blowing off dust

More than once I have bought a "lifetime" membership in something, only to find the term weaseled into that-was-then-this-is-now. So this is a test of a number of things I suppose. ETA: couldn't post from the app successfully but it appears I do still have a functional permanent account. So kudos for that, LJ.

the old dog learns a new trick

My brother got an Xbox One as a premium for 15yrs at his job, and so I am slowly learning the arcane ways of the controller as an input device. I'm pleased to report that after spending some time with Zoo Tycoon and Lego Jurassic World I feel like I am getting a little of the hang of it. Then I tried the free trial of Overwatch last weekend and learned that I still have quite a ways to go. I don't think I'll ever be terribly good at FPS or platform-jumping games, but I have been pleasantly surprised at my adaptability.

Not Interested

Seriously, how rude and self-involved do you have to be to be so utterly convinced that you are right and I am wrong about something as to come and bang on my door just to tell me so? To ask me "is that so?" when I tell you I am not interested, like I don't know my own mind and desires. To think so much of your own opinions that you automatically discount mine and my knowledge of my personal needs, tastes or wants? Clearly it isn't a level of rudeness that exceeds human capacity, alas.
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Days like today, growing up, my mom would build a fire in the fireplace and burn papers. Discarded magazines, old newspapers, items with what we would now call sensitive information. So my ears are suggesting I go down in the basement of a house I haven't lived in for 30+ years and my nose is insisting something doesn't smell right because there's no tang of smoke in the damp.

Next I'll be rabbiting on about madeleines.


Travel good; lone travel less good

I realized after I had been here a day or so that this was the first time I had traveled anywhere by myself where I wasn't expected or planning to meet anyone. I have to say I am thinking that I will have to do things differently in the future. Few things are as uncomfortable as being both profoundly lonely and profoundly disinclined to talk to strangers. So if I do this again I'm going to have to make an effort to do it with people, and I am rarely comfortable doing that. This whole trip has been remarkably out of my comfort zone, which is probably why I'm exhausted today and contemplating skipping my second day at the zoo. I got sunburned yesterday in spite of my precautions but today is cooler so more clothes are likely to be more comfortable. In any case I need to get off the computer and figure out what I am or am not doing.

DIY project meets dyscalculia; hijinks ensue.

So, after a year to see what the range of variation in sun intensity was, I decided that yes, something besides just the sheer curtains we have would be a good idea to have for our living-room picture window. Three panels, clear glass, two of about 21"x 55" sq inches and the middle one about 70"x55". I ordered some privacy film online, and ended up with one sheet of 36"x24" and one sheet of 36"x72" simply because I picked two patterns I liked, planning to order more of the one I chose and return the other.

Even I, mired in the throes of dyscalculia, can look at those numbers and know I need more material if I'm going to fully cover the windows. However, after putting up two test panels on the flanking windows, I realized that for the center window I am not going to want full coverage, or (among other things) the hummingbirds at the feeder will ALWAYS look like those grainy blurs I tweeted earlier. So my plan became to fill in the lower portion of the two side windows (a 19"x 21" space on each), and if the numbers work out, order another roll to cover the center panel leaving a viewing gap at the top.

I am terrible at arithmetic. I used to think I was just bad at math, except that didn't seem entirely right because I got mostly A's in math classes until I hit a wall in trigonometry/pre-calculus. Knowing what I know now, I'm pretty sure it was the sine/cosine/etc. tables that did me in there, since this was just prior to computers taking over the world, and certain sadists in the field of childhood education felt that the use of calculators was tantamount to cheating. Ahem. In any case, my problem isn't with theory - my problem is that in my mind, numerals and numbers both behave like they are made of mercury, and the moment I turn my back on them they dissolve into a giant puddle of "set it all equal to 1". Plus the classic mistakes of 2 for 5, 6 for 9, 3 for 8 and the reverse.

Practical projects go something like this: measure window, write down measurements, measure window again, write down measurements, add 36"+ 19" and get 45", do some area calculations, realize something is off, check my math with the calculator, discover that 36+19 is 55". Wonder how I both carried the 1 and dropped it at the same time. Swear off doing math in my head AGAIN, except this was a sum I'd worked on paper. Twice. Remind myself this is why I check my arithmetic with the calculator, especially before I start the part with the slice-y things. Go online, order another roll of film; cut the remaining film I have to size and successfully apply it.

I like the feeling of accomplishment I get from rectifying household issues like this one, but sometimes the figuring takes three times as long as the actual work. Good thing I can judge success by what works.

TwitchCon ahoy

[...and that is my one concession to talk like a pirate day because in my world pirates tend to say things like "give me your valuables without a fuss and I might not shoot you" or "shoot them anyway"]

Decided to attend TwitchCon in San Diego for my birthday because the London trip wasn't going to work out. I won't call it an acid test but I think after I come back I'll know a lot more about what sort of streaming I want to continue to do. More than one time it has been suggested that the readings I currently do might be a better fit on YouTube... which amuses me because the coffee roasting streams I've done are on YouTube and not Twitch due to a foible of the software I've been using. What kind of introvert streams? That's one question I keep asking myself, along with wondering if this isn't another thing that sounds really cool in my head but in the real world isn't something I'm suited for in temperament. More research is needed, ergo this trip.

plus ca change and all that

The most "throw-up-my-hands" moment so far in the storage unit purge has got to be the boxes of other, empty, "perfectly good boxes" I've uncovered and recycled. We've been paying to warehouse a remarkable collection of empty space. (I'm pretty confident I haven't inadvertently destroyed anyone's gift of 'the breath from their body' or the like.)

I will be putting the vintage stuff up for sale on Etsy, in particular the Nativity sets and the glassware. There's a major donation run for the clothes in my future as well.

I'm making better progress that it seems if I measure by boxes emptied. Even when I omit the ones that were already empty when I started.


Blowing off the dust

I'm sitting in my living room surrounded by boxes. A year ago, more or less, the same. Then we had just moved in; now we have just cleaned out the storage unit. If you want to be kind you can say our family has a tendency toward the pack-rat; you would be equally accurate to label it hoarding. A huge chunk of this stuff is redolent with memories, which is what really makes things hard to discard. (Some of it is redolent for other reasons, but I have a bottle of febreze around somewhere.)

It's quite a relief to have it all consolidated, though.

moving pictures, large and small

So I do a volunteer gig ushering for the Seattle International Film Festival's Uptown theater once a week, and as a result I have been getting a slightly broader exposure to films and series coming out than just my usual trailers-before-the-films-I-actually-see-in-a-theater and random internet ad-dodging. Some items of interest I thought I would mention:

One of the films we have currently is The Babadook, a horror piece with Essie Davis. I didn't recognize her from the latter two Matrix films, but my co-usher mentioned a Australian tv series she stars in called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries which she recommended as utterly delightful. Davis plays Miss Phryne Fisher (pronounced FRY-knee, I discovered, rather than any of the more creative mispronunciations I had come up with before-hand). I got the first season on DVD from the library, and the 1st & 2nd seasons are on Netflix streaming at the moment, and they are wonderful. I've seen a couple of the folks I follow here on LJ mention them in passing, so I wanted to chime in and add my accolades to the mix. Gorgeous costumes, sharp wit, and social commentary that is on-point and informs the action without seeming forced. It's a period drama set in 1928 Melbourne, Australia and the first season manages to address gender expectations, (homo & hetero)sexuality, women's rights, worker's rights, racism, classism, and the fetishization of ancient history while treating the actual cultural successors of said historical 'golden ages' like crap. But you can also just watch it as a well-crafted set of murder mysteries, if you're not feeling inclined to exegesis at the moment.

The other item my interest is currently piqued by is a film SIFF Uptown will be getting in late January called A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. The tagline claims it as the First Iranian Vampire Western, and the trailer is a beautiful noir-looking piece of black-and-white cinematography that I find really enticing. I can think of a myriad of places and ways the story could go based on what I've seen, and they are all interesting.

Then of course there are The Imitation Game, the new Hobbit, the Pingwings of Madagascar, and Jupiter Ascending as well, but they've all got their own PR machines a-rolling already. We screened a preview of Inherent Vice last night during my shift as well, and that one is going to be one that despite it being crammed full of actors I enjoy I will probably give a miss. I think it's harder to be nostalgic for the 1970s if you were actually alive during them; I was fairly young but old enough to remember a fair bit of discomfort and cognitive dissonance. But you know, we tell ourselves the stories we want to hear.