hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
A new computer, a new keyboard, and an undetermined period of adjustment. But mostly, a new computer. It's arrived, it's booted up, and I'm blogging on it. Everything moves so fast, but I don't quite know where everything is, like a nighttime taxi ride through a new city. Which isn't entirely the worst feeling to have. My old computer is still working fine, for the most part, and as soon as I find a safe space to keep it, I'll have it as a backup.

The "most part" being that the first part of my old computer that started to show any age or depredation was its internal CD drive. Remembering the days when not everything was built in and thinking how they'd come again, I was able to get around that problem with a USB-powered one. My new computer doesn't have a CD drive to begin with, so in a weird way that was sort of forward-thinking of me to get one.

Even so, even without a sleek internal CD drive, that computer got me through grad school and the last few years safely. Seven years, six months, one week - Eureka to Silver Lake.
hannah: (OMFG - favyan)
Last night my mother offered to buy me and my brother tickets to a matinée showing of Groundhog Day at two o'clock. I wanted to see it, so I said yes.

There was a library book sale today my brother and I both wanted to go to that opened at noon, so I said yes to that.

There was a meetup group for nerds and board games that started at one o'clock, and I said yes to that as well.

Somehow between hustling out the door to get to the book sale early, and moseying out of that to arrive in time to get a few games in, and skipping the almost-to-the-door line at the coffee shop, and going down to wait almost 15 minutes for the next subway train...somehow I arrived at the subway platform just in time to see a friend of mine who happened to come down to NYC this weekend. On a whim.

She had a friend with her who was also in fandom that I'd never met before. But I knew her fics and got to gush in person.

Oh, and besides that, the subway was running express, not local, so we got out to walk up nine blocks. I said we ought to walk up the next street over, not the one we were on - and my brother and I walked right into a big open air market, and got to walk right up the middle of the street.

So today was definitely something.
hannah: (Sam and Dean - soaked)
I've got wireless set up in my apartment, and I'm slowly working through the process of getting my new computer set up for everything I need to transfer my regular activity over there. I figure another few days, maybe even as early as next Tuesday, and I can move my frustrations from wireless tech support to typing on a new keyboard.

I think a lot of the issues will smooth out when I manage to get inside stuff. If that makes sense.

Oddly enough, I spent most of the morning wringing myself out over a learning module that itself was less intuitive and streamlined than the program it was ostensibly trying to teach me how to use. It seems the "poke around and try to learn things" style is that deeply embedded in the human brain.
hannah: (Dar Williams - skadi)
Three projects at once is two more than I usually handle. I think I can about manage it this time, since they're all doing different things. The fantasy was printed out on Monday, and I got my hands on a pair of red pens for marking up the physical pages. The science fiction is just at the very beginning of the initial composition phase, currently saved as "Czech 1.2." And the Buffy fic needs to be rewritten from the beginning, pulling in allusions here, references there, doing up scenes from scratch.

I don't quite know what I'm doing, but I know I can't let myself stop.

Quite possibly I'll get to Buffy again soon, which would be nice. The "Hellmouthy" podcast is more grating than I'd expected, but every so often there's a shining gold nugget of a character observation sifted out of the silt that is all the nasal fry and incoherent tangents. As Buffy-based podcasts go, "Buffering the Vampire Slayer" is far less mean-spirited and more light-hearted and genuinely enthusiastic, so it gets my primary endorsement. And I'm still searching for additional fandom icons. Stupid homework keeping me from fandom pursuits.

Also, I began reading Gone Girl. Having been spoiled thanks to the internet, it's an exercise in trying to see how everything is presented and put together. Which, for me, is a more compelling read than two horrifically tragic individuals. I get enough of that just going to work.
hannah: (On the pier - fooish_icons)
London is a city without a horizon, and London is a city that will never be satisfied. It's built out of liminal spaces and it grows unconstrained, encompassing, devouring, the last remains of empire. There are no mountains, deserts, or oceans to stop it - even the River Thames is only a brief pause. When I came in, tired but ready to keep going, I saw how much London as a city spreads out, how much space it takes up, much more than anywhere else I've ever been, and maybe if I'd climbed the highest towers in the city I'd have been able to see its end, but it's so very much a city without end. Everywhere I've lived has some sort of horizon, or at least some sense of a boundary. When I left, standing at the window of an underground train car to feel the tiniest bit of wind on my face and glimpse a little bit of sky before I'd go up inside, I saw how London as a city will never be finished.

But for all that, within London, people move calmly. There's periods during the day with more intense activity, but there's so much room for people to take a moment to stop. To fully stop. There's parks all over the place, some small, some grand, with plenty of old churches turned into little open-air resting spots replete with lawns and bees working at the flowers. It's not an intense pace but it's a consistent one. The city was here yesterday, and the city will be here tomorrow. And it's accepted that whatever the state of London, it's never going to be quite real, even when you're standing right there inside of it. It's liminal.

London's so liminal it's got palm trees. They're all over the place, including a mile-long park that's wild with birds and blackberries that's also got trains shaking the air right beside it and a wind turbine dropped in the middle and a pub with palm trees tucked in a corner.

There's an urban farm with open fields and an anti-aircraft gun because there wasn't anywhere else to put it. There's parks where foxes slink around after dark, and snails hoof it across the footpaths to beat the evening chill. Just an hour in London gave me new appreciation for so much of Terry Pratchett's work: so much of his genius came from exploring the edges and the corners and finding out for himself just what lived there.

Last Tuesday I stood at the River Thames on midnight and looked at the almost-full moon cast a path on the water, on a rare clear night with almost no clouds to speak of - enough to sometimes pass in front, with the moon more than bright enough to shine through. Except when there was one so thick that when it passed by, the path slowly disappeared, fading away and then vanishing until the cloud moved on and it returned, beginning at my side of the river and opening up the way across to another place entirely. The sky itself, aside from those few clouds, was remarkably dark for a city sky; it must have been the river itself and associated zoning codes keeping the light pollution away. Just a handful of the brightest stars, and the moon.

The next night, walking through a park, the full moon sat in the middle of the London Eye. A pupil in an eye that never winked, just went to sleep when all the clouds came in.

Compared to London, Copenhagen is a town. It's settled into itself, and the ocean is the ultimate horizon line. It's a town built as a city, and it's cozy and comfortable in a way that comes from people living out their lives there, happy to settle in. Though I will say, the Bastard Cafe was outstanding and Tivoli Gardens at night was like visiting a dream.

Oddly enough, the most Danish I heard spoken was during a Jewish religious service. It was a cousin's son's bar mitzvah, and his Danish mother stood up and gave a speech in her mother tongue, and hearing it next to English and Hebrew gave me a good sensation of the tonal differences between the language. Danish melts together, all the syllables and words running smoothly into each other. English has distinct syllables, but flowing words. And even when it's sung, Hebrew makes sure you hear every sound.

I'll also say it was delightful to joke about how Denmark shouldn't be ashamed of looting, it invented it - and then England stole looting, and went on to perfect it.

I saw family on Copenhagen and friends in London, and when I came back to New York, I rode in the front of the shuttle to get to the subway and got a gorgeous panorama of the Manhattan skyline. New York City is built on reality. There's almost nothing liminal inside it: everyone brings their own, and somehow, all the reality everyone has settles together into one unquestionable mosaic. People may try to reverse-engineer it, but the reality remains. Copenhagen has no real conflicts because it doesn't need them. And London, a unique beast, is never going to be as real as the rest of the world - which is what I guess comes from when you build a city without a horizon.
hannah: (Luke Skywalker - elefwin)
I finished reading It today, and in terms of "plucky band of outcast children band together to defeat ultimate evil" books I've read this year, I'd rate it solidly above A Wrinkle in Time.

Ordinarily, Sunday's the day I go in to see to caring for the birds for a couple to a few hours. Not so for tomorrow. Jet-lag, life catch-up, and the lingering travel crud have seen to that. It's my hope that I'll be stable enough to engage with my job on Monday, though I still doubt my ability to engage with the people there. Though I think I'd settle for being able to focus on getting my thoughts together beyond simple status updates.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Instead of coming right back to my apartment, I made a brief pit stop at the grocery store to pick up some milk and eggs. Readjusting to the time zone will be that much easier with breakfast readily available over the next few mornings.

It's nice to be back.
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
My new computer is sitting on my bed, ready and waiting for me to take an evening to set everything up. I anticipate several days' frustration over things like the physical keyboard layout and the GUI of Windows 10. Thankfully, I've got plenty of cider in the fridge.

I'd spent the morning in deep frustration on the phone, calling post office helplines to find out that in fact the packages were delivered, I just hadn't been notified by the front door staff. As glad as I was to get my stuff, I stayed grouchy about it until I hit the hard reset of a gym visit - and I swear, when I walked back through the front doors, the man on duty handed me the computer package.

And I hugged it to my chest.

I've got a password manager set up, so that's a lot fewer things to worry about. I need to back up my current stuff to make a full transfer, from bookmarks to files, and see about navigating around before I settle in to do any work. It doesn't have a removable battery, which I find downright bizarre, but as I'll be using it as a very slim desktop, I don't think I'll worry too much about that part.
hannah: (On the pier - fooish_icons)
I walked into fall this morning. It'd rained last night and the streets were still a little wet and the air was still a little cool. With the smell of wet leaves in the gutter and faint light from the turning season, it all settled just on top of my skin. The sort of autumn morning I'd grown up with. It was gone the moment I looked up at the bright sky with its few puffy clouds, which made for a heavy dose of cognitive dissonance before I even got onto the subway. And then I'd look around me, not above me, and I could remember the sidewalks on the bike rides to school when I was a kid. It didn't last, dissipating by the time I got to work, but I knew this was the beginning of the end of summer.

After work, I went to the greenmarket, and I knew it was really time. Hard squashes have come in. There's no pumpkins as of yet, but they're looming. Just over the horizon. And even though I look forward to the delicately balanced chill to come back and settle for a moment, it's always hard when I know I've arrived at the end of something.

I also found out I'm leaving for a family vacation a day before I thought I was. So that's something cleared up well ahead of time, at least. It's one less day to worry about packing, and more important to me, one less day for writing. I don't think I'll be able to break 60,000 words on the current WIP, which means it's possible 2017 may be the first year of all the years I've been in fandom where I haven't finished something - at least, something beyond little birthday challenge drabbles. When I get back from the vacation, I'm going back to an original project that I can hopefully look at with enough detachment to be harsh but fair, and then it's beginning another one and trying to get momentum going on that first...and in all that, time for playing around with Buffy the Vampire Slayer might well drop in importance. Even though I know it won't take much more than another dedicated fortnight or so to get the first rough draft completed, and then maybe another month to go through for a first-pass edit, and a bounty of other beautiful excuses I can give to myself. Especially with classes beginning soon. I'll want something to play with.

Which I know I'll just have to make the time for.
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
I've now purchased a new computer! It'll be here in two weeks or so. While there's nothing wrong with my current one, it's starting to get up there in computer years, and it's about time it retired and took up topiary as a hobby. Or the computer equivalent.

The last time I got a new computer was just about seven and a half years ago. Then, it was because there were genuine hardware difficulties - something had gone wrong with the interface and if I used the mouse, the keyboard went unresponsive for a few minutes, and even the trackpad wasn't working propery. I got used to a lot of keyboard shortcuts before I went in for the one I've got now. Which is still working fine, if slowly, and I don't want to disrupt the balance of anything right now. So, buying one before there's any pressing need.

Also, thank goodness my building has a doorman to sign for the package.

I figure that when the new one comes, and I have everything set up and working and reasonably sorted out, I can take all my stuff off this one and have it as a standby backup. Just put it in the closet with its peripherals unless circumstances arise it's needed.

The part I'm most dreading about all this is having to remember my passwords to everything. Maybe it's time I started writing them down.
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
It only hits me now I might have run out of time to make eclipse plans. Glasses seem to be sold out everywhere online. There's the Museum of Natural History's big viewing event, which I may well leave work early to attend. Though if it's as cloudy then as it was today, I might just walk to the nearest park and stand outside at the appropriate time rather than try anything else.

On some level, clouds in August - or all of summer, really - is just wrong to me. It makes me think it's late September, and turns every day of the week into Thursday.

So I did my best to stay active, and cleaned out and got rid of a bunch of stuff hanging around my apartment. Mostly papers, with a little garbage and no small amount of dust. Spreading it out onto my bed and forcing myself to look at everything was a big help in terms of making practical assessments. Most of it was done to Hawaii 5-0, which somehow makes for ideal apartment-cleaning TV.
hannah: (evil! - ponderosa121)
At work today, someone said he'd done medical coding himself, a long time ago.

"Like COBOL?" I asked. No, he said, nothing like that, mostly data entry.

"So not a very BASIC job," I said. And boy, once he got it, did he mean it when he laughed.
hannah: (Across the Universe - windowsill_)
I took a boat ride out to eat pie today, which is as it should be. To be precise, I rode a ferry out to Brooklyn, because New York City is an archipelago and a ferry was faster than the subway, and then walked to where I could eat key lime pie. Real key lime pie, made with just five ingredients, out in Red Hook right by the water. My brother was with me, and we ate on the grass by a miniature beach, having walked through a part of New York City I'd never been to that more than anything reminded me of San Francisco. Not exactly for the food, and not exactly for the water. More in that it was a bright, sunny day with few clouds and little wind, that where I was walking happened to have the lazy, low-horizon line architecture of the California Bay Area, small houses clustered together with the incidental empty lot left to grass and flowers and birds, funky little shops scattered up and down a main drag, a town hidden away out at the edge of a city.

Sometime after I got back to Manhattan, I realized there was a bit of sadness to the day too: I had to retire one of my rings. One of my favorites, to be honest. The little lizard pinkie ring I bought almost thirteen years ago to the day, back in August of 2004 in the Yerba Buena Gardens during a Philippine arts and culture festival just after I moved to San Francisco for college, worn until August of 2017 when the ring finally began to wear thin enough I'm worried it'll snap in two. So I took it off, kissed it, and put it away. I'm adjusting to a different one now. It's got leaves, but no little lizard face.

I can replace it easily enough - it's a common enough design that just looking up "lizard toe ring" on Google gets me the same thing right away, like right here. But it won't be the one I used to wear, and I'm hesitant to look into repair shops because it'd be so easy to replace it might not get taken seriously.

And though I wish I still had a smiling little lizard on my hand, it's not yet broken. I can take comfort in knowing it's not broken, or lost. In threat of those, but I didn't let that happen. I took it off and now it's put someplace for safekeeping. It saw me through a lot of adventures, like the one I had today, running to catch the ferry back, riding up front and feeling a bit of spray on my face and stepping away from my life to enjoy the world for a while.

So I guess, with this new ring, I start over again tomorrow.
hannah: (Perry Cox - rullaroo)
Something strange is happening with my main MP3 player, beyond bad data on a small number of MP3 files from the giant hard drive recovery - that part doesn't bother me because I can replace everything from my main computer, the original CDs, or other digital downloads. The strange thing is sometimes it'll play half a song and then skip to the next one, even if the file itself is perfectly normal. It's a fairly old player as MP3 players go, so maybe that's where the strangeness is coming from. If that's the case, I can accept it. Not that I'll like it. Just that I'll accept it.

Other than that, and work being fairly slow and frustrating in ways that had nothing to do with each other, a few really nice things happened today. I finally ate at Lupe's East LA Kitchen, which was exactly like a tiny spot of California tucked away in New York City - the second such one I've found - whose California vibes were made even stranger and stronger when the staccato sunshowers finally ended, leaving the air clean and cool, exactly like it should be. My brothers and I ate by an open window, and I leaned my elbow out and drank a pineapple mojito and felt all right for a little while.

I also stumbled over a pair of houses up the street from Lupe's that, amazingly, had backyards. Old houses, National Registrar of Historic Places old, from the early 1800s, both with open space behind them visible from the adjacent driveway-alleyway. Left to their own devices, the grass was taken by weeds and the trees loom over the house. In one, foundations of something are still visible, the erected structure long since gone; in the other, an empty freestanding wooden trellis and a dry, tiered fountain. Basically, if Ganesh walked out of one of the houses into the backyards, I wouldn't have been surprised. (He only lives a few blocks north on Crosby, after all.) Even more amazingly, they had fireflies. Fireflies, tucked away in a little forgotten spot that shouldn't be there but is just right as it is.

After dinner my brothers and I went looking for the Ghostbusters firehouse, and on the way found Manhattan's smallest museum, similarly tucked away. It was closed, so all we could do was peer through the glass.

Because I had time in between work and dinner, I wandered a bit, which included a detour through Washington Square Park, where someone gave me a little bit of birdseed that I used to attract pigeons over and entice them to sit in my outstretched hands to eat. Then I stood still so they'd stay, and more would come. And maybe it's that I volunteer with birds and they sense that, or maybe it's because I've fed them before and they recognize me, or maybe I was nonthreatening enough that more did come. Lots more. My arms are still a little scratched up. They landed and sat up and down my arms, and a few even walked over my shoulders or my chest to get from one side of me to the other. And they were so nice, and warm, and didn't think I was anything to be afraid of, and I think it was nine or ten, all told, at the height of the madness.

Rain like today's in New York City doesn't happen where I grew up. It's not something I've really been able to get used to - rain at this time of year, warm summer rains, rain that stops and starts and stops and starts instead of happening or not. There's no season for rain. It just comes when it comes, even if I can see the sun shining on a building just a block away from me. Even if I can see the sun shining in the sky. It doesn't swallow the world, just breezes on through it. And during the in between moments, before it finally left, when it was a brief moment of light mist instead of genuine precipitation, the combination of the shimmer in the air and sky caught the light to soften it, just a little bit, just enough to let you know there's always something new to see.
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
Today was one of those rare, gorgeous New York City days of a clear blue sky and gentle temperatures where nobody needed to turn on the heater or the air conditioner. There's about six weeks' worth of those days scattered throughout the year, and they're always lovely. Today was also a rare day I didn't have any work, classes, appointments, or obligations, so I spent a lot of time by myself. I went to the movies, and ate lunch at a little cafe, and walked back through the park, and spent the evening writing, and it was basically the dream life. For as long as it lasted. So now I know what my ideal is, pretty much. It'll be nice to remember for later.

I thought I might take some big adventures this August, and I do plan on having real key lime pie sometime this month, but if I can get a couple more days like today, I'll be happy. The adventures can come in September. Because I'm going to Denmark in September. Denmark, and London. It's not hitting me yet and I don't know if it'll take me being on the plane to sink in, so maybe if I keep saying it then I'll accept it.

This is something I've wanted to do for years now, and it's something everyone else in my immediate family's managed to do already. I'd been feeling left out for a good long while, and now it's like I can finally join in.

Also, does anyone want to see The Great Comet in the next week or so? I'm still thinking about it.
hannah: (Reference - fooish_icons)
If it all goes well, I've now achieved redundancy with my computer files. Everything I want to keep safe is now backed up on an external hard drive that will largely live alone on my desk unconnected to my main computer. Because of this particular arrangement, I've named this hard drive The Hinterlands. Let's hope everything stays as pristine as the name implies.

I'll see if I can turn it into a monthly routine - pay the credit card bill, back up the last month's worth of important data.

I also managed to solve another irksome issue, deleting a couple of troublesome files that defied the usual methods, by following some simple directions that still made me feel like I'd just solved an eight-part math equation.

Also, I held a giant fancy pigeon today, and had birds land on my head. So on and offline, it's been a good day all around.
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
I threw stuff out today. Trust me when I say that's kind of a big deal. I've been trying to divest myself of things and clutter lately, little objects I don't need or anticipate any use for.

There were a lot of twisty-ties tossed out today. Wrappers, tins, boxes, papers. Some minor reorganization and consolidation that shouldn't have needed to take place, strictly speaking, but it wasn't until now I had any feeling or motivation. I don't believe in a lot of the how-to philosophy behind this sort of thing - I tend to stand behind the relentlessly practical approach - but recognizing it wasn't doing anything for me to have the stuff around helped a lot. Looking at a jar and anticipating putting lemonade in it's different than looking at a rubber band and just wondering where to toss it. And now I've got a little breathing room on my table that I hope to expand upon, and might even tackle the rug in the next couple weeks.
hannah: (Laundry jam - fooish_icons)
Just about packed for the con tomorrow; what's not yet set aside is recorded on a checklist and waiting to be collected. The MP3 player gets loaded up last.

Today at work I learned all over again just how different I am from my coworkers: they never looked inside some of the filing cabinets in the office when they got there. They've been working there much longer than I have, and today was the first day those cabinets got a proper investigation and a full cleaning. They were stuffed with all sorts of office detritus: loose envelopes with office letterhead, computer cables, takeout leftovers like salt packets and napkins, delivery menus, pens, block of staples, post-it notes, lost clothes, medical records that can't yet be thrown out because of federal regulations, shower gel, candy, perfume samples, rubber bands, paper clips...stuff, mostly. Lots of stuff. That I would've cleaned out in days of arrival if I'd been able to, because I would've gone looking to see what's around and figured out what to do with it all. Like, for example, throwing away old delivery menus.

I recognize a fair amount of inertia behind a closed cabinet door in an office where things are always busy. I also wonder why they never raided those cabinets for pens, when pens are a valuable commodity in basically any office environment.

Next week, I'm taking the clothes back with me, washing them, and then dropping them off at an appropriate fabric recycling program. I figure it's the best option available.
hannah: (Fruit - truntles)
Waking up without any major responsibilities or outstanding obligations is a rare pleasure. I finished my classwork yesterday afternoon, and I don't have work today, so the most I should get done is to pack and prepare for the con this weekend. Which won't take long. I could've gone to the movies, but since I'm all done with classes for a good few weeks, I'll do that later - since Spider-Man will be playing for a while, but the cherries in the fridge won't last nearly that long.

Baking, cleaning, exercising, packing, and if time allows, writing. I wouldn't want to do this every day, but once in a while, it's nice to luxuriate.
hannah: (Breadmaking - fooish_icons)
Today I experimented with cake variations and wandered into a neo-pagan street fair. The cake came out as a success and I bought some jewelry I'd wanted for a while. First, eliminating the crumb topping, doubling the batter, and baking it in a larger pan. Second, a hamsa of reasonable heft and weight that I haven't yet been able to find at most other open-air street markets I've managed to wander into. I don't know if I'll wear it, but I like having it.

I might have to go again next year, if they get the same jewelry vendors. The hamsa vendor had some pretty amusing fandom-based charm bracelets. I know I basically inoculated myself in terms of fandom jewelery possession with this single purchase, so I doubt I'd wear them, but it'd still might be fun to have them. Or deliberately buy them to give them away.
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 03:50 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios