So. Much. Rain.

So, Record storms in Texas and Oklahoma is a thing. Hays County is adjacent to Travis to the southwest; most if not all the bad weather is coming from the west-southwest, so they're getting hit even harder than Travis county is, where I live.

For those playing the home game, Texas, like California, has been a drought state for several years; that was a key reason for the massive Bastrop fires a few years ago that could literally be seen from space.

As most of you can guess, getting rain is awesome; we need it. Getting it at this intensity and this fast isn't. On one hand, it's raising our lake water levels, which is super important; on the other....I'm going to give a very mild, non-drama example of the problem that places that are in danger are having.

I live on what's called a hundred year flood plane (this includes about a full third of Austin, btw). We have to get flood insurance, but actual flooding simply doesn't happen unless a lot of very specific conditions are met (I mean, usually its has to be the perfect storm of shitty luck). A few years after we moved to Austin, they remodeled the gully out back (Austin is filled with these) from a muddy dry creek run-off to a limestone-and-rock quarry that would be fucking awesome to intertube and it goes for miles in our neighborhood (and the equivalent exists in many others). So when rain hits, it looks cool--seriously, I'll put up video if needed, its awesome--and we can enjoy it because the highest it gets is stil about ten to fifteen feet below our backyard.

However, we've reached saturation of the ground at this point; it's not just not dry, it's wet as in squelch even after twenty-four hours of no rain (which has happened like, once in the past couple of weeks, maybe twice).

Rough measurements:
Patio: 12 feet from door to edge by about 18-22 ft; it's wet I'm not measuring now.
Yard: 20-26 feet from patio edge to the back fence.
Back fence: one foot before drop off to watershed.

So when it rains now--and it comes down hard and fast then slow and eh then hard and fast, break, repeat--the water is immediately in puddle form and from my understanding of physics and engineering, it's still running off to the back but not fast enough. Most recently, I watched in fascination as standing water crawled about four and a half inches up the patio to quiver there before the rain let off and it slowly withdrew back to the (already soaked) ground. Right now, it's standing just short of the patio, which is about three inches above dirt level at that point and one half inch from the top of the water standing there.

Here's what I didn't even know about flooding because where I grew up--rural--we were on top of hill and everything rolled down fast: your entire backyard does not have to be flooded and your watershed does not have to be overflowing and gravity and elevation sometimes work against you when speed is involved. My backyard right now has several high spots which are just mud that are higher than my patio, but right now--the rain just started again--the water just went over the lip of my patio again at the four inch mark and is crawling toward me.

However, math! The patio--due to age and dirt and maybe God--has a slight downward inclination due to settling over the years, so the water does have to work to get to me. And it's only like, maybe a quarter inch of water right now edging toward me like very shallow doom. So most of it's running back to the yard to supersaturated dirt and I need more geometry to work out how long it might take with x hours of rain and y amount of rain per x to get to my back door (which is about three inches above the patio) or possibly wonder why I'm trying to do the math of flooding right now.

Also, I'm resenting that little island of perfectly unflooded dirt (wet, granted) a few feet from the patio right now. Seriously, what's up with that?
Okay, I give up: I need someone who knows geometry.

I'm trying to enclose a rectangle of known dimensions within an ellipse and expand the ellipse thirty feet from each angle. No, Pythagorean theorum didn't work (why????????), I tried expanding the rectangle theoretically by thirty feet at all diagonals, I tried magic.

I have Pythagged, sined, cosined, tangented and right now I could pass my junior trig and geometry with a A, but I cannot make a fucking ellipse that's perimeter entirely encloses a rectangle of known dimensions that is at least one hundred feet from the closest point in the rectangle.

What. Do. I. Need. To. Do?

Assume all measurements in feet, m is the multiplier to get the ratio to recalculate w, h to a, b for second rectangle and expanded ellipse.

Formula to calculate an ellipse: https://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/ellipse-perimeter.html <--approximation 3

Current Rectangle:
w = 2640
h = 450
d = Sqr(x) = (w ^ 2) + (h ^ 2) = 2678.0776
p of rec = 6180
p of ellipse = 5487.4475

Increasing the diagonal by 100 at all angles
d2 = 2678.0776 + (100*4) = 3078.0776

(Corrected 30 to 100; I couldn't make thirty work at all).

I thought it was working with this formula:
New Rectangle:
m = d2/d = 3078.0776/2678.0776 = 1.1493
a = w * m = 2640 * 1.1403 = 3034.3126
b = h * m = 450 * 1.1403 = 517.2123
p of new rect: 7.103.0501
p of new ellipse = 6304.7578

It could work, but I'm not sure, because when I start expanding the rectangle itself and apply the formula to get real ellipse and new ellipse, it doesn't work and I don't know why. The only explanation I have is that I'm changing the height and width too much, but the same results occur no matter what I do.

Second group:
w = 10560
h = 24390
d = Sqr(x) = (w ^ 2) + (h ^ 2) = 26,577.9175
p of rect = 69,900
p of ellipse = 57,070.34402

Increasing the diagonal by 100 at all angles
d2 = 26577.9175 + (100*4) = 26977.9175

I thought it was working with this formula:
m = d2/d = 26977.9175/26577.9175 = 1.015
a = w * m = 10560 * 1.015 = 10718.92893
b = h * m = 24390 * 1.015 = 24757.07165
p of rect: 70952.00116
p of new ellipse = 57,747.0583

What is wrong with my brain that this isn't working? I verified my results with google and it agrees something is wrong with either a.) my brain or b.) geometry. I think it's geometry. I get ellipse calculations are complicated, but I double checked that part a few times and it's working, I think. At least, google thinks so when I enter my numbers to get the smallest ellipse but this is making no sense why I can't get that second one to work.

I'm listening to country music and not like, Girl in a Country Song but stuff like The Dance and The Thunder Rolls and Straight Tequila Night and The Bluest Eyes in Texas and I'd Be Better Off (In a Pine Box) (On a Slow Train Down to Georgia) (this is the South; we like to be detailed about how you are breaking our hearts, fucker). This is Southern wake after the death of grandma level shit here; this is when we drink Southern Comfort and Wild Turkey and a metric ton of margaritas (if your Southern is Texan), eat potato salad and fried anything, and everyone gets drunk, talks about their rifles and family scandals and at some point one to three parents have a knock-down drag out among the funeral flowers and someone hides in the closet with a brownie and...we're not talking about my childhood, right.

...this is where I am right now. Fix my geometry or I won't be understandable when I talk to anyone not in a central Texas bar; I already have too many vowels in my words and all my gerunds are missing a very important ending 'g'. I will write all my entries in the dialect of a central Texas rural farmer if I have to, and don't think I won't.

This has been a mathematical cry for help.

ETA: Oh God, I Want to Be Loved Like That just came up on rotation. Help.

ETA 2: If you saw an ealirer version, I was using '30 feet' not '100 feet'; I switched when testing the formuals to 100 because thirty simply didn't work and I wanted a dramatic change. All math here is based on an increase of 100 from all angles, or an increase of 200 of each diagonal.

ETA 3: Aded figures worked out in pencil, verified in excel and google, cited my formulas, and still WHAT.




Answered by [personal profile] edgewitch: Link to solution with proof!.
In case anyone is into this, Duolingo added Ukranian in beta.

For English speakers.

The following are available:
Spanish
French
Italian
German
Portuguese
Dutch
Irish
Swedish
Danish
Turkish
Norwegian
Ukrainian

The following are upcoming soon (at 80% complete or above):
Esperanto
Hungarian
Russian

I love Duolingo.
So last week and this weekend were--terrible, to be honest. Mostly the weekend, actually; the week was fine, but an emergency release went out at work and I was validating one portion when they brought up the system (there was a PDF of the entire nightmare) and when my time came (late, I expected) it failed (that, we didn't).

Finally by Monday it was up, but working Saturday and Sunday even from home is just freaking stressful when it's something like this. And I do take it personally; it's like, why, app, do you hate me? I may or may not have said that out loud over several days until Monday, when the failure fixed itself (no one can figure out what the hell; we just go with it).

Three things made this weekend and week not suck balls:
1.) downtoagincourt - there is a tumblr about my fic series! FUCK YES I READ IT ALL LIKE FORTY TIMES AND FAVORITED EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. Also, an amazing review here by bert-and-ernie-are-gay that I indeed do re-read. Like a lot.

I have no idea about the etiquette of reblogging really literate (more literate than the series, to be honest) reviews of your fic. Can you do that?

2.) Two tumblr uses liveblogged some of their reactions while reading. This is one of them.

Fireintheimpala here:
Gah, nonstop agony thanks to Down to Agincourt…maybe I should live blog my read of it for cathartic release…

*ahem*

Day 1,231: the destiel glacier is reported to have advanced 1.52 millimeters in the south. Scientists are being dispatched to test for possible measurement errors.

Day 3,456: the scientist have returned and bring with them exciting reports of moderate precipitation! Will this add to the mass of the glacier? Stay tuned.

Day 7,278: tragic news from the glacial front: a scientist has been killed! Though the surface of the glacier is by all measurable accounts benign–inert even!–inexplicable emissions of angst have increased. Eruption danger: Orange.

And here:
Down to Agincourt update.

Day 10,000 or so: I should have taken a break for smut, fluff, or single chapter episode codas 3,000 days ago. Now it’s too late. Now I can’t imagine these characters progressing to any sort of self awareness for at least, oh, 50 more years.


It's funny because it's true.

3.) I bought six inch heels and learned to walk in them.

My Relationship With Heels

I'm a switcher; I go through phases of wanting nothing but ballet flats or low mary sues, with various exceptions in various heels; my work encouraged it, especially when I was at the ombudsman's office where no denim allowed at all and business casual was barely casual. When I became a QC Analyst, however, the dress code was "not naked" and never again having only one pair of jeans because all my clothes income was for button ups, slacks, and skirts. Generally I devote myself to Black Widow and Batman t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, and semi-regular showering (and flats, comfy ones). I'm QC; there are very low expectations in our dress sense. Then I got a promotion (WHEE ME), and for no reason (I can't explain this), I kind of went crazy and bought dresses and tops to wear with jeans (or tights) and dragged out all my heeled sandals to gloat over (I. Don't. Know. But I now own five dresses, three pairs of skinny jeans (one glittery: GLITTERY) and two very pretty new work-appropriate sleeveless tops and adorable cardigan sweaters to wear with them.)

Which leads to the next part.

Last year, I decided to start training myself up again with heels without ending up with feet that will hate me all my life due to the purchase of a three and a half inch pair of kick-ass sandals that were viciously on sale (chunky heel, utterly gorgeous), a pair of wedges, and a cruel Fry's sale on adorable brown suede sandals. The chunky three and a half inch sandals took work, but seriously, they're adorable and had decent ankle support, and successfully did not die in them.

Last month, I saw a pair of stiletto booties and said "I'm getting me some of that."

And I also said, "And not kill myself wearing them." That part is important.

Luichiny Women's Hi N Low Boot, Size 10. Two inch platform, four inch shaft, so effective four inch elevation for my heel. They also look fucking amazing, not gonna lie, but they are not walking out clubbing shoes (my sandals, oddly enough, are).

Here's the thing; they are also my first real experience (other than at Vividcon) wearing stiletto heels and not chuck or wedges (and then I was also drunk, they were thigh-high boots, and Vividcon means miracles occurred when I jogged up and down the stairs).

Balance wasn't a problem--I'd been wearing my sandals once a week for a month to get used to the shift in my center of balance, fix my posture, and automatically align myself on top of my heels instead of the balls of my feet--but learning to walk was very new. Chunk, even with sandals, do generally allow a lot of leeway as long as my posture is correct; stilettos, I found, require perfect or nothing.

(Chunk with no platform also (gently) trained me out of one problem I have due to being a sprinter in high school and never getting over it; my weight when walking in shoes at all unless I'm thinking about it comes down on the outer ball of my foot, not the inner, around the fourth and fifth toe, and my heel doesn't come down often (almost never) when I'm walking fast, which I usually do. In flats and barefoot I still do it (and can afford to), but when I hit about two inches in a heel or any boot, I have to adjust and that takes practice to remember to do before killing myself. I still have to think about it when walking or yes, I will topple over like the saddest bowling pin in history and die or something.)

The nice thing with these boots is, they fit close; if you're not exactly a nine and a half (low end) or ten, though, the 10 will not fit (go to 11). I had to wear trouser socks to get my feet in and adjust, but they were literally a perfect fit, skin close but not painful or pinching other than foot adjustment time while walking until they shaped to the balls of my feet correctly. They also have fantastic ankle support, which I didn't realize would be so important but should have, since the entire strength of walking in them was keeping my ankle straight (and not trying to go up on my toes; it's almost impossible at this height, which helps).

After checking numerous websites on walking in heels, and trying many things to help the process of not dying (while being six fucking three in those things and gleefully staring over everyone's heads at work because I can do that), here is what I learned.

1.) Leaning backward does help like a lot. Centering my entire weight on my heel isn't really enough; without the backward lean, I pitched forward.

2.) Wearing them improves my posture one hundred thousand percent just on the strength of not wanting to topple over. Not just a straight back either; shoulders back, head up, stomach in, chest up, and I can feel the second I go out of alignment and fix it (because otherwise, death by heels).

This actually bleeds over to when I don't wear heels; I'm a slumper and sloucher and training myself out of that is almost impossible without sufficient motivation (ie, death by heels). The last two months have definitely helped in that much; I've noticed I don't slouch automatically (now it's by preference, really), and more importantly, I am aware of when my posture is bad because I know how it feels when it's good.

3.) Walking and staying alive I've mastered, but walking gracefully is still hit or miss and I usually stumble (sometimes literally) into doing it right (ie, the sweet spot). It's harder than I thought, but once I hit it, I'm fine for the rest of the day. I know it's a matter of how I'm shifting my center of balance and weight to the ball of my foot and using the heel only for balance, but it's not something I can do consciously yet. It's not a stride issue, either; long or short, something clicks and boom, I have the walk. Or it doesn't and I'm just terrifyingly tall and no one can stand against me. No one.

4.) Everything is much lower when one is six-three (I love those shoes), including people. I will not say that made me mad with power, but I won't deny it, either.
Every time I read Georgette Heyer, I get hit all over again by the fact she's actually really good at the Regency format in the generic sense, so good I don't really feel like it's generic no matter how paint by numbers it would be in any other author's hands. She just gets it right, and I know better--I do--but every time, I start sliding her into the Austen mode and then re-read something like Black Sheep and screech to a halt when the plot meticulously and properly goes from 'Regency standard but adorable shenanigans' to 'what the fuck just happened?'

It shouldn't happen anymore, and yet.

the black sheep and other shenanigans )

Georgette Heyer's works, ladies and gentlemen: sometimes, I think she basically chose a career of trolling the Regency genre just to see if anyone noticed.
Fortunately, my job and how television portrays it (Quality control, aka program testing) isn't a subject for television because generally one hour drama doesn't focus on the minutia of a company building a program step by step because come on, that can be a multi-year process.

....with one exception.

I once ran across the dramatization of the dev process (montage-like) on TV and watched because it's kind of soothing to watch developers suffering (they're like a floor away from me and I've had a bad week, okay?) until we got back to real time and I promptly lost my mind.

A Summary of the Horror:
They're like "almost there after weeks of (montage) work, oh noes there's a null character mcguffin plot reason thing must get it out like right now tonight no waiting!" or something like that, how do you even know this you just finished the last line and haven't compiled it...hold up, where are the design docs, I haven't seen any since this started, how are they--and they're all scanning the source code--scanning a million lines of source code with their eyes ON SINGLE MONITOR WHY, not even using a search algorithm--who does that, what kind of fucking IDE are you using, why don't you have color enabled to make this easier, wait, that looks like microsoft notepad with the background painted black-- "OH FOUND IT FIXING IT NOW" wait, no, did you erase something and then hit enter that's a new line, but go back, problem, the mcguffin wouldn't be in there, that's in a class file, why are you--hold up, what language is this-- "Okay, compiling now!" holy shit did you just-- "Almost done!" wait, what, no, you can't do that, you don't fly edit your code (that did like magic or word processing, they weren't clear) have you ever heard of debug or like-- "Okay, done, send it--" IN TEN SECONDS REAL TIME THAT WASN'T A MONTAGE "--to whothefuckever we can start distribution like next week awesome going to hawaii!" WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING YOU DIDN'T EVEN RUN IT-- "Everyone go on vacation now bye!" NO NO YOU UNIT TEST SYSTEM TEST USER ACCEPTANCE LAST HAS TO CHECK FOR MEMORY LEAKS AND LOAD AT LEAST RUN SOME AUTOMATED SCRIPTS WHAT ARE YOU DOING DID YOU EVEN CHECK TO SEE IF IT EVER WORKED IN A REAL-TIME ENVIRONMENT BECAUSE YOU MACHINES ARE SET TO IDEAL CONDITIONS NOT THE WILDS OF PRODUCTION--

I'll spare you the rest--they say when the trauma becomes too much, the memory's blocked so sanity can be retained--but one thing's really just bothering me here.

In this ultra-tech, totally pro too many coffee cups suspiciously unstained and without chips or being shattered against the wall and no crumpled up design documents because the analysts are sadistic fucks and will give you three contradictory rules and don't understand how to use Visio or the concept of driver flow...all the super-cool computers only had one monitor each.

I get it now.

This is about a desperate dev team torpedoing the project due to hideous working conditions, inadequate equipment, lack of support personnel, and no design documents because they were set up to fail by an evil CEO who wanted to cut corners and get rid of the entire dev department to bring in an alien design team from Mars (who secretly plan to conquer the world because even aliens wouldn't agree to this nightmare unless they had another motive entirely) and now it all makes sense!

this is totally what happens next )
Because mythology and why not.

A List of all Zeus's kids.

It makes me wonder--again, that's just Zeus's shenanigans (or his and two other gods' divine urine on a blanket and create Urine AKA Orion, are you fucking with me?)--if there was a point in Ancient Greece where there was a greater than fifty percent chance one parent, your spouse, half the kids, and a number greater than one of your herd of sheep were your half-siblings and you just had to roll with it because Zeus.

Seperis: I'm imagining how visiting ancient greece there were warnings when you crossed the border
Seperis: Like "Do not have sex with the animals, it's always Zeus."
Seperis: "Do not have sex with the insects; it's probably Zeus."
Molly: Do not lie out in the rain...
Seperis: "Don't sleep--Zeus might get you, or Aphrodite just might like looking at you young forever."
Seperis: "Don't pet anything: it's definitely Zeus."

You are about to say "why would you think anyone would have sex with animals or insects and therefore need to worry about being knocked up by Zeus?"

I say "Have you read Greek mythology? There was a fifty percent chance you'd randomly turn into an animal yourself because Greece invented the deus ex machina, possibly inspired by Zeus's sex life."

If you're wondering why petting something would be on this list, see above.

Also, might want to stay out of the sun, any body of water, away from stiff breezes, any freshly tilled field, and blankets covered in urine. Also don't have a picnic, because ants.
Scenes from Agincourt, Chapter 5: Path of Angels by Tkodami - I never stop being amazed at her interpretations of key scenes, and this one, the memory of Cas meeting the goddess in the church, is breathtaking.
Expectation of the Week: I will get through the day without sending a group of mobile developers an email stating my fucking cat could do a better job at integrating web services. It's not true; my cat would fuck it up deliberately, rather than by sheer incompetence, because he's a goddamn cat.

Also, would it kill them in some unspecified way to have error messages that have meaning? All of them have the same text because they're still working on creating pop-up error messages that say what's actually wrong, and do it three times in a row sometimes. I'd take a goddamn random-ass number-letter code.

Playlist of the Week: May Kicks Ass, created from the songs used on several Women of Marvel vids on youtube. Setting May kicking Ward's ass forever to empowering music does things for me.

Note: All the TMI. I'm posting this at one thirty in the morning after three days of work related wtfery and pretty much nothing is a bad idea at this point.

so, about your masturbation habits, menstruation, and tmi like it's the end of the world and why not )

In closing: yeah, I shouldn't have stopped when I was writing this post (around playlists, to be specific) and checked my dash. That never ends well, though to be fair, it's not like anyone sane saw this coming.
...in prep for Avengers 2, which Child and I are going to watch on the thirtieth. He's now six feet tall and can squish anyone who gets in our way. Sure, I already reserved our seats, but that's just for fun.

Technically, I may not need it, but whatever, it's Marvel Time: I am watching all the Iron Mans, Thors, Captain Americas, and Avengers, but not Black Widow because hey, they haven't made her a movie. And Agents of Shield, because it exists.
season one spoilers I guess? )
brief contextual digression )
Back to Other People )

Yes, that was indeed a lot of words.

Okay, I gotta ask: is there any May/Skye fic anyone would recommend? Gen/friendship or romantic or a slow burn starting with the first and going to the second by preference. I have no idea why it appeals to me, but it really, really does.
My review of Written in Red, which was the first book of the series. The second, Murder of Crows, I read last year but I don't think ever reviewed. Mostly to this day--and especially after Vision in Silver, I'm ambivalent, though not Mercedes Lackey hostile.

The review of Written in Red had a short character and country directory if you need a refresher.

This may not be organized well, but I have feelings.

vision in silver, book three of the others )
So.

Me and Amazon have had something of a relationship issue dating back from when Amazon turned parts of its clothing department into a valid reason to scream "WITCH". This would be when the static expressionless woman in an Nine West A-Line summer dress tosses you a soullessly saucy smile before prancing woodenly in place (sometimes jerkily because why the fuck make this in any way not wrong?) in a way that my ancestors--who left Germany because the Lutheran church was too Catholic-lite for them (and ethnic minority something, but mostly, the religion thing)--would convert to Catholicism to become witchhunters and burn me and my computer at the stake while screaming in Latin, German, and Wendish and I would die without even being able to google the Wendish because it's sort-of deadish. (Guess: 'Satan' probably in there somewhere. Possibly also disappointment that I still don't like sauerkraut.)

(My Great-great grandmother was like the stereotype of German women of mock-fear but a real person and fucking terrifying three digit years and a black and white picture away; two hundred fucking pounds of solid muscle, and her breasts could beat your skull in while she disjointed you like a shriekingly plucked chicken without getting blood on her freshly scrubbed floor. Her expression was stern yet kindly sociopathic, like maybe today she's not considering how one of her great-great granddaughters isn't entirely sure of the point of mopping (and is a witch who makes pictures dance) and so no burning her yet. (Yet.)

Here's the thing: I keep forgetting about it.

(Amazon, not great-great grandmother. It just bothers me how there are no records of hundreds of disjointed human bodies being found in the greater hill country (with heads quite battered), or even dozens of missing person reports, because how did she hide them so well? Just gets to me sometimes, that's all.)

I forget the dancing uncanny valley Amazon thinks will make me buy clothing from them and usually shriek (maybe she strangled them first? She didn't look merciful but anything's possible) while watching them twirl-skip-jerk-finish twirl in place with a sassy flip of a pixelated skirt.

Or worse: I don't forget.

I watch and wait and it's fine--no future creepypasta based on a true story here (has Unresolved Mysteries on reddit looked into this hill country cover-up? Why is no one asking questions about this?)--and I start to scroll and suddenly from the corner of my eye there's movement of platform heels and cue 'shriek' because what the fuck Amazon? You waited until I was just far enough down the page to trust and cue a bad remake of the shoes that make you dance forever while advertising DKNY?

Autoplay may indeed be of the devil (and my great-great grandmother's crimes will never be known at this rate) because there really is no other explanation why it exists. It's bothering me that everyone--and I do mean everyone--is picking up the crazy for autoplay and not just tumblrites who want to convey their pain with repeat-one Imagine Dragons singles; what happened to variety in your personal angst? Get a fucking playlist of it already.

CNN picked up this charming habit, even on articles I picked specifically for text, which isn't easy (picking, or awareness of this family secret no one else seems to know about) since they redesigned their site to be impossible to navigate and added autoplay streaming video on the off-chance you persisted in your desire to use them, and it has the added benefit of having to patiently wait for the video to start so you can stop it. If you forget--I still do--a Midwestern monotone will abruptly fill your headphones while reading (invariably about murder involving refrigerators or c-sections, because why not?) and make you jump suspiciously because you really are kind of two days away from turning in those tests you said were almost done and you're at work where technically, you should be doing them. Or so I've been told.

I feel like there needs to be an overall theme to this entry other than I hate autoplay and my great-great grandmother kind of still scares me, but there's really not. This is the inevitable result of mixing genealogy, shopping, and robitussin DM (half-dose) because you're kind of over this entire 'not sick enough to miss work' thing.
Things that are both weird and true: three quarters of my skillsets and knowledge base are quite literally pleasant side effects. There is quite literally nothing--and I do mean nothing--I learned by saying "I'd like to learn x, it sounds cool." I start with "I really need this; how do I make it happen?"

At work, people are generally wondering what the hell, because three quarters of the time I'm just the vaguely there employee who hates mornings and generally doesn't make extra work for anyone. In other words, functional, forgettable, and whatever. I don't mind, trust me; it helps, lets put it that way.

Then there's the other one quarter.

yeah, and about that )
So, to renew my habit of posting here more than once every three months (other than for fic):

I applied for a promotion at work, interviewed for it a week from last Friday, and got offered the position today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Yes, I accepted after staring at my manager and sub-manager like 'what?' Because I am really smart like that.)

The hilarious part is that during my interview, one of the interviewers (who is my lead) asked a question off script.

all about me and job, very boring a lot of digressions, it's been that kind of a day )
So yes, I've been super quiet, other than posting fic, for--well, months. I can honestly state a massive amount of it was my entire life was either work, editing and posting fic, and the rest my new nephew and my son, who turned eighteen in January and comes home today from a spring break class trip to Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, Valenciennes, Brussels, Istanbul, and Bursa (for skiing, hilarity) and graduates in May.

However, I got a new computer, which is--as everyone here knows--is a very important event in one's life, and kind of unexpected. My shift key on my laptop Sherlock broke--the laptop on its fifth year and just got refurbished because I was really attached. At the same time--this wouldn't be a problem, I've can fix that--Child decided it was time to tell me he really wanted a laptop and specifically, mine. So I got a new one.

You know how sometimes you only realize you've had a blank space in your heart only when it's filled? Yeah, that's Prince Hal 9000 (named for the creator of "Down to Agincourt's" name and author of the poem Harry Takes the Field about Henry V. When I first named my laptop Harry, [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar was like "Harry was called Prince Hal in his youth" and I'm like "And now we have a smashup of Shakespeare's Henry V and 2001: A Space Odyssey and this is destiny.")

You probably don't care, but much like anyone with a new, beloved child, Prince Hal specs:
Name: Prince Hal 9000
Model: Alienware 17 R2
Processor: i7 4710HQ
RAM: 16GB DDR3L
Drives: Two bays, one for up to four SSD M.2 and one 2.5 for anything. Mine is 256 SSD, 1 T 5400 RPM SATA 6Gb/s, upgradeable to 512 on SSD and the limits of current technology on the second.
Display: 17.3 FHD inch ten-point touchscreen (God, it's magic).
OS: Windows 8.1, which I still like less than Windows 7 but unsurprisingly works much, much, much better with a touchscreen. It also helps that I got the Stardock for my desktop, where all my common links are stored and can avoid the Metro screen (though I adapted that for non-frequent use). It helps a lot that I can swipe out of it when I accidentally end up there; that really does make all the difference.
Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5
USB: 4 USB 3.0, one with powershare, and holy shit talk about fast data transfer on the 3.0
Other: HDMI 1.4, Mini-Display port, card reader, graphics amplifier port, two audio ports retaskable for microphone, mic headsets, external speakers, etc
Notes: It also has lights everywhere, and I can color them all. And nine extra random keys I can hotkey by keystroke or macro. God.

Yes, I bought a ridic overpowered gaming computer to write fanfic and code in my free time. I wish I could say this was an impulse buy, but it wasn't. I spent the better part of January doing every configuration possible before picking this one. And waiting for alienware to send out random discount codes (they did, thank God). Also, my mom's tablet stopped working, so she absconded with Castiel, my tablet, which means my laptop is my primary source of all things and now accompanies me to work.

and that's when things got complicated )
pros and cons of the Alienware 17 )
more about computers )
a historical digression to that time I almost set myself on fire for a netbook )
back on topic, whatever that was )
pretty sure this is creepy but I could be wrong )
creepy done, back on topic--anyone remember what that was? )
So I had a moment of buh while looking at my posting stats in AO3.

Total Word Count: 3,192,064
Down to Agincourt series: 541,405 (and in progress)
Percent of Total: ~17%

Granted, there are several things I haven't posted there, but still.

I posted my first fanfic circa 1999, but roughly 17% of my total posted output was in the last nine months with three novels, and two of those are one and two on my longest novels list (A Thousand Lights in Space and It's the Stars that Lie, respectively). My five longest novels are those, Jus Ad Bellum (X-Men), Map of the World (book one of Agincourt), and War Games (Star Trek Reboot).

When I started this series--which was a freaking writing exercise, for fuck's sake--three years ago and it started growing, I made a joke about haha, this could reach 300,000 words. According to my last rough word count in my Agincourt workbook, because it needed one, the series will top 1.5 million words, and numbers immediately lose meaning for me just writing that.

...and I still can't tell you how this happened. My last clear memory was when I sat down and thought "I wonder what Cas and Lucifer's meeting after Dean's death in The End would be like". And in A Thousand Lights in Space (book three), I have the better part of a chapter devoted to the characters digging a giant hole for a new mess and observational relationship drama (and coffee).

Like, years ago, [personal profile] hradzka described John Ringo's later books as man gets women and builds things and how that was super attractive as genre. I got it then, but I really really get it now; it's very fighting to save the world plus home improvement (...militia camp improvement?) and negotiating important trade alliances while learning to cook (and farm) and build a do-it-yourself camp LAN. There is something unbelievably satisfying about how after killing demons everyone goes home and works on that new addition to the cabin and fixing potholes and learning leatherworking and scheduling patrols in Excel before checking the reports you are adding to a Oracle database that patrol turns in on jump drives. And you have just enough time to go pilfer rugs from somewhere because the ones in the living room are hideous before cleaning your personal arsenal that takes up an entire closet and talking about what all your knives are made out of (titanium versus ceramic versus hardened steel).

Last clear memory: writing a angsty confrontation between Cas and Lucifer over Dean's dead body.

Current part I edited recently (about two books ahead): a sincere discussion regarding the pros and cons of certain colors of weather-resistant paint for Chitaqua's cabins. It's getting kind of heated and everyone is way too armed.
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 14/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13

a thousand lights in space, 14/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 13/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12

a thousand lights in space, 13/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 12/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11

a thousand lights in space, 12/14 )
I don't know what to say.
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 11/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10

a thousand lights in space, 11/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 10/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9

a thousand lights in space, 10/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 9/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

a thousand lights in space, 9/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 8/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7

a thousand lights in space, 8/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 7/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6

a thousand lights in space, 7/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 6/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5

a thousand lights in space, 6/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 5/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4

a thousand lights in space, 5/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 4/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

a thousand lights in space, 4/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 3/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2

a thousand lights in space, 3/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 2/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2
DW - Chapter 1

a thousand lights in space, 2/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 1/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1

a thousand lights in space, 1/14 )
Because going to FFA is freaking dangerous.

Smart Bitches Trashy Books: Review of The Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay by Hunter Fox - much like the reviewer, I too can't help but wonder about dinosaurs running the global economy.

...I kind of want to read it now. For the economics.
So BestBuy.com's new improved system broke my ability to login to Best Buy and refuses to send me email to reset my password or validate my account. Literally, they can't send to jenn@thegateway email; it doesn't get to me. It sounds weird, right? Even when a phone rep tries to do it. I can get email from Best Buy, from customer support, and from Unboxed, but not an email to reset my password or validate my account. I am a weird unicorn of non-functionality and maybe a curse is involved due to that chain letter I didn't forward circa 2000? Could be.

I was wrong.

Phone rep told me to register on Best Buy Unboxed forum to ask for help, which is possibly the single weirdest way a corporation has ever told me to deal with a tech problem. And I found this:

One, two, three, four, five and that's random sampling going back to June.

I'm trying to work out how on earth this happened and the closest thing I can come up with is database corruption, and this is where it gets interesting.

I spent last night--because my life is a set of weird coincidences--helping [livejournal.com profile] svmadelyn with a project that required command line installation from an image into Ubuntu and nearly had a nervous breakdown (of joy, this is fun for me, not gonna lie) trying to make the outgoing email protocol work. Several ours and rebuilds later, I did a simple google search--don't say it--and read the obvious goddamn solution that was so freaking obvious I started laughing, because I'd skipped it on my mental checklist of things going wrong because it was so simple. And it worked, I released all the failed jobs and did some cleaning and then sat back and contemplated how I managed to make something so simple into four hours of rebuilds.

Hence, I feel my high tech ground on email issues is cut away from me. And I still can't login to best buy.

There was a moral here, I swear.
It's that time again--that would be time for more books. And I found my author to hit their works like the fist of a very literature-deprived god.

...but she has like a lot of books (two delicious series, even), so okay.

N.K. Jemisin - is The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms author-entry level or should I start with the other one first to get a better feel for her? It got amazing reviews (and is a trilogy), but I'm worried about another Neil Gaiman American Gods where I only found out after reading it that I should have started with Anansi Boys first to get a better feel of his style (as I loved Anansi Boys like beyond words).

So yes, no, maybe, do it alphabetically?
Scenes from Down to Agincourt, Chapter 4: A Very Hippo Chapter, Part Three by [livejournal.com profile] tkodami - In which the Victorian era discovered "Journey to the--" and hippos started at you with come-hither eyes.

...seriously. That last hippo is just, IDEK. Because TKodami is the most awesome ever.

Also, read her Author Notes on the art, which just makes it all that much more amazing.
Rather than be relegated to the dust-bins of history, as many older pieces of unpopular literature are (there are scads (scads!) of Arthuriana that we do our best to forget exist), Journey experienced a brief--though disastrous--heyday in Victorian London during the height of Egyptian Revival. [...]
Scenes from Down to Agincourt by [livejournal.com profile] tkodami, Chapter 3: A Wild Hippo Appears - in which the hero of "Journey to the--" sees his first hippo in the wild. Art is full of puns--God, so many--that our hero artist explains, so for God's sake do not skip the notes.

Also, note: breaking into startlingly loud laughter at work should be a warning not to check email during lunch break at my desk. Save it for after I go outside where I can pretend no one is in hearing range.
De Profundis by MollyC, SPN, gen - a fantastic and very spare and unsettling look at the moment when Castiel met Dean in Hell before his resurrection. She says it's inspired by Down to Agincourt, but I think it stands just fine on its own.
Okay, I finally got A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer and braced myself to read it, as reviews were all positive, but from them, I learned I should not expect a great romance and it would be bittersweet, so I needed to be in the mood for that.

That was not true. I love everyone who told me it was awesome, but that was totally a romance.

Below: my defense of A Civil Contract as not just romance but Romance, and an awesome goddamn Romance. With farming!

(I have feelings, okay? Paragraphs of them. PARAGRAPHS. With citations! Because...Wednesday?)

spoilers, so many )

I am willing to take contrary arguments, but they're wrong, telling you right now. Romance, people. All the romance. With farming!

(Also, note: this entire plot was used by another author in To Catch an Earl by Rosina Pyatt, and when I say plot, I mean Harlequin version. If you've read it, compare and contrast to A Civil Contract; it's kind of hilarious, though yeah, it goes Harlequin very quickly, it still sticks to the outline (the differences are very, very Harlequin-additions). Like a lot.)
Scenes from Down to Agincourt, Chapter 2: Journey to (the Great Swamp) by [livejournal.com profile] tkodami - first of set of four detailing out Cas's guilty hate-reading of pretentious poetry written by Greek students in Demotic Egyptian. READ THE AUTHOR NOTES. For reading them almost caused asphyxia via coffee of some people who unwisely read them at work.
Scenes from Down to Agincourt by TKodami - so when she told me she was going to do fanart, I was very excited. And yet, I underestimated my reaction to seeing this: it's gorgeous, an illustration from Map of the World, Chapter 11, and I'm still taking it in. Especially knowing the context, it's amazing and unsettling as hell.

Going to be staring at this for a while.
Just see if anyone else has this and may tell me the obvious:

1.) how on earth do I empty the trash? Or spam?
2.) Is there a select all anywhere here? Or even better, a select range?

Anyone who does not know what this is:

Inbox by Gmail which works in apps best and Chrome browser kind of (so much white space, appear/disappear left nav, not resizable, SO MUCH WHITE SPACE JESUS). There is bundling.

I like it, but I'm missing functionality here that's frustrating.
I just want to say, as a Texan, we already had Rick Perry. Ebola is just salt in the wound here.

In related news:

I have never spent so much time having to fact check people on ebola and google on my phone what it does, is, and how you get it. I have never spent time fact checking anyone, to be honest--generally, listening to other people be paranoid or wrong is an enjoyable hobby and one that requires minimal effort on my part, that being "staying awake", which gotta admit can be hard. Yet I do it, because not only is it bad information and wrong information, even when it's right conversation is drifting dangerously close to "And Obama will use this to take my guns so I cant' shoot ebola when it shows up" or so I assume; I'm telling you, it's getting very weird.

I get this is a horrible disease, I do. And I get that people are afraid, which makes sense: see "horrible disease". However, I'm also lazy; I don't get having to expend effort in feeling terror before we're at minimum out of single digits for the entire US. I don't even get out of bed for a tornado warning unless something achieves three feet levitation in my vicinity. How do people have this kind of energy?

Between Wikipedia's wealth of information on the cat genome, Cracked teaching me about the pros and cons of being a pickpocket or running Afghanistan as military governor, and trying to decide if I really need to go to the bathroom now (standing up?) or can wait (no standing up!) it's like--dude. You could right now be finding out all the forms aphasia can take and how many cities in India have a population greater than 1 million. And you are spending it on a disease in single digit numbers in the US. *

You could be on reddit reading in nosleep and realizing far, far too late what a terrible idea that was, but at least your irrational fear would be of cameras and eyedroppers--seriously, that was creepy.

This has been a message from me, as it's been a very long week.

* this applies to US citizens only, especially those on talk radio who really, desperately need naps or possibly muzzles.
Personal and cultural awareness thought, via FFA:
I was a cultural awareness class (nothing to do with Poles specifically) that had an example of the 'spaces' differences leading people awry. There was a hotel that had people constantly falling into their flower beds, till they investigated some and found out that it apparently occurred when persons accustomed to wide space interaction and persons accustomed to small space interaction met. The wide space people backed away to get more space and the small space people kept following to maintain the close connect. Eventually the wide space people ended up in the flower beds. - Nonny, FFA


I'm trying to decide if I'm Person Who Falls Into Flowerbed or Person Who Pursues Person Into Flowerbed and it's a toss-up. I think I would be Falls-Into-Flowerbed, but social anxiety can and does nail me into position every so often (it's random) where an earthquake wouldn't move me and you might crawl in my lap (not that I'm against this) and I won't move to save my life.

I'm also from the South, so I'm used to small space interaction to the point I have no idea if I naturally like it only that my body automatically assumes that position and God help me. The South (or Texas) also has the time-honored tradition of gossiping at the correct decibel so the person beside you (ie Gossip Subject) cannot hear, so there's that.

Currently, I'm breaking into hysterical laughter at the idea of watching this in action at this hotel. It's like everyone's in an unwitting horror movie lead-up, and half of them don't realize they're Michael Meyers slow-stalking the person who has no idea they're the latest victim until flowerbed dive.

So are you Flowerbed Michael Meyers or Flowerbed Victim One (or are you the Flowerbed of Retreat??????)? It's Friday and I literally cannot think of anything more useful to do with my time than get an answer to this pressing question.
For I am an aunt again!

My middle sister and her husband welcome M, an 11 lb, 8 oz, 22 inch boy (no, you read that right), delivered in the most common epidural way and holy shit, that's a lot of baby.

because seriously )

...that, by the way, is over one and a half Child at birth weight.

Heaviest baby ever born: 15.5 lbs, by Caesarean
Okay, so:

Closer to Home: Book One of Herald Spy by Mercedes Lackey.

Before I say this, I want to review the following: I have with only moderate irony liked these books. They were cracky and I took a very weird pleasure in reading them and reviewing them. I mean, keep that as the baseline here.

I finished the last in roughly four hours, and this is not only not fun, it's embarrassing, uncomfortable, and shitty in all ways and seriously, I don't believe Mercedes Lackey wrote this. At all.

Over one third of the book is a fucking earnest honest to God rewrite of Romeo and Juliet, complete with the fucking shitty Nurse, and I don't mean in the remix/deconstruction/parody level or even someone who understand what stories are or how words work. This is a rewrite in which a fourteen year old girl, Violetta (Juliet) is slut shamed for daydreaming and called a female dog bitch by her dad and Brand (Romeo) magically teh last few pages becomes a psychopath who tries to kill a miniature dog.

I want to repeat this--Brand, who until this point was kind of a careless Romeo-esque--tried to kill a tiny dog because he's actually evil and was actually plotting all this time to marry Violetta and kill all of both their families. Because reasons.

This is horrible, earnest, honest to god This Is How It Should Have Happened Let This Teach You a Lesson About Being Romantic and Violetta--fourteen, people, she acts like a little girl who likes to read romantic poetry--is fucked over and lectured by everyone, but that's okay because Amily is going to empower her or something and teach her fighting skills.

This is a bad, bad, terribly written book period, with a bad, bad, bad plotline and I don't know what I read but I hate it. There is nothing--and I do mean nothing--that makes this worth reading and I wish I hadn't; this is actually causing me issues with Valdemar and I unironically love all things Valdemar. That was uncomfortable as shit just to read, and thinking about it is gross. Whoever ghostwrote this should never be allowed near a keyboard ever.

Dude, even Todd McCaffrey's butchering of Pern didn't bother me this much. Shitty horrific sure, but it didn't cause active nausea.

I don't think I've loathed a book like this before quite so much. I feel betrayed. The person who wrote about Kerowyn and Talia and Tarma and even the later icky Elspeth is not the person who wrote this.

I need a drink. I actually want to see if I can forget this one.
Briefly surfing from my blanket fort of bronchitis and Robitussin to update. I posted to AO3 last night. (Note: Everyone in my household is sick or pregnant. Or at work today, granted. Casa de Seperis is the Plague House and my doctor can't see me until tomorrow morning. Yes, I am a little high right now and coughing is my new job.)

Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 12/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11

it's the stars that lie, 12/12 )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 11/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10

it's the stars that lie, 11/12 )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 10/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9

it's the stars that lie, 10/12 )
Duolingo added Danish, Dutch, and Irish to the beta language list for English speakers (for non-English speakers, there are others as well). As Irish sounded interesting, I decided to test it and see what happened.

Here's what I learned:

1.) Spanish infiltrates English speakers in Texas like you have no idea.

I didn't have any idea how much until I began on Irish and failed so utterly when in Spanish I did the first ten sections in like, a day, including repeats when I inexplicably didn't get full hearts in every lesson and I was anal about that. I'd go back and redo ones just to get full hearts and sulk if I missed something. Yes, I do that. Even the most rampant English-only speaker living in a border state cannot help but absorb the principles of the language at least in basic vocabulary.

(Interesting note: you're more likely to pick up a lot of it if you're lower/working class than middle class, due to migrant and undocumented immigrant labor. My dad wouldn't admit it to save his life, but he understood more Spanish than I did since he worked construction and I heard him talking to his coworkers, so come on. My mom didn't pick up much as a caseworker because she worked in a small town, but when I was a clerk and then a caseworker in Austin, my Spanish went high conversational within six months, and I could interview in it fairly well when needed.)

I tested this in French and Portuguese as well: French I can get two sections without noticeable effort (letter combinations start hurting me here), Portuguese three or four (Portuguese sounds to me like Spanish spoken at the back of the throat, and that's the part that throws me off). Irish--three repetitions for one lesson (One. Lesson) to get full hearts and honest to God I sweated through it.

2.) Irish is really different.

Yes, all languages are different, but this is a different-different for me as a primary English speaker and my language familiarity. If you dropped me in Mexico, I could likely fairly quickly get myself food, lodging, a bathroom, and directions to anywhere, and could make some very sketchy jokes with my new friends and probably carry on a fair conversation about my life and times (you'd be surprised how much you know when that's your only language option). If you dropped me in Finland, I could do the same but less conversation and more profanity because my host brother and boyfriend were good about teaching me that. My French would fail, no lie, because French, but I could eventually work out what I needed to say.

In Ireland, should I be without English speakers, Ithim úll, I eat an apple. Ithim an úll, I eat the apple. And I know the 't' will be silent. So I'm good for describing my action with the apple. That's it, and I'm currently I'm on the fourth section. Unless I happen to have a pad of paper and I can totally write out my drink choices sú úll and sú oráiste, apple or orange juice and uisce, water. Go me. I can't say any of them to save my life.

My first cousin is a linguist and polyglot, but all hers are the Romance languages, though she has a working understanding of a few others. If I remember correctly, her waterloos were (forgive generalities), South Asian (specifically I think it was Chinese that threw her off the most, but I can't be more specific). She adapted, but that was where she hit her first serious wall on comprehension, and as this is a woman who was trilingual before she began college and finished her degree in two years, yeah.

If I'm right--and I'm pretty sure I am--mine is anything that uses the alphabet I know in ways I don't understand (goddamn phonics). I still have the entire Cyrillic alphabet effectively memorized and never had a problem reading or understanding Russian at the level that Irish is bothering me. My roommate in college was Syrian-American and was bilingual in Arabic and English, and I never had a problem with what she taught me--this shape makes this sound and those sounds make this word, I could read it later and recognize the word without a major hiccup. (I can't do it now, but at one time I could say several truly indecent things and ask for a beer or water.)

It's like French (fucking French): those letter combinations that don't sound like I think they should (I wrote an essay about me and French) why do you hate me? I blame this on phonics.

3.) Retention is a problem written.

Not Irish to English; that I nail every time. English to Irish is giving me problems, which makes sense. Ithim, itheann, I eat, (he or she) eats isn't hard to recognize. In fact, none of the verb conjugations are hard to recognize and translate, it's just remembering the root and adding the conjugation is because of the slim/broad rule.

This is where I discover I don't like things that are too regular too soon (blame English, we don't do regular, we do exceptions). I don't trust last root vowel matching to get the ending, and I go through, not kidding, a three point series of questions to myself before I finally accept yes, this is a regular freaking verb why are you doing this to yourself? I don't know, but I still have to stop and go okay ith has a 'i' therefore slim ending 'eann' Itheann move on now after point one "what ending goes here, it can't be that simple" and "no, really, it can't be that simple".

This is the 'to eat' verb, for goodness sake. This is how I get an apple in Ireland.

4.) Retention is a huge problem listening.

This is where my phonics training fails until I internalize the letter combination pronunciations (this will take a while, I don't do well at this in my native tongue for fuck's sake)(for which we can blame English stealing all the words)(why didn't English steal more Irish?????????????????).

The secondary problem with this is that this is in beta, and while all the oral uses a real human voice--which is fantastic for clarity, btw, you can easily hear and repeat what they're saying, no problem at all--not all the oral parts are added yet, as this is, again, in beta. So sometimes, you get the word leabhar but not the pronunciation for maybe several questions after that (or a different lesson). Hint: for an English speaker, it sounds nothing like it looks, except that it definitely starts with an 'l' and ends with an 'r'. Uisce, no matter how many times I hear it--and I listened to the same sentence with it in there about a dozen times straight--will not register when I hear it again. Unless it's a sentence about drinking and then I know if it starts with a 'b' it's milk, an 'f' is wine, and the other one is uisce.

5.) My reading retention is shockingly good.

This shouldn't surprise me, but it always throws me a little to realize how textual I really am. And that has been a problem; I can pretty much force-pass the lessons on guesswork on the strength of translating Irish to English and slide by the rest with short-term memorization, but finishing with four hearts every time means I have to pass every question both written and oral and the difference is painfully obvious on how long I spend listening to the same sentence over and over until I can work out the words by more than first letter and context guessing (which also works). Or slowly, painfully pushing English to Irish. And honestly, retention of the sounds has to be a priority, which is annoying me. I'm used to flying through basics and I keep going back to re-run all the early lessons before I start a new one to retain the sounds correctly.

Why I like the beta languages innovations:

The Irish language has portals (this was not there for the other English to X courses) and when you start a new section, there are notes relevant to the lessons below, not limited to the explanation of the slender/broad conjugations, a complete list of pronouns, and some very useful grammar and terminology. I read it, did the lessons several times, read it, did the lessons, and slowly it came together but far better than if it left me on my own (Spanish I don't need it; Irish oh God yes, please). It's super useful once you accept in your heart that no, those letters will not sound like that and live with it.

I wish--desperately--that US schools did more foreign language training, though I do get historically why we didn't and why it's become a thing only recently to start pushing it earlier (Child's school starts in primary, I think).

I will say this: I reward myself with Spanish lessons and boy, I feel smart then. Four hearts, listening, speaking, reading, writing, watch me get all the hearts. Several times, even.

So anyone else try the other beta languages yet? I'm curious about Dutch and Danish. Also, if anyone else ends up in Irish, tell me! Especially how you nailed uisce. Seriously, this is haunting me Why won't it stick?
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 9/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

it's the stars that lie, 9/12 )

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