28 February 2007

Oh My Darling, Oh My Darling

My Better Half put some clementines in our most recent grocery delivery, because she knows i am crazy for the little guys. This batch is particularly good -- little seedless bundles of sweet, juicy goodness that pop right out of their skin.

Grocery delivery services are pretty awesome, too.

Pizza Time

My Better Half loves loves loves loves loves her some pizza. She was working late last night, and didn't feel like coming home to her bumbler half's reheated vegetables, so we rendezvoused at Lil' Frankie's in the East Village. They make some fine Italian-style pizza, worlds away from the two sad-sack delivery joints near our home.

I think we eat at Frankie's almost as often now as when we lived a few blocks away.

26 February 2007

Busy Weekend

Met up for dinner with My Better Half and friends Abby and Josh in the East Village, where MBH and i used to live for a short time. (I love Brooklyn, but i still miss the East Village. Well, until i see someone who manages to look pretentious while riding a skateboard; that can be a buzzkill.) Plan A was Momofuku Ssam Bar, which turned out to be a silly plan -- people were crammed in there like sardines. In light of that, Plan B, Momofuku Noodle Bar, was extra silly. (Each had recently been favorably reviewed in the Times.) Plan C worked out spectacularly, though: Kasadela, Japanese small plates and sake. One highlight was "spicy winter vegetable miso soup", a kind of rich vegetable stew with just enough spiciness to be warming on a cold night. (Thanks to Josh for plans A-C.)

Friends Keith and Beth fired up their go-mobile and we four motored over the bridge to see the LA Art fair. It was mostly "enh", but the fairs tend to be fun, at least for the first hour. Nice dinner (homemade for the first time in what seems like ages) with K&B and their super-lovable dog Lucy.

We met up again with A&J along with friend Shira, this time to see PULSE. In general we liked the work at PULSE more than at LA Art, and we stopped and chatted at Richard Levy Gallery's booth, because they're really nice and represent our friend Teo González. MBH and i picked out a Lia Halloran ink-on-vellum piece that looks something like this one.

Then teamwork happened. MBH applied Josh's Friday Plan A to current conditions and produced Plan Awesome: Momofuku Ssam for lunch! That really made me wish i was back in the East Village.

After lunch, it was back to LA Art; MBH had decided to pull the trigger on a new Kahn & Selesnick photograph we had seen the day before. Like models of art-procurement efficiency we had it wrapped, out the door, and in a taxi before i could grumble about the price.

And then K&B&L were back, this time to watch a DVD: Gotham Fish Tales, which MBH had picked up in a jewelry store in the East Village. Highly recommended if you like fishing, New York City, or quirky little documentaries about interesting people.

Three trips to the little island in one weekend: that's a lot for me these days! (MBH is there all the time now since she got a job over there.)

23 February 2007

Bigfoot Deniers Society

When pressed on the subject, i describe myself as "not religious" rather than "atheist", despite the label's applicability. Once in a while this seems to confuse some people, but i guess it's an issue of self-definition -- where i fit on the theist/not-theist axis isn't part of how i think of myself, at least in general. I mean, i wouldn't join an atheist club except as a kind of joke.

Today's Cat and Girl puts it nicely.

We Went To The Opera...

...and it was OK.

Last night My Better Half and i saw La Traviata at the Met; it was the first time either of us had seen a complete opera performed in an actual opera house. Unfortunately, i have to disappoint various people who seem to think it's my responsibility to get into opera. Orchestral music doesn't do much for me, i prefer my stage dialogue spoken (preferably in a language i understand), and the much-vaunted emotional content of the work is pretty much lost on me through the stilted form. Clearly there are enough people who feel differently to pack the house, and it seems a shame for me to take one of their seats.

In fact, i was getting pretty bored during the first half. But then we got to Flora's crazy party, and things really picked up -- some dance, some humor, and a lot of spectacle. Maybe we should pick something a little livelier to see next time; MBH really enjoyed the whole show, so i'm sure we'll be back from time to time even if i'm not cut out to be a regular opera-goer.

22 February 2007

Microwave Adventures

If the instructions on your yummy heat-and-eat Indian food tell you to cover the contents while warming in the nuculator...

...consider maximal compliance.

Super Sweet Update

Got the camera working after all, with sound and everything! Stuck the macam doodlie in the magic place, rebooted, and got Geech to skype me -- works great! This whole stick-the-magic-thing-somewhere-and-reboot-because- -you-don't-know-what-service-to-restart is kind of Windows Style, but hey (butthay). It works.

Super Sweet

Of course, since this is a modern, OS X Mac, everything went off without a hitch. Plug everything in, and go! I didn't have to try to type a license key that i could only see from the floor, or figure out how to uninstall a bunch of OEM crapware.

The only glitch was a Logitech camera that, it turns out, isn't supported on the Mac (i bought it for use with my old laptop, anyways). Macam gets it partly working, but it doesn't seem to interact with the camera's microphone. I was hoping to use it with Skype to videoconference at work. (Actually, i bought it because someone at work told me i oughtta; i have no desire to videoconference.)

My old Thinkpad has been relegated to the Rumsfeld in the corner. It will be a while before i can do my day job without it, though. ("Don't worry little guy, we love you just as much as we love your new baby brother. Now be a good boy, and play outside until you're college age.")

New to-dos:
  • Get an actual mousepad (glass-topped desk no good for optical mouse);
  • Finally run a network cable to my office, so i'm not using wireless for this puppy;
  • Get Parallels up and running.
This is the heaviest computer i've ever owned.

And yes, i know i'm a suck photographer.

21 February 2007

The Gang's All Here

Time to get to work! I promised myself i would clean up my office before setting up the new gear. But I promise myself a lot of things...

I'm Sure Glad He Wasn't My Father

Joel Surnow, co-creator of the television program "24", as quoted by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker (Feb 19 & 26 2007):
"I can hardly think of [Ronald Reagan] without breaking into tears. I just felt Ronald Reagan was the father that this country needed... He made me feel good that I was in his family."
Now, being a right-wing Republican is, you know, whatever. Promoting a fascist, pro-torture worldview through your well-made and highly entertaining television program is... "problematic". But thinking of Ronald Reagan as a surrogate father? That is pathetic.

20 February 2007

Pet Peeve

In keeping with the blog title, i suppose i should occasionally report some actual grievances. Plus, who doesn't love to read about bloggers' utterly banal daily irritations? Commies, that's who.

Pet peeve number one: those effing Nextel-style walkie-talkie "push-to-talk" cell phones. I can only think of two scenarios in which the walkie-talkie mode is appropriate:
  • Working in some kind of warehouse or similar environment where for whatever reason you can't hold a phone to your head or strap on an earpiece;
  • I can't actually think of another scenario.
To everyone who uses such things on the street, on the train, in a bar, or anywhere other than the prototypical warehouse: i dislike you strongly. (I would have written "i hate you and i wish you were dead", but My Better Half doesn't like it when i talk like that.) I'm sure they've had to excavate a new circle of Hell by now for cell phone sins.

I'm Waiting For My Mac

It's costing me considerably more than $26, but I don't have to go to Lex and 125th to pick it up.

A laptop (currently a ThinkPad) has been my exclusive portal to the magical world of computing for more than a year now. This works out surprisingly well, though i imagine it's an ergonomic disaster. Anyway, i decided i need a new desktop computer, and of course these days anybody who's not a masochist (or a Linux geek) would buy themselves the most tricked-out Mac Pro they can afford. Plus all my friends and co-workers have them and i'm falling behind.

The various parts will be dribbling in over the next few days: the box from Apple, monitors from Dell, assorted software and peripherals from various vendors. Yay! Geek Christmas!

Now, i told myself that i would buy this thing only if it was going to be useful for my day job, which is (primarily) Windows software development. So, i'm really hoping Parallels works out; someone i know has successfully run Visual Studio in the thing, so the only remaining question is whether i can get various smart-card readers and Windows CE devices to talk to Windows in a VM without too many glitches. Here's hoping!


Last night friends Brian and Lindsay introduced me and My Better Half to Belleville, a nice little French bistro over in The Slope. B&L had been for brunch, but not yet for dinner. The verdict: Yums!

Dinner was meaty, with three steaks and a lamb shank on the table. Nothing new or terribly exciting, but all very well prepared. The frites were good but not world-class (you can tell when they're fantastic because MBH raves like a lunatic).

Monday nights Belleville offers a two-for-one deal on entrees -- all the excitement of a Red Lobster promotion without any of the soul-crushing sadness! Presumably, it's to drum up business on a typically slow night, though the place was at least half-full last night. Maybe Mondays draw people in from outside the neighborhood (like us), or maybe they chill out at the start of the week, but in any event the Slopers weren't even very irritating.

19 February 2007

This is my blog

It seems these days like everyone i know has at least one blog or webcomic. So, here's my blog, in all its crapulent glory.