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CELEBRATING 25 YEARS...

Jul. 20th, 2010 | 07:45 am
Fifes and drums: Telephone [Lady Gaga]

...of what should probably never have been.Collapse )

D-M
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Dante, the Spider Tunnel, and the Lesbian Duck Club

Jul. 5th, 2010 | 08:22 pm

Admit it: it was the duck club label that got you.



Not the first video I've taken with my iPod, but as you can see, I'm still getting used to handling it, so, sorry for somewhat unsteady image.

As for the Lesbian Duck Club, yeah, last year I could go to that part of the river at any given time and there would be no less than twenty female ducks just chillin'. Seriously, any time. Things have changed since then, though, such as the installation of an artificial island, which, while attracting beautiful birds like black swans and red-winged (red-tipped?) blackbirds, seems to have disturbed the usual residents.

Still plenty of ducks, don't get me wrong. They just have company now.

On a sadder note, the spider tunnel was destroyed - how, I don't know - shortly after this video was taken. A real shame...

*

In Dante-related news, things were pretty slow until, well, this week. I'd bought the new terrariums, as well as substrate and a few new accessories for the baby, but I didn't have the money to make the final move until now; and that process moves VERY quickly. You place an order before noon on a Wednesday, and by Friday your tarantula has arrived!

I hope to place my order this week, provided they have the right species and age, of course. At the very least, I want her by the end of the month: my parents are having a huge family gathering in early August for their 25th wedding anniversary (no, I don't in fact know how they've lasted so long) and a couple of my cousins (among others) are DYING to see the spiders, particularly the species I hope to get with Dante.

So here's hoping! If not this week, I have two (maybe three) more tries before my relatives'll miss it. It wouldn't be such a huge deal if this weren't their first time EVER coming from Germany and they're not coming back in the foreseeable future. Yeesh.

D-M

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Saturday was my anniversary!

Jun. 2nd, 2010 | 05:20 am

That is, my one-year anniversary with my girlfriend, Anna. The funny thing is, I'd been looking forward to it since our (uncelebrated) sixth-month anniversary (no, seriously), but in the minor mayhem that was both our lives last week, I actually completely forgot about it until THE DAY BEFORE, as witnessed by this e-mail:

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No, really: in a lesbian relationship, the very first thing that sprang into my head - and which I reprinted in e-mail - was "Holy balls!" No, I don't get it either.

We had a nice dinner: heart-shaped pasta ("Love Pasta") that I'd brought back from Germany. Her sister was watching bad TV in the background, but it wasn't too bothersome. Then we watch Moulin Rouge!.

...And now we are studiously working on an Akatsuki/Moulin Rouge! crossover. It's coming along fantastically. Go us!

AND NOW SHE'S LEAVING MEEEEEEEEEEE!

Ahem. More on this later, but she got accepted into the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme, which means that at the end of July, she'll be moving to Japan for AT LEAST a year. And while I have no regrets about her getting in (I know, it felt weird to me, too. I expected part of me to want her to fail, but...I didn't. I am so incredibly, wordlessly, wholeheartedly happy for her!), being without her will be like a fish missing water. I mean, I see her every goddamned day!

Like I said, more on this later (the good parts, mostly; it's a very interesting programme).

D-M

P.S. Please don't be offended that I blocked my e-mail address in the above pic. It's just 'cause these posts are completely public. I love you all!

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Joy is...

May. 28th, 2010 | 04:26 am
Fifes and drums: Raving in Mexico [Scooter]

Going to the library to pick up a hold and finding out that more than one has arrived. It's like getting presents!

D-M
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AT LONG LAST, I HAVE IN MY HANDS...

May. 23rd, 2010 | 05:11 pm
Fifes and drums: Tôn y Melinydd [Carreg Lafar]

...the greatest biography of Saint-Just ever written! (Not that, y'know, that genre was bursting or anything.)

Anyway, it's the one I used for my grade 12 project, all those years ago, fell madly in love with, and then found out the library had gotten rid of it before I'd had a chance to ask if I could, say, buy it off them.

Obviously, the reason it's so good is because the biographer is so good, but Françoise Kermina (the full title, incidentally, is "Saint-Just: La Révolution aux mains d'un jeune homme") seems to go to a completely different world entirely when she picks a biography subject. Just looking at the bibliography all those years ago made me realize how INTENSE this lady is. For example, she dug through mid-18th century agricultural reports just to be to give the approximate value of the property where SJ was born, at that time. From here, that may sound trivial, but she really fits all the little details quite well into the book.

Mme Kermina is actually quite a well-known biographer (as she should be), but this particularly book was especially hard to get a hold of because it was actually a rather radical (hehe) departure from her usual subject matter: royalty. For example, her best-known biography, I believe, is actually of Marie-Antoinette. Yes, that one. Strange, huh?

At any rate, aside from one itty-bitty quibble*, I CANNOT recommend this book enough as a biography of SJ. It is THE biography, and I am so glad to have it in my hands again after, what, five years?

If anyone is interested (I'm looking at you, josiana!), there are still copies available on, for example, AbeBooks.

D-M

*This quibble being her obvious dislike of Robespierre. Now, that doesn't have all that much bearing on this biography (or I wouldn't like it nearly so much), but she does, from time to time, blame some of Saint-Just's harsher policies on Maxime's "bad influence." This really annoys me, since, when their policies did cross, it was clearly the other way around. It's just that people like SJ and Couthon (and consequently, their independent opinions) have been completely absorbed into the monster of legend that is (still) Robespierre, and I would really have expected Mme Kermina to realize that.

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Dante: Hell's Bureaucracy and the WSPA

May. 6th, 2010 | 06:23 pm

So, actually getting Dante is a bit of a tricky process. I have her (I'm going to use female pronouns because I'm hoping for another female; they live umpteen times as long as any male tarantula) terrarium and her substrate...and that's it.

Now, aside from a water dish, that's actually all she needs (and how most tarantulas are kept), but I'd also like to get her some accessories, particularly a hiding place.

The problem is that I have no idea how old Dante will be when I get her, and here's why:

To get Dante, I go to one of the locally-owned pet stores and place an order before Wednesday (any Wednesday). By Wednesday, the store will have called the super-breeders (in Montréal) and found out what ages and prices are available that week (it changes all the time). I place an order, and the tarantula is in on Friday (humane shipping involves comfort and speed).

This gives me only one full day to adjust the terrarium to the tarantula I will be getting, which could be anywhere between the size of my fingernail and the palm of my hand.

Needless to say, all of that makes a HUGE difference in age-appropriate accessories. Ack!

*

On the way home from the pet store today, I joined the WSPA. It wasn't smart, considering this involves monthly donations and, on disability, I'm usually out of money by the third week of the month*, but DAMMIT, I wanted to do it. They are the largest animal rights organization in the world, y'know? And they're effective, they really are. They're also pushing for an international law for humane animal treatment.

So now, everything month, $10 of my money will go to them. I feel like shit for only offering such a small amount, but... Well, do what you can, right?

I'll feel better if they have volunteer opportunities for me...

D-M

[EDIT] Goddamn. I just checked my bank account and, thanks to rent, internet, my cell phone, one grocery run and...a belt, I'm already at less than $200 for the rest of the month. ON MAY 6TH.

Looks like Dante will have to wait 'til June. Smithies are relatively expensive nowadays.

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Dante: Raising Hell and Baby Tarantulas

May. 5th, 2010 | 05:03 am
Fifes and drums: Hard [Rihanna]

So I've decided to try to make a real comeback onto LJ, which may or may not involve me starting a new journal that better suits me nowadays. But that's not the issue right now.

We all know from experience that if I don't have something really specific going on in my life, all that ever ends up here are little farts of artwork and, occasionally, that CSI fanfic I claim to be working on.

That's not what I had planned for a LiveJournal. I decided that if I was going to play the online community game, I would do it right, which for me meant using LiveJournal as, you know, a journal.

So that left me two options. I could start being really honest about my life, which involves crippling pain, depression, anxiety and a variety of childhood traumas, or I could MAKE a better situation that would consistently give me interesting things to post about.

Obviously, I chose the latter, but let me say one thing first:

If I really do come back here for good, anyone reading this journal WILL have to put up with a certain amount of bitching about my real life and about how being on disability sucks big, hairy, government balls, even if it did get me out of my parents' house. I'm not trying to be emo or anything like that, but I am going to be honest.

Okay, moving on.

So, thought I, what sort of pivotal events are going on in my life right now? Well, my girlfriend of a year is moving to Japan for at least a year to teach English, but posts about that would probably just be tears. My other option was chronicling getting my second tarantula.

Things will be a little different this time around. The first time I bought a tarantula I had really no idea what the fuck their deal was except that they made no noise, mess or gave any indication of actually existing, which was the only type of pet mom would allow (my little sister got some fish).

Quickly, however, I became an absolute tarantula FANATIC. I LOVE them. They are absolutely amazing in ways that seem to defy nature itself. An arachnologist - to whom I could link you if this were my old computer - once commented that they might as well be from outer space, for all that they have in common with other spiders, never mind EVERYTHING ELSE.

Also, I had bought my tarantula from a commercial pet store when she was already close to adulthood. That fact made her ever-so-slightly cranky about human contact, so while she's perfectly friendly, I prefer not to handle her, mostly for her safety and peace of mind.

This time, however, armed with the knowledge I now possess, I aim to buy a spiderling, aka a baby tarantula or, at most, a young juvenile. A tarantula bought directly from professional breeders that I can raise comfortably and with all the best care. It'll be a Brachypelma smithi, or Mexican Red-Knee, as they're usually called (Google them, they're gorgeous!), and I've already decided to name him/her Dante.

The final stages of my plan, namely buying that tarantula and setting up at home, are not yet in motion, but they will be before the summer, and this is how I plan to make my comeback!

...Of course I'll still post art and what-not, and I'll try to post about, you know, non-tarantula-related life, but for the most part, this blog will probably not be arachnophobe safe from now on.

...Especially since I plan to post pics and videos. Hee.

D-M

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Adobe Fireworks CS4 - help?

May. 3rd, 2010 | 04:57 am
Fifes and drums: Resonance [T.M. Revolution]

I know this is pretty horrible of me, but, in a pinch, I am a pirate, so...

Does anybody have or know where I can find a serial number for Adobe Fireworks CS4 on a Mac?

D-M

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Last of the Gods - Chapter 10

Apr. 25th, 2010 | 05:18 am
Fifes and drums: Hard [Rihanna]

I do hope to be making more - and more relevant - updates in the future, but for now, short and to the point.

I apologize for the occasional changes in tense. My Beta and I both felt it helped the action flow better, and I need all the help I can get in that area.

Also, if the end seems abrupt, don't worry.

...Seriously, just don't worry about it.Collapse )

D-M

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I'm doing science and I'm still alive.

Apr. 17th, 2010 | 05:37 am
Fifes and drums: Connect [Holly Valance]

Still miserable, still in chronic pain, but still alive!

Anyway, I really, truly have not forgotten this place.

I can't even begin to describe how hard it is/will be to try to make a comeback here. No, literally, I cannot describe it. It's actually hurting my head just thinking about it.

But I can at least try to make a few things up, right? Here, have an (extremely) unfinished pic:

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Yep, that's Saint-Just. Of course I still love him! The pic wasn't supposed to be this tiny, though. I'm using an excellent program (MangaStudio) that, unfortunately, has size issues. I still haven't figured out how to make a "normal"-sized template.

On the other hand, it's still, hands-down, my best pic of S-J ever. That's not saying a whole lot, mind you, but I am quite pleased with so far.

Deidara under the cut.Collapse )

Frankly, I can't believe I remember how to do all this HTML shit after all this time.

D-M

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