FedEx: A Dramatic Tale

Jul. 25th, 2017 06:38 pm
settiai: (Blue Beetle/Booster Gold -- dreadable)
[personal profile] settiai
As I've mentioned in the past, I tend to have trouble whenever I pay FedEx extra for an evening delivery (between 5-8pm). Unfortunately, if I order anything that needs a signature, that's my only option as I'm not home to sign for packages earlier than 5pm. So requesting evening delivery is the only way for me to actually get what I order, since they won't deliver after 5pm unless you pay extra.

Cut to the last week of June. I ordered two packages that were scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, and I paid for evening delivery. As has happened several times in the past, the packages never showed up as being on the truck to be delivered. So around 7pm or so I called customer service and started a paper trail, as well as started livetweeting the whole story on Twitter.

FedEx managed to get in touch with the local facility, who told them the package was out for delivery. The driver just hadn't scanned it when he left. ("Uh-huh," I told the poor customer service rep with more than a little skepticism.) This gets a bit long, but it's honestly a rather amusing story. In retrospect, at least. It wasn't so amusing at the time. )

... and that's why I will never again order from any company that only offers FedEx as a shipping option.
havocthecat: belly dancers with zils in a circle (hobbies belly dance)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Sometimes you look at a belly dance clothing vendor, admiring the beautiful clothing and considering a purchase because you need a new pair of pants (well, "need" is such a strong word, but "budgeting for a vanity purchase" is longer), but you notice some things:

You say to yourself, "Huh. All those models are really, really, REALLY thin."

REALLY thin.

You notice there are a couple of pictures of slender non-model dancers, and that's pretty cool, and a troupe of slender-to-average non-model dancers, and that's also cool.

Then you keep scrolling down and see that picture of the one non-model dancer wearing their clothes who might be considered larger-than-average has been cut off at the chest. You pause. You click. You see she's got a belly.

She's not fat. She's not plus-sized. Just larger-than-average. With a beautiful stomach, but one that's a little bit bigger than any of the other pictures that are actually visible on the site.

There aren't any plus-sized belly dancers on this site either. AT ALL. Which is weird. Because there are plenty of plus-sized belly dancers who are happy to buy dance wear. Especially custom-made dance wear.

That's when you realize that this clothing vendor doesn't want lardasses like you sullying their goods with your impure body.

So you close the tab and remember the name of the vendor, because you won't sully their bank account with your fat-stained money either.

(Edit: I don't have to add an "ALL body types are beautiful" disclaimer, do I? Or mention that the issue isn't that there are thin models, but that the one person on the largest size of the bell curve was CUT OFF below her chest in the picture. Let's face it, belly dance is a hobby where most of your customers aren't going to be model-thin.)

A fannish update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:15 pm
settiai: (Liara -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
Now that I've talked about real life a bit, I guess it's time for a bit of a fandom-related update. I'm not watching a lot of television lately, and the handful of shows that I am watching tend to be webseries rather than more traditional series. We'll see if that changes in the coming months?

I finally was able to start playing Mass Effect: Andromeda and have fallen back in love with the whole ME universe. I know a lot of people didn't like ME:A, but I really loved it. It's not my favorite game (that's still ME2), but I do think it might have moved to the #2 spot on my list. Could it have been better? Sure. But that doesn't mean I don't love it (and the characters) any less.

On a somewhat related note, I still love Dragon Age. I haven't been playing it as much lately, since ME has been taking up so much of my time, but I've gone back to working on fic. Which is a good thing, because DA is one of those rare fandoms that makes me want to write longfic. Even though I kind of suck at writing longfic and take forever to finish stories that are more than 5000 words.

I've also continued with my Critical Role obsession, to the surprise of nobody. The current storyline is slowly drawing to a close, and I'm expecting Vox Machina's tale to come to a close by the end of the year. Which makes me sad, since I love the characters. But on the other hand, a new story! With new characters! My chances of convincing people to start watching will greatly increase when they don't have 400+ hours to watch in order to get caught up.

Speaking of which, Dungeons & Dragons continues to eat a lot of my free time. I have two weekly games that I play in online via Roll20, one on Friday nights and one on Sunday nights. Then I have another Roll20 game on Saturday nights where I'm the DM. And then, because I have no sense of self-preservation, every other Sunday afternoon I walk over to the gaming store near my apartment to play in another campaign.

So, basically, every other week? I play four D&D games in a little over 48 hours. And even when I'm not cramming four games in, I'm still playing three. Which isn't much better.

Oops?

Um, let's see. What other fannish things should I talk about?

Geek and Sundry and Alpha are behind most of the webseries that I'm watching nowadays. There's Critical Role, of course, which I've already mentioned. Then there's Eric's TBD RPG, an awesome Doctor Who RPG that just recently came to an end and was replaced with Shield of Tomorrow, a Star Trek RPG. Oh, and Sagas of Sundry which is just... gods, it's hard to describe. It's creepy and amazing and I highly recommend it.

I'm not watching Vast yet (another one of their RPGs), but I've heard good things about it. It's definitely on my list, whenever I have free time again. (I also watch The Wednesday Club, but it's a bunch of geeks sitting around and talking about comics for two hours each week rather someone I'm particularly fannish about. It's a lot of fun if you like comics, though.)

Based on the recent Doctor Who casting news, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to start watching regularly again. I managed to watch some of the episodes from this most recent series but not all of them. Still, the ones that I was able to watch reminded me just how much I miss this show. I really hope that, once Moffat is gone, it will feel more like Doctor Who to me again.

The upcoming fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels has me both excited and terrified. I want to see what happens, but at the same time... well, it's Star Wars. I know going in that there was a good chance a lot of the characters wouldn't actually live through the show. The question is this: who and how?

I really need to start thinking about Yuletide and what fandoms I want to nominate this year, since it's coming up fast. This might be the first time in years that I haven't even started thinking about it yet, though. That will deserve its own post in a few weeks, when I try to start brainstorming.

A long overdue RL update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:42 pm
settiai: (Cass -- shoemoney2night)
[personal profile] settiai
So, yes, I'm still alive. Life in general has been busy lately, and the little bit of spare time I've had has been taken up by D&D and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Oops?

Work has been ridiculous lately. It's not really something that I can talk about in detail, but there's definitely quite a bit of tension between the higher ups and, well, a large percentage of the employees who aren't being paid six figures annually. Let's just say that the amount of work expected of most employees has gone up while salaries haven't (except for the higher ups, who magically were able to get raises when people making significantly less than them weren't), and I'm very worried the directors are going to find out first-hand just how screwed they are if a large number of people all turn in their notice and walk.

Mainly because I'm not in a position where I can afford to do that, no matter how much I might want to sometimes. Which means I'll also be somewhat screwed if anyone turns in their notice.

Add in the aforementioned extra work and the fact that several people have been out for health-related reasons, meaning our workload is even heavier, and... well, needless to say, it's not been fun.

Let's see... I should probably talk about the cats, huh?

Garrus and Percy are getting along surprisingly well. The first few weeks were a bit rocky, but once they got used to each other (and realized just how similar they are), things became a lot smoother. They're at the point where they're regularly grooming each other and sleeping just a few inches apart, which is a lot better than I was hoping for after less than two months.

I still miss Tali a lot, obviously, but the fact that Garrus and Percy are getting along so well is definitely helping. Percy is a doll, and I'm already at the point where I can't imagine him not being here. I just, you know, sometimes wish that I could have had all three of them, even though the realistic side of my brain knows that I never would have met him if I hadn't lost her.

VividCon is next week, which... I have complicated feelings about. Brain weasels! Aren't they fun? )

Anyway, I'm hoping that my brain weasels will go away once I'm actually in Chicago. At the moment, though, I'm not nearly as excited about the con being next week as I usually am by this point. Which makes me sad. Hopefully that will change somewhat over the next week-and-a-half?

... oh, I just realized that I never posted about my week of hell with FedEx here on Dreamwidth. I should rectify that. I want to make a separate fandom-related post first, and then I'll post the whole terrifying tale.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
ETA: Logged out and gone to sleep. Good night, all!

I'm going to be trying to figure out what city I should be setting my urban fantasy in. (Or at least, what it should be an analogue to, geography-wise.)

I'll be on Discord for a couple of hours, if anyone wants to join me:

https://discord.gg/w9PK3Yg

(This time I'll remember to edit the post to say when I log off Discord!)

Doctor Who (and St. Trinian's)

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:59 am
havocthecat: polly (red-haired geek with glasses) and celia (blonde loner) of st. trinian's (st trinians polly/celia)
[personal profile] havocthecat
The best part of the Doctor Who casting announcement is that it opens up EVEN MORE amazing possibilities for horrifyingly beautiful St. Trinian's crossovers.

"Oh, Beverly!" called Miss Fritton from her office, leaning over and waving one hand. Beverly could see one her out of the corner of one eye.

"Yeah, miss!"

"What's that little knobbly thingummy you're pointing at the door?"

"It's a sonic screwdriver, miss!"

"What's it for?"

"Nothing, miss!" There was Dalek invasion and the First Years were busy lobbing explosives from the tower while Beverly - the Doctor, really, but she'd been undercover for years and thought of herself as Beverly still - remodulated the alarm system to broadcast a frequency that would short-circuit their disruptor beams. The Daleks, not the First Years.

Though Beverly privately thought the First Years infinitely more dangerous to let loose upon the human race than the Daleks, but she did have standards after all, and centuries of enmity with the Daleks to uphold.

"So what you're saying," said Miss Fritton, appearing in her doorway with an empty bottle of vodka in one hand, "is that we're out of vodka and you forgot to stock up, is that it?"

"Get the gin, miss," said Beverly, holding back a sigh.
havocthecat: wagon tracks in the midwest (places landscape midwest)
[personal profile] havocthecat
The thing I like about this is Lifehacker article is that it explains the various problems with gluten that people have, and also it lies heavily on the "don't be a jerk if you think someone is a 'faker' with their gluten sensitivity" principle. Which. DON'T BE A JERK ABOUT PEOPLE'S FOOD ISSUES. Whether you think they're faking it or not isn't really the important thing.

Also it's just a really good article that's in the Celiac 101/Gluten 101 vein.

Here's the Deal with Gluten
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Glow is getting less attention than Wonder Woman, but this article is reminding me a lot of the articles about the Amazons working in the background of Wonder Woman - or what would have happened if they'd hired non-athletes and trained them to be athletes for Wonder Woman.

'Glow' Star Betty Gilpin: What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs

Anyone seen it? What do you think? Alison Brie is in it, and I loved her in Community.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Wonder Woman Wrap by Carissa Browning

The pattern is free (and color-coded for each section, which is awfully nice), so even if you don't make it, you should either save it to your Ravelry library (if you have one) or download it for future planning purposes JUST IN CASE. It's pretty simple, and should you be looking to learn short rows, this is a good one for that.

It was also translated into French, should you be a native French speaker or wish to practice your French or French-based knitting skills. (I don't believe Ravelry pattern writers turn down translations of their patterns, should you wish to donate your time to spreading the fandom love, but if you are interested, the comments section on the pattern post is here, and my experience on Ravelry's comments has been generally pleasant.)

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