How is this even a discussion?

Seen on a flyer for an event today:

"Eco-terrorism, is it a legitimate political process?"

Um, lemme see, is regular terrorism a legitimate political process? No? It's not okay to blow the shit out of people because they disagree with you about religion/abortion/whatever? It's not? Well, then, I think you have your answer.

How the HELL does there need to be a discussion on this topic? I mean REALLY.

Which brings me to a story:

About two weeks after we moved up here, The Husband and I were walking around just seeing what we could see. As we were crossing the street, this woman who looked like every joke about a Portland hippie I'd ever heard (layered skirts, tye-dye, dreams, lots of wooden bracelets, pentagram necklace, and doc martens), walked up to us and asked, "Do you have time to talk about the environment?"


"I won't bite! I'm just a peaceful person. I want to talk to you about GreenPeace."

I laughed in her face. Not on purpose, and not to start shit, but just from the sheer surprise that she had the balls to put "peaceful" and "Greenpeace" in the same thought. The guy who started Greenpeace left in disgust because their motives got violent. You know, like blowing up tankers and shit.

So, I suppose there needs to be a discussion on whether eco-terrorism is legit politically because there are people who identify themselves as peaceful Greenpeace types. Maybe they're not blowing shit up because they're assholes. Maybe that woman just tries to talk to people about the organization. But you know what? She's blatantly supporting an organization that BLOWS PEOPLE UP. And last I checked, blowing people and their property up is, in fact, one of the ways terrorism occurs. It's the equivalent of an anti-gay senator getting caught with a cock in his mouth.
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    annoyed annoyed

Well, it's been awhile.

cmcurry sent me a note tonight asking after my general health and the whole grad school thing.

Grad school, it turns out, is an absolute pain in the ass that I sincerely believe will be worth it.

Moving to Oregon, it turns out, was a lot of fun. Except for Montana. Which redefines "not a goddamned thing" and can basically die in a fire. Two days to get across that damn state. TWO DAYS.

The Husband is acting his little thespian ass off right now. He was in an Albie one-act last term, is at opening night of his full-length show, and is in tablereads for his next one-act inbetween rehearsals for the other show. In short, I expect him to be dead soon. But it'll be a happy death.

The rain in Oregon has been properly rainy. I've been coming up with questionable metaphors for it for weeks. We knew we were getting settled when The Husband wanted to run to the store, and I asked for a weather report.

HIM: "It's not raining too much."
ME: "Yeah, all right. Lemme find a hat."

Growing up in thunderstorm country has done me a solid because I have refused to carry an umbrella for years, and apparently only hipsters and noobs carry umbrellas here. The winter weather, overall, has been a scream. 35 degrees is about as cold as it gets. Guys, I went out in 35 degrees in a thermal, a t-shirt, a hoodie, and another hoodie, and I was all kinds of comfortable. There's no horrific wind! It's awesome!

Also, the political spectrum here definitely skews way further left than The Husband and I, but people here are pretty mellow on the whole matter. I don't spoil for a fight like I used to, so everyone's been cool.

But I do have one bone to pick: The state of Oregon is trying to stop over-prescribing antibiotics. This does not mean that they take each patient on a case-by-case basis and listen to their history and decide if medication is necessary. No, this means that The Husband goes in for his yearly, "My sinuses are trying to kill me" doctor's appointment and gets told, flat out, that they will not prescribe him antibiotics. No, it doesn't matter that he's got a history of this junk, and he's tried to fight it off before, and it has always lead to antibiotics because it is always, always bacterial grossness. Nope. The doc flat-out refused, and when The Husband requested the name of a doc who WOULD be willing to discuss it, she refused to give a name. To say we were livid is an understatement.

We'd have been slightly less livid if I'd not been hit by a car in the same week. I'm fine. It was the tiniest love tap you can get from a sedan when crossing the street (with the light, in the crosswalk, and under a goddamned streetlamp) when the driver of said sedan starts to turn, spots you, and slams on his brakes. I was in a brace and on crutches for a week, and then I was walking around with a bruised bone for awhile. The best part of the story is that it happened, I swore a lot, and then I convinced The Husband that we should keep going to the bar where we were going to meet friends because, hell, I'd earned the damned drink at that point.

Oh, and it was his birthday when we went to the ER after midnight. Because his birthday wants us dead.

So, that's my catch up. I've got to go work on homework (shock and awe) and maybe crochet a bit.
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    cheerful cheerful

A blast from the past.

So, five years ago during NaNo, I needed to pad out my word count. This led to me locking two dudes in a safe and making them talk to one another, which led to one character telling a 2300-word version of the Aristocrats joke. Which, if you don't know what it is, you should read the wiki to know what you're getting into.

And here it is.

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    accomplished accomplished

Different Day, only slightly different news

--I have a job! And I'll use my degree, and the first day was today, and it was lovely. Everyone seems very nice and eager for me to work with them, and it's wonderful. Considering how badly some people at my previous campus job thought of me, it's nice to go into an office not having to worry about someone getting passive-aggressive on me.

--I've come to realize that my wide net for my indy study is, in fact, too wide. Which means re-doing a lot of textual analysis to tighten up the research. Shit.

--San Diego Comic Con tickets were supposed to go on sale Monday. The CC servers apparently failed massively, and they won't have news about getting tickets until at least next Monday. I bring this up because I was trying to buy freaking tickets. Because, if we can get the tickets, The Husband and I are going to Comic Con. To which I'd like to add: HELL FUCKING YES

--I think we've officially settled in. We're still minus a group of friends, but that sort of thing takes time, and we're meeting people, so step one is getting completed.

--While I am not tired right now, I can tell I will be by the end of the week. To say I have "a lot" of homework is to grossly underestimate my amount of homework.
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    busy busy

Screw it, I want my group

NaNo season is about to set off (15 days to go), and while the Portland group is certainly active and seems cool, they're also HUGE, and I'm willing to admit I'm not up for that. My old, beloved NaNo group was big online but small in person, and I loved that. The Portland group is big enough to require a check-in table, and while I certainly applaud the awesome ML who can run a group that large, it just makes me miss my badass writers.

So, this NaNo, I'm teaming up with the SgfMo crowd via virtual awesome. I have no idea for a novel, and I have no idea if I'll have time to write (Hi, grad school!), but damnit, if I'm gonna, I'm gonna do it with the people who got me through six NaNos. If anyone deserves my word count, it's those awesome folks.
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    determined determined

I think I've figured out my independent study

I dropped my FrameMaker class because when the prof was running us through what we'd learn over the quarter, I realized I knew how to do everything except for one thing, and then I figured that out by typing "table of contents FrameMaker" into Google. I've got an independent study now (thank you, oh awesome advisor), and I've been fumbling a bit trying to get it going. The answer, it turns out, is a metric. I've never created one before, but most of my undergrad profs used them to explain grading criteria, and there are a lot of examples online. As I'm trying to prove technical writing aspects in comic books, it's a perfect answer. I was up until way too late last night figuring out what needed to go in the metric and testing it out a little. So far, so good.

In other news, I'm proud to announce that I finally took a little time last night and sewed up some small holes in my collection of T-shirts. I had four shirts that I'd meant to mend months ago, and it just didn't happen. They've been sitting on the arm of the couch for awhile, and I finally got tired of trying not to knock them over. One of the holes was on a shoulder seam, and the others were just small wear and tear holes. The repairs aren't absolutely perfect, but they're pretty discreet, and it means I can wear my shirts again without feeling like a slob.

There's not much else going on. We've taken public transit a few more times, but we can walk nearly everywhere we need to go, so we're trying to find excuses to get on the bus, but that's getting harder as the homework load gets a little heavier and we find more stuff within walking distance to explore.

I'm not terribly concerned about our lack of bus time, although I'm sure the next time we take it, I'll get a little worried again. I just can't sit here and worry that I'll get lost on the bus line. Hell, at least if I do, I can ask the driver how to fix it. Would like to have an excuse to get back on the train, though. I do love the train.

All right, it's homework time.
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    busy busy

Someone's getting a sternly worded e-mail

I was in bed this morning, trying desperately to sleep through the worst of my period cramps, and suddenly, I heard some music starting right outside my window. Yesterday, when The Husband and I were coming back from the grocery store, we saw some guys constructing a bandstand, and I made comment that I really hoped it wasn't actually a bandstand because I didn't want to wake up to people yelling into microphones about anything.

Well, guess what?


And, to be slightly fair, they started at 11:30, so I wasn't shaken out of bed at 8:00 AM. However, there is no place in my apartment I can go for refuge. I can hear them at the same volume throughout the entire apartment, and it's so loud, I can't drown them out with the television or music without being obnoxious.

What's worse is that the library is literally next door to us, and I can just imagine how thrilled the staff and students over there are if they can hear it (the walls are thicker there, they may not be hearing it nearly as much as I am).

And to add more insult to injury, there is a perfectly good place to set up across the quad that is not directly in the line of any campus housing or academic buildings. I have no idea why they didn't set up there, but then I'm using common sense.

As a final annoyance, I want it noted we received no advance notice for this little concert. No e-mail, no note in our mailbox, no RA knocking on our door to tell us that if we want to be in our apartment today, we'd better like listening to music we can't control.
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    pissed off pissed off

It's not a shining beginning, but it's not terrible

Grad school has started, and I have now been to all my classes. So far, so good. Document Design uses the exact same books as my Advanced Tech Writing class, and the prof seems to run the class in a very similar manner to my ATW prof. Given that my prof is rather well-known in the field, methinks my ATW prof borrowed pages from her playbook, and I think that's awesome. It makes the DD class much more accessible to me. Book Editing will be fine, I think. It's a blended course (undergrads and grads), and I was flabbergasted to find out that it's a senior-level class for the undergrads and their first introduction to learning editing marks. I have to remind myself that I'm one of the very few tech comm people in the room, and just because the editing class was the second class of my program doesn't mean it's that way for everyone.

My elective this quarter was going to be FrameMaker but having been to the class now I'm seriously considering dropping it. Turns out my previous FrameMaker experience still puts me ahead of what's learned in the class. Not by much, but I looked at the syllabus, saw what we were learning, and said, "Yeah, I've done this. All of this." There's only one piece of the syllabus I can honestly say I can't do, and that's creating a Table of Contents, but we're only learning that at the end of the quarter, and sticking through the whole class for something I could Google my way through means I'm probably going to be bored.

This, however, leads to a problem: With the FrameMaker class, I'm at full-time status. Without it, I'm not. But I don't want to spend valuable time (and money) in a class that's not going to teach me anything substantial. If it were a new version of FrameMaker, I'd stick it out, but it's not. It's the same one I learned on. It's the same one I wrote a tutorial on. I had assumed that what I knew was pretty basic, and it turns out that it's not. I'm probably intermediate on the program now.

I've e-mailed my advisor for help, because while there are other electives I could take, they're all bunched under one number, and the course catalog doesn't describe them individually, and the descriptions of the courses in the Add/Drop area don't give me anything to go on. I have an independent study idea, but I'm not sure if, a) it'll fly or b) my advisor will have time to keep tabs on me for it. I've just got to wait and see what he says.

If I have to stick through the FM class, so be it. I can do it. But I'd rather not. I've worked really hard to get to the level where I can literally pick and choose what I study, and I don't want to be stuck in a repeat.

And now I feel like I've bogged down this entry with the sad face stuff, so let me say this: Things are good right now. I put in for a job that I know I'll freaking LOVE if I get it, and we haven't gotten lost the whole week. I also now have a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style, and that will make me happy for YEARS.
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    contemplative contemplative

Not much new to report, but a new report if you want it

We've been getting around a little and doing all right. Had a very weird moment on the bus today when we were looking for a card shop for The Husband. We took the same bus to and from the shop, and it stopped announcing stops after a few blocks. The public transit website says that you can ask the driver to announce upcoming stops, but I can't tell if the automated-sounding announcements are the driver pressing the button to make the digital voice announce a stop or if the automated system on our particular bus was buggy.

Also, I ended up ordering toasters online because it felt easier than trying to find a Target in this city. There are quite a few, but I'm still nervous about getting lost, given our first couple of days here. I know it's all part of a new city, but we got spectacularly lost, and it's making me a little timid. And all the Targets are on weird parts of the bus line. Not "weird" as in "rapehole," but "weird" as in, it requires at least one transfer to go down what looks like the same street. Although, given how the streets in Portland seem to be made of magic and fairy dust when you drive them, I may be onto something.

On the upside, there's a lot of stuff within walking distance including Safeway, an amazing bookstore, and a Whole Foods. We're gonna do a small tour of campus tomorrow and then head down to Whole Foods to get me bread, then I have orientation, and when I come back from that, we're taking the train out to Ikea again to buy our bed frame and set up delivery.

Gimmie a week more; I think I'll be more confident with the public transit. Also, I'll have a toaster.
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    nervous nervous

Okay, Portland and I are starting to get along

Rockiest start to a relationship I've ever had.

We got our metro passes today, and they are fucking idiot-proof. If we lose them, the university won't replace them, but as long as that doesn't happen, we're fine. We can get anywhere in the city that's available by public transit. We're headed to Ikea after the groceries are delivered, and we're gonna do it on the train. We've got about 50 minutes either way, but we can keep ourselves entertained, and we won't have to try and understand why a street that is supposed to exist doesn't.

Our books are mostly unpacked. We're out of shelf space, so we're stacking the other half of them up on the wall until we can figure out what to do with them. We've still got most of our furniture to put together, so we don't want to think about shelves just yet.

The Husband absolutely nailed his audition and is officially part of the acting studies program. I reviewed my book list this morning, and not only do I get to buy the Chicago Manual of Style, but I also don't have to buy the books for my Document Design class because they are the exact same books I used in my undergrad advanced tech writing class.

After Ikea tonight we're going to try and get the living room and dining area finished up. I have to put together the chairs for our adorable table, and The Husband is going to get the tv stand and coffee table together after we finish the couch together. Once that's all set up, we can finally put down our area rug. Which is awesome.

I am so happy things are finally settling in correctly.
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    busy busy