longing, lost

the internet, it is breaking

At the rate I'm going, I wonder if I should just give up the ghost and sell all the fabric/patterns I've been carting around for years. Teaching plus commuting equals no energy, so by the time I get home, all I want to do is put on my pajamas, read a book, and go to bed. (Talk about a rockin' social life! Because I have to get up so early, I'm usually out by 8:30.) Effort be damned! Much of the fabric is the result of once living near a Joann's that went out of business. I got it because it was cheap and pretty, not because I had something in mind. Some of the accumulation is the result of my most common problem - gathering the materials for a project, but never getting started.

I still like wearing costumes, and cosplay photography remains interesting from the angles of photographer, cosplayer and viewer. But the thought of going to cons appeals to me less and less with each passing year, and is no longer a significant motivator. (Robin is now sitting in pieces in _rosiel_'s closet - but it looks better already!) I would like to see out-of-state folks, but that's the only draw.

I debate setting up photoshoots elsewhere, as I find a lot of cool places when I walk, but I never seem to get around to it. I'm not sure if I'd want to be subject or photographer. I admit to missing photoshoots because they were a rare moment when I got to be the center of attention, feel special, and look pretty. That, and they were useful for icons and the like, because no good pictures of me out of costume exist. I seem to have a knack for looking like a moron when I'm not posing/being posed by someone. I also cannot take pictures of myself to save my life. (This is one reason why I fail at Facebook.) But I'd have to make something. Or connive my way into getting someone to make something for me. Agh! There's that effort thing again!

As far as being on the other side of the camera, I am similarly undecided. On the one hand, I have a new new-to-me camera and I like photography, but on the other, I've never really had much interest in taking pictures of people. Hmm. I can kind of see me-as-people-photographer going poorly. I imagine it thus:

Person: Uh, so, you basically took a lot of pictures of the trim on my costume, and in some, you can see parts of me. Like my hand. Or my chin.
Me: Yeah! But check out how the beads glitter in the sun! And if your hand is right there at an angle, see how that leads the eye to ... (... and I'd probably trail off, talking about asymmetrical composition and stuff like that.)
Person: Why would I want to put that on cosplay.com? This was a waste of time.
Me: .................... but the light shining through the beads is pretty?

... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

... anybody interested in fabric? I've got some nice stuff. _rosiel_ can vouch for that.
  • Current Mood
    apathetic apathetic
  • Tags
in the act, hungry, whale, /gnaw, chomp

(no subject)

The kittens are watching my mouse cursor and/or my text appearing as I type. Their heads are moving in unison. It is so cute. I just can't see what I'm doing.
looking back, melancholy, shadowed, beautiful

I sense a potential for green laser eyes here.

So, long story short, I'm going to take Pearl back to the rescue at the end of this month.

After I started my new job in March, things began to go downhill. Pearl has always loved people, and it turned out that she desired their company to such a great degree, my work schedule caused problems. I simply work too damn long every day for her to bear. As she has become continually frustrated, good kitty behavior has started to turn into several bad habits (i.e., nipping and clawing indiscriminately where there was no such issue before).

Knowing that:

1.) She's unhappy five days out of the week, and by the time we get back to normal on Sunday, it's time to get pissed off again;
2.) I'd rather these behaviors not become ingrained;
2a.) As she ages, I don't want to turn her into a cranky cat when she's such a sweetheart;
3.) She's a totally different cat when there's someone home more often or earlier and the bad habits do not occur;
4.) With her good looks and friendly ways, there's undoubtedly a home out there where someone works a regular 9 to 5 or even less;

I decided it was unfair to her to continue to keep her, in order to assuage my doubts about all the potential what-ifs. I've tried many things, from leaving talk radio on, the TV, leaving clothes around with my scent on them, Feliway, giving her a good thing when I leave, etc. etc., but nothing has changed for the better. She hated the bejeesus out of the other cat I attempted to adopt earlier this year, and according to her previous fosters, never seemed inclined to deal with other cats. She didn't really care for dogs, either, which is good, because I'm not equipped nor around often enough to take care of one.

1/2 of the rescue team members I am speaking with about her return are begging/guilt tripping me to hold onto her. I've agreed to keep her until the 23rd, but I've locked myself into another situation, so I can't keep her much longer beyond that.

new kitties

Michaela/Mikayla, the tortie, is the leader of the pair. Rowena is shyer. If you can figure out why I chose these names, you are either brilliant, or have figured out that the obvious can sometimes transform into strange things. (Still not sure how I'm going to spell the name of the tortie. I like the way Michaela looks better, but Mikayla would fit the theme more.)

I wasn't intending to adopt again so soon. I hoped to have some more time to clean thoroughly, but I guess I'll have to Febreeze everything and hope that removes Pearl's scent. I also debated readopting the cat I tried to adopt back in May as a companion for Pearl.

My mother's vet, however, happened to have three kittens with no home, which got my mother to talking about my situation. The vet suggested I take the two girls. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to go ahead with it. My mother and step father will be bringing them out to the East Coast on the 23rd. I initially intend to keep them confined to the bedroom, and I'll have to for a while if Pearl is still here. While she freaked out and went into combat mode with the previous cat I tried to adopt, she never actually went forth to battle, so to speak. The other cat was bigger and weighed more (and was calmer, to boot). These guys are just out of kittenhood, and one of them is a shy violet. I can just imagine Pearl terrorizing them.

I am attempting to learn from what went wrong for Pearl. These two are bonded sisters, meaning they can be cat friends during the day and not be lonely. They are also much younger. They've been kept at the vet's office, where they have a 3x3 foot crate for a home. They can come out during the day and talk to people, but at night, they are put back in the crate and there is no one in the office. It sounds sad, but this means they've practically been trained since birth for a situation like mine. During the week, I'm gone for about as much time as they're used to being left alone. On the whole, my apartment would be an improvement ... bigger living quarters!

I'm sending some of my things in the hopes that they will become accustomed to my smell before then. The vets are also going to start calling them by name so they begin to recognize them. This means when they get here, I'll have to be good about actually calling them by name so they don't forget, instead of calling them "dood" or some variant all the time like I do with Pearl.

Because they're so much younger, it's definitely going to be nutty around here for awhile. I am anticipating coming home to snagged/torn down drapes and the works, just in case. My hopes are that it will be a good kind of nutty, not the bite-you kind of nutty.

[Edit: I still say you aren't a crazy cat lady until you have more cats than you have limbs, so I'm in the clear.]
thoughts unspoken, thoughtful, silence, no one knows

all the sheeyit that's fit not to print

I think I've become a lot more private and withdrawn both in person and online since I hit bottom at the end of 2008. The disaster that was 2009 just sealed in a new behavior pattern. I used to post about everything, talk about anything, but now I keep everything mostly to myself and a small circle I meet in person. Most of the stuff I do wind up posting nowadays is either just a photo or is under a friends lock.

It's funny that I can't quite seem to get into the newer systems, like Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare and whatever the hell the next thing will be called. In fact, my high point of internet participation occurred more than ten years ago. There was once an online forum that was built differently from the standard bulletin board, and I posted there quite regularly. When I wasn't, I was chatting away constantly on AIM. Sometimes I had more than eleven conversations going at once. I was a fairly popular participant, and the folks seemed to contact me naturally. At the time I thought it must be my "reputation," but I suspect it was actually because I was friendly with the creator/sysadmin, who regularly observed, patrolled and posted on his community. I was very actively concerned with maintaining this "reputation" as a fun, fun-loving intelligent person who was the ideal member. I chose my words carefully (most of the time), sought opinions on incomplete posts, talked to just about everyone who attempted to make contact, and always, always used punctuation. I pulled people in and made them feel good by quoting them in my profile, and I remembered all the little in-jokes, which I used to create drawings, posts and the like that made others feel pleased. In essence I was using these abilities to craft a circle of allies.

Since that board collapsed, I've steadily been pulling back. Over a decade later, it's just too much of a pain in the ass to log in on AIM unless Gmail does it for me.

Not too long after that community died, I switched to another anime-based message board, where I wound up finding some amount of success in the RPG section. This period is, in fact, where my journal name comes from. I worked my way into a main character in one of the main RPGs. Reading what I wrote back then makes me wonder why so few people ever told me I needed help. Did I really seem like I had it together? I talked all big about how role playing characters are really just a facet of their creator's personality, and while I applied that to myself to a degree, I steered far clear of ever realizing why I wrote such depressing drama crap so damn well. Looking back, I can see myself falling to pieces even then. It was no wonder I couldn't last, and I eventually wound up quitting. Still, I can see that during that time I maintained many of the same connection-building patterns, including allying myself with major players.

That was the last time I really pulled those skills together. When I joined Livejournal in 2001, I was riding on the crest of those efforts, as I brought or joined several RPG members here. As they fell away, and as I annoyed or bored people to death and they unfriended me, my connections on the internet began to fade considerably. Around this time I began attempts to promote my own websites via participation in communities, but compared to my past efforts, something wasn't there. I had a brief revival with Ragnarok Online, and then I seem to have stopped bothering.

My increasingly low output generates increasingly few responses, which in turn leaves me bored and even less prone to posting anything anywhere. If part of the allure of the internet is this potential for group-building via constant feedback, then I have all but checked out of the system. My email inboxes rarely contain anything other than spam from Jo-ann's, Barnes & Noble, Borders and so on. Few people comment on Livejournal. Few people use Facebook to actually reach me. I am no longer interested in being a major player online, so I have no presence built up anywhere but Livejournal. Early on in this journal's history, I wrote that I wanted to be big on the internet. That idea is horrifying to me now, but the desire for social connections remains.

Since Livejournal is my only constant, I have a tendency to focus on it when other people have moved on. The decline in responses has many factors, but one of the big ones is how Livejournal is no longer the thing, and many have migrated elsewhere (read: Facebook).

I've been trying to use Facebook more often, but it is difficult for me to get into it. The shorter/more frequent format is one part of the problem. I like thinking and reasoning things out, and I like typing about my thoughts, as though it will somehow help others understand how my mind works and therefore "get to know me." For me, going into detail is a pleasurable thing.

Facebook features the constant feed of information, which is both a punishment and a reward. I find this problematic, for by necessity, the more we update, the more diluted the content's value becomes. It grows duller. We call each other friends on Facebook, but knowing when someone else is in the grocery store, at the movies or even in the bathroom does not make me a friend. It makes me nothing more than an approved but inadvertent digital stalker.

I've often wondered why we bother checking in/posting every few minutes for every little thing or thought that happens in our lives. Instant communication by text, Facebook or whatever is instant gratification, especially when compared to old methods like letters. It also gives us a feeling of satisfaction to stay "on top" of all the updates by checking constantly, even if all the updates are just Farmville (or whatever the big thing is now) requests. At least we haven't missed anything.

The sysadmin I mentioned earlier kind of went nuts on me, and the damage to our friendship was unrepairable. We haven't spoken in years. He used to talk to me about all sorts of things, from anime to social interactions online to targeted advertising techniques. Sometimes I wonder what he would think about all this "social media" crap. Mostly, though, I simply read the news and then go offline, since I get about as much contact there and my back hurts less.
diffident, somewhere else, someone else, empty

blah blah blah blah blah

A few months back, I realized that I've been keeping a journal, in one form or another, for over ten years. While much of it is on Livejournal, there are also quite a few notebooks/diaries/random papers scattered here and there, so I'm starting a project to gather the decent stuff together. (a.k.a., I'm leaving out the quiz results!) So far, I'm still in the process of copy/pasting stuff from LJ by quickly skimming year by year. For all the "What? Me? Post?" I've had going on in the past couple of years, I wrote a ton of crap in 2002. The unedited copy for that year is something like 75 pages, and I know I cut out a lot of the internet-fluff already.

p.s., I've added a lot of crap to my site, Anne Works. For example:

For Example

Gotta dash!
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
sinking, dazed, depressed, forgotten, failure

Gettysburg and the Casino

The concept for a casino in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania rose again late last year and the process continues.

Gettysburg Casino, Proposed Site

I suspect, however, that the casino would not be quite the job/economic/tourism boom that its boosters hope. I do not think the casino, should it be built, will be the end of it. Certainly, plans currently call for reusing the existing structures on the site. At some point in the future, however, someone will think of a profitable business concept that should be built nearby to address the needs of gamblers and travelers. This is truly the greatest danger the casino will bring. Sprawl creeps. It is a flood that cannot be seen because it seeps in.

Why, I wonder, do they expect the casino to do well in an area ringed by preexisting facilities?

Gettysburg Casino, Regional Competition

Gettysburg isn’t and will probably never be another Las Vegas, the prototypical desert mirage. But it is hard for me to deny the inherent vapidity in the casino gambling of today.

Advertising for a good time abounds since casinos must pull in more than the addicts. Faces full of glee and sparkling images of wealth and relaxation are everywhere casinos exist. Yet their “reasons” for joy are just as empty as the smiles on the posters. The models are not people really enjoying and savoring the events. The euphoria of a big win that a casino promises is no more meaningful or truly “fun.”

The proposed site lies about a half mile from a battlefield where nearly fifty thousand were counted among the killed, wounded or captured. The fact that we can consider such a thing says much about economic conditions and the desire to improve them, but it also shows just how emotionally distant the Civil War and its casualties have become to us. We have not forgotten them, nor could we, given how the area’s economy remains tied to the battlefield. Yet those immediate visceral feelings of death, the loss of countless loved ones, the disruption of war on the doorstep … that has been long gone.

Preserving these battlefields has been a challenge in recent decades due to their proximity to the nation’s capital. It will only grow harder as additional generations come and go.

When I think of Gettysburg, what comes to mind are the images of death captured by the fledgling art of photography. We no longer remember what it was like to be surrounded by the smell of the wounded, the sick, and the bloated dead. We no longer remember what it was like to bury over seven thousand men. But not so very long ago, Gettysburg endured it. Yes, people live there still, and they must play. Despite that, a casino so close to the site of a transformative, traumatic battle is neither in the right place nor the right time. Perhaps when the Gettysburg’s experiences of Civil War have truly been forgotten, and the gravestones worn away or built under, then, it may truly fit in.

A Harvest of Death by Timothy O'Sullivan
"A Harvest of Death" by Timothy O'Sullivan

Historic photograph from:
Wikimedia Commons

Maps from:
Civil War Preservation Trust

Old yet relevant article about casinos:
obey, priestess, starfield, cake, evil

Public Service Announcements by abiona

1.) Your car has this fascinating, easy to activate feature called "turn signals." You should look into using them. I hear they're fantastic for communicating your intention to change lanes!

2.) That lane isn't going any faster.

3.) This lane isn't going any faster either, so pick one and sit in it!
rose of revenge, cold fire, wishing, rin, meditative

another twenty minutes


Collapse )

Over Labor Day weekend, the muscles in my left hip joint popped in a New and Exciting Way, which meant that although the weather was gorgeous, I did not get very far, and did not take as many photos as I would have liked. Fortunately, it has been improving gradually over this week, so as the weather out here cools, I hope to be out and about on weekends more often. My one camera is still busted, but I relocated all the cords and bits and parts for the "rubber band camera" that I received back in May of 2006, so I'm a slight notch above ye olde point and shoot once again. I hope to invest in a digital SLR sometime in the future, probably in the next two years.