nonionay: (Default)
Pooped out on partying last night. :-(
I got all dolled up in my sparkly zebra dress, even though I knew I'd be overdressed, just because I needed an excuse to wear it. But clearly the lack of sleep is catching up to me. In addition to the paucity of sleep on the all-night drive here, I only slept 5 or 6 hours my first night here. I got in a respectable amount of socializing (though I skipped the overcrowded Tor Party), and probably wouldn't be annoyed at my pooping out if not for the fact that all my other friends came back to the room full of fun stories. But meh. I slept nine hours last night in a really comfy bed. Today I'll force myself to take an afternoon nap, and keep myself extra-hydrated.
nonionay: (Default)
Trying not to be bitter today. And not for the usual "Valentine's Day sucks" reasons. An old friend stated that hate is love restrained. So what are we, society, doing insisting on restraining love that isn't even ours?

Tradition states* that today, almost two thousand years ago, a man died who, among other things, committed the crime of performing marriages for a group of people who were reviled and forbidden to practice their faith. (and thereby, get married).

Heaven forbid anyone marry the person they love, no matter what society at large has to say about it. At various times of my life, I've felt required to keep the people I love apart, because of fear and the specter of shame. (I'm not ashamed, dammit. I don't want to act like it.)

So here's a prayer for anyone who's in love with a person--or persons--that someone else thinks they shouldn't love.*** For gays, polyamorists, people of disparate races and religions and political creeds and anything else I haven't thought of.

Thank you for love
for the joy it brings
and the sharing
and caring.

The glee and excitement
that turns dried flowers
into nectar-spilling roses.

Let me share my nectar with all the world.
Let the whole world benefit
From the relationships I create
For are not two more powerful than one?
(And three and four? An infinite net to catch me and my children when I fall.)

Let there be no orphans
Or widowed hearts
Damned to isolation
Because of fear.

Let us proclaim our love to the world.




*No matter how tradition may have been revised.**
** Also, happy Saint Cyril and Methodius Day! Yay Cyrillic writing system! Knowing how humble saints are supposed to be, I'm sure Methodius doesn't feel shafted for the writing system not being called Cyrillmethodic.
***Excepting the pedophiliacs. Sucks to be them. As long as we're praying, we can all pray they manage to be self-aware and in control.
nonionay: (Default)
So the newspaper says that H1N1 vaccines are now available for everyone in my county. So I click on the link that says how to get one, it takes me to the Health Department, and I sign up for an appointment. It says only high priority people can get it, but I figure, whatever, they haven't updated their site. But there's also no address listed for where you get the darned thing. I figure, hey, it's at the Health Department, but there's two locations!
Poking around the site some more, I find a pdf listing local places that give it out. My local store is listed, and says they're giving it out...last Friday.
Sheesh.
nonionay: (Default)
Just got back from 9. Definitely see it--it's a beautiful movie that doesn't pull any punches.
Just don't think about it too much. There's a whole lotta metaphysics that are hinted at and ignored. Nature of the soul in relation to the body, anyone? On the one hand, I understand, because there's no time to explain stuff and anyone who could explain is dead. On the other hand, I strongly suspect they just grabbed some genuine alchemical imagery, polished it with visual cues contextlessly yanked from Dali's Secrets of Master Craftsmanship, and threw it onscreen knowing 99% of people wouldn't care.
I'll rant behind a spoiler cut, which will totally give away the ending.
Read more... )
nonionay: (wwjd)
Every now and then, I try to read Ernest Hemingway. My mom gave me The Old Man and the Sea when I was younger, and I remember liking it. So it represents a rare bonding moment with mom. However, my attempts always skirt disaster. I tried to read a novel--I think it was Farewell to Arms--and couldn't get past the first few pages. I'm trying hi short stories this time (see paragraph below for reasoning). Opened to the table of contents to see what I should start with, went for "The Hills Like White Elephants," and experienced the old familiar sensation of dragging my brain over shards of gravel. (see third paragraph for an appropriate description of my experience.)

My current blast of inspiration has me wanting to cram a Howard Hawks movie into a gothic novel box, injected with Ernest Hemingway. Since most of the stories I've read so far involve a disaffected couple doing little but argue in the middle of nowhere, often in Africa where there are lions or vultures waiting around to eat you at the end of your argument, I'm starting to see how I can get away with this strange premise.

It was hot. The young woman was reading Ernest Hemingway. There was a cat in her room. The young woman was reading "The Hills Like White Elephants" and wondering how it was that anyone could use the word "was" so many times. She was thinking this so much that she missed the euphemistic line about abortion and instead wondered what the hell was the point and if every woman in his life was such a needy bitch than it really wasn't a surprise that Hemingway killed himself. And then she went on the internet and remembered that "The Hills Like White Elephants" was about abortion and felt bad because the woman was justified in her whiny indecision and if Hemingway felt like that about his whiny women who were justified than it's really not a surprise he killed himself. Fortunately, the other stories weren't so oblique, but they still had whiny women.

And that was my experience reading, "The Hills Like White Elephants." That said, I am appreciating other stories more, even though every woman has a tendency to fulfill one of my biggest pet peeve and ask, "Do you love me?"
nonionay: (wwjd)
This is from a Philip K. Dick story I'm reading. Nasha's a woman who, until this point, has mainly just put her hand over her mouth and said, "oh, that's horrible.", Dorle's a man. They've just crashed on a dead planet. It came out in 1952.

>>Nasha glanced at him.

"Listen. The Captain is dying. No one knows except the two of us. By the end of the day-period of this planet he'll be dead. The shock did something to his heart. He was almost sixty, you know."

Dorle nodded. "That's bad. I have a great deal of respect for him. You will be captain in his place, of course. Since you're vice-captain now—"

"No. I prefer to see someone else lead, perhaps you or Fomar. I've been thinking over the situation and it seems to me that I should declare myself mated to one of you, whichever of you wants to be captain. Then I could devolve the responsibility."

"Well, I don't want to be captain. Let Fomar do it."

Nasha studied him, tall and blond, striding along beside her in his pressure suit. "I'm rather partial to you," she said. "We might try it for a time, at least. But do as you like. Look, we're coming to something."<<

Why can't she just say, "hey, I don't want to be captain, you do it." Why does she need to screw a man so he can take charge? I mean, it's wonderfully kinky and all, but seriously. And why doesn't she want to be in charge in the first place? Why be vice-captian if you didn't want to be captain?
What weird, backwards logic. "single = in power, girlfriend=defers power. Therefore, if I want to defer power, I must be a girlfriend."
nonionay: (wwjd)
If you haven't watched March of the Penguins, and you get the DVD, don't bother watching the movie, just watch the behind the scenes documentary. It's got all the same footage, with actual information and personality. (Sorry Morgan Freeman, I love ya, but the actual filmmaker, with his fun French accent, who actually made an emotional connection with his subject, is more interesting. We did, however, briefly consider trying to play The Shawshank Redemption audio over the penguins.)

Reviewers were all, "oh, it's a nature movie without all the boring documentary stuff!" No, it's long boring shots of penguins sitting around in their own shit while you voiceover about how they love each other. Possibly it was more exciting on the big screen. I'd like Antarctica looming over me. Especially if the movie theatre was really cold. That would actually be kinda awesome.

If they edited the footage down, and put in actual informational narration from a narrator with personality, then I might have really liked it. Kind of like that behind the scenes documentary. Now that was awesome.

I hate people sometimes. "Oh, I don't want to know stuff, I just want to see the cute things. They're just like us!" Because just like penguins, humans find a new true love every new year.

I've been so spoiled by David Attenborough.
nonionay: (wwjd)
Out of curiosity, I googled the old church in my town that used to be pastored by a certain author. They have a website! With an awful Flash intro! They've also got this little widget with a box that steadily counts up from one, with the following copy:
Read more... )
nonionay: (Default)
GoogleDocs font options INFURIATE me!!
The first four are: "Serif", "Sans Serif", "Wide", and "Narrow."
Do you think we're idiots, GoogleDocs? Call it goddamm Arial already.
nonionay: (Default)
The Newstand forced to close after distributor cuts service.

Source Interlink, the distributor, told the owner "it was not supplying smaller independent stores."

This store's one of my favorite shops in town. Not only do they have an astounding selection of periodicals, they've got a unique candy selection. This is where I got Penguin Mints to send Keffy.
nonionay: (Default)
And your refusal to run on a year and a half old OS.
nonionay: (sepulchrave)
I bought a pair of candles, but being the lazy thing I am, I left them downstairs on the couch, where Teisel lay his warm, furry body on them. Now they're curved and covered in stripey cat hair.

Book Rant

Apr. 16th, 2008 02:01 pm
nonionay: (Horaci :-()
I'm about a quarter of the way through Harry Turtledove's Disunited States of America (Thanks, Tor!) The first chapter's great-- tense, exciting, you quickly figure out we're in an alternate USA about 100 years in the future. He's got a lot of great worldbuilding at first. There's a war memorial that lists a bunch of wars, so you can tell that our timeline and theirs split sometime around the start of the 19th century. As a result, the states are basically independent nations -- usually violent and repressive.

Then some people from our timeline show up, and the story turns into, "My alternate timeline! let me show you it!" And since everyone is stuck in a tiny town in west Virginia, that means the adults lecture the kids on history.

What I'd like, is to experience the world from the point of view of a native. I want to sink in and live it. Unfortunately, our native pov character is from California, a much freer state than Virginia, and she has about the same, "OMG this is awful!" attitude as the guy from our timeline. At one point, she even asks Mr. From-Our-Timeline "what do you think it would be like if we were all one country?" GEE, I'VE NO IDEA!!

I'm at the point now where every time they talk about history, which right now is pretty much constantly, it knocks me out of the story. The ways he brings up the history are great (two adult characters are historic coin experts) but there's just so much of it.

It's a fascinating world with decent characters and plot, but the infodumping is driving me batty.
nonionay: (dead baby)
Has LJ always let community moderators spam us with invites based on our interest list?
nonionay: (Default)
Of course, I still worship the guy.

I went and bought more Dresden Files books thanks to watching the show the other night. I'm on Book 5 now (I believe my order of reading has been: 7,2,3,8,4 and soon 5, 9). Of course, the pissing off relates to religion - can't talk about religion without pissing someone off. I'm able to forgive him a little for defining an agnostic as someone who doesn't commit to the existence of god(s), but his (Harry's, at least) argument seems to boil down to: because there is crazy magic stuff, there must be a god(s) (even if you don't have to side with any.) Any other explanations aren't even considered. So what if you've met an angel? Didn't Harry ever listen to Styx? Maybe the angels are aliens? Maybe they're just massively powerful spiritual entities working on their own?

A lot of anti-god stories are functioning in a gnostic framework, whether they know it or not. An omnipotent god is not something you can kill, therefore it must be fallible and therefore not ultimate. So if you take the ruling deity as an ignorant and/or malevolent demiurge intent on oppressing us, it leaves room for something unknowable beyond that. (Ain, Pleroma, Brahma, Collective Unconscious, whatever.) Which is why I find Philip Pullman and his controversy train so damned funny.

And to me, calling that Beyond Thing "god" is pretty shaky, because I personally include "tends to mess with the world" as part of my definition of god.

Granted, gnosticism is way more complicated than I'm making out. I'm just using the Creator God vs Ultimate God theology it sets up.
nonionay: (dead baby)
Dammit, I wish I understood how health insurance works. I read and I read and then it just doesn't work like I think it will. Just when I think it makes sense, it seems simple, I'm wrong. But hey, 141$ isn't that bad is it? At least they paid 75$ towards me getting my backside poked with a scalpel Another four office visits, and apparently I can start paying off my 500$ deductible. So why did they pay for part of it? If this thing I got in the mail isn't a bill, then where the hell is my bill? Why can't I just understand it?

I live a decent life. I've got a home, eat what I want, go to the occasional convention, and theoretically I have health care. But I just barely make ends meet. I can't save any money, and I sure as hell don't have any retirement stash. I don't want to have to get cancer to make my insurance worthwhile, and I also don't want to have to think, "hey, that cyst will go away on it's own, I don't need to spend 141$ I can't spare on a doctor's visit."

Oh, I can pay it, and I'm grateful I even have the chance. There's good people out there declaring bankruptcy because of health costs, and yes, children in Haiti eating dirt. I'm just pissy at our non-living-wage-paying, non-universal-health-care society, and I'm pissy at myself for being content with my non-living-wage job and putting all my hope-eggs in the I'm-gonna-have-writing-supplementary-income basket. Because seriously, even a couple thousand extra a year would cover my health worries and let me save a little bit. But to do that, I have to write. And I've just gone from finishing two TPBs of Transmetropolitan and getting hyped up and about to write, to opening my mail and seeing all that hyper Warren Ellis-fueled energy channeled into this dumb rant.

EDIT: My co-worker helped me understand the statement, so now I don't feel too ignorant. I was right when I thought my first four office visits were covered-- the surgery, however, I had to pay towards my deductible. Silly me, thinking there shouldn't be a difference. But hey, my tetanus shot wasn't mentioned!
...
I still want universal health care.
nonionay: (Default)
Yesterday, I called [livejournal.com profile] pussinboots saying, "can we have the writing meeting at my work?"

Behind the cut is a dongle.
dongle )
A dongle is a little doodad which you plug into a computer and it lets you run a piece of software. In my work's case, a program which arranges files so we can plate them and print them.

No dongle, no plates, no printing. This is bad for a printing press.

Sunday night, my co-worker, who was rushing to get as much work done as possible before he left to play in Disneyworld for a week, discovered the dongle stopped working.

Monday, I spent a couple hours on hold with Kodak finding out WTF to do. They say they'll send us a new one. We're number one priority. Fine.

Long story short, what was supposed to be an overnight delivery didn't happen, and we were jerked around by Kodak for three long days without plates. I tried to manually lay out the plates, but that was a very slow, painful joke. Someone had to stay late last night to await the courier coming down from Canada with the dongle. (The warehouse is just across the border. Our production manager said, "we'll just drive up there and pick the dang thing up." The lady he was talking to was all, "uhh..." So rather than have us busting their door down, they sprung for the courier.) The guy showed up quickly. Turns out we didn't have to have the meeting at work, to my disappointment. :-)

One day left in the week, and then my co-worker will be back. Ugh. I respect that guy, he's the one who usually has to deal with this crap. But lucky for me, we've got a new girl who knows what she's doing and is doing the job I usually do, while I wrestle with Kodak and programs I don't really know how to use.

So screw you, Kodak, and screw you, dongle.

Did I mention that today, in the mail, we got another dongle, identical to the one I'm holding, which acts in the same, non-functioning way as the original (visible in above image).

Screw you.
nonionay: (dead baby)
Watched the Mariners lose spectacularly last night. We were hurrying to our seats while the national anthem played, a random usher made us stop and stand until the song was over.

On that note, in honor of Patriot Day, here's the words of Slactivist and Mark Twain.

http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2007/09/patriot-day.html
nonionay: (dead baby)
So I had this magnificent plan to work my hero into a corner so he'd have to make this one, magnificently painful choice. Great. I'm writing the big scene, when I think, hey, I should have character X show up, that would be awesome. So she shows up, and digs a huge hole in my dead end corner that my hero is about to slip through. Bitch. This is not permittable.
Dammit. And now the heroine's a marble and can't get pissed off like she was supposed to.

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