( The Piano Teacher by Janice K. Yee )( The Magicians by Lev Grossman )( Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld )
( Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell )
( Just Kids by Patti Smith )
*at least for a little while, until I lose track of time again, like always, and forget to post and become overwhelmed. But, here at the beginning, the plan is in place and I have hope that this time, magically, I will be able to sustain awareness/attention over a full 12 months.
All the social/networking/blogging options overwhelm me. I only recently gave in to both Facebook and Twitter. Despite allowing me to reconnect with an old friend both online and in person, Facebook mostly annoys me. It's a terrible blogging platform, and yet I am compelled to check it frequently. I am also irked that, although I have a username, Facebook doesn't let me actually use it anywhere and everything is under my parent-given name. Everyone has called me "Jed" for more than a decade and it's odd to see my given name next to my picture. Twitter, happily, has turned out to be delightful. It's fun to play within the character limit, and I've taken to writing retarded haiku about mundane things to amuse myself. Mostly myself, since I have very few Twitter contacts. I'm jed_bird there, fwiw, if your capacity for retarded haiku is not already maxed out.
So I'll need to take the links to the files down from both GoS and my site. If you've got them, I guess you're supposed to destroy them and pretend you never saw them. I'm going to email them back to make my case, but I already know that it will be pointless. Apparently, my unauthorized use will result in overseas companies producing oodles of knock-off toys. No, really, it will.
*an annoying troll who wanted to fight about intellectual property with me at the time I posted the UDs.
-- What book are you currently reading?
I'm reading about eight books at the moment - I'm never reading just one book. However, one of them is...
Manhunt by James Swanson
-- How far in are you?
About 60 pages, I think.
-- What's it about?
The search for John Wilkes Booth after he shot Lincoln.
-- Are you enjoying it?
Oh, yes. I recently was in DC and went to Ford's Theater and did the tour. It turned out that I knew next to nothing about the real events surrounding Lincoln's death, and it was an extremely interesting and surprisingly emotional experience. The book is great so far - I'm right at the part where poor Lincoln is about to be shot, which I guess is why I put it down when I did.
So, I realized that there were a ton of people saying that the pirate versions of the big cages I (vindictively) posed on GoS don't show up, and I don't know why, and it's easier to make my own version instead of trying to fix Thiefperson's version. I've made an open one and a closed one, master/slaved, and it has a slot in the very middle for a posed sim or whatever. All I need to fix is catalog placement - they're in massively different parts of the deco catalog.
The bar is based on a photograph from an antiques site. It turned out really well, except the labels on the bottles are backwards. Now, I could go in and re-map them...or I could just reverse them on the texture map, which is almost positively what I will actually do. But that needs to be done.
Finally, the Moroccan shelf. I added 4 slots to a cloned table, for a total of 5 slots. The entire time I was working on the mesh, all I cared about was the shape and getting the polys under 1000, which I did (962, iirc) and didn't really consider the shelf spacing, so only small things fit, but - I ADDED SLOTS! The only thing this needs is to have the second recolor redone since for some reason it isn't working and it's easier to redo it than to mess with it.
And this is a sort of peek at something I had been planning for quite some time. I made the mistake of suggesting circus for a GoS montlhly theme. It was met with great enthusiasm and was ultimately chosen, much to my horror. I had been confident that we'd have an apocalyptic theme, so confident that I'd already started meshing my apocalyptic ideas, and was embarrassed to be completely unprepared to address my own suggestion with actual downloads.
The tents were actually pretty much done on time, but I got sick and missed the end of the month and I was still dithering with the horse headdress things. There had been a lot more stuff uploaded than I'd expected, so I didn't feel as bad about it as I might have. Since I did blow the deadline, I have been working on more stuff for the set off and on ever since. No particular ETA on this stuff. There's quite a bit more than pictured, but I was too lazy to make an elaborate set.
I probably shouldn't have been surprised at the massive outflux of players from TS2 to TS3, but I am surprised at how many creators seem to have just stopped creating entirely - and there seem to be a lot who are still playing TS2, but not making TS2 stuff because supposedly no one wants it. Boredom or disinterest is one thing, but thinking that no one wants it - that's just not true. I want it :P
Oh, and I didn't make the horse. That's dragonslave's horse from MTS2. And, yes, I made 10 headdresses, one for each pose. Because I'm an OCD fool, that's why.
The trailers are a hint in the right direction (better class of, etc.) but are still misleading, as the story actually told isn't the story implied by the previews. I saw the movie in a nearly-full theater (maybe a dozen empty seats) of mostly date couples and little packs of friends, all late teens/early 20s, and I think they were expecting more of an Alien vs Predator sort of thing, as I've never before experienced an audience so seemingly traumatized into silence as this one. They were just short of running for the exits as the credits began to roll, without a peep from anyone as the stampede swept through the lobby and out into the parking lot. Some guy behind me finally ventured, "It was all right, I guess," with shaky bravado.
There's plenty of monster makeup and gore and CGI, but it's really a story about a man, and a sharp, sharp social satire/commentary, and if you either like or can tolerate a bit of gore, you should see it. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a long while. Hurry and enjoy it before the backlash starts!
1/2 shot St. Germain
tonic water & ice
As I am an extreme lightweight these days, it's likely I will not finish the drink. However, it is deliciously botanical and biting - for those who are not dilettante drinkers and do not like pretty bottles more than they actually like alcohol, Bombay is gin and St. Germain is elderflower liqueur. This is an approximation of a drink I had in San Francisco that had some sort of additional citrusy thing in it - which I cannot remember because I am indeed a lightweight these days and a single drink made me very tipsy. Tipsy is fun, because when I end up in front of a mirror in the ladies' room or wherever, I see that I look disheveled, and I am supremely confident that disheveled = hot. Which tends to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So, I am back from a hectic trip to Atlanta, then a 2-day gap, then Durham, NC, then Our Nation's Capitol, which I had not visited prior to this trip. R. (who will be known from here on out as Pirate, because "Arr," and also because it's her daughter's current favorite type of bandit) and I try to see Tori Amos as many times as is feasible whenever she tours - which meant a somewhat insane driving schedule to places I'd not driven before. Every time I go to Atlanta, I have to ask myself why I don't go more often - it's got a lot of the things I want in a city, even if it is too hot most of the time. I was disorganized getting there, and I was a half-hour late for the show, but what I did see was very good. She did a bunch of stuff off the new record at that show, and I'm just not that into the new one, but I never get tired of hearing Precious Things, and she apparently never gets tired of playing it.
As it turns out, Durham is charming, DC is beautiful, and Virginia is almost as good as the Pacific Northwest for green splendor. Tori was amazing - Durham was the best performance, but we had 5th row seats in DC and she was clearly very happy to be back in a place that has a lot of memories for her. Before the show in DC, we met up with someone we've both known online for years. Pirate is actually friends with her; I just know who she is. She was very close to someone (now dead) who really disliked me for unclear reasons, so I was a little uncomfortable going into the situation. However, it all turned out fine, and we all achieved tipsiness and enjoyed ourselves. Also, there was blackberry pie.
I would love to go back to DC and stay for at least a couple of weeks so that I could make a good effort at seeing the museums. It would also be possible to take a day trip or two to see other places I've always wanted to visit - Baltimore, for one. As a big fan of Homicide in its day, and then an even bigger fan of The Wire, I think I'm probably fairly right-sized about the glamor (or lack thereof) that Baltimore has to offer, but I'd like to see it anyway.
I was pretty loopy from driving so much in such a short period of time. Pirate lives in Knoxville and after I dropped her off there, I headed west for Nashvegas...and at the split I headed south instead of west and got halfway to Chattanooga before I realized what I had done. Eventually, I did make it home and had an emotional reunion with the dogs. The Mr. and I were also glad to see one another.
Something I miss about writing fanfiction is that whenever I traveled, I could say where I'd be, and people who liked my writing would clamor to meet up, often travelilng some distance themselves. I never liked it when people would treat me like a rock star instead of a friend, but I miss being a part of a subculture where meetups were practically mandatory when visiting new places. From this you can infer that if I ever mention that I'm coming to a place you either live or would also like to visit, I would be happy to meet you if you are interested.
I am continuing to make stuff for Sims 2 and hope to post a big project soonish. I will probably pretend I'm still mostly not here until I've finished this up. Taking a semi-break from playing and wasting time online (not all of it is a waste, but a fair bit really is...) has been rather refreshing.
Too much typing, not enough drinking. My ice has all melted.
Anyway, I posted my base clones at GoS, as well as a tutorial on how to use the regular and slave versions to make repositoried deco objects. It's not a new repository method by any means, but it's a big shortcut. I hadn't really thought about it until now, but a quick tutorial on just making deco crap using these (no need to figure out which game object to clone) might get more people making stuff since it's too fucking easy if you don't have to mess around trying to pick out a game mesh with the same placement and number of subsets that you need. All you have to do is click on things, and you don't need any brain at all. Well, maybe a little bit of brain, but just a very little.
( travel plans and unplans )
( circus of the damned )
Enough babble. Time to try the crossposting thing...
ETA: I like the idea of the rich text editor - which was introduced during my loooong break from LJ - but the damn thing doesn't work most of the time. Probably associated with this, the formatting of LJ code changed, as well. I feel inept far out of proportion with the importance of getting LJ entries right the first time, every time.
ETA2: I was going to post this locked, but realized I haven't added practically anyone to the list. If you're using a different name here than on LJ or GoS or wherever, I may not know who you are, so it would be nice if you would drop me a comment (here is as good as any place) so I can integrate your various aspects in my head.
ETA3: I couldn't take it any more. I customized in a half-assed way, with colors pulled from my site. Graphics will have to wait, but at least there's chromatic consistency between my online places.
Where was I? Yes, right. New soapbox, same soap I've been shilling all along. I've transferred the nixypixel LJ here as a backup and will probably do the same with at least the more personal of my older LJs. I am relieved to see that transferring entries doesn't flood one's reading page with "new" entries that are years old - I doubted this would happen, but it would have been mortifying to assume and be very, very wrong.
I wish I didn't feel my chattiest when I'm typing one-fingered on the tiny ipod screen. The need to say something, anything, decreases in proportion to the ease in saying it.
I was well last week and went to visit my friend, R., in Knoxville. We were all suffering from allergy issues but then the general itchy and scratchy feelings gradually began to seem like actual illnesses over the course of the weekend. I spent last night having awful joint aches, chills, and a throat so sore I couldn't swallow, and today I feel generally crappy, so any plan I might have had for avoiding contagion is sort of moot at this point. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, my plan is not to avoid, but to celebrate contagion and wallow in it like a
As for quarantine, I live in a place where the climate is such that I spend 7-8 months of the year avoiding going outside because I truly cannot take the heat - it's an autonomic issue, not just me disliking the heat, though I do indeed hate it. Anyway, it's not as though quarantine is that far off from how I already live, so I'd probably be fairly unaffected by it.
It's surprising how many people take offense at my preferred name when I am introduced. Older people tend to become very irritable and often challenge me on whether or not I have the right to be called whatever pleases me rather than a gender-appropriate name. I was getting a license for my scooter at the DMV the other day and had to sign an affadavit stating that my preferred name = same person as given name since the scooter shop wrote the preferred version on all the legal documents. The DMV lady suggested that I put the preferred name in quotes rather than bothering with a legal change, but I pointed out to her that there are too many people who won't call me what I like to be called if they know there's a girl name available. Based on her expression, I think she would probably be one of those people.
I have a pen name picked out for when I finish my book(s). I love the name, but it's not one I could actually use in everyday life due to vague and complicated feelings about its propriety/plausibility. Unlike my preferred name, the pen name has no relationship at all to my given name and, despite my dislike of my given name, it's what I went by for the first 30 or so years of my life. A derivative of that name makes sense to me in a way that a completely new name cannot. It's like my nose: I hate my profile, but I've had the same one for so long now that there doesn't seem to be much point in having it altered. I'm still going to be the person who hates her nose regardless of what that nose looks like.
email address given as firstname.lastname@example.org, but it's clearly labeled as being from a mail-faking site. Why someone would pick brontide to be my fake-hater is unclear.
Plenty of us what? People unfamiliar with punctuation? Oh, [person whose name I deleted because I am only 99% sure it's you]*, you are not smart enough to fight with...anyone really. Certainly not with me.
And you never do know who you're fucking with. It goes both ways.
* and I would feel bad about mocking you if it wasn't really you after all. Seriously, though, it totally is you.
( Here's what I've done so far... )
( blah blah Chinese??? blah blah )
( more famous and some not )
The state we live in has no requirements that people take any sort of driver's ed classes, and it's very obvious when out on the road. My best friend has always been an inattentive driver, but now that she has a kid, I'm actually afraid to drive with her because she tends to put the emphasis on parenting when she's behind the wheel.
Lazy idiots. Here's an example. At least she admits that her only reason for registering is to get someone to make her something. Would it kill these people to, I don't know, say "hello" before asking for things? I was raised by wolves and sometimes run roughshod over the more delicate of the social graces, but I can't imagine ever thinking it was acceptable to wander into strangers' houses and ask them to do me favors.
I behaved like a mature lady, I think, but I'm annoyed. After discovering this person/his email hails from a dubious web entity that I actually thought no longer existed*, all I wanted to do was make snide comments about A-Holers and request that he please fuck the fuck off of the real internet.
*I'm out of the loop on most public matters, though. I thought Ted Kennedy was already dead, so I was really suprised when I learned that he'd had a seizure on Inauguration Day.
But, seriously - who the hell uses AOL anymore?
I've got a new personal journal over there, too, to replace/back up the LJ one I haven't posted in for well over a year. Despite my lack of chattiness on LJ in recent months, everyone who really matters to me (other than the Mr.) is someone I met on LJ, so the idea that LJ as I have known it could and very likely will disappear is pretty sad. Even if LJ is technically still available, I'm inclined to move on.
( oh, woe is LJ! )
In irritants-related news, it has always driven me a little bit further towards insane to note that the LJ spellchecker doesn't recognize "LJ" as legitimate usage. Huh. But it apparently recognizes "Sup" and "6A." Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.
Your result for The Steampunk Style Test...
57% Elegant, 69% Technological, 53% Historical, 24% Adventurous and 11% Playful!
You are the Scientist, the embodiment of steampunk’s academic side. Where other technological styles might emphasize the gadgets of the genre, you realize there is more to science than doohickeys and gears. Your accessories are medical bags, test tubes, measuring instruments, and academic papers. You are more likely to carry a compass, quadrant, or ether-attuned spectrometer than a wrench or welding torch. You probably carry a timepiece, and your prolific reading gives you every right to wear spectacles. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of your style is that it combines the frock coats and bustle gowns of the 19th century with the trappings of Victorian science.
Try our other Steampunk test here.
I'm not surprised, and I don't disagree with the result, but I'd much rather have a picture of a chick in a bustle skirt and gratuitous goggles.
This entire year has been a litany of fail. Falling down, fucking up, breaking things, losing track, missing out and missing the point. I'm very ready for something different to happen, but I've lost faith in my ability to make something different happen for myself without resultant loss of limb or property damage. It makes more sense to stay at home, where it's not really any safer, but at least no one can see me fail.
Unable to concentrate any longer on my book (Roberto Bolano's 2666), I poked around in my site stats. See, yesterday my site showed up on Bines, which surprised me a bit, since I didn't submit it and I was under the impression that I had to if I wanted it to appear. I originally didn't want it to show up - with one of my first posts being bloody dishes, I didn't particularly relish lectures from the easily offended, reminders to think about "the children," etc. While it's possible I was overly cautious, I did achieve my goal: I haven't received any hate mail, and I've been able to enjoy myself in relative serenity. Now that I have plenty of non-bloody content, I'd been thinking I should go ahead and submit my next update - one with new stuff - to Bines anyway.
Anyway, back to stats - unsurprisingly, having one's site show up on Bines makes a difference. Traffic about doubled, which is nice, but also makes me a little wary. As someone who experienced popularity for the first time in her mid-30s, the hassles of that condition tend to outweigh the pleasures, and I think my tolerance for attention is quite low in the first place. Still, I like sharing my stuff, I'm happy with it at worst, and often even proud of it, and if I start feeling crowded, I can just put on figurative blinders. Or go away.
Fake edit: The Mr. is out of the operating room and is fine, or as fine as one might expect of a person cut open, stirred up, and sewn shut again. I get to see him in an hour or so.
Speaking of my site, I changed things up a bit, and I'm still tweaking, but I've fixed a couple of things that people were having difficulties with. In addition, my old WCIF didn't work correctly, and I am terrible about even remembering to look at my email, much less answer it, so I've decided to do something different. I've got a link in each content post (well, about half of them atm) to a WCIF list for each. Most of the older posts don't really have anything in them besides my recolor - a wall or floor, perhaps - so the bulk of the work is done. Of course, most of the stuff is unavailable because it's my as-yet-unreleased recolors, but at least people will know, and I will not have to feel bad about not seeing people's questions.
It's just occurring to me that I outght to have tried for a nap since I probably won't get a chance to sleep until late.This is not a sleep-conducive environment, however: uncomfortable loveseats with no stretching-out room (and I'm 5'10"), two warring overhead music systems combining efforts for an atonal xmas experiment, a TV blaring the perky AM news, strangers' one-sided phone conversations, and the loud intermittent buzzing of the pagers they give to all the families. Ooh, plus now crying baby!
Okay. Enough stream of consciousnessish blather. Thank you for keeping me company while I was waiting for news from the OR :P
*the only thing resembling edible in the vending machine.
**utterly routine,for a non-life-threatening problem, but the Mr.'s first time under the knife and thus kinda scary for us.