ysobel: (Default)
2017-05-20 09:26 pm

Duo, and keyboard rant

I've decided to temporarily give up on Greek -- I'm still curious about it, but Duo isn't the best mechanism for learning it.

Still haven't decided between Russian, refresher course in Spanish, or German. For tonight I did Russian, going back to the beginning, but I think it is more like Greek, in that I really need solid grammar info as well as what Duo gives. There is something to be said for using real words instead of memorizing charts, but there's also something to be said for the charts. Especially since my brain is not the super-elastic brain of a child.

But I did find that the Greek iThing keyboard is a lot easier to grok for English speakers than the Russian keyboard.

blathering about keyboard layouts )

Ah, human/computer interaction and user interface design. Two subsets of my major that I learned very little about! (I'm still resentful about my major -- I sort of herded myself into it because I could finish in time with what I had already taken, and while there's a lot of fascinating stuff, flailing is not the best way to come at a major. And I picked a specialty in eenie-meenie fashion, ending up in computer music because "I like music" and because it had the fewest classes, or at any rate the fewest horrid-sounding ones (I thoroughly hated philosophy by that point); only I'm not a composer and the classes turned out to be basically graduate-level, which is not the best for a flailing depressive undergrad. I still half feel like I didn't deserve my degree, that the (minor but still freaky) car accident I was in gave me sympathy points and the resident faculty member of my dorm was the head computer music person (oh yeah that was another reason) and idek. Back to the point though: if I'd come in wanting to do symsys from the first, rather than starting with computer science and then not being able to do that but not having enough time to do another major (and there's no way in hell im going TiVo ask my parents now whether they would have funded another year if I'd needed it, because the answer will probably make me sad) and so grasping at symsys as a last resort panic option, I would have made different choices, something more linguistics-y or user interface design -y. And I've lost track of my parenthetical. Was this a parenthetical? I think so.)
ysobel: A cat flopped out on the floor; text: meh (meh)
2017-05-19 08:05 pm

(no subject)

Well, the whole "learn Greek" thing seemed like a great idea until I got out of the alphabet section and into the words.

I need to check the website info (it drives me crazy that the website has information -- like blurbs about indefinite articles or conjugations or whatever -- that doesn't appear in the app) but there's no way I am going to remember anything. There are about five words for a/the (and without information I don't know whether it's based on noun gender or whether the next word Astarte with a consonant or whatever), plus I can't remember the words for "man" and "woman" even from one screen to the next.

So my options seem to be a) stay with Greek and get completely overwhelmed; b) switch over to Russian to see if that sticks any better; c) go back to re-refreshing German; or d) refresh Spanish and start getting serious about things like consuming Spanish media and whatever so that I can get passably ... well, fluent seems unlikely, but I guess conversant or whatever.

Or e) give the fuck up because my brain is broken so why am I even trying. But I think that's the depression brainweasels talking.
ysobel: (learning german)
2017-05-12 09:03 pm

Duolingo babble

So I went to the Duo Facebook page to see if there was information about the app changes (health meter and "gema")

There wasn't

...but a) there was an announcement about Japanese coming to Duo, and b) i sort of ended up starting the Greek course. No real reason (especially since it's modern Greek rather than ancient) but it's not like welsh had a purpose, lol. I do judge courses based on the early lessons (eg i want to learn danish but the first lesson makes me despair -- "drengen" sounds like drying but smushed into one syllable, "kvinden" sounds like kving, and it doesn't make *sense*) but Greek is starting with the alphabet. Sensible.

So far I can say such useful things as το γράμμα δέλτα (to gramma delta / the letter d), woo. Knowing Cyrillic helps, because I'm already used to ρ being r and π being p; otoh I suspect knowing German will make me inclined to read β as ss rather than b.

...I'm not sure why I'm switching. I'm not at the end of the German course. I'm not even up to where I was before -- I did the course up to like 10 units from the end, and then wandered off to welsh, and then had forgotten some of the German so I went back to re-do each unit that had unfamiliar words, and I'm only up to the middle of the fifth section, 57 units behind the farthest unlocked one. And it would make sense to stay with German because it's familiar -- I used to be fluent back in high school, so right now it's a weird mix of translation and knowing; there are some words that i have to think about and some words that are just sort of there, I have to look up tatsächlich but selbstverständlich is just, well, self-evident, no pun intended.

Semi unrelatedly, I'm still frustrated at the differences between the website and the app -- how much information isn't available through the app. Things like https://www.duolingo.com/words or like the blurb for a lesson about how articles work or conjugations or whatever. I find the app easier to use, but then I miss stuff. Grarh.
ysobel: Pink bunny (bunny comics), head cut open, completely hollow (no brain today)
2017-05-11 09:42 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Migraines suck.

Just in case anyone was still wondering.

(At least imitrex gets it to a level where I can follow a podcast, or sometimes even Netflix -- nothing that requires concentration, but the new mst3k series is perfect. And I just watched the episode with NPH guest starring, whee.)

(...that was today. Yesterday I did the "derp I feel like crap and there's an icepick in my head and I'm super nauseous and photosensitive GEE WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE HAPPENING maybw I'll just wait it out hm why is it getting worse" thing for a few hours, which meant that when I finally did take imitrex it didn't kick in for a while and i was still feeling like warmed-over death when I went to bed. This morning when I woke up to migraine symptoms I actually took med pretty much i,mediately, and it worked better. Whodathunkit.)

(Though I do have to lolwut at my mom, who responds to "i have a migraine" with about ten zillion questions including whether it was the first day (and mind you we'd talked the day before, and i mentioned the migraine the first time we talked yesterday; i don't know why she perpetually thjnks I'm not telling her things) or whether the imitrex worked or whatever. Luckily this was by email, not in person, so I didn't have to kill her, but sheesh -- I do not need an interrogation when my brain is approximating molten lava, tyvm.)
ysobel: Blue bunny (bunny comics) holding a sign reading "I hate you" (hate you)
2017-05-08 10:47 pm

(no subject)

I am a little irked at one of my current games.

They've introduced a new set of things: a new decoration system, a new currency (pearls) that is used to purchase said decorations, and daily quests. Each of the five daily quests gets a reward, and completing all five gets you pearls. (It may also be possible to purchase pearls with RL money, but i don't do that.)

Except the quests don't seem to change, and one of them is to play the game for 60 minutes.

It's cumulative -- you can do five minutes here and there during the day -- but I only really do my iPad games in the evening. So i would have to do a solid hour of "playing", or at least tapping the screen occasionally. Bur by the time I get into bed, it's anywhere between 8 and 10, and I'm usually tired, and it's one thing to spend half an hour checking in on the different games and collecting stuff and so on. It's bad sleep hygiene, but whatever.

It's quite another to spend an extra hour just staring at one game. I can't put it on and go to sleep, because my iPad to,es off if I don't do things, and the game is a huge battery drain when actively running, so I'd end up getting 5am insomnia and having a dead iPad I can't listen to.

And there is no other way to get pearls. They don't give you partial rewards for doing four out of the five dailies (like, 1 pearl for two dailies, 5 for three, 10 for four, 50 for five) which would allow me to build up my reservoir but slower. They don't rotate through different quests so the "play for 60min" isn't required every day. It's just ... fuck you if you don't play this game the way we think you should play it.

Harrumph.
ysobel: (Default)
2017-05-07 10:16 pm

So uh ... things and stuff

I know I keep disappearing, and I'm sorry. It's not intentional. I'm just finding it really hard to keep up with ... well, anything.

So. Updates!

Health: having continued fatigue and stamina problems, along with shit when I'm tired like aphasia and problems focusing my eyes right. I'm half considering asking my doctor how much she knows about ME/XFS and whether that's a possible explanation.

Niecelet: is two and a half (what), a total chatterbox, and really freaking adorable still. Also it appears I will have a nephew in a month and a bit (what). The sad thing is my sister has more energy at 7 months pregnant with a 2yo and a full time job than I do...

Crafting: glacially slow. It takes me a month to loom knit a hat. And then I get frustrated and don't work on stuff. There's tons I want to make, I just need more energy and mobility.

LJ stuff: ahahaha what oh lj. I'm so glad I don't do support there any more. I haven't decided whether or not to agree to the new tos ... which of course means this entry won't crosspost. My instinct is to not agree, but that's just a knee jerk reaction, plus I hate to just disappear.

Social media overview: I'm most active on rav, second most active here. Have picked up twitter again a little bit, do Facebook occasionally. Have an instagram account but it's not very interesting. Don't tumblr much. And as I said before I'm having trouble keeping up, so if I have missed any significant life events, I promise it's not personal. Feel free to comment with stuff I should know.

Other shit: some jerkwad dickface asswipe ran into the back of my van while it was parked downtown. No note of course. It goes in Tuesday to be fixed, which will take 3 days unless they find more damage than expected.

Games: Currently obsessed with Clicker Heroes (and I just transxended for the first time, eek!). Secondarily Abyssriun (why the fuck they changed it to tap tap fish, I don't nbkw but it's stupid), zen koi, a few others. I still want to write up game reviews. (Clicker Heroes is Steam, though I think there's a mobile version; the rest are mobile.) Oh, and Pokémon on 3DS, which I can't do for long stretches but I like way better than Pokémon go, though I've been playing Pokémon X for quite a while and barely have a clue what I'm doing.

Language stuff: went back to revising German on duo; I keep getting tripped up by false cognates (no, sinnvoll is not sinful!) but I've maintained my current streak, almost 250 days, yay me.

Um. I think that's all for now. Fair warning: I am typing this on my phone and my eyes aren't focusing right, so there may be typos or autocorrect weirdness. I apologize and will fix whey I can.
ysobel: (Default)
2017-03-14 01:59 pm

Updates and stuff

Happy pi day! (US version, anyway. And non-military-time.)

Lots of updates! Because I suck at posting here. Ahem.

I forgot to post here when Loki came back (my last post was him being missing) but he was only gone a week. Very long week, and I have no idea where he was, but he seems unscathed by his adventures.

My new chair, *finally* (after only a year and a half of trying), is usable. They managed to get it to tilt back more than the manufacturer's specs indicated, but I needed the extra tilt for repositioning and for pressure relief. It's still not as comfortable as the old chair but at least it doesn't randomly crap out.

My niecelet is still the cutest. Went down to visit her weekend before last (and gave her a hat which she *loved*), andthen my sister had a work-team trip to Tahoe last week so I got to have dinner with them when they came back through. I need to do a picspam one of these days, because cuuuute. Also she is a total chatterbox, and loves to sing, especially the alphabet song.

This last week was Rehearsal Hell Week -- five hours of rehearsal Tuesday, five Thursday, five Saturday, two Sunday, and then performing Sunday night. I actually skipped the Saturday morning rehearsal so I wouldn't be too fatigued for the concert -- there was no way I could get up in time for a 9:30 start, rehearse until 4 (with a lunch break), and still be able to think straight by Sunday night. I felt a bit guilty, but RHW always wiped me out even when I didn't have underlying fatigue issues.

Speaking of which, I ... er ... still have fatigue issues. I'm starting to suspect/worry it's the new normal; it's quite possible that the fact that I can't move means I'm just physically not generating energy. I've been trying to find alternative explanations, thyroid or vitamin or whatever, but all that is testing more or less normal. Though I'm not convinced my D is high enough; my doctor isn't concerned, but eh what does she know ;)

Crafting stuff: I made a hat for my niecelet, and currently have three active projects: a crochet shawl made with a rainbow gradient (it's so fun watching the color change as I go!), a knitted lace shawl, and a hat I'm using to re-figure out knitting in the round and also to teach myself Portuguese knitting. (PK involves having the yarn tensioned in front, rather than from behind; purling is ridiculously easy, and knitting is a bit more awkward but doable, and for the most part it's mechanically easier given my physical limitations. My tension is shit, but I'm not stressing about that too much.). Did I mention I like playing with yarn? Cause I do. Yay yarn!

Okay that's enough updates for now. If you read all this, have a cookie 🍪
ysobel: (Default)
2017-02-17 09:33 pm

Adventures with cat

... so I've been kind of quiet here lately. This is largely due to a lot of freaking the fuck out.

So -- roommate and I realized about a week ago that neither of us had seen Loki for a few days; by itself that doesn't necessarily mean anything, because cat, but his food was untouched and his litter box was untouched. (Yes he sometimes eats Monkey's food, but in addition, not instead, of his own, and rattling his food dish usually brings him running.) And he is not a quiet cat -- if he were trapped somewhere he would be howling his head off -- so it was increasingly clear he wasn't in the apartment. And of course he doesn't have a collar.

Cue the litany of lost-cat tasks: calling vets, calling the shelter, talking to neighbors in case one of them brought him inside, making up fliers, etc. Also cue my brain being an asshole and constantly returning to worst case scenarios.

To add to the stress, my roommate had a scheduled trip for a grad school interview, leaving Tuesday and getting back this weekend. Having her gone is stressful even normally because there isn't backup if my aides flake and because I don't have the stress relief option of venting to her and because my mom is the one driving me home from rehearsals argh. Having my roommate gone *and* Loki missing meant I've been a gigantic ball of anxiety and stress.

Then yesterday I went to go to rehearsal, and Loki goes scooting out from under my van to under another car. Tea deer versonnen: My aide scoops him up and brings hm inside, I sulk about going to rehearsal because I want to be at home with a Loki making sure he's okay, but I do the responsible thing of going.

I don't know where the fuck he was all week or what he was doing; he seemed scared while hiding under the car, but was back to his usual self, including jumping on shoulders (and my mom's back, when she made the mistake of bending over to try to pet him). Possibly slimmer, but he had some pudge. We will probably take him in for a checkup but I'm waiting until next week so roommate can help with that. But he seems okay.

pic )

Meanwhile, today I was pretty much a complete mess -- you know how you can hold it together (at least sort of) *during* a highly stressful event, but then crash afterward? Yeah. Some amount of paranoia (which I predicted yesterday would happen) that when I haven't seen him in a few hours it's because he's gone again, rather than hiding somewhere sleeping; a lot of crying, both random and not. (And I ducked up scheduling a ride -- Yahtzee had to go to the vet for yearly vaccination stuff today at 3, and I had someone lined up to drive, but told her 3:40 for a pickup time rather than 2:40, and didn't realize until 3:03 -- and even though I was able to have my aide, who was there, drive instead, and call the vet to give a heads up that Y would be a few minutes late but was coming, I then just burst into tears because ~clearly~ (that's sarcasm font) I'm a horrible failure. )

Oh, and my chair has wonked out again -- lateral tilt not working, stuck in turtle mode, though st least not super tilted -- and I *still* don't have the new chair working. (Well, it works in general, but there's a comfort issue and if doesn't tilt back as much as i need.)

So ... yeah. I'm having ~fun~.
ysobel: (learning german)
2017-02-13 09:18 pm

... wow

I was talking elsesite about Duolingo, and lingots. And how I have too many. (I'm 88 short of 4k. That's a lot of lingots.)

In the process, I was calculating how long I've been doing Duo, as a way of explaining why I had so many. And um.

My streak is currently at 166 days; I had a 625 day streak that ended in Sept 2016 (not my fault, the app didn't send info to the main servers) and a 455 day streak before that (forgot two days in a row); and I started in August 2013. Now, streak freeze has saved my bacwn a number of times, but still. It's been 1268 days since I started. I've done 1246 days of duo.

That's a fucking 98% success rate. For a daily task over three and s half years.

I'm kinda boggling.

(And no I have no idea how. I don't stick with things that well. Hell, I don't brush my teeth with that level of consistency...

In other news, it's good to know Duo is trans-friendly ;)

proof )
ysobel: (Default)
2017-02-04 07:13 pm

App rec: speak

If you ever find yourself needing a text to speech app on your phone -- like, for example, if you are on the fourth day of a sore throat that feels like you're swallowing razor blades but is not strep and is probably viral and can't be treated but you really shouldn't be speaking -- there is a free, ad-free text to speech app called Speak that is actually pretty decent. Pacing/cadence is off sometimes, and I have to use ungrammatical commas in places to make it more understandable, but it's a lot better than trying to whisper.

Also, if you find yourself having a sore throat etc, numbing lozenges are your best friend. Sadly the effect doesn't last, and you can only do one every two hours, but it's lovely for dulling the razor blades. Ginger candies are good too.
ysobel: (learning german)
2017-02-02 06:45 pm

Question for German speakers

This has been bugging me for a while:

"Das Objekt, aufgefunden in den Keller gewurden der Oper, funktioniert noch"

Why is gewurden smack in the middle of den Keller der Oper? (It feels wrong to me -- why isn't gewurden last?

...or oh oh oh is gewurden part of the noun phrase? I was thinking it was part of the verb phrase (aufgefunden gewurden) but if it's the noun phrase -- is that, like, "the cellar that used to be (but isn't any more) part of the opera house ?

Hilfe bitte! (Is there a German equivalent of halp? Halfe? Lol)
ysobel: (Default)
2017-01-22 06:52 am

(no subject)

Okay, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/21/world/womens-march-pictures.html?_r=3 is fucking awesome -- women's marches on every continent, including Antarctica.

Sometimes the world sucks, but sometimes there's stuff like this.
ysobel: (Default)
2017-01-20 02:46 pm

Update, mostly involving me being a dork

a) been kinda off-grid lately -- mostly health stuff (migraines, random heart palpitations that have no apparent cause at least yet but yes I do have a doctor appointment because this is a new thing, and stuff like pain keeping me awake last night until after 6am so I only got three hours sleep and the next day or two are going to suck) -- if I've missed anything important in your lives please link / summarize / tell me where to look?

2) I had a dream the other night where I got to meet Lin-Manuel Miranda. He was very tolerant of me glomp-hugging him. idek.

iii) I "lost" all of Wednesday to writing up my newest knitting pattern, Freedom of Hattitude -- knitting drama seems to inspire me.

backstory )

D) I also made a hat for a friend. Loom knit, a smidge too small because I couldn't find the right loom, so worked in twisted rib (e-wrap+purl) for stretch.

V) ...and once my brain recovers from last night's painsomnia, I want to play with brioche loom knitting. Fear me. Or don't; whatever
ysobel: (Default)
2017-01-09 10:45 pm

(no subject)

I can't find the code to embed it directly -- YouTube isn't giving me anything codelike to share, just the link itself -- but this video is freaking amazing. It's a place in Mexico that makes thread for knitting/crocheting out of the leaves of a particular plant (and I was vastly amused at their using a big cactus to card the fibers before spinning). The video shows the whole process: harvest, prep, fiber extraction, prep, spinning, and knitting/crocheting. Audio is in Spanish with English subtitles.

ETA embed:

ysobel: (Default)
2017-01-08 10:33 pm

Game rec info: what's useful

I want to write up a series of recommendation / information posts about some of the mobile games I am currently playing. What I've thought of so far is something like this:

- premise: a sentence or two of what the game is about or what the purpose is
- mechanics: what you do and how you do it
- ads: do they exist, are they forced or optional, how annoying
- in-game purchases: what, how necessary
- accessibility: (see below)
- braining required: how much do you have to think
- speed or timed levels
- internet connectivity required?
- summary of why I like it

What else would be useful to know?

And in terms of accessibility -- I can't really judge visual accessibility, though I will do my best. I can do auditory accessibility (whether sound is required / useful). I can definitely do physical accessibility of my own needs (which include "if I am playing on the iPad, do I have to be able to reach the entire screen or just parts" and "horizontal, vertical, or both" (admittedly both is a rare thing), but what else is good? Precision required? Reaction time, maybe. What else?

The posts will be written with the intent of being shareable, so I want them to be as useful as possible without being cluttered.
ysobel: (idiot with a garbage bag)
2017-01-05 08:18 pm

Brains are herkriegst thinking

...which means that I get really fucking stupid when I have a migraine.

Woke up this morning with bad bad headache (icepick over right eye) plus nausea and dry vomiting. Googled symptoms, saw "migraine", realized oh yeah that's what I have.

Ate toast. Took normal meds. Took excedrin -- one -- for the headache. Whined a lot.

Realized around 4pm -- nausea mostly gone, headache down to just a few nails, still crappy overall -- that I have actual *migraine* meds I could have taken. Grumbled a bit.

...Realized around 6 that since I was still having migraine symptoms, I actually could still take the migraine med.

*facepalm*

In other news, I got nothing done all day (gee I wonder why) but I am thinking of adding "survive migraine" to the done section of this weeks to-do list. Just to make myself feel better.
ysobel: (Default)
2016-12-31 10:00 pm

Also: Yuletide!

Since authors have been revealed, I can say what I wrote:

Unmasked (4459 words) by isabeau
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mulan (1998)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Fa Mulan/Li Shang, Fa Ping/Li Shang
Additional Tags: Yuletide, Canon Rewrite, Shang is a doofus, Canonical Character Death, emotions are hard, #Yulechat Challenge
Summary:

This is how the world actually works: instead of leading soldiers into battle, Shang is given command over a disorganized bunch of conscripted civilians who don't know the business end of a sword. Instead of fighting to defend China, he is stuck training these misfits into something resembling soldiers. And instead of being devoted to a wife or his job as a soldier, he is becoming attracted to one of his men.



I didn't actually intend to do Yuletide -- I didn't look through the fandoms, I didn't look through the letters, I didn't plan on writing treats -- but as always I'm on the pinch hit list, and when Linsky's came out I went for it, half assuming it would have been snagged (since they were bit the rarest of Yuletide fandoms). I was surprised to get it, but in a good way, and ... rewatching the movie had me realizing how much Shang goes through in a short time (though the timeline confuses the fuck out of me, because they train for like three days and then have a long?!?? march and then everything happens at once and how does time even work) so it was fun to play with that and also with how bad he is at emotions ("you fight good") and ... anyway. Much babble, sorry.
ysobel: (Default)
2016-12-31 09:43 pm

2017 word of the year

I'm too lazy (and tired) to write up an explanation; previous entries with this tag have more backstory.

This year's word: now.

Partly it's about being in the moment. Partly it's about not procrastinating so much -- on hard things *or* fun things. It's about "i have five minutes to do some crocheting, lemme crochet" instead of "my aide wiki be here in five minutes, I'd better not start something" (especially because I never get things done that way). It's about not obsessing about used-to-be, and just appreciating the now.

And because I am a sucker and can't not make a resolutions type list, a few things for this year:

* I am taking part in a year-long online decluttering course (DailyOm's A Year To Clear), along with a group of friends that will serve as a social/support group for each other. I don't know how well it will work, but they had the option of only paying $10, which isn't bad, and if it works out well I can go back and donate more.

* I am still doing GYWO. This is my third year and I haven't come close, but I want to get back to writing. The journaling that I do for the decluttering course will count.

* Craft wise I am planning on cold-sheeping (that is, not buying new yarn no matter how tempting ... and it is often very very tempting!). But that's not really a bad thing, because I have plenty of yummy things in my stash. I have several wips that need finishing up, and several definite projects to make.

* I want to get better about communicating and about responding to emails/comments/etc. this one is hard because I tend to obsess about saying the Perfect Thing, and then I obsess about how best to explain and apologize for being late, and there's this vicious cycle where it's late so I have to explain so I put it off so it's later and argh. This goes back to the "now" word: don't wait, send now.

...so, uh, yeah. Fuck you, 2016; may 2017 be way better.