Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Obscure Doesn't Mean Hipster

I like obscure music.

I don't mean that in the hipster sense - it's not liking bands before they were mainstream thing.  I mean music that is literally not mainstream, that is literally obscure.  I'm talking about music that is usually categorized in New Age, Ambient, Noise, Space Music (which is actually a sub-genre of ambient), Ethnic Fusion, and World.  I used to listen to Night Tides on KCUR, my favorite local NPR affiliate, until I didn't have a radio that worked well enough to tune the station.  I wish I still had my stereo.

When I say my musical tastes are eclectic and kind of weird, I'm not kidding.  I like as much weird stuff as I like (ADD moment - oh!  Bjork!) mainstream music.  Apparently I'm currently on a .. I don't even know how to classify this group of music.  But I'm on a kick of it, whatever it is.

Anyway,  I just woke up, haven't even had coffee yet, so am a bit incoherent.  I wanted to sleep for longer, but I woke up when the Toddler did and then I started thinking, and that was the end of sleeping.

So basically, I've got nearly every musical genre represented on my iTunes playlist, and this tickles me.  Now I need to sort it all and delete the stuff I don't actually want, of which there probably won't be much.

I'll probably write another post later to explain what has been going on in my life outside of my music, because yesterday was rather eventful.  Also, I haven't taken my allergy pills in like two days, and I'm very sad, because all I can do today is sneeze and itch.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I May Just Die Now

Okay, so I don't know how the people with jobs have the time or energy to write anything worth reading.  I barely had the energy to make myself dinner.  Or the ability to get up and walk, for that matter.  I'm not kidding.  I spent four hours on my feet at work today, for the first time since I lost my job in December 2009 (when I'd regularly stand for 9-10 hours and be mostly fine), walking and shifting and reaching over my head and lifting heavy groups of hangers to bag orders, and that plus my decision to walk home (I was at the location within my perceived walking distance today) caused me to be unable to move around until about six hours after I got home.  I am not pleased with this development, and I really hope that my resistance to that kind of thing returns quickly, or I'm just going to die.  Maybe now.  Maybe I'll just fall over sideways onto the couch right now and just die.  Blah!

Anyway.. today I learned the Spanish word for stapler (es grapadora, apparently) and that you can get cramps in your knuckles.  I also learned that I need more pants than I currently have.  This whole owning only two pairs is not going to cut it for work.  Anyway, I worked for four hours today, and I've started helping customers for real.  As long as I stop forgetting that starch exists and remember to double-check the cash register when I close it, I think I'll be fine.  (My cash register training took less than a minute - I don't know how exactly to use the credit card machine, but I imagine I could puzzle that out myself if I really needed to.  I guess I'll find out on Monday.)  I actually really prefer the main store, where all the action is - it just feels friendlier, and I can walk there and back.  Please, scary boss man, let me have that location!

Today was also an excellent day at home - when I got home, S and the Toddler were outside because S was having a smoke, and you pretty much can't leave the Toddler in the house these days if you're going outside, because he will have paroxysms of grief over it.  It's kind of hilarious to watch (hey, the kid regularly gives me injuries, I'm laughing at him when he's ridiculous!), but it's really annoying to cope with, so he gets to go outside a bazillion times a day right now, and that works out well for everyone, pretty much.  Anyway, they saw me coming and he met me in the yard with a knee hug.  It was really, really cute.  After I went inside, I ate what was in my lunch box (I really don't need to pack a lunch for work - I never end up eating it, so I'm going to get grazing food instead) and watched Children of a Lesser God, which made me miss using ASL.  It also made me cry.  And I learned how to say "fuck you!" in sign language, which I'm sure will come in handy.  Haha.

J ended up waking up really early (about 4:30), and he wanted to get food, so S went to McDonald's for him, and the Toddler went along, and he almost climbed into his car seat on his own.  (I often put him in the car, so I've occasionally been asking him to try climbing in on his own.)  When they came back, I took him out of the car (S's hands were full), and I asked him if he could say my name yet, sounding it out for him very slowly.  And he said it.  Then he said it again.  And then he demonstrated for everyone else in the living room (Girl Child completely lit up), and then I used it as a form of bribery later when I was about to give him a bath - I told him if he said my name, I'd put him in the tub right then, and he immediately said it.  I'm pretty sure he knows that he's saying my name, S is really the smart one in that department, being his mother and all.  But oh god, what a rush!  Every time he says it, I just want to grab him and kiss his face off.  Totally made my day.  (Seriously, this is the absolute best part of my day today, and I mean that.  I would be more excited about him finally saying my name than if someone gave me $1000 right now.  Not that I would pass up $1000.)

Anyway, I played some FFX later in the evening, worked on my iTunes playlists some more (because I'm just never going to be done with the tweaking, I think), and then I had the idea to look up speech pathology, which I've been thinking about on and off for about 10 years now.  I think I'd like to become a licensed ASL interpreter and also get a speech pathology (or assistant) degree and work with deaf children and adults to help them learn to read lips and speak.  Maybe.  I've had a look at what you have to go through just for the interpreter certifications, and it's going to take me like four years just to get that, and usually a speech pathologist has a master's degree, so it's going to be a very, very long time before I get that, if I manage to do it at all.

Right now, it all kind of hinges on having a car.  Doing the math in my head, if I spend absolutely no extra money for about four months, I should have enough saved to get a car that runs.  Of course, Christmas is coming up, so I'll tack on an extra month for Christmas.  But in any case, I should be able to buy a car by this spring, and hopefully I'll have my permit issues sorted out so I can start driving.  (Though if I get the car and can't drive it yet, I'll just figure out how to make it be so S can drive it until I can drive it myself.  If she's agreeable - I haven't talked about this with her yet because I haven't had any prospects for getting money until this week.)

I can't think of anything else to say.  My brain isn't working very well - I'm really tired and I took two naproxen and a Zyrtec about half an hour ago, so now my brain is extra not working.  See?  I can't even make words be sentences.  But I'm off tomorrow, so I'm going to sleep a lot.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Chapter in My Story

I don't have time to do that links round-up, so it's going to have to wait until probably Sunday.  In fact, a lot of things are probably going to have to wait until Sunday.

I'm going to begin at the beginning, though, just to be a horrid bitch.  Bwahaha!  Today, I slept in really late because I passed the hell out around midnight in the bedroom and slept through everything until I woke up in the middle of a seriously strange dream involving a mansion and a guy with thousands of ladies' socks stacked up in a gradient, so they made the entire color spectrum.  There was also a room with a ton of antique furniture and things and lots of old lamps and an old guy restoring them or something.  I don't know.  It was weird.  Anyway, between that and the company that was over bringing me further out of sleep, I was up for the day.  Woo!

The day was basically the exact same day as the last several, until my phone rang at about 2:30.  There was a man on the other end, the guy who owns the dry cleaner I applied at last Friday.  He wanted me to come in for an interview this afternoon, so after much frantic running about (since I was still in pjs and all), I was dressed and S drove me to the interview, which was very short - if S had known how short it was going to be, she would have just waited until it was done and dropped Girl Child at her friend's house after.

The interview was okay.  The guy was foreign, so I had difficulty understanding him sometimes, but he seemed really nice.  He really liked my typing speed (80-90 wpm on keyboards that actually work), and he didn't like that I don't have a car right now (I decided to avoid mentioning the lack of driver's license), but I'm smart and willing to work, so apparently he's willing to overlook the slight transportation snag, since...

HE HIRED ME!!!!!!!!

(If I could, I would make that part sparkly and dance-y.)

Anyway, so he told me initially that he would call me by the end of the week and let me know if I was going to be starting training or not (I've heard this before, that's usually a sign that they're not going to hire you at all), and we thanked each other, and I went outside to wait for S.  A few minutes later, I was on the phone with J, trying to figure out how long it would be before S came back, when he stepped outside and called me back over to tell me he had changed his mind and that I start training tomorrow morning at 10:00.  Holy crap. I have to ask for a certain woman at the location near the house when I get there and I will learn things and it will be awesome.

When S picked me up, she decided we needed to go to Long John Silver's and have some food, and there was much excitement (I talk ridiculously fast when I'm excited, too!), and we ate and the Toddler displayed a love of tartar sauce the likes of which has never been seen - it got him to eat his chicken, which normally doesn't happen.  When we got home, J was already in bed (he's been on vacation because his birthday was Tuesday), so after I got off the phone with C, I came outside and hung out with S and the Toddler for a bit, and we invented a new sport of walnut throwing.  Ha.

After we came inside, I waited until I was sure M was awake, then I went downstairs and unstacked all my totes in the basement so I could get at the clothes I keep down there that I don't wear very often - most of them don't fit right now or are things I don't really need to wear at the moment, like my heavy sweaters and my bathrobes, which are all shorty robes and make me overheat anyway.  Of course, I recently just switched my clothes around, moving the stuff that I only have for when I'm working downstairs and keeping all the fun clothes upstairs and also bringing up all my winter stuff so that I wouldn't have to worry about that later when it's actually cold.  Then, of course, I end up needing my work shirts.  Figures.

After I brought up all my work shirts, I did a quick fashion show for S so we could determine how many work shirts I have available to me, and as I was trying to get things moved around so they'd all fit (tiny dresser + a bazillion shirts = sad), I grew very frustrated with my complete lack of space - I have a small four-drawer dresser with a wide storage drawer thing sitting on top of it, which doesn't even begin to sufficiently hold all my clothes.  So I went back downstairs and got the other storage drawers, which is the exact same size as the first one, took all my crocheting stuff out of it (all 58274 projects) and dumped it all in a piece of luggage, hauled the drawers upstairs and perched them upon the first one.  I now have drawers reaching almost to the ceiling.  It's a little ridiculous.  I actually can't reach much above the top drawer in the first tote, so I will regularly need a step stool now if I need anything out of the other ones.  Woo.  I don't even care, actually, I'm just so damn happy to finally have room for all my shit.

Of course, this running around like a headless chicken (which is what S said about me on G+ earlier) caused me back pain, knee pain, ankle pain, shoulder pain, and foot pain.  And I've got a headache and I'm starving.  And I have to work tomorrow.  God, that feels weird.  I haven't worked in almost two years.  TWO YEARS.  That is a long time.  I'm really nervous and excited about tomorrow.  I hope like hell that I can sleep tonight, or tomorrow is also going to suck horribly.

Anyway, I'm really really excited.  And stuff.  Oh god.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Goodbye, Facebook

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything worthwhile - my allergies and my sleep schedule nonexistence of late have made it hard to do anything that requires actual thought.  So I've been spending quite a bit of time tweaking my iTunes playlist, reading news articles (so many links to share!), discovering new music, watching movies, playing video games, and crocheting.  Also, playing with Twitter.

Things haven't exactly resembled anything exciting here lately - same old, same old for the most part.  I don't remember if I've mentioned this previously, but I applied for a job with a dry cleaner in my neighborhood, and am still waiting to hear back from them.  I don't know if this means they found someone else, or if they lost my application among the many they probably received, as everyone and their mother is desperate for work right now, or if they're just taking their time deciding who to call.  I've been on tenterhooks for days, though, and am starting to feel pretty confident that they're not going to call, just like everyone else.  I wish I knew what I was doing wrong.

J installed the dishwasher the day before yesterday.  It's wonderful.  Everyone is so damn excited.  We had to have the power off for about four hours, though, so that was kind of a fiasco, but it's a fair trade for a successful installation.  Also, because S needed to help J with the install, I had the Toddler for a large chunk of the day, and took him to the park.  Of course this was the one hot day this week, and of course I got a sunburn and 12 mosquito bites, and a horrendous allergy flare-up.  I'm mostly fine now, though, except I get new mosquito bites every single time I leave the house right now, which is really lame.  I am so itchy!

This morning, I woke up to discover that Facebook made some major changes to the entire site.  I was already angry with them to begin with after their last "tweak" of the privacy settings, making it more difficult to set them the way I want them because I can no longer tell what some things are set as at all.  This makes me pissy.  Anyway.  I'm completely sick of the way Facebook is run, I hate everything about it, and I've decided to quit using it.  I'm in the process of getting a copy of all my data downloaded from Facebook, and then I shall be deleting my account.  I don't give a shit who's going to miss me.  That's what Google+, e-mail, and fucking telephones are for!  Not to mention that I actively use both MSN and Yahoo messenger clients (well, I use Yahoo for E's benefit only, actually), and the fact that I'm not hard to get in touch with at all.  So fuck off, Facebook.  (I believe S decided the same thing this morning, as did several other people on my Facebook friends list, so I imagine I'll be seeing them all on Google+ shortly.)  I've even found a way to make up for the stuff that I was following on Facebook that it is now impossible to follow with the new News Feed - Twitter!  So I'm using Twitter to follow Huffington Post and NPR and all the other stuff that I use to find the news articles I read, and will probably use Google+ to keep up with the people I care about.

Anyway, that's really all.  As stated previously, nothing exciting has been happening lately.  I'm listening to a really beautiful song by M right now, which is pretty awesome. 

Speaking of M, he saved my butt on Sunday.  I was already having kind of a bad day, and then my iPod got frozen while I was trying to force my computer to recognize its existence.  Like really frozen.  I couldn't reset it, turn it off, skip the song, hear anything, lock it, or adjust the volume.  I could literally do nothing with it.  M offered to take it with him to work, and I don't know exactly what he did (something fancy, apparently), but he fixed it within half an hour.  Of course, I didn't have access to it until Monday morning, but I was just so happy to have it functioning again that it really didn't matter to me when I got it.

Also, S and I discovered raspberry ginger ale.  It's a very happy, pretty shade of fizzy pink.  I will be having some with vodka later to see if that's tasty together.  I will be having some alone in a minute to see if it's tasty at all.

I hope that I get back to regular postings soon - I'm planning on finally writing that post about growing up Catholic and how I've always sort of known that I was an atheist, but I'm lazy, so here's hoping it actually materializes.  Also, I have an idea for a new story bouncing around in my head, but I think I'm going to let it marinate for a little while before I try writing anything down, since about half my stories are poop.  Not that I've ever finished one, except for this story that was six pages long that was about a little girl and a pond that I wrote when I was 19.  I've been thinking about revisiting that a little bit and seeing if I can tweak it a little bit, and see if I can revisit the same family after a few years have gone by.  Maybe.

Anyway, I don't have anything interesting to say.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Procrastination is Bad, But Links are Good!

I've been procrastinating lately about writing anything because I'm, well, lazy.  However, I'm almost done completely redoing my entire iTunes library, which includes correcting files and deleting bad ones and removing the ones that I only deleted out of the library and not off the hard drive.  (I had almost 10gb of extra material and am now down to probably less than a gig of stuff I don't want.)

This post is going to be primarily a links post - I'll write a real post about life in a little bit, and post some photos, because yay photos.  But now, here are links I've been gathering since September 5th.

Links Round-Up

I complained about Pepperberry earlier this week in this post, but while I was writing that post (and looking at all the links that I used when I wrote it), I came across an article that pointed out that when Pepperberry was launched, they sized all of their stuff down just enough that the Super Curvy size now fits like a Really Curvy, which presumably means that no one above an F or G cup will be able to shop at Pepperberry now unless they want to buy overpriced clothes that are in a size that is too large everywhere else.  If I'm going to be forced to buy something that doesn't fit me well, I may as well just get it from Wal-Mart for five bucks instead of thirty at Pepperberry.  So disappointed - I was really looking forward to buying some clothes from them after I get a job and lose about 10 inches.

Square Enix is doing a remake of Final Fantasy X, which is only my most favorite video game ever.  I'm hoping and praying that the battle system goes unchanged, since I'll probably be unable to play it if it does change.  (I'm hilariously bad at real-time battle and most other turn-based systems are too quick for me to keep up with because I'm a rather methodical player.)  But oh god oh god the graphicsgasm I shall have!  Can't wait, can't wait!  (I think they're just making it prettier for the PS3 so it can be in HD, but maybe there'll be new content, too.)

Vladimir Putin is pretty much the coolest leader of a country ever.  Dude.  Seriously, go look at these photos.

For the last several years, I've noticed that teachers are getting blamed more and more for things that are actually the fault of the parents and students.  It's definitely not a profession I intend to go into anymore (I used to want to be a teacher when I was a kid), mostly because there's too much stress and bullshit for the low pay teachers receive.  Until teachers are valued for the vital keystone to our world's future that they are, we are going to have nothing but the people who chose teaching because it was easier to become a teacher than it would have been to go into the profession they really wanted.  I found an article written by a teacher that tells parents what teachers really would like to say, if they weren't terrified of going to jail, being sued, or otherwise losing their livelihood.

Scientists studied a group of 60 four year olds taking mental function tests, and found that watching nine minutes of Spongebob Squarepants right before taking the test caused them to do measurably worse than the children who watched nine minutes of Caillou or drew pictures for nine minutes.  All right then.

Well, now I don't want to live in England anymore.  What the hell kind of country rations tests designed to detect cancer early?!

In the rainforests in the Indian state of Meghalaya, there are living bridges.  Made of tree roots.  And they are pretty.


I really like Obama, and I think most of the country is being a little impatient with him - how is he supposed to fix everything George Bush broke in just four years, when Bush had eight to break it all?  (Not that it was just Bush, since it was also the entire Congress being rich, pampered assholes.)  Anyway, I really liked seeing him be angry with Congress, and I hope that this does something, whether it lights a fire under Congress's collective ass or just gets Obama elected for a second term so that he can finish what he started.  I feel proud of him, and I really hope that jobs bill gets passed, because maybe that will finally help me find a job.  (Of course, then everyone reading this will probably never hear from me again... :P)

This is just horrifying.

NPR made a chart that shows where the Republican contenders stand on climate change and evolution.  This is like a week old, but still relevant if you haven't seen it.

I have made it no secret in the past that I at best look upon Michele Bachmann with disdain, and at worst make fun of her mercilessly. And, of course, there's the recent bit about her in the news that, unless you live under a rock, you know about - the Republican debate where Michele Bachmann yelled at Rick Perry for trying to push through legislation forcing girls to get the HPV vaccination as the Governor of Texas.  I think it's hilarious that the American Academy of Pediatrics debunked everything she said about how the HPV vaccine can cause mental retardationIt's even funnier that she tried to defend this, saying that she's not a doctor.  Because when you're a public figure, it's totally okay to make completely fallacious statements about something just because you don't agree with its use.

I decided after the whole Toyota fiasco a few years ago that I was never going to buy a Toyota that was made after the 1990s, and after seeing what their idea of an ad campaign is, I don't ever want to own a Toyota ever.  Ever ever ever.  What the fucking fuckety fuck, Toyota?!

I found this video hilarious.  Beware, you may find it mentally raping.  S did.  (This is all C's fault, he sent it to me!)  Also, I really want to find the song that plays during the video, because it's really, really catchy.  And I want it.

I was sent this recently, because apparently this is what I should be giving to my boyfriends.  Ha.

I read Crazy Things Parents Say a lot, and I saw this the other day and thought it was really cute.

A murder suspect was called for jury duty... in his own trial.

Can't tell if trolling or legitimate...  Seriously, I can't tell if this is a joke or if it's an article that was really written in the 90's by some old curmudgeon who didn't trust that new-fangled World Wide Web thing.

This morning, J was reading some statistics to S and me about Fox News viewers.  Since we're a household of people who think people who legitimately go to Fox News for their news and political information are stupid, this was just more evidence of the kind of shit this country is going to.  I asked him for the link, intending to post it here and freak out about how the whole country is just going to implode, and noticed that he hadn't really paid attention to the website, which is actually a satire website, like The Onion.  Yep, that's right, it was a huge joke, and more hilarious for that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Music Explosion

Last night I decided I was fed up with my music being so disorganized and began the endeavor of getting it sorted out and deleting stuff I meant to delete months ago.  Like my Enya stuff, which was a mess - I had six copies of the same song in some instances.  I've deleted about 1,000 songs since yesterday evening, when I started, and I've added probably about 150 or so so far, but I'm also still deleting.  Exciting stuff.  When I started, I had almost 4,000 songs, and I'm down to just under 3,000 now, ranging over the entire musical spectrum.  I'm fairly sure I don't have a single unrepresented genre.  Well, I was, but S asked me if I had any punk or Goth music, and I'm not sure I have any big band (because, dude, 3,000 songs), but I've got at least a small sampling of almost everything.  Obviously.

I've got access to my files from the other hard drive again, and I'm taking great advantage of this by getting everything off of it as soon as possible.

Anyway, the weather here is wonderful and cold and perfect.  It feels delicious and like cocoa and crunchy leaves and long sleeves.  Favorite time of year ever.

I've been working on a crochet project that my ex-fiance sent me (I left it in England with him because I thought we were getting married), it's actually the first granny square I ever made, which I made with a bunch of random scrap yarn I had, and I'm going to give it to S when I'm done, because she really likes the colors.  I'll post a picture tomorrow after I get the chance to take a picture of it.  This means when I'm working on it and the Toddler is in bed.

I'm about to go out and drop off a job application, and half the reason I'm so stinking excited about it is because I get to wear a long-sleeved shirt for once!  Okay, getting dressed and leaving now, so posting.  The Toddler is very displeased that we are not leaving immediately.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fat Chicks Only Wear Muu-muus in Fashion Land

Today, I found a link to a blog about finding fashionable, pretty clothing for the fuller-figured girl with very large breasts, and some of the things she wrote really struck a chord with me, so it's essay time.

I wear a size 20. Sometimes I'm an 18, or a 22, or a 24, depending on where I'm shopping, but for the most part, I am a size 20. However, if I follow the sizing chart at Lane Bryant (which is where I bought the only pair of jeans I have that fit), I wear a size 26. Funnily enough, it even has the measurements that would be accurate to my size listed as what a size 26 dress would be, but if I tried on a size 26, I would be swimming in it. Except for my boobs, probably.

Most dresses I've tried on have only fit at the chest, because I have to size up for my breasts. I am already not a thin woman. I struggle to find clothing that actually flatters my body and makes me feel good without being painful to wear or uncomfortable. It is incredibly frustrating to have to buy tents for my body because they do not make dresses for my shape. Large breasts aren't even close to being accomodated by the fashion industry, at least not if they are paired with proportionately large waists. I am never going to have a 30 inch waist again, especially not with my chest, which ranges from a 42G to a 36HH, depending on the cut and style of the bra, and the individual manufacturer. I am not going to be a size 10 ever again. I think I'll be lucky if I manage a size 12 or 14, which is my goal for when I eventually lose weight.

Even though I want to lose weight, I am still a size 20 right now, with very large boobs. I believe I deserve to feel pretty, I deserve to look nice when I want to look nice, and I am sick and tired to death of wearing nothing but enormous t-shirts because none of my clothes fit and I can't find anything in the womens' department that does. Pepperberry, Bravissimo's clothing line, doesn't even go up to my waist size. In fact, the largest size they carry is a full 10 inches smaller than my waist.

This is incredibly frustrating for me. I feel like I am being told that I do not deserve to look or feel beautiful because I am a larger girl. I am told this everywhere I go. The last guy I went on a date with basically told me that while I was good for a quick fuck, I was not good enough to be a girlfriend because I am too fat. I am tired of this. I am tired of being laughed at, I am tired of being used, and I am tired of my size and weight being a "problem". It is not a problem, or at least it is not my problem. My only real problem with my body is that I can't find anything to fit it and that my weight is causing me some health problems. This is the primary reason I want to lose weight. Not so I can feel beautiful again, not so I can get honked at while walking down the street, but so I can run again, so my tendons stop hurting, so the weight of my chest doesn't cut off my ability to breathe. I didn't even start having health problems related to my weight until I got larger than a size 16.

I want to be able to look in the mirror and think I am beautiful without worry about whether I am "too fat". I want people to stop telling me there's something wrong with me. I want people to stop telling me that I should get a breast reduction. I want the opportunity to learn to love my body, my whole body. I deserve that. Every woman deserves to love herself for what she is and not what everyone thinks she should be.

(Next post will have a link round up and maybe a little bit of stuff about life, since I haven't posted anything in over a week.)

I Fail Again

Okay, jeez, I fail.  My allergies are kicking my butt, and this week hasn't been the prettiest.  Also, allergies.  So I'm not sleeping.  And there's laundry.  I'll start writing again soon, though.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Face May Explode Soon

Allergy season has kicked in with full force.  I can barely breathe and everything tastes horrible.  I thought I was getting sick yesterday, but now that the weather has finally cooled down, I am merely unable to breathe and not hot and itchy.  I am probably going to start sleeping between 9 and 16 hours a day, too, if last year's trends are anything to go by.  I spent most of August and September last year asleep.

Anyway, so I'm not terribly able to keep up anything like a posting schedule, as I'm generally in a hazy stupor.  So I'm doing a lot of reading, which has caused me to accumulate a large number of links.  So there's going to be a rather impressive link round-up at the end of this post.

Let's see, a whole fat lot of nothing has been happening this week.  I did update my OkCupid account yesterday, but that doesn't mean anything, as I'm not terribly sure I'm interested in using it.  I mostly updated it because I had nothing else to do, and it kept me briefly entertained.  Honestly, after that last guy from there, I'm not entirely sure I trust OkCupid - there seem to be a disproportionately large quantity of assholes on the site.  In any case, that's what I spent a good bit of yesterday doing.

It finally rained yesterday, bringing tolerable temperatures to the area, which is very nice.  I went and stood outside in the rain for awhile, and after it rained, Girl Child went outside to mess around and we found some snails, so I took a whole bunch of pictures of her holding them so S would finally have some more recent photos of her.  I also got some photos that are of just the snails and her hands, and got permission from S to post one, so here's a picture of a tiny snail on Girl Child's hand:

Woo for snails!  I am so glad she didn't try to make me touch it.

There's going to be a detailed photo of the snail itself on the Photo Gallery page, if there's any interest to see extreme snail-y detail.

Anyway.  Nothing exciting is happening.  I washed my hair last night before going to bed and woke up with a giant tangled frizzy fluffball.  I don't know how this happens.  Hermione keeps trying to possess me, but all she manages to get to stick is her damn hair.  Well, she can keep her hair!  Take it back!  Oh my god.  I've tried using the boar bristle brush to distribute the sebum to the ends of my hair in the hope that that would be helpful, but all that did was make it stand on end more.  I look like I've been electrocuted!

So, in other news, I received a call from E the other day.  I hope she doesn't mind me posting about this, but I don't think anyone she knows reads this blog, especially since her mother has me hidden from her news feed on Facebook because of my prodigious use of the word "fuck".  But I digress.

E was crying when she called me.  I already knew about this at the time that I posted about going to Topeka, but hadn't mentioned it yet, but since it's now a thing...  Anyway, E had her doctor do the genetic test for breast cancer.  I don't know if he did both BRCA1 and BRCA2, but she is at risk - most of her mother's female relatives have had it by the time they were 50, including her mother, so I can see why she'd want to know, but at the same time, it's rather worrisome, because it makes me wonder if her insurance company will cover treatment if she develops it at some point in the next 50 years, since American insurance companies will do that to you.

Anyway, I don't really know what I'm supposed to do.  I feel for her, but am I supposed to go on acting like everything will be fine?  That's been my approach so far, and I think it's helping her.  Maybe.  I know I don't intend to treat her like she's going to die, since her chances range from 56% to 87% of her contracting it by the time she's 70.  Maybe she won't get it until she's 67 or something.  I know I'm not going to treat her like a time bomb, or in any other way that is different from how I have treated her for the past 15 years.  Even if she does develop cancer when she's 35, she's still the person she was before, not a disease.

Well, that was depressing.

In other things for me to worry about with E, she and her husband have agreed to divorce.  He's also stopped saying that he wants to take her to court, because most of the belongings they have were acquired by E before the marriage, and all that would happen would be that he would have a lot less stuff than before.  I think this is a fairly sensible course of action, and a lot better than the previously childish behavior he was displaying when E first made it apparent that she wanted a divorce.  However, this does not absolve his previous behavior, and I am not even slightly impressed by him.  I hope, if she ever gets married again, that she marries an actual adult next time, and not a man-child.  At least that's good news, sort of.  I mean, getting divorced sucks, but at least she's not sentencing herself to a lifetime of misery instead of facing and dealing with the issue.

I tried to call her this morning, but she didn't answer the phone, either because she was busy or because she didn't recognize the number, since I called from the house phone and not my cell phone.  She called while I was writing this post and we talked for a very long time about lots of different things.  It was nice, we haven't done that in a long time.

I've been amusing myself by pressing on my sinuses in my cheeks, because it makes my nose feel like it's being strangled.  It's kind of a cool sensation, actually.  I imagine that's weird.

I've allowed myself to fall behind on the laundry, mostly due to the lethargy that comes with allergies and sleep deprivation.  This sucks, but hopefully I'll feel a little better in a few days and will be able to keep up with it again.  Please.

I think I'm going to take a walk today, since it's so nice out.  That'll be different.

I recently took photos of the giant spider that lives right outside the living room window eating a cicada.  It's actually pretty cool, and if I wasn't terrified of the spider, I'd go outside in the early mornings and get pictures of it from that angle, but I'm simply not able to do that.  That layer of glass between us is the only thing that allows me to photograph it at all.  It is a pretty interesting thing to observe, though.  Also, S says that it's just an orb weaver, which is a pretty common spider.  According to her.  Because I have no idea.  I know what black widows look like, and I can sometimes identify brown recluse spiders, and jumping spiders because they're easy, but the rest are "OMG KILL IT" and tarantulas.  Except for those spiders that eat birds in Australia.  Those make me want to move to a space station permanently.  Anyway, spider picture.

"Nom nom nom!" says the spider.  "Aaaarghblbaaahsghghff!" says the cicada.

Anyway, I have links.  I have about 20, actually, due to the fact that I don't stop reading things like Fark just because I haven't written a blog post.  Also, my head feels like a water balloon from the incredible amount of sinus pressure I'm developing at an exponential rate.

Links Round-Up

I'm starting with the saddest stuff first today, so there'll be less sad at the end.

There are a lot of articles about 9/11 lately, since the 10th anniversary is coming up, and one of them was about the photographer who took the famous "Falling Man" picture, and how everything surrounding the photo and that day have affected him, and it also talks about how powerful the image is.  That's one of the more heartbreaking photos I've seen from September 11th.  The explosions, the people running in the streets, none of that is as gut-wrenching as looking at that photograph.

In addition to the article about the Falling Man photograph, I also found an article about surviving twins from the attacks - 46 people who were twins died, and their surviving siblings have been trying to figure out how to go on with their lives after suddenly becoming an "I" instead of a "we".

Apparently a whole lot of people would rather feel safe than have their rights.  That's really scary.  I will never trade my rights for more security.  That's how things like the Patriot Act happen.

Why, why would someone have to go to jail for overdue library books?  I can't imagine what the motivation is and I'm horrified that this happened.  What's next?  The death penalty if you lose a few over the course of your patronage at the library?  This is why our libraries are disappearing.

This guy is seriously fucked up.  Also, this makes me never want to own a computer with a webcam again.  I wonder if the government has the ability to do that.  That's a seriously scary thought.

There's a 10 year old child who lives in a small town and has identified as female since toddlerhood, despite being biologically male.  Her parents, when they talk about their children, say they have two daughters, and she is allowed to dress how she pleases and decorate her bedroom in a feminine way, as well.  The only dissenter is her grandfather.  I think she's very lucky, and I wish her all the best in her future.

Some bigoted asshole thinks it might be psychologically damaging for children to witness diversity being welcomed on national television, and advises against allowing any children to watch Chaz Bono (Cher's son) on Dancing With The Stars.  Also, how is seeing a transgendered person on television going to affect the sexual/personal identity of any children or adolescents watching the show?  I think it's great that it's not being treated as a thing by the show, as it's just one of many identities a person can have.  Of course this article is from Fox News.

I think it's pretty cool that advertisers are starting to be more diverse when showing commercials for their products.  K-Y has a commercial following their current trend of couples talking, but showing a lesbian couple this time.  It's not any different at all from any of their commercials featuring heterosexual couples, and I think that's wonderful.  Maybe things will be okay and acceptance is in store for the LGBT community.  Also, the slideshow of commercials on this article are worth watching, particularly the John Hancock Financial Services commercial, which made me cry.

I found a very old article about Lane Bryant while researching the origins of the company a few days ago, talking about the controversy surrounding a lingerie ad that was supposed to be aired during prime-time slots, alongside very similar Victoria's Secret ads.  But of course, the networks had a problem with the Lane Bryant ad, what with the very healthy, voluptuous, sexy woman in the commercial, while the walking clothes hangers in the Victoria's Secret spots received no criticism at all.  Obviously we're having a problem here figuring out what is sexy.  Personally, I do not think a woman who has protruding hip bones, ribs, shoulders, and everything else is a sexy person.  Anorexia is not hot.  My personal, ultimate goal for the weight loss I'd like to achieve is to look like that Lane Bryant model.  Because shit.  She is HOT.  Oh my god.

I'm voting for Obama this election, and this is why.  At least he's not trying to take away more of my rights.  This terrifies the hell out of me.  I'm not sure what candidates the other parties have, but because everyone is so complacent in this country, there will never be any real change to the world because no one cares enough to make it happen or elect someone that might be able to fix this mess.  I really do think we need a complete overhaul of our government system, this is ridiculous.  I want to only elect people who pay attention to the needs and wants of the people they're supposed to be representing, or maybe we should just get rid of Congress altogether so that way the general public can vote on every law that goes through and whether it should be a law or not.  I don't know.  I'm not really educated enough to figure out what the solution to this would be, but I don't think it has anything to do with keeping the same corrupt, self-serving rich assholes in office.  In any case, I want to keep my reproductive rights, so none of the people that are Republican candidates for president are getting my vote.  I just find it hilarious that this is what Republican has come to mean, because they used to be the polar opposite of this.

Also, speaking of reproductive rights, a judge in Texas blocked parts of a new abortion law that was ready to take effect on September 1.  The law would have forced every woman who wanted an abortion to view a sonogram of her fetus/embryo and listen to its heartbeat, without exception for a woman who was the victim of rape or incest.  If she was, and did not wish to view a sonogram (duh), she would have to certify in writing exactly why she didn't want to do that.  I would imagine that anyone who was having an abortion would probably not want to view a sonogram.  Apparently it's more important to protect the rights of a cluster of cells than the woman incubating them these days, and honestly, I don't see how that cluster of cells is more important that my wants.  Once it becomes a viable living baby, we'll talk.  Also, the Justice Department is starting to crack down on abortion protesters harassing women who are entering the clinics.  I love how abortion protesters don't even think for a second that a woman might go into a Planned Parenthood to get a pap smear, or renew her birth control prescription, or to get free condoms, or any of the other things that happen at Planned Parenthood that have nothing to do with an abortion.  For fuck's sake, people, get a grip and stop this insanity.  It is no one's business but the individual's if they want an abortion.  Back the hell off.

Some assholes decided to teach a female smoker a "lesson".  Did you know that cigarettes actually release less harmful chemicals and gases into the air than, say, cars?  And the truck in the video obviously had some illegal modifications done to it.  I hope that woman called the cops or something, because she definitely did not deserve that.  This is why I am against anti-smoking laws.  Who cares if they are smoking?  I think it's fine if people are smoking outside of public gathering places.  I'm still working on quitting, so I can speak from the perspective of a smoker.  I have never been comfortable smoking in bars and restaurants that allow it, preferring to go outside.  I'm always mindful of blowing the smoke away from others as much as possible.  I try to be as fucking considerate as possible, but these guys?  If they did that shit to me, I'd hunt them down and blow an entire pack's worth of smoke directly into their eyeballs.  And then kick them in their balls.  Fuck you, anonymous truck-driving assholes.

I really like wildlife photography.  It's not something that I sit around and talk about at length or anything, because that's just not very interesting, but sometimes there are photographs that just grab you and scream to be talked about.  These photos of lions are some of that kind of photograph.  The facial expressions are just incredible.  Lions are beautiful.

Also, desert sunset photos.  Because this particular jet trail looks like a tornado, and these are beautiful photographs.

I really like the concept of store pets.  It's just something that's always appealed to me, and here is a case of a cat that is 19 years old and has lived in a hardware store for 15 years.  That is so awesome.

This is what happens when you get bored and have a colicky baby.  Pretty cute, actually.

I think if more companies did this, the world would be more awesome.  This is seriously awesome.

There was a tree in Brooklyn called "The Vagina Tree" because it, well, looked like a vagina.  Hurricane Irene decided this would never do and knocked it down.  Poor Vagina Tree.

Of course someone would be offended by the most awesome cutting board in the history of everything ever, but I'm not, because it's pretty freaking terrific.  S thinks so, too.  Also, I discovered that ThinkGeek already has them in their inventory yesterday morning, so I am now biding my time until I can afford to completely furnish my kitchen with ThinkGeek merchandise.

And now I'm finally done with this post, which took about four hours, due to having a very long phone call when I was halfway done.