At some point I will work out a better custody arrangement for my lunchtimes, as it were. Perhaps even something with a schedule. While I am not by any means required to eat lunch with my team, it is good for bonding and morale to do so on occasion.
The move is forcing some organization, so while I keep feeling like I did nothing, in fact there was a lot, and paper getting recycled, and there's my spare set of highlighters and that notebook, and I'm building procedures and things are making sense again. My Overlady has plots for improving things, and I am happy to get behind that, or in front of it, or in whatever direction I would be most useful.
It was an off week for the company togetherness, so there was unofficial togetherness. ( Read more... )
Today I got another glimpse of brilliance, this time from Carolyn Hax. A young woman asks how to handle her relationship with her boyfriend, who is apparently perfect in every way except that he uses her past sexual relationships to bludgeon her into doing things she's not comfortable with. In the midst of advice (which is a more sensitively phrased version of "run, fast and far, and hope never to see him again"), there was this paragraph:
When I read “he loves to throw things in my face” exactly one sentence after, “I’ve never had a better friend in the world,” I just want to cry for how low you’ve set your friendship bar.
I wish I'd understood this when I was much younger. I had friends as well as "lovers" who hurt me so badly, and I couldn't untangle my desire for them to be good from the fact that they actually weren't any good.
I often like Carolyn Hax. This time I love her a little. And the woman who asked - I love her a lot, and wish I could just download all the stuff I've had 20 more years than her to learn, so she wouldn't have to go at it the hard way. Which, when at their best, Captain Awkward and Carolyn Hax are trying to do, and that is why I go back and read their stuff.
2. I did not receive any panicked emails from my mom today, so I'm assuming that means everything is going smoothly with the new computer. (I was a bit worried.)
3. Irene has been watching old Simpsons episodes, which made me want to watch old Simpsons episodes, so I've been watching season six. So many great episodes! So many classic lines that have become part of my vocabulary! Hard to believe these episodes are nearly twenty years old. O_o I have coworkers younger than season six of The Simpsons...
If the ladder is gone and can't be repaired, that pretty much drops the bottom out of this year's window -- maybe 10% (or less) of people who are trying to summit Everest these days have the technical skill and high-altitude mountain climbing experience to handle that area of the climb without the help. It's going to be an ugly season.
I can hold forth for a while on the state of Everest these days. I have a lot of opinions for somebody who would never dream of getting anywhere near it myself. Long story short: Everest climbing has turned into a perfect storm of the Western world marketing "climbing Everest" as one of those 'hardcore life-altering experiences', a number of unqualified people setting themselves up as guides to cash in on that marketing, a 'free market' for guiding where there's no regulation or objective standard of quality guiding so clueless hardcore-sports-tourists have no means by which to evaluate the capabilities of the expedition leaders to handle shit if shit gets ugly, a tendency to try to compete on price because aforementioned clueless mountaineering-tourists balk at paying what the non-shady expedition leaders charge, and over it all, the driving motivations (and associated ethical complications) of the Nepalese government depending on that Western money for support, thus creating incentives for them to maximize the number of people who buy permits every year. There's a lot of additional factors, but all of those combine to create a perfect storm of completely unqualified climbers being led by completely inadequate expedition leaders who rely on the Sherpas and don't give them anywhere near enough credit -- or pay -- which leads to resentment that's been bubbling for a while, to the point where last year there was a confrontation that nearly turned deadly. Everest is full of people who are trying to commit suicide in the messiest way possible and take a lot of people with them, and the honest and capable expedition leaders not only have to clean up the mess on the mountain but also deal with the market forces and the fallout later.
The fact is, though, that nobody would climb Sagarmatha (which is what the Sherpas call the mountain, although that's a recent coinage; before they used the Tibetan name, Chomolungma) without Sherpa aid and Sherpa knowledge. The Sherpas set the ropes up the entire mountain ahead of any other climbers, carry supplies up the mountain from camp to camp before any climbers start behind them, serve as porters for climbers throughout the process of climbing, and pack out all the trash (and I do mean all the trash, including human waste) behind. They're the first ones in at the beginning of the season and the last ones out at the end. Every person who's summitted the mountain in modern times has done so relying on the work of a Sherpa, and -- although this is changing somewhat (but not fast enough for a lot of the Sherpas) -- often without giving any credit to the Sherpas that make it possible.
So I'm saddened to hear that a dozen (or more) Sherpas died yesterday on the mountain (because the moutain will kill you as easily as not; it will not notice, it will not care), but I'm even more sad that they were there on that mountain because of alpine adventure tourism and Western demand. I've been pleased to see several news articles about the icefall include and acknowledge some of the ethical quandaries and the stark realities of Everest tourism. I wish this could help make meaningful change in how the commodified "climb Mt Everest" industry runs these days, and helps to get some of those unqualified people being duped by unethical expedition leaders off the mountain until they're at least a little more qualified, but I doubt it will.
This is so not an actual linkspam post I'm writing here, but this post at tv_talk features a nice picture of Aaron and Shawn Ashmore at the top, if you haven't ever seen them together. (Aaron plays Steve Jinks on Warehouse 13 and Shawn plays Mike Weston on The Following [as well as Bobby Drake/Iceman in the X-Men movies]. One of these days I need to rewatch the Fringe episode that used them both.)
And I really like the most recent xkcd, about the whole (US-centric) "Freedom of Speech" notion that so many people take to mean "I can be a complete asshole and if you call me on it you're trampling my God-given right to be a jerk!"
(I love the ALT text so much I'm just going to record it here: "I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.")
When wildpear headed out last night, she took the first three volumes of the Fruits Basket "ultimate edition" (large hardbound volumes containing two volumes each; only about half of the series came out in that format before Tokyopop shut down) with her. ^_^ She's only read the series once, and not for years and years; she read what there was in scans when I first got into it in 2003, and then once scruloose and I moved home from Toronto, she kept up with it as it came out in Japan, same as I did. So it's not surprising that a) most of the series is kinda foggy for her now, and b) most of what she remembers has to do with Rin and Haru, since she betaed most of my fanfic until she got pregnant.
To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever simply sat down and read through the whole series. It just feels like I have. I read what I could in scans when I first fell for it; then I read the Tokyopop volumes as they came out, and simultaneously kept up with the Japanese release; there were group rereads on forums and a couple of people's LJs, which sometimes generating fantastic discussions, but I don't think any of them got all the way through; and of course I did a lot of flipping through and fact-/dialogue-checking when I was adapting the two fanbooks, which were years apart...
(It's equally weird to realize I've only read Newsflesh straight through three times--I read each book the year it came out, and then as soon as I finished Blackout I turned around and reread the whole thing immediately, and I read along when Mark Reads went through the series.)
Maybe sometime soon (whatever that means) I should reread such beloved stories and see who among you might feel like chatting about either or both with me on a regular (or sporadic) basis. I don't know, does that sound appealing to anybody?
(I have put zero thought into this so far, but my immediate impulse would be to do rereads that involved full series spoilers, but I know there are a couple of you who are either planning to read Newsflesh and haven't started yet, or are only one book in, and likewise I know of at least one person who's planning to read Fruits Basket for the first time--depending on availability, presumably. This out-of-print thing sucks SO MUCH. So anyway, I'm saying I could be flexible about working around spoilers or making two posts per chunk or something, if someone really wanted. ^_^)
[ETA: Either way, I'm not really leaning towards doing anything terribly formal. I just think it's long past time to properly reread some of the things I love best, and such things are always more fun if other people feel like dropping by. ^_^]
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?"
They do if you use the magic words David Brin Glory Season. Or one will, any, from the deeps of the interwebs.
Overall, though things are improving, I am getting worse. A lot of it has to do with the repeated two-steps-back kind of progress penalities. The latest setback was compounded by a really unprofessional therapist who then mocked me for it. He got fired, but there hasn't been any help in over a month. I've been interviewing new possibilities, but it's excruciatingly painful to tell these people all this stuff that hurts me and then be rejected or realize that I cannot cope with them.
I've been less Luke in the forests of Degobah lately. I don't go into things expecting to be hurt, which is enormous progress for me.
My parents called last Sunday but I wasn't home. Their message sounded rehearsed because the timing of how they both talked and the threads interwove, that isn't something people do without practice. It was completely wasted on me. What I heard was, "We know he died, now there's no one who can keep us from hurting you." The worst part is that's true whether they meant it or not. That phone call hurt me tremendously. I'd have done *anything* to make it never happen again. Normally I don't want to be the villain of my own story, so that was a big shock.
I saw Captain America 2. The people who write movies and TV really have a problem now that we've decided that no one named is allowed to die. The Winter Soldier is unredeemable. There's no possible way that level of damage can be repaired, there is no amount of re-routing and retraining that would make him anything other than a dangerous wreck of a man. It's like a non-working dog that has bitten 3 people; society says it has to be put down because it's dangerous and out of control. But I guess there wouldn't be a movie if Captain America looked at The Winter Soldier and shouted, "ZOMBIE!!!! KILL IT!!! KILL IT!!!!"
I've managed to lose 30 pounds this year.
Before sending your ebook out for review, take a quick look to make sure it's readable. Just had one that isn't. Looking at it, i would guess it was originally a pdf and someone fed it through Caliber without double-checking the resulting epub.
One of the things he's not very good at is ( litterbox management. )