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Why is it I never seem to remember that no one cares what I think or feel about anything before opening my mouth?
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Thanks to a massive layoff at work, I'm now unemployed.

Know anyone hiring moderately-skilled computer geeks?
luchog: (rock on)
Make mine a 99.


Jul. 13th, 2010 11:54 am
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Odd, since I haven't read much of his stuff; and two completely different writing samples gave me this result.

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

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I figured out that I don't drink nearly enough.

I can still feel things.
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So, the company I work for has an opening for a fairly high-level developer-type tech geek. Description is after the cut. If you're interested, email me at the email in my profile, and I'll pass along your resume to the powers that be at work.

Read more... )
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According to The Stranger's blog, the Lusty Lady is closing down for good in June.

This is very sad news; and not just from a pervert point of view. Aside from being one of the few fully women-owned businesses; and one of only only two fully women-owned strip/topless clubs in the US that I'm aware of; it's yet another classic Seattle landmark gone. What the hell happened to the city I grew up in? There's so little of it left.

Not to mention the fact that it's still a very bad time to be unemployed. I have several friends who are current and former employees as well. This makes me very very sad.
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So, out of sheer boredom, and because I've just started re-watching the first season of the new Doctor Who, here's a little poll. It works better if you've seen the old and new Doctor Who, but I'm curious either way. Explanations of of answers is always welcome.

1) Who is your favorite Doctor?

2) Who was the first Doctor you saw?

3) Who is your least favorite Doctor?

4) Who is your favorite companion?

5) Who is the first companion you saw?

6) Who is your least favorite companion?

7) Who is your favorite villain?

8) Who is your favorite secondary character (a non-Companion who showed up in multiple episodes)?

9) Which Tardis design is your favorite?

10) The American TV movie, canon or non-canon?

11) Romana I (Mary Tamm) or Romana II (Lala Ward)?

12) Who would be your choice for the next Doctor?

My answers:


Mar. 19th, 2010 06:25 am
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Just a reminder that tomorrow is the Brouwer's Hard Liver Barleywine Festival!

You must go and drink BEER!!!
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Well, it's official. I am not permitted to have any sort of life outside work. All my plans are officially fucked; and I won't be seeing friends or family anytime soon. Sorry for the very few people that will be disappointed by this; maybe i'll see you again next year.
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Saturday, March 20th, starting at 11:00am is Brouwer's Cafe's annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival.

Who all is going? [ profile] deadrose and I will be there in line before it opens, in order to get good seats.


Feb. 23rd, 2010 04:50 am
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I've finally given up and joined Facebook; mainly because of some bands I want to keep up with.

So I'm there if you want to add me.
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The Korpiklaani show on the 30th kicked serious ass. Skipped the first band, showed up in time for Swashbuckle, who aren't great musicians, but have fun with it at least. First time I saw Tyr live; and I have to say I like their live show better than the recorded stuff I've heard so far. Less trying to be clever, and more just good headbangin' metal. Korpiklaani was as great as ever. Spent all of their set in the pit, getting the crap kicked out of me. Getting too old for this crap. But I got to say "hi" after the show, so that was awesome. :)

Unfortunately, I came home with more than just a few bruises and a new t-shirt. Thanks to some plague rat, I managed to pick up a case of SARS/Swine Flu/Black Death. Woke up sick the next day, and have been feeling profoundly ill ever since. And I know it was from the show, because nearly everyone else I know who went have also come down with this crud. Ended up taking 3 days off of work. Should have stayed home the entire week, but we had a major project I needed to be there for. Ugh. My chest feels like someone's taken a cheese grater to it, and I'm not even going to try and describe what I've been horking up. Looks like I'm hitting the end of it, and I've got my weekend now; so as long as I haven't developed pneumonia, I should be fine by the time I go back to work. Really screwed up some other plans I had, though.
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Would you find a movie about two people doing nothing but sitting at a table in a restaurant, eating and talking, not only interesting, but fascinating?

I finally got around to watching My Dinner With Andre, and I have to say that I enjoyed it far more than I expected to. The premise didn't dissuade me; as I do like movies that are predominantly smie-random dialog (eg. Slacker, Clerks); but the limitations in this film, among other thing, did not leave me with many positive expectations. From almost the moment it started, I was absolutely engrossed. Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory were captivating, despite doing nothing but sitting at a table talking for ninety percent of the film. It wasn't the subject of the conversation itself that held me, since much of it was the same old mental masturbation I'd participated in throughout college. No, it was the nature of the conversation, the sheer earnestness of the dialog, devoid of any trace of the contrived, self-aware irony that infests so much of contemporary sensibility. The openness and honest of their expressions and reactions, the friendliness of their arguments, the search for the common ground of shared experience.

The dialog is also remarkable for the smoothness of it's progression. Unlike most theatrical dialog, it lacks the sharp transitions between subjects, the blatant starts and stops that divide most film conversations into clear blocks, obvious scenes. It ebbs and flows organically, naturally, with a clear, logical progression from one subject to the next.

Even with those qualities, the movie could have failed, were it not for director Louis Malle's superb camera work; which added a sense of dynamism to what was essentially a very static set. What really grabbed me was the intimacy of the camera placement, the closeness to the characters. Malle places the audience at the table with the actors, making us part of the conversation, almost participants in it. Making us feel as if we were sitting between the actors, expressing our agreement or disagreement, fascination or oppposition, to them as we would at any normal dinner party. We're not merely voyeurs, we've been invited to join. Malle also does a particularly good job at juxtaposing the raw emotion of Shawn and Gregory's conversation with the bored, routine detachment of the waitstaff, providing a contrast which heightens the intimacy and intensity of the scene.

My Dinner With Andre is definitely one of the best films I have ever seen; and one I highly recommend.


Jan. 20th, 2010 05:08 am
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Thanks to a fuck up by the accountants at work; I didn't get enough tax taken out of my pay. Now I owe half a month's salary in tax. I have no idea how I'm going to pay that, since I owe so much in medical bills I'll never get out from under it. I'm screwed.
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Boredom is making my brain melt and leak out of my nose (or it could just be allergies).

Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Useless."

* I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity.
* Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
* Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions

1) Do you listen to any specific bands that, when mentioned, make pretty much everybody go, "...who?" And if so, name 'em, and describe their genre.

Hrm... My friends have pretty bizarre and eclectic tastes, but I think I can manage a few.

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Avante Garde/Psychadelic/Experimental. A friend and collaborator of Frank Zappa. Music is similar; with more emphasis on Jazz and less on Classical than Zappa.

Breathe - Classic '80s Brit-Pop/Soul band. Had a couple hits, but didn't stick around long.

The Gathering - Symphonic/Goth Metal band from Denmark.

De/Vision - German Synthpop, vaguely Depeche Mode-ish.

Snakefinger - Avante Garde/Experimental, collaborated with The Residents. Very weird stuff.

Larry Norman - Christian Rock pioneer, he was a huge influence on the music scene of the '60s and '70s, particularly Bob Dylan, U2, Van Morrison, The Pixies, even The Who.

Nana Mouskouri - Used to be very well known, sadly underappreciated today. She had one of the most amazing voices ever. Jazz, Pop, Folk, World Music, Greek, Classical.

Ofra Haza - Another beautiful-voiced but underappreciated singer. Middle-Eastern Pop and World Music.

Most of the Folk Metal that I like is not well-known outside a very small scene.

2) Which exotic but otherwise terrestrial animal would you most like as a pet?

Hard to say, really. I love snakes, and there are several I would die to own. The Eastern Indigo especially. But the only thing keeping me from doing that is the money (would cost me about a thousand for everything, snake and housing and all).

Another do-able, but way too expensive, one would be the Leafy Sea Dragon. One of the most beautiful sea creatures that exists; but rather difficult to keep (similar to sea-horses, but requires a bit more exacting and specialized care).

For a purely fantasy, way too impractical to ever really do, never-happen wish; probably a Siberian white tiger. Or a wombat, but they're pretty anti-social.

3) If given the opportunity to be taken--Arthur Dent-style, but in our universe--to space, leaving behind everything you've ever known, would you do it?

There is one person I couldn't leave behind; otherwise yes, in a New York minute.

4) What's your favorite flavor of all time?


5) Would you be prepared if gravity suddenly reversed itself?

The only thing I can't figure out is how to keep my change in my pockets.
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I am really coming to appreciate v-cinema, lately. It's amazing how different it is from its American, and even European, counterparts. Some truly amazing work that will never see mainstream audiences. It's too bad that Americans haven't really made more of an effort to create something like this; instead leaving the medium to mindless schlock and film school students.
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Been a long time since I've done one of these.

1. Do you believe in ghosts?
No. But I'll be happy to as soon as someone provides consistent, reproducible, unambiguous evidence.

2. Do you believe in extraterrestrials?
I'm agnostic on this issue. I believe that it's possible; but I believe that it's highly unlikely that we'll ever find out for sure.

3. Do you believe in mythical creatures (unicorns, vampires, etc.)?
No. Not in mythological or cryptozoological (which is just a fancy way of waying the same thing) creatures. But, again, I'll be happy to as soon as someone provides consistent, reproducible, unambiguous evidence.

4. Do you believe in a higher power (God, Allah, Buddha, Hecate, Zeus, etc.)?
Yes. And yes, I realize the paradox. I believe that there is sufficient evidence for me to believe in the existence of a transcendent creator; even if that evidence may not be sufficient for someone else.

5. Do you believe in the power of crystals?
That depends on what you mean by "power". If you mean the New-Age fluff-bunny hippy stuff, then no, definitely not. With the above disclaimer.

However, I do believe, because of the evidence, that certain crystals have certain powers; one of which is the reason you're able to read what I'm writing here. Others aren't quite as useful, but are still cool.

Properties of certain crystals.
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Just read an article in the NY Times website, about a Jewish parochial school in the UK.

Who Is a Jew? Court Ruling in Britain Raises Question


The questions before the judges in Courtroom No. 1 of Britain’s Supreme Court were as ancient and as complex as Judaism itself.

Who is a Jew? And who gets to decide?

On the surface, the court was considering a straightforward challenge to the admissions policy of a Jewish high school in London. But the case, in which arguments concluded Oct. 30, has potential repercussions for thousands of other parochial schools across Britain. And in addressing issues at the heart of Jewish identity, it has exposed bitter divisions in Britain’s community of 300,000 or so Jews, pitting members of various Jewish denominations against one another.

"This is potentially the biggest case in the British Jewish community’s modern history," said Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle newspaper here. "It speaks directly to the right of the state to intervene in how a religion operates."

This appears to be a complicated issue, which has sparked a considerable amount of debate. Not only on the definition of Jewishness, but on state intervention in religion, scholastic autonomy, and sectarianism. And G-D knows that if there is anything that Jews are good at, it's arguing.

And it's not just the Jews:

It is unclear what effect the ruling, if it is upheld, will have on other religious schools. Some Catholic schools, accustomed to using baptism as a baseline admissions criterion, are worried that they will have to adopt similar practice tests.

But in my personal opinion, that is irrelevant hair-splitting in a debate that is, in fact, very simple; and has one clear and obvious answer. Yet no one has really addressed the most salient point; or at best, glossed over it. The answer to this entire debate can be found in two sentences.

This one:
Britain has nearly 7,000 publicly financed religious schools, representing Judaism as well as the Church of England, Catholicism and Islam, among others.

And this one:
"JFS is a state-funded school where my grandfather taught, and it’s selecting applicants on the basis of religious politics," he said in an interview.

The key phrases, for anyone who missed them, are "publicly financed" and "state-funded".

If you're accepting government money, which comes from taxes on everyone, gentiles as well as Jews, then you're accepting government regulation and control. Period. It's the same regardless of what religion you are. If you don't want us telling you how to run your school, then don't take our money to finance it. If I'm paying for something, then I damn well will have a say in how it's run. The problem is, too many groups want to receive public moneyl; but without public accountability. It doesn't, or at least shouldn't, work that way.
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I am a skeptic, a rationalist and strong proponent of the scientific paradigm; which means I generally don't get along with Christians or other religious people.

I am a devout Christian, steadfast in my faith (albeit rather outside mainstream denominational dogma); which means that I tend not to get along well with skeptical rationalists (who tend to be agnostic, if not stridently atheist).

I am a fiscal conservative and strong advocate of personal responsibility and opponent of special considerations for any particular ethnic or arbitrary socioeconomic group; which means I typically don't get on with liberals, who call me a fascist.

I am a transgendered, bisexual social liberal, who believes in full and equal rights for all, and that the government has no business interferring in any consentual, informed decision made by any competent adult, whether that involves sex, drugs, or entertainment; which means not getting on with conservatives consider me a deluded, mentally deficient and diseased, hippy pervert.

I am a minarchist, gradualist libertarian; which means I find myself placed opposite the majority of the Libertarian political community, whch is predominantly anarcho-capitalist and fairly radical, as well as statists who believe that government exists to implement and enforce their particular worldview.

I believe in seperation of church and state, seperation of school and state, seperation of business and state, and seperation of bedroom and state; which means I'm fairly well divorced from both mainstream and fringe political groups.

I'm an artist who believes that the arts are among the highest intellectual and spiritual pursuits mankind is capable of, and that "marketability" is more often a detriment than a useful goal; which means that I am fairly far outside mainstream culture. But I also hold to objective standards of artistic achievement, believe that the aesthetic quality of the work is far more important than any propaganda value, and feel that if it's "non-representational" then it's "non-art"; which means that the predominantly post-modernist art community isn't really fond of me, either.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories of any sort, whether they involve the "patriarchy", "The Man", the "homosexual agenda", "feminazis", "international Zionists", biomedical corporations, communists, "western imperialists", or "secular humanists"; preferring to take things at more or less face value, in context, letting actions speak for themselves, and not assuming malice when incompetance is a resonable explanation. Obviously, this doesn't make me popular with the majority of people, who tend to believe in some sort of shadowy manipulator responsible for what they see as the problems in their society.

I am a technophile transhumanist who doesn't believe there should be any limits to genetic engineering, and would jump at the chance for electro-mechanical immortality; which brands me as anti-nature among the back-to-nature crowd. I also believe that, despite whatever form humanity may take in the future, it's only worthwhile if we still maintain a solid core of the morals, ethics, and spirituality that makes us human, and that part of that is being good stewards of nature and using it responsibly and sustainably; which sets me apart from the majority of the technocrats.

And finally, I believe that Elvis was a poser; Ringo was vastly underappreciated; a lot of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Monty Python fans desperately need to get a life; Spinal Tap was the greatest band of all time; curry is the perfect food; bacon is greatly overrated; and 4Chan /b/ is the purest expression of human nature. All of which has pretty effectively alienated anyone who was left.
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