thessalian: (Default)
Happy New Year!

...Someone keeps texting me. Once at Christmas, once just now. I do not recognise their number and they never identify themselves. They are clearly a friend of mine. I know I posted my number here, and I have [livejournal.com profile] mitchy and [livejournal.com profile] doccy logged into my phone.

I wish I knew who you were so I could label you by name in my phone's address book. But hi!

Right. To start the year as I mean to go on. Pass the coffee, pass the keyboard and lemme write things until I pass out.
thessalian: (Yay)
Because of some conversation on Tumblr, I decided that this weekend was Fereldan Food Weekend and set out to make some interestingness. The first thing I tried - ironically the quickest and easiest of the dishes on offer - was what I call Sten Approves +100 Chocolate Chip Cookies with Seheron Spice. Because I am a fangirl and an utter dork.

My base recipe was Felix's Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I made the following changes:

1) At the 'flour/bicarb/salt/baking powder' stage, I added a quarter-teaspoon of nutmeg, a teaspoon of ginger powder and a teaspoon of cinnamon.

2) Instead of just softening the butter, I melted it down on the stove on low heat, adding a quarter-teaspoon of whole clove. I let that stand for a few minutes then strained the cloves out, then added the sugar/eggs/vanilla extract.

3) Instead of chocolate chips, I crumbled a half a bar of chilli chocolate and half a bar of orange chocolate into the resultant dough.

After that, I followed the recipe as written. Then I tasted the dough. Raw chocolate chip cookie dough is always awesome, but this was truly spectacular.

Then I baked them and tasted the result.

I HAVE CREATED THE ULTIMATE COOKIE. Seriously, try this. It is gorgeous.

Next up? Alistair's Fereldan Lamb and Pea Stew (with Improvements by Leliana).
thessalian: (Default)
Another long weekend approaches, and despite it only having been a three-day week this week, I could use it. At least partly because I have a desperate need for new shoes - I've worn down the heels on my clogs and am currently reduced to wearing my Chucks to work because I refuse to climb three flights of stairs (one of which is longer than the average) in anything resembling heels, which accounts for most of my comfortable non-clog footwear. I love my Red or Dead ankle boots but ... not on stairs, I don't. My platform Mary Janes? I'd break my neck, particularly when trying to go down the stairs unable to see properly around a pile of notes and the blur that my cheap varifocals gives my peripheral vision. Basically, I need new glasses too, but new shoes are cheaper. Marginally. Actually, I have my eye on Doc Marten loafers ... if I can find a pair in black. Purple DM loafers are kind of awesome, but they don't go with a lot of my clothes. So ... yeah, that's going to be at least part of the weekend.

At least in part because I am never going to Westfield on a weekday again. EVER. Hell, I may not ever go again, full stop, if it looks anything like it did last night. For reference, Westfield is what the USians on my flist would call a 'shopping mall' but that the UK folkses would call a 'shopping centre'. (Malls are different things in the UK; something to do with being outdoors, I think?) Anyway, Westfield is one of the bigger ones in the greater London area, and one of my work colleagues keeps talking about it so I thought I'd check it out yesterday as a preliminary to my shoe-quest. ...It was like Oxford Street, but worse. I now know what a battery hen feels like. I like my personal space and there was simply none in that gods-awful place. I miss Montreal shopping malls.

Anyway ... yeah, this weekend is going to involve shopping. Not just shoes, but headphones too. My current set are ... um ... well, they kind of snapped at the headband a couple of weeks ago and I employed the Mighty Power of Sellotape so that was okay but now they're doing that thing where the wire has to be positioned just so to get any sound out of them because the wiring inside is starting to fray. I don't mind them not looking particularly nice; I just need them to work, and since they're not working, I guess they'll have to be replaced too. 'Tis the season to replace shit, evidently.

I'm also going to do some writing. Fine, it's all fic, but I am sick and tired of those bloody works in progress mocking me. I imagine stuff will turn up on AO3 at some point this weekend. That and Tumblr. Y'know, stuff.

There is no one in the office but me. Well, there's the guy who sits by the window, but he's been in and out, mostly out, all morning. My work colleague is generally in around 10am, but she hasn't quite arrived yet. So it's very quiet. I like quiet. Though at this point, I'd much prefer quiet in my own flat, in my own bed, sleeping for another couple of hours. But since that's not going to happen, I'll settle for faff with occasional bursts of work.
thessalian: (Missing the Point)
I've been thinking on and off about SOPA lately. I think most of you are aware of the "Stop Online Piracy Act" by this point, though why I'm assuming that I'm not entirely sure. I still haven't seen a single f'ing mention of it in any major news outlet - not the BBC, not the Guardian, certainly not the Metro, and I don't think it's that different in the US than it is here.

And oddly? It's this silence that makes me as virulently anti-SOPA as I am.

Look, it's like this: SOPA gives the power to have entire sites shut down on just a suspicion of copyright infringement. No investigation, no innocent-until-proven, and certainly no time to take down that single bit of offending material. Whole site can just be shut down until it's sorted out whether the site owner is guilty of copyright infringement or not. That could take months.

Imagine doing that to LJ. "Oh, someone posted a screencap!" or something equally stupid. Or Tumblr. Or Twitter. Or any of the ways that we as information-loving folks have actually spread word about things like SOPA (and, prior to that, the NDAA) in the first place. Without those, most of us would have no idea about this sort of shit, because the big media franchises sure as hell aren't covering it, no matter how newsworthy it is.

We don't really need evidence of how far into each other's pockets the news media corporations and the politicians are at this point. While journalists were once proud of being the ones who broke Watergate wide open, the folks who get employed in Big News these days are generally the ones who accept and revel in the fact that a large percentage of the people seem to care more about a politician's genitalia and what they're doing with said genitalia than policy. The only ones who seem to actually care about the shit that matters, instead of just the shit that sells, are the ones who aren't being paid for it - or at least, not getting paid well. The internet is not just for porn, or for piracy - it's the only place freelancers have left to actually talk about actual substantial news ... well, at least that isn't the Podunk Times out of Nowhere, Middle America, anyway.

So the media corporations follow the spin of their pet politicians, who in turn pass legislation that serves the interests of their media corporation meal ticket, and it's this cronyistic cycle wherein we're all fed a bunch of crap that claims to be independent journalism but isn't and no one ever sees the Truth (a la Spider Jerusalem) ever again. There isn't even a hope of triangulating on the truth without bloggers poking their noses into every available bit of information out there and comparing stories. And you just know that blog host sites are going to end up going down the next time someone wants to pass some disgusting bit of legislation like the NDAA, if SOPA passes. And it'll take forever to get them back up and by that time, there'll be a nice shiny new violation of civil liberties reducing the Bill of Rights to toilet paper yet again with no hope of any input from ... y'know, the people. Because Fox News and CNN weren't going to talk about it and the independent blogging news folks couldn't, so no one would know.

Maybe this is paranoia talking, but ... seriously. When no newspaper or news site will mention SOPA at all but it's clearly everywhere online ... I am leery of a bill that will let people shut down entire websites on mere suspicion. I live in a world that looks more and more like Mira Grant's "Newsflesh" every day (just without the fun of zombies) - the bloggers are the rising stars of real journalism because they still seem to care about truth and freedom of expression, rather than just panem et circenses. And what happens to them when the internet is subject to such immediate, 'guilty until proven innocent' censorship as SOPA allows? It has unfortunate side effects.

There are so many other ways to fight online piracy without this. Most of them involve the companies in question revising their business models to fit the 21st century. Universal release dates, no region-specific crap, and maybe letting us transfer the media we've paid for to whatever format we see fit without crippling our computers with crappy DRM code. I imagine that TV channels would make way more money letting people subscribe to an online on-demand viewing channel (with the added bonus of ad revenue) than they ever have from ad revenue from things aired on TV and subscription charges from the cable channels. But even if the folks at Warner or Disney or wherever else actually realised this (which they probably don't because the people making these decisions probably still blame the VCR for fucking everything up for their market share), I don't think it'd fly. Too many elements of government, US or otherwise, have too vested an interest in silencing mainstream media sources to let the ability to censor the internet without looking like they're doing so slide so easily.

Put it to you like this: David Seaman had his Twitter account suspended because of OWS and NDAA-related tweets - and while Twitter seems to have tried to explain that, he's not alone. Just because you're paranoid, and all that...

People can talk about "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" all they want. But the implications of all this, viewed in the light of things already happening, look pretty fucking scary to me.
thessalian: (facepalm)
I seem to use my 'facepalm' icon an awful lot these days...

Anyway, um. Christmas was fine - it was just me and my roast beast and a lot of sleep. I think I even managed to mostly shake this lurgy! There were even presents in the form of [personal profile] ilyena_sylph getting me paid time on Dreamwidth (thank you, sweets!), which was unexpected but awesome. I also crawled to level 83 on Warcrack (I really haven't been playing much) and archived my meagre offering of DA fic on AO3, as well as doing a bit of writing of same. (Yes, [livejournal.com profile] mitchy, your thiefy-fic is coming along, though I'm not entirely sure where it's going yet.) So many WIPs, so little time now that I'm back at work. But AO3 is very cool, and I am looking forward to posting more stuff there when I have more stuff to post.

Speaking of, though, what remains of this week seems determined to mess with me. The first part was getting there - not entirely sure how I missed it unless they didn't precisely announce the fact very well, but apparently the trains are running a Saturday service at the moment. Which I didn't know until I got onto the train platform and discovered that not only was the next train to where I needed to go running seven minutes later than usual because of the 'Saturday service' crap, but it was also running three minutes behind schedule on top of that. Hooray.

Then of course, my first tape of the day started off ... troublesome. Mostly because it started with a list of people to send the letter to and then launched into the text of the letter without so much as giving a hospital number or, y'know, a name of the patient. At least it gave the patient's age and gender, so it was a matter of digging through the pile of notes to find someone that matched the gender and age given and then double-checking the addressees to see if they matched up. Of course, it couldn't be the set of notes on the top of the pile, or the bottom of the pile. No, that would make sense. I swear if I have to play Guess Who with the rest of these letters, I am going to track down the registrar and make him eat them. Also his letter makes no sense.

I really ought to move downstairs, since apparently none of my colleagues are even in the office (well, as of a little after 9am, anyway, and usually someone's in by then) and there are spare desks down there. Someone dug a radio out of storage up here and so this current office arrangement doesn't even spare me from Heart 106.2 anymore. *whimper* They try to keep it quiet but the radio lives on the desk directly behind me, so if they keep it at a volume the whole office can hear, it's ... loud. Some of it's not so bad but what I do not need at this time of morning is "It's Raining Men". I don't give a damn if it's raining men, women or chimpanzees so long as they shut up and let me type. Anyway, the main reasons I don't are that a) there might actually be someone in there by now, b) there are the phones to consider and c) I do not want to have to haul the heavy stacks of notes I managed to lug up here back down again. Going up the stairs with them is fine, if tiring and painful, but going down ... well, my varifocals don't allow for the clearest of peripheral vision (my own fault for going for the cheap ones this time around) and it tends to mean that stairs are a bit of a trial. To clearly see the stairs, I have to look down, and it's hard to do that when there's a huge stack of notes in the way. So ... yeah, none of that.

I need more coffee, but I didn't think to pick up an extra jar so I'm running perilously low. I may have to borrow from a colleague until lunchtime. Which cannot come fast enough.

SQUEE!

Dec. 24th, 2011 01:58 pm
thessalian: (writing)
Happy Christmas Eve to y'all!

So last night, I posted a bit of quasi-seasonal DA fic and mentioned at the bottom of the entry that I needed an AO3 account. I went to sign up for the beta and it told me that I could probably have an account in early January.

But then [livejournal.com profile] mitchy, probably in an attempt to hide from my DA fandom (which is entirely her fault, lest we forget *g*), sent me an invite bare hours later.

And then this afternoon (morning for her), [personal profile] ilyena_sylph sent me an invite too! My friends are awesome!

All this to say that now I have an AO3 account! My Christmas Eve is going to be spent archiving some of my longer fics, and maybe compiling some of my headcanon ficlets into single vignette stories, and possibly writing more and finishing old projects and...

Crap. CRAP. I somehow went back to fanfic. DAMNIT, DA FANDOM, STOP BEING AWESOME.

Oh well. At least it's not FF.net.
thessalian: (writing)
So ... yeah, I'm back in fandom, in my own limited way. And now I have fanfic. BEWARE.

The Hawke and Amell families, and all their friends, would like to cordially invite you to their Feastday celebrations - lest we forget that certain DLC would remind us that Feastday is for pranks as well as treats.

A Feastday in Kirkwall )

I need an AO3 account...
thessalian: (DAO)
For the first time in my ever-lovin' life, I'm glad that there's a Tube strike a-comin'. Means I can tell management where to stick it when they want me to work on a bank holiday. It's bad enough wanting me to do so in the first place; expecting me to get here during a public transport FUBAR? Nooooo. So no, I am going to have my four days' worth of bedrest, THANK YOU, GREEDY FUCKS FROM TFL.

So ... changes to Livejournal. I am displeased. I have since backed everything up here on Dreamwidth with a view to maybe hopefully one day moving the hell off LJ for good. Please see this FAQ for a more coherent explanation of why than I am in any state to give just now. Really, I'm not angry - I haven't paid for a LJ account in a long time, so it's not like I'm losing out - but I am frustrated. I've made a lot of good friends on LJ over the years and I don't want to lose them. Some I won't; I'm following more people on DW now than I used to when I first started cross-posting. The rest ... well, I can't expect everyone to move. Particularly not those who barely use their LJs at all anymore. Well, everyone on my LJ flist has OpenID access to my DW account, so that's a start. Still, if I have to look at that gods-awful comments page design for much longer, I'm going to go insane. There are supposed to be ways to change it if you use a S2 layout like mine, but ... not so much in this case, it appears. I tried. I failed.

So anyway, big question is, those of you I'm not already following on DW, would you mind please letting me know if you have a DW account and, if so, what name you're going by so I can follow you? And I think I have a metric buttload of invite codes if anyone wants one and we still need them. Thanks.

Ugh. All I want for Christmas is a two-day nap. And maybe Skyrim. But I'll settle for a 15-hour nap and Dragon Age, since I need time to do things like laundry. I also need to reorganise my books again; my leaving the house half-asleep every morning and staggering in half-dead at night during the week means that my books tend not to go back into my overstuffed bookshelf (which is not overstuffed anymore but will be when I get reorganised) but end up ... spreading out. They end up on my nightstand. A lot of them end up on the floor by my bed. A few have ended up sharing my bed with me, curling up with my stuffed animals. I'm sure that there could be poetical comments made about my taking literature as my lover but some people would take that to the literal place - no pun intended - instead of the poetical and SO MUCH NO THAT SOUNDS PAINFUL.

Oh, and there needs to be Sims again. I have neglected my Sims. And possibly mining in Warcrack. Ever since blowing 4250 gold on Artisan Riding, I've felt a bit impoverished.

Right. I should do some work today. Really I should.
thessalian: (facepalm)
Oh, my colleagues are truly brilliant.

"Stick to the tapes, [Thess]!", they tell me. "It's too confusing when you type the digital dictation stuff, [Thess]! Leave us to do the digital dictation and you just handle the tapes, okay?"

Yes, this is a brilliant idea. However, said brilliant idea relies on them actually doing the digital dictation typing. Seriously, I go downstairs for piles of notes and notice, to my dismay, that while the tapes are more or less up to date, the digital dictation typing is backlogged up to 14th November. Oh, joy of joys. Now, admittedly, the backlogged dictation are from registrars and consultants whose dictation sucks like a Hoover product, but this is not a job where you can just let tasks that are difficult or annoying just sit there for over a month because you can't be bothered! I mean, I've seen one of the other floats working on digital dication dating to December, so why hasn't she touched these? Or ... y'know, any of the other secretaries who're supposed to be actually working here? And yet it's off-limits to me because they can apparently handle it and it's 'confusing' to have me take work off their hands. I don't understaaaaaand.

I have had to make an executive decision at this point, and said executive decision is, "Fuck this; I'm doing it anyway". If I take the notes upstairs with me, there's no way they're eventually going to get around to stuff they should be doing instead of working through this month and forgetting November ever happened. (And let's not talk about the lady I was temping for while she was on holiday, who hasn't touched any of her typing since I came back from holiday. I do not believe she still has her job. I'd feel more guilty about not trying to do something about her atrocious lack of anything resembling work on the backlog if I technically still worked for her department. I still feel bad, though.)

[Edit: There is apparently a way that they're going to get around to stuff they should be doing instead of working through this month and forgetting November ever happened. Phone call from colleague downstairs basically going, "I was just about to do those! Give them back!" "But ... I finished one clinic and I've got the other now..." "Give them back! I'll give you tapes! We have tapes! GIVE THEM BACK!" So I had to haul the ones I hadn't done yet back downstairs after booking the ones I had done back to file and get back upstairs with three clinics (on two tapes bundled with a stack of notes a foot and a half thick, which are VERY BLOODY HEAVY, I might add. I don't even know why it matters who does it so long as it gets done; why couldn't she have just picked up something else? I really do not get it but if that's what I get for trying to take initiative, fine. Whatever.]

Oh yeah, and these are the ones who want me to work over the bank holiday. There was actually a mass email sent out supporting the office managers' requests for people to give up their bank holidays and pitch in without a mention of pay, let alone overtime. They can go jump, really; they may not like my taking my mandated bank holidays but if I don't get those extra two days, I am never going to get over this lurgy that is still kicking my arse because it's the only shot I'm going to have at bedrest for awhile. Said mass email also said that Grand High Hospital Poo-Bah hopes that our 2012 is "an Olympic one!" .......Wut. WUT. The hospital is doing this "WE SUPPORT THE 2012 OLYMPICS" thing and it's driving me up the wall. I don't want to have an Olympic 2012. I just want to have one that sucks less than the last couple of years. Is that too much to hope for?

I really should stop letting them guilt me into not taking sick leave. After all, I think I may be the only person doing any real work at all around here. Huh; if these are the wages of virtue, maybe I ought to try following the example of my colleagues. Though with my luck, I'd be sacked if I did. So ... yeah, better not.

I'm still going to try for a nice holiday meal but I imagine that most of my Christmas is going to be spent in bed with chicken soup and DVDs, trying to get some semblance of health back in the four-day weekend my workplace is trying to guilt me into not taking. I am seriously beginning to dislike my life.

Though at least there's Warcrack to ease the pain (or vent the frustration, really). Finally saved up enough for Artisan Riding - only Master to go now - and soloed through Ragefire Chasm, mostly for the achievement. I'll probably do a couple of others at some point - anything I can solo through - but it's mostly for achievements and rep with Silvermoon. Except one, which I'll probably keep doing until it drops that Epic Mount. Though it's funny soloing low level dungeons at level 80-ish; one-shotting elites never gets old, even if they are sixty-odd levels below you. Anyway, it makes a change from Deepholm, Vashj'ir and Mount Hyjal. I'm nearly up to level 83 now and may actually hit level cap before this Mists of Pandaria thing comes out - I may only be crawling through the levels at a very slow pace by choice, but there's not even a release date on the new expansion yet. I ought to go to one of my alts at some point but I'd like to reach level cap just once.

So ... yeah, that'll be my holiday - bedrest, Warcrack and possibly writing Dragon Age fanfic. Too many plot nugs, too much sickness to actually do anything with many of them. Such is the way of things. Bleh.
thessalian: (facepalm)
"Opinions are like testicles: you kick them hard enough, doesn't matter how many you've got."
--Varric Tethras

This quote has come to mind a lot lately, as I've been lurking Tumblr the last ... what, couple of months? (Hi, fellow Tumblrs!) Tumblr's got the best bits of Livejournal (decent character limit, immediacy of picture posting rather than link-clicky) and Twitter (encouragement of brevity, immediacy of update so you're not spamming F5, easy reblogging), but it also has the worst bits of both venues ... which are frankly the same worst bits of every online community: the "audience + anonymity = arsehole" factor.

Add fandom, and it becomes a complete f'ing disaster area.

Fandom is great. Really, I love it. It allows like-minded people to enjoy the thing they love, as in-depth as they want to make it, in the company of their peers. People have opinions! Opinions are good! ...Well, mostly they're good. I mean, they're all valid; just some of them are made on some really flawed and frankly arseholeish grounds. Like, "This character I think is really really hot hooks up with this skanky nympho whore character and I think it's really gross!" ... for example. If you can't see a pairing, that's entirely up to you (or at least it should be; more on that later). If you can't see a pairing and think it's somehow so disgusting that you have to use that kind of dehumanising language to encompass your hatred and indirectly tar everyone who likes that pairing with the same brush? That's not cool. In that case, if I was going to speak against that opinion, it'd be about the language and grounds for the dislike, not the dislike itself.

...Mostly because I'm a little bit sick of being judged for not getting or liking some pairings and characters myself. I dislike the idea that every character with a passionate relationship - friendly or antagonistic, sibling or close friend, any relationship - automatically has to be screwing with the other party. However, the difference is, I don't hate ships of that nature - I just don't get it, and I don't seek it out. When asked, I'll say I don't get it and I will explain why in terms that don't actively call someone names for daring to like something that I don't understand. If no one asks, then it never has to even come up because I'm not going to jump on anyone who sees something I don't. It's their headcanon, not mine. I reserve the right to disagree - politely - and extend them the same courtesy.

Are people so sensitive about the opinions of others that, when given the chance to attack anyone who disagrees (that won't get them a smack in the mouth, I mean), they'll take it without hesitation? Is it so important that everyone agree with them that they'll lash out at people who don't? Are they that insecure, that desperate for validation?

I will lash out at people who act like bigoted, abusive, narrow-minded fuckheads, in the main. But I'm not going to lash out at someone who thinks that two fictional characters are boning when I disagree. I'm not that insecure, and I feel sorry for those who are that insecure. They can get the hell off my Tumblr dashboard, though. I don't need hate for my opinions, when I am expressing them in a non-hateful way. (Thankfully none of them do thus far, but you know what I mean.)

In other news, my belf pally discovered Deepholm last night. It's like Hellfire Peninsula, but worse. So far my main choices for completing my crawl to level 85 on my main are Underwater Nightmare (which is at least pretty), ForestForestForOHLOOKFLAMINGDEATH! (which has some pretty), or the Bowels of the Earth. Well, at least the XP is good in Deepholm, from the few little quests I actually did last night.

Also, I'm still ill. Still dragging myself into this blighted job feeling like hell every day. I think I'll be glad of the Christmas holidays mostly because of the four-day weekend it allows me. Blegh.
thessalian: (Rant)
Friday thank the gods...

I got through the vast majority of this week on coffee, vitamin C and OTC cold and flu meds, which didn't help a lot but at least muted the symptoms somewhat. I know by all rights I should go back and shake antibiotics out of someone but I really don't fancy spending forever in a waiting room only to be dismissed again. Besides, I can't really afford the time that'd take off work. So ... yeah, I'm more or less flat right now. I will probably spend a lot of the weekend asleep. This will be a good thing, provided I don't forget to do little things like grocery shopping.

On the other hand, maybe being as sick as I have been is a good thing from the point of view of getting through the job. I'm too worn out to focus too much on the stupid that is my job half the time. I don't entirely understand how it happens that people end up dictating on side 2 of a tape before they dictate on side 1. I'm never sure whether it's the secretaries just not rewinding properly (unlikely, as side 1 has invariably been wiped) or ... I don't know. All I know is that it's annoying and a little worrisome when I put a tape into side 1, hear nothing and have to wonder if I've wiped it by mistake or someone put the wrong tape in the envelope or what. It seems a small thing, but try telling busy consultants that they have to redictate their clinic. Hell, actually try nailing a registrar to the floor long enough to tell them anything.

Though the tape I started yesterday was a doozy. It at least started on side 1 but as I worked my way through the letters, I noted that the letters I was typing corresponded to none of the sets of notes that had turned up with the blasted tape. I checked the patient history for one of the patient letters I'd typed; their attendance record corresponded to the clinic listed on the envelope the tape came in. So when I finished the tape, I looked up the patient history of one of the patients I did have notes for. Turns out that there are two different clinics for slightly different specialities run by the consultant with the aid of the registrars on that particular day, and he'd put the wrong envelope with the wrong pile of notes. So now that I've typed the bloody thing, I have to go downstairs, try to find the pile of notes that match, file the letters I've typed and then type the letters that actually go with the set of notes on my desk. If that sounds complicated ... well, imagine how I feel.

(Oh, good, and one of my consultants got another new reg. Heavy accent, no particular grasp of English sentence structure. At least it looks like a short tape...)

The faux-Christmas Winterveil thing on Warcrack started last night, apparently. I'll have to check that out when I get home, if I have the energy. Mostly I haven't had the energy to do much of anything when I get in, beyond faff around on Tumblr. I'd like that to change. But then again, I have to get my main out of the underwater quest chain nightmare in which she is currently immersed (no pun intended) before I can celebrate much of anything over in Azeroth. I suppose I could just celebrate it on one of my alts; my Goblin Shaman's in Orgrimmar at the moment... But I'd really rather do this sort of thing on my main, so eh. Of course, I could just use it as an excuse to ditch the underwater quest chain altogether and hit Mount Hyjal instead, but that feels like giving up. Then again, I'm playing for fun, not aggravation. I don't need Warcrack to do pointless shit for money and experience; I just have to go to work.

So I'm hearing about the NDAA and SOPA, but I'm mostly hearing about it over Twitter and from a few American news sources. You'd think that news like this would make it over here, but the Metro, at least, has nothing on it. This kind of terrifies me, particularly when the articles I've managed to find on SOPA suggest that it's not the people or even the government who are going to decide this one, but the multimedia conglomerates. As for the NDAA ... that more than 'kinda' terrifies me. I remember being so thrilled that Obama got elected, and now there's this. It's like how I felt when Blair got in, but somehow worse. I just kind of wonder what it's going to take, y'know? We the people are being systematically removed from the decision-making process all over the place, systematically ignored and basically trodden on, like we're obstacles to get around rather than ... y'know, constituents, voters etc. I'm getting this 1984 feeling where the perfect representative image of the future is a boot stamping on a human face forever. We need to take the power back before we're no longer capable. If that means more riots ... well, so be it. At this point, I'd rather civil unrest and living in a riot zone than living the rest of my life with a jackboot on my neck.

The real issue for me is that there's nowhere for me to go, really. I live here, where the coalition government seems to be hell-bent on making life untenable (between the cuts, the threats of NHS privatisation, the stripping of our right to peaceful protest and the systematic destruction of the economy) for everyone but the top 1%. There's the US, with NDAA and SOPA threatening to make a serious mockery of 'the land of the free and the home of the brave'. I could go home to Canada, but that whole thing where Muslim women have to remove their niqab at their swearing-in ceremonies just makes me want to throw things (and reminds me too much of my mother saying that all head and face coverings of that type should be banned because 'there could be a criminal under there!' - I weep for a certain generation of my countrymen). Sickening breaches of civil liberties are everywhere, and there really does not seem to be anywhere to go to just live free, or at least governed by people with the people's best interests at heart.

Can I hand back my membership to the human race? I ... could be a gnome. (Gnooooooooooome...)
thessalian: (Yay)
My iPod and phone are back in my possession. It turns out that the waitress found them, waited all afternoon for me to come back and even tried getting hold of my friends to make sure I knew where it was (so if anyone got a missed call from me, that's why). So I get music on my way home tonight, and music to wake up to in the morning instead of the infernal bleeping that my iPod dock clock radio thing defaults to. (I'd have used the radio but I can't get any of the stations I actually like so I did without.)

So ... yay! It doesn't solve the other stuff, but at least it's one less thing, and I'm willing to take whatever good news I can get as things currently stand.
thessalian: (writing)
Hey, look! It's a post where I'm not bitching about work! (Then again, I've only been here an hour.) Nor am I going to bitch about the state of my health (no, I am not feeling better. I am resigned to the blech because the doctors don't give a flying monkey). No, instead I am going to bitch about something completely different! Rejoice!

Seriously, I'm having a thing at the moment of the "I don't know what's wrong with me" variety in terms of the writing. Basically in that I have not actually been doing it lately. Well, okay, fanfic, but you know what I mean. I have words, I have characters, I even have story ... but I guess what I don't have is confidence. I just feel like an utter mediocrity, nothing comes out as well as I want it to, I can never come up with a better way to put it so that it will come out as well as I want it to and in the end, by the time I actually have writing time, I'm too tired or apathetic or just plain flattened to bother. It's different with fanfic; there's already an investment there. It seems easier to get invested in something that has inspired me - a thing with an existing structure - than it is to build a structure to inspire myself and then get invested in that. If that makes any sense.

I mean, it's not as if there's anything wrong with writing fanfic. It's just that I always harboured dreams of being paid for writing fiction and I get further and further from that every day. At least part of it's a confidence issue, I suppose; it's not like I actually do anything sensible like write things and let other people read them very often, or try to submit anything anywhere, or even write original stuff much. And without external input, it's a little hard to have confidence in much ... at least if you're like me and generally your own worst critic. Having been in a gently deepening depressive funk for the last few months probably doesn't help, either. And having been sick the last three weeks probably makes it even worse.

But in the end, at least part of it's to do with the fact that ... well, I am not all that, writer-wise. My style has a certain appeal, but not a particularly wide-ranging one. I have no poetry. I have a very good ear for dialogue but a very bare-bones look at descriptive narrative. It doesn't help that I don't actually like flowery, poetic prose very often. I am probably the textbook definition of 'prosaic' in that regard; give me enough description to draw me a picture that I can colour in with my own imagination, give me characters that I can believe in, and above all, give me what happened, and I'm happy. Make me wade through a ball pit of beautiful translucent soap-bubble prose to get to the bits of the story I want, and I will inevitably grow bored and skip over the painstakingly poetic narrative until I find the plot. I'm not saying that all poetic narrative is bad, by the way. It's just not what I like. And because I don't appreciate it and don't believe in it, I can't write it. Maybe I have a skewed view of the sort of fiction I write in terms of what sells, but a lot of the success stories I've been hearing come from those who use words like a paintbrush, whereas I tend to use mine like a camera. Both are art forms, but a camera shows you what's there through the eye of the person taking the picture, whereas a paintbrush can show you anything and relies on texture and style as much as lighting and angle and colour or lack thereof.

Of course, a lot of this could just be the mood talking. It's a little hard not to be self-defeatist in my current situation. There's the job thing, about which I have bitched at length. I don't get out much and I don't talk to enough people, which in and of itself is a vicious cycle - I don't talk to people, thus I get lonely and depressed and no fit company for anyone, thus I talk to people even less and so on and so on. There's getting the brush-off from disinterested medical personnel to whom I turn for help, which is to the self-esteem what a round of buckshot is to a balloon animal. However much I try to make with the seasonal festivities on my own, the fact is that I'm not entirely looking forward to a Christmas on my own as anything but a two-day reprieve from the job. I'm tired, I'm sick, I'm stressed and I am struggling to find things I'm looking forward to. If I want optimism, I have to make it myself, and finding the energy to do so is hard.

Also, I cannot find my cellphone or my iPod. I thought they might have fallen out of my handbag at the office, but no luck. The only other option is that they fell out of my handbag at the cafe were I had lunch yesterday. If so, I can only hope that the people at the next table handed them in to the waitresses, or that the waitress found them, and that they're sitting behind the counter waiting for me when I pop in at lunchtime today to ask about it. If not ... well, shit. The commute is miserable without my music and that phone, while cheap as all hell, is brand fucking new, and I don't want to have to pass out yet another number change.

Fuck it. I don't like being all blue and miserable and depressed. I am going to get some work done, have another cup of coffee and think story. Maybe it'll be fanfic, maybe not. Maybe no one will give a shit about it, but I will. Maybe I will never make money from the writing, but if I find the enjoyment in it again, that won't matter. I am going to drag myself out of this mood, damnit! Though I'll admit that it'd be a lot easier to do so if I could just be less sick. But the lurgy will pass eventually, I'm sure, even if I do get the brush-off by senior nurse specialists at the walk-in clinic and have to slog through it the hard way.

This too shall pass. I will keep telling myself that until it does.
thessalian: (writing)
I want to put a sign up in this wretched cubicle of mine. I want it to say "PUT A HAND ON ME AND DRAW BACK A STUMP".

Look, it's relatively simple - I don't like people touching me unless I know them really well. I can tolerate it when I have no choice - crowded trains, lifts, incidental brushes when handing over money and taking change while shopping (though even that I'll avoid where I can) - but I don't like it. While I don't assume everyone feels the same way, I generally won't initiate contact with people I don't know well because it's better to not risk them being like me in their antipathy to being touched by near-strangers.

My office apparently has other ideas. If they want my attention so badly, I wish they'd ask. Verbally. Y'know, say "Excuse me?" I know I am generally in the middle of typing a letter when someone wants my attention, but they could at least wait until there's a lull in my typing if they're that worried about not being heard. Tapping me on the shoulder when I am in the middle of typing something just gets me on edge. I do not like it. I partly do not like it because it means that there is someone in my blind spot, deep in my personal space. I partly do not like it because I am fucking busy and would prefer to have people at least wait for a lull instead of stopping me mid-word. But I mostly do not like it because someone I do not know and/or may not actually like is laying hands on me. Maybe I'm oversensitive, but ... this is my body we're talking about and I should at least have some say in who or what comes in contact with it. I just don't like people I don't know well touching me when I don't know it's coming. I want the option to say 'no', even to something as relatively harmless as a touch on the shoulder. (And it generally will be 'no'; I just don't like it.)

Besides, everyone in my office knows that I am plaguemonkey at the moment. I shouldn't think they'd want to be touching me when I might pass on my cold/flu/viral infection/strep throat/whatever the hell it is I have that the doctors didn't care all that much about. And yet...

Maybe I'm just less patient about it today than I would ordinarily be because, despite getting to bed early last night, I am still exhausted, dragged out, aching and miserable right now. Even minor annoyances feel pretty major to me right now. I should be in bed, I know this, but that's not an option. If I'm lucky, I can get home early, but ... probably not. So I'll keep on truckin' and hope I don't fall asleep at my desk. Which seriously feels like an option right now. With my luck, though, I won't have anything but the weekends until the Christmas bank holidays.

Man, I hope they appreciate me...
thessalian: (facepalm)
Dear registrars,

I understand that you somehow feel that you are above and beyond the digital dictation system and that you must dictate everything on tiny transcription cassettes. Fine. However, there are a few rules that should really apply if you're going to circumnavigate a system that's put in place for your own benefit.

1) If you do not have a dictaphone, find one.
1a) Ditto dictaphone tapes.

2) If you are going to borrow a dictaphone from your colleagues, take their tape out of it first.

3) If you cannot find a tape and insist on dictating an entire clinic on top of the one the other registrar has already dictated on that tape, for the love of every god, mark it down on the tape's envelope.

4) Likewise ... leave us the gods-damned notes for the clinic you just dictated.

If you do not follow these simple rules, the following things are very likely to happen.

- Secretary finishes typing long clinic
- Secretary notes that there are no more notes
- Secretary thinks that tape is done
- Secretary erases tape
- Secretary dumps tape back into collective of tapes for use of registrars
- Letters do not get typed
- People get in trouble
- You look like you never dictated it

In other news, I finally dragged myself to the doctor for this vicious 'this is worse than a cold' thing that has been plaguing me for the last three weeks. I don't like seeing doctors for this kind of thing, mostly because it has been amply demonstrated to me that they honestly don't give a shit. You wait two hours for someone to actually see you at all and, despite the symptoms that have not gone away and have only worsened over the last two weeks, I got a shrug and a "come back if it gets any worse". See, there's always a question in these scenarios whether the infection is viral or bacterial. Thing is, if you listen to patient history, it's generally easy to tell which it's likely to be. So, when even a cursory Google search tells you that you're at high risk of things like this being strep throat if your immune system's being overtaxed because of fighting off a cold (which I have been) or by a terrible lot of stress (hello; my job), and the patient tells you that they had a cold a few weeks ago, started showing improvement and then suddenly got worse, odds are high that it's strep throat. I know that we're supposed to be careful about using antibiotics on things that don't need them so as not to breed antibiotic-resistent bugs, but on this one, handing over a penicillin prescription is playing good odds. Except they're not, in this case. I cannot afford to spend another two hours in a waiting room for someone to tell me to do what I was already doing when things got worse.

I should be more charitable, I know that. For the most part, the NHS is there when you need it. It's not the NHS itself I'm annoyed with - it's those parts of it who really don't give a shit so long as they don't get complained about or fired. I've had some bad luck with doctors lately in that I get the ones who handwave stuff I can't afford to just let sit around, and it really puts me off seeing anyone unless it's by ambulance. When it's something like some of the migraine shit I've been going through, or something like strep where the bacterial infection can spread to some pretty important bits of the body if left untreated, that's not the kind of thing I really want to think about.

I see a lot of different sides of the NHS, and I wouldn't be without it, but it does need a major overhaul. Let's start with sacking a few useless managers and all of the individuals who only still have their jobs because of how hard it is to fire people from the NHS (particularly the ones languishing in admin jobs of all pay grades; I'm talking gross incompetence and outright laziness here as sacking offences) and hire people who will actually do their jobs properly.

Essentially, all I want at this point is colleagues who don't linger for 45 minutes over overloud conversations and a qualified medical person who is going to actually pay some attention to the fact that I might actually be sick with something that requires more than paracetamol and vitamin C to treat. I can't afford to be this far off my game, not even if Christmas is coming up. It's not like I get anything but the bank holidays off...
thessalian: (facepalm)
Dear Blizzard,

After about a month of more or less abstinence (because I could not be arsed), I decided to switch on Warcrack again. I went back to Azeroth and sent my belf pally to the soaring heights of level 80. Thank you for the charming little congratulations pack you sent me when I hit level 80, by the way; that was very nice of you. But then, of course, the XP rewards for the mobs I killed in Northrend went way, waaaaaaaaaaay down, and I decided, fuck it, I'll go see what level 80 has in store for me elsewhere in Azeroth.

At first, I dodged your "Hey, there's this new island right off Stormwind and we're gonna occupy it for the Horde and beat the shit out of the Alliance's capital!" quest, because I seriously could not be arsed. However, then I tried the stuff you were throwing at me at Mount Hyjal and decided I wanted to climb a couple more levels before I even touched that shit because I was getting pasted.

I thought I hated Tanaris because it reminded me of Valkurm Dunes. I thought I hated Outland (or at least Hellfire Peninsula) because it was ugly as sin. I thought I hated Northrend because ... well, it started to get old three levels ago. However, I do not hate any of those places as much as I hate the living shit out of this underwater quest chain upon which you have shanghaied me. At least at Mount Hyjal, the enemies did not attack you from all sides, including up and down. I hate underwater. Even if I do have a 'breathe underwater' spell on my character right now.

Also ... you just did a patch, people. I know because it still hasn't fully finished downloading. So please explain to me why the hell there is still a bug in a specific quest, which has been an issue for at least a year, where completion of the quest relies entirely on you committing character suicide? Seriously; apparently you do not get the credit for quest completion - signalling a fellow shipwreck victim to let her know that she can come to safety - unless your character dies. HOW THE HELL DOES THAT INDICATE SAFETY?!?

Sort it out, Blizzard. SORT IT OUT.

Regards,
A Blood Elf Paladin somewhere underwater.
thessalian: (writing)
I am all alone in the office this afternoon. Everyone has gone home early, or had the day off, or worked from home or something. I don't know what the girls downstairs are doing, but it's peaceful, just me. And at least someone gave me the key code for the office door up here, so if I have to leave the office, I don't have to worry about leaving the door open. Apparently, we don't do that when the office is empty. Which makes a certain amount of good sense. (It still doesn't justify the fact that the other float still forgets to lock down her computer before she leaves her desk despite my having shown her how, mind you. I'm going to have to remind her. I think I'll maintain a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy there; I've told her, and she gets two reminders before I report her.)

I wonder if anyone would mind if I borrowed someone else's desk for the next couple of hours. See, there's one minor problem with my current office space; it faces a window. A west-facing window. And the blinds are missing a few slats so it does not block out the sun. Everyone knows I'm pretty prone to migraines, right? Well, imagine how it feels to spend from about 2pm 'til sundown getting comprehensively blinded by the sun shining right in my face with no hope of blocking it out. Right now I'm managing by adjusting how I sit so that the slats that are actually in the blinds are blocking the sun from my direct line of sight (mostly) but that's just doing in my left shoulder. I'd shift my computer but there's no actual room to do so, because 'my' desk is actually storage space for I don't know what-all rubbish from the IT department. Gods almighty, I hate this place sometimes.

In other news, I participated in the Secret Swooper deal for the [livejournal.com profile] swooping_is_bad LJ community; basically it's Secret Santa for DA fanworks, or Yuletide with a specific fandom. I wrote a piece of Anders-centric fic that I'm actually fairly proud of (I may post it later, but I want to wait until the person I'm Secret Swooping for sees it; it's their present) and I got the loveliest bit of fanart. But of course, my working on this kind of thing shows how much of a dork I can sometimes actually be, because as per usual with this kind of thing, I planned so many bits and pieces of fanwork (a fanmix, a couple of pieces of fic that are half-written already, stuff like that) and then just hit on this idea and bashed it out in an hour and a half and posted that rather than agonise over it anymore. So this whole thing actually just generated way more fan-stuff than just the one gift-piece. Is that what these things are supposed to do? I've never done anything like this before, so the fact that I accomplished it at all is pretty stunning. Maybe I'll actually try Yuletide next year.

Or maybe someone should hit me in the face with a shovel before I fic again.

Aaaaaaaanyway. Yes, I'm goofing off. I'm alone in the office, I've worked my arse off all week and the weekend's coming up in not very long at all. I think I'm entitled to a little bit of goofing. I still do more work than the girls downstairs. This weekend is going to be more or less chores, too - grocery shopping, laundry, stuff like that. I may buy a tiny artificial Christmas tree if I can clean off enough shelf space to put the sodding thing, and there are at least a couple of Christmas gifts I should likely pick up, though I imagine most will be purchased online. (Not that there are that many to begin with.) So ... busy busy. You know how it goes.

Right. Now to Google gingerbread recipes. Also, type letters.
thessalian: (DAO)
Ever feel like you're being punished for doing your job well?

I have managed to more or less conquer the backlog in my current department to the point where people have finally apparently decided that it's worth their while to actually do some work. So apparently having me type the older stuff is confusing. Because apparently "I will work on the older clinics" is hard. I guess I can understand that. However, what I dislike is the fact that they have solved the confusion by giving me the least pleasant tasks possible. I know it's human nature, but...

Okay, look. There are some doctors who absolutely refuse to get on the digital dictation system. They won't do it. At all. No one calls them out on this, no one takes their dictaphones away, no one does a damn thing to keep things uniform. No, they just figure the secretaries will put up with having to vacillate between tapes and the digital dictation, never thinking that maybe we have the digital dictation system for a reason. I mean, it's not like our central document management system currently relies on digital dictation and we now have to keep this whole separate document filing system just to keep track of letters that don't make their way to the digital dictation system...

Oh. Wait.

Anyway, point is that I got told not to do the digital dictation anymore. Instead, I'm doing the clinic tapes. The doctor I have currently gets the hospital numbers wrong, half the notes are missing and overall, I'm pretty sure I'm being punished for being quick enough for it to not matter that I have to waste five minutes digging up patient details and typing them into a really sucky template. Oh well, whatever. At least they dropped off a whole bunch of tapes and the relevant notes, which means I can just get the hell on with it and not have anyone bothering me.

The office around me is filling with holiday cheer, by the way, and most of it is ignoring me. The office has a secret Santa thing going. I was not invited to take part. I get the impression that Christmas cheer is going to be a little thin on the ground this year, as my mother and I aren't speaking again (don't ask) and my office seems to have decided that I only exist to dump typing on. Seems to be a running theme, really, though at least last year there was the novelty of the ShinyNewFlat. The ShinyNewFlat is not so ShinyNew these days, so I'm going to have to find something else to be Christmas-cheery about.

Because I do intend to be Christmas-cheery. I intend to roast a whole duck this year, and have leftovers for days. I intend to get myself something special with the express purpose of wrapping it up and putting it under the tree with a 'do not open until Christmas' tag. (This may or may not be Skyrim; there has to be something to open up and play with first thing Christmas morning.) I intend to stay up until stupid o'clock Christmas Eve watching scary movies and then wake up stupidly early to watch cartoons with sugary cereals and coffee and then watch White Christmas over dinner. And have cider.

If it sounds like I'm overcompensating ... eh, maybe. But hey, c'mon. This season is all about chasing away the nasty winter cold and dark, so that's what I'll do. Things have been pretty sucky lately; I think chasing away the dark and cold and suck with my own personal little-kid's-Christmas seems appropriate. Besides, I don't really get a whole lot of time off over the holidays this year. I may as well make the most of it.
thessalian: (facepalm)
I facepalm at the workplace once again...

So I'm still in my miserable little cubicle up on the management floor, with my current department - and all relevant notes - two floors down from me. Given that the doctors in this particular department refuse to actually check their letters on the system, we have to print them out, complete with file copies. When they're checked and signed, we send them out and file them. And, because I am way the hell up at the top of the building, generally I type and print a whole bunch of letters and then drop them off downstairs, file copies and all. They have the notes, they have the envelopes, the outgoing post box is down there, this seems sensible.

But no. They sent my colleague upstairs with a big stack of checked and signed letters, telling me to send them out and put the file copies in the notes. So ... I have to go downstairs, collect envelopes, do the filing, go back upstairs, put the letters in envelopes, and then go ... back downstairs to put the letters in the post box. Does this make sense to anybody else, given that the letters were in the right office to start with? I think my colleagues are just f'ing lazy because the logistics of this are insane.

Speaking of colleagues, the fellow keyboard-monkey up here (the one who never locked her machine when she left her desk; I brought it up with her and it turns out that she couldn't figure out how. I haven't been paying much attention so I don't know if she's forgotten or what) is really starting to irritate me now. Look, some of the consultants are dumb as rocks, okay? They can't seem to figure out how to set up a letter so that it attaches to the right clinic, or the right patient, or automatically sets up a mail merge to the appropriate GP. But if you have a hospital number, finding out a GP address is really easy. So what you have to do is pull up the letter, fill in the GP details from EPR, and then print that letter.

I've seen some of the bullshit she's printing off. Some of them are distinctly lacking in GP address. I know she knows how to use EPR. I know she knows how to track down a GP address. But she doesn't and she isn't and this is moronic.

Also, they haven't revoked my access to the department I was working at a few weeks back, when I was holiday cover for someone? And from what I can see, she hasn't touched a letter since she got back. It shouldn't surprise me, because the phone calls I was getting that week led me to believe that she didn't book appointments, pass on messages or do her job much, either, but I still have to wonder how anything gets done around here. Sometimes I feel like the only person who actually works here. No wonder I'm constantly sick and stressed and aggravated.

It's only Tuesday and I already need this week to be over. I want to go home ... but I'll have to settle for coffee.

[Edit: My colleague still doesn't lock her computer on leaving her desk, the girls downstairs have thrown all the filing at me - not just the letters I've typed but random stuff as well - and this damn thing won't cross-post. Argh.]
thessalian: (Rant)
Free schools and academies must promote marriage.

CENTURY OF THE FRUITBAT, PEOPLE!

Look, there's nothing wrong with a heteromonogamous marriage ... if it is a good, stable heteromonogamous marriage. Sometimes they aren't. When they aren't, they should end. Anyone who stays together in any relationship 'for the sake of the children' is, in my opinion, being either selfish or simplistic. It is not good for any child to grow up in a household where the two people upon whom they rely for stability and comfort end up fighting over the least little thing, contradicting each other at every turn or, at best, maintain an air of cool acquaintanship and little more around one another. Children pick up on that shit, and however hard it may be to field the questions like, "But why don't you and Daddy love each other any more?" or "Is it my fault that Mummy went away?", it's a lot less psychologically damaging to any kid to be honest with them. Otherwise, you get, "Mummy and Daddy are really unhappy and it's my fault because me being here doesn't let them do what they want!" And don't think your kids won't know. They hear more than you think, they pick up more than you think and overall, they're not stupid.

And then we have other forms of stable relationship. And I'm not just talking same-sex couples, either; I mean stable poly relationships as well. People who love each other, have lived together for years and years, and the only reason they haven't got the legal bits of paper saying "Booya! Married!" is because the government is narrow-minded. Maybe the child isn't blood-related to one or more people within the relationship, but in the end, I don't see anything wrong with that. I see, "Hey, here's this person, they're in love with my parent - who has to love me because, hey, they're my parent - and they love me too, even though they don't have to!" From a kid's perspective, here's an adult who has a perfect 'get out of jail free' card for all those chores they know are annoying - parent-teacher conferences, doctor's appointments, field trip chaperonage, school volunteer stuff, pick-up and drop-off for other-birth-parent visitation, homework help, 'eat your greens' lectures, Saturday morning cartoons, etc etc etc - but they don't use it. Yes, kids are savvy enough to pick that up as love, even if they never show it and it's mixed in with resentment. (Let's face it, kids will play the 'you're not my real parent!' card if they can ... and take it from me, they'll feel really bad about it if the step-or-something-parent-ish really loves them. I've pulled that one on a live-in lover of my mother's who really loved me, and I apologised. I did it with my current stepfather and I still don't feel bad about it. There's a big difference.)

On the whole, I don't see why the government can't get to grips with the fact that really, neither the adults nor the children in any given relationship give two shits about what bits of legal documentation say, beyond the fact that withholding those bits of paper from certain life-partnerships makes their lives unbearably difficult. They don't feel any more or less committed because of some quasi-religious ceremony and/or signing of documents; I think people generally just want that kind of thing so that they can share their happiness with their friends and family, announce their love for and commitment to one another to the entire world and not get shafted by a system that continuously robs non-heteromonogamous partnerships of their rights to, for example, be there for their partner(s) if they end up dying in hospital, or not have to deal with really shitty probate laws that discriminate against any relationshp lacking a marriage certificate.

Anyway, who does it hurt to legally recognise gay couples? Or committed poly relationships? All it hurts is a status quo that we haven't needed ... well, ever, but certainly not in this day and age. Heteromonogamous marriage is not necessarily a better environment for children than any other; what a child wants is stability. Or, if stability isn't possible, honesty about what's going on and reassurance that it's going to be okay. If my parents had stayed together for my benefit, I'd have been miserable, and I know it. Sure, I'd have preferred it if my mother hadn't had a lot of fly-by-night arsehole lovers when I was little and my dad hadn't ended up with a manic-depressive as a live-in lover before meeting Wife Number Four (I did not need to be abandoned in a car in the red-light district of Montreal at age nine while Mum's boyfriend went off to get stoned with his other sex partners, about whom Mum didn't know; I also did not need to be witness to Dad's girlfriend's hour-long episode that culminated with her putting her fist through the glass panel of our back door), but I survived, and it was still ultimately better than spending my formative years knowing I was the reason for my parents' misery.

Long story short: so long as it's a stable and functional relationship, I don't think it's particularly bad for kids, heteromonogamous or not. Can we all please stop putting roadblocks on the love, stability and openness that kids need under the banner of 'THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"? You're not fooling anyone; you're only thinking of your own outraged sense of propriety. FUCK OFF AND LET PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES WITHOUT JUDGING THEM BY GOVERNMENT MANDATE. THEY ARE NOT HURTING YOU.

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July 2012

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