update: me

Apr. 20th, 2009 11:53 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (oniisamae-madworld-me)
1) My conference in Pasadena went OK after all. I have follow-up stuff I need to do, but that's OK. Everything I had to do got done and I only screwed up a little bit. I got to see [livejournal.com profile] nathan_long in person for the first time even though we've known each other online for more than a decade, and we discovered even more random things in common. I saw my friend Ejen for the first time since I moved out of Arkansas and he moved out of Texas (we both moved to California around 2000).

2) Came back on Saturday night and got up early Sunday morning to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. Yes, I saw George Takei. Yes, he was fab. He seems to be quite chummy with the Japanese ambassador to the US and his wife! hee! Met up with not just [livejournal.com profile] ext_4728 and [livejournal.com profile] ext_28177 but also [livejournal.com profile] mingmingcheong. Even bought a couple things from vendors, though...see later point. We had a very nice meal at Juban, the same yakiniku place C. and went on our wedding night (not by design).

3) Went to the allergist; breathing problems not allergies but probably inflammation from being sick last month; have steroid inhaler. eep. Details on health filter (ask to be added if you want to read the boring details).

4) I fear my recently-engaged program of attempting to give more money to creators (writers, jewelry-makers, bands, etc.) by buying things, and of supporting charities and good causes like many of your own various projects, has abruptly come to an end with the end of C.'s full-time job prospects for the year. (No, I'm not kidding. If you're new to academia: that was the entire hiring round for the year. There might be another round in the fall for spring 2010.) This may change if I finish my thesis and return to concentrating on my own business and do get a lot of high-paying clients, but for now it's on the back burner. I'm sorry.

5) We also likely won't be moving in August, or if we do, it may be to a 1-BR apartment (we live in a 2-BR townhouse right now) rather than to a rental house as we'd been hoping. We'll look again at moving out of the Bay Area, but when we've poked at that in the past, we haven't exactly found piles of full-time positions in areas where we wanted to live anyway. :/

6) I wish C. could get info about what went wrong in the interview, but due to the highly restricted nature of academic interviews, I don't think he can.

7) One of my clients' companies has just entered chapter 11 (two clients; one company). I'm done with their contracts anyway, but it's still depressing and I'm worried for them. I don't think anyone is really surprised that it happened, but it's hard when you've uprooted yourself halfway across the globe...I hope the situation can be fixed.

For reading all that, please enjoy the usually-annoying Japanese pop-idol factory Morning Musume redeeming themselves with a surprisingly fun imitation of the Takarazuka all-female song and dance troupe in the swing piece "Mr. Moonlight" (hat-tip [livejournal.com profile] hoshizora). Naturally, it's totally over the top, but what else do you need on an overly warm Monday?

wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (chii-sick-me)
OK, I know she must send them to everyone who follows her, and maybe they're even automated, but it's still kind of cool to get a direct message from Amber Benson (previously Tara on B:TVS) on Twitter. :) (Amber Benson is another person who's the same age as I am.) By the way, she's signing her new urban fantasyish novel in San Francisco and Roseville this week.

Oh, AskMeFi. First someone asks for recommendations on an online flower delivery service because his/her girlfriend will be in Kenya on her birthday, and only does Respondent 2 have experience using one of the services to send flowers to Kenya, but Respondent 3 lives in Nairobi and will personally recommend a couple of shops if the GF also is staying in Nairobi. <3 Really, if you ever have this kind of question, $5 for a lifetime membership to MeFi may be a good investment. Then ... somebody wrote in and said that his wife, a lifelong non-reader, had gotten hooked on Twilight and was tearing through the books, and was really into the suspense of what would happen next, and wanted to know what she could read next that would also be like that. Two people promptly recommend GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire. WHAT?! Noooo. Not for a new reader, for god's sake, and I'm not saying that just because I hated them. People made other, mostly more appropriate suggestions (Charlaine Harris, Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon), and eventually several people said "Uh, no GRRM yet, OK?" And the original poster said "Uh, yeah, I've read the first three, and no." Phew.

The very odd-looking Studio Ghibli film Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea has a release date in the US: August 14. Ta-da, my first must-see of the summer! Well, okay, other than Harry Potter, duh. Unless I hear from my friends that HBP is really terrible.

Just out of curiosity, how many wireless networks can your computer see from your home? Mine can see 15 at the moment. Best name? Hello Kitty. Cheesiest? Checkmate and HAQ. Defaultiest? Tie between HOME and all the 2WIREs (including ours).

(Did I mention that the bloc of townhouses I live in only has 6 units?)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Neil Gaiman in Palto Alto on October 4:

Other locations here:

I finished The Light Ages. I don't know what I think. I used to read cyberpunk novels with lots of setting and wordcraft and very little plot, and I enjoyed them. Either I don't enjoy that kind of thing any more, or this wasn't very good. I thought it was about 25% of a very good book, coming somewhere between the middle and the end.

Mint.com is THE BEST THING EVER. I didn't trust it when I first heard about it, but by now it's established, it's working with the banks, and it's SO COOL. I can see how much money we have everywhere, how much we owe on our credit cards, how much we're spending in each category, etc. B of A has something that lets you look at spending by category, but it's not very good, and you can't change its often incorrect categories, IIRC. But at Mint you can rename and re-categorize stuff.

I love it and it's free.

It may not work with smaller banks. We're going to try it with C.'s Arkansas-based bank soon.

It's kind of fun to set up. :) The interface is sometimes glitchy but largely smart: for example, there was a check for $1XXX.00 on C.'s account under "No Category." I re-categorized it as rent, and clicked a button to put similar transactions in the same category. It found a few more checks for the same amount and moved them over to rent. Awesome! Of course, it's not magic, so it can't find earlier checks with a lower rent amount, but still: cool!

Sometimes it screws up: It knows Greyhound is travel, but it thinks Nintendo Wii Points are ... a restaurant. Hmm. But it's OK; I just change it.

It appeals to this strange part of my brain which, generally messy and fuzzy, loves categorizing things neatly. If I could clean my house with clicky buttons and drop-down menus, it would be so very clean indeed.

wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
"For me and millions of others, anything approaching walking, running or lifting for fitness has always been out of the question on account of the way time slows down so mercilessly."

Exactly! But then he tried Wii Fit...

"I started with a physical age of 63 (according to their calculations) and have managed in a week to bring it down to 58. I expect to be a rorty 17-year-old with accompanying acne and attitude in time for Christmas."


Via [livejournal.com profile] fryblog.

No, no, no

Aug. 21st, 2008 09:29 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (yamamoto-bowed-me)
Ah, just got another random piece of bad news (involving an actor none of you except [livejournal.com profile] toratigris have probably ever heard of). It's insignificant in the scheme of things--I don't get involved in celebrity deaths, particularly some actor I've only seen in one series. But today has just kind of been really lousy so far, and this didn't help. This actor was so funny and seemed to have lots of potential, and he's a couple years younger than I am, and he reminded me SO strongly of a very good, very much missed friend from high school. And now he's dead in a random motorcycle accident (and actually, that good friend was in a bad ATV or something accident in high school, now that I think of it). So I keep picturing my friend, whom I've been worrying about for years. Gah.

It's been a whole string of major and minor bad news firsthand, secondhand, and afar.

I just feel really off-kilter and vaguely blue.



Jul. 19th, 2008 11:59 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I'm sure you'll be shocked when I tell you that Eddie Izzard's show tonight was, indeed, very funny. At one point my throat muscles hurt from laughing constantly ...

I really wanted to get a Cake or Death? t-shirt (and one for [livejournal.com profile] kyspaz as well) but had to conserve money.

I'm really tempted to register "MonkeyMonkeyMonkeyMonkeyMonkeyYou.com" but I don't know what I'd do with it.

The Orpheum is a beautiful venue that looks like it's ripe for the climax of the next Hellboy movie or something (baroque, cathedralesque, strange), but has THE WORLD'S WORST SEATING OMFG. The seats seem to have been built for people 5'6" and under only. Even if I lost a lot of weight I'd still be really uncomfortable. Poor [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor, who's about 6 feet tall, was in agony. I don't really know if we'd go to a show here again. Anyway, I can't find any good photos of the inside to show you,b ut it's awesome.

Also, we met Jeff, God of Biscuits, outside the theatre afterwards. Long story.

It was fun to go with friends, particularly friends who know what I mean when I look around at a setting like that theater and say it seems to belong in an urban fantasy or supernatural investigation story or RPG. (We went with [livejournal.com profile] unkyrich & C., and met up with [livejournal.com profile] ext_4728 & D., and [livejournal.com profile] jaffa_tamarin.)

We enjoyed eating the crepes at Ti-Couz. Om nom nom.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I had to post this so that I don't get murdered in case some of you don't find out about this elsewhere until after the fact: Neil Gaiman will be making an appearance in Tulsa, OK.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
If you know an undergraduate (in the US) who's on a Pell Grant, have them check out this scholarship program for study abroad. There's a bonus supplement for people studying certain languages, too.

I so wish I'd done real study abroad as an undergrad.

I actually felt OLD today. I brought a $1 Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted) book up to the check-out counter at Half-Price Books. The clerk, who looked to be in that vague college-age-to-my-age range, glanced at it and said "Oh! I loved these books when I was a kid."

Buh? "They didn't have these books when I was a kid," I responded without thinking.

Publication date 1999. I guess if she's 18 ...


Hillary Clinton is working SO hard to lose my vote. Her chief campaign strategist is also working for Blackwater USA.

I know, it's all business, highest bidder, whatever--it's a black mark as far as I'm concerned.

True Love and High Adventure: The Princess Bride ... Videogame. I want this to not suck. Please. I love the book so much...

Some link-of-a-link-of-a-link led me to Games For Change, which "provides support, visibility and shared resources to organizations and individuals using digital games for social change. This is the primary community of practice for those interested in making digital games about the most pressing issues of our day, from poverty to race and the environment. We are the social change/social issues branch of the Serious Games Initiative." The Serious Games Initiative encourages "the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy."

Okay, that's cool. Damn, why are they based in New York? Rats.

Ah well, check it out.

Huh, I just realized recently that I've totally stopped shopping at Safeway. Huzzah! Safeway annoys me, and is full of stuff I don't need to eat.

Except I am going to have to go there to pick up some Nutella now that Trader Joe's doesn't have a version of it anymore. Bother.

Matt Thorn writes about Japanese manga readers' expectations and assumptions.

Check the comments for more explanation by Thorn.

As noted, this video of Japanese dancer Kanichi winning the 2006 Apollo Dance Challenge in Harlem is a bit old, but it's pretty good--and I'm posting it for the Matrix fans on my list, because the Matrix part is fairly amazing!

I don't have an opinion on the science behind this, but I know some of you may be interested: "A woman in her 30s who has a very low risk of heart attack and a family history of breast cancer might want to seriously consider avoiding alcohol."

So, I'm on about Yosemite again. Anyone have a specific recommendation for a place to stay during the winter--as inexpensive as possible? I believe we'd have at least 4 people and would need at least 3 beds, either in separate rooms or as a cottage/cabin. I don't actually think any of us would object to a regular ol' (clean) motel, though obviously more atmosphere would be a bonus. West side since we'd be coming from the SF Bay Area.

P. S. It is very weird to see Mr. Gibbs in "A Bit of Fry of Laurie". He looks so young. o_O

Dolores Umbridge is in the next episode, too.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Hikaru no go-OHMYGOD!-michishirube)
Stephen Fry hath a blog, and now that it's not all 503'd out, you can read it at http://www.stephenfry.com/blog, or [livejournal.com profile] fryblog.


wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)

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