I always get a bit creeped out when something I've been clandestinely following at my desk (and which I've been thinking of as an SF community sort of issue, or at least a relatively closed-community sort of issue) is suddenly being squealed/shouted/giggled over by the girls in my office.

Oh Internet. You delight me with your effectiveness and terrify me with your smallness. (And SPEED. Monkeyfighter. 0_0)

Gawker.com: Magazine editor steals article, tells writer "You should compensate me"

Although I do continue to question the authority of Merriam-Webster. I mean really: "unself-conscious?" Bah. That is silliness.

And I would close up "douchebag." It's bloody slang, dammit. (Which should not have an N in it, for Christ's sake. If you MUST have an N, break it into two words. You don't stick an unpronounced T into "wanna," do you?)

What it's really like to be a copyeditor

(And I REFUSE to copyedit myself on the Internet. Much. ^_____^ It's a compulsion, it causes insomnia, I'm not doing it. I am not kidding. I reflexively pick for danglers in speeches given by characters in action movies -- the Net needs to be my vacation time.)
Sigh. Getting to that fun "my job makes me feel ugly on a near-daily basis" place again.
Roads clear, bus on time, trains running, and I'm the FIRST PERSON TO ARRIVE IN MY DEPARTMENT.


Snow Day.


[RIVAL COMPANY REDACTED] let all THEIR employees stay home.... *whine*



May. 29th, 2009 10:58 am
Job Listing: Editor in Chief of the Official World of Warcraft Magazine

My inner child screams "WANT! WANT NOW!" (Would the fact that I have never played WoW and suck at video games stand in my way? I like people who play video games? And elves! I totally rocked "Oregon Trail"!!!)
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 piƱata 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.


Apr. 29th, 2009 05:44 pm
In Which Tsu Really Hopes Her Coworkers Do Not Eavesdrop:

Debate my department has been having for 1/2 hour:

a) L.L. Bean


b) L. L. Bean


c) L.L.Bean


(We decided to stet version A. *collapse*)

In answering queries like "So WHY do you need to see the layout again, WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?" instead of "I fucked up the photocopy," I need to start answering off-the-cuff things like "There was a DEMON in the copier!!" Or, uh, "We're out of toner." Or SOMETHING.

Oh, Christian elementary school, how you have failed me.
On the freebie table, there is a large Dunkin' Donuts box.

When you open the box, it is pristine, and on the bottom is written in blue marker: "YOUR FAT ASS DOESN'T NEED A [crude drawing of doughnut, complete with sprinkles]."

Ah, the world of women's magazines. I'm going to McDonald's later. I'm having fries. I have just decided this.

I had... I don't know how to describe this dream. 'Unpleasant' is the closest I can come, but not an actual nightmare.

My family (mother's side) has set me up with a guy of the sort I would never seek out on my own. (I'll leave it at that.) The thing is, a great many of them are on the "date" with me. This is like nineteen people of several generations. Kind of Thanksgivinglike. We are all in my cousin's apartment eating, and I'm sitting there in my attractive outfit and secretly matchy-matchy underwear (dude is on the opposite side of the room, family between, feeding us), and I'm thinking 1) How stupid, for us to sit and have a family meal when I'm about to go out and eat more with this guy. 2) Does this mean I can't have any more [unidentifiable dinner item]? 3) Why am I doing this when I promised myself that in my thirties I was not going to put myself into any more blatantly uncomfortable situations unless life was at stake?

Sitting there on the couch, bitterly thinking these thoughts, I have a newspaper spread out on the coffee table in front of me -- the newspaper is, essentially, LiveJournal, in my Refried thingamajig (very clean lines, white background, green accents) format, and it's interactive. So interactive, in fact, that when I accidentally spill batter (I don't know why I have batter) over [livejournal.com profile] tammylee's entry where she has a digital picture of a still-baking cake that she has meticulously sculpted into a pink-lotus pai sho tile from "Avatar: the Last Airbender," my batter runs into the picture, into all the sculpting, and gets baked into the lines and color and obscures and ruins everything. I salvage things by slicing it all up small with a very sharp kitchen knife and (reaching down into and through the LJ entry) deep-frying the whole shebang into chips. (American definition of.)

Tams, I totally got out of bed this morning reminding myself to apologize to you and offer you reimbursement. (That is, before I woke up all the way. ^____^)

meme-ish )

But Soft!!

Sep. 17th, 2008 11:27 pm
Mood: *whispers of awe*
Mood: .........YES!!!
Mood: Light breaking through yonder window

I... I don't believe it.

The MS I've been procrastinating on for two and a half weeks, that I've got seventeen days left to complete?

The MS I've been dreading, and bitching about, and mentally abusing, unopened?

That MS?

Was written... by a copyeditor.

She... can spell.

She... uses dialect. INTELLIGIBLY.

She... *wipes tear* she... employed a semicolon. Correctly. On page SEVEN. And... *sniff* she uses commas around her appositives.

*openly bawling*

I have gone through fourteen pages in five minutes, and the only correction I've made is a backwards single quote before an abbreviated "'cause."

There's... no... WORK in this work.

(It's not actually a gripping tale or anything? But... sweet baby Jesus, who cares!!???)


*glories in the obvious favor of heaven*

Okay, a few people have asked me pretty much the same things now, so let me just go through it once and for all.

1. No, nobody just showed up in my LJ and began spontaneously rattling around. I made the first move. I was Googling a work-related topic, and (to my vast disgust) could only find exactly TWO links that even remotely dealt with the topic. I made an overture to each, and invited discussion.

2. What I'm seeing as a major part of the core disagreement here is pretty valid -- it's been argued for far longer than I've been alive and I'm sure it will continue when all of us are dust. I have, however, come down on a side:

I am not an absolutist. I believe in situational ethics. I believe, very strongly, that context is key. I believe, within reason!!, in relativism. So yes, I do believe that members (and to an extent, associates) of a group have the right to terminology concerning the group that outsiders do not share. In an ideal world I've no doubt it would be different, but as it stands, there is a dynamic of enforced inferiority and superiority that is impossible when the people in question are from the same group. Or, in layman's terms, family is family. I will tease my baby sister. YOU try it, and I'll take you down.

So the young woman in question saw my use of the adjective "blackish" ["black(ish?)" to be precise] as a diminutive, and therefore disrespectful. I put it forth, however, as a shorthand, lighthearted query to an audience that had absolutely no reason to misunderstand me (via cunning use of flags use of punctuation. A query which, by the way, none of you have answered yet. You're totally going to make me go to those obnoxious IMDB message boards with the 13-year-olds, aren't you. ;-)

We are coming from entirely different directions, essentially. Misinterpretation is, therefore, all too easy. She is coming from an arena where a disturbingly large amount of fanfiction writers are being arguably exploitative of black sexuality.

I am coming from an arena where the very presence of a black child (in the 21st century!) on the cover of an international magazine STILL returned us the lowest newsstand sales of that entire year. (I have since quit and gone elsewhere, and am not aware if they tried it again in the interim. But there was a quantifiable difference between that cover and the cover featuring an East Asian child -- and even that one wasn't anywhere nearly as high as the regular "mainstream" covers, either. And I could go on about the whys and wherefores of that all day. I might, sometime. God, there is fodder. Industrywide fodder. There have been so many thwarted attempts, and blame is, surprisingly, not all that easily pinned.)

I'm coming from an arena where, for example, I've had a colleague who has never heard of fanfiction call me repeatedly, once in tears, because she could not find a single Asian or black celebrity "mainstream" and "recognizable-to-the-audience" enough to satisfy the editor-in-chief for an article on celeb dads, in time for deadline. (We have Denzel and Will, apparently, and THAT IS ALL. *headdesks bloody* And South Asia does not exist. Oy.* )

I'm in arena in which (where I am now) we've gotten letters of abject, tearful gratitude for the one black (non-U.S., in this case) face we've had on the cover in what I'm willing to bet is two years. (Not to mention the long-ass fight I had to have with the story editor over why it was simply not accurate -- not a house style question, NOT a query for the ed-in-chief, NOT a reason to call any meetings, but a very, very simple FACTUAL INNACURACY, a freaking lie if you will -- to call the woman "African-American" when she wasn't from the bloody U.S.) (Not to mention as well the outright unvarnished racial segregation in certain bookstores which is pretty much guaranteeing that black authors -- and other authors of color overall, but this chain is ONLY Jim Crowing segregating Af-Am and nobody else -- will continue to earn significantly less than their white counterparts for the same amount of work. The same TYPE of work. Even if the white counterparts choose to feature characters of color.)

So yeah, my goals, and my instinctive reactions, are gonna be quite different. We are still fighting for basic visibility, really.

I do not anticipate any further interaction concerning this, to be honest. Not because of any of the above, which are extremely discussable points.

Partially because [livejournal.com profile] ladyegreen appears to kind of like me, a bit. (Boy, do I have her fooled. ~___^ BAHAHHAHAHAHA!!!)

But mainly because...hmmm. There is a dynamic that my own nature tends to allow to flourish, to my detriment; a dynamic of supplication. It's taken me a lot of years to identify and become able to nip in the bud. It's not a dynamic of peers, or equals, and it's...pretty toxic. Therefore, *nip*. Namely:

I will not be a supplicant. I will be submitting no applications for worthiness to be spoken to. And although I think, or I like to think, that I am pretty open to discussing most anything with anybody as a peer -- at least as long we're all following as certain basic logic-class parameters -- I will not be taking lessons in How to Be Properly Black from someone who, if I am to go by her statements, seems to have been in high school on my 30th birthday.**

So yeah. Not incredibly interested in pursuing that again ever.

She is talented, and I wish her well. Her generation will have a lot to offer the world, but the world is looking increasingly vile in a great many new and disconcerting ways, from where I'm standing. They will need to be smart, strong, and fairly silver-tongued. If they want anyone to listen at all.

*I think that was around the time [livejournal.com profile] luckykitty introduced me to Oded Behr? (yum ^_^) Which...thank you! But sadly he didn't come anywhere near enough to satisfying the "of color" criteria we were given.

** Jesus H. Christ on a vinyl record... 0_o

EDIT. Meh. I had disabled the comments, but you know what? I think anyone who would even bother to comment on this one is quite mature enough not to let it devolve into either a hate- or a woobiepoorthing-fest. There's plenty of fodder for objective discussion. So! Moving on, and on to the issues of import.

Oh my GOD

Jan. 17th, 2008 09:53 am
The executive editor has added a little something called Reese's Nutrageous to the candy jar.

Is this new? Did you all know about this and covertly keep it from me???

Verily I have tasted the food of heaven. My pleasures, my needs, they are so simple.... And dammit, they are full size and not bite size Halloween style... *eats three* *gains 20 pounds*

"Fresh from the factory" says the jar -- FRESH FROM JESUS MORE LIKE.

Creamy peanut-buttery goodness I tell you!!!!

(why no, I have not quite woken up yet, why do you ask?

(need coffee)
tsubaki_ny: (camellia (tsubakinohana))

There is a choir in the lobby!

There are so many of them! Singing "Winter Wonderland" in nine part harmony to the adoration of their parents I guess!

(They have a kid in yarmulke and tzitzit in the back, singing away...)

It is all so bright and shiny under the light of five huge Christmas trees...

Pretty talented bunch of high schoolers, actually. I'd take pix, but... it's verboten. :-(

*wakes up*
*was not ready to wake up quite so abruptly, Jeeze*


EDIT: And now I am awake. :-D Joyeux Noel, oo la la!
So yesterday I dragged my coughing sneezing self down to Manhattan to get some drugs. (They have discontinued my drug of choice, Sudafed Non-Drying Sinus, because the universe hates me and thinks I have a meth lab in the basement. I don't even know how meth is TAKEN. I should be trusted with my Sudafed! Ach... I shouldn't complain -- this is the first time I've been really sick, like, not dying-of-cat-dander-allergy sniffly but real live illness in a few years. Which is like a record for me, so yay me! Hazards of 11-hour flights with coughy people, I imagine... Annnnd we will not discuss my strip searching at Ben Gurion. ^___^)

Er... SO YESTERDAY I dragged my coughing sneezing self to Manhattan. This is after I found that my client double-booked and I would be out of work until April 10. Guh. Show up to work and there is another dude in my seat. So no work for me this week. Bleah. Actually, this has since been remedied to everyone's satisfaction, and many abject and abasing apologies were made to me, which made me uncomfortable. :-) Although, to be honest, I would far rather be sinned against than sinning. So that was a relief, actually. (It was, after all, an honest, not malicious, and most important, VERY atypical and out-of-character mistake.) And I have a new gig Monday, yay, and plenty of time to sleep it off this week, yay!!

Where was I? Okay, so yesterday I had to 1. pick up meds and 2. get a manuscript printed out at Kinko's because I no longer have a laser printer and my client decided to e-mail me the project. WHO MAKES THEIR COPYEDITOR PRINT OUT THEIR OWN MANUSCRIPT COPY, I ask you??? Okay, probably this is not common knowledge, but this is highly irregular! Don't do it! Just suck up the FedEx charge! We write on paper for a reason!!

Oy. So as I was saying, I did all my errands high on Theraflu, and, well, I was in Times Square after all, and so how was I to prevent myself stopping by Midtown Comics? ^_____^

So arms full of old Hellblazers and a new "Ramayan" I sidle through the manga aisle on my way to the New Books, and I hear a voice behind me "Miss? Can we talk to you for a moment?"

And there is a microphone in my face.

Long story short, Midtown Comics had been infiltrated by a Japanese camera crew, who decided I needed to be interviewed as to my love of shoujo manga (which love doesn't really exist, actually. But there's enough affection to fake a three second interview, I think.)

So a sniffly, shiny-faced, and not-enthusiastic-enough ("Excuse me, stop!" says the cameraman. "Miss, uh.. can you be... uh, more happy in the face? You are talking about comics." "But... I have the flu!" I protest, weakly...) interview of me is going to air in Japan sometime soon, where neither I nor anyone I know (most likely) will ever see it. Heh. This is unequivocally best for all.

At least my hair was cute. ^____^

(I told them all about Peach Girl. *titter*)

Then I came home, had six cups of Salada white tea (in quick succession) and slept from 6:30pm to ELEVEN AM this morning. Awesome, and a little bit scary... and though I feel like I could conk out for about 12 more hours, I actually feel a damn sight better, so there's that...

*rereads Peach Girl*


Trip pix to come later, when I've access to a high-speed connection. As I was supposed to on Monday, but well...all's well that ends well...
The Devil Wears Prada, Book
premise: Virulent, American-Psycho style, larger-than-life bitch-boss gets delicious comeuppance type revenge fantasy. Character study of individual -- escapist, teaches no lessons. Candy.

The Devil Wears Prada, Movie
premise: Having a work ethic is unbecoming in females. Study of a gender. Tries not to be (one throwaway line), but not very hard. I have seen the overgeneralized, moralizing and more-than-a-little-forced light. Candy.

Still a damn sight more amusing than I anticipated, though. Not painful at all. The humor is funny. That chick fron "Rent" is in it!!!! Alas, she does not sing.

(How scary is it that Anne Hathaway looked better in her cheesy "Brokeback Mountain" clothing, which lifted her bosom and emphasized her teeny waist, as opposed to the shoulder sloping, waist hiding, boob-drooping, sausagemaking "couture" meant to convince us that this pipsqueak -- size 6, yeah right -- is somehow "fat"??? Whoever put her in that tube-shaped green crepe thing should be shot in the neck. Jury is in -- you cannot have breasts and work at top magazines, apparently... I am so glad I'm way back in Copy and no one expects anything of me *shlubs around in Gap jeans...* *eats PayDay bars* *avoids all contact with beauty department(s)*)
tsubaki_ny: (cheesecake)

Feeling a lack of control over your job can give you heart disease. (I thought the US was supposed to be where people had more job mobility?? I also thought this article was heading toward issues of prenatal care.)

I am going to freelance FOREVER. (And drink ginger tea.)

So my coworkers are busy cutting fruit... in midair, with a katana.

How much do I love this job?
Phew. I cannot keep doing this. NO JOB is worth 1 hour of sleep in the past 48. This morning I slept from 6am to 7am. (And they -- a different client but still! -- wanted me to stay to 11pm to wait for a file! On a Friday! And... no! Left at 9:30. So I have to go in early Monday. People... are... so... disorganized...) Bleah.

And damn! You write three measly little letters to Time Warner Cable (andtheBetterBusinessBureauandtheNewYorkStatePublicServiceCommissionandtheNewYorkCityDepartmentofTechnologyandTelecommunications) and cancel your service and suddenly everyone -- all the real live humans -- are calling you on the phone wanting to know how they can pleaseplease help you solve this unfortunate minsunderstanding. I have gotten three letters and two phone calls in the past three days. Funny that. Got nothing but silence when they were overcharging the hell out of my bill...

You know you've been doing this job too long when "apologoze" starts to look like a valid past-irregular verb form.

"You apologoze, did you?" "Why should I? I've already apologizen several times!"




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