valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
They're crap pics taken by the appraiser, but at least you get an idea. So here, a few before and after photos.

Not dialup friendly. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
I promised these ages ago. And then the Riptidians began doing the bookcase meme, where you post pics of, well, your bookcases, and I decided to be lazy and combine it all into one.

Pics of my bookcases. And my house. Not dialup friendly. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
So I've been brooding rather intensely for a few days, and it's brought some focus about my interpersonal conversational skills. Or rather, lack thereof.

I don't think I have ever had a clearer picture of just how much effort it takes for me to converse with people. Depending on who I'm having the conversation with, I engage layers, sometimes multiple layers, of modifiers in my brain to prevent the wrong thing from being said. What I mean by layers... ) These layers engage to form a barrier to prevent me from hurting someone else's feelings, and they are based upon the person. The more layers that are engaged, the more I start thinking about them, and the more I have to put in intense effort to figure out what I can say, and the less I am actually able to get out that's intelligent and relevant.

So where did these layers come from? Well, my father is definitely where I eventually learned a lot of logic and analysis from. I am not logical by nature, you see. My "logic" is actually just a huge repository of remembered situations (or even remembered stories by other people). If something occurs, I look through my logic bag, and try to see if anything similar has happened to me, or if I've ever heard a story like that. Based on that, I'm sometimes able to formulate the best course. This "logic" also fuels the layers, in a way. I am very thoughtless in my conversations, and my father would often take me aside later and explain which things I'd said that were "wrong" and might have hurt the other person's feelings. How to succeed in insulting others without even trying. )

The emphasis on "right" and "wrong" words can be really difficult to get around. I often tailspin into paranoia, certain that someone is avoiding me because of something I've said, or implied, or that I wasn't interesting enough. This is exacerbated by society, in some ways. We are expected to not point out stupidity or insults in our conversations; most people will simply "be polite" and continue talking, and then later laugh about the gaffes to other people. I've done it myself. The problem with this is that I have to then rely on my faulty logic system and my elaborate layers system to prevent these gaffes, and sometimes it's just not possible. And because no one will tell you when you've really made a gaffe, I am left to imagine gaffes where there are none.

Of course, when I am certain about a real gaffe, it makes me cringe in a way that is pretty extreme, and I can beat myself up like nobody's business about it. I go back over old conversations, and I pull out flaws and magnify the stupid things I've said until I cannot understand why anyone would want to be friends with me, much less even talk to me. It's rather extreme, and usually I'm able to take a deep breath and slip off to the side of it. Sometimes, though, I sit and stew for a day or two, and this entry is the result of that. Just trying to understand the issues involved with this is helpful. Is it any wonder I like online communication better? )

Please don't look at this as "Now I have to reassure Valis that she is not an evil bitch from another galaxy and that I like her" situation. I'm serious. This is me trying to know myself, and sharing the process, and hoping to hear of your own conversational styles and experiences.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] todayiamadaisy...

How did you come to start your LJ?

Well, when I bought my computer in October 2003, I spent a lot of time going through Mummy fanfiction online, which I was introduced to by my RL friend [livejournal.com profile] bookwench2096. Then I found Snape fanfiction, and I spent a few months reading, skimming, or checking out the summary for every single Snape fanfic on ff.net at the time (I am serious). When I was done with that, I started doing more searches, and somehow I landed at [livejournal.com profile] pottersues. Honestly, I got a LJ account just so I could join in the fun there.

Once I had the account, I decided to start posting. Keep in mind that I've never had a diary or journal that lasted more than three pages, so this was pretty cool. I got memey for a while, and then started posting personal stuff and fandom stuff. Because people were interacting with me, it made it so much more interesting and fun, and I kept it up (clearly).

How did you find your first friends?

Well, I found a LJ comm devoted to h/c Snape (unfortunately, it no longer exists), and I was fascinated by the different people in the comm. I started watching [livejournal.com profile] deepforestowl's journal, but didn't really understand the friending thing. I emailed a few people to tell them about my LJ, and it turns out that my (now) sister-in-law [livejournal.com profile] gypsyjolie had a journal, as well as my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] kitschicat, and there were other RL friends, too, like [livejournal.com profile] bob_the_mighty. Anyway, they friended me, and I figured out the friends page. After that I started friending people I interacted with on [livejournal.com profile] pottersues like [livejournal.com profile] luvboromir24601. It just snowballed from there.

Are those first friends still on your FL?

Yeah, everyone I just mentioned is. There were a couple from that first batch whom I ended up defriending.

How long have you been on LJ?

April 20th, 2004, so nearly five years. This is entry #1641, I believe.

Do you have more friends or communities on your FL? Do you do a lot of friends cuts? What would make you un-friend someone immediately?

Read more... )

Meme

Mar. 1st, 2009 10:46 pm
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] catyah gave me five things to post about. Here goes...


1. your LJ name, valis2 (even though you explained it to me the other night): Vast Artificial Life Intelligence System from the book by Philip K Dick, or awesome Japanese video game character. Your choice. The 2 is because [livejournal.com profile] valis is already taken.

2. Riptide (of course): I saw this show in the eighties, and I was moderately into it. Then I started watching the reruns on USA in the late eighties, and I really got into it, but then I forgot about it almost entirely. I mean, I would list it as one of the eighties shows I used to watch, like A*Team and Miami Vice, but I only remembered that there was a boat in it. Seriously. Then I discovered [livejournal.com profile] tinx_r's Steeper Than It Looks fic, and even though I couldn't remember which character was Nick and which was Cody, it was so good that I couldn't help but google the boys after I was done reading just so I could remember. And then I reread it. And then again. And then again. And then I went to work and thought about it all day, and when I got home I read it again. By that point Tinx was giving me a whole list of stuff to read, and once I found the glory of [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster and her writing, I was floored--I mean, seriously, this fandom is how small? And there are how many great writers? So that was a really awesome reintroduction to the show. And then I bought the DVDs and the rest is history.

3. Nick/Cody: Yum. Oh, I guess I should say more. )

4. Your new house: Um. I am still getting used to not hearing sirens, alarm clocks in other apartments, garbage trucks emptying dumpsters, people screaming or shouting, people having relations, loud thumping musical noise, car alarms, people making their cars beep at one o'clock in the morning, people slamming car doors, people talking loudly on the sidewalk at one o'clock in the morning, people slamming apartment doors, and dogs barking barking barking all the time. I am not used to the fact that there's no one above us. I am not used to the fact that I have a garage to park in now. I am not prepared for the landscaping, mowing, and drudgery of outside maintenance.

I am, however, delighted by stashing things in the basement. I don't think that will ever get old.

5. Lions!: I think this says it all.
valis2: Stone lion face (Valis II)
Fact about me you need to know for this entry: I can't remember nouns. Seriously. (Ask [livejournal.com profile] julian_black if you don't believe me.) I can't remember the proper names of things at least one out of every four times. When it's a verb, it's not so bad, because I can usually redirect through a slightly different verb for a similar effect. (Think "jumping" instead of "leaping," for example.) But for nouns, sometimes there is only one proper name that will do.

I do try to think my sentences through a little more carefully when I'm around new people or at work. But around really good friends and (especially) the husband, I will often stick a placeholder into the sentence where the unremembered word is because I need to get the entire phrase out before I forget it.

At this point, Husband knows what I mean at least four times out of five. There are several nonsense words that end up rolling off my tongue and acting as placeholders. One of them is "Shna Shna Higby," which is entirely burned into my brain because there was once a magazine in the front of my car for seven months with Sha Sha Higby on the cover (she's a performance artist).

Now that you have the [far too detailed] background on yet another of my eccentricities, I can reveal this exchange between Husband and myself just moments ago:

Valis: Can you take this detritus to the Shna Shna Higby for me? [Detritus = an empty root beer bottle and a glass, but I couldn't remember the word for bottle; Shna Shna Higby = kitchen]
Husband: For you, my dear, I would venture into the depths of Shna Shna Higby itself.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
There was a meme at some point about quirks. I started to quirkify an entry. Then [livejournal.com profile] pandora_nervosa tagged me. So here. Quirks!

  • At work I have to do tons of cut and paste in Word, and the find/replace function is essential. Occasionally I use the wildcard option, and when I do, I often imagine I'm sending out a feral girl to savage the document, jumping into the words and screeching and growling as she runs on all fours through the pages. Sometimes she comes back with exactly what I'm looking for; sometimes she grabs nearly the whole document and drags it back to me, baring her ink-stained broken teeth, letters sticking out from underneath her dirty fingernails.

  • My work involves five-digit numbers used to report medical procedures called CPT codes. (For example, 97010 is used to report having a hot or cold pack applied to a patient's body.) The description for one code always cracks me up: Prothrombin Time. Whenever I see that code, I imagine a medical superhero team shouting, "It's Prothrombin Time!" and shaking their pill jars furiously. Even sillier, it was mentioned on a recent CSI episode, and I nearly giggled myself off the couch.

  • I am a fidgeter. A world-class fidgeter, if you will. My family sought to break me of it, and they succeeded. To a degree. Now I stealth fidget. If I'm seated while I'm talking to you, for instance, I will be making small right-angle triangles with my big toe. Or both big toes. Each corner of the triangle will have a musical tone and I will repeat this in my head over and over again as I move my toe(s) through their triangular paces. I also flex the muscles in my thighs or calves. All while listening to you and carrying on my side of the conversation. You probably had no idea, did you?

  • [livejournal.com profile] iibnf is right. If you change your LJ name, I will completely forget who you are. I am so sorry. You could even begin every second entry with "OH HAI I USED TO BE NREXERSTEBBER, NOW I STEBBERNREXER" and I would still be lost on the very next entry. Even if it's only an hour later. I have successfully managed to remember two people who changed names, and that was only because one of them uses icons of herself and I actually know her in RL.

  • Moar )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Kindly supplied by the ever-lovely [livejournal.com profile] aubrem.

1. Why did you decide to go into business for yourself?

Read more... )

2. Please explain about the squid!

Read more... )

3. tLS ... status? : )

Read more... )

4. Please list five comfort objects you have around. (eg quilt, stuffed toy, whatever makes you happy)

Read more... )

5. In your opinion, what is it that people like about you?

Read more... )

Those were fun to answer--thanks, Aubrem!!
valis2: Stone lion face (Flatlion)
I was tagged by [livejournal.com profile] lady_branwyn, naughty thing.

I can't remember what the meme was, only that it was so amazingly yellow that I cannot in good conscience allow it to multiply on this journal without fear of tipping the yellow balance. You all know what happens if that occurs.

I've done this meme before, ages ago, I think. Here I go again. I'm certain that the answers are probably completely different this time. ha! Apparently consistency is not on my list, either.

  1. Chocolate. Milk, generally. Especially Vosges Dark Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt and Hazelnuts. And Mauna Loa milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

  2. Squid. All types, cuttles and colossus included. And crows. I love crows.

  3. Fanfic. Especially snupin. Especially h/c with Snape in the hurt/comforted role. That's probably my biggest guilty pleasure of them all. Severus returning from a DE meeting, nearly shattered? Beautiful. Sad thing is, it doesn't matter if the SPAG is awful, the plot atrocious, the characters distorted into pod versions of themselves...if Snape is suffering, I'm there.

  4. South Park. It grosses me out most of the time, but it also makes me laugh like an idjit. Also, reality TV shows like How Do I Look? and What Not To Wear and Survivor and American Idol and Amazing Race. Actually, any TV at all is pretty much a guilty pleasure, same with reading fanfic, though at least I can slide in a bit of eBay work during the reading. Now, do I remember to watch these shows? Heh. That's another story entirely.

  5. Bad action movies. The Punisher (with Dolph, of course, the movie which proves that a room full of ninjas is no big deal if you have an automatic weapon), Flash Gordon (oh yeah, baby, one of my faves), the Perfect Weapon (with Jeff Speakman), Lost Boys, the Three Musketeers (Kiefer Sutherland Beefcake Edition). Also cheesy (and glorious) movies: Golden Earrings (one of my faves of all time), the Sea Hawk, the Adventures of Robin Hood (mmm, Errol), Captain Blood, the Black Swan (hells yes!)...the list goes on and on. Though, since I had a tape get stuck in the VCR, I haven't been watching them recently.
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Because everybody wants to know weird random LJ things about me.

  • I never use the Current Mood thing. I tried, when I first started LJ, but what would happen is I'd write an entry, and then spend a half hour trying to find the exact mood I was feeling, and I realized it was just feeding the OCD, so I stopped.

  • I never use the Current Music thing because I am rarely listening to music while online.

  • I never use the Location thing because I only ever access LJ from my home computer. I do get on the internet at other places, so if I'm gone and you'd like to reach me you can always try to email me, but I never logon to LJ. It's partially paranoia, and partially a desire to keep LJ sacred and special and homey.

  • Ratio of actual LJ entries to entries that I've thought of but forgotten/decided against: 1:3.

  • Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] catsintheattic was asking me about my Excel schedule, and I thought, what the heck, I'll just make an entry about it and torture everyone.

I use a blank calendar format that I made myself (well, not like it's difficult). I then make a workbook containing several worksheets (each sheet corresponds to a new month), and as the years progress, I copy and paste the months and adjust the days.

Each worksheet is one month, and can be printed out on a single page. I use different colors for different things. Lavendar is for travelling, bright yellow is working the day job, and green is for shows.

See, most calendar templates are not very useful for me, because I like separate lines in each "cube" so that I can write out different things, like two appointments. And also, most programs make Sat/Sun too small, or they put Sun after Sat, and for me Sat & Sun are very much working days, so it really causes problems. I need full size cubes for those days because I work so much on weekends.

Image underneath )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
Filched from [livejournal.com profile] painless_j.

1. When did you come to HP fandom? How did you find HP fanfiction/fanart? Was HP your first fandom? I was very into the Mummy at first. I loved the character of Ardeth Bay. I used to type up stories on my manual typewriter. I had no idea that other people did things like this, and I had no idea that it was called "fanfiction". I used to trade little smutlets (we called them "weasels") with [livejournal.com profile] bookwench2096. I was avoiding the HP books because I worked at a bookstore, and usually you begin to actively loathe very very popular books. So I eventually did pick up the first two and read them, but I wasn't very impressed. Then Bookwench mentioned how much she liked Snape, and so I wrote her a quick smutlet about him finding her and strip-searching her. Yeah, a weasel. Anyway, for some reason it lurked in my subconscious and wouldn't let go, until I was really beginning to go Snape-crazy. Alan Rickman helped, of course, though I still think he's a bit too old for the part.

At some point Bookwench told me all about fandom (she was in X-files at the time), and she showed me a little bit online. Eventually I bought a computer, and in November 2003 I spent a lot of time running around the internet, trying to find Mummy stories. After a couple weeks I thought, what the heck, I'll look for Snape stories, and I started going through ffnet. I spent three months looking at the summary or skimming/reading every single Snape story there. And there were a lot, let me tell you. I started composing a story in my head, and Bookwench told me about Mary Sue, which sent me online for another three days, looking up and finding out about her and how to avoid her. That was when I discovered [livejournal.com profile] pottersues, and I spent another three days reading and laughing hysterically. I set up a LJ just so that I could comment there.

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Default)
For all of the new and exciting people who've friended me recently, an introduction. A re-introduction for those of you who have suffered through my LJ for longer.

About the lions, and more about me, me, me )

Glad you're here! Ask me a question if you're bored.
valis2: Stone lion face (Arizona lion3)
So, in the interest of trying to remember where I am, where I've come from, and where I'm going, I am going to compile my scoreboard.

    Present Day Status:

  • One small day job at a company associated with healthcare. It's a sort of traditional job, 9 to 5 kind of thing, except they allow flex time. I basically do three jobs there. Primary is compiling data at the end of the year and "cleaning it up", i.e., removing bad data, which involves three months of work running data and looking at thousands of numbers. Secondary is internet legal research, compiling statutes from the fifty states about health care, which change constantly. Tertiary is odd spreadsheets and word processing every so often. I set my own schedule and turn it in every month. I can work as little or as much as I like.


  • Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Milwaukeelion1)
I'm going to start doing an occasional entry with stories from my bookselling days. Thought I'd give you a bit of background...okay, more like a couple pages of background. If you ever really wanted to know about me, here's some stuff.

When I used to be a bookseller. Skip if you don't want to read a ramble about me as a bookseller. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Bostonlady)
I have been babbling a lot about RL lately. So sorry, fandom people!

So I've been thinking about choices in occupations lately.

One of the things that my friend in WI has always said is that if you take a 9 to 5 job, you might have a good wage, etc., but if there is something you want in life you often have to be conservative with spending in order to purchase it. With sales, you just have to sell more.

I have always liked that about what I do. Yes, I have a day job where I punch a clock, but my other three occupations are all nebulous and amorphous. Really, they go as far as I push them to go. And this suits me. Honestly, there aren't many careers where you can sit and eat ice cream on a Tuesday while watching Making Da Band all day. I have weeks where I have very little to do, unless I want to do something. Conversely, I have weeks where I am involved in exhausting work overload. If I'm sick, it doesn't matter. I have to do the show or I'm out the money I paid, and the money I could possibly take in. Plus the element of chance is always present. I could take in nothing, after all.

About 90% of the time I'm satisfied. I love being the director of my own life, deciding where I'm going, what I'm doing, etc. I love finding new things to sell. I hate that I don't have health insurance, and I hate obnoxious people, but other than that, I'm pretty happy. I'm not locked into showing up to work each day and having to work with the same five nasty humans for ten years.

But then there are days when I read entries from people like [livejournal.com profile] trasenstine. Entries where they have a paid sick day at home, or nearly every weekend free to do what they want. It's so regular and measured and comfortable. And so much of me likes the things to stay the same, always. I hate change. But here I am in this extremely chaotic set of occupations! And I can't help but wonder about what life would be like if I were, say, a periodicals manager at a Borders.

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