textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
Sometimes, I really wish more folks on my side of politics would realize that there's a limit to negotiation and seeking consensus. Obviously, diplomacy is the first thing we should try in most situations, but we also have to have a plan for what to do when that fails.

For a political movement that claims to be based in empiricism and reality, we seem to have a really hard time recognizing that some people simply cannot be reasoned or bargained with, and that seeking compromise with them will always be futile.

And because it's so very critical to make political progress that helps people in crisis, we really can't afford to waste our time faffing around with people who have absolutely no intention of ever working with us in good faith. The more we try to seek consensus for its own sake, the more people suffer, and the more damage is done to our future.

I'm still gonna vote for him next year, because FSM help us if any of the assorted assweasels and sheer lunatics on the GOP side get in, but I really think Obama's biggest failure was squandering the Congressional majority he had, because he was earnestly (and naively) trying to negotiate with people who were never going to do so.

I do hope, that if he gets reelected and we get some power back in Congress, he finally cuts the bullshit and starts doing what needs to be done, regardless of the bleating of people who lie about economic realities (among other things) for their own gains. We're already in incredibly dire shape because of their BSing about OMG SOCIALIZM!! and their continued insistence on the fairy tale of supply side economics (note to the clueless: business does not expand--aka hire new workers--in a demand vacuum!) People who are willing to drive businesses and the entire economy into the ground because they get short-term gains out of it are NOT sane enough to be reasoned with. (And likewise with people whose entire moral compass comes from biblical literalism.)

Reasonable people can disagree about a lot of things, especially on the details of how to go about creating positive change. But there are certain red flags that pop up to say, "Yeah, this dude is mad as a box of frogs" that we really, really need to pay attention to, so we can stop wasting time and energy trying to get them to see sense. People who have an entirely different definition of reality, or who obviously don't actually care about anyone but themselves and people exactly like them are never, ever going to work with us. We need to stop trying to get them to do so.
textualdeviance: (Beardy Connor Not Amused)
Dear healthcare professional:

If a patient comes to you with symptoms of a potentially worrisome infection (fever + lethargy + pain in alarming places), being condescending about it means you're an asshole.

I didn't come in because I hoped I had the infection, but because I wanted to rule it out. Oh, and BTW? You didn't actually do that. You just blew me off because you assumed a fat chick who used actual medical terminology was probably an attention whore making shit up.

Fortunately for my health, I'm also stubborn bitch, and made you give me antibiotics anyway.

Oh, and the dig about my blood pressure? Totally uncalled for, jackhole. Yes, my blood pressure is a bit high today. I'm in fucking pain. If you'd like, I can send you 20 gigs of pics of my (basically normal) at-home readings.

Y'know, it's almost like some doctors get angry at me for being fat and yet not about to drop dead. It's like they can't deal with the cognitive dissonance, and so want me out of their offices as soon as humanly possible, rather than taking the time to fix the totally-not-fat-related problem I came in with.
textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
One-size-fits-all environmental activists really, REALLY piss me off. Not because I think their underlying cause is misguided (hardly) but because they don't actually think about the practicality of the demands they make.

Today, for example, was the person who said that no one should have a problem with high gas prices because we should all live in-city and commute to work via bike and/or transit.

Oh, honey. All that organic ganja you been toking is frying your brain. How are you wrong? Let me count the ways: )

Don't get me wrong: I have plenty of problems with the folks who are convinced they need a Lincoln Navigator to do all this. But getting on the case of everyone who has a car and drives to work is asinine. Generally speaking, all of us can probably stand to do just a little more to reduce our fossil-fuel consumption and carbon emissions. But we don't all have the same circumstances, and therefore the exact ways we can do this aren't going to all be the same.

And--perhaps most important--in some cases, doing the same thing as someone else can actually make things worse. I've encountered plenty of people who are terribly smug about living in the DT core, yet who commute to a suburban office every day. Lookit me! I'm a hip, urban sophisticate! Uh, yeah. And you're also an idiot for subjecting yourself to two hours of bridge traffic every day. Sneer at my suburban paradise all you want. I spend less time on the road than you do, my newer house is probably cheaper to maintain and far more energy efficient per square foot than your crumbling "vintage" fourplex and I get to see more wild critters than pigeons and squirrels. Oh, and when I get a kid, I'll get to take her to a park across the street that won't be littered with used needles and human excrement. (All that, and my zip code is 10-15% less white than the vast majority of the zipcodes surrounding the DT core. "White flight" my ass.)

Not saying I'm the world's best environmentalist. Not even close. I know there's more I can do, and I'm always researching the best ways I can do it. But just because I live in a single-family house in the 'burbs doesn't mean I'm dumping antifreeze in salmon runs.
textualdeviance: (Beardy Connor Not Amused)
Perused this article about FB/isolation/envy earlier. Found it interesting, maybe even somewhat enlightening.

Until I got to the end, and the bit that reminded me that it's not all in my head.

For the record, it gets really fucking tiring to constantly be on the business end of (theoretically) socially acceptable "humor." Not to mention the mocking, disdain, discrimination and out-and-out hatred.

Hi. Human fucking being here, thanks.

The thing that gets to me is that it's next to impossible to tell whether a given person's going to be a bigot about this. For the queer stuff, it's easy: I just avoid conservatives and hardcore religious folk, and I'm usually safe. But there's really no safe space for this. Yeah, avoiding fashionistas and gym bunnies is a start, but only that. Even some of the most theoretically progressive folks out there can suddenly spout some of the most hateful garbage on this count, and that can be a really nasty slap in the face when it comes unexpectedly. (And then there's the self-hating crowd, too, who can be some of the worst.)

Sometimes, I feel like it's safer to just assume a given person's going to be an ass until they prove otherwise. Which is no way to go through life, no, but it's better than the alternative.
textualdeviance: (XKCD Complicated)
It's odd... I'm reasonably good at writing, singing, acting and cooking. I have a bit of skill with graphics, video and web tech. I also have a few other random talents, too--research, general problem-solving, picking up bits of different languages, etc.

Yet I still feel inadequate because I can't play an instrument, dance, draw, sew or do anything athletic.

Oh, and because I'm not pretty.

Because even if I could do all of these things like an expert, it wouldn't matter, because shallow het guys don't consider me fuckworthy.

My culture is so broken.
textualdeviance: (skwirls)
Had a much-needed chat with M tonight about brainspace issues and my stupid ADD and my desperate need to go balls-deep into my creative stuff lately (because I spent most of the last two years more or less deprived of opportunities for that.)

Was trying to explain that I don't go to bed when he does (when I don't have to get up early) because late nights are often my most creative and productive time. When Asia's the only continent that's really awake, the world seems quieter, and I feel like I can focus. During the day, there's just too much mental noise and too many interruptions, and I have a miserable time trying to stay on task when that happens.

No matter how creative I feel or how much my muses are working with me, I can't do what I need to do when there's so much chaos around me, and the potential for someone to interrupt me at any moment.

I was also realizing that I often stay up late when I feel like I haven't accomplished much during the day. I feel like I want to go to bed having something to point at to say, "Hey, I did this today" and if that means I stay up until dawn working on something, then that's what I do. No matter how tired I am, I can't sleep unless I feel like I've done something tangible.

Theoretically, this would seem like a perfect recipe to, essentially, work a graveyard shift. Unfortunately, because I'm also so sensitive to getting enough daylight, this tends to screw me up, because I sleep through ~six hours of sun. And it also means I don't have a lot of bandwidth available in the evenings when M's home and wants to interact, because I'm busy catching up on what I missed during the day when everyone else was awake.

I wish I knew an easy solution for this. My meds can only do so much to keep me from getting derailed during the day with the constant buzz of the world, but that's technically the time when I should be working, so I can live like normal people do.

Stupid brain.

Postscript: Real jobs )
Mar. 7th, 2010 08:31 pm


textualdeviance: (More You Know)
Keeping up a bit with what's going on with the Oscars tonight, and y'know, as happy as I am for the success of Precious and Mo'nique and Gabby, I do wonder when we're going to see more attention for a broader range of big gals in American entertainment media.

It certainly doesn't make up for racism or any of the other awful things that black and Latina women endure, but it's still a little unsettling to me that the greater acceptance they seem to get from their communities and the public eye in general is more or less completely absent for bigger women of other backgrounds.

The number of successful black and Latina celebs who are around a size 12 or bigger isn't significantly greater than the number of white and Asian celebs that size, but when you consider it as a percentage of overall numbers from each racial group? Or as a percentage of overall population? Yeah. Bigger white and Asian women are woefully underrepresented in American movies and TV compared to our numbers here in the offscreen world.

It's been 12 years since Camryn Mannheim won an Emmy and dedicated it to all the fat girls, and we've been basically invisible since then (and so has she, for that matter.) We had Sara Rue for a short time, but then she lost weight, went blond and subsequently vanished. About the only time you see a fat white chick on TV, she's either the butt of some joke, or she's a contestant on some horrid weight-loss-via-torture show. And forget seeing fat Asian women at all. Seriously, folks: Name one.

I imagine that there's certainly racism involved here: There's a popular notion that black and Latina women are generally "wilder" and thus that may mean they're less bound by the constraints of cultural asceticism that keep white and Asian women under greater pressure to be thin. (And obviously, this notion does a disservice to all the women involved.)

I've also heard people say that they feel that lighter-skinned big people look more vulgar somehow. Like, seeing Queen Latifah in a body-hugging, cleavage-baring dress is no big deal, but put the same dress on Christina Hendricks, who has a rack of similar generous proportions, and suddenly people think she may as well be walking around naked. And that's for someone who, aside from her boobs, is otherwise average size. It's like a vast expanse of pale flesh is, in and of itself, somehow more attention-getting and therefore more offensive. Weird.

Whatever the reason, though, it sucks. I'm very happy that we fat chicks are getting any pop culture recognition at all, and I'd never trade the awards these two are getting for their wonderful work for anything. But I also can't help but hope that this might help open up Hollywood to a broader range of women in general, of all sizes, all colors, all ages.

We should be seeing a female Jack Black, or Seth Rogan. We should be seeing women of William Shatner's and Alec Baldwin's ages who have put on similar amounts of weight since their early career days having just as successful a go. American TV should have even half the number of talented, larger women that have been gracing British TV screens for decades. We should have our Dawn French and Ruth Jones. Hell, we should at least have a Fern Britton. And we don't. Heck, many of the curvier women we do have we borrow from the Brits anyway (Polly Walker and Judi Dench, for instance.)

Don't get me wrong: I adore those beautiful, curvy women of color. I'd certainly never turn down a night with Sara Ramirez, that's for damned sure. ;) But it's a really odd color barrier, IMHO, and one I wish would go away.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Considering that I edit photos for a living, you'd think I'd already figured this out, but... Sadly, no.

Here's the core problem:

I hate Photoshop. No, really. I hate it. I hate Adobe's UI, for one, and the thing is a giant, memory-sucking behemoth that takes about 10 minutes to load on anything other than the computer equivalent of a Testarossa. Even Elements doesn't solve that problem.

For hardcore image and design work, of course that's the industry standard. But when you're just doing day-to-day grind stuff? It's like using a commercial kitchen to make a tuna sandwich.

Unfortunately, because it's so popular with said hardcore designers, it's basically wiped out the market for any and all other photo editors.

The Company's efforts this direction have been sadly lacking. Paint, always a standby for grunt work, just doesn't really work with photos in any useful way. Live Photo Gallery is missing some key elements and has some features that are actually bugs, IMHO. And Picture Manager has some fatal flaws, and won't do any creative work.

My favorite tool, Photo Draw, ceased production 10 years ago and won't run on Win 7, so I can't go back to it. Also, it's old enough now that it can't handle newer formats anyway. Word and Publisher and all those other bits have some photo editing options, but they're really designed for docs, not photos.

So... I'm screwed. I find myself having to do one thing in one program, and then switch over to something else to do the other stuff I want to do, and that is a giant pain in the ass.

My criteria: )

Anyone know of anything that will do all this that also is simple, streamlined and loads fast? Or am I stuck wrestling the Photoshop Beast of Traal?

ETA: Thinking about this more closely...

I really do like Picture Manager in a lot of ways. It has just about everything I want, with just a few problems: )
Jul. 26th, 2009 09:37 am


textualdeviance: (skwirls)
There have just been too many roadblocks this week.

The one good part was that we got past the inspection report on Chez Fou, and are now officially in pending (aka wait until closing) status. Everything else was just screwy: Work going wonky, the damned apartment being too hot to clean it (and oh good gravy, does it need cleaning), my back being stiff and sore (I think the chairs at work are killing me) and yesterday, having some sort of injury or something that's made my right eye go all goopy and red and swollen (I probably just scratched it, but it's annoying and makes me look like I've been punched.)

And then the financial mess. Given that a significant portion of the funds we're using for our down payment is coming from company stock, having it tank 9% Friday (thanks to crappy earnings) really took a bite out. To make things even more lovely, I realized yesterday that closing costs are going to eat up a lot of our available cash, too, thus further reducing what we can afford.

The combo of those two things? Has just shaved ~$75k off our potential maximum house price. At least for the immediate future. We can come up with probably a little more cash if we wait another month or so before we go looking for real (assuming stock doesn't tank any further in that time.) It just means a much tighter turnaround when it comes time to officially move, since our lease here is up at the end of October.

At least it's relatively cool here right now, which means that as soon as my drugs kick in, I may be able to get at least a few household chores done. And then I have a bridal shower(!) to go to this afternoon. Should be... Yeah. W'ev. ;)
textualdeviance: (Default)
I really should be avoiding the subject, because it's starting to piss me off too much, but...

If Jackson weren't a famous pop star, but instead the plumber down the street, with all the same "quirks", would YOU let your kids sleep at his house? Would you even let your kids play there?

A reminder of some of the evidence at his 2005 trial:

*Fingerprints of the boys on some books of porn Jackson had
*He gave them alcohol that he called "Jesus juice"
*He owned books with pictures of naked boys
*Testimony from four other victims, including the one from his 1993 trial, which he settled for $22 million. If you're innocent, you don't pay off your accusers.

This is all unargued fact. That it didn't result in a conviction is almost entirely due to a starstruck jury.

I don't care how much he was abused himself as a child. It's tragic, but it doesn't excuse what he did. I know, how about we excuse his dad for abusing Michael, because he had his own rough childhood, right? Oh, wait. I forgot. Joe is more eeeevil, because he abused someone with a lot of musical talent.

A history of abuse is an explanation for why some people become abusers themselves. It is NOT an excuse, and certainly not something that should be used as a pass for the guy to keep doing what he wanted without any consequences whatsoever. Are his victims somehow less important because they weren't famous musicians? Did they have less of a right to not have their trust violated because the guy who wanted to get them drunk and sleep with them was famous?

People are whining about the "character assasination" going on in his death. What about the same thing that's happening to his victims, who are still alive, and still living every day with what he did to them, and who are being labeled lying golddiggers?

Jackson was a pedophile who had virtually unfettered access to his victims because of his fame. And now those same victims are being victimized again as the world strives to plug their ears and pretend that nothing but his music matters. Disgusting.
Jun. 25th, 2009 04:36 pm


textualdeviance: (pennybitches)
I don't know why this came to mind, but I was just thinking about an episode of Good Times I saw a few days ago (hey, I was bored.)

Michael had gotten suspended from school for calling George Washington a racist. Everyone flipped out--how dare you say such things about the father of our country, blah blah blah. And the kid was like, hey, I'm just telling the truth! The guy owned slaves, hello? Emperor's New Clothes and all that.

We still do this. We still elevate famous people--whether politicians or entertainers or even just reality show stars--to some sort of higher plane, and people get really, really defensive when any criticism is aimed at them. It happened during the election, when Obama supporters attacked anyone critical of his lead balloon grasp of GLBT and women's issues. It's happening right now with people refusing to allow for criticism of Jon and Kate Gosselin, and the terrible way they're marketing their kids and their own personal tragedies. And it's definitely happened with every dead famous person ever, from Nixon to Reagan and now MJ.

Look: Just because someone has had their image or voice distributed to a large number of people doesn't mean they get a +10 of critical immunity. Fame does not confer halos. Conversely, it also doesn't mean people are automatically horrible and thus should be subject to harsher criticism than the non-famous (don't get me started on the people giving shit to Dustin Lance Black for apparently being slutty enough to take pictures with a boyfriend. Ooooh. Skerry!)

Famous people are just more well-known than you and me. That's all. That's the only difference. On occasion, they're famous for being particularly good at some sort of artistic, athletic or political skill, but that alone also doesn't make them inherently better or worse people. Many, many lesser-known geniuses exist across many different, though less photogenic fields, and they're not held up as either untouchable or fair for target practice.

What makes a person good or bad isn't how many people know their name or how good they are at a given skill. It's how they treat others. No amount of achievement in any area makes up for someone who has caused grave harm to other people. On rare occasions, someone may be able to recognize, accept and atone for their bad behavior (though most of the time, I'd say such atonements are usually just lip service to religion to get a get out of hell free card) but most of the time, if someone is so thoroughly rotten that they see nothing wrong with harming helpless kids or animals or beating or killing another person, they're going to remain pretty bad. And they remain so regardless of whether they're the plumber next door or someone with six dozen Grammys.

It's bad enough when people flip out when you point out that the God of the Bible was an asshole, and hey, so was that jackass Saul of Tarsis. Religion does strange things to people, and they get very unreasonable when it's questioned. But, y'know, 2,000 years of brainwashing will do that. What makes even less sense is when people do this with celebrities. I really, really don't give a shit how good a musician Michael Jackson was. On a personal level, he was a creepy asshat. Don't expect me to ignore that and pretend otherwise.
textualdeviance: (Default)
The past several days of my life, in bullet form:

Good stuff: )

Not-so-good stuff: )

All that said, even though this project is crazy and exhausting and completely consuming my life right now, I'm still glad we're doing it. Going back to school was a good way to get out of some of the personal ruts I was in, and that helped a lot, but we've also been in a long-term overall life stage rut, too, and part of that has been where we were living. It's time to move on, and the process, while uncomfortable, is a good mental and practical roto-rootering. It'll be interesting to see how our life gets redefined with a new place when that comes.

Assuming, of course, that we have enough money left over at the end of this insanity to afford something. Sigh...
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:49 am

Good grief

textualdeviance: (pennybitches)
So, I was thinking that this renting for a few months thing would be easier than finding an affordable house while we're spiffing up and trying to sell this place.


All the apartments/condos/townhouses I've looked at won't take more than 2 pets.

All the houses (Craigslist, at least) want year-long leases or are scuzzy little hovels.

textualdeviance: (ASLWTF)
Very little will set me off faster than some ignorant douchehead spewing off about how everyone with a chronic illness or disability clearly brought it on themselves and thus should have to suffer or pay more for health care or whatever. Apparently no one in the world was ever born with a gene for cystic fibrosis or lupus or MS. Nope. They all caused it to happen by... Oh, drinking donut-flavored baby formula or lazing around in their cribs playing video games or something.

I don't wish illness on anyone, but in cases like these, I'm sorely tempted to believe in the Divine long enough to ask it to please give these asshats a raging case of ALS. Or at least chronic hemorrhoids.

(The other thing annoying today is entitled white guys whining about how their rights are being trampled on because they're "not allowed" to treat women, queer folk and PoCs like crap. Awww. Poor babies. They're like spoiled little brats who have been given a new toy every week and then throw a righteous fit when mummy skips a week to spend the money on charity or something. OMG, how dare other people ask to be respected as human beings?! Sigh...)

Must be time to step away from the computer for a while.
Mar. 9th, 2009 10:41 pm

Money pit

textualdeviance: (Default)

That's what it's going to cost to replace the leaking shower. And that's without any other remodeling at all. They have to rip out all the existing stuff, replace the shower assembly and pop in one of those prefab acrylic things, and that's all pretty costly. It's also going to take a while, since they have to wait ~3 weeks for the parts. So I guess we'll be showering down the hall for a while. Which is thrilling for me, since I can't easily get in and out of there.

So much yay.

We had one other guy today who was just going to fix the drain seal and open up the ceiling below to dry things out, but to be honest, I didn't feel good about just doing that. I want to be sure everything is OK there, and that's going to involve taking out the whole thing.

The other company I talked to wasn't interested in doing anything for us unless we were going to do a full, ~$32k remodel. He was also a complete ass about it, and assumed I was married and asked what my husband did for a living.

Um, no.

So we're going with a Home Depot (I know. Ugh.) company, who sent over a nice fella to explain the process and set us up with financing and such, and we signed on.

Technically, we could've put this on the empty credit card, but they had a 6 months no interest dealio, which sounded better to me. I'm hoping I'm employed by the end of that time, so we can pay it off fairly quickly.

I hate this. I really, really hate this. It's not like I had anything else I wanted to do with that kind of money. Like, oh, save it up to pay adoption fees.

And the worst part is that there are other repairs we need, too, like fixing the flooring in the other bathroom. Which will also involve removing the tub in there, which will thus also cost about that much, if not more.

We've been in the house about nine years, and we've yet to have any really expensive repairs, so I guess we were due. Bleh.
textualdeviance: (skwirls)
Turns out that the shower in our master bath is leaking. Into the floor below it. There's a wet spot in the ceiling on the first floor.


So now I get to talk to a bunch of contractors and try to figure out how the hell we're going to fix this. Because I have a sneaking suspicion this isn't going to be easy or cheap. They're probably going to have to rip out the whole shower, shore up whatever damaged flooring there is and rebuild the shower, probably with new stuff. And in the meantime, we get to use the shower in the guest bath, which is itself in need of some repair because the linoleum is coming up at the edge of the tub, thus allowing any splashed water to leak into the floor there.

The only reasonably good thing about this is that we have a whole credit card with nothing on it right now (though the other one will be close to maxed out once I've paid our tax bill.) So we can afford this, probably. We'll just be paying it off until FSM knows when. And with me not having a job right now, that's not going to be easy.

Really, universe. I needed this SO much right now. Thanks, ever so.
Mar. 5th, 2009 12:04 am


textualdeviance: (Otter Satan)
The cat is very lucky he's so damned cute, or he'd be charcoal right about now.

He stepped on the power button for my battery backup/power strip.

Thus shutting down my entire computer instantly.

While I was in game.


I was not in battle, and was actually about ready to log out, but STILL. DOOD.
textualdeviance: (skwirls)
So, I'm cleaning out the freezer. This necessitates cracking open the sliding door in the kitchen, since the freezer door won't open all the way without the extra room.

Fammy, the sneaky little asshat, managed to slip under the freezer door while I was up to my elbows in the damned thing. Seeing as how they're indoor-only and aren't currently wearing collars, this became A Crisis of Epic Proportions almost instantly. And of course, the little shit decides to go hide under the back deck, and would not come out, even with lures of squishy food.

I finally waited long enough, hiding around the corner, and she came out to go chomp on some grass. She was most definitely NOT happy when I picked her up, and she probably won't speak to me for days, but she's safely back in the house again.

Now I'm soaked up to my knees from the wet grass, shaking with the adrenaline rush, and I'm still only halfway through the freezer cleaning. SO MUCH YAY.
textualdeviance: (ASLWTF)
Goodness, I'm irritable and bitchy today.

Apologies if this continues and I snap at anyone.


textualdeviance: (Default)

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