eruthros: A panel from a 1950s educational comic book showing a communist deflating -- I mean, blowing up, the Washington Monument (Communists!)
1. I deleted my facebook page a couple days ago and was so happy about it. They've been eroding privacy rules and controls steadily, as long as I've been there, and I've never really done anything with facebook, and it's not really my ideal internet social network because I don't really want to talk about politics with people I went to elementary school with and haven't seen since. But I kept being like, oh man, people might be pissed or think I'm a weirdo if I delete. But connections was the last straw, and anyway I am a weirdo. So now: delete delete delete! And I just felt this great relief, that I could now get angry at facebook's privacy policy changes without having to go and change all my privacy settings or delete stuff from parts of the profile or whatever.

2. Today in Dangling Modifiers:

"Keith learns that three of the Lilith House girls were in the area of the Dean's office around the time of his murder, which was egged by unknown assailants."

From the wikipedia Veronica Mars episode guide.

3. We had a mouse or possibly mice in the house! We just discovered it this morning, although it's likely been in off and on for a while -- the problem with rentals is that landlords often don't cover holes in the foundation, so in this house a mouse can come up from the basement where the pipe for the sink goes down. And so we cleaned everything and took everything out from below the sink and swept and moved the oven to clean behind it and promised to live lives of purity and cleanliness henceforth and not leave dishes out overnight for ... at least the next couple weeks. And also we did some things that involve harm to animals, so they are under this cut )

And now I'm going to talk a lot about narratives of poverty and also mention roaches )

Anyway, that is a story about household pests.
eruthros: Asterix comics: Fulliautomatix hit with a fish, captioned "thwap" (Asterix - fish thwap Fulliautomatix)
Or I could call it "[personal profile] eruthros wants to hit people with fish." Items one to three, anyway.

1. Oh my god, seriously? Rush Limbaugh says volcanic eruption in Iceland is God replying to the United States health care bill. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. Apparently God talks to America by grounding flights and stranding people in airports and toxic ash in Europe and the Northern Atlantic. (With global economic effects, but somehow I don't think that's what he's talking about.)

The degree to which I often want to hit some fellow Americans with fish and say "hey, guess what, the world STILL doesn't revolve around you" cannot be measured.

2. LJ is using javascript to mess with links again. Only this time, it's "transparent!" I do not think that means what they think it means.

3. Also on LJ, transfail in the writers block question, and then more transfail equating trans* folk to criminals.

4. In happier news, guys, I was so startled and pleased by this scene from numb3rs:



For a couple of reasons! One, I was a quiet David/Colby shipper back when I watched the show regularly -- there didn't seem to be much of a fandom for the pairing, and I wasn't all that into the show itself some of the time, so I just quietly imagined hugs. (But would happily take recs if there's a bigger fandom now!)

And two, because it feels like a scene that was written for comedy -- taking the dialogue and the blocking by themselves, it's kind of haha-gay-is-funny-as-if-these-two-guys-could-possibly-be-gay. But the actors and director don't let it go that way! They're like, no, Colby will pull out David's chair in a quiet way, nobody's going to lisp or do limp wrists, and so it ends up more sweet than poking-fun. David ttly can order wine for both of them! And Colby ttly knows that David doesn't want to order shellfish! Because they spend all of their time together! And should have hugs.

Which is to say, I have been watching the parts of numb3rs that I missed or happened after I stopped watching. And I have been surprised by how it's sometimes a thoughtful show! About rape and about the power of authority and about inciting terror by pretending to stop it and about how the FBI has screwed up sometimes! And how sometimes there are FOUR women on the show and THREE of them are women of color and they have conversations about WORK! And how Don goes to synagogue! And how Larry can be read as on the autism spectrum, and the rest of the characters think he's a little "weird" but everyone respects him and his thing for white food! And how Megan says, okay, Larry, if you want to schedule when we see each other so that dating isn't overwhelming, let me know what the schedule is, and they have Tuesday lunches and every other Thursday dinners and that's totally fine! And also how David and Colby should have hugs.

Like, they fail sometimes -- and sometimes they fail hard, as cop shows are wont to do -- but overall, it's surprisingly not painful!

... okay, my standards are maybe a bit low.
eruthros: Asterix comics: Fulliautomatix hit with a fish, captioned "thwap" (Asterix - fish thwap Fulliautomatix)
Like, all the time. Imagine the improvement! For example, as I browse the kinky web:

"Never wear nipple clamps for more than ten minutes or you will get permanent damage.[citation needed]"

"This is the weirdest, most disgusting fetish EVER.[citation needed]"

"Dildos cause yeast infections if you leave them in your vagina for more than half an hour.[citation needed]"

Or while I'm reading politics:

"Most Americans think Obama is a Muslim![citation needed]"

"The idea that the regulators care more about coal miner safety than the coal mining companies is as silly as global warming.[citation needed]"

"Nobody thinks that slavery was a good idea, so we don't need to talk about it.[citation needed]"

Seriously, I would be all [citation needed] all the time. THE POWER. And think how useful it would be in dealing with irritating comment threads! "We'd listen to you if you weren't so angry all the time.[citation needed]"
eruthros: Grant Imahara from Mythbusters wearing a Star Trek TOS science uniform and Vulcan ear extensions (Mythbusters - grant in a star trek unifo)
1. Here is a thing I wish blogs would agree on: what "previous" and "next" mean. On some blogs, previous entries points to older posts; on some, it points to more recent posts. Having to hover over links to figure out where they go makes me cranky.

2. Dear the internet, I am looking for a film called A Private Function. (1985, starring Maggie Smith and Michael Palin, in case there are several by that name.) It is not available on Netflix, or from my library, or from any of the usual places, and costs like $60 used on amazon or ebay. Does anybody have access to a copy? Your own or a library's or a better video store? ETA: I think I've tracked it down at a library, thanks!

3. I have this problem where I have physical therapists, but they're all about "getting better," not about what would make daily routines easier. So I have some things that I need, but I don't know where to shop for them -- are there good assistive devices shops that you like? Where should I buy a folding cane? If I want to get those foam things that go over the handles of knives so I don't have to grip so tightly, what are they even called and where can I buy them? That sort of thing. And instead my PTs say things like "oh, well, but maybe you won't need it for long..." and "why don't we wait and see if you get better first..." and "well, but you can work around it for now, right?" I find this very frustrating. Especially since "getting better" is so far the work of years. And thus I ask you, the internet, instead.

4. I am not going to talk a lot about episode 8x03 of Mythbusters, except to say: JAAAAAAAAMIE!!!! Omg he was adorable. And arrogant, which somehow makes him even more adorable, I don't even know. And Adam loves it. Also, I <3 Grant, because he is awesome. And Kari -- I'm so glad she's back.
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
I suspect that you will find that no prospective dates contact you, no matter how many dating websites you join! I suspect that this might have something to do with the way you keep using my gmail address as your user name! Since I would have to log in to change the email address, and you inconsiderately didn't provide me with your password, you will likely find yourself dateless. And I will find myself hitting "report spam" a lot.

No love,
[personal profile] eruthros

PS: You overdrafted twice on your Wells Fargo account yesterday. You might want to look into that.

PPS: Also, can you get your mom to stop it with the email forwards? I had to make a filter just for her address.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
The Department of Education has finally ruled that university gag orders on rape victims -- if you want us to investigate, you can't talk to anyone, even your parents -- are, who would have thought, violations of federal law. UVA said this was about protecting student privacy, and necessary to comply with FERPA, but fortunately the Department of Education finally saw through that. (Don't read the comments on the article; it will hurt.)

The case was based on a University of Virginia rule, but UVA is hardly the only place that has had such a requirement -- several American universities have attempted to protect their reputation as "safe" at the expense of rape victims, who are sometimes told by boards of inquiry that they can be expelled for talking about their cases. If protecting the reputation of the university involves harming rape victims, so be it.1

Other relevant links:
A story at the SAFER blog in which an Adelphi University alum talks about the obstacles to reporting rape, and her university's gag order.
Abyss2Hope's discussion of some of the social consequences of the gag order.



1 At my undergraduate university, in fact, various administrators frequently tried to keep women from reporting sexual assault -- one administrator tried to get rid of the anonymous sexual assault help line; she said that the rape counselor had to get the student's name and make her name her assailant or she couldn't take the call. This might've been legally true, I dunno, but there was no excuse for this: When this drove down the number of calls significantly, she then tried to use it as evidence of a reduced rate of sexual assault on campus, claiming that my university was one of the safest in the state.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Many undergrads are ICKY. Ugh.

It's the day after graduation, see, so everyone is moving out. I walked up the hill to get plastic ziplock bags (a weird-stuff-you-own packing essential) and some quarters for laundry and a sandwich and, ugh.

There are heaps of trash all along the street; it's not sorted into trash and recycling. There are plastic trash bags filled with cardboard and paper and bottles and food scraps, there are random broken pieces of furniture in the middle of the sidewalk, there are shoes and computer monitors and broken boxes and bottles of shampoo.

And you know what makes this completely fucking ridiculous? I live in a college town that has a Dump and Run service! Yes, that's right: you call the Dump and Run representative, and they will send someone by with a van who will take away your clothing, old computers, whatever, anything that's not broken and not a mattress, and sell it for charity! They will even carry it down to the curb if you live in a walkup, so it is in fact less work, except for the part where you have to sort the broken and non-donatable out.

Also, the line for sandwiches was out the door. BASTARDS.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Oh my god you guys, this may well be the most horrifying children's book I have ever seen (today). It is a book that "explains" plastic surgery to kids, by saying that mommy's tummy just doesn't fit in her clothes anymore, so she's going to have a tummy tuck and then be "even more beautiful" even if she has to be on bed rest for a week or two. I KID YOU NOT. Note it is by a plastic surgeon.

Also: it's vanity-published, not through a distributor. So it would be costing him several thousand dollars to publicize... if Newsweek hadn't decided to do a "review." Note the scare quotes. I mean them.

OMG RAGE

Jan. 21st, 2008 12:51 pm
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Okay, so I just (finally) got the email telling me that my laptop shipped out from the service center! So much yay!

... except. Wait. What? My laptop is being shipped to ... California? But it shouldn't go to California! It should come here! I called and called and called the folks at Office Depot about it! Woe!

So I phoned Office Depot all, "hi, remember how we talked about my package being shipped FROM California but TO Ithaca?" And the dude was like "yup, it's here in your record" and I said "okay, then WHY DID I JUST GET AN EMAIL SAYING MY LAPTOP IS GOING TO CALIFORNIA?" And he was like, "um, let me look ... huh, California. You're right. Well, we can't change that, ma'am, you have to call UPS directly and they'll let you intercept the package.* Or maybe there'll be someone in California to get it?" Me, giving up: "Yes, but I'M not in California, and ... and ... oh ... just ... argh."

So I called the subcontractor they use directly, with my reference # ready. "Hi! Reference number such and such! Office Depot screwed up! Sorry to bug you, but they're not gonna deal with it!" And the guy said, "shit, we'll try to intercept it. They just picked it up half an hour ago, so it should be possible. I'll get back to you." And that is how things stand now. At least he was trying to be helpful.

These are exactly the situations that I made the Ivanova icon for. GO IVANOVA. BOOM. BOOM BOOM BOOM woe. Want laptop. Don't want laptop to be going to some mystery location. Woe.

* Note: this is a lie. Except in special circumstances, delivery intercept is reserved for people who subscribe to the service.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
This ranks about 139, in terms of Things I Shall Never Do Again.

Guys: my flight is at 8:50. I know the American bus system, and I know that there's a storm coming in, and that it's going to hit upstate New York before it hits Manhattan, which would stop the buses.

So I thought, okay, 8:50 pm. No stress. I shall wake up early, do the last minute tea dishes, grab my bags, and catch the 7:20 bus! It is supposed to get to New York at 12:00! And that way I have lots of leeway built in in case of stupid American bus system, or the Lincoln Tunnel, or whatever. Or maybe to switch flights at the airport.

And indeed, this I did. I suspect that 90% of the people awake and out and about at 7:20 am made the same choice, incidentally: in my mile-plus walk to the bus station (in 17 degree weather! with wind! and with ice! and dark!), I saw... three pedestrians, five police cars (or maybe the same police car five times), twelve cars, two Ithaca Bakery delivery trucks (this is why they never have the good bread at the Collegetown store before 7:00, even though they technically open at 6:30), and the staff at Green Star and Gimme! Coffee, neither of which was open.

At the bus station, however, I saw ... one hundred college students. Most with bags the size of, give or take, a Holstein. Now, I was one of the first twenty there, but that means nothing at Greyhound stations, which like to avoid the issue of forming lines or cordoning off space in favor of great rushing mobs.

And then the bus showed up. It already had forty-some people on it. It was late arriving, and the forty-some people all had to get out and buy tickets before they'd let new people on -- this is, seriously, the worst thought out system ever; they pick up on campus, but they don't sell tickets there, so. They could require people to buy tickets in advance at the student services place on College Avenue, but they do not. And then they let ten of the milling people on, but only ones with no luggage, because they'd filled every rack. (They'd known the bus was full since the driver radioed down, but that was the first point at which they radioed for another bus.) The 8:00 to Syracuse departed before the 7:20 bus did.

And I was like, hey, no problem, they radioed for another bus, they've promised us it'll be an express, I have, like, a bazillion hours built in, whatevs. And the second bus wouldn't be full, which would be nice. (Some of the hundred people were going to Syracuse.)

So we waited for the other bus... and waited... and waited... and it was fifteen minutes away. And it was fifteen minutes away. And it was fifteen minutes away.

When it finally arrived, we discovered that in fact it would not be an express bus because a) one of the women who'd been bumped was going to the Ridgewood Park and Ride, NJ and b) the bus driver was on the ninth hour of his shift, and could legally drive us only as far as Binghamton.

So we get to Binghamton, and the bus driver heads off to find out what's up (telling us all about his wife's dialysis as he went), shutting the door on us. And we sit. And we sit. He comes out of the terminal, talks to people, heads off in another direction, goes back in the terminal. We get antsy, and anyway we want to use the restroom. (One of the women eventually just goes "fuck it," figures out which level opens the door, and heads in. She is then roundly scolded by the counter staff: why aren't you waiting on the bus? Her: Because it's been fifteen minutes and I have to go to the bathroom? Them: Why must you make trouble? Fifteen minutes isn't that long! Her: Yeah, except I was supposed to get here two hours ago.)

The bus driver finally returns. Well, sort of. He walks past the bus, doing the shrug-and-two-palms-out of "I dunno, but it's not my problem."

"Wait, what?" we all say. Several more people get off the bus, off to investigate. One of them returns and reports back to everyone, because the counter staff clearly aren't going to do it: "They're looking for a driver. They don't have a driver. And they say we should stay on the bus and wait for them to tell us more."

The bus turns cold: they've had hours to find a driver. Most people on it are on flights at 4 or 5 pm. And we've waited for twenty minutes already without even a report.

Finally a woman from the counter shows up. Rejoicing! Perhaps an official briefing! Perhaps a driver! Oh, no, she's just here to find out where we're all going. "We're working on it," she says. I nap for a while, occasionally surfacing to complain with the linguist I met in the original terminal. (Adversity brings people together! We all watched each other's bags as people ran for Green Star or 7-11 or whatever. A nice physics grad student bought me a scone in exchange for watching her bags. The linguist was a Cornell grad, now a UCSC student, with Jim McCloskey. We shared stories of being cornered by Geoff Pullum at parties.) Said linguist has a flight at 4:30, and we're all getting steadily more ... and more ... and more ... pissed off.

Another dude shows up. He can't be our driver, because we've seen him wandering around the terminal for twenty minutes now.

Oh. He is our driver. And he doesn't apologize or anything for the delay, just "okay, New York." And off we go. We have to stop a couple of times (for him to use the restroom). And then we get to the Lincoln Tunnel. UCSC grad student dude is already sitting there all tense and ready to spring off at the drop of a hat.

And then there's a stall in the Tunnel. In our lane. Takes half an hour to clear. The bus is working on three hours late. We get to Port Authority, finally, and everyone scatters at the speed of light to their various transit choices to the airport.

So I finally got to the airport, and ... I can't switch to the earlier flight (too late), so I do have to wait for the 8:50. But I can't check in until 4:50. And all the amenities? Including wifi? And chairs? And electrical outlets? And food that isn't ice cream? Is on the other side of security.

I mean, the whole time it was happening I was like "[livejournal.com profile] eruthros! you've got seven hours built in! this is no big!" but I got sympathetic nerves from all the people with five pm flights. Blargh. *shakes self* It was exhausting: nobody telling you anything, ever, and having no faith in the system to remember your bus, and altogether ick. I'm exhausted and I haven't even done the flying yet! AND they're playing Christmas carols. *facepalm*

Rochester is equidistant, and equivalently priced, but the airport only runs little bitty planes, and it gets more snow, so I've opted out. But on the other hand, guys, the bus to Rochester? Doesn't have this mob scene.

***

Now through security! Fed a reasonably-priced freshly-made burrito! Sitting at my gate on JetBlue's wifi! Suddenly, the world is much better.

Well, except I'm still exhausted and my eyes are already dry and itchy, and I haven't even flown yet. But still! Better!

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
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