All posts tagged grousing

Missing Letter Monday – No “C”

Published December 14, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

So, my final paper of the semester is due on Wednesday.

It’s killin’ me.

I wrote the rough draft over the Thanksgiving break, but…there were all these bits where I just wrote things like [find an example and quote it here] or left a footnote saying things like [I know someone was saying this; figure out who it was!]

This may stop me from doing any real re-writing.

In that I first have to figure out the right books to point to for every single one of those.

Not to mention finding and typing in all the right quotes.

And then, if I have any time left, I finally get to do the genuine re-writing.  And let me tell you, it totally needs it.

So, yeah.

That’s why this is an even more lame than usual Missing Letter Monday post.



MLM banner init MLM C cookies banner init

My bibliography is going to be, like, ten pages long.  At least.  *sigh*

(The paper’s only supposed to be 25 pages, btw.)



This Past Thursday

Published May 9, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, I think I’ve recovered enough to talk about it now.

So Thursday starts out–no, let me back up a bit.  The previous Thursday, in class the professor said that “next week will be our last class meeting” but that he wanted to meet with all of us, individually, on Tuesday or Wednesday to talk about our previous papers and our upcoming final papers.  I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday (to get the crowns put in) but Wednesday was wide open, so I was okay with that.

So he starts an e-mail sign-up sheet on Sunday, for us to say what time we want to meet on Tuesday.  I reply by pointing out that Tuesday is off the table for me, but Wednesday is good.  He says he’ll let me know what times he’s open on Wednesday…and eventually–like, Wednesday morning–says that no, he’s not going to be available at all on Wednesday.  I reply and tell him that I have a doctor’s appointment for my arm problem on Thursday at 11:00, and that I don’t know how long it will last or how long it will take to get to campus from the hospital, but that I’d definitely be available right before or right after class.  He says he’ll only be in his office at 11:00 on Thursday, so we’ll have to talk about the paper via e-mail.  I’m like “okay, whatever,” and don’t reply, ’cause it didn’t seem like a reply was needed.

I guess it was.

But more on that later.  So, Thursday morning, I’m on the way to the hospital, and I’m pissed off at the weather, because I was promised thunderstorms, and I’m getting a bright sunny day.  Good for most people, but torturous for me, because my left arm feels hot all the time, and the sunlight streaming down on it through the car window as I’m driving is the worst.  (And no one was available to drive me to the hospital.)  Plus there were lots of crazy people out on the road, as usual.  And it usually feels like I’m the only person in a five million mile radius who obeys the speed limit.  But mostly it was the weather that was the problem.  I spent a lot of time on that drive screaming obscenities at the sky–and sometimes at other drivers–and I definitely cried some, too.  Frustration will do that to me sometimes.

I did more screaming of obscenities in the parking garage at the hospital, because the first decent parking place I found was for “valet parking.”  Who does valet parking at a hospital?  And, more importantly, why would the valet parking have the good parking places?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the furthest out parking places for the valet parking, since the valets are being paid to walk over there and retrieve the cars?

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Published February 20, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

This course is, like, sadistic.

We have a five to six page research paper due on Thursday.  We were only given the topic–or rather, the type of topics we can self-design–yesterday.  We need to use the oral interviews we transcribed/read for last week, and additional primary sources (i.e. other oral interview transcripts) and five or so secondary sources from books and journal articles.

That much I knew last night, when class let out.

Seemed like a fair amount of work, but five to six pages isn’t all that much, so it was just the reading that was going to be the headache.  (Especially when you consider that it wasn’t just reading it, but also finding it.  Which can take a long time when your subject matter is under- or over-represented in the literature.  (And as all those interviews last week were on WWII, every possible aspect we could look into is very strongly represented.))

Late this afternoon, when the professor finally put the stuff up online for us to use–this included .pdfs of possible additional sources, and links to places with oral history transcripts–he also told us that we need to read two chapters out of one of our textbooks, and three out of the other.  On top of the research paper.

Seriously, this seems like way too much.  Especially when you consider that most of the students in this class are undergrads.

I wonder if people are going to be dropping the class between now and next week.  I bet they are.  I might have dropped it myself, if I was taking any other courses.  But I’m not, so I can’t.

My only consolation is that I was able to work on it today, because I was told not to come down to the museum today.  And maybe tonight’s freezing rain will turn into heavy enough snow that I won’t have to go down tomorrow.  That would help.  But it probably won’t get that cold after all (the weather reports online all claim it’s below freezing out there now, but it was simple rain (not wintry mix, not freezing rain) when I stepped outside about an hour ago) so all the weather will do is wash away the snow already on the ground, and make driving easier instead of harder.


I need to get back to it.  Already.

I hate my life.

This is why I don’t like the big stores.

Published February 2, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

I know I’ve said repeatedly that I don’t want my hobbies to intrude on this blog, but this took up most of my day (even though I was supposed to be writing the paper that’s due Thursday) and I’m still quite irate about it, so I really don’t have much else to say, so I’m going to be bitching about why today’s experiences reinforced my hatred of Best Buy.

I’ve hated them for years.  It started when their sales clerks (or the managers of same) decided that it was good policy to hassle customers in the most simple, self-service departments (especially DVD), and was then driven to boycott levels when they handed out flyers for “ladies’ night” which was all about “teaching” female customers how to use technology to stay in touch with their friends and also featured free make-overs and other such horse dung.  The only way to describe that flyer was “corporate misogyny” and it made me decide I would never shop there again.

Once in a while, I’ve had no other options, but usually I avoid the place like the plague.  (And that corporate misogyny thing was like five years ago or so, I should point out.  And may well have been an example of localized corporate misogyny for all I know.  I already hated the place anyway, so it hardly mattered.)

Now, fast-forward to the present.  One of the greatest graphic adventure games of all times, Grim Fandango, just got an HD overhaul and saw re-release last week on PC, PS4 and PSVita.  I don’t game on the PC anymore.  Trying to keep up with equipment requirements is too expensive, especially since I don’t have a good place to set up a desktop, and therefore have to use a laptop.  So it had to be the console version.  But I didn’t have either console.  But the quality RPGSs have been going handheld lately anyway, so I figured a Vita was eventually inevitable, so I thought “fine, this’ll be the game the makes me buy one.”  But they’re pretty pricey.  (Though slightly under half the cost of a PS4.)  So I wanted a way to cut costs.  And trading in my PSP wasn’t happening, ’cause there’s too many games for it in my collection, and of course the Vita isn’t backwards compatible.  (Well, okay, it is, technically, backwards compatible in that it can play games that were programmed for the PSP, but they have to be downloaded from the Playstation Store.  The Vita takes little cartridges or something, rather than the UMB disks that the PSP took…so anything I’ve already bought can’t be played on it.)  But after thinking about it a while, I realized that I might be able to get a big chunk taken off the cost by trading in a cell phone.

Let me explain about my cell phone.  It’s a flip phone that I’ve been using since 2008, and I have no intention of trading it in for another one any time soon.  Because I only use it for making phone calls, and then usually only in emergency situations.  I’m on a pay-as-you-go carrier, and they have a thing called a “service preserver” that lets you maintain your phone service for a year by paying $90 in one lump.  So long as you don’t use up the $90, anyway.  And I have never used up that $90 in a year.  My cash balance on that sucker was so high that I literally wasn’t going to be able to pay this year’s $90, because it would have gone over the maximum cash balance amount.  (And yet, catch-22 style, I still would have been required to pay it to keep the phone active.)  So I went to the carrier’s store, and looked at what phones I could buy with that balance.  Seeing the most expensive smart phone I could buy from them with the money I already gave them and would never be able to use, I went to GameStop’s website and checked how much I could get from them for trading that phone in.  It said I could get $100…but it listed the phones’ values by carrier, and didn’t list my carrier.  I went into the store and asked them, and they said they didn’t accept phones from my carrier.  Asking around a while, I found that the only place that did take them was Best Buy.

I didn’t like that any, but I figured $100 off the price of the Vita was worth it, so I went ahead and ordered the phone to trade in.  (I know it sounds stupid to buy a phone just to trade it in, but what else was I going to do with that cash balance?  I could never talk on the cell phone enough to use up that money; I don’t have enough to say.  And it’s not like I had any way of getting the money refunded.  Once the company has it, they’ll never give it back.)

So today was the day I set out to trade in the unused “used” cell phone to get the PSVita.  The guy at Best Buy puts the phone’s information into his computer, and…

…tells me I can get $40 for it.


For a $200 phone.

If anyone else would have taken the phone, I would have said “no deal” and taken the thing elsewhere.  But no one would have, because the carrier’s not one of the big deal carriers.

As a result, when you add in the 2 year warranty (which seems important on a handheld system) I still ended up paying more than I would have for a used one, assuming I could have found a used one.

My hatred is renewed and recharged.

Better still (or rather, even worse), after I plug in the system, sit through the bizarre “first time you turn it on” movie, and then wait and wait and wait for the system update, I go into the store and buy Grim Fandango.  Only to be told that I can’t download it, because the system’s internal memory can’t hold the game.  Now, I knew it needed memory sticks like the PSP did, but Best Buy didn’t sell them, and the box made it sound like the internal memory could hold quite a bit more than it actually can.  (Or rather, when it said that “some” of the internal memory was dedicated to the OS, it actually meant “95%” of it was.)  So I had to go to GameStop and buy a memory stick, too.

Oh, and Amazon raised the price on this doll I really wanted, too.  After the price had been dropping for days, to the point where it was almost affordable, it shot right back up to where it was last week.  This day has been suck.

Except that Suikoden II, one of the greatest games ever, has been made available in the Playstation Store.  That, at least, was something good.  But everything else has been suck.

And yes, I’m aware that it’s grammatically garbage to say that the day “has been suck.”  I don’t care about grammar just at the moment.

And I still have to write that stupid paper.


Still have writer’s block

Published January 16, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

I just can’t figure out how to continue book 2 of the trilogy I started with this year’s NaNo novel.  I mean, I know what needs to happen in the scene, and the following scenes, and I’m looking forward to much of what’s to come later on, particularly the scenes between Sondra and Eddie (aka Cassandra and Odysseus), but somehow I just can’t find the way to get that one scene moving.

I think there are two reasons I can’t get it to move:

1) I don’t really know the characters very well.  Their mythological counterparts (Agamemnon and Iphigenia) haven’t really played much of a role in any of my directly myth-based fiction.  (Well, technically they have, but indirectly in Agamemnon’s case, and in Iphigenia’s case…she was a very different character then.)

2) The type of scene–behind the scenes power play as a minor battle is taking place on the front lines–is one that I’m particularly alien to, not only in my writing, but even in reading and watching.

There’s not much I can do about reason two, but I think maybe if I work on reason one, I can jump-start the process.

Tomorrow, or maybe later tonight, I’ll try writing a short story about these two characters, not the original myth versions, but these new versions.  Something before the book started, to delve into their relationship with each other, and with the other characters in the book.  Maybe once I know them better, I’ll have less trouble with the scene.

Hmm, not much of a post, is it?

Well, I’ll go ahead and say a little about the book I’m working on, since I’m not sure how much I’ve said in previous posts that touch on the subject.  Originally, the book was going to be called “Helen of Space,” but that was before I realized it was merely part one of three.  That title is probably going to be the title of the third book, but I’m not sure what to call the first two now.  The series title is something like “The Ganymede War,” since it takes place on the moon of Ganymede.   Well, with some of the first book being on space stations in orbit around Jupiter, and probably at least half of the third book being in space around Ganymede and/or Jupiter in one way or another.

It’s very anime-inspired, particularly by shows like Gundam and Macross, so it involves–among other things–giant robots, though they’ve played a surprisingly small role so far, and will be all but absent from book two entirely, due to the structure of the story.  But most importantly, it’s not actually a re-telling of the Trojan War in space, though the original title might make you think so.  The characters are in fact the reincarnations of the various figures from the Trojan War, and over the five thousand years since the original war, they’ve been reincarnated repeatedly, and each time the war has played out essentially the same way over and over again.  Minor variations due to events outside the characters’ control (like the eruption of Vesuvius) and of course massive changes due to different historical circumstances, weapons technology, cultural conventions, et ceterea.  But always it’s started because Alexander/Paris seduces/abducts Helen, and the same people always die at the hands of the same foes.  (With a few variations.)  This time, however, Alexander/Paris is killed before he can meet Helen, so it looks like the war is off, until it’s stirred up for other reasons.

Naturally, no one remembers their past lives.  Except Cassandra.  But she’s still treated as insane, in part because she sometimes slips into other languages when she’s talking.

At first, I had hoped to make it unclear as to whether Sondra was really insane or not, to make it a point of mystery about whether or not the whole reincarnation thing was really going on, but as I started writing, I realized that there was no way of making Sondra seem insane to the reader.  One of the ways she sounds crazy to other people in her world is that she’s always referencing their past lives, things that are long forgotten two thousand(ish) years from now, but well known to us.  (For example, Sarpedon and Glaucos are named Sullivan and Gilbert this time around…so when Sondra meets up with both of them together, she starts cracking jokes about The Pirates of Penzance.  Modern people get that, but those around her don’t…and that makes it clear to the reader that she’s not actually insane.)

I’m not sure if I want to go ahead and ever get inside her head, though.  Well, okay, technically I’ve done that already; I wrote a short story that started out with the 20th century go-round of the war (where it was much smaller, needless to say, just a blood feud) and then had her waking up later in book 2 than I’ve gotten.  I could work it into the book itself, but…I dunno.  Doesn’t feel right.  It’s more about the relationship of that version of Patroclos and Achilles anyway.  (I’d come up with their story–more tragic than the usual Achilles-gets-his-friend/lover-killed-via-his-own-selfish-actions version–and wanted an excuse to write down at least part of it.)

The real question that I don’t have an answer for is whether or not Helen remembers.  Her name is always Helen, even when they’ve lived in places where that’s an impossibly weird name (Japan, China, Inca Peru), and Cassandra is so convinced that Helen remembers that for centuries she was sure that Helen was actually immortal, and kept re-starting the war intentionally.  She probably doesn’t fully remember, but has glimmers and glimpses of her previous lives.  Probably.

That’s something I can worry about later.

Right now I gotta find a way to get the story moving again.  This time last year I was writing up a storm.  It’s annoying that I’ve been spending far more time gaming and customizing dolls lately than I have spent writing.

The more I think about it, the worse it seems.

Published December 8, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

No matter how I look at it, it feels like my writing is doubly sure never to get off the ground.  Even for free, I can’t get people to read it.  I don’t think it’s just because my writing style sucks–though I think that’s part of it, too–I think it’s also that what I write is just something that no one wants to read.

Even in my academic writing, I feel like that’s the case.  All I could think regarding my presentation in class about my thesis-to-be is that no one thought it was worth writing, like I was wasting their time in making them listen to it, and wasting my time in writing it, and everything.  I mean, I guess it’s not really world-shattering, studying the way myths are re-shaped by the times that they pass through, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to study it, surely.  Some of the others had some pretty vague and/or unimportant topics, too.

It doesn’t help that as I read these various books for my research that I can see the people who wrote them are infinitely more intelligent than I am.  I’ll never be able to write anything so deep and insightful.  I’ll never be able to write fiction that anyone wants to read.  So where does that leave me?

I’m unemployable, so I can’t just get a job and work for a living.  No one would ever hire someone who’s never had a job.  But if I can’t write fiction and I can’t enter academia, and I can’t get a job, then what do I do with myself?  What justification do I have to exist?

If I were younger, pretty and thin, I could say “screw being useful, I’ll just get married and churn out babies and at least keep the species alive” but there’s not a human being on this planet who’d ever want to marry me, and I don’t have the financial, emotional or mental stability to raise a child on my own.

If my writing style was more acceptable–if I was even capable of writing descriptions–I would try to churn out some fiction that people would want to read, even if it was crap.  After all, there are certain genres that are popular, right?  If I could write in a style that people would be willing to read, I could try to grind out some of that “tween-girl porn” that’s popular right now, but…well, actually, first I’d have to be able to put up with reading some of it to know it’s like.

And watching “Pyramids of Mars” while I’m already in a funk isn’t really helping.  It’s not exactly the most cheerful story out there.  (But Barnes and Noble was having a half-off sale on BBC DVDs!)

It also doesn’t help that I still have 34 pages left in the book I told myself I was going to finish reading today.  Then tomorrow I’m going to tackle the last of the new library books, and if it turns out to useful to–wait, wasn’t Set the uncle of Horus, not his brother?  And Sutek is Set, so…but actually, I think I’ve seen something lately that called Set the brother of Horus, rather than the brother of Osiris, so maybe it’s one of those multiple versions things.

Well, digression aside, like I was saying, after the one I’ve spent today reading, I have one more library book left (plus a book about Amazons that I bought a while back, which should prove useful) and then I have to go back to the library and get some new books to replace a few that didn’t pan out.  I know which two I want, though, and I think they’ll be useful, and once I have them, I shouldn’t need any more.  I hope.

I think my new version of the topic–on gender roles instead of sexuality–is probably a lot better than the old one, but…

…I still wonder if there’s any point to any of this.

Why me?

Published December 7, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m constantly plagued by little things.  The worst part about that is it makes me feel shallow and selfish for complaining, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying having to put up with it all.

Today, during my bath, my space heater packed it in.  I only got it last month.  (Or was it October?  Well, close enough, either way.)  And because the store didn’t have price tags on the shelf, I ended up paying a lot for it, about twice what I had expected to.  (But I couldn’t bring myself to tell the cashier that I hadn’t realized it was that expensive and wanted to put it back.)  So unless it miraculously starts working again, I’ll have to take it back tomorrow.  (It has a year’s warranty on it, thank goodness.)

But it’s not like I can do without a space heater in the bathroom.  It’s on the back of the house, and it’s got one of those windows with thick glass bricks around an openable window with a screen.  The glass bricks probably do a pretty good job of keeping out the cold, but the central part that can be opened is just a thin bit of plate glass, and it lets in a lot of cold air in the winter.  Fortunately, the glass doors to the shower/tub keep the worst of that out of the toilet area, but if I didn’t have a space heater, taking a bath would be frigid, no matter how hot the water.

Sigh.  Like I said, constant plague of little things.

Life. Don’t even talk to me about it.

Published October 5, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

It’s just one of those days where I can’t even figure out what happened.  Other than a lot of time-consuming nothing.

My brother hit his head quite hard last night, so when it was still hurting this morning, he became convinced he had a concussion.  I had to go get him, drive him to one of those urgent care centers, and then I had to drive him to a different urgent care center, because the first one didn’t have a CAT scan.  Then I had to rush home and feed my cats (due to one of them having kidney issues, I have to give them canned food, which means feeding them four times a day, which gets more than a little annoying) and then hurry back to pick my brother up again.  Fortunately, the second urgent care center was actually pretty close to my house, so that wasn’t too awkward, but it was still annoying.

Then while they sent the CAT scan results to the first urgent care center (so the doctor he’d spoken to earlier could look at them) I had to take him to his place, drop him off, and go to the Target near him to get cat food, which was a royal pain, because that Target is always crazed on weekends. (But I was completely out of cat food, and it had to be Target, ’cause it’s much cheaper there than at the grocery store or the pet store.)  Then I go back to get him, and then we finally had had time to watch this week’s Doctor Who, but I couldn’t go home until the urgent care center called back to let him know if he had a concussion, or brain bleeding, or whatever else might have been causing the extended headache.

Ultimately, they finally called back around 5:00, and it turned out that nothing was wrong.

I’m glad that nothing was wrong.

But it was a colossal waste of everyone’s time.  (And rather a waste of his money, if his insurance doesn’t cover the $300+ cost of the CAT scan!)

So, in the end, I accomplished nothing today, apart from reading about 20 or so pages of the second book that’s due on Thursday.  But I didn’t write a single word of my paper, and I somehow doubt that’s going to happen at this point in the day.

Tomorrow I need to stay home, not answer the phone, not do anything other than working on that paper.  And laundry.  I have to do laundry.  But that doesn’t take all that long.  Mostly, I just have to get that paper written, or else!



Published October 4, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m supposed to be writing a paper right now.

It’s not due until Thursday, of course.

So I don’t need to write it right now.  But the sooner I write it, the better it’ll be.  Because the book will be fresher in my mind (’twas short and entertaining, so I read it in one day) and I’ll have more time to edit it and fix it up.

But I spent all afternoon over at my brother’s place playing Hyrule Warriors.  (Good thing I don’t have a Wii-U of my own, or that could really murder me, ’cause I’m a completionist type…)

And then after getting home, I’ve spent all too long on-line, dropping my minimum price on LeanPub (’cause if no one ever downloads the dang thing, how am I ever going to get the feedback I wanted?) and checking my self-advertisement on deviantArt, and…

I could have written most of a draft in the time I’ve been wasting.

Oh, and although I was supposed to be spending the morning working on it, I split that time between going through all the pages I marked to transfer the notes into the computer, and making new plotting notes for a novel I just came up with.  (Like that one would have any better chance of selling.  Sigh…)

So here it is, nearly nine o’clock at night, and I haven’t even started my paper yet.

It frustrates me that at my age I still act like a child.

(And don’t get me started on my toy collecting hobby!)

I really should turn off the Internet and get to work.

But maybe I can spare a minute for a little break first…


Published October 1, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

It seems like every street around here has some kind of construction going on, especially utilities work.

I know they’re just trying to make sure everything is finished up before winter gets here, but it’s starting to get annoying.

The worst part, of course, is the new water pipes they’re putting in on my street.  (At least, I think that’s what they’re doing.  I know it’s the water company, but…)

Yesterday, they had to shut off my water from about 8 am to about 10 am.  I say “about” because I made sure to leave the house as soon as I got up (about 7:30, despite having been unable to get to sleep the previous night) and to stay at my parents’ house until almost noon.  To be extra sure the water would be back on. (Because I know me.  As soon as I’m in a situation where I can’t go to the bathroom, that’s when I need to, no matter how little I’ve had to drink.)  The water was back when I returned, but for some reason the cold water going to my bathtub has gone from “meager” to “virtually none”.  And the water coming from my hot water heater is stuck permanently at “scalding”.  So in the hopes of being able to take a bath sometime tonight, I ran about half–or maybe only a quarter–of what I absolutely need in that “scalding” water, and now I’m letting the cold water trickle into it in the hopes that if I wait half an hour or so, between cold water and time, the water in the tub will be a decent temperature.  (I did try turning down the setting on the hot water heater, but I may have done so too late in the day for it to have any effect on the water currently in the pipes.)

On top of the water shut-off yesterday, then there was this morning.  I had again had trouble getting to sleep, not being able to drop off until about 3:30 am or so.  So promptly at 7:15 am, the construction crew started jackhammering the street for twenty minutes.  My windows were rattling, even.  (Though that may have more to do with them being old windows than anything else.)  So for two nights in a row, I’ve gotten maximum four hours of sleep.

Consequently, I’ve been a yo-yo today, dribbling up and down between nearly unconscious with exhaustion and giggling like a madwoman for no readily apparent reason.  Seriously.  It’s kind of scary.

And I still haven’t finished my work for tomorrow.  Though I should be able to finish after my bath.

Assuming the bath water ever finishes running.

I’d just go to the Y and take a shower, but there’s a rumbling in the distance, and the radar shows a nasty storm front headed straight here, and I don’t want to be caught out in it.  (It’s weird, though; when I checked this morning, the chance of rain today was listed as 0%.  Now it’s at 80%.  Yet the temperature isn’t supposed to drop until Friday.)

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A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

Omocha Crush

Secret Confessions of a Toy Addict



Onomastics Outside the Box

Names beyond the Top 100, from many nations and eras

Hannah Reads Books

This is an archival site for old posts. Visit for art, puppetry, and links to any current media commentary.

Ariel Hudnall

the writings, musings, and photography of a dream smith

Taking a Walk Through History

Walking back in time to discover the origins of every historical route on earth



Pullips and Junk

We're all mad about Pullips here!

Dutch Fashion Doll World

A Dutch Barbie collector in Holland

Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter

Reviews and News From the Doll World

It's a Britta Bottle!

Small Stories of a Twenty-Something Adventuring Through Life


It's all small stuff.

The Photographicalist

Preserving the photographical perspective

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

We're All Mad Here!

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