Tuesday, September 30, 2008


They have a new poster:

... That about says it all, actually. lol

In case you can't read it:

Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Research Paper: The Death Penalty

((( 10/20 update )))

Finished paper. Received B in class. What did I learn here? BATTLE THE DAMNED PROCRASTINATION. Srsly.

I wasn't originally going to post this, but I think I will in order to show you all that literary genius does not come easily and is sometimes very painful.

No, I did not just call myself a literary genius. This is me (holds up one hand), this is the road to literary genius/success/whatever (holds up other hand), and this is me on the journey to that place of magical rainbow pooping and riches brought forth by the sheer power of my awesomeness (holds hands as far apart as they can go).

I'm trying. Right now I'm currently working on another paper and blogging about it, too. (Link will come when post is done.) Why blog? Doesn't that take more time than just writing the damned paper?

Yes, yes it does. But the real question is, does it help?

YES. YES IT DOES. Apparently I'm one of those people that needs to talk through things with other people in order to psych myself out of a complete anxiety attack brought on by sheer stress and "OMG I'm going to fail." So here I am talking to you, the reader, and educating you whilst helping myself.

Read on if you dare.

(((Originally started 09/29 10pm-ish)))

Okay, so, I'm doing my paper on the Death Penalty. (It's for my ethics class, in case you couldn't tell.) It's a 5-7 page philosophical research paper with x amount of minimum sources, one source has to be a Journal, etc etc. I'm writing to you guys right now because I'm having an extreme case of anxiety-induced writer's block and damn it all to hell I need some sort of outlet, so here I am.

Alright, the research paper... I was going to take the stance that the Death Penalty is immoral even if justifiable, which at the onset sounded okay until I realized I needed a bunch of scholarly sources to back up my stance. Yes, alright, I could have picked something easier, but off to the online library I go. I search and search and search and YAY! I has sources. Now I just got to look through these puppies and...

... amigahd, there's too much info. I don't know what to include! Or leave out, for that matter. More than that, I don't know what possible counter-arguments to anticipate and address that I can accurately refute in order to make my stance stronger (yes, this is a requirement of the paper). This is my first friggin' research paper in 6 years I don't know how to organize it or if my thesis is okay or did I even pick the right topic and oh god she's going to give me an F I just know it /hyperventilate

Stop! Wait. Slow down.

...I am making this to hard, I am making this too hard, I am making this too hard...

Chant it, become one with it, make it your motto in life. Get your fluffy bunny butt in gear. It is not as hard as you think it is.

/try to twist self into meditative mode
/fail due to current position in a foldy chair
/try to at least relax shoulders
/fail at shoulder relaxing
/give up and continue to blog

Well, what do I have, then? Sources. Let me see... where is... ah! Here we go:

European Union Policy. (2004, February). International Debates, Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

****lookit, the email puts it in APA format for me!****

-- "Furthermore, [the United States] is permitted to sentence to death and execute young offenders under age 18 at the time of the commission of the crime, in clear infringement of internationally recognized human rights norms." (p 43)
-- "Although [EU] member states' experiences in abolition varied in time, they shared common ground -- that of the inhumane, unnecessary, and irreversible character of capital punishment, no matter how cruel the crime committed by the offender." (p 43)
-- "... for the European governments the death penalty as a means of state punishment rapidly revealed itself as a denial of human dignity.... At the same time, there is insufficient justification on either criminal or criminological grounds for maintaining such a punishment." (p 43)
-- "... it is scientifically undemonstrated that the death penalty and its application deter criminality any more effectively than other forms of punishment. Indeed, crime rate and the death penalty are independent realities, capital punishment and its execution failing to have a deterrent effect and thus to produce less violent societies." (p 43)
-- "... maintaining capital punishment would not fit the philosophy of rehabilitation pursued in the criminal justice systems of all EU member states and... is that of the rehabilitating or resocializing the offender." (p 43)
-- "... capital punishment should not be seen as an appropriate way of compensating the suffering of crime victims' families, as this view turns the justice system into a mere tool of illegitimate private vengeance."(p 43)
-- "Even highly advanced legal systems, which rest upon the principle of the fule of law, including the principle of due process, are not immune to miscarriages of justice. That irreversibility removes any possibility of correcting such miscarriages of justice, allowing for the execution of innocent people." (p 44)

Revenge begins to seem less sweet. (2007, September). Economist, Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

-- "Twelve [states] have no death penalty on their statute books. Of the 38 that do, some apply it often, some never. Texas has executed 401 people since 1976, the entire north-eastern region only four. By and large, the way the penalty is applied mirrors local preferences."
-- "Before the 1990s, juries used to worry that if they did not send the man in the dock to his death, he would be freed to kill again after a decade or two. Now nearly every state allows the option of life without parole (Texas introduced it only in 2005)."
-- Americans used to support the death penalty because of deterrence, religious conviction, and taxes (because it used to be more expensive to house inmates for life than kill them, and no one wanted their tax money to be spent on the "outrageous cost" of life imprisonment).
-- "It is now far more expensive to execute someone than to jail him for life; in North Carolina, for instance, each capital case costs $2m more. Ordinary inmates need only to be fed and guarded. Those on death row must have lawyers arguing expensively about their fate, sometimes for a decade or more."
-- "If you find you have jailed the wrong man, you can free and compensate him. If you have executed him, however, it is too late."
-- "Since 1973, 124 Americans have been released from death row because of doubts about their guilt; and of the 7,662 sentenced to death between 1973 and 2005, 2,190 had their sentence or conviction overturned. But in no case has it been legally proven--for example, with DNA evidence--that an innocent person has been executed. Mr Grant says it simply does not happen. 'The fact that some people are released from death row is proof that the safeguards work,' he says."
-- "The chance of being executed in America is so remote that it cannot plausibly be a significant deterrent, argues Steven Levitt, of the University of Chicago. Even if you are on death row--a fate over 99% of murderers escape--the chance of being put to death in any given year is only about 2%. Members of a crack gang studied by one of Mr Levitt's colleagues had a 7%-a-year chance of being murdered. For them, death row would be safer than the street."
-- "Mr Morton discovered that over 30% of murders in America are unsolved, like his son's. He found out, too, that the states spend millions of dollars putting a handful of murderers to death while detection is under-financed and thousands of murderers walk free. ... Anyone close to a murder victim 'wants the son of a bitch who did it to die,' he says. 'But you've got to catch the son of a bitch. That's more important.'

Hicks, E. (2007, Spring2007). Will New Jersey Ban Capital Punishment?. Human Rights: Journal of the Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities, 34(2), 1-2. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

-- "...we heard testimony from exonerees who served disturbingly long sentences in New Jersey prisons for crimes they did not commit... Their testimony, and our appreciation of what has happened nationally, as more than 115 innocent inmates have been released from death row, led us to conclude that the penological interest in executing a small number of persons guilty of murder does not justify the risk of making an irreversible mistake."
-- "We cited the testimony of a father, Lorry Post, who, like me, lost his daughter to murder. Post testified that the death penalty 'drains resources and creates a false sense of justice.' ... Importantly, many of the surviving family members supported the death penalty in concept, but recognized that it failed to help victims in practice."
-- "The attorney general, who in court has defended our state's administration of the death penalty, stated that 'we would not be honest with victims or the general public if we ignored the practical realities of our capital sentencing scheme' by, among other things, subjecting 'the families of homicide victims to protracted emotional grief and frustration' and 'forcing them to endure decades of litigation in pursuit of a sanction not likely to occur.'"

1AM UPDATE: I started this post at about 10pm. Why, then, is it now 1am and I haven't gone much further than 3 sources? Okay, yes, I browsed a few blogs for like... 30 minutes. Maybe an hour. But that still means it took me almost two hours to formulate the first half of this blog post, including the reading of about 6 pages worth of material and the time it took me to type the notes. I am so slow when my only motivation is deadline stress and fear of failure, though I don't tend give myself enough time to avoid said stress. Clearly I need to fix this sort of self-defeating behavior, especially if I intend to be published someday. Though my other problem is now lack of sleep and therefore lack of focus... so I will seek out about 3 hours of sleep and get my procrastinating butt back here. If I'm late, you'll know what happened.

1:15 AM UPDATE: Just spent 15 minutes proof-reading and formatting this post. Mystery of time-wasting partially solved. Off to bed for real this time...

((( 09/30 )))

6:15 AM UPDATE: Heard alarm. Hit sleep once. Turned it off after that. Sooooooooo tired. Forgot to put laundry in the dryer. Got to go to work soon. Is it Friday yet? Maybe my boss will let me go home early.

Radelet, M., & Borg, M. (2000, August). THE CHANGING NATURE OF DEATH PENALTY DEBATES. Annual Review of Sociology, 26(1), 43. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

-- "However, over the last two decades more and more scholars and citizens have realized that the deterrent effect of a punishment is not a consistent direct effect of its severity--after a while, increases in a punishment's severity have decreasing incremental deterrent effects, so that eventually any increase in severity will no longer matter. If one wishes to deter another from leaning on a stove, medium heat works just as well as high heat." (p 45)
-- "Overall, the vast majority of deterrence studies have failed to support the hypothesis that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent to criminal homicides than long imprisonment." (p 45)
-- "There is widespread agreement among both criminologists and law enforcement officials that capital punishment has little curbing effect on homicide rates that is superior to long-term imprisonment." (p 45)
-- It was believed if a murderer was not executed he would eventually be free to kill again (due to no existing long-term imprisonment without parole). "Arguably, today's more sophisticated prisons and the virtual elimination of parole have reduced the risks of repeat homicide even further." (p 46)
-- "Another segment of the population realizes that life without parole is an alternative to the death penalty, but in spite of this, believe that future political leaders or judges will find ways to release life-sentenced inmates. It is a paradoxical position: Such citizens support giving the government the ultimate power to take the lives of its citizens but do so because of distrust of these same governments and/or the perception of governmental incompetency." (p 47)
-- Racial bias in regards to the defendant is not as noticeable as racial bias in regards to the victim, though both exist. (p 47, 48)
-- "Two decades ago, some citizens and political leaders supported the death penalty as a way of avoiding the financial burdens of housing inmates for life or long prison terms. ... Since then, however, research has firmly established that a modern death penalty system costs several times more than an alternative system in which the maximum ciminal punishment is life imprisonment without parole." Includes initial court costs plus appeals. (p 50)
-- "Absent the death penalty, its critics argue, states would have more resources to devote to the ends the death penalty is allegedly designed to pursue, such as reducing high rates of criminal violence or rendering effective aid to families of homicide victims. Those in favor of capital punishment, however, would argue that its retributive benefits are worth the costs." (p 50)
-- "Death penalty retentionists now admit that as long as we use the death penalty, innocent defendants will occasionally be executed. Until a decade ago, the pro-death penalty literature took the position that such blunders were historical oddities and could never be committed in modern times. Today the argument is not over the existence or even the inevitability of such errors, but whether the alleged benefits of the death penalty outweigh these uncontested liabilities." (p 50)
-- "Retributive arguments are often made in the name of families of homicide victims, who are depicted as 'needing' or otherwise benefitting from the retributive satisfaction that the death penalty promises." (p 52)
-- "... the death penalty offers much less to families of homicide victims than it first appears. For example, by diverting vast resources into death penalty cases--a small proportion of all homicide cases--the state has fewer resources for families of noncapital homicide victims and for more effective assistance for families of all homicide victims." (p 53)
-- "Or, one could argue that the death penalty serves to keep the case open for many years before the execution actually occurs, often through resentences or retrials, continuously preventing the wounds of the family of the victim from healing." (p 53)
-- "...we are aware of no research specifically studying the short-term and long-term effects of the execution of a killer on the family of the homicide victim, or on the family of the executed inmate." (p 53)

Kaveny, C. (2008, February 15). Justice or Vengeance. Commonweal, 135(3), 9-9. Retrieved September 30, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

-- "...retributive justice aims to restore balance to the community by imposing a cool, measured, and fair punishment on the transgressor."
-- "A punishment that is both cruel and unusual doesn't further retributive justice. It does, however, advance two other objectives that are frequently confused with retributive justice: private revenge and social control through deterrence."
-- "It has taken humanity a long time to uncouple justice from vengeance. Biblical scholars remind us that the lex talionis was intended to be a limitation on punishment, not a call for greater harshness: only an eye for an eye, only a tooth for a tooth."
-- "From a moral perspective, the real question isn't whether the Eighth Amendment prohibits methods of execution that impose 'unnecessary risk' of severe pain, or merely 'a substantial risk' of severe pain. The question is whether the death penalty itself continues to serve the goals of retributive justice, rather than merely vengeance or deterrence."

Marquis, J. (2005, Winter2005). THE MYTH OF INNOCENCE. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 95(2), 501-521. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

-- Marquis challenges the notion of "innocent." He makes a distinction between true innocence, which is "no involvement in the death, wasn't there, didn't do it," and those who were merely exonerated or acquitted. The estimation by abolitionists of about 150 innocents executed, he argues, can be narrowed down to an actual number of about 30.(p 520) Even then, he says, there are some people that while innocent of the crime they may be prosecuted for, it is unlikely they are completely innocent. He gives the example of a man who was attempting an "armed robbery in the same park, at the same time as a drug murder," and witnesses blamed him for the murder rather than the armed robbery. So while he was innocent of the murder, he was in fact committing another crime at that time. (p 517)
-- "Some claim that in a civilized society must be prepared to allow ten guilty men to walk free in order to spare one innocent." Marquis then goes on to note the additional victims of freed criminals who were once on death row, including a man who "did so well in a woman-free environment (prison) that he was released--only to abduct, kill, and dismember women again."

8PM UPDATE: Notes finished (except for textbook citations, which I'm going to ask about later). I hath found a couple of arguments to refute in order to make myself look smarter, so here's hopin' I do a good job. (In case you're curious, they're listed up there in my notes, I just haven't organized it so it's obvious at first read. ... Okay, for some of you it might be obvious. You are, after all, smart(ass) writerly or at least worldly types.) Bottom line, I have renewed vigor. This is good considering it's the last free night I have to work on this and I haven't yet done my homework for the other class.

retribution. (n.d.). WordNet® 3.0. Retrieved September 30, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/retribution

((( 09/31 - Paper due date )))

3:10AM UPDATE: AHMAGAHD I'm done. Except for the intro and conclusion, but give me a break, I'm brain dead.


And so it begins. The pre-event frenzy has hit the internet and writers everywhere are preparing for a month of craziness. Insanity, thy name is NaNoWriMo! Forums are up, swag is on sale, and the plot bunnies have started breeding.

It doesn't actually start until November 1, but many of us get overly-excited thinking about what to write, including me. The rules state that you don't need to plan anything ahead of time. It's encouraged, in fact. But for those of you that like to plan you are allowed to sketch some things in advance as long as you don't actually write any prose.

So, how do we get this ball rolling? You need a character, right? But you can't think of a name. How sad for you. Isn't it great that so many web gurus have set up some name generators just for this purpose?

Seventh Sanctum was built with writers in mind, and they have a full page of name generators that include things like Evil Names, Tavern Names, and Elf Names. Want something more traditional? Try here or here. Maybe you want a Pirate name or a pr0n name or a Mafia name. The list goes on and on... do a google search. You'll get a few million results (and I only wish I was kidding).

So, now you have a name... but you need more than just a name to bring a character to life. Seventh Sanctum once again contains many fun generators for writers. There are random generators for Characters, Quick Story Ideas, a What-if-inator, Villainous Plots, and much more. But what if you're in the middle of your story and you feel there needs to be some sort of plot twist to throw your readers off track? What happens if you start to lose interest in your story? You might want to consider a plot twist generator. Need some advice for your characters? Try this. And be sure to give some love to your Evil Overlord! He needs to be interesting too, you know.

After all of that you can do one of two things: organize, or wing it. I like to wing it, but those of you who prefer a little organization can rest at ease knowing there are plenty of free ideas and programs for you to use. If you like progressively detailed linear outlines try the snowflake method, though it's a paper and pen sort of thing instead of a computer program. If you'd rather have a program, try Spacejock's yWriter. Excellent way to organize and lets you get pretty detailed. Can't stand to be that structured? Try a mind-mapping program instead -- Free Mind. Want to write by the seat of your pants? Sit back and do nothing until November 1! It's that easy!

Also, don't forget to go pick up the official NaNo book, No Plot No Problem. I very highly recommend this book. Each section talks about the different stages of NaNo, and you aren't supposed to read it until you get to that stage (for instance, don't read the part about week 3 during week 1). Excellent book. I'll have to dig it out of a box and have it ready to go for November.

Anyway, I have school work and office work to do, so I gotta go, but I hope some of those links were useful to you (or at least gave you a good laugh!) Ta-ta for now, dah'lings.

Quote of the Day:

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” -- Richard Bach


Friday, September 19, 2008


This be talk like a pirate day, matey! 'Tis worth celebratin'!

What's yer callin'? -- http://www.piratequiz.com/

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Who be yer inner pirate? -- http://www.talklikeapirate.com/ppi.html


Some men and women are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any scalawag who stands between them and unlimited power. You never met a man - or woman - you couldn't eviscerate. You are the definitive Man of Action, the CEO of the Seven Seas, Lee Iacocca in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. You're mission-oriented, and if anyone gets in the way, that's his problem, now isn't? Your buckle was swashed long ago and you have never been so sure of anything as your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off his head if he shows any sign of taking you on or backing down. If one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

Which of Jack Sparrow's facial expressions be yers? -- http://www.quizilla.com/quizzes/711401/which-facial-expression-of-jack-sparrows-are-you

You are his... Foreboding Grin. You are one who is quite predictable, and who loves to appear evil. You like to act insane, as well as enjoy the bloodier things in life. In my opinion, you'd be fun to hang around with!

Where be yer hat?

And yer wooden leg?

And yer booty?

There be pirates on the internets -- http://www.karateparty.org/content/view/419/37/

Some pick up lines
(And eye candy)

To this fine lass:
"Would ye mind if I fired me cannon through your porthole?"

To this here gentleman:
"Impressive cutlass ye got there -- what ye need is a good scabbard!"

Spread the piratey love today, ye scurvey dogs!

Quote of the day:

(Pirates of the Caribbean)
Jack Sparrow: You seem somewhat familiar. Have I threatened you before?


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Teh Sky, It Falls

There's a chatroom I join on a daily basis that contains an eclectic group of guildies from World of Warcraft. One of them, who is normally a night owl and sleeping by now, pops into the chat going "holy shit, did you see the DOW?"

Yes, I saw it. I saw it last year when it did the same thing, too. And still true to last year's prediction, the market is continuing in a general downward trend despite promising ups, and if I remember correctly, we should still see it falling [overall] until sometime in '09 when we'll [I hope] bottom out and start moving in a general up direction.

"Do you have any stocks?" he asks.

No. No, I don't. Not besides my 401k, which is floundering like a fish out of water.

"Well then, you don't have as much reason to panic."

Yeah, and? Even if I did have stocks, this is another case of everyone's panicking making the stock market fall harder than it has to. Yes, I understand the implications of gigantic important banks going under. Yes, I realize it's alarming. Can we do anything about it?


And that was my point. Why panic so much about something we have absolutely no control over? What does it gain people to work themselves into a tizzy and have anxiety attacks because omg teh sky it falls? It does nothing, other than compromise our mental and physical health.

Here's what I told him, and I'm going to re-state it:

It's like this -- you can roll up your sleeves and prepare to take life as it comes, or you can run around like a chicken with your head cut off and be that much worse for it.

Okay, so, the market is on a respirator. I get that. You would have to be blind not to see it. And I'm not saying I don't panic. (Trust me, I panic.) It's just that I get over it faster than most people. Yes, there are a lot of people out there who are losing a lot of money in stocks, and it is very understandable for them to feel borderline mental breakdownish about it (especially if they were banking on those stocks as retirement). But I promise the sun will rise tomorrow, the world will still turn, blah blah yadda yadda. There might be less food on the table, there might be less home to live in (especially if those scientists end up destroying the earth when they start colliding particles in the LHC), but life goes on regardless of what happens in the stock market. Human beings are fighters. Corner us in a desperate situation and by God we'll come out of it victorious, dripping blood, with a proud fist held high in the air. Or we'll at least put up a damned good fight before we go under, but that's not as inspiring as the previous image.

People can be concerned. I have no problem with that. Concern is healthy.

Panic is not.

Quote of the Day:

(Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
The Book: What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Ideas

Whilst sitting here at my computer, at work, neither doing work I get paid for nor the homework I'm supposed to have completed for tonight's class, I started thinking about why it is my creative process has mostly stopped for the year. Literally, a year. I haven't written more than 15k words on anything new. Why?

Passion. Or lack of.

Not passion as in hot, sweaty, omg-love-me passion, but passion like an intense desire to get an idea down in writing. That all consuming feeling of I must write this story. Revisions notwithstanding, I was writing my soul into the Kate novel, because I actually had something to say and felt strong enough about it that it needed to be shared with others. Self discovery and inner strength within the younger generation I felt were issues worthy of addressing.

Though now that I addressed it, I currently can't think of anything else to write.

Oh sure, I imagine some funny or oh shit moments as they relate to a particular scene, but the passion isn't there to flesh out the whole story. I'm missing that reason to write. I mean, I guess not everything has to have a point to it, but I work better when it's there. There is nothing wrong with writing merely to entertain it's just that I can't do it right now. I'm not into it.

Let me use one of my story ideas as an example. I thought up a terrific character (okay, I think she's terrific) for a story I thought I would have pursued by now -- a woman with albinism, able to see raw magic despite the legally blind state of her natural eyesight. She comes across a locket that is the equivalent of a magical nuclear bomb. I even thought up a boyfriend for her -- a Haitian Vodoun, one that isn't intense and spooky but treats his practice as something natural. A hobby, even. I stuck them in the middle of modern downtown Denver for hilarity's sake. (Everyone thinks the boyfriend is Hispanic by way of Mexico, and he is constantly explaining the difference to ignorant locals.)

But while the original idea appealed to me, it just didn't have that spark to keep it going. I look back on the few blurbs I have written with fondness, but there is no passion to flesh out that story.

Then there was last year's NaNoWriMo project. Funny idea -- a woman gets a one day temp assignment to babysit for a prestigious company and finds out the children are anything but normal. I wrote that one to about 50k words and set it aside when NaNo was done, but I haven't gone back to revise it. It's funny, but it's also unfinished, and it had an entirely different purpose than my usual writing. I threw stuff into the word processor as fast as I could just to see what I could come up with. An exercise in creativity. It was fun, but I don't feel a particular urge to go back and finish it or do the revisions. There wasn't really a point to that story either other than the fact that it was entertaining.

Blah. I feel like a writing elitist now. "But what's the point of the story?" So not the attitude I want to have.

I guess I'll contemplate the state of my creative self while thinking up some things for NaNo. Maybe the month of carpal tunnel syndrome will snap me out of my funk. I've got my fingers crossed...

Quote of the Day:

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."
-- Sylvia Plath


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I can has sanity?

I hardly have time to write this blog post, never mind actually pursue a new writing project, or finish my friggin' revisions. (Which are never going to be finished, according to my current work ethic, and GDI why can't I make time for this crap?)

Anyway, just thought I'd pop in to let you all know I'm going offline with much greater frequency now that skool is eating my soul (omg I have so much homework to do!) and everyone and their brother feels that September is the time to slam Teh Sass with visits that interrupt her ability to function on a day to day basis, nevermind the homework or our house which is becoming a landfill within an alarmingly short time period...

Yes, I would like some cheese with my whine. Maybe some hors'deuvres too (I appologize, I can never spell that right). The little crackers and fruit, maybe those cream cheese rolls or whatever those are, though I'll have to pass on the caviar. Not my thing. And now I'm hungry again.


This gets better, right? Right?! /twitch

Quote of the day:

Viktor: Your incompetence is becoming most... *taxing*.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Political Correctness

Think something a candidate said was wrong or misleading (like the title of this post) but you can't prove it?

Actually, you can. And it's even unbiased, if such a thing is possible these days.


I've got some reading to do now, how about you?

Quote of the Day:

(Men In Black)
Edgar/Bug: Y'know, I've noticed an infestation here. Everywhere I look, in fact. Nothing but undeveloped, unevolved, barely conscious pond scum, totally convinced of their own superiority as they scurry about their short, pointless lives.


Monday, September 8, 2008

I Will Do It This Month

Oh yes, I will.

Writing this down helps me out, and sharing the list with other people puts pressure on me to actually get it done. And some of it has to be done. No choice. So! Here we go. This is what I will do this month, come hell or high water. (Or a steady stream of visitors and a new roommate, as the case may be.)

1. Pull all the damned three foot tall weeds outta the yard.
2. Demolish the basement. (carpet, drywall, etc)
3. Spray for bugs in basement. (we have a few eight legged friends making residence in one room)
4. Seal the basement floor and prep it for finishing.
5. Squeeze in revisions for one chapter between homework and the first four things on the list.
6. Get a hair cut.
7. Clean out the closet in the second bedroom.

Simple enough list, but I have to take into account the fact that we have friends from out of town coming in this weekend (who are staying in our spare bedroom), my parents coming in the weekend after that (also staying with us), a going away party to attend the 27th, and a friend moving in to occupy our second bedroom and pay us moolah the first weekend of October (hence the closet cleaning, because she kind of needs the space for her own stuff). Oh, and paper writing for my two college classes, not to mention all the friggin' reading.


If anyone wants to send me some beer it would be greatly appreciated.

Quote of the Day:

(Will and Grace)
Will: Grace, go to bed. You obviously have had a very busy day of crazy.


Saturday, September 6, 2008


First, let me say that Jesuit schools are the friggin' win. I'm not even religious and already I swear by this college's teaching methods (I'm agnostic, if you must know, despite my gratuitous use of phrases like "oh my God" and the occasional "oh Christ"). They hold education in high regard (excellent) and encourage thinking outside the box, which includes questioning their own religion (amazing!).

Anyway, my Thursday class is Ethics. By default the Jesuit tradition is to question everything -- they want you to disagree with them, they want you to give them evidence to the contrary. Therefore, it may not be surprising to some of you to learn that the first day of my Ethics class was just a little bit interesting, to say the least.

And it made me want to do an experiment.

See if you can identify which one of these best describes you (combinations are fine). And, if you're feeling ambitious, identify which one of these best describes your characters (for those of you that are writers, anyway).


Ethical Egoism - morality based on individual consequence (whatever does me the most good)

Utilitarianism - what brings the greatest good for the greatest number of people?
***** Rule Utilitarianism: certain actions can be classified as always right or always wrong because they lead to good or bad consequences.
***** Act Utilitarianism: no action can be regarded as right or wrong apart from its particular circumstance.

Divine Command Theory - if *insert deity here* says it's bad, it's bad.

Natural Law - actions are moral if they're "natural" and immoral if they're "unnatural."

Kantian Ethics - actions are either right or wrong regardless of consequence, and actions are taken "because it's the right thing to do"... "even if the heavens should fall"...



Oh, and... you've just been Rick Rolled. ;)

Quote of the Day:

Yakko: We protest you calling us little kids. We prefer to be called vertically-impaired pre-adults.


Friday, September 5, 2008

More of Dr. Horrible

Okay, okay, okay, so this is my third (I think?) post on him. But come on, I have to keep sharing the awesomeness.

Also, they now have a code to embed the thing in your own personal site! So here we go! Now you have no excuses not to watch it :)

(Sorry if it's too small, I had to resize to make it fit in the column... if you want the bigger version, try it here)

Quote of the Day:

(Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog)
Captain Hammer: My hammer... is my penis.


Jeaniene Frost's new cover art

I haven't yet read One Foot in the Grave, but I plan to do so pretty soon. Anyway, I checked her blog today and -- lo and behold! -- she's managed to snag a picture of the cover as it's going to look in January '09 when it hits Germany's bookstores. Innit purdy?

(Yes, the title was changed upon translation.)

It also made me realize something about American book covers, and the models we use for them. I adore the cover model for the German version of her book because the cover model is so different from all the chicks I've seen gracing the covers of both romance and urban fantasy. Round cheeks, sensuous lips, that look of ornery innocence. It's refreshing after seeing so many strong-jawed, athletic, sex-kitten cover models (or just their midsection, as seems to be the recent trend).

Anyway, I'm going to see if I can order a copy for my husband. He loves all things German! :)

Quote of the day:

(Blazing Saddles)
Lili Von Shtupp: Is it true how zey say zat you people are... gifted?
[Lights go out, sound of zipper opening]
Lili Von Shtupp: Oh. It's twue. It's twue. It's twue, it's twue!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ahh, Rebublicans

Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em... or their juicy drama-inducing hypocricisms (is that a word? if it isnt, it is now).

Thanks Tom for the link!

I <3 the Daily Show.

I also <3 Scalzi and his related posts here and here. Grab some popcorn and check the comments. You're in for an entertaining ride!


Fashionably Late

I was such a freshman yesterday.

There are two classes I'm taking right now, one is a 5 week course and one is an 8 week course. One is on Wednesday and one is on Thursday. Easy peasy, right? Yeah. I go to class last night, and what happens?

You get three guesses at to what I did, and the first two don't count.

... So, after walking into the correct classroom a whole ten minutes late, without my books or first night assignment ...

/cue mad blushing

Oh well. It was the easier of the two classes, thank Jeebus, and fortunately I wasn't the only one to forget my homework. I also wasn't the only late student (the last girl walked in almost an hour after class had started!). I felt marginally better after the other student arrived late, but still wish I'd had my shit together if only to save myself the uber levels of embarrassment that go along with being that student.

Note to self: bring the friggin' class schedule with you next time.

Quote of the Day:

Leela: Well, at least here you'll be treated with dignity. Now strip naked and get on the probulator.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008


It's September already? When did that happen?!?!?!

(...the question was rhetorical, please don't answer unless you have an equally ridiculous answer...)

So, yeah. My mom was out over the weekend and then I had some studying to do and a paper to write. I think it's halfway decent, but then, I'm the one that wrote it. I'll probably get to class today and the professor will be like wtf is this dribble? And of course now that school is about to start my file at work looks absolutely friggin' horrible. That's the way it goes though, eh? Can't have things be too easy!

On AbsoluteWrite the SFF peeps have started gearing up for NaNoWriMo. I'm excited for it, I need that oomph to get myself going again. It'll be tough to manage with school happening but I think I can do it. Last year I had no problems spewing out ~1500 words an hour, and in a couple of writing sessions I'd manage upwards of 3 or 4 thousand. I'd only need about 1700 words a day to keep up with the pace. And of course I have no idea what I'm writing about but that's half the fun, innit? ;)

Also of note is the fact that our backyard turned into a jungle of epic proportions. Long grass I can deal with. Go go lawnmower. What makes my eye start twitching is all the damned weeds. They're everywhere. Not only that, but we've gone around pulling, cutting, and spraying weeds three times this summer and they keep coming back with a vengeance. And you can't leave those suckers alone for a couple of weeks or the nice manicured flower beds and bushes become overrun with two foot tall annoying plants of doom. (Which, from germination to about a month later, will turn into four foot tall weeds. What the f***, seriously?)

Anyway, no time for a long post today. I actually have to work and in between work I need to have a cram session with all the material I'm supposed to know for tonight. Yes, I did read it, but I'm going to go back and answer some of the questions in the textbook to be sure I've learned my stuff. Like I've said before, five years out of the classroom kind of makes my study skills a little rusty!

Quote of the day:

(The Tick)
Tick: Like a great blue salmon of Justice, the mighty Tick courses upstream to the very spawning ground of evil.