Lyrker Above

I am the shadow that lyrks in the night

(no subject)
Okay so we went to the urologist after the xray and he downgraded our youngest's reflux to Grade 2 (on the border of 3). Which means she'll be taking medicine for the next 6 months then she'll have another ultrasound to see how things are going. Apparently 70% of kids her age with this condition grow out of it over time so we're playing the waiting game. If all is well, she'll have another ultrasound at the 12 month mark. So basically we're hoping it'll go away over the next few months or so and unless it gets worse in that time, all we have to do is prevent her getting any infections.

To summarize, she's got a condition but it's not immediately life-threatening and hopefully will go away with time. There are other steps they can and will take in the future if it doesn't go away but until they throw in the towel, we're coasting on hope. Thanks for the well-wishes. Keep 'em coming her way.

In a completely unrelated matter, I heard about the quake in New Zealand. I hope you folks that I know out there are all okay. I haven't heard anyone yelling about their house being destroyed so I'm hoping for the best where that's concerned too.

(no subject)
So. Last Wednesday I had septoplasty with a turbinate reduction and outer-fracture. You can look all that up if you want but the short form is this: I had a horribly deviated septum and my right sinus passages were nearly fused shut (hence all the sinus infections). After a 2-hour surgery, I'm looking at 6 weeks of healing, the first 2 of which I'm told are "hell". The first 4 days sure were, especially since I have braces on pulling that embedded tooth down out of that region.

The good news is I came through the surgery fine. I'm just now well enough to sit up and narrate this much to you guys. I can't breathe through my nose very well yet and sleep's a weird thing for me right now but I'm feeling about 60% better than I did 2 days ago, when I could barely open my eyes and sipping water was a challenge.

So. As I said, I'm just now well enough to sit up and do internet-y things for a little bit. I checked my backlogged email and discovered two job leads there. One's a guy looking for a web designer, which I don't really have an urge to look into much. But the other was from Spirit Halloween Store. I worked for them a few years back before I got pregnant with my 2nd kid. I was an assistant manager and they'd like me to apply as one or a manager for this season.

The pay was lousy, the work was hard (you have to set up everything yourself and I mean *everything*) and there was a lot of theft. But strangely... I'm tempted. I loved the job, as weird as that may sound. I love Halloween and getting to work in a store devoted to the season was the most fun I've had at a job. I loved handling the merchandise and... well. Everything about it, except the customers.

Unfortunately I have a toddler who needs minding and my spouse's schedule is highly unpredictable so it's just not practical to really consider applying. Especially since it would be hard work for crap pay. But I have to admit there's a part of me that wants to, silly as that is.

Maybe it's just the delirium and pain meds talking. But I don't think so.

I just couldn't walk on by
I was out with my 3 kids (ages 3, 7, and 15 now) and we were heading up the strip mall sidewalk to the place we were going to. About 40 feet from the entrance we heard a woman holler "NO!" followed shortly by "YOU JUST SIT THERE!!!". It sounded like how a teen with no parenting skills might yell at their younger sibling who was being annoying. We didn't hear another voice though. Just hers.

We got to the entrance, which was in a sheltered alcove, and there was a young woman of about 24 with her cellphone out, ready to make a call. I looked to my left expecting to see a child of about 10 or so and was surprised to see a tiny baby who wasn't even 2 (I have managed enough children over the years, not just mine, to guess at kids' ages quite accurately), being forced to sit on a sidewalk that had been baking in summer heat all morning. She was in the shade but the concrete had to be around 80 degrees as it's nearly 100 out now.

It wasn't the hot sidewalk that really got me though; I didn't even register it at the time apart from vaguely noting how sweaty the baby was. I was flabbergasted by the contrast between how young the child was and how fiercely and loudly the woman had yelled at her. With 3 kids of my own, I'm well aware of what babies are capable of and that sort of verbal abuse was way over the top for anything the child could have possibly done. I think the woman realized it too because when I turned my attention back at her she already looked uncomfortable before I even said anything.

With incredulity I blurted without pause to think through what I was doing: "You were yelling like that.. at that little baby??"

"She's in time out," the woman responded gruffly. She obviously didn't want to talk about it but I wasn't done.

"She isn't even two!" I exclaimed, astounded. "You don't yell at babies like that. A child that age doesn't have the emotional--"

"It's none of your business," she cut me off.

Had we been in her home, I might have backed off then. But her yelling so viciously in public that I could hear her 1/4 of a city block away made it my business. We bickered back and forth about it for a few more seconds with the conversation amounting to me scolding her for picking on a baby like that and her defending herself with "It's not your business". She tried to back me off at one point with this gem:

"It's [yelling like that] better than me hitting her."

I've never had much stomach for that argument regardless of the age of the proposed victim so I quickly volleyed back with: "Oh, so you're saying you have anger control issues?"

She actually looked a little intimidated at that point, perhaps understanding just how bad her own statement had made her sound. Perhaps it was just the way my eyes were beginning to twitch with outraged ire. She retreated with: "This [the whole situation] isn't something I want to discuss with a stranger."

I told her then: "Don't be yelling at your kid like that if you don't want strangers butting in."

She just shut up and looked down at the phone she'd been fiddling with the whole time. My kids and I went on inside.

I'll be the first to admit I've made my share of mistakes with my kids. I've even lost my temper with them. Kids drive you nuts. I don't believe I'm a perfect parent, nor do I think I know it all where it comes to parenting. No one does. And I know our society has this unspoken tradition that we're supposed to just look the other way when people are dealing with their kids in public. I've never dressed down someone for letting their kids scream bloody murder in the store or chase each other around with spray deodorants, even though I think that sort of behavior is rude and unacceptable. Heck, I've never told someone how to parent their kid at all before, not even my sister who I have familial rights to boss around in that department. But this was SO far removed from okay, in my book. Call me a butt-insky if you like (I did later, which made my oldest laugh) but I couldn't just walk on by. I couldn't silently approve of that kind of behavior toward someone so helpless.

Whatever may come, I'm guessing the mother won't be yelling at her baby like that in public again. In her world now, people can and will pop up out of nowhere to tell her off for it. She may not care how her behavior is affecting her kid but I doubt she'll want to risk having to defend her actions to another stranger again.

(no subject)
I think it says a lot about the creative minds behind the live-action Transformers franchise and Megan Fox's acting range that she's being replaced by a Victoria's Secret underwear model who has NO acting experience beyond modeling.

That said, I think I'll skip seeing the 3rd movie in the theaters. I think it's great they got rid of Fox - never liked her. But I also didn't like the role she played. Instead of replacing Fox with someone with even less acting skill (though marginally), why not reprise the role and make the character more like the girl from the original TF series and get someone to play her who'll have wider thespian range than taking deep breaths and wetting her lips.

I might bother going to see it then.

I heard they're ditching the dumb ghetto-bots too. That'll be an improvement anyway.

Avatar, in a nutshell
Okay. So. I thought this was going to be Avatar: the Last Airbender and only found out the day before that this was not that film. All I really knew about it then was that for some weird reason, lots of people have been wanting to kill themselves because they hope blindly that they will be magically reincarnated on the alien planet as an alien. If I was God and one of my Sims people did that, I'd be sorely tempted to reincarnate them as a cockroach. You can't have pudding if you don't eat your meat.

So anyway. I sat through this visually-pretty, plodding eco-PSA of a film and the whole time was thinking: Fern Gully. Rescaled, retooled Fern Gully. If you've seen both movies I'm sure you'll know exactly what I mean. Even the glowing bits and the Hometree were identical. Both films had gigantic forest leveler the hero had to battle. Both had batlike creatures and in-flight battles. The only thing Avatar didn't have was the less-than-catchy songs Fern Gully had. Which I suppose was a blessing.

I grew up in the 80's with the PSAs on tv warning our parents with images of grandparents and grandkids in an oxygen-less, tree-less parched landscape how their un-green days were carving hell for us now-adults. Finding 3 hours of it tucked into the artwork I've seen for years on the covers of sci fi books and in fantasy art coffee table books didn't impress me. There was a point once or twice where suicide might've been a relief from the slow-moving, intensely predictable plot but now that I'm out of the theater that slight urge has faded.

As a side note, the aliens reminded me quite a bit of ElfQuest. Hands and eyes especially.

The brightest spot of the whole movie: The trailer for Clash of the Titans!

That was my favorite movie for a long time as a child. I watched it so much I still have the whole script memorized. I was just saying the other week that someone needed to do a remake of it, as we were watching my DVD not-remastered copy. I'm impressed by the snippets I've seen. There seems a good mix of new plot, action and characters with more than a few nods to the original, including one of the best lines from Zeus: "Release the Kraken!"

What's really got me amped is the monsters. Firstly because special effects are sooooooooo much better than they were when the original was filmed. And also because the writer included titanS. And they look like they're clashing. There wasn't much of that in the original. Also, the Kraken looks more squidly in the remake, something that was always painfully wrong with the first. The Kraken in it looks like the son of Godzilla and the Swamp Thing.

(no subject)
bah humbug
Happy New Year and stuff. Hope it was a good 'un.

Edward v. Jacob - what about the 3rd choice??
In all this Team Edward, Team Jacob media crapfest they've forgotten to include the 3rd option for the rest of us: Team None-of-the-Above! Or, as I like to think of it: Kill 'em all and put them out of my misery.

I hated Anne Rice's sappy, girly vampires. I hate Twilight's take on vampires even more. Not only is it rehashed fanfic quality dreccht, it's spawned mainstream idiocy of a caliber that hasn't been seen since Tickle Me Elmo debuted. I was shocked to hear Miley Cyrus, a mainstream idiot's dream herself, dislikes the series and its followers as much as I do. I don't think much of her and her brand of entertainment so it's surprising to find her in my corner on this subject.

Those of you who've known me for a while have undoubtedly experienced my breed of vampires in RPGs and fiction but those who aren't familiar with my idea of vampire un-life, let me assure you that the vampires that stalk my stories would eat Meyers' vampires for breakfast and her werewolves for a light lunch. Many of my vampires would even take the time to show their victims their own innards before killing them off.

I think mainstream vampires have strolled too far down the "romance" lane and too far away from the blood-thirsty, violent, unrepentant monsters they were in legends that birthed them. Think about the original Stoker story of Dracula, inspired by Vlad Tepes of real-life infamy. Tepes was known for torturing, skinning, boiling and other other atrocities. He fed parts of his victims to their own relatives. In total he murdered somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 people. Around 20,000 were said to be impaled outside Târgovişte at once, most of them being Turkish invaders.

This is the guy that seeded the roots for modern-day fictional vampires and yet the bloodshed has dwindled in these stories and films to virtually nothing. Thanks to the angsty hand-to-the-forehead crowd, vampires have been emasculated and turned into metrosexual shadows of their former fearsome selves. Why they even still have fangs is beyond me. Oh, right. Because it's smexy. Blah.

One day I will bring the blood and guts back to the vampires. And the werewolves too, even though I've never been fond of them. As a fictional collective they deserve to have their bite back.

Postcards from the edge
Well, not the edge exactly. I got a postcard from France! Someone I know and adore sent me a nice postcard and it arrived today and it made me smile. Thanks! Hope you and your mom are having a blast. :D

All Roads lead to... nowhere
Today I killed the internet's oldest existing sci-fi/fantasy web ring.

Born on Webring before the service was bought out and destroyed, then reincarnated on Ringsurf the moment the website opened its virtual doors, All Roads Ring o' Fantasy was originally created in 1997 when I couldn't find a decent ring on Webring devoted to science fiction and fantasy. When Webring imploded and many of the old rings went belly-up, All Roads was the first Ringsurf ring of its kind and for a while the only ring of its kind on the web. In its heyday the ring had over 300 websites with active, working ring code on them. I had a nice HTML page for it (which I've archived in a fit of sentimentality) that saw lots of traffic.

I haven't paid much mind to the ring in a while though and had been considering shutting it down for several months. It wasn't difficult to maintain the site but it was time I could put somewhere more productive right now - with 3 kids, time budgeting has become very important. But I hadn't entirely made up my mind till I went to log in to Ringsurf and saw how much their site has changed from what I was used to. The personality was gone. It really is one big Google adspace with a little bit of ring widgeting worked in between. There's no way to personalize the experience any more -- you can't even build your own website with the code bits you're allowed. I could go on about the disappointing changes but the bottom line is it really helped me decide what to do. I deleted the ring. I would have written to the various site owners who still had their codes active but Ringsurf seemed to have done away with the tool that allowed ring owners to communicate with site owners.

I'm sad to see the site go, even though it was a relic. It was nice, managing something fun for so long. But with the massive changes at Ringsurf, I sort of feel like the ring already was gone... I just needed to tidy up after it.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The following is actually a response to a forum about the Potter series and this film in particular. I was so disappointed in this latest film that I couldn't be bothered to write a full-blown separate review but I did want my opinion out there in the vain hope that the director will pull his head out before the last 2 films and get the series back on track before it's all over. That said, here's my take on things...

Spoilers!!! And a rather negative overall review. Summary: Disappointing with little hope for better from the next films. Boo on the director!Collapse )

Maybe someday when I'm wealthy I'll be able to take my shot at directing the series the way they should be. Heh. I can dream!


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