constance: (*steeps*)
Just now, I'm sipping my postprandial chai and listening to the Kill Bill soundtrack and thinking about something I saw on my facebook feed earlier today. My we-will-call-him-friend-because-that-is-what-facebook-says-he-is-and-who-am-I-to-question-facebook was discussing, at surprising length, and with surprising conviction, what he considered to be the single defining characteristic of Smart People: their ability to multitask.

Which I disagree with, most vehemently (although not on facebook, because man, it's just best for one's mental health not to engage in facebook arguments). I don't think it's just me being insulted because my one vanity is my intelligence and I have proven myself incapable of doing more than one thing at once -- at least not if I want to do any one of those things with any sort of finesse at all (for example, in writing this, the chai is getting cold at my left wrist and I have to stop typing in order to determine which Kill Bill song we're on (it's Goodnight Moon, if you're interested, and man, I think I may just have set a record for nested parenthetical expressions)) -- it's that I've read arguments that multitasking hampers rather than increases productivity, regardless of intelligence, and other arguments in favor of working on several things concurrently, and both arguments seem reasonable to me. (Though of course, given my own take on the matter, one argument does in fact seem righter.) I think my we-will-call-him-friend-because-that-is-what-facebook-says-he-is-and-who-am-I-to-question-facebook would argue that studies that discuss the drawbacks of multitasking don't focus on exceptionally intelligent folk, which may very well be the case, but you know, I've known actual, honest-to-glory geniuses who can't multitask to save their lives, and wouldn't want to, and people of average intelligence who can juggle activities and processes much more successfully. And obviously, I've known the reverse as well.

Anyway, it seems to me that multitasking, and people's comfort levels with it, and their levels of success in doing it, have less to do with their measurable intelligence, and much more to do with the types of people that they are. And I'm just sort of curious about this: I think that anymore, most of us are forced to it at times (if not all the time), so the question's not really whether or not you multitask, but whether you're successful at it, and whether you feel comfortable doing it.

To make a long question much shorter: are you a multitasker or a single-tracker by nature? What's your system, baby?


Apr. 11th, 2011 09:16 am
constance: (*drives*)
The recent lj DDoS attacks and the subsequent just-in-case account creations at dreamwidth have reminded me that I have several dw codes available for giveaway. In the past, I've made the mistake of thinking that anyone who wants a dw journal has long since set up shop over there, but clearly that's not the case; if you're interested in creating a journal, let me know and I'll shoot you an invite code.

Just as a quick plug: I don't use dw exclusively (obviously), or even primarily, but they've made crossposting and importing ridiculously easy, they don't use ads, and there are numerous only-on-dreamwidth perks to explore. In these days of OMG WHERE IS MY CONTENT AND WHY CAN I NOT GET LJ TO LOAD, it seems smart to have a backup plan in place. Just in case.
constance: (*reads*)
Back in the mid-nineties, Penguin Books turned 60 years old. You probably remember the global-scale celebrations, right? The glittering, star-studded parties? Well, then, you must at least remember the limited edition releases of excerpts and stories in a series called Penguin 60s? Slender little paperback Penguin books culled from their larger and longer Classics series that sold for just 95 cents each (60p in the UK, hence the name)? No? Just me?

Well, Penguin did produce these wee books, and I have some of them. (I was working in a bookstore, that year, and it turned out that they were kind of impossible to resist.) I picked them up for me, and also some extras, to give away as gifts and party favors, and it turns out, fifteen years or so later, I still have a few straggling duplicates. And I'm wondering if anyone is interested in them. Maybe not. But still: books! Free ones! Especially tiny ones! Seriously, they are irresistible.

Here's a list of my duplicates.

Gigi by Colette - I have three two only one copy left of this one!

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - plus four other not-nearly-so-iconic stories for your delectation.

Lives of Three Renaissance Artists by Giorgio Vasari - the titular artists being Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

The Portrait of Mr. W.H. by Oscar Wilde - now with free bonus poem ("The Ballad of Reading Gaol")!

If you're interested in one (or more!), just let me know, and I'll PM you to get your address. (Note to DW readers: I'm closing comments here to avoid confusion, but you can reply at the lj post here.)


In other news, I am currently experiencing one of my wordless, tongue-tied fits, and the thought of writing is making me stupidly anxious, but it will pass. It always does.
constance: (*packs*)
I've been meaning to do this meme (most recently seen on the lj of [personal profile] venivincere) for a couple of weeks now, and somehow it just hasn't gotten done; but now I have two hours and a little space, and BY GOD I AM JUMPING THIS TRAIN. Memes are important! I know you agree.

four decades of census data )
constance: (Default)
Title: In Inches
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Pairing: Gen, with maybe a touch of sketchiness in the John/Sherlock area
Prompt: The Case of the Lost Hour
Rating: PG
Word count: ~900
Warnings: None.
Summary: "That's the frailty of genius, John. It needs an audience."
Notes: My first Sherlock fic. Thanks to the inimitable [personal profile] bowdlerized, who provided a quick-and-dirty beta and gifted me with a sublime new nickname all in the same day. Title from a proverb (“Victory is won not in miles, but in inches”) which turns out to be not a proverb at all; rather, it’s from from Louis L’Amour. Who knew?

(link to fic on dreamwidth)
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A few days ago, laurelwood linked to this article and asked people to talk about sleeping with books. So I did, there in her livejournal, but I've been playing with the idea ever since, in association with, like, everything I've ever loved, and I can't seem to stop and I want to get this down so maybe it will go away. (And I think it'll help if you play, too.)

So here you go: one-handed reading, the multimedia edition )
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Okay, people of the world, you know what? You have got to stop dumping armloads of garbage in my yard. I mean it. I don't think I'm being unreasonable here. In fact, I am trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, because speaking as someone who pays specially for the little green bags she carries with her while walking the dogs so as not to leave their crap in other people's yards, I understand that not everyone has the same hangups regarding personal space (which radius equals about thirty feet in every direction from my person) as I do; and although it annoys me to have to pick up the occasional styrofoam takeout box or PBR can which totally never belonged to me out of my yard, these things do happen, and I can live with that.

And I also understand that you don't know that my next door neighbor is the second within five years to have aired her hoarding issues on her front (and side, and back) lawn -- I mean, what are the odds there, seriously? And I understand that you don't know that I still have nightmares about cleaning out such a house with roaches trying to climb up my arms and legs, because hey, I suppose some people do that kind of thing all the time and are none the worse for it. And I even understand -- to a degree -- that some people, when confronted with huge drifts of buggy, busted-up stuff, come over all acquisitive and must needs cull through every scrap of it to see if anything's worth having.

But. But.

Do you have to dump my neighbor's stuff over the back fence into my yard to get to other stuff? Really? Because I'm thinking that regardless of my personal issues, and regardless of my regrettably extensive history with hoarding neighbors, dumping an armload of a stranger's junk over a four-foot fence into another stranger's yard is pretty loathsome behavior. It's just manners, when you're rooting through someone else's leavings, to keep your activities confined to the yard you're actually pillaging.

Am I wrong about this? I don't think I am wrong about this. But right or wrong, I am wanting it to stop pretty badly, because every day I go home for lunch and see more roach-egg-encrusted stuff in my back yard, stuff that I am going to have to touch to throw away properly, I am one step closer to breaking into tears. And then hanging out in the back yard with a baseball bat and a hotline to the police station. I am telling you, people of the world, that you are on your way to turning me into that crazy old lady who glares out of the windows at everyone who dares approach her property, and when that happy day arrives, I have every intention of making you suffer right along with me.

WIP meme

Feb. 15th, 2011 07:10 pm
constance: (Default)
As seen in the livejournal of everyone: Post the names of all the files in your WIP folder, regardless of how non-descriptive or ridiculous.

Upon request, I will post a random line or two from any of these you choose. Assuming that the file adds up to a full line, that is.

divided by fandom, because that's how I organize them )
constance: (Default)
So, it turns out that working a sixteen-hour day, setting off the office alarm, accidentally locking yourself into the warehouse (without keys, phones, coats, wallets, etc.), stealing a truck, driving to several different houses in the middle of the night in bootless search of someone to give you (a) a copy of your own house key or (b) a sofa to sleep on, parking in your back yard and fitfully and refrigeratedly napping in the stolen truck until you can go back to the office and have someone let you in, going back to the office and having someone let you in, retrieving your things (blessed, blessed things which are going to be stapled to you from now on), going home to feed and walk your poor dogs, showering, dressing, returning to work, and actually working? Quite, quite exhausting.

I hit the wall about three hours ago, and have been sliding bonelessly down it ever since. I haven't actually fallen asleep at my desk yet, but I still have an hour yet to go.
constance: (Default)
Many and many a moon ago, resonant very kindly made space for me on Archive of our Own. Excited, I immediately registered an account, and then did nothing with it for more than a year and likely closer to two, because although the AO3 has made the upload process relatively painless, they have not yet provided settings so that all one's fics (scattered over the various pseuds and idents that one has created in different places because one has never especially minded whether the world knew whether the tradescant who wrote A and the tofty who wrote B and the ordinarily who wrote C and the constance who, um, made a house for Piglet and Pooh are actually the same person) are magically gathered together and coded with the single click of a button.

Okay, I kinda got lost in that paragraph, but anyway, I finally got my shit together and uploaded my fics, is what I'm saying. Yes, that's right, I have finally embraced the perfectly crazy idea that it might be a good idea to keep all one's transformative works in a single, tidy, accessible central location. Which, since this seems like as good a place as any to mention it, is here.

Well, I lie: not quite all my stuff is uploaded there, though. I didn't include anything under 500 words, of which I have a surprising lot, and none of my sundry non-writing projects are uploaded either, simply because I'm not sure whether they're welcome. Hey, AO3 users, do you know if they are? If I can link to art, for example, in a post?

Many thanks to resonant, and to the folks at AO3, for the space. And many thanks to me for finally getting it done so that I don't have to dread the process any more.

Now, if only I can keep it up to date.
constance: (Default)
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

and death i think is no parenthesis

--e.e. cummings
constance: (Default)
You guys. I have my new stove, and it is so beautiful. I agonized over my choice for long enough that some things I wanted went off sale and others went on, and in the end, I ended up with something not on my original wish list, the choice guided not by recommended brands so much as what seemed like the best stove within my budget at that moment.

It was a good choice. At least, I think it was a good choice; I say this because I haven't actually used it yet for anything more taxing than boiling water, which is, I hear, a thing every new-bought stove in the world can do. Part of the reason for my negligence is that my kitchen is still dismantled because I paint at a snail's pace, but most of it, I admit, is that I'm afraid that if I cook on it I will somehow mess it up, as if its now-pristine surfaces aren't, you know, wipable.

(Well, maybe I've played too much Sims, too, seen too many inept cooks start kitchen fires by cooking. It upsets the Sims so! And I feel sure that starting a kitchen fire would upset me too, and I would stand helplessly by clutching my hair and stomping a little while the fire consumed the stove, and I would get a small insurance check out of nowhere to compensate me for my loss, but that wouldn't be enough for me. I don't want that!)

One day, my friends, I'll get over my awe-inspired fear, and then watch out! There will be Meals Aplenty generated by that stove. I'm certain of it. Nearly certain. And until then, I'm just going to keep going into the kitchen and turning on the burners with the sort of exuberant glee usually reserved for naughty toddlers and pyromaniacal teenaged boys.
constance: (Default)
Dear People of UPS )
constance: (Default)
Have you ever been confounded by a city or town? Maybe you thought, however inexplicably, that it was a bad place; or maybe it was a good place but it seemed unknowable from the outset and never got any less so, or maybe its layout seemed deliberately intended to trip you up at every turn; or maybe it was a place you wanted desperately to escape and it took a long time, longer than it really should've. Stuff like that.

If you've experienced this: what is that place for you? And how did it affect your perceptions? Let's talk about that.
constance: (Default)
Hi, you guys! Hi! Happy this-close-to-2011 to you and yours.

Because I know that on New Year's Eve, all thoughts turn to quotidian domestic matters, I have a question for those of you who know about these things, while I'm patiently waiting for 30+ minutes to elapse: at what point is it advisable to just write an old kitchen range off and buy a new one? And hey, you probably want details so you can make an informed decision, I'm guessing. You are responsible, I know! You don't want to leap in without knowing the details, and tell me to do something I'll later regret! I completely understand. I'm that way too. So.

After the weekend, I am officially Back on the Wagon as regards diet, so as my last hurrah, I am making a meat pie that my mother used to make and that I am craving something embarrassingly fierce, and I got all the way through the considerable prep, chopping and browning and sautéing and grating and seasoning and crusting (huh, okay, that just sounds kind of gross), and I even cut out little leaf shapes to decorate the top, and I went to put the pie in the oven, and it wasn't on, and no amount of fiddling and lighting of pilots and so forth could induce it to stay on.

Mind, this crotchety range behavior has been going on for a while. It's an old gas range, I'd say from the style of it a good 35 years old. It came with the house, and from my first time using it, it's never worked exactly well. The stove's great, granted -- I do so love me a gas stove -- but the oven has always smoked at any temperature higher than 375 degrees F, as in, set the smoke alarm off unless I closed the kitchen door and opened the back door for ventilation, not the most convenient of setups when it's, say, raining, or twenty degrees (or ninety degrees) out. And lately, I have had to fiddle with the range in the aforementioned manner to get the oven to come on. Plus the clock and timer don't work, and everyone knows that those are the best parts of a range!

So here I am, baking a meat pie in a toaster oven, which thank the merciful and sweet-smelling baby Jesus that the pie actually fit into it, and waiting to see if pies bake properly in toaster ovens. And do you know that I have never in all my forty-plus years and dozen or so places of residence as an adult had to buy a range? It's totally true. I've never even had to worry about having one repaired, because the couple of times the range in the place I was living in went haywire, I was able to pick up the phone and call a landlord, and voilà! it repaired itself as if by magic.

Now, though. Not having a landlord to call, I must decide for myself what to do. And I'm no good at that, so I here I am asking for advice. What do you think, trustworthy friends?
constance: (Default)
Okay, so. Last week at this time, I was wearing flip-flops. It was at least 75 degrees, WTF CENTRAL GEORGIA, and just a little bit sticky; the weather reminded me of Christmases of my childhood when my parents (after my father and his best friend had gotten drunk and climbed up onto the roofs of their respective houses (in the face, we heard many years later, of vehement opposition/threats of divorce from their respective wives) and stomped around ho-ho-hoing, pretending to be [santa + eight tiny reindeer], waking us kids up and freaking us out and rendering us incapable of sleep for the rest of the night) would turn the air conditioner down as low as it would go, so that on Christmas morning we'd have that goddamned fire or bust, and then we'd go outside to play with our new bicycles and pink-wheeled white rollerskates and whatnot wearing shorts and t-shirts, because it was the Gulf Coast, baby, and as likely as not to be pretty fucking balmy on Christmas Day. The weather here, it was like that, is what I'm saying, which is highly unusual for these parts, where as a rule it's chilly and dry and ridiculously pleasant in November.

And the weather held steady through the start of the weekend, and then the temperatures plummeted forty degrees over the course of one wildly windy afternoon, wherein I lost almost all my leaves, or anyway, my trees, of which there are many, lost their leaves. It was like that Terry Gilliam animation, you know the one I'm talking about. And it was frigidly, unseasonally cold for a couple of days.

And THEN yesterday the temperature -- what's the opposite of plummeted? -- shot up like a round fired in the French Quarter by some redneck on New Year's Eve, a round that's going to fall again at the same speeds at which it ascended (that's just physics) and is fated to hit you square in the top of the head, likely killing you instantly, but at least if it doesn't kill you, you'll be too drunk to find it anything but hilariously funny. And it was seventy-five degrees again today.

And NOW. NOW it is raining like crazy (which don't get me wrong, we're grateful for the rain) and there are tornado warnings for my entire region, and guess what? The temperature's gonna drop again, and by this time tomorrow, we'll be headed straight down into the twenties, and we may or may not stop there for a while. I won't count on it, though. No one really knows what the hell's going on any more.

I mean to say: Central Georgia, seriously, WTF? My grass is confused! Clover is growing, and shriveling, and growing again; it looks like my yard is breathing. The trees, which lost their leaves en masse like three days ago, are budding again. The incredibly beautiful wild-growing twenty-foot-tall camellia trees lining my neighbor's side of the driveway are biding their time in a decidedly gingerly and possibly disapproving fashion. It seems I'm gonna be forced to do that, too, and mostly I'm cool with that, but still, a little part of me is with the clover, here. YOU DO YOUR JOB, NOVEMBER, AND I'LL DO MINE, OKAY.
constance: (Default)
As displayed in, for example, this chair, which is entirely lovely to me. And because it's a thing designed from readily-available materials, it is currently taking over the reproductive, in-love-with-imagination-but-not-in-itself-imaginative part of my brain, which is maybe about 78% of my total functioning brain power. I could do this, I keep thinking, ignoring the fact that I have at least twenty well-intentioned and completable projects backlogged right now. Maybe not in white linen, because in a house with dogs, oy, but I could absolutely do this.

It's just so pretty! And simple! Oh, sure, the creator's page states that reproduction "in any manner or form" is considered theft, but really, since I'd never actually make it anyway, I can dream about not only the chair but also the making of it with a clear conscience.
constance: (Default)
The newest incarnation of the 826 Valencia ventures may be my favorite, and I don't say that lightly. I am wishing, today, that they shipped overseas, or indeed accepted credit cards or human sacrifice (apparently they don't), because I think these items would be excellent additions to my future potions laboratory.

Check out some of their products here.
constance: (Default)
Anyone may know how highly I think of Lynda Barry. (And I mean this in totally unironical non-Emma-Woodhousian way!) I have even said so before, in this very lj. But I was revisiting my love this weekend, as I made out my absolutely-mandatory-or-else-you-will-suffer Christmas list for my mother. On that list is her latest book, and seriously, I don't care what else I get or don't get: if someone buys this book for me, I will be ridiculously, extravagantly, unapologetically delighted.

Few things make me happier, in a bittersweet, heart-in-my-throat kind of way, than Lynda Barry. And as you may or may not have guessed by now, that is by far my favorite way to be happy.
constance: (Default)
After an exhausting and productive day spent sitting on my ass in front of my computer (no really, productive! Bills paid, bank account reconciled, Christmas shopping freaking finished, can you believe it, pending one address that for my Aunt and Uncle who recently moved into a new house), I'm ready to kick back and watch movies for the rest of the night. On tonight's menu: Import! Action! Films! I'll start with House of Flying Daggers, I think, then move on to Hero, and finish up with (of course) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and I'll emerge into my comparatively sepia-tinted and gravity-regulated world around midnight or so, all dazzled and pleased and reluctant to let go, which in my opinion is exactly what movie marathons are all about.

See you on the flip side, my friends.


constance: (Default)

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