Posted: April 23rd, 2013 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Took a cursory look at Kate Spade Saturday when it launched a few weeks ago and was unmoved by it.
Upon closer inspection, UM I'M AN IDIOT.
The cuts are nothing short of genius. I want to applaud this sweater
And then are you even kidding me with these bags
Posted: February 11th, 2013 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Books | No Comments »
Just finished reading Where'd you go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple!
Synopsis: Bernadette Fox hates her life in Seattle. Forced to move when her husband's company was bought by Microsoft, Bernadette doesn't fit in, she thinks the residents and their ways are weird and infuriating, and it's slowly driving her crazy. (Her husband, OTOH, is having the time of his life as a hotshot at MS.) When her beloved daughter Bee wants to go on a family trip to Antarctica, Bernadette disappears. Now Bee is piecing together all the clues she can find from the last couple weeks to figure out where Bernadette could be.
The book is written in epistolary style as a series of emails, letters, etc. with some commentary in between from Bee.
Epistolary style is a classic gimmick used by people who want to tell a story without having their non-existant writing skills get in the way. I've never read a novel whose author employed this format for any other reason, and WYGB is no exception.
That said, it's an enjoyable light read, and I respect Maria Semple for being self-aware of her own limitations as a writer.
(Thoughts, spoilers, etc after the cut)
Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Finally saw Les Mis with my friend Naz yesterday!!
Impressions: SO GOOD as a movie adaptation of the musical. The singing on its own is un-listen-to-able.
Part of the reason why I didn't demand to see this movie as soon as it came out was because I had heard bits of the soundtrack first: (spotify album)
And ugh, I have to say, I was VERY concerned! As those who love me know, I take my Les Mis REAL SERIOUS, and the singing is just not good. Lots of ~emotional pauses~ and whisper-singing (thanks Riqi for the vocab) used as a crutch to cover up lack of vocal talent.
BUT, when I saw the film, the singing makes way more sense in context. In a stage musical, the actors convey their characters purely through song; it's like the heart of the musical form. In this film, they wisely don't go that route: they use acting to fill in the gaps that the actors are unable to express musically. This is done really effectively, so it still captures the heart of Les Miserables but through a different means. So much crying, MY GOD.
More tidbits under cut!
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 23rd, 2012 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Musicals | Tags: into the woods, musicals, reviews | No Comments »
Rewatched Into the Woods a few nights ago with a group of friends!
My impression of the 1990 filmed stage production (available on Netflix instant!) back when I first watched it a few years ago was that the storyline bugged me but the music was phenomenal, and the cast in this particular recording was pretty much perfection — especially Bernadette Peters, the baker's wife, and Jack's solo.
This time around, I had more or less the same impressions, but I'm able to explain more precisely what is it that bugs me about the story.
As always spoilers ahead!
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 22nd, 2012 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
The Southern Belle Hat from BHLDN. The description reads:
For long afternoons spent sipping lemonade on the porch swing, Hat Attack’s wide-brimmed beauty is just the thing, with its clean white hue and crisp black bow. 5” brim. Toyo braid, cotton and rayon ribbon. Spot clean. Imported.
LOL what! This is no porch and lemonade hat! This is CLEARLY the hat that you wear after your favorite male suitor rejects your love confession in favor of marrying your plain and meek cousin so that on the same day you have no choice to marry a guy you don't care about in order to spite everyone — who dies two months later and then you have to be in mourning clothes at the ball and then Rhett Butler chooses you to dance with anyway!
Such a hat!
Posted: September 7th, 2011 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Books | No Comments »
I've just recently finished Breakfast of Champions, now my third Vonnegut book!
Kilgore Trout is a science fiction novelist. Dwayne Hoover is a car salesman on the brink of insanity. One of Kilgore Trout's science fiction books proposes everyone on Earth is a robot, except for the reader of the book, who has free will. Dwayne meets Trout, reads the book, believes it to be a personalized message from God, and goes on a violent rampage.
The reader is told this succinct plot summary in the very first pages. The novel then starts from the beginning of the outline, with Kilgore Trout setting off for travel to Midland City where he will eventually meet Dwayne and become the spark that initiates his downfall.
THERE IS TOO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT THIS BOOK! I can't make it through without rambling. Maybe I'll give a tl;dr version?
- This book could have been mediocre but instead it's amazing
- This book would be terrible if Vonnegut didn't have a remarkable intuition for storytelling
- Vonnegut uses 3 gimmicks here: drawings, Kilgore's micronovels, and author-in-story
- Thought the micronovels were well done, the author-in-story was brilliant
- Wasn't really sold on the drawings
And with that, the avalanche!
(Read the rest of my book rambling)
Posted: July 18th, 2011 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Your opinion on a product doesn't matter unless everyone else (in the target demographic) agrees with you.
Why, engineers, is this so hard for you, of all people, to stomach??
On one hand, computer engineers immediately recognize the evils of premature optimization: Clearly you can't assume the slow, simplistic approach is no good; instead run performance tests and benchmarks to see if it matters. It's a waste of time to guess where your bottlenecks are; instead use a profiler to prove where things are slowing down. If some O(2^n) function isn't affecting performance, it's not slow.
Similarly, computer engineers fully understand how foolish it is to design an API without asking their clients for input. Who cares if you think it'd be helpful to provide a million arguments to a constructor so one could customize it just so; if your clients don't want it, then your API is flawed.
These classic engineering principles are so naturally understood and accepted because they echo the fundamental principles of science: Do research. Get data. Crunch numbers. Yes, you can make observations and you can have your guesses and hunches and feelings, but obviously hypothesis != proof.
And yet! While an engineer will swear upon these scientific tenets in a decidedly engineering environment, when it comes to the business-y aspects of a product, suddenly his/her rationale becomes entirely emotional.
When it comes to the UI of a product, or its set of features, or its marketing campaign, I know so many engineers who draw conclusions — stubborn conclusions! — largely based on their personal feelings and intuition:
"This UI sucks; it's ugly and weird to me."
"This is the best product I've ever used. How DARE X company cancel the project?"
"I hate this product and here is my well-reasoned explanation of why I hate it. Therefore it is awful."
Yes, engineer, you may have your opinions. Your opinions may be logical and valid.
But who cares what you think, if your opinion isn't significant? No, a UI doesn't suck if it sucks for you; it only sucks if it sucks for everyone. No, a company shouldn't keep around a great product if only 1000 people buy it. Think the iPad is a douchey, glorified iPhone with a name that never fails to remind you lady products? You have every right to hate as your heart pleases! But Apple isn't stupid for making it.
You and your opinion represent one data point. Don't be baffled or insulted or outraged when your company (or another) acts as such. It'd be downright unscientific to act otherwise!
Posted: July 1st, 2011 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
(never forget the epic)
Sorry for the blogging silence; life's been busy so micro blogging is easier!
Went on vacation to Korea with my mom last week! It was awesome to see family I haven't seen in years, and awesome to revisit a country that is in some way so different from America! And delicious food everywhere, yet one still manages to lose weight just by being in the country! There's a lot to say about the trip, so I'll post things in tidbits as I have time.
Today's topic: FOOD
Korean food is delicious– and not that spicy, even though it might look like it. Lots of sweet meats, and lots of interesting side dishes!
Also, pretty much every Korean restaurant had a "Tea Time" coffee machine that dispensed liiittle maybe 2-3oz cups of the most delicious latte. (Protip: the coffee machine drops down the cup for you!) For free! …it might not seem like much, but Korea has some of the most ridiculous coffee prices in the world. You think Starbucks in Seattle is expensive? In Korea it was about $5 for a small iced cappuccino, and there was a LOT of ice!
(more to read below!)
Posted: May 5th, 2011 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
I had a strange realization today: Lady Gaga reminds me of… Fox News.
What do I mean by that? Well, so Fox News is not a news corporation run by conservatives; it is a business run by actors who are smartly capitalizing on a demographic that has been largely ignored for years. I honestly doubt many of the Fox News anchors or other employees are conservative: their whole shtick is so obviously calculated, so clearly trying to appear rah-rah right wing regular Joe America — from the "Fair and Balanced" slogan to the predictably over-the-top articles like this from last month — I mean really Conservatives, can't you see Fox News is actually insulting you? But no, it's depressingly effective! Fox News can give the laziest, most stereotypical 1-dimensional portrayal of Conservative America, and depressingly, people eat it up.
THIS IS EXACTLY MY FEELINGS ON LADY GAGA
Lady Gaga embarrasses me with her painfully obvious attempts to be controversial. Case in point: Her latest song is called Judas. It features lyrics such as, "I'm in love with Judas." Her video features sexy Nazareth and she's a sexy Mary Magdalene. WOW HOW EDGY
And yet…! The Catholics are offended, and Gaga's fans are effusive as ever in their praise of her daring and creativity. Bleh.
Just as I don't mind a contrived conservative-leaning news station, I don't mind Lady Gaga pandering to a market, and I don't mind her being a businesswoman instead of a ~true artist~. I'm just depressed that she can be so massively successful when her intentions lack even a shred of subtlety!
(ps: obligatory one true judas)
Posted: April 30th, 2011 | Author: Victoria | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Meg and I went to Poppy yesterday for dinner! It was great! They serve thalis which are little meals with a lot of different little stuff; our waiter described it as like a mix between tapas and bento and that was pretty accurate. We started with eggplant fries and I had the 7 item salmon thali, so good! Expensive but really cute and delicious, and no wait for a table!
BUT in addition to the meal info I give you insight into Meg's and my respective souls:
Waiter: Blah blah blah thanks for coming in you two
Me: Thank you
Waiter: Have a great night, and a great weekend too eh! (leaves)
Me and Meg: …
Meg: (reaching for her wallet) Gotta up the tip, he's Canadian!
Canadian Waiters: Notice how our waiter strategically avoided Canadianisms until the final divulging eh. This sudden, discontinuous jump from 0 to Canada is what so greatly moved our hearts (and dolla bills).
American Waiters: Don't even try!