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Feelgood tip of the day [12 Nov 2014|07:48pm]
No matter how bad a day you're having - and I've had some novel-worthy ones - try googling 'jumping komondor' to feel better.
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WTF Shakesville? [06 Nov 2014|03:36pm]
I'm not a Whedon fan. The only one of his works I liked was Buffy, and that had problems. Nor am I unfamiliar with the social justice blogosphere, having been immersed in it for nearly a decade. I am familiar with all the various tricks and gaslighting that trolls use to undermine everything that decent people do to make the world a better place.

With all that out of the way, the Shakesville takedown of a recent Whedon interview was nothing short of unhinged.

Here is the Joss Whedon interview with Vulture: cite

How would you advise men in the world who are shy about saying they're into feminism? What do you think is the best way to support the cause?
Well, they need money, they need volunteers. Action is the best way to say anything. A guy who goes around saying "I'm a feminist" usually has an agenda that is not feminist. A guy who behaves like one, who actually becomes involved in the movement, generally speaking, you can trust that. And it doesn't just apply to the action that is activist. It applies to the way they treat the women they work with and they live with and they see on the street.

Especially since you participate in the online realm, where things can get a little hateful, what for you is the most surprising thing about how people attack each other because of sex or gender?
You know, it's one of those things that's always surprising. I was raised by a very strong woman, I didn't know feminism was actually a thing until I left home and found out the country didn't run the way my mom's house did. So I have this goldfish, idiot, forgetful thing in that every time I'm confronted with true misogyny, I'm stunned. I'm like, Really? That's like, I don't believe in airplanes. It's like, What century are you from? I don't get it. So usually I'm shocked, then occasionally amused, then occasionally extremely not amused, but once I get over the shock, it's very clear that misogyny in our own culture — and not just where they perform genital mutilation and marry off 10-year-olds — runs so deep. When I see this hate bubbling up towards any kind of progress, my reaction is twofold: First, it's horror, and then, it's delight, because you don't get this kind of anger unless real change is actually happening. It is a chaotic time. It's an ugly time because change is happening. It would be lovely to be living after the change has happened.


Apparently, this interview was the most horrible thing that has ever happened. Here is the shakesville post: cite

I won't repost the whole thing here because it's so long, but I'll quote extensively.

 I’ve seen shakesville screw up a handful of times, in my memory. This is one of them.

Joss Whedon makes three errors in this interview. I’ll start with those first.

1. Joss Whedon has huge heaping gobs of privilege.

Joss Whedon is widely considered a Great Feminist Ally, because he puts ladies in his television and film projects. And because he talks about feminism.

And, because he is a straight white cis dude, with lots of visibility and influence, he gets asked to talk about feminism a lot.

Since no one is a better spokesperson for feminism, no one's voice more important, than super privileged dudes.

I completely agree with every word of this. Joss Whedon has immense privilege. Due to this, he has to work much harder to be a decent ally, and will inevitably screw up a lot. The mainstream doesn’t recognize this, and looks to him as an expert.

This is all true, even though I fail to see how media’s failure is Whedon’s fault. The blame here belongs to the interviewers, executives, editors, and other Decision Makers who see a wealthy cis/het white dude as the best spokesfeminist. Should Whedon refuse to speak about the issues women face? Should he refuse to do any interviews, instead referring interviewers to people more qualified to speak on feminism’s behalf?

The answer seems to be yes.

The feminist blogosphere frequently asks men to educate and hold responsible other men, that striving for equality shouldn't be only women's work. This is what Joss Whedon is trying to do, and apparently making the world worse than if he had done nothing at all.

This is a recurring theme (cite); guys who actually seem to be trying are held as bad as or worse than the usual misogynist. (From the post: “My contempt for this shit cannot be measured on a scale fathomable by human intellect.”)

And one more:

...no one who thinks it's cool to talk about how "shocking" it is, without any seeming awareness of how shock at oppression is a manifestation of privilege, is my fucking ally.

Joss Whedon has the privilege to be shocked at the depths of internet sexism. Therefore he is not a feminist ally. Shakesville has declared it so.

I'm just gonna leave a url here and walk away... http://www.shakesville.com/2013/07/transphobia-in-academy-feminist-edition.html#comment-980188419

Anyway, on to his second mistake...

2. Joss Whedon uses incorrect terminology.

A man who doesn't push back on the fact that there is a singular feminist "cause" [...] is casually ignoring the reality that feminism is a vast and varied spectrum of activism


Setting up a dichotomy between misogyny and "true misogyny," thus implying there are a lot of feminist hysterics who get their panties all in a bunch about stuff that isn't "true misogyny"...

Also true! Joss Whedon doesn’t use the precise vocabulary of the Shakesville corner of the ‘vast and varied spectrum’ of the feminist movement! The expected vocabulary, combined with the mandatory disclaimers and asides, is clunky and awkward, but in the end it’s better than the unfortunate implications of pithier and more common turns of phrase. The form of an interview encourages pith, but this does not erase Whedon’s - apparently horrific - use of the terms ‘feminist cause’ to refer to social justice and ‘true misogyny’ to refer to the more blatant and vicious forms of sexism that lack even the veneer of being anything else.

Then there is the part where he encourages men to participate in and donate to feminist causes and organizations.

it's actually not the most helpful thing, generally speaking, to throw money at the most visible organizations, which tends to perpetuate power imbalances rooted in privilege.

Hear that? Donating to feminist causes makes everything worse. Instead dudes should spend that money on, I don’t know, antique silverware or something.

Now to the last mistake...

3. Joss Whedon makes a logical fallacy.

...evidence of improvement is not measured in more intensely vile misogyny, but less.

I cut off the first part of that sentence because it seems to be missing at least one word and the labyrinthine prepositions and adjectives are confusing without adding any information. (For the sake of full disclosure and context, here’s the whole thing:

Because what it sounds like to me the aggressively flippant cruelty of a man who has not considered that evidence of improvement is not measured in more intensely vile misogyny, but less.”)

This is arguable in both directions. Shakesville’s assertion is self-explanatory. Whedon seems to be referring to the Gandhi quote: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Or perhaps he was referring to the concept of an ‘extinction burst’.

So those are the mistakes Whedon makes. He has privilege, doesn’t use the right words, and makes a possible logicfail.

Now here’s the rest of the post, attributing to Whedon things he never said.

It would be lovely to be living after the change has happened," says Whedon. I bet! I can't even imagine how lovely it would be for someone who is not targeted by misogynist oppression and harm to be living after "the change."

He didn’t say that he wanted sexism to end for HIS sake. Yikes.
Is it really impossible that he wants better circumstances for the women in the world?

FUCK YOUR AMUSEMENT AT OUR OPPRESSION, SIR. No one, and I mean no one, who expresses that he's "amused" or "delighted" by evidence of harm done to women, for any reason, is my fucking ally.

He didn’t say that either. He said he was amused by the discomfiture of misogynists and delighted at the possibility that sexism might be ending. His crime here is not acknowledging that (forgive the metaphor) even a system in death throes can still injure anyone it strikes.

Just because Whedon is using more sophisticated language here doesn't mean that he's still not basically saying: "Misogyny exists here, too, and happens to White Ladies born right in the good ol' USA, not just in those other places where swarthy men with cuckoo religions hurt their dark-skinned women in ways of which we Civilized Gentlemen would never dream!"

What? WHAT? No, no he didn’t say anything of the sort. Something feminists say, over and over, is that all misogyny is connected. From catcalls to FGM, from manspaining to child brides, from impossible beauty standards to a male-centered medical system. Liss is putting a lot of horrible and hateful things in Whedon’s mouth that he never said. For someone who objects so strenuously when someone does that to her, she sure does it a lot to other people (see also: Big Paisley Tie - the assumption of bad faith on the part of everyone else, which would be fine, except for the snide "thanks for the assumption of bad faith" replies if anyone questions Liss. cite one especially good example that is an entire post, but there are others, mostly in comment threads).


If you really want to be an effective ally, Joss Whedon, here's a suggested response for the next time you get asked what "the most surprising thing about how people attack each other because of sex or gender" is: The number of "good men" who still express surprise about it at all.”

- This would have been an excellent response. It is NOT the only valid one, where anything else deserves "My contempt for this shit cannot be measured on a scale fathomable by human intellect."

Really? To slightly alter a Shakesville term: I expect better.
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Disjointed, so sue me. [29 Jun 2014|10:07pm]
Very quick 'mouths of babes' moment I had to mention.

My kid brother (now 17) coined a phrase. I wasn't there for the coining.

(When I heard about it he was in Belize of all places. Other things were happening too. The entire northern Midwest was undergoing a damn near Floridian hurricane. Lake Alvin was more than 80 feet above normal floodzone. Every road was underwater. I was afraid me and the gazillion basement spiders would be swimming for our lives in the middle of the night and meanwhile back in Mitchell there was a Thing With A Stray(?) Dog that happened that still hasn't been resolved. Also, one of these times I should tell the story of my brother's falling-down-drunk girlfriend cutting my hair. I was biting my tongue SO BAD all binge-drinking weekend, and managed to refrain from saying "oh, so you're not going to flip the fuck out and institutionalize him? Fuck you!" )

ANYWAY, the kid brother coining a phrase. Some important need of his wasn't getting met, and my mother said something about him being raised by wolves.

Him: 'No, I'm being smothered by wolves.'

It's funny cause it's true. We were all heckling him on prom night and whatnot. Everyone is always all up in his business and since he's so much younger than the rest of us (a full decade for me), there's no way to deflect any of that attention onto someone else.

So "smothered by wolves" is my new favorite phrase.

I also got to introduce the 'beloved smother' trope, so it was a win all around.

I might come back and make this make sense eventually.
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Buryanecks (rhymes with moronic(s)) [05 Jun 2014|05:52pm]
An acquaintance wanted to go camping. I agreed to go. I questioned many, many times whether I should bring my tent/sleeping bag/supplies/anything else.

“No, just a swimsuit, overnight stuff, and shower stuff.”
I packed all that, plus a pillow. They borrowed my cooler.

What followed was a comedy of errors the likes of which I have never seen.

Here, I tell the story.

First attempt to leave town:
The three of us load into the car in the morning. When we’re getting gas for the trip, I realize I forgot my contact solution, and Brandy forgot her hairbrush. Neither of us would have bothered to go back, but we were less than a mile away. So it wasn’t a big deal to backtrack.

Second attempt out of town:
On the highway, Brandon realizes he forgot to pack the charcoal. Whoops. We’ll pick up firewood at their parents’ house in Armor, where we are also picking up the tent, sleeping bags, chairs, and his dog Demon. (meaning Demon is the dog’s name, rather than ‘his dog-demon’) They both greet him with "WhoozaBigDumbDog?"

Success! Things go fairly smoothly until we reach the parents’ house. They weren’t home, and we were all locked out. After breaking in, what followed was a four-hour search for the damn tent. Also the camping chairs. Also the sleeping bags.
At least we found the dog easily enough!
Too bad we couldn’t find his leash.

He wasn’t trained well enough to be off-leash, so we had to leave him on the 30-foot logging chain they used to keep him in the yard. The links were as big as my wrist, and the whole thing had to weigh over forty pounds.

The parents’ house is a pigsty and stinks like rotting garbage, so I can’t bear to stay inside for long. I now understand why the siblings live like they do. I read my book in the car because there is literally nothing I can do to help find stuff in a house I’ve never been to.

I regret coming, but grimly tell myself that this might still be okay. I snarl and snap under my breath at both of them that I have never seen such a display of utter incompetence.

They declare they have found everything they needed. Everything from the trunk gets loaded into the back seat, and the trunk is filled with firewood.

At Last, we load up the dog and head out.

By ‘load up’ the dog, I mean we force his thrashing, protesting 70-pound frame through the door of the car, and struggle not to let him escape while we try to get in ourselves.

About Demon the dog: He is ostensibly half Lab and half Husky, with possibly a bit of Blue Heeler. He is very big and very strong. He is mostly black, except his paws and a patch of his chest. His ears are his cutest feature. They are longer than you’d expect. The top third folds down like Labrador ears, while the bottom two thirds are erect like a Husky’s. This gives them a sort of bunny-ish look that is cute as all get out. Demon’s main feature is his eyes. They’re bright orange. Not traffic-cone neon, but fruit-orange, or the color of blinker lights on a car. At night, they glow bright red in artificial light.

On the road, Demon is ping-ponging around the car like a hyperactive rubber ball. He’s on the dashboard, on the floor, in the back seat (the side that isn’t packed with crap), in the front seat, in the rear window, straddling the front and back seat, wagging his tail into the driver’s eyes. He makes rounds, sticking his head out of every available window, and then trying to jump out of them, the whole time dragging the muddy logging chain behind him.  We make sure to keep the windows rolled up enough that he couldn’t actually jump out, but that didn’t stop him from repeatedly trying. We couldn’t roll them up all the way, because it had been raining and the dog was wet. Also, Brandy has BO.

Demon continues stomping on the driver’s testicles every few minutes, while launching himself full force into everyone’s lap to stick his head out the window. Said driver ends up with his arms wrapped completely around the dog to reach the steering wheel, his head doing a constant bobbing and weaving to try and see around the big furry body that will. Not. Stay. Still.
At this point, I am laughing so hard that I’m sobbing. I declare that this alone has made the trip worth it.

We pass a cop.
Demon farts. It smells so bad, we think he actually shit in the car.
We instantly pull over and bail out.
The cop pulls up behind us.

Thankfully, we convince him that we’re not doing anything wrong, and he goes on his way.

We finally reach the campground.
They can’t figure out how to pay and get a sticker. We give up, risk getting fined, and drive to find a site.

Basically, there aren’t any. They hadn’t called ahead, and the place was PACKED. We end up in the furthest-from-the-river spot there is, in the furthest RV parking circle, even though we have no RV.
No big deal.

We tie Demon to a post, and unload the car. It’s nearly dusk.
They hadn’t brought a tarp, and it was supposed to rain. I roll my eyes. This whole thing is still salvageable (optimism!).

Demon pees all over my cooler.

We unpack the tent. 2 out of 4 of the tent poles were missing. One of the poles belonged to a completely different tent. I take over, and end up using the non-matching tent pole and a folding chair to prop up the ends of the tent. They didn’t bring a hammer, so we end up using firewood to pound in the stakes.

The tent looks ridiculous.

Me: “It looks like a bunch of retards decided to go camping.” *sigh* “Where are the sleeping bags?”
There were no sleeping bags, despite somebody’s insistence that he was certain he remembered carrying them to the car. So we had Brandy’s one blanket and our three pillows.

I’m determined to get something out of this, so I change into the swimsuit.
Forgot to bring shorts. Whatever, but I've also neglected shaving.

Brandy lends me her shorts. She weighs, like, 400 lbs. The drawstring on the shorts wraps three times around my waist before they even pretend to stay up. I match Brandon, who wrapped Demon’s giant logging chain around himself a few times to get rid of the excess length.

The beach is too damn crowded to let Demon offleash. It’s raining again, and the thunder makes swimming a bad idea. I’m bored stiff. The mosquitoes are swarming, and even though I brought sunscreen (in spite of their protests that I didn’t need to), they forgot both sunscreen and bugspray.

They give up, and go to Gregory to find Naomi, the ultimate doomsday prepper, and get the stuff they forgot. They also pick up a few of their friends.

I’ve had it with them, so I elect to stay behind with Demon so they don’t have to bring him.
They leave. I finish my book, the boredom increases and I start wishing that I was anywhere else.

Then I see Demon trotting by the tent, dragging his big chain behind him. I don’t know how the hell he got loose.

Catching him was less difficult than it could have been. We only knocked down half the tent in the process. I take him on a looooooooong walk (half-hoping that they’ll return while I’m gone, and panic thinking that I just took off with him). The muddy, sandy fifty-freakin-pound chain is wrapped around my waist and over my shoulders four times. I get sand in my shoes and swimsuit in the worst way.
Half-healed nipple piercings + very coarse sand = ouch.
And I can’t even take off the shoes because the term ‘beach’ is accurate in only the loosest definition of the term.
He drags me all over the damn place, the chain is SO HEAVY, the giant shorts keep trying to fall down, and I start crying a little inside.

We get back, I tie demon back up, but he’s too scared of water to drink any when I try to give him some. (a long story that I don’t feel like telling.) I go to the restroom. As I’m coming back, Demon growls at me territorially. Out loud I actually look at the sky and say “COME. ON.”
Demon finally recognizes me, looks sheepish, and slinks under the picnic table.

The others get back, they say they brought a tent from Naomi and three sets of tent poles. They forgot the bugspray, but thankfully I had spent some of my boredom killing most of the bugs in the tent.

We unroll the new tent. Not. A. Single. Tent. Pole.

I laugh.

We go to start the fire. Thankfully, everyone smokes, so there’s no shortage of lighters. But the firewood is wet, each piece is twice as long as the diameter of the fire pit, and there is no kindling.
There’s also no hatchet.
Or knife.
The idiots attempt idiotic things with brake fluid and other toxic but ostensibly flammable fluids.
Thankfully, one of the new people is a firebug. She uses the cardboard from the beer carton to light the fire. My eye twitches as I watch as the fire roar several inches outside the fire pit in all directions.                         
I decide death by fire is preferable to putting up with people any longer, and crawl into the tent to nap. I wake to hear Brandon worrying about how I’m upset with him, and in all likelihood I’m going to grab Demon in the middle of the night and leave, and he’d never see either of us again.

Food is prepared.
We hadn't brought a pan, but Naomi had sent one!
There is no can opener, and no tinfoil for Mexican S’mores. Therefore - burgers.

Somehow someone gets a can of beans open. They go for the bag jammed with various kinds of plastic silverware.
Not. One. Single. Fork.

I don’t eat, but I do go back outside the tent, and try to be pleasant. It turns out the grass DID catch on fire from the too-long firewood, but they put it out in time. I chat with one about Bleach. Three of us leave the others and walk Demon again, this time in the middle of the night. Fireflies! So many fireflies! One girl catches a few.

We get back. Brandy, whose idea this whole trip was, bails with one of the others to go sleep at someone else’s place.
Later, the other two decide they don’t want to sleep here either. We douse the fire, but not before throwing all our garbage, including accidentally the collection of fireflies, onto it first.

Everyone else had been drinking, so I got to drive. I was the only one who was unfamiliar with the roads, having never been there before. The others were all locals, of course.
Everyone piles back into the car, including the huge project of forcing Demon inside. I begin to drive. The fog is so thick I can’t even see the road three feet in front of my headlights. Horses and cows loom in the road. Demon helpfully starts licking my ear.

We crawl along. The twenty-minute trip takes well over an hour.
Demon steps on the power-window and gets his head stuck, nearly strangling himself before we figure out how to roll it back down
Everyone else gets dropped off. Brandon, Demon, and myself get gas and go back.

The return trip was a Bunny-pocalypse.
In the scant few inches I could see, at least eight rabbits threw themselves under my wheels, and a few less identifiable things scurried away. Thankfully no deer. And the escaped cows and horses, while uncomfortably close, stayed on the side of the road.

We get back to the campsite at 4:30 AM, chain Demon to the picnic table, and collapse onto the blanket that Brandy helpfully left.
We’re asleep in seconds.

This started out more smoothly. Brandon and I woke and freed Demon from where he had gotten his chain so tangled that he was strangling himself. I start the fire with the wet firewood, garbage from the car, a roll of paper towels, and scavenged pine needles. (Go me!)
Brandon gets a call. It’s his mother telling him there’s a tornado coming.
We break camp, shove a struggling Demon into the car, and get the hell out.

We end up at Naomi’s to give her crap back. Brandon wants to stay all day, or as long as he can until my patience runs out, I inform him that my patience with people ran out multiple hours ago, and if he didn’t want me to go on a murderous rampage, we would leave NOW.
A few hours after that, we were back on the road to his parents’ house. We only forgot a few things at Naomi’s house.
We reach his parents’ house. The parents are not there, and Brandy is with them. I suggest we simply take Demon to Mitchell, and act surprised when she calls, saying we thought he was Brandy.

My great idea was shot down.

A few hours after THAT, the parents and Brandy finally show up.
The parents were fucking terrible. A constant stream of bitching by daddy dearest from the moment they got out of the truck to the moment we left. Whenever one of us would try to get a word in edgewise, he would simply talk over us. The Dad-hole brags that their dogs didn’t have their shots, they ‘never been to the vet a day in their lives’, and ‘they take care of themselves’.

I fantasize about caving his face in with a crowbar.

FINALLY back on the road. Brandon is more upset than I’ve ever seen him. He says they’re usually nicer around guests. And upset that they hadn’t even asked my name. (I hadn’t even noticed.)
Back in Mitchell. Home at last, right??

April storms out of the apartment complex as I’m getting out of the car, screeching that she needs Brandon to fix her AC and jumpstart her car and also she’s so upset about almost killing her brother’s kitten. Brandon looks like he’s hit the end of his rope, so I gently snag her elbow and lead her away. I take off my shoes to climb up on her couch, I look at her AC and tell her it can be fixed, but her car’s probably totaled. Then I go upstairs, forgetting my shoes.
She’s in a full-blown tantrum, but I disengage and finally collapse into bed.

The next day, Brandon shows up at my place. I mentioned something about “saving your ass from April yesterday”.
He said “Yes, but it cost you.”

Apparently, she had seen my shoes abandoned on her floor, freaked the fuck out, called the police, and reported a break-in. The cops bagged and tagged my shoes and hauled them off to the station, and are now looking for the owner to arrest/question me.
No good deed goes unpunished.

She’s been up here several times since, asking to use my bike pump. I silently hand it to her and close the door in her face. The most recent time, she begged me to come do it for her, and then when I refused, she never brought the pump back.


So that was that story.  Next time I shall post either about the Awesome(ish)Trip to Minneapolis, or the Car Troubles that Wiped Out Every Cent of My Savings and also the next four months of spending money. (Spoiler: the gas light came on as I was driving away from the mechanic’s shop!)
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ACT and EAT [01 May 2014|08:49am]
Because I needed a less depressing post.

My family's competitive (understatement of the century)
Now all us kids have taken the ACTs
Kid 1 (me) - 33, didn't retake (because WHY would I?)
Kid 2 - 31 first, 32 on retake
Kid 3 - 32, resisting retaking (I'm working on it)

See, this could be so much fun. If Kid 3 retakes and equals or exceeds his score, then we could make kid 2's life into hell. We'll do it anyway, but he'll have the argument that he and #3 are tied at 32. #2's just been accepted into med school, and we can call it 'special ed', to which he rides the short bus, and he'll officially be 'the stupid kid'.

We're not very nice.

I don't even mind that kid 3 might tie me. We're so far apart in age and I have so much affection for him that the competition level is relatively low. Also even if he ties, I'll still have gotten 33 on my first try. And if he beats me on a retake, I can argue that since both kids #2 and #3 raised their scores on the retake, then it stands to reason that I would have raised my score as well. I win!

Did I mention this family's competitive? (I will ALWAYS remember The Ping-pong Game Of Death at a family reunion. It may or may not have been Paul and Uncle John. But basically anyone from that side of the family could have been in there.)

Another random note on my relatives. Someone from a military family frequently tells me that I "eat like a soldier" (Neat, efficient and above all else FAST), which confuses me, since we're generally too pigheaded to join conformity school (the military). My mother may have figured out the answer... we're a farm family. Since my relatives still eat like everyone has to hurry and get the crops in for the year... I guess us kids picked up on it.
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Rant [30 Apr 2014|10:23pm]
How today sucked. Let me count the ways…Bitch bitch rant bitch moanCollapse )

The final dollop of suck is that I couldn't even make this post entertaining :(

Upside - the odds are greatly in favor of tomorrow sucking much less.
Silver lining!
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There is a blog. And I will post in it! [23 Feb 2014|07:28pm]
I've just spent the last hour tracking down the best three seconds in the Buffyverse: "Jenna Edwards - Trailer Girl"
(Which is not to be confused with the best line in the Buffyverse, which is "I had a chance to examine the body while the police were taking witness arias")

So, Trailer Girl

That was an odd choice of titles. I would have gone with "abused girl" myself. But she also really stands out for being the only 'potential' slayer who was fat. I couldn't even really tell that she was supposed to be in a trailer, rather than a small apartment or something. Anyway, surprisingly little has been written online about her. I'm rather disappointed.

Disclaimer: my taste is questionable. This disappointment comes from the same person who thinks the best line in South Park is "Dude, did Cartman just crap treasure?", and the best thing about Futurama was the bureaucrat song. So grain of salt and all that.
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Jeeeeeeeeeesus! [22 Feb 2014|08:03pm]
Yes, I'm posting about religion (shush, it's been a VERY long day/week/month)

This is really all I've got right now. Seriously. I think the fever last week permanently cooked my brain.


Now, I’m about as atheist as it gets, but for some reason I decided to read through the ‘red letter’ bible looking for what ‘Jesus’ directly commands. Then I got bored, gave up, and looked elsewhere for someone who already did it for me. It’s a rather surprising list, especially when excluding indirect commandments.

So this guy has the chapter/verse quotes:

A bunch of them are re-stating the same thing, so I might as well condense it.
I’ve narrowed it down to eleven (and a half) direct commands:

1- Do not resist or retaliate when you are wronged. Rejoice instead
2- Do not seek money, property, or praise
3- Reconcile / settle grievances / make amends to those you’ve wronged
4- State your intentions without making promises
5- Do/give more than what is asked of you, always and for everyone. And never charge interest.
6- Keep your worship out of the public sphere, and beware religious professionals
7- Do not worry about your daily needs or about the future
8- Dismember yourself (lop off sinful body parts)
9- Don’t judge/condemn/criticize others, since you are imperfect
10- Do unto others as you’d have them do[...]
11- Be ‘like god’, live ‘a godly life’, choose ‘the narrow way’, and ask God for things to get them.
Then there’s this one:
M.7:6 If you try to minister the things of the Spirit on your own, you will bring the holy things of God into contempt, unnecessarily making enemies in the process. As Uncle Joe says it, "If you get to people before God does, you're wasting your time."

(What in the blue hell does that even mean?)

Anyway, I rather like the list, even though I don't follow a lot of it.

Non-resistance to violence and cruelty was/is revolutionary. It still doesn’t break the cycle, but it’s the closest thing we’ve got so far.

Greed is bad. Generosity is good. Forgiveness, reconciliation, and love. I’m not as extreme and revolutionary as 'Jesus' on these things, but I agree with the principle.

So far so good…

I really like the promises vs stating intentions one. I’m not sure it’s so big or revolutionary that it’s worth being one of the few direct commands from the primary deity of a major religion, but I fully agree with the concept. Life is unpredictable and you can’t guarantee anything.

The golden rule is universally good…

The ‘god will provide’ ones are laughably false. On one hand, stress about the future isn’t the most productive use of one’s energy, but that doesn’t mean you can just ignore your future. And no, prayer is not a good way to get anything but disappointment**.

Then there’s the public worship.

I completely and wholly agree that making a public show of one’s religion is empty, and that people with careers in religion are nothing more than parasites. Public religion serves only to glorify oneself and manipulate the especially stupid who believe one's declaration of following the majority religion actually means anything. The only slack I’ll give this one is minority faiths (and not-faiths) which are marginalized. Those with the privilege to ‘come out’ and suffer few consequences are justified in doing so, because normalization and public exposure is the best way to combat discrimination. Other than that? It's a tribal thing deliberately designed to exclude the already excluded. Not cool.

Yeah, seriously. This is all I've got for now.

**Some people get some kind of psychological boost from wishing/talking to the air. (I can’t say much about this because I’ve never experienced it no matter how hard I've tried.) What I was talking about with this statement was the concept of ‘ask God ANYTHING and it WILL be provided to you’. To that I say: Pffft! That is so absurd it’s almost funny.
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Needles of varying sizes (Redux) [10 Feb 2014|06:15pm]
Every tattoo I've ever gotten has come with different instructions, so the ointment worked just fine thankyouverymuch.
Unfortunately, I'm still driving the donut.

But none of that matters. I justify this stupid update thus: Now, I'm sure SOMEONE must have done this before, but...

If I had to choose a battle cry, it would totally be "Retreat!"

Confusing? Hilarious? Meta? The most obnoxious thing ever?
It's completely me.
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Needles of varying sizes [25 Jan 2014|05:42pm]
Wait, I have a LJ?



I guess I have one thing to talk about - 10 of the last 24 hours have been spent getting some serious body modification (okay, a significant amount of that was spent sitting around and waiting between things). So now I've got inked skin and titanium rings in unnatural places. I also have a flat tire, although I hope no needles were involved in that particular annoyance. Still, makes it impossible to get to the store and buy antibiotic CREAM instead of what I have, which is OINTMENT. Apparently, this is a big deal, so my new pretties are just hanging naked and exposed until I figure something out. And it's surprisingly hard to find unscented lotion without E or aloe.
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State Mottos [09 Jan 2014|05:28pm]
In the last year or so, I remember reading a few posts ranking (US) state birds and national flags. They were quite entertaining to read, so in the spirit of boredom and “I don’t have errands to run for a few hours”, I decided to try my hand at it. I am neither a birder, a graphic designer, nor a botanist, so I’m deciding between ‘state animal’ and ‘state motto’. I randomly picked state mottos, but I might do animals at some point in the future.
Without Further Ado
A - Good!
B - Okay
C - Either boring, confusing, or mixed results
D - Bad
F - Terrible

Onward!Collapse )

So, from a quick recount that I'm not going to double check because it's close enough and I have errands to run...
A – 11
B - 10
C - 15
D – 6
F - 8 7
(M -1)

I'd say that's some pretty solid work by the drunk politicians. Overall, they pass!

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Hobbit Games [07 Jan 2014|09:49pm]
Ah, movie blogging. The last resort of uncreative people who have nothing interesting to say.

HobbitCollapse )

I was also going to blog about The Hunger Games, and possibly braces, but it seems I ran out of time. Oops! The Hobbit has been one of my favorite time sucks since childhood, and it shows in my endless yakking.
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We owe it to you to pepper your puppy* [04 Jan 2014|07:24pm]
New game introduced to me by my kid bro. - Whenever you feel a sneeze coming on, say "PIKA" right before sneezing, if timed right, this is the most awesome thing ever. I told him that from now on I'm going to do that in public every chance I get. He said the best one he ever got was in class at school. I've never been so proud.

A couple more Dan notes that nobody but me will ever care about, but which I want to get down anyway.
-He figured out he's an 'oops' kid, but I reassured him that he's everyone's favorite.
-To repay him for the pikachu sneeze game, I introduced him to Gigglypuff (giga bowser with jigglypuff's moveset on smashbros) from the cracked article. He wuz grateful.

Also I see I missed Ace's birthday last week. Alas.

*from the 'keyboard' xkcd what-if. I nearly pulled something laughing at that one.
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Logic Fail [01 Jan 2014|02:57pm]
The rampant stupid in the world often surprises me.

Once in a while, someone will link to an article on lesswrong.com The articles are very intelligent and high-quality, so I decided to visit the main page. Reading the front page, I didn’t recognize the term “conjunction fallacy”, and clicked on it.
We are given this:


Bill is 34 years old.  He is intelligent, but unimaginative, compulsive, and generally lifeless.  In school, he was strong in mathematics but weak in social studies and humanities.
A:  Bill is an accountant.
B:  Bill is a physician who plays poker for a hobby.
C:  Bill plays jazz for a hobby.
D:  Bill is an architect.
E:  Bill is an accountant who plays jazz for a hobby.
F:  Bill climbs mountains for a hobby.
Take a moment before continuing to rank these six propositions by probability, starting with the most probable propositions and ending with the least probable propositions.  Again, the starting description of Bill is assumed true, but the six propositions may be true or untrue (they are not additional evidence) and they are not assumed mutually exclusive or exhaustive.


I had a moment of obedience, and did exactly as asked. My logic was thus:

My first deduction was that hobbies are more likely than careers, since a person can have multiple hobbies, but generally only one career at a time. So the most likely are the jazz hobby and the mountain climbing. C and F.
Second are the single careers – Accountant and architect. A and D
Last in likelihood are the career-hobby combinations – Physician/poker and accountant/jazz. B and E

The description of “Bill” comes into play when deciding between C/F, A/D, and B/E.
Unimaginative, compulsive, lifeless, good at math and bad in humanities.

Between C and F, I don’t know how common each of these hobbies are in the general populace (Bill’s location would be helpful here). Jazz is likely cheaper, unless you live near mountains, and while jazz is played by some people throughout the world, it’s largely found in certain parts of the US. So without further information this approach yields nothing.

I assume that most people think ‘jazz musician’ is highly unlikely. However, I know that music is extremely mathematical, and mountain climbing isn’t remotely structured or predictable, so there’s not as much of a probability gap as most people think. I still have to come down on the side of mountain climbing being more likely, but this is pure instinct, not logic.

Now I have F, C, A/D, B/E.

The likelihood of A and D is easier. Architecture uses a lot of math in its art, but accounting is pure math and no art. There are also (I assume) more accountants than architects in any given population. Accounting is more likely.

F, C, A, D, B/E.

Deciding between B and E was much harder. Physician who plays poker vs accountant who plays jazz.
Again, most people would think poker more likely than jazz for someone who is “unimaginative, compulsive, lifeless ... strong in mathematics but weak in social studies and humanities.” And again, I disagree.

Playing poker takes a LOT of people skills, imagination, and personality to do well. One must bluff convincingly, intimidate and trick and coerce. Also, someone strong in maths would realize that an “unimaginative” and “lifeless” poker player is simply wasting money. And again, I don’t know the proportions of poker players to jazz players in the general population of… wherever Bill lives. In the end, I’d counter-intuitively put jazz above poker as a likely hobby.

Working with numbers seems more likely than working with people, so accountant above physician, leading to my conclusion of E being more likely than B.

F, C, A, D, E, B

Okay, I complied, did as I was told, so I read on to the conjunction fallacy…


In a very similar experiment conducted by Tversky and Kahneman (1982), 92% of 94 undergraduates at the University of British Columbia gave an ordering with A > E > C.  That is, the vast majority of subjects indicated that Bill was more likely to be an accountant than an accountant who played jazz, and more likely to be an accountant who played jazz than a jazz player.
The ranking E > C was also displayed by 83% of 32 grad students in the decision science
program of Stanford Business School,
all of whom had taken advanced
courses in probability and statistics.


I weep for humanity.
This is common? There are people who do this? Not just ordinary dumbasses, but the majority of Stanford Business School grad students??? Now excuse me while I headdesk repeatedly.
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Random things [05 Dec 2013|09:25pm]
I got my bead loom back, and tons of new and exciting glass seed beads.......................... and managed to lose all my beading needles. *facepalm*

Thankfully, I also found the yarn I've been looking for for months, so the Endless Rainbow Project is keeping my hands busy.

Haven't smoked in 9 days. I am going completely crazy, but then that's nothing new. (Why did I start again? Oh yeah - I was stuck in a halfway house, court-ordered, unable to leave the grounds even for work, for months on end. ANYone would have died of boredom.)
So... cravings are so bad that I'm considering going out in the subzero night to get a pack.

Got my chipped tooth fixed today. No novocain. Holy mother of OUCH. Otherwise no cavities that haven't already been filled. I keep chipping that front tooth because of the severe overlap in the bottom teeth... so I decided I'm probably getting braces, even though I'll be paying for them out of pocket. (But I'll admit that a good deal of my motivation is simple vanity)

Dan walked Tim yesterday. Not because of the Dog Whisperer, no, but because - as he told my mother - 'he said he wants to be the favorite'. That is too cute for words. I thought my mother was the one I convinced to walk him, since I can control him so well and she thought my being his favorite person might have something to do with it. I told her that no matter what ends up happening, it's Tim that wins in the end. Yay, dog walking!

What else? Mom's impressed with my zombie apocalypse kit / trunk full o' gear. Father got his prostate poked full of holes (biopsied), but no word back on what might be wonky. Bud's grumpy and teaching classes at USD.
Business as usual really.
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Updates!!! [04 Dec 2013|05:51pm]
Wow, there's a whole ton of them. Yet I don't really care to write any of it down? I guess it'll be useful for hindsight, so I don't have to wonder about various timings.
Warning - Post contains gore.
Re-reading this bored even ME.Collapse )

*Usually it takes a few days after butchering before you can stomach the taste of the meat. (...or at least that preference runs in my family)

**My xmas decorations consist of a single 4-inch tree on the coffee table. Until next year, the deer skull retired to my geology/minerals/seashells bookcase.
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On Pranks [08 Nov 2013|08:36am]
Hey, I thought of an update!

Shakesville has problems with pranks.

Well, I have a different opinion.

I can't comment there, because any shadow of disagreement in any way whatsoever will violate the 'safe space' and get you banned. So here it is.

Don't get me wrong, the pranks that Liss describes are horrible and not amusing in the slightest, because they hurt real people. However, they don't have to be that way.

In Florida, my Grandpa's huge, enormous, tight-knit family loves pranks, but not the mean kind of pranks. When I was there, the pranks involved:

1. Saying they're bringing an extra 'guest' to Thanksgiving - the guest was a life-size cutout of George W Bush.
2. Leaving a large inflatable flamingo in someone's bathtub.
3. Smuggling a toilet onto someone's front lawn overnight.

Surrealist pranks? Those are awesome. Pranks don't have to be cruel.

Also from Shakesville:

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Nooooo.... [20 Oct 2013|07:42am]
I refuse to let this journal die again, and if that means turning it into an extension of my fanfic account, then so be it!

Adventures in fanart
Ooh, shinyCollapse )

EDIT TO ADD: I might as well put in a canon image of 'haki' for reference -

so there's Shanks and the first-ever seen use of haoshoku haki in the OP canon. IMO it's also the best one that translates into a still frame. The above fanart does it nearly as well.
2 comments|post comment

OP again [06 Oct 2013|11:26pm]
I can't stop! I can't seem to help it, but I can't stop!

Well, at least now I know why.

Apparently, my subconscious was poking me relentlessly and telling me HEY NOTICE THIS.

Anyway, some of the best fighters in the show are left handed (Zoro! SHANKS!) And the hottest guy in the series, by far, walking shirtless scene/tattoos/everything... is narcoleptic. Seriously? I know my narcolepsy has an extremely atypical presentation, and his is played as a joke for laughs, but, but HOLY HELL. How did I not notice it sooner? The sex-on-legs character has the same disability that I do? Holy crap!

By the by, I'll still never forgive the series for killing him off. Or Whitebeard. Whitebeard was the shit. It's a good thing fandom is around to fix things.

(I wanted so badly to use the Zoro icon for this post, but alas, the Juri one was just too appropriate.)
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Adventures in Boredom [28 Sep 2013|10:58pm]
*knock knock*

Me: Hey

Him: Hey

Me: So was today any better than your bad day yesterday?

Him: *blank stare*

Me: Don't tell me it was worse

Him: It was worse

Me: Anything I can do?

Him: It depends. We finally got my brother moved out, and the house is completely empty except for my bed and tv. I still don't know where I'm going to live, and I'm so bored I want to die.

Me: That's rough.

Him: I was thinking about asking you for a blowjob just so I'd have something to do.

Me: Nice. You sure know how to make a girl feel special.

Him: Yeah I know.

(extended pause)

Me: Not happening.

Him: Okay, then I'll grab my computer and go home and watch porn or sext some girl or something.

Me: Have fun.

Him: No, I'm just bored and I hate the house when it's empty. I'd invite you over, but there's absolutely nothing to do.

Me: Oh hey, I have some bubble wrap.

Him: *indescribable facial expression, equal parts wonder, relief, hope, and begging*

Me: *eye roll* *gets bubble wrap* Here ya go

Him: Can I take my computer too?

Me: Dude, it's your computer. I was just watching Buffy reruns on netflix anyway.

Him: *glomp* *smooch* *leaves*


I was done lasering the hair off my bum anyway.

I'm kinda glad he didn't ask where the bubble wrap came from (an impulse-buy D-cest doujin, if you must know). I'm still working through the unexpected $100 windfall of my forgotten paypal account.

Oh my god how is this my life? I can't decide if it's awesome or if it's so bad that I should just throw in the towel and give up. I'm leaning towards the second one, but damn it, there are THINGS that NEED TO BE CREATED and nobody else is making them right! *grumbles* Maybe after I get those important political stories down and find a home for my finished collages... and less importantly I still have a few fanfic plotbunnies and and the music videos and maybe draw a few more pinups for fun...

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