Thursday, January 29, 2009

Colder

It's the phrase "childlike wonder"

I was just listening to the Fireman's Sing the Changes. The chorus mumbles something about childlike wonder. It gladdens my cold, cynical heart. Not because I feel childlike wonder, but because it reminds me of the heyday of Fake Steve Jobs, before Lyons was dragged out into the lights, before the economy went down in flames and before Actual Steve stepped down because was so ill. Back when Steve Jobs, fake or real, was pretty amusing.

This has been a dismal month, in spite of some highlights. Here, let me help you out – when things go badly, my sense of humour kicks in. I'm a few days short of being thirty and feeling a little lackluster about, not the age, but the timing.

One day I was set to spend the day in Vienna with the then-boyfriend, and I walked out of the office the day before. "Call me if he proposes!" a friend yelled from her desk. We both laughed. I remember calling her the next morning from snowy Vienna; my friend sounded sleepy.

"I said I'd call you"

"Oh…. " "OH!"

This morning was like a surreal parody of that morning – a layer of ice an inch thick on the car, the parking lot a sheet of ice. It took half an hour and three people to get out onto the street. We laughed. I drove to work at 25 mph, and couldn't bring myself to mind any of it very much.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome to the dangerzone


One of the odd things about living close to the Naval Academy is that you realise to what extent they sincerely believe in their own stories. You all remember Top Gun, right? None of my readers is too young for that I hope. Top Gun - the testosterone-fuelled, heroic, sexy, ridiculous movie that made us all want to be Navy fighter pilots. Well, some of us anyway. Anyway, Top Gun. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, and lots of lusciously over-the-top dialogue. Famously features two songs - the terrible, teribble Berlin song, Take my breath away, which no, I'm not linking to, you can find your own schmaltzy entertainment; and then there was Welcome to the danger zones (I guess there was You've lost that lovin' feeling as well, but let's ignore that for the moment). Welcome to the danger zone is so completely into its own machoism that it is quite hard to take seriously.

Last summer I was at a Navy game, and after the wonderful marching and white-uniformedness, unimaginable to my Belgian mind, they brought out the team. To what music? Yes, exactly. No sense of irony at all. But you know what? In the context of Navy football players and men in tight white trousers, I can deal with a certain lack of self-awareness.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obvious

-- insert generic joyful Obama comment --

But most importantly, he is closing Guantanamo and banning torture. About this I care. That and sleep. So a good night's sleep to the new folks in charge.

Good night and good luck

(I need to see that movie)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

House

- Where I am. It is warm and snuggly here, and it has tea and blankets
- Where I was yesterday, on account of being sick. With tea and blankets
- Where I wasn't earlier, because I was at work, and so I watched the inauguration there
- Where I wasn't on Saturday, because I was at work, and then, because I was dying of hypothermia while waiting for the then-president-elect to show up. I was awesome, and very, very cold
- What I am watching. The Hunting episode. Which is a nice, action-packed episode, and a rare treat for TDEC, whose Spouse is allergic to House. Yes, I could still watch it (he reminds me) but that would be kind of anti-social

So House=good

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Exploding things

Ah yes, today was a bad day, though it involved one delicious and pleasant dinner. So now I am feeling very...Tchaikovsky. To be specific, I feel like the Overture to 1812, with its allusions to the Marseillaise, with its blood, bells, gore and unabashed angry triumphalism.

So - allons enfants de la partie, le jour de gloire est arrive

And a happy fucking weekend to you all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inflation

In case you are worrying about the economy, consider that, according to Wikipedia, the collective noun for alpacas is an inflation. An inflation of alpacas. Does anyone else think this is significant?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Addendum

And how could I forget:
  • Passing the night preceding CES in the ER with a late-night-snack-related injury, and then spending the week giving four-fingered handshakes and banging the unfortunate fingers into every available surface
Some day soon I will be able to flex all my fingers again.

Pandelectronium

After a week in la-la-land of talking to reporters, repeating myself and travelling in the slipstream of a mid-size celebrity*, I feel like this may be the first moment of relative normality in Vegas. So, stories? Hm. I'm tired, so how about highlights? Or at least memorable moments.
But first, for those not in the know: Vegas hosts two major conventions at this time of year - the Consumer Electronics Show, and the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo. Last year I did not notice this concurrence much. This year, on the other hand, it was very evident. This matters, you will see.

In random order:
  • the keynote: Steve Ballmer really does look like Uncle Fester - loveable, and deeply disconcerting in his attempt to look normal
  • the giant poster just to the right of the CES Sands expo entrance with the words "Virtual sex is now real"
  • attending my first ever press conference, and filming it, and talking to the nice person from Reuters, and generally feeling like a very happy amateur
  • viewing Diana Ross's many costume changes, at uniformly dazzling - literally - outfits
  • sitting in the uber-VIP section, watching said celebrity sing along enthusiastically to Diana Ross
  • talking to Hustler's genuinely interested Gadget Editor - best inter-convention overlap
  • women in babydoll dresses, suspenders, tiny shorts, pink latex, ... everywhere, all the time (a little traumatising, that)
  • being asked by the argumentative cab driver to be his campaign manager
  • the BBC journalist/editor who spent hours with my boss and to whom I sadly, tragically did not get to talk
  • the blood orange mojito at the end of it all
I'll probably remember more later but now rrrmmmpf...gnrr...
*snore*

*Not minor, certainly, but not A-list either. The Ford Fusion of the celebrity world. And before you ask, if you don't know who it is you have to guess first. I don't want the name on the blog - his many People would probably beat me, and they are many, and some of them can be pretty threatning. And no I did not talk to him, nor did I try to. I admit to going off to sleep instead. Sorry. Fame does not impress me much.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

We're off to see the wizard

Because, because, because...because of the wonderful things he does!

So I hope anyway. Anyway, I am watching How I met you mother and I think that's a first. I'm in a funk. I like that word, funk, even if it means nothing good. Well, it does mean something good - it makes you think. It makes me think. Maybe it's because I'm almost thirty, but I don't think so. I find myself ask myself questions all the time. Why did I say that? Why take it personally? How did I get to this point? Why am I so angry?

Maybe I am becoming a Unitarian, learning to live with the questions.

So here's Rilke, who has the most beautiful questions - and the best unfettered answers:

"You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within you the possibility of creating and forming, as an especially blessed and pure way of living; train yourself for that but take whatever comes, with great trust, and as long as it comes out of your will, out of some need of your innermost self, then take it upon yourself, and don't hate anything."

Monday, January 05, 2009

In with the new?

Apparently there is soon to be a new Dr. Who. And because most people hate change, people are already bashing the poor bastard. Well, good luck to him. Meanwhile I will soon be off to that fair of the New and Shiny that is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Wish me luck. I will need it almost as much as whatshisname. I agree that hair is pretty...gay. Not that I necessarily agree that that's a bad thing. I kind of like floppy hair. Speaking of gayness, isn't it statistically time for a gay Doctor? No? Surely it is.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

What gives

Ah yes, one cannot have a new year without a round up, reflective moment, all that. Actually, it turns out that it is quite possible to have a new year without reflecting on 2008. Lord, I had so much stress in 2008, I'm just glad to be done with it. So out with the old, and let's talk about ther dismal depression year of 2009. What does 2009 have to offer?

Here's the list:
- A press pass for CES. I got it in the mail yesterday and I am very geekily excited. Never mind that CES means a week of 18-hour-day insanity and staying in a dodgy hotel, I apparently am a valued member of the press. This entitles me to free lunches. Er, huzzah? And yes, my work is doing historical things at CES. They do that all the time, making history.
- Tickets to the inauguration. I hope. Please, Mr. Senator, give us tickets. We want to tell our grandchilders we're not sure we want yet.
- My birthday. I know, this fairly common as an annual event. This year, however, I am turning thirty. I will need extra retinol, and will have a reason to throw a party. It looks like I will in fact be travelling to the Frozen Wilds, so I had better get me some long underwear.
- Professional Godess Points. I guess the CES press pass is good for a lot of points, but as far as my in-field fame goes, I am glad that this year I will finally be presenting officially at the sector's biggest US convention. I have presented there informally before, but this year my name is in the booklet! I can can prove it!
- Vacation. When your family is all over Europe, and your charming in-laws are 800 miles away, one's vacation time is usually reduced to cinders in the simple act of spending time with them. I enjoy both sets of relatives, so this is all good. That said, there is of course a scarcity of the kind of non-purpose travel that we also like. In 2009, however, the Spouse and I will, thanks to said Spouse, go on a most-expenses-paid, utterly pointless, not-like-us-at-all, two-week vacation to remote nowhere in particular. I look forward to it.
- Eagles. We expect to see those on our eagles-mostly-guaranteed trip to West Virginia. Whee!