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February 2017
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This is a test post!


... if you're seeing this, the LogJam LJ client is functioning and I haven't managed to make it stop.

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Keep starting rambling journal entries with the intention of posting them, and they keep getting away or being abandoned for having lost relevance. Before this one suffers the same fate, as it is in strong danger of, I shall morph it into a bullet point list of what is going on in my life currently.

  • The government is trying to balance the budget by clawing back money from welfare recipients, so they contacted me to the effect of claiming I owe them more than $900 from 2012.

  • Filed an appeal – luckily I had all my payslips still – but since that information is in my favour rather than theirs they're taking a couple of weeks to get back to me, instead of instantaneous like before.

  • Done so badly at university this year they're kicking me out.

  • Filed an appeal on that too, and also waiting on the response.

  • Gathering information for that appeal meant collecting psych assessments my GP had been holding onto from several years back, and reading those was so distressing it nearly rendered me too non-functional to actually attach them and lodge the appeal

  • Plus it wasn't fun getting the vibe from my GP when I explained the situation, though he didn't say so, “you're a bit childish and TBH you deserve this”

  • I wasn't kidding in what I wrote in that appeal about struggling at work. Feels like I'm reaching or have reached limits of what I can balance and focus. Which might be okay if it paid me enough to support myself on.

  • Car's cost me $900 in repairs over the past week, and I'm passing on another $1500+ that it needs in favour of admitting it really does need to be replaced, although this will cost even more.

  • I just can't get out of here soon enough to feel comfortable taking the risk.

  • The book I'm reading is good though.

  • I'm scared, always. Still trying not to let myself think, to keep that at bay.

  • I hope

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Programming: Orbital - Snivilisation

 Misting rain smudges trees and grass, bringing solitary grey to their greens and yellows. Faintly from ceiling above, thunder promises more to come.

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Filter: pensivepensive
Programming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uPKM7dAgXc

 Been cleaning up my living space the past few weeks and feeling proud of the progress I've made, though I'm a long way yet from being finished. Would share Before and In Progress photos except for not having a working phone at present and consequently no working camera.


Accumulated a lifetime (so far) of detritus and wanting to clean that out and simplify, plus the added mess and trash that comes from being just plain bad at looking after myself. The goal of being easily and cheaply relocatable is probably entirely out of reach, as lacking foresight I've accumulated too many books for that and refuse to part with many. I will get as close as I can.

There is so much I can probably do without, and nearly as much I won't miss if it's gone, if I can persuade myself to be rid of it.

Looking forward to feeling less trapped.
 
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Filter: anxiousanxious
Programming: Vol 4 - Black Sabbath

 Grief and getting over people are on my mind recently. When people die, or are lost from your life, our culture hasn't given me much to get to grips with that but time.

 
Time helps but I do not think it is a complete answer. There must be techniques for processing absences in ways healthier than others. Coming to terms with non-existence, accepting lost possibilities. Having memories + associations good and bad without being undone by them. Self-directed guilt and blame about feelings and their performance.
 
Maybe there really is no such thing, or my understanding so lacking I don't even comprehend what I am talking about. Of course we could always add more time but that is going to happen anyway until I die.
 
Our stories say there are healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with loss and continuing in our lives. But so far I can't recall actual substantive advice about how to distinguish or switch between.
 
"Talk things out", "think of good times instead of bad" or "lots of people react like that, it doesn't mean you're a bad person" are probably good seeds but they are neither trees nor orchards. I want to know about the soil, the sunlight, the water and fertiliser. What creatures devour the roots and which are here to frolic or nibble peaceably?
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Worldline: now here
Programming: San Junipero - Black Mirror - Expanded Playlist

In my dreams last night I was a woman, which is rare enough, albeit one as naive and awkward about it as my waking self.

In these dreams I also had a brief career in astronomy, in a system where publication is so compulsory that, for lack of anything more suitable, astronomical digests will scoop up and compile whatever incidental writings on the topic they can find - I thereby became scandalously known for my use of the word cunt in the literature, and there was some pressure for a more erudite, intentionally reasoned follow-up (i.e. that I write something actually intended for publication).

Surprisingly nice compared with my usual dreamings. Feeling wistful and wondering what I did to get such undreadful images in my sleeping self. Perhaps I'd like to interpret this as a message of hope or encouragement.
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Tags:
Filter: hopefulhopeful
Programming: San Junipero - Black Mirror - Expanded Playlist

Lately the navigation function of Google Maps has taken to showing a little report at the end, information like travel time, distance covered, average speed. I find this very neat and interesting, but dislike how how much it seems oriented toward covering itself and maintaining a positive presentation.

If I arrive earlier than its forecast it will say "arrived X minutes earlier than predicted" or similar. But for days like today, it will just say "1 hr 25 min driving"[1] without that extra "arrived 28 minutes later than predicted" that I feel it could really benefit from.

Worse, if I  took the app up on a faster route suggestion during travelling (as happened one morning driving to work), but still arrive later than the initial forecast, it will say "saved X minutes due to using [this tool]". Now, I don't doubt in that specific case that time was saved over not taking the suggested detour. But it still feels dishonest for a navigation app to be reporting only on the time saved due to following its directions and not giving a more complete report. Even on factors outside its control, although I'd expect it to report if its advice turned out to be incorrect.

Something like "Delayed M minutes by congestion, but cut that down to N minutes later than forecast thanks to our advice" would be much more welcome than this silence, which seems to expect me not to notice happenings like, say, a motor accident causing a half hour delay on travel time. It leaves me feeling like Google thinks it's pulling a fast one on me, or regards itself as a naughty child who won't be punished if it just doesn't mention the broken vase. Maybe I'm uncharacteristic, but what I want out of tools and features like this is information, understanding, and clarity.

[1] Quotes are approximate, from memory.

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 If I were inclined to write fanfic rather than 'original' stories, would people like my stories more? If they had some prior investment and interest in the characters and what they get up to?


But this train of thought is rapidly derailed by the reminder that unless I actually write stories, no one is going to have opinions on them no matter whether they hypothetically would be fanfiction or not. So I should worry about making words happen at all before I worry whether and how people like them.

It also gives a bit of a lie to telling myself it's just me and what I want that I write, and the enjoyment of others is incidental. Probably the resolution to that conflict is I want to write things that please me, and for others to also tell me it's good.

 
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 EXT. The Fields of Pelennor

The Witch Queen: "Fool. No living man may hinder me."

Eowyn: "But no living man am I! You look upon a woman."

The Witch Queen: "Then, hinder me."

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Tags: ,

Went clothes shopping with my mother and sisters. Ended up getting a couple of shirts, a skirt, and a big woolly sweater, 3 items of which am currently wearing. Family had wanted to go see a movie, specifically Absolutely Fabulous, but it was no longer showing. I'm a bit relieved by that as it's quite not my thing although I would have gone for the sake of being social. Siblings also got some clothes, as did my mother, but the latter turned down a lot of things we thought would have looked nice on her.

Been worried about taking the time out away from school when I'm in such dire circumstances, but it's rare enough to get some non-awful social time I chose to take the time and opportunity.

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Filter: calmcalm
Programming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVxeSsYJ384

Ordinary household items sometimes sound like monsters because they are the base from which audio technicians build the illusions of monsters.

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Haven't had much space to write in. Work has been keeping me busy (when I finish tomorrow and finally get a few days off, I will have been working for 22 of 26 days) and I am so behind on school I've been trying to put all my home energies into that. Been neglecting story-writing, cooking and cleaning, personal projects, near any entertainment I can't leave in the background without demanding focus. Not that it does me much good. Still behind, possibly even farther behind than I was.

Until the end of the month when the last of this work is due. Then, either way, I might be a little more free.

Today impulsively decided to try and drop social media at least until I am finished with this semester. An act which had been on my mind recently but I'd concluded I couldn't go through with. That I am too lonely in myself and my current circumstances to go through with it, and it is not a goal I can succeed until some lack in my life has been resolved.

So I don't know why I did that this morning (in pain I guess?), but I did not promise to vanish. Just declared I am trying to minimise my presence on twitter and tumblr at least until I have school out of the way. They are too easily habits of constant distractive stimulus and while that can be valuable when I need to escape myself, I definitely need to do my best to not fail these classes. Which means I also can't go replacing them with something of similar distractive quality, such as the RSS feeds I've been neglecting to read.

Actually the reason I wanted to write this post is to describe a couple of similar happy moments at the library today. Twice I had someone contact me trying to get hold of a book they had reserved. In both cases I went to look for it for them and returned empty-handed. One was a novel supposedly held in the Premiere's Reading Challenge collection, which I had been searching for yesterday to satisfy that hold. Did have a new inspiration about where to find it that got me nowhere, and tried looking up a few other libraries for its seeker to no avail. Not too long after ey left, though, whilst shelving I found the novel wedged into the picture book where someone must have stuffed it days ago at least. Tried calling to let em know, as ey'd said it was needed soon, but no answer and no option to leave a message.

The other was a phone call from someone expecting a book in delivery within the network. Ey had been advised to check today, as this reservation had supposedly been in transit the past three weeks and not yet arrived. Had the spark of checking if it had been received, processed incorrectly, and placed on the shelves instead of to be picked up, but no such luck. There were no other copies in the system, so I advised em it was likely missing and we could not fill that request, cancelling it with consent.

But, after my tea break in the afternoon, I found it sitting in one of the boxes to sent back to its home next delivery. I am fairly sure it was not there earlier, and I can't trace how it came to be there, but I put the hold back on and set it on the shelf to be collected. Although now my memory tells me I set it on the wrong shelf - it will be easily found for collection, but it will need to be brought back to the desk where it should be, instead of taken for self-checkout, where it shouldn't be.

Oops. But two people will get notified overnight they can collect something they thought was unavailable to them, and maybe they can think it was a bit silly of me to tell them there was nothing to be done when clearly there must have been. But I hope they get good use out of those books.

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Something I forgot to mention in my previous post, which carried over to the following two days, is that it seemed I got to do most of the front desk library work by myself. Everyone I was paired with seemed to have other things to do, on other floors or otherwise inaccessible, for much of my shifts. It was busy enough, but not too busy, so this suited me fine.

I wonder sometimes if I prefer working alone to working with others, and worry that I talk little enough to make the other staff resent working with me. Think I tend to be politely responsive though, even if I would rather not.

Today and tomorrow are the first pair of consecutive days off work I've had since April 14 and 15 and I feel very relieved to have some time for myself. Or sort of for myself. I'm doing terribly at school and trying my best to catch up, although it is difficult to keep focused enough. Only so much I can get done in any single day before I run out of attention or start hating myself too much to keep going. Which is why for the last hour tonight I'm typing this instead of pushing through another two chapters of two different textbooks. I do need to go faster though, or, I don't know, accept failure and lay down?

Today was also interrupted by a long-awaited consultation about getting wisdom teeth extracted. Was supposed to have that last week but they had to postpone because the doctor was in surgery (kind of a worrying reason, I guess?). Got it finally done today and relieved to find I only need one of the four wisdom teeth removed. The others seem to be behaving well enough.

Still very nervous but it will be nice not to have pain along one side of my mouth. Will need to contact them to arrange a date, and to choose between having it done under local anaesthetic, sedation, or under general anaesthetic at a hospital. That is going to be a tough choice, although the people at the surgery seem to favour the middle option, sedation.

Tomorrow I get to just be home. A rare treat which I hope I will get to enjoy, although I need to make sure to get as much schoolwork done as I can. I miss doing more focused fun activities but I can't afford to while I'm so far behind. Telling myself if I can catch up on school I'll be able to relax again, and hoping I don't waste my chance.

Wore a tank top there, and despite on the cancellation call having been asked about my name and if it should be Ms rather than Mr, got misnamed and misgendered anyway. Part of that possibly my 'fault', in that they checked with me about what name to use in communicating back to my regular dentist, who has not been told about the change of name. I'd been prepared when I last visited to collect my referral, but they said they didn't have need for any of the information I'd brought, so it did not come up despite my expecting it to.

Would like to muse more, but trying to store up those thoughts as for now I only feel to have enough time for writing down things that happened, and not so much the meandering thoughts those happenings inspire.

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Feeling rather tired today. According to my phone I was very active, so no surprise this is one of those days I come home from work and find it painful to walk or stand until the next morning. The morning started quiet but from about noon onward it kept getting busier.

There's about a half-dozen new casual staff starting at the library over the next two weeks and today was the first, so we were supposed to leave off the shelving to give him something easy to do on the first day. And also to leave us a bit bored because it was quiet to start with, although I had my lists of various kinds of missing items to work on. Even I set aside a couple of other miscellaneous tasks to use as demonstrations – damaged book from the returns, book with missing RFID tag, library card that had been lost in the library a few days previous.

Unsurprisingly this story ends with none of those happening. He had an orientation at the council for about the first hour, and then meeting with the manager and being shown around by her for a while, followed by my co-worker being assigned to further get him up to speed on the actual library systems and processes. About a half hour before lunch I realised where this was going and ran around getting as much shelving done as I could before the next shift took over.

On the bright side I seems all the new starters are going to be issued a copy of the checklist myself and another part-timer worked on over Friday and Sunday so that is a) something to be pleased about and b) something to leverage into pay increases and future job applications. Although I also thought of some things today which likely should have gone onto that document, which demonstrates why at least when you have me do it such things are better built over a longer period of time than a day and a half.

Yesterday after work I went shopping to try and get a more explicitly feminine work wardrobe, I guess, to force a contrast with what my co-workers had been seeing me in for the past most of a year. Was unhappy with how those clothes were sitting on me and after several unpleasant months of failed searches that left me dismal and defeated.

The main, main thing I had been looking for was new pants, as the ones I'd been wearing kept sitting unpleasantly low on my hips. Felt very uncomfortable wearing that. So, finally fixed, and got a bunch of surprisingly cheap new tops to wear to work or with my recent skirt acquisitions, which had been very lacking. Very relieving.

Wore such fresh outfit to work today, was nervous. Went okay though! No unexpected uproar, and the manager said the colour (of the top) looks good on me. In passing on her way out to lunch. So, yay!

I get to exist in some spaces and that is an improvement.

So, busy day today. Let's leave off with two notable things about today.

I made lunch this morning but forget to pick it up on my way out the door, so ended up buying fish and chips for lunch. Was worried about the delay when busyness kept me 7 minutes late from starting my lunch break but managed to eat without rush and be done in good time. And a little progress on the book I'm reading too.

A caller midway through the morning, saying ey got a notice about items being due and ey returned them all several days ago. Ey seems liable to repeat and emphasise this point a few times so I interrupt and ask for the card number they were borrowed under.

“I'm driving at the moment. I think I better call you back in about 10 minutes.”

“Yes, I think you had better.”

“Goodbye.” “Goodbye.”

Addendum: so far as I am aware, ey has not called back.

That should be enough journal for now. Got to save some time for book non-reviewing and scholarship.

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My appointment got cancelled for yesterday so I did not go out. Was nice having a whole day at home. Got to do laundry and make my bed and talk with people, and it was a good day but I got hardly any studying done so it is hard not to feel like I continue to contribute to the wretched waste that is my life.

Insurance company finally caught up with me on the phone and ate about 90 minutes. Also finally finally spent a while looking for conferences to attend for the professional development component of my degree, which I've had reminders poking me at for months now. Never seemed to have a good time for that, but forced myself anyway this time. Found some candidates, giving myself time to sit on that before acting.

Appointment cancelled because the doctor was in surgery, was not going to be available for the appointed time. New appointment next week in the afternoon. Thinking about seeing a hairdresser earlier in the day, as I've been wanting to have my hair done for months and never finding the time.

Today my co-worker and I got asked to put together a checklist for what the new casual staff who are starting over the next two weeks need to be trained on. We'll need to finish that Sunday morning so it can be ready in time.

I'm very stressed about school. Very far behind. Will be shocked if I don't fail this semester but going to keep pushing until it is over – if I withdraw at this point it will be an automatic failure anyway.

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Filter: sadsad

Today was the first time I wore a skirt to work. My hand was forced, somewhat, with my only pair of work slacks being in the wash. Could have worn jeans but those aren't strictly dress code and even though I was going to be working at the isolated little branch library there is always the possibility someone from the upper or senior echelons of council management would appear around to a) notice and b) care.

I got a bit of help from Ami last night in picking which skirt and what top to put with it, as my selection is currently extremely limited and badly suited to any sort of professional appearance. But it managed and we all went okay. Was only working with one person today, but she did not say anything, and there was indeed a surprise cluster of management types using a meeting room, which we had not known about in advance as the process of keeping library staff informed about the use of our facilities had broken down.

And although it is always a quiet place, I helped a few patrons through the day, some of whom were entirely new and some definitely recognising me from the past, and none seemed surprised or put out by my attire so despite my nervousness that was a big relief. Even though I have the support of the library manager ever day I do not need to call upon that is a day that is better than it might have been.

 

Relieved to get to exist for now.

 

Tomorrow I have a consultation about the when and how of getting my wisdom teeth removed. This is something I am very nervous – probably scared – about but it gets easier the more and the more often they hurt. It becomes something to look forward to, being able to eat again without pain, or even to exist in the times between eating. Must remember to bring my referral and x-rays with me or it will be a bit pointless as an outing.

I feel a bit of an urgent need to go clothes shopping as well, after, and hope I find something that works for me. I thought I had solved the question of clothes for work a year ago but I was mistaken. Continuing to be trapped in the tension between wanting something that is good enough ASAP, and wanting to be slow and careful in getting clothes that work especially well for me. Assuming those exist. But for now I definitely find myself in need of work slacks that actually fit and are not half falling off my hips (and which do have decently sized pockets if possible because pockets are useful!) and at least a couple of presentation-shifting tops as well. The ones I bought last year are all the buttoned sort I was used to, and I feel it is worth off-setting my presentation a bit further from what my co-workers probably incorrectly internalised as masculine.

What I want may be too simple to be readily attainable.

 

There is a lot of more stressful things going on and upcoming too, but I will leave those for another time. It is getting late and I want to be done with this, to get I hope at least a little more study done tonight before sleep.

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[wrote this two days ago. no less true now]

     Been feeling more self-conscious about my voice recently. Pretty sure that is from being 'out' at work and somehow feeling like I am letting myself down more when I don't get interpreted as a woman. Relatedly, worrying my co-workers are expecting a bit more of a transformation on my part when there isn't really anything left for me to do – getting my documentation updated and informing my employer was just about it. I've been on hormones for years, I've had hair removed, I've been wearing clothes I bought in the women's department… there isn't really anything left for me to do. Perhaps I should be used to letting people down by now.

A week ago (maybe 2? time is difficult and I have been trying to focus on school) my podcast listening project got to the end of playlist #12, which covered the span from 2005-07-10 to 2005-10-01. That meant it was time to download and catalogue + compile episodes for playlist #15, spanning 2005-12-18 to 2006-01-21. Obviously I ran into problems or I wouldn't have words to be typing about it. Old episodes from Universe Today are still no longer available for download, although the articles they were published in are still up. That is something I can get around for a while by having episodes already downloaded from the last time I tried to embark on comprehensive podcast up-catching. That was already a problem, and I emailed them about it a month or two back asking about it.

This time I find also that Slacker Astronomy is giving a 403 error when I try to access its feeds. Not totally unexpected, as they have not had a new episode since 2011 but I had very much been hoping to get through listening to the archives before the site did eventually go offline. Playlist #15 also included the premiere episode of another podcast, that of Science magazine, and I was disheartened to find that episode no longer downloads either. Actually, even though the old podcast archive page for that site still exists, it doesn't seem to be accessible on the Science magazine website except via the link I have bookmarked. The new site navigation only gives an archive stretching back to about 2012. They have not taken all the old episodes offline though; the September 2006 episode still loads, and presumably the ones after it do too.

I do not have time because there is a lot of studying and school-work I need to prioritise first, but if and when I can, this provokes in me a desire to download the old episodes of various podcasts while I still can, and to save offline copies of their web pages as well so those can be used to apply metadata to the episodes when it comes time to compile them into playlists for listening.

This is likely a bad idea. For Science as well as Universe Today I have episodes previously downloaded that bridge most of but not all the gap to where more reliable archives begin again (in the case of Universe Today, when it is replaced by Astronomy Cast. In the case of Slacker Astronomy I also have episodes from their main feed into 2006, although not from their Extra feed which holds some interesting interviews.

I should reconcile myself to the fact some things are lost beyond my reach, and I will have to make do with what I have and can get. As I had to do when despite the good fortune of finding old radio episodes on archive.org of Are We Alone? they still were a spotty record which did not cover the whole span, and leaves a gap before the officially available archives commence. If we pretend I really have dropped any fretting over that entirely from my heart, which is lies.

Ironically last night I was listening to an episode of Slacker Astronomy Extra, “Getting Astronomy News Online” which toward the end touched on the importance of long term information storage and access, including format standardisation and using such resources as archive.org to preserve information into the future, but archive.org does not in this distant future preserve episodes of Slacker Astronomy against disappearing. Perhaps also ironically, the following episode on my playlist was one in which Fraser Cain performed an interview on behalf of Skepticality while Derek was in rehab. We have this record of the work he performed for others but can no longer access his own podcast (Universe Today) which Swoopy referred to in its introduction.

 

Or perhaps that is not irony. Despite fancying myself a writer I have never had better than a slippery grasp on that concept.

 



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Don't have time to type much. Tonight at work a (presumed) parent was thanking me because, with encouragement, I was apparently the first stranger their shy kid had been willing to talk to. Ever, according to em.

So that was a bit of surprise nice, being somehow safe or approachable enough for a small child to be interested in?

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Saw some folk talking about the forgiveability or lack thereof of Darth Vader, particularly wert the murder of children.

The prequel films had not been made at the time Return of the Jedi had been released, and I don't believe Lucas' claims of having planned the whole thing out from the beginning, so usually I am not interested in judging the first three Star Wars films on the basis of actions or emotions depicted in the prequels. I also don't recall Luke saying at any point that he forgave Vader for his past actions, prequel or otherwise. What I remember is Luke saying he still senses good in him, which I interpret as the potential or desire to turn away from evil and to do good.

My feeling is the idea of Vader being redeemed is not that his single act of casting down the emperor, but that it represents an internal change and a commitment on his part. That, had Vader survived, he would have devoted himself to doing good and to make what restitution he could for the evils of the empire. But his single act in the throne room doesn't make him good in itself, doesn't undo the evils of his past. It is a symbol of the change in the character and the new path he is taking, as is his ghost's appearance as Anakin later on.

I don't think it's a matter of having been forgiven and I don't think the evil Vader did in the past is or can be undone.

I do think there's a potential term collision between redemption as in 'how fans feel about a character' and redemption as in 'character internals reflected in externals'. I also suspect these opinions of mine are strongly influenced by the surrounding Christian cultural context; certainly I've had to work at not using Christian-sourced terminology in the writing of this post and probably missed some nonetheless.

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For a while I have been thinking about the fact the people I am emotionally close to are rather geographically dispersed, and do not seem inclined to address this error for my convenience. And it is long since I gave up my ambitions of selling my stories and being a 'successful' author. The odds are against anyone who tries, and I think the sorts of stories I want to write are not so much those liked by the science fiction or fantasy markets anyway[1].

I'm thinking more about trying to make some money from my writing in the future because it would help to have a source of income that doesn't tie me down from spending time with people I love. I can't yet write anything worth being paid for, but I'm practising again and maybe I will get there. These days even if I can't or don't sell to a traditional market there are other options, such as setting up a patreon or similar - assuming I show myself well enough that enough people like what I do enough to put some money into one. That is a lot of enough, and no guarantee it can be done even if I do improve my skill a lot and manage to produce stories on a regular basis. But if I could, even if it were not much, it might help.

I also write smut stories as well as adventure stories, and wonder whether I would be best served, or if it is even practically doable, to make those into distinct identities with their own subscribers. I don't know whether those audience-support sites let you split your work like that, but I do worry there wouldn't be much crossover in audience interest, and that the one might complicate the other. And on the topic of potential complications, I've been more interested in writing fan-fiction works the past few years but I suspect it would be inadvisable to take money for writing any such thing, so I might have to do those 'off the clock' or twist the inspirations into something I needn't worry about making available.

We'll see after I'm done with school, whether any of this can go somewhere or if it is just idle dreaming. In the meanwhile, practise and get better.

[1] Plus, and don't tell this to all the world but, they are so far not very good or interesting either.

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Programming: Sure is the Risk Made - conelrad

So I check back in on dreamwidth after a couple of weeks of being swallowed by school and there's posts again? That's pretty exciting.

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Filter: chipperchipper

[This post is talking about the DCI Banks episode "Friend of the Devil" and anyone reading who wants to avoid spoilers for that story would be advised to avoid reading this post. Also, the subject of the crimes is mostly violent rape and murder.]

Last night I watched an episode of DCI Banks which struck me as very pro-police. I mean, you could probably safely assume that any mystery series in which the protagonists are police who solve crimes is going to be pro-police but in this case it seemed quite thematic in favour of police handling crime and against vigilantism.

We have a father ranting about the police not helping and 'dragging the family's name through the mud' after the rape and murder of his daughter. Who then is arrested for assault in attempting to get revenge for it, and just as well he didn't get up the nerve to use the knife he'd bought for that purpose, as it turns out that guy was innocent.

We have more vigilantism when the murder in another case turns out to be a revenge killing of a woman (Lucy Payne) convicted for being complicit in the rape and murder of other women, our Mr Banks being upset that justice has now been denied. Finally, misguided vigilantism sees the killing of an innocent police officer, having mistaken him for the man who raped and murdered the woman mentioned in the previous paragraph when he was actually worked up in excess distress over her death and patrolling out of duty to protect women.

Early on Banks asks a forensic examiner if there were signs of struggle and she leaps to remind him that lack of such signs do not mean it was not rape, when in fact he was just wondering if there might be DNA obtainable from skin under the fingernails. But it's okay that she was overly-defensive of the integrity of rape victims like that because as it turns out she is a serial killer! Murdered Lucy earlier, killed the police officer earlier, mistaking him for a bad man instead of a good man, and murdered the guy who raped her many years ago instead of cooperating with police to bring him to justice.

It all felt a bit heavy-handed. Vengeful dad insults police, assaults the wrong man. Vengeful woman lies to police, murders already-sentenced convict, kills a cop in error, finally takes her own life when confronted with this. Normally I just want a mystery solved with detecting, not so much of the karmic leave it to police.

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Falling in love is a lot like being sick

  • First there's the denial phase, refusal to admit the possibility
  • Then the sleepless, feverish nights, thoughts in chaos
  • Finally you emerge, thought processes reconfigured for the new reality
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