marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Today you can be thankful that I had a perfectly insidious day while you probably didn't. I ate dinner with a family that probably wouldn't throw water on me in a fire along with another "friend" at least as two-faced as my last one, who I tragically memorialized here a few months ago shortly before I never saw or spoke with her again, which was still the best thing that's happened to me in a while.

I practically choked on the food, which was pretty awful even by our country's dismal abomination of early Americana, then came home to someone I care about being harassed and threatened with actual bodily harm over a fart fan left on "too long" which was bothering him I don't know how and matters I don't know why when he doesn't pay the bills. Oh, and there was a huge household blowup tonight (five people involved) over a bar of shower soap they were using up on us when they can easily buy their own. I was told by the house owner to stop acting like a child and just buy their fucking soap and then asked why it was a big deal, because of course I should subsidize rich 54 year old single men in all their pursuits, toilet paper and soap related activities included (I'm expected to buy his food, as well, because that's what min-wage McJob workers are supposed to do - support the rich - even within the confines of their homes, which they happily refuse to contribute to, not if there are any Poors around to do it for them).

When I told the person yelling at me that he should let the person in question buy his own fucking soap - and toilet paper - and food - and let him act like a grownup which he hasn't been doing much of lately, I was told me and the other person who own and manage the buying of our soap were the ones acting like children because we won't buy it for the rich person, as well. Oooooookay, then, have another beer, buddy, that seems to be helping your deductive reasoning - a lot. Then again, he's the same way stone cold sober. And again, his rich buddy could set my ass on fire, and this other guy would blame me for making him want to, and absolve Mr. Rich of any and all blame, because $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, baby - I ain't got them, but he does, and hey, I'm not supporting him, which obviously would set him off, so who am I to complain about whatever happens? I asked for it, didn't I? You gotta go along to get along or didn't you know that, dumbass?

Cuz you see, that's how this here thing works.

One day this will all be over, and I am sooooo looking forward to it.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

I did a DW journal search just now for "clucky", knowing every Thanksgiving post I've ever made, like ever, would come up because they all have the same title, because that's how I find them from one year to the next, because even back when I used tags I hated them and always found the contents of this blog through Google or a DW search or occasionally with a trip through my Archives (when even I am as lost as everyone else, but know what I'm thinking of; sometimes just a single word I can recall is the only mental clue I have as to what the hell I'm after) because I really am that lazy and tags, I hate them, or did I say that?

Tags clutter up your page and add weight to your CSS if you're going to style them (and believe me, you're going to style them). They go in reverse chronological order so if you're looking for something more than a screen back, it will take the modern day person's equivalent of forever to find it. And I'm like, a super impatient person. I think Google should read and filter my thoughts and post the better ones to Twitter and DW for me so I won't have to (do you KNOW how many posts I've lost over sheer lack of automation and an even greater lack of time and ability to post manually every time I think of an awesome thing to write? This blog would have more pages than fucking Wikipedia if I could ever have pulled that off).

This post has already frustrated me because it's including more than the original subject matter - because brain, it wanders - and I've got two left thumbs on the keyboard tonight (I should say two right thumbs, because I'm left-handed, but it's a right-handed world, so whatever) so editing will take forever (ETA: and ha, I wasn't kidding). And because no company on Earth has yet done what I want, I'll have to manually type, edit, re-edit and finally give up on every last word - like I always do - because without the dreampt-of autoposter I'll have to rely on my brain, which is seriously lacking in both speed and precision. Grrrrr.

Anyway, I thought I was missing a Clucky Day for 2010 but actually, I'm not; it's just got a strange title, which I'm probably going to amend in a minute to match the rest, because wth, I thought I'd died when I couldn't find it (life in the Matrix, 'tis strange). So I'm not missing any posts for six years running, which fills me with relief, as I was getting ready to blame my ex of eight years for stressing me out too much to write or something but literally no one has ever stressed me out too much I was no longer with him by then.

Of course, there's no guarantee I'll do the post from one year to the next as I don't write it until after dinner. I could theoretically eat so much turkey I die - I swear that wouldn't take much - or else have such a bad day it never gets posted, but neither has happened yet, though I came close to sort of a hybrid of both situations back in 2012, to judge by the entry's not-so-cool title. Which I'm thinking of editing now because uh, I'm still posting these things, after all; false alarm times 3.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

This article shows a picture of the GUI on Microsoft's first operating system, MS-DOS - *ahem*...that's MS-DOS Executive if you're fancy. If you look in the lower left hand corner, you'll see what looks like a game of checkers going on with ugly red and blue chips against an even uglier astroturf green background. This - this - is the only game I've ever played on Windows. It's called Reversi (which is basically the board game Othello; strangely enough, I've never played it) and it rocks your brain - but unlike its parent OS, it never got to be 30 years old. I had no idea it was with Windows from its harumpy Executive start.

Not that I'll do the research right now, but one day it would be nice to find out what other games (if any - Solitaire, perhaps?) came with MS-DOS and when Reversi became online-capable (I can't imagine it was that way from the start). I still play it, but beginning with Windows Vista it disappeared, forcing me to re-install XP to play it again, Sam, which I've done many, many times, because there is no better way to kill time while CCleaner wipes data, frees disk space and, more recently, overwrites my pesky cluster tips - wait, I don't even know what that is, I just do it, anyway, so there's something else I should look up - than go kill myself playing Reversi.

One of the few good things about Windows 10? My beloved game is back - without having to reinstall XP - in the form of Online Reversi, which is free (with in-app upgrades; I can't imagine what those are, though, seriously?) in the Windows Store. It's not made by Microsoft (which is a shame, as I still vastly prefer the XP version to all others - even MSN's online game sucks) but it does have neat capabilities that MS's did not, like playing against the AI (XP's version would fail with the message: "Cannot connect to game server/Try again?/Quit?" if your machine went offline) which I can do until my brains are practically popping out from over-exertion - which, being me, is exactly what makes it so much fun.

Trivia question: can anyone recall Reversi's messenger? It had one. Back when I started playing (2004ish) it was considered state of the art, a top of the line medium because it allowed you to communicate with other players while eliminating all forms of harassment by using pre-written text messages in a long dropdown list beneath the game board that you could scroll through and select from. Some of the messages were sort of competitive, like "Ha! I got the corner!" But there was no corresponding "answer" like "Yep asshole, you sure did". The wildest response you could make was, "Good one!" or if you were feeling pretty frisky, something about how you'd get them back in the next round.

Bonus points if you can recall the dialog box at the end of every game: "Play again? Quit?" If your opponent won they'd almost always want to Play Again - unless they wiped your ass off the board, in which case they usually found you unworthy and Quit (we also had the option of quitting midgame regardless of who was winning, which came in handy if something came up). If you lost it was considered bad form to initiate an offer to Play Again unless the score was very, very close or an actual tie or you only lost in the last few seconds after a good, long winning streak; otherwise the winner was expected to invite you back by accepting the Play Again message before you did. If you asked to Play Again but got rejected, it felt like losing twice, so you learned to avoid it.

And bonus bonus points if you can recall either of the following: how long Reversi took to connect to other servers on dial-up (simply forever) and how much longer it took to connect to China, which for some reason it did, usually starting around 3am when apparently all the US players except me had crashed. An extra bonus bonus bonus if you can recall exactly how many servers Reversi connected to, because I can't. The US and China for sure, along with possibly Russia, but for some reason, Poland and perhaps a few other Slavic countries are also jumping around in my mind as possibilities.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

It says what?

Note to self: I'm going blind. I don't know what's wrong with my eyes but this is the most trouble I've had with them since my early 20s, when I got them tested and was diagnosed 20/40 with left eye astigmatism. I got a prescription on the spot, lost the glasses within my first or second week of wearing them, and never wore glasses again. Subsequently my eye problems (blurry vision with small print, mostly) seemed to clear up that same year on their own, and did not seriously affect me again until my late 30s, but again, in a very hit and miss, on and off fashion (which was...hormones? The immediate effect of an even occasional lack of sleep? Brain tumors? Beats the crap out of me).

Around the same time my mom got sick - shortly before she died - my eyes started deteriorating again (I did actually up the font size on the blog around this time, because I gave up - I could not see it anymore. I can see it now, but my sight has deteriorated so much in the last year it's just barely). So I had to buy readers, 1.25 magnification, which I still wear today, and they still work fine. But. Until this year I never needed them to get through work. Now I can't see small print, period.

I mean, I can see it, usually as some sort of obnoxious blob of smudgy black with weirdly floating/mutating letters and numbers (which is not my infamous dyslexia; what I call "dyslexia" is more my ability to flip any two things in the world, including letters, numbers, sentences, paragraphs, facts, opinions, people, cats, dogs, cars, stores, hair salons, continents, etc. than it is a constant flipping of letters and numbers). And sometimes I can even make accurate guesses as to what the obnoxious, floating, mutating, black smudge might say, based on a combination of what I expect it to say and seeing similar shapes used previously within the same fonts. But no matter which fonts I'm viewing - even ones I look at all day, every day - 3s look like 5s and 9s look like 0s and 0s look like 8s and there is not a single food label in the US I can read without glasses firmly affixed to my face and crap, I don't need them to see anything but small print so I'm constantly taking them off to focus on what else I'm doing besides staring at small print and I just want to get bifocal contacts permanently attached to my eyes or else go get Lasicked. Neither is an option.

As to losing, misplacing, or mishoming my glasses, I do that constantly, because they're not attached to my body and things must literally attach to not get lost. But I can't wear glasses on a chain; I've tried but due to my reckless, clumsy nature I tend to choke myself or else catch the chain and snap it, usually in in the most embarrassing way possible (say, in front of five others while choking myself).

I can't keep glasses on my head because they slide off which not only messes up my hair but drives me nuts. If I lay them down, I'll leave them wherever I last saw them, which is usually at work if I'm home and home if I'm at work. I bought a second pair to account for early signs of dementia but either I have no pairs at work and two at home because I forgot to bring or take them in whichever direction they were going or else I have one pair at work and lose the other pair at the house.

Eyes; seriously, just screw them.

My obsession with curry continues

In at least five makings of curry since posting this recipe I've come to learn using fresh or ground ginger makes little difference; fresh is slightly brighter yet weaker. Using a mixture of both seems to work best, especially with a very heavy hand on the bottled stuff. Also, running out of yogurt the other night (it was all spoiled: I literally tossed two $5 tubs of yogurt in the trash because I couldn't bother storing two huge tubs of spoiled yogurt in an already too-full fridge until I had time to run them back to two different stores for refunds) was not a big deal because sour cream also works just fine. Others watching me cook were making like, gagging noises, when I suggested sour cream as a yogurt substitute but tasting the results shut all that right down. To my tongue it was nearly identical, maybe a tad less sweet, but neither product has a drop of sugar to begin with, so the sweetness would have to be more something in the yogurt's chemical makeup than actual sweetness.

Also, jasmine rice kicks plain white rice's ass for this recipe. Have to buy more jasmine.

Also-also, I'm one of the small percentage of the population that has a genetic blip that makes cilantro taste like soap, which the curry recipe calls for. And I'm sad about this because the curry actually gels better, flavorwise, finished with cilantro than with Italian flat leaf or curly American parsley (yes, I've tried all three at this point; Italian flat leaf is next-best, but it's just not the same.)

Raise your hand if you've had tomatillos!

I tried raw tomatillo for the first time tonight (it was someone else's turn to cook, which turned out to be Mexican and included tomatillo as part of their salsa topping). It's so weird but so good; it tastes like a slightly acidic pear but looks like a plain green tomato. Except the inside looks like an unripe, gassed tomato, with tiny light brown seeds scattered haphazardly throughout. The papery skin, which always scared me when I (very gingerly, as though I was approaching the actual Lochness Monster) viewed tomatillos in the grocery store, just harmlessly peels away, and is no bother at all.

Are y'all ever afraid of food? *raises hand*

Raw coconuts, raw pineapples and anything in the produce section with a name I can't pronounce without becoming bilingual, in particular, terrifies me. I'm also afraid of anything that looks like an octopus (which, come to think of it, might not exactly make [personal profile] silveradept's day).

marahmarie: His life flashes before my eyes (Carlos Estevez)

Ok so this sucks this sucks this sucks. This also explains why he had sort of lost his mind. I always figured it was about (or over) something, because the way he lost it was not the way most people typically lose it, and it seems to me he wasn't ever before the type of guy who could just go off like that over nothing.

ETA: OK, uh...maybe not. Quoth the TMZ whilst quoting Charlie about Bree Olson's claims that she was not told he had HIV after knew he did and therefore risked being exposed to the virus [capslock via source]::

We're told Sheen is adamant ... he didn't KNOW he'd contracted the virus until AFTER he got back from his 20-city tour, which ended on May 3, 2011. Olson famously broke up with Charlie nearly two weeks prior to that date via text message.

I wrote Can't is The Cancer of Happen (which spawned not just an interesting blog post but also an entire relationship, so I have a bit of a reason to carry that in my heart - the post is linked below) on March 5, 2011 - after he'd lost his mind. Like completely. Maybe it was those brain-crushing headaches that drove him over the edge, in retrospect (the man thought he was dying of brain cancer - that might make anyone act a little whacked out; leave it to CS to give us the extreme example of thinking you're gonna die, anyway, so what the hell - yolo, dudes!).


marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

It is driving me in-sane (which, come to think of it, is an accurate way to sum up almost every post I make, since being driven nearly insane is mostly why I write).

This is the elusively-titled song in question (instrumental only). Pep Boy's last jingle was some version of Popcorn, another instrumental that sounds very similar.

The song I'm after reminds me of music I grew up with (mainly, Conway Twitty or Duane Eddy - the song Rebel Rouser - which reminds someone I know of "When The Saints Go Marching In", incidentally - from the latter is almost the same song, but not quite, because the guitar tempo and some notes are different), is quite appealing and sounds like if it were longer it would be imminently danceable.

Any idea, oh audiophoile readers of mine?

marahmarie: For those who've passed (candle)

My heart stands with France right now. Very sad, awful situation.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)


(I happen to hate tablets myself - I'm not Moses and they bore me about as much as his own would - but that's neither here nor there. If I was the guy who said that, it'd be tearing of clothes, wearing of sackcloth, and dust and ashes in my hair time. He must feel so...for lack of a better way to describe it...stupid uh, kind of shortsighted now, don'tcha think?)

marahmarie: When words won't suffice, there's always facial expressions (glare)

After writing about my as-yet non-invented invention I happened upon an article about Mr. Edison's Kindle and went ok, *light bulb*. Even better? The article I read yesterday about flexible graphene. Serious *light bulb*, there - that or something very much like it could be/probably is The Answer.

Pencil point material, mang, who knew - not anyone, not back when pencils were still the most exciting form of written communication we had. They've always fascinated me, though.

The one thing I'm not sure about, that anyone who is sure about such things can surely tell me, regardless, is which metals are properly conductive without blowing everything up, because I'm thinking the links are going to work via electrical impulse. Or light. Which, depending upon which form of "light" would work best, might be the same thing.

Y'all think I'm kidding, mostly because when I say I'm going to do something everyone always thinks I'm kidding, mostly because I'm mild-mannered (no, really) and fairly harmless-looking (unless I'm practicing The Glare, in which case you might just want to leave the country) but this preposterous thing, I'm going to do it, my milky mildness be damned. If I can just map out enough of how it works in my mind, I swear its going on Kickstarter. Get in while you can! :)

marahmarie: A coffee mug that reads: "I figuratively die as I hear you literally abuse words." (grammar)

The usual preamble follows: I rarely do link roundups (and when I do, they're mostly for my own, specific delight and edification) so if the content or format is to your liking, try not to get used to it.

Now that Wil Wheaton's said it, it's finally so.

I'm including this one (via [personal profile] silveradept) just so I can roll my eyes while typing. It's rare that I get to engage in extensive eye-rolling so I'm savoring this moment so much, y'all. Anyway, WW says workers should be compensated for their work, repeating the same complaint gazillions of uncompensated writers for HuffPo have been making ever since Arianna last paid for blog writers - that is, approximately never - in claiming her platform and exposure is all the compensation you'll ever need for your services because teh eyeballs, dahlings.

I've been following the uproar over Arianna not paying - yet heavily soliciting for popular Internet writers - for the last 5-6 years. It's been a contentious topic on ProBlogger and other "writing for a living" blog sites, and while I'm with WW on this - you need to get paid for your writing, especially if it's been solicited out of nowhere by someone, anyone, even the almighty HuffPo - if you're an already well-established online presence, and you like finding a wider, more diverse audience than the niche that normally absorbs your musings, then yes, by all means, scribble away for free for the feckless Arianna.

I'm aghast not at what WW says, but at what's signaled by the fact that he said it. The fact that he's thrown his two cents in will invariably "change the landscape" to "create activism around the issue", with the likely conclusion somewhere down the road that: "Huffington Post has responded to WW's objections/initiative/activism/offerings/challenge by offering competitive compensation to our most sought-out writers" - which is a non-answer in itself, but that's a discussion for another time. But why does it always have to come to this - to another WW shouting from the rooftops - when we did that for so long without him over the same issue? Why is it that it's not until the 'big voice' walks into the room, the one who doesn't need the money, who does have a sense of justice and fairness, that the 'face' of the problem - that is, Ms. or Mr. Everyday who just wants to get paid for the post that Arianna, et al's asked them to write for free - finally gets seen by a larger, more receptive audience?

I've never seen a problem solved without someone being famous around it. Not famous because of it, but famous around it.

Some famous faces have said that trying to scrape by on $7 an hour is bullshit, so now we have the infamously too little-too late, finally rising but just barely because Republicans said so, so just get three jobs and shut up minimum wage. Apple wasn't going to pay artists for their music until an artist who was literally born rich - Taylor Swift - threw a massive, if very polite - hissy fit and refused to back down. To go back in time, AIDS didn't exist, didn't matter, and would never be dealt with until Magic Johnson told everyone he had it. Wil Wheaton speaks up about working for free for a rich woman - which thousands of people have humbly done every day for years now because What Other Choice - but because Famous Face has said so, now things might get better? Look at what it took and think to yourself: why does it always take a Famous Face for things to change?

And people wonder why others being in any sort of minority or underclass can utterly jade them. First, it's because we're expected to be as numb about and uncaring of our circumstances as everyone else is who's not experiencing them. They don't care, so hell, we're not supposed to, either. It's gauche, it's just not done, dear. Secondly, it's not the pain of the circumstances we're in - which are certainly bad enough as it is - as much as it's that we know 9/10ths of the people around us don't give a damn as long as it's Not Them. The Famous Face does, then all of a sudden it's acceptable again to have our own emotions around Said Topic? I'm sick of the revolving door, one issue after another, always "solved" - in the long run - by someone finally Famous Enough to legitimatize it.

We shouldn't need a Famous Face to back us up - not literally nor figuratively - when we say, "This is not right. This needs to stop" or "This needs to change." Yet somehow it always comes down to that, and we're not legitimate until it does. Our story? Just does not check out - or even matter - until Famous Face says so.

The rich live off the government and pay no taxes - and want YOU off the dole. Now.

I find the following articles so rich in Republican hypocrisy that, were they alcohol, I'd be getting my stomach pumped at the hospital, my totally intoxicated lethal overdose limit finally reached. I actually broke out my imaginary bright pink linkspam pen just to write this. To begin, we have 18 CEOs Called Out By Bernie Sanders For Taking Trillions In Bailouts, Evading Taxes, and Outsourcing Jobs. They not only take trillions; almost every CEO on the list pays exactly $0 in personal federal income taxes, ever.

Yet these same tax cheats who take our money for their welfare sneer at us needing any sort of stuff (although the majority who get it work very hard for much less glory and much less pay; we also pay much more in taxes thanks to the perfectly legal criminal accountants they employ). Stop taking the minimum wage, stop taking health care, stop taking child care, or any paid time off, or any sick days, stop needing a place to live, and stop with this ridiculous 'needing food to eat' bullshit, already - our workers live off Jesus, pocket change and their own sweat, which is redemptive - just ask the Nazis, Work Will Set You Free, so shut up and get back to work already (although, as I said, most of you already do: so in that case just shut up and work harder).

Lighter Stuff, because heh heh, Light

When I'm busy trying not to bust my spleen over the previous links I do reserve a tad of mental energy for more enjoyable things, so here's some lighter stuff, like Win Your Next Argument by Citing Meaningless Neurobabble (see post title for a weaksauce example), How Powerful Do You Think You Are? (in my case, very powerful - which is a nice fantasy, if nothing else; I did exactly what the article says you'd do) and How Conservatives Can Sway Liberals and Vice Versa.

The last link wanders into a morass, its central point being that liberals feature different morality than conservatives. No one could say liberals are amoral, though (as they sport more of a truly Biblical 'help others' morality than Republicans normally do) unless you argue that libs suggest many things should be done but won't do those things themselves, expecting government to do it for them. (I've actually had this argument with someone - that liberals talk a good story but want the government to do the things they suggest, like help the poor, house the homeless, raise the minimum wage, etc. What this person forgets is we are the government; that's why we elect representatives, to represent how we feel, and to act on what we think should be done. It doesn't say "We The People" because someone thought the Constitution should include good poetry, it says "We The People" because that's who the government represents, and who it is comprised of. Us).

Personally, I agree more with a study done several years ago on the topic of getting the opposite political stripe to agree with you: simply don't disagree. When your opponent has no one to argue with they tend to become more introspective, and to sometimes adjust their opinions simply because no one tripped up their ego and got them on the defensive. Politics is quite strongly tied to ego.

While I wasn't planning on any link reposts tonight, [personal profile] silveradept had a good roundup earlier; here's another link from them worth chewing on.

Yes, I come by tightrope walking naturally. I was great even as a baby, walking my crib rails on tiptoe

So maybe you weren't born with it (and maybe it wasn't Maybelline, either) - perhaps talent is not quite innate. This post - from DW's [personal profile] momijizukamori, an impressive CSS and code wrangler whose talent might or might not be natural - got me thinking the problem is people confuse the word "affinity" with "talent". Just because you take naturally to something or seem rather good at it - even right out of the gate - does not mean you have an innate talent or are any good at said thing.

On the one hand, I believe I was born with innate talent - for writing, for reading, for puzzling over things to an extent that most people don't. But this is a misnomer, there is no 'talent' involved. There is a spark, a zest for some work of the mind, and even another spark to do it well, but there is no being born good at it. I've written poetry since age six (after learning to read at age three, blah blah blah - my intelligence, which was literally off the charts, was much feted in my youth, but who cares now?) but that doesn't mean I wrote all that well.

I love to cook so much that I can't stand letting others cook for me because I know I'll miss how I would've seasoned/sauteed/broiled/roasted/steamed/baked whatever it is someone else makes me that much. On other other hand, up until the age of 19 I couldn't cook at all; I could only boil water (boil it, mind you; this did not include knowing how to cook what went into the boiling water). That was it.

I'm still trying to figure out the "best clam sauce", and that was the first real meal I ever cooked for myself. If I was really great - naturally talented - I'd have that figured out by now, wouldn't I? Success is not talent. It's spark, it's passion, it's desire (not to go all Gordon Ramsey, but if you're technically good at something without giving a damn, you'll never be good enough. You can also have huge passion, energy and desire for your chosen activity and suck all your life, regardless of how biased you are about your ability). In most things I do, I think I fall somewhere between the extremes of completely sucking and massively succeeding - inborn talent or not. And I'd be lying if I said otherwise.

tl;dr Affinity != ability.