Short NBA Dramatic Storyline Update:|
So a couple of seasons ago, the Los Angeles Lakers traded a former number two draft pick, D'Angelo Russell, to the Brooklyn Nets, a team that, at the time, was terrible and not expected to improve much in the immediate future. As the sweetener for a salary dump, which is pretty ignominious for a #2 draft pick in his second year.
D'Lo, as he is known, was only a couple of years into his career. There's been An Incident (when he put a video on the internet of his teammate Nick "Swaggy P" Young talking about how much he had cheated on his then significant other Iggy Azalea, causing Drama), but on-court he'd been... fine.
Their team's manager, Magic Johnson, made some extremely unflattering comments about D'Lo to the media, which is usually Not Done.
This season, the Nets have managed to build up quite well, D'Angelo Russell was an Eastern Conference All-Star, and the Nets are going to the playoffs. (In the east, which is easier.)
The Lakers, despite signing Best Player In The World (tm) LeBron James, are almost certainly not going to the playoffs.
That can, potentially, become an absolute mathematical certainty tonight.
If they lose to D'Angelo Russell and the Nets.
D'Angelo Russell, All-Star, can end the Lakers' season and make final what has in some ways been one of the most disappointing seasons for the Lakers in franchise history, just two years after they discarded him.
Things that make me very uncomfortable:|
When a person whose image/branding is partly based on their Being Very Smart (and whose image/branding matters somewhat, like, say, a reasonably high-profile author) posts something on Twitter that I reply to (I thought) quite innocuously and in a way that didn't need replying to, particularly...
... and they reply to correct me on my use of a term...
... and they are unquestionably, definitely wrong.
(I looked it up to check I wasn't somehow misremembering. I was not.)
And someone even retweets it, and... like, not only do I not like letting misinformation stand, but also, I'm kind of insulted by being condescendingly corrected?
But I don't actually want to make a high-profile black woman author look bad?
But seriously, you didn't have to be loudly wrong at me? You have a blue check and literally a thousand times as many followers as I do... maybe let it slide even if you think I am wrong? (I am not.)
You know how I said I was going to talk about the NBA?|
Well, this season there has been TOO MUCH DRAMA I am not even sure where to start. I'm waiting till I can marshal my thoughts a bit and put in some pictures.
Seriously. D R A M A
So, in my last post I left out some more unpleasantness of the last couple of weeks.|
I broke my tablet.
I'd put it where I usually put it but somehow this time I knocked it off, it landed, clearly, at the worst possible angle, and the screen was shattered.
It still works, kinda, but I've been avoiding using it in any way lest I do something that disrupts my ability to get all my data off, which I'm going to want to.
We took it to the repair guy for a quote, but Samsung parts are apparently now very expensive, and it would cost $300 just for the screen, which seems like too much for a tablet over five years old that's been starting to struggle.
I'd been thinking about replacing it for a while, but was holding off until something that actually seemed like an upgrade was available.
That time is still not yet.
Samsung tablets are now priced at "you might as well get a laptop" and don't include the functionality the one I bought in 2013 had. Hell no.
velithya spent most of a day researching (I was still sick and I think I was just too pathetic for her to ignore) and came up with the conclusion that an iPad 6+Apple Pencil was probably my best bet.
So I bought those.
And I hated them. I tried - I spent hours messing around with them - but the iPad's UI design is atrocious. Absolutely nothing is intuitive. "I want to close this program, so... I drag my finger slowly up one side of the screen?" Who the hell thought that made sense? "Oh, and I have to do it five or six times until I get the angle exactly right and do it slowly enough but not too slowly."
On my old tablet, that process involved: "Press home button. Touch applications icon."
No piece of electronics has ever inspired more thorough and profound hate in me in less time than the iPad 6.
Also, the Apple Pencil isn't very good, the tip design is absolutely rubbish. And the charging end and its accessories seem to be designed to get lost and require you to buy replacements and/or to break the charging port on your iPad.
So those were returned to the shop for a refund, because I'm not paying hundreds of dollars to be annoyed by the appalling design flaws of morally dubious electronics that I won't use if I can avoid it because I hate everything about the user experience.
Instead, we checked out a second-hand Surface Pro 3, and ended up deciding to buy it.
Now, I'll note that the hardware did and does seem completely fine, and the operating system was reset to factory settings, so none of this is on the previous owners.
The first morning I had it, I wanted to use it to watch basketball, because at this point my laptop was still in for service.
I wanted to be able to put it on the TV so I could use the Surface for other things.
So I installed Chrome, in order to use Chromecast.
Once I had the game playing on the TV, though, I had the issue that - even after I closed the Chrome window - the thing was running very, very slowly.
Fun fact: The Surface Pro 3 has 4GB of memory. Somehow, Windows 10 had this at less than one available.
I hate Windows 10, by the way, just not as much as I hate the iPad 6's OS. Windows 10 sucks but it actually lets me access the information that tells me why it sucks, it lets me adjust assorted settings where the iPad 6 just tells me not to worry my pretty little head about that, and it does things like "have actual buttons to do the basic system operations instead of wanting me to intuit arcane symbols to draw on the screen".
So I was wanting to try and poke at this issue, and rebooted the Surface.
It came back without audio or network capacity.
Diagnostics came up with nothing, and were like "try here to find more information on the internet" you little shit you're not recognising the network.
Oh well, say I. I haven't actually made significant changes to this thing yet. Reset to factory settings again!
... that throws an error.
... "Undoing changes," it says.
... except now it can't boot at all.
So, we had to download Windows 10 install media, and put those on a thumb drive, except that didn't work either, because it turns out the thumb drive was faulty.
IT WAS A DAY
Mar. 4th, 2019 @ 09:02 pm
I am terribly behind at reading again.|
In my defense: it's been a stressful month and then a week or so ago I started coughing up blood and have been having to have scans and take antibiotics and grapple with the realisation that, oh, actually I was quite sick indeed.
It was weird, because I had almost no secondary symptoms - like, even the cough wasn't severe. So I could feel like I wasn't sick at all right up until the sheer effort factor of getting up to pee had me shaking by the time I got back to the couch.
And in the meantime, my computer had to spend almost a week back at the service centre, because when I put it in for repairs a couple of months ago, they addressed the issue with the power fluctuations by replacing the external power supply... which worked for a while, until the short in the port it plugs into fried the new one enough that that started malfunctioning too.
I suspect words might be exchanged at the service centre, because they had to spend most of a week working on it as a priority job, and then replace the power supply again, replace the motherboard (which the port connects to), and replace the port, with all the hours of disassembly, reassembly, and testing that involves, and all they charged me for was the motherboard itself. The cost of the power supply and labour was waived.
Without my asking, but come to that it would have been quite the argument if they'd tried to charge me for most of that. The new power supply wouldn't have been necessary if they fixed the issue I reported the first time properly, and the motherboard probably still would have needed replacing but that would have been a minimal task if they'd done it when they had the thing disassembled for the other stuff.
Who looks at a power supply with a plug that has visible scorch marks and is partially melted and thinks: "We'll just replace this, and everything will be fine!" without working out how that happened?
All of this, plus a bunch of (blood-)family stuff, has taken out the last few weeks for me. And also for the people I live with.
I'm trying to come to terms with it being okay that my problems are problems for my loved ones too. That's how family works. It's how it goes.
Current Location: my couch
Current Music: FFIX: Chocobo Lagoon
So, I'm behind on reading again because... it's been a week, and also reading has been difficult due to issues with my glasses. BUT THIS IS HUGE |
This thread on Twitter.
Her therapist told her to be nice to the negative voice in her head. Read the whole thing, but the conclusion is: that voice is trying to protect her. It's not helpful, it's not actually protecting her, but it's not malicious. She likens it to a child making a mess because it's trying to be helpful. You have to clean up the mess, but you also tell the child that hey, you appreciate they wanted to help, but they don't have to do all the things. It's okay.
That's... a thing. A thing that is huge.
The voice in my head that tells me that if I'm too confident, if I'm too sure, if I actually believe that people love me and I'm worth it, everyone will hate me and leave me and I'll be abandoned and alone...
It's trying to protect me. Because that always happened before. It's a voice of fear that's trying to keep me safe.
I don't need to deny it. I need to soothe it. I need to tell it that it's okay. Thanks for the warning. Good looking out, voice. But it's different now, and I've got it from here. We'll be okay, voice, I promise.
- my father is in hospital
- my mother is sick
- I am sick
- my sister is in Australia
All of these are bad things.
I just got a Starlink: Battle for Atlas starter kit. IT HAS A SPACESHIP YOU MOUNT IT ON AS THE CONTROLLER IT IS SO COOL|
I'm taking it with me when we head out for Christmas. There's one child I know of expected at Christmas this year, a little boy I pretty much only see at Christmas who's remarkably unspoilt by the standards of only grandchildren, but who is still accustomed to being the only child around a number of adults, at least some of whom will be doting on him.
BRING YOUR TRACTORS, KID. I HAVE A SPACESHIP.
Fortunately, Nintendo make their things quite sturdy, because, yes, obviously I will let him play with it, I'm not a monster.
My mother noted that I should rave about his tractors if he lets me play with them. As of last time I saw him, playing with him and his tractors actually results in being quizzed on my ability to identify assorted pieces of farm machinery. Incorrect answers win a gaze of disappointed pity.
And then we had a debate, because I was right, actually, but some things have more than one name.
He wasn't really on board with that idea. More pity.
My mother said intelligent children can be a challenge. I don't really find them so; I scale down my vocabulary and treat them like tiny versions of me, and it works just fine.
My mother had sharply limited experience with small children before she had her own. (She was a teacher, but she taught high school.) I suppose I was probably a bit of a shock.
My memory of what it was like to be a small child is of everything being written larger, in bold and underlined, but there never seemed to be a limit to what I could learn so long as people started from a point that wasn't new to me.
So dealing with children, to me, is: be gentle, because their emotional armour has not developed; don't tease, because they might not get the joke; answer their questions and explain anything they seem puzzled by. Assume they will be broadly ignorant, but never, ever confuse that with stupidity.
Dec. 19th, 2018 @ 07:12 pm
Is there a nice version of: "So, hey, I don't want to bring you down if you're happy about this [online platform/service/whatever], but you should probably know they have a racism problem and you might want to take that into account before you get emotionally invested in this thing."|
(Context: Goodreads is racist.)
Because... happiness is good! Enjoying things is good! But it's probably less upsetting an experience to know something's problematic before it becomes a part of your life, than to either have to extract it from your life later, or feel guilty about it, or end up disappointing people when you explain your justification for supporting the racist platform.
Or, say, have established networks and relationships that depend on the racist platform that you really truly can't bring yourself to lose so you end up unable to tear yourself away from the racist platform.
(Looking at you, Twitter.)
There is an NBA player whose nickname among fans is "Timelord".
I'm thinking I might start posting recaps of This Week In The NBA. Because even people who don't actually like watching the sport should be able to follow along, the NBA is the best entertainment drama going.|
Before I get into updates, though, there are so many existing storylines to bring people up to speed about.
So. I've picked my favourite team as the starting point, but some of this will only even make that much sense when I've done some more things on other teams and players, but bear with me!
Canon Background #1: The Golden State Warriors
Back when I was a kid, I went through a significant Basketball Phase. Mostly, this being the early 90s and US teams not being broadcast in Perth, I was into the Perth Wildcats, but we followed NBA teams, mostly through monthly magazines.
My team of choice was the Golden State Warriors, because they played in blue and gold (like the West Coast Eagles).
This decision was made just before the rise of the Michael Jordan Bulls, who would win six of the next eight championships (in two sets of three). You may in fact have heard of Michael Jordan even if you don't like sports.
The Warriors, meanwhile, would... well.
A site called Grantland ran a column called How To Annoy A Fan Base In 60 Easy Steps detailing the ways in which the Warriors would do basically everything wrong and get quite unlucky to sustain a historically long stretch of being really, really bad.
It was published in 2012. At that point, the Warriors had made the playoffs once in eighteen years. (The We Believe Warriors may get their own post at some point, it's a heartwarming feelgood storyline with some hilarious comedy denouements featuring the German villain who will go on to be redeemed into a beloved fan favourite Good Guy.)
So. Circa 2012, the Warriors were the long-standing comic relief character, the bumbling idiot who does everything wrong and gets really unlucky the few times he did something that wasn't actually stupid. In TVTropes terms, the Warriors were somewhere between The Chew Toy and Blessed With Suck. Nothing ever worked out right.
As of 2012, they were booing ownership on Chris Mullin Night, a night meant to celebrate one of the handful of heroes the Warriors had left.
And then something magical happened.
Steph Curry, who'd missed most of a season for surgery and rehabilitation on his ankles, because he was a talented young player balanced on ankles made of spun sugar, reworked his movement and biomechanics and muscle development and learned to stay healthy for most of the season.
He and Klay Thompson got to play together more. They're both amazing shooters who became known as the Splash Brothers.
After another player was injured, second-round draft pick Draymond Green blossomed into a defensive powerhouse.
The Warriors started to click.
In 2013, they made the playoffs and got to the second round.
In 2014, they made the playoffs, and were heartbroken to lose in the first.
They fired their coach, Mark Jackson, and hired a first-time head coach in Steve Kerr.
They won a championship. And Steph Curry won the league's Most Valuable Player award.
Some of their opponents through the playoffs and Finals had injury problems, so that summer, people were downplaying their achievement. People were calling another player, James Harden, the "real" MVP. (Harden won the Players' Association MVP award that year.)
The Warriors were not impressed. Their centre, Andrew Bogut, got his championship ring sized for his middle finger. (Yes. Really. He's Australian.) And unlike most defending champions, the Warriors came out for the next season...
They won their first 24 games in a row. Which was a record.
This season opening is a montage of spectacular success... amid some worrying scenes of their coach Steve Kerr having spinal surgery, and complications, and having to miss their games in agony.
Kerr eventually returned to coaching, but looked decades older than he had, haggard, and still visibly plagued with migraines all season.
The rest of the season is intense. Every team is coming out to beat the Warriors like doing so is as good as a championship. Almost none of them succeed. At no point do the Warriors lose twice in a row. If I remember right, they don't lose a single game at home, either. (If they did, they lost no more than one.)
The Warriors win 73 games, and lose 9, breaking the Jordan Bulls' record of going 72-10.
Along the way, Steph Curry blows the whole league out of the water with the most spectacular individual offensive season the League has ever seen. At some point I'll probably do a whole post on Steph Curry, but suffice to say: no-one was saying anyone else was the MVP that year.
Steph Curry wins the first unanimous MVP in the history of the NBA.
And then in the playoffs?
Steph gets hurt.
The Warriors make it through the first round. Steph comes back in the second. They go down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals and come back to win (it's best-of-seven). They go up 3-1 in the Finals... and then they lose. (These series could sustain their own posts but this is already long.)
After the greatest regular season in history.
Yeah... people said things.
Meanwhile, that offseason, Kevin Durant, generally agreed to be the second-best player in the NBA and an all-time great, is entering unrestricted free agency, and he doesn't seem entirely happy with his team, the OKC Thunder.
Kevin Durant also deserves his own post.
He signs with the Warriors.
His first season with the Warriors has a clear period of adjustment, but come the playoffs, the Warriors are unstoppable. They go 16-1, losing only one game, total, which they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals. (The Cavaliers were only marginally worse on playoffs record; they lost one game in the Eastern Conference Finals, to the Boston Celtics, that was it.) Kevin Durant wins Finals MVP.
His second season with the Warriors (we're now at the 2017-18 season), the Warriors have a rough ride. Injuries keep hitting the team - at one point the entire starting lineup is all out at once - and the Houston Rockets are on a tear. The Rockets end up with the best record and the first seed.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost Kyrie Irving, one of their stars, and somewhat struggled all season. They're not looking good.
People are talking about the Western Conference Finals as the "real Finals", and they're not wrong.
The Houston Rockets take the Golden State Warriors (feat. Kevin Durant) to seven games.
And are leading in the seventh game going into the third quarter.
Houston proceed to miss 27 three-point shots in a row, which is unheard of.
The Warriors win.
They proceed to sweep the Cavaliers (winning four games without losing one). Kevin Durant wins FMVP again.
The Warriors have now won three of the last four championships. (The fourth, if you ask Warriors fans, is mildly controversial, at that, but the AU in which Kelly Olynyk didn't break Kevin Love, the Cavaliers win in 2015, the Warriors win in 2016, and Kevin Durant doesn't join the Warriors at all is a whole other thing.)
The bumbling, failtastic Warriors are now an all-time champion team, because after all of that failure, all of that frustration... they're heroes now.
So it's a known thing that depression is isolating.|
Here's an under-observed (in my experience) part of why:
Many of the systems that, at present, exist for people to connect are, for the depressed, actively damaging and alienating.
Much of how people connect now is social media. Even a housebound shut-in can access that.
But social media is acutely toxic poison if you're coming at it from a certain place.
Which is to say:
Imagine (and I do hope this is something you have to imagine) that you have been depressed, and ill and/or injured. For a while. All you've done for quite some time is survive, and that's not nothing, but if you go to social media, you come across the following:
Everyone's life is better than yours.
Facebook is the worst for this, because everyone seems to post the best possible version of themselves on Facebook, and if the best possible version of you is still kind of a mess... what do you do? Facebook is a parade of people showing off how great they are and how great their lives are. You can't compare. You're pathetic. You have nothing to tell people that you're proud of.
You have nothing to say.
Everything you could say seems like you might come across as whining, or attention-seeking, and you have nothing interesting and novel to say about anything. You haven't done anything. You have no experiences to relate in any way.
Everyone is like a stranger now.
While you were sick, you didn't keep up. Even if you read what people were posting it, you don't remember it, because you were feverish or drugged and it's a blur at best. You've fallen behind. You don't know who the people they're casually mentioning are, you don't know what's going on, and you don't want to ask people, "Hey, catch me up on the last two years of your life?"
But the problem keeps getting worse because you can't make yourself keep reading, keep up, because it hurts even to try.
Everything about how people try to connect is alienating.
Friending memes feature people listing the things they're interested in and the things they do and the things they want to talk about, and you look at it and back away, wondering if you should just give up on everything, because you don't remember what you're interested in, all you do is try to make it through the week, or the day, or the hour, and you don't know what you want to talk about, you just want to talk to someone at all.
Popular culture is alienating too.
Everything is grimdark, everything you think you'll love goes full tilt to clear the nearest shark with room to spare, and you can't take it any more. You can't get emotionally invested in yet another TV series or book series that's all going to go to shit, so you take to avoiding them all until they're finished, until you can know whether it's worth it or whether it's going to betray you, and by then... no-one cares any more.
Crawl back into your box. This isn't for you any more.
Dec. 6th, 2018 @ 02:39 pm
So I just saw that apparently one of the drawbacks of DW is perceived to be "no reblogging" and I'm over here like...|
"So you're saying that the problem with this car is that it doesn't explode?"
Apparently people might be coming back to Dreamwidth. It's pleasing, but also a reminder that I've been absent here too.|
I'm trying to be alive again.
Aretha Franklin sings Rolling in the Deep.|
There is so much to say about this.
I found the studio version too.
For one thing? This is not an Adele song. This is an Aretha Franklin song. There are two songs called Rolling in the Deep and they have a lot of lyrics in common but one is an Adele song and the other is an Aretha song.
Adele's version is deeply bitter. It's, "Fuck you, I hurt." Aretha's version is angry but not bitter. It's, "Fuck you, and you're gonna be sorry."
(The Aretha version shifts into Ain't No Mountain High Enough which, oddly, also transforms that song from joyful declaration of love to gleeful promise of destruction.)
Adele version, for comparison.
The video for Adele's version is also brilliant, but that's not all of why I personally respond a lot more strongly to Adele's.
(The video is so good, though.)
There's a sort of joke-not-a-joke about Adele being music to cry to. A couple of her songs, though, are very Killing Me Softly for me - there's almost an anger to it, like how dare she sing my pain like this, it's mine, who gave her the right to perform it in public like that?
Those songs, specifically, are Rolling in the Deep and Set Fire to the Rain.
So, yeah, I have many feelings.
But there's also the more... abstract part of this:
That the bones of this song were good enough to be an Adele song or an Aretha song.
That I really want to know what Aretha Franklin thought when she heard Adele's version, that she knew she could do this with it.
The album's called Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics and I want it because this is fascinating.
I can't say I'm a huge Aretha Franklin fan - I have due respect (ha) and admiration for her skill and her accomplishments, but the influence of her work on my life is largely less direct - she was adored by and hugely influential upon the artists who followed her. (For example, Freddie Mercury thought she was amazing.)
I still want that album now.
The University of Western Australia is going to be hosting an anti-trans advocate on behalf of the Australian Family Association. This Friday.|
But alumni should possibly be calling or writing to register their disapproval.
Pilot study of using Google Glass with an app that recognises facial expressions and provides autistic children with information on them.|
Worth a read.
I was both moved and kind of "... huh." at the kid who told his mother he could read minds. Because, yeah, the ability to read facial expressions would seem like a superpower if you didn't have it.
So... yeah, this needs a cut tag.|
( In this: discussion of grief and loss with specific regard to mothers. Also, seriously, some detailed commentary about what it's like to watch your mother dying, and what happens after when it turns out she lives. )
But here's the thing:
Time still passes, and people are still people.
That was a sucky time in my life, and I am so, so grateful that I still have my mother. I still needed her, I really did. I am aware that I am blessed to still have her at 37.
But I also have a deep, deep dread, because I have watched my mother dying, but she did not die, so what I fear is the possibility that I'll have to do it again.
I don't think it's something that gets easier with practice.
I am protective of my mother. I worry about her and am concerned for her sometimes to an extent she finds slightly exasperating. I think the thing is that I love her, as any worthwhile child of a worthwhile mother does, but I am in the unusual position of still having her around while knowing how much it hurts to lose her.
She is, now, not allowed to die, because I say so.
But, mutual friends, if that should happen? Give some love to Vel and Chas, because they are going to be picking pieces of me off the floor.
Gender is a big issue right now. That's fine. Good. I'm totally supportive of trans and non-binary people's rights to gender self-determination.|
This isn't about them.
This is about the "gender variant" and "non-conforming" people and how much I kind of hate them.
Because, and there aren't a lot of areas in which I say this about gender, but that's not a thing and you are a terrible person for saying it is.
"Gender non-conforming"? Unless every single person I've seen talking about this is explaining it really badly, this is people who absolutely identify as "male" or "female" but want to make an issue of how special they are because they don't fit some arbitrary stereotype of it.
So... people who are The Problem, basically. People who think gender identity and performance should be policed, and if you don't fit into a very small box, that makes you some kind of genderqueer.
As a woman who was a tomboy and has long hair but doesn't own makeup or, currently, a skirt or a dress, who speaks her mind and can fix a computer or a range of basic mechanical problems, who fits no stereotype of womanhood in existence, but is nonetheless entirely cisgendered, I really need to tell you that no, and that literally none of the above means I get to absolve myself of association with cis privilege or that I get to be one of the cool genderqueer kids.
More importantly, though?
You. Are. The. Problem. YOU are a tool of the patriarchy.
Because what you're about is reinforcing bullshit gender roles for everyone but you.
Maybe think about what it says about YOU that you think gender has to conform to something specific. Maybe think about who benefits from people policing gender roles and identity like this.
I am a woman. I conform entirely to my gender identity, because "is a woman" is always true, and because I'm not trying to reinforce a social hierarchy that hurts everyone I give the slightest shit about, the only metric by which I rate womanhood is is this person a woman.
Gender presentation is not gender.
Most of the last week went to Insomnia Jag and a replay of Final Fantasy XIII.|
Insomnia jag: between Tuesdayish and Sunday night I got about sixteen hours of sleep, generally in blocks of 30 minutes or less, I think.
So that sucked.
While that was happening I wasn't really up for much that required substantial levels of brain, but I did play through FF13 again, because I had an outstanding, incomplete assignment from my old therapist:
To play FF13 again, and try to like Vanille.
Because - somewhat annoying voice aside - the thing that has been A Thing of discussion and all is that Vanille is very like me.
Vanille makes mistakes. She fakes every interaction. She hides things and she -
- is broken. She's traumatised and hurting and terrified. She's trying to fake normal, but she has no idea what normal even is.
But in the midst of all of that, she does try to help people, and comfort them, and be kind.
She's hurting and frightened and she doesn't want people to know that.
It's kind of a thing.
The other thing about FF13 is that it's a really good game with amazing characters and a good story that desperately needs fix-it fic, and inspired me to write fiction for the first time in a really long time. Several years, at least.
I'm starting small - editing and finishing a story I had mostly written but never quite finished something like five years ago - but it feels pretty good to write again, especially after the last several years of illness and injury.