jmc_bks: (GK_Not Impressed)
2011-12-19 10:54 pm

That makes no sense

- After three years of successfully resisting being saddled with a crackberry, I lost the fight today.  A BlackBerry Torch was delivered to me at work.  My argument was that in the event of an emergency, the bb was useless -- I could respond to emails but every program needed to do substantive work requires a Citrix secure login.  Alas, I have been overruled.  It's shiny and pretty, and the touch screen is going to be scratched or marred very quickly because it didn't come with a case or any sort of protective covering.  Why?  Who knows.

+ Apparently I *am* hosting dinner on Friday.  I guess that means I should figure out a menu?  Maybe beef stew again, since it turned out well the first time and is pretty simple.  I can pick up the ingredients that afternoon or even on Thursday.

~  First batch of no bake peanut butter bars is done.  Now I need one loaf of banana nut bread, at least two batches of cracker candy, and then one more batch of PB bars.  Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow night and Wednesday evening...

-  Why isn't Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy playing at the Landmark near me?  Do people really still want to see the Bella/Edward trainwreck?  Ten screens and only one movie is playing that I'd be willing to pony up for (The Descendants).

:/  The hospital "informational statement" (not a bill to me yet, but what was sent to the insurance company) arrived for my surgery and hospital stay.  More than $20,500.  For the second iteration; the bill for the first hospital stay was already billed separately.  Holy crap!  Once again, I am thankful for my insurance.
jmc_bks: (Ray in b&w by meeks00)
2011-12-18 07:15 pm

Killing my grocery budget

The new Harris Teeter opened in my neighborhood.  Well, the next neighborhood over, really, Locust Point.  But it's within walking distance and closer than Whole Paycheck. It'll probably replace WP as my grocery budget buster. (Although WP's prepared food section seems better at first glance, HT's produce section is better by far.)

Yesterday I bought stew meat at the butcher stall at Cross Street, but forgot to stop at the vegetable stall, so I walked to HT and bought the veg for stew and then puttered around while it bubbled away on the stove.  Will I ever remember that mixing flour and water for thickener works better than sprinkling flour in directly?  Probably not.  Instead I ended up stirring like crazy to get rid of the lumps.  It was pretty good for a dish I haven't cooked in nearly 20 years.

The cracker candy and peanut butter bars that I planned on making...did not get made.  It'll have to be tomorrow evening, I guess.  All the ingredients are on the shelf, I just felt like I'd used all my interest in domesticity by cleaning out a cabinet and making the beef stew. 

This afternoon I flipped between Star Wars IV: A New Hope and Kissing Jessica Stein and football.  (FWIW, The Empire Strikes Back is on SpikeTV right now.)  I love both movies for very different reasons.  And I was looking for updates on the Packers-Chiefs game.  While I'm sorry the Pack lost, at least all the hype will go away now, leaving them to concentrate on the next couple of games and the post-season.  They play the Bears at Lambeau next week, and I'm expecting lots of trash talk from The Boy Uncle, a die-hard Bears fan.

I've invited Mom, T, bro, and SIL to my house for dinner on the 23rd if that suits.  They are welcome on the 24th, when I originally planned to invite them, but there's a game at 12pm that day, so parking will be horrendous in my neighborhood.  Haven't figured out the menu yet.  Maybe more beef stew with salad, rolls, and some type of dessert?  Must consider.  I'd like to do a turkey breast maybe, but am not sure I can get one from the butcher -- he was going to check and let me know but I haven't heard back yet.  Whatever I cook, mashed potatoes and gravy must be on the menu, otherwise it is not really dinner for T.

Must motivate myself to wrap gifts -- everything that wasn't shipped directly is sitting on a bench in my living room, waiting to be wrapped or bagged appropriately.

I feel like I'm forgetting something, something major, but can't figure out what.  I'll probably remember when it's way too late.
jmc_bks: (Stupid)
2011-12-16 04:46 pm
Entry tags:

Billing 3,000 hours?

There's an article at the ABA Journal online about an associate's bias suit against his former firm in which he alleges that the hourly billing requirements were 3,000 hours per year.

2,000 is pretty standard, which works out to billing forty hours a week over 50 weeks, assuming an associate can risk taking two weeks off during the year.  Yes, yes, everyone works forty hours a week.  But is everything you do billable?  Not really.  In order to bill forty hours in a week, you have to work between fifty and sixty hours.  So in order to bill 60 hours a week (3,000/50), you'd have to work 80 or more hours?  That's crazy.  After a certain point, you are too tired to give value -- how does that figure in?  It probably doesn't.

Am boggled.
jmc_bks: (title2)
2011-12-12 04:59 pm

SBD: Finding Nouf

Posted a review of Finding Nouf over at WordPress for SBD.
jmc_bks: (Imperfect 2 by LJ Ase)
2011-12-10 11:38 am

(no subject)

I'm alone for the first time in 10 days.  It's weird but nice.  I appreciate the great care I received from everyone, especially my mother, but feel a little relieved to be on my own.  Also, I'm glad Mom is going home to rest -- I feel like my illness was harder on her than me in many ways.

The review for K.A. Mitchell's new book, Bad Boyfriend, is in progress and will be posted over at WordPress later today has been posted at WordPress.  Once that's done, I'll settle down and address holiday cards -- I'd like to write personal notes rather than just sign the cards, but we'll see.  

Had to bail on the fic exchange because I knew it wouldn't be finished in time for the exchange due to health and timing issues, but I'm thinking that might be something to work on this afternoon, too, as a belated gift to the recipient (someone else is pinch hitting for the exchange) or to the comm generally.

I've been earwormed by Panic! once again, courtesy of [ profile] asimplechord's concert call from the secret acoustic show in Austin.

There's an email in my inbox about the Green Bay Packers' stock offering.  Back when I was a dead-broke student, they did their first offering in decades in order to raise money to improve Lambeau Field.  I desperately wanted to buy a share but at the time $200 was beyond me.  I could afford it now, but am feeling as if 1) any money spent on frivolous things right now should be for others rather than myself, and 2) since I just paid $400 to get my car fixed and am expecting to pay up to the deductible for my recent hospital stays, fiscal prudence is in order.  D:

There's also a Groupon in my inbox for The Economist -- $1 per issue (51 for the year), which is a huge bargain and a magazine that I find useful and instructive.  But I cancelled my subscription last year because I couldn't read them fast enough. Decisions. Hmmm.

jmc_bks: (flaming june)
2011-11-28 09:43 pm

*points to the icon*

That sleeping woman?  Could have been me.  I think I was asleep or dozing more often than I was fully awake all weekend.  And it wasn't even a holiday food coma!  The Chemist made an awesome Thanksgiving dinner (smoked turkey breast, duck and salmon, plus sides) but we didn't actually eat THAT much.

The visit to H&A was lovely.  It always is.  We don't have to DO stuff, it's nice to just hang out in the same space and chat and cling.  Which probably entertains A.  We watched a lot of tennis and football, went for a couple of walks around the neighborhood.  Spent an awkward afternoon with dad.  Had sushi at Japaneiro's once and beer (root beer for me) at the Flying Saucer twice.  I would highly recommend the vegetable tempura and the non-alcoholic mojito (made with green tea) at Japaneiro's.  And the Chef's Nirvana, but that pretty much goes without saying, right?  Julio the waiter was awesome -- he clearly knows H&A well, to the point of chasing them down with the left over sashimi he'd boxed for them :)  One of their cats was incredibly smelly because of a diet change; he totally deserved the smelly cat song.

My YAGKYAS fic is plotted and outlined (mostly) but not written.  It needs to be written and beta'd by the 12th at midnight.  BICHOK didn't really work for me this evening -- although my hands have been on the keyboard, they've been busy typing other things.  I <3 procrastination!  

And tomorrow I'm back to work.  I didn't miss it at all.

Also, FYI, I SBD'd over at WordPress about the nonfiction I read over the weekend.

jmc_bks: (Ray in b&w by meeks00)
2011-11-21 10:27 pm
Entry tags:

Dear YAGKYAS author

Dear YAGKYAS writer,

Thank you so much for volunteering your time and creativity to writing fiction for me!  Aside from being an inveterate Brad/Ray shipper with emphasis on Ray, I'm not really all that demanding, I think.  AUs, crossovers, gen or m/m, any or all would suit.  Although gratuitous violence isn't my favorite thing, the canon is fairly violent, and that's okay.  Some angst is okay, too, although Brad and Ray have always struck me as a less angsty pairing than Brad/Nate.  Mostly I like banter and word play between Brad and Ray, because they both seem to love showing off to and for each other.

I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever you write, and I hope that you enjoy writing it.

jmc_bks: (bashful)
2011-11-18 07:27 pm
Entry tags:


April 1997 - November 2011
jmc_bks: (GK_Not Impressed)
2011-11-01 09:25 pm
Entry tags:

More spam?

Why am I suddenly getting spam comments from LJ users?  A half dozen in the last 24  hours.  

It's like LJ wants me to no longer blog here.    
jmc_bks: (flaming june)
2011-11-01 10:55 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I missed SBD yesterday -- my apologies -- due to work getting in the way of my life.  And then after work, I went to the 9:30 Club to see Foxy Shazam, Patrick Stump and Panic at the Disco with my sister and some of her friends.  The "don't be creepy" speech from Zach (tour manager) was both entertaining and disturbing -- people really need to be told not to grope during the photo op?  Someone brought as a gift a pumpkin that had been carved with the band's logo, which made it up on stage.  The people watching was stellar, in part because there was a costume contest.  I especially liked the Venus Flytrap costume :)

Foxy Shazam, I don't really know what to think of them.  I liked their music but the lyrics were questionable (go listen to a clip of "I Like It" at iTunes.)  The lead singer was exhausting to watch, like an ADHD kid off his meds and on caffeine.  The trumpet player (in zebra striped lyric pants and a top hat) was bendy like Gumby and all over the place.

Patrick Stump -- okay, he's an adorkable kid and I just want to pat him on the head.  He came out in the red tuxedo and a headband with blinking red horns.  Opening medley:  Ghostbusters, Spotlight, Porcelain.  Loved his cover of In the Air Tonight, along with Run Dry and This City.  But apparently he had never seen how baking soda reacts to water?  Because he used it to paint his face white and then had to frantically rub at his face with a towel when he started to sweat and the liquid and powder reacted (ouch).  (I had no idea that it was a risk for Panic to take him on tour, but apparently not everyone is thrilled with his musical direction post-Fall Out Boy.)

Panic.  Okay, I'm not a huge fan although I do like their music.  We went to the meet & greet.  And they were all in costume.  Ian = girl in Kick Ass, including pink wig :)  Dallon as the lead singer of Foxy Shazam.  Spenser as Ron Burgundy (really not too different from regular gear?).  And Brendon as Jesus.  The Jesus bit was a theme for the evening from him.  Went up to the balcony rather than stake out a spot at the barricade with H's friends.  Good view, less crushed.  

In summary:  good times.  But I feel old:  didn't get home until 1am, and am dragging today.  When I was 21, 1am on Thursday night had no effect on me on Friday.
jmc_bks: (GK - layers)
2011-10-29 11:52 pm
Entry tags:

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

Very quick post of my thoughts about this very good explanation of the melt down of mortgage backed securities in 2008 that lead to the on-going recession.  Over at WordPress.
jmc_bks: (GK_Bradabs)
2011-10-24 10:37 pm
Entry tags:

*pokes at LJ*

I posted over at WordPress for SBD -- read and really enjoyed the PsyCop mystery/suspense or urban fantasy series.

Also, this time next week I'll be with The Biochemist and the Texas Fangirl Contingent (that name may not be entirely accurate), who are on the Tour of Flail and Glee, shenanigating around Texas and up and down the East Coast for the PStump and Panic! tour.

Sidebar:  I like PStump's Soul Punk album, especially "This City".  But I like the EP/original version of "Spotlight (Oh, Nostalgia)" better than the Soul Punk remix.

Thirdly, I've got a comment fic brewing for the most recent Rocktober post at [ profile] we_pimpin.  We'll see if it gets posted tonight or tomorrow...
jmc_bks: (Stupid)
2011-10-14 10:57 pm
Entry tags:

+/- for the day

Originally posted at WordPress.

+  Tickets for Indian Wells arrived today.  Yes, it's six months away, but it's nice to have long term plans, isn't it?

-  Also arriving today:  a jury form for the federal district court, meaning jury duty may be in the very near future.

+  Theater tickets for next month -- Alan Rickman in Seminar on Broadway!

-  Please, Green Day, don't cast sparkle-pie Cedric Diggory as St. Jimmy.  I get that he'd sell tickets but nothing in his body of work leads me to believe that he can live up to this. (See also this and this.)

+ Ferrer and Lopez are in the semifinals of Shanghai...I would never have predicted that.  So no matter how the match turns out, a Spaniard will be in the final, albeit not the Spaniard anyone would have predicted.

-  Must go in to the office this weekend.  So far behind in everything.  And I have to pack my office to move yet again (3rd time in as many years).

+  But I'll be able to meet L for dinner and a movie as a result.  And Weekend is playing in limited release at the Landmark, so...

-  Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.  I have hundreds of books to read (literally) and yet I keep scrolling through my computer and phone and Kindle and staring at the shelves, thinking that there's nothing that I *want* to read right now.

jmc_bks: (flaming june)
2011-10-11 10:17 pm
Entry tags:

Nonfiction reading

I've posted over at WordPress a quick summary of two nonfiction books I finished over the holiday weekend -- Rafa Nadal's autobiography and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a sort of biography/science narrative.
jmc_bks: (bashful)
2011-10-10 09:34 am
Entry tags:


I'm visiting TheBiochemist because I hadn't seen her in a while and South West had a big fare sale and there's a long weekend.  

We've been couch potatoes mostly, recovering from the Oktoberfest party they had Saturday night.  Good beer, homemade brats, lots of cool people over.

Sadly, my stomach has reminded me that it does not like red meat.  And if I add dishes with cheese or butter on top of that, I'll be punished.  Am feeling better today, but spent all yesterday huddled miserably on the couch :(  Poor H, she kept asking if they'd broken me.  No, I did it all by myself -- I knew better but ate anyway.
jmc_bks: (Polaroid Brad/Ray by meeks00)
2011-10-03 09:52 pm
Entry tags:

Monday things again

I posted over at WordPress about 50/50. In short -- I liked it, especially the music, but wasn't thrilled with the handling of the girlfriend and failing relationship.

I also posted about books that I thought about buying today but left in the store.

Most Importantly: Rocktober has begun at [ profile] we_pimpin.  Today's pic post has me trying to reduce to paper the thief AU that's been bouncing around in my head.  We'll see how that goes.
jmc_bks: (Stupid)
2011-09-29 09:29 pm

Fandom notes

♥ I have signed up for a holiday fic exchange. It could be good, or it could be a disaster. It coincides with my first attempt to write fanfic.

♥ A tweet joking about M&Ms in m/m prompted me to say that there ought to be M&M slash fan fiction. Yet I cannot find it, at least not on AO3. Which means I may write it. Fandom is crack. (Or so I assume, having never tried real crack.)

♥ "You know I love you more when you are cold and heartless." -- a True Blood line from Eric to Pam that I'm thinking about working into B/R.

On non-fandom fronts:

~ I made a decision at work that I may regret later. Have had a stomach ache and sleepless nights for the last week. *deep breath*

~ The Goofy Cat is getting skinnier and skinnier, despite eating like crazy. I know it's a function of her thyroid problem but still...

~ The Madrid SF (2009) between Nadal and Djokovic is even better than I remember -- and I remember it being a very good 3 set (5 hour) match that left Nole completely gutted and shell-shocked and *off* for months after. Had forgotten that he was still sponsored by Adidas then, wearing the smurf shoes, and that Rafa was wearing the sherbet colors.

Things I want but likely won't be buying/doing:

~ The Kindle Fire is very pretty and shiny. But I don't *need* a tablet.

~ Valencia and Sevilla are the two possible venues for the Davis Cup Final (Dec 2-4). I love Sevilla and have never been to Valencia, but it's just not in my budget or really in my schedule -- to close to Thx.
jmc_bks: (meninas)
2011-09-24 04:33 pm

*is greedy*

My travel budget is allocated for the rest of the year:  Texas in October and November, then I'm homebound until 2012 unless I use miles/points for hotel and buy cheap bus or train tickets by booking way in advance.  Which is probably what I'll be doing, because I want to see these shows on Broadway or Off Broadway:
  • Seminar (November through March)
  • The Book of Mormon (probably not until January)
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • Chinglish
  • Richard III (not until January)
  • King Lear (October or November)
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (October or November)
Unrelated:  my current favorite dish at the local?  Tempura asparagus.  Yum.

I've belatedly discovered yet another cop show, Rookie Blue.  A lot of the acting is horrible, and the scripts are cliche-ridden.  And yet I've watched most of Season 2 online.  Its only distinguishing features are its setting -- Toronto -- and one of the actors.

I've got a bunch of books waiting to be read (as usual) but feel no urge to pick any of them up.  Instead I've been paging through AO3 for fanfiction in my favorite fandoms that I may have missed or ignored.
jmc_bks: (star fort kinsale)
2011-09-21 10:22 pm
Entry tags:

Drive by

I wrote a quick and possibly inappropriately influenced by too much wine post on the purpose of About the Author pages.  Posted over at WordPress.
jmc_bks: (Suits)
2011-09-19 03:53 pm
Entry tags:

Monday things

First, since it is Monday, it is time for SBD.  Which I posted over at WordPress.  What arrived recently, what to do with a book that gets carried around but never read.

Next:  did you watch the Emmys last night?  I did not, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that Kyle Chandler won for his role of Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights.  He and Connie Britton were the heart and soul of that show, and it's nice to learn that he got some industry love for it.  Would've been nice if Britton had, too.  My only question is whether Chandler's hair will get a mini Emmy of its own -- I swear the hair was a character all by itself.

C:  I'm catching up on all the Davis Cup matches that were played over the weekend.  And seriously, Nadal must've taken his Djokovic frustration after going 0-6 for the year out on the French team.  As Brad Gilbert would say, he took Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga out to the woodshed.  Giving up ten games over six sets?  It's ridiculously good...and made up for the frighteningly bad doubles match played by Verdasco and F. Lopez.  

C+:  I want to go to Spain the first week in December for the DC finals.  But my budget will not allow for it.  Also, since I've got a trip planned for February, it's somewhat unnecessary.  Except it's Davis Cup.  Finals.  And the opportunity to see Nadal and Ferrer play on clay.  Against Nalbandian and Del Potro.  I'm anticipating *epic* five set matches.

D:  (That unhappy face is intentional):  Netflix.  Oh, Netflix.  I was an early adopter.  And now I'll be one of the million or so users who will drop you.  I don't stream many movies, primarily because I get distracted by other things available online.  I dropped down to the not quite lowest DVD plan primarily because I like catching up on cable TV series appearing on channels I don't subscribe to (HBO, etc.) through your service.  I get that you're feeling crunched by cable providers who want to squeeze users (and thus you) for high usage rates, which streaming demands, and that your relationship with Starz and with various studios is no longer the money haul that it once was.  But inasmuch as you don't care about my monthly budget, I don't care about your PE ratio or ROI.  I'll be return the DVD in my possession and exploring other viewing options, thanks.  Best of luck with your new bifurcated business plan.