semiotic_pirate: (Pirate_Main_Icon)
Just in case any of you were left on tenterhooks and don't also follow me on Twitter...

Let me put your minds at ease. The biopsy came back (two days later) with benign growth. There was celebrating in my house and the people who have my back at work were very supportive in their being full of good thoughts and encouragement.

So, although I will still be getting the LAVH surgery, at least it will just be for pain and heavy bleeding associated with uterine fibroids instead of a continuous state of panic and uncertainty. I'll still have ovaries (so no need for HRT or a potential crash menopause) but everything else is coming out. Yay!

Regardless, I think my new doc is fantastic and proactive and all the other good things you can say about doctors that actually care about the welfare of their patients.

semiotic_pirate: (Default)
So a few things of import have occurred lately.

1. Tornado. I joked on twitter that sending one my way was nature's way of getting me to clean out the catbox in the cellar. Myah. Not the closest call I've had but close enough. The new hi-def NOAA app came in MIGHTY handy, let me tell you.

2. Now that I know I am both Gluten Intolerant (possibly Celiac but I won't go back on the gluten long enough for a test & biopsy to come back positive) and either lactose intolerant or full on dairy intolerant... I fin it amusing that the majority of my portfolio at wor is made up of - have you guessed yet? That's right, grain marketing cooperatives and dairy processors. Bound to make me more objective about the analysis? Maybe.

When the idea that I may never enjoy cheese or any other dairy goodness... it made me very sad, much more so than when I had to give up the gluten. Maybe because I didn't have to give up ALL grains.

Still adjusting my lifestyle. It was really hard to accept the dairy prohibition, but I think I've gotten all the way to acceptance. It was interesting that it was easier to isolate and identify my dairy reactions once the gluten was completely eliminated from my diet.

Live and learn.

I tweeted an epidemiologist that sometimes writes articles for Wired Magazine. I asked her if it was possible for a heavily chlorinated public water supply to cause or trigger gluten or dairy (casein protien based) intolerance - because the chlorine would continually bombard the intestinal flora, etc. Who knows... maybe that's one of the reasons why we are seeing a surge in gluten spectrum intolerance.

Final words: Go to Youtube and search for "Obama that I used to know" then watch "Star Wars that I used to know" then "Darth Vader falls in love" - you won't regret it.
semiotic_pirate: (cute scarf happy smile)
Got the day started right when the CoB cooked us breakfast - scrambled egg with cheese, mushrooms, and red bell pepper and an english muffin with olivio, some orange juice, and a tea to go.

Before we got to our original destination below, we ended up stopping over our friend S's house to drop off a couple of books she had bought the other night while we did dinner and a movie (there was enough time between the one and the other that we drove together in one vehicle to the bookstore)... discovered she was ill with a chest cold that she had contracted while visiting family out of state. So CoB and I decided to get her a care package at the nearest (15 minutes away, I kid you not, she lives out in the middle of nowhere) pharmacy for some Mucinex, a get well card, vitamin C drops, tissues, and these really soft squishy socks. She loved it.

We decided to head out to this farm in Lebenon, CT where they have a super cool corn maze and a pumpkin patch hayride drawn by a tractor. They also had this neat Castle Bounce, which made me think of [ profile] kadath because she had mentioned how she had wanted one for her reception... *grin*

I fed some chickens and white domestic ducks with some dried corn kernels... that was a lot of fun, actually. Made me yearn for my own flock.

Where I got the kernels is a story unto itself. They had set up a huge pile of dried ears of corn and a couple of hand cranked machines to remove the kernels from the cob. All the kids there were really enjoying cranking those handles and sending the cobs through the machine. How's that for free labor? Get a whole season's worth of chicken feed from the little sprats.

CoB wandered about taking pictures of all the old, rusting, paint peeling farm equipment as well as all the gourds, pumpkins and various things... including this HUGE wasp's nest that he had parked the vehicle almost directly under.

On the way back we drove by this little lake that you can see from 384 and I spotted a flock of Loons on a stopover on their way to the coast. CoB did NOT believe me when I said I saw the Loons handing out on the little lake. Hence, I had to find this awesome site to prove my point. Don't disbelieve someone who lived in New Hampshire for so long that she saw Loons.

Now I'm off to go for a walk with friend D to enjoy the last of the sun.
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Okay true believers... I believe that I have completed the final draft of my paper. The big paper that I've been working on for EVER is this close *hold index finger and thumb of right hand an inch apart* to being DONE!

I'm not counting it as done until I get the financials done *three-quarters of an inch* and then the paper gets approved *half an inch* and finally I get the presentation ready *one-quarter inch* and presented to the committee & whoever *index finger and thumb a nano-inch apart* and this *index finger touching thumb* will occur when I sign on to the Peoplesoft system and see that my Masters Degree in Agricultural Economics has been awarded. Whew!

Damn, this is exciting. I'm actually looking forward to getting a job. I'm really looking forward to getting into the ARC program and becoming a teacher for the VO-AG schools up in the Quiet Corner of the state of Connecticut. *big cheesy cheshire cat grin*

I'm going to (hopefully) finish up the financials before taking a break and heading out with CoB to go see Stardust finally. I must buy him a drink and some candy - this is the bribe he insists upon being paid in order to accompany me to the movies. Heh. Too funny.

I want to finish up the financials beforehand so that I can RELAX while at the movies... I woke up at 3 AM this morning, wide awake with bits and pieces of this project floating through my head. So... I got up, after trying to fall back to sleep, at 3:26 AM to begin my day. Yikes. I haven't gotten up this early voluntarily since I was in the military.
semiotic_pirate: (Sloth)

Yeah. This is how I feel sometimes. The clock is ticking down and I've got to get things finished. It will be done in time though, no doubt of that at all.

Watching a version of Richard III now and after that The House of Usher. Must be a Vincent Price marathon today on Turner Classic Movies. Interesting look he had when he was younger and unwrinkled. Still pretty disturbing in appearance.

Harry Potter non-spoiler thought: (kadath beware!) Vincent Price would have made a fabulous Professor Severus Snape. Makes me think in a way how some people (myself included) will imagine their characters as they read a book.

I did get some stuff done today though. I stripped down my vacuum cleaner and rinsed out all the HEPA filtration system filters and containers. By this time tomorrow I'll know if I cleared that clog out of the lower tubing - the only section I couldn't get to because I was hesitant to expose the motor to try and get to it. I tried running a wire brush through there and it would only go so far, there is a twist or something so that it cannot be easily accessed. It was an expensive investment, getting it in the first place, I can only hope that it does work. *fingers crossed*
semiotic_pirate: (Triffid Talker)
I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt thanks to those of you who responded to my post about Tato. The shots seem to have helped, he's eating again and not hiding under the bed. We're going to be putting him on regular shots of something our vet friend calls "depo" which is supposed to be a longer acting steroid. Using that we are hoping to extend his life a short amount because he will be more comfortable and relatively pain free due to the reduction of swelling. As long as I continually remember which part of him not to squeeze like a roll of Charmin he should be okay for a bit.

I'm not sure how long he will hold out, how far it is advanced or how quickly it will continue to grow. If he takes another turn for the worse we'll have his lymph nodes aspirated (the least invasive) as well as an ultrasound to visualize the area. I'm in a bit of denial while trying to face this which is why I'm not having both done now. All the evidence now points to the one diagnosis, to lymphoma, so I'm not going to fight it. I just can't face it completely yet.


In other news, I got assaulted by trolls yesterday after commenting on ginmar's report about the feminist communities across the internet getting super-trolled. Apparently there are people getting targeted by some sort of whack-jobs who are claiming not to hate women but are attacking women who are just trying to even out the playing/living/working/existence fields. I'm not going to get into the semantics or details of it all. Most people on my f-list know approximately where I stand on the matter of equality issue. Getting slammed for being friends with, or at the very least the reading of, people who use their blogs as forums to discuss or diatribe against what they will is obviously not something that bothers me. *shrug*

And if that doesn't make them go away, I have a community of hacker friends who would be more than willing to track some of them down and make their lives pretty damned miserable. Not sure if ending on something that may be perceived as a threat is a good thing but it is what I have chosen to do.
semiotic_pirate: (Kitty In Bowl)

Finding out your favorite kitty in the whole wide world is going to die of Lymphoma. He's got anywhere from two weeks to two years (the two year case was an exception, the weeks/months cases are the rule).

It isn't like this was completely unexpected. I knew that he didn't have something simple like IBS because the treatment for that didn't work after a while. And now I found out, when the family vet stopped by the house, that there is a lump in there where there shouldn't be.

He hadn't been eating or cuddling, was hiding under the bed and all that. I had a crying jag and didn't get anything done at all today.

When our vet friend was over, she brought some syringes, one a steroid shot, the other an antibiotic. A tiny bit later, he demanded to be fed and was more active than he'd been in a while. More interactive with his environment, hanging out lounging in the living room instead of hiding under the bed.


In all my years of intermittent pet ownership, this is the first time I've ever had (where the cat is mine, Loki was CoB's cat) a sick pet in the end stages of life. I've had the furball for about 12 years and he wasn't a kitten when I got him from the shelter. It makes me sad that he'll probably be gone soon, but I know that he's had a happy life and all that. The key now is to make sure he's got that "quality of life" for the time he has left.

Kitty Post

Aug. 3rd, 2007 07:01 pm
semiotic_pirate: (kitty tp unrolling - evil laugh)
Got this from Petsmart today along with this because one of our cats is getting cantankerous and old and well... Kind of like CoB really. The situation in the bathroom that the litter box needed a change up because the older of our two kitties likes to back up to the edge of the box and sometimes misses getting his emissions INTO the box. This is not where the kitty is similar to CoB btw, just on the cantankerous and old part.

Cats adapt quickly to this Top-Entry Litterbox and love the privacy! The revolutionary design is virtually dog-proof and prevents litter tracking. The litterbox also eliminates over-the-edge mess while reducing odors. The tall seamless sidewalls prevent leakage.

How the CleverCat Top Entry Litterbox Works:

* Cat hops onto the top of litterbox and steps down inside through the opening.
* Cat takes care of business and exits through the the same opening.
* When exiting across built-in tracking mat, litter is removed from cat's paws.

Light gray litterbox is made of heavy-duty plastic and measures 20" L x 15" W x 15" D with a 9" diameter opening. Use one litterbox for up to two cats. Manufacturer provides a one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee. Two sample pan liners included.

Developed by a veterinarian in a feline-only practice, Cat Attract Litter is designed to make it easier to get cats of all ages trained or re-trained to use the litterbox.

* Clay-based, clumping litter has just the right texture, particle size and a unique herbal scent which is proven to attract cats.
* It's scoopable.
* 99% dust-free.
* Contains chlorophyll for natural odor control.
* Each bag includes a booklet with step-by-step instructions for using Cat Attract and useful tips for getting any cat to use the litter box.
* Also includes an unconditional manufacturer's guarantee.

The other cat, well, she LOVES the new box and litter. Had to christen the box immediately (#1 & #2) and she was soooo happy scratching and sniffing and everything elsing. TMI on purpose.

Hopefully the litter lures the kantankerous kitty into the new box. I introduced him to it but he's been avoiding using the box off and on due to a recent illness. *fingers crossed* Going to read that little booklet and see what's what.

Wish me luck with the little stinker, eh?
semiotic_pirate: (ron growling)
I know this is a very long post... however, I didn't want to put in any more than the one lj-cut, which is for spoilerage. That way, people who want to read the rest can, without fearing the spoilerage.

Newly discovered feature of the NY Times: If you double click on a word (say to copy and past it into a dictionary) it will open up a new window with the definition, etymology and pronunciation of said word. It calls itself The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge. I had chosen bildungsroman:

“formation novel” (German); a novel that chronicles the development of a hero or heroine from youth to maturity.

bil·dungs·ro·man or Bil·dungs·ro·man (bĭl'dʊngz-rō-män', -dʊngks-)


A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.

[German : Bildung, formation (from Middle High German bildunge, from Old High German bildunga, from bilidōn, to shape, from bilōdi, form, shape) + Roman, novel (from French, a story in the vernacular, novel; see roman).]
By J. K. Rowling. Illustrations by Mary GrandPré
759 pages. Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic. $34.99.
July 19, 2007
An Epic Showdown as Harry Potter Is Initiated Into Adulthood

So, here it is at last: The final confrontation between Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One, the “symbol of hope” for both the Wizard and Muggle worlds, and Lord Voldemort, He Who Must Not Be Named, the nefarious leader of the Death Eaters and would-be ruler of all. Good versus Evil. Love versus Hate. The Seeker versus the Dark Lord.
Read more... )

--------------------------------------------------------------------In other Potter News:
July 19, 2007
Early Shipping of ‘Harry Potter’ Brings Lawsuit

Scholastic, the United States publisher of the Harry Potter series, sued an online bookseller and its distributor yesterday for “flagrant violations of their strict contractual obligations” not to ship copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” before 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the time and date set by the publisher.

In a breach of contract suit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois, Scholastic accuses Infinity Resources, which owns the online retailer, of shipping some copies of “Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final installment in the series by J. K. Rowling, to customers up to a week before the on-sale date. Levy Home Entertainment, a book distributor, is also named in the suit for failing to ensure that did not ship the books early.

Levy Home Entertainment declined to comment. Andrew Moscrip, vice president of Infinity Resources, said: “We take the situation very seriously and are doing an internal investigation on it. Other than that I am not permitted to comment.”

Scholastic learned of the shipments through an article that ran yesterday in The Baltimore Sun, in which a reporter spoke with a customer who had received a copy of the book from on Tuesday. The publisher is seeking unspecified damages from Levy and Infinity.

In a statement yesterday, Scholastic said “the number of copies shipped is around one one-hundredth of 1 percent” of the 12 million copies printed by the publisher.

Lisa Holton, president of Scholastic’s trade and book fairs division, said the company had a list of people who had ordered “Deathly Hallows” from and was currently calling them to ask them to put aside the book until 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

--------------First off, I severely doubt that any one of those people will put aside their book. Sheesh. Otherwise, what about shippers who have guarantees that you'll receive your book on the day of release - like Almost as bad as the bookseller who sold a copy to the NY Times journalist. Although with the use of this book by big chains as a loss leader in order to draw people into their stores - the little guy has to find some strategy in order to even carry the book on their shelves.


someone took pictures of the entire book and put it into a PDF and up on the web! NO WAY! Though CoB says that many of these sites (whether original or mirror) were taken down shortly after he retrieved his image.

July 18, 2007
New Potter Book May Have Made Its Way to Web

Frustrating perhaps the most elaborately orchestrated marketing machine ever mobilized for a book, photographs of what appeared to be every single page of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the breathlessly awaited seventh and final installment in the series by J. K. Rowling, were circulating on the Web yesterday.

To the publishers of Harry Potter, there is no time or date more sacred than what they are calling “midnight magic,” 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. Then, and only then, can readers buy their copies of “Deathly Hallows.” Both Bloomsbury, the British publisher, and Scholastic, the publisher in the United States, have gone to great lengths to safeguard the book’s content and release date, ordering booksellers not to sell a single book a minute earlier than the official time.

But those less mindful of the publishers’ wishes could go onto various file-sharing Web sites yesterday to look at amateur-seeming photographs of what appeared to be each pair of facing pages of a copy of the book. The pictures, which could be downloaded through sites like the Pirate Bay and MediaFire, showed the book laid out on a green-and-red-flecked beige looped carpet, with fingers holding the pages open. Some of the photos made the text difficult to read, but the fiercely protected ending was definitely legible.

Lisa Holton, president of Scholastic’s trade and book fairs division, said the company was asking various Web site hosts to take the photos down. “We’re not confirming if anything is real,” she said. “But in the spirit of getting to midnight magic without a lot of hoo-ha, can you just take some of this stuff down.”

The company’s lawyers were also pursuing the identity of the person who posted the pictures.

On Monday, the company issued a subpoena to Gaia Online, a social networking and gaming site, ordering it to take down a link to some photos purporting to be “Deathly Hallows” pages posted by a user. Bill Danon, a Gaia spokesman, said that within hours of the subpoena, Gaia removed the photos and banned the user for 14 days.

Some fans were convinced that the images posted around the Web were authentic. Emerson Spartz, the founder and Web master of, one of the biggest Harry Potter fan sites, said he thought the photos were the real deal.

“I read enough of it to where I could tell,” he said. Although he did not read to the end, he said: “I’m not even really hopeful that it won’t get spoiled for me. I’m just expecting it anytime I log on to check e-mail.”

Doris Herrmann, an English teacher in Clear Lake, Tex., who is also a project coordinator for the Leaky Cauldron (, another big fan site, said: “I hate to say it, but it really does look authentic.” She said that while it was possible to work wonders with Photoshop or other programs, it would be difficult to write a whole manuscript, typeset it like the originals and then photograph the whole thing.

Tens of thousands of people downloaded the files yesterday, according to BigChampagne, a research firm that tracks file-sharing. By midday, many of the Web links were no longer working.

On the link-sharing site Digg yesterday, a person using the name TocsinFilms appeared to take credit for uploading the images, then said he was simply “one of the first” to do so. He wrote on Digg in May that he had obtained a copy of the book from “someone who works for a Scholastic Distributing company for Waldenbooks” and had posted photos of its pages online. Those photos have since been taken down. This person did not respond to e-mail or telephone inquiries.

Some who say they have copies of the book or knowledge of the plot have been posting snippets and scans of supposed manuscript pages for weeks. Ms. Holton acknowledged that some of the photos looked genuine. But, she added, “it’s a bunch of people who are going to extraordinary lengths to make it look like they have the authentic book.”

There were also six photos posted on Flickr, the picture-sharing site, by a user named hermionepotter77, a reference to one of Harry’s best friends. Over the caption “Here ya go kids, the Deathly Hallows ending!” one appeared to show the first page of the final chapter; others showed the table of contents and more pages. This material was almost entirely different from what appeared in the images of the full book, meaning one or both had to be fake.

“This happens with every book, and there are a lot of them out there, and we appeal to everybody not to put them up,” said Sarah Beal, a spokeswoman for Bloomsbury in London. “It’s amazing how creative people can be. It may look real, but it doesn’t mean they are.”

Hype and frenzy have been building for weeks as readers anticipate the release of this final Harry Potter book. Ms. Rowling has hinted that two or more characters are likely to die, leading to speculation from many fans that Harry may not survive his own series. Fans have been hypothesizing about other important plot points, too, like who will end up with whom and whether Prof. Severus Snape, a character whose moral character has been in question, is genuinely evil.

Despite the possible leak, bookstores across the country continued to gear up for festivities on Friday night, expecting long lines of readers at midnight. Scholastic is publishing a record 12 million copies, and Ms. Holton said the company had no plans to move up the release date.

“If in fact the book is posted online or the ending is revealed prior to midnight on Friday, it will not result in us selling a single less copy of the book,” said Steve Riggio, chief executive of Barnes & Noble, which has 1.3 million orders for “Deathly Hallows.” As far as Mr. Riggio is concerned, the press coverage generated by potential spoilers just increases advance orders.

Judy Bulow, children’s book buyer for the three Tattered Cover bookstores in Denver, said she doubted that Web spoilers would deter readers from buying the book or attending the midnight parties.

“I think kids are still wanting the great big book,” she said. Tattered Cover is planning parties at two locations and will raffle off the chance to be first in line to buy a copy.

David F. Gallagher contributed reporting.

July 17, 2007
The Voice of Harry Potter Can Keep a Secret

Jim Dale is either one of the luckiest men in America or one of the most tortured.

A little less than two months ago, Mr. Dale, the veteran Broadway actor turned voice of Harry Potter, finished recording the audio version of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final installment in the colossally successful series by J. K. Rowling.

So that means that he knows how it ends.

His grandchildren, who visited from England after he completed the recording, literally twisted his arms trying to get him to divulge a clue. His wife is still in the dark. Everywhere he goes, people want to know What He Knows.

“It’s a surprise ending,” he said on Friday, during an interview in his Park Avenue co-op. “Let’s say that.”

Gee, thanks.

It is not quite four days until Harry Potter’s legions of fans can procure a copy of “Deathly Hallows” — in hardcover, CD or cassette — and find out for themselves exactly who does what to whom. Mr. Dale signed a confidentiality agreement so that he will not breathe a word of the plot.

But after spending eight years creating more than 200 voices for all the characters in the “Harry Potter” books, Mr. Dale really believes that readers — and listeners — should discover the end for themselves.

“For those people who say, ‘C’mon, Jim, how does it end?,’ it’s like parents who say: ‘There’s a surprise gift for you in the next room. It’s a bicycle,’ ” said Mr. Dale, whose apartment could easily make a Hogwarts professor feel at home with its eclectic collections of Victorian cake decorations, pewter plates and Persian swords. “Let the child find out for himself by opening this gift.”

Mr. Dale, 71, was born in central England and has had a long and storied career as a stand-up comedian, a pop singer and an actor in everything from the British “Carry On” series of films and Shakespeare at the National Theater in London to Broadway productions of “Joe Egg” and “Barnum,” for which he won a Tony Award.

Serendipity landed Mr. Dale the part of reading “Harry Potter.” Back in 1999, Listening Library, then an independent company, acquired the United States audiobook rights to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first book in the series, for just $15,000. Timothy Ditlow, the son of the company’s founders, was at a dinner party with a group of avid theatergoers who recommended Mr. Dale. (In Britain the audiobooks are produced by Bloomsbury, and Stephen Fry, the actor, author and comedian, reads them.)

Mr. Ditlow recalled Mr. Dale’s performance in “Barnum” and a few other Broadway shows. Although Mr. Dale had recorded only one audiobook, which was never released, Mr. Ditlow offered him the job. “I think it’s just one of those combination factors of luck and just going by your gut,” Mr. Ditlow said.

Since he first went into the recording studio in the summer of 1999, Mr. Dale has recorded every single word of the “Harry Potter” series, amounting to 117 hours and 4 minutes of reading time across the seven books — or a lot of long car rides. Including sales of CDs, cassettes and digital downloads, the audiobooks have sold more than 5.7 million copies, according to the Random House Audio Publishing Group, which now owns Listening Library.

For his work on the “Harry Potter” series, Mr. Dale has won a Grammy Award and holds the record for creating the most voices in an audiobook in the Guinness Book of World Records.

“Deathly Hallows,” which runs to 784 pages in the ink-and-paper version, took about two and a half weeks, working six-and-a-half-hour days, recording about 18 to 20 pages an hour, to finish. As with the other books, Mr. Dale received the manuscript only two or three days before he was scheduled to begin recording.

“That makes it impossible for me to actually read it before recording it,” said Mr. Dale, who does not possess the 13-year-old megafan’s ability to inhale the book in a weekend.

So he read about 100 pages ahead, and noted all the different voices he needed for the first few days of recording. The benefit of reading in chunks, Mr. Dale said, is that: “I don’t ever know how the book is going to end so I can’t unconsciously lead you in the direction that the book is going. I don’t know who the villain is because I am just reading 100 pages at a time.”

By now the publisher has digital files of all the voices he has used for long-running characters like Hermione Granger, one of Harry’s sidekicks, as well as more minor recurring characters like the Death Eaters, so that Mr. Dale can recreate those voices for the latest book. He takes into account the aging of the main characters, who started out as 10 and 11 in “Sorcerer’s Stone” and are now 17 and 18 in “Deathly Hallows.”

For new characters Mr. Dale uses an old-fashioned cassette recorder and tapes one or two sentences in the new voice and notes the place in the text. Then, when he shows up in the studio and starts to read, he will go to his tape recorder, rewind until he finds the right voice, and play it back to refresh his memory before recording the text. To create the range of voices, he calls on his knowledge of dozens of accents from across the British Isles and imitates the voices of friends and relatives.

For Peeves, the poltergeist, he used the voice of an old comedian friend. For Prof. Minerva McGonagall, Mr. Dale chose the voice of an aunt on his wife’s side, who, perhaps fortunately, did not live to hear herself commemorated that way.

As with the earlier books, Ms. Rowling (whom Mr. Dale said he has met twice) sent along a list of new words and character names and their corresponding pronunciations. Whenever he stumbled on a word not on the author’s list, Mr. Dale would record it in context in several ways to account for every possible pronunciation.

The producers are sticklers for absolute fidelity to the text. “If she says ‘someone laughs, ha, ha, ha,’ and I do four ‘ha’s,’ I am stopped and told, ‘Just do three,’ ” Mr. Dale said.

This Friday night, in the run-up to the release of “Deathly Hallows” at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Mr. Dale will appear at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square in Manhattan, where he will invite children onto the stage to do impressions of his voices. After the book is released, he will do a tour of Houston, Washington, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.

Since attracting a fan base for his “Harry Potter” readings, Mr. Dale has been recording other children’s classics, like “A Christmas Carol,” “Peter Pan” and “Around the World in 80 Days.”

“So if we can encourage the children who follow Jim Dale to listen to other books he records,” Mr. Dale said, “then we are really encouraging them to read or listen to other books that they may never find on their own.”

This fall fans will also be able to hear Mr. Dale’s voice as the narrator of “Pushing Daisies,” a new television series from Barry Sonnenfeld, the director of “Men in Black.”

But it is his role as the aural embodiment of Harry Potter that has brought Mr. Dale a chance at the kind of immortality that many performers crave.

“We have been part of history — big, big history,” Mr. Dale said. “It’s like the people who were connected with Lewis Carroll or the people connected with J. M. Barrie when ‘Peter Pan’ came up. It has been marvelous. Now my voice can be heard in hundreds of years’ time. We all need to leave something behind, and I am leaving behind a legacy of the ‘Harry Potter’ audiobooks.”
semiotic_pirate: (ron growling)
Of the latest movie, OOP, I loved the girl who got picked to be Luna. I wish they hadn't cut the book down so much. The basic elements they did have were good. Though I liked the 3-D, I thought it was a bit off, people were bleeding colors like that episode of Doctor Who from the end of last season... Where he was wearing 3-D glasses, heh.

Day after tomorrow, I will be waiting outside for the UPS guy to show up. I will be tracking my package to make sure that it leaves in the early AM of the 21st and make sure I am nice and comfy out there. I'll be in my outdoor lounging chair, with drink, snack, and listening to music or something. Much as I may like the idea of a Pottermania celebration or some such... meh. Although I will make more of an effort to see the midnight viewings of the next two movies. Especially seeing as how they were able to get the cast locked into contracts to do them. They all sound enthused as well as feeling responsible for the fans and following through to the finish. Good moral response, eh?

the dust jacket to the deluxe edition - very cool

enclosed by a box with the regular U.S. edition's cover image

plus, I hear that the inside covers of the book have the wraparound image of the regular cover image. at this point I am glad that I paid the extra money for the deluxe edition.

I read CoB's photocopy spoiler yesterday. Not surprised by it at all. After all, this is a set of children's books. Bad things happen in all of these coming of age journey type series, however good always triumphs in the end because these books are set up to be examples to live by and to give younglings hope. Most, if not all, young adult books, the ones that contain more complex morals to the story, also tend to have good triumphing over evil. Again, bad things happen because the survivors gain strength of character from them, etc...

Fortunately, CoB's spoiler in no way gives away what actually happens in the book. I still have no idea HOW they got to where they got. Although two burning questions were cleared up - which I had already known/assumed.

cut for spoilerage:
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semiotic_pirate: (ruby slippers)
well well. one of my cats - knicknamed smelly for her odiferous past - is curled up like a burrito in CoB's towel on the floor of the bathroom. she likes to drag his towel down off the rack and rub her fur and scent all over it. she doesn't do this to the hand towel, which is just as accessible. Hrm. It is a black towel (for now, she is a white/calico color) and when she first peered out of the towel I said "welcome, darth smelly" because CoB and me just watched the entire six part movie marathon over the last few days.

now she is completely enveloped in the towel, reminding me of a small furry tribble or hordaa. *shrug* she makes me laugh. all is good.
semiotic_pirate: (cute scarf happy smile)
A friend of mine is in the New York Times theater section. W00T for good reviews. I just hope that CoB and I will be able to get into the city before the run time ends.

November 14, 2006

Job and Jesus Combine to Overcome

There are bad days, and then there are bad days. As Job, a prosperous, gregarious man living in biblical times, is napping after a dinner party, messengers begin arriving.

One tells him that an earthquake has destroyed his iron mines in Lebanon. The next informs him that his shipyards in Alexandria have collapsed. “I’m going to go to the office and straighten everything out,” Job tells his guests. Luckily he has insurance on his holdings, through Caesar. Unfortunately a third messenger arrives, with news of a military coup and Caesar’s death. Then Job learns that all four of his children have died.

The biblical Job, faced with these disasters, agonized but never cursed God. The Job in Hanoch Levin's "Job’s Passion," now at Theater for the New City, quickly announces his conclusion that God does not exist. Although the play sometimes flaunts irreverence for irreverence’s sake (the vomit metaphor is particularly hideous), this dizzying array of images finds both humor and rich meaning in misery.

Mr. Levin, who was 55 when he died in 1999 , spent much of his career getting on the nerves of would-be censors in Israel, where he was born, lived and worked. His 1982 play, “The Patriot,” depicted a Jewish settler shooting a Palestinian. “You, Me and the Next War” (1968) questioned Israel’s self-congratulatory militaristic self-image, and “The Queen of the Bathtub” (1970) ridiculed Prime Minister Golda Meir.

In “Job’s Passion” (1981), which benefits from lively direction by David Paul Willinger and clever translation by Shay Azoulay , it may seem that Mr. Levin has gone to an awful lot of trouble just to declare God’s nonexistence. But the play is also an indictment of humanity. (If some entity created us, it wouldn’t necessarily want to stick around and take credit.) And the play suggests that persecuting people for their religious beliefs is both awful and inevitable.

Mr. Levin combines the stories of Job and Jesus, having Job (Primy Rivera in an excruciatingly brave performance) sentenced to death by a particularly painful method of impalement. So much for the nobility of suffering.

A character in the Felliniesque circus scene clarifies what may be Mr. Levin’s most heartfelt thought: “Don’t ask for a reason. Just observe the spectacle.”

"Job's Passion" runs through Dec. 3 at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, at Ninth Street, East Village; (212) 254-1109.
semiotic_pirate: (spock & kirk)
I just went through and unlocked (to friends only in some cases but a lot of free and clear stuff as well) a bunch of posts that were made starting in July (not that many actually) so if any of you were interested in scrolling back... The only comment I didn't unscreen was one by someone who specifically requested it not to be unscreened.

Of specific interest to those who wanted updates to the debacle and situation go here. And please, feel free to comment in each and every one of those previously locked posts. Please. Go, read, comment!
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Well. I want to get a survey out here without using a poll. So I will probably post date this so it appears at the top of my journal. I really basically want some feedback as to my decision here that is detailed below. This is also meant as a forum to answer any questions about that decision. Thank you for your support.

I am contemplating retiring my semiotic_pirate persona for a while. It is just that I feel like I've exposed too much of myself over time to too many people. This wasn't my intent when I first started this and going about meeting people in real life shifted my intent until this journal swaggered off on its own and well. I need to take a break for now.

This isn't to say I'm giving up LJ. Just taking semiotic offline for a while. I, going to start up another journal and I don't want to reveal the new user name. At least not for a while because anonymity can be a good thing. I intend for this person to remain as anonymous as they can because I lost a good friend due to my fuck ups here and I regret that greatly.

Some of you are aware of the happenings in the recent past, some are not. However, a great deal of why I'm retreating a bit here on LJ is as a result of that recent past. If you receive an email from me disclosing the identity of my new username, please be discreet.

Please understand that I am not doing this to punish anyone, I'm doing this as an act of self preservation and as a way of healing a wound that right now is a little raw.

EDIT: I'm not planning on abandoning this lj, though I have initiated a purge of the flist. Sorry if I crossed you off by accident [ profile] lizborden.

PS: For those of you who lusted after my main identity icon, no, I'm going to keep it for future reference and use at some point. It is too precious to me and I would not want to annoy the artist who created it too.
semiotic_pirate: (sad woodstock-raining)
My grandmother is in the hospital.

A few weeks ago or so she had been in, for falling down and bruising her hip. She got out a week or so ago... (Can you tell my family doesn't communicate well within the ranks?)

I just found out that she is again in the hospital, by accident, though I would've found out about twenty minutes after I did when my Mum called on her way back from the hospital.

Apparently she's had Emphysema for at least ten years, had a partial lungectomy at the time... Along with COPD and CHF. Duh, I was an EMT, I dealt with patients who had these diseases, she was a very long term smoker I thought she was just genetically "lucky" not to get lung cancer.

Grrrrr! Now, she's got a lung infection, she's on a ventilator, sedated with morphine (unconscious through medication or otherwise) and...

OMG. *shock*

No one (even my cousin's father, who was at the hospital today, and he had even called his stepmother and she didn't tell him) told my cousin, and I had talked to him the other day so I called him to make sure he knew. He hadn't been contacted by anyone.

We chatted about the quirks of our family, we talked about the various relatives and so forth... especially a particular aunt. And then we enjoyed reminiscing about our great-grandparents.

*large mournful sigh*

I just called in "sick" for the first time with my new job - I told them what was happening. My manager was very understanding.

I wonder what would be worse. Her dying, or her living, especially given what I now know about her medical condition. At least I talked to her and had a really good phone conversation with her just before she went into the hospital the first time. She was spunky and happy from the convo, even called my Mum and praised me and all that... *embarrassed look*

On top of everything else, but this is actually (I don't understand why) giving me some sort of strength.
semiotic_pirate: (Hippocampus)
Positive reinforcement of desired characteristics and behaviors is something to recall and remember. It takes longer but lasts longer as well. Negative reinforcement training will just turn and bite you in the ass. Think of dogs. How are they better trained? With treats or with blows?

This should work for everything, every creature, no matter what it is. The human creature is no different. Just replace child with person... and this is probably something better done by not talking "down" to the other person, and in a way that is friendly and not domineering or something to resent. So body language and tone of voice will be very important.

The army was experimenting with this technique back when I was in AIT - the training company next door were trained solely using positive reinforcement, and were rewarded with things like... ready? A day-trip to the local Six Flags. We were the "hard-core" training company next door, where, whenever our neighbors were rewarded with something we had to watch in front leaning rest position no less. Yay.

I'm guessing this is the basis of how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works, yeah?


Behavior Management
From Sue Watson,
Your Guide to Special Education.

This article is written to assist and provide support to parents and teachers involved with behavior issues that are causing some concerns both at home and or at school. There is much that can be done to help, however; the focus here is on the preventative approach which is key to maintain positive behaviors.

A consistent approach when dealing with children with behavioral concerns most often leads to more productive and positive behaviors. It is highly recommended that you plan strategies that you can implement regularly. Whether the child is acting out, involved in conflicts, bullying, or being verbally or physically aggressive; it is important to ensure that you have positive interactions and that you refrain from calling the child 'bad', it is the behavior being exhibited that you are unhappy with and the child needs to know it is not him/her it is the behavior.

Acceptable and appropriate behavior is developmental - it happens over time and is greatly influenced by parental support and guidance, peers, previous experiences and the intervention techniques employed by teachers, caregivers and parents. As 'Dr. Phil' often says: "You teach people how to treat you".

Occasionally, despite your ongoing efforts, consistent applications of interventions and techniques, some children will continue to display ongoing behavioral difficulties. You cannot be all things to your child at all times. You may need to seek the advice and assistance of professionals.

The Basics:

Promote self-esteem and confidence every chance you can. Catch your child doing something great and praise him/her. Provide opportunities for the child to become responsible. When they take responsibility well, let him/her know. Always be objective and understanding - do not lose your patience even though you are tempted to. Use your best judgment at all times, remain objective and seek to understand. Patience, patience, patience! Even though you may be very frustrated.

Next Steps:

Communicate your expectations with a minimal number of rules and routines to be followed. Think big, start small. Involve the child when you are establishing rules and routines. Ask for his/her assistance. Make sure they repeat them - this will help them remember. Emphasize the child's strengths and minimize the weaknesses. Set your child up to be successful when the opportunity presents itself. Provide opportunities for the child to reiterate expectations. For example: "What always needs to be done before bed?" Encourage the child to participate and monitor their own behavior. For example: "What is terrific about what you're doing right now?" AVOID power struggles - nobody wins! Take time to discuss appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Routines - children with behavior difficulties benefit from clearly established routines, I can't say enough about this. Role play some situations based on unacceptable behaviors and discuss them. Set up practice situations and role play those. For example: Tommy just came and stepped on your toe, you even though he did it intentionally. How will you handle this situation? Teach the skills necessary for appropriate behaviors.

In Summary:

If you're this far - you're concerned and you want some strategies. Now you're ready for the implementation stage. You are now ready for the 5-step plan:

1. Pinpoint the behavior that you want to change. Be specific.

2. Gather your information. When does the unacceptable behavior occur? How often does it occur? Under which circumstances does it occur? What event precedes the behavior? What is the child's view of the behavior? Does the inappropriate behavior always happen when the child is alone? Supervised? With others? At a specific time?

3. Now it's time for you to interpret what the information may mean from the previous step. Give it your best shot when trying to analyze the information you've gathered.

4. Plan for Change! Now it's time to set your goals - with the child. What are the short term goals? What are the long term goals? Who's involved, what will happen. The plan for change should be collaborative between you and the child. Be specific, for instance: Johnny will not yell and scream when it's time to do homework - or time to go to bed. In your plan for change, some rewards and or a reward system should be in place. For instance, when 5 instances of appropriate behavior happens, Johnny will have .............(opportunity to indulge in his favorite activity, a new sticker book etc.)

5. Evaluate how your plan is working. If it isn't working, make the necessary changes collaboratively. Once again, if after several consistent tries you find your plan isn't working and there is no noticeable change in the unacceptable behaviors, the child may need to be referred to a specialist.

Good luck!
semiotic_pirate: (kamawaterlily)
I have to say that last night was the best night's sleep I've had in a while. No tossing and turning, no waking up a few times through the night... Ahhhh. And I had wicked cool dreams in an anime style. It was great! Strangely, it had some of the items and circumstances from for recent series of dreams (that were worrying) but from a different perspective that was adventursome and a positive outcome to the various "storylines." All hail the mighty Ambien!

I am recovering nicely from the poison ivy (who knows where I got it from cause I didn't go walking in the woods) after going to the doctor office yesterday and getting prednisone and some super strong anti itch cream. Ahhhhhh. Before that I was sleeping almost constantly hopped up on benadryl pills and trying a variety of ointments and stuff for the itchy skinn issues.

In other news, I tried a new catfood with the crankiest of the bunch (Loki) 9 Lives Salmon & Crab... oh my! Crack open the can: "meow meow meow meow" let him lick the cover: "lick lick lick" put it in his bowl: "scarf scarf." SUCCESS!


Dec. 14th, 2004 08:32 am
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Well! How could I have forgotten The Law of Diminishing Returns??!! Dammit! I kind of described it right, but couldn't put the name to it... Nor did I call the long term supply line of the firm the Marginal Cost Curve! AAARRRRGGGHH. And then I blanked on what retailer push and consumer pull marketing was and if a food broker would be involved in either....

Ah well... ::hangs head in self-disgust::

At least lunch had plenty of potential. I took a break from studying (it had completely fried my brain by that point) to have lunch with [ profile] kadath at the local Red Robin. Had the usual for myself. C. tried the pot roast burger. We both dribbled all over ourselves and our plates. The conversation had the expected awkward moments that all first meetings have. I thought it went well, myself.

Yay! First successful MIP from lj for me!

Now if only the final went so well... Argh. I won't know for another week probably, though the professor had the willingness to start correcting them right away at least so maybe I won't have to wait that long for the unknown news. Watch, the class I was most interested in, and enjoyed the most, I'll get the worst grade in. (Please, let me get a B... aaaaaaahhhhh!)

AND to make matters soooo much better ::sarcasm:: I get to go in to the oral surgeon today and get my wisdom teeth yanked. Thinking about that yesterday while I was sitting for the exam didn't help my concentration at all. So, wish me luck! Hopefully I won't make a fool out of myself and get on here later while I'm still under the influence of the sedation... Heh.

Oh, and as a side note... The Board of Directors is meeting tomorrow to discuss me. Ack.


semiotic_pirate: (Default)

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