November 2014

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Monday, November 24th, 2014 10:29
Oh my gosh, BAM was awesome. To quote Bordermarch's Herald, it was "fantabulous". I dragged Brent along and he's gotten excited about doing Arts and Sciences again. Especially since his friend Lady Willow got surprised-Laurel-elect this event. He's going to work for her this Gulf Wars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

going from bedside of ER to a high society function within 24 hours.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 21:45
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Tail end of the sunset over Spy Pond. Almost home.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 21:23
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Sunset over Peeper's Pond.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 09:07
They've developed a blight-resistant American Chestnut tree! That link goes to a fundraising page -- the team behind it, at SUNY-ESF, is trying to start a reforestation plan. Contributions are tax-deductable, and they're so close to being funded.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 04:39
I'm trying to be more diligent about reposting these regularly, really I am.

Behind the cut: reviews of Old Demons of the First Class, Dwarf, The Lion, Rage, Half-Elf, Morocco, Lear, Blood, Sjöfn, Haunted, Good, Elf, Mr Vandemar, Black Lotus, Coyote

15 reviews )
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 18:03
I am really enjoyin' the album Pretty In Scarlett by Murder Ballads. Featuring some folk songs, some prog-rock, and The Ballad of Captain America's Disapproving Face.

I reckon [profile] kabarett ought to check it out. Possibly also the rest of you.
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 12:29
This week:
  • Arranged flights.
  • Wrangled the first bit of travel insurance. (Still to do: pay extra premium for having mildly faulty lungs.)
  • Applied for accommodation, got three offers, accepted one. (Chose the option that was neither eye-wateringly expensive, nor due to be demolished halfway through my trip. Think I made the right choice.)
  • Set up a GoFundMe to try and help fix the shortfall between my grant and necessary expenditure. If you like postcards and/or videos, and have some cash to spare, there are 'rewards' relevant to your interests :D
  • Started figuring out things I need to buy before I leave. (Please feel free to add suggestions in the comments.)

Plus 18 hours of lectures and homework, and 14hrs on my assignment. Word count around a third of what I was hoping it would be by now. This may be a long weekend.
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 11:23
Courtesy of [personal profile] gingerschnapps, it's the [mental health] Downswing Party!

Bring your mood disorder, anxiety or other mental health issue! Commiserate! Hang out!

Important note: if you're worrying that you're not doing badly enough to qualify, you are welcome too!
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 04:11 timing schedule for thanksgiving. A surprising amount of blank space! That's with 10 min slots. Next step: shopping list.

Read more... )
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 00:24
1. Tomorrow and Sunday are my late days and then Monday I have off, so I get to sleep in three days in a row!

2. Looks like there's a cold going around my work as we've had a few people call in sick this week. (I really hope I don't get it, since I just had a cold like a month ago!) But thankfully even though we were short a cashier today, we had someone scheduled as a stocker who could also use the register, so she was able to take over and I didn't have to be at the register and could actually get stuff done.

3. I've been playing a lot of video games lately. In addition to the new Mario Kart levels, I've also been playing the remake of DuckTales on the Wii U and Link's Awakening and Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box on the 3DS. They're all a lot of fun! (I'm getting close to the end on both DuckTales and Link's Awakening, though.)
Friday, November 21st, 2014 20:00
Food geeking ahead; feel free to skip. )
Friday, November 21st, 2014 22:00
Neuro appt today yielded a new preventative med, a new PRN med, and an MRI
at 7am tomorrow. My neuro agrees that it is more likely that there are 1-2
underlying conditions which account for all of the issues. It is easier to
treat one or two conditions instead of trying to balance 8-10 piecemeal
diagnosed conditions.

Wish me luck.

Friday, November 21st, 2014 22:49

Aaaa, this blast from the past rolled around on my partner's spotify tonight. So much power pop goodness...I have ~feels~ about this song. ^_^;

Also notable: apparently Weezer did a cover of this song for the movie Cars 2. It's pretty good! They didn't stray very far from the original. =)

Friday, November 21st, 2014 22:13
I say this about fan fiction or any sort of fiction writing all. The. Damn. Time!

First and foremost, you have to make the movie for yourself. And that's not to say, to hell with everyone else, but what else have you got to go on but your own taste and judgment? - Harold Ramis
Friday, November 21st, 2014 21:42
This picture almost broke me: Picture under cut for size )
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 01:42
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Two jerks on the #mbta begging for nutcrackers from fellow commuters.
Friday, November 21st, 2014 15:12
First Charing Cross appointment survived as of Wednesday lunchtime! Barrett did an excellent job of walking the line of the non-actionable; he was determined to tell me lots of incredibly irrelevant anecdotes about his time working with youth offenders, but fundamentally I treated him like an incompetent and irritating supervisor who considered me incompetent and irritating, and this worked well. (Case in point: I successfully rendered him temporarily speechless by telling him very politely that naturally I understood that he had to take a conservative approach...)

Outcomes: I now ~understand~ that ~gender neutrality~ is like ~anarchism~ in that it is inherently unstable and will inevitably collapse into one of democracy or dictatorship (YOU'RE WELCOME); I note that "people find it too difficult to present as gender neutral in ~~~real life~~~" is not in point of fact an argument that gender-neutral identities don't exist, and you position yourself uniquely to believe that in fact they do not; "but what if in a decade's time you don't feel comfortable taking your shirt off on a beach!!!" is not in fact an argument against giving me top surgery now; etc etc. Not dreadful, nothing I couldn't cope with, and next time I possibly get to see Lorimer.

My mental health has improved markedly since starting the vitD, which is extremely pleasant. I am so, so much better; it's a great relief - I'm back down to PHQ-9 score of 8 (from 18 when we tested my bloods). (8 is operating-within-normal-parameters for me -- I am scoring quite highly on the fatigue questions because I've had a long lab stint, and have been in work every day yes-including-weekends since sometime early last week.)

The rest of the ten good things! )
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 23:18
1. So glad to actually have two days off this week. For the past month or more I've been going in for at least a few hours on one of my days off, but this week I actually managed to stay home both days!

2. My mom came over today and we got KFC. (Delicious KFC + someone else paying for it, yay!)

3. I got some songs translated and actually updated my lyrics website for the first time in months.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 22:30
I am not allowed to blow things with genitals at Purple. Leaves are okay. Leaves don't have genitals. Leafs, as in the hockey players, are right out. At a distance of greater than a quarter-mile, the likelihood of an exact fix is low enough as to render nearly any angle allowable. At a distance of a quarter-mile or nearer, direction again becomes important.

It took us at least five minutes to wind the conversation to a point where I was no longer laughing too hard to drive.

Purple had parked in the other direction, and asked if he could bum a ride back to his car if I'd like him to walk me out. So that's what we did.

I managed to trip on a perfectly flat section of floor in the cafeteria. Purple finds skirts impractical and feels no need to wear them.

"Cousin Purple" is having Thanksgiving with his one friend's family.

The day was transcription, punctuated by someone's network switch going spare and getting its internet taken away. Plus the inevitable fallout from same: the "oh my god I can't reach this tool it's a network problem" and the "holy shit, how do we report an outage" and the "let us contemplate the ways in which our communication between Engineering and IT is fucked" conversation -- it was a bit of a busy day.

I explained in very small words to an IT manager (on behalf of a #VirtualH and #adventuresofstnono compatriot) why the fuck whitelisting email addresses in the tool that blocks email from unfamiliar addresses and furthermore mangles unfamiliar links, will not work for the purposes of having unfamiliar links in logs from strange servers included as text attachments not being fucking mangled by the mangler. Fuck.

Apparently my arguably passive-aggressive means of getting our friend the person incoherently in charge of the helldesk software (3rd tier, I think) to admit that a function went away, is to ask her to explain how such and such a task is accomplished with that set of permissions.

Today was my second time walking an engineer through a really poorly designed form in a way that didn't make the engineer feel stupid, but did hone the rage and hatred of everyone involved. (The first time was Mr. Zune. The 0th time was me vs. the helpdesk.) I am particularly acrimonious about this particular form as this is one of the ones where my usability concerns have been basically brushed off. It's one of the things where using it as it comes naturally is not how it's intended to be used -- if you leave any text in the terrible field before hitting the search icon because your first attempt has failed, the text in the terrible field will invisibly filter the results in the popup. And there is no way to clear the terrible field from the search popup. It makes strong-minded engineers frustrated past their safety-release-valve thresholds, and it makes me incoherent with rage and hatred, and pathetically grateful when the engineers agree just how terrible it is.

It turns out that Dolohov, as he is played in Alternity (the little bits I've seen, as I'm still intermittently catching up with Year 1) makes my inner submissive look thoughtfully around for the kneepads. (Kneeling is good for many purposes, not just the ones that would make Purple look sternly at me and ascertain that I was oriented correctly away. It was only when [personal profile] woggy mentioned a thing that I realized that this would have that implication.)

Purple swears he will remember the Catching Fire disc tomorrow.

Fishie is the perfect child because she loves the jellybeans I hate.

The guy who isn't usually at the burrito station cannot wrap a burrito properly. Jokes about his popularity amongst stoners ensued.

NaNo: not going so great (haven't really had the energy). I'm feeling OK about it.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 20:10
So people have been talking about "I want a [mental health] Downswing Party but don't feel mentally well enough to host one" at [personal profile] recessional's journal, so I thought I'd ask:

Does anyone feel well enough to host a Downswing Party on their journal and make sure all the commenters play nice/people don't get forgotten?

While I'm at it I'll also remind people that ALSO, [personal profile] kaberett's love meme has nearly 700 comments, and is still accepting nominations for another week and a half. :)
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 20:02
More PT this week. I am successfully doing the sets of exercises every day.

I still have the flu, tired and vaguely sick, fever varying between 99 and 100, yet am functional. Way more functional than when I wasn't sick but was having a flare up of joint pain. As I think this over I am undoing some hidden levels of blaming myself and worrying that it's my fault or I am specially wimpy or malingering. It is obviously not my fault and I'm tough as nails.

Also maybe I am just not hit that hard by it since I did have a flu shot.

I went out for an hour to the HRDA office party (figuring not contagious if I've had this for nearly 2 weeks) then home again and to bed.

Tomorrow, beta 11 release (specially extended for a week) And then to pain/insomnia therapy and then I will chill out and have a nap. If i feel up to it will go to stef's party. Then swim on the weekend. If I can work up to 2-3 times a week consistently it will be amazing

The portland work week hotel for 1st week of december has a pool. I am going to resolve NOT to try to go out to dinner with people. if i can last the work week sitting up and paying attention and getting back and forth to the hotel it will be ok. d. is going with me and will just work from the hotel. that is amazingly comforting as I won't be stuck and without help if things go wrong physically. and he is super comforting and good to come home to.

I can't tell right this minute if my ankles are stretchy-good hurt or actually hurt. But i ache al over . the PT today was partly some sort of weird pilates machine . and like 20 miutes of lying there trying to move just my lower abdominal muscles, which I am still not sure actually exist. holy crap that was difficult and exhausting. but awesome.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 18:15
I feel the need to note that when Mom was here helping me, an ongoing refrain of hers was, "BELIEVE THE PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. THEY LIKE YOU. BELIEEEVVEE THEEEEEM."
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 16:44


Timestuck Rose (ver. Journey to the Centre of the Earth)

Teslacon 2014

Cosplayer | Photos | Design

blah blah more testing blah

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 08:51
The end of the semester is a particularly boring time to be updating, which is why I haven't been, much. Every day is more RAship work and lecture prep and lecturing and then I come home and try to keep up with chores...

Things I am excited about!

- I have been joining and organizing a lot of write-offs and boot camps. It's really helping me progress with the novel. Today I have signed up for three hours, and I'm hoping to edit one scene and finish another, and then submit another chunk to my supervisor. If I could finish the first third of the second draft by the end of the semester that would be really good.

- Next week I am going to paint an accent wall with [profile] zulu_mom. I enjoy painting and we've chosen a dramatic sort of red, just for this one corner of our living room. Should go well with our red furniture, and set off the dark wood of our shelf/cabinet thing. (And hide the places where I patched the drywall after taking down some shelves.)

- I have only three things left to mark! One reading quiz, one research essay, one final exam. Today maybe I can start putting together the rubrics that will help me mark faster.

- Soon, soon I will make & freeze all the food.

Man, even writing this list I feel like I'm just repeating myself. I need time and space to think about new/different things.'s warmer today? The cats, especially Maddy, have been very snuggly lately--maybe because it's winter. Maddy comes under the covers in the night and purrs and purrs. Chelsea's transformation into a lapcat continues apace: when she wants to sit with me, she's learned to navigate the laptop, and also to bump my hand imperiously when the scritches stop for some inexplicable reason (like that I want to scroll while I'm reading...).

Mostly I am treading water and keeping up with things. Oh, that reminds me: I want to buy some swim passes and do more movement/exercise once the semester's done, and swimming would suit nicely.

Maybe also I can start thinking about Christmas shopping. I have already bought one thing for my parents, but once I have time to stop and think, I'll be able to put together some ideas for everyone else.

Er, anyway. Hi everyone! How is your November treating you? Only one more month of increasing darkness. I'm looking forward to the light coming back.

Also, keep prompting me for the December meme if you want! list of topics so far )
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 03:12
Sleep: there was something large and mechanical doing something noisy and mechanical to the lawn or something. It started up around 8. I spent too long awake, so I reset my alarms. Consequently I was later in to work than I planned. It was work's observation of Thanksgiving at lunch. Purple's team opted to go together, and early. I went in apparently just after he had gone out, based on the timestamps. The turkey and gravy and such were tasty enough.

Hooray transcription.

Partway through the afternoon I headed for the bathroom and then sort of jumped back while apologizing, because the door didn't swing freely and I was afraid there was someone on the other side, and it was making a terrible noise. Then I realized that no, it was just making a terrible noise because it was broken. So I filed a ticket; the phrase "flatulent elephant seal" was employed. I linked it in #cupcake for Mr. Zune's delectation. radius inquired whether Alaska was particularly well-equipped with flatulent elephant seals. If it is, it's not my parts of it. I then made a very ill-advised but informative trip to YouTube.

I was not incorrect.

I fetched dinner from the cafeteria at the top of the hill and advised Purple that if he was hungry in the next hour-ish, to ping me. He did, and we enjoyed a pleasant interlude, complete with discussion of exactly what would go into the cat-buttering assembly line construction app (at least a dollar's worth of greased feline hilarity).

Patting Purple on the head is not a valid life choice.

We returned to our various pursuits: I transcribed, Fishie tried to wrap her head around a Python quirk, and Purple beat his head against some very unhelpful compile errors.

[personal profile] azurelunatic: The statement "programmers are enormously clever fuckheaded dumbasses" is almost always true, and some asshole had to invent the language.
[personal profile] eveandriss lol
[personal profile] eveandriss well, that makes a lot more sense now actually...

Purple did not disagree.

A substantial amount of swearing later, Purple had got things working and was also fucking done. He showed up looking sleek and stylish and company-branded in the jacket, and we wandered out into the damp and leaf-strewn night. He had in fact been just thinking that perhaps he needed something for that middle state between flannel-or-equivalent and puffy teal grouse mode, and then, serendipity! The hackathon hoodie was a pullover, and Purple and I have similar feelings about pullovers (no). Usual engineer-level swag is the ugliest t-shirts known to man, and they'll take two, so they can look terrible twice as often.

I suggested that the default state of the shirts was perhaps not the ugliest shirt known to man, and began attempting to contextualize "The Situation" and his ab-window shirt. Purple started giggling when I got to the ab-window, and lifted his shirt to briefly expose a moderately hairy bear belly. He felt that no manager in the company would be particularly pleased with an Unfortunate Situation shirt. "If one guy does it," I started, and fairly shortly we were both on the Group W bench plotting exactly how much spray-tan you'd need to outfit a couple-ten Unfortunate Situations.

He's got an early lunch with his team tomorrow. I have to get gas (a little ahead of schedule). Catching Fire is in the offing. (Me borrowing the movie, not actual fire.)
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 10:49
So, last night I watched Wadjda, the film Saudi Arabia is submitting to the Oscars this year (for the first time ever). I've wanted to watch it since it was originally released, when I watched an interview with the director, Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first woman to direct a feature film in Saudi Arabia. I'm very happy it's now been around long enough (screened in Israeli cinemas last year!) that I can relatively easily find a copy of it online with subtitles.

I loved this movie a LOT and I recommend it to everyone. The very simple summary is that it's about a 10 year old girl growing up in the suburbs of Riyadh and her quest to buy a bicycle. She faces adversity in the form of reluctant shopkeepers, lack of funds, and parents and teachers who disapprove of a girl riding a bike. It's a movie that's lighthearted and funny and at the same time heavy and serious, forever fluctuating between the two. It's incredibly well made, with the script, the acting, the cinematography all being top notch. (I particularly loved Reem Abdullah as Wadjda's mother and Ahd Kamel as the school principal, they were both mesmerizing every moment they were on screen.)

It's difficult for me to talk at length about movies I loved, especially without spoilers. I will say that I loved Wadjda's personality, her unrelenting ambition and entrepreneurial spirit, her stubbornness. Part of the reason Wadjda wants a bike is so she can race her friend Adbullah and win, and I will say the friendship between these two 10 year olds won me over in ways I didn't expect. At first I thought the movie would be subtly shipping them, and I was disappointed we had to have a het romance subplot in a movie about 10 year olds, but instead it just showed them being genuine friends, supporting each other, knowing each other deeply and appreciating each other fully.

more meta thoughts, not spoilery )
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 08:12
For the past few months, I have been playing the Assassin's Creed series on the Playstation. The first part was... not good, but AC2 and AC2:Brotherhood more than made up for it. Loved the gameplay, the story, almost everything.

Since I played AC2:Revelations previously, I have now started Assassin's Creed 3, which is set in America before its independence and I am finding it very annoying so far.

* I didn't at all care about the character I played for the first few hours and never really understood who he was and why I was doing the things I was doing
* That despite an estimated half of my gametime so far being spent watching cutscenes. I am not making this up, there was a mission yesterday where I ran to a house, knocked on the door - cutscene - walked to the stable 50 meters away - cutscene - walked back to the house, knocked, then claimed for about thirty seconds and went back to the stables - cutscene - fight - cutscene. I'd really rather be playing..
* The missions are sometimes really hard, especially the optional goals. How am I supposed to not lose 50% of my health if a wolf attacks me right away? I had to replay a mission more than 10 times yesterday and at that point it's just frustrating.

I think I'll give it a few more hours, but the next part (Black Flag) is already waiting for me at the post office. Where I can't get to at the moment because of the plague, bah.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 20:08
Oh ugh, I just realized it's hockey season.

To quote [personal profile] recessional: "I will get progressively more and more sour about the NHL from now until the summer, and by May I may be cursing it. If you're not aware, hockey is the pathological rape-apologizing toxic masculinity sports religion of my upbringing and current living situation, and I will be bombarded by it day in and day out in all public venues until someone wins that damn Cup. This is just a thing that is going to happen."

Unlike my squicked feeling about most RPF, hockey RPF (hockey aversion aside) makes me happy especially because it probably upsets some of the people featured in it. Because the amount of misogyny and homophobia going on in hockey culture cannot be believed.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 18:16
I swear to god I am going to finally hit the point where my annoyance at ITTT overwhelms my lack of motivation, and write integration code for Paul Fenwick's Exobrain to access tumblr and DW, because ITTT can't handle photo posts on it's tumblr channel, and it can only trigger on every post or on a simple word-match for it's RSS channel. Which makes trying to crosspost my photo-heavy cosplay posts basically impossible.

It'll have to wait until I'm not crying inside over C, though.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 15:00
Something to muse on. Should We Change for the Sake of our Relationship?
"All relationships change the people who are in them.

Nobody goes through the fire trial of romantic love and comes out the same on the other side.

In fact, I would argue that for a relationship to last in the long-term—i.e. for two differing individuals to do the hard work of unpacking their own souls so they can better understand each other and live together in harmony—healthy change is essential.

So I believe a more fitting question would be, what is healthy change, and what isn’t?

Healthy change:
  • Brings you closer to understanding the truth about yourself.
  • Leads you to confront your darkness, and figure out how to deal with it.
  • Leads you to recognize detrimental thought patterns and attitudes that sabotage your own potential for fulfillment.
  • Can be extremely difficult and painful in the beginning, but rewards you with the power of self-knowledge and the joy of self-actualization.

    Unhealthy change, on the other hand:
  • Makes you feel disconnected from your true self; your identity becomes what you think your partner wants you to be.
  • Makes you more fearful of, and insecure about, the dark places inside you.
  • Leads you to smother, repress or ignore your own needs.
  • May bring you temporary, superficial gratification, but becomes increasingly painful and difficult to sustain."
  • Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 20:10

    This is for some values of series the first "not in a specific series but still polity" books. It essentially describes the first few while (months, I guess) of the Prador War. And describes things alluded to in the "Agent Cormac" series.

    If you've read and remembered any of my previous Polity bookmemes (rebiewlets?), take the "this is milSF and you will either hate it or not" as given.
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 13:53

    -My Pinterest emails are going wild. Someone's discovered something they really like on my DIY/Crafty board and I am getting all the emails about it. Fifty or sixty emails, I mean. That's a lot.

    -Mom got bit by a dog on Sunday. It looked bad then, but it's even worse now. I'm very worried about her and her bite. She sent me pictures and I am very, very concerned. She tells me that she went to the doctor and got antibiotics, yet I still am concerned after seeing these pictures. Hrmph.

    -My lemon tree and tomato plant have come inside! Now we must brave Birnam Wood 'ere we reach the kitchen. The lemon tree is even blooming - and it looks like it might have some fruiting bodies. I hope for at least one lemon. Just one.

    -I am packed for BAM! I am looking forward to it. I kept waffling on whether or not I was going to go, but I am going. I have packed plenty of warm things and figured out what we're taking for food. Now we just need to go get the food that we don't already have - the jerky, the nuts, the fruit, some additional sandwich stuff. We leave tomorrow and Giata, Ruby Herald, is camping with us. I think I should pack my gorget for waterbearing/fighter support, though.

    -I have hit six workouts! Three weeks, twice a week. I'm pleased with myself and happy that the trainers understand my limitations and work with me because of them.

    I think that's it for now.

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 14:11
    Decant circle: Anniversary. There's also a few spots left in Ligeia, and I'll combine shipping. (And/or hold for the Yules that should be coming out any day now.)