gwalla: (language buff)
I think I did OK. I hope I did better than last time. The essay portion actually came pretty easily, and it wasn't just regurgitating my previous HW essays—it was still a bunch of direct comparisons between English and Japanese, but it wasn't phrased the same, and I covered some stuff I didn't in the HW, like some more parts of grammar and the writing system—so I'm happy about that. Still not too confident about the JLPT 3 this Sunday.


Sep. 27th, 2010 11:16 pm
gwalla: (buckaroo salute)
I probably should have mentioned this a while back, but my dad's been writing a Western novel set in Gold Rush-era California, titled Tamer, and posting it on his blog. He's been having a grand time doing all the research to fit the fictional events in the real historical timeline.
gwalla: (bad hair day)
I seem to have lost the ability to bend the little finger of my left hand back past the ring finger.

I find this disconcerting.
gwalla: (aww crap)
Anybody got any leads? Starlock's not going this year, and I haven't gotten any bites at the CRFH forum (of course, I haven't hung out there in ages—I only just found out that it'd moved from the Keenspot Forums—so most of the people there don't know me from Adam).

The only available rooms I could find for July 23­–27 that weren't out in freakin' La Jolla or something were for about $355 a night, which over that time frame (and with taxes etc. figured in) comes to OVER 9000 $2000 total. I'm desperate for a room, but not that desperate. The hostel has no vacancies.

I also looked into a couch-surfing connections site, but I'm a little dubious.

gwalla: (headdesk)
Well, I managaed to royally hose my OS last night. I was trying to upgrade from Fedora 6 to Fedora 8, but when I tried to boot it after the upgrade finished, it said that it can't find any of my RAID arrays, and went into kernel panic.


Fortunately, I at least had the good sense to back up my /home directory beforehand. So most of my stuff still exists. And, actually, I think I may be able to access my arrays when I boot from the rescue disc, so once I get a new external HD (my current one is full), I can probably slurp down my /usr directory and then just do a fresh install.

But still. Fuck.
gwalla: (magma)
Today sucked mightily. I'm in book print this week, which normally I don't mind, but the books I'm getting seem to be a bad batch and keep getting mangled in the printers. The men's room is closed due to it catching on fire over the weekend. Also, a fire alarm got pulled today and we had to evacuate for a bit. No fun.

I think it's to make up for the rather awesome weekend I just had. On Friday night I went to the San Francisco Symphony to hear Michael Tilson Thomas conduct a few Stravinsky pieces and one Takemitsu piece. MTT has a reputation as a great interpreter of Stravinsky, and he's one of my favorite composers, so it was a nearly ideal opportunity to finally check out Davies Hall and the SF Symphony. I caught the pre-concert talk, which didn't really help me understand what was going on later, but was still enjoyable. Someone apparently had a heart attack or something like it right after the talk, and someone actually shouted out "Is there a doctor in the house?" I never thought I'd hear that said seriously. Given the absence of EMTs in the lobby, I think it turned out okay.

The performance did not disappoint. The first half was two Stravinsky pieces: the Symphonies for Winds and the short ballet Apollo (not staged). Both were great, but Apollo really stood out. After the intermission was Fantasma/Cantos by Takemitsu and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. The piece by Takemitsu is for clarinet solist and orchestra, and the soloist was Richard Stoltzman, for whom it was written. The piece really didn't do much for me—it relies on big washes of sound, while I tend to prefer pieces where it feels like every note counts—but I did like Stoltzman's clarinet tone, which almost felt jazzy in places (I was not terribly surprised to read in his bio on the program that he had done some work with jazz artists). The Symphony of Psalms involved the SF Symphony Chorus as well as the orchestra, and was dazzling. The second movement is a double fugue between chorus and orchestra!

Then on Sunday I took my dad to see Dave Brubeck playing at the Masonic Auditorium as part of the SFJazz series. Dave is looking a little shaky these days (he's 86!) and his voice is cracking, but he can still play piano like anything. He played two sets: one with his current quartet, and one with a big band. His quartet is very cool: his saxophonist doubled on flute for one piece, his drummer can pound out some great rhythms, and his bassist played with a bow for one piece. The big band included his quartet as well as additional saxes, brass, and a percussionist (marimba, glockenspiel, and miscellaneous untuned percussion, I think). I didn't catch the titles for the quartet set. The big band played, among other things, his Theme to Mr. Broadway (for a TV show that had the misfortune to go up against The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in its heyday) and expanded arrangements of Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk. They also played a fairly recent piece titled Elementals. It's based on a simple heartbeat rhythm and the melodic motif A B C, and from there branches out into a Gregorian "chant" (instrumental), a Bach-style chorale, polyrhythm, polytonality, and swing, and finally ends up in a Schoenbergian twelve-tone form. Fantastic stuff. They ended with a version of Take the "A" Train.

After that we went to Absinthe for cocktails and chatted about current events, philosophy, education, etc. over our drinks and desserts of fruit and cheese.
gwalla: (headdesk)
That was very nearly the biggest mistake of my life.

Rewind. I found out earlier today that the hotel reservations for Comic-Con had opened up, but by the time I tried to get one they were all sold out. Shit. I tried a few times, but got nowhere. So when I got home from work, I tried again. Still nothing. I decided to bypass the SDCC booking service entirely and go straight to the hotel websites, because maybe they kept some rooms aside for other guests.

I was batting zero for a while, but then the Holiday Inn On The Bay let me make a reservation. Awesome! I select the cheapest option (about $187/night) and go through the whole thing, give my credit card info and all that, and click confirm.

The total comes to over $7,000.

I had accidentally selected June 25, not July 25, as my arrival date, but correctly entered July 30 as the departure date. I'd just reserved a 2-bed room for 35 days. And to get that lower price, I'd taken the advance payment option, which you still have to pay for even if you cancel.

I tried to correct my reservation on the site, but it wasn't working. So in a panic I tried to call the hotel (nobody there but an answering machine), then Holiday Inn's main reservation line. The woman there tried to shorten my stay to just the 5 days in July I wanted, but it wasn't working. Apparently they're booked for those days (although why it allowed me to reserve a room for those days as part of a longer stay makes no sense), and she insisted that an advance payment reservation couldn't be cancelled. I was on the verge of crying, and getting nowhere. I suggested that she shorten it down to one day, any day,not necessarily in that 5-day range, that I'd just pay for as a stupidity tax. I was really grasping at straws.

She said she'd try something, and then there was silence. A lot of silence. For what seemed like forever. She briefly reappeared to say she was working on it, and then yet another ball-twisting eternity of dead air. Finally, she came back on the line, and told me that she got it cancelled. I confirmed that that meant that I wouldn't be paying for any of it, and she gave me a cancellation number to give to my credit card issuer in case the charge had already been registered. I thanked her profusely.

Afterwards I tried a few more hotels, but that experience had sucked the will out of me, and I gave up pretty quickly. So I'm still without a room for me and my friend. But at least I'm not in massive debt for no good reason.

I need a drink. And a heart transplant.


Nov. 7th, 2006 11:06 pm
gwalla: (Default)
Mostly voted Democratic, with a couple of exceptions. One was a Green for Senate, which was mainly a middle finger vote at Dianne Feinstein, who I can't stand. The other was a Republican for Insurance Commissioner, for two reasons: 1) he says he will never accept money from the insurance companies, and 2) I wouldn't elect that useless schmuck Cruz Bustamante dogcatcher.

The way I see it, if you don't vote, you do have every right to complain about who gets elected...but everybody else will be perfectly justified in thinking that you're just a lazy whiney asshole. Say somebody asks you what you want on your pizza. It's like if you say, "whatever, I don't care", then bitch about how you hate mushrooms when it arrives. Don't be an ass. Vote!
gwalla: (bad hair day)
The flu (or whatever) seems to have passed now, thank goodness.


Oct. 28th, 2006 08:13 pm
gwalla: (aww crap)
er than a dog. Last night I was puking every hour on the hour, if not more often, for nearly the entire night. Pure bile tastes surprisingly metallic. That + explosive diarrhea = not fun. I was begging for death.

Slept for most of today. I feel better (re: not puking etc.) but still pretty lousy. My skin feels hot but I'm getting chills. I'm guessing it's some sort of flu.
gwalla: (aww crap)
Eve, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I missed the party. I'd somehow gotten it into my head that it was on the 27th. So I was all gearing up for it this week, and just checked the evite to see what time it was going to be tomorrow night...and it was on Saturday. Crap. I'd RSVPed and everything.
gwalla: (aww crap)
Okay, here's the deal. A friend has invited me to his Halloween party. Costume party, o'course. A theme costume party, and the theme is G.I. Joe.

I never watched G.I. Joe.

Sure, I was aware of it. I'd occasionally see some at friends' houses if I was over, and sometimes caught the "knowing is half the battle" end segments if I tuned in early for whatever show came on next (He-Man? I can't remember). And of course I saw ads for toys all the freaking time. But I never watched it, or paid much attention to the toys. I didn't even know there had been a movie until the advent of the Internet. Consequently, I have no idea who most of them are. Of the Joes I could probably pick Duke, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, and Sgt. Slaughter out of a lineup. From Cobra: Cobra Commander, Destro, Serpentor, and Baroness. And I couldn't really describe them in much detail (except maybe Baroness, whose rendering by BigBigTruck has been etched into my retinas). That's the extent of my knowledge. Well, that and the fact that Cobra Commander hissed "I was once a man!" in the movie, which I think I learned from a few years ago.

So I need help coming up with a G.I. Joe costume. Preferably one made of items that are not difficult or expensive to acquire, and don't require heavy construction.

Doesn't help that I'm really not a costume person (as [ profile] aurora77 can probably attest; getting me to even wear a pair of devil horns at BoardieCon a few years ago must have been like pulling teeth)


Jul. 17th, 2006 11:23 pm
gwalla: (lon chaney)
False alarm. I had put in for Wednesday off. For some reason I'd gotten it into my head afterwards that the drive down started on Wednesday night, however. So I was just having a brainfart. Scared the hell out of myself.

In other news, there is a new addition to our family!

A new cat!

Her name is Godiva. Isn't she adowaboo?

The cell phone camera doesn't do her justice.
gwalla: (headdesk)
I was totally on the ball and got my time off from work arranged for Comic-Con well in advance.

And then today, talking to CPOK and Starlock, I find out that I'd misremembered, and we're leaving Tuesday night, not Wednesday night.


Gotta get that straightened out. My boss is a good guy, don't think he'd have a problem with it. But I still feel like a moron, and now I'm worrying about what if it's too late to get that day off?
gwalla: (only a temp)
New job starts Monday. Wish me luck!
gwalla: (aww crap)
It has come to my attention that I have not known enough people. I'm filling out this godawful form for a background check for my upcoming job, which requires contacts to be listed to verify practically everything (schooling, periods of unemployment, etc.) and does not allow repeats, and I have run out of people who qualify. Argh.
gwalla: (only a temp)
Interview tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Hope I sleep well tonight, since I have a tendency to sleep poorly and wake up in a cold sweat far too early when I know I have an interview that day, guaranteeing that I'll be slow and bleary-eyed for it. My brain hates me.


Apr. 4th, 2006 10:09 pm
gwalla: (only a temp)
My optimism was unfounded.

Too bad. The job sounded like it would;ve been a good fit for me. Ah well.

Work update

Apr. 3rd, 2006 12:46 pm
gwalla: (only a temp)
Interview went well, I think. It's actually less of a receptionist job: there's very little phone use (which is fine by me!). Most of it is working solo. Sounds like it would suit me well. The interviewer even said that they are very flexible about time off (without pay at this point) as long as it's not the busy season (September to December), which means Comic-Con remains doable.

Feeling good right now. Also, hungry. Time for lunch.


Apr. 2nd, 2006 10:40 pm
gwalla: (Default)
[ profile] gwalla's LiveJournal popularity rating is 3.80/10.
[ profile] gwalla is more popular than 97.2% of all LiveJournal users.
[ profile] gwalla is more popular than 58.9% of their mutual friends.
How popular are you?
LJ Popularity created by [ profile] thehumangame.

You like me! You really really like m*is shot*

Interview tomorrow. Wish me luck!


gwalla: (Default)

December 2011

1112 131415 1617
181920212223 24


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 05:40 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios