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So, for my Information Policy class, I'm doing a presentation on Anonymous. This means I've spent the whole week immersed in the bizarre world of hacking, internet anarchy, and lulz. I mean honestly, this stuff is almost too insane to be real.

Then I made the mistake of watching V for Vendetta.

I feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole between reality and fiction. @_@
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I am now nested cozily in Syracuse, NY, surrounded by boxes (do these things breed?!) and attempting to impose some order on the post-move chaos.  Internet came up on Wednesday, but I was distracted by the whole unpacking thing.

The place is beautiful--both the townhouse and the region--and I have scored some epic deals on remarkably lovely household objects.  Notably I now own a brand-new sofa worth about $1000 BUT it was the floor model at a furniture outlet and they were looking to clear it out, so I took it home for $250.

My one real luxury was a new LED television.  I mean, I needed a new TV anyway (the old one belonged to Married Roommates); the LED part was the splurge.  Best Buy's Insignia store brand isn't the best stuff out there, but for the price it was remarkably fine, and they are reliable.  Since I mostly use my laptop these days, I spruced up my desktop with a new video card and hooked it up as a media center, and with that and the Cheap But Good speakers my dad supplied me with, it is a far more awesome rig than I have any right to.

Also:  I HAVE A PAPASAN.  I have always wanted one, and lo on Craigslist did the apparition manifest to sing its siren song just as I was trying to figure out what to do for seating besides the sofa.  DESTINY I TELL YOU.  Also the man who owned the papasan has a parrot, so.  You know.

I have spent more money this month than I ever thought I would possess at one time.  And that's okay, since I arranged for it to be so, except for how it's not because OMG SO MUCH MONEY I SPENT.
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But screw politics. This bit of news is what I came to post: Mystery visitor to Poe's grave is a no-show - Yahoo! News

I'm sad. That guy had style.

Also I'm liking how White Collar seems to be shaping up. I love super-smart but not too stern caper stories like The Sting, and I hope that's the sort of thing White Collar is going to be: con-artists and chess masters running schemes on every side, with the good guys prevailing not just because they're lucky or insane but because they're smarter than everybody else. Especially the guy in the scruffy trenchcoat whom everybody underestimates. I thought Neal would be my favorite, but Peter has won my heart by being too awesome for words. I'm a huge fan of people who can repeatedly startle me with their coolness even when I think I already know how awesome they are (perhaps my single favorite personality trait, and one many of you flisters share).
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Snagged from [ profile] coyotegoth. Beware, it's a little NSFW, in that artistic nudity-but-nothing's-really-showing way.

V Gives The World A Plus-Size Shoot Not Afraid To Flaunt Its Curves

Hahahahahahahahaha, so this is what passes for "plus size" these days? Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, I wish I could beam the level of my contempt for the fashion industry into their heads. Have a nice life on Jupiter, guys, because you're sure as hell not living on Earth!
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I'd planned to wait till next year, but my aunt has offered to sell me her Saturn Vue--a car I have coveted and never expected to be able to afford. So here I am, buying a car! I applied for the loan today, which'll be a bit awkward because the rent on the townhouse looks bad on paper. Co-sign ahoy!

I'm terribly excited and tremendously nervous about screwing up the paperwork. I've never done this before.

My god, I'll have a car I don't have to worry about falling out from under me!

In other news, a really interesting Facebook post from an Iranian-American woman I know who was in Iran this week:


Apr. 13th, 2009 02:03 pm
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It's not that I don't care, but I kind of feel like as long as they realize it was stupid and fix the problem, I'm not inclined to fuss too much. We all do stupid stuff. They'll pay for it literally, with all the money they'll lose over this. Seems like enough to me. If it was really just a glitch, then I feel bad for them. If they were listening to some fundie freakout, then they should've known better as a business, and they'll get what's coming to them.
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I'm not sure which is more badass.

First, we've got South Park throwing down the gauntlet to Disney. EW calls it "The rather awe-inspiring season premiere of South Park" and...well, here. This pretty much shows you what's going on. Disney destroys people for doing stuff like this, and that little caveat in the copyright laws about parody being fair use seldom stops them. Trey and Matt are smart guys, though, and I suspect they know what they're getting into.

Second was Jon Stewart's ruthless annihilation of not only Jim Cramer but the illusion the financial media has built of the innocence of their conduct in shaping the financial crisis.

If any of you don't follow the Daily Show and have managed to avoid the buzz, Jon mocked the CNBC network and everybody on it a week or two ago, and the CNBC family took it personally--especially Jim Cramer of "crazy clown behavior on his financial show" and "Buy Bear Stearns!" fame. After a week of the Daily Show mocking them all for even caring what a comedy news show had to say, Cramer finally came on the Daily Show last which point Stewart did that thing he sometimes does and unleashed the devastation of serious investigative journalism.

This is why he wins Peabodies.

Also, suck on that, CNBC, and all the "real" journalists who should have released this story!
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(CNN) -- Acts of kindness will help pull the nation through its economic crisis, according to the woman who came to the rescue of a homeless Floridian who publicly appealed to President Obama.

Chene Thompson, the wife of state Rep. Nicholas Thompson, R-Fort Myers, is letting Henrietta Hughes and her son stay in a house she owns in nearby La Belle rent free until they get back on their feet.

Kindness will help economy, homeless woman's rescuer says -

You know, where I grew up, we didn't have money to pay people to do most of the things that needed doing. The cemetery needed mowing, the school needed carpentry and plumbing work done, the town park and pool always needed maintenance of one sort or another...and we were a tiny rural town, 300 people, and it could be challenging to find money to keep the roads and sewage maintained, let alone all the other odds and ends.

Our town ran on volunteer work and odd jobs. My grandfather did the carpentry for the whole school system, gratis. One of the school kids mowed the cemetery once a week for $20 a pop. A group of people stayed in contact with the poorest families in town to make sure they had enough to eat and their kids could get to school.

I suspect that this is how most of the country has always functioned. Most communities could never afford to just throw money at our problems. Those of us who could afford to do so, either with time or money, helped out the rest of us, and it didn't make us significantly poorer so long as people were willing to cooperate, but it enriched everyone's quality of life. But these days it seems like it's not worth doing if you can't get paid for it.

...Maybe that's not quite fair. It's more like, in a lot of cases you can't afford to do it if you can't get paid for it. If your work doesn't bring in money, then you go find work that does, because you have to afford your own grocery bills.

I've come to believe that this is one of the issues that's led to our current economy (or lack thereof). When you can't afford to do things that need to get done, you find the money somewhere, whether you're a college student paying your rent with your credit card or a township going into debt to keep the municipal buildings standing. There has to be a better way to do this. We all have resources that are valueless to us, but someone somewhere needs them desperately. A vacant house. $50 you'd spend on junk you don't need anyway. A bored Saturday afternoon and the skills to knit a blanket or build a bookshelf for the grade school. A breadmaker and a $1.50 bag of flour that'd let you contribute to the local soup kitchen on the cheap. Enough leftovers from dinner that you could invite over one of your poor college friends who'll have to charge a meal to their credit card otherwise.
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There are not words to describe how cool this is.

"Swiss 'FusionMan' plans to fly across the Channel"

Thu Sep 18, 12:02 PM ET

LILLE, France (AFP) - Swiss daredevil Yves Rossy will attempt to cross the English Channel next week, propelled by a jet-powered wing strapped to his back, an aide said.

The 49-year-old airline pilot will next Wednesday drop from a small plane at an altitude of 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) before spreading his wing.

He will jet off to the English coast, reaching speeds of more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) per hour.

Rossy hopes to cover the 35 kilometres (22 miles) from Calais in northern France to Dover in 10 minutes.

Rossy, who calls himself FusionMan, became the first man in 2004 to fly with jet-powered wings.

His new contraption, with a wing span of three metres (10 feet), allows him to fly for no longer than 10 minutes before his 30-litre fuel tank runs out. He can reach peak speeds of 300 kilometres (180 miles) per hour.

Rossy will take two parachutes -- one for him and one for the wing that opens automatically once it is cast off.
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Well, how about that.

When you call technical support for a full-blown computer crash&burn, the usual first step they suggest is "unplug it and let it sit for a few minutes." I always assumed this was the obligatory Step 1: Wishful Thinking of computer maintenance. But today I saw it work! I wonder if our technical support will be as surprised as everybody else to hear it.

Yesterday, I bought a laptop! HP has their Pavilion tx2500z (aka their less fancy 12" screen tablet pc model) hugely on sale. I bought mine for $768, including tax, which nets me a 2.GHz AMD X2 processor, 3G Ram, 160GB hard drive, and a dual-layer DVD burner. Free shipping. Acceptable. I'm now in that murky post-consumer realm of shock that I spent $700, that I had $700 to spend, and turmoil over whether this was an unjustifiably hasty impulse buy that makes me a horrible person (never mind that I've been shopping for a tablet pc for two years now because I want it for my art). Am I the only one who does this?

Just finished a Simon R. Green novel (Man with the Golden Torc) about a druidic James Bond, which was rather shallow and terribly good, pulpy fun. It was...well, Mage: the Ascension super-spies. We had Men in Black in secret helicopters, a guy who was everything but called a Virtual Adept straight out (because that's copyrighted), chaos-loving Verbena chick, Jack the Ripper (though probably that's just myMage), and incursions by madness-inducing hyper-dimensional beings from a higher or lower plane of reality. Good times.

Our beloved cookie-baking boss is leaving us! He has taken a job at University of Michigan, and is due to bail out the last week of September. I have until then to drain him of every bit of knowledge I can manage about our programs and projects, because he's pretty much the "the world is exploding, solve this now!" guy, and once he's gone, somebody has to try to keep these degenerate piles of code operating. That won't be our supervisor, who's more the admin type, or our other guy in my position, who's the photography specialist and doesn't do troubleshooting on anything that's not either a camera or a printer. Panic! Chaos! Cramming on XML!

Which, ahem, is why nobody has heard much of me lately. I've been up to my elbows in actual work, which admittedly does feel rather nice. It's good to have a challenge again. I'm setting myself up for workplace exploitation, here, I know. This is the kind of place where they will take every advantage of any skill set you show them, including those that are technically above your pay grade, without ever giving you a raise or even the least kind of consideration for going above and beyond for them; and while oh yes, the increase in pay and ability to actually go to the dentist once a year is lovely, I do not get paid enough to take on the responsibilities of an administrator or supervisor. I am, however, willing to suck this up for a couple of years in return for 1: challenges I can sink my teeth into, 2: some awesome stuff to put on my resume when I'm ready to move on, 3: that lovely lovely tuition discount. Frankly, my skills are not up to snuff for a job beyond my current level (I can teach myself anything technical, but it's the stuff you can only learn through experience that I'm lacking in--project coordination, effective committee work, leadership skills), and I look forward to this giving me what I need.

Oh, the other thing I wanted to publicly mope about: our performing arts venue is hosting the premiere of a concert tour by Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma. Unfortunately, I didn't find out about it until this month, and tickets went on sale in June. Needless to say, they're now sold out. I've been brooding over this since I found out, and now I invite you to lament with me!

Finally: a week till new Supernatural! I'm going to go eat a bagel and see if it makes time move faster.
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Courtesy of [ profile] coyotegoth: Experts find theatre where Shakespeare plays first staged

And do you know how they found it? Because they were digging there to build a new theatre on top of it!

I think for the 2012 Olympics, London should just grab Kenneth Branagh and the RSC and make them stage The Tempest. Prospero can have Ariel fly up and light the torch at the end with a big zappy lightning bolt.
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If anybody's wondering why I vanished for a week or two there, it's because I've been busy...getting a promotion! Well, technically it's a whole new job, but it's essentially a better salary for what I do already, in exchange for having to sit through more meetings and being a viable target for the boss to jump on whenever she needs a project briefing five minutes before a conference or something.

Still. More money, and a tuition discount! I like.

Now to be catching up on f-list. Be back in...*checks* a few days. O.o
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This is pretty much the best thing I could think of them doing:

More like teasers than spoilers, but just in case. )

So yay. That's pretty much everything I was hoping to hear, and it makes me really look forward to the new season, where I'd been a bit "meh" after the season 3 ending.
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I usually don't post about current events, because I figure anybody interested in the news is probably getting it more efficiently from actual news sources. But Gary Gygax's death leaves me feeling like I should say something.

I'm not sure what, exactly. I mean, I didn't know him personally, though I understand he was generally a cool guy and obviously I liked his work. RPGs surround a lot of good memories in my life, but he didn't invent a cure for cancer or bring peace to the Middle East or anything Important like that. But it's just, gosh, a little piece of the world I (and a lot of the people who read this) grew up in falling by the wayside. Happens all the time; sometimes you notice. I notice more with Gary's death, maybe, because what he gave us was a way to remember how to be children no matter how old we might be. A bright gift, Gary. Thank you.
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Fox News tells us that 25% of Brits believe that Winston Churchill and Sir Walter Raleigh are mythical figures, but that Sherlock Holmes was a real person. I'm so sorry, British friends. If it's any consolation, it's true that there are Americans who can't point to China on a map.

Okay, so probably not comforting. Except possibly to the Chinese.

I stayed up way too late last night, for the second night in a row, and I'm feeling jut a tad run-down now. But I stayed up so I could watch Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien maraud across late-night television! Did anyone else catch that? It was great! They're all claiming responsibility for "creating" Mike Huckabee (one of the Republican candidates for the US elections, for those of you overseas who have better things to do with your time), and after weeks of sniping at each other, they ran amok. Hilarious! All in great fun, of course; in truth, so far as I know, they're all good friends.

Jon Stewart: it begins. And then it continues. But Steve has to take off to do his Colbert Report, so they follow him. Conan has to leave to do his show after that, so it's over to his place for the big showdown.

Sure, it's lame; sure, it's filler. Who cares? I love this stuff!

Also, meme. It's been making the rounds again, I never did it the first five times it made the rounds, and I suppose it's time. are seven facts/quirks/etc. about myself:

1: When you ask me specific questions, like "What do you want for your birthday?" or "What movies would you like to see?" or "Name seven unusual facts about yourself", the answers tend to fly right out of my head.

2: Um...

3: Uh...

4: Er...

5: Seriously, I had a whole list of odd tidbits about myself to put on here the other day.

6: ...

7: I'll just fill these in later, shall I?


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