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September 10th, 2012


08:31 pm - Emigration
Right, so I'm not here anymore. I got annoyed with lj, for reasons explained in the entry before this one. I'm doing basically the same thing over at dreamwidth:

rinue.dreamwidth.org

I still comment from lj, and if I friend you on lj, it's a pretty safe bet I've also given you friend access on dw if you log in there using your lj ID (through Open ID).

Other places you can find me on the web:

photoblog: rinue.tumblr.com
portfolio of my films and published writings: romiesays.tumblr.com

And on Pinterest I mostly keep links to recipes that seem interesting and photographs that are good to use as jumping off points for film/writing ideas.

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June 2nd, 2010


11:48 pm
Still in the process of digging in over at Dreamwidth. It's not fancy, but they're not jerks and it's built on the same code as lj, so I could port everything over easily. I'll delete old entries here when I get around to it. I am still following my friends page. You should be able to get my entries through an rss feed, and you can comment through open id -- which means that if you're logged in via lj, it should confirm you're you when you leave comments and should also let you see any protected entries.

If you similarly want to move over to dreamwidth given the general fuckery that's been going on with lj, there is a pretty good faq on how to do it. The ease of this is one of the main reasons I went with Dreamwidth instead of some other site. Also, I'm utopian early-internet enough to like what they say about open source and creative commons in their ethics statements.

In terms of why I'm leaving lj, basically, I signed on when it was a different site with a different business model. To go way way way back, I started a blog that no longer exists back when you coded everything yourself and had to know basic html and get some web real estate from your university or something. It was a pain in the ass to find other bloggers, because you pretty much had to link to their sites directly then. And then people started forming lists and rings and stuff -- remember all that? (This was before rss feeds.) So lj was pretty familiar when I ran across it, with the difference that I could view everybody else's blog from the same place and impose nice filters without everybody having to remember a seperate password for my stuff. I joined up and have been writing here for almost ten years, sometimes as a paid user and sometimes as a free user.

The way the original business model works is this: users create value. However much time your staff spends coding stuff, the real attraction is the bloggers. What lj has over other blog sites is the friend tools -- the social networking, bbs side of things mashed up with the blogs. That's not interesting unless the site has other people you want to talk to. You have to accumulate a volume of those people, which means letting them in for free. It's like "ladies get in free" at bars, only less sexist. You get to blog for free. In exchange, they get you to blog with them for free. You are the value of the site, and you attract other users, some of whom will pay for things. The blog site incurs certain costs by having you, what with server traffic and some sysadmins, but in the end we collectively put in many many more hours than they do, and we also pay for the site in the sense that we pay to have internet access to get to the site.

There are pretty much three ways for a blog site to recoup their server costs, etc. One way is by offering some kind of premium service. (You can't charge a subscription fee to all bloggers, or you lose the sheer volume of posts which is the reason people sign up -- you lose a lot of your content generators who would attract the paid users.) Another is by soliciting donations or selling logo merchandise, which again will come from only a percentage of your users. The final way is by placing ads on everyone's blog, which is dicey if you plan to use either of the other two strategies, because ads lower the value and "class" of the blog site, much in the way of power lines strung next to a house, or a flashing neon sign on the front of a hotel.

LJ started with a combination of methods one and two -- because let's face it, being a paid user doesn't really get you that much, and you pay orders of magnitude more for it than it costs the site to host you. You're doing it out of goodwill for the site. It is like donating to a public radio station.

Then lj got new owners and the new owners got greedy and started "monetizing" any way they could. They slapped ads on everything. They slapped interrupt ads on everything. They gave you ways to not have ads -- like being a paid user -- but they cheated and put ads on your site anyway; they just don't show them to you when you're logged in. They hijacked links to other sites like Amazon and replaced your tags with theirs. They started letting third parties put script in their ads that could expose your readers' computers to all kinds of malware. They censored all kinds of crap that wasn't advertizer friendly.

In other words, they started acting like we don't have any worth. When I came to lj, I gave up control over things like my layout and whether I placed my own ads. I did this because lj added value. LJ has stopped adding value. It's worse every month. I don't like to point people to my journal anymore. The value that's still here is my friends, whose stuff I like to read. And lj is acting like my friends are worthless, like it's okay to graffiti all over their crap. And LJ is acting like I should be grateful to them to get to spend hours creating content for them because oh, they pay for servers.

Only I can go plenty of places that don't pull that shit. Ergo, it must not be essential to pull that shit. The only monopoly LJ has is of the content that is on LJ, which is not produced by LJ. And they're not going to have mine any more.

If this leaves you in any doubt of how I feel about facebook, know that I'm about to pull all my content there as well, except for basic contact info. Once you make it too obvious that I am the proletariat and you are making me jump through hoops because you control the means of production, you can pretty much draw a straight line to my reaction. This goes well beyond the internet. Shit needs to be pulled down. No more buying up good companies and stripping out the assets for short term gains. No more fees for people who submit to film festivals, music festivals, and magazines. No more musicians working for tips at bars with shitty sound systems who don't bother to advertize. If you're not adding something you don't get to walk off with the money. Not any more.
Current Mood: angryreally deeply angry

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May 26th, 2010


04:46 pm - Service Announcement
Note to lj: If you're going to put ads on my journal without my permission - after I specifically opted out - I get a cut of the revenue. Fuck you for free riding my skilled labor. You don't get to draw a salary for my unpaid work and then deface it. My writing has value. Your irresponsible curating doesn't. Fuck you.

I'm over at dreamdwidth - specifically at rinue.dreamwidth.org. I'm still moving in over there, but I won't be crossposting or leaving this journal up much longer.
Current Mood: angryangry

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May 21st, 2010


06:13 pm - The Little Things
My work contracts with the federal government (hello, CSPAN), so I get a certain number of federal holidays each year. A lot of them are on Mondays, and I don't work on Mondays . . . which means I get to pick a day within a week (either temporal direction) of the federal holiday and declare that my holiday.

Memorial day is May 31, and Ciro's birthday is May 28, so my work now recognizes Ciro's birthday as an official holiday. It says so on my timesheet.
Current Mood: pleasedhee hee pleased

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03:57 pm - Romie, calm down with your recklessness
Wheeeee! I have just eaten a pink cupcake with as much frosting as cupcake, and now I am drinking a cup of coffee to burn off the sugar shakes and very soon I will eat pasta to forestall a complete crash. Also, I forgot to take both my allergy medicine and my vitamin this morning because I got distracted peeling shelf paper off the bathroom cabinets. (I realized I forgot to take my allergy medicine when I got to work and dumped a glass of water on my foot because I was disoriented and forgot how to use the sink I use every day.)

I am wearing a Wonder Woman shirt today. Also, I don't understand why there was shelf paper in the bathroom in the first place. Whoever lived here before us had a fetish for shelf paper, flying completely in the face of both function and aesthetics. These are good sturdy shelves painted with thick layers of high gloss acrylic; they might as well be coated in plastic. (They are coated in plastic. Or, well, a polymer, anyway, which plastic is.)

For dinner, I plan to have a bacon sandwich and some V8, and this pleases me. Ciro is off making a key so that C.Blacker, our soon-arriving guest, shall have one, Schneider* has suggested some awfully good additions to the Hayseeds script, and the shelf paper is roughly the same color as the painted wood, but yellowed, and it's stained and peeling and usually damp. What is the point of shelf paper that is messier and more disorganized than the original surface, which incidentally does not need special protection and which you are not decorating with the shelf paper? I need to make some kind of PSA about this.

* Director of Photography.
Current Mood: hypercartoony

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May 20th, 2010


10:24 pm - Cupcakes!
Ciro brought home cupcakes -- a thank you for being in a low-budget horror film -- and despite my usual dislike of cupcakes, and especially heavily-frosted cupcakes, I have had to be physically restrained from eating all of them immediately.* I brought one to work with me and it did not survive more than 10 minutes after I arrived at work. I considered driving home during my lunch break to eat the rest of them, but Ciro was there and would probably have barricaded the door. He has threatened to hide them so I don't spoil my dinner again, but the apartment is small and I will find them.

I forgot to mention that I finished reading Little, Big while on vacation. The overall plot was dissatisfying, to the extent that the author forgot a major character and everyone else's endings were essentially random, but to a certain extent that isn't really important since the book was more a rambling excuse to follow several generations of a family's history -- a kinder Gormenghast, or a more urban and mixed gender Lonesome Dove. Other quibbles: it is a genre book that uses metaphor, which means it is sometimes hard to follow, and some characters and plots are notably more interesting than others, which makes for slow reading. However, I'd still recommend it because it is one of the few fantasy books that is also literature (with striking observations about marriage, family, and the human condition), and one of the few urban fantasies that doesn't feel horribly dated.

Cupcakes!

* I am sure that eating all of these cupcakes in one go would be fine and would not make me throw up or pass out or start weeping, and probably they also have all the vitamins I need.
Current Mood: bouncycupcakes?

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May 19th, 2010


07:02 pm - Whirlwind Summary
Back in Dallas and back at work, which involves an exhausting amount of timekilling. There is very little that wears me out as much as having to sit and do nothing in a windowless room with screens in it. Hence solitary confinement, presumably. (My actual work is interesting, but there are large gaps where I rest my voice and wait for the next show. In theory, I should be able to read or write or something, but in practice I sit in an uncomfortable chair with bad lighting and lots of people around. It is less restful than being in a waiting room at a doctor's office.) I've said it before: this job will be fantastic once I can work from home and therefore move around, look out the window, etc.

The last couple of days in NM, we sort of threw together everything we could fit in, so Sunday we took a long and beautiful drive up to Bandolier National Park to hike around and scale cliff faces and visit various archaeological sites. (Critically, we also ate a large amount of speciality trail mix, courtesy of Val, which included bunny-shaped animal crackers.) Then it was over to Santa Fe to dash around looking at buildings, pottery, and jewelry for a couple of hours, and to completely fail to find a place to eat that was open on Sunday after 5. We got home, decided we were too tired to eat, and pretty much fell over.

Monday started with a shower to get tree pollen out of my hair (thanks to the oversexed trees of Bandolier), and breakfast with Lady J, another Dallas friend who recently moved out to NM -- recently enough that I didn't even know she was out there until I was too. (She and Val are probably the two people my age I've known longest who aren't blood relatives. Her parents and my parents went to college together.) After that, Christopher and I ran around town on various errands and totally failed to get gardening soil because of course the place was closed Monday, as was the pastry place. We did buy several records, as there are marvelous record stores all over Albequerque. And we got groceries.

[Item: Blue Bell's new "ice cream and cake" ice cream flavor is disappointing. Rare misstep for Blue Bell. They've also released a peanut butter cup flavor that is just okay. They are trying to be Ben and Jerry's, and they're doing it better than Ben and Jerry's, but I don't like to see them playing catch-up when their original thinking is superior. (Blue Bell: Bring back the Southwestern flavors. And keep the Blackberry Cobbler flavor - it really works.)]

Anyway, Val made caldo and we played Scrabble (and I played the word "uprooted," which come on is impressive) and drove out to look at stars and drove back to watch a movie, and in the morning I scraped ugly decals off windows (left by the previous owner) and caught my first Southwest Airlines flight (also my first flight out of or into ABQ or Love Field) and it was by far the nicest flight I've had since 2000. Thank god there is still some sanity at an airline somewhere, even if just the one. Christopher provided me with a snack and a book about comic books for the trip, so it was very like being bundled off by my mom, which compensated for not being allowed to kidnap the dog, who would certainly have fit in my carry-on.

Ciro met me at the airport and it was very nice to see him. Although we managed to go grocery shopping and look through my pictures once, for the most part we are still very pleased to be in the same room together and there is not much we'd rather do than sit around holding hands.
Current Mood: stressedstressed

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May 15th, 2010


11:39 pm - Feast Day
Today I ate so much my stomach is out to here_______________________]. I started with posole* at a farmer's market (which they call growers' markets here, partly because so many people are selling live plants and not just produce). Then we walked around in the mountains for a bit and I ate some kind of Chinese date variation that tastes like condensed milk. After that, of course, it was time for lunch, which featured both chili cheese fries (green and red chili**), and stuffed sopapillas (which they serve unsugared here and use more freely - sort of like beignets crossed with gorditas), and for desert more sopapillas.

From there, it was a brisk drive to the stationery store and an art gallery, which were across the street from a record store and gelateria (one scoop lavender and one thai basil coconut - I like the botanicals). At that point, I had been eating steadily for perhaps eight hours, which meant it was time to go home and take care of the dog. And have salad (with radishes and white balsamic) and a beer (wheat and elderflower, from a local brewery).

For the record, I also weeded another section of the backyard and ran an 11 minute mile barefoot, but really this was not a focus of the day and was pretty much an attempt to stop myself dropping into a food coma, which I shall now drop into.

* A soup made from hominy (soaked/hulled corn), chilies, and meat (usually pork). Found in Texas, Mexico, and New Mexico, with regional variations. Apparently pre-Columbian in origin and in that time sometimes eaten ritually with people as the meat. Although purchased in New Mexico, the posole consumed by me was pretty much Texas style; in other words, it did not feature green chilies, which are seemingly requisite for all New Mexican dishes (which ideally will also feature pinon, a particular kind of roasted pine nut). Which I like - don't get me wrong.

** As mentioned in prior footnote, green chile. There is also red chile, which is a salsa that uses roasted ingredients (or that's how it tastes to me). You can often order things with red or green chili or half and half, which is obviously the way to go as far as I'm concerned.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

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12:39 am - Filigree
Very tired. Thankfully, a surfeit of medication seems to have had an effect and so far my mosquito bites are fading quickly. I continue a pharmacological assault because damnit medical science must be a worthy opponent of mosquitoes or what are we all doing?

Today was bustling but not connected enough to make a worthwhile story - in and out of various stores buying birdseed and coffee and curtain rods. I helped Val find the office of her new doctor, and we dropped off (and picked up) library books from a building with stunning views of cliffs and mountains. I would have trouble reading there unless I found a corner without windows. There was a gallery full of amateur art - all the kind you can hang on walls - and it bore out my general suspicion that if it's acrylic on pre-treated canvas it's probably bad. (An exception is the work of my neighbor Andrea, which is part of why I'm impressed by it.) I don't know why - whether it's the preferred medium of people with limited skills and means, or whether it's to do with the way flat acrylic takes on the nubbly texture of the canvas so that it looks like a giclee print. There were some more interesting works, but they were all in other media.

Ciro has not been chosen for the DMA curatorial internship, which was expected but hoped against. (I am told that because of the shortage of stipended internships, even the undergrad slots tend to go to grad students, which I think if true is a little unethical of the museum, however well meaning. If you're creating an undergrad internship, keep it undergrad. There are reasons for those.) At least he got the news on a day with something else good in it - he spent the day as an extra on the set of some drama set in the "Italian section of Dallas" (which does not exist). He was the only Italian on set, from what I understand. Set - the Italian side of town - was Deep Ellum, which the more informed of you might recognize as a historically black neighborhood (although long gentrified) which housed any number of jazz and blues clubs and hosted luminaries like Blind Lemon Jefferson. Any more, due to some stupid development choices by the city, it's mainly tattoo parlors. And a pizza place, which equals the Italian side of Dallas. (According to the X-Files movie, of course, we have mountains. It's nice how versatile we are.)

In any case, this means that we're footloose again, pending soon-promised changes at my job and Ciro's graduation at the end of summer. (And the film shoot in August.) It remains to be seen whether one of us will be offered something that pushes us in a direction.
Current Mood: groggygroggy

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May 13th, 2010


10:37 pm - I genuinely advocate for a return to aggressive use of DDT
Woke up this morning and ran a somewhat respectable 12.5 minute mile. (Somewhat respectable because of the altitude and because I'm a mildly asthmatic Dance Dance player rather than a runner. Which means among other things I go for wind sprints.) This was my first time running barefoot, and I gotta say I really prefer it (presuming a safe surface).

Christopher and I walked through the mountains and saw many wonderful things, a few of which I have photographed but none of which are yet uploaded. Hardest to photograph but most remarkable were the lights in the sky - near 11am, for maybe a minute and a half, there were six clouds striped in rainbow colors, as though Halloween smoke bombs had been set off in the sky. It did not seem caused by nature at all, although it was, and it was like nothing either of us had ever seen. On the way back to the car, we received confirmation that dogs are superior to breadcrumbs; Koko, a small and not terribly rugged pomeranian, had marked every juncture of the path and had no trouble following his own smell to guide us.

Christopher and my new scheme (we scheme on these walks, and Val is working and therefore not around to stop us) is to move beyond ninjas, gypsies, zombies, vampires, and pirates and to begin to self-identify as bandits. Possibly we will wear bandit masks, like El Zorro. Possibly we will sometimes claim to be brigands rather than bandits. Either way we intend to be skulduggerous. In other words consider this notice that bandits are now on trend.

I spent a pleasant few hours weeding the yard while eating blackberries and galia melon (which I correctly surmised was a cross of honeydew and cantaloupe, just from the smell), and Val and I headed to the river to watch the sunset.

There are basically no mosquitos in New Mexico. Christopher lived here more than seven years, is outdoors constantly, and saw a group of them once. In four months here, Sharon has seen (and killed) two that looked lost. A swarm showed up today and bit me 11 times in a few minutes, some through my clothes. I have singlehandedly sustained the entire mosquito population of New Mexico.

Since I don't have my special cream with me (figuring there were not mosquitos in New Mexico, a major selling point), Val has dosed me with steroids and Benadryl, such that I am now both covered with welts and slightly loopy. The best description of how I feel is "glrrrrrrrrrr." (Note to self: always bring special cream. You have been bitten by mosquitos in the dead of winter with three feet of snow on the ground. You are Romie, and they will find you.)

I shall have a lie down soon, but I must stay focused for now so that I may partake of tea and cookies.
Current Location: Rio Rancho, NM
Current Mood: groggygroggy

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