marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I saw, of all things, a font*, while idly glancing at a website I found through a link in someone's Network post (the website's kind of bewildering; I still don't know what it's about). I haven't seen the font in about 10 years. But the second I saw it tonight my brain lit up. Because it was like the font one of my favorite bloggers used in her blog title who quit blogging and deleted every last word of it 10 years ago.

So on a snowball's chance of surviving in hell, I typed in her old URL and there she was*.

Now mind you, she hasn't updated since shortly after restoring her blog, which wasn't until late last year, and considering how most delete-and-restore bloggers tend to operate (just let's talk imnotmarah for a second, or rather let's not, because that ate me up; I've noticed since his underwhelming, yet somehow spine-chilling performance that quite a few bloggers tend to operate in similar ways) I'm going to bet, thanks to having seen too many things, that she probably won't update and her blog will be down by next week/month/four this afternoon or whenever.

Because that's the only safe bet I can make.

I have no faith in what's online anymore: thank you, Internet, for your all-too-easy camaraderie and total lack of honesty. I've been around it so many times with so many writers who just can't do the thing, for whatever reason they decide they can't do it, that I'm not going to bother feeling something beyond whatever little crumb of gladness this post might convey.

Because I'm tired of feeling it for nothing.

But it's still nice to see she sort of brought her writing back.

**If you're of a certain age go read her (she'll probably do nothing for Millennials unless her archives are up, in which case you might get a kick out of them; the writing she did in her 20s and 30s is timeless). She was immensely popular in my day for a certain kind of interpersonal blogging that was often hilarious. She's smart, with an interesting life and an even more interesting way of discussing it.

*No, she doesn't use that font now. But I'd recognize it - and it would still make me think of her - wherever I saw it.

marahmarie: For those who've passed (candle)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I woke up today to see my boy was back, sitting in a fancy red paper bag up on the dresser across from my bed.

I recall sucking my breath in at the sight and thinking of the rage I was driven into by what the receptionist, an extremely rude, thoughtless girl of perhaps 17-20 years old, told me about the "beautiful presentation" which she ordered me "not to worry about" because cardboard boxes and plastic bags are always the most respectful way to memorialize your loved one's life, are they not?

This was five minutes after the vet tech took his body away - which was only seconds before the same ridiculous girl burst into the room, saw me crying, shouted "Oh!!!" at the top of her lungs and almost made me jump out of my chair. Once she collected herself (she acted like she'd seen a ghost, so this took her a few seconds) and without a drop of sympathy in her way-too-cheerful voice, she said I ought to go pay for Stuie's services "right now" and "just get it over with" (which was probably her making a lot of assumptions about my ability and willingness to pay, or she wouldn't be trying to rush me, which was another extremely angering thing to have to deal with at that moment).

Would you be driven into a nearly homicidal rage by her words, timing and actions? God forgive me, I know I was.

The only thing...the only thing...that stopped me from totally losing my mind, that kept me quiet and my reactions rather slow and blunted, was realizing she's still young and was proving it through her words and actions, proving she knows nothing of life, nor death, nor grief. I've had to jump this damned turnstile so many times; she's apparently never had to jump it at all. Because if she had, she'd know how to act, and it would not be the way she acted.

On top of that she's probably not trained well (perhaps not at all). So even while I was in a rage, I had to force myself to understand her situation and forgive her for how she was making me feel. But it was hard. I was in shock now, in addition to all the grief and misery. But I had to think of her, of what she can't know, what I wouldn't really want her to know if it was up to me.

That aside, my stomach was in knots today as soon as I saw the bag over what she told me moments after he died about how he was coming back. Maternal guilt: I want the best for him, but box in a bag or bag in a box was all I was getting and I knew it and even as I poured my first cup of coffee and went back in the room to be with him it was making me sick.

After more coffee and crying, I opened the bag and peered inside it to see a small rectangular box wrapped in a thin layer of white tissue. I felt my blood rise, pulled the accompanying leaflets and booklets out and walked away from the box before I could get even more upset. The papers included a small book full of grief counseling tips, with a few pages I found helpful - or at least sort of comforting.

At the end was a poem about the Rainbow Bridge. I never knew what it was so I decided to find out. The last few lines tore me up because they're part of the grief of having lost someone - that is, wondering if you'll ever see them again. The poem speaks to that and offers a way to envision it, instead of treating the topic like it doesn't exist or matter.

Yes, it does exist and it does matter. A lot.

Anyway, I'm moving again (the house I'm in is nice enough, but having housemates is so unmanageable that I'll be joyously wandering off soon to live without them); because of that my room is stuffed with all the things I'll need to pack shortly, so it's not like I looked around today and saw a lot of room for Stuie's...bag. I got so upset at having to put his bag up after reading the grief book, I couldn't go through with it.

Finally I made room on a wooden shelf next to the TV and nestled him up on that. A truly awful place to put him, but until I get situated elsewhere there is nothing better. Once the bag was up, I just looked at it for a while. Finally, morbid curiosity took over: I had to know what was in the bag. I put the bag back up on the dresser. I took the box out of the bag. I undid the tissue around the box.

The box was not made out of cardboard.

The box is made of strong, heavy cherry with a nice hasp on the front. Inside, along with the keys, were his ashes inside of a black velvet bag with a golden pull-string; inside of that was a heavy plastic bag sealed with a rubberband, with a dog tag around that with the name of the crematorium on it. Through my tears, I began to smile.

Outside of the innermost bag (because I want it airtight - but we have a vacuum sealer, so I might just go ahead and take care of that myself) it was a beautiful presentation, after all.

After putting it all back together and putting the amazingly not-cardboard box back up on the shelf, I spent another half hour deciding if I should file a complaint on the receptionist and how - should I call the vet? The girl in question will answer the phone. Write a longhand letter? I'm sure she gets all their mail.

Even assuming I could route the letter directly to the vet and be assured by somebody that she won't be allowed to open it, it would take so much time and energy to write, and I'm not trying to make her lose her job, so I hesitate to complain. Ideally I'd only want her to be retrained, for them to show her how to do Human Being correctly around other suffering, much more unhappy human beings.

And for them to make her describe the box correctly so people don't think she's pulling a fast one by telling them not to worry (which is an obnoxious and rather trying way to put it - of course I'm going to worry!) as it's such a "beautiful presentation" when what she was describing is as ghetto as you can get outside of them dumping his ashes on the floor and making me sweep them up myself.

Anyway, it's done, and thankfully it was a beautiful presentation, in spite of how she put it.

Good news to share

Feb. 10th, 2016 05:54 pm
yourlibrarian: SexTheEnd-ruuger (BUF-SexTheEnd-ruuger)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) I got all misty reading this post about a mother teaching her son an important lesson, and not coincidentally showing him one of the deepest values of fanworks -- which is that we are stronger having more stories, not fewer.

2) Speaking of the importance of fanworks -- Feedback Fest has just kicked off at the Archive of Our Own. It's part of the International Fanworks Day celebrations planned.

I managed to come up with another drabble for this year's short fanworks challenge and because I'm going to be rather busy this weekend I figured I'd post it early. I'm not sure it'll make much sense to anyone who's not a fan of John Oliver and Stephen Colbert but hope you enjoy it if you are!

3) Samantha Bee knocked her first episode so far out of the park that it will take a whole pack of late night hosts to find it. I was glad for her that she was getting her own show, but now I'm also glad for me. Read more... )

4) X-Files: I'm finding myself as bored now as I was then when watching the show, and even if FOX continues the series I won't be watching after these six episodes end. But there is one plus to its return. Read more... )

5) They're right, this IS good news. Given what has been done with the movies I had no enthusiasm for the news that a new Star Trek series was being planned. But now? Yes, I will be checking this out.

(no subject)

Feb. 10th, 2016 06:06 pm
ashenmote: Animated: Ally Sheedy, chainsmoking and rolling eyes. (Ally nervous)
[personal profile] ashenmote
Hi everybody, I'm fine and I hope so are you!

Cassandra Clare sued for copyright infringement

'Shadowhunters' Author Cassandra Clare Sued For Copyright Infringement
I don't think I have any joke or pun left to comment on this. I imagine now I know how John Stewart felt.

links shamelessly stolen from Metafilter that has a thread on it:
Wears flannel shirts (inconsistent with city setting)

Oh, and this is something I found somewhat hidden in the BBC Space Podcast, which is generally worth a look:
Homer, Hagrid and the Incredible Hulk
"Ben Hammersley meets creators and fans to investigate how extended fictional universes, from Harry Potter to Game of Thrones, took over global culture."

For a 'media visits a con' thing it wasn't so bad.

And 6 pics with P!Cat and D!Cat )


Feb. 10th, 2016 08:54 am
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, the screws in the bottom hinge of our bathroom door occasionally work themselves loose. We usually just add wood putty and toothpicks to the holes and screw them back in, but this time we also decided to add a middle hinge to the door.

N picked up a set that matches the existing ones as much as a gap of 40 years allows. I measured the distance between the top and bottom hinges and discovered that it was not quite 61 inches, so I marked 30 inches down from the top and 30 inches up from the bottom and eyeballed a center line between those marks. Then I marked the center of the new hinge, lined things up ... et voila! The door swings freely and the third hinge will, I hope, take some of the stress off the others.

Like Tears In The Rain

Feb. 10th, 2016 02:01 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
[personal profile] mundens
Moments of Viggo
from Shadows Fall (Crucible Chapter Five)

Sitting outslde the Hound barracks,
sipping the hot mead of the black bean,
watching all the ladies walk by. 

Rathmon sees a living Havok, exclaims "Constantine!" and shimmers away.

Ragnoc is gone and Viggo stands guard over Fox, Samedi, and the corpse. Not that they need guarding, but Viggo doesn't know what else to do. Should he hug the people or hold the body like Fox does? Or would that be seen as odd or wrong? As always, Viggo finds it difficult to know how to handle people experiencing emotion.

Unable to stop the fall of the axe himself, he watches as an Alteraanian shield comes between him and the descending weapon. Thank you, Alistair, that would not have been a good way to die.  

Beaten by greater numbers in the dark, awaiting inevitable death, he lies and admires the stars. I never  looked at them enough he thinks. 

Hearing a beautiful melodic voice, feeling the brush of light hands, when his last memory was of entering the final dark as the blade bit into the back of his neck. His body twitches as the singing continues until the woman compresses his chest and breath begins again in a long, painful, inhalation of sweet, sweet air. The constant Dark murmur is gone, and the colours have returned, Sachsen blue, the fair lady Elena is exactly the sort of sight one wishes to see when awaking from the sleep of the dead   

Finding out that Elric was responsible for Viggo's resurrection, by providing the Angelhair that he had won in a story-telling contest with the ghosts of children on the same night. 

Fox tells him that she doesn't want to have to say prayers to his ancestors over his body again.

The demon shoots fire at Viggo, and Viggo laughs. The demon tries electricity on Lea and she laughs also. Disconcerted, the demon tries the reverse tactic, shock at Viggo & fire at Lea, clearly unaware of the Hound mutagen that makes them immune to both. The demon then quickly falls to Lea's Holy Axe. Viggo says to the demons dead form "Sorry, you picked the wrong targets this time."  

Taking the claws of an infected and crazed dryad to the face as he tries to hold her down while surgery is performed.

With a slight bow to Adaedem, Viggo indicates recognition and respect. Adaedem returns a nod of recognition at least, and says "Make sure these fools don't get too close." Viggos complies with the demon's request, as it seems the safest course of action. He finds he has to explain to some people who Adaedem, Tribune of the Court of the Pale Crown is, and what he is capable of. Viggo struggles with the fact that though he has no reason to dislike the Lady Nikora, her current predicament, seems for some reason he doesn't quite understand, highly amusing.      

This... feeling of anger, that Fox should have to suffer both the loss of Ragnoc and then the loss of Samedi within a space of two days.This feeling of the unfairness of it all. Is this hate he is feeling toward Samedi for doing this to Fox? But why does he care? Fox is a friend and a comrade, yes, but why this confusingly strong feeling toward Samedi who was only doing the necessary thing? And why this feeling of anger at the universe in general for not preventing this from happening to Fox? Is this something like that love thing people were talking about it?  
Viggo, though less inebriated than when Garm threw him out of the tavern, was still a little hazy. Having lost all his coin when he died the previous night seemed less of an issue after the vampire tavern owner told him that prostitution wasn't legal in Daggerwood. He'd realized she was trying to help with her advice about talking to people to get sex, but knew that, outside of other Hounds, that sort of thing led to all sorts of complications, and thus he had always preferred a nice simple exchange of value. But it had been a good night to a great day otherwise, and ending it with a good fuck would have been his preference. Best way to celebrate not being dead!
It had seemed unlikely Viggo would get such a celebration until Manfabio and his entourage had appeared. Whilst many of the lads Manfabio had with him were tempting, he only had eyes for the luscious creature who first tempted him to join the party. He waited for her to work her way around to him again, and when she asked if she could do anything for him, he made it plain what he was most interested in. She was unfazed by his desire, and suggested they retire to a dark area behind a nearby tree.
Afterwards, Viggo couldn't remember details, just flashes of bouncing fire-light on perfect skin, her touch on him, his rough hands on that seemingly fragile body, and the wonderful feeling of release, like nothing he had ever felt before.
"Yes" thought Viggo, "This was a good night."
Later, as the other hounds teased him for sleeping with what was, in retrospect, obviously a succubus, Manfabio having been revealed as the Crimson King, he couldn't bring himself to regret it. She had not asked for anything from him, he had not felt drained by the experience. The one problem he thought, was whether he would be spoiled for sex with anyone else. Was even someone as hot as Fox able to compete with Manfabio's servant? "Didn't even get her name..." he though before laughing at himself for the idea that a demon would voluntarily give out her name.
In horror he watches as Emmeline's head is severed, unable to reach her in time to stop the kllling blow. The head being hurled at him did not have the full effect the demon desired, mere gore wasn't enough to faze a Hound. But the weapon break leaves him defenceless again.

Wearing night-clothes, with all his own weapons broken, carrying a borrowed axe, he answers the unstoppable demon "That's coz we're not fucking ants, you prick."  The demon is drawn from Lea and the important people to deal to "the mouthy bastard", as he goes down again Viggo thinks "The ant got you to do what he wanted you to do, even if it it did cost it's life." 

Viggo speaks in Aetherial with the demons recently released from the Dark by the Malevingian's sacrifice, telling them that the new chapter of the Order of the Wolf, the Ebon Wolves, led by the malefactor Janus, would be happy to provide a place for those who want one, if they felt they could not return to the Ebon Legion anymore. Viggo now respects and admires the Malevigian, for her sacrifice, rescuing her remaining forces from the Dark in exchange for herself returning to them. He reflects on how much has changed since arriving on Averynas, as he is now welcoming demons he would once have tried to killed on sight. Drinking with Janus, and seeing him get cleansed by the Crimson Marquis, and then state his case to the Hound leadership, there is so little difference between us.  

Stuie's ashes are back.

Feb. 9th, 2016 06:43 pm
marahmarie: For those who've passed (candle)
[personal profile] marahmarie

They're at the vet's. I didn't get the call to come get them until after 6 tonight, and the office was already closed by then. I'm going to see if I can get someone to pick them up for me in the morning. I don't have an urn, but I do have a promise from someone that he'll handcraft a "beautiful" wooden box to keep him in...eventually. Yes, please do take your time, not like he's already dead or something.

OK, so I'm pissed. And I'm not sure why, why I expect anyone else to care about him as much as I did. So I'm feel vaguely, quite irrationally guilty, on top of everything else, because outside of my mom, no one did or does care about him as much. No one ever will. With my mom gone (he was her cat before she passed) I'm now completely alone in that.

I probably shouldn't say this because in doing so I'm going to get even more pissed and it's going to show, but when I asked how he was coming back, I was told not to "worry about it" because it's a "beautiful presentation". So I asked for specifics and was told he comes back in a plastic bag inside of a red cardboard box. And I just instantly wanted to kill everyone within a 20 mile radius of that office because by the sound of it (no example pictures were offered nor presented) it's not beautiful enough for my baby, because it's not, and never will be. Oh, my God.... least he's coming back. And I'll deal with the details of that as best as I can. Because I just don't have any other choice.


Feb. 9th, 2016 04:22 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Because, seriously. I've always wanted to see what a Yahoo/AOL melding might look like, so reading this (mostly pure speculation fluff piece) almost made me dance for joy.

Also, all the serious intoning about how "the involvement of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong" makes it kapow! a Big Serious Thing? Him and Marissa Mayer (Yahoo's CEO) once worked together at Google. And probably were/still are friends, or at least not outright adversaries. So, of course he's involved. I mean, seriously.

Seriously! I'm probably one of two people in the US excited about this (the other one probably being Tim himself).

Oh, such a wintry night

Feb. 9th, 2016 12:50 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

ETA3: Don't try the recipe I talk about below unless you read ETAs 1 and 2. Just a friendly heads-up. My luck was not good.

I couldn't write the title without googling to make sure my spelling was right; upon finding it is, my next question was: "Why do we spell it 'wintry'"? As a super-literal left-hander I can't process why we'd possibly drop the second vowel - unless maybe hundreds of years ago someone doubtlessly insane repeatedly swung an ax near someone's head over their pronunciation of 'wintery' until the victim, a guy in his early 30s with little kids to feed, put his hands up in surrender and said, "Fine, fine, I will pronounce it 'wintry' from now on. Will you go away now?" and so yet another ridiculous new word was born.

I mean, forget etymology. That's screwed up enough in the UK and US because our language is just one, big messy portmanteau of every well-known language on Earth besides - for the most part - Indo-Asian languages.

I want to talk dialect. I want to talk dropping a vowel for no obvious reason. It makes no sense, but is expedient: you can say 'wintery' perhaps half a second faster by dropping that vowel, but I can't see "extremely fast-paced life" having been an issue back in Ye Olde Crazy Axe Wielder's Tyme. Then again, people only lived until their early 30s and often died in infancy, childhood or early adulthood, so maybe you simply felt the need to talk as fast as possible while you still could.

I don't know. I do know that it's sometime after my birthday, and I Love February; it's the greatest month of the year. People are cursing the blizzards I love and complaining about the cold I can easily endure because just stay the hell inside already and when you do, how it feels so cozy, so safe from the blustery winds that can just blow you apart out there. And I'm making slow cooker chili to make it feel even cozier. This is the recipe.

It's dead simple. It's been on for seven hours now (my beans and onions are taking their time getting soft or I would've stopped the cooking around midnight). For once I had all the ingredients, so no fudging or McGyvering this time. The sauce tastes good (though I completely blanched at, balked out loud over and almost could not go through with adding the 1/4 cup of chili powder the recipe calls for because my God, that's a lot of chili powder! Surprisingly mild once mixed in, though). I added four times the required amount of garlic and still can't taste it, but I stuck with the recipe amount of cumin because I don't care for cumin, plus isn't that what chili powder is mostly made out of?

I'm hoping it comes out good because, like I said, it's dead simple, it's easy and cheap to make, it cooks itself, it's vegan, which, while I'm not vegan, I do like going meatless now and then - I make an even dead simpler black beans and rice for this very reason that others have raved about - so hopefully the chili's also a winner. I'm going to stir and check it for doneness in a few minutes.

ETA1: The recipe said to cook the chili 6-8 hours but the beans are so hard that when I tasted them just now, I had to spit them out. Guess I'll have to leave a note for someone to check and turn the slow cooker off in the morning (I'm back to that sleep pattern where I can't do mornings, not any mornings, so hand it off I must).

ETA2: Don't make this recipe unless you soak the beans. After cooking it on low for well over 24 hours, I'm about to toss the whole thing in the trash, as per the first comment exchange seen below (for another take on what might've gone wrong, see the second comment exchange - in which it's revealed that old beans don't soften even after soaking in water). Rating: A complete waste of time (it made a really tasty sauce, though, so someday I'll have to try it again with pre-soaked beans, simply because I'm stubborn like that).

ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
When X-Files fans think alike. #xfr #thexfiles #mementomonday #downtothesecond
yourlibrarian: WarriorMary-marishna (SPN-WarriorMary-marishna)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) We've seen a new bird visiting our balcony. It looks like a sparrow but is a pinky red. Read more... )

2) Agent Carter Read more... )

I also really appreciated the way the writers dealt with the "smiling" issue. Speaking of which, so does this article:

"Because after everything you’ve done, everything you’ve fought for, that’s still what most men want to know. They want to know they can insult you and get away with it. They won’t work with you if they can’t." What the hell do men think progressive politics is if it's not about changing the status quo?

3) I thought this article about how Finland is marketing itself with emojis made for an interesting read.

4) Animated pie chart showing the change in music sale formats from 1980 to 2010. Read more... )

5) London Spy Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 8th, 2016 12:32 am
meicdon13: (Default)
[personal profile] meicdon13
[personal profile] serpentine needs some help with funds and is offering tarot readings and writing commissions. Here's his entry with more details and link to PayPal.
wanderlustlover: (Mask/Unmask - keebrujaak21)
[personal profile] wanderlustlover

Corey, James S.A. - The Expanse: The Churn
Matthews, Michael - Stronger, Leaner, Thinner: The Female Body Builder
tNY Press - Shrug 4: Family

Expanse 1.09-1.10
Hawaii Five-0 3.10
X-Files 10.03

Meetup: Wine Group: Favorite Red's
Astrology Class: Fire Signs
Eclectic Traditions’ Imbolc
A Chocolate Affair & Festival
Opera Piccola (in Star Trek!)
* Unrevealed Surprise!
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)
[personal profile] erik
I've been skating regularly again, and last night I finally (10 years went to a rink I had not previously been to: Lynwood Roller Rink. (To read my previous reviews, click here. They're all from 10 years ago.)

The floor is strips of wood; a large square in the middle with all the wood going the long way, surrounded by a rectangle of wood laid in the direction of travel. The floor is new, and there are a couple of "WTF?!" things. They appear not to have taken up the old floor; just laid this new floor on top. So there's about a 5cm step down off the floor, and that is not well marked; many almost-falls. And they seem to have decided not to sand it after the wood went in, before they finished it. It's very rumbly and in a few places downright dangerous. I've never skated anywhere where the floor itself was a trip hazard. But this is also the first rink I've been to where the only markings are the figure skating loops and a derby track. The only "center oval" is the derby one.

There was only one floor monitor, and he seems to have restricted himself to helping people up when they fall. Rules are apparently not a thing at Lynwood. Plus: "no hats" is not a thing. Minus: All skating in the same direction is somewhat not a thing. People were mostly all skating right, but there were a few people skating whatever direction they liked. There were people taking selfies of themselves skating. Lots of purses on the ladies. The only rule they vigorously enforced (they made several announcements) was that all items must be stowed in a locker. Not sure if that's a revenue thing or a pilferage thing.

I was there on "unlimited pizza" night. Which sounds good. But isn't really: Stand in a long line. Get one small slice of crappy pizza. Eat that. Get back in line.

This is the rink where Roll Bounce was filmed. I've been told the production company redecorated it for that and it hasn't really been touched since, and I believe it. The walls are covered with crumpled aluminum foil and the neon all still says "Sweetwater"....

The music was "Ow! My ear!" loud. If I ever skate here again I will need to wear hearing protection.

All in all, not worth the trip out there. I might skate there if I happen to be down that way at the end of the day; I will not drive all the way down there again just to skate.


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