June 2014

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Saturday, July 26th, 2014 02:12
I'm living with my parents again.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. :/
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Friday, July 25th, 2014 23:11
Excellent balcony, well fed, slightly drunk; world has been set to rights.
Friday, July 25th, 2014 21:50
The gymnastic rings have arrived! And they are so very awesome. Yay, shiny new toy :-)
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Friday, July 25th, 2014 06:09
now that I can mostly type again (ALL HAIL), I've updated [community profile] synecdochic_decants with a bunch of info, including general policies. I've also created a poll to help me decide which general catalog collections to decant next -- I have my own that I want, definitely, but obviously would like to aim at the ones people are most interested in!

(Reminder: if you are interested in info on future decant circles, subscribe there; I'll announce new circles both here and there, but there is where all the details will go.)
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Friday, July 25th, 2014 21:01
Disabled people: not a modern invention. Not always put out on a hillside.

PLOS ONE: Earliest Cranio-Encephalic Trauma from the Levantine Middle Palaeolithic: 3D Reappraisal of the Qafzeh 11 Skull, Consequences of Pediatric Brain Damage on Individual Life Condition and Social Care

Licescience: 100,000-Year-Old Case of Brain Damage Discovered

So: around 100,000 years ago, a child survived a head injury which would have caused moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. This was "most probably followed by significant neurological and psychological disorders, including troubles in social communication". But they lived a significant number of years after the injury, and were buried in a way that suggest unusual, deliberate ceremony.

(Which could, of course, mean "these deer antlers ward off the evil from this unholy changeling child we finally executed." Many stories are possible.)

Hello, Qafzeh 11. Hello across the millennia.

(Also, hello little Sima de los Huesos Cranium 14, 500,000 years ago, who was not even a modern human but a Middle Pleistocene hominin, possibly a proto-Neanderthal. Hello.)
Friday, July 25th, 2014 00:29
...running across the yard like so many dinosaurs.


Surprise! It's a reprise of the 2nd Thursday meeting! Aren't we lucky!!


Skirt is piled under cardigan. Wear that skirt, because it's island-themed bash in the evening, and you wear tropical skirts instead of tropical shirts. The coordinating hat is already at work.

Bring fruit with. It will be a long day.

Car has fuel.

If you feel like it, you can do something for system administrators' day. You don't have to.

Caffeine is often a valid life choice.
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Friday, July 25th, 2014 00:11
1. Super busy day at work today, which was annoying in some ways (one reason I was so busy is because even though there were three stockers there yesterday, no one stocked my stuff at all, so I was playing catch up from my day off), but at least made the day go by quickly.

2. We had some new bento items today from Yamadaya, and I got their ramen salad for lunch, which was very tasty.

3. It was really hot today, but the high was actually 5 degrees lower than what weather.com had predicted when I looked at it yesterday, so that's good.

4. We got Subway again for dinner because it was too hot for cooking, and now I have half a sub to take for lunch tomorrow. Yay for delicious lunch and also for not having to make a lunch in the morning.
Friday, July 25th, 2014 00:11
Today my manager totally didn't encourage me to foment rebellion over a badly skinned ticketing system by posting comparison screenshots of the badly skinned version and the normal skin that people in various superuser roles get to use.

Related: today helpdesk told me that I shouldn't even be seeing the normal skinned areas or the homepage that's not the portal, because I shouldn't have permissions to see that. If that's so, then they have some problems. However, I suspect that they're fundamentally misapprehending the permissions model of the horrible bullshit system, because it seems to me like the brand-skinned version is pastede on yey, and my permissions just don't allow me to do anything fun with the non-portal homepage. And that they'd have to do terrible things in order to actually ban me from the normal skinned homepage without actually breaking my brand-skinned experience. And, more to the point, that they won't support any errors I encounter on the page I shouldn't be on.

By dint of calling helpdesk instead of responding to the IM, I was able to avoid the helpdesk dude who I had the terrible encounter with yesterday, even though he was still assigned to the ticket. The ticket which is, fortunately, closed. (Unfortunately, closed-wontfix.)


My manager had suspected that we weren't intended to know the normal skinned homepage, thus the inciting to foment rebellion.


The other day I'd had the conversation with Purple that went a little bit like:

tentacle-related body horror )

Weirdly, when I mentioned this general concept to Madam Standards, she got grossed out a bit. Alas. Ah well! Purple and I have the same sort of terrible sense of humor!
Friday, July 25th, 2014 02:31
If I had to pick one thing as the "lesson i have learned that has had the most far-reaching benefit in my adult life", it would be this: that my own time, effort, comfort, energy level, and physical ability/pain levels are a resource that I must account for in my calculations of utility/benefit, and that it is eminently logical to trade other resources (money, most specifically, but other things of value as well) to safeguard/benefit those things.

This goes all the way back to the days when I first moved out into my own apartment and "doing laundry" was either a) spending all day in the dank and miserable (and creeeeeepy) apartment complex laundry room with 2 washer/dryers that only took (a lot of) quarters and had no change machine, b) hauling everything to the laundromat and spending all day babysitting the laundry, or c) hauling everything to the laundromat, dropping it there, and paying $.85/lb for them to wash, dry, and fold it, then coming back a few days later and picking up a sack of clean clothes. (I chose C. A lot.) Today, that equation is made manifest in things like paying the fees to sit in the airport lounge whenever I have a layover of more than an hour or so (peace and quiet, better snacks, power strips, fewer screaming children, etc) and decisions like "if it's going to take more than X amount of time to fix the thing, get rid of it and get a new one".

Sarah often says that the lesson that time has value is one of the things she's learned from me that she finds most valuable. A while back, I found a calculator that tries to put a dollar value on your time. It's a really interesting exercise, for all that it doesn't map onto my life exactly. (I value my free time a lot more than my current hourly wage, but that's partially because it's really freaking hard to calculate my current hourly wage.)
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 23:05
My availability is going to be very low from now until Aug 7 due to a combination of travel, getting the kids ready to reenter school, and rehearsals for a piece I'm performing Aug 5.

I will probably end up rescheduling the Aug 2 dev chat for Aug 9 unless someone else steps up to take charge for the day.

Further updates as events warrant.
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Friday, July 25th, 2014 01:34
What I’ve been working on this week in between uploading Homestuck photos: Magneto, and knitting. The knitting isn’t for a costume, I’ve just spent way too much time on it (it’s the Echolaria, for any Ravelers reading). Things I want to hopefully get done in the next week or so:

-simple women’s kimono/yukata tutorial

-notes on sewing bodysuits

-new tumblr/personal blog theme (waaay overdue)

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 16:38
I got off work this morning, had a leisurely breakfast with [personal profile] theleaveswant, and came home for a sleep. Yay.

Work these days is just... *scrubs face* I'm having to dig really deep to find emotional and spiritual coping, because I am so compassion fatigued. I'm dealing with clients who are physically aggressive (or, in one case, going through a practical joke phase) and I have to immediately smother my fear or anger so I only bring the emotions that are useful to the table, and it feels... degrading. Like I'm actually eroding my self-worth. "Oh, it doesn't matter if you just grabbed my hair with both hands and tried to bite my face; what a silly child you are, let's play with toys."

I can tell that this is wearing and bad, and there might be a way not to feel this way; because as a counsellor I can sit very firmly in my sense of self and let aggression just flow over me choose how to respond and it feels so natural and it actually energizes me.

So I'm digging for a deeper well. Something to give me a sense of groundedness and strength. From a religious perspective, well, this is exactly the kind of situation my God would be hiding at the bottom of, waiting for me to reach a place of love and compassion. (Fuck.)
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 18:38
...The moments where I seriously consider trying to make money doing indie yarn dyeing because I really love doing it, and at this point I have amassed enough dyestuff that the start-up cost would mostly be the wool.

But I know Etsy is a platform that fails more than it succeeds, and I'm not sure the world has room for more indie dyers, particularly because ahahaha how do I market myself. But - I think I wouldn't be looking at it with the immediate goal of it being a full-time job/career. Just something to make some money on the side to fund my own crafting *g* Prices would probably be somewhere in the $15-$25 range, looking at bulk supplier prices (the variation mostly depends on fiber-content)

Thoughts?
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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 13:20
Tiptree Founding Mother Karen Joy Fowler has made the longlist for the Booker Prize with her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

She is one of the first four Americans to ever make the longlist for the award (until this year, writers from the US weren't eligible).

Congratulations to Karen Joy Fowler on her wonderful--and historic--acheivement!
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 11:15
I miss my Woggy.
My mom and I have massively exceded our tollerance of each other.
My aging phone is working on new and interesting quirks while I am away and wanting to use it all the time. We're planning to get new ones when I get back, maybe, but maybe not if none have keyboards.
Yesterday I used up all my spoons so hard I yelled at my mom and threw things. In front of all the aunts and uncles (who were also there using up spoons but it was still good to see them)
Then I had scheduled dinner with my old roommate but I was so tired, but went anyway. It was fun, but even more social. I massively dipped into my limited spoon reserve.
Have no spare spoons today. Already fed up with my mom and hiding in my room.
Leaving to fetch sister soonish. Then piles more relatives arriving tomorrow, then all day with memorial service/burial/family dinner on Saturday. Where I just know my mom will be freaking out and driving me crazy even more.

I wanna be home. I really wanted to be here, but now I want to be home.

*woe*
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 19:07
Adapted from a cold salad in Leanne Brown's Good and cheap.

Dietary and accessibility notes )

What you need and what you do with it )

I'm assuming this will store & keep overnight and be tasty cold. Note, the broccoli is still crunchy - if you prefer soft broccoli, perhaps steam in the microwave for a few min first.
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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 15:37
This week's links round-up includes: STEM, race, and gender; new research on babies and birth; new research on Cesarean deliveries; mandatory abstinence education and religious rights; and how to compliment women without objectifying them.



Please note that you can find past MMMMonday posts using the "featured-posts" tag.

Also, a quick reminder about the other places you can find VP: [community profile] contact_vpthe Vulvapedia for basic questions.

Superstars, thank you so much for giving us feedback on the maintainer-curated content. This is just a quick update to let you know that we're putting MMMMonday posts on hiatus for the summer, due to various life circumstances among the VP team. We'll keep you posted on when to look forward to them again!

Meanwhile, if you'd like more VP-related reading material, check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Thanks!
-alex
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 14:53
(I appear to be avoiding both my mother and my counsellor. Hmm.)

1. Baby's first paper! (Sadly now lacking the phrase "the hair loss of a rabbit", oh well.)

2. I have learned Yet More about how to bend matplotlib to my will.

3. Awesome ex-housemate C is coming over for dinner & to get caught up on Korra s3.

4. Hel came over again yesterday and we watched what is possibly my favourite Elementaepisode ever (1x04, "people are the most fascinating puzzles there are") and talked a lot and I made enough food that I had lunch today. Also many talking. (And they've offered to bring me dinner @ work next Wednesday when I'll be mass-speccing!)

5. [personal profile] elisem keeps right on making beautiful art; the thing that is currently producing jaw-dropped awe on my part is Time For The Second Act (other's I've adored from this batch - also now gone! - are Alluvial Magic, Night Protocols, How The Message Travels).

6. I have wrenched the work inbox back under 10 e-mails in total (i.e. things I need to keep half an eye on and maybe chased up), plus actually done some chasing on one of the things.

7. All of you folk for the hugs/tea/congratulations/interesting conversation over the past few days -- sorry I haven't responded individually <3

8. We have been having persistent problems with our house plumbing. Last weekend housemate acquired a heavy-duty plunger; since then I have twice effected a 90-second fix that would otherwise have taken us a week of stress and contacting the estate agent. Such an improvement to our quality of life. (Speaking of, I should really, er, tidy the pantry? We kind of bought ~15kg of flour and ~10kg of pasta a week or two ago and haven't yet rearranged the pasta shelf sufficient to accommodate it all...)

9. Watching A:tLA with t'housemate. It continues the show of my heaaaaaart, and even at this stage - on what has to be my fourth or fifth complete watch-through since I first met it in summer 2011 - I am spotting new things and bursting into tears at gloriously careful and precise foreshadowing and how much these children grow up and how much trauma they survive and how none of it - none of it - is treated flippantly or dismissively. (And reading the awesome Avatar!Katara fic [personal profile] jedusaur's been reccing everywhere! I'm not entirely convinced by the writing style but I think the way it's set up is very clever and frequently heartbreaking; I devoured the first 120k words over the course of yesterday, when I mostly refused to get out of bed, and I have the rest to work on... but I'm going to try to get my Hugo reading, at least the written fiction categories, done first.)

10. I just... am incredibly aware of how lucky I am to have this housemate I get on with so comfortably and so well, with whom I actively enjoy living, who is good for me & who I can be good for, and just... yes. Yes. Good.
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 12:09
Re-read, I think?

It's weird. I can't actually recall if I have or haven't read this book before. Some events definitely ring bells, but others do not. And some of the ones I recognize are those I think haven't been mentioned in other works in the same fictionverse.

Nonetheless, this is a book with Aristo and Skolians. So there will be plenty of non-consent, so that's probably going to be an issue.

On the whole, less violent that quite a few other books in this fictionverse. This is a good thing.
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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 12:01
Reread.

This is to some extent one of those "classic" works. It's hitting about 20 years old, by now (well, just over 22 years, but...) and I think I first read it in the 1993 timespan. One of the intriguing things pondered in this book is the implication that we (as in "poor Earthlings") have simply failed building full, general AI because we're too deep in the galaxy and so in the Slow Zone, where it would simply not work.

There's something floating around that looks awfully like UseNet of old (including my most favourite header ever, "language path").

So, there's essentially three viewpoints. There's Johanna and Jefri, two kids stranded on an alien world. And there's Ravna, who used to be a librarian, but...

This is where Pham Nuwen (who I mentioned here) makes his first published appearance.

It is an interesting world. There's also apparently a sequel (Children of the Sky) that I haven't managed to get hold of.
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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 04:43
being a cat owner means never having to feel lonely when you pee.
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 00:22
Today at work, the security club had a lockpick intro/practice session. I picked a disembodied lock with two pins! I poked at one with four and one with six. Mr. Zune said that the one with four was actually harder than the one with six. He also mentioned that it was actually sort of amazing that he'd left his alma mater without picking up lockpicking skills. Since he wears the brass rat, that is sort of amazing. In addition to the various locks, they had a tabletop stunt door with a knob, a deadbolt, and a chain. I learned that my long hair and typical braid is good for having an excuse to have hairpins on me at any given time, given their utility in shimming carelessly-locked handcuffs.

Lunch involved Purple getting asked geopolitical questions by some of his buddies, and him holding forth a bit. He's generally sensible on the topic, it seems.

As my manager warned me might happen, dev work on my database has halted. At least we have a bit, or something?

I keep discovering horrible usability problems with various bits of the new helpdesk system. Today's shenanigans went a little off-script.

Consent and the helpdesk guy. )

I hadn't gotten to sleep until nearly 5am last night. Purple gave me a few helpful suggestions by way of commiseration, which included a brief digression on milk substitutes for the lactose intolerant, and their likely effectiveness as a sleep aid.

Somehow it went from "hey, I might get out of here early!" to "oh god it's fuckin' late", but at least Purple found the bug he was looking for! At some point I must ask him whether it really does make sense to park where he does, but tonight was not that night. Purple did earn a "Best $NAME" due to some wisecrack. Also, even if the Randomizer were huggy in the absence of my manager, would I even want hugs from him? (No.)

I'm due an early-morning email presence to round people up for Second Thursday (reprise) (which is actually this Friday) and then I can finish setting up the meetings for next week's research participants. Whee!
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 02:57
So I've been posting all my cosplay stuff to tumblr, which has a slightly wider audience for it, but would people be interested in me cross-posting my personal photos/WIP stuff/tutorials? I think I can jimmy IFTT into it.
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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 02:25
last night I unthinkingly put my hands on the arm of my chair to push myself up in it and rearrange my legs, and for the first time in two years, it didn't hurt to do so.

This is kind of a huge fucking deal, omg.

Left arm is still swollen up like a sausage from biceps on down, and I've developed a horrible blister near where the drain was (and let's not talk about the fun of how long it took for the drain site to clot and stop leaking, heh) and the pain from the swelling and from having the stitches out is definitely worse today than it was yesterday, and the brace I'm supposed to be wearing definitely goes for the "supportive" over the "comfortable" (well, it's comfortable enough, but the top and bottom elasticky bits are so fucking tight omg), but oh man, once this immediate trauma heals I'm going to actually be able to use my left arm again for things.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 22:07
1. Irene's interview went well, so hopefully that will work out.

2. Gyoza and edamame for dinner. So delicious!

3. I went out to lunch with my mom today and we got KFC, also delicious.
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 14:38
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

I recently put together this reading list on queer intersectionality for a local LGBTIQ group, as part of thinking about how we can serve a wider community of same-sex attracted and gender diverse folks. I thought it might be useful to share it more widely.

For context, this is a 101 level reading list for people with a bare understanding of the concept of intersectionality. If you’re not familiar with that you might want to read Wikipedia’s article on intersectionality.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who named and popularised the concept of intersectionality — I think it’s important that we remember and give credit to Professor Crenshaw and the black movements whose ideas we’re using, which is why I’m including this link first.

Intersectionality draws attention to invisibilities that exist in feminism, in anti-racism, in class politics, so obviously it takes a lot of work to consistently challenge ourselves to be attentive to aspects of power that we don’t ourselves experience.” But, she stresses, this has been the project of black feminism since its very inception: drawing attention to the erasures, to the ways that “women of colour are invisible in plain sight”.

“Within any power system,” she continues, “there is always a moment – and sometimes it lasts a century – of resistance to the implications of that. So we shouldn’t really be surprised about it.”

An excellent article about the New York group Queers for Economic Justice:

“You would never know that poverty or class is a queer issue,” said Amber Hollibaugh, QEJ Executive Director and founding member. She continued: “Founding QEJ was, for many of us that were part of it, a statement of …wanting to try to build something that assumed a different set of priorities [than the mainstream gay equality movement]: that talked about homelessness, that talked about poverty, that talked about race and sexuality and didn’t divide those things as if they were separate identities. And most of us that were founding members couldn’t find that anywhere else.”

An interesting personal reflection on intersectionality by a queer Asian woman in NZ:

On the other side, if I’m having issues in my queer relationship with my white partner the discourse my mum uses is that same-gender relationships just don’t work and aren’t supposed to work. Find a (Chinese) man, get married and have babies like she did. You don’t have to love him to begin with but you will grow to love him. Like my mum did, apparently. It’s like if you’re queer and there’s problems in your relationship it’s because you’re queer and the solution is to be heterosexual. If you’re Chinese and there’s problems with your family it’s because Chinese culture is just more conservative or backward and the solution is to distance yourself away from it or try to assimilate into Pakeha culture. It shouldn’t have to be like this.

An article about intersectionality and climate justice (not very queer-oriented but some interesting stuff to think about):

On a personal level, we have to slow down and educate ourselves so that we can name the toxic systems within which we exist. We have to relearn the real histories of the land, of resistance movements and what it has taken for communities survive. We must also take the time to talk through all of the connections so that we can build a deeper analysis of the crises we face. During this process, it’s important that we commit to the slow time of genuine relationship-building, especially as we learn to walk into communities that we’re not a part of in respectful ways. From there, we create space to truly hear each other’s stories and bring people together in ways that, as Dayaneni says, “we can see ourselves in each other.”

A speech about queerness and disability:

This gathering has been very white and for the most part has neglected issues of race and racism. All of us here in this room today need to listen to queer disabled people of color and their experiences. We need to fit race and racism into the matrix of queerness and disability. I need to ask myself, not only “What does it mean to be a pansexual tranny with a long butch dyke history, a walkie with a disability that I acquired at birth,” but also, “What does it mean to be a white queer crip?”

We haven’t asked enough questions about class, about the experiences of being poor and disabled, of struggling with hunger, homelessness, and a lack of the most basic healthcare. I want to hear from working class folks who learned about disability from bone-breaking work in the factory or mine or sweatshop.

We need more exploration of gender identity and disability. How do the two inform each other? I can feel the sparks fly as disabled trans people are just beginning to find each other. We need to listen more to Deaf culture, to people with psych disabilities, cognitive disability, to young people and old people. We need not to re-create here in this space, in this budding community, the hierarchies that exist in other disability communities, other queer communities.

And finally, Beyond the Queer Alphabet (ebook) — an entire book on the subject of queer intersectionality.

If you’ve got any other recommended reading, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 00:11
[I am telling my housemate about the meeting with my supervisor, which included supervisor asking me how I'd put together the plot in the mantle sulphides doc. "Erm," I said, "matplotlib? I wrote a Python script?"]

"... and then she gave me a look. It was kind of the look of why the fuck do you think this is easier than just using a pre-built package with a GUI-- oh, never mind, it's clearly working, whatever makes you happy."

"... fucking programmers," said my housemate.

"Only as a hobby," I sleepily replied.

And paused.

"... I think that contained more double entendres than I intended," I said.

"... you're going to have to explain to me," said my housemate. "I am also asleep."


Dear Dreamwidth: I thought you might enjoy laughing at me.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 18:38
So I've not been so desperately into BPAL since I acquired an interest in trad niche perfumery, but despite having not actually seen the film and having no intention to a decant circle for Only Lovers Left Alive caught my attention -- specifically, Hal, which is described as
saffron-infused bourbon vanilla, blackened honey, Kashmir wood, Atlas cedar, ambrette seed, hay, and Egyptian jasmine absolute
. Caveat: I used a jasmine-scented shower gel recently, so I'm likely to amp that note at the moment, but I'd quite like to get a sense of what this is like. So!

Before it starts interacting with my skin, this does actually smell like a warm barn with honeyed vanilla over the top. No, really, like a barn with hay stacked up to the roof because the summer mowing's just been baled up and stored but we haven't yet got anywhere near autumn. Straight on, it's saffron & jasmine, sweeted by honey & vanilla around the edges but nonetheless trying to do the cat-pee thing. And - oh damn - once again the BPAL jasmine is making my lungs unhappy. I was sort of hoping that wouldn't apply to this note every time they used it (it's not a problem with every jasmine scent ever - see above re shower gel, but also re some of my niche perfumes - the jasmine in ELdO's Fils de Dieu and Tauer's Lonestar Memories are both fine! - though I suppose in the case of the latter it might be because the thing just goes straight to WD40 on me).

First dry, it's almost cloyingly floral - you know the way novels sometimes go on about clouds of night-blooming jasmine hanging heavy in the humid air? That. Also some of it is trying to bubble-bath on me (again, this is something that BPAL perfumes unfortunately seem prone to do on me), but the cat piss is gone. There is still an edge - I think it's the saffron - but I'm not really getting the hay any more, nor anything convincing of the woods. There's something a bit green and composty?

IN WHICH I SULK ABOUT ALLERGIES. >:[
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 18:36
There are two requests related to entries not being posted out of order:

http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/see_request?id=29183
http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/see_request?id=29129 (this one is a week old)

How to solve this?

Also http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/see_request?id=29134, which might be related as well.

(Note: edited bc of new info)
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 21:15
Hey, I know we've been getting a lot of requests about the mobile style stuff. Thank you to everyone who's been responding to users and gathering info <3

The two biggest issues I'm aware of are that comments are too narrow, so that once you're a few levels in they're unreadable on a phone, and that the sidebar can take up too much space versus the content on more medium sized screens (larger phones / tablets?).

We're trying to get out changes soon for these but it's taking some time because we have to go style by style.

Other stuff I'm aware of concerns navstrip; but I don't have much news on that front except that we're going to try to redesign it away from the current half hearted effort to work better on small screens without stretching out the page.

What other common issues are people reporting?
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 12:56
What Are You Reading Wednesday:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I've just started William M. Reddy's The Navigation of Feeling, which appears to be one of the two foundation books for the history of emotions. It's interesting enough, so far.

For funsies, I'm wading through Closer to home: bisexuality and feminism, which is in part answering my need for feminist-oriented bisexual analysis. HOWEVER. It's from 1992. Most of the essays are super caught up in negotiating the tail end of 70s lesbian-feminist politics. None of them so far seem to want to question a rigid two-sex model. I want a new anthology addressing similar starting questions but taking in the full breadth of 21st-c gender & queer culture/politics.

I'm also re-reading Anne of Avonlea, in e-book format because I gave my hard copies to little sister when I left Aus. Disappointed that e-books of the less popular / retcon books aren't available on girlebooks - I have a yen to read Anne of Windy Poplars. I shall have to look further afield.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finally finished reading 'Friendship between women', have yet to annotate.

Also, I devoured two consecutive Ben Aaronovitch audiobooks, delighting my soul but... enabling my avoidant tendancies lately. I've crocheted a lot of blanket thanks to these books!

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3)Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I liked this one very much - the plot seemed tighter than that of preceding novels, although the actual whisperers under the ground weren't given enough space, I thought. I *love* that Aaronovitch has let his urban history/design geek run riot, giving Peter the plausible if thin excuse of an early aspiration to architecture. The high incidence of geek fiction/film jokes was also a bonus.


Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Definitely his best yet, although clearly part one of a two-part plot, with obvious hook-through to the next book. Many things I liked, including Peter being taken down a few pegs )


What do you think you'll read next?
Honestly not sure. Perhaps 'Friends: Why Men and Women Are From the Same Planet'.
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 01:29
Contrary to (everyone's) expectations, Purple worked from work this afternoon. He missed lunch (he'd had a thing offsite at noon) and duly commiserated with me when I dropped by mid-evening to swear about the new system. It came time to wrap up. We compared notes on how much work we had left. I watched him sign off all work IMs, and started making sure all my files were tucked in for the night. As I saved my daily worklog for what I thought was the last time of the day, I saw his icon pop up green again.

AzureJaneL: *raises an eyebrow*

He had forgotten that he had parked in the parking lot nearer his building, instead of the (larger) one nearer mine.

AzureJaneL: oh, ok, I'll come over -- oh. wait.

The parking lot at work nearest my building is, in my estimation, 99% safe. The 1% is that large white panel van which likes to go zooming across the parking lot very late in the dead of night when there are only two people out wandering the parking lot. I am by no means afraid or even uncomfortable walking to my car alone (as two people can get hit by one van as easily as one can).

I am a grown-ass adult. I will see my good buddy, my partner in crime, my occasional straight man, tomorrow.

We agreed that he'd walk me to my car, then I'd drive him to his. And so we did.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 00:55
Today at work, I nearly blacked out from rage. We have the aforementioned new shit, right? And it's a new thing, so I'm bouncing off it and locating zillions of petty little usability flaws and a handful of big ones. Over the course of ~six months of notice, a few hilariously tone-deaf communications, and not quite LiveJournal-esque oversells of the new shiny shit, a few hours of increasingly dubious training, and three days of actual use, I am nearly at bitch-eating-crackers levels of dislike.

I tried to file a ticket to request that a shared email address (the one that owns the calendar to track the research lab usage) be moved from the old system (may it rest the fuck in peace) to Exchange, but I bounced off a weird search interface, one which basically requires that you know the full name of the person you are looking for. I would be less cheesed if it were merely their commonly used full name, but no, it is the full name in some system which plays badly with maiden, former-married, and dead* names. There's someone on my team whose past name I have to remember just for moments like this.

* Dead name = generally the former name in the wrong gender of a transgender person. (Anyone at Virtual Hammer who has a dead name which needs to leave the system so your teammates don't have to REMEMBER YOUR DEAD NAME IN ORDER TO INTERACT WITH YOU ON P4 should contact someone in HRIS because that is a thing which can (with a little manual monkeying on the part of the HRIS person) and should be changed. The name of the HRIS guy in the QUILTBAG club is listed in the wiki under PerforceRename.)

So I filed a ticket against the name problem. My own manager's name is filed in my head to be typed as fl~autocomplete (where fl are her first and last initials); I have gotten her first name wrong continually while typing because it is fl~autocomplete. Because I wanted to illustrate the problem, I included the link to the page which illustrated the example I'd just bounced off of. Then I submitted and viewed the ticket to make sure it all made sense.

It did not make sense. Half or more of the ticket was cut off. The ticket auto-word-wraps, which is just fine and dandy, except that the size of the text box which contains the ticket is determined in part by the longest unbroken string within the box (like the aforementioned link) and part by whatever leftover space the overly aggressive margins decide you're going to have with the window width you've got. With the window width I'd got in my 1200x1600px portrait-orientation monitor, I had 54 characters (non-monospaced) worth of width. THAT'S NOT EVEN 80.

I flung myself out of my office chair in a rage and marched back to the corner where my ally in all stupid bullshit in new systems matters (the Stage Manager) lurked, blowing past Madam Standards and the Dogesitting Visual Designer, who attempted to hail me. I was in no fit mood for company.

Upon reaching the Stage Manager's office, I realized that my head was starting to swim and perhaps I should unclench and maybe start to, idk, breathe or something. Despite getting my Fitbit 1,000 mile badge today, I did not in fact fall down at the Stage Manager's door (right name, wrong guy).


Tomorrow when I see Madam Standards, I probably owe her an apology for blowing her off. (I dropped by the Dogesitter's cube and gave her an apology and a somewhat less spleenful version of the rant.)
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 22:27
1. Day off tomorrow!

2. We went to Subway for dinner and I got the BBQ steak and bacon sub, which is on special right now, and it's really good. *_*

3. Irene has a job interview for tomorrow!

It's for a grocery store, which is what her last job in Massachusetts was, so hopefully having recent experience will be a plus, as will the fact that she's only looking for part-time work and has a flexible schedule.

If she gets hired, they said the uniform requires a plain white button-up shirt, but unfortunately I've checked online at Walmart, Target, and Lane Bryant and can't find anything. Does anyone have any recs for other plus-size clothing sites? (Not that we'd be buying something before we even hear if she's got the job or not, but I'd like to be prepared and at least know where we could get something appropriate.)
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 18:13
Instead of a dev chat this weekend, I'm planning on doing some DW work on Sunday morning my time for a while. I welcome anybody who's interested to hop on IRC for some low-key proximal (chronologically) hack time.

There is no real schedule or plan: you can and should work on whatever you want, whether it be code, docs, support requests, styles, design, or even just hanging out and not doing any project if you just want to be social. Although I don't intend to spend a lot of time chatting (it's hacking time for me!) but I will be around for questions.

Date: Sunday 2014-07-27
Time: ~9AM PDT / 1600 UTC

Hope to see some of you there!
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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 19:21
I don't know if you've been following the news that's coming out of Wiscon's absolutely horribly handling of reports of sexual harassment and a predator in the community -- if you haven't, the Geek Feminism wiki has a timeline of the incident(s), as usual -- but one of the reports of sexual harassment that is in the process of being so horribly mishandled came from my dear friend Elise Matthesen, aka the Lioness, aka [livejournal.com profile] elisem.

Elise is one of the most massively talented artists I know; she makes jewelry, although with her talents and her aesthetic, really it should be called "wearable sculpture". She's amazing, and I've been fantastically lucky enough to get a few jewelry-making lessons from her. (Honestly, the lessons were incredibly valuable, but really, the experience of sitting her down in front of our supply bins, handing her things, and saying "here, I want to see what you make out of this one!" was way more awesome.)

She obviously feels it necessary to skip attending and selling at Wiscon for at least a year (and really, who can blame her). Wiscon historically is responsible for about a third of Elise's annual income, through her jewelry sales; up until now it's been her major annual in-person sales event, and although she's investigating other cons to sell at, those cons won't be the ones where she's built up a huge network of friends and fans.

If you'd like to support a fierce, courageous person who is being shat upon by people who should've had her back (why no I don't have strong opinions about this why do you ask), take a few minutes and look over Elise's for-sale list and the (not-yet-included-in-the-master-list) New Shinies (which, omg, SO GORGEOUS), and see if something speaks to you. (She does warn that she will be on a retreat throughout August, so she will not be shipping between July 29 and the beginning of September.)

And if your disposable income has mostly been disposed, I'm positive she would adore it if you look at her ArtLog of Things [She] Has Made, find something that speaks to you, and make some kind of art (fiction, poetry, drawing, painting, etc) that's inspired by it, then show it to her. I know the experience of art in conversation with other art is something she holds dear, and she's sometimes more proud of the fact she can inspire other artists than she is of the things she has made herself.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 17:50
As predicted, the first thing I did was scratch like hell, the second thing I did was pop my wrist, and the third thing I did, before I even left the exam room, was wash my hands. Having the drain removed was gross and fascinating (and grossly fascinating) and as usual, the person taking out the stitches couldn't believe they'd only been in for a week. (Usually Ehlers-Danlos means very poor wound healing and very bad scarring; my doc is baffled that I seem to have gotten the super-fast healing instead.)

My hand promptly swelled up to twice its size (I look like I have mittens on), which is expected, and I have to wear a compression sleeve for the next two weeks to keep it from swelling too badly and help keep it bent for better healing, but I can type two handed again (albeit slowly, for limited periods, and with my left hand's fingers not quite obeying me), and between being able to scratch the bits of my arm that have been itching for the past week and being able to wash my hands and apply lotion to the itchy bits, things are much improved.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 10:33
How is it already Tuesday? The world is a fast-moving place.

So on the weekend, [personal profile] bell and I took a road trip to visit some high school friends of mine. They moved about three hours north several years ago, so it's been tough to catch up in person because when they come back down here, EVERYONE THEY EVER KNEW wants to hang out with them. And it makes sense that they'd give priority to family. So this way, we got to see their apartment, and their neighbourhood, and meet their dog. It was all pretty low key, but that suited us fine; [personal profile] bell had a cold, and couldn't speak above a whisper for a good part of the time, so hanging out and mocking bad movies was about the height of the excitement.

This was only the first of several weekend trips we have planned! This coming weekend we're going backpacking (just a short trip; we aren't terribly adventurous, it's our only regular backpacking trip of the year). Then next weekend is my family reunion with my dad's side of the family at our cabin. That will be crowded and loud, probably, but we can always go floating down the river for a while to escape if necessary.

The summer has been so busy! We've done so many trips. I think the weekend after that, August 9-10, we don't have anything planned and we're very happy that way.

All of which said, now I have to buckle down on work... I promised my advisor I'd read two books by Friday and I'm still in the first one. Then, of course, there's always writing. Two weeks from today I'm supposed to hand in another chunk and that will be a challenge.

I wrote lots and lots of important official emails this morning, though, so that's one thing I can feel good about already!

Thus, onwards! to do )

Hope your days are all going swimmingly. Perhaps even literally so--it looks like a lovely day for swimming out.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 11:23
I'm teaching your basic intro-to-university-level-English course this fall, and one of the things I'd like to do really early on is to have them read an essay about writing essays, and then think about/discuss what the point of writing an essay is; what you hope to communicate when writing an essay; how an essay can argue for an opinion (that is not necessarily the instructor's regurgitated opinion) etc.

The reason I'd like to do this really near the beginning of the course, besides the obvious laying down of the course's theme, is that it's the sort of thing I wouldn't use as the basis for an assignment and it wouldn't matter if students were still doing course transfers at that point, but it would still give the class as a whole an entry point into ideas around reading and writing critically. Since it's fall semester, these would mostly be kids straight out of high school, and part of what I want them to begin to appreciate is how different university writing can be.

I read An Essay About Essays a few months ago and it's close to what I want, but perhaps not oriented as much as I'd like towards the academic/argumentative essay side of things.

Can anyone recommend a short text along these lines?
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 09:37
I have a new piece up at Model View Culture: 'Killing the Messenger at Mozilla: Hero worship, “meritocracy” and the Eich crisis.'

Postscript:
I asked MVC to make the following edits to the article, based on comments made by [personal profile] graydon2 and Lukas:
1) change "former Mozilla COO Ryan Merkley" to "former Mozilla Foundation COO Ryan Merkley"
2) change "whether or not Mozilla should have a code of conduct (it never adopted one)" to "whether or not Mozilla should have a code of conduct (it never adopted one, instead adopting a weak set of community participation guidelines)"
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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 14:53
That mantle sulphides doc I wrote up based on having gone "no, you know what, this stuff is important and we should think about it"? My supervisor agrees to the extent that she's intending to use it as the basis for a grant application and setting up some more potentially exciting collaborations for me. And while the writing deffo stands to be improved, I actually got "good" scrawled on the thing at a couple of points.

This really massively feels like a major milestone in terms of The Self As Researcher: it is the first time in my PhD that I have properly gone "nobody has done this before and I think we need to look at it", and -- I was right. I was right and I'm taking ownership of my project and setting direction. I was right and my supervisor is going to write a grant proposal based on my document, and let me see how the thing is done.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 16:27
Everything is still horrible! This is not surprising.

The war is still the war - it's getting uglier and more horrible every day. I've reached a level of anxiety where sleeping is difficult (no matter how early I try to turn in, at best I wake up tired instead of a zombie, and my sleep is fitful) and I wish people could respect the way I cope with terrible news I have no control over. Instead my coworkers talk 24/7 about every new horrible rumor, bursting into my office to tell each other the news. UGH. And then my mother calls just to tell me what she's read on the Russian news, and I ask her to stop (I read the news, I am sufficiently informed) and she gets offended at my ~tone~.

The roommate drama is still drama. My current roommate seems to have calmed down a bit? So hopefully spending time with her won't be a horror. But we still have barely any candidates and it's stressful and I have to deal with it every single day.

Positive things:

* I got the grade for the final class of my degree - and it's a really high grade. My academic career has mostly been disaster and despair (AKA doing a degree while working full time) but I got really, really lovely feedback on this paper, so.

* I got a response from my potential thesis adviser (who has been terrible at every interaction with me) and it was basically I've read your paper, and you seem kind of dumb so maybe a thesis isn't for you. It was phrased a little more politely, but overall the message was that. This is depressing on the one hand, on the other it means I am now free to seek a different adviser and move on with this stuff. That too is a kind of progress.

* I've gotten two books I've wanted to read for ages! Now only to find the time for them, heh. The first is Spirits Abroad, a collection of Zen Cho's short stories. I've wanted to read many of them before but never got to because they were published in venues/formats that were uncomfortable for me to access. But now I finally have the book and I'm reading a story a day and they are just all SO FANTASTIC. One day I literally started laughing out loud in my apartment because the story was so hilarious. It's wonderful also because the stories are so specific to a particular place and a particular culture but at the same time are extremely universal as well. I recommend this book to everyone.

Then yesterday I got my copy of Migritude by Shailja Patel. I've only started reading it but I've wanted this book for so long! It contains one of my favorite poems ever. I was delighted to discover it's part prose part poetry, part history part sociology, different POVs, all a form of biography. It's lovely and I can't wait to read more of it.

* I bought tickets to Germany and back! \o/ Basically I will have 3 weeks to spend in Europe, Germany -> London -> France and I've been trying to sort out the dates for SO LONG and now I FINALLY HAVE and I was able to buy tickets and even find lower prices than I originally anticipated. There's still a TON of planning to do, and more flights to book, but at least I have a way to get to Europe now and a way to get back home, and everything else is a bit less stressful.

* Work is still utterly unbelievably busy because I have to deal with loads of extra work, but I've been coping with it better than last week. I'm a bit more on top of where things need to go, now, and how to manage my new clients correctly.

* Tonight will be my last night in the apartment alone before my roommate returns, and tomorrow, oh, tomorrow I will be over at a friend's for a sushi-making evening, and there will be booze. THERE WILL BE BOOZE. I know this because I called and made sure. I CALLED TO MAKE SURE. I mean I knew she'd provide alcohol but I needed to impress upon her HOW MUCH ALCOHOL needed to be provided, since I won't be driving and hence plan on getting as drunk as humanly possible.

* I've been trying to mitigate the effects of being constantly tired and depressed - which tends to mean I want to buy things I can't afford and eat things that are bad for me - and have had moderate success. It's not been perfect, but since something has to go in this equation, I've been relatively OK reigning myself in while still not pushing myself to act as if everything's normal.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 08:00
first thing i'm doing when the bandages come off today: scratching everything

second thing: putting my wrist back in place (it's been partially out for like 2 days)

third thing: washing my hands, omg, hibiclens wipes do not fucking cut it omg.