdov the seventh guy).

I love cowboy movies. Only in Greek epics and teen drama is life so clearly laid out. People are bad or good. Who cares why they are. It's the just way it is.If they're good, they're laconic, honourable and weathered (though handsome!) of face. If they're bad, you shoot 'em. It's easy. "What if they're only bad because they had bad things happen to them and really, if only you saw why..?" "Shoot 'em". Yay! Good ol' Western justice. I love it. Apart from Annie and Calamity Jane, the women are pretty useless (and they were more sassy than awesome), but that's ok too. You don't watch cowboy movies for gender issues either. You watch them for heroism, stoicism, men in hats and occasional camaraderie and friendship, mostly shown through tolerance of each other's company. Cowboy movies. When men were men, women were women, and horses were.. ehh.. horses. I don't know where I was going with that.

I've never seen the Magnificent Seven. I've always been pretty sure that I'd love it though. Being a rules nerd means a predilection towards things that come in sets: maths, music scales, collectables.. I've stayed away from Pokemon for a reason.. and having a list of characters to enumerate and categorise is exactly what I want from a movie.

Odd that it hasn't been remade, unless it has. I know they made that TV series. Pity it didn't last.

Anyway, Glen's back from calling Brid now, so we can continue watching the last episode of Lost of the season, so I can stop talking about the Magnificent Seven. Which, if they remade, they'd call Mag7. You know they would.

I bought a Magnificent Seven box set today. Four movies. I'm going to (very reluctantly) save them up until I go to Kells and can watch them with my dad.
noideadog: (culture)
I love the Wogan :-) I take back everything I've ever said about TV. The world would be a much worse place without the eurovision.
noideadog: (culture)
Tina called at 8. "Oh my god! Are you ready to watch Big Brother? Are you at home? Do you know Big Brother is on tonight? It's usually on Fridays but it starts tonight. Big Brother! I read in a magazine that it's the smallest house ever. There's grass inside the house and the kitchen is outside! It's at nine. I can't wait! You really like Big Brother? Don't you like Big Brother? It's time! You and Dave need to watch Big Brother. And play DDR! And drink wine! When am I visiting next? Are you watching Big Brother? Can we play DDR when I come up to you? I'll call you when you're watching Big Brother. I can't believe it's tonight! Oh my god!"

She's enthusiastic. I explained that we don't have cable, or rather that -technically- we have cable, but the TV's too far away from it, and that we don't have a cable long enough to reach, and that nobody cares enough to move the TV towards to TV point. I agreed to download it, and was manouvered into a promise that I'd download and watch it within a few days. She hung up, fizzing with excitement.

Got a phonecall at half ten. I was in a noisy pub (bad example!) and couldn't talk.

"It's dreadful. Oh well."

But.. I.. uh..

noideadog: (natural dancer)
Lazy Sunday. Ate chips, sat around, submitted expenses, had a Smallville marathon. I've now seen all of season one. It's very much teen drama by numbers, isn't it? Our superstrong hero, two best friends (one smart, one goofy), the mean kid who becomes friendly, the enigmatic unattainable love interest (who'll clearly be eventually attained), the monster of the week formula, the moral guidance and leadership from the male parent figure, the love and support from the sad-eyed female parent figure.. It's Buffy, without the humour. But I like the little nods to the Superman stories, and the whole thing isn't bad as background noise. Also, a lot of people are very into Smallville, so it must get good some time soon. I'll watch the second season anyway, I think.

Speaking of tv, I'm also finally up to date with the West Wing. OMG! Lots of OMG! I love the West Wing, and season seven is very good indeed. It's hard to believe that there are only four more episodes ever. I'll have to find some new programme to care about. (The two seasons of Battlestar Galactica on my hard disk seem like an ok place to start.)
noideadog: (brain)
So, how was the redbrick thing? How was St Patrick's Day? Tell me things.

A group of us are going to the Exploratorium in San Francisco tomorrow. This'll be my third sci/tech museum in seven days.

Science and technology museums I have been to:
Science Museum, London
Light on Science, Birmingham
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
Hong Kong Science Museum
San Jose Museum of Technology
Mountain View Computer History Museum
Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Places that aren't really science and techology museums, but sort of are, that I have been to:
Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
Planetarium, London

Science and technology museums I nearly went to, but they were closed that day:
Tallinn Science and Technology Centre

I was going to ask where else there were good ones, but then I asked wikipedia instead:

Wikipedia is the new Internet.

Home on Monday. I check in to SFO at 16:30 on Sunday, and arrive in Dublin at 16:30 on Monday. That's just absurd.

Hey, [ profile] mr_wombat, Benley gave me all of (new) Battlestar Galactica. You might want to clear.. oh, about thirty hours in your calendar :-)

Edit: Photos.
noideadog: (Default)
So, either Jon Stewart wasn't very memorable or the people who compiled Sky One's highlights programme are complete bastards. One of those. I sat through ads for this?
noideadog: (Default)
Dear Lost writers.

This stuff's heavy. Please can we have a nice episode where Sun adopts a kitten?

Love and kisses,


PS Kitten must -not- die!


noideadog: (Default)

February 2014

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