with no power

Sep. 21st, 2014 11:34 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
I was talking to [personal profile] rosefox the other day about the futility and counterproductiveness of staying informed about everything horrible that happens in the world everywhere, that has nothing to do with me. Remember the wise words of Uncle Ben, guys.With great power comes great responsibility. The converse is also true. With almost no power comes almost no responsibility.

And let me give you a little depressive realism here. You know about depressive realism, right, depression has a fun little party trick where mostly it lies and lies to you about yourself and everything and how you are a loser and everything is awful but in one respect it tells the truth? There's evidence that depressives tend to more accurately estimate their level of control over external events that they have no control over? Y'all, go ahead and accurately estimate that "ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country." I mean, you know it, I know it. [personal profile] rosefox was saying the other day that they've been futilely protesting US involvement in the Middle East for 24 years. It is wasted time. I don't go to marches anymore. Right here, right now, they have no effect. I marched on Washington for abortion rights, I marched in my city against war in the Middle East, I wasted my time. With power comes responsibility. What that means to me is that I have to learn where I do have power and where I don't. And I need to focus my actions on where I have power.

Like for example, "staying informed" is an amorphous concept that sounds righteous and important but, really, being informed changes nothing unless I do something with the information. There's stuff I'm never going to do anything about, because I can't. I have no power over a kid being bullied by her school system over on the east coast somewhere, to take one example of something I was exhorted to care about by Tumblr this week. Look, I am sorry about that kid, but it would be creepy and wrong if a random person on the other coast had the power to significantly change her schooling experience based on information off of Tumblr, and in fact it is not the case. I have no power there. So it's not my responsibility. It's not important for me to be informed of that. On the other hand, it is important for me to inform myself of the way the police work in my country and in my city to the point that I finally, finally, really internalize that I should never call the cops again unless I am prepared for someone to die. And not necessarily someone in the situation that I wanna call the cops about. Maybe some random dude five miles away who fits a ~profile~. And I am so embarrassed that this took me so long to realize. And I am scared because the next time I hear slight thuds and a crying woman begging her boyfriend to stop hitting her, underneath my window, I can't call the cops. What am I going to do? I'm going to have to go down there and talk to them myself, and I don't want to, and probably that's what I always should have done, and I don't want to. And the next time I see thick black smoke coming from a van parked under an underpass downtown at 1 A.M., I'm not fucking going into that situation myself - so what am I going to do? Will someone die if I call the cops, or if I don't? This sucks, but it is about my actions, so it is my responsibility.

And of course this also sucks because it is limited to my individual power, to my individual actions. So neoliberal, right? I want to believe that people would be stronger if we acted collectively but maybe Ferguson is putting the lie to that. See this post: "if they can lie to us to our face and us KNOW the truth, what power do we have , then?"

Well…not a lot. And - didn't we know this already? Why didn't we know this? This isn't new, right, the people in power lying to the people without, and us know they're lying, and they know we know they're lying, and they don't have to give a shit, isn't new? I've been reading The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, about the AIDS crisis and its aftermath, and that's just the 1980s. Not even that long ago, don't we remember how the government let a gay generation die before Ronald Reagan would say the word "AIDS", let alone put some damn money into the problem? Schulman writes that ACT UP forced the government to finally take AIDS seriously as a public health menace, but….how? I know a little bit about ACT UP and its actions, but…. how do these demonstrations force people with power to do things differently? Do they? I've been reading about this, I've been listening to Revolutions - which is a great podcast by the way - I've been trying to learn how, fundamentally, people convince other people to do things. How people get other people to stop doing one thing and do something different. I swear this is a huge flaw in my education, this is a place where we have been let down. I should know this and I don't and I don't even know how to find out.

Daily Happiness

Sep. 21st, 2014 10:33 pm
torachan: ewan mcgregor pulling his glasses down to look over the top (ewan glasses)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I finally had a chance to go and pick up my new contacts today. Irene walked down there with me and not only did we get a nice walk in but we stopped in at the Apple Store, too, and got a look at the new iPhones.

2. I went in to work for a few hours this afternoon because inventory is Tuesday and I'm still trying to get everything in shape for that. We have a company coming to count everything in the store on Tuesday night, but we have to count the stuff in the back ourselves sometime before then and it's all been really messy back there since the remodelling (plus just more stuff in the back than usual because of that), so I've been working on getting as much of that out on the shelves and then trying to organise what's left. I feel like I got a lot done today and can hopefully start on the actual inventory tomorrow.

3. Irene and I started watching Princess Jellyfish, which so far is really cute! We've watched the first three episodes so far.
umadoshi: (kittens - the picture of innocence)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Part of tonight's conversation while hanging out with [personal profile] seolh and Kas was about cat vaccinations. ([personal profile] scruloose and I are essentially settled on getting the kittens the feline leukemia vaccine but not the rabies vaccine, since if they get out of the house their odds of encountering another cat are much higher than their odds of coming into contact with a rabies-infected bat.) Kas mentioned that his cat gets only the standard combined vaccine, because she's an indoor cat in an apartment building, and thus even if she gets out of the apartment the odds of her getting outdoors are basically nonexistent...

...and we realized that if we lived in an apartment, the outer hallway would be a total nightmare for Claudia. Because there's very little that frustrates our girl more than a closed door, and to her, such a hallway would be nothing but a vast array of closed doors, and beyond each one there would be an entirely different assortment of intriguing smells and sounds that she would be unable to investigate. THE HORROR.

a bit more about the kittens and closed doors )

Today I overslept, and when I finally escaped the bed's gravitational pull a little before noon (my alarm went off at 10:30; [personal profile] scruloose was up by 9 and prepping chili in the slow cooker) and realized that Kas and [personal profile] seolh would be over for Into the Woods in under six hours, I decided to abandon the notion of doing any freelance work today. It was, after all, my last weekend day before Casual Job resumes (and during the weeks that Casual Job's on, my weekends are usually devoted to freelance work and desperately trying to catch up on sleep and manage my burnout levels).

So before their arrival, my day consisted of having breakfast and tea, vacuuming the house, taking a long (even by my standards) shower, making more tea, and starting to reread Untold (which I got about halfway through before it was time to switch gears to socialization and beloved theatre). The evening, as planned, was devoted to Into the Woods ([personal profile] seolh had seen it before, but Kas hadn't), with a break for chili and fresh bread (hail the Doughbot!) at intermission.

Having both Kas and [personal profile] seolh here at once is like having a playdate for the kittens. ^_^ They're two of the kittens' very favorite guest!monkeys (they also love it when [personal profile] wildpear visits). So the kittens got to play hard tonight, and were clearly delighted. They were toted around in their favorite bag! (The one we use to weigh them.) [personal profile] seolh did her "look, your tail is a TOY!" trick that Jinksy loves so much--he curls up on his back in her arms and plays wildly with his own tail, going at it with teeth and forepaws, wide-mouthed with sheer excitement in between attacks. It is excruciatingly cute.

And now we have an impressive amount of rain falling, which will be lovely to fall asleep to. (The forecast claims we're expecting 50-70 mm by sometime in the morning.)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
When I suggest we start with people who cannot naturally synthesize vitamin C.

and sundry

Sep. 21st, 2014 09:13 pm
meganbmoore: (fire dance)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
1. I finally got around to watching Belle and Maleficent yesterday. These are the only two movies I've really anticipated this year, and they both lived up to expectations, though i'm late enough to the party that I think everything I'd say has been said multiple times by most who are reading this and would care. I wish Maleficent had had a little more subtlety and nuance at times, though (my one real beef with it is the characterization of the three fairies, who were largely thrown under a bus, characterization-wise, for Maleficent's arc, and unlike Stefan's characterization, I don't think doing so strengthened what the movie was doing), but it did a good job of saying and doing what it wanted to. Belle was just extra lovely, though yet another movie about a historical woman that's promoted as a romance but which has the romance as a secondary aspect.

2. Until 2 days ago, I did not know that flight rising had a piece of apparel that would let you have literal swarms of pixies floating around your dragon's head. The end result of that discovery was this:

(She has been named Kyoko. If you've read Skip-Beat, then you know it is the most perfect of all possible names for her.)

Now to resist buying pixies for ALL my dragons.

3. I am horrifyingly behind on TV. I haven't watched any of season 2 of Witches of East End or Devious Maids, or past episode 9 of season 2 of Beauty and the Beast. This is not disinterest at all, I just...haven't. I also haven't watched more of Ja Myung Go or Queen Seon Deuk since WisCon, much less any of the latest kdramas, and have only seen the first couple episodes of all the anime from this season that I intend to watch. These, at least, are mostly because I haven't felt up to subtitles the last few months, except for a couple very brief spurts.

4. Netflix now has season 9 of Bones and series 3 of Call the Midwife streaming, and Amazon Prime has season 5 of The Good Wife. I watched CtM on DVD a couple weeks ago and have been switching back and forth between the other two, both of which I still quite enjoy, despite not having much to say about them.

5. It seems there's going to be a sequel to Dae Jang Geum. This was apparently announced a while back, but I only recently heard about it. Reports seem a bit mixed about whether or not Lee Young Ae will be back as Jang Geum, though.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2014 08:42 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Poking around my bookshelves has given me several ideas for Yuletide, but none of them are short. I'm leaning toward the Wild Hunt series by Jocelin Foxe. It's a two book series published around 2000. It was obviously set up to be a long running series, so I assume the first two books didn't sell well. I'm not sure I want to specify characters for that one. They've got a large cast, and none of them appeal to me more than the others.

Other things that occurred to me were something by Lloyd Biggle, James White's Sector General books, The Silver Crown by Robert C. O'Brien, Kelly McCullough's Ravirn series, Changer by Jane Lindskold, and the Night Calls series by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel.

Anybody know any of these canons and have an opinion?

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2014 06:54 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Yuletide nominations open in just a few days, and I'm trying to decide what to nominate. The two things I'm definitely nominating, Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman and Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, are both long. Fetch! is four seasons long, and Alcatraz is four books long. I sort of think my third fandom should be something short, just in case I go to the pinch hitters. Drujienna's Harp is just one book, but it's about $25 to purchase it. Planet Ladder is a seven volume manga series, definitely not short. The there are two books in the Morrow series, and they're kind of hard to come by.

Something somebody said made me think about five minute fandoms. I wracked my brains, trying to think of songs or poems that interest me. I managed to come up with two songs from the 80s that might spark some fic ideas. The videos for both songs are on YouTube, but they're nowhere near as cool as I remembered them being. I guess thirty years makes a big difference in how I look at such things. The songs are "Don't Pay the Ferryman" by Chris de Bourgh and "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring. I suppose I could also request Kipling's "Helen All Alone" again.

It's just that I don't feel strongly about my third nomination (and thus my third request). The things I've come up with are all things that could produce interesting stories, but none of them are likely to produce stories that I desperately want to read.

I care more about what I write for Yuletide than about what I request, but it would be nice to be asking for things I really want. I need to go through my bookshelves and DVD shelves and see if that sparks any must-have ideas as opposed to I-suppose-that's-possible ideas.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2014 04:10 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I just got a call from the coach of Cordelia's volleyball team. They'll be practicing at Cordelia's school on Wednesdays. That will work out pretty well. I'll have to leave Scott's FATE game (or Babylon 5 game, depending on which he's running) for ten to fifteen minutes in order to pick Cordelia up from practice, but that shouldn't be too big a disruption. I was afraid volleyball would practice on Thursdays, forcing us to choose between volleyball practice and soccer practice. As it is, there are two days when we'll probably have both a soccer game and a volleyball game. I've told Cordelia that volleyball will take precedence if there's a conflict because she likes volleyball better, but I'm hoping we'll get away with no conflicts. We won't get the game schedule for a week or so.

The coach this year is different than last year. Last year's coach is helping out with the team. The mother who's coaching is the mother of one of Cordelia's friends who went to the big middle school. So, for that matter, is the assistant coach. Cordelia will be playing mostly with kids she knows. That'll be helpful if Scott has to work any game day. There'll be plenty of people coming from this side of town to give us a ride.

I do need to e-mail the coach. She asked if there were any Saturdays when Cordelia couldn't play, and I said I couldn't think of any. I forgot about UCon, and I need to let the coach know about that. There are eight girls on the team, and only four girls are on the court at any given time, so there should be enough girls that one person absent shouldn't be a big deal.

Last night's lesson

Sep. 21st, 2014 11:34 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Kate Baker might be able to read material cold but I should have rehearsed my intros by speaking out loud and not just in my head.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2014 11:20 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Not much happened yesterday. It got relatively warm, so we turned our ceiling fans on. It didn't quite get warm enough to turn on the air conditioning, but it was a near thing. It rained starting some time around 5:00 (the folks at the football game must have gotten soaked). We ended up making pizza for dinner. Normally, Scott would do it on the grill (and probably burn it), but with the rain, he decided that the oven was a better bet.

Organization for Girl Scout troops at Cordelia's school is in progress. It's not at all clear what will happen with the Cadettes, the girls Cordelia's age. There are two of them returning from last year and an unknown number of others from among the new girls at the school. If it stays two girls, it makes sense to fold them in with the Juniors. If there are six or seven, I'm not sure that the Junior troop can accommodate them. There are about fifteen Juniors already, girls who were in third and fourth grades last year. Adding two more isn't a big deal, even if those two will need special consideration (the activities recommended for Cadettes aren't the same as those recommended for Juniors, and none of the badge work carries over. The Juniors actually have a better selection of badges from what I understand).

I did, in early August, ask the e-mail list for incoming sixth graders if anybody was willing to run a Cadette troop. I got no response, not even from families saying that they couldn't run a troop but would want their daughters involved. Unfortunately, I can't run a troop. The stress and anxiety would come close to killing me. I had a hard enough time with what I did last year (which wasn't much beyond attending all the meetings).

If there isn't a place for Cadettes at Cordelia's school, I don't think Cordelia will do Girl Scouts. I'm waiting to register her until that's clear one way or the other. She doesn't want to join a troop anywhere else (I found a great one across town where she'd even know two girls, and there's one at the middle school she would have gone to). I want Cordelia to be a Girl Scout. I think it's good for her to have a social activity like that.

capitalization style question

Sep. 21st, 2014 09:44 am
kaigou: Happy typing on mac. (1 Hyperbole and a half)
[personal profile] kaigou
This summer I attended a writing retreat, and the critique I got back from the instructor made a number of corrections in capitalization. I was kinda like, hunh? because no one else has ever noted an issue with the same, until nagasvoice's comment in another post.

(I don't recall ever being taught the rules of punctuation/grammer/capitalizing in school -- fiction-writing wasn't ever a major focus, as I recall -- so I've mostly gone by what I read in books, and using that style. I guess you could say osmosis and a bit of logical guesswork taught me things like that punctuation goes inside the quotes (at least in US-based publications), etc.)

Normally, I'd write a sentence with dialogue like this.

"Hello," they said.

The entire sentence is hello-they-said. First word is 'hello', so it's capitalized. Since 'they' is not the first word and not a proper-name, it's not capitalized. Thus, it made sense to me that when the order is rearranged, the capitalizing is also rearranged:

They said, "hello."

I'm pretty sure this is a pattern I've read plenty, 'cause I had to have gotten the impression from somewhere that this is alright. It's also why/how I learned that when you've got a tag in the middle, capitalizing is still applied as an overall:

"Yesterday," she said, "it was sunny."

First, 'yesterday' is the first word. Second, the actual sentence -- 'yesterday it was sunny' is an entire sentence and the tag 'she said' is just inserted. Similar to the way if I had [ed: hi there] in the middle, it inserts, not halts the sentence and forces a new one. It's like a paren.

In my mind, if I've got a sentence like the following:

"Yesterday it was sunny," she said. "We napped."

...then the "we" gets capitalized because it's a new sentence; if it hadn't been, then it'd be a comma after 'said', not a period, and there'd need to be some kind of a tag -- ie, 'and', 'but', etc -- before 'we' to indicate there was more to the first sentence.

I'm not sure whether this is a house-style thing or just something I've completely misread/ignored all these years.


Daily Happiness

Sep. 20th, 2014 11:10 pm
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I forgot to order something yesterday so had to go in this morning even though I wasn't scheduled to work until the afternoon, because the order had to be in early. So that was kind of a pain, but I'm glad I remembered in time, plus this way I got extra exercise riding back and forth twice. :p (Also I'm really glad I live close enough that this sort of thing is possible!)

2. A former coworker stopped by tonight and we got to chat. It was good to see him!

3. Pizza for dinner. :)

4. Kitten has been such a sweet snugglebunny lately! I can't believe we've had her for a month! (She's so much bigger now, too.)

5. We got our employee gift certificates yesterday. They hadn't issued one in a while, so mine was $45! (We get 10% back on all purchases at the store, but rather than just do the easy thing and give us 10% off at the register, they add up our purchases and then give us gift certificates to use at the store.) The only thing is because they still haven't gotten the gift cards up and running, with the paper gift certificates we have to use the full amount at once, so I'm making a list of stuff to get. I don't usually buy $45 worth at one time.

6. Day off tomorrow! I might go in for a bit because I'm still so behind, but I don't have to, and I can sleep in. :D

Happenings of the day

Sep. 21st, 2014 12:15 am
umadoshi: (hands full of books)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Six things that happened today (and one that didn't):

I finished proofreading a novel for Sparkler Monthly and got that turned in--a day later than I'd hoped, but two days ahead of deadline, so we'll call that a win. ^_^ Tomorrow I can get back to rewriting My Love Story!!

I ate most of a pint of raspberries! ("Most of" meaning I shared with [personal profile] scruloose, but he's very kind about letting me hog raspberries shamelessly, because I love them SO MUCH.) I always forget about fall raspberries, but this morning I was briefly talking with Kas, who'd already made his morning market run with [personal profile] wildpear, and he told me there were raspberries and that they were awesome and to tell [personal profile] scruloose to pick some up. *^^*

[personal profile] scruloose and I had a bit of takeout dim sum for lunch when he got back, because it turns out (!!!) we have a Cantonese bakery downtown. With some dim sum options. I don't know why I didn't know this until late last night, and I don't know how long it's been open, but this is AMAZING. (And Google Maps claims it's a seven-minute walk from Casual Job. Dangerous knowledge, perhaps.)

Happy came over to hang out for a few hours! We didn't know she was going to be in town, and I hadn't seen her since...May? Maybe June? She's been hitchhiking and visiting all across the country for the entire summer (including going to the Eclipse festival outside Montreal with [personal profile] scruloose in July), and it sounds like now she'll be back in New Brunswick for at least a little while once she heads back tomorrow, but she detoured here for the weekend. ^_^

[personal profile] wildpear sent me a quick email about something she's writing that I'm excited to see, and also mentioned that she's done a first read-through on some smut I sent her for beta (not the hopefully-funny piece) and that it's looking good. That's a relief. Usually I feel fine about my "quilting" writing process, but I'd revised and tweaked and shuffled and restitched so many things in this fic that I couldn't see anything but the seams anymore.

(We're both trying to get through some things before Unmade arrives--it shipped already!--because it's probably going to swallow her whole for a while, and while it probably won't take over my brain the way it will hers, it'll certainly occupy my head effectively for a bit...and then I'll be back to work.)

And tonight I curled up on the couch with Jinksy at my feet and reread Unspoken in one gulp. Tomorrow, in between doing some rewriting and having Kas and [personal profile] seolh over to watch the Into the Woods Broadway DVD, I'll hopefully manage to at least get started on my Untold reread.

As for the thing that didn't happen...I didn't manage to watch this week's Haven, despite good intentions. And given everything I just wrote about tomorrow (and given that [personal profile] wildpear is coming over Monday evening, and Unmade is coming, and I need to prep for work), I now don't know when I will. Oops? And The Good Wife is coming back tomorrow, I think...and much as I enjoy Haven, The Good Wife gets watching precedence, no question.

Lazy Harp Seal Has No Job

Sep. 20th, 2014 07:02 pm
chomiji: Kitty does not understand!  A kitten snarling, with the word 'wut?' as a caption (kitty - wut)
[personal profile] chomiji

Blame this one on The Young Lady and her friends:


(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 06:24 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Today, I tried Adagio's Thai chai. It's notable for having coconut and lemongrass in it. The coconut comes out strongly in the scent, but the flavor is primarily lemongrass. This had a five minute steeping time and is bitter. I added stevia, and that helped the bitterness a bit, not a lot but some. I'm not entirely sure what I think of this one. The lemongrass is peculiar but not unpleasant. I can't taste the coconut, so I'm not sure what it's doing in there.

I think I've figured out why the masala chai wasn't overly bitter yesterday. I think I used half as much tea as I should have for the size of my mug (holds a bit more than two cups of liquid). I did look at the ingredients, and cloves are listed. They're lower in the list of ingredients than I expected, based on how strongly the brew smelled of cloves.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 02:49 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Big Fish Games responded to my complaint about the game with the blank screen in a rather generic fashion. They didn't address the specific game, just said that it might be a problem with older games (which this one wasn't) not interacting well with the current Mac OS. I'm using 10.7.5; I forget what animal it's named for.

They gave me a code for a free game which I am using. I looked specifically for a game labeled as 'new,' but beyond that, I was guessing. It's hard to tell which games will be good. I could, I suppose, have done a play test. They allow an hour of free play to test games out. I just haven't bothered recently because I had a run of good games. Of course, an hour wouldn't have gotten me to the problem point in Hidden Expedition: The Crown of Solomon. It would, though, have given me a heads up on the problem with Mystery Trackers: Four Aces. Going forward, I'll have to play test.

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