vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
My desktop's Debian install now has a user account and a root account, both with passwords that I know.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten the graphics card drivers to work.

Equally unfortunately, Windows will no longer boot. It's still on there, but sometime around either the partitioning process or the Grub install, I must have done something wrong, and yeah. (Normally it's safest to install Windows first, then Linux, as Windows certainly won't respect the other OS already on the computer, but Linux usually will. This is why 5am is not an optimal time for fun and games with the master boot record.)

At some point after I catch my breath I will gather my install disks and start over. (But not right now, I have to go to dinner with some friends.)

This, right here, is why I didn't bother to get properly moved into Windows before getting Debian working. I didn't download all the usual apps or change the desktop background to something nice. I knew that there was a good chance I'd have to wipe it all again very soon.

[Note to self: put Win7 on sdb and Debian on sda, and maybe if I write right here what partition everything's on, I will remember and be sure about it. sdb is the larger of the two ssds, the SanDisk one.]

I think I'll go see what I can find that contains both chocolate and caramel.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
Yesterday evening I started reinstalling Debian on my desktop, so I can put the case back together and move it somewhere that's not on the floor of my living room. (Laptop has Debian already. Desktop recently went through a hardware upgrade, then a clean reinstall of Win7, then a new optical drive, and then it was time to set up the Debian/Win7 dual-boot.)

There were sharks, including:

- things taking so long to load that not only did the screen go to sleep, but I only didn't turn the computer off because I gave up and went off to do other things and came back to discover it'd loaded after all.

- loading the non-free network firmware onto a usb stick so I could copy it onto the desktop during the install (normal but irritating)

- the part where the Debian installer told me it couldn't find the CD drive. The Debian installer I'd loaded from the CD drive.

- an extended period in recovery mode

- some time hanging out in the emulated terminal within recovery mode

- at the end of it all, when Debian successfully installed, I restarted, took the CD out, and got a login/password prompt... and realised I'd never been asked to create a user account or enter a password.

I distinctly remember entering a network name and computer name, but not a user account and not a password. I would have remembered that, I'm kind of determined about passwords.

So either the install script managed to create a new Debian install with no user account or password (but still password protected - simply pressing enter didn't work)... or I should be asking Beatrice what my new username and password are.

I'm going to bed. Tomorrow I'll try user/live, root/root, admin/admin and so on, or boot into recovery mode and run passwd. But now is sleep time.
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Reading Naomi Novik's Crucible of Gold. Back onto the Temeraire, well, not-horse, after a few years off. I am up to chapter five, and Laurence and Temeraire are... well, I don't think it's a spoiler to say that they're not enjoying a peaceful agrarian existence in New South Wales.

Listening to Dick Francis' Twice Shy. The second half is about Jonathan Derry's younger brother William, whom I like a lot less than Jonathan. Not least because the first time we see him he's lying in bed with his girlfriend, trying to convince her that "no" doesn't mean no. When William and Jonathan are on the phone, the narrator's attempts at an American accent for Jonathan are... well, don't give up your UK citizenship quite yet, narrator.

TV and Movies

Watched POI 2.16, 'Relevance'. SHAW! I watched a Jackson Galaxy short about cat behaviour right before this episode, and Shaw reminds me of a cat: primarily interested in hunting, killing, eating, then sleeping. Except that my cat has better social skills.


Kind of sort of playing through Secret of Mana again. Shut up.


Still listening to the backlog of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men episodes.

Miles on a confrontation between Man-Thing and D'Spayre: "Listeners, I just want to say, if you ever experience a burning sensation in your Giant Size Man-Thing, you should see a physician immediately."

This was only one of several puerile jokes Rachel and Miles made about Man-Thing. And that is why I love this podcast.

BTW, did D'Spayre ever get tired of being a Marvel supervillain and go join the Black Dagger Brotherhood? He'd fit right in with Zsadist and Phury et al.


Back to reading Robert Liguori's Mercedes Lackey recaps on He's up to The Last Herald-Mage by now, but I'm still reading his take on Vows and Honor. Liguori's reaction to the part where Kethry summons Warrl was so delightful. I loled a lot. (And then there were pages and pages of people arguing about Liguori's interpretation of the book, whether Mercedes Lackey is wonderful, horrible, or in between, etc. Which was a lot less fun.)

A brief summary of why I love these recaps:
spoilers )

I got through 60-something pages of Oathbound recap in a week, and am now reading the recap of Oathbreakers.
vass: XKCD comic: Elaine Roberts plays drums, caption she even for a time took up drumming." (Riot Prrl 2)
"Your iCloud storage is almost full. You are currently using 4.9 GB of 5 GB total storage."

Well gee, Apple, I don't know what to tell you. I wasn't the one who put U2's latest album in my music collection and wouldn't let me delete it.
vass: Dykes To Watch Out For: Janis, pre-transition, singing Britney Spears (happysingingjanis)
Fibre Arts and Anthopology
Tell me a bit about Andean spinning

Consumer Medicine
DIY Diagnosis: How An Extreme Athlete Uncovered Her Genetic Flaw

I Love The Internet
The Voynich Manuscript: if you had been thinking to yourself "I wish I had a PDF of an early 15th-century illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system, so I could stare uncomprehendingly at it on my ereader..." then here you go. I'm glad it's not just me.

Curated Stuff
Public Domain Review: for your rude 19th-century rhymes and airship songs and hallucinatory WW2 propaganda films about hands needs.

Cooking with Villainy: Doom's cooking blog

Unfunny Coz It's True Department
50 Shades of Grey or Contemporary Christian Music Lyrics: A Quiz. I guessed a lot of the Christian rock multiple choice options right simply by picking the options that sounded like the speaker was doing BDSM and enjoying it.

xkcd on thesis defense

The Last True Hermit

Puzzle Trouble: Women and Crosswords in the Age of Autofill, an article about how the gender gap in crossword construction has gotten worse over the past 20 years. (As someone who's occasionally designed crosswords by hand, at an absolute baby level, but never took it further or connected with other puzzle makers, this makes me feel... something.)

Film Reviews
The Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Read Max Gladstone's Three Parts Dead. It was a lot of fun, with a very satisfying ending. The worldbuilding is particularly excellent, notably the practicalities of a world economy based on souls.

I have one complaint: the copyediting was very poor. Lots of errors a good copyeditor should have caught. Particularly homophone errors: clamoring for clambering, vocal chords for vocal cords, and staunch for stanch (to be fair, if it weren't for Eyeteeth I wouldn't know that last one either.)

Started audiobook of Dick Francis' Twice Shy. I like the voice actor a lot, and I like the physics teacher protagonist when he's teaching, and his maths teacher colleague's enthusiasm for (very old) computers. Basic! Tape storage! The protagonist's marital problems are realistically depicted - it's sad, but because the narrative is mostly fair to both parties, it's not making me nope out of the book. I could really do without the whole "infertility makes all women crazy because women are MEANT to have children, and their thwarted maternal instincts could basically lead any of them to go out and steal a baby, it's just a toss-up which one of them will actually do it" part of the plot, though. And the (mild so far) hints of ethnic stereotypes, with the criminals being Italian and therefore hot-headed and irrational and lacking restraint and generally not "our sort" - very Enid Blyton.

I picked Dick Francis up because of recs from [personal profile] shehasathree and [personal profile] rachelmanija in fairly close succession, and I'm glad I did. I can definitely see the appeal of some old-fashioned, solidly English, practical, blokey adventure stories.

Continuing to read Margery Kempe:

Margery: *cries*
Margery's pilgrimage tour group: "If you're going to cry noisily nonstop all the way through mealtimes, then you can't eat with us. It's putting us off our food."
Margery: *continues crying*
Franciscan friars: "We heard there was this pilgrim who wasn't being allowed to eat with the other pilgrims, so we're here to have dinner with you."
Margery: *continues crying*
Franciscan friars: O.o
Franciscan friars: "...Oh. You must be that crazy English lady we heard about who cries all the time."
Margery, excited: "Jesus told me he'd make all the world wonder at me, and they DID. You're from a foreign country and you knew who I am, and you made that O.o face, that means you're wondering at me! IT CAME TRUE! THANK YOU, JESUS!"

Margery: "Can I come with you guys on the River Jordan trip?"
Rest of tour group: "Um, no. You'll just cry and get Jerusalem syndrome again."
Margery: "It is NOT Jerusalem syndrome, I'm like this everywhere."
Margery: "God, can I go with these guys on the River Jordan trip?"
Margery: "So there."
Everyone in tour group, including Margery: *burns feet badly on hot sand*

Margery: "Guys, I can't climb up Mount Quarentyne, my feet are hurt too badly. A little help here?"
Rest of tour group, struggling up the mountain: "Oh, please. Our feet are all hurt too badly too."
Hot Muslim guy: *lurks around looking helpful*
Margery: "Oh, hi. Can I pay you to take me up this Christian religious site where Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights?"
Hot Muslim guy: "Why, certainly you can."
Hot Muslim guy: *is buff and strong as well as hot, helps Margery up the mountain for a reasonable fare*
Everyone: "Yay, ecumenicism!"


Life During Wartime, by [ profile] Aramley. The West Wing/The Thick of It fusion fic. I've never seen The Thick of It (hadn't actually heard of it until now) but it turns out you don't really need to for this fic. The essential concept comes through clearly: foul-mouthed, bullying, Macchiavellian spiritual descendent of Sir Humphrey Appleby, Downing Street Communications Director Malcolm Tucker, meets White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg. It would take more than him to ruffle CJ.

TV and Movies

POI 2.08, 'Til Death'. It takes a lot to be more of a relationship coward than I am, but Harold is up to the challenge. And I am not even talking about how his relationship with Grace ends.

The part where he tries to tell her who he is and what he does, and she tells him there's nothing he can tell her that will make her run away but he should tell her later when he doesn't have that look on his face, and he goes ahead and doesn't tell her? I am trying to decide if that's an intentional parallel with when Jessica tells John to tell her to wait for him, and he doesn't.

And if it is, why is it that I feel a lot more sympathetic about John's major malfunction there than I do about Harold's?

Also I am very, very not thrilled with the business with the gallery. That is creepy and awful. In fact, in general his moves are like... well, one part Gregor Vorbarra's courtship of Laisa Toscane, and four parts Hannibal Lecter's courtship of Will Graham. And being sweet and adorable and having lovely chemistry together 1/5 of the time doesn't make the other 4/5ths of the time okay. No, not even if you're definitely not going to kill and eat her.

I suppose that would be why I'm more sympathetic about John's emotional constipation.

ATLA 38 and 39, 'The Earth King' and 'The Guru'. Pleeeeease can we leave Ba Sing Se now? Why won't everyone just listen to Toph?


Utah Philips' We Have Fed You All A Thousand Years on repeat, thank you so much [personal profile] synecdochic for the earworm. 'Mr Block' and 'The Popular Wobbly' duking it out for space in my head.

"I think we've all got a hypnopterodactyl inside us, waiting to come out." - Rachel Edidin, Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men. I am really enjoying this podcast a lot.

Also listened to the latest Sawbones episode, about the birth of their own baby, who contributed to the podcast with a few "ahs" and gurgles. It was... well, Sydnee is recovering from her unplanned C-section, and their daughter got out of NICU after a week and is doing great now. But I think that last sentence probably pretty much sums up what kind of a birth story it was. Happy ending, but yikes.

Hearing-related note to self: no, they did NOT have to watch an instructional video on "infancy PR", it was "infant CPR". Their baby does not need public relations management just yet.
vass: Warning sign of man in water with an octopus (Accidentally)
I just checked my text messages. There's one from my electricity company, a "courtesy message" telling me how much average electricity savings they estimate their customers will receive as a result of the carbon tax's untimely death.

(My plan with them is 100% renewable, and I'm a pensioner, so actually I'll be paying the same and my income will be reduced, but I'm less upset about that than I am about their shilling for the government under the cover of "courtesy".)
vass: an orange rooster crowing (Chickens)
picture )
vass: Icon of Saint Ignatius being eaten by lions (eaten by lions)
You know what does not work to get your human to feed you faster?

Standing between your human and the bowl they are walking toward, while meowing at them to hurry up. At best this slows them down, at worst they trip over you.
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Started reading How To Be An Adult, by David Richo, because Emily Nagoski of The Dirty Normal described it (in her attachment styles primer) as a book which "simply, frankly, and gently lays out the steps to sorting out your shit so that you can have relationships with people." So I'm giving it a go.

"The center of our entire psyche (both conscious and unconscious) is the Self. It is our inner archetypal wholeness that creates a constant balance between the opposing forces of ego. For instance, it is the Self that finally reconciles effort and effortlessness, injury and forgiveness, control and surrender, conflict with others and acceptance of them, awareness of defects and unconditional love. The Self does this because it is pure unconditionality, which is all-inclusive love." (page 2)

Jung had a LOT to answer for. >:(

Comics and Manga

Read Fullmetal Alchemist vol 7. 20 volumes to go. It would help if I had any idea what was going on. If I could follow the action scenes or understand the cultural context, including the humour, or keep the plot straight in my head. Any one of those three would make a big difference. Maybe I'm not cut out for manga.


Dira's There's My Territory, Steve/Bucky/Sam, about the healing power of silk panties and spiced cookies. Made me hungry.


Finished replaying Secret of Mana. It only took me 26 and a half hours or so, total.

I had forgotten quite how upsetting I find the end. I remembered hating it, but not all of the reasons. Spoilers after the cut.

spoilers, animal harm )


Listened to one of the early Tori Amos albums I hadn't listened to before, Boys for Pele. Note to self: the first line of the second song does not go "Got me samosas to ride on, to ride on," whatever your brain might tell you.

The bare voice and piano songs, the dreamy ones, make very good listening when you're sleep-deprived.


Started listening to Rachel and Miles X-Plain The X-Men. Approve. Professor Xavier is a dick! Magneto has great fashion sense! The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants name themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. And there are 17 more episodes for me to catch up on!


My new STC order arrived, but I haven't played with it yet except to apply a bit of Caron's Pour Un Homme before bed.


Perler Captain America shield, just big enough to fit a can of soft drink. It worked out better than the Batsignal in one respect: the Batsignal turned out slightly convex, which makes it unsuitable for drink containers (but still okay for bowls or plates, provided they have a broad base and are heavy.) I improvised the pattern.

picture )
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Reading The Book of Margery Kempe. [Norton Edition, Lynn Staley.]

"Hey Margery, what's up?"
"That's great, Margery."
"I MEAN REALLY. I was thinking about martyrdom, and how much I want to die for Our Lord, and I was so scared, but I want it so much, so I decided that I'd just get tied up hand and foot, really tight so I can't struggle no matter how tempted I am, and then THEY would get a really sharp axe and cut my head off in one blow..."
"Who would, Margery? And why are they letting you decide how you die in this scenario?"
"The unbelievers! And the haters! So that my death reforms them and they come to love God like I do! Anyway, I was feeling so guilty about being scared and wanting an easy martyrdom, so I cried some more, but THEN Our Lord came and talked to me, and HE SAID that every time I imagine someone martyring me, I would get the same reward in heaven as if I was ACTUALLY MARTYRED. And that's SO AMAZING, because really, I think about being brutally killed for Our Lord's sake ALL THE TIME, so he's rewarding me SO MUCH. GOD IS SO GOOD, VASS. BUT THEN he said he'll never let me be martyred IRL because he loves me too much and he'd rather come right back down and be crucified again than let anything really happen to me, but I can still get spiritual reward for imagining that I'm being persecuted, ISN'T THAT THE BEST? GOD IS SO GOOD."
"What's wrong?"
"I'm sorry you can't cry the way I can. Crying is TRUE RELIGION. I'm crying for you in the hope that my tears will make God make you cry too so you can be close to God like I am, only not AS close of course."
"Um, thanks, Margery."
"Heeheehee! Heaven is so much fun, wheeeee!"

Still reading Les Mis. Jean Valjean is also martyring himself, but he's not having as much fun with it as Margery Kempe is with hers. Fantine is having considerably less fun, though.


Read Scenes From a Theoretical Night, by an unknown Yuletide author (or at least a Yuletide author who didn't claim their fic when the old Yuletide archive got ported over to AO3.) It's a 1776 fic, set immediately after the movie, about Congress going out and getting extremely drunk together. There are a lot of fandom tropes here that I dislike, but what saves it is a) that the period language is frequently very good, and b) it is really fucking funny. I laughed so loudly at John Adams' tactless drunken FEELINGSSPEECHES, I probably scared the neighbours.

TV and Movies

Watched 1776, which I hadn't seen before, an oversight I'm very happy to correct.

It was all fun and games until:

Dickinson: Mr Jefferson, I have very little interest in your paper, as there's no doubt in my mind that we've all but heard the last of it. But I am curious about one thing. Why do you refer to King George as a tyrant?"
Jefferson: Because he is a tyrant.
Dickinson: I remind you, Mr Jefferson, that this tyrant is still your king.
Jefferson: When a king becomes a tyrant, he thereby breaks the contract binding his subjects to him.
Dickinson: How so?
Jefferson: By taking away their rights.
Dickinson: Rights that came from him in the first place?
Jefferson: All except one. The right to be free comes from nature.
Dickinson: And are we not free, Mr Jefferson?
Jefferson: Homes entered without warrant, citizens arrested without charge, and in many places free assembly itself denied.
Dickinson: No one approves of such things, Mr Jefferson, but these are dangerous times.

And suddenly we're not in Philadelphia any more, we're in #ferguson.


Secret of Mana replay is in its final phase.

His mother: a tree.
His father: legendary knight and treefucker, Serin.


vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Finished reading Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death. I think I'll have nightmares tonight.

Comics and Manga

Read White Tiger #2-6. It was... pretty bad. D: Maybe I'd have liked it better if I knew more of the context, or could follow the plot better - but probably not. I don't really like mafia plots, whether they're Japanese mafia, Russian mafia, or Italian mafia. And even if I did... damn, that's a lot of stereotypes strung together. Right down to the gratuitious seppuku scene at the end. And if you're going to centre your plot around yakuza, and pepper their dialogue with words in Japanese, it would help if you didn't make mistakes so obvious that I can catch them with my two years of not very diligent middle school Japanese study twenty years ago. "Domo" does not mean "thank you". "Umimasen" does not mean "sorry".

I liked Natasha and Luke and Danny, and the bits with Angela's family, and the security job.

Started reading Fullmetal Alchemist #7.


Reread a bunch of old Nero Wolfe fanfic. Realised two things. One, Nero/Archie occupies the same category in my fanfic reading as Finch/Reese. The major differences being that Wolfe and Finch are fucked up in different ways, and Archie Goodwin is several stdevs less fucked up than John Reese (but put him through what Reese has been through, and see if he's that much better off.) And two, that I have a Nero Wolfe is autistic! headcanon now. I'm sorry! But I do! I am more serious about this than I am comfortable admitting.

TV and Movies

Watched POI 2.06, 'The High Road'. Also watched, at [personal profile] fasangel's house, the season 4 trailer. Such serious. Very walking. Much intense. Wow. (This is unfair use of doge speech, since the actual doge was the only main character not to be shown Walking Seriously. Which is a pity - a clip of Bear doing the Serious Walking thing would be perfect. He could hold a tennis ball in his mouth, intensely.)

Watched the episode of My Cat From Hell about Lux, the cat whose people called 911 on him. I watched it with Beatrice in my lap. She looked up at me with happy slitted eyes while I rubbed behind her ears. Then she chomped my arm. Over the flannel shirt I was wearing, so it didn't hurt at all. But still. Way to bite me while MCFH is on, Beatrice!

Also at [personal profile] fasangel's, we watched Kitchen Nightmares 7.02, 'Pantaleone's' (the one with "the best pizza in Colorado".) When Gordon Ramsay was trying out the food, there was another guy in the dining room who said "this tastes like cat food!" and Ramsay gave him a weird look like "you've eaten cat food?" and the guy said "Long story." And I really thought (at least until I looked it up) that Cat Food Guy was Jackson Galaxy. It wasn't, but until I googled it, I was free to imagine that Jackson Galaxy had a cameo in Kitchen Nightmares, comparing the restaurant's food unfavourably to cat food. Sometimes faceblindness makes TV better, not worse.


Continuing my Secret of Mana playthrough. Spoilers, with screencaps, follow:

spoilers )
vass: cover of album "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" (Yuletide Hippopotamus)
Excerpt from a comment I made to one of [personal profile] brownbetty's posts:

"As things are, I'm requesting Ancillary Justice for Yuletide, and am slightly ashamed of how much I want awkward clientage-of-convenience romantic comedy where Breq becomes Seivarden's patron. Possibly with dance numbers. Because this book is so much more than that, and there's so much other interesting and important stuff to explore, and all of it would be good too... but the (possibly entirely nonsexual) union of Agender Failboat Draco Malfoy and the LITERAL SPACETOASTER that is Breq would be loldorable, and how much agender romance fiction even is there?"

[For reference, TFV's definition of a spacetoaster.]
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)

Read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Most of the way through it made me expostulate "SCIENCE!" every few pages, in the same tone Cordelia Vorkosigan would use to say "Barrayarans!" Then I reached the finishing stretch, and it was just one gut punch after another. One of two best medical histories I've ever read - the other is Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies. Comprehensively researched, excellent prose, intelligent, but above all extremely humane and respectful, strongly grounded in an understanding of systematic injustice and wrong. Trigger warnings: basically all of the standard ones.


Exactly how obnoxiously I can shoehorn my current fandom into everything. Harold Rubber Duck! Bad Code!

Amazing vid of the week: Watershed, by [personal profile] chaila. Wonder Woman, various sources, music by Vienna Teng.


Bought the iOS version of Secret of Mana, a game I was totally obsessed with when I was 13. It was the only SNES game I was all that into (I was a huge NES fan, though.) I had so many feelings. "But time flows like a river... and history repeats." The soundtrack definitely stands up to the test of time. And the graphics look DAMN good on my phone. Sadly, the navigation is more difficult with a touchscreen, and it was difficult enough already. "Have you ever seen an enormous tree called the Mana Tree? Well, I haven't."


Rewatched two episodes of Drunk Geek Crafts on YouTube, while doing sleep-deprived, overcaffeinated knitting of my own. I think I may have to go buy lots of red, white, blue, and purple duct tape, and make my own Captain America shield and Magneto helmet.


tfln macro )

Smelled Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, as reviewed here.


Knitting. Still doing the mitred square blanket. I have given up on all the mitres pointing the same way, or not having odd bulges from getting the tension wrong or miscounting the stitches, but I'm still holding firm on the joins all being on the same side.

progress pic )


Aug. 6th, 2014 03:37 pm
vass: Icon of Saint Ignatius being eaten by lions (eaten by lions)
At the beginning of this year, I bought a camping tent, with the intention of taking it camping. That hasn't happened yet, but last night I decided to set it up in the spare room, for a nice enclosed space to retreat and nap.

I tried sleeping in there, but, well.

Picture the scene. It's dark. I'm lying on my back inside a grey polyester tent, looking up at the dome. I'm in my sleeping bag with a heat pack, and I've just set my phone to play a nice, soothing podcast about rabies, and the screen hasn't yet turned off, so there's a dim glow.

Scrabblescrabble scritch scritch scritch.

Beatrice is beating the bounds of the tent. Beatrice, as I have described in the past, likes tents. (I've left the corner of the door unzipped in case she wants to come in and join me, but so far she's just doing a perimeter patrol.)

I'm still looking up at the dome. Suddenly there is this shadow on the wall of the tent, climbing rapidly up until finally it's on top of the dome. The shadow is approximately bear-shaped, only rather smaller. The shadow sits there for a minute or so, while I laugh too hard to breathe. Then, having made her point, the shadow climbs down the other side of the tent.

I decide, eventually, that either my bed or the couch would probably be more restful than the tent.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
First whiff: sharp citrusy grapefruit, with an unfortunate side of dishwashing liquid and an undertone of urine. The wrong sort of urine, alas. (Yes, there is a right way for a perfume to smell like urine, and that is not this smell.) Also just a tiny bit of honey.

Alas, as the drydown commences, the dishwashing liquid becomes stronger and more floral. There's also a faint plastic note, which normally I'd like, but not in something supposed to be fresh and fruity and sharp.

As it goes on, the plastic and dishwashing notes become stronger, and it's less "grapefruit" and more "grapefruit scented pens for children". Also my brain feels a little foggy. I think there's something I'm sensitive to in this.

It dries down further and I get this sweet middle note. Still fruity, even still grapefruit (although maybe also some other fruit?) but much sweeter. More like the grapefruit lollies my French teacher used to give us. I loved those lollies. The ones with the hard outside that cut the roof of your mouth while you sucked on them, and the soft, chewy centre. And the dishwashing scent and urine have gone right away and left this clean, sweet smell.

The 'aqua' note... I can sort of smell. Not very strong at all, but something like the product my hairdresser used last time I went (which was strong, but mainly because he'd rubbed it all through my hair.) Sort of salty sea, sort of coconut, in a chemical and artificial way.

My skin seems to amp the grapefruit a bit. That or it just has good throw. It's not horrendously strong, but it could have been overwhelming if I hadn't used such a small dab, I think.

I read this as feminine, not masculine or neutral. But it's not a person, it's a place. A sunny place with sweet, fruity drinks, very clean and sanitary and unreal. Maybe a cruise ship. Or maybe the place Alys and Simon went for their holiday.

As it dries further, it gets more 'perfumey' and ladylike. Still in a light, summery way. I'm getting Myer's summer regatta range, all horizontal stripes and $200 price tags. I'm getting 'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside' stuck in my head. "Where the brass band plays, tiddly-om-pom-pom." I'm feeling this faint urge to shout "fuck off, perfume, it's winter." Which maybe means I'm not in the right mood for perfume tonight and should try again another time. But even allowing for that, this is a perfectly good perfume, but Not Me.
vass: XKCD comic: Elaine Roberts plays drums, caption she even for a time took up drumming." (Riot Prrl 2)
How to add permanent volume markings to a kettle using salt, vinegar, and a 9 volt battery: a pictorial guide. Can also be used to decorate steel water bottles.

Breaking Out The Broken English, by Arthur Chu. "When I sound real, I'm fake, and when I sound fake, I'm real. I can only wonder how many of my fellow hyphenated Americans can say the same."

Book Reviews
Amazon reviewer on Cory Bernardi's The Conservative Revolution: "Poor value, and very rough on the nether regions" (The other reviews are also worth a read, unlike the book itself.)

Window Shopping
Ask MetaFilter: What are the world's most useful dead tree catalogs? Paper mail order catalogues for every profession and hobby. *droooooool*

Understandable, by Meg Evans. A short story. (Content note: murder of child, suicide, ableism.)

Computer Science
Sorting algorithms, explained in language a young child could understand (PDF)

Parody Meets Prosody
Paradelle: more like a sestina than a villanelle; either way, it was intended as a joke. But

xkcd: Magic Words (Oh, hello, sudden inexplicable and embarrassing urge to write Delany/Hacker RPF.) ("Rebecca's cloaca." "Mr Magoo's cyanide pill.")

A Day in the Sundial (Book of Hours): an article by Esther Emery (youngest daughter of Carla "The Encyclopedia of Country Living" Emery) on living in a yurt with her husband and three children.

Things I Wish I'd Read When I Was Thirteen
Letter To A Young Haskell Enthusiast: not actually about Haskell or computer programming in general. About social interaction.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)

Read some of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot (which is a great Jack Dann title+author combo, btw.)

Read a few grudging pages of Les Mis.

New book acquisitions this week: Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Michel de Montaigne's complete essays. Which latter is as thick as Les Mis. I'm not going to start it yet - it's part of the autobiography and memoir category in my List of D00m, and it comes after The Book of Margery Kempe (I'm skipping Augustine's Confessions because I've read it before.)

Some other recent book acquisitions I forgot to mention until now: a pile of big old folio-size art books from my parents, who are downsizing. I got one general art history, one on Asian art, one Renaissance, one pre-historic, and one on Impressionism... oh, and some comics collections. Amphigory, Amphigory Too, and Colonel Pewter In Ironicus. My father also insisted on giving two huge lever arch files of Colonel Pewter newspaper cuttings, but he did say I could get rid of them when I was done with them. I do not have room in my home for two huge lever arch files of anything. I also got to plunder their fiction and nonfiction, but there was surprisingly little there that I wanted but didn't have already.


I love how sometimes you think "wouldn't that make a great Yuletide fandom?" and you search for it in AO3 and discover that someone else was way ahead of you and requested it already in a previous year, and got the story you would have most liked to read, and it's right there waiting for you to read it. It's so convenient, so helpful of them.

Three years ago, [personal profile] st_aurafina requested the music video of 'Total Eclipse of the Heart', and [ profile] Ankaret wrote The Doves And The Ravens, which is as weird and spooky and haunting and tragic and weird as the music video, with beautiful language and deeply strange worldbuilding.

And now I don't have to request 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' for Yuletide this year. (So far on my list of things to request, I have A Stranger in Olondria, A Suitable Boy, and Ancillary Justice.)

Read The Other Miss Bennett, by [ profile] halotolerant, adorable Pride and Prejudice Kitty/Georgiana.

Watched Integral, a POI vid by [ profile] soupdragon. Their first vid, and it showed in that I found harder to follow than most vids, and I'm already pretty bad at following vids. But the song choice was absolutely perfect.

Best fanart I saw this week: [personal profile] sqbr's Our Lady of the Machine. Root from POI in the style of a religious icon. (The moment I realised that wasn't an earring, it was a reference to canon, OMG.)

TV and Movies

POI. 'Risk': I am trying to figure out what Jim Caviezel's acting choices in the tailoring scene were meant to signify, if not that John's turned on. Also, in the scene with Finch and Carter in the cab, I decided that the world needs more Finch/Reese/Carter. So far I've only been able to find one story with that combo.

'Baby Blue': LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Oh poor Carter. That double-take. And "She was in imminent danger of kidnapping." And then her second, even more horrified double-take at "Leila's safe. She's with John."

'One Percent': this show. It keeps teetering on the edge of being serious and moving, and then expresses Nathan and Harold's horror at 9/11 with an EXTREME DRAMATIC NOSTRIL CAM. To be fair, Harold's nostrils were very shocked and distressed.

BTW, Logan Pierce, you are a billionaire. I think you can afford to keep an epipen handy in case you're inadvertently exposed to something you know you're allergic to. (We are leaving alone the fact that ANAPHYLAXIS TREATMENT DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT.)

'Identity Crisis': Finch on E was not as horrible as I feared. They left him more of his dignity than I expected. More than Fusco has unmedicated. Poor Fusco. I was starting to feel sorry for him, and then he handed a computer to Harold Finch right after he set the sirens off. I particularly liked the scene where suddenly everyone onscreen was occluded by a large, loud tortoiseshell cat. She does that so much she should have her own IMDB page.

For convoluted reasons, this is [ profile] leupagus's fault, because of the Violent Amoral Unicorn of Justice thing. It got me thinking about Nethack unicorns and POI characters (from a paragraph of sleep deprived babble I've deleted from this post before posting: "do not sacrifice Root or Shaw or Reese on a cross-aligned altar.") And then:


Finch the Evoker          St:10 Dx:14 Co:15 In:18 Wi:9 Ch:9  Neutral
Dlvl:1  $:0  HP:11(12) Pw:6(6) AC:9  Xp:1/0 T:6

As you can see, his Int is as high as it can be at the start of a game, but his Con, Str, and Dex are only so-so, and his Wis and Cha are really poor. The f is called Reese, because of Reesons.

Finch the Evoker was killed on level 1 by a sewer rat shortly following a magical explosion... or did he fake his death? I hate playing wizards. I think I might play Shaw the Barbarian next.


Papa Wemba, Molokai. I felt like some Congolese rhumba music. Because I've never listened to Congolese rhumba music, and it sounded cheerful. It was cheerful. Would listen again.

Galactic Suburbia in the car. Finished listening to the 9th July episode. Still to listen to: 29th May, 11th June, 26th July. A lot of podcasts I'm subscribed to, I just delete episodes I don't get around to. This one I keep for later because of the recommendations.




Made beef stew again, this time with tomatoes and carrots, less pepper, more garlic. It was heavenly. Made it twice.


Tarot reading. The question I focused on was "what should I do right now?" The cards said I'm feeling uncreative and lack confidence, shouldn't take on too much, am in danger of overload, and (depending on how I interpret the Seven of Cups in this context) either should go ahead and numb out with fanfic so long as I don't overdo it, or should cultivate the art of daydreaming about the future to bolster up my creativity and belief in my own capability and insight into what I want to do next.

Tarot is weird. It can't give you any information or insight that wasn't already in your mind to begin with, but it sure can pull things out of the back of the sock drawer that were there but weren't what you were concentrating on right now. I was not expecting creativity and the power of daydreaming to be a Thing, even though hello, horribly stalled on novel in progress because afraid, and also stalled on job search because no fucking idea what sort of work I want to do or am capable of. I'd actually been expecting the answer to "what should I do right now?" to be whatever card translates to "you should clean the dishes and vacuum the carpet."

Bonus Beatrice picture
photo )
vass: Warning sign of man in water with an octopus (Accidentally)
Last night I spent some time hitting random xkcd comics to calm down before bed. And I discovered that when you hover over xkcd 609 to get the hovertext, the image turns out to be a link. To TVTropes.

And that's how I stayed up until 7:54am on a day when I had to leave for therapy at 2pm.[*]

But at least I learned how to say "Only joking. Not really. Are we still friends?" in Lojban.

[*] Not really. There was also the knitting. And the fanfic. And a POI episode. And planning the week ahead. And the three hours cooking meals for the next two days. And the supermarket trip to buy the groceries for that cooking. And writing in my paper journal. And lurking on IRC and getting my Dreamhack set up again so I can get back to dev. TVTropes is for amateur procrastinators.


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

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