Terrible theory

May. 3rd, 2016 12:37 am
jmtorres: From Lady Gaga's Bad Romance music video; the peach-haired, wide-eyed iteration (Default)
[personal profile] jmtorres
Watching DS9 after having finished Enterprise, and I just

In the first episode of the Prophets are freaked out by corporeality and linearity and think humans must be destroyed because so aggressive, violent, etc, an inherent danger to their existence.

We know the Prophets eventually start deliberately messing around with time for outcomes they want, see: Sisko's ancestry.

My theory is that the non corporeal beings who exist outside of time and were trying to incite the Xindi to preemptively wipe out humanity--they were the Prophets, doing that while experiment with the timeline in the same span of existence as Sisko explaining that humans are totally not mass-murdering colonialist dicks, but in fact totally peaceful people who swing bats at balls for irrelevant reasons.

It was the Delphic Expanse they were trying to create. So easily could have been a translation error for this space claimed by the Prophets. Perhaps the expanse was even an early attempt at creating the interface with regular space that eventually became a wormhole! I mean, why not, sure it's been around 10,000 years, and sort of kind of probably existed before Sisko and Dax fell into it, but what is time? What is before? Linearity does not apply.

(I also theorized the shapeshifters Enterprise NX-01 met on a rogue planet were totally the Founders. How did they end up in the gamma quadrant from there? Well, the rogue planet probably like, vanished into the expanse when it evaporated, I mean, why not.)
azurelunatic: Danger: High Energy Magic Use Area. Stick figure firing wand; pentagram.  (high energy magic)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
* You do not do a smol summon to all the trickster gods you can dig up sigils for simultaneously and go "HAAAYYYY I'M A SEEKER" for similar reasons to why you do not post publicly to facebook, twitter, and 4chan simultaneously going "HAAAYYYY PARTY AT MY PLACE HERE'S THE ADDRESS" while @-ing a few choice contacts. That is how you get more infosec d00ds than you know what to do with on your lawn and hacking your launderizer; similarly, you don't necessarily want a certain redhead and a certain fan of well-targeted fruit to take up camp in your pineal gland without that you thought things through very, very carefully beforehand.

* I can, in fact, still use coffee as a divination aid.

* Does anyone know a deity or two who might be associated with shit sandwiches and/or lemonade? No, seriously. The deity who is your boon companion when you go "Well, this is certainly a shit sandwich that I have here!" and/or also the entity for "Welp, these are some lemons; I guess it's time to find a big pot and some sugar." Asking for a friend.

* Tumblr is great for creating new mythology. However, anything that tumblr says are true historical fax, double-check that with other sources.

* 90s web design is not an immediate disqualification for a pagan informational website. Presence of information which can be easily debunked via actually qualified historical sources, however...

* Libraries are a thing.

* Divination can be super helpful at some things, but when you're doing it for yourself, you're going to get a lot of internal noise from what you're wanting to happen. Thus, divination is a reasonable way to explore what you personally in fact actually want...

* For fuck's sake, do not get a tattoo on your actual body honoring Bacchus without thinking things through super carefully.

or, in other words...

Tidying continues!

Apr. 29th, 2016 02:09 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
The apartment is yet again entirely topsy-turvy, but in a continuingly more productive vein, as I am after completing the swap-bed-and-computer-desk project.

Wrapping up the post-conference work, and ramping up the applications again.

I have a cleaning goal: I would like the apartment to be presentable-to-Certain-Parties by the 13th. I think it's progressing in that direction, but you could not entirely prove it by one day's moved furniture. (I suspect that with a few modifications the current state would work, but I'd also like, you know, a few more places to sit. Although the idea of someone sprawling in characteristic fashion on my bed has its charms.)

This morning involved the dentist, and an obnoxiously deep filling (and a very annoyed nerve). I wound up taking a substantial afternoon nap because my brain could Just Not Even. (This also happens after eye appointments involving dilation, I find.)

Icons update

Apr. 24th, 2016 03:34 pm
azurelunatic: Alaska Nanooks logo. (hockey)
[personal profile] azurelunatic

Icon: Alaska Nanooks logo, which is a chiaroscuro image of a stalking polar bear (Nanook) in front of a giant blue and gold letter A.

Keywords: hockey, nooks.

The Nanooks are my home team, and I've been reading a lot more Check Please! which satisfies my need for a sports fandom with lovely queer characters and romance, without the risk of faves who irl turn out to be suuuuuuuuuuuper problematic.

Keyword updates:

Icon: text: "I have banned people from my journal for commenting in purple"
Text is mostly tiny black computery font, except for "in purple" which is magnified and purple.

Previous keywords: bitch, purple

General uses: when I'm being very and possibly irrationally cranky/picky about something, and when other people's way of doing things brushes up against my boundaries, I tell them, and they keep doing the thing

Current keywords: bitch, your font is problematic

Icon: a photo of a polished piece of rainbow fluorite. The central stripe is a very pastel lavender with a hint of blue-green, the top stripe is light purple, and the bottom stripe is a rich sweet blueberry purple.

Previous keywords: fluorite, huggy rock
Current keywords: fluorite, huggy rock, purple
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
So I headed off to phone's party! phone lives not that far away from the conference venue, and the party was already swinging pretty vividly when I got there. I found parking (leaving a space behind me) and came in, bearing a small potted rose and the tray of sandwiches. The apartment was cheerfully decorated visible from outside with some delightful purple fairy lights. The level of sparkle visible from without was only a hint at the level of sparkle within. phone's boyfriend answered the door. He is an elegantly flamboyant man of a certain age, with a flair for striking outfits and costumes. On this occasion he was wearing a skin-tight silver jumpsuit with a mesh sweater over top and also amazing high-heeled silver holographic boots. He was not the only person wearing a super-sparkly outfit that night, as there was a guy in a long robe and top hat both made out of flat-sequined silver fabric (with reflectors larger than my beloved late disco ball dress, but similar). There were all sorts of colored sparkly lights. I got a drink and found a chair in the corner, where I wound up chatting with Jen, who has a small flock of chickens and a number of amusing (and occasionally terrible) stories involving them. Exactly my kind of person. Her husband was also at the party. phone tried to troubleshoot the rainbow fairy lights.

I texted Purple to let him know I was there, since I hadn't seen him. He texted back to say he would be there in about 20. And in about 20, I saw his silhouette through the patio door, and then he was coming out back and saying hi to phone and taking his accustomed place next to me. We had a silly exchange and he ruffled my hair. When he wandered off to grab a drink after a while, the party shifted around, and a small crowd gathered in my corner. I noticed him come back with drink in hand, notice the crowd, shrug, and strike up a conversation with someone near him. I wasn't bothered: Jen and I were getting on quite well.

Jen is a non-techie. phone's boyfriend is a non-techie. Jen, Jen's husband, phone's boyfriend, and I got in a discussion about some of the ways that conversations involving techies can go. The phrase "I need sympathy, not troubleshooting" can be key. (I looked fondly over at the very nicely sympathetic techie holding the neon green drink, holding forth on some topic with phone.)

The party shifted again, and sight lines between Purple and me were restored. We flashed an ironic wave at each other, and Purple made a semi-apology for not having come back directly that matched my assessment. (And, again, I'd been having a great time talking to Jen, so it wasn't like I was completely on my own at this party, even though I knew three, now four, people there out of quite a few more than four.)

It turns out that not only was Jen's husband at the party, but Jen's husband has known phone for years and years and years online, and has also known Purple for years and years, but this was the first time they'd met in person. The meeting was pleasing to both of them, and I was delighted to witness it.

It began to get chilly, so everyone went inside. I had already passed my step count for the day, so standing up was not the best idea for my back, but it was the best idea in light of the crowd. I wound up in the kitchen chatting with Jen's husband, tucked comfortably in a corner at Purple's elbow. There was enough light, finally, that I could see what was on my plate. I sighed and showed Purple some diced bell pepper. He laughed at me, and explained to Jen's husband that I had been in an un-merry war with work catering over bell peppers.

Jen's husband changed places with phone's boyfriend, and desserts were sampled. Someone found the raspberry bars; Purple nabbed one; I asked if he could pass me one; he handed me the first while claiming another for himself. Raspberry bar relay. Despite my back's complaints, it was nice being there: insulated from the most intense bits of crowd, but still engaging.

phone wandered up and chatted with us while his boyfriend circulated. People started filtering over to say goodnight to phone and wish him happy birthday, including the guy who had been wearing the disco ball robe until he'd changed back into street clothes.

At length the party size shrank, until at last it was phone and his boyfriend, Jen and her husband, Purple, and me. I was in one corner of the couch, Jen was curled up next to me, and eventually her husband sat down at the other end. "Fuck" is not just a spice, it's punctuation, except most editors would take a red pen to that many punctuation marks. It turns out that when Jen and I get going, we might sort of feed off each other a bit. phone likes it when I swear about the helldesk software, because when I get going, I really get going. Sometimes I get somewhat creative beyond the mere f-bomb, too...

At one point someone claimed that the iPad was not a data entry device; I declared that one could helpfully render it one by means of a portable keyboard, and that I had one in my pocket. Purple claimed that I had too many things in my pockets. Someone, perhaps phone, made a "Precious" joke, and my hand diverted its path. I had been going for the pocket that contained the keyboard. I was now going for the shorts pocket with the little brocade box with the mirror inside: the one that just that morning I had loaded with a few BPAL vials, a USB stick, my pair of shiny peacock earrings, a lip balm, and other bits of jewelry that I hadn't wanted to wear while possibly hauling tables around at the conference. Including -- I held a shiny silver ring aloft. phone cracked up.

Shortly after midnight the party broke up. Purple had parked right behind me, so we walked out together. He stuck around while I fished through three bags in search of my satnav, which I found in the last place I looked for it, then very carefully dodged the spikes in my hairdo after hugging me goodnight. I'm not usually quite so spiky!

To say "this party was better than any of Shawn's parties" demeans this party merely by the comparison, but that's the only referent I have for some of the vibe. This was what Shawn's parties wanted to be when they grew up.

(conference) okay where do I start

Apr. 24th, 2016 03:54 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Let's start with the Internet of Shit. I had an Internet of Shit moment right before going to bed, which resulted in me on the phone with Belkin going "I don't have time to give you my name and email, I just want to turn off my light so I can go to sleep and I don't want to move two shelves" in the most pathetic of tones. I have a relatively ancient iPod Touch which won't run the latest version. In the not-latest version, which I have, when there's a "cloud outage" there's a friendly notice that you can still use the app to control your switches on your local network. Except ... the notice covers over the controls entirely, and it's iOS and unlike Android there's no motherfucking back button. And however you clear running apps from memory in whatever old-ass version of iOS I have, it wasn't how the customer service agent was describing. After a few rounds, we tried rebooting. That worked.

Then I woke up about 15 minutes before my alarm, and very sensibly stopped reading a thing in the middle of the thing and went off to the conference when my snooze-alarm told me that I had 1 hour until setup started.

I got there 15 minutes early from the planned unlock time. I saw another little (white?) car pull up and it was the chair emeritus.

By the time someone got there to let us in, about 6 of us, maybe more, had gathered. I chirpily spun it to CE as "having crucial hallway conversations", which made her laugh. (Context: she had no idea how to pose this in a helpful fashion.)

The morning got off to a rough start because nobody quite knew what they were doing, and everyone was duckling-ing after me, but fortunately past-me had Written Lists, and also had printed them out, and had broken things done in terms of tasks as well as roles, because I had foreseen that Morning Stuff might have an over-abundance of people trying to do one role and not enough of any of the others, so I sort of decreed that Morning Stuff would have everyone pitch in until people and food started showing up.

I think I was right about needing to buy bowls, for the record. :-P

The food arrived and that was okay. People started checking in and that was okay. The paper check-in list worked like a charm with no terrible woe, and having a ticket type that said essentially "Volunteer - Check in with Azz" served to redirect everyone who was a speaker or volunteer to check in with me after doing the normal check-in! Which was good!

I am so proud of my volunteers. They came together and did the thing, and even when I was completely incoherent from trying to do all the things at once and make all the decisions at once, they followed my lists and I was able to delegate them to do things! All I had to do was say "Yes, that needs doing. You, do #1. You, do #2." and people did it!!!

Instead of 3 tables for the 3 lower-tier sponsors, there were 2. It being bad form to make people share a table, I liberated 2 of the little round tables from the speaker green room, hauled them out, got someone to help me scootch the two beverage coolers onto separate round tables, then carried off the 6' table to the sponsor area of the lobby to deploy.

We were missing a dedicated person on the food, but I was able to fill in at the expense of having someone not at the front desk 100% of the time. It worked partly because there was a recruiter table there, and it was a group that is on long-standing great terms with the organization. So there was that! We needed someone at the front because the event space was not super private -- randos would barge up, and would occasionally wander back to try and scam free food.

The event did not start on time. The first panel ran over. These combined made the carefully-crafted morning schedule go kerplooie. My amazing room wranglers sailed right on through and set timers to follow the timeframe, and everybody was okay. I needed to print 3 sheets of "and this is what is in this room when" instead of 2 -- one for each entrance, plus one for the room-wrangler.

Just before lunch, we'd nearly run out of bottled water, and were down to our last half-bag of tangerines. I was summarily dispatched to Costco, and picked up two flats of bottled water and two bags of tangerines. I think I could have safely have got 3. I had very good luck with parking (partly because I decided to try for the furthest-away spots) and got there and back in record time.

Lunch arrived during the second passing period (of three), so the schedule pivoted: grab lunch now, hit third tech talk, then have a brief social-and-food-if-you-missed-it-earlier window and then dive straight the fuck into the workshops.

There were vegan-and-gluten-free meals which they'd got from the shop across the way; we worked it by setting the whole paper bag on one of the lesser-traffic tables and writing "VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE" on the bag in Sharpie. This way it was visible to people who'd need it without asking, very clearly reserved for people who needed it, and not sitting there and looking visibly delicious for people who ignore signs.

Midway through the afternoon, about an hour before the earliest time the tea (coffee and tea and cookies and mini bundt cakes, with non-gluten-containing chocolates and tangerines and Kind Bars) was set to arrive, R was fading fast and complaining that she needed sugar. (She had also underslept.) I towed her gently along after me into the green room and retrieved some fruit jellies for her, from my Magic Bag of Trader Joe's Food Which I Made Sure To Get So Nobody With Atypical Dietary Needs Would Starve. She started to perk up, and eventually did cave and had coffee.

The workshops let out early, so tea time happened a little scattershot, and everybody piled into one room for the last panel and wrap-up. I started packing up and breaking down, knowing that it would be a while and otherwise I wasn't doing anything else. I used the now-empty trays from the cookies to separate the leftover sandwich halves into more easily carried portions that someone might take home without worrying about where to put it or if they were going to get through all of those. I claimed one. (After lunch they went in the fridge. Thank goodness for fridges.)

Various people stayed to help clean up. The actual most involved part was me sorting out my stuff back into its boxes, because I had brought A Lot Of Things, many of which were useful. See: tape, label maker, markers, other tape, other markers, and gods know what else.

([twitter.com profile] acidhelm rocks, incidentally.)

There was a small convocation in the parking lot and then we-all split our separate ways. R had been invited to the party at phone's, but was too tired and was going home directly. My way was in the direction of the party at phone's. ;)

Things for the morning:

Apr. 22nd, 2016 11:59 pm
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
* The laptop is charging. It's on top of the file box, under the bag.
* Take the bag too, and the charger.
* Don't forget the iPad or I will shiv you. Retroactively.
* Today would be a good day to wear the fancy hair thing.
* Watch, fitbit, clippy, headset. All of these things will make you mad if you leave them off.
* Don't bother to eat. There will be breakfast soon enough.
* If you really want to make coffee, you may. You'll need it.
* Under no circumstances allow R to have more than two chocolate covered espresso bean at a time.
* You will have to be up and running ALL DAY. phone's party follows! (remember: Purple's going!)

Raspberry beret

Apr. 22nd, 2016 04:54 pm
st_aurafina: Rainy day, person with a rainbow umbrella in the distance  (Rainbow umbrella)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
My favourite Prince tribute, from [tumblr.com profile] lizclimo.

In other news, I am now a medicated person.

talking about anxiety, medication, side effects, mostly for my own reference or because taking Pristiq makes me introspective IDK )

tl;dr: I'm on drugs and they seem to work okay.

I have my [community profile] ssrconfidential assignment, and it's lovely and open and exactly the kind of thing I'd like to write. I just need... to get started, I think. I am a bit worried about the meds knocking down my ability to write, but I think that once I get a plot bunny nibble, I'll be right. And at the moment, I'm coming to the end of a Person of Interest rewatch to get ready for season five (SEASON FIVE OMG) and I'm all about the POI plot bunnies. So many bunnies.

Discharging linkspams:

- The easiest way to get fresh thyme leaves off the stalk. MIND. BLOWN.

- Awesome Breastforms - volunteers knit or crochet breast forms for mastectomy/lumpectomy patients, who can order whatever size, colour, filling they like. The forms are free, and for some people, more comfortable or accessible than expensive silicone forms.

- Artisinal ipsums:
Hipster ipsum
Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction ipsum
Bogan ipsum

- Good Morning Alice - a dreadful short film/jewellery ad featuring Gwenyth Paltrow, which has been delightfully over-masticated by fandom.

- Under Cats - photography series of cats on glass tables. SO MANY TOE BEANS.

- How to make a Black Widow doll, since Marvel is so fail.

- Styrofoam amplified cello - would also be handy in a shipwreck.

- This Took Forever woven tags - for those times when you've slaved over a handcrafted item, and it ends up in the dog's bed.

- Discover the kitchen style for your Myers-Briggs personality type - I fucking love stupid Myers-Briggs stuff. Am I the only one? It's so stupid and yet weirdly satifying. I'm INFP, and my kitchen style is "The Healer". UNCANNY.

A not-so-brief note about assholes

Apr. 21st, 2016 10:46 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Once upon a time there was a popular hashtag where women-and-those-who-caucus-with-them had real talk about some of the bullshit they face in regular life. And inevitably, that hashtag attracted the attention of some of the little shits who think that such things are like a conveyor belt of new victims to bully endless lols.

I have a conference on Saturday. This is Wednesday night, and at the time when I poke my face back into my mentions because I see the tab has lit up, and I need to take about 30 seconds between Doing Things and get my brain back a little, it is a half-hour until the "omg it's 3 days ARE WE READY" phone call with my boss on this project. I am a little daunted by the volume of remaining work, but it's Wednesday night and we got this; I'll be working my ass off for the rest of the night and the two subsequent weekdays in order to make it happen.

I poke my face into my mentions, and I see that some little asshole who thinks he's clever has said something he thinks is funny and hopes is hurtful in reply to my tweet.

My response is maybe 5% hurt and 95% murderous rage. I don't own firearms because I don't trust my impulse control, and in that moment I was honestly feeling like there is no possible redemption for the sort of person who thinks that going into a hashtag like that and saying that sort of thing is a fun form of entertainment. If the guy had been in front of me I might have straight-up punched him. Instead, I blockreported him on Twitter.

Street harassment is something that can escalate quickly. They always seem to zoom in on when you've just had an ass of a day, maybe your pain levels are through the roof, and some guy decides that you need to spend more of your attention on HIM, and if things don't go the way he wants them to, he may escalate in weird and unfortunate ways, including actual assault, following you home or until he gets bored, or more extended stalking. It does often end with no assault and no stalking, but the ways in which it could go suddenly and deeply bad with no warning mean that it's appropriate to prepare to respond to a threat to your life when you receive street harassment.

Certain kinds of online harassment have enough in common with street harassment that it rings the same bells, and the now (very sadly) common escalation of SWATing means that online harassment that escalates is a very real physical risk. I didn't think this guy would actually notice that I'd blocked him, and he was harassing enough people that I doubt he'd have been able to trace any consequences-from-Twitter back to me, but it was an unfriendly reminder that like it or not, I live in a society where I'm considered an acceptable target if I call attention to myself in public, or sometimes even if I don't.

As adrenaline spikes go, this one was moderate. It wasn't nearly as significant as the time I didn't inspect the cord of a small bedside appliance before plugging it in, and sparks shot everywhere and I killed the power strip (rest in peace, power strip, you performed your job adequately!) and then I stripped my bed and stayed awake for two hours before putting it back together and going to sleep because I didn't want to literally die in a fire. It wasn't as significant as the time when I enjoined a guy in the middle of a domestic row to go take a walk. I knew I had about 30 minutes to an hour of unpleasant activation in front of me, and that normally I would deal with this by doing something physical, like doing the laundry or other involved housework, to burn off the adrenaline in a safe, relatively comfortable, and productive way.

Instead, I was editing MS Publisher files with an annoying lag because the images were a little too large for my under-powered computer to be happy about shoving around in real time, and in a mindset of write the other fifty-one!. With a phone call in half an hour.

I was also pessimistic about my chances of blockreporting him on Twitter even doing anything. I have heard that Twitter is making some changes to how it handles reporting of bad actors. But based on the experiences of some people who have been getting some Really Not Okay things on Twitter and Twitter saying that it was totally okay -- an account that appears to be 100% trolling that ought to get you suspended from high school and a conference with your mom, but not actually making death threats or rape threats? PESSIMISTIC. That made my reporting feel futile, and the bad UX of the Twitter reporting workflow made me go out of my way to look at shit that I didn't want to be looking at. (Possibly more on that separately.) So instead of the Twitter reporting serving as an outlet for my rage and a point of closure, it amplified it in a way where I wound up more globally despairing of anyone ever being able to do anything about active shitwheels like this dude. Because it's never just one asshole, it's the culture of impunity where one asshole feels like yeah, he can spend a couple hours each day being a dick online and nothing bad will ever happen to him for it. One bad apple puts the rest of the barrel in danger. (That's what that saying means. If you have one bad apple, you had better remove it immediately and completely, or the rest of the apples in the barrel will think that decay is a SUPER GREAT idea, and they should try it too. It does not mean "don't worry about him, it's just an isolated incident.") I'd guess that the Twitter barrel is about 25% rotten at this point.

So combine adrenaline, rage-turned-to-despair, and a very large task in front of me, and now I'm feeling jittery and miserable, and the feelings attach themselves to the conference and the work in front of me. Totally normal physiological reaction. I just don't have the time for it right now, and yet I've got to deal with it. It's not fair, and [insert violent revenge fantasy here].

The other party to the call was running late, and bumped it out half an hour or so, which did give me the time to recover. So by the time we actually got on the call, I was feeling okay and we compared notes and checklists. I still won't get that half-hour back, and the fact that some people will say "oh, it's just a message online, what's the big deal, turn off your computer if you're that sensitive" makes me want to punch the whole world.


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