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18th-Oct-2014 11:30 pm - Tact
RuPaul Wha?
The actor that we work with is not known for his tact.

Today I spent an overly-long time having to convince him that, when you're telling someone, "You look really good!" it is NOT necessary to (and in fact, you should NOT) add "for your age!"

The debate raged: He thought that without the caveat it wouldn't be sincere. I argued that if your first impulse is to tell someone they look good, it's not necessary to add caveats.
17th-Oct-2014 05:29 pm - Cartography
Monkey kisses
Historical cartographers of ye olden days really did modern times a disservice, because I'm pretty sure people STILL think Africa is the size of the U.S. or smaller. Which, of course, it is not.

I just reminded someone today that banning all travel from "Africa" to curb the "spread" of Ebola is as useful as banning all U.S. travel if something were going down in Brazil.

Africa is huge, man. They don't even realize. A friend was telling me that it took him 10 hours on a normal, commercial jet to fly from Cairo to Nairobi a few years back. That's not even half the span of the continent north-south. (It takes an hour LESS to fly from Minneapolis to London.)

People need to stop freaking out, already. Do they even science?
13th-Oct-2014 09:50 pm - Horrified
I turned on the TV in preparation for scanning. For some reason the TV was on the TLC channel. 19 Kids and Counting is on.

There's nothing about their "courting" ritual for their kids that doesn't horrify me.

Not even KISSING someone before you marry them? No. Stupid. No. No. No.
One of the "parameters" they set in their dating was deciding not to hold hands yet.

I watched for about 5 minutes and I couldn't take it anymore.

Though it did make me momentarily feel MUCH better about my life choices.
13th-Oct-2014 01:53 am - Television
ST:TNG Rocking out
I finished Veronica Mars.

I'm sad that it was so short. Not Firefly short, but still. There were places to go with it, yet.

It's weird watching canceled shows years after they've been canceled. The righteous indignation is fresh, but the wound is old and any other fans have already dealt with it by now.

I started re-watching Star Trek: TNG (a girl's gotta watch something while scanning massive quantities of old pictures, and it feels like I've seen TOS much more recently).

I forgot about the DeForest Kelley cameo in the pilot.
Not many things have been making me overly emotional in pregnancy (I expected more burst-into-tears moments by now, frankly), but the cameo made me tear up. "She'll always get you home."

Weirdest emotional outburst yet.

So what else should I watch (that might be new to me)? I've never seen Voyager or Deep Space Nine or Enterprise. Or maybe there's another show that I can become attached to years after its premature cancellation (*sigh* Firefly). I really enjoyed the smartness and lightness of Veronica Mars.
12th-Oct-2014 02:50 am - Made stuff
Monkey kisses
No laces yet, but I made stuff:

The cat is helping.

Also these:

Baby booties of Hyrule from the Legend of Zelda. That pattern was super simple. I added the crest of Hyrule for fun. I haven't embroidered since I was a kid. It kind of came back, though the number of diverse stitches is embarrassing. I would start with one and then remember that another was better.
8th-Oct-2014 09:23 pm - Why why why.
Bob N Phone
Why does one outlet in this room not charge my computer, but instead just makes crackly-electric sounds when I plug stuff into it? THIS IS TOTALLY SAFE I'M SURE.

Why can't Orlando figure out that their use of a/c is unreasonable? I called hotel maintenance. People can't reconcile the idea that I can deal with Minnesota-cold, but I cannot stand hot-climate-a/c use.

Why was my dinner of a fruit cup and shrimp cocktail (4 pieces) over $40?

Why does having to make the switch from regular jeans to maternity jeans make me feel like a failure? This makes no sense and yet it does.

Why are decent and cute maternity clothes so damned hard to find, and why does absolutely nothing fit me right, right now?

So many LifeQuestions.
3rd-Oct-2014 11:53 am - Crafty!
ST:TNG Rocking out
It is a thing: Whenever I tackle a new project, I tend to be overly ambitious and disinclined to follow the rules exactly.

See also my baking philosophy: "I've never made this before, but I bet it would be really good with a pinch of cardamom...[or cayenne, or nutmeg, or whatever]." (Or cooking: Because what DOESN'T need more spice? Recipe-schmesipe.)

I procured this pattern, thinking it would be fun and awesome to do:

Because it's felt and basic sewing and I TOTALLY have time for another project, right?

Cough. Cough.

Not only that, but I find that it has a lack of female characters (Where the heck is Troi? Beverly Crusher? Guinan? Tasha Yar, even?) and is only Next-Gen. So I've designed a few things of my own for extra pages (i.e. Cover Kirk in Tribbles, Help Uhura place a call, Find Data's cat Spot, Transport Troi, Help Guinan serve everyone drinks, Make tea [Earl Grey, Hot] for Captain Picard, What's the Stardate?, etc.).

I'm all excited about doing it. But the base project is already pretty complex for a beginner. I don't know why I've made more work for myself except for I ALWAYS DO.

I will never, ever, ever learn.

I should also iron and cut up my grandpa's old flannel plaid shirts for the makings of a (VERY VERY SIMPLE) baby quilt/blanket.

Oh, and I have wooden spools that I was going to paint and string.

And I have a bird mobile that I was going to make out of my grandma's vintage fabric scraps.

Ambitious. Argh.
2nd-Oct-2014 12:50 pm - Aquatennial
Fred and Ginger Dance
I love this picture of my grandpa.
He was the Senior Commodore for the Aquatennial in 1991.

As he described it: The first time he came to Minnesota in the 40s (before shipping out to Europe for WWII), his MN soldier friend took him to see the Aquatennial parade. When the war was over, he thought he'd go back to Minnesota to visit his friend and maybe see about a girl. (My grandmother, who he had met in San Antonio while stationed there. He had NO intention of staying in MN. He wanted to go back home to Virginia.) 50-some years later he was waving at the girl from the parade float...and beside her their three kids and 6 (at the time) grand kids.

I like this picture because even though he's clearly waving at the camera, here, this is just how he looked. The smile wasn't put-on at all. He was really that friendly and jolly with laughing eyes.
29th-Sep-2014 11:01 pm - tree
Monkey kisses

I came home to find that a good chunk of our tree (that had been hanging over the neighbor's yard) has been cut down.

It's a weird surprise.

On one hand, it needed to be trimmed away from their power lines for sure and it's a junk tree anyway.
On the other hand, who the hell cuts a big part of someone's tree down without telling or asking them first?

If it was the city or power company I'm assuming we would have gotten some notice. So it's likely the neighbor deciding to do it.

I mean, it's fine. But I'm going to be pissed if she sends us a bill later.
I'm upset on principle, not on fact. If she just decided to do it and won't try to charge us, she actually did us a favor.
Seriously though. How do you not tell someone you're de-limbing their tree in a major way?

24th-Sep-2014 01:20 pm - Pricing
Resort pricing tutorial:
All things are expensive, period.

I mean. It just is. It's not even worth any outrage anymore.
If I were to drink a 12oz bottle of water from my room (and you would have to, since the tap water tastes and smells like raw sewage here), that would be $6 plus tax and mandatory GRATUITY. (Because, you know, someone has to restock your room eventually.)

I cringed as I drank an $8 bottle of orange juice. However, the snack table had the same orange I swiped an extra bottle to replace my minibar bottle.

Orange juice was, of course, not included in the breakfast buffet (the day we were on our own for breakfast), so it was $4 in the restaurant per glass.

At the on-property steakhouse, I got a shrimp dish. It was $30. There were two shrimps. No sides or accompaniment. Just two shrimps with a swirl of sauce. It was the cheapest thing on the menu.

Every time I travel I should go out to eat immediately afterward. Even top restaurants in MSP-proper are super reasonable sounding in comparison.

The thing is...there's nowhere to go. You could take a $40 cab ride out somewhere and back, I suppose, but it's the middle of the desert. Where are you going to eat if not at the resort?
23rd-Sep-2014 03:31 pm - Vitamin d
Monkey kisses
Phoenix is either stupid-hot or stupid-cold (their a/c preferences are...overzealous).

I have a few hour pause in the action, so I'm sitting on my balcony in the sun. It's hot, but sun!

I know, I know. But I'm getting vitamin d. FOR THE BABY. ;)
20th-Sep-2014 03:56 pm - Phoenix
Monkey kisses
Oh Phoenix. I did not miss a single thing about you, truly.

I walked through the airport, and every time I reached another part, it was like: ugh. This again.

I craved something sweet and purchased an unintentionally enormous pack of sweet tarts and a pack of gummy bears from the hotel gift shop. They were 6$ together, but they'll last me the week. I opened them. I decided to see where our ballroom would be. I accidentally stumbled upon the Team Beachbody elite leadership conference.

I stood in the doorway for a while eating candy and looking decidedly un-beachbodyish right now before realizing that I was conspicuous.

One of these things was not like the other...and that thing was me.

I gave zero fucks. Sweet Tarts are delicious.
12th-Sep-2014 11:38 am - Adult
Bourdain Monster
I do not want to do any of the things today.
I did all the things all the other days this week, and now there are more things to do? Can't I just bask in the glow of having done those difficult things for a while?

I guess that's what being an adult is. You still have to do more of the things even when you've done a lot of the things.
11th-Sep-2014 08:17 am - MPR
Monkey kisses

Last night I had a dream that I was guest hosting segments for MPR/NPR in front of a huge audience. It was at the state fair, so people kept bringing me fair food. It was a big stage in a tented auditorium. It was awesome, and I was doing a really good job. My beloved grandfather came to see me and was proud of me. (He is dead IRL.)

I got to guest host Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. Dudes! It was a cool dream.

2nd-Sep-2014 02:58 pm - Anonymous Gift
Monkey kisses
Today, at work, I received this shirt:

The Notorious RBG maternity shirt. I have no idea who sent it--the gift receipt in the package was anonymous. Derrick disavows knowledge. I had it on a few wishlists (Amazon, Pinterest) and I'm sure I've mentioned how cool I think it is to a few the giver is rather up in the air.

Anyway, it's awesome. :)
And surprise presents from anonymous people are awesome, too.
29th-Aug-2014 09:26 pm - State Fare
Wild Thing
I ate the following things today:

• Blue cheese corn fritters
• Macaroons (half of one)
• Cheese curds
• Walleye mac 'n' cheese
• Corn on the cob (MINE ALL MINE)
• Fresh strawberries and whipped cream (MINE ALL MINE)
• Cider pop (MINE ALL MINE)
• Fresh apple
• Lobster roll (just a very small taste)
• Deep fried buckeyes

Which wasn't really too much considering that, save where noted, everything was split three ways and we didn't finish everything even then. We threw out the walleye mac & cheese after a few bites each. It wasn't BAD, but fish and cheese just aren't a great combo. The deep fried buckeyes (peanut butter, chocolate and batter with a strawberry dip) were great but WAY rich. The lobster roll was good, but I was too full to do more than taste some of my sister's at that point.

I filled up on things that were mostly...not THAT bad for me. Corn on the cob, strawberries and cream, apple and apple cider pops. . . I feel like I should have had some cookies-to-go or something, but it started to pour and the prospect of carrying home any other food that I had wanted wasn't appealing. I was looking forward to the deep-fried pickles and the corn ice cream (or a dairy building caramel apple shake), but started to POUR* and eating food in the pouring rain sort of ruins the experience.

*There is nothing like Minnesotans in a shared miserable experience. Once everyone realized they were going to get soaked, it became everyone's favorite cheerful thing to talk to strangers about. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, YO.

P.S. The LJ app is ass now. I knew this and had planned to avoid the upgrade. I selected "upgrade all" without thinking last night. Damn. Because it's totally unusable. Everyone was right.
28th-Aug-2014 07:41 pm - A little fun.
Coppertone Girl

I was chatting with a born-and-bred Texan friend today. He was commenting on my pregnancy. Apologizing profusely beforehand, he told me what he used to say about pregnant women:

"Looks like someone tried to put a little fun in her and she took it serious."

That's so...Texas.

28th-Aug-2014 05:26 pm - TV series
Wild Thing
This last weekend, while D was sick with the plague (seriously--body aches, chills, digestive issues...the whole bit...probably Ebola...), I scanned photos and started binge-watching Veronica Mars. (There's really nothing else to do while scanning through mountains of old photos. It is tedium.)

That I had never seen it before will surprise absolutely no one since, apparently, I'm next-to-amish when it comes to my historical media consumption. ;)

It came out in 2004, so I was in college and probably didn't have a lot of time to watch it.

But dudes! It's really good! Like Mystery Buffy. Only not quite. But it kind of has that same feel. I wish it had been on when I was in high school. It's a show I would have loved (and needed) then.

After I'm done with that, I think I'll watch Dark Angel. Same story--haven't watched it.
I'm still slowly working through Angel...but I had kind of burned out a tiny bit after watching ALL of Buffy in a very compressed period of time.

Torchwood, too, is being metered out in small doses after going through NuWho at a breakneck pace.

I just watched all the original Arrested Developments (verdict: amusing/great-not-spectacular). I would watch the new stuff too, but Netflix is so awful on our Wii that it can take an hour to decide it wants to work.

I should get into Once Upon a Time, too.

And, you know, I'm only the millionth person to say this...but I really wish there had been more Firefly.
25th-Aug-2014 11:33 am - Doctor Who: The 12th
Monkey kisses
May contain spoilers ahead so....cutty-cut-cut for discussionCollapse )

As a broader general complaint, I don't understand the inclination to make romantic relationships/entanglements with The Doctor and his companions. The first time they did it with 9/10 and Rose, it was kind of nice because it was totally fresh--a new angle. The fact that every companion afterward either had to fall in love with the Doctor: Martha, (Martha...oh, how they ruined Martha, my favorite companion before the contrived fall-in-love-with-the-Doctor plot...which felt very forced), Kylie Minogue from the special, Amy Pond, River Song, Clara or there was confusion about romantic intent at first because why wouldn't a companion fall in love with the Doctor? (Donna.)

It just not necessary. And it becomes distracting and takes away from the fun when it becomes central to the plot.

And Steven Moffat? Confusing and riddled-with-continuity/plot holes does NOT make an episode more "interesting" or mysterious. The last season was sort of a head-scratcher all around because lots of things just *were* and were supposed to be big and mysterious...but they weren't explained or justified.

And, Steven Moffat? I'm taking your women away from you if you can't play with them nicely and know, like they're actually human beings instead of props.
15th-Aug-2014 04:50 pm - The Giver
Family Guy--Accusing Monkey
It's super cliche to see a movie trailer and whine about how it's nothing like the book and you hateitalready because BOOK.

I'm always torn between thinking this is valid criticism and thinking that it's pointless and whiny. On one hand, if a book is something you love it is disappointing to see major changes that screw with that thing you love. Especially disappointing if those changes aren't BETTER or equally as good. On the other hand, a movie is not a book--there are things that you just can't accomplish in a movie that you can in a book. You don't have that languid reading time for movie-viewers to relax into your narrative. It's lazy to say something is bad just because the book was better.

I thought that, while they had subtle changes and direction shifts, the Lord of the Rings movies and the Harry Potter movies were pretty good examples of books-to-movies. A lot of the Jane Austin book-based movies are quite good and faithful to the spirit of the books. I liked Atonement and The English Patient much better as movies than as books (in a rare twist from the usual convention). I didn't even mind Ender's Game, frankly, because I'm not quite sure how they were supposed to stuff in OSC's long-winded political diatribes that are basically sibling conversations. And I thought how they did the giant-videogame-test was very cool.

The Hobbit, on the other hand, irritated me because the direction to have them being CHASED the entire time to get them to "go" is completely moot when they were on a quest to "go" anyway. That, and Peter Jackson seemed hell-bent on connecting it to his LOTR opus...and it doesn't enrich the experience in the way you'd expect it to.

That all being said, from everything I've heard and seen--The Giver looks like it absolutely obliterates the original point of the book. Which was that society is its own nefariousness--it bends to the arc of conformity. The rebellion is quiet and personal--and even encouraged as the main character's role of the new memory keeper. The Giver movie, however, is all Teen Dystopian SuperAction Movie with a clear villainous presence, an open rebellion, and even a love triangle thrown in for funzies.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I will STILL see it. Because even if it's a disappointment overall (or it leaves me whining "The book was SOOOOO much better than the movie!"), it's still a treat to see all the characters you know and like from the book coming to life in a movie. So even though book readers whine about their favorite books being masticated beyond recognition into movies, they STILL don't want them to stop making said movies. Because there's always that chance that there will be a wholly satisfying experience that makes you go back and read the book...then watch the movie again...then go back and read the book in this weird book-to-film-to-book masturbatory reading and watching cycle.
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