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Mr. X

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    monolingual and absurd
  • Birthday August 2

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  1. The full dataset of final voting and initial nominations is published after the awards each year. For example, here is the 2020 data (PDF link).
  2. I look forward to seeing a Best Related Work winner that is a takedown of itself.
  3. Welp, we were at a refuge with owl boxes and we looked inside the owl box* and the owl inside looked back at me. *from a good distance -- when I say "looked inside," I mean "pointed the scope at the opening of the box and zoomed in all the way."
  4. Pileateds are enormous and awesome. First one I ever saw was in Vermont while we were driving away from Hill Farmstead Brewery. I tweeted about the beer run + woodpecker sighting later and got a reply from the Hill Farmstead account along the lines of "Yes! I love that pileated!" Woodpeckers are one of my favorite bird families. Always delighted to see any of them.
  5. Yeah, this is very true. I jumped on the reservation website right when it went live and got a slot. One of my co-workers had a slot the first week but had to cancel it and has yet to be able to get a new appointment. If you have a primary care physician, you may want to check with them. By coincidence, I had my annual physical the same week I booked the first shot and both the physicians assistant and my doctor led off with "We're going to get you scheduled for the vaccine!" I turned them down since I'd already booked a slot, but it might be worth asking.
  6. Totes, indeed. One positive thing I'll say for Cuomo and the NYS government is that they did back up their push to keep schools open by designating teachers to be in the first sets of people eligible for the vaccine (along with pretty much all healthcare workers, people age 65+, public transit workers, grocery store workers, and a handful of other groups). Got my first shot a few weeks back and get round two in about 10 days. That said, the potential impact on students and their families is being gently brushed aside. There are schools currently urging parents to contact local and state governments to allow sports to resume, including things like basketball and (a spring season of) football.
  7. Melting a portion of the ice to ease the harsh is the goal of mixing a cocktail on ice. I always crack the ice cubes for any stirred drink. Never rinsed the mixing glass with water before, but if you want to try something else along those lines, a Waldorf cocktail is essentially a Manhattan mixed in a glass that has been rinsed out with Pernod or other absinthe-style spirit. It's similar to what you do for a Sazerac--pour a little Herbsaint or whatever in, swirl it around to coat the sides, and dump it in the sink-- but instead of rinsing the serving glass, you're rinsing the mixing glass.
  8. There's a lot more detailed answers on the James S. A. Corey Twitter feed both from Ty, speaking from the research he and Daniel and the show writers did for the books/show and quoting a bunch of other sciencey folks, but yes, very possible. Hmmm...I've seen other poeple embed Tweets here but I don't know how they did it... Here's a link to one, and you can see other ones in his feed.: https://twitter.com/JamesSACorey/status/1349436110766657537?s=20
  9. Obviously the asteroid attack was much anticipated, but this was one of the top two moments from the book that I'd personally been looking forward to seeing this season. And I think it delivered. The other was the "There was a button - I pushed it" scene with Holden and Fred, which has long been my favorite random line (especially paired with Fred's response) from the books. I think I actually tweeted at Ty and/or Daniel at one point, probably when the original Amazon announcement was made, that I was happy the series would continue because "there's going to be a button and someone's going to need to push it."
  10. This is true. I have an appointment for the first shot on Wednesday in Brooklyn this week. One of the pages in the appointment website asks you to answer Yes/No about whether you belong to a list of groups to see if you qualify (I'm a high school teacher, so am in one of those gropus, which include healthcare workers, EMTs, people age 75+, etc.), though it does feel a little like it's running on the honor system. My school made verification of employent letters available to all faculty today, so I'll be bringing that along. And I'm pretty sure the Javits Center is now open as a mass vaccination hub, so Manhattan has at least one spot.
  11. Van Halen was probably the first band I ever declared (or would have declared, had (A) anyone asked and (B) the grade school version of me been someone who openly declared anything) as "my favorite band." This was grade school--maybe 6th or 7th grade? Rock radio was part of my life for as long as I can remember. There were two Philly stations, WMMR (which straddled the line between classic rock and "modern" rock) and WYSP (which was straight up classic rock) that were almost always on in the car if my dad was driving. So Van Halen had been in my head all along. But then came Boy Scouts and camping trips and sitting around the campfire with a kid named Matt who was a year or two older than me. He was a massive Van Halen fan who was somehow always up on band gossip and rumors of new songs and albums in those pre-WWW days. I have this weirdly vivid memory of him saying, "I read that Eddie has a trash bag full of tapes with demos of new riffs." Demos? Riffs? My vocabulary gained some essential terms from that one sentence. Music fandom was nothing new to me, though experiencing the sort of passion mixed with encyclopedic knowledge of a band from someone near my own age, as opposed to my dad, was utterly novel. I was hooked. I bought all the tapes, from the debut to 5150, their latest release at the time. I even went and bought a bunch of Sammy Hagar's solo albums. My sister and I watched our dubbed copy of Live Without a Net so many times that we could quote it at each other. I still yell "NEW HALEN!" in my head every time I drive through Connecticut. I went so far as to recreate EVH's Steinberger guitar out of scrap wood, yarn, model airplane paint, and electrical tape. It took another five years or so before I played an actual guitar, and I still can't finger tap to save my life, but you can safely bet that I rocked the shit out of that mockup. Time passed. My favorite band tag shifted from Van Halen to REM to Metallica to the Descendents to Jawbreaker and others. I learned to play drums and guitar and spent the better parts of my late teens and twenties playing in a whole bunch of bands you've never heard of. I never wanted to be a rock star. I just wanted to be up in front of people, playing music, making the sounds I wanted to hear in the world, and having someone else share in the moment. I wanted to know the joy of making music that radiated from Eddie in all the live videos. It took years for me to discover punk rock and learn there was a path to that experience that didn't require labels or agents or arenas or technical wizardry. But it was Van Halen in general and Eddie in particular who made me want to be in a band in the first place. (Oh, and given the combination of when I got into Van Halen and how obsessed I was with military aircraft at the time, there's an argument to be made that "Dreams" is the more appropriate video for this post, but "Dance the Night Away" has been my favorite since I first heard Van Halen II, so that's what you get.)
  12. I laughed so hard I wheezed.
  13. BEAK ME, BOBBY! I still have all the physical printouts of Zak's MS Paint art that he brought to LA Con and I 'bought' for a beer. And yeah, there's totally a different vibe here than on the other social things.
  14. Oh shit. Chicago WorldCon was 8 years ago?!?!? Damn. Chicago in 2 years seems like it might be a thing that maybe happens.
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