July 2016

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Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 07:26
I haven't gotten any more complaints about Will's behavior since Wednesday, which I think means he's been able to complete his work at lunchtime without further incident. On Friday I called the woman who screened him for his IEP eligibility and told her my concerns, and she is supposed to meet with his aide on Sep 1 to discuss some alternate intervention strategies.

Labor Day weekend is coming up, which means H&P are preparing to attend DragonCon in Atlanta as they do every year. One of these years I would like to go with them and see what all the fuss is about, but I'm intimidated by the sheer size and scope of the event. Instead I will stay home and take the kids to swim lessons and watch the opening weekend of college football on TV.

I saw two great movies this past week. The initial trailer for Pete's Dragon looked like a bizarre mishmash of Jurassic World and Jungle Book, and was clearly nothing like the original movie, but the final product spoke to my heart. The Pacific Northwest scenery was gorgeous and the child actors were fantastic. TW for a fatal car accident in the first scene, but it was handled in a dreamlike way that blunted the impact of the trauma for the viewer; I would be OK with Connor watching it as long as he knew it was coming. The recurring theme of Pete's book made me tear up a lot, and I cheered out loud at the final scene.

Also, I took Connor to see Kubo and the Two Strings. My burning question was: why two strings when the shamisen clearly has three? Happily that question and many others were answered in a most satisfying way. This was also an emotional movie - Connor didn't just cry at the end, he SOBBED. Then he said it was the best movie ever, but he says that about most of the movies he sees.

I haven't done much knitting this month, in spite of the Olympics being on TV, just because it's been so miserably hot and muggy. I am starting to gather material for some new projects, though, since choir rehearsals are starting back soon, and also football season. Now that Will is in middle school, youth football is becoming a thing; they had an abbreviated schedule last Thursday so that they could hold a pep rally during school hours for their opening game. Maybe if he had some friends on the football team (or, you know, any friends at all) I would want to support them, but... nah.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 01:30
1. I meant to go to bed earlier tonight, because I've somehow gotten on a much later schedule and I don't like that, but here it is after one and I'm still awake... But! I can't sleep in tomorrow, so maybe I'll be tired enough tomorrow night that I go to bed earlier. :p (I slept in until like eleven this morning...)

2. I played a lot of Luigi's Mansion today. It's so much fun!

3. It was really hot when I went out to run errands today, and kind of hot in the house, too, but at least it's cooled off a lot tonight and I don't think the heat is supposed to keep up.

4. I posted two chapters of manga today!

5. I got some cutie pics of Chloe today.

Monday, August 29th, 2016 22:39
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!)
Monday, August 29th, 2016 18:40

Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: Unconvinced by Rin's story, Sing Soo-Ling arranges a meeting with Sei.

Chapter 47
Monday, August 29th, 2016 13:24
However, if you want an invitation, I have some.

Comments screened; I'll leave things with email addresses screened.
Monday, August 29th, 2016 11:50

Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 4 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?

Chapter Summary: Mame is not used to having feelings for someone other than Souta.

Chapter 8: When Harry Met Sally
Monday, August 29th, 2016 08:59
This week, the dean of students at the University of Chicago released an appallingly ignorant and anti-intellectual letter sent to incoming first-year undergrads that decried "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces", assuring students that he would make sure professors weren't free to use these concepts in their teaching. I'm linking to two articles related to this attack on academic freedom and on disabled students, though neither article recognizes that content warnings (or trigger warnings) are disability accommodations: Neither author really seems to understand what PTSD is, either, and I wish I had an article by someone who actually has PTSD about the recent events to link to -- particularly one who thinks in a disability rights framework -- but alas.

Other links:

Monday, August 29th, 2016 08:07
Stuck in bed this weekend, brief outings to back yard. I can't put much weight on my right (bad) leg from sciatica style pain running down from the back. But, different than many other times as the main concentration is in my foot and side/back of the calf rather than stabby in the low back or pelvis. Coping OK after the first day of it.

[personal profile] brainwane was in my dream last night. I had just launched another beta of Firefox (which i am actually in the middle of twice a week in real life, thanks, literal dreams). We were hanging out in her driveway overlooking a canal with little boats in it, talking deeply about things. She had the same scooter as me for some reason. I suddenly realized my beta release had a giant crash caused by a mixed content policy bug I had just uplifted before the build. So in the dream I was going "hang on brainwane I want to hear this story but I just have to email (*specific person who actually exists and works on that project*) about the bug and turn off updates. Typing behaved in the wonky way it does in dreams but I managed to read the bug and send the email!! I think it is hilarious that I dreamed about the feelings of regret of having accepted a patch for uplift without requiring enough testing beforehand in late beta. ok, my brain.... !

Then we went inside to cook dinner together and I folded some loads of her laundry on the couch as we kept talking. It was very cozy and domestic. Can't remember what we were rambling about though.
Monday, August 29th, 2016 01:37
1. Day off tomorrow!

2. I had a long day at work today, but I got a lot of stuff done. And we finally got everything sorted to transfer a problem employee to another store, so I'm really glad about that.

3. Carla's mom seemed much improved by this evening and might be released tomorrow.

4. I've been getting some great shots of the kitties lately.

Sunday, August 28th, 2016 13:13
Just joined a habit/chore game/rpg thingy, (Habitica) and noticed the avatars can have wheelchairs. Cool, huh? (In the "It's a start" kind of way, of course.)
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 13:32
"i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)"
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 16:47
I am coming to Israel for some winter sun in November, staying in Tel-Aviv from 11th-19th. I am hoping to meet up with local fans, including [personal profile] marina, [personal profile] hagar_972, [personal profile] roga, [personal profile] the_ragnarok and others. Let me know if you're around, or have suggestions of things I should do while there. I've done a lot of the major tourist sites in Tel-Aviv last time, and did a brief tour of the country as a kid, but there's lots more to explore. I may well take a day trip up to Haifa, and be looking for someone to go to Blackout with me. Feel free to pass this on to other local friends.

I am excited!
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 01:23
1. The fans in our walk-in freezer at work stopped working, so it wasn't staying cold. When we called the refrigeration company, they said they could send someone out today, but no one came and no one came and finally it was getting close to eight and we close at nine, so I called them again and they said the guy was finishing up another job and it might be another two hours. D: So I went home quickly to feed the cats and then went back to work, expecting to be there until quite late, but the guy ended up getting there just a little after nine, and he was done by ten! (I had gone in this morning around eleven-ish, so that's still longer than I would have preferred to be at work, but better than I expected!)

2. I played a bunch more Luigi's Mansion this morning and tonight and am really liking it! I remember the original Luigi's Mansion being super short, so I hope it's a little longer than that, but if not, at least it was cheap.

3. I got some sweet kitties.

Sunday, August 28th, 2016 03:39
argh I would really like to be able to sit up for more than three minutes without horrible paiiiiiiin
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 20:04
Inheriting a Wii U means coming up with an awesome name for it. #albhed #finalfantasy #rikku #jrpg
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 10:09

Right, so!

This game is what I think of as a 'typical' twine game. (I probably haven't played enough of them to know what typical is, but this is how I picture it.)

It's in the second person, with short passages (no more than 500 words each and mostly much less, often only a sentence). It sets up a world with a mystery or a strangeness to it, in this case the fact that you're an intern in a magical publishing company. It does simple, but fun and thematic, things with visuals--the background & text change when you enter the Magical Dimension. There are lots of loops, such that you have to click around a lot and explore; there are mazes; sometimes you have to do things quite often in order to get anywhere. Some loops don't have endings unless you give up on them. There are three endings; I've only found one so far.

And also typical of twine games I've played--and again, I don't actually know if this is typical, but it seems so--is harder to define. By this I mean, there is a difference of approach to storytelling. There is a deliberate use of tropes, and undermining of tropes. They expect you to know the tropes and to appreciate the subversion. In this case, there's all this shadowy dangerous magic going on, but you're not invited in, it's a portal fantasy where you only go through the portal to fetch coffee for your officemates, because you are a magicless human and an unpaid intern. The narrative makes direct callouts to these tropes and offers a very ambiguous feeling of how it is to be a human in the magic world. You don't belong there, but when you return, you don't belong here either. A discomfort with traditional narrative, maybe? A more 'realistic' view? And I don't mean realistic in the sense that magic has to be deconstructed, explained, autopsied. But rather that the emotion isn't pure joy/belonging/acceptance that is expected. Magic is real! and it wants you to make copies all day.

I'm wondering if this approach is...if not specific to twine games, then...common, maybe? Or is it just that this is the phase of storytelling the world happens to be in right now, this feeling of world-weariness, this cynicism regarding tropes? I just feel that twine games express the cynicism differently than elsewhere, I guess. It's not about making things grimdark, it's about making them 'sad', but depression sad, not sadness sad, if that makes sense.

Yes, I would play this game again, looking for the other endings.
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 16:54
My collection of crocheted neckwear continues to multiply.

Saturday, August 27th, 2016 16:22

Fifth (IIRC) book in the Toby Daye series. We, as is fairly common, learn new things in this book, there's new horrible horribleness happening and, well, all in all, it's roughly what you'd expect.

This series is, all things considered, eminently readable, although I would suggest starting towards the beginning. Books #1 and maybe #2 are possibly slightly weaker than the rest, so maybe start at #2 or #3, then read #1 later if you think you like the series. I did start at #1, going "this was an interesting world, I'll give it one more book" and now I have every single novel released.
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 10:00

This is the 4th book in the Toby Daye series. It's actually quite interesting re-reading these, as things that later become relevant are hinted at. Not sure if this is extremely clever pre-planning, or simply very clever use of throwaway lines in previous books later on. Doesn't, as it happens, really matter, the effect is the same, giving re-reads a nice, deeper, feel.

Toby is not 100% sure if she's hallucinating or not, but she keeps seeing Oleander, a well-known Fae poisoner and assassin. Also one of the two that conspired to turn Toby to a fish, decade-and-a-half ago. Combine this with a sequence of unfortunate cases of poisoning, the local Queen accusing Toby and, well, it's set to be an unpleasant time for our changeling,

All in all, I still quite liked it.
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 01:12
I am gathering evidence for my qualifications as Wonder Admin. This includes my principles for group catering, and surely more. (Anybody know of anything I should include offhand? Or topics for more Admin Storytime with Azz?)

Dinner with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. Next week is first Friday, so next week I'll see less of Purple. This weekend is unlikely to be greatly sociable on Purple's part, as he's pretty zonked.

Purple was running late. I didn't run afoul of feetball traffic. We poked Purple gently about his phone. It had been a long week. Purple diverted the discussion to his couch. (On which he has sat naked, he points out. I continue to react convincingly.)

The sweet potato fries with the marshmallows and so forth were stared at as an abomination. We did not get them. We did not have silverware, either. I was best-positioned to stare down a server, so I did that. "Wedgie" in terms of food just sounds wrong.

I don't have dates for the next set of medical shenanigans, but the next round of appointment-giving is due to start next week. Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this turned into a discussion of how large a Yule tree I could actually become a stand for, assuming the Yule tree went where no Yule tree should go, and not considering the actual weight of the tree, just the size of the trunk.

Purple has commenced conveying greetings to a remote party, on the idea that the remote party is likely to remain present for quite some time. He also made some truly terribly filthy joke which I wish I could remember; I had to roll a will save against telling him I loved him for that. I'm sure he'll make it again at some point.

[personal profile] norabombay and I were talking about the literally years of training that goes into the generally-women's skill box towards taking good selfies. I was thinking about it on the drive to dinner, and because of the ubiquitous nature of Beauty Culture, one of the unacknowledged skills that most little girls learn is how to make a pretty face in a mirror.

There's all this time spent staring at your face in the mirror and making it do things, making horrible faces and faces of every emotion and looking at expressions from multiple angles to see which expression is best for what viewing angle. But because it's part of the general background noise of being groomed to become a woman in Beauty Culture, it's simultaneously assumed as a given, and the level of effort and hours consumed are dismissed as important, because of course it's not important, it's just vanity.

I have no idea what my genuine, first-reaction smile like I would have smiled as an un-self-conscious toddler would feel like, now.
I may still have it.
I may not.
I don't know.

I do know that my smile, the way I hold my mouth, the way I hold my face -- all of these are the result of extensive training and experimentation, all with the aim of either "being beautiful", or with the aim of not getting picked on at school, or the aim of Not Looking Funny, or getting Bugs to stop being a dick. (Bugs was the freshman year boyfriend who drummed on my head. Resting Bitch Face wasn't a thing when I was a freshman, or he would have told me that I had it. He did tell me that my neutral face looked cranky, or angry, or something, and that I should hold my face with a slight smile at all times, because that would make me look more pleasant. And to this day, my "neutral" face is not actually neutral. It is a very slight smile, to turn my natural frown into a straight line.)

So, yes, it should not in fact surprise me that when someone who has not been immersed in Beauty Culture since the age of knowing the difference between boys and girls goes to take a selfie, that maybe it doesn't come out so great.
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 01:01
1. Carla's mom had surgery today to clear out her carotid artery. Everything seems to have gone well and she should hopefully be able to be released sometime this weekend.

2. Busy but good day at work today.

3. Three days of sleeping in coming up! Which is good because I've somehow gotten on a much later sleep schedule lately. D:

4. I got the Nintendo Selects version of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon in the mail today. I totally forgot I pre-ordered that! I started playing it a little tonight and it's pretty fun. I remember enjoying the original Luigi's Mansion, but that was so long ago I don't really remember that much about it.

5. Got a sunny Molly.

Friday, August 26th, 2016 20:48

Title: Musume no Iede
Original Title: 娘の家出 (Musume no Iede)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Jump X
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 4 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + muge (vol. 1 by muge & anonymous)
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When Mayuko's mom announces she's getting remarried, Mayuko runs away to live with her dad and his boyfriend. This heartwarming slice-of-life series follows Mayuko and her family and friends as their stories interweave.

Chapter Summary: With Mayuko's help, Gucchi comes to terms with her feelings about her estranged father.

Chapter 9: Spinning Miracle
Friday, August 26th, 2016 01:17
1. I started on a diuretic about a month ago to help lower my blood pressure and when I went in two weeks ago to have my BP taken, it was lower, but still a bit high, but today when I went in again it was within normal range, so yay!

2. I stopped at the big Mexican supermarket on the way home from the doctor and not only did they have a lot of stuff I wanted for salads on sale, I also got some super delicious guacamole and chips and had that for dinner.

3. I've finished all my "must translate before the end of the month" stuff and now just have to wait for typesetters to do their thing! (Including one case where the typesetter is me, but I've still got a week before the end of the month, so I could totally do it.)

4. Chloe says hi.

Thursday, August 25th, 2016 20:02
I read this tweet a couple of weeks ago:

and it got me thinking. Security research is often derided as unnecessary stunt hacking, proving insecurity in things that are sufficiently niche or in ways that involve sufficient effort that the realistic probability of any individual being targeted is near zero. Fixing these issues is basically defending you against nation states (who (a) probably don't care, and (b) will probably just find some other way) and, uh, security researchers (who (a) probably don't care, and (b) see (a)).

Unfortunately, this may be insufficient. As basically anyone who's spent any time anywhere near the security industry will testify, many security researchers are not the nicest people. Some of them will end up as abusive partners, and they'll have both the ability and desire to keep track of their partners and ex-partners. As designers and implementers, we owe it to these people to make software as secure as we can rather than assuming that a certain level of adversary is unstoppable. "Can a state-level actor break this" may be something we can legitimately write off. "Can a security expert continue reading their ex-partner's email" shouldn't be.
Thursday, August 25th, 2016 08:32
I can't believe it's almost September! Thanks for letting me know about your continued interest; I've tried to keep open as many potential time slots as I can manage, so hopefully each of you can find at least one that works for you!

The medium that I've chosen for scheduling office hours is a site called Sign Up Genius. It is pretty easy to use in my experience, and all of my kids' teachers use it for conferences, parties and such. You don't have to have an account on the site to sign up for time slots, which is pretty great - just give them your email address. They will send you a confirmation and a reminder, and nothing else. But if for whatever reason you have trouble claiming a time slot using that site, you can also comment here and I can take care of it for you.

I am only doing signups for a week at a time, because that's about how far in advance I can be fairly confident of my availability. Each week will start on Friday, and I'll post the signups for the following week on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Each signup slot is scheduled to run 90 minutes, but since they're non-adjacent, it's OK if we need to go longer. Anything Dreamwidth-related is fair game: we can talk about code you're writing, code you want to write but don't know how to proceed, code someone else wrote, or things that don't involve code at all (I hear such things exist). My only request is that you don't take more than two slots in a single week, to make sure there is enough of my time to go around. Of course, you're still welcome to catch me on IRC at other times if I seem to be around, and PMs are open 24/7. :)

Here's the link for my available meeting times for the seven-day period starting August 26:

Thursday, August 25th, 2016 01:07
Purple has a flip-phone that's about ... 5? 6? years old now. It charges off MiniUSB (not MicroUSB). Every now and then someone calls him "Captain Kirk" for using it. This tends to result in some parking lot improv.

Every now and then someone suggests to Purple that because he is a software engineer in the tech industry, perhaps he should be getting with a smartphone. Purple has a standard rant prepared for this occasion. The gist of it is:

Purple has a home phone. Purple has a work phone. When you find a smartphone plan that costs $100 a year, come tell him about it. Meanwhile, Purple is over here with his prepaid flip phone, which works perfectly well at getting him calls and texts while he is out and about; while he is out and about he is also not likely to need to be emailed, because he's generally driving or at dinner or in some other situation where really, you should not need email. (Also, in recent years he has added an iPad to his set of gear, and you often don't need a second portable computing machine at that point.)

Now, that's been the situation for nearly as long as I've known Purple. It's something that I've come to accept and even like about him.

Over the past months and weeks, Purple has noticed that his signal has become patchy. His noble little cellphone (which often does fun tricks like leaving the screen light on, which chews through battery, or failing to charge for some reason, or occasionally even pocket-dialing) has been getting signal in fewer places. First he noticed he wasn't getting it reliably inside his office anymore. (That chewed up battery.) Then there were other spots of spotty service. At some point, his prepaid cell outfit gently pointed out that his little old phone was 2G only, and the 2G network around these parts is going away. Soon. Now. And maybe you should get a new phone, bro.

I would describe myself as a procrastinator.
I would describe Purple as the kind of procrastinator who will cheerfully spend 15 minutes every week and a half to twice a week (depending on temperature) using a cigarette lighter plug portable air compressor to refill his slow-leaking tire, for over a year, rather than making the appointment to get the tire fixed or replaced. (I cannot throw too many stones. He knows where a lot of my stuff is hidden, too.)

Purple has allowed as how he will probably need to get himself a new prepaid flip phone that uses a slightly more modern cell network, and maybe takes a charger that more people are likely to have on them. He allows as how he may continue to put this off.

Last Friday at the ex-co-worker-crowd dinner, Purple invited his old friend GG (and her husband) as well as Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly and me. I texted Purple to let him know that I was running about 10 minutes late. I arrived to find that he hadn't got my text, as he'd no signal in the restaurant. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly arrived somewhat after me. She'd become delayed in some event-related fuckery on 101. She'd tried to call Purple!

GG proceeded to give Purple a hard time about his Luddite refusal to have a smartphone, pointing out that Purple is a well-paid engineer who can afford a fucking smartphone and a data plan. GG does this sort of thing, it turns out -- gives Purple a hard time about things. And Purple continues to be his cheerfully procrastinatory and stubborn self.

I learned long ago that when Purple took a hard stance about something, that I was wasting everyone's time if I kept arguing about it, and the way to get around it was to accept his viewpoint and let him get around to it in his own time. Possibly by setting a good example by way of my own anti-procrastination efforts. Occasionally by saying "Eh, maybe you should get on that thing?" but not when he'd just been ranting about it.

Tonight I was halfway to dinner when I realized that I hadn't let Purple know that after we'd agreed on a time and place, I'd poked our mutual friend phone (whose favorite lunch spot it was) to let him know that we were convening for dinner and he'd be welcome. I thought about texting (hands-free, wheeee!) but realized: Purple wouldn't get that text. Anyway, I wasn't sure whether phone would be able to make it. So, we might as well see if he showed up...

I eventually remembered to text phone to let him know where we were sitting. He and his boyfriend showed up quite promptly thereafter, and we took a bit bigger table, and had a lovely time.

I may inquire gently with Purple, tomorrow, when he thinks he's going to actually get that new flip phone. 💜💜💜☎️🙄😘
Thursday, August 25th, 2016 00:20
1. I was at work for like twelve hours, but I have tomorrow off! There was definitely stuff I would have put off till tomorrow if I were coming in tomorrow, but I'd rather stay longer today than come in on my day off, so...

2. I had a delicious salad for dinner. I used to eat a large salad for lunch almost every day, but I can't do that as easily now that I'm not working from home, so that leaves dinner the only option, but we often have other dinner plans, so I got out of the habit of eating salads all the time, but I really like salads, so I want to try to eat them more often. I actually have been eating a salad almost every day for the last couple weeks.

3. While Carla's gone I'm getting caught up on some of my shows. I only have so much time I want to devote to watching TV per day, and it's usually taken up by watching stuff that we both like. I finally finished this last season of Bob's Burgers tonight, though!

4. These sleepy babies are so sweet!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 22:11

Title: IS [ai-esu]
Original Title: IS~男でも女でもない性~ (IS~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~)
Author: Rokuhana Chiyo
Publisher: Kiss Comics
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 17 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Dokukinoko Scans (translation by Megchan)
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: IS is a unique manga that realistically deals with the topic of intersexuality. It starts off with a couple shorts dealing with different intersex characters, but starting with the second volume, it becomes a regular series following one character from birth to adulthood.

Chapter Summary: Ibuki had vowed never to see Haru again, but...

Chapter 72
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 00:37
1. Today an employee was back to work who had been off for almost two months due to a broken hand. We had to fill his position in the meantime, but there was a new position open for him that I think will suit him better, and he seemed happy and much more relaxed than he had been, so I'm hoping that works out. And also it was just good to have him back. He's not someone I would call a friend, even a work friend, but he's a good worker and we have so many new people it's good to have someone back who's been with us a few years and knows what's what!

2. I was in meetings most of the day at the Gardena store, which meant I didn't get much done at my store, but things are going smoothly enough at the moment that there wasn't actually anything urgent I had to do, so that's good.

3. I had hoped to see my former co-worker who transferred to the Gardena store, but I didn't get there until a few minutes before the meeting started, and by the time we were done, he'd gone home for the day, but he messaged me on Facebook and we had a long gossipy chat tonight and that was fun. (I miss having him around at the store, but he seems really happy with his new position, so.)

4. Look at this sweetie!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 00:10
The winner for first class to write home asking for help with Will: Social Studies!

Mitigating factors: he is sick with a cold this week; he hasn't been sleeping well; it's his first class of the day.

The good news so far: he's only struggling to complete his work in that one class, according to his aide. After social studies, he has P.E. and Math; the rest of his classes are after lunch.

Anxiety levels through the roof as the social studies teacher said, "I don't want to punish him, but..." Also he called me Mrs., which got my hackles up. Respect shown to women should not be qualified by apparent age or martial marital status; I always use Ms. and have come to expect the same from others. However, this is the first time Will has had a male teacher and I don't want to antagonize him by going Full Metal Feminist on his ass... at least, not immediately.

So I spent 3-4 hours this afternoon problem-solving with Will and writing emails to the social studies teacher and the IEP aide. Then I went to bed early because fuck this. Of course now I'm awake again, but hopefully not for long.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 20:20
I've always confused Meglos and The Creature from the Pit which, it must be said, I've always assumed was just me. But halfway through Meglos tame layman noted it was "very like" Creature from the Pit as well. While John Nathan-Turner attempted to put a very different stamp on the show, Meglos feels very much like a leftover from the Graham Williams era, and in particular one of the less loved stories.

It's not just similar to Creature from the Pit in general tone, it has a jungle planet, a high profile female semi-antagonist, comedy ruffians (whose humour is more hit than miss) and a fourth episode that goes off on a bit of a tangent (though not as much of one).

Its production is better than that of Creature from the Pit, but that sadly isn't saying a great deal and it has a joyless feel to it (possibly because Tom Baker was ill (if I recall events correctly) and possibly because it is a Graham Williams' style story being produced by JNT). Tom Baker should be unstoppable in the double role of the Doctor and Meglos but instead is strangely muted. It doesn't help that the Doctor doesn't actually manage to get out of the Tardis until episode 2, making the whole of episode 1 feel like set-up.

The casting of Jacqueline Hill (who had played Barbara back in the original Tardis crew) is the kind of stunt casting JNT was keen on but this case seems oddly ill-conceived in retrospect - not famous enough to bring in casual viewers and fandom and general geek culture wasn't anything like as high profile in the 1980s (though JNT was an early show-runner to recognise the value of playing to the fans) - and, for whatever reason, she doesn't really dominate in the way you would expect as the celebrity cast member.

All in all, it's not terribly good. It's not out-right bad in the way that The Creature in the Pit is in places, but it fails to be particularly good in an retrospect.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 10:37
Several things I recommended during Worldcon just now:

I had a very good time at Worldcon and am recovering now.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 08:11
Last night was open house at the middle school and it was So. Stressful.

We had to bring our child's class schedule with us and attempt to navigate to each period's classroom in turn, in an unfamiliar building, with only 4 minutes between presentations that only lasted 7 minutes. Of the six classrooms I visited, only two had handouts with contact info. It felt like sorority rush. "Nice to meet you, bye!"

I had also hoped to meet Will's new IEP aide, who had said in an email that she would be attending, but haha of course that didn't happen. I still don't know when and how often he is receiving her assistance.

I did learn a few things:

Read more... )

In summary: I am probably struggling more than Will is right now, and as long as he's doing well, I should try to relax a bit. I'm very annoyed about having to check each individual teacher's web page, though. The intermediate school also had teacher web pages, but everything important was communicated in emails and handouts.

Update: Now Will tells me he is meeting with his IEP aide before MWF lunch, and other times as needed, but she is not providing in-class assistance.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 11:52
I have very clear memories of my ten-year-old self being immensely, deeply unimpressed by Rothko and Mondrian. I was very angry about why this constituted "art"; my definition of art explicitly excluded square canvases painted a single colour.

My ten-year-old self is gently unimpressed every time I stop dead in front of a six-foot-square matte black canvas in an art gallery, wonderstruck, and go "hmm, yes, isn't it fascinating what's being done here, isn't this good."

I am nursing a theory that the main differences between me-then and me-now are:
  1. I'm no longer in a situation where my autism is actively decried, and have internalised that it's okay for particular colours or shapes to make me happy, just because, and (as a superset, really)
  2. I've started believing that it's okay for me to have and experience emotions full stop (and am sufficiently well medicated that I can and do).

Which means that, over the past few years, I've stopped interpreting modern and especially abstract art as, fundamentally, threats: I've stopped responding automatically with defensive suspicion and fury to forms of art that (crudely!) exist to make me feel things.

There is nuance to this, of course. Seeing the Barbara Hepworth exhibit at the Tate Britain, the (possible? probable?) reasons for my emotional response clicked into place when I read that a lot of her more abstract work was in response to or in dialogue with her feelings of being cradled by landscape, and particularly by the Lake District and by Cornwall; all of a sudden it was obvious to me that the sense of home-and-safety-and-familiarity I get off those sculptures is, in fact, the same sense of awe and belonging and recognition I get staring out to sea or feeling dwarfed on valley floors or what-have-you.

That was followed up by another visit to the Tate Britain, one day I wound up in the right area of London with some time to kill, where what I'd intended to do was poke my nose into some of the public galleries. I saw War Damaged Musical Instruments advertised on the website and ignored it -- and then stopped dead in the middle of the hall it occupied, the moment I got there, and spent twenty minutes sat there crying.

One of the things I've been gently sad about for quite a long time is that I'm a classically-trained musician who is mostly very, very bad at listening to classical music unless it's something I've played or am preparing to play, such that I'm listening as a technical study. (I think I've talked before about mostly relating to music as either a technical study or a vehicle for lyrics, but if not I can give it a go.) I'm starting to think it might be time to have another go.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 00:17
1. Carla arrived safely in Chicago (by plane) and then in Rockford (by bus) and finally in Beloit (by car). She's driving down to her folks' tomorrow with her aunt and uncle.

2. I had so much trouble falling asleep last night despite being tired and then had to get up at five to take Carla to the airport, but thankfully I was able to fall asleep easily when I got back home and slept most of the morning.

3. I got some housework and some translating done today.

4. Not only did I see another preview for Yooka Laylee (upcoming game by the makers of Banjo-Kazooie) today, but I also found out there's going to be a sequel to Oceanhorn!

5. Caught the babies cuddling this afternoon.

Monday, August 22nd, 2016 19:49
[CW: rape] I Anonymously Reported My Rape for the Anonymous Attention, by Nicole Silverberg for Reductress (2016-08-17). See, you can write humor that deals with rape and that's actually funny.

The Blood-bag: Co-narcissists and Narcissists in Tech, by Marlena Compton and Valerie Aurora (2016-08-22). On people who enable narcissists (i.e. most people who work in the tech industry.) The "blood bag" metaphor is so good.

How To Make a Real Commitment to Diversity, by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (2016-08-17). The description of professors who give lip service to diversity in their programs but refuse to take the slightest risk to encourage it (or even to, you know, discipline predatory people) is so familiar.

“You Do Not Exist To Be Used”: Dismantling Ideas of Productivity in Life Purpose, by Gillian Giles for The Body Is Not an Apology (2016-08-17). "You do not exist to be used."

Shameless plug: buy a "San Fran Trans Co" shirt from my friend's collective!

What It's Like to Have 'High-Functioning' Anxiety, by Sarah Schuster for The Mighty (2016-06-27). In general I don't find "high-functioning"/"low-functioning" typologies to be useful, and I don't find everything in this article rings true for me, but some of it does.

Meeting the Free Speech Crusaders Who Want to End Political Correctness, by Sam Kriss for Vice (2016-08-17). This line is brilliant, about why Internet trolls love citing the notion of "debate": "It's not hard to see why: only in a formal debate do you have to give stupid and boring ideas a hearing they don't deserve."

The Troubling Trendiness Of Poverty Appropriation, by July Westhale for The Establishment (2015-11-23). "It’s likely, from where I sit, that this back-to-nature and boxed-up simplicity is not being marketed to people like me, who come from simplicity and heightened knowledge of poverty, but to people who have not wanted for creature comforts. For them to try on, glamorize, identify with. "

I, Racist by John Metta (2015-07-06). "But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings."

Activism, Language, and Differences of Opinion, by Julia Serano (2016-07-19) -- links to some of Serano's greatest hits re: language, politics, and social justice.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 17:02
Shall we begin with Lemonade remixed? And continue on into the idea that not all songs that look like they're about men are about men.

The Impact 25, 25 women who have done great things and accomplishments in the world of sports, each given the Marvel hero treatment.

Methods for catching genuine childlike wonder.

Kings and leaders of various African and Middle Eastern nations that aren't all Pharaohs.

Fashion spreads involving really attractive women. A woman orc in cheesecake pinup fashion. An attractive and colorful mermaid. Dolls for the Vampire in you. Sailor Moon characters remagined in pinup and nose art styles.

Nickelodeon continues on their tradition of their acceptance of today's reality by putting a married gay couple in one of their cartoons.

So, a couple of posts back I mentioned a figure skater who did a Sailor Moon routine and got to meet the creator of Sailor Moon not too soon afterward. Here's the performance of the Sailor Moon ice routine. The decisions on the costume change were spot on, and the poses and synchronization to the music track work very well.

The power struggle that can develop between showrunners / authors and fans over the direction their work should be taking, now that fans have a lot more platforms to express themselves in numbers. That the article calls it an ideology suggests that they're listening to the loudest voices without understanding them, to me, as many of the very loud voices in fandom are about representation of reality in character choices, and that domains of fiction should be able to have characters that represent the diversity of people, without the diversity being the spotlight thing for that character. Now, however, instead of in zines and letters pages, fans are able to express themselves on broad broadcasting platforms like Twitter and Tumblr, and archive their work publicly on the Internet for others to see. The fans are better-connected now, which makes it easy for them to amplify their voices like an Occupy microphone. And if creators take the same tack that most figures did when confronted with an Occupy microphone, they shouldn't be surprised to see the voices arrayed against them getting louder and more insistent that they be heard.

The Supreme Court of the United States says people convicted of domestic violence charges should not have guns. Even if what they did was not deliberate - with weapons, a moment of passion can be deadly.

The history of gestures regarding the address of the United States flag by its citizens...and why there may not be a whole lot of attention paid to it.

If you seek to bring more people to a spiritual life and spiritual fulfillment, work to remove the impediments that prevent them from doing so. Social justice is spiritual work.

The Republican candidate may have insinuated that the Democratic candidate needed to die, lest she select Supreme Court justices that would narrow the scope of the right to have weapons.

Unsurprisingly, young people have issues with sex, often involving how to get to an orgasm or to prevent doing so too quickly. Perhaps because sex ed still doesn't include the part where good consensual sex is supposed to be about mutual pleasure and being able to say what does and doesn't move toward that goal.

There is a distinction between the idea of finding someone sexy and framing them to be sexualized and objectified. For the most part, objectifying happens to women characters, so perceiving the difference between how men are framed and how women are framed helps point out the difference.

Catholic hospitals still refuse to "do no harm" by not providing contraceptive and abortion care and not referring patients to those who will.

Before marriage, adoption was a method that gay couples could use to ensure rights and privileges were appropriately arrayed.

Trying to tell people in service work about your emotional states was a failure. Telling an intimate partner about it produced the connection desired. With an interlude of how horrible it is that men are socialized into a limited set of acceptable emotional expressions. So, two of of three (bad on emotional suppression, good on talking to friends) toward a good model of communicating feelings, at least. But spending the majority of the time talking to cashiers or other women in mind where they couldn't directly not engage him probably gives the writer the wrong impression about the world around them.

If your house is on fire, metaphorically, there are decisions that need to be made about whether to save it, and how to go about either getting out of it or bringing in the professionals to help put it out. The idea of the pod, who are the people you turn to for help with violence done to you or to get accountability for violence you are doing.

Avatar Cat. Crown Prince Zuko and his dragon. There's a whole idea there somewhere about how caring for a small dragon helped Zuko learn how to care for himself.

A thing to remember and put very close to my heart: Being brave and strong doesn’t mean that you have no wounds. Being brave and strong means being wounded, injured, and forging ahead anyways even if you’re close to collapse.

A story of twelve sisters lamenting what has been lost. A story of twelve sisters delighting in the dance. The cyclical nature of our stories are supposed to help us when we are down and when we are up.

On burnout and how it might be a symptom of not having made all that many decisions autonomously in life.

The assumptions of the world that a capitalist society insists are unbreakable truisms.

At a speech most White people wouldn't watch, Jesse Williams spoke truth about what life is for Black people. More of Mr. Williams. And physical intervention in the use of racial slurs.

Portland, Oregon still has a thriving black community, even with the gentrification that's making it harder for everyone to live affordably there. Consult BlackPDX for locations and listings of Black-owned businesses in and around the city.

Luke Cage is a hero needed right now, and it will hopefully be an awesome show with awesome people. Hulu wants Runaways to come to television, which can also increase the diversity on the television machines. But we note, as the Mary Sue does, that these shows are being commissioned by subscription television services, and not for display on cable or broadcast networks. Diversity and stories of our times are apparently not good enough for the regular airwaves. Star Trek: Discovery also needs to continue with diversity of cast, but also be set away from any of the established timelines.

Take My Wife involves two lesbians putting on a comedy show and living their lives outside of that.

Josika Nicole on coming to your identity and them embracing it.

Yotsuba&! is excellent manga. Go read. Squirrel Girl is awesome. Go read.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has been tapped to help with a live remake of The Little Mermaid. Guess that Ham4Ham was a premonition.

The cancelation of Agent Carter was apparently solely a network decision without consulting Marvel.

The new Ghostbusters movie is a strong critique of the academic system and its requirements.

The way that the Albuquerque Police Department intended to prevent anyone from reforming them while they continued to shoot people. Algorithms that reflect the biases of society need to be left unused when discovered. Regardless of where those algorithms are being deployed. Or for what purpose they are being put to use.

Trying to trademark an identity and sending cease-and-desist on it is generally a bad life choice and exposes how much extra work and funding entities such as the patent and trademark office need to prevent abuse.

Surveillance using the PRISM program wrongly targeted a New Zealand democracy activist at the request of the NZ government.

Transparency is a requirement for any public health organization that wants to try and combat an epidemic. Having a history of transparency is also a helpful thing. As is making sure your clinics in the most rural places are funded and staffed.

The Voice of Night Vale is also HIV positive.

Florida's open records laws contribute to the weirdness of Florida news stories, which means other states could get their own interesting bits of their governments would also apply transparency.

Listening to audiobook is the same cognitive load as reading things. So it's not cheating, and often better, to have someone narrating to you.

Work smarter, not harder, by not putting in more hours and by leaving jobs that insist you put in more time instead of being able to think through problems. Use recovery periods offered to you so that you may come back to your work (or whatever else) recharged and ready.

The passing of a pioneer of women in anthropology.

Creating frosted floral arrangements on cakes, succulent flowers version.

An acceptance speech for those who banded together to defeat a small number of rabid ideologues.

Advice for musicians and artists about getting beyond both the technical and the self-serving to get to the point.

In comedy, timing is everything. An attempt to suggest that being shy in person may be a contrast of having good skill at writing.

The iron-rich waterfall of Antarctica, a tearoom constructed in harmony with the tree that supports it, planters felted into animal shapes, what studying bones actually says about the person whose bones they are - not as much as one might think..., and a necessary, if artificial, salt sea.

In technology, musical prowess with vegetables, giant bronze statues, the origins of pink lemonade, HG Wells' prescience of the future, the possibility that a deja vu is the way the brain tries to fact check memory, illusions people have about their memories and their recall, the opening of research funded by NASA, a global view of a meteor shower, various less common vending machine products, a loom made of LEGO bricks, and the appeal of driving vehicles.

Physics of wheelchair use, with nice explanations as to why chairs work the way they do. Fashion for chair users.

Websites for learning, practicing, or expanding various skills.

The quotative like as a linguistic stopgap, rather than just a Valley Girl tic.

Tree communication networks, the return of water voles, the death of a matriarch of tigers, the problems of invasive species, like goldfish, cats that would like your appreciation, Kate McKinnon as servant to her cat,a garden full of plants that will kill humans, birdsong sang in the egg that affects development based on temperature, cats as vehicles for instruction on consent, photographing frozen flowers, nature documentaries with comedy show subtitles, and balloon animals beyond the standard ideas.

Last for tonight, even though it might normally go at the front, Chloe X Halle, young girls scouted by Beyoncé, sing the national anthem.

And book opening lines, which I managed to muddle my way to a perfect score on, despite not having read most of the books the lines came from.

Finally, finding the actress who played the only live version of Carmen Sandiego. Nice work, detective.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 13:37

This is the fifth and concluding volume of Fenn's Hidden Empire pentalogy. Rather hard to speak cogently about it without pretty much giving everything away, so I won't even try. It's well-written and the main reason for long delay is "WorldCon" (and to some extent "there were plenty of unseen films I was interested in on the plane(s)").

It's probably best to start at book #1 and continue from there. All in all, eminently readable.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 07:33
Unless I missed tagging something, this is my first meme participation in 5 years... but I think that's because memes aren't as common as they used to be?

1. Why did you sign up for Dreamwidth?

Because Mark asked me to get involved, about 6 weeks before open beta happened, IIRC. I had Perl experience and a lot of free time, and the rest is history.

2. Why did you choose your journal name?

Ancient history: Kareila is a name I first used for an RP character in high school. Sometime during my sophomore year of college, I was invited to join a social MUSH, and that's the username I decided to use. It's been my primary online identity ever since.

3. Do you crosspost? Why or why not?

I still crosspost for the benefit of my few remaining loyal LJ readers, but all my crossposts are locked there, even if they're public here.

4. What do you do online when you're not on DW?

Email, Twitter, and Facebook. Streaming music and YouTube. The occasional online game.

5. How about when you're not on the computer?

Reading books, watching sports, playing console games, hanging out with loved ones, or sleeping.

6. What do you wish people who read your journal knew about you?

After all this time, I have no idea what my readers might not already know about me, especially the ones who have met me RL (most of you).

7. What is your favorite community on Dreamwidth?

Probably [community profile] dwqdb. I'm also very fond of [community profile] kareila_books and [community profile] changelog_digest, but I'm biased in that regard.

8. What community do you wish was more active?

I'm going to say [site community profile] dw_dev even though that's sort of cheating.

9. Are there two people on your reading list that you think should meet?

If I had to choose just two that I don't think have met already, I'd go with [personal profile] azurelunatic and [personal profile] siderea.

10. Tell me about your default icon.

Many of my icons are TV/movie/cartoon characters that I strongly identify with. My default icon for some time has been Sam Sparks from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I've kept that as default for several years now because I particularly like how it looks with my journal theme.

11. What features do you think Dreamwidth should have that it doesn't currently?

As one of the lead devs I find it uniquely hard to answer this question. At this point, if a feature doesn't already exist, it's because either I don't personally want it or else it's Too Much Work. (Or possibly a Work In Progress.)

12. What do you consider the five most "telling" interests from the list on your profile?

My interest list has been woefully neglected since LJ days and could stand to be updated, but from what currently exists: ChaoticMUX (the social game I ran for several years before everyone emigrated to LJ), choral music (I sing a lot), geophysics (my college major), INFP (my MBTI classification, which I find helpful when debugging interpersonal interactions), & xyzzy (reflecting my early love of text-based games). "Entropy" and "wishes" are also ChaoticMUX references.

13. Do you have any unique interests on your user profile? What are they? How'd they get there?

I used to, but I don't any more - careful inspection of my LJ profile reveals that I removed 2 unique interests from my DW profile (they weren't unique on LJ). "Games Magazine" which I still subscribe to, and "Digital Blasphemy" which is a CGI wallpaper artist I used to patronize.

14. Did you have a gateway fandom? Still in it? Why or why not? Is there a community for it on DW?

I suppose my gateway fandom was Monty Python, in the sense that it led me to alt.fan.monty-python in the pre-WWW days, and that led to my friendship with [personal profile] hkellick which led to ChaoticMUX which led to everything else. I left that particular newsgroup a few years later, but I'm still a fan, as evidenced by that ficlet I posted the other day. Teenage exposure to Monty Python and Douglas Adams gave me the "yes, this is all really ridiculous" perspective I needed for my mental health, and I'm completely inseparable from their influence. I don't think there is a DW community dedicated to Monty Python, but since they haven't done much new original work in the past 30 years, I don't consider it an oversight.

15. What's your current obsession? What about it captures your imagination?

My previous post already covered this.

16. What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about?

Recently? Uh... (thinks)... last week I watched the first three episodes of Mr. Robot. I don't manage to watch a lot of scripted TV, mostly just sports and competitions, so that was kind of a big deal. Also, the usual suspects have been doing a sporadic Bond Roulette, viewing (and mocking) all the James Bond movies in random order; we just passed the halfway point when we watched Skyfall on Saturday night. There's one other thing I did recently that I haven't written about yet, but that's redacted until the end of the month.

17. How many people on your reading list do you know IRL?

Just going off my access list: 49/58, but that doesn't correct for duplicate accounts. Still: most of you. For my entire subscription list, it's closer to 50/50.

18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy?

Assuming I have the energy, the only things in my life I try to avoid talking about are my personal relationships with others except in the most general terms. If they're not reading, it's talking behind their back; if they are, it can devolve into he said/she said when there's any disagreement. Occasionally I need to make a mental health exception, but as a rule I try to avoid it.

19. Any questions from the audience?

I don't know, are there?

20. Yes, but what are your thoughts on yaoi?

I don't have any? I mean, I know what it is, but I don't swing that way. Yuri, maybe. It's been years since I consumed any anime or manga on a regular basis, though.

21. What's your favorite thing about Dreamwidth?

The people. Honestly, that's my favorite thing about pretty much everything I love.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 08:23
Thankfully, I don't think anything's actually fractured from my fall down the stairs. (Did not bother going to have xrays done, because even if I had fractured my tailbone, there isn't much they can do about it except prescribe painkillers and tell you to ice it, and I can't accept painkillers from anybody but my primary prescriber and I'm already doing the ice thing, so.) Still hurts like fuckery, but I have plenty of painkillers and I've finally figured out a way to lie in bed that doesn't either a) make it hurt worse or b) make everything from my waist to my knees tense up, so.

Insult to injury: period cramps. NOW IT HURTS FRONT AND BACK, ARGH.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 08:22
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!)
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 01:03
1. Sales were high this weekend. Hopefully that trend will continue as we get out of our yearly summer slump.

2. I have to take Carla to the airport around 5:30 tomorrow morning, but it's my day off, so at least I can go back to sleep as soon as I get home.

3. Chloe is super cute even when she's grumpy about having her photo taken.

Sunday, August 21st, 2016 20:02
Ugh, my foot's been bothering me more lately. I mean it's been bothering me since I was pregnant; apparently ligaments loosen in pregnancy. But now it's bothering me more consistently and more annoyingly. It's the ball of my foot, not my old soccer injury in the arch of my foot. I realized recently it's been bothering me enough that I think of it as 'normal' for it to hurt, in a low-grade achey way, all the time. When I thought about my other foot, it was with a sort of surprise--hey, that other foot doesn't hurt every step! In fact it doesn't hurt at all! Weird.

I know I really should schedule a doctor's appointment--I'm due for a physical as well. And a gyn exam, sigh and ugh, including pap smear (every three years). Then I could ask for a referral. And if I get a referral then my insurance covers most physio. And I really do like my physio and I should go back to her and I should commit to any exercises she sets for me. And I should probably buy new shoes. And I should wear shoes indoors for more support, as she told me last time, except I hate wearing shoes indoors and it would mean I'd need two new pairs, one for inside. And while I'm at it I should probably bite the bullet and see a podiatrist--there's one at my GP's practice--someone who specializes in what I have, which I believe is called a neuroma or something like that. A foot thing.

So this is an adulting thing that I should do and I just haven't and I don't want to and ugh. So I am whining. But whining sometimes helps me get stuff done. So. *waves at this mess all up in here*.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016 01:25
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

My favourite local yarn store, Black Sheep at Orenco, got turned into a pokémon gym with the advent of Pokémon Go, and I was so pleased by this that I thought I’d make a pattern! Now, pokéball patterns are a dime a dozen, but what I wanted was something that would be easy to print up nicely and give away, so that’s what I made. I’ll have a batch to give away at Albuquerque Mini Maker Faire on Aug 27-28, and hopefully the lovely folk at Black Sheep at Orenco will let me give away some there too.

Here’s the pages as images, but if you’d like to print it yourself or save it in your collection, I recommend the Pokeball postcard pattern pdf. It’s intended for a 4×6 postcard, or both sides will print onto a single 8.5×11″ sheet of paper.



(The text version of the pattern is at the bottom of this post)

Need help? There are lots of great tutorials out there, including video tutorials on youtube. If the first one you find doesn’t work for you, there’s many more options!

Here’s a few tutorials you might need for this pattern:

Still confused? You can probably also find an expert or a class at your local yarn store.

Love the pattern and want to thank me? Here’s a few things you can do:

  1. I don’t take tips, but I love seeing photos of what people have done with my patterns, so feel free to drop me an email at terri (at) toybox.ca.

  2. Make a pokeball and leave it for someone to find at your local pokestop or gym!

  3. Buy something at Black Sheep at Orenco so my favourite yarn store stays in business. (If you’re a crocheter and haven’t tried Teresa Ruch’s tencel, I recommend splurging on a ball and making a shawl or scarf. Such saturated colours with beautiful shine; the pictures hardly do it justice!)

Feel free to print this pattern out for friends or strangers and do whatever you’d like with your pokeballs! (Although please don’t hurt anyone with them!)

Crochet PoKéBall

A free amigurumi pattern by Terri Oda

Materials: Yarn in red, white, black. Crochet hook appropriate for yarn or smaller to avoid holes.

Yarn needle. Stuffing (polyfill and/or beans work well)

Picture uses worsted weight and size I or 5.5mm hook.

sc single crochet

inc increase by doing two single crochet in a single crochet stitch

dec “invisible” decrease: pull up loop in outside-of-ball half of next stitch, then full following stitch. Finish by pulling though all 3 loops on hook.

When starting your next stitch, be careful not to re-use the 2nd stitch in the decrease by accident.


0 (white): 6 sc in a magic circle loop

There are great tutorials for magic circles online!

1 (black): Switch colours to black, 2sc in each stitch (for total of 12 stitches)

Cut yarn, leaving a long black tail for sewing


0 (red): 6 sc in a magic circle loop (6 stitches)

1 (red): increase (inc) 6 times (12 stitches)

2 (red): inc in next stitch, sc in following one repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

3 (red): inc, sc, sc 6 times (24 stitches)

4 (red): inc, sc 3 times 6 times (30 stitches)

5-7 (red): sc around (30 stitches)

8 (black): change to black, sc around (30 stitches)

Don’t worry if your colour change looks obvious, it will be covered by the button.

9-11 (white): change to white, sc around (30 stitches)

12 (white): dec, sc 3 times 6 times (24 stitches)

13 (white): dec, sc, sc 6 times (18 stitches)

Start filling ball. You may need to stuff more as you go

14 (white): dec, sc 6 times (12 stitches)

15 (white): dec 6 times (6 stitches). Last chance to stuff!

Cut thread and pull through to close circle.

Sew button onto ball, covering the area with colour change. Toss at a pokémon to catch it!

Sunday, August 21st, 2016 18:16
We went to Forbidden Corner for Valkyrie's birthday. It wasn't 100% successful since G had a meltdown in the tunnels (as discussed elsewhere) but it ended with smiles. It's a very odd place - a weird combination of wild imagination and twee. I'd have liked to explore it more thoroughly but that was not to be.

Pictures under the Cut )