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Styling, Profiling

Posted by Stanley
on 01.18.14

This explanation of styles/scenes is fun. Orgcore Punker hits pretty close to home (though I don't have any tattoos), and I've definitely met real-life versions of Fixed Gear Hipster.

Also, Hot Topic Core made me laugh out loud.


 

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NFL

Posted by Ogged
on 01.18.14

I've mostly given up on football, because of concussions and simple lack of time--it's remarkably easy to lose interest after you don't follow closely for a season or two--but this weekend, a couple of familiar oldsters are up, so I'll be watching. I can't be alone in having come around a bit on Peyton Manning, from finding great joy in rooting against him, to thinking, this guy ain't so bad, he deserves a playoff win every now and again. Fused spine sympathy? Losing my edge? Who knows.

In the second game, I know nothing, except that Colin Kaepernick looks like he could be my little brother. I have less ink, and my nose and pecs are slightly larger than his, but otherwise....

Thoughts, reflections, predictions, deep fucking thoughts: I turn it over to you.


 

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Devil Baby

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.17.14

I thought the Carrie promo was funny, but I think the Devil Baby promo might actually have given me a heart attack.

My cousin is in the Broadway song and dance scene, and describes how old and tired flash mobs have become, which makes me feel slightly like I live on a different planet. So I imagine one of these terrifying promotional pranks will never happen to me. But good god would I hate to live somewhere where terrifying pranks become the new flash mobs.


 

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Swashbuckling Bodice Rippers II, Revenge Of The Corset Lacing

Posted by LizardBreath
on 01.17.14

Redirecting the conversation from the prior thread back to something a bit closer to what Heebie was thinking about (at least I think) -- certainly, girls need badass role models, and it's very worthwhile pointing out that women have been doing a certain amount of badass stuff throughout history, rather than quietly embroidering in a corner until 1972. But there's something sort of depressing, for your typical shallow, hormonally driven person, about how these stories get told. (This whole thing is from a very hetero perspective. There's probably something interesting out there on how gay kids navigate/create romantic narratives for themselves, in an environment saturated in gender-role based narratives that don't squarely apply.)

Fantasy (not just elves-and-dragons, just non-realistic) wish-fulfillment literature aimed at boys and men usually has a romantic element -- you're the hero, and because you're the hero you get the girl. Being a hero makes you desirable, and that's a big part of the reward structure of why it's worthwhile being a hero. Aimed at girls and women, there's a real tendency (or at least I think that's what Heebie perceived as a kid,, and I did the same, although I can think of plenty of counterexamples in adult literature now) for there to be a choice -- either you're the princess in the tower, getting rescued by the hero, or if you get to be a badass then the premise is that not every story has to be romantic, and if you're the hero you don't need a man. There's not much out there suggesting that anyone's ever going to love you explicitly for your swashbuckling feats of derring-do.

If your perceived options are princess-getting-rescued or heroic nun, it does make badassery a less attractive direction to head in. (I think this may be an issue that's resolving on its own -- as I said above, I can think of plenty of media counterexamples. Maybe it was worse when Heebie, and longer ago when I, was a teenager?)


 

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Programming Advice Bleg, Ctd.

Posted by Ogged
on 01.16.14

One hears that once one learns to program (in one language), learning others is easy. But I just released my first iOS app, and I'm a complete hack: I'm not drawing on some pool of knowledge that I apply to Objective C: I'm identifying what needs to be done, dimly recalling that my Objective C book had something that sounded relevant, checking the index or googling, and then figuring out how to apply the method to my situation. This is one way to learn. But for those who are competent programmers, was there a book (or books) or lecture series, that made programming itself clear enough to you that writing code was much easier after them? Or, to put it another way, that intelligibly (that's important!) covered most of the topics that someone who "knows how to program" will be familiar with?

To ask this another way, independent of books or lectures, what are the 3, 5, 10, 15, things that you now know that make your job as a programmer easier? Whether this is something about algorithms, for loops, or workflow, or whatever, I don't really care--I'm just trying to get to the competent enough to pick up a new language fairly easily stage.


 

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Swashbuckling bodice ripper

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.16.14

When I was at home, I found a twelve page story that I'd written when I was probably 13 or 14. It was a long wandering adventure epic, with plenty of sex, beer and drugs that made it very clear that I only had the faintest notion of how these things played out in real life.

The part that struck me as so very poignant was that it was written in first person, and the narrator is male, and there is a side character with Heebie's real name, who shows up to play the role of the elusive most beautiful person in the world. The narrator is occasionally distracted by her, and then gets on with adventures, and then she is part of the Shangri-La paradise at the end.

The whole set-up might be harmless and funny, except that I vividly remember feeling so unhappily split. Being the narrator who gets to have adventures was entirely divorced from being the object of desire. The only path to romance was by being the object of desire. Therefore you could either have adventures or romance, but not both. Reading the story made me feel sad all over again that I got so suckered by society, and for so many years. And also a bit angry.


 

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Will my TV watching be horribly throttled?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.15.14

So, net neutrality? I'm sure we've discussed this, haven't we?


 

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Out of order

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.15.14

Normally I wouldn't stomp on a post, but the post I had in mind dovetails nicely with LB's post below. So: When did they stop stocking tampon and pad machines? It makes me honest-to-god angry - in a Gloria Steinem if-men-could-menstruate sorta way - that they installed millions of machines in bathrooms all over the country, and then a few years later stopped stocking them.

The tenuous connection to LB's post being that middle schoolers and high schoolers are most likely to get caught by surprise, find it humiliating to scrounge up protection, and could really use a stocked machine.


 

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Oh, You Pretty Things

Posted by LizardBreath
on 01.15.14

New York magazine has an article on how parenting teenagers drives you mad. While so far, at fourteen and twelve, Sally and Newt have been almost completely a pleasure to have around, it did kind of resonate: not so much that we've had the sort of problems described in the article, but that I can see them from here as the sort of thing that very easily might happen.

Even in the absence of actual bad behavior from the teenagers in question, it is an oddly, I'm not sure how to put it, diminishing experience raising teenagers. At this point in my life, I'm essentially a finished product. Things could still in theory change somewhat, but I'm pretty much the sort of person I am, with the sort of job/life/relationships I'm going to have, and problems that I'm dealing with, while difficult and irritating, don't have a whole lot of breadth of possible outcomes. The stuff a teenager is working through, on the other hand, is all the butterfly-wings flapping and setting up weather patterns for the rest of their life: not that it's possible to control how things will turn out, but that what happens now and for the next five or ten years is incredibly powerfully determinative of the entire remainder of their lives. Being the support mechanism for someone who's doing that, it's very easy to feel sort of fundamentally less important than they are, which could make a person sad if they were inclined that way.

And, of course, it's terrifying. At this point, my kids are mostly cheerful (in the dour, cynical way that it's possible for people related to me by blood to be cheerful) and successful at whatever they've tried to do. But they're largely not under my close control anymore. If real problems showed up, I could work at being helpful, but there's no guarantee I'd be able to fix anything, which is a scary place to be in: it feels rather like flying a kite made out of something fragile -- once you've gotten it airborne, there's not all that much you can do to protect it from breaking.

And then you get into all the boundary-setting issues. Sally wanted to go to an all-day music festival in the city last year, and we said no. She wants to go again this year, and I'm thinking probably yes, but the idea of letting my fourteen-year-old loose in a giant crowd of teen- and twenty-somethings, probably largely chemically altered, protected only by her ineffectual indie-music-listening friends, does scare the daylights out of me. Eh, Buck's usually more protective than I am, so once he gets back from the trip he's on, we'll see.


 

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Rabid, Man-Eating Feminists

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.14.14

Van Wafer sends along Merryl Streep Slamming Walt Disney, which is an enjoyable read.

Off to another day of faculty workshops. Le sigh.


 

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Roly-Poly

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.13.14

Or we can talk about polygamy, courtesy of E. Messily. There are TV shows on the ultra-Utah side of things as well as the kids these days side. I can't figure out the angle, exactly, for debate: it boils down to relationships, which are sometimes healthy, sometimes not, and probably take a lot of work. I think they're guaranteed a little extra work up front, but getting into the habit of working out situations early probably equips them with some extra skills for navigating problems ten years later.


 

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Breast Reduction Surgery

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.13.14

From a 40H. I thought it was an interesting read.


 

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Guest Post - Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.13.14

Lw writes: When are an artist's personal problems better kept private?
A few examples: Cormac McCarthy's ex-wife's domestic trouble, pruriently humiliating but also funny. Arnold Schwarzenegger's infidelity, with consequences for his relationship with the kid. John and Yoko, maybe.

Heebie's take: Is Arnie really an artist? I suppose he's a body sculptor.

I'm thinking child actors are clear-cut examples - the Lindsay Lohans and Demi Lovatos would probably be better off if their personal lives weren't so open for consumption, and the loss of knowledge by the public isn't particularly dear.


 

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Neil Peart: conspicuously absent

Posted by Stanley
on 01.12.14

So my neighborhood is flush with frat and sorority houses, and sorority rush got underway yesterday. Living in non-Greek neighborhoods during undergrad, I never witnessed the whole ordeal up close. It's really bizarre.

I mentioned as much to a friend, who was in a sorority here, and she explained the process.

On the first day all the, uh, candidates(?) go to all the houses, in groups of 20-30. The groups at this stage are alphabetical, and they have to be in and out of each house according to a tightly maintained schedule. (E.g., Group 13: Davis to Donnelly, Gamma Rho from 2:15 to 2:55.) After that, the sororities rank the people they liked; the candidates rank the sororities; several subsequent house visits occur in groups of dwindling numbers as the whole process wraps up; then, boom, you're in a sorority. (Possibly I skipped a step. Oh, and apparently, everyone gets more and more dressed up as the thing wears on.)

Also, this entire process is dry—no booze.

Anyway, I don't really have a point other than, man, it seems like a really weird and laborious way to pick your friends. But I guess it works? Or something.


 

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Lifestyle Choices

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.12.14

In contrast to some FB peeps, I hate this guy. He seems to play for a band that they like ("Swans") that I've never heard of?

Completely unrelated, I know a guy in California who is in his 60s, and got injured, so took a couple months off work and is thinking maybe it's time to retire because he enjoyed his comp time so much. I can certainly get behind that, I say. What did you spend your time doing that is so pleasing? He said: I do yoga for four to six hours a day. I've never felt better. Aside from my shoulder, which is healing nicely.

I like this guy and do not feel any contempt towards him, the way I do for Thor in the first paragraph. But I'm also boggled at the sheer boredom I'd feel doing yoga for four to six hours a day. I can only assume he must be in a meditative state for most of it? How else would you not crumble from sheer blank boredom?


 

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