The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


spnfic: it's the stars that lie, 10/12
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 10/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay.
Thanks to bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10

oh wow, so that was a surprise - irish and I
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Duolingo added Danish, Dutch, and Irish to the beta language list for English speakers (for non-English speakers, there are others as well). As Irish sounded interesting, I decided to test it and see what happened.

Here's what I learned:

1.) Spanish infiltrates English speakers in Texas like you have no idea.

I didn't have any idea how much until I began on Irish and failed so utterly when in Spanish I did the first ten sections in like, a day, including repeats when I inexplicably didn't get full hearts in every lesson and I was anal about that. I'd go back and redo ones just to get full hearts and sulk if I missed something. Yes, I do that. Even the most rampant English-only speaker living in a border state cannot help but absorb the principles of the language at least in basic vocabulary.

(Interesting note: you're more likely to pick up a lot of it if you're lower/working class than middle class, due to migrant and undocumented immigrant labor. My dad wouldn't admit it to save his life, but he understood more Spanish than I did since he worked construction and I heard him talking to his coworkers, so come on. My mom didn't pick up much as a caseworker because she worked in a small town, but when I was a clerk and then a caseworker in Austin, my Spanish went high conversational within six months, and I could interview in it fairly well when needed.)

I tested this in French and Portuguese as well: French I can get two sections without noticeable effort (letter combinations start hurting me here), Portuguese three or four (Portuguese sounds to me like Spanish spoken at the back of the throat, and that's the part that throws me off). Irish--three repetitions for one lesson (One. Lesson) to get full hearts and honest to God I sweated through it.

2.) Irish is really different.

Yes, all languages are different, but this is a different-different for me as a primary English speaker and my language familiarity. If you dropped me in Mexico, I could likely fairly quickly get myself food, lodging, a bathroom, and directions to anywhere, and could make some very sketchy jokes with my new friends and probably carry on a fair conversation about my life and times (you'd be surprised how much you know when that's your only language option). If you dropped me in Finland, I could do the same but less conversation and more profanity because my host brother and boyfriend were good about teaching me that. My French would fail, no lie, because French, but I could eventually work out what I needed to say.

In Ireland, should I be without English speakers, Ithim úll, I eat an apple. Ithim an úll, I eat the apple. And I know the 't' will be silent. So I'm good for describing my action with the apple. That's it, and I'm currently I'm on the fourth section. Unless I happen to have a pad of paper and I can totally write out my drink choices sú úll and sú oráiste, apple or orange juice and uisce, water. Go me. I can't say any of them to save my life.

My first cousin is a linguist and polyglot, but all hers are the Romance languages, though she has a working understanding of a few others. If I remember correctly, her waterloos were (forgive generalities), South Asian (specifically I think it was Chinese that threw her off the most, but I can't be more specific). She adapted, but that was where she hit her first serious wall on comprehension, and as this is a woman who was trilingual before she began college and finished her degree in two years, yeah.

If I'm right--and I'm pretty sure I am--mine is anything that uses the alphabet I know in ways I don't understand (goddamn phonics). I still have the entire Cyrillic alphabet effectively memorized and never had a problem reading or understanding Russian at the level that Irish is bothering me. My roommate in college was Syrian-American and was bilingual in Arabic and English, and I never had a problem with what she taught me--this shape makes this sound and those sounds make this word, I could read it later and recognize the word without a major hiccup. (I can't do it now, but at one time I could say several truly indecent things and ask for a beer or water.)

It's like French (fucking French): those letter combinations that don't sound like I think they should (I wrote an essay about me and French) why do you hate me? I blame this on phonics.

3.) Retention is a problem written.

Not Irish to English; that I nail every time. English to Irish is giving me problems, which makes sense. Ithim, itheann, I eat, (he or she) eats isn't hard to recognize. In fact, none of the verb conjugations are hard to recognize and translate, it's just remembering the root and adding the conjugation is because of the slim/broad rule.

This is where I discover I don't like things that are too regular too soon (blame English, we don't do regular, we do exceptions). I don't trust last root vowel matching to get the ending, and I go through, not kidding, a three point series of questions to myself before I finally accept yes, this is a regular freaking verb why are you doing this to yourself? I don't know, but I still have to stop and go okay ith has a 'i' therefore slim ending 'eann' Itheann move on now after point one "what ending goes here, it can't be that simple" and "no, really, it can't be that simple".

This is the 'to eat' verb, for goodness sake. This is how I get an apple in Ireland.

4.) Retention is a huge problem listening.

This is where my phonics training fails until I internalize the letter combination pronunciations (this will take a while, I don't do well at this in my native tongue for fuck's sake)(for which we can blame English stealing all the words)(why didn't English steal more Irish?????????????????).

The secondary problem with this is that this is in beta, and while all the oral uses a real human voice--which is fantastic for clarity, btw, you can easily hear and repeat what they're saying, no problem at all--not all the oral parts are added yet, as this is, again, in beta. So sometimes, you get the word leabhar but not the pronunciation for maybe several questions after that (or a different lesson). Hint: for an English speaker, it sounds nothing like it looks, except that it definitely starts with an 'l' and ends with an 'r'. Uisce, no matter how many times I hear it--and I listened to the same sentence with it in there about a dozen times straight--will not register when I hear it again. Unless it's a sentence about drinking and then I know if it starts with a 'b' it's milk, an 'f' is wine, and the other one is uisce.

5.) My reading retention is shockingly good.

This shouldn't surprise me, but it always throws me a little to realize how textual I really am. And that has been a problem; I can pretty much force-pass the lessons on guesswork on the strength of translating Irish to English and slide by the rest with short-term memorization, but finishing with four hearts every time means I have to pass every question both written and oral and the difference is painfully obvious on how long I spend listening to the same sentence over and over until I can work out the words by more than first letter and context guessing (which also works). Or slowly, painfully pushing English to Irish. And honestly, retention of the sounds has to be a priority, which is annoying me. I'm used to flying through basics and I keep going back to re-run all the early lessons before I start a new one to retain the sounds correctly.

Why I like the beta languages innovations:

The Irish language has portals (this was not there for the other English to X courses) and when you start a new section, there are notes relevant to the lessons below, not limited to the explanation of the slender/broad conjugations, a complete list of pronouns, and some very useful grammar and terminology. I read it, did the lessons several times, read it, did the lessons, and slowly it came together but far better than if it left me on my own (Spanish I don't need it; Irish oh God yes, please). It's super useful once you accept in your heart that no, those letters will not sound like that and live with it.

I wish--desperately--that US schools did more foreign language training, though I do get historically why we didn't and why it's become a thing only recently to start pushing it earlier (Child's school starts in primary, I think).

I will say this: I reward myself with Spanish lessons and boy, I feel smart then. Four hearts, listening, speaking, reading, writing, watch me get all the hearts. Several times, even.

So anyone else try the other beta languages yet? I'm curious about Dutch and Danish. Also, if anyone else ends up in Irish, tell me! Especially how you nailed uisce. Seriously, this is haunting me Why won't it stick?

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1008262.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

spnfic: it's the stars that lie, 8 & 9/12
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 8 & 9/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from , , and .
Thanks to for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9

spnfic: it's the stars that lie, 7/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 7/11
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay.
Thanks to bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7

you will see what i did there (springtime for seperis)
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I got the most realistic, coolest, most meaningful spam ever and it had everything; atrocities, evils of wealth, illness, dead husbands, life insurance, cancer (ovarian, even), children, one of the south Africa country (yes, really), and adoption (ha! didn't see that coming, did you?).

At my work email. So no penis enlargement today.

My duckling at work is from Cameroon, and every once in a while he breaks into evangelism on his country of birth, and therefore we look at Google World at every inch of Cameroon while he finds youtube videos because he thinks it's funny to start me off with Cameroon English that unexpectedly breaks into French (I automemorize lyrics and he told me once I was the best he'd ever heard at mispronouncing French so well that it sounded like a whole new (very sad) language, so you know, I win for that).

This is related; this is neither talent nor skill, I've mentioned this before, it's not even useful, but more like having the ability to spit Guinness World book record--I realized the probable reason why I never had a problem spelling anyone's names on our work board if I saw it once (our developers are from India or Nepal generally, so very few Western-oriented or Korean or Vietnamese, the latter two were communities in the right zip codes for my office to handle when I was a caseworker, yes, it's that random) or--historically--always got my written Russian homework flawless in class even if Russia itself might cry if it heard me speak the language. Also, given a list of any number of words and meaning once, I could use them perfectly in context and never miss spelling them by a letter, but if you do not tell me right then how to pronounce them--I mean right then--I will never pronounce them right in my head and this will follow me forever when I say them.

Not many of you probably know or care much about the education of children in the US being a thing that is debated hotly when it comes to teaching them to read; or you might, so you know every few years, they switch between Fun With Phonics and whole word learning. You want to watch a bloodbath, get any group of educators together and throw that out; if these were the days of duels, gloves would be slapping everywhere and dawn would be the new prime time for drama viewing.

My class was very Fun with Phonics (this changed and changed back every few years) and because of that I will shove a glove in your ass if you say it's not the best forever, but there's a price to be paid for teaching kids to sound out shit first.

1.) You learn adults are fuckers who fuck with you very early with 'the'.

That's the thing about phonics as reading; almost all the word at primary level are fine, but that's an article and you cannot get away from it. A lot of teachers roll with it, and some have to have taken that into consideration early on, but my most vivid memory of the kindergarten education process was going over and over to my teacher because I trusted her and I couldn't believe she meant it when she said 'the' did not sound like 'tuh-huh-eh'.

She just told me the entire alphabet, letters have sounds, sounds have meaning (there was a blackboard and a pointer), this can be expressed on a page beneath the cute picture of a girl (blonde, always fucking blonde) playing with a dog (brown, very). I nailed that shit, and it was true, all of it...except 'tuh-huh-eh' was not 'the', what is this bullshit?

Once I accepted 'the' into my heart as my phonics betrayer (it took a full year and we won't talk about how much that delayed literacy but again, a year), it got better; all the 'th' and 'ch' were allowed in my soul and eventually silent 'e's would join them along with all the others, but the scar of betrayal never really healed, Mrs. Figueroa.

2.) Your spelling will forever be fantastic except for all the ways it won't be and it's because of France.

Spelling was easy kindergarten through third grade, because again most words are phonetically consistent at that level, or so close that visual plus audio once and you're fine. Except.

You meet 'beau' and fuck everything ever. Buh-eh-ah-uuuuuuuthefuckisthis that is nothing like 'bow', that's buh-oh-wuh and we have one of those b-o-w bu-oh-wuh not b-e-a-u buh-eh-ah-uuuuuutheydon'tdothis, Mrs F didn't lie that much, did she?

...French, you say? Really.

Xenophobia is terrible and American exceptionlism is very wrong, but ask yourself; how many kids were perhaps influenced by getting a 99 but not a hundred because the French language exists and didn't get a golden star but a silver one--a silver one--on the paper when they got it back and an 'x' by that word? Not that I'm still bitter, just saying.

It might be the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066 causing the English language to be supplanted by Norman French, not even real French because fuck French we got the discount edition, causing only the lower classes to use English for centuries while French, being so very (discount) French, stuck its words helter-skelter into every conversation until Chaucer existed, married John of Gaunt's sister-in-law, and set the world right with many tales, and French--fucking French--eventually went away but those words stuck. English needed those because its development had been slowed, we had to catch up fast (German was mocking us with its vocabulary and Spanish was grinning very Catholicly), so we needed words and fast. What to do?

Fine, English said, picking up a sword, righteousness, a Revolutionary War, and a future Webster's dictionary, unrevised: shit just got real. Time to level the fuck up.

English takes all the words, all of them, the ones you wanted and the ones you didn't, sorry, but like a wolf who tastes the hot blood of a fresh kill for the first time (language is tasty indeed, nothing like it), it wants more.

B-o-w and b-e-a-u are 'buh-oh-wuh' and discrete plus discreet because Latin or Greek same meaning different context mostly, watch English laugh at your protests, bring it on, we have the 'c' and the 'k' and we like it, same sound but sometimes not, a-e-i-o-u and sometimes y because fuck you English does what it wants with consonants and vowels. Fish and fiche sound the same but mean different things, you want more? English does, too. Did you see phonics is ph but sounds like 'f'? We even have 'q' right there in the alphabet and it needs to get laid by 'u' to make a sound but fuck if we care, it's our letter and have fun with it. 'X' took many sounds for its own and uses them all and we let it because we like rebels.

Also, Latin? I split an infinitive every day just for you. And English told me to say 'hi' and fuck you.

Silver star. One. Word. Wrong.

3.) You will realize quite early that writing is better than talking for a lot of reasons and fuck everything.

Phonics works for many words and most kids will roll with it, but that doesn't change the severe cognitive dissonance that will haunt some few. Among that group will be those that can deal, and then there's the ones that have to live life with oral readings where you will be constantly translating b-e-a-u to 'buh-oh-wuh' because William the Conqueror was a douche but with many different words and that wears on you and sanity may not hold out long.

Reading and writing become havens of wonder because pronunciation wasn't fucking with us, which is why certain essays are college level vocabulary (content hilarious) while long division is still a mystery Mrs Young stop fucking with me you want me to carry what?

Writing is the perfect medium when you learn sarcasm as well (once you learn the definition of subtlety and forgive the b for being inexplicably silent and even now often forget), and a generation met the internet--all text, all the time--with the advanced tools necessary to troll the fuck out of it.

So I can spell anything I see at most twice (three times over five syllables, phonics is fun but also set to a four four beat to learn), but English/French youtube videos autolyric memoriation means I will sing things I can't pronounce and my duckling French speaker thinks it's funny because I can't pronounce fucking French.

People say they want to go to Paris all the time; oh, so do I, you have no idea.

I fly into that country, mispronounce 'Bien' awkwardly beneath pitying smiles, tell a cab driver three times where to go while he rolls his eyes at Americans because I took French while in Finland and I still couldn't get it right, go to the Eiffel Tower and climb to the very top.

And I will say: "William the Conqueror was a douche, I will split every infinitive I see, and b-e-a-u is not fucking 'buh-oh-wuh'!"

And give myself a gold star.

Next: Normandy. I can't wait.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1007347.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

both long and has thematic symbolic trees who aren't plants and have legs
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
You know, this isn't right I'm sure, but a thought exercise on why in the movie Splash in the eighties, Madison met a woman who told her one, Annie Hall was so passe and two, her daughter was so lucky because she was anorexic started this. believe it. or. not.

ruben, gout, mcdonalds, sugar, and the working woman in time and space: a reflection on the meaning of organ meats in the western hemisphere above the equator is that too vague? also, wal-mart. and thematic not-treesCollapse )

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1006864.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

maybe a small sandwich
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
You ever have one of those days where it hits you like brand new that there is no way out of this? I can't think of one, and I have tried and tried.

This is human nature at it's most fundamental, I get that, and I get the rage on body shaming. I get that, it sucks when a woman doesn't conform to teh ideal and even more when she really doesn't, especially when it comes to weight. It's a nightmare, more of one that's in progress since birth for a woman, because the closer you get to the ideal the less nightmarish it gets, much like an improvement from being boiled in oil and now enjoy the Elysian Fields of slow strangulation: I myself aspire to an upgrade to dropping my oil temperature ten entire degrees and fuck the bitches who are gasping for air over there and tell my torturer how awesome the temperature is and those sluts over there created their own deep fryer life, turn it up by five degrees on them, right? and maybe I get another five degree drop because I am a fine daughter of the patriarchy and women's body's are public property because that's what they told me and they like me better now, five fucking degrees lower, fuck yeah, I'm almost in. To potential slow strangulation, one day, if I'm very, very good.

Or I might say "...this room has no door. Why doesn't it have a door?"

Context and original post: Maybe a 'Small' Sandwich

On an emotional level, I do get this; this is women's bodies and my God welcome to Hell there. On a vital self-awareness level, however, the gut-punch is the punchline at the same time: you will never, ever be good enough, and in case anyone, anywhere, thinks that even for a second, we as women have a duty to stop that shit.

a copy of my response hereCollapse )

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1006613.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

spnfic: it's the stars that lie, 5 & 6/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 5 & 6/11
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay.
Thanks to bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6

rec - harry takes the field by bratfarrar
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Okay, I can count on one hand the number of Henry V fanfics I've read in my life, literally. However, this one is a sonnet, which I can count on one finger because holy shit, a sonnet:

Harry Takes the Field by bratfarrar - Henry V - Harry's thoughts before Agincourt and what was before him.

The funny thing is, when I first saw in it in her LJ, I didn't really read she wrote it (because I was just skimming my flist and came back to read it) and after reading it thought, ohh, I like this, I want to use that line for my title--as I needed one for this series--and then read back and realized she wrote it and felt oh so foolish and also holy shit a sonnet. About the spiritual successor of the Black Prince himself and the hero of Agincourt. (First cousin once removed if I remember my Edward III's and Philippa's extensive family tree; that was a lot of sons there.)

(College taught me via the brute force method to appreciate poetry; having to read and write an analysis of one three times a week teaches you to either loathe anything that could rhyme (or rhythm) or love it and if it's the written word, love will win if I kill myself doing it.)

Agincourt is hugely romantic; it's got everything: terrible odds, a single brave shining warrior, do or die, and knowing the history now, a (probably) insane French king, his (possibly) manipulative wife (the reason why Henry VI of England was crazypants depending on if you believe which historian on the relative sanity of Catherine de Valois), and all of English history riding on a single battle fought by a very young king who was truly the only one who believed that he could win.

(I have a very similar reaction to reading about Waterloo, Caesar crossing the Rubicon, and Joan of Arc's entire life.)

Me and Shakespeare have a very complicated relationship: I used to think he was hugely overrated and annoying and it hurts me in various ways to admit now he's not and it actually makes me enraged when anyone says that about him now because wtf it's Shakespeare!!!, which is so lowering you have no idea. It's just masochistic and annoying to feel so conflicted about your own love story with a dead guy, and a little uncomfortable, too.

(Beside the point. It's almost time for my yearly Shakespeare play and I still have no idea which one to throw myself at. I'm thinking Othello at this point; it's nice and obvious and I know the plot so why not? I've been putting it off for some reason, I think Richard III keeps upsetting me.)

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1006015.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

spnfic: it's the stars that lie, 4/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 4/11
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay.
Thanks to bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links - AO3
Series: Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4

right, this will end well
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
So just seeing how this sounds:

Vacation with entire extended immediate family including: mother, both sisters, sister's husband, sister's MIL, sister's three kids, other sister's kid, mother's parents, me, and Child.

In one house on the beach.

Okay, that does in fact look terrifying when seen in print. I was wondering. There will be the gulf and a confection store that makes their own fudge. I'm clinging very hard to that right now.

Wait, there's more:

Child in his infinite wisdom at some point in the past--who knows when--broke a tooth but couldn't be assed to tell me or care until Friday evening, when the entire left side of his face rounded out not unlike a ripe tomato. At first--not knowing the tooth sitch because who hides tooth pain? How?--I thought it was an unexpected reaction to a topical anesthetic we keep for those times you bite the inside of your cheek or poke yourself in the gum with a pencil which no, isn't something that happens to me because I have much better hand/eye coordination than that and will fight any comment to the contrary to the death if necessary or whatever. It became very clear, however, that it wasn't and he reluctantly admitted maybe there was a tooth that was bothering him maybe a little, which you don't say, ye who has lost any vestige of facial symmetry.

Saturday morning was spent frantically googling for a dentist open on Saturdays who took walk-ins or emergencies or both. Found one, who didn't have a time open and then listening to me start to dissolve into tears--seriously, over-ripened tomato Child, but not that color, it was unsettling--offered to fit him and for that will love her until the day I die. Fortunately--and this is literal--Child was still in pain and the appointment was in less than an hour, and even so, it was a bad ten minutes getting him dressed and to the vehicle while he protested--with asymmetry growing by the moment--that it didn't hurt that much and he was fine (I actually stopped to stare at him disbelievingly, wondering if the infection reached his brain already).

We shall not speak of what we discovered of Child's unbelievable lack of interest in what goes on in his own mouth (I whine when I poke my gum with a pencil, fine, judge away), but anyway, surprise, he broke a tooth and it got infected and how. So we left with antibiotics, painkillers, and a very serious speech that if he starts having vision problems to go to the ER immediately, which was one of those surreal moments where I stare at Child and Child acts totally shocked about how nature and infection work.

brief Child digression, for parents who haven't had to deal with thisCollapse )

short family digression, relatedCollapse )

After this adventurous weekend, I wonder why there aren't more dentists who decide to specialize in 'emergency' and 'weekends' only because seriously, they could probably make a killing doing nothing else. Every weekend dentist I found (very not many) wasn't just packed, but stacking them up in the waiting room. I didn't even bother with trying to negotiate my (annoying) insurance and paid cash, I was that desperate and from the looks of those waiting with me and Child, that wasn't unique. And why isn't there a Dental ER somewhere?

Note: Child still looks asymmetrical but much better, and is hilariously following almost exactly the dentist's prediction on how long it would take for the swelling to go down and the pain to taper off.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1005359.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

spnfic: it's the stars that lie, 3/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 3/11
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay.
Thanks to bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links - AO3
Series: Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

it's a wonder to behold
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Child's slowly growing rage at Teen Wolf for Derek's man-(wolf-?)pain is possibly the best thing about the show I don't watch. I don't need to, honestly; once a week, come the apocalypse, Child drops down disconsolately on the patio swing to talk about his epic feelings about Derek and Stiles and how they're being epically abused by $whoever.

One of the (hilarious) advantages of growing up fannish is he's on a good balance of way too invested and overenthusiastic (entertainment forever) but cynical as hell because he's been through All the Ship Wars Ever by proxy, so everything is old news as far as he's concerned.

And then there's this (semi-verbatim, this was weird):

Child: it's like the Ray wars, mom.
(note: using mom is always, always a warning sign.)
Me: ....sterek is like the Ray Wars? Wait, how?
Child: Yeah, it's like--
Me: I wasn't in the Ray Wars. We started watching way after the Ray Wars.
Me: Hold on, were you even born then? Potty trained? Able to argue with me?
Child: ...what does that have to do with it?

I'm sorry, I didn't find out how Sterek is just like the Ray Wars, I'll get on that, but seriously? To be fair to him, he was around during my ranting John Sheppard days, so yeah, that might have helped form his sensibilities.

Other random conversation (this is partially verbatim, because wow, that was a bad moment):

Child: you have any ideas for a name? I need a new one.
Me: Those are personal, but--wait. Why do you need a new one?
Child: Reasons.
Me: What did you do?
Child: Nothing.
Me: You know I can check tumblr, right?
Child: Not that one.
Me: The secret one I'm not supposed to know about?
Child: ....no, it's--nevermind.
Me: It's not xxxxxxx one, is it?
Child: Stop breaking into my computer.
Me: Lock your screen once in a while.

(note: he actually didn't do anything, he just gets bored with consistency. I'm not sure if I'm relieved or disappointed. Also, his password security is getting much better. Who says invasion of adolescent privacy has no practical benefits?)

I wonder what it's like to be the teenage fanson of a fanparent. Knowing fanparent is out there somewhere, anywhere, separated from you by three degrees of tumblr or less at all times, hideously aware of her hovering presence and getting recced 'oomg did you read this!1!!!!' written by her or her bffs (this happens), and horribly, horribly aware she could show up in your fandom at any moment and may do it just to fuck with her fankid because why not?

I feel like I've been waiting for him to hit this level of self-awareness and horror all my life.

Dear Fanparents,

This is so much fun, you have no idea.

-seperis

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so you think the world is weird?
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
In case anyone missed this:

Satanic Temple seeks Hobby Lobby-style exemption from anti-abortion laws

Thank you, yahoo news; I can state with perfect honesty that I didn't see this coming.

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spnfic: it's the stars that lie, 1 & 2/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 1 & 2/11
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from lillian13, scynneh, and norabombay.
Thanks to bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2

the dancing plague was a thing
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I finally figured out how to make Amazon stop reccing me music I don't like--buy it.

Wait, let me finish: once you do, you listen to that shit until you love it or your ears bleed and you dark master asks for your attendance at the throne of Hell. It works. He lets you use DW!

Not that it went that far: I listened to it straight through and either I was wrong or I am a master-class self-Stockholmer and I should be paid to teach other people how to do it.

Anyway, music for the week: it's all Stockholm, all the time here.

Pompeii by Bastille. I get the framing device isn't actually the destruction of Pompeii via volcano, but if you imagine a whole bunch of toga'ed Romans line dancing to this while ash rains down from above--and talking about being an optimist about the volcano about to bury them--close your eyes!--it's kind of amazing.

This is part of my Bounce playlist, which includes Katy Perry's Roar, Fun's We Are Young, Fefe Dobson's Don't Let It Go to Your Head, and Good Time by Owl City. I don't ask why anymore. I put this on repeat, I start feeling the vague desire to dance in the parking lot at work. And by vague, I mean the east parking lot out of sight of the windows, like a one-woman Dancing Plague, which as well all know ended really well for Strasbourg.

Today all the SSNs in our testing database vanished; right this moment, a Dancing Plague would be doing me a favor.

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AO3 - related works thing
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
A general apology--I was answering a comment in AO3 and checked my related works link because it's there and awesome, and there were several items that weren't approved. I approved them all and I apologize for the weirdness to those who were wondering what the hell.

Also! Because this is so cool I share these things:

Adjustment, War Games, and Domestically Inclined, translated by Loquor into Chinese. My Star Trek reboot series in Chinese; it's amazing.

Being monolingual--my Spanish isn't nearly good enough to even qualify for half a point there--translation is miraculous to me in general.

While working in Duolingo on my Spanish, I translated part of the Minecraft player's guide into English, which now qualifies me to upgrade the art of translation to magic. It has to be; there's no other explanation, and boy, I feel like a loser feeling all exhausted after translating some really simple paragraphs of a Spanish article on hockey. God I hope it was hockey, now that I'm thinking about it.

...I'm going to go check now. Just in case.

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because it's hot outside, okay
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Watching the dashcon tag on tumblr and the FFA threads is now a lifestyle choice. And now ONTD has picked it up.

In case anyone wants to catch up (vaguely in chronological order of posting):
First FFA Thread on Dashcon
Second FFA Thread on Dashcon
ONTD on Dashcon
Dashcon Tag on Tumblr

Personal favorite quote from FFA:
From browsing the tag, the people at Dashcon have entered into this peculiar headspace wherein one more normally finds hostages and cult victims: the backlash has been so severe that anyone who even had a good moment and lacks certain critical self-check features is now in "extreme Con defense mode."


Starts with $17,000 and goes down from there. Also, a ball wading pool and bouncy castle.

ETA: From anonymous commenter: Dashcon owner about Dashcon, posted in January - I can't tell if anonymous is defense or prosecution here, but it's an interesting link.

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spnfic: map of the world, 11/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: Map of the World, 11/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even. Set after the events in 5.4 The End.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7
Warnings: Please see end of fic for warnings.

Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11

no, i haev no idea why i thought this was a good idea
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Currently reading Top Ten Most Venomous Snakes, where in an unsurprising turn of events, Australia holds five slots including one and two. Because Australia.

(Africa wins as Most Terrifying Snake I Have Ever Obsessively Read About My God Twenty Minutes????? WTF Evolution WHY?)

My only real comfort here is that, should I be near one of these snakes at any time, I don't have to worry about dying within twenty minutes or less (thanks, Black Mamba!); I will have a heart attack right there and die. So you know, there's that.

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absolutely nothing
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
So today at work was Foodapalooza, or Fourth of July (minus two), which as usual was a gut busting success where the food coma started at 10:30 AM and proceeded for the rest of the day.

Generally, participation is always high when we do these, because one, everyone likes to eat, and two, we have a lot of dietary restrictions (kosher, vegetarian, vegan, and no beef) so meat dishes are discreet from vegetables whenever possible. This also means we have not just variety but massive amounts of each variety because the universe loves us when it comes to food.

Which is how I ended up eating my weight in fried chicken, a chickpea dish (whole chickpea, not hummus) I would kill people to get to, lemon rice, chicken enchiladas, a tangy lentil mix that looked like refried beans and tasted like what I'm sure Heaven serves in the buffet line, a two gallon crock pot of cheese dip, and a huge massive tupperware dish of a spicy rice and vegetable dish I didn't get the name of but will bear more offspring to find again. That was Round One, by the way: we won't speak of rounds two, three, four, or the Holy Shit Dessert Are You Kidding Well Okay Sure course, and the Drink and Dip Annex where the sodas tea, chips, and dip were stored.

Like I said, participation is high, and we had stealth people from different units helping us get this done. We just feel as a group that it's an insult to leave a single item of food in a dish, you know? We don't let that happen.

In other news, Duolingo is adding Irish to it's roster of languages soon as well as Dutch. The only reason I'm mentioning this is for the Dutch; the day I found out about it, I was talking to a coworker who--completely randomly--told me she wanted to learn Dutch because she and her husband were retiring to the Netherlands when they were ready to retire. She was interested to find out this.

The universe is strange, and I'm in food post-coma; lethargic and vaguely wanting cookies. It happens.

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oh god, google
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Google Now on my phone just gave me an update card on how much I walked in June, based on my device's location. In so many ways I find this upsetting and weird, not least of which is the realization I don't walk much. Though that's still below "GOOGLE IS WATCHING ME WALK?"

....level with me, anyone else starting to wonder if The Matrix was actually a documentary and the next two movies in the series were released just to make us dismiss the entire convoluted plotline and not realize that is our lives?

I'd say this was bad, but then I just realized--

1.) I can fly and do kung fu.
2.) A full length leather coat is in my immediate future.
3.) There's a very good chance Laurence Fishburne will show up soon.

Dear Robot overlords,

THANK YOU.

(also: seriously, watching me walk? Why?)

Love,
Seperis

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spnfic: map of the world, 9 & 10/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: Map of the World, 9 & 10/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even. Set after the events in 5.4 The End.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10

spnfic: map of the world, 8/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: Map of the World, 8/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even. Set after the events in 5.4 The End.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

spnfic: map of the world, 6 & 7/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Note: Due to a coming change in my schedule for the next major release at work, posting will be sped up so I can be done in three weeks or less. Because major releases don't care about my carefully planned time management. As they hate me, I think.

Title: Map of the World, 6 & 7/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even. Set after the events in 5.4 The End.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7

this is rant, for the record
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
The Coming Gay Marriage Witch Hunt - this really is nothing new at all, but hilarious quote from worried homophobe:
Same-sex marriage is, of course, not the first issue to divide Americans. Slavery, segregation, and abortion led to civil war, vigilante violence, and massive protest movements.

But opponents of same-sex marriage say that even in those instances there was détente after passions cooled. One-time segregationists remained in the upper echelons of American public life through the 1990s. This time, opponents of same-sex marriage fear that supporters will not be happy until their side has been run out of polite society and forced to retract their previously held views.


I want to go on the record here, correct my interpretation if I'm reading this wrong: segregation/racism was a much better social movement because racists got to keep their social and political power for, count it, over a fucking century (according to the article). In polite society.

Jesus Christ, this is a crisis; people may not be invited to fucking tea because they're obnoxious. Let me weep.

Something struck me about this that's bothered me: it's the much touted right to be heard. It appears most often when people speaking Bullshit-esque are pouting about the language barrier that prevents people from caring what they have to say.

Much like the rights of trees who fall in the forest to make a sound, there is no fundamental right to be heard, because that would necessitate violating my God-given right to not have to listen. Free speech your ass out among the leaves, sunshine; I'm not hanging around the forest to listen.

I've spent the last two weeks learning Medicaid policy for the aged and disabled in which a sample case I worked allowed a man to enter a nursing home facility and receive Medicaid without even having to make a copay despite the fact his resources were upward of two hundred thousand dollars, while a woman who receives less than 1100 in RSDI total has to pay nine hundred dollars a month for the same thing.

When rich politicians talk about cutting welfare, they talk about welfare queens and single mothers and eighteen thousand kids each, but for some reason, they're very silent, very silent indeed, when it comes to the legal basis of how the wealthy can hide their money using special clauses in policy created specifically for them so when they need nursing home care or community care, they don't have to pay a thing toward it while a man or woman who have worked their asses off all their lives sometimes get denied the help they desperately need at the most vulnerable and fragile point of their lives.

Is this polite society?

You know, sorry, I ran out of tears; see, I'm worrying about actual real things, like my kid having the ability to get married and not be killed for being who he is, my mother being safe and well in her old age if God forbid she becomes fragile or ill, the current nightmare that is the job market, paying down my student loan and my credit report, and unnumbered elderly, disabled, and poor people who get denied help.

I don't understand the priorities of a life lived that can possibly, by any stretch of hte imagination, give a flying fuck about what a woman does with her own body to the point of trying to outlaw their access to it, about what people who you will probably never meet who may or may not be of the same sex entering into a legal union, how the color of someone's skin, their ethnicity, their country of origin, or their sex has any bearing whatsofuckingever on what kind of person they are, much less care so much that PACs and societies are created to combat it.

But all of that--all of that--makes more sense than an article where a homophobe is deeply, sincerely worried they won't get invited to the best parties.

Find a fucking forest and talk until you go hoarse, I don't give a shit; you want to be heard, say something worth breath.

Note: This has been a very enlightening two weeks of my life.

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for the record, this has been bothering me
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
For reasons that don't need to be explored at this juncture, I am in need of someone who really likes academic communication theory--or possibly metacognition theory and cognitive neuroscience--who can tell me what this is and where to find it.

It's a theory that the act of writing is sometimes more than simply the expression of a thought in textual form, but the equivalent of the brain outsourcing some of the thinking process. There are thoughts that cannot be thought or even exist without the intervention of the written word. Writing isn't just organization, memory storage, or even clarification of thoughts that are already there; the act of writing is a requirement for the thought to even exist.

I remember reading about it in college (I don't remember the discipline it came out of, but I think its birth was out of cognitive theory and how the brain works), but there was an implication that once the ability to communicate with the written word is acquired, it (theoretically) increases the capacity for abstract thought because (possibly?) it's a way for the brain to communicate with itself that it can't accomplish without it.

I found some articles that hit on some of it, but the focus in most of them is the use of writing to expand existing thought and make connections between disparate ideas that are already there but require refinement, or the development of critical thinking skills, but not idea that the brain uses writing itself in the creation of thought process.

...Christ, I swear this is not the result of a mescaline and tequila night, though admittedly, I'd love the excuse.

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spnfic: map of the world 4 & 5/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: Map of the World, 4 & 5/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even. Set after the events in 5.4 The End.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5

it has a soundtrack
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
As my nieces got Frozen, I've involuntarily watched it about three times due to the fact that, as kids do, that goddamn movie was on repeat on the bluray player for like a week. Which is why against my will, Let It Go ended up on my playlist so I can massacre a C above high C when automemorization kicks in. Luckily, only the neighbors have been the victims of my need to express my freedom to create ice sculptures (in my mind) in the far north while actually living in Texas at ninety-one degrees in the shade. Because that's how I roll these days.

Other news: my other repeat-one song of the month:
UNKLE ft Moby - In a State/God Moving over the Faces of the Waters - it was part of a documentary vid on youtube and I hunted it down to get a clean copy, which this one is, for downloading-related purposes.

Training tomorrow. This is my idea of decompressing: sitting outside while surfing youtube and Wikipedia. If I end up reading about the cat genome project again something's gonna give.

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i do this sometimes - changing the world
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Doing two months of MEPD training in two weeks means after the first week I have no idea what my name is anymore, but I can figure out eligibility for MSP programs with a pencil and a determined expression (and uh, a client).

This training isn't for caseworkers, but for the help desk staff who answer questions from caseworkers and other staff about problems they find with the eligibility program. Testing was offered slots in the class, so me and a coworker both signed up, and it's been deeply fascinating. Policy is fascinating, no lie; I had no idea there were so many kinds of burial resources, and not kidding, that section on resources was insane.

MEPD, in case anyone is curious, is Medicaid for the aged and disabled. Usually people think nursing homes (institutionalization), but that's only one type: among them are MSP (Medicare Share program) which pays the monthly premium on Medicares Part A and/or Part B, CAD, which is a program that gives home health care to clients if they don't qualify for MSP and the function of which is to delay or prevent institutionalization of clients but instead let them stay in their homes, CBA, all the SSI's, and several community based programs. Generally, nursing home care is the care of last resort if possible; the goal is to make it easier for clients to remain in their own homes. Interesting note: the elderly, even the very elderly, do much better at home than nursing homes, even very nice ones, and a lot of programs are geared to extend their time at home as much as humanly possible.

This is where I do my random reminder that if you live in Texas and want a job that I guarantee you will change lives every day you go to work and help people for whom you will be sometimes their last resort, consider applying for a Medicaid Eligibility Specialist or Texas Works Advisor position with HHSC.

Openings are here.

Generally, a college degree isn't necessary until you get to the higher manager and directorships. Starting with a clerical position can and will get you a heads-up within six months to caseworker (also, clerk is fun, no lie), and Worker III, which is just below supervisor, can be done in as little as two years and supervisor in three. And inter-agency hiring is legion; from there, there's pretty much an entire world of jobs with the state to make at least this part of the world a little better. Many jobs with HHSC prefer or require caseworker/eligibility specialist experience.

Training is two to three months; you go to class, eight hours a day, five days a week, where workers and specialists are guided through policy by trainers who were once caseworkers themselves--you don't memorize it, promise, we're not that cruel--and how to use the eligibility programs. By the time you're done with training, you will be able to take a pencil and a worksheet and calculate benefits for any program you've been trained in within ten minutes. Within one month on the job, you can read an application and know before you even start if they're likely to qualify and what they qualify for. I trained 10 years ago; I can still do it on a glance, though I need the income limits charts somewhere nearby. After one week of MEPD training, I can do it for CAS, MSP, and several of the waiver and post-SSI programs, though without the full two months, I wouldn't since it's slightly more complicated than that.

It's not a hard job, but it's one you have to learn. You'll be taught not only policy and how to use the programs we use to determine eligibility, but how to interview, how to look up and access information, what kind of questions to ask, and most importantly, the first thing I learned: my job is to approve people for benefits and get them the help they need. My training was to make sure I could do that the best I could.

After training, you'll be assigned to an office where you'll be given--and this will drive you crazy--two (or four) cases a day for two weeks, after which you go up to three or four (or six) for two weeks, and so on until you get to what's considered a full load. If you're like me, you'll start sneaking up to the front desk and stealing walk-ins within two days and secretly working them while your supervisor sighs and pretends not to notice. If you're in a call center, your supervisor won't ask questions; we're that overloaded.

Throughout your time on the job, you will be send to periodic training for changes in policy, in budgeting, federal law, et al.

We have high turnover; the caseload can be ridiculous, and working with the poor, the disabled, and the elderly can be difficult when you can't get them the help you know they need. However, this job is one of those I can say with certainty that you being there will assure more people get benefits the first time they apply. People get overloaded, there's too much to do and too little time to get it done; that's a problem. More people doing the job--you doing it--means that many more people get their benefits faster.

A lot of jobs will say you will be helping people. This one, you will literally be watching it happen as you do it. My caseload was between 10 and 18 people each day with an extra thirty or forty children's Medicaid I'd certify each month; during Katrina, I saw more than that. My approvals outnumbered my denials by a huge margin; every day, the world was made better by ten to eighteen people getting what they needed to live their lives.

That's 2,400 to 4,300 people a year whose lives you could be changing. You want to change the world, this is a very good way to start doing it.

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spnfic: map of the world, 3/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Title: Map of the World, 3/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel, et al
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even. Set after the events in 5.4 The End.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7
Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

these are the days of our lives
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Child just started pasta on fire.

Pasta.

On fire.

Parenthood: totally worth it.

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finally saw captain america 2: the winter solider
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Very shallow barely spoiler under the cut:

seriously, shallowCollapse )

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i forgot about this part
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Apparently, Polar Vortices (I had to look up the plural, yes) cause amnesia, because I don't remember being allergic to everything, ever. I think I'm allergic to water.

...this is going to be a very long summer, with much sneezing and eucalyptus oil, per a coworker who swears this will cure all things. When I can smell it--once, twice between sneezes--it does have a pleasant fragrance.

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spnfic: map of the world 1 & 2/11
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
LJ won't let me crosspost due to length, so links:

Title: Map of the World, 1 & 2/11
Author: Seperis
Codes: Dean/Castiel, et al
Rating: R
Summary: The world's already over and they're already dead. All they're doing now is marking time until the end.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdy_grrrl for beta above and beyond. For two years, even.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7
Links:
AO3 - AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2

i just need to do this
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Richard III had scoliosis, not a hunched back

There are other discrepancies between Shakespeare's descriptions and the skeleton besides the back problem, Mitchell said.

The real Richard does not appear to have had a limp or a withered arm, as Shakespeare had described. His trunk and abdomen would have appeared short compared with his arms and legs, Mitchell said. His right shoulder would have been slightly higher than the left.


You. Don't. Say?

Dear Henry Tudor,

History is written by the victors future.

Also? You were a dick, and no one liked you.

Bite me,
Jenn

Shakespeare,

You're forgiven.

magnanimously,
seperis

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i really read cracked too much, i get this
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
The Six Most Horrifying Sex Scenes in Fan Fiction Part 4 - which okay, let's not pretend here, this was hilarious. However, it isn't link worthy except for the author's aside in Number 5: Teen Wolf Has Amputee Sex With Characters from War and Peace

Once again, this scenario leaves us with numerous questions we suspect we'll never have the answer to, such as who is the audience for this? Is there a large segment of the erotic fan fiction consumer base that A) has read War and Peace, B) watches the MTV version of Teen Wolf, and C) has a male pregnancy fetish?


That's the fangirl equivalent of asking 'what is the sound of one hand clapping'? Or possibly a corollary of Rule 34(d): if it exists, porn will be written for it, and three quarters of your audience will spontaneously realize they're totally into it upon reading. Yes, there's an audience, adorable Cracked writer; we invent those, too.

Like sure, you're not into explicit cannibal serial killer pornfests, but what if one is a god, one is a mythical monster, one is the main character from a made for tv movie about a real serial killer who are all played by the same actor as half the participants? Sign me up, and give me a minute to Venn diagram this. Sure, you're not into almost hilariously feminized bottoming, but what if it's an universe with biologically enforced gender stereotypes and they all have wings and claws and self-lubing asses and get knocked up like a lot? With quintuplets? With elf ears? Someone just read this paragraph and is going 'okay, but where the fuck can I get all of this in one story? Is there elf ear penetration? Fuck you, this is teasing." Yes, it is: why hasn't someone written me this? Slaughterhouse 5 AU would be perfect.

Audience; done. We can do it before there's a story. Thus ends the lesson.

Cracked is in so many ways awesome, but every once in a while they stumble, dewy naivety and wide-eyed innocent upon fandom and come back, shaken, saying 'have you seen...' and the answer is 'yes, there's a tag for it on AO3; do you need a link?' Cracked, you're not horrifying me; you're giving me a reading list.

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okay, so I get the godfather is either Great Lit or Great Film, but rarely both
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
True/False

Anyone who read The Godfather - the most enduring, healthy, and happy relationship in the entire goddamn book is between Lucy, the girl who made Sonny's Cock an actual supporting character (and for whom I spent serious time learning about pelvic floors to explain this particular plot point) and Jules, the former surgeon turned Las Vegas abortion doctor.

very minor digression on Dr. JulesCollapse )

Here's why this book remains one of my favorites and a maybe every three year full re-read; in a novel about gangsters, murder, the evils of the heroin trade, the bizarre and invisible double standards that they couldn't even acknowledge ruled everyone's lives, the ups and downs of the olive oil monopoly, all deathly serious and honestly not a little unsettling--we get Lucy, who any other sane writer would have left periphery at best but Mario Puzzo, whatever, that shit is for amateurs; gangsters, murder, heroin, corrupt cops, American values versus Old World values, big shit, and of equal weight...Lucy and her sex life aka Sonny's Cock.

No other writer on earth could just throw an entire subplot like that into the mix and make it work so effortlessly it's not until long after you read it that you realize, a little surprised: wait, what?

And you go check and realize, yeah, it went from pasta murder to Lucy dreaming of dead Sonny's cock, again, and your investment in Michael's goddamn broken-ass nose is like nothing compared to desperately hoping Lucy finds a Sonny Cock Mark II that makes her happy. Michael, get the fucking surgery and go to Italy and screw sheep or whatever, that's gross, now tell me more about Lucy's life and that hotass doctor in Las Vegas.

Okay, maybe this is just me, fine.

Mario has literally no ability to be sentimental (blank prose murders almost an afterthought, spare lines describing spousal abuse and torture, and most clinical pedophilic off-screen rape I've ever read with nothing, not one thing, that wasn't horrifying), and while I never got the impression he disapproved of a single thing they did (seriously, no; the horsehead thing was about as close to glee as Mario ever got, just on the basis of how many words he spent in description), sometimes there was almost a documentary feel to it, like a naturalist describing his world as he understands it, not as he wishes it (or wishes it not) to be.

Romance is a word without meaning, I'm pretty sure humor is something he heard about once at a party that he never did quite understand, and his sex scenes have all the sizzle of a medical journal article on the mechanics of coitus in the human heterosexual pairbond and that includes surprisingly graphic cameos of Sonny's Cock at Work and Play. I don't deny this, and I get why people say he's not a great writer, and I almost get why some people think he's not a good one, but if you accept what he's doing as a very, very specific and very deliberate style, one that works for you or never will, he really does know exactly what he's doing with every word on the page.

And then he blindsided me like whoa; Lucy and Jules's first time.

Stop me if you don't want to be spoiled, but seriously, it's worth reading; if you've made it that far into the novel, you've either acclimatized by sheer blunt force or fell right into his style from the first page, and what you will read next will be Puzzo writing a romantic comedy and holy goddamn shit, someone told him what it meant to have a sense of humor and for a few pages, he knew what to do with it.

Lucy--who has yet to inform Jules of her somewhat non-standard vagina (as she has no idea what the hell is going on down there but Sonny's Cock was fucking amazing in mitigating it)--freaks out when Jules first achieves penetration at which time the issue is difficult to hide, and we are maybe two steps from screaming trauma and thinking Jules would look fantastic in his component parts because fuck you, Lucy need some goddamn love (and sex) and you have your doubts about Jules (and Jules Cock) being up to the task.

Foolish reader: never doubt the man who can calmly compare cancer to melons and give you a visual to haunt your nightmares in twenty words or less.

Jules jumps--shifts? Maybe retrenches would be the most accurate description--to Orgasm Plan B without missing a beat, and not only orgasms for everyone (you will feel so happy for Lucy, you have no idea; I almost cried), but epic cuddling even A/B/O knotting can only dream of achieving. Romantic (I had no fucking clue Puzzo could spell it), sexy (Puzzo style sexy; who knew that was even possible?), funny (it's like for a moment, he achieved humor enlightenment and someone showed him something by Disney) and sentimental full-contact post-coital cuddling without anyone experiencing a traumatic locked bathroom screaming session.

Sexist? Yes: this is goddamn Mario Puzzo writing about the mafia; magic in a JK Rowling book about Harry Potter would be less expected. But. Jules. I'm gonna have to admit; any guy who while having sex with me discovered my Terrible Secret Sex Deformity, switches mid-stroke and gets me off, then indulges in massive cuddling while gigglingly telling me about my totally normal medical condition that is so so totally normal not even a thing before round two and hunts me down a surgeon while telling me he wants to marry me and also kind of finds the entire thing hilarious--the rest of it I could resist, maybe, but the last part, I can't.

(Post-Coital Cuddling Includes Medical Explanation-I finally got a very clear explanation of Lucy's Problem in five paragraphs that took Encyclopedia Brittanica several articles to get.)

Someone who can laugh at himself as easily and unselfconsciously and sincerely at the same time as he's laughing at me, because he gets the best and funniest jokes are always the ones that are shared; I couldn't say no to that, unicorns are too goddamn rare.

The Godfather; Totally Serious Fucking Mafia Shit. And also, The Totally Fascinating Adventures of an Italian girl With a Terrible Sex Secret who finds epic love with an abortion doctor in goddamn Vegas and lives happily (and post-surgically orgasmically) ever after.

I've read Romance novels less romantic than this.

...I'd actually offer up one third of my liver free and clear to see Mario Puzzo take on the Regency, just to read how he'd describe an evening of hijinks at Almack's. On a guess, it would not be entirely unlike an alien writing a report to his superiors about humanity's odd fascination with a being known as 'Sheldon' on a bizarre human entertainment known as a 'television show' that despite its title has nothing whatsoever to do with the big bang but has an unsettling focus on graphic t-shirts and things called 'superheroes' and it's still debatable whether or not they're supposed to be real, as the 'characters' don't seem to know either.

Tell me I'm wrong. Go ahead, just try.

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help for me plz
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Question for the masses: does anyone know what in Firefox would cause Dreamwidth's expand function not to work in threads?

It works just fine when I'm at work, where I have Firefox installed. At home and at work, I'm using the same version of Firefox, Adblock and NoScript are installed and disabled, and yet, Expand works there and doesn't when I'm on my laptop. I've done everything short of bursting into tears--and trust me, it's a close thing--to work out the difference.

Anyone have any idea? Seriously, this is annoying.

Also, and not ashamed--I am totally playing Farmville 2: Country Escapes now that it's on Android and I don't have to access Facebook. I would hate myself, but there are acrobatic pigs and sheep who bellyflop in sync. Who the hell resists that? If anyone else is playing, I'm signed in through Google+, not Facebook, and seriously, acrobatic pigs. In sync.

ETA: Tentative solution that so far is working: disabled Greasemonkey, disabled "LJ Thread Expander" enabled Greasemonkey again, and problem solved. So far. Will update if that changes.

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i like when studies confirm my rightness
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Five Complaints About Modern Teens (That Are Statistically BS) - John Cheese - Because Cracked.

When I was a kid, I promised myself I'd remember certain things I loathed beyond words--much like all my peer group--that I would not do to my kid. Weirdly, these are things I have heard people on the radio claim are wonderful and kids today blah.

1.) Five hour road trips playing I-Spy and the License Plate Game - my hell on earth was those goddamn road trips to the beach when those were the pinnacle of entertainment. I didn't need to tell my child-self to remember this; I have the emotional scars of hours of mind-numbing boredom.

This kind of blows my mind; there is an entire television and movie tropes about the hell of a long road trip with nothing to do but hideous car games that no one sane would play at any time else, and you know why? THEY ARE BORING. Yet commentators in media often talk about the horror of car DVD players and phones and computers and iPads when there could be family bonding--you know, rampant sibling rivalry, parental hostility, and by the time everyone arrives at the beach at least one person is crying and another isn't speaking to anyone else. Now that's vacation.

No, I-Spy and the License Plate Game and the other countless car games were not fun. They didn't promote bonding. They were torture, I'll be honest.

2.) Intrinsic Value of Backbreaking Labor Before the Age of Reason - luckily, no one in my family has ever tried to make this case; it's still a little close to the bone. I grew up in farm country, but these days, there's machinery to do the work because weirdly enough, doing more with less exhaustion at the end of the day is a good thing.

My grandmother was second youngest in her family and her parents were too old by the time she came of age for her to take a turn on the family farm. Probably for that reason, she never ever extolled the virtues of coming home from school to put in time until bed working on the farm; she barely escaped that. She got to do the groovy factory thing circa WWII and make an inadvisable marriage before leaving her husband and meeting my grandfather (these things may have overlapped) and left the farm lifestyle forever. Thank God, she probably said; I know I do.

Growing up, the goal was always to be in a position where your kids didn't have to kill themselves working. Growing up, having to do a ton of manual labor didn't make you a better person. It probably made you a very tired person.

3.) The Great Outdoors Is a Magical Wonderland - I get this argument on one level, but on another, it bothers me. I spent huge amounts of time outside; Child spends a lot of time outside. However, it's always paired with the 'and now kids these days play video games alone in their room instead of playing with their friends' and okay, you can't have it both ways.

Grew up rural--Great Outdoors, Fresh Air, Constant Threat of Rattlesnakes on the Porch, Roof, or Drawer, Water Moccasin Mating Ball Oh My God That Vision Will Be With Me Until I Die, Cows Do Not Like People....okay, I forgot where I was going with this, but I did the Country Outdoors Thing. You know what's noticeable about living in the country? The lack of people to play with.

But couldn't you ride your bike--you did have a bike right? Yes, of course--down to Jimmy and Lisa's to play? Sure, I'll bike three miles to my buddy's house on county roads up and down to see a friend. Hint: exercise bike does not accurately portray the time that takes, and how much you can play after biking up hill and down dale to see your buddies knowing you gotta get back home. In Texas. In rattlesnake country where only the dogs outnumbered the rattlesnakes as roadkill specials.

Roadkill--hey, you ever been on a county road and hit the accelerator on teh straightaway because awesome? See many kids on bikes? No? Guess why? I see that shit on the road in front of my house every goddamn day--I didn't get on the roads if I could help it, and going off-road both raises the difficulty of biking and also the raised possibility of hitting a rattlesnake or copperhead. As we didn't live in teh age of cellphones, getting one of those on the ankle a mile or two from home would kind of be how it wold feel to die or get really damn close.

Great Outdoors are fine, but I bet you didn't know people dump their unwanted dogs in the country as well as cats. If they aren't roadkill, they go feral and join with the coyotes and that, too, was a thing we had to worry about.

You know a feature of rural life? Boredom. I read a lot, and I re-read a lot, and I wrote my own stories and my family had a standing order for notebook paper and blue pens--I couldn't write in black, it bothered me--every time we went to the grocery store. I played outside. I took long walks, but only on our land, because I am just the kind of loser who didn't want rattlesnake bites or step on a rusty nail and get tetanus. Weak, I know. Unlike that cousin of mine who got lockjaw or Mom got a nail through her foot--yes, I said 'through', it was a deep puncture--and the fun of dealing with that. The watering hole of television fame? You could see the snakes in it. Seriously, All of the Nightmares. Also, no one sane plays in a goddamn pond unless it has a source keeping it running or it goes stagnant.

Outdoors - lots of fun, but on a guess, Kids These Days are statistically spending the same amount of time outside as a generation ago, allowing for the urban/rural difference.

5.) Kids These Days, All They Do Is Play on the Computer, Video Games, Read, Play Outdoors...Wait, I Think That Is Several Generations - yeah, okay, I love this one. In Anne of Green Gables, Diana's mom complained her daughter was spending too much time reading and needed to get outside more. Laura Ingalls was a tomboy who spent too much time playing outside instead of learning how to be a wife and grown-up inside. My generation, The Kids These Days With Their Computer Games Didn't Read. My mom's generation, they were all high, which apparently Baby Boomers keep forgetting about. Probably the drugs.

One of the more bizarre side-effects of the effort at nationwide literacy is that there's a real disconnect on how new it is, reading at all, much less extensive reading for pleasure. That was very much a privilege of the upper class and very upper middle and in the US, that wasn't necessarily class deigned by income but by upbringing. Reading, especially reading for higher education or pleasure, was a class marker, as was what you read. Even when education caught up, reading is a skill like any other, and it needs practice, and not everyone had time to practice.

Being active on the web is about the pinnacle of literacy right now, and in several dialects at that. It's not just passive reading, but active engagement with others; it's social activities via the written word, and it, too, is a skill, which I think is highly overlooked because most of us do it so much and so constantly we don't think of it as a skill.

6.) Totally Random Thing - I read a book years ago, one of those deeply conflicted post Civil War novels that had a lot of things happen over a lifetime and several generations and was depressing as fuck; seriously, not even tragic depressing, just mundane depressing, rather like real life, thanks. One of the female protagonists was observing her teenage daughter in a group of her peers, and paging through the magazines the girls were reading these days, she was horrified, because in her day, girls sewed Union flags and did activist things for the Civil War and Early Feminism, and Kids These Days. I was about sixteen or seventeen.

I burst out laughing. Which I'm sure the author probably didn't intend.

Kids These Days (Much Like Kids Those Days) - different book, but I've read this plot before.

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life with child
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
So I got my merit bonus at work in lump sum instead of a raise, which trust me, not a problem. So I told Child his share and what he wanted to do with it.

Child: I want to go see Fall Out boy in concert.
Me: You can't go alone.
Child: I'm not a child, it's a concert (imagine teenage arguments here. You know what they sound like.)
Me: I could go with you.
Child: Okay, we'll get up front. Maybe I can touch Pete Wentz! Can he be my new daddy if I catch him?
Me: ....well played. Let me think about it.
Child: I thought you'd see it my way.

I'm not actually worried about Child, per se, but it's a concert and this is new to him. If one of his friends go with him and he keeps his phone on, I don't have a problem with it. His second choice is hideously expensive shoes, which is weird, because Child isn't a clothing person at all.

Well, I take that back; he's picked up an inexplicable thing for suits that I can't explain, matched with a truly unearthly number of ties. I buy my kid random ties. I mean, this being Child, I'd feel a lot better about it if he was using them for evil, but no, he wears them without irony with really nice button up shirts, and it comes out of nowhere. Days of Child in school uniforms or maybe gym shorts and graphic t-shirts, then suddenly he wants to go shopping and browsing the tailor-this portion of Dillards or Nordstroms with a dissatisfied expression on having to (not) buy off the rack, because Child also doesn't understand what suits are used for.

Child: Why don't you dress up for work?
Me: I'm state and tech. Analysts aren't supposed to wear things that even match, so I'm one up there. It shows we're committed to the job and have no human attachments to interfere. They'd prefer I shower less, to be honest. Really show my commitment to my work and assure I'm not tempted to get a life.
Child: ....you're kidding.
Me: When's the last time you saw me wear makeup?
Child: You used to wear make up?
Me: I rest my case.

Child was actually very hazy on my days at the Ombudsman, which if anyone heres' been reading long enough, was a period of about two years I had to shop regularly for dress clothes as I had none, because no denim at all, no t-shirts, all business casual all the time, and because we were only three steps down from the Commissioner, that shit was taken seriously. I pulled out a few of my old slacks which he stared at in awe, then looked at me, dressed for work in a black tank top, batman t-shirt, black hoodie, skinny jeans, and my black chunk heels, and eyeliner, because that's not makeup, that's eyeliner.

Child: What people wear suits?
Me: You're gonna choose your job by the clothes?
Child: I like suits.
Me: I've heard worse.

Sometimes, I really like him.

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lifetime brings us joy
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Petals on the Wind trailer, sequel to Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic, oh hell yes.

Shame is for those who didn't secretly read these during class during formative junior high years.

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this isn't sane, for the record
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
So last night, I finally got around to changing my yahoo and gmail passwords and set up two factor authentication. This sounds like a very boring story, and it is, trust me, but it's also an example of the password equivalent of completionist doctrine: it must all be done.

Because Heartbleed, and why not.

I have a locked and secured doc that has a full list of all my accounts and passwords because you get to the point in your online life where everything can't be happy1 or you end up writing an article about how your iPad was bricked because someone wanted your twitter name and infiltrated your entire Apple ecosystem (that article was nightmare fuel and I don't have an iPad). One of the few useful tips I got from the article is having an account that has no purpose but to be a secondary email on all my accounts; it literally does nothing but receive email about my password changes or activities on my account. I call it my keysmash yahoo account that is the recovery backup for every single account I have. The password is a modified keysmash of thirty-two characters, the username isn't much better, and I don't even know it without looking it up.

This is significant because my master doc is huge--I made an effort with anything important to make a strong password that I could also, at least nominally remember. I added app passwords eventually, so it's ridic long. I started off fixing my gmail first and then my yahoo's--each has a specific type of email it receives (one devoted entirely to Facebook and Harrods, because why not), and setting up two factor authentication (kind of fun) on everything and getting more text messages than I ever have in my life.

Here's the thing; online security was not designed for the human brain, or at least not my brain. I honestly don't know who it was designed for except someone who gets off on calculating pi for days on end or has a hardon for prime number memorization, who can think like that.

At work, I have to change the password (upper case, lower case, number, special character) every three months for my computer, PPM (for looking up defects and modifications for program testing), and my HR login to see my leave and etc. All have a two to three year password memory. My Groove messenger--like AIM, but for work--has another one that can be permanent, thank God. My secure email with Vontage--as opposed to regular email--has to have another one, and I think it has to be changed once a year. Seeing Middleware queues--where webservice calls go to die--needs to be updated every six months. For SQL queries in Oracle, the connection descriptors, usernames, and passwords for six different programs in four environments are each updated four times a year and each program has two to four users. I also have a weird encryption program on my work computer but it changes with my windows login. Oh, and VPN access so I can log in to my work computer from home, Jesus.

In a year as a tester, I will have to create or get updates for about one hundred and thirty two passwords just to log into my computer and do my job.

Online in my regular life, it's more flexible, but to secure my most important accounts, I have to have at least twenty high-security passwords with uppercase, lowercase, special character, number that I can remember off the top of my head and that doesn't count the login for my phone, tablet, laptop, my router login, my wifi login, and my server.

Facebook has an impossible one--I rarely use it, so I don't care that i have to look it up but I do care if someone hijacks it--Apple, Google Every Fucking Thing, Tumblr, DW, LJ, JF, Twitter, AO3, Hulu, Netflix, Roku, Dropbox, Evernote, Trillian, my bank app, my health insurance app, Paypal, Ebay, Sharebuilder, Newegg, my website bank login, cable, utilities, my phone, Amazon, my credit card, my retirement account at work, my health savings account through work, avast mobile security so if my phone is stolen I can erase it, McAfee, okay, I'm getting a headache. All of these have various levels of importance and security, right, because who compares your social media to your bank?

So when i was done with my password changes--smooth segue here--I was looking at my list and started working out how they were connected for vulnerabilities--remember that article I mentioned about the guy and his bricked iPad?--to see which could be considered major keys to everything.

Getting my google, I'm dead in the water, no lie; google infrastructure is like that, so that's a strong memorable password plus two factor authentication. Cracking my trillian gets you my fandom yahoo and google passwords, right, two factor the yahoos, already doing that. Which at this point, I sat down and diagrammed my online life by email address and account and how to limit the damage if one was hacked. The keysmash email seems relatively safe--you know, until fucking Heartbleed--but I ran into a problem here: I'm not a goddamn wizard. Mapping possibilities here in worst case scenario, there's no way I can do a separation that would limit hacking damage to my life to less than 20 percent without magic. For my online life--and real non-work life--I have right now eighty-nine separate passwords that are between medium and high-security needed password levels, and about twenty of them I have to be able to remember off the top of my head because I use them every day.

Modern world, I get that, but every time I read a smug security expert talking about how people are just stupid because they don't choose high security passwords for all five hundred of their online accounts and it's their fault they were hacked I want to destroy worlds or at least explain using small words this isn't (always) an issue of being stupid or lazy; the entire online ecosystem is working against you on this one.

Google alone terrifies me on a theoretical level, because it's linked to so much; Apple, same thing; Amazon, Jesus, it's growing in leaps and bounds; Yahoo, fuck my life; Microsoft, urgh; and I hate to point this out, but there's only so much separation possible. While diagramming my future hacked life, the safest measure seemed to be create a new email account for every single important account (bank, credit card, paypal, etc) to deliver to and secure each one to limit how much information a single hack can get, and it's not like there are a lot of secure online places to set up email accounts, and even if there were, we can't remember that many passwords.

I get--because it's all I know--that this is how it is, that there's no way to be invulnerable, but completionist doctrine: I spent most of last night changing all my major and medium passwords because for the life of me, I spreadsheeted my online ecosystem to figure out a way to be a smart user and limit the damage if I was hacked and I couldn't get it below compromising twenty percent of my accounts with one successful hack. I'd get notified fast--I think I got that much from keysmash yahoo account and two factor authentication--and some of the accounts are pretty minor so it wouldn't matter, but--twenty percent. I'm still working on a security model via staring at my spreadsheet and hating everything, but I keep hitting things i never thought of--my student loan account, places I shopped once or twice where I used Paypal or Google Wallet, and thought about how many places I thoughtlessly and crazily used my credit card and how they link into the ecosystem of online life and what else am I forgetting? And how many passwords I changed yesterday that I still need to memorize because sure, firefox saves passwords, Chrome saves password, IE saves passwords, but if I get hacked, those are the first against the wall, and what if my laptop is stolen or hacked?

Or I take it to a repair shop and completely didn't think about any of that because apparently in the back of my mind repair guy/customer privilege, like lawyer/client privilege, and its not he knew that file existed, or the random name, or feel any need to open it out of the thousands of files on my computer and be curious why it was protected and crack the password. Because God knows, that was a very stupid user mistake, and for four days I didn't know I was 100% vulnerable in my entire online life.

I can't tell if I'm overreacting yet. I also have five passwords >= 20 characters to memorize, which isn't helping my mood at all. Paranoia: it's totally a thing.

Further Reading
Yes, I Was Hacked Hard - welcome to my nightmare

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review continued: samsung galaxy tab pro 12.2 and app recs
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Side effect of having to use only my tablet or my mouse at work to navigate for a week:

...I keep wanting to reach for a mouse or almost bang my fingers on the screen of my laptop to scroll or--dear God--reaching for the mouse, realizing it's not there, then starting to stroke my screen before it hits me--I use a touchpad.

Okay, as I'm here and have time, continued from here.

Supplemental review of Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 at Amazon

I don't think this would work as a full laptop/desktop replacement for most people, but as a very functional laptop supplement/alternative for travel or work, it's better than perfect.

Useful For:
1.) Travel and conventions
2.) Work, meetings, presentations
3.) Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V, and VI (all in the Google Play store!)
4.) The Room I and II (really really really)
5.) High graphics/high memory apps
6.) Watching movies/vids/video
7.) Document editing/writing
8.) Photo editing

The Good
Gorgeous scren, colors are vibrant, resolution is (I think) as good as my laptop. With office apps, easy to read text and can be read portrait or landscape. This a very big screen, is what I'm saying.

The weight is less than it looks, but it's solid; it doesn't feel like it'll blow away in a good wind. The back is textured for easy hold, but recommendation: buy a cover immediately. I recommend this one, which also has a strap for your hand and pockets for whatever you use tablet pockets for. It also, like the Kindle covers these days, has a auto-sleep function when you close it and auto-wake when you open it again. There's also an external elastic strap which is priceless when you open it and fold back the cover to keep it open. It's also eight dollars; this is your perfect cover, is what I'm saying.

Major gaming (the Final Fantasy series, The Room, any game with 3D graphics) looks amazing, especially those designed for tablets of 8 inches or above.

The on-screen keyboard is just the right size to type normally on, though next month I'm getting the Logitech or Zagg keyboard, both of which were built with the Pro series in mind and have apparently an independent three week month battery life (at 2 hours a day use, of course) and run on bluetooth. It even makes clicking sounds, and I could almost but not quite type normally; I type fast, but I'm just not used to not feeling my keys, though the click sound did help me there, which yes, weird yet true.

The Other:
This is a 12.2 inch screen-my laptop is 15.6, for reference--and trust me when I say, it's not a one-hand hold unless you like to live dangerously.

Some apps do not look right on this size screen. Not bad, per se, but apps that are created for a phone size of 3 1/2 to 5 or 6 inches do take getting used to seeing at this size and resolution and it is kind of surreal to play Yatzy (actual amazon spelling here) on a 12.2; the dice are huge.

Documents, Writing, Performance

I have six or seven different office programs, one of which comes free with purchase, and I tried three of them on here. It's fantastic; the screen size makes using the onscreen keyboard not a huge problem, though again, I'm getting the external keyboard because keys.

The following apps were tested and found awesome:

TextMaker Mobile - $4.99 - best of breed, only does text/document editing, other apps in family do other things, can read Googledocs and MS Word docs and can access your Word bookmarks in location order. Very nice for writing or reading. Links to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and OneDrive natively.

OfficeSuite Pro - $0.99 I think ON SALE NOW - covers documents, spreadsheets, presentation (powerpoint), and pdfs. Can access your Word bookmarks in alphabetical order. Handles Google docs and MSWord docs, links to remove files at Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, SugarSync, and OneDrive natively. You do need to download the font packet separately for best results.

Hancom - a suite covering documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and some other stuff I haven't had a chance to check yet. This suite is free with purchase of the tablet. I'm still not sure how to access remote documents directly, so give me time to experiment on this one.

Quick Office - Free - a suite covering the above, seems to exclusively pull from Google Drive or the hard drive of the tablet, which makes sense, since the app was bought by Google. Also works fine but only for Google Drive documents.

I have yet to hit a performance problem with this tablet. It also comes with video editing software and photo editing. I haven't tried them yet, as I don't generally do those things, but give me time, I'm still in my honeymoon phase.

Specs

Internal Memory: 32 G
SD Card: up to 64 G (rumor states it can manage up to 128 G)
Ram: 3 G
Processor: Exynos 5400 1.9 GHz
Screen Resolution: 2560x1600
OS: KitKat 4.4
Charging/Data: USB 3.0 (BUY EXTRA CORDS TRUST ME, $6-$8 at Amazon, get two)
Multiscreen capability

Can: be an IR remote control for your TV, blu-ray, dvd-player, auxiliary stuff, and cable box through WatchOn. This rocks like you have no idea. I feel very living in the future when I can control the entire entertainment experience from my tablet screen. It can also control the air conditioner. No, I have no idea why, just saying, that's a function. Who saw that coming?

It's a slow charge, so overnight charging, but it has about six to eight hours of functionality, especially if you turn off wi-fi when not needed.

Perks
50 G of Dropbox for 2 years
Hancom Office Suite
1 Year of Inflight internet
$25 Google Play credit
2 years Remote desktop
Other stuff

Compared to my previous two Asus tablets

An order or two of magnitude better. It runs cleaner and faster, it looks better, and it multitasks amazingly well.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Pro series comes in several flavors:
Galaxy Tab Pro 8.3 - $369 (16G, 2G)
Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 - $449 (16G, 2G)
Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 - $599 (32G, 3G)
Galaxy Note Pro 10.1 - (I can't find this one on amazon; google for it)
Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 - $659 (32G, 3G)

For substitute laptop use, the 10.1 (if you're okay with a smaller keyboard) or 12.2 (nearly full-size for me) are your best bet. However, the Tab Pro 8.3 and 10.1 both come with only 2 G RAM, which was a serious consideration for me performance wise and was part of the reason I went with the 12.2 and its 3 G because more RAM is always a plus. All get good reviews, and especially if you want a strong tablet that you don't need to double as a laptop, the 8.3 is both perfect and much cheaper than the alternatives. If you aren't needing the office stuff, all of them do the high-end app games well and prettily.

Now, pricewise: your best choice is the 10.1, which is right now at $449.00 for the 16 G. Keep in mind the SDCard slot takes up to 64 G officially, so it's a good deal, but you won't be able to store much on the internal drive; the working amount of drive after the OS is around 9 G if my phone is any example and I'm not sure if the OS scales upward on the tablet in terms of size. This isn't a huge drawback, but it's something to keep in mind in deciding where to store apps. I'd recommend without hesitation the 10.1 for anyone who is looking for a high end tablet at a (relatively) reasonable price who travels a lot or attends a lot of meetings or does presentations at work and doesn't want to drag their laptop around.

The price is ridic for the 12.2 but it does have an almost-laptop size screen, 16G more drive than the 10.1 (there's a 32 G model that comes and goes for the 10.1, I think, if you can find it), and another 1 G of RAM. Honestly, it comes down to if you want to use it to type a lot and what your comfortable keyboard size is, and if you play a lot of high octane apps and want the bigger screen (again, Final Fantasy looks freaking amazing and gameplay....magic, really). If you're worried about size, it fits in my purse, along with headphones in their case, phone, glasses and possibly a small army (seriously, my purse is magic (so many random ass pockets) and doubles as a medium backpack yet is also pretty; who knew).

There are definitely more affordable tablets out there if you're looking for a tablet that run probably just as well, and I've heard awesome things about the Nexus family. My choice of Galaxy was because a.) my last Asus annoyed the crap out of me with the throttling on the processor and lack of RAM, causing problems with documents, b.) the Galaxy family has been good to me via phone and my ex-BIL works for Samsung, so there's a product loyalty thing going on, c.) I love my laptop and don't plan to replace it for another year (especially now that it's all repaired and clean and like new), and d.) (before I tea-killed my laptop) this month was possibly my best budget month yet, and I had enough money to overindulge myself unnecessarily on a tablet.

Hey, while I'm here...

App Recs

I might have done some of these before, so bear with me.

Final Fantasy III - $15.99 - awesome gameplay, very close to the original, amazing fun to touchscreen everything. I have a spreadsheet for all my equipment that is deeply awesome and if anyone wants a copy for their characters, I can send it! Macro-enabled.

The Room - $0.99 - very steampunk mysterious awesome and sometimes a bit creepy. The hints are extremely useful and don't generally give too much away, just enough to work out what to do for yourself, which I like.

The Room 2 - $2.99 - very steampunk mysterious awesome times two. Longer, more complicated, and utterly riveting to play. I recommend getting both of these.

Monopoly - $0.99 - I really like Monopoly, okay?

Mahgong Premium - $3.00 - gorgeous, many options, two levels of difficulty.

Yatzy - $0.99 - I also really like Yatzy.

iSpy Cameras - $0.99 - don't judge, there's like one in an aquarium and one underwater that's amazing. You can also move the cameras sometimes.

Minecraft - $6.99 - to be fair, I'm a very casual player, but my son and my nieces and nephew have built like, massive fortresses so I play sometimes and chase pigs.

WeatherScreen - use with any wallpaper, and it's so cool. Currently I have a forest background for my tablet and a city for my phone, and when it rains, it looks like it's raining in the forest (or city) with lightning. Seriously, this one is awesome.

Backgrounds HD - maybe Free? - ALL THE LIVE HD BACKGROUNDS. Seriously, it's kind of awe-inspiring.

Tetris - touchscreen Tetris. Surreal and yet fun and possibly I need to upgrade my hand-eye coordination.

************RECOMMENDED FOR EVERY ANDROID USER******************

AppSales - FREE - a must-have for the app bargain hunter on Google Play. It has all the Google Play app sales almost as soon as they happen, and it also has a watchlist you can access from Google Play via the share function to add it to the list and it will tell you when something on your watchlist goes on sale. Which is where all the other Final Fantasies are waiting until they drop in price or I get really bored.

****************************************************************

Note: The googleplay prices I didn't enter on some because after you buy them, you can no longer see the current price unless you log out, and I usually buy these on sale. The ones I know I bought full price I put in, but it might be lower now. Again, Google Play what the hell.

Still coddling Sherlock; he's a good laptop and dear God, five days; we've never been apart that long before.

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me and sherlock - a drama in one part
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
So Friday, I spilled an entire glass of tea on my laptop.

...I honestly have no idea how this happened. I've never done that before; I have sacrificed my skin to avoid even the possibility of such a thing. Because this is my life, my laptop immediately died without even a hope of resurrection.

(This is the month, by the way, that I just purchased my new tablet, so my budget did not include emergency laptop replacement. It's like, what the hell.)

So on Saturday, I went to Parts People down the road, who are literally the only people I buy parts for my laptop from and who are allowed to touch it at all. They always have the right part, and M told me it would probably be ready on Monday.

On Monday, he emailed to tell me that they didn't have a new board, which was the most likely culprit, but was still looking.

On Tuesday, he sent me the saddest email in the world that he could not find the part anywhere. I verified this; I did a google search and found two--two in the world--one of which shipping would cost me a new laptop price, and the other twice my budget threshold on the entirety of repairs.

So googling, I pulled up my model and found out why; my model was discontinued due to the quad i7 processor being too high and throttling the system leading to heat death. My laptop apparently is one of the rare few that survived a year alive, much less almost four. Which is why you couldn't find a lot of them, new or used. Further research confirmed there were two others in my series; the lower one was completely incompatible, but the upper one was a remake of mine, but with a duo i7 processor because see heat death issue.

(This was actually a problem with mine; it would get hot enough that I couldn't sit it even on a pillow for very long or risk setting the pillow on fire (a messageboard had a harrowing narrative of such a thing). I've bought a lot of laptop trays with multiple fans. I could first degree burn myself on my laptop easily when it was running for less than thirty minutes.)

The upper model they had in stock.

I called M and he explained the differences; he could use it to test my motherboard to see if it was really burned out or repairable (spoiler: it wasn't, the tea won), but if I decided to switch, I'd get the duo i7, which is faster and with a bigger cache, but it wouldn't be a quad and my multitask capabilities would be slightly lowered (I asked what I'd have to do to push it and suffice to say, I don't run that many programs at once. Ever). It'd be a straight trade on the processor: theirs for mine, since they're the same price, no cost for me. I'd pay for the new motherboard, which was slightly more expensive than my model, but had a much better video card. He also replaced several parts that were damaged or otherwise less than perfectly functional, cleaned it out, reinstalled my drivers, added arctic ice to everything and the heatsink to lower the heating problem, and apparently felt bad for me and gave me half off labor. And I have sound back, which is nice, since that may or may not have been fried by a heating issue. And came in under budget, which blew my mind and I almost cried.

To offset this: last week, my new manager called me into his office, and told me he and the new assistant manager authorized me for a merit raise of 3%. I used to get the merit bonus when I was a caseworker and ombudsman, but not since I got to testing, so I almost cried. He also added a Mac to testing, which will be my responsibility, and told me he and the AM were impressed with my work.

TO offset that: my youngest sister abruptly went stupid two weeks ago that culminated in super!drama this week, and the super!drama is so dramatic I don't even have words that weren't first uttered in daytime TV. I'm not thinking about it right now, but eventually, when Sherlock and I are over the first flush of joy in being reunited, I'll totally vent my ass off because seriously, new worlds of stupid.

So you know, this has been a really weird couple of weeks.

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it is a very pretty tablet
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
So due to completely unexpected funds appearing--and because my Asus Tablet couldn't handle business documents--I went tablet shopping.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 32 G

My major reason for purchase was I love electronics, but functionality is being able to handle large--and I do mean large--business and design documents at work, which can run from 80 pages to 2000 pages with screenshots and documentation of code changes. I tested it against a 2.4 MB document on load and editing and it was flawless. So you know, that helped.

First off, this is a 12.2 inch screen, which is only a few inches less than my laptop. It's big, and as every review on earth will verify, it's beautiful, and I don't say that lightly. It's also, won't lie to you, not light, and while you can carry it one handed, the balance won't work at this size and I wouldn't recommend it. However, it feels solid and like I won't break it picking it up, which I like a lot. Buy a case when you get it; I got this one and no complaints at all. Plus a hand strap and close/open sleep/wake-up, which I appreciate since my Kindle does that and I'm used to it.

So far, a lot of the reviews hit everything that's good about it, and I'm still in the flush of first love, so will report back later.

....God, this thing is pretty.

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seriously, i have no idea where this came from
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
My life, now:

1.) Teaching Child the Finer Points of Do Not Engage.

He's a Sterek shipper but loves the whole cast--seriously, even the annoying ones, it's weird--and a hardcore Destiel shipper who likes Sam, and Tumblr is a daily test of his ability to not get his ass doxxed before he's legally no longer my responsibility. It's a countdown to eighteen, when he can play the youtube, instagram, and facebook personal humiliation angle to his heart's content. Per usual, he finds this completely unfair; this would be, he explains, a learning experience for me as a parent; how to deal with your fanboy kid when he becomes the subject of a massive fandom-wide wank. I reminded him I've been here longer and I have an army and I will troll his ass into the ground, because that too, is a learning experience; do not stress your parent during weirdness at work.

BTW, I need an army, just in case. Anyone got one I could borrow? No reason.


2.) So That Family Legend Thing Was Like, Real?

A couple of months ago, we got a random letter from a firm in Colorado or Oklahoma--I should know this, but it's just so weird--to the estate of my grandfather, who died twenty-one years ago, so passing to my Dad, who died almost two years ago, to us, check enclosed. Not much here, but thing; we own mineral rights somewhere since like, my great-grandpa's time (who died before I was born), or possibly my great-great-grandfather (eighteen freaking hundreds, folks), or so we were told. Much like the Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster and the theory of trickle-down economics, it was told over campfires (barbecues and polish sausage?) as a thing that no one actually believed because seriously, who believes trickle-down works?

Right, I digressed, and here's another one; I come from a long, long, Jesus long line of sharecroppers, semi-subsistence farmer, serfs, and ethnic Wends Lutherans running away from religious persecution due to a union between two disparate versions of Protestantism in Bavaria (I looked this up and I still can't tell the difference, but all of them were going to hell from what I understand) while also failing to get anywhere above 'growing enough food to continue the family line, and how'. Which let me say is an accomplishment and possibly a miracle. Some of us live in the Rockies and don't talk to people or possibly shoot at strangers, it's a thing we do. I've heard bears are involved.

So you see why our first reaction was hysterical laughter followed by wtf followed by calling and being genuinely surprised this wasn't a poor British widow whose colonel/general husband died in India (to this day, I still think it was an email from Victorian England; there's no other explanation) but an actual lawyer--seriously, passed the bar and everything--and so many years ago, some great (-great?) grandparent split up shares between their kids and lo, for the first time ever, that shit was 1.) a real thing that was real and 2.) produced (a very small) amount of money that was actually real and came in legal tender form to be--not kidding--deposited in an actual account without anyone (FBI?) muttering "suckers" like those poor people who thought the fake Publisher's Clearinghouse check was real.

Again, very small amount (somewhat more if I kill all the other heirs, the math is very interesting if my how serendipitous genealogy information is accurate but depends on if this is great or great-great-grandpa as origin (if it's great-great-grandpa, I may need a professional consultation for the number I'm getting on the number of direct descendents, because huh, calculators don't lie)), and this proves 1.) wow, so evil really is a light-switch, who knew and 2.) these things actually happen?

The universe moves in mysterious ways. My entire worldview is in revolution, or something.

3.) So That's a Much Better Interpretation Than Mine and I Wrote It.

I read a fantastic review of one of my fic and it was both surreal and gratifying beyond words, but what really got me thinking was reading it again out of the context of the fandom at the time.

It's not just author death in this case; it's well over a decade, the fandom has progressed past all recognition, but far more interesting to me is that it still works, just in a completely different way than it did then, and in some ways much better because it can stand alone like this. To get my intention in the fic--and the readers at the time picked it up immediately--you had to have read not just several other fic in the fandom, but been in the fandom and subject to the atmosphere at the time, enough that you were--if you were me--deeply committed to being very tired of it all.

The thing is--and I say this with mixed feelings--I'm torn on Death of the Author. I don't necessarily believe it, but I'm a massive fan of people who are and practice it, and the reason is why I'm in fandom in the first place. A text is static--it's words on the page, they can't change--but people do, over a week, a year, a lifetime, an age, a millennia. The idea that we are reading Homer exactly the same way as the Greeks did the odd thousands of years ago would imply we've managed, quite literally, to have progressed absolutely nowhere except invented flight and cellphones. What we read, how we read, how we process it, what we see in the text and what we take away from it better be subject to change.

I remember high school and college English as a dark period of my existence--I've never gotten over how I couldn't get the teacher to debate The Lady or the Tiger in eighth grade and I will take that to my grave--and the noble papers I wrote on the real meaning of The Yellow Wallpaper (ghost, obviously) and A Good Man Is Hard to Find (why am I reading this, two thousand goddamn words of making up shit; Man Is Fucked Up, what do you want from me?) and a plethora of forgettable short stories and novels where I was asked to describe what I got out of it and how that was very wrong because reasons (unknown, but definitely there). If there's one defining characteristic of fandom, it's that we all care deeply about the one true interpretation as meant by the author/writer/producer right up until we disagree with them and kill them immediately and write the one true true interpretation their blood, and you get this is metaphorical, right? I can see how that'd be a concern after point two. Metaphor, promise.

Text doesn't change, it can't; it's words. People should. I will happily take a thousand Moby Dick as unsettling psychosexual drama with man/boat/whale threesome on a semen sea--I'll need therapy, but whatever, I'll take one for the team--than risk the stagnation, however small, however irrelevant it may seem, of human thought in which we cannot comprehend the idea of seeing something new, a thought that didn't exist when Homer wrote it that exists now. Anyone who tells you there's nothing new under the sun's never seen anything but a single candle in a dark room.

*****

Brief afterward; it has been a very unsettling work week and insomnia is apparently a feature. I'm kind of looking forward to reading this when I'm rested and relatively sane again. In that way I will never be able to mock Child's tumblr posts again from any kind of high ground, but hey, he won't know that.

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okay, fine, it's a food thing
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
This may be the saddest reason to travel ever....

Thanks to FFA thread International Fast Food, I want to do a World McDonald's Tour. Like, all the McDonald's, everywhere, so I, too, can try the McFood Item Here.

It's not just that, though; this food tour would be all-encompassing. As someone in the thread pointed out, I live in the state of "If It Exists, We Can Fry It and Put it On a Stick (Let Us Show You How!)"; this would be like an odyssey to see all the things we have yet to fry and put in sticks (yet). I know for a fact that huevos rancheros kolaches are a thing that are delicious and also, in case you don't know this, can easily be breaded with a delicious Bisquick mix and placed, yes, on a stick, and apply deep fryer.

...I can't think of anything you can't fry and put on a stick, actually, which probably says a lot more about me than anything. I guess beverages, but honestly, I have a deep fry and a deep desire to prove it's possible, so maybe some inventions should not be in the province of humankind. Might also technically defeat the purpose of being a beverage as well, IDK.

ETA: linking [personal profile] amireal to the world of kolache, found Klobasnek, which is the non-dessert version of kolaches. I have never heard this before and I grew up in Czech/German descent households. This is so cool and surreal. Also, the picture shown there is deliciousness personified, jsyk. A less delicious (but still delicious) version is sold at the convenience store, including one stuffed with jalapeno sausage and egg and cheese and slices of jalapeno just in case you missed it in the sausage. Your tongue may scream "OH GOD WHAT DID NOT SEE THAT COMING" but your soul says "Milk please before I take another bite."

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this was almost a work post
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
...because work is eating my soul, in bites. Small bites, but dude, that just means there's more of them. Also, it froze again Monday/Tuesday, so we had a two hour delay. It's March. I honestly don't recognize weather anymore. I am so very done with winter.

In other, less interesting news:

1.) The cat is neurotic (expected), and we're all getting used to him appearing at random under us. I know cats do this--I know--but see, our dogs do this, too, but unlike cats, they don't have preternatural moving out of the way powers, so basically, there's no point in my life I don't have bruises on my shins, just now they're not necessary a third of the time.

2.) I got to the journeyman stage in tortilla making. Two coworkers gave advice, one of them taking up a very zen approach (You'll know you're ready when you can feel the tortilla is ready) which inspired me to stare into the pan trying to becoming one with flatbread. That worked out well. However, out of three batches, my second was wildly successful, by sheer accident, and they were eaten while I was cooking them so none for storage. The problem is there's no recipe that has what I call a small batch, which makes sense, because of the amount of margarine/butter/lard/shortening you use is so small that it's hard to divide it down more. However, that means when I get it wrong, there's a lot of leftover unbaked and waiting to be badly cooked. The last batch isn't bad, but it's--very flakey, too much so, and I have yet to figure out how this one went wrong when the last one didn't since the recipes are identical.

I think it's how I'm doing the margarine/butter/lard/shortening and flour mix together. I may try to start with one cup of flour mix and the margarine/butter/lard/shortening, then add in more flour when that's well mixed. It's enough like pastry in basics--and I know basic and complex pastries, it may be my only true gift--that I'm stuck in the wrong mindset while making it and treating it like pastry, hence very flakey and not very much tortilla. OTOH, it still tastes okay, just utterly useless for wrapping around fajita meat or carne asada.

(In case you're curious, I'm not using margarine/butter/lard/shortening, just one of those at a timee, but I was originally switching, and after consultation with people who are really good at this, decided to stick to lard until I get it right, then I can judge how to use substitutes. If I get this right, a coworker has promised she'll teach me naan, but I have to get a handle on flatbreads in general first or it will not end well. Well, and I have to pay her with a batch of tortillas using shortening or something vegetarian/vegan.)

3.) In food related news, my Indian coworkers are bringing out the snack foods again to helplessly addict us all. I usually get first pick, since I mentored several of them, and also it's a subtle test of my ability to eat hot things (there was a thing with lemon peel that mostly metaphorically set my mouth on fire; they were all extremely excited about this) or random things that they refuse to name until I eat it, because I'm the kind of person that responds to that very well. The latest is a very hard rice-based--I want to say like a chip, but it's not, it's in twists not unlike a pretzel (but nothing at all like a pretzel) and it has a faint spicy undertaste that was amazing. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to eat any until the woman who brought it left, so my Monday will be spent finding out what it is and who I need to kill to get a bag of it.

4.) In more food-related news, we finally got a rice cooker and I'm eating rice and veggies like it's a drug. I remember someone on my flist or dcircle talking about making rice and then just mixing it with leftovers and eating it for days, and for the record, that works. I've been mixing it up with wild rice, sticky rice, jasmine rice, random rice, and orzo (I think?), but I am actually eating healthier in general now, because add a little cheese on top of everything and my God, yes. It's also nice not to have burned rice. I know there are people out there that can cook rice without a layer of burn at the bottom; I am not one of those people.

5.) In even more food related news, we got a deep fryer. I don't want to talk about how my son managed ot master chicken wings and vegetables and my chicken wings and zucchini so failed sadly, but let's just say it happened and leave it at that.

6.) I had a lot of food related news, okay? It was fucking freezing and I'm either skipping meals or eating my own weight. It's--something. Food, okay?

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your polar vortex is invalid
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I need to get my rant out because why not.

I am so tired--beyond words--not of Polar Vortex Marks I, II, and III (so far), but of people who mock the South's reaction to the truly radical weather change we're experiencing. Yes, it's a mistake to read comments on any article on a news website, but when someone from fucking Buffalo explains how people in Atlanta are just stupid if they're taking this cold thing badly because where they're from they don't even notice snow at six feet uphill both ways, something snaps. Advice from those who live in an area with regular, consistent subzero temperatures during winter is blessed--seriously, you people are wonderful--but those who seem to think it's just a matter of wearing a few extra layers and everything's fine, no, it's not.

Note: okay, I had no idea how much resentment I had built up to need this many words. Huh.

Here's the charming personal anecdote to explain why I want to set things on fire and not just because I'm tired of being coldCollapse )

How does this relate: let me short version this.Collapse )

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