quadruplify: John Watson (from BBC's Sherlock) standing in Buckingham Palace ([Sherlock] John - standing)
I know most of the links this week are from The Atlantic; this is only because I follow the magazine on Twitter, and every day they have a ton of articles that catch my interest, and I end up clicking on them all, and pretty soon my browser is crammed with tabs from this one website. Which I find kinda embarrassing, even though it's not a big deal at all. I should go on a bigger variety of sites regardless. :P

--Yes, Money Does Buy Happiness: 6 Lessons From the Newest Research on Income and Well-Being
--The "Most Significant" Photo Recently Taken From Space
--Why We Get Prune Fingers
--Hollywood's Real Bias Is Conservative (But Not in the Way Liberals Often Say)
--The Fact-Free Political Alarmism of Naomi Wolf  (this does a good job of pinpointing what bothers me about left-wing activist writers like Wolf, Glenn Greenwald, Michael Moore, etc. -- they're too extreme and addicted to attention for most people to believe anything they have to say, and whatever good points they make are undermined by their poor research and lack of nuance)
--There's More to Life Than Being Happy
--A GIF Guide to the Most Bannable Semi-Automatic Weapons
--Russian test uncovers strain of space travel  (with all the buzz surrounding the Mars One project, this is important to keep in mind)
--Actually, Don't Write Like You're Dead  (on bad writing advice, and how it's impossible not to be a product of your times)
--Sympathy For the Nice Guys of OKCupid  (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -- not because Nice Guys deserve that much pity [they don't], but it's an interesting perspective that's worth thinking about)
--Censoring Pirate Sites Doesn't Work, Researchers Find
--Astronomers Discover a Planet Almost Identical to Earth
--New battery converts physical motion to chemical energy in a single step
--Galaxy's center tastes of raspberries and smells of rum, say astronomers
--What If NASA Could Figure Out the Math of a Workable Warp Drive?  (I'm pretty sure I shared this on Twitter before, but it's worth sharing again)
--Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2012
--A Stunning, Sparkling Beehive Caught By Accident  (on globular clusters and distant galaxies)
--Tongue and Tech: The Many Emotions For Which English Has No Words
--Pondering Our Cyborg Future in a Documentary About the Singularity
--Climate Change Doesn't Have to Mean the End of the World  (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -- this partly explains why I've become so burned out on even thinking about environmentalism and climate change activism; at this point, adaptation is the only thing we can do about global warming)
--Short animated film: "R'ha" by Kaleb Lechowski  (I'm only sharing this because a.) the animation and CGI is AMAZING, and b.) the guy who made this is a year younger than me, and I feel woefully inadequate because of it D: )


quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
Of all the nights I really want to stay up really late, tonight's the night I can't. Fuck. =_=

Anyway, I have some good news to share:

You have to click the cut to find out... )

* I'm thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year. I do need a kick in the butt to get myself writing again, and since I still don't have a job and I have plenty of free time, why not? Good idea y/n?

* The reason why I have to go to bed early is because I'll be spending the weekend in Boston with my mom and sister, and we're leaving early in the morning. :P We're going to see my cousin at college because this weekend is their "Fall Family Weekend"/"open house," so we should definitely have a good time. The only thing that's gonna really suck about it is that Ex-Uncle and his ugly-on-the-inside wife will be meeting us at points, which is a huge DNW. But it'll be great to get to travel and see my aunt and cousin again! I'll be gone until Sunday night EDT; I'll still check LJ and (as much as possible) Tumblr on my phone, and if you want to get in touch with me I can PM you my contact info, but FYI I'm going to be a little bit more sparse this weekend than usual. (I also have AIM and Skype on my phone, but I'm not sure if I'll try that just yet.) Expect an awesome summary of everything when I get back, though. ;-)

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons (Default)
I CAN'T EXPRESS IN WORDS HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THE NEW SERIES RIGHT NOW

EVERYTHING THAT CAME OUT OF THE PANEL WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND FIERCE AND AWESOME AND ALL THAT

IT'S BEEN A COUPLE OF HOURS AND I'M STILL COMPLETELY PUMPED TBH

(AS YOU CAN TELL BY THE CAPSLOCK I'M SURE)

I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN

KORRA'S BADASSNESS AND THE AANG STATUE AND THE RETURN OF APPA AND THE POLAR BEAR-DOG AND MAKO AND BOLIN AND THE STEAMPUNK SETTING AND TENZIN'S FAMILY AND AND AND

WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR THIS IS GONNA BE SO AWESOME

SO I'VE CREATED A STORIFY WITH ALL THE NEW INFO AND I'VE PUT THE LINK TO IT BELOW, IF YOU WANT TO CHECK IT OUT

(AND PLEASE SPREAD IT AROUND!)

AND IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS FANDOM, THAT'S FINE -- YOU JUST SUCK

View ""LEGEND OF KORRA" PANEL @ SDCC 2011" on Storify



ANYWAY, RL UPDATE COMING IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS FYI

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
I have to go to bed REALLY SOON so that I can get up early enough for the flight to California (which I'll go into below), and I have a bit of a headache right now, so I need to keep this short:

--Saturday night was the Okkervil River concert, and it was awesome. It was my first time at Toad's Place, and I certainly didn't mind it there; I haven't been to too many venues like that, but I did find it to be a little bit on the seedy side, given that they've been around for a long time and they're coasting on their reputation at this point. The acoustics weren't exactly the greatest either, and because I went alone and didn't know anyone else there, my social anxiety kicked in big time and I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. :/ That being said, though, the music was nothing short of excellent, and I had a great time.

Details under the cut... )

--We went to my dad's mom's house on Sunday to celebrate her birthday, which is next Saturday the 11th. We celebrated with great take-out pizza and some pretty awesome cupcakes my parents bought in a pastry shop in Wallingford which they want to take me and my sister to because it's apparently really good. XD For my birthday, she gave me shortbread cookies as a gift -- she knows what I like, LOL :B And apparently some woodpeckers built a nest in the apple tree in her backyard, so I managed to get a glimpse of some baby woodpeckers in their nest. Pretty cool, no? ~_^

--And today I got my birthday present from my parents -- a Teavana tea set. I for one am not complaining. \o/

--So as I mentioned before, I'm going to California (San Jose, to be exact) tomorrow/today with my mom and sister to visit my aunt and cousin for the weekend. My cousin is graduating high school on Thursday and will be going to college in Boston in the fall, and I'm really proud of her! I'm not that enthused about the airplane rides (6 hours from DC to San Francisco --> YUCK DNW D:), and family sometimes irritates me, but it'll be a nice change of pace and I'll try to make the most of it. Here's the itinerary as I know it right now:

Wednesday: Flight, get settled at aunt's house
Thursday: Cousin's graduation
Friday: San Francisco!
Saturday: ??????? (probably hanging out in San Jose)
Sunday: Flight back home

Unfortunately, I'm going to have limited Internet access while I'm there. I'll still try to keep up on everything as much as I can, but it won't be easy. In the meantime, if you want to get in touch with me for any reason, e-mail me (mecteol -AT- gmail -DOT- com) or contact me through Twitter or Facebook. (And if you want my cell phone number, let me know and I'll PM it to you.) So consider this a mini-pseudo-hiatus until I get back Sunday evening EDT. I hope to have some good stories when I get back. 8D

Hope everyone else is feeling well!
quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
Uh.......hi. Been a while since my last (real) post. Sorry about that. ^_^;

So, I've graduated from college. I'd write more about it -- about all the things I'm going to miss about Middlebury and Vermont (and everything I won't miss, because there's plenty of that too), about all the awesome things that happened to me over the past four years, about how much Middlebury became a second home for me whether I liked it or not, about how I changed and how beautiful things were there, etc. But this past week, I've had zero energy to do anything more taxing on my brain than doing some unpacking and spending all day on Tumblr. (Seriously, it's gotten to be a near-addiction at this point. I should probably ease off on it sometime soon. :PPP) I might still write about it eventually, but I have a track record of saying I'll make an entry about something and not actually doing it, and besides, if you've known me long enough I'm sure you could guess what I'd write about anyway. :B

Anyway, not much happened the day before graduation -- just eating at restaurants with my mom and sister (including dinner at American Flatbread), buying some more books for myself, and spending the rest of my time trying to relax alone. I was feeling rather disconnected from everyone else there the last few weeks of the semester, which sucked because I had grown close to lots of different people over the past year and I wanted to see them again and celebrate graduation with them, but at the same time I was extremely tired and wanted nothing more than to go home.

Graduation itself was fine -- not much to write home about, really, except that even though at least have the class was hungover, no serious shenanigans happened. Oh, and as per Middlebury tradition, we all got canes in addition to our diplomas, as a rather symbolic "souvenir," for lack of a better term. (It's a pretty badass cane, if I do say so myself. 8D) This page has some pictures and video of commencement, in case you're curious. And this page has some more information, and is totally worth looking at because of a comment left by "Pissed Off Crip" about some of the transphobic and ableist BS that went down during the ceremony.

And I got a new digital camera as a graduation present! :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD In addition to money and some new clothes, of course. And my parents decided to decorate my bedroom as a surprise when I got home -- complete with balloons and banners and a fake tree. And some of the bunny statuettes around the house were wearing mortarboards too. SERIOUSLY U GUYZ *embarrased.gif* XD

So yeah, that's about all the interesting stuff that's happened lately. I need at least another week to rest and recuperate from everything and just........deal with the fact that I've graduated from college, holy fuck holy shit how did this happen seriously. ._., And the trip to California in mid-June will certainly help. I am going to have to look for a job pretty soon, though, considering I have student loans to pay off (even though the first bill won't come until next March), but the good news is I do have some long-term goals I want to start working toward. I'll write about said goals eventually (and I will get around to it, scout's honor!), but for now, all I'll say is that it's great to finally have some direction in my life right now.

And I'll end this rambling here. Thank you very much for all the well-wishes! And feel free to make this into a party post or whatever, since this journal certainly needs one. ;-)



quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
First off, a warm welcome to [livejournal.com profile] archy_the_roach!  Glad to meet you, and if you have any questions about me don't be afraid to ask!  ;-)

Second, thank you so, so much for all the comments you left on the "You Are Beautiful" meme a few days ago.  You guys are absolutely wonderful, and I can't thank you enough for being so awesome.  ^_^;

Third, I've started using Tumblr again recently, and it's been a major time suck, as usual.  XDDDDDDDDDDDDDD  I'm sarcasmisdead over there, so please feel free to add me if you haven't already!

And fourth -- I'M DONE WITH COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!

I wish I could be more excited, but I'm too tired to feel much excitement right now, mostly because my sleep schedule is once again out of whack -- I had been going to bed at 5 AM some nights, and last night I didn't get any sleep at all.  :PPP  The big reason was that I was working on my Japanese lit final paper all last week.  As in, the one that was due last Monday but I handed in on Saturday, almost a week late.  -_-;  After finishing my take-home exam for Politics of Virtual Realities (which I did hand in on time), I was so utterly burned out, and I so didn't want to do the other paper, that I just......lost all motivation to do it.  And the allergies and general low mood didn't help matters either.

But......it's done.  I put a lot of work into both papers, so I think they came out well regardless.  And considering I didn't study all that much for my African Politics exam on Friday, I think I did pretty well on that too.  :D

It feels weird that it's actually over, that I actually don't have any more schoolwork left to do and I'm going to be graduating on Sunday -- it feels utterly surreal, after college has been a big part of my life for the past four years.  Well, I do have a lot of ~feelings~ about the whole thing, but I think I'll write about that in separate entries later this week.

Anyway, this week is Senior Week, which means a lot of events are going on.  But unless I absolutely have to be there (like the ES department reception, the senior class photo, and of course, commencement), I don't really plan on going to most of these events; not a lot of them look all that interesting, and I don't have the energy to be all that social anyway.

Besides, I've been doing a lot of stuff over the past week or so anyway.  I've been kinda splurging in town lately; I've been going out for tea and eating out quite a bit lately, especially having dinner at American Flatbread on Saturday night (which was seriously one of the best meals I've ever had IN MY LIFE.  *_____*  Seriously, if there's an AF near you, GO THERE -- you won't be disappointed!), and buying yet more books (Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter, if you're curious).  I've also been running around doing all the errands I need to do before leaving town, like getting a haircut, closing my checking account, and picking up my sertraline prescription (I'm back up at 150mg now).  So as you could probably guess, I'm near flat broke right now.  :P  That's all right, though, I can survive a few more days.  ~_^

Other than meeting with my first-year seminar professor for the last time this afternoon, that's about it as far as things going on in my life are concerned.  This is really just a post to let everyone know that no, I'm not dead, just busy and worn out.  ^_^;  How is everyone else doing?

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
Life has been going relatively well these past few days; nothing too exciting has been going on lately, but I did get a 99 on my Japanese lit exam and an A- on my latest African Politics paper, the weather's been getting better, and I finally got to check out the new student-run cafe on campus. Belgian waffle with maple syrup, bananas, and dark chocolate = DELICIOUS. XD

Also, this meme is still going if you're interested. ;-)

Anyway, I've fallen behind on the music meme, so here goes nothing:

DAY 01: A song from your childhood.

DAY 02: A song that reminds you of your most recent ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

Since I've never had an ex, this question doesn't exactly apply. (I know, I suck, but that's life I suppose. :PPP) Next!

DAY 03: A song that reminds you of one/both of your parents.



Yeah, this is a Beatles song, but I'm putting up Low's cover version just because I absolutely adore Mimi Parker's voice. ^_^; And yeah, as much as I love my parents, this just about sums them up. >_>

DAY 04: A song that calms you down.



This song is actually split into two videos, just because it's 17 minutes long and YouTube has a 15-minute limit on uploads from normal users -- fortunately, I've set it up so the second video should play after the first is done without you having to do anything.

Anyway, it's worth listening to the whole thing, because then you can see just how good this song is at calming anyone down, not just me. 8DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Upcoming days under the cut... )

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
1. [livejournal.com profile] demoneyeskyo87 and [livejournal.com profile] misskalloway, I got your Christmas cards in the mail recently. Thanks so much! :D

1a. And [livejournal.com profile] misskalloway, thank you so so so much for the huge box of CDs you sent me this weekend! It was unexpected, I admit, but I really appreciate it! Now I just need to get a chance to listen to some of them -- I already have quite the backlog of music I've been meaning to listen to, just like my books. ^_^;

1b. Speaking of Christmas cards, I finally got around to sending mine out yesterday and today. I was writing them up at 3 in the morning, so apologies in advance if they're not 100% coherent or if you have trouble reading my handwriting. (And I think two of the envelopes are upside-down. Sorry about that. XD) There's a chance most of them will arrive late, but I hope you enjoy them all the same!

2. Not much else has been going on lately -- I worked at my mom's office yesterday, and I might go again later this week (probably Thursday) or sometime next week to finish the job that needs to get done. Filing is extremely boring work, and I think I threw my back doing it too (I'm fine now), but I need the money. :P And I missed the lunar eclipse last night too -- it was too cloudy outside, and even if I could see it, it wasn't visible inside the house, which meant having to go outside in the bitter cold and wind. No thanks. -_- Though I at least got to speak with K. again this past weekend; that was good, at least. :D

3. Despite everything, I'm definitely happy that Don't Ask Don't Tell will be ending very soon. A lot of people in the queer community have found it very problematic, however, for reasons expressed here and here -- namely, that this new legislation does nothing to deal with the problems of American imperialism, the military-industrial complex, and the rights of transgender people, all of which serve to oppress and risk the lives of LGB and other marginalized people, moreso those living outside the U.S. While I'm sympathetic to those arguments, and I agree with them to a certain extent, I'm still celebrating the repeal of DADT anyway. It's still a big step toward stopping discrimination against LGB people, as well as improving how they are seen and treated in the U.S., and even if you're "against equality" and assimilation it still moves toward the ultimate goal of having queer people be seen as, well, people, and it's important not to lose sight of that. And it also gets us a little bit closer to having imperialism, the military-industrial complex, and trans rights being thought about more critically for once -- while that's still a long way away, it's still a step. And I know small steps are frustrating after a while -- why can't we have big change instead? -- but if you actually stopped to consider the political environment we're in right now, it's either small steps or no steps.

(Plus, a lot of criticism of DADT repeal from the left, I feel, tends to come from a strong anti-military standpoint, and that I can't accept. The size, scope, influence, power, and violence of this particular military needs to be criticized and changed, but the existence of militaries in general is and will always be an unfortunate necessity, even if it always is good to work toward reducing war as much as possible.)

4. And now for something completely different: I got my grades today! A- in GIS, B+ in the ES senior seminar, and B in geology. They weren't as good as I was hoping for (except for GIS, considering that was my toughest class), but I'm still happy with how they turned out all things considered, and I'm never truly unhappy as long as my grades stay above a B-. ^_^; Right now I'm pulling a 3.58 GPA, and my goal is graduate with at least a 3.6, which I think I can do. XD

5. Finally got around to reading Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez; it takes place in a world where gods and goddesses from all religious traditions and mythologies actually exist, interact with human beings on a regular basis, and still have followers (though following a god nowadays tends to come in the form of business contracts made through websites very similar to dating/matchmaking sites), and a Court of Divine Affairs exists to prevent divine shenanigans and deities smiting people left and right. The story itself is about a young couple who starts to follow Luka, a raccoon god of luck and good fortune they nickname "Lucky" who asks to move in with them as his only asking price. It's an interesting premise, and the story itself is very enjoyable and fun, but I found Martinez's writing style hard to swallow. He has a very annoying tendency to tell and not show; I don't see any reason why he'd deliberately do this except a.) to write like some sort of comic Hemingway and rely on understatement for his comedy (which occasionally works, but falls flat most of the time because the build-up you need to make it work just isn't there), or b.) to appeal to younger readers (except his simple writing style may actually be an insult to the intelligence of most younger readers). It almost seems as if he's relying on the absurdity of the situations in the story to carry the humor, when at least half of writing good comedy in novels is the language you use to describe those situations. Plus, he misses out on a lot of good worldbuilding; I absolutely love the premise of the story, and as such I was fascinated and wanted to learn more about the universe it inhabits, but Martinez instead focuses on the ~WACKY HIJINKS!!!~ of the characters. There's nothing wrong with doing only enough worldbuilding to service the plot, but I still don't feel as if the world Divine Misfortune inhabits is all that fully realized, and there's very little opportunity for the reader to engage in it. The premise and world of the story just shine through the dullness of the writing, but only just. In the hands of a Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett this can be a brilliant, witty, engrossing, and even poignant story; as it is, it's an enjoyable, pleasantly inoffensive, easily forgettable comedy of errors that has little reread value.

6. I've been obsessed with this song lately, it's so good! <3 The Delgados!

7. So I've decided to let my LiveJournal paid account expire -- bye-bye extra icon space and ability to edit comments, considering those were the only two features I was actually using (and the Statistics feature, though I got into such a habit of obsessively checking it that it's probably for the best). I decided to do this because over the past year I've become very unhappy and disenchanted with how LJ runs things -- I'm well aware every company with a bottom line to uphold screws up more than occasionally, but LJ's screw-ups have been so frequent and so directly affecting its users that I've become very uncomfortable with supporting them financially with anything more than ad revenue. I don't like that some of my icons have been deactivated, but I'll figure something out with that.

Since I have this Dreamwidth account laying around, and since it's easy to crosspost from DW to LJ, I've decided I might as well start using it. I know DW isn't nearly as active as LJ is, but I realized that if I wanted to see it be more active and make the most out of it, I had to take it upon myself to do what I can to be a more active user. Plus, DW has a lot of cool features that LJ doesn't have, and the features DW doesn't have but LJ does tend to be rather useless ones I can do without. And even though a 1-year paid account on DW costs more ($35 as opposed to $20), it gives you 100 icons spaces instead of 35, and considering I'm becoming quite the icon fan (and a fan of supporting new services with great potential) I think that'll be more than adequate for my needs. ^_^;

So I'm going to start posting from DW from now on, and I'm considering getting a paid account here instead of LJ. I don't plan on turning into one of those annoying "DREAMWIDTH BEAUTIFUL!! LIVEJOURNAL EVIL!!!" folks anytime soon (believe me, stay away from [community profile] lj_refugees if you know what's good for you), and rest assured I'll still be using LJ as much as I did before. This just means I'll be crossposting most of my entries on DW onto LJ, and you guys have a choice of where to comment on my entries if you so wish. 8D We'll see how this works out.

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