Showing posts from November, 2014
Let leftover season begin! The critters have been enjoying such traditional rat holiday recipes as, "stuffing mix crumbs drizzled with last of eggnog," "wilted vegetable salad," "bowl of turkey parts (misc)," and the coveted dessert item, "food-paper from chocolate cupcake." They are filled with scavenger-ly joy. And sleep. Mainly sleep. They spend most of the day snoozing in an amorphous wad of rat fur, with the occasional tail poking out. But when they're awake, they're thrilled.

I have been faring less well. I haven't posted much because I've spent the past couple of months cycling between being in a phlegmy coma and being in a state I can only describe as "annoyingly high". I caught some kind of respiratory something in early October, and every time I start to get over it, I catch another thing. Or relapse, I'm not sure. I keep wobbling between able to medicate myself back to stupid but otherwise normal, and hac…
So, a couple of months ago, I went to a casting call in Cambridge. Someone on Model Mayhem had asked for runway volunteers for an alternative couture show on New Year's Eve. I like runway shows, because I get to wear mad things that I am in no way responsible for storing or dry cleaning afterwards, and I thought it might be a good idea to have something to do on NYE besides watch movies and get the rats drunk.

I went down to the call, which happened to be at a tiny gallery I knew mostly because I passed it every time I walked to the dance studio. It's well-known locally for reeking of weed in the evenings (common) and being the home of a very large, very friendly creature who is either a small bear or a Siberian husky, and who will occasionally try to follow you down Prospect Street, if you look like you might have food or time for ear scratches (less common). I managed to forget my runway heels and had to borrow from another model, but did bring a hoop just for the hell of it…


Just so's y'all know how my night is going:

I finally found someone who could repair my Wintel machine for a price within my budget ("Would you accept payment in baked goods?"), so Natasha is back in my custody, and charges once again. Since she's been gone, I've been working alternately on an Ubuntu 12 laptop (Maleficent, pictured at left) and a Macbook on loan from Circlet (Nekomata, pictured at right). Maleficent is fine for web browsing and she does technically run the software I use for work -- I switched entirely to using GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, Neo/Open Office, and Chrome/Chromium specifically so that everything would work the same across all machines, in fact -- but she is elderly and slow, and does not like my graphics tablet. Nekomata works dandy but is a Mac, therefore not my favorite, and also not technically mine, so I daren't touch most of the stuff on the HDD.

Now that I have Natasha back, I have the unenviable task of migrating all of my …

Reasons I should not read comments basically anywhere ever

I have a confession to make: I'm starting to really hate the word 'zie'. Sometimes 'xie'. I have begun to twitch whenever I see it.

I have no quarrel with the job it's doing; being a gender-neutral singular pronoun is perfectly respectable work. If you ask me to use 'zie' when I talk about you, I'll do it, because I believe in giving basic respect to all humans. Hell, I'll refer to you in third person, if you want. But I will secretly in the very back of my mind cringe and start to think of you as one of those people who demands Special Snowflake Status just for the sake of getting it. It's a marker. Sort of like there's nothing I find inherently offensive about being Texan, being Christian, or being Republican, but anyone who makes it a point to tell me they are all of these in the same conversation is also implying a lot of other things about their beliefs and politics that make them someone I probably don't really want to talk to.

I don't know if you've ever run into it, but there's a thing on YouTube called the "accent tag". It's a list of vocabulary words and questions that you're supposed to answer on camera in whatever your native accent is, basically to show people on other parts of the planet how you talk. Most of them are pretty ordinary, but occasionally you get a fantastic mashup.

This young lady here popped up when I was searching for "transatlantic accent". She has not actually got one -- it's a specific regionless accent, popular among actors and some of the American upper classes prior to and during WWII -- but she dubbed hers this, as she picked it up accompanying her father on a lot of ocean crossings as a kid.

The word list is really just a collection of shibboleths, and it's very heavily biased towards American regional accents. "Wash" turns into "warsh" in Missouri; "caramel", "New Orleans", "mayonnais…
Something which is often overlooked when studying media history is the history of individual pieces -- you can find a history of "silent film" or "Charlie Chaplin's silent films" or "Charlie Chaplin's last silent film", but rarely if ever do you find an investigation of one particular copy of that work. Most media historians I've met don't even know how to do this sort of archaeological excavation of a image. Some A/V engineers I've met have, but they don't; they're more concerned with observing the various tell-tale aberrations and eliminating them from the signal chain. The closest thing I know of would probably be a forensics position of some kind, dedicated to identifying sources and forgery.

Watching the picture -- not the contents of the picture, necessarily, but the raw unprocessed image -- can tell you a lot.

In 1914, a man named Winsor McCay made a short animated film called "Gertie the Dinosaur". It was uplo…