advisory warning // darumaseye

(no subject)

2014 Reading Bingo

A book with more than 500 Pages
A Distant Mirror, Barbara Tuchman (10/27)
A Forgotten Classic
Thread of Grace, Mary Doria Russell (2/11)
A Book that Became a Movie
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough (9/20)
A Book Published this Year
Rise of the King, R.A. Salvatore (not yet published) (4/1)
A Book with a Number in the Title
Notorious Nineteen, Janet Evanovich (9/14)
A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty
Stray Toasters, Bill Sienkiewicz (11/14)
A Book with Non-Human Characters
The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross (3/2)
A Funny Book
Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (2/22)
A Book by a Female Author
The Midnight Robber, Nalo Hopkinson (1/8)
A Book with a Mystery
Midnight In Peking, Paul French (2/28)
A Book with a One-Word Title
Cockroaches, Jo Nesbo (6/17)
A Book of Short Stories
The Awakening and Other Stories, Kate Chopin (2/22)
Free Square A Book Set on a Different Continent
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon (4/13)
A Book of Non Fiction
It's Even Worse Than It Looks, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein (2/15)
The First Book by a Favorite Author
The Bat, Jo Nesbo (2/4)
A book you Heard About Online
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (12/7)
A Best-Selling Book
Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton (4/5)
A Book Based on a True Story
To Sleep With The Angels, David Cowan and John Kuenster (3/7)
A Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
The Other Side of Salvation, John Buescher (4/2)
A Book Your Friend Loves
House of Lies, Martin Kihn (1/31)
A Book that Scares You
Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (4/19)
A Book that is More Than 10 Years Old
Brightness Falls, Jay McInerney (1/15)
The Second Book in a Series
The Redeemer, Jo Nesbo (4/7)
A Book with a Blue Cover
The Troubled Man, Henning Mankell (12/11)
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richard starts shit // angevin2

(no subject)

Things to do this weekend, a list (for no particular reason):
- 4 Days In May, 4:30pm, Egyptian (my last movie of the festival) EXCELLENT movie.

- Finish the book that is making me bleed (seriously). Welcome to Shirley. Also, I have stopped bleeding when I read it, so that's an improvement.

- Clean apt. Find can of Raid. Kill anything that fucking moves.
-- Special emphasis: desk. File those letters, peasant! Move that giant reindeer antler, wench! (Side note: did you know that reindeer antlers are actually very large? My brother sent me one. That, combined with the deer antler that I bought in Lincoln City means that I have 2x the antlers I have ideas for.) Paint that box, serf!

- Decide on the fix to the skirt (options: open the non-seamed CB and put in a seam; open the non-seamed CB and put in a zipper and a seam. In either case, I need to open the CB and take out two inches because I MATH GUD, and re-sewing 18 buttonholes and 18 buttons is NOT AN OPTION.) Perform fix.

- Fix camera. (Actually, get Ed to fix camera. Ed Knows Cameras.)

- Put stupid content into even stupider website. Do not make voodoo dolls of anyone else involved while so doing.

- Try to remember topic for Gelato Challenge. Fail. Decide to write on another topic. Write a blog post on topic by Monday.

- Do the laundry! Do the many yards of loose material laundry that is always fun because it's FUN to wash five yards of things! Do the laundry so you have something to do tomorrow! I could make a ghost joke, but I'm goin' with "I've got nothin."

- Cut out a shirt. Actually, modify the pattern, THEN cut out the shirt. Serging would be nice. Modifying the pattern after cutting out the shirt is less optimal, but definitely an option.

- Cut out a jacket? Confuse the jacket and shirt pieces because they are both white. However, serging them means changing the thread in the serger, and that is worse than invading Poland. You change that shit RARELY.

- Make firm plans to continue life-long pattern of sewing the sleeves in backwards. Make sure to cut out what will turn out to be two left sleeves. (I use fabric that doesn't have a wrong side just so I can fuck this up easily. It's efficient!) Pretend that this time you will cut notches and NOT serge them closed. Cross your fingers while you pretend this, because that is what is going to happen, as the Mayans foretold.

- Find out whether you can bring a sewing machine to a library. Because reasons. Yes! But not till July 1. Suddenly, all cutting-out and serging takes on a lot less urgency, in that sense.

- Get down the features that should exist in Dashboard onto paper. Aim big.

- Get caught up in a recursive evaluation of how many websites I own/want to own/can conveniently steal. Forget, again, to pay the bill on my first website because I am out of care.

- Go to the store! Forget what you like to eat (I have advanced past "forget the list" and now aim much, much higher) and just buy things. They may turn into food under certain circumstances. Make sure to forget the two things you know you need. Forget that actually, there is no such thing as one-stop shopping for you, because there IS NOT a store that carries: 8 nuts, or maybe it was 6 washers or no, I think I had enough of the bolts but a laser sight would be really great, and also where's your non-fiction section except maybe I should get the new Elizabeth Moon instead, and then there's that giant turkey roaster or maybe it's a giant glass baking dish, I don't care as long as it's large and not plastic, and then give me a bag of FÜD, suitable for a week of lunches and possibly also other eating, and it would be great if any part of it went with black beans because oh my god, did I have an Alzheimer's break at some point in the last few years and forget that I already HAD six cans? My sack of FÜD seems like it is pretty much all necessary and relatively healthy, though the marshmallows for the hot chocolate I've been craving may be ridic.

- Try to remember your on-site landlady's name. Pretend that you aren't worried you can't remember it. EMILY. Not Ethel, not Evelyn, not Elsie.

- Contemplate recommended minor surgical procedure. Get totally distracted by remembering Eddie Izzard's sketch about the Heimlich Maneuver. Realise you are going to book an appointment for a maneuver, and that every day brings exciting new ways to fail.

- Go to meetup! Hope that you will be able to sew there. Did I mention that June 10 =/= July 1? It doesn't, apparently!

- Family dinner! Remember that you meant to watch Deathly Hallows part 2 or part II or part deux or whatever the fuck it is; do this with 20 minutes to go. Remember that you can't bend time. Nor can you bend spoons. Unless it's to hit people who use the word "sammie" seriously.

- IIIIIIIT'S PHOTOSHOOT TIME! Wrangle two models, one who doesn't want to be there and one who is sulking until allowed into the shot; spend ten minutes taking many pictures and remind yourself (AGAIN) that learning how to take pictures might be a better approach than just taking a lot and hoping for the best. Remember that this picture will be so small it doesn't matter, but take the damn thing anyway.

- Debate between going to the Avengers at 10pm on a work night and going home and watching The Dark Knight: The Good Parts, By Which I Mean When Something Blows Up And Also The Bank Robbery Because Honestly, SO COOL Version. Ultimately, take a third option and do neither. Settle for buying glass-blowing lessons.

- Contemplate the 300 words advice. Add in 3 cups drama from at least two different estates, 1/2 cup of Wildly Unfounded Accusations, a heaping tablespoon of Oh My God Shut The Fuck Up Before I Beat You To Death With Your Own Tongue, a half pound of I Cannot Believe I Am Thinking Of This, and 2 drops Common Sense and do nothing in the end, but feel bad about it and wonder how bad it could really be if you stirred that bitch up and put it on the cookie sheet and baked it at 350 for 40 minutes or possibly 40 years.

- Try to remember the name of that one series of books. Apparently, not The Golden Century; it is The History of the Plantagenets, by Thomas B. Costain.

- Write up the skirt, while cooking pasta, because nothin' goes together better than boiling water and computers! Add in camera (if fixed) just to add to the fun.

But first:
- Take a shower. Net result: cleaner.
icon that never ends // insanity_icons

(no subject)

I just realised that I feel totally disconnected from my friends, which is usually a major downward spiral for me ("no one loves me enough to care, everyone is too busy for me to bother them, hey, look, worms!") but the nice thing is: yes, I feel totally disconnected, but that's okay.

I'm not entirely sure why. I'm not sure if I'm starting to disengage more fully from people who've effectively been putting me in a one-way relationship (and it's their way...) for some time now, or if it's that I joined ALL THE MEETUPS and, even though I haven't gone to any yet, I have that to look forward to, and that is new people and new people are people, and people rock. Or both.

If I ever wound up on a desert island, I would either need a fairly large shitload of books (20 at least, and 50 would be better) and/or other media that I could actually interact with, or interesting people. Otherwise, I would survive about five minutes - I do alone just fine, but I don't do lonely well, and I get lonely very easily, unfortunately. I wish it wasn't true, since I have a consistent habit of picking such winnars for IRL friends, but there we are. Short of a lobotomy, it's unlikely to change.
twist dodge // alazysod_icons

(no subject)

Today, I vandalised a car. I'm happy to report that it's the first time I recall ever doing so deliberately (I don't think I did anything like that during my wild youth but honestly, I'm having trouble remembering entire decades at this point, I don't think I should claim to remember 13) and I also believe that Douchebag McCockHat had it coming. Parking so close to me that I can't get into my car with anything like ease and within half an inch of me ending that clause at "can't get into my car" is behaviour that I feel justifies me to some recourse. Normally, I would prefer to speak to the parking attendant to get the person to move their goddamn van, but that wasn't an option.

So I slammed my door into theirs. Fuck you, fuckhead. Sorry you wanted that space so badly (and apparently, that particular space, undifferentiable from any other on that level of the parking garage) that you felt it appropriate to park within eight inches of my car door. Also, I'm sorry that I kind of have, you know, a JOB that I had to go to, after the Appointment From Hell, so I couldn't actually wait around for your ass to come back out and MOVE YOUR CAR.

Although, the AFH may have had something to do with my utter rage. I mean, it may just be ME, but I don't actually think it's appropriate for the non-attending medical personnel to just walk into the room I'm being seen in (and am exposed in, thanks a lot, because I really want to be in a position to give an eyeful to any patient off the street, this is why I'm a part-time high-rise-based stripper, it is totally) without a) knocking and b) MORE THAN ONCE.

I will actually be filing a complaint about this, on the advice of my mother who is a (former) nurse for the same hospital.

I will also mention the timekeeping aspect of the whole thing. I mean, if you tell me to be there by 7:30 for a 7:45 appointment and I move heaven and earth to get there by 7:35 in surprisingly heavy rush hour traffic, I do actually expect to not cool my heels for another 29 minutes before I'm seen. And it turns out that $hospital has a policy of not making patients wait (at least without explanation) for more than 15 minutes. So, you know, THERE WE ARE.

Also, dear examining person whose name, rank, and serial number I never got because I don't routinely bring a car battery, ten feet of wire, and a pair of alligator clips to my cardiology appointments, maybe next time you do an EKG you'd like to actually EXAMINE your patient first? But I do realise that you were very startled by my yips of pain when you crushed the goddamn wand into extremely thick, extremely painful scar tissue. I tend to make loud noises when shit hurts. SORRY ABOUT THAT.

I am almightily pleased that my car has nary a sign of injury to show for my use of it as a crushing weapon. Not entirely sure what happened to Asshat McDickBag's car, but I did see paint loss. And I genuinely have no sympathy whatsoever. He (or she) chose to park in a space too small for his car (as determined by the giant, roof-supporting pole on the other side of the space) rather than looking for a better spot on another level ... I still need to get into my car. This parking garage is great and all, but I don't want to live here.

The irony is that the garage is one of the ones with those u-shaped double-line dividers with a shedload of room in them so you can't park too close to someone else without trying, AND it had the lines on the walls as well so you could aim your car appropriately. After years of trying to park at Westwood Village (motto: our parking places are 6 inches too small for anyone's car!) I sort of wanted to have sex with whoever designed the paint setup for this garage. And someone still managed to not be able to park.

Every day brings me one step closer to a cabin in the woods and a shotgun, it really does.

I'm thinking again about giving up social media. I feel totally alienated by it, honestly - I feel like I so rarely have something to say to someone else's LJ posts that I never comment, I've been slapped down one too many times by a fandom I tried to participate in to want to try to join in that conversation again, Facebook confuses me, and Twitter is composed of people who like everyone else more than they like me, so what exactly is the rush to beat myself up over social media? I can beat myself up over everything else I've ever done, including (but not limited to!)

1. Sitting next to someone I find VERY unstable in Group tonight and saying that I had spent the last week being a giant ragemonster. That ended well.
2. Not being able to force myself to interact with family members and a former student when I want to, if only to try to pretend for ten seconds that the dysfunction in these relationships isn't me.
3. Being Judgey McDoucherson if left to my own devices but turning into Zen Master Cass when confronted with my father doing the exact same thing I would do if he hadn't done it first.
4. Needing to stop being Team Mom for 30 minutes if only to take care of myself, emotionally, because half the people I associate with regularly aren't able or willing to reciprocate the emotional support I believe I give them.
5. Not cultivating a better relationship with Sane!Coworker because emotionally supporting MentalIssues!Coworker (not the one I have dubbed Initial) is so much more rewarding to Team Mom Me.
6. Not getting off my ass and doing things I don't want to because I will be unable to resolve the problem and therefore why not just fuck it up more upfront, like paying the life insurance, contacting the car insurance, getting a new dentist, talking to Sallie Mae. Continuing to not pay any of those will end well.
7. Liking to talk so much that I interrupt people because they've made me think of something and I'm excited and want to share it.
8. Not extending to other people the possibility that they have the same issues I claim to have and that's the real reason why I haven't gone to lunch with Phil or Josh this month despite their promises that this was a monthly think.
9. Not being able to muscle past my issues by sheer force of will.
10. Having issues at all.

So with that kind of busy schedule, I should stop beating myself up over things other people are doing and just get back to home-grown crazy. Think local!

On the bright side, if the problem with the website that I've been trying to fix for months turns out to be application-pool related, I will consider myself the most brilliant networking motherfucker to ever network. And also, I still have to call Integra and let them know that one of their techs is never, ever to be dispatched to us ever again because I refuse to be treated like a not-very-intelligent dirty sock by someone who intends to keep me as a client, and also they need to fix what he fucking broke.

And if the problem does turn out to be that we have, essentially, two routers in chain to each other (I don't know why, don't ask me, I don't do this shit, I would question my life choices if I were treating a print server box as a second router and didn't have it hooked up to the printer) I will require that someone crown me god of networking, Integra fire the most recent tech, and Crystaltech fire everyone I have spoken to before today, and then sacrifice them on an altar to my awesome.

That, I look forward to. It shall be glorious.

Now I'm gonna listen to the crows pace around on my roof for a while (it sounds like Hannibal crossing the Alps if you want to know) and then go to bed.
dystopia nightmare future // apiphile

The Avengers, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Just Love The Hounds

The Avengers made me realise that Civil War (and registration) didn't go NEARLY far enough.

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duke humphrey's library world quiet // r

(no subject)

1. Favorite childhood book?
The one I think is my favourite NOW from then was probably Where The Wild Things Are, but the question sort of assumes that I have only read five books and don't, for example, remember loving the hell out of Madeleine L'Engle or Beverly Cleary or the Boxcar Children or Walter Farley or Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein or other things by Maurice Sendak or Susan Cooper or a whole host of other things I have read and loved.

... fuck it, I only read five books and my favourite book was Dick and Jane. Still is. The rest of this meme's gonna be pointless, isn't it?

2. What are you reading right now?
A book on Python, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Land of Painted Caves, a Lucky style guide, The Children's Crusade (Avengers), Snowcrash because I'm the only person who's never read Stephenson, Cry The Beloved Country, The Barbarian Conversion, and some books on the religious revivals of the early-mid 19th century. Thank Christ I finished Sade: A Biography, because it was BORING. And, of course, Man's Rage For Chaos, the book that will NEVER DIE.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
I don't really do libraries. This does mean that I own more than a few books for only a matter of days or weeks.

4. Bad book habit?
Buying books. Never being able to buy only ONE book. Buying books I will never read. Judging books by their cover.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
I suppose technically Special Topics and some book I can't remember the name of that I really should start because it's my next book group book are out from the library because the group is run by the library.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Nope. Or, very broadly, yes, in the sense that I do read novel-length fanfic on my computer.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I'm someday hoping to know where all the books I'm reading ARE.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Yes and then back again. I stopped reading books essentially, as my free time diminished not long after I started blogging and then I started reading them again lately because reading social media is not my favourite thing. Also, due to job change, I feel like I now actually have uninterrupted time to read. It's awesome.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?
Sade: A Biography. The book is well researched but it's a somewhat suspect translation, to me, and also, it turns out that the Marquis was VERY FUCKING BORING INDEED, which I would not have expected. Also, I tried to read 120 Days of Sodom once and got about two pages in before I really wanted to throw up (the ... count, I think, who apparently has never felt the need to practise anal hygiene AT ALL) so I don't exactly have a spoogefest over the Marquis and his AMAZEBALLS literary talent, unlike the author of this book. And it turns out that in real life he was basically a whiny child.

Note that I have this opinion after reading a book by someone who clearly faps to the wonderful transgressiveness of the Marquis. THIS IS A BAD BOOK.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Uh. Probably either the two Morning Glory TPBs that my comics dealer made me buy or else Colour. I haven't read a lot of really great stuff this year yet. I did like Blood's A Rover but The Cold Six Thousand was so unmitigatably fucking terrible that it's hard to say I liked the third book in the trilogy after reading the second, you know?

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Rarely. I mean, my comfort zone with reading is large and eclectic as is, and I won't say that there's not, like, a self-help book or an investment manual that would just make me spooge myself with glee, but it seems unlikely. And beyond that, I have no idea what a comfort zone is, literarily. If you're really a fan of a certain genre maybe reading outside of that is outside of your comfort zone, but I don't have a comfort zone apparently.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
apiphile says it best: "books which don't suck".

13. Can you read on the bus?
Interesting fact! I can read on the bus if I am not facing forward and/or windows are open. Otherwise, recipe for instant nausea, just add Cass. But I can read in cars where I am facing forward, so GO FIG.

14. Favorite place to read?
At home. Not in bed, though, as I fall asleep and I hate looking like someone's been hitting me when the book falls on my face.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
It depends on the person. I lend books to people where I know I will never see the book again but don't mind (if I really mind, I will actually buy a copy of the book for that person) such as graeae and my mum. If I loan to my dad, I'll get it back eventually. If I loan to pretty much anyone else, I have given it away in my head.

This policy would have stood me in good stead to remember when I loaned a book group friend 10 graphic novels (which are NOT cheap!) two years ago and I'm not sure how to say "Hey, remember that several hundred dollars of books I loaned you? Yeah, I can't afford to replace them, so I need you to give them back, because I did not actually give them to you."

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Not much. I'm more likely to write ... *reads next question*

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Yes. I underline too. That said, I generally dislike marginalia and underlining (and highlighting is OF SATAN) so I really really really am involved in a book if I mark it up.

18. Not even with text books?
Depends on the text book. See above re: engaged in the book.

19. What is your favourite language to read in?
The only one I know, which is English. I read technical books too, and I don't promise that I understand them because they are often written in a language I don't know. Or about a language I don't know.

20. What makes you love a book?
VAGUE. I have loved books that were terrible, I have loved books that were brilliant, I have loved books despite their faults, I have loved books for their faults. I guess I would go with "good story, good characters with good motivations, and something that feels unique about the book." And by "good motivations" I don't mean that their motivations were good, I mean that they weren't motivated by, like, the logic of "suddenly pregnant MUST DEFEND THIS STRANGE PLACE I HAVE FOUND MYSELF." Believable motivations, I suppose.

Actually, some of the best books have totally objectionable characters where you can understand their motivating force even if you don't agree with it at all. (These are the characters I like to write, so I'm biased.)

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Not much. I hate it when people recommend books, generally, and I question whether I'm a good judge of books people would like, so I rarely recommend. The book and the person have to both be standout in my head. Or, the person has to be willing to read anything, like my sister-in-law.

22. Favorite genre?
Genres are so mainstream.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
What is this I don't even.

24. Favourite biography?
Not Sade: A Biography, anyway. Atomic Farmgirl had a fascinating premise and suffered from not fitting its premise. I quite liked This Republic of Suffering, even if it's not really a biography. Heroin: How to Stop Time From A to Z fascinates me, so let's go with that. Also, it's in the bathroom so I reread bits of it often. Biography is not one of my favourite genres, though I do read a number of them.

Looking at a later question, I realised: Michael Collins.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes, but I doubt I liked it. Someone gave me the book, practically at gunpoint, and the thing about self-help books is that they're so rarely YOUR self-help.

26. Favourite cookbook?
The Discworld cookbook, probably. Or the one that my mum put together where she copied a bunch of her recipes including my favourites. That was an awesome gift. I also like the Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks I have, and I want to use White Trash Cooking more than I do.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Colour, probably, and Michael Collins probably. They were both GREAT.

28. Favorite reading snack?

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I'm so hipster that when there's hype I avoid the book like the plague. This is why I haven't read The Hunger Games.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I almost never read reviews.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
BWAHAHAHA, I used to be an editor. I have NO SHAME about bad reviews if the book was bad. That said, this does imply that I review.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Fuck if I know. German? German has lots of great words in it.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Man's Rage For Chaos. It's not intimidating so much as "so much more complex than anything else I have ever read, written using words that *I* don't know the meaning of a lot of the time, in a discipline (philosophical art theory, I guess) that I have no grounding in, written during a time that was a lot less culturally-diverse than now so I keep wanting to argue with the examples provided because my life is different." But someday I will defeat that motherfucker, and then I will have to reread it to try to get it to make sense. I THINK I know what the author is saying, and he does make a compelling argument, but it's hard, yo.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Godel Escher Bach probably. I keep avoiding starting it and I don't know why because I bought that motherfucker. I WANT to read it, I just HAVEN'T.

35. Favorite Poet?
Oh fuck no. I don't do enough poetry to have a favourite one. Or Rashid Husayn because he rocks.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
The last time I checked a book out, I was probably 15.

38. Favorite fictional character?
+++ Whoops! Here Comes The Cheese! +++ MELON MELON MELON +++ Error At Address: 14, Treacle Mine Road, Ankh-Morpork +++ !!!!! +++ Oneoneoneoneoneone +++ Redo From Start +++

Which is a fancy way of saying that question has no semantic value as that implies I can pick one.

39. Favourite fictional villain?
SEE. ABOVE. WITH ADDED MELON. I like a good villain even more than a hero!

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Ones I'm trying to read.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Without reading books for pleasure, probably weeks at a time. I know that a couple years ago when I was finishing my web design degree I was spotty about any other reading.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
That terrible academic book by Norman Cantor that was supposedly about the Black Death leaps to mind.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
The later Harry Potter books. "Let's leave out this plot entirely so we can add a totally unnecessary dragonfight that wasn't onscreen in the first place!"

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Probably a couple hundred, not including any time I needed to get a whack of textbooks.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Stop permanently would be only if it was a terrible book. And my standards of terrible are pretty low - I AM going to finish the Land of Painted Caves, after all, and that book is awful.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Only in a sense that I am the only person to understand.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Keep, keep, keep!

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Like a bad date or something? Uh, yeah, but not because the books have done anything bad, usually. It's more because a book on the science of dreaming sounds great, I buy it, then it languishes for 10 years while other things, more shiny and more tarty and more urgent, come along.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Three Cups of Tea made me want to punch my relationship to America in the face. So did The Road From Ar Ramadi. In a totally different way, River Horse made me quite angry, but I wanted to punch the author for being a pretentious twat in that case.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
At Swim, Two Boys. I don't know how you can make gay boys in early Republican Ireland, set against the backdrop of the struggle for independence and identity and with bonus World War I awful, but that book managed it.

I also hated In The Wake of the Plague, but that was because it was wrong in so many ways.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Discworld, Elizabeth Moon, David Weber, Janet Evanovich.
gabe chibi fangs up

(no subject)

My ideas are the stupidest, yo. :)

Pursuant to the notion that I want to do a "working" modification to the steampunk outfit I discussed in my last post, I spent some valuable staff meeting time today thinking about a) what I wanted to do and b) how to make it multi-purpose.

I came up with an arc reactor. EVERYONE LOOK SURPRISED.

So here's my thought. Using something like this as a tutorial/guide (it's delightfully vague - "Now you have to make 10 little brass tab thingies. These sit on top of the clear ring after it has been placed into the spider frame assembly and then they are then wrapped with 22ga copper wire.") make an arc reactor.

Next, using Iron Man's left arm as a suggestion, create a "weapon" that is powered by the reactor. Because it's important to be both clever and steamy, I was thinking that I could use a leather glove and maybe get real exciting and do some scale mail on it and do a second, narrower, reactor ring inside to light up and give the effect of the weapon powering up and possibly even firing.

But wait, there's more!

I still think that an eyepatch targeting system would ROCK, and I think the key there is that I either need to get contacts or build it to fit over the lens of my glasses. Going without glasses is NOT AN OPTION. I'm legally blind and if it's further than 3 inches away I can't see it in any detail. That would be fun at a crowded con. So I'm thinking some kind of jeweler's loupe attached to an eyepatch, with a laser pointer assembly for a sight.

And then! (Remember, I did say multi-purpose.) Create a power pack in a small cross-body bag, with the thought that I could hook that into the hand and eyepatch to play mix-n-match. I mean, seriously, Iron Man is very awesome and all, but ... yeah. I suspect that an arc reactor in a steampunk setting is kind of like a Bluetooth headset in the real world.

There was another piece I thought of - oh right. If I really felt like getting carried away, I could also try making an actual movie-verse Iron Man gauntlet so that I had real mix-n-match ability. We shall see.

(None of this is going to get done, you realise. I just think it would be awesome.)
writers are liars neil gaiman // refche

(no subject)

I'm stuck in a weird slacktime at work today - we turned over a bunch of projects to the printers, all newsletters are out, and basically I can either update the database or ... not.

Since what I would RATHER be doing is be at home working on the corset of insanity, I figured I could blog that project and also blog how my New Years resolutions are going.

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stab you in the eye // kill_hilary


Dear SJ crusaders:

Fuck off. Thanks!

See, here's the thing, and here's why you're really not getting the places you'd like to think you are, at least in my world.

1) You're making assumptions based on no evidence.
- I can, in fact, claim that something proves someone is a "real boy" without ever having in my thought process the contents of their pants. Because guess what, I don't care in the slightest what's in your pants. I can, in fact, be referring to Peter Pan, or to simply the humour found when someone who is godlike-pretty (Geeface, I heart you!) does something stereotypically "boy", or even using a sarcastic grammatical construct for humorous effect.

2) You're asking people to prove a negative.
- What would it take to prove that I'm not "a transphobic creep"? Do I need to get a letter signed by graeae's partner stating that I'm not? What about my friend J who's not on LJ? What about the coworker I had at my last job who was trans? What about the person I knew in college who was trans? Will it suffice if I contact everyone I've ever had any sort of social relationship with, ever, and get a sworn statement indicating whether I'm a good person or a bad person in their minds? Should I talk to a counsellor about the periods of gender dysphoria I have and get them to state that I don't hate myself, therefore I don't hate trans people? Basically, until and unless you catch me in my KKK robes, please refrain from making unfounded accusations, particularly since whatever provoked this person was not me saying "OMG THERE IS NOTHING BUT CIS EVERYTHING ELSE IS HORRIBLE AND AGAINST GOD." And I can say that with categorical certainty because I have never said or thought that.

Do gay people count to prove that I'm not an asshat? There's a reason that McArcus was my token straight minority for a while - how many gay people in my social circles prove that I'm not actually queer unfriendly? Or can I just state that I'm bi and canvas LJ for anyone who remembers my relationship with srichard for proof that this is true?

But there's the rub: there is no way whatsoever for me to prove that I don't think that thought, because ... you're firing from the hip without waiting to find out whether I'm actually sending out emails about the n****r in the White House to claim that I'm racist. You're not asking me about my stance on social issues - you are, instead, coming in with an accusation. And you don't know me.

3) There's a world of difference between "this bothers me" and "this is what you are".
- I made a comment a while back in theferrett's journal about how I frequently feel third-sexed because I don't behave like "a girl" but I don't feel like "a boy". roniliquidity pulled me up short by pointing out, politely, that doing that is a way of avoiding the issue of demonstrating that "femininity" is beyond simply what the religious right would have us believe, and she was right to do so. I haven't made that claim since.

Strangely, however, when someone takes the time to contact me off-thread and make accusations, I'm a lot less inclined to listen to your bullshit.

4) No one speaks for anyone else, even if you are a member of the group. Frequently, you are not.
- This was most pronounced with Racefail a few years back, where a bunch of white people critiqued other white people about not including characters of colour in their works (and yes, I am very well aware that there were participants in that who were not white; I'm only speaking of a section of the population that had that argument). I don't, actually, think that it's your business to come riding in and tell me that, as another white person, I'm using terms you, as a white person, don't like. Tough shit. I pick terms of respect with the best information I have, and I will alter them if I find that people in the group I'm speaking of don't like them, but I find it twee that you think I'm not being PC if I say, for example, that someone is black rather than someone is a person of colour. Are you, then, the sole arbiter of what people in that group prefer to be called? I should tell you right now that I utterly dislike being referred to as Caucasian, but have no problem with white, and think that, in my particularly mutt-genetics case, "Scandinavian-American" or "Italian-American" are misleading, particularly since they are the least true about my genome. "White American" makes me want to throw up a lot. So there you are, that's the term to use for everyone who shares my skin colour!

However, and this is key, I won't actually kill you if you call me Caucasian. I'll just point out that I don't like it, but I won't die, and nor will anyone else.

Because it is not possible to find out what every single person in the group being spoken of would prefer to be called, I find it utterly offensive that people try to define other people's language for them. This isn't so much the intention argument as it is the respect argument. Unless I start hauling off and calling trans people chicks with dicks or whatever the fuck the insulting group terms are (I literally have no idea and I cannot possibly be arsed to google for it) maybe you could do me a favour and step the fuck down until I do something that egregious? You're not going to get me to adopt your standard if you come at me with "OMG BIGOT" as your opening salvo, and personally, I don't think I or anyone else deserves it until and unless you have an actual pattern of behaviour to work with.

I am also fairly sure that the people who know me would, in fact, not hesitate to yank me up short if there was something I was saying or doing that gave the wrong impression of me, and from them, I'll listen to it, because they actually KNOW ME.

5) Whatever happened to living it?
- I cannot, literally, fathom the mindset that says "If I just yell loud enough, frequently enough, everyone will change their minds!" First: no, they won't. Second: if I really were shopping for a new thought system, what about yours is more compelling than anyone else's? I don't really like shouting at total randos about the impurity of their thoughts, and I also like having the asshats self-identify by continuing to espouse their anti-Semitic bullshit or whatever - I don't actually believe that anyone's going to change their mind if I just shout at them for a while, and certainly not if they're actually a bigot.

But here's the thing: you can do a LOT more to help your cause if you cultivate relationships with people first. Or if you just LIVE it - I've said for a long time that the one factor that makes me want to be Catholic is the priest that I had as a child at Catholic school. It certainly isn't the current Church leadership, and it certainly isn't the evangelicals - it's seeing that man live his faith, and I really mean live it. It was a far more compelling argument in favour of faith than, literally, anything I have seen before or since.

Coming around and levelling off-thread insults at me won't change my mind about anything (except that not only are you a crap writer, in my professional judgment, but you're also a crap human as well) and it certainly wouldn't make me change my mind if I really were a transphobic creep. Maybe my problem is that I don't have enough white guilt and whatever else guilt to care that everyone thinks and speaks exactly the same way I do?

WAIT. Maybe my problem is that I don't assume everyone else is a goddamn dick! Yes, I think that might be it!

No love whatsoever,