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lol craigslist [Feb. 10th, 2010|05:25 pm]
"Looking for part time enthusiastic, energetic, team player, and animal lovers to work at a local pet store in Silver Lake. Must be willing to work. Previous retail experience required. Previous experience in retail is a plus, but not necessary."

"Brighter Minds Tutoring is an boutique tutoring company looking for only Ivy League School graduates to tutor."

Are these guys stupid or just drunk?
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totally not a baby name list [Feb. 10th, 2010|04:17 pm]
If I ever have male-female twins there is no way I can't name them Tobias and Rashina. Conversely, I can't name a single son Tobias.

Good girl names:
Diane (or Diana, but the French form is so much more beautiful)
Samantha maybe? Mostly for the nickname Sam

Good boy names:
Samuel (as a bonus, Sam is a good boy nickname too)
Michael, if it weren't so damn common

For the record, Saint Paul was a misogynistic jackass and I'd really rather not use the name.

This braindump brought to you by Group Meeting(TM).
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two am and I can't fucking sleep because of anders fucking loves maria [Feb. 10th, 2010|02:10 am]
There are two broad categories of ways to fuck up the end of a story: outside influence and fucking stupid writing/plot.

For the first, see Babylon 5: a planned-to-be-five-season-show canceled in the middle of the fourth season, they did their best to finish up the series in the eleven or so eps left. Then, TNT picked them up, and they had to fill in a season with mostly new plot since the planned stuff got squished into the latter half of season four. Also, a major actress walked away between seasons, so they didn't even get to kill off her character properly. Not to mention they had set up a nice plot arc for her (well, if by "nice" you mean voyeuristic sex with psychics. It makes sense in context).

In book-world, see author death, or FUCKING WHEEL OF TIME. Robert Jordan was in the middle of book twelve of a twelve book fantasy series that is twelve times better than Lord of the Rings (hrhrhr) when he keeled over from some rare blood disorder. Although the jury is still out on this one; he took copious notes and supposedly the new guy, Brandon Sanderson, is really good. He's splitting the last book into three so the publishing companies don't throw a bitch fit at a 3000-page book, and since I'm rereading the series it'll probably be summer by the time I get to the first one he put out.

Then there are awesome stories that got ruined all by themselves, like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Fucking awesome for about three seasons, then down the shitter she goes. The writers' strike is not an excuse; it started sucking before that (first part of season four) and they were going to end after ten more eps anyway. One thing you can't do is set up VERY SPECIFIC foreshadowing without knowing pretty much exactly what you're going to do with it or you end up looking stupid. See that whole goddamn opera house sequence they show pretty much through half the series, and the lame-ass series of events it's actually supposed to "represent" on the series finale. Also the complete handwaving nonexplanation of Starbuck post-asplody, head!Baltar and head!Six. There's a difference between leaving things open-ended and giving plotholes through which I could fly the International Space Station. And the ultimate fate of hu-cylon-manity (on Earth TWO now with moar Africa)? Instead of building a city or two, they say "technology BAD, let's go bang cavemen!"? Really? I wouldn't be surprised if the entire writing team spent half their working time completely shitfaced and the other half hungover.

And then there's Anders Loves Maria. Lovely webcomic, until the second to last entry (which finally updated sometime this past week, and why I'm writing this instead of being able to sleep). If you're going to kill a character, at least have their death MEAN something. If you're going to do it at the VERY end, it has to bring a sort of closure to the story, like The Giver, or The Matchstick Girl, or hell even Nana's Everyday Life. You can't just leave a hueg gaping hole and that's fucking it. Generally you should have stuff leading up to it, but if you're just going to make it sudden, DO something with the death. A wonderful example of someone dying out of nowhere handled well is the last two episodes of the second season of West Wing (loltastic on tiny details such as everything they say ever about New Hampshire, but otherwise a good series).

To sum up: you can't kill someone off at the very end, AND do it suddenly (ie no buildup), and have it add to the story. Unless the story is "life sucks and then you die" postconstructionist bullshit, but that's crap. I'm going to have to reread Anders Loves Maria when I'm less pissed off and more not-2-am, but I'm 90% sure there was no lead-up.

Protip: Do not read webcomics before bed.
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fucking stupid endings to otherwise awesome stories [Feb. 10th, 2010|01:18 am]
- Battlestar Galactica
- Anders Loves Maria

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oh, Los Angeles. [Oct. 8th, 2009|07:45 pm]
In the past few months I have managed to not die by:
a) wildfire (25 km away)
FUN FACT! Mount Wilson Observatory didn't burn up so solar observations can continue for another 100 years.

b) potential car bomb (80 m away)
FUN FACT! Instead of waiting to see if they'd evacuate my building, I went to Universal Studios instead.

c) getting stabbed in the neck by crazed orgo chem undergrad (20 m away)
FUN FACT! That door on the left is my office. Also headphones + fan = major sound insulation; I didn't hear a damn thing until an hour later when Ryan walked in and asked if I was okay.

Today I also sponsored a starving child somewhere and bought a coat for some guy who was either crazy or on some serious pain meds ("The paramedics discharged me for eating poison food. I need a jacket so I can get to Beverly Hills!"). He had a Macbook so he didn't fit the profile of the normal Westwood hobo; I'm not exactly sure what was up.

Also I'm going to taiko drum practice/tryouts at 9:30 tonight that will end at 12:45 AM. I'm crazy, but somehow still alive.

EDIT: I also managed to not die from that colby-jack-cheese-looking rash back in May.
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life update [Sep. 18th, 2009|01:17 am]
This weekend the grad students are going camping in Big Sur. Ryan's coming along; we just went to Target and bought two crappy oversized sleeping bags and a crappy teeny tent so we can have one all to ourselves. Also instead of spending $75 on a ground pad from REI (EMS-type store), we bought two twin-sized "memory foam" mattress toppers for 14 bucks each. I love Target.

Last weekend we drove like mad to Edwards Air Force Base and got to see THE SHUTTLE LAND! It was frickin awesome. Pictures later. BOOM-BOOM!

The weekend before that we went to the LA county fair. I rode the mechanical bull (hrhr) and the operator asked me if I'd done it before. I said no, but I rode horses (the trick is to hold on with your thighs). Then I did the Ejection Seat aka Reverse Bungee. Either they didn't crank me back far enough or that thing is overrated. Bill got a video of it so we're going to calculate my acceleration later. There was a petting zoo with a WALLABY and two llamas (or they may have been alpacas) and deer, along with the more traditional sheep and goats. This one deer kept trying to eat my shirt. There was chocolate-covered bacon, deep-fried oreos, churros, grilled corn on the cob (DELICIOUS), and all other sorts of artery-clogging shit.

Anyway, yesterday was Ryan and I's two year anniversary. Here's to another two years (and then some).

Finally, WHAT THE FUCK. We were going through the office (spare room in apartment) packing tonight and came across a first aid kid. Except it's empty inside except for a pack of condoms. It's not mine. It's not Ryan's. WHAT THE FUCK
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lol meme? [Sep. 18th, 2009|01:16 am]
Haven't been on in forever; forget how to do LJ-cut; forgive me.

Stolen from Nyren.

Invisible Illness Week (Sept 14-20)

Basically, an "invisible illness" is loosely defined as any pain condition that can't be seen visually by others. Crohn's Disease is a typical style medical condition that isn't visually obvious to anyone, but I hear tell the cramps and burning and vomiting can all be quite trying when it's 3 or more times per week every week for your whole life. A less typical one might be Autism, where visually you look like everybody else, but internally the high pitched tone a TV makes, the whine of fluorescent lighting, the reek of cologne, the excessive saltiness of all foods, is enough to make each day a full-frontal terrorist attack on all of your senses, which only adds to the daily confusion of a verbal world you have to re-symbolize into pictures in your mind's eye before you can comprehend it. Invisible illness is no joke when you live with one everyday, and you get stigmatized for it by anyone who chooses to believe "it's all in your head".

So, in support of Invisible Illness Awareness Week, I bring you my answers to 30 Things About Invisible Illness - My Story.

1. The illness I live with is: Take your pick: ADHD, depression, bipolar maybe. For all I know mild Asperger's as well. Also known as BASKET OF CRAZY
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: ADHD was third grade, depression happened in fifth grade, junior year of high school (I think? sometime in high school), senior year of college, and last year. Bipolar is an educated guess that the school shrink agrees with, so nothing official (the long-period kind, like months). I've always been incredibly socially awkward and hypersensitive to certain sounds, but the idea that I might be "on the spectrum" as my mom likes to put it only occured to me in the past couple of years.
3. But I had symptoms since: ADHD: ALWAYS duh. Depression/bipolar complex: it keeps cropping up periodically. Social awkwardness: since I could talk.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: For depression, realizing that sometimes BRAIN CHEMISTRY IS JUST FUCKED UP YO and taking medications doesn't make me lazy or a cop-out. It also doesn't automagically fix things. Also my libido has stopped returning my calls. The other two things have been pretty constant since I was born so there's no real "adjusting" (though my extreme sensitivity to loud noises has gotten easier to control; I love thunder now, but I still HATE HATE HATE balloons).
5. Most people assume: I'm lazy, crazy, rude, loud, over-the-top, awkward, immature.
6. The hardest parts about mornings are: Actually getting out of bed.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Scrubs is funny, but the only one I watch regularly is House.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: Someone told me I should put "vibrator". Har har.
9. The hardest parts about nights are: Used to be falling asleep, but these days that isn't a problem. Now it's realizing that even though I really want to read just one more chapter or make one more dungeon crawl, I need to go to bed NOW.
10. Each day I take: 20 mg Ritalin (if it's a work day), 300 Wellbutrin, 20 Prozac, 180 Allegra (allergies, unrelated), a multivitamin, and 20 seroquel at night.
11. Regarding alternative treatments: Apparently when I was a kid some doctor convinced mom that I didn't have ADD, I was just allergic to milk. I was supposed to give up dairy products for a week then go in for a blood draw. I don't remember the incident very well, but apparently I told mom in no uncertain terms that the man was a quack. (For those of you who don't know me very well, my drink of choice is milk.)
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I'd be really nice NOT to get randomly depressed and to actually talk to people without them or me becoming incredibly uncomfortable. Then again, it's nice not having to walk around with people knowing how many degrees of fucked-up I am. As for the ADHD, while the lack of focus (especially on boring things) is irritating, I like how I am able to make lightning-fast seemly random connections.
13. Regarding working and career: Getting boring stuff done is, um, kind of the point of a job. Also not coming in to work/school for a week and not telling anyone is generally seen as bad, regardless if you're just watching Ernest Goes to Camp or are curled up in a ball on your bed.
14. People would be surprised to know: Unless I know you very well, body language is a foreign language for me. I can't read people and miss what most other people would pick up.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I will have depression all my life. Some times will be better than other times, but it is never going to go away.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Maintain a stable relationship for 2+ years (2 years 1 day counts as 2 years =P), live in LA (BUT I'M NOT FUCKING ENJOYING IT)
17. The commercials about my illness: The Cymbalta ones are pretty dead-on.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Being able to drink more than one glass and not get hammered (medication side-effect). I like to enjoy the taste dammit!
19. It was really hard to have to give up: You know those Swiffer commercials where the old mop is trying to woo the housewife back? I'm the mop; the housewife is my libido (I don't know what the swiffer is. I didn't really think this one through).
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Stocking my home bar AND NOT DRINKING IT.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go to someplace very social and be the star of the party. I read once that sociopaths are very charming because since they have no empathy, they learn to fake it. I think that's bullshit. If I could teach myself how to fake charm I think I would have already.
22. My illness has taught me: A lot of people have actually gone through what I have (minor mental breakdown) and a LOT of people in the department were very understanding and helped me get back on my feet.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "You're only miserable because you want to be. If you REALLY wanted to be happier you could pull yourself out." I have one thing to say to you: FUCK. YOU.
24. But I love it when people: actually laugh at a joke or quip of mine. I love making people laugh for some reason; I'll say the most ridiculous things to Ryan to get a chuckle.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Dunno about anything witty, but a true friend will walk through the fire for you and still be there on the other side. Also when I think I can't get through something, I remind myself that Mom gave birth to me without an epidural or pain meds, and if she can do that then I can get through whatever it is.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: For depression, "the worst part is over. It's all uphill from here."
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How differently my mind works from "most people". Also that there seems to be a whole other plane of communication between people that I am not privy to.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Put together a hand-colored card "We miss you Jill!" and put tiger stripes and sunshines all over it (in college!) and give that and a big bag of chocolate to me because they noticed I hadn't left my dorm in like a week. Also, driving through a fucking snowstorm to come see me.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Hadn't done this kind of post in a bit.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Slightly more understood.
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good news bad news [May. 30th, 2009|07:13 pm]
The good: I'm out of the ER.

The bad: My skin looks like this:

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TSUAD: Another Title Page through Chapter One [May. 28th, 2009|08:37 pm]
Tig Sums Up Angels & Demons, Part IICollapse )
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TSUAD: All the Crap before the Book Actually Starts [May. 28th, 2009|01:49 pm]
Tig Sums Up Angels & Demons, Part ICollapse )

That took way the fuck too long. Fortunately after the first quarter of the book there is less bullshit science and more easily summed-up plot.

Also: I haven't seen the movie yet, so I don't know how spoily this summation will end up being. If Ron Howard's script has as much to do with the book as the Jumanji movie did with its book it will be a major improvement.
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