November 22, 2014

I think the current series of CS lectures I’ve been watching has outrun its usefulness, which is actually too bad, because I have come to believe that for at least some topics, I really do learn better via the combination of listening, note-taking and watching slides. 

I’ve also noticed recently that having a solid grounding in some fairly basic core concepts and vocabulary has made it easier to understand all the books that I’m going to have to rely on for the other stuff I’m trying to learn. Yay education!

After lunch there was a brief errand run, partially accompanied by the Sound Opinions dudes fawning over Robert Plant. To his credit, he sounded pretty self-deprecatory and grounded. There was one moment where Greg Kot floated some theory that he was clearly very proud of having conceived, and Plant was like “no, I disagree." 

Critics: Keep inventing those convoluted nutjob theories about other people’s art; it’s a fun game. But in an interview context, maybe just ask open-ended questions?

Got to Gocciolina at 5:35 and snagged the last 2 seats at the bar. I was really happy to see photos on Facebook from the friends-and-family soft opening of The Boot, since it will hopefully ease the pressure on Gocciolina somewhat. I love that they’re super-successful, but having to go full-bore packed house with your dinner service from the opening bell has got to be stressful.

I remember looking at the kitchen crew, thinking about how tired they must be, and then looking at the clock and realizing it was only 6:45.

Food was awesome, of course. 

(I’m also looking forward to trying out The Boot when it opens for real, because I’m a longtime fan of Andy’s cooking. The menu looks more American-Italian, though, and I have a pretty limited ability to handle cheese.)

M stayed home and watched Nights of Cabiria, and I went to Carrboro to see Gross Ghost & desark & The Tender Fruit. Good times, always:

Not pictured: the ~13-year-old girl who stood right down front next to the speaker cabinet throughout the des ark and Tender Fruit sets. Her mom bought a des ark CD. I hope it straight legit changes her life.

At no point did I see the Carrboro city bus with Aimée’s photo on the side of it. Drat.

November 22, 2014

November 7, 2014

One of the many things I do at work is reading resumes. I read a lot of resumes. Like an average of perhaps 10/day, although there are bursts which greatly exceed that baseline.

For the positions that I have posted, the overall hit rate of folks we’d like to interview is maybe 20%. That figure drops to around 3% if the resume is in Microsoft Word format rather than PDF.

I would probably, at this point, be totally justified in just ignoring anything that comes in Word format – but for some reason I’m still fixated on potentially missing that one worthwhile candidate who somehow hasn’t gotten the memo about PDFs.

Does this mean I’m good at my job, or bad at it?

After work we wound up doing the “oh shit it’s Friday night and we need to eat” dance, which is a perennial antipattern in our lives. We’d made a crucial error by eating at Toast on Thursday night, so that was out.

For the first ~4 years of living downtown, things weren’t so fraught, because for the most part you could wander in to just about anywhere & nab a couple of seats at the bar. That is most emphatically no longer the case.

Which is how we wound up at Taberna Tapas, the other tapas place downtown, which seems to be doing a booming business entirely from (a) overflow from Mateo and/or (b) people who have heard there’s a great tapas place on Main St. & can’t find Mateo because it’s technically not on Main St.

At the bar there was literally some dude sitting there telling the bartender, or perhaps himself, that his meal was every bit as good as Mateo would have been.

It wasn’t.

It’s a funny little place, though. It’s very much set-dressed like a “tapas place” and the staff all wear black and look vaguely unsavory. There’s Restaurant Techno playing at a low volume. The food runner brings your food & recites word for word the menu description of each dish.

It’s as if it were opened as a tax write-off or a cocaine front, and then started getting actual dinner trade, and the staff is sort of evenly split as to whether that’s a good thing or not.

The food wasn’t terrible; it just wasn’t particularly great. Take the asparagus: grilled to a nice degree of doneness, with some char on the outside, and a distinct petroleum aftertaste.

After dinner I dropped M at home and then headed up the street to the Pinhook for their 6th Anniversary show. Mostly to see desark, who were in 2-electric-guitars formation (plus Catherine Edgerton on vocals & saw for a couple of numbers). Great set, although it’s always a little weird to see them at these non-headlining shows where there aren’t a ton of young women right down front.

I tried to stick around to see Speedy Ortiz, whom I had never seen, but I couldn’t hack the sold-out crowd, so I only made it through one song. I’d be into seeing them in a half-full Duke Coffeehouse sometime, I guess. That kind of dissonant guitar-heavy 90s indie-rock needs to be heard in a half-empty room on a Wednesday.

November 7, 2014