November 2014

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Thursday, November 27th, 2014 09:13
via http://ift.tt/1zxXbGi at November 27, 2014 at 03:00AM:
steampunktendencies:

The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken (Dutch: Koninklijke Serres van Laken, French: Serres Royales de Laeken), are a vast complex of monumental heated greenhouses in the park of the Royal Palace of Laeken in the north of Brussels. It is one of the major tourist attractions of the city.

The complex was commissioned by King Leopold II and designed by Alphonse Balat. Built between 1874 and 1895, the complex was finished with the completion of the so-called “Iron Church”, a domed greenhouse that would originally serve as the royal chapel. The total floor surface of this immense complex is 2.5 hectares (270,000 square feet). 800,000 liters (over 200,000 US gallons) of fuel oil are needed each year to heat the buildings.

The complex can only be visited during a two-week period in April–May each year, when most flowers are in full bloom.

Credits : [Wikipedia] [Olivier Polet] [Luc Viatour]
Thursday, November 27th, 2014 08:10
via http://ift.tt/1FtlitI at November 27, 2014 at 02:00AM:
“You must not reduce yourself to a puddle just because the person you like is afraid to swim and you are a fierce sea to them; because there will be someone who was born with love of the waves within their blood, and they will look at you with fear and respect.”
-

T.B. LaBerge (via versteur)

Trust. This has been one of the benefits of getting older AND trusting my intuition.

(via newmodelminority)

"THEY WILL LOOK AT YOU WITH FEAR AND RESPECT" damnnn yes

(via uglyfoxybaby)
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 23:39
Was shaking when I started. Not so much now.

breathe in / breathe out calligraphy  )
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 23:32
Today's book is Symbiont, by Mira Grant. Hooray!

03:05 Wednesday, 26 November, 2014
Other little bits:
The start of the event was delayed slightly by the local protests about the travesty of justice taking place down in Ferguson. They marched past loudly, peacefully, with a police escort.

Someone had cosplayed Annie. *delight*

Hit 10k steps. Ow.

22:45 Wednesday, 26 November, 2014
Went to work. Discovered that much of the lunch gang was in, as fixing bugs reported by customers knows no rest. Ate my burrito and talked cars with them. (I am the driving-on-ice expert.) There was one guy from my department in, and since he has a hardwall office with its own lights, the lights in the whole wing were out. I turned on my desk lamp.

Eventually I peaced out early and hit IKEA, for the desk-drawers I have been needing and some more lights for my workstation. The lines were hella. I got the stuff in my car, then came back in to hit the bathroom. Unfortunately, the only bathroom whose location I remembered was upstairs, and then you have to go through the whole downstairs maze again to get out. (Though I think you can also go out through the babysitting place, which I didn't realize until later.) The lines had cleared out, which made me vaguely grumpy. Hit 5k steps, with the promise of crossing the goal through the simple act of walking down from the garage to my apartment.

Got to chat with Nora. Her roommate's dog is on steroids for his unfortunate skin issues, which has rendered him a tiny spaniel ball of 'roid rage. 'Roid rage, boundless hunger, and peeing.

I got home and got some food in me, then curled up in bed with Symbiont. So good. I like it better than Parasite, which I slammed through because it was good and clever and I needed to know what was happening next. Symbiont is good and clever and I need to know what's happening next, largely because I genuinely care what happens to these people and would like several of them to be my friends.

Seanan said that there are two legit places to put the cliffhanger: at the end of the first book of a duology, and at the end of the second book of a trilogy. When Seanan started writing this, it was a duology. Now it's a trilogy. She said sorry. The cliffhanger does not disappoint, and wraps up enough of the existing threads that I was entirely satisfied; waiting for the third book is going to be like waiting for dessert at the end of a really satisfying Thanksgiving lunch: pecan pie is delicious, but that turkey has filled me to the brim, and while I'm still scraping bits of gravy off my plate and licking them off my fork, it's good that I'm going to be waiting a couple hours before the pies are actually ready, to give my digestive system a while to think about the enormity of that turkey.

Spoilers may lurk. )

Tomorrow, I will take my sparkling cider and my gravy and my lingonberry sauce and my card deck and perhaps a computer over to my aunt's, to eat, drink, and be merry.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 21:36
dear universe,
first a 24 hour fever and misery the day before my birthday, now a yeast infection the day before a 4 day weekend?
you're on notice.
no love,
the fish.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 17:23
“Does your data have repeated measurements; “

Yes…

“is it nested (hierarchical)?”

Omg, it is actually.

“Is it sampled at multiple locations or sampled repeatedly over time? Or is your response variable heterogeneous?”

YES, YES, it’s like you KNOW ME.

“Welcome to our world, the world of mixed effects modelling.”

Oh my god, it’s so good to be home. Thank you. You understand.

“The bad news is that it is a complicated world. Nonetheless, it is one that few ecologists can avoid, even though it is one of the most difficult fields in statistics.”

*facepalm*

(Intro from “Mixed effects models and extensions in ecology with R” by Zuur et al 2009.)

Really though I expect this to be an incredibly helpful book and I think it’s unfortunate that so few people will ever know how absolutely wonderfully tongue-in-cheek many statistical tomes can be.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 15:52
I’m incredibly protective of my phone number. It’s a privacy thing, I think; my phone number is really personal and something that I value, even in moments of total despair. (There are stories about months when I had $20 to spend on food for the whole month, but the first bill I paid was my phone bill to keep my precious number alive.)

But I still want to chat with people! Turns out Kik is really good for that kind of thing. If you want my Kik, drop me a line. Obviously, you’ve gotta put a username to the ask, but yeah. (Kik is also fabulous for international texting...just sayin', Canuks.)

Makin’ friends on the internet, yeah.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 14:33
...so they sent a cookie bouquet. So awesome.

Read more... )
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 02:46
23:13 Sunday, 23 November, 2014
Purple also knows "The Humans Are Dead", so we sing/reference bits of it at each other every now and then. I think the latest was "no more unethical treatment of elephants".

I told Darkside that he was the best $HISNAME. And that I wasn't very good at being a $WALLETNAME. He pointed out that based on some of the more notorious instances of my walletname, those are some epic examples to live up to. Also, that death by religious persecution is unpleasant.

(Then ensued me mentioning the meeting in which everyone was saying "Azure", and I kept twitching...)


01:42 Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Monday: slept late because I had a hard time getting to sleep, and unsettling dreams once I did: missing a technical interview because I'd slept through it, and being at a lunch counter in the 2nd-floor hall of my elementary school (well, 1.5th floor) where nothing looked like food I could eat and then things kept disappearing as I tried to make up my mind.

Naturally when I got to work, the cafeteria had decided to close a half-hour early because of the holiday week, and it was just by grace of other people in the grill line that I was able to get food at all. I checked in with my manager for our 1:1 (at one of the lobby couches because her room got poached).

Later, after the building was well on its way to ghost town status (early) I realized that traffic was not ass, and beat a hasty retreat home, via the gas station. Even after chatting with Nora, there was still time to go soak in the hot tub. I knelt and faced the ocean and had some thoughts. Then I relaxed. About when it was almost time to come in, I saw some grumpy cats with ringed tails climbing a nearby tree. So I watched them for a bit.

Tuesday:

Went to bed early, woke up early (before my early alarm). Came in to work early. Worked on stuff. Hit up the shipping & receiving office with some international outbound shipments for Carmageddon. Came back with a few things as well (they'd just checked them in and recognized me at the door).

Madam Standards saw my coffee mug with the initial A. I mentioned a few things. (Not my full name, however.)

I sent an IM to Mr. Bananas to see if he was the same jacket size as the jacket.

Had lunch with some of my teammates: Madam Standards, the Dogesitter, and the Norseman. There was, of course, hilarity. After the Norseman wandered off, the topic of 50 Shades of Grey came up. And Twilight.

"Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? Our friendship may hinge on your answer!"

I, of course, am perpetually on "Team Bella goes the fuck to college", and I said pretty much that. We then discussed the pros and cons of Jacob: Bella wouldn't have to change in order to be with Jacob, and helloooo werewolf abs! I pointed out that Bella wasn't actually that into Jacob, and I dated a dude with his exact personality in high school, and hooo maaaaaaaaaaan was that not a great experience. So Bella should by no means be dating Jacob. Madam Standards pointed out that she had to change to be with Edward. Plus, werewolf abs. I reiterated: team college.

I saw in my email, as we were discussing these weighty matters, that there was a set of missed IMs from Mr. Bananas. For context, Mr. Bananas and Purple have known each other for approximately a decade, through two companies, and three offices. They were officemates at the last company, on a team that Purple was on prior to moving around, and now on their current team. I don't know what Purple's opinion is of Mrs. Bananas, but it's possible that their friendship has seniority timewise, at least, to Mrs. Bananas. They ask for each other as officemates when that's an option. They are, in short, good buddies.

Mr. Bananas: Hi Azure, how are you doing? my jacket size is M.
Mr. Bananas: so Purple told you that I have been eyeballing his jacket, huh
Mr. Bananas: to be clear.. i was just touching the jacket that happened to be on him
Mr. Bananas: no intention to touch him at all

I cracked the hell up, and found myself having to explain this to my lunchmates. It wasn't the most coherent explanation in the history of ever. I returned to my desk.

ajlunatic: Purple did mention that there had been some jacket envy
ajlunatic: alas, I only have the one spare one, and it is the same size as Purple's: XL
ajlunatic: I'm in no position to have any opinions about who is touching Purple ... unless of course he takes exception to it, in which case I am chivalrously obliged to back him up

StPatience in #adventuresofstnono provided a link. I cheerfully went on to share it with Steph, #VirtualH, the chatfish, and [off-topic].

http://imgur.com/gallery/fe7YCFt <- please enjoy this Cthurkey

I attempted to recruit Purple and/or Mr. Zune to come to the Seanan/Mira thing, but alas. Purple was becoming one with his couch, and the thought of heading to contend with San Francisco was just not on. I called Purple. He called me back from his landline (as his reception from his place is absolute ass) and we chatted a bit.

He also found the comments from Mr. Bananas amusing.

We also discussed the Cthurkey, particularly the tentacular aspect. There are reasons why I cherish my friendship with Purple. If he actually started a [hentai-turkey] list, I would probably have to hide under my desk in mortification. (We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.)

Then I had to get on BART to head to the Mira book release party for Symbiont. So I did that. And I got the book. And I started reading, stuffing reactions in [twitter.com profile] squeemachine, with page citations from the hardback. I found myself hissing the villain, as being me when I read is an interestingly interactive experience. I was not done reading when it came time for the party to start. It being a weeknight, it was a very small party. The peak may have been 11 people, not counting bookstore/cafe staff. Weeknight party attendance has nothing to do with how well the book will sell. It's a lovely book so far. I can't finish it tonight.

She did a reading from "Rolling in the Deep", which is what happens when they ask her to do a Mira story about mermaids. SPOILER ALERT! )

There were more prizes to go around than there were people present, because weekday. Yay books!

Tif was also there. Yay!

I like to have handcrafts at parties like this. This time, I worked assiduously on my loon shawl, continuing the process of loonembellishment. It's looking very nicely loony.

One of the questions was about LGBTQI...* representation. One of the challenges with Seanan's October Daye series fae is that with their effective immortality, most of the fae do average out to bisexual -- even a 95% straight fae is likely to run across those five exceptions -- but that can be a challenge to represent. (The audience member asking the question was pleased by the consistent way that people with these identities and experiences were sprinkled visibly throughout most of her books, which is rarer than it ought to be in the genre, and Seanan had many things to say. Among other things, she expressed that visible representation ought to be the bare minimum.) So that was how the topic of asexuality amongst the fae came up to start with. And the difficulty of expressing asexuality in a character without running the risk of screeding. And someone asked whether a particular character was not perhaps ace. Cue Seanan channeling said character for a brilliant few minutes about bodily fluids, and stickiness. Hilarity, etc.

When the questions were all answered, the books and shirts were all given away, and the books were all signed, it was time to wrap up. Tif and I popped across the street for burgers, and talked about a great many things, including social shenanigans (a specific fashion community's CAH supplements), cats (her cats, and the cat-buttering vaporware app), shoe woes, and the social difficulty of writing minutes for a meeting during which the local equivalent of Dr. Pulaski is not present, and therefore the entirety of the meeting is complaining about Dr. Pulaski.

I had a dodgy feeling about the 16th St station, so I walked back to 24th St. It was not as ultra sketch as 16th tends to be, but there were still things which I would identify as sketch. Including the dudes who were smoking up and then spitting on the floor inside the station while we were waiting for the train.

When I came home, lb had shared the following: http://betabeat.com/2014/09/this-is-maker-faires-secret-wall-of-animatronic-3d-printed-dicks/

Tomorrow will be Wednesday.

Thursday will be US Thanksgiving. Guide Dog Aunt is hosting; the other aunt will be joining us. Tay and her Young Man will be coming. Not sure how many cousins, if any. I plan to bring CAH, as this subgroup of family seems to be compatibly terrible with each other. (I am entirely willing to play CAH with my aunts and sister. When extra siblings from my aunts' generation come in, it may be Apples to Apples time.)
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 23:54
1. I'm trying to cut back on soda again and I didn't have one tonight with dinner when I really wanted one, so go me! (I did have some earlier, but at least I had less than I have been drinking recently.)

2. I had some chocolate candy cane pretzels tonight and they were so good! (Chocolate dipped pretzels coated in crushed candy cane bits.)

3. I got a lot done at work today. And today wasn't just an anomaly. Generally I've been feeling a little more on top of things. Part of that is that the new stockers are starting to get the hang of things, but also the department I took over was in such bad shape and it's finally getting to the point where it's not.


By the way, I'm still taking suggestions for the December meme.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 22:55
(If you get this message, you live in the PNW)

My wife and I want to do a Christmas/Solstice/Winter etc "Eat And Hang Out" thing. Sometime in the Dec 24-Jan 2ish timeframe. Games (eurostyle, card, etc) are a possibility.

You are invited to eat with us!

We will handle the Main Courses and supply non-alcoholic drinks (alcoholic drinks tend to be of the "what did vlion buy in the past 4 months" variety, as I drink sporadically).
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 23:46



---
Do not even talk to me about how the only articles I can find about this protest are about some fucked up "debate" about an organizer asking white and non-black allies to avoid taking centre stage. With quotes from 2 white people.

This is the request:
"As well, please note for WHITE/NON BLACK ALLIES:
While we appreciate the solidarity shown by White and Non-Black POC, want to remind folks of some things:
-Please refrain from taking up space in all ways possible. Remember that you are there in support of black folks, so should never be at the centre of anything
-Refrain from speaking to the media. Black voices are crucial to this
-Stand behind black folks or between us and the police
-If you see a cop harassing a black person, come in and engage. (chances are they are least likely to arrest you"

If you can not deal with being politely asked to stand aside for a moment and let others who are silenced so much be heard without crying discrimination and racism please rethink your idea of support. Also CBC you need to be ashamed at covering Facebook arguments on this instead of the actual event.

(I was however glad to see the police being quite laid back, hands off, and respectful. There were 4-5 of them just out of frame on my left, talking quietly amongst themselves well away from the crowd. A few others were directing traffic a little ways down as the street had been blocked off but that was it. The organizers provided donuts and hot drinks, with native drummers coming in to lend support. I know Canada isn't perfect, but things like that help.)

The speakers were, unfortunately, really hard to hear (megaphone busted or something?), but when they were audible the raw emotion of their experiences and fears were palpable. Lists of those in Canada who were killed due to police brutality were read (these lists are always so painfully long), and the crowd listened with heads bowed. Later as people told stories of their struggles with racism, there was clapping and occasional knowing laughter at how ridiculous this shit can be. One speaker talked about how racial issues intersect with LGBTQ+ issues, and how the LBGTQ+ community deals with similar issues regardless of race. People held up signs asking for justice, and pictures of Mike Brown.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 03:35










Finished objects from today! My shirt and vest for Wonderland Seishirou, and my Echolaria shawl I started back in July. The shawl still needs to be blocked, which is why it looks like a tiny balled up frumpy mess, but I need to find sufficient space to do that here.


The shirt and vest are pretty much done-done, though. Hand-stitching done, buttons sewed on, edges finished, etc. The only reason the cuffs are pinned is because they’re double-barrel French cuffs and I don’t have cufflinks for them yet. In retrospect I maybe should have done bound-buttonholes on the vest, but they’re such a pain. If I end up feeling really strongly about it later, I can take out the inside finishing seam, rip out the current buttonholes, and add them. We’ll see.


Tomorrow I think I’m going to finish one of my repair projects (probably Jedistuck Aradia or Phoenix) and maybe start in on Rufus’s jacket….

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 21:59
post-tags: instagram, crosspost "Then the horizon glows, almost like it's on fire." #sunset #winter #newengland
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 15:19
...always knows when you're wearing black.

Read more... )
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 11:22
I read my email in Alpine, because I love it; it's fast, powerful, and does 95% of what I want efficiently and easily. As a happy side effect, this means I see a kind of plaintext rendering of HTML email unless I request a browser view, making it much easier to instantly identify phishing scams (Alpine puts the destination domain after every link in its HTML rendering), and easier to not see gross images.

It also means I sometimes see text the phisher probably didn't know was there:

("hello" + " " + "world!");; val it : string = "hello world!" > "hello" + " " + "world!";;
val it : string = "hello world!" Why then String.length works with the first but not with the second one? >
String.length ("hello" + " " + "world!");; val it : int = 12 > String.length "hello" + " " + "world!";;
String.length "hello" + " " + "world!";; ------------------------^^^
amazon

Yes, other CSHTML are still updated correctly when I make changes. And yes, I tried displaying an empty
page, but it still displays the same old one


Hidden by CSS in the browser view. :D
Tags:
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 15:06
1. Lunch was sourdough bread made from my breadpet that was identifiably sourdough, it was great, I will add more water next time; and leek-and-potato soup with bay leaves & lovage (Liebstoeckel) from my mother's garden, & the best parev chicken-style stock.

2. I continue to listen to Vienna Teng on loop.

3. I was rather irritated by the most recent poetry-in-translation I read (because of the translator, not the author!). I accidentally had a bit of a rant and consequently feel somewhat better.

4. My largest smallcousin is a fuckin' rockstar and I am so proud of her.
Tags:
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 10:35
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 15:10
A shitty thing happened at work today, as it sometimes does. A coworker made some derogatory comments about Russians in a meeting with a bunch of people in the department, including myself.

As sometimes happens, a different coworker later came up to me and said "Are you all right? I'm so sorry that happened. I was on the verge of saying something to [coworker who was speaking], but I didn't, but I wanted to apologize to you on behalf of all of us." These are quiet, private conversations, that of course go nowhere in terms of precluding such behavior in the future. In fact often the coworkers who express this sentiment are doing so more because they hate the offensive coworker, for whatever reason, that week, than out of genuine solidarity or sympathy, as evidenced by the fact that these "sympathetic" coworkers themselves occasionally make disparaging comments about Russians, mock Russian accents or Russian food, etc. (Last week we had a whole discussion at lunch about how gross Russian food was, obviously initiated by people who were not me, but I was present. It was great.)

It makes me think about a lot of things.

About how used to it I am, at this point. About how it's taken slightly less than 3 years of working in a place where I'm the only Russian speaker to be used to this. Where I'm no longer even offended or angry, just tired and scared. Where I just want to ignore everything I can, forget everything I can, pretend these people don't hold these opinions, pretend, in the most fantastical scenario, that they don't even know I'm Russian. That I can hide it from them somehow, make them forget. How well I've learned to navigate the battle of being visibly, outspokenly Russian with being prepared for the backlash. I know people will mock me, I know they won't understand my perspective, I know they think my parents are trash and their accents, their food, their fashion sense are horrible.

At least so far - so far, praise be - I haven't succumbed to actually wishing I wasn't Russian. I've always hoped that spending my adolescence in a 98% Russian speaking environment, among my fellow immigrants, has inoculated me against that, at least. A lot of my upbringing, both at home and at school, growing up, talked about people who were, essentially, "ethnic traitors". People who would change their names, change their clothes, pretend not to speak Russian, avoided Russian things at all costs, etc. These people - kids and adults - were despicable, pitiable, pathetic. My mother used to tell me, when I was 7, about my native-born classmates, who used to bully the fuck out of me, including stealing and destroying my things, beating me up and spitting on me: "don't try to fool people that you're one of them. They'll always know that you're not." I had asked to change my name to something less Russian sounding than Marina. Perhaps Miriam. My mother had laughed, a sort of kind, sad smile. Like she didn't know how to explain to me that nothing I did would ever be enough.

I used to hate myself a lot as a kid, for a lot of reasons, most of which had to do with immigration. When I was older, my hatred for people who tried to "pass" as non-Russian bordered on the irrational. It was not uncommon among my peers. There was literally nothing more pathetic, to us, than trying to suck up to the people who bullied you in grade school, who thought your heritage was garbage, who mocked your parents. It was too sad and disgusting to contemplate.

It took a long time, to learn to forgive. To accept that there are no good choices under duress. To learn not to judge my fellow immigrants for whatever they had to do to survive.

The other thing instances like this make me think about is - how privileged I am, and how utterly horrible it is that this is my experience considering how privileged I am. I'm not even on the outskirts of marginalized identities in Israel. Mine is a relatively light case.

It makes me sick and terrified to live in this country, drives home how incredibly, unspeakably worse it must be for others, who like me work and live here, in this, our most progressive city.

Lastly, it makes me think about how uncomfortable I am, still, in spaces occupied by the wealthy, educated, "liberal" elites of this country.

I, and most people from my community, come from areas of poverty, lack of access to resources, lack of education, working class neighborhoods. These were the people I grew up with, the people I was surrounded by. Ethnic tensions in these places looked entirely different. I grew up unused to the subtlety, the insidious nature of discrimination and prejudice when it's something one can't openly mention in polite company.

Among my coworkers, the educated liberals will only say derogatory things about Russians when caught off guard. When they're stressed or in the middle of a poorly thought out joke or are responding to a statement they didn't realize would touch on Russianness. They're not necessarily repentant, afterwards, but they feel as though they've transgressed.

Where I grew up, when people didn't like Russians they were very vocal about it. Everything about their manner, their speech, their attitude let you know they thought you were beneath them. No one was shy about using slurs or saying what they really thought. The refinement always makes me uneasy. Everything feels like hypocrisy. It's like I have to assume beforehand that everyone has these prejudices, or else I'll let myself get attached and only discover it at crunch time, when there's stress or drama or something major happens. It worries me, sets me on edge, being around people who think they're above ugly prejudice or discrimination. That they're too smart, too "good", too educated, too peace loving, too kind to fall prey to it.

I know I'm certainly not above prejudice, I know it's something I struggle with, in areas where it doesn't affect me and even in some areas where it does. I try to keep that in mind. Understanding how oppression works doesn't make you immune to perpetuating it. The air you breathe is always tinged with it, and the work of undoing its effects is continuous.

Anyway, it just always makes me think how odd that is, and how not-unusual. To work so hard to get to the "top", to live and work in the centers of social and material wealth, only to feel, after all your formal education, like you miss the open hostility and discrimination of the neighborhoods you worked so hard to escape.

Native-born Israelis: please consider whether your comments are appropriate on a post like this, and please don't speak for me or for groups you don't belong you re: what it's like living in Israel. In general, but especially here.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 08:14
Let's just say there's a huge difference between "I don't want to live anymore" and "I don't want to live on this planet there must be a better option where is my goddamn jet pack I'm moving to Mars."

And let's just say that someone might be cruising eBay for used rockets.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 08:04
I am deeply upset (but not at all surprised) by the grand jury in Ferguson declining to indict Darren Wilson for shooting Mike Brown. (Everything I read about how the grand jury was convened and how the evidence was presented makes it absolutely crystal clear the prosecutor did not want the indictment. Which, again: heartbreaking, but not at all surprising.) I'm more upset by the fact that county prosecutor Robert McCulloch made the announcement at 9PM -- that was such a bone-headed move that even before I saw the announcement there was absolutely no doubt in my mind the timing was deliberate to provoke the very response that happened last night as protests erupted into violent confrontation. You don't announce news like that at 9PM unless you want an explosion -- every conflict gets escalated after dark -- and it's yet-a-fucking-nother example of how badly the whole thing was handled from the beginning.

I'm posting, however, to let people know about the Ferguson National Response Network, which has a coordinated list of protests being planned across the country, mostly for today. I don't know if I'm going to be physically capable of attending Baltimore's tonight, but there are planned protests in loads of locations and judging by my reading list I know a lot of you are just as upset as I am.

(And if you're looking for something you can give to people in your life who don't get it, I thought this article by Janee Woods, 12 Ways to Be a White Ally to Black People, was a really good attempt at being concise and clear about a very complicated subject.)
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 09:02
via http://ift.tt/15kX1ZX at November 25, 2014 at 03:00AM:

Mako & Raleigh + text posts
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 08:32
via http://ift.tt/1FmOpgb at November 25, 2014 at 02:00AM:
just-the-fics-maam:

just-the-fics-maam’s tips for getting unstuck with your writing.

These ideas have helped me when I have gotten stuck. I hope they help you, too!
Monday, November 24th, 2014 23:16
1. We went to see Big Hero 6 today and it was so awesome! I really loved everything about it. (Except the price. Over $8 for the bargain matinee!? Yikes! And that wasn't even 3D!)

2. We have been having a little heat spell, but thankfully it's not getting too hot and it's still cold at night. And it should be getting cooler again next week and also rain. I hope it really does rain!

3. I got some translating done today despite not feeling like doing much of anything. Hopefully I can wrap this chapter up tomorrow or Wednesday and send it off to the typesetter so I can get it posted before the end of the month.

4. Irene bought some ginger lemon Haribo gummies today and they are so good! Why have I never seen these before!?
Monday, November 24th, 2014 21:46
Well, the world is a terrible, bleak, unjust place. But Sleepy Hollow was good?

Of course it was delayed by the vile press conference, so my plan of "watch Sleepy Hollow right after the press conference so I'll feel better" failed. Which, you know, lots of way fucking shittier things happening in the world tonight. Pardon me while I console myself with television.

Sleepy Hollow, Magnum Opus recap )

...are there any named white cops in Sleepy Hollow not counting dead Corbin? Not that I'm complaining.

Also next week's episode is called spoiler ). Which... could go well or poorly, depending on who dies.




And now back to your regularly scheduled nation in permanent crisis mode.
Monday, November 24th, 2014 17:55
This is California. You are a facility belonging to the University of California. Furthermore, you're situated in the capitol of California. Now, given that the rest of the nation considers California to be home of the "Fruits, nuts, and flakes," (and note that I fall into at least one of the first two of those categories, so I'm not disparaging, here,) not to mention a seething hotbed of liberal inclusion, tolerance, and political-correctness (not that this is strictly true — Orange County comes to mind,) one would think that you'd have your act together, when it comes to accessibility.

One would, sadly, be incorrect in that assumption.

Why? Well, let's see: We could talk about your closing-down the parking ramp which gives the most convenient and accessible access to much of the main hospital and turning it into staff-only parking (except, apparently, for one day per week, which isn't actually specified on any of your signage. (The signage, actually, says it's still for patients and visitors, for the most part. Until you try to enter, of course.)) Or we could talk about the the other parking ramp, which has had its handicapped spots moved farther from the doors and replaced with Electric Vehicle charging stations and maintenance vehicles. Because, y'know, fuck the patients with disabilities. You have to encourage the use of electric cars and keep things as convenient for your employees as possible.

Then there's the main hospital, itself: A maze of twisty little passages, all alike. I realize that your hospital, even more than most, apparently, has accreted, rather than been well-planned. However, your hospital is a stone bitch to get through for the people who don't have mobility issues. For those of us who do, it's a freakin' nightmare. "Well, you have to park here, then walk to the entrance there. Then, if it's during regular hours, on a weekday, and you've come in through the main entrance, a volunteer will walk with you part-way to where you're going. [which is frequently at the other end of the complex, down a route with more twists and turns than an Escher print.] Of course, you can come in through one of the closer entrances to the parking ramp, but there won't be a guide. You'll have to follow the signs." The signs. Er...yeah. That's another little matter where you fail spectacularly. I know of at least one hallway junction where there are four signs labeled "East Wing," with arrows. The arrow upon each sign points (and I'm not kidding, here) in a different direction. Is it ahead? Back the way I came? To the Right? Or through that door to the Left and down the stairs? Pick one. Only to go in whichever direction has been chosen, and find a sign with an arrow pointing back the way I came in the first place. (The trick, apparently, is to ignore the signage in that junction, continue straight onward, take the South Elevators, which will arrive in the East Wing. Apparently there are spacial anomalies involved, which would baffle Captain Janeway. And gods know she saw far too many of them in that lousy spin-off.)

Eventually, one hopes, one will arrive at one's destination. Your medical care is, generally speaking, good to excellent. Administratively? Well, your administrative talents rival those of your signage abilities. But hey: Care's the important thing, right?

Unless, of course, one happens to have mobility issues, and is walking forfreakingever down those twisty little passages, all alike. I finally found a way to escape your hospital, by the way: One follows the "Specialty Coffee Kiosk" signs. Apparently they, unlike the signs for, say, the East Wing, aren't designed to be read as a faulty logic puzzle from Alice in Wonderland. Of course, then there's the hike back to the parking ramp, but hey: Exercise is good for people, right? Even when walking for distances is excruciatingly painful. Builds character, and all that.

Seriously, UCD: You're a medical branch of a major state educational institution in the state believed to be the most progressive and accommodating in the entirety of North America. Nonetheless, you fail — and fail spectacularly at that — in so, so many ways. I simply cannot imagine how you can design your medical campus to fail this spectacularly, in so many "WTF?" ways.

Does UCD actually even have any mobility-impaired people on staff? 'Cause y'all need to hire some. Seriously. Preferably in your planning and facilities maintenance departments. Because, y'know, the level of fail in your facilities is approaching critical mass.
Monday, November 24th, 2014 19:02
Listening to the mother next door as she protects her sons is breaking my heart. Her boys are smart, clever, wild, strong, funny, savvy children. They smile and joke with each other and the old men in the neighborhood. They act like kids a lot of the time, but they are young and Black. The world isn't great for them right now.

I can hear this hitch of fear in her voice when she tells them to "go inSIDE! I said inSIDE! You DEAF, BOY? Go inSIDE!" I've heard her admit that things "don't look good with the police" a few times, and I know that her position as a mother has got to be really difficult. In the 100+ days since Michael Brown was murdered, a number of Black mothers have written articles and blog posts about parenting while Black in the US. There have been panels and speeches and presentations. I'm trying to listen. I'm trying to hear and learn.

And I'm trying to call out injustice when it's time for allies to speak up because the work of parenting is hard enough as it is.
Monday, November 24th, 2014 19:17
While chatting with our tenant, I decided on a whim to touch up the paint around her living room window. We're talking two little strips of green, about 1" x 6", that had been peeled away just above the window frame.

So I dug out the little 200ml paint tester canister of that chartreuse color from the basement (where leftover paint goes to age). We're talking a five-minute job. I didn't even change out of my work clothes. And I put the screw-top lid wet-paint-side-up on my tenant's bright glossy red side table.

You can see where this is going. But it was only going to take me five minutes. Not even that.

Pleased with my touch-up job, I looked down and there were these little chartreuse marks in a line going across the glossy red table. And there was a little tuxedo cat next to the table, looking pleased with her explorations.

the underside of Ginny's green paw

She was not pleased when I wrangled her into the kitchen sink for a paw wash.

(Fortunately, wet paint wipes right off a glossy red surface. Fyi.)
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 19:03
I fell down the rabbit hole of the Maccabeats and YouTube videos, thanks to the Facebook alumni page posting Adon Olam to the tune of Cups. And then Adon Olam to Happy.

...And now it's 19:00 and I'm so hungry and my stomach hurts from that. Fnargh. Cheese and crackers, or will I bother to go out?
Monday, November 24th, 2014 13:23
SRVE0255E: A WebGroup/Virtual Host to handle /aic/jsp/FederatedLogin.html has not been defined.

SRVE0255E: A WebGroup/Virtual Host to handle w2.assurant.com:80 has not been defined.

IBM WebSphere Application Server



Of course that's what you want to see when using your INSURANCE SITE.

I'll deal with this tomorrow, I guess - maybe their equivalent of an SRE will actually be on the job. @.@
Monday, November 24th, 2014 10:29
Oh my gosh, BAM was awesome. To quote Bordermarch's Herald, it was "fantabulous". I dragged Brent along and he's gotten excited about doing Arts and Sciences again. Especially since his friend Lady Willow got surprised-Laurel-elect this event. He's going to work for her this Gulf Wars.

I learned the Oslo stitxh for naalbinding. It took me forever to figure out and Brent just picked it up like it was nothing. That means that he got to sit there a lot while I asked questions. But now I know how to do it! And I can learn the other stitches. It will be glorious! I can make mittens and enter them in an A&S competition!

The drive to Texas and back was really nice. The weather was good. It did rain on us while we were there, buy not the mess we were all expecting.

Yay camping!
Monday, November 24th, 2014 15:21
I am going to try to get to:


(I am still apparently too brainwrong to reliably book tickets for myself for things I want to go to, let alone other folk, so it'd be lovely to see you but I am not going to cope w organising because brains; sorry!)
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 13:38
I have been saying for some time that I really need to look at voting statistics for my borough in order to determine whether I need to vote for my (mostly competent, keeps trying to pick twitter fights with Julian Huppert) Labour MP Andrew Slaughter in order to avoid a Tory, or whether Andy's sufficiently safe that I can vote LD or Green instead depending on policies and candidates.

As it turns out, there isn't enough record to make a good call because the borough's only bloody existed since like 2010 (in its most recent incarnation; it previously existed 1885-1918 and 1983-1997, but I'm not poking at boundary maps hard enough to work out whether that's meaningful for my purposes). Anyway, it looks like Andy's sufficiently safe that I can vote according to my politics + desire for candidates without risking getting a bloody Conservative in; which means I will wait for Green & LD candidates to be announced and then make my mind up. (For all Andy annoys me he does mostly respond plausibly to letters and I approve of his interactions with the NHS, so.)
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 10:18
1. Yesterday one of my coworkers celebrated her birthday, and as she does every year, she brought metric fucktons of food. I'm talking at least 5 big pots + two vegetable crates of food, for about 10 people. I ate so much I didn't eat anything else for the rest of the day. There were several types of kubbeh (including kubbeh matfuniya), mafroum, homemade couscous, chicken with olives, roasted eggplant with homemade tahini, of course, and just... so much delicious food.

2. In related news, I am trying to get back into cooking. I basically stopped cooking since I lost my apartment in September. First there was the madness of the 3 weeks before my trip, moving out, packing, dealing with everything, then I was abroad for nearly a month, then I came back and have been staying with [personal profile] roga where I... keep feeling unable to cook, for reasons that are silly and I need to get over. The primary thing is that I feel like this is temporary, it's just a place I'm staying in for a little while, so there's no point investing in getting to know the stove, buying supplies for adventurous new stuff I want to try, buying spices and sauces. This is silly because no matter how long it takes me to find a place, whether it's a day or a week or whatever, it's been long enough that I need to start cooking again, and supplies don't cost that much.

The other thing is that, of course, I don't feel comfortable cooking in someone else's space, especially when I'm there temporarily, especially when that someone isn't hugely into cooking, especially when the food I'd be making, due to differences in taste and things like my lactose intolerance, would not be something the other person would likely eat. It just feels... rude and indulgent somehow. But the point where it's winter and I can't cook soup because of the aforementioned reasons, is the point at which I feel like I need to get over it and make it work somehow.

So, I am getting back into cooking, by which I mean slowly expanding my very basic skills. Current challenge: some kind of soup with rice noodles. I don't like tomatoes, can't use dairy and meat is way too much work at this stage, so finding recipes has been a challenge! Currently leaning towards buying a bunch of mushrooms and seeing where that gets me. The main problem here is that I've never made soup and I don't want to use stock (for like a billion irrational reasons) and can't make my own (because that would basically mean making soup to begin with) so either I manage to fight through this or it defeats me and I have to re-examine my views on stock. WISH ME LUCK, GUYS. So far I treat all cooking like salad making, so it's basically like chop up a bunch of stuff, throw it in a container, wait for it to be ready. This does not always work when heat is involved! So, we shall see.

(I think, seeing it all laid out like this, that my biggest unconscious fear has been a completely failed cooking experiment. It's one thing to fail utterly in your own kitchen, but to fail utterly in someone else's, with the dirty dishes and the time you're taking up and the end result being unusable... somehow that just feels wrong. And you can't really try new cooking things unless you're willing to fail miserably, so.)

3. I AM PROBABLY GOING TO AMSTERDAM IN APRIL. No plane tickets yet, so. But if you are in Amsterdam or know a fangirl who is - let us meet up! I'll be traveling with IRL geeky friends, but I'm sure I'll have time for lunch/dinner/whatever with internet people.

4. I continue to be an utter failure as a human being. No apartment, no master's degree, no plans for the future (see previous), no progress on original writing. \\\\o//// HURRAY.

The biggest thing right now that I know I need to dig myself out of is the grad school thing. I'm done with all my classes, either I submit to the PTB and forego a thesis and just do a few more classes next semester, or I press on and do a thesis (which is what I want). To do the latter I need to find an adviser, to find an adviser I need to (1) research all the professors at my faculty + adjacent faculties (after the rejection from the head of my program AHAHAHA I am basically terrified of this the way cats are terrified of water) (2) conduct original research into my proposed area of study to see what other research is already out there (basically, what if anything has been written on the connection between pornography and fan fiction). THIS I am putting off because it's shit tons of work and it makes me nervous and so I ~never have time~.

So, I guess I can say I've made progress because I at least know what I need to do? IDK if I'm setting the bar that low for myself yet? Basically miserable failure of a human being. Bonus: this has become so stressful that it's disrupting my sleep schedule and impacting my self esteem. FUN TIMES.

5. I suppose the one thing I am not currently 100% failing is yuletide. And by that I mean that I actually have an idea for a story! All thanks to [personal profile] roga, without whom I'd still be ripping my hair out. If I can get over my general anxiety of I am a failure in all things long enough to spend an hour or so writing, I might even bang out something like a first draft.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 23:16
1. New Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Bob's Burgers tonight! :D (All my favorite shows are on the same day now...)

2. Found out I have Thanksgiving day off for sure. (And it's paid, yay.) We're going to have dinner here and Alexander is coming over.

3. We're going to see Big Hero 6 tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it!
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 22:35
I managed to crunch through the last of the month's transcription on Friday.

Purple brought the disc. Now I have to figure out time to watch it. Lunch was pleasant. The three-hole punches have been secured.

As it got later into the evening, I pinged Purple to see if he had dinner plans. They were vague. After they firmed up, he asked me if I was in. I was. So I finished the transcription and started tidying my to-do list and tallying up my hours. Then I brushed my hair (which I'd left loose, since it was Friday) and put on lipstick.

Parking in downtown Mountain View was a subbasement of hell. Having gone all the way through one garage and come out the other end unparked, I saw Purple crossing the street. He waved me off the second garage; I obediently turned and sought street parking. Which I found, at length. Then I hiked in the direction of the pizza place.

I arrived to find Purple chatting happily with Mr. Zune and girlfriend; Ms. Antisocialest was there but hadn't been properly introduced. Mr. Zune and his girlfriend headed on their way, and the rest of us waited for a table. I was happy that I'd swapped my cardigan for the jacket. (And Purple still looked really good in his.) We were seated outdoors. Somehow I got to contemplating how to make siege weaponry from common tabletop items, just around the time when the very elastic mozzarella flung a tomato at Ms. Antisocialest.

lb does not like this pizza place, as he is from Chicago and has some very specific ideas about how deep-dish should be done. Pizza is a religious issue. I am a polytheist.

Punkin Chunkin -> I am not allowed to blow pumpkins at Purple either.

Dinner rule: he who grabs the whole tab gets to take home the last two pieces of pizza. Purple claimed the leftovers.

As we were saying goodnight, Ms. Antisocialest said "See you next time", which made me simultaneously happy and awkward.

Purple walked me back to my car. It was a lovely night, and wasn't dripping. We chatted for a bit. I had inadvertently parked on The Other Guy's street, just a few houses down. If I get finished with Catching Fire, Purple miiiight be up for a movie excursion, though his plans are essentially becoming one with his couch. The vacation has been a long time coming for the amount of work he's been doing. (And with my approval or without, Purple is very warm. This has my approval anyway.)


Saturday, I mostly slept, although I did venture forth for groceries.
Sunday, there was some writing.

I called Darkside, yay! His parents are in town for Thanksgiving. The rate his parents are zooming through things on Netflix is going to inevitably result in a close encounter with the bandwidth cap. The Evil Dead musical is coming through Phoenix in a while. Before we said goodnight, he had one quick thing to ask me: did I listen to podcasts at all? Had I heard of Welcome to Night Vale?

"... I recommended that one to you."

So he had, in fact, fallen in love instantly. And he works with a certain number of WtNV fans, including one shift lead who was wearing a NVCR Intern shirt. :D
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 21:03
reality whiplash:

going from bedside of ER to a high society function within 24 hours.
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Monday, November 24th, 2014 01:13
Really good Huff Post piece on how normies make it difficult for wheelchair users with invisible disabilities. Rings absolutely true.

(And another Bendy speaking out, pro rata we must be one of the most published disability sub-groups!)

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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 21:45
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Tail end of the sunset over Spy Pond. Almost home.