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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Rika Youngblood's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, August 25th, 2012
1:57 pm
He walked on your face!
In memory of Neil Armstrong, please join me, Buzz Aldrin, and Liz Lemon in yelling at the moon.

Also: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/bios/neilabio.html
Friday, August 10th, 2012
10:48 pm
Eternally poised
eternally poised

Current Mood: kitty
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
4:35 am
Tab hunted
I have way too many tabs open in my browser and therefore am forcing you, gentle reader, to enjoy as many of them as you like while I use my LJ to make sure the links don't get buried in a lonely, unvisited stack.

Patton Oswalt JFL Keynote 'Letters To Both Sides' Explains How Comedy Has Changed (or rather, Patton Oswalt’s Letters to Both Sides: His keynote address at Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2012)

Flying Bear Kills Two Canadians in Freak Accident

Computer-generated abstract faces

Twilit Grotto Esoteric Archives -- Occult symbols and original .GIFs

Moscow Cat Theater

Archive of Dharma talks given by Gil Fronsdal, Andrea Fella, and various guest speakers at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA

Soviet Venus Images

Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art

New York Federal Reserve mum on missing Iraq billions

The Writing of E. Nesbit, by Gore Vidal, December 3, 1964

The York Plays

Hark, a vagrant: 341

'The Quarry Whence Modern Names Are Hewn'
Friday, July 20th, 2012
4:20 am
Bridey McHidey
Frustrated and a little sad tonight as I get things together before tomorrow's treatment. At least the schedule doesn't involve me getting up at o-dark-thirty this time. I won't have the usual backup at the hospital today and may resort to calling random people to chat. Either that or listen to backlogged Greg Proops podcasts.

Went to bodywork today courtesy of Stanford's Supportive Care Program (still a marvelous program). Bodywork wonderful as always with this practitioner. Unusually, this time she had verbal advice for me: she suggested that I focus on forgiveness more, for myself and others, and also on remembering that I deserve good things. That made a lot of sense, especially this week, when I've been sitting at home a lot propping up my troubled right leg and napping. Good for physical health, but enervating to the spirit.

We're DirecTV subscribers, so the public battle between those titans of ethics and broadcasting, Viacom and DirecTV, hits us...well, not that hard, since the only contested channel we give a crap about is Comedy Central, for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I'm glad Viacom unbent to the extent that we can watch TDS and TCR episodes on Hulu -- also glad that AdBlock Plus works like a charm and that generally you can just wait out the spots where commercials would be. Surprise insight from today's Daily Show: E. J. Dionne looks like Brent Spiner, but sounds a bit like Walter Brennan.

Which reminds me -- purejuice asked me elsewhere why I like watching reruns of Match Game '74. Nostalgia, certainly, but also a sense of history. The shows are broadcast in their original sequence, so you can watch relationships evolve and in-jokes change. Right now they're making a lot of jokes about Nixon and erased tapes, for example. What's My Line? and I've Got a Secret offered more along those lines, of course.

Time to get my beauty sleep!
Saturday, June 30th, 2012
9:49 pm
This is Bat Country
Naturally there's been a lot of talk on my various friends lists about the Supreme Court's health care decision. But I was surprised to see someone post the following in the middle of a conservative friend's call for civil political discourse:

Just pray the Gooberment of Commie Demoturds doesn't decide You all MUST buy an Obammiemobile or get taxed...what's next...Have to buy goat cheese...??? The Constitution got stabbed in the back... time to drain the swaamp of ALL Commiecrats and take back our Nation .

Beyond my concern for this person's mental state, I have to admit I admire the concise, phonetic if not mental coherence of "Gooberment of Commie Demoturds." Really got a ring to it.
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
11:15 pm
Yes, it's all fan fiction, but still...
I was nearly over my agonized reaction to the latest TV ad for the ahistoric "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" -- seriously, folks, are we just playing high-concept Mad Libs here? why not Marie Antoinette, or Woodrow Wilson, or Adlai Stevenson? -- when the ad for the upcoming Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant came on, and I screamed involuntarily.

It's time to read something slow and linear.
4:23 pm
Field trip to the T-shirt printers
Yesterday my T-shirt printing class took a field trip to San Francisco to see bigtime shirt printing in the real world. The father of a friend of one of the class members owns a shop that prints a lot of shirts for companies like Live Nation, so that was our backstage pass. The company's been in business for more than 30 years; some of the original employees and working methods are still around.

The building itself is an underlit one-room cavern divided by stacks of boxes and punctuated by shelves. Three mechanized shirt presses chugged away. Our group was very impressed with the huge 16-color stations that automatically re-inked and flash-cured every color. Seemingly haphazard rows of metal-frame screens were clustered everywhere. It looked random, but they assured us they knew what was in every row, in the way you know what's in every pile of papers on your desk. What surprised us most was the amount of white light allowed in the screen burning room. Our class is used to needing to work fast in dim light to make sure we don't overexpose our screens -- here they just use pale orange ambient light and a screen emulsion exposed with 15-second bursts of intense UV.

But the part that cracked us up the most is shown below. Yes, they do have a regular pressure-wash room for cleaning out used screens, but apparently over the years traffic sometimes simply backed up too much and they had to use the men's room for screen rinsing. (The women's room sink suffers from a few ink tracks but is nothing like this.) Now you know the soft low-tech underbelly of the modern shirt-printing business.

Double-purpose bathroom
Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
11:40 am
Thursday, July 7th, 2011
12:44 am
Hugh Grant, investigative journalist
It's heartening to see someone with sufficient fuck-you money call out the Murdoch publications for their practices. No irony intended; I thoroughly enjoyed Grant's report and subsequent sparring session with an old adversary, not to mention the chance to hear Grant talk without his trademark stutter.


Could Paul McMullen, ex-"journalist" turned pub owner, possibly have been cast as more ratty and skanky? If he'd shapeshifted into a stoat on camera I would not have been surprised.

My heart aches a bit when I think about the earnest ethical training we got in journalism school, then listen to the sniveling McMullen try to double down with "how could the highly paid Grant lower himself" and "it's all part of the game." Wonder what they teach in that school now.

Current Mood: ...
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
12:07 pm
Zombie Diana Fanfic
Is Princess Diana doomed to walk the earth forever, until her memory melts into mythology and two millennia down the road our distant descendants will class her as a handmaiden to Marilyn Monroe?

What is this doing on the cover of Newsweek? Why doesn't Tina Brown team up with Kevin Killian (the first playwright I saw using celebrities essentially as fanfic characters) so we can put this back on off-Broadway where it belongs?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
3:31 am
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
1:09 pm
How do they rise up?
Here's to the last Ankh-Morpork revolution, to Towel Day, and to my morris teammate Karen Candlin.
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
10:59 pm
Thoughts on the Columbine anniversary from a survivor who knew the killers
I look at Reddit once or twice a week now. The "Ask Me Anything" sessions, where various flavors of noteworthy people offer themselves for no-holds-barred interviews, always pique my interest. I recommend this one -- it doesn't rehash the old sound bites. He put a lot of thought into his answers, and you'll probably say Wow a few times.

I was friends with the killers, a few victims, was scapegoated by the police as being involved, went on to do lots of anti-bullying activism for many years before I gave it up. AMA
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
6:04 pm
Short liveblog of "telephone town hall" with Rep. Anna Eshoo
And whaddya know, an immediate opportunity to talk politics. Our land line was randomly selected to participate in a telephone conference with our House representative, Anna Eshoo, on the subject of the proposed Medicare cuts. I'm listening to it now; sounds as though I came in near the tail end. I love hearing her say she won't participate in the dismantling of Medicare. Will see if I can liveblog a few things. Paraphrased material [in brackets].

Eshoo: "If in fact these cuts were being applied to lower the deficit, some people would say, well, okay, I guess we all have to sacrifice. But these cuts are being applied in areas that I find reprehensible [such as oil companies]. I think we can agree that oil companies are doing all right. Why should it be put on your backs and ruin a problem that has really worked well?

"I think the body politic will take notice of this. There's a reason they haven't applied this to people enrolled in Medicare right now -- they wouldn't vote for it. People who aren't in the program now aren't paying attention to this. We have to be concerned from one generation to the next. I don't believe that doing this strengthens our country in any way, shape, or form."

Medicare IS a single-payer system, she reminded one caller.

Caller says the insurance companies are out of control; they're gouging people and forcing them to choose [between food and health]. Why can't we stop them? Eshoo: "That's a very good question. What we did was to rein in the cost of what private insurance companies were doing. Exchanges will be set up next year. You can see that some companies are raising their rates, some up to 39 percent [or more].

"Imagine seniors being given a voucher and being thrown out into the private insurance market to find something. There has been much discrimination against women [and seniors]; [that's why Medicare was created]. The private insurance market has not endeared itself to people. The [Obama] health care plan was designed so that you could keep your current insurer if you liked. What I take from your comment is that there's a lot of money to be made by private insurers, and no confidence in [how they apply it]."

She's signing off with a suggestion that we look carefully at what Obama proposed in his recent speech. Don't forget to write or otherwise tell your representatives what you think of it; write letters to the editor, talk to your friends and community. "No senior in our country, or no one that will become a senior, should be thrown into the arms of the private insurance market. Real deficit and debt reduction, yes, but not on the backs of the people [who have built this country.] Medicare and its promise of being a guarantee should be preserved."

Rhetoric, to be sure, but rhetoric from someone who's consistently represented my views. Good to have heard her back all that up in a real-time conversation.

Current Mood: pleased
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
9:25 pm
Inspired by a discussion in another journal (from which this post is a reworked comment), I'm considering posting more political content here. Even though my physical health has improved to the point that writing seems interesting again, I've shied away from the current state of politics because it's so fucking appalling. I'm afraid of steam blasting out my ears like a cartoon steam-whistle.

And backing off to write about my views of the underlying causes often makes me angry *and* leaves me feeling like a conspiracy theorist.

That said, it's marginally easier to discuss these things on LJ than on FB, where my major friend base centers around a relatively apolitical interest. I'm better off not knowing what opinions some of these people hold, because Studies Have Shown that friendships are not improved when you say things like, "Okay, you say you're a Christian, but you don't follow anything actually taught by Jesus." On LJ my friends list more closely mirrors my own views.

So occasionally I'll cowboy up and dump my rage on LJ, perhaps after, as suggested, I toss it in a salad bowl with some fresh-cut humor and irony. Sometimes I'll include the ratings on my special "how far up your crotch do I want to kick your balls" scale of retribution. For example, right now Rep. Eric Cantor's testicles would be lodged firmly in his retropubic space, if I were there, wearing my special shoes.
Saturday, January 29th, 2011
3:09 am
Back from the ded
The last six weeks marked the least festive holiday season I've experienced in decades. The majority of my time was spent in bed or propped up on the living room couch. Christmas and New Year, down the drain. As far as I can tell I got hit by four or five things in succession, probably hormonally amplified. Can't tell now whether allergies hammered me hardest or whether I caught the flu-thing that's going around. Whatever the source, the end result was "down for the count."

My stamina still hasn't powered back up to full. My lungs still hated today's chilly fog, not that they've ever liked that kind of thing, and my plans to hit the gym for something a bit more strenuous than standing on the vibrating platform fizzled out after I spent my full session staffing the recording studio (fortunately, nobody there today) and actually spent time in the piano practice rooms. I'm definitely used to a steeper angle of recovery.

Because of all this enforced downtime I'm going to have to drop my intermediate music theory class for the quarter. Just too far behind, in a class where there've been online assignments nearly every day. Maybe the teacher will let me hang on and withdraw from the class at the last possible minute so that I can soak up as much online knowledge as possible.

What I need to create now with some of that newly freed-up time is an actual physical regimen to rebuild strength and staying power, as opposed to simply putting in the gym hours (which is what my school gym class' structure encourages, access in return for hours logged). It's also time to try anything that might reduce my allergizability (yes, that's a word, because I say so).

As time, money, and vigor permit I've been giving myself little treats, lunch at a favorite restaurant here, a movie there, a brief visit with friends, a short massage, even an SF Sketchfest evening, since the last few weeks have been so freakin' bleak. Not too much fun yet for the quivering beastie, but enough to draw my California-spring crocuses out from the earth.

Over the last three days I received some bad family news (not health-related, at least not this time). There's nothing I can offer them from two states away, absolutely nothing I can do except wring my hands and tell them they're in my thoughts. I hope they manage to pull a rabbit out of that hat.

Wishing you an easier time too.
Monday, December 13th, 2010
11:53 pm
Allergies on the march
This is the worst trouble I've had with allergies ever, with symptoms more extreme. It's near anaphylaxis. (At least that explains why Sudafed helps.) I've taken to wearing a particle filtration mask when I go outside, and that definitely makes a difference. It weirds people out, so I briefly pull the mask down and explain it's just because of the pollen, which always makes them smile in relief. But how long will this go on? The new antihistamines just don't work well for me. I'm going to start hiding in air-conditioned buildings during the day, now that school's out and I have a choice of where to spend my time.
Saturday, December 11th, 2010
6:21 pm
More relevant to my life than I'd like

Good to remember. Always check your sources.

Edit: In fact, I'm cranky enough about the relevant material that I'm posting a unicorn chaser for myself. Maybe you could use one too. Neil Gaiman's white dogs bounding in the white snow:

Current Mood: cranky
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
2:09 pm
For Lennon and Copernicus

Check out the entire Historyteachers channel on YouTube, by the way.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
8:52 pm
Finals week: the musical, part I
For once I am not crazy batshit worried about whether everything will work out at the end of the quarter, for what may be the first time in years.

The music-theory test was my last written final. The instructor did his level best to make sure everyone knew what would be on the exam. Gah, so many fiddly bits. This class has forced me to zero in on the details again and again. So many, many little footnotes that change everything. (Curse you, enharmonics!) I was very glad to get my last quiz back just before the final, because the sprinkling of errors there came entirely from inattention -- e.g., did I make sure the pop chords matched the Roman numerals? Apparently not. Whether I'm wrong or right in this final, at least there'll be fewer half-right answers.

I signed up for the intermediate theory course, even though it's an hour earlier. Morning people, imagine what gyrations you'd have to go through to attend an important class that only met at midnight -- that's what a 9 a.m. class is like for me. The good news is that I was already trying to arrive that early, because the parking lot I use fills up so fast that I have to be there around 9 to get a parking spot in time for the 10 a.m. class.

More in a sec. Okay, I lied. See next comment.
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