Nov 28, 2008

gluttony: curbed

Posted by Mary |

Unlike some ex-boyfriends of mine, I did not go overboard on Thanksgiving. Dinner at Kevin's was a delightful potluck. I don't mean to sound egotistical, but I always feel bad when people bring desserts. Especially if they are calling their dish Bananas Foster when it is, in fact, friend bananas. I know Bananas Foster. I have made Bananas Foster. And that, sir, is no Bananas Foster. I did get a marriage proposal after just one cupcake. That might be a personal record.

What is it about midgets that is so sexy?

After feasting, people kept rearranging their configurations in the apartment to better facilitate naps. Soon a plan formed to get the ingredients for White Russians and go to Hans and Eddie's place to watch The Big Lebowski. That certainly sounded like a good plan, but dammit, there were family traditions to uphold! And that, dear readers, is how Tom and I came to be at the movie theater, settling in for some Bond.

Oh, James. Why did this movie have to try to carry over plot from the previous film? I treasure all Bond movies as standalone experiences. If you've never seen any Bond before, you should be able to pick one at random and not be expected to know characters. (Yes, there's Bond and M, but those are so easy to figure out that they don't count.) However, the film earned extra points for having a foot chase, a car chase, a boat chase and a plane chase. And as soon as they showed the hotel that was powered by hydrogen fuel cells, Tom leaned over to tell me that it would blow up real good. It did blow up real good indeed. It goes against my female nature, but I do love it when shit blows up.

And on the subject of movies, I find it very difficult to be a movie goer in this town. I am not going to waste my time on shit like Madagascar 2. But there's only one real movie theater, so unless Adam decides to get certain films at the Loon, I'm kind of screwed. Here is a list of movies I demand to see: The Road; Synecdoche, New York; Slumdog Millionaire.

Nov 26, 2008

let the feeding frenzy begin

Posted by Mary |

On my way into Manhattan for Thanksgiving with Amy. Sometime in the mid to late 90s.

You know what I’m thankful for this year? Finding a box of my old photos and scanning some of them in. I could only find the negatives from a lot of the arty “I only shoot in black and white” days, so those will have to wait. But expect a few gems every now and then.

The holidays are here. I know that starting tomorrow morning there will be at least one radio station playing nothing but Christmas music. And thus I am doubly thankful that I have not only an iPod, but also a car with a working cd player. Fred Meyer seems to have decided that cinnamon is the official smell of Christmas. They’ve had their holiday display up for weeks, and the overwhelming smell turns my stomach.

Last night I went into a full-on frenzy of baking. The three desserts are done, though the cupcakes still need to be frosted. I’ll do that tomorrow morning. Although it is only Wednesday, tonight counts as a weekend night. I’ve got class until 8:30, and then I expect to meet up with Trista and Dara, ending up at the Marlin for open mic night.

At some point this weekend, I’d like to uphold family tradition and go see the new Bond movie. I’ve already declared Saturday to be a fancy shoes night with the sci fi/Bollywood group. I claimed desserts, since I imagine I might have some left over after Thanksgiving.

The final thing I am thankful for is Miss Leah Hill. She was eating her breakfast at drag rehearsal on Sunday. I had never thought of a bagel with goat cheese and bacon, but it does contain three of my favorite things: bread, goat cheese and bacon. I finally went to Lulu’s and ordered one this morning. OMFG. Good stuff.

Nov 23, 2008

heard at drag show dance rehearsal

Posted by Mary |

I had organic free range eggs for breakfast.
I had a hangover and regrets.

The irony is that I intended to just go to a reading and then a beer tasting at the Pub. If I had intended to then go on to two smoky bars, I would not have worn my lovely new fur coat. To top it off, I had to go to drag show rehearsal at 11 a.m. today and do a LOT of spins for one routine. Lesson learned.

At the reading, I did finally nail down where I am going for Thanksgiving dinner. I had tried to convince Tom we should go volunteer at a soup kitchen, mostly so we could get free deep-fried turkey. Now, it seems, I will be joining some English grad students for dinner at Kevin's place. I adore Kevin, so it should be an interesting evening. The baking will start in earnest on Tuesday night. Our arctic entry is just about the right temperature to keep some things chilled.

Nov 20, 2008

to shoe or not to shoe?

Posted by Mary |

The stock market keeps plunging, and I’m alternating between calculating my losses for this year and wanting to throw more money into it. But, for the foreseeable future, my money is going toward land and building a house. I got a promotion and pay raise, which kind of translates into “Mary is a grown up now,” plus I’ve been in Alaska almost 6 years now. It’s time to settle down.

So what did I do with my newfound wealth? New Fluevogs? I wish! No, I set up a high APY savings account that automatically sucks money from my bank every time my paycheck gets deposited. I figured I was living comfortably on what I earned before, so ALL of my raise, plus some extra, goes away every other week. I feel so mature. And I still wish I had new Fluevogs. Specifically, these:

Hotness, right?

Strange things are afoot in Alaska. For instance, last night I found myself flirting with two guys. Well, technically I was flirting with three, but two of them were simultaneous. It was a delightfully awkward situation. Tonight my troupe must decide if we will continue our domination of the Fairbanks dance scene by assimilating a new dancer, Borg-style. And tomorrow night I am going to check out a new restaurant, go see Laramie Project and just maybe coax someone to my sauna.

Nov 18, 2008

t-minus 9 days

Posted by Mary |

I'm doing desserts for Thanksgiving. No, I mean I'm doing desserts. Like Martha Stewart on a bender. Like Betty Crackwhore. I'm planning on no less than three dessert options. I even found a cupcake stand at Value Village. It was $0.99, of course I bought it!

Speaking of $0.99 day at Value Village, someone scored herself a new fur coat. It fits with my aesthetic, but I can't wear it to the bars because then it will smell. I've not yet figured out how to get the smell of smoke or fried foods out of dead animals.

And speaking of new things (you follow my train of random thoughts?), I have a new computer. Just a cute lil' thing with 1 TB of hard drive space. Nothing to write home about. Dual processors, 8 cores, nothing fancy. This also means an upgrade to Leopard, which I am thus far not a fan of.

Confidential note to NB: It's not creepy to read my blog. Blogging just makes stalking easier!

Nov 11, 2008

the candy is telling me bad things

Posted by Mary |

I thought that Dove Promises were supposed to contain words of encouragement. You know, sappy shit about the light within. The instructor has been giving these out as our prizes, and my candy has been encouraging inappropriate behavior.

"naughty can be nice"
"there's a time for compromise. it's called later"

I'm such a brown-noser. I'm in a training class all week, and the teacher is handing out chocolate if we answer questions correctly. I am already the sort of person who always has her hand up first and desperately wants to be right. I don't necessarily need the chocolate encouragement. But just for the record, I'm currently kicking the collective ass of the rest of the class. I even gave away one answer to Jeff Fay today. No sense in making it a total sweep.

Another department at UAF organized the class, and ARSC got to send me for free by providing the classroom space, computers and software. Tom Wolsky is teaching us Final Cut Pro. I have dabbled with the program a bit before, but always defaulted to iMovie for video editing because it's much easier. Much easier, but also much more limited. 

This class is blowing my mind. We'll be here for 40 hours this week. I left after the first 8 hours thinking that I had just gotten a really good grasp of the program, and now we're cruising lightyears ahead. Of particular joy to me today was creating a multiclip. In short, you can take up to 128 different camera angles, sync them up to a shared point (such as a clapperboard or call for action) and then mush them all into one clip. Once they're all synced up in one clip, you just click back and forth between the angles you want for any particular time. Back in Ye Olde Days, I would have to trim each camera clip down to the particular angle I wanted and try to align its end point with a clip from another angle, hoping that I had them synced up properly. No more of that nonsense! Now, how can I work clapperboards into our choreography?

Nov 6, 2008

heard in the office kitchen

Posted by Mary |

What we need is a "Men of ARSC" calendar.
If we're going to try to sell them to other
supercomputing people, don't you think
we ought to go with a "Women of ARSC" calendar?



Posted by Mary |

Once again, I say that you always learn something at the Marlin.

Tonight I learned that:

a) I still like to smoke clove cigarettes. Don't worry, I didn't actually smoke one. I just kept grabbing Sean's Djarum. Does this mean I'm a smoker again?

b) No matter how smooth he talks, don't let a man buy you a "Bloody Mary martini." It is NO substitute for a dirty martini.

c) They still remember the wee top hat. Oh yes, they do!

Nov 5, 2008

a word

Posted by Mary |

Thanks, America. It feels good not to be totally disenfranchised anymore.

Nov 3, 2008

weekend: the synopsis

Posted by Mary |

Halloween should never be on a Friday. It's dangerous. But I put some work into my costume this year, so I couldn't not go out.

Dara and James interfered with my plans to nap after work on Friday, so I didn't get my pre-party rest. After dinner, we decided to go to a party at a drummer's house, which was conveniently located across the street from the Marlin. Since the car was so conveniently parked, I walked across the street to partake of the Marlin for a bit. It was disconcerting to see other people in costume there. That's the downside to being a random costume wearer - sometimes it's not just you and your friends.

Although I had plans to go to the Loon, I found myself still at the Marlin at 2:30. I opted to just go home at that point.

On Saturday night, I went to Tom's house to get ready for Dead Writers. The Cliff Notes: English grad students dress up as dead writers and read their works. Somehow this turns into a lot of topless performances.

Just to be clear, he was undressing and rubbing himself
while reading from an old car repair manual.

Tom was a very smashing Noah Webster, reading from the dictionary. Nerd. I think the cravat I made for him really made the outfit.

Dead Writers was followed by Latin dancing, which was, in turn, followed by the Oasis. Tom and I ran into some actor friends there, and then I kind of sort of accidentally maybe invited his ex-girlfriend to meet us at the bar. In a roundabout fashion. For which I've apologized.

Sunday was a day for rest. After starting a fire and installing a door closer on the sauna, we had dinner and went out for some quality sweating time. And now it's back to work and to the mad rush to get everything packed up and out the door for Supercomputing Convention 2008. Ugh.