Friday, December 30, 2011

We're out for a walk. JP is asleep. We were just passed by one of those original Toyota hybrids, you know, the blue ones that look like the old Corollas. "Rory's here!" I thought. #toomuchgilmoregirls

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Death Comes to Pemberley

I haven't been to the movies in ages... I've been looking for those "mommy and me" dates at a local theater, but haven't had any success. Now that JP is a little older, maybe he could handle a movie (the Muppets might be fun for him). The last movie I watched was "Bridesmaids" on demand, at home. I think the last movie I saw (unfortunately) in the theater was "Avatar." Yikes.

There are a couple of movies I want to see right now - maybe I need to arrange for a babysitter so Patrick and I can have a date night. One of them is "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." I read those books, and even though after awhile I found myself sort of sickened and grossed out by the violence and repulsive events that took place in them (and disappointed by how badly they were either written or translated... no offense but Steig Larsson was not a great writer), I think what kept me reading was how obviously made for the movies they were. Even though I thought they were clunky and gross, I was able to see the story unfold... just like a movie.

When I found out that Daniel Craig had been cast in the movie, I thought - not who I imagined, but still, perfect (I can't even remember who I thought would be good, so they obviously chose the perfect actor).

Anyway, I was reading the NY Times review of the movie, and this paragraph jumped out at me.
It must be said that Mr. Fincher and the screenwriter, Steven Zaillian, manage to hold on to the vivid and passionate essence of the book while remaining true enough to its busy plot to prevent literal-minded readers from rioting. (There are a few significant changes, but these show only how arbitrary some of Larsson’s narrative contrivances were in the first place.)
Usually when I see a movie adapted from a beloved book, my first reaction is Oh, God, what are they going to change (read: ruin)? It's like casting skinny-ass Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett: wrong in every way. Her version of Eliza Bennett will never, ever satisfy me (Eliza has weight to her! No, I don't mean she's FAT, I mean, she's not some wispy girl in a dirty petticoat. She has stature, confidence, a sense of humor. I know Eliza Bennett almost as well as I know my own sister, and Keira Knightly, sweetie, YOU are no Eliza Bennett!). But everything I've seen about these movies indicates that they might've even made the story make more sense. Better, maybe. I'd like to find out.

Speaking of Jane Austen, there's a new book by P.D. James (who I've missed, somehow) called "Death Comes to Pemberley," and unlike the HORRIBLE "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" book (which I read, and hated, and no, it's not because I don't think anyone should mess with Jane Austen, it's just that I think if you're going to mess with Jane Austen, you should do it WELL), this one looks seriously good.

Monday, December 19, 2011


How is it that IT people take normal words and then assign foreign (bizarre!) concepts to them? No wonder I'm confused. I was just asked the following:

Q. Is your machine static?
A. Why would I know that?

Q. Do you know who manages your machine?
A. Again: why would I know that?

Q. Is it a brick?
A. If by "brick," do you mean is it a piece of pretty but useless technology, then no. Or if you mean, is it a rectangular piece of ceramic material, then also: no. Or, if you mean, a brick like the girl in the Ben Folds song "Brick" (and I'm drowning slowly...), then, maybe. Because this whole thing has become a pain in my butt.

Question: Who owns the destination host?

A: How the hell should I know?

(Actually, of course I know who owns the destination host. This is one of the easy questions.)

Oh, man! I am trapped in form hell! I have to fill out a form from our IT group (or, I should say, from some dude from some section with a name only another IT person could understand, in our IT group)... I have to fill out this form because of a new program we're implementing in January, which requires technical things to occur.

So this program was finally installed on my computer (and that in itself was interesting, but I will tell you that I did it myself, with minimal assistance from any IT person! Yay for me, right?), but of course we have now hit this snag, which someone (me? I don't think so!) should've known about before. The things I need to do could actually also be done by using a secure website, however, doing it that way is more complicated than doing it through the little program (program!) on my computer. Believe me, you do not want this process to be any more complicated than it already is. I want it to work. The way it is supposed to work. I want to start using the program (program!) before I forget all the stuff I was trained to do!

Only, in order for my computer to share information with their computers, I have to bypass... stuff. It requires our IT group to open some ports, man.

Apparently opening ports is akin to letting the wolves in, because they seem to be verrrrrrry reluctant to do it.

Anyway, the IT guy who was helping me from the organization who owns the program (see? I told you I know who that is) told me exactly what to ask for, which I did, in an email, however, our IT guy requires me to fill out his form, which asks for all the same information I already gave him, just... on this form. And I really don't know what the hell I am doing.

Listen to this (from the IT guy who was helping me from the organization who owns the Program):

"If you find this to be too difficult to do [is he making a joke?], you can always manually upload and download from the website using HTTPS, which is on port --- for (https://.....). You can also use a third party software to move data using FTP over SSH using port xx and we can install an SSH key if you have one to get into your account."

This is the EASY solution? Third party software? What?

Anyway, I just called our IT guy, who has been emailing me all morning ("all morning" = twice) but wouldn't you know it, he's away from his desk now, so I get to stew for a while and contemplate why IT and the rest of us can never seem to communicate. Look, I sometimes know what I'm doing when it comes to this tech type stuff, but this is way beyond my, as they say, "ken." It's like I asked for a bandaid and they're telling me I need to request major surgery on parts of my body I'd never heard of.

Anyway, I'd better go. I have to figure out what type of servers they are (where?) and if they're Windows or Linux. Why would I know that? Did I get a tour? This is frustrating. And what the hell does FQDN stand for?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Powered by... sugar

I drove most of the way to work behind a gray 1980s-era Toyota Corolla. I can't find a picture of it (in all honesty, I only looked for about 30 seconds) but it was some sort of hatchback, or maybe they made a wagon, I don't know (from behind, all cars with that squared off shape look hatchback-y). The thing was labeled "1.8 power." I don't know what that means (I'm sure it refers to the engine... capacity?) but "1.8 power" doesn't really sound that impressive. Would 2.0 power be better? 1.8... couldn't handle that extra .2, huh. Maybe then the thing would've shaken itself to pieces. I rode in a couple of those Corollas in the 80s, and I remember even then they were kind of... rattly.

I thought about that for quite awhile as we poked our way down the 710. Maybe I should've learned a trade and been an auto mechanic; then these things wouldn't be such mysteries to me. My brother is a bus mechanic, motorized bike builder, motorcycle afficionado; this stuff could be in my blood, who knows? I might've been a good auto mechanic...

I couldn't see the driver's face but from my vantage point (behind him; daydreamy), I convinced myself that he looked a bit like Mr. Zarna, the 10th grade Spanish teacher who never quite sold me on pronouncing V's like B's. I wonder what happened to that guy, with his weird combover and ratty black blazer? I'm sure giving me (one of the few actual Mexicans in his class; I think he was from Spain) a D was the highlight of his teaching career. I've talked about this before, but I just never got over the feeling that I sounded stupid when I spoke Spanish; that a lot of the time I was circling around backwards to describe another word, that my brain could only move in one direction. And my lack of accent made me a target, I think, too. It was kind of like when the flute choir tries to "swing," but less successful (because the flute choir practices and I never did). 

Anyway, after awhile, a baby blue Toyota Camry (with the A and the Y missing), probably late 1990s, cut in between us, and my little trip back in time was cut short. That particular model of car (all Camry's actually, and I say this as an owner of a 2004 Honda Accord, a very similar vehicle) inspires zero imagination, so I turned up my iPod and concentrated on getting to work more or less on time.  

Thankfully yesterday's oil tanker explosion on the 60 hasn't yet impacted my commute; I got to work faster than usual, even, and going home last night was pretty easy, too. I feel for all the people (like a few of my friends at work) who will be stuck. We'll have to wait and see how long it takes to get home tonight.

Anyway, when I got to work, one of my co-workers brought in pan dulce for everyone, so I just learned something more practical than anything we ever learned from Mr. Zarna: I was informed me that the type of pan dulce I usually enjoy is called concha (actually, I think I knew that). Also there's that one that looks like a pig, called puerquito. So cute!

I've never had "Pan de Muerto" - is that the kind you
give to the people you don't like?
So here I go, starting my day fueled by sugar and half a cherry Pepsi leftover from yesterday. I'm kind of 1.8 powered myself, now.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Update on the ticket thing, with visual aids

 Original post, here. 

This ticket is not up to my exacting standards.
Note the hand cut edges--!
The hair, well, that's as good as it gets.
2008's tickets were classy, dignified.
Thought was given to color and spacing.

I can't find any tickets for 2009. Was there a party? Did I make the tickets? Did that year just evaporate completely?

2010's tickets were fun and bold.
They kept changing the name of the event on me.