Friday, December 30, 2011

join Dreamwidth...

apparently, you can join Dreamwidth this week, without an invite code. the week runs through tomorrow, but i just found out about it today, so i'm passing it along.

i've got a copy of this blog on there, at username faceless_wonder. if you're on there, or end up joining, let me know. the best way for me to describe DW is that it's like Livejournal without the spam. i'm an old luddite who loves her Livejournal...but it's really nice to not get spammed incessantly. sadly, LJ has become a cesspool of spam comments in the past year, so much so that i cancelled my paid account there.

my one complaint about Dreamwidth is that the communities aren't as numerous or active as they are on LJ, but having more people migrate there should fix that, right? ;-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

...on occupy

over the last two months or so, since they started, i've been doing a lot of thinking about the Occupy protests, but very little talking about the phenomenon. i still can't say i have a coherent or fully fleshed-out opinion or narrative about them, but these are the ideas that keep reoccurring in my mind most often.

i'm annoyed about income and wealth inequality, but i know it's a fact of life. yeah, it sucks that there are a few people with absurd amounts of money, whereas i'm going to have a subzero net worth for the rest of my life. it's a warm and fuzzy fantasy to imagine a world without a huge gulf in wealth, but i don't think there's anything that can actually be done about it. i blame human nature. people are greedy bastards at heart, and the vast majority of people can't meaningfully fight that. this is the crux of why i don't think Occupy, or any similar phenomenon, is going to change a thing. if "everyone else" wrestled the wealth away from Joe, Bob, and Jen...it would eventually fall into the hands of Rick, Sue, and Ann: the people with the best combination of acumen for gaming whatever system has been put into place, and pure dumb luck. it's something we're stuck with, and something i have to live with while trying to carve out whatever little corner i can in which to live.

i get really emotional and angry whenever anyone tries to talk to me about Occupy, because the protests rub a really sore spot about my own past. it reminds me of the time that i was naive and misguided enough to think that such things would make any improvement in society. my first year of college, i would have been right out there, waving a sign and screaming at the corner of Jackson and LaSalle. i was a protestor, a college activist, a sign-waver. i saw things in society that pissed me off, was naive in thinking that hanging out in public and trying to notify passers-by about all these outrageous things going on would get them to care, and even more naive in thinking that there could be some kind of fix. not that i was actually doing anything about a fix...even though i believed in some abstract sense that problems of insufficient wages or insufficient health care or terrible working conditions or an insufficient social safety net could actually be fixed. i had no idea how to implement anything i wanted to see, and as best as i can tell eleven jaded years later, i can only imagine that i envisioned a day when enough people's eyes would be opened to what was going on, some switch would flip, and government would start passing laws that gave anyone a chance to live comfortably no matter their current socioeconomic status. that's the same outlook i get the feeling most of the Occupiers have...that they are part of a movement, and their movement will eventually garner enough support that Society Will Improve.

i'm pretty sure the reasons why Occupy really frustrates me are very similar to the reasons why anything political really frustrates me. maybe i'm the problem, and it's wrong that i've completely given up on the idea of meaningful economic change. as much as i wish we could, though, i don't see any kind of way to meaningfully legislate around or structure a government to circumvent the fact that we inevitably want to grab whatever we can for ourselves. we're screwed, in this way, and it's a far better use of my time and energy to try and build whatever little life i can for myself in the midst of this than it is to focus on my anger over a suboptimal situation that i cannot change.

Friday, October 07, 2011

i'm an idiot.

so, i looked in the mirror a few minutes ago, around 7:30am.

there were Security Justice stickers on my shirt, right over my boobs.

i turned around, and sure enough, there was a Secure State sticker on the bottom of my shirt, right across my bum, that said "When was the last time you were penetrated?"

i put this shirt on at 4:30am.

i got to work at 5:45am.

i had looked in a mirror at least three times before 7:30am -- and this was the first time i had noticed that various salacious locations on my body were covered in stickers.

this is why i am not designed to get up at four o'clock in the morning.

Monday, September 05, 2011

what a drag.

over the last week or so, i've been watching absurd amounts of RuPaul's Drag Race. *ABSURD* amounts of it. i've already blown through Season 3, and i've started watching Season 1. if you haven't watched it...go over to logotv.com and watch it, since all three season stream for free in their entirety. it's compelling, it's entertaining...

...but it's not really what this blog entry is about. this blog entry is more about the gender-related thoughts that have popped into my head while watching it.

i've never actually done real drag performance before. the extent of my drag experience is going to a few drag dances over the years. every time i've gone to any kind of drag dance, i've dressed as a drag king: bound my boobs down with an ace bandage (or ten), used some makeup to put a five o'clock shadow on my face, and gone out that way. problem is, except for the makeup and the boob-binding, there really wasn't any difference at all between nicky (who i am day to day) and larry (the drag king persona i was trying to be). i didn't feel like i was playing a character. i felt like myself, albeit with a few cosmetic additions to accentuate the masculine. i wore the same kinds of clothes day in and day out, and didn't feel the need to change much of anything about how i presented myself, since i tend to present myself in a rather butch fashion as a matter of course. that's just who i am.

compare that to how i feel if i'm going to a formal dance. i'm not explicitly trying to create a character, but i feel like something different than what i am day in and day out. the protocol of the event demands that i be something formal and feminine, so i'm costuming myself in a manner that's nothing like my usual, daily wear. i'm wearing a dress, heels, makeup. such trappings worm their way into my brain, and i subconsciously start to act in a way that's far more prim, proper, and feminine than the way i act day in and day out. i'm not myself--and that's fun, for a night here and there.

this is the kind of thing that watching RuPaul's Drag Race makes me want to do. it makes me want to bend my gender. it makes me want to put on a long-haired wig, makeup, a dress, and maybe even some heels -- go out, and be something that is nothing like who i am every day. it makes me want to do a supercharged version of what i do if i'm preparing for a formal dance or event. it makes me want to play around with formulating and portraying a character with a completely different gender expression than the person i am day in and day out.

and, yet, i feel a little weird about the fact that this makes me want to try being a drag *queen*. it isn't all that logical, since drag is supposed to be about finding a way to creatively portray a gender you aren't day in and day out -- and being a drag queen would do that for me in a way that being a drag king never could. even though, to me, being a feminine "queen" is a lot more of a transformation from my day-to-day existence than being a masculine "king", i still have this little voice in my head that tells me that it would be somehow belittling to male-bodied drag queens to go out as a female-bodied drag queen.

do i have any resolution to this? not really. these are just ideas that have been bouncing in my head for a long time, and have been bouncing closer to the forefront now that i've been watching many hours of Drag Race on TV. maybe i'll make a bit more sense of them in the future, maybe not. but, this is where my brain has been hanging out lately.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

...on livejournal

my paid livejournal account runs out on Friday, and i'm not renewing it this year.

i've had a paid account for the last three years...i know, i know, i was late to the paid livejournal account party. the fact that i wanted to be far more of a usericon whore got the best of me, and i upgraded. it was cool, but i don't think i want to keep paying them for that privilege -- especially when it's getting DoSed as often as it is, and when i'm getting as many spam comments as i've gotten over the last four to six months. i'm not paying for that kind of experience anymore.

...and, if i want to keep being a usericon whore, i'll upgrade to a paid membership to dreamwidth.

i've been copying all my entries there for about a year, and i like it. the communities there aren't as vibrant as certain ones (most specifically, the gaming communities and

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the world is not your flock

sometimes i know i'm going to get angry if i click the link to a news article...then i click the link, and then i get angry.

a large local church, Willow Creek, has been getting some publicity lately after the CEO of Starbucks cancelled an appearance there, due to pressure. people were pressuring him not to show up there because of what they said was the church's anti-gay stance. he finally decided not to show up. the article quoted the head pastor, Rev. Bill Hybels, as saying the following as part of his argument that the church is not anti-gay, or "not anti-anybody":

"We challenge homosexuals and heterosexuals to live out the sexual ethics taught in Scriptures, which encourage sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage,” said Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek. He added that the Bible prescribes “sexual abstinence and purity for everyone else."

thanks for undermining your own argument. that's an anti-gay outlook...not to mention, an anti-several-other-kinds-of-anybodies outlook.

in saying that your church only encourages sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage, you are saying that consenting adults of the same sex should not sexually express themselves. you are saying that consenting adults who choose not to marry for whatever reason should not sexually express themselves. you are saying that consenting adults who choose not to be in a committed relationship should not sexually express themselves. you are saying that consenting adults who choose to be in a committed relationship that involves more than just one man and one woman should not sexually express themselves.

is that illegal? no. the members of your church have a right to believe, and live out, your chosen sexual ethics. there's nothing i can do to stop you from believing that your way is the right way to live out your sex life.

however, there is also nothing you can do to convince me, or many others who disagree with part or all of your outlook on sexual ethics, that your way is the right way to go. do you have a right to speak publicly about it, or to try and convince others that it's the right way to live? of course! but, freedom to speak does not mean freedom from any consequences of your speech. after your church so publicly casts aspersions upon the legitimacy of how queer people, unmarried people, and nonmonogamous people choose to conduct their sex lives...don't expect sympathy when your church loses publicity, or gains bad publicity, as a result.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

music squee

"Diminish Me" by Imperative Reaction recently started popping up on my Pandora station.

given that the song is nine years old, i am wondering why Pandora (OR ANY OTHER RADIO STATION ANYWHERE, EVER) didn't play it for me sooner. it's gorgeous.

i just wish there were a youtube video of it that didn't have talking at the beginning. i'm probably going to end up buying it off of Amazon, so i can put it on my iPod. seriously, it's the best new-to-me song i've heard in a while.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

yet another Casey Anthony trial rant

the next time i see anyone on the internet whining about where the justice is for Caylee Anthony, i'm going to scream.

we have a procedure in place for meting out justice.

it involves the defendant being considered, under the law, as innocent until proven guilty.

it involves the state having an attorney to fight zealously for it.

it involves the accused having an attorney to fight zealously for him or her.

it involves twelve members of the community deciding whether the state proved its case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.

nothing in the law says that this is any different because the victim was a toddler, or any of a million other generally sympathetic things. nothing in the law says that this is any different if the accused is a party girl, or a million other generally frowned-upon stereotypes.

Casey Anthony was innocent until proven guilty. the prosecutor busted his ass for the state. her lawyer busted her ass for her.

and, in the end, twelve of her peers found that the state did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

it's awful that such a young kid lost her life, before she really got the chance to live it. however, if the jury didn't believe that the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, it would not have been justice for anyone for them to lie and say the case was proven to such a standard, just to give the public what it wanted to see, or just to give some measure of explanation for a tragedy.

but, justice doesn't mean finding expedient closure in the wake of a premature death or other unfortunate event. justice means making sure that both the accused and the state have their day in court, and letting the jury thoughtfully weigh the facts against the burden of proof.

justice isn't a question of whether we could bring Caylee Anthony back from the dead, or make the people who loved her or felt sympathy for her feel better in the wake of her death. the question wasn't justice for Caylee Anthony at all. the question centered around justice for Casey Anthony...whether the case against her was strong enough in the eyes of her peers to support conviction. the jury was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt -- and, in that case, justice was done by not convicting her.

Friday, June 24, 2011

DEFCON!

just over a month until Defcon...and i finally booked my travel!

i get in really late on Tuesday night, and leave late on Sunday night. this is awesome, since i can hit all of B-Sides and all of Defcon.

(i'm also flying out late enough to be able to make it to musical theatre class on Tuesday night before i leave...yay!)

i'm not staying at the Rio, because quite frankly, it's REALLY FUCKING EXPENSIVE. i can't justify staying at the con hotel if the one right next door is, on average, almost $100 less PER NIGHT than the Rio is...especially since it's not like i spend much time in my hotel room anyway when i go to cons.

anyway, i just feel a huge weight off my shoulders now that i've gotten all my Defcon ducks in a row.

now...T minus 39 days until i'm on my way! <3 <3 <3

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"we were never alive, and we won't be born again"

...if i were to compile a mix tape to tell the story of my past, i'm pretty sure this would be on there.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

i haz a bukkit

i've been awful...i've not only been posting infrequently, but i've really not even been reading anyone's blogs lately.

my personal computer time has been cut way short over the last two months or so. in mid-April, i was caught in the middle of a rainstorm, and my computer (six years old, poor guy), got wet through my bag. it still booted, but the hard drive was fried. so, i've been booting it from a liveCD since then. it was getting to the point, however, that it wasn't even doing that properly...it would take three times to even boot right from that anymore, and then just sometimes decide to freeze. basically, my poor little guy had become unusable.

it did have a good run. i bought it in August of 2005, and it had been doing its duty ever since, despite the fact that i had been beating the stuffing out of it. the spacebar had been superglued on since 2007, the V key was only working one out of every two or three times you hit it, and the case was getting all cracked, but i love that thing. it's also covered with excellent stickers.

however, it was not doing its job very well anymore. as a result, my only time on a reliable computer was while i was at work...and i've been doing almost no personal internet stuff from work, especially since my new responsibilities and my new (happy shiny nine-to-five) hours have been keeping me so busy from the time i show up to the office to the time that i leave.

however, this has been fixed. i now haz a bukkit...a new bukkit. and, yes, i did name the new lappy "bukkit", same as the old one. as weird as it is to call my new laptop the same as the old one, it would have felt even weirder for my primary laptop not to be called bukkit, especially since the old one is pretty well nonfunctional.

...and i really need some awesome hacker stickers for this new bukkit. stat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Augustus Scavvie

i spent this past weekend doing the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt. it's one of my favourite times of the year...four days of madness, insanity, and abject absurdity. i come back to campus every year to compete with GASH, the Graduate/Alumni Scav Hunt team, and i always love seeing old scavvies again, meeting new ones, and doing ridiculous items together.

this year i did mostly writing and song-writing items. i did a lot of items i thought were fun (many of which i may post here over the next few days or weeks, since i wrote some pretty cool stuff...), but my favourite by far was item #21:

Augustus Scavvie was a little boy
Who thought that everything was a toy:
Glue guns, glitter, hammers, and nails,
Dry ice sitting in big white pails.

When Scav Hunt came, he saw the List
And after reading, got the gist
Of items involving dare and spunk,
Of items made of nought but junk.

He decided he should try his hand
And join one of the merry bands,
But there it was the dreadful Fate
Befell him, which you'll now relate...

Today it is your job, my friend
To spin a yarn from start to end.
Now, Belloc's poems were cruel and torrid--
Weave a Scav poem just as horrid. [4 points]


that's right...the item on the list was written in verse. the key was in the last two lines: this item alluded to Hillaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales for Children, a book of verses about children who either die horrible deaths because they disobeyed their parents and caretakers, or led their friends or family to horrible deaths because they disobeyed such authority.

of course, this is a perfect suggestion for an absurd scav-related poem. this is what i wrote:

*****

Augustus Scavvie, who attempted Scav Hunt at a too-tender age, and unfortunately lost his head while working on a showcase item alone.

Augustus Scavvie seemed quite alright.
He knew he had a future bright.
In his name lied his destiny:
To hunt the Scav at U of C.
His first decade he obeyed rules:
He kept his play to plastic tools
And wooden blocks that he would use
To craft the most elaborate views
Of anything he thought would build
His nascent Larger Projects skills.

But when li'l Scavvie got to ten,
He thought that he could run with men.
He begged his mom and dad to please
Let him attend the List Release.
They turned him down, but he did fight
Then disappeared in dead of night
By waiting 'til his mom dropped guard
Then borrowing her transit card.
By midnight's hour the naughty boy
Had found his way to Ida Noyes.

He tried to find a team who'd roll
Such a young boy into their fold.
They all told him to head on home.
He would not go. He must still roam.
Augustus had not reached his dream,
For he had not yet found a team.
The stubborn boy did keep his spark,
He kept on wandering Hyde Park
Until he spotted as he walked:
A team with its HQ unlocked.

The only scavvies in his sight
Were sleeping, so the time was right.
Augustus tiptoed in to find
A wooden frame seven feet high.
A metal sheet with sharpened edge
Hung from the top, upon a ledge,
And to the blade a rope was tied,
Then pulled around, and down the side.

Augustus planned his scav debut
But knew not what the thing could do.
He walked around to take a look
And still its purpose hadn't took.
Too excited to desist,
But too impatient to read a list:
He thought to leave mark with his name
By hammering nails into the frame.
He missed a nail by just a shade
And bumped the rope that hung the blade.

There was an issue unforeseen:
The project was a guillotine.
Soon as young Scavvie touched the rope
The blade fell down; there was no hope.

The other scavvies in the room
Awoke to a scene of extant gloom.
The showcase zone now had a flood
Of Augustus Scavvie's drying blood.
His head gazed out with plaintive eyes
Too late to stop his sad demise.

The funeral fell on a sunny day
During the second week of May.
His mother and his father came,
His aunts and uncles cried his name.
The pastor's eulogy began
With happy tales of the poor young man.
But slowly it became a screed,
A warning dire for all to heed:
Wait 'til eighteen years you have
Before you Hunt the Mighty Scav.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

BEST. OS. NAME. EVER.

...in honour of the new ubuntu release today:



my, what natty narwhals.

...yet again, having one of those Bullet For My Valentine kind of months.

"all these things i hate (revolve around me)"
by bullet for my valentine

once more i'll say goodbye to you
things happen but we don't really know why
if it's supposed to be like this
why do most of us ignore the chance to miss
oh yeah

torn apart at the seams of my dreams turn to tears
i'm not feeling the situation
run away try to find that safe place you can hide
it's the best place to be when you're feeling like

me...me...
yeah...yeah...
all these things i hate revolve around me...me...
yeah...yeah...
just back off before i snap

once more you tell those lies to me
why can't you just be straight up with honesty
when you say those things in my ear
why do you always tell me what you wanna hear
oh yeah

wear your heart on your sleeve make things hard to believe
i'm not feeling the situation
run away try to find that safe place you can hide
it's the best place to be when you're feeling like

me...me...
yeah...yeah...
all these things i hate revolve around me...me...
yeah...yeah...
just back off before i snap and you'll see
me...me...
all these things i hate revolve around me...me...
yeah...yeah...
just back off before i snap

torn apart at the seams of my dreams turn to tears
i'm not feeling the situation
run away try to find that safe place you can hide
it's the best place to be when you're feeling like me
it's the best place to be when you're

me...me...
yeah...yeah...
all these things i hate revolve around me...me...
yeah...yeah...
just back off before i snap and you'll see me
me...me...
all these things i hate revolve around me...me...
yeah...yeah...
just back off before i snap

Friday, April 08, 2011

...because i totally buy all my nukes from spammers.

i have seen the pinnacle of email spam. nothing i can say can make this spam more perfect, so just keep reading:

Best nuclear weapons!

Welcome to our site: http://www.ua-today.com/modules/myarticles/article_storyid_32685.html

We offer the nuclear weapon, uranium, rocket installations.
Quality, guarantee.
Call now and you receive 2 tanks at the price for 1.
Our clients, it and Osama bin Laden, Abu Musa Azzakrakui, Halifa bin Zaed
And many other dear people.

Welcome to our site: http://www.ua-today.com/modules/myarticles/article_storyid_32685.html

If you have any questions, please contact us: http://www.ua-today.com/modules/contact/


11714
70794
44808


and, the links? they go to some Ukrainian news site.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

very punny.

it's the return of the sea anemone enemy!



i <33333 Pearls before Swine.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

*rant*

oh, internet misogyny, how i love you.

and by love you, i mean i think you're pretty obnoxious.

but, i'm resigned to it, since calling misogynists on the internet out on it usually ends up being interpreted as troll bait.

Friday, April 01, 2011

two years, already?

yesterday marks two years since my last day ever working as an attorney.

i knew then that it was the best possible thing that could have happened...i was not happy there, i was already secretly laying the foundation for making my exit, and getting laid off (as opposed to leaving on my own) gave me the one thing for which i was planning to stay in that job for a few more months: enough money to confidently face the near-certainty of a prolonged period of unemployment.

when i was laid off, i hadn't decided for sure whether i would be working as an attorney again. i knew i wouldn't be returning to the large law firm environment...it works for some, but it had become painfully obvious that it wasn't my thing. my heart was already leaning toward forsaking law entirely and figuring out some computer-related career path; a few weeks before i was laid off, i remember spending an entire day on the couch, on the verge of tears, cursing my job and looking up computer science graduate programs as a way out. however, my head wasn't quite so sure yet...some of it was fear of the unknown, some of it was was some lingering sense of obligation to follow through with my degrees, and some of it was not wanting to admit to the world that my career path up until then had been a long, stressful, and expensive path to a depressing dead end.

all i knew was...when it happened, i felt free. i wasn't sure what was next, but at that point, it didn't matter. i'd be able to figure out on my own time where "next" was, without the stress of spending forty or more hours a week in a place where i never quite fit.

two years later, things are much better. i get to play with servers for a living, and i'm learning a lot. as much as i did to shore up my computer skills in the fourteen months between when i was laid off from the law firm and when i started my current job, i've learned so much more--and gained far more real-world context for my computer knowledge--in my job. i like my co-workers, and feel like i belong at my company in a way that i don't think i've ever felt with any job i've had up to date. i've been there for ten months now, which is longer than i spent practicing law.

my life isn't perfect by any means. i still have my freak-outs. i frequently stress out about how little i feel like i know about computers compared to how much i want to know, and compared to how much my friends know. i even more often get bent out of shape about what a terrible decision going to law school was; i regret it every day, and can't believe how naive i was, thinking i'd be happy as an attorney. given my amazing talent for seeing the worst in myself, i doubt either of these stresses will ever subside, no matter how far i make it in my new career.

still, the fact remains that i'm in a much more satisfying place than i was when i woke up on March 31, 2009.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

bring me...a shrubbery!

if News Crack Smokers Can Use has a mantra, it's this: Hide Your Crack! if you keep your crack in a place where other people can easily find it, someone is going to find it. and, when someone finds it, at least one of two things will happen: they will steal it, or they will trace it to you and have you busted for being a crack smoker. therefore, it is key that you keep your crack in a place where you -- and only you -- have access to it.

secondly, if you are a crack smoker, it is a bad idea to also be a crack dealer. first of all, both selling and smoking crack would make it far too tempting to break Biggie's infinitely wise Fourth Crack Commandment: never get high on your own supply. furthermore, running a successful business is difficult, and doubly so if you not only have to worry about the difficulties of the market, but also about continuously staying one step ahead of Officer Friendly.

what is the moral of this story? basically, it's a terrible idea to stash tens of thousands of dollars worth of crack and cash in the communal shrubbery at your flat.

although, this may explain why The Knights Who Say Ni are so insistent that people bring them shrubberies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

lamentations on the lack of women in information technology

whenever a ticket comes into our support queue in the middle of the night, and the sender's name is a female name that i don't recognize as belonging to a customer who often sends tickets at such an hour, i always end up muttering to myself, "ugh, this is probably another spam email in our queue."

and, every single time, i'm right.

i don't know which of these two things is worse.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"crack prosecutor" doesn't mean what you think it means.

here at News Crack Smokers Can Use, we've suggested several times that it might not be a good idea for lawyers to smoke crack. competent legal work requires critical thinking, a sharp intellect, and an ability to put your job first in your life. all of these are capacities that crack smoking tends to hinder. if you enjoy law-talking, awesome. if you enjoy crack smoking, awesome. but, your life will be far less complicated if you choose at most one of those two pursuits.

imagine you're a prosecutor. if you aren't a crack smoker, you'd probably notice a pattern in the cases you've worked on, and the evidence you've used. you'd have picked up by now that the local departments of law and order are quite enamoured with finding and prosecuting local crackheads. when someone is identified as a crack dealer, the police like to keep tabs on them in the future, because it can not only lead them to further evidence against the dealer, but also in the general direction of crack smokers they can arrest.

what i'm trying to say is...if you prosecute high-profile drug cases, you should really know better than to smoke crack. and, even if you insist on smoking a little crack once in a while, it may be a good idea not to take your crack dealer for a ride in your Beemer.

otherwise, you may become the laughingstock of crack smokers and prosecutors alike. and, that's never a good thing.

Friday, March 18, 2011

say no to crack

dear crack smokers,

i love you, and am trying to be patient and cordial with you, but sometimes continuously providing the same common-sense piece of advice and seeing it go unheeded gets a little frustrating. i've made this particular point several times in here already.

this is the last time i will say this, so please pay attention:

just because it's called your crack does not make it a good place to hide your crack.

it's not as sneaky as your crack-addled brain has convinced you that it is. if you give the nice person in blue permission to search your person, he's going to look. if Officer Friendly sees you walking a little funny because you're a little uncomfortable around the cheeks, he's going to look. if you get booked into jail, you're going to get strip-searched, and the corrections officers are going to look.

i know they call it "where the sun don't shine", and that it's not a particularly appealing place for anyone to search, but unfortunately so many of your fellow crack smokers have been caught with their goods in or around their butts that the cops will always look. seriously, crack smokers, it's cliche.

please, for the sake of your own happy crack-smoking future, stop hiding your crack in your butt crack. it's best not to take your crack out of your residence at all, but if you do, it would behoove you to find a more clever place to stash it.

love,
the persecuted crack smoker

***

(hat tip to Rob T Firefly for the news article!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

whose cuisine reigns supreme?

part of the reason that Iron Chef is such a fun show to watch is to see what kinds of interesting things the chefs do with the secret ingredients. sometimes the secret ingredient is something fairly common, such as egg, crab, cucumber, or curry powder. sometimes it's a little more esoteric: they've used things like oatmeal, coffee beans, eggnog, and ice sculptures. however, the there are two things that all Iron Chef secret ingredients have had in common: they're all edible, and they're all legal.

i'm sure you all know where this is going.

never has the secret ingredient in iron chef been cocaine powder, and never has an intrepid chef served the judging panel a steaming plate of crack rocks on national television.

some Cleveland-area entrepreneurs should have taken a hint from the show, and stuck to concocting creations based on a secret ingredient other than cocaine. seriously...if they're that gung-ho about cooking something and then selling their wares on the street, they could have devised some interesting food, set up a food truck business, and gotten into a whole lot less trouble than they did for their crack operation.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

SCOTUS gets it right, for once

i'm glad the Supreme Court ruled the way they did in the Westboro Baptist Church case.

there, i said it.

does that mean i approve of Westboro's message? no. i disagree entirely with their message of pure homophobia cloaked in religious garb.

does that mean i approve of Westboro's tactics? no. their tactics are obnoxious, and thoroughly inconsiderate to the decedents, and all of their families and friends who have come to mourn their deaths and celebrate their lives.

but, i can't get behind the people that say that the Supreme Court should have ruled against Westboro because it's disgusting that they're waving their "thank God for dead soldiers" signs at military funeral. those are two completely different issues.

am i saying that there shouldn't be any limits whatsoever to freedom of speech? no. there are fringe cases, like yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theatre, that are likely enough to lead directly to bodily harm that they shouldn't be constitutionally protected. but, i'm saying there really shouldn't be much more limit than that. as much as we don't like to face that fact, freedom of speech exists to protect our right to say things that people--even the vast majority of people--find incorrect, or even appalling.

this applies even more strongly when people are making commentary on issues of public concern. even though most of us think they are total wingnuts for celebrating the deaths of soldiers as a part of God's revenge for the country being too tolerant of homosexuality...the Supreme Court is right in assessing that this is a commentary on a matter of public concern. look at it this way...if it were anyone else talking about how tolerant or intolerant this country is of a particular group of its citizens is something that concerns the public. the fact that it's Westboro Baptist doesn't make them special: it neither gives them extra protection, nor gives them lowered protection to speak about issues of public concern.

the fact that they organize protests at funerals? that makes them asshats, to be sure. but, it doesn't make them immune from Constitutional protection for speaking their message in public. just as the Constitution protects you and the people you like, it also protects your worst enemy, and protects the people you can't stand.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

right on, Rep. Moore.

thank you, Rep. Moore, for speaking truth to the patronising, bullshit "argument" that Planned Parenthood is racist because they kill so many black babies.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

dammit, pandora...

"this world may have failed you
it doesn't give you reason why
you could have chosen a different path in life"
"Angels"
by Within Temptation

...of course this song had to come on Pandora just after i recoiled at the thought of writing a poem about something i still don't quite feel up to writing about yet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

*squee*

this has been a pretty good couple of days.

yesterday, i found out that i got one of the solos for my choir concert in March, and that i will also be in a small-ensemble piece! we have concerts on Saturday March 19 at 5pm and 8pm at Mayne Stage Theatre, by the Morse Red Line stop. i will be doing my solo at the 5pm show. the concert material is the same at 5pm and 8pm; only the soloists differ.

this morning, i found out that both the talk i proposed and the event i proposed for Notacon 8 were accepted!

my talk will be called "The Free Software Studio: Open-Source Tools for Musical Exploration and Composition". it will cover a wide range of free software music creation tools: what they are, how they work, and how to get them working together to realize your musical projects. whether you're just curious about how to get started in computer music, or you've been doing it for a while but want to add some things to your bag of tricks, it will be an interesting and helpful talk. it's about free software, but it's not Linux-specific at all--i will discuss tools that run on Linux, Mac, or Windows, so everyone can join in on the fun!

my event will be familiar if you came to Notacon last year: i'm hosting Whose Slide Is It Anyway again this year. :D if you're not familiar with it, it's a very silly game where i prepare twenty decks of five slides each. the slides, as a general rule, make very little sense. participants sign up to get in front of the crowd and give a short talk, with a Q and A at the end, based on one of the decks of slides. of course, they haven't seen these slides in their life. hilarity inevitably ensues.

i've got a busy and exciting few months ahead of me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a popping good time

we got some stuff at work that was packaged in some bubble wrap.

the angel on my shoulder says i should put the bubble wrap with all our other bubble wrap.

the devil on my shoulder wants me to pop, pop, pop every bubble on that sheet.

why is bubble wrap so awesome?

Friday, February 11, 2011

welcome to chicago, motherfucker.

...i don't think i've listened to this song since my second or third year of college. looking back on it, the lyrics are even stupider than i remember, but it's still a catchy song, and a lot of fun to listen to.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

a corpse is not a box!

this is by the same folks who brought you Llamas with Hats...and it's almost as deranged. i get the feeling Mittens and Carl would be good friends. ♥

Thursday, February 03, 2011

staying warm

a quick and easy guide to staying warm in Chicago:

  1. read a bunch of articles and news reports that say the temperature is going to be -17 in the morning, and the wind chill -35.
  2. remember that the last time you were outside, and the wind chill was in the -30s, it felt like your entire face was going to freeze off within seconds--even under a scarf.
  3. spend the entire evening bracing to face that kind of cold again.
  4. step outside.
  5. wait a minute.
  6. notice that your face is not freezing off.
  7. bask in the tropical glow.

i love the internet.

a few weeks ago, i made a post with the lyrics to "Texas Hold 'Em" by No Particular Night...or Mourning, a song that i've known since 2003 or so, but haven't heard since 2006, when my last backup of the song died in a little accident involving my purse, my minidiscs, and a container of tasty, delicious (and unfortunately melted) Ted Drewes.

jenius08 saw this post on Livejournal and, unbeknownst to me, tossed out a question to see if anyone on Reddit had heard of the band or the song. a little while later, Alan, one of the members of the band, responded to the post! she got the two of us in touch, and he sent me not only that song, but all the music the band ever recorded.

:D :D :D

in short, i just wanted to say a big thanks to both of you. <3 you're awesome, and have both given me the chance to hear music i thought i'd never, ever hear again in any medium except for my own recollections.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

no, "i want a hooker" is NOT an emergency.

dumb: calling 911 once to ask for an escort.

dumber: calling 911 twice to ask for an escort.

even dumber: calling 911 three times to ask for an escort.

of course, "drugs or alcohol" were involved. the record is incomplete about which drugs...although if it wasn't crack, i'd be frightened to see the depths of stupid to which this guy would plunge if he were on crack.

Christmas Cantata

...in case you weren't able to make the CBA Chorus's performance of Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata last month, it's on youtube. :) you can't really see me in the video because i'm in the back left corner, hidden behind certain architectural features of the church in which we were performing. however...it sounds good -- and wow, was this a fun piece to sing!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

epistles for crackheads

the persecuted crack smoker,

to all citizens of McCracken County who consume or do commerce in crack cocaine, or are considering the same,

may i take the liberty of advising you that just because you reside in a land called McCracken County, it still may not be legal to sell crack out of the home you share with your family? it is rather unclear what you did to suggest to the constabulary that there may have been crack rocks in your humble abode, but it remains clear that your life's vocation should have been a somewhat less statutorily offensive endeavour if you desired to continue deriving pleasure from setting crack rocks aflame and inhaling their heady smoke.

*****

the persecuted crack smoker,

to all people considering a career in entertainment, which may run either consecutively to or concurrently with a career in crack cocaine peddling,

your most successful option is to cease all pursuits of your ambitions along the crack-dealing front. performing music onstage, be it mellifluous or cacophonous, will be far less likely to land you behind iron bars than anything requiring you to apprach near a crack rock. however, if you insist on acting as not only a performer but also a high-level operative in a crack cocaine commerce cabal, let me advise you that choosing a stage name such as Gambino may not be the wisest among decisions. performing under the moniker of a renowned syndicate of scofflaws will not deflect the attention of the authorities, but rather encourage them to investigate why you admire these "Gambino" racketeers so much as to adopt their name.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

take a Peep at this fail.

earlier this month, some sketchy start-up showed up at CES. their website is full of all kinds of vagueness and puffery. i'm doubtful their magical voice and data mesh will ever pan out, and the fact that Scott Redmond (the mastermind behind plenty of other tech-related epic fail) is behind this does not do anything to help the case.

however, one of the pictures in Rafe Needleman's CNet article is enough to make me want to travel back in time and laugh these fools right out of CES.

take a look at this picture:



according to Peep, the depicted object is the "Peep Pod walkie talkie", a $20 gadget that will allegedly sync with a bluetooth headset and transmit voice up to thirty-six miles. however, if you've ever logged into any somewhat sensitive computer systems, you're probably already thinking what i'm thinking. if you haven't, take a look at this:



this is not a Peep Wireless device. this is an RSA SecurID fob, a hardware token used in two-factor authentication.

compare it to the "Peep Pod" above. the shapes are identical. the recessed areas where it looks like something was removed are identical to the locations of the stickers on the RSA SecurID fob -- up to and including the little dent in the circle on the left. the layout of the number on the screen, as well as the dots down the side, are identical to an RSA SecurID fob.

from the looks of this, there's no such thing as a "Peep Pod" at all. it's a defaced SecurID, being used to try and dupe people at CES into thinking that they actually have prototyped hardware.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a lack of religious tolerance

this is just...disrespectful and disgusting.



the video doesn't show who was screaming: if it was senators, spectators, staffers, or whoever. i don't care. anyone present for that session should know better than to disrupt the session: be it the beginning prayer, senate debate, or anything else. furthermore, it's not going to speak well of the religion that you're screaming about to interrupt or insult a blessing by a cleric of another faith. even if you don't see religion the same way as the cleric who is speaking, it's no reason to be disrespectful of him.

besides, there's nothing saying that the Senate is a Christian organization...we've still got this little thing called the Establishment Clause, and there's no set state religion. it's perfectly appropriate for anyone of any belief system -- monotheist, polytheist, pantheist, atheist -- to be able to give an invocation before a lawmaking session in this country. allowing a cleric to say an invocation before session isn't tantamount to framing theirs as the one true faith; rather, it's tantamount to saying "we are a nation of religious freedom, and people of your faith are welcome here, just like everyone else."

he deserved basic human respect, and i'm embarrassed that not everyone in that Senate session showed it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

i'll keep on dying a little each day...which should suit you just fine...'cause you can't stand to see me alive

this song is still one of my favourites ever, and has been stuck in my head for weeks. all i want to do is listen to it...but unfortunately, i lost my only copies of this song (which i downloaded off the band's website back when it still existed...circa my fourth year of college) in a hard drive death and a minidisc death, respectively.

it would make my life to hear this song again.

texas hold 'em
by no particular night...or mourning

with one false step you could cut me in two
and i'm breathing backwards just to make do
but your sinister stare has caught me off guard
so i'll throw up my hands and ask why

and i'm waiting for whatever you're giving
forevermore
a sacrifice now for my sorrows
and i'll stuff it in sacks
and rain down on you like july

you say i'm no good at lying
but i never acquired your taste for the trade
so i'll keep on dying a little each day
which should suit you just fine
'cause you can't stand to see me alive

and i'm waiting for whatever you're giving
forevermore
a sacrifice now for my sorrows
and i'll stuff it in sacks
and rain down on you like july

you've got just one more chance
to make me feel better
you're building the fence
to ride out the weather
in that self-pity cellar you built there for me
forget it
it's over
goodbye

and i'm waiting
for whatever you're needing
i can't stop the pain
if you can't stop the bleeding
with your shit-eating grin
you're pissing apologies
but i'll sit and smile while you cry
i'll sit and smile while you cry
i'll sit and smile while you cry
forget it
it's over
goodbye

Friday, January 07, 2011

...

deaf dumb and thirty
starting to deserve this
leaning on my conscience wall
blood is like wine
unconscious all the time
if i had it all again
i'd change it all

(...the second verse of "machinehead" by bush. it was good when i was a teenager. it only becomes more applicable as i get older.)

Monday, January 03, 2011

fast forward?

is it January 27th yet?

no?

darn. i could seriously go for some Shmoocon goodness right about now.

blatant memery.

...and now, for an end-of-year meme (a couple days late, ha.) stolen from windofderange.

[1.] What did you do in 2010 that you have never done before?
convinced a company to pay me to play with computers. ring in the new year in another country.

[2.] Did you keep all of last year's resolutions?
i gave up on making new year's resolutions long ago. they're a total joke, and i find it so contrived to decide to change anything because it's a new year. the only good reason i see for deciding to change anything is if something is making you deeply, bitterly unhappy or unfulfilled.

[3.] Have you any resolutions for next year?
of course not.

[4.] What countries did you visit?
Germany (well, that trip started in 2009, but carried into 2010...i spent the first six days of 2010 in Berlin) and Canada (for B-Sides Ottawa).

[5.] What would you like to have in 2011 that you didn't have in 2010?
unrealistically? a big lottery windfall, so i don't have to worry about the fact that i'm going to be paying off that stupid decision to go to law school for the rest of my stupid life. realistically? maybe a new computer, because the one i have isn't working all that well, and will turn six years old in August of 2011.

[6.] What date in 2010 will remain etched in your memory?
June 2, the day i started my job.

[7.] What was your biggest achievement of the year?
i'm really proud of the talks i gave at Notacon, Penguicon, and HOPE.

[8.] What was your biggest failure?
i got so little done...i still have that stupid, academic tendency to bury my nose in a book instead of just going out, writing code, and breaking stuff. my biggest failure is still the fact that i'm absolutely petrified of failing, and want to somehow get perfect information before ever actually trying anything.

[9.] Did you suffer any illness or injury?
nothing bigger than a couple of sprained ankles (which i always get, because my left ankle has been terribly weak since a roller skating fall when i was eleven) and a couple of colds.

[10.] What was the best thing you bought?
bus tickets to Detroit. lots of them. :)

[11.] Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
my own, as usual. i keep doing stupid things that i can't undo, then i keep beating myself up about doing stupid things that i can't undo, and i focus far more on that than on doing anything new.

[12.] Where did most of your money go?
law school. always, always, law school. fuck my life.

[13.] What did you get really really really excited about?
spending time with Mark. attending and speaking at hacker cons. finally understanding the point of assembly language well enough to start coding in it.

[14.] What songs will always remind you of 2010?
"Better Sorry Than Safe" by Halestorm. "What A Shame" by Shinedown. "I Don't Care" by Apocalyptica featuring Adam Gontier. "Reclusion" by Anberlin. "What Have You Done" by Within Temptation.

[15.] Compared to this time last year are you:
[A] Fatter or thinner? about the same...i was definitely fatter come midyear, but with my new job (and starting to lug stuff around the data centre) came having to buy new jeans because my fat jeans were literally falling off of me as i walked.
[B] Happier or sadder? neither, really.
[C] Richer or poorer? poorer, definitely.

[16.] What do you wish you'd done more of?
writing code.

[17.] What do you wish you'd done less of?
sleeping. my god, did i spend a lot of 2010 asleep.

[18.] How will you be spending Christmas?
christmas 2011? no idea...hopefully similarly to how i spent it in 2009, either on a flight to Berlin, preparing for a flight to Berlin, or hanging out in Berlin. missing the Congress in 2010 tore me apart, and i can't miss it in 2011.

[19.] Which LJ users did you meet for the first time?
IRL? i'm pretty sure i met all my LJ readers who know me IRL before this year.

[20.] Did you fall in love in 2010?
Hacking: The Art of Exploitation is an amazing, amazing book.

[21.] How many one night stands?
oh, i know better than to answer that question honestly on a public forum such as this one. :)

[22] What was your favourite TV show?
new shows? i got so hooked on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom this year. stuff i've watched before but still watched more than anything else this year? Beavis and Butt-Head, of course.

[23.] Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
no...i really only reserve true hatred for one person at this point, same as last year.

[24.] What was/were the best books you read?
Hacking: The Art of Exploitation. Snow Crash.

[25.] What was your greatest musical discovery?
i don't think i discovered a lot of new music this year...there were some random songs that popped up on my Pandora that i had never heard before, but no particular artist or album that changed my life. i think the two songs that grabbed me hardest the first time i heard them this year were "Reclusion" by Anberlin and "Hobo's Lullaby" by Arlo Guthrie.

[26.] What did you want and get?
a job playing with computers. an apartment with Christina. to go to Shmoocon, Notacon, HOPE, and B-Sides Ottawa.

[27.] What did you want and not get?
to be able to go to Defcon or 27c3. to forget that i ever went to law school.

[28.] What was your favourite film this year?
the only movie i actually went to go see this year was Hubble 3D, and that was really cool. the visuals were awesome. the narration, however, was rubbish...Leonardo DiCaprio should not be narrating science flicks. fortunately, i was there with Mark, and his commentary was far more edifying. also, he was much better at pronouncing astronomy terms.

[29.] What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
i turned 28 in 2010. i had to work the night before, so i got off at 7 in the morning. i met up with Mark around noon; he was in Chicago at the time. that afternoon we drove up to Detroit, and stopped for dinner at Schuler's (in downtown Marshall, MI -- right around the corner from the Museum of Magic that we visited for Scavhunt this year!) on the way over there. we got into Detroit fairly late, and i hadn't slept that night, so we spent the rest of the night in, and decompressing. it was my best birthday in years, possibly ever.

[30.] What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
feeling like i know the least bit about anything that matters to me.

[31.] How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
same as it has been since i was a teenager -- black t-shirts and jeans. jackets made with a certain pattern of italian camouflage started making a pretty frequent appearance, though.

[32.] What kept you sane?
sanity is overrated.

[33.] Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
i don't tend to fancy celebrities...seriously, i'm racking my brain to see if i can think of anyone famous that i really fancied this year, and am coming up empty.

[34.] Which political issue stirred you the most?
ugh. i find politics disgusting, and i only got more disgusted about them over the course of 2010. my general response is to just disengage, because i don't actually feel like there's a damn thing i can do to make t any better. it's a problem bigger than i am, and bigger than i can ever be.

however, i did get pretty pissed off when Iowa voters threw those justices that ruled in favour of gay marriage off the bench. i abstain from judicial elections on principle, because the judicial branch is supposed to be the check against the fickle passions of the populace. that put that problem in clear relief.

[35.] Who did you miss?
the problem with meeting so many friends at cons is that these friends live all over the place...i'm always missing them, and only ever getting to see them one weekend a year, or maybe a few weekends a year.

[36.] Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year?
no matter how beholden you feel to something, or how much it meant to you at one point...if it becomes toxic, getting paralysed by feeling bad that it has soured will do no good. the best thing to do is cut and run, and find some more productive outlet for that energy.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

calendar numbers and stuff

2010. what to say, what to say?

considered as a whole, i wouldn't call it one of the best years of my life, but i wouldn't call it one of the worst years of my life. however, looking at it from 30,000 feet gives the year short shrift, and implies that it may have been either easy or insignificant. i'd call it neither. considered in parts, i had some really awesome things happen to me this year, and some things that utterly and completely sucked.

hopefully 2011 (which i keep typing as 2001; i really don't want to know what, if anything, that implies...) will be a better year. if anything, i hope it is less tumultuous than 2010 was, and manages to maintain or build on the good parts of 2010.

i stop here, because i get the feeling that going into any more detail than that here would be schmaltzy at best, and revealing far too much in a public forum at worst.