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Clara Bow
...But I have my doubts there's anyone left to freak.

At any rate, I won my debate with him thanks to my LJ archives.

Steve Jobs and Apple

Clara Bow
How do I even encapsulate my grief?

It may seem weird that I would grieve for a rich, kind of bastardy guy who I have never even met.

However, I spent years reading book upon book about computer history, and one of my hobbies is collecting antique computers, especially Apples.

Both of the Steves — Woz and Jobs — are like old friends to me, in a strange way. I admire them for the ground-breaking engineering and marketing hacks they did that helped build this wonderful technological world we live in now.

None of this would exist without them.

While I was always a bit more of a Woz girl than a Jobs girl, I was relieved when Jobs came back in the late 90s and brought Apple back from the brink of disaster, building it back into the successful company it is now.

He may not have always been the nicest guy, but he was a wizard and a visionary, and knew how to sell magic.

The world is poorer for his loss.



Clara Bow
So, Josh and I are now officially all married-like, as of Saturday. :D

Everything was perfect and beautiful and I would not have changed a thing.

May. 6th, 2011

Clara Bow
I had off work today, and Josh and I went and got our marriage license.


Yo. This shit’s almost for real, you guys.


Nerdy comparison of DDR and DC

hl ?
All weekend, since I got my Kinect, thoughts have been percolating in my brain comparing Dance Central (DC) and the previous king of dance video games, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), so I wanted to commit them to (digital) paper.

The most obvious difference is that of course the graphics and music in DC are going to beat the snot out of DDR's. However, it's so much of a newer game that that's not really a fair comparison, and for that reason I'm barely even going to mention it, and instead focus on what counts more -- gameplay. "Now wait," I hear you saying, "Aren't there elements where advances in technology are also going to affect the gameplay?" Yes, wiseasses. But, as I'll explain, not always to its benefit.

Honestly, I was never a DDR fan. I found it kind of tedious and annoying. Just moving my feet was never that immersive an experience for me. I personally found it kind of tedious, let's face it, at higher levels it was more memorization of routines than actually following what the screen was saying. To me, the simple act of moving my feet was not really interesting enough to be worth all the work of all that memorization. Plus you had to buy that extra dance pad... I didn't see the point in bothering.

For me, DC fixes the tedium by incorporating whole body movement. Yes, there's still plenty memorization, but since the movement is so much more interesting, it's far more worth it to me to do it enough times to learn it.

Ok, so what's the downside? Being scored on your entire body movement is a double-edged sword. What you gain in gameplay you lose in personal creativity. Gone are the days of the crazy awesome Korean kids at the arcades who could DDR incorporating flips and spins and twirls, still managing to land their feet and hands and god-knows-what-else on the right pads at the right time. In DC, if your leg or arm is just slightly out of position, your score slips. Welcome to your new robot army.

To their credit, they do try to combat this a little by giving you a "freestyle" mode in the middle of each song, usually during the "bridge" or "breakdown" of the song, where you can do your own thing. But I get the feeling DC's still not going to wind up fostering the same kind of subculture dance following that DDR had due to its overall rigid scoring structure.

It's a fun party game, the next logical evolution of dance games, and I don't regret the purchase at all. I just hope it isn't going to strangle all life out of future dance games now and forever.

Red Cross Donations for Japan

Clara Bow
If anyone wants to get a big impact for their dollar donating to the Japanese crisis, my company is hosting a Red Cross drive on Thursday. They are matching dollar amounts over $75. Josh and I are already going to make a donation over that amount. If anyone wants to put more into our kitty, you can Paypal it to me and I'll add it to our total -- that'll double your donation with no effort on your part. (Of course, it won't be tax deductable for you that way, so if you care about that, better make a separate donation for yourself by other means).

Email me at gilliann at gmail for details.


My US map.

Clara Bow

visited 30 states (60%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

You can see the results of my cross-country bus trips.

Jan. 15th, 2011

Clara Bow
Josh had the kids watch Supersize Me today and now they're all horrified by McDonald's.

Liberal brainwashing FTW.

Though the phonecall we're gonna get the next time their mom tries to take them to McD's should be... entertaining.

Great quote just overheard from the 5 year old... "And you can't go to Burger King either because THEY HAVE MCDONALD'S STUFF TOO!!!" LOL.

Life with Credit

HL Boo Hiss
I like opening the dumb credit card mailers I get just so I can get offended at the offers. Today's was the best ever. An outrageous 35.9% APR, $175 bucks to sign up, and $174 annual fee every year after for the privilege of carrying their card and spending my future earnings? Oh, fuck you.

To make myself feel better...

Clara Bow
...I present to you the following image, which was sent to me by adamjury, and has been making me giggle for days.

Racist dickwad jackass!

Clara Bow
I am absolutely FUMING right now at some bigoted JERK who came and sat next to me at the trolley stop and said "Nice to sit next to a white person sometimes."

He then tried to ask me about my Kindle, but I interrupted him and told him off, saying (um, rather loudly and with some heat) that I don't have conversations that start out with racist comments.

He apologized to me -- not specifically for the comment, mind you, but just a generalized apology -- and moved to another seat. I think he was (reasonably) afraid I would draw unwanted attention to him. Despite his move, my teeth were still clenched and my ears still burning, and a half hour later, remain so.

What gives him the right to say something like that? How dare he think that just because my skin is pale like his I share his hatred and bigotry. That is Not Ok.

If you are not ok with sitting next to people of all colors, well, you're in the wrong place, my man. I love my rainbow city, and if you don't, you can bloody well leave.


Life with a jealous cat

Pixel is so jealous it's literally ridiculous.

Once when rhiann31 was over, he launched himself 3 feet across the room into my into my arms because I had the nerve to be talking to her instead of paying attention to him. He also regularly places himself in between me and the other cats to have ALL MOMMY ATTENTION.

He pulled another good move last night after Josh got home from his midnight shift. Josh got into bed and put his arm around me to spoon me. Pixel decided this could not be borne, and, needing to be closer to me than the offending arm, lay down across my face.



Nov. 30th, 2010

Clara Bow
Someone scrubbed my throat with a dozen angry hedgehogs overnight. I was in bed for about 12 hours straight, getting up only to pee and email out of work.

I think we don't have nearly enough of the Theraflu flavor I tolerate to get me through the day. Danger, Will Robinson, danger.

On the plus side, I did manage to just shower and put on clean clothes.

A good day

Clara Bow
Much money left my bank account today, but it was a good day.

Thanks to a 30% coupon, I went to the Gap Outlet and got an extra 30% off of already reduced merchandise. My clothes may have been made by starving children in Indonesia, but at least I didn't pay much for them.

I then met up with Josh (he's been working night shifts, so slept in) and we went to the most amazing jewelry store in the world -- Halloween -- where the proprietor, Henri David, worked up a design for my engagement ring with us. I am reluctant to tell y'all what it looks like, for some reason. I suppose it's my natural sense of drama that I want there to be an "unveiling" once it's ready. Suffice it to say that it is... highly non-traditional. It'll be very unusual but very, very "me."

We then went to Old Navy and used that 30% off coupon to get winter things for Josh's girls, since of course they've outgrown/stained/destroyed everything from last year. Then, dinner at Vietnam Cafe.

Yay. Now I shall sleep the sleep of one trying to figure out how not to pay $3,000 to host an outdoor wedding for only 25 people, which is what most of the places we'd thought of seem to want, since they all seem to have larger weddings in mind.

Nov. 11th, 2010

I may be a leftist, tree-hugging, peacenik, but that just makes me even MORE grateful for the efforts of the men and women who risk their lives when the when the world leaders send them to do so. Thank you for all you've done, and may your efforts help bring about a time when your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews don't have to do the same.
Clara Bow
Josh officially proposed to me this morning.

So, um, we're engaged.


We both detest the giant-ass wedding things, so we will be having a very very small small family-only ceremony some time next year, and probably a big party after that. More details as they become available.

Conversation witnessed on the street today

Clara Bow
Man 1: Hey, Cuz. Cuz!

Man 2: (with great familiarity and friendliness, as if to an old friend.) Hey, man! How are you doing!

Man 1: I wasn't talking to you, man.

Man 2: Oh.

*Men walk off in opposite directions.*

This city is weird.

Cleaning person!

Clara Bow
Now that Josh has an actual job making actual money, we realized we can make one of my lifelong dreams come true -- we can get a cleaning person! We just want someone to come in once a month or so and we'd do maintenance in between. Anyone have someone they'd recommend who'd come out to West Philly? Let me know!

Truly impressed by Amazon

Clara Bow
I've never known Amazon to have amazing customer service, but I have to admit I'm impressed.

A couple months ago, right after the iPad was launched, I bought a used Kindle DX on eBay. It came in a beautiful leather case cover made by Octo. I love the hell out of it.

However, there were two problems... 1 very minor, 1 very serious indeed.

1) The Octo cover, while gorgeous, seemed to stress the plastic of the Kindle at one of the hinge points, causing a crack in the Kindle's plastic near the display. Just a slight cosmetic problem, really.

2) Last week, I somehow managed to crack the Kindle's actual screen, rendering it unusable.

I was despondent. I have come to rely on that Kindle heavily, and had only had it a few months. Since I bought it used, I knew it was out of warrantee and had little hope of getting a reasonable repair price.

I called Amazon's Kindle support line, just to see what they'd charge me for a repair. To my shock and joy, they offered to replace it, despite being out of warrantee. They overnighted a new, working one to me, already registered to my account. WOW.

However, in my excitement, I completely forgot to mention the unrelated cosmetic crack, and have been on pins and needles all week that when they received it, they would change their minds and charge me for a new one. As this is something I really could not afford right now, I was understandably nervous.

I could not figure out how to release the Octo case from the Kindle hinge system, and any attempts I made appeared to stress the case crack further. I eventually gave up and shipped the Kindle back still in the Octo case.

Today I got a mail that they received the Kindle, and credited it -- as well as issued me a $68 store credit for the case!!

So, to recap: Amazon replaced my Kindle which was out of warrantee and not even purchased for them, as well as issued me a fair-value refund on a case which I *also* did not buy from them.

I am bowled over.

This puts them right up below Zappos in my estimation right now, and I will tell anyone who will listen. That, my friends, is truly amazing service, and what makes customer loyalty.

For saltedpin

Clara Bow
Not sure why -- perhaps the description -- made me think of you while watching this:

Jun. 19th, 2010

Have moved from morose to jumpy and irritable. Awesome. :/ *sigh.* I hate you, caffeine.

ETA: Going to the gym helped, but I still think I ought to avoid socializing with other humans as much as possible for a while.


Kind of morose today.

Work's been annoying, my family's making my life hard for no good reason, and I'm concerned about my increasing inability to manage my migraines, allergies, and anxiety problems. Josh still has no job, and neither does his ex; money's getting tight.

But, I have a great boyfriend who loves me and 2 sweet little girls here every weekend, so I need to remind myself that things aren't that bad.

However, for those who know me IRL, please forgive me if I seem a little tense, distracted, or snappish lately.


Clara Bow
Got presents! The second Hackers soundtrack, a lucite bangle bracelet with real beetles in it, and a neon Wonder Woman sign.

I is loved. :D

Jun. 11th, 2010

Clara Bow
Josh and the girls are planning a "surprise" for my birthday, which I of course will be adequately "surprised" by (it was my own suggestion, I thought it would be fun for them).

Of course, it's also hilarious for us grown-ups to watch them struggling to keep a secret. It took Miriam about 5 minutes to forget and say "We have a present for you!!!"


Happy Birthday Star

Clara Bow
Where ever you are now, we still miss you over here. Celebrating my own
birthday has never been the same, and I guess it never will be.


Sick again. This year has been really lousy for me healthwise, so far.

Spotty Cat

Just got a call from my mom... she will probably have to be putting my old cat down in the morning. I adopted this cat when I was 14, but she had to stay with my mom when I moved into the city where she couldn't be the indoor/outdoor cat she always had been in the past.

Even if we don't put her down now, she only has a few months. :(

I'll miss her.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go hug the living snot out of my own furballs until they get annoyed with me and sulk off.

May. 15th, 2010

Clara Bow
When rearranging the pantry is the highlight of your Saturday night, you're officially old.

(Pretty happy I did it, though.)

Apr. 15th, 2010

Clara Bow
Question for those who think about such things: I have a hot little navy pencil skirt and tight blue & white striped button up shirt that work together as a perfect Sexy Librarian-type outfit.

But what to do for shoes? With navy, clearly black shoes won't work. I'm thinking cute flats, either skimmers or mary janes. But in what color?

- Navy for the match?
- Red, for a more sassy look?
- Yellow, for the shock factor?

Of course there will be a bag to tie the whole thing together, once I decide my color scheme.


Clara Bow
The Revenge of the 1-4-5 Show. Admission: $10. Featuring Neil McGarry, Carolyn Busa, Jason Pollock, Samita Pendse and Jeff Soles. Tuscany Café 222 W. Rittenhouse Square, doors open at 8pm.

I've seen several of these comedians before, and they're great. If you don't laugh, I'll refund your admission, seriously. See you there!

Any local folks wanna see some free comedy?

Clara Bow

I can get some people in for free... all you have to do is promise you can make it,a nd I can put you on my Special List!

It's an awesome show; it'll be fun!

Mar. 16th, 2010

Clara Bow
Had to call out sick again. I'm sure my coworkers will not be amused. But I barely slept last night, and haven't eaten a full meal since Saturday.

I just think I need more time.

At least there aren't any QAs for Rick to worry about today, as the Chennai office has a holiday.


Sickness worse than ever

Clara Bow
And this after sleeping more than 12 hours last night.

Fuck this noise. :P

Please please please...

Clara Bow
...let me be over this cold for good tomorrow. I've had it going on a week now, for Chrissakes. :P At least it's finally a bit improved today... yesterday I was a disaster.


Clara Bow
Well, I've been home for 1.5 days now, and I am still exhausted, but so glad to be home.

Josh picked me up on Saturday evening and I did cry. Then we came home, and he had flowers and a home-cooked meal waiting for me. And not just any home-cooked meal... one composed of some of my favourite very American foods -- baked macaroni and cheese, barbecued chicken thighs, and brussels sprouts.

Do I have the best boyfriend on the planet? Why yes, I sure think I do!

Yesterday we met up with a few family members to give them the presents I picked up for them in India; everyone seemed pretty happy with their gifts. And I got to talk about all the amazing things I'd seen and done in the last 3 weeks, good and bad. I really do feel lucky to have such awesome people around me.

You know, I'd always thought of the expression "absence makes the heart grow fonder" as a kind of negative thing. Like a sarcastic comment on how people in close proximity drive each other nuts. But I'm suddenly seeing the other side of it. After three weeks with such limited contact with all my family members and Josh especially, I feel that my perspective has changed. The distance has brought into sharp focus just how much I do rely on my home-based support network, and how incredibly lucky I am to be surrounded by such love and support.

I don't think I've ever been so happy in my entire life.

For V-Day, Josh got me a giant box of yummy Naked Chocolates and we went out to Vietnam Cafe for dinner -- yes, more comforting, familiar food for me. ;) I tried to stay awake until bedtime, but we put on a movie and despite putting up a good fight I eventually passed out at around 10, and my angel-boy put me to bed. I slept through until about 5a -- so almost a full night's sleep! Yay!

Now I'm off to reheat some breakfast... mac & cheese, anyone. :D

Feb. 13th, 2010

Clara Bow
I'm in Heathrow in the club lounge, waiting for my flight home.

I am counting the hours until I see Josh and can get a huge hug... I may cry a little. I've missed him very much. Now that we live together it's easy to forget how much I've come to lean on him. This trip really reminded me just how much I care about him and all the things I love him for.

I can't wait to get home.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Am now in Hyderabad....

...though having just arrived this evening, I haven't yet seen any more than the inside of the hotel. I'll give more impressions later, once I get to look around a little.

I can tell you I prefer this hotel a bit.

It's official...

eye much as I've been enjoying India, I am definitely homesick. I've never been away from home this long, and I miss my cats and my Josh and my own cooking and my home.

I hadn't talked to him in days, and we finally got a Skype together tonight -- only to have his speakers run out of battery after a few minutes. Having to say goodbye and hangup made me get a little weepy.

Don't get me wrong, everything here has been awesome, but it's never been so obvious to me that home is truly where the heart is, and mine is missing.

Just under 2 weeks to go...


Clara Bow
I should probably consider posting some Stuff About India.

It is... a very strange place. I am loving it, but I am also happy I was lucky enough to grow up in the US. India is so odd... everything is either incredibly progressive or incredibly antiquated, with very little in between.

It's also awkward how even my peers seem to feel that they must serve me in some way. They constantly inquire after my needs, and it drives them crazy to see me carry my own bags, or heaven forbid, more than one bag. Plus, people will actually serve you your food in restaurants... even your own friends will do this. It's actually uncomfortable; I know that's it's because I'm an honored guest more than anything else, but coming from race-crazy America it makes me feel like I'm a plantation owner or something. It's very awkward for me.

That said, everyone -- even strangers -- is very very nice. My only criticisms of Indian people in general are a) lack of patience and b) the horrid amount of littering. On the patience thing, Nirmal keeps tsking at me because I'll hesitate for a moment at something and people will jump right in front of me. For example, at Mylapore temple, non-Hindus are not permitted entrance to the temple indoors, but there is a bench there that you can stand on and kind of peer in over the line of people slowly entering. I was waiting my "turn" only to have person after person simply shove right in front of me. They apparently don't really HAVE turns, here.

As for littering, there are almost no outdoor waste receptacles, and even if there were I'm pretty sure they'd be ignored. People just throw stuff from cars, drop it on the sidewalk, whatever... they are not concerned with how junked up it makes the city. It's a shame, because it's otherwise quite beautiful.

I also hate to admit it, but I did fall prey to the seemingly inevitable diarrhea that plagues international travelers to India. And before you say it; no, I did not drink the water and no, I did not eat any uncooked veg outside of my hotel. I had, however, been eating local cuisine -- however spicy -- practically by the bucketful. I think my intestinal tract eventually just freaked out. I took my antibiotics and the hotel gave me an anti-diarrheal, and things seem to be on the up.

Despite all that, I really am having an amazing time, and will remember this trip for the rest of my life. The shopping has been out of this world; I'm picking up some beautiful things for a song. And the scenery is, well... you've seen the pictures, right?

Miss you all, and hope you're well...

Jan. 31st, 2010

Clara Bow
FB would not let me upload tonight, for some reason, so I plopped yesterday's photos up on a temporary set on Flickr:

Later I'll make a permanent set with only the GOOD photos.

India pics on FB

Clara Bow
Hey, I didn't put these on Flickr yet; later I'll make one big Flickr set of all my favorites from the trip. In the meantime, I threw the first day up on Facebook because their photo management is really quick and easy. I think that this FaceBook link should work even you're not friended (which most people aren't, so don't feel bad), but you do have to have FB.



HL Boo Hiss
Last night when checking in, I got a card from my driver with his number on it. Somehow in my exhaustion I misplaced it. I didn't think this was a big problem as I also had gotten an email last week with my driver's number.

Apparently, that was the wrong driver.

Now I'm stuck, and I need to arrange my ride to work tomorrow.

I emailed some people; here's hoping I can get the right number by the end of today.

Man, I hate it when I do boneheaded shit.

Here I am

Clara Bow
So, here I am! I don't have a ton of impressions yet, as I've spent most of my time in India thusfar sleeping. I only managed about 3 hours on the flight yesterday, despite it turning into a 20 hour marathon.

Even so I had trouble settling down once I got to my room... it took a bath, a sleeping pill, and one of the sleep masks leftover from my flight in order to get me to slow down.

By the way, despite my inability to sleep and some delays, I can't recommend British Airways business class enough. You get your own little space pod with a very comfy seat and footrest that can turn into a bed, and the food is very nice. The staff is almost TOO attentive; at times I felt like I needed a big blinking sign that said "No, I'm really ok, I really don't need anything else."

Today I'm just going to relax around the hotel; maybe check out the shopping arcade in-house. Probably take a nap. Then tonight I should be meeting up with colleagues to hang out and have dinner.

I'll give more impressions once I've actually, like, gone out and done stuff.


Clara Bow

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