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Miles Coverdale

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Kittens [04 Feb 2017|12:04pm]
So this year hasn't been off to a great start, even without the daily garbage fire that calls itself the Trump Administration. In December, Pixel got very sick -- she was hardly eating and it seemed like all her age suddenly caught up with her at once. It's very likely she had something cancerous going on, but the tests to confirm that were all expensive, invasive, and painful. So we decided to make her as comfortable as possible, and she rallied a bit throughout the month. But in the first week of January, she stopped eating altogether and couldn't even hold herself upright. She was 16 years old, and she held on for long enough for us to say goodbye to her.

After this, the house felt so empty though. And we'd always talked about getting a pair of cats when Pixel was no longer with us (she was intensely jealous of any other cat in the house; when Peaby was alive, she was so ill-tempered, and after he'd gone, her personality did a complete 180). So, this happened:

Say hello to Miles Vorkosicat (the black one) and Ivan Vorcatril (the orange one). Miles, like his namesake, is hyperactive and insatiably curious. Ivan, also like his namesake, is very handsome and would much rather be left alone than dragged into some mad scheme. (It is also worth noting that Miles claimed us as his humans within 5 minutes of us meeting him.)

So, yeah. Kittens.
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More political salt [17 Nov 2016|10:06am]
So everyone's talking about the white working class and its importance in the recent election. Usually, this is in the context of people pointing fingers at the Democratic Party for caring too much about the "bubble of coastal elites" and ignoring the concerns of Real America. In this narrative, rural and working class white people voted for Trump because of their economic anxiety, and so the Democratic Party (along with anyone to the left of President Bush) should have empathy and understanding for them instead of saying "holy shit, you voted for a white nationalist."

Collapse )
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Politics [09 Nov 2016|10:08pm]
I'm too burned out to get too salty over the recent Presidential election, so I'm just going to make a few brief points to start with.

I'm beyond done with Bernie Sanders fans saying the Democratic Party primary was "rigged" and that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was just so unlikable. First off, Clinton won the primary because she got three million more votes than Sanders -- most of which were from women and people of color. To immediately turn around and cry "the fix is in!" from that is pretty disturbing.
Second off, to say "The Dems should have fielded Bernie instead of Hillary" is to say "We could have won this election if only we pandered more to the prejudices of white people." And if you're trying to convince me that a Jewish socialist could have defeated a candidate that was backed and supported by literal Nazis, not the fun Indiana Jones kind of Nazis, as well as the KKK and the nattering nabobs of Breitbart, my response to that is: lol k
Finally, the only people responsible for Donald Trump winning the election are the people who actually voted for Donald Trump. Saying otherwise is a weak attempt to shift blame onto the allies you see as insufficiently pure.

Now for concrete action. First, you can donate to organizations that help people who are going to be threatened by the Trump administration. Here's a list of them; you can use the links to donate, or if need be, you can use them to find resources for you and yours.

The Trevor Project

Trans Lifeline

Planned Parenthood

Women's Medical Fund

Lambda Legal

The American Civil Liberties Union

The Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Southern Poverty Law Center

The Council on American-Islamic Relations

The National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center

This link can help you find LGBTQ-related pro/low bono legal services (also contains immigration/asylum legal services as well)

This link can help you find trans*-related legal services

This link can help you find pro bono immigration-related legal services

Second, contact your elected representatives. Legislators do pay attention to constituents who contact them - particularly ones who contact them on a regular basis. You can use this link to find out who your legislators are, at the federal, state, and local level:

Take care of yourselves.
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[24 Feb 2016|08:01pm]
So this song has been my on-repeat jam for the past week or so. I like it for a lot of the same reasons I like "Friends on the Other Side" from The Princess and the Frog -- though this one is an "I Want" song instead of a villain song.


Click here for the lyrics, annotations, and background.
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10 Years On [19 Mar 2013|10:33pm]
March 19, 2003.

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[26 Jan 2013|04:41pm]
A Message to the NRA From Robert E. Lee.
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Ten-Year Anniversary [15 Jan 2013|09:04pm]
So, I've had this journal for ten years now, as of today.

I know I don't write here an awful lot; I've noticed over the last few years that my drive to write things here has drained away. Maybe it would do me good to start writing here again, though I don't know what about. (I think that's been part of the problem, honestly-- a lack of writing ideas.)

Earlier today, I was thinking about ten years ago, where I was in my life at the time, and all that, and I considered the question "What would I tell my ten-years-ago self if I could?" But then, I realized that the choices I made and the actions I did are what made me who I am right now, both for good and for ill. And if I changed any of that, I wouldn't be the me that I know now, not really. Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of bad days over the last ten years, but I've also had plenty of awesome days (as well as okay days, mediocre days, and meh days), and I wouldn't want to take a path that wouldn't have led to the good days just for the sake of sparing myself the bad ones.

tl;dr-- I shouldn't spend more time on if-onlys than on now-whats. And I think I like who I am now better than who I was ten years ago.
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[18 Aug 2012|11:23am]
This is a swing jazz cover of the Final Fantasy 7 boss battle music.

Unconventional, but it's at least as good as the Black Mages' metal version.
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[26 Apr 2012|07:11pm]
The Fauxtopias of Detroit's Suburbs.

"In cities other than Detroit, history is often obscured by the present. But Detroit's abandoned historical buildings demand that you stop and consider them. What were these places? Who spent time here? Where are they now? When historic structures are demolished in Detroit, no one is lining up to build something else on the spot. In other cities, the present takes the place of the past. In Detroit, when we lose our history, we get nothing but emptiness in its place. That is why I still love the ruins."
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[07 Apr 2012|01:02pm]
(Now, with all that being said, I think Zack Snyder could have done with talking with the folks who made the Final Fantasy games to get a better idea of the sort of thing he was trying to go for.)
(And talking of Final Fantasy, I think that Aeris is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. And you could make a pretty strong case that so is Rinoa.)
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[07 Apr 2012|11:48am]
Here's a good essay about how to be a fan of problematic things. (Yes, it's from last year, but it's been making the rounds in the geekosphere lately.)

Some of you may be wondering why I enjoyed Sucker Punch but not Cryptonomicon, even though the problematic elements in Sucker Punch are far more in-your-face and lushly portrayed. All I can answer is that Sucker Punch had steam-powered zombies, zeppelins, dragons fighting World War Two bombers, and Scott Glenn tossing off great one-liners-- and Cryptonomicon didn't.

(Plus, whatever Zack Snyder's faults, he seems to understand that putting young women in mental institutions and lobotomizing them is A Bad Thing. Neal Stephenson, on the other hand, wants us to pity his protagonist for outright insulting his girlfriend and her colleagues to their faces, immediately running off to the Philippines for a year, and then returning to find that her friends think he's a big jerk. Also, Stephenson doesn't seem to find anything problematic when, in the first scene we meet her, his Strong Female Character (tm) cuts the watch off his protagonist's wrist for getting too close to her, but in the last scene, she breaks her leg and has to be carried around like a useless lump by the protagonist.)
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[22 Aug 2011|07:20pm]
If any of you have read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, you need to watch the video for "Calamity Song" by The Decemberists, right immediately this minute:

(I hope this works. [EDIT: Nope, it doesn't.] If it doesn't, here's a more direct link-- although the NPR story gives away the setup of the video.)

And while I'm posting videos, the new single from They Might Be Giants is really good.
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I like H.P. Lovecraft, but man, come on [27 Apr 2011|08:57pm]
oh by the way
fun fact
the more syllables the better
sometimes it can make reading his writing very difficult
but luckily i discovered a trick
which is that you can replace almost every single one of his adjectives
with "spooky"
without any loss of meaning

This is the most awesome thing I've read today. The rest of his blog is pretty sweet too, if you share my foulmouthed irreverent sense of humor. (Check the "smorgasboard" section for the archive. I'm also fond of his retelling of Anansi and Tiger's story from American Gods.)
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[05 Apr 2011|06:26pm]
So, this weekend I saw Sucker Punch. My review in brief: Take The Wizard of Oz, Marat/Sade, and "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," throw them in a blender, and pour the result into an anime. It's a visually stunning movie with a really awesome soundtrack and some very problematic elements to it (which hopefully I'll have the mental solidity to write about later). Also, Scott Glenn steals the movie.

On the whole, I enjoyed watching it, but mileage will definitely vary, and I can see why it's been taking such a beating in reviews.

I also watched Tetsuo: The Iron Man this weekend as well. All I'll say about that is: They should not have called that movie Tetsuo: The Iron Man; they should have called it What the Hell Ass Balls.
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[31 Mar 2011|05:52pm]
If anyone's interested, these are my favorite works of art in the world, and the link is the best Internet presentation of it that I've seen. (Click and drag to pan the view.)
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[01 Mar 2011|10:17pm]
ALSO TALKING OF BOOKS-- I still haven't forgotten my resolution to write about Cryptonomicon, don't worry.
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[01 Mar 2011|10:11pm]
I finished reading N.K. Jemesin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms recently. I really liked it, despite the fact that for some reason I've never been able to get into Zelazny or Bishop or suchlike grand- court- of- gods- playing- chess- with- puny- humans- mwahaha novels before.

(Yes, it is true that I loved the hell out of American Gods. That was different-- I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to note that in Gaiman's novel, what the gods are doing with humanity in the book isn't a game of chess, but a con game instead. I suppose my love for reading about charming rogues-- why hello there Locke Lamora-- explains my enjoyment.)

I'm going to have to let the book percolate through my brain for a while before I write more about it, but the one big thing that's sticking out in my head for me (and I don't know if this is something that Jemisin specifically intended, because I really hope I'm not misinterpreting the book) is this idea that, yeah, you are the product of what's happened in your past and there's nothing you can do to change that because it makes you who you are-- BUT, what's freedom is the ability to choose for yourself what will influence your life going forward. And I know that sounds really simplistic when it's written out like this, but the more I think about it, the more it sounds powerful. There are certainly worse ways to life your life, I'd say.
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[10 Feb 2011|06:49pm]
Steampunk zeppelins are pretty cool, it's true.

But dieselpunk flying boats are much more awesomer.

(...hi, Internets! Still not dead! Just haven't had much to say on here!)
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October 25th, 1854 [25 Oct 2010|12:46am]
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
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[12 Sep 2010|02:20am]
John M. Ford, "110 Stories."
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