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Writer's Block: You're my best friend

Who was your best childhood friend, and where are they now?
Wow. My best childhood friend. Well, we're still friends, and I'm grateful for that fact, but since childhood, she/he has had a sex change, moved to another state, and joined up with some cool, strange, people in a polyamorous relationship. Me? I stayed here and got married. I hope that we both managed to do what was best for us.

Writer's Block: Be true to your school

How do you feel about public versus private schooling?

Well, my two brothers and I were actually homeschooled. I can't recall that we ever tested lower than three years ahead of our supposed grade level, and we all pursued a wide variety of interests, as well. I guess if you can't be homeschooled, a good private school is probably the next best thing. I wound up spending several years in different public schools. . . and it was absolutely a horrible experience. How many of you really remember just how cruel children can be? And in most public schools, the teachers either don't care or are simply so outnumbered by their students, that bullying and abuse go unchecked. I was sexually harrassed - groped and pinched - by a boy a year older than I was in 7th grade. When I yelled at him and slapped him, I was the one who got reprimanded. The school councilor told me that I should have been flattered, because it meant he must like me! I was stunned. This sounded insane to me, and I told her that I didn't care what he did or didn't like, it didn't give him the right to put his hands on me. My mother backed me to the hilt, thank God. . . but I got to meet a girl in another school later on in a situation that started out similarly and just kept getting worse. Her parents, as well as the school, decided that it was somehow her fault. Her abuser raped her when she was fifteen, and repeated it several times. The total action taken by the school? She had to report to the councilor every day so they could check to see if she'd tried to cut her wrists again. (She had, once, when she tried to report the attacks and was ignored. After all, he was her boyfriend, right? And such a 'nice' boy, on the football team and everything.) Four months later, she attempted suicide again, with painkillers stolen from her mother. I don't know if it worked, but she never came back to that school.
How much academic success do you expect in an environment where this sort of thing can happen repeatedly? Public schools tend to be second-best at their most sucessful, and dangerous, abusive 'daycares' at their worst. Our public school system is rotten to the core, and even the goodly number of bright, dedicated teachers who are doing their best (Perhaps 1 in five, by my count) can't turn it around. At least as many teachers seem to be in the business because they like being able to order around people half their size and a quarter of their age. Think back. I virtually guarantee you've had a teacher like this.

Writer's Block: Rescue mission

If someone intentionally set fire to your home and you had ten minutes to get out, would you try to save the arsonist or your belongings?
I figure I have a greater moral obligation to my cats than I do to a fire-starter not bright enough to leave him/herself a way out. Presuming, of course, an adult of nominally functional intelligence. A child or someone else not fully culpable for their actions. . . humans before animals, much though I hate it in this case.
And I have this uneasy feeling that he's not joking, but I just don't know. The maker of the Utilikilt (don't ask) has done it again. And I'm not sure what I think. It's somewhere between "Oooo, neat!" and "But that doesn't make any sense!"

So. What do _you_ think?

http://www.tacticalcorsets.com/

Writer's Block: Conversion Rate

Have you ever considered converting to another religion?

Actually, I did. I was raised Wiccan and converted to Eastern Orthodoxy in my late teens.

Wow. I can't believe

that I've actually not managed to post anything since complaining about The Mist. I can at least now note that the book was apparently considerably better, and most of the worst features of the film appear to have been added by the producer/directors. My apologies to Mr. King. Some.
Also, news! Relevant only to those of you who both know what WoW is and care either way. :-) My first, highest level character has just hit 60! In the unlikely event that somebody who reads this also happens to play on the same realm, it's Rosamundi on Arathor. Horde, btw. This is especially directed to my good friend Unchu_Meach, who is presently very, very busy with other things.
And not in a 'so bad it's funny' kind of way, either. Stephen King's The Mist is an incredibly lousy film. And it's not even dramatically lousy, either. Beloved Husband and I were able to predict every plot point in advance, simply by sitting back and saying "Well, what's the lamest, most hackneyed, over-used 'thinks-its-clever' element they could possibly throw in next." I don't think we missed more than one or two doing this.
I'd like to think that the book must have been better, but I've not read it, so I can't swear to that. Also, I am heartily disgusted with the portrayal of, well, _people_ in general in this film. Apparently, scientists, lawyers, military personnel, working class people, and Christians are all either wicked, stupid, or both. Smugly atheistic artistic or academic intellectuals are apparently our best hope, but even they eventually crumble under the sheer crushing idiocy which is atmospheric in The Mist.
This is not meant to be generic King-bashing, either. I do prefer Koontz, but I've liked a lot of King's material. This particular adaption, however, seems to have no particular redeeming features. It tried to be witty and topical, and collapsed under the weight of un-updated 70's elements. It tried to be scary, and only managed to be wretchedly pitiable once or twice. The human suffering portrayed in the aftermath of the horror elements was the most upsetting element, and that wasn't scary, just kind of sad. And I have no doubt that it thought it was being 'meaningful' or 'relevant' in some way, with a 'literary message', but as near as I can tell, the 'message' seems to be that life is meaningless, and no matter what you do, it'll be wrong. This is precisely the poisonous undercurrent in atheistic writings which I find the most offensive. It's a slap in the face to life at large and the life of faith especially. There is nothing clever about despair. It's simply a form of emotional cowardice.
Note, by the way, that I don't mind 'sad' endings per say. I've seen movies where everyone dies and the tone was triumphant, uplifting. I don't insist on 'Hollywood-happy' endings by any means. People _do_ die. That's life. The question is, what came before, and what's coming after?

A brave new journey

Of fiscal uncertainty. Yes indeed. Both my husband and myself are still looking for work. As a sideline, I'm digging out some of my crafty things, and inventing new ones! Pictures to follow! Other than that, the news is only that our absolutely gorgeous outdoor cat Calli has had her kitten, and we've finally found it, too! Only took us two weeks, at that. We don't know gender yet, but it's adorable, and it clearly has both it's mother's near-unique markings (more later), and, oddly enough, long hair!? This is strange because, as near as we can figure it, both Calli and the tom (Chad) with whom she's been hanging around are shorthaired cats. Go figure. Maybe a recessive? And it's not just normal kitten fuzzyness, either. The fur is really a lot longer than I'd expected. We are going to be looking for a good home for them, but I must admit, I want to keep the kitten soooo badly! But we already have eight cats. And I can't think of anywhere else to put another litterbox. I still want the kitten. Sigh.
My very helpful mother has loaned me a cordless Dremel thingy, which (after perusing the manual) I hope to use to speed up the time-consuming filing and polishing of the copper with which I'm working. Right now, several nice-looking designs are being held up by the fact that finishing them without any pointy/rough edges is taking longer than the whole rest of the fabrication. This is not a good thing. Speed of manufacture means both fewer blisters (I know, I'll wear gloves before spending 45 minutes pulling wires next time) and better pricing margins.

New Development

One of the advantages of being out of work is the option, even the necessity, of trying new things. Over the last six months, I've had more than a dozen people independently come up to me while I'm wearing something I've made and ask me if I'm selling my jewelry anywhere. Maybe they're on to something. So, I have an Etsy store now! It's starting slow, with a few pieces picked from the assortment I had already made. My husband is taking photographs, and we've rigged up a little lightbox to help him get sharp images. http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5768815, as Joellesjewelry for my username. We're both still looking for other work, of course, but it doesn't really cost us anything to try this as well. Maybe it won't go anywhere, but if so, we're only out about three hours of typing and snapping photos.
But the only significant occurrence is that both my husband and myself are now unemployed. Our employer of six years apparently found some critical difficulty in processing our medical paperwork. So, jobhunting is now happening. And I must admit, I'm not happy.