Aw man, how come my comment notifications are failing me now, when everyone else's are just getting back on track?

Geeked out with the extended "Fellowship of the Ring" DVD last night. This is sad -- I've owned them since they were available and have only just sat down to do this now. Made it as far as Rivendell. (Have to go with the crowd -- extended is definitely superior.)
Miscellanneous up-catching:

I seem to be on a mission to destroy myself. On Saturday I bit nearly halfway through my tongue in a restaurant (I can eat non-soft foods -- but nothing hot -- again with my entire mouth since yesterday, so it's all good, but I've developed a measure of sympathy for people with tongue studs) and I've somehow managed to lacerate four of my cuticles. It's like I took paper to myself and just sliced away on purpose. I'm not sure how this happened, but I think it might be related to hanging up Christmas lights. Support your local liquid-bandage industry!

The combination of Octavian Nothing and To Ride Hell's Chasm is going to contribute to this destruction, I think. Two books on the systematic dehumanization of dark-skinned people. Hooray.

How can I explain this -- these are very socially correct books, and I obviously don't have a problem with the message that "being mean to darker folks isn't very moral." Perfectly happy to get that message out there.

Buuuuuut...this isn't news to me, this isn't a lesson I need to be taught or a new POV that I've been unaware of, and it really just feels...unrelenting. That's it, there is an extremely unrelenting quality to these works. It's not making me feel like more of a Real Person. It's making me feel battered. Reading time is my escape place, and here I am escaping to a place where the majority of the people would either hate and distrust me or feel that I was furniture. Bleagh. Been there and read that repeatedly, and all that jazz.

I am going to finish them if it kills me, though, because they are well written books. REALLY good, especially "Octavian Nothing." *sob* But I suspect I am not the target audience, even if their authors might think I am.

So I'm reading them in small increments. Interspersed with Fumi Yoshinagi manga. (After "Flower of Life," I have a hard time believing anything anywhere NEAR as joyful as Fumi Yoshinagi manga can exist on earth.)

Also FINALLY read the classic "The Black Cauldron" over Thanksgiving (I'd forgot!) for the first time ever, which is surprising considering the trajectory of my fantasy fanhood. Never encountered it in my childhood, when it might have worked better. I’d tried to read the series before, back in the mid-’90s. The series was in the university library. I dunno. So this time I nicked it from a friend's childhood bedroom. ^__^ (It's okay! I did not remove it from said bedroom.)

Holy redemption-through-assault, is all I gotta say. Jaysus. Better-plotted than the Disney version, though. (Though I still have a small measure of affection for the Disney version -- also first encountered as an adult.)

Oh and — saw finally saw “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was lovely and moving, with one major flaw. (I think Tavie touched on this.)

It’s hard to spoil this extremely simple and basic story, but I’ll lj-cut anyway:

spoilers rot-13'd )

At any rate, the atmosphere is beautiful, the acting great, and the kid who plays Max is a treasure. (For which the director has to get at least half-credit. Directing kids is an undersung talent. This guy got kid Max to act and speak like a kid on-camera -- very natural, with all the pauses and stutters and idiosyncracies that real-life speech has -- instead of like a precocious, punchline-declaiming cuteness generator.)

I think its biggest success is that it made the tiny fears, disappointments and tragedies of normal childhood seem as big and significant as they do when you're actually a child. Which is what it set out to do. So, good film. Go see.


Oct. 9th, 2009 10:44 am
Now, I support the man with my whole heart, but is this one of those "We encourage you to do great things in the future!" prizes? Because... uh, that didn't work out too well with Arafat and ilk. (And that sounded like equating. Yikes. Well, it wasn't.)

Or maybe it's a "we think your very existence has improved U.S. race relations somewhat, or at least made them a priority, and that's sort of like peace!" prize?

The best axiom I have read all week -- directed at a woman whose significant other was not worth it (by someone looking to take his place): "You can't satisfy an empty stomach by refusing to take a crap." Ew! WOW. How completely, vividly, grossly apt.

My goal for today is to NOT chicken out of my nefarious plan. ;-) Celebration enough, I think.
Random fact: I learned how to correctly pronounce "Cthulhu" from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
Thanks, Grey DeLisle!

Further randomness: Hair cut by fire. On purpose. As a service one pays cash money for.

(Heh. And a "No Smoking" sign.)
Psychoboss is officially gone. I think I have Stockholm syndrome. :-(

A little boy waved at me in the rain on Wednesday.

The demographics of my old neighborhood are changing. They're always changing, I suppose. Lately the crumbling concrete Virgin Marys are disappearing from front lawns, replaced by various things -- a lawn chair, a bike, a German shepherd on a leash, a large stuffed and sun-faded toy tiger for reasons I don't pretend to understand. Sometimes they are replaced by small collections of pastel flags, forlorn in the rain but pretty and light in the wind. I see them in the mornings as my bus drives through, never really getting a proper look, always wondering what they signified.

I slogged through the rain on Wednesday, past a house I've passed often over the years, made of faded pink, pebbled brick. A tiny stone donkey, paint chipped, has been "pulling" a cart on that front lawn since I was an infant and over the years a white wrought birdbath has slowly turned grey. Once, there were a family of Nigerians there, who would come out on the porch -- four men, three? -- in summer, and call to me from across the street and try to make me turn my head. Miss? Miss? Hey, how are you, Miss? Miss?

They had no flags.

Then the house was emptied out (onto the front lawn), and then the house was empty. And then the little donkey lost his cart.

On Wednesday I walked through the rain in a black coat and a bright red umbrella, and a little boy, no more than three, with his head tucked snugly into a dark-brown patka came to the doorway -- he pressed his nose up against the glass door and waved and waved at me when I smiled, until a woman-shaped shadow appeared behind him and nudged him away.

Sikh flags! Mystery solved, and with such an adorable little grin.

A long time ago, a chubby little boy named Christopher lived in that house. We would dig in the dirt between the tree roots just outside his yard when at the end of summer days when bike riding became too tiring, and he had a piñata at his eighth birthday party -- the first and last one I've ever seen in action.

Last week Christopher friended me on Facebook. He just got married.

All full circle now?

It was a nice day.
Thirty famous authors whose books were rejected

I love this. The problem is, if I do this, that's very likely all I will do.

Similar condensing-type stuff. Seems to me it would help immensely with a query letter.

Cultural difference? Come to think of it -- although I haven't seen enough of the Midwest to judge, I think this is quite true (swap out "Minnesota" for "DC" or something).


Apr. 15th, 2009 10:32 am
Lion chop prices soar.

There is so much disconcerting in that sentence.
Holy crap, this is unpleasant.

I mean really.

Oh my GOD.

On the other hand -- two haunting sets of pics of a profession whose existence had never occurred to me before:

Andrew Bell: Shipbreaking
Edward Burty: Shipbreaking

(I like all of Bell's.)
The Feminist Quran now available for download

I have no knowledge with which to analyze this, so no comment. (I haven't even begun reading the Koran I got last year yet.) But MUCH fascination. All God's Children: Inside Quiverful, the Christian Patriarchy Movement

Any religion that requires me to joyfully rupture my uterus is not the religion -- nor the God -- for me. Sorry. Rick Steves on Iran. And Marijuana.: Food for thought.

Requisite disclaimer? Citation of anything in this LJ is not automatically indication of [full or even partial] endorsement, but it is indication of interest.
The awesome thing, I imagine, about being Neil Gaiman? Is that you really don’t have to give much of a crap at all when your Amazon reviewers feel that your new book is an incomprehensible “incantation,” or if they are suspicious about your invocations of triple moon goddesses.

(Oh the horra.)

My crush Ta-Nehisi cites my other crush Larry, here.

There are long-ass introspections I keep meaning to post, and then I keep...not. Ah well. Probably best for all involved. ^__^ Instead? *drumroll * The LJ meme!

what LJ means to me, I guess? )
Last but not least:

Hee! Building a better mousetrap. Possibly taking it too far.


Obama fingers

Really, folks? Seriously? Und warum, exactly?

Gooooood night everybody.
I am having that self-defeating loop where you keep going, “No one is going to want to read an eleven-page conversation no matter how many subtle cultural details it reveals, I need bullets and chases and an explosion!” and “But the information must be conveyed!” and “I am not an exciting bulletty person, and furthermore these people have not discovered gunpowder yet!” and then you say fuck it and go watch TV.

I lack the will of the warrior.

Goosey came to visit me at work last Friday. ^_________^

He is nearly seven months old, and he does this...this thing, where, because he sees things that the rest of us cannot see, he will fling himself in a random, spontaneous direction, and then you have to sort of catch him before he clunks to the floor. Just fling, then abrupt perpendicularity, and then stare, with Maggie Simpson levels of focused pacifier sucking. This is lovely in its way, suggesting, as it does, his complete confidence in life and people, and that no one has ever dropped this child on his face.

To avoid disaster, you must anticipate all this by hugging his waist tightly and carefully noting any tensing of his tummy muscles. He’s FAST.

I think he sees ghosts. Nice, friendly ghosts -- he keeps smiling at them. Or else he is really fascinated either with my shoe (boring black) or the carpet (boring grey) or the open, empty air (open and empty). Possibly he finds these things friendly. I dunno.

Interactive Quiz: How progressive are you?

Apparently, I am “very progressive.” Bzuh?!

284/400! That's like a C-minus! (Average for Americans is 209.5.)

Obviously I don’t know myself at all. I find pundits who use the term “progressive” increasingly annoying, especially in the past two years (it's LIBERAL, dammit), and I keep thinking of myself as very centrist and cautious and “look at both sides,” but apparently no, it’s just that the provided extremes are really wacko.

This is actually rather very comforting. Although I still suspect I’d wind up being a damn Tory in some other country.

Click here for fun times with Ian McKellen!! ~___^ )
A blog about things in this world that are getting better and better all the time

Oh dear. History of the World According to my Students

I love this picture.

I love love love this thread -- especially the kind comments, but best of all, the happy ending! A remarkable lack of Internet assholes here. So sweet.
"So...I'm fat. Still wanna meet up?"

Developing a fine case of achy joints and blocked-up ears, which means I am actually ill and not just wildly allergic to J's dog. Unless it's just that I still have microscopic dog hair all over me. (I reeeeeeallly hate the overlap between those two conditions.) And it's only Monday. CRAP.

I need to at least try to get to sleep at a decent hour today.


Feb. 18th, 2009 06:17 pm
Do I want to be a writer to tell you stories...or do I want to be a writer to have my own COOL MIRROR-Y GRAPHICS LIKE SUCH???


These are important questions.


Japanese Trek Art
French Dudes Contemplate Bacon Fandom

Lastly: Scalzi -- oh Noes, he's talking politics again!
Top Gay Love Songs

Obsidian Wings: California Slides into the Sea California Crash

And from Ta-Nehisi: 'What you see in Rod's post are the essential reasons why I'm a social liberal--and will remain so for all my days.'


Ok, to be more specific, we commie leftists don't just want to "promote values" through some wishy washy ad campaign about loving your kids, but by removing the systemic policy barriers that make building a functioning family difficult. Better healthcare, childcare, education, poverty reduction, family planning, etc.

Rod Dreher conservatives want to do some or all of the following: outlaw some forms of family (gay marriage and adoption), valorize one form (though tax incentives etc. to het. marriage), reduce the visibility and viability of others (complain about positive media portrayals of single parents, make divorce more difficult, making social services dependent on marital status) and make it more difficult to control when to have children (reduced access to effective reproductive health care, birth control, abortion).

That's what's at stake, not whether or not we think people ought to love and take care of their kids. If you don't think that non-traditional families are generally less valuable and ought to be discouraged, then you aren't on the Rod Dreher side of things.
-- rufustfyrfly

The Black Snob's Little Black Girls are EVERYWHERE, You Idiots campaign yields ADORABLE PICTURES OMG.


Feb. 9th, 2009 10:43 am
Shocking News: The Middle Class Has It a Lot Harder Here Than Anywhere Else

Aside from mild inaccuracy/US centric myopia in the title...

*SIGH* *BIG SIGH* At some point I need to sit down and reassess. (I think I might have left this city again as long ago as 2002 if I weren't pretty much tethered to it by profession. And, uh, if 9/11 hadn't factored in. Long story. Well, not so long -- you don't leave your momma when she's hurtin'.)

Why I cannot copyedit in Canada:
And this does not even begin to take into consideration the PREPOSITIONS. Which are INTUITIVE. D-: T___T

The rules are: When you see this post, post your own favorite poem. (Possibly you should pay more attention to that singular form there than I have. ~__^)

Gacked from [ profile] akiko -- a Big Damn Poetry Post follows cut. ^__^ (*sigh* I will never give up the smileys. I love them.)

Pondering whether or not it would be best to just link to all of these, I thought it might be less annoying to just post them, and maybe snip the really long ones down to excerpt size. I'll try to be chronological -- as in my life, not the dates of the poetry. ALL RIGHTY:

Forgive Me. )
--- Why... I do in fact think about consonants. And I'm thinking about "U" right now. ~___^

--- Irshad, Irshad, Irshad, you rock so hard, I think I will always love you.


Seriously, when the ground is covered with a sheet of ice, the subway trains should not be blowing cold air on me. They just shouldn't. When I was in high school, trains totally had heat. I am not imagining this! *curmudgeons about the room*

I begin to wonder if I will ever be warm again. On the other hand, this is a perfect excuse to eat pasta.


PLEASE stop living up to the stereotypes. In other cities, many of your colleagues do not do this and still manage to get on. Seriously, you don't have to do this, plus, you'd get bigger tips.

(In the following anecdote, the Monty Python level of farcical is going to be lost on some, but I'm going to try to describe this properly. I promise, to the best of my ability I am reporting this completely faithfully with no embroidery for effect whatsoever.)

So because it's cold, and I'm very late, and at times I get reimbursed on that sort of thing if I can make a good case for it, I decide to cab it home, because that way, it will take maybe 30, 40 minutes, whereas at this time of night, train and bus will take about two hours. And I catch a cab, one who does not roll his eyes at me upon hearing I need to go out to Queens, and so off we go, and it's all good.

I...I don't quite know what it is, although I strongly suspect it is my lack of a Y chromosome that causes some drivers to do this...abject denial in the face of reality. Dear driver: 1. I am not a tourist. 2. I am not stupid. 3. I am really, really not stupid. I have in fact done this before, as should be obvious by the fact that *I* gave you the directions. 4. When I tell you I've lived in a place for about 35 years, give or take a few sojourns elsewhere, the fact that you've also lived in the area...still doesn't negate reality. 4. I am not so damaged and backward that I don't know where my own house is located. 5. And seriously, if I were? How the hell would YOU solve the problem? And since you couldn't, why not just go where I want, and leave me responsible for it?

So maybe 20 minutes later I feel us stopping, and I look up, and dude has taken the Woodhaven Boulevard exit.

Cab Dude: So. Left or right?

Me: Oh! Uh. Um. I'm sorry, but you've taken the wrong exit. I need to go to Rockaway Boulevard.

Cab Fellow: This is Rockaway.

Me: 0_0
Me: Er, this is Woodhaven. We need to get back on the L.I.E.

Cab Dude: This is Rockaway, the sign says Rockaway!


Rockaway Boulevard: *is still 20 minutes' drive away from where we are*
Rockaway Boulevard: *whistles* *looks at watch*

Me: This isn't Rockaway Boulevard. This is Woodhaven? Woodhaven to your right and Queens Boulevard to your left. I don't want to go down Woodhaven. I don't live here.

Cab Driver: This is Rockaway!

Me: No, actually? Rockaway Boulevard is, like, right by the airport, and --

Cab Guy: Look -- the exit said Rockaway!

Me: Yes but the sign above your head right now says Woodhaven Boulevard and Queens Boulevard. I can't get home from here. Maybe the sign you saw said "Going TOWARD Rockaway"? But first you have to pass Atlantic and Linden and --

Cab Driver: Look, this is exit 19, yes?

Me: !???!

Meter: *keeps running up*

Me: Listen. I used to live down the street from here. I no longer live here. I don't know what number exit this is, I never gave you a number, the sign says it's WOODHAVEN BOULEVARD, and I asked you for ROCKAWAY.

Cab Dude: Look, I live right up the road right there and --


Meter: *merrily ticks along*

Traffic Light: *blissfully changes a lot*

Cab Dude: Look, the sign said --

Me: OKAY. You know what, never mind -- can you turn off here please?

So yes, friends, I got out of that cab, walked about eleven blocks (this is at about 11:30 pm -- [ profile] charliee would kick my ass), past my old apartment of roaches and robbery, to my old subway stop...and in another hour and a half, I was home.

"Oh -- you're changing your destination?"
"Yes. I think so."
"Look, I'm sorry if it was the wrong exit --" he said as I got out in the dark.
"Meh. No worries. Drive safe!"

Reader, I tipped him 20 percent. I hate myself sometimes. Often.

(At least it wasn't 20 percent of the full fare.)

In further news... I'm off to see Obama AND I HAVEN'T WASHED MY HAIR.

Later, darlings. See ya Wednesday.
I really miss the pop-up Quark window that used to say, CONFIRM: ABORT CHECKOUT? Instead of this sweet-voiced little InCopy window that gently suggests, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO UNDO THE CHECK-OUT OF THIS ARTICLE?

I liked the one that talked like a spaceship. Pow! Three words, and that's the way it is!

I do love this fellow so far:
Lance Mannion

And to think, I found him via such frivolity as "The Spirit" reviews. :-)

One more: How the city hurts your brain


Dec. 18th, 2008 03:41 pm

This is far less surreal than I was expecting. ^__________^ (more or less work-safe)

WARNING: Internet anonymity = preponderance of assholery, et cetera, et cetera. First comment brings the stupid rather immediately.

On OpenSalon, a pressing question: Is My Son Delayed?

Also: Roy Orbison in Clingfilm fansite

"If you have written any stories about Roy being completely wrapped in clingfilm please send them to me and I may put them up on the site. If you have a site with stories about other pop stars being wrapped in cling-film mail me and we can exchange links. [...]

"It is pleasant to be interviewed but I sometimes worry that my entire soul will be quarried out by the tireless excavators of the press. If I can arrange some regular and efficient deliveries of clingfilm to my house I may become a recluse. But then perhaps I will lose touch and my tales will cease to be grounded in reality. Who can say?"

The Roy Orbison Wrapped in Clingfilm Adventure Game

and the book!

and reviews!

and a MUSICAL! (Or possibly just a song of tribute.)



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