kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

On one hand, it's almost reassuring to try on maternity jeans that are so long that I could use them as footie pajamas, because at least it's clear that they are meant to be altered, rather than the manufacturers having peculiar ideas about the length of women's legs.

On the other hand, I should not have to have jeans altered just because I'm pregnant! Especially not when it's Saturday and I'm going out of town Tuesday morning.

And now, having wasted most of my afternoon on this, I'm going off to do some work. Whee.

(To make up for whining: have some new Emmy pictures, in the last half or so of this set.)

kate_nepveu: Sanzo, three-quarters profile, cigarette, pointing gun at viewer (I am not amused)
Someone sic Sanzo on our legal tech people. Not only do they have our computers locked down so tightly that I need an administrator to install a USB trackball, but they for some reason refuse to remote into my machine and install it—which they have done on at least half a dozen occasions before—and are requiring me to sit here and wait for someone to show up in person.

At least they backed off on making me fill out a new tech requisition form (! it's my own damn trackball, as was the one before it that this is replacing) and having my boss sign off on it.

I'm just fortunate to have much more comfort in using keyboard shortcuts to get around computers than most. And I have renewed sympathy for people using screen readers to navigate the web.

kate_nepveu: (con't from comment field) "that makes glass with distortions. --Audre Lorde" (International Blog Against Racism Week)

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, two different people asked me if I celebrated Thanksgiving.

Today, a store clerk was remarkably persisent on the where-are-you-really-from front. Was I from Indonesia? Where was I from? No, where were my ancestors from? Oh, they have a store clerk from Korea now. His name is such-and-such. [*] He's a student at the university—am I a student too? ("No, I'm a lawyer.")

[*] Because, of course, by virtue of us both being born in Korea, I was supposed to know him or to care.

Three data points make up a sweeping conclusion: the holidays seem to bring out people's unexamined defaults about race. I think it's because people feel obligated to make more small talk, which tends to be very mindless.

So, if you're not setting out to make the other person in the conversation want to pull their hair out, some suggestions:

  1. Avoid any assumptions about people's holiday practices. My current plan for small talk is, "so, how are you spending your Thursday / Tuesday / week?" I think this leaves open a range of answers, including "I'm having a quiet day in / going to the movies / volunteering," with the optional addition "because I'm British / a Jehovah's Witness / whatever, I don't celebrate Thanksgiving / Christmas / whatever."
  2. If you're white, think about the circumstances under which you'd ask another white person their ancestry. Then don't ask your non-white friends or acquaintances about their ancestry under other circumstances. This seems likely to rule out inadvertently-offensive scenarios.

Comments, additions?

(Background reading, if you don't understand why the above conversations drove me crazy: IBARW: Don't ask me my nationality, plus clarification in comments.)

Open Letter

Oct. 4th, 2006 09:47 pm
kate_nepveu: closeup of two stacks of paper (buried under piles of work)

Dear manufacturers of keyboards,

It's called muscle memory. Don't screw with it.

In particular: Do not group function keys in non-standard sets; F3, F4, and F5 have very different effects. Especially do not mess with the placement of the Delete key.

Very truly yours,

P.S.: I admit, the slight curve is a surprisingly effect compromise between a flat keyboard and a split one. Not as good for my hands, but fits better on my lap.

kate_nepveu: Yakko throwing one hand wide to side, text: "G'night, everybody!" (Animaniacs (g'night everybody!))

Lost my temper over not one but two online discussions, which is the first time that's happened since I can remember. Only SHOUTED in one; I'm not sure if, in the other, it was apparent to anyone other than Chad that I was truly angry.

I did come up with a ten-second theory on the predominance of women in fanfic, which is that it's more socially acceptable for men to channel those impulses into gaming. Over at Chad's blog, a commentor offered the same explanation, so if it's loony, well, at least I'm not a lone loon.

In other news, a new restaurant in Schenectady, Cella Bistro, is seriously yummy. Chad had, as an appetizer, mussels with a huge heaping of french fries, and as dinner, duck done two ways; I had two appetizers for dinner, filo-wrapped baked brie with greens and pear-Chardonnay sauce, and jumbo crab claws. They also have a tapas menu, which I am going to have to try just for the apple & brie panini. Mmmm, melty brie and fruit.

It's an odd location for an upscale restaurant, kitty-corner from a decaying strip mall, so, like Karavalli in the Quality Inn in Rotterdam (which I appear to have not written up: great and wide-ranging Indian menu, branch of a place in Latham that we really like, not near anything and almost always empty), we'll have to go there often to keep them open. Oh, the hardship.

Also, Animaniacs is brilliant, and I'm very glad that it's out on DVD now. Nevermind Tiny Toons, it's the true heir to Looney Tunes as far as I'm concerned.

Things I failed to do this weekend: write up the next chapter of Fellowship; booklog four books; draft the "you may not discuss copyright unless you can pass this test" list; read Inda; convince the dog that she need not bark before 7 a.m. on weekends, truly.

But I did get some work done, and now that I've dashed this off, as Yakko says—g'night, everybody!

kate_nepveu: puppy holding baseball bat in mouth at home plate, with very small strike zone outlined (sports silliness)

You know, the ObInterview with the losers is bad enough when it's adult professional athletes. But when you're interviewing a kid who's just washed out of the spelling bee, who's obviously been crying, and asking how it feels to know that a lot of people were rooting for him? Come on, that would be cruel & unusual punishment if the government were doing it. And the information content of these is predictably zero.

[ETA: on a happier spelling bee note: live-blogging!]

(Perhaps if I post anything to LJ, I will be able to resist the urge to post "why I haven't been commenting on the cultural appropriation debates," because really, how much more self-centered could I be?)

[ETA: resistance is futile.]

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

steelypips.org has been down since early yesterday morning; the restore is taking much longer than expected, but I hope my provider will have it back up today sometime. In the unlikely event that anyone's been trying to reach me, the e-mail address attached to this account works fine.

*grump mutter*

ETA: we appear to be back up on Tuesday night. I've restored two lost blog comments, and everything else seems to be there. However, e-mail apparently wasn't getting through; sorry about that.

kate_nepveu: line drawing of startled cat with vacuum nozzle held to back (fandom)

The preliminary program is up, and I'm making notes to myself to figure out my schedule for the weekend.

But first, I whine: my throat feels like some evil persistent imp has taken a Brillo pad to it, my lungs ache profoundly, the skin around my nose is bright red and stings when I move any muscle on my face, my stomach has gone on strike to protest the steady diet of cough drops, all the synapses in my brain have edged away from their neighbors thanks to the decongestants (which have mostly stopped working), my ears are blocked up and I just did something nasty to my jaw when yawning to try and clear them, and I am vastly lacking in sleep. In short, I have a cold, and I want it to stop.

There. Aren't you sorry the program came out today so I had an excuse to post?

notes towards a preliminary Boskone schedule )

I am bringing my spiffy new Palm with wireless keyboard, so I will be typing notes at panels; if anyone would particularly like detailed notes for anything on this list, please say so in comments. I refuse to feel obligated by requests, but I am more likely to distort my wrists on the little keyboard if I know someone actually wants to read the things.

kate_nepveu: headshot of German Shepherd mix dog against snow (Emmy)

Dear neighbors:

It's nice of you to want to feed the wildlife. May I suggest that if that's your actual desire, that you leave out, oh, I don't know, bird seed? Or, if you must leave out people food like Pringles, goldfish crackers, shortbread cookies, corn chips, or the six inch hunk of French bread that my dog ate half of because I couldn't get it all out of her mouth, could you please leave it out of her leash's reach?

Because either she gets mad that I drag her away from the food, or she eats it and then gets sick. And if she throws up this bread she just ate, I am marching down the street and getting you to clean it up.

Very truly yours,

A Deeply Annoyed Dog Owner

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I've been really slacking on these. The first week, I can understand why: I'd visited my parents and Mom's friend B. from Scotland that weekend, and then stayed up late watching the Patriots just beat the Bills in Tedy Bruschi's return. I didn't have a particularly good reason the second week, though, just general blah-ness. But that's why I'm starting this earlier than usual, so it does get done today.


  • Aggressively medicating the early stage of my seasonal cold with decongestants did successfully prevent the late stage from manifesting. Since the late stage is a nasty, full-body gagging cough, this is a good thing; I just wish that decongestants didn't do such bad things to my brain, and that the whole experience didn't leave me so tired.
  • The dog was back at the vet's again for an ear infection (yeast); the ear wash stuff reeks, but it and the subsequent medication are working.
  • After the end of Daylight Savings time, I've been driving home in the dark and getting really carsick from other cars' headlights. This is deeply annoying. It seems to be helped by moving my side mirror so that it doesn't shine the headlights of cars behind me directly into my eyes, though this naturally has its own risks.

Stupid tricks with keys:

  • I wasted an hour when I forgot the keys to my parents' place when I left here and had to go back and get them. And then, of course, I didn't need them once.
  • I managed to lock myself out of my car, in the parking lot before work, when my car keys slipped out of my coat pocket without my noticing. I will never hit the power locks without my keys in my hand again. (I called AAA after I got back from court that morning, and the locksmith they sent had it open within seconds.)


  • Mom's friend B. smuggled haggis and white pudding, wrapped up in literally yards of cling wrap, in from Scotland, and we had some at our early Thanksgiving dinner. The white pudding (oatmeal and onion stuffing) wasn't really to my taste; the haggis basically tasted like the filling in meat pie. Mom and B. also made a cloutie dumpling, except substituting shortening for the shredded suet (since every American's reaction to "suet" was, "the stuff you put out for the birds?!"). It was tasty but very dense ("dumpling" is a misleading term) and a little drier than it should've been because of the substitution.
  • Made tourtiére with about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes substituted for 1/4 pound of meat in this recipe. I'd never made mashed potatoes before, and as potatoes, they were not successful, but lumpiness is good for meat pie since when you mix it all together, the non-lumps basically vanish immediately anyway. The starch might help it act more like a pie as leftovers, but otherwise it tastes the same, so unless I make a bunch of pies, I probably won't bother in the future.

    (I also added a little more allspice, and cooked it at a slightly lower simmer, at about medium heat, so that I had liquid to ladle into the pie. I also used 1/4 pound of beef with 1 pound of ground pork.)

  • This Wednesday, I got in and sent an e-mail around the office, saying that it seemed like people were having bad days and I'd just re-stocked my vase of Ghirardelli chocolate squares. I think we went through about a bag and a half that day.

(I managed to make it through emergency week duty with just one minor thing, but other aspects of work were busy enough that I was very relieved to take Veterans' Day completely off for absolute frivolity.)

In household news, we arranged for repairs on the leaky roof. We also suddenly, and without any action on our part, starting getting double or triple our previous download speeds (or, in other words, something like the advertised rates). Hey, I'll take it.

In entertainment news, other than what's already been logged, this Monday we went to a performance of Japanese drumming by the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble at Union. This was very cool, even though the biggest drum resonated in my skull in a slightly unpleasant way. I liked the "Tatsumaki" (tr. "Whirlwind" or "Tornado") best; it was highly dynamic and also fun to watch, as the drummers raised their arms high before striking, jumped to switch between sides of their drums, and so forth. Unfortunately it wasn't on any of the CDs they had for sale, because apparently it is to be watched rather than just listened to.

I also was in the same room for some Hellsing episodes, including the flashback episode with Sir Integra and Alucard and the ending. Great music, visually stylish, interesting relationship between those two, but not particularly interested in watching more (which is handy since Chad's returning the DVDs to the student who lent them). (The opening credits are briefly disorienting, because when we see the back of the white glove with symbols on it, I except to see the gloved hand snap and fire appear.)

And while I was writing, the Pats appear to have squeaked out a win over the Dolphins (I watched most of their loss to the Colts, but this game wasn't on TV here). And the Giants tied it very late but couldn't stop the Vikings from getting a field goal, so they lost.

Link dump:

Pet peeve

Apr. 27th, 2004 09:32 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

The introductory section of a book or other written work is a "foreword": the words that come before the main words of the work.

It is not a "forward." That is a direction, the opposite of "backward."

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Internet.


Jan. 26th, 2004 12:48 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I am having a bad day and I have succumbed:

There is now a hug counter on my info page.

*makes pathetic puppy eyes at passers-by*

ETA: thanks, guys. You know, it's pretty strange that some random mouse-clicks should make me feel better, but they do and I appreciate it. Things are looking up marginally, though it's going to be a very long week.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

You know, I knew The Matrix Revolutions was going to suck. On Wednesday, I collected particularly apropos quotes from reviews:

Notably snarky quotes from reviews )

And those were just the snappy ones. There was a lot more indicating that it, in a word, sucked.

And yet I went to see it anyway. I even paid for it. What was I thinking?

As a public service, I offer—

what happened in The Matrix Revolutions )

There, now you can save your money.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I had today off, and we had a bunch of help this weekend (my mom Saturday, Chad's folks yesterday and today—our families are too good to us), so we got a lot done on the house. The second bedroom is completely painted, and the master bedroom is almost done—I suck at doing edges, so the molding and some ceiling touch-up needs to be done. The main part of the office room would almost be done, but the contractors started work on the bathroom today and had a lot of stuff in the way. Not that I mind, since we really want the bathroom done before we move in . . . We've still got a lot to go, but it's actually starting to look like a house now, which is exciting.

Not much to report about work this week, except that I got considerably peeved by one of my prisoner plaintiffs, who insisted on referring to me by my first name in papers opposing our motion to dismiss his complaint. Words cannot adequately express how annoying I found this.

Also upgraded the bandwidth for steelypips, added a mirror copy of the Wheel of Time FAQ (not that I'm reading Jordan any more, it's the community), and updated the book log with a lonely entry.

And now, I'm going to bed, because I'm exhausted.

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