katekat: (Default)
I don't know if any of you are into alternative modes of transportation that have arisen in the last couple of years, but if you live in LA like me, they pretty much have transformed the landscape. It used to be if I wanted to use a cab )

So yay for Uber and Lyft! )

So yay for Uber and Lyft!? )

I wrote all that so I could get to this.

Here's a horror story of someone who, because she refuses to accept technology, got completely shafted. Here's a horror story that I don't quite know the moral lesson to.

My ex-housemate from Japan (remember her? I'll try to tag this post appropriately if you don't) is someone who eschews mobile technologies. She's very frugal so I think she doesn't have a smart phone so that she can save money. She also pretty much refuses to text people. It's been a source of irritation for others of our friends just because that is an easy way to communicate that's pretty ubiquitous. I haven't talked to her about it, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't have a texting plan.

So she went to a conference on the east coast a couple of weeks ago, and she had to get a ride back to the airport. Apparently the public transit system was on the fritz due to a storm. The taxi line was really long. An Uber guy pulled up alongside the taxi stand and she decided to take it.

However, because she doesn't have the app on her phone, she gave her credit card to the driver, who said he could input her card into his phone - it would charge her for the amount they drove.

What was supposed to be a $50 charge (long drive to the airport) turned into a $300 charge.

That's right - $300.

And because she gave her card to the driver, she didn't even get a receipt for the transaction (all of these apps email you receipts in-app). Her bank won't let her fight it, because she can't show a receipt. She's probably going to be out $300 because she didn't use the service in the way it was intended. And because she took a risk going with a driver who then bilked her out of money (oh, and the charge to her card is UberBlack - their limo service... so she may have gotten ripped off because that WAS the charge for the service, not the $50 the driver told her).

Crazypants huh? I think so too.
katekat: (SUITS_adorable harvey)
over the last month I've been absolutely buried in work, in life, in Bones and Leverage. No. Seriously.

I graded 45 midterms and 45 papers of 6-10 pages each over the space of three days. I've met with 2/3rds of my students to review their work. I applied for four different types of funding (endowed fellowship, summer grant, summer travel, and writing program teaching assistant) for summer and fall that took me three or four days at a time to write up (though one took a week). I've applied for gotten a position on a SF panel at the MLA, had a proposal accepted at an April grad student conference in Berkeley, and a conference in Poland I haven't heard from yet. I've gone to talks on photographing the gentrification of Highland Park, on Medieval Japanese studies, and on what to do after graduation. I've started the planning our own Grad Student conference (hopefully coming 2015) with an initial budget.

I made breakfast-for-dinner for friends (waffles!), had dinner made for me (homemade tapenade and roasted chicken for the win!), got my housemate drunk (a couple of times, though not on purpose), had a movie night to show off Sakuran, went out twice with grad students for recruitment dinners, hosted a prospective grad student at my house, and took the dog to the dog park twice (she loves it, my car hates her fur).

I found out I received an endowed fellowship for next year (one of those funding proposals) which is like the most amazing thing ever - next year I will *only* be writing, not TAing and not any other thing. Also, it'll be the first time i will be above the poverty line in three years, yay!

other stuff )

so you could say it's been a bit of a long month. the bad part is i've only read one article on my own research and not written a single thing at all. that changes this weekend.
katekat: (Default)
(hey, you try having a good day when yours starts out with the child in the house next to you screaming at the top of their lungs for half an hour first thing in the morning)

I have read two fics in the last two days in the TeenWolf Fandom clearly written by British-English speakers and each time they use phrases that are simply NOT IN California dialect AT ALL when writing a fic from Stiles' perspective. It drives me crazy.

I want to write them a note -- the word "whilst" is NOT in the California speaking vocabulary. The idioms "sitting down to tea" (or variations thereof) are not part of California teen-speech. The tough part is that it's not simply single words, it's phrasing, sentence structure, and tone. (and whoever said you can't understand tone on the internet was wrong. Sure, tone can be misconstrued, but we've been writing tone into our sentences since we first put sentences together into books -- it's there in fiction writing and it's there on the internet and it will be there whenever we write words down).

And sure, I haven't been a CA teen for a while, but trust me, I know what they sound like.

for example, this sentence:

That point is by-the-by.

great sentence. don't get me wrong. but NOT A SENTENCE STILES WOULD EVER EVER THINK. because Stiles? Does not know how to properly use by-the-by. It is not part of his lexicon. And there is a specific California dialect. I promise. I've lived in it.

These authors clearly put time into their work, which is why i'm ranting here, not at them. at the same time, why not ask someone to help with these things, if you're putting that much time into it? Maybe they don't know? Since they got a lot of other slang right, maybe they know and don't care? I tried once to talk to someone about how their Xander didn't just sound a bit British, he sounded like he was just about ready to grab his torch to head out to the shops for a bag of chips (and Bob's your uncle!) and they told me since they had someone in New York telling them their fic was fine, my opinion and objections weren't something they had time to listen to. Which is sad since NY vernacular doesn't sound like CA at all. I had to stop reading their fic, because i'd get kicked out of it every other paragraph. And the same thing is happening now.

/rant. sorry for cluttering up your day with this, but omg. it's been one thing after another. had to get it out.

ok, and while i'm ranting, another example of me being as petty as i want in my own journal - OMG HOUSEMATE!!! )
katekat: (Default)
My housemate rolled her eyes at me today because I asked her if she'd clear the entire dish drainer out more often than she has been doing.

You see, no apartment in Japan has a dishwasher. Or, ok, no student housing. Just like we don't have ovens. So you're hand washing all the dishes. I don't mind this - even my place in LA doesn't have a dishwasher (that's because it's cheap! yay cheap housing!).

Anyway, rules of the road in my LA place are (and this is living with two different people): if you're doing dishes, you try to clean out the dry dishes first. Of course it doesn't happen every time or anything. But if you start putting one dish away it's easy enough to put all the rest of 'em away (dish drainers aren't that big after all).

Current housemate wants to leave her dishes in the drainer and never put them away. For her it's a perfect system - from drainer to table and back again. EXCEPT, LO, I USE DISHES TOO.

And I realize what the fundamental problem is here: she's not used to living with other people. I know for a fact she's been living by herself since she's been in LA (which is two years or so), and she doesn't talk about past housemates, so I'm guessing that she lived by herself or with parents (a whole different set of compromises).

But eyerolls?

So, flist, give me your advice? Eyerolls really piss me off. I want to open my bedroom door and ask her to please refrain from rolling her eyes at me when I'm trying to calmly bring up something that bothers me. Even if she thinks the subject is closed, if it bothers me, I'd appreciate that she give me the courtesy of taking me seriously as her housemate. Even if she chooses not to compromise with me, I'd like her to acknowledge me in a mature way.

Actually, I can guess what you're going to say - I should ignore it, because confronting her isn't going to make it any better. But goddamn i hate it when I get made to feel absurd and like i'm an ass because I asked someone to do *exactly* what I'm doing every time I put away the damn dishes -- just meet me fucking halfway.
katekat: (buffy - summertime)
I spent a wonderful week at my Dad's, though it was a bit more of a marathon than a relaxing week (since apparently my idea of relaxing does not necessarily include getting up at 7:30 am to make an 8:30 am water aerobics class - but I did, every week day I was there!). I had a ton of fun, and for the first time in a while both my parents there were in really good spaces and so we had the kind of talks I've come to treasure deeply where we don't shy away from the scary stuff. These conversations are good, like lancing a boil or something, even though a little painful having to admit things hurt or things weren't fun, or whatever, still feeling better after working through it. Oh dear gods, sorry, hopefully that was slightly articulate. Anyway, I got to have those one on one conversations with both my dad and my stepmom at different times, but on the back porch of the house in the quiet when voices go a little meditative. My stepmom and I are pretty emotionally similar in a lot of ways, and really this time for me the best part was getting to tell her that I was worried when I went to visit earlier in the summer about her not being particularly happy, and that I was relieved that essential spark that so delights me about her was back (she's gone vegan and done some other things and she's feeling a thousand times better, and it shows with both her and my dad). And I never want to forget being out on that same porch in the evening having a much shorter (but no less meaningful) conversation with my father, who in his own way was telling me he's proud of me. He talked about how what I'm doing is something no one else in our family really has - the getting of the phd - and that mentioning of the difference is his way of pointing out that i'm doing something good in his eyes. Made me happy.

Also me and my stepmom managed to do our part for the failing american economy (or, as [livejournal.com profile] gray_ghost put it, 'they probably took pity on you since you don't have any money') and i was taking new clothes shopping, to get my hair cut, and my toes and nails done. I put on one of my new dresses the next day and my dad grunted (such is his way) that he liked this new one. When I asked how he knew it was new, he pointed out with a sardonic laugh that he'd seen all my other clothes so many times he could recognize what was in my closet and what had just been added to it.

So, after that, normally I'd drive back to LA and turn into a closeted pumpkin for a couple of days - reading old fanfic, watching some bad tv, and taking the dog on a walk, but not much else.

Instead, though, a friend of mine was in town doing some consulting work on a site and so she came to visit the same night I got back! We went to dinner that first night, then came back home and caught up with the first couple of episodes of True Blood. Friday she was back out at her work site, while I ran errands and got some of the tasks on my mental to do list finished; we saw Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (which was its own brand of hilarious) that night. And then yesterday spent the day watching the first season of Spartacus while preparing for a party since some of my friends who were out of town when I ABD'd wanted to celebrate since they were back. Thus, well, Saturday night = party. Today we went to the Getty and wandered around the gardens and a couple of wings, and now, well, frankly, I'm pooped.

We were talking about going up to Griffith Park tonight to do the planetarium (because planetariums are awesome, hello!) but since she's taking a nap right now I may suggest postponing that until tomorrow night.

Oh gods, tomorrow. Tomorrow I start summer school and oh dear gods i really wish i didn't have to. but, i do, so today is my last day for having to moan about *having to go* (i make no promises about not moaning about things like the damn workload, because it's not going to be light). It's a rotten schedule since it takes about an hour to get across town, i'm going to be carpooling with co-student, and i have to talk to her at 7:45 am.

I. am. not. good. with. mornings.

Actually, the truth is I'm great with mornings as long as I don't have to talk to people until at least an hour after I wake up. If I can get up, get some coffee, go outside, check email, get in the car, listen to the radio on my way to school, then I am GREAT after all that. But most of the summer, since the time I naturally tend to wake up is about 9 am, I'm going to be forcing myself to wake, but I will inevitably snooze until the last minute, and I will then be jamming what should be an hour's worth of waking up into something like 20 minutes of time, and be carpooling with this woman so we can save money and have to *blerg* talk to her *blerg*. I would be displeased if I was doing this with anyone, frankly. Even my mom learned not to talk to me in the mornings during highschool (and the lesson still hasn't worn off 20 years later).

school. oh well.
katekat: (_metal scream)
First, Delicious. YOU SUCK.

Second, after almost successfully avoiding being annoyed by co-student in Japan even though we were both there at the same program (I had lunch with her a couple of times and that was it) she has gone back to annoying the hell out of me - and we only have one class together!  this time, i got to bug her back )

So here, have some recs of awesome fic, because that will always make days better.

Still and Steady by helens78
XMen: First Class | Erik/Charles | NC17 | 2,872 words
Charles could tie Erik up, could pin him down, but all he really needs is his mind.
Oh my gods hot. I've been reading her Hellfire Series (which is AWESOME but still WIP, but go read if you are ok with WIPs). This little sexy one-shot is my favorite kind of telepathy-sex though :)

The Pizza-Verse (Pizza and a Movie, The Secret Life of Lawyers, A Series of Covert Disasters) by Closer
Suits | Mike/Harvey | NC17 | AU | 65,600 words
In an alternate universe, Harvey's still the best closer in New York but Mike's not a runner for Trevor: he's a pizza deliveryman, Harvey's favorite pizza deliveryman. And Harvey's discovery that Mike's more than he lets on will change everyone's lives...
Love this verse SO much! Don't ask me why the shift in dynamics works, just let me tell you that it totally does. I think I've actually read this twice already.

Shatter by Aria
Thor | Thor/Loki | NC17 | AU | 32,000 words
"Loki," Odin says, heavy with disappointment and regret for all he has to raise his voice, "Odinson. I cast you out."
Oh my gods so worth it. I love how Loki is like fandom's darling misunderstood boy, but also how some writers actually keep him unable to apologize and smart and calculating and still with that broken bleeding heart. So, um, AU for if Odin sent Loki down instead of Thor (in case that wasn't obvious).
katekat: (tetsuo - crazy claw girl w/glasses)
Grumble grumble grumble grr grr grrr

Ok, so I forgot to take my Chinese herb zen pill today, and I don't know if it's that or lack of sleep or whatever but I am finding all kinds of things to grr at today.

First, I went ahead and upgraded to firefox 4.0 on the rec of [livejournal.com profile] gray_ghost and lost all of the extensions that I find actually useful on firefox (which, admittedly, is only two, because I don't actually use firefox much anymore) AND it turns out firefox is pretty much imitating chrome but doesn't look as pretty. NOT what I consider an upgrade. I will uninstall and reinstall the older version when I get done snarling.

That also means, though, that I don't get to use the lj update client I actually like to use to update. GRR.

Second (or third, take your pick) is that I actually did bite the head off of co-student today because her repressive silence in class did bug me )

/ rant. So yeah, didn't say all that out loud. And I had been more charitable about this stuff in earlier weeks, but I snapped today.
katekat: (Default)

After making pancakes for 15 odd years with varying degrees of success I found myself this morning with the perfect plate of silver-dollar pancakes (see above). They may look a little large in the picture but they're approx 3 inches in diameter and freakishly they came out perfect. I am a pleased Kate.

My plan today is pancakes, Maeda Ai (one of the foremost philosophers/literary scholars/interrogators of the modern periphery in modern Japan) reading, and possibly the buying of a vacuum cleaner belt if there are any stores open Sunday.

It was a fairly hellish week last week - rescheduling a make up class meant that I had two sets of reading to do for the class that is trying to create records in how much we read a week - and by the end of it I wanted to club the woman who is taking all the same classes as me over the head with my computer. I'm going to have to come up with a name for her, I think, so I can vent properly.... possibly co-student? The sad part is that she's making me happy to have my nemesis in one of our classes because he's an annoyance in an entirely *different* kind of way. It's freakish when that's more welcome!

you see, the thing about co-student is... )

Other than that life is pretty good - still tired, and have applications to work on and a paper to edit on the to do list too.  And possibly a friend coming to spend the night tomorrow night.

And this was supposed to just be a quick entry about pancakes.  *shaking my own head at myself*

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