ase: Computer and internet icon (Digital chained wretch)
Dear fog,

Come back! I miss you.

All my love,

[personal profile] ase

Summer in California blows my mind: it's a visual negative of DC winters. On the East Coast, lawns stay green after maples and oaks lose foliage and color; an August drive across the Golden Gate or down the peninsula sweeps across vistas of dessicated grass interrupted by deep-rooted green trees.

Of course, this is only visible outside San Francisco, or when temperatures rise and drive the fog out of cross-Bay sightlines. If it gets hot enough, it's still difficult to see the hills: a Monday morning drive across the Bay Bridge gave me the chance to see what Oakland looks like cloaked in 90 degrees and water vapor haze.

As I type this, my ancient but mostly functional laptop is whining. Hand to higher powers, Firefox: give back some RAM or I will end you.
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Signs of the coming Apocalypse...

[personal profile] norabombay: how do you have more liqor [sic] than me?
[personal profile] ase: I LIVE WITH [R FULLNAME].

...or not.

I miss my fashion consultants' counterbalance to my clothing experiments. This lovely Ann Taylor button-down in my size would be one of the great Goodwill finds, if it weren't so green. With a dark jacket, it's fine, but San Francisco has decided it's summer after all, so jackets - heck, long sleeves - are off the menu until temperatures move back to something reasonable.

Speaking of weather... ninety degrees? Seriously? This is why I moved. Ninety is too hot to eat. I think today is an ideal day to appropriate a beach umbrella and collapsing chair, and read some cell bio with my feet in the sand.

I don't think of myself as a picky eater, especially when presented with a ham sandwich. However, after peeling off the cheese, scraping half the mayo into the compost, and tolerating the dubious mustard intrusion into the bread / lettuce / pig parts trinity, I am moved to question whether my definition of "picky" is in line with the common use.
ase: "Inspiration - 99% perspiration" icon (Efforts will be rewarded)
To stave off the worst effects of unemployment, I picked up a part time job with one of the car-sharing organizations operating in San Francisco. It's good skills-expanding experience for me, with useful fringe benefits, but being on my feet for hours and days in a row is grueling. This afternoon featured the reappearance of the Thursday slump that suggests I need to better pace myself.

I'm still interviewing for full time positions. Job searching and networking in California has given me a new and personal appreciation of what 12% unemployment means. Sometimes I try to imagine what, say, a room with 25 people would look like if 88% of the room was working, but then I factor in the long-term unemployed, dependents, PT-seeking-FT, and others who don't fit the basic "recent FT seeks FT", and that room looks awfully crowded with anxious people. I've been putting off contacting labs about volunteer work, but I've been on the market for three months, and it's time to consider the value of focusing on resumes and midday networking events while my lab skills rust.

SF Pride is this weekend: I volunteered to be a safety monitor at the Sunday parade. This will either be awesome or I will get awesome stories from the experience.

San Francisco has finally decided it's summer, and is enjoying a spate of cloudy, windy days with highs in the 60's. No heat index to ruin my day!

In the middle of a discussion of the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies, Roommate Number Three mentioned this awesome 90's TV show he had on DVD, and we spontaneously geeked out over Babylon 5. There is a serious problem with the current household configuration: the overlapping interests mean everyone gets along too well. If we don't get the random socializing under control, no one in this house is going to get enough sleep ever again.

Autumn Slam

Sep. 1st, 2009 10:43 pm
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I am sitting, barefoot, under a fan which is whipping cool air with the bay-and-beef draft from the beef stew simmering on the electric burner. Tonight I ate leftover stir fry, but tomorrow's lunch will be eaten with a spoon.

Usually September rolls in with humid, sticky afternoons and warm nights, but this year school started and the weather broke barely hours apart. I like it; I am about the only person at work who is rejoicing.

I am on the countdown to my fall class - intro to medical genetics - and to vacation! I am going to have so much fun in S. F.: less than three weeks to go.

Quick stew conclusions: om nom nom nom, but needs more salt. Writeup to follow.
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Since Pandora took Muse and Bon Jovi and gave me Kevin Rudolf, it is my new best friend. For the five minute increments I'm at my work computer.

When I am organizing my days, I feel very relaxed, despite the extra cat- and plant-feeding I am doing. Then I remember that the last time I did this, I signed a lease, packed and moved in less than three weeks, while feeding the cats and without taking time off work. So perhaps it's not surprising I am so laid-back this time I'm sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Or perhaps I'm filling it with other activities. Last weekend I had a double share of socializing Friday evening, gave blood Saturday morning, attended a Fever/Dream at Woolly Mammoth Saturday night with [personal profile] twistedchick, and had dinner Sunday with dad. That would also explain why I am curiously sleepless; also, I do badly with sleep when I'm not getting enough exercise. This leads to short-term attention memory deficit, why didn't I remember to load any music on my mp3 player, why am I wiped out at 4 PM, why I haven't the sense to stretch out and nap on the couch, today's movie double feature (The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home - stop looking at me like that, what did I just say about sleep deprivation?) and a curious inability to do anything constructive without external motivation.

Thanks to [personal profile] sgsguru's kind birthday gift, I am feeling the need to make an I Love the '70s (and '60's, and '80s, and country, and classical, and conscious hip-hop, and - okay, I just like music) mp3 mix, but I think I've finally been up long enough to fall over and sleep.

"Reunion Hill" is and isn't summer music; this is one of the cooler summers I remember, which is okay by me, but breaking out the DMB classics like "Ants Marching" when it's less than 80 F seems just wrong, however long the days may be. I'm sure August will fix this to and beyond my satisfaction, but for the moment the weather is keeping my attention.

Another reason my eye is on the weather is Friday's company picnic. If it rains this year, that will make three picnics in a row that have been rained out, and the forecast is calling for thundershowers.
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Dear summer: thank you for giving me peaches and fresh corn. Also, thank you for going away. Sincerely, the loyal opposition.

Tonight's cooking experiment: baked pork chops with crushed garlic, rosemary and thyme in olive oil. 350 F, 15 minutes, flipped at 10 minutes. I used a regrettably heavy hand with the spices, so it may be salvage-or-toss time. K. recommended making pork chops into pork-pasta salad, which might actually work. The side dishes - couscous and tomato-ish salad - came out nicely. The couscous just got olive oil and basil. The salad was one cucumber, seeds removed; a green pepper, a red pepper, half a vidalia onion, and several heirloom tomatoes, with a little olive oil and basil and a lemon squeezed over everything. I think I will have a light lunch tomorrow (couscous and salad), or maybe I will declare Culinary Oops Day and see who I can sweet-talk into a sushi run.

September is apparently my month for good intentions. I'm trying to cook, I'm trying to exercise (not 90 degrees every day! I can bike more than five minutes without dying! Awesome!) and I'm trying be mindful of that whole lactose intolerance thing*. Fortunately, Nabisco has removed every remnant of unprocessed ingredients from Oreos, so now they're milk free, hah! That's one junk food snack back on the list.

*Lactase: there are limits, and I still get dehydrated even when the pills are in the right bag and I remember to look for them. Finally, they're kind of expensive on the per diem.

I finally ate my pork chop of dubious character while listening to C-SPAN radio (what's the difference between NPR and C-SPAN? Not that much, when the boombox is on top of the fridge), and decided it's a good day to be me: not in a hurricane recovery zone, secure job, income exceeding expenditures. Health care! If the banks don't collapse under me and my fellow Americans, because some of my fellow Americans are thoughtless people who vote sub-par hooting primates underqualified individuals into national office, I'm going to hang on until the upturn. There's a lot of people who don't have that confidence right now. I was going somewhere with that, but it's, um, really late, so I'll just plug the Red Cross and your local food bank and remind people that when you vote for out of touch and underqualified people, you're voting for recessions.

Yeah, no rage there. Cough.
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I'm watching the Republican National Convention with winamp on. Accidental Giuliani/Jewel mashup for the win., but if Palin's not talking by 10:30, I'm throwing in the towel and catching the recaps in the morning.

One of my roommates is moving out this month, so it's roomie-shopping time. Landlord posted the ad yesterday, and two guys came over today to check it out. One I really liked, but didn't make an offer; one I was 90% cool with, and did make an offer. I hate change, and I hate trying to evaluate people based on a brief interview I didn't really prep for. What magic question is going to make me comfortable with a possible roommate?

How many times can Giuliani say "terrorists" in five minutes? Seriously, can someone do a wordcount on this speech?

The significant local news is TS Hannah's possible near-miss this weekend. I'm personally betting on winds and some downed power lines, but nothing more devastating than that May thunderstorm.

Oh, hi, Palin! Now, less with the screaming and clapping and more with the platform, please. It's like those horrible mandatory high school pep rallies, only I'm not even getting out of class.


Aug. 28th, 2008 10:41 pm
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Dear internet,

1.) Obama mania. "God bless you. And God bless America." To a packed stadium. Seriously, this is awesome political theater.

Meanwhile, the DNC is having New Orleans-related freakouts. Can't we just swear Obama in tomorrow, please?

2.) One of my roommates is about a month from losing his student visa, and in the meantime is using the kitchen table as a staging ground for his electronic nerve center. I am trying to find a polite way to indicate I'm about three seconds from shoving his desktop out the nearest window and sending his laptop after it, because it's on the kitchen table, and there are two other people who use that space. This week's theme is people stepping on my toes, and it's getting old.

3.) Speaking of crazy, what does metro do on a holiday weekend? Massive track maintenance impacting National! I will be running the heck away from the blue and yellow lines.

This week's been surprisingly uneventful, with fantastically cool weather; today I woke up to morning rain for the first time since I moved. It'd be nice if it stayed this cool for a whole, but the weekend's supposed to be warm and rainy, and then warm and sunny, so no joy.
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Victory! The last pieces of my book case finally resurfaced in my over-the-shoulder bag. I'm down to two boxes (and kitchen stuff) I actually plan to unpack, and four (or five) of old class notes that are make dandy furniture.

Every time I put together weather forecasts (awful), sunrise data (too early), and household schedules (head-on shower/shave/toothbrushing collisions, every morning), I start seriously thinking that getting up at 5:30 might not be an intrinsic affront against my fundamental nature. This is what happens when I don't have a two hour (one way) commute: I think getting up earlier is a good idea. I very much doubt this idea will survive the daylight to standard time conversion.

Today's early wakeup was muffed by last night's adventures in music mix construction. (You thought I was going to say "music mix making". Ha ha.) After much consideration, I am absolutely convinced that Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" ("just to try it / I hope my boyfriend don't mind it") needs to be stuck in a mix with Fall Out Boy's "Thnks Fr th Mmrs" ("he tastes like you but sweeter"). Possibly in the same mix as "Gotta Get Over Greta" and "I Spent My Last $10.00 (On Birth Control and Beer)" just to make a point. It turns out that exhibitionary lesbianism annoys me about as much as any other blatant appeal to the male 15 to 45 demographic. Also in the mix: the Killers' "Somebody Told Me" (more exhibitionism); Blur, "Girls & Boys" (exhibitionism '90s grunge rock style).

I have music spread over three hard drives, and two of these are supposed to be mirror copies. Is there an easy synch/backup program that can handle cross-talk among a 60, 80, and 320 gig hard drives? Oh, the largest is an external, and the medium has been partitioned for an XP/linux dual-boot with minimal NTFS space and no FAT32.

Tonight I had S. from college over for dinner. "It's too hot to cook," I said, "so let's just plan to get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store." When we got to my place, chicken in hand, a classic summer cloudburst had popped the temperature bubble. The irony was a pleasant flavor with the couscous (just add carmelized onions, basil and lemon), chicken and corn on the cob. Dessert was Hagen-Dazs mango sorbet, which is essentially frozen syrup. Whether this is a good or bad thing is a matter of choice, but I thought it was too sweet.

And oh, here comes the sugar crash. Good night, all, and to all a good night.
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My to-do list hasn't been stalled by any reluctance to put on real clothes. It has been stalled by 92 degrees of misery with 54% humidity. (In case you missed it, I loathe and abhor any temperature above 80 F when the humidity is above, oh, 20%. Who spent a few formative years in a desert? Hi!) Today may be a good day to learn what bribes my roommates will accept for taxi services.

In the meantime, May reading:

Babel-17 (Samuel Delany): The beautiful poet and genius linguist Rydra Wong is recruited to unravel the other side's code in an interstellar war. Spoilers! )

Someone lent me two graphic novels, The Tale of One Bad Rat and Fun Home. I tried and failed to read both. Rat nearly got hurled against a wall by spinal reflex for being unexpected Child Abuse Is Bad fiction; I got as far as the back cover copy for Fun Home and nixed it for proximity to Rat, as well as general indifference, before I ever cracked it open. Neither were the fantasy or SF tropes I was expecting.

If I finished anything else, it's been lost in the shuffle. May was nuts and fruitcake and a very short attention span.
ase: Book icon (Books)
Temp: 98 degrees.
Heat index: 106 degrees.
Humidity: 42%

These are the days when I take the college bus down the hill, to stay out of the humidity for an extra 30 seconds. Fortunately, a cold front should come through tonight and cool things off. We hope.

Strangely, reading The Maltese Falcon is great prep for The Dispossessed. At least, tD was more engaging than irritating. (I'm skimming [ profile] coffee_and_ink's journal for Le Guin comments; she notes that Le Guin is a didactic writer. And that explains so many quibbles I have with her novels.) I've never read anything of Le Guin's that I've enjoyed as much as the original Earthsea trilogy, and I keep coming back looking for that spark.

Or maybe the heat's fried my brain into seeing stuff that's not there. Ah, summer.


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