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Rainpocalypse: lots of flooding in the streets, some power loss, thanks to surprisingly warm rain. A notably undercrowded commute, both ways; the Wednesday evening commute was more crowded and delayed than either Thursday trip.

It was bad sequel season last week and this weekend: the two Star Trek reboots, and the middle Hobbit movie. It's no accident I opted out of watching the one with the spiders in the movie theater. I'm not terrifically impressed with the "fast forward through the spiders" version either; I miss Bilbo's lighthearted story. AS a fan of the novel, I find the movies don't capture the tone of the book, nor do they reflect many of the themes in Tolkein's mythology. As a movie viewer, I'm disappointed that the script doesn't remember that special effects age much faster than a good story. Somewhere in those nearly three hours of wandering though Mirkwood and Erebor there's a good story. I just don't care enough to try to find it.

By the way, a year of cool-off has not reduced my disgust with the Khan reveal, or Kirk's ridiculous death and resurrection, or Zoe Saldana's absolutely thankless role. In what alternate timeline is Uhura reduced to "the girlfriend"?! Ugh! The 2009 reboot is still watchable, but even with adjusted expectations I'm not feeling Into Darkness.

Through the power of Netflix I also finally watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was charming, if very dated. Apparently I'm in a singing-dancing-hustling sort of mood.
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Apparently this Halloween's theme is trick and not treat? East coast people, please stay safe from the high winds and flooding and the associated bad weather problems.

(Hurricane to snow in 150 miles or less. Ridiculous.)
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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.
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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.
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I am still not used to these "oh BTW, there will be rain, high winds and hail" weather predictions coming true. Especially the hail.


Feb. 25th, 2010 08:35 pm
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Tonight's forecast calls for high winds and snow showers. I stood at the bus stop and watched two layers of clouds move across the moon (waxing bright), flurries illuminated in a streetlight, and thought about how I'm not going to see many winter sights like that again: when I left work, there was still an illusion of light in the west, after 6 PM, and I'm moving to San Francisco next month.
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Snowfall stopped around 4 PM Saturday, and the sun popped out for a short while, favoring photographers with amazing vistas: highways reduced to one mostly-plowed lane, trees bent and broken under thirty inches of snow, silly people floundering through snow nearly hip deep. Despite a lot of NOAA noise about blowing snow, there didn't seem to be really high winds or vicious drifting; the sheer quantity of frozen white stuff made up for that.

I'm about the only person having a really great weekend: I haven't lost power; I made snowpocalypse Superbowl friends with neighbors; I'm getting a relaxing long break, with lots of cooking, baking and reading time. Tomorrow I'm going to launch an expedition to the grocery store, then make and freeze a bunch of chili, and maybe have an experiment with lentil soup. If I am good I will review my class notes from last week. Incidentally, neonatal testing is fascinating, and I want a tandem mass spec of my own to cuddle and love. I am almost too happy to read Regenesis, especially since I haven't marked the Good Bits version. Somewhere in the 600 pages of the hardback lurks a really solid 300 page novel.

Tangentially, Jordan Warrick breaks my heart in Regenesis. Maman isn't part of my family vocabulary, but every time Justin calls out to his dad, and Jordan is a crazy ass, it hits close to home and breaks my heart. But why shouldn't Jordan be a bit nuts? Twenty years under suspicion for a murder he didn't commit, stewing under close confinement? A blowout and bad attitude is not surprising, however disappointing. On a completely different note, there is the 1989/2010 technology gap.

Today I made it out to the grocery store, which showed the depredations of citizens bracing for snowpocalypse wave two. I am in ferocious denial of the next wave, and am counting down to clear skies and San Francisco (five days), and by "denial" I mean "restocking the freezer and considering the purchase of a hand-crank radio, should there be one left in the greater DC area." It seems arrogant to assume that, since we avoided an outage last time, we're probably safe this time. On the contrary, I expect stressed systems to go down even harder this time, and my number may be up.

Two snowpocalypse Saturday evening shots. )
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I had forgotten how many snowy pictures I have taken in the last three weeks until I offloaded my camera. Snow last Saturday, snow on Wednesday, snow today - DC's entombment by snow has so far been more entertainment than burden. By five the nearest wunderground station was reporting no wind, presumably because the anemometer was buried, or clogged. By ten the snow was coming down like heavy rain. I took a ten minute walk, and by the time I came back in the first bootprints were already less than crispy.

The view from the traffic cams this morning shows nearly deserted highways and the occasional desperate soul on the streets. I have finished The Riddle-Master of Hed and am going to shovel out M.'s car before reading Regenesis: the Good Bits Version, before I go mad from lack of exercise. At some point I will make pancakes, and brownies, and pasta with sauce, and pray like mad the power doesn't go out.
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Every time I check the forecast, the snow totals have been revised upward. As long as the power stays on, I'm good:I have food, internet access and several novels. I'm trying to re-read The Riddle-Master of Hed, but I don't see what distinguishes the "riddles" from straightforward questions or investigation.

Snow has been falling since about ten this morning, but only in the last twenty minutes has it started to stick on the roads. I anticipate crazy bad weather tomorrow.
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I collected tales of woe yesterday: shoulder injuries, desperately delayed dinners, emergency furnace repairs, work overload, plaintive wishes it were Friday instead of Monday, etc. I baked pick-me-up cookies to bring to work today, because cookies always make everything better. (Except for the celicac crowd. I need to learn some flourless sweets for them.)

The forecast for tonight is snow, on top of this weekend's snow, on top of some very chilly temperatures. My incredibly ugly yet functional snow pants and I refuse to be daunted by this development.
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Today is it sixteen degrees Fahrenheit and snowing, which translates to -9 C and exactly one clothing option: my stepmother's hand-me-down winter field coat and snowpants. Armed with three layers, including water-resistant trousers, I was ready for anything, except DC drivers in wintery conditions. I thought I'd be sliding around the roads by my lonesome today, but I was wrong.

Usually, DC gets heavy, wet snow, since we usually see snow when it's in the high 20's or even closer to freezing, but this winter we're seeing a lot of powder. It's beautiful, and lots of fun to play with, and when it shakes off the pines I feel I'm a lot further west and north than a map would suggest. But the driving - I only saw one accident, but I also stayed way off the highways.
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Me versus the epic work stack; my short day was not. Dump the work stuff at home, get back out the door. Bring an umbrella. Definitely bring an umbrella. Sacrifice a scarf to the Metro Center gods. Drink mead. Who knew mead was delicious? Contribute alphabet soup hilarity to the federal contract lawyer stories. Watch a rhinestone light show. Chaos at the metro transfers: stay ahead of the fools dropping glass ex-Baccardi on the platform and busting open a six-pack. Doze through the crowds, walk through the night, fall in the bed. Happy 2010!

New Year's Day was unusually warm, but 2010 is making up for a gentle start with fierce cold. 20 F isn't that bad, as long as you're dressed for it, and as long as the wind doesn't kick up. However, the colder it gets, the less wind is necessary to feel you're getting chomped to the bone.

Looking back at the last year's goals, I didn't do a great job, but I made progress on most goals. I took my GREs; I took major trips to Chicago, Madison and San Francisco; I at least tried to exercise, though not consistently. I saved like a reasonable person and not a lunatic; I was good about culling things I wasn't using, but lousy about vacuuming. The social life was a mixed bag.

2010 Goals:

1.) Social life: expand this. Dating may be involved.
1a.) Be nicer to people.
2.) Better living through actual budgeting. Spreadsheets may be involved.
2a.) I can haz car? Please? Please please please please? (To be answered by upcoming annual reviews and end of fiscal year bonuses, if any.)
3.) Level up professionally: start hacking on Perl, coming to grips with bioinformatics, and positioning myself from there. Spend more time thinking career and less being annoyed with the problem of the day.

Broad strokes, but why think small?
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Thanks for the "what to do with shredded papers" suggestions: chucking in the garbage/recycling seems to be security-acceptable. (I would ask, "what would you do with my identity? I have nothing worth stealing," but I am certain someone would come up with an appropriately gruesome story. So let's skip storytelling hour and say thanks again for the advice.)

Tonight's attempt at ginger sugar cookies ended in a single, flat, burned "cookie" the size of the pan, that tasted like pure butter. Tentative guesses: overbeat ingredients, not enough flour (2cups flour to 1 cup butter seems...low). I may find another sugar cookie recipe and try adding ginger to it as a workaround.

Snowpocalypse has been a blast: the official snowfall was 22" - 24", but it felt more like 17" in my neighborhood. I had adventures in the snow on Saturday and Sunday, and took some lousy pictures that might eventually be photoshopped into decency. (Or cat macros. Is it still a cat macro if there isn't a cat?) Some of the drifts were hip-high, and I felt lucky I didn't have a car, at least until I volunteered to help dig out M's. Continuing what is becoming a tradition of practical gifts, someone is getting a snow shovel for Christmas. I have great hopes for January and February.
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On my LJ f-list tonight: "imbrolgio" in 1word1day community, right above the latest news post.

How has the rest of my week been? Snickerdoodles and soccer are made of awesome, but the weather has turned chilly and rainy, with no sign of remission before Sunday. Gossip is that we're in for a cold, cold winter. Work awesome will be severely hampered by broken equipment until Monday at least. Capclave is this weekend, [personal profile] norabombay flies in tomorrow, and I am feeling none of it. I blame a combination of factors, most importantly the rain. Last night was saved by cookies and an amazing USA-Costa Rica game. Tonight I failed to study enough, and my room is still only 80% ready for people to crash this weekend.

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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Okay, you know what I hate about the 'burbs? Everything closes early, at 9 PM. And I am not an early person.

In better news, hump day is over, and paypal un-choked on my seed account payment (YAY, and wow, two hundred icons), and the sun almost came out for the first time this week. It should be back, oh, next Sunday. My soaked shoes are looking forward to it.

I'm at least two and maybe four days behind my LJ reading list, so if your life has been amazing or not amazing, I don't know much about it.

Reminders about the evils of presenting:

1.) Do not read your powerpoint slides verbatim.

2.) Do not say "um" three times in a row.

3.) Try to remember your audience. A room of people taking an infectious disease class may have heard of MRSA just a couple of times. Make it funny if you can't make it new.
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Back during college, when I walked to campus every morning, I eventually learned that sticking dry socks in my backpack went a long way toward dry feet on drizzly (or worse) mornings.

Today's squishy socks were a potent reminder that there are a very few things I might miss about college.

Work started the Summer of Shifting this week. One group is swapping space with another company in the building this week, and during summer proper we'll be expanding again. R&D is promising some rollouts too, with a host of knock-on effects for everyone. I am doing my best to keep my head down and ask pertinent questions while project bosses and senior staff clump at impromptu hall meetings about where to put stuff next.

I've been feeling weirdly laid back this week, which I blame on getting enough sleep. 7-8 hours a night? When did that start? I've also been trying to be a little less insanely driven at work, because my forearms are killing me, and I need to rearrange the ergonomics at my lab bench, or I'm going to be banned from the computer after work.
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Cold, bottled unsweetened green tea is not disgusting. "Disgusting" is your first taste of Manischewitz wine during the sedar. Unsweetened green tea is just bitter and a total waste of $1.20, and only really drinkable with honey and soy milk. (And by "with", I mean 1-to-1.) So I'm not doing that again.

This is the first really hot weekend of the year: 93 F yesterday, and on track to match that today. Hence the cold tea. This is great weather, if you have nowhere to go and a cold drink on hand. If either of those conditions are not met, this is, in my opinion, not great weather. If both of those conditions are violated, it is lousy, sweaty, nasty weather. Can it please be October now?

Oh! I am traveling in May! I fly into Chicago on Tuesday, May 20th, and will be exploring the Windy City's summery charms until [personal profile] norabombay and I drive to WisCon on Friday. (I was a lot more excited about WisCon before RaceFail. Now I am reserving the right to sit by a pool with something more than water in my glass Sunday afternoon.) We roll out of Dairyland Monday morning-ish; I fly out of Chicago Tuesday morning. Because I am a genius, I padded my leave request (turned in before the end of February, thanks much) and will have eleven uninterrupted days off work. Chicago and Madison people: meetup? The only hard point so far is the Monday night Cubs-Pirates game.


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