kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 what I do)
Like I ever follow that rule.

1) Applying for various things online. You want a lesson in how NOT to design a form? Apply online. You'll see every damn example possible of The Worst Way To Design A Form, aka, Utter Unusability. Ohmygawd, it seriously burnssssss ussss, it doess.

2) Anyway, applying online, and it's common now to include a link to social profile. FB, Linkedin, whatever. Fine. Not so keen on the forms that not only want you to attach resume and cover letter... but also a head shot? I'm not applying to be a goddamn runway model here. But the phrasing sure makes it sound like if I don't include it, I'm gonna get penalized. (And even if they don't mean to penalize, I bet there's an unconscious penalty all the same.)

3) Job description that says, "we have a great sense of humor, but don't work here if you're easily offended". I'm not easily offended, I just find racism, sexism, and homophobia offensive. If you're lampshading the potential for a new hire to be offended, you've got bigger problems than whether I know all the languages you want. Next!

4) Watching the 2011 Journey to the West, despite the mediocre subtitles that are timed to PAL and require almost constant tweaking with VLC's subtitle synchronizer. Whew, no wonder CP was a little taken aback the first time we watched Saiyuki.

5) There is a certain irony that I'm watching JttW on my right-hand screen, and for the entirety of episode 9, the left-hand screen had a shot of Sanzo. I'd just started ep10, and the wallpaper changed... to Son Goku.

6) If Hakkai in Saiyuki made people froth at the mouth for being so different in the English dub, because he's just not like that, whew. The difference between Engdub-Hakkai and Japdub-Hakkai is nothing compared to the difference between Sanzo and Sanzang. The more I watch, the more I'm like a) I think I liked Sanzo better, and b) so that's why CP went from taken aback to jaw-dropping when the gun came out.

7) Not that I mind Sanzang. He is kind of growing on me, but I did enjoy the first six or seven episodes the most, when it was All About Monkey.

8) I can't help but feel -- no idea why, just do -- that it's almost like Monkey's a completely different story that somehow got shoehorned into the historical story of Tripitaka. And then the storytellers had to figure out how to make it work. Just a strange kind of tension. Dunno.

9) Still a little in shock that I finished two books in three months. Maybe in future the secret is to spend six months ahead of time daydreaming the entire story from start to finish. I didn't have the "and then something happens" lurch at the high point this time, but knew exactly where the story was going and just had to write it. Every story before this, I've left that third-quarter "and then something happens" and then I get there and have no idea how to proceed (or have a glaring plothole that can't be duct-taped shut for love or money).

10) I wrote a small plugin for forms. Yay me! And then Github crashed, which has given me plenty of time to rethink the value of posting my small plugin. Ah, here comes the second-guessing.

11) I can't decide whether I should edit book 1 & book 2 and then start book 3, or do book 3 and then go back and edit all three in a streak. Not to mention I haven't even a clue what kind of logline to do for each, and haven't even tried to write teasers.

12) I have realized that I don't care whether or not there's a market for these three stories. Maybe no one wants to read a fantasy about a young transgender character making hir way through the world, finding love, conquering evil, and overcoming hardship to become happy. It's possible there's just not a market for that, but I tried to pay attention to the market on everything I'd written before now, and that got me nowhere. Screw it. I'll just write what I want, and when I'm done, I'll move on. I'm not quitting my day job for this, after all.

[ps: I look folks off the story-filter if they hadn't replied in a while, rather than keep spamming, especially those of you who I know are really swamped right now. I've exported to one master doc that I can output as pdf. PM me if you want it.]
kaigou: this is the captain. we may experience turbulence and then explode. (3 experience turbulence)
These thoughts have resurfaced after the most recent atrocity, but I'm mostly thinking out loud about something tangential. If you've got a bone to pick about gun control or gun rights, I'll be blunt: not interested. Leave the bone-picking for your own journal. Second to that, if you're not American and want to tell me all about how other countries (including your own) do it, then maybe you should leave that to your own journal, too. America has its own culture and that culture, it seems to me, is a big part of the complexity of the issue.


A month or so ago at an acquaintance's house, on the wall was a large shadow box that held what looked like two matchlock short rifles. They looked a bit early for Rev War, since I'm pretty sure the serpentine had been surpassed by the flintlock by then, but whatever. I didn't see any other hunting or historical memorabilia, so I figured it was handed down through the family. It's the usual reason for the occasional "gun over the fireplace" I sometimes see -- it was someone's grandfather-so-many-times and used during whatever war. (Ignoring the fact that the absolute worst, worst place to store a gun, or anything of wood/metal combination that you want kept in good shape, is over a freaking fireplace but whatev.)

But that reminded me of a Persian rifle, I think it was, that CP got a number of years ago. It's a piece of art. Really. It has intricate chased silver up and down the barrel and all over the place, every little detail is beautifully done, and the wood is a gorgeous gleaming deep red. It's absolutely a testament to craftsmanship, just on looks alone, and it deserves to be seen and enjoyed. Not as a "this could kill someone" but simply as a thing of beauty, the same way that if someone did that to, say, a circular saw (now there's a scary thought), I'd be wondering why it should stay in the garage. I'd want to find a way to display it in the house, too. Some craftsman put a lot of effort into beautifying what was really just an everyday tool at the time, and I respect that.

Guns, history, Americana, anti-gun and pro-gun perspectives, guilt, the Veteran's Administration, and various other contemplations. In short, the usual. )

At some point I'll come up with a witty tag to note when something is book-length. Wait, do I have one of those already? I can't recall.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 Edward armor)
Went back to gym yesterday, complained to manager, and was set up with second trainer for meeting this morning to come up with workout plan. At one point he suggested kettlebells. Which, to be honest, I had no idea what they were. All I knew was that they're something used by crazy people. Like, say, my sole exposure (the aforementioned [personal profile] mongrelheart) being someone who's clearly crazy (in a good way) about athleticism, and when someone crazy like that complains about kettlebells and, uhm, something to do with kettlebells, I make a note that kettlebells = mad-crazy. Turns out they're just round weights with a single handle, instead of the old dumbbell types with the weight on either end of a handle. Oh. Okay. Not so much with the mad-crazy. (Clearly the mad-crazy is just M all on her own.)

Talking to the manager, I finally said (not quite losing my temper but close) that I felt like I'd been patronized (although the trainer's a nice guy so I'm sure he didn't intend to insult me, so much as just carry on with his assumptions about What Women Really Want, or something). When I'd asked about why the plan was for working out twice a week, what else was I supposed to do? The trainer had said, take classes. I told the manager (and told him I'd told the trainer) that if I wanted to do classes, I would've bloody well just done classes and skipped the cost of seeing a trainer. When I explained I don't even want to work with a trainer regularly -- just someone to check in on -- the manager wanted to know why it mattered. I said, because it's like the off-season: the coach gives you goals, and you go away and work towards them, and come back after so long, having met those goals and gone further.

(To the trainer today, I explained it's also because my brain says, "you should be stronger than this!" and my body says, "woah, it's been awhile." Having a trainer follow me around at this point is more humiliation and frustration than positive reinforcement. I need to get to a point where my heart and core are stronger, then I won't feel like a useless lump if/when I work with a trainer.)

Today's new phrase: skinny-fat. I was explaining about my joints, that I can't do the elliptical or the upright bike, or the leg press or squats/lunges, because it makes my knees grind. I can hear the last shreds of cartilege grinding, and while it doesn't hurt per se, it's a clear warning that if I keep going, the coming hurt will put me on my ass, possibly long-term. But! I can walk up stairs without a problem, I can walk all day, and there's no pain. My joints don't ache or swell or any of that stuff. It's just that I don't have much cartilege. So if I can go up the stairs, I guess that means I could try the stairmaster. The trainer scoffed and said, "don't bother with that. All it'll do is make you skinny-fat." (As in, weighing less because what you've got is lightweight fat, not powerful muscle.)

We never did figure out what's the opposite of 'skinny-fat'. Curvy-strong?

ETA: in unrelated news, got a copy of Bite of China, a Chinese show on regional cuisine. (First two episodes subbed in english; more coming, I hear.) OMG. Do not watch if you are even remotely hungry. Sooooooo good. Soooooo droolworthy.

Reason #4 for losing weight: so I can travel overseas and gain it all back by eating my way through various countries & cuisines. Except India. I love Indian cuisine, but I just don't think even with all my dedication that I'd ever be able to handle the spice-heat. When Indian friends say they made their family's dish "mild" just for me, and it still brings me to tears... it's probably a sign. Visiting India would probably be a lot of smelling but avoiding the tasting. Although come to think of it, Thailand would probably be in the same category. Which is okay; first on my list is Taiwan, then Japan, and I'd probably need a decade just for China alone...
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 patience is not my virture)
Various commentary and observations and a bit of snark, behind the cut: time to get back in shape.

It's like, every time I get a trainer, I have to train them, first. )

Now I just have to figure out how to take what the trainer suggested, and pad it out and change it so it's a six-day-a-week program that will be enough to make me crawl out of there every single time. Sheesh. I'm not sure whether he gave me such a low bar because he's taking my age/weight/shape into account, or if he gave me such a low bar because he honestly didn't realize he's dealing with the mental training (if not the current physical shape) of an athlete and that doing just one mile per hour isn't in my mental cards. I want to do far more than that, and I like being pushed that hard. I don't like feeling patronized or pitied or underestimated.

Bleah. Guess on Monday I'll be asking after the manager, to politely request someone who'll take me seriously. Le sigh.
kaigou: (1 Izumi)
I've finally put a finger on what has me so entranced when watching media (shows, animation, etc) that's in a different language. At first, I thought: this is a kind of astonishment. Then I censored myself immediately, because wow, that sounds offensive -- if you twist it to the side, it could be saying: "wow, people have entirely different languages and they still communicate such complex ideas" which is not at all what I mean.

I've probably told some of you this story before, but when I lived in France, I recall spending the afternoon with a teacher's two children. Aged, hm, three and five, maybe? They had a globe, and one of them asked where I lived, so I put a finger on their hometown, and another on mine. There was a lot of blue-colored map between the two places, and the kids were suitably impressed.

However, somehow this raised the question of why (in their opinion) I couldn't speak French as well as the other adults they knew. Maybe, they appeared to be reasoning, it was because Americans were bad at talking. I said no, in America, we speak English.

Long pause. Skeptical looks.

"No, you speak French," they said. "Everyone speaks French."

"Not in the United States," I replied. "There, we don't speak French. We speak English."

Skeptical looks turned to absolute disdain, because now they were quite certain I was putting them on. There went all my credibility.

Later I asked their mom, who said that it's a developmental stage, related to the size of the kid's world, and the fact that they assume what they see around them is an example of everything, everywhere. It takes time and experience before we start to realize the world is a much bigger place than our little corner of it.

Watching foreign shows, or trying to read a manga in Taiwanese (or, ugh, Cantonese), makes me feel like my world has gotten even bigger. Or maybe it's that it makes me feel just that many times smaller. Like: these people are talking, and there's a whole way of writing, of conjugating verbs, of expressing the self, and I understand none of it. Chances are, I will never understand more than maybe "please" and "thank you" and "yes" and "no" and how to say "hello" on the phone. If that much. But people express ideas and emotions and my corner -- the English corner -- has no impact, no value, in this conversation.

It's a kind of reminder of humility. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (5 bookstack)
Currently reading -- and yes, I do mean all of them --

Done Wrong — Eleanor Taylor Bland (mystery)
The Steel Remains — Richard K Morgan (fantasy)
Water Touching Stone — Eliot Pattison (mystery)
Havemercy — Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett (fantasy/steampunk)
The Hero's Walk — Anita Rau Badami (literary)
A Companion to Wolves — Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (fantasy)

A chapter of one, a chapter of the next.

I'm thinking maybe I should pick one and stick to it. Most likely bet would be The Hero's Walk — a gracious and incredible and gorgeous work of poetic verse with a deep heart — but it also deserves to be savored, not chewed through or swallowed whole. So when I start getting anxious about sitting in one place for too long, I move to sit somewhere else in the room, and look, there's a different book right there.

Bad habit, I know, but a very old one.
kaigou: under this playful boyish exterior beats the heart of a ruthless sadistic maniac (2 charming maniac)
This is partially leading off my post from this morning. I had the pleasure of chatting with someone, yesterday, who does the same thing I do, job-wise. If you realized how few of us are actually around (for all that our job may sound awfully necessary, most corporations don't seem to agree), then you'd realize also what a rare pleasure it was to talk to someone who totally gets it.

Think of web application creation as a balancing act between two extremes: there's the design (what it looks like, what it does on the page, all the way to colors and fonts and whether you get a thank-you note when you're done), and there's the development (the code, basically). Designers don't code, and coders don't design, for the most part, and IMO/IME this has less to do with any integral dislike between them... so much as the fact that both sides require a lot of expertise. It is not half as easy as you may think it is, to code the backend of an application, or even to do a nicely-turned out page of CSS and Javascript on the frontend. Nor is it half so easy as you might think it is to come up with the buttons and the corners and the logos and the whatever else in Photoshop or Illustrator or Fireworks or whatever is the in-thing this week. These are areas that, to do well, do require a fair bit of training and experience -- and by then, you're probably firmly into the perspective of your area of expertise.

I'm the person in the middle. )
kaigou: organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. (3 fixing to get organized)
I use tags for more than just content. Tags will also signal when I'm taking a different approach, and this list might help anyone who's a little confused as to how/what sort of reply a post may warrant. (Not all tags are in here; I didn't see reason to list the ones that are concrete or probably obvious.)

Tags for approach, attitude, context, content, and audience. )

Just some things to keep in mind, if you're ever unsure how to gauge a post's unfamiliar tone or my reactions to comments.

Also, if my writing style ever confuses you, this post might help. Or at least, it tries.


23 Jun 2010 08:59 pm
kaigou: life would be easier if I had the source code. (3 source code)
$result = mysql_query("SELECT `termid` FROM connected_texts");
while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($result, MYSQL_BOTH)) {
    $orig_term_tax_id = $row['termid'];
    $result2 = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM term_relationships WHERE `term_taxonomy_id` = '$orig_term_tax_id'");
    while ($row2 = mysql_fetch_array($result2, MYSQL_BOTH)) {
        $objectid_textid = $row2[0];
        if (!$bookpart) {
            $result3= mysql_query("SELECT `bookpart` FROM `texts` WHERE `textid`='$objectid_textid'");
            while ($row3 = mysql_fetch_array($result3, MYSQL_BOTH)) {
                $bookpart = $row3['bookpart'];
                if ($bookpart == '1') {
                $bookno = $objectid_textid;
                $result4= mysql_query("UPDATE connected_texts SET `textid` = '$bookno' WHERE `termid` = '$orig_term_tax_id'");
        $result3= mysql_query("SELECT `bookpart` FROM `texts` WHERE `textid`='$objectid_textid'");
        while ($row3 = mysql_fetch_array($result3, MYSQL_BOTH)) {
            $result4= mysql_query("UPDATE texts SET `book` = '$bookno' WHERE `textid` = '$objectid_textid'");
    $bookpart = '';

It's amazing what your brain can do when it's not got two tons of unhappy perched on top.
kaigou: organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. (3 fixing to get organized)
Over the past two or three weeks, there've been an awful lot of people subscribing suddenly. *shifty eyes* I'm not entirely certain who to blame who to thank. Instead, if you don't mind, please use this thread to introduce yourself.

poll results for readers' choices:
story/narrative analysis 93.1%
snark and rants 82.8%
fandom meta: 86.2%
fiction critiques 79.3%
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (fanfic)
As long as we're on Old Stories Week -- and given some of the possibly* accurate criticisms coming down the ff.net pipe -- what the hell, I went back and reread the first twenty or so chapters of Drums. I don't think I've done that since I revised, back in Jan 2004.

O, M, G, the pain.

Not because I think the story's truly atrocious in a plotline sense (overall), but because the craftsmanship is just so... and, damn it, the characterizations, too. There are good points -- and where those counteract fanon, it may have been enough to offset the bad points of slipping into fanon -- but some things just make me cringe.

[*I say 'possibly' because when the critique-review arrived, I couldn't actually remember enough details to know whether the crit was based on story flaws or were opinion. That's a good chunk of why I went back and finally, after all this time, reread.]

Ah, well, though I don't think I'd ever revise -- I wouldn't do that to any of the long-suffering archivists who had to code the 2003 edition, then the 2004 semi-revision -- there's a part of me that wishes I could, just as a matter of principle. Because I know I can write better than that, now, that is. What I wrote then was pretty complex and not too bad for someone who'd never written something that long and involved before, but compared to now?

Did I mention the cringing?

If you're one of the folks who've not read, and don't want spoilers, then skip this. If you have read and hated it, maybe you'll find I agree -- lo these years later -- with your complaints. Or if you didn't read because you knew beforehand you'd hate it, then maybe you'll enjoy me staring critique in the face. Who knows.

Anyway, there be spoilers here, if such matters to you; otherwise, here be major segues into characterization analysis, too. )...and that's probably more than enough of that.

One last thing (and should I be posting this on [livejournal.com profile] gw_analysis, instead?) -- I just realized. With the exception of Relena, all the other 'mirror' female characters at some point or another strike out at their male counterparts. Doesn't Sally pull a gun on Wufei at some point? Hrm, I thought she did... but I know Hilde has Duo at gunpoint and backs off when he talks about his genuine reasons for assuming his role; Cathy strikes Trowa outright to snap him out of his suicidal intentions; Dorothy does her best to gut Quatre. They're not all at the same point, either, in their relationships -- Hilde's met Duo once or twice by then, and then has to apprehend him as a felon, while Cathy's been a sort of big sister to Trowa for half of the series by then, and Dorothy had only just met Quatre in person. But for each, I find it curious that they're antagonistical towards their counterpart-pilot -- and Relena is the flipside, in that it's Heero who's constantly pulling a gun on her, instead.

Hrmmm. Damn it, why does this storyline always pull me back in?
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (walmart no go)
The odd comments here and there about kitchens made me stop and think of what we've done so far -- as I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am, finally, beginning to think it just might not be a giant robot. Yay.

Well, for starters, we replaced every appliance but the fridge (which is probably only a year or two old); the rest -- double oven, dishwasher, and stovetop -- were all avocado and seriously on their last legs. No, seriously: the dishwasher didn't work, the ovens didn't heat, and the stove-top had only two working eyes. I'd say of the money we've spent in the past year and a little more, the biggest amount was probably on those three things (but that was also, undoubtedly, the best spent).

Let's see what else -- and a lot of this is total guestimate, since it's not like I tracked it at the time. )

I can not believe it's been that much spent, so far. Can anyone tell me if we came out ahead? Anyone?
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (unemployment hell)
The thing is, I've realized over the past month that I truly dislike working from home. Not in the sense of "every now and then", and hardly in the sense of "because I can't seem to get displined enough to do work" -- it's that I resent the fact that work is here, in my space, in the first place.

This makes for a cranky, lazy, and avoidant Sol. ) So, naturally, now I'm going to go hang shelves in the kitchen. Will post pictures later of latest progress.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (source code)
Oh, man, do I feel like an idiot. Yesterday had a great interview, and clearly the manager adored me, but I waffled when we spoke at the end -- I didn't expect her to broach the subject of pay scale, not while I was still processing whether the intangibles of the job were worth less cash-in-hand. Naturally, today my mother calls out of the blue. I told her about the interview and my internal waffling over possible job with pay cut, and she says, "you do realize... don't you... that the conversion rate between contract position to employee position is thirty percent?"

So, I ran the numbers. And I'm listing them here because I know there are younger women on my flist, and you're going to be educated and armed, whether you like it or not. Sit still! You WILL be informed! )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x tanuki in thought)
There are times I feel almost relieved to get a rejection.

I have my stages: first, nerves at sending off the submission (during which I check the draft, if s-sub, or sent-email, if e-sub), akin to the way I find myself checking a room I've painted, just to make sure the paint's really there and that I didn't just hallucinate/dream finishing all four walls. )

Or so it seems to me.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x not a sockpuppet)
Oi. My flist has exploded in the past week. *shifty look at flist* Seems I've got two choices: either say hello and suggest everyone introduce themselves, or give long thought to cutting back on the attention-getting snark. Here goes. *long thought* Okay! That was hard! Enough of that.

Step right up, don't be shy. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (x book stack)
Actually, with maybe one or two books I've forgotten (because they were that forgettable), here's what I squeezed into my brain managed to read in the past year. Yowser. Plus, comments, just because, but trying to be fair whenever possible. (Besides, if you have recommendations for me, this'll tell you what did, and did not, appeal to me & why.)

EDIT: forgot one. Tells you something that I'd blocked out memory so thoroughly of it. Added it to end of fiction list.Wow, wait, I read that much? Holy pogo sticks, Batman. )I suspect I'm missing a few, here and there (probably in the nonfiction category mostly), but hey. Wow. That's quite a bit, considering I didn't really start reading this year until about March, when I started working (and thus had money, and lunchtime, to burn).

Part of the reason I read so much was a) this 52-book challenge going around, which prompted much moaning from participants that they'd never, ever get that many books read! And b) the realization that if I'm going to keep from treading the same tired tropes myself, I need to be aware of what's out there. It's not competition per se, so much as "what is being read/sold".

I was going to ponder what I'd learned from what I've read, but I'll save that for a later post. Now I just need a chance to boggle.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
TOTAL RAISED: $1,000... that's 100,000 words. I'm closing it out now, or I'll be writing for two months, people! ;D

  1. Koji ma Oshi
    DONE: 32K alloted, 34K words completed [story incomplete but at stopping place]
    with thanks to: Ravensilver, Gail, Rochan01, Infini T, CeeDee, and Mayo

  2. 17.5K -- Tetractys
    • 10K, Gail
    • 5K, Tripsoverhercats
    • 2.5K, Rochan01

  3. 15.5K Restraint of Desire
    • 7.5K, Ravensilver
    • 5K, Tripsoverhercats
    • 3K, Mikkeneko

  4. 12.5K -- Howl
    • 7.5K, Ravensilver
    • 5K, Gail

  5. 10K -- Echoes & Postscripts
    • 7.5K, Ravensilver
    • 2.5K, CeeDee

  6. 12.5K -- Of Cats & Wolves II
    • 10K, Gail
    • 2.5K, Infini T

12/3/05: WORD COUNT SO FAR: 26.5K

Once again, many many thanks to all who contributed, and thank you for letting me feel like I got to help, in some way.

For those of you looking for GW writers, an incomplete list of the ones on my flist - let me know if I'm missing anyone - and a link to their post with the details of their participation:




kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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