I was watching Law and Order: SVU (it's weirdly soothing) and abruptly realized I am the kind of weird-ass person Munch would inexplicably know.

Fin: Now why are we seeing her again?
Munch: There's a good chance she knows where are perp hangs out online these days; they run in the same circles. He might have changed his name, but he hasn't changed his pattern; she'll know him.
Fin: How do you know her anyway?
Fin: Usenet. Ran across this Trek group a couple of decades ago when I was moderating a couple of conspiracy boards; got to know her when a fight broke out in the group. Just so you know, we may need to make a quick exit; it got pretty heated.
Fin: ...you think she's still mad about a fight you had on the internet twenty years ago? Seriously?
Munch *tersely*: It was a ship war involving James T. Kirk. We were on different sides. *sees Fin's baffled expression and shakes his head* Nevermind. You wouldn't understand.

(disclaimer: was never in a ship war on usenet involving the shipping of James T. Kirk. It was an entirely different flame war. Or maybe two. Three at most and I only observed. Mostly.)

...yes, I kind of do ship Fin and Munch, what of it?
I need a sanity check.

Anyone else with an 4K TV really notice the make-up everyone is wearing on TV shows from the eighties and nineties? I mean, the skin tones are eerily solid and way too flat (consistent?) for Troi, Guinan and even Worf, whereas Data and the Borg now really look like they're wearing pancake makeup.

...or am I going crazy?
Oh! So I stopped posting on DW a month before I quit smoking: October 2016. So that's two--TWO--years smoke-free!

...with vape*. Yeah. In fruity flavors, even. I literally did it over a weekend with half a pack of cigarettes left and never wanted to go near a cigarette again. Yeah, you could say it worked.

And because I am a vapevangelist: I literally buy vape pens for smokers among my friends and tell the good news that you can quit and vape will change your life and also you will smell like, amazingly good and people will ask you what bodywash you use. I am like a street corner and small box away from starting some kind of fruity-vape religion, no lie.

Okay, done.

So its possible I may review my latest vape acquisitions. I went the hipster route by accident and ended up with Smok, not Juul, and so buy my vape locally. But if you vape and like to hear about that kind of thing, I am that person who talks about it. And my primary shop also ships over the greater US, so I can also link directly when I find something I like. They're also the shop where no one is visibly stoned while mixing my vape, which is a plus.

So, context: I get my vape from The Vapor Studio and tend toward the house blends, not necessarily because I want to be this goddamn hipster but because my nic is 18 MG (I just stepped down from 24) and premium blends don't go that high.

...yes, my vape is handmixed in shop and it's like I don't even know myself.

* yes, I am aware of the research, the lack of research, the various problems that have been found in specific brands of vape as well as the potential dangers and risks; I discussed it with my doctor. Having pneumonia twice, bronchitis yearly, and my father diagnosed with COPD did not help me quit. Vape did it in three days; it tastes good, it smells good, and after less than a month, I couldn't even stand the smell of cigarettes. At minimum, this is a reducing harm while I step down to a nicotine free life and my apartment constantly smells of fruit and candy.
...right, so if I appear in your entries capslocking like a crazy person, it's--you know when you're at a party and then you realize everyone there is all your best friends you haven't seen in years and want to cry and hug them?

I'm doing that. I'll calm down, like eventually, I guess?

For anyone who is new to DW or only knew me in Tumblr; I don't keep such tight control over my DW as I do my Tumblr, so I am opening access to more people here. It's a slow process, because I curate like fuck as that is my way. However, if I have you added on Tumblr, there's a better than good chance I'll want to add you here, so tell me. If you changed names, seriously, tell me; I will not catch onto this on my own.

...seriously, tell me. I am slow about this because un-Accessing/unfriending makes me so deeply uncomfortable I used to create entire filters around people I didn't want to read just because I was terrified of hurting their feelings by unfriending them. I don't pretend that's not crazy, but it is my way.

I feel like I should post fic here. Like, obscure fic from a fandom that barely exists for a super problematic and creepy pairing or something, idk.

Case in point:

Wandering through Central Market looking for Candycots (where are they? IT IS TIME) and bubblegum grapes, and satisfied myself with brie, pretentious bread (because Central Market), apriums, champagne mangos, and cherries were back and oh.


When I was growing up, cherries weren't delicious, they were crappy at the local grocery store, tiny and hard and vaguely blandly sour. Then I grew up and lo, the grocery stores had the good ones, the plump dark red ones with a sheen that you'd happily sell your soul for a lifetime supply (or maybe that's just me), and just as importantly, these go on sale during the summer to the point where it's a crime not to buy them. We're on the leading edge, so they're still not hitting 'five pounds of cherries every time they enter our line of sight', but suffice to say, time to get started.

Which is fine, but I always forget you kind of have to pace yourself after months without them. And by "I forget" I mean no matter how many years I've spent on this earth, I forget every time the cardinal rule of 'do not fucking buy a pound of cherries and eat them half of them on the way home after a multi-month-long dry spell waiting for cherry season.'

Body: You sure about this, Sep?
Me: *sucking cherry off the seed* Fuck off.
Body: We'll talk later. Have fun with that.

Body: I told you so.
Me: *gets rest of cherries*
Body: ...you're kidding, right?
Me: *sucking cherry off the seed* Fuck off.

Repeat ad infinitum.

As I once realized to my horror, I could be the first documented case of someone killing themselves disgustingly with prunes, for given a bag of them, I will eat them all; given a warehouse, I won't survive and I pity the person who finds my body. I don't just like them; I will eat until they're gone or I am.

I have very selective and stupid fruit weaknesses. I can live without apples, most citrus, pears, whatever. But Turkish apricots (dried), bubblegum grapes, east Texas raspberries, blueberries, cherries, candycots, locally grown Texas peaches, cloudberries, figs, dates, currants, prunes, I treat like Schedule One drugs. I will walk over your body after stabbing you to get to them, and given an unlimited supply, I won't ever move again from my fruit paradise.

If I were a supervillian, this is how I'd be caught; the stupidest trap in the world baited with a fruit medley. Take me to Arkham, fine, but I got a metric ton of fruit to finish and I will cut you if you disturb me before I'm done. Throw in some fried plantains in the Arkham kitchen with honey mustard and honestly, I might not want to leave.

Candycots - they're as close as you can get in this world to processed sugar in fruity apricot form and what the gods really want while miserably chugging nectar and ambrosia. These are amazing, is what I'm saying, and in Texas, they're sold in ridiculous sets of twelve in plastic because wisely, Central Market with coffee bean bar get it yourself and leaves open containers of other, lesser fruits in the fruit section for snacking knows those Candycots would all be gone--all of them--in under fifteen minutes (if I'm there, five, after considerable bloodshed, for the Candycot gods sometimes require a sacrifice to prove your love).

I'm going to warn you now; if you taste these, think the White Witch and the disappointment of Turkish Delight. If she'd offered Edmund Candycots, everyone on earth would not only completely understand but approve of Edmund's actions because Candycots.

You won't recover from this, and nothing in your life will ever satisfy you like these will; you will spend the rest of your life vaguely unsatisfied with all things for you have seen perfection and what's the point: Monet, Picasso, David, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, the Wonders of the World, nice, I guess, but does the taste of them make you believe for a moment you're a god on earth and all you see is your demesne? Does spacetime warp around you and you understand the perfection which man has strived for over endless generations; did they give you a glimpse of infinity in all its vastness?

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. <--Corinthians speaketh of Candycots.

You can't taste paint and rock, you say? So the answer is no.

And by the pound, they cost more than heroin, which is no surprise at all.

These go on sale in San Francisco at the Farmers market next weekend, and by the way, fuck you San Francisco.

...someone there send me some? Please?
Saturday, April 25th, 2015 03:40 am

moment of zen

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.
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.
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.
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?
I got the most realistic, coolest, most meaningful spam ever and it had everything; atrocities, evils of wealth, illness, dead husbands, life insurance, cancer (ovarian, even), children, one of the south Africa country (yes, really), and adoption (ha! didn't see that coming, did you?).

At my work email. So no penis enlargement today.

My duckling at work is from Cameroon, and every once in a while he breaks into evangelism on his country of birth, and therefore we look at Google World at every inch of Cameroon while he finds youtube videos because he thinks it's funny to start me off with Cameroon English that unexpectedly breaks into French (I automemorize lyrics and he told me once I was the best he'd ever heard at mispronouncing French so well that it sounded like a whole new (very sad) language, so you know, I win for that).

This is related; this is neither talent nor skill, I've mentioned this before, it's not even useful, but more like having the ability to spit Guinness World book record--I realized the probable reason why I never had a problem spelling anyone's names on our work board if I saw it once (our developers are from India or Nepal generally, so very few Western-oriented or Korean or Vietnamese, the latter two were communities in the right zip codes for my office to handle when I was a caseworker, yes, it's that random) or--historically--always got my written Russian homework flawless in class even if Russia itself might cry if it heard me speak the language. Also, given a list of any number of words and meaning once, I could use them perfectly in context and never miss spelling them by a letter, but if you do not tell me right then how to pronounce them--I mean right then--I will never pronounce them right in my head and this will follow me forever when I say them.

Not many of you probably know or care much about the education of children in the US being a thing that is debated hotly when it comes to teaching them to read; or you might, so you know every few years, they switch between Fun With Phonics and whole word learning. You want to watch a bloodbath, get any group of educators together and throw that out; if these were the days of duels, gloves would be slapping everywhere and dawn would be the new prime time for drama viewing.

My class was very Fun with Phonics (this changed and changed back every few years) and because of that I will shove a glove in your ass if you say it's not the best forever, but there's a price to be paid for teaching kids to sound out shit first.

1.) You learn adults are fuckers who fuck with you very early with 'the'.

That's the thing about phonics as reading; almost all the word at primary level are fine, but that's an article and you cannot get away from it. A lot of teachers roll with it, and some have to have taken that into consideration early on, but my most vivid memory of the kindergarten education process was going over and over to my teacher because I trusted her and I couldn't believe she meant it when she said 'the' did not sound like 'tuh-huh-eh'.

She just told me the entire alphabet, letters have sounds, sounds have meaning (there was a blackboard and a pointer), this can be expressed on a page beneath the cute picture of a girl (blonde, always fucking blonde) playing with a dog (brown, very). I nailed that shit, and it was true, all of it...except 'tuh-huh-eh' was not 'the', what is this bullshit?

Once I accepted 'the' into my heart as my phonics betrayer (it took a full year and we won't talk about how much that delayed literacy but again, a year), it got better; all the 'th' and 'ch' were allowed in my soul and eventually silent 'e's would join them along with all the others, but the scar of betrayal never really healed, Mrs. Figueroa.

2.) Your spelling will forever be fantastic except for all the ways it won't be and it's because of France.

Spelling was easy kindergarten through third grade, because again most words are phonetically consistent at that level, or so close that visual plus audio once and you're fine. Except.

You meet 'beau' and fuck everything ever. Buh-eh-ah-uuuuuuuthefuckisthis that is nothing like 'bow', that's buh-oh-wuh and we have one of those b-o-w bu-oh-wuh not b-e-a-u buh-eh-ah-uuuuuutheydon'tdothis, Mrs F didn't lie that much, did she?

...French, you say? Really.

Xenophobia is terrible and American exceptionlism is very wrong, but ask yourself; how many kids were perhaps influenced by getting a 99 but not a hundred because the French language exists and didn't get a golden star but a silver one--a silver one--on the paper when they got it back and an 'x' by that word? Not that I'm still bitter, just saying.

It might be the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066 causing the English language to be supplanted by Norman French, not even real French because fuck French we got the discount edition, causing only the lower classes to use English for centuries while French, being so very (discount) French, stuck its words helter-skelter into every conversation until Chaucer existed, married John of Gaunt's sister-in-law, and set the world right with many tales, and French--fucking French--eventually went away but those words stuck. English needed those because its development had been slowed, we had to catch up fast (German was mocking us with its vocabulary and Spanish was grinning very Catholicly), so we needed words and fast. What to do?

Fine, English said, picking up a sword, righteousness, a Revolutionary War, and a future Webster's dictionary, unrevised: shit just got real. Time to level the fuck up.

English takes all the words, all of them, the ones you wanted and the ones you didn't, sorry, but like a wolf who tastes the hot blood of a fresh kill for the first time (language is tasty indeed, nothing like it), it wants more.

B-o-w and b-e-a-u are 'buh-oh-wuh' and discrete plus discreet because Latin or Greek same meaning different context mostly, watch English laugh at your protests, bring it on, we have the 'c' and the 'k' and we like it, same sound but sometimes not, a-e-i-o-u and sometimes y because fuck you English does what it wants with consonants and vowels. Fish and fiche sound the same but mean different things, you want more? English does, too. Did you see phonics is ph but sounds like 'f'? We even have 'q' right there in the alphabet and it needs to get laid by 'u' to make a sound but fuck if we care, it's our letter and have fun with it. 'X' took many sounds for its own and uses them all and we let it because we like rebels.

Also, Latin? I split an infinitive every day just for you. And English told me to say 'hi' and fuck you.

Silver star. One. Word. Wrong.

3.) You will realize quite early that writing is better than talking for a lot of reasons and fuck everything.

Phonics works for many words and most kids will roll with it, but that doesn't change the severe cognitive dissonance that will haunt some few. Among that group will be those that can deal, and then there's the ones that have to live life with oral readings where you will be constantly translating b-e-a-u to 'buh-oh-wuh' because William the Conqueror was a douche but with many different words and that wears on you and sanity may not hold out long.

Reading and writing become havens of wonder because pronunciation wasn't fucking with us, which is why certain essays are college level vocabulary (content hilarious) while long division is still a mystery Mrs Young stop fucking with me you want me to carry what?

Writing is the perfect medium when you learn sarcasm as well (once you learn the definition of subtlety and forgive the b for being inexplicably silent and even now often forget), and a generation met the internet--all text, all the time--with the advanced tools necessary to troll the fuck out of it.

So I can spell anything I see at most twice (three times over five syllables, phonics is fun but also set to a four four beat to learn), but English/French youtube videos autolyric memoriation means I will sing things I can't pronounce and my duckling French speaker thinks it's funny because I can't pronounce fucking French.

People say they want to go to Paris all the time; oh, so do I, you have no idea.

I fly into that country, mispronounce 'Bien' awkwardly beneath pitying smiles, tell a cab driver three times where to go while he rolls his eyes at Americans because I took French while in Finland and I still couldn't get it right, go to the Eiffel Tower and climb to the very top.

And I will say: "William the Conqueror was a douche, I will split every infinitive I see, and b-e-a-u is not fucking 'buh-oh-wuh'!"

And give myself a gold star.

Next: Normandy. I can't wait.
You know, this isn't right I'm sure, but a thought exercise on why in the movie Splash in the eighties, Madison met a woman who told her one, Annie Hall was so passe and two, her daughter was so lucky because she was anorexic started this. believe it. or. not.

ruben, gout, mcdonalds, sugar, and the working woman in time and space: a reflection on the meaning of organ meats in the western hemisphere above the equator is that too vague? also, wal-mart. and thematic not-trees )
In case anyone missed this:

Satanic Temple seeks Hobby Lobby-style exemption from anti-abortion laws

Thank you, yahoo news; I can state with perfect honesty that I didn't see this coming.
A general apology--I was answering a comment in AO3 and checked my related works link because it's there and awesome, and there were several items that weren't approved. I approved them all and I apologize for the weirdness to those who were wondering what the hell.

Also! Because this is so cool I share these things:

Adjustment, War Games, and Domestically Inclined, translated by Loquor into Chinese. My Star Trek reboot series in Chinese; it's amazing.

Being monolingual--my Spanish isn't nearly good enough to even qualify for half a point there--translation is miraculous to me in general.

While working in Duolingo on my Spanish, I translated part of the Minecraft player's guide into English, which now qualifies me to upgrade the art of translation to magic. It has to be; there's no other explanation, and boy, I feel like a loser feeling all exhausted after translating some really simple paragraphs of a Spanish article on hockey. God I hope it was hockey, now that I'm thinking about it.

...I'm going to go check now. Just in case.
Currently reading Top Ten Most Venomous Snakes, where in an unsurprising turn of events, Australia holds five slots including one and two. Because Australia.

(Africa wins as Most Terrifying Snake I Have Ever Obsessively Read About My God Twenty Minutes????? WTF Evolution WHY?)

My only real comfort here is that, should I be near one of these snakes at any time, I don't have to worry about dying within twenty minutes or less (thanks, Black Mamba!); I will have a heart attack right there and die. So you know, there's that.
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 12:36 am

oh god, google

Google Now on my phone just gave me an update card on how much I walked in June, based on my device's location. In so many ways I find this upsetting and weird, not least of which is the realization I don't walk much. Though that's still below "GOOGLE IS WATCHING ME WALK?"

....level with me, anyone else starting to wonder if The Matrix was actually a documentary and the next two movies in the series were released just to make us dismiss the entire convoluted plotline and not realize that is our lives?

I'd say this was bad, but then I just realized--

1.) I can fly and do kung fu.
2.) A full length leather coat is in my immediate future.
3.) There's a very good chance Laurence Fishburne will show up soon.

Dear Robot overlords,


(also: seriously, watching me walk? Why?)

The Coming Gay Marriage Witch Hunt - this really is nothing new at all, but hilarious quote from worried homophobe:
Same-sex marriage is, of course, not the first issue to divide Americans. Slavery, segregation, and abortion led to civil war, vigilante violence, and massive protest movements.

But opponents of same-sex marriage say that even in those instances there was détente after passions cooled. One-time segregationists remained in the upper echelons of American public life through the 1990s. This time, opponents of same-sex marriage fear that supporters will not be happy until their side has been run out of polite society and forced to retract their previously held views.

I want to go on the record here, correct my interpretation if I'm reading this wrong: segregation/racism was a much better social movement because racists got to keep their social and political power for, count it, over a fucking century (according to the article). In polite society.

Jesus Christ, this is a crisis; people may not be invited to fucking tea because they're obnoxious. Let me weep.

Something struck me about this that's bothered me: it's the much touted right to be heard. It appears most often when people speaking Bullshit-esque are pouting about the language barrier that prevents people from caring what they have to say.

Much like the rights of trees who fall in the forest to make a sound, there is no fundamental right to be heard, because that would necessitate violating my God-given right to not have to listen. Free speech your ass out among the leaves, sunshine; I'm not hanging around the forest to listen.

I've spent the last two weeks learning Medicaid policy for the aged and disabled in which a sample case I worked allowed a man to enter a nursing home facility and receive Medicaid without even having to make a copay despite the fact his resources were upward of two hundred thousand dollars, while a woman who receives less than 1100 in RSDI total has to pay nine hundred dollars a month for the same thing.

When rich politicians talk about cutting welfare, they talk about welfare queens and single mothers and eighteen thousand kids each, but for some reason, they're very silent, very silent indeed, when it comes to the legal basis of how the wealthy can hide their money using special clauses in policy created specifically for them so when they need nursing home care or community care, they don't have to pay a thing toward it while a man or woman who have worked their asses off all their lives sometimes get denied the help they desperately need at the most vulnerable and fragile point of their lives.

Is this polite society?

You know, sorry, I ran out of tears; see, I'm worrying about actual real things, like my kid having the ability to get married and not be killed for being who he is, my mother being safe and well in her old age if God forbid she becomes fragile or ill, the current nightmare that is the job market, paying down my student loan and my credit report, and unnumbered elderly, disabled, and poor people who get denied help.

I don't understand the priorities of a life lived that can possibly, by any stretch of hte imagination, give a flying fuck about what a woman does with her own body to the point of trying to outlaw their access to it, about what people who you will probably never meet who may or may not be of the same sex entering into a legal union, how the color of someone's skin, their ethnicity, their country of origin, or their sex has any bearing whatsofuckingever on what kind of person they are, much less care so much that PACs and societies are created to combat it.

But all of that--all of that--makes more sense than an article where a homophobe is deeply, sincerely worried they won't get invited to the best parties.

Find a fucking forest and talk until you go hoarse, I don't give a shit; you want to be heard, say something worth breath.

Note: This has been a very enlightening two weeks of my life.
For reasons that don't need to be explored at this juncture, I am in need of someone who really likes academic communication theory--or possibly metacognition theory and cognitive neuroscience--who can tell me what this is and where to find it.

It's a theory that the act of writing is sometimes more than simply the expression of a thought in textual form, but the equivalent of the brain outsourcing some of the thinking process. There are thoughts that cannot be thought or even exist without the intervention of the written word. Writing isn't just organization, memory storage, or even clarification of thoughts that are already there; the act of writing is a requirement for the thought to even exist.

I remember reading about it in college (I don't remember the discipline it came out of, but I think its birth was out of cognitive theory and how the brain works), but there was an implication that once the ability to communicate with the written word is acquired, it (theoretically) increases the capacity for abstract thought because (possibly?) it's a way for the brain to communicate with itself that it can't accomplish without it.

I found some articles that hit on some of it, but the focus in most of them is the use of writing to expand existing thought and make connections between disparate ideas that are already there but require refinement, or the development of critical thinking skills, but not idea that the brain uses writing itself in the creation of thought process.

...Christ, I swear this is not the result of a mescaline and tequila night, though admittedly, I'd love the excuse.
Sunday, June 15th, 2014 03:26 pm

it has a soundtrack

As my nieces got Frozen, I've involuntarily watched it about three times due to the fact that, as kids do, that goddamn movie was on repeat on the bluray player for like a week. Which is why against my will, Let It Go ended up on my playlist so I can massacre a C above high C when automemorization kicks in. Luckily, only the neighbors have been the victims of my need to express my freedom to create ice sculptures (in my mind) in the far north while actually living in Texas at ninety-one degrees in the shade. Because that's how I roll these days.

Other news: my other repeat-one song of the month:
UNKLE ft Moby - In a State/God Moving over the Faces of the Waters - it was part of a documentary vid on youtube and I hunted it down to get a clean copy, which this one is, for downloading-related purposes.

Training tomorrow. This is my idea of decompressing: sitting outside while surfing youtube and Wikipedia. If I end up reading about the cat genome project again something's gonna give.
Richard III had scoliosis, not a hunched back

There are other discrepancies between Shakespeare's descriptions and the skeleton besides the back problem, Mitchell said.

The real Richard does not appear to have had a limp or a withered arm, as Shakespeare had described. His trunk and abdomen would have appeared short compared with his arms and legs, Mitchell said. His right shoulder would have been slightly higher than the left.

You. Don't. Say?

Dear Henry Tudor,

History is written by the victors future.

Also? You were a dick, and no one liked you.

Bite me,


You're forgiven.

Friday, May 16th, 2014 05:23 pm

help for me plz

Question for the masses: does anyone know what in Firefox would cause Dreamwidth's expand function not to work in threads?

It works just fine when I'm at work, where I have Firefox installed. At home and at work, I'm using the same version of Firefox, Adblock and NoScript are installed and disabled, and yet, Expand works there and doesn't when I'm on my laptop. I've done everything short of bursting into tears--and trust me, it's a close thing--to work out the difference.

Anyone have any idea? Seriously, this is annoying.

Also, and not ashamed--I am totally playing Farmville 2: Country Escapes now that it's on Android and I don't have to access Facebook. I would hate myself, but there are acrobatic pigs and sheep who bellyflop in sync. Who the hell resists that? If anyone else is playing, I'm signed in through Google+, not Facebook, and seriously, acrobatic pigs. In sync.

ETA: Tentative solution that so far is working: disabled Greasemonkey, disabled "LJ Thread Expander" enabled Greasemonkey again, and problem solved. So far. Will update if that changes.
Five Complaints About Modern Teens (That Are Statistically BS) - John Cheese - Because Cracked.

When I was a kid, I promised myself I'd remember certain things I loathed beyond words--much like all my peer group--that I would not do to my kid. Weirdly, these are things I have heard people on the radio claim are wonderful and kids today blah.

1.) Five hour road trips playing I-Spy and the License Plate Game - my hell on earth was those goddamn road trips to the beach when those were the pinnacle of entertainment. I didn't need to tell my child-self to remember this; I have the emotional scars of hours of mind-numbing boredom.

This kind of blows my mind; there is an entire television and movie tropes about the hell of a long road trip with nothing to do but hideous car games that no one sane would play at any time else, and you know why? THEY ARE BORING. Yet commentators in media often talk about the horror of car DVD players and phones and computers and iPads when there could be family bonding--you know, rampant sibling rivalry, parental hostility, and by the time everyone arrives at the beach at least one person is crying and another isn't speaking to anyone else. Now that's vacation.

No, I-Spy and the License Plate Game and the other countless car games were not fun. They didn't promote bonding. They were torture, I'll be honest.

2.) Intrinsic Value of Backbreaking Labor Before the Age of Reason - luckily, no one in my family has ever tried to make this case; it's still a little close to the bone. I grew up in farm country, but these days, there's machinery to do the work because weirdly enough, doing more with less exhaustion at the end of the day is a good thing.

My grandmother was second youngest in her family and her parents were too old by the time she came of age for her to take a turn on the family farm. Probably for that reason, she never ever extolled the virtues of coming home from school to put in time until bed working on the farm; she barely escaped that. She got to do the groovy factory thing circa WWII and make an inadvisable marriage before leaving her husband and meeting my grandfather (these things may have overlapped) and left the farm lifestyle forever. Thank God, she probably said; I know I do.

Growing up, the goal was always to be in a position where your kids didn't have to kill themselves working. Growing up, having to do a ton of manual labor didn't make you a better person. It probably made you a very tired person.

3.) The Great Outdoors Is a Magical Wonderland - I get this argument on one level, but on another, it bothers me. I spent huge amounts of time outside; Child spends a lot of time outside. However, it's always paired with the 'and now kids these days play video games alone in their room instead of playing with their friends' and okay, you can't have it both ways.

Grew up rural--Great Outdoors, Fresh Air, Constant Threat of Rattlesnakes on the Porch, Roof, or Drawer, Water Moccasin Mating Ball Oh My God That Vision Will Be With Me Until I Die, Cows Do Not Like People....okay, I forgot where I was going with this, but I did the Country Outdoors Thing. You know what's noticeable about living in the country? The lack of people to play with.

But couldn't you ride your bike--you did have a bike right? Yes, of course--down to Jimmy and Lisa's to play? Sure, I'll bike three miles to my buddy's house on county roads up and down to see a friend. Hint: exercise bike does not accurately portray the time that takes, and how much you can play after biking up hill and down dale to see your buddies knowing you gotta get back home. In Texas. In rattlesnake country where only the dogs outnumbered the rattlesnakes as roadkill specials.

Roadkill--hey, you ever been on a county road and hit the accelerator on teh straightaway because awesome? See many kids on bikes? No? Guess why? I see that shit on the road in front of my house every goddamn day--I didn't get on the roads if I could help it, and going off-road both raises the difficulty of biking and also the raised possibility of hitting a rattlesnake or copperhead. As we didn't live in teh age of cellphones, getting one of those on the ankle a mile or two from home would kind of be how it wold feel to die or get really damn close.

Great Outdoors are fine, but I bet you didn't know people dump their unwanted dogs in the country as well as cats. If they aren't roadkill, they go feral and join with the coyotes and that, too, was a thing we had to worry about.

You know a feature of rural life? Boredom. I read a lot, and I re-read a lot, and I wrote my own stories and my family had a standing order for notebook paper and blue pens--I couldn't write in black, it bothered me--every time we went to the grocery store. I played outside. I took long walks, but only on our land, because I am just the kind of loser who didn't want rattlesnake bites or step on a rusty nail and get tetanus. Weak, I know. Unlike that cousin of mine who got lockjaw or Mom got a nail through her foot--yes, I said 'through', it was a deep puncture--and the fun of dealing with that. The watering hole of television fame? You could see the snakes in it. Seriously, All of the Nightmares. Also, no one sane plays in a goddamn pond unless it has a source keeping it running or it goes stagnant.

Outdoors - lots of fun, but on a guess, Kids These Days are statistically spending the same amount of time outside as a generation ago, allowing for the urban/rural difference.

5.) Kids These Days, All They Do Is Play on the Computer, Video Games, Read, Play Outdoors...Wait, I Think That Is Several Generations - yeah, okay, I love this one. In Anne of Green Gables, Diana's mom complained her daughter was spending too much time reading and needed to get outside more. Laura Ingalls was a tomboy who spent too much time playing outside instead of learning how to be a wife and grown-up inside. My generation, The Kids These Days With Their Computer Games Didn't Read. My mom's generation, they were all high, which apparently Baby Boomers keep forgetting about. Probably the drugs.

One of the more bizarre side-effects of the effort at nationwide literacy is that there's a real disconnect on how new it is, reading at all, much less extensive reading for pleasure. That was very much a privilege of the upper class and very upper middle and in the US, that wasn't necessarily class deigned by income but by upbringing. Reading, especially reading for higher education or pleasure, was a class marker, as was what you read. Even when education caught up, reading is a skill like any other, and it needs practice, and not everyone had time to practice.

Being active on the web is about the pinnacle of literacy right now, and in several dialects at that. It's not just passive reading, but active engagement with others; it's social activities via the written word, and it, too, is a skill, which I think is highly overlooked because most of us do it so much and so constantly we don't think of it as a skill.

6.) Totally Random Thing - I read a book years ago, one of those deeply conflicted post Civil War novels that had a lot of things happen over a lifetime and several generations and was depressing as fuck; seriously, not even tragic depressing, just mundane depressing, rather like real life, thanks. One of the female protagonists was observing her teenage daughter in a group of her peers, and paging through the magazines the girls were reading these days, she was horrified, because in her day, girls sewed Union flags and did activist things for the Civil War and Early Feminism, and Kids These Days. I was about sixteen or seventeen.

I burst out laughing. Which I'm sure the author probably didn't intend.

Kids These Days (Much Like Kids Those Days) - different book, but I've read this plot before.
I need to get my rant out because why not.

I am so tired--beyond words--not of Polar Vortex Marks I, II, and III (so far), but of people who mock the South's reaction to the truly radical weather change we're experiencing. Yes, it's a mistake to read comments on any article on a news website, but when someone from fucking Buffalo explains how people in Atlanta are just stupid if they're taking this cold thing badly because where they're from they don't even notice snow at six feet uphill both ways, something snaps. Advice from those who live in an area with regular, consistent subzero temperatures during winter is blessed--seriously, you people are wonderful--but those who seem to think it's just a matter of wearing a few extra layers and everything's fine, no, it's not.

Note: okay, I had no idea how much resentment I had built up to need this many words. Huh.

Here's the charming personal anecdote to explain why I want to set things on fire and not just because I'm tired of being cold )

How does this relate: let me short version this. )
5 Terrifying Trends Currently Overtaking Etsy - fine, I want the murderducklings like you have no idea. It's a perfect storm of everything--and I do mean everything--wrong making itself right by sheer audacity.

Etsy always makes me feel really really lazy. I'm not creating cat (or dog, rabbit, guinea pig) felt for whimsical purses, nor learning the art of taxidermy so one day a historian will cite my work as an example of twenty-first century nightmare art with learned psychologists explaining how humans back then were murderpaths. I don't crochet anything from human hair or cover jars with cadaver skin or in any way risk showing up on a watchlist for future Law and Order ripped from the headlines eps (and I resent this like a lot). Etsy is elite, and when I crochet or knit, it's with yarn that came from a big box store, because I'm a sellout.

I could totally knit sweaters from yarn carded from all the hair I find (is on people's heads okay if it's really cool hair? Yes?) and create the perfect allergy murdersweater that will kill anyone who wears it (dyed with my own freely-shed blood on the new moon, of course). Epi pens come free with any order over $500. Sign up early and you can send me the fur/hair/wool to do it with, no questions asked (please remove excess flesh via boiling first?).

I think there's a market here.

(It's freaking 32 in Texas and I no longer recognize the feeling of warmth. What does the sun look like? Does anyone remember?)
Dyeing hair deep copper. This is the lightest I've ever tried, as I've never been tempted by the blonde spectrum. Hoping for the best.

Interesting note: after [personal profile] svmadelyn said something, I started back on prenatal vitamins and omega-3 tablets.

The first visible sign is always my fingernails and how fast they grow and how much stronger they are. Context: I type a lot, so I have to cut them or end up breaking them, but usually it take a while to get to that. This week, I broke two nails typing, because it happened about twice as fast as usual and I wasn't expecting it. (I have all my life had very, very slow-growing nails except for pregnancy and the year after Child was born.) It was both annoying and also nice, as well as a quick reminder to do a physical survey and see how I feel.

Noted by me: I feel more alert, less grumpy in the morning, and not nearly as tired during the day even if I didn't get much sleep the night before.

Noted by coworker: I'm making terrible jokes again at eight AM and talk more and am more responsive to questions and finishing things more quickly and efficiently. I also have more energy and am more willing to leave my desk to talk to people.

I know--at least semi-objectively here--that I am better in general when I take my vitamins regularly. It's like taking my thyroid medication or my ritalin; it's something that makes life better. But for the life of me, I can't figure out why every few months, I suddenly stop with the vitamins for no particular reason and then forget until something reminds me to go buy them and start taking them again. It's weird.

This has been a message from my day off to go pick up my prescription (because goddamn schedule two's are like this) and buy hotdogs from Taylor Meat Market, which have a bright red casing and are so delicious they make all other hotdogs sad and tasteless in comparison. Also, if you are a fan of macaroni and cheese with cut-up hot dogs in them, they turn your macaroni a delicious yellow-orange.
I've become one of those people.

Last year, I got a pair of v-moda headphones from my mother, which I can tell you now, is something I would never, never, never buy for myself because start value = two 2T drives or 1 4T + tax when on sale which no. Yes, I think like that. Also--foolishly, I admit--I never really thought I noticed or cared beyond certain really wide parameters of sound.

One year later, having used nothing but my v-modas, my ear has been retrained, and boy has it.

My cord broke and though I'm sending for a new one for them, I grabbed a pair on sale at amazon in the interim that got good ratings and was under the price for 1 1T drive on sale (YES I THINK LIKE THIS OKAY; EVERYTHING IS PRICED COMPARATIVE TO COMPUTER PARTS), got them today, plugged them in, and...it took me two tries to realize in horror I know this song, of course I do, but it sounds wrong wrong wrong. The bass is off (what the hell), the treble is too sharp, and they're too light--I have no idea how to explain the abomination. It's like--faded or something, or unsupported--what's the word for nothing is right anyway?

Currently I'm listening to my entire short playlist in fascinated horror at how wrong everything sounds. Also, they aren't heavy enough, which is really bothering me. I'm used to a reassuring pressure of them on. These aren't reassuring.

I used to make fun of people who went on about their need for super perfect audio quality headphones and the words they used to describe what was lacking in less elite models. I mean, really, what the fuck is this. I feel--horribly--like a commercial of some kind who is praising the wonders of--better tonal quality?--and have been converted to their masses.

Is there like, an intervention for this kind of thing? This is embarrassing. These are doing truly atrocious things to A Time for Lions and Carolina Liar.
I forgive Windows many, many things--on a daily basis--but not it's propensity to randomly decide I'm booting from the wrong drive and change it to whatever it thinks I should be using. A drive that replaced my DVD drive, does not have an operating system, and seems to resent it mightily, which granted, could be the explanation right there; that drive considered it a status thing. This is one, stressful, and two, it takes me a couple of tries in setup to remember how to move my primary drive back into the correct boot position--panic does not make for clear thinking here--and stare balefully through all of goddamn boot in barely controlled terror that something else will go wrong.

I will say this--Windows does not feel it should be taken for granted and makes sure every so often you're reminded how probable it is one of the developers was watching substandard hentai while doing QC on the final version before deployment.

Plex Media Server

Okay, I couldn't get over how pretty it was, so I kept it for movies anyway. With my TV shows that I didn't rip myself, ffmpeg can add metadata--and ask me about the adventure it was hunting down the right metatags for it and imbedding them all correctly while renaming--but it works well enough that I want to keep it for my mom, who is very familiar with the Roku interface and it makes it much easier for her to hunt through our media to find stuff. It's pretty, it's not terribly draining when it's running, and I can can flip it on and off with a bash script. That it works so well with the Roku is definitely a huge factor here. Doesn't hurt at all that it fetches all the cool data on everything with its agents, so full name, summary, runtime et all are there on viewing.

General Media Things

My bluray collection is a pain in the ass and sucks both bandwidth and space like it's a universal hoover. However, compression to less insane sizes than 32 G per movie, after testing several settings in Handbrake, is officially only worth it if I wasn't watching on a freaking HD TV. I don't know why I can tell the difference, but testing uncompressed Thor against compressed Sherlock, there was a noticeable difference in picture quality at 50 inch widescreen and less noticeable--but totally there--placebo effect on my 40 inch tv. I don't like myself for being badly distracted by that, but I really was. The solution is obviously to get bigger drives and stop stressing about getting everything below my 10 G limit and let it be lossless audio free in the wild. My server has a current max of five SATA drives plus bluray, four with my OS on it's own private SSD, so I'm staring resentfully at current 4T drive prices because yeah, might as well give up and get this done.

This also means, depressingly, that I should look into creating a RAID drive array and sacrifice a SATA to a tower of as many drives as I can stuff into an external secondary chassis for future media needs. That would only be slightly less expensive (but so much slower) than getting a newer--hideously expensive--motherboard with more SATA connectors, but honestly not by much, and at the current rate of progress, newegg's price difference could change at any moment, so there's that. I get the benefits of RAID, I do--a billion fanpeople can't be wrong on their magical properties--but there's something about them that fundamentally bothers me and I don't know why.


Food, presents, wildly excited children...no family trauma. It was magic, really. I have no complaints, and oh, the food. The food.

Happy holidays and merry Christmas to all who celebrate!
My dogs are addicted to coffee. More specifically, my coffee.

Originally, this was a crime of opportunity--ie, the coffee was left on the floor or some low place and being dogs, sure, anything on that level is potential food, fine. Then it became a 'on the coffee table' and 'on the kitchen table' (via chair) and 'when I get up for a minute to go to the bathroom without my cup'.

This week, it escalated because I upped the ante and they need a twelve step program.

My McDonalds caramel mocha--with lid--was left on a low table outside and ran to the bathroom. I returned, cup gone, but a small white head bent down. Circling the table, I stared down at the topless coffee cup, a shrinking puddle of coffee, and crack dog stared up at me smugly with a whipped cream mustache.

Top was fine. No teethmarks. I have no idea how they did that. Whipped cream mustache.
Oh God, Thanksgiving

Along with the turkey, I volunteered to make bread for the upcoming festivities. I honestly don't know what I was thinking; the yeast alone is terrifying me. Currently waiting with bated breath to see if the goddamn thing rises. We did buy rolls for backup, but seriously, what was I thinking?

Oh God, Thanksgiving 2

Apparently all the relatives who signed up for visits (HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?) are still showing. I have spent way too much time hoping for the Apocalypse. And/or snow. Same thing, but one is guaranteed to come with the potential for snowmen before the end.

Oh God, Writing

I feel like I've been writing this fic forever, but I can at least verify progress. It passed 537,000 words. I wrote a set of Excel macros to help me summarize events and follow the plotlines because again 537,000 words.

The following were relevant google searches:
1.) safest dosage of intravenous amphetamines and rate of building tolerance.
2.) minimum circumference of a space to hold X (very large) number of people.
3.) Number of people who can fit into a space 18 feet by 1/2 mile, multiplied by six. (You'd be surprised.)
4.) ....and they don't need to breathe in shifts. (This only occurred to me later. Still surprised.)
5.) How many hamburgers you can get from a single cow. (Really surprised.)
6.) ...bacon from a hog. (Also, pork chops and assorted other)
7.) Meat from assorted wildlife. (I didn't know you could eat some of these wildlife. The more you know.)
8.) How you butcher things. (It is not, as you might think, as easy as picking up a sharp object with an empty stomach and an inner soundtrack exclusively devoted to death metal and Eye of the Tiger.)
9.) Potential practical ways to avoid scurvy with limited supplies but a lot of nature around you. (Also, scurvy as a thing.)
10.) What Disney World's parking lot looks like.
11.) Historical storefronts of towns settled before 1880.
12.) Highway system of the US.
13.) Various firearms, everything.
14.) If you can feel heat or just pressure three inches above your ankle. (Mixed.)
15.) Natural deposits of rock salt in the US that can be accessed easily by car.

There's no way in hell I'm not flagged, I know that, but I'm guessing at least 10 and 11 will at least raise the sheer variety of flags available. Someone at NSA is utterly terrified right now but isn't sure of what yet.

Oh God, Apps! (this is a good thing, weird)

Pepperplate - website, with apps for Android and iPhone for the most awesome recipe holding, menu creating, and shopping list building app ever. I have been adding my recipes to it pretty much all day. Which is why I got all bread-inspired actually, goddamn their ease of import and ridic simple manual cut-and-paste adding. Bastards.

It is the day before Thanksgiving. How is everyone else?
The Hill Country is under warning for Winter storms which hits Austin around 2 tomorrow.

To those living north--pretty much north Texas and up--this is probably fairly normal, though generally I don't think south of the Mason-Dixon it's a November thing, either, or at least, not that often, though admittedly, I could be wrong about those right on the line, no idea. So you can guess that currently, the Apocalypse is coming down on Austin, or at least, what I assume it will be like when it actually happens. You can't? Interesting, so I probably need to explain; the Apocalypse is coming, and this is why.

When someone says "tornado warning" we say "I'm gonna run to the convenience store, but I'll make it quick" in hopes of seeing it and being terribly disappointed by the lack; it won't be quick, because we'll wander around the entire area trying to find it; we were promised that by implication with the word 'warning'. Basically, until the neighbor's trampoline flies by, it's pretty much okay. Or your own trampoline, but it only got like, three feet off the ground before it hit the fence, and for me, it's not worth getting up from the porch for less than six and over my head, or an airborne cow. Because dude, who doesn't want to see a flying cow? Then it's hallways and blankets and doom, but at least you know by sight what's trying to make the house a pile of substandard confetti. Fine, yes, that's a little disconcerting for everyone, happy? Dude, I wasn't even verbal the first time I was in a house between the two houses that the tornado decided to blend, setting frappe; I have special pillows for hall napping these days. Apparently, I like sleeping through imminent death and it started very early.

Tornado Watches are a six month period of the year; to not be under a tornado watch for a certain number of days is weird enough it's worth talking about, wary and deeply unsettling to everyone. Like, what the hell, they have something better to do? Drought, been there, lived with the constant wildfire smoke drifting north and settling over Austin. This last one was longer, don't get me wrong, but the only reason anyone even noticed drought was a thing was finally, someone somewhere, probably high or really bored, did the math and holy shit, it's been a while since rain, check this out, weird huh? Anyone else notice? And everyone said, wow, that explains why the lakes are so much lower. Who knew?

Our relationship with rain is about the same; I live on a hundred year flood plain, but once I lived within a quarter mile of a small yet ambitious lake. Before the city did something with limestone out back, the first time the creek became a river--seriously, I was really pissed we hadn't kept the boat and oars from when we owned lakeside property as a kid--we all contemplated it about five inches below our gate--it was high, is what I'm saying--and figured we could sleep for a few hours; it'd be like, at least a day before it got to the patio, but come morning, there would definitely be work to go to and bosses don't like naps at the desk.

Ice, that's different; that's not wind--we know wind--or water--liquid, in cups, falling from teh sky, refusing like hell to do just that, swim in it during summer. Ice isn't water--we know it is in theory, because it's how ice cubes are born, but this shit--ice, you say? Okay--ice anywhere in nature, free and predatory and coming toward you, is terrifying. We don't really understand it; that shit goes in tea and snowcones and to put in structures containing beer to keep them cold. We make it from water--water, we get, I explained that, right?--which is fine, we all go to Schitterbaun during summer, you're telling me Schlitterbaun. a water park can be a death trap below zero? You don't mean drowning? Really? How interesting. How much have you had to drink? No, I'm not getting you another beer from the cooler; apparently, you've had enough. We're going swimming tomorrow, and you're gonna scare the kids with that kind of shit.

Water + freezer = ice = beer cold, ice tea, snow cones. Water + nature = ice = you're fucking with me, water can do that outside a freezer? The world can be the freezer? Do you know how much water there is in the world? Holy shit it's the end of the world!

As I said, Apocalypse; now you know the math behind it. Don't make us admit it out loud, but we really really can't conceptualize this in any meaningful way; our summer temperature is above one hundred and it's barely worth noting that until it's been seven days of it, at which time it's more a reminder about remembering our electric bill is going to suck so fucking much so you don't freak out when the three digit total may or may not border on four. Right, you tell yourself in the breeze of air conditioned bliss; fuck the goddamn heat. And get a popsicle from the freezer, a magic place we also get ice, and here's where it get tricky; if you have an ice maker, an entire revelatory step in the water to ice process is totally lost right there. We never even see the water in non-ice form and melting it's indistinguishable from it's tea surroundings, or something that mysteriously needs to be dumped from the ice chest. You buy ice for those from giant freezers at the store in bags; the watery remains should give us a clue, but dude, we need more ice, and the water's gotta go to make room for it, because the beer is getting warm. I don't even drink beer and I know how this works.

We can't possibly be blamed for this. Technology is working against us here; my place is not to question why, but to do and get the goddamn ice already. It's hot.

Now the world as we know it is suddenly a freezer--you're fucking with me, it was seventy two days ago--where ice--Jesus Christ, ice? Really?--forms from water--you realize how much water there is out here? It's everywhere! I HAVE IT IN MY HOUSE!--may fall from the sky--IT IS IN THE CLOUDS? OH GOD YOU MEAN RAIN CAN BE ICE, TOO--and not only that, oh no. It's November, and it just dawned on everyone to air out their sweaters, hunt down their coats from wherever they left them last March or so--that was a while ago, okay?--and get excited we can finally wear our boots again.

This isn't bad--this is goddamn traumatic. Let me explain why.

We have turkey to defrost and relatives to loathe coming over to eat food with us and horrifically pleasant mundane conversations to have so we can all avoid saying "Oh God I hate we're related to each other; I die inside just knowing you exist, much less we share a common ancestor who honestly, what the fuck great grandma, may God grant her rest soul" or by sheer accident forget to carefully pretend you know all about their new significant other and hope to God they stop calling them 'honey' so you can get a name already and pray that goddamn turkey is done yet because eating would be good here. Love turkey, but right now a boot would be fine, this is Texas and we got Southern manners grafted onto us hard; no one talks with their mouth full, and everyone is very motivated to keep their mouths very, very full.

At it's best, Texas is a wonderful mix of various cultures and it's nice to look at your family tree and contemplate how many different people you came from, it's a warm feeling to think of all these people getting along and getting married and sprogging their hearts out; at it's worst, it's an unholy nightmare of the most terrifying parts of the deep South, second through fourth German background, Hispanic culture, and in certain circumstances, all of it expressed in two languages that at least two people in any given room only know one of them, half know enough to be hilarious when speaking or answering questions (read: oh God), and in my case, a single representative of speakers of Czech who spoke English but didn't really like anyone enough to want to (when I was a kid, we had first language German in the mix. No one really wants to talk about what that hell was like; apparently great-grandma had quite a mouth on her and didn't mind it expressing it in both languages in the same sentence, and they were long ass sentences. Great grandpa was unclear on boundaries as well. There are scars). It's not that navigation can be hard; it's more that there's no navigation; it's survival of the fittest and last man standing, fueled by desperate faith, hope, and sincere prayer for the turkey to finish cooking before someone cries, bursts into argument, or oh God help me, emanates Stoic, quietly miserable acceptance and forgiveness (of what? WHAT? IT WAS A JOKE) which is like--God, guilt forever, goes well with stuffing and cranberry sauce, thanks. We are Southern enough to desperately need to be polite; we're just terrible at figuring out how to do that well because it comes secondhand. We know that we're just making it worse, but we can't stop.

(If we do, it's actually can get worse; try dealing with a family wake. You drink to stay sane. And not question your paternity and maternity because oh God, Aunt Frances, don't go there. I don't know what that means in English, but no one should turn that color hearing it. May I get you more whiskey? (Whiskey is how we start a wake to warm up; margaritas are when we finish blending the ice from the freezer and keep the pleasant blackout portion of the night at bay between shots. There will be two runs to the liquor store; there will be two more but no one remembers them, so those don't count.) Hell is drunk relatives surrounded in a billion dying flowers and several trays of cold cuts and cheese in a house that exceeds the per capital number of guns per Texan and trucks with gun racks where the guns apparently came standard at purcchase; it's an adventure of potential homicide or hangovers that make you desperately prefer the sweet oblivion of murder one.)

(Admittedly, I have an advantage with Child; he lacks rudimentary shame even as a concept, and like my middle sister, uncomfortable, probing, utterly point blank questions are the rule, not the exception. You can't control them--you can't, you know what you're risking here, you too will be a victim--but you can subtly guide their efforts in productive directions. People are usually too polite--or too utterly shocked--to not answer. Yes, this is dangerous--you will be the next victim, or the next--but not quite yet. You get to listen until then. It's worth it. Mostly. What you cannot change, you must accept and enjoy it while you can. Secondhand embarrassment and appalled horror are inevitable; the trick is to weaponize politeness--you can't not be polite--so everyone shares it. Then at least you're not alone.)

Dude, we don't need this stress, okay. It's November, we just found our boots--and hey, my coat was under the dog, better get that cleaned or something?--and are still deeply bewildered at the entire cold air thing happening outside--the world has air conditioning? And we usually have to pay for that kind of thing--instead of inside, where it's right and natural. Turkey to defrost. Deeply uncomfortable meal to have with people we have to see because great grandma got laid like a lot, thanks great gramps for that shit. Ice? Outside?

Apocalypse, we hope; otherwise, we might have to live through this in inexplicable weather conditions where our roads are layered in what goes in snow cones, do we look like wizards or something? You tell me how to deal. And I still don't know what happened to relative's apparently no longer husband or where this one came from. This isn't ending well for anyone. The Apocalypse can only help.
I continue to have an textual crush on Chris Bucholz. His words seduce me. Even when he's not talking about autoanalrodentation*, a word which I have literally waited a year to use somewhere, please God. That is here. Thank you for your time.

4 Friend Zone Cheat Codes According to the Internet - the abuse of AXE body spray cannot be more appropriate

Comments are also hilarious beyond words. Personal winner of everything:
Woah woah woah....the "Friend Zone?" As in...a place I can get some friends!? HOT DAMN! Where do I sign up?

ETA: * Had to correct spelling for full nightmare fuel of word.
6 Real Serial Killers More Terrifying Than Any Horror Movie - to my everlasting horror, I only recognized two of these, because seriously what the fuck giggling granny? So you know--just for the record, why do we not now do a standard arsenic check in everyone during their check-ups? Blood pressure, pulse, reflexes, make sure you aren't being fed arsenic regularly. It just seems to happen way too much and everyone's always totally surprised by the mystery of their mysterious sickness being solved. By their post-mortem.

My Life

More awesome than anything atm; we are having a building-wide Halloween party and the food is endless. Currently have visited the Nacho bar, the Cold Cuts bar, the All the Fried Things bar, and the Indian and Nepalese testers have an entire endless All the Deliciousness You Can Imagine (And Also Very Hot) table, though I missed the samosas. There are several All the Desserts bars, and a few All the Chips and All the Crackers bars. And this is just in my section of the building; everyone is currently girding themselves for a full scale exploration of the first floor and a hopeful invasion of the second today.

When we can move again, which is questionable. All the Fried Things is a lot of fried things, and chickapea, dumplings, eggplant and pepper mixes are much closer, as are the fields of tortilla chips, stretched as far as the eye can see, and mountains of naan rising from everywhere.

Relevant to Your Interests

FAA loosens rules for e-devices on airline flights - can I get a yeah!

Someone just brought curry chicken. I need to go.
Update to yesterday's post regarding the Roma child, Maria, being taken from her parents for being too white for dark people, I guess:

DNA from Roma girl 'Maria' matches that of Bulgarian couple - it's been confirmed that Sashka Ruseva and Atanas Rusev, a Roma couple living in Bulgaria, are Maria's birth parents.

I just want to throw this out, because it's weird when I was clicking around desperately for news that someone sent Maria back to her family--I live for impossible optimism:



This is a picture of World tab on CNN in the US edition and also appears in the international edition. Note the title used for the link.


This is the actual article it linked to. Note the title of the article and perhaps, what it's about. I'll give you a minute, it's my first link here.

It's almost not a lie. At the very end of the article, they mention an entirely separate case against a Greek couple who are on trial for buying a Roma baby, unrelated in any way to this one except Roma and Greek and baby and trafficking...wait, Maria's case has no trafficking or proof of child selling. Weird.

I could be overthinking this. CNN wouldn't deliberately completely mislabel because reasons, would they?
I honestly couldn't figure out how to title this because pretty much the entire thing is textbook appalling, and by the way, now international.

Woman in Bulgaria says girl found living with family in Greece may be hers - Maria, a blonde haired, green eyed Roma child living with her Roma family and community in Greece, was seen during a police raid on the Roma community and on visual inspection was found too blonde or something to be Roma as her parents were both dark. She was taken from her parents and a DNA test confirmed she was not genetically related, which as we all know is the only real way you can be a parent to a kidd. The woman in the report, Sasha Ruseva--who is also Roma--said she left the girl with the Roma family in Greece because she couldn't afford to care for her and they offered to adopt her.

I want to note here that this one freaked me out from the get-go and it gets worse pretty much daily, because it hit the twofer of racism and the fact that I'm a mother; I honestly can't imagine how I would have reacted to my kid taken away from me and put in a group home for reasons. I mean, it's one of those things where I see myself running after the car screaming in sheer horror while my kid cries in the back window. Sure, he's sixteen now, but in my head right now he's six, and at six, he wouldn't have understood anything except someone was taking him from his mom.

The early accusations were so textbook horrifying folklore shit about the Roma that I had heard them before and context, I live in Texas, which doesn't have (that I have ever met or know of in my area) Travellers or Roma. Though I think I heard them in Grimm's fairy tales, which actually required me to re-read because I kept thinking I was like, missing something, like sanity.

Further News

Sasha Ruseva is now under investigation--they're actually saying 'pressing preliminary charges'--for selling Maria to the child's parents, which I'm sure eventually they'll produce evidence or like, reasoning other than 'Roma' and 'poor'. In case this has any bearing, they haven't actually confirmed as of google five seconds ago that there's been DNA confirmation she's the mother. I guess getting a head start is good, in the event that this woman is 1.) the mother of Maria and 2.) sold her child, because I feel personally that it saves a lot of time if we get them charged with a crime before we even know if the subject of the theoretical crime is the right subject and if there was in fact a crime.

Christos Salis and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, Maria's parents who raised her, are still being charged for abduction, though, so--I guess this covers all the potential bases or something?

under cut on short freakout because dude, I'm a mother, this was upsetting on multiple levels )

I'm sure this is completely unrelated:

Irish police return blonde girl to Roma family - in Ireland, a blonde Roma child was removed from her family home due to--not actually kidding--an anonymous facebook message--for a DNA test. Also in a different family--I bet you know where this is going, right?--a two year old blond Roma boy was removed from his family, and Dad actually pulled out a pic of his blond Romanian grandfather to try and prove how genetics from freshman biology sometimes work. In the former case, there was a history of harassment of the family--they had a CCTV outside their house to protect themselves and apparently suspicion was excited that they used in the home a name for their daughter that wasn't on her passport.

Further Information

Call for Irish ombudsman to investigate Roma family removals
Roma fear witch hunt

I really, desperately need the report that says Maria was returned to her parents who raised her or at least to her family members in her community and is not being held in a group home, like yesterday. I speak here as a mother; this is bothering me to the point I have an alert on this and google daily to see what's happening pretty much every time I have a computer around. Unless I missed something--and dude, I got the stealing babies trafficking pregnant women shit, so I couldn't have missed this one--there was no indication that her parents were abusing her and poverty isn't a goddamn crime and neither is the relationship between children and dirt, and it seriously blows my mind that this was actually like a point of argument.
I want to one day create a Class Jar, in which every day that I don't see at least one completely idiotic and almost painfully wrong argument regarding benefits programs, SSI, disability, or ACA I put in 25 cents. In ten years, I will have enough for a taco at taco bell (plus tax). It makes me want to create a requirement that to graduate from college, you must do the following:

1.) work in food service (6 months)
2.) work mid- and low-end retail (6 months) and/or mid- or low-end grocery store
3.) clerk in a public service/welfare office (6 months)

If you run for congress, you are required by law to do all of those things in double time and as your only job. Because people have wildly--and I do mean wildly--hilarious ideas of how they'd do at minimum wage in theory, and even funnier memories of how they used to do it when they did.

observational on the effects of low income life; I am having a day, okay )
Finished Black Butler I and II on Netflix.

...what the everloving hell did I just watch? I'm not complaining, but I had no idea science had advanced far enough to distribute acid via cable. That's quite a feat, and also, admittedly, I don't think my life could have had meaning if I hadn't seen Sebastian grow a cotton-tail.

I really need the manga now. Like, right now yesterday.

Alois )

Is there going to be a III or are they leaving me desperately confused forever in the anime version?

On my phone and tablet, when I'm googling for something, it's changing my search terms when I start at the google homepage, enter the terms, and hit search. Sometimes, if I remember to put a space after my last search term, it doesn't do that, but that's kind of touch and go. This is new, at least for me, and so frustrating I want to scream. This is only happening on my tablet and phone, not when on my laptop.

Anyone else have this happen and how the hell do I switch it off?
If you're looking for a youtube downloader that's currently working:

Youtube Video and Audio Downloader
Instructions: How To Guide

This one is fairly straightforward to use and doesn't require a restart. The instructions open in a separate tab when download and installation are complete.

It's pure javascript, which is deeply awesome, and runs off an icon in your toolbar. It is a small icon, btw. Click on the icon and a box with three tabs displays (Download, Progress, and Tools). Download tab displays drop-down two buttons: Youtube (link to youtube) and Download links. If you're in youtube already, don't bother with those. Below those are two dropdows with radio button options: left is the quality available, right is the format available (I'm showing four atm: flv, 3gp, mp4, and WebM). Downloaded the fox video recced a few minutes ago at 720p in mp4, flawless quality at first view using VLC.

My Stats:
OS: Windows 7
Firefox: 32 Bit
Version: 23.0.1

The two following aren't working for me at this time:
1 Click Youtube Video Downloader
Easy Youtube Video Downloader 7.0

The first does nothing on the youtube page and freezes firefox when I click on the Options button in Add-ons Manager; the second shows the download dropdown on youtube but it's empty. My life was dark for a few minutes there.
In honor of [personal profile] astolat and [personal profile] cesperanza's challenge to post once a day for a month....

Things I Resent Like a Lot:

English not stealing accent marks along with the actual word itself.

This is just because I found a fun app to practice my Spanish, and it keeps beeping up with a friendly reminder that I'm missing my accents, and I blame English for this, because really, what the hell.

Though to be fair here, we could have had them before the Conquest, or centuries having to listen to Norman French before English brutally fought it's way into the common parlance and ate and killed all language nearby (if you look at it as English having a massive, massive overeaction to being almost smushed by the Normans, a lot of its rules make sense) we rejected all things with accent marks, thus creating Fun With Phonics, where any given letter in the English alphabet can and will unexpectedly decide to change how it sounds just because when we stole it from someone else, those fancy accent marks, what are they for again?

This was really brought home to me at work a few weeks ago, where one of the testers said something--I don't even know what--and I stared at him blankly for a while, then asked what he just said, then had him write it. Reading it from a purely non-native speaker view, there was no possible way to connect the written word with it's correct (English) pronunciation even by accident. It's one of the few--very few--benefits of being ages five through now living life text based; half the words I use I couldn't pronounce correctly, but luckily, my online social group is of the same type and they can't either, so it evens out.

When I pronounced it for him (to give some context, it's a word that shows up specifically in testing jargon, so I wouldn't have remembered it past my SATs if I wasn't a tester), we looked at each other and that piece of paper with probably the same familiar expression anyone, native speaker or not, who has to deal with English gets probably once a day: English, why are you like this? To cheer us both up, he introduced me to Ram Bahadur Bomjon, who he swears up and down he totally saw meditating once and interpreted bits of youtube for me, which I assume was to console me for having to be a native speaker of a language that's clinically insane. He's nice like that.

But I digress. This is what makes it hard; I know why they are there, but for the life of me I can't remember them. They're painfully useful, they tell me how to pronounce the word correctly, but it's like I don't even see them until the program reminds me cheerily Careful of your accent marks and I think of English and hate a little inside.

About Why I'm Interested in Trying This Challenge:

Habit is powerful, and one of the things I did first when I started at diaryland was make a deliberate effort to make an entry every day to force the habit, and for the last eighteen months, I spend at least three out of four days writing fic, because for a long time I stopped hearing the things I would later write. I've talked about this before, and last year, before my father died, I started to write again, and it was a nightmare, not to start, but the effort it took not to stop when I thought the story did.

Here's the stupidest thing I never considered; the problem might not be in lack of inspiration but the loss of the habit of expression. To write what I think is to express a thought, and that tends to lead to more of them, not less. Thoughts breed in captivity poorly, but they thrive when given form and sent into the world to be fruitful and multiply. It might help, I thought, staring at MSDoc's mocking blank screen, to consider this an exercise in free range breeding. Which is not a sentence I ever thought I would not only write, but rather kind of like. Seven hundred thousand and chnage words later (including cut sections), I can state with some certainty that this seems to have worked pretty well, and sometimes I sit down and all at once, from nowhere, there's an entirely new idea, newborn and very loud, waiting impatiently for my immediate attention, and then I notice it's not one, it's an entire litter of them, all brand new and loud and demanding my attention until the words I write give them their very own form.

That's what you can do with the power of a habit.

In a lot of ways, for a lot of people in fandom, including me, to write in public, be it fiction or not, is something we've been doing for so long that we don't think, don't remember, don't entirely comprehend the memory of the first time we did it, on a messageboard, a mailing list, a journal, newsgroup; it was so hard, even to write a sentence, a single word and send it into the nameless, faceless vastness of the internet, because a lifetime of training had told us if we had nothing to say, be quiet, what makes you think what you have to say is important, no one cares what you think. To presume to write and post on the web where it felt as if the entire world was watching and judging your words to see if they were important enough for attention wasn't easy, but easy stopped applying altogether, since the world's judgement of what qualified as important had nothing to do with writing a single word.

Cat macros, what you had for breakfast, and that weird growth on your toenail are important; the macros were cute, breakfast meant you were less grouchy at work, and hey, that doctor you saw was kind of hot, it's the life you live and by definition that makes it the most important thing you will ever do, being the medium by which you do anything at all. Human memory is volatile, we lose so much of our lives to background beyond recall and our lifespan is approaching the century mark, and in that time, we will be many different people, dozens, sometimes a couple of different ones every day, but I won't remember it the same, memory is volatile, but when I read my journal, I get to meet every woman I've ever been again. She was important, all of them were; they made me. And years from now, when I read this, I'll read this entry, by the woman I am now and I won't be then, and I'll be able to remember her. My mind is a container for all the people I've been, the people I am, and the people I could one day be; its a world entire in there, and that's the world who judges what is important enough to write.

Survey says; everything's important, habit is good, and the idea for the latter half of this entry began newborn and squalling with these words as I wrote them: Habit is powerful. Three words by the clock one hour ago, when I thought of [personal profile] astolat's challenge after answering a comment she made in my journal, when I started this entry and had no idea what to write except that app I just downloaded, and God, those accent marks, that thing at work, hey, about that challenge, I should mention it, Habit is powerful and just think, an hour ago, an hour ago, I stared at a blank entry page and had no idea what to write.

The experiment in free range breeding is going very, very well, thanks for asking.
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 12:50 am

caroline lamb

Things I Would Love to See As Movies Except They'd Fuck Them Up:

Caroline Lamb - lover then stalker and mocker of Lord Byron, novelist, and successfully mimicked his style so well that publishers sometimes couldn't tell the difference. She got tossed out of society for Glenvale, and her behavior was by any standard fairly scandalous, but her husband refused to divorce her despite pressure from her mother in law and most of the peerage, only doing so at her insistence and left Ireland where was Chief Secretary to be with her at her death.

Movies about women are generally either a virtuous triumph over odds or glittering slide into misery and death (see The Duchess). Their entire lives are summed up by how they died: in deserved adulation or somewhat pitiful yet deserved misery with optional poverty (preferred), and with any kind of luck, scandal and ridicule. Their lives are treated as equations to prove the answer of good or evil, what they did to deserve what they got, as if that's the goal all along, to die a good death, when death's just two words 'the end' and before that they live a life in multitudes

I'd like to see Caroline as she was, intense and obsessed, unbalanced and brutally in love, whose obsession would not just change her life but shot through her world like an earthquake, a natural disaster, leaving nothing as it was before, and enjoyed it all. She may have once been Byron's muse to be discarded for another and forgotten, but that was his plan, not hers; she made sure he never forgot her, not for the length of his life until his death, and society that mocked her, they couldn't forget her, or themselves, not when she wrote a novel to show them exactly who they were. History never will; she wrote herself there, too.

She wasn't a particularly good person, but she wasn't afraid of anything, except perhaps being forgotten. That much, she didn't have to worry about. Mortality is inevitable and comes to everyone, all the stories will end the same, always, we know this; the infinite is contained in the lives that were lived before, the multitudes that we contain while we do it.
I'm also not sure I'm glad I did.

I Want to Clone Your Hand: Strange Effort to Clone John Lennon Moves Forward - man with John Lennon tooth send it to lab to see if viable DNA can be extracted to clone John Lennon.

In general, I don't judge people's hobbies. If you're into collecting teeth from deceased musical superstars, go for it. If you're interested in cloning, more power to you. If you have some strange thing for finding out if teeth have extractable DNA, awesome. I don't, however, feel that these three hobbies should at any time belong to one person, because the end result is a major sci-fi plotline for a reason (hint: rarely ends well. For anyone).

This lined up with cracked's 5 Billionaires Who Are Making Awesome Sci-Fi Come True, with the very first article about Dmitry Itskov, who is currently in a terrifyingly detailed and uncomfortably timelined effort to make all our William Gibson dreams (read: nightmares) come true; to wit, make us all robots. Not just the rich, either; he's altruistic in making sci-fi horror a reality.

Very soon you will stare into the soulless eyes of your robotic self who knows neither compassion nor mercy (nor in my case, dress sense, which means I'll be killed by someone wearing a olive green hoodie with a purple t-shirt, God), and also knows all the places you would hide and the soundtrack you would like for your funeral so they can play it while slaying you to become the One True [Enter Your Name Here]. Or--far worse--they take over your online identity and start posting and since they don't need sleep or food or fresh air (I'm working on this), are better at you than you are and after a protracted battle for your identity (using a common cold plus a virus and then maybe a machete and an EMP weapon of some kind you built in your bedroom while they finish up their Dean/Castiel epic in front of you to tons of feedback, the fucker, that's it, this is sledgehammer time) you come back, everyone's terrible at hiding their disappointment and all your friends unfriend you quietly and it's just not going to work, and also, I need to buy a sledgehammer. That timeline doesn't give me a lot of time to work with here, and I'm not sure how to build an EMP weapon. Are there blueprints for that anywhere? With instructions?

God. It's like, when I think about what I have to worry about generally (global warming, social justice, weird looking toenail, why is my hair like this, alien invasion, dolphin conquest, nutella existing, SNAKE OH GOD RIGHT THERE, wait, that's a leaf, uh, life stuff blah blah blah), I honestly think there should be a limit, and I don't have time (or a how-to on pulse rifle building for killing your robotic clone) to put this one on my list.

Couldn't he make robotic ponies for everyone? Robotic. Ponies. For. Everyone. Dude, I'd be all over that. Why are no billionaires making us robotic ponies? Though granted, having said that, it just occurred to me how very terrifying that would end up in certain hands that will not be named but start with 'b' and end in 'onie' and if plural, 's'.

It's like there's nothing good in the world.
Saturday, July 6th, 2013 12:06 am

this is legit research

This is random, yet I'm supposed to be working on something for work, so of course I'm surfing wikipedia.

Recreational Use of Destromethorphan

In college, me and my boyfriend and our shared BFF (note: dating one's best friend is far less complicated and disastrous than dating your BFF's other BFF) got back from Christmas break where BF's brother told him all about the wonder that is robotripping, and well, at the time, none of us knew any dealers so Wal-Mart Is My Dealer was a thing. However, today, I ran across this, which told me exactly what happened that night. Doing the math as follows:

Eight ounce bottle/2 = 240 mg/61.235kg = 3.919327, or Plateau 2

Which is almost stunningly accurate in how I never could quite articulate what the hell that felt like, but that'd be pretty much all of it. Also adding as that's not here, it also had the added benefit of making it utterly impossible to go to sleep no matter how tired you are, and throwing up is like a magical thing where you're kind of fascinated by the entire bodily function experience. Which to be fair, was on purpose on my part; one of the many reasons I still take short-action ritalin instead of the extended dose is I have zero interest in anything I can't snap out of in less than four hours, and this and my one and a half hit acid trip nine months later made that a rule without end, amen. Which you know, the most effective Don't Do Drugs activity ever is to drop acid when you're claustrophobic while hanging out with an agoraphobic while sitting in a tree--literally. All walls are evil to one of you, all open spaces are terror beyond words to another, everyone's crouched on a tiny side porch of the dorms, and you wake up the next morning for paintball where you can see vapor trails following them reviewing a conversation you're pretty sure you had with leaves. The sheer indignity of it all just stays with you like, forever.

..seriously, plateau sigma is freaky as shit. Psychosis, Jesus.

Yes, I'm avoiding work, fine, but researching my misspent youth is important, okay. For reasons. Child! Wow, I really should have started with that excuse earlier.
Friday, July 5th, 2013 11:01 pm

there be snakes here

We had our second sighting of the Blotched Water Snake, a totes harmless slithering maw of evil that was first glimpsed by yours truly dripping down the side of my niece's kitchen playset like someone had turned on a faucet set to 'pure evil', at which time I learned to levitate, balancing on the edge of the patio couch to throw myself bodily at the glass door and bang on it until God himself wondered what the hell and leaped across the space separating me from safety, because--and I know this was subtle here, so you might have missed it--I really don't like snakes.

The only time I claim to be a Creationist is to an evangelical Reptiphilist, because God knows they don't take "slither", "scary", "faucet of evil", or "did I mention slither?" as arguments, but "the Bible told me so" is like magic and they go away. Recommended to deal with anyone who loves snakes trying to convert you: it works.

The upshot is everything that moves in my general vicinity, including dogs, cats, rats, cicadas, squirrels, frogs, and wind, is a Potential Snake and generally my evenings are shot-full of enough adrenaline that a twelve-step program may be in order, either for me or for the poor creatures that deal with my reaction to their existence before I verify they are Not Snake, since dude, they probably have a pan-species alert out for me at this point, "Approach with caution, kinda jumpy", and if we're lucky, a collective bounty on the snake because seriously, their lives were better before when I didn't react to leaves falling like they were coming after my ankles with (a thousand) fanged (non-venemous) teeth and bear live young by the thousands (dozen or so) that could be anywhere, or rather, near me, because I don't have a problem with anywhere, but more here.

Which is why I have bichon frise of questionable courage and bitter animosity sitting outside with me hating me so much right now.

In Other News

many things, none terribly interesting )

My world, in short, is snake-filled and strange.
I have dreamed of this moment my entire life.

Ancient Egyptian Statue Caught on Camera Rotating on Its Own.

On the one hand, autorotation by inanimate objects = terrifying. Can they do it on your head?????

(At this speed, though, I kind of think you can get away before you get frictions burns, but I'm saying, what if you're tied down for--a couple of years, I think? With this on your head? Well, one, headache, two, possibly starvation if someone's not feeding you, yeah, this is not a clever murder weapon. It's kind of giving everyone a verrrrrryyyy slow cut direct, though. Cold.)

On the other hand--you get this explains every time you lose your work badge, your glasses, or car keys, right?

I believe.

ETA: Better video. Okay, even slo-mo can be made scary in the dark. Really. Really. Slow-mo.

If you wanted to know my search terms in asstr.org that much, dude, just ask:

1.) minotaur, tits, cow, udders - humans submit to gene therapy to become a race of minotaurs but not enough women show up, so some of the males were made cows with unnervingly positive results and some amount of grazing, with a short digression on their secondary stomaches. And udders and orgasm related lactation, of course.

2.) boy, catheter, guiche ring, exercise, enema - guy meets guy. Guy wants to infantalize guy and drugs him, has him declared insane, and makes him wear a diaper and the most traumatically designed catheter ever created. Then there's estrogen shots and lactation. As seems to be a thing.

3.) wonder woman, inflation, gore, green, rubber - I'm pretty sure I block that one out perodically because I don't remember anything about it and have to go look again. I'm also pretty sure I've run out of free concussions before brain damage is an issue, but you gotta do what you gotta do. There was kryptonite lactation, because why the fuck not?

Dude, find your own porn from now on. I do not exist to fulfill your kinky needs. I am doing this for science. I'm not sure which science, but no one likes a doubter of the scientific method.

Adding: each of these represents an entire classic genre, dating back from the days of usenet when we had no ability to google but had to just read the tags and hope they got the anatomy of a human-bull hybrid right, because that just throws me right out of the story and you know how frustrating that is? Our forefathers of alt-sex battled spammers, uncomfortable autobiographical accounts of things that should never be written in the first person singular and claimed as a true story, and vanilla missionary sex with two consenting opposite-sex adults after marriage to get where we are today, and look at where we are. PRISM, you have made our wholesome and totally above reproach search for human-minotaur rubber wonder woman genderswitch lactation porn feel dirty. Thanks a fucking lot.

Wikipedia freefall (noun) - the gradual degradation of efficiency that occurs when you try to research a topic on Wikipedia.

Nicola de la Haye, who in her sixties spit in the eye of the French army while defending Lincoln (successfully!)-->William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury-->William II Longespée-->(LOST TIME)-->Diane de Poiters-->Henry II of France-->Diane de France-->(LOST TIME)-->Henriette of England-->Armand de Gramont, Comte de Guiche.

In case you are curious, Armand has the distinction of banging both Philippe, Duc d'Orleans only brother of Louis XIV of France and Philippe's wife, Henriette of England, daughter of Charles I and mistress of Louis XIV, and possibly fathering her first daughter. While hitting on Louise de La Vallière , who would become Louis XIV's official mistress.

If life was fanfic, this would be due to a thwarted passion for Louis XIV, who cruelly turned him away because of his Destiny to be A Great French King and He Must Think of Duty Before the Great Love of His Life Who Swam the Rhine For Him (really did that!). Just saying.

I need more hobbies.
Oh, for people who need teapots, especially for work:

Adagio Teas teapot - it holds plenty of tea, it is ridic easy to wash, and it's infinitely storeable. Only warning--when full, pour very carefully at first, I have no idea why, but it will leak a tiny bit. I've been using it at work for about a month and it's kind of perfect, but it does get hot, especially the lid, so I use a pencil to maneuver it off to remove the tea when it's done seeping.
Depression Part 2 at Hyperboleandahalf - an illustrated guide to depression. Possibly the most hilarious, most painful, most metaphorical, most literal, most everything description of depression I've read in--ever. With awesome illustrations.

Most of still live with the knowledge that there are great swathes of the population--we'll call them 'idiots'--who at some point decided the depression in it's entirety can be expressed as 'not happy' and also, that it's something that can be cured with bootstrap puppy macros on the bright side of it's a wonderful life. I don't call people idiots for not understanding depression--frankly, I've lived with it over half my life, and I'm still fairly unclear on what the ever-loving fuck is going on--but I get tetchy on the subject when they believe 'understand' is a required prerequisite for 'believe', because I personally didn't sign up to be the professor failing to teach 101 adequately and then worry how they'll survive when they stop believing in air, as they seem to think 'believe' is a key facet in the existence of reality.

For everyone else, however, there's this post; if you don't understand depression, if it's still hard to get your head around, if you have family or friends who live with it, if you just want to know--this might help. Depression is vast and individualized and no two people who have it will conceptualize or experience it the same way. However, I've noticed that no matter how differently people describe depression, they're always right, possibly because for me, they all say the same thing--that depression is less a thing that's there, but a word that encompasses the vastness of absence, knowing perfectly well the scope of what should be there and no longer is, and realizing you'll have to wait forever while living without it. It can be weeks or years or a matter of months, or so the calenders say, but while you're waiting, it's always forever.


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  • If you don't send me feedback, I will sob uncontrollably for hours on end, until finally, in a fit of depression, I slash my wrists and bleed out on the bathroom floor. My death will be on your heads. Murderers
    . -- Unknown, BTS List
  • That's why he goes bad, you know -- all the good people hit him on the head or try to shoot him and constantly mistrust him, while there's this vast cohort of minions saying,
    We wouldn't hurt you, Lex, and we'll give you power and greatness and oh so much sex...
    Wow. That was scary. Lex is like Jesus in the desert.
    -- pricklyelf on why Lex goes bad, LJ
  • Obi-Wan has a sort of desperate, pathetic patience in this movie. You can just see it in his eyes: "My padawan is a psychopath, and no one will believe me;
    I'm barely keeping him under control and expect to wake up any night now to find him standing over my bed with a knife!"
    -- Teague reviewing "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones", LJ
  • Beth: god, why do i have so many beads?

    Jenn: Because you are an addict.

    Jenn: There are twelve step programs for this.

    Beth: i dunno they'd work, might have to go straight for the electroshock.

    Jenn: I'm not sure that helps with bead addiction.

    Beth: i was thinking more to demagnitize my credit card.
    -- hwmitzy and seperis, 12/24/2003, AIM
  • I could rape a goat and it will DIE PRETTIER than they write.
    -- anonymous, 2/17/2004, AIM
  • In medical billing there is a diagnosis code for someone who commits suicide by sea anenemoe.
    -- silverkyst, 3/25/2004, AIM
  • Anonymous: sorry. i just wanted to tell you how much i liked you. i'd like to take this to a higher level if you're willing

    Eleveninches: By higher level I hope you mean email.
    -- eleveninches and anonymous, 4/2/2004, LJ
  • silverkyst: I need to not be taking molecular genetics.

    silverkyst: though, as a sidenote, I did learn how to eviscerate a fruit fly larvae by pulling it's mouth out by it's mouthparts today.

    silverkyst: I'm just nowhere near competent in the subject material to be taking it.

    Jenn: I'd like to thank you for that image.
    -- silverkyst and seperis, 1/25/2005, AIM
  • You know, if obi-wan had just disciplined the boy *properly* we wouldn't be having these problems. Can't you just see yoda? "Take him in hand, you must. The true Force, you must show him."
    -- Issaro, on spanking Anakin in his formative years, 3/15/2005, LJ
  • Aside from the fact that one person should never go near another with a penis, a bottle of body wash, and a hopeful expression...
    -- Summerfling, on shower sex, 7/22/2005, LJ
  • It's weird, after you get used to the affection you get from a rabbit, it's like any other BDSM relationship. Only without the sex and hot chicks in leather corsets wielding floggers. You'll grow to like it.
    -- revelininsanity, on my relationship with my rabbit, 2/7/2006, LJ
  • Smudged upon the near horizon, lapine shadows in the mist. Like a doomsday vision from Watership Down, the bunny intervention approaches.
    -- cpt_untouchable, on my addition of The Fourth Bunny, 4/13/2006, LJ
  • Rule 3. Chemistry is kind of like bondage. Some people like it, some people like reading about or watching other people doing it, and a large number of people's reaction to actually doing the serious stuff is to recoil in horror.
    -- deadlychameleon, on class, 9/1/2007, LJ
  • If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Fan Fiction is John Cusack standing outside your house with a boombox.
    -- JRDSkinner, Twitter

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