board games & golf

Feb. 19th, 2019 02:35 pm
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I grew up understanding "golf" as "a game rich people play while doing low-key industry networking." Indeed I know at least one executive woman who learned how to play golf tolerably well in order to acquit herself well when invited to play by colleagues, clients, etc.

Here in NYC it feels like game nights/board game afternoons are the golf of the programming class. It's kind of assumed that you can play socially, there are gaming circles that also end up serving as industry networking. And you can invite a coworker to a game night and they'll understand that it's social, and not a date, and it's ok if they play really badly as long as they show good sportsmanship.

Is it like this in other cities too?

Edited to add: By the way, I am someone who loves a few board/card games and doesn't love most of them and is willing to play many of them if that's what everyone else in a group of visitors wants to do, and I believe I recognize many of their virtues and their downsides. What I'm specifically curious about is what other cities have this same kind of scene.

Ten years!

Feb. 19th, 2019 10:29 am
wildeabandon: me kissing my beloved boy (pretty boys kissing)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
This Saturday was the tenth anniversary of me asking [personal profile] obandsoller to be my "It's Complicated" on Facebook. Ten years! There's a part of me that can't quite believe anyone could put up with me for that long, but when I'm not being self-deprecating, I know that actually we're really good together, and that both of us have done the work to make that happen. There are many things I love about him - how thoughtful and observant he is, the way he appreciates art and words and games and brings things out of them that I'd never notice, his engagement with the world and his passion for justice, his playfulness, his stylishness... I could go on.

But alongside that, there's a lot I really love about the relationship, which is a slightly different thing. I love how safe and secure it makes me feel - the absolute bone deep certainty that he will always be on my side, helping me up when I screw up, and cheering me on when I try to do difficult things. I love how affectionate we are, constantly cuddling and nibbling and reaching out and squeezing each others hands. I love that we like each other very much, and that we tell each other, and why. I love that we do little things for one another - he rubs my neck and shoulders when they're tense, and I bring him tea in the mornings. I love that even when we argue, which doesn't happen all that often, we both try really hard to do so constructively even when we're feeling frustrated, and that we continue to affirm our affection even as we argue. We are both lucky to have such a wonderful partnership, but it isn't just luck, and I think we can both be justly proud of what we've built together.

We celebrated our anniversary with a romantic meal at home - much like the weekend we first got together.

Photos of food and us looking adorable behind the cut )
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I saw the Sandra Bullock thriller The Net at some point not long after its initial release. Yesterday I rewatched it with my spouse (who'd never seen it) and realized I remembered nearly none of it. It's trying to say something kind of interesting, and the giant technical inaccuracies and TV movie-level plotting/characterization/cinematography aside, there's still something there worth watching.

(This is a kind of successor post to my review of Antitrust, another Internet-centric thriller from a few years later.)

Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is a schlubby, isolated beta tester who lives in Los Angeles, works remotely for a San Francisco software firm, and is about to go on her first vacation in six years when her colleague tells her about a weird new virus-or-something. She forgets about it until she starts to get hunted -- the dude she meets on vacation tries to kill her, all records of her existence seem to be scrambled or lost, etc. All that you can probably get from the trailer.

Some disjointed responses follow.

spoilers )

Disbelief forcibly unsuspended

Feb. 17th, 2019 08:30 am
rmc28: Charles facepalming eloquently (facepalm)
[personal profile] rmc28
Yesterday I was reading a fanfic where a character applies to a number of UK universities, including Cambridge. I first twitched a bit because the portrayal of applications made no mention of UCAS, or of interviews, and they had stuff wrong about student fees, but reminded myself that that's kind of nerdy detail and I should let it go. (I am an alum and employee of the University of Cambridge, and have spent 15+ years supporting IT systems used for university admissions, the nerdy detail of these things is my daily bread.)

Then the character gets to Cambridge, where there are apparently semesters, and dorm rooms, and RAs, and payphones which take quarters, and they are clearly not even trying.

I have refrained from leaving feedback to this effect on the story, but I had to vent somewhere.

(Also, if you want to have a character go to Cambridge, you could do worse than read this helpful website the university has put together for its students.)


Steam inhalation is magic

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:00 pm
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I got a GP appointment on Tuesday morning because I was still feeling nowhere near better and it was day 8 off work. Among other things, he strongly recommended inhaling steam "as often as possible". I had been doing this intermittently but I started doing it every hour or two I was awake. By Wednesday afternoon I started feeling a lot better, and on Thursday I finally got back to work. I may of course have been about to get well anyway, but it's felt like a very dramatic recovery.

He also completely changed my understanding of how I should be treating cold symptoms.

(cut for discussion of cold symptoms)
Read more... )

Quiet week / Friday Five

Feb. 15th, 2019 12:16 pm
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
It's been a relatively uneventful week. Last weekend [personal profile] smhwpf came over so I could show him how I do the church bookkeeping, which he is very nobly taking off my hands, and on Sunday evening we had our monthly "House Date Night", and played Dominion, of which we very egalitarianly* won one game each. I went to another rehearsal of the university choir, which feels like it's going quite well. In particular, when the director made us get all mixed up and stand with the other parts, I was a lot more able to hold to the tenor line without following the people next to me than I expected to be.

On Thursday I took myself to the cinema to see All Is True, a heavily fictionalised biopic about Shakespeare's later life. It's got fairly variable reviews, and I think that's probably fair - the plot is a bit meandering, and some of the characters are a bit two-dimensional, but there's some stellar acting, and I very much appreciated the bi representation.

Friday Five on grocery shopping
1. Do you make up a dinner plan for the coming week?
Read more... )

some miscellaneous prose & thoughts

Feb. 12th, 2019 10:05 am
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
On what helps some people decide to attend social gatherings.

On the Short Trek The Escape Artist.

On noticing that I'm trying to read inaccessible fiction.

"Random" (as in the modern slangy sense, e.g., "the Mountain Goats are making an album about D&D? That's random") means: unexpected in a way that I disapprove of, unjustified, and I resent having to make room for this unexpected thing; where do I even file this?!.

The coverage of celebrities (especially actors) and sports that I run into is usually a way into telling stories about labor and power.

Arrested Development loved showing us how its characters clung to the perceived power of names/categories, to make other people see things their way. "It's a satire!" "Illusions, dad!" "Mr. Manager." And, relatedly, mistook fake things for real -- living in the model house, George treating all dolls as though they were people.
brainwane: Sumana, April 2015, with shaved head. (shaved head)
[personal profile] brainwane
After I wrote this review of Manikarnika and this tiny review of, among other things, Victoria & Abdul, I started showing Black Panther to my spouse and I was talking with him about it and about Thor: Ragnarok. And I started wondering aloud why Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok, which are about royalty, actually have reasonably interesting things to say about geopolitics, while Captain America: Civil War tries to and is incoherent.

(Do I actually believe everything I say here? Not 100% sure. Iron Man 3 spoiler ahead.) )What I said about Victoria & Abdul and about Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi was: "both of which seem to think the problem with the British oppression of India is that local subjects were deprived of a wholesome, classy, righteous queen (rather than, say, that Indians were deprived of representative democracy)." And I think that message isn't just about the Raj. I mean, representative democracy is cognitively demanding and there are a million ways it's broken and everyone has to keep making decisions. Wouldn't it be nice for someone else to do it for us??

But -- no. We tried that.

[personal profile] yasaman, basically I am waving my hands around not sure whether I'm full of crap, and would particularly welcome your input here!

This week I are mostly been coughing

Feb. 11th, 2019 12:16 pm
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I broke my weekly swim+sauna streak, *sob*. In theory I was supposed to go yesterday. In practice yesterday I didn't even want to leave the house to walk 200 steps around the corner and spin the nearest pokestop, never mind anything more energetic.

Last Monday I had the morning off to go to a child-related appointment, and had enough time afterward to squeeze in some semi-urgent clothes shopping for the children and was feeling very accomplished even before I got to work. I started feeling a bit rough in the afternoon so thought "ah, I'll take the evening off Morris practice and rest up and I'll be fine tomorrow."

I was not fine the next day, or really the rest of the week.

By Saturday I was feeling nearly well again, which was good because I'd made plans months ago to see Come From Away with my dad and stepmother. I wrapped up warm and ventured to London taking it very easily all the way so as to be fine Sunday (spoiler: this did not work). The production was even better than I'd hoped, but I won't buy cheap theatre seats for my six-foot-plus dad again!

I am much better today than yesterday but not as good as Saturday, so I'm still off work and hoping my intense boredom indicates the end is in sight.

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Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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