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08/11/06 10:39 - 60ºF - ID#22014

sad sad ipod in security theatre

My ipod is dead. Was listening to it yesterday on the bus when it died-- low battery. Unsurprising, as it hadn't gotten a full charge.
Got to work. I have a 2 hour wait from the time the bus gets me there until work starts. So I bring my gadgets and sit by an outlet and all is well. Right?
Plug the iPod in.
It does the black apple in the middle of the screen that it always does as it starts up.
I plug in the shitty laptop (it's Z's old one and has a half hour battery life-- if that) and start it up. Open up documents, start working. (Am very nearly finished with novel. V. exciting. Only it sucks. V. disappointing.)

Meanwhile Channel 7 is about four feet away, using the next outlet to set up their camera. Well-groomed girl in nice shirt with microphone (and jeans) is mugging for the camera while the guy adjusts things. She watches him, poses, lets him meter the light or whatever.

My iPod is still on the black apple startup screen. WTF? I force-restart it with the pause and menu buttons, and it starts again.

The woman abruptly begins speaking: something about the new TSA scare tactics I mean rules. (WIKIPEDIA - speaks briefly about what a hassle it is. Then stops. Comes over, picks up an empty coffee cup, walks over to garbage can, speaks again, throws away coffee cup.
"Did we get it?"
Cameraman looks. She comes over. They ponder a moment. Then they exchange high-fives, and they take down the camera and equipment. I wonder briefly where they parked. I had noticed another channel set up right near the escalators, with their onscreen person standing next to the sign that said NO LIQUIDS OR GELS. Where did THEY park? Are they in short-term? Tell me they didn't just stick the news van in the NO PARKING LOADING ONLY lane. I'll kill 'em myself. Pisses me off.

Channel 7 leaves. Less than 30 seconds of material, they got, in the half-hour they were there. Cutting-edge journalism. Great stuff.

My iPod is still on the black apple startup screen.
I unplug it and stick it in my bag.
When I arrive home I plug it nto my computer. Same deal for over an hour. I guess it's dead.
It is a relic from the days when Z and I were overpaid Westchesterites.

My birthday's in two weeks. Maybe I should ask him for a new one? But maybe not. Maybe I'll get a new laptop or something else instead. Both of our iPods are on their last legs. My hard drive is almost full, and both laptops that have been left to me are so busted as to be either useless or nearly so.

So it's a dilemma.
Should I get a new laptop (and maybe a deal on a new iPod at the same time), or should I get a car? I only really 'need' the laptop during my three-hour commute when I take the bus to work. I'd sort of hoped to reward myself for finishing the novel, but without a laptop, I can't make any more progress on the novel.


I'll be 27 on the 26th, by the way. Should I have a party? Should I just collapse in sorrow at the fact that I Still Haven't Done Anything With My Life?
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Permalink: sad_sad_ipod_in_security_theatre.html
Words: 568
Location: Buffalo, NY

07/26/06 11:41 - 78ºF - ID#22013


So I just went down to the open skate at the Rainbow Rink in NT. There's a roller derby league forming, and somebody's starting a Buffalo chapter.

All-girl competitive amateur roller derby.

I had never heard of roller derby. Z had, apparently, and was really excited. But, he's a boy. However, his favorite thing to do is to egg people on so they do dumb things, so he's been all over this idea of me joining.

I can't skate for shit.
But everyone there was remarkably awesome.

I may have to do this.

Z's just excited because he wants an excuse to buy himself roller skates. Given that he's been looking for an excuse for over a year now, I have to admit that he's likely to be serious. Not that I tell him how to spend his money, but I do tend to roll my eyes over his propensity for buying things he winds up not using.

So, baby's getting himself a pair of roller skates. Me, I'm trying to convince myself that I need a new self-destructive hobby. How bad could it be? I already run into people for a living...

Queen City Roller Girls:

How awesome is that? Potentially, very.
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Permalink: rollergirls.html
Words: 208
Location: Buffalo, NY

07/17/06 03:38 - 86ºF - ID#22012


I wasn't kidding when I said that t-shirt about blogging has totally backfired.

I had my iTunes on random (ok not totally random, but as close as I get) and this song came on. I have a lot of random bits of Billy Bragg on there, and this one is somewhat typical.

I am a member of a union, for the first time in my life. Hotel Workers' Local 4, a subsidiary of a garment worker's union based out of Rochester-- of all things.

Now, thanks to the union, I have subsidized health insurance and have a procedure to ensure that I cannot be terminated without cause, cannot have my hours changed without going through proper processes, cannot be forced to work overtime (in theory), and am paid at a base rate much higher than the federally-mandated minimum for tipped positions. (In fact, if you are curious, my base hourly rate is ten cents above minimum wage, which is almost double what most bartenders make on the clock.)

However. The union is largely useful to me simply as a deterrent. When they adjusted my schedule without my permission, the union steward only had to say, "Well, when I spoke to [the union rep] he did say that that's illegal, but I wanted to talk to you before initiating anything," to the scheduling manager and she was falling all over herself to explain.

But when they actually screwed one of my coworkers on a seniority issue and she legitimately filed a grievance, it took the union rep two months to so much as respond.

These people get seven bucks a week from me, and from every single one of my coworkers, and are they there for us if we actually have a problem?

Not really.

But Buffalo's such a big pro-union town, and all through all my history classes I was always so inspired to read about the important fights the labor unions engaged in for the rights of workers...

Sigh. History classes make it so much easier to label The Good Guys vs. The Bad Guys; it's sort of painful to wonder what the history books will label us with, and what they'll simply forget.
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Permalink: union.html
Words: 362
Location: Buffalo, NY

07/09/06 10:39 - 75ºF - ID#22011


I am still trying to find The Perfect Photo Hosting Service.
I have two candidates currently in the running.

1) Flickr. I have just posted a bunch of pictures of drunk coworkers there.

2) Photobucket. My 4th of July pics of my baby sisters visiting are posted there.

Other news is scanty, but I did just pull a ton of weeds out of the garden and plant another planting of lettuce, peas, and radishes, because why not?
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Permalink: photos.html
Words: 90
Location: Buffalo, NY

07/06/06 08:39 - 59ºF - ID#22010

hold me, I'm scared

Last night I installed a bunch of software updates on my desktop computer. When they finished, the computer needed to be restarted. It gave me two options in the dialogue box: Restart or Shut Down. I looked to my left, where Z was sitting swathed in a quilt and looking adorable. He had just asked me what I wanted to do tonight, now that we'd finished eating dinner.

I clicked "Shut Down" and said, "Let's do something together."

He huddled himself down under the quilt and said, "I'm scared!"

So we snuggled on the couch to overcome our mutual fear of A World Where The Computer Was Off.

(Of course, all three laptops we owned were still on, but we won't get into that.)
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Permalink: hold_me_I_m_scared.html
Words: 124
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: rants

06/26/06 10:56 - 74ºF - ID#22009

wow am i ever inadequate

Over on my other blog I posted a little essay about how everyone is expecting me to start nagging Z about getting married. All his friends have done it, now, and he and I have been living together for 4 years, and, isn't it about time? Since we started dating relatives have been asking, and it's been funny, but now that I'm about to turn 27 (August) people are starting to get really insistent about it.

So I posted a little essay wherein I said that I don't think right now is a time when I should be making a big fuss about marriage. Sure, for most people, now would be a good time, but not for me. I'm in a sort of chrysalis stage right now, working hard at a job I despise to save up money for a hopeful career transition. I'm trying to write a couple novels, get them polished, and then I hope to get them published. Once I've done that, I can then be A Writer, and Quit My Day Job, and so on and so forth.
I think I don't need the distraction of The Expected Giant Wedding at the moment. (Apart from the fact that I kind of hate weddings. Please don't tell anyone, as I have been working kinda hard at pretending that I like them, since people go to so much trouble to have them, and then invite me. But oh God they're so... gay, to pick an utterly inappropriate adjective. But really! Guh!)

So I wrote this thing, saying that I'd want to get married basically to make finances and childrearing easier, but given that I have really neither at the moment, the question of marriage is irrelevant to my life.

So I'm getting comments on it now. I sort of expected people to say that Marriage Is About So Much More, but it's pissing me off anyway. Seriously-- people need to have a ring in order to validate their relationships? And the relationship, by the way, has to be The Most Important Thing in your life? (I got a lecture about Commitment, which was nice, but I really couldn't see how the marriage license was relevant to the question of relationships. You know, Z and I have gone through tough times and worked it out too...)

Well, I mean, I'd be totally lost without Z, but, uh, I mean... jeez, I sort of have other stuff to do.
And I mentioned that he hasn't asked me, of course, and in fact has humorously avoided the issue, and so of course it became the issue I was trying to avoid. ("Well," says the commenter resignedly, "if you're going to have to bully him, then you'd best not.") And when I said that the point of the essay was to separate cultural expectation from whether I really cared or not, someone questioned whether I really didn't care, or was just telling myself that. Which is kind of the opposite of what I was going for.

So now, after having spent all that mental effort on working out precisely why it so thoroughly annoyed me when people kept bugging me about getting married (like it's my only option, like if I don't then I've just wasted the Best Years of my Life), now I feel like precisely the shit I was trying to avoid. Obviously, my relationship is worthless, and the fact that he hasn't asked me means that he never will and I'm just living in denial here and will become an embittered childless loveless thirtysomething desperate barfly trying to find a babydaddy as her biological clock ticks away.
Thanks, reasoned debate!! Obviously you LOSE to cultural expectations, and I need to go start drinking heavily and dieting so that maybe a man will want me someday. (*spontaneously develops bulimia*)

And Z's post? Thanks, buddy. Thanks. I'll just go jump off a cliff now, as per your advice.

This isn't about making choices, it's about telling expectations to fuck off.

Your support is appreciated.

edit: I am retaliating with my own Magnetic Fields journal music, "No One Will Ever Love You".
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Permalink: wow_am_i_ever_inadequate.html
Words: 699
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: survey

06/23/06 12:23 - 71ºF - ID#22008


There's an actual post if you scroll to the next entry: this one's just the answer to the survey. I just thought I needed an interesting post title. Pardon my poor netiquette. :D Mostly I'm just saying "ZOMG" a lot today.


1. I became a member of (e:strip) because (e:zobar) did and I thought, what the hell! I could use more contacts in Buffalo. ((e:zobar) became a member because he helped (e:paul) put the server up at his company, so there's an unusually official connection there I guess.)

2. I am "out" enough, I suppose-- I actually don't usually mention (e:strip) because it's not my primary journal. I have had my livejournal for five years now, and periodically someone else will find it and drama will ensue-- but the shock is long past, and I'm actually pretty comfortable with the idea of the Public Internet Posting thing. I still occasionally say things that when certain people find them I'm a little chagrined, but I have a constant state of acceptance that, yes, I said it on the Internet, so I cannot assume that anyone in the world has not read it, and I must therefore stand by it. (Although it was a nice shock, four years ago, when my baby sister smugly said, "Oh, I told Mom about your LJ. She says you cuss too much.") Yes, that's a real photo of me; I've been chided once by an Internet acquaintance for putting pictures of myself online all the time, but you know, at least I don't post photos of my boobs anymore. I have grown up that much. (Sort of. Maybe.)

3. I've met a handful of (e:peeps) because of 1) (e:paul) through (e:zobar)'s work, 2) that one party, 3) (e:jenks) at the airport--she actually recognized me from my photo!, 4) (e:mrmike) downtown once. It's neat, because my chance of meeting LJ people in real life is virtually nil given the circles I move in and how non-Buffalo-centric they are.

4, 5, 6. (e:strip) hasn't had any real impact on my life yet, as I haven't been on it that long/ been that active. But it does have the potential to make a difference.

7. I have lived in Buffalo for 2 years now and have failed to make very many RL friends, so I hope (e:strip) can help a bit. I'm not good at getting out of the house.

1. None
2. No; I'm not good at figuring things out on my cellphone.


1. I don't use (e:strip) nearly as much as I mean to. I'm very used to the LJ "friendslist" concept, and not having that here makes it hard for me to keep up with people. There are a few people who I always read, but mostly I just click through the ten most recent when I'm not busy. I come by too infrequently to really be up on anyone, but I have scrolled back through the archives of a couple people who've piqued my interest.
1a. I don't know-- ten?

2. (e:strip) has helped me realize that there's a lot going on around here that I'm missing. Hopefully I'll become more active.

3. Over the last five years (zomg! my fifth LJ anniversary is coming up in a couple days! *dies of shock*) the concept of keeping a readable-to-others, *interactive* journal has very much changed my relationship with the Internet, the way I write about myself, and to an extent the things I choose to do. I am more likely to choose to do something I can blog than I would be otherwise. Certain things, I am more likely to stick with, knowing that I wrote that I was doing them and knowing that people are reading about my doing them. Example: I was writing a novel, and posting a chapter a week. Because I had half a dozen people reading and commenting, I made it through much more of the novel than I thought I could. Last week I finished my second novel, and I pushed myself to finish it because I knew my LJ f'list, who've been following this for 2 years now, would be psyched.

4. Not really.

5. Yes-- see answer to #4. I have always known that the act of writing things down makes them more real to me-- so I know that by regularly updating my blog I am meditating more upon my experiences and thoughts. In addition, having a calendar of my experiences and thoughts and hopes and assumptions for the last half a decade is invaluable for the perspective it gives me on my own perceptions of reality.

6. No, not on (e:strip), as I haven't been here that long, but on LJ, yes. I've expanded my vocabulary immensely, and also I've learned to write for an audience. Contrast my first week of posts with my most recent-- I used to just ramble on, and now I tend to keep it brief OR make it into an entertaining rant. Not that I'm some brilliant creature, but I am much more aware of my audience now. Blogging and fanfic have taught me more about writing that other people will read than my B.A. in creative writing did, and if I do manage to get either of these novels published, I will know who to thank.

7. Just Livejournal. I have tried to use Movable Type but I don't like blogging without a community to support me. There's just not the same audience, and I don't get out and read and comment on others' blogs if nobody's reading/commenting on mine. (Note: I got into LJ because a couple RL friends had blogs there, so I joined a community rather than 'starting a blog' as a solo endeavor.) (e:strip) hasn't really affected my use of that journal at all.

8. No, I have no Internet access at work.

9. N/A
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Permalink: ZOMG_NAKED_BOOBS.html
Words: 977
Location: Buffalo, NY

06/23/06 12:03 - 71ºF - ID#22007

online relationships and sociopathy

A recent event that was all over my livejournal friendslist got me really thinking about online relationships, how "real" the online world is, and just how seriously people can take it, and yet how little is really understood and is still forming of the boundaries that define our online lives, from the legal to the more nebulous, like etiquette.

I don't know if this marks me out as an utter geek or what, but over on livejournal a lot of the circles I hang in are fannish. I.e., many of my friends are into the fandoms of books, TV shows, movies, etc-- from writing fanfiction to attending cons and the like. Now, I myself am not very heavily involved in any fandoms-- I dabbled in the Lord of the Rings fanfic world while the movies were out, and still occasionally write the odd bit of it, but I have never been terribly fannish. (I did get nominated for an award once, and I have a few fans of my own, but I have never been a Big Name Fan.)
In short, I am just fannish enough that I know what all the words mean. (Although I had to have OTP explained [One True Pairing!], and am not quite sure what the official definition of a 'ship really is...)

But. To sum up, over in the Harry Potter fandom (which is a huge sinkpit for Wank, as these overblown fannish disputes are known), there was a woman. She joined a fic archive and posted a few fics. She immediately had a few oddly rabid fans. Then she was flamed-- oh the drama!!-- by a Christian fundamentalist troll. Then she was flamed by another one, this time racist as well as the usual homophobic. ZOMG the horror! These trolls claimed to belong to a particularly cliquey fanfic archive. The archive didn't notice until much later, and then denied knowing about them, but the damage was done. Other cliques railed against this archive-- how could it harbor these trolls? Eventually, that archive was disbanded under the sheer weight of wank.
More drama ensued. Finally, after literally years of this sort of thing, some bright bulb noticed that... the woman and the trolls flaming her, after a bit of analysis, had the same IP address. As did her oddly rabid fans. In fact, they were all the same person. She had fabricated almost the entire affair.

Under an assumed name, an HP BNF has done some hardcore investigative reporting on the topic, and recently published a ten-part expose on the whole thing.

On the one hand... it's the Internet. It's Internet fanfiction.

On the other hand, these are people's lives. I can attest that you can sink a damn lot of yourself into these online relationships and identities, and moreso when creative endeavors and real social networks are at stake. These are (mostly) real people, with real emotions, with real relationships to one another, even if they're "only" online.

So what do you think, fellow journalers? Is this a big deal? Is it just the Internet? Should we care? Are we more likely to see more or less of this as more people move more of their lives and social relationships online?

And one, somewhat unrelated note of interest:
Every major player in the story related there is a woman. Which is a fascinating and oft-overlooked aspect of fandom life: We're almost all women. Why? I couldn't tell you; I lack the analytical education to draw conclusions from the numbers.
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Permalink: online_relationships_and_sociopathy.html
Words: 594
Location: Buffalo, NY

06/14/06 01:15 - 72ºF - ID#22006

so lonesome!

(e:zobar) is going to Little Rock tomorrow, for the weekend. I am going to be alone! I am sort of torn between being psyched at a change of pace, and distressed: I am never apart from (e:zobar) and don't know if I'll know what to do with myself.

I'd ask people if there was anything going on that I could do by myself, but I'll be working all four nights he's gone, until about 9, so I don't know that I'll really be all that able to get up to mischief. Oh well...

Seems like a good time to do all those things I like to do that Z doesn't,but there aren't really all that many. I'll probably just snooze on the couch the whole time...
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Permalink: so_lonesome_.html
Words: 128
Location: Buffalo, NY

06/12/06 09:47 - 61ºF - ID#22005

mental health day

When (e:zobar) says I took "a mental health day" he neglects to mention that I was lightheaded, disconnected, and seeing goddamned pink elephants.
OK, maybe not elephants, but everything was pretty colors and I was completely disconnected from real life. I woke up groggy and sinus-achey and took a Sudafed-- one, one half-dose, of Sudafed-- and promptly became so fucking high. I mean, the previous night I'd smoked a joint and had three beers and had not been this high. But today, eighteen hours later, one little tablet for the sniffles and I was out of this world.

Going to work on a high like that seemed to be a relatively bad idea. So instead I went to brunch, held my shit together reasonably well, and then went to hit the art festival.

We hit all the festivals, and stopped by Neitsche's. Joe-the-owner was working the door, and charged us the cover but then instructed the bartender to give us a beer. So we each had a beer. Whereupon I was high AND wasted. (Mind you, the Sudafed had been consumed about six hours previous by this point, so I couldn't even tell you what the hell was wrong with me.)
We sat in there in the blessed loud darkness for two or three hours all told, and later did a shot with Joe, followed by a beer chaser.

I tell you, Allentown is at its best when you can't really see straight. I had a blast.
And it's the only time in about the last week that I haven't had a headache. Freaking cold of Doom, here-- I almost called in *last* Sunday, but decided against it. It's sort of ridiculous by this point. I've felt so bad for so long that work must think I'm making it up. At the moment my sinuses are better but I have this killer headache-- I had a glass of red wine with dinner, followed by two cups of coffee and three of water (and it's not like the diuretic effects dehydrated me, as I haven't been to the ladies' room even once, camel-like creature that I am)... Man.

But anyway. Saw the Art Festival while so fucking high and have decided that it's the best way to go. I just wish I knew what it was that made me like that, and that I could kind of do it on command, as it's sort of not a good way to live one's life.

In other news, I want to start making my own clothes. Does anyone do that, around here? In particular (and this is what makes me either weird or dumb), I want to make my own foundation undergarments. Why? Because the only bras I have that fit me cost me like $50 and had to be imported from Britain.
I don't even know what size I am in American sizes, but in British sizes I'm a 34/36F/FF.
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Permalink: mental_health_day.html
Words: 506
Location: Buffalo, NY



New Site Wide Comments

joe said to flyingdinosaur
Welcome to (e:strip)!...

paul said to joe
oh Jan Magnussen ;)...

paul said to tinypliny
I miss you too!...

tinypliny said to paul
Oh I see the sheep are there too. Is this the entirety of your flock? :D...