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K, not really pasta, but close enough: soba noodles with bok choy, tofu, and black mushrooms, with a sauce of soup soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, plus a touch of sugar. Topped with hot chili sauce.

Yummy soba.
fredericks: (Ass beatings start here)
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Sallie Mae. And can I get an "AMEN!" from the members of the choir?
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*sigh* , and in no particular order:

-The Gothamist. NYC tabloid news with the occasional hilarious bit of writing. Have to admit, I find myself reading the comments posted more than the actual stories.

-The Onion's AV Club. Sean ONeal's newswires are the stuff of legend.

-CNN.com. Just when I need to figure out wtf is going down.

-Cracked. I can link surf through articles over there for *hours*

-Slate. Their articles are intriguing and amusing. And there are often links to The Root, a black news mag.

-Archive of Our Own, a fanfic repository. Tag surfing over there is so damn easy. I have WAY too many tabs open from there right now.
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Songs, because a few instantly spring to mind. Good goosebumps, every one. I've listened to them on repeat too many times to count: has embedded vids, but also, music! )
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I don't think I've ever had any "bad" teachers. I had one blatantly racist teacher in hs and survived that, but even though he was a sorry sack of flesh he was not memorably horrible at imparting American History. I would say that being a good teacher is 30% one's ability to make the material accessible, 30% making the classroom experience engaging, and 40% esteem boosting. I'm hard-pressed to remember factoids, but I will NEVER forget the grade school teacher who took pride in teaching me cursive. Or the pre-calc teacher with whom I spent hours slaving over problems and who jubilantly e-mailed me after the final I swore I bombed to tell me I'd gotten a B/C. Or my psych professor who was convinced that I'd rock the hell out of grad school. Or my nursing professor who listened to me ramble on about Star Trek and the Internet. Teachers can be awesome just by being great human beings.

It's one of those nights where I've woken up for no reason and now find myself unable to go to sleep. I'm going to not be a happy camper when my alarm goes off in two hours. It was not good times at work yesterday. It's definitely not going to be good times today. :(

Since I was up I decided to read fic that turned me into a weeping mess. Totally not cool, fic.
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I've been to a handful of concerts, so it's not like I have a vast number of experiences from which to choose. The most memorable, though, would have to be seeing NIN at Providence in 2000 during The Fragile tour. It was the first concert I attended solo for an artist whose music I was actively fawning over (I do think I went with my family to see Janet Jackson at Jones Beach some time in the late 90's but I was never a fan of her music). My freshman year of college was the year I really started branching out from the constant hip-hop/rap/R&B music of my 'hood and I'd had Closer and The Fragile on repeat on my stereo along with Tori Amos's Boys for Pele (and I still regret I didn't get tickets for Tori's Providence concert the following year).

But NIN. I went alone, wearing my vaguely preppy Old Navy red fleece jacket while surrounded by kids draped in black and angst and people with metal strewn through a number of visible body parts. I felt more than a little out of place, but luckily I opted out of the arena standing area so I was able to sit quietly and take things in from a bit of a distance. The opening act was a band I'd not heard of at that time, A Perfect Circle, led by a somewhat peculiar and seemingly nervous bald man who kept going on about how amazing Trent and Co. were in-between songs. I ended up buying APC's debut album after the concert, and then found my way to Tool's stuff and realized that weird lead singer was Maynard Keenan (why was he so nervous?? oy) and he was amazing and I went through a long stretch of time where Aenima would blast from my speakers until late into the night.

When Trent hit the stage my brain officially checked out and I just found myself grooving and singing along. Listening to The Great Below live had me close to tears. Just everything about the concert experience was wonderful and I can't think of any way to encapsulate my feelings. I walked back to my dorm on an endorphin high, humming various bits of song. For 2.5 hours all my worries about classes, my ever-present loneliness and sense of isolation, my despair about not being quite *right* disappeared, and that was so very much worth the money I plunked down.

***

Here's a Cracked article about vampires from around the world. Number seven is the loogaroo a bloodsucker of Caribbean origin. And this is how I first heard about it:
My great-grandmother was recently hospitalized, and my mother, my grandmother, and myself decided to pay her a visit. Four generations of black women sitting in a room just shooting the shit, for lack of a less fun-to-type term. I think my great-grandmother started talking about this woman she knew who would hang outside late at night "counting ants" and would "come for" men and "suck them". My grandmother chimed in with a big, "yes, I remember her, she confessed on her deathbed, everything was true". And I'm thinking to myself "a succubus? I'm listening to my grans talk about devilspawn giving blow jobs??" So I cautiously asked (for peace of mind and sanity's sake) "you mean she sucked them"? And they go "yes, she was a loogaroo, she had a deal with the devil". And I'm still mentally going "gah! sex! and grandparents!" when my mother took in my perplexed expression and clarified that the woman sucked people's blood. And added that it was so very true. As in factual. As in my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother believed (and "believe", present tense) that a woman sucked people's blood and had a pact with the devil and confessed upon her deathbed in an attempt to avoid eternal damnation. And they took offense when I dared doubt their stories. Fun times.

It's been a neat weekend. I'm coasting on happy vibes of indeterminate origin. The only problem that occurs when I'm chipper is that I want to do so many things that I end up getting little to nothing accomplished. But! I'm happy. That's always a good thing. I took in another one of Littlest Bro's football games yesterday, had a very very very very late birthday dinner with two of my aunts, then rode the Staten Island Ferry for the first time into Manhattan on my way back home. Lots of nothing but relaxing planned for today. Not looking forward to going to work tomorrow, but I have a four day weekend planned for next week (alas, we do not get Columbus Day off as a holiday, but I'll make do). Next year's bday plans? More or less set in stone. I'll be nice to get away with my brothers for a couple of days. And I'll be going due north in January sometime to go visit Toronto and hang with [livejournal.com profile] darker_one for a couple of days - shhh! it's a secret! and January is totally like summer in Canadian, right?
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Character-wise, I enjoyed the third book (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) because of the introductions of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. However, in my opinion the most satisfying read goes to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix because of the way Rowling was able to throw the shadow of doubt on the "Harry as Chosen One" theme. I loved that the climax was essentially an ensemble piece, and boy did I get a massive kick out of Neville Longbottom's progress. I do wish Rowling had done more with him as the tale progressed, but oh well.

*
I went to see the new Judd Apatow movie Funny People this afternoon. Apatow's work has been very hit-or-miss for me: 40 Year-Old Virgin still gets more than a few laughs upon rewatchings, but while I didn't think any of his other movies were *bad* I also haven't bothered to revisit them. Funny People toes the "hated it" line for me more than any other one of his movies. I've only walked out of one movie ever, and that was a showing of Scary Movie 3 (I know!) to which my brothers had dragged me. The only reason I didn't walk out for this movie was because, unlike for Scary Movie, I plunked down for my own ticket and figured I might as well get my money's worth. For one, the initial bevy of ads for the movie were somewhat misleading. Secondly, the movie was entirely *too long*, and the improvisation on the part of the actors really grated. And by the time the final credits rolled I hated ALL of the characters I'd been introduced to...sadly, including the two children. And I do wish Apatow would stop using his wife and kids in his works; not that they're not capable, but it's distracting and wall-breaking as all fuck at this point. There's a scene where we are forced to watch a video of the oldest Apatow daughter (admirably, I will admit) perform a three (!) minute number from Cats that struck me as a *forced* and such a "look what my girl can do!" moment on the part of the director. I should have known what I was getting into, but more fool am I.

*
Continuing on the Things that Irk Me vein, my agency services some patients that TPTB have deemed Very Important People for one reason or the other. Most of the V.I.P.s are rich bigwigs with political connections or have donated lots of money to the organization. These folks get preferential treatment like various disciplines bending over backwards and forwards to make sure their needs and wants are met, and exceptions to company policies that would usually have anyone else summarily dismissed from services. One of the things I feel strongly about in my personal practice is that every patient should be treated the same, and being told that so and so on Park Avenue is essentially more important to management than the folks down in Lincoln Houses makes me somewhat angry and quite sad, especially since the Park Avenue crowd can generally afford to pay *more* out of pocket than my peeps in the PJs. But, yeah, no soapboxing on the weekends.

*
The squirrels have eaten ALL of our cucumbers, even the baby ones. One day of cucumber salad for us and that was it. Bastards. Littlest bro ships off to college next week. I'd say my parents are feeling the effects of Empty Nest Syndrome, but, well. *sigh* I did manage to finish my first book in about a month; kudos to me (even if it was The Snow Garden. GAH! sums up my reaction quite nicely).

Quiet and boring is good. Better than the alternative, at least. I think if I keep repeating that things will become more palatable.
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I'm chattier online, I think. I don't have to worry about not being heard over loud background noises, so I'm more likely to say whatever crosses my mind when it crosses my mind. Subject matter tends to remain the same. Then again, I'm not the best judge because it all sort of blurs for me.

**

1. Finally got word back regarding my summer vacation. Was approved for the time I requested. ALL of the time. So DragonCon? TOTALLY THERE. It's me and Hotlanta, yo. Cannot wait.
Only thing is...how'd I manage to snag Labor Day weekend off, seeing as I'm ranked damn near the bottom when it comes to the seniority pool? Both mom and I are wondering whether management knows something about my job security or lack thereof and is just placating me with the awesome time allowed off. Which, whateverthefuck. I'll worry about that when it/if it happens.

2. Going to sleep at 9:30pm? There's a little bit of suck because, hey, I'm going to sleep at 9:30pm. However, waking up feeling refreshed and not feeling mired in permanent bitch mode? V. v. cool.
Not like I have a life to miss out on at the moment, anyway. Bring on the sleep!

3. Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking at the Bell House March 18th. Booze, and science geeks debating the whole "is/n't Pluto a planet" thing. Very much tempting me.

4. Improv Everywhere's newest stunt? A "gallery opening" on the 23rd St C/E subway platform. Link to info and vids. SO much win.

5."Man Vs. Food" is a sad sad show. Yet I cannot look away.
I really need more marathons of "I Was Bitten"

6. Bitchy coworkers need to suck it. That's all I have to say about that.

7. There is no seven.

W/E = Yay

Mar. 1st, 2009 10:59 am
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I wanted to answer this one but wasn't up to it on Friday. Fredericks comes from Sam Fredericks, a character from Tad Williams's Otherland series, a sci-fi/fantasy story about virtuality and cyberlife that hit shelves in the 90's. I took to Fredericks because she was a black girl whose struggles with identity appeared to mirror my own, and I was a total nerd. And "Cymoril" was already in use as an active LJ username (you couldn't be considered a real nerd unless you'd read Moorcock's works, even though Cymoril annoyed the hell out of me); "Fredericks" was my second choice.

***
Yesterday morning I sat through an orientation meeting for Time Bank study coaches organized by a group on the job. The concept of Time Banks is fascinating, and breaks down to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" in a skill/barter sense. I wouldn't have minded tutoring/coaching youngsters but the organizers required participants to join the Time Bank proper, and as the HQ for the Banks are located on the LES, Bronx, and Brooklyn actually trekking out to the locations on my days off would be too much for me. I'll look for some volunteering ops in my immediate area, if anything.

In the afternoon I met up with the scarily tall [livejournal.com profile] desolate03 (moment of hilarity: stopping at a traffic light on the lowest part of the curb and straining neck muscles while attempting to look up at her during our conversation) and walked around Midtown, stopped at Dylan's Candy Bar on 3rd Ave and loaded up on simple carbs, then headed down to the Cooper Union area to meet [livejournal.com profile] captainschlumpy and grab some Japanese grub for dinner. Both ladies are great conversationalists and we have lots of common interests (I'm pretty sure we mortified the young man at the table behind us with our slash talk, but whateverthefuck! *grin*), so one of the nice thing about our meet-ups is that I can sit back, listen, and enjoy myself without feeling pressured to talk (not so good with the talking sometimes, but I can add a nice quip here or there).

Today I look forward to SNOWSTORM! YAY! The weather folk say 4-8" and if the pattern holds we're only going to get 2-3" max, but at least it's something. Excuse me whilst I ignore my overdue work for a little bit longer (pushes tablet further underneath bed).
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Workdays: Generally wake up around 5:55am, five minutes before my first alarm goes off. There's this Pavlovian aversion to the actual *sound* of the buzzer, making it most effective. Lean out of the bed, reach over my printer to get to the alarm clock (most days I'm speeding to make sure no hint of the buzzer is heard), switch off both alarms. Lie back in bed for a second, sigh, wish I was sleeping, hope I've magically managed to come into money overnight, sigh again, throw off the covers, stagger upright. Put TV on NY1, linger around to catch a go of "Weather on the 1s". Head to the bathroom, start gargling, use toilet, spit out mouthwash, wash face, brush teeth. Head back to bedroom, put on choker/necklace (seriously, [livejournal.com profile] darker_one, I love that thing) and watch, moisturize skin and tackle any insidious ash on arms and/or legs. Rub on deodorant (Invisible Solid!), pull on tee-shirt, then socks, then shirt and pants. Detach cell phones from chargers, gather any needed medical supplies from stores underneath bed, head downstairs. Deactivate alarm system, get shoes from closet (level of coherency determines method shoes are placed on feet: more coherent = laces untied, shoes slipped on feet, laces tightened and tied, less coherent = not so much all that stuff), pack laptop and charger into traveling bag, place cell phones in purse. Don coat and any other required weather gear, make sure Metrocard's in pocket or purse, reactive alarm, leave home within 30 seconds or face the wrath of our alarm company.

Days off: Sleep. Eventually wake up. Maybe change out of sleep clothes. Depends. Freestyle, baby.

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