Sieze the Toast

\”I\” before \”E\” except after \”C\” and when sounding for \”A\” as in \”neighbor\” and \”weigh.\” So where does that leave us?

Vine Scarf Pattern Chart August 28, 2006

This is what I’ve been doing all week (with the occasional break for learning American Sign Language, getting myself established on the Knitty boards, and going to work).  I designed this pattern for a double-knit scarf, but it can be adapted to a variety of other applications.  I’m trying to create the impression of ivy climbing an old brick wall (the rest of the scarf has a partially randomized checkerboard pattern).

The chart:

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 #   

@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 1 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 2 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 3 
0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 4 
0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 5 
0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 6 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 7 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 8 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 9 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 10 
@ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 11 
@ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 12 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 13 
0 @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 14 
0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 15 
0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 16 
0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 17 
@ 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 18 
@ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 19 
@ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 20 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 21 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 22 
@ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 @ 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 23 
@ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 24 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 25 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 26 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 27 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 28 
@ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 29 
@ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 30 
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@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 32 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 33 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 34 
@ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ 35 
@ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ 36 
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@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 @ 38 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 39 
@ @ @ @ 2 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 40 
@ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ 0 0 0 @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 41 
@ 0 0 @ 0 0 @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 @ 0 @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ 0 0 42 
@ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 43 
@ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 44 
@ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 @ 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 45 
@ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 46 
@ 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 47 
0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 48 
0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 49 
0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 50 
0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 51 
0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 52 
0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 53 
0 @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 54 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 55 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 56 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ 0 0 @ @ 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ 57 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ 58 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 59 
@ @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 60 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 61 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 62 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 63 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 64 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 65 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 66 
@ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 67 
@ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 68 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 69 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 70 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 71 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 72 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 73 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ 74 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 @ 0 75 
@ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ 76 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 75 
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@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 78 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 79 
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@ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 81 
@ @ 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 82 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 83 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 84 
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@ @ @ @ @ 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 86 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 87 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 88 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 89 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 90 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 91 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 92 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 93 
@ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 94 
@ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 95 
@ @ 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 96 
@ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 97 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 98 
@ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 99 
@ 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 100 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 101 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 102 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 103 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 104 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 105 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 106 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 107 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 108 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 109 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 110 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 111 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 112 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 113 
@ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 114 
@ @ @ @ 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 115 
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@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 125 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 126 
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@ @ @ 0 0 @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 129 
@ @ @ 0 0 @ @ 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 130 
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@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ 149 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 150 
@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 151 
@ @ @ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ @ 0 152 
@ @ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ @ 153 
@ @ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ @ 154 
@ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ @ 155 
@ @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 156 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ @ 157 
@ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 158 
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 159 
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 160 
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 161 
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 162 
  V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 V   163 
  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   164 
  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   165 
    V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   166 
    0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 V     167 
      V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0     168 
      0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0     169 
        V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0     170 
        0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0 V       171 
          V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0       172 
          0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 0 0       173 
            V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 @ 0 0 0 V         174 
              V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0         175 
                V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0         176 
                  V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 V           177 
                    V 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0           178 
                      V 0 0 0 0 0 V             179 
                        V 0 0 0 0 0             180 
                          V 0 0 V               181 
                            V V                 182 
                             V                  183

0 is the main color, @ is the contrasting color, and V is a decrease (I plan on blogging a tutorial for working decreases in two-color double knitting, one of these days).  Have fun!

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Production rate August 19, 2006

I’m thinking of making this blog weekly, or at least semi-weekly.  That way, if I manage to post almost every day, I’m exceeding expectations, and if not, I can still meet them without cutting too deeply into my personal life.

The main issue is that when I blog all the time, I run out of interesting, important or entertaining things to say, and I don’t want to run one of those blogs that updates daily (or even hourly) just to post a link, copy and paste somebody else’s brain-fart, or apologize for not updating more.  At the same time, I would hate for this to become one of those depressing blogs that starts out promisingly, slows to a trickle, and is finally doomed to sit, static, until the Internet is no more.1

When I was a kid, on average, I would finish writing one (fairly long) short story (that I was happy with) per year, plus numerous throwaway poems, five or six school-assigned essays, and a dozen or so beginnings that never got off the ground.2  I think that if I can write at that rate again, apply the things I’ve learned in the intervening years, and get some of this stuff published (or at least personally rejected), I can have a fairly impressive body of work by the time I’m thirty.

1. What happens to a blog deferred?  Does it fall into an ever-descending spiral of obsessive self-maintenance, like the house in There Will Come Soft Rains or the appliances in The Brave Little Toaster?  Does it immediately resign itself to decay, uncaring or unconscious that it has been forgotten, like that bottle of clotted Frappuccino I found in the back of the pantry earlier this year?  (It had been there since 1999.  Mom saw the syrup-encased sediment at the bottom and the expiration date on the oldschool full-coverage label, and still tried to drink it.)
Or does it explode?

2. The most important thing I took away from my FictionPress experience was the realization that, despite the best of intentions, the vast majority of stories end up in the circular filing system after just a few pages.  It gave me a new level of respect for all writers who have managed to finish a story, and some much-needed perspective on my own work.

 

Updating, because it’s what I do. August 17, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Naomi @ 8:13 pm

Wrist warmers have been 100% complete for a few days; scarf is approaching 50% at a nice clip.

This is the scariest thing I’ve ever read.  Vaguely unsettling that he’s out there, if even half of it is true; downright frightening that a significant number of my contemporaries, male and female, have made him a folk hero.

I’m working on an epic personal post attempting to explain something I said in my introductory post.  The hard part is striking a balance between verisimilitude and knowing that my kid brother will read it.  Brutal honesty is easy until you have to talk about yourself.

 

Critique Circle August 15, 2006

Filed under: Blogroll,Creative Writing — Naomi @ 9:02 pm

: or : Finally, a post that has something to do with creative writing

I spent a goodly portion of the day in an ibuprofen-induced coma, and a similar sized portion on Critique Circle.  I updated my profile with a link to the blog and a couple of character profiles I’d created, added my pin to their Bravenet map, and spent way too much time on their forums.  The next batch of stories hits the queue in a few minutes, and I have every intention of going back.

 

Three Out Of Four August 14, 2006

Apparently there are people out there who manage to have extended families, hobbies, a day job and a daily blog, all at the same time.  I’m not one of them.  I can manage three out of four on a good day, and when I have a big start-of-the-month workload, two sets of cousins making extended visits in the same week, and a scarf that ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT sit on the needles for more than sixteen hours at a time, the blog is the first thing to get shelved.  You say “failure to live up to a commitment,” I say “refusal to sacrifice the principles on which I’ve based my priorities.”

Anyway, now that things have calmed down, I’m working through my backlog of posts that I already said I would write.  I’m going to try to write two posts per day until that gaping rift between August 5th and today gets a little smaller.  In the meantime, here’s some utterly meaningless but somehow interesting filler.

You Have Your Sarcastic Moments
While you’re not sarcastic at all times, you definitely have a cynical edge.
In your opinion, not all people are annoying. Some are dead!
And although you do have your genuine moments, you can’t help getting your zingers in.
Some people might be a little hurt by your sarcasm, but it’s more likely they think you’re hilarious.

How Sarcastic Are You?

 

Midol August 13, 2006

Filed under: Autobiographical,Drugs,Important Information,Work — Naomi @ 9:02 pm
  1. The general consensus among ObGyns is that women should avoid caffeine during menstruation because it can make some of the most common symptoms (irritability, muscle cramps, etc.) even worse.1
  2. Bayer markets a pain reliever called MIDOL Menstrual Complete specifically to women looking for relief from common menstrual symptoms.
  3. A dose of MIDOL Menstrual Complete contains 500 mg of Acetaminophen, 15 mg of Pyrilamene Maleate, and 60 mg of caffeine.

Don’t you just love drugs that counteract themselves?


1. Actually, the general consensus among doctors is that most people should cut back on caffeine on general principle.  The Red Bull generation is making a beeline for a massive coronary.  Me, I get a little nervous after a late-morning can of Coke, so I’m careful.  There’s this guy at work who drinks a Vault every day around 10, and he is jumpy.  The other day we opened the same door from different sides, and when he saw me he stepped back and shrieked.

 

MySpace as Communication Platform August 6, 2006

Filed under: Articles,How-to,MySpace,Relationships — Naomi @ 3:43 pm

The vast majority of MySpace users join the site as a way of connecting with old friends and making new ones.  Then they leave the site because these connections inundate them with “too much drama.”  Go figure.

Essentially, your ability to build and maintain friendships on MySpace depends on your ability to do so in real life.  If you talk to people, they will talk to you, and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make– or something along those lines.  MySpace provides four methods of communication: comments, e-mail (“private” messages), bulletins, and message boards.

  • Comments are messages that are visible to everyone who looks at your profile.  By default, they can contain HTML (allowing people to embed images, movies, sounds, or stupid things that screw up your layout), but you can change your settings to accept only plain-text comments and let you moderate the comments you receive.  Comments are limited in size.  You can receive comments while you are signed off, even if you only accept messages when you are signed on.  You can leave comments on a user’s profile or on the files that they upload (pictures, videos, blog entries, and in the case of bands, sound files), but if the user removes that file, all of the comments on it disappear.  Most users communicate almost exclusively through comments, and many measure their self-worth by the number of comments they receive each day.
  • E-mail on MySpace is similar to other types of web-mail, but a little less user-friendly and considerably less secure.  Messages are typed in a text box.  You can include HTML, but you have to create the tags manually and you cannot preview the message before it is sent.  It is fairly easy to send the same message twice, or fail to send a message after several attempts, without realizing it.  Whether you quietly accept this or throw a hissy fit is up to you.
  • Bulletins are a waste of time.  Nobody reads them.  Your home page has a bulletin space that shows the five most recent bulletins your friends have posted, but this disappears once your friend count reaches one thousand.  At the bottom of each bulletin is a link allowing the reader to delete the writer from the reader’s friend list, so posting bulletins is a great way to lose those few dear friends who actually take the time to read bulletins.  If you post too many bulletins in a short period of time (“bulletin spam”), you may lose the ability to post a bulletin more than once every few hours.  Bulletins can include HTML.
  • Message boards can be public or “private.”  MySpace has its own extensive set of moderated message boards, and each group has its own message board that is moderated (or not) by the users who run the group.  A message board is only as fun and useful as the people who post to it, so your results will vary.

As indicated above, you can also upload various types of files for your friends (and total strangers) to see.  However, very few people will know that you’ve uploaded something new unless you tell them.

One last point: individual features of MySpace go offline even more often than the site as a whole; this applies especially to e-mail.  Your real friends won’t mind exchanging phone numbers.

Next up: crass commercialism, or, free advertising that is worth every penny.