July 11th, 2012
|03:07 pm - Spider baby!|
Sorry, arachnophobes, this entry is not for you. Look under the cut at your own peril.
( Spider pics under the cutCollapse )
February 11th, 2012
|03:55 pm - wtb empathy ray|
Sometimes I wish I could just beam people's heads and *make* them understand the crap that some people have to go through.
I would say more but I'm too angry right now to be coherent.
Current Mood: angry
August 13th, 2011
|09:31 am - I can't resist a book meme|
The usual standard....bold what you've read. (I'm going to put the partially read ones in italics).
Yoinked from weirdodragoncat
- The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
- Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
- The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert - Another that I've read dozens of times, I was so OBSESSED with these books when I was younger.
- A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin - I'm on book 5 right now, almost done with it.
- 1984, by George Orwell - got distracted halfway through and haven't gone back to it
- Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
- The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
- Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
- The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
- The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
- Animal Farm, by George Orwell
- Neuromancer, by William Gibson
- Watchmen, by Alan Moore
- I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
- Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
- The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss - I've read the first one, eventually I will read the second one. I enjoyed the first one immensely.
- Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
- Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
- Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick - I checked it out from the library, started to read it, had to return it and haven't gone back to it yet.
- The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood - this book gave me nightmares (read it when I was in high school).
- The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King - I've read the first one, eventually I'll read the rest
- 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke - the movies put me to sleep, no urge to read the book
- The Stand, by Stephen King
- Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
- The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
- Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman - I've read the first one
- A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess - I love his use of language, this book is almost poetic in my opinion. Also depressing as hell.
- Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
- Watership Down, by Richard Adams - I've read this a dozen times or more, it used to be one of the books I re-read at least once a year.
- Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
- The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
- A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller - I read this for an awesome college honors English class in Cold War lit. The book (and the class) were pretty interesting.
- The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
- 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
- Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
- The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
- The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
- The Belgariad, by David Eddings - I read the first one and really did not care for it
- The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson - Still need to read the last book. I enjoyed the first two a lot though I feel like the author is kinda screwing with me sometimes.
- Ringworld, by Larry Niven
- The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin - I love LeGuin.
- The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
- Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
- Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
- Contact, by Carl Sagan
- The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons - I got bored halfway through the second book and haven't gone back yet.
- Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
- Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
- World War Z, by Max Brooks
- The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
- The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
- Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett - I've tried reading some of his books and I just can't get into them.
- The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
- The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold - I love Miles. Apparently I have a thing for short smart men because I feel similarly about Tyrion Lannister.
- Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
- The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
- The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
- The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
- I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
- The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist - I was obsessed with these books when I was 12, but eventually I got over it.
- The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
- The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
- The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb - Robin Hobb is evil. She torments her characters but once I start reading one of her books I can't put it down even through I feel like throwing it across the room about a dozen times a book.
- The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
- The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
- A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
- The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
- Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
- The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
- Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
- The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
- The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
- Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
- Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
- The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson - I have this in a box somewhere waiting to be read...
- The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
- The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
- The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
- Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
- The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher - I'm partway through book 3.
- The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
- The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
- The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
- The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock - I read them on a boyfriend's recommendation (much like the Belgariad books) but I didn't really dig them.
- The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
- Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
- A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
- The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
- The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson - I love this series. Really political and detailed. His other stuff I haven't been able to get into as much.
- Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
- Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis - Connie Willis is another of my favorites, though I think I liked "To Say Nothing of the Dog" and "Bellwether" better.
- Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
- The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
- The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis - I read one of these for school strangely enough.
June 25th, 2011
|03:53 pm - Book list meme. Yes, another one.|
Who can resist book lists? Not me, that's for sure! This list is the NPR Audience Picks of the 100 Best Beach Books Ever. (Cannery Row and Lord of the Flies as beach books?! Really?)
It's the usual drill: Bold the ones you've read. If you remember reading them on a beach, then italicize them as well! (No, there's no code for indicating books you've started, or want to read, or heard of; that stuff's for sissies. You read it, or you didn't.) Give us your count at the end!
1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
4. Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding
5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells
7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg
10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
11. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
13. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
14. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
16. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
17. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
18. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
20. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
22. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
23. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
24. The World According to Garp, by John Irving
25. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
26. The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
27. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
28. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
29. The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler
30. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
31. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
33. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
34. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy
35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
36. Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier
37. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
38. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
39. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough
40. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon
41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
43. Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
44. Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
45. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
46. Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins
49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
50. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
52. The Stand, by Stephen King
53. She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
54. Dune, by Frank Herbert
55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
56. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
57. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
58. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
59. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
60. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
61. Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver
62. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
63. Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
64. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
65. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
67. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
68. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
69. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
70. The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
72. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy
73. Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
75. Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe
76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
77. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
78. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher
79. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
80. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck
82. The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve
83. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
85. The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
87. One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
88. Shogun, by James Clavell
89. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
90. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
91. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
92. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
93. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
94. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
95. Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume
96. The Shining, by Stephen King
97. How Stella Got Her Groove Back, by Terry McMillan
98. Lamb, by Christopher Moore
99. Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen
100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
41 for me.
I don't recall doing any reading at the beach. Maybe I have, though. These days most of my reading is on BART.
March 14th, 2011
|08:28 pm - Tales of a Tester: The New Kid|
There's a New Kid on my team at work - he started a couple of weeks ago. We had an amusing and also irritating conversation today.
New Kid: Which do you like better, LastWeeksCrappyTitle or ThisWeeksCrappyTitle?
M: Really. I don't care, testing is testing.
NK: C'mon, you gotta have a preference.
M: No, I really don't.
M: But I guess I prefer TWCT because we're getting overtime on it.
(And then OT was canceled and I was a sad panda.)
As I was telling one of my work buddies later, I was thinking that this highlights a difference I often see between seasoned testers and new testers. There's no point in thinking about or even asking if you like a title or not - they all have to be tested. And we all have different preferences on top of it - I'm pretty sure NK likes LWCT better, because it's in a genre that interests him. Maybe I might like TWCT better, kinda, as it is more in a genre that I like, but it's a particularly bad rendition of it, so mostly I don't care. It's a matter of focus - when I'm testing, mostly I'm thinking about how the game works (or doesn't) and I notice things that I actively try not to notice when I'm playing at home for my own enjoyment. It was one of the hardest things for me to learn as a new tester; as gamers, we actually train ourselves to mostly ignore bugs (unless they actively interfere with gameplay). Since I started testing, I'm much more likely to notice framerate issues, overlapping text, choppy animations, long loading times, etc: all of the things you try to notice when you're testing only interfere with your enjoyment of the game when you're playing it at home. (This is the reason we test things, imo - so that there are fewer of these things to detract from the users' enjoyment.)
When a hotly anticipated title comes in, we still ask the testers assigned to it for their opinion. But we mostly ask "How is it?" or "What do you think?" rather than "Do you like it?" Because even a good game is less enjoyable when you're testing it, and if you're enjoying the game too much, you probably aren't doing a very good job of testing it. The other part of it is that we all have different preferences, so the odds are good that even though you might wish you had been assigned to HotNewTitleX, the tester actually assigned to it would much rather be on HotNewTitleY. When we ask "How is it?" a lot of the time we want a more objective evaluation of the game, less related to personal preferences. On a very popular realistic shooter (I prefer my shooters to feature aliens or zombies or giant insects or something) I might be able to identify that the gameplay is good and that the title is fairly clean and well designed but that doesn't mean I actually like it. It's highly probable, in fact, that I find it incredibly boring and I'd much rather be on that silly little downloadable game the guy in the corner is testing (note: these are hypothetical examples, not related to anything in test right now). But I could still probably tell NK whether it's a decent game or not, an answer he would not get by asking me if I like it.
So, no, New Kid, I don't like it. And when you said "Do you like anything?" when I told you I didn't like either one, the answer is, yes, I do like things. Just probably not the things that you like.
January 23rd, 2011
|10:38 am - Dealbreakers and gotta haves|
I was talking with a friend last night about her dealbreakers and mine and thought I'd write up my own post about it. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like posting my "Gotta Haves" instead. So here they are:
1. MUST BE HONEST. So some people consider themselves honest people because they don't knowingly lie to others. This is a base level honesty imo, what I'm looking for is a bit more than that: someone who is willing to be honest and direct about their feelings (which means they need to be aware of their feelings), the state of our relationship, their goals, etc. I'm an extremely open person and I think it's fair to expect that to be reciprocated to some extent. I can't emphasize #1 enough, it's that important.
2. Must be a gamer. Preferably someone who enjoys a wide variety of games, not just video games or RPGs or whatever.
3. Likes to read. I'm a book nerd and I like to talk about books - I even made an Excel spreadsheet of the books I've read for goodness sake.
4. Likes diversity/variety. In all things - food, books, movies, games, etc. Not saying you should love everything I love but we should be able to explore a wide variety of things together. And also accepting of differences - I've lived in many different places and I have a fairly broad view of the world. An America-centric point of view won't sit too well with me. Basically I regard any relationship I'm in as cross-cultural and you probably should too. (Kinda think maybe I need to elaborate more on this one, but not right now.)
5. Adventurous. This kind of ties into #4. Basically a degree of openness to new experiences and interest in trying new things.
6. Knows who they are and what they want out of life. Not that you have every detail worked out or that you can't change your mind about it, but a certain degree of self knowledge and personal goals is important.
What about you? What are your dealbreakers and gotta haves?
ETA: Thought of one more: Must be snuggly. Cuddling while watching movies/TV is one of my favorite things to do XD
Current Mood: cheerful
Current Music: Pandora
January 22nd, 2011
|12:02 pm - Let them eat (imaginary) cake|
I want to start living more in the actual.
It's difficult because potential is very exciting. In Potential Land, I drive a corvette (or a hayabusa), have a gorgeous husband who makes me coffee every morning and a fabulous job that pays extremely well. Who wouldn't want to live in Potential Land? The problem is that no one actually lives there - we only visit there part time and then we come back to Actual Land where our cars are reasonably priced (or nonexistent), our jobs don't pay very much, and there are no gorgeous husbands making coffee in the morning (unless you're the exception who happens to blessed with such a husband).
I would really like to eat some chocolate cake. I have eggs and flour and some really good bittersweet chocolate. This is a good start but it's not chocolate cake. There are some ingredients and some effort still required to get from here to the point where I have chocolate cake. While I might sit there looking at the eggs and flour and really good bittersweet chocolate imagining cake, this is not as good as eating actual cake. Maybe even not as good as eating not very good actual cake. Eventually I might start to feel resentful of the eggs and flour and really good bittersweet chocolate, saying "You are not cake. No matter how much I wish you were, you are still not cake." Maybe I'll eat the really good bittersweet chocolate in a fit of resentment, but it's still not cake and I will still feel unsatisfied.
Why didn't I go to the store and get the sugar and baking powder and butter and milk? Maybe I thought the store wouldn't have them. Maybe I thought eggs and flour and really good bittersweet chocolate were all I could get and I was telling myself that if I was really creative and adaptable, I would be able to turn those three things into really good chocolate cake. But not really. You need sugar and butter and leavening... maybe you could substitute water for the milk but I think it still wouldn't be quite as good.
People often say that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. I do like lemonade, but actually I prefer limeade, made from fresh limes with some fresh mint leaves muddled in for good measure. However that's beside the point. The point is that lemons are not enough to make lemonade. You need sugar and water and perhaps some ice and a container to put everything in and something to stir it all up with and a glass to drink it from. What if all you have are lemons? Do you sit there thinking about how the lemons might make really good lemonade if you had those other things? No, you go into your cupboard and pantry and get the stuff to make it into lemonade.
I want to stop thinking about how things might be, if only...
Random thoughts that occurred to me in the shower this morning, when I was wishing that people would communicate more and thinking about people talking about their fears of losing what they think they have. I spent a long time in a Potential Land relationship, thinking that things would get better when we finally got everything else we needed to make cake. I was terrified of looking for the rest of the ingredients because not only was I afraid they didn't exist, I thought I might lose the ones I already had and end up with nothing, not even really good bittersweet chocolate. So I clung to what little we had and to the thought of what we might have until it turned into a nasty sticky mess and there was no way out except to just toss everything. And actually, I watched him toss everything out while still saying "but we could make really good cake" even though that chance (if it was ever there) was long long gone.
So I had to start over from scratch. And I really don't want to go through that again where I'm looking at that really good bittersweet chocolate and wondering if I could make do. If the other ingredients aren't there, it's not going to become cake and I'm not going to tell myself that it could be.
|10:49 am - Some stuff I found interesting|
Basically putting this here because I want to keep it for later.
How to keep someone with you forever (basically describing an emotionally abusive/destructive relationship paradigm)
On Interpersonal Badness - More on same... I particularly like the "You Are Worthless, Let's Be Friends" part because it sounds SO familiar
There was some other stuff I came across and I'm finding myself drawn to some sort of feminist perspectives on things, from gaming to relationships to current media events (okay, slightly not current any more but still).
Current Mood: cheerful
May 31st, 2010
|01:34 am - My brain puzzles me sometimes|
I came across this in a blog I was reading: "Anyone living in a partnership in which financial resources are shared: you should be doing this. Period. Any other way just leads to resentment and frustration that will bleed over into every other aspect of your relationship." (The "this" referred to is to "mutually discuss and come to agreement on ... expenditures".)
It struck me, I guess because I have been in a fairly serious relationship with someone who was somewhat secretive about money and financial matters and I tolerated it even though it made me uncomfortable and now, looking back, I'm finding myself puzzled by that. My own good sense told me that this was A Bad Thing™ and I ignored it. (Mostly. There were discussions but I mostly left it alone. Very unlike me.)
My own family is fairly open about most things. My parents have always discussed their financial situation with us (perhaps in more detail than we sometimes wanted, but I think I prefer things this way) and we would always brainstorm solutions together as a family if we were facing financial hardships. I'm not used to being shut out of important decisions made by people who are close to me. It's just part of the intimacy I expect from close relationships. I don't talk to strangers about this kind of stuff (unless I have to, damn you Chase) and while I share a lot with FB and LJ, there are things I would not share there either. But there's also next to nothing that I wouldn't share with my life partner and I expect a similar degree of openness from them. Or at least I think I do. Why did I back down from this?
I know part of the answer. I'm used to being the dependable partner, the one my partner leans on to be reasonable and do most of the significant decision making. At first it was just such a relief not to have to do that. But I'm not actually suited to being a kept woman, particularly not by someone who's not really in a position to take on that responsibility, and it's not what I'm looking for. I guess I swung too far the other way and mistook that tendency to keep things close to the vest for real independence, and it's not. A full partner deserves full disclosure - that's what I offer and I have every right to expect it in return. Basically, I mistook keeping things from me for standing up to me, and it's really not the same thing at all.
Current Mood: introspective
May 25th, 2010
|11:50 pm - Points and stuff|
I had this point I was going to make and then I decided it was pointless.*
I can feel myself walking away now and it feels pretty good. I was still trying to make sense of things and I think (for now at least) I'm just going to say "that was screwed up, thank goodness it's over, hopefully it won't happen again" and not try and figure it out much beyond that. At least not right now.
I've been working on various things over the past several months, trying to grow and take care of myself and stuff. I've added a new thing to it recently(something some of you on FB may have noticed) - regular exercise. I've got an app on my phone that connects with FB and I'm hoping that the social aspect of it will help reinforce me doing it. I keep wishing there was a bit more to the app, though - I want a "Fitness Adventure" game where I have a character I level up through exercise or something. I didn't find anything like that though. (Yes, I'm a big nerd - if you're just now figuring that out, well, I can't help you.) Anyway, I'm already liking how it makes me feel. I much prefer to be fit(ter) - I try not to worry too much about fitting into some popular concept of feminine beauty but I do like feeling healthy and capable. I had that feeling in Japan and I want it back. And I'd like to get some of it back before I go back - jumping back into biking/walking everywhere with the shape I'm in right now is a bit scary. I'm still not worrying too much about my diet except to just be a bit more conscious about what I eat and how much - I definitely need more veggies in my diet, and I need to actually put some energy into making that happen. There's always food around and most of it is decent, but veggies are challenging because of how quickly they go bad and how expensive it can be to buy good ones. I miss the produce in Japan!
There's a lot of other stuff going on here and there - family stress, money stress, friend stress, etc - but overall I think I'm feeling better about myself and about my life.
*Something about somebody thinking I was living for Steven and still seeing myself in terms of him after it was over and how that's not me and never was, which is true, but really, what difference does it make at this point? I'm me - always have been and always will be. I don't and never have defined myself by who I'm with or not with.