vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
For the past three weeks.


Started listening to Alexis Wright's Carpenteria on audiobook in the car. It started out lyrical, and got upsetting very quickly. Unsurprisingly so.

Still reading CJ Cherryh's Foreigner. The main character first appears on page 66. AFAIK none of the characters mentioned up until that page appear ever again. It got good fast once the protagonist actually appeared, though.

And then I looked at Cherryh's wikipedia page and found that it's the first of an unfinished series of which 16 books are already in print (the most recent one three months ago.) Why did I not check this before embarking? IDEK. I was stupid. And reckless. (I've read two other Cherryh novels before this: Cyteen, which I liked a lot, and The Pride of Chanur, which I didn't click with.)

I am having trouble with Malguri, in that it keeps making me think of Malgudi. Wrong genre!

Ilisidi is awesometerrifying. She has a murder pony named Babs. The murder pony is a macheita, which is a large, alien quadruped with sharp tusks. Babs is short for Babsidi, which means Lethal. Not that I don't like Bren, but I would prefer this book to be all about the adventures and political disappointments of Ilsidi and Babs the murder pony.


Reread Bas's R2D2/C3PO series droids need love too. Had forgotten it was written 15 YEARS AGO. I remember her posting it, and then arguing with LJV about whether "socket for hire" was about blowjobs or not.

TV and Movies

Watched Steven Universe episodes 1 and 2. Okay, yeah. I like this. Amethyst is my fave so far, but Garnet and Pearl and Steven are so great too that I could see myself changing faves from episode to episode. Purely by chance, I watched these cartoons on a Saturday morning.

Watched the first three episodes of Community. Yeah, I know, the very latest. I was a little disappointed, in that I fully expected the film theory teacher to die unexpectedly.

Obvs Abed is my favourite, but Troy and Annie and Shirley are great too. And Pierce is a pretty good example of his type. I think this show could be greatly improved by the immediate, permanent removal of Jeff and Britta.

Abed's father made me cry, in a good way. He got how Abed communicates. And how film helps with that. And how it's not "Abed has trouble communicating", it's that "other people find Abed hard to understand." He got it. He got there.


Played through Long Live The Queen again. I lost the naval battle and swam back to shore, my father won a magical duel but nearly died in the process, and my musician-spy informed me that my aunt had been trying to assassinate me, so I executed her whole family.

Started another playthrough of Hatoful Boyfriend. I'm romancing Yuuya this time around, and trying my best (without cheating... yet) to figure out what's going on with the infirmary.


Made a card and a little notebook for my father's birthday.


DAFFODILS. Two of them.
photographic evidence of daffodils )


Went on a KMart shopping spree. Bought totally adult things like a USB car charger and a spare lightning cable in case I'm out of phone battery and need to call for help and my car battery still works but I can't drive. And a pack of blank cards and envelopes, because I am more likely to do the hand-making card shit if I don't try to find cardboard to salvage from Coke cartons or whatever when it's someone's birthday. So that's pretty adult. And... another dinosaur cushion (I had one already) and a ROBOT CUSHION. Okay, it's a statement piece. Like those sharks everyone's buying. ...And weird sand.

Okay, the weird sand was the main purpose of my visit. And it is AWESOME. Not least because it smells like the inside of an Ikea. I guess that is what polydimethylsiloxane smells like. I like that smell, and now I can have it without the stress of an Ikea visit. It feels like fine-grained sand if you stick your fingers in it, but if you pick it up and rub it between your fingers, it abruptly feels like not-sand. More like brown sugar after the moths got to it. But if you pick up a bigger bit of it and let it fall, it falls exactly like sand, only in slow motion. When you just let it lie there, it settles down into a texture like hard-packed (without moths) brown sugar. I bought the green colour, which is lighter than the box, somewhere between grass and lichen. The other options in stock were pink, purple, blue, and some metallic ones that were cool-looking but the same price for less sand.
vass: Hothead Paisan says "FEH MUH NIST". (Hothead)
Could someone please hook me up with a link to a decent 101-level explanation of women-only/minority-only spaces? I'd like to try my father on it.

On the weekend he told me that he didn't see any difference between a club whose membership is restricted to men, and a club whose membership is restricted to women. And the same about clubs that exclude white people. (I didn't get into LGBT spaces, that part of the conversation ended before then. It concluded with his saying "I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree, then," and my saying "No, you're wrong.")

Oddly he did think it was okay to have a club only for Jews or only for Muslims. Religion is different?

My mother (who wasn't there for the conversation) thinks he was just winding me up, but I'd like to assume good faith, and it didn't sound like a wind-up to me.

(Please don't just post an explanation here. I am not linking my father to my online journal, and I don't want to explain it to him again myself, I want to direct him to a written authority that is not his offspring.)
vass: wonder girl facepalming (Facepalm)
In the page on their free range section:

"We believe animals should be ethically raised and tendered with care."

Oh, I bet you do.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
"How To Update Flashplugin For Firefox 64bit 3.6 Help Videos"


(No, the videos were not in HTML5, why would they be in HTML5?)

(You know that app for generating zero-day exploits, which also lets you view cat videos? The latest non-Chrome Linux patch finally arrived, two days after everyone else's patches did. But the update script isn't working properly -- it identifies that there's a more recent version upstream, then ignores it and sticks to the version already installed. I think it's a pinning problem, from the kludge I use to have Firefox-not-Iceweasel on my Debian install. And yeah, I can just download the tarball and install the update manually -- I just did that -- but I'd like to solve the real problem too.)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Finished In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. It was powerful and important, and I dislike the author's personality but like much of what he has to say.

Started Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis, the self-described "charming Irish polyglot". I think he's probably sound on language learning methods, but I'd skip the introduction and first chapter if you don't like motivational speeches of the "reasons are excuses! if I/she/they can do this, SO CAN YOU! get out of your comfort zone!" bullshit variety.

Comics and Manga

Finished Fullmetal Alchemist vol 8. IT GOT BETTER. I've put a reserve on my library's copies of volumes 9 to 11.


I discovered that there was Kittens Game fanfic. (Read the comments. They are a work of art, if "being insulting to zebras" is an artistic medium. YOU STRIPEY FUCKBAG.)

This one has disturbingly graphic unicorn sacrifices, but I love what they made of the setting and characters.

This one threw me out of the story when Molly put her paws behind her back. I hadn't realised they were anthropomorphic kittens until that point.

TV and Movies

Watched an episode of Sesamstrasse. Grover geht ins Bett, aber er hat Angst deswegen es ist dunkel und finster. Seine Mutter gibt ihn ein Nachtküss, dann hat er kein mehr Angst. And some other stuff happened, but I only cared about Grover. Oh, and there was a song about a fisher who kept fishing junk out of the river, and uses most of it to build a house, and sells the rest to buy a fish for dinner, that was cute.


Ticked off a few more Choice of the Deathless achievements. I haven't mentioned before how much I like one small detail about this game: when you're romancing a character, the option "try to kiss her" or "try to kiss him" always leads to a dialogue in which you ask the character if you can kiss them. You can't just grab them and plant one on them. And then you and that character kiss each other. It is explicitly described as being mutual, not something you are doing to them. I really appreciate that.

Still playing Capitalist Dystopian Kittens. They've been around a little over 400 years now. I can't help noticing that their leader, Molly Fur, is listed as 45 years old. I appointed her leader... I don't remember the date, but it was definitely in the first century. Undead Kitten Kings?

As of this week, the kittens have managed to achieve a housing crisis whereby poor and middle-class kittens are priced out of the housing market and the developers can only build mansions. This is too realistic. DDDDDDDDDDDDDD:

Still playing Two Dots. I've reached the area where there are green eyes everywhere on the map, and funnels everywhere on the playing board. I cannot get the tune out of my head.
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
LGBT History
Victor Mukasa successfully sued a government official for illegally searching his home. In 2005, in Uganda. They were looking for evidence of LGBT activity. He is a trans man. He also founded Sexual Minorities Uganda. He's now living in the US, but is still active with the group he founded.

Protest Music
Wiring, by Jen Msumba, a survivor of the Judge Rotenberg Center. Content notes: child harm, psychiatric abuse.

Food Timeline

Things that exist
lo mi jufra, by selpa'i. An original rap song in Lojban. Yes, Lojban rap. Lojban. Rap. I have no idea what it says. Also, by the same performer, jmive za'o, or 'Still Alive' in Lojban.

Australian Music
Australian Folk Songs

Star Wars
The Icelandic saga version.

Marquess of Queensberry Rules
Why Don't Men Kick Each Other In The Balls?

Historical Mythbusting
Sinking Myths: Men actually Most Likely To Survive Shipwrecks. Titanic was the exception, not the rule.

More Things That Exist
The Post Office Electrical Engineer's Journal

Angry Birds
Hatebeak were a heavy metal band active from 2003-2009. Their lead vocalist was an African Grey parrot. They never toured, so as not to harm the bird. Their albums were Beak of Putrefaction, Bird Seeds of Vengeance, and The Thing That Should Not Beak.

My evening

Jun. 28th, 2015 12:56 am
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
Went to [personal profile] fasangel's birthday dinner. Left not too long after 11pm, which is a good thing, as it gave my car more time to break down on my way home.

If it had to break down, this was a pretty good way for it to do it. I stopped at the lights a few streets away from home, right next to a 7-11, and it just wouldn't start again when the light changed. Or rather, the engine was running just fine, but I couldn't get it into gear. At all.

So I put on my hazard lights, and tried to call roadside assistance. But my phone was out of battery. So I got out and asked the 7-11 guy to call roadside for me. But I couldn't remember their number (it was in my phone.)

So I went back to my car, where I remembered that there was a sticker with their number on it, but while I was getting out a pen to write it down, a police car came by and gestured "are you okay?" and I shook my head and opened the door.

So they reproduced the problem for themselves (I know this is the first step of all tech support, but it still rankles a little bit) and confidently pronounced "It's your gearbox." Which is what I thought it was, yes, since I couldn't get it in gear, and I have been driving a manual car since I first learned to drive.

So they pushed the car into the 7-11 carpark, called roadside for me, waited to get a callback to let me know when they'd be there, told me it'd be 90 minutes, then gave me a receipt and drove away to their next call. The receipt had a reference number, the time and date and station name and, in red, the reassuring words THIS IS NOT A FINE AND YOU ARE NOT UNDER ARREST.

I checked if the 7-11 had any car chargers that fit my phone (no) and bought a hot chocolate, tidied my handbag, sorted the petrol vouchers by date and disposed of the expired ones, then was about to resort to writing fic longhand in my notebook when the roadside assistance van showed up, 60 minutes earlier than expected.

He said "your gearbox is fine, it's the linkage, a piece has broken off." He jiggled various things, tightened various other things, and then told me that I could try driving home on it -- I'd be stuck in first the whole way, but if I was that close to home and there weren't hills, I could make it. Or I could wait an hour for a tow truck.

I asked him to wish me luck, and chose door number one. And cooed "good car, you can do it" all the way home.

So now I am home, and my car is safely waiting for me to call the tow truck in the morning and take it to be repaired (ugh, I have a bad feeling this is going to be one of those things where they have to order the part from overseas) and my phone is charging, and Beatrice is hunting pompoms, and I'm going to bed.
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
"According to medical experts, pain in the upper arm is usually located between the shoulder and the elbow."

You don't say.
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Finished the slow reread of Ancillary Justice I've been doing all month.

Still reading C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner.

Started Gabor Maté's In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, about addiction. So far he definitely knows his stuff, is very erudite, and can write well, and he definitely has empathy for his patients, and has important things to say about addiction. Very important, which is why I'm persisting. (Well, that and it is a very compelling read.)

But... I always don't like how he writes about them. I like very much that he got their permission and asked how they wanted to be named (under a pseudonym or not) and they got to read what he was writing about them before it was published (he doesn't state if they were allowed to make amendments.) But there's this vibe.

And I think I've already reached my lifetime exposure limit on cultured, analytical doctors who are charmingly self-aware about their own narcissistic tendencies.

He makes me think that at least Hannibal doesn't regurgitate his patients all over the press.

I didn't even know there were people who loved Mozart's Don Giovanni and identified primarily with the title role. He compares Don Giovanni's womanising with his own addiction to music collecting. And dude, NO. Mozart and da Ponte never make that mistake. Don Giovanni the character does, but the librettist and composer and the opera itself do not agree with him. They don't think Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, Zerlina, and the other 2063 women are consumable objects.

TV and Movies

Watched Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time in a long time.
Watched Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back for the first time... ever. Yeah. I'm that bad at watching movies.

I like the special effects. Of course they're not great by modern standards, but they were AMAZING back then, and unlike the ones in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, they serve the story. No fucking ten minutes shuttle launch sequence.

Mark Hamill's acting is growing on me. And I like Leia a lot. Both Carrie Fisher's acting (and unimpressed facial expressions) and the character herself. How much she gets to do even though she still had to be The Girl. I don't like Han. And I hate Han/Leia.

My biggest ships so far: Han/Chewbacca, R2D2/C3PO. I'm really feeling for Chewie and R2.


Kitten Industrialism continues. They have a basilica. And chemistry.

Played through Choice of the Deathless again. I have now romanced all the romanceable characters -- I romanced Ash and Cass as a female character, Vega as a male character. I hadn't realised until the most recent play-through that Ash is male or female depending on whether you like men or women. I still have a few more achievements left: I haven't deposed the goddess, paid off my student loan, or the two "take another path" options.


Bought the original cast recording of Fun Home. Listened to the whole thing. ;_______; Still not over 'Telephone Wire' and how she manages to create suspense even though it's a forgone conclusion.

Put together a huge playlist of various stuff, and have been listening to it on shuffle.


Bubble-glazed most of my windows. It looks ridiculous, but I think my flat is slightly warmer.

New gadget

Jun. 22nd, 2015 04:41 am
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
I bought a minimum-maximum thermometer for my flat, to find out how cold it actually gets in here.

After a few minutes of really intense confusion, followed by one website and one YouTube video, I've come to the conclusion that this thermometer is faulty.

Right this moment, the mercury (not the indicator pins, the mercury itself) on the minimum side reads 20'C, and the maximum side reads 14'C. (btw, outside it is 7.1'C according to the BOM.) They are supposed to read the same thing. Dammit.
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Reading CJ Cherryh's Foreigner, which so far is dry and distant, but I have definitely read more dry and distant Cherryh novels. Ann Leckie's mentioned Cherryh in general (which I could have guessed) and this novel in particular as a big formative influence. I can definitely see it. So far I have yet to meet Bren, whom Breq's named after. The structure seems kind of back-heavy: two really short sections then a third great long section.

Reading Economic Principles, 3rd edition, by Bajada, Jackson, McIver, and Wilson. I am not very far in, and consequently I'm dealing with a very shallow introduction to the terminology and principles, and keep going "But -- but --" all the time. Like, in the example where we're introduced to opportunity cost, they state "as you can see, unit X is equal to unit Y," and I'm like "Yes, I see that you stated that unit X is 100,000 chocolate bars, and unit Y is 1000 tractors, and you're stating that they're equal and therefore the graph makes this curve. But you're the one who decided on the units, and you haven't told me how you decided on them. If you chose different units, the curve would be different. Are we going to go into How To Lie With Statistics? Because it seems very relevant to this discipline."

Comics and Manga

Started Fullmetal Alchemist vol 8. For the second time attempting it. I'm still not feeling it. People who read manga: at what point should I know if I'm going to like this series? I'm not sure how much of it's that I'm not as good at following visual-spatial narration (for instance, I literally cannot tell what is happening in the fight scenes. At all.) and how much is that I'm missing literary conventions I don't know that would be giving me more subtext/background/nuance and make me have feels about what's happening to the characters.

TV and Movies

Watched The Song of the Sea, the most visually beautiful animated movie I've watched since... maybe ever. Recommended. The soundtrack is beautiful too.


Spent three days trying to get through level 104 of Two Dots. I passed it in the end, but I've lost most of my pleasure in this game.

Started playing Kitten Industrialism again. (aka "bloodrizer's Kittens Game", aka The Worst Game In The World, aka Kitten Radch ("you are Anaander Meownaai in a forest of catnip...") It's been over 200 years. I have 58 kittens. They have a steamworks with a printing press and a high speed engine. They have navigation and a couple of trade ships and are working on a collection of observatories. The zebras hate them for no reason. (Do you think that "no reason" could have something to do with their aggressive expansionism and their endless, all-devouring strip-mining of the planet? Or their militarism? Or how they'd sacrifice their own mother for catnip?)

Playing Kitten Industrialism while reading my economics textbook is... odd. One of the fundamental principles of economics is that resources are scarse but human want is infinite. This game certainly bears that out. (I keep wondering why, if our wants are infinite, companies have to keep on finding ways to manufacture wants where they didn't exist before.)

Played Max Gladstone's Choice of the Deathless, which is an interactive fiction set in the same universe as his Craft Sequence novels. It's really good. I've played it a couple times through, and will probably end up playing it at least a few more times to get more of the accomplishments.


Listened to an episode of Ultima Thule. I'm not a big fan of ambient music, but maybe I could be more of one than I thought. It was nice in the background, and usually for sensory reasons I'm very much not a fan of background music.

Listened to every song from Fun Home that I could find. I'm gonna have to buy the cast recording. I didn't expect to cry, which shows what I know. It's a lot less emotionally detached and controlled than the graphic novel (which I love.)

Listened to Calexico's The Black Light, which I heard about on... This American Life? Wait Wait Don't Tell Me? Something, years and years ago, and bookmarked for future reference, and caught up with just this week. I liked it a lot.


Regression. I spent $6 at the supermarket and got a dinosaur colouring book and a box of crayons and have been getting my stegosaurus on. When I'm tired of the coloured-in pages, they'll become envelopes and wrapping paper.

Also I'm drawing on my own skin in Sharpie, inspired by a Tumblr post I saw. So far I did knuckle tats saying EXAM TIME when I was revising for the accounting exam, and last night I drew T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics, with the word STOMP underneath him. It's helping with the thing where I've been craving a new tattoo, but I don't know what I want, or what I want it to commemorate, and I'd rather not permanently alter myself until I've sorted that out.


Made Nutella fudge again.

Also made this pineapple cake I saw a link for on Facebook. It has three ingredients: 2 cups of S.R. flour, 1 cup of caster sugar, and one 440g tin of pineapple in syrup (syrup and all.) Stir together and bake for 55 minutes at 180'C. Or rather don't, because it's... really not great. Tasted like the first cake I ever made in my life. Which was wonderful when I was I think five years old? Something like that. And woke up early one morning and went into the kitchen on my own, climbed up on a stool to reach the bench, and mixed flour and milk and sugar together and made a batter, put them all in a tin, then woke my mother up and asked her to operate the oven for me, and she took a photo of me first, and another of me with the finished cake. And that is a very happy memory, and the taste brings it back, but frankly it was nearly thirty years ago, and I'm not much of a baker but I can do better than that.


Bought a heated blanket, the sort you can wrap around yourself. It is very nice. I should have listened to [personal profile] bookgirlwa about hers sooner.
vass: Google ad, advertising "invisible knapsack" (Knapsack)
"A typical example [of the post hoc fallacy], as follows clearly indicates the fallacy in such reasoning. Suppose that early each spring the medicine man or woman of a tribe performs their ritual by dancing around the town in a green costume. A week later the trees and grass tun green. Can we safely conclude that event X, the medicine man's gyrations has caused event Y, the landscape turning green? Day follows night, but this doesn't mean that night is the cause of day!" (Economic Principles, 3rd edition, Bajada, Jackson, McIver, and Wilson. McGraw Hill, Sydney, 2014.)

I bet if you thought harder about it, you could have come up with a more racist, colonialist example. But you did pretty well at that without even trying.

This is not a difficult concept to illustrate without going all ha ha tribal people have funny customs and illogical beliefs. Come on.

Oh, won't this be a fun term.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
[Written on Tuesday, the night before an exam which I definitely did fail. Note that I like the subject, actually quite a lot, and do take it more seriously than this implies -- cracking jokes is my coping mechanism for the whole part where I undertook study at a time when my health was not up to the task.]

In dialogue form. Both sides of the dialogue are me.

What is the Accounting Cycle?
It is a very cool vehicle on which accountants ride to work. It has lots of fins.

What are the basic steps in the Accounting Cycle?
It's just a jump to the left (debit)
And then a step to the right (credit)
Put your hands on your assets
And draw your equity in tight
But it's the statement of cash flows
That really drives you insaaaaane
Let's do the accounting cycle again.

No, what are the basic steps in the Accounting Cycle?
more )
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
Time to get back in the blogging saddle. Or something. So, since I last updated culture consumed:

Anita Heiss's Tiddas, as mentioned before.

Courtney Milan, The Governess Affair and The Duchess War. I liked them both, and will read more.

Lia Silver, Prisoner. This is the sequel to Laura's Wolf. I liked it, especially the hero's taste in music. I did keep wondering why DJ had never been dxed with ADHD in addition to his dyslexia. Maybe that's in the next book (which I've already bought and will probably get around to reading soon.)

And I'm rereading Ancillary Justice, to no one's surprise at all.

And I've made some more progress on Margery since last time I updated. I'm just gonna quote my own Twitter:

@vassl: Back to reading Margery Kempe. She just begged her confessor to let her kiss lepers. He says she may NOT kiss male lepers. Lady lepers ok.

@vassl: So she runs up to women with leprosy, gets down on her knees, and begs them in Jesus' name to let her kiss them on the mouth.

@vassl: Can you imagine being afflicted with both leprosy AND Dame Margery? She kisses them, cries, & splains how lucky they are to have leprosy.

@vassl: "stirred them to meekness and patience so they should not grudge about their sickness," jfc, how did this woman not get punched?

@vassl: Margery's latest wish: to be naked on a hurdle while men stare at her and pelt her with mud, for Jesus, SO LONG AS IT DOESN'T IMPERIL THEIR SOULS.

[n.b. I didn't have enough characters to articulate that "mud" is maybe not precisely what she wanted to be pelted with.]

@vassl: She follows this up with "May your wish be fulfilled, not mine," possibly aware that Jesus' imagination is way less... intense than hers.

Comics and Manga

Read the three Young Avengers tpbs from the 2013 reboot. Ridiculous in a good way. I felt like I was missing a lot, and like the creative team were really shoving the whole concept of Millennials down my throat (exhibit A: the entire page formatted like a Tumblr dash) but it was fun.


Went on a Polly/Mal (from Monstrous Regiment) kick and read nearly all of that tag in AO3. I really love the nonbinary Mal fanon.

TV and Movies

Finished the first season of Parks and Rec.


As mentioned, played CAH with friends.

Have been obsessively playing Dots.

Still sporadically playing Pokemon: LeafGreen. I got all the badges and am working on Victory Road Cave.

And tonight I did my first play-through of Hatoful Boyfriend. My character (who is a human girl aged about 15 or 16) ended up romancing her maths teacher, who is a narcoleptic button quail. I disapprove.

I'm looking forward to playing more and finding up what the sinister subtext between him and the scary patridge doctor was about.


Listened to Amy Ray's Prom (loved it, as expected), Men Make Music's Labor (too dance clubby for me, but still good,) and CN Lester's Ashes (liked, think it will grow on me with more listening.


Mainly have been listening to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men and Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap.


Got around to setting up the sewing machine and sewing the new cushion covers I bought the fabric for late last year. I was incredibly sloppy about it and just used white thread for everything and called it a feature, because I'd been procrastinating all year and was too inertia-less to do it if I had to stop one more time.

And tried again with the glitter stencil journal thing, and this time succeeded. For a slightly Pyrrhic value of "succeeded" in that I'll never, EVER stop finding little bits of green glitter around my flat.

pics )


Repotted the lavender (which is still alive but only barely,) planted the tulip bulbs and some of the daffodil bulbs. Ran out of potting soil, will need to go get more so I can plant the rest of the daffodil bulbs and repot the catnip, which is flourishing. Parsley also seems happy enough. Basil is barely alive - it's a cold autumn.
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

  • In 2008, inflation in Zimbabwe was 100,000%. A hundred thousand per cent. Or rather, that's what my accounting lecturer says. I looked it up on Wikipedia and found that the official inflation rate in July 2008 (the last date before they stopped even trying to give an official inflation rate) was 231,150,888.87%. This link is to a scan (sharpened up in Photoshop but not otherwise changed) of a real Zimbabwean $100 trillion dollar note.

  • At the Royal Festival Hall, the recorded voice that tells you to make sure your mobile phone and watch alarms are switched off and to keep coughing to a minimum, is Sir Ian McKellen.

  • Another Sir Ian McKellen story: in 1988 he was lobbying against Section 28. Michael Howard, the Environment Secretary at the time, was still in favour of Section 28, but asked for an autograph for his children. McKellan got out a piece of paper and wrote "Fuck off, I'm gay."

  • In the 19th century there was an American gang leader and river pirate (there were river pirates in 19th century America!) named Sadie Farrell, who was known as Sadie the Goat because she liked headbutting people. Seriously, she flew the Jolly Roger. She MADE PEOPLE WALK THE PLANK. Also she lost an ear in a bar fight: the bouncer, Gallus Mag, bit it off.

  • According to Gallus Mag's own Wikipedia page, she bounced people by dragging them to the door by the ear using her teeth. This was a human being, not a cat. If they objected, she bit their ears off and kept them in a jar of alcohol behind the bar. This is not George from Tamora Pierce's Alanna quartet, she was a real person.

vass: Dykes To Watch Out For: Janis, pre-transition, singing Britney Spears (happysingingjanis)
Imperial Radch, Breq/Seivarden, 465 words, violence, spoilers for Ancillary Sword.

Response to [ profile] otpdisaster's prompt: "Person A being held hostage in a fortress and Person B violently leaving a mess of carnage in their wake in order to get to them. Covered in blood and questionable pieces of enemy remains, Person B finally makes it to Person A in the center of the wreckage and gives them a gentle peck on the forehead before apologizing for the wait."

(edited to change the link from my Tumblr post to the AO3 version)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From the website that sells those songs composed for cats:

"Terms and Conditions
The following Terms and Conditions apply to the use of this Web site as well as all transactions conducted through the site."

That's it. That's their entire terms and conditions page. There are no terms and conditions following.
vass: Icon of Saint Ignatius being eaten by lions (eaten by lions)
I think Beatrice has been reading about disruptive innovation. She wanted to supersede "using a laptop computer as a graphical user interface" with "using a laptop computer as a combination warm bed and petting booth for a cat."

I am impressed with her grasp of technology. I had no idea that if you press hard and long enough on the printscreen key, it will keep generating instances of the screen capture program for like five minutes after you stop pressing it.

Now I know. And I also have a better grasp on Ctr-Alt-F1 and Ctr-Rt and the proper deployment of killall. It took just over an hour to get my workspace back how it was before she innovated.

I will be changing the keyboard mapping to make printscreen require a combination of keystrokes.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
I tried installing HTTPS Everywhere. What I'm learning is how badly many sites implement HTTPS.

LiveJournal, for example, doesn't let you post comments if you force it to use HTTPS, not HTTP. Weeping Goat Error: Your Comments Are Insufficiently Insecure. Unfair to men in the middle!
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
Very belated edition. It's been a rough few weeks.


Finished Why Does He Do That?. It was hard.

Read Max Gladstone's Two Serpents Rise, which like other people already said, is not as good as Three Parts Dead, but it had its moments. I definitely still want to read the third one.

Also reading my accounting textbook, which may not exactly be culture, as such, but I find it interesting.

For example, the chapter on accrual accounting, maybe the most important fundamental skill in accounting, opens with the bold assertion "Accrual accounting is not the work of the devil." I think this is the first university subject I've studied where they had to state, in the textbook, "this thing you are here to study? It's not pure evil designed to torment you." Reassuring.

Comics and Manga

Reading the hardback collection of Benjamin Dewey's Tragedy Series. It's very pretty, but the humour is a bit hit and miss -- sometimes it's exactly the right sort of funny-poignant, and sometimes it just upsets me. I think I'll give the book to my brother or my sister. It'd probably work better for them.


Really liked [personal profile] wisdomeagle's vid Untouchable Face (Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus/Judas, Jesus/Mary Magdalene.)

TV and Movies

The second episode of Parks and Rec. As you can see, I'm tearing through it at lightning speed.


Still playing Pokemon: LeafGreen. Currently at Pokemon Mansion.

Got sucked into the Kittens Game. That was a terrible decision. Down with kitten industrialism!

Started playing Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be. Didn't really love it. His take on Ophelia pissed me off: okay, I get it, you think she'd be cooler if she was a scientist. Science girls are way cooler than girls who do boring things like grow up in a dysfunctional family in Renaissance Denmark and have no self-worth or reason to believe anyone will back them up if they make the choices you'd prefer them to make. But can you TRY to empathise with canon Ophelia? Because I promise you, there are girls today who would make the same choices she did, and I promise you, it's not because they're stupid and annoying.


The new Mountain Goats album, Beat the Champ. I love it instantly, and am bopping around the room to 'Foreign Object'. Am I the only one who feels oddly flattered that John Darnielle is offering to personally stab us in the eye with a foreign object?


Listened to an episode of 'The Adventure Zone', which is Justin McElroy and his brother and father playing D&D. He's less annoying in this than he is in 'Sawbones'.


Did some modular origami, inspired by [personal profile] toft's activities and her primer.

I made a sonobe cube.

And I tried to make this, but couldn't get any further than the end of the second row - it just kept falling apart when I added more units.

picture )

And I did a few more squares of knitting while watching accounting lectures.


Bought some daffodil and tulip bulbs. They're in the fridge now. While I was at the nursery, I also bought a parsley seedling, a small lavender plant and, on a whim, a catnip seedling.

Beatrice has never been a catnip fiend before, but I'd been wondering if she just never got the good stuff. I brought a single fresh leaf in for her, and her reaction was very entertaining. She didn't get high, as such, but she did smell it, become very interested, accidentally drop it off the couch then grab my hand with her claws and chomp it because I smelled like catnip, then rub her face back and forth on the couch where the catnip leaf had been.

I would love to repeat the experiment with Cyril, but I think that's probably against the medical foster rules even if I didn't let him eat it.


I made caramel and chocolate tartlets one very sleep-deprived morning. When I say 'made', really I just assembled them - caramel sauce in a can, chocolate from the fridge, a pack of premade mini tart cases from the supermarket bakery section, stick in the oven for a bit. They were all right, considering. Better after an hour or so in the fridge.

pic or it didn't happen )

Also tried to make buckeyes (sweet peanut butter balls coated in chocolate.) They turned out ugly, oversweet, weirdly crunch in texture, and worst, I keep perseverating "Buckeye Barnes" in my head.


vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)

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