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kyburg July 28 2014, 12:02

My tweets

firinel July 28 2014, 08:10

No subject

The other day a friend asked me to explain why I go through some much trouble, seeming to bend over backwards, to remain civil in what she described as negative relationships.

I said: When you're self-aware, and struggle and fight so much within yourself, you develop a distaste for experiencing that externally as well, let alone causing it on another.
tsuki_no_bara July 28 2014, 04:16

geek prom, fic stuff

three san diego links, mostly for me but also in case you guys haven't seen them and are interested:

mad max: fury road trailer. it looks kinda violent and kinda post-apocalyptic and honestly, all you have to say is "mad max" and "tom hardy" and i'm there. i'm easy that way. :D

interview with chris evans and mark ruffalo - way more adorable than should fit in nine minutes.

travis fimmel, katheryn winnick, clive standen, and alexander ludwig, aka part of the vikings cast looking lovely (katheryn) and kind of goofy (the guys).

i can't remember what else i wanted to mention.... still making plans for bigbang 2015 and thinking up conflicts, altho by "conflict" i mean "a thing that happens that presents a problem that kind of needs to be solved". which i guess is technically a conflict. whatever. it's a plot point. and plot points are good! i like plot points.

and i think the reason no one is reading this year's bang is because i totally screwed up the html in the spn_j2_bigbang comm post, and i couldn't edit it so i had to delete it and re-post, and i think my comm post just kind of fell through the cracks and no one saw it. it's a nice story and i had fun writing it and i like it and i want more people to read it, and it annoys the hell out of me that it's probably because of my inability to check my html before i post that it doesn't have more readers. hmph, self, hmph. my poor fic. :(

totally unrelated, i'm kind of half-assedly looking for vw buses or camper vans or something equivalent for the spnoff girls to travel around in, and i found this converted school bus and i want it. the girls probably have an old vw bus, tho. whatever it is, they name it janis, after janis joplin. so it's actually a she, not an it.
muckefuck July 28 2014, 03:18


I watched Wreck-It Ralph tonight and enjoyed the hell out of it. I made only a token effort to get the Old Man to watch it with me, because I'm sure he has exactly zero warm feelies for any video arcade game. My moments of squee! included the first appearance of Q-bert and cameo by Beard Papa. (I think I may have actually yelled "Beard Papa!" at the screen.) It's probably for the best the Japanese girl group who sing the theme were some act I'd never heard of; has it been Shonen Knife, I would've shrieked like a little chiisai gyaru.

Even back in the 80s I was never a big video gamer, so a lot of the references passed me by--I couldn't've named any of the villains at the bad guy group and I wouldn't've picked up on the resemblance of Sugar Rush to Mario Kart if I hadn't just watched my nephew play that over vacation. Part of me wanted to watch the whole movie again just to have a chance to catch some of the more clever details. Oh, and given that the main characters were clearly modelled on the voice actors, I was surprised to discover Ralph was voiced by John C. Reilly rather than Mark Ruffalo.
amaebi July 28 2014, 03:05

US education and seriousnesses

Here in sports-mad Colorado I'm deeply struck by the cultural emphasis on sports-- the resources and the intelligence that go into helping children and adults learn the skills of sports. As Amanda Ripley's _The Smartest Kids in the World_ noted, there's a big contrast between attention and devotion to sports in the US, and to education, especially maths education.

In Colorado, there's practically a whole separate sportsworld alongside secularworld. A bit like what Luke Timothy Johnson said about US [conservative] Christians constructing a parallel [conservative] Christian set of institutions. (Christian music, Christian businesses, like that.) Johnson is right-- and in Colorado there are sports and specific-sport institutions that parallel others, too.

Today's NYTimes contains a story about innovative maths education and its reception in the US and in Japan. It contains this paragraph:
"Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The `4' in `¼,' larger than the `3' in `⅓,' led them astray."

This kind of abyss-like lacuna comes from the teaching of maths-as-ritual, rather than maths-as-vehicles-of-and-for-thought.

imagine soccer taught that way.

And of course a major part of the problem is the need to devote resources, including patience, to teaching teachers both maths and how to teach maths. "Learning to teach the new way himself was not easy. “I had so much trouble,” Kurita said. “I had absolutely no idea how to do it.” He listened carefully for what Japanese teachers call children’s twitters — mumbled nuggets of inchoate thoughts that teachers can mold into the fully formed concept they are trying to teach. And he worked hard on bansho, the term Japanese teachers use to describe the art of blackboard writing that helps students visualize the flow of ideas from problem to solution to broader mathematical principles. But for all his efforts, he said, “the children didn’t twitter, and I couldn’t write on the blackboard.” Yet Kurita didn’t give up — and he had resources to help him persevere. ... Of all the lessons Japan has to offer the United States, the most important might be the belief in patience and the possibility of change."
realinterrobang July 28 2014, 00:25

In Memoriam, George, 2010(?)-2014

I was out weeding the garden earlier this evening when the neighbour lady across the way with the grape arbor came and said, "Do you have a black and white cat?" I said, "Yes, I do," and she said, "George, right? When was the last time you saw him?" I said, "Yesterday. He didn't come home last night, but I wasn't too worried because sometimes he doesn't come home at night," and she said, "Well, I think you'd better come over, because he's in our bushes and he's not moving."

By the looks of things, he had a heart attack while chasing something, sometime yesterday.

He's in the chest freezer downstairs while I figure out what to do.

I don't know how I feel right now, because part of me is angry that he was so young and he didn't even live the whole seven months the vet said he probably would live; part of me is sad; part of me isn't sad because I knew he wasn't going to live much longer; I miss him, and everything.

Gypsy apparently knows (probably because we carried the paper bag through the house), because she's been moping on my bed all evening and didn't even purr when I cuddled and patted her earlier.

I'm glad I could give him a good life, and sad that it was far too short. He was a real character and will be missed by his large and devoted fan club in the neighbourhood.

I miss you, handsome fella.
kyburg July 27 2014, 12:01

My tweets

nwhyte July 27 2014, 10:21

July Books 12) Crash, by J.G. Ballard

Gosh. Difficult to know where to start or finish with this very disturbing book about a group of people who are brought together by their sexual interest in car crashes. It's very grittily and credibly set in West London; the car crash scenes are somewhat more erotic than the sex scenes, which are full of somewhat disgusting detail; and the whole is awfully well done, but I'm not sure I would want to read it again, or that I would necessarily recommend it to anyone else.

nwhyte July 27 2014, 09:45

July Books 11) Doctor Who: Cybermen Monster File

A rather impressive little ebook from the BBC, downloadable from here - free to people in the UK until 31 July, the rest of us have to pay. Gavin Collinson has assembled the usual material, complete with video clips from both Old and New Who, about the Cybermen, and Joe Lidster supplies a suitably creepy story. Aimed at the 6-12s, but I was pretty satisfied with it myself. Apparently this is by way of being a pilot project to see if there is take-up for it; I hope there will be more.

tsuki_no_bara July 27 2014, 04:22

i want to sit someone down and just babble ridiculousness at them

oh my flist, i am SO EXCITED about my idea for next year's bigbang. i spent some quality time today making notes for it and asking myself questions and, er, thinking of ridiculous cameos to inflict on it, because if there wasn't a ridiculous cameo it wouldn't be mine. fun was had. this pleases me.

also i went to the comic shop to get my comics, and the guy working there (who was not the owner who's usually there on saturdays, because the owner was on vacation) was wearing a captain america t-shirt, so i commented that it was thematically appropriate considering it's comicon weekend. (altho i know the marvel panel hadn't happened yet.) and that i was amused that for something called comic con, pretty much all the news coming out of it was tv and movie related.

part of that news was a nifty casting spoilerCollapse ) for vikings s3, tho, so i'm not totally complaining.

oh and also, for the vikings fen who might not have seen it, there's a trailer for s3. looks cool, doesn't say much specific.

check out cowgirl wonder woman. i love cosplayers.

this has nothing to do with sdcc, buuut... poutine burger. ie, a hamburger with fries and gravy and cheese curds. homg.
muckefuck July 27 2014, 01:38


Today was held in suspension. It kept felt like it was going to rain, but it never did, and I was at a loss for what to do with myself. Plenty of things I need to do, but the thought of tackling any of them just fills me with inertia and run away to YouTube for distraction. By midafternoon, I realised I couldn't piss away the entire day this way, so I reread Brokeback Mountain.

I think I read it for the first time last year. Afterwards I kept Close range by my bedside afterwards but made slow and intermittent progress and only finished it last week. "Brokeback Mountain" comes off as the most completely realised story in that volume. Some of the others feel a bit picaresque, lacking the classic arc that one has. The quirky diction feels less show-offy and more in service to the narrative, particularly compared to "The Governors of Wyoming", which comes right before it.

Knowing how close I was to the end of African farm, I started on Edward P. Jones' The known world. I liked his short stories, but they didn't really prepare me for how he writes a novel. The first thirty pages of so were slightly bewildering, not just because of how he piles on the character introductions but because almost every one of them involves some nested excursus into history and gossip. At one point I found myself constantly having to remind myself which character was being discussed, the dead patriarch or his son.

I'm willing to do that sort of work for a rich setting and a seductive style, but I was seeing little of either for a while there. The narrative seems to be finding its stride, but I'm still toying with the idea of diving into Woodrell or Vanderhaeghe instead.
stephe July 26 2014, 18:12

July 25, 2014

Up mid-morning, and the weather was predicting rain, so I didn't do any painting after all. (Of course, here at the end of the day it still hasn't rained, so I probably could have gotten a start on the trim this morning. Oh well.) I actually felt kind of sick this morning, so after my usual internet routine I went back to bed for a few hours. I felt better when I got up, which is good, because that was about time for me to get ready for work.

I walked in to work today, where I pulled a 3:00 PM t0 9:00 PM closing shift. It was an extremely busy day, with lots and lots of customers, which was great. That continued even into the evening. In fact, the only quiet time I really had was between about 6:00 PM and 6:30 PM, when I assume people were at dinner. Towards closing time, the Elvis impersonator who had been by last month (and possibly in between then and now) set up again in front of the store next door. He drew a pretty good crowd.

Despite my ankle, I walked home today. I was pretty sore by the time I reached our front door, but I assume that builds character. The evening has been a pretty quiet one so far, as usual. Tomorrow, my schedule looks a lot like today's although I will have more to do in the morning, painting or not.

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