2014

Apr. 18th, 2017 06:55 pm
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I only had two posts that hadn't been cross-posted from LJ, but for completeness:

2014 list )
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2013 in review:
books, movies, shows, etc. )

Fewer plays: because we moved from Houston and had to basically use the 2013-14 Alley Theatre subscription as a tax write off.

Fewer books: because I default to re-reading books and comfort-read fics when I am stressed.

No idea why I saw fewer movies this year, but the shows were because a) we skipped Lolla, ACL, AND Voodoo, and my budget is tight while we're a one-income family.

This year, I wrote the fewest words since beginning to participate in fandom. I don't know why: stories exist in my head. Motivation to spew them out: nearly on-existent.

Other things accomplished in 2013:

1. Published four papers, three of them first-author.
2. Ran a personal best for 7 miles.
3. Consistently ran 5 miles in 41:30.
4. Packed and moved >1000 miles.
5. Watched all the hockey. ALL OF IT.
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It's been a while since I posted anything other than the notice about moving, so in the last couple of weeks:

1. This happened. It was a pretty great show. One of the best parts was that there was an 11-yr-old kid next to me at the barrier with his dad, and he was the big TGA fan, somehow had conned his dad into letting him see multiple shows on the tour. (I was sort of horrified that he didn't have earplugs, though. Come on. That's permanent damage you're doing to your kid, man.)

2. And so did this (not my video, I was busy doing chin-hands at them from the next spot over on the barrier). Shortly after that song, BRMC invited the entire crowd to come around the barrier because we were too far away.

3. Saw IM3. More eloquent folks than I have reviewed it, so I'll just say that while I thought there were some flaws, it was a vast improvement over IM2, I enjoyed the portrayal of Tony post-Avengers events, and I'm curious to see how the ending is integrated into the next Avengers movie.

4. Watched a lot of hockey. (I probably should stop doing so while on the treadmill; one day I'm going to flail over a goal or lose my balance watching the puck move across the ice in a direction that opposes the one I'm going. But this way I can watch and exercise, so.) I'm sad that the Wild lost, but not surprised. There's lots of heat on Yeo, but a) he's a second-year coach and b) the Wild had more problems than signing one star forward and one stud defenseman could solve in a single shortened season. Brodin is magic, Darcy might grow up to be a good goalie, and I hope to watch Zucker run his mouth, chew on his mouthguard, and lay out bigger dudes like Brent Seabrook again, but just getting to the playoffs was a milestone for them, I think. To be honest: I picked the 'Hawks to win in 5 for my bracket, because I'm a realist, no matter how much I'd've liked the Wild to win.




The Art Car Parade is the weekend, rain or shine. And I'd like to see Harvest of Empire (I meant to see it last weekend but ended up seeing IM3 again). And there's cleaning to do, and I need to start sorting through things that will be donated to Goodwill or put onto Craigslist or whatever. Plus I should probably read The Good Earth for bookclub. I read it years ago, in school, but have no memory of it whatsoever.

Hope all's well with anyone who's still here. ♥

things

Feb. 24th, 2013 07:45 am
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1. I've basically spent most of the last 72 hours alternately taking cold medicine and sleeping. The only thing I've been awake for is the the Aeros game last night against the OKC Barons. (Holy crap, Matt Hackett, keep making saves like that, 36/37.)

2. Someday soon I might finish reading Sean Pronger's Journeyman and have something intelligent to say about it.

3. I should probably write some trope-fic, shouldn't I? But mostly I just want to poke more at comment-fic and see if anything else falls out of my head.

4. Did y'all see the stats sheet for this game? Check out the video and that right column, particularly for the third period. 244 penalty minutes. Jeez, I thought the Rockford/Lake Erie game was bad for penalty minutes. Mostly I think the coach's, "They're a very caring group in there," is HILARIOUS, because multiple couples-skate fights does not make me automatically think, "Oh, clearly these are very affectionate, loving dudes."
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a) Does the new album in March mean BRMC might be at SXSW? PLEASE YES. Although, really, empires and Butch Walker are enough inducement already.

b) :( Our friend W will not be able to make it to HTx for the marathon this weekend after all. Spouse's work travel/child care/not able to get a standby seat on the company shuttle issues. Sad, because we haven't seen him since the marathon last year.

c) My ankle is still so sore. I don't know what I did to it - it didn't pull while I was running, but I woke up one morning a few weeks ago and it was so sore it hurt to walk. I've been icing it for ~20 minutes a night, but it's still swollen half the time, and this morning I skipped the gym because it hurt just to walk down the stairs when I got up. Tonight, no excuses. I'll just have to use the elliptical instead of a treadmill to lessen impact.

d) We're supposed to stay with friends in midtown tomorrow night and then (I will) bicycle over to Allen/Montrose for brunch to cheer the marathoners (including A, who's running the half-marathon) on as they go by, but if it's really going to rain, I'm not sure I want to add biking in the rain (least favorite) + sore ankle together. Perhaps I will be a sofa slug instead. Least supportive spouse ever, that is me.

e) Finished Lori Armstrong's Merciless. On one hand, I appreciate that Mercy is a flawed human being who makes no excuses for her drinking and other behavior. But I really do not understand how the character and the author are going to reconcile her actions with her relationship with the law (in the form of her lover, the county sheriff).

f) One more gulp of coffee, then into lab I go.
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One paper published, one in prep. Two grants submitted.

No change in personal health, really, although I joined a gym and have started a weekly training session to mark/enforce progress.

Was more social with colleagues and other acquaintances.

books, movies, shows, fic round-up )
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~ Finally saw Skyfall. Things that did not impress: a) disjointed plot, b) utter waste of Javier Bardem's talent, c) sad restoration of no-point-plotwise sex w/ female antagonist, d) lack of story-telling on the Skyfall backstory.
Things that did: a) Judi Dench, b) Bond's "what makes you think it's my first time", c) Moneypenny.

~ Also saw The Hobbit. It was entertaining enough, but I thought parts of it, especially some of the fighting, could've been edited for drag. Also, I don't remember Armitage being such a bad actor in previous works.

+ Read The Disappearing Spoon. Some of the chemistry explanations are basic, but the history of the people being the discoveries and establishment of the period table were pretty cool. Best metaphor ever: comparison of Knowles' chiral catalyst and bulky substrate binding and reacting to obese animals trying to copulate. THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY THAT'LL FIT!

+ Finished James Duthie's The Day I (Almost) Killed Two Gretzkys. Some of the stories are funnier than others, but the ones that made me pause most were the ones he wrote from late 2004 to mid-2005, about the NHL lockout. Sadly relevant.

+ All the [community profile] yagkyas stories are posted and the authors have been revealed. [personal profile] impala_chick wrote me the cutest fic, Computer Lab. It's an AU where Walt is a second grade teacher and Brad is the IT/AV person for his school. Go read it, it's adorable!

~ I wrote gen fic about Rudy Reyes. Talk About Your Revolution, at YAGKYAS or at AO3. It was a stretch for me, because I hardly ever write gen or about Rudy. Read the note/warning, because I used what Wright had to say about Rudy's childhood as the basis for this fic.

- On the subject of holiday exchanges, what's up with [profile] happyhockeydays? It's been pretty sad: six fics posted over 9 or 10 days? Did the mods fall into the holiday cracks? Did people not submit fics? I'd like to know, just so I can post the fic I wrote publically. (Or not. I might rewrite it. And by rewrite, I really just mean add the porn that I didn't have time to write and still meet the submission deadline. If I'd known that posting was going to be delayed and lackadaisical, I wouldn't have worked so hard to submit on time.)
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+ In news that should surprise no one, after listening to Tre on repeat for a day (I like it much more than Dos, but not as much as Uno), I am back to listening to a playlist that is basically nothing but Rise Against and Gaslight Anthem. (Yes, it is called "Tim McIlrath is always the answer. Unless it's Brian Fallon". WHAT?)

+ How smiley is PK Subban that Malcolm Subban made the WJC team? As excited as he is that the charity game he and Stamkos are hosting is almost sold out? I'd guess.

+ Started reading James Duthie's The Day I (Almost) Killed Two Gretzkys. I don't read his column regularly, so it's entertaining even if it's a retread.

this weekend's to-do list )
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+ Turkey Day was a success. We ended up having 13 people spread over two rooms, and we're stilling eating leftovers. One guest brought Savannah cream cake with homemade bourbon ice cream, and it was DELICIOUS. Must get the recipe.

- Now for my least favorite time of year/holiday. Ugh, can I just sleep through all the festivities?

+ I finally figured out what I'm writing for YAGKYAS. I only wrote about 100 words. Yesterday. When [personal profile] jmc_bks declared that we could not go shoe-shopping or out for sushi unless I made some progress. But still. Manageable, now that I know what I'm aiming for.

+ Started re-reading Sunshine. Put down Bad Science because the title irks me. THERE IS NO SCIENCE IN THE MARKETING, JUST BANKING ON THE USE OF FANCY WORDS MAKING PEOPLE THINK THERE IS SCIENCE. STOP MAKING THIS SCIENCE'S FAULT, AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT'S SPIN AND STUPIDITY ABOUT SCIENCE.

+ This week: I give lab meeting (must make slides) and am helping a dissertation student practice his defense presentation, in addition to normal lab duties.

+ Thursday and Friday: OKC Barons are in town. Gimme those bb Oilers! (OK, really I just want to see Schultz play, since I never got to see him in the cardinal and white. But if Eberle and RNH want to score while they're at my end of the ice, that'd be cool too.)

+ Checked out the LA Fitness nearest home, since I'm reluctant to run outside in the dark, and taking the bus makes using the fitness center at the med student housing inconvenient. Clean, shiny, plenty of equipment, clean locker room. Will probably join.
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I had some stuff to ramble about, but first:



A bajillion times more awesome than Milan Lucic's bank commercial.

+ I chose the next book club book. I picked Robin McKinley's Sunshine, because even though I've already read it, I feel like it's something that most people might like? IDK, we all have such different things we look for in books that none of us has really been pleased with any of the choices, so. Eh. At least I know I liked this one the first time through. Sent the email out, and immediately got a reply: but it's not available for Kindle. My reply: DOES THAT MEAN YOU MIGHT HAVE TO ACTUALLY BUY OR BORROW A PHYSICAL COPY? OH, THE HORROR!

~ A & I talked about playing hooky and going to the day game the Aeros play against the Rampage on 11Dec, but he just realized that he has meetings he can't miss that day. I sort of want to play hooky and go by myself anyway?

+ A+ to the waiter who served us at the Queen Vic, who brought me a glass of prosecco that was probably a good 8 oz, rather than the normal flute of sparkling wine. Also, he was pretty indulgent of a group of ladies who wanted a lot of wine and to occupy his table for longer than a normal dinner would take.

- Trying to decide about going to the Cobra Starship show in ATX tomorrow. I mean, I want to, because Cobra. But a) drive, b) so much shit to do on Saturday.

+ Possibly King Animal will be on repeat for a while. Or maybe just Non-State Actor. Thank you, Kim, Ben, Matt, and Chris.
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Sad truth: it is possible that I like Luther, at least the episodes I've watched so far, because Luther's relationship (such as it is) with Alice Morgan is almost as fucked up as Archie Sheridan's relationship with Gretchen in Chelsea Cain's Beauty Killer series.
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~ Student's MS defense was Thursday at 10am, and he told precisely NO ONE other than his committee about it. (He passed.) If I didn't ask the boss, I wouldn't've known. It's like he's already completely dissociated. Which would be great if only he had finished his fucking project, instead of leaving a bunch of stuff for me and the boss to complete. I should just tell myself that at least it's one more paper on my CV, right? RIGHT?

+ Picked up Hero again. Interesting read so far (I'm about halfway through it). All I can say is that TE Lawrence had some serious mommy issues.

~ I am so behind on Supernatural, Castle, and pretty much everything media-related right now, it's not even funny. Last night A suggested that we watch Iron Man and Iron Man 2 so I'd be prepared for The Avengers (b/c [personal profile] shutyourface is awesome, and I get to be her +1 for a fangirl meet-up at an early showing) but Netflix Instant Queue only had the second movie. Need to see them in order for my brain to appreciate.

+ Having said that, I am noting for immediate viewing: Patrick Stump will be on House MD on the 16th. And NYC-22 premieres on the 15th.

- Pretty much everyone at work EXCEPT researchers have this afternoon (Good Friday) off. Even A has holiday today. IDGAF about today as a religious holiday, but WTF, UT?

~ In last few days, three separate people have called me "young lady". Two of them were at least a decade younger than me, while the other was probably about my age. I'm sort of confused as to why I would merit this address.

+ As a longtime fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Henry Jenkins' post about it interests me.
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+ Last weekend when we went to SATX for the family ~thing, StepMom loaned us the DVDs for all seven seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Time to marathon a season or two?

~ Work is work. Two post-docs are on maternity leave + Student defends his masters thesis next week, so we're experiencing temporary shrinkage. We're hiring a technician to help with some chores and animal care/characterization (b/c the one thing I stipulated when I was hired was no animal care. ever.) and I'll have a summer undergrad, so we'll be full-up again soon.

~ I finally finished the March bookclub book, The Thirteen Tale. Eh. Sort of gothic mystery, Jane Eyre meets... IDK, Rebecca? I was not impressed. It took multiple instances of picking-up and putting-down before I settled into it, and the ideas expressed about twins irked me. Like, REALLY. I don't care if it was supposed to be early 20th century psychology of twins, it was just lame. a) Don't compare non-twinned people to amputees, missing something they need; if they never had a twin to begin with, they don't know they're missing anything, unlike an amputee. (The narrator's ~issues feel sort of inflated, and I know she has them to parallel what the Missus thinks re: twins, but if she hadn't been a sneak and found info as a kid, would she ever have known? I doubt it.) b) Don't act like there's some amount X of empathy that an embryo has in the womb, and if all of it goes to one twin then the other won't get any. Physical =/ emotional. Also, if pyschology DOES have some basis in genetics, identical twins start with identical genes. Someone's got some weird ideas. But I did enjoy the way, in the story within the story, the narrator's pronoun choice signaled shifts and gave clues to the ultimate outcome.

+ Apparently we are brewing beer this weekend? There's still imperial stout on tap, but the double IPA didn't age well. Whatever, as long as I don't have to be the person organized and alert at 8am on my day off, I don't care.

+ New music! AAR's album, Empires' EP, and The Used album all dropped on Tuesday! Anyone else I'm missing? I'm sure there is. I feel like my twitter feed was pretty chatty about this topic earlier in the week.

~ I feel like there was something else I was going to say... maybe about tennis? Rafa + Daveed both made it to the QFs at Miami. The Williams sisters lost, but I was super impressed that Venus made it as far as she did, and have high hopes for the rest of her season. And I'm hoping that Sharapova delivers a smackdown to Wozniacki today. Even as I type. Or... IDK, maybe that Electric Touch is at HOB tomorrow, and I haven't decided if I'm going to go see them or not? Memory, the first thing to go!
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Book-related ones!

1. The new Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell (heh, written like it's a pairing; in a twisted way, it is), Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain, will be released in August, and an excerpt of the first chapter is available online.

2. The first 50 pages of the next installment of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series is also on the interwebs. I thought the last book was sort of lackluster in comparison to previous ones, but it set up this one. I hope.

Thanks to [personal profile] jmc_bks for the links!
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+ work. I love being in lab when no one else is. As I get older, I like people in my work-space less and less. Mostly I think this is because I like having things just so, and some of the folks I work with are a) messy and b) inconsiderate of common spaces and reagents. Today, I am the only person in the joint space shared by five different groups. I appreciate this. *turns on the PStump CD and cranks the volume*

+ books. Read some short stories by the same person who wrote The Memory Keeper's Daughter, thinking I'd give her a second chance. Eh. One I enjoyed, the rest didn't strike a chord. Started Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, The Bill of Rights and the Election That Saved A Nation. Thus far I am entertained, more from the excerpts DeRose chose than anything else. From a Jefferson-to-Madison letter, on the subject of the British invasion of Virginia: Should this army from Portsmouth come forth and become active (and as we have no reason to believe they came here to sleep) our affairs will assume a very disagreeable aspect. LOL, understatement. Also, funnier than I always expect a historical figure to be.

+ Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Give me allllll the Gary Oldman. ALL OF HIM. I enjoyed the way the movie was shot, to give it a feel like, yes, it was 1973/4. And the cast. Oh, Tom Hardy with long blond hair. But I must admit, I still don't get the Benedict Cumberbatch phenomenon. I don't watch BBC's Sherlock for a variety of reasons, so I was thinking maybe this movie would show me what it is that everyone loves. But sadly, no.

+ The Australian Open started. :D Yes, it is likely that I will continue to tweet with a #wishIwereinmelbourne tag for the next two weeks. Last night, Rafa and Fed laid smack-downs on their first match opponents. Fernando Verdasco melted down in the late stages of a five-setter. Maybe he just wanted to get off the court and out of the heinous, eye-searing red and yellow kit Adidas has designed. I just don't get it: why do they put such attractive people in such ugly clothing. He looked like a refugee from Ronald McDonald-land. I'm currently debating whether I will go home after work to watch Daveeed's opening match (he is my favorite right now), or head to Murder By The Book for the reading/signing that Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs are doing for their new book, Gideon's Corpse.

+ music. Rise Against's in Austin tomorrow night, but I have an 8am meeting Wednesday, so I don't think I'm going to be able to make that round-trip trek. Alternatively, the Old 97's are at the House of Blues. Totally different genres, but still. Live music. I haven't had any in my ears in a month (other than the cover band that played NYE), and I'm feeling the lack.

+ We are currently debating where to go for our 10th anniversary trip (other than our standard Bonnaroo attendance on the actual anniversary date). Originally we'd thought Italy, but A's sort of concerned that an economic meltdown in the EuroZone will make things disorganized or difficult or something (IDK, I think that might make travel cheaper, to lure tourist trade in, but whatever - I've been to Italy before, so I'm not the one missing out). So now we're kicking around: Peru, New Zealand, Australia again (likely Adelaide, Perth, and/or Darwin after a brief stop in Melbourne or Sydney to acclimate), or the UK. Suggestions?
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Things that I've been reading:

1. Enemy Mine, by Rassaku. The Dresden Files, Harry/Marcone. Harry gets invited on a date by everyone’s favorite mob boss, and then things get weird. Canon-compliant through Small Favor, with some uses of info from Turn Coat.

2. Chrysalis, by Starcrossedgirl. Harry Potter, Snape/Harry, adult. In which Harry is a tad messed up after the war, but Snape gives him a run for his money. Or: an epic tale of PTSD, recovery and gay porn! PLEASE READ THE WARNINGS. EWE.

3. I Seem To Be A Verb (A Notting Hill AU). Inception, Arthur/Eames, WIP. Scroll to the bottom - [personal profile] bookshop has posted a link to a PDF of all the installments thus far. IDEK how many words it is, or how much longer it'll be, but at this point it's 60-some comments worth of fic. HOTTTT.

4. The Julie Collins, PI, series by Lori Armstrong. These novels are suspense with a relationship thread to them. The thing that interests me most is that Julie, like the main character Armstrong's other series, is not your average nice-girl heroine. She's a heavy drinking, chain smoking, hard living woman with a lot of flaws. Alcohol and violence are permanent fixtures in her life, and she makes no excuses for that.


Other stuffs:

- Left my phone at work yesterday. At least, I hope that's where it is. :/

- Aaron received an iPod Touch for Christmas. He is hilariously addicted to playing Scrabble and Angry Birds. And I do mean addicted. He has no room to criticize when it comes to me being dependent on my iPhone now.

- This cough & congestion needs to GTFO. So tired of needing tissues and cold medicine and drugging myself to sleep.

- Um, go Texans? IDK, I don't much care about the NFL, but it's a good excuse to hang out with friends and drink beer.
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I had other stuff I meant to post about yesterday, but I got sidetracked. Hopefully I'll remember to post again before everything I meant to say was irrelevant.

In the meantime, I got this blurb in an email from the local independent mystery bookstore.

Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor[...]
with a further explanation as to why being a spy/PI is the only way to solve her employment/money problems.

Three guesses who one of the co-authors is, and the first two don't count.

Seriously, the Stephanie Plum stories aren't already enough retreads, Evanovich is starting another series based on the same premise for the lead character?

*peeks in*

Dec. 29th, 2011 11:42 am
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Hey!

I hope everyone had a great solstice/Christmas/whatever-they-celebrate. I was at my in-laws', where I had next-to-no phone service, and their internet was out, so other than the odd text or tweet that got through, I missed SO MUCH. I've got chores to do and fic to read (!!! all that [community profile] yagkyas fic, unread!), but I need to say one thing.

Given the absence of other entertainment, I read a lot.

Plowed through Jim Butcher's Dresden books. I only just started Ghost Story, but I have to say this: cut for spoilers )

Anyway.

I'm going to start catching up on various media forms, but if I missed something important, please comment, text, tweet, or email me about it.


(Also, why did the import from LJ to DW only bring my default icon, and none of the others?

*twitch*

Nov. 26th, 2011 09:07 pm
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Started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Four pages in, I'm already twitching about the way this author writes science. As someone who studies cancer cell biology in HeLa cells among others, I just have to say no. Just, NO.

All it takes is one mistake anywhere in the division process for cells to start growing out of control[...] and you could have cancer.


That is a GROSS oversimplification. There are multiple checkpoints that have to fail for the cell to continue to divide, and that in and of itself may lead to a tumor, but extravasation and metastasis are other matters entirely.

And then,
Their chromosomes and proteins have been studied with such detail and precision that scientists know their every quirk.


Not just no, but fuck no. If that were the case, no basic science research would still be done with them.

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