Monday, December 28, 2009

Who Needs Sleep?

There have been many nights, recently, where I have woken up, very late or very early depending on who you are, with thoughts running through my head.

Most of the thoughts have to do with stories. Ideas for characters or plots or "interesting" developments. My brain wants me to write them down, somewhere. It's not important if I ever use the stuff, what's important is that it gets out of my head.

Of course, I never do write the stuff down. It's usually two or three in the morning and that is not a good time to turn on a light and either hunt down paper and pen(cil) or turn on the computer and wait for it to boot. Not a good time at all.

I hate my job enough, as it is, and I ask myself why I'd want to add being extremely tired to an already stupid, if not rotten, day?

And then there was last night. My brain fired off at around 2:30AM. I rolled over and tried to sleep, but my brain wouldn't shut up. It just kept rattling things off and then making connections with those things and then leaping to other ideas. It was quite a pain in the cortex, let me tell you.

I remember looking at my clock at 2:45, 2:53, and 3:01 before I got up hoping that some water would help. I stumbled to the kitchen, pulled the water from the fridge, poured half a glass, drank, then, with more confidence, stumbled back to bed. I climbed in at 3:04, put my head on my pillow, closed my eyes, and was once again bombarded by my brain.

At 3:16 I decided that maybe I had to pee and went into the bathroom. I didn't.

At 3:24 I thought maybe I was too hot, pushed back a cover, and started to shiver. Maybe just one leg out? That got me one cold leg.

I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable and eventually did drift off, but I do remember looking at the clock and seeing 4:03, 4:29, and 5:12.

When my alarm went off and I climbed out of bed to start the process of starting my day, I decided that maybe it would be better to turn on the fucking computer or search for god damned pen(cil) and paper. At least I'd be doing "something."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Qusetion

Is it horribly racist of me to see the first name "D`Mitria" and assume that this person is black?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten Minutes

That's all it takes, right.

Anyway,
  • Work, for the day is soon to be over. The week, too, will eventually end. And I will be at my parents' house for the long haul probably on Saturday.
  • Found out, due to bears in the ocean, but not in Hawaii, that my brother's wife and me think alike, at least when it comes to bears in the ocean, but not in Hawaii, and the fact that we think alike.
  • Haven't dreamed of work for almost a year now. After the new program was introduced I had nightmares and regular dreams about work for four or five months. I don't miss 'em, but sometimes I wonder what it means.
  • Been thinking about pizza a lot recently. Haven't bought any, but want to.
  • Spent time wondering if I should rejoin Facebook and join up with Twitter. Only a part of me wants to. The rest knows I have plenty of time wasting possibilities already.
  • Haven't seen the new Disney movie, but I really, really want to.
  • I like menthol. Reminds me of wintergreen, which I also like.
  • Been powering though Farscape. That show is even better than I remember.
  • Close enough for leaving time.
  • 'Night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sure Ain't Shakespeare. It Ain't Even Daniel.

There's someone who's distant in the night
curled up under down, hand under head,
waiting for the moment when things turn bright
hoping it washes away all the dread.
But even the golden rays of morning
can't push away all of the little fears
that have built over time with no warning.
Some of life's many stupid souvenirs.
That person stays curled, waiting for day,
hoping that enough small things will get better
that the little fears won't come out and prey
and squeeze and constrict like a shrunken sweater.
Always looking for a small piece of hope
to find a new and better way to cope.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

More Obsessive Songs: The Video Edition

Colin Hay's "Overkill" -- Actually not the real video, just him singin' it live.


Jimmy Eats World's "The Middle" -- Never saw this video until today, it's kind of stupid, but I've been humming the song a lot recently.


Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" -- A fan video. As Heels put it when she posted it back in August: "This guy made this for the love of the music, and it's incredible."

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Nightshade Family's "Frankie" -- One I just watched this morning, much to my chagrin since Johnny Logic posted it last week, also a fan video. It's about where I grew up. Pretty sure I've been on that merry-go-round.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

You wanna know something?

I miss overtime. And not just for the obvious reason.

I think I'd be willing to do it even if they just gave me vacation time.

Monday, December 07, 2009

"It's been a quiet week..."

Just bought tickets to go see A Prairie Home Companion, twice, when it comes to SF next month. Although people can't tell by looking at me, I'm very excited.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

MY SOUL...

IT SCREAMS FOR VALIDATION!

Holy and Shit

Comcast moves one step closer to controlling our minds!

Look, I really like TV and movies, but it makes me nervous when the suppliers of TV get involved in the making of it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Why does he go on so about GODDAMNED fan fiction!? But this one is short.

One of the things that's fun(nish) about writing fan fiction is that you don't have to really try to describe who the characters are.

I mean if I write the words "Deanna Troi" at the very beginning of a story everyone who chooses to read it will know who Deanna Troi is, what she is, and how she grew up. No explanation necessary. I do, however have to explain why she and Beverly Crusher are kissing and fumbling at each others gi belts after one of Worf's mok'bara classes, but I don't have to tell her life story.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

MAKEOVER!

It's been stuck in my head this morning, so I thought I'd share. Aren't I wonderful?

Monday, November 30, 2009

35000ish

And another month comes to an end.

Spent USA Thanksgiving at my parents' but ate food at uncle and aunt's house. She served food from Wednesday night to Sunday night. A different type of food each night. I missed ham night, due to pain, but the other three nights I went to were yummy. (Although, the mashed potatoes were disappointing and I learned that if your going to use a hand mixer to mash, put the potatoes into a bowl first, otherwise you leave huge chunks in the pot.)

I brought my Rock Band games and pho-instruments. The Beatles version was quite a success. (As if I expected anything less.) A request was made to bring it back for Christmas, and I will, but I'm also bringing my Wii to force my pa to play. He's such a pooper at trying new-fangled gadgets even if everyone says they're fun and he can hear the joy in their voices as they sing.

Nothin' else to report, that I can think of.

Hope all was well this last month and things will be well into the next.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sometimes...

I think I should grow my beard out and dye all the hairs on my head black.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I can't think of anything so write.

So, I'm posting a picture my brother took, after he staged it, of course.


Click for biggers!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An Annoyance

Not pointing any fingers or, hopefully, stepping on anyone's toes, but am I the only one who's bothered when blogger write anniversary posts?

I am, aren't I.

Everyone else out there in the blogohedron loves anniversary posts, don't they. They love being reminded that it's once again that time of year to write to one of the blogs they skim on a semi-daily basis and offer their heartfelt congratulation to a person who's been able to write on a semi-daily basis on the interporns.

I may think differently if it was just a sentence at the end of that day's post saying, "O, BTW, 2-day B mi blogs anniversary. cool." It never is, though. It's always the whole point of the post from the title to the end.

Yuck.

Chubbies!


I'm sure I've written it before, but it deserves repeating: Goats is a really great strip.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's that? We're not helping?

Got an e-mail about twenty minutes ago:
DWC has been tracking overtime by month. To date, the usage of overtime is, unfortunately, not making a large dent in our backlog. Comparing overtime to backlog, we are not addressing the backlog. Therefore, due to our fiscal situation, all overtime must be halted immediately. As of today’s date, November 16, overtime will no longer be paid.

If overtime is unavoidable, please get permission from your supervisor to allow time off.

No more coming in as seven for me.

The thing that really bothers me about the letter is the part that says, "Comparing overtime to backlog, we are not addressing the backlog."

I call HORSESHIT on that one. Since my office worked fucking hard at the end of last year and the beginning of this year to get itself caught up, when the offer of overtime came from those above we started helping two other offices with the backlog from their DEUs.

The first office we started helping, back in April, sent us mail that they'd received in August 2008. When we'd finish what they sent, they'd send us a new batch that needed to be taken care of. A healthy portion of the last set of work then sent us came from September 2009. We helped to catch them up by more than a year in about six months.

The second office was doing a better and really only needed help in getting the ratings done. (I had the joy of screening the mail to make sure it actually belonged in the venue and changing the rater to our rater and then serving and scanning the rating when it was done.) I think we started doing their mail in June or July. They were sending stuff to us that they'd gotten in February. The box that I've been screening for the last week is all from September and October.

I think we've helped, just a little, to "address the backlog."

Bugger.

NaNoWriMo '09 Update

Halfway through the month and I'm only two days behind! Hooray!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My First Foray Into Fandom

In the world of Daria Fandom Fanfition they have challenges for writing called Iron Chefs.

The topic came over from another discuss, but was turned into an Iron Chef and goes liked this:
Mack visits Jodie at the soup kitchen, Jodie is angry instead of disappointed, upset that Mack gets to take the last few weeks off while she works the most grueling weeks of her schedule. Mack's reasons for quitting, including paying his father off, fall on deaf ears, and he never gets the chance to invite her to Chez Pierre. She breaks it off, and Mack is kicked to the Curb. By the time school starts, everyone knows that Mack is available.

Let the games begin.
My first thought was more along this line, but without the clever ending.

I wanted to one-up the insanity level in my ficlit:
Michael practically stumbled into Mr. O'Neill's empty classroom. Lunch wouldn't be over for another fifteen minutes, but he couldn't take it anymore. All those girls trying to throw themselves at him, it was flattering, but also disgusting and exhausting.

He dropped into his usual desk and put his head down. He tried not to think about it, about anything.

He heard the door open and sighed. Who tracked him down here? Who, besides himself, would voluntarily come into a classroom during lunch? Of course, if the stall in the bathroom wasn't a safe place, why should this be any different?

"Mack," said Mr. O'Neill, "what are you doing here?"

Michael looked up and said, "Nothing. Just relaxing before class."

"So you'll be in here until class starts?"

"If it's okay with you?"

"Of course," said Mr. O'Neill, smiling. "I'll be right back."

Michael thought he heard an "Oh, boy!" come from his teacher as he hurried out the door. It must have been his imagination, though.

He put his head back on the desk.

A minute or so later, the door opened and closed again. The dead bolt snapped into place.

He jerked his head up and saw Ms. Barch leaning on Mr. O'Neill's desk, pulling her blouse out of her skirt. "Skinny," she said, slapping her hand on the desk, "let's get this party started."

"Oh, my," said Mr. O'Neill.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's in a Name? People Edition

There's a doctor who sends many medical reports to my work. His last name is Guinney.

I just can't keep myself from wondering about his ancestry.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Some Music of My Life

I've spent a lot of time recently wondering when people stop searching for new music to listen to.

At what point do people stop tuning into radio stations that play new, or newish, music and start listening for station that play the music they listened to between junior high and, say, 27?

I don't listen to music on the radio, much. Stations piss me off with all their commercials and intros and traffic updates and inane DJ chatter, so I tend to listen to NPR because the major commercials only come twice a year and the chatter is is less inane. Still, there are those moments when I just don't want to consider anything and I'll flip through the radio. And, like most everyone else, I'll stop on songs that I recognize, songs that I can sing along with.

A few months ago, during all this overtime stuff, I started listening to Last.FM when I could. It's great fun because you put in the name of an artist you like and then it plays music by people who are similar. Without it I'd never have experienced the joys of listening to Moxy Früvous and Julia Nunes, among others. (Although the damn radio keeps trying to slip in Hootie & the Blowfish songs, which sucks seahorse scrōt.) So, in that way I've started to move out of what I know and into finding other things, even if I don't buy any CDs or songs from iTunes or wherever, I'm getting to know some new, to me at least, artists.

Still, though I wonder when people stop listening for new things. When driving through the valley on my way to the airport a few weeks ago, there were a bunch of stations claiming to play the best of the '80s and '90s, stuff for my generation. Have we, or many of us at least, already shut off our desire for new music and only want to listen to what we already know? We're only in our thirties, for Xusia's sake!

Anyway, thinking along that line led me to start thinking about my dad. He used to be a pretty big music guy. Lots of records from the '60s and '70s, but not much of anything, if anything at all, from the three decades following. Seems like he sort of quit buying, and maybe listening, to new music between the time my mom got pregnant with me and when they got married. When he discovered modern day record clubs, he bought stuff from his youth. The radio in the house was, except for days when snow was on the ground, tuned to stations claiming to play "the best of the '60s and '70s." and eventually branched out to include the '80s.

I decided to make a mix for him of artists he may have heard coming from my room when I was younger or never heard at all.

I have a few questions, though, that maybe someone out in bland (you know, blog land) might be able to help me with:

1. I have to include The Dresden Dolls. Finding this band was one of my happiest musical moments in recent years. Right now I'm planning on putting "Coin-Operated Boy" on the CD because it's the most accessible song, I think. It's fun, but not my favorite. It's not like "Dear Jenny" or "Girl Anachronism" or "Dirty Business," but are those too outrageous for my dad? Should I play it safe, or throw him into the deep end?
2. I choose Cake's "Love You Madly" because it's a fun song, but I also thought about "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" and "Going the Distance" and "Building A Religion." Maybe something else? Cake has a lot of great songs, so it's hard for me to choose. The only reason I chose "Love You Madly" is because it was the first song that popped into my head when I thought about putting Cake on the CD.
3. Semisonic's "Closing Time" was choosen because it's a good, catchy song. Hell, it was a single for a reason. (It also has a real bad ass video.) The song's excellent, there's no way for me to deny it, but it's not my favorite. My favorite is "Gone to the Movies." So do I pick my favorite song or a recognized great song?
4. The song I'm most unsure of is "Six Different Ways" from The Cure. I just really enjoy the song, but don't think it really represents The Cure. Any suggestions?

Reach for the Stars, Until You Pass Out From Lack Of Atmosphere and Tumble Back to Earth

Gettin' quite a spike in traffic thanks to this post and this link.

It won't last, but it's nice seeing lots of visitors on my Sitemeter stats.

Thanks for stopping by! I'll miss your numbers when you stop visitin'.

Also, favorite Google search, in recent days, that turned up my blog. HA!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

An Observation

TMSV's laugh is lecherous, but not in that being-silly-lecherous way.

She laughs more like an old man sitting in a seedy strip club watching a 14-year old cry as she pulls her top over her head.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Handwritin'

First, she did it. Today, her husband did it. I say everyone should do it.

I did it:

As usual, click for biggers, if you need to, or, for some odd reason, want to.

Also, you should know, this is me, especially in the beginning, trying to write more clearly. Usually it's small and cramped because I think words faster than I can write and drop small words and letters and then have to go and cram them in to make for complete(ish) sentences. It happened in this bit of writing where I wrote "because, to the best of my." What it looks to me like I originally wrote was "because, th best o my."

Also, I write just as straight even when there are lines on the page. I guess I see the lines more as barriers not to cross, too much, rather than what I'm supposed to write on.

A list of some others:

From So The Fish Said's comments:

Monday, November 02, 2009

How Should I Picture This?

They wore "coats dark and sober except for bright horizontal slashes of ... color across the chest."

Robert Jordan does this a lot. (That's part of a sentence for Lord of Chaos.) He describes the clothes of characters and says that they have slashes of color (or specific colors) across the front or in the skirt or somewhere and I have no idea how to properly picture "slashes" in clothing.

Does it mean the coat, or whatever, is sliced through to show a color beneath? Is it thin strips of color sewn onto the coat? Is it like, say, those military stripe things (see all that gear on left side McCrystal's coat)?

What does it look like?

Please tell me. It's been bothering me for years and I've only now had the courage to admit my problem.

Help!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another day, another post where I don't want to say much. Why write then?

Why not?

Just because I don't want to write about the things that are on my mind doesn't mean that I don't want to write something. Hell, there was a time when I posted n...

You know what, fuck it. I'm sick of complaining, right now.

So, this is what you get and it's what I get for today.

Perhaps better stuff tomorrow, but I doubt it. I've caught up with all the work at my desk up through the stuff that came in on Monday and the stuff that's left in the in-basket looks to be about 1/3rd the size of the stuff I just finished and that covered 6 work-days and took me 2 1/2 days to finish.

Bollocks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Good News!

Subject: 2009 California State Tax Withholding Rate Changes


This is to advise you of changes in California State Tax Withholding rates. The rate changes are for both the percentage method of withholding and the supplemental/flat method of withholding. The supplemental/flat method of withholding rate has increased from 6.0% to 6.6%. The changes will be effective beginning with payments issue dated November 1, 2009.

You may view the changes by going online to the following website and inputting your personal information:

www.sco.ca.gov/ppsd_se_paycheck_calc.html

Part of me hopes that this only affects people working for the state, but another part of me wants to share the misery with everyone.

Edit@Noon: One of the ladies in the office came over to me about this and got a little... peevish with me because I didn't get all angry over it. It's not that I'm not angry, it's just that I'm so tired being angry over this sort of crap.

Something happens so we get less money each paycheck and I get angry and lots of other people get angry and nothing happens.

I'm just tired of all this crap.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mixed

Figured out today that after this Friday I will not be at work on a Friday until January 29. That's twelve weeks.

One the one hand, that's a lot of time where I come into work only four days a week and at least three weeks where I only have to come for three days.

On the other hand, most of that time off is because my pay was cut nearly 15%.

People around here keep saying how surprising it was to adjust to Fridays off and how hard it is to work on those days where we come in for five days. I say that's nuts. Of course it's easy to adjust to NOT doing something you dislike.

Christ.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Been Trying to Catch-Up

So, there's been no reporting on my trip. To start to make it up to you, here's the bizarre statue of Bush Sr. at Houston International Airport.




For those who doubted, I told you it existed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Clarify, sort of

It's not so much about being back at work after being away for a while.

Yes, I have a lot of work to catch up with, but it's mindless and simple. It's more about the amazingly high stress level in the place. (I think mostly because everyone hates everyone else but tries to keep it down to a mild simmer of loathing that no one is willing to acknowledge.) The stress sort of shed itself in layers, slowly falling away, while I was gone. The moment the clock passed 8:30, and everyone was finally here, all the stress was dumped back on me.

And, so, life is not like a box of chocolates because even if you don't like the filling, at least you always get a little bit of chocolate first and can lick the chocolate to help get rid of the nasty taste.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Zombie Limericks!

Sort of like that Zombie Haiku! post. (Oh, and thanks to RhymeZone for helping when I got stuck.)
He said that he wanted my brain.
Not those girls exceedingly vain.
'Til he munched on a chick
Who was built like a brick.
They just won't eat one who's so plain.

Being dead doesn't mean being rude.
Ripping flesh with your teeth is so crude.
So, use knife and fork
To eat human pork.
It's the civilized way to eat food.

It's hard to remember having fun
When worried about your gun.
We see all we kill.
There are more on the hill.
Soon everyone will have to run.

The safest, they said, would be malls,
With barricaded doors and thick walls.
Well, now we're surrounded
And constantly hounded,
With nothing to eat but baseballs.

I shuffle and groan every day.
For my people, it's just our way.
When we're in luck,
We chow down on Chuck,
Or that grizzled old bat, Aunt May.
Please do your own and if you post it to your blog let me know in the comments.

Developing Artist

Watched Capitalism: A Love Story this weekend.

While I think that he'll never have a better subject than a past film, his filmmaking keeps getting better.

Don't take my word for it, though, let's go to a person who dislikes Michael Moore:
Most interesting is the way he positions black citizens in the Obama theme. An interview is interrupted by the news that the election is won, and we see black folk leap and cheer -- a common image during that news cycle, but (as I mentioned about the portrayal of Republicans tumbling out of the closet in Republican Gomorrah) newly piquant in a narrative context: The most traditionally despised and debased people in the country suddenly filled with optimism. The payoff comes near the end, when Moore reproduces FDR's 1944 call for a new Bill of Rights-- a late New Deal legacy that presaged Moore's own hopes for the nation. We may be aware without reminding that Roosevelt's vision -- including that of "every family to a decent home.. to adequate medical care... to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age and sickness and accident" -- went unrealized after his death.

Next we see the crowds weeping at FDR's funeral procession -- many of them African-American. Then Moore avails a stealth-shock cut -- it takes a few moments to realize that the helicopters we are next shown are hovering over the flooded homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and that the terrified citizens begging for rescue are black.

I'm a terrible cynic, but the sorrow and anger at injustice I felt at what I saw, I am convinced, were not drawn by a gimp-string, nor by a clever concatenation of my own prejudices, but by the craft of a real filmmaker turning bare facts and images into art. It's political, certainly. But sometimes, if rarely, a political gesture is sufficiently inspired to cross the line.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today is Fall

The temperature while walking to work was in the mid-40s. The breeze was heavier than gentle. The air smelled fresh. Fall has finally arrived.

Some will get into work later this morning and complain that it's soooooo cold out. I find it refreshing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear CBS,

Please rearrange your Monday night schedule to put How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory back-to-back again.

I tried the new Jenna Elfman show, I really did, but it's not good. And I like Jenna Elfman, but she's one of the two good things about it and let me tell you the other good thing isn't the plot, the writing, the "comedy," the male lead, or anything else that'd make me want to stick around.

Also, I've never like Two and a Half Men. Many others do, but I don't.

So, please, move How I Met Your Mother to nine or The Big Bang Theory to 8:30 and make my Monday night viewing more pleasurable.

*hugs*

ticknart

Monday, September 28, 2009

Very Tired

Totally pooped and it's just the first day of the work week.

Crap.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another God damned post about fan ficiton!?

Yeah, but this one's about me, too.

To say that I've been reading a lot of fan fiction recently is like saying that people breathe. I've been through lots of bad stuff and found a few pretty good things, but I've read way more than some may want to believe.

As I read a question crept into my mind: Why haven't I been writing fan fiction? I've been reading it off and on since 1997, why haven't I created my own? I sit and think "what if?" about nearly everything I enjoy. I wonder about the life of characters after then end or at an age that the original never went to and I think up arcs and stories, why haven't I ever put them down in writing?

(Okay, so technically, I have. There's that Voyager thing I did and a short Sliders story (Both of which need some massive editing. Like and embarrassing amount of editing.), but I haven't done any regular fan fiction writing, ever.)

In the beginning I think it was because I saw fan fiction as a fun diversion. I was in school and busy with my school work and what not. It was there for me to read and enjoy, but it wasn't something that I wanted to create myself.

When school ended I kept reading, but I had delusions of being a "real" writer. Of writing short stories and novels and having them published on paper that people paid money for. Of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people enjoying a tale spun from my thoughts. I didn't write anything much beyond a paragraph, though. Eventually, I knew I wouldn't do anything more than that and did my best to stop thinking.

Still the hope was there and I started that Fiction Friday experiment. I think there's some strong stuff in there. Good ideas and plenty of okay writing. (Also, poor editing, but that's only because I'd post 'em right after I wrote 'em. So, really, that's a different problem. Procrastination.) If wishes were ponies, I'd still be posting those on a regular basis an have more than two years worth of short stories on here.

The main problem was that I just didn't write. There were, and are, plenty of ideas in my head, but I didn't, and don't, write. I can't say why, but I don't. I guess that just not enough of me wants to.

Ce qui a été, est.

Which, pretty much, brings us up to this latest run in with fan fiction and me still not writing it.

Why not?
  1. It's hard to suppress the belief that fan fiction isn't real writing.
  2. You don't make money from it.
  3. Only a niche group is going to read it.
  4. I want to play in the sandbox, but play with my own toys more than the creator's toys.
  5. Fandom is insanity, even if there are a bunch of decent people.
  6. Copyright infringement.
  7. I'd have to join a community.
  8. I'm better than fan fiction.
It's the last one that really pisses me off, but I'm going to go down that list one at a time:
1. I know this one isn't true, a lot of the stuff is crap, but I've read some stuff by people who can really write. They know how to craft a sentence to support a paragraph to build a story. I even found one today that had writing in the good-to-great range.

It is real writing. There are creative plots and intriguing ideas. The writers may not create the character and too many don't know how to keep the characters in character, but they're still putting one word next to another (except for the ones written in 1337 or txtese) to create an (hopefully) original story.

2. Well, that's true, but really how often to "real" writers make money from their first several short stories. Pretty damn rare for a new writer to get published in The New Yorker.

Plus, if money was made off of fan fiction (aside from the company approved stuff) we'd see the publishers and movie/TV studios and authors come swooping in with their lawyer to crush the folks who write the stuff.

3. Also true, but at least you know that they're there because they like the characters, right?

4. What I mean by this is that I'm far more interested in putting in new characters to explore the universe without ever necessarily going near the original characters.

To better explain, hopefully: How are young wizards, in the Harry Potter-verse, in the USA trained? There are some boarding schools in the USA, but there's very few and very far between. Even the ones that do exist don't really do the whole different-houses-that-compete thing. Would there be one or two or three big schools for wizarding children for the USA or maybe all of North America that all the magical children go to? Or would it be more like a local after school program for those certain special individuals? And how did Voldemort causing trouble in England effect the wizards in the US and Canada?

That's something that I'd be more interested in exploring than what happened to Ron after he ditched Harry and Hermione in Deathly Hallows and then coming back to them or Peter Pettigrew's adventures with the Weasley family or redeeming Draco Malfoy. But is it really a Harry Potter fan fiction if it never mentions Harry Potter?

5. Whatever you write, even if people like it, you won't ever get any constructive criticism, which I think is important for any writer.

Also, once you start writing under any fandom they, or a vocal number of them, think they own the characters and therefore should be able to tell you exactly what you should have done while they call what you, probably, worked hard on a horrible piece of shit.

Oh, sure, fuck 'em, right? It's not that simple, though. As seen by 3, those are the only people who are going to be reading what you wrote. Fan fiction does not expand beyond the small part of the fanbase that reads and writes it.

6. Always a concern. Some of the original creators support fan fiction, some ignore it (or pretend to ignore it), some ask for it to be removed when they find out it's been done. Lots of the properties aren't owned by the original creators, or at least not totally, and who can tell when Viacom or Universal or Warner Bros. or Disney will have their attorneys send out cease and desist letters to the massive fan fiction websites.

7. Once you write it and put it on a fan fiction site, your part of that community. Whether it's a site that's about all fan fiction or a site dedicated to one certain character/show/book/whatever your part of a community and there are certain expectations that I'm uncomfortable with, like conversations with people. Even knowing it's via message board it makes my stomach flop.

8. I'm not. I know I'm not.

To be better than fan fiction I'd at least have to be writing something. I'm not though.

To actually be better than fan fiction I'd have to be published or filmed and have people writing fan fiction based on my stuff.

And it really bugs me that floating around in my brain is that damn thought because at least those guys and girls are writing something creative. I'm not even doing that. I'm just sitting and thinking about ideas. Nothing goes down on paper or takes up bits on the hard drive, nothing. Still, the thought is there.

I feel like I should be wrapping this up, but I don't know how. Will I continue to not write fan fiction? Will I start writing fan fiction? Will I quit the fan fiction thing altogether? I really can't say.

I have ideas. Like the one mentioned above. Hell, I even have ideas for a couple of series of stories for several different fandoms, for lack of a better word. As I wrote earlier, I just don't write. (And, yes, I realize the irony in that sentence.) I don't. I think I should, but... you know.

I Figured It Out

For a long time, at least while the show was on TV, my brothers and I have been trying to figure out the first name of the first officer on the starship Voyager.

His name: Charles "Chuck" O'Tay.

Turns out the guy is Irish. I'm not sure why everyone calls him by his full name, though. Weird crew.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This Week's Obsessive Songs

"Paper Bag," Fiona Apple, from When the Pawn...
I was staring at the sky, just looking for a star
To pray on, or wish on, or something like that
I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew, was a hopeless to be had
But then the dove of hope began its downward slope
And I believed for a moment that my chances
Were approaching to be grabbed
But as it came down near, so did a weary tear
I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag
Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love
And I went crazy again today, looking for a strand to climb
Looking for a little hope
Baby said he couldn't stay, wouldn't put his lips to mine,
And a fail to kiss is a fail to cope
I said, "Honey, I don't feel so good, don't feel justified
Come on put a little love here in my void," he said
"It's all in your head," and I said, "So's everything"
But he didn't get it I thought he was a man
But he was just a little boy
Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love
Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love
"Call and Answer," Barenaked Ladies, from Stunt
I think it's getting to the point
Where I can be myself again
I think it's getting to the point
Where we have almost made amends
I think it's the getting to the point
That is the hardest part.

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you court this disaster
I'll point you home

You think I only think about you
When were both in the same room
You think I'm only here to witness
The remains of love exhumed
You think we're here to play
A game of who loves more than whom

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you court this disaster
I'll point you home

You think it's only fair to do whats
Best for you and you alone
You think it's only fair to do the same
To me when you're not home
I think it's time to make this something that is
More than only fair

So if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you court this disaster
I'll point you home.

But I'm warning you, dont ever do
Those crazy, messed up things that you do
If you ever do
I promise you I'll be the first to crucity you
Now it's time to prove that youve come back
Here to rebuild.

Rebuild...

Rebuild...

Rebuild...

Rebuild...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Are these offensive?






I ask because a woman at work put an image similar to the last one on her desktop and some think it's inappropriate and at least one is offended by it. But are they offensive and/or inappropriate?

If they are, are they only offensive and/or inappropriate in a work environment or anywhere?

Also, it was all fine until the woman with the picture announced to staff what was going on in the picture because most people in the office had no clue what it was. So, if she hadn't announced it, would the picture still be offensive and/or inappropriate?

I'm probably the only one who cares, but...

There's a Daria fan fiction series called "John Lane". Basically it's a Daria/Jane 'shipping story that decided to dodge the lesbian issue by re-imagining Jane as a guy, who has a much rougher life, and then rewriting most episodes with the new status quo.

Anyway, in the one I'm reading now, based around "Write Where it Hurts," Helen and Jake are concerned about the potential of Daria and John having sex and decide to talk to the two. Helen tells Daria that it's time for The Pill and Jake talks to John. Helen gets concerned that Jake... uh... instability may hurt the talk and goes in to... mediate, which leads to this:
Helen knocked on the door and opened it.

John and Jake's laughter followed the faint "thwap" of something hitting Helen's forehead. John said, "You're right. They do stretch."

Sometimes it's really hard to laugh silently here at work.

The more I think about it...

...the more I realize that if "Come Together" had been written in the past 5 years the more likely it would have been about bukkake.

Not that it would stop my enjoyment of the song.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mixed Up

About two weeks ago, Jazz wrote about how she met her Mr. Jazz. In the comments, one of her regulars said, "We should ask fellow bloggers who wouldn't object to sharing, how they met their significant other and what was it that turned them on."

This morning, Jazz posted a list of stories that other people have written who were inspired by her or inspired by others who were inspired by her, for the most part.

Okay, why am I writing about this here?

I want a story.

Sure, there are a lot of similarities in the tales these people tell (There seem to be two main types: 1. Immediate attraction by the party of the first part. and 2. People were friendly and friendly moved into more than friendly.), but there are all sorts of extra details. There are drawls and concerts and Christmas decorations and aviator jackets and rain and Zeppelin and long queues and boobs and reconnaissance and each of those things are just one little detail out of nine different stories. The uniqueness of the details really makes these sort of stories pop.

So, I want a story. I want weird little details that mean nothing and everything.

I don't want a person, but I'd really like a story. A story that's totally unique to me, but familiar to everyone who's heard or experience a moment of knowing.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

More of That Fan Fiction Stuff

For the last few weeks, my fan fiction kick has been the Daria stuff. (I'm not brave/stupid enough to log onto the adult fan fiction sites at work, so it's all safe, and so far nothing is too risqué, since I know y'all are so sensitive about that sort of thing.) (PENIS! VAGINA! VULGAR TERMS FOR BODY PARTS!)

So far, the thing that's surprised me most is how the Trent 'shippers treat their love for putting Daria and Trent together. They seem unwilling to make it simple. There's been a surprising number that don't hook them up until she's out of college and not all of them work out in a "happily ever after" way. Most of the ones who do put them together while she's in school make it fairly clear that it won't be like that forever, that eventually they'll grow apart.

It's like these people actually paid attention to the show and the characters!

Of course, then you occasionally get bits like this:
She thought about it. "Yes. Sleep is good." She stretched, and suddenly remembered that she was naked under her robe, she looked down and realized that she had just flashed Trent. He looked completely discommoded, she didn't really care, she had pretty breasts.
I never thought of Daria as one who really thought about whether or not her breasts were pretty. (Click for the story.) Still, a little of this isn't a horrible thing.

One thing, though, that sort of bothers me is how some of the 'shippers try to make Trent better, or flesh him out. (This author does it a lot.) I never thought Trent was dumb, but I still don't think he's a deep thinker. He's just a guy who wants to do what he enjoys.

Some more at 9:40 AM the next day:
Okay, here's an example of what I was writing about above, but didn't finish because I was eager to leave work. The author above wrote a story from Trent's point of view for the episode "Jane's Addition." For those who don't remember, or know, "Jane's Addition" is the episode where Daria pretty much gets over her crush on Trent. (A much more thorough summary. Transcript.) He's just too --I want to say lazy, but I don't think the guy's lazy, just not overly motivated?-- relaxed (still not the right word, but it's the best I can come up with) for Daria. She makes sure she keeps any commitments she makes. Trent isn't so worried about that.

Anyway, in "Jane's Addition" the crush ends because Daria really gets to know who Trent is. (And the end was coming, as they showed in the episode "Lane Miserables.") They'll stay friends, but that's it.

In the story mentioned above, "Trent's Equation," the author makes it clear that Trent disappointed Daria and ended her crush on him on purpose. Trent thought that the crush was having a bad effect on Daria and decided that it was better for her to be heartbroken for a while than to be entangled with him. The author, in a note at the end of the story, writes, "I believe Trent is actually a more mature character than we actually see on the show, I think his method of expressing his feelings will come across subtlety and peripherally, since he is at an age where he is much more cognizant of relationship consequences than Jane or Daria." But the author also saw Trent developing a crush on Daria when he told her that it's "[t]oo bad [she's] not a few years older [because he] could take [her] out" at the end of "Lane Miserables." Reading it that way changes a lot.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Some Back and Forth

We're short two clerks this week, which is three days long. That means that the people who handle the regular mail are cut in half, so I got this e-mail from SUSM:
I know you haven’t done ADJ mail for a while, what documents would you be most comfortable processing to help out with our staff shortages this week?

Thanks -[SUSM]
Our furlough days are not days off for attorneys and insurance companies, so I wrote back:
Today I have twice my normal Monday mail because San Francisco sent me a huge envelope, so please only give me things that need to be scanned, but not completed.
That seemed reasonable to me. I didn't refuse mail, like I wanted to, and I didn't bring up how when I was up in Oregon no one helped out with my backlog of mail. I just asked for the easy stuff. Maybe I worded it wrong because she wrote:
Everyone is going to get behind this week, we’ll catch up though. So what docs do you want – I’ll just give you a small portion.

Thanks -[SUSM]
My first reaction was "FUCK YOU!" It's no excuse that everyone is going to get behind. My second reaction was why can't she figure out the mail for me? I haven't done the "regular" mail for more than six months now, I don't know what the rules are. All I wanted was stuff that I scanned and checked to make sure it got scanned. I didn't want the ones that required me to keep checking to make sure which judge got assigned and trying to figure out where it goes or what files I have to pull and things like that. I wrote back:
I don’t know exactly what to do with all the docs, but I’d prefer the ones that just get scanned.

I guess that means I’d rather not get any apps or stips or C&Rs or liens.
She wrote:
It will all come back to you – so what, petitions, NORs?
Which I didn't understand the first part when I read it. My response to her:
[SUSM], I’m so confused right now.

I don’t care anymore. Just split the mail how you normally split it and give me a portion. I’ll figure it out as I go along and ask [GICS] and [SHTK] for help.
I didn't ever get a response.

Eventually, I figured out that her last letter meant that I'll figure out what to do with the work as I work on it, but that wasn't ever my concern, I just didn't want stuff that would take away too much time from the DEU mail I have.

She didn't even pass the mail out before she left, so who knows how much she'll give me and if she expects me to drop my regular duties to do the mail she gives me.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ekki Mín Orð

Veistu, ég ætla að deyja. Allir þeir vilja í raun.

Nei deyja þér en amk ég vil ekki að loka mars Ég trúi ekki. Hver veit hvað gerist í lífi, eins og aðrir. South halda þeim líka. Ekki meira en mig. Púff, eða gjaldþrot eða stökk í gang.

Ég bý í mjög stuttan tíma, taka tillit til tvær hvítar, drepa mig

Skipt bílskúr og ÉG gleypti pilla svefn kassi gegn auðvitað Èg hugsa mér. Hreint efni, ég skjal sem heild óreiðu er auðveldara að þrífa, svo að þessi maður (beygja) hreinn.

Ég var að hugsa til þess að kaupa allt að átta sinnum. That fær mig átta sig á því að fólk reynir að gera betur en litun. Þetta er ekki hluti af the mynd er mjög áhugaverð þar sem það er nýtt.

Í öðru lagi, að tala um högg-hlaupa bað í skóginum, þegar ég spurði hér, kannski ef ég er undir öðrum stöðum mínum, og popp tónlist.

Absurd Giggling

Doing the DEU stuff for work sometimes really pisses me off, although it makes me laugh at the same time because of absurdity.

I get to see the job title and the (gross) weekly earnings of these injured workers. This morning I found a person whose title was given as Clerk/Typist and her weekly income is around $1500.

And that's when I giggled in anger/frustration.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Right Before Hyper Death


The storyline starts here, but I just really liked that picture, which is from today's comic.

What it don't get, I can't use.

Okay, I admit it. A large chunk of my overtime will be going to Beatles Rock Band. The set that comes with drums and Paul's Höfner.

I'll get mine sometime next week, depending on when it's shipped.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

And a thousand fanboys screamed out in fury...


Where the picture is from.

So, Disney bought Marvel, or, at least, it's in the process of buying Marvel.

And my reaction is... meh. As long as Marvel keeps publishing The Incredible Hercules I'm cool, and if it get's canceled it'll be Marvel's fault, not Disney's.

This is the most reasonable reaction I've read, so far.

For the unreasonable reactions just look around, it won't be hard. Comic fans are really, really good at overreacting. (I know because I do it.)

Nothing's going to change at Marvel Comics. Marvel's main office is going to be in New York. It's bullpen will still largely be a boy's club. Creator ownership of material will be frowned upon and only offered to the big boys via Icon. Daredevil will still be blind. Captain America will still be Aryan-looking. The X-Men will still be overrated. Wolverine will still be overexposed. And "One More Day" will still suck 11-day dead beached whale pussy.

What I think we'll see, eventually:
  • Marvel hero themed rides and characters wandering around Disney parks.
  • The worst Disney will do to comics will "make" Marvel publish Scrooge McDuck archives and expand the Marvel Adventures line, but that'll be it.
  • Future movies based on Marvel heroes that don't have deals with other companies will probably be released through Touchstone, if considered too adult for the Disney name.
  • Marvel may publish a new line of Disney based comics. (I'd buy a Spider-Ham/Darkwing Duck crossover.)
  • Some really good Marvel based cartoons that aren't centered around Wolverine or Spider-Man.
  • Marvel Easter eggs in Disney and Pixar movies and vice versa.
I just can't see how being part of a more stable business structure with massive amounts of money and lots of trick to get more money would be bad for Marvel.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ran

It's not blank pages that scare me. It's putting something, just a little something, on the blank page and then freezing that does. It's starting, but not continuing, so why bother starting?

I made my brother's girlfriend squeal this morning. Good for me.

With the furloughs, Labor Day (US) will be a four day weekend instead of three. Why does the US have it's Labor day in September when so many other nations seem to have it in May? Is it just to be different? Is it just to be assholes?

Like the US and Canada versions of Thanksgiving, their first was held about 40 years earlier than our "traditional" first. (Although ours is much more well known around the world. Thank you, Hollywood!)

Started reading the first Wheel of Time book this week. Gonna get through the series before I pick up the new one in October. (Or November, depending on where you look.) After this one, two left. Part of me is relieved that it'll be over and part of me is pissed off for feeling that way. I just hope the Martin doesn't die before he finishes his Song of Ice and Fire books. That'd really suck, especially since he's already pulling crap that Jordan pulled in his books.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Wondering...

Which house, at Hogwarts, would you want to be in?
Which house, if different, do you think you'd end up in?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Over-rated-time

Overtime time is going to be wrapping itself up 30-or-so-minutes. Ten hours this week. That's eight at regular pay because of the forced day off on Friday and two at time-and-a-half. So, that's okay.

I really oughta be working, but if I did then I'd end up only partially through and trying to figure out where to start on Monday morning. Not that it really matters.

What else to tell? Nothing, that I can think of.

Last week went like this:
Monday: woke, ate, showered, worked, ate, watched, slept
Tuesday: woke, ate, showered, worked, ate, watched, slept
Wednesday: woke, ate, showered, worked, bought, ate, shopped, watched, slept
Thursday: woke, ate, showered, worked, ate, watched, slept
Friday: woke, ate, showered, played and listened, watched, ate, slept

Today: woke, ate, showered, worked, so far

I do plan to go to the movies after this. Really want to see District 9 on the big screen. Maybe I'll sneak into Inglourious Basterds after. Maybe not.

Well, everyone else has left. They won't know if I leave early, too, so I'm-a gonna go.

Weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rarg


Before I saw this, I was already having trouble getting to sleep at night wondering if the world and I were just some giant's dream biding our time until it woke up.

When I first saw this as a kid I both loved it because I knew someone else had the same strange thoughts as me and I was totally freaked out because I never even considered being turned into a flamingo because the giant started dreaming something else.

Oh, and I really wanted a pair of those ear hand things.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Question

Do you think that there are more cases of autism because we recognize it better or because there isn't as much natural selection of the human race anymore?

Continually Surprised

Logically, I know that there's fan fiction (general, slash, dark, het, 'shipping, whatever) for everything.

I mean, I once read a fan fiction that was a cross-over between Dragon Ball Z and Anne Frank. Yeah, the Jewish girl who hid in an attic with her family as well as others.

Still, never thought I'd find The Dark is Rising slash.

I do find it interesting that the authors tend to make Bran the more... aggressive one (in the way that he's the one who does the pursuing and seduction and such) and not Will. The other way around makes more sense to me, but what do I know? I never before imagined the two of them interested in anyone in a sexual way.

Oy!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is going to be a movie this fall.

Here's a description: "[I]t's about a wacky inventor who helps his financially depressed town get back on its feet by creating a device that spews food from the sky. Suddenly pancakes are flying and people are dodging produce."(Found at Movies without Pity, you'll have to move forward a few pictures.)

Well, that's not like the book I remember. Not at all.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Money Meme

For the purposes of these questions, you must spend this money on yourself -- it is not to be donated to charity or given to needy friends, though if you have a partner or a family, you may use it for things that benefit them as well as yourself, such as a holiday for two.
If you unexpectedly received $10... I'd go to the movies and not worry about it being in the evening.
If you unexpectedly received $100... I'd blow it on DVDs and/or CDs and/or books.
If you unexpectedly received $1,000... I'd buy a good laptop computer and possibly some software.
If you unexpectedly received $10,000... I'd pay off my student loans and use the rest to pay off a chunk of my car.
If you unexpectedly received $100,000... I'd use it as a down payment on a house.
If you unexpectedly received $1,000,000... I'd buy a house, fully, where I want one, or get the land and have a house built. I'd quit this job and start looking for one near my new house. Left overs would be used to furnish the place and build some out buildings I want.

Of course, all of this is assuming that I don't have to pay any taxes on this money, either.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

100 More Questions, Comments, or Observations

  1. If I had a pet moth the size of a parakeet or larger I'd name it Boheem.
  2. Right now, DC comics reminds me of a Sondheim lyric: "Everything's different / Nothing's changed / Only maybe slightly rearranged."
  3. So far, all pizza from places with "Papa" in the name are overrated.
  4. Seems to me that beards require as much, or more, fuss as just keeping clean shaven.
  5. At this moment, I can think of no movies that I want to have a sequel.
  6. I am not wearing my shoes right now.
  7. These posts are always fun, for me at least.
  8. Pledge week on PBS, but they did show Cab Calloway singing "Minnie the Moocher."
  9. No Cartoon Network this morning, couldn't watch "Transformers Animated." *sigh*
  10. I'd really appreciate it if they'd stop making movies out of TV shows.
  11. Even if that means no more Star Trek films.
  12. Read that they changed the end to The Time Traveler's Wife for the movie to make it happier. I thought the end of the book was exactly right.
  13. Also bet the movie cut the Violent Femmes scene. Dammit.
  14. Spent future money on Amazon pre-ordering Farscape. Wonder if that was a good idea.
  15. Pizza for breakfast has given me funky burps.
  16. Should I head up to Cowtown for Labor Day (USA)?
  17. Freaked out, a little, when I got last months pay check because there was no "2" starting it off.
  18. So far, no overtime offered to us this month. Doubt there'll be overtime next month.
  19. Tried to buy a coffee table last week. Only found one that would let me stretch my legs out under it, but it was $60. I did not buy it.
  20. Wonder if I'll be at family Thanksgiving or Christmas this year.
  21. After reading this I no longer watch Goof Troop, the TV show or movie, like I used to.
  22. Why aren't science fiction shows nominated for Emmy awards for writing and acting?
  23. Based on the last time she had a kid, a good post may happen in two-ish weeks.
  24. Got a list of plays for next season. $50 to see all five. Not sure if I can afford it, since I am a dumb ass, see 14.
  25. Having trouble concentrating.
  26. Took a week to get through The Westing Game.
  27. Been reading Witches Abroad for three days and just broke the 100 page mark.
  28. Lunch is in 8 minutes.
  29. Saw Moon a few days ago. Enjoyed it.
  30. Probably seeing too many movies for the money that's coming in. *sigh* Makes me feel sucky.
  31. Should really empty my shredding.
  32. I miss some blogs out there, a lot.
  33. Well, technically, the blogs are still there, but the people aren't writing much, or at all, or are just posting links to other places.
  34. I miss their originality.
  35. Not that link blogs are a bad thing.
  36. Although, I shouldn't get too pissy, considering my whole two posts this month.
  37. Including this one.
  38. Been reading Queen of Wands while not working. Good stuff there.
  39. Very tired.
  40. Back from lunch.
  41. Read downstairs.
  42. Was successful, mostly.
  43. Why don't they make "good" pastrami on the west coast?
  44. I am very excited to visit here in October.
  45. Although, I'll have little to no money to spend on that trip.
  46. Girl Game.
  47. I already have some ideas for Christmas presents for family. Hope I can afford 'em.
  48. Still hate my job.
  49. The level of hate fluctuates daily, but never rises out of the hate zone.
  50. Fairy tales can be dangerous things.
  51. Although, I have an idea for a story about the outside of the kingdom place that so many fairy tales happen in.
  52. Camera "effects" (like focal points and such) often bother me they show up in comics.
  53. I mean, doesn't overlapping take care of what, or who, is closer to the reader?
  54. I'm getting temperature updates from the lady across from me.
  55. She knows that I don't care, but she keeps telling me.
  56. I think she just needs to keep talking or her system'll shut down and she'll die.
  57. I promise to keep my opinion of how certain things look to myself.
  58. Hopefully, changing the subject will work.
  59. Honesty is hard when tact is involved.
  60. Want to buy and ice cream cake and eat the whole damn thing because it is tasty. Have been strong, though.
  61. Punch An' Pie comes next, but will be read later.
  62. The program we use at work is still a pain in the ass.
  63. I think we're all more resigned to the fact that there's nothing we can do about it, though.
  64. That probably doesn't sound good.
  65. It isn't.
  66. There are no shortcuts.
  67. It takes 8 click and some typing to forward a task to a person, even if it's the only person you ever forward tasks to.
  68. No fuckin' shortcuts.
  69. Pain-in-the-ass, and addictive, word game.
  70. Bought tickets to the Baltimore Comic-Con for me, my brother, and his girlfriend.
  71. In Clerks, Caitlin was engaged to an Asian design major. Was she engaged to a guy who was majoring in Asian design, or was she engaged to an Asian guy majoring in design?
  72. I've never been sure.
  73. 2.25 hours until I get to leave for the week.
  74. Three day weekends are not good when you have little money and less that you want to do.
  75. Probably the garlic.
  76. I'm told that money can't buy happiness, but I still want lots of money.
  77. HA!
  78. (Found this way.)
  79. I've always been fat.
  80. Not this fat, but fat for my size.
  81. I need new shoes.
  82. This weekend I will attempt to make sour dough bread from a home-grown starter.
  83. Cross your fingers, please.
  84. Gonna try applying to a position in Cowtown, again, next week.
  85. It's probably one I've already interviewed for.
  86. The tetrahedron is one of my favorite shape.
  87. Sometimes I wish I'd studied farther into math.
  88. I don't know how far I'd have gone, but I find the stuff fascinating.
  89. Movies I'd like to see this weekend: District 9, In The Loop, (500) Days of Summer, and Ponyo
  90. Movies I will see this weekend: ?
  91. More evidence that the world is fucked up.
  92. Shouldn't "standards" be the standard?
  93. I suppose it's like common sense not being common.
  94. Oh, I also really hate these kinds of things. I know, funny, ha ha, but mostly stupid.
  95. I used to like 'em, but now they just annoy me.
  96. Best Batman in recent memory.
  97. It shouldn't be possible to bored and busy at the same time.
  98. The longer I stay at this job the more I want to leave to get away from most of these people.
  99. In four weeks I will have finished my fourth year living here. That does not make me happy.
  100. If New Coke (guess my misspelling!) had been popular, then, to me, the new Star Trek movie would have been like New Coke. It's sweet and sparkly and is similar to the original, but it doesn't have the richness or complexity of the original. I enjoy the new one, but I don't get the same satisfaction as I do from the original. Maybe it's because I grew up with it, but I'm not so sure.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Another One

An interview conducted by me with me.

JTI: It's been a week since you drove to Oregon, how was it?

JTA: Well, any fleeting fantasies I may have had about being a long-haul trucker are now gone.

JTI: Long drive.

JTA: Very long. More than ten hours long. Minus ten minutes to buy a burger and pee, I never exited my car on the way up. On the way back, I did get gas in Oregon and stop to pee in the woods, once.

JTI: Oh... Kay. So, why were you up there, again?

JTA: My brother got married on the first.

JTI: Nice wedding?

JTA: Yeah. It was at a lighthouse and there was a rock covered in puffins, and their poop. The temperature was nice when the wind wasn't blowing. The preacher/pastor guy did a good job and left religion out of it, which made me happy because shouldn't a marriage be between the people getting married and not the people and God?

The reception, well, it seemed a little muddled to me, though.

JTI: What does that mean?

JTA: My brother and his wife aren't really "traditional" people, but they bought a book (or looked it up online or something) about traditions at weddings and then got into the mode that they had to do certain things.

JTI: Like what?

JTA: First dance. Dance with opposite gendered parents. (Although my brother didn't do his.) Isolated table. Speeches by only certain people. Cake cutting ceremony. Wedding party table set way far away from guests. Nothing that was a big deal, but things that didn't strike me as in character for the two who got married.

Things that were in character was the mimosas at breakfast. The tarts instead of a cake. A tray full of dry salami. The music. (How often do you hear Donovan, James Darren, They Might Be Giants, and The Traveling Wilburys at a wedding?) The time the wedding took place. The speeches given by the bestmen.

JTI: So, how was it?

JTA: People seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

JTI: You?

JTA: I enjoyed it as much as I've enjoyed any wedding.

JTI: And that means?

JTA: Look, I'm already not so comfortable in social situations that involve more than 5 people, and in general I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel at a wedding.

I looked around at the ceremony and saw some tears and many smiles. All I wanted to do was crack jokes during the vows. (Which I did.) It's not appropriate, but, to me, knowing my brother and my sister-in-law, the vows were generic and, well, silly. They made those sorts of vows to each other a year ago, are they more special -- or important -- because they said them in front of some guy and their families and friends? I don't think so. Other probably disagree with me, though.

At the reception, I saw my dad get red faced and teary while he talked to my brother, alone, off in a corner. I wondered if I was supposed to feel that bitter-sweet mix of emotions, too. I didn't, though, To me, they've been essentially married for a year, other than getting some really great gifts and wearing rings, what's changed?

JTI: Christ, you must suck at parties.

JTA: I do. I really do.

JTI: ...

JTA: Still, the wedding wasn't about me. It was about the couple and they seemed to have a good time, as did their parents and grandparents and friends and family.

JTI: Anything else interesting happen while you were up there?

JTA: My brother, sort of joking, asked me to move up there and become his partner in a coffee roasting company.

JTI: Really?

JTA: Yeah. He said that his boss is looking to sell and to get the equipment and the stock would probably be $60000 to $80000, plus we'd get the customer base that's already built up.

JTI: Did you consider it?

JTA: For about 30 seconds.

JTI: 30 seconds? Why so short?

JTA: Well, my immediate thought was could I earn a living wage, but with Oregon being so much more cheap than California, that'd be possible. Second thought was HOORAY! Third thought was what would we do? Fourth, brother would roast and talk to people and design labels and blends. Fifth, I'd end up doing a lot of the business stuff. And that's where the thoughts ended.

JTI: You don't think you'd be good at the business stuff?

JTA: I think I'd be fine. I've looked into starting small businesses as a lark, so I know some of the basics. (Even now I'm thinking about the things that I'd have to start doing to get going.) I know how to start creating an internet presence, which is needed. And I can handle any sort of math that'd be thrown at me.

JTI: So...?

JTA: I'm not passionate about coffee. I don't really like the stuff, and if you're going to run a business, it should be a business that involves something you like, right? How long would it take me to be miserable taking care of a thing, after having sunk $30000 to $40000 into it, that I don't even like? Not long at all.

JTI: Oh.

JTA: So, it was never brought up again.

JTI: Anything else?

JTA: I got the feeling that I was more disturbing to people than usual.

JTI: What do you mean?

JTA: I was uncomfortable a lot of the time and I glowered in a sullen/discontented manner. I was called on it a couple of times and my now-married brother felt the need, several times, to reiterate how happy he was that I made it to Oregon, earlier than originally planned, even.

Maybe I didn't disturb them so much as it was more noticed or they were more wanting to talk about it with me, or something. Not that I really let anyone actually talk to me about how I was feeling at any given moment.

JTI: On that note, how's the fluoxetine treatment going?

JTA: Um... well... I'm sort of not taking it anymore.

JTI: What!?

JTA: Yeah, I stopped taking it, with my doctor's knowledge, about three-and-a-half months ago.

JTI: Why?

JTA: Because it evened me out in a not-so-good way.

JTI: Please explain.

JTA: Okay, let's put our days on a scale of 1 to 10:

A 1 is a day where you feel so down that you don't want to get out of bed. You're so miserable that you're willing to wallow in your own piss and shit rather than roll out of bed and walk ten feet to the toilet. A day where the only thoughts in your head are horrible ones.

A 10 is a day where you feel like your in a never ending orgasm. You know you'll succeed at everything. Everything you do feels good and right and wonderful. It just all goes your way.

Got it?

JTI: Yeah.

JTA: Most people live somewhere in between those two extremes.

JTI: Right.

JTA: From the way it looks to me, and I may be wrong, the average person's life fluctuates between 4 and 8, occasionally dropping to a 3 and having a few times at a 9.

JTI: Okay.

JTA: On that scale, I figure that my life floats between 2 and 6. I can't even remember the last day that I'd give a 7 to and I think I spend most of my time below a 5.

JTI: And the meds?

JTA: They evened me out, like they're supposed to, but I was hovering between a 3 and a 4 with dips and spikes going, maybe, a point either way. Just this side of feeling like nothing is good. Sure I spent less time thinking horrible things, but suddenly there were never any good days. Not a single day when I felt a moment of happy. Just days I got through and that made me feel even worse.

JTI: And that's why you quit the pills?

JTA: Yeah.

JTI: Now you think you feel more of a range?

JTA: Yeah.

JTI: Do you still have "horrible" thoughts.

JTA: Everyday.

JTI: Ever afraid you'll act those thoughts out?

JTA: No.

JTI: Why?

JTA: I'm not ready to go into that here.

JTI: Okay... okay, then why didn't you get moved to a different medication? There are tons of different antidepressant medications out there, why not a different one?

JTA: I don't know.

JTI: Did you ask?

JTA: Of course I asked.

JTI: What happened?

JTA: The first time I asked my GP told me to talk to the psychiatrist I was seeing then. When I asked him about it he told me it was between me and my GP. When I asked her about it she weened me off the ones that I was taking.

JTI: And?

JTA: And I went back to feeling like I felt before the pills.

JTI: Did you tell her that?

JTA: Yeah, I e-mailed her asking about other medication and she asked me how I was feeling and I wrote that I felt about the same as before and she said great and told me to talk to the psychiatrist.

JTI: Did you?

JTA: I asked him about meds and he said it was up to my GP, again.

JTI: Then?

JTA: I quit.

JTI: Quit?

JTA: Quit trying. Being pushed around in circles while being confused and depressed and wholly uncomfortable is worse than just... being what I'm feeling.

They tell you that when you're depressed, you don't have to feel the way you feel because it's not normal, and I believe that's true, but when trying to feel better makes you feel worse... well, what the fuck, right?

JTI: *sigh* Sure. Anything else you'd like to say.

JTA: No.

JTI: Okay. Thanks.

JTA: Thank you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Now, maybe the dreams will stop...

From Heels:
We Are Parents Again!
By heels

Mom and baby girl, [edited because I'm uncomfortable putting her name here], are happy and healthy!

Stats:
  • Born at 2:57 PM PCT
  • 8lbs 10oz
  • 20 1/8 inches long
  • Adorable
That is all for now.


Congrats!

The rest of you send them your congratulations either at the link above or at Heels's blog or Mr. Logic's.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Some Questionable Content



Click it for the full comic, although those are probably the funniest four panels of any comic I've seen in a while.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fiction Friday #32

NPR's holding a contest to write Three-Minute Fiction. (Although it's over Saturday night.)

To make sure I had an entry, earlier this week I edited this down and submitted it, but I wanted to do more, if I could.

Wednesday I wrote a love story:

Trust

Teri heard Ellen pound the front door, hard. Each thump of her patchy white fist reverberated down the entry hall where Teri stood.

Tears dribbled down Teri's cheeks as she hefted the heavy, scratched-up hatchet from the woodstove, the woodstove that warmed their home almost as well as Ellen's laugh. A laugh Teri would never hear. Tears fell faster.

She couldn't think like that, though. No time. She wiped her eyes on her sleeve and took a breath that tried to get caught in her throat.

After a movie one night, Ellen told Teri, "I love you more than anything, but if you came home a zombie, I'll kill you. And I expect you to do the same thing. Promise me?" Teri had promised and they both laughed.

It even became a game for them. One would walk through the house asking for "Brains. Braaaaaains." The other would pounce to kill the infected. They'd fall to the floor together, arms and legs tangled, laughing.

When the infected started popping up, they talked again, but this time it was serious. Again, Teri promised, but she wasn't sure it was one she could keep.

The pounding stopped and so did Teri's heart. Counting to three, she raised the hatchet, blunt side forward, over her head and reached out toward the door. She held the knob with just the tips of her fingers and, ever so carefully, turned it and gave a gentle pull, not enough to open the door, but enough that it wasn't really closed, so that even a little breeze could push it open.

She took several steps back and waited at the end of the hall.

She heard nothing. No pounding. Not a creak from the porch.

She wanted to run and hide in the basement, but she couldn't. She'd only be found and then infected. And she wanted to be strong, like Ellen. For Ellen.

She took a deep breath and let it out. She took another and said, voice cracking, "Ellen? Are you there?"

With a roar, Ellen burst through the door and stumbled and fell, face first, onto the tile. Teri flinched at the crack made when Ellen's skull hit.

Terri pounced, just like she did when they had been playing, except she also swung the hatchet at the back of Ellen's head. This time the sound was crunch. She started crying again.

She lifted the hatchet and swung again and again.

When her arm got tired, she stopped and stood up. Ellen was gone. She wiped her eyes again, pulled the body farther down the hall, and shut the door.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Recall?

There's a petition being passed around in the office to recall the governator.

I didn't sign it.

I couldn't.

Sure, I think the guy's an asshole and a puppet who doesn't have any real ideas and is just being used by over-zealous members of the Republican party, but he hasn't committed any crimes. A recall election should only be used by the people to oust a criminal.

Got some dirty looks for not signing the thing, too. I guess that just because I'm angry means I should throw out my, few, morals and look for some sort of revenge. Fuckers.

If he'd pulled a Blagojevich sort of thing, then I'd sign the petition, but not for being an asshole. That's not a crime. And if it were, I think we'd all end up in prison.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

7:30 - 4

Last week I got to start a Modified Work Schedule. It's not the modified work schedule that I wanted, though.

To refresh, for those who don't want to click, I wanted to come in at 7AM and leave at 3:30PM. Because (and this is all me guessing) the PJ doesn't trust, it was decided that I couldn't come in that early. I do, however, get to come in earlier, at 7:30AM and then I leave at 4PM.

Why is 7:30AM okay, but not 7AM?

Because SUSM is supposed to be here at 7:30AM nine days out of ten and then she can make sure that I'm showing up on time!

Of course, SUSM rarely gets here, in my experience, before 7:40AM, so what would she, and the PJ, know if I showed up a little late each morning?

No one has come out and told me it's a trust issue, but I know it is. I hope it's not personal, and don't think it is, because I'm just a clerk and clerks don't deserve the same level of trust that court reporters and secretaries do.

Ah, well, at least I get to leave early. And it's really great leaving early. I don't have to worry about as many dumb-asses racing through yellow (and red) lights. No comics have sold out at the shop on Wednesdays. And other good things that I have yet to discover.

One thing, though, is that I find myself really wishing I lived somewhere with a yard of some sort. I like to imagine that I'd use that extra hour to do something "extra," like root around in a garden, or something.



In a very different vein, I'm trying to come up with an analogy for my thoughts on the new Star Trek movie. So far, I've only come up with New Coke vs. Coca-Cola, but it's imperfect because New Coke was a failure and this "reboot" of Star Trek is, and will continue to be for at least two more movies, a success.

Can anyone think of an analogy where the new product is liked by more people than the original? (And don't give me other TV shows or movies or comics or other entertainment stuff. I'm looking for something really different.)