cygnoir.net

spam couplets

Here we go: end of the year spam couplets! Although these are not technically couplets, bear with me. The first lines are subject lines from my junk mail folder.

“It will be hard for you to imagine your wrist without the watch,” she smirked, and I stalked out of the room.

A confident person is the one that has a decent look, a good gait, a way with a comb, a pair of unwrinkled pants.

If there will be only girls around, will you be ready? Will you tell them about what happened to the boys?

Be a man every time, everywhere, with any woman. Open the door for her even if she refuses to walk through it.

A totally different perspective of what’s going on is a lame way to enter this beleaguered argument.

be careful what you whine for

“Be careful what you whine for” is my lesson today.

I was whining to FunkyPlaid this morning about how although I had a day off, I wanted a day off without responsibilities.

I pictured a day off during which I lounged in my new slippers with my new lap-desk on my lap, writing with my new purple limited edition Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen.  Instead, I knew I would have to wash the dishes, organize my closet, and clean the explosion of holiday cheer that is my office, among other things.

And then quite suddenly, due to some useless person’s utter stupidity online which isn’t even worth getting into, I had to hang out and wait in front of FunkyPlaid’s computer … sitting in a big comfy chair whilst lounging in my new slippers, writing on my new lap-desk with my new pen.

See what happened there?

I get it. I’ll stop whining. Really.

procrastination day

So today I read about 300 pages in “Twilight”, washed the bathroom floor, scrubbed the toilet and sink and part of the shower, did the dishes, organized presents, edited some poetry, and wrote two holiday cards. That’s all: two cards. I have no idea how I am going to get these out before New Year’s.

Saturdays make me a little wiggidy, to be honest. I usually feel guilty for having the day off because FunkyPlaid doesn’t. Today he and just one other employee ran the whole store, open to close. After FunkyPlaid got home, he collapsed on the bed and didn’t even stay awake for the scotch I poured him. Torgi jumped up, curled up, and that was that.

I believe that is about to be that for me, too.

the return of the huh

I am barely coherent at this point, but sure, I will throw some words together and at you while I sip my cookie tea. You heard me: cookie tea! And no actual cookies were harmed in the making of this tea, so it is gluten-free! Ah, tea-chnology.

Various events over the past few days have turned parts of my life into a wobbly shopping-cart -- you know the kind, one wonky wheel requiring an extra-tight grip to keep the whole thing moving forward. As a result, my knuckles are white but I am also chuckling vaguely to myself in the quieter moments, from a curious "huh, this is what my life is now" type of observation mode.

I would be more specific, but I refuse to break my streak of obtusely referring to Major Life Drama from the pedestal (lighthouse? watchtower? creaky treehouse?) of metaphor.

The HWF (Holiday Work Function) earlier this evening was bizarre -- no dinner, just appetizers, and mostly inedible ones at that -- and one drink ticket that I failed to use. The music was cranked too loud for me to hear most of the conversations around me, but I did chat with some colleagues and meet some nice new folks. I left after about an hour, caught a train, and read the first 50 pages of "Twilight" by the time I got home. The writing, while not fantastic, is enthralling, and I will probably end up reading the rest of the series. I would say something cranky about the fuss over these books, but I cannot muster up the faux-disdain.

What I will comment on crankily is my inability to read one book at a time. I used to be so good at that! Now I have at least 3, usually 5, going on at once, always a range of fiction and nonfiction, funny and not, so that no matter which mood I am in, there is always something to read.

... which might explain why I find myself employed in a building that houses hundreds of thousands of books. Huh.

miles is creepy

Miles is creepy. I hope we learn more about him in Season 5.

Miles is Creepy

View the rest of the cast photos from Season 5 of “Lost”.

in training

To be honest, I don’t want to write much of anything right now. My evening became a comedy of errors as soon as I left work and attempted to get home on Muni.  After an hour’s wait and only two overfilled trains, I took an inbound to Embarcadero so I could try there. I hopped onto a train that called itself an “N-Judah ‘B’” which I had never seen before, but it had N-Judah in the name, so I took a gamble. As soon as it pulled out of the station, it changed to an S shuttle. So I got off at the next stop and waited another 20 minutes for an actual N-Judah. It was just as packed as the two earlier trains, but I shoved myself on. Then I proceeded to have a coughing fit right before my stop. The people around me must have thought my head was going to pop off.  I covered my face with my hands and my scarf and hoped for the best.

At least I picked up some gluten-free groceries at Andronico’s, and ran into friends while doing so.  That was a nice, unexpected surprise.  I now have gluten-free bagels to try, among other treats! 

Now FunkyPlaid is brewing some herbal tea with honey for my throat, and I will play the weird and wonderful Majesty of Colors game with Zen curled up next to me until I fall asleep.

complimented

Today I received a compliment of such magnitude that I can barely internalize it, hours later.  It caused me to think deeply about self-worth, and how we decide whether or not we “deserve” compliments.

I put that in quotes because I wonder if it is relevant what we decide about someone else’s opinion.  A genuine compliment is paid regardless of the agreement of the recipient.

For much of my life, I have struggled with the concept of what I deserve versus what I receive.  With few exceptions, I have been what some have called blessed with good fortune, and that, coupled with a strong Roman Catholic upbringing, comes no small amount of concern that I have not earned it.

Yet we earn compliments without having to agree with them. It would be cleaner if we agreed, of course; it is rude to respond to a compliment with a negative statement, not to mention pointless (unless one is angling for the follow-up reaffirmation). Does the compliment, like the insult, say more about the giver than the recipient?

you are great

This short film called “Validation” made me smile, laugh, and cry.  Plus it stars TJ Thyne, who plays Hodgins on “Bones”! Thanks, Chief Happiness Officer!

(No longer able to be embedded. Grr! Watch it here.)

Safe Haven

This piece on the Los Angeles Public Library called “Safe Haven” could have just as easily been done about the San Francisco Public Library. It’s worth a look. (via librarian.net)

wordle.net does cygnoir.net

wordle.net does cygnoir.net wordle.net does cygnoir.net, originally uploaded by cygnoir.
I could waste quite a bit of time on Wordle.

spotless mind

I made it through the first hour of work today, but that was all. This nasty little head-cold has me beat. No matter how many times I wash my hands at work, I seem to pick up every cold and flu that walks through the doors of the library. Certainly this is a result of my compromised immune system, but no less annoying.

The cold medicine I am taking makes everything a bit dreamlike. My choice of media today -- Paul Auster's "In the Country of Last Things" and Taika Waititi's "Eagle vs. Shark" -- added to it, no doubt. Zen slept next to me most of the day and evening. My eyes are dry and my nose won't stop running, and yet I am confident that with rest and vitamins and sleep I will be better tomorrow.

For clarification, yesterday's poem wasn't about anything in particular. I saw that first line in my junk email folder, and the rest happened without much thought. It was slightly influenced by my affection for "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" and "Vanilla Sky".

we know how to help

When your relationship is getting ruined we know how to help you. We will come into your house while you are at the grocery store, buying whatever the hell cereal you want to buy, now that there are no other arbitrary preferences in the house,  and we will rearrange everything. We will confuse your weakened heart, so there is no longer a focus on the ever-present crumbling, the noise of a tow-truck always idling around the corner.

We know that it is not about words of wisdom. Curse words are more apt but still not good enough. The words you want to collect and trash are the words you think you will never say again: “honey” or “baby” or “sorry” “I missed you” or “I know I was wrong” or “what do you want me to say”

We know how to help you. We have machines that will help. If you press your forehead against the cool metal and look right into here we can see into your brain and therefore your heart. We can see which baggage to zap, which intriguing trait to enhance. We know things you do not know, can never know, without us.

All it takes is three easy payments of your distrust your despair your disbelief.

— Halsted Mencotti Bernard

(Thanks to my junk email folder for the first line.)

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

YouTube - 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes actually gave me goosebumps.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6wRkzCW5qI&w=425&h=350]

questions

Is it rude to pet someone's dog without saying hello to the person part of the equation first?

What is the word for "compulsion to buy cat toys even though they always prefer hair-ties and bottle-caps"?

Is it okay if FunkyPlaid has more (and prettier) fountain pens than I do now? Do I lose my fountain pen street cred? On which street might this cred be located?

Can you ever spend too much time thinking about the subjunctive?

Where can I find a Santa hat within the next 18 hours?

Did you ever listen to the podcast?

impending doom

City workers, poor lose out in S.F. budget cuts: “Nearly 400 city employees will lose their jobs in February as part of $71 million in cuts announced Tuesday by Mayor Gavin Newsom.“ No word yet on whether or not I am one of the 400.

Blessed Saint Architeuthis

Blessed Saint Architeuthis, by Skot Olsen

Blessed Saint Architeuthis, by Skot Olsen.

for luck

As everything is liminal, the sky and trees are separated only by lamp-light. You remember how to get to the train, but do not remember the walk. A white car attempts to punctuate the crosswalk as a near-stranger grabs for your arm.

Which words did you use to describe your mood to your colleague? Were you too argumentative, too callous, or not engaged enough, still too young in the field? Will you remember which words when you sink unthinking into a free seat, or will you allow the novel's last chapter to wash over you?

Removing your sweater, you are neither warm enough nor chilled. You are the girl who puts the sweaters on the hangers the same way. You are the girl who says please and thank you. You are the girl who forgets the right word in the right moment and repeats it later into the dark three times for luck.

decadence

Ah yes, living the decadent life! Right now I am reclining in bed, stuffed with Thai food, editing poetry– scratch that, attempting to edit poetry because I am on my 12” PowerBook and it can barely load a webpage, let alone maneuver around word processing.  Open Mail.app and the spinning beach-ball of doom appears. This makes me sad; my trusty PowerBook and I have been together for over 5 years.

What I want not to want for Christmas this year is a replacement laptop of a new MacBook, but it is so shiny and lovely and fast. Perhaps I will treat myself with one if I get into grad school. I just submitted another application over the weekend, so here’s hoping.

The heat radiating from this thing is lulling me to sleep. Here I go, where visions of Apples will dance through my head.

overheard

Earlier this evening, FunkyPlaid and I were at the laundromat, spending quality time together and with our respective reading material.  Two twenty-something San Franciscan males entered and began the most insipid conversation I’ve overheard there, involving how one of them, while living in India, paid someone to do his ironing, a couple of rupees per shirt. I fell in love with FunkyPlaid all over again when I looked over to roll my eyes and he was already rolling his.

I don’t know what it is about conversations in public places, but people are talking louder and louder.  I’ve no doubt that we all talk about things that other people find inane, but I don’t recall being subjected to these conversations at such volume before. As a result, sometimes I find myself nearly whispering to people to compensate.

on marriage

A friend, on marriage:

It’s why people get married, to have someone around who’ll enjoy telling you the things you don’t want to hear.

Or, conversely, who learn not to.

some wordplay with your gunplay

Campers may now pack heat along with their sleeping bags when they travel to national parks.

The Bush administration on Friday struck down federal regulations banning loaded guns in most national forests, a move that was widely seen as a parting shot on behalf of the National Rifle Association.

The ruling overturned a 25-year-old federal regulation severely restricting concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The new rule, which would take effect in January, would apparently allow anyone who already has a concealed weapons permit in his or her state to also tote a gun in federal parks within state boundaries.

Guns will be allowed in national parks: Thanks, SFGate, for “pack heat along with their sleeping bags” and “parting shot”, because what good is a ridiculously stupid law change without some wordplay to take the sting out of it?

Sorry, that was a loaded question.

I know, I know: I’m fired!

meta is not the thing

This may have to count as my Holidailies post today, despite it being entirely meta. Whatever I write comes out as a rant about how frustrated I am to spend yet another Saturday at home and awfully sick. So we’ll skip that part.

Inspired by Courtney, I now have a lifestream! The sidebar had become too cluttered, so I moved all of the blow-by-blow online notices to their own page, where you may ignore them en masse.

This site now supports both OpenID and coComment Disqus.

The new theme is subject to change.

That is all for now.

[ETA: My FeedBurner feed will cease to work in 30 days. Please point your RSS readers at http://cygnoir.net/feed instead. LiveJournal syndication has already been updated.]

to bed and to rise

Every night, Torgi the cat puts me to bed by chirping and nudging me until I stop doing whatever I am doing. Every morning, he head-butts me into consciousness because it is time for his breakfast.

Zen, in contrast, cannot be bothered. Her whims are her own, not to be shared with silly humans.

Right now Torgi is purring loudly while attempting to wedge himself in between me and my iPhone. He is winning.

the linguistics of texting

From ‘Gr8 Db8’ Defends The Linguistics Of Texting on NPR’s All Things Considered:

All the popular beliefs about texting are wrong, or at least debatable. Its graphic distinctiveness is not a totally new phenomenon. Nor is its use restricted to the young generation. There is increasing evidence that it helps rather than hinders literacy. And only a very tiny part of the language uses its distinctive orthography. A trillion text messages may seem a lot, but when we set these alongside the multi-trillion instances of standard orthography in everyday life, they appear as no more than a few ripples on the surface of the sea of language. Texting has added a new dimension to language use, indeed, but its long-term impact on the already existing varieties of language is likely to be negligible. It is not a bad thing.
I don’t agree with David Crystal about texting helping literacy. How does abbreviating language help literacy? I suppose I’ll have to read the book.

OMGWTFGTD

Sadly, I can relate to about half of Zen Habit’s “10 Signs You’re a Productivity Junkie”, especially #5:

Conversations with friends are broken up by you jotting notes to yourself. People ask you if you’re writing a book and you reply “I just don’t want to forget any of this.”

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.