mercat: (Default)
regarding my journaling voice--

then again, I usually channel a bit of the voice of whatever I've been involved in (somewhat deeply) most recently. Which I'd say more of late has been internet-y type stuff like the normal LJ, some tumblr, a small tish of reddit. And of course memes abound, and I've noticed since 2008 that my writing has taken on a lot more meme style, which I'd say is what I sort of equate to the Archer style I mentioned, except that also has a lot of intentionally over-the-top emotion. Which I'd say is more a drum corps thing for me? But that's become a part of me, since 2007 and definitely reinforced since 2009.

It usually only happens when I get very involved in something-- like when I read all the Hitchhiker's Guide books, my voice took on a bit of Adams. (Not recently, I think pre-my-regular-blogging-days.) More recently when I watched a bunch of Sherlock, or Firefly. A lot of stuff that happened in the past that's become a part of my natural vocabulary that I can't avoid and sometimes completely forget about-- Homestar Runner, Ace Ventura and winter percussion jokes, all the random Doctor Evil things that slip in there.


An aside, I also find it interesting that the voice I write with is not often the voice I speak with. I am much more quiet in person (when I am not comfortable enough to be loud), and a lot of things I self-censor out of habit. Then again, I've noticed myself slipping more here and there, for example, the fact that my parents don't seem to be too upset about an f-bomb here or there, although I still cut back a lot from my daily usage. (We all have Cee Lo Green to thank for the progress on that front.) And some things are such an accident that they take me by surprise, which I can only attribute to my theory on aging; which is that I am very perceptive to age and relative positions of authority, and it's so much ingrained that I am nearly six years out of high school and friends with old teachers whom I cannot call by their first names, or at least, it still feels uncomfortable to do so. It's detrimental in that I assume people in classes above me (and usually my own grade level) are all older than me, and in grades below, younger. Although in the past few years I've realized classes below me are often my own age, and in odd situations like my age-out year, I'm actually the oldest. That was a weird but ultimately freeing experience. BUT! Back to my point-- sometimes something is ingrained enough in my internal monologue voice that it slips into the everyday regardless of my social position, which I attribute to two things: 1) my continued blogging and internetting for so many years and the development and strengthening of that voice, which I am proud of, and 2) as I've come into more experiences where I am older or more knowledgeable I've gained confidence in my own abilities (like working the holiday job? Very yes) and let down my guard somewhat, in regards to social situations. Which is good in that I am happier, more confident in myself, and put more trust in my skills. But the down side is that I'm also more risky, more likely to slip up-- like the fact that I apparently scare my classmates with all my swearing (although they seem more entertained than actually offended, I just don't want to cause any actual problems).

Babou!

Feb. 3rd, 2012 12:50 am
mercat: (Default)
So... my letter turned up at 21 pages. Holy christ.


Also, in rereading my post, I realized my internal monologue is pretty much exactly like a script for Archer. So if you're wondering how to read some of the commentary in my posts, just read it like one of those characters. I guess that's why I have come to love the show so much.
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LJ just ate my whole post.

Dammit.


I was already Not Giving enough Fucks to care, so, sorry. I was working on a nice little almost-carefree and certainly fucksgiven-free* not-exactly-a rant about the stereotypical genderized joke commentary and some strange assumptions and possibly dive into a little of the mysterious dark world of omg me and relationships** but I currently don't have the desire to retype it (no fucks given currently), so. I don't even have the energy to let this paragraph trawl off (that's like trail off, right?) in an ellipsis because there is far too much implied subtlety in an ellipsis and I am not implying anything right now. There is not enough depth in my stream of consciousness, I am that much in not-giving-a-fuck-mode. (I'll probably explain tomorrow.) Critical depth has not been reached. (Ha, hydraulics joke.)

Au contraire, the material may still be ripe for publishing tomorrow, as I try to scrape together a traditional Thanksgiving post because I am really not feeling it this year. I am just... out of food references.

Also let it be known that my cat's breath smells like asshole and I can smell it from 3 feet away. This could be an issue.

*Is that like Thanksgiving? New thing: it is. Happy Fucksgiven! I imagine this is because of the similarity to "turducken" as well.

**Accidentally typed relationshops. I don't know what that is but it sounds like something that exists in a hilarious alternate-reality version of Diagon Alley. [EDIT: It also might be like photoshops. Still hilarious.]



Problem: I think I am a better (read: funnier) writer when I am tired/out-of-it. I think this is because I just stream-of-consciousness better. I don't know how to control this letting-go-ness though.

Hoo, boy.

Jun. 7th, 2011 11:49 pm
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Have I been busy. Moving things. Cleaning rooms. Trying to get rid of ant infestations.

Learned a new word: formication, which is the feeling you have ants crawling all over you.

Trying to get everything arranged for Outer Banks and Savannah. Trying to get everything arranged for Raiders 30th. Visiting Gramps in the hospital, hoping they will get him out. I hope he can get his heart a little stronger and last more than a few months. I keep thinking about him reading The Walrus and the Carpenter to my fourth grade class, and "faire to Midland", and I want him to get out of the hospital so I can show him my senior presentation. And I keep thinking about ragtime and Hitchhiker's Guide and Ernie Kovacs... Oh, Gramps. Get better, please.

Anyway. Awesomesauce on a stick:



Carrots are orange because of politics!

Like any Cracked article, six "insane coincidences". Sadly, #6 and #5 are the best, because they really are odd coincidences. #1, a little bit, but also data manipulating; there are 365 days each year (except for leap years), and TONS OF SHIT HAPPENS EVERY DAY. Not to mention since our country's founding there have been 234 4th's of July. (Not 4ths of July... they were still 24 hours long, har har) I been I could find you ~even more! strange and unusual~ coincidences out of those 234 days. Shit, son.

Um, and also. #3 bothers me a lot. Why, you may ask? Because it is NOT COINCIDENCE. IT IS CAUSATION. This is the first time I've had to paraphrase this phrase to say "correlation =/= coincidence". The Wright brothers... who lived and worked in Dayton... invented heavier-than-air, powered flight. And they kept doing research here. So when the Air Force got created in 1947, we eventually ended up with *le gasp* an Air Force Base in Dayton. Which encouraged more flight technology and research in the city and the state! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you end up with a state that has produced SO MANY ASTRONAUTS. We fucking invented flight, now gtfo.

P.S. I do find that article fascinating, my engineer brain just jumped at this annoyance and also I've noticed my writer's voice, a.k.a. my blogging tone, a.k.a. my making comments on the internet voice, has gotten more and more hyperbolic as I have. I don't have a problem with that except where I still do it when talking serious business and since it's text, I'm afraid people will take me literally.

Here's the truth, I am pretty damn shy "IRL". I just enjoy being ridiculous and over the top (...sometimes).

HEY, DID YOU SEE WHERE THEY FUCKING FOUND TANIS?! A little on the technology behind that.

I made a lot of Raiders references the day that was all over. I don't think many people got it, BUT, perfect timing for the 30th, non?! I can't wait to see what happens with the digs. Although I'm sure it will be quiiiiite a while coming.

In case you are still having a terrible day (as I did), here is a MacGuyver intro a guy did of his cat, Steve McQueen. It's beyond awesome.

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It was much better than I anticipated. I remember seeing a preview last year and thinking "man, those costumes look like shit." So I had low expectations. And the costumes did bother me, a little, not not to the extent they did last time I saw them, which must have been pre- postproduction. (...Production?)

Anyway, I spent way too long thinking, "Who is that actor, is that Mac?" and finally I had to whip out imdb and I realized no, omg, it's fucking Bootstrap Bill. Skarrrrrrsgarrrrrrrd

Fabulous.

Although the writing on that felt kind of weird to me, like they just kind of jammed his character and the younger girl (intern? family? wtf?) in there to provide comic relief and insight to the mythology. They didn't really do great justice to Natalie Portman's role, either, I feel... I mean, yes, this is a movie about Thor. But these are the Earthlings (feels weird to say that) and they were kind of... too much relegated to side-story? Idk.

The costumes still bother me, btw. The "Vikings" at least. (Viking gods? I really don't know what to call them.)

Although I do like how they dealt with them being "gods", because, let's face it, that really bothered me and admittedly I have never read the comics, but I could just not wrap my head around why the fuck a god was hanging out with mutated and superpowered humans.

Liked the nod to Stark, I laughed my ass off. And the note to Banner, nice touch. Felt odd to me they left out Captain America, though-- although maybe I just missed it.

Mad props to Chris Helmsworth, who gave much more depth to a character than I expected, and made him look noble in the process (Thor, that is). Loved the whole "vikings clearly not in the right time period and not knowing how to deal with modern society" issues (the cup bit, the horse bit, no pun intended).

Did not really like how they treated Loki. He is a trickster god, is he not? Chaos for the sake of chaos and trickery for fun? His jealousy was 1) not ragey enough, 2) not rationed well (blame the writers? idk), and 3) just out of place at any rate. That bothered me.

Also, interesting to see, despite the fact that magic alien Vikings had asians (Japanese?) and blacks, women are still relegated to a lesser class . Ironic that these are then "gods". MODERN ANALYSIS, I HAS IT. (In fact, going by numbers alone it seems the visible women might have been better off on Earth than in Asgard-- here we had two [I'm guessing] astrophysicists, and Asgard had one woman fighter and Odin's wife, and then a bunch of pretty women fawning over the victors at the end. Although I also did just realize I don't think there was a single visible female agent in all of SHIELD's shenanigans, either.)

Also, LOVED Stan Lee's bit in this one. So awesome.

Rainbow Bridge, fucking high-tension foot thick labradorite shit? FUCKING LOVED THAT. Can I have that as a real life design material? PLEASE?! And the Futurist buildings on Asgard were neat for the most part. Stiiiiiill super hate their fashion sense, though. (Seriously though, what was that labradorite stuff? I hope they had some mad set for the close-ups and it wasn't all CGI, because it was BITCHIN'.)

Um, and, yeah, at least one scene with a fucking eight-legged horse goddamn fuck yes Viking mythology! No ravens though, I was sad.



AND OH MY GOD I SAW THE FIRST FULL-LENGTH TRAILER FOR COWBOYS VS. ALIENS FUUUCCCKKK YEESSSSSSS I AM SO EXCITED NOW. IT LOOKS AMAZING. I KEEP FORGETTING HOW MANY AMAZING PEOPLE ARE IN IT. DANIEL CRAIG AND HARRISON FORD OBVIOUSLY BUT ALSO OLIVIA WILDE AND SAM ROCKWELL AND DIRECTED BY JON FAVREAU AND OMG. CAN'T. WAIT.

(Also, I know even though Favreau is done with Iron Man stuff-- sadface-- the fact that Kenneth Branagh did Thor-- love him, ever since I saw his Hamlet-- and Joss Fucking Whedon is doing the Avengers, and I finally saw the newer Hulk and it was not bad by any means, and Thor surpassed my expectations so I have a little higher hopes for Captain America, and I kind of want Wolverine to be in the Avengers even though I don't think that's happening, oh my god, I kind of love the whole Avengers thing now. Can you imagine sitting down for a marathon of Hulk and Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and maybe Wolverine and Thor and Captain America and FUCK YES. Damn.)

Also-also it was really nice to just get out of the house after all the earlier shit and hang out with Johnny. And do some Waffle House philosophizing also, always good. (Not to mention always being our own MST3K...) Trading shockingly relevatory gossip back and forth (on both ends! he hadn't heard Downie was married and I... got other stories I cannot pass on, sorry... I'm not even supposed to know, and admittedly I'm a little sad my other friend didn't think he could come to me? oh well, I'm over it, I'm more happy for him than upset at all). BUT YES. Also found out he's been a redditor for a while and I am admittedly slipping into its grip. For about the past month or so... Don't even know how I ended up there initially. But. Time marches on.
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Spoilers ahoy! My unfiltered thoughts on Pirates IV.

SPOILERS, ye be warned )



By-the-by, came with a preview for the next Muppet movie, coming out Thanksgiving with Jason Segel. And Amy Adams, which I didn't know about so OMG SO EXCITED. :D

Also: boots were a success. A little pinchy in the toes after five hours, sadly, but we shall see. Pissed I still haven't heard anything about my hat coming in, FUCKING SERIOUSLY. I WANT MY FUCKING PIRATE HAT.
mercat: (HGTTG)
Diana Wynne Jones, one of my top three favorite authors and my favorite female author. Your words have helped inspire my hopes in imagineering, and your stories will be missed.

Oh my gawsh

Feb. 1st, 2011 09:11 pm
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I'm alive! I'm posting! I know!

My lappy's hard drive took a dive the day before the semester started and I just got it back a few days ago. I have a lot of stuff to catch up on, but in the meantime enjoy this paper I wrote the other night about the book Cradle to Cradle (and the Biomimicry Institute) for my LEED class while I nearly pulled an all-nighter. It got a little bit ridiculous.

In Which I Did Not Write a Technical Paper )



I can't even believe I wrote that. Apparently when I stay up late (and then only get 1.5 hours of sleep) my brain transfers function from "ability to form coherent sentences and thought patterns" to "creative but wildly ridiculous thought patterns".

IDEK
mercat: (Default)
I was up until 5:30 last night working on an art project. YAY. I'm glad I got a good part of it finished (despite the fact she's probably not going to grade them) because I can put it in my portfolio. Which is actually looking pretty threadbare.

Final prompt of the month: honestly, I'm too tired/lazy to upload and post a picture right now. So... deal with it. =)

I'm considering doing a daily challenge for December since I don't have any Hardy Boys books on me, although I don't really have time this week anyway, but I'm considering doing a daily doodle or something.

Oh, as I discovered last night, my solution to getting bored in the art classroom is either to be so-tired-my-brain-is-barely-functioning or, revelation: put on crime shows while I draw. Crime shows are perfect because the exposition is usually explicit so that clueless people understand what's going on in the "science" side of it, whereas comedies/dramas rely a lot on slapstick humor or conveying emotions through body language. (Family Guy is particularly frustrating in this department.) Now if only House were on more often, I could catch up on all the seasons I haven't seen! Or Bones, that's not on much either. I've seen pretty much every episode of NCIS that USA has to air, and I've seen a lot of CSI, so I have to try to find not-NCIS-not-CSI most of the time. Which leaves Law & Order, CSI:NY (BUT NEVER MIAMI), and Psych and Bones on the rarer occasions they're on. Also I discovered Leverage, which is pretty good.
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Crap, I missed three days, didn't I. Ugh. Well, at least I'm trying.

First of all, RIP Leslie Nielsen. :( Although I used to confuse him with Steve Martin a lot when I was little... Anyway. Airplane! is hilarious if you don't watch it a million times.

Uh, three favorite girls/boys names? Idk. I honestly think about pet names more than people names, and even then, I kind of ascribe that a pet determines their own names based on their personality. I tried to name my fish Nessie, but he ended up being Captain Nemo. Just like it was probably better that Tippy ended up as Tippy and not as Dipstick. Although I rather love Spats and Jack, as far as nomenclature is concerned. ANYWAY. I do hope I have a cat that would fit the name "Throgmorten" some day, as the cats from the Chronicles of Chrestomanci. There is a bright orange cat that hangs out in our back yard sometimes, with waaaaay yellow eyes. We call him Jacque Nouveau because he looks kinda like Jack and drives Jack crazy. But he is exactly the sort of cat I would name Throgmorten, if I actually owned him and he wasn't just a neighborhood cat. Or maybe it's appropriate that he's a neighborhood cat? I don't know. Either way I don't think mom or laura or dad would go for calling him Throgmorten.

Also, there's the T.S. Eliot method of cat-naming, which is appropriate in a semi-regal-semi-cats-are-90%-of-the-internet-cute manner.

Celebrity crushes... I don't really understand them. I mean, I do, I guess? Characters are cool, but celebrity crushes have always kinda creeped me out. I just... don't... get them. I can't really explain it... I guess because I don't understand it? I'M NOT REALLY SURE. I'm kinda weird that way, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I've been that way my whole life. I recall people crushing on the Backstreet Boys in, uuuuh, fifth grade? Anyway, I seem to recall a number of lunch conversations (or at least one that stuck pretty well in there) revolving around AJ who I think was getting married at that point and the whole thing weirded me out. Why would you crush on someone who you don't know and not only that is not single? Still mystified to this day. Fact: I'm weird.

MY OPINIONS ON GLEE, LET ME SHOW YOU THEM: First of all I kind of can't stand the way the performers sing. Secondly, when I found out it was set in Lima... I can't even... what? It's a very poor representation of this region, that's for sure. THIRDLY, the whole thing comes off to me as, as it came up in a discussion, "nerd culture appropriation". Basically, OH, IF WE TURN THIS INTO A MUSICAL WE CAN SELL IT TO MUSIC NERDS! Because... there's not much quality there? Although at least they have the respect to get some cool people involved sometimes, like Kristin Chenowith and Idina Menzel. Anyway. Basically I can't stand the show despite my love of musicals. I find it extremely grating to listen to/watch.

Progress

Nov. 26th, 2010 06:35 pm
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I was actually rather productive today, despite my alarm deciding not to go off on time. I started my grad school applications, which is a daunting task, particularly since I have no idea who I'm going to ask for recommendations. My boss I guess? I just don't have any particular comraderie with any of my professors. =/ By which I mean, I actively dislike a significant portion of my department, and the others I am apathetic towards. Anyway.

I also paid some bills, started the FE Exam application process, and tried to fix OneNote (still no luck--Windows' "help forms" are practically worthless considering in four days I've had one response that actually provided me with zero answers, only more confusion). Tomorrow I'm going to work on stuff for my portfolio, which is also intimidating since I'm not actually an art major, and I therefore don't have much to pull from. (Man, what if you were just an engineer with no arts background? What at all would you put in a portfolio?)

Dad and Laura went out to get a Christmas tree, which I didn't help put up at all, though I'm not terribly upset about that. At the moment I'm feeling more "busy" than "Christmasy", although turning on Christmas music won't get me riled up now about how it isn't even Thanksgiving.

I kind of do want to go out shopping, though. Every few weeks I feel the need for crass commercialization. I think it's kind of a "getting out of the house" thing combined with a "need to buy groceries" and "looking for visual stimulation/inspiration" type thing. The curse of being artistically inclined, sometimes, I swear.

Anyway, prompt time, before I go do something entertaining this evening.

My probably number one example for "any place I would like to visit one day" is the Angkor Wat in Cambodia. However, also on my list are visit Australia and all the National Parks, although "go everywhere" is pretty much the rest of my list, to be honest.

I'm thinking for next year, in order to keep up the "daily posting" but with something more substantial than a prompt, I might start doing Hardy Boys read-alongs. I haven't nearly read as many detective/spy/mystery novels since college/discovering the internet in high school/etc., and I kind of miss the genre as a whole. Plus, Hardy Boys books are really easy to page through. I think I can conquer one in about three hours total. Plus, it's been ages since I read the whole collection anyway, it'd be good to recall some of the plots.
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NORMAL POST

LEGIT EXCUSE: I TOOK THE GRE TODAY THEN PARTYFAILED. MOM WAS ALL "HEY WANT TO GO TO SKYLINE AFTERWARDS?" AND I SAID PROBABLY AND I CAME HOME TO COLD PIZZA AND A REQUEST TO CLEAN THE BATHROOMS. SO I DID THAT AND LEFT. AND THEN NOBODY ACTUALLY WANTED TO "GO OUT" LIKE WE PLANNED, EVEN TO DRUNK KARAOKE, SO I WAS KINDA IN A BAD MOOD AND THIS DAY WAS KIND OF A WASTE OF MY LIFE TO BE HONEST

SO I'M UP LATE CATCHING UP ON IMPORTANT THINGS (LIKE LIVEJOURNALLING) AND NOT GIVING A SHIT BECAUSE I'M GOING TO SLEEP IN BUT WATCH THE DAMN PARADE TOMORROW ANYWAY

AND THEN AS SOON AS GRANDMA GETS DEPRESSED AND ASKS ME WHY I'M NOT DATING ETC ETC AND MOM STARTS TALKING AT ME ABOUT GRAD STUFF AGAIN I'M JUST GONNA GTFO AND GO SEE DUE DATE AND THEN GO TO WAFFLE HOUSE BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR PEOPLE TO GO FOR THREE WEEKS AND NOBODY WANTS TO FUCKING GO AND YOU KNOW WHAT? FINE. I'LL GO BY MYSELF. THIS IS WHY I HATE PEOPLE SOMETIMES. BECAUSE LITERALLY NO ONE IN TOWN WANTS TO GO TO THE MOVIES WITH ME.

Some fucking friends sometimes, I swear to god. There is more to life than alcohol.

BUT I DIGRESS.

/capsrage!off

(Note, that is not capsrage "yelling" but rather "comically over-loud voice".)

Now onto your regularly scheduled programming.

OH, HOW APPROPRIATE, yesterday's prompt was the last movie I saw in theatres. INCEPTION. WHEN I GOT BACK THIS SUMMER, AND I FUCKING HAD TO DRAG MY SISTER TO GO SEE IT WITH ME. And before that?! Iron Man 2! My moviegoing track this year is a shame! WHY DOES NO ONE WANT TO GO OUT TO MOVIES THIS YEAR?! Fucking idek.

Last book I read... Well, last book I finished was probably Lost City of Z which I read for fun over the summer and was amazing despite its ending. I mean, the ending is still amazing from a historical point of view but (without giving much away) the whole thing is this buildup and then--AUGH. You have to read it, if you are in the slightest a history or Indiana Jones or adventuring fan, oh boy.



...Not gonna lie though, despite being in a general good mood, handling school okay, work is going fine, working out, et cetera, I am a bit emotionally unstable at the moment. I can tell because the slightest little comments are making me upset enough to almost nearly ruin my evenings. I really can't handle people brushing me off much more to go to parties/drink but "oh I don't have enough money to go to a movie". Because alcohol comes out of the faucet for free, I see. Well alrightythen. I'm hoping Laura's not going to be bitchy tomorrow because I think I'm going to need to run away from the rest of the family with her, particularly since the cuzs (cuzns? cuzzes? idek. "cuzs" looks like it should be Polish.) are on the other side of the goddamned country.


...*sigh*. I miss my drum corps family =(

Things I also failed to bitch about earlier this week: The DJ on Saturday, who took requests up to a few days in advance because he couldn't/didn't do on-the-spot mixing (HA, mixing, if you could call it that--what with jumps and awfully apparent tempo changes), in the three hours we were at the dance, played TWO, count 'em, TWO songs that were 1) older than 2000, 2) not a dance/pop/hip-hop song. Seriously, the guy was awful. About 30 minutes in to the dance he played "Wannabe" (Spice Girls--ngl had to look up the title of that song) and with about 20 minutes left he played "You Shook Me All Night Long". The only other song he played that wasn't some currently-top-40-but-actually-shitty-dance-tune-excuse-to-party-hard song was Pokerface. So out of the songs I requested (Fuck You, anything by Gaga, anything by Queen, and anything by Billy Joel), I got one song. Needless to say, I was PISSED THE FUCK OFF. I spent probably half to two-thirds of the dance glaring at the DJ from my chair. I mean, this could be the fault of the coordinators who hired a friend-of-a-friend and maybe forgot to forward our requests, but what kind of shitty DJ plays pretty much ONE TYPE OF SONG all night?! And not even varying between dance tunes and slow songs? WE HAD NO SLOW SONGS ALL NIGHT.

Basically I'm pissed at everyone and everything right now and I'm about to snap. Not angry-snap but just break-down-snap and no one seems to really give a shit, because that's just how things go. Ugh. I'm kinda tired of this crap, really.

Also I do not recommend trying to follow a conversation about a boyfriend's roommate's cousin who is that person's ex and their crazy parents at a party after taking the GRE, because the actual GRE's paragraph and word problems turned out to be much more difficult and brain-power-consuming than I expected them to be and I was (and am) rather brain dead on the this-idea-requires-a-complex-sentence-of-at-least-four-phrases front.

But onto the linkspam:

So, uh, this happened.

MY LIFE MAY OR MAY NOT BE COMPLETE NOW. <3

A really interesting article about Florence Nightingale's influential graph and a common mathematical fallacy of graph creation/interpretation. Fascinating because I encounter a lot of misunderstood data on a fairly regular basis (thank you, journalism majors), and also because these are the type of subtleties you may have to discern between on the GRE. (I did pretty well on the quantitative section, but the reading/vocab was much more difficult than I anticipated and I nearly ran out of time, having to guess haphazardly at a few questions.) Anyway. Data is pretty, and presentation is valuable. I wish I knew more about the historical context of these charts because it might be an interesting topic for Ada Lovelace Day, although perhaps something that focuses on the graphical fallacy is not the best topic. (Nightingale was particularly observant in clinical matters though, wasn't she? Wasn't she the one who told people to wash their hands, basically, kill less people with infection? Or am I thinking of someone else entirely? FIFTH GRADE HISTORY IS FAILING ME.)

An interesting article about Native American culture, race, and steampunk, with significantly more win than all the shenanigans last year. Although I must admit, I don't think I ever heard the story of "the first Thanksgiving" in school. At least, not as a history lesson, but as more of a holiday folklore type thing, minus maybe the "learning how to plant corn" part. ALTHOUGH ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT we never approached it from the accuracy point-of-view either. So.

For the record I still don't like "ray guns" as a steampunk thing. I have never come into acceptance of them. Then again I've also become more standoffish about pop culture's reaction to steampunk as a whole anyhow, so, some part of me just also doesn't give a shit (that my entire POV on steampunk is decidedly different, because the generic running-with-steampunk scene is not my cup of tea).

DAMN I AM RANTY TONIGHT. Sorry about that folks. I'm a bit tweaky, it seems.

(I do like that EL wire on the gun, though, despite my active distaste for mods of that nerf gun... Hm. Considerations, considerations.)


Holy crap this test fried my brain a lot more than I expected it to. First I was moody, now I'm just too tired to parse any article with more than one sentence and a funny picture. Basically my brain is running like MemeGenerator at the moment.
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Crap, forgot to post b/c of GRE studying (and trivia night).

Lady Gaga is awesome. First and foremost, I actually like her music. It's pretty rare I like pop music, but I liked her music before I knew "who" she was. I do like techno and dance music (although I must say with no friends actively giving me any, I don't know much about that scene), so I think it was only natural to like her music. When I saw her Bad Romance video then, later on in the year, I was even more excited because it was very Halloween-y and fantastical. And then I found out she was very into fashion, and not only vogue, but being strange/being yourself/having fun. And since then she's shown up to be a voice for women's issues, sex and gender issues, all sorts of things. It would be crazy-awesome to work with her. But also, if I met her, I would firstly want to thank her for being an icon for our generation, and a responsible one at that. (At least so far.) Someone my own age I can be proud of rather than embarrassed by.

Also I loved her because she took her name from Queen. Um, yes.

posticles

Nov. 21st, 2010 10:10 pm
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I'm actually liking this daily challenge thing. Some days I'm a little busy to catch it in time, but for the most part, I'm actually making daily posts. :D SUCCESSFUL POSTING IS SUCCESSFUL.

Today's! My favorite subject to study... Man, I don't know. I love learning. I don't always love lectures, or homework, but I love the sense of accomplishment from understanding something, and the perspective you gain from it. I love love love reading. In case you couldn't tell from the fact that I probably spend a minimum of $50 every time I hit the bookstore... which is like once a month. And the fact that I spend sooooo much time online reading blogs. I LOVE INFORMATION. I think it's all one of the reasons I chose engineering--not just so I could get paid more for doing technical stuff (which I'm actually starting to think I might hate, as a job)-- but so I could have that background and understanding. Math and engineering and physics can be challenging, but once you understand it it's kind of amazing, the way you can see patterns. However, I'm not good at learning from proofs or methodologies; I sort of work from multiple examples, working my way through them to understand the subtle differences. This poses a problem wherein most engineering professors don't like to do tons upon tons of examples, I don't have the time to be in their office hours all day long, and the textbooks aren't much better (they usually just have one or two examples).

I like history, but I've found that challenging, too. I was fascinated by ancient history when I was really young-- Native American, Egyptian, Greek, Hawaiian (I remember checking lots of books on those topics out in gradeschool)--but I found learning American history out of a textbook difficult because our textbooks were written really poorly. This continued into high school where I already didn't have a great sense of world history, but I gleaned a little bit here and there except European History with the best history teacher I've ever had. He told events like stories, and would sort of reenact them with the help of his "time machine" (his closet), which often contained props like Napoleon's really cheap bendy plastic sword. He would often stop his storytelling at the MOST EXCITING PARTS, glance at his watch and tell us, "oh, looks like we're out of time!" There was one day, I believe, he was "out of time" with 20 or 30 minutes left in class. SO RIDICULOUS. But to this day I still remember the whole crazy story of Rasputin's death and the Russian royal family's deaths. And why everyone thought Rasputin really was a holy man (from either heaven or hell) by withstanding poison and being shot only to drown. (I think. He might have also survived drowning and then died of hypothermia or something...? Okay, wikipedia tells me he did die from drowning, but what I was forgetting was that he was beaten and secured before being thrown in the river, but then broke free of these bonds to then drown.) ANYWAY.

College history is a lot better, because we had a "World-War-II-In-One-Lecture-Using-Only-Battlefront-Maps-of-Europe" day, which gives just the kind of summary on the war that our crappy textbooks lacked that is kind of like a five-sentence-outline version of the politics of the time and let me start placing events within that timeline. Honestly, whoever wrote the textbooks we used in gradeschool and highschool needs to reevaluate their methods. The problem is, they told history like a bunch of individual stories, which makes it very difficult for someone with no overarching view to tie them together. There were basically no ways for me to string everything together into one timeline, at least, not well. BUT. Strangely, I got another good "summary" of globalization through Hawaiian and Pacific history, strangely enough--because it's essentially watching undiscovered lands mature into modern countries in less than two centuries. A century and a half, even. Not to mention, the Pacific was a significant part of WWII, which is a good education on the Japanese side of things rather than the standard Nazi/European focus.

I also like art, because it gives more relationships for history, and understanding the context of famous art pieces makes them a lot more meaningful. Although I now find Warhol annoying. I understand his intent but him, personally... he seemed kind of pretentious in his videos when we studied him. Like the forefather of Hipsters. (For srs.) Also, art history also makes you more prone to getting into discussions about the meaning and value of art (see: trivia night two weeks ago, haha!).

(For the record the argument was whether or not modern art is worthless. My position is that modern art is much more meaningful than other art because it is completely expressive at it is freed from the necessitation of replicating life exactly--that is, the invention of the camera and video, etc. allows for much more "creation" in art. The opposition was saying that this is pointless because you aren't simply looking at something, the art is in the emotion or the context, which isn't the art itself. SO. LET IT NOT BE SAID MY ART HISTORY MINOR WAS EVER COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.)

So! What have I covered so far? Math, physics, engineering, history, art... Music? Music is my-life-outside-of-design. I could do it as a career if it were the right thing. I miss marching and I don't know what I'm going to do without anymore marching band... ever. Although I am taking tap next semester, so, currently, dance is my closest-approximation-replacement. And tap is percussive, so it's closer than, say, ballet, which I can't watch anymore BECAUSE THE DANCERS DON'T MOVE NECESSARILY WITH THE MUSIC /rant

Okay. Am I missing anything else? Oh! English (and languages). I love grammar, and spelling, although that is something my gradeschool also taught poorly that I picked up in high school better. One, because I was learning a new language as well, so there was a focus on grammar, and two, because we learned to diagram, which is also a focus on grammar, and it's basically all like one big puzzle. Now if only I could do better with strange verb conjugations! OH, SUBJUNCTIVE/PRETERITE/IMPERFECT/ETC TENSES. (I also miss learning languages.)

Uh... earth sciences? I guess that's what's left? Also fascinating. I love nature. I find psychology fascinating. Astronomy is SO COOL. It probably helps that my parents are doctors, so my sister and I got a lot of weird biology talk (and a lot of big words) and a pretty good grasp on some areas of science when we were young. BUT, my gradeschool had a completely awful science teacher for 6th/7th/8th grades (shared teacher), so that wasn't great either. Although our books were at least better, more diagrams, more straightforward, so I could at least self-educate to some degree. Now, another topic for another day, our lack of good science communication is evident in science fairs in gradeschool and highschool, because my version of "original experiments" were never quite on par with what they wanted. I still don't understand what they wanted. Because it wasn't a demonstration of a principle, but my ideas were more often too strange to be taken seriously, it seemed.

My science fair projects throughout the years: whether people could actually tell the difference between cola brands, whether kids carried too much in their backpacks, whether cat saliva prevented germ growth (e-coli or streptococcus? or both? can't remember], whether edible fauna (a.k.a. pansies) contains vitamin C, and whether fake or real wine corks do a better job of preventing germ spoiling of wine. I'm missing seventh grade's project... I don't recall at all, really. At any rate, these projects were all off the wall because everything else I had come up with would have "been done before" (meaning my teacher didn't really want me to do that specific project, although they never really gave much advice as to what exactly I could do to improve it) so my methods were always slightly bizarre, and my data was never quite clean enough, and other than the science geniuses who managed to do amazing things (these are the people who make it to international science fairs, I mean) A LOT OF PEOPLE BULLSHITTED THEIR DATA. And got better grades because of it, because their presentations were easier when they didn't have to answer difficult questions about their data's subtleties. So basically despite the fact that "the data you get doesn't have an effect on your final grade", meaning, let science do it's job and don't force a proof of your hypothesis, I generally got fucked over by being honest. Yes, I'm still bitter about this. WHY? Because ethics are important to me. Because human treachery starts early. Because I get punished for being honest. Because my generation clearly doesn't have a problem with cheating and lying to get themselves out of a challenge. FUCK IT ALL I'M SO GODDAMN BITTER ABOUT THIS SHIT.

Sorry to give this a turn for the sad for a moment, but I really don't tend to trust a lot of people my age, and this shit is why. (On the other side, I trust them more on the technical side than I trust myself because, unless I feel I can do something perfectly, I feel very unsure of myself and second-guess myself to no end.) Same kind of shit even happened on retreats! One of my many disillusionments with faith--all the people who act like their religiosity made them so much better than everyone else, when they couldn't even set aside their phones and cd players and everything else for our week of poverty. (To the point that there were prank calls and a string of tampons and pads let down from our room to the guys' quarters. Complete bullshit for a whole week.)

ANYWAY I LOVE LEARNING BUT DON'T TRUST PEOPLE MY AGE. They are not above buying their way out of things. =/

I kind of want to do an anonymous study of gradeschoolers and see how many bullshit their data now. Ugh.

(This is why I've started to think I don't really want kids--I look at adorable babies and toddlers and think, "some day you are going to be an asshole.")

I may or may not be a horrible person.

BUT I LOVE LEARNING :D

Oh, I guess, in terms of "favorite subject", specifically, I guess I could say marching. Because drum corps is my life, and I don't know what I'm going to do without being able to do it any more. (Teaching is definitely not the same and I don't necessarily have the desire to be a music teacher. Although I could do visual, but it's still not the same as competitive marching.)
mercat: (indy)
Hey, so you know Jason Segel's Muppets movie he's been working on? ([livejournal.com profile] astrid087, you're going to want to see this) Jack Black, Paul Rudd, and Lady Gaga may be involved. I WILL BE THERE IN THREE SECONDS PLEASETHANKYOU

Science cheerleaders!

A good comic with a certain movie poster in the background.

Dick van Dyke saved by porpoises, although I have no idea of the date of said incident and I find that... strange.

New Winnie the Pooh movie next year! (Nothing says classic Winnie the Pooh like pop music.) Well I know what I'm doing next summer. Also, Craig Ferguson and John Cleese are in it! OHMYGOD.


Check out this crazy owl:



I find this comic both hilarious and depressing. And fascinating.



OH HEY INDY EXHIBITION. Here's an article on the exhibition. Official website. Post with the tour poster. Unsurprisingly, it's just a conceptual design copy of the classic Temple of Doom poster, however, I am really loving the detail of the walls-covered-in-hieroglyphics. (It reminds me of that damn Egyptian cat mystery puzzle I still haven't finished after... uh... ten years.) (can you tell I'm sick of ripoffs of the ToD poster? I'd honestly love to see the Indy franchise get some other colors besides BROWN TONES. Same problem as steampunk, goddamn. THE JUNGLE EXISTS YOU KNOW. IT'S VERY GREEN. I DO BELIEVE INDY HAS VISITED JUNGLES IN AT LEAST THREE OF THE MOVIES AND IN LC THERE'S STILL A CHASE THROUGH THE GERMAN FOREST-SIDE. [IDK, WHAT IS THE "COUNTRYSIDE" EQUIVALENT OF "FOREST"?]) CAPSRAGE IN CASE YOU COULDN'T TELL I'M A LITTLE BIT OBSESSED. (Also-also, the proportions on that poster are a little...off... those legs/hips look cartoonishly unrealistic. Or the pose does. Or something.)


ANYWAY who wants to road trip to Montreal?!



Prompts time! Initials of my crushes: don't really have any at the moment. But that is also a completely different discussion.

I do not wear glasses. But when my eyes are old enough to need them, I will rock some fashionable ones, that's for sure. Or maybe get LASIK, since I've heard they don't have to cut your cornea anymore. But, sadly, I will probably never be able to wear contacts. My eyes are just too sensitive for me to be putting things in them. I really wanted to get some all-black or all-white or cat/snake-eye contacts for my halloween costume this year, but instead I ended up drawing pupils on my eyelids, which worked okay, but I'm not totally satisfied with how my makeup ended up. It bled A LOT.

Scientists used high-speed video to determine how cats actually drink. I had always been taught (read?) that cats curled their tongues under, which someone had discovered way-back-when with a hi-speed camera. So apparently that was "not quite", though. Rather than curl their tongues under to scoop, they curl them under to "pull" a column of fluid towards their own mouth, which they then catch and swallow.

Science is fascinating!
mercat: (Default)
ATTENION. Submit your name for this contest to spend the night in COSI's Adventure. And then if you win, BRING ME. PLEASE, I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! (Well, some of you do, I'm sure.)

But seriously... do it.


I do not drink soda more often than milk. I LOVE MILK. I have it every morning for breakfast, and with a lot of meals. If we go out to eat and it's a Coke place, I get milk. And in terms of pop, I drink Mountain Dew. I'm not really a cola person. Every once in a while, root beer.

An all-cat production of Hamlet. I... how?
mercat: (Default)
So yeah, I didn't post yesterday because I stayed up until 5 working on a project. YAY ENGINEERING SOMETIMES.

My favorite Disney Princess movie... is probably The Little Mermaid, if you go by numbers. But I do enjoy the new Frog Princess. I've always thought being a singing mermaid would be pretty badass, though. Secret treasure fort?! FUCK YEAH!

Uggs: short for ugly.




Possibly coming up later: locked discussion post wherein I start with a joke and end up taking a horrible turn for the srs bzns. =/ I may or may not be taking things too seriously, BUT I CAN'T TELL. A personal crisis!
mercat: (Default)
If you watched Hawaii Five-0 tonight and saw a red-headed girl in the photos in the house they raided, that is my good friend Kim. :D

Have you seen this article about the college essay writer? It's so fucking depressing, on so many counts. That these students are okay with it. That the school isn't catching them. That they're so inept in the first place, and getting no real help. That entitled people are just paying their way to a degree. My only recompense is that they likely won't be able to get or hold onto the jobs they think they deserve, which is actually sad for the people who have just been forgotten and pushed through the system. ANYWAY. Poor ethics piss me off and if I ever meet a person who admits to using a service like that I... will no longer be friends with them. And will probably be paranoid. (An easy solution though, honestly? It looks as if these teachers just had in-class writing assignments they would probably be a lot more suspicious, at least based on the communications supplied in the article.)

Also, this metafilter comment wins for the Sneakiest Use of Xkcd in Serious Discussion Without Drawing Attention to the Fact:

If you pretend that the degrees are evidence of your mastery in some subject, and that this mastery will allow you to produce good work in some area that you could not without this mastery, ie, that colleges are not a waste of time in general, then this is a misrepresentation of your abilities to your future employers.

Imagine you buy a chair on e-bay, and it has a certificate of Being a Chair, and instead, it was a bob-cat who hired someone to forge its certificate of Chairitude. You have essentially had your money stolen. If you try to sit on it anyway because you also forged your certificate of Being Able to Tell What a Chair is, you will sit on it anyway and it will RUIN your butt.

Cheating on papers is ruining the butts of society.
posted by EtzHadaat at 6:38 PM on November 14

toofless!

Nov. 10th, 2010 11:53 pm
mercat: (Default)
Quick post for the prompt before midnight (I'm actually writing essays right now):

I have two boy cats, Spats (black with white belly and toes and whiskers) and Jack (a light orange). Previously we had Tippy (black and white with a white tail tip) and Topaz/Fuzzy (brown longhair). (All our cats were shelter cats.) I had a betta named Captain Nemo freshman year, until I left for drum corps and my mom killed him. (This may have been partly my fault as I was kind of slacking on changing his water, and bettas make A LOT of bad-smelling ammonia-filled fecal matter. [Is urine fecal matter? idk.]) I am a cat person at heart so I definitely will have cats in the future. (Currently I give Tinkerbell, the cat that lives behind the engineering building, all my kitty-pets that I don't get to give Jack and Spats on a daily basis.) I like animals in general and used to want a chameleon, so I definitely forsee myself having a variety of pets. Maybe ferrets? A parrot? A goldfish, Nessie. Lots of adorable animals.

GREmlins

Nov. 10th, 2010 12:58 am
mercat: (Default)
(The title has nothing to do with anything except that I just took a practice GRE and "gremlins" was the first word to pop into my head starting with "gre-".)

Forgive me for just nearly missing the daily-post--deadline by a few minutes, because I just finished a GRE practice test. How sad is it that engineering has made me excited to take a standardized test?! I work well within boundaries and certain expectations, or no boundaries at all, apparently. I don't know how well I am cut out for slightly-open-ended design work. Which is not good, because that is pretty much anything engineering is. I mean, there are the laws of physics, and the laws of the land, but the problem is that the former is very mathematically complicated and the latter is just very convoluted and you only come to know it really through exposure and experience. Neither of which I really have. And not to mention, mayhaps my brain just doesn't work that way, because I never seem to know where to find the equations/set-up I need for engineering projects. Which makes working in groups good for me because then the other people are good at starting the project, and I'm good at checking things and thinking (maybe a little too far) outside the box.

So... menial desk job or very creative in-charge job for me, I guess. Strange. ANYWAY. Onto the prompt.

My favorite meme of the moment... I don't think I currently have one. Being gone all summer I kind of missed Double Rainbow and Hide Ya Kids and I don't really... "get".... either. Although I think I saw Antoine Dodson a while back but never saw the Bed Intruder Song? I don't know.

Does Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear count as a meme? Because it was probably more that than real political activism (or anything) and I kind of liked that (despite people being bitchy for it). However, it's not quite as wild as Anonymous' protests, so idk.

I guess I don't have a favorite meme right now, so I hope something comes along soon. In the meantime, I'm always a sucker for EFG and since the 5th of November was just a few days ago, let's say that. Even though it was nothing to do with anything, legitimately.

MOVING ON. I was thinking about password access, which led me to think about where you keep that kind of information so that it's safe with you but easily found by others in the case that you were to die. Which led me to think about wills, and the fact that while my mom has every once in a while talked about what she wants (donated organs iirc) and my dad has mentioned his wants (a big party), they don't really know my beliefs in terms of my... lack of faiths... (BUT NOT LACK OF MORALS... byuh) ANYWAY. I don't need any kind of fancy burial, I'll be dead. I've kind of always been about pragmatism, and even when I was really young (early gradeschool) I remember considering the pros and cons of cremation. So this is my current set of considerations: (And let's not call me morbid here, because I honestly approach a lot of what most people would consider "morbid" as just purely interesting. Death is the natural extension of life. Morbid for me is a whole other level. Perhaps I disdain that word... I'm more of a naturalist than a goth? And science is nature, so. )

1. If there's any hint of foul play just preserve as much as possible. Not that I expect this to happen but being slightly paranoid from reading too many detective novels and watching too many crime shows, if there was any hint of foul play I hope there's a really good twist! Which probably means exhuming the body at least once. (...Maaaaaaybe that's morbid. BUT SO ARE CRIME SHOWS)

2. If not, donate any usable body parts to organ donor programs and/or to science. Basically get as much practical use out of it as possible.

3. Bury any remains in a manner as natural as possible because it seems pretty pointless to be dumping lockboxes filled with chemicals into the ground just to sit there and be preserved for... ever.

3b. Plus this ensures that I will never be Undead. (Zombie, vampire, etc.)

4. Possibly do something awesome with the remains such as:
a) use the bones for something awesome such as art, Yorrick's skull in a production of Hamlet, a modern reliquary, et cetera,
b) include them in a treasure hunt/puzzle or as a geocache (WITH ONLY AWESOME TREASURE INSIDE. If I am to be a buried treasure, I fully expect it to be a goddamn bitchin' one.)
c)...et cetera. Basically I think skeletons and eyes are pretty cool things from a design aspect and have many interesting and beautiful (if slightly morbid) options. (BUT I'M OKAY WITH THE SLIGHT MORBIDITY HERE. AT THIS POINT THE MORBIDITY BECOMES MORE WUNDERKAMMER-CURIOUS THAN NATURALIST-CURIOUS BUT IT'S STILL AWESOME.)

5. A really cool headstone. Some classic-and-slightly-creepy design, with a totally clever and awesome epitaph. Like the headstones at the Haunted Mansion, with their Victorian-Gothic-slightly-disquieting style and the totally awesome epitaphs (at least out front--I've never studied the epitaphs inside the ride).

OKAY TOTALLY DONE WITH MY MORBID MOMENT NOW, for those of you who may not like that sort of thing... er... sorry for the lack of warning... =/

At any rate. I have a rant but I don't really want to rant about it right now. Let's just say, between people going back on my Halloween party invite, and being whiny about the party, and my friend failing to do the one thing I asked him to do for the senior show (i.e. leave an appropriate mid-movement moment for the dead-bug), which I told him a month ahead of time when we were planning it as a group, but do people just blow me off when I make comments a few months in advance? BECAUSE I HAVE ACTUALLY THOUGHT THESE THINGS THROUGH, and I mean them. If I change my thoughts, I WILL ALSO BRING THAT TO YOUR ATTENTION.

Do I just... scream "IGNORE ME" or something? (Heh.)

Yeah. Anyway.




...Also I went to trivia tonight for the first time in a good while and I wore by awesome retro-rainbow Star Wars shirt that I bought from Target's boy section last year. The usual awesome trivia guy wasn't there, and the girl taking his place was not as fun. Plus, a lot of the questions were wrong tonight. "A one-note instrument made popular at the world soccer games this summer"? Vuvuzela, except that like all other objects with a natural frequency, if you halve, double, or otherwise multiply that frequency you will get other notes. Octaves, for simplicity, or perhaps... partials... if the instrument is more complicated. Say, like a trumpet. Speaking of trumpets, "a cornet most resembles this musical instrument". Maybe a cornet? It's actually a legit instrument.

And then Pat, being his normal uppity Classics-major self, called out the trivia girl on the question "what famous temple site on the Acropolis?" by screaming "Which temple do you want?! There are at least nine different ones!"

However I also learned that the F22 Raptor can go supersonic without having to use its afterburners which is called "supercruising". Also, the evil wizard on Smurfs is Gargamel and the cat is Azrale. (NO IDEA if I spelled those right, also don't care much.) And the compact disk was invented in 1965 (we guessed floppy disk).

Also-also I cleaned my room today. Go me!

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