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Kadath in the Cold Waste
04 July 2011 @ 03:09 pm
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that kittens are awesome, and that kittens stepping on tablets to produce fireworks are even awesomer:

Kadath in the Cold Waste
Here is a little girl with a huge hairbow singing "The Distance":

(h/t banerry)
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Kadath in the Cold Waste
27 June 2011 @ 03:01 pm
I had cake for breakfast. Saturday, I got a haircut and it looks amazing. Gotta buy a flat iron if I want it to stay amazing, though. Yesterday, people brought me wine and chocolate. Today, dirkcjelli took the day off from work and cleaned the bathroom.

nihilistic_kid, I got a copy of Haunted Legends in the mail. Sign it for me over the Internet!

I also found out that the game I have been waiting for my entire life is only available for the 7th gen platform I don't have.

I have no coherent narrative for the day. I'm just in a good mood, minus being GARDEN-COCKBLOCKED BY SONY.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
23 June 2011 @ 05:48 pm
The woman for whom the food pantry part of the non-profit at which I volunteer is named informed me today that I am "a keeper." I guess I get to stay. (Seriously, places that rely on volunteer labor are so used to taking what they get that if you display a bare minimum of competence, suddenly you're Lillian fucking Gilbreth.)

It's almost heartbreaking how relieved some of the clients seem that I treat them the way I would treat a customer if I were a paid receptionist.

One of the cool parts about volunteering at a food pantry is that there is always cake and/or a box of bagels. Supermarkets donate their day-old bakery items (and then write it off their taxes; so much for "private charity." It's not the government paying I object to. It's the hypocrisy of people who try to stop the government from helping its most vulnerable citizens.) The food pantry can't give it all away fast enough unless it's in a high-demand location, so some of it goes in the break room or home with the staff and volunteers. I would knife an orphan for carrot cake, man. Likewise, any time there's a produce donation, you leave with some, because they can't hand it all out in time. Functionally, in Massachusetts, this means a lot of free kale. There's still an entire copy-paper box of bunches of that shit that I bagged last week sitting in the food pantry fridge.

I got home to a big honking Amazon box, which I did not open because I am a good birthday girl. My sitcom-esque levels of neuroticism about turning 30 have subsided, likely because I started doing something useful with my time. (On that note, we are doing a thing for me at 6:30 on Monday at O'Connor's. I will have gotten a new haircut, so be prepared to compliment it. RSVP to Brian. If you don't know what that means or how to get in touch with Brian, possibly you should not worry about attending my birthday dinner, because you are not local.)

I have been reading Captain Awkward, and she is pretty amazing.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
13 June 2011 @ 04:14 pm
My default expression is apparently "fuck off and die," and thus usually strangers don't talk to me unless they need directions--because people who look like they hate everything know where they're going? I guess? (Seriously, I get asked for directions in cities I don't live in, in countries I don't live in, in languages I'm only passable at. If I ever go to sub-Saharan Africa, someone's probably going to ask me for directions in !Kung, despite me being a 5'9" white chick. It's kind of insane.)

It didn't work today.

I edged in to grab a bag of (organic) frozen broccoli next to a woman who was scrutinizing the (organic) frozen peas, which was all it took to get cornered for a five-minute monologue on the virtues of various farmer's markets in the area. (Capsule summary: Natick, bad, Framingham, good, farms in Somerset, good, because of some unexplained land feature indicated by a hand gesture similar to an orchestra conductor's.) After a digression about how it didn't feel like summer yet this year, I said I would maybe check out the Framingham one next week and escaped into the next aisle.

I went unmolested save for the usual brief "excuse me" exchanges of reasonably well-behaved people maneuvering carts in small spaces, until I was checking out. The clerk, who was probably 15-20 years my senior, making him in his 40s, asked to see my shirt, which I get a lot, because it's an awesome shirt.

He then proceeded to sort-of grill me on communism, which was weird, 'cause I couldn't figure out which orthodoxy he was testing. Usually I can tell whether they're sizing me up for an ice axe or a HUAC hearing, but I couldn't pin this guy down. He laid claim to a poli-sci PhD, which may have had something to do with it.

The really weird part was when he asked if anyone had ever told me it was insensitive and I shouldn't be wearing it. I was like "dude, we live in Massachusetts and also the Wall came down when I was eight?" but wherever he may have been going with that was entirely derailed by one of his coworkers running up to tell me she loved my shirt and ask where I'd gotten it.

Kadath in the Cold Waste
07 June 2011 @ 03:33 pm
The Freakonomics guys are such shallow thinkers. It drives me round the bend that they're considered innovative and daring. Freakonomics and Centauri Dreams. Two URLs that if I see them on the rollover, I'm guaranteed not to click. Argh.

How irritating I find something appears to be inversely proportional to how much effect it actually has on my life.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
26 May 2011 @ 04:12 pm
Saw Thor the other day. It's the Rashomon of comic book movies--but given that comic book movies are dreck, that makes it the Akira of regular movies. Branagh's the right guy to direct your four-color crap; Shakespearean sensibilities mesh well with all the scenery chewing in comic books, and he's good enough at his craft to make something watchable from a ludicrous comics script. Hell, every last character even has understandable and logical motivations, which never happens in comics.

I enjoyed it, despite the fact the above paragraph sounds like damning with faint praise. It's a perfectly fine two hours of pretty people with improbable difficulties. You don't even have to switch off your brain too much, except to accept the romance plot. Also, Hawkeye has a cameo. They're setting up the Avengers movie, which will either be great or a clusterfuck. (You know what they should make? The Great Lakes Avengers movie.)

There were about a million previews. The Cap movie looks okay, the X-Men one looks like heavy-handed moralizing, and the Green Lantern one looks like they fucking cast Deadpool as Hal Jordan and paid $3.50 and sixer of PBR for the special effects. There's also a new Conan movie, apparently, which looks less dumb than the 80s version. Low bar, I know.
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Kadath in the Cold Waste
25 May 2011 @ 03:24 pm
I'm not sure why Republicans are running on "privatize Medicare." Historically, fucking with Medicare is the one sure-fire means of political self-immolation. It's why they fight so hard against any kind of social safety net. They know once it's in place, they can never get rid of it.

Too in debt to the lunatic 25%, I guess.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
10 May 2011 @ 03:56 pm
No, I haven't gone maudlin on you.

Dove makes a line of bite-sized chocolates called "Promises," aimed at whatever demographic ad execs think has orgasms over chocolate. So, 30 year old women, I guess? They're upper mid-tier chocolate, about as good as you can get the average supermarket or gas station, pretty much only objectionable in that they're trying to be a "lifestyle" brand. (And in that their product is probably harvested by child labor in Côte d'Ivoire.)

Anyway, they have ridiculously inane "life-affirming" phrases printed on the inside of the wrappers. Like, say, the post title. Or the one I just unwrapped, "Feel good about today."

Take that phrase. Read it in your favorite actor's "villain" voice. Jeremy Irons, Christopher Walken, anyone who's ever played Richard Gloucester in Richard III.

...So yeah, we went through a lot of chocolate on Sunday. lucasthegray does a really good villain voice.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
For the second time in a few months, I missed a step down from a sidewalk to a parking lot, fell, and wrenched my already bad ankle horribly. I am managing with a cocktail of Advil and stubbornness, though I do believe it's time to see the doctor. The falls were essentially the same, which makes me worry I have proprioception issues on the bad side, or at least that the muscles there can't compensate for a misstep well enough for my taste.

(And then, since I was there alone and I could still move everything, I drove home. My car is a stick shift and the fucked-up side is my left. It was totally awesome, you guys.)

Today is also the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, so I am not in the best of moods, really.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
22 March 2011 @ 08:02 pm
So apparently my uncle is now involved in croquet league play.

You read that right. There's a croquet tournament association, which he has joined. They make you take a training course before you can play. There's a strict dress code to be on the...whatever the croquet field is called. There is also an integrity code (which, according to Dad, everyone breaks.) There are regulation aluminum mallets that have model years so you can tell how long someone's been playing by looking at their mallet. There are two companies in the world that manufacture these mallets, one in Japan and one in New Zealand. My uncle's mallet was shipped from New Zealand, and is engraved. With the club discount, he paid $175 for a fancy hammer.

I'm not related by blood, at least.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
Thanks, nature. Somewhere, someone is having to explain to a disingenuous mouth-breather that weather =/= climate, and that wild fluctuations are actually predicted by the global warming model. (Hartford set a record high temperature a couple days back, not-so-incidentally.)

I've been doing that "dozens of classic/critically-acclaimed movies in Netflix queue; watch total crap instead" thing lately. Exhibit A: The Tsunami Warrior, the plot of which can be boiled down to "Warring States periods are good movie settings and also Buddhism will make you Aquaman." There is of course the possibility that I'm missing some cultural signposts, but I am skeptical that deep knowledge of Thai culture would improve that movie measurably. Watch Ong Bak 2 if you want a Thai period piece that doesn't make a lot of sense. It's prettier and the fights are better.

I have also been watching a lot of those "Walking With Dinosaurs" specials. There needs to be some kind of paleontologist pit fight to determine whether T. Rex was a scavenger or not.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
CAESAR: The Ides of March are come.

SOOTHSAYER: Aye, Caesar, but not gone.


I have nothing to say. Blame a variety of factors. How's everyone?
Kadath in the Cold Waste
16 February 2011 @ 07:18 pm
Still reading. I just haven't got much to say. Time creeps in its petty pace &c.

Anything you want to read my rambling on? (Current events are out on account of being too fucking depressing.)
Kadath in the Cold Waste
18 January 2011 @ 05:39 pm
Kadath in the Cold Waste
16 January 2011 @ 10:38 pm
  • Recommended: The Secret of NIMH

    Because you enjoyed: Dune

  • Recommended: Amélie

    Because you enjoyed: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

  • Recommended: Bill Hicks Live

    Because you enjoyed: Rashomon

  • Recommended: Jeeves & Wooster: Season 1

    Because you enjoyed: Yojimbo, Rashomon

  • Recommended: Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

    Because you enjoyed: Blade Runner
As near as I can determine, telling it you like Rashomon will result in Neflix recommending every movie ever made.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
11 January 2011 @ 01:56 am
One of the sample reading exercises in my Japanese book is ostensibly from a blog about someone's first day practicing with a civic orchestra, and includes a photo of a blond woman with a cello:

That woman has clearly never before held a cello in her life. It's entirely too low (there's a pin in the base that should be extended and isn't), she's holding the bow wrong, she's got the neck on the wrong side of her body, her left hand is in the wrong position, and if you showed up to the cello section in a dress that short, you wouldn't be allowed to perform. Female cellists wear either full skirts or trousers.

Seriously, it's so wrong I think it might be from porn.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
Building Pandora stations is an exercise is figuring out what the fuck the music genome algorithm is thinking. I am currently trying to build a mostly Daft Punk station by seeding only Daft Punk and thumbs-upping every Daft Punk track it plays. They bounce around enough inside their genre that this may not work, but I persevere.

Seeding a station with Martina Topley Bird, Massive Attack, and the Sneaker Pimps worked brilliantly.

Seeding one with Gravity Kills and Stabbing Westward didn't have enough melody, so I added Sisters of Mercy. Still not enough melody, so I added Dead Can Dance. Then it started playing Clannad and Loreena McKinnett. NO. BAD SELECTION ALGORITHM. I don't actively dislike either of them, but they do not belong on my attempt at a melodic industrial/rock/electronica/whatever I'll know it when I hear it station. The algorithm's persistent problem with blending diverse influences rather than just bouncing back and forth among them remains, I see.

...Jesus Christ it just tried to play Massive Attack on my Daft Punk station. NO. TRIP-HOP STATION IS OVER THERE. GET OFF MY DAFT PUNK STATION.
Kadath in the Cold Waste
07 January 2011 @ 02:07 pm
My netbook--I am informed that this is in fact an "ultraportable"--came today. Its name is Lovecraft because it's an HP and it's white.

Windows 7 is taking some getting used to. Things are too easy and I get frustrated because I automatically try to do them the hard way and fail. Microsoft taught me wrong because they thought it would be funny.

I am writing this from the couch.