quadruplify: Lin Bei Fong (from the Legend of Korra) looking shocked and/or surprised ([LoK] Lin - surprised)
So today my family -- on a complete whim, and without informing me ahead of time -- got a dog.

Obviously I'm really happy for them (and me, of course!) because we'd all been talking about doing this for I don't know how long now, and the dog -- a female 8-month-old black lab mix named Harper -- is abso-friggin'-lutely adorable.

But I'm also a.) slightly more than a bit peeved that I was out of town when they adopted her and my family didn't include me in the decision-making, and b.) freaking the fuck out because I want to be absolutely sure we're all as responsible as we can be as owners and not massively screw this up.

So for all of you out there who still use LJ and DW who own dogs -- could I have some advice please? Important things that might not cross the mind of a first-time dog owner, things you wish you didn't have to learn the hard way, what to look for in a good trainer (or training program) -- things like that. (We already have food, treats, a crate, at least one toy, and a few other necessities I can't think of right now. She peed on the floor a little while ago, so I don't think she's housebroken. She's whimpering right now, but she hardly barks, she's not terribly stressed, and otherwise has an excellent temperament.)

Thanks in advance for all your help!

(And yes, I know I haven't updated this journal since September. I'll do a proper RL update......eventually. A lot has happened over the past few months, and the more I end up putting it off, the more stuff happens to talk about. It's been on my mind a lot, though, so hopefully I'll get around to it soon.)
quadruplify: John Watson (from BBC's Sherlock) standing in Buckingham Palace ([Sherlock] John - standing)

I was supposed to write this back in April. WHOOPS.


Oh well, it's long overdue for an RL update from me anyway, so here we go. This'll focus more on personal things that have been going on, though I'll throw in some work stuff too because quite a bit happened in the past three and a half months.


••• There was quite a bit of drama at work this past spring, which sucked because it's such a small and usually drama-free place. :PPP It had to do with the employment pilot program I mentioned in my previous entry; a lot of the problems had to do with the man we hired to train/coach the autistic adults in the program, and act as the go-between between us and the data analytics company that contracted out to us. First of all, it seemed he was hired partly because he's the boyfriend of the president of our board of directors. >_>; And from what I've been told, while he's very good at the technical side of putting together programs such as ours, he's not so good at actually working with people. He was stressing out the autistic adults to no end -- taking away their phones, making them sit with their eyes glued to the screen and fingers on the keyboard at all times for hours on end, talking down to them, etc. Thankfully our executive director is not the kind of person who would let anyone get mistreated on her watch, so this issue was resolved relatively quickly. (It helped that one of the adults in the program was the bookkeeper's son, and she made her displeasure very much known.)


The thing was, most of us in the office weren't really being kept aware of what was going on with the pilot program. Which was understandable, since technically if we didn't have anything to do with it then it was none of our business. But what happened as a result was that rumors ended up flying around, which made the above situation (and a few others) sound worse than they actually were. One of the people who was sensitive to these rumors was our chief administrative officer, who was hired last year to a.) help run the office while our ED went into semi-retirement, and b.) research and write grants. The thing about her that's important to this story is that she was very passionate when it comes to disability rights issues. Like, the once-got-into-a-blowout-with-the-CEO-of-the-Hartford-chapter-of-Easter-Seals-because-they-still-run-sheltered-workshops kind of passionate. So naturally when those rumors reached her ears she was upset. Not to the point where she was talking about it constantly to anyone who would listen, but there were plenty of times where she told our IT guy, who got along really well with her and was the only other autistic person in the office besides myself, that he should "do something about it."


Now our IT guy was extremely smart -- he has a computer science degree, and could fix any computer problem in our office in a matter of minutes. Most companies would love to hire a guy with his skill set. He was also painfully sensitive and shy; you could be sitting next to him in a quiet room and still have trouble listening to him speak. He also had a friend in the employment program who told him stories about what was going on (said friend once got so stressed out he just took a nap on the floor right then and there, and he was let go early because the work was too tedious and complicated for him). So needless to say, with his friend in one ear and the CAO constantly in the other, IT Guy became very confused and stressed out.


In late May our CAO was laid off. She was let go because the board deemed her position no longer necessary, and they needed to be more cautious with how they spent their money. (Although from what I could gather, it was also partly because she was one of those people who wanted to "fix" how the office was run even though there was nothing that needed fixing, and because we didn't see a dime of new grant money during the time she was there.) IT Guy must have mistakenly assumed she was being laid off because she spoke up about the drama in the employment program....so he decided to quit. On the same day.


Naturally everyone in the office that day was trying to convince him to stay, but at one point while he was in the parking lot, packing his belongings in his car, he told one of them -- much more loudly than you'd expect of him -- "I'm afraid I'm going to do something to [the job coach]. I don't trust myself around him."


Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. Given the choice between letting him go and having the police called to your office, it's a no-brainer.


Thankfully I wasn't there when this happened, and I'm just guessing as to the reason why he quit -- it's possible there were other factors involved, he's never given us a reason why, and I doubt he ever will. When the ED called me into her office the next day to tell me, she was on the verge of tears -- she worked with him for the better part of a decade, so to see him act like that was naturally hard for her to handle. And she had to wait two months for an apology on top of that. Even though it helps that it could've ended so much worse, and the fact that I didn't witness this myself, it was still upsetting.


(For the record, the pilot program ended last month; the bookkeeper's son quit the month before because he found a better job doing video/TV production work [which is what he wants to get into as a career], and because the job coach told him to lie to the data analysis firm about him being away on vacation. We sure picked a real winner right there, didn't we. XP In any case, we're supposed to run another pilot program sometime in the future, but before that we're supposed to be getting a report on how this one did, and I have absolutely no clue when that's going to come out.)


The good thing to come out of this mess is that I have more responsibilities now. In addition to what I've been doing before, I've taken over some of IT Guy's duties, like maintaining our website and Facebook page, editing the weekly e-mail newsletter, and a few other things. It's great because I've been picking up new skills and working more hours, which I've been wanting to do for a while now! Overall I'm feeling pretty confident about my abilities and good about how I fit into the office, and for the most part I look forward to going into work, so I should think that says something, no? XD


Also, the "Autism Job Club" I talked about in my last post is also definitely happening! I left it on the metaphorical back burner over the summer, but now I have a first meeting scheduled for the 19th and already I've had over 25 people sign up. Which doesn't help with my nerves at all, since I've never actually been in charge of anything before and I have absolutely no plan as to what I'm going to do beyond the first meeting right now and what if this doesn't work out or I royally screw up somehow? But I still think something like this is necessary and a creative idea, and I've been working on this for too long not to see this through. And I do have enough confidence that I'll do a good job facilitating the group anyway. Besides, as I've kept telling myself, when something scares you, that's all the more reason why you should do it, right? ^_^;


••• My work-at-home side gig has also been going well! Not only have I actually gotten paid so I know for a fact it's not a scam, but my picture and bio is on their website! Yep, I'm moving up in the world, no doubt about that. :D This summer was very quiet in terms of work; the woman in charge was struggling to acquire some documentaries that we would be responsible for distributing, but now that we've either picked up or are about to pick up a few I have some actual research assignments, the first one of which I finished up this weekend. So even though things have been moving slowly, it's been working out so far!


With the two jobs I have starting to pick up, this means that I've quit going to BRS. Not only did they have a hard time trying to figure out good jobs to place me in, but the counselor I had there essentially told me, "You'll be very lucky if the job we find for you pays more than $15 an hour." The main focus of an agency like BRS is to get people with disabilities out and working, full stop. They're not in the work of setting up long-term goals for a career; they just want to get their customers in a job, even if it's something they won't necessarily enjoy, and hope that it will be a sufficient "foot in the door" for other, better jobs in the future. This approach certainly works for many people, but it doesn't work for autistic adults, and it definitely doesn't work for someone like myself. The jobs we were thinking about having me do a working interview for weren't nearly as interesting or involved as what I'm doing right now, so I finally decided I was doing all right on my own, and that if I absolutely needed them in the future I'd call them. Oh well, one less thing to worry about.


••• Yet another shakeup at my therapist's office -- Last year I had to switch therapists and psychiatrists because the former had to leave due to budget constraints and the latter sucked. Now my current therapist is going to be leaving this month! Talk about not being able to catch a break. =_=; She had given birth to twins this past winter and was out on maternity leave until June, so even though she's been very good I haven't had a lot of time to really get comfortable working with her. And not only is she leaving because she wants to work closer to home to take care of her kids, but she also wasn't happy with the relatively new policy that all appointments have to be 25 minutes long -- even though they cost the same as full-hour appointments. (I never said the psychiatrist who runs the place wasn't an incompetent shitweasel.)


So once again I'm considering my options. The practice has hired two new social workers in the meantime, but I'm not sure if I want to start seeing another therapist, considering how I've gotten bounced around from person to person over the past four years. I'm not sure how much therapy I need at this point, anyway. I don't feel like I'm struggling with anything right now -- I'm working and taking on more responsibilities with my life, and I feel that's helped considerably. I've grown to accept that I'm an even-keeled person by nature, not prone to emotional extremes, and more often than not I was confusing that with depression. And I'm more comfortable in my own skin and more in touch with myself and those around me. There's a lot I still need to work on, obviously -- some executive functioning issues, moving out of the house, and making new friends -- but nothing I truly need a therapist for. I might even want to wean myself off the meds I've been taking; the less medical expenses I have to worry about, the better. All I know for sure is that when you go to therapy and think to yourself, "Wait, why am I here again?" then that's probably telling you something.


••• All throughout 2014, whenever I tried to get in touch with N. (the friend from college who's really into meteorology and climatology), he never got back to me. In January, I found out why:


He was in jail.


He got busted for heroin possession, which....yeah, I really should've seen that coming. I mean, I didn't really think it was going to happen, and I was hoping it wouldn't, but..... :/ Thankfully he got out with nothing worse than a broken foot and arm, and it was only a misdemeanor charge so he hasn't lost any of his substitute teaching gigs. And the last I heard he's doing outpatient rehab, so that's a good sign at least. It's still tough to hear about anyone you've been close to getting incarcerated, though.


To be honest, the whole thing has made me reevaluate my friendship with him. Not because I feel uncomfortable associating with someone who's been in prison -- far from it! It really sucks that there's a stigma on former inmates in our society, and I don't want to help perpetuate that. Rather, it's just that we rarely speak to each other anymore (he always tries to contact me on Facebook, which I hardly use outside of work), and when we do I never know what to say to him, and our conversations are really boring in general. We both have different lifestyles and mindsets, and I feel like we've been drifting apart for a while now and there's nothing either of us can do about it. So just because I'm desperate for human connection doesn't mean I should hold on to a friendship that's fading away. Right? O_o;


(Speaking of friendships, let me take the time to say I'm really really sorry for not connecting with you guys more often! Work and personal stuff have taken up so much of my brainspace in general that I practically forget about everything else. Even though most of you have moved on to Tumblr, I had to drastically cut back on using that site because it was affecting my mental health. Plus, if I can be perfectly honest I don't think I can relate to a lot of you like I used to; it seems we all have different interests and priorities these days, and trying to make relationships work when so much has happened in our lives and there wasn't much connection to begin with might not be worth it. Still, if any of you would like to start talking with each other more often, I'm available on AIM, Skype, and Facebook, so let me know what you'd like to do. ~_^


In the meantime, I want to try to focus on joining more groups on Meetup, or starting over on Tumblr. Right now K. is the only IRL friend I have outside of work and family, and trying to meet new people and [hopefully] make new friends would do me some good. Except every time I seriously think about it, I freak out and get really self-conscious, and so I never get around to doing it. Ugh. :PPP)


Since this entry is (as usual) long enough already, some bullet points on other things I should mention:


  • Since last December I've been writing these entries on a new MacBook Pro! I had my old MacBook for four and a half years, and while it was still technically working it was also really slow and, due to a stupid SMART error, wouldn't let me upgrade to the latest OS. This one is much faster and more robust, which is great because I really want to start getting into a routine of playing video games. Except that over the past nine months of having this thing.....I haven't played a single one. Even though I own far too many as it is. Like I said, brainspace. >_<;

  • I have, however, been playing Two Dots on the iPhone 6 I also got as a Christmas gift to myself. I finally beat all 410 levels this weekend! Of course, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to feel proud of this, or utterly pathetic for having wasted so much time on it. ;_;

  • This summer my sister graduated high school, and just finished her first week at college. She's going to Wheaton College in Massachusetts to study history and Italian; my mom and I helped move her in to her dorm last weekend. Naturally she was crying when we had to leave her (even though we didn't see anyone else do the same -- I'm guessing it was because she gets emotional when she's tired, and she's a really flighty person to begin with), but from what I can gather she's settled in very well! And she's only a two-hour drive away, so she's far enough away so that she's in another state, but close enough so that we can reach her quickly in case the unforeseen happens. In any case, it's going to take some time getting used to not having her in the house. Not that I mind, obviously, but still. :DDDDDDDDDDDD

  • My cousin graduated college this past May as well, so my mom, sister, and I went up to Boston to visit her and her mother the Sunday before -- we didn't want to go the day of because practically every other college in Boston does their graduation on the same day, and the city would've been mobbed. We got to meet my aunt's new boyfriend (who from what I can tell seems like a keeper, finally!), and we spent the say on Newbury Street, where I bought a few CDs from Newbury Comics.

  • My psoriasis is all but gone! For almost a year now I've been on methotrexate, which was doing a good job maintaining the status quo without the soriatane's side effects, and I haven't had to go for phototherapy in who knows how long now. Really the only spot of psoriasis I had left was this stubborn patch on the right side of my forehead, but thanks to some ointment the dermatologist gave me a couple of weeks ago, that might just about be gone too. ^_^;

  • Lastly, I have a couple of concerts I'll be going to later this month that I'm really excited about! I'll be seeing Low (again!) on the 25th in Hamden, and then on the 30th I'm going to see The Jesus and Mary Chain at this new venue that opened up in New Haven called the College Street Music Hall. Can't wait! \o/


And I'm sure there are a few other things I'm forgetting, but I doubt they're all that important anyway. XD



quadruplify: Amon (from the Legend of Korra) speaking at an Equalist protest, fist raised in the air ([LoK] Amon - revolution)
So because it's been so long since my last entry, and since so much has happened between then and now, I'm splitting this update into three posts. This first one is going to be about work-related stuff.

••• The autism nonprofit where I work has been putting together an employment pilot program over the past few months now. What this program will do is train autistic adults with little to no work history in mid-level jobs, with the ultimate goal of getting them competitive employment in a workplace where disabled and non-disabled people work together. In that way it's sort of based off of places like Roses For Autism, the Walgreens distribution centers, and Specialisterne, which give autistic adults more fulfilling jobs where they can actually use their skills, instead of the kinds of menial entry-level jobs they get "stuck" in by adult day centers and state vocational rehab agencies (like BRS, who I've talked about before). Right now the pilot project has hired a data analytics firm that specializes in patent research to train three people to be research assistants; I really don't know much else as to what's been going on, but from what little I've heard it's doing fairly well, despite the mistakes and mismanagement you'd expect when a big thing like this is just starting out.

I was supposed to be a part of this program; I even had an interview last December with the president of our board of directors, who's also the lead principal of the headhunter agency that's coordinating this program with us (and whose office is just upstairs from ours). And I've heard absolutely nothing since then. XPPP Which makes me a little peeved, because even though patent research doesn't sound like a field I want to get into, I could really use something where I can gain job skills and experience, and make more money than I have been right now. I did get a chance to talk to her last week, though, and she said that not only does the training take longer than she thought (six months instead of three), but they can only train two people at any given time, and it might be a few more months before they find a place for me in the project. Obviously I don't like not knowing when I'll be starting, but in reality it doesn't bother me at all because, as you'll soon see, I've been busy with lots of other things. ^_^;

In the meantime, the project needs grant money in order for it to actually work, and I was told to research facts and statistics about adults with autism and employment so they'd be that much more likely to receive an award. And, well.....I should probably just leave the results of that research here, because I think it just says it all. I kinda figured the job situation for autistic adults was bad -- it is for people of all kinds of disabilities, after all -- but I didn't realize it was this bad. Like, there are some estimates out there saying the unemployment rate for autistic adults is 90%? WTF?! Many of them are perfectly capable of holding down good jobs, and in some cases their autism gives them skills and advantages over neurotypical people; all they need, in essence, is some support and accommodations, but employers too often treat them as if they don't even exist. >_< I could go on, especially about how full inclusion is good for both the employee and the employer, but I think the outline I linked above should help explain that. What really gets me, though, is how little this is being talked about right now -- sure, there are a few articles about it here and there, and NBC Dateline did do a report on autistic adults the weekend before last [autoplay], but with 50,000 autistic kids turning 18 in the U.S. each year (and with this number likely to increase as ASD diagnoses do), this is going to become a serious social policy problem before long. But not as many people care because it's not as charismatic or controversial as, say, rape on college campuses or police brutality against black people. >_>;

(Unfortunately, I've gathered that we haven't gotten much grant money thus far, and it seems that the bill in the state legislature that would help fund our program is stuck in limbo. I just really hope our luck changes soon enough. =_=;)

••• While I was doing research for the pilot program, I came across something in San Francisco called the "Autism Job Club." It's a group of autistic adults who are unemployed or underemployed, who meet once a month to go over things like networking, interview skills, how to dress appropriately, how to get along with coworkers, etc., as well as share job leads and moral support. From what I can tell, sometimes they also bring in guest speakers, employers, and headhunters who are looking to hire adults with autism, or who need a little convincing that it would be a good idea. I found this to be really intriguing, especially since I couldn't think of anything quite like it near where I live. I mean, I go to a support group for young men on the autism spectrum once a month, but it's very informal and deals with a wide range of topics, not just jobs; and between adult day services, vocational rehab, and projects like the ones I mentioned earlier, there are many programs out there to help get people employed. But something that functions as both a support and a networking group, where people are there specifically to talk about employment, which they can't attain despite it being probably the most important way to help them? Something that could be really helpful to lots of people? Nope, nothing.

So I thought to myself, well, what if I helped start one?

Fast forward to last Friday afternoon, and I'm at the Yale Child Study Center meeting with both this woman, who just started a program for young women with autism that would train and then place them in various jobs, and the director of student services at the UConn Law School, who is also a co-director for a consulting firm that helps autistic students be successful in college. They were really interested to hear my idea, and we bounced ideas off each other to see how well a "job club" like this would work. Long story short, I'm going to spearhead this project, the two people I met last week will be providing me with names and e-mail address so I can put together a mailing list, and the first meeting will likely be within the next couple of months, at the absolute latest.

Guys. You guys. I have never done anything like this before. I wouldn't have minded if I helped start something like this, but I didn't think I'd end up being, you know.....in charge or anything. O_o; Still, I'm very excited about all this! This has the potential to turn into something really big, with multiple groups throughout the state or even a foray into activism. But of course, things like this have to start small and slow in the beginning, and it all depends on the needs of the people who actually show up. Oh man, I just really hope this turns out well; after all, this has the potential of helping lots of people (including myself! XD) who otherwise wouldn't get it. Wish me luck! :D

(BTW, the guy who wrote the article I linked to above co-wrote a book called The Autism Job Club: The Neurodiverse Workforce in the New Normal of Employment, which came out just last month. I read it last week and I highly recommend it! It's a great introduction into the issues autistic adults face when it comes to employment, and even if you're not autistic yourself, it still has a lot of intriguing [if depressing] information about the changing nature of employment in the U.S. in general -- namely, how a single, full-time job is becoming a thing of the past, and how most young people today will have to work multiple, short-term jobs throughout their "career.")

••• As far as the BRS stuff goes, I finally managed to do a work evaluation! That's the good news. The bad news is that it didn't go as well as I hoped.

I worked at the Meigs Point Nature Center in Madison, on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for the last three weeks in February, for a total of 40 hours. The job coach and I spent the first week learning about the animals that live there and how to take care of them -- feeding them, cleaning their cages, etc. It was actually quite interesting working with them, and by the end I was way more comfortable handling the snakes, but after it was all said and done I realized it wasn't something I wanted to spend my life doing. (I kinda already knew that beforehand, but it was nice to know with absolute certainty. ^_^;) Most of the rest of the time was spent on my main project, which involved the educational programs they put together for school groups, kids' birthday parties, etc. There have a variety of "scripts" the people who work there use when they give their presentations, with talking points about the animals (or the habitats they live in) and how to demonstrate certain things to the kids; my job was to turn these scripts into outline form so it'd be easier for volunteers to learn, and to flesh them out with information we'd gather from the Internet.

Sounds easy, right? Well, it was, but it wasn't without problems. Editing the "scripts" was one of those projects they'd been meaning to do for a long time now, but because there are only two paid employees there and they had their hands full actually running the place, it kept getting put off. Not that it was a big priority in the first place, if you think about it. And the director, who was otherwise very nice and helpful to us, wasn't clear at all about what it was exactly he wanted us to do or how to do it, which made me suspect he didn't know and couldn't be bothered to figure it out. After all, he had places to go and TV appearances to make, and he was so laid-back and scatterbrained that it wasn't unusual for him to go a week or more without returning my job coach's phone calls. Not to mention the Internet connection at the place sucked, and the only other computer in the building we were allowed to use had no Internet access at all, so I had to go to my job coach's house nearby for a day to work. Eventually we figured something out, but I was still immensely frustrated with the experience. It felt like I was just doing busy work rather than anything meaningful. Between that and the not-fun of working with the animals, it really soured me on having any sort of job at a nature center in general.

And that wasn't even the worst part of it all.

The Sunday after my first week there ended (the 15th), there was a big snowstorm that forced the center to close, and since they're normally closed on Mondays they were closed the next day too. That Sunday, a window in the main room blew out, causing the snow, wind, and cold to get inside and move tables, knock things over, etc. A pipe on the main floor also burst, which meant there was a little bit of flooding too. It wasn't until the director came in that Tuesday morning that anyone knew how bad things got.

24 animals died. 30 if you include the fish.

So not only did the director and his assistant have to deal with the fallout -- you could tell they were deeply affected by it because they had come to develop an affinity for those animals, and I can only imagine the responsibility they felt toward them -- but they also had to clean up as quickly as they could and pretend nothing ever happened. Most of the animals that died were rescues and rehabs with backstories, such as their unofficial mascot, a 46-year-old box turtle named Merlin who was hit by a car two decades ago. It certainly explains some of the director's scatterbrained-ness, at least, so I don't want to be too hard on the guy.

But the more I think of it, the more I think he acted somewhat irresponsibly by not doing enough to prevent it from happening. If you run a place where animals who can't fend for themselves live, and you need to close it down due to a snowstorm, the very least you could do is have someone check in on them regularly to see if they're okay, or prevent more animals from getting hurt or killed in case of an accident. Hell, at the animal shelter near me, sometimes people will volunteer to be snowed in so that they can keep the pets safe. Or have the windows wired to an alarm in case they break, not just the doors, even if you have a tight budget. If part of the purpose of a nature center is to protect wild animals, you should, you know, protect them. >:[

Oh well. I did get to see wild harbor seals for the first time, though, and I got paid minimum wage for my time, so it wasn't a complete wash.

••• I still look for other jobs now and again, and I've managed to get a side gig! Last November I applied for a work-from-home research assistant position at a place in New York called Outcast Films, which distributes documentaries to the educational market, with an emphasis on connecting audiences directly with filmmakers. When I didn't hear back from them at first, I thought the job had already been filled or they didn't think I was qualified enough, because that's usually what happens when you don't get a reply to your application. But a month later, out of the blue the executive director e-mailed me, saying she got my application and was reviewing it. After another month without hearing back from her, I e-mailed a follow-up -- I really did want this job because it seemed right up my alley, I could use the extra money, and it wasn't as if anyone told me no, right? XD I waited yet another month before the ED replied back.

Two phone interviews and a Skype call later, and she wants to hire me! All I'm waiting on is the contract I'll need to sign to make it official, although my parents want me to see an attorney to look it over before I do. The ED has been very busy; the company started off as a distributor of LGBT films until the Internet made it easier for filmmakers to distribute their work directly to their audiences, so lately they've been doing some restructuring to stay in business. Plus, they're working on acquiring two more films, and the ED wants to acquire six films within the next six months. Once they get some new documentaries, my job will be to look for teachers, professors, libraries, etc. that might be interested in screening them. I'd also be writing one-page outlines called SWOTs, which stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities (Where would be the best places to screen this move? Who should we market this to?), and Trends/Threats (How "hot" is this topic? What competition does this film have?); I've already done one, which the ED was actually quite impressed with. :D

Once I start getting some work, I'd be working about five hours a week on an independent contractor basis, making $15/hour, and if I enjoy the job and the ED sees what I'm capable of, it might go up to 20 hours per week. She's really looking for someone who'll "grow with the company" because it's extremely small right now; I don't know how well I'd fit that expectation since I'm looking to get more work at my current job, but there's not much I can do about that right now except wait and see. I really hope it goes well. ^_^;

••• I've had a couple of other interviews as well; some of them were for this place in New Haven called Next Step Living, which conducts assessments of people's homes to see how they can become more eco-friendly and cheaper to maintain, and then sells solar panels, windows, HVAC systems, and anything else that would help with that. I really liked their business model, and I got excited because they were the first to reply to my application. But then I realized I had applied to, well.....sales jobs. As in working on commission, long work weeks, weird hours, traveling long distances, and risking getting doors slammed in my face after showing up on people's doorsteps unannounced. Nope, I am not cut out to sell my soul for that line of work. I still had two phone interviews and one in-person interview because, hey, I could use the practice, but I was okay when they told me I was passed up for the job.

I also had a Skype interview for an internship at a place in Massachusetts called the Dare Institute, which does a lot of psychological research, especially involving autism. And that went somewhat.....bizarre, actually.

My interview was with the founder and co-director -- if by "interview" you mean him rambling off-topic, dropping names and concepts I had never heard of left and right, and me hardly getting a word in edgewise. My job would've been to help market what they called a "developmental task sequence" to autism schools and centers around the country, and then collect the data from those who use it to see how well it works, and if it can be used to detect autism in infants and toddlers. It sounded vaguely interest, and I admit the prospect of having my name attached to a published academic paper was tempting, but the guy had a lot of opinions that were stuck in the 1960s:

  • He's spent so much of his long career working with autistic kids with severe symptoms and serious behavior issues, that I can't help but think it's colored his idea of what autism actually is. I don't doubt that consciously he knows autism is a spectrum disorder (meaning it manifests differently in everyone who has it), but anytime he mentioned autism, in the same breath he would talk about headbanging, violent behavior, criminal activity, etc. It's almost as if he felt a person severely impacted with autism automatically meant they were extremely unstable time bombs with very low IQs. Some fit that profile, but many don't.

  • He thinks the term "developmentally disabled" is too "politically correct" and thinks "retarded," "slow," or "developmentally challenged" are more accurate descriptions. According to him, people with DD don't develop any differently than "normal" people, just slower than average, and it's ~~~very important~~~ to make sure they catch up. Because it's not like it's discriminatory to assume there's more than one "right" way for a person to develop or anything.

  • Worst of all, he has a lot of connections with people who work at the Judge Rotenberg Center, and has done a lot of work in conjunction with them. For those of you who don't know, the JRC is a school in Massachusetts that treats students with emotional issues and DDs like autism; they're one of the few schools in the U.S. that use aversives to condition students to stop behaving in certain ways, and the only one that uses electric shocks on a person's skin as a form of punishment. Yes, "treatments" like this are still being practiced in 2015, and many disability advocates have tried for years to shut it down. Dr. Commons, however, thinks that skin shocks are more humane and ethical than medication, because medication can have severe side effects. Never mind, of course, that using skin shocks will likely give the student PTSD, and in order to treat that they'll probably have to take medication anyway. Then again, he's a very strict behaviorist a la B.F. Skinner, and applied behavior analysis as a treatment for autism is fraught with many, many problems.


After all this, I wouldn't have taken the internship anyway, but the fact that a.) it was unpaid, and b.) it would require me to actually be in Cambridge while doing it, made my decision a hell of a lot easier.

••• Last but not least, since autism has come up so much in this entry, and because April is Autism Awareness Month (or Autism Acceptance Month, depending on who you talk to), I figured I might end this by sharing three articles about autism that I hope you'll find interesting:

President Obama’s World Autism Awareness Day Proclamation Is Right On
Autism Awareness Month – Autism is More than Autism Speaks and Temple Grandin
PayPal founder thinks people with Asperger’s have an advantage

And congratulations to all of you who made it this far. I told you I had a lot going on! XD
quadruplify: Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National) with forehead on microphone, eyes closed ([Music] The National - microphone)
It's been yet another four months or so since I last wrote one of these things -- sorry if you're one of the few people out there who still reads these things. :/ I know I've drifted away with most of the people I've met on here; some of that is my fault, obviously, but some of that is definitely for the best (read this thread if you want to have some idea of what I'm talking about). As much as I'd like the attention, though, the main reason why I do these posts is for myself -- because if I don't write about what I've done, if I don't document all the things that have happened to me that got me to this point, I'll forget. And I really, really don't want to forget. So here goes:

••• I had to switch therapists. Thankfully, it wasn't because there was anything wrong with him or anything like that.

And I switched psychiatrists as well. It gets a little....involved. )

••• An update to the BRS stuff I mentioned before: The work evaluation at the tea shop fell through. Read more... )

••• Speaking of jobs, I went to a job fair a few weeks ago that catered specifically to people with disabilities. Yet ANOTHER thing that didn't go so well. )

••• I decided to try out another social group for adults with autism a couple of weeks ago, this time at Yale's Child Study Center. Someone who started going to my support group at ASRC a few months ago apparently has lots of connections at Yale, and he was able to work with a psychiatrist there who specializes in autistic adults to get this group going, which is meant for autistic adults and CSC employees to socialize and get to know each other better. It only lasted about an hour, and after introductions much of that time was playing charades. Which, well.....it's charades, you know? ^_^; But I still managed to enjoy myself. Plus, it was way better organized than the ASRC one I was going to last year, and while some of the autistic adults had to have minders/caretakers with them, at least none of them threw a tantrum and started flipping tables. That was a good sign of things to come, I think. 8D

Unfortunately, it only meets once a month, and it's during rush hour in New Haven, which means the streets are packed. But I'll keep going to them, if only because my new therapist and I agreed I should go to quite a few more of these get-togethers before I judge them on their own merits. Plus, this group is on Meetup, and now that I've joined I've noticed other different kinds of social groups that look appealing. I should probably start joining and going to those as well, just to get myself out of the house more often.......James says as he keeps being a lazy butt and doesn't actually do it. XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

••• Onto better things, I finally got around to using Duolingo to brush up on my Italian! It's been at least six freakin' years since I was in any kind of Italian class, and with everything that's been going on the past couple of months I figure now is as good of a time as any to get back into learning languages, and Italian -- the one I started learning in middle school -- is a good place to start. It's amazing how much I've retained after all these years -- I tested out of the first 15 lessons and I'm already on Level 10 -- but I'm also surprised at how much I've forgotten, and how much I never really learned at all. But I try to do a little bit of practice each day (the gamification helps), and I really hope I get as good at it as I was back in college fairly soon.

••• I also have two concerts I'll be going to with K. this fall! I'll be seeing Thurston Moore on October 23rd and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart on November 18th, both at The Space in Hamden. I'm more looking forward to the November one as I'm more of a fan of that band (even though I still haven't listened to their latest album yet -- oops. ._., ); I suggested the other one to K. because she's a huge fan of Sonic Youth. I've dragged her to bands I like more than her before, so I figure she should have the chance to return the favor. XD

••• A bullet point list of some other things going on in my life right now:

Under a cut because some of it's a little personal... )

••• So not only did The Legend of Korra manage to start and finish Book 3 since the last time I wrote here, but they've started Book 4 too. I'm still surprised at how fast everything's moving. In a way, though, I'm glad we didn't have to wait long for Book 4, because although Book 3 was positively excellent, I think I've grown a bit apathetic to it -- mostly in the sense that I no longer feel an urge to watch it right when it comes out. Over the past two years I've been exposed to so much extreme emotion regarding this show, most of it on Tumblr -- from fans who absolutely hated the first season and swore it off to those who think it's perfect, that Korra is a goddess, etc. -- that I've burned out on seeing people talk about it and it's colored my view of the show.

But no, if you're one of those fans who swore it off after Book 1? I have an important message for you right now:

YOU. ARE. WRONG.



And you need to watch the rest of it because it's seriously gotten so much better. Book 3 is well-paced and suspenseful, everyone (even the villains) are much more well-rounded, the backstory with Lin's sister and her family is interesting, no love triangles -- basically, everything those "fans" wanted this show to be and more. (The only real problem I have is that some of the character development, especially Korra's, fell a little flat to me; we don't actually see her or the others grow and change as people, they just sorta do because the plot calls for it. Honestly, though, that's more of a nitpick than anything else.)

This io9 article should convince you to pick it up (again), or maybe what I wrote after Book 2 ended. It's worth your time, trust me. ;-)

••• I kinda know this is old news as well, but yay for Community getting un-cancelled and getting that sixth season after all! Though it does look like it'll be without Shirley; it's always a bummer when one of the characters leaves the show, and especially her because she was great. :(

••• Last but not least, I kinda really want this shirt. Normally I don't care for fandom T-shirts, but this is such a cool minimalist design that I just have to make an exception. (BTW, I finally got to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. Just as good as the first one, if not better. ~_^; )
quadruplify: John Watson (from BBC's Sherlock) standing in Buckingham Palace ([Sherlock] John - standing)
Update!! :D

••• Every year on the last weekend in March my workplace holds a regional conference on autism, and this year I got to go. The center's executive director encouraged me to go because I didn't go last year and she thought some of the talks and workshops would be relevant to me. My dad went with me that Friday and my mom the following day, and while both of them had to pay to get in, I didn't since I work at ASRC.

Under a cut because this gets long... )

••• I had to go for jury duty last month, and...I actually had to serve on a jury. Read more... )

••• I might have to get my teeth straightened again in the near future, and I really don't want to. Read more... )

••• On the BRS front (which I talked about in my last entry): I met with my vocational counselor a couple of times since then; the past two times it was with a contact/job coach from a job agency I selected that works with BRS in helping find places for ASD people to get work evaluations and more permanent jobs. Read more... )

••• A couple of weekends ago I met up with K. again, and we both had a great time! Since the both of us like sushi, I had us go to Don Asian Cuisine, a place in town that opened up not that long ago; I heard of them because they replaced a Chinese restaurant my parents used to get takeout from, and I read good reviews about them on Yelp. The sushi was extremely good; I had the California, salmon cucumber, and shrimp tempura rolls, and they were all as delicious as I hoped they would! XD Then we went to Redscroll Records in Wallingford, because K. had never been there and she'd never set foot in a record store in three years. We both bought a few things (I finally scored a CD copy of My Bloody Valentine's mbv), and then we hung out in the parking lot for a while. We were talking about all kinds of stuff for a looooooooooong time -- I met her around 2:30 PM, and we parted ways around 8. Yeah. O_o; We promised to be in touch with each other more often, so time will tell if that works out, but obviously I hope it does. ^_^;

••• Good news on the fandom front: Durarara!! is finally getting it's second season! XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD \o/

Bad news: Community got cancelled. =_=; That really sucks, especially since the last season was actually very good. I kinda figured it was going to happen eventually, just not now. But while it would be cool to have that sixth season and a movie, I'll leave that for the more hardcore fans to fight. It bummed me out, but now I think I've been able to let go. :P

*****

Other than that, everything else has been going relatively well, even though I've really haven't been myself this past weekend (both the UCSB shooting and my grandmother getting worringly sick was a little too much for me). The job is still going very well, my psoriasis hasn't come back (I'm only going to phototherapy only once a week now, and I'm down to 10mg of soriatane a day! :D), my sleep schedule has improved (this weekend notwithstanding), the weather has gotten a helluva lot better....yeah, not bad, not bad. How's everyone else been doing?
quadruplify: Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National) with forehead on microphone, eyes closed ([Music] The National - microphone)
Well, it's been about three months since I last updated this thing, so I figured I might as well before it got to be rather embarrassing. XD Between then and now I was really in a rut mentally, so that's why I've been "absent" for so long. I'd like to do a proper RL update, but it would take me a while since a lot happened since September, and right now I'm not in the mood because a.) I'm just plain tired (which has to do with a fucked-up sleep schedule, but let's not go into that right now :P), b.) I have either an ingrown toenail, an infected hangnail, or a little bit of both, it hurts just as well as you'd expect, and I can't get it checked out until Thursday, and c.) I'm going out with my family to an early New Years' Eve dinner in a couple of hours. (Sadly, it's not at our all-time favorite restaurant in town, since that went out of business a couple of months ago. ;_;) I'll try to get around to it by the end of the week, though. ;-)

I can say, though, that my Christmas went rather well! It was quiet, mostly because we didn't have anyone over -- it was the first Christmas without my paternal grandmother, the uncle who lives the next town over tore the rotor cup in his shoulder in two places and won't be fully recovered until around late spring, and everyone else lives too far away to make it here. Fine with me, really; it wasn't nearly as stressful as it could've been, and I could actually spend a good portion of my time avoiding my family by being online. XDDDDDD Also, all I got as gifts were clothes, pretty much -- again, fine by me, since I don't really need anything right now other than new clothes, and as someone who's still out of a job I have a decent amount of money saved up, so if I really did want something cool I could just buy it. So yeah, not much to say about that. ^_^;

Anyway, that's about all I care to say at the moment, and I promise I'll update you all on Stuff That's Been Going On In My Life™ very soon. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a very happy new year, and that 2014 is a much better year for you than the last one. :D
quadruplify: Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National) with forehead on microphone, eyes closed ([Music] The National - microphone)
••• First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the well wishes you sent my way since my last entry, both here and on Facebook. It was a tough time for all of us, so all your comments really helped, and I appreciate that.

Here's what's happened since then... )

••• The last month and a half has been rough on me, and not just because of the stuff I just mentioned. I've gotten into a habit of going to bed and getting up later than I feel comfortable doing, sometimes to the point I'm having "breakfast" at 3 in the afternoon. I know there are tons of people out there with worse sleeping schedules, but it's really thrown me off, to the point where I'm sorely tempted just to stay in bed all day for days on end. (I haven't actually done that, thankfully.)

In which wangst and self-loathing make a triumphant comeback! =_= )

••• And then there's the psoriasis as well, which hasn't been getting worse, but hasn't been getting better either. Last weekend I started taking soriatane, which should help the light treatments be more effective. It won't kick in for a couple of months, and I have to go for regular blood tests because oral medications for psoriasis are pretty strong and could do some damage if you're not careful, but here's hoping it works. :P

All right, enough depressing stuff. Here's some of the better news:

••• The Low concert was absolutely excellent! :D Unfortunately, K. had to cancel on me because she had to get really fucking sick that afternoon arrrrrrrggggghhh. >_<; Stupidly, I thought we could salvage this by having her come later, because I really really wanted her to show up (it's just no fun going to a concert all on your lonesome, no?), but right when I got there she texted me saying she had thrown up for the umpteenth time, so I told her it would be a good idea to stay at home and focus on getting better. So yeah, the concert would've been better if I wasn't alone, but I had a good time all the same. ^_^;

(Afterward K. told me she wanted to make it up to me by taking me to another concert; I suggested Explosions in the Sky playing at Toad's Place on August 9. I was hoping we'd get to talk about whether or not it'd be a good idea...but she went and already bought the tickets. So I guess that's a "yes," then! :D)

The opening act was Mike Doughty, who used to be the lead singer for a band called Soul Coughing back in the 90s. I've heard of him before, but I never really got into his music, and after seeing him perform I don't plan on it anytime soon. It's not like I didn't like his music, far from it actually -- he was pretty funny and had great stage presence (considering it was just him with a guitar and someone else with a drum kit), and his songs were well-written and catchy. It's just that it was pretty standard indie guitar rock, and nothing really stood out at me. I did like his performance of "Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well," though, which was the song I listened to when I first heard of him.

I expected a phenomenal performance from Low because they're one of my all-time favorite bands, and they didn't disappoint. They played with the lights down very low, and against a backdrop of vintage film footage of airplanes, nature, cityscapes, acrobats, and the like, which somehow suited the music well no matter what kind it was. And Alan Sparhawk's guitar playing was really good, especially in how he incorporated feedback and reverb to make something beautiful. Just...wow. I'm pretty bad at explaining why it was so good without sounding awkward or like a weirdo, so I've linked some YouTube videos of the concert below to give you an idea. (And someone uploaded audio from two other concerts from the same mini-tour here, in case you really want to get an idea. ~_^)

After the concert I bought yet another tour poster (:3) and CD copies of The Great Destroyer and their latest album The Invisible Way (which was an album I enjoyed the first few times I listened to it but couldn't get too enthusiastic about, but after hearing a lot of the songs live I realized that they were actually very good, so I had to buy the album for myself). So yeah, as far as eventful nights go, I've had plenty worse. XD

Anyway, here's the setlist:

Read more... )

••• Apparently Tumblr has started censoring posts from certain blogs from showing up in tag searches as a way to crack down on porn? From what I've read (and here's an article with more information), the site has been flagging various blogs as either "NSFW" or "adult"; if your blog is flagged as "NSFW," your posts won't show up in tracked tags (other than the people already following you), and if it's flagged as "adult" they won't show up not only in any tag searches, but on outside search engines like Google as well. And as far as I know, this flagging is done without the blog owner's consent, and there's no way to undo it once it's done. The justification for this is to make the site more friendly to advertisers (after all, Yahoo bought out Tumblr precisely because they were having trouble making enough money to stay afloat), but the end result is that if you really want to look up porn on Tumblr (or just discover new content in general, if the blogs being flagged don't exclusively post porn), you have to be linked to it directly.

Now, I'm hardly the most pro-porn guy on the planet (I'm not a fan of how it the porn industry exploits women, or how it makes men less empathetic and more prone to Internet addiction and unrealistic expectations about sex), but I indulge in NSFW stuff just as much as anyone my age would, and I realize this would have a huge effect on fandom, not to mention other kinds of content that has nothing to do with porn. And, well, I'm really not a fan of it. :/ I'm curious what everyone else here thinks about it, though.

••• Two more months:


Guys, this looks fucking awesome, and I absolutely cannot wait for it. 8DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD



quadruplify: ([LoK] Amon - mask)
So...stuff's been happening. On the minus side, seeing my dad's mother for the first time since she was admitted to the nursing home a couple of weeks ago -- rail thin, in a wheelchair, easily confused, hardly talking -- was rough. Cut for somewhat depressing details :( )

On the plus side, though, my birthday yesterday went well (I got two new shirts and an iTunes gift card, and we went out to eat -- it obviously wasn't much, but I don't need a lot of stuff and I don't like making a big deal of my birthday anyway), my psoriasis is slowly clearing up again, Dan Harmon is coming back to Community (which I honestly didn't see coming at all, but OMG YES SO EXCITED!!!!!!!! because now I can totally look forward to season 5 XDDDDDDDDDDDD), and overall my mood has been ever-so-slightly better than it has been. I was really disappointed with The National's new album Trouble Will Find Me -- I tried to like it, but all the songs sound pretty much the same, it seemed as if the band ended up refining their sound so much they sucked all the soul and life out of it, there's no lyrics that stand out or any other hooks to grab the listener's attention like all their other albums, and it's just plain boring -- but I've enjoyed the latest from Boards of Canada, Tomorrow's Harvest, a hell of a lot more, so that offsets the disappointment at least. ^_^;

Also, [livejournal.com profile] edge_chan was interviewed by a big art supply website (exciting!), and even though I don't collect vinyl LPs and hardly care for collecting them at all (unlike some music fans), this ultramarine-colored LP of Young Galaxy's latest album (which is also really good, BTW!) is so cool and I want one. *grabby hands*

[livejournal.com profile] kattidya, I got your birthday card in the mail a couple of days ago. Thank you very much!! :D

All right, on to the links, since they've piled up yet again and it'd be nice for my browser to work faster again:

POLITICS
--Does the NSA really need to spy on us?
--The tangled web of empire (more on the recent NSA spying controversy)
--Who Is Afraid of Big Brother? (a somewhat reasoned defense of PRISM)
--Why the NSA Needs Your Phone Calls
--Washington Is Trapped in Its Own Prism of Data-Mining Self-Defense
--Of Course Apple Avoids Billions in Taxes -- And It Should
--Connecticut Boy Scouts Chapter Defects, Welcomes Gay Members to Serve Openly (this includes adults, unlike the BSA's recent decision -- plus this was the council I was a part of when I was younger, so YAY!!!!!)
--The Impossibility of Being Barack Obama
--How the Obama Administration Talks to Black America
--Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting For Public Opinion to Turn Against Obama (this was published before the NSA scandal broke, but IMHO the article's central thesis is still relevant)
--Here's Why the Government Went Ballistic Over the AP Leak
--The EMPire Strikes Back (on why the "threat" of electromagnetic pulse is practically nonexistent)
--Top 10 warning signs of 'liberal imperialism'
--Fear Factor (a defense of drone strikes in foreign countries)

SCIENCE
--We've Found the Molecule That Causes Itchiness
--The effect that explains why you regret posting in anger
--You Didn't Have Any Lions to Run From, So You Clicked on This
--Butterflies remember a mountain that hasn't existed for millennia
--We're Only Beginning to Understand How Our Brains Make Maps
--5 Reasons Cold Fusion Is Bunk
--Study: Science Can Change the Sexual Orientations of Mice
--No need to eat like a caveman -- just eat your damn veggies!
--Giant fluorescent pink slugs found on mountain
--Amnesia and the Self That Remains When Memory Is Lost
--How many people really went through with the Milgram Experiment?

ENVIRONMENT
--So this is where all our greenhouse gases come from
--How Antarctica Would Look Completely Naked

SPACE/ASTRONOMY
--Can Space Tourism Save Earth?
--Could we find alien civilizations using infrared light?
--When it comes to exoplanets, science fiction lags way behind science
--How will space colonists access the Internet on Mars?
--Opportunity Finds More Hints of Mars Habitability

TECHNOLOGY
--The Video Game Helmet That Can Hack Your Brain (on the growth of brain-computer interfaces and its potential consequences)
--Gorgeous Floating Buildings Around the World

EDUCATION
--An Open Letter to Science Students and Science Teachers (on how much needs to be done to improve science education in the U.S.)
--The 12 Most Controversial Facts in Mathematics, and its sequel 9 More Super-Controversial Math Facts That People Refuse to Believe Are True

SOCIETY
--Masturbation Is at the Root of the Culture Wars (Hugo Schwyzer generally isn't someone worth listening to when it comes to feminist issues, but this is a good article nonetheless)
--If You Think Like an Imposter, You'll Be an Imposter (good advice for everyone to read)
--"You are all going to die": Joss Whedon's Wesleyan commencement speech (on making peace with contradictions, and the need to look at "both sides" of everything)
--When Men Experience Sexism (on finding a middle ground between militant feminists and MRAs)
--The Questions People Get Asked About Their Race
--Charles Ramsey and the Racial Language Barrier
--What Should I Do With My Life?
--Advice For College Grads From Two Sociologists
--What About the Guys Who Do Fit the 'Gay Stereotype'?
--Why Suicide Has Become an Epidemic -- and What We Can Do to Help
--Survivorship Bias (on the pitfalls of ignoring stories of failure)
--Sex After Dementia
--Why Is It So Hard to Understand What's Wrong With Rape Jokes?
--"The wonderful and frightening thing about Tumblr and Twitter..."
--On Horse Racing, "Break Downs," and Our Humanity
--Optimism Is Not Insane

GEOGRAPHY
--22 Maps That Show The Deepest Linguistic Conflicts in America

MEDIA
--Elementary Demonstrates the Right Way to Update a Classic Hero
--The Problem With Celebrating Straight Actors in Gay Roles
--New York PBS station criticizes reality TV with fake subway ads
--The Government Can't Stop Our Heterosexual Love: YA Dystopia From a Gay Perspective
--6 Ways to Survive an 'Internet Drubbing'
--You Won't Finish This Article (no, that's not a challenge)

ART/CREATIVITY
--Belgian Man Made His Own Samurai Armor (and it's very impressive!)
--Short film "Captain T&T": Boy tries to become a superhero in the violence of Trinidad and Tobago
--Sweet Mother of Assassin's Creed III... (I know zilch about this franchise and fandom, but I'd totally wear something like that too :D)
--"So Dark": A short film that proves even noble vampires can be horrifying


quadruplify: Lin Bei Fong (from the Legend of Korra) looking shocked and/or surprised ([LoK] Lin - surprised)
So I just realized I haven't updated this thing in about a month, and I haven't written a proper RL update since February. Yeah. Sorry about that. D:

This year is moving by way faster than I expected; it's almost May already, and it feels like last week that there was still snow on the ground. I guess it's because not much has been going on with me over the past couple of months that I felt were worth mentioning here. Plus, I've been sick this past week -- it was just a cold, the worst of it is over, and I've had far worse, but it still didn't help things at all. And I'm supposed to get up early tomorrow to help my dad and his brother put up fencing around my grandmother's/their mother's house, which won't be hard at all, but still...bleh. ("It'll take no time at all!" Sorry Dad, but around 4 to 5 hours is NOT "no time at all." And if there's ever a day in which I absolutely need to sleep in and spend all day on the computer, it's tomorrow. XP)

So I'm going to do what I can to make this as short as possible:

••• The volunteering gig at the ASRC has been going really well! I work there Tuesday and Thursday mornings after my phototherapy treatments, and I've been there for about two months now. The work is the boring administrative stuff I'm used to -- making labels, putting labels on envelopes, stuffing inserts in flyers, writing letters for donation requests, making copies, looking over contact info for newspapers, etc. -- but it all needs to be done, and since I'm not working there all day it doesn't bother me as much. It certainly helps that everyone there is kind and considerate as well. ^_^; Right now they're busy with organizing for their "Walk For Autism" next weekend (their big yearly fundraising event), so that's what I've been focusing on, but once one of the employees comes back from medical leave I might just help work on their new website, which I gotta say I'm looking forward to. :3

••• I've been trying to take advantage of some of the other services the ASRC has for me, to mixed results. I've been attending monthly support group meetings, which have been going very well. But twice a month on Saturday evenings they host a "games night" as a way for adults "on the spectrum" to socialize, and those, well...haven't been as helpful. The games themselves are fine -- the ones I've played include poker, blackjack, Uno, Telestrations, and some video games -- but I haven't been able to click or connect with anyone else who's been going to these things. With some people it's because they have more pronounced symptoms (the first time I went, one girl had a serious chair-throwing temper tantrum because she didn't win a round of poker -- everyone else told me that sort of thing almost never happens there, but it was still really uncomfortable to watch), but with the others I haven't yet found anyone I think seems cool or interesting or otherwise someone I'd like to get to know more. Not that there isn't, I'm sure, and obviously you can't expect everyone there to have good social graces, but still. The guy who runs these events recently put together a "special" monthly games night for me and a few other guys he feels are on the same wavelength, but while it's been good to get out of the house more often, so far I don't feel I've gotten anything out of it yet. Of course, it's only been a few weeks, and I do want it to work, but I'm not very confident it will. :/

The center has also referred me to the CT Bureau of Rehab Services, which is supposed to help me find what jobs I'd be a good fit for and ultimately hook me up with one, so my parents and I are considering going down that route in the near future as well. You know, when we can find the time to go over my resume and all that. :P

••• My psoriasis has hardly improved, so now I'm back up to two light treatments a week. And I have a follow-up appointment with my dermatologist this week to go over my "progress." I'm not looking forward to that, gotta say.

••• Things with both of my grandmothers have been about the same. The only really notable thing that happened was that a few weeks ago, my dad's mom (the one who lives alone and has the hearing-voices issue) had a fall and bruised her ribs pretty badly. She was out of it and had a lot of difficulty walking around that whole week, and one time when my dad was visiting she had some very serious visual hallucinations right in front of him (e.g. thinking my sister and dead grandfather were in the house, or that my dad had spoken to someone outside the house earlier in the day). My dad got her one of those automatic reclining chairs to help her stand up and sit down more easily, and ever since she's started feeling better it's been a huge help. The good thing about all that happened, though, is that it finally made her realize that a.) there is absolutely no way in hell the voices in her head are real, and b.) she needs to move out of the house and start living in an assisted living community or a place like that. Her being alone in a house she can't take care of and is falling into disrepair isn't going to help her one bit, and I hope we can get that situation sorted ASAP.

That's about it for now; if I think of anything else, I'll probably add them to this post or make a separate entry, and I'll try to do another linkdump sometime this week as well. So yeah, I can't really complain with how things are right now, even though I get really frustrated it's coming up on two years since graduation and I still haven't found a job or kept myself busy doing other things and all that. I suspect I would've been doing all those things by now too, if the temptation to sleep in and do nothing wasn't so great. =_=; Oh well, I'm sure I'll manage to figure something out eventually. How is everyone else doing? (If you're still using this site, that is. ._.,)
quadruplify: Julian Minci (from Legend of the Galactic Heroes) sticking his tongue out in disgust ([LoGH] Julian - yuck)
--SimCity 5's Multiplayer Blues  (I ended up having a lot more feelings about the new SimCity than I expected. I loved playing SimCity 3000 back when it was a thing, and part of the appeal was that I DIDN'T have to work and cooperate with others to play the game; I could build a city on my own, with whatever vision I liked. I'd be interested in playing this new version, but the offline DIY ethos of the previous games was what made it interesting, so it'll take a while getting used to.

Plus, part of the reason why I've spent most of my life NOT playing video game [or Second Life, for that matter] is because of the interacting with complete strangers that tends to happen. I'm extremely shy and self-conscious, and it's hard enough for me to talk to new people in other contexts as it is -- and people can be REALLY immature when playing video games, which makes me uncomfortable. IDK, I'd much rather start playing with people I already know if I have to.

And then there's the fact that you have to be online in order to play it, which I don't like at all. Considering we've lost Internet access for days on end before, I'd like to be able to play games to pass the time in a situation like that, and with something like SimCity 5 it wouldn't be possible. That is,
if I could play it in the first place without EA fucking it up. Seriously, I think we all know by now how disastrous the rollout this week has been. :PPP)

--Neither Pro-Life Nor Pro-Choice Can Solve the Selective Abortion Crisis
--8 things the U.S. election system could learn from Mexico's
--Mars mission poses greater risk to human life than NASA would allow
--Soon they'll be able to 3D-print you a hybrid car
--Our brains, and how they're not as simple as we think
--No, Our Solar System Is NOT a "Vortex"  (debunking myths made by a popular viral video)
--A Supermassive Ice Age May Have Led to Complex Life on Earth
--Why U.S. Politicians Think Americans Are So Conservative When They're Not  (and yet I still see way too many Tea Partiers on Facebook :/)
--Are popular scientists becoming modern day preachers?
--Astronauts Traveling to Mars Could Be Protected By a Poop Shield
--The Mixed Results of Male Authors Writing Female Characters
--The Benefits of Optimism Are Real
--One of the best places to search for alien life is the last that you'd expect
--"South African Violence" Only Explains the Pistorius Case If He's Not Guilty
--Invasive species? This sushi chef rolls with it  (this is a profile of the sushi restaurant K. and I went to last summer)
--The Birth of a Planet, Observed From Earth
--We Aren't the World   (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -- on how culture shapes our fundamental beliefs, perception, and ways of thinking more than anyone could have expected, and how dangerous it is that science ignores this fact)
--Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?

And because I haven't done one of these in a while, a meme:

So I took a 'What Harry Potter character are you?' test. Does anyone familiar with the series think this is right? )


quadruplify: Lin Bei Fong (from the Legend of Korra) looking mildly pissed off ([LoK] Lin - pissed off)
Another entry because I'm bored and I feel up to it. ^_^;

••• So, Christmas went relatively well! It wasn't very eventful, and I've had far better Christmases, but it wasn't too bad, all things considered. Here's what I managed to get:

Under the cut: Loot, long-lost family, acting like an asshole, and illness... )

••• I'm still trying to think of what to do for New Year's resolutions; I know they rightfully get a bad rap because people hardly follow through on them, but I really need to get myself in gear in 2013 to prevent a repeat of 2012, which was ... a whole lotta nothing, really. Which is not to say awesome things didn't happen this year, or that I didn't grow as a person, but in a lot of ways I'm in the same position I was when I wrote this, and that's not good. The main difference is that I'm in a better position now to be more proactive when it comes to developing skills and achieving goals than I was two years ago -- or at least, I hope so. ._.,

Of course I need to work on the important things, like being more proactive in looking for jobs, volunteer work, and grad schools, cooking, taking better care of myself (including hopefully joining a gym), and driving. But I've also created a huge backlog of books I want to read, movies and TV shows and anime I'd like to watch, music I'd like to listen to, video games I'd like to play, etc. Far too often I put these things off to one side saying to myself, "I'll deal with this later," and I never do; instead, I end up constantly feeling bored, doing nothing, and wanting to do nothing. So maybe trying to get through that backlog should help? (Oh yeah, and fitting in some time to write while I'm at it. :P)

Anyway, I hope everyone reading this has a Happy New Year, and that if your 2012 was meh like mine, I hope 2013 will be better for you. ;-)

••• Finally, some more articles and links you might be interested in:

--This Tiny Gizmo Could Be a Very Big Deal in 2013 -- And Beyond (I know I already posted something about this on my Tumblr, but it seems so interesting enough it's worth bringing up again, especially since this article goes into greater detail, and it reveals it'll only cost around $70)
--27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts in 2012
--Should Buddhist Meditation Make You Happy? (I don't think I've read a better explanation of what meditation is supposed to do before, or what benefits it's supposed to bring)
--Hacking the Human Brain: The Next Domain of Warfare (DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD:)
--No Longer Vaporware: The Internet of Things Is Finally Talking
--Videogames Do Belong in the Museum of Modern Art
--'Brighter than a full moon': The biggest star of 2013 could be Ison, the comet of the century
--Amazing new house proves that green doesn't have to mean expensive


quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
A couple of days ago I received a Christmas card from [livejournal.com profile] kattidya, so thank you very much for that! :D

Speaking of Christmas cards, I'm sure it's become obvious I'm not doing them this year, what with it being three days away and all that. :P Sorry if any of you out there were expecting one, but if you'd really like one and don't mind it being horribly late, just let me know and I'll be more than happy to work something out. (And the same goes if you'd like sending something to me.)

Not much has been going on with me; I'm still in that big funk I mentioned the last time I updated, and this didn't help matters one bit. So ... a brief linkdump, because I haven't done one of these in a while, and I need to show myself I haven't entirely been wasting my time. These articles have made me think about or reevaluate a lot of things lately, and they might have the same impact on some of you.

--The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going to Miss Almost Everything
--Physicists testing to see if universe is a computer simulation (a.k.a. "Scientists try to prove The Matrix is actually real")
--7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable (this expresses pretty much how I feel re: the cynicism and jadedness many young people feel today, explaining why it bothers me so much better than I ever could)
--6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person (obviously there are parts that rub me the wrong way, namely the fact that some people will never achieve the kind of success David Wong talks about due to their lack of privilege, and that sometimes the idea of productivity can be detrimental to one's health and well-being, but his central message is worth considering, and has helped me put some things in perspective)
--5 Reasons Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters to Be Real (this explains SO MUCH about human nature like you wouldn't believe)
--5 Reasons Life Actually Does Get Better

I likely won't be posting anything until after Christmas, so to anyone reading this (especially those who celebrate), Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. ;-)


quadruplify: Amon (from the Legend of Korra) speaking at an Equalist protest, fist raised in the air ([LoK] Amon - revolution)
••• So my thoughts on the election can be summed up in these GIFs:





Let's see, we had Obama re-elected, a large number of women and progressives elected to Congress (including a Buddhist and a Hindu), Tea Partiers and rape apologists and anti-abortion freaks defeated, same-sex marriage passing by popular vote in three states (and marijuana legalized in two more), a hardcore video gamer getting elected to Maine's state senate, and overall at least half of Americans waking up and realizing this country needs to get out of the dark ages? Consider me impressed. :D

I might do a politics-related linkdump at some point, but for now I'm sure this will do. ^_^;

••• As for Hurricane Sandy, we got our TV and Internet back on Friday 11/2; my sister was ecstatic because during that whole week it was like living with a drug addict going through withdrawal. And it didn't help that she was out of school a total of four days, too. :PPP I managed to survive by starting to watch Ao no Exorcist (which I've actually been rather enjoying!), as well as a few movies I'll review later because it's 2:30 AM as I'm writing this and I'm hoping to get some sleep soon. XD

But it's long gone now -- no major damage around here, just a few tree limbs falling on power lines here and there (and Halloween getting cancelled, if that counts). I know the coast got hit really bad, though, as well as everywhere south of New York City; I don't know exactly how bad the damage was, and if we're going to be completely honest I kinda don't want to -- I feel like it'd depress me too much. But yes, we're all perfectly fine around here, as I've mentioned before, so no need to worry about us!

If you do want to read something interesting, though, there's this article about the skeleton that was unearthed when a tree toppled over in New Haven, if you're into that sort of thing. (The link contains pictures of the skeleton [though it's kinda hard to make out], in case you don't want to see it or you find such pictures disrespectful.)

••• I'm about 21,000 words into NaNoWriMo, which I'm really impressed by since I wasn't expecting to get that far by now at all. I've always seen myself as a slow writer; when I was writing papers in school and college, it took all the effort I could muster to stay focused and concentrate on what I needed to get done, which meant writing the damn things felt like pulling teeth. A lot of these hangups I developed about writing as a result have stuck around, which has definitely made it a struggle, so I guess being ahead of schedule is my way of compensating for that. :3 But whatever, even though those 21,000 words are total word vomit (as all first drafts are, I suppose), I'm using the advice of some famous writers to power through it, I'm proud of where I'm at right now, and I'm excited that I might actually make 50,000 before the end of the month, so yay! 8D

(And of course, you can add me over there if you haven't already.)

••• The Twilight Sad concert was Tuesday night, and it was as excellent and mind-blowing as I was hoping it was going to be.

Details under the cut... )

••• I've changed the layout of my LJ blog! ---> [livejournal.com profile] quadruplify The last one was more of a temporary thing because it was kinda ugly, so I hope y'all like this one more. ^_^;

Anyway, that's about it from me. How's everyone else doing?
quadruplify: Lin Bei Fong (from the Legend of Korra) looking shocked and/or surprised ([LoK] Lin - surprised)
So we have yet another huge storm bearing down on us. *sigh* The next two days are going to suck, for sure, but the only thing we can do is wait it out. Connecticut is under a state of emergency right now, my parents have already prepared for everything they could think of, and I can already hear the winds picking up outside. We're in a pretty safe area, but we're still anticipating a power outage -- or if the power doesn't go out, it just might be the TV and Internet that go out. We've been very lucky when Irene and the Halloween snowstorm last year hit (we lost TV and Internet for a few days with Irene, and we really lucked out with the snowstorm because we didn't lose anything at all), but I'm anticipating the worst. I can handle no TV and Internet, but no power....yeah, I admit I'm nervous about that. D: So if something does happen, you can still get in touch with me (I'll have my phone), but it might take me a little longer to get around to it.

(At least my sister is happy she got the next two days of school off. And that she's getting her braces off in January. But I guess that's neither here nor there. ^_^;)

In other news: I'm definitely doing NaNoWriMo this year! Feel free to add me over there if you like. :D I don't plan on getting too obsessed over it; the only goal for me is just to get back into the habit of writing because I haven't done it in so long, to see if it's something I still want to do. It seems to me the important thing about the challenge is getting the words down, and then editing and working with them later; if so, then that makes things a lot easier for me, because the main thing for me to do right now is getting over the hump and just doing it. The weird thing about depression is that sometimes, you can't wait until you're motivated and/or ready to do something; you have to start doing it so that the motivation and willpower follows. If that makes any sense. :P

This, of course, means I'm finally getting around to taking a much-needed hiatus from Tumblr. I've been planning on doing it for a while, and for other reasons than NaNo, but still...one less distraction, right?

And just today, another big website started following me on Twitter. I guess it's because I linked to one of their articles? Either way, it's still pretty cool, I guess. :3

I'm saving the best news for last: I'm going to see The Twilight Sad play in Hamden on Nov. 6th! I don't go to concerts nearly as often as I should (though it's mostly because I only have so much money, and I can't travel very far because the bands I really want to see generally don't stop by the area), and because it's one of my favorite bands I'm really looking forward to this. When I found out about it yesterday, I texted K because she's a fan as well; she bought tickets for the both of us, so it's definitely happening. It'll be the first time we meet up in the past couple of months too, so that's good. In any case, I'm excited. ^_^;

That's about it for me for now; for all of you out there waiting out the storm like I am, please stay safe! ;-)


quadruplify: John Watson (from BBC's Sherlock) standing in Buckingham Palace ([Sherlock] John - standing)
CURRENT FAVORITES:
Bat For Lashes, "Marilyn"
Fuck Buttons, "Rough Steez"
Sky Ferreira, "Everything Is Embarrassing"
Yeasayer, "Fingers Never Bleed"
Yeasayer, "No Bones"

••• So, the trip to Vermont a little over a week ago went extremely well! We stayed at the Waybury Inn in a nicely decorated "rustic" room (I wish I took pictures of the place because I think some of you would've liked it), and had an excellent breakfast all three mornings we were there. We arrived Friday evening; I was feeling tired and a bit sick, we noticed the fall foliage was already past peak, and the weather was cold and raw (it even snowed at one point, though it didn't stick), but we managed to make the most of it. Dinner at Two Brothers was delicious as always, and afterward my mom wanted to see what was up with the Middlebury Art Walk -- an event once a month where stores stay open later on a Friday night and local businesses promote artists from the area -- so we walked around the center of town for a while. It turned out that there really wasn't much to see, though we did finally get around to visiting Otter Creek Used Books, the other "big" bookstore in town; it was anther one of those places that was filled to the brim with books, but it was loosely organized and you had to take the time to dig through tons of books to find anything that looked interesting.

More [including video and a picture] under the cut... )

••• Other than that, not much else has been going on. I finally got around to starting Richard O'Connor's Understanding Depression, which I got for Christmas after[personal profile] mmouse15 rec'd it to me, and I've been finding it very helpful; I even found parts of it connected a lot to parts of the Dalai Lama's talk regarding mindfulness and thinking of happiness as a skill rather than an emotion. Otherwise, ever since the trip to Vermont I've fallen back into the rut I've been in for the past few weeks now (partly because I was pretty wiped after doing so much). With my psoriasis trying to come back and the days getting shorter and colder as it is, all I've been doing is refreshing Tumblr/Twitter/LJ every five seconds, watching trash TV, and sleeping in. It's not as bad as it once was, and I certainly don't feel as guilty about my well-being right now, but it's still frustrating. Maybe I might actually do NaNoWriMo this year? I do feel more up to it than I was last year, so we'll have to wait and see. ^_^;



quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
CURRENT FAVORITES:
The Glitch Mob, "Animus Vox"
Dirty Three, "Moon on the Land"
Dirty Three, "Rain Song"
Miike Snow, "Vase"
Retribution Gospel Choir, "The Stone (Revolution!)"
Shearwater, "Star of the Age"

Hope everyone had a great Easter/Passover! Our Easter weekend was pretty laid-back and not all that eventful; this afternoon we went to my aunt and uncle's house for Easter dinner, which included kielbasa, meat pie, babka bread, artichoke casserole, and a few other things (they also served deep-fried turkey and sweet potato casserole, but I didn't have those). My aunt and uncle also had a couple of their friends over; it's a bit rough whenever these friends come to their events because I'm supposed to act like I care about them even though I never see them anywhere else and I wouldn't hang out with them willingly, but things went pretty smoothly today. We also went to my dad's mom's house this evening to keep her company for a little bit, like we usually do whenever there's a holiday around. And on Friday my parents and I had dinner at Dusitra, the local Thai restaurant. Definitely one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The previous times we've been there, the food was okay but nothing to write home about; however, because the restaurant is under new management now, we decided to try it out again, and this time we certainly didn't regret it.

Nothing else all that interesting has been going on lately, so here's another quick linkdump:

--Fan-made Legend of Korra merchandise (YESPLZ 8DDDDDDDDDDDDDDD)

More under the cut... )



quadruplify: Gay pride parade participant, dressed as astronaut, holding sign that reads: "Gay Astronaut Association Members: 1" ([Other] LGBTQ+ - gay astronaut)
I need to go to bed somewhat early tonight, so I'll try to keep this short:

--Now that I've been off Tumblr for a while now, I've started to work my way through the backlog of movies I've been meaning to see for the longest time now. I don't have time to review each one, so I'll just list them:

Movies that were great:
Movies that sucked tremendously:

Guilty pleasures:
If you want me to explain why I classified these movies the way I did, feel free to ask me in the comments.

--I've slowly started taking steps to take on more independence and responsibility and deal with my depression in more proactive ways; I've been driving on a more regular basis, I've been doing my own laundry, and on Sunday I cooked my own dinner. Spinach linguini with cooked bell peppers, celery, and scallions, to be exact. I still needed some guidance, of course, and I charred the vegetables a little bit, but other than that it came out perfectly. XD Obviously many people already do these things on a regular basis and take them for granted, but these are little victories I need to relish however I can. ^_^;

I've also been going to different places in the area we haven't been to before; the weekend before last my dad and I went to Books & Co., a small used bookstore in Hamden, and we were very impressed by it! Sadly, there aren't a lot of indie bookstores in our area, so it was good to find one by chance and support it however we could. Most of the books there are mainstream/literary fiction, and they also sell greeting cards and jewelry made by local artists. Oh yeah, all the books they sell are half off list price, so if you want a good deal....8D I couldn't resist buying a few books while I was there (Assia Djebar's Children of the New World, Yukio Mishima's The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea, N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn, and Ntozake Shange's Betsy Brown), and they served a great chai latte at their café too.

And last weekend we checked out Redscroll Records in Wallingford, which also turned out to be pretty great. It's a small store that focuses on alternative/metal/hardcore/punk (they even sell zines there, which isn't too surprising to me since I know there are people out there who still make them, but still), and lots of vinyl if you're into that sort of thing (my dad ended up finding records he hadn't seen for 30-40 years), but there is something for just about everyone there. (Hey [personal profile] two_grey_rooms, it's better than Cutler's, trust me. XD) I ended up buying Soundtracks by Can and the Zol! EP from BLK JKS, as well as two used DVDs -- The Fall and Fargo, the latter of which I rewatched recently and was just as awesome as I remembered it to be.

--So the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra came out this weekend. And it was AMAZING. And AWESOME. And all those other adjectives I like to overuse when I really, really enjoy something. XD No spoilers, but this GIF just about sums it up:



Ugh why do we have to wait another month for the new episodes to come out D:

Seriously though, if you haven't seen this already, you should, even if you aren't familiar with A:tLA or its fandom. If you missed it when it was online this weekend, leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do. ;-)

(BTW, glad to see Community is back on the air too! Wasn't too impressed with last week's episode, but here's hoping this week's will be better.)

--Some links that I think might be of interest to some of you:
--And finally, a meme I ganked from [livejournal.com profile] iron_valkyrie:

Which kind of bender are you? )


quadruplify: Julian Minci (from Legend of the Galactic Heroes) sticking his tongue out in disgust ([LoGH] Julian - yuck)
1. So I'm sure many of you know about that video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony produced by the NGO Invisible Children that went viral a couple of days ago (if you don't know what I'm talking about, look up "Kony 2012" on YouTube). The video has become quite a big deal, generating a lot of buzz and publicity in a remarkably short amount of time; I've seen many people on LJ, Twitter, and Facebook talk about it, so I felt it was necessary to do a post about it, much like the 2009 protests in Iran and last year's "Arab Spring." I would make a big linkdump about it, complete with pertinent quotes, but I've been feeling too lazy and tired to do one up this time, and besides, many people have already beaten me to it:

--[livejournal.com profile] eska_rina has put together a great assortment of links and relevant quotes
--[livejournal.com profile] ontd_political has its big compendium of links here; of particular interest is The Guardian's liveblog of the fallout
--The conveniently titled "Reader's digest to Kony 2012"

I know it may seem like a ton of links to deal with, each attached to rather long reads, but I highly, highly recommend you skim them at the very least. The issues, criticisms, and commentary Invisible Children's campaign has raised can't be neatly summed up in a quick soundbite, and it's very important to read up on the issues before you decide to donate money or engage in activism -- not just on this particular issue, but on everything else as well.

I personally find myself agreeing with the backlash against IC's campaign, and while I think #Kony2012 has good intentions, it has not been thought out very well. The campaign appears to ignore much of the context of the conflict in Uganda, such as how Kony and the LRA became prominent, the circumstances in which (and reasons why) it happened, and the legacy of European colonialism and imperialism that ultimately led such a situation to come about in the first place. The campaign also paints a picture of Uganda that is overly simplistic and reductive; it plays into the common media narrative of Africa being a place of nothing but war, starvation, and poverty, and that only Americans/the West/white people can "save" Africans from this predicament. Not only is this narrative rooted in the same kinds of ideas that led European powers to colonize Africa in the first place, but it's also extremely inaccurate, given that a variety of peoples and cultures exist on the continent, that there are already many organizations on the ground in areas affected by the LRA run by Africans themselves doing the work IC claims to be doing, and that many Africans -- some of whom have been directly affected by Kony's violence -- take issue with the campaign and suggest better ways of going about it. The fact that the campaign's promoters don't appear to be listening to the voices of Africans themselves, especially those of the people they're purporting to stand for, shows how paternalistic it really is, and how it's nothing more than "Kony is evil, he used child soldiers, he must be brought to justice." Obviously Kony is evil and needs to be brought to justice, but if you think about the "nuts and bolts" of how to do it, and the consequences it might bring, then you realize just how good intentions aren't enough.

Obviously these criticisms shouldn't be an excuse to dismiss #Kony2012 as an exercise in feel-good activism targeting American college students; human rights violations are an affront to all of humanity, and we shouldn't stand by and let them happen. But creating change isn't nearly as glamorous as the video makes it out to be, and context (and the nuances, complexities, and frustrations that come with it) matters. If something seems too black-and-white, it probably is. It pays to do your research and come up with your own conclusions, and this is no exception.

*********************************************************************************************

Onto other things:

2. This is the best modern-day retelling of a fairy tale you'll see this week, hands down:



3. I don't post fic recs that often on here, but I found a great LoGH fic worth checking out: Inheritance. Cross-dressing!young!Reuenthal fic that's not crack and is actually pretty well-written? YESPLZ. :D

4. A continuation of the seven-questions meme from the last post, this time from [livejournal.com profile] iron_valkyrie :

Read more... )


quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
So a few weeks ago, I met a lot of people through various friending memes....and then I just disappear off the face of the Internet, without even so much as leaving comments on the journals of the new friends I've made.

Oops.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, I figure this time's as good as any to write a new intro post, since I haven't done that in a while:

I'm James ([personal profile] quadruplify), I'm 22 and I live in Connecticut.  I graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont this past May with a bachelor's in environmental studies, and unfortunately I haven't found any stable employment since then.  Because of that, I'm currently living at home with my parents, 14-year-old sister, and grandmother.  Right now I'm in a rather annoying rut, and because of that not much is really going on in my life, so I won't be posting very often around here in the near future.  I was diagnosed with depression last year, and I'm in therapy for it right now; please be aware that I will be writing about mental health issues on occasion, as it's a big part of my life right now.

I tend to be on the shy and introverted side, and I don't always like being the one initiating a conversation, so yeah, there's that.  ^_^;  I don't always comment on people's entries (sometimes because I don't have anything to say or don't know what to say), but I do take the time to read all of them, and just because I don't talk to you that often doesn't mean I won't feel some concern for you if you're going through a hard time.

Politics are very important to me, and I'm interested in keeping up with current events.  My politics can be best described as being leftist/left-of-center; much of the Democratic Party and mainstream "progressives" tend to be too conservative/right-wing for my tastes, but I don't see myself as a radical/communist/anarchist either.  I'm sympathetic with so-called "social justice" movements (feminism, anti-racism, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights, disability activism, etc.) and their basic tenets, so you'll occasionally see me talk about those kinds of things here.  I enjoy thoughtful, nuanced discussion of social and political issues (especially when they relate to people's personal lives) and wanting to get to the bottom of why things are the way they are, and hopefully I'll start doing some activism and volunteer work in the near future.

I'm also gay (though I'm not really out to anyone IRL except for a select few) and an atheist (but not one of those douchey Richard Dawkins/Christopher Hitchens-type atheists; I find them to be really annoying and intolerant), which also influences my views, I guess.  :3

Music also plays a pretty big role in my life; I tend to gravitate toward "indie," post-rock, electronica, shoegaze, post-punk, and anything that leans toward the experimental side.  My current favorite band is The National, and if you browse my Last.FM page or my music tag, you can get a better glimpse of the stuff I like more than I could explain on my own.  XD

And yes, I'm a fandom person as well!  I'm a big anime fan, and my favorites right now include Durarara!! (I help mod [livejournal.com profile] durarara, actually), Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes; other fandoms I'm into include Avatar: the Last Airbender, Community, and BBC's Sherlock.  And I'm very much a fan of slash as well -- all kinds of slash!  :D  That said, I tend to be more of a dabbler/lurker in fandoms than an active participant; I prefer geeking out with a few people I know well over putting myself out there.  Don't expect me to talk too much about them, but I do like discussing my favorite shows/movies/fandoms when I feel like it.  ;-)  (I also don't have any real celebrity crushes, although Tom Hardy certainly comes close.  8D)

I enjoy reading, writing, learning languages (especially Italian and Japanese), travel, and tai chi -- all of which I don't do nearly enough of, of course.  ^_^;  And some cool things that have happened in my life thus far include being in Italy when the Italian national team won the World Cup in 2006, being interviewed by Radio Taiwan International, and taking classes with professors who have made appearances on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the New York Times bestseller list.  :D

And this is what I look like.  Obviously I'm not the best at taking pictures of myself, but there you go.  :P

Here are some other places you can find me:

Dreamwidth: [personal profile] quadruplify -- I'm trying to start using this more often as opposed to LJ, though I crosspost everything to both places so you won't be missing much.  I have three invites, in case anyone wants one.

Tumblr: [tumblr.com profile] sarcasmisdead -- This is actually where I am most of the time, mostly because IT'S JUST THAT ADDICTIVE.  :PPP  My Tumblr is mostly a collection of what's going on in my headspace at any given time: things I like, things I find interesting or thought-provoking or hot or beautiful, things that are important, and things I find just plain cool.  I tend to use my Tumblr more for link-dumps, music sharing, and fandom, while my LJ/DW is more for IRL goings-on.

Plurk: [plurk.com profile] democracies -- For anything that's too short to be put onto my LJ/DW.  ^_^;

Twitter: [twitter.com profile] quadruplify -- I use this mostly for following interesting accounts and talking to friends.  I do post on here occasionally, though mostly I just crosspost from Plurk.

Last.FM: [last.fm profile] naok31 -- To keep track of the music I listen to

Goodreads: HERE -- To keep track of the books I read

Also, my AIM screenname is mecteol, my username on Skype is subterraneanhomesick, and if you search for mecteol@gmail.com on MSN I'm available there too.  Mostly, though, I'm most active on Tumblr, Plurk, and Twitter these days, so if you contact me through those you'll get the fastest response.

So that's pretty much it -- sorry if this is tl;dr, but I tried my best, right?  XD  Anyway, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them.  Nice to meet you all!  *waves*

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
I got a Christmas card from [livejournal.com profile] misskalloway the other day, so thank you very much for that! :D

Speaking of Christmas cards, I plan on sending them out on Monday, or Tuesday at the very latest. It's definitely cutting it close, and for those who asked for one, you'll most likely receive them late (especially if you live outside the U.S.), but they will be coming soon, I promise. ;-)

Also, since the first holiday love meme I linked to in my last post filled up, here's part 2, if you haven't gotten a chance to comment on it and want to. Thanks for those of you who have already!

The past couple of weeks I've been working at my mom's workplace as a paper-pusher again; it's as extremely boring as it usually is, but I've been making a decent amount of money that should keep me going for a little bit. Hopefully in 2012 I can get a more stable job, but that'd require me actually making the effort to look. :P Ah well, I think I'll ride out the next couple of weeks and then start putting myself out there after the first of the year. That should work out, no?

Anyway, before I forget I should tell you about this anti-Islamophobia campaign a friend of mine from college has started. It's called "Say Salaam," and it involves people making videos of themselves saying the Arabic greeting "as-salaam alaikum" ("peace be with you") as an expression of solidarity against stereotypes, hate crimes, bullying, and hate against Islam in general. It's a campaign that's very much in the vein of It Gets Better, and while it has its problems much like IGB does, I honestly think it has the potential to become something big (and I'm not just saying this because someone I know is spearheading it XD). Here's the video he posted to kick things off, and you can find more info at [tumblr.com profile] saysalaam. Even if you can't make a video yourself, please spread the word!  I'd love to see this take off.  ^_^;

And after reading it on-and-off for five months, I finally got around to finishing The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle -- it had some really interesting and powerful parts, but all in all it was really, really open-ended, and in a not-all-that-compelling way either.  Good, but not one of Murakami's best.  I've also started on Adam Haslett's Union Atlantic; I've been enjoying it quite a bit, even though it's rather simplistic and maybe a bit clichéd, especially compared to something like Wind-Up.  I'm going to reserve judgment until I finish it, though.

I've also taken a break from reading Homestuck -- probably permanently, from the way things look.  :(  Maybe because I was reading it on-and-off too, but by the time I hit the beginning of Act 5 I pretty much lost my ability to care about what was going on. I mean, I get why it's so popular, it just doesn't seem to be doing anything to me, y'know?  Unless I still haven't gotten to the "good part" yet or whatever.  :/

And then there was all those Legend of Korra leaks a couple of weekends ago.  Yeah, old news is old at this point, but whatever, I'm still excited.  8D

Other than the fact that I've been trying to be more active on Plurk recently ([plurk.com profile] democracies , for those who are interested), that's really about all the notable stuff that's happened with me recently.  Which still isn't much, sadly, but hopefully that'll change with the new year.  I'll leave y'all with some songs I've been obsessed with lately, since I haven't done that in a while:

Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
The National, "I Need My Girl"  (new songs from The National?  YESPLZ :DDDDDDDDDDDD)
The National, "Rylan"
Sleigh Bells, "Rill Rill"
Tindersticks, "Medicine"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Moby, "Extreme Ways"
Friends, "I'm His Girl"  (a.k.a. the current guilty pleasure)

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 ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
It's been over a month since my last real post, which is the longest I've gone for some time now. And that's because, well........I haven't had much to really talk about. Lately I've been feeling less willing to write long entries in LJ/DW and more willing to just reblog stuff over at Tumblr ([tumblr.com profile] sarcasmisdead, for those of you who have a Tumblr who haven't added me yet and want to), which is far less taxing on my time and energy. (And LJ getting yet another bad DDoS attack isn't helping matters much. I know it's not at all LJ's fault, and I'm all for protecting free speech and political dissent, but as an LJ friend of mine put it, "LiveJournal is so last decade." And quite frankly, I'm starting to feel the same way.)

Other than Tumblr, though, very little has been going on that's been worth writing about. No trips, no interesting events, no cool movies/TV shows watched or books read, no new big musical obsessions or writing projects, no goals fulfilled. (Well, my mom did get a huge promotion at work. Even if the Rat Race™ is not your thing at all, that's gotta count for something, right?) Frankly, I'm a mess right now. I'm trying to take it easy, but I've been feeling even more empty and numb since I came back home from California. Not worthless, thank goodness no, just........not feeling all that alive (and to a certain extent, not really wanting to.)

But! Things will definitely be picking up over the next few weeks. I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist on Thursday, and I'm starting treatment next week. I'm weaning myself off the sertraline (because it's clearly not working now), and I'll be starting talk therapy soon, which I'm hoping will be a big help. We'll see how this goes -- if this doesn't work out, then we're going to have to go elsewhere (which is going to be stressful, since it takes a while to actually schedule an appointment with a mental health professional, and then I'd have to go through the process over again), but we have to give it a shot first before we know for certain. (Then again, my new psychiatrist called me Batman. Maybe it won't be that bad after all? :3) I'm also going to start practicing driving again (I'm definitely getting my license by the end of this year), and I'm going to go for regular UV light treatments for my psoriasis because it's gotten out of control.

And most importantly, meeting [livejournal.com profile] two_grey_rooms in New Haven tomorrow! (Well, technically today, but still.) It's the first time I'm meeting someone I first met on LJ in RL, so I'm a little nervous about it, but I think smashing times will be had. :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

So yeah, I'll be a little bit more busy pretty soon, and even though change is always going to be at least somewhat painful (LESS TIME ON THE GLORIOUS INTERNET? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! D:), it's all going to be for the best.

Sorry I've been such a shitty online friend lately, so let's try and catch up! How are you all doing? Is there anything you need to let me know about? Anything I missed? Anything else you want to say? Anything at all? ^_^;

*******************************************************************************

And we'll end this with a couple of memes I've been meaning to do for a while now. ([livejournal.com profile] hairspray, [profile] kalaryx, and [livejournal.com profile] meaisin_caoin, I know you asked me questions for that 5-question meme that was going around forever ago. I won't answer them just yet, but I promise I will get around to it very soon. Trust me! XD)

What Transformer are you? )

What color are you? )

The Sorting Hat Test....? )
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)
So here's my schedule for the next eek:

SAUTRDAY
--bang out my take-home exam (8-12 pp.) for Politics of Virtual Realities, considering I already have it outlined
--start prep work for my Japanese lit paper (12 pp.)

SUNDAY
--finish Japanese lit paper prep work
--write first 6-7 pp. of Japanese lit paper

MONDAY
--finish Japanese lit paper
--hand both papers in (since they're due in the afternoon)

TUESDAY - WEDNESDAY - THURSDAY
--cram for my African Politics exam (and maybe go to office hours?)

FRIDAY 5/13
--African Politics exam (9 AM-noon)
--rejoice in being DONE WITH COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah, this is going to be a hellish weekend, but I've been through worse.  It doesn't help that I have zero motivation to do any of this, and my allergies are really acting up on me (my eyes are itchy like hell, and Zyrtec is only helping a little bit), but I'm going to try to stick to this plan for once.  We'll see how it goes.  :P

In any case, other than procrastinating on Tumblr, I'll probably be scarce around these parts for a couple of days, at least until Monday.  And not much happened this week, except:

a.) Verbal Onslaught on Thursday (which I didn't perform in, alas, mostly because I hadn't been feeling good recently, though I'm slowly starting to get better)
b.) going to the bar with some people from my Social Movements class Wednesday night (I didn't have anything, mostly because the meds would screw with me if I did), where I listened to stories of some of the stupid irresponsible things they did while being all-out drunk (which annoys the hell out of me, in case you haven't guessed already), though this was improved somewhat by one young woman who told stories about, among other things, the time she was doing an environmental journalism project in Kansas and met a man who helped her a lot, even though he was also a registered sex offender who ran an illegal back-room sex shop called Hillbilly's and pressured her into buying an $80 extra-large dildo nicknamed "the Great American Challenge"
c.) a lecture on sexual identity and mental health on Tuesday
d.) this week's episode of Community (OMG SO AWESOME :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD)

And that's about it, I guess.  I really need to go to bed soon, so I can get a good night's sleep (since I won't be getting one for quite a while) and just get everything out of the way as quickly as possible.  Hope everyone else out there is doing all right.  ;-)

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
So I have 22 days, 8 classes, 2 response papers, 1 presentation, 2 12-page papers, and 1 3-hour exam before I graduate from college. I should feel like this is starting to put things in perspective, but it hasn't just yet. :P

Problem is, I've done practically nothing the past few days. No work, no socializing, nothing -- just bumming around being antisocial and wanting nothing more than to sleep for five years straight. Oh yeah, and I'm all caught up with Community, so I have no excuse but to start working on the stuff that's urgent: the two response papers (which involves a movie and lots of reading) and starting my research for the Japanese lit paper that I have to do a presentation on on Thursday. And writing something to perform at Verbal Onslaught on Thursday night, because that's the last one of the year and I've been needing to perform there at least once before I graduate.

So yeah........that's that. Gotta pull myself together for one last week-long push. Ergh. :/

The only vaguely interesting things I did recently was: a.) going to a poetry reading of an acquaintance of mine (who's graduating with me) on Thursday night; b.) being part of a meeting with some other students and next year's head of the environmental studies program on how to incorporate social and environmental justice (e.g. racism, classism, sexism, etc.) into the ES curriculum on Friday, and c.) finally getting around to seeing Marwencol, which I briefly mentioned last November and aired on PBS this week. I want to write about it more in-depth when I have the energy, because it really moved and affected me in a lot of ways, but for now I'll say that it was an amazing and brilliant movie y'all should see. ;-)

And now for the meme:

Previous days under the cut... )

DAY 20: The last song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes.

65daysofstatic, "Goodbye, 2007"

DAY 21: Your favorite song.



DAY 22: A song that someone has sung to you.



Well, I admit, it wasn't sung to me, per se, but not too long ago I was hanging out somewhere and a young woman standing next to me was singing this song using ASL. That's gotta count for something, right? XD

DAY 23: A song that you cannot stand to listen to.
DAY 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend.
DAY 25: A song you could listen to all day without getting tired.

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
The Bad:
1.


2. Ever since I went back down to 100mg of sertraline, my mood has started to destabilize big time; it's been tougher to work up the motivation to do anything lately, even getting out of bed in the morning. Right now I'm OK, though, and I'm sure things will get better in due time. I finally got around to calling the psychiatrist's office today, and he should get back to me tomorrow morning to see what to do next.

3. Missed my radio show again this week. :PPP

4. Students in my Politics of Virtual Realities class have pissed me off yet again. This time, we saw Avatar this week (the James Cameron blue aliens one), and the class discussion about it was absolutely dismissive of its racism and other problematic aspects. And when I tried to bring it up, the professor ended up telling me, "You get a gold star for working up the nerve to disagree with everyone else, but you're still wrong." She said it was a joke. Mmhmm. :/

(For the record, Avatar was mediocre to average at best. Stunning visuals, and Sigourney Weaver was actually pretty awesome, but everything else was hackneyed and predictable and cheesy. I know I'm supposed to ~~~suspend my disbelief~~~ when watching movies like this, but this was ridiculous. It was bearable, though, I'll give it that. Would've been better if Col. Quaritch had a shirtless scene, though. /shameless XD)

5. We've been getting warmer weather around here lately -- temps finally hit 80°F/27°C today. This is not a bad thing, in and of itself, but it's happened really suddenly, the humidity has been a huge shock, and I'm slowly starting to get my seasonal allergies again. Wonderful.

The Good:

1. Some of my African Politics classes were canceled this week because the professor is in Cameroon right now. So there's that, at least.

2. I'm officially done with my Social Movements class! Today I did my final project, which was a group project where we had to come up with talking points, an action plan, and a stump speech for a hypothetical new organization devoted to abolishing the death penalty. And I think we did pretty fucking well, if I do say so myself. :D We still have class next week (the last class), but I don't need to do anything for it, and we have no exams, so it's one less thing I have to worry about.

3. Speaking of Social Movements: our class recently did a compilation of all the big-ass papers we wrote earlier in the semester. My essay is on pages 54-64.

4. I started watching Community recently, and I really really really REALLY REALLY like it! I don't normally go for these kinds of shows, but god-DAMN I love this one! The jokes are absolutely spot on, and it's so funny the outlandishness of the situations don't really matter. Now I'm going to be on the lookout for fic and icons and fandom and all that good stuff. [personal profile] radiovolume and [personal profile] ninasafiri, YOU ARE TOTALLY AT FAULT FOR THIS. 8DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

5. The new episode of Pioneer One is coming out tomorrow/today! Can't wait! ^_^;

*****************************************************************************

And now for the meme:

Previous songs under the cut... )

Today's songs under the cut because there's quite a bit under here. ^_^; )

DAY 20: The last song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes.
DAY 21: Your favorite song.
DAY 22: A song that someone has sung to you.
DAY 23: A song that you cannot stand to listen to.
DAY 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend.
DAY 25: A song you could listen to all day without getting tired.

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
So I managed to finish the entirety of Ender's Game in about eight hours. It was for my Politics of Virtual Realities class; I didn't have to have the whole thing read until Wednesday, but apparently I got so caught up in it that I just had to finish it as soon as I could. At least some of my work is getting finished ahead of time. XD Anyway, it was certainly a compelling read, and it's going to stick with me for a while, but I wouldn't say it was a great book, per se. I think there are a couple of things about it that bother me, but I can't quite put my finger on them just yet. In any case, it's made me curious about the whole Enderverse (even though the author is a homophobic bigot, UGH :PPP) -- does anyone know if the other books and stories are any good?

I also finished Yoko Ogawa's The Diving Pool recently for another class, and I enjoyed that as well! If you enjoy (or think you'd enjoy) subtly twisted psychological horror, I highly recommend it. ;-) And speaking of horror, today I managed to watch Nosferatu, the 1922 silent German Expressionist film that's essentially a retelling of the Dracula story. It was certainly a good movie, especially for what it managed to do for its time and what it influenced in later decades.

Anyway, I'm beginning to suspect the insomnia I've been experiencing the past few days has to do with the sertraline. I went up to a 150mg dose a little over a week ago, and the sleeping problems started a few days after that. Today I went back down to 100mg to see if that helps, though I think it's going to take a little bit for my body to adjust before I notice anything. Right now I feel restless, overtired, a little dizzy, and very slightly nauseous all at the same time (though thankfully, not to the point where I'm all "OMG I'm going to throw up!").

Not much else has been going on IRL -- aside from a few things I'll mention later, it was a rather boring week. And yet, many things happened at the same time. If that makes any sense. ^_^; For obvious reasons, I can't explain it any further right now, but I will soon.

So before I go to bed tonight, here's the meme. Hope everyone out there is feeling better than I am right now. :/

Previous days behind the cut... )

DAY 13: A song that reminds you of a former friend.



This reminds me of an Internet fandom friend I knew about 3-4 years ago, since I'm pretty sure she introduced me to this song. The friendship ended rather messily, but I've made my peace with it, especially since I realized it was with very good reason. Sometimes I still feel the urge to get back in touch with her, though, just to see how she's doing.

DAY 14: A song that reminds you of your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Again, since I've never had a Significant Other (at least not just yet), this one must be skipped as well. (This is getting to be a bit sad, isn't it? 8D)

DAY 15: A song you love singing along to.
DAY 16: A song that has made you cry.
DAY 17: A song that makes you want to dance.
DAY 18: A song you love but rarely listen to.
DAY 19: The first song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes.
DAY 20: The last song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes.
DAY 21: Your favorite song.
DAY 22: A song that someone has sung to you.
DAY 23: A song that you cannot stand to listen to.
DAY 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend.
DAY 25: A song you could listen to all day without getting tired.

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
1. So I've just been made one of the new maintainers for [livejournal.com profile] durarara, which is very exciting! Even though I'm a total lurker and not exactly the most active guy in the fandom. (OH GOD WHAT THE HELL DID I GET MYSELF INTO DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD:) Anyway, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or if there are any not-so-funny shenanigans I don't already know about, feel free to PM me, e-mail me (mecteol@gmail.com), or leave a comment in my latest public entry on this journal. I do try to keep tabs on everything as much as possible, so I'll definitely try to respond ASAP. (And while we're at it, here are the rules in case you need a refresher.)

Between that and [livejournal.com profile] drrr_bigbang seriously tempting me, I just might get more involved in the fandom after all. I still haven't finished rewatching the series, and I haven't yet gotten a chance to look at episodes 12.5 and 25 and the light novels, so I should probably get on that when I have the chance.

2. All right, RL update! This past Friday was the Spring Student Symposium, where students talk about the independent work they've done this past year, whether it's thesis work, senior essays, or anything else they've been researching on their own time. It's very cool because you get to talk to your friends about all the interesting stuff they've done, all in a pretty relaxed atmosphere. Some of the presentations I went to included ones on post-apocalyptic fiction, why the Taliban have gotten stronger in Afghanistan over the past few years, factors that affect how long insurgencies last, a sociological analysis of a campus celebrity, Jerry Springer, prospects for Korean reunification, honor killings in Turkey, the English-only movement in the U.S. and why it's completely and utterly stupid, how hard it is to translate fiction, attitudes toward beach littering in Chile, and ecopsychology. If some of them sound boring, trust me, they weren't -- the kinds of larger themes people talked about were fascinating, and I learned a ton. A perfect event for eggheads like me. XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

(Oh, and there was an impromptu Improv Everywhere-style dance-off in the main area of the science building during the reception at the end of the day. And it was pretty fucking awesome, if I do say so myself! ^_^;)

3. Before I forget, I'd like to mention HELA, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help Afghan women, primarily through building schools, developing other education programs for women, and building and maintaining wells, among other things. What's really good about this group is that they work with the Afghan government and existing structures and systems in order to make sure these projects can stick around for the long term (something I know [livejournal.com profile] mcollinknight can appreciate). The president of HELA is a senior at my college originally from Afghanistan, and she's also the executive director of the Afghan Youth Initiative. Here's some more info about her, and here's an interview she did on NBC's Today show back in September. Please spread the word; this is a great cause that more people should know about!

4. Last Friday I also went to Playing at War, a one-man play put on by a senior Theatre/History double-major about British theatre -- especially plays put on by British soldiers -- during the American Revolution. The student played William Dunlap, a playwright who wrote the first history of American theatre in 1832; he was also a British Loyalist who wasn't a big fan of Washington and his ilk, and it showed. (Like how he mentioned how the Sons of Liberty wanted to ban theatre because it was a "foreign influence" and "un-American," even to the point of burning one down in New York City after it was known that the controversial Stamp Act had been repealed. Nevermind that the theatre had an important role to play for the people living in the colonies at the time. Sound familiar?) It was a fascinating alternate look at history, especially something that's often ignored, and it was interesting to hear about the British military's appreciation of theatre, which is something you wouldn't expect. I definitely don't regret going. (Especially since I got in for free! :B)

5. I finally got around to finishing Kafka on the Shore, and it was EXCELLENT. I had been meaning to read that one for a while now, and I'm glad I did! Highly recommended. ;-)

6. Has anyone seen the first episode of A Game of Thrones yet? It's gotten a lot of hype lately, but I'm wondering what people thought of it if they saw it, or if they've read the books. I won't have a lot of time in the next few days, so I'm wondering if it's worth it.

Well, that's about it for me right now. 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)
Ugh, this week was a total bust. I hardly got any of my work done -- especially the activist stuff for Social Movements -- I didn't get a chance to do most of the things I wanted to do, I didn't look for any jobs or things like that, I'm still angsting over the summer job I wanted that won't work out, the pictures for my class yearbook all came out horrible, a bunch of other little things I won't mention here, and I've just been lethargic and unmotivated the whole time, doing nothing but sitting at the computer all day. And I go back to college tomorrow. And I have an hour-long exam on Monday morning that I barely studied for. Wonderful. :PPP

I mean, I suppose none of this is really all that bad, since none of my assignments for classes were all that urgent, and some of these other things can be fixed rather easily. Besides, I've decided that it's probably a good idea to wait to get a job until I get my driver's license, because it would be really hard for me to get a job otherwise, considering my parents' work schedules and the piss-poor public transportation around here. Not to mention my mom wants us to go on a family vacation sometime this summer, so there's that too. >_>; Things could always be worse, I suppose, but even though things aren't bad, per se, they're just......blah. Let's just hope life picks up once I get back; after the exam on Monday, I won't have any major assignments due for another month, and I plan on skipping all the schoolwork I can afford to skip, making sure I enjoy and make the most out of the last few weeks of college in the meantime.

The only things of note I did this week was start rewatching A:tLA yet again, and seeing two movies, the Italian movie The Right Distance, which was awesome, and the Korean film A Frozen Flower, which sucked horribly. I've been meaning to write a long-winded rant on A Frozen Flower (yes, I hate it that much), but I'll have to get around to it later. Maybe. ^_^;  (Oh yes, and the latest episode of Pioneer One, which was awesome as always.  :D)

Here are the only two plans I have for summer so far:
--June 4: Okkervil River will be playing at Toad's Place. It's close by, it's on a Saturday night, and I really want to go!
--June 8-12: Trip to California for my cousin's high school graduation. I'm definitely looking forward to this, especially since I love the Bay Area and I've wanted to go back since I visited three years ago. (Yes, this means spending a good portion of my 22nd birthday on an airplane, but it's all good. XD)

Also, [livejournal.com profile] queer_fest has released its list of prompts! Here are some that really caught my attention, and hope someone gets around to fill:

Cool prompts and ramblings on them behind the cut.... )

Finally, so that this post isn't completely pointless, here are some links:

--Ten adverts that shocked the world -- This is why I won't go into advertising, and you shouldn't either.
--Creepy app warns of an end to privacy
--Behind the Scenes: How Do You Get Into Amherst? -- Warning: Likely to be very disheartening and rage-inducing
--How Americans defeated efficiency with consumerism
--More Black Men Now in Prison System than Were Enslaved
--For Lovers and Fighters -- A long but EXCELLENT piece on polyamory, queer and trans* identities, and what love actually is (hint: it has nothing to do with romance) -- *HIGHLY RECOMMENDED*
--[personal profile] fightingarrival: "I have trouble following conversations on Tumblr" -- in which Sucker Punch and female empowerment is discussed, and Sady Doyle from Tiger Beatdown fucks up royally.
--The Male German Bodybuilder That Got Gandhi All Hot and Bothered
--Straight Gamer Calls for "No Homosexuality Option" in Dragon Age 2; Game Maker Responds: Shut It -- I'm only posting this link for the video. (Is it bad that I want to play this game now? XD)
--Information Is Beautiful!
--Color Picker Pen by Jinsu Park -- THIS IS SUCH A COOL INVENTION OMG *_*
--Nature photography by Henrik Just -- HOLY CRAP Y'ALL THIS STUFF IS AMAZING :O
--"Animal portraits" by Alex Castro
--DADT photography by Jeff Sheng
--Strange Maps @ Big Think
--What would've happened if Peanuts was written by Charles Bukowski.
--3eanuts, in which the last panel of Peanuts strips are omitted.

That's about it for me right now -- now time for me to stay up for a few more hours and regret it when I have to get up early in the morning. :B

quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
Dear Politics of Virtual Realities class,

A few things y'all need to remember:

1) When talking about transgender people wanting gender-neutral bathrooms, saying things like, "If you're a trans woman, why are you demanding extra things? You're a woman, use the woman's bathroom!" is a really shitty and disrespectful thing to say. As well as referring to trans* people as making a "lifestyle choice."

2) The student who tried to write the e-mail to the whole economics department blasting a certain lecture as racist, sexist, and classist is not some stupid wannabe activist who deserves to be laughed at. Yes, he probably could've worded his rant better, and I'll concede that maybe trying to send the e-mail to all econ majors and minors wasn't the smartest thing to do (not that he could, anyway, since he doesn't have the clearance). But don't blast him for ranting when he "hadn't read the paper" the lecturer wrote and lectured about -- the student did read the paper, and still thought it was racist, sexist, and classist. And the paper (and lecture) is racist, sexist, and classist, and it's only fair that someone is protesting that his tuition money is going to people who espouse those views. And don't go, "But FREE SPEECH!" at me; if this college was truly committed to free speech, it would give people an appropriate public forum (not e-mail) to criticize and debate these views. (At least we can agree that the econ department chair's response was really condescending.)

3) The Tea Party is racist. I don't care if y'all think I'm "generalizing," or that I'm being "extreme," or that I should actually know some Tea Party members personally before I say such things. "But it's impossible that everyone in the Tea Party is racist!" Sorry, but you don't know what racism actually is. Get a fucking clue.

No love,
[personal profile] quadruplify

*************************************************************************************

In case you're wondering, here's the abstract of the paper/lecture in question in point #2:

This paper borrows from the tradition of other social sciences in considering the impact that “culture” (broadly defined as the economic and social environment in which the poor live) plays in determining early, non-marital childbearing. Along with others before us, we hypothesize that the despair and hopelessness that poor, young women may face increases the likelihood that they will choose to give birth at an early age outside of marriage. We derive a formal economic model that incorporates the role a woman’s perception of economic success may play in determining her childbearing and marital outcomes. We operationalize this perception mainly by using the level of income inequality that exists in a woman’s state of residence. We empirically investigate whether low socioeconomic status (SES) women are more responsive to differences in the level of income inequality in terms of their childbearing and marital outcomes. We find low SES women have more teen, non-marital births when they live in higher inequality locations, all else equal, supporting our hypothesis. The mechanism driving this finding is less frequent use of abortion. For women in their early 20s, higher inequality reduces the prevalence of shotgun marriages among low SES women, leading to more (fewer) non-marital (marital) births.


There was that, and there's the fact that I'm behind on two response papers for that class, and I have another response paper to write for African Politics for Friday. This is about all the frustration I can handle right now. :P

Other than that, though, this week has been going fairly well. Lots of cool stuff has happened over the past few days, but I'm going to hold off talking about some of them for a little bit. Hope everyone else is doing good! :D

In the meantime, have a meme....

The "What I've always wanted to tell you" Meme


...and some music:





quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
1. Firstly, my thoughts and best wishes go out to everyone affected by the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan -- if you're in Japan right now and can read this, I hope you're doing OK, and if you have family and/or friends in Japan I hope you know they're doing OK too! It's assumed the students from my college studying abroad in Japan right now are all right, but the college hasn't confirmed it yet. I also know one of my former Japanese senseis is originally from Sendai, one of the worst hit cities, and if she still has family there I bet she's worried sick. D:

Anyway, here are some pertinent links:

--Al Jazeera liveblog and live feed
--current liveblog @ [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political
--[livejournal.com profile] fruitsgrow's links to live feeds and charities
--[personal profile] azuire's links to live feeds, liveblogs, and charities
--lists of charities: Yahoo || TIME
--[livejournal.com profile] help_japan/[community profile] help_japan -- fandom auction
--something worth keeping in mind

2. So I went to bed at 5 AM last night, following everything that was coming out of Japan, and I didn't get a lot of sleep (just like the past few nights), and by the time I actually felt like doing anything the sun was setting, so I took another mental health day today. Even though that was probably a bad idea, since I have a 3000-5000 word essay due Wednesday, an exam Thursday afternoon, and a 500-750 word essay due Friday. Oh well, I'll manage. :P

3. The comments on this post at [livejournal.com profile] sf_drama really skeeved me out, in particular this thread (warning: bigoted/offensive/erasing comments against genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals). Now, it's not really my place to say what feminism is and/or should be, but wow, way to prove s.e. smith's point. Anyway, I don't plan on visiting sf_d anytime soon. >B[

4. On to happier stuff: the video for The National's "Conversation 16" was released this week. And it is the purest of beauty and the most distilled awesomeness, all in one 4-minute-20-second package. :D



What's better than reenacting movie scenes IRL? )

8. Well, this post turned into a vidspam, didn't it? :PPP Oh well, not much else that was interesting happened this week anyway. Now I'll try to go to bed early, even though I'll probably find some reason to stay up late, as usual. XD


quadruplify: Stuart Staples (lead singer of Tindersticks) surrounded by pigeons ([Music] Tindersticks - pigeons)
1. So after exhausting myself writing two papers yesterday right near the deadline, I'm taking a much-needed break today. Even though I have another five-page paper due Tuesday, and a 3000-5000 word essay due in a week and a half -- which I only found out about last Wednesday. Crap. :( At least I don't have that much else to do this week, and I'm starting to get over my cold, which is good.

2. The only truly cool thing I did this week was go see Andrea Gibson perform in town Tuesday evening, and she was absolutely amazing. Seriously, words can't even describe how good she was (not like I'm all that good describing how good something is when I'm half-tired anyway :PPP)! She had a great on-stage presence with an awesome rapport with the audience, and the way she performed her poetry was, to be slightly clichéd and over-the-top, spellbinding. Definitely worth missing the two screenings I had to go to at the same time. ;-)

(For those of you who aren't familiar with Andrea Gibson, I have links to some videos of her performing in my last entry, but here are some others: "Swingset" || "Crabapple Pirates" || "Unfinished Masterpiece" || "Photograph" || "How It Ends" || "For Eli" || "Andrew")

3. I finally got to see The Social Network today, and I really liked it! It's a very well-done movie -- the acting, dialogue, and cinematography were all top-notch. That said, I still wouldn't put it in my "favorite movies" list, considering that it didn't really grab and engage me the way I was hoping it would. (I still think The King's Speech deserved its Best Picture Oscar anyway. :D)

4. Tai chi has been canceled this semester.  Boo.  DX  At least I didn't pay for the class (even though I was meaning to but decided to wait)?  That's consolation, at least.

5. Finally got around to playing Puerto Rico with the gaming club this afternoon, which I really enjoyed! Check it out if you can/are interested, as it's quite fun. (I also really enjoyed History of the World, which we played a couple of weeks ago, though I don't think I mentioned that yet. :B)

5a. Speaking of games: [livejournal.com profile] vethica recently pointed out to me that an online version of Dominion exists! Even though I'm not at all good at it, I have a lot of fun with this game, and I'm wondering if maybe any of you might be interested in playing? If you're interested but never played before, here's some more information about it, and I've uploaded the game rules here. Anyway, I'm always looking for more opponents, so although I'm not sure when I'll find the time in my busy schedule to fit a couple of games in (even though a game usually lasts around a half hour, so it's not that long), if you're interested in playing just let me know, through AIM (when I'm online), e-mail (mecteol@gmail.com), PMing me, leaving a comment here, whatever. My username over there is quadruplify, BTW, surprise surprise. XD

6. As I mentioned in my last entry, one of my professors this semester did an interview on The Daily Show on Wednesday! If you missed it, here it is:



And for all you Canadians reading this, here's where you can see it.

7. Finally, a big welcome to [livejournal.com profile] thecityofdis, [livejournal.com profile] theeonenonly, [livejournal.com profile] monochromejive, and [livejournal.com profile] minamoto, who I met through various friending memes this week. Hello new people! *waves* I don't have a real intro post right now, but this is the best I've got (or here if you prefer Dreamwidth). If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! :D

(And to those I met over at [livejournal.com profile] russia_sushi, sorry about the lack of giant gay robot ninjas in this post. D: I know the Transformers franchise has some if y'all are interested, but now that I've mentioned it, I.........kinda want to come up with my own. And now I think I have an idea for a book series or movie or TV show in my head right now. Great, just what I need, another one. :3)


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