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21 September 2010 @ 12:35 am
entertaining links? and a short picspam. and some other stuff  
cool little generator of art stuff - played with it for like 10 minutes.  Basically different types of brushes and algorithms attached to each brush - you both create your own patterns and use the ones it generates for you

Adobe's collection of "digital school teacher resources" that include lesson plans, assessment tips and digital portfolios. Of course, each lesson plan uses an Adobe product (which can often be prohibitively expensive to provide to a school). It's interesting here to note the notion that a corporation should (or perhaps even must) offer ways to deploy their products and how to educate students in doing so. They have lessons on math, science, video, arts, etc. In the lessons for film and video (http://www.dreamweaverultradev.info/education/resources/k12/instructional/film_video.html) there are plans for creating Oral and Visual Histories; creating a webpage about a famous person, etc. Interestingly they seem to integrate some of the good practices suggested by the MacArthur NML guide – while at the same time the lesson plan I downloaded seemed to pay lip service to paying attention to the more traditional aspects of literacy (ie: knowing information about the famous person one is going to create a webpage for) while spending a great deal of time going through tutorials on Adobe products in order to achieve the lesson objectives.

An "ongoing online canvas that explores the possibility of distributed design by the masses." This is a really interesting project – basically each person has the ability to contribute a couple of lines to a sketch and also the ability to vote on the opacity of earlier lines. The sketches change weekly, and each sketch topic is a popular search term. It also lets you watch the history of the sketch being created. My favorite so far (browsing through the archives) is dragon skin armor. Interesting because it suggests that each line in a drawing is important, and yet also that there can be a huge number of contributions that are moderated down when they don't fit into the collective notion of the image.

Dreamzone is another collective art website, though this site has a slightly different rating/voting system (and isn't based on a single line). Because people vote on the changes, the artwork goes through a number of different stages (called generations). It's interesting to view the evolution of a number of different works because it gives one the sense of who the tone of an image can change with the smooth of a line here or there. My favorite is called Latest Version (v28): it's a woman who changes from happy to sad, from dark to light, from having frilly hearts around her to being in a city.

Going up to see my family was awesome.  It was my grandmother's 90th birthday, and so the entire family fell out, and I think there were around 50? 60? of us all.  My aunt and her daughter and her son stayed with my dad and stepmom so I was staying with my nephew and his new wife (who is Japanese) in their house down the street, and walking back to have breakfast and dinner and stuff.  Friday night we went to my parent's favorite mexican restaurant and I had side conversations with my stepmom's best friend (who is awesome) while eating strangely sweet mole (this place is great with the usual mexican food, but the more random stuff?  hit or miss).  We went back home and I got to hear stories of my stepmom as a bitchy teenager (who isn't when they're a teenager?) and managed not to provoke my aunt into any right-wing rants (because she's a nice woman otherwise).  Saturday we headed up to my other aunt's place - it's a dream house built on top of a hill pretty much specifically great for entertaining.  I hung out with people who haven't seen me since I was in braces.  Other people who haven't seen me since I had blond hair.  Other people I see every holiday, but still it was good.  My sister Kelly dyed my hair before we did the family thing (so there was girl bonding), and I got to hang out with my dad and stepmom and talk politics (wherein my dad, musing, wondered if it might not have been better had the anarchists actually taken the country instead of us getting Roosevelt's New Deal because it had kind of fucked up any real liberal or progressive movement in this country... yes, that's what I talk about with them).  And my nephew, whose new tattoos are at least prettier than his older ones, and who is growing mutton chops but has a shaved head.  I bounced back and forth between the smokers and the non smokers on two different decks and talked vampire books with my niece, and took pictures and hugged a lot of people and avoided butt slaps by my steadily tipsier cousins.

This is my stepmom's girls:  Neen in the purple, Frankie in the gray sweater & striped shirt, Grandma Nellie in the middle, Ava behind her in blue (my niece), Ko behind her (her mom), me in black and Kel beside me in white. 

My stepmom and her best friend Lainy, who remembers me when I was in braces. Sadly, I didn't remember her that clearly, but we got along like houses on fire anyway - Lainey is awesome.  She's very much like my stepmom: fiery, liberal, with a huge heart.

I threw this one in because that's my dad sitting there at the front.

And this is the pretty picture of us girls.  We had fun.

It's good to live close enough to actually make it up there in a weekend and not be totally blasted by the travel exhaustion.  My favorite quote from the weekend is from my super-awesome, super-wise stepmom... because our whole family gossip like magpies, about each other, all the time.  She said:

"If you don't want us to talk about it, don't do it."

Which really?  Maxim for life right there.

The blip on Sunday

Somehow (I don't remember if he offered or if I asked) Neil took the dog this weekend while I was in Sacramento.  Yay for not having to pay to board her, and at least they're used to her idiosyncrasies, right?  Also, loathe as I am to admit it, I think the dog misses them a little bit.  It's only natural - they're vaguely entertaining some of the time. 

Anyway, so I'm determined to be pleasant because it's really not so hard to do so, but I've just spent the weekend telling a variety of different family members the same story: 15 years, cheated on me off and on for the past 3, can't believe I didn't actually get myself out of it earlier, did a lot of grieving over the last year when he selfishly didn't ever explain to me that our communication problems were more about him than me, etc, etc, etc.  And so I pick up the dog and ask how she was and even ask how his weekend went and we're basically talking about the weather.  But then he's smiling at me.  Like, smiling, as if the fact we're managing to have a civil conversation is some prelude to something, and I just couldn't not comment, so our conversation went like this (not verbatum because I can't remember):

Me:  You know, you really should spend some time working on yourself
Him: I don't understand what you're talking about
Me:  Well I look at you and you're smiling and I see the same person, that nice guy, who I believed in for years, and the truth is that you really aren't that -- you lied about that, about yourself, to me.
Him: (starting to get this defensive tone in his voice) I already said I was sorry about that and ...
Me: Yeah, I know.  Thanks for taking care of the dog.  Goodbye.

The whole selfish defensive reaction?  He's probably already rationalized somewhere in his head that cheating on me with Daria was ok somehow.  Given that he's getting even the least bit defensive about it? Yeah.  So done.

I had great class today even though I'm still totally annoyed by the undergraduate girl who is an absolute fucking idiot but thinks she knows everything about everything.  She's so sexist, and narrow minded, and doesn't actually realize that she's a total idiot.  The only saving grace of the class is getting to sit across from my friend Ray and roll our eyes at each other when she opens her mouth.

I did cut her off today, since we were talking about Ibsen's A Doll's House and the actress who played Nora in the Japanese production and she was suggesting the poor woman was a "blank slate" who was basically directed by this one man into a success. Please, for the love of god, never actually tell me anyone is a blank slate - right now I really don't want to believe in a world view that women are just receptacles for men to fill with their ideas.  I mean, PLEASE. GAH.

OH, but in even better news, the housemates are even more awesome than could ever be expected!  We actually popped a bottle of champagne tonight to celebrate how awesome we all are (because it's turning out that we all three really like each other, in a housemate kind of way, and get along, and are interesting and kind of cool and stuff), and they both told me that they would take care of Domino when I went out of town so I didn't have to take her back to Neil or board her.  How awesome is that??  Awesome I tell you!  I would write more, but.....

the important stuff being said, there's a japanese quiz on my horizon tomorrow so I'd best be heading out.  

also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl
savoy trufflesavoytruffle on September 21st, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
It's great to hear you doing well and involved with things.
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 25th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
thanks lady! it feels good to be having a life without guilt and weirdness.
missus_gracemissus_grace on September 21st, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
I'm glad you had an awesome time with your family. Your step-mom sounds like she's been good to you and for you!
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 25th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
thanks lady!! she totally has - i've had a lot of rocks to lean on lately but she's definitely one of the awesome ones!
literate and stylish: glomp!mishloran on September 21st, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Firstly, both the family thing and the housemate thing sounds great. In fact, the family thing sounded crazy loads of family! Love it!

I say re: Neil and Daria - fuck 'em (although not literally), unless they get in touch re: Domino, your housemates sound fantastic and anything's better'n them. Also, re: Domino possibly missing them... it could be so, but she'll love your housemates just as much eventually? It's hard, but she's a doggie and you're her owner and so you are her Number One Person. And actually, other people may come and go, but you're Hers.

I love the pictures you posted, especially the first and last ones :D
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 25th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Darling mish! you're totally right about the Domino thing - while she may miss them she's slowly warming up to the housmates and so having different (good) distractions from the crazy people (which, indeed, anything is better than them).

the first and last pics are totally my favorites too!! we were such goofballs takin those pictures!

Blueblue_meridian on September 21st, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Such wonderful photos and it sounds like you had a great time. YAY!!
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 25th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
thanks darling!! and yeah, it was definitely a good time!!
Lostgirllostgirlslair on September 22nd, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Neil is a jackass and if he could lie to your face for three years he clearly has no idea who he is anymore. I'm just sorry you had to take Domino back there. At least now you know you're roommates are willing to take care of her! That's so awesome! And yay for great family/friend fun and bottles of champagne!!

And great pictures, too! :D ::big, huge hugs::
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 25th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)
thanks darling, for all of it! you're right - jackass! and i'm so grateful to the housemates for just being themselves - they're awesome that way (heck, and the family for just being themselves too, because also awesome).

disco_floozydisco_floozy on September 25th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
It's great to hear that you have a much healthier, happier home now. Your housemates sound wonderful, as does your family.
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 25th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
thanks lady, i feel pretty lucky myself on both scores right now!