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Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 09:18 am
I'm all for coffee. I like coffee. I'm not terribly picky about my coffee, though I prefer it not bitter and burned. Which does, indeed, land me solidly on one side of the great coffee war at work.

To understand the dynamics of the coffee war, I'll have to give you some brief background on our office. I work on the second floor of a building that is separated into two halves, with the public coming up the stairway in the middle to counters on either side. I am in the West side.

East side has a Keurig that apparently no one likes. They all come over to get coffee from our drip-style Bunn. However, and I'm trying not to be sexist, but this is how it works out, many of the men from the East side (as well as many of the men on the West side) take coffee but never make it. This led to one of the East side counter girls to compulsively make coffee to "make up" for her department taking all the coffee.

And by compulsively, I mean she's pour out anything under half a pot to make new, as well as "pre-fill" coffee filters on top of the machine. This irritated some of the West side girls, who complained bitterly that her coffee was too weak (and, coincidentally, not bitter and horrible like they liked it). And then they started pouring out her coffee and making up their own filters.

I do not like overly strong, bitter coffee. And contrary to what they say, you can't "just add water" and make it better. That bitterness is there to stay. Honestly, I'm better with the weaker coffee ("mud water" in their vernacular). The funny part is, as with most divides, the West side girl really does not see that the East side girl feels just as strongly and believes just as fiercely that they are right. And as much as West side girl complains about East side girl, she refuses to see she's doing exactly what she's complaining about and that others might feel just as annoyed and slighted as she does.

Hypocrisy, yo.

Also quite the allegory for so many things.

Including me, once more in the middle, wishing desperately for just a decent not-too-strong, not-too weak cup of coffee (and maybe, now that I think of it, a good old-fashioned snap-fight...). I've taken to just dumping any pre-filled filters back into the coffee bag, regardless of who made them up, because that shit is ridiculous and I don't want to drink coffee made from grounds that have been sitting out. But don't tell anyone it's me...
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Monday, June 12th, 2017 05:36 pm
35. Mind of Winter (Audio) * (26 April – 1 May) Read more... )

36. The Graveyard Book ***** (29 April – 2 May) Read more... )

37. Invasion of Privacy *** (7 May – 7 May) Read more... )

38. A Fatal Winter (Audio) *** (1 May – 15 May) Read more... )

39. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell (audio) *** Read more... )

40. Death of A Ghost *** (26 May – 26 May) Read more... )
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Friday, May 12th, 2017 08:42 am
Music Shuffle Quiz - now with 100% more drabble! I put my music player on shuffle to fill in the blanks, then wrote a short piece inspired by that.

How Will You Die? - This Maniac’s In Love With You – Alice Cooper
Read more... )

Your Love Life? - Dangerous Veils – Jethro Tull
Read more... )

Playing at Your Wedding? - Man in the Box – Alice in Chains

Read more... )

Add “in my pants” at the end of the title - A Song for Jeffrey – Jethro Tull
“A Song for Jeffrey in my pants.”
Read more... )

Playing at your funeral - Let it Rain – Warrant
Read more... )

Add “with a shovel and a screwdriver” - Mickey Mouse March – Disney
“Mickey Mouse March with a shovel and a screwdriver”
Read more... )

Describes your week - Goin’ off the Deep End – Y&T
Read more... )

Theme Song - E is for Everybody – Cooler Kids (Kim Possible Soundtrack)
Read more... )

Plays when you think of your love - The Thin Line – Queensryche
Read more... )

Plays when you miss someone - The Whistler – Jethro Tull

Read more... )
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Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 08:26 pm
30. The Janus Stone *** (8 April – 9 April) Read more... )
31. The House at Sea's End *** (9 April-9 April) Read more... )
32. Charmed (audio) *** (5 April – 11 April) – Read more... )
33. Hotel Ruby (audio) *** (11 April – 16 April) – Read more... )
34. Stalking Jack the Ripper **** (17 April – 25 April) Read more... )
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Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 08:22 pm
20. Mouse Guard: The Black Axe ***** (23 Jan – 2 Mar) Read more... )
21. Otherwise Engaged **** (2 Mar – 2 Mar) Read more... )
22. Written in Red **** (5 Mar – 5 Mar) Read more... )
23. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice * (audio) (22 Feb – 7 Mar) Read more... )
24. Sorrow Road *** (12 Mar – 12 Mar) Read more... )
25. The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place **** (16 Mar – 16 Mar) Read more... )
26. The Fifteen Lives of Harry August ***** (audio) (7 Mar – 21 Mar) Read more... )
27. The Crossing Places *** (25 Mar – 26 Mar) Read more... )
28. Overqualified ** (28 Mar – 28 Mar) Read more... )
29. The Underdog and Other Stories **** (27 Mar – 28 Mar) Read more... )
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Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 07:45 pm
12. The Forgotten Girls ** (5 Feb – 5 Feb) Read more... )

13. The Siege Winter *** (Audio) (26 Jan – 6 Feb) Read more... )

14. Turbo Twenty-Three **** (12 Feb – 12 Feb) Read more... )

15. Wither **** (12 Feb – 12 Feb) Read more... )

16. Because of Miss Bridgerton *** (Audio) (2 Feb – 14 Feb) Read more... )

17. The Rapture of the Nerds *** (audio) (14 Feb – 22 Feb) Read more... )

18. Attachments **** (24 Feb – 24 Feb) Read more... )

19. Reading Lolita in Tehran *** (15 Jan – 26 Feb) Read more... )
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Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 12:33 pm
I'm having such a hard time not saying something, I'm really trying, but... It's getting hard.

I have a friend who rails against people who do X, Y, Z.

And then, of course, she turns around and does exactly those sane things. Or I know she's just done those things in the past. And I want to shake her and scream "do you not see what you're doing?!"

And yes, we all do that now and then. When someone else drives fast or crazy, they're a dangerous asshole. When we do it, we're in a hurry! Can't be helped! Everyone has those moments of self-justification. It's human nature.

But sometimes it gets out of hand, and you look like a hypocritical jerk.

I know next time I complain about something, I'm going to take a pretty close look at my own behaviour before I say anything.

(And that includes this post, as I am resolving to try to ensure non-hypocrisy in the future)
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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 07:34 pm
I think I should get a bloody award for not having children, I'm pretty sure I'm the type of person who would insist they wear a seatbelt in the car and helmets on bikes, then turn around and accidentally leave them at a rest stop. For a "responsible" person, I have staggering moments of irresponsibility. It's just lucky that modern technology keeps me from monumentally cocking it all up.

I'm looking at you, beautiful, wonderful, life-saving automatic bill pay. I'm pretty sure my credit score would be wallowing in the craptastic range if it wasn't for you. And I don't mean to brag, but my credit card company said my score was 829! That's... good, right? The commercials all say 720 is "good", so I'm guessing I'll qualify for a car loan when the Mustang finally meets its maker, or a cement mixer, or a ditch. But my laissez faire attitude towards my finances has a dark side.

A dark, red wine colored side, as a matter of fact.

SOMEONE (I will not name names, Gelsey) gave me a code for Naked Wines. It's a subscription service for wine where you pay monthly and then you can order cases of wine to be delivered to your house. Pretty sweet, but the lowest level is $40 a month, and I really don't drink *that* much wine. But you got something like a free $100 for trying it out, and so I did, using a credit card that was soon to expire. And when I couldn't find the place to deactivate the account, the credit card expired, I used up all my stored credit, and thought that was the end of it.

Fast forward almost two years later. You see where this is going, yes?

Yes. Apparently they *did* find a way to charge my new card. And have been doing so. For almost two years.

How on earth did I not notice, you ask? Good question, and I'll answer that as soon as I run back to the rest stop to pick up the kids. Metaphorically, that is.

The credit card I used is one we don't use often, hubby uses it for some online game purchases and we use it if, for any reason, someplace doesn't take Discover. And I have it set to automatically pay the balance every month. Yes, I get an email that gives me the amount, but it's usually only about $50-$100 and I never thought... I just didn't even check, partly because I'd misplaced my password and dear god I'm lazy.

I had over $800 of wine credit.

That is a shitload of wine. I just ordered 21 bottles and still have over $500 of credit.

The good news is I found the place on the web site to deactivate my account! Which I will do as soon as I spend all the money out of my account. Until then, I will be the designated wine-bringer to all activities. Art night? Have some wine. Craft night? Have some wine! Game night? WINE!

Fuck.

That would have bought a LOT of yarn. :(
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Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 12:38 pm
You keep using that word... impeachment. You do remember when Bill Clinton was impeached, yes? Maybe not. But he was! And then continued on being president for two years, because that's not all there is to it.

Now, impeached and *convicted*, well, that's a different story, but that also has to go through the Senate. Clinton got a 50-50 vote on the obstruction charges, I believe, and that allowed him to remain president.

So if there is a conviction?

President Pence.

And therein lies the delicate balance of selecting your running mate. They can't be so abhorrent that they actually cause people to vote against you, but they also can't be anyone that people would more want as the president.

Of all the jobs the Vice President has, assassination insurance is the most unsung.
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Sunday, February 5th, 2017 10:34 am
1. Dust and Shadow (audio) **** Read more... )
2. Bad Blood *** Read more... )
3. The Winter People (audio) *** Read more... )
4. The Tuesday Club Murders **** Read more... )
5. The Aftermath ** Read more... )
6. Wicked Autumn (audio) ** Read more... )
7. The Motion of Puppets **** Read more... )
8. The Waking Dark (audio) *** Read more... )
9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (audio) ***** Read more... )
10. Goblin Secrets **** Read more... )
11. Laughing at My Nightmare **** Read more... )
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Monday, January 30th, 2017 10:04 am
One of my old goals was to make more icons, back in the day when I did that for contests and kink bingo. I haven't done any of that in ages, but a few evenings would knock out that goal. The question is... icons of what? Any theme ideas would be appreciated!

Some days I feel like a slave to my goal list, other days it makes me happy... I think, much like my craft room and projects, I just need to wrestle it down to a manageable level. It threatens to overwhelm at times, and that's not the point of it.

I also desperately need to vacuum. It's amazing how much detritus one dog can drag in through a doggie door!
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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 09:50 pm
So... the weirdest thing just happened.

I got an email from Amazon saying the were shipping the stickers I'd ordered. Except, of course, I hadn't.

I looked at the order, and it said the order total was $1.96 and it had been paid with an Amazon Gift Card. Another weird thing, if you look at the actual item, the retail price is $9.99. So... why the $1.96?!

So I immediately cancelled the order and changed my password, naturally (which is a shame, I loved that password!). And now I have a $2 Amazon gift card balance?!

And it wasn't like it was being sent to someone else, so... why? Why break into someone's account and use a gift card to order $2 worth of stickers to be sent to them?! I am so baffled.

At this point it's just so weird I'm willing to believe it's a computer snafu, somewhere the 1s and 0s got lost and mixed up and it's just some bizarre glitch. Because... otherwise... seriously, why?!
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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 09:21 am
It's that time again, new goal book time! And for something that is of my own making and that should be my own rules, I'm having some difficulty.

For instance: goals of years past I've "replaced" when they became impractical or not very possible (like the swimming goal, since we no longer belong to the gym and don't have access to a pool), but what about when I just don't like them any more, or I've moved past that particular pastime? Is that okay? I can't make my mind up about that, which is ridiculous because it's my bloody goal book and supposed to be fun!

Well, fun and challenging, I suppose, which leads to the next question... how much to push myself? I'd had "days of morning pages" as a goal, because I thought I could do that (stupid "read a self-help book" book challenge category!), but I know I didn't do well with it last time...

I started on March 16th, and March 28th every reads:

Oh goodness, I missed a day. I just kept making excuses to "do it later" and... you know what? Fuck it. I can't even do this today. I dread and hate it so much. Goodbye, morning pages.

So I'm thinking that's not the goal for me, no matter how many people gush about it. Not everything is for everyone, I have to tell myself. Just because other people love and benefit from it doesn't mean you will. No matter how much you try. And putting in a goal I'm going to dread (I've never been much of a journal person, more of a list person) and probably never do will lead right back to the earlier conundrum in a year or two, the ethics of switching out goals you just don't want to do.

I might be overthinking this. It is supposed to be fun, right? And it doesn't count for anything. No one else even cares! I should be able to replace goals if I want to. ...maybe.

Argh!
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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 09:06 am
I don't think it means what you think it means. In fact, I know it does not.

Yes, this is a petty, silly thing to be annoyed about, but annoyed I am.

Lately, there has been a bit of an epidemic of people creating FB accounts with other people's names and sending friend requests to all of their friends. Why? No idea. Not entirely sure what the point of it is, or what they hope to get. Whatever the reason, the one thing that did not happen?

You were not "hacked".

Please stop saying that. "Hacked" would be if they took over your legitimate FB page, not creating one impersonating you.

Nor is it "hacking" when someone uses your name on a different email account to send your friends spam and virus-ladened emails. Again, "hacking" is when they take over your actual email account (this did happen a lot to Yahoo accounts a bit back).

You were not "hacked".

*sigh*
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Monday, November 7th, 2016 09:26 am
The more times I'm told to go vote, the less I want to. I've voted in primaries and general elections for quite a while now, and never have I so not wanted to. I just don't. Even. Care.

Because no one want me to just "vote". They don't care about me exercising my rights. What they mean, and what they should just say, is, "you need to go out and vote the way I want you to, or really, I'm just okay with you keeping your ignorant ass home because you suck."

To keep it as non-political as possible, imagine they want to combine the American League and National League and have the same rules. This means deciding on the contentious designated hitter rule. Some love it, some hate it. Let's say you like it, but you know your friends hates it. This friends has expressed lackluster interest in voting.

How hard do you try to convince them to vote? Do you say, "But you must, your voice must be heard!", or do you just kinda go, "eh, yeah, if you really don't want to vote, whatever, it's all good."

If you say the first, you're obviously very principled or simply don't have very strong feelings on the designated hitter rule. So, in your own head, go ahead and slide your candidate of choice in there. Still the same?

Mike Rowe did a piece on why blind voting (telling people to vote no matter what they know about the issues/candidates) isn't great. If you really don't know, why should you vote? Why are celebrities urging people, regardless of if they even know who's running (think state-level races), to get out there and vote? Aren't they missing a step? Maybe it's implied that they should learn about politics first, but... that's one of those things that should actually be said. If you don't know the candidates stance on at least three issues near and dear to your heart... why are you voting for them? Because some celebrity said to? Yeah.

So you know what? I don't care if you vote. I don't care if you skip voting all together, or only fill out the part on local bond issues, or just vote on a sales tax question. You do whatever makes you happy.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet.
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Sunday, November 6th, 2016 06:54 pm
I'm behind on posting, and I've already skipped day five and am about to skip day six. It's easier during the week, there's more structure to my days - I can come home, and eat dinner, then write. Weekends are little whirlwinds of chaos with things not happening "on schedule" and leave me feeling burned out and unmotivated. Bah! (Also, 13 years until retirement...)

It was obvious they didn't expect to find anything of interest, and they wouldn't. They would close the case as a garden-variety street crime, and it would sit as an unsolved homicide until the end of time. On one hand, it was a sad statement on society that and murder would be called  )
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Monday, October 31st, 2016 11:11 am
Setting: North Dakota Sheriff's Office. Two deputies sit a desks at computers, suddenly the door to a back office bursts open and a harried-looking sheriff races out.

Sheriff: Oh my god, there are tens of thousands of them now!
Deputy 1: What? Where?
Sheriff: Protesting! Thousands just checked in on Facebook! Now what will we do?
Deputy 2; Uh, the same thing we have been?
Deputy 1: Yeah, it's just some viral thing, they're not really there.
Sheriff: How can you be sure?
Deputy 1: It's all over the internet? Stories everywhere on how to check in.
Sheriff: Oh. But now we won't know who's there and not!
Deputy 2: Except we're here. We can actually see who's here.
Sheriff: But we don't know who they are!
Deputy 2: Did you ever notice how accurate, say, Facebook is at suggesting who you should tag in a photo?
Sheriff: Yeah...
Deputy 2: So, you think some, yes, admittedly large social media site is going to have better facial recognition software than the government? And with the tens of millions of tagged photos already on Facebook, well...
Sheriff: Ah. So... we're not overwhelmed?
Deputy 1: Uh, no.
Sheriff: But we're confused?
Deputy 2: No, not that either.
Sheriff: So this did...?
Deputy 1: It made a lot of people who were unable or unwilling to take actual action, feel better about themselves? Or if they felt like signing a petition, writing letters, calling their government officials, and donation supplies wasn't enough, they could do this.
Deputy 2: But mostly the first, I suspect.
Sheriff: Oh, okay then, uh, carry on?
Deputy 2; Will do.


* Please note I'm not mocking those defending what they feel is right. This is completely directed at the ridiculousness of "overwhelming and confusing" the police department with fake check-ins. Because, really? This is going to "protect" people? Really? I can't even imagine how it could. And I have a pretty good imagination...
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Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 09:49 am
I keep saying I want to, and then don't. Aside from the occasional rant, which is far, far from what my Facebook is, where I try to keep things light and drama-free. I'm not saying I'll never rant here, but maybe some posts other than rants would be nice.

I'm not good at a schedule or daily thing, though, so as much as I'd like to break out my week into Make It Monday, Tutorial Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Foodie or Fiction Friday, and Snapshot Saturday, I don't think it's going to happen. Fun thinking up names, though!

Except I don't see Thirsty Thursday working out, not enough drinks. And Make It Monday and Tutorial Tuesday are too similar and too close together. See? Problems already! And my interests are too varied, where would movie talk and books and bad limericks fit in? It'd need to be more general. Argh!

Or, you know, I could just post about things whenever without the catchy titles. Pfffff. What fun is that?

I need to get out of the rut of planning and never doing. One of these days... :/
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Monday, August 22nd, 2016 12:19 pm
Facebook is the devil, and I rue the day I ended up with so many... friends of a certain ilk.

Today's tidbit, which I only saw because someone liked a post of someone I'm not friends with (seriously, FB, just show me my actual friends' god damn posts and stop stuffing my news feed with crap they "like" and "comment on"), was about women drinking.

Which they only do because, obviously, men are evil and life is hard as a woman and they refuse to stand up for themselves and are therefore pathetic, horrible creatures and sober, strong women pity and mock them. As you do, when you want to, you know, support your gender, right? Right.

I don't drink a glass of wine on my back patio while knitting or whatever because I'm stressed or don't have enough me time or feel like men are evil. I have that glass of wine because... I like wine. I know, shocker, right? That can't be right! I'm making a *choice* based some on what I *want* and *enjoy*. Certainly not! It can't be! I'm a women, therefore, society, men, evils, blah blah blah.

Look, I get it. There are sexist people out there. It's true. I'm an engineer, not exactly the most "feminine" of fields. I deal with construction workers, which you think would be (based on stereotypes) the least equal-minded.

And yet who do I get the most nasty, judgemental comments from?

Yeah, you guessed it. Women.

I'm not doing enough to fight for equality! (Except, you know, living it) I'm too fat! (Fuck you) I shouldn't like cooking/crafts/girly things! (See: fuck you) I shouldn't like football/guns/cars! (I think you know where I'm going here)

Old-school women who think I should be at home having babies. New, strident feminists who think I'm not vocal or mean enough about the evils of men. Women who judge my hair, my clothes, my body.

Are men judging me? Probably. It's human nature to judge. But oddly, they're not the ones I see/hear the most.

I talked to a guy in line at the grocery store the other day. Perfectly nice chat about nothing, just passing the time. Woman at the grocery store today, eying me up and down and turning away with a sneer (so I look a little frumpy in the ritzy part of town, sue me).

So I'm sorry I won't jump on that bandwagon, I can't handle that much vitriol in my life. I really thought living my life and *showing* that I was equal was enough. I thought making choices that were right for me (because it's about choice, right?) was enough. Apparently, I was wrong.