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Sat, Feb. 21st, 2009 10:38 pm
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So Rachel's computer seems to be fried... she says got the Spyware Protector virus, ran her SVG antivirus on there, but then couldn't seem to log into LJ (she deleted all cookies, then said to accept all for LJ, but got the "you could not connect" screen. She says she could see other sites, as well as log into Gmail, but just not LJ). She then turned off her computer.

When she turned it back on, it went through the Dell start up screen, the Windows start up screen and the Windows progress bar, but when it gets to Windows, the screen goes blue-gray (the normal color, not Blue Screen of Death color), the cursor freezes, and that's it. She's left it on for a while and it's frozen like that, and she's turned it back on and off several times by using the power button. Ctrl+alt+delete, ctrl+shift+esc don't seem to work.

I asked her to close the screen to see if it'd go into standby, and it doesn't seem to. I also tried getting it into safe mode by pressing F8 while it was loading, but I think either it didn't work or it just missed the tiny window where it works.

Any ideas?
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Does anyone have favorite Illustrator tutorials? Bonus points for things that are insanely easy and yet possibly unintuitive to someone used to Photoshop. I.e. when you have a ton of outlined shapes and just want to select one shape, how do you select just one when clicking with the black arrow selects everything? Why do I not have a nice box-y select tool? (Or do I?)

Also, general tips and tricks for vector graphics highly appreciated.

(Basically, I opened Illustrator, played with a file, then promptly freaked out and closed it, which seems to be the way I react to all Adobe products I meet for the first time.)


Tue, Nov. 4th, 2008 03:46 am
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Okay, so the cold seems to have morphed into an asthma attack. I haven't had one for years, so I have no inhalers with me. Urgent care opens at 8 (a little over four hours), and I will definitely go then, but does anyone know what emergency room signs are?

I can still breathe, and all my extremities are a healthy pink. I'm uncomfortable enough that I can't fall asleep, and I have to sit up. Also, any home remedies would be extremely helpful.

... though not sure who's awake right now...?

ETA: Ended up going to an ER because the thought of going for four more hours like I was was too painful. Am back now, with slightly more expanded bronchial tubes!
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Does anyone use full-spectrum lighting to combat SAD? If so, what do you use and how effective have you found it to be?

I'd particularly love something that I can use as a reading light, something compact, and something that automatically turns on at whatever hour of the morning so I don't have to buy one of those switch plug things that does it.


Sat, Jul. 12th, 2008 11:56 pm
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Would anyone who watches a lot of Bollywood movies be willing to watch this and tell me how the dancing is? (possible spoilers for So You Think You Can Dance Top 12)

Reasoning )

Also also, while I am here, commentary on the African jazz piece very welcome!
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Help! I was looking around a DVD store here to scope out what dramas are out on DVD (contemplating buying Dal Ja's Spring if I can figure out if there are English subtitles), and I discovered a company that seems to put out a lot of non-US, non-standard-anime animated films on DVD. I snatched up Kirikou and the Sorceress and Kirikou and the Wild Beasts like that, given how cheap the former was comparatively ($15 vs. $30) and how the latter isn't available in the US. I am definitely going back to get this, as it has Ocelot's Azur and Asmar, which is also not available in the US, and the non-Asterix ones look interesting as well. (Or will I like Asterix too?)

But they have a whole catalogue of stuff I've never heard of! I randomly spot-checked, and most don't seem to be available in the US. So before I get carried away, if anyone's willing to go through lists and pick out the English titles, let me know if you've seen any of them?

I'm particularly wondering about Escape from Carthage, which looks like the first Tunisian animated film; Gin-iro no kami no Agito; Little Longnose, despite the 1990s Disney-esque animation; and Tristan and Isolde, also despite the 1990s Disney-esque animation.

Anyone? Bueller?
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Hi! I am in the mood for Gothic shoujo manga crack, but I am also trying to do [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc. Sadly, I am having a very difficult time finding non-manga, POC-authored Gothic crack, and since all knowledge is contained on LJ, I figured I would throw myself at your mercy.

By Gothic shoujo manga crack, I mean Yuki Kaori, Vampire Knight, Cantarella, and etc. Bonus points for POC protagonists, though I'm mostly looking for POC authors right now. Extra special bonus points for ice-cold heroines, thieves, assassins, courtesans, any combination of the above, clones, twins, twins who turn out to be clones, or people who have been disguised to appear as the dead come back to life and are actually undead in the final reveal.
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So, I am now in the mood to read sweet romances, preferably by POC.

Books and/or authors that fall into this mood: Alex Sanchez, Marjorie Liu's Tiger Eye.

Books and/or authors that didn't make it: Marjorie Liu's other books (like, but the latter books have too much plot and too little sweetness for this mood), Nalini Singh (don't like), Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's Dirty Girls Social Club (too modernly ironic, materialistic and contains an abusive husband and a cheating fiance, but I have her YA Haters checked out), bounced off Jason & Kyra

Books and/or authors on my to-read list (thumbs up or down appreciated!): Valdes-Rodriguez's Haters (not sure if it's romance?), Kirin Narayan, Kayla Chronicles (not sure if it's romance?), Derrick Barnes, Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet

Other notes:

  1. By POC, please. POC characters also a plus.

  2. For some reason, I am gunning for sweetness right now. Sex is fine, but not necessary, and sometimes I feel romances go too much for sex and too little for the emotional. What I'm looking for is somewhat more on the lines of kdrama romances like Coffee Prince or Dal Ja's Spring or shoujo manga; basically, believable, every-day characters falling or stumbling into love. Something that makes you go "awwwwww."

  3. Also, I'm trying to get into black romances, but don't know where to start. Any pointers highly welcome!

  4. I've been following The Brown Bookshelf, though most of its picks skew a little young.

  5. GLBT a big plus!

  6. Issues ok, though preferably not "how I was confronted with racism for the first time," because I just cannot deal with that right now. Also, some angst and heartbreak ok, ditto with bittersweet unrequited longing, though I'd like a happy ending.

Yay for LJ information gathering!
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Does anyone have recommendations for happy YA chicklit starring POC and/or by POC?


I have read half of Dana Davidson's Jason & Kyra and got bored by the prose and descriptions of what everyone was wearing, I know about Melissa de la Cruz, I've read Does My Head Look Big in This? and liked it, may check out First Daughter soon, read half of Born Confused and got bored by the prose, just read Whale Talk and will probably blaze through Crutcher's backlist, and read a few pages of The Fly on the Wall and got bored. I've also read Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Susan Vaught, Nancy Farmer, Tamora Pierce, and am planning on going through suggestions here. (How is Virginia Hamilton on the depressing scale?)

I also want books, not manga or comics.

I know about the imprint Kimani TRU but haven't read anything of theirs, so thumbs up or down are appreciated.

1. I want happy. As in, I am tired of scanning summaries of books about POC and going "gang, unwanted pregnancy, gang, violence, gang, OPPRESSION, gang, racism, gang, abusive boyfriend, gang, historical oppression, gang." (if you can't tell, please no more gangs!)

2. I am thinking of something sort of like Fresh off the Boat or Does My Head Look Big in This?, or like Maureen Johnson. Sarah Dessen works too (I would prefer interior angst over GANG). I tend to like girls who are not ashamed of their culture and/or race, interesting prose, and romance, but romance isn't required.

3. The book has to star a girl, or at least have her section of the story comprise of at least half.

ETA: 4. The book has to have a POC protagonist (not a secondary role, no matter how cool) or a POC author.

5. Fluff is good! Just to give you an idea... the last three books I have read were about hazing, Japanese internment camps, and physical and emotional abuse. I think I need to read something light and happy and fluffy before going there again.


Fri, Nov. 30th, 2007 12:03 pm
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Argh. I renewed my paid LJ time just last month and am greedy and don't want to let go of my icons or Scrapbook. On the other hand, am irritated by flagging and tag limits.

Anyway, those of you on Mac, how do you back up your LJs? I used to use LJ Archive, but it seems to be Windows only.

New computer!

Tue, Nov. 13th, 2007 10:10 pm
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I have a new computer! It arrived a day earlier than expected! I am now busy trying to customize the hell out of it!

I'm also a little intimidated -- I switched over to Mac (please no gloating, Mac users).

So, Mac users, tell me your favorite shortcuts!

So far I am enjoying the hot corners, and I finally figured out that cmd+arrow was the same as ctrl+home/end on my PC. On the other hand, I'm annoyed that my home and end buttons seem to do absolutely nothing on Mac. Can I change that?

ETA: what LJ client do you use? I've been using Semagic, which I like, but there doesn't seem to be a Mac version.
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Because I am having a very interesting conversation with Justine right now...

What are the romance tropes and conventions that drive you nuts? Why?

And which ones almost always work for you? Why?

And which ones are the ones in-between? I.e. if done well, they totally work, and if done poorly, they prompt chucking the book at a wall.

Bonus question: does Doomed Love work for you? What counts as Doomed (or, should I say, DOOMED)? What about love triangles/quadrangles/geometric shapes?

(Note: these aren't limited to romance novels, but to any narrative that involves romance-with-a-small-r.)

Also, please put spoilers in spoiler text! <span style="color:#333333;background:#333333">Spoilers go here</span>
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I still haven't decided what music to get yet! I'm trying to listen to everything and pick what I like.

So... Does anyone have more recs for happy, bouncy music by women of color? I looked at my music library, and it is embarrassingly white.

Music recs

Tue, Aug. 21st, 2007 12:34 pm
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So! I somehow ended up with a $25 gift card to iTunes. I have not bought music in forever because I never know what to get.

Clearly, I need advice!

I go for both singles and albums, although right now, I'm leaning a little more toward albums, as I get lots of singles and never really get a chance to know artists better.

I generally like obnoxiously bouncy and peppy music and loud rock/alt country/rock-pop, since I usually listen to music while driving. Current favorites are the White Stripes' "Hotel Yorba," pretty much everything [livejournal.com profile] vonnie_k has recced ever, "30/90" from Tick, Tick, Boom, and Thea Gilmore's "This Girl Is Taking Bets," among many.

Or! Something sexy and gravelly like Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" or something slow and deep and bittersweet and still singable like the cover of "The Queen and the Soldier."


Thu, Jul. 19th, 2007 01:50 pm
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Aka, I do not want to study for midterms. Entertain me!

  1. Someone mentioned in the comments of IBARW 2 that it may be a good idea to promote it outside of LJ. To which I went, "Oh yeah. Duh." Except I singularly hate promoting stuff and I have no idea where to start. So I would be forever grateful if people pimped IBARW (on LJ and off)! I am not sure if I will have time to set up a site or something for it (see above re: midterms), but hopefully there will be a del.icio.us link collection going up. Someday. Really.

  2. I blame this all on [livejournal.com profile] yhlee, who came up with the idea of lolrats! Unfortunately, I should not be fiddling around on Photoshop now, but I have an entire gallery of rat photos and I bet Google Images has a ton too. Clearly the lack of lolrats in the world must be remedied! I leave the idea in everyone's capable hands (esp. since I suck at thinking up good slogan things).
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(Apologies for spamming! Um, yes, I am trying to catch up with my backlog, so there may be a few more...)

I actually haven't read very much Terry Pratchett at all. The first time I read this, I was mildly amused but not too impressed. I suspect for most things intended to be funny, I have to read them a few times. Otherwise, the prose strikes me as too twee or too contrived.

Mort is all elbows and thinks entirely too much for his small village, which is how he ends up at a fair for people trying to find apprentices. Fortunately (?) for Mort, Death of Discworld is looking for an apprentice.

Mort gets himself into a giant scrape involving the very fabric of reality, and antics ensue.

I enjoyed this the second time around, now that I had a better feel for Pratchett's sense of humor. I love the long footnotes, though I got sick of a few of them closer to the end of the book. I also like the characters a lot more; the first time I read it, I couldn't quite figure out how sympathetic I was supposed to feel and how much Pratchett was making fun of them. I think I rather like the gentle fun he pokes; I had originally read them with the vague idea that he wrote satire and not good story (this was pre-LJ).

My favorite character was Ysabell, even though she didn't get many pages; I am a sucker for overlooked girls who prove to be useful and down-to-earth.

I could tell from vague knowledge collected from LJ that Pratchett was bringing Mort to meet several established Discworld characters, but since I don't know any of them outside of Granny Weatherwax, it had very little impression on me.

So: I think I am going to try and read up on Pratchett, just to keep up with LJ, if nothing else. Also, he won me over in another book with SQUEAK! from the Death of rats.

I definitely like the Death books, so I think that is Soul Music and Hogsfather. Mely and Rachel both say to avoid Rincewind and to read the Guards books. Rec me! Also, let me know if I should read in any particular order!

Of the Discworld books, I have read: this book, The Amazing Maurice and The Color of Magic (was not terribly impressed by the last, but Mely says it is because it sucks).
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1) So... does anyone have examples of sf/f books with third-culture kids, or anything resembling a third-culture kid?

A third-culture kid is basically someone who is born into one culture, raised in another, and then returns to the first culture or moves on to different cultures, thereby creating a "third culture" that is a mixture of the first two. Or something. The difference between a third-culture kid and an immigrant seems to be that last step of returning to the "original" culture and finding it foreign as well.

My one example so far is Temeraire, and that's a sort-of example.

2) Also, any examples of movies in which a white man goes into a non-white culture and saves it or somehow one-ups it? Or basically, movies set in non-white civilizations that still end up focusing on the white guy.

My current list:
- Last Samurai
- Dances with Wolves
- Kingdom of Heaven
- Glory
- Cry Freedom
- Blood Diamond
- Constant Gardener
- Geronimo
- The Last King of Scotland (critique + example of trope? Haven't seen it)
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (from current casting reports)
- Wind Talkers

(no subject)

Sat, Apr. 7th, 2007 12:01 am
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PSA: Fry's is selling DVD box sets of all the X-Files seasons for $18.99 each (aka, $18.99/season) through 4/10. I am contemplating getting some, though I really shouldn't, given the fact that I just got plane tickets to Wiscon. But if I did, which seasons would people recommend? I have seen parts of S2, most of S3 and S4, some of S5 and S6, and (unfortunately) most of S7, which is when I quit the show. Oh wait, no, I gave it another chance with Doggett, but got bored in the middle of S8.

I'm tempted to get S4 because I remember loving the cancer arc and all its angsty glory (also, Scully had awesome hair then!), and a bit tempted to get S5 since I didn't see most of it and loved "Post-Modern Prometheus."

Or maybe I will save money and not get any and Netflix. Hrm.


Sun, Mar. 11th, 2007 04:21 pm
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Having forgotten to go to the library sale yesterday, I went twice today (once for first picks, once for the bag sale). I now have even more books.

In between, I sauntered about the library looking for even more even more books, woefully handicapped by the fact that I couldn't access LJ for recs (all the internet computers were being used). I managed to actually talk to real people and ask the librarian at the Teen Zone (new one, not same one from knitting) for recs for YA books by people of color, preferably women. She thought I was a high school or college student for a bit, hee hee. I got several nice lists from her, checked out The House on Mango Street and browsed the YA section, but I figure LJ knows all.

So, anyone have recs for good books by and/or about people of color? My general preference is for books by and/or about women of color, preferably YA, preferably fantasy. I have read Stormwitch and Zahrah the Windseeker and loved them both, and I already know about Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gus Lee, Marjane Satrapi, Geoff Ryman, Nalo Hopkinson, Gail Tsukiyama and Kyoko Mori, although book recs for Hopkinson, Tsukiyama and Mori would be nice.

What I really want is something like Stormwitch or Zahrah the Windseeker. I want something about girls of color kicking ass and growing up. I randomly browsed through some adult books by Asian Americans (I accidentally wandered into the Ch section -- Chiu, Choi, Chu, etc.), and I put most books down despite really wanting to read more about people of color. I don't really feel like reading a sad, depressing story about people dealing with hate and race relations and the difficulty of being a POC; I know that stuff. I don't mind those elements in the book, but I want the story itself to be about kicking ass and taking charge, about women and girls finding power within themselves and changing things.

I don't mind books about female POC written by white people, though I would prefer that the books not be centered around whiteness and white people dealing with race (ex. Han Nolan's A Summer of Kings, which I may read some other time but am not in the mood for now).

All POC are good, though bonus points for Latin-American (as opposed to Mexican or Chicano), South-American, African, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian including Indian fiction, as I have read much less of those and not seen much of those recced at all.

Uh, so do these books I am hankering to read actually exist? Where can I find them? What have you guys read?


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