Trilobite Pachinko

Recent Entries

10/29/14 09:22 am - inktober 25 and 26

October 25
My elephant jack-o'-lantern from [personal profile] sovay's party. He remains adorable and on the porch. (And wow, brush pen and pumpkin are a great combination.)

 photo 2014-10-28-inktober25_zpsb46a0227.jpg

October 26
Black Forest cake made by me and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks. Fun with representational shading!

 photo 2014-10-28-inktober26_zps70f9fc7e.jpg

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2/18/14 02:54 pm - birthday

It's my birthday today. I have graduated from being a square and am now a prime, which is likely the last time that will happen.

Feeling sad, which I think is due to not knowing what happens next with my entire life. There's funding for a project in the lab I'd like to work in (yay!), but they have to go through some sort of fair interview process and can't just hire me, so I do not yet have a job and might not. And, thinking I'd have cramps, I foolishly didn't plan anything for tonight. Currently roping my mom into taking me out to dinner.

Good things so far today:
I do not actually have cramps.
Slept in.
Wearing favorite jeans, which I mended last night while listening to 90 minutes of new Night Vale.
Carrying my shiny red e-reader, which I repaired over the weekend.
Nice messages from people (and my student loan provider, ?) about my birthday.
Nice message about another good thing.
Entertaining stormy rain.

Good things in the past year:
Got my Ph.D. dammit. It is okay if I am still feeling fragile, I was super awesome.
Figured out how to live alone and still have a relationship with Wim.
Got together with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks.
Did not have Crohn's Disease.
Made some nifty stuff including ramen bowls, a quilt, and a star dress.

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1/1/14 10:19 pm - what I did on my holidays

With picturesCollapse )

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1/1/14 08:14 am - the unexpected utility of Buster Keaton

Happy New Year.

I talked to the universe last night about what I want from the coming year. It's not a topic I can reproduce here, because one of the few superstitions from my childhood that I really believe in is that talking about uncertain good things jinxes them. I managed to articulate it, though, in the time just after midnight. I was listening to my local indie music station, which had finally gotten to curate the fireworks display music to excellent effect, and I'd been laughing about trying to stream footage of the very foggy fireworks (since my TV doesn't work with broadcast any more) and failing. There were some hilarious stills of BIG GLOWING BLOBS on the Seattle Times webcam, which also inexplicably gave me images of daytime and 8pm when refreshed. Gin and Limonata may also have helped my eloquence along.

The great thing about the jinx worry, though, is that in person I now have developed a way around it. See, we have this mask-on-a-stick of Buster Keaton from the SIFF movie marathon a while back, and he is so very solemn that somehow it's entirely logical for me to be able to say the unsayable if I hold him up to my face. If any jinx should fall, well, his movies are such that a jinx would actually help, or even be required by the laws of time travel to achieve those effects. And it would certainly go to the movie roles rather than to him personally, because the picture is black and white. My plan is flawless.

Thus I inform you: wishes exist, and I have managed to talk about them with Wim and to the universe both. May we all get what we hope for this year.

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12/4/13 11:48 pm - Thanksgiving, as told in foods


Mushrooms stuffed with balsamic-onion jam and some undetectable Brie.

That ubiquitous rosemary flatbread-stuff that is actually a giant cracker -- these are tasty but they break so unpredictably that I will never comprehend why we don't use the far more efficient cracker format -- spread with a thin layer of cream cheese and a cherry-jalapeno jam.

Fried mozzarella-basil wontons. I cannot speak to the marinara dipping sauce, as that is made of poison, but these were pretty good. They cooled quickly, though; one of the advantages of breading on cheese sticks, or of jalapeno poppers, is that the cheese is more insulated and stays melty better. I don't think there's a materials solution to the tradeoff of keeping it warm vs. napalm-like pockets of molten doom in a freshly fried food, though.


Pumpkin-pie-infused vodka, which we tried to come up with ways to use effectively. Bailey's was lackluster in combination. I suggested spiked vanilla milkshakes, but we didn't wind up trying it.

I made a drink that was mandarin-orange-flavored vodka and cranberry bitters with soda and lime, which my mom said tasted like nothing. "Is that what you like?" It is not my fault you have lost your taste buds to age, lady.


Turkey! I love turkey. And gravy, not particularly remarkable gravy but it doesn't need to be.

Smoked fowl. Cornish game hens? Chickens? I heard them called both, and they were of intermediate size. Pink and yummy. I only had a little, since one person can't have turkey and I didn't like to deprive him.

Mashed potatoes. Dairy-enabled this year due to Wim absence.

Sweet potatoes. Thank goodness no marshmallows. This was both delicious and weird, though: brown sugar and pecan topping, but also bananas mashed in. Unless you tasted after them specifically, you didn't know what that extra flavor was, but the bananas were strong and strange.

Brussels-sprout faceoff. Two people in my family like these things, and they've recently taken to trying to outdo each other in making them edible. I don't hate them, but I like almost any other vegetable better, so it was kind of impressive that I enjoyed both of the treatments pretty well. One was a breadcrumb and parmesan thing, and the one I liked better used balsamic vinegar and cranberries to almost entirely kill the sulfur flavor.

Some people eat dressing or stuffing. I do not, though we had both.

Cranberry sauce, topic of the great cousin schism. Although we're all on the same page about jellied vs. whole berry -- obviously jellied is correct -- we have an ongoing theatrical fight about scooping vs. slicing to serve. I am pretty sure I started it one year when someone had presliced the whole can, I mean, what was that bullshit?

(Interlude to visit my dad, who was collapsed in bed feeling terrible. He said he would eat a small plate of food if we got him one, so I made sure Mom took it to him later.)


Little cheesecakes with caramel and bits of candy bar on top. I was a fool to eat one without a plate under it, as the crusts were fucking crumbly. Some candy bars were Snickers and some were Twix. It was hard to argue with these.

Boozy Chai Pumpkin Pie, made from the very pumpkin that had infused the aforementioned vodka. No flavor accrued from the vodka, as one would expect, but the chai spice was excellent. Dense filling wasn't even really custard any more, too solid. Dark caramelized crust.

Ridiculous pumpkin tart that my mom had been talking about for a month. This was out of control. Springform pan, regular-tasting pie crust but it might have been supposed to have bourbon in, fairly standard filling, thick layer of salted caramel on top of the filling (!), candied pumpkin seeds on top of the caramel (!!). She didn't make the bourbon whipped cream, but there was already too much going on, so that was okay. Delicious but bewildering.

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11/27/13 11:07 pm - scattered happiness

There was a faux chestnut in the pizza place harvest display, all silly green-plastic spines. Wim and I were both delighted.

1. Felt better about going to family Thanksgiving. (Failing actually interacting better, I have the new 3DS Zelda game.)

2. Painted fabric looking good for baby square of doom.

3. Thai noodles and Leverage with Wim making us both feel better.

4. Email with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and very important Lucien cat.

1. Moderately intelligent cloning scheme generated by me!

2. Finished painting some very pretty coral, set the dye, and (this is critical) decided not to screw up my fingers and brain trying to finish the whole thing tonight.

3. Played Rock Band with my new drum pedal, which I had to buy on eBay since somehow the Goodwill only has the main drum-kit parts. Fun! Hilarious to observe myself failing to control my own foot!

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10/31/13 11:46 pm - stuff what is good

(It's just that I am exhausted 100% of the time. Dear friends, next time I yell at you for doing too much while convalescing, you may give me the beady eye and a link to this.)


1. Crosshatched shadows on the trail.

2. Lab meeting went very well for feeling like I am getting fuck-all done lately. A little good discussion happened, and I seemed on top of the material.

3. Oh, right. Workplace bonding is also letting my coworkers comfort me. Really good conversation with new tech C.

4. Afternoon outing to find a great dress and hang briefly with a capygirl.

5. Bring It On has the typical problem of musicals, i.e., not enough music, but won my heart by closing on outtakes and Toni Basil. (Also Isis is HOT.)


1. People in costume! One person had very nice tall, wavy, rainbowed horns that I'm sure are associated with no particular fandom whatsoever.

2. My hair is PINK. REAL PINK. And the hairdresser was happy to get to do it.

3. Halloween decorations! Skeleton cutout in someone's window is holding forth on a topic of interest to it, possibly while stoned. (Also good: taking a photo made the bus move in traffic, hence the blur.) Also, a lighted inflatable trailer from which Death periodically peeks out.

Who comes up with these?Collapse )

3. Janelle Monáe is the best performer working today. She is my Michael Jackson and my Elvis Presley.

4. We wore outfits.

Black and white outfits.Collapse )


1. More outfits at the lab Halloween party.

I dressed as a cherry tree.Collapse )


3. People are being Janelle Monáe for Halloween and she's retweeting them all, it's so great.

4. When you believe in science and magic at the same time, the world is amazing.

5. Last day of antibiotics!

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10/27/13 11:25 pm - good restful day

1. A perfect yellow ginkgo leaf for my coat lapel.

2. The glowing colors of everything at twilight: especially notable, a deep-pink dahlia shining with blue-tinged light.

3. Excellent date with Wim: cupcake acquisition, Gravity, eating red meat (a major craving this month) while talking over the movie and Vorkosigan novels/fic, reading the crowdsourced Jenga commandments, getting tipsy and playing Connect 4.

4. Someone was setting out creepy illuminated heads in their yard as I rode the bus past going home.

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9/22/13 11:32 pm - good things in the rain

1. Chill time with cats and music and puzzles.

2. Matte top coat for nails! Expect the renaissance of the highway manicure, now with fog lines that don't wash off with water.

3. FAIR. Five-day-old piglets! Pygmy goats! Collections! Quilts! (There was this one quilt based on Just the Ticket pattern that really looked like razor blades. I think I can resist my tasteless parodic impulse. Maybe.)

4. Someone at the fair had a Super Calvinball shirt that made me really happy.


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5/11/13 09:37 pm - lots of stuff day

This morning I went to the Reptile Expo with Wim! Lots of great herps, including beautiful snakes with intriguing recessive genes. I loved that so many of them were sold with zygosity information, too. Aaaaand, ultimate cuteness again resides in my home: I got another baby axolotl. Hachiko! Number word beginning with H (Japanese 8 is hachi), to go with Hex, and the Shibuya Station Hachiko was a dog while axolotls are called "water dogs" sometimes. She has wild-type coloration and also GFP, green fluorescent protein; it's hard to see in her body without applying black or 405-nm light, but her pupils shine green instead of black. Pics soon. She's only about three inches long and has beautiful fluffy gills. Still too small to sex really, so her gender is merely grammatical.

Then we met up with rysmiel (and very briefly elynne), and got lunch at Hana then dessert at Dilettante. A wild m-pig appeared, and we all went to the lab real quick, then the Taiwanese Student Association's yearly Night Market. This year's available grass jelly was neither a hot drink nor a cold drink, but just the jelly itself in a cup. We also had tasty popcorn chicken, beautiful tea eggs, delicious watermelon juice, and some pork-mushroom rice in a leaf that I didn't try, but we were too full from before to do justice to the early short lines. Then there was sitting on the grass talking, which on my part involved being really tired, and I took people home.

Now: Hachi into her tank, cats on me, gin + Limonata, maybe Azumanga Daioh.

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