Recent blog entries for marnanel

in which Final Fantasy is discovered to be a computer game

Today someone made a reference I didn't get to something called a chockoboo (I think). I looked confused, and they said, "Have you heard of Final Fantasy?" "Yes," I said, "but I'm not sure what it is. A film, maybe, or a computer game?" There followed a great deal of explanation which I have now forgotten because I have no context to attach it to, except that FF is a large series of complicated computer games and that chockoboos are important in some of them. I think they must have explained what a chockoboo actually *is*, but if they did I forgot it.

The main takeaway, however, was an alarming realisation that I do this too, to almost everyone I meet.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/332483.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-29 17:23:34 from Monument

Image accessibility

I have an accessibility idea. I shall probably do it, unless it turns out to be fundamentally flawed. Your thoughts are appreciated!

1) A site that takes an uploaded JPEG, and a string, and returns the JPEG with the EXIF comment field set to that string.

2) Browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome which set the alt property of each JPEG on a page to its comment field, if it has one.

This means you can describe an image before you post it, and that description travels with the image. Thoughts?

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/332220.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-27 15:27:19 (Updated 2015-03-27 15:27:29) from Monument

Poetry and risk aversion

A while back a friend said something about risk aversion, and I asked them about it.

There's a setup where you get given two choices. One choice means you'll definitely get £"x". The other means you'll have a "y"% choice of getting £"z", and if you don't you'll get nothing.

This showed me I am very risk-averse. If you ask me to choose between a definite £5 and a 25% chance of £100, I'm still going to choose the £5 because that's my lunch, dammit. For most amounts of money I won't take the bet unless the odds are better than evens. I suppose everyone has a set of heuristics like that, and this is mine.

There have been times when I've worked around these heuristics on purpose-- you may remember the business about Växjö. But that was merely a workaround; it didn't change the heuristics.

I was thinking yesterday that this explains a lot about why I usually don't enter poetry competitions or submit work to journals: the cost of entry is rarely worth the chance of payoff. "Cost of entry" here might include money, but always includes the manual and mental work needed to prepare and submit, the anxiety about not getting it right, and (if simultaneous submissions aren't allowed) losing the ability to use a particular poem for the next four months. And the payoff is small, and the chance of getting it isn't great. So mostly I don't bother.

See also: applying for jobs, asking people on dates, etc, etc.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/330990.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-19 23:38:58 from Monument

the care and feeding of marnanel

some things to know about me:

* I may be wrong and often am. If I am, I would like to know, and learn better. But...
* I hate conflict. If you are rude, aggressive, hostile, ridiculing, I'll probably not talk to you.
* I am aware that I am privileged in many ways; if I show unchecked privilege, I appreciate hearing about it and I promise to take it seriously. I expect the same from you.
* Autonomy is important. I would like to hear your stories rather than tell my own. But if your behaviour involves nonconsensual damage to others, especially children, I am unlikely to be sympathetic (to put it mildly). Anti-vaccination people are specifically included here as people who damage children.
* I love hugs and cuddles, but please don't touch me without asking.
* If I have a panic attack, please hang around. Afterwards I will probably go and hide somewhere for a bit, and then I probably won't cope too well with people talking to me.
* If I'm occupied with nothing but my phone in public, that's probably a way of hiding.
* I hate phone calls. I hate making them, and I hate receiving them. Text or email instead, unless it's urgent, or you've arranged it otherwise. (To my parents: yes, you count as having arranged otherwise. But I still prefer email.)
* My pronouns are they/them, though zie/zir is fine too, and other pronouns are all right where I'm not out as genderqueer. If you get it wrong, that's fine. But don't get it wrong on purpose.
* Do not shout at me. Ever.
* I like reconciliation. If we were friends in the past, I probably want to be friends again. There are a very few exceptions, but you know who you are.
* I like vegetarian food, but I'll eat some kinds of meat if that's all that's available. I'm allergic to uncooked egg (and this includes scrambled eggs, for some reason). Eggs in things like cake are fine. Actually, cake is lovely in general.
* I have a bad habit of avoiding dealing with things I don't know how to handle, especially emails I don't know how to answer. In particular, I love getting fanmail, but I'm rather bad at answering it. I'm really sorry: I'm working on it. I do read it all, and it does make me happy, and I love you all.
* Please don't assume I can pick up on hints, or flirting, or that I know any particular social conventions about conversations; please be explicit. If there's something you can't or don't want to talk about, I will pick it up and worry about it if you lie about the things round the edges in inconsistent ways. I really like it when people talk to me about how they want to talk to me and how I want to talk to them.
* I'll try to add trigger warnings to posts and pictures. Again, if I get it wrong, let me know.
* I have triggers of my own. I may have to leave a conversation because of them. It's a PTSD thing.
* Reciting poetry and singing and scripting/echolalia are coping habits.
* I apologise too much. I'm working on it.

Did I miss anything? Questions and comments and suggestions are welcome.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/330693.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-15 23:26:48 (Updated 2015-03-15 23:40:44) from Monument

RPGs

TW suicide

I posted recently about why I had to give up HabitRPG-- a combination of playing on my anxiety, guilt trips, not being able to think of appropriate rewards, and so on. I said at the time that this is a problem I have with games in general. But Debbie mentioned a computer RPG earlier and it made me think about why Habit is one of the RPGs in particular I have great problems with.

I don't mind AD&D-type things where you're a collaborative part of a team and you can fade into the background as necessary-- it's not much different from roleplay irl. And I don't mind single-player games where they're a large directed puzzle to solve-- it's not far different from a crossword. But competitive roleplaying makes me want to cause my character's suicide early on to save trouble. Even worse are large open-ended games with no particular goal, the sort of thing where you can say, "Oh, lovely! A whole new universe for me to fail in!"

I think if Elite were released today I probably wouldn't enjoy it much.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/329517.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-04 19:30:47 (Updated 2015-03-04 19:31:16) from Monument

Why I hate Valentine's day

In answer to someone complaining about people complaining about Valentine's ( http://catvalente.livejournal.com/434149.html?page=3 ):

I don't *want* to take happiness away from anyone who's happy on Valentine's day-- why would I want to take happiness away from other people? Good luck to them! But *I* hate Valentine's day because it reminds me of the years and years of Valentine's days filled with loneliness and despair, and if I allow myself to think about it, I'll fall apart. I suppose "triggering" is the word I'm looking for. Maybe one day I'll get over that, and I really don't like being this bitter, but for now I hate Valentine's day because of what it does to me. Every. Single. Year.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/328960.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-02-23 15:25:25 from Monument

the sky goddess, all naked

One summer, when I was a small child, I found a book on astronomy. I read it eagerly, and talked about the stars to everyone I met. But it was summer, and so my bedtime was before dusk, and stargazing was impossible.

So my father offered to let me stay up one night to see the stars. He took me to the tall window on the stairs, and drew back the curtain, and I saw the stars scattered across the dark blue of the sky, and the Milky Way shining.

And it was terrifying. It seemed I was looking not just into unimaginable distances, but at something that should not be seen, something almost indecent for human eyes to see-- like seeing the sky goddess all naked for one moment before looking upon her beauty strikes you dead.

I fled, screaming.



This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/327574.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-02-05 16:32:11 from Monument

sense development of "cadre"

After a discussion at the party meeting last night I went and looked up the sense development of the word "cadre".

1. In socialist use it means a person who has learned to take on any work necessary (within a political team), so that the loss of any one member damages the team less.
2. And this comes from an earlier use of the word to mean a whole team of socialists-- a chapter, a cell group.
3. And that comes from an earlier use of the word to mean the structure used to organise an army.
4. And that comes from the French word for a frame.
5. And that comes from the Latin "quadrum", a thing with four sides.

So a square thing has become a well-rounded individual.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/327374.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-02-05 13:15:28 from Monument

Films

...at least, the ones I can find right now. There are more somewhere. Listing them here in case any local friends want to watch them with us.

  • Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) -- a Parisian manic pixie dream girl goes around trying to right injustice but makes a mess of it; in French, subtitled
  • Alice in Wonderland (the Tim Burton film) -- an attempt at a sequel to the original story; I forget whether it's any good
  • The Lavender Hill Mob -- some respectable bank clerks are running a gold-smuggling operation; Ealing comedy; b&w
  • Woolly and Tig -- a small child is afraid of things, and her cuddly spider explains how to reframe them; a set of five-minute episodes; I love this particularly because reframing is a useful skill in dealing with fear and anxiety for grownups too
  • The Fall -- in a 1920s hospital a grown-up patient tells a four-year-old patient a story, as a ruse to get her to steal sleeping tablets for him; we see the story unfold from her point of view; I love this film
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas -- more Tim Burton
  • The Icicle Thief (Ladri di saponette) -- a TV station shows a depressing film about the Depression; the director is angry that they've cut it for advert breaks; the director and people from the adverts end up in the film, causing weird culture shock; in Italian, subtitled
  • The Dark Crystal -- Jim Henson film which apparently everyone has seen but me
  • Kinsey -- biopic of Alfred Kinsey, who researched sex and sexuality through the novel idea of actually asking people what they got up to
  • Grease -- I doubt I need to tell you more
This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/327014.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-02-04 10:32:11 from Monument

"I would like to be a girl ☐"

When I was at school, the county would often send psychologists to ask me things. Once, when I was about thirteen, I had to fill in a sort of questionnaire. It had statements with tickyboxes, like

I would like to be an astronaut ☐
I would like to be stronger ☐

The paper said at the top that it was the version of the test for boys, and the last question of all said:

I would like to be a girl ☐

And I had a panicky moment considering that if I told the truth there it would involve a lot more psychologists and probably further humiliation in front of my classmates, so with some level of guilt for lying I left the box unticked.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/326502.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-02-01 22:40:09 (Updated 2015-02-01 22:40:28) from Monument

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