I miss LJ and the way it used to be there. Here's a good article about it and about how George R R Martin, one of the last holdouts, has now left the building.


This is my new LJ. My people are (mostly) here. I am grateful to LJ though, if not for that platform I wouldn’t know some of my closest friends.
That’s great your people are (mostly) here.

I wish I felt like this was my new LJ. It’s not the same, though, I suppose in part because I only have a few friends here and the interactions we have isn’t the same. Wait, that’s not right. In many ways they are, and even better.

Also in part I suppose because, in spite of the fact that THIS post is public, most of my posts here are friends locked to only a few people (ya’ll know who you are 🙂). So that doesn’t help, probably.

Rachael 1/22edited
Oh I feel this too. I so love OPW and I love the set up, but I wish more people were on it. I haven't "met" people as easily as I did on LJ and I wonder if it's just more closed posts. I am hoping to, though. For me the discovery factor on LJ was really neat. I loved the "Friending Posts" that people would do, recommending other people to follow. It was really fun.
Yeah. I can't even remember how I found you on LJ, actually--can you? I don't know if you were a "friend of a friend" or through a Friending Post. I had no idea who you were, just that I loved how you wrote and thought about things.
Rachael 1/28
I can't remember! I wish I could, actually....
Me too. You know, I think it might've been Shadesong, actually. Maybe?
Shadesong! The nexus of so many people.
Pretty much this, word for word.
Karen 1/25
You're not alone in missing those days - that's for sure. I pulled my LJ account over to DreamWidth.org and even still post there very rarely.

Generally speaking, though, I found a site I like a lot and gives me the 80/20 of that LJ love. Run by a buddy of mine named Tom. It's called One Post Wonder...
I also ported over my LJ to dreamwidth years ago, and never really used it. It’s sitting there unused and unloved.

Yet I still haven’t been able to pull the plug and delete my LJ even though I moved it to DW and even though I haven’t posted on it in years and even though it’s probably a bad idea to leave it up. What’s my problem? I have a hard time letting go. I started it in 2004, I think. That feels like forever ago.

Also, ha, yes 🙂 about OPW. I oughta try to broaden my horizons here...
Rachael 1/22
I feel your pain. I _did_ manage to delete my LJ account, but my DW account is mostly unloved. It never caught fire like my LJ did. LJ (for me at least) reached that tipping point where there were enough of my people there to make for a good, active social network. DW not so much.
Yeah. And I was never one of those people who had a ginormous friends list of people following/commenting, but enough for it to feel like...enough, I guess.

Before LJ, I was on an email list called Tamson House, run by a bunch of fans of the author Charles de Lint (and his wife MaryAnn was involved too). We found each other on LJ after the TH list sort of dissipated, and kind of tried to emulate that sort of community and it did happen for a while, but of course LJ is/was a different thing than an email list...

And then Facebook, and omg is that a shitshow sometimes.

Well, anyway, hey there, Matt Lichtenwalner...want to be one of my OPW friends? :-)
Rachael 1/22
"enough for it to feel like...enough, I guess" - That's it exactly.

"Facebook, and omg is that a shitshow sometimes" - You can say that again. And again. And again.

"want to be one of my OPW friends?" - Sounds good to me!
Facebook, and omg is that a shitshow sometimes! ;-)
Rachael 1/22
I just logged into my LJ for the first time in like a year and damn, my friends list appears to be a giant mass of tumbleweeds. A few people appear to still be there posting, but not many. It's makin' me sad.
Rachael 1/23
Yeah. The biggest chunk of my people left when they sold to the Russian company.

Also, I heard somewhere that even George RR Martin left. ;P
Omg I heard about that list! I was never on it, but I <3 DeLint.

Also, Matt is one of my college friends, I vouch for his goodness.
It was a super epic list, and I made friends there I still have today, 22 years later. Crazy that so much time has passed.

I've met Charles & MaryAnn, we had a great lunch and drive around town together once, and they are the most delightful people.

Good to know of Matt's vouchable goodness. :-)
Rachael 1/23
D'awww shucks. Thanks, chica.
You and Shelle went to Penn State? How did I not know this?! :) I assumed everyone was a UDel-er (not everyone, of course).
Karen 1/25edited
Nope. I went to PSU. Shelle went elsewhere (this is a public post and I will leave it to her to out her life story). But we knew each other during college. I was a fan then, and since. :)
Hi! I found you through OPW's "Network" button. I also haven't deleted my LJ even though I ported everything over to DW. I made all of my LJ posts private so it kinda looks empty, but it's not.

My folks used to read my public LJ posts and then they started reading my public DW posts, but I've really fallen off the horse. I try to remember to x-post my public entries from OPW over to DW, but I'm laaaazy.

Oh I am too, and also too unorganized. :-)
Rachael 1/23
I wonder if we could get Tom to look into working with IFTTT? (This is me assuming it doesn't already, but I suspect if it did, Jill would already be using that for cross posting purposes.)
I was trying to use IFTTT to x-post my tweets to DW but it looked like ass, but I suspect that was more Twitter's fault than anyone else's.

Not sure how easy it would be to IFTTT OPW to DW (or vice-versa), but copying/pasting isn't the worst thing ever. (I do hate losing all my formatting though and then manually fixing it, but whatevz.)
RE: "My folks used to read my public LJ posts" - yeah. I was recently at my folks' place and saw a favorite link to my LJ.

It kinda made me sad because I'm pretty sure (despite my changing the url for the link to my OPW profile) they haven't migrated.

We do weekly Google Hangouts with Ben and Josh and families, so that helps, but there was something nice about having a place that people would 'check in'.
So speaking of that, one thing I do notice is it's harder to make new connections since LJ. So.... Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy
But here's my profile, friend me maybe? ;) (Totally your choice.)

I am not as big a poster as I used to be, but I read everything and hang out in comments. Either way, nice to have met you through Tom's nifty "Network" option.
Karen 1/25
:laughs: :-)

Hello! Friended!

Oh god. You were, uh...talking to ME, right? Sometimes I can’t tell which comment was left to which comment.

(I overthink things) :-)
Rachael 1/25
"(I overthink things)"

Oh dear - you _really_ are in good company here. :P
Yaaay! Well met, then, fellow over thinker :-)
Rachael 1/25
HA! My inner voice was doing the: "Oh great, ask someone to friend them, then disappear for three days! *aagh!*" thing. So, you are in GREAT company. Yes, I meant you. :)

Karen 1/29
It's all good, I was not worried a whit. :-)
Rachael 1/29
Most of the people I loved from LJ are here at OPW.
But I do miss those days, of course, I had a lot more time to post and comment back then.
I still remember when I “met” most of them at Diaryland! 😬
I never was on Diaryland.

I’m here because of the LJ connection 🙂
Rachael 1/23
I'm here because of the Usenet/talk.bizarre connection, which became the LJ connection, which became FB and Twitter. When the Russians took over, I ported everything from LJ to Dreamwidth, where my account has largely languished. Then my friend Tom (from Usenet days) rolled out OPW and, well, here I am.

As for FB and Twitter, I sometimes tweet, but mostly only silly inconsequential stuff, but it's still too easy to get sucked in and dragged under by the tidal waves of awful. Facebook, I left some time ago; I had to leave because... I just can't ignore the ethical problems and came to understand that to participate at any level was to enable Very Bad Things—and if it were just about me, maybe I could've stayed, but being on the platform also makes everyone I know and have connections with vulnerable and me complicit in that abuse. [long conversation there; maybe another time]

Anyway, I like it here, it feels good posting here. All of my posts are friends-only, but I'm easy to be friends with. :) I mostly keep things loosely locked that way because I don't want spiderbots tossing my journal entries all hither and yon. I have few subgroups for posting and almost never use them.
You know that thing where you hear a story told several times, and eventually, you start to feel like you were there - even though you weren't? usenet/talk.bizarre is that for me. I wasn't there, but there are times when I could swear I was.
Also sp//dr bot from the new "Into the Spiderverse" - which I highly recommend:
Oh honey, the whole family jumped on that movie the minute it hit the theaters up here! LOVE.
Yeah - I've got a buddy who poo-poos just about every movie we see, and HE loved it, so...
I haven’t seen it yet, but I will since both you and Archer recommend it highly.
I now declare you to have been honorarily present.
Aww - thanks!

Eyes open, grab phone, check the time. It's 4:30am. Why am I awake?

Brain: "Hey, buddy. I see that you're up. What'ya say we review every mistake and social gaffe you've ever made in your life?"

Me: "What? No. No, I don't want to do that. Not now, not ever."

Brain: "Hey, remember back on the first day of school when you followed all the girls into the girls room? Ha! Good times, good times."

Me: "I said I didn't want to do this!"

Brain: "And then there was that time in third grade when on class field day you were watching the turtle race with the whole class, you put your head down on the ground for an eye level view of the turtles and the teacher must have thought you were trying to look up the girl's skirts. She hauled you to your feet and slapped you across the face."

Me: "People think I drink to dull the pain. When actually I drink because I'm trying to kill you."

Oh man brother - I feel your pain. Over and over again.
I feel this deeeeep, too. Last night I pulled an unwilling all-nighter because someone on Reddit asked "Describe a time you gave someone advice or words of comfort, but it turned out to be a really awful thing to say." So I told an anecdote about a poorly-timed joke and then couldn't stop thinking about it. AAAGH.

There's a song by Barenaked Ladies called "Everything Old is New Again" and it has a line about laying in bed and "let[ting] all my nightmares repeat." Yup.

Why do our brains do this?!?
I am told it is because we focus on the past to the detriment of the present.

Or because we associate social gaffes for actual blunders.

Or because we don't forgive ourselves for mistakes.
I can't speak for everyone, but that last one... woof.
I don't have a sleepless story because I'm a champion sleeper (sleep is even how I cope with stress ). But yeah, at almost 50 I still STILL get pissed off a things that happened in grade school. Usually things that were not in my power to correct, due to the teachers being fallible humans with power (or sometimes they were just jerks). Or things where I should have done something but didn't, due to being afraid to engage. Or the intersection of these two.
Ok, getting off this thread because I'm getting pissed off again thinking about it.

You know, as I kid, my role model was Spock. I never liked the feels. I'm somewhat better now.
I liked Spock as a kid, and even as an adult, I still think he had a great story arc in TOS.

But yeah, finding a way to live with unresolvable conflicts from the past can be a struggle.

I kid. Mostly.

(When I get caught in a death spiral and absolutely positively no-way no-how can shut my damn brain off, xanax is a magical rescue. As much as I joke about it, I don't take it often and I have a very healthy respect for it.)

Another false fire alarm last night. According to our condo newsletter, it's caused by people seeking refuge from the cold in the parking garage stairwells and smoking / lighting fires to stay warm. I mean, understandable to take refuge, but it's not like one can stay if the alarm goes off. So not ideal.

So I guess we'll probably have another one or two over the weekend as temps drop to -20.

The board says they've gotten approval from the city to instal maglocks on the doors so they can't be forced at night. Certainly have mixed feelings about it, but apparently every time fire trucks roll it costs us a not insignificant amount of money so...

As someone who is easily disturbed by something as simple as even car doors slamming, this would drive me crazy. Hope it improves.

Stay warm this weekend. PA is getting a bit of snow after a fairly mild winter. (And now I've gone and jinxed us. )
Karen 1/18
Everything is really quiet here, despite being in the middle of Toronto. Poured concrete walls and floor, triple glazed windows. It's quieter than any house I've lived in, that's for sure. Except for the spurious fire alarms. Sigh. Being awakened by them is really tedious.

Temps here are predicted to fall to -20C over the weekend. We'll be warm inside, but going out is going to be fraught. Y'all stay warm too!

It seems that just as one incident of a company's marketting department blundering on the company's social media account is fading from memory, another one comes along to take its place.

The latest, Gillette, the famous razor makers, took to social media to shake its metaphysical fist at "toxic masculinity". Why? Who in their marketting department thought that by taking a cudgel to their user base they'd increase sales?

Instead, the backlash seems to be trending toward people dumping Gillette products. I bet the person who put forward this brain donor of a marketting plan is praying that it slinks away to a quiet corner to die. Adn as quickly as possible, please.

Now, Gillette is owned by Proctor and Gamble, who continued to use the Gillette brand name and sponsor Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots play in the NFL. Damn, that seems pretty masculine. I wonder if the marketting department knows?

Let's ignore masculinity for a moment and focus on toxic behavior. One definition of toxicity would be using your power and influence to denigrate and punish people or a person for traits and circumstances beyond their ability to control.

Using that definition, castigating an entire gender for an accident of birth seems like pretty toxic behavior.

In any event, it seems like a good time to dump your Proctor and Gamble stock.

I don't know if this would interest you, but there's a thoughtful analysis of the Gillette ad kerfluffle (kind of analyzing the analysis of the ad, if you will) here: https://medium.com/@remakingmanhood/the-attack-on-gillettes-integrity-is-actually-a-larger-cultural-inoculation-cd1b1732a10b?sk=1e1d449b0e70ddc154f1ab9c48854c7d

And the Twitter thread summary (a great synopsis) is here: https://twitter.com/RemakingManhood/status/1086992730109165568

I don't know what exactly I think about any of it—the ad or the chatter about the ad—but the ad didn't strike me as a condemnation of an entire gender (but then, I'm female). And it is intriguing to me that the ad, rather than sparking conversations about ally-ship, is instead spurring talk about Gillette as an evil corporate overlord.

I think we all struggle in our own ways with the cultural pressures around gender and gender identity. I'm glad we're having national conversations about it now, as difficult and unsettling and confusing as they are. My hope is that the narratives that come out of these discussions/confrontations/conflicts are ultimately helpful and not just chaotic and divisive (but then, I'm a storyteller).
Anne Mollo 1/21edited
Thanks for the link. I think it's interesting that Mr. Greene's article didn't take a stand, didn't make a point or take leadership, the traditional male roles. Which is kind of accepting Gillette's point, if damning it with faint praise.

I prefer Egard Watches response.

Ever since the notion of "inbox zero" floated across my attention, i've been perplexed by the mania it attracts.  Maybe 15, or even 10, years ago, it was a bit of a challenge to keep up, but these days, most of my email is either spam or commercial.  The former is shipped off to a processing folder, and the latter is either autosorted or unsubscribed.  The time it takes me to deal with is minimal.  It's never occurred to me to brag about inbox zero because i'm there every day.

Then something like this article pops up and i'm just stunned.  2700 messages in a month?  What on earth are you doing?  People just give up?  Maybe i'm just special, or maybe people just hate me and ignore me.

Cards Against Humanity dude sez: "I think as people understand the idea of Inbox Zero now, it’s a total disaster. I don’t see how anyone could run a business or make a living as a freelancer or do any kind of meaningful work by replying to every email in their inbox all the time so that it’s always empty."

But "replying to every email in their inbox all the time" is not what I understand "inbox zero" to mean. I understand it to mean that your goal is to keep the number of unprocessed e-mail messages in your inbox at zero (or as close to it as is practicable). And it's definitely not something you have to keep actively doing 24/7. Processing an e-mail message means to do one of the following:

- delete unread
- read and then delete
- read, optionally reply, and then file away out of the inbox [*]

Then there's always going to be some stuff you don't want to deal with, so you leave it unprocessed (read or leave unread, but in any event you don't act immediately to remove it from the inbox), but the idea is that this number is very small.

One household management tip I heard years ago is to touch your incoming postal mail once. That is, you pick it up; open or toss it in the recycling bin; and "process" the mail you keep right away. Magazines to the living room, Christmas cards to the mantle, bills to the area of the house where you sit down and write your checks and lick your stamps every couple of weeks. (As I say, years ago.) This way, you don't get piles of unsorted mail lying around the house, and you don't miss bills. I've moved this idea to my inbox and it does me OK, except for the interminable e-mail lists I've gotten myself subscribed to.

For interminable e-mail lists, I like to let a day's worth sit unread and then go through them all at once. (I prefer that to getting a daily auto-digest.)

I'll wrap up with a new grand internet tradition. Tired: sharing SAT scores. Wired: sharing your inbox zero status. I'm at inbox 11, with 7 unread topics.

[*] You know who's figured out how to manage avalanches of e-mail? Microsoft. I've found Outlook to be a great solution when I've been an a role where I'm getting dozens of messages per day.

Tonight the condo's book club did an annual thing they do, which is check out a bunch of play scripts from the library and do a reading. Sounds interesting, but not much information provided, least of all _which play_.

So I go down because how bad could it be? And it is about 10 people, mostly older, and we're all sitting around around a table (there's no designated readers OMG 1) and everyone takes turns reading, switching roles scene by scene (OMG 2) and I've already done the social niceties and kind of committed, and then discover that it's a fucking Woody Allen play and by then it's too late to back out. 

So for two and a half hours I read different roles from _Don't Drink the Water_, trying not to turn the obvious Allen character into a whiny schmuck when I get him, but the language is just so exactly that ... and there's all the misogynistic bullshit, the toxic masculinity, the casual racism, the colonialism, the physical sexual assault (that she later says she hoped he'd do), the terrible plot that doesn’t even have the most obvious and interesting twist, the unnecessary rape/suicide references, the ... just ... OMFG 

Anyway, everyone was super nice, I met some new people in the building, I made some folks laugh, and got compliments on my cold reading, so it wasn't a total loss. 

It could have been worse, said d -- it could have been a hobby script. 


It feels oddly quiet since New Year's, and I am not complaining. I think we're all taking a collective sigh and switching off. I came off with a Christmas Cold so I'm doubly glad for the peace. It feels so odd though, coming off the holiday buzz. And this must happen every year but this year is the first "normalish" feeling year for me in a while so I guess I'm noticing it again. (I said off too many times. Semantic satiation. Also, cold medicine.)


Yeah. It _was_ pretty quiet. I even got snowed out today. Weather was just supposed to be overcast, but by the time I got to York, the snow started coming down. So I turned around and came home.

Which actually worked out great because I got an order for my largest (volume of illustrations, not money) single paying illustration gig ever. I then proceeded to knock out 5 of the 39 required drawings.

All of which is probably more info than you were looking for, but it's 12:30am so _of course_ I'm wired...
Wired and tired. My M.O. as well. Very glad to hear about the new biggest project, and the exceptional jump start you got on it. Way to hit the ground running! xoxo
Karen 1/9edited
Mass bed-in seems to be the only solution to the January doldrums.
Bed-in is not a term I run across often, but that is exactly the right one. I'm doing more of it, even after I'm well again.
Karen 1/9
January has been a great bed-in so far. But then again, so was 2018. Highly recommended. :-)

Totally a first world problem, but anymore it feels like Thanksgiving is the starting line for a race through the end of the year.

I went home to Massachusetts to visit family at Thanksgiving and stayed for a week. I'm a homebody, so a week away from Chateau Conrad was pretty exhausting for Mama Conrad's little introvert. Then there's the month-long marathon of shopping and consumption leading up to Christmas. This year, maybe it was the timing of the holiday, maybe it was a confluence of the flu, and needing to replace my truck but Christmas' arrival left me feeling Christmas-spiritless.

Plus, there was a shitshow with one of the street urchins in my neighborhood two days before Christmas. The less said about that the better. But, word to the wise. Get a dash cam and make sure it records audio. My cheapo closeout dash cam saved my bacon when I showed the video to the po-po.

New Year's Even finally arrived and I managed to slog through it and watch the ball drop. Poor Jenny McCarthy looked like a drowned rat with all the rain in NYC.

New Year's Day did allow me to see the first use of 18 instead of 19, on a highway sign advising drivers that a road was going to have work starting soon, Deldot posted the start date as 1/2/18. Man, those guys are slow.

But we're here in 2019. I can hide in my house, post a warning that trespassers will be devoured by angry opposums, and relax. For a couple of days at least.

Congrats on the surviving! We're glad you are a member of Those Still Standing. :)
Do I still count as 'standing' if I'm in bed under a blanket?

I have always been a meat eater. Never really thought twice about it until this year. About two months ago I was sitting at lunch with a bunch of my friends who are not vegetarian- and someone brought up how their brother was becoming a vegetarian. I, of course, blurted out without thinking "I might become a vegetarian."

My friend said, "that sounds like something you would do."

They were right though...it does sound like something I would try. I thought about it for a really long time and did some research. I decided that I am going to try it. I have no idea what it is like. But, Starting New Years Eve I will be a pescatarian. 

You might wonder why a pescatarian?  Well, I would like to take this in steps and maybe once I cut out meat, I can later cut out fish. But this is the first step, and it's a big one. At the end of January-after eating no meat- I will reflect and see how I liked it. If it's not for me I won't keep doing it.

I have not yet told my parents about my thoughts on becoming a vegetarian. Until now...I guess

I don't think I will ever be a vegan though! I love my cheese!

12/28 '18 6 Comments
Okay, let's think this through.

Right now, during the course of a week, your dinners go something like this:
Slow-Cooker Chicken
Pork Chops
Turkey Burgers
Chipotle Steak Burrito
Shake and Bake Chicken
Grilled Hamburgers with mushrooms and cheese

And your breakfasts are:
Bacon, bacon, sausage, sausage, bacon, sausage, bacon.

There are tons and tons of options for different things to eat.
Thousands. Use the internet. The most eatingest people I know are on One Post Wonder. Maybe they'll have advice.

Why don't you make a list of, like, 4 dinner meals and 2 breakfast meals: ingredients and preparation steps, and we'll talk to Mom, then go shopping together and start to figure out how we'll make this work?

Robert Bryan 12/29 '18
Your comment makes what I have to say seem almost foolish. But, I still really want to try this. I think that we can make it work. Like you said I have other choices.
Katie Bryan 12/29 '18
Good for you. I think more people should run 'life experiments' like this to improve their lives or at least expand them. We fall too easily into well worn paths.

I'm not any kind of vegetarian, but one of my favorite meals is. In the interest of full disclosure, I _am_ a bachelor, and I think that shows through in this case.

I pick up a couple types of bags of mixed vegetables at the grocery store. Throw them in a pot with just enough water to keep them from quickly burning on the bottom. Add whatever spices I'm feeling that evening. Heat until everything is hot. Done.

It makes a lot of food, it's pretty healthy (as long as the aforementioned spices aren't a lot of salt), it's fast, it's easy, and it's really inexpensive.

Good luck! You'll have to let us know how the experience goes for you.
Matt Lichtenwalner 12/29 '18edited
That sounds yummy! Thanks for your support!
Katie Bryan 12/29 '18
I was thinking of doing the same, though I suspect my wife would not let me get away with it completely! Many of our meals are already vegetarian, it would not be that much of a stretch to switch to frutti di mare for the others.
Chris Herdt 12/29 '18
There's a wonderful book called, "The Jungle Effect." Part travelogue/world food adventure, part food science, it's written by a doctor who wanted to help her patients change their diets. She recalls an experience she had as a young physician working in (I think) the South American jungle, and then goes globe-hopping to find out what native diets look like in different parts of the world and what effects they have on the people who eat them. And then she brings all that home and tries to figure out how her patients can use and adapt that information for themselves.

One of the things the book made me realize is that we can "play the long game." Rather than dramatic shifts that more often fail and leave us no wiser than before, we can make small discrete changes over time, adding small new habits to our ways of eating, rather than trying to eliminate things or make sweeping changes.

In any case, I applaud your food adventure and look forward to hearing your thoughts at the end of January! And because you're young, you're also in the unique position of being able to play the long game really well. :)

Evil eye bead and hamsa. 

I found this on the sidewalk while walking back from the post office today. Either the universe sent me a protection amulet, a warning, or someone’s earring broke in the traditional Festivus airing of grievances on the corner this past Sunday night. I left it outside on the flagstone to see if someone needed it more than I do. If it’s still there tomorrow, I’ll keep it with the seashells. 

12/27 '18 3 Comments
So? Was it still there? It's such a lovely little doodad.
Funny you should ask. I forgot to look for it. When I came home tonight, it was still there. It's in my pocket now.