Sunday, December 23, 2012

Feeling Contemplative

Tonight all the annoying, frustrating and depressing things in my life that I have no control over are bugging me.  I'm just feeling a little down, and when I feel kind of down everything rushes in at once and reminds me of all the stupid things that I generally don't bother thinking about.  People I'm not talking too anymore, things I have screwed up in the past, apartments that won't sell, general screweduppedness of the world in general.  Stuff like that.

Sure, I could call disappointing friends.....again.  With very little chance of being undisappointed.  Or I could list my apartment for so cheap it would definitely sell.  At a loss.  And I am definitely not ambitious or creative enough to fix the world in any way that doesn't involve picking one issue to throw money at.

Sometimes ignoring these things is really the best option.  I feel like these things are out of my control, even if there are things I COULD be doing about them.  It is just that what I could do is significantly more effort for little to no promise that it would actually make things better. Short of dragging other people kicking and screaming into my life to do what I want them too, or compromising my own self respect, I have no control. And who has the time or emotional fortitude for that?

This is where the overused phrase "Things happen (or in some cases, don't) for a reason" comes into play.  I know it is a mainly empty platitude, but I do like to believe that someone not me has a plan, or at least a better sense of timing than I do, and is making sure we don't get too far ahead of ourselves, or stuck in an unfortunate situation.

Some relationships aren't good for us in the long run, and maybe the house we want isn't available yet. And those past screw ups led me here, to this place, with these people and this life that I love so much.  Those might be the reasons for everything going the way it has.  I hope so.  And I will choose to believe so.  I've done all I can about these things without going crazy so I'm just going to cross my fingers, be thankful for the innumerable things and people in my life that I have and love, and wait for things to change.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Living in a Bubble

Oh no!  I watched a recommended video on YouTube, and now the site is all like "YAY!  You DO love us!  Here!  Try this one, and this one and this one, and oooh you will really like this one, and and and and and....."


It wouldn't be so bad if it wouldn't clog out my subscriptions and/or not show me things I have already watched.  I don't like the new YouTube.  Mostly because it is a pain in the butt to get a list of videos uploaded by the channels I have subscribed to without it being all cluttered with crap about similar stuff, and who liked what and blah blah blah.... Why does everything need to be so complicated?  I am not on YouTube to social network, I am there to watch videos by people I like.  Get the rest of that crap outta my face! Not every website has to compete with Facebook for lamest social network in the world.

The recommended videos thing brings up another interesting and disturbing point about the current internet culture.  It is quiet and insidious, but targeted personalizing of websites is kinda scary.  On the face of it, it can be kind of useful, especially in Google searches.  I mean, I love it when I go to google and start typing my search terms just to have them figure out what I want and fill it in.  It is also cool when the page I want is always on the first page of results.  However what is not cool is that it is leaving all kinds of stuff out. When I am searching for pictures of kittens, or the TARDIS, or whatever stupid thing it is,  this is handy.  However when I am searching for stuff with real world application, this is not so helpful.  Example!

A couple of years ago two guys in New York both did a google search for "Egypt".  One was a newsie, and the other guy was a travel dude.  The travel dude's search results returned travel agencies, tourist info and general "Things to see and do and buy in Egypt!!"  type links.  The newsie got articles about the riots and upheaval that was going on at the time.  The implications of that are kind of scary.  Imagine what kind of filter is being applied to political articles, news sites, commentaries and anything from the world outside of your little bubble.
(actual details and more information about the filter bubble can be found in this Ted Talk that I am too lazy too rewatch.)

Also, Facebook filters out friends you don't interact with, assuming that you are not interested in what they have to say.  I"m not sure if they are still going crazy with this now that you can adjust how much or how little a certain person will show up in your feed, but I'm sure they are still doing something like it.

I want to know what is going on in the world.  I want to know what people who are not exactly like me have to say.  I don't want to see the world through a filter of literature, sci fi/fantasy nerdiness, liberalism, Canada and parenthood.  There is more to the world than that, and more to me. I might want to EXPAND my hobbies and world view, and have no idea where to start.  Sure, I might not want to read what some hardcore conservative ass has to say, but if I am not allowed to filter them out for myself, how will I ever know if they make good points?

I appreciate the attempt to tailor my internet experience to my interests, but the great thing about the internet is that it contains every interest.  The filter itself isn't such a terrible idea, but the fact that it is implemented automatically and without letting people know is just not cool. I think you should be informed, and have to opt in.  That way, the idiots who are too clueless to change settings will have to deal with seeing the unfiltered internet.  Maybe they would learn something.  Like how to adjust their privacy settings.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Shoes. Bah.

I  hate shoe shopping.  So SO much.

"But you're a girl!"  you say, "Don't all girls LOVE shoes?"

To which I reply,  "Your stupid is showing.  Might wanna tuck that back in"

I have three main reasons for my dislike of shoe shopping.  Reason one, is that I  hate wearing shoes.  A lot.  They make my feet uncomfortably hot, it is really hard to get comfy ones that look good, and wearing shoes means I need to find a pair of socks that are actually still a pair.  It's a pain.  I would rather not do it.  Which is why it is December and I am wearing a pair of slip on flats that I bought last spring.

Reason two is that when I go shopping I have something very specific in mind and can never find anything remotely close to what I want.  For example, this last week I went looking for a pair of boots so that when I step in winter puddles, my ankles don't get wet.  I want a pair that is flat, not too fuzzy inside (see previous comment re: hot feet), comfortable  (heaven forbid!), and not rubber boots.   Apparently there is no such thing in this whole city. Unless you have size 6 feet apparently. I found lots of tiny boots that fit that description.  Which brings me to....

Reason three.  I have stupid feet.  Seriously.  I am size 8 1/2 W.  Not only am I a half size, I am wide to boot (Ha! Totally unintended pun!).  At least, that was my size before little bug.  Apparently one of the things that changes after pregnancy that no one mentions is your foot size.  I seem to have gotten even wider.  Either that or the "wide" shoes I was trying on were lying to me.  If they would have had something even close to what I was looking for in a size 9w, I might have tried that, but no such luck.  Hopefully my feet got that just a little bit longer too, so that I can ditch the annoying half size and just be stuck with the one shoe type that most stores don't even carry instead of both. But I have a feeling that I will be looking for an 8.5ww  next time I go out.

Anyone know a good, cheap cobbler???

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Building Worlds and Changing Lives

I am participating in Worldbuilders again this year.  I bought a sheep.

I love Heifer International as a charity, because their work has a real impact on the real lives of real people. They let you choose exactly what you are donating and you know that your money will change someone's life with that goat or rabbits or seedlings or whatever you choose.  There is a limited selection of specific items on the Worldbuilders donation page, but if you check out the Heifer International Gift Catalog, you can see the kinds of things they do. They have some pretty cool and clever packages.  (The knitter's basket is not what you would expect).

I mean, medical research is nice and all, but who ever gets to say that their life was changed because one person donated 100$ to cure their cancer. 100$ doesn't go very far in a practical sense in the medical world, especially after the admin costs and fundraising costs that those big charities spend most of it on.  Besides,  everyone wants to get rid of cancer and lung disease, so they aren't hurting for donations.  But not everyone cares about that one family in a poor country whose lives would be better if they just had a reliable source of food.  I want to help them.

Oh yeah, and the cool thing about donating through Worldbuilders?  The lottery.  You get entered to win some awesome donated books and things.  So you just might get a good read along with your warm fuzzies!

Friday, November 09, 2012

There is no Title

Despite my best efforts, there is too much pink in this house!

It is a perfectly nice color as far as colors go, but why is it impossible to find clothes for little girls in any other color?  It's like trying to find a dress with any kind of sleeve in the summer.  Next time we need to buy her something, I am going to the boys section.  Of course we actually have a fairly good set of clothes bought by other people, so I don't really have an excuse yet.  So for now I will just be wandering around the world with a little pink bundle.  As long as we don't limit her to pink toys, we should be okay. She can have real lego bricks like a regular kid. Also, other toys with moving parts that involve thinking.  Because:

(Thank you

Not that I want her to be an engineer, necessarily,  but smart and capable of critical and creative thinking would be nice.

In other, more exciting (to me) news, my husband is putting together another D&D campaign!  It has been over a year since we gave up on the last one, and I do miss playing.  He is a great story teller, and we have a good bunch of people we are looking forward to playing with.  Also, I get to play a Pixie Witch.  I am teeny, and I fly and shoot lightning bolts and fireballs at things. It's going to be awesome!  Little bug can be my Moon Wisp familiar and coo at things for me.  Yeah, we will geek together. Cuz she seems to be good with that so far....

Oh yeah, and there was a big  election.   May I say, Whew.  I know I am not American, but that country impacts ours so much that we do have some stake in the outcome, even if we have no say in it.  I was seriously terrified for a bit there that hate and bigotry and general jackassedness would take over.  But I am okay now.

Although I am still slightly embarrassed that those people and I both consider ourselves Christian.  Embarrassed for them, not me.  I have never seen a group of people so completely missing the point of a very simple concept.  I mean, Christ healed people. For free and everything. And not just any old rich people, the poor and the sinners even!  What part of "Love thy neighbour as thyself"  is hard to understand, especially given his example?  I mean, really.  You hear the disgust in my voice?  oops.

Here is hoping that the old rich white guys party can stop making up "moral" issues they should already be over and spend the next few years working on an actual social and economic policy that might actually help people. Your religious beliefs are your own and the world wants to know if you can lead, not if you are righteous (which by the way, you are doing wrong.  There is no "self" in front of that)

Moving on.

Yay D&D!
And now lunch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Non-optional social conventions

If the last few weeks have taught me anything, it is that I find I am kind of uncomfortable when people I don't know very well give me things.  Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful, just a bit uncomfortable.

Last week a couple of the ladies I work with at church threw me a baby shower and invited, well,  all the ladies at church. It was a really nice affair with fancy snacks and decorations and a flower bedecked "throne" and everything.  There were some people I knew rather well, and a few I have only ever passed in the hall and don't even know their names.  It was nice to talk to people and I got some very awesome things for the little bug.  At the end I was presented with a lovely list off who gave me what, and I realized I was stuck. Suddenly I am obligated to write thank you notes, and go to their showers (at least 3 of the guests are expecting soon themselves), and generally participate in the usual social customs that I have so scrupulously avoided for the last 6 years.   Or I could move.  I might do that instead.  But I will probably look up addresses and buy cards.  Although I still think a vocal thank you should be enough.

I hate the idea of giving gifts for the sake of doing what is expected. I always worry that I will get them something that they already have, or will hate, or will just take up room in a box or closet somewhere for the next 10 years. Babies are one of the exceptions, since it is really easy to know what a baby needs. But generally, gifts given just because the day demands it don't actually mean much too anyone.  I don't get people gifts for birthdays or Christmas unless at some point in the year I see something an think "Oh wow,  what'sherface will love this!" Then when you get something from me, its because I thought of you, and not because Santa Clause demands a yearly sacrifice.  Luckily for me, my friends and family seem to be of a similar mind, because I don't seem to have made them mad at me with this system.

So this is me, sucked into a convention I will probably never be free of.  And this is why none of you will ever get a Christmas card from me.  It's not a snub if no one gets one!

(Also, Go me!  That whole thing was typed one handed so as not to disrupt a snoring child)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's New

In response to the question "What's new?"  I can honestly say nothing, and everything at the same time.  Unless you find broken sleep and dirty diapers interesting, (which I don't) I don't really have much to say at the moment.  I'm still watching my TV shows and playing computer games, but mostly in 20 minute bits.

On the up side, we have actually been out and around and hanging out with people.  The little bug is really quiet and usually very easy going, so we don't have to worry about subjecting our friends or the world at large to an angry screaming baby every time we leave the house with her.  She sat as happy as you please for 3 hours in a coffee shop the other day.

Which reminds me (because that's what I ate at the coffee shop) , it is pumpkin pie season!  Which feels really strange, because we just put away the AC last week, but hey! I love my pumpkin pie, and there is a recipe I am wanting to try out.  I will let you know how it goes when/if I get around to it.  It has been a weird fall.  Not that I have been outside much to see it, but my apartment should not be that warm in October.

Also, I miss work.  Not in an "I want to go back already" kind of way, just in the way where I don't read as much when books aren't passing through my hands four days a week.  How do normal people do it when they have to go out of their way to figure out what they want to read and then have to go all the way to the library to pick it up?? Going out of my way to get to the library is hard work!   I know I am just spoiled, but I do miss the easy access and the being an insider.  

Anyway,  more people are coming to wander through my apartment later, so I really should go do dishes or something.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Don't Blink

In the interest of keeping my one regular reader informed,  (Hello!)  I just wanted to let the internet know that  I might not be around here for a week or two.  We will see how things go, but starting tomorrow I am anticipating being very busy and possibly overwhelmed for a little bit until I and my new family settle into a routine.

Kinda feeling a little like this at the moment.....

Here is hoping my life changing event will be much cuter and less frightening than a Weeping Angel.  Although fast would be nice.

To keep you entertained in the meantime,
this is my latest exciting purchase! If you like pin up girls and fantasy novels and helping people in third world countries get livestock to improve their lives, you should look into pre-ordering your own!

And watch Leverage while I am away.  It is awesome, like a never ending heist movie, and is available on Netflix.

And here, make some soup.  It's starting to get cold outside, and this is my favorite!  Add extra fresh dill, and if you don't like salmon, well deal with it.  or replace it with shredded chicken.  Whatever.

Have fun without me!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


So I am watching Patrick Rothfuss and the gang on the Story Board live cast thingy on Geek and Sundry.

It is making me miss writing. Which is really weird.  I often enjoy writing stories, but after 6 years of mandatory essay writing I was SO not feeling like spending more time typing than absolutely necessarily. I've been out of school for a couple of years now, so it's probably time I was over it.  I am seriously thinking of working on one of my short story ideas and see if the hobby will stick this time, which would make my husband happy as my currently unfinished project is a novelization of the story he made up for a D&D campaign a few years ago.

I am terrible at hobbies.  I give up on creating things so easily.  My main pass time is consuming the creations of others.  I am all about the books, and TV, and games.  I mean, I get the impression that most people I know are the same way. However, for some reason I feel like I am missing out on something in my life because I WANT to do creative things, but just haven't figured out the dedication thing well enough to get it done.  I'm still about 3/4s of the way through a scarf that I started a few months ago.  It's just sitting there staring at me...

I find myself wondering how many people of my age group actually do stick with these kind of hobbies, or even want to pick them up in the first place.  From where I sit, it seems like most people are just fine with watching other people make cool things for them to use/watch/read.  Or maybe they want to do something but don't have the motivation either. Or maybe most people have crazy intense hobbies and spend all their free time writing or sewing or gluing glitter onto cardboard in cool patterns or whatever it is, and I am just not aware of it. That is also entirely possible.

I'm not sure that this attempt will stick.  In fact it probably won't given the fact that I am super bored right now because I am waiting for a big time consuming, life changing event to happen. But who knows?  Maybe I will hunker down and finish that novel in my copious amounts of spare time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Can't talk.  Guild Wars 2 is out.  Kind of busy exploring, killing centaurs and collecting cooking supplies.

In case you can't read between the lines, this game is awesome, and if you want to join us let me know.

Also, we have someone coming to see the apartment tomorrow, repairs that still need to be started, and no little person.  Looks like operation "Everything Happens at Once" is right on track!  Oh lucky me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Okay,  I understand that you can't control everything in life.  I am usually very good at taking things as they come and dealing with it when things don't go my way.  But this is getting fracking ridiculous.

Apartment won't sell, blah blah  year and a half, no room for the child on the way, blah blah.  I've pretty much accepted the fact that someone else is in charge of that whole mess and my plans mean squat.  I have to assume His plans are better for us in the long run.  I'm still frustrated.  Mostly because it is really getting my husband down and there is nothing I can do about it.

And oh yeah,  child on the way.  Totally planned, totally exciting (and terrifying) and the timing is totally out of my control.  Kind of scary when you know you could be having a child, and looking to buy a house in the same week.  Not that the having to move thing is looking likely at the moment, but that could change very fast and the way my big life plans have been working out lately, I am not discounting the possibility of a very badly timed offer.

And the third thing, which is definitely the most frustrating right now, is that the laundry room is still a disaster from the upstairs apartment flood, and we are STILL waiting for the restoration crew to come in and fix things. Its been almost 3 weeks since the incident.  I have an incoming newborn, the possibility of having to show my apartment, a laundry room that is barely functional, a tool chest in my kitchen, and paint cans under my table.  I am SO unimpressed.

To be fair, the restoration guys were totally on it, got things dried out, and said they could have everything else done in a week. 3 weeks ago.  But since the damage was caused by the upstairs unit they have to pay for repairs and they are being super slow to approve them.  The company can't do anything until they get the go ahead from the upstairs neighbours.  I totally intend to hang around outside their door with a screaming infant while the guys are working, I tell you what.

So yeah,  I have three big looming things that could all happen at any time, and I'm very frustrated that I have no control over when that all goes down.  For all I know, the first week of September I will be coming home from the hospital  to work crews and paint fumes in my apartment and needing to sign paperwork and go house hunting.  That's kind of my nightmare.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Economics of New Tech

My cell phone is dying.  Well, it might not be dying, but it is having a whole lot of trouble keeping up with the demands of being a smartphone these days.  To be fair, it is a few years old and the apps I want to use are designed for something with a little more oomph.  Add to that that the last major iOS "upgrade" on my iPod touch slowed its functionality to a crawl, and I am really wanting a new internet/game/various app device that  doesn't make me wait 2 minutes to open up a browser.  I'm thinking of getting the Galaxy SII X.  Yes I know the SIII is out, but some of its features seem a little over the top for my needs and I'm not a "need the latest device because it is the latest device" kinda girl.  So the SII X is good enough for me.

But here is my problem.  I am currently on a prepaid plan and pay 20$ a month, and I barely use the services that I am paying for with that.  In order to upgrade my phone, I have two options.  I can buy the phone outright  (about 600$ worth)  OR I can get a "free phone" on a 3 yr 50$ a month contract.  hmmmm... lets do that math shall we?

600$ for a new phone, no fees or contracts.

30$ a month MORE than I pay now for services I don't need for the next 3 years.

30$ x 36 months = 1080$

Yup  my "free" phone would cost me over 1000$ by the time I was done my contract.  Never mind the fees that would come up if I wanted to cancel or upgrade before then....  Yeah, I know I could always buy out the phone for the 600$, but I still will have been paying that extra 30$ a month that won't be counted towards the cost of the phone because it is actually for the "services" that I wouldn't use. So I may as well just pay the lump sum up front.

However, 600$ is still a big chunk of cash, and we have had lots of big expenses lately.  I think I will have to wait until Christmas to be able to justify this.  Or my next Birthday.  Or both.  I may have to combine both.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Today was my last day of work for the next year, hopefully less.  And now I have to fiddle around with EI and stuff.  Oh lucky me.  I'm going to miss having insider access to my library account and holds, and cheating on my return dates, and ordering random items for friends and all that fun stuff.  I'm hoping to go back a few months early, but we will see how life goes.

It's not like I am not going to have anything to do with my life for the next 12 months, but the next couple of weeks are going to be kind of empty and I am not sure what I am going to do with myself  (unless little one comes early. That would be okay too).  I know I only work half-time, but I think I need those few hours to feel like a productive person.  They make me feel less bad about the lack of housework and the putting off of laundry.

Maybe I will start going swimming every couple of days.  That would be nice.  Especially since it is so fracking hot in this apartment right now.

Speaking of it being hot out here.  The next Dresden book (Cold Days.  Its a kind of related temperature based segue) finally has a release date!  YAY!  It's only 3 months away now.

And thinking about release dates,  Guild Wars 2 is out next week.  That might help kill some time!
That and much reading and YouTube.

Yup.  This is me. Sitting around waiting for things to happen.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


There was Lord of the Rings yesterday.  That's it.  12 hours of hobbits and elves and flaming eyes and WHY DIDN'T THE EAGLES JUST FLY THEM TO MOUNT DOOM TO BEGIN WITH!?

So my brain is kinda mushy today.

But after 10 years, those movies are still totally awesome.  

Sunday, August 05, 2012

This will not be a Mommy blog......

......but it may come up occasionally.  Like now.
Warning:  There will be complaining.  But that is what you get for reading my journal.

You know how some women are all like "ooh being pregnant is the best thing ever, I would be pregnant forever if I could.  Isn't it wonderful?  blah blah blah"?  I'm SO not one of those women.  At no point in the last 8 months have I actually "enjoyed" the experience.  I mean, it has not been completely terrible. I've had no complications, or been in excessive amount of pain.  I would not be opposed to doing it again at some point for the end result, but I don't exactly love it.  And this is not just the 8-months-pregnant-tired-of-the-whole-thing cliche talking.  I have felt this way pretty much since the beginning.

I hate having to sleep on my side. A lot.  I hate the achiness, awkwardness, fatigue, and being a walking commercial for Pepto Bismol.
I especially hate people I barely know coddling me and asking if I am okay in that tone of voice that makes it sound like I have cancer rather than an intentional larvae.  I'm spawning, not dying, and everything is fine!

And then there is the kicking/squirming/something not me moving around.  It is kind of neat at first. It's a reminder that there is a little person cooking in there, and that is really cool. It's also really good to know that baby is doing okay. And its still fun every once in awhile.  But the novelty wears off kinda fast.  About the third time in a day that my tummy gets the hiccups without me, I just get annoyed. The first time I find it kind of adorable. But it's also distracting, kind of  tickles, and can make me feel a little queasy.  And then there is the actual kicking.  I feel like if I'm lending the kid space, the least she could do is not kick at the walls when I am trying to sleep.  It's not like there is anything I can do yet, so keeping me awake is totally unnecessary. So while baby movement is by far the coolest thing about this whole process, even that is not totally without it's downsides.

So yeah.  Miracle of creating life and all that jazz, but there is (I'm going to say almost here because I feel like I am overlooking something, although if I am its obviously not that great) almost no part of this process so far that is not, at the very least, bothersome.  I'm sure I will let you know in a couple of months that all this was worth it, but so far I have been largely unimpressed.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So. Sports. Kinda.

So, I don't usually do sports.  I really don't care about hockey or football or gold or any of those things that are usually up on the TV at a sports bar.  However, I have always enjoyed some of the less publicized sporting events that get trotted out around the Olympics.  It is really cool to see people who work that hard to be good at something that, while kind of pointless now, could potentially save them in a zombie apocalypse with a little adaptation and creative thinking.  I mean, they are all so quick and flexible and disciplined, it has to be useful for something!

However, I do have a problem with the whole IOC and related commercial enterprises running the show while the governments put out all the actual cash for it.  I mean, basically, the host cities are paying for the privilege to make the IOC lots of money.  And then there is the sponsorship contracts leading to branding police, and all the empty seats at "sold out" events. And I just loooove  (sarcasm, DUH) how they are attempting to control who posts what on the internet so no one says anything bad about them, and only the companies who paid dearly for the privilege will get to show people what is going on.  Good luck with that guys!  I just don't have the words to express how slimy the whole thing feels when you look at anything other than the athletes themselves.  It is supposed to be a big world community building event, and it feels more like a gigantic sleazy circus with the clown in a corner keeping his eye out for easy marks and another getting ready to block the exit.

The athletes should be the focus, not McDonalds, or Coke, or NBC, or whatever those weird ass mascots are.

So I am not watching this year. Although I can't help but keep half an eye on the medal count....

Go Canada!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Plans

So I woke up this morning, and my house smelled like peaches.  Which sounds odd until you remember that my mom just bought me 10lbs of peaches on their way back through the interior.  Forget coffee, I need to wake up to this smell more often!

They are still a little on the green side, but they should be ready to use on Sunday. If I haven't eaten them as as they ripen.....  I'm thinking frozen slices and a pie. or crumble or something yummy.  Sorry Friday night gang, they are still too green to share with you!  

In other news, my library hold on Downton Abbey just came in so that's what I will be watching this week. I've heard from many many people that is is good, so should be fun.  That's the weird thing about working at a library.  People are always recommending stuff too me.  Most of the time I have absolutely no interest as I don't generally enjoy the usually popular fiction, but every once in awhile something completely odd will take off and EVERYONE will order it, and they will all rave about how amazing it is.  Eventually someone who actually knows my tastes will recommend it and I will cave and give it a go.  It's usually worth it at that point.

I can tell you one thing that has not been recommended to me though.  Despite everyone and their dog ordering in copies of the Fifty Shades trilogy, not a single person has tried to talk me into it.  Gosh, I wonder why that is..... :-)

And yes,  peaches and Downton Abbey are all I have in the way of summer plans this year, and I like it that way!

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to put the box of peaches on my desk where I can smell it better.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Link Soup of Mediocrity

Sooo... this has been a fairly uneventful week for me.  I didn't do anything super exciting, and I didn't get agitated about anything worth talking about, so it got quiet around here. Okay, I got a little sad about the shooting in Colorado, but I have nothing particularly earth shattering to add to that particular discussion.  However, I have decided that I want to post at least once a week, so here I am.

What I have been doing this week..... In the order in which I thought about it, and definitely not the time dedicated to each task.

Firefly  (Yes I watched the whole series.  Again.)
Vlog Brothers Videos  (Crazy geeky dudes who often make me laugh)
Guild Wars 2  (Beta Weekend!)
Baking and also more Baking (okay, okay, I didn't make THOSE brownies, although I wanted too! Mine were yummy, but not quite so crazy.)
Laughing at Stupid People
Shopping  (Oh my god, there is baby stuff in my living room! Whose idea was that and is it too late to make it stop?)
Laundry.  Oh so much laundry.  And that is only getting worse from here.

Yup.  It's been a quiet week.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not Geeky Enough

I will never go to Comic Con. Well, the San Diego one anyway. Even though there is a lot of cool things going on down there that I would love to attend and SO many authors and actors I would love to meet, I just can't see myself enjoying it for one simple reason. Too many people!

 I went to Emerald City this year. It was fun enough, but there were WAY to many people for me (and not enough cool panels, and turns out I am really not that interested in comic books, but that's a different issue). At one point I spend 45 minutes trying to walk down a hallway. Not even kidding. It took me almost an hour of navigating through hot sweaty geek bodies to walk the length of a short city block. Not cool. Since SDCC is so much bigger, I don't see any reason that I would have a better time there. I mean, I am not a get in line at midnight for an 11am panel kind of person. If there is something I want to see I will show up an hour early, tops. Which means that at big conventions, I wouldn't get into anything cool. I'm not willing to sacrifice that much of my day, or miss out on other things I want, just to wait in line.

 So I am not a super geek. I am not willing to spend thousands of dollars to fight thousands of people for many hours for the chance to see someone I admire from 50 feet away. And I am certainly not willing to spend hours in line for the privilege of paying someone to sign something I have already bought. That's just lame. Although I would like to shop the booths for geeky things. That looks cool, and possibly a little less claustrophobic. If I were to go at non-peak times. But again, not worth airfare. So I will read news, watch videos and squee from afar.

 I think I will go to Norweson again. That was just about my speed. Smaller, cheaper, closer, and full of awesome things to see and watch and buy. Also, it's more about books :-)

PS:  We still live here for the foreseeable future.  Sigh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sad Face

The internet makes me sad.  Okay, not the internet itself, just the parts where there are people on it. I stopped going on forums years ago because the people who weren't being depressingly stupid were being stupidly mean.  So I focused on book sites, blogs of people I respect, geeky news, comics, and whatever interesting non-anonymous user driven content I could find.

But those have all started to fill up with stupid and mean too.  Every time I  switch pages there are angry blog posts, or linked articles about some absolutely horrible cyber bullying, confused comments, depressing internet news stories, and people I respect being textually bashed around for doing whatever it is they do.  Every disagreement has turned into a huge, rage fueled fight with many of us looking on in bewilderment.

What the hell happened to "live and let live"?  If you don't like what someone does, says, thinks, makes, or likes you can either come up with something productive to say or JUST NOT ENGAGE THEM.  Go to a different website. Don't read their posts. Stop watching their videos.  Don't support their fundraiser.  Unfollow them on twitter. (But don't announce it.  That's tacky, and a great way to sound immature.  'I'm taking my ball and going home').  You would think this would be easier on the internet, since there are a million other digital places for you to frequent, and an almost zero chance of "running into" someone and it being all awkward.  But even in the real world, the best way to deal with someone you just don't like is to avoid them.

Instead of civil detachment or  reasonable criticism, what I am seeing is people making personal attacks, threatening, raging in disgust using foul and offensive language (and I am not easily offended), and people taking intense personal offense to something that was put out there for the entire world.  Of course there are things you will disagree with.  And of course there will be things that you think are not worth your time.  SO DON'T GIVE IT YOUR TIME!  Walk away.  Do something else. Let these people and the people who agree with them go about their business while you smugly find people and places more to your clearly refined sense of taste.  Or criticize if you want.  That's okay too.  But you can  criticize the work, or post  thoughtful counterpoints to an opinion without resorting to personal, non related attacks.  " I don't really like this.  The ______ was completely terrible."  is a perfectly valid thing to say.  A comment like, "Why did you waste my time with this $#!*, you &#(% c*@#$/!@.  You should be put down! " not only invalidates your stance on the work, but also your standing as a remotely decent human being.  Also, responding in kind to comments like that doesn't help you look heroic, but merely on the other side of a completely ridiculous argument.

Women in gaming is not new, and them wanting a little more consideration from the industry will not end your little basement/man-cave world.  Female creators of geeky things *coughFeliciaDaycough* are not out to offend you personally with their ability to achieve something cool in a male dominated culture.  Bad book reviews have always happened, and will always happen, and its not a personal attack.  On the other side of that one, if you don't like a book (or movie, or game, or fuzzy squirrel hat), that's fine.  It's even fine to say so.  But you don't need to act like the creator put this horrible thing in the world just to make your life a living hell.  I am not going to get into the fact that all of the vileness I have seen recently has been directed at women.  That might be another post. I'm just mad about this kind of behavior, no matter who it is directed at!

The really stupid part is that this is all essentially completely frivolous stuff.  I'm not even getting into equality, politics, world hunger, or the environment!  All of which have similar issues with reasonable discourse, but at least those things actually have real world impact.

Get over it.  Get over yourself.  Find something productive to do with your life, because tearing other people down is not going to get you to the top.

Edit:  It occurs to me that this rant is somewhat related to my previous post about religious differences. I really should stop being surprised at this crap.  Or stop interacting with people.   Either or.

Monday, July 09, 2012

So That's Really Happening.

My job just got posted.  That feels strange.  I guess I really am going on leave.  I only have 6 weeks left, so its not like this is a surprise.  I'm still feeling a little like "but.... but that's MY job!"   I wonder who is going to get it!  Fingers crossed for someone awesome and not that one lady who is a little weird (not in a good way) and still kinda bitter that she didn't get it 3 years ago when I applied in the first place.

Anyway,  back to waiting for the phone to ring telling me someone wants my apartment....  ( I am losing hope here, but will cling to what remains until the end of the day.)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Acquiring Stuff

So we had a showing yesterday, and they want to come back tomorrow for a second look.  Fingers crossed!  It would be so much easier to go house hunting in the next little bit than it would be after the summer. Of course I just bought new curtains for the newly painted room that we would have to leave behind, probably to be immediately replaced  by the new owners.  Ah well. I can live with that.  I will probably need to buy new stuff for wherever we wind up anyway.

On an only vaguely related note, shopping is exhausting! I don't know how women do it for hours for fun!  I was in a mall for 3 hours shopping for chairs, so lots of sitting, and I need a nap SO badly right now.  And making decisions is stressful, and all those people, and the lineups and gaaah. Probably the completely packed highway to and from the store also didn't help with the tired.

I mean, I like having nice things and I like looking at pretty stuff, but that actual time and effort spend finding  stuff that is just right and deciding what is worth spending money on is tiresome.  I have the same problem with clothes shopping, and I hate shoe shopping more than anything. Of course, that is because I have stupid sized feet and no one reliably carries my size.  But the pleasant results of today's trip are that I have a super comfy rocking/glider chair on order, and a little place for baby to sleep when she gets here.   However,  Gord has to come with me next time. Things go much faster and are less stressful when I have a second opinion on stuff.  Also, he can carry the heavy things.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Phoenix is Dead

Seriously.  For real this time. There are no ashes left to rise from!

Okay, Background!

(Short version:  Phoenix was the name of my temperamental and highly abused computer.  It is irrecoverably dead now.  The story below is for my own amusement, so if this synopsis sounds unbelievably boring to you feel free to stop here and roll your eyes at my nerdyness.  Also, Gimlix!)

The Saga of Phoenix: A memorial

About 6 years ago, just after I got married, I bought a new computer.  Within the first year it had failed at least twice and needed several replacement parts and just caused general panic for a 3rd year English student with many many papers to write.  Hard drive, RAM, blah blah blah... Normal computer shenanigans.  My wonderful husband fixed it several times, and it eventually became a fairly stable machine which he took the liberty of naming Phoenix for obvious reasons.

A couple of years later, it started turning itself off randomly and we couldn't figure out why.  Everything we looked at was working just fine.  It didn't happen very often, and I no longer needed the computer for school work, so we decided it was just living up to its name and left it alone for the next year or so.  It would often hang in the boot up process, so I became reluctant to turn it off for fear that it would never come back on again.  Although I usually left it on for other reasons anyway.  Like not wanting to wait for it to boot in the morning, or waiting for a file to download.

Then the dining room lights started to flicker.  One professional friend's visit later, and we found out that we had a few minor electrical problems involving a couple of arcing sockets.  Including the one my computer was plugged into.  Note:  If something is having trouble getting enough power to work consistently, check the fracking electrical system it is hooked up to!  Ever since then I have had the funds set aside for a new desktop, and I have been putting it off until Phoenix was unusable.  Then my cheap hand me down laptop died so I got a new one of those instead, since I use it for work and you can get laptops with enough oomph to play most computer games.

For the last year or so, Phoenix has been hooked up to my Television as a TV/YouTube box and doing okay.  It's been SUPER sluggish to boot up and refused to open programs sometimes, but it was fine for what we needed it to do,  ie: download stuff and play DVDs.  Then we moved it. Apparently all that unplugging and moving and re plugging was too much for its delicate and tortured systems.  There is now a 1 in 3 chance of it booting (at at least 5 minutes a try to find out) , and a 1 in 4 chance that opening a program will not cause a system crash.  Yeah.  I'm not going to play at those odds. I'm calling it!

Time to pull the good parts into an unholy union with Gord's old computer, Gimli, and remake a new undead TV Box! What would we call that?  Phoemli? Gimlix?  Gimlix.  Totally that one.

Okay, that last bit may have ruined the memorial feeling a little bit.  But then, its just an old, always unstable computer.

Phoenix is dead, Long live Gimlix!

Monday, July 02, 2012

My Life in Games

I bought a new game to play with the hubband.  It's a cute little 2d side scroller game called Terraria. He has been playing it for awhile and wanted to try multiplayer.  Essentially, it's Minecraft with more scary monsters and rocket boots.  I don't know if I will play it much on my own, but it's fun to have a game we can do together.  We haven't done that much since we stopped playing City of Heroes.  Correction, since HE stopped playing City of Heroes.  I still do occasionally.

Speaking of my games,  Here they are!  (at least the ones I am playing at the moment.  There are a few on my old computer that I have been neglecting.)

Yes, that is Warcraft II.  Blizzard being evil made me sad last week, and I installed it to remember more awesome times.  Zug Zug!  It's not a huge impressive list I know, but I don't actually like to keep games installed when I am not playing them at least occasionally.  I'm probably going to replace Sims Medieval with Assassin's Creed sometime in here.

So the top row is the first person/graphically intense awesome games.  Guild Wars 2 comes out in a couple of months still, but the betas have been SO much fun.  They pretty much took everything I hated about playing WoW (which to be honest was a LOT)  and ground it to paste when they designed the game play on this one.  My favorite part?  You aren't competing with your fellow gamers for loot, resources or mobs. Your loot and resources is rendered specifically for you, and because of this, if you happen upon someone in a fight the polite thing to do is help out.  Or at the very least revive any downed players you come across.  Also, any fights will scale to challenge however many people are actively participating!  They tried really hard to make a friendly gaming atmosphere in this game, and it really shows.  The second best part? No monthly subscription fees!

Skyrim was a blast for awhile.  I played it to death though, and it got kind of repetitive so I am kind of over it.  Although I never did get to much into the magic trees, so I may have to go back eventually and try doing that part.

Second row is all the little arcade games that I play when I don't really want to think about what I am doing.  And Dream Chronicles.  That one is a story puzzle game that's kind of cool.  I'm slowly working away at that one.

Ah row 3.  They have actually been my staples lately.  Minecraft in particular.  It's like lego.  With lava.  that burns up all your awesome stuff when you fall in it aaaaaaaahhhhhh.    Okay,  I may not have been playing that one this week.  But I'll get over it and back to building my snow city on a big ass frozen lake.

Magicka is fun, if only because it pokes fun at every adventure game you have ever played.  The Magic system is hard to co-ordinate at first, but I am getting used to it.  I've only recently started using WASD controls for movement in my games (I was strictly an arrow keys kinda girl until I got my new laptop and they were WAAAY away from where my hand likes to be) and this game uses them for magic casting, so I tend to fire off clouds of steam whenever I want to move forward.

And I just got Civ V, so I dunno where it is going to go yet.  I just got this urge to play a turn based strategy, and since I have played Alpha Centauri to DEATH, and AC2 is not forthcoming, the latest Civ won. Cuz it was on sale at Steam.

And that's it!  For now.  I think I will go start up Civ.

On an unrelated note,  left over doughnut and real fruit gummy bears are a good breakfast, right?  Long Weekend food!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I don't live here anymore.  Seriously.  All my cool stuff is in storage, we have pulled the computer room apart to paint it an inoffensive color that I don't really like, we don't have enough seating for company, and we can't leave Magic cards all over the living room like we used to.  Eventually we will move and everything will be worth it, but the last year of this has kinda killed the buzz around here.  I'm dealing okay, but Gord is particularly buzz-less.

In related news, I think I need to make a chocolate cake.  A sugar buzz makes everything better, right?
I took the rest of the week off to coincide with Gord's holiday which has now been cancelled due to flooding, so it looks like I have time to bake all kinds of things.  And do laundry.  Wheeeee.   Yup, it's going to be that kind of week(end).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My books! Mine!

So I spend most of yesterday afternoon stripping the DRM from my purchased eBooks. Which is not yet illegal, no matter what Adobe and Amazon would like you to think. Although if this stupid C-11 bill passes it would be. But that is a totally different rant.

I have no intention of uploading, distributing or otherwise violating copyright on any of these files (That's the illegal part). I just want to guarantee that should Kobo or Adobe or Sony go out of business, or change their policy or hardware, or get bored with this eBook business, I will still be able to read the items that I have paid good money for. I refuse to rent books under the guise of "purchasing".   I feel the same way about music or movies or video games (ummm, what do you mean I can't play single player Diablo 3 if Blizzard's servers go down? I don't THINK so!). The main difference is that I actually get really attached to my books, and I read them over and over and over. Heck, I just finished my sixth time through the entire Dresden Files series, although I also own that series in dead tree format just to make sure it is 100% safe from apocalyptic hard drive/technology failure. I may own the audio books as well. I REALLY like that series.

On a related note, Tor books, the Science Fiction/Fantasy imprint of Macmillian, will soon be releasing all of their books DRM free and selling through their website. I am so excited about this step that I can barely type straight! They had some issues with the big distributors adding DRM to the first book they tried this with,(Redshirts by John Scalzi) but they were really great about getting people the file they had promised. I only bought this book to support the decision to let me own it, but it was very funny and totally worth it!

I hope it goes well and that all the other big publishers are forced to admit that people are capable of supporting an industry without being treated like criminals in waiting. I still think the difficulty and limitations of DRM'd material, combined with the philosophical opposition to not being allowed to actually OWN your media causes more people to turn to digital piracy than the idea of free books. Free books from libraries didn't kill the publishing market. Only the publishers can do that.

I found this point of view on piracy in an old blog post from Charles Stross, and I love it, so I am going to use it here to finish this up.

"In the pre-internet dark age, there was a subculture of folks who would get their hands on books and pass them around and encourage people to read them for free, rather than buying their own copies. Much like today's ebook pirates, in terms of the what they did (with one or two minor differences). There was a closely-related subculture who would actually sell copies of books without paying the authors a penny in royalties, too.
We have a technical term for such people: we call them 'librarians' and 'second-hand bookstore owners'."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Being "Right"

For the record, evangelical Atheists are just as annoying as evangelical Christians (and probably any other fanatics of a religious or philosophical belief system)

Me being Christian does not automatically make me stupid or gullible, any more than you being Atheist/Agnostic/Egocentric/Pushy automatically makes you enlightened or educated, and would be great if you could stop making stupid assumptions.  I believe in a lot of things that you might not.  But the main thing that I believe is that everyone is entitled to live their own life. We call it "Free Will".  I don't have to agree with you, I don't have to like you, and I certainly don't have to listen to you, but I DO have to respect your right to your own opinions and your right to make your own choices.  I would appreciate the same concern. 

I don't talk religion very often.  I am always willing to talk about what I believe in, and I certainly don't hide it, but I also don't go out of my way to find ways to work it into the conversation or wave it around like some great universal cure all.  I know that what makes sense in my brain will not/cannot have the same impact on someone who has led a life other than mine, with different experiences, priorities and needs.  For some reason western culture has become very confrontational about, well everything.  The need to "be right" has become a big part of any discourse, and it is ruining our ability to think critically about other peoples points of view.  People grow and change and learn and it is a shame that some people have started to look down on people who change their minds. Unless of course it is to change their minds to whatever it is those people think is 'right'.  I find that very very sad.  It discourages thought and personal growth.

I have my reasons for believing as I do, and I assume everyone else does as well. It does not mean I put any less thought into me life then they do.  Granted, some people don't. But those are specific cases, and not nearly as common as anti-whatever-their-particular-hate-is would like the world to think.

 I also have great respect for people who believe in nothing specific because they don't feel the need to.  I would much rather someone admitted to that than cling to something ultimately meaningless (to them) for the sake of fitting in, or not having to think for themselves.  There is nothing wrong with saying "I don't know"

My church has as one of our main "Articles of Faith"  this line  "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship  how, where, or what they may".   Combine that with the a following bit about "Doing good to all men"  and I really can't say it better then that.    

This has gotten very long, but the key point is this:  
Worship or not as you will, and leave me to do the same.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Change and Starting Again

Hey there internet.  How've you been?   I was thinking I should start a new blog, but I found reading over my old posts kind of fun, so I think I will stay here and maybe rebrand a little as I feel inspired too.

General life update for those who care about what's new since.....oh 2008:  Done school.  Working at a public library in the area and loving it.  Trying to buy a house, but not having any luck selling our apartment.  Planning on turning the computer room into the nursery by the end of the summer. Oooh!  And I just got a new lemon juicer after Gord juiced the ever-living crap out of a lemon and broke the old one!

It amazes me how much can change while you are sitting there thinking nothing is new.  It's all the same old stuff over and over every day, until you look back and realize that your days a year ago were totally different somehow, and you never noticed!    I mean, sure, there are big things that change occasionally but after the first day or two, that becomes the norm and you stop thinking about it and when someone asks "what's new" you shrug and say "not much"  even though your entire life is changing around you.

For example, there is not a single good Science Fiction show on TV right now (with the sporadic exception of Doctor Who).  That is a pretty big deal! Suddenly I am reading WAY more, and I have new favorite authors, and have started knitting to keep from staring into space when I have nothing better to do because there is NOTHING ON TV!  Also, I watched Mad Men.  *Shudder*

Maybe I will say that to the next well meaning lady who asks what is new even though they don't really care and only want me to let them touch my tummy......