mokie: Earthrise seen from the moon (Default)
It's common knowledge at this point that The Exorcist was loosely (oh so loosely) based on a real exorcism conducted at Alexian Brothers hospital in St. Louis back in 1949. That building is long gone, torn down in the '70s and paved over, which seemed fitting because parking lots are inherently creepy anyway. But a new building was erected to replace it, and fifteen years ago this January, my Grandma Betty was there to die.

(Not my grandma, Betty, but my Grandma Betty. My other grandmother Betty. My step-grandmother. My stepmother's mother. Extended families: requiring parentheses and digressions since forever.)

She had always been warm and inviting to my mother and us stepkids, and naturally my mother wanted to visit, pay her respects and lend some moral support to my half-sisters and their mother. When they needed to leave the room for a moment, Mom stayed behind at the bedside.

The door closed, and Betty turned her head to my mother, and said, "Your father was never proud of you."

It's possible this frail little woman had been carrying a grudge against my mother for years, and decided to vent it before she left this world.

It's possible she wasn't even aware she was talking to my mother, and was instead speaking through a medicated haze to some moth-eaten memory, or my stepmother (and if so, thank heavens she'd stepped out).

But my mother swears the voice that came out of Betty's mouth was not Betty's voice...
mokie: The Dark Knight's Joker inserted into a scene from Beetlejuice (confused)
Yesterday morning, at exactly 8:27 a.m., I woke from a vivid dream. I knew I couldn't stay awake, and that I would forget the dream as soon as I fell asleep again, so I grabbed my phone and sent myself a quick email to remind the later awake me to ponder this dream and record it properly.

Unfortunately, though I know "AHS" means American Horror Story, I have no idea what "AHS but with dairy farmers" means.
mokie: Vintage photo of a woman with legs crossed reading a book (smart)
Finally, science! Well, TeenVogue quoting researchers, possibly 'researchers' because we've all heard the eye-rolling over the pop/junk science clickba—y'know, let's just roll with it.

It's official: you need to mope your way through that break-up.

Researchers initially agreed with your mother that you need to stop dwelling on it and just put it behind you, like it never happened, and cited your sister's exhaustive essay on why of course you're depressed because you keep bringing yourself down by talking about that jackass all the time. But in a study of 200 of the recently exed, the researchers found that when they encouraged their human guinea pigs to discuss the break-up (as opposed to sighing dramatically and changing the topic), the subjects "expressed decreasing signs of loneliness and obsessive thinking," and actually got over it faster than those who ate just ice cream at 2am and sobbed quietly so their roommate wouldn't overhear it.

To cover their asses, researchers turned to your aunt's exhaustive study of daytime television, pointing out the obvious fact that discussing things allows you to examine what went wrong, see mistakes you don't want to make again, and realize you were ignoring this asshole's assholitude all along. In particular, a trove of Sally Jessy Raphael tapes unveiled the notion that the newly lonely need to figure out who they are without that other person and the relationships, and to redefine themselves. Researchers promptly slapped the label "self-concept reorganization" on it and declared it a discovery.*

So find someone who's willing to listen to you whine, or be a friend to someone who needs to whine, because the sooner you get it over with, the sooner it'll be done.


* Eh, so I skimmed.
mokie: Person in a field of golden grain (holiday summer)
UHN, FINE, MOKIE, I WILL.

In June:
- I, uh...did June things. The kind of things one does in June. Yes.

In July:
- I hung out at the pool with friends, family, and assorted dogs.
- I mourned the impending loss of Hannibal. Sure, there's always the chance that it gets picked up by another network, but look at the results when Community and Arrested Development got their second chance. Maybe it's better to let it go out in a blaze of Red Dragon glory. Maybe it's better to hope for a triumphant film finale, à la Firefly and Serendipity. Maybe I'll finally be able to watch a movie with Hugh Dancy in it without irrationally NOPEing out because he's not Will Grahaming right. Who knows?
- I taunted my sister with lots of Orphan Black memes, because she hasn't watched the show and it's kind of extra funny that way.
- I found time to poke fun at my English friends because their roads were melting at 98°F – the same temperature it takes to melt an M&M!
- I invited said friends to mock me when I whined about reaching a consistent internal temperature of 160°F with a golden brown crust here.
- I finally synchronized my period with Shark Week.
- I took a buttload of pictures, mostly of the moon and assorted dogs and whatnot.
- I vowed to forever angst over not being able to take pictures of Pluto because it is so damn photogenic. (Also, still a planet, because ohana means family.)

In August:
- I got social with family and updated on what's going on in the extended clan. I'm getting a new first cousin twice removed!
- I attended a friend's birthday party. Old friends were hugged, new friends were made, deep thoughts were thunked, alcohol was consumed, a late night fry stop ended in drunken whinging (because tradition!), and so on.
- I promised to attend a friend's art show, because she is gloriously talented and her work wakes up the hey, I want to make things too! voice in my head and I want to stand in front of her assembled work and go Oooooooooooooooooooooh.
- I got the chinchilla that lives in my house to sit in my hands and socialize with me, and got kisses, which is pretty sweet.
- I made more plans to do more pool-side lounging with more people, because summer!
- I bought an instant popsicle thingie, because summer! I know you're tempted to label me gauche or bourgeois because that's a purchase, not an accomplishment, but I disagree: I have liberated myself from the tyranny of the freezing point with time-travelling icy pops. That is a goddamn miracle of science, and I am honored to be part of it.

So far, so good.

Rainbows and assholes

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 09:45 am
mokie: A belly with paper strips saying, "Stop hating your body" (politics sexual)
Obamacare ruling. Marriage equality. Confederate flag finally being stigmatized as a symbol of slavery. The General Lee being traded in for a new, flag-free model (or, in memeland, a model with a rainbow flag). The maybe-not-cancellation of Hannibal. It's been a hell of a week.*

At times like this, I kind of regret taking the piss out of my ex-brother-in-law with the "But what about states' rights?" line. As satisfying as it was to go full INTP (i.e. talk it to death from every angle!) and to jerk the rug out from under his smug, controlling, better-than-everyone ass by heckling his soapboxing instead of falling in line and patting his back for being so goshdarn smart and awesome, now he gets to make a big show about having a redneck ex-sister-in-law who argued states' rights.**

Ah well, maybe it'll make him more popular with the hep kids. And Bob knows it's not the most stupid thing I've ever said or done, anyway.

Speaking of which...

Seen this weekend: people unironically cheering for the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality - achieved after years not just of same-sex marriage bans but of anti-sodomy laws that criminalized homosexuality itself - while also insisting that Bree Newsome broke the law and deserves to have the book thrown at her.

Bonus "Are you fucking serious?" points to those who, upon hearing that six black churches across five Southern states have burned down and the authorities suspect arson, insist that there's no reason to believe it has anything to do with race, because it's not like there's a history of that, and gawd, you know what I mean, that was back in the '60s, it's not like there's a more recent history of that kind of thing.

You point out that it's a simple matter of connecting the dots, and they try to turn it into verbal origami.

Refreshing discovery of the weekend: I've shaken loose both the folks who think me being able to marry whomever I choose somehow magically devalues their relationships, and the folks who don't see anything wrong with police being able to take alive armed white mass murderers but not unarmed black shoppers/pre-teens/drivers/jaywalkers/etc.! It turns out there's a difference between cultivating friendships with people who have different opinions and keeping assholes in your life.

Who knew, right?


* This isn't the Big Serious Post that any of these things warrant (Hannibal, noooooooooo), but I'm a bit out of words, so this is what it is.

** To clarify: I know it was not about states' rights. I knew it then. But I also knew it would irritate Mr. "Anything to get a reaction", so.

JINKIES!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:32 pm
mokie: Red-haired punk Vyvyan makes rude gestures at the viewer (childish)
Warning: I'm talking horror movies and poking plots, including that of The Cabin in the Woods. If you're twitchy about spoilers or just don't like my long-winded horror movie chatter, turn back now.

A writer is taking Joss Whedon (et al.) to court, saying that The Cabin in the Woods (2012) is a rip-off of his original novel. The book was written in 2006, self-published* and hawked on the streets of Los Angeles, where the writer and Whedon (and about 4 million other people) live and work. You can check out the lawsuit online, including the similarities it points out between the two works, such as:
#1. The story centers on a band of five teens/young adults: a bubbly blonde, a sweet brunette, a handsome jock, a sensitive guy, and a stoner.
#2. The group travels in a vehicle to a remote cabin in the woods.
#3. A creepy local tries to warn the group away from the cabin.
#4. The previous inhabitants of the cabin were all murdered.
#5. The group stumbles on the previous inhabitants' belongings in a storage area.
#6. The group enjoys themselves.
#7. The group separates, with the couples pairing off and leaving the stoner as the odd man out.
#8. The group is terrorized by the undead murderer.
#9. In a twist, it is revealed that the group has been manipulated all along by a third party for their own agenda.
#10. It turns out that the group has become unwitting participants in other people's entertainment.
#11. Both book and film have a "self-referential awareness of classic horror movie tropes and insert third-party puppeteers to manipulate the characters for the fulfilmment of narrative requirements".
#12. "Both films have a similar mood in that they are horror films that begin with the enthusiasm of a group of friends going on a trip, followed by the excitement of a night of drinking and romance at a cabin in the woods. The mood then shifts to a series of frightening murders which culminates in a surprise reveal that the lead characters are being manipulated for the enjoyment of third parties."
A group's fun segues into drinking and romance but is derailed by a deranged killer? That's the slasher genre in a nutshell.

Self-referential awareness of tropes? That's damn near every horror movie since 1985, and more than a few before that.

Given that a twist is "a radical change in the expected direction or outcome of the plot" and the group discovering that they've been played all along by a third party is pretty much the most expected plot point in the horror, suspense and thriller genres, is it really fair to label that a twist?

Let's break it down.

- Keep the third party interference but cut the third party entertainment? Friday the 13th (1980):
A young woman hitches a ride in a vehicle (sigh) to a remote summer camp - a bunch of cabins in the woods! - despite being warned by a creepy local that its previous inhabitants were murdered. The rest of the group is there, going through old stuff, but they soon loosen up and start enjoying themselves, and pair off to get laid, which leaves them vulnerable to an unseen murderer. The killer's identity is a genuinely shocking twist that has held up pretty well, which reveals a hitherto unknown agenda.

The film isn't a perfect fit, but it gets a pass because it is more than an example - Friday the 13th is the grandpappy of the slasher genre and its franchise the very mold that both Whedon's film and his accuser's book lean on. It may not be the first creepy murder cabin movie, but it is the Platonic ideal.

- Make the already undead murderer noncorporeal? The Evil Dead (1981):
Five friends travel in a vehicle (sigh) to a remote cabin in the woods where the previous inhabitants were murdered, root through their old stuff and accidentally unleash demonic forces that manipulate, murder and terrify the group for their own entertainment and agenda. The agenda and the twist are more relevant and visible in the sequels, but it's still a classic.

Cut the explicit romance, lighten the tone, and have the group split in half instead of pairing off into two couples and a stoner? Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969):
Five friends travel in a vehicle (seriously, this was a point to be made?) to a variety of locations, including remote cabins, from which they are warned to skedaddle by creepy locals, but instead they poke around in old stuff, enjoy themselves, and are terrorized by an assortment of undead baddies. In a twist that is not at all shocking, it is always revealed to have all been manipulation by a third party for their own agenda - and they would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids.

Gosh, it's almost as if intentionally using a standardized genre template and played-out tropes in a concerted effort to produce a clichéd and formulaic story specifically for the purpose of skewering that formula and those cliches can easily result in end products that have a ridiculous amount of elements in common.

"But mokie! The twist! And not just a twist, but an ironic postmodern twist that flips what we thought we knew about the narrative and characters - yea, verily, even the world we live in - upside down!"

Which is where I stop you, because that sentence was all kinds of redundant.

Let's clarify: by 'postmodern', we're talking about media that's self-aware, self-referential and self-critical to the point of navelgazing, ostensibly for the purposes of deconstruction - so not just movies with something to say, but movies with something to say about the way we say that something, and what that says about us. Ostensibly, but not really: it's more often a reflection of the creator's lack of confidence and awkward self-consciousness, which they have slathered in irony, chosen armor of the uncomfortable Gen-Xer. So that's how we're using it here, but others might disagree with that definition, and that's fine, because it's a hopelessly vague and stupid buzzword that needs to be put on an ice floe and forgotten already.

So, backtracking: "But mokie! The twist! And not just a twist, but an ironic postmodern twist that flips what we thought we knew about the narrative and characters - yea, verily, even the world we live in - upside down!"

Oh, mokie. The postmodern twist is itself a horror cliché these days, and so rarely done well. Nobody tells a straightforward story anymore - it's all winking at the camera and tongues in cheeks and look how clever I am demonstrations of how familiar the head coconuts are with the genre, followed by them skipping merrily down a well-worn path labeled "Unexpected Plot Twist" because that's what's expected nowadays, logic and narrative be damned.

"But mokie! It's the same postmodern twist! It's all a ploy, and they're really unwilling participants in murderous reality TV programming!"

Heard of The Hunger Games (2008), in which teens fight to the death for the amusement of the viewers? How about The Running Man (1982), in which contestants evade government hitmen for the chance to win big on a reality show? Maybe "Bad Wolf," the 2005 Doctor Who episode in which humans are drafted into awful and deadly game shows for the amusement of viewers and the chance to win fantastic prizes (like survival)?

Hey, heard of gladiators?

This twist isn't, "OMG! Reality TV!" That's just the modern paint job. No, the twist is, "We are the true monsters, because we enjoy the spectacle of someone else's suffering," and it ostensibly (there's that word again) pushes the audience to question what we get out of that kind of entertainment and what that says about us, individually and as a species. But really, for modern horror, it's a crutch - a tired toy to be pulled out from under the bed when one wants to feel clever and literary.

Not only is it older than the pyramids (despite what modern horror and rave reviews of The Cabin in the Woods would have you believe**), it's also a very '90s cliché, as pretty much all media in the decade was A Commentary On The Evils of Media Glorification of Violence: Are We Not Entertained (And Terrible for Being Entertained)?, e.g. Natural Born Killers (1994) and any of the many, many, many movies in which a serial killer kills serially specifically to become famous.

Where does that leave us, in regards to Whedon and his accuser?

A dude who wrote a slasher story that uses every cliché in the book is mad at a dude who made a movie that satirizes slasher stories and lampshades every cliché in the book. It's muggles all over again.


* The downside of self-publishing: every time a story like this makes the news, it's a self-published author who doesn't understand zeitgeist, intellectual property or plagiarism.

Meanwhile, I'm still sighing and wishing a certain author would go ahead and self-publish their fantastic novella that agents love but turn down as a difficult sell, because how else am I going to chatter about it at people?

** Don't worry, I've mellowed out about The Cabin in the Woods since complaining that it presented lampshading of antique tropes as commentary on modern horror. I swear, I have! I can take a stroll through TV Tropes' section on the film, for example, and appreciate how it works on paper if you're the kind of person who likes to dissect things and see how they're supposed to function.

Alas, as a film, it still makes me want to throw burritos full of broken glass at people who praise it as a brilliant deconstruction of anything, but, y'know, opinions and all.

Here! I'm here!

Monday, 25 May 2015 06:37 pm
mokie: Red Dwarf's Rimmer does a very embarrassing dance (me)
I'm alive!

The holiday project isn't!

Alas, stress kicked my ass. I intended to write up the holidays when I got a little breathing room, but by then I was barely keeping up with regular days and the wee celebrations had been put on hold, too. I want to re-start the project at some point, but I'm not up to it just yet.

A few months ago, the jobs at work got bigger and the deadlines smaller. At the same time, schedules changed for some members of my family. This was a problem because they kept forgetting mine hadn't changed, and that I was not free in the evenings to hang out, watch a movie, fix their electronics, answer a question, no not even a quick one, etc. Because I can't work when I'm being interrupted regularly, this pushed my productive work hours far past midnight. Because the jobs were bigger and the deadlines smaller, that meant bedtime was then pushed way past dawn.

Also around the same time, a relative asked if his dog could come over during the day, as his landlord was fed up with the dog barking when left on its own while said relative was at work. I agreed, and we discovered that no, the dog doesn't bark because he's alone - he just barks, all day, at cats, at car noises, at the voices of people walking outside, at the voices in his head, at everything.

Since the dog was coming over just as I was getting to bed, and staying until the time when I should have been starting work, I wasn't getting much rest. It turns out sleep only works if you can get more than half an hour at a time.

Being a neurotic rescue with abandonment issues, the dog also demanded near constant touch for the first month or two, because of course he did. And since half their day was spent being hounded from the other side of a plastic gate by a strange and hostile new animal, the already clingy cats demanded near constant touch once the dog left. I was socially tapped out and physically touched out daily without ever leaving the house.

By early March, I was cracking, partly from the workload, partly from the Barkomatic 3000 and frayed social reserves, but mostly from lack of sleep. It's my favorite depressive trigger, and right on cue, it flipped on that tape loop in my head: Out of coffee creamer, might as well kill myself. Humidity's up, might as well kill myself. Time for the dog to arrive, might as well kill myself.

But one overriding thought kept me grounded: This is fucking stupid. It's a dog.

So I told the relative that the adorable non-stop noise machine has to find other daytime arrangements. And, while I was at it, I had a heart-to-heart with the family about interrupting me when I'm working, yes even if it's a tiny question and will only take a second, don't do it.* I'm getting my schedule back on track, and hopefully, everything else will click back into place, and it won't take too long for the depression to tuck itself back in the mental panty drawer where it usually resides.

The lesson to be learned? Eww, people. Defend the sanctity of your schedule, because if you don't value your time and well-being, nobody else will.

And in case anyone feels the need to comment on it: yes, my writing voice and my talking-to-people voice is perky. Yes, I can still smile. Yes, I still have a sense of humor, and the capacity to wring some pleasure from the world.** No, that doesn't mean it's not really depression but actually ___. No, I don't care if you took a semester of psychology once and so you're sure you totally know what's going on in my head better than I do. Depression is a complex thing, not a South Park goth cliché. If that confuses you, maybe Cracked can explain it to you.


* Okay, first I talked to them about the suicidal loop, and they did the I don't know how to talk to you about this, so I'll give you a wide berth thing - but I'm kind of counting on that, and making it work for me.

** Mostly through photography. Not only do I take more photos when I'm depressed, I take better photos, and I have no idea how. That's the real pisser here.

(no subject)

Friday, 22 May 2015 07:43 pm
mokie: Text, "Only the good die young. Most of us are morally ambiguous, which explains our random dying pattern." (indescribable)
Terry Pratchett died March 12th. I cried a bit, acknowledged how silly it was to cry about a man I had never met, indulged in the swapping of favorite bits and meaningful quotes, and saw my niece introduced to the Discworld.

The 25th anniversary of Jim Henson's death was May 16th. I bawled shamelessly, teared up at the first notes of "It's Not Easy Being Green" or "Rainbow Connection" (which were, of course, all over the place), watched the memorial service, and raised a glass to the PBS triumvirate of Jim Henson, Bob Ross and Fred Rogers.

Somewhere in between, my own father died, and all I felt was relief.

By the way...

Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:35 pm
mokie: Text, "Only the good die young. Most of us are morally ambiguous, which explains our random dying pattern." (indescribable)
R. Buckminster Fuller: “Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”

So 1% of you is squishy and gooey.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday personal)
Happy Public Sleeping Day! All winter long, you've come in from the cold, wet, miserable outdoors, peeled away your soggy layers of protective wear, and prepared to work in your toasty office, classroom, dungeon, etc., only to feel your eyelids grow heavy. Fight the soporific warmth no longer, friends! Today is the day you embrace your need to nap!

If you work on Saturday, that is. Or need to take the kids to the library. Or don't mind an embarrassed security guard tapping you on the shoulder and suggesting you leave the bank now.

No? Maybe Open That Bottle Night is more your speed. It's the night you take that bottle of wine you're saving for a very special occasion and declare that occasion to be now. But it has to be wine. And you have to wait till tonight. And, of course, then tomorrow would be Public Sleeping Day. Hrm.

How about Car Keys and Small Change Day, when we celebrate the pocket? We can't know exactly when the pocket was invented, but we do know they are mighty great for warming hands and carrying things smaller than a wine bottle and being a marsupial, and one day, surely, women will also get them in our clothing, if we don't give up and just start growing our own like wombats before then.

Yeah, I'm not sold on that one either.*

The anniversary of the Rebels' victory at Endor, when Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign in almost 600 years?

Wait - no. You can't celebrate Endorian Memorial Day and ignore that it's also Kalevala Day because ewoks are basically hobbit wookiees without the brief acid interlude, but you can't celebrate Kalevala Day without eggs, or maybe you can, if you're Finnish and actually know how to celebrate Kalevala Day, but I'm making this up as I go, and with all the French toast weather we've had lately, I'm totally out of symbolic cosmic munchies.

Dord Day? The day when some cunning linguist noticed the perfectly cromulent word 'dord' in Webster's New International Dictionary (Second Edition) and tried to track it down, only to come across a massive Vatican conspiracy realize it was an error - a 'ghost word' created by someone misinterpreting the instruction that 'D or d' should be included as an abbreviation for 'density'?

Meh. I'm barely coherent using real words at the moment.

The feast day of Pope Hilarius? Nope. I'm not Catholic, and he wasn't nearly as funny as his name suggests. Unlike St. Juniper, who sounds like a goddamn riot - but his feast day was January 29th. On the other hand, he also sounds a lot like a human kender, and we all know that DragonLance's kender were nothing but renamed and slightly tweaked D&D halflings, which were themselves nothing but D&D hobbits after a C&D from the Tolkien estate, and you'd almost expect a kender saint to nick another saint's holiday, right?

Wait. If he's basically a kender saint and it's hobbit wookiee memorial day, can we tip a glass to both the inspiration for the Silmarillion and the pockets pilfered by a cunning linguist who just wanted a back-story for his made-up words?

This is complicated. I think I need a nap.


* Even though, as you may remember, I am technically a marsupial myself.
mokie: A cardinal sits on an icy winter branch (holiday winter)
Are you aware of polar bears?

It was 3F/-16C outside this morning. I did a lot of thinking about polar bears.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday internet)
THIS IS A DAY THAT WILL GO DOWN IN INFAMY.

Once upon a time, life was good and shiny in mokievania. But then my personal schedule and my work schedule were both turned upside down and inside out, which interrupted my already chaotic sleeping schedule, which throws me all off my game. My wee little cottage went from a quiet haven of quietness to a hive of people and animals and activity, interrupting my most solemn duties and also my meditations and preparations for tackling those most solemn duties. And also, maybe there were dragons.

And I was at my wits' end - unable to catch a breath between chores and people and animals and things, unable to right my upended life and get it back into the groove. I had begun to despair, mostly because sleep deprivation forced on me by outside events trips me right into a pit of depression.

In the Halls of the Almighty Idiots, a brief peal of reason: companies should not be free to act as highwaymen extorting money from travelers upon the Information Superhighway! We did not mark the occasion, for lo, they are Almighty Idiots in the pay of these same companies, but someone, something, heard the cry, and the beast awakened from its slumbr...


"guys please help me - is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the fuck out"*


And thus began the greatest war the Internet has ever seen. Maybe. You know, if your only experience of the Internet is post-2008 social media sites. The greatest war it has seen this year so far, at least.

Summoned from its caverns full of animated gifs and disturbing crackfics, Tumblr threw out the first volley, then got distracted by Benedryl Crumblysnatch and spoilers while Buzzfeed took up its banner and Twitter raged, until finally only Facebook and morning news anchors were left on the battlefield, awkwardly poking each other over the bodies of the fallen and asking if someone could fill them in. Scarcely had brunch cooled when the carrion crows gathered to hastily type up their thinkpieces about what The Dress says about viral marketing and how your company needs to be The Dress.

BUT O, IT WAS GLORIOUS. And there were llamas, but that was unrelated UNTIL IT WAS RELATED, and not even the grumps and cynics and mercenary corporate attempts to cannibalize capitalize on it could ruin it, because I had been inching towards that cliff where it's either mad hysterical sobbing or mad hysterical laughter, and this was the giggle that started the avalanche.

Oh, yeah - today's also Tell a Fairy Tale Day. But there's truth in fairy tales, so.

Image source: swiked.tumblr.com (uploaded to Scrapbook to avoid hotlinking/broken images)
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
Behold, National Quiet Day! A day to find a little slice of time for quiet in your day.

I found mine over a bowl of clam chowder, not because it's also Clam Chowder Day, but because I just love soup. But you do you, netly folks.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday personal)
It's World Spay Day! Go kick someone in the nuts!

No, wait, can't do that.

Today is the birthday of the one, the only, Billy Zane, who got his start in one of my favorite cheeseball '80s monster movies, Critters, so you already know how I'm celebrating.
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday personal)


Not that Gutenberg.

Today is National Rationalization Day, and the anniversary of the publication of the Gutenberg Bible (1455). And so, despite having a metric assload of work to do, I sat down and read a book, because I both need and deserve a little breathing room.

The book in question was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and I liked it, but my well o' words is a little too empty for a proper review at the moment.

Image source: publicity shot for Police Academy, © Warner Bros (I think) (uploaded to Scrapbook to avoid hotlinking/broken images)
mokie: A package of meat wishes you happy holidays (holiday of the day)
Remember how there are several invented holidays that get thrown at random dates in February, because they're more riffs on Valentine's Day than actual observances? Like marriage counselors trying to make World Marriage Day a thing, or the unattached joking about Singles Awareness Day when the whole month seems to have a 'Forever Alone' motif to it already?

The oddball among these invented holidays is Single-tasking Day. It's the 17th. And the 18th. And the 19th. And the 21st. And the 22nd* (hi!). And the 24th. For a holiday dedicated to doing just one thing at a time, that seems to be skipping merrily towards irony. So is it a secret plot to make you really, really aware of being single, or is that just how long it takes to get things done if you don't multitask?

Neither - it's an office holiday gone feral.

It has to be. Smell it. You can smell the desperate "We have fun here, don't we?" stank, that slightly greasy HR vibe that makes you feel like your soul needs to wash its hands.

At some point, some HR dude attended a motivational seminar and saw the studies on multitasking - that humans are actually terrible at it (no lie) and it decreases productivity and whatnot - and he thought, Single-tasking Day! Improve moral and productivity at the same time!

And some micromanager embraced it, except micromanagers cannot prioritize - they cannot delegate, because they cannot recognize that Job A is vital and needs personal attention but Job B is small and can be passed to a drone. And what is single-tasking? It's delegating! It's saying Job A is vital and needs exclusive attention, but Job B is small and can wait till Job A is done.

But more than that, micromanagers can't recognize that 'reporting on progress' and 'keeping them in the loop' is a whole series of tasks in and of itself, turning this single-tasking job into a whole series of interruptions.

And thus, I imagine, that is why Single-tasking Day never took off. The micromanagers huffed and puffed at the end of the day because the drones weren't really more productive just working on one big job than they would have been working on fifteen small jobs - except when it comes to interruptions, there's no difference between multitasking on one big job under a micromanager and fifteen small jobs under a micromanager. And so they killed it before it ever had a chance.

In any case, I have a couple of jobs that need my undivided attention, nobody's home and email is closed, so this couldn't be better timed. Better crank up some RainyMood or Noisli and get to it!


* That's not why I went with the 22nd, no - I did it because it's the anniversary of the day scientists announced they had successfully cloned a sheep, and that, too, makes 'single-tasking' funnier than it should be.
mokie: Stonehenge with the sun shining through the stones (holiday hippie)
Technically, today is for greeting cards - pulling out old cards, waxing nostalgic about when people used to send cards, that kind of thing.

But that's a bit dull, so I went with Le Tarot des Femme Erotiques instead. If you know your tarot, it's actually pretty easy and pleasant to read. Gist of the reading: I'm frustrated with work, and displacing it into other areas of my life.

Damn cards, calling me out and being right like that.

Without a deck handy? Facade offers free readings with a number of spreads and decks (along with other goodies).

P.S. If you're still looking for a reason to wear red in February, today is the anniversary of the publication of The Communist Manifesto (1848).
mokie: Villainous Mr Hand receives an injection of memories to the forehead (holiday birthday)
Today is the birthday of Joel Hodgson, creator and first host of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the 50th anniversary of the day the U.S. crashed a probe into the moon. (Oops.)

Thus it is only fitting that we celebrate with Project Moonbase.
mokie: A cardinal sits on an icy winter branch (holiday winter)
Lo, this is the anniversary of the first time someone was acquitted in the U.S. using the temporary insanity defense. I could have used this holiday a few days ago.

It's also the birthday of Falco, the anniversary of the day the first rescuers reached the Donner-Reed party, and you just pictured Donna Reed as a cannibal and giggled.

So I'm going to put on some '80s music, make digital Donna Reed collages, and smile very, very widely at the family.

About dream/reading tags

y-* tags categorize dreams.

For types: beyond the obvious, there are dreamlets (very short dreams), stubs (fragment/outline of a partially-lost dream), gnatter (residual impression of a lost dream).

For characters: there are roles (characters fitting an archetype), symbols (characters as symbols), and sigils (recurring figures with a significance bigger than a single dream's role/symbolism).

x-* tags categorize books.

Material is categorized primarily by structure, style and setting. If searching for a particular genre, look for the defining features of that genre, e.g. x-form:nonfic:bio, x-style:horror, x-setting:dystopian.

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