I had gone to the RMV website, filled in the information ahead of time, and printed out the number-coded receipt it gave me. This seems to have made absolutely no difference to the process: I got to watch the clerk retype information from that printout into her computer. Cattitude got to watch a different clerk retype handwritten information from his form into the same computer system.
We had lunch at Zuzu, a Middle Eastern restaurant and music club in Central Square, on the way to the RMV office in Watertown (which appeared to have shorter lines than the one in downtown Boston). Cattitude had the pumpkin kibby (which is what he had on his previous visit, and why he wanted to go back), and I had lamb shank, on the theory that a restaurant that has lamb shank on the regular lunch menu probably knows what to do with it. Both were excellent; the pumpkin kibby is one of several vegetarian options. They also know how to make a decent cup of tea—the water was hot enough, and they had a black tea that wasn't Earl Grey.
On our way back from the RMV, we went to Toscanini's for hot fudge sundaes; it appears to be strawberry ice cream season there, so I got a large sundae with strawberry and lemon ice cream, because I felt obscurely that I had earned it, even though this wasn't a particularly difficult encounter with bureaucracy (in terms of time or complexity).
I'm speaking in three sessions:
- Panelist on "The Fandom Awakens" (on Star Wars): Friday, May 27, 2:30-3:45 pm, Assembly.
- Comedy auctioner for the charity auction benefiting the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award: Saturday, May 28, 7:30pm-probably 8:30pm or 9pm, Capitol/Wisconsin room.
- Panelist on "SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL" (comedy game show focusing on people of color): Sunday, May 29, 4:00-5:15pm, Wisconsin room.
Also, I will probably drop by the Clothing Swap portion of the Gathering on Friday afternoon to find pieces that suit me and to bask in other people wearing my donated stuff; I would like to drop in on the vid party on Saturday night; I would like to drop in on the Hamilton singalong; I have a Dessert Salon ticket and intend on attending the Guest of Honor and Tiptree Award speeches on Sunday evening.
I am easily lured into talking about Hamilton, Zen Cho, Star Trek, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mahabharata, Hinduism, and other interests in my profile.
Please ask before hugging; sometimes I'd rather not.
I am often bad with names, and will remember 5 minutes into our conversation that we had an awesome deep conversation one year prior. I apologize in advance. Also, I will probably be a little less intensively social this year, because I am trying to actually sleep enough and thus get to PyCon reasonably well-rested, and because client work for my consulting business may come up; I'll probably be trying to sleep every night from about 11pm to 7am, and aiming to take some alone time on top of that. So if you and I have multiple chances to see each other in person at other times of year, I may choose to make time for other people instead; apologies.
The fact that I am, in a sense, succeeding Ellen Klages in serving as the Tiptree auctioneer is quite a responsibility and I hope to discharge it well. So if you came to the Tiptree auction and raucously laughed at my japes I would welcome your chortles.
(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Almost a year and a half ago, I mentioned that I was thinking about starting a clothes blog. That never happened, because right after posting that, I went through a long period of not caring much about clothes. Now I'm back in another caring-about-clothes period, and I'm starting to post some outfit photos again. (Credit goes to Alex alexr_rwx for the photography on most of these.)
I'm now pretty sure I won't start a clothes blog, because it seems apparent that if I did, it would end up lying fallow for months or years at a time. But I do still want to talk about clothes! I also want to have meta-discussions about outfit photos. For instance, I've been thinking about what gets loved on ModCloth and why. I tend to only "love" the outfits that I could see myself actually wearing. Anna's outfits, for instance, are jaw-droppingly amazing; she turns the sidewalk into a catwalk. But I usually don't "love" them, because I don't think I could wear them. leahnmoreno's looks, on the other hand, are a lot more approachable for me. She also has an aesthetic that I'd like to accomplish with my own outfit photos. They're usually outdoors; they're often not smiling or looking at the camera. Most importantly, she looks like she belongs in the clothes and in her environment.
Among my own photos, this one from a while back was a deliberate attempt to appeal to the cute, colorful and retro ModCloth aesthetic (or as cute, colorful and retro as I get, anyway, which isn't very), to try to get more loves on the site. (It didn't work.) On the other hand, my most popular photo on ModCloth (to the extent that any of them are popular) is this one from 2014, in which I looked a bit more curvy, and I suspect that ModCloth might be rewarding me for being a curvy person in a short skirt. More experiments are needed. (The skirt, incidentally, is the same one I was wearing in the former photo! Unfortunately, I haven't been wearing it much lately; the pleats are coming out and it's looking a bit worse for wear. It's just a knit polyester skirt; I didn't think they were serious about that whole "dry clean only" thing...)
(I might try for next weekend, if some of our friends are in town and not otherwise committed.)
* There is fruit in the kitchen.
* There is ice in the freezer, or at least there should be.
* Please do not forget to put the battery in the camera.
* Please do not forget to wear clothing.
* Check the weather, adjust accordingly.
* Buy a whole-day Caltrain ticket just for funsies.
* A cane is mandatory.
* The extra batteries would be helpful, as it would suck to be without means to find one's Purple.
* The fucking sunscreen is in the box. Wear some.
And really, I assume you all know how to grill a sausage.
Patio Season Convinces Ottawa Woman She Doesn't Live In Desolate Arctic Hellscape Ninety Percent Of The Year.
( Read more... )
Waking up out of that is not fair.
Thursday night's dinner was at a place I'd not been before, but immediately decided should be added to our dinner rotation. I shared with Purple, who was in accordance, but also doubted how much parking there'd be on a Friday night. I think perhaps we'll try it some early weeknight.
It was beer & shenanigans night, so I went down to hang out with some of the crew. R saw me first, and wandered over to say hi. She has a set of headphones similar to mine now -- she saw mine and decided they were amazingly cool (I have my doubts about the headphones but they're handy) so she got some. Hers are blue too. Purple arrived, and then Mr. Tux. Purple was late because he was saying goodbye to Mr. Netflix, who is headed off somewhere. (Perhaps he and J will be co-workers soonish?)
I saw W walking off towards the gym with her iPod and gym bag, and waved. She came over to the fire pit to say hello; we cheerfully continued our conversation about that brief window of time in 2010 when it was possible to get near-complete access to someone's LJ account using this one weird trick, and why internal documentation is super important.
I saw the Singing PM wander past, and hailed her. She met Mr. Tux, who is on the other side of the atrium in the same building as she is.
Eventually I happened to glance over at the right moment and saw the retreating ponytail of lb. I hollered after him, and he wandered over to say hello and spend some time chatting. There was various hilarity.
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"I found whistles, maracas, 5 hour energy, coffee mugs, headphones, and a cellphone charger, but I did not find the other webcam."
Faceblindness! It's fun for the whole family! I'm not sure if I've properly told the "some woman" story about my faceblindness on DW as yet, but it's become my go-to story for "no, really, Rev. Lunatic is faceblind" though to be fair, Mama says that it took seeing Tay walk (well, bounce) in the airport to recognize her, since she's changed a lot.
However, in compensation, I have a small non-face-related superpower. I had a really fun encounter in the past year-ish where lb showed me some photos from his mid-90s college crew, and I was able to identify lb in a group photo where lb himself wasn't quite sure which of two people he was. This was based on my knowledge of how lb stands, and another photo which established what lb was wearing. ( Read more... )
I cannot perform this party trick with just anyone, but I can usually spot Purple in very large group shots if I know vaguely where he was in the crowd. Sometimes it's based on a sneaker. (Purple wears white sneakers that trend increasingly towards grey and ragged until he gets replacements. He also lounges ostentatiously, Kirklike/catlike. I find both somewhat endearing, but I would.)
One of my forms of comfortgoogling is chicken pictures. Current small pet peeve: when any old picture of a hen on a nest is used to illustrate "broody". Broody is a very specific state of chicken, generally characterized by unwillingness to get off the nest and hoard eggs, and sit there until the chicks hatch. Broodies are cranky, will cut you, have flattened themselves on the nests with wings slightly out away from their sides, have their necks pulled way down into their feathers and their tails raised so usually the tail-bump is higher than the head. They make a characteristic rhythmic "clook ... clook ... clook ..." noise (similar to the syllable of the rapid "buk-buk-buk" tidbitting noise but more spaced out, and more relaxed than any part of the "buk-buk-buk-buk-ba-DAWK-et!" alarm call which often follows egg-laying, fox sighting, bush rustling, or Disturbance in the Force). If you try to steal their eggs, they will growl/roar and also try and cut you.
Fishie is finishing up sophomore year at college. (OMG, how time flies.) She'll be 20 soon. She's majoring in computer science now, and doing things like acing the midterm where the median grade was ... not super great. The teacher for that class will be pleased to write her an academic recommendation, and says that she'll be able to do anything she puts her mind to. I am so proud of her. She works so hard, and she's getting so much better at picking her battles. She has been figuring out her summer activities: after finals, she goes to her internship Down South. After that she may wind up going to see her grandma, and after that, spending time with a friend in San Diego.
The concept of "like 5, 6 nice" has entered our dialogues because Fishie's Terrible Mom #yamappendix would make a big deal like "I AM BEING THE NICEST PERSON EVARRRR BECAUSE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH" when doing normal and expected things. So when Fishie encounters people who are being genuinely kind, she is equally floored by small kindnesses that don't inconvenience others, and big kindnesses which do inconvenience others. It's all pegged at like 10 nice for her, when someone with a scale that isn't at "Mommy is an abusive fuckwad ( Read more... )" might view it as maybe a 3,4 nice.
For those who don't dwell anywhere near Silly Valley and also aren't tapped in to the latest tech tat, "hoverboards" have been A Thing for a while. It used to be that there was just the one dude at work who rode one around, and he was proficient and discreet except for how he was going pretty fast and kind of gliding. Now, of course, many tech bros with more money than sense either have one of their own, or have access to one. Thus it was that one dude who I IRC with wound up in the ER one fine evening after doing a wipeout on his hoverboard while at work. In a subsequent all-hands at his company, there was a safety admonishment about unwise hoverboard usage.
Tech Bro 1: "haha bet I know what happened."
Tech Bro 2: "hahah yeah I heard about that."
Tech Bro 1: "sucks that K had to go to the ER tho."
Tech Bro 2: "wait, K had a wipeout too? I was talking about X."
Tech Bro 1: "Oh, what happened with X?"
Multiple hoverboard collisions in one week: not a good thing.
One of the best days of my young life was the day my father brought home a label-maker. It was a about the size of a large typewriter. I recall it having a few large font wheels. We started labeling everything. We kids dubbed it "The Advance", because it had a large key labeled "Advance" in place of an Enter/Return key. The key fed blank tape.
One of the most tragic and terrifying days of my young life was the day when the label-maker caught on fire. I saw black smoke rising up out of it, and immediately began screaming and jumping up and down. Fortunately it was winter. This meant that the appropriate response, which my dad immediately took, was to unplug it, pick it up (it was smoking, not flaming) and hurl it out the front door into a convenient snowbank.
After that we didn't have a label-maker anymore.
"I feel like both of these perspectives are valid, but they're not compatible."
Being around a whole whackton of other non-binary-gendered folks has helped me focus my gender identity feels some. It looks like the identity that best fits is agender. Non-male-identified, though sometimes I present masc and sometimes I present High Soft Femme. Though maintaining High Femme feels kind of like the thing where you're clamping down in the vain hope that you won't bleed all over everything before you get to a bathroom with supplies.
"... a bit of a radfem (without the skateboard)" (said of a radical feminist who might not so much be the "raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadical, duuuuuuuude!" kind)
Hard problems in gender, privacy, and community safety: where is the line between outing and community safety, when you happen to know that someone who has Caused Problems Before is in a community [a different one] under an identity that is at least slightly discontinuous with their old one, and the new identity is tied to a gender marker change (and the old identity is really most sincerely dead)? (Tentative answer: take it case by case and hope you get it right.)
Once upon a time, Reverend Lunatic gave themselves hiccups as the result of an orgasm. Once not that long ago ... ( Read more... )
I have started watching the Great British Bake-Off, finally. It is so charming! I appreciate that all the contestants and guests are treated respectfully by the editing and camera, in a way that US television rarely does. And it's just so amazingly sweet!
Now that the conference is wrapping up, I'm down to just job-searching with a side of wrap-up work, not job-searching AND ALL THE CONFERENCE. This makes more time to tidy. Last fall, I'd decided to re-arrange my apartment. It got halted halfway through, and the result was nothing short of chaotic (though better arranged for certain things like sleep and computer). I decided that enough was enough, and I would work slowly but steadily in the direction of making it guest-appropriate. It's been coming along nicely, though it still is like a bit of a wacky game of 2048, where you have to calculate and carefully merge two things into the same space without upsetting anything else or making anything important too hard to reach quickly. This has resulted in random acts of mending, because part of this is seeing problems and fixing them.
My favorite hair ornament is a little basket of wires that's secured with two long metal spikes with glass knobs at the ends. Unfortunately, our relative heights are such that when I wear it, I spike Purple in the face with it when he hugs me goodnight. I have determined that I will seek alternate updo-securement, and have located a thing or two which should work better. Purple was a little "but you didn't have to -- it didn't draw *blood*!" when I showed him. :>
I'm spending today working on reworking some code to integrate with a new feature that was just integrated into Kubernetes. The PR in question was absolutely fine, but just before it was merged the entire commit history was squashed down to a single commit at the request of the reviewer. This single commit contains type declarations, the functionality itself, the integration of that functionality into the scheduler, the client code and a large pile of autogenerated code.
I've got some familiarity with Kubernetes, but even then this commit is difficult for me to read. It doesn't tell a story. I can't see its growth. Looking at a single hunk of this diff doesn't tell me whether it's infrastructural or part of the integration. Given time I can (and have) figured it out, but it's an unnecessary waste of effort that could have gone towards something else. For someone who's less used to working on large projects, it'd be even worse. I'm paid to deal with this. For someone who isn't, the probability that they'll give up and do something else entirely is even greater.
I don't want to pick on Kubernetes here - the fact that this Github feature exists makes it clear that a lot of people feel that this kind of merge is a good idea. And there are certainly cases where squashing commits makes sense. Commits that add broken code and which are immediately followed by a series of "Make this work" commits also impair readability and distract from the narrative that your RCS history should present, and Github present this feature as a way to get rid of them. But that ends up being a false dichotomy. A history that looks like "Commit", "Revert Commit", "Revert Revert Commit", "Fix broken revert", "Revert fix broken revert" is a bad history, as is a history that looks like "Add 20,000 line feature A", "Add 20,000 line feature B".
When you're crafting commits for merge, think about your commit history as a textbook. Start with the building blocks of your feature and make them one commit. Build your functionality on top of them in another. Tie that functionality into the core project and make another commit. Add client support. Add docs. Include your tests. Allow someone to follow the growth of your feature over time, with each commit being a chapter of that story. And never, ever, put autogenerated code in the same commit as an actual functional change.
People can't contribute to your project unless they can understand your code. Writing clear, well commented code is a big part of that. But so is showing the evolution of your features in an understandable way. Make sure your RCS history shows that, otherwise people will go and find another project that doesn't make them feel frustrated.
(Edit to add: Sarah Sharp wrote on the same topic a couple of years ago)
There's a biweekly farmers' market in Davis Square, which opened for the season last Saturday; cattitude and I went there this afternoon, after treating ourselves to crepes for lunch. (The veggie special at Mr. Crepe today involved roast beets and walnuts, and was quite nice.)
The market was small, this early in the season, and all we bought was cheese and a frozen ham hock. We might have gotten a lettuce, or some fish, if we hadn't already had some of each. What surprised me was not seeing apples: I got used to the year-round Greenmarket in Inwood, where even in the depths of winter there are a half dozen varieties of apple, and I have found fine apples at the Harvard Square market in summer and fall.
We then stopped at Pemberton Farms and bought cucumber and tomato plants: yellow Brandywine and two kinds of cherry tomato. I would like to add a Paul Robeson or black Krim plant, if I can find one
We went home, played Scrabble, and then planted the tomatoes and cucumbers, and the herbs that had been in little pots on the porch, because they didn't seem to be doing well there. The tomatoes and cucumbers are in the front yard; dill and chives in the raised bed on the driveway side of the house; and the thyme went in the small bed in front with the young tree and the iris I planted a few weeks ago. We pulled out more mint from that bed, but did our best to leave the wood sorrel. Thyme is sometimes sold as a ground cover, so I have hopes that it can out-compete the mint.
The neighbors in the house just east of ours stopped by to introduce themselves while we were planting. (The person on the left stopped by weeks ago, while I was planting lettuce.)
We will probably buy some more herbs to have on the porch (which is much more convenient to the kitchen), but first we need to figure out how to keep them safe from the cats, and vice versa.
I promptly had a lot of thoughts, contained herein.
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Popped in today to talk about additional paperwork for academia purposes. He's perfectly cheerful about writing a letter to the effect that I'm well enough to resume studies, but the amount of physio/medical appointments/etc I have to do isn't compatible with working full-time.
We also got chatting about sports wheelchairs and The New Chair (I've just booked train tickets to go and pick it up and I am so excited) -- I get the impression he's a cyclist, and therefore goes oooOOOOOooh when you point out you've got Spinergy wheels on, and that wheelchair wheels are basically the same thing as high-end bike wheels.
And while he was distracted by all that, he referred to me using an inappropriately gendered pronoun in the notes he was making, caught himself, apologised appropriately, and rephrased entirely without input from me.
I genuinely hadn't even noticed that he'd spent the past however-long-it's-been carefully making sure that he doesn't misgender me in my medical records.
I am doing a small good cry about it, okay.
42itous showed me a bowl of nettle leaves, from the back yard, and I thanked her for going after them. She said she had barely made a dent; cattitude or I should go after them with gardening gloves and a long-sleeved shirt.
The front yard has some volunteer* lamb's-quarters, and 42itous was putting a bit of that into the bowl with the nettle leaves. I asked about eating it raw, and she said you could but it has no noticeable flavor, which I have now confirmed. I asked if she knew that wood sorrel is edible, and picked a bit to nibble on after she said yes, then they went home and I came back up here to have tea.
ETA: I try to note when I try new kinds of food—which for these purposes means something like lamb's-quarters or mangosteen, not a new recipe for goulash or cake. There are fewer of these as time goes on, not because I have less interest in novelty, but because I already tried more of the plants (and animals and fungi) that are known to be edible.
*a weed is a plant you don't want. I may pull these out if we need the space for cucumber, tomatoes, corn, or squash, but it doesn't show the mint's tendency to run rampant. Meanwhile, I had been thinking of buying milkweed seeds, but the question turns out to be whether/how much I will need to pull out so it doesn't shade the vegetables.
4/11 The pear trees are blooming. Nobody cares, because pears are the Worst Fruit. As we all know, pears were created sometime in the early 1980s at an agricultural laboratory in Winnipeg by people who thought, “Hey, what if we took apples and filled them with sand and evil spirits?” was somehow a valid scientific question. Ugh.
A few harassing tweets can go a long way! (Not meant as encouragement to harass people :)