attie: Duck on the phone, going "what?! NOT FUNNY?!?" (nichtlustig - ente)
"We are still searching for the most appropriate member of our team to handle your call" is a particularly grating message to hear indefinitely repeated in customer service hotline queue hell... after a certain time, you yearn to inform the robotic voice that at this point you do not in fact care if the person swears like a blue sailor and makes off-color comments about the time of day at which you choose to conduct your business, as long as they just answer the bloody phone!
attie: A cup of tea and a green branch resting on some paper. (justpretty - cup of tea)
Bought a water filter today. Tea now no longer tastes like it was brewed straight in a swimming pool! \o/
attie: Three penguins, captioned "One by one, the penguins are stealing my sanity." (misc - penguins are stealing my sanity)
This semester was just like being in undergrad again, with seven classes I barely had time to hear myself think, much less do any research. I believe that in the last two months, I managed to squeeze in exactly three and a half days of research. Of course, this brought up the old fears of never finishing my PhD again; what if the problem really is with me and not with being in the wrong place? Other people seem to manage their research despite also having the same coursework requirements?? (Not that I talked to any other people to confirm that...)

Either way, I am glad that the semester is over and I can finally sit down with my code again. Code from a month ago is like code from a stranger, so some reacquainting has been in order for the last few days. This was interrupted by my body interpreting the lack of stress as "oh can I stop now? good" and promptly ensuring that I stayed in bed over the weekend by expedient of a cold. But this did give me the time to knit a little project I had been thinking about for a while:

LeGuin is still missing some eyes

Meet LeGuin the penguin. He's still missing some eyes.
Although the longer I look at it, the more it looks like a Beholder dressed up for halloween...
attie: An elephant jumping on a trampoline. (fun - elephant on trampoline)
You guys, I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to have a supervisor who actually encourages you to go talk over your research more often. I'm sure there are plenty of people who love to be told "I trust you, go do your thing and tell me when you're done," but wow, am I ever not one of them.


Mar. 1st, 2015 03:29 pm
attie: Spock, from the back, walking towards a shuttle. (st - spock shuttle)

Well. And so my grandmother shares a deathdate with Leonard Nimoy. It's fitting, I think; she always was a great admirer of Mr. Spock. (I probably got the fannishness from her side.)

They will be missed.
attie: A suicidal Lemming cookie baker baking himself along with his cookies. (nichtlustig - plätzchen)
For the longest time, I did not believe that the local vegetable - there is only the one, known on restaurant menus and the like simply as "vegetable", unless the restaurant actually spent money on a translator, in which case it will usually be rendered as "chinese cabbage" - was actually a type of cabbage. After all, it has a pleasant watery but slightly sharp taste. Whereas cabbage, destroyer of dinners, bane of my childhood, is clearly only considered edible by virtue of it not being acutely toxic.

Alas, my companion left for his quarterly world tour yesterday morning, so I now have to cook for myself. In the process, I not only reminded myself all over again why this task is usually left entirely in someone else's hands, but also managed to confirm quite thoroughly that the vegetable in question is indeed a fully-fledged member of the genus brassica.

It would appear that in Germany, and I assume many other parts of Europe, we are in the habit of sadly overcooking our vegetables. I wonder if cabbage and its relations also taste less awful if you limit their contact with boiling water to one or two minutes?
attie: A mouse caught in a trap, saying "I Regret Nothing" (misc - regret nothing)
So to escape the yawning emptiness of the fridge, we went for lunch at the pizza place the other day. My budget did not thank me. Pizza is an exotic foreign thing here, priced at a premium, presumably because it contains significant amounts of cheese, which is itself exorbitantly expensive. For perspective, last time I went clothes shopping, I bought a cardigan, a dress shirt, and two pairs of socks, all together for less than the price of a not particularly large one-person pizza (margherita - with toppings I could buy another shirt or two).

But we did get to overhear the family at the next table, whose primary school age daughter was clearly not appreciating the menu. The mother was desperately trying to convince her to eat something. She had, apparently, ordered rice with cheese. And expected rice. Picture this little Chinese girl in a "pretentious hipster from San Francisco" style pizzeria, eyeing a plate of vomit-colored, slightly chunky goo, exclaiming in her most offended tones: "I ordered rice. THAT is not rice."


Until her mom, at her wit's end, finally threatens: "If you don't eat right now, little lady, you're not allowed to go to school tomorrow!"


Jan. 27th, 2015 02:31 pm
attie: Patrick Wolf facepalming. (pwolf - facepalm)
I seem to have shoved my (felt tip) pen back into my bag without closing it, and not noticed for days... during which time a nice large blue spot spread all over the front side of my unfortunately light-colored bag!

*grumbles about how hard it was to find a bag of the right size and with the right amount and placement of pockets*

I'm definitely going for dark blue again next time, cream isn't a color, it's an accident waiting to happen...
attie: The Eiffel tower in winter. (misc - paris)
I wanted to talk about something completely different, but my stomach keeps tying itself into knots over what's been happening in France the last week. I've been trying to avoid the news and everything as much as possible, because it just makes me scared and depressed, but it's not working.

Islamophobia was already a huge problem before, and this is decidedly not helping. People are now shooting at mosques and shit, because free speech? Politicians are calling for a French Patriot Act?

*hides under covers forever and hopes the world will go away*
attie: Close-up of Allen Walker, smiling in a disturbing manner while blood is dripping from his mouth. (dgm - crazy allen)
Curses, I have been snared in the clutches of 2147483648 once again.

You know better than to open that browser window, self!
attie: Kirk staring at a tribble in his drink (st - kirk tribble in a cup)
So we were taking an evening walk along the shore the other day, and passed a small construction site. I took note of a sign bearing an example of a trope I have been growing fond of: talking about the past in future tense (often found in relation to large public works), in this case "expected date of completion: mid 2014". A closer look at the construction site labels confirmed that this was indeed a public enterprise, part of something called the "Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A". It also revealed that there were some 700-odd workers employed on the site, which seemed surprising given its size. Google informed us that this was the construction of a sewage tunnel to Stonecutter's Island, which apparently houses a large sewage treatment facility. Thus the mystery was explained: all these people must be working underground.

"If they haven't finished the tunnel yet, what do you suppose they do with the sewage for now?", my companion wondered.

"Dump it into the harbor," I joked, waving vaguely at the gentlemen holding fishing poles at the walkway's railings, presumably attempting to catch dinner.

As it turns out, that is exactly what they do with it
attie: Mario: party like it's 1985! (geek - 1985 party)
*blows dust off this thing*

Happy new year everyone!

2014 was very busy for me, what with the move halfway around the world and everything, but I think I'm more-or-less settled in now so I'll be trying to be a bit more present...

My mother came to visit over Christmas, she'll be leaving on Thursday. We'll immediately celebrate the end of three weeks of uninterrupted Chinese food by going to eat sushi (my mother can't have sushi due to digestive issues, so we've had to forswear it in the meantime).

I finally started reading the Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold last month, which I'd wanted to for a while. It's been far too long since I cracked open a good honest fiction book (it's all papers and articles these days...) Consequently I was able to peruse some of the Yuletide works that fall into the beginning of the timeline. They're all immensely enjoyable!

Now to get caught up on all of the WIPs that I abandoned along with my home country this summer... (I hear Spice is finished now?)
attie: Sekihan x Piko OTP (utaite - sekipiko <3)
Back home from my first visit to a different continent!
So fun. Much adventure was had. I got to shake hands with Sekihan and Piko!

Have the holiday cards arrived yet?
attie: Kirk gripping Spock, caption "Please, Captain, not in front of the Klingons." (st - k/s not in front of the klingons)
As the post office will be closed from Tuesday and I leave for my trip to the other end of the world before it re-opens, today is your last chance to sign up to receive an inappropriate holiday card! (nsfw)

(Quantities are limited while supplies last. I cannot be held responsible for damages to your reputation or your postal delivery person's psyche. No warranties, express or implied. Void as prohibited. If you sign up too late, you may receive a boringly appropriate consolation postcard from Hong Kong instead.)
attie: Kirk and Spock half naked, bound, and bleeding. (st - kirk and spock halfnekkid!time)
Due to the possibility of moving rather farther than it is worth transporting the contents of my apartment sometime next year, I have been trying to progressively get rid of things I don't need anymore.

Yesterday, while rooting through my correspondence box, I found an old set of postcards that I have no use for any more. It's of a rather peculiar nature, with the evocative name "The House of Morecock".
I figure, if anyone would love to get some gay anime-style porn addressed to their home for the holidays, I'd probably find them here :)

Very NSFW! and very badly lit overview so you know what to expect )

One of the postcards has been sent off, but 11 8 are still up for grabs (don't be shy! they all need to go!). I will put them in an envelope, of course (unless you really want me not to). Just leave a comment and you will get a rather naked and buff new year's greeting! (Or tell me if you celebrate christmas and want me to turn it into a christmas card, or something else.) (No guarantees as to exact date of arrival, as I will be on the other side of the globe at the time.)

Comments are screened so the whole internets doesn't get to know your address.

ETA: Deadline to sign up is tomorrow Monday 23rd at noon GMT, as after that the post office is closed until I leave for my trip!
attie: Uhura manning the communications station. (st - uhura at work)
Dear random student randomly mailing random people:

I might be inclined to forgive you for addressing me as "dear sir" given that the only indication of gender on my website is my first name, which is a culturally contextual clue.

However, if you want to work in VLSI Design, why the heck are you e-mailing me? Do you also go to the bakery when you need a refill on your medication?

No love,
attie: A mouse caught in a trap, saying "I Regret Nothing" (misc - regret nothing)
Whew. It's the beginning of Fall Anime Season, which means watching all the first episodes to sift out which series might be worth following. But this season seems to be extra full of crap so let me rant for a moment. I'll just go through all the titles in a row, starting at the awful and finishing with things I might actually watch.

Auugh teh Awful it burns )

More Awful was Made to Serve you )

Sparkly Bishounen are somehow also Awful whyyy )

From the terrible we segue into the senselessly violent )

From this point I actually managed to finish watching the complete episode. )

Series I will actually continue )

tl;dr: watch Coppelion.

Con Report!

Oct. 6th, 2013 12:35 pm
attie: Kagamine Rin & Kagamine Len standing back to back, the headphone cable encircling them. (vocaloid - kagamine rin & len 2)
Yesterday I visited the Mega Manga Convention here in Berlin.

General convention chatter )

FuwariP Vocaloid Show )
attie: A cup of tea and a green branch resting on some paper. (justpretty - cup of tea)
I caught the first-cold-days-of-the-year crud that's been making the rounds at the office.

Tried to console myself with the last bag of my favourite salt & vinegar crisps (so glad that flavour made its way to Germany!)

...only I can't taste a thing. Foiled :(

Ugh, winter. I used to like winter, but apparently I am getting old and cranky already.

At least there is a new Piko cover:

attie: Kirk and Spock looking at each other (st - kirk and spock looking at each othe)
Just rewatched Frat Boys In Space ST:XI in preparation for the new movie. Still can't bring myself to like any of these people (except Uhura, Uhura is cool). I hope they'll discover a shred of maturity in time, or I guess I'll just have to root for Mystery Bad Guy With The Sexy Voice.

Also, for some reason, this week, you can watch XII in original language, or in 2D. But English is only available in combination with conflicting visual signals that make your brain hurt.

Grumpy Old Me would like these young whippersnappers with their newfangled technology and their lack of sense, decorum, or even a shred of decency to go away now, please. Hrmpf.
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