House Rule

Sat, Jul. 1st, 2017 12:41
jarissa: (Default)
The Rule in our house, for decades, has been that the person who does the cooking does NOT do the cleaning.

The addendum to that Rule has been, for decades, that if we're having gaming that night, then the GM does NOT do either the cooking or the cleaning, because the GM is already contributing a lot of work.


Apparently the above Rule has an exception: when I do the GMing, I still might have to feed myself, and I certainly must do after-session cleanup. When I cook, no one else is going to take responsibility for cleanup that night.

This is bullshit.

I have pointed out that this is bullshit. When I stop talking, everyone else in the family goes right back to whatever they were doing.

You know, if I were living alone, I would be in a much smaller place. Probably a townhouse or condo. I would have to do ALL the work but I would only be working to support myself and maybe a cat. (Probably not a cat any more. I probably would have never gotten over Delia and Marco.) I would not be happy but I would also not feel like I do not register in my own home.

Okay then.

Tue, Apr. 4th, 2017 18:25
jarissa: (Default)
I do not really know what I am going to do with this journal.

I dropped down to zero on LJ because of the way chemotherapy messed up my brain. I had a short period of recovery in late summer and early fall of 2012 but things got worse again after that, and added some depression on top of it all.

I am hoping that the spur of the LJ legal thing, which is making me pay focused attention to my online journal, will be enough reason for me to start USING an online journal again.

There's going to be random chunks of my fic. Probably none of you nice folks wandering by will be interested. I'm not going to explain the characters or the context, I'm just going to put it up here to prod me

How do Dreamwidth folks handle trigger warnings? Should I just say "if triggers, please see post tags" and put everything under a cut? 

Tell you what: I'll do that, until I have time to read the entire FAQ. It's a well-written FAQ, I'm merely jumping around like a catgirl on sugar. When my attention settles, I will probably fall asleep. 

I am on the fence about whether I should get a WattPad account, post my fic there, and link it here. I mean. They do have a "superhero" subsection in "Action", that's good. But. I have distressingly little actually whole fic. And of those, most are still in need of major edits. And I, who get so frustrated at abandonfic, abandon an awful lot of my own stuff before it gets to the good bits. 

I dunno. Maybe that would be one thing too many for the current load. Let's see how I do on DW first.


Sun, Sep. 30th, 2012 13:12
jarissa: (Default)
Some years, September 30th is not a big deal to me.
  • I survived the tornadoes of April 2011, and the re-roofing.
  • I have a pretty good family.
  • I missed Dragon*Con but I'm going to spend a week at Disney World later in the year.  I'm making a costume for the Halloween party there -- a costume I've long wished I could do.
  • I survived cancer.
  • I survived cancer treatment.  In fact, at one point I survived two and a half weeks of only being able to eat apple sauce or oatmeal. Hello, weight loss! Where've you been?!
  • I survived finding out that, in a crunch, my parents have my youngest brother's back ... rather than mine.  Still kind of reorienting my world around that one.  It was not any of his doing at all, it was purely them.
  • I read the very last Spenser book.  I've seen a lot of people praise the new guy, but he's writing fan-fiction, not the actual characters as established. Key elements of Spenser, Hawk, and Susan are missing from Lullaby.  Defining traditions of their interaction are missing.  I wish Ace Atkins well, but I won't be picking any more of his versions up.
  • I lost 30 years' worth of hair growth. I started the sequel. I actually have to LOOK already to see my scalp!
  • I got my City of Villains main character to 50 at last.  She successfully -- with a LOT of assistance -- faked her death, and escaped. Now she starts living her life for her own purposes, rather than the mastermind's.
  • I wrote somewhat more than half a book.  As the mental effects of chemotherapy lull, I slowly redevelop momentum on writing the remainder.

This year's marker is worth commemorating, I think.
jarissa: (Default)
This has been one of the least awesome summers I have ever known.

First there was the point where chemotherapy became more than my body could really handle.  I lost the ability to multitask for a while. My short-term memory went pretty fuzzy.  I slept poorly, and I wanted to sleep almost all the time.  I couldn't eat anything but apple sauce for a couple weeks, too.

Then I started radiation.  My symptoms from that could certainly be worse, but this is plenty bad enough.

I had to accept, pretty early this year, that I would not be attending Dragon*Con due to ongoing cancer treatment.

And now....

... City of Heroes is closing down....

I have characters in mid-arc that I cannot give a satisfying conclusion.  I have content in the game that I will never get to see, areas I will never get to explore.  I was just starting to feel that I had the hang of base-building.  I've got a whole slew of fluff-fiction (fan-fiction for a roleplaying game's characters), only a small fraction of which I have posted to FFdotNet or VirtueVerse.

In a couple of days, I will get mad and start solving the problem of saving my memories and images of what I have created.

Right now, I'm grieving the loss of the reliably comforting hobby in my life.  There's no fixing this.
jarissa: (Default)
I find myself in imminent need of a wig.

I happen to have in my possession some yarn that looks disturbingly similar to my actual hair.

I am also, of course, an utter geek.  Even at my age!

Can anyone point me at a crafter of wigs for the local Goth scene in the Huntsville/Madison/Athens/Decatur area of northern Alabama?  I want a "rag doll" style yarn wig, that will fit me comfortably during the typical weather of this area's spring and summer, that can be at least hand-cleaned, and that has a chance of still fitting me after my hair grows back.  In addition to supplying the yarn I of course expect to pay for the quality of labor and skill, plus whatever materials are necessary to make the base layer for the cap.

I have maybe a couple of weeks before my head is naked, just in time for the entire sunny season.  I do have a couple of other lovely nerdy things to wear, none of which are hats -- wearing hats indoors is a little too much violation of customs I learned in my youth for me to not fidget.

Thank you to anyone who can make introductions for me!


Tue, Aug. 9th, 2011 07:40
jarissa: (Default)
 Around the end of May this year, I dug out an old file I had for the way a forum-based RPG session could have gone, if the GM hadn't resumed paying attention when he did.  The plot went in a much more heroism-packed direction as it actually played out, and I'm glad of it, but I was always pleased with a couple of the images I created for that alternate scene.  I saved it to one of my reference disks around 2004 and more or less forgot about it.

I was actually looking for something else when I found it again, but realized that my character's actual motivation for visiting Plot City had never gotten addressed.  There's a note at the end of another file somewhere, winding up subplot threads and summarizing results in the dénouement, implying that my character found her original target that night or the next day, imparted information without actually starting a fight, and they very civilly walked away from each other for once.

I actually don't have any other notes that the NPC has ever appeared on-screen again.  And given that he was technically not on-screen for that dénouement, either, and that he'd been designed as a counterpoint to my character's origin before he developed some wonderful personality of his own and then vanished off the face of the campaign....

So I started writing.  At first I was merely cleaning up the original "alternate version of reality".  I figured it'd make a nice writing exercise, antagonistic, slightly smutty, with a lot of body language and some squabbling between people who used to work together and really don't like each other.

Just after the ides of June, I'd done as much with that writing exercise as I reasonably could ... but the story was still going.  The next logical step was waking me up at three in the morning, distracting me when I tried to push my way through the next writing exercise in my list, and working its details out on the main screen in my head while I scrubbed the floors.  Finally I promised myself that I'd go back and remake the first four paragraphs to fit "second attempt to find NPC, day after Adventure, other end of the neighborhood in Plot City."

(I still need to do that, by the way.)

And then I let the story go where it was trying to go.

More than sixteen thousand words later, I realize that "where it was trying to go" is a farkin' novel!
It's utterly unpublishable, of course.  Too dependent on a particular continuity, too many characters in the background and foreground integral to the logic of the piece but owned by someone with better lawyers, too tiny of a niche audience.  And in that audience, nobody's going to be thrilled to read a story centered on Fellow Player's Character.
It's also just getting to the point that the adventurers are starting to get enough of a clue about the A plot so they could maybe dig their way out.  I'm not even halfway done.  In fact, I stopped writing so I could do a little research and worldbuilding:  I'm maybe ten paragraphs away from introducing new characters, a specialized theft-for-hire set who're absolutely not remotely like Leverage, being rather villainous mercenaries of the "Robert B. Parker"+"Dark Champions with some powers" career path.

I've got about a month and a half before my turn at the gamemastering chair is expected to complete, but there's Dragon*Con in the middle of that.  I'd really prefer to be finished with this before the next patootie settles into the GM spot, because I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to focus on any other character or adventure while this book is being made!
jarissa: (Default)
I cannot recommend it enthusiastically enough.

(Also, the trailers were pretty delightful.)
jarissa: (Default)
I live just south of Capshaw in Madison County, Alabama.

I'm alive.  I'm fine.  Our house is mostly fine.  We just got power back today, actually a day or two earlier than we'd been planning for it.  Thanks profusely to the Huntsville Utilities crews and visiting crews who have been working 'round the clock to get us functional.  Thanks also to Publix, which got itself open and restocked on Thursday so people could buy peanut butter and fresh-baked bread, and not starve.

Very tired.  May go cycle laundry and then nap.
jarissa: (Default)
that is sending door-to-door proselytizers into my neighborhood, a few interesting points you might contemplate:
  1. A not-insignificant number of the homes whose doorbells you'll ring are inhabited by people who sleep during the day.
  2. I see that you're all dressed up and displaying your piety in public.  You already have your reward in full.
  3. Justify as not-arrogance the underlying theory that you shall go forth and interrupt the lives that strangers have had placed before them by your own Lord, and instruct these strangers on what they ought to be doing instead.
jarissa: (Default)
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My longest-running superhero genre roleplay character is called "Feral" when she's fighting crime, but if I were a superhero, I'm extraordinarily confident that my supername would be "Maximum Verbosity".


Thu, Mar. 24th, 2011 06:36
jarissa: (Default)
I have seven of nineteen " failed date" segments written and posted.  One really needs a complete re-edit, because it stinks, but I posted it anyway.

Today's Thursday.  Self-imposed due-date is Saturday evening.  In the vernacular of The Kids These Days:  I suck.

Where, in the name of space monkeys, does one buy flavor syrups for tasty beverages (alcoholic types AND/OR coffee types AND/OR soda types) in this day and age?  I just want coconut syrup, for pity's sake, not the "piña colada" mixes that claim to taste like coconut and pineapple, and often list no plant matter in their ingredients whatsoever.

Why do so many of the LJ Styles leave so much real estate empty on the screen?

To do:
  • More writing.  Three segments are particularly short, not sure what's going to happen with the other freakin' nine.
  • Today is Thursday; wash sheets and towels, scrub toilets, dust and de-cobweb one of the common rooms.
  • Make legs and feet more presentable.
  • MORE WRITING.  That end segment, "date succeeded", is going to be medium-length, which seems to mean a page and three quarters.
  • Find out what's the deal with Brute Force Leather:  try yet again to use website contact form.  If it doesn't immediately mail me some sort of "oh hi, you used the contact form" message this time, call them.  "Whatever happened to my corset, ordered and paid for last DragonCon?"  Gotta be some reasonable explanation.
  • Thaw substances for Saturday dinner.  Possibly do some pre-cooking.
  • Exercise.  Also throw skunk for Mifune.  Also sit with Belle and pet her a while, in hope of re-establishing nonadversarial relationship.
  • Meditation Times may wind up being skipped today, as when will I fit it in?
  • Call Mom.
  • More writing!

Brute Force Leather:  Successfully contacted, and corset will be on the way next week.
Another segment done, edited, and posted; ten to go.  Some of the trouble with these is that the male lead has had very little on-screen time, and the GM hasn't done a whole lot to establish personality (or ethical boundaries, or style).  He's got courage, and some presence, and has yet to fully adjust to the idea that Vanya is actually capable of taking care of herself in combat.  (He has, however, already been thoroughly chewed out for the Sheer Dumb of jumping in front of her during combat.  Won't happen again.  Probably.)

Belle is not interested in being petted, or indeed sat with, much less re-establishing any nonadversarial relationship where I am the Alpha Broad.  Sigh.
I am just about beat.  Segment partially written, but I'm starting to get to the point where everything I write is dumb.

jarissa: (Default)
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Every once in a while, I look up "Karl Kohler" on Google.  He moved away from Poway a week before we did, and to a different base, at the end of 2nd grade (we were around 6 or 7 at the time).  I haven't found him, as all the ones on the search are the wrong age, and at this point I doubt I will.  I can't really say that I miss him, but he was the last really good friend that I had for several years; he introduced me to anime, and taught me how to play the card game "War".  Wherever he is, however he wound up, I certainly wish him well.
jarissa: (Default)
I'm late!

One of the adventuring campaigns we play in our tabletop RPG group is a science fiction setting, full of Star Wars and Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan setting and Frank Herbert's Dune novels and a touch of Firefly for depth.  We don't play on a regular schedule, it's mostly when that particular GM happens to have a worthwhile adventure plotted out for the PCs who happen to be available.

Also, sometimes it's run as a birthday present.

There's a big adventure coming up, scheduled for Saturday the 26th, in celebration of two birthdays in our group.  The opening hook requires the resolution of a long-running joke for my character:  she and a colleague have been trying to figure out whether there's anything to their mutual attraction, specifically by trying to have a date, for ... more than a year, now.  The date keeps getting irrevocably interrupted.  Vanya and Davish have tried traditional "let's go out to a meal" dates (and been attacked by pirates, or the space station fire alarm went off, or work called one of them back to duty early); they have tried going dancing (an assassination attempt on a nobleman at a holiday ball, how extraordinarily gauche); they have tried just going for a long walk someplace scenic (who expects attack of the crazy robots when you're strolling around a nice meadow?!); they have tried picnics in the most remote places they could find (bad guys tried to assassinate someone else, and a stray shot went right into their picnic).

Side note:  Would you believe that has no entry for the trope "a date gets interrupted by PLOT"?  I wouldn't, either, but I certainly cannot FIND it!  I've searched the Love Tropes section, I've scoured the examples and references on Chandler's Law and Finagle's Law and Unspoken Plan Guarantee, but nothing quite fits.  Yet it's definitely part of the Rule of Drama:  outside straightforward romantic fiction, a pleasant date is very seldom an interesting story, so romantic dates in fiction either get summarized (via montage, maybe, or by cutting to the conclusion), shown only piecemeal to let the characters establish character via pure dialogue, or utterly fouled up by some sort of interruption.

Eventually, Vanya and Davish have one date where nothing goes wrong.  No friends call with an urgent request to be bailed out of jail.  No shifty-eyed types saunter up and insist on passing a secret message.  No bar brawls break out.  No heists ensue.  They get all the way to the planned conclusion of the date, look around for the missing interruption, kiss each other good night, and happily start messaging each other with ideas for their next date now that the unpleasant streak has ended.

I'm trying to average one date story finished, functional, and posted per day in the leadup to the next adventure, but thanks to the Insomnia Fairy I'm behind for yesterday's segment.  Some of the bits are outlined, some are little more than blurbs, and at least one is partially written out ... but I can't tell what of my writing is crap right now and what's okay-with-edits.

I need some sleep, dammit.

(Remember to set yourself a one hour alarm if you click any of the TVTropes links, and a note as to what it was you were doing before you clicked!  TVTropes will not cure insomnia.)
jarissa: (Default)
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In fact, she's my icon:  Elektra of the Teen Force, one of four superhero groups featured on Space Stars.

I wanted the teleportation, the telekineses, the long red hair, and the super-cool space bike.  I wanted to have durable, unquestioning, mutally supportive friendships with a couple of peers -- preferably guys, because even at age eight, a lot of the girls in my class were of alien mindsets to me.  I wanted the first question people asked about me to not be "who are you dating?" but "who are you fighting?":  what matters should be whether I'm a useful part of a heroic team, making the universe a better place, not whether I'm a decorative support for somebody else.  I thought Jan and Tarra were kind of disappointing:  they spent their entire existences being rescued by the nearest male character or admiring the lead male character.

Honestly, I'm pretty sure that this was not some early notion in my head of feminist concepts.  It's just that any character so useless, even the animal is more relevant to fighting the Bad guy ... I couldn't respect that character, much less identify with her.  Bad guys would see Elektra, though, and have the "Oh, crap!" reaction, and then she'd subdue them.  I could totally do that!  All I needed was a nifty outfit, complete with helmet, and to dye my hair the same color as Mom's, and learn how to ride a space bike....

Needless to say, it never quite worked out.  I did learn to keep aware of opportunities to handle a given situation with team tactics, though, instead of trying to promote myself as the primary hero.
jarissa: (Default)
I buy list-making pads with magnets on the back, and attach them to the inside of the front door, up at eye level.  This is the grocery list.

Occasionally, other members of the household remember to add things to this list when they notice we are low on something, or even out.  A few times a year, other members of the household even remember to grab this list when they're going out for a while and plan on stopping by the grocery store.  It's not a perfect system, nothing is, but it improves our chances of success.

The other two members of the household have smartphones.  And reference them constantly.  And love having all their references in electronic format, so they can be accessed via smartphone at any random moment.

The rule of using online document storage such as Google Documents is a basic safety guideline for the entire Internet, really:  "put nothing out there that you wouldn't want read back to a jury of your peers from a witness stand".  But, hey, a grocery list should be boring AND pointless, right?  Ninja assassins are not going to benefit from discovering that we're out of Cokes again.

(We're out of Cokes.  They've been on the list since I created it, last week.)

So I made a Google Doc edition of our grocery list.  I included a link to the current weekly ad for our favorite store.  I shared it out, with editing permissions, to the rest of the household.

Who went on errands Saturday, including the grocery store.

With their smartphones.

Does a grocery list exist if it goes unaccessed?

Very late Saturday, I went to bake a variant of something called Tommy's Enchiladas.  No aluminum baking dishes.  Well, it was raining when they got home, so they left some of the groceries in the trunk and just brought in the refrigeratables, the cat litter, and the doggy chow.

Sunday midday, I went to bake said variant enchiladas.  No baking dishes.  Still in the car, I guess?  No, turns out, the grocery list wasn't referenced.  I am not quite sure what selecting principles were used.

I am drinking the last Coke.  Tomorrow will be interesting!
jarissa: (Default)
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The worst teacher I ever had was my first grade teacher, at Painted Rock Elementary School in Poway, California, starting in 1978; none of the listed names ring a bell for me.  I would tell her the following:

1:  I don't even remember your name.  I remember nothing that you meant to teach me.
2:  The only thing you taught me was that an adult can be unreasonable and vicious.
3:  I had never met a child who was a bully before I met you.  I had no idea what a bully was, before I was a student in your care.
4:  My mother never forgave me for lying to her that year.  My lie was that "school was fine today".  I paid, for the next fourteen  years, for your unprofessionalism.
5:  I still color outside the lines, and in colors that aren't pastel.  I still have a messy desk.  I still sing under my breath when I'm fully involved in a task.  I still write my capital J with a hat on top in print, and with pointy bits to the left and top in cursive; no one has any trouble figuring out what letter it is.  I still stand up, speak up, and get in the way when someone tries to use authority as a flail against their unfavorite.  Threatening to attack me in addition, or instead, just makes me more determined to ruin every aspect of the bully's professional life.
6:  You had no business being a teacher of any age group.  You played favorites.  You liked to make a big scene, whether handing out praise or criticism.  You should have taken a clue from the fact that no other teacher had any problem with me, whether we were combining two first-grade classes to practice our letters or we were turned over to the librarian for an introduction to the lending program or we had a substitute for a day.
7:  My hair was prettier than yours then, and it still is now.

Part of the problem with this woman probably came from my educational past:  I'd never attended preschool, and half my kindergarten year was spent at a Montessori-style class.  She expected me to sit quietly at my desk, remain completely organized and focused on the current task, and for God's sake I should take school seriously.  I still thought learning was a joy, though I was a little curious when she'd start teaching something I didn't already know.  By the time we got into addition, which of course was still rote memorization at that point, I was so excited to finally hit something new that I read every line of instruction and threw myself into the problems.

I'm horrid at rote memorization, though, so I was lousy at math.  I had to do every problem more than once, trying to figure out what the expected answer was.  I'd be so relieved when my answer came out the same twice, and then get yelled at for being wrong -- or for writing the numbers crooked -- or for taking too long -- or for wiggling in my seat as I worked.  The best I could hope for was no reaction at all, which meant that I'd gotten everything the way she wanted it.

And I, of course, was six.  Five when the school year started.  Reading at a fourth grade level because those were the oldest books I was permitted to access.  Confident, simultaneously, that the world basically loved me, and that all adults essentially agreed with each other.  If the teacher said I was a rotten brat, and I told Mom how often I was getting yelled at, then Mom would have to yell at me too for having been bad at school.  So I made up a happy story; I told Mom my kindergarten teacher had visited, and we sang songs, and we had fun; and I never mentioned getting yanked by the arm and my desk getting upended and the entire class being ordered to say that the Class Favorite's drawings were pretty while mine were ugly.  She didn't find out what was really going on until I finally cracked under the pressure.

I hope that woman wound up in a job more suited to her personality.  Hog washing, maybe.
jarissa: (Default)
I have finished reading Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire.  WHEEE!  I made a point of not acquiring it until Official Release Day, because I'd love to see this book hit one of the newspaper Bestseller Lists.

I kind of want to talk about what happens in this book, but honestly, it's already been said in the above-linked thread.  It's been said better than I would've put it, too.

So instead, I'm going to talk about the preview of the following book, One Salt Sea, not due out 'til September 6th.

The truth of the matter is that no one in the world can write a combat scene like Seanan McGuire can.  You could see this on a silver screen, but to see it perfectly in your head?  When you've been in San Francisco once in your life, in thick fog, driving through en route to Massachussets, during the day?  No author I've ever read has gotten a complex action scene like this to be so vivid as I read it.

It's not just the crossbow bolts and steep decline of the hill and scream of the rapidly accelerating wheelchair-bound person, either.  Earlier in the scene, we had a brief reference to the tip of a tail that constantly curls and flutters, probably an involuntary action; so as two people try not to get shot, and zoom down that hill, I can still see the flutter of the fin, and the lovely blue blouse rippling in the increasing breeze.  I can see the torn fabric on one side of the chair's back.  I can even see the faint glint of the ever-present cars parked at the side of the road, and hear the growing creak of sea-warped wood as they approach the bottom of the hill....

If you're not reading Seanan McGuire yet, you probably should be.  Try Rosemary and Rue, if you like detective stories, and try Feed (by Mira Grant) if you like zombie horror.  I probably won't be reading the sequel to Feed because the first one grabbed hold of my heart and wrenched so hard, so to make up for that I'm passing my copy to a friend who adores horror and recommending it to anyone of like mind.
jarissa: (Default)
How many moons does Eternia have, according to the 2002 version of canon?

I know FILMation's version had (I think) 5, according to the spacescape painting.  However, I'm working on something that specifically fits the latter series, and I can't find an image or even a reference to the moons.  And it's making me nuts, because I could've sworn that somewhere in the first five episodes or so there was an image with multiple moons in the sky ... but if I can't put my finger on it, I can't be sure there was more than one.  Or, indeed, one.  Well, there has to be a minimum of one, you can't have people wondering about an eclipse if there's never been a moon.

Anyway, my Google-fu is weak tonight.  I'm going past it and working on other stuff, but I'll have to come back eventually.  Eternia has an equator, oceans and/or seas, and seasons; everything else checks out for the science end of the MacGuffin.  If there are two or three moons, all can be handwaved; if there are five, I'm going to have to redo the math, because the orbit won't work properly.
jarissa: (Default)
I've been getting several anonymous, flattering comments to one of my older posts -- they haven't been showing up to general view because I have anonymous posters on "Screen", of course -- but despite the careful vagueness of the flattery, it still doesn't make sense in context.

Ergo, spammers again.

For the next while, I've removed the option for anonymous posting.  It's not like I"m worried about a drop in my page hits (gasp!) or something; I write over here when I have a really off-the-wall topic, like "Healthy Boundaries in Business OR Friendships {NOT BOTH}" or maybe "Nostrils", and it doesn't suit any of my other venues.

I suppose if someone genuinely needs to get in touch with me, without creating a LiveJournal or associated account, it'll require a bit of playing Telephone.  Try contacting me on another forum, if we happen to share a membership location, or search out WookieeGunner someplace.  In the greater fandom, everybody knows somebody who knows [ profile] wookieegunner .

And I'll turn the anon posting (with screening) back on after a month or three, and see what happens.
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