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Little Plastic Ninja's Journal
20 most recent entries

Date:2008-10-15 01:01
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: exhausted

It's true, I never post on this thing.

But I'm having things coming up, so I figure you guys might maybe want to know!

- The Taming of the Shrew is starting this Friday. This Friday is the free show. More info at:

http://www.thebaronsmen.org

Times, dates, directions, all that are here. I am in this play. I encourage you to try and find who I'm playing. If I play my cards right I will be entirely unrecognizable for all but one scene!

- I'm having a birthday next Friday. I'm planning on going to a get-together lunch that Sunday, which would be 10/26. I'm not sure who wants to come, but I'm thinking some place like. Uh. We did Buca di Beppo last time and that was pretty good? Maybe there. Or maybe Macaroni Grill. Or hell, maybe Rudy's. Anyone have suggestions? Post 'em here. Anyone have questions? Post 'em here.

And please, please RSVP . If you can come, let me know. If you can't, please also let me know. If I don't get any responses here I just won't bother, which would be a shame because I do miss you guys.



Seeing as this isn't just a Sam's Event Announcement, I might as well babble about real life too.

WoW is not really eating my soul despite working at Blizzard. It's a fun game and all, it always has been, and it's kept me up to 5 am once in the last year. That's pretty impressive for a game as far as I'm concerned. I appreciate a lot more about its game design looking at it from the inside. I haven't drunk the Flavor-Aid entirely, though: Warhammer Online is an excellent game and I hope it does really well. I'm even considering buying it with some of that spare money I haven't got.

I love my new car -- new as of August, so if you have seen me since then, it's that one. I can talk to the car and it obeys me, which is more than I can say for my cats.

I applied for a job in the California office of my company. I don't want to move to Irvine, but to be a copyeditor and copywriter for a videogame company really is a dream come true, and if I really hate it in California, I can always move back after a year and work for a company over here (but why, considering our current economic crisis, would I want to STOP working for the largest game company in the world? I even like the company, but beyond that, there's beaucoup opportunities for advancement and it's a rather cheerful corporate environment).

I am spazzing a bit about the play. Not to vent any frustrations on here, I don't want to do that, but the costume issue is bugging me. I need a doublet for my character and we're performing Friday and it still. isn't. done. I'm the one making it, but I don't know how to make it, and the person helping me is extra wonderful but neither of us has time to be hanging onto the other. The play is completely devouring all my spare time and I just want it to be over already at this point so I can go on with my life.

We have acquired a new cat: a kitten, six months old or so, red-point Siamese named Carrot. Incredibly laid back cat, will allow himself to be twisted any which way or picked up or tossed. He really likes shoulders and fingers, sitting on the one and gnawing on the other. Must train him away from that, but watching him trying to suckle is sort of cute.

I think someone got into a fight with Kauton and/or he accidentally hurt himself, because his right eye is mucky and he's keeping it squinty. If he isn't looking better by the weekend, it's off to the vet with him. Not that I can afford it: car payments, medical bills, student loan payments, credit card payments, and insurance eat up all my money. It's a good thing I don't need to pay rent.

Am stressed, overall, but happy.

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Date:2008-04-18 22:02
Subject:My Celebrity Look-alikes
Security:Public

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

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Date:2007-11-29 18:09
Subject:asdflkjasdf.
Security:Public
Mood: nervous

 Job. 

Well. 

Blizzard offered me the billing job.

Poll, guys?

The cons, because I am a negative person -- 

* I am getting paid less. Not so much less that I can't move out, but enough less that it hurts.
* No insurance for my probationary period, which is usually 3 months. 
* I am going to be working with a lot of 19 year old gamers. x_x

The pros:

* Blizzard is probably more stable. 
* I miss the gaming industry.
* Hardly anywhere gives insurance in the first three months ANYWAY.
* Probably going to be cooler about websurfings. 
* It sounds like they want me to be a trainer eventually, which I would like A LOT MORE than being stuck to a phone.
* Location's better, not only to where I live now, but to where I intend to live next year, to my friends, to school, to SCA... so I'll be saving on gas. A lot.
* It's a big company. Which means that even if I don't become a trainer, I'm going to have a lot more opportunity for advancement than I would in a company where there is... no... opportunity for advancement.
* I'm willing to bet the environment is going to be a lot more awesome. This bet is based on having worked at NCSoft.
* I'll be working at non-rush-hour hours.
* Blizzard hires internally mostly, so I'll have first grab at ANY Blizzard job.

The pros to staying where I am:

* I'm actually friends with my boss.
* My boss is FREAKING AWESOME.
* I know what I'm doing and I have responsibility and I like that.
* There's some nonphonetime when I can do things other than talk to people.
* The owner wants me to stay and may give me a raise if I threaten to leave.
* I won't get my Christmas bonus :-(

The cons to staying where I am:

* No advancement.
* There's still some... trouble... with the way things are running up here. Don't get me wrong -- things have improved. But they're getting worse in different ways. It's all becoming less relaxed, more weird.

I think I've decided to go. It's just a really scary decision. Thoughts?

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Date:2007-10-04 08:13
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: vaguely amused

Meme ganked from April!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet, current car) = Emma Saturn

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) = Vanilla Strawberry Chocolate Chip Chocolate Macademia (what?)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (initial of your first name, first 3 letters of your last name) = Ssmi. (Anakin's mom?)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) = Green Hedgehog

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, a city where you lived as a child) = Anastasia Austin (this may well be my Harry Potter name, too)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name) = Samsm

7. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) = The Blue Orange Izze (snrk)

8. YOUR NASCAR NAME: (first names of your grandfathers) = Edward Milton

9. YOUR STRIPPER NAME: (favorite perfume, favorite candy) = Delirium Skor

10. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) = Anne Augustus

11. YOUR TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) = Jones Jamestown

12. YOUR SPY /BOND GIRL NAME: (favorite season or holiday, favorite flower) = Autumn Cherry Blossom

13. YOUR CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) = Strawberry Shirtie?

14. YOUR HIPPIE NAME: (what you had for breakfast, favorite tree) = Bagel Maple (snrk)

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) = The Card Weaving Whistling Wind Tour

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Date:2007-09-28 10:48
Subject:A!
Security:Public
Mood: sniffly

A!!!!!!!!!!

I got an A! I got an A on my C# test!

For a class that makes me feel like a moron half the days I go in there, that makes me feel wonderful. At least some of the credit goes to my father: much loves, Dad, I never would have comprehended some of this stuff without your help.

Class average on the test was 78. I got a 91. Okay, it's not a BIG A, but it's an A and I'm prepared to treasure that mother.

Final count on week:

Test: ACED.

Gingerbread: Not made, sad to say. I still have the breadcrumbs floating around, but I don't intend to try mixing this up on site. Maybe I'll grab some cheese to share on my way in.

Tent: Test run was a success. Thing is huge; it wouldn't fit in the part of the yard we put it in, though I confess that's mostly because there's a tree in the way. To be perfectly roomy and stable it needs about eight more 4 foot long 2x2s and some more stakes and ropes and stuff. I'm tempted to make little feets for the bottoms of the support poles, but even with the half-assed way we put it up last night it didn't look like toppling. I reiterate: huge inside. Tall, too. You don't really appreciate 7.5 feet until you're standing under it. The guy who sent me the tent is an angel of mercy -- there's maybe six or eight door ties on each door where there's only supposed to be one and straps all around the bottom for tent stakes where I didn't expect any.

Dress: Half finished and sitting in the sewing room. Ah well. I have enough stuff to wear this weekend without it.

VB .net assignment: Finished, still not graded, just like all my other assignments save the first one. I'm not that concerned really. It seems like she gives you a 100 if it works. The nit-picking tests are all I really need to worry about, and my performance on the first one was pretty good. Balanced with likely straight 100s on my assignments, I should get a B at the very least.

Car: LOADED. Three (!) wooden folding chairs, a big black plastic footlocker stuffed with clothes and other stuff, a big wicker basket similarly packed, the tent, the stakes, the poles, the ropes, my farmer's table (heavy as lead but it breaks down and reassembles easy as pie), and even an electric kettle (not period, but maybe I'll bring a firepit next time to make my tea). The electric kettle is wonderful -- a shiny chrome Cuisinart thing that seems to operate on magic. I was hesitant about bringing something so self-evidently nice (and expensive) that doesn't belong to me, but the conversation went something like this --

Me: Mom, do you have another, cheaper electric kettle?
Her: Nope, this is it. Why?
Me: I wanted to take one camping.
Her: *suspicious* To do what?
Me: Make... tea...
Her: What's wrong with taking this one?
Me: Well it's, um. Camping. Outside. There could be wolves.
Her: And you're a klutz and liable to break it?
Me: I wasn't going to go there.
Her: Take it along! Just don't break it.

Guess I can't go boiling the honey in that, then...

Health: Nnngh. I can't tell if this is allergies or if I've actually got the Ick. Hoping it's just allergies, but it's not like either is very pleasant at the moment. I'm muddling along with Sudafed and a neti pot and the occasional Kleenex.

Money: Low. I can't really afford to buy anything this weekend, regretfully. Yeah, let's see if that stops me...

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Date:2007-09-26 23:50
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: annoyed

Still haven't made gingerbread. Shit.

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Date:2007-09-26 23:28
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: sleepy

Today:

Got home late after gazing longingly at apartment ads.
Ate dinner. Mm, roast chicken and rice. Sam-kibble.
Nudged Dad. Dad came to the garage.

It took longer to finish the tent frame than I suspected, and in the end we didn't manage to take it for a test run. We managed everything else, though... mostly, at least, since we're low on washers and we had to invent a new tool to screw the hanging bolts into the ridge pole. And we made the ridge pole to the spec of the given measurements of the tent.... so they're too short. Rather than lengthen a piece of wood (you think it's so easy, YOU try it, and no sneaky using Harry Potter's wand (all very naughty HP fans, get your mind out of the gutter RIGHT NOW (if possible))) we tried the Interestingly Sneaky idea of putting the pins on the ends rather than the top. This means the grommet is in the front and the back rather than the top. It looks okay, but we haven't actually erected the thing yet.

Regardless, it's HUGE. Any concerns I had about a 10x13ish tent being not big enough for two people floated away. Also concerns about 7.5 foot poles just not making it tall enough. Holy cow.

I tell you what, this thing will never fall down from pole failure. Possibly from the ropes dying of envy or something.

But we spent so. much. time on making absolutely sure all our holes are lined up (you try drilling through six inches of wood... above paranthetical applies) we didn't have time to cut rope and knot and stake it out. I can do that tomorrow.

After I get home from class and Spotty's.

Spotty, I think I'm going to give it a miss this time unless perversity drives you to the theater Friday evening or something. It's a shame, I really did want to have a lend of that card table, I'm almost sure it's mine... I know I'm not going to be able to put up the tent in the daylight, but managing it before I fall asleep of exhaustion and giving myself time to actually PACK for Friday would be nice. I'd just pick stuff up Friday but I would like to put up my tent AT LEAST ONCE in daylight.

This is a perverse fantasy. Tents cannot be put up in daylight, By Order. Nor can they be taken down unless at least 2 of the 3 people involved in same are hung over.

Incidentally, the guy at Midwest Tents must love me. I only got to see a bit of it as I rolled and unrolled it, but instead of the promised one tie per door there must have been six or eight sets of ties each. Also there are straps at the bottom (did you know there were straps at the bottom? I didn't) for stakes. I should buy more stakes tomorrow so the tent can PRETEND to sit flat on the ground without much of the outside getting in.

Again-incidentally: Austin friends? If you are ambling through a Goodwill and you see an Oriental-style rug on sale for a reasonable amount, even if it's just two feet by three or something, do give me a nudge. I quite like the aesthetic I've seen elsewhere of a profusion of Oriental rugs covering a convenient plastic tent bottom. Canadians and various others, I uh. I guess if you see a rug that would be cool but I'm not sure how I would get it home. XD

But we would have gotten the tent up tonight. We would. But I realized after I wrote my last LJ post that my assignment was not in fact due tomorrow. It was due.... bum bum bum! Tonight. And I hadn't even read the chapter.

Read (most of) chapter (in the tub).
Started program.
Scratched head. Why is this not working? Daaaaaaaad?
Oh. Well, that was stupid.
Why the hell is it doing this now? I never told it to do that. I NEVER DID. See, you can't find where I told it to do that either!  BECAUSE I DIDN'T.
Though if I do it like this it works better.
Yes Dad, I know this way is stupid and it's not how you do it when you're doing web apps, but this isn't a web app and it's not the way we've learned yet. Yes, I like your way better. I also like a high GPA, though I admit I'm more concerned with learning the language right now.
Yes, I am still going to try and get an A in this class. I know it's important.
Yes, we could do that. But how about we just -- you know... like it says... here...
Yes, I know I didn't comment anything. I had comments before, though. On the code that didn't work and I completely rewrote.
What do you mean, I should study VB error handling in all that spare time I have? If I had time to hit you, I would.

End result: in two hours managed both bath and acceptable completion of assignment. I promise to study it better when I have time.

Bath did not clean hair sufficiently for my taste, though, because the main purpose of the bath was to not be too sticky while reading book and it is hard to study VB .net while washing your hair and I walked through a hella big spider web while playing with the tent.

Considering just coming straight home after class tomorrow, going to sleep at like 9, getting up at 5, erecting tent Friday mornign, flipping it off, stuffing it in the car. That'll... teach it.. something.

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Date:2007-09-26 08:44
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: stressed

Life Updates (of interest probably just to me) --

Test: Done and dusted. Probably got an A or a high B on it -- I think I missed 1/4 of a 30-point question and I MIGHT have incompletely answered a 20 point one, but I don't think I lost even 10 points total on there. I feel all 'leet.

Especially because Mr. I've Taken This Professor's Classes Before And They Were MUCH Harder asked a lot of stupid questions and was still there after I left. Schadenfreude, except I don't like him much.

Dress: Getting there. All the side gores are attached to one another as they are meant to be. The right side gore is attached to dress and sleeve, but some of the seams still need finishing. I'm leaving that till last because the dress can indeed be worn even with a few unfinished seams. It just won't hang right and I'll need to finish them before washing it. I still need to attach the left side's gores and sleeve and the front and back gores. And then it needs to be hemmed and straighten out the neckline, but the former is easy enough since I have the Very Same Dress hemmed perfectly and I can just lay it out and cut and hem. Urgh, hemming. Guess what I'm going to be doing on site Friday night...

Tent: Bought more washers. Bought more hanging... pegs... or whatever they're called -- the things threaded on both ends with one flat point and one pointy point, to be pins for the corner poles. I'm undecided on those. I'm also undecided on just ripping the ridge pole in half to make it a 2x2; I'm told that's really all I need, and that will give me double the wood to make edge supports with. I think for maximum stability I really need longer bolts, but I'm not sure I'm going to have them. Regardless, I have stakes (gigantic 18 inch things from Academy, the least plastic ones they had) and rope and with maybe an hour's worth of woodwork beforehand (I've reserved Dad for this very purpose!) we should be able to erect the tent (shut up, you) for a test run tonight.

VB .Net assignment: Still must read chapter and do work, but I got a 15/15 on my first assignment and if this one is anything like the last two it's going to be a doddle. I'll find two hours somewhere to devote to it -- perhaps read the chapter before bed tonight and finish the assignment over dinner tomorrow.

What's left? Packing for the weekend, cleaning out the car. Air mattress is already in the car, but I'd better look for the pump (or just make sure Damiana brings hers. Or ask Spotty if he still has a spare futon mattress floating around... that would be SO much more comfortable!).

Socks. Chemises. Bodice/skirt. Shoes. Mundane clothes, including underthings. Feast gear -- make sure it's clean! Napkin for feast gear. Folding chairs. Needlework. Apples? DON'T FORGET TO MAKE THE GINGERBREAD. Money, or at least checks. Things to trade. Blankets, pillows. I wonder if we still have a hotplate? And a card table? It would be divine if I could make my own coffee in the morning. Maybe I can get that French press I've had my eye on and bring some grounds and a hot pot... better yet, I could just bring the hot pot and make tea. Mmm, tea. Bring sugar and milk. We must have a cooler somewh -- we do! Dad has one! Woot.

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Date:2007-09-25 10:41
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: stressed

workworkworkworkblaaaaaaah.

I am kind of cheerful about this lemming:

Reply to this post and I will list three things I love about you. Post the request in your own LJ, IF YOU DARE.

workworkworkwork.

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Date:2007-09-24 13:18
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: busy

Play! Hee.

For everyone who didn't manage to get there, y'all missed out -- it was our best show yet, even if we did flub a few lines. The bit where I fell right on my butt was apparently very convincingly a part of the play, which is nice because it certainly wasn't planned. Oh well, I'm made of pillows and I didn't fall that hard. The costume mistress's reaction was great, though, when I got back off stage:

"Oh goodness, are you all right?"

"Oh, I'm fine, I just -- "

"Is the dress all right?" *pivots me around*

The dress was fine. My stitches are the stitches of STEEL. Nothing is going to disturb those cartridge pleats.

Also discovered my new friend is also related to an old Cam buddy who was rather surprised to see so many people she knew on stage.

Things To Finish For The Week:

Tent --
    * Will buy better stakes from Academy/REI/whatever.
    * Must finish support poles/ridge pole arrangement. Shouldn't take more than an hour with a drill and a wrench, and then we get to try to   
    put it up. Yay.
    * Must practice tying knots for ropes.

Dress --
    * All cut out!
    * About a third sewn together! Well, except for the right sleeve, which I'm going to have to rip out a part of. At least I (hopefully) won't make
     that mistake twice -- the points of the rear gore are sticking OUT. Also I kind of wish the sleeve wasn't so farging huge. I guess I could rip
     out the entire side gore set and raise it slightly and take the sleeve in but you know what? Not gonna do that this week.
    * I still need to hem it and improve the neckline from the hacked out bits it is right now.

Test --
    * Studied for half of it on Sunday. Realized that I actually GET most of this stuff, which is quite the revelation.
    * Must finish studying tonight.

VB .net class --
    * Read chapter 3.
    * Do chapter 3 assignment.

Miscellaneous --
    * Go to Academy and pick up tent stakes and possibly a foldaway bed (will it even fit in the car along with tent and clothes? WE SHALL SEE. Or possibly, we shall try and buy it on Friday.
    *

.....yeah, somehow I don't think I'm going to a Wednesday rehearsal on top of Tuesday and Thursday night stuff. If anything gets dropped by the wayside it's the dress. I HAVE enough clothing to wear this weekend, just not "and look nice" on top of it.

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Date:2007-09-17 09:56
Subject:
Security:Public

Gonna sound like a horrible racist bitch. Don't care.

For the love of God, if you have a really thick accent, can you PLEASE SPEAK SLOWLY.

Yes, sir, your English is better than the English of many people I have met. But you insist on speaking INSANELY FAST. Even if English was your native language I would not be able to understand. Did every fucking person in India learn English from the MicroMachines announcer? Because it seems to happen every time I talk to a native of that country. And when I request that they slow down or repeat themselves they always get huffy. Sometimes they actually try to get me to promise things I've told them I can't, like so:

"AndIwantafullrefundforthisyoucangetmethisright?good"

"No, sir. I do not calculate the refunds. That will be done when the account is canceled. At the moment your account will be prorated for X months."

"OksoIwillgetallthemoneybackokthanks"

"No..."

I don't know if this is active malice of the "But you promised!" (or rather the "butyoupromised!" sort or if it's just misunderstanding. Creative misunderstanding.

The play went well -- we actually had a few giggles in act 1, which increased to chuckles in act 2 and all out hysteria in act 3. The part where Antipholus does his "huge tracts of land" bit always gets giggles. And when Dromio does his booty dance... I swear I'm going to hit him with his own hat next time. NONE OF YOU PEOPLE CAME. Seriously. My mom and dad came and brought my grandmother. Nobody else I knew was there. Y'all had best be coming this weekend and supporting us with actual cash admission. Should be a good show.

Directions are at thebaronsmen.org.

Anyone who does not come is SO getting written out of my will.

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Date:2007-09-05 08:30
Subject:
Security:Public

Update on play-age:

September 22 is not, I repeat, not donation-only.

Next Saturday (not the end of this week, the end of next week) is the 'free' show for friends and family. Admission to the other show will be $10, $5 for people with student ID. I might recommend that one as the performance that's likely to be better, but you're welcome to come to whichever you like!

C# programming is going pretty well so far. I'm keeping up with the material, though a lot of programming is playing with numbers and I haven't done much of that in a long while. Most recent assignment: use the language to determine if a particular number is a palindrome. The professor had a fascinating bit of code that more or less goes as follows (written in Captain Dummy Speak since I don't think most of you speak C#):

Take the number the user puts in. Convert that string (since anything input that way is in fact a string rather than a number) and parse that string into an integer. Thank God there's a function for this.

Create variables for the five individual digits in the number (this particular program works for 5-digit numbers. I'm going to make mine work for more 'cause I'm awesome that way).

Take the original number and copy it into a new variable so you're not futzing with the original value.

Take this new variable. Divide it by 10 and take the remainder. Put the remainder in the first variable created for the five individual digits. So for 34543/10  you get 3454 remainder 3. In essence, you're chopping off the last number and putting it in its place.

Once you have the five digits all sorted (so for 34543 you'd have v1=3, v2=4, v3=5, v4=4, v5=3 and for 12345 you'd have v1=5, v2=4, etc), and you'd compare the first and last digits. So does v1 == v5? Does v2 == v4?

Or, you can use my way, which I finally figured out while driving home.

Allow numbers between 10 and 999999.

Count the length of the number. Store this in its own variable. We'll call it 'length'.

Create a count. So for however many iterations you need (aka, the length of the number minus one, I'll explain why later) you'll go through the same process.

Do the same divide by 10 take remainder thing, because I just can't think of another way to isolate the last number in there.

Take that number and multiply it by (10 * count) then decrement count by 1. Take that num * (10*count) and add it to a result variable previously set to zero. Rinse and repeat.

When you only have one number left, instead of multiplying it by (10 * count) since count should equal zero by now, just add it to the result variable.

Check the result variable against the original number. If they're equal, palindrome!

I need a way to check and see if the string put in by the user is a character, though. I can detect whether it's an appropriate number and request the user put in a number within the approved range. I also need to find the length function. Surely C# has one and I don't have to create my own...

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Date:2007-09-02 18:35
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: amused

Hey, that's pretty awesome.Collapse )

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Date:2007-08-29 11:31
Subject:Shakespeare's Famous Dick And Fart Jokes
Security:Public
Mood: chipper

For serious, kids.

For those of you at whom I have not gushed about this fact, I is in a play! We're doing Shakespeare, no less, but don't let that frighten you away -- it's Shakespeare's A Comedy of Errors, which is, as implied above, peppered liberally with dick and fart jokes. And really bad puns and comments about my cleavage. There is also a puppet show and amateur WWF, though I don't think anyone in a hoop skirt gets involved with that.

Cost is donations as far as I have heard, so while you won't get shaken down when you walk in there is likely to be someone hopefully holding out a hat.

September 22 is the public production. SCAdians who want to go to the Baronial event the weekend after can go see it for "free", or at least it's included in site fees.



Comment with questions!

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Date:2007-08-22 08:29
Subject:Hogwarts Express Dream Goofiness
Security:Public
Mood: amused


Classes start Tuesday. Still must buy textbooks. Somewhat nervous about the whole thing. Also putting in an order for some linen underthings so I can at least wear an SCA dress properly and not feel like a hoor.

Also must get new glasses. Went onto an online site and plugged in my prescription to get a pair for about $40. Not bad for interim specs, sez I. Am undecided currently as to whether I want my new pair to have little clippy sunglasses or be made of the ultra-twisty stuff.

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Date:2007-08-10 09:36
Subject:Money sucks.
Security:Public
Mood: annoyed

Actually, money rocks. Not having money sucks.

Last time I took my car to the shop for an oil change I also took it in for a whine. Specifically, mine: "Why the HELL do I have to put in two quarts of oil every three hundred and fifty miles? Call me crazy, but that seems a little extreme."

They checked. "Hoboy, yeah, there's an oil leak! One we failed to catch last time we fixed an oil leak in your car. Well, it'll take this part to fix it, that's $150... also, there's flushing your power steering fluid and replacing that, twiddling a dongle, kicking a whosit. Also some pressure problems with your coolant but we've fixed it! Grand total $500."

"Ehhn. Okay, if it makes my car work beautifully." I fork over. "You sure my brakes are okay? They're not squeaking but I'm paranoid..." "Brakes are fine!" "Okay."

I drive the car to Corpus and back. One thousand miles (okay, I drove it more than just to Corpus and back) and my car is thirsty for oil again. It's running okay, but not great. I sigh and fill 'er up. It's an improvement -- just ONE quart of oil every tank of gas! The coolant light is blinking more often now and I scowl.

I take the car to the mechanic yesterday. "I'm going to Houston, I need an oil change and I need you to find out WHAT IS REALLY CAUSING THESE PROBLEMS, GUYS. Thanks."

Thirty minutes later: "Hey. Um. You don't have an oil leak but, um... we want to show you something."

'Something' was a crack in my radiator. A big one. I give the mechanic a careful look. "You noted cooling issues last time I brought the car in. I was assured they were fixed. They didn't notice something like this?"

"It looks quite new."

I look again. It looks quite like a crack in my radiator. How can you put an age on that? It's not like it rots.

"So it's not safe to drive. That's why it's been overheating!"

"Except it hasn't been."

"Really?" He seems  fairly surprised at this, but  not so much that he pays attention. He takes me inside and we figure out the damage is about $450. Another $100 if he hasn't replaced the thermostat this year but I'm pretty sure he has.

"Now, we can have this fixed early tomorrow, that's not a problem. But we also need to check your head gasket.

I hear the ching of the cash register and the sinking in my stomach. "And you won't know that until..."

"We need to get the radiator out and replace it before we can determine that."

"Naturally. And you can have that fixed...?"

"Not by 5 pm tomorrow, I'm afraid." Which is when I need my car so I can drive to Houston to see my buddy who's moving to Buffalo on Monday. Argh, argh, argh.

The repairs I can afford assuming they don't charge me for the thermostat. Afford in the special sense of "I have the money, I really don't want to spend it on this because there's a lot of other people queueing up for it, but I CAN..." And assuming the head gasket isn't blown. I don't know what I'll do if it is. Put the money toward a new car, I suspect.

If anyone needs a new video card, I just put a very nice 512 MB AGP card up on Ebay. ASUS NVidia 6800, kind of pretty in a copper and plastic way, works beautifully, I wish I could use it but I need the money more than I need the card.

BECAUSE THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED RIGHT NOW.

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Date:2007-07-11 14:44
Subject:First the light and chipper. Then the less so.
Security:Public
Mood: contemplative

I enjoyed the Harry Potter sequel! Very dark, Bellatrix is nicely batshit, and if I heard that *gigglecough* from Dolores one more time I was going to stab someone nearby in the throat... the movie had its pacing problems, but you're going to get that in an 870 page book condensed into 150 or so minutes. Very nice possession scenes, and Snape got some great screen time.

On to serious.

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Date:2007-06-27 14:59
Subject:Come Hell or High Water...
Security:Public
Mood: okay

We've got plenty of the latter.

The San Gabriel River is not usually a very reliable waterway. In high summer it's not unusual to see pools of standing water rather than a rushing creek. The river bottom is stone rippled and bumpy yet smoothed from years of flowing water, and sometimes you can walk across it without getting your feet damp. I've taken to slogging upstream through it for a bit of exercise in the evenings -- it's cooler over the water and there's always a little breeze. I trip sometimes, but I've never really been badly hurt.

Today, it was past the fence and in our backyard. With whitecaps.

Let me describe the backyard to you. We live on something like three acres of land. The front half-acre or so is our house and front yard; the other two and a half are stretched out behind us. In general the grass is thick and green, trimmed at least once weekly by my father, and for the first hundred or two feet a barefoot person can walk without fear of burrs and only minor fear of dog droppings. This is about half of the fenced in portion of the yard -- the other half is a little wilder, the grass is not so thick and the weeds are a little more prevalent. The back of this part of the property is fenced in with chain link which continues up the sides of the property left and right. Mostly the fence is also lined with trees, shrubs, and other thick green scrub and vine covering.

Past the fence, there is a fairly steep grassy (often swampy of late) slope down to the river. It's tree-speckled as is the yard itself, shady in the summertime. With better drainage it would be the perfect place to sit and watch the water go by. Just before our property there is a small waterfall-dam the river flows over to get that wonderful hard rushing sound. Above that is a little swimming hole.

When we got up this morning at 6:30, the water was well past the fence and had hit the halfway point between fence and house. We had surf -- it would wash up a little and recede, wash up a little and recede, as though we were standing on the beach of the Gulf instead of our grassy backyard.  It had come about ten feet closer than that overnight from the line of washed-up detritus from upstream.

Our power has been out since early this morning -- as far as I know, it still is. The cats and dogs are anxious, but I'm not home with them -- I'm up here at work, because this is real life and the bridge isn't closed anymore and apart from sitting there anxiously there isn't much useful I can get done at home without power.

We're all alive and safe and sound. I only hope the poor folks living downriver and down the hill are faring so well.

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Date:2007-05-25 11:09
Subject:
Security:Public
Mood: amused


Samantha starved to death while playing computer games

Samantha was later revived by the milk of Angelina Jolie
'What will your Headline be?' at QuizGalaxy.com




.........

Well, uh...

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Date:2007-04-05 13:24
Subject:
Security:Public

Comment and I'll..
1 - Tell you why I friended you.
2 - Associate you with something. A fandom, a song, a colour, a piece of fruit. SOMETHING.
3 - Tell you something I like about you.
4 - Tell you a memory I have of you.
5 - Associate you with a character/pairing.
6 - Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7 - Tell you my favorite user pic of yours.
8 - In retort, you must spread this disease in your LJ.

COME AND GET IT MEMEWHORES :D

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