Jan. 27th, 2011 @ 08:44 pm
Holy shit-- this thing is still here!|
Dec. 9th, 2009 @ 11:31 pm
Of Twitter and the ordinary
Apr. 14th, 2009 @ 03:34 am
Twitter sparks things. Tonight it sparked this thought: that most people don't feel the story of their lives is worth telling, that the story of what is ordinary is not anything in which anyone could have any interest. It occurred to me that I don't believe in the existence of the ordinary.|
I used to, and I used to firmly place myself in that category. I still, to this day, disavow compliments with the phrase "I'm only me," implying that I am nothing extraordinary. I realised tonight, however, that I've discarded the idea of "ordinary" as fallacious. Maybe this marks me as an idealist, who knows? Maybe it means I'm finally moulding myself into the shape I want to be. If you want to be a storyteller, after all, it's fairly essential that you learn to recognise stories.
I never considered my life to be anything extraordinary. The more I think on it, however, the more I realise that it's had extraordinary moments, and that nobody's life is comprised of more than that. Some people have more of those moments than others, to be sure. Some people go out and create those moments for themselves, seize upon events around them and turn them into something mad and amazing; some people have those moments happen to them without their conscious interference, victims of caprice and happenstance. But all of us have them, to some degree or another, and it's those moments that are worth telling. It's those moments that make a life's story interesting enough to be told.
My life could be a novel. Parts of it would have to be excised, of course; parts emphasised or embellished, but the story so far isn't as boring as I used to believe.
Food for thought.
DC and the beginning of things.
Jan. 21st, 2009 @ 06:04 pm
A little troupe of us- myself, J. and my other J.- travelled to Washington yesterday, on the promise of festivities and fun, although we opted to skip the inauguration itself, as that was a bit too much of a zoo for any of us to handle (some of us do crowds better than others, y'see).|
We went to the Rock The Vote concert at the 9:30 Club, which is a impressively well-laid-out venue, and which was a memorable experience. Saw The Dresden Dolls perform, a first-time thing for all three of us, and it was a powerful show. Their set was short (all the performers were limited to something like half an hour), but well-chosen, and their encore cover of War Pigs (dedicated to the outgoing Bush administration) brought a roar of laughter and enthusiastic agreement from the crowd.
We had balcony seats. We had a perfect view. We got some fantastic pictures, which will be uploaded and posted here sometime tomorrow. We prowled around after their set, although not in time to catch AFP and Brian Viglione at the merchandise booth, which sucked, as I wanted to meet Brian v. badly.
I wanted to meet Amanda, too.
And I did. She's just as awesome in person as she seems from musicblogpicturesvideos. It's a good thing I have absolutely no shame, or we probably wouldn't have had this chance, but the three of us had given up on finding the Dolls in the crowded club and had gone outside. We were lurking on the corner, trying to sort out what we wanted to do- Thing One wanted to find Thing Two some food and sobering influence, Thing Two wanted to find a barrel-fire and the makings for s'mores- when a pair of people exited the club and came around the side of the building where we stood. I wasn't sure if it was AFP or not- this is the effect of the common hoodie, you see- so I called her name. I honestly wasn't figuring on it being her.
Except it was, and I am now officially the best girlfriend ever, because AFP, who was clearly trying to duck out unnoticed and probably go somewhere warm with a bed, was superbly gracious enough to stand and chat with us for a couple of minutes while she waited on her ride, who went on ahead to get the car. That made the entire evening worth it. It had been a good enough time anyway, and we would have come home happy we'd gone, but those few minutes gave it the extra impetus to bump the excursion from 'good day away from it all' to 'right up there in the top ten vacations', brief as it was. Thing One couldn't talk in a register low enough for the human ears for roughly forty-five minutes after we went our separate ways from AFP.
She really is incredibly gracious. For all that we get told 'famous people are still people', I don't know a lot of them who'd take five minutes to chat in the frigid cold, at one in the morning, with a group of people they'd never before met in their life, as though they're old friends. Especially given I suspect we were all just ticking off the fangirl/boy stereotypes as we went along.
But it was a good conversation. We talked about tour dates and food and how record labels are Satanspawned cesspits (my phrasing, if it needs saying, and not hers), and how Chapel Hill is a great place to come play music. Hint, hint, hint. Not as close as, say, Greensboro (HINT HINT HINT!) but close enough to make me smile sweetly at my boss and demand the evening off or else.
No, not really. Extortion's not my thing. But I'm not above bribery. Just sayin'.
And that was awesome. But it wasn't what really made the trip such a blissfully good one.
What really made the trip worth going was... atmosphere. Everywhere we went in DC, on the metro, in the streets, in restaurants and the venue, everyone was happy. Bouyantly, exuberantly happy. The hope and relief were a nearly-tangible thing, and it was everywhere. I've been to DC before, and people just don't talk to each other; strangers don't really strike up conversations for no good reason other than there's someone sitting next to them on the Metro, but last night, just about everyone we saw was smiling, and just about everyone I spoke to spoke back. People were friendly. People were laughing. People looked at each other and saw, instead of obstacles to the Metro door or an object taking up a valuable seat or a faceless entity to be ignored in case of rapist/murderer/used car salesman- other people. Human beings, worth really looking at and speaking with, worth sharing a few precious minutes of their lives with, simply because they were together in the same place by happenstance, and because yesterday was a Damn Good Day.
Fuck; that ought to be a song. AFP, you on that? Oh, wait.
Isn't this special.
Dec. 18th, 2008 @ 05:33 pm
This is preposterous.|
The practice of medicine ought to be- and supposedly is- based on the ideal of universal compassion, regardless of personal feeling. A truly ethical doctor will treat any patient, whether or not he or she happens to agree with that person's beliefs, sexual orientation, personal lifestyle etc. Any doctor who would even consider refusing someone treatment, for whatever reason, shouldn't be in the damned medical field in the first place. They're not in it for the right reasons. That refusal alone ought to be grounds for malpractice.
Worse, the wording of this legislation covers not just doctors but any of their staff. If the receptionist decides he or she doesn't like your piercings or tattoos, or suspects you're gay, or thinks maybe you vote for a party she doesn't like, this legislation gives him or her a free pass to simply not book you an appointment. It'll never even get to the point where you've got to convince the doctor you're not evil incarnate. He or she simply should not have that right.
Need a prescription filled? Pray your pharmacist doesn't have any personal objections to you. This legislation covers his or her ass if he/she decides to refuse you your meds.
The federal penalty for a medical group (rightly) chastising any practitioner who does this reveals the corroded basis for the current medical field: the government will withhold funding. As in everything else: follow the money. That the federal government expects this to be effective legislation reveals the truth about the sort of medical practitioners who'd find refuge in it. They're in it for the money and nothing else.
The scope of this legislation is ambitious and infuriating. Anyone from surgeons and physicians all the way down to the janitor suddenly have their bigotry and prejudices not only protected but tacitly condoned by federal law, enacted by a pseudo-conservative God-botherer of a president and his ethics-challenged administration.
How much you want to bet the first time a gay doctor refuses care to someone like Fred Phelps, though, the hue and cry is deafening?
|» Oooh, LJ|
Fuck you, LJ. Fuck you dead.|
Wtf is up with the whole the-longer-you-type-in-the-update-box-the-laggier-gets-the-cursor thing? It's kind of silly, donchaknow, to have to type up an entry in Word or Notepad or whatever and then c/p the whole thing into the field. It's aggravating, damn you. THIS SHOULD NOT BE A TWO STEP PROCESS. DIAFKTHX. IJ doesn't do that. Nothing else in which I have to type long bits of text into a field does this. It's just y'all.
Comment notifications? You know, those things that pop into my inbox to tell me someone's trying to interact with me? Yeah, those should probably get to me on the same damn day as the thing is posted. Again, IJ doesn't seem to be having any issues with this. Er. You're oh for two now, dudes, with a mirror image over there in Squeaky's camp.
And now you won't load. At all. Anything. I managed my profile after three tries, but my friends list? Not so much. And that's annoying. Reading my flist is my method of decompression after work, and now I have to go and clean the damned catbox out still tense and stressed from work. THANK YOU LJ. Thank you sooooo much. How's that server move working out for you, then? And what's this? OMG. IJ LOADS JUST FINE. All of it. Every page. Profile; friends list; update page; everything BAM just like that. Check it out; the journal service that hasn't tried to anally, lubelessly rape its users with a pinecone in the last, oh, ever is working just fine zomg!
FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE, you bunch of assholes.
Also, the new profile page sucks ass. In case enough people hadn't told you that by now. Twerps.
|» Elitism, o noes!|
President-elect Obama is going against years of tradition by insisting on speaking in full sentences.|
"Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also." --AK Gov Sarah Palin*
*Warning: satire. May be incomprehensible or dangerously subversive to the incurably humourless. Take only the recommended dosage; do not operate heavy machinery; consult a physician if symptoms persist.
|» I remember winter.|
It's snowing. There are great, wet flakes of it drifting down out of an endless, lightless sky, and every one that touches me is like a sweet, soggy kiss from home, from the winters of my memory. I don't remember clearly, of course. What I remember is filtered, distilled, flashes like photographs, moving like something more. Softer, but with edges still sharp here and there, sharp enough to catch myself on and see it over again, once in a while.|
Winter nights are especially so. Maybe it's the clarity of the air. In winter, outside of the range of city-lights and vagueness, the air is so clear it hurts my head. I can see stars that perhaps I shouldn't be able to, stars that should be too far away, in unfamiliar patterns. Winter nights always feel like they are set aside out of time. Separate. Sacred. Not holy- that's too much to do with gods and religions, and I don't have much to do with that sort of thing (possibly in the hope that they'll have just as little to do with me)- but sacred, something special in and of itself, beyond the purview of any deity and its laws and dictums.
There was a night when I was maybe fourteen, and it had snowed. It was thick on the ground and unsullied yet, except for here and there the faint marks of birds' feet, or the lopsided four-point mark of a running rabbit. It had snowed and the air had cleared absolutely, and above me were the stars and the piercing moon. It wasn't full- it might have been just a bit past half full, but not by much- but it was gaspingly bright, bright as a knife edge, and it shone on the clean snow and lit the world as brilliantly as any sun. The shadows are different by moonlight of course, and the quality of light is, too. There's something in the cold blue-white of moonlight that can make anyone believe in magic.
I certainly did.
I couldn't sleep. I got up and, being fourteen and stupid, I didn't bother to properly dress, but I went outside in a long skirt and a loose sweater and no shoes and I stared up at the sky and a smooth-edged landscape unpoisoned by city lights, lit only by the moon, the stars, and the mirror that was the snow.
And I ran. I still don't know why. I had to; it was the only thing that made sense. I ran as fast as I could, leaned down like an ice skater over the whiteness beneath me, and everywhere in front of me the snow stretched, unbroken and clean, and behind me only my footprints, wider apart when I looked at them later than I think they could possibly have been. I must have been taking huge strides, but it felt good. I felt wild. I felt, for a few minutes, like I belonged to that night, that moon, those stars, that sheet of white. There was no other night like it. The moon would never be that moon, and those stars would never be those stars, and I would never be that much myself, never again, and that sense of belonging to it was a gift.
Winter memories are clear ones. They're memories of solitude and half-sleeping, and in that sleeping, finding something that I can't really touch the rest of the year, when it's sunnier and noisier and busier. The world settles in the winter, and I settle with it, and that's good for me.
And right now, it's snowing outside, under a sky that goes on forever without lights in it, without any interruption but the slowly falling, wet flakes, and it's good to remember.
|» Here I come a-beggin' |
So it's that time of year again.|
Some of you probably remember that last year I participated in the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for the Cure. It's one of the charities my company sponsors every year- there's quite a list, some of which I agree with more than others, of course. This is one I get behind, though. My grandfather had diabetes; my favourite jazz singer died of diabetes complications; I have friends and family still with the disease. I'll schlep myself four miles to raise money for the possibility of a cure. OD is the core corporate sponsor this year, and I'm a team captain, which means essentially I'm in charge of kicking peoples' butts into either walking or donating, and if they're walking, into harassing friends and family for funds.
Times this year are tight, though. :( (Tell me if this startles you.) I had intended to confine my cup-rattling to offline only, but I've had a hard time meeting my personal goal for fundraising. The walk itself is this Saturday, so my time's running out, and so I'm reneging on my half-promise to myself, and poking you guys. If you've got a spare couple of bucks (hur hur hur) would you think about tossing a little to me or one of my team? It's relatively painless, and I will shower you with praise, love, adoratoin, and if I can swing it, scantily clad men, women or both of your choice. Or, if that's not possible and the following is preferable, a pic of sexy me in a corset, all dolled up purdy-like, since a number of you lecherous bastards ♥ have insisited I post just such a thing for a while now. I am not above bribery (walkers and donators locally have been bribed with cookies and bread. The pumpkin bread, in particular, that gets me tackled when I bring it to work. I iz a gud bakr, I is!)
If you can't or don't wish to donate, can I beg for at least your fervent hopes and prayers that my fat ass survives the walk this Saturday? *wg*
Thank you, my darlings, for putting up with me.
|» So the NC DOT can bite me.|
Home from the beach. This should have been a four hour drive. Left Wilmington at a little before two in the afternoon. Finally walked in my own door at after 8:30 this evening.|
Stop and go traffic started about what should have been less than an hour outside of Raleigh/Durham. APPARENTLY some Mensa candidate at the DOT thought it would be a great idea to have, on THE MAJOR INTERSTATE ROUTE ACROSS THE STATE, in the evening on Labor Day, outside of the STATE CAPITOL, lane-blocking construction. Tuned in to the "for traffic information, try desperately to find this archaic AM radio band and listen to a recorded and slightly outdated message" thing, which said yo bitches, construction ahead between these two really far apart exits. I wasn't even near the exits listed and had been backed up in traffic for almost an hour.
I finally got off at an exit and bought a map, and took an alternate route. Went through the city itself, including 45mph and stoplights, and even given that I'm pretty sure it took less time than staying on I-40.
I know there are way bigger issues I could, and probably should, be bitching about, but at the moment, it's much more satisfying to whinge about the little things. The mood I'm in right now, focusing on the big things will make me go fetal in my closet for a few months, and we don't want that. Little bits of bitchery it is, then!
|» Oh, god.|
I was down in the basement earlier tonight, digging through boxes for something, and I stumbled across an old file folder of fanfiction. This'll be good for a giggle, thought I, and schlepped it upstairs with me when I was done rummaging. I've been paging through it since then.|
Oh, god. Oh, god. It's terrible. xD Embarassingly, distressingly, terribly, awkwardly cliched, horrible stuff. I can't decide if I want to laugh or cry or both, and the worst part is: other people have read this crap. Gawd, I was so proud of it all when I wrote it.
I may ceremoniously incinerate it all. It would be a kindness, really.
Or maybe I'll post some of the worst of it here for you lot to skewer. *wg*
|» (No Subject)|
He calls her mom.|
He slipped tonight. Said 'my mom and dad' when he was talking about my ex and the gf.
|» (No Subject)|
Gone camping for the weekend. Got off to a great start by skipping out on breakfast with friends and having a two hour argument on the phone.|
Probably unreachable till Monday. Have fun, kids.
|» Wow. The stuff you don't hear about.|
Did you know that Rep. Kucinich moved Monday to impeach Bush? I sure didn't. Only relatively known news link I can dig up on it, doing the casual search the average person would try, brings up that Slashdot article, and a Wikipedia page.|
Funny, that. A member of the House of Representatives calls for the impeachment of the President of the United States with thirty-five very serious articles of impeachment, and somehow, it's not news.
Excuse me, my society is broken. Can I have a new one, please?
|» Warning: shameless fangirling ahead.|
Tad Williams is a man of a brilliance I can't touch. I can write passingly well, I confess that much, but he creates, and does it on a level that is, I think, rare. Lots of people write, many of those tell excellent stories. Tad brings his people and his worlds to breathing life. I don't know how he does it. There's magic to it, in an older and more terrible sense of the word than legerdemain and Disney. Alchemy- he turns the lead of letter, syllable and phrase into a golden reality, one accessible only by turning pages and hoping he gives you more once you've done so.|
It's that quality that has me excited and more than a little anxious about one of his upcoming projects. He is collaborating with Paul Storey on a novel, written by Tad (er, obviously), illustrated with paintings by Paul, based on Wagner's Ring cycle. Tad and Paul have me a bit frightened over it. It holds much promise, and more than a little threat, because I know already what Tad can do. Coupling his talent with what Paul is offering... well.
The paintings make me uncomfortable. Paul is a fantastic artist, with the ability to evoke more than any typical "ooh isn't that a lovely picture" feelings with his work. Tad has been posting on his website sneak peeks of the Ring-based paintings, and I've been keeping tabs on them, and trying to articulate what it is they do to me. I'm not entirely sure I've managed to do so, but then again, I suspect it may never get clearer than this.
They're disturbing. I mean that they disturb the equilibrium and give me pause with a little shiver of discomfort. I can't say it's a bad thing, but it is a more than a bit off-putting. Think of dropping a stone in a pond: everything moves and shifts and looks different for a minute. The sky's reflection is broken and scattered, and for a moment you can sort of see what's lurking under the surface, whether you want to or not. The paintings do this to me. They are very dreamlike in their composition: forms and figures are distorted, stretched-seeming, with muted, muddled colours that here and there are marked with splashes of something more vivid and arresting. His subjects' expressions are withdrawn, resigned, caught in the story, I suspect, and aware of it. There are subtle references everywhere to things I think I ought to recognise but can't quite grasp: the linked limbs, for example, especially in Rhine Maidens (there is a symmetry to their linked arms that suggests something to my hindbrain that I cannot catch hold of); the wheel formed by the stretched bodies in The Voyage of Siegfried. I can touch the edges of these things, but I can't quite grasp them, not awake. The paintings touch something that stays asleep and dreaming once I wake up, and that part of me, I think, recognises the undercurrents and swims in them, whereas the rest of me is floundering on the surface. Is there a significance to the single edged cuff in The Bride? I don't know, and I'm not sure I want to find out-- but then again, I desperately want to know.
These paintings are haunting me.
Just like Tad's characters.
The two of them... they've got me worried. And very, very thrilled.
|» A-Kon 2008, belated|
So, not last weekend but the weekend before, I buggered off for Dallas, Texas, and spent the weekend wallowing in my own dorkery. Since I am lazy, rather than go over ground already covered I will point you here,to Becky's already-posted entry, and sit back, secure in the knowledge that someone else has already done most of the dirty work. Once I get my pics developed (putting a new battery in Largo ate up my developing money-that's sixty bucks I won't see again) I will post them here.|
Other things happened, as well-- I met the fantastic Contessa briefly before the Hellsing shoot; there was Texas barbeque (OMG YUM) and thrift-store shopping (found cool stuff at the Army/Navy store, including this leather pouch thing that nobody appears to be able to identify), antique-store shopping (found an awesome old sewing-attachments box that has all four sides hinged so when you open it, it lies down flat, and a couple of neat old photos that are going to be stories); there were going to be cemetary pictures but we ran out of time; there was dancing at The Church (a fantastic goth-themed club in Dallas, and why the hell don't they have those around here? I sulk). There was also drama but we are not going into that. There is always drama on trips. :D
All in all, I had a fantastic time. It gives me hope for Dragon*Con, which I am attending this year for the first time. Dave Tango! YAY!
|» Open letter to the gastro-bits.|
Dear stomach: You are not known for giving me heartburn. You and I, we have weathered Texas chili, North Carolina AND Tennessee barbecue, goat enchiladas from the Hispanic woman down the road from mom's house, and deep fried everything from questionable carnies. We have survived and thrived on Sri Lankan curry, even. In Sri Lanka. Why, therefore, do you feel the need now to bitch at me over a bottle of retsina and a few loukomades? Pls to be getting your shit together and remembering your teflon nature.|
In other news, this is pretty cool.