jarissa: (Default)
Step one:  abdominal surgery, outpatient basis
Step two:  near-panic because I have the urge to urinate and NOTHING IS HAPPENING.  (The near-panic part is probably due to being stoned on the remnants of the anaesthetic.)
Step three:  move back and forth between bathroom and bed every threeish minutes.
Step four:  finally relax enough to let the bladder unclench
Step five:  pass water, essentially, at least once an hour regardless of how recently painkiller has been taken.  Occasionally remember to chug some Gatorade.
Step six:  body shape actually changes!

To wit, for the first time in over a year, my breasts stick further out than my belly.  No idea if the other fat collection centers have also seen changes, as I'm still a little sore and drugged to try viewing my silhouette in a mirror.

Also, I'm pretty sure I more-than-flashed a friend who came by to supervise me (and keep the cats out of the way) while Dearly Beloved went to the pharmacy.  I owe apologies.  Probably giving the apologies in the form of Ohio Buckeyes (no-bake peanut butter cookies) would not be appropriate in this specific instance, given the coloration of the cookies.  Anybody got a good recipe for Brain Bleach?

(That's probably a good definition of friendship, actually:  a friend will keep your cats out of your sanitized bedroom.  A REAL friend will steer your mostly-naked person back into bed despite visual TMI!)

Once I can finally get down the stairs, I need to break out the Wii Balance Board and find out how much weight I've lost.
jarissa: (Default)
Thanks to the Anonymous User who saw my frustrated previous post, I have had a complete turnaround in my WildTangent Support troubles.  In fact, they're almost completely resolved, in the space of one day!  Joe R. ran a couple of tests, eventually got the right squirrelly bit of information out of me, and determined that my problem was that I was filling out the "Alternate Email 1" (and sometimes, "Alternate Email 2") blocks on the form.  Those have to be blank, apparently; the widget for Email Support on their website, created by RealNow, works fabulously except when those optional fields have content.

Hopefully, in the integration of support accounts to each other and to the main user account, the buggy fields will be removed completely from the form.  I can certainly understand why they don't want to just put their email address out for any spambot or phisher to see.

Thank you again, WildTangent Person, for spotting my post and bringing me to the right person's focused attention!
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I have a thread, slightly downpage on the WildTangent Games forum, entitled "How Do I Get Help With 'email Support' Errors?" that a Wildtangent person was kind enough to answer once last week.

Joe R.'s answer was polite and well-made, but not the solution I needed.

No Wildtangent person came back to that thread, probably because they didn't realize I was still broken.

So on the theory that only new threads are noticed right now, this is my last try to get help directly from WildTangent's support people. 

I'm a little frustrated because:  this has taken over two weeks now, because I had just purchased $50 worth of WildCoins less than a week before the troubles started, and because I used to recommend the WildTangent game console and WildCoins system on Fark.com and LiveJournal (and in person, to friends and relatives) as a fairly reliable system with nearly perfect support in the rare case of a failure.  I'm certainly not going to claim I'm "a good customer" -- I've never done a single transaction over a thousand dollars, so I'm merely "a customer" -- and I know better than the self-centered bit of nonsense, "the customer is always right".  But I shouldn't have to research and scramble on my own to figure out what level of detail might be needed to resolve a website issue, and repeatedly present myself to the attention of the only people I can access (who aren't even the ones responsible for resolving my "please refund session" issue, because my current main issue is that I cannot access those people!), and locate your corporate headquarters address and telephone number on assumption that another week is going to go by without the WildTangent Support Department having been able to provide me with a useful response and send me on my merry way.

Please, in the name of sunshine and electrons, help me out and stick with me until I'm resolved.  That's all I am asking.  Your first answer might, for some reason having to do with the wackiness of the World Wide Web and entropy in general, not solve my problem.
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I started playing City of Heroes in October 2004, and of course made my favorite original PC from our superhero-genre tabletop campaign as my first character -- mostly as a baseline, to see what the game system can do.  I'd tried a few other superhero games and MMOs, and not really been impressed; CoH had just that right combination to keep me coming back, on my usual very casual basis, to see what storylines have been added while I was distracted by purse muggings.

And not only am I a casual player, but I'm also highly likely to go back and work through lower-level content, often in support of a SuperGroup teammember, but sometimes just because I want to see the story.

Today, Jarissa (CoH Edition) hit 50.  I still have a batch of storylines to finish, and I've never done most of the Task Forces, and I'm adoring the Tip system, and there's something new happening at almost every holiday.... but, since the beginning, I've known that 50 is the end of the game; so I've viewed the approach of 50 as a bittersweet landmark, much to be avoided.  Now at last, I'm finishing a game I've enjoyed for six years.

Or maybe I'm not.
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In any fandom, the ones most likely to be remembered are the ones who behave particularly unusually.  Since Chik-Fil-A decided it'd be an awesome idea to host Atlanta football games every Labor Day Weekend with as many not-from-Atlanta teams as they could get, and encourage the fans of said teams to stay in the Peachtree Center area's hotels (instead of, y'know, hosting pre- and post-game events at the hotels closer to the actual stadium so fans would prefer to stay there overnight), we've had a rapidly increasing problem with the uglier jock-wannabe football fans invading Dragon*Con.  They demand handouts of liquor from convention people who aren't even hosting room parties; they try to force (or buy) their way into the badgeholder-only events, and they gleefully sexually assault the costumers.  And, having ugly minds in the first place, they think all of their behavior is justified by our very existence.

(I have absolutely NO problem with the football fans who are decent human beings, except that as decent human beings they ought to be publicly heaping verbal scorn on the miscreants wearing their colors.  But that's another discussion entirely.)

Last year, the D*C host hotels and Dragon*Con Security started limiting access to the host hotel areas to only persons who either had a Dragon*Con badge or a room key for that particular hotel in their immediate possession.  This helped a bunch, yet by then the hoodlums were already stealing badges; regardless of the circumstances, lost (and not turned in to Security) or stolen, a lack of badge can only be remedied by going to Registration the next morning and purchasing a new badge for the remainder of the weekend.*  As convenient and sturdy as those badge clips are, no design is going to keep a non-piercing metal clip from succumbing to a hard yank.  Sturdy lanyards, attached through the hole in the top of the badge, are going to be the best theft-proofing short of an encompassing case on a metal chain.

I'm not making sturdy lanyards.  Firstly, I am not anywhere near that skilled; secondly, others are already doing it far better than my meager talents could ever provide, and they're doing it at a very reasonable price.  Their lanyards are leather or chainmail, and they look VERY nice.

No, I'm making so-so lanyards, at best.  I'm using yarn, the kind sturdy enough to make a purse, generally acrylic, but -- and this is key -- always ugly.  My goal is to make sure that even the Mad Hatter would question my artistic taste.  In fact, Count Blogg and his Princess would even suggest that those colors don't go well with anything.

One advantage is that the uglier yarns tend to stay in the store long enough to go on sale.  Since I'm absolutely not planning to recoup my expenses, much less turn any material profit, discounted prices are very helpful.

Anyway, I'm picking up a skein or so at a time, and fingerknitting it into reasonable lanyard lengths.  My plan is to spend some time next Dragon*Con, Thursday afternoon and Friday, trading my Fugly Lanyards to people for symbolic prices:  a good deed, or some time spent helping other people to get their own badges, or entertaining parts of the line, or running errands for Disability Services, or schlepping refreshments for the Registration volunteers.  Or, if all else fails, a nickel.  The important thing is to get people to be aware of the chance that some entitled prat is going to be showing up during the convention, and trying to steal a badge so he can get in to the Dragon*Con Only spaces for nefarious purposes.

I'm figuring that very few of my Fugly Lanyards are going to get used through the end of the con.  A shoelace would be better:  just as resistant to yanking, just as machine washable, less visually bewildering, and having a smaller chance of triggering an allergic reaction.  (Though acrylic will help with that somewhat, and may be okay for animal-fiber-allergic types if not okay for eczema types.)  Most of the people who take me up on this offer will be digging out or purchasing a decent lanyard later on; this'll at least get them there without much danger.

Right now, I'm using "Southwest Ombre" (color 02006) from the Loops & Threads "Impeccable" (TM) line.  If that link works, it's currently the second sample in the first row; that sample doesn't accurate convey the sense one gets in person of "WHY would anyone put these colors so closely together?!"  In fact, I like each of the component colors, it's the mixture in rapid series that can cause a check for loss of SAN.  I can (and will!) do worse, though:  my next skein, already set aside for the purpose, will be a color I can only describe as "Tim Burton's Lurid Pumpkin Depression".

A couple of years ago, when I was first learning how to fingerknit, I wound up with some glow-in-the-dark yarn.  I'd love to find it again.  I think it might've been by Bernat, but I no longer have any of the labels.  A line of UFO-greenblue alongside a nice, dull brass or grey, that'd be AWESOME at D*C.  In an "ow, my eyeballs!" way, of course.

I don't know how many of these I'll get done over the next year.  Not enough, certainly.  But I see the problem, and I am going to be part of the solution instead of just yammering about what ought to be done, because fifty thousand of my closest peers deserve a trouble-free time on Labor Day Weekend.

And, let's be honest here, because trading away these ugly things will entertain the hell out of me.

*I don't actually know what happens when it's an Eternal or Guest badge that's stolen.  I take for granted that we would still have to buy a rest-of-the-weekend badge for that year.
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Jennifer Rardin, author of the Jaz Parks series, unexpectedly passed away this past Monday, September 20th.

My heart goes out to her family.  I am shocked and saddened by the news; her last few posts were as cheerful, engaging, and contented as all the much earlier posts she'd written.

I would respectfully like to point out to The Management that this is yet another important piece of evidence regarding how much better reality would be with proper foreshadowing and story flow.
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It's technically no longer Friday Night here at Dragon*Con.  I have taken pictures from a photoshoot of Greek mythological figures, plus some awesome pictures of Thor and Hercules (from the Avengers!) and their buddy/target Spiderman, a perfect-at-zero-feet Sorceress of Greyskull, and some gorgeous couples (like Wonder Woman and the God of War, or Han Solo and Princess Leia).  This album should be viewable by the public, on Google's  Picasa service, without having to log in.  All pictures are offered on the Creative Commons 

Once the Master Post of Photos goes up on  [livejournal.com profile] dragoncon I will also post a link there.
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Dragon*Con is coming, and I'm storing up some stock info in this post which I will improve with custom conditions for the given situation, plus rephrasing the whole thing in hopefully-entertaining ways.  There's no Ticketmaster this year, so certain popular questions from last year are whittled down to a much more modest size.

Can I pick up Person B's badge? )

Styles available for the above:
GMing an indie tabletop RPG (Pre-Reg Postcard becomes CHARACTER SHEET, permission slip becomes YOUR CHARACTER PROXY, roll d20 + Savoir Faire -- if result is greater than 15, go to alphabet segment for Person A; equal or less than 15, go to Solutions Line, on a botch let five people go ahead of you and then roll again).
Space Marines Drill Instructor.  I'm gonna need a picture for this one.  I wonder if the guys will pose?
Once upon a time there was a beeeeeeYOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUteeeeeeeful princess, and her name was Buttercup....

Chaos Theory

Mon, Aug. 23rd, 2010 20:43
jarissa: (Default)
Grandma's brain isn't functional on one side, and she's not in there.  So now it's a matter of time until the body either has another stroke and shuts off quickly, or winds down and finishes shutting off slowly.

 I still don't have internet, can't get on [livejournal.com profile] dragoncon to tag and read the good news, and it is driving me batty.  I can't get myself to a store to go get hose and sympathy cards for Grandpa and my dad.  All of my stationery is perky.

Back door's installed, though.  So not EVERYthing is going wrong, just enough to keep my scrambling in short bursts.

hard reading

Fri, Aug. 13th, 2010 17:27
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Having the car at my disposal for a doctor's appointment today, I took advantage of some opportunities and picked up things I'd been wanting.  One of those came from a recommendation somewhere here online:  the book Queen Bees & Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.  I saw an interesting comment in passing that this book is useful to women without daughters of the relevant age group because it can help us explain to ourselves some of our adult problems with other women.

Okay, good luck parsing that one; what I initially read was phrased better, but I've lost track of where I saw it.
Haven't read far into it yet, but there's this one passage already.... )

I don't get it.  Hopefully the rest of the book will help me figure out why that one passage hit me so hard.
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I wanted to answer this post with a firm admonishment to acquire a live chicken, an egg beater, and a jar of peach preserves.

(Instead, I politely provided the post with the "FAQ" and "First Timer" tags, which are certainly much more useful AND relevant to the topic in question.)
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This past Thursday in San Diego, the first day of CCSD 2010, an ebullient horde of our fellow geeks put on a hilarious "anti-protest" outside the convention doors, just down the street from Those Idiots From Westboro.  While I've seen no pictures of representatives from Warhammer 40K (how awesome would it have been to see an Inquisitor with the WBC-style sign, "PURGE the UNCLEAN"!), I was overjoyed to see Buddy Christ prominently featured.  I've got to try to get that guy's autograph (and info so I can credit him) this year at Dragon*Con.

Some folks have been saying that any reaction to the WBC protests -- even a deliberately silly one -- is a poor idea for similar reasons to the Internet's "Don't Feed the Trolls" rule:  the WBC loons want the attention, want to make people react, and plan carefully to make money by punishing said reactions.  I in no way disagree with this description of the WBC's motivations, but at the same time I wholeheartedly reject the theory that it is bad to respond in any way at all.

Sure, the WBC lunatics are set in their ways, and cannot be persuaded toward enlightenment of any sort.  I grant that.
And, sure, their "message" is internally inconsistent.
I'll even grant that what they're doing is definably evil, and immoral, and possible only because we live in a nation that preserves the right of a citizen to say something utterly horrid in the sole hope of causing the greatest amount of misery possible.

That last is, in fact, exactly why I see the anti-protest as an ideal response to what the WBC intends:  the latter want to create misery and spread it through all of existence, for whatever purpose they claim as justification.  The former, the silly, self-deprecating, delightfully humorous mockery of the WBC's message itself, creates and spreads joy.

And joy, as storytellers have shown us for thousands of years, makes the universe work better, and the body, and the soul.

Isn't that the purpose of religion, anyway?  To spread joy?
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It's currently 99.2 °F, and with the humidity that works out to a heat index of 115 °F.

This is not abnormal for mid-July around here, actually.
jarissa: (Default)
My brother is scheduled to arrive tonight for a week's visit before he heads back out of the country.  The ticket has him flying from Corpus Christi to DFW, and then from DFW to here.  No trouble, they do it every day, right?

An hour before scheduled departure time, they cancelled the first leg of that flight.  Something about the plane, which -- granted! -- I wouldn't want anybody flying on a malfunctioning airplane.  But apparently they can't compensate for that in less than twenty-four hours.  So now he's not arriving until Saturday night at nearly nine thirty p.m.

Which is when we've been planning, for several months, to be at the next Clockwork Cotillion, enjoying brilliant music and fun steampunk stuff.

This whole trip has already run into a couple of hospitality snafus, starting with unfortunate coincidences of timing for the brother's availability and our handyman's availability (and don't get me started on the Saga of the Special Order Door) and exacerbated by said brother's botched skill roll at Reading Comprehension.

So, now, having spent today busting my patootie to finish up the housework to put my brother on my couch because my own bed is unavailable what with all the remodeling protection stuff being crammed into my bedroom and he was still giving me The Silent Treatment back when he first asked my husband if he could come visit the three of us and then he ignored the part of the "Sure!" that continued "but you'll need a hotel room, because we have house remodeling going on this summer and therefore no extra sleep space for even a single human"

Ahem.  Sorry.  Revenge is ladylike, but ranting is not.  And, hey, this gives me another half a day before I have to remake the futon with fresh sheets.  After moving furniture, scrubbing floor, and vacuuming, I was not looking forward to wrasslin' the futon mattress, even with Dual Tabby Assistance.

At any rate, my options are now thus:
  1. Hide the spare key set on our porch, so he can take a taxi to our place and let himself in.
  2. Leave the Cotillion right about when the Extraordinary Contraptions start to play.  Go get him.  Take him to our place.  Hope to be back in time to catch end of  concert.
  3. Ditch long-planned marital date in favor of Baby Brother, Age 29, whose fault none of this is.
Really, Option 2 is the most honorable choice, and I know it.  I'll have to make sure I have some sort of alarm on my person that will get my attention despite crowd activity, but not interrupt others' fun or jar the atmosphere.

However, I still want to send a great big "Roast In A Metaphorical Conflagration" to the AA upper management type who decided it'd be cheaper to just dump the flight than to swing another plane through from Dallas.
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Today's topic is probably best labeled "beauty care", I guess:  Not really dinner table conversation, but no terms unusable in the presence of preadolescents.

I'm a healthy, typical American mix of several ethnic subgroups:  in my case, that'd be Irish, Italian, and German.  In the genetic lotto, I inherited pale skin that freckled in my youth, but doesn't tan easily; large pores, which turn attempted use of makeup into a logistical nightmare; and very thick, dark hair that starts well below the surface of semitranslucent upper skin.

In other words, the hair on my head is only now starting to thin down to "average" at quite a bit more than thirty-five years of age; it's long enough that I have accidentally sat on it before, and as a teen/college kid I could get the Tina Turner Effect simply by brushing my mostly-dry hair over my head until all the knots were completely out, and then standing upright and throwing the hair (using both hands!) upward out of my face.  No hairspray or hair goop needed.

The hair on my legs, however....
... that's another story entirely. )

Now if only we could convince Target's Buyer that fat ladies also have a need for businesswear slacks, versus the current and past several years' repeated options of "crop pants" (Uhm, pants designed for beach/boatwear are NOT officewear!) and "sweatpants or jeans" (We don't just lounge around the house or the gym, we have to make the money to afford said house and gym!), I'd be doing remarkably well.  I haven't been shaped right for anything at Avenue and similar plus-centric clothing stores around here.

It's raining yet again, so I ought to be taking my steampunk outfit from storage and examining it for mending; Extraordinary Contraptions are coming into town next month, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again.
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Got back this weekend from a fun, sun-filled week at Little Gasparilla Island, Florida.  I finally have my ("No Kids In Published Pictures" Edition)  photos uploaded and labeled in the public album, and after this brief re-moisturizing break I need to email the link to interested parties.
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The Princess Bride.  It is already sheer perfection.

To be fair, I've seen very few remakes that I thought improved on the original in any case; off the top of my head, I can only think of Ocean's Eleven and The Thomas Crown Affair as movies that were equally (or more!) enjoyable in their more recent presentations than they'd been in the originals.
jarissa: (Default)
 I'm up early because a friend's house is getting emergency repairs against last Saturday's storm, and I'm the contact person in case it's worse than it looked from the ground.

This morning I was dreaming about magnets.  Different shapes and strengths, all in large quantities, each small enough that a bunch of the same style would fit in my hand at one time.  I kept finding these magnets mixed in with other things, and sorting them out to add to my inventory, because I had to solve a "how to fix the chair" puzzle and a "how to sneak past that amateur golfing-as-combat class without breaking any of the glass statuary" puzzle.

Apparently I play an awful lot of puzzle-based games.  You'd think I'd be dreaming about the guy who tried to murder me back on the 17th, or at least about trying to control a vehicle in adverse conditions, but nooooo:  I'm dreaming puzzle-solving games, almost entirely on foot.

And even in the dreams, I'm so tired that what I really want is just to go to sleep.  I have to solve these puzzles to accomplish a Major Goal so that I will have the liberty of taking a nap.
jarissa: (Default)
 Today is shaping up to be not long enough.  I've got A/C Replacement:  Part II happening today; the delightfully courteous, dignified pair of older gentlemen who are removing our old units and replacing them with better ones are scheduled to show up in fifteen minutes or less.  They'll be doing some work in the attic, some in the main halls of each floor, and a bit outside to finish up.  

Meanwhile, I'll be doing light housework:  clean off the dining room table and prepare for guests, remove the damaged chairs from the downstairs hallway so they can easily get at the thermostat, sweep the dining room.  I will NOT be scrubbing a door today, I think, nor washing dishes or running the dishwasher, nor running laundry.

Obviously I won't be running a maintenance subroutine on my legs today, either, but I might resume the eternal struggle to paint my toes and have it look nice.  Apparently people do this ALL THE TIME with no difficulty.  Surely I can do so?

Thanks to the men, and last weekend's pre-parental-visit bout of spring cleaning, I won't have to do much guest bathroom maintenance.  Since I'm the GM, though, I do need to review my notes and make sure the physical puzzle is ready for more puttering.  (I'm presenting these wooden 3-D puzzles without instructions, of course.  The villain isn't including the instruction sheet; this is a contest of intelligence!)

I need to depart to go collect one of the guests, who lives a bit over an hour away, at four o'clock.  I'd really like to have a nap before then, but I suspect the day isn't going to have enough hours in it for a nap to fit.
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