michelel72: (DW-Skeptical)
On Thursday's Daily Show, which I watched last night, Anita Hill observed that the Clarence Thomas hearings were 20 years ago, so an entire generation has grown up since then. I did the math and twitched; university and the early 1990s don't seem all that long ago.

Then, today, in an email inviting me to a musical performance, the sender notes, "We are writing to you because the Concert Choir program from April 1994 indicates that it was just 20 years ago that you sang in a performance of that work in the same venue."

Who comes up with the phrasing "it was just 20 years ago that you" anything? (Given the specificity of the scenario, it doesn't even appear to be a form letter gone awry.)

As odd as Anita Hill's statement made me feel, it's a natural feeling: Time flies. This email just makes me boggle.


For your musical accompaniment to this post, please enjoy Pink Floyd's "Time"
Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
followed by The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
It was twenty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style ...

And yes, the title is a hat-tip to "Superstar" by the Carpenters, because I'm ooooooold. (lol)
michelel72: (General-Words-SoAdjective)
So, tell me true, flist: Has alright (for all right or okay) actually crossed the critical-mass boundary from misspelling to acceptable neologism? I've suddenly been seeing it everywhere. I always correct it when I beta, but should I just give up and (grudgingly) let it pass? (Or, more likely, take my usual route of inserting a long-winded and pedantic usage note in brackets and leaving the choice up to the writer?)

I try to be accepting of falsely derived terms and variant forms if they serve a distinct purpose. I just don't see any use to introducing alright for all right, though; are there really that many contexts in which readers might confuse the okay interpretation with the each member correct interpretation? Or am I just being too prescriptivist on this one?

I'd usually see what the interwebs think, but the clearest write-ups I can find, although they agree alright is not (yet) standard, are over two years old. That's practically a generation in internet years.
michelel72: Winry (Cat-Winry-Nesting)
Little Cindy descends the stairs, rubbing her eyes. It's Christmas morning! And there, underneath the tree ...

"A puppy!" or "A kitten!" An adorable little pet, complete with a bow around the neck. Cindy is delighted for an entire hour.

Two weeks later, no one's happy. The puppy chews, the kitten scratches. Neither reacts well to being squeezed too hard; sometimes one will nip. No one wants to bother spending time on the play the kitten needs or taking the dog on required walks. Little baby Jimmy is possibly allergic, and Dad kind of hates that damn animal, and Mom is annoyed that what she hoped would be a lap pet really isn't. The adults resent how much money the damn thing costs, and that's even considering that they would never spend a dime on medical care because it's "just an animal".

Six months later the pet is abandoned in a box in a swamp in the country, one day away from being a coyote's breakfast. Or wandering the streets, pregnant. Or run over by a car. Or taken to the vet to be "put to sleep" because it's just too expensive and inconvenient, so might as well kill it for those sins, but only by proxy and with euphemisms.

Don't do this. Don't be that person. I like to think anyone who would read my journal already knows better, but a reminder is worthwhile. Companion animals shouldn't be given as gifts, and they should never be a surprise. Dogs and cats in particular have personalities — some are terrified of adult men, some are lap pets, some bounce off the walls, some need to be the only pet, some have siblings they shouldn't be separated from, some get bored in five seconds and need both companionship and active play, some are great with kids and some terrible, on and on and on.

If you want a pet, approach adoption as the project it is. Meet the prospects, with the whole family. Know what you're looking for. Find out what you're in for. See if there's any chance the animal you're considering can spend a few days in your home as a trial. Recognize that you're adding a developed (or developing) personality to your family, as a lifelong commitment.

And be prepared to spend money. Consumerist reminds us:
According to the ASPCA, a cat costs $1,035 over the first year of ownership and $670 thereafter, while a large dog generates $1,843 in bills the first year and another $875 each subsequent year. The association also warns against the idea of surprising someone with a pet, as these often end up in shelters because the recipients either weren't prepared for pet ownership or are not pleased with your choice of pet.

If any of that sounds too daunting, or if you're at all unsure, buy a video game or a book or a movie instead.

I volunteer at a cat shelter. Trust me, there are more than enough discarded pets to have the place overflowing. (That includes the three beautiful, playful, friendly, precious kittens who were dumped at that aforementioned swamp. I hate people sometimes. Luckily they were discovered before they died — yes, we do have coyotes and foxes, as well as large and vicious racoons many times the size of these kittens.) Some of those cases are unavoidable, such as cases in which the owner died or the family lost their housing and just couldn't find other accomodations that allowed pets. Some are questionable. And some are inexcusable. Don't contribute to this. Please.

(And don't even get me started on Easter chicks and bunnies.)
michelel72: (DW-Skeptical)
Dear writers of modern, western-world police procedurals:

No, it doesn't sound like the victim is pleading for mercy. It doesn't sound like the victim is talking about their assailant's lack of (or possession of) mercy. It sincerely doesn't.

It sounds like the victim is talking about or to someone named Mercy, or talking about or to someone named Marcy, or talking about Mercy General, or spotting a Mercedes Benz, or hell, deliriously singing "Mercy Street" ... but when you have your detective musing that "It sounds like he's begging for mercy," for example, we in the audience simply roll our eyes, because we all know that's completely wrong and we know we'll be wasting entirely too much time on that foolishness.

Quit it.

And "Castle" and "Criminal Minds", since you've both tried to pull that nonsense recently, you are both On Notice. Try to pull it again ... and I will have no mercy.

Okay, okay, that just means I'll make a snarky post about it. Still.
michelel72: (SGA-Rodney-NotMorning)
I haven't been around much; I haven't had time. Most of that is work; I adore my job, but it's exhausting, and nights/weekends really aren't enough for me even to keep up with the day-to-day, much less reading (I haven't read half the SGA Big Bang archive; I haven't read any of last year's Atlantis Big Bang; I have over 400 fics, fic indexes, and other works tagged as "to be read"; the ReverseBang just went live and the GenFicathon is about to), much much less writing. Which is frustrating. I simply need more time than that to switch from programmer-mindset to writing-mindset.

A brief (for me) whine about the State of the Writing. )

With reading and writing fic, as well as keeping up with my rlist/flist, I spend a lot of time on my computer. My ISP is Comcast, who provides Symantec's Norton Security Suite free to its customers, and I have to wonder what the hell they're thinking. Norton was once the gold standard for computer utilities, if I recall correctly, but it's been worse than a joke for years. Why in the world would Comcast encourage its customers to use a product that makes Comcast's service seem unusably slow? I'm not exaggerating — when my browser takes 48 seconds to process a simple page-down command (yes, I timed it, twice; yes, the response time is unmeasurably quick with Norton uninstalled), I may be savvy enough to blame the add-on software, but not everyone will be, and they'll blame Comcast's speed. Inexplicably stupid marketing/support choice.

Not much else to report beyond that, so I'll close out with a huge batch of …

TV mini-reviews (and two bonus fic recs) )

And that's that.
michelel72: (SGA-Rodney-LaserEyes)
Hey, guys! I wrote almost five thousand words overnight! … And it's all a book review. And lucky you, here it is.

"Homecoming" is the first book in the "Legacy" series, and I'm not sure how I feel about the prospect of more. There were a few bits I actively liked, quite a lot that really annoyed me, and a plenty of average connecting them.

Anyone who has ever had me beta for them can testify to this: I am far better at calling out what doesn't work for me than I am at praising what does (though I've been working on that). So let me make it clear: Despite the volume of negative commentary and the level of vitriol in what follows, I didn't hate this book. (Make no mistake: Neither did I love it. It was, on balance, okay.)

(If anyone new is thinking of asking me to beta … I'm nicer in my actual beta feedback! Mostly! Honest!)

And so we launch. Batten down the hatches, folks, and full spleen ahead! )
Anyway: Other than that? The book's … meh, okay. Not overly annoyed I read it at all; wouldn't bother to read it again.
michelel72: (CM-Garcia-Downcast)
Well, it's official: "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" is Not Good. There's no need to get into too much by way of specifics, so I won't bother with a cut. Sarah Bunting is pretty on-target in that first paragraph, particularly when noting the "dialogue that assumes neither the viewers nor the characters themselves know anything about the field in which the characters work, therefore requiring exposition to explain the most elementary aspects of profiling or detective work". The characters act as if they met one another only two days ago, and the ways in which the fragments of their backstories are "worked in" are laughably clumsy. The dialogue in general is clumsy, for that matter; the line readings make me think the actors are reading literally cut-and-pasted scripts for the very first time. There is no flow, no rhythm, no tone modulation. And as [livejournal.com profile] violetcheetah noted while we watched the (wretched) backdoor pilot, a ragtag elite FBI team is a stupid concept. (A pardoned murderer? Right.) How did this show ever get Richard Schiff as a recurring guest?

I watch "Criminal Minds" because I like the characters a lot and I love the team. (Sidebar: Fie on all the people who put blatant spoilers for the latest episode, 6x18 "Lauren", in their open-comm-posted fic summaries and even disclaimers! I'm glad the mods are cracking down, finally.) In CM:SB, I don't care about any of these people beyond a vague annoyance ... though seeing that one actress react to a child's tearful embrace as though she'd swallowed a huge bug was on the amusing side. (Shame it was supposed to be emotional. Or something.) I don't really give a rip about the cases themselves, particularly not when they're recycling twists — not just plots, plot twists — from CM itself. The snippets we get of Garcia aren't enough, especially since they aren't bothering to synch her character with the developments in the primary show. That may be due to a scheduling snafu, but I don't care: I'm done.
michelel72: (SGA-John-OhPlz)
I know there's a fan comm to discuss these books, but since there's only one comment on the entry for this book, I can't judge whether it's actually another one of those communities that really only welcome squee. If it is, that's fine; I don't want to harsh anyone's squee, and I have a bad habit of not reading the room until too late, so here in my journal this tepid review will remain.

I'm posting this now so that I can go ahead and read "Homecoming" without forgetting anything here; I'd like to start that with a clean (mental) palate. Anyone who feels moved to comment, please do not spoil me for "Homecoming" or "The Lost".tl;dr: Some nice bits, but too many errors. )
michelel72: (Cat-Gonzo-Out of it)
I'll post some more positive media reactions soon, promise. I even thought about doing one per day for the duration of this week-long vacation (Destination: Living Room!), but part of the point is not holding myself to any deadlines, and I want to do the positive stuff justice. So, coming soon: Chuck! Mumford & Sons! Garcia! Mike Holmes! But for now, a couple of "meh" reactions ... from the "late-alphabet single-character title" division, heh.
Cut for tl;dr spoilers for all of 'V' )
Cut for slightly less tl;dr spoilers for 'Y: The Last Man' )

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