grrgoyl: (ferrets attack)
Hey, LJ, long time no see. I'm still around, just not much to talk about. Not that this entry will change all that, but if I don't write for awhile I start to wonder where my life is disappearing to. Like all I'm doing is working, eating and sleeping, and that's no kind of life at all.

I do have an update on the Banksy T-shirt. Remember that? Quite tragicomical, really. The replacement took so long to arrive I really thought it had gone missing in the mail. The countdown had begun for when the seller and I would give up on it (but how refreshing to deal with a seller who didn't vanish as soon as they received payment), when at last it showed up. Whew.

I eagerly unwrapped it, only to have my hopes dashed once again to see they had sent a different graphic -- a chimpanzee preparing to push down an old-timey bomb detonator. This is my life. Why is this my life? Why does EVERYTHING have to be a damn saga?

I said to myself fuck it. I'd live with it. At least it had an amusing history behind it. And I probably would have done exactly that, if it still didn't fit me quite right (we had upgraded to a large -- better than medium, but still a bit too tight to ever be my favorite shirt. And at this point with the money I've invested in this transaction, there is an insane amount of pressure for this article of clothing to exceed all expectations).

I emailed the seller about the good and bad news. I said I would live with it, but then he replied, "Arrrrrrgggh! (a/n: I couldn't have put it better myself) Forgive our incompetence! Are you sure you don't want another replacement?" Ahh, the British. It's refreshing to deal with someone who owns their mistakes.

So this morning chimpy went back to Merry Olde. I told the seller I insisted on paying for shipping both ways (bringing the total to more than $40 for me) because it wasn't fair the way his profit was dwindling with each trip. But, I added, $100 for a t-shirt is my absolute limit! You know, to lighten the mood. Because this transaction is clearly cursed.

The irony of this shirt is, of course, the buying of it ended my 2011 spending freeze. I had agonized a good two weeks over the frittering away of $23, and now look where we stand. I've learned my lesson and the spending freeze is back in effect.

~*~

Particularly since my birthday present to myself was a new phone. My old phone works fine, fine enough to resell at least. It will go down in history as the phone that soured me on Motorola, who strung owners of my model along for a year promising an update to our version of Android, only to announce a few months ago that it wasn't going to happen. Leaving us with the oldest version of the firmware that was losing support by app developers every day. And no Angry Birds for us, not with this laggy ass processor.

This resulted in a deafening uproar, at least on the support forum on their site. Did Moto care they had pissed off so many customers? Not so much. Nothing was offered in the way of compensation, except a free Bluetooth headset if you complained loudly enough, but I don't use Bluetooth. Bluetooth is for people who get so many phone calls they need to handle them while walking around the grocery store, not for people who use their phone for playing solitaire and reading slash fiction.

Having such a short time before upgrade anyway, I opted not to go the route of haranguing T-Mobile call centers to try to get out of my contract, but there were plenty who did, with mixed results (reportedly it depended on the agent you spoke to, and more often than not you had to be persistent and nag and call multiple times. I ain't got that kind of time. Plus harassing innocent low-level workers in crappy jobs isn't my style anyway -- I'm more of a let people walk all over me and then bitch about it online kind of person). Perhaps if I were stuck with the phone for the next two years I might have (most of the truly unhappy customers had just bought the phone fairly recently, largely based on the promise of T-Mobile salesmen that an update was coming any day now).

So my stupid obsolete Moto is currently up for auction (bidding up to $56 with 24 hours to go even with full disclosure about its lack of an update, believe it or not. Never assume no one wants to buy your used crap. And thank god. I need the proceeds from the Moto to finance my Banksy t-shirt shipping habit). It still works great as a phone, if that's all you care about. But now I have a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S 4G, and it is about the slickest device I've ever held, let alone owned.



I took this vid with it:



For now, it might be the first and last I make using the phone -- not least of all because I look like a terrorist. (If it seems to end rather abruptly, it's because I was forced to cut out the final segments because the wind noise completely drowned me out.)

In case you skipped the video (why did you skip the video?) I explain how the Galaxy has a front-facing camera like the iPhone, which weirdly doesn't take video with the stock software, only pics. But a video chat app called Qik, also stock, does let you record in addition to chat. I used it for this vid, but then was forced to install an update that evidently fixed the app for some other devices, but made the front camera stop working (for video) on mine. (I know, my life is such a thrill ride. Hang on!!)

I emailed the developer and they are aware of the problem, but evidently unable to just let me roll back to the previous version that worked fine for me -- doing so only brings me to a screen insisting I update and won't let me go any further. Ah, Android. Your quirks will never make me switch to an iPhone, but you can't stop me wishing you weren't quite so quirky.

Edit: Wahey! Finally got a fix. We'll see how long it lasts. Apparently there's nothing protecting me from further forced updates.



Here are some photos taken with the Galaxy, both using night shot mode (the phone lacks a flash, which is a dealbreaker for a surprising number of people, most of whom welcome any chance to get online and bitch at great length about it).


Non-shit-eating ferrets



Taken in almost total darkness. On the Moto this would have been a big splotch of white in a field of complete black




And now, honestly, truly, I mean it, I am done spending money.
grrgoyl: (Buffy Tabula Rasa)
Some unpleasantness to report. First watch this YouTube video our friend sent us:



Funny stuff. In fact everything done by this guy is pretty freakin' hilarious, with a few minor exceptions. Just search for "original narration by Randall." But the honey badger is our favorite and has inspired quite a few catch phrases in our house.

And a couple of videos of our own (extremely short):





Well, it didn't take long for the trolls to come calling. We got a comment on the first video from "warmaster5128," and I quote verbatim:

He is eating your food thats grose that u eat the food his mouth has been thouching how do u know he hasent eaten shit and he is getting it all over your food u sicko u should eat out of a seprit boul

*Sigh* So many comebacks, so little time.

1) I can't have a conversation with someone who thinks punctuation is optional (to say nothing of proper spelling). Stay in school, sweetheart, you aren't done learning yet.

2) Even if you were right, I'd still rather share a bowl with my ferret than you any day.

3) Ferrets don't eat shit, actually. You know who does? Dogs. As well as lick their junk and sniff each others' asses. Yet people let them lick their faces all the time. Why don't you go preach to 10 million dog owners and get the fuck out of my face?

But I said none of these things, I just deleted him (and turned comment screening on for all my videos). Because I've learned the fastest, easiest way to kill a troll is to not feed it.

EDIT: After 30 seconds of research, it seems "warmaster5128" is a 10-year-old little punk whose YouTube channel consists of his reviews of skateboards and videos of him playing PS3 games. Not funny, entertaining videos with commentary like Toby Turner makes, just recordings of him silently playing "Cod Black Ops." (thought he meant "code" but I guess it's short for "call of duty," because he doesn't want to take precious time away from playing the game to spell it all out.)

I ask you, when you were 10 years old, would you EVER talk to a 40-year-old woman like he did to me? You all have my permission to go harass him mercilessly.

~*~

Some movies, thoughtfully cut for spoilers and for ease of scrolling past on your way to more exciting posts.

::Splice:: )

::The Haunting of Molly Hartley:: )

::Lost Boys: The Thirst:: )
grrgoyl: (Alan Alone)
This past weekend it was -8 degrees in Denver. MINUS EIGHT DEGREES. I was obsessed, as I am every year, with draft-proofing our house with the cheap, generally ineffective measures available at Lowe's -- until the tragic news story of a family of four found dead of monoxide poisoning in their home. MyFriendDeb said these fancy new houses being built are so well insulated that it's much more of a threat, whereas our older, leakier home paradoxically is much safer. After that I decided I'd rather just put on an extra sweatshirt to combat the chill. We made an emergency run to Target Sunday for a space heater for the bird, the only creature Tery is really concerned about staying properly warm.


This is what happens to the inside of cheap, decades-old windows in minus eight degrees. Yes, Virginia, that's ice. The brown part is the color the frame normally is


We've decided the next time we have a large cash windfall (ha) we're looking into getting some better windows. Cuz dayum.

I contented myself instead with putting up a black-out curtain over the balcony door, the largest culprit. It does a fantastic job of keeping out cold. Unfortunately, it works equally well at keeping out light. Deb would never tolerate such a measure, afflicted as she is with seasonal affective disorder (which is actually year-round).

The nice thing about -8 degrees in Denver is the 6% humidity, which means the snow covering my car when I got out of work Sunday morning was as dry as fine desert sand. Fell away with barely a touch. That's what I love about Denver.

I don't let the cold get me down. When we bought our Christmas tree it was literally 70 degrees and we wore shorts. THAT'S fucking depressing, if you're as concerned about global warming as I am.

We're also concerned about pipes bursting, mostly because for the first time we have two empty units below us (and when you walk barefoot in our place you can tell. I used to think our place should be warmer with heat rising from Kent's place underneath us. Now I see the difference. We miss you, Kent). I highly doubt the families have the heat turned on. Whereas I can't blame them for not wanting to pay to heat an empty apartment, if the pipes burst they'll have one hell of a mess on their hands. We'll fortunately only suffer the inconvenience of being without water.

However, the bottom unit, which belongs to the elderly woman who went to a nursing home, has had the inner door wide open for weeks now (outer storm door closed and locked). I've called the property company no less than three times about it. They keep saying they're having trouble reaching the family. So if pipes DO burst, the off-site families most likely won't be reachable for that either, in which case we WILL have a problem on our hands.

Again, it's mostly my inability to control the rest of the world that's the real source of my frustration. That and the unbelievable depths of stupidity and inconsideration the rest of the world is capable of.

~*~

I mentioned a few posts ago how this Christmas is cursed. My poor sister who had her boyfriend's gift stolen didn't get a scrap of sympathy from the seller, who basically said, "It's not my fault since you didn't ask for insurance. And no, I can't knock a couple of dollars off another one for you." I'm an occasional eBay seller and that really surprised me. I personally would have tried to work with her a little bit, even if she wasn't my sister. As a buyer, at that point I would have said "Sayonara, bitch, and thanks for nothing" but Amy was so convinced this was the perfect gift for him that she swallowed her pride and ordered a second one.

(For the record, this is what she was trying to buy:



Yeah, nothing special about it, except Amy's boyfriend I guess really likes beer and finds that tag line humorous. But the price of the auction with shipping came close to $20, both times, just because it's framed up all nice (because lord knows it would be unbearably tacky to hang just a bare beer ad). Except it's not even an original, just a laser inkjet printout of the ad, making $40 an outrageous price. The auction it turns out doesn't claim to be an original, but holy rip-offs, Batman, it takes some stones to charge that much for a fucking photocopy. Twice.)

I had ordered three things from asseenontvguys.com. The package came quickly, sadly containing two things I hadn't ordered and missing one thing I had. They fixed the problem quickly, but still. I thought I was safe from going anywhere near a shipping facility until some time in January.

I thought I had finished my shopping finally, when I received the email that my order for my other sister's present had been cancelled by the Amazon seller -- forcing me to track it down elsewhere.

I hope Christmas gets here before anything else goes wrong.

~*~

Watching Nobel Son has reawakened my obsession with Alan, which was never really dead, just waning a bit. I've been rewatching all my old favorites, even ordered Truly, Madly, Deeply from eBay (a film that didn't particularly impress me back when I wasn't sure how far my love for him would take me).

Via my f-list, I wandered over to check out this video of Alan signing autographs after Jimmy Kimmel. The video itself isn't as interesting as the comment section, wherein I felt the need to defend him to someone snidely mocking his aging features. "Yep, and if you're honest, you dream of having half his sex appeal when you're his age" I smacked them down.

I've garnered quite a little fan club from this (well, two people), which makes me happy. Mostly because I'm still having trouble convincing Tery of his appeal. I was sharing in the Rickman love with one of them when she made the observation, "If I met him in real life I'd be resisting the urge to rape him or something." Whoa, stalker girl. That's going a bit too far. If I ever were lucky enough to meet him, I'd have trouble making eye contact, never mind considering anything remotely sexual. I think he'd be enormously intimidating in reality, between the English reserve and his built-in gravitas.

Via the same F-list person, Alan might be apartment hunting in Manhattan. I'm not sure how this was deduced from the pictures posted, but it's thrilling all the same. My theory is he's getting lonely with Daniel stuck in New York for months and can't wait any longer for him to come home to London (no disrespect to Alan's actual partner, of course).

Speaking of Daniel, this one is for my Equus peeps (from the Gypsy of the Year awards, where Equus won the top fundraiser position):



~*~

Tery got the word today that their sister vet hospital had to fire both their medical director and hospital manager, for letting a girl known to have hepatitis C (and possibly a drug user) live on the premises (where narcotics are kept) for an unknown length of time. Which I feel really puts my fifteen-minute Heelys practice into sharp perspective, not that we'll say as much to Tery's medical director.

~*~

Finally, Kitten Mitten has suddenly, after two years living here, noticed the ledge that runs around our kitchen to separate it from the living room.


She can do whatever she wants when she does that little head tilt thing (and she knows it)


Here are more to give you a better idea:




She really is the most beautiful cat in all the world.
grrgoyl: (Barack the Vote)
I blame this guy here.    I didn't even know adult Heelys existed before seeing this video (on a side note, watch all his other videos.  Hell, subscribe to them, you won't be sorry.    He's one of the best things on YouTube.  Ever.)

So anyway, Heelys are the skate shoes with the wheels in the heel, for cool people on the go.  (not the retractable wheel.  Those I understand are knock-offs and not recommended)    All the videos on YouTube demonstrating their use looked like so much fun I HAD to have a pair. 

Instead of doing the logical thing and looking on the site where Toby got his, I had to check every other route -- which turned up lots of information and advice, but no shoes in my actual size.  I have gargantuan feet -- men's size 10, even 10-1/2 depending on the shoe.  I couldn't even tell you if I have a women's size, as I've never in my life shopped for women's shoes (I usually wear Doc Marten's to dressy occasions like weddings, etc.)    Finding Heelys in this range is nigh impossible, even on the sites claiming to have adult sizes.  Everywhere I looked the largest size on offer was a men's 8.  Which men wear a size 8?  Men with pixie feet, that's who.  Men who should be shopping for glass slippers, not skate shoes.

During the course of my virtual travels I happened on a guy's review that explained different models of Heelys actually had different types of wheels, and that for maximum stability he advised the Mega kind rather than the far more common Fats.  I was thankful for his words, even if that meant, taking into consideration the wheel type, sasquatch size and something without pink piping, I actually had only two models to choose from.

After wasting my entire work day searching every site I could find, I ended up on the site Toby lists in his video, adultheelyshoes.com.  I placed my order and excitedly sat back to await their arrival.

Trying to predict UPS shipping time, I thought it would be really, really nice if I had them before the weekend, since the privacy of the animal hospital with its long hallways seemed an ideal practice spot.  Only about 6% of our condo floors aren't carpeted, and I didn't think I'd be ready for sidewalks straight away, so if they didn't come by Friday I'd have to wait an entire week before I could even try them out.

So naturally I received the email cheerily notifying me the estimated shipping date would be Monday, November 3rd.  And from experience I know that UPS is meticulously accurate about their shipping estimates.

Then imagine my surprise when they came Friday morning?  Hell, YEAH.  It was clearly fate.

I couldn't resist giving them a quick test spin in the kitchen, just to make sure they fit and everything.  Wow.  These things are a DEATH TRAP.  All those YouTube videos of 6-year-olds zipping around without a care in the world are only because they DON'T have a care in the world.  Or a fear of their own mortality.  Or a lack of health insurance, probably.  I remember too vividly the agony I felt when I threw my back out by pulling my chair away from my desk once and couldn't move for a week.    I really miss being invincible.

Still, there's enough of a smattering of videos made by older people like myself to give me hope, including this 60-year-old guy (though it looks like he might be living somewhere full of health care professionals).  Don't ever underestimate my determination when I make up my mind about something.  For at least a week, anyway.

I practiced both nights at the hospital for as long as my energy held out.  You can actually watch my efforts here, though I warn you, they're pretty boring even after I cut out all the interstitial periods of catching my breath.  Definitely involves a lot of building up of stamina and skill, though I think the most important step is just letting go of your fear.  But every time I try I can feel that back spasm like it was yesterday and how I practically screamed in the middle of the room in front of all my co-workers. 

I discovered it's much more fun watching videos of Heeling than trying to Heel.  Then I came across this guy, who hates Heelys, or at least the kids who wear them, enough to make this expletive-filled video rant about them.  Plenty of F-bombs, but no real explanation why he hates them so.  He hints that the kids "think they're so bad-ass" wheeling around, but then says "You might as well use a skateboard or rollerblades instead," as if skateboarding, of which he appears to be an aficionado, is nothing more than a sensible form of public transportation and has nothing at all to do with looking "bad-ass." 

I don't put much stock in what he says anyway, since in this video he sports two lip rings despite posting an equally nonsensical video rant about people who wear lip rings not a month earlier (I was even tempted to leave a comment asking if he bought Heelys a month after making this video). 

So to sum up, I have Heelys.  It might take me a bit longer to get the hang of them than a 6-year-old, but I'm determined.

Oh, and for the latest Kitten Mittens videos, see ::below the cut:: )

~*~

How was my Halloween?  Completely uneventful.  But my sister made these fabulous Sweeney Todd costumes for herself and Russell:


He doesn't look as much like Johnny as she'd like, but we all work with what we've got. He does have the pallor down from living in front of his computer during all his free time (like I'm one to talk)


And Tery made these Cat in the Hat outfits for the hospital contest (took only second place because people thought the whole thing was photoshopped instead of just the background):


Oh yes, and Tery finally banged on the door of the poor shih tzu below us, who is now left on the porch 24/7 with the blinds drawn shut so they don't ever have to look at it, when s/he started barking at 1 a.m. for three hours straight.  She left a note too about what terrible owners they were, inhumane and selfish, and how if they didn't want the damn dog they should give it to a family that does.  If you knew Tery, this is the equivalent of her punching them in the face, she hates any level of confrontation that much.  I'm so proud of her.  The dog has since vanished, though I refuse to believe it became a beloved family member (as it should be) overnight. 

I just think of my Minky Schminky stretched out on the desk in front of me all day as I rub her belly and kiss her face while she purrs contentedly, and I feel sad that not every animal is as adored as she is.  Not even yours.

~*~

Finally, a rant about my co-workers.  Not the animal hospital but my fellow transcriptionists, again.  I was told I had to attend a mandatory conference call.  They have to make it mandatory because I would never willingly subject myself to this ordeal.  Remember these co-workers can't possibly be as idiotic as they come across, they probably just suffer from not getting to talk to another living soul all day long, which I consider a plus but not everyone is as introverted as me.

The purpose of the call was simple enough, to get out the news that they were eliminating the quality control department that usually gets our reports when we can't find the correct date of service.  Why on earth this couldn't have just been addressed in an email I'll never know.  We were assured we'd be reimbursed for 30 minutes of our time, which completely failed to take into consideration how much time is wasted on conference calls with all the interruptions and small talk and people taking off on wholly unrelated tangents.

The call was moderated by our new supervisor, Tracy, who began by taking roll call.  The first few names went off without a hitch, until we got to Carol Ferris.

Tracy:  Carol Ferris?
Woman with bossy, irritable voice:  Carol Siemen.
Tracy:  (pause)  Carol Ferris?  Is she on the call?
Carol Siemen:  This is Carol Siemen.
Tracy:  I'm looking for Carol Ferris?
Carol Siemen:  Ummm, this is CAROL SIEMEN.
Tracy:  There's more than one Carol, Carol.  I'm waiting for Carol Ferris.
Carol Siemen:  (finally shuts her yap)
Me:  (rolling my eyes)

Then shortly after the roll call Carol Ferris DID turn up, and Carol Siemen commented snidely, "Are you sure you aren't Carol Siemen?" thinking it was a grand inside joke between everyone but poor Carol Ferris, guilty only of sharing a first name with her, but I just wanted to get through this and back to work. 

So basically we were being instructed on how to choose the correct encounter for the report based on certain clues, which would now be solely our duty without the QC department to fall back on.  This involved going through the search process which I'm sure we all had to be aware of, but it meant throwing terms at people that might have been unfamiliar, causing widespread panic (and the accompanying babbling and interjections) until we realized that Tracy was describing something we all do about 30 times a day. 

I almost LOL'ed, though, when she ended this portion with the option of hitting "Accept Just Patient," which fills in everything on the screen except the billing number so the hospital can choose it on their end.  This caused a solid ten minutes of confusion, people trying to explain to each other and ignoring Tracy completely, until the smoke cleared and one woman said, "Oh, well when I want to do that I just use the 'Accept Just Patient' button at the bottom."  Through gritted teeth I murmured, "That's. What. Tracy. Said."  Like I said, they CAN'T be this stupid.  I just think they all freak out a little when suddenly thrust into a conversation with six strangers.  Which is more proof that it should just be handled in an email.

She tried to move onto a new feature of the program called the "submission history," a term she barely got out of her mouth when Carol Siemen snapped, "What was that again?"  "The submission history," Tracy repeated.  "What the heck is that?" asked Carol Siemen.  I'm pretty sure Tracy was just about to tell us exactly that info when she cut her off.  It's pretty hard to imagine there are people out there with even worse social skills than myself.  I might have been projecting, but Tracy's patience seemed to be hanging on by a string at that point. 

Then I finally thought we were in the clear, I could get back to work (this was the 45-minute mark now), when Carol Siemen asked with no attempt to disguise her bitterness, "So with all these changes, are we MTs going to be blamed for even MORE stuff now?"  Oh yeah, Carol Siemen had a bad attitude and didn't much care who knew it.  Tracy said she didn't know what she meant, which Carol Siemen took as her cue to vent all kinds of pent-up issues.  Meanwhile, tick-tock, I don't care about this shit and I'm not getting paid to listen to it.  Tracy did her best to placate her and end the call.  It had now been a solid hour.

I sent an email to Tracy making sure I got credit for the call (I wasn't on the roll since I signed up only a few hours before), and to diplomatically express my disappointment at essentially losing 30 minutes of work.  I pretended I didn't mind calling it a lunch break (even though I very much minded) because I didn't want to be a problem child like Carol Siemen.  Carol Siemen doesn't seem aware of how lucky we are to even have a job nowadays, and that bad apples are usually remembered as such if it ever comes time to chop a few branches. 

I've said enough.  It just reminds me yet again how happy I am to have not one but two jobs that, for the most part, involve no interaction with anyone else on the planet but Tery. 

~*~

Of course it goes without saying you all better go vote tomorrow, people. But only if you're voting for Obama.
grrgoyl: (satan)
I went into my Saturday shift at the kennels determined to atone for the major slacking I did Friday night. Everything started well: I had only 7 dogs, 1 cat and no postops. I did my normal routine and, predictably, Honus started in on his whining-as-a-prelude-to-barking the minute I was out of sight. I called to ask Tery a question and, while pacing back and forth in the corridor chatting, I noticed the canine peanut gallery was completely silent. This will probably come as no surprise at all to people who own dogs, but as long as they could hear me, they were content.

Normally I spend the night tiptoeing around to avoid setting them off, but tonight it occurred to me how silly that was. It's not like they have to get up for school in the morning or anything. With this revelation, I went to work with a passion. Cleaned dishes, organized food, swept, mopped, laundered, wrapped surgical gowns, all while listening to my iPod and singing at the top of my lungs. I'm sure I sounded appalling, but every time I stopped I would hear Honus start to gear up again into one of his jags.

I kept it up until midnight, when I literally had done everything I could possibly do in the way of cleaning. I was on FIRE. Really, you can get SO much more done when you don't worry about doing it quietly. I was flushed with a feeling of accomplishment and decided to head upstairs. Usually again this is reason for Honus to start in, but not a peep. And so it was all night long, to my complete astonishment. When I went back downstairs to feed and walk everyone one last time, I heaped on the praise liberally, thanking Honus for being so good. I gave him an extra helping of food, fluffed his blanket and even took some time to pet him when we went outside.

Then, it all came crashing down. We came back in, I tried to return him to his kennel, and he went back to being the pain in the ass, very bad dog that he was before. He sees our destination and hunkers down, tries to back up, thrashes and wriggles, tries to dash between my ankles, even once he's inside the cage. And tonight as I wrestled with him, he turned around and bit me. Didn't draw blood, but I'm still feeling it today. He meant business. This totally put an end to our magical evening together. This is why a long-term relationship between us simply wouldn't work. The best we can hope for are temporary truces.

I get it. He doesn't like being caged up. I can't say that I blame him, but sadly being allowed to run free in the hospital just isn't an option.

Here's a pic I took with my fabulous, vastly superior Razr:

Honus, Asshole Beagle of Death

I know what you're thinking. "Awwwww, the baby. How could you be such a monster?" We-l-l-l-l-l-l, that's the picture AFTER I thoughtfully photoshopped it. THIS is the original:

Honus, Asshole Beagle from Hell


(Okay, I took a little artistic license. The horns were my idea, and as I chuckled evilly to myself Tery initially protested. However, it was a very short leap indeed from "What if his owners ever see it?" to "Wait, he needs a tail!")

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I try whenever possible to avoid internet debates with strangers. I've spent enough time in the AOL chatroom and IM trenches to have learned that I will never change someone's opinion, ever (and vice versa. I have yet to have my opinion changed by anyone). But a few days ago I was distracted from working and decided to surf YouTube looking for opinions on gay marriage. I found this guy's and the trouble began.

My first, unfair assumption was that he would be against gay marriage. Once again, books and their covers and all that. He spoke slowly, deliberately, but matter-of-factly and to the point about why he believes gay marriage should be legal. He narrowed it down to two protests, 1) it's a sin (he argues that you can't legislate against Christian sins as that would be imposing one religion's beliefs on the entire country. Quite right), and 2) ye olde "sanctity of marriage" argument (he unfortunately addresses this too briefly, saying only that marriage as an institution ain't so sacred anymore).

What followed were the usual assortment of comments for and against. A lot of morons tried using the "Well, if we can't make sins a crime, why is murder illegal?" argument, but they were being dealt with handily. What bothered me were the ones arguing "Just because marriage is already broken doesn't justify breaking it more." They were going unchallenged, so I (foolishly?) decided to step into the fray. Ahem:

Kildars: Just because marriage is already messed up -- that doesn't give a good reason to mess it up more. Saying that something is already broken and validating breaking it more is a bad argument.

Grrgoyl: I think the point is that people so desperate to protect the "sanctity of marriage" aren't concerned with the extremely high heterosexual divorce rate. If they want to keep the institution of marriage sacred, they need to look at ALL marriages. Unless, of course, they are just homophobes.

Kildars: All marriage are heterosexual? If I'm not mistaken the first gay marriage that was allowed ended the two gay guys were beating the shit out each other and police had to break it up.

What? What does this have to do with the price of beets in Belgium?

Grrgoyl: Ummm, way to completely miss (or ignore) my point. But to respond, yes, with gay marriage would come gay divorce. We're all only human. Are you saying straights never beat each other? Why is it so noteworthy just because gays do it too?

Kildars: What was your point? You don't have a case because your argument was based around that marriages are something other than heterosexual, which they aren't. So how is your argument valid?

Yeah. Right about now I remembered why I try whenever possible to avoid internet debates with strangers.

Grrgoyl: "Sanctity of marriage" people don't care about how straights take it for granted and get married and divorced so casually every single day. How would gays marrying violate the "sanctity" more than Britney's whirlwind 55-hour Vegas nuptials did? I've had rolls of toilet paper that lasted longer, but because it was between a man and a woman, the "sanctity of marriage" people are A-okay with it. That's hypocritical and insulting to the lifelong gay couples who are denied this personal right.

Kildars (or, as I started to think of him, "Obtusey McStubbornson"): How is the, "Well it's already broken, it's okay to degrade it some more." argument okay? That's a bad argument. If something is already broken the best choice is to fix it, not to further degrade it. Find a new argument.

Using the same words in a slightly different order doesn't strengthen your case. YOU find a new argument.

Grrgoyl: I'm interested in hearing why you think that two adults who love each other and want to commit to each other who happen to be the same gender "degrade" marriage and "break it" further. They aren't hurting anyone, they certainly aren't affecting you directly, how do they "mess it up more"?

Obtusey McStubbornson: The burden of proof lies on you, not me, to convince whether or not they should be allowed to marry. I'm interested to hear why you think allowing homosexuals to get married is good for the reputation of Marriage we have in this country, and why it should be allowed. It seems people agree with me over you, www dot msnbc dot msn dot com/id/6383353/. Go to that link.

Oh my god. It's a bit like trying to juggle egg yolks.

Grrgoyl: Really? Voters are defeating gay bills? I had no idea. I personally am not concerned with the "reputation of marriage." I was only elaborating on what altebanger said about how the institution of marriage isn't so sacred anymore. This is supported by the 40-50% divorce rate among legal marriages. So "the sanctity of marriage" is pretty empty as catch phrases go. Which is what I've said 3 times now and you keep dodging the subject, so we'll have to agree to disagree.



ARGH. He'll probably insist on having the last word, regardless of how little sense it makes or how irrelevant to the topic, but I'm done. When the revolucĂ­on is won, I nominate this guy as the first to the gallows, but only AFTER receiving his mandatory gay marriage.


The Internet: Bringing you in contact with bigoted idiots from around the world since 1990.
grrgoyl: (silver and cold)
Subject the First: Got to see X3. ::Cutting so I can spoiler to my heart's content:: )

In summary, "Last Stand"? Perhaps. Unless you stick around for the very important, very Holy! Shit! scene that comes after the credits. I'll admit I'd be a lot happier with a fourth chapter if only Storm had died in this one, cuz baby, I've had all the Storm I'm a'gonna take.

Not as good as 1 and 2, but I'll still be buying it (I may, however, find it easier to resist X-Men 3.5). 4 out of 5

Subject the Second, which is actually related to the First: I saw the movie with Rebecca, a co-worker I'm trying to trick into becoming my friend. We have a lot in common, taste in movies and books, loner tendencies, childhoods spent as outcasts and general disdain for most human beings. We certainly have a lot more in common than I do with MyFriendDeb, or even Tery, sad to say. I just want someone to hang out with sometimes, and I have to face the fact that Tery will never, ever enjoy watching the same movies I do. I informed Rebecca when I invited her that I was auditioning her to be my new best friend. She seemed pleased with the idea, although she is somewhat inscrutable. She had already seen X3 once and was willing to go again with me, so I guess that's saying something.

There were three people sitting in the back row of the theater when we arrived. We sat close to the center, and minutes later 6 more showed up and clustered around us in a tight little nucleus. WTF???? I asked her if we could move, as I saw no need to put up with being surrounded by people in an empty theater. She understood and agreed. This is why I think we'd get along so famously.

I enjoyed seeing it with her, especially the lengthy discussion we had in the car on the way home. This is exactly what I want sometimes -- just someone to talk to. We debated what would be the coolest mutant power to have. I personally ranked being able to remove Wolvie's belt with my mind as pretty damn high on the list. As I navigated rush hour traffic, I said my mutant power was being able to tell when someone wanted my lane (this is actually true. I predict it correctly so often I swear it's a sixth sense. And no, it's not just automatically assuming that EVERYONE does, you skeptics out there). I think she also enjoyed our talk because the first time she saw it with her brother (the co-worker mentioned in my review), who has read all the comics and tore the movie to shreds based on his excessive knowledge of the history. Fanboys, some advice: The rest of us mortals are not impressed that you know all this stuff. Like Becca said, she wanted to ask him why Xavier is in a wheelchair, but she was afraid she'd be subjected to an hour-long discourse about it. Sure enough, I worked with him last night and mentioned very casually that I liked the movie, and the conversation rapidly took a turn toward the waters of way-more-information-than-I-ever-needed.

Tery, ever the comedian, asked if I tried to hold Rebecca's hand during the movie (I didn't. I did let her eat the popcorn I brought home to Tery though).

Subject the Third: I think YouTube.com will be my undoing. I spend way too much time there. Tery often tells anyone who'll listen how much she admires my self-discipline, getting up and going to work at the computer every day. However, some days I'm definitely less admirable than others. A lot of factors go into my concentration level, like if I've worked the previous night or if I have to work that night, if I'm getting lots of difficult doctors who seem to be dictating in Arabic with their hand over the mouthpiece, or like lately if it's so fucking hot my monitor looks like a desert mirage. Or if there's a really good Judge Judy on. I just can't resist Judy when she gets so angry she's spitting. I've noticed that my workdays can be classified into three distraction levels, unimaginatively labeled:

Green: All systems go. The caffeine has entered my bloodstream, I've got a string of good reports and I'm so in the zone I forget there's such a thing as LJ or e-mail for up to an hour at a time. I hate to tear myself away even to feed the cats. Obviously my ideal work state (the cats might see it differently).

Amber: I'm getting work done, but I'm checking LJ and email every 15 minutes or so, perhaps reading a Snarry if it's short, or surfing for porn or new Snarry (or both. Bonus!) Usually I can make a comeback in the last couple hours of my day and no one's the wiser.

Red: Might as well not even bother punching in. I'm refreshing my LJ and email compulsively, reading chapter-length Snarry, making icons, downloading music, shopping eBay, updating my journal, calling my sister to catch up with the week since we last spoke; you get the picture. Fortunately days like these happen only when I'm very, very, very tired.

I believe it was a Red day when I started heavily using the YouTube. At first it was just to find fan-made Snarry videos, then fan-made Snape videos. I hadn't yet grasped the enormous possibilities of the site. There is so much stuff to watch there, practically anything you can think of. Funny European commercials, live concert footage, MTV music videos, even whole episodes of TV shows (I watched the pilot ep of Simon Pegg's "Spaced." Too cool).

It was YouTube who got me into my new quasi-favorite band, AFI (not TOTALLY obsessed. Yet). I had been reading [livejournal.com profile] jade1x2's Javey fics for months with only a passing interest, until I actually watched the band perform. Davey is sooo beautiful, and I could easily picture him with Jade. It was kind of weird though, like seeing old classmates suddenly becoming celebrities, I felt I knew them so well from the fics. I watched every video I could find (most of them many, many times), and even bought a CD thanks to all the exposure.

I discovered that YouTube is a double-edged sword, however, and some bands are better off as only a voice. At the risk of sounding shallow: VNV Nation's Ronan is a fat bald man. Was happier before knowing that. Wolfsheim's singer, an oily German, wasn't as much of a surprise. But OMG The Faint's lead singer? As much as I despise this tired phrase, 1985 called and it wants its hair back. GAH. Guess it's true what they say: If you're ugly, the only way you'll get chicks is to be a good singer.

I'm really not going anywhere with all this. Deal with it.

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December 2011

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