Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I am a petty, petty guy.

There was a "party" at lunch today. I didn't go.

When I've written about work parties in the past, I wrote that I thought they were stupid and I didn't want to go, but I have always gone. I'd grab a plate of food. I'd sit out of the way. I'd eat, quietly. I'd wish I wasn't there. But I'd go to the stupid party.

Today, I sat at my desk. I didn't get any food and, other than the potato chip I ate about three minutes ago, I didn't eat anything.

This party was to celebrate the worst person here and his thirty-some odd years of employment with the state. Today is is last day, and I refused to go to his party.

Many people in the office can separate the idea of the party from the person it's celebration. I can't.

The guy is so horrible to the people he's supposed to work with that about 10% of those who have dealt with him in the past have refused to go to him again. He has reduced, probably already stressed out people, to tears by refusing to acknowledge their questions. He doesn't listen to anybody. He just assumes he knows what's going to be asked. He tells these long stories that end with a point, but have never been relevant to the actual question or conversation. He's yelled at injured workers in the lobby and refused to take injured workers into a more private setting because it would be invading his space. He sends people away because the woman in the office who speaks Spanish is at lunch or out for the day because he doesn't want to use the over the phone translation service. He's an asshole.

At least he's that way at work. I can't say what he's like outside of the office. He may be the kindest person imaginable. He may sit and listen to the problems of his family and friends completely before offering advice or an opinion. He may respect the privacy of those in his life. He may.

I don't know, though. I only see him being a useless asshole of a human being. Within my first month working here, I knew who the person in this office was that give truth to the lazy, self righteous, arrogant, state employee cliché.

Now, if they'd thrown a "good riddance, make sure to help the door hit him on his ass on his way out" party, I would have gone.

Well, as long as he didn't go.


Off the coast of Japan, there's an island with an abandoned and crumbling concrete jungle. And there are lots of amazing pictures at that link.

It's like a bazillion post-apocalyptic science fiction stories brought to  like. It's almost exactly how I imagined Castledown in The Voyages of Jerle Shannara books.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pictures of Oil on Pensacola Beach

From Tampa Bay's blog.

This is a link to my favorite picture. Its description says, "A trench dug by a group of USF geologists shows a continuous layer of oil approximately six inches beneath the surface of Pensacola Beach..."

A while ago, I posted a picture that showed the oil moving through the Gulf and said I thought it was beautiful. I still think that. I think some of these pictures a beautiful, too.

Even in disaster, even in disgust, even in horror, there's beauty.

I'm not trying to dismiss what's going on out there in the Gulf. If I never saw the images coming out now, I'd have been perfectly fine with that. Since I have, though, I'm not going to deny what I'm seeing on TV and how it takes my breath away not just because I hate it, but because I like what I'm seeing, too.

I'll leave you with this quote from under this pictures:
Footprints are left on Pensacola Beach on June 23. Signs on trash cans at at the beach ask that visitors leave only footprints when they depart. Overnight, tides left the beaches strewn with tar balls, oil mousse, and sludge from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Response

Found via galadarling.com. Google reader's explore button is fun! (Also, I didn't see a link to the original letter, so, there you go.)

A Letter To Men by Christina Hendricks

We love your body.
If we're in love with you, we love your body. Your potbelly, everything. Even if you're insecure about something, we love your body. You feel like you're not this or that? We love your body. We embrace everything. Because it's you.

I'm going to start off with the "we" thing. You, Ms. (or Mrs. or Miss, or whatever you prefer) Hendricks are not all women. The Lorax may speak for the trees, but that's only because they don't have voices of their own. Women have voices, and typing fingers all of their own.

I understand you're trying to make a point and say that women in general don't think like men think they do. I get it, but really, you're just speaking for you and the subset of all women who think in a similar way to you. I also get that the word "we" makes more of an impact on a readership that the word "I" does. It's harder for people to brush away a group than it is to brush aside an individual. Still, I want you to realize that I know you're really just talking about your preferences.

Also, I'll only be speaking for me, not some mythical "all men," many of which probably disagree with my musical lovin' self in many, many ways.

On to the body thing, it's confusing. Are you allowed to feel insecure about your hips and thighs and lips and breasts even though I say I think you look great, but I'm not allowed feel insecure about my belly or pecs or hairy shoulders or balding head when you tell me you think I look good? As an insecure guy, those moments I choose believe you when you say you like my appearance, I feel really good about myself, but I can't promise that I'll believe you all the time because those insecurities are so deep in my being it's easy to dismiss the things that don't fit my self image. Understand, it's not usually about you when I don't believe your words, it's about selfish old me and my wandering mood; I can go from zero to self loathing just as fast as you can.

Speaking of your body, you don't understand the power of your own smell. Any woman who is currently with a man is with him partly because she loves the way he smells. And if we haven't smelled you for a day or two and then we suddenly are within inches of you, we swoon. We get light-headed. It's intoxicating. It's heady.

I assume, though, that you still want me to keep showering in the morning, right?

I feel the same way about your smell, too. Don't cover it up with heavy perfumes. A little goes a long way and a small touch of the right one can add an accent to your natural smell that makes me melt inside.

Really, for me, I prefer it when you have a nice smelling shampoo and I can smell it and you together at the point where your neck curves into your shoulder. It's a spot I could breathe in for the rest of my life.

We remember forever what you say about the bodies of other women. When you mention in passing that a certain woman is attractive — could be someone in the office, a woman on the street, a celebrity, any woman in the world, really — your comment goes into a steel box and it stays there forever. We will file the comment under "Women He Finds Attractive." It's not about whether or not we approve of the comment. It's about learning what you think is sexy and how we might be able to convey it. It's about keeping our man by knowing what he likes.

It's not just "about keeping our man by knowing what he likes" if this sort of crap gets dragged out during fights.

I look.

I comment.

You store and then you whip it out during a fight like it was an awful thing to do, three weeks ago; that's your choice, but don't tell me that you only file it away only for personal reference. You remember EVERYTHING. At the time, you may not consciously plan to fling it back in my face, in fact, I doubt it's ever planned, but you always seem to pull it out to clobber me with it when we're angry with each other. I'm not asking you to change that about yourself, just be aware, be honest with yourself and with me.

We also remember everything you say about our bodies, be it good or bad. Doesn't matter if it's a compliment. Could be just a comment. Those things you say are stored away in the steel box, and we remember these things verbatim. We remember what you were wearing and the street corner you were standing on when you said it.

Yeah, don't I know it. See that comment about the fight up above. Strange, though, you rarely, if ever, bring up those times I said how wonderful parts of your body are, just the negative things we said.

Never complain about our friends — even if we do. No matter how many times we say a friend of ours is driving us crazy, you are not to pile on. Not because it offends us. But because it adds to the weight that we carry around about her.

If you don't want me to complain about your friend, in front of you, then you have to promise to never ask me my opinion of them. Yeah, usually know better than to just blurt out what I think about them, but there are always those moments where I'm distracted by the TV or even the cereal box and you ask and I tell you the truth.

If you really, really, really do want to know if I like your friends and I say I don't, don't ask me to tell you why, because I will. It's not (often) about hurting your relationships with your friends, but it's about being honest with you in our relationship. I'll put up with your friends that I don't like when I have to, and I'll do my damnedest to keep quiet about it, but when you ask, I'm letting go and you're going to get an earful.


Remember what we like. When I first started dating my husband, I had this weird fascination with the circus and clowns and old carnival things and sideshow freaks and all that. About a month after we started dating, he bought me this amazing black-and-white photo book on the circus in the 1930s, and I started sobbing. Which freaked him out. I thought, Oh, my God, I mentioned this three or four weeks ago and talked about it briefly, but he was really listening to me. And he actually went out and researched and found this thing for me. It was amazing.

I'll try to remember, but make sure that you don't fake that you like it. When I buy you a frog on a bicycle because I remembered when we were walking through a craft fair, or something, and you comment on how cute a frog dressed as a little boy was, but you don't really like frogs, it's cool if you pretend to like it in the moment because I don't want to be hurt as much as you don't want to hurt me, but make sure to tell me before the next gift giving time, otherwise, I'll probably get you another frog. I don't want to turn you into a frog lady if you don't really like frogs, don't let me. Be honest with me.

We want you to order Scotch. It's the most impressive drink order. It's classic. It's sexy. Such a rich color. The glass, the smell. It's not watered down with fruit juice. It's Scotch. And you ordered it.

If you really want me to order it, I will, but do I have to drink it? Oh, and if you really wanted it for yourself, order it for yourself. I think that women who aren't afraid of ordering what they want are sexy.

Stand up, open a door, offer a jacket. We talk about it with our friends after you do it. We say, "Can you believe he stood up when I approached the table?" It makes us feel important. And it makes you important because we talk about it.

I'm glad you told me this, but I make no promises.

If it's cold, I expect you to bring something warm. I'm not giving up my jacket if I'm cold. We can do the whole you-tucked-up-against-my-body-under-my-jacket thing, but I don't like to reward stupidity for looking classy, or whatever.

On the door thing, I'll try. I'm pretty good about holding doors to buildings open for everyone. If I'm the one who's driving, and can unlock your side without having to go to the driver side first, there's a good chance I'll open that door for you, but when we're getting out of the car I'll expect you to know how to pull the door handle thing all on your own. You're a big girl, you know how.

As for the standing thing, that depends on my mood and how long I've known you. If I'm in a bad mood, I won't stand for you. If I've known you for a while and am comfortable with you I'll probably stay sitting because you, hopefully, know me better, too.

No shorts that go below the knee. The ones almost like capri pants, the ones that hover somewhere between the kneecap and the calf? Enough with those shorts. They are the most embarrassing pants in the world. They should never be worn. No woman likes those.

Done. I don't like 'em myself.

Also, no tank tops. In public at least. A tank top is underwear. You're walking around in your underwear. Too much.

Also done. Never liked tank tops.

No man should be on Facebook. It's an invasion of everyone's privacy. I really cannot stand it.

Personally, I don't think anyone should be on Facebook. I don't like it those sorts of sites that seem to be so much about popularity, where you get nasty e-mail, or whatever, because you don't want to be "friends" with someone who was in you third grade class.

Since it exists, though, I don't think it should be limited by sex. Sexism is sexism no matter which sex it's aimed at. If it was aimed at just kids, that's cool, but unlikely since there's no good way to prove your age online, yet.

Also, if you see it as an invasion of privacy I hope you're not on it. Or is it okay for you, but not me?

If this is more about me checking up on your Facebook status, well, that's a different story.

You have to realize, though, if you're on Facebook, it's not private. Strangers, male and female, are constantly looking at it. Is that more comforting to you, knowing that strangers are looking at your pictures and reading your thoughts than knowing that I'm looking and reading? What does that say about us and our ability to trust each other?

You don't know this, but when we come back from a date, we feel awkward about that transition from our cute outfit into sexy lingerie. We don't know how to do this gracefully. It's embarrassing. We have to find a way to slip into another room, put on the outfit as if it all happened very easily, and then come out and it's: Look at me! Look at the sexy thing I've done! For you, it's the blink of an eye. It's all very embarrassing. Just so you know.

You know what I like, I like to participate in the undressing more than I like the sexy lingerie. If you want to play dress-up, okay. If you have to step out of the room to put on the sexy dress-up underwear, fine, go for it, but know that I like fumbling at your tiny buttons while we're close to each other.

Hell, on the nights I'm not getting lucky, I like to watch you pull your shirt over your head, revealing your curves in all their spectacular glory. There's seduction in simplicity.

I like you to feel sexy, so, when you need to, I'll let you do what you need to do.

Panties is a wonderful word. When did you stop saying "panties"? It's sexy. It's girlie. It's naughty. Say it more.

Really? Sexy? It's not silly or childish? Really?


About ogling: The men who look, they really look. It doesn't insult us. It doesn't faze us, really. It's just — well, it's a little infantile. Which is ironic, isn't it? The men who constantly stare at our breasts are never the men we're attracted to.

Yes, it's infantile, and I do apologize for doing it.

But, you see, there are these moments where it's like I'm 10 or 11 again and I'm just discovering the wonders of cleavage or that place where thigh meets butt and I stare. It's one of those moments where there's not a thought in my head. I'm just reacting.

There are better words than beautiful. Radiant, for instance. It's an underused word. It's a very special word. "You are radiant." Also, enchanting, smoldering, intoxicating, charming, fetching.

Better than beautiful? Or do you really just want me to vary the words I use?

I don't want to use some of those words to describe a person, but understand how you don't want things to be stuck in a rut. I'll do my best to change it up.

Marriage changes very little. The only things that will get a married man laid that won't get a single man laid are adultery and whores. Intelligence and humor (and your smell) are what get you laid. That's what got you laid when you were single. That's what gets you laid when you're married. Everything still works in marriage: especially intelligence and humor. Because the sexiest thing is to know you.

I disagree, marriage changes a lot.

We may still be who we were, but now we're really in this together. We depend on on another. There' s no more "your stuff" and "my stuff," it's now our stuff.

Before marriage me blowing $500 on a new phone or a new TV or something without consulting you maybe wasn't totally okay with you, but you can easily look past it. Me spending that much on something without talking to you about it after we're married becomes an unavoidable conflict. Same goes for you spending that much money without including me. Because after marriage the future becomes much more real.

The future's a lot more abstract to a single person. It's always tomorrow and tomorrow rarely comes. Until it comes it's only something that vaguely has to be worried about.

When you're married, though, the future's always there. Possible babies, a probable house, life insurance, work, and money, money, money are always there staring you in the face. In a marriage, the future is always now because life's not only about one person anymore.

Marriage may not change the people, but it changes nearly everything else, and that's a lot.

I LOVE getting these kinds of e-mails.

They make me feel so special!

From: Mr.Anthony Martin Esq <blahbhlahblah@live.com>
Re: Second Notice


 I understand that through Internet is not the best way to link up with you because of the confidentiality which my proposal demands.

However, I have already sent you this same letter one month ago,but I am not sure if it did get to you since I have not heard from you, hence i am constrain to reach you through the Internet which has been abused over the years.

 I wish to notify you again that You were listed as a Heir to the total sum of (Three Million Six Hundred Thousand British Pounds) in the codicil and last testament of the deceased.(Name now withheld since this is our second letter to you). We contacted you because you bear the surname identity and therefore can present you as the Heir to the inheritance funds.

 Please indicate your interest immediately for us to proceed. I shall feed you with full details of this transaction upon receipt of your reply towards this proposal.

 All the legal papers will be processed in your acceptance. In your acceptance of this deal, we request that you kindly forward to us your letter of acceptance; your current telephone and fax numbers and a forwarding address to enable us file necessary documents at our high court probate division for the release of this sum of money.

 I look forward to hearing from you.

Mr.Anthony Martin Esq.
Clive Fullerton
Trevor Smyth & Co
Chester House, 13 Chichester Street,
Belfast, BT 1 4JB
Private Telephone +4470111 83445

Things I really like:
  • The grammatical and formatting errors
  • That the name is withheld because "this is our second letter"
  • The fact that they don't have my info in the will, but it had my e-mail.
  • How my name's not actually used.
  • That the return e-mail address is at Live.com and not at trevorsmyth.com.

Friday, June 25, 2010


  • ...do I know what a perogi is?
  • ...do I want a plate of them right now?
  • ...am I the only one who seems to write it as "omigod" anymore?
  • ...don't I hear "valley girl" speech much anymore?
  • ...aren't there more hot air balloons out and about?
  • ...does she go on a week long vacation in Monterrey while saying she may not make rent next month?
  • ...does it seem so many IT people are arrogant jack-asses?
  • ...do people seem to freak out when women get a buzz cut?
  • ...must they make crappy movies out of decent TV shows?
  • ...can't they stay true to the books when making movies out of them?
  • ...is The Hobbit being split into two movies?
  • ...was the finale of Lost so good and bad at the same time?
  • ...won't they open the roof and the windows in the morning?
  • ...be a completest even when parts of the whole suck?
  • ...don't they just hand me a huge check?
  • ...aren't I just blowing my overtime money?
  • ...would it matter if I was broke?
  • ...do I feel like I shouldn't get involved?
  • ...won't they commit to Thanksgiving plans?
  • ...are video games about "trophies" and "achievements" rather than finishing the game?
  • ...haven't I bought some pizza even though I've wanted some for like a month?
  • ...am I so mean sometimes?
  • ...do I worry about my blog numbers so much?
  • ...should I care about 'em?
  • ...not learn to waltz?
  • ...be a dick?
  • ...not be a dick?
  • ...are they so few answers?
  • ...are the right questions even harder to find?
  • ...not stare, even when its rude?
  • ...won't I tell that fan fic author I think his stuff sucks even though it seems like everyone else likes it?
  • ...give anyone the "benefit of the doubt"?
  • ...not use "air quotes" more when talking to people?
  • ...don't people like it when you narrate your life?
  • ...do that hate it even more when you narrate their lives?
  • ...did I say "no"?
  • ...couldn't a fan do the prequels?
  • ...do I stay where I am?
  • ...is it that I shouldn't want what I want?
  • ...can't I think of anything else to really want?
  • ...don't I think others know better?
  • ...bother thinking I know better?
  • ..."are you so far away from me?"
  • ...is that the song that's stuck in my head?
  • ...do so many people think famous better than rich?
  • ...can't they see that famous rarely leads to rich?
  • ...can't those corn dogs be healthy?
  • ...is it him and not me?
  • ...is it me and not him?
  • ...was I compelled to do this?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Scientist is...

Who's the Scientist?
Seventh graders describe scientists before and after a visit to Fermilab.

They also drew pictures.

via Geek Feminism Blog

Double Ewe-Tee-Eff!?

Got an e-mail from my supervisor this morning letting us know who's out today and, as far as she knows, tomorrow, which is great, because she's been forgetting to do that lately. It also included this:

On another note:  In coming to the end of the furlough program and the uncertainties of what lies ahead for our contracts, I want to remind you that although the governor does not show his appreciation for your services – the public we serve certainly does.  I realize we may be coming upon even further difficulties in our financial lives and the frustrations that mound may seem to be infinite.  Please remember that we are lucky to have our jobs, the current unemployment rate in California nears 13%, one of the highest in the nation.  I want to encourage you to keep a positive attitude as much as you can, and try to enjoy your job.  You are a great team, each and every one of you has a special role in keeping this office one of the most productive and inspiring district offices in the State.  You have so much to be proud of!  So thank you all for the hard work you do – and keep up the good work!

Here's the part that pisses me off;

Please remember that we are lucky to have our jobs, the current unemployment rate in California nears 13%, one of the highest in the nation.  I want to encourage you to keep a positive attitude as much as you can, and try to enjoy your job.

What the FUCK is that doing in there!?

What the FUCK!?

I just... I'm having trouble putting into words why these two sentences bother me so much.

Telling me that I'm "lucky" to have a job because others don't? You know what, even if I quit, no one outside of state service could fill it. My job would be dead and gone until budget woes settle down. At the rate CA's economy is improving that means my empty position wouldn't be able to be filled for at least two more years. And yet I'm lucky to have a job where my hours and my pay are jerked around. I'm lucky because I don't know if I'll be working full time next week or if I'll still be forced to take Fridays off or if I'll have my pay cut to $7.25 per hour. I'm lucky to have a job that leaves my ability to pay my rent, which is more than a third of my current take home pay, at the beginning of September (I have some savings, thank you), in question. I'm lucky because 13% of the estimated workforce in the state is reporting to unemployment that they want benefits and I have a job.

I'm lucky.


Lucky isn't just having a job with an uncertain paycheck. Lucky is having a job that you actually love to go to, despite the crap that goes on there, despite possible losses in pay, despite lack of respect. That's what lucky is.

Just having a crappy job that you do only for the paycheck in a crappy economy isn't lucky, it's adequate. It's sufficient. It's what has to be done.

And then she has the nerve to say "keep a positive attitude" about this shitty job? I can't have a positive attitude about this place, not anymore. Any positive attitude that I may have had about this job died two years ago come August 25th. That was the day they introduced the bullshit "paperless" system which has made all of our jobs harder and more stressful to do. That was the day that this department proved how little it actually wants to achieve the goals it was created to achieve. Why should I ever have a positive attitude about a place where the goal was getting things done to a place that's become more about the shitty process?

Fuck your positive attitude, bitch. Take it and ram it up your nose.

Fuck those two fucking sentences and fuck you, too, with one of those South African toothed female condoms, only, you know, turned inside-out.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Little Waltz

This morning I've been obsessing over "L'Autre valse d'Amélie" a bit of music from the movie Amélie, which I still haven't seen. I love this short waltz, though. The way it starts with only two instruments and then when the phrase changes a new instrument is added. It's lovely, but way too short.

Is the rest of Amélie's soundtrack this dazzling?

Monday, June 21, 2010

"The Butterfly Gown" is my favorite.

Amazing paper art work.

This one, I can see. Too bad I can't post a picture from it.

Frustration in Not Knowing What I Don't Know

From The Anosognosic's Dilemma: Something's Wrong but You'll Never Know What It Is (Part 1):

I can readily admit that the "everyday Scrabble player" has no idea how incompetent he is, but I don't think that Scrabble provides an example of the unknown unknowns.  An unknown unknown is not something like the word "ctenoid," a difficult word by most accounts, or any other obscure, difficult word. ... Surely, the everyday Scrabble player knows that there are words he doesn't know.   Rumsfeld could have known about the gaps in his intelligence information.   How are his unknown unknowns different from plain-old-vanilla unknowns?  The fact that we don't know something, or don't bother to ask questions in an attempt to understand things better, does that constitute anything more than laziness on our part?  A symptom of an underlying complacency rather than a confrontation with an unfathomable mystery?

I found myself still puzzled by the unknown unknowns.  Finally, I came up with an explanation.  Using the expressions "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns" is just a fancy — even pretentious — way of talking about questions and answers.  A "known unknown" is a known question with an unknown answer.  I can ask the question: what is the melting point of beryllium?  I may not know the answer, but I can look it up.  I can do some research.  It may even be a question which no one knows the answer to.  With an "unknown unknown," I don't even know what questions to ask, let alone how to answer those questions.

It's all about how the incompetent can't know they are incompetent.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Miss Posting To What's Distracting Us

Two more things that I would have posted to that other blog, with freakin' pictures instead of just links:
  1. Skeletons of Cartoon Characters
  2. Lots of Gorgeous Black and White Photos
Stupid Websense keeping me from posting things where they belong.

This Would Have Been On That Other Blog, With Pictures

Forbes has this cool interactive map that shows, by county, where Americans moved in 2008, within the US. Just click on the county you're curious about and watch for the lines.

I wish it had some basic statistical data listed on the side of the map, like total inbound/outbound numbers, but it's still fascinating.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We Can Sing Together

One man, with the power to kill the internet:

A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.
The idea of an Internet "kill switch" that the president could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to "order the disconnection" of certain networks or Web sites.

Now, to the tune of The 1812 Overture:

No no no no no no no no nooooo
No no no no no no no no nooooo
No no no no no no no no no no nooooo
No no no no no no no no no no nooooo
No no no no
No no no no
Nooo nooo nooo nooo nooo nooo nooo nooo nooo nooo no
No no no no no no no
No no no no no no no

It's not that I don't trust Obama, although I don't, but I sure as hell don't trust the next guy, or the guy after him.

Or the guy after him.

Do you?

A Moment of Hubris

Long before work decided that I, and everyone else in the department, spent too much time fooling around on the innerwebs, I joined a "write-off challenge" on the forum I'd still like to frequent. I was put in the fourth challenge group. After the boot, while visiting my parents in May, I wrote to the board and said I'd have to withdraw because I had no 'webs connection. One of the nice people there offered to act as go-between and send me the challenge prompts and post my short-short stories. (Oh, it's some of that fan fiction stuff for that cartoon thingy, you know.)

The first week in June the first prompt was sent and received. I stayed up too late that Sunday writing my story and sent it off Monday morning.

When I logged into Gmail this morning I got a note from the kind person that told me who "won" the first of the three writings (no one, really, since the other person didn't send a story) and the new prompt.

Along with the prompt, she sent some of the positive thoughts that others wrote. One is something that I'd love to see, with my real name in place of my handle, as a blurb on my book one day: "Like a lot of ticknart's writing, lately, this has a reflective voice and seems mild enough, till one finds oneself lying on the floor, with smelling salts being applied."

While I'd edit out the "lately" part, I really like the rest. It makes me feel nervous, but in that good way. Someone got what I wanted them to grab.

I'm going to copy and paste that line again, without the one word, and make it bold and a little bigger. I figure I should really earn the title of this post.

"Like a lot of ticknart's writing ... this has a reflective voice and seems mild enough, till one finds oneself lying on the floor, with smelling salts being applied."

Yeah, that's the stuff.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Winter is Coming

Saw the teaser for The Game of Thrones (Could download it through the reader. HA!), which'll be coming to HBO next year, and it shows nothing. NOTHING!

Okay, that's not quite true; there's a forest and a flash of horse riding and a crow and Richard Stark with Robb(?) and some scuffling and a scared kid.

Yes, I'm eager for the show to air so I can spend way too much on the DVDs after reading all the spoilers from the 'nets, but the teaser doesn't make me excited.

Sleepy Feeling

Woke up too early this morning and stayed up too late last night. Damned Tony awards.

I wasn't going to watch it, I swear. Just the opening song and dance stuff and then a bit of the beginning to see if the host was any good. Then, during the opening, Green Day was on stage and performed "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Holiday," not necessarily in that order.

The performance was really good, but my favorite part was the mixed reaction from the audience. A few people were really excited; there was one lady who had a giant grin on her face as she clapped along with the music. Most were politely clapping in time. The rest looked baffled, annoyed, and a bit scared, all at the same time. That made me laugh.

The rest of the show was entertaining. Lots of spectacle, some seemingly odd winners, and a some laughs.

Now I sit here, yawning, with the ever so light touch of a developing headache, singing and re-singing Julia Nunes's "Maybe I Will." (You should really go watch the YouTube video. Sorry I can't link you to it.) Yes, I have an ohrwurm. And it wasn't even the last song I heard before I turned myPod off.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Stupid Song That I Like Listening To

"An Old Fashioned Love Song"
Whether it be Three Dog Night or Paul Williams singing it, I enjoy the hell out of it.

I post because it just started playing on myPod and wanted to share with all y'all.

Oh, Websense, how you vex me!

Via Topless Robot:

When the original Pinafore was first performed in 1878 as a comic opera, it had enough mirth and silliness to sink the Titanic. It was conceived as a loving satire of the British royal navy -and, more matter-of-factly, the English system of social class. In this adapted version Jon Mullich places our team of players on a spaceship like the Enterprise of Star Trek, which is the most beloved sci-fi show in American television history, a true-blue institution, open to as much criticism as our democracy itself. In the chain of command how commandants like to step on captains and captains on lowly TARs (that's Transport Assistant Repairmen)! We may not be privy to class distinctions, but we certainly understand what it means to be rich and lofty versus poor and lowly. The adaptation fits the satire beautifully!

The plot remains unchanged in the new version and the quick-paced, upbeat score as well. Only some lyrics have been altered to suit the new venue. An example would be "He Is an Englishman" is now "He Is an Earthling Man". A great addition to the list of characters is Dick Deadeye, a lizard-like alien who stands apart as ugly and undesirable, making marriage to him seem utterly impossible.

No fucking access! Can't buy a ticket!


When It's Right It's Sooooo Good

My current at work book is Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many, by Michael A Martin. (My mom bought it and didn't enjoy it so I adopted it. Besides, if I'd seen it at the grocery store I probably would have picked it up since the cover claims it was co-written by Jake Sisko.)

For the most part, the books done in an interview style. Jake asks a question and the person responds. Obviously, it's aimed to be a science fiction Studs Terkel sort of thing (to whom the book is dedicated), the thing is that Mr. Terkel always seemed to try to take himself out of the prose of his books. Yes, you can tell that Mr. Terkel asked questions, but he didn't include, or rarely included, his questions (at least in the books that I've read/perused).

The Star Trek book would have been better if it left most of Jake's questions out and let the interviewee's words read like a long thought. More like what World War Z did. That book was a great example of the Terkel style used in horror.

So, what do I mean by the title of this post then? Mr. Martin has, so far, consistently nailed the characterizations of the people Jake interviews. His Janeway was so exceedingly sharp I didn't want her section to end. Vic Fontaine, who many other writers don't really capture, had all his swagger and understanding. The best, again so far, was Garak, another hard characters for writers to nail, except for the one who played him on TV.

Here's where I knew he'd nailed Garak:

"Nuclear Winter." With the human propensity for such elegant turns of phrase, one would expect Earth to have produced a great deal more interesting literature than it has. Forgive me -- I'm digressing again.
There's a backhanded compliment and an insult and an apology, but not for the insult, all coiled up in in delicious language.

It's much easier to read when I just think of it as an extended character piece.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Well Dwelt

A few of months ago, on that forum I used to frequent, a guy wrote a really long rant about how frustrated he was because of crap that was happening on another message boards he liked.

What had happened was that he got tired of people there using the word "gay" to mean "bad." He told them that they thought it was wrong and they should stop because, and I'm paraphrasing here, being gay isn't wrong or bad. The 'Nets being what it is, the people started to call him gay. He got upset and told them he was not homosexual or bisexual, but 100% straight. Of course, the people kept on calling him gay. Thus, the rant.

What I've been dwelling on, which others may not care about at all, is the fact that the ranter got upset about being called gay when he said that being gay isn't wrong or bad.

Am I the only one who doesn't understand his point of view?

He's human, probably, so I get that he's like everyone else and is a hypocrite and full of contradictions, but it bothers me that after trying to convince  people to not use "gay" in a derogatory way, he gets offend by it being used to describe him.

Knowing that it disturbs me I've been trying to figure out why.

Mostly, I think it's the hypocritical nature of the whole thing, but it's also because I've sort of been in that situation.

I know, with a certainty, that there are people who think I'm gay.

I don't talk about any sort of love life, past or present or future.
I have a high voice.
And I'm very willing to discuss my affection for musicals.

Seems totally gay to me.

The times I've been "accused" of being gay, in person since I don't remember it happening online, I just said, "Okay." and moved on with my life.

I knew that I was supposed to get offended (and that if I didn't I'd just "confirm" the "suspicions"), but I never saw a reason to get offended. Homosexuality is a state of being, it's not bad or good, it just is. Why should I let it bother me any more than being called a "hantmek" would?

Maybe growing up fat helps me to let insults roll off of my back. Maybe that guy from the forum didn't grow up with "insults" to his face or behind his back or constantly imagined like I did.

Still, his reaction to being called gay after saying there was nothing wrong with "gay" bothers me.

Monday, June 07, 2010


Well, Hotmail and Yahoo!'s e-mail have been blocked by Websense as "general e-mail."  How much longer until Gmail is blocked, too? Days? A week? Longer?

I suppose I'll find out soon enough.

This Came In Friday

From the union:

In the event a state budget is not in place by June 30, the California Superior Court has granted the governor the authority to impose federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The pay reduction, if ordered by the governor, would be reflected in the Aug. 1 paycheck for most state employees. The appeal of this ruling will be heard on June 21, in the 3rd District Court of Appeal.

Lots of swearing has passed through my head, and will continue to pass through my head.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I can no longer get on to blogspot sites.
I can not look at sites that aren't in blogspot's domain but use Blogger.
I can comment on my blog because SiteMeter hasn't been hit by WebSense, yet.

Even more than I used to, I wonder what the fuck I'm doing here. And I don't mean the blog.


There's a new Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World trailer, and I can't watch it.