mindstalk: (riboku)
[community profile] questionoftheday asks: Does your family have any unique holiday traditions? What's the story behind them?

My answer:

The properly non-standard one was my birthdays when I was a small kid. My parents had created our own maypole, painted and with tassels, and I and other kids would run around under it in a circle. Or something like that; I haven't thought about that in years.

A stronger memory is the food. Instead of cake and ice cream, we would make wontons -- bought the wrappers, but made the stuffing and stuffed and fried them -- and chocolate mousse (two flavors, rum and orange). Compared to most birthday cakes, I feel I got the better deal. Sadly, I never got the recipes for these. I can say that the wontons were much more stuffed any any store ones, bursting with chicken and green onions and what not, vs. the more common "fried dough with some microparticles of meat".

Christmas was Christmas, insofar as atheists have a tree and gifts, though we also did some Hanukah stuff out of some cultural reflex of my mothers. Dreidel, yarmulke, kid me lighting candles and reciting Hebrew I didn't understand or believe in. Eventually that just stopped. Later my father refused to drag a Christmas tree home by foot or bus anymore; my mother was sad but I supported him. We still had gifts and possibly even fruitcake... I don't remember what Christmas meal was, I'd guess roast beef and vegetables most often.

Icon appropriateness: hi

birthday stuff

2017-May-09, Tuesday 21:30
mindstalk: (riboku)
I haven't been good at making birthday plans since moving to Boston, but today was good. I went in to work late, expxloring Malden center instead; the library had been described as distinctive, and it does have an older building, though Cambridge main it's a Franken-building. Unlike Cambridge, you can't even go into the older part right now. I took a picture, but the margin of this post is too small to contain it[1]. I also discovered that Malden and Chelsea are affiliated with BPL, not Minuteman. Checked out a book on Angkor and one on Armenian history, I keep running into Armenians.

Some cheap restaurants present but I didn't feel hungry until right after I'd decided to set out for the station. >.< Like the rest of the Orange line, all the interesting stuff is like 10 minutes from the station.

I found another bug at work, not in my code[2]. This is good insofar as we improve the product and I get a reputation as a magical bug finder.

As it happens, in honor of the release, boss was taking us out to a fancy dinner, so I got a big thing without actually mentioning my birthday. $55 New York strip au poivre medium rare, quite good. Some other food too but it's a steakhouse, steak's where it's at. That's about as much as I've ever paid for an entire meal, back when I was working in SF and getting dragged off to some fancy places rarely. Usually $20 is my cap. But hey, wasn't paying!

Couple of Facebook people went above and beyond and sent cute and/or appropriate pictures with their greetings, and J texted me in lieu of calling, which was good because this wasn't a day for calls.

Oh right, a cute thing at work! I was wearing a Kyuubey shirt I got at Anime Boston this year, the first anime T-shirt I've bought. A guy complimented me on it, then I noticed he was wearing a FMA hoodie -- the complex circle on the front looked suspicious, but the squiggle on the back really gave it away. Demographic note: big black guy.

[1] Or I'm too lazy for my picture transfer workflow.

[2] So far I've barely written any code, apart from a logging module and a Frankenscript, it's been all learning tools and code and testing. And honestly I'd like to keep it that way, until I can read 13,000 lines of code and sort through testing them properly. brrr Python. My ideal gift right now would be a compiler.

Birthday movie

2009-May-10, Sunday 00:35
mindstalk: (juggleface)
On my 7th birthday, I was given 4 Star Trek novels. They were good. On my 34th (today/yesterday, the 9th) I saw the new Star Trek movie, whose name I didn't even catch. It was not. My impression: it was a sequence of dramatic scenes unconstrained by coherence. I liked the aesthetics (though some others didn't), especially of the future ships, one of which made me go "it's the Vorlons!" There were a couple of good Spock lines sending up time travel tropes. But there were a lot of egregious coincidences, and unnecessary tension (kind of like the crumbling-bridge-jumping scene in Moria in the LotR movie, though without the "no one throws a dwarf" extra; you're in fucking Moria, or (spoilered), you don't need to transport into a water tube accidentally for more action. Or you shouldn't.) There was bad physics. There was what I'd call bad biology, and bad planetary defense, and... Yes, it's Star Trek. I find that a poor excuse.

Was it a good Star Trek novel? Ignoring the science, you've still got the weird coincidences. I guess the characters were okay, though no one seemed deep. Some companions complained "it's Star Trek, now with sewers!" and about the clutter in Engineering; I didn't care. But then, I'm not that attached to Trek.

And then there was the characters kissing. They were unexpected.

'Maru' is not pronounced that way, though when I complained S. pointed out that "Hikaru Sulu" doesn't make sense as a Japanese name. The r/l phoneme can be transliterated as r or l but not both...

But hey, I had a good time hanging out, talking about the movie and Moby Dick and CS stuff. I got to natter on again about the infodumps and science-fiction nature in Moby Dick, and realized that my liking non-fiction might be why I often like fake non-fiction.

Birthday stuff

2008-May-10, Saturday 22:55
mindstalk: (riboku)
If life was the Illuminati or CryptNet, I would now be of the highest degree.

Got the usual call from John (he always remembers), and a surprise one from mrs_feltner. Didn't do much else yesterday, but had a small dinner tonight at Bombay House. Out of coffee and tandoori lamb, but the chai and tan. chicken was good, and afterwards people were in my place for the first time since July, perhaps. (Place is a lot more crowded after bringing boxes back from the house.) All the books lying around were good for starting little conversations, though, and lyceum borrowed Uncivil Liberties -- Calvin Trillin being a parental taste I haven't spread around my friends enough, along with Taste of America, and boco's got my Juuni Kokki.

I stayed up to 6am working on the wikip Transhumanism page,so today was pretty much dead between then and dinner time.

Unrelated: the state of the US electrical grid

Dubai construction craziness. I figure crappy outdoors + oil == build lots of indoors. An RPG.net thread discusses how much of that is underpaid near-slave labor.

April 2019

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