Feb. 18th, 2017 10:51 pm
awhyzip: (libtext)

Barbarella, ah, barbarella ....

Just saw it, for the first time, at long last.

I laughed so hard!

But really it's not a bad movie: it had a premise (and a plot) and it sticks to it! Oh, and so many superbly ridiculous setups. And the name of the composition he plays on the "Excessive Machine" --- o, perfect!

awhyzip: (Default)
Light hang for theater at first, including pick up from Storage with Hobbit.
I managed to get the freight elevator locked shut empty (oops), but with Hobbit's strong hands to pull on the gappy doors, I was also able to fix that.

Light hang (and put in in general) was fun, went smoothly, and was well organized. Also well fed. Shouldn't have been surprised by any of that.

I now actually do want to see the show, and might even be bringing my mom.

Met Nathan, Hatim, Brian, Sarah, Alex, re-met "Duub".

Retrieved bike from Alewife bike cage. Along the way to doing that, had weird interaction with a tall white collegiate looking guy, who responded to me when I muttered "that's probably not the effective way to solve your problem" at a loose trio of college-looking folks (himself included) standing on the street corner while one of their number screamed at their friend to cross back over. Admittedly, this was rude of me. I found the screaming annoying (and since it wasn't *working*, unjustifiable), but I should have either just kept on my way (which would have quickly taken me out of earshot, since the screamer had negligible lung power), or else fully stopped and actually talked to them (to try and help). The tall guy called my muttering bluff, asking me what I would do better. Then, after I replied, he asked me where I went to school, what my highest degree was. This was asked in a politely-challenging manner. Like these educational qualifications are relevant to a question of public comportment and/or human motivation! That felt very strange. Meanwhile, the others had abandoned their deliberately(?)-wandering friend and turned from the corner. Any way, strange. And I would have thought they were all acting drunk, except that it was 6pm!

Brunch with Erica and Ben, plus Joel and Renee, and Justin, and Jonathon and myself. After three failed tries, we ate at Tatte Bakery on 3rd st.

Then, Jonathon went home and I continued on to a second birthday party for Leo. There were wooden Brio-like trains to decorate, which was almost as exciting as seeing the various friends there. Apparently I had pent up crafty-ness.

Stopped at Dorie and Joe's on the way home, then grocery store, then lots of cooking. I'm attempting to make up for not having had any edible foods in the house for like weeks.

Roasted acorn squash; mustard roasted brussel sprouts; double batch Hungarian mushroom soup; vegetable and noodle casserole; roasted pumpkin and chickpea salad.
Plus last night, a bunch of quesadillas and a batch of shakshuka.

Now I just have to remember that I like this stuff, when it's time to pack a lunch.

I'm proud to have made so many edible things.

After all that, assisted Jonathon to replace the bad dimmer, so our kitchen lights can work again.

Also played several rounds of Ticket To Ride on my phone (my ongoing addiction).

Did not do any reading for my Meah Select Muslims-and-Jews class, or my Japanese class, or office book club. Maybe tomorrow night.

Bed time

... Hi

Oct. 31st, 2016 07:02 am
awhyzip: (lion)

So, LJ, hi again.

It's been a long time. Actually, I was effectively "locked out" from livejournal for... several... months, due to changed password requirements, repeated delay, and a spam filter.

Now I'm back --- on the last day possible before I lose access to that recovery email --- and I'm feeling oddly shy.

awhyzip: (Default)
Peri-b'nai-mitzvah services went well. Pretty good turnout, although heavily weighed to the pre- group. Two post-bat mitzvah : E. and T., plus M the older brother of a pre-bat mitz.

Good post event feedback, even from the youth. (Spontaneous from adults, elicited from the youth, but apparently sincere in both cases.) General interest in doing this again, including kids agreed yes they would if asked. Of course, these are the self selected who attended.

Especially pleased by how well timed the two places when I did narration during "set changes" worked out.

Songs still in my head.

Now bagel brunch with family!
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Went to home depot yesterday with Jonathon. We got a sturdy new shelf to hold the expanded set of Passover boxes. We got new double light switch, to replace the one in the third floor bathroom, which was weirdly popping out in the middle between the two half-sized "decora" flat rockers. (I was never sure if it was dangerous or just unaesthetic. I'm looking forward to not having to care :-) .). And thanks to Jonathon's timely brainwave, we picked out a timer switch to install in our bathroom to control the ventilation fan. I think that will be a nifty upgrade to the user experience. ;-) Plus a few little other stuff (like Sharpies) that of course required traversing the warehouse sized store back and forth repeatedly, because you're always at the wrong end...
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I've been listening to Bujold's vorkosigan series as audio books. I've read a few here and there, but never in any particular order. I recently discovered that a very nice set of recorded audio book versions are available from the library in an app called Hoopla. I decided to listen to them, all of them, start to finish.

I'm a few hours into Captain Vorpatril's Alliance now. Thought I might pause to set down some thoughts.

I'm enjoying it, but not as much as I did the earlier installments. I was eager to observe the Ivan character from his own point of view. But so far it's felt kinda "stock". It's oddly _external_ still. Hasn't helped me understand how Ivan thinks of Ivan.

Also the tropes are starting to feel a bit repetitious.

We're at the point where the reader (and other characters) are aware of feelings that Ivan is denying. I'm finding this boring and repetitive, instead of amusing. Wasn't so long ago that Komarr / A Civil Campaign tread the same ground.

And the impulsively save some poor soul by tying them to your imperial-relative-protection racket is a retread of Miles doing the same thing with sworn-liegeman status, against slightly different problems.

I'm hoping for a twist such as the title character choosing to LEAVE his homeworld and follow the off worlder. It was Miles who had the indelible home-loyalty/patriotism that drove narrative tension as his romantic interests repeatedly had no interest in his home. And yes, that's undeniably part of his character. But I suspect Ivan's emotional approach could be quite different, in-character. The things that are sticking points for him should be different!

I said the story is "external". Maybe it will pick up (I'm not very far in yet). So far, it seems like the writer can't decide if Ivan or Teigh is the point of view character. But if it's going to be Teigh, I'm disappointed that her big make-decisions odessey (the flight from Jackson's Whole) is all backstory. In a Miles book (and the Cordelia book, too), I expect to ride along and watch it unfold unexpectedly. But instead, it's already done history, just being revealed piecemeal.

And in contrast, the love story aspect appears to be unfolding NOT unexpectedly. Only the protagonists are surprised, not the guessing-ahead reader. This is irony, not suspense.

Well, some suspense will surely come in, later. There's lots more to go.

All that aside, I have been enjoying the series. I even found Ethan Of Athos to be a catchy story, when encountered in the matrix of the other tales. Quinn!
awhyzip: (Default)
My friend Jeremy is getting ordained this weekend. This evening I got the unique chance to listen in (and even help a little) as he reviewed the Hebrew translation with an Israeli member of his beit din team. It was really neat.

Also, I very much enjoyed making her acquaintance: Rabbi Mira Raz.
awhyzip: (Default)
In Japanese, the particle "wo" is generally used for direct-object type stuff. But it's also used to mark the origin of motion AND to mark the origin when expanding from small to large space. The latter is true both literally and metaphorically. So, for instance, one "graduates wo university" because the self-contained world of the school is metaphorically smaller than the "real world" outside/after it.

Mind is kinda blown!
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Caught up on some sleep.

Didn't laze in bed overlong like a lump, which results in paradoxical reduction in energy. Did spend some time waiting outside, that I might have unthinkingly passed indoors. Outside was a better choice.

Made good on plans to meet up with a friend for lunch. We walked to Zhu and built ourselves a tapas-style repast from the appetizer menu. Clever us.

Found a fun skirt at ArtWear. In the fitting room, I held in balance both my negative body judgement and the countervailing sense that I "had to" get it "anyway". I made the wise decision not to buy it, and I'm glad I went ahead and tried it on.

Emptied the dishwasher. Always fun.

Sewed stuff that's been waiting for months: reattached a strap to a shoulder bag; deepened the pocket on my pants; darned a delicate net-work top and the fabulous black lace stockings (which I've tried and failed to replace); laboriously reattached a fastener on some brown pants; and found a replacement button for some relatively new jeans. I appreciated my foresight to have included a note with the jeans, indicating what repair was needed.

If the pocket enlargement works as well as I think it will, I'll give the same treatment to more pants.

Had a cosy dinner with Jonathon, while we watched the end of The Devil Wears Prada on the tv. He made pasta with sauce for us. I'm glad that I thought to scrounge in the fridge, to add a side of green veggies, and that I did this early enough to be timely for the meal.

The movie adaptation made a small change to the ending, which changed the moral from "you have more choices than you may think" to "be brave and kind, because good choices are rewarded, even unexpectedly". I find the former a more interesting moral. And useful for myself to reflect on.

Went up to bed, before midnight. (That is, I'm *going* up momentarily. Good night!)
awhyzip: (Default)
I was reminded that French braiding is a thing that I know how to do. I tend to think that making braids *on my self* that look attractive/well-made is too hard (although I throw quicky lopsided non-french plaits in frequently, if I know I'm not headed out of the house)... but this may not in fact be true.

I put in a very nice half pony tail French braid this morning, and it looked very nice on the first try. Plus it lasted all day. I impressed myself.

Hooray for French braids! I'll try to remember this.
awhyzip: (Default)
Monday, no evening plans. But I stayed way too late in the office, archive-diving a web comic after knocking off for the night.

Today, Tuesday, EC board meeting. Extended overtime for important stuff. Adjourned 10:36. Then I enquired with a member about his strong position. Prez stayed after even that to hear out my concerns. Left 11:15ish.

Tomorrow, back to EC building for the mishnah class that I think I'm taking now.
Also pick up farm share while I'm there. Yay
Should be over by 9, but maybe Jeremy and I will hang out after. Man I've missed that.

Thursday is Japanese class in the early evening. Then, I may have dinner with a friend plans. It's still tentative, though. Timing is tough for her too.
That day at work will be an all day training workshop.

Friday is Friday.

And Saturday I gotta do all the house chores that won't happen Sunday. Because Sunday is Yumentashen day!

Also in there I gotta squeeze the volunteer coordination for EC phone appeal. I was going to host it, but new plan is that I'll try to arrange it as all distributed remote work. Should work. I have plenty of volunteers, good ones. Just don't slip the prep because it seems *too* minimal. Treasurer gave me all the files I need, but there's a little work in divvying it out and following up.

Best part of not having an in person group phoning session is that then I don't have to do presto chango from hamentashen wrap up to starting up an event. Instead, Dorie and I can linger proudly over our output, and perhaps continue new habit of dinner with the kid and husbands after.

(Oh yeah, and that bagel making workshop on Saturday evening-I-presume, that I still don't know what time it's really at. Maybe I won't go, after all.)

In conclusion: Yumentashen with Dorie!
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Friday was occupied stem to stern with testing patches so we could do a late build with confidence. Feels like it took way too long, but that's what it took. Was standing over my keyboard squeezing in last notes (i'd figured out a way to reproduce a related non-showstopper bug) at 6:45, as an office friend who was giving me a lift waited patiently. Thanks to him, I arrived at synagogue in reasonable time.

Other team members volunteered to do the after hours testing, when the build would be done (around 8pm). My boss was very protective of my weekend time---that it didn't have to be me re-testing---which was nice. Also nice confidence in the comprehensibility / comprehensiveness of my notes.

Lecha Dodi as I arrived at shul, which was honestly earlier in the services than I'd anticipated. 7:10 or so (start time 7). I'd briefly volunteered to lay lead these services. Good thing I came to my senses on Wednesday and handed that off.

Enjoyed services. Bonnie and David were leading, so it was from the purple book (Siddur Chaverim Kol Israel). I like that book, although it has a few unfortunate page-break placements. They'd brought extras, so we had enough copies for everyone (~20). A few people stuck with our standard siddur, and B&D called pages in both books smoothly.

The lay leaders added a few extra readings, including Judy Chicago "Merger poem" after Aleinu. This was slightly more confusing than it should have been, because, it turned out, some editions of the book had replaced this with a different poem "A Simple Pebble". Mine had the pebble poem, but I found I was able to recite along with the Chicago Aleinu poem, thanks to years of use in my childhood chavurah. Pleased, I thought I'd see if I remembered also the tune, to which we sometimes sang it.

I did remember it, but to my surprise no one else seemed to have heard of a tune (including David&Bonnie) so this became an impromptu solo!

Slightly amazing myself, I hit all the notes on key, even the ones that I often flub where it jumps or drop. I was very glad not to mess that up, because when sung right I really enjoy listening to that one. With the acoustics in the new room, it sounded lovely. Got lots of nice feedback afterward. Still, I'd hoped for unison singing, not a solo.

After services and the oneg snacking, Shabbat Dinner out at Stone Hearth Pizza in Belmont center. Thought about Sweet Tomatoes in West Newton, that earlier this week suffered a terrible car accident. My heart goes out to them.

Saturday morning, all the house chores and Jonathon got a haircut. Also, S arrived to pick up his light bulb that had been delivered to our house, and we spoke about synagogue / school matters. Good to hear from an observer from a different angle.

Parents arrived Saturday around 4:30. We shared stories of our recent vacations: Jonathon&me to Caribbean, them to Peru&Ecuador/Galapagos. Cooked farm share potatoes and greens, augmented with takeout tofu & seitan.

After dinner, cake and presents, for a belated family birthday celebration. I'm still not fully let go of my disappointment to be observing it in March, but it was quite nice. Felt like someone else's birthday, which I was happy to spend with family, of course, but...

We went off to bed not long after dinner. Ima was tired. The trip had gotten them used to early-starting days.

Next morning, parents and I all took a long walk. From home down bike path to Alewife Reservation. Along the water, then loop back via Belmont streets to the bottom of Lake St at Rt 2.

Next door neighbors stopped over, to pick up some visual aids for 3rd grader's research project on Michigan. We grown ups reminisced about our own Everyone Researches A Different State projects, back in the day. (Montana, thank you very much.)

After that, lunch at Arlington diner. Then Miriam's retirement party. Then Ari's birthday games dinner. Then perhaps slightly over long house tour to Erica & Ben.

Full weekend!


Feb. 21st, 2016 09:59 am
awhyzip: (Default)
Happy birthday to me!

I'll be taking a movie outing this afternoon, as part of the celebrating: "Spotlight", at the Capitol. 4:15pm.

I invite any friends who would like, to get yourself tickets and join me! There may be cake afterward.

Other celebration includes: pancake breakfast in bed, made and served by Jonathon. Last night, I had expressed disappointment at not being able to find my golden plastic "birthday crown", so the first pancake was poured in the shape of a crown.
awhyzip: (Default)
Would anyone like to pick up my CSA farm share next Wednesday? Or have the greens that will surely be in this week's?

(The citrus and root veg will keep, but the greens might not appreciate the wait until I'll be able to cook them.)

The pick up is in Cambridgeport.
Whether you reimburse me anything is negotiable.
awhyzip: (Default)
Oh crap! Water on the floor, and it's not from dropped snow. Must be from the ceiling...

Edited to add:
Jonathon laments that he wants to stick his head up, but it won't fit in the recessed-lighting hole.
Hey! Good thing we have a periscope! It is one of the things I cleared out from my parents' home over Abba's birthday: my kid brother's wooden periscope. Right tool for the job :-)

Edited to add:
Sadly periscope viewing reveals nothing conclusive.

It is damp, not wet, but damp, in one spot up there. But where in the world is the water coming from?

It's the middle of the ceiling of the first floor (of three). We don't think anything drains thru there. Except maybe the laundry room, but...

Edited to add:
Ok current theory is that the rubber drain hose from clothes washer "hopped out" a little from its drain pipe, or splashed back. The hose is a little too short than normal, because the end was trimmed down by our old landlord. This was part of his crazy "all right angles all of the time" long overdue reinstallation of the laundry hookups.

Anyway, from the skim of wet around that area, it's clear that this was the source. Probably just a little splashed back, and most of it stayed within the plastic in-wall enclosure, but some of it crept over the front and traveled thru the wall board.

We have wedged a doorstop to keep the hose firmly in the pipe for now. Maybe tomorrow we'll get a replacement hose, of full length. After the plows do their work, of course.


Dec. 28th, 2015 01:46 pm
awhyzip: (Default)
Threw out the collected receipts for my college textbooks!

Another tidbit: when I worked at Subway, apparently i earned $6.25/hr. Not bad in 2000. Also, they included the social security number on every paystub. Eww.

BJEP paid $50/hr and thought i lived in Corthampton.
They printed the SSN, too. Oh, maybe that was/is normal.

Winter of 2000, I canvassed for MassPirg. Paystub from "Fund for Public Interest Research, Inc", 29 Temple Place, Boston. "Jill" had included a note on the stub, hoping my school was going well. Unexpectedly sweet, although I don't remember any more who that was. "Mike Mariska" is the only name I recall, and I couldn't come up with a face. They don't list hourly rate (or hour count), but it was $126 for the weekly(?) period and $349 ytd, before taxes.

I am on the fence about whether these old employment history details are interesting to me or not.

(Best de-crufting story is yet to come, it involves Rebecca Washut.)
awhyzip: (Default)
Just saw Amy Schumer's film, Trainwreck. It was not a great film. My dad quit 1/3 way in and went upstairs. It was not a terrible film either. It took a bit too long of a while to get started, and of course there was "too much passionless sex" (my dad's words). But that's Amy Schumer classic: I will push at your boundaries until you feel uncomfortable, and then push just a little more! In my opinion, she reliably stops while it's still funny. I'm uncomfortable, but it's also funny.

What I wanted to say about the movie, in reflection, is that I'm struck by the realisticness of the main character. Not in the specifics of what she does, but because most of the time she's mediocre, interspersed with moments when she's awful. (And a few, very few moments of awesome.) And in about half of those moments of awful, she feels terrible. But in the others, I don't think she recognizes them as her being awful at all. She doesn't see big enough. So, she can think of herself as on average mediocre-to-good.

The viewer may disdain her, but try to put yourself behind her own self centred eyes, and the overall judgement is so different.

This feels very real to how I experience my life. And I don't think that's unique to me.

She admits to Mr Perfect "i don't understand how you like me this much". I often feel that way. Like, sure, I should be liked... but maybe not *this* much.

Anyway, all the scenes with LeBron James are standout funny. Worth watching even if you ffw thru the rest


Dec. 3rd, 2015 12:38 am
awhyzip: (Default)
Woke up at about 7. Got out of bed, after only minimal rolling back to sleep. Did not do morning stretches/gentle workout routine.

Bought milk (and sour cherry juice, as a treat) at the corner store.

Re-read two graphic novels in a series.

Emptied the dishwasher.

Responded to some overdue email correspondence.

Unpacked my suitcase, from thanksgiving trip.

Started a batch of dough, and later a batch of bread, in the bread machine.

Drove to assembly square mall, to get second batch of curtains. This took a long time. About 2 hrs, because the bread dough had finished when I was getting back. Listened to This American Life while shopping. Unexpected bonus shopping find: large lazy susan to serve admirably as stand for the new house plant, a 6 ft Norfolk Island Pine. Also a throw pillow that bridges the brown color of the sofa to the blue-and-white decor colors I'm using nearby.

Yucky gloomy rain on the way back home.

Put together IKEA curtain rod with corner piece. Discovered a way to join the non-Ikea rod with the Ikea piece. This is great because it allowed the finials to match with the other windows that I'd done just before the trip.

Dinner, cozy on the couch with Jonathon, watching an episode of Elementary. We ate defrosted, reheated, homemade Moroccan Stew on polenta. Delicious.

Finished putting up the corner curtain rod and attaching the curtains. The new curtains are floor to ceiling sheers, that curtain off the stairs to the third floor. My hope is that this will help keep my office area, which is on the landing at the foot of those stairs, more warm.

Jonathon lent a hand when I was encountering an unexpected obstacle in the wall and wanted a second opinion. I am happy to report that no-one got electrocuted. He also opened my eyes to the correct way to use a tool I'd owned for years and never quite figured out. Wow! The tool is a flexible bit-extension to a power drill.

The newly installed sheers look quite nice. I am happy with them. Took much longer than I would have guessed, though, to get them up, not even counting the shipping time (which I cleverly managed to get to overlap with or being out of town). Anyway, happy.

Cleaned up the construction zone. Packed up leftovers. Got really tired. Collected dirty dishes to dishwasher. Headed to bed.

I was in bed at midnight, give or take a few minutes. Composing this post has consumed about half an hour more.
awhyzip: (libtext)
I changed my credit card reward system a couple weeks ago, and the new card arrived last night (ok, it arrived in the morning, but I didn't open my mail until evening). To my surprise, the new card number is exactly the same as the old card number, and my online statement shows that the old-style rewards points were converted into new-style cash-back points. This is exactly what I would have expected except that the customer service person who processed my request specifically told me that neither of these things would happen.

So, I am happy but confused.

I have repurposed the time that was going to be spent updating saved CC numbers, to post on LJ instead.

Thanks, credit-card issuing bank.
awhyzip: (Default)

I was WFH for a call this morning, then leaving for the office to get to my noontime Japanese class (hosted by the company). Then an email came in, signal-boosting one of the UI developers who was looking for some certain data. And this data has been requested over and over and so the QA team have set up a script to load it using the nightly build. It's become a sore point to me when the devs are unable to find/use that data. I feel individually responsible. So, I wrote up an email reply now, rather than wait the 2 hrs to after my class (including commute time). But, as should surprise no one, this email took me more than the available 15 minutes to write (editing for tone, mostly) and so now I am going to miss my class --- which I enjoy a LOT MORE than reiterating links.

Especially since I have a belated realization that this dev probably needs the data to be in the "bleeding edge" version... on which our regression tests aren't yet running so the data really ISN'T there. Which means I gave up the class for not even the satisfaction of solving a need.

But if that's the case (that it's a version problem), it would be nice if the question asked were "how can I get script X to run on version Z" rather than "does anyone have a script that does FOO?" when we send an automated email every day that concludes with the instructions "To do FOO yourself (and send yourself this email about it) run this command: script X".

I shoulda ignored the email, and gone to talk to him in person in the afternoon. That's a lot easier than trying to guess what's preventing him, and give instructions on how to run the script in these imagined circumstances. (I wrote and then deleted these instructions, which was the other part of why it was a slow email.)

Better time management, why don't I has you, yet?
Oh well, onward.


awhyzip: (Default)

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