Showing posts from March, 2013

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Accidental Murderess"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Quarter Eagle Caper"

Box 13 - "Flash of Light"
Sorry for the radio silence. I've been having Adventures in Urgent Care this week, followed by Further Adventures In Insurance Paperwork.

I have what my ED discharge papers rather phlegmatically dub "anxiety disorder NOS". This means that I'm prone to freaking out over... well, not nothing, exactly, but usually either things for which I'm not responsible, or things for which I am responsible, but have already done everything I can to fix. The "NOS" is diagnostician-speak for "not otherwise specified", and it means that I quite clearly have something, which can be described in a patient file, but I don't hit all the checkboxes required for formal panic disorder or PTSD. Basically, once I've started spazzing out over something, there is a certain point past which I cannot physically stop spazzing out over it. I don't know how other people think of it, but it seems to me to be very much like the phenomenon of "kindling" as s…
Random cultural note of the day:

I'm told that in the Marvel vs Capcom games, one of Phoenix Wright's support characters is the police dog Missile, who figures in a couple different cases of the original trilogy. Americans might not immediately recognize the breed, but Missile is a shiba inu. His alternate "costumes" correspond to the various combinations of coat markings and color officially recognized for the breed. The Japanese find it hilarious whenever Missile comes up, as if Gumshoe had promised Phoenix and Maya a working K9 unit, and then shown up with a yappy, derpy little Maltese stuffed into a tote bag.

Centuries ago, shiba inu were mountainside hunting dogs, used in a terrier-like fashion to chase small game out from behind rocks and under bushes. Modern Japanese consider them to be prissy, expensive house pets. Like other Asian spitzes, they're clever, but also prone to snapping at things and very slow to warm to strangers and other dogs -- although, …
Though I am a screaming Ace Attorney fan -- you may have noticed -- I was not really keen on Apollo Justice. Story-wise, I think it was trying entirely too hard to be weird. AA games are notorious for containing not a single completely sane and ordinary person, anywhere, ever. Phoenix likes to think of himself as normal, Edgeworth likes to think of himself as rational, and Franziska likes to think of herself as prepared for anything, which is why all of them spend a good 50% of their time in court going, "wait, what?" Everything starts out fairly ordinary, and then at some point abruptly rockets off at right angles to reality. It takes a bit before you figure out that, say, Edgeworth is a closet Steel Samurai fanboy, and then Phoenix is as mystified as the player. With Apollo Justice, all the weird is right there, smashed into your face, before anyone can even say anything. Phoenix is a card-playing hobo! His assistant is a teenage magician with magic panties! The prosecutor…
I'm not a big tea person. I'm not a big wine person either. My working theory is that I don't like the taste of tannin. (Grape wine, anyway. Plum wine, umeshuu in Japanese, is great stuff with dessert.) Plain Darjeeling tastes like mulch water to me. Earl Grey is drinkable if I dump in an amount of milk and sugar that would horrify actual Brits. I keep trying anyway, because I already don't like coffee, beer, or caviar, and I carry a tiny video game machine with me everywhere I go -- I'm afraid if too many people find out about it, they'll take away my adulting license.

Explaining to people that you don't like tea that tastes like tea will get you looked at funny. The easiest way to avoid this is to instead cultivate a taste for exotic forms of tea whose names are not in English. Bonus points if you pick something that Americans couldn't pronounce correctly if their lives depended on it. "Chai" works all right, but "mugicha", "r…
I've been looking into fanmade Ace Attorney casemakers, because God knows I think writing these things is, if possible, even more fun than playing them. The AA wikia has a decent list of the computer-based ones -- I was about to say "PC-based", but at least two of them seem properly mutli-platform: The Ace Attorney Online casemaker professes to work on any platform that supports a full Firefox installation, and PyWright should work on any platform that supports a Python interpreter.

(They also miss one that's specifically for use on DS flashcards that support homebrew software, Ace Attorney DS. I have an R4 -- never you mind what they're usually used for, they are fantastically handy if you are easily bored on public transit and need to play Day Of The Tentacle on your way to Quincy -- and while the program is an obviously amateur work and can be a skosh touchy about things like 'being the first app run after bootup', it does do what it claims to, and the…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Double Zero"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The S.Q.P. Caper"

Box 13 - "Delinquent's Dilemma"
Promo art for Gyakuten Saiban 5 --

Is it just me, or does the older Phoenix look like he's been taking fashion advice from someone else? A pocket watch and chain is not really something I am seeing Phoenix come up with all on his own. I'm thinking he's more the kind of guy who needed someone else to diplomatically broach the subject of ironing, frankly. Particularly given that even Maya chides him about the state of his office.

I would not be surprised if it turns out to be true, either. There is much snarkery afoot in the Ace Attorney fandom about Big Gay Lawyers; it happens with pretty much any work that runs with the dual themes of competition and friendship, as a lot of Ace Attorney stuff does. It doesn't hurt that Phoenix and Edgeworth are pretty much attached at the childhood, either -- it's a significant part of the setup for the last case of the original game that they were classmates in grade school, and that something Edgeworth did way back when was what…

Scarves, Round Three

These scarves will be up on offer here until March 28, at which point they go up for general perusal on Etsy. Default shipping for locations in the United States is USPS Priority Mail, for $6.95. For international locations or overnight shipping, please inquire at All scarves made of durable acrylic, which is weather-resistant and will not shrink; because the beading is all glass, they are hand-wash, block dry. Every piece is hand-made and unique.

Piece #6

Light blue (color did not photograph well in close up -- the top photo is true-color, the detail not so much) scarf in moss stitch, with dark blue glass bead detail at one end. 9"x 46". $20.
Piece #7

Long royal blue scarf with points, dark iridescent and crystal glass bead detailing at one end. 4.5" x 86" (point-to-point). $20.
Piece #8 Sold!

Double-thick black scarf with yellow Pac-Man motif and pearlescent "power pill" beads. (Note: beading on this one is plastic rather than…

More scarves for sale!

These scarves will be up on offer here until March 27, at which point they go up for general perusal on Etsy. Default shipping for locations in the United States is USPS Priority Mail, for $6.95. For international locations or overnight shipping, please inquire at All scarves made of durable acrylic, which is weather-resistant and will not shrink; because the beading is all glass, they are hand-wash, block dry. Every piece is hand-made and unique.

Piece #4

Double-thick teal muffler with fringe, accented with a row of black and crystal faceted glass beads. 7.5" x 49" (plus fringe). $20.
Piece #5

Double-thick muffler in white with blue stripe and beading accent. Comes with matching bow-brooch for securing. 9" x 46". $20.

Scarves for sale!

I've been AFK for a few days, doing Necessary Life Things. One of these things has been properly finishing and photographing some of the crafting I do in order to put them up for sale.

These scarves will be up on offer here until March 26, at which point they go up for general perusal on Etsy. Default shipping for locations in the United States is USPS Priority Mail, for $6.95. For international locations or overnight shipping, please inquire at All scarves made of durable acrylic, which is weather-resistant and will not shrink; because the beading is all glass, they are hand-wash, block dry. Every piece is hand-made and unique.

Piece #1

Red muffler worked in moss stitch, with barrel-faceted bead embellishment at one end. 9"x 67". $20.
Piece #2

Long bright-white aviator's scarf in garter stitch, with fringe and glass bead detailing at ends. 6" x 81" (plus fringe). $20.
Piece #3 Sold!

Variegated muffler in rose/green, worked in mo…
The weirdest things change with geography, I find. I mean, I realized that Massachusetts was a totally different climate from Arizona, but, never having lived outside the desert before, I didn't realize quite what that meant.

The snow doesn't shock me. ("We might be a little hardcore about winter out here," sez Moggie, still in Flagstaff, who actually turned up to work one day in the recent past solely because it was easier to walk to work from her classes than it was to dig her car out of three feet of morning snowfall and go home.) The ice does. Things do freeze over on the mountain plateau, but there aren't a lot of large water sources to bear witness to this. Puddles develop a skim of ice overnight that can be dangerous to the clumsy or inattentive, and there's an artificial pond out in front of one of the new buildings at NAU that goes solid, but rarely more than that. I walked down to the Esplanade one day in January, and was treated to the boggling sig…
Telephones are one of my least favorite things in the entire world. I have one, and I will happily text people until I wear my thumbprints off, but I basically don't answer any voice call that I'm not explicitly expecting. It drives people bats sometimes, but anyone in my personal life who really needs to get in touch with me knows how to do it without a phone anyway. If I have to use the phone for business, I just grit my teeth and deal.

This is because I learned a long time ago that ringing phones never mean anything good. As batshit as my mother is, her mother was worse. Much worse. I watched her make my mother's life hell right up until the day she died -- which is a story itself -- and one of the ways she did it was via the telephone.

How often do you call your children/parents? Every day? Every few days? Once a week? My grandmother phoned my mother constantly. When I say that, most people assume I mean "calls every day for no good reason, managing to interrupt s…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Iron Maiden"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Fairely-Bright Caper"

Box 13 - "The Last Will And Nursery Rhyme"
I was recently comped a pair of tickets to an event. I have no idea why -- or, rather, I have a lot of ideas why, and I realize I will never know which one of them is correct. This is the case with a lot of human behavior, and dealing with it can really fuck you up when you're trying to work out how you appear to other people.

The event is a recurring one; I happen to have worked with one of the artists involved in the past, and the last time I was at one, someone was quite surprised to hear that I had not been automatically issued complimentary tickets to the subsequent gatherings. The artists all get them, but so far as I knew, auxiliary people like makeup/hair and assistants and models didn't. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I sent the organizer an email to inquire. I got quite a polite, cheerful response to the effect that normally the auxiliary didn't get them, but she'd be happy to give them to me anyway, and they would be waiting for me when I attended the n…
Man, internet, why you gotta be like this?

The people responsible for Rebecca Black and "Friday" are inexplicably still in business. They did it again to someone named Jenna Rose, except worse. I refuse to link to the real video, on the grounds that hits would just encourage them, but here's someone's critique of the song "OMG", which is... pretty omg, honestly.

If you don't want to watch it, the gist is that someone has taken a 12-year-old girl and tried to get her to vamp for the camera. She's not very good at it -- which is, in its own way, reassuring -- but the fact that someone actually thought this was a good idea alone strikes me as pretty squicky. The person doing the critique also got sick of the song, which has about seven words total, and replaced the track with some death metal after they ran out of synonyms for EWWWW.

First things first: Divorced from context, there is nothing actually wrong with this song. It's stupid, but there…

Fun things to feed rats

Whole fruit. I used to give our first set of rats a whole clementine orange and let them argue over it. Eventually one of them figured out the best way to take possession of it was to get there first, open his mouth as wide as he could, gator-style, sink his teeth into the peel, and then just let go of the cage bars. He landed with an almighty WHOMPH in the bedding on the bottom of the cage, with an orange fully half as big as he was in his mouth. It took them a day or so, but eventually I could reach into the cage and fish out a perfectly clean orange peel, intact but for one hole, just about the size of a rat face. The guys I have now think that eviscerating a whole banana is loads of fun.

Uncooked pasta. I feed them dried rotini and elbows and stuff on a regular basis, just so they have something they can nibble on to keep their teeth worn down, but the entertainment value of pasta varies directly with its length. Comedy is feeding an eight-inch rat a ten-inch piece of uncooked ling…
Continuing on my theme of adoring people who dress like lunatics, meet Kerli:

"Walking On Air"

She's Estonian, and does a lot of very cute, very clubby europop. She has about 90% of the wardrobe insanity of Lady Gaga -- she thinks stuffed animals are completely valid fashion accessories, even when you glue them to your shoes, but I've never seen her pantsless or wearing meat -- with 0% of the pretentious batshittery. She's kind of a bubbly kid.

"Army of Love"

She's terribly optimistic. It's almost Beatles-y, in a way -- as if she thinks if you sing 'all we need is love' enough times, it'll be true. We're probably not that lucky, but it's a nice thought.

Kerli is pretty dedicated to dressing like that at all times, if at all possible. It's a style she's dubbed 'bubblegoth'. She's also hardcore DIY about it -- if you go through her site, particularly her blog, she details where she gets all this mad makeup a…

Rat, you are tiny and insane

Me: Psst, rat! Would you like some of the crust from my sandwich?

Rat: *snifnifnif* Meh.

Me: ...okay. Maybe a dried chickpea from your treats jar?

Rat: Ehhh. I guess.

Me: How about this slip of paper that was once in contact with the foil wrapper that was once in contact with a piece of chocolate? Which I ate a couple of hours ago, and is therefore no longer anywhere near the wrapper.


They're remarkably smart for critters with the cranial capacity of like half a ping-pong ball, but sometimes I wonder about their sanity.
Jesus Christ, I feel like I've been drowning over here. Too many smaller things to deal with can be just as catastrophic as a couple of HUGE things hitting at the same time.

Trying to cover a bunch of stuff I've missed over the past couple of weeks:

Tabbiewolf was good enough to whip up a sketch -- and even color it! -- after I got curious enough to ask what kind of critter she thought I'd be. (Normally people go straight for 'fox', probably because of the red hair and va-va-voom.) Tabbiewolf is a freelance artist specializing in toonified critter avatars and the like, so if happen to be looking for one, head on over and ask about projects. She drew me as a bobcat, which is one I've never gotten before. Cute, non? I sent her to my online portfolio for reference images, and I am amused to note that I apparently really am that busty. I don't tend to think of myself as top-heavy, especially since one of my best friends has knockers literally the size of her hea…
One of the more interesting things about body language is that it's only partially cultural. And it's the weirdest things that turn out to be learned. Ever see a girl run in anime and think, God that's weird, it must be some sort of visual shorthand for something, or just the way the running motion is traditionally stylized. And it even looks like evidence that Hitomi in Tenkuu no Escaflowne -- a young woman who's unusually gender-neutral in most things in an anime that's infamous for, among other things, being one of the few to straddle the genre line between 'boy's cartoon with giant robots in' and 'girl's cartoon with melodrama and romance' -- moves like Westerners would expect when she's practicing on the school athletic track, but does the weird arm wave thing when she has an emotional epiphany later and sprints for her romantic foil at the end. Nope. Japanese girls really do run like that. Not all of them, because human variation w…

Weekend Radio Theater

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "Murder By Moonlight"

The Adventures of Sam Spade - "The Insomnia Caper"

Box 13 - "The Philanthropist"
Just as a side note -- yes, I am aware that there are Professor Layton novels/puzzle books out in Japan. To the best of my ability to determine, they have not been, nor are they going to be, published in any other language. The three are:

Professor Layton and The Wandering Castle
(Layton-kyouju to Samayoeru Shiro / レイトン教授とさまよえる城)Professor Layton and The Phantom Deity
(Layton-kyouju to Kaijin Goddo / レイトン教授と怪人ゴッド)Professor Layton and The Forest of Illusion
(Layton-kyouju to Gen'ei no Mori / レイトン教授と幻影の森) [Edit: Also that there's a manga called Professor Layton and the Cheerful Incident (Layton-kyouju to Yukai Jiken / レイトン教授とユカイ事件), which is aimed mainly at children. And manga adaptations of the games, and anime books for the film.]

If anybody cares to send me some of these things -- a legible scan or PDF, I mean; I'm not holding my breath for someone to send me actual physical books, although you can if you want -- I'll have a bash at translating them. Be aware that it will …
I love Professor Layton games. Loooooooooove them. When I got my paws on the first one, I totally failed to notice that I had stayed up all night poking at it until the sun started trying to sneak in between the slats on the blinds. They're some combination of thinky and quaint and comforting and rewarding that apparently functions much like crack cocaine, as far as my brain is concerned.

It probably has to do with the way the things are structured. The series was originally inspired by a collection of puzzle books by Akira Togo, and the fact that the Brain Age games for DS had sold surprisingly well, so at heart they're really nothing more than a long sequence of brainteasers from a wide variety of genres. Solve a puzzle, get told I'm right! Solve enough puzzles, get to see more cut scenes! It's very Pavlovian.

The story, I thought would be a nice little lagniappe, but rather to my surprise, it can get quite involving. The adventures of Professor Layton and his appren…
Yesterday I found a blog called "Does Every Woman Have An Eating Disorder?" This... disturbs me. Greatly.
I know I've written before about how I can't relate to a lot of girl-pop (and even young feminist!) literature, because basically all of it is predicated on the assumption that every woman hates her body. They mean well, but that's about all you can say for them. A lot of the pop stuff gives diet and exercise advice, which is generally stupid and not helpful, but at least not intentionally malicious; most of the feminist stuff preaches size/body acceptance, which is better but often has problems remaining all-inclusive rather than slipping into 'real women have curves' (so boyishly-built women and transladies who haven't had surgery or horomones aren't 'real'?) territory. It all presumes that the default state for woman is thinking that her corpus is a hideous blob, courtesy the evil bloodthirsty media, and that everyone is struggling …