Aug. 14th, 2010 01:05 pm
kuangning: (disaffected)
Every time I use a company's Live Help option, I get bitter. I've turned to Live Help more times in the last three months than I have needed to in the past couple of years, so I am now especially bitter. You see, their record? Across all those several companies and with what I thought were simple questions, like if I turn on the "allow list" on my phone, what happens to the disallowed calls? Will they get the option to leave voicemail?

Their record is still a perfect zero. No "I'll find out for you." No "Hrm. If you give me your number and turn the feature on, I'll call you and tell you if I get your voicemail."(I would have thought of that, and offered.) No troubleshooting. No investigation. No nothing. And the more I encounter these non-helpful agents, the more I think, I totally kicked ass at this when I was doing your job! So how are you still employed when I'm not?

Truly, there is no justice.

ETA: In case anyone else was wondering, calls from people who are not on the accept list do get routed straight to voicemail.
kuangning: (Default)
I'm the only person I can think of who picks a 13C December morning to re-commit to swimming. My right shoulder feels a little pulled, probably from the breaststroke exercises -- like most people, I'm weaker on my left side -- but it felt absolutely wonderful to put in what I *knew* was a great workout even while it was happening. I'll just have to remember to work on my left side a bit to even them out.

I climbed out and felt just the right amount of smackdown from carrying my own weight again. I hadn't pushed myself so hard that I had no energy left, nor taken it too easy. Five hours later, I'm still radiating heat from muscles I'd forgotten I had, and I'll definitely be sore tomorrow. Whatever; I remember now why I didn't mind waking up at 5 AM every weekday for the chance to swim a mile before my academic classes started.

I have homework to do, and a test on Monday. Y'all have no idea just how weird that is.
kuangning: (Default)

Tomorrow I have orientation for my phlebotomy class. I am going to need an Ativan. Today, though? Fractals are cheaper, even though this one, done this morning, is still the best I've managed all day.
kuangning: (contented)

It's that time again, isn't it? And I almost missed it. We slip over into autumn in seven hours, and summer's goodbye kisses are wet ones, this time. This neighborhood is warm red brick walls and glints of sunlight scattering through dripping leaves. It's a crisp edge to the air and somewhere a lone straggling cicada, bravely vocal despite the weather. Outside my window, the trees are revealing the first reddish brown patches beginning to peek through the many many shades of green -- more today than there were yesterday afternon, in fact. There will be golds and rich bronzes and blazing orange, later, but right now most of the fire hues are still in hiding, sheltered from the last late-summer rains.

October is coming, and I know it will have something heartbreaking in store -- it always does. In a lot of ways, I'm still reeling from the last one. But this is September and summer, for just a little bit longer, and today, it's enough.


Sep. 17th, 2009 11:18 am
kuangning: (angry)
I know it's a small thing in the scheme of things, but I just saw the trailer for Disney's latest, and I'm still sputtering with rage.

Here you go, have a look.

Now, my first reaction was "ooh, she's not white." Sadly, that doesn't last.

* Apparently, Fairytale Magic isn't allowed to work on black people, at least not the first time. (See what happens when we let you people in? You break it!)

* What happened to the princess' intrinsic honesty in keeping her promise overcoming her delicate nature? Apparently, honesty *and* delicacy aren't allowed for black princesses, huh? Black chicks are allowed Attitude and tough-mindedness, 'cause they're all untamable and shit, but that's all.

* WTF voodoo? Did we drag out every stereotype ever? I bet we did!

* OMFG those accents.

* I bet somebody, somewhere, is going to drag his/her tired [white?] ass out of the woodwork to tell me all about how they deigned to do a story about a black princess and now I'm not grateful enough. That somebody had better watch how s/he phrases it today, and that's all I have to say about that. This is ... beyond tripe, and I was already fed up with the world. I'm starting to believe that we should manage things like this like we do certain forests -- sometimes, you just have to burn the shit to the ground and start over, to have a chance of ending up with something healthy.
kuangning: (pensive)
This is one of those difficult posts, and I feel like I should apologise upfront for it being so. I really hate asking for help, when my situation's not as dire as some I've been in over the years, but Paul and I are currently stuck in a mire we can't break out of without some help.

When I made the move from the Cary suburbs to Raleigh, I thought I'd find stable work fairly quickly. )

What this means, though, is that the process of getting me to Australia is stalled, because we haven't anything left over after the monthly bills and the doctor's appointments are paid for, to throw at it. I need to replace my passport, which requires an application fee and a trip to my consulate in Florida (roughly $700 USD to cover both the fee and the trip) that we just can't afford as things stand. The visa process is on hold until we can furnish another $1700 AUD fee and a copy of my passport, and those two things are what we're asking for help with -- because getting me over there will improve the financial situation for us immeasurably.

So, why are we pushing the emigration now, if we can't afford it, instead of just waiting? Several reasons, but the first, urgent, purely financial one is that right now, we're hemorrhaging money, maintaining two separate households.  Neither of us is exactly living the high life, but my household bills are roughly $1000 USD each month -- rent, electricity, phone, Internet, groceries, nothing in there I could really pare back more, at least not while I'm under orders to eat three times a day plus snacks and needing to be in touch with Paul. That's money we'll be free to throw at the medical care and repaying what we owe, if we can get me over there and drop the second household. On the other hand, the longer we wait, with no surplus to rebuild our savings, the more likely it is that something else is going to happen that will set us back even further. Putting it plainly? We can't afford to not push it through.

More reasons... )

I know things are tight everywhere, and if you can't help, I understand. If you can help, though, it would be much appreciated. If nothing else we're planning for happens, just being able to eliminate the second household alone will put us in a much better position. You'll be paid back ahead of that emergency room visit, too -- clearing private debts is more important than making anything but minimum payments on the public ones. Our order of things is: clear the private debts, {look for work, get married, start the adoption process}, start school -- and we'll clear the public debts after the first term of school is paid for, if there's still anything left of the public debts at that point. It'll make for a single rather crowded year, but then we can transition to the more usual routines of work and school while pushing hard on the adoption paperwork.

kuangning: (angry)
  • Support and actively work towards providing universal health care in this country.

    If you want these children born, no matter what disabilities they may have, and you are willing to dictate that no-one else should have another option, then be prepared to put your money where your mouth is for the duration of those children's lives, to provide them with all the care they need to give them as much of a life as they can have. Yes, that does mean multiple heart surgeries and implants and life support and round-the-clock care, and all those other expensive procedures won't come out of the parents' pockets alone. Why? Because it is morally repugnant to force someone to do something against their wishes and then turn around and charge them for the "privilege" on top of it. Because if you try it, you will wind up with women dying after trying to self-abort to prevent having to beggar themselves to pay for the medical care of children they would not have chosen to give birth to, who may accomplish nothing in their brief and pain-ridden lives *except* bankrupting their parents.

  • Support and actively work toward providing everyone with the ability to earn a living wage.

    Yes, that means more of your money towards the education of children that aren't yours, including poor ones and non-white ones. It means you can't just pull money out for a voucher to send your child to a private school while the public schools where the other children go gets poorer and less adequate to educate them. It means a higher minimum wage. It means providing paid time off for people with families to go tend to emergencies with the children. It means providing good childcare options, both for the children whose families kept them and the un-aborted whose families will give them up to foster care. Our foster care system, especially for the broken children, is horrible. You want more children born? Then you get to stop whining and pitch in to help support them. As opposed to protesting at the clinic before they're born and then complaining about welfare and socialism afterward.

  • Support comprehensive sex education and to make sure contraception is available, taught about, provided.

    Don't like that? Too bad. People have sex. They've had sex for as long as there've been two sexes, and they're going to continue to have sex.

  • Support tougher sentences and more diligent prosecution for the perpetrators of sexual crimes.

    If murder nets you a death sentence, rape of a person over the age of consent should get you a choice between castration and life without possibility of parole. Rape of a child under the age of consent should get you straight castration, no choice in the matter. Why? Because not all sex is consensual. Not all conceptions can be prevented by just telling women to keep their legs together. Teach your boys that no always, always means no unless you've agreed on a different safeword beforehand. Stop giving the wink wink nudge and the sly chatter about conquests and how this woman or that is "hot for it." Make rape as repugnant to them as murder. And less of the anti-female bullshit about "she was asking for it, wearing that" and "but she slept with ___ other people." Sleeping with a hundred other people doesn't mean she is obligated to sleep with you. If you want women to not conceive unless they're ready to raise a child, control the behaviour of the men who impregnate women. Decent men will use contraception if she's not ready to conceive, and they won't force her to have sex. For the rest, treat them like the criminals they are, because their offspring, if she doesn't want it, becomes another un-aborted child for you to help support.

Funny, how I haven't yet heard any vehement pro-lifers espousing all of these. Can it be that all the loudest of them want is all of the power to make all women do what the pro-lifers want, and none of the burden of responsibility for what happens after?
kuangning: (Default)
Is there anyone left who still needs an invite code for Dreamwidth? They've just generously given me two; first comment, first served.
kuangning: (Default)
... and this little guy will soon be coming home to me.

I am obliged to point out that he has brothers (and possibly sisters!) and many many fascinating friends over at [ profile] elisem's current sale. Your pocketbook may not forgive you, but them's the risks you take, right? ;)


May. 6th, 2009 04:02 pm
kuangning: (Default)
I have resumed my wonderful weekly veggie box subscription (Papa Spud's, for those few of you in the Raleigh area) and today is my first delivery.

Dinner tonight, therefore, is whole-wheat pasta tossed with browned butter, tomato, and lovely fresh tatsoi, with a little grated cheese because, well, tasty, tasty protein. I still have sugar snap peas, yellow squash, eggplant, and a pint of strawberries to look forward to as well. This is going to be good.
kuangning: (Default)
Which is also a contest entry. It's difficult, by the way, to make something as abstract as a fractal carry a set theme like the good vs evil concept. I think I managed. What do you folks think?

Crossposted from my site; you can comment either here or there.
kuangning: (disaffected)
AUSTIN — A North Texas legislator during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

The comments caused the Texas Democratic Party on Wednesday to demand an apology from state Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell. But a spokesman for Brown said her comments were only an attempt to overcome problems with identifying Asian names for voting purposes.

The exchange occurred late Tuesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony from Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans.

Ko told the committee that people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and other forms of identification because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on their driver’s license on school registrations.
Easier for voting?

Brown suggested that Asian-Americans should find a way to make their names more accessible.

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.

Brown later told Ko: “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

A: Asian-descent voters are Americans too. What she really means, therefore, is "easier for generic white people to deal with."

B: Her lack of faith in the reading skills and problem-solving skills of generic white people is noted.

C: What we really need is clearly a return to the days when Immigration officials renamed people when they entered the country! Yes!

D: Life is going to change fairly dramatically when her generation is displaced in positions of power, and I can't wait to see it happen.
kuangning: (contented)
This shares a common origin with the fractal on the poem post, quite obviously. It took some fiddling to get there, though; the head area did not want to come clear at first, preferring to hide behind that swathe of misty black. (Well, what did I expect?) But I figured it out, finally, and now we have Oracle 3, unveiled.

kuangning: (poetry)
This is the fault of many people, but it began with [ profile] elisem.

They are always she:
untold foreseeings, like physical babes, usurp the womb.
They come draped in the same potentiality
as any other gestation, each secretly scheming
to be, if not an only child, then a last one.

She nurses them out of her self,
rocks herself back and forth around them,
speaks them to soothe them, and is herself quieted--and not alone.

Every birthing ends in giving the child away.

kuangning: (contented)
Sarah McLachlan - Fallen )

I’m tired. Really tired. The relentless beat won’t let me slow down, though, and I think it’s the only thing keeping me moving right now. I’ve run out of places to put boxes—as half my stuff was already in boxes, occupying the available space—and while I don’t really have that much to pack, finding ways to pack it is definitely a challenge. I may just resort to cleaning around the boxes now, and picking up some more boxes later, to be packed while/when my father and brother have cleared the room of the already-packed boxes.

I need to:

  • re-box my knitting supplies

  • fill and reseal the half-empty boxes that never actually got unpacked all the way

  • do the dishes and pack them away

  • finish the last load of laundry

  • gather the things in the laundry room and bathroom

  • vacuum once the boxes are gone

  • pack the things on my desk, which includes my good speakers, so I'm procrastinating

I also desperately want a shower and to tend to my hair so it doesn't look like someone dragged me through a bush backwards! I may do that first, I think, or at least second, while the current load of laundry dries.

This has been crossposted from my site: you can respond here or there.
kuangning: (Ami)
Thanks to a friend who has forbidden me to thank hir and whom therefore I will not name, the outage has a definite end. I should be back online on the 6th, almost certainly no later than the 7th. I may sneak on before then if some kind neighbor has an unsecured wireless connection, but I can’t count on that, and that’s when my own connection gets put in.

I am currently doing the last bits of laundry and finishing off the packing; I’m around—but not really paying attention—for the next few hours, until my brother and father show up and the Fun begins. Have I mentioned that I hate moving? Because I do. I really, really do.

This has been crossposted from my site: you can respond here or there.
kuangning: (exposed)
While it may be true that once you learn how to ride a bicycle you never forget, my shaky knees are proof that you can entirely forget how to ride one well. I haven't ridden a bicycle for more than fifteen minutes since I was twenty-one years old. I expect it's going to take me some getting used to.

In the good column:

Weekday mornings are a good time to ride that trail; with everyone at work or at school, it's clear of pedestrians.

I did not fall off, or anything remotely resembling falling off. Of course, the step-through design of my bike helps with this, which is why I chose it. If worse comes to worst, I can just put my feet down and slide off the saddle.

The saddle is, in fact, wide enough and comfortable enough that there was no pressure in inappropriate places.

I can, in fact, shift gears without trouble -- this is the first bicycle I've owned where shifting gears is even a possibility, and I was worried.

I had not the slightest twinge of back pain -- hurray for being able to sit upright and not bend over the handlebars.


I'm still going to need a lighting system if I'm going to use this for commuting.

I'm still going to need a lightweight jacket and tracksuit pants or something -- I don't fancy bare skin against asphalt the day I do take a spill.

The accident-induced fear of traffic translates directly. To be perfectly frank, Raleigh drivers still scare the living hell out of me, and that's going to take some time to go away. I've got the same sick feeling getting on the bicycle that I do getting into a car.

Crossposted from my site; you can respond here or there.
kuangning: (Default)
Unicreatures of the moment; notice how they've doubled since just yesterday when I was introduced to them. *hangs head.*

Please click to feed them/play with them if you have time? I am still promising that this will not be a daily routine. I just haven't found a good fansite yet.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
kuangning: (Default)
This is [ profile] moondancerdrake's fault. :P

Clearly, I need to look around and see what fansites exist for these things, since if this runs true to form I will be playing with them for the next six months. In the meantime, if you folks could please spare a click, I promise not to post them all the time.

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