Friend's Lock


PSA - avoid Verizon

Mega pissed at Verizon right now. Sharing because it makes me feel a little less powerless against lawyer powered corporate criminals (only a little though... still furious)

I had a Verizon contract for a full two years. When it was ending, I got an ATT phone with a good deal, so I waited for the Verizon contract to be up and called to get my number transferred. Because of the area code, they couldn't do it, so the guy I talked to at Verizon suggested I suspend my phone to buy myself time to figure out how to transfer the number. I was thinking of trying Google Voice. I asked expressly what I would be charged to do that, and I was told nothing. So I tried transferring to Google Voice and their service was down for over a week. Anyway I gave up and just decided to give up the number. I called Verizon to cancel the suspension and the service. I asked again if I would be charged anything. I was told no.

Fast forward a month and the account I can no longer log in to (since I don't have their service) sent me an email thanking me for my payment of $47.27. I called to find out what that was about and get it back, and the answer was it was the bill for the remainder of the billing cycle from the time I disconnected. I told them that I had expressly asked two different people and only suspended my phone on the advice of their employee and was told that I would not be charged anything. The first man looked at the notes and handed me off to a very nervous representative (Alex) who gave me a stammering legalese run-around. They are mailing me a check or payment card (I apparently don't have a choice as to which, nor an approximate when it will be mailed, which is a problem since I'm moving in three weeks) with half +$5. When I demanded to know why I could not get all of it back if Alex had the authority to give me half, the answer was because the notes said the representative had explained the terms of service to me when I disconnected. He did not, but my word means nothing. Everything came back to policy and terms of service and in spite of the fact that their employee lied to me when I expressly asked if I would be charged anything for disconnecting, he was a broken record.

So basically their employee *lied to me* and they stole $47.27 but are "generously" giving me $28 back in a very poorly offered attempt to pacify me.


What I Learned from Disney - Something of a rant

I see a lot of commentary, images, and blogs about the things Disney teaches young girls; if you're pretty enough a prince will rescue you from your terrible life; clearly, being rescued by a powerful man is the only way out of said terrible life; love at first sight is actually a thing and obviously you'll live happily ever after.


Okay, I'm going to pause here because these are not things I learned from Disney as a young girl who loved their movies (and cartoons and TV shows). These are things that, looking back with an analytic eye I can pull from the stories, especially the princess stories, but when I was 6, 8, 12, these things were not on my mind. I would like to thank all of my English teachers for helping grow the ability to look at stories and read between the lines, but prior to high school and actually sitting and analyzing the stories I was totally in love with, none of the alleged "problems" ever even crossed my mind.

So was I subject to some subliminal messaging that made me into a swooning damsel in distress? Well, if you consider a girl who was simultaneously in love with Indiana Jones and Spock and whose dreams were either to be an archaeologist or an astronaut a swooning damsel waiting for a knight in shining armor to rescue her from reality, then maybe. Only I don't. Children have limited abilities to actively pursue their goals, but I found every way possible to pursue mine. I joined clubs, youth programs, made my way to space camp, studied everything I could find on aerospace, astronomy, engineering, and history (leaning towards astronaut, still loved old things). But in my non-study time, you bet I was day dreaming about being a mermaid or dancing in a gold ball gown. Of course I was also day dreaming about being a swing kid in Nazi Germany or alternately trying to place myself in the Hitler Youth and understand what that might have been about. I also day dreamed about being King Arthur's daughter (shush, he had one in my day dreams) and having knights compete to win my hand. Those invariably ended up with me kicking their asses in the tournament as the concealed Black Knight.

Did I think any of this was real? No. Did I ever actually think lions, warthogs, and meerkats would play and sing together and not kill each other in the wild? No. But it was nice to think about.

Here's the deal with me. Through high school, even college, I could count the number of people at any given time who might have been friends on one hand. Most of the time it was one, maybe two people. For a few years, notably in fifth and sixth grade, there was nobody. I tried, was in scouts, dancing, tried out for the basketball team, hung out with the cool girls for a few weeks even, and all of it ended with twelve year old me hating every moment I had to be in school. Seventh grade was marginally better in some respects - I had two people who would acknowledge me without being assholes, one I even considered a friend - but overall I had little success with social interactions. For friends, I had my brother, who was busy with his life, and my day dreams.

By seventh grade I was day dreaming that I was a Romulan (alternately Vulcan) exchange student and the earthlings were freaking weird - but it was okay because soon I would go home. Then the school day ended and I got to properly ignore the world by sticking my nose in a book on the bus. Hey, I wasn't too weird. Belle did that too, and of all the characters in that story, she was the only one I actually liked. Why would I want to be, or be associated with, someone like Gaston or his fan girls? Then I would actually get home and play songs from the Lion King or Little Mermaid on the piano. Sometimes I'd sing to them, imagining myself as a prince about to become king with the world in front of me (what a rush!) or that if I sang this song well enough I would actually be part of someone else's world at some point, almost like a prayer (these were my sad days).

Did I expect to be taken to an alien planet? No, which is the same answer as to the question of whether I believed someone would fall in love with me simply because of my voice (which is actually pretty good).

The point isn't what sort of fantasies stories foster. The little girl I was alternated between a hopeless romantic to surprisingly morbid and dark and back to wanting to dress up in ball gowns and dance (not that I would because I was a tomboy and wouldn't be caught dead in a skirt or dress). Any story, or no story at all, was fuel for my day dreams. The point is that even though I spent most of my day in La La Land, it was just that, La La Land.

Reality was different. Reality sucked. Reality is what taught me my life lessons. Would that I had taken from Disney the lesson that some people really do just want to hurt you for the sake of hurting you. Disney got ideas about beauty all wrong, but I didn't get my ideas about beauty from Disney or really from movies at all for that matter. I saw the girls getting all the attention at school and I thought that it must be because they were pretty. To me, their faces looked nasty, probably because whenever they were turned toward me they were making nasty faces or being generally mean, so pretty wasn't in the face. It was the way they dressed; whatever clothing brand was popular (Tommy Hilfiger for elementary, Abercrombie for high school); always neat and spotless, hair always perfectly styled; and instant smiles that everybody seemed to love. That, to me, was my understanding of beauty by the end of elementary school. Disney had nothing to do with it.

Disney didn't teach me anything. It gave me fantasies and escapes. It gave me silly little hopes that someday my prince would come on a white horse, brandishing a sword, or maybe on a motorcycle with an extra helmet for me. I knew these were fantasies. I willfully chose to ignore reality and spend my time in La La Land, knowing full well that dreams in La La Land do not carry over into reality. I wasn't a genius, and it doesn't take a genius to understand that fish don't talk, lions don't make friends with meerkats, tea cups don't serve tea by themselves, and if Prince Charming does exist, he's probably an ass and is definitely not perfect, just like everybody else on the planet.

There are a lot of things that influence kids and how they perceive the world. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on all of them, and I realize some experts point to media as being a big culprit in girls' negative image of themselves. As an adult, I can see this. As a kid, I had other things to worry about. I'm not saying that we should promote more stories like the classic princess tales. While I'm not a huge fan of many of the newer Disney movies, some have been fantastic. I freaking love Merida and love Disney & Pixar for that story. It was like they took one of my day dreams, made my character into an archer, and made a movie about her. Should we attack it and complain that she's too skinny? That it represents a "traditional" family with married heterosexual parents? That in the end she still is going to have to marry one of the guys from another clan?  There has never been, nor will there ever be a perfect story that teaches all the right moral lessons.  Morality changes, but as long as the good guy still wins and the bad guy gets beaten in the fairy tales, kids have something good to look up to in their fantasies.

Moral of this story: give kids some credit. Let them have their fantasies and assume they're smart enough to figure out the difference between that and reality.

chimp and bug

Settling Down

I can't believe it's October. It's October 2, 2012, I'm 27 years old, I've been dating my current boyfriend for over a year, I have two cats and a dog, and what the hell happened to my life?!?! Not always in a bad way, but Jesus!! Also, randomly, my boyfriend's tool made the front page of Forbes. Not that he needs a bigger ego or anything, but that's pretty much awesome.

I love the leaves right now. They're starting to pile up in nice oranges and reds. It's the perfect temperature, and I really hope the Indian Summer just skips us this year. It could stay like this for the next month or so and I would be in heaven. I need more outside time though. I went from being outside 8-10+ hours/day to taking the dog on two short walks and going from my car to class.... it's quite sad, and my back is not happy about it. I took Loki around my apartment complex this evening. It's the only place where there are sidewalks. My roommate knows of a really pretty park, I guess, in Plymouth, so maybe I'll go there this weekend, spend some time, drag Matt or something.

Tomorrow, maybe tonight if I can manage to sit here any longer (my back is really bugging me), I'm going to be spending some quality time with 古文 and 伊勢物語. We're not starting that till next week, but the sentence fragments our textbook gives as examples and exercises make about as much sense as the poems we've been studying, so maybe some actual prose will help make things click into place. Though I do have to share this one, for my Japanese speaking friends, cause it made me laugh (once I figured out what it meant):


Officially, まし is my favorite 助動詞. It takes basically an entire sentence even in 現代語 to translate, but I love how snarky it can be! It's basically "If X were such then Y, but X is not, so the opposite of Y."

So I have another poem to memorize, fortunately not about 桜 again, which is nice but it's a very convoluted poem and I don't quite get it.


I get that getting one's sleeves wet is supposed to be a metaphor for crying (seriously, 問わず語り has an obnoxious amount of noticing wet sleeves or soaking sleeves or feeling wet sleeves and it's all just very wet....) but how do you even work the image of breaking off a flower with breaking water?? Water doesn't break. Ice, yes. Water, no. And I get this is supposed to be a non-sense superimposed image, but STILL!! (I had to be told that last part, but I got the most recent nonsense double image on my own! I'm not that stupid, yay!) The most recent one, superimposing the image of a wave in the sky and blowing petals, actually works in my brain. This one, not so much. But hey, it can't be as bad as our second poem... to which she did not accept my (very literal) translation at all. I still don't get where "long, dark rain" come in....


The end is where I get ishy. But basically 経る眺め is supposed to play on 降る長雨... which I kinda get, but I don't my prof has it translated as "Faded now the glow on the flower, while vainly I passed the years gazing lost upon a world in the dark of the long rains." I've just had to memorize this translation (we have to translate it into English, which is entirely too much of a leap for me, so I go into 現代語 first, hence my translations here) because I just don't get it. But I like puzzling out the grammar, and we're supposed to start getting a bit more 漢文 as we go, which is way more straight forward (at least in the sense that it's prosaic and doesn't mean half a dozen things that it's not actually saying).

And now to get some studying done... :P Or at least organize my day for tomorrow so I know what exactly it is that needs getting done...

jazz hands

This paper's got me all fired up

Proof of two things, 1) a future in Native American studies would never leave me bored and 2) would end with me having a lot of grey hairs and likely a heart attack by 40. does this stuff irritate me! Piss me off isn't the right expression, cause at this point it's almost a comedy of errors, but my God, you'd think it would get better, but no, European male paternalism never freaking ends! So I go from this paper, which is about the Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs (which was staffed by a majority of white "interested" people as per special request of the white guy in charge) who had the bright idea of making Longfellow's "Hiawatha" into a pageant as a form of cultural preservation (and this from one of the Chippewa commissioners [who the one guy who bothered keeping records thinks should be a hero], which I really don't understand other than BIA educated brainwashed like nobody's business or just really freaking desperate), to being informed of the fact that Johnny Depp is playing Tonto in a new version of the Lone Ranger to come out in 2013. Dear Hollywood, I realize you have not a single creative cell left in you, but seriously, why that monstrosity?? WHY???? Dear Johnny, no, there is no way to make that character better. None, nada, give up it's a useless cause, nil! And I might overlook the fact that suddenly he's now maybe Cherokee maybe Creek through his grandma (despite the fact that pretty much any American can and does use this "family legend," unfortunately myself included though it's since been proven false), cause maybe I and the media world just missed this bit of his biography, except for this, which... okay, really?? We're going with a fantasy, quasi-historical, romantic Indian warrior look? Why not have a school teacher spreading her legs for ya in a one-room schoolhouse while we're at it? Cause either definition of 'romantic' (I'll give him the benefit of using the older "Hoo-rah, kick ass!" definition that hasn't been used since the middle ages here, too) is just not cool. I love Johnny Depp. Of all the actors out there, he's by far my favorite, but he just lost major respect points. Normally I'll see his movies even if I think they're going to be absolute shite, ala the last three Pirates of the Caribbean, but this I don't think I can stomach, and it won't be the fault of the script that makes him look the idiot. I'm appalled that he took on that role for one, and for two, I will not give anyone a penny in support of that franchise (this includes via bandwidth).

With that rant over, I'm going to finish this paper before I go to bed so I can send it off first thing in the morning, then I'm going to forget about it for a month before I polish it up and send it to the curator at Sleeping Bear Dunes since she helped me start my research and was interested in knowing what I found out. I should be getting graduate credit for this, dammit. Ugh, but that's a rant for a different time.

demon llama

It's crazy random time

Every so often I get the itch to just do something drastic. Up until I "became a professional" it involved either piercing something or dying my hair. Cutting it is about all I've gotten away with the last couple years. Well the piercing bug has hit me (hard), and I want a tatoo like nobody's business, but I'm flat broke and not sure how I'm going to pay off what I need to as is... so I put dreadlocks in my hair. Will need to buy a headscarf though for teaching. Something tells me the schools aren't going to like them. I'm thinking I'm going to have to redo some of the back ones, but we'll see. I'm not going to use wax or anything. I don't want matted masses that I have to cut out. The top of my head looks fuzzy and lumpy, but I like the ponytail so far, and I'm quite pleased at the fact that I have not had to redo my hair yet today, nor has the wind made any difference whatsoever. :P It's the little things in life (and hats cover messy tops). Can't keep my hat on too long or I get a headache though. I would show pictures, but I'm on my iPad and apple is dumb and won't integrate Safari with the photo app so I can't upload on this post... might be able to from my phone.

The only thing that would make this any more awesome would be an industrial or tongue piercing.... tatoo would also be awesome, but that seems like too much to fuss with all at one time. Damnit I want a piercing!

Matt's gonna fuss at me. I told him I shaved my head. Not that he believed me. Well, at least he might finally learn that "don't you dare" rarely stops me from doing what I put my mind to. Worst he'll do is cut his hair (though that would be unfortunate...).

I need to get on my paper on Sierra Leone. Ugh. I've been trudging through it for days now. I'm just starting page 3 (double spaced) of 10... and about a third of page 2 is footnotes. Why did I pick such a depressing topic? Ugh. Finished my LBJ quiz though, so that leaves... 3 term papers, 1 book review, an essay, and 3 exams between now and the 30th. At least after the 25th all but two of the exams will be over with. Maybe I can get some hours in.

Oh! Wish me luck. Interview at Leelanau State Park tomorrow morning!

kronk - doh

My God did you see the gifts on the homepage????

Bottle of sparkle?? Really???? -_- I know I'm not the only one who finds the whole Twilight thing incredibly disturbing.... and I like vampires!!

Ok, randomly, there are about 50 sparrows across the street, and they keep flying out of the tree/off the fence whenever a car drives by, then they fly back, which is hilarious because there's a car coming by just about every five seconds.

Anyway, what I really came on here to write about was my joy at actually getting a decent night's sleep last...err... this morning. I've been living on pepsi, coffee, pop corn, and hot-pockets since Thursday while I worked on these papers. Finished the one on Tecumseh and submitted it at about midnight last night, so I took the rest of the night off, wrote a bit, and slept from 2 - 2! The problem now is that tonight is probably going to be an all-nighter while I try to finish my other paper that's due tomorrow. 1,000 words left, and I'm starting to not care if it's complete shit.

Also, I got a space heater, and I'm cozy now. =3 The kitties like it as long as it's not oscillating... then they dash away like it's going to eat them. It's amusing. I'm pleased with it though. It won't replace the fireplace that doesn't work, which is sad cause I was looking forward to having a fire this winter, but it takes the bite out of the air, and considering it's only November (and 55F outside) and I'm already cold all the time, that's a good thing.

Now to try to get some work done before class...


Writer's Block: Thank you veterans

Who are your heroes?

Thank you dad and Uncle Carl, and a thankful prayer for the vets in my family who were part of the Greatest Generation, Grandpa Curt (WWII) and Uncle Jerry (Korea).


Alive and home

I walked through a prefecture and a bit to get there (I'm guessing somewhere in the ballpark of 40k... it was 20 to Shibuya according to the signs, and that was about half way), but I'm thankful I did. My window didn't break, thank God, but somehow it was unlocked (I lock it because Ophelia has opened it in the past) and shook open, which probably stopped it from shattering judging by the busted stone shrine fence near my building. My ass is sore, and my knees are unhappy, but I'm glad I'm in good walking shape. It took about seven hours, and I got in a bit after 1AM. I just felt another tremor a while ago, but this area is pretty far from where the earthquake hit. Oh, and that one... that was big.... Anyway, the problem for Tokyo/Kanagawa was that the trains shut down. Buses were going in force... toward Kanagawa. There were tons, even mostly empty ones, but I passed one bus early on in the walk that said it was out of service going my direction, and couldn't get on another because it was too full, and those two were the extent of the buses going from Kanagawa to Tokyo. I managed to get on one at about 11 around Nakano for all of 15 minutes before it turned off the road I needed to be on. That was the last bus (and the third in total) that I saw going into Tokyo. I know most people were trying to leave the city, but there were still a ton of us hoofing it inward. The trains came back at 9 something according to the sign at Higashi Nakano, partly. I took the Oedo line two stations toward Nerima (got off in Minami Nagasaki) and had just over an hour and a half left of walking when I got off, probably cut off an hour right there, but I'm not sure... I was walking really really fast.

I'm glad Chieko is safe in Hawaii. Everyone I know and care about appears to be safe, so that's good. Yesterday was quite an adventure. Not going to forget that for a while - ironic that it was my last day, and fortunate that I didn't get stuck on the train (though that would have cut off part of my walking, I wouldn't have been on a main road) since I'm usually headed toward the station at the time the first quake hit. Instead I was doing paperwork in the office.

And seriously, earth, it's been 26 hours, you can really really stop making me dizzy any time now. I can only imagine how all these little quakes and tremors are hampering work up in Miyagi-ken where it hit hardest. :S

It's weird, I live next to an elementary school, so I've gotten used to the days being pretty loud. Saturdays are usually full of kids, cars, and ad vans. I've heard a bird twice today and that's it. Ophelia isn't even bothering looking at the bird tree out back cause nothing is there but gnats. It's a bit spooky, but I walked all over this city last night (and I mean all over) and there was no major damage that I saw. People must just be staying inside because of the tremors. One thing that I find weird was how cold it got. It was okay walking (I unzipped my coat at one point before I managed to find food - freaking everything was sold out or closed, took me till 10), but as soon as I stopped, and when I looked in the mirror at McDonald's, I could tell how cold it was. My ears were purple, and around my mouth was bright red. When I got home the cats were shivering. I don't think they went under my blanket... which is weird, but it wasn't puffed up like it usually gets when they do that... so I have no idea how they stayed warm all night. It was an icebox in my apartment, even after I shut the window and put the heater on.

Anyway, I'm going to try for a pizza, completely refresh all of those fat cells I burned off walking on an empty stomach for four hours. :P And then... I think I might go for a walk and stretch my muscles... cause they HURT! though not as bad as they did when I walked the first half of the Yamanote line.

Hmm, yes, I think pizza it is... if they're open. *edit* Nooooo!!! They're closed. Damn. Makes me wonder what else is closed.... I... have food for about a meal in my apartment, haha. Come on Tokyo, you didn't get hit that hard. Get your shit together, please.


stole from midorigirl

Because I'm procrastinating.

Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.

つづきを読む...Collapse )
Hey, that's a pretty good list!  A little narrow in scope, but pretty good nonetheless.  I still need to read Lord of the Flies.  A few of those are on my reading list (and my reader) that I haven't had time to get into yet.  Some of them (Ulysses) are a bit on the obnoxious side ... I guess I could italicize that one, but uh... no. o.O

I think I'm going to read Christmas Carol once I'm done with my book report.  Never tried the whole "getting into the holiday spirit" thing... and I've been wanting to read that book, so I might as well when I have the time.