Sep. 29th, 2011

split personality weather and other incidentals

This is what the sky looked like this morning: in the east, blue, clear, fluffy clouds and blue skies, bright sun; in the west, GIANT THREATENING THUNDERHEAD OF DOOM.
Thursday morning sunshineThursday morning thunderhead
I really hope it actually rains. A gentle daily drizzle for about 60 days. That would be awesome.
UPDATE because this post has been sitting on my desktop since 9am: IT DIDN'T RAIN. BOO.

For those who care about these things, these are my alternative IDs: I have a Twitter account, a Pinboard account, and a Tumblr, plus I'm on Pinterest if anybody does that (or wants an invite!).

Also, I cut my hair.
Me in my messy office
This is very short for me, as the lovely lady at the salon looked at the reference photo I brought and cut my hair that short while it was wet, not thinking about the fact that my hair curls. So now it's a lot shorter than I'm used to. Whee! I've been told it makes me look "like a grownup". But I've also been asked if I was a freshman, so I guess it evens out?

Today we went out to lunch and almost missed a turn, the driver took it quite fast in a tiny, tiny car and as we all exclaimed and reached for handles, she says, "Don't worry, I've got airbags all the way around!" LOL. I love my office.

FenCon was awesome, but I didn't actually do much at the con itself, since I was helping with parties and tables. I got to see two panels, and they were both GoH features. Excellent stuff. Really like meeting Gail Carriger at the parties, she's awesome in person and told great stories on the panels.

Had some great conversations, as well, including one wherein I completely blanked on the title of every Iain M. Banks Culture novel ever. Whee! I haven't read them all, but I do love the series. (In case it ever comes up again, here they are.)

Also, it's Banned Books Week! Go read something!
Also also, Merlin is on Saturday! Eeeee! And Doctor Who! It's like a Saturday made of awesome! I can't wait. :D

I'm just going to post this before I crash my computer again. Whee.

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Sep. 9th, 2011

quick hits

My twitter account is full of randomness today, but at least it's moved from trauma to humor. Sort of. After discussing the inevitability of flashbacks due to a combination of 9/11 Anniversary coverage and the FIRES that are filling the sky with smoke, raining ash on homes, and making the air smell of burning (yeah, no flashback potential there AT ALL), we decided that the best solution would be for TX to send truckloads of shamwows to the flooded areas. They mop up the water, send them back, and we wring them out over the fires.
Done.
Now, we will address the deficit and jobs crisis. Ok, no we won't. We'll actually address Hollywood and it's crazy crazy remakes.

me: Russell Crowe as Javert. Hugh Jackman as Valjean. I may need to sit down.
Jaye: wow. is Hollywood making a movie just for you?
Man, they might be. They really, really might be. I'll have to take my dad! (Les Miz is one of our shared musical interests!)

And today's moment of Latin Zen: [This is full of Classics snark, and if you aren't familiar with at least I, Claudius it may make no sense.]
We were discussing historiography, Livy, and Livy's presumed friendship with Augustus. Livy produced an incredible body of work, a complete history of Rome from its founding to his present day in 142 books, writing an average of 3 books per year for forty years. The problem: only thirty-something books survived to modern day, and none of them about Livy's own time. Certain hints from later historians writing about Livy, as well as textual interpretations by modern historians, create a belief that Livy and Augustus got along very well, shared some opinions and values, and were quite possibly friends. One item that is cited as evidence is the fact that Livy was a tutor to young Claudius.
So one of the young things in my class (possibly stalling for time, I admit), asked whether there was any possibility that Livy could have known at the time of his teaching that Claudius would one day be the emperor.
I thought to myself, "NO WAY."
And then the prof said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT," making big negative arm motions.
It made me laugh.
I have to keep reminding myself, unformed larvae, unformed larvae, unformed larvae*. Some of them may be up to their ears in classical civ at that age, after all, I was, but the prof made a good point when he said that he didn't want to assume too much about the class's knowledge of the Augustan Age. (Not that I could really be considered an expert or anything, geez. It just feels like I've been pickling in random classical trivia from that general period for most of my life.)
Anyway. ZEN LATIN SNARK.
[*For all that I snark at them, they're actually quite good at Latin. Better than I am, most days!]

I walked back to my office from class and it was, alas, still really hot even with the "cool snap" we're getting. 90-something is no joke when you're walking across campus in blue jeans.

And I just took some time explaining to someone the difference between block level and in-line tags in XHTML, but I don't think I did it very well. I should work on that. Yay for validating her markup for class, though.

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Aug. 30th, 2011

2 posts in one day!

Its like there's some kind of crazy procrastination thing going on, as if I had something else I should be working on and choose instead to blog about random things... oh. Yeah. That would be my overdue submission for crit group. Hahaha.
I have an assignment, late-given though it was, at least. How did the Captain of the boat meet her Magician? I envision their partnership heavily influenced by the Aubrey-Maturin partnership in Patrick O'Brian's books. (With which I am absolutely obsessed currently. They alternately make me choke up with emotion and crack up with hilarity, with some moments of confusion and mundanity between.)

However! In addition to the randomness of my writing assignment, we are also in the middle of a super-fun record-setting drought here in East Texas. And after temperatures so high for a few days that raw foodists couldn't have eaten a damn thing outside without a special dispensation, we're finally, maybe getting a break. Unfortunately the break comes in the form of scattered thunderstorms, which will tragically cause flash flooding rather than actually relieving the drought. Damn weather. Still, the lower temperatures (Highs only in the 90s! Heavens!) will be a great relief, and if the rain could just stretch out into near-constant gentle showers for six months straight, we might not lose all the trees in the damn county.

I love our trees!
IMG_2162

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Mar. 27th, 2011

a change in plans...

Well, our Menil Collection field trip will have to wait for another day. This time, tragic circumstances forced a shift: a death in Hillary's family caused all activity to move to getting her packed up to be picked up by her parents to fly to Chicago for the services.

I went over the ancestral homestead to give out hugs and generally be on hand, and brought with me the third Star Wars prequel, which we finished shortly before Hillary's parents arrived. I like it, but as I told Hillary, I tend to root for the Sith. So.

While I was there watching the movie I made some progress on Amidala:
More details

I'm still working tonight, too.
After we sent Hillary off, Peter joined us for dinner, which was fun. We talked of many things (including Peter's sending us all into hysterics with a randomly inserted line from M*A*S*H), and ate delicious things. So, the weekend was different from expected, but still ok.

ETA: this is the current version:
More work on the veil

What color do you think for the background and blanket, flist? My initial plan was to have purples and reds in the background (that's the pre-cursor to the Rebellion insignia on the wall), and a dark teal/blue blanket. But perhaps I should keep with the limited palette I've established, make the blanket something in the warmer range, and make the back wall a sun-ray effect, except for the red emblem.

Ponder ponder ponder. Perhaps I'll play with photoshop later to compare ideas.

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Mar. 24th, 2011

crash and burn

I'm declaring this evening done. After being uninspired for my glomp fest entry, I did some work on it and brought it up to a level I thought I could live with, figuring I could tweak it later. Then Painter crashed, and I realized that (as always when I have a crash) I hadn't saved in FAR TOO LONG. I lost basically the entire re-edit.

I suppose that wasn't actually the illustration style I need to use for that piece. Rar.

Now I'm thinking I should just go read or something until bedtime. No point starting something else with this kind of emotional stress in play.

If only work were easing up, but although I feel very good about the work and my progress, there's just SO MUCH, and I have a vacation-imposed deadline for some of it.

I've painted my fingernails blue. It looks really silly, given how little of fingernail there is, but perhaps the bright color in the corner of my eye will be a deterrent to biting, or something. Yum, stress.

Ok, time to go look at something that's not a computer screen for a while.

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Mar. 5th, 2011

Sean Bean made me do it

Oh, lordy, I started reading A Game of Thrones again, and this time it took. I am having trouble putting it down, in fact, to do other things like, you know, eat.
Amie said I would like it, but I was stubborn because I didn't get into it years ago when it first came out. Now, though, I may have given it another chance because the "Winter is Coming" web presence is just that compelling.
Hello, Sean Bean in another book adapted to film. Perhaps I should read that book, too, just like I did with the others.
Dammit, I am really really into it!
(And only, like, a quarter of the way through it.) At least the newest volume is supposed to come out soon. I have a nice fresh volume awaiting me once I slog through the previous four. Then I can join the rest of the folks waiting for the last one. (Something my parents and I are quite familiar with - I remember when they were waiting on tenterhooks for the last volume of Niccolo (Gemini (The House of Niccolo, 8)) and hoping that Dorothy Dunnett would finish it before she died. It's not an unfamiliar position for any fan of series or epic fiction.)
Is it terrible that I also can't wait to get through the books so I can see what the fandom looks like? :D

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/482525.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 23rd, 2011

Online Bullying: A Public Discussion

To keep things focused, I've made this post only on Livejournal, where most of the activity has been. But I invite others to participate, no matter fandom or site.

Online Bullying: A Public Discussion

I encourage everyone to take an Active Listening approach to every discussion online, even though we're typing and reading. Use empathy and compassion when reading, take a moment to count a few breaths before posting, and be aware that behind every userpic there's a person.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/480585.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Feb. 17th, 2011

Food, politics, and creativity

Today's card: Two of Water (again), Gaian Tarot
Two of Water, Gaian Tarot )
This again? Hm. Well, it's certainly apt as usual, because there's a lot of really exciting stuff happening, and I'm feeling lots of creative vibes.
New collaborations are in the works, plus progress is being made on writing and art that had been sidelined. Yay!
I have new connections of all kinds through Nefertem the magical purple smartphone, too. Never underestimate the power of FourSquare, I guess. Except I can't get it to post to Twitter (probably a good thing, really).

I had something really important to post about but I got distracted because, you know, work and stuff. Now I don't remember what it was. Possibly something political, but just thinking of all the petitions and congressional faxes and whatever else I've been sending is depressing. Democracy Now! every morning is depressing. Politicians' being assholes is depressing. Rape culture is infuriating, and the political attacks on womens' health are part of it! Rar! My Facebook overfloweth. And my state reps are screwing us over, too. Fun times, indeed.

I got spoiled for Fringe in a pagan blog, of all places. Oops. But I'm still totally engaged and watching Season 2.

I picked up some kale at the Farmers' Market this week and sauteed it with olive oil and garlic powder and it was AMAZING! Good grief. I want it, like, all the time, now. Bring me all the kale and garlic in the land!

Also on the subject of food, the H-town Streats lunch truck continues to be awesome, and Kim and I are planning to go to Inversion on other days, too, to hit the other two local trucks. Nom nom nom. Today for lunch we had beef sliders with bacon jam, parmesan truffle oil fries, and deep-fried chocolate coconut brownies with dulce de leche sauce. *swoon*

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Feb. 9th, 2011

professional conference + karaoke = ?

So I'm at this professional marketing conference for folks in Continuing and Professional Education, and as part of the programming for this evening a consulting company is hosting karaoke. As I type this, a gaggle of marketing professionals are doing the Electric Slide in the 4th floor lobby of the convention center.
Yeah, so my boss dared me to sing, and I got called right after a really talented guy did Queen's Little Thing Called Love and he was a smash hit (and could actually sing). So I have to follow that, with "Human" by The Killers.
I sing this all the time in my car, but what karaoke makes me realize is that A) I have no ear for pitch; B) I don't know the timing without the singer to do it with me. I did some aside about being nervous, and being a dancer not a singer, and I had a table of very enthusiastic fans up near the front, so that was fun. And I got kudos from the folks in the audience, because I think that everybody else who has gone up has some connection with the organizers of the convention. ;)
I am just happy to make a fool of myself in public. ;)
My boss gave me a standing ovation and our table thanked me for representing them so they wouldn't have to get up themselves. LOL.

Ok, now some folks have gotten up to dance while a girl sings "I Will Survive" on stage. Some of these dancers are really awesome!

Best. Conference. Ever. ROFL!

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Oct. 22nd, 2010

fun times with doctors and dentists

So the last 36 hours have been interesting. medical, not too graphic but I did get blood drawn )

Yay! Also, I posted my poll with bonus ticky boxes at LJ, since I didn't know you couldn't take it on dreamwidth if you didn't log in somehow.

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Aug. 19th, 2010

de-friending, and DW codes

For those who have been reading and care, the cousin I was engaging on Facebook has sent me a note full of vitriol and the kind of fear-mongering peddled by FOX et al,  and apparently de-friendedblocked me.  (How can I tell?  I can't reply to her note, is that what it means?)
This makes me sad, because it just shows that there is neither respect nor listening happening. I don't have the tools or connection with her to attempt further reconciliation (and she obviously doesn't want it), so I'm going to try to let it go and concentrate on areas where I can change things.

And for anybody who is interested, I have Dreamwidth codes available. Drop me a line. I'll edit this post when they're gone.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/451936.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Aug. 17th, 2010

and then there's Facebook

Ok, so remember what I said about dealing with the fact that people will disagree with me on things, but I should post anyway?
I posted to Facebook today about the Cordoba Initiative's Park 51 building, and linked to Olbermann's Special Comment about it, which my mother emailed me this morning.
My post:
"The continuing discrimination and hate-mongering is really starting to get me down. I ask my fellow seminarians (many of whom have worked with Imam Rauf, or been taught by him, as I was) for help dealing with my own grief and anger, and then figuring out how interfaith activism can help, not just in NYC but across the country, anywhere religious freedom is threatened."

And one of my cousins (a fellow minister and a Navy chaplain assigned to a Marine unit) posted that he was also saddened by the events.
One of my Seminary classmates posted an encouraging note.
And one of my other cousins wrote this:
"Kerri, Are you for a Mosque being built close to ground zero???? Those freaks need to build it in their own country, not ours!"

Now, leaving aside the fact that she's my relative and still misspells my name (It's pretty common, really - big family, not immediate relationship. I give everybody a pass because I can't remember everybody's spelling either. We shall ignore the fact that the correct spelling is plastered all over FB), this makes it worse.

This is the culture of fear, the knee-jerk reaction against something we don't understand, the price of ignorance.  And it makes me so ANGRY.  And then it also makes me so SAD.  And I don't deal well with either of those emotions. ANGER makes me snippy and want to bang things and shout a lot. SORROW makes me curl up and cry, and that doesn't actually happen very often, that I do that snail-curl. It also makes me FRUSTRATED. Because how can I change someone's mind about this when it becomes so confrontational? How can I share the deeply spiritual and loving nature of the Muslims I know, the tolerance taught by Imam Rauf, the inclusiveness and understanding of the New Seminary, when I am so caught up in these negative emotions? That's no place from which to start teaching or talking.

I hope my responses didn't come off as completely crazed:
"As an interfaith minister, [Cousin], I am aware that Islam DOES NOT equal terrorism, anymore than Evangelical Christianity equals Terrorism or Conservative Judaism equals Terrorism. That kind of ridiculous blanket condemnation of an ENTIRE PEOPLE is a step on a slippery slope to exactly the kind of horror that the American colonists were fleeing in the first place."
and
"Also, I hate to break it to you (not), but the folks who are building and would be using this community center are American citizens. THIS is their country."

But aaaaaaargh. How can we create a community of tolerance and love? Give me some ideas, please. I feel totally powerless, and this is just the top-level news-worthy problem.  How many other places of worship and community (Mosques, but also maybe Hindu temples, or Druid groves, or Pagan spaces, or metaphysical meeting places) are being denied in other places, but won't ever make the news?
Slippery slope, indeed.

Edited to remove cousin's name, oops.
ETA: I have now calmed down somewhat, despite further infuriating posts, and folks who are interested in this issue may also be interested in this article, it's quite good: Ground Zero mosque as Wedge Issue: Muslims vs "real" Americans.

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Jul. 30th, 2010

Tiger Beatdown is excellent again

Tiger Beatdown › The Girl With The Lots of Creepy Disturbing Torture That Pissed Me Off: On Stieg Larsson:
But the bottom line is not so much that of a Reviewer, but that of a Lady: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo creeps me the fuck out. In my gut, right there, the place that is like GET ME OUT OF HERE AND FIX ME A DRINK AND START TELLING ME ABOUT UNICORNS AND KITTENS OR SOMETHING. The novel’s original title in Swedish was Men Who Hate Women; but reading the book, you start to get the feeling it’s not a polemic so much as a manual.
Seriously, every review I have read of the movie (or the book) made me ill.

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May. 15th, 2010

catching up - good, bad, plus ApolloCon Yay!

So yesterday something wonderful occurred: a family dinner, just the four of us: me, my parents, and my brother. We met up after the Scion got off work and had a great dinner at a local restaurant. It's been a long time since we had such an occasion, so I was very happy.
Then just as we were getting ready to go, the heavens opened with torrential downpours. Whee, gotta love East Texas.
Today my cousin is graduating from the University of St. Thomas, and I'll be going to her party this afternoon. I was hoping to see the ceremony on streaming video but it took me until just now to find their link. Doh. I'll have to see about watching it later.
I have tons of stuff to do this weekend, as well, and a busy schedule.

On Thursday I got lucky and attended the symphony in place of a friend who had to go out of town. That was really nice - it's always cool to go to Symphony shows.
Tomorrow I'm going to see Jane Eyre: the Musical at the Hobby Center with another friend, which I expect to be LOLtastic, although I have heard the music and it's pretty good.

Last week really sucked, mostly because of things I didn't feel comfortable blogging until they were resolved. and they live under this cut )
And of course that was totally separate from the general worry about the upcoming Hurricane Season, which promises not only to be worse in general than previous ones, but also full of nasty gross oil spill madness. Apocalypse, this summer!
Plus I've been doing a lot of reading on rape culture, sexual assault awareness, and misogyny in media, which isn't cheerful anytime.
So given that fabulousness I'm sure folks can understand why my reaction to recent Merlin fandom wankitude over the last week has been, "I can't believe you guys think this is worth this much outrage, seriously."

But I'm very happy to see some fun prompts in various prompt-collecting places, and hopefully in this month's TOTAL CRAZINESS (i.e. the last month before ApolloCon goes up) I'll find the time to draw some stuff.

Also, hey - APOLLOCON is coming! Houston's science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention is full of awesome, and I say that not just because I'm on the ConCom. ;) Weekend memberships are still available for pre-registration for $35. They'll be $40 at the door!
We'll have fun stuff this year: authors, artists, musicians, rocket scientists, LARPers, cosplayers, concerts, a dance, readings, and a FABULOUS Con Suite. Come play!

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