March 16th, 2004

exhausted, tired, Azzsleep, GSU, and the LF

The teacher whose name I have a hell of a time remembering -- Barnes, that's it -- was back from boot camp, full of enthusiasm. We had fun in lab (most of the kids were getting their web pages up and struggling with the .net IDE, including me).

Marx came by with the LF just as I was getting ready to leave the lab. This is his spring break, so he's home all day. The Little Fayoumis sat quietly in class with me, and seeing me taking notes, took some "notes" himself -- mostly consisting of increasing point scores on some unknown and unknowable game. He was very quiet.

I'd printed out some GSU stuff as we were skidding out of the lab, and then I had to go upstairs to cut apart the flyer things...

We wound up sitting at the GSU table in the courtyard for about three hours. The Little Fayoumis was running all over, hacking (hackey sack style) with some of the guys, and wound up hanging with the Procrastinating Gamers' Club (would have been known as the Psychotic Gamers, but DeVry didn't allow that...) I talked with a few people. It wasn't the zoo that it is some years. DeVry isn't back up to full steam yet.

The Little Fayoumis is trying to assert himself more. Yesterday, evidently, was not such a great day w/r/t him, as he was with fucking Grandma, and fucking Grandma doesn't make him obey any behavioral rules. Explained this to him this morning, how he always has a worse time after he spends time with Grandma, a worse time following the rules, and this is because Grandma doesn't make him follow the rules. ("You know ... you're right!" *gasp*) And how I know he's a nice guy, and some of the rules are there to make sure he stays a nice guy, and when he isn't made to follow the rules, sometimes he acts like a meanie. So following the rules so he stays acting like a nice guy is a good thing, because I know he's not a meanie. He agreed with that as well. He did bring up the very valid point that Mommy was there, and Mommy did not enforce the rules. I boiled down the Grandma vs. Mommy "Whose rules are whose now?" battle in terms that I hope he could mostly follow -- Mommy's in charge of him, because she's his mom, but Grandma is Mommy's mom, and says that she's in charge of Mommy and the Little Fayoumis because she's Grandma, and because Mommy doesn't want to get in a big fight with Grandma, Grandma's lack of rules goes, pretty much. I think he got it.

It was a mildly tough afternoon, because he keeps asserting himself, and it's not always in appropriate ways, and I have to encourage him in asserting himself and discourage him from the inappropriate behaviours. He did help with the dishes, though. I reminded him that we are going to have him using words for stuff, instead of gesturing and pointing and waving things around to communicate, and that he should be using words with the other grown-ups as well.

After the grown-ups came home, I wandered off to go shopping. Yay for things on sale; yay for all sorts of things. Yay for face-cleaning goop; yay for booze. Yay for Girl Talk.
fangirl, _schools4303

"Secretly Slytherin" bookmark

Chapter 34.

OFC/Snape. Snape is nicely devious, and only someone with a mind as twisty as his is would be able to say that he's "good". Yay!

A few minor spelling/usage errors, worst of which would be "discrete" for "discreet". Read the previous story first.
teddyborg, geeky

Oh gods --

"Beware the Ides of March," they say.

I got it wrong.

Yesterday, the thing that gave me most grief -- the .Net successor of Visual Interdev.

Beware the IDEs of March.
  • Current Mood
    geeky geeky
loud fayoumis

When I have a problem, it's everybody's problem. Even if it's a bad schedule and miscommunication.

Yet another Scheduling Mishap. This morning's schedule was tight, contributed to by my being late up and late on the bus for the plasma place, and about 12 minutes late skidding in, and further complicated by them having small delays here and there, and my bleeding through my gauze, which resulted in me being 15 minutes later getting home than I should have been, but ultimately I would have been home on time -- just that no one was home when I got there.

The schedule was supposed to run like this. I was supposed to leave in time to get to the plasma center at the crack of eight or before. Giving plasma takes about two hours; the third hour is transit time both ways, and the fourth hour is delays. So I would get out of there at ten or sooner, and catch the bus home, half an hour, and be there by 10:30, or 10:45-ish at the latest. I would skid in, and Marx would skid out by 10:55 to catch his bus to school.

Even with all the delays, I was still home at 10:50. And no one was home.

Fuming, I figured what must have happened -- the incomparable pair of males must have gone to find me at school, where I was not. I was cursing them (well, the leader of the pack) and myself for miscommunication. And Marx's bus to get him to school on time was due any moment. I strode angrily toward school, muttering inside my head all the way, scaring the pigeons and not speaking to passerby. My watch beeped the hour against my wrist bones as I crossed the street: eleven. No bus yet, but no partner's partner and no kid either.

I spotted him across the parking lot of the strip mall as I marched toward school. There he was, with all his school gear -- and yes, the Little Fayoumis in tow. We collided with yells (me first, screaming that I was not in school today, and him screaming at me to not scream at him) and the situation was quickly resolved as yes, a miscommunication, with the Little Fayoumis's mistaken impression at the heart of it. Little Fayoumis said I was at school today. That was his guess, not me telling him. If there is a next time, I am guessing that there is going to be a "Did she tell you that she was going to school, or did she leave and you think she is at school?" small interrogation.

I think that Marx got on his bus all right. He strode off in the direction of the Red Line stop in front of the Kyoto Bowl. I marched for the intersection, still steaming. Little Fayoumis was informed that I was grouchy at everybody: him, Marx, and me too, and that was mostly because I was just plain grouchy. He knows grouchy. He knows that when Aunt Joanie is grouchy, she is just grouchy, and the best thing to do is to leave her strictly alone.

And now we're home. I'm in my room, not speaking until I stop feeling like yelling (mostly); the Little Fayoumis is wandering around amusing himself. I'll probably try calling Darkside later. I have to go to school later to see to some scheduling fuckups. Joy. With the Little Fayoumis in tow, in the Arizona fucking spring fucking heat. Joooooooyyyyy.

This post has been fueled by bad schedules, not enough sleep, school stress (native and communicable), job stress (ditto), not enough hugs, not enough Darkside, and a raging case of PMS. I'm now able to distinguish PMS from suicidal depression, yay me!
  • Current Music
    The chiller blowing cold air. It is actually functional.

Random internet-ness

American Museum of Natural History Identification Day: -- the kid's got the best attitude, I think. A turtle shell and cow bones are good stuff indeed!

Get Fuzzy comic's latest: Collapse ) Via alphafenris, who evidently follows the comic.

Poor man's gadget jacket. (Via vulpine137.) Hmm, I think I'll pick one up at some point. Do they carry those vests in black at $INEXPENSIVE_STORE? Though to justify wearing one of those, I'd have to gadget up again. Hmm. I think I can save enough to get myself a new palmtop within a few months...

I'm glad the Little Fayoumis is mostly older than this now. Minty-Melon Mardi Gras my ass.
exhausted, tired, Azzsleep

State of the Loony

A good solid nap makes most things feel better. Except I'm still tired. I think know I haven't been getting enough sleep.

My cat was all purry and wanting to be petted last night. Yay, cat.

The Little Fayoumis is showing curiousity about my plasma donation wrap; I explained the process to him. This time it was all messy. Since I treat it matter-of-factly, he doesn't freak out about his favorite aunt having a gaping (though small) hole in her arm twice a week and losing quite a bit of parts of her blood.

After the Little Fayoumis gets his socks and shoes on (which is turning into quite the production since there are Sock Problems) we will be going to my school to accomplish some paperwork, and thence to the bank, to (finally) take care of my first paycheck from Hell.

I've already walked my half hour today. Small blessings out of large annoyances, I suppose.
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    exanimate exanimate
exhausted, tired, Azzsleep

Inconclusive Scholar

I hiked over to DeVry and found that there were no papers that the secretary could find. He said that the Dean wasn't there either. So I will come back tomorrow when the Dean's there. Next I hit Student Finance, and the guy who sets off my gaydar said that there is an academic hold on me because of my whole GPA thing. I am suspecting that I did not drop the classes last tri properly. I declined to stop by the bookstore, on the grounds that I'm not buying the book until I know I can stay in the class.

So off to the bank. We made the bus just on time, yay. I even had proper fare for the LF's ride. About the time we hit the corner to get off, a black guy came on the bus and a white guy was getting off the bus. As there was some lurching, there was a collision, with the black guy getting smacked into. It was clearly accidental, but the black guy had clearly been set on a hair-trigger, and took it personally; I suspect he takes every accidental thing personally. He got in the white guy's face. The white guy gave him the You Are Some Kind of Space Alien Or Something, Aren't You look and tried to ignore him. He got off the bus, and the black guy followed, but not before treating the entire bus to some secondhand verbal abuse as a miniature How Race Relations Go Wrong situation started breaking out.

The white guy got his bike off the front of the bus, and went his own way, and the black guy (still disgruntled) walked after the bus to the other side of the corner and got on again.

I explained to the Little Fayoumis that the one guy who was doing all the yelling was one of those people who takes everything personally and gets mad about everything.

I deposited the check, and signed up for direct deposit if my workplace has it. If my workplace has it, great; if it doesn't, I'll get a letter saying, "I'm sorry, you're shit out of luck, and have to pick up your check in person and bring it to the bank using feet like the little peon that you are." Only in more diplomatic business-speak.

Furthermore, Darkside's working today. (I called around 11:30 this morning.)

On the bus on the way back, I explained to the Little Fayoumis how I noticed that when he gets mad at people when they do stuff he doesn't want them to do, he says "Stop doing that!!!" and he's yelling -- but sometimes when you get mad and yell when someone does something you don't like, they think you getting mad and yelling is funny, so they're mean on purpose. We agreed that this was a very bad and mean thing to do, but I assured him that it did happen, and told him that when I was a kid, people would get me mad because they thought that what I said when I was mad was funny, because I would use big words, and I would call them things like "inconsiderate imbeciles". The Little Fayoumis said that yeah, that was pretty rude, and I agreed -- both parties were being rude under those circumstances.

We scurried home because I wanted to call Qwest before they closed up shop for the day, because of the note I'd gotten from my roommate re: the phone bill, because I could have sworn I'd paid it, but the note was rather urgent about things getting shut off. So I called and checked, and sure enough I'd paid in full on the 8th, and it was all good.

So I called and updated my roommate on everything -- the schedule collision, school, the phone bill, et cetera. I checked Beads galore's website for her, because she was planning to drop in there after work, but their hours are 9-5 Monday-Saturday, which is not good for her dropping by there after work, as work lets out at 6 on most weekdays.

The Little Fayoumis is watching a movie. I don't know what I'm doing for supper. I'm just tired.

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    tired tired
teddyborg, geeky

Vague design of tool to give warnings and avoid spoilers on media.

So a friend watched a movie. It was billed as a comedy, but there was a character death in it. This time of year is near the anniversary of the death of the friend's child. Naturally, upset friend. Upset friend plus Lunatic equals good idea.
You know, that sounds like there's a geek tool that should be written for it. Something similar could be done with fanfic, come to think of it, which is actually where I got this idea: from the fanfic warnings.

There should be a very large and flexible list of things that either people like, or have the potential to squick people. Each movie, book, or fic would have the potential triggers or other elements checked off, rather than just having them listed manually in some comment section. Any record for a movie/book/fic would have, in the descriptive bits about it, if applicable, a "Warning: This contains elements that some viewers may consider inappropriate or may appreciate being warned about. For a full list of warnings on this item, click here. To see if this item has warnings about things you would not like to encounter, click here."

And users would get the same list of warnings, and could select which ones they wanted to seek out, and which ones they wanted to be notified about, and which ones they wanted to avoid at all costs.

Some people don't like to view warnings on stories because they don't want to be spoiled, but others really appreciate being warned, and some people have to fight with themselves to see if they want to be somewhat spoiled (say, that Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix has a character death) or if they want to be warned (A character who you may care about very much dies in this book: have tissues handy).

For a sufficiently flexible system, you can select whether you want to see which warnings a movie's got ("Oh, has graphic rape. Um, no, not going to watch it. This one's got a character death, but it's a murder film. I think I can handle that.") or just that it has items that you've flagged for "Don't want to see it". Huh, you could have three categories: "Seek it out, warn me, don't want to see it." And you could choose whether you wanted to match the warnings of the item up against your flagged categories with or without spoilers for each one -- you might not want to be spoiled on flags that you've got for "seek out", but might definitely want to be spoiled on "don't want to see it".

I think it could really work.

The system would have to be set up so that when picking warnings for an item, there would be three choices for each warning: has it, doesn't have it, and unknown.

There would probably be new warning categories added from time to time, and any new category would have to be defaulted to unknown on old entries that no one's updated yet. And if you've got a "warn me" or "I don't want to see this" on a specific warning, and the item hasn't been rated on that, it would notify you too. For example, if MPREG were a new category, and the movie Junior had been put up before the MPREG warning was put in the system, until someone updated Junior with the right info, it would be flagged as "Warning: the category 'MPREG' on this movie has not been rated. You stated that you wished to be warned about MPREG in any movie. Be aware that the item may or may not contain depictions of male pregnancy." Of course, any other item that had been entered into the system before that warning was added would have that same flag for that user.

Hmm. This sounds like a really useful tool!

You'd have a Warnings table, with either some unique numerical primary key, or a short several-letters summary of the warning as a primary key. (I vote for the numbers.) Then you have a short summary of the warning, and then a long version.

Then you have the Item Warnings table, which has a composite key: the foreign key from the Item table, and the foreign key for the Warning table. And then you have the status: Does Not Contain, Does Contain, and Unknown. Item, Warning, and ItemWarningStatus are mandatory; the default on Status is "Unknown". For each Item and Warning, an Item Warning entry will be generated, automatically when new Items and new Warnings are put into their respective tables. Optional would be the Notes or Comments section (description?) which would describe why that Item had that Warning set to the status it's at. Would mostly be used for describing an ItemWarningStatus of Does Contain.

Next would be the Users Warnings table. You would have User ID (foreign key) and Warning ID (foreign key) and UserWarningStatus, possible values of Seek, Neutral, Warn, and Avoid. Again, entries would be generated for each User and each Warning, with new entries generated when new users and new warnings added.

This as described is designed to be an addition to an existing database of items (books, stories, movies) rather than a new service in itself. A new row in the table for the items would have to be added, for whether or not it contains warnings. IF it contained warnings, when the web page was pulled up/generated, there would be a "This item has warnings. Click here to access the warning page." line on the page; the rest of the story/entry would be the same. Users interested in reading warnings would click there, and be able to view any number of things:

  • All the warnings for the item (with the names of the warnings only)

  • All the warnings for the item (with the descriptions, if applicable, of why the item has the warning, for example "Sirius Black dies at the hands of enemies" for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

  • Run a query to compare the user's flagged warnings to the story's flagged warnings:

    • View if the item has warnings that the user seeks out (yes, no, unknown)

    • View the warnings that the item has that the user seeks out (short description of warning: which warning it is)

    • View the warnings that the item has that the user seeks out (short description of warning, explanation of why item has that warning)

    • View if the item has warnings that the user wishes to be warned about (yes, no, unknown)

    • View the warnings that the item has that the user wishes to be warned about (short description of warning: which warning it is)

    • View the warnings that the item has that the user wishes to be warned about (short description of warning, explanation of why item has that warning)

    • View if the item has warnings that the user wishes to avoid (yes, no, unknown)

    • View the warnings that the item has that the user wishes to avoid (short description of warning: which warning it is)

    • View the warnings that the item has that the user wishes to avoid (short description of warning, explanation of why item has that warning)

In addition to individual user accounts for random users, the system admin could set up a few generic accounts, such as Child, Youth, Teen, Adult, Mature. The generic Child account could be set up by an admin to Avoid many categories, and be Warned on no few others, all on items that would drive it above a US "G" rating. Youth would be Avoid or Warned on items that would drive it to or over a PG or PG-13 rating. Or something. It probably makes more sense implemented than explained. This way, a random new user to the site would be able to select a pre-made set of criteria to surf at (say someone's mother looking up Austin Powers movies to see if they were age-appropriate for ten-year-old boys would be warned in several categories and advised to avoid it based on others), or they could base their own unique standards off a given age (say if a new user did not know what "bukkake" was, they would see it might be advised to avoid or warn for all but Mature audiences).

I think that would be a really good addition to any fanfic, story, book, or movie site.
  • Current Mood
    geeky geeky
Little Fayoumis, Nephew

Further Fayoumis Training

Today I encountered that little trick that's been driving Marx absolutely bats. I'm talking with the Little Fayoumis, and I ask him a question, and he just walks off.

I know why it's happening, though. He's trying to answer my question nonverbally: taking his answer as a given, and then going and doing as he's told. He's not intending to be rude. He's intending to be obedient, but skips the step where he gives a verbal answer and obtains the signal that the verbal conversation is over and he should now obey orders. It's going to be a bit of a stretch -- he's also lately been hearing only what he wants to hear (as well as seeing only what he wants to see at some points), as well as when you tell him not to do something when he's about to do it, and he does it first anyway, and then and only then hears you. Yaaagh. I've told him already that he needs to wait to hear all of the instructions before he proceeds. He's gotten better about the "Do Y after you X" thing (he used to do Y first, and then X, because of the conversational order); it's just yet another stage to go through.

I called him on it, reminded him to use his words for the answer, don't just answer without words and walk away, use his words to answer. And because Marx was having such trouble with him on the issue, I had to send him to the corner for a short time for walking away when he was supposed to answer using his words.

A number of the other walk-away things have been nonverbal "Okay, I hear you, and I'm going to do as you say immediately" things, I think. He's given to doing that.

Today's thing was over dessert: I told him that he might have a popsicle, a piece of candy, or he could sit for a while and think of something else that he wanted and suggest it to me after he thought of something. He turned around and walked into the living room. I caught him and asked him what exactly he was doing. "Going, sitting." "Oh, to think about it?" And then we had our discussion of using the words instead of just going and doing.

He makes sense to me, at least.

Someday after he forgives me for writing all this stuff down, I think he may be pleased to have such a complete record of my viewpoint of these bits of his childhood. I think that I should like to hear what Mama had to say about my development. It could save me frustration on my own, if I were able to compare her memories and mine, because I can remember some of it from the inside.