December 2014

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Saturday, December 20th, 2014 09:16
via at December 20, 2014 at 03:00AM:

And I am coming for the ones who h u r t m e. 
Saturday, December 20th, 2014 08:13
via at December 20, 2014 at 02:00AM:

Do not forget, or ever reveal, the names you give yourself when you survive defeat. They are your trophies of existence, marks that you were not destroyed.

They are your talismans, marks in the cosmic fabric to prove You were once Here, and you Fell, and you yet Continue.

Keep them private and you grant yourself something that can never be taken away, broken, or used against you.
Friday, December 19th, 2014 23:06
1. I have the sweetest cuddliest cat ever! (You may think it is your cat that deserves the honor, but I disagree!)

2. Oceanhorn is really fun. I've been playing it a lot.

3. It's so busy at work and people keep calling in sick (so far there's been at least two people out every day this week (plus one who's been out for a while due to appendicitis), though at least today it wasn't cashiers), but I still have managed to get some stuff accomplished (though really hardly anything today due to the morning delivery check taking so long because of large shipments + one fewer people to help check).

4. I get to sleep in three days in a row!

5. I made salmon and rice for dinner (with sauteed onions and mushrooms) and it was sooooo delicious.
Friday, December 19th, 2014 22:15
I had a meeting with my supervisor and committee member today, so it's now safe to post this!

Apparently I had committed a teeny-tiny, really huge error in my R-code which was causing my new results to differ draaaaastically from my old results, which, had it not been due to an error would have meant completely re-interpreting everything and re-writing 70% of my thesis.

BUT I found said error and re-analysed everything over the past week, and it came out almost the same as my original results! WHICH MEANS I DON'T HAVE TO RE-WRITE 70% OF MY THESIS. And I can instead get ON with my life. More data analysis ahead, but it's just stuff to back up my results. 

It ALSO means the results I presented at NASBR are at least on track. I may even put my poster up. *single tear*

[Bonus Points: Statistical Jargon Edition! :D
I created 95% confidence intervals for standardized estimates of coefficients for landscape effects at multiple scales, using generalized linear mixed models which incorporated observation level random effects to account for overdispersion in response variables. Non-landscape variable were chosen through stepwise Akaike Information Criterion selection of variables. ]

Saturday, December 20th, 2014 12:40
This is a crosspost from Chez Skud. You can comment here or there.

Remember when, back in the day, I used to post pics of my market haul? I was inspired by the excellent book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats which shows photographs of families from around the world with a week’s groceries.

Well, today I did what passes for a Christmas shop at my place, which is to say I went to the shops with the main intention of buying tasty things to see me through the next week or so, and without being too finicky about the budget. I wound up spending $93, which is about the national average for an adult’s food for the week, but way more than my usual (which is half that or less). That’s okay; I got lots of tasty stuff, plus I restocked a few pricier items that I’ve run out of lately.

groceries laid out on a table

The full haul: $93 worth.

Read the rest of this entry  )

Friday, December 19th, 2014 19:34
All the best fine dining establishments offer a cat snoozing on the chair next to you to accent your meal.

Read more... )
Friday, December 19th, 2014 10:49
Me: I'd like to change doctors, please.

Kaiser: Okay, but then you'll have to have an appointment with the new doctor.

Me: Okay.

Kaiser: Okay, what did you need to see the doctor about?

Me: Um, nothing. You just told me I need to see her.

Kaiser: But I have to put a complaint down here.

Me: Fine. Put [random choice from my short list of chronic conditions].

Cut to today, when I show up for this doctor-change visit and a different doc (neither my current one nor the new one) is listed on my check-in sheet.

Me: I am here to see Dr. A and you have me with Dr. B.

Kaiser: Oh, yes, Dr. A called in today, so we switched you to Dr. B.

Me: Okay, well, I want to cancel this appointment and make a new one with Dr. A.

Kaiser: Oh. Okay. Then you don't need to see anyone at all?

Friday, December 19th, 2014 20:16
This is a crosspost from Chez Skud. You can comment here or there.

It’s a cliche to blog about how seldom you blog, so I won’t. Instead I’ll just take the opportunity to reflect a bit on 2014 in terms of my home life.

It’s been a dog of a year. It’s been difficult to focus on anything much, let alone communicate about it. The first half of the year I was buried in personal stuff, and the second half of the year had more of that and then a lot of travel and busy-ness piled on top.

Most days I’m happy if I eat regular meals. I’ve had some great food this year, but mostly it just seems like a slog, trying to balance my body’s need for fuel, my inner self’s food-related hangups and issues, and the logistics of having food in the house, and having space and time to prepare it. I’ve had to cut myself a fair bit of slack on convenience foods and on food waste. Sometimes it’s better to buy a pile of fruit and vegetables just so I have them as an option, even if in the end I don’t eat them all and some of them wind up in the compost. Or to open a jar of something perishable so I can eat well now, even if I’m going away tomorrow or the next day and know I can’t finish it.

When times are hard I just keep trying to slog through it, do what I can, and remember nobody’s standing over me with a clipboard awarding points or writing down criticisms in red pen.

Some things I cooked/ate this year and didn’t post to the blog:

broad beans and leek from the garden, with ham, on homemade sourdough

broad beans and leek from the garden, with ham, on homemade sourdough

salad with red rice, sprouted lentils, tomato, kale, fetta, olives, and marinated artichoke hearts

salad with red rice, sprouted lentils, tomato, kale, fetta, olives, and marinated artichoke hearts

nettle soup

virulently green nettle soup with potato and ham


nachos with black beans and fresh jalapeno peppers from the garden

birthday lunch of ethical pork and beef ribs, corn bread, and coleslaw (eaten in a blanket fort! best birthday lunch!)

birthday lunch of ethical pork and beef ribs, corn bread, and coleslaw (eaten in a blanket fort! best birthday lunch!)

I’ve been doing a lot, a lot, of knitting and other crafts. Not least because I’ve had periods where all I can do is watch soothing TV and do something calm and repetitive. I’ve not been good at posting about it, though, nor updating Ravelry, and I have to admit that I’ve been casting on an awful lot of things for the “whee!” feeling of a new project, and not completing them. By my count I currently have at least 17 WIPs, most of which haven’t yet hit the “half done” mark.

I’ve instituted a kanban board on the wall of my living room for my craft projects (with an extra, innovative “> 1/2 DONE” column, because casting on and then putting it aside is a big issue for me) so I can see how many I have to finish. Sadly, it doesn’t work all that well to stop me casting on new things, because I just conveniently “forget” to add a sticker for the new project. Sigh. Oh well, at least every so often I can bring it up to date and it helps me remember what I have going, better than a pile of mystery project bags in the coffee table drawers ever could.

A week or so back I decided to try and reduce my WIPs considerably. My new rule (and let’s see how long I stick to it) is to have one large and one small/portable project out and work-on-able at any time, choosing the easiest to complete at any given time, according to the debt snowball method. Right now I’m working on a pair of fingerless mitts made from the tail ends of two colours of Mountain Colors Bearfoot, and a deathly dull product-knitting slog: a black hoodie in Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8 ply and in mostly stocking stitch. Both are made-up patterns, the hoodie being vaguely EPS-based, and the mittens basically just tubes with thumb-trick thumbs.

half-finished black hoodie

boring hoodie of boringness

red and brown striped fingerless mitts in progress

slightly less boring, but only just

My only escape from the “get through some bloody WIPs” effort is that I’ve told myself that I can knit hats for charity using wool from my charity-knitting basket, which I gathered up from all the odd scattered places and put in one pile last week. A hat usually takes about 2 evenings and is a quick distraction if I really must cast on something new. There’s at least a dozen hats worth of wool there, or roughly one for each reasonably-finishable project on the WIP list. (Some of the WIPs aren’t reasonably finishable, as they’re things like a mitred sock yarn blanket that will take years to gather odds and ends to make, or are super low priority, like the charming half-finished Scandinavian cross stitch table runner I found at a craft swap day — I have no qualms about that sitting quietly where it is for a long time.)

As for the garden… it’s a mess, and I’m late with planting everything, and that’s okay. I’m eating from it if not every day, then definitely every few days, and I have tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant coming along nicely for later in the summer. No clipboard, no red pen, right?

One thing that has been going well for me is that I’ve been making a pretty steady practice of getting rid of stuff. Somehow I’ve got to a point where it gives me a good, clean feeling to finish something and not have it any more, or to put something unused in the pile for the op shop (which seldom gets bigger than I can carry in my bike basket). Yesterday I had a momentary bout of “what if I applied for this amazing job and had to move house again?” and it made me think even more about how much stuff I have that I don’t need. I’m not going to apply for the job, but it did give me a kick in the pants about all my stuff.

A friend’s recently been talking up a decluttering guru who talks about getting rid of things that don’t spark joy, and it’s been good for me to think of my excess stuff in that way. It makes it much easier to say “no”. I don’t think I’m anywhere near Japanese minimalism (lol, no) but it does make it easier to get rid of things I’m keeping out of a sense of “ought”.

Finally, today I got a cleaner in, and she’s going to be coming regularly. I’ll be interested to see how much it changes my sense of overwhelmedness and whether it helps me get back on a more even keel with some of the other stuff I want to spend my energy on. I’ll give it a few months and then evaluate the costs/benefits; it’s a big chunk of my fairly tight budget, but I hope a worthwhile one for my mental health, which in turn is good for my so-called “actual” work.

I’m not going to make any new year’s resolutions, because they don’t work well for me. But here’s hoping 2015 is a good one!

Friday, December 19th, 2014 09:06
via at December 19, 2014 at 03:00AM:

The Mummy (1999)
Friday, December 19th, 2014 08:02
via at December 19, 2014 at 02:00AM:

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 23:43
I'm at my parents' house in Edmonton for the holidays. They point out that it is quite warm for the season at ten below freezing! I point out that this is still a 20 degree differential from Victoria's ten above. But no, I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth; I'm glad it's not minus thirty or forty.

I have ABANDONED MY CAT. She is ALL ALONE with no one but my five roommates to care for her. HOW WILL SHE COPE???

This is my first meeting with my parents' new kitten, Gallagher. He is the most hyper, friendly, curious cat I've ever known; I suspect him of using cocaine. Oh my god.
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 21:02
My personal project & open source journey has been longish and somewhat varied. I'm going to be trying to bring it to a point and either tie off or continue development with one major project.


- Rust log-piper to postgres for my rpis
- Finish Rust WAV parser - maybe?


- Card Catalog in Haskell - I need to understand how to make a CRUD app in Haskell.

Common Lisp

- a config file parser, rev to to the latest edition of the config file
- finish up some more generic support packages that will help the CL community.
- continue working on my BI database system (it's a fun & hard algorithmic challenge)

Of all those, I want to only be developing the Common Lisp BI system by July. My prior open-source (Quicklisp) Lisp work will be maintained with bugfixes, but I don't plan to do future feature on them. The BI work is interesting and encompasses a large segment of computer science, from compilers to algorithms.

Looking forward, I've roughly picked Scala as my "future" language, for future for-pay work, along with trying to learn it & the Play Framework in such a fashion that I can quickly gin up side projects/bootstrap income with Scala/Play. I've basically had it with dynamic languages: the system in Common Lisp is a disaster if there aren't lots of automated tests. Same for Python, Perl, etc. This isn't a big deal if you're doing it every day, but for the long-running projects, it's murder to pick something up after 3 months and understand what's going on.

Scala seems okay, I guess. It's statically typed and has a big commercial end of things. Which is cool. I'd rather use Haskell, but Scala clearly has the better financing and industrial tooling around it. Same for Rust, but I'm also not 100% sure Rust jobs will exist when I next look for work (hopefully quite a ways off!).
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 22:17
What are you currently reading?
Still reading vol. 1 of Kurage Hime. Because I'm now reading manga on my phone only when I'm at work, and reading on the ipad before bed, I'm not reading Kurage Hime very much at all.

On the ipad I've been reading quite a bit more. I'm back to my Kindaichi reread, which I abandoned about a year ago after reading the first twenty volumes. I've read a couple more now and am totally hooked.

What did you recently finish reading?
Just those couple volumes of Kindaichi.

What do you think you'll read next?
M-more Kindaichi...
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 18:26
[personal profile] chagrined asked if I collect anything or have ever collected something. Well, now I don't collect anything, but I certainly have in the past! I don't know what flipped the switch from collecting to not collecting, but I don't really feel the urge to collect stuff now.

When I was really into Digimon, I collected a lot of Digimon stuff. I bought toys and CDs (there was so much Digimon music) and any magazines that mentioned Digimon. But my biggest collection was my Digimon cards. I really wanted a complete collection and I managed it up to a certain point (when I stopped collecting, there were still new packs coming out, but I had a complete collection as of the point where I stopped). Not only did I use auction sites to get rare cards from regular decks, but I also got a bunch of rare cards that were given out at special events and stuff like that. And these were all Japanese cards. I got a lot of them off of Yahoo Auctions Japan and later I got a bunch from this guy who ran a site with scans of all the cards. I guess I must have just contacted him and asked him if he could get me any? I can't even remember now, but I bought a lot through him. I can't seem to find the pictures I must have taken when I sold the lot, but I had hundreds of cards, and since I didn't know anyone local who spoke Japanese and was interested in playing Digimon cards, they were just for collecting, not playing. :p

As a kid, one thing I really loved collecting was Disney figures. These were small plastic figures, maybe an inch and a half to two inches tall. I do have a picture of these that I took when I sold the collection. I kept them all in a big plastic jar and liked to take them out and line them up in various configurations. Because this was back before there was such a thing as the Disney store, and before Disney merchandise was as ubiquitous as it is today, I mostly bought these either at Disneyland or at the Hallmark store, and I was always excited to find a new one.
Friday, December 19th, 2014 00:05
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Like every cop car on the Arlington police force is at the corner of Mass Avenue and Milton right now. Wonder what's going on!
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 16:23

It is very hard to stay motivated when the semester is essentially over and the last thing I need to do is not so much 'needed' as 'should be done', and also is a rather large and scary project.

I'm trying to write an article for the research project I've been part of this semester. I've done the research, I've even done 95% of the outline, but there I seem to have stalled and much as it weighs on me I haven't kept going. (Like, the last 5% of the outline surely cannot be that difficult.) It would be so great to have even a first draft of this thing! And it wouldn't be too difficult to write if I'd just sit down and write it! It's the sitting down that stymies me. I need accountability. And fewer naps.

I mean I acknowledge that at 37 weeks pregnant a few naps here and there are not shockingly unprecedented. But somehow my days keep disappearing on me.

Hm. I think I will ask [profile] zulu_mom if she will be my peer pressure tomorrow.

Yes hello I am 33 1/2 and my mom helps me with my homework.
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 17:35
Cats. The answer is always cats.

Read more... )
Friday, December 19th, 2014 09:08
I'm afraid I'm going to have to mostly bail on [personal profile] liv's question, asking me to talk about "when mainstream feminism goes around reproducing lots of other hierarchies and oppressions", because I've been turning it over for a few days and I'm really not sure what to say.

I guess the short answer is: this is something I've been learning about and working on for the past 5 years, and I've been trying to improve my own practice around it, and to speak to people when they do faily things and I think I can usefully help out as an ally. The other thing, I suppose, is that I don't really engage much with "mainstream feminism" if by that you mean the sort of institutionally established liberal feminism that's out there; my feminism is Internet feminism, informed by fandom and geekdom and twitter and tumblr, and I'm not very involved in the stuff that actually gets covered in mainstream media or gets funding from mainstream bodies or whatever. And the feminism I am involved in is pretty aware of "other hierarchies and oppressions" most of the time, I hope.

Anyway I think this answer crosses over a bit with what I wrote for [personal profile] transcendancing under how my feminism has changed over time so I'll just point you there as well.

Sorry I couldn't write more :(
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 01:48
I remain un-Wham!ed.

I had grand ideas about how early I would get up. Then they met with my sleep schedule. I did arrive at work for the emergency lunch, which was enjoyable. One of the dudes there thought he recognized me from FOGcon. I mentioned a few people I knew via my professional life who were involved with organization. "And X, who is doing such notable work on [the helldesk software]!" I said.

The Emergency Class Clown (the clown from the emergency class, not the class clown who gets called in case of clown emergency) noticed that I said "helldesk software" in the same tone of voice which I'd said "Kipper/Llama", and remarked that "notable" is not the same as "good". Well-spotted.

Something in perhaps the ventilation system is squeaking. I filed a ticket.

Twitter introduced me to which I inflicted on various places, including #adventuresofstnono and #VirtualH, as well as passing it along on Twitter. Autoplay audio, which may be disturbing to some, although it matches up better than random snippets from 37 Christmas carols rightfully ought to.

Aside from that, it was a quiet day. It had started to rain harder when Purple came over, so we said a very brief and rained-upon goodnight. My car took him by surprise; he wasn't quite sure why I was stopping. Heh.

I got up with the early alarm, with no real idea of why I was getting up, just that it seemed like a good idea. I remembered while getting dressed: oh, today was the breakfast! I arrived to find that the food trucks were still there, and had been asked to stay another half-hour for the stragglers.

Rosemary potatoes in hand, I commenced on my inbox. The font vendor thing was going okay, and I sent various updates on that. The Stage Manager emerged from "our" conference room with a chairful of cruft: namely, a large box of mixed DIMM boxes and other rubbish. Most of it looked recyclable, albeit different kinds of recyclable. He declared that local-helpdesk had used the conference room as a war room some time ago, and that they hadn't cleared up their junk, so it was time to do that, and all this stuff was now my problem. So I shelled the manuals out of the DIMM boxes and put things in places. In between that, I had a delightful chat with a colleague also from Alaska who had worked in the shadow of the big blue dish antenna, and had almost certainly seen me, due to my association with the Duct-Tape Sword Guys. ("I was the girl.")

The bagel guillotine in the new building is also a "Smushy", and I should file a ticket.

The helldesk dev team has been inquiring on a number of tickets which have to do with the terrible "Portal" green and black UI, whether the proposed "Self-Service" view in the horrible blue and white UI will suffice. Some, yes. Some, on the other hand ... the phrase "Unless the Portal view is expected to be retired, this should remain a planned enhancement to it" was deployed. I shared the conversation with my manager, who had a many few things to say, and many of them less tactful than mine.

On one of them, however, the specific one which had nearly sent me sobbing under somebody's desk with vodka, my response was the politest possible under the circumstances:


Anything more elaborate than that would have run the chance of the out-loud swearing making its way into the text.

Later in the afternoon, I inquired as to the best place to hang the disco ball. There were a variety of responses. The best one involved the long bar of fluorescents above my head. (There's a diffuser; it's not just naked tubes.) Some shenanigans later, the unit was assembled and hung. The Stage Manager, whose superpowers include being tall, helped route the little power cord. I captured the switch in a fixed location and put up a little sign, reading "DISCO!" My variously amazed and amused co-workers gathered around. The Stage Manager threw a lightswitch rave. My manager looked at it in (slightly wobbly) giggly delight.

I went and fetched dinner. When I came back, I read my email. Separate entry to follow. Locked.
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 09:07
via at December 18, 2014 at 03:00AM:


buffy rewatch ❉ homecoming


#how to deal with vampires a book written by cordelia  (via ettadunham​)

#this was the smartest vampire on the show…he actually survived two whole episodes and then left to live his unlife  (via neinka​)
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 08:11
via at December 18, 2014 at 02:00AM:
No, but I can find some. I’m a librarian! :D

(Sorry - I just did a binge-watch of all The Librarian movies to gear myself up for the TV show. Every time he announced, “I’m The Librarian,” I giggled.)
To start, how about the The Codex Assemanianus?
It was probably 10th century, but it’s still cool. You can read more about it here [link], and there are two pages of scans from it [link] [link]. Quite a few of these pages would be really easy to translate into SCA awards. I might do a few blanks myself for our current blank drive… Here are a couple of my favorites:

f. 157v

f. 10r

link]. I’ve known scribes who have used this. That is, looking at it, I’m going “OH HEY. This is what so-and-so used!” Have a sample:

f. 2r

Lastly, there is the Arkhangelsk Gospel, also know as the Archangel Gospel, which dates to 1092, making it the fourth oldest Slavic manuscript we have. You can view the whole thing online at the Russia State Library [link].

Have fun browsing!
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 23:44
1. We got the tapeworm pills in the mail today. When she had worms before, we took her to the vet and they gave her the pill, and also gave us a second pill to give her a month later. I crushed that one up and put it in her food, but it must have tasted bad because she refused to eat it, even when I mixed a second can of food in. So this time I didn't want to even bother trying it in her food, but was also nervous about trying to give her a pill. It went just fine, though! She didn't seem upset during or after, so that's good.

2. There's this iOS game called Oceanhorn that I've been interested in ever since I saw a preview ages ago and it finally went on sale for $4.99 (I think regular price was like $9.99, so not too expensive even then) so now it is mine! And it's just as cool as it looked. It's a Zelda-type game, which is probably my favorite genre, and while I'm not super fond of touch screen controls, it is pretty easy to play.

3. It rained all through the night, but wasn't raining this morning when I had to go to work. I don't mind riding my bike in light rain, but don't want to get to work soaked, so if it's raining hard, I usually take the bus, but today I had to be in by 6.30 and the buses aren't really running very frequently at that hour. But thankfully I was just able to ride to work as usual.

4. Tomorrow is supposed to be my day off but my manager has to do something so I have to go in. But it will be overtime, and I don't have to stay the full day, so that's good! I might also take an hour or two off Friday if I get everything done that needs to be done.

5. Two cashiers called out again today, but at least it was one in the morning and one in the evening, rather than both during the same shift. I still had to be up at the register a lot, but not as bad as yesterday. (And since I got there 2.5 hours before the store opened, I was able to get a lot done then at least.)
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 22:48
Start-of-season wax clinic at Soo Finnish Nordic tonight! Was really looking forward to this, 'cuz my skis haven't really had a proper waxing since I got them -- just whatever the store put on them, plus a daily touch-up with express wax.

So, my major learning for the evening: it turns out, applying proper wax to skis does indeed make them more slippery, and therefore faster! However, it also makes you more clumsy...! Going to have to check the package to see if this side effect is listed on there. Will be in touch with the wax manufacturer if not. ;)
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 18:07

I picked up a book by someone I like and respect, and it just wasn't my cup of tea. Not badly written; just not the sort of thing I go in for. I gave it around thirty pages and moved on.

Next, I'm on to Chang-Rae Lee's On Such A Full Sea. Not very far into it so far. Seems futuristic, but can't tell; that's not a bad thing, as I'm only perhaps ten pages in. Writing is so far is lovely, as expected; he wrote one of my favorite pieces of creative non-fiction. Will report back soon.

Edit: I'm also reading Connie Willis's Doomsday Book. Liking it a lot so far.


Got Wynnona and Indigo Girls and Linda Ronstadt (What's new? How is the world treating you?) on in the car. Also have an old Karen Carpenter that mom picked up for me at the yard sales, but I disliked the first song, so I skipped it. May give it another shot later. When I'm alone in the car, I play my game where I stop on the first thing that's actual music and not a commercial, so I'm hearing lots of new stuff: mariachi and rap and classical and pop and so on. I enjoy most of it, and dislike very little of it. I continue to have mixed feelings about "All About That Bass," which continues to be my most persistent earworm.

Also, I don't think to mention this, usually, but we listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me every week.


I didn't care for Plants vs. Zombies 2. Not only because it requires a camera (anyone know why?) to download, but because there's just too much going on. If a game gets too frantic and fast, I start mashing the keys and lose interest.

Still playing PvZ1, Dots, Two Dots, and Royal Envoy 2, along with a thing called Dropwords that makes me long for Bookworm, so I may go see if they have an Android version. Are you playing anything fun right now?


Checked out a couple of discs of The Saint from the library. Really sexist -- he slaps women All. The. Time! Definitely not going to get more of them, but to be honest, it's the kind of show James and I tend to watch: intrigue/mystery that's not challenging to the thinky bits.

Netflix has some more seasons of Suchet's Poirot,  I still really like it, and it's been long enough since I've read any of the stories that the only one I knew the ending to was the Orient Express.

Disney re-released Sleeping Beauty, a childhood fave of mine, after years of not making it available, as part of the whole Maleficent thing, so we bought Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent both.

I will not give you the feminist commentary on Sleeping Beauty today. You can probably find it online [Jezebel | Tor] | Feminist Fiction | etc]. But I loved that movie as a child, and I was especially enchanted with Maleficent, who intrigued me and sent a frisson of dread/exhilaration through me. I thought she was beautiful and fascinating and interesting.

So why did I fall asleep watching the Jolie piece? Dunno. Will try again, because there certainly is a lot of interesting alternative story going on, and it's right up my alley, but the pace was slow and Jolie's accent was driving me buggy, and I fell asleep about halfway through.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 17:35

My fingers are sore from the results of my adventure today! With the cheerleading of several people (You know who you are, you fabulous people!) I rode to the music store today.

I managed to get appropriately dressed (the teachings of my father are strong within me - you get dressed nice for the music store) with a scent (Clinique Happy) and brush my hair to go to the music store. Granted, I was going on a bike about two miles, but I was crossing two of the four big roads in Hattiesburg on a bike. With a helmet, but I was still apprehensive. And I didn't really want to go.

Why did I go? For ukulele strings, of course! I bought a set of Lanikai by Aquila strings for half off today, plus I managed a set for my brother in law for sixty percent off!

I came home (I didn't get hit by a car EITHER way, winner winner chicken dinner!) and went about the task of changing out strings. I didn't expect this to be difficult, I learned how to change strings on a stringed instrument in community college when I took Classical Guitar.


I'm good. Really. After having to USE A FREAKING KNIFE (not scissors, oh no) to get the damn knots untied and off, I go about replacing the strings. The A, the E, the G, the C. In that order. Then I have to tighten them, and tune them. Fortunately I have a tuner on my phone. I know the strings are going to stretch, so I have to tune it before I play it for a little while.


I imagine I looked a bit odd on the way to and from the music store. I was cheering myself on the whole way there and congratulating myself on the way back. I did a thing!

I've been practicing Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' and it's an easy enough song, it's just getting my right hand to do something different than my left hand. Not an easy trick for me.

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 12:12
The Ada Initiative is hiring a new Executive Director.

I don't have the skills for this, but I'm thinking that using that list to inform my professional/activist goals might be a good plan. Working towards that would at least give me a sense of whether that is a direction I want to go. My current thinking is that five years from now I would like to be established, skilled, and respected enough that I materially influence the course of at least one organization I care about and contribute to.

I got feedback from my interview with Google a couple of months ago--basically, + analytical thinking, + learning in a short time, - coding/algs/problem-solving. A dev job with more-experienced coworkers for the next year or two is still sounding like a pretty solid plan.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 14:56
I'm just curious about this.

For the sake of this poll, "Christmas carols" means traditional or popular carols and Christmas songs. That is, "white Christmas" and "silver bells", not "fairytale of new york." And the control is "compared to whatever music is playing in that store the rest of the year."

Also I realize the poll is biased toward those living in countries where they are likely to hear carols in stores, and the questions also assume the kind of Christmas commerce ubiquity you get in the States. So answer as seems appropriate to you.

Poll #16257 bowing our heads in the wind
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 40

People who DO celebrate Christmas: When Christmas carols are playing while I'm shopping for Christmas items

View Answers

I leave the store sooner
12 (30.8%)

I stay in the store longer
1 (2.6%)

It has no effect on how long I stay in the store
20 (51.3%)

I don't celebrate Christmas
6 (15.4%)

People who DO celebrate Christmas: When Christmas carols are playing while I'm shopping for NON Christmas items, eg. groceries

View Answers

I leave the store sooner
15 (38.5%)

I stay in the store longer
1 (2.6%)

It has no effect on how long I stay in the store
17 (43.6%)

I don't celebrate Christmas
6 (15.4%)

People who DON'T celebrate Christmas: When Christmas carols are playing while I'm shopping

View Answers

I leave the store sooner
6 (22.2%)

I stay in the store longer
0 (0.0%)

It has no effect on how long I stay in the store
1 (3.7%)

I do celebrate Christmas
20 (74.1%)

People who DO celebrate Christmas: When buskers are playing Christmas carols

View Answers

I am more likely to give them money
3 (7.7%)

I am less likely to give them money
2 (5.1%)

It has no effect on the possibility of giving them money
27 (69.2%)

I don't celebrate Christmas or never see buskers
7 (17.9%)

People who DON'T celebrate Christmas: When buskers are playing Christmas carols

View Answers

I am more likely to give them money
0 (0.0%)

I am less likely to give them money
3 (11.1%)

It has no effect on the possibility of giving them money
3 (11.1%)

I do celebrate Christmas or never see buskers
21 (77.8%)

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 13:32

I have a lot of tabs open that are interesting. Some of them are interesting just to me. Still. I'm going to share them and nothing short of taking away my computer (and if you do that I'll bite you, don't think I won't), you can't stop me. Neener.

Wholesale silver rings. Surprisingly inexpensive. I can't figure out the catch yet.

Uploading to Dreamwidth your pictures. Very bare bones. Haven't tried it out yet, but am sure it would work. Might try it out in a bit.

PACEMAKER. Many helpful. So wow. Excite! (No, really, take a look. Very helpful for working out a writing schedule that doesn't depend on me being in an absolutely foul mood.)

JSTOR....Iiiiiiiinnnnnnn.....SPAAAAAACE!!! Really. It's JSTOR's tumblr. It is the best thing since sliced bread. Who doesn't love JSTOR?

Agent Peggy Carter's lipstick. Straight from the mouth (er, twitter account) of Haley Atwell herself. No joke. Who wants a Peggy Carter cosplay? I DO. GIMME THOSE AWESOME SUITS AND HATS.

These I got from [personal profile] recessional. They look amazing and I want some. It'll have to wait until after I get paid in January, though. But I don't want to lose them.

THE WPA POSTERS IN POSTCARDS. Need I say more? I do? I could go on and on about these and how wonderful they are and how they're a precious restoration of an important time in America's want me to stop now? And put down the history books? Okay. For now. BUT LOOK AT THEM. AREN'T THEY SHINY.

The Mammen embroidery. I want to do up some of the Acanthus vines for some cuffs for Brent. Just because.

MEAN TEDDIES. (link to Youtube) You will take White Bear from me when I have finished ripping you apart with my nails and teeth. That bear is more precious to me than the Ring to Gollum. This Youtube video is all about how bears protect their children from the monsters. I cried. I'm tearing up thinking about it, so moving on. (WATCH IT.)

How to digitize your old sewing patterns and make them a vector image. Holy freaking salmon eggs, Batman! This is going to be SO helpful when I go to make a houppelande (spelling can change. WHY ENGLISH WHY). I'm sure [personal profile] zarhooie is going to be so proud of me.

A list of 25 candy recipes. I haven't tested any of them yet, but I will. I will.

One of the recipes from the above list that caught my eye besides the peanut butter buckeyes. Cinnamon sugar pecans. I love pecans. They are so good and sugared? I will make myself sick.

The Story of How We Got Clue the Movie (and I love this movie). It's from Buzzfeed, but it seems pretty good. And it is dreadfully funny. Go have a read! Laugh a bit! Then enjoy the movie a little bit more.

It's Calming Manatee and Courage Wolf, Together At Last! (takes you to Tumblr) It is a thing of wonder. I want to print out some and take it to work when I go back. IT WILL RULE MY OFFICE.

CAT COLOURWAY YARN. RUN, DO NOT WALK, AND GET THIS YARN. (I'm a fan of the Silver Persian, the Maine Coon, the Russian Blue....heck, all of them, really. Except maybe the Cheshire Cat. Maybe. I don't know. It's warming up to me.)

Browned Butter Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies. It sounds almost too busy, but I'm willing to try and make them. We'll see how they go.

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 17:36
Interesting, I'm sort of in a mixed mind about this one.

It felt oddly slow )

So, yes, I can't really make up my mind about this. Intellectually there is a great deal I like about the story, but I have a lot of niggles and a vague sense that it was ultimately a bit dull.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 09:31
after a week, a weekend, and another day of late(r) nights, I mimicked a pancake and went flat. 12 hours asleep.

vacation coming up: I need it. badly. lots of long nights of sleep and days of feeding m'lady chocolate. reading books, writing code. it's going to be nice.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 18:02
Note: I do not seem to have the thinking brain for december topics. Might catch up in January!

Currently Reading: Ha Jin, 'The Bridegroom', and a substantial amount of Harry Potter fanfic as a coping strategy for dealing with canon.

Recently finished: both Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince, read by Stephen Fry. Order of the Phoenix remains bloated and unwieldy, but *was* better when consumed at oral reading pace rather than at 20 seconds per page. Harry only throws a tantrum approximately once every forty minutes, rather than every five, that way. Half Blood Prince remains *superb*, and I really appreciated the work put into the final chapter - I relised that it does in fact provide justification for one of my main problems with Deathly Harrows, the ridiculous rejection of all adult assistance.

To read next: Either Deathly Hallows or copious amounts of fanfiction or both will see me through the plane ride, or as much of the ride as my netbook will sustain.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 14:03

This book takes place on Masada (mostly), a couple of years after Line of Polity. There's a couple of strands of narrative and we switch viewpoint characters around, a fair bit. One of the AIs we follow is Amistad, from Shadow of the Scorpion , who's maneuvering itself into a position to become the Polity expert authority on all things Atheter. Which, let's not be shy, is a big task.

Anyway. MilSF, with assorted murder, brutality and self-mutilation thown in, to make conflict conflicter. If that's even a word.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 09:13
via at December 17, 2014 at 03:00AM:


Partially inspired by a particularly well-timed quote from Seanan Mcguire. I’m rather fond of this one.

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 00:20

The quarter finished! I am now on winter break. My intrepid and long-suffering readers may remember that I was just taking an English class this quarter. I, uh, actually haven't finished it.


I mean, I did the paperwork so that this is actually fine and I can turn in the two essays I need to write (and haven't even slightly started) after winter break, but uuuuuuggggghhhh. I feel terrible/worried about taking one class and not even being able to finish on time.

The kinds of essays the class wants from me are very hard for my brain to do. I can do creative writing just fine, even on a deadline to some extent, because I can virtually always turn an assignment into something I actually want to write, and I'm familiar with various tricks for generating material even when it's going to suck. Similarly, I think I could do more technical writing alright, because that's more like "convert this idea to words in the clearest way possible", it doesn't require creative input in remotely the same way. All this nonfiction analysis/persuasive whatever demands that I apply my creativity to stuff that I would never voluntarily write, and I've literally never had to or tried to write in an academic style before, and I am absurdly perfectionistic and work too hard at having ideas that are actually interesting.

One thing I'm specifically struggling with in regards to one of my essays is that it is way too open-ended for me to cope with. I am supposed to write a "researched persuasive essay" about... literally anything.


Next quarter, though! Next quarter I'm taking intro to theater and an anthropology class. I hope it will be an easy quarter, but it also puts me at 10 credits, so I can hopefully join student senate! And my schedule is M-W-F only, with nothing in the wee hours of the morning, so yay to that.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 22:31
I have always had lots of interests. I have enjoyed and developed some amount of skill in a few areas. I have made money doing a lot of things.

This is not always a benefit, not entirely. I mean, it makes me happy and I don't want to change it, but sometimes I want to do things WELL, not just superficially. I am decent at writing and cooking and editing and singing and math and a handful of other things. I'very been paid for most of them. But I tend to flit. Mostly, that's okay. But reduced energy and maybe some depth that comes with age means I kind of want to try to focus on something.

But what?
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 22:31
1. It rained last night and some today and is raining again now. I think the rain we've had in the past few days has been more than we had the whole rest of the year.

2. Alexander came over and we had latkes for Hannukah.

3. Two out of three of the morning cashiers called out today, but thankfully one of the stockers can also use the register, so I was able to put her on and at least not have to be at the register myself the whole morning (though I was up there a lot).
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 15:00
Structured procrastination du jour

* sent email to someone who's involved in a large seed-sharing project in India, to talk to them about their data use etc
* sought an introduction to someone who founded an open food project centred on nutrition data
* talked with some people on IRC about Growstuff values and with another set of people about attracting and onboarding designers in open source projects
* finished writing up report for work I did last month (project X woooot!)
* phone meeting re: work for the first quarter of next year
* sent out emails about next year's work (being vague on purpose!)
* womanfully avoided getting into a heated discussion about trigger warnings as an accessibility measure (and thanked someone who stepped up to say the thing I wanted to say, but said it much more calmly)
* made a decision about dropping some work I don't seem to be able to do effectively, and made some steps toward finding a replacement (a different project X potentially off my plate! also woot!)
* arranged time with lawn mower (for vague definition of "arranged" as the time seems to be constantly being pushed back)
* went to shops/ATM to get cash for lawn mower person (and also snacks and gin)
* ate snacks, drank gin
* phonecall with project X that I'm dropping, let them know I'm dropping them, offered to help find replacement, chatted a bit with friend who is my contact there
* improved Growstuff's README to have more information on contributing for designers, writers, etc (it previously only had information for coders)
* wrote fairly epic Get involved page for Growstuff wiki
* decided that since I've been enjoying the December posting meme, I might do a monthly blogging plan thing for the future; set up google spreadsheet for this
* read interesting blog posts about UX and design and stuff

(to be updated as I do stuff)
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 03:16
post-tags: instagram, crosspost First night. The sun hasn't set yet in Hawaii, right? #Hanukkah #candlelight
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 03:05

Cosplay WIP - Dolorosa & fancytier Aradia

I was going to go fabric-shopping and then remembered I have no money right now so I came home and worked on stuff. Finished dyeing the red silk for my shirt for Aradia, which, lined up with the others, is making me even more ‘ehhhhhh’ on the overdyed wool. Guess I’ll do some looking around.

And then I made the tunic and belt for Dolorosa, probably making this costume look easier than it’s going to be by doing all the simple parts first. Tunic was loosely cut out based on a t-shirt that fits me, serged, twin-needle hem, broke one of the needles, had to take out the sleeve hem I’d done and do everything with a wider twin needle….

The belt is a big stretchy loop because I have stretch fabric and I’m tired of having to secure sash-ends in ways that always look lousy. I did manage to sew it into an unending tube and a mobius strip, which is maybe a sign I should pay better attention to orientation.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 20:07

in spite of the flu jab.

everything is terrible the internet is sending me hot + sour soup.

I have spent most of today horizontal.
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 09:21
Signalboost 1: [personal profile] killing_rose needs some help right now.

Signalboost 2: [personal profile] wyomingnot is looking for spinners to hang with next July in Southern California, Las Vegas, or at Con*Strict.

So my netbook died a fairly sudden and ignominious death--all my actual documents were saved, but the program data became corrupted. Which is a new one for me. So I got all the files I was working on, but not, say, my Firefox bookmarks. (I had a Firefox sync account, but it didn't work on the new computer and I could register a new one at the same address. WTF?) So life's gonna be a bit interesting. If there's something you need me to see, DW message me or hit me up at staranise at cherisaan dot net.

And thanks to the money buffer I have thanks to the fundraiser so many lovely people contributed to (♥) I could afford to go out and replace my netbook with this sweet convertible laptop and life is good.

I had a brief resurgence of brain lately. The inside of my skull really has turned to mush, it feels like, but if someone else pushes me along I can coast off the momentum for a while--so a school friend showed up Thursday and made me write a letter applying for a practicum, and after she left on Saturday, Tae and Radish and Ginger showed up and helped me pack, and then they left Sunday and yesterday I sent the letter querying about a practicum, called in sick for my last shift since I've been actually dreading it and suspecting I'll do a shitty job, and completed my work exit interview.

I already got a response about the practicum! A tentative one. I've had a thing lately about revisiting the sites of past victories, so I asked the principal of the high school I worked at for my undergrad (which I loved and was amazing, and which I realize now was an immersive experience in Canada's colonial reality that totally rewrote what I understood about Edmonton as a city and us as a society). He emailed back like 20 minutes later to say "So great to hear you're coming back! I'll see what's possible, but I want to hear from you when you're in town anyway!" which is heartening. He has to talk to the psychologists to see if any of them will supervise me and practicalities like that, but sounds hopeful.

(Oh god, if I'm moving to Alberta then the best path for my career when I complete my Master's is to seek registration as an associate psychologist. Right now my response to that is, "Who in their right mind would register me as a psychologist? *FLIPS TABLE*")

But already the coasting momentum is fading. I left my milk out on the counter last night so it's all spoiled now. Reading things is hard. I'm sleeping 14 hoursa day.

I have to get things sorted before I go home for Christmas, which I do on... Thursday?
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 09:58

The Hobbit Marathon yesterday was excellent. Took a lot of liberties with the book but still cried at all the right spots. (My copy of The Hobbit has tear stains on it at the end of the book.)

Today I am going stir-crazy because I don't want to be stuck here in the house, I want to be doing something! But I have no car, because Brent has my car. He's putting miles on my car! I want my car back. I need my car back. I need to know that I have some flexibility in leaving the house besides on a bicycle. These three weeks are going to feel so long if I don't do something soon. I can't play video games, clean the house and bake enough for three weeks. I can't. I'm going nuts already and it's ONLY THE SECOND DAY.

I've already broken into my last beer.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 09:05
via at December 16, 2014 at 03:00AM:


65 Million Years in the Making

I didn’t even think of this. The damn quote came full circle. Kind of.
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 00:27
Friday -

Turned my alarm back on for the weekday. Got coffee, went to Costco, renewed my membership, grabbed pizza because I knew I'd be late for lunch and Purple would be Out, refueled.

Purple was Out because he'd given his backstage pass to Murraya, and she'd said that she owed him lunch somewhere nice. Then she'd rejected a reasonably nice place he'd had his eye on as insufficiently Nice. Apparently the lunch they did have was pretty fantastic.

Later in the afternoon, lb grabbed me for a hot chocolate run. We chatted helldesk among other things. He'd tried to prepare his gutters for the onslaught, but the corner of his roof where one angle met another turned into a waterslide with water flying down and missing the gutter entirely. Not much of his garage got soaked though.

I ran across some photos from workplace events past. There was in fact a picture from the Halloween party where I stood and talked to Purple for a couple hours despite how much it hurt to stand at that point, which was one of the first times I did that. It would be far from the last. There's lens flare, so we're standing under a rainbow, near a Princess Leia and a pair of Organa-Solo twins.

Purple negotiated dinner with Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly, then asked whether I was up for that. Dinner. )

I stopped by Sprouts on my way home to see if their brownies were as good as I remembered them being. Yes. Possibly better.

18:55 Sunday, 14 December, 2014
Fruitcake, which I may or may not make this year:

Read more... )

23:03 Monday, 15 December, 2014
Today I fucked up. It was relatively minor and the situation is resolved. And I'm feeling secure about not continuing to fuck up going forward, and that it was minor and stopped before it got to be a big thing. But still I'm feeling like I ought to do some form of penance. Read more... )

In contrast, the rest of my workday felt like unexpected competence, with intermittent chocolate. Unless, of course, it felt like screaming frustration -- I did brave the helldesk training videos for the new features, and they were kind of fucking useless on the front of exactly how you duplicate the one thing in the other method. Also they broke direct linking, which is just great.

Tonight's iteration in the department of things which retail workers have mistaken for my name: Anne. (Don't call me Shirley. :-P )

Everyone involved has a bit of a busy week lined up.

There is a fuck o'clock meeting for my greater department tomorrow, followed by a "thank you for being awesome" lunch for the emergency response people.

Wednesday is Purple's team's lunch-and-Hobbitry excursion.

Thursday is a conference committee tour of some on-campus facilities, followed by my A-Team lunch-and-White-Elephant.

I haven't fully assessed Friday yet.
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 08:01
via at December 16, 2014 at 02:00AM:




#that is a human as a rat as a cup

That was a long 12 years for Wormtail.

Can you imagine how differently their lives would’ve gone if Ron, in trying to transfigure Scabbers, had actually transfigured him back into a human?
Just take a moment to imagine McGonagall’s reaction if Peter Pettigrew had abruptly appeared in her classroom from Ronald Weasley’s rat.
Take a moment.

Or if Ron had fucked it up a little worse and couldn’t get ‘Scabbers’ back and McGonagall had take him to disenchant him and next thing we know there’s a naked Peter Pettigrew sitting on McGonagall’s desk and the kids in that class learn six new swear words, a hex they will never dare to use, and a fear of Minerva McGonagall’s wrath that will be with them until the day they die.

Ten and twenty years later first years are being pulled aside and warned never mess around in Transfiguration seriously the last time a kid mucked something up in that class Professor McGonagall used two semi-legal hexes, took down a Death Eater and sabotaged the rise of the Dark Lord before Potter had time to get his wand out.
Monday, December 15th, 2014 23:42
1. I didn't get as much done today as I'd hoped to, but when is that not true? I did get some stuff done, though, so there's that!

2. I had a nice relaxing day off.

3. The kitten has tapeworms again, but I found that you can get pills from Amazon so we don't have to take her to the vet.

4. Speaking of the kitten, she was suuuuuuper sweet and cuddly today. And then after a long hard day of sleeping, she went and face-planted on the bed and slept like that for a while. It was super cute!