all_strange_wonders: The phrase "Either way, it is bad for Zathras" are superimposed over a picture of the character Zathras from Babylon 5. (bad for zathras)
Let me preface this (and explain the title somewhat), by explaining that I used to consider myself a misanthrope. Then I realized I actually do like (or can at least tolerate) most people, even if they do make me tired. I also used to think that people irritated me because they could not keep up and had a distressing tendency to not know the words I was using (why hello arrogant genius time tag, haven't seen you in a while…). That actually is true, but time and practice have made me, if not actually more patient, more tolerant of the fact that most people aren't going to operate on the same level I do in some respects*. So these days I mostly get on with people, and I find I generally like the people I come into contact with in my dealings with the world at large. Recently I have encountered a rare exception to that rather pleasant trend.

And then this entry got a lot longer than I expected. )
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (sexual olympics)
Ok, I'm going to talk about power dynamics in a relationship. Those of you not interested or who (rightly) think I've got no business going on about it due to my own limited experience can safely skip this one--nothing else interesting should be mixed in.

The Beautiful Kind (not worksafe) lives a much, much kinkier lifestyle than I do. Her website is a great read, especially some of the letters she receives. One in particular brings up what I think is a common issue in terms of the perception of BDSM--the idea that pretty much everyone into BDSM, D/s, and other kinds of kink are substituting those kinks for "real" relationships. As someone with a long-standing interest in pursuing a D/s relationship, I find the assumption pretty offensive. I also find her assertion that people who are into kink are basically fucked up to be pretty offensive. More than that, the writer implies (although she never outright says) that (male) doms are basically just violent rapists getting a pass because they live in sexually liberal times, and that (female) subs are really just the bad kind of victim. The whole letter is also pretty biased towards heterosexual relationships with male doms and female subs, but that's a whole different kettle of fish.

This letter really bothers me because she's basically talking about the sort of relationship I'm interested in. Because these criticisms are so squarely aimed at my interests, it really hits home and makes me feel like she doesn't understand relationships with a consciously-included power dynamic. Her assumption is that men are taking power from women who aren't willing, because they are in some way incapable of really giving up power willingly. She seems to be saying that:
a) a woman who willingly gives up power to another person is either being coerced or is too screwed up to make that decision and have it be considered viable
b) women don't actually have power to give away anyway, or women in D/s relationships are powerless.

A commenter replies with a saying that I like a lot, because it sums up the complicated interplay of power between a Dom and a sub: "a collar is also a crown."

Because the truth is, a Dom gets power from the consent of his or her sub. That initial willing submission is the basis for a Dom's power over a sub, even in a scene that involves forcing submission in some way. Doms exert the most obvious power, but subs derive a power of their own by giving it up, and subs retain the power to say no and end the activity or scene. And none of that even gets into the mutual affection and respect that ought to exist between any two people in a relationship.

So yeah. Basically, screw you, lady who believes that I must be mental and dysfunctional. Keep your insecurities off my once and future sex life.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Ok, today living with other people is pissing me off.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (tired of smiling)
Have finally found something irritating about one of my flatmates.

Every time she walks in and sees me in the kitchen, she asks what I'm making.

"Well," I do not say, "if you would use your eyes, you would see that I have peanut butter and bread out. If you would like to exercise a little logic, you could probably guess"

I also do not say, "Frozen rolls, just like it says in big letters on this bag I'm holding, you moron," or, "Fried baby! It's my mother's recipe," although I'm deeply tempted to.

What is more irritating is that she then wants to have a conversation about how she lived on pb&j her freshman year but can't stand just peanut butter on her sandwiches, or how interesting frozen rolls are. I do not care about your peanut butter preferences, frozen rolls are not interesting. I just want to make this food so that I can go back to my mountain of reading.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Oh my god people. Punctuation is still important, even if it's the internet. Correction: it is more important because it is the internet. When text on a screen is the only method of communication you're using, without the pauses and intonations from speech and the supplements of body language, making your text as clear as possible ought to be a major priority. SO PLEASE USE YOUR PERIODS, K? AND EVEN SOME COMMAS AND SEMICOLONS IF YOU'RE FEELING WILD. I get that all punctuation other than periods tends to be viewed as a sort of advanced topic these days (or as I like to call it, Every English Teacher Will Have a Different Opinion About How Many Commas You Should Use), but give it a try. If you really want to go out on a limb, find yourself a secondhand style guide. The section on appropriate punctuation will be good long after the MLA formatting changes again.

I'm not saying that you must punctuate every line of every IM conversation perfectly, because I certainly don't. I'm just saying that you ought to make an effort to be comprehensible, and the human eye needs punctuation (and sometimes paragraph breaks) to read and comprehend effectively. That's one of the things that makes reading very old source material an absolute bitch--no capitals, no spaces, no punctuation. Let's not backslide to BCE standards.

/rant
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Google Maps knows the road ends just past our house.

IT IS A MIRACLE.

Now if only all the GPS maps would learn the same thing, we'd be in business. Because apparently in a fight between a sign that says "Road ends, 300 feet" and a GPS that says the road goes through, the GPS wins. Go figure. Luckily, the DOT game along and not only put up posts to keep morons from driving across the unpaved, ungravelled dam, but put up some red signs on each end to make it really, really plain that NO YOU CANNOT DRIVE HERE. Not even golf carts and four wheelers fit through those posts, although morons looking for something to set on fire unfortunately do. So far, their hobbies include not only arson, but trespassing and vandalism. Fun!

Of course, we're expecting one of these young idiots to fall into the lake and sacrifice themselves to Darwin pretty much any time now, and we draw the line of being helpful at calling the ambulance. The lake is much deeper at the dam's edge than it used to be, and jumping in to try and pull someone out is a really good way to drown yourself.

On the bright side, it turns out there are fish in our lake! We don't know how they got there, but they're bigger than the minnows that were all we had last year.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (terrible danger)
There are plenty of things to be peeved about in the world of fanfiction--misspellings, bad or no punctuation, a total lack of paragraphs, badly handled dialogue, straight up bad writing, and pretty much all crossovers ever, just to name a few (and oh, does the list go on*). Here are two examples of what I call "summary peeves"--things people will say in their story summaries that will put me off a story before I've even read it.

Pet Peeve #11479a:
People who say "First fic, don't be mean" or some variation thereof in their summaries. This is actually code for "This is so bad it may actually be unreadable. I didn't use spellcheck and I don't believe in paragraphs or punctuation. If you offer constructive criticism, I will fly off the handle and threaten to kill myself because I am a sensitive artist and you are *SOB* SO MEAN!!1!!1!".
If there is a disclaimer of this type in an author's note within the story but NOT in the summary and it is clear that the author has made an effort to work with the English language instead of against it, this peeve may not apply. That first post is nerve-wracking, after all.

Pet Peeve #11479b:
People who say "Review for updates" (or, more commonly, review4updates, thus vaulting it into a whole new level of peevery**) in their summaries. This is convenient shorthand for "I am an attention whore. This story will be of indifferent quality at best, and you will not review it, hoping thereby to kill it stone dead."
As a general rule, I can pass by these without even a glance, safe in the assurance that there is nothing there worth reading and that any review I might post would merely be frothing at the mouth about the murder of the English language.

*Baby Peeve of the Day: Using "said" instead of "the" when referring to a recently mentioned person or object. Example: "Said girl picked up said sunglasses and put them on." I have written no less than 5 reviews today trying to politely point out that this is irritating, confusing, and jarring for the reader, and deleted them all after concluding that there is no polite way to tell people they need to Just Write Better.

**See: Spaces Are Good and Use Real Words
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (everything connected)
It's so nice to be wanted. To have one person who I don't have to chase down for a conversation or company, who actively desires my company and invites it.

But this one person? He's nice, but he's not the one I would have chosen, if I had to pick just one out of my whole acquaintance.

An old friend once told me that it was easy to forget that I actually liked him. I am intimately acquainted with that feeling of late. It is very, very easy to feel as if you have no value when you are treated as if you have no value, or as if you are a curiosity or a temporary amusement at best.

Especially at a distance, actions speak volumes, and words hardly at all.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (so happy together)
Men.

I do not understand them. In fact, the men I am most intimately acquainted with are the ones I understand least. Could somebody please explain that to me? I mean, I love them anyway (how could I not? they're wonderful people), but I don't get them. Sometimes I feel like things would be much easier if I could just peer inside their heads and see what they're thinking. Or maybe if they came with a translator.

In other news, still single, since apparently these days I attract exactly the wrong sort of guy for my tastes. That's another thing I'd like explained, please. Why do all these clearly inferior specimens persist in thinking that I might sleep with them? Because frankly, I don't think I'll ever be that desperate, and if I ever am, I hope you all will do the kind thing and put me out of my misery.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (paying off karma)
ohgod. WHY CAN PEOPLE NOT SPELL?!

"Hear" is not the same as "here", "vile" is not the same as "vial". I just want to reach out and shake the internet and scream that HOMONYMS ARE NOT THE SAME AS SYNONYMS. And then, of course, I would have to pull out a dictionary and explain it all over again using very simple words. Also, proper capitalization and punctuation are VERY IMPORTANT.

I'm just going to go rock in a corner now.

ps--"ohgod" is an intentional elision of the two words, since whenever I feel this way they always come out as one when spoken.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (storm-bringer)
I think this whole year of specials idea for Doctor Who has been a terrible one, especially with the weird spacing.
Why?
Because I, an avid (one might even say rabid) fan of the new series, am having a hard time remembering to watch the newest special, despite the fact that half of my lj icons are Who-related, my desktop is covered in Tennant, and my external is called the TARDIS. It probably has something to do with the fact that the last special aired in April, and I have had time in the interval to do things like watch all of Eureka and NCIS. If Gwen hadn't been reminding me periodically about the upcoming 11th Doctor, I would have forgotten that the 10th still has some screen time left in him. I understand they didn't want to leave an empty year while DT was off having a career outside the show and all, but the way they've chosen to resolve that problem leaves a lot to be desired. The Waters of Mars should have aired months ago, while I was still waiting with bated breath (and lots of free time). If it's kind of a cliffhanger for the 2 part Christmas special, so what? That would have kept up my enthusiasm for them. As it is… Waters of Mars. Eh. Maybe I'll see it before the other two have both aired.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Today's pet peeve:
The word "shoppe". It's just so… *twitch*.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Pet peeve of the day:

People using "shear" when they mean "sheer".

For example, "shear boredom", which I can only assume has something to do with monotonous scissors- perhaps a condition professional seamstresses suffer due to lack of variety and excitement in their cutting implements? Because it has absolutely nothing to do with unmitigated ennui.

This public service announcement brought to you by "Just because spellcheck doesn't say it's wrong doesn't mean it's RIGHT".

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