Sunday 11 May 2003
Owing to some technical difficulties with Greymatter, updates are currently being posted only at the LJ. I am soon going to be revising this blog--reformatting, probably moving it onto a new server, and possibly making some changes to how I use it. I'll post a redirect here when that's accomplished.
Sunday 20 April 2003
Easter isn't something I celebrate as a holiday, so it tends to be quiet and humdrum around here, but often on Easter I'll check the TV at some point, and find The Ten Commandments playing, and that always sends me back to reread Dargelos's sweet and funny Ukiyo-e, in which Methos and Duncan while away an Easter with Biblical epics, junk food, and hot sex. And that in turn often leads me to reread the gloriously silly HL stories perpetrated by Dargie's evil alter ego Araminta Carrington (here, here, and here). The only downside of this rereading, today at least, is that laughter is kicking my incipient bronchitis into active paroxysms, so I'm coughing and wheezing and wiping my eyes, in between the giggles. A fine way to spend a grey dank bronchitis-y afternoon.
Thursday 17 April 2003
Fever dreams, fever dreams ... even though I've hauled myself into work for parts of the last two days, I've also spent a huge amount of time sacked out, floating in and out of restless feverish sleep, waking and drifting, with words running endlessly through my mind. I've sketched out at least a dozen LJ entries in my head, and a couple of stories, and have had the usual feverish moments of transcendent and yet utterly passive insight, in which all things seem tranquilly illuminated, with no need to explain or analyze. Despite the physical unpleasantess, I really like the peaceful detached free-floating mental states of fever.
Among these swirling vapors was something I was going to write about Anna's S/X series, the elements I especially love about it, and relate that back to emotional atmospheres she's created in her earlier fiction. That segued at one point into musings on how much I'd still love to lure her into writing due South, and then a whoosh of insight about why that will likely never happen, which was part of a larger insight about Fraser as a character. Then there was some vaporing about teacher-student relationships in slash; this had something to do with Pembleton and Bayliss, and the ways that Pembleton tries to teach Bayliss stuff, and also something to do with Methos and Duncan, and Sylvia Volk's line from The Good Student about how the only enduring Immortal relationship is the teacher-student one. (This isn't--the teacher-student thing--about formally-constituted relationships, or the power dynamic per se, but rather about the particular kind of love that goes with the effort to transmit life wisdom, and the ways that that effort can turn out harsh and painful.)
There was a long and highly embarrassing dream-wake-dream fantasy, a sort of RPS-plus-Marty-Sue hurt-comfort epic, about which I will say no more except dear me.
And one of the story-fantasies that was floating around is in the process of being hacked into prose for the dS flashfiction thing, although god knows if I'll actually finish it, since I'm still not able to sit up for more than a half-hour at a time.
I need a cortex-reader, something I could plug straight into the grey matter and download all these vaporous ideas before they dissipate.
Back to bed now. Drift and dream, drift and dream...
Tuesday 15 April 2003
Awake, and feeling ghastly, after a long sweaty restless night of coughing and fever dreams. The only one I remember, actually, is that Maygra and I were at a con together, waiting for an elevator and laughing our heads off. I can't recall what the joke was, but we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe, leaning on the wall and on each other. That was nice. *g*
Got my taxes done and filed in fifteen minutes this morning. This is the compensation for being a financial simpleton, with no investments, no savings or interest to speak of, no itemization. I just have my one W-2, and I arrange to be modestly over-withheld, so that I get a nice little refund (yes, I know how financially foolish that is, P. has explained it to me frequently). Then I use Telefile and the whole thing goes slam-bam. Golly, I love Telefile, apart from the smarmy recorded voice.
I would give a great deal to be able to stay home today and wallow, but I have appointments all day long and not much room in my calendar to reschedule people. Drat. I couldn't have gotten sick a few weeks ago, when I had the *time* for it??
Monday 14 April 2003
(Man, what the hell is up with LJ? It's running almost as sluggish as my brain is tonight... )
So, it hit 90 here today, in mid-April. Hah! Which is actually not nearly as funny as the fact that we're forecast to have snow showers Thursday night. AH HAH HAH HAH!! God, Minnesota -- how could I ever think of leaving this place, eh?
The cold/flu thing is still menacing me, rather like the thuggish sidekick in those crappy movies who, when the evil mastermind flicks a gesture in his direction, starts slowly pulling off his gloves and approaching the tied-in-the-chair hero, ready to beat the crap out of him. (Or do they slowly pull *on* their gloves? God, my brain's like cement.) Anyway, the cold has not really started in pummelling me yet; so far all I've got is the all-over ache and the cement brain and the raw chest. This is actually an OK stage, because my voice drops down into the Tallulah Bankhead/Lauren Bacall register, and I can swan around the house emoting in deep throaty whiskey-and-cigarette tones, and feeling vaguely glamorous. The glamour will stop dead as soon as the phlegm onslaught begins, of course, which I peg for around Wednesday. Just in time for the snow showers.
For some reason, despite the 90-degree weather and the achey body and the cement brain, I decided that this would be the perfect evening to unplug everything connected to my desktop computer, haul it up onto the kitchen table, open it up, and extract the great wads of lint that accumulated in and around it over the course of the winter. As Well-Manicured Man might say, dear god. Or as my mother would say, what a revolting development. To my considerable amazement, I actually managed to get everything plugged back in correctly, despite complete absence of functioning brain.
I am also simmering a bunch of chicken breasts, so I'll have something to eat all week (though it abruptly occurs to me that I'll somehow have to clear some space in the refrigerator to cool them down soon. Oh, hell.) And playing Bursting Bubbles, which is certainly the most soothingly mindless of all the Shockwave games. And feeling the languid summery air waft in through the windows.
Snow showers. HAhahahahahaha.
(Oh my god, and I haven't done my taxes yet. FUCK.)
Sunday 13 April 2003
Agh. I think I'm coming down with a cold; achey, blitzed with fatigue, and raw-throated. This is not the best state in which to be doing massive computer fiddlings, but nonetheless such has been the main order of business at chez Kat this weekend. To the extent that anything actually got accomplished, I owe it to the blessed C., who donated her entire afternoon yesterday to helping me out. A tally of victories and defeats ensues ...
1) I am now once again able to capture video onto my desktop PC. I'd figured my problems there were simply due to having forgotten the steps, but C. gave it a shot and got the dread Grey Screen of Nothing Happening. After considerable clicking through menus, hmmmmm'ing, downloading of new drivers, numerous restarts of system, more Grey Screen of N.H., and more clicking through menus, we *finally* located one little twiddly menu option on the lower part of some screen that *finally* made the thing work. Ah, Premiere, you *bitch*...
2) We got the iBook physically connected to the cable modem. This entailed going to CompUSA for a network hub and ethernet cable, and of course any trip to CompUSA also involves a certain amount of wandering around and ogling the shiny toys, so it all took a while, but I am now actually able to access the internet on the laptop, as long as I'm sitting at my desk with the cable plugged in.
Defeats, as of now:
1) I haven't been able to get file-sharing to work between laptop and desktop. This is doubtless due to the fuddleheadedness of impending cold, and lack of basic understanding of the concepts. Not a biggie so far, because I can FTP files back and forth, and will at some point take the time to read slowly and carefully through set-up/configuration guides, following the words with my fingertip and repeating them to myself in a mumble.
2) However, I am also not able to get the Airport wireless connection working, being stymied at the outset by the iBook's refusal to recognize that the Airport card is installed. (Yes, I opened it up and looked; yes, the card sure *looks* like it's in there; yes, I shoved it around to make sure it was seated properly.) It keeps giving me the "Required hardware was not found on this computer" message. Blast.
3) Even more infuriating is that the iBook battery problem continues, and that after consulting the discussion boards on the Apple support site, I find that this appears to be a fairly common issue with iBooks, one that is highly resistant to solution and which Apple has failed to provide any conclusive information regarding (based on a discouraging 98-comment thread here). It looks like it could be a defect in the battery, or possibly an OS X upgrade issue, or something. Apparently, though, simply replacing the battery doesn't help. A couple of people have posted long convoluted voodooish fixes, which I suppose I'll have to try at some point, because having no more than 40 minutes' worth of battery use renders a portable computer not so particularly portable.
And I may just go to bed at this point, despite the fact that it's 4:30 in the afternoon and I owe e-mail, comments, and comment replies to all manner of folks. (And at some point I need to figure out why Greymatter is slowly eroding my right-side links list, starting at the bottom. From beneath you it devours ...)
Thursday 10 April 2003
A mild, benign, sunny afternoon, after a chilly morning, the kind of afternoon that lets me believe that winter is finally, at last, for the time being, over. (Unless it, y'know, snows again.) This morning I was as depressed as I've been in a long time, but once at work I somehow snapped into gear, got my desk *cleaned off* for the first time in ... well, a *long* time, and then had student appointments all day, bing-bing-bing, and did good work with each of them.
I think I may have finally pulled myself out of the winter's crazed impetus to flight, and then the rancorous period of adjustment to that impetus being thwarted, and am now coming to terms with the reality that I'll probably not be going anywhere, for the time being. It's the eternal struggle of middle age: which battles are still worth fighting, which things do I simply accept with some effort at grace?
One battle I'm still definitely fighting is to get the whole computer system successfully hooked up. Grr and also arrrgh. I've got a good array of helpful documents--the quality of Apple's on-line support makes up for the extreme inadequacy of the print manuals that come with hardware--but I think I just need a big block of time to fiddle with things. Like, maybe, this weekend.
I realize part of the problem is just the difficulty of manouevering around with cables and connections, and *that* is basically a problem with my desk. I have a big long rant in the Box of Unvented Rants about the unsatisfactory design of most computer desks; the immobility, the lack of appropriate storage for peripherals and accessories, the inability to accommodate a 19" monitor, the difficulty of accessing the back of the CPU. This and this are not too far off what I want, though I dislike the sunken-and-angled monitor space (yes, I know, it's supposed to be ergonomic). Casters are essential; I'm so bloody sick of crawling around on the floor, groping blindly, trying to plug and unplug stuff.
Oh, and I was going to post some disjointed Connexions comments, wasn't I?
My uncannily long spell of air-travel good luck ended when my original flight to Baltimore got cancelled (the plane had defective rear thrusters, a phrase I went around muttering at intervals throughout the weekend, with silly giggles), so my arising at 4:30 a.m. turned out to be for naught, but in any event I arrived safely. Rode the shuttle to the hotel with someone whose fellow-fan status I twigged by virtue of her "Still Not King" t-shirt, and we had a nice conversation.
Day 1, truncated as it was, was all about the meeting and greeting, hugging, high-speed babble, and the first of many trips to the Greyhound Station food court. (You leave the hotel lobby through an obscure unmarked door, go down a grimy corridor, past a huge array of pinball and video machines, and voila, you're in the bus station, surrounded by herds of the tired, disgruntled and emphatically non-fannish populace, and faced with the KFC/Sbarro/A&W burgers that were the weekend's nutritional mainstays.)
Quick recollections: Reuniting with my beloved Connexions posse -- Aral, Beth H., Becky, Carla, Deb, Kestrelsan, Kit, LaT, Miriam -- and with the immensely wonderful Aerye, who became an instant posse member. Sorely missing Shrift and Rowan, Getting to meet Shell and Ramius, total sweeties both, who tried to lure me into going with them to Fells Point for crabs and atmosphere (I was tempted, but decided I was just too tired and inert). Completely and emphatically falling off the non-smoking wagon. Ingesting a good deal of scotch on an empty stomach, and crashing into bed even before the vid show started.
Day 2 began with massive headache (which was understandable; but then day 3 did as well, when I'd had nothing but one small chaste glass of red wine the previous night, and others reported similar experiences--headache, nausea, bad sleep; I think there might be something wonky in the hotel's ventilation system.) Went to the LJ panel, probably talked too much. At some point I managed to meet up with Valeria and Viedma, to my great pleasure, although I quickly degenerated into my usual nervous socially-maladroit babble, hands flapping; it's just really difficult to have any kind of coherent conversations at cons, at least with people I've just met, so I can only hope we get to meet again in some less turbulent venue. I *did* get to spend some coherent time with Taz, and to read the first part of her wonderful and hilarious forthcoming Dread Pirate Methos story; I'm looking forward to its completion and posting.
Lessee...stuff happened, and more stuff, and then there was the banquet (always stressful, due to crowds/noise/etc.) and then the vid show, where I should have been taking notes, but oh well. I recall with pleasure a very tasty Wes/Gunn vid, by ... Central Consortium? Can't recall the vidder, though; and there were a surprising number of QAF/US vids (surprising, I guess, because I've never considered it a big fandom). The vid that stands out in my memory was Sockii's Babylon 5 vid, which I found grave, lovely, moving, and this despite the fact I've never seen a minute of the actual show and have no idea of the plotline or characters. It wowed me, despite some unfortunate tracking interference at the bottom of the screen.
I crashed into bed immediately after the vid show, woke with the aforementioned unearned headache, and then Sunday was a low-key day of conversation, roaming the dealer's room (being gobsmacked at some very strange Tab-Hunteresque hair in a photo of Paul Gross), and then more conversation. Everyone seemed to be talking a great deal about Harry Potter, which I guess I'll have to break down and nose into at some point. Oh, and the Slashy Old Men panel was in here somewhere, which I enjoyed, and which Kerguelen and Beth H. have discussed, so I'll refrain from comment, because this entry is already insanely long.
Got to ride to the airport with Shell and Aral, got to have some good long talk with Aral while waiting for flights, got a peaceful ride home, and it all now seems far away and long ago, damn it.
And there's more I want to say about the differences between Connexions and Escapade, how they mirror for me some different strands in slash fandom, but I am abruptly out of energy. Must find dinner.