May 16th, 2004

grammar bitch


Evidently my late-night bitchy call to the 800 number of the business running the grammatically offensive ad paid off. The ad has been changed, and no longer makes my eyes bleed.
  • Current Mood
    satisfied satisfied
loud fayoumis

Yikes! CAT!

So I was sitting here peacefully at my computer, and eris_raven was perched on the windowsill, when suddenly:


...a thump and the polyphonic screech of fingernails on glass at the window. eris_raven crashed out through the blinds, then poked her head back up to see what was going on.

I raised the blinds to see what was going on. Nothing, evidently. I went around to the living room, and saw the fluffy dark cat (black with rusty splotches) who's been hanging around, and evidently is cared for by the Yelly Lady or the caretakers or both. I chivvied Eris into the room, and then slightly regretted it -- we got a full-on cat fight through the glass. There was yowling, and hissing, and I got to see my cat's tail triple in size. Eventually, she slunk off, ears back, growling.
grammar bitch

Grammar Bitch History

The thing with me and grammar/proper usage is that I was raised that way. FatherSir went out of his way to speak correctly around swallowtayle and me, and insisted that others do so as well. Until I was perhaps four or five, he attempted to ban the word "Yeah" in the household, and insisted on "Yes" instead.

I was not raised knowing the names of the grammatical rules that I was following, but I followed them. In school, we were not taught the names of the rules that I remember, and in any case, I didn't feel that I needed to know the names of the rules that I already knew. My elementary school had many grammar lessons in the form of "Find what is wrong with this sentence." I aced it, and must have resembled Hermione Granger with the hand-waggling and "Oooh, pick me!"

I aced the ITBS grammar sections at 99th percentile or similar in fourth through sixth grade, and came out of the SATs with a respectable 640 (I think -- I got a 1070 all told, and I was lower in maths, with a 430 IIRC) in the seventh grade. (And this was when the SAT scores were not readjusted to account for the lower scores that students had been pulling. My ex's ex-stepdad had come out of the SATs in high school and felt he had done well with a lower score than I had gotten five years younger and felt I hadn't performed up to specs.)

There was nothing new taught of grammar in high school. We were never given the names of the rules. We were expected to already know this stuff, and when we didn't, we were given a quick "Don't do it like this, you idiots!" summary before charging on to the formulation of an essay, how to write an argument and support it, how to research, and how to understand literature.

I think it sad that my college teachers in English 101 had to spend two weeks re-inventing the wheel at the beginning of the term, covering the grammatical concepts that I'd mastered by the 7th grade.

I don't know the names of the rules, and I couldn't tell you what subjective or objective case is, much less diagram the parts of a sentence any more. (We did learn, in the third grade, about the parts of a sentence, but most of those have left my brain because I didn't find them important enough to hang on to when I already knew most of what was going on without the labels on the anatomy.) But when some of the rules are violated, my eyes bleed, and then I take that out on the rest of the class.

Fuck, double fuck, cluster fuck, impeachment, and the role of the civillian in the military

Fuck. (Torture.)
Double fuck. (Bush's approval for same. CIA backing off with their noses held.)



It hit me, when I was watching A Few Good Men at the plasma place the other day, what the role of civilian/noncombatant in the military control structure is. It's the role of the military to fight for those who cannot or will not fight for themselves. That's what they do. They're very good at it, as they should be. This was pointed out, very keenly, at the end of the movie. One of the Marines told the other one that they had failed, because their assignment was to protect those who could not fight up to standard, and by accidentally killing their comrade, who could not fight up to standard, they had failed in this. And I started thinking, as I walked towards the bus stop, of how such a relationship is rarely one-sided. If the military has an obligation towards non-combatants, then those who are protected have an obligation to their protectors.

It is the job of the military to be given a simple assignment by their leaders (such as, "Keep our nation safe," or "Rescue this country from its poor leadership structure and let them govern themselves after the former leaders have been removed in such a way as to make them not come back") and carry it out. It is their job to plan the details of carrying it out, because they are the experts in the field of carrying things out, even if it includes violence, bloodshed, and death (theirs, or that of others). They are told what they need to accomplish, and judge what they need to do to accomplish their objectives. They fight for those who cannot defend themselves.

It is the job of the civilian to support the military in return for the protection, and to keep an eye on the military and agree to be protected, and to help point out things that they'd like to be protected from. It is also the duty of the civilian to look at the military and say, "If protection means stomaching this particular atrocity, then maybe I don't want to be protected."

I would compare it to a doctor and a patient, and heroic medical measures. At some point, the patient has the right to say, "That's enough. Let me live, or let me die, but that's enough." There's such a thing as dignity in illness and death, and there is supposed to be honor as well as horror in war. (I'm a sentimental sop whose only experience with war has been through fiction or the tales of others.) I feel that when someone is exposed to the horror of war, what keeps them human is the thought that they are doing this to hold safe the people and things they treasure, and if they're deprived of a tangible human reason for committing acts of violence and murder, then they become less than human, and the recovery from that is difficult to impossible.

If we had to choose again, would we give consent to dropping the bomb at Hiroshima? The thought of being put in that ethical corner buggers the imagination and raises all the hair on my body. But it's questions like that which should be the concern of every noncombatant. What could have happened had the Allies not done that? What could have happened if the opposition had won?

As civilians, we must give our consent to putting our beloved military people into a situation. Is the ultimate goal worth the degradation of our men and women? Where do we draw the line? By training men and women to offer controlled violence and instant obedience, we have lowered their resistance to the thought of offering violence to any given situation. If we don't wish violence, we must order it to not happen. And if they cannot accomplish an objective we have set them without violence, it is their responsibility to point out the conflict in the orders and have it resolved.

In order for us to live with ourselves, in order for them to live with themselves, in order for them to live with us, we must examine carefully the need for violence, and what level of violence we are willing to stomach, and check to see where instead other methods might work. If they provide the brawn and the brain, we must be the conscience and their heart.
  • Current Mood
_schools120835, IRL, professional, Naomi, _schools3485

Cleaning Day

Sick days, when I'm alert enough to do things around the house, but not energetic enough to work, or with not enough stamina to work, are cleaning days.

Today, I tackle the small mountain of papers in That Ugly Thing (the green wicker arched shelf on my desk).

Tomorrow, the world. (Actually, I hope to be well enough to emerge tomorrow.)
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
running, bomb tech


Finished Reading Lolita in Tehran. Started up the Amber books again. (I'd previously borrowed BJ's copy, and now I have a copy of my own thanks to the bookstore raid last night.)

As I'd suspected when I put down Reading Lolita in Tehran about a month ago, I was already overwrought when I started reading it, and being plunged into a very dark religious regime in place without the consent of too many of the people was not what I needed to be reading at just that time. Today, without feeling pre-existingly weepy and as if the world were about to end, I was able to read through Dr. Nafisi's withdrawl from the world into her reading group, and see her safely out of the country.

I see the slippery slope in so many of these stories. I see how the US is teetering on the edge of it, though it may not seem so to others inside, or to outsiders. And ... my loyalties are perhaps misplaced. Fuck the loyalty oaths that I recited as a child, I'm getting out of here sane.
documentation, writing, quill

Transcribed from looseleaf: random notes on Heart of Darkness

Women's connection to / disconnection from reality in the book
The natives on the boat and their inherent civility
The futility of firing into the bush
Water as a symbol?
The Manager, and his blandness by British terms, concealing an excellence for management -- no precedence but by merit.
wild rose

Unexpected Benefits of Cleaning

I found my pink fairy bag! Whee!

I had lost my pink fairy bag some time ago, in some unknowable shuffling of stuff. I put it down somewhere on my desk or around it, and then it was not where I thought I had put it any more.

My pink fairy bag was made for me by Mama when I was in the first grade. I was a fairy that year, a pink Iron Fan Fairy (I'd watched Journey to the West, you see...) and I had a pink dress, a tiara with veil, a fan (of course) and a little bag to put things in. I was so cute.

When I hit college for the first, disasterous time in 1998/99, I decided on a very silly Mission. April Fool's Day 1999, I would plaster my entire dorm with a silly fortune-cookie style saying on every single door. I collected them, printed them out, cut them up, and put them in my pink fairy bag. All the statements were nonsensical. I had tape, my fortunes, and a whole load of silliness.

I carried out my mission, but still had some left over. I hung onto them, and eventually put more in. I added some other things, and I had a glamourbombing kit!

It was lost, but it has now been found. Hooray!

Random notes from Erbe's class back in 2001

All this rigamarole is to trick the computer into doing substitution/elimination, which you do easily.

So what relevance is it to know this incomprehensible garbage?

If you are programming a computer to do it -- he's showing how the computer does it.

If the computer does it, why do we need to know? And I'm saying too -- I have no clue how I'd be able to explain the procedure to anyone, let alone a computer.

Programmers work w/ it and love it. He hates it.

You don't ever have to deal with this crap unless you are dealing with a programmer.

Programmers make more sense than this.

He's a teacher.

In short, it's magic and he learned the words by rote and he's mispronouncing half of them and the gods have been pleased to grant his plea anyway.

What's rote?]

Rote learning = examples -- multiplication tables, certain definitions, anything you memorize and rattle off and then they ask "What the hell did you say?" and they rattle off the same thing again.
6x6 = 36
6x5 = 30
5x6 = 30
You know it, but it's just stored in your head and you have no real clue what it means.
  • Current Music
    Face The Phase - Face The Phase Part II (D I G I T A L L Y - I M P O R T E D - EuroDance & HiNRG - F
exhausted, tired, Azzsleep

At the end of the evening...

We have, now:

  • One Lunatic, still ill, but far less congested thanks to the good offices of a shower, some decongestants, a cup of salt water, and a funnel

  • One under-desk space, which is hellaciously much cleaner than it had been

  • Several binders with filtered contents

  • A diminished pile on the shelf by the door

  • Two grocery bags full of papers and crap thrown out, and a third 3/4 of the way full and still not thrown out yet

  • One cat, annoyed that she's locked in the room for the night

  • One "Wings Day" not participated in because I haven't any wings yet

  • Two pens, found

  • One pink fairy bag full of equipment for phoenixglambomb

  • One installation of Winamp playing perky techno

  • Countless instances of nostalgia over some pretty funky stuff

  • One case of the [haven't seen] Darkside [in nearly five months] Blues

  • A formerly half-full single-serving bottle of blackberry wine cooler in the trash can

  • The case of "I wouldn't eat that if I were you" (brought to me by the wrong combination of weird food items on a near-empty stomach) and the resulting follow-up case of "I told you so!" (brought to me by the rest of the digestive system) winding down for the night

  • A binder now labeled "TFM", with plenty of plastic pockets to store the documentation on all the instances of consumer electronics and other things that come with TFM in the household

  • The Lunatic's total exhaustion

  • Current Music
    Monte97 & Geno - Thinking of you (Dream Remix) (D I G I T A L L Y - I M P O R T E D - EuroDance & Hi
loud fayoumis

That's the question, isn't it...

When did I stop drawing on a regular basis? Was it when I quit Hell back in '02, or sooner? My old journals and notes are full of amusing little sketches.
  • Current Music
    Vertigo - Twilight Zone (D I G I T A L L Y - I M P O R T E D - EuroDance & HiNRG - Finest imported c


I want to replace my shower curtain.
We need to replace the printer.
I probably should replace my razor handle if I want to actually be able to use it.
  • Current Mood
    Sleep? What's that?