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Mark is watching the Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner. Orlando Bloom is in it. (Now he's hacking.)

My sister sent me the link to a myspace page of one of the kids we used to baby-sit. She's now 16. It has a really way too long "about me" page, and she has 200 friends. Not a bad layout, and thank GOD NO MUSIC.

The best part, though, was where she listed her "other heroes" as "god, jesus, and orlando bloom".

Also, a deposit has been made for the trip to China. You have no idea how long or how much drama it took for us to even get to this point. My family is still arguing about the finer details of the visit, like how long we're going to stay at my parents' villages, when are we going to fly to Hong Kong, etc.

We went to see the Matthew Barney show at SFMOMA a few weeks ago, and I kept meaning to write about it. Oops. Anyway, in the words of Mark, Matthew Barney is "one sick puppy". We got there too late to watch the actual movie that goes along with the show, but the gallery itself occupied most of our time anyway. I was kind of disappointed by the drawings - they're really lightly penciled in, and they're not actually that good, partially because he physically restrained himself in various ways while he was drawing them. In accompanying videos, you can see that he's running to jump and draw stuff on a ceiling. Those videos are very boring.

The more interesting videos are the ones with the satyrs. There's no sound, and you watch one or two satyrs per screen dancing around, looking tortured, torturing each other, and it almost felt obscene to me, even though it wasn't like they were doing anything actually obscene. The satyrs are over-muscled, with exaggerated facial features, and horns. It also reminded me of Picasso's fascination with satyrs. I don't know what connection there is to make, though.

The best part to me were the giant ship sculptures made up of "self-lubricating plastic". Mark had to keep reminding me not to touch them. (Me: But, but - look!) They were enormous, and we had to step over several ropes to view the entire thing. I kept wondering where the hell one does get self-lubricating plastic, and how do you mold it?

Bjork is in a few of the pictures. I wonder how famous he would be if he didn't have Bjork for a girlfriend.
toastykitten: (Default)
We got back from the wedding a while ago. Our table was the LUG group, and how nerdy was it that two people at our table bought the groom and the bride the Dungeons and Dragons books? The bride and groom were lovely, and had a thankfully short and sweet ceremony in the East, EAST Bay, where it was boiling hot. It was a pretty small wedding, with some yummy cake, and a very pretty venue. We got to catch up with some people we hadn't seen in a while, and congratulated the bride and groom, both of whom looked lovely and very, very happy.

While the groom did not have a bachelor party, Mark and some of his friends decided to have a Scotch-tasting party the night before. They got pretty smashed, and I hadn't seen Mark that drunk since college. :P

I cannot drink Scotch. It burns, although one of the ones they tried did not burn. I'll post up their "tasting notes" when I find it - on one of them I added "smells like urine". Which it did. They drank a lot of Scotch.

It was also a potluck. (No drinking on empty stomachs!) One of Mark's coworkers, brought the best Indian food I have ever tasted. (Not that I go for Indian all that often, but it was pretty amazing.) Home-cooked food is always the best. I made twice-baked potatoes, bruschetta (which is pretty good, I think), and some salad, and other people brought smoked chicken, turkey, duck and some prosciutto and mozzarella. The smoked turkey was very, very tough. I couldn't bite through it, and gave it to Mark. I need to find some different things to cook, although bruschetta right now is very good, since tomatoes are in season.

Towards the end, somebody asked a question - what are your top five favorite movies? This was my answer:

1. 10 Things I Hate About You (I don't care how dated it gets - this is my favorite Shakespeare adaptation, and has Heath Ledger singing!)
2. Ever After: A Cinderella Story (I am a sucker for fairy tales, and especially fairy tales where the heroine is not useless.)
3. Infernal Affairs (This one is the best Hong Kong movie ever - it's like a re-birth of the movie industry with this film. Andy Lau and Tony Leung are amazing, as is all the supporting cast. Ok, I could have lived without Kelly Chen, but that's my own bias.)
4. The Incredibles (I have loved each successive Pixar movie more and more, and it peaked with the Incredibles. I liked Cars, but didn't love it. I loved the attention to detail paid in the movie, and especially how well they knew the tropes of the superhero genre. It was just all-around awesome.)
5. Donnie Darko (I didn't mention this at the party, because I couldn't think of it, until one of the songs on the soundtrack was played at the wedding. But I love this movie, for its little quirks, for introducing me to Jake Gyllenhaal, for the conversation about Smurfs, and the time travel. Love!)

If I took Infernal Affairs out and put those on my Hong Kong movie list, I'd replace it with Ghost Dog. I loved Forest Whitaker's performance, and he pretty much made the movie.

If I made a Hong Kong list, it would be:

1. Infernal Affairs (see above)
2. Police Story III - the Jackie Chan movie with Michelle Yeoh in it, because she gets to do her own stunts, and outshines Jackie Chan. Especially the one where she rides a motorcycle onto a speeding train. Watching the outtakes was pretty painful.
3. Ashes of Time - one of the early Wong Kar-Wai movies. This movie makes no sense, and is full of pretty people pining for loves lost and stolen. After this movie, everyone seemed to steal from it.
4. High Risk - with Jet Li and Jackie Cheung. Admittedly, this is a Wong Jing movie, which means that it's "mo lay tau" - nonsense - and steals blatantly from Die Hard and Speed. But it's one of my favorite Jet Li movies, because it's so funny, and it has some really good fight scenes.
5. Fong Sai Yuk - I love this movie more for Josephine Siao than Jet Li. She's such an amazing and talented comic and serious actress - she pretty much steals the show. She plays Jet Li's mom. One of my favorite things about this movie is how Siao gets herself into a situation where she's in drag and someone falls in love with her. It's hilarious.

Ok, I'm going to sleep. See ya.
toastykitten: (Default)
I love wearing this shirt. I get compliments from people all the time. Ahh, the Bay Area.

toastykitten: (Default)
We just finished having dinner with [ profile] angeeela and some other friends - it was, as usual, yummy, and we got to meet the owner's cute daughter. She recognizes us now, and is always friendly - we always bring people in to eat there because a. it's French, therefore it is good food, and b. it's so home-y, and c. it is relatively cheap.

Our second and final day in Portland started off slowly. While printing out our ticket confirmations for the flight out that day, we ran into a glitch - I got assigned a seat, but Mark got what was, according to United, a "Departure Management Card". The DMC instructed you to wait at the gate for your seat assignment or for if you were stand-by. Mark bought his ticket from United several weeks before I did.

Mark called the airline, and spent nearly half an hour trying to figure out if he had a seat or not. The customer service representative kept talking around him in circles, trying to avoid the word "confirmation", and eventually Mark broke it down to him: "I am going to ask you a DIRECT question. When I get to the airport, and I do not want to be stand-by, I do not want to be offered stand-by, and I ask the person at the gate if I have a confirmed seat in 10A, will I be able to get on the plane? YES OR NO. And I would like your employee ID number or some identification so that I can refer to you if I have trouble at the gate." Finally the guy confirmed that he had a seat on the plane.

Did I mention that the first time Mark tried to explain his problem, the customer service rep looked at his flight from San Francisco to Portland? Not from Portland to San Francisco, which is what he was asking about. And when he pointed that out, the rep get all testy with him.

This isn't the first time it happened, either - last time it happened, we woke up at 6 in the morning and I drove him to the airport. Then an hour and a half later I got a phone call from Mark saying that United overbooked his flight and that he would have to go back to the airport eight hours later. And I had to go pick him up and drive him back. This wasn't some vacation thing, either - it was corporate travel to a short conference, and time taken out meant that he had less time to prepare for his stuff at the conference. He lost nearly a day's work because he couldn't be at that conference. United offered him some compensation, but still - I don't think it's any way to do business. And especially not with your corporate customers, who don't have the kind of time that they seem to think stand-by passengers do. Conferences won't stop just because you got pushed off a flight.

Anyway, so Alice made breakfast for us. Man, foodies are awesome. Zack and Alice are so endearingly liberal it's cute. I noticed that they had a ton of Aveda and Body Shop stuff, and Alice's eggs were from "Vegetarian-fed, cage-free" chickens. Her bacon had "forty percent less fat than regular bacon", and it actually tasted better! She explained that they'd probably cut the meat from a different side of the stomach than normal bacon.

Mark and I made plans to meet up with his friend Matt, who works at IBM. Matt doesn't have a car, so we had to wait for him to shower up and get on the train first. We spent nearly half an hour looking for a place to eat - it seemed like every restaurant we went to was closed. Finally we ended up at a seafood grill place. Along the way, we passed by some street festival - I think it was Pride weekend or something, but I didn't want to believe it because it looked kind of sad. There was hardly anyone there, and the people who were there were just sort of milling around with no energy. It's nothing like it'll be here in San Francisco.

Oh, and we did not get smited. Perhaps there wasn't enough energy.

I fall in love with places so easily. I could see myself living there, but I haven't confirmed that they have any good dim sum, and their produce doesn't seem to be as good as what we get in the Bay. I love walking around all the old church buildings, though, and I love all the greenery. I love that the blocks are so short, and that there's a lot of interesting literature. I love how laid-back it is - time seems so slow and mellow compared to the way it is in San Francisco, where everyone's sort of bouncing off the walls with energy.

We left early to ensure that Mark would get a seat. It was a good thing we did, because less than an hour after we arrived, the people at the gate started informing other stand-by passengers that they were kicked off the flight.
May. 11th, 2006 08:28 pm


toastykitten: (Default)
I got really pissed off reading slashdot today. Man, slashdotters sure are *confident* in their ability to get another job, and in their certainty that people in unions - people like my dad, their nurses, their teachers, their firefighters are just total lazy ass fuckers only in unions so they don't have to do any "real" work.

I think I am a masochist.

I really want to see Death and the Compass for two reasons: 1. It's got Doctor Who in it! 2. It's based on one of my favorite Jorge Luis Borges short stories.

I finished Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler a few days ago. I was on a Butler kick for the past few weeks, rereading the Xenogenesis series, and Wild Seed, then I bought Mind of My Mind. I'm starting to see common threads throughout the two series, and remembered just how much I loved her protagonists - the thing they all have in common is that drive to survive. I remember this being somewhat of an obsession for her; people in her books compromise themselves and their morals a lot, in order to just live.

Right now I'm reading Women Romantic Poets, 1785-1832. It's the era of Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats. Where Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats are all very emotional and idealizing the pastoral and concerned with the "sublime", Women Romantic Poets are overall a pretty hilarious lot, with one moralistic exception. There are poems in the form of Scottish drinking songs, poems about classist prejudices, poems that make fun of the rituals of "romance", and domestic poems about raising babies. The Scottish drinking songs are my favorite so far.

My apartment almost looks clean.
toastykitten: (Default)
Maker Faire was awesome. It was really more of a Nerd Faire, with plenty of people making stuff and selling the things they made. We met the guy who built his own backyard monorail, talked with members of the Bay Area LEGO Users Group aka BayLUG, got a free ReadyMade magazine and a tote bag for the faire, and watched some people who should have been at RenFaire fight and helped Diana Eng and her partner Emily Albinski hand out programs for their fashion show debut (thanks to Blogging Project Runway. I think they should have made more, but who knew how popular the Maker Faire would be? I wish I had brought my camera, but oh well.

There was another fashion show before Black Box Nation, called A Recycled Fashion Show, featuring clothes that had been altered, remade, reused in true DIY fashion. It was very cool, and my favorite part was when one of the designers transformed a boring office outfit onstage with just scissors into something really cute and fashionable.

Edited to flesh this part out:
So Diana is exactly like the way she was on Project Runway - very sweet, soft-spoken, nerdy, sort of spacey, and actually shorter than me. Emily is much the same way, and quite possibly nerdier. Of course I kept a program from Black Box Nation!

The Lineup - the first up were the "biomimetic clothing" - which meant that the clothes themselves could transform into different silhouettes and shapes. One model pulled a shawl out of her purse, another transformed her shirt into a different, cuter shirt by moving a few folds, and the last reversed her black skirt and pinned it up to reveal a bold print underneath.

Next up were the functional jewelry - unfortunately I don't remember what they were, and it was hard to get a good look from where I was. (I need new glasses.)

I'd seen the mathematical knits before - these knits were based on number patterns. The other dress featured a ruffle running down the dress based on the Fibonacci sequence.

Then there was the PCB Radio, which was a bunch of jewelry, when properly adjusted, would turn your head into a radio. Okay, not literally. The necklace became a piece that attached to something else to become an antenna, and these really cute earrings were actually speakers, which you could flip up to become headphones. This Flickr photo explains it better.

There was the heartbeat hoodie, which she used to enter Project Runway. It looked much better now that you could see it close up.

Next up was the mobius strip bag, which unzipped to turn into a bag with a longer handle. (I was kind of hoping that it would actually turn into a bigger bag.)

The next models wore Emily Albinski's jewelry designed from electronic fuses.

Their show featured the famous inflatable dress, which was hacked from a hand vacuum.

It was a lot of fun, and I hope to see more stuff soon!
Dec. 30th, 2005 11:42 pm


toastykitten: (Default)
Am I enough of a geek to qualify for this call for submissions?

I don't code, I've barely learned any HTML or CSS, I glaze over at techspeak, but I discovered the Internet in 8th grade and have been in love ever since. And I fell in love with a geek.
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