kaigou: Edward, losing it. (1 Edward conniption)
Realized I've only been posting like what, once every few weeks? It's been... real. Around here. Short version of current lessons (re)learned:

1) You cannot have a successful project without someone to make the decisions, aka 'manager'. Especially in agile. No project manager, you might as well accept the project will most likely fail. Or if it succeeds, it will be through no small amount of teeth-pulling, a lot of arguing, and a whole lot of flailing.

2) If #1 isn't obvious, I'm on a project where the project manager has a) been interim and b) been busy with other things and c) thought the project would be fine without a hands-on manager. Recipe for fail!

3) This is complicated by the realization that I'm working with an ENFP* who is utterly clueless (and mostly uncaring for) deadlines, and too busy chasing the awesome with no care for the fact that he's rewriting everything almost daily, breaking the build, and making it impossible for me to get anything done in my area of the project. Multiply the lack-of-care with an INTP on the other side, who is equally entranced not only by ideas (and equally bad with deadlines), but downright hostile to task management apps like Jira or Rally, yet loves to talk about how we're building an awesome app. This is turning me into an unhappy ENTJ, because someone around here has got to actually build this app. As opposed to just talking about it (the INTP) or re-building the parts already built (the ENFP).

4) What the hell an ENFP is doing as a web dev, i don't even. Really. I'm out of evens.

5) I'm the only contractor. Guess who's going to get blamed when we don't deliver.

6) Yes, I am making plans. They may change, but it's still plans. As long as I'm pretending to be an ENTJ at work, I might as well do good with it.

7) If I did not have a local network of other women devs to keep me balanced, I really don't know where I'd be right now. Probably in a bunch of miserable interviews as a BA or IA again, having fled the madness that has been this year's dev jobs. Having a network of people who know what it's like is all that's kept me sane.

*If you're not familiar with MBTI, look it up; my teammates aren't edge cases. They're pretty much textbook. It's me, as more of an xNTx, who's flexing to make up for the areas they lack. Like, planning, and follow-through, and the all-important communicate-with-others. The last one, times infinity. If I hear one more "oh, I forgot to mention", I'm gonna start throwing things.

WHY AM I THE RESPONSIBLE ONE. How did this I can't even. You know something's gotta be seriously wrong when I'm the one who ends up with the title "responsible one". Ugh.

ETA: on the plus/tangential side, for those of you still paying attention to the wip, I'm starting again. Now that I've done another massive round of research and let it simmer. Believe me, I've had the time -- sometimes hours while waiting for the ENFP to get around to, y'know, undoing/fixing whatever he's broken this time. Yes, hours.
kaigou: Edward, losing it. (1 Edward conniption)
Well, not all people. Just people in the limited category of "people" and "selling stuff". Not to me, the selling part, that is. But people who sell stuff are proving themselves remarkably brainless right now. Almost as brainless as my neighbors in general.

As I've kind of danced around mentioning, there's an app. I built it (and some of you helped test it). It's live now. And boy is it collecting every twit in the city, and believe me, this city has 'em by the boatloads. All kinds of hijinks therefore must ensue.

I want to shoot them all. )

Don't EVEN get me started on the people actually organizing this. I love em, dog help em, but right now they're driving me crazy and it wasn't that far a trip in the first place. Honestly. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. If you want stuff for free, think back to what your site looked like when it was done for free (horrible) and the extent of your social media presence (none). That's what you get when you pay nothing: NOTHING.

Meanwhile, on the neighbor front, we've got a dog living in the 100-acre park behind my house. No collar, possibly fixed, and terribly skittish around people. Probably yet another cruel soul who decided easier to just dump the dog than find it a better home. A neighbor's been organizing a feeding station for the dog, and working on a way to catch it; she even set up a camera to get pictures of it (to help in determining whether it's lost dog or really was dumped). Her wildlife camera is seriously high-quality, getting some gorgeous shots (far better than mine!) and she's been posting them on the neighborhood elist.


So despite the sudden and terrible drop-off into bleak depression middle of last week (and I don't even have family around to do that for me, I have to rely on the insanity of clients), I've been trying to write. Last stretch of the story, but then again, I'm guessing it must be lagging tension-wise because no one's reading anymore, that I can tell. Am I digging? YOU BETCHA. It's been that kind of week. I could use some reminders of if not awesomeness, at least tolerability. DO IT OR THE APP GETS IT. *bricked*
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 Edward armor)
Went back to gym yesterday, complained to manager, and was set up with second trainer for meeting this morning to come up with workout plan. At one point he suggested kettlebells. Which, to be honest, I had no idea what they were. All I knew was that they're something used by crazy people. Like, say, my sole exposure (the aforementioned [personal profile] mongrelheart) being someone who's clearly crazy (in a good way) about athleticism, and when someone crazy like that complains about kettlebells and, uhm, something to do with kettlebells, I make a note that kettlebells = mad-crazy. Turns out they're just round weights with a single handle, instead of the old dumbbell types with the weight on either end of a handle. Oh. Okay. Not so much with the mad-crazy. (Clearly the mad-crazy is just M all on her own.)

Talking to the manager, I finally said (not quite losing my temper but close) that I felt like I'd been patronized (although the trainer's a nice guy so I'm sure he didn't intend to insult me, so much as just carry on with his assumptions about What Women Really Want, or something). When I'd asked about why the plan was for working out twice a week, what else was I supposed to do? The trainer had said, take classes. I told the manager (and told him I'd told the trainer) that if I wanted to do classes, I would've bloody well just done classes and skipped the cost of seeing a trainer. When I explained I don't even want to work with a trainer regularly -- just someone to check in on -- the manager wanted to know why it mattered. I said, because it's like the off-season: the coach gives you goals, and you go away and work towards them, and come back after so long, having met those goals and gone further.

(To the trainer today, I explained it's also because my brain says, "you should be stronger than this!" and my body says, "woah, it's been awhile." Having a trainer follow me around at this point is more humiliation and frustration than positive reinforcement. I need to get to a point where my heart and core are stronger, then I won't feel like a useless lump if/when I work with a trainer.)

Today's new phrase: skinny-fat. I was explaining about my joints, that I can't do the elliptical or the upright bike, or the leg press or squats/lunges, because it makes my knees grind. I can hear the last shreds of cartilege grinding, and while it doesn't hurt per se, it's a clear warning that if I keep going, the coming hurt will put me on my ass, possibly long-term. But! I can walk up stairs without a problem, I can walk all day, and there's no pain. My joints don't ache or swell or any of that stuff. It's just that I don't have much cartilege. So if I can go up the stairs, I guess that means I could try the stairmaster. The trainer scoffed and said, "don't bother with that. All it'll do is make you skinny-fat." (As in, weighing less because what you've got is lightweight fat, not powerful muscle.)

We never did figure out what's the opposite of 'skinny-fat'. Curvy-strong?

ETA: in unrelated news, got a copy of Bite of China, a Chinese show on regional cuisine. (First two episodes subbed in english; more coming, I hear.) OMG. Do not watch if you are even remotely hungry. Sooooooo good. Soooooo droolworthy.

Reason #4 for losing weight: so I can travel overseas and gain it all back by eating my way through various countries & cuisines. Except India. I love Indian cuisine, but I just don't think even with all my dedication that I'd ever be able to handle the spice-heat. When Indian friends say they made their family's dish "mild" just for me, and it still brings me to tears... it's probably a sign. Visiting India would probably be a lot of smelling but avoiding the tasting. Although come to think of it, Thailand would probably be in the same category. Which is okay; first on my list is Taiwan, then Japan, and I'd probably need a decade just for China alone...
kaigou: just breathe (2 just breathe)
Well, the bombshell update is that we came within about twenty feet of having our house burn down from an electrical-cable-started brushfire. Fortunately, it was middle-of-the-day, and (since our house is pretty much blind to that side of the woods) we had a sharp-eyed and -nosed neighbor who first thought it was a midday barbecue... then thought twice and came down the street to see. She banged on our door as she was calling 911, then ran to our neighbors and alerted all of them, too. It couldn't have been more than three, four minutes from her call to the fire trucks' arrival, but my gods, it felt like the longest and most terrifying moments of my entire life.

Crazy enough, my first impulse was to grab a picture of my great-grandmother off the wall (why? it's scanned, and my sister has a copy), and the next reaction was to turn off my computer. Whut? Apparently, logic is not my friend when panicked. Then I headed to the backyard with a hose -- because thinking clearly also is not in the cards. I think I was there for a minute, before the water pressure dropped too far (because CP had turned on the longer hose, in the front yard), so I went back inside to grab the dogs and get them into the car. When I came back out with a cat, next-door neighbor was there and asked if she could do anything, so I just handed her the cat and went back inside for the youngest cat. (Middle-cat was outside, keeping himself well away from the chaos, fortunately.) Took a lot of chasing, wrestling, and some serious scratches and one pissed-off hobbit-in-a-box later, I was walking out the front door as the fire trucks pulled up.

If you've ever done a sport that has sprints at the end -- running, biking, whatever -- you know how sometimes time doesn't seem to make any sense? The average race for my sport was about six minutes. Fifteen hundred meters: two minutes for a five hundred meter start, two minutes for the five hundred meter body, two minutes for five hundred meters of sprint. Well, give or take thirty seconds wherever. Thing is, I can distinctly recall races where it felt like the sprint alone was twelve minutes. Time lengthens, stretches, doesn't mean anything anymore, when that much adrenaline is in your system. Standing in the yard watching the flames eat up the summer grasses, I couldn't tell if they were coming at me fast, or slow, or frozen, or if I was there fifty seconds or five hundred seconds.

I'm not sure if it's consolation that the fire chief's comment (as they were wrapping things up, afterwards) that the timing was really close. Five more minutes... he waved in the direction of a coming storm. Rain, I said. No, he said: wind. And the wind was heading cross-creek, right at our house, which meant if the neighbor hadn't reacted as fast as she had, and the fire department weren't literally a mile up the road and a quarter-mile to the left, the storm's vanguard of high wind would've hit that fire and shoved it right up against our house.

Yeah. Yikes.

(Yesterday, CP said something about how if an electrical cable is going to snap off and hit dry grass and spark something, why didn't it happen during a storm when there's rain? I said, better at 1pm on a Tuesday than 1am on any night. If it'd been middle of the night, by the time we'd realized, it would've been too late.)

Anyway, talk about having things wake you up to putting life in perspective. Of all the things that I wanted to grab, or thought I should grab, in a split-second decision standing there trying to figure out where I'd put the leashes (more like spinning in place in a total panic trying to find the leashes) I realized the priority was to get the animals out. Anything else would be gravy. But the animals were one thing that required no compromise. Which should probably be an obvious decision, but it's wierd, it's like your brain goes through the revelation anyway, in that moment.

Amusing footnote: as I realized the most important duty (while CP was outside with the hose) was to save our four-legged children, Sachiko ran back to her bed then reappeared for me to put on the leash. I barely noticed. I got the dogs outside, pretty much dragged them both across the zapping invisible-fence-line (didn't have the motor coordination to remove collars as well as put them on), shoved them into my car, rolled down the window, and ran back inside for the cats. Only later, when the firemen gave us the clear, did I realize: Sachiko had grabbed her stuffed frog and had been holding it in her mouth the entire time. Clearly the priorities are the same for everyone in this house: save the babies! Even the stuffed ones.

Fifteen minutes later, we had large drops of rain coming down. It rained later that night, and again for about a half-hour yesterday. I still haven't walked out to see the empty lot, or the size of the burn scar. All I know is that CP's comment was that the fire wasn't halfway across the lot like my adrenaline-crazed eyes had thought. It was more like fifteen feet from our property -- and our house is only about five feet more from that point. Another five feet and the fire would've hit dry two downed trees, and a dry old fence after that. The firemen literally arrived in the nick of time.

Very, very, lucky.
kaigou: Edward, losing it. (1 Edward conniption)
Ended up perusing my way through various ghost-hunting sites this afternoon (hell if I know why), and ended up reading about a house that's supposedly a hotspot (cold spot?) for ghosts, a few hours' drive from here.

Looking at the pictures of the house's various rooms... my first (and consistent) thought was: hell, if I were a ghost and stuck somewhere that no one had painted, dusted, or even just mopped -- I'd be cranky, too! And if one set of curtains seem to repeatedly fall on their own, and you can't fix them, ditch 'em! They're ugly. I wouldn't blame anyone else for thinking they need to be booted, either. Even someone dead.

Geez, people. Sometimes a bit of housecleaning can make all the difference.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 dimples that kill)
This past week, we headed back home for my sister's... shindig... and I mentioned to my step-father about the massively disappointing Korean meal I'd had. Well, this would never do. (Says a man who buys homemade kimchi by the huge bottle-full from his "source" -- the mother of the woman who does my mother's nails, because "it's not the same when it's store-bought".) Friday we all piled into the car and headed off to the best Korean place inside an hour's drive, and my Mom and I shared pork bulgogi while CP and the SF had some kind of noodle-beef-spice dish (didn't catch the name). After we demolished all of the awesome little dishes that came first, of course.

We get home today, and it's blistering hot and the A/C is still broken (but due to be fixed tomorrow, yay). Naturally this means we might as well eat out -- anything for non-104F temps, basically -- and we decide we want more Korean. Ah, new place getting good reviews in our local Asian shopping center (represents of Taiwan, PRC, Korea, and Vietnam), so off we head.

Even more little dishes ahead of time, plus (our eyes being bigger than our stomachs after spending most of the day on various planes) seafood pancakes -- oh so good -- and then a kind of four-bulgogi sampler called SsamBob. Whomever told me on the last post that Korean food is somewhat hot, sometimes (spicy-wise), but always complex, spicy-wise, totally spoke the truth. So spicy, so incredibly yummy.

Except I had this one question... When the proprietor came over to check on us, she'd been so helpful with what-to-get recommendations that I figured, maybe she could answer this question. I explained I'd watched a Korean show with Moon Geum-Young, in which the actress was making kimchi. I saw the sliced cabbages and some other chunks of vegetables, and then this HUGE BAG (like 2lbs worth HUGE) that was nothing but red powder. Was that, uhm, entirely chili powder she was dumping by the double-handfuls into the vegetables?

First, the proprietor said, yes, it was. And then she said, "you know Moon Geum-Young? You watch her television shows?" I said, of course, she's adorable, and I've done my best to see everything she's in. (Excepting Tale of Two Sisters, which I have but haven't watched yet because it may be over my creep limit in re horror, but anyway, I did see Innocent Steps and Painter of the Wind, and most of MSOAN, so, yeah.) But, she wanted to know, was that all I watched? I said, "no, I've also--" right as CP goes, "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho!" and the proprietor just cracked up (while managing to look surprised that CP had also watched the show, and unsurprised he thought Shin Min-ah is gorgeously charming with dimples that kill). ...and then she asked what else I'd watched. I said, "I'm watching Lie to Me, because it's got Kang Ji-hwan," and she put her hand to her heart and looked like she was going to swoon.

Next thing you know, I'm rattling off all the pretty boys: Lee Min-ki (Dalja's Spring), and Lee Jun-ki (Time Between Dog and Wolf), and Lee Min-ho (City Hunter) -- except I hadn't even gotten out what LMH is in right now, just his name, and the proprietor says, "City Hunter? Are you watching City Hunter?"

Me: OF COURSE. It's got a pretty boy in it!

Then I told her what the American-language fandom calls most of these young actors: noona killers (as in, "older sister killers"). She cracked up all over again, and said that fit perfectly. Clearly a woman after my own heart, and we totally bonded over Hong Gil Dong and Chuno and Greatest Love and Civil Servant Grade 7 and so on. Although notably, neither of us were all that about Yon-sama (or whatever his Korean name is, I can never remember) who was in Legend. We'd trade him in for Lee Min-ho any day. Or Kang Ji-hwan. Though clearly we'd have to get in line.

ETA: Almost forgot, the universal symbol for a particular hot leading man (who, incidentally, is actually older than me, so not really a noona killer). She mentioned Greatest Love, and I tried to say the actor's name. Cha Seung-won, I think his name is spelled? She didn't react, so I knew I said it wrong, so instead I ran my fingers over my face to make the "cow" symbol -- the way the guy's beard is trimmed, it looks like the Chinese character for "cow". Immediately she did the same, and knew exactly who I meant. Bwah.

I am totally going back to try the rest of the dishes (and next time, bringing friends, because that's a lot of food for two people, even if we did come home with leftovers). Besides, the proprietor was willing to patiently explain the parts of the usually-slurred-so-fast-on-TV way to say hello: anaunhah-seoh. Hmm. Maybe I should stick to trying to slur it.

Nice to know I'm not the only noona in this town, getting killed twice weekly.
kaigou: (2 using mainly spoons)
1. I really hope that wasn't supposed to be authentic Korean food, because if so, bibimbap has about as much taste as rice and vegetables. When the biggest flavor is coming from tofu, I'd say there's something wrong with the picture.

ETA2: I have been reassured I could not possibly have been eating the Real Thing, and I have also been taunted with several mouthwatering recipes. Fortunately, my step-dad spent a lot of time in Korea and knows his Korean food, so maybe when I'm home visiting I'll finagle him into getting us lunch from his favorite little Korean diner. So no fear, I will not remain ignorant forever!

2. It's really fucking hot out there, so I categorically refused to wear black interview slacks. I wore jeans. I did not wear short-sleeves or open-toed shoes, however. I do have my standards.

3. I talked to the recruiter before the interview, and told her that this would be a pointless exercise on my end. Why couldn't I see the work environment? What information could I possibly get from a single person in a restaurant that would give me any idea of whether I would want to work there? Her response: "Actually, that's a really good question."

4. If I do end up taking this contract, the first words out of my mouth may possibly be: "for the love of all that's holy, do not put someone else through that, or at least take the fucking hint when they say they can't make it for lunchtime."

5. The high point: walking to the address and passing a guy on a big fat low Harley. He starts up the engine and immediately the car alarms go off on the little hatchbacks fore and aft of him. And me, my inner 18-yr-old just thought that was awesome.

6. Do I want this contract? Let me put it this way: I have bills to pay, so I wouldn't turn it down. But it's nowhere near the top of my list, either.

7. If that really was authentic Korean food, then I am the victim of a massive PR conspiracy or something.

[Also: apparently when this town says a place has "atmosphere", what that really means is, "we don't have a big television but it'll still be so damn loud you'll need to yell at your lunch partner". Why can't I ever find out these local translations before the fact?]
kaigou: (2 start drinking heavily)
I have an interview tomorrow. (Nothing big there, been on the search for a few weeks now, but that's another story involving many complaints about the "hot new title" in my industry and the number of managers who seem to be renaming all sorts of non-title jobs to the title, and wasting my time in interviews.) This position is not confused (as far as I can tell, at least) about the title/definition, but it's...

Well, it's a lunch interview.

Y'know, there's a reason I use my initials on my resume and my portfolio and my online site. Not just the basics of not letting anyone have the option of assuming that because I am Gender A or Gender B that I can (or can't) do the job. But also because I've done my share of interviews-in-bars, and interviews-at-lunch, and while I'm not 18 anymore (so I doubt it's necessarily the exact same dynamics), I can't forget those lessons. Lunches are what you do with friends, and dates. You are not on a date with your potential employer, and the casual situation makes it too easy for some guys (already in a position of power via gender, and then as potential employer) to make things even murkier.

Sign me up so very not.

On top of that, I did a search for restaurants around the office's location, because I want to know what else to suggest in case the primary suggestion is Italian. (Pasta, you're great, but you attack people who eat you, and same for you, Pho.) Oh, look, it's nothing but bar food. Independently owned, but you can't tell me that Joe's Bar, Logan's Bar, and something-or-other Bar & Grill, times ten, is going to be anything other than, well, bar food. I loathe bar food. Not because it's bad, but because it's boring. Life is too goddamn short to eat bar food.

(And life is way too goddamn short to eat what American bars believe passes for Irish food. You Irish on my flist, you know I like you, but the American bar concept of Irish food leaves a great deal to be desired.)

Or we could walk the two blocks to the nearest acceptable restaurant -- a Thai place. A quarter-mile away (about two blocks and hang a right, go a block). In 101F heat. For a fucking job interview.

And then I must ask: am I going to be expected to pay for my half? Why? I didn't ask to go on this fucking lunch date. I'd be just as happy not having to walk anywhere in 101F heat at 1pm, thank you, and I'd be just fine sitting in a nice, cool, air-conditioned conference room for an hour. And I wouldn't even have to pay for the benefit of being forced to stomach bar food.


I mean, I don't mind going out to eat. But if I'm going to pay for it, then I want to eat something I enjoy eating, and on top of that, I want to eat it with someone I want to be with. That list of people is really fucking short, and it does not include -- nor will it ever include -- an employer, let alone a potential employer. I am not interested in a fucking social life as part of my job. And I sure as hell don't want to be fighting to keep my attention solid, while choking down bar food, and trying to hear someone (or yell at someone) over the goddamn background noise. Is this an interview, or the equivalent of an introvert's stress test? And I'm supposed to pay for this pleasure?

I really hope I get word in the morning from the second interview with that other company. The one that -- ironically enough -- has offices within walking distance of one of the town's best sushi restaurants. I'm addicted to their sushi. But I still wouldn't go there for an interview.
kaigou: (2 using mainly spoons)
Craving cheesecake, but not craving the amount of sugar usually present in (American) cheesecake. But basically, cheesecake is really just cream+cream-cheese, right? Recipe behind cut. Very easy. )

Next up, butterscotch cheesecake. No, really!
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
I've been wondering whether I should compile the various posts (and unposted drafts) that I've done on fandom, and try looking at them as a collection of chapters about fandom and fanfiction. I think the current count is that I've been quoted now in (or at least asked for permission to be quoted in) five different grad-level dissertations.

Or maybe it's just that I may never be able to truly equate "published on the net" with "published, like, for reals". Wouldn't quoting me count as quoting from an unpublished work? How the hell do you cite someone's blog post?

I really need to dig out my craigslist acct info and get rid of some of this stuff... so I can replace it with new stuff. Like, say, butcher-block countertops. The ones that have been out of stock for the past two months, for crying out loud. I could use different ones instead of continuing to wait, but then I'd have to deconstruct the countertop bases to make room for the extra 3/16" I'd need. Much easier to just wait for the countertops to come back into stock. Someday. Damn it.

Ta-Nehisi Coates' series on the Civil War continues to fascinate me, interrogate my own education and long-held unquestioned cultural assumptions, and make me ponder what I learned as a child and what I just sort of absorbed even if no one ever said it. His most recent post, "The Civil War Isn't Tragic", has had me thinking today about how the war, overall, was presented in my childhood (formal, not family) education. I think the message in grade school was that it was tragic because so many people died, and so many families split north/south... but by high school and then into adult (informal) education, the tone shifted. It became more that the Civil War was tragic... because of the stupidity of people who kept it going and/or insisted on fighting in the first place.

That it was not averted by a peaceful resolution of outlawing slavery when there was the political chance on the board (as Britain did, in the 1830s) is the real tragedy, and that it dragged on for so long and cost so many lives is equally horrible. But the outcome? Not tragic at all. The aftermath and the scars? Tragic, mostly for (similar to the origins) being so badly handled, and so on.

But in the end: no, not tragic. Just stupid and horrible. And I think Coates has a significant point about the fact that we don't have a holiday to celebrate the re-unification of the Union. Why don't we?

Okay, rain would be great. Rain that consists of only 1/4" worth of water doesn't even make the ground damp. It just kind of made everything glisten for a few minutes, before it evaporated again. This is more than a little unnerving, to know we're coming up on heat-lightning season and we're in the worst drought in fifty years.

ETA: Rain! ... and the whole "20% chance of thunderstorms" was really "a few minutes of dark sky, followed by a single drop of rain." ONE DROP. One big honking drop landing smack in the middle of my A/C repair invoice.

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Still waiting to hear from my dad about his mother's chocolate cake recipe (and his rhubarb pie recipe, just because it sounds bizarre but it's best evidence to cite of making pie from anything) -- but here's my Mom's (and now also my) favorite bread recipe for when guests come to visit. I could've sworn I'd posted this before, but apparently not. Bread recipe behind the cut... )

This is not a bread that's ever kept well when I've made it, simply because there are always two-legged rats willing and able to devour the bread as soon as it slides out of the baking pans. This is also why I always make a double-batch, which gets me three large loaves, two medium loaves, and two small loaves: that's the only way to make sure there'll be some bread leftover for me.
kaigou: And now I, chaos butterfly, shall flap my wings and destroy the world! (2 chaos butterfly)
The tachikoma/honda has a remote key entry. So did CP's previous car, the Saturn. My veedub has no remote key, so I find remote keys infinitely fun to play with, but otherwise not something I pay much attention to. Except sometimes.

Me: Also, just so you know! If anyone ever breaks into our house and steals the old Saturn remote and key sitting by the front door, they will not be able to unlock the Honda with it! And even if they hit the button repeatedly for a minute or more, nothing will happen!
CP: Really.
Me: YES! And I know this because I TESTED IT MYSELF.
CP: I see.
CP: For the comic relief?

My personal motto: if you can't be useful, at least be entertaining.
kaigou: stop it. you're scaring the dog. (2 scaring the dog)
Balto was crying, so I finally went over to see what had him upset. Sachiko was in her bed, making "burying" motions with her nose.

Me: Strange, there's an extra stuffed animal in there. Haven't seen.. OMFG IT'S A BABY RABBIT OMG HOLY CRAP
Me: yes? Animal control? what do I do? Should I take it somewhere?
Animal control: Are its eyes open?
Sachiko: My baby!
Me: Yes, and it's bigger than a tennis ball.
Sachiko: My baby!
Animal control: Scoop it up, take it outside. It'll be fine.
Me: Somewhere the dogs won't find it, you mean.

I put on gloves, scoop up baby rabbit, take it outside, and return to find Sachiko in the backyard searching for something. Unh-hunh, while Balto runs around like a big dog chicken with its head cut off.

The cats haven't noticed a thing.
kaigou: Toph punches Zuko. (2 pigtails and inkwell love)
from Artisphere:

By Any Other Name : An Evening of Shakespeare in Klingon
Washington Shakespeare Company

Sunday, February 27, 7:30 pm
Black Box Theatre

The BBC is creating a five part documentary about language and how humans communicate called Planet World. Washington Shakespeare Company's (WSC) By Any Other Name will be filmed live for the documentary series. As part of the evening, world-renowned writer/actor Stephen Fry will perform a Klingon role in a scene from Hamlet.

The evening will begin with an introduction by Marc Okrand, creator of the Klingon language.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 scare the devil)
I just got back from Sears. My little veedub, the longtime trooper, has been having sluggish starts on some mornings. I rephrase that: in the morning, it won't start at all. By noon, or midafternoon, it'll start... sluggishly. Last time I tried, I think I flooded the engine or something, and figured I'd let it sit, then have it towed over to get a new battery. But today, it started on its own (by around 3pm, after a half-day in the winter sun), and I said, oh, hell, I could use some chocolate, let's go to Sears.

Me: I need a new battery.
Sears Guy: *opens hood*
Sears Guy: *looks at car*
Sears Guy: .......
Me: *not paying attention* Y'know, I'm thinking, I can't remember ever getting a battery for this car.
Sears Guy: .........
Me: It's a '96, and I got it in '98...
Sears Guy: .........

This is where I look around and realize there are now six Sears Guys all flocked around my engine compartment. Which sounds really obscene, but carrying on.

Me: Hello?
Sears Guy #1: We don't sell this battery anymore.
Me: You don't? That sucks, because it's been a great battery. I was gonna ask for another just like it.
Sears Guy #1: I imagine it's been the best battery anyone's ever seen.
Me: Hunh? It's a regular Die Hard. Aren't you supposed to change them like, I don't know, once a decade?
Sears Guy #2: *does the math* Or about every fifteen years, in your case.

All the other Sears Guys look shocked. I think some of them even looked positively reverent.

Sears Guy #1: Ma'am, batteries are expected to last about three years.
Me: Really?
Sears Guy #1: Really really.
Me: ...
Sears Guy #1: ...

Everyone else joined in the moment of silence, and then:

Me: Maybe I did change it and forgot.
Sears Guy #1: No, we discontinued this type.
Me: What, like a year or two ago?
Sears Guy #1: Like ten years ago.
Me: Wow. So I really haven't ever changed it.
Sears Guy #1: You're either doing something really right with this car...
Sears Guy #2: ... or really, really wrong.
Me: Can I go with "right"? I like how that sounds.

When I left -- with new battery in place -- four of the guys were arguing over where best to display that positively ancient battery in a good location of honor. I'm not sure whether to be flattered, or worried.
kaigou: Skeptical Mike is skeptical. (1 skeptical mike)
dear hermine:

we appreciate your visit, so please don't let this ruin it,
but flooding really bothers us, so thank you for not doing it.

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 fear the toolmonger)
At Nissan dealer. I mention I used to have a Porsche 914. Turns out our salesman used to have two, a '68 and '71; mine was a '70. Naturally this led to...

Salesman: It's such a great car, and no reason to spend all that money on Porsche parts, it's just a Volkswagon engine!
Me: A Bus-4 engine, at that -- parts are a dime a dozen! I had a mechanic tell me the Porsche clutch cable'd be a hundred bucks, so I walked across the street to the local Buggy Barn and picked up a replacement VW cable for $10!
Salesman: Oh, yeah! I did the same thing when I had to replace my brakes, all that money for just having Porsche stamped on it!
CP: *cough*
Salesman: And the best part is you have tons of friends when you have a Targa!
Me: Oh, no, way, I switched out the shocks and put in Bilsteins, tightened them up to the limit, and all it took was one ride and none of my friends would ride with me after that!
Salesman: What, they didn't like being in a car that's only two inches off the ground?
CP: *COUGH* We're here about a new car...
Me: Not when the ride's that tight! Man, I miss that suspension!
Salesman: And it was so easy to work on, and so much you could do with it! I upped the butterflies and recalibrated the sparks to just a micro wider and that engine just roared!
Me: I put in dual Dellorto racing carbs!
Salesman: That's awesome! Nothing like having to balance--
CP: *COUGH* New cars. You two can geek out later. Right now we're--
Me: Carbs! With the little mirror over it so you didn't get a backfire--
CP: --for a--
Salesman: --and burn off your eyebrows--
Salesman: Uhm. *looks sideways*
Me: Uhm. *looks sideways*
Salesman: *opens mouth*
Me: *opens mouth*
Salesman: *shuts mouth*
Me: *shuts mouth*
CP: *looks satisfied*

A little backstory, perhaps: clutch cable broke on veedub; decision was made (while veedub was out of earshot) to, hrmm, maybe, y'know, consider a second car. )
kaigou: first I'm going to have a little drinkie, then I'm going to execute the whole bally lot of you. (2 execute all of you)
Yesterday I flaked out on errands because it was 4pm already, a torrential downpour, and the start of a three-day weekend. Given this city's penchant for water-soluble driving skills, the last thing I wanted to deal with was a whole highway of the oblivions, in rain, on a friday afternoon, when everyone's getting into the holiday mood. Bleah.

So instead I went out at 10pm to get cat food, and that's when my clutch cable snapped, instead.

On the other hand, the 10pm trip was supposed to be short, because CP was going to head out with the car in time for a midnight get-together with friends -- which means if the cable was that close to snapping and it hadn't been me, it probably would've been him, instead. On the side of the highway, in a torrential downpour, at two in the morning.

All things considered, better to have the cable snap in the grocery store parking lot when you're not even out of first, yet. Unfortunately, stupid modern computerized cars means you can't even start the car unless the clutch pedal's down -- as opposed to the Porsche or the Austin-Healey, which you could start in neutral without the clutch pedal down. And that means no starting the car at all, once the cable's snapped, and that means no point in even trying to remember the specific ratios for shifting sans clutch pedal. Damnitall.

Oh my god, it's my grandfather's car and it's parked in my driveway. )

However, I'm still not entirely sure how to explain to my little veedub that I'm no more happy than it is about that sofa skulking in the driveway.
kaigou: just breathe (2 just breathe)
Two neighbors are heading to Japan for business trip. They'll have a coworker along as translator, but the neighbor's wife is working overtime to learn at least the basics of Japanese for the trip. As musicians, CP figured they'd enjoy Nodame Cantabile (live action version), so we take a copy for them. Meanwhile, the Japanese tutor recommends one of Miyazaki's sappier sobfests, and the neighbors decide they don't like anime at all. (I did point out this is like watching an episode of Cheers and deciding that all American television sucks -- sure, it's mostly suckage, as is most of Japanese animation and television for that matter, or any media anywhere -- but you can hardly say on the basis of one movie and and a few clips that all of it sucks.)

So, since the issue here is learning some basics of the language, I suggested several series that have significant cultural components in the folklore/myth areas (Spirited Away, Mushishi, even Mo No No Ke), that also have some of the bigger names among the seiyuu. I figured if it's listening comprehension, the seiyuu, like radio vs television, speak with greater enunciation and clarity than most live-action actors. And that if folklore/myths are an interest, than those series are more steeped in it than most.

Here's the reply from the neighbor. Several other comments not relevant here, and then this paragraph:
Very realistic city images in [the Durarara comparison clip]! What B--- and I don't "get" is why these anime artists make Japanese people look Anglo? The big eyes, etc. What is this? Some sort of self-loathing going on here? Anyway, I know it's blasphemous, but we really don't care for anime. *sigh*

Maybe I should've asked here, first, but I just couldn't process the statement, at first. I could handle the "they look white" thing, since I've seen that before. But taking it into the realm of concluding this is "self-loathing"... I think I wrote and edited about six different versions of a reply. I mean, I have the option of waving off the assumption, because it's not like I'm Japanese (or even Asian) so what have I got to lose if I just let it stand, right? But then, no matter how hard it is to have your privilege checked, after the fact I've always been glad to know I'm one step closer to not looking like a freaking ignorant moron. )

Or maybe that's just an oddity of me, that I get more offended on behalf of generalized racist-cultural statements about someone else, yet state once and then give up and just tolerate the repeated "we're all believers here" attitude that offends me, personally.

Tell me I'm wrong, and I say that in a "tell me I'm damn well right to say something" meaning, because I could use the backup right now. A bit of reminder that it is important to stand up at times like these.

Now, I think I'll go out in the garden and dig up worms. Not to eat, but to have conversation with. Anything's got to be better than this morning's exchange.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 dot dot dot)
When weeding, after overturning the soil and getting down to pulling out roots, if the root is patchy-brown and wriggling, Do Not Pluck. That's not a weed, that's a baby rat snake.

(Yes, I did try to pull it. And then it wriggled right out of my fingers and I went GYAH. I did not scream like a girl, but I did kinda jump. Just a little.)


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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