October 2014

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 23:27
As a species, we are dedicated
to post hoc rationalisation:
the tidying away of inconvenient emotion
the reduction of the self
to an ordered
                     of steps.
If this, then that. Well, no:
everything happens for a reason.
The reason, though, does not come carved deep into stone
(every conceivable dictator
being characterised by sublime indifference):
but is rather what you make of it.
This is what it means to tell the story of your life:
to take your whys and somehow give them form.
This is the solid ground of poetry:
two roads diverged; think, two things, both at once:
and every meaning you create is true
or true enough for now. Is this about...?

Yes. Yes, it is.

If only for this moment, we
are mirrored mirror twins.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 14:29
Apparently Mark Vorkosigan, Kareen Koudelka, and Ekaterin Vorsoisson are working for the modern entomophagy industry:

Many companies have arrived at the same conclusion as Six Foods – that it’s best not to confront consumers with insects too directly. That often involves processing and disguising the bugs, but it can also mean doing a little clever rebranding. Take waxworms, which live in beehives and eat honeycomb. By all accounts, they’re delicious: buttery, with a taste reminiscent of bacon. But the word ‘worm’ can be a deal-breaker for diners, so Six Foods has re-christened them ‘honey bugs’.

"Lovely grub: are insects the future of food?", Emily Anthes, Mosaic. 14 October 2014.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 17:01
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.

Buttons buttons, rah rah rah

The first time I got to use a button machine, I was a kid. It was at the Ex (a fair with livestock, music, and a midway, not unlike state fairs in the US only with fewer deep-fried things), and I was kind of astounded by this giant button press because I’d never really thought about how a button was put together, let alone that this might be done by a human-powered machine.

Fast forward, years later, and one day it just occurs to me that as an adult with some income (not much; I was still a student) there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t just buy a button machine and make silly one-off buttons whenever I wanted.

Buttons! (Push button; receive bacon)

I’ve used them for costumes, for befriending random people off the internet who like snarky kitten commentary, for hanging out at abq maker faire and helping people make their own, and for anything else that might amuse me.

Since I sometimes bring the whole machine with me to places like quelab or abq mini maker faire, I often get asked about where I got it and how much it costs, so I figured I’d make myself a post that contained all the info so I can find it easily. This is that post!

The button machine

Here’s what my personal machine looks like:

The button machine

I have a 1.5 inch button machine. It has a visible “top” area of around 1.37 inches, with a bit more visible space wrapping around the edge of the button. The circles I cut are 1.87 inches wide.

Although I realize this listing won’t stay live forever, here’s a current listing equivalent package I bought. It’s the Tecre model 150 1.5inch button machine with 1000 button blanks, and as of this writing it costs $264 (although I think it might have been a bit less when I got it).

For when that link no longer works: The vendor is called “button boy” and goes by the username “politicsstinks” on ebay. Here’s a link to the ButtonBoy ebay store. The latest stuff I bought from them also recommended the ButtonBoy etsy store.

It’s a small machine although very heavy, but I did a lot of research and the Tecre machine seemed to be the best type of machine for my needs: It’s physically easy to use, hard to damage, reasonably well designed so that with a bit of adult supervision kids can make their own buttons. I went with the 1.5 inch size because it was large enough to have reasonably legible text or enough space to colour, but small enough to be cuter and easy to fit on a bag strap.

If I were to buy a second machine I’d probably go with the 1″ because I’d love to try the magnetic jewelery stuff they have now, but I expect I’d still want my 1.5 inch because visible text is important a lot of the time!

Recommended Accessories

Button punch

My number one recommendation is that if you’re going to do any larger runs of buttons, it’s worth investing in one of the button hole punches. Especially if you’re letting people colour their own buttons, it’s annoying to colour a teensy piece of paper, so I find it’s more pleasant to punch things out on the spot after the colouring is done rather than cutting the circles in advance. The punch is also great for using magazines or wrapping paper, like I did for these Christmas buttons (although I didn’t have the punch at the time so these were done by tracing circles with the mylar and cutting them out with scissors):

Christmas Buttons


Scissors work just fine. Invest in a comfortable pair rather than doing like my sister and I did on our first big button run where we gave ourselves bruises cutting out 200 buttons by hand, though.

I do *not* recommend trying to use a a cheaper adjustable circular cutter from the craft store. I have one, and there’s a couple of problems with it:

1. The center has a point, which makes a teensy but noticeable hole in your design. I can feel this through the mylar cover on the finished button and it annoys me. I stuck a piece of rubber on it to compensate, but that just makes it more finicky.

2. It’s very hard to line up the design nicely (at least compared to a hole punch or scissors)

Basically, it turned out to be more annoying than drawing circles and cutting them out with scissors. The punch, however, is way better.

Some folk at my former hackerspace have pointed out that a cricut machine would be excellent for this, and probably the laser cutter would work as well. Both of these are a lot more expensive than a punch, but if you’ve got them, why not? The only downside is that neither is as convenient for on-the-fly button making using magazines or quite as convenient for maker faire purposes.

Paper Guillotine

If you’re printing 8.5×11 sheets of buttons to cut out, you may also want to invest in a paper guillotine. This is handy if you want to hand out smaller segments for kids to colour, and great if you’re using a button punch that can’t punch holes in the middle of a piece of paper.

Again, scissors work just as well, but when you’re spending all day making buttons, little things that make life easier like that are worth it. So once again, I recommend it if you find you’re doing a lot of buttons, but it’s not needed for small runs.


I’ve found inkscape to be the most consistently good tool for making buttons because it’s so easy to whip up a template (1.85in circle with inner 1.375in circle) and import things into it. It lets you do things like fit text to a path, trace bitmaps so they can be converted to fewer, easier to read colours, etc. It’s fast for duplicating buttons and laying them out as a sheet for printing, too. And it’s free software that runs on linux, mac, and windows, all of which I occasionally use to make buttons. http://inkscape.org/

Really, any drawing program will do, but I think Inkscape is particularly nice for letting you set sizes and fix alignments quickly and easily, so although I’m also reasonably capable a few other art tools (I use photoshop, for example, to do photography work), Inkscape is my tool of choice for buttons.


Non-button things!

If you look through the Tecre catalog, you’ll notice that depending on the size of machine you have, you can make a few things that aren’t buttons. Not all of them are available for my size of machine; for example, some of the larger machines can be used for small hand mirrors and some of the smaller machines can be used for jewelery-buttons.

I’ve thus far tried the flat-backed magnets (the magnet goes inside the button) and the smaller split-ring keychains. Unfortunately, neither came with instructions so here’s some notes on what did and didn’t work for me:

Flat-backed Magnet instructions

The way the button machine works, you crimp the top half together, then you crimp the top onto the bottom. In the case of these magnet blanks, the magnet part goes with the bottom half (because the machine doesn’t have space for it in the top half die). It’s a nice strong magnet… which unfortunately means that it can pull the top half down if you’re too slow when you flip the machine around and crimp it the second time, and if it gets pulled out of alignment you get a messed up button. I messed up two before I figured out what was going on, and since then it’s been pretty easy to avoid the problem, but hopefully I can save someone else some annoyance.

I don’t know if this is true with other magnet backs, which may have less strong magnets, but if you’re having trouble it’s worth trying to go faster and see if it helps!

I am *very* pleased with the feel of the flat-backed magnets. They’re smooth and strangely pleasant to hold in a way that I was not expecting.

Short split key-ring instructions

In this case, the bottom half of the blank has a small hole in one side. You crimp the top and bottom together, then insert the keychain clip into this hole (note to self: take some pictures of this later).

Things to note:

1. The instructions I found online implied that you had to be super careful about how much you crimp. It seems like the version I have is pretty well designed to avoid this problem, because the bottom half has a slightly raised edge over where the hole is, and clamping the machine all the way down does not seem to squash the hole, so don’t be *too* nervous about getting it right.

2. While the clip can be inserted either way, if you insert it so the sticking up part of the clip faces the front of the bottom, the piece sits more flat relative to the back of the button.

All in all, I found the magnets harder than expected and the keychains easier.

Button jars, overflowing


When I bought the button machine, I really wasn’t sure how much I’d use it, but it’s turned out to be even more fun than I hoped. The highlight was probably that first big giveaway my sister and I did at the Cute With Chris show. When we walked down to the front to give out buttons before the show started, people actually cheered for us! And then we went around talking to each person at the show while they chose their designs, which was pretty neat.

But there’s been lots of fun stuff since then. In the past year alone, I’ve made buttons for open source projects (real and most desirable), given out slightly subversive buttons at defcon, made silly buttons for one-off jokes and IRC bots, watched literally hundreds of kids and adults make buttons with my machine, even wound up making some blank ones to serve as a temporary whiteboard-style expression-changing doll face for a friend’s guerrilla photography and crafting project!

It’s a bit of a weird hobby, but each button is so cheap that it’s one you can share with a lot of people! (At the current rate of blanks, each button costs me under 10 cents) And as someone who always enjoyed getting free stuff, it’s fun to be on the side of designing and giving! :)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 07:48
This is my new favorite Robert Frost poem.

We're singing the Randall Thompson setting, which really shades it perfectly.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 07:15
My new iPad is supposed to arrive at my door some time today. I got an email last night from Apple saying the refurb I ordered was no longer available, so they sent me a new one at no additional charge. In other words, I just got a brand new 32 GB LTE iPad mini 2 for the same price as a 16 GB WiFi iPad mini 3. *boggle*

Now I get to dither with myself over whether to start using it immediately or to put it under the Christmas tree.

Speaking of Christmas, there's a new Pentatonix holiday EP coming out today, and I can't decide whether to buy it immediately or let someone else have the chance to give it to me. Instant gratification is so tempting.

I found out yesterday that Guster is coming back to town next February! The presale tickets are supposed to go on sale today at noon. They're doing some sort of promotion where everyone who buys a concert ticket gets a free download of the new album when it drops in January. If I end up receiving 4 download codes, I'll try to pass the other three along.

Our chorus concert is finally upon us. I never did get a chance to audition for solo parts, because the director decided to just choose who he wanted. I can't complain though, because I probably would have made the same choices in his position. There is more than one piece that we've only rehearsed in full once, so I'm a bit nervous, but I really love the program. I'm going to try to insist that Robby bring the boys this year. I think they're old enough to behave themselves, and everything we're singing this time is in English.

I need to ask Heather's husband if he's still open to the idea of sitting with the kids on rehearsal nights so that Robby can join us next year for Carmina Burana. The women in the chorus outnumber the men two to one, so I know his voice would be a welcome addition. One of my high school friends is planning to join us for that as well. Should be fun!
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 08:00
Ah, irony. Wearing a rather...butch outfit on the day I have an appointment with the gyn to place an IUD. I'm amused, anyway.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 08:05
via http://ift.tt/1FvbHDD at October 21, 2014 at 03:00AM:


Okay but can I have a really lengthy, in-depth meta about Captain America and his USO girls?

Like how at first these girls are split down the middle on opinions of him… at the start, half are probably thinking this is just a job, just a gig, they’re lucky to find something this cushy during a damn war but god they’re going to have to put up with so much crap from this guy and he’ll probably be a cocky, high-maintenance diva at best or a sexist, womanizing diva at worst. And the other half is probably swooning and hoping they’ll get the chance to hop into bed with that gorgeous Greek god of a man. But the ones who flirt with him soon find he’s a stammering mess of ‘how do converse with dames?’ and soon after give up on trying to worm their way into his bunk because the guy is like a pillar of morality, won’t be budged, won’t compromise.

The girls take bets on whether he’s taken or gay, or both, to the point that it actually becomes a pool between these ladies and the stakes are pretty damn high. They could probably buy some nice war-bonds with that kind of money (snerk). So now some of the girls are probably a little bitter that they can’t be with Steve, but then one night after a show maybe some GI’s get too handsy, or maybe the Senator’s assistant tries to use his position to force one of the dancers into doing something they don’t want, or maybe some fellas got a little too drunk after the show and try their luck. But Steve’s there like some kind of avenging angel, tells the guys to back off, show some respect, no means no. When one sleazeball puts his hand up one of those red-and-white skirts without permission, he clocks the guy so hard he loses three teeth.

After that, the girls collectively just adore him. He’s usually pensive and keeps to himself, reading alone in his room instead of partying and picking up dames, even though they all know he could. He doesn’t drink (even before he knew the serum meant he couldn’t get drunk), but he does offer to escort the ladies back to their rooms after he sees first hand what they deal with on a daily basis. In return, when they see Steve being accosted by a particularly determined gal trying to get into his pants, and he really is just too much of a gentleman to give firm no and walk the hell away, they flutter around him all doting and smiles and accost him back to the hotel. He gives them that little sheepish grin and all his gratitude, and yeah, they have to admit they were completely wrong about him.

Steve Rogers in the modern day being completely supportive of all performers, being a very vocal feminist, and maybe even taking a shine to Stark’s Ironettes. Just not quite in the way Tony does (and maybe he tells Tony to be a little more respectful of his dancers… after all, they’re just trying to make a living).

#OH MAN#WHY HAVE THE IRONETTES NEVER BEEN STEVE’S POSSE IN A FIC#THEY WOULD TOTES BE HIS POSSE#CAN YOU JUST IMAGINE#because those are some women who are used to the absolute worst behavior from the males around them#they knew tony before his come to jesus moment for crissake#i bet pepper and rhodey have both had slap around some restraining orders for douchebags rich assholes at tony’s parties#and then steve comes along#and he’s sheepish but also all MA’AM IS HE BOTHERING YOU#and then on top of that he can do this one girl’s makeup when she sprains her wrist#and knows how to take care of one of those waffle-shaped burns you get when you slide infishnets the wrong way#and then a hop skip and a jump later and there are hot ladies helping steve paint his bathroom#and playing charades on a saturday night (via ifeelbetterer)
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 07:05
via http://ift.tt/1r5Zsng at October 21, 2014 at 02:00AM:
Monday, October 20th, 2014 23:33
1. So busy at work today, but I was training someone to take over one of my departments and I think she's going to work out really well, so I'm excited about that.

2. Irene found that Hataraku Maou-sama is on Netflix, so we started watching it tonight (she's never seen it before).
Monday, October 20th, 2014 21:03
Just got hit up for money by my alma mater.

Unfortunately, the caller couldn't actually describe where the money would go. I've had this problem before - I don't want to give money which gets dumped into programs which don't return education for money. "Return on Investment" we call it in business - call it "Education on Investment"

- I don't want money poured into administration costs.

- I don't want money poured into technology "toys" which will be EOL'd in 3-5 years. Universities should be looking at the 15 - 100 year term.

- I don't want money poured into sports beyond intramurals. I *vehemently* dislike collegiate sports - it's my observation and opinion that they are a blight on the education system.

- I do want money given broadly to people who need it. My family was, loosely stated, too financially well off to really get need-based scholarships, but not actually wealthy enough to put us through college. So that left student loans. I don't really think that's appropriate. I'd rather see college be free (or extremely low cost) for anyone who needs it.

- I do want to prioritize certain academic pursuits and areas. The library can add to their collection on my dime; if there's a "researcher" fund which supports lazy grad students & their travels to conferences that's great; if there's a broad need or merit based scholarship, that's excellent as well. But I have limited interest in funding, e.g., business majors.

- I am torn about majors - the fine arts are financially nil, but provide great and lasting meaning to society; "liberal arts" provides the reflection of free people but don't help in the short term, and STEM provides money, short term success (ie within your lifetime), and can be really hard to get through. I don't know which I'd support.

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 00:12
OKAY, so, back in 2007 I went on a school trip to Rome for a long weekend. On our one free early-afternoon I ended up getting to spend much less time at San Clemente than I'd intended, because Italian lunch hours, which in turn lead to me and the others I was with eating one of the best restaurant meals I had ever had for astonishingly little money, and it was only as we were leaving that we noticed the discreet stickers on the door about the place having been voted best-restaurant-in-Rome the preceding two years running.

My mother will be in Rome next weekend.

My mother, who remembers me rhapsodising about this place, asked me if I could recall the name.

... as it happened, I could remember (1) that the name started with an N and (2) the approximate walking route to get to it from San Clemente. Ergo five minutes with online maps later I had identified La Naumachia as the most plausible candidate, despite a rebrand having apparently done away with the very memorable logo of a ship. I look forward to hearing her report on it.

(Having explained how I found it, she responded: HAH!!!! That's the sort of thing I do. Indeed it's how the rat I ever found the same hotel I stayed in back then.... you come out of the back gate of the Inquisition past the best water fountain in Rome, go under a bridge past a dubious bus stop and up the hill most of the way to the next metro station....)
Monday, October 20th, 2014 17:43
I now own rope! Really nice purple rope.

I was worried that the package wouldn't get here because they forgot to put my apartment number on the package, but woo hoo for the USPS knowing where I live!

I've been saving up for this rope for quite a while and now I have it in my grubby little hands! (Yes, they are grubby and they are little.)
Monday, October 20th, 2014 22:34
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Decoding the Creative Process. Similar to deciding it. #ferranadria #scienceandcooking
Monday, October 20th, 2014 11:08

I had an adventure Saturday. I helped replace Brent's brakes and rotors on his car. Three hours after we started, I finally called AutoZone to see if they had a piston reset tool. They did and we managed to get things done much faster after that. It still took all day, but the work was finished before the sun set. I prepared for the game I'm running Halloween weekend. That was a lot of monster cards!

Sunday was problematic in the gaming group, though. I don't know if the group will survive as it is. When we started gaming, some of us were concerned that the two year old and the infant would be distractions to the group and the parent of said children. The parent swore up and down that the children would not be a distraction, he had worked it out so that he had this one night a week free to game. We should have realized this wasn't going to work out, but we tried it anyway. It didn't work out well because he kept getting distracted by the two year old coming into the room anyway, demanding to sit on the table and spilling drinks or wanting to play. We finally had to have a come to Jesus talk with him and he sulled up and threw up his hands, declaring that he was done and we were blaming him for having children. We weren't, by the way. He also insinuated that I was a less than successful human for not having a child and understanding his plight. That really pissed me off.

I just want to know, is two years old too young to teach? Mostly because when the two year old comes in she always spills drinks or has a loud toy or something similar. I don't think that's too young to teach to stay out of a room IF the parent reinforces the teaching. If you can potty train a child, you can teach them other things as well. That might just be my opinion.

I don't think I'll be letting him play with us in The Mummy's Mask.

Monday, October 20th, 2014 10:02
Hi there. Still kinda new to this whole Yuletide thing, but think I've got the general gist of it. Here goes!

I tend towards worldbuilding and extensions-of-canon more than smut-for-the-sake-of-smut; if it's plausible and consistent with canon, by all means write it, but I'm not fond of the Utterly Gratuitous Sex Scene. If you do write porn and/or smut, I have a strong preference for f/f; het is okay (especially when canon-consistent), but m/m is not my cup of tea. I'm quite happy with People Being Awesome, humor, and did I mention worldbuilding? As far as kinks go, I have a preference for consensual bondage, deliberately sexy clothing, and things with consensual exhibitionism and/or voyeurism.

General dislike for explicitly gory violence (if violence is necessary, yes, but please don't dwell?), deliberate cruelty to animals and/or people, and obvious biological improbabilities. Kinkwise, anything with noncon is going to be a difficult sell, as is anything with nonsexual body products.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: (Mikau, Lulu)
So there's a guitarist, and a singer. And they're in a band together, and he seems kinda sweet on her. Obviously both the group and the romance had to start somewhere, probably relatedly. Bonus points if you explain how/why Zora Hall came to be; suspiciously convenient architecture, that is.

Girl Genius: (Gilgamesh, Ardsley)
Paris! City of Lights! Adventure, science, and apparently saving Zola from...everything imaginable (and a few things that aren't). Not that Gil has exactly 'settled down' in the main story, but stories definitely paint him as a lot more...teenage during his time in Paris. I suspect that Ardsley was...trying to rein in the more egregious of Gil's habits, but to only limited success. They fight crime monsters!

Kushiel's Legacy: (Berlik)
Berlik, chosen by the Maghuinn Dhonn to mess a lot with Imriel's life. Canon looks at it from Imriel's viewpoint, which is...understandably biased. I want to see...Berlik's take on things. What led him to be the one to make the sacrifice that he did? what were his thoughts along the road when Imri was chasing him?

His Dark Materials: (Xaphania, Lord Asriel)
Canon presents Xaphania as the leader of the 'fallen' angels, but how did she get there, what triggered the Fall? Is she intended to be The Lucifer figure, or is there a separate angel running about with that name? And then she somehow ends up working for/with Lord Asriel. (which, how does THAT work, does he have a timey-wimey ball to be able to have a gigantic war-footing fortress and allies and everything so shortly after opening the bridge?) and, from what I can tell she's one of the older angels, so how'd she come to the decision to bend the knee to Asriel?

Arthurian Mythology: (Nimue, Merlin)
Nimue learns stuff, betrays Merlin, imprisons him. How, why, what was her thought process here? Possibly relatedly, seems that she's the one to give Arthur Excalibur. That's an...odd character shift, and what I've been able to read doesn't seem to much explain the reasoning.

As always, optional details are optional, and if you want to tell another story with any of these characters and/or canons, PLEASE do so. I would much rather read something that's caught your brain and won't let go, rather than have you try to mush it to fit my 'vision'.
Monday, October 20th, 2014 13:52
Thank you so much for writing for me! I am delighted and grateful. :-)

In general I'm a massive queermo and very much in favour of Queers Being Awesome and Trans Folk Being Awesome and Ladies Being Awesome etc etc. I also have a lot of feelings about families lost and found and chosen. I'm not terribly interested in sex (er, in general, though also reading about it); I don't object but please do not feel obliged! By mid-winter I tend to be feeling a bit miserable so happy endings are much appreciated, but getting there the hard way isn't a problem.

I am sure I will love whatever it is you write! I am only too pleased for you to follow your own muse and will adore the result. (Tell me if I'm being too effusive?) However, slightly more specific notes on requests follow if you want something to bounce off.

Read more... )

Thank youuuuuuuu <333
Monday, October 20th, 2014 02:01
A while back I requested three weeks back to go to a friend's wedding. Very sadly, the wedding has been called off, so I won't be going to it or getting the attendant vacation on the east coast. However, although one co-worker let me have the shifts he agreed to cover back, the other had been counting on the money and in the name of amicable relations I let him keep them. Therefore I only work one day a week until November, and with school back in session that's more like six hours in the evening and an hour or two in the morning. My mini-vacation is refreshing and quite welcome, because I was getting a bit ragged there.

Today I went looking for a knitting needle and ended up completely cleaning out my bedside table. It's now far roomier, less dusty, and vaguely organized. I also found the knitting needle, as well as the quiver of DPNs that have been hiding from me since the move. It was one of those late-night ADHD moments that I've been trained to think are suboptimal by every study guide I've ever been given, where I count entirely on a whim to spark enthusiasm for an important task; but on the other hand it works and not very many other things do nowadays.

My mom commented the other day that I've been working forever with no payoff in sight, and that's absolutely true. Mary Pipher's Letters to a Young Therapist has resonated that statement all the way down to glum hunger, because she has almost exactly the life I want--six sessions a day at a clinic with colleagues, working with a diverse clientele of individuals and families, owns her own house, has a husband and kids and family, writes, supervises grad students, goes on little trips, does good work. It's funny that I come back to her because hers was the life I wanted when I was 13 and read Reviving Ophelia, and even though the intervening years have opened up many different potential careers, settings, and households, in many ways I still want the same thing. (Except I also want a farm.)

But for years all I wanted was income, which I have now, though not the amount I was hoping for. I've spent so long--it feels like one continuous push since I left childhood--and I got a little taste of what it was like to get there in the first two years of my Master's, and I could bear with money frustrations by saying when I get a job as a therapist, but now--

*glum sigh*

But cleaning out my bedside table meant I found even more cards from people. I keep the cards people send me, and display them on a little ledge on the wall above my bed, and they're immensely cheering--I think my favourites are the thank-you-and-goodbye card from the school I worked at, where every staff member left a personalized message, and the very long rambly ones that are absolutely filled with handwriting, mostly from fannish people. I found two fannish cards and the thank you card from my last internship, put them on the "paper to deal with" pile (my ledge is getting crowded and rather like a stack of dominoes, so I need a new system) and went up to shower with a smile on my face.

So I decided something, since I need a goal to work with. I still have those 12.5 dratted hours of internship left, and no idea of where I'm going to fill them. My plan, drawn up with the people at school, is to be done that internship by May 2015. So how I'm going to work to that goal is to start a list of potential internship sites, and research what I think are the absolute best places for me to work in Victoria. I have to approach the sites cold since my school's prearranged sites are mostly on the Mainland, and if I'm signing up for polite rebuffs they might as well be from someplace good. Then I'll do my best to network like hell during that internship, and see if that can't crack me in. You know, what an unpaid internship is supposed to do.

Which means hanging with my job even longer. I thought I would moan about that part more, but I've realized something about why I do it. It's got work I won't slack off on. My work ethic is terrible when it comes to things I find irrelevant, and in jobs where I know I'll have a lot of free time on my hands or the work isn't important, I struggle not to stay in bed when I wake up on a bad day. With things as bad as they currently are, I can see myself just failing to show up for a job as a cashier--Nope. Can't be arsed. Whereas with what I'm doing now? I need to be there. I'm working alone and there's no one to cover for me without a lot of fuss. And when I'm with the kids, I cannot help but give them everything I've got--sure, sometimes that is pretty tired and pathetic, but that's because my reserves are so low.

So I simply wouldn't get out of bed for a job that was less difficult. (Unless it was therapisting.)

I often wish I could be a different person, someone more trusting and expressive and dramatic and able to solicit help, but lately I've been toying with the thought that the things I'm annoyed with in myself now have been virtues in others, things like endurance and fortitude and resourcefulness. Maybe even independence. If they are, they feel like very lonely virtues.

Though now that I write them down, none of them seem incompatible with friendship or other ties. They might not even have been for me in practice. That's how I've always thought of them, though.
Monday, October 20th, 2014 02:02
13 years ago Saturday, I pledged to be the friend who didn't fall off the radar for Darkside. It has worked out rather better than he thought it would so far. :)
Monday, October 20th, 2014 11:14
I... think my car was broken into last night? I mean it must have?

Yesterday I parked just as a big rain storm was starting up, so I ran out of the car when it was raining, but then I turned back to MAKE SURE I locked it. I mean anything is possible, but IDK. I CHECKED THAT I'D LOCKED IT.

This morning I came to my car and the glove compartment was open, and the stuff that was in it was splayed on the passenger's seat (if the compartment had opened accidentally and things had spilled out they'd have gone to the floor) and the stuff that had been lying on the floor/on the seat next to the driver's were lying on the driver's seat. Namely, a pair of pink underwear that I had... lying somewhere in the car (that was not on a seat! Don't ask.) was neatly splayed out on the driver's seat.

I just... WHAT. Nothing was taken - I mean there was nothing valuable in the car anyway, but even the stuff from the glove compartment was intact. There was a speaker thing in there! They didn't even take that! Nothing else in the car had been touched, everything in the trunk was intact. None of the windows were broken or anything, the car started just fine. I... I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

Apparently last night someone broke into my car, found a pair of my underwear and decided to put it on my seat. The disconcerting thing is that I had a name tag from work in the glove compartment, so they also saw my name + place of employment? It's a little hilarious and a little unspeakably creepy. I... just don't even know. I guess it's possible my stuff went topsy-turvy on its own, due to the intense storm. But even though trees and stuff were rattled, I don't really see my car being picked up from the ground and shaken around, which is the only thing that could have caused a pair of underwear to migrate from being crumpled on the floor or whatever to being nicely displayed on the next seat over?

It's possible that I didn't notice that the car was unlocked, I guess, and someone sought refuge from the rain in it? The passenger's side was the one close to the sidewalk, so there's that I guess? And maybe they rifled through my stuff and then politely... got up and left my car alone?

I just... what even. WHAT EVEN.
Monday, October 20th, 2014 08:08
via http://ift.tt/1t4lKeR at October 20, 2014 at 03:00AM:






So….I totally never thought about this. I’m sure very few of you have. I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit disturbed…

Wow. Food for thought. I’m sure there’s an answer though.

Their names were translated/Anglicized after going from Greek to English.

The names of the Apostles are of Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew origins. The Hebrew, Aramaic and “Greek” named Apostles were:
Shim’on = Simon (Hebrew origin).
Y’hochanan = John (Hebrew origin).
Mattithyahu = Matthew (Hebrew origin).
Ya’aqov = James (Hebrew origin meaning Jacob).
Bar-Tôlmay = Bartholomew (Aramaic, which is related to Hebrew).
Judah = Jude / Saint Jude (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, Hebrew origin).
Yehuda = Judas Iscariot (Hebrew origin, Betrayed Yeshua/Yehosua the Messiah).
Cephas / Kephas = Peter (Hebrew / Aramaic origin meaning “Rock”).
Tau’ma = Thomas (Aramaic origin).
Andrew = Andrew (Greek origin. Is the brother of Cephas / Kephas).
Phillip = Phillip (Greek origin).
You will note that there are only 11 names, that is because there were 2 Apostles named Ya’aqov (James), which brings the total to 12 apostles.


To expand on this, Jesus’s name is Anglicized in this way as well. We get Jesus from the Latin form of the Greek “Ἰησοῦς”(Iēsous), which is derived from the Herbrew “ישוע”(Yeshu’a, which meant “YHWH is Salvaion”, YHWH, or Yahweh being the name of God). When another form of that name, ” יְהוֹשֻׁעַ”(Yeoshu’a) was allowed to Anglicize through a different set of corruptions, it entered the English Language through Reformist Protestants as the name “Joshua”.
Yes. Jesus’s actual name is Joshua.

joshua christ this is fascinating

No but you realize this means the creator of the graphic DIDN’T KNOW that all of those names were Middle Eastern in origin, though.
And that’s sad.
Monday, October 20th, 2014 07:06
via http://ift.tt/1CJtCCd at October 20, 2014 at 02:00AM:

meeting chris evans like
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 22:50
1. I did not sleep in this morning because I woke up super hungry and could not get back to sleep, but I did take a nap in the morning!

2. We went to Walmart and Fry's today. Haven't been to Fry's in ages, since we don't have a car anymore and I just feel like electronics stores are not as exciting as they once were, but it was fun to take a look around. And Walmart had (among other things) Crispix for under $3! That is my favorite cereal and it's usually $5 something at other stores and never goes on sale, but this was their regular price. Too bad we don't have a Walmart near us or I'd buy it all the time (as it is, I bought three boxes).

3. Alexander came over this evening and we started a Gravity Falls rewatch. He's only seen about half of season one, and rather than try to figure out where he'd left off, we just decided to start from the beginning. Irene had never seen it before and wasn't sure she'd like it or not, but she did, so yay. :D
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 22:39
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 21:58
As I believe I've mentioned here before, I have a pretty annoying case of dyscalculia. It mostly makes me transpose digits, confuse certain numbers (3 and 8, 2/5/9), and have difficulty with orders of magnitude. Since discovering that dyscalculia is a genuine honest thing (the schools I attended really should have picked it up, but it was too early for there to be much attention on the condition and we had a nasty case of Gifted Children Can't Have Learning Disabilities) I've learned a bunch of workarounds and coping techniques; I'm getting better at it not disrupting my life.

I also have a really shitty memory for numbers, except when I have a really good memory for them -- fucked if I can remember specific phone numbers for years and years, for instance, even ones I manually dial regularly instead of using the phone's address book, until all of a sudden, like with the flip of a switch, I'll remember it for years past when I'm actually using it regularly. Right after I moved out of my parents' house the first time, I was writing checks for a lot of my regular shopping, and I wrote my drivers' license number on the checks often enough that I found I'd memorized it -- and still remember it, 10 years after surrendering my NJ license for a MD one. (I don't know my MD one; I don't write checks that often anymore.) That kind of thing.

The big thing, though, is credit card numbers. I buy things online pretty often, and I don't ever let my browser or most websites save my CC#, so I type it pretty regularly. It usually takes me no more than a year or two to memorize a credit card number after something like a CC fraud/identity theft thing happens and I have to cancel the card and get a new one. I always struggle like hell for the first few months of a new card number (wanting to type in the old one and always misreading/mistyping the new one as the transpositions and digit confusions kick in), then have a little while of not remembering the number but not having trouble typing it with the card in front of me. Then I'll find that I'm remembering the expiration date and the CVV (confirmation code), along with a few sequences of the 16-digit card number, but I still need the card for confirmation. After a bit, though, it's like a switch flips in my head, and I never have to pick up the physical card again when I'm making online purchases. (Until the next time there's a data breach and I have to get a new card number, of course.)

I'm curious as to how common this is! Sarah says she's never memorized a credit card number in her life, whereas I currently have our main credit card # (last changed about 2 years ago) and the DW business card # (about three years old) memorized but not our backup card (which is about three or four years old, I think, but I type it in way less frequently).

So, a poll:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 230

For your current primary credit card:

I don't remember anything about it, no matter how long I have the number for.
16 (7.0%)

Eventually I will learn some parts of it (small sequences, CVV, expiration date) but I always go for the card anyway.
67 (29.3%)

Eventually I'll remember larger bits of it (whole segments but not all of the #, CVV and expiry, etc) but always doublecheck
42 (18.3%)

I'll remember it if you get me started but I don't rely on memory in case I get it wrong
7 (3.1%)

I will memorize number, expiry, and CVV eventually but I haven't had this card long enough yet
36 (15.7%)

I have number, expiry, and CVV memorized and don't need to pull out the card
57 (24.9%)

I don't have a credit card/I don't use it for online purchases
4 (1.7%)

If you do memorize credit card numbers, about how long does it take you?

Less than 6 months
51 (34.0%)

6 months to a year
42 (28.0%)

12 to 18 months (1-1.5 years)
33 (22.0%)

18 to 24 months (1.5-2 years)
15 (10.0%)

24 to 30 months (2-2.5 years)
2 (1.3%)

30-36 months (2.5-3 years)
2 (1.3%)

Longer than 3 years
5 (3.3%)

If you do memorize card numbers: do you deliberately try to, or does it just happen?

I deliberately try to memorize them as quickly as possible
8 (5.0%)

I try haphazardly but I don't sweat it
30 (18.8%)

It just happens
122 (76.2%)

I wish to complain about the options in this poll:

39 (100.0%)

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 21:56
Reading Tumblr is making me post more often on Dreamwidth. I end up wanting to post with the frequency post on Tumblr, but I want to do it here, where I have a community and we can actually have useful conversation. I don't want to be reblogged by any rando who clicks on the tag, I want to have a conversation with all y'all.

Once Upon a Time, The Apprentice )
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 21:30
I think most people consider Fathers' Day and Dalek to be the two best stories of this season. Fathers' Day notably pipped Dalek to the Hugo but I was a little concerned that on a second watch it would be too schmaltzy and the sentimentality would be too obviously manipulative.

It is very schmaltzy )

Where Fathers' Day clearly wins over Dalek, I suspect, is that it is dealing with a far more accessible situation. Most people have lost someone close to them, so the question of how you would feel and react if given the opportunity to save them, or meet them again, is much more directly relevant than the question posed in Dalek which is about how similar someone very powerful can become to their arch-nemesis. It's a much more human story and for all its blatant sentimentality I think it, at the end of the day, is a better piece of television as a result.
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 20:07
post-tags: instagram, crosspost First frost tonight; pumpkin from @wilsonfarm ready for a slow afternoon roast. (As the base for kaddo bourani!)
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 15:44
But he's more interested in standing there and yelling at me.

Read more... )
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 11:21
So I replaced them yesterday. Popular! She can't decide which to kill first.

Read more... )
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 08:11
via http://ift.tt/1sXqgdL at October 19, 2014 at 03:00AM:







1. Steve Rogers is not just some dumb soldier who follows orders, he thinks outside the box and asks questions and considers consequences.

2. Peggy Carter had plans to eat that boy alive before he became a delicious roast beefcake in Howard Stark’s hottie machine. 

3. I don’t understand people who didn’t enjoy this movie. 


Roast beefcake is just added bonus:

everybody wanted to eat that roast beefcake

Seriously. In the taxi cab she was totally planning on taking his virginity. 

And then he got all beefy and she was like “Shit. Heart of gold AND pecs that could crack a walnut between them? How am I supposed to deal with this?????”

The nurse in the background is just thinking “Do it. Do it for all of us. Do him for all of us”

Are you sure she’s not thinking “I can’t decide. I know! THREESOME!” ? 
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 00:52
Friday was a special work holiday celebration on account of Diwali. The event invitation said to dress colorfully, so I did -- the sea-blue print skirt, a screaming magenta top, a knit teal mesh scarf paired with a burnout royal blue scarf (both the same size of infinite), and yellow and blue ribbons in my loose hair. The Stage Manager: "It looks like you walked through a rainbow and it exploded."

I went early-ish; Purple also went early-ish; we failed to locate each other until much later. I sat down next to Mr. Sub-tle and chatted a bit while sewing square white buttons on a black shawl. The major challenge is to sew them on in a way that has them retain their orientation. I learned many things about the shenanigans which go into arranging certain events.

At length lb appeared, and then the Other Guy. They had a rousing discussion of events. Eventually things got louder, and lb and I headed over to a quieter side bench, which had the disadvantage of extra reverb. Purple came out to join us after a while, and there was lengthy and hilarious discussion, some of which was more appropriate than others. I got an appreciable amount done on embellishing the shawl. The buttons were sent in a large bulk bag. The manufacturing process involved chips of plastic lodging themselves in the thread tunnels of the buttons, so I had to ream them out. Meanwhile, Purple and lb and Dean Pelton (and Purple points out that our version is *much more* butch than Community's) all thought they looked like chiclets. "Manlets!" Purple declared. Whereupon I said that I was reaming the manlet. Hilarity, etc.

Dinner or something was briefly under debate, but declined on the grounds that Saturday was going to be sort of epic. Purple and I wrapped up, then walked out together. We nearly lost balance when hugging, but recovered. I was reminded of the gif floating around tumblr of the people dancing off a balcony, then demonstrated Tay's tango-punch. Purple had thought of a slightly different way to do that, which delighted me. And then we headed off, intending to have quiet and early nights. I did better at that than he did, as he proved to be coding up a storm on some personal projects, late into the night...

lb invited one of his other work friends back to #adventuresofstnono. Whee!
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 00:37
The streams have crossed. I've now met two of Purple's good friends from non-work (tentatively dubbed Catboy and the Antisocial Butterfly) and they now know that I say "As helpful as a ferret in a bowl of packing peanuts" when Purple is being super helpy.

The event: an open house at the NASA Ames Research Center, attended by like fucking half the goddamn sf bay area.

Despite the woeful elements of my day, I'm feeling really pretty damn good about the whole thing, which is great -- the same series of events could have resulted in a really kind of terrible day. Happily, they did not.

long day is long )
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 07:09
via http://ift.tt/1sXesIt at October 19, 2014 at 02:00AM:



So my school is putting on a production of Macbeth and not enough guys tried out so instead of having a girl play male Macbeth, our direction said, “Fuck it, we’re doing Lesbian Macbeth”

This is the best possible solution.

I most heartily approve of this because it is awesome.
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 23:09
1. I feel like I got quite a bit done at work today. Still so, so behind, but starting next week I'll be training someone to take over one of my departments, so hopefully that will make things easier.

2. Irene made pasta for dinner tonight. Very tasty!

3. I caught up on Shingeki no Kyojin. Argh, it's so good!

4. Homestuck is back from hiatus! I liked the first updates a lot, but then I like Caliborn a lot, so.

5. Day off tomorrow! Not only do I get to sleep in and relax, but I won't have to hear the Hokuto mushroom song on loop for hours on end. (We have a Hokuto mushroom fair going on this week and so during the sale period we have to have this on by the mushrooms and omg I can't take it anymore!)
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 18:01
I realize I am actually sick of talking about terrible people and how they treat people badly. So I'm going to talk about something positive: This is my review of Revolution 60, the game created by Giant Spacekat. Disclaimer: I'm a book reviewer, not a game reviewer. I'm not going to review this in a critical, professional way, but only my very personal reaction.

As you know, Bob, I have pain and dexterity problems in my hands, severely limiting what I can do on a touchscreen. I'm not dexterous, I'm not fast, and I have to be enjoying myself a lot to spend spoons on a game. These days most of my gaming is shared with my housemates, where they drive the controller but we make decisions together. Many of the games I install on my iPhone get rapidly deleted for this reason, and even the ones that I do play I specifically don't play in timed modes, or modes that require dexterity.

So I was a little bit nervous about Revolution 60. I knew there was a combat system, which was necessarily going to push my limits. I picked up the game anyway, on the recommendation of a coworker. (This was when the game first launched, long before the Internet blew up at Brianna Wu.)

Revolution 60 review )
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 16:09
She's pretty much destroyed the laundry basket, too.

Read more... )
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 15:52
Sorting my giveaway box in prep for pulling frimps for the mega decant circle I have open right now. GC on table in piles by alphabet, LE decants in the Baggie. This is why I ask for wish lists...

Read more... )
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 17:28
Brain still all over the place. Sleeping lots, then finding it hard to remember what all I've actually achieved, and therefore getting sad and edgy about not ~doing anything~, so let's make a list.

tada )

todo )
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 10:33
Just the fact that it's Saturday. It doesn't even need to do anything else. I'm satisfied. And also I have tea. :)
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 07:15
I've had another sleepless night. My last one was more than a week ago, at work. I think a common link was trying to take my meds at night and not in the morning; so much for that plan.

Emily-cat has been coming to lie on my pillow the last couple days, when I turn off the lamp in my room and lie down for the night. Tonight I was a poor bedfellow, I'm afraid. I petted her, which she doesn't want when she's come to sleep; then I tossed and turned, and at length sat up in bed and stole her pillows. She moved to curl up at my feet, and then I forgot and kicked her when I stretched out again.

She followed me upstairs every time I went. She used to be very anxious that no distance close between us, so the moment I got to my feet she'd leap to hers; now she'll actually wait until I'm out of her line of sight before following.

A couple days ago I decided to be terribly productive and rearranged the cat shelves in the living room to my liking, so she now has perches at chest-height, and above that close to the ceiling at 7 or 8 feet. On the left-hand chest-height perch she can see both the living room and into the kitchen, which is useful when I was making myself something to drink; but when I settled down on the living-room couch to read my book and drink hot chocolate she went up to the top and sat there like a creepy gargoyle catloaf with bioluminescent eyes.

I think she likes them.

Now it's early morning, I haven't slept, and I've booked a massage for 2pm because pain is part of what's keeping me up at night. Inertia makes me want to stay here and "try to sleep" again, but I think I might actually get dressed and get a jump on my day, and then fall asleep when I get home in the afternoon.

I'm seriously surprised I managed to write this whole entry. Lately I've been flaking out on holding a coherent thought together for more than a few sentences--it's easier when I'm responding to something, like someone on Tumblr being RONG about the MBTI, but taking a spontaneously-occurring idea in my head and putting it down on writing before it evaporates is often an exercise in futility. I have a lot of first sentences of things.
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 14:55
not to write the selkie novel this November? (Yep, that snippet is about selkies - when listening to Still Catch The Tide on repeat, I found myself wondering what it would take for a selkie to choose to destroy her sealskin, and then things kind of... spiralled. I have only a very broad-brush outline and part of the point of trying to NaNo it would be to find out what the hell's going on! BUT it is still not necessarily a good idea for me to try to the thing.)
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 08:09
via http://ift.tt/1Fg4LtY at October 18, 2014 at 03:00AM:






This shit is fucking hilarious.


Saturday, October 18th, 2014 07:07
via http://ift.tt/1rLWLq9 at October 18, 2014 at 02:00AM:

This just reminds me of the time the East Asian Language/Culture majors got involved in LARPing L5R.
It ended with someone having to admit that eight layers was sufficient because she couldn’t MOVE with any more.
Friday, October 17th, 2014 21:17
Traveling and maintaining the RL persona travel blog is taking up all of my energy.

Redwood was amazing.

Yosemite was nice, but Yosemite Valley is way too touristy for me. Couldn't do much else because the husband has a cold.

Kings Canyon is amazing and wonderful and did I mention amazing?

Oh, and Netflix US is great. I got a craving for Sci-fi again and now I am rewatching Star Trek Voyager. Oh my, that series is... Sometimes great and sometimes really awful.
Friday, October 17th, 2014 19:28
So, guys, last night I posted the last chapter of The Way You Drink Your Coffee.

The Way You Drink Your Coffee (38830 words) by sabrina_il
Chapters: 9/9
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Patrick Kane/Jonathan Toews
Characters: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Adam Burish
Summary: Patrick Kane is a professional dominant, Jonathan Toews is his client.

Guys, it's been a year. OVER a year, actually. I started writing this in July of last year, and finished posting in October. I suppose I can claim I've been working on it for a year proper if I take out the two months I've spent traveling. I remember telling [personal profile] roga, last September as I was gearing up to leave for India, that the story was nearly done and just needed another draft for polish.

I've learned so, so, so much from writing this story. Which is why I stuck with it I guess - even in my darkest hour (more about why there were dark hours in the end notes) I felt like going through this, having this struggle, was teaching me so much about writing. In the back of my mind I was always writing this story as "practice" for writing an original novel, and so no experience was a bad experience, I guess, in that sense.

Writing and posting this story also had an unexpected result in boosting my confidence a little. I have basically no confidence at all in my skills as a writer of fiction (I'm good with non-fiction! but with fiction it's a completely different story). I've struggled with this and will continue to struggle with it, I guess, because the only way to convince yourself you can do something is to actually do it.

About 5 years ago I wrote an original scifi novella. It features a 90% female cast, it's set in a total institution, it talks about adolescence and leadership and friendship and I still believe in it passionately. I still love the characters, the plot, the setting, more than I can say. When, after several rounds of editing it, I considered trying to self publish it in whatever venue, I was afraid of tricking people. I remember explaining this logic out loud to [personal profile] shedonit and realizing how ridiculous it sounded, while at the same time being unable to let it go. Trying to sell my novella, even for a cent, felt dishonest. I'm not a good writer, is the thing, and people might consider buying my story because they know me from my journal, and I will be deceiving them because my fiction isn't actually any good.

[personal profile] shedonit kept asking, "have you edited this story until it's the best story you can possibly create at this point in time?" and I said yes, and she said "then let people make their own decisions". But I couldn't. It made me want to hide under the bed, the idea of "tricking" people out of their money, even if it was a single cent. My work is not good enough.

I still struggle with this, and I'll continue struggling with it, but posting this story in chapters, seeing the reaction to it, has been really, really huge. I have this thing where when people comment and tell me I'm a good writer or the story is really good I just glance over it. Subconsciously I tell myself that they're only saying that because the standards for fanfic are low anyway, or they're just trying to be nice, or they liked the particular kink/character/trope I used and it's not related to my skills at all. But TWYDYC, because it was so long, because I spent so much time on it, because I had to go through a conscious process of "this is good enough" and accepting its imperfections and posting, because I got to see people being excited about it chapter after chapter after chapter, where each time I thought "people will hate this" or "this isn't good enough" people would respond with how positive feedback... it's been huge, just absolutely huge for me. It's not that I have a huge amount of confidence now, but I have slightly more than zero. I guess it's that enough people have publicly liked this story that my brain can't claim they're ALL making it up.

Anyway, my goal now is to get back to writing original stuff, or rather to writing longform original stuff, which is what I was doing when TWYDYC "interrupted". more about original projects )