Freedom

August 29, 2014 // No Comments

True freedom is being able to take your alcoholic drink outside with you when you go smoke… Or just because you feel like it.

I miss Copenhagen.

Grateful – Revisiting Queues

February 26, 2014 // No Comments

Today I am thankful to live in an area of peace, where I do not have to queue up for food and medical aid.

Roli Seaboard – Another Cool Keyboard I’ll Never Use

December 09, 2013 // 1 Comment

On Saturday Rich tried to take me to the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at David Zwirner gallery, but with a 3-hour wait, they had already closed the line by the time we arrived at 3pm (besides, I ain’t waiting in line for 3 hours for anything).

We ended up meandering around kind of aimlessly and found ourselves at the Wired pop-up store/show space, where the keyboardist from Dream Theater was giving a demo of the Roli Seaboard. It’s pretty cool, all the keys are basically rubbery soft keys that can do all kinds of wonky things. I also love the minimalist aesthetic of the keyboard. I kind of wanted one until I tried it out for myself and found the keys a little hard for my dinkier fingers (ring finger, pinky) to press. We can’t all be burly metal band keyboardists, after all. Anyway, last thing I need is another keyboard I’m not going to play (I haven’t touched my Roland keyboard in like 2 years).

One of the best things about living in this city is being able to randomly run into stuff like this. I was kind of disappointed about missing the exhibit, but happening upon the Wired store with a dude demoing a crazy keyboard and being able to check out the Occulus Rift and other funky things pretty much made up for it.

Fusion

October 18, 2013 // 1 Comment

Avicii did the impossible with his latest single by fusing country with EDM. I didn’t like the song the first time I heard it, and I don’t like it now, but from the first time I heard it I thought it was absolutely amazing, genius even, that he managed to blend these two completely disparate genres together. I honestly thing it’s a great song, even though I personally don’t care for it.

I like classical music. Specifically/non-colloquially I like baroque music (17th c, think Bach and Vivaldi, lots of notes).

I like trance music.

I like power metal.

(Uplifting) trance music borrows from classical. Power metal borrows from classical–in fact I find it strikingly similar to baroque music. Both make use of heavy melodic intervals. Make this happen already, somebody.

Btw, I liked house and then trance years ago, and they had a baby already (listen to any “EDM” act coming from NL), so I’m pretty positive this will work.

I Love Queues

August 21, 2013 // 1 Comment

My visit to Vietnam this March (pics are finally up in the Photos link) wasn’t the greatest. My first two visits in 2009 and 2011, respectively, were great and kept me wanting to go back despite some red flags (metaphorical) I encountered. The country was still kind of new and wild to me so I could overlook the problems. The third visit broke the charm down and I saw more of the crusty underbelly of a corrupt turd world. …Okay, not really, I just wanted to say “crusty underbelly” and “turd world.” But it did paint the place in a different light for me.

There was one particularly terrible day where we visited this temple on top of a mountain, called Yên Tử. There are cable cars for much of the journey (you can also take stairs), but then the “trail” to the very tippy top does not have stairs, or much of them, and pretty much requires you to climb up boulders and stuff. What made it really dangerous, though, was how crowded it was since we went during the temple’s spring festival season. And because Vietnamese people don’t queue or have the same personal space boundaries that we in the West have, there was a lot of pushing and shoving, all while trying to balance on very precarious ledges. It was also windy and misting quite a bit so the rocks were wet and slippery. I also got separated from the rest of my family and our phones didn’t work up there so there was that added stress. It was so crowded there would be times when everyone was at a complete standstill for minutes at a time, packed worse than sardines, and assholes would still try to shove through. There was no way to turn back around so all you could do was follow/get shoved along with the crowd, no clear end in sight. I thought I was going to get crushed up there, or fall to my death. It was the worst.

When I got to the top (or near enough, I just wanted to find the way down), I simply sat down and cried for a long time. I thought the worst was over, but the way down was just as bad. Steep steps, more crowding and shoving, missing the signs for the cable car, not knowing when the “adventure” would end… Just awful. Worst day of my life. There is a reason the photo album for that place has markedly fewer pictures than any other album. Yên Tử is my most hated place on Earth.

It wasn’t all bad, though. I came out of that experience a changed person. When I’m stuck behind slow people on the sidewalk (which is nearly everyday in NYC), it doesn’t bother me anymore because it’s better than shoving and being shoved all the time. When I’m stuck in queues, I’m ever so thankful there is even a queue at all. I’m incredibly grateful that we have an orderly, regulated society with only a few assholes to ruin things. I get the whole “different, not better” ideal when it comes to different cultures; hard not to when you grow up juggling two cultures. But when it comes to queuing vs. not queuing there is no contest that queuing wins and all societies that practice good queuing are better for it.

Knickers on Sale

August 19, 2013 // 2 Comments

And just when I was debating when I should order a few packs of the aforementioned M&S knickers, they decided for me by putting all clothes on sale at 20% off, today only.

I ordered 4 packs, but maybe I should’ve got more. The excellence of these underpants cannot be overstated.

Knickers

August 16, 2013 // 3 Comments

When we were stuck in Dublin without our luggage, Rich and I stopped at a Marks & Spencer to pick up some essentials, like socks and undies. I got a pack of simple cheapie underwear I figured would get me through the trip and I wouldn’t feel bad tossing when they’d inevitably (I thought) fall apart in a few months. A few years later and they are my favorite underwear. They’ve held up better than all my other underwear, no VPL!!! (this is sort of a huge deal since the pants trousers I wear the most are pants trousers that are very unforgiving in this area), are very comfortable, wear very well under all types of clothing, and are great for travel (wash and dry easily, roll up teeny tiny). I didn’t know I could love underwear so much.

Imagine my elation when I learned that shipping from M&S online is free to the US and they still carry this wonderful line of underwear. I have no idea why I didn’t look this up earlier. I guess with our track record of hitting up the UK every other year, I thought I’d be back in person to buy them, but I guess all the drinking in Edinburgh made me totally forget about it.

Yeah, I am totally excited about being able to buy underwear from the UK. This is life-changing stuff, guys!

I Ordered My Citibike Key Like a Million Years Ago

June 19, 2013 // No Comments

They told us we’d have them last week and it’s still not here! I want it now!!!

Or at least by this Friday so I can use it over the weekend.

The Ram Ones

June 14, 2013 // 2 Comments

In high school I was buddies with this punk rocker fellow (at least that’s what I considered him because I didn’t know shit from a shingle when it came to genres… we were in band together). My fondest memory of him is when he was making fun of kids who didn’t know anything outside of top 40 music, and mockingly said, “Who are the Ram Ones?” (ram wuns) in reference to the Ramones.

Since then (early 2000s), whenever I see that name, I read it to myself as “Ram Ones.” Even Joey Ram One is not immune. It became so rote I actually have to think about it a hair longer if I want to say it correctly in my head. I am waiting for it to come full circle, when I say it out loud, and someone looks at me like I’m insane and asks, “Who are the Ram Ones?”

Bye Bye Balls

June 13, 2013 // No Comments

The two twerps got their bits snipped this Tuesday. It wasn’t a castration, the vet did an abdominal incision more like a spay. Their nuts are shrinking and it looks kind of sad back there. They looked pretty miserable the first night back, but by the next day they were mostly out and about. Haggis seemed to take it harder than Nestor (Haggis was also the bigger bully, even though he was physically smaller than Nestor).

We did it because there is always the possibility of acquiring (rescuing) more rats in the future and figured neutering them while young would be the best bet. This way introductions will be easier and we can house males and females together (which we would spay/neuter as well, unless they’re too old). It’s really not about marking because we expect and accept that (the twerps pee on everything, but the amount is so little it makes no difference, and they weren’t markedly aggressive either. Just thinking of the future. We also have an exotic vet available with rat experience or else I wouldn’t have risked it.

Pics of their homecoming are forthcoming. They’re so adorably sad looking.

Summer Paradise

June 05, 2013 // 1 Comment

As the weather heats up, I find myself dreaming of southern France. Last year we stayed in a cute house with an amazing little yard in Vence, managed by an older couple who didn’t speak a lick of English. We went into the beautiful medieval town center to pick up fresh bread every other day, which we ate with jam, butter, or nothing, because it was that good (though of course the jam and butter were outstanding). We explored old villages, walked along the stony shores of the Mediterranean, and enjoyed the most delicious food. You can’t get that quality of life here.

I gotta find my way back.


(There’s an English version of the song, but that one can go to hell.)

Naked Rats

June 01, 2013 // No Comments

We have two new additions to our home: a pair of young rat brothers adopted via Kind Heart Rescue. They’re hairless rats (double rex) but still have a bit of peach fuzz all over. The tips of their noses are brown and I swear they get a little browner everyday.

The twerps (as I lovingly call the pair) are named Nestor and Haggis. Nestor was given his name because he immediately set to work building a nest when we brought him home. I came up with Haggis because I’m stupidly into food names and I wanted a name that represented a thing most people hate but Rich and I really enjoy. We feel that rats and haggis are misunderstood. They’re both great! (Don’t eat rats, though.)

Two lazy twerps

Two lazy twerps

Haggis explores

Haggis explores

Two twerps in a hammock

Two twerps in a hammock

Haggis peaks out

Haggis peaks out

The Twerps' Skyscraper

The Twerps' Skyscraper