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sakon76: (Sakon)
GDI.

After my appointment with my Ob-Gyn yesterday, which included a breast exam where she said I didn't seem to have any blocked milk ducts, guess what I have today? Yep. A blocked milk duct! Same side as the last bout of mastitis, even. Different area of the breast, though.

I'm staying on top of my allowed painkillers and trying to take care of this holistically again. Thus far my temperature hasn't gone up any, knock on wood....

On a brighter note, earlier today I was laying on the bed, waiting for the painkillers to take care of the flu-like whole body ache that seems to accompany mastitis, and Jazzy was laying next to me, asleep.

And he started laughing. In his sleep. My one-month-old! And when I looked to be sure it wasn't just hiccuping or weird snores or something, no, he was smiling.

I'm generally an agnostic and undecided as to what happens behind the scenery of the universe, but damn if that wasn't some creepy evidence to weigh in on the theory of reincarnation. My baby may be an old soul?
sakon76: (Sakon)
The other day the radio played "Centerfold" by J Geils Band, and I realized I've finally reached the point where I can no longer enjoy the song. It's still catchy... but I just can't stand the slut-shaming and dude-centricness of the lyrics. Sigh. It's kind of sad how the suck fairy visits so much over time. OTOH, even though I think we as a culture still have a long way to go, even the distance of 35 years has made a vast improvement in the consciousness of gender disparity.

And, definitely not unrelatedly, last night Wonderful Husband and I went to see the Ghostbusters reboot before it left theaters. And we LOVED it. I'm not sure it has the endless quotability of the original, but that may just be 32 years of periodic rewatches engraving lines into my head. I do think, however, it has a good deal more heart and purpose than the original, with its cynicism more finely aimed. It's definitely a woman's film... without being a "chick flick."

(The tears of meninists water something verdant and flourishing in my heart.)

I will definitely be getting Ghostbusters on Bluray when it comes out. (And, come to think of it, I should get the original too.) There's a small but important section of my DVD/Bluray collection that is devoted to Halloween-appropriate movies.
sakon76: (Sakon)
So when you, at long last, regretfully let go of a dream/wish/hope/what-have-you...

...do you let go of those things you've collected awaiting that maybe-someday?

Or do you say fuckitall and hold onto them for a just little bit longer, waiting to see if they may help fulfill the dream of someone else you know?
sakon76: (Sakon)
So what does it mean when you're pretty sure both you and the other person have the same wish, and the wishbone breaks so that neither of you has a long piece?

And then the second wishbone does the exact same thing...?
sakon76: (Sakon)
My family do Christmas lists. As in, "write out a list of things you would like to receive." It may seem a little cold-blooded and calculating, but, really, it's no different than someone having an Amazon wishlist. And GOD it makes it a hell of a lot easier for everyone doing the shopping.

The funny thing about this year, though, is that though I've dutifully updated my list (mostly books, a couple DVD/Blurays, and a few CDs), I can't actively remember what's on the list without thinking about it. Because although they're books I would love to read, films and programs I would enjoy (re)watching, and music I like, when it comes down to it, they're really just not that important. They're entertainment, nothing more.

I spent four years wanting one thing more than anything, and I've finally got it. Life gave me the present I wanted most, and right now he's wrapped up in a blanket I made for him, sleeping. Even during nights like last night, when he was forcing Wonderful Husband and I to tag-team just to save our sanity, I love our child, and am so thankful to have him. I could receive no gifts at all this season, and still count myself rich.

Happy holidays, and all life's blessings upon you as well, my friends.
sakon76: (Ahiru's Eyes)
What Bill Watterson has to say about living the fulfilled life.

And what Neil Gaiman has to say about libraries.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Whee, the Squiddle's crib and chest of drawers are assembled! Two less things to do. And my (heavy) embroidery hassock got moved out to the sewing nook in the process. None of which was actually on the to-do list for this weekend, but it needed to get done, so.... And Wonderful Husband has been painting the two remaining closet doors this week, and they're now in the appropriate rooms, just awaiting their hardware reinstallation and subsequent hangings tomorrow morning.

They say that having a child forces you to confront your own mortality. I don't know if that's true for everyone, but it certainly is for me. Realizing you're not the last link in the chain, that someday you will die and life will continue on without you... it's fucking terrifying. And that's completely apart from the contemplation of what quasi-unique way you'll end up screwing up your kid over the next eighteenish years.

Which thoughts usually end up leading me to the conclusion that I should do housework now, and panic later. There's always time for panicking later.
sakon76: (Sakon)
There must be a term for sentient beings eating other sentient beings of another species. Like in "V" or in the old, dark fairy tales. It can't be cannibalism, because that specifically implies eating a member of one's own species....

Wonderful Husband had the thought that perhaps post-partum depression and its consequences are where the stories of changeling children originated.

And I wondered in turn if the comparative genetic stability of having two copies of the "X" chromosome (such that if there's a problem on one set, the other usually takes up the slack) is why women and not men bear the babies. Though we weren't able to come to a consensus on whose innards are more convoluted.
sakon76: (Default)
One of the blogs I occasionally peruse is The Greening of Gavin. Today he posted about a "buy nothing new for a month" challenge.

This somewhat puzzled me, and I tossed the notion at Wonderful Husband as well, and, simply put, it doesn't seem like that much of a challenge to either of us. At least, not with the assumption that there is an exemption for purchasing groceries. We just don't shop that much, and when we (okay, mostly me) do, it already tends to be secondhand. My estate sale hobby, etc.

Now, if there was a "buy no groceries for a month" challenge, that might be a bit more challenging, on account of we like having fresh fruit and vegetables in our diet....
sakon76: (Default)
There are a handful of fanfic writers about whom I can honestly say "I will read any and everything they write." This is because they are superlative writers, and even if I don't know the series they're writing for, they will paint the world such that I live in it, love it, and understand it.

Corollary to this is the fact that there are a few fanfic reccers whose every recommendation I will read. Because they rec the good stuff. [livejournal.com profile] issen4 is among this latter category, and recently recommended Gadarene, which is a Merlin fic. Now, I am not a fan of Merlin, but I read this story. And then read it again. And again. And sat a while, trying to figure out what it was that drew me to the story. And how I could take that ineffable whatever-it-was and apply it to my own work.

All writers have themes we cycle to again and again, usually because we keep thinking of (hopefully witty) new things to say on the subject. Lois McMaster Bujold and mules, for instance. :) It's why fanfic writers write multiple works on, say, a particular pairing (Prowl&Jazz), or a series predicating on a single what-if (Simulacra). Something draws us to an idea and we keep gnawing away at it.

And I think I've identified what I like in Gadarene. It's not the pretty slashiness so much as the heartbreak and fear when things must be kept hidden, and the beauty that unfolds like a flower when it becomes all right to display them. So last night I went to Field of Stars and found my first scene with Alain Lowsturm and Bastian Tel Amo, and reread it. And realized a part of the story that I hadn't even known, predicating on Alain's heritage as the son of a demon. (A completely consensual conception; Alain's mother is complicated, powerful, and awesome. So was his father, for that matter.) Demons, however, being stolen ("perverted") shards of gods, are the product of what the Tel Amo clan classifies as the darkest of magic.

Because of what he was born as, Bastian and every single teacher at the Tel Amo-sponsored university Alain studies at would be obligated to kill Alain in his sleep if they knew.

What stress does that add? How high does it raise the stakes? How does he cope? What are Alain's plans once he finishes university? And what will happen when/if this all comes out?

This is part of why writers read. So that we can learn better how to write.
sakon76: (Default)
I'm not sure if my memory is faulty or not, but it seemed like there were a lot more religious protesters at SDCC this year. They're regulated to doing their sign-carrying across a fairly wide street from the convention center, but since I've outgrown my taste for the food available at the food court, venturing outdoors is something I do. Mixed in among the protestors are advertisers giving out freebies. Comics, cards, etc. The two most brilliant advertisements I was given were Bates Motel soap (handing out soap at a convention! sheer genius!) and Carrie matches. There are also amusing cardboard counter-signs promoting Cthulu and FSM. But the thing I liked absolute best was the handouts-girl who was cheerfully saying "Stan Lee 3:16. With great power comes great responsibility."

Thinking on all that, it has occurred to me that if the protestors are truly interested in converting the geekish masses, they need to learn to tailor the marketing to the audience. Instead of signs saying athiests go to hell, which only put up people's backs and make them hostile, why not, say, have signs with quotes from a couple of the Indiana Jones movies? "The penitent man is humble; he kneels before God" etc. Or riff on Star Wars, or Avatar, or Narnia. Something that the audience will like, identify, and engage with. I don't really go with the whole "Superman died for your sins" thing (IIRC, nothing of the sort was involved in that event), but I'm sure there's plenty of speculative fiction that could be mined for appropriate pithy quotes.

As it was, I doubt their whole weekend of energetic protest and in-your-face sign-waving won the protestors a single convert.

(As a footnote, I have NOTHING against Christians. I have people I love and admire who adhere to that faith. And I do not count myself as an athiest. Yet I simply find it extremely rude that someone who doesn't even know me feels it imperative to tell me that I'm going to hell.)
sakon76: (Default)
This piece of art speaks to me: Wrong Century.
sakon76: (Default)
In this marathon editing process, I'm learning some things about the way I write. I use too many long, clauseful sentences. I hook things together too much. And I use "and" to start sentences way too often. I sometimes drop in chunks of description (for purposes of characterization) that really just detract from the flow. I tag dialogue sometimes when I don't need to.

In short, I frequently use too many words to do the job.

Ah well, that's what editing's for.
sakon76: (Default)
Some days you're just extra glad that you're having a good hair day.

Some old friends of the family are in the area this week, going to Disneyland. By "old friends," I mean my parents met them when my mom and Sue were in the same Lamaze class pre-me. Their son Cody was born a couple weeks ahead of me, and is basically my oldest friend. His first sister was born not too long after my younger sister, so they were childhood friends too.

I haven't seen them in twenty-two years. Somewhat amusingly, the last time I saw them, it was also because they were down here going to Disneyland. We've stayed in quasi-contact; Sue and my mom talk occasionally, and my mom passes on to me what they talked about.

It's kind of weird. In a way, Cody was my first love, in that intense preteen type of love where you know you'll be friends forever. I have no idea if it's true for him as well, but I still love him in that way. I suspect I always will. It's a completely different type of friendship love than the feelings I have for the friends I met in college, who I have now known for nearly half my life, and a completely different love again from the friendship and adoration I have for my husband. It's something that's been a part of me literally since before I was old enough to write or, possibly, speak.

It's... very humbling, to realize that there's something in me that's that old and still holding strong.
sakon76: (Default)
Had the final writing class for the term. There were two stories that got edited before the party part of the class began. And, in a class that's 2:1 women to men, I think I explained badly why one of the stories offended me.

Now, it's a half-military half-cow ranch setting story written by a man. And I have no problem with the fact that there are no women in the mercenary corps his main character trains and fields. The military is still an extremely male dominated area. I do have a problem with the fact that in this ten pages, the men finish a business meeting... and the women bring the food. That's all they do. I have a problem with the fact that the 3IC of the operation gets a full description of his military background... and his wife gets described solely by her looks. I have a problem with their son being a straight-A student, football quarterback who has to beat off the girls and sometimes their angry boyfriends, and he's a crack martial artist because he's his father's son... and the daughters are a pair of lovely girls who are off at college.

I am sorry. I am more than a wife, and more than a pretty face attached to a pair of tits and a vagina. I find the implication that all I'm good for is bringing the food and bearing the children to be extremely offensive.

And then, after I finished saying why I found the piece offensive, one of my other (male) classmates, concluded and dismissed with "Well, now that we've heard from Women's Lib...."

I realized I was a feminist the day one of my college professors pointed out that it was only due to feminists that any of us women were even sitting in the room. And while I don't go as far as a lot of the people whose blogs I read do, I get pissed off when anyone tries to tell me, even tacitly, that there are things I can't or shouldn't do just because my chromosomes match. That I am less than an equal. That my opinions, based as they are on the concept of all humans being equal, are not worthy of consideration.

Anyone who is in love with the idea that having a penis makes them better than someone who keeps their genitalia sensibly tucked inside? Can go insert their superior genitalia up their own anal orifices.

And I'm probably still explaining myself badly.

Sorry for venting. It's been one of those days.

Cheapskate

Oct. 7th, 2011 09:59 pm
sakon76: (Default)
My little sister moved up to the Seattle area about a year ago and is happily building her life there, having a career, buying a house, etc. In the last week she's upgraded her still very new sedan to a extremely new Jeep. Which is all well and good; it snows there sometimes, and she drives over to Spokane sometimes to visit her best friend, and it definitely snows in Spokane. So it's probably a better vehicle for her needs in that respect.

This, however, renews the bug in the ears of the rest of the family (ie, our parents and my husband) that I should have a new car. I started driving nineteen years ago and am only on my second vehicle ever (neither of which was new when I bought them). It's a 15-year-old 2-door Civic. It's dented and dinged in various places and the headliner is starting to go and currently has a mysterious oil leak that my uncle the mechanic doesn't seem to (yet) be able to fix. The headliner I know I need to replace, and plan to do so by the end of the year. The dents and dings I got priced, and repairs will be around 2K. I could maybe make a claim on our insurance for that and only have to pay the $500 deductible, but I don't like thinking about what that will do to our insurance rates. But that's merely cosmetic and I can live with cosmetic flaws. I've plenty of them myself.

The thing is, though, a new car costs $18-20K. Even a moderately used one is pretty close to that range. And we just bought expensive windows and have gaping holes in the master bathroom. (I'm also not keen on the fact that current vehicle designs mean I can't see the end of the hood.)

All of which boils down to the fact that I am politically liberal and financially conservative. And while I suspect there's something dark buried in my psychology which says you don't get to have nice things, I still don't like feeling pressured to trade up. Even if it's by family. Not for things I don't really need.
sakon76: (Ironhide)
Okay, I have to make a confession. While writing Toy Soldiers, I was crying. This is not a big deal; I've written a few stories before that had me touch-typing because I couldn't see the keyboard through my tears. But since finishing it and doing a few post-posting tweaks... it actually kind of leaves me cold. Like leaving a room and turning back and discovering the door locked behind you so all you can do is look in through the windows. I can't get back into the story; I can't identify emotionally with it anymore.

Yet, going by comment count, it's arguably the most popular thing, both here and on ff.net, that I've written in rather a while. There's an amorphous cloud of LJ people whose screen names I recognize from the fandom as being those people who will and do comment on my writings... and something like a third of the comments are from people outside that pool. I've never run into these individuals before; why are they suddenly commenting on this story? @.@; (No offense to said individuals, of course. It's just a bit bewildering to be "discovered" by a whole bunch of people at once, particularly when I post fiction fairly regularly.)

I suppose I'm just going through a touch of cognitive dissonance or dissociation or something. And writing what the entire fandom is feeling this week. But from the inside, it's a weird experience.
sakon76: (Default)
Is the term "representational art" inherently redundant?
sakon76: (Default)
Have had root canal, and am now onto a week of keflex for antibiotic. Why do doctors always prescribe bottles of painkillers? I told the pharmacy not to fill that half of the double prescription because it was ridiculous. I have ibuprofen at home already, I don't need another 30 pills of it "to be taken as needed, for pain." It's like giving me more food, to be eaten as needed, for hunger. Duh.

Things that are eerie, BTW: driving home at night from Botcon, listening to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, and glancing over to the right... and seeing the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles all lit up and glowing like the Grid. Cognitize dissonance, man.
sakon76: (Twin Terrors)
Every day on the way to work I pass a Lamborghini dealership. And they have some admittedly very pretty vehicles. One of my favorites for them to display is this gorgeous deep blue. Another is gold with an asymmetrical black and white stripe that I think Sunstreaker would approve of. And there's another plain gold. But somehow they've never had any red Lambos in their display windows.

That has changed this week. There are now two red Lamborghinis to go with the two gold ones. Double Lambo twins for the morning drive win!

Also, an amusing link ganked from [livejournal.com profile] akk_: How To Tell If You're A Writer.

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