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[13 Jun 2011|09:13pm]

Earned my nine-month breastfeeding ribbon today. I think I'm pretty much done with that. More later.
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Music meme [14 Mar 2011|04:11pm]
Ganked from asinpterodactyl!

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line (or first and second line if it's completely impossible) from the first 30 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and pick lines from any location in the songs to make things more interesting. Otherwise, #2, #14, and #26 would be even more ridiculously easy than they already are, if that's possible.
Step 3: Strike out the songs when someone guesses both artist and title correctly. (Artist isn't important on covers, though, 'cause that's just unfair.)
Step 4: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own!

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ETA: I'll be incredibly surprised if anyone guesses 16 or 27 (because they're very obscure, and 16 isn't my usual musical taste) or 28 (because while I think a lot of people know this song, the lyrics are nigh incomprehensible except for the part where they sing the title. And no, it's not "Louie, Louie").
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[01 Feb 2011|06:02pm]
Well, the quest for a house is pretty much ended. Turns out that having a baby is really, really, REALLY expensive. I don't mean taking care of the baby; that hasn't been bad at all because Billy's got grandparents who spoil him rotten. I mean actually having the baby. L & D costs are insane, and down payments are insane, and our nest egg is unfortunately quite sane. It's a bit of a disappointment, but also a bit of a relief; house-hunting is stressful, and every time we went to look at a house, I was terrified that I would fall in love with it and we wouldn't be able to afford it.

But, in happier news, the quest for a house has given way to the quest for an affordable two-bedroom apartment in our city (because we REALLY like our area, especially our church), and that quest has ended in a much happier way! A two-bedroom in our apartment building's much cheaper sister complex is opening in the beginning of March, and we're getting it. (For those of you who've visited Tom and me, it's in those red brick low-rise apartments down the road from our building, across the street from Giant.) Not only is it bigger than our current place, but it's $100 a month cheaper, and we still have the same management team that knows and likes us (and who we know and like, for that matter). Score!

I have mixed feelings about moving. I'm excited to be moving to a bigger place, because our apartment is way too small for us now. I trip over Billy's things every time I try to move around in here, and I haven't been able to play my keyboard since August because there wasn't room in the bedroom for both it and the crib. This is the first Christmas since I was seven where I didn't get to play carols. But on the other hand, we've lived here for two and a half years, almost since Tom and I got married. This is home, and Billy's never even going to remember it. I know we have to move, but it's still a little sad. I think I'll feel better once our stuff is moved out, though, because I felt the same way when we left our tiny, tiny place in Baltimore until we cleared it out and it looked like some random empty apartment. (It may backfire, because that actually made me sadder when I moved out of Kenyon--"MY DORM IS EMPTY AND I'LL NEVER COME BACK AGAIN!!!!"--but I doubt it. I like this place and all, but Kenyon it ain't.)
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[07 Oct 2010|11:05am]
Finally changing my default icon, for a couple of reasons:

1) I love Buffy and all, but I think Utena is my new #1 crack addiction.

2) As my understanding of the relationship between my sexuality and my faith becomes less Andrew Sullivan and more Eve Tushnet, a Tillow icon doesn't really describe who I am anymore. (Being married to a dude is also part of that. I post on pregnancy and breastfeeding communities and wonder if people think Billy was conceived through artificial insemination.) This is clearly a change from that, because really, what could be more blazingly heteronormative than Utena?




(And this isn't even counting all the male-on-male Touga-Saionji goodness. I just couldn't find any good pictures of them. Seriously, Touga and Saoinji, just make out already.)

Hey, I said I was rethinking my theology of being bi, not that I was straight all of a sudden.
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[06 Sep 2010|03:33pm]
The world needs more copyeditors.

"Two years after they handed President Barack Obama a sweeping electoral victory -- and four years after turning control of Congress over to the Democrats in frustration over Bush Administration policies -- the president and his party are now the source of an even deeper frustration for a growing number of Americans." (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews_excl/ynews_excl_pl3552)

So . . . wait. The president and his party handed President Barack Obama a sweeping electoral victory? I mean, I guess they did, since Obama's the one who did all the campaigning and members of his party were more likely to vote for him than non-members, but I don't think that's what the article meant to say.
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[15 Jul 2010|11:32am]
1) Off to Ocean City--back Tuesday! (Not that it'll make much of a difference in how often I post, since I'm mostly Facebooking now, but it'll make a difference in how often I comment.)

2) For those who are more Livejournally than Facebooky, I already made this shameless plug on Facebook, but the magazine with my story in it is now available on either the magazine's Web site (www.talesofthetalisman.com) or Amazon. It's cheaper on their Web site, though. This isn't going to feel real until I get my contributor's copy. I've gotten too many rejection slips for this not to be a complex practical joke of some kind.
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WOOOOO-HOOOOOO! [18 May 2010|05:41pm]
Publication number two--I have another short story that'll be appearing in a Christian science fiction/fantasy anthology coming out in July! (I found out yesterday, and I think I've reached the point where I can form coherent sentences now . . .)

If any of you heard me talking about the one where I was going for Brigadoon meets Canticle for Leibowitz, it's that one.

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[06 May 2010|10:41pm]
[ mood | pissed off ]

Finally watched Tuesday's Lost on Hulu . . .

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[07 Mar 2010|10:46am]
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[22 Dec 2009|12:43pm]
Lessons from the board game Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (think Stratego with LotR characters):

1) It's a miracle the Fellowship ever won. (Of course, this theme is emphasized in pretty much any LotR board game.) I think that the right kind of player could curb-stomp Mordor with the Fellowship, but that player isn't me.

2) The Fellowship's victory was built on a pile of corpses from suicide bombers. There comes a point in the game where the only thing that half the Fellowship is good for is smacking them down with a "noble sacrifice" card to kill them and their opponent. Merry, I'm looking at you.

3) Saruman is a bastard.

4) No, really, Saruman is a bastard. Every piece has a special power, usually revolving around some sort of instant kill or unusual way of attacking (i.e. Gimli instantly kills orcs, the flying Nazgul can basically go anywhere on the board he wants, etc.). Saruman's power basically boils down to "instantly kill anyone but Gandalf, Boromir, and maybe--MAYBE--Sam."

It's a very, very fun game, but dang, I made a lot of hobbits kill themselves last night.
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Dollhouse ramblings [20 Nov 2009|08:06pm]
Tom and I just Netflixed disc 4 of Dollhouse (the one with the original pilot and the unaired season finale "Epitaph One"). "Epitaph One" was awesome, in large part because it showed that Joss has REALLY thought out the implications of his premise in a way that I didn't think he had. The original pilot was less so.

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Then we watched the original pilot. Now, I hated Dollhouse's pilot. My thoughts on Dollhouse's pilot are quite literally a matter of public record. That said . . . Fox was completely right to make Joss rewrite the original. Characters talked. And talked. And then when they were done talking, they talked some more, with a side of extra talking. And to make matters worse, Echo's main imprint made it sort of confusing as to exactly how the imprinting process works. It wasn't as bad as "Ghost," because that would be next to impossible. But that's on Joss for turning out a shitty product after an utterly justified request to rewrite a confusing episode.

I can't believe I just sided with Fox against Joss Whedon. I need to take a shower now.
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[25 Oct 2009|04:03pm]
(Warning: This post will make no sense if you don't read music.)

So Tom and I were forced by circumstances to go to the contemporary music Mass today, which we usually don't like to do because in our church, "contemporary" is a polite euphemism for "crappy." We got in, and the ushers handed us the little leaflet with the day's hymns that weren't in the hymnal. We sat down just in time to start the opening hymn, which was on the leaflet. I glanced down at it and saw the time signature:


A dotted 64th note is one beat!

Later, I realized that they probably meant "You can do this either in 3-4 or 6-8, depending on which one is easier for you to conduct." Either that or, "This starts out in 3-4 and later becomes 6-8, and we don't feel like putting the time change in because they're basically the same thing." Still, now I want to do something in 36-48 time.
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Beware the autumn people [05 Oct 2009|07:37pm]
OK, so remember a few months ago, when I mentioned that the carnival had set up literally across the street from us, and it was both fun and highly unsettling?

They're setting up again.

They weren't there last night, but they were there when Tom and I left for work this morning, so they must have come in some time late last night. Around, oh, say, 3 AM?

If the carousel starts playing the Funeral March backwards, I'm out of here.
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[27 Sep 2009|11:17am]
Tom and I went to the National Book Festival again yesterday. The only author I really saw was Lois Lowry; I went to her talk and was in line for her book signing during the talk by George Pelecanos, who was the only other author I was really interested in seeing (he co-produced The Wire and wrote a lot of really good mysteries). I got to thank her for writing The Giver because several of my students who hated reading would literally beg me to let them read ahead when we were doing that one. I'm not sure if she heard me, because it was after she was already staying several minutes past when the signing was supposed to end and she had a very glazed, overstimulated look on her face, but it felt nice to do.

Highlights from the Book Festival:

Lois Lowry: I like to put conflict in the very first sentence of my books. For example, "It was early December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened." *Spontaneous audience applause*

Lois Lowry: OK, so it's time for questions. If you have a question, come up to the mikes. *pause* Jonas is alive, by the way. Don't ask that one. *laughter, big round of applause*

And, something Tom told me from the Q&A of George Pelecanos's talk:

Indignant-looking woman at the mike, which had stopped working: *unintelligible, angry-sounding words* Omar! *more angry-sounding words, with furious waving of the hands* WHY?! *more angry-sounding words*

George Pelecanos: OK, for those who couldn't hear that question, it was about Omar's fate in The Wire and why we decided to go that way . . .
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District 9 [18 Sep 2009|07:33am]
I just saw District 9 last night, and I seem to be the only middle ground in the love-it-or-hate-it camp. It was OK. Maybe OK+. The basic premise (of the setting, not the plot) is jaw-droppingly awesome--I loved pretty much everything about the first half hour or so of the movie. The actor who plays the protagonist is great, the CG on the prawns is phenomenal, and District 9 is a very well thought-out slum. (There's also a nice little stab at some of the eugenic overtones of abortion, which is always a way to earn points with me.) Then the plot gets started, and it's really good at first (the director has a very visceral style that takes things that could have been cliched and makes them horrific instead--I can't say anything beyond that without spoilers).

But then, for me, it kind of fell apart. It seemed like one unspeakably good sci-fi documentary and one pretty good sci-fi action movie that happened to be set on the same world had been clumsily fused together. Even the director doesn't seem to know what he wants to do with it--we start out in pure, 100% documentary style, complete with expert interviews, grainy news footage of the mothership landing, and characters talking directly to the camera during the action so that the viewers can understand what's going on. Then, suddenly, we get scenes of the prawns making secret plans. But wait! Why are they letting this random human documentarian film them as they--oh, this part must not be a documentary. OK. Would have been nice to get any sort of transition or warning on that. And now we're back to the documentary, still with no transition. And now Wikas is letting them follow him into a bathroom? Oh, OK, this isn't a documentary part either. Wait, is the party a documentary or not? It's the kind of thing that would be included in a documentary about this incident, but no one seems to be reacting to the camera. OK, it looks like we're completely done with the documentary and into just a regular movie--wait, now there's "captured footage" from security cameras. OK, now we're back to a sci-fi action movie, complete with the ending being nothing but a series of tedious explosions--wait, no, now it's a documentary again. MAKE UP YOUR MIND. I don't think it helped that all the buzz I'd heard had focused on the documentary aspect, so that was the movie I was expecting to see, and the action parts felt like a letdown.

And then there's the silliness of the alien science. Collapse )

This really made me wish that I was watching a completely different movie that was set on the same world. It was still worth seeing, but I wish I hadn't paid movie theater prices for it.
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Catholic wackiness [31 Aug 2009|02:31pm]
[ mood | nerdy ]

A few weeks ago, we were visiting a friend's parish, and the priest was giving a homily about the Church as the Bride of Christ. (I don't remember what the reading was or how it related to the homily.) It was pretty standard stuff, until Father said, "We are all invited to the Wedding of Christ, with Jesus as the groom and John the Baptist as the best man."

Now, Jesus as the groom is just true, but John the Baptist as the best man led me to spend inordinate amounts of the rest of Mass wondering who the rest of the wedding party was . . .

--John the Baptist is the best man . . . and the bride.

--The Blessed Mother is the mother of the groom . . . and the mother of the bride . . . and the bride.

--Joseph is the father of the groom (sort of) . . . and the bride.

--Peter is the father of the bride . . . and the bride.

--Mary Magdalene is the maid of honor . . . and the bride.

--The Holy Innocents are the ringbearers . . . and the bride.

--The saints are the roughly five squintillion groomsmen and bridesmaids . . . oh, yeah, and they're also the bride.

I'm still not sure who's officiating this shindig, but St. Cecilia is totally the cantor . . . and the bride.

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[03 Aug 2009|05:12pm]
I just wrote a story with a happy ending.

I feel faint. I need to lie down.
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Shameless plug [22 Jul 2009|10:58am]
[Shameless plug]

My college roommate, Katie, just started her own business! She's selling historically accurate cosmetics from different ancient Egypt through the 19th century, which is the most Katie thing ever (if you don't know her, she ran our SCA, taught the calligraphy class, works at a living history farm, and had medieval dances at her wedding, so yeah). If you want to check it out, it's Ageless Artifice.

[/Shameless plug]
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[16 Jul 2009|02:42pm]
[ mood | nerdy ]

Ocean City, as always, was awesome. I think I even got something vaguely resembling a tan this time around.

Somehow, the tradition has evolved that every time I go to Ocean City, I read a Ravenloft novel. They're perfect mindless beach reads, most used bookstores have one or two, and I can always either pump my fist in the air at the canon shout-outs or snicker over how the book fails at continuity forever.

The Enemy Within, the big Malken origin-story novel, is in the latter category. Oh, dear heaven, is it ever in the latter category. It was mostly minor, garden variety continuity errors to begin with--horrifically mangling the system of government in Nova Vaasa in ways that weren't terribly plot-important, messing up the way Tristan Hiregaard's first wife died, giving characters magic powers that they don't have, that kind of thing. Then came the spit-take line:

"The gods had long since become 'unfashionable' in Nova Vaasa. A few country folk still worshiped various deities, but the majority of citizens had ceased to search for the sacred in their daily lives."

Nova Vaasa. The most religiously fanatical domain in the Core. One of the domains that has a freaking Inquisition. Uh-huh.

And that's not even getting into how they mangle Malken's origin story. I can't say too much because my current RL party is in Nova Vaasa right now and it may come up, but let's just say that Collapse )

Oh, well. It was a perfect beach read, and Tom got to laugh at all the horrified faces I was making.

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[10 Jul 2009|02:29pm]
My summer school teaching is DONE, and we're to the beach--huzzah! Back Wednesday.
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