Tags: rl


Drive-By Bitching

I saw yesterday that Bank of America - my bank - is going to start charging a $5 a month fee for customers to use their debit cards. My reaction was basically, are you fucking kidding me?!? and it turns out I'm not the only one who feels that way. The article talks about consumer frustration at not just this latest fee, but others like it:
Why such a public backlash over a few extra bucks a month?

Perhaps the bank’s decision simply reminded us all over again that we are living increasingly in a fee-littered world, where companies continually seek out new ways to nibble away at our wallets by charging for the smallest of once-free services, leaving many customers feeling nickel-and-dimed.

“The proliferation of a la carte fees has inundated the economy,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Companies “are inventing new fees; they are making it harder to avoid fees; they are increasing the fees. . . . It’s much more complicated to be a consumer.”

We do seem to have excessive little fees all over the place. This new debit card fee really pisses me off, personally, because they so have us over a barrel. You just about have to use your debit card. I know there's some people who pay for everything with cash, but that's not realistic for most of us. Who wants to carry cash around all the time? What happens if you lose your wallet or get robbed or whatever? All your money's gone. At least if you keep your money on your debit card, it's protected.

Really though, what can we do? I'm not going to switch banks over this. All banks have stupid fucking fees. It sucks everywhere. *epic sigh*

In totally unrelated news, yesterday I was looking through nautibitz's fic journal, nautific. Now, I haven't been active in the Buffy fandom (like, reading fics and stuff) for awhile, so I haven't been to her fic journal for a long time. Which explains why I missed a post from a year and a half ago, where she talked about having been plagiarized for like seriously the 10th time.

I was kind of shocked. See, I'm not a fic writer myself, so I've never had to deal with this kind of bullshit, but I did know it happens. I just didn't really realize how MUCH it happens. There's a whole LJ community (stop_plagiarism) devoted to nothing but stopping fanfic plagiarism, and some of the people who've been victims of this have had it happen dozens of times. Dude!

Have any of you guys ever had a fic plagiarized? What did you do? Did the guilty party actually get in trouble, or did they just go "everyone else does it, why can't I?" I'm honestly curious.
  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
  • Current Music: Stone Temple Pilots - Creep
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Controversial Post is Controversial

I'm watching an old Penn & Teller episode on circumcision. This being Showtime, they can get graphic... and they actually showed video of newborn infants getting the surgery.

I almost cried, seriously. I guess I always somehow thought it was a quick and painless "snip snip", but gah, it's actual trufax surgery on TINY TINY BABIES who may or may not have heightened senses and feel pain more severely than adults do.

Male infant circumcision is the most common surgery performed in the United States. MILLIONS of infants are circumcised. Why? I think the Jewish population in this country is like 5% or something. Most of those parents are probably having this done to their babies because they think it's better for their health and because of cosmetic value. Which, both of those reasons are suspect.

I don't know. I'm not a parent, so I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to have to make a decision like this about my child. But to me, it seems like circumcision is unnecessary and almost cruel. If you're doing it because your religion tells you to, that's fine. But having your infant go through that just because you think it looks better? That doesn't make any sense.

Again - I'M NOT A PARENT, so... yeah.
  • Current Mood: morose morose
  • Current Music: Penn & Teller
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Ranty McRanterson

Blah blah it sucks not having a carCollapse )

In other news, I have to bitch about something else. I know ranting about Harry Potter fic tropes is soooooo 2007, but I have to say real quick:

I drives me absolutely batshit when ficcers writing the Draco/Hermione pairing don't bother to develop their relationship and just throw them together. Like, literally, they do it like this:

Draco: Hermione! I've been quasi-evil and a bully and calling you the wizard equivalent of the N-word for 7 years, but just this instant I realized that I ACTUALLY LOVE YOU and sort of have ALL THIS TIME. See, sometimes "shut up Mudblood" means "I want to make passionate love to you and have dozens of blonde curly haired grey eyes babies".

Hermione: OH DRACO!!! I know I've been having mad sexual tension with Harry Ron for 7 years, but actually all that time I was secretly in love with you! Oh, and I totally wasn't ever bothered by you calling me the N-word, because ONLY I COULD SEE THE REAL DRAY-DRAY and I shall redeem your quasi-evilness through the POWER OF LOVE. Which, oh yeah, I love you. I just realized it 5 seconds ago.

Okay, I'm exaggerating. But still. I know the D/Hr pairing is completely ridiculous... I knew it way back when I started reading it 7 years ago. Way before the series ended, I knew Hermione was going to end up with Ron. But who cares? That's what's fun about fic - it creates the impossible.

But seriously, I need the writers to at least attempt to explain how these characters would get together in some kind of plausible way. Or at least, they have to address the issues, you know? I mean, I know it's all just wish fullfilment fantasies, but still.

Unless you're just writing pure porn for the sake of porn. Which, I'm okay with that too. But if you're trying to write a trufax story? Come on.

Oh, and another thing? "Dramione" is the DUMBEST FUCKING SHIP NAME EVER. Every time I see that word, I think I'm reading a fic about Dramamine. Enough with the squished names! Can't we just call it Draco/Hermione? Gah, every single squished name except Spuffy (which I somehow like) NEEDS TO GO AWAY. Like now, plz.

[BTW, photosinensis, this is the part where you tell me how your anime fandom is even more ridiculous, and make me feel a little better. *g*]
  • Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
  • Current Music: Depeche Mode - Blasphemous Rumours

Various & Sundry

I'm going to be house-sitting for my friend Ann again this weekend. For the price of having to babysit/feed/walk the dog and cat, I get to hang out in their fabulous house, watch movies on their projection screen tv, and drive one of their cars. Pretty sweet, huh? I'm excited.

In other news...

++ Okay seriously, WHAT THE FUCK is going on in London right now? Dude! That's a scary situation. I hope all the British people on my flist are okay - I'm not sure if any of you (besides keswindhover, who's already checked in) live in London, but if you do, STAY SAFE.

++ I spent a good part of last night reading the old MsScribe story from a couple years ago. Ahahahahaha. What really strikes me about that is not only how batshit crazy MsScribe is, but that someone had the inclination (and enough free time on their hands) to document the entire psychotic story. Also, I didn't connect the dots until recently, but somehow I'd actually rec'd one of her fics for my Mega HP Recs post back in 2004. That was of course before I'd realized who she was, really. But I still like that fic. She's crazy, but she's a good writer. (Most good writers are probably at least a little crazy.)

++ Also through searching the Fandom Wank Wiki, I managed to find a copy of "The Draco Trilogy", which I've been meaning to read for oh, 8 years or so. We'll see if I can actually manage to get through the whole thing - TV Tropes tells me that the trilogy is actually longer than the first 6 HP books combined. That's... that's a little scary. Mostly though, I'm looking forward to seeing the unauthorized Buffy rip-offs in the fic. Heh.

++ I found a Yahoo Group that has a bunch of Lost Draco/Hermione fics. Eeeeee!

++ Speaking of lost HP fics - hey, the grand total of 4 Harry/Hermione shippers on my flist? Do any of you have a copy of Lissanne's fic "Love Is a Battlefield"? It's posted on Fiction Alley, but the text is completely fucked up. There's all these weird question mark characters where quotations or whatever should be. It's really distracting, and damn near impossible to read the story through that. But LIAB is one of my all-time favorite H/Hr fics, and I'd really like to have it on my Kindle.
  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
  • Current Music: Counting Crows - Round Here

From Your Friendly Starbucks Barista

Two things I want my flist to know, from a Barista standpoint:

1. It's okay to ask to customize your drinks. We're used to it. Some people still just order a plain tall latte, but most people order their drinks special: Decaf skim cappuccino, half caf bold drip, mocha frappuccino with soy milk and no whip, etc etc. We totally expect people to customize and it doesn't bother us (mostly). The way I figure it, if you're paying $5 for your fancy-ass coffee, you should be able to make it the way you want.

HOWEVER, please, if you're doing a whole bunch of unusual customizations ("Iced venti 8 pump vanilla light ice extra caramel stirred Caramel Macchiato", to name one I got in my first couple days), be willing to tell the barista your order slowly and repeat yourself if they ask. Learning Starbucks lingo is like learning a new language and it takes time to master it. Thanks for your patience.

2. You're not required to tip your barista, but we REALLY, REALLY appreciate it when you do. Often, I live on my tip money between paychecks - I depend on it. And when customers tip us well, we're more likely to give them extra special service or give them freebies. For example, there's one guy who always tips like, super super generously (he often puts a $5 bill in the tip jar) and we always take AWESOME care of him. Like, he gets a tall White Mocha, and we'll make sure his drink is ready right away, we'll put in extra shots of espresso in his drink, or we'll even give him free drinks sometimes. We take care of the customers that take care of us.

Thank you, and enjoy your ridiculously overpriced caffeinated beverages.
  • Current Mood: energetic energetic
  • Current Music: Richard Marx - Keep Coming Back
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Evolution, Flowers and Bad Movies

Today I got to do two of my favorite things: Hang out with my good friends bailunrui & ralob, who I haven't seen in a million years, and visit the museums down in DC. We didn't have a ton of time, so we only got to see two. First we went to the Natural History Museum, where they had this fabulous exhibit on human evolution - kind of like "Humans Through the Ages" or whatever. It had all these old fossils of homo sapien descendents - skulls, full skeletons, etc. There was a full replica (I'm assuming; it has to be in a more famous museum somewhere) of the Lucy skeleton, which was amazing to see. She was so tiny and cute!

What was really cool to me was, even though I already believed in evolution and this exhibit was just preaching to the choir, it really did leave me with a "How can anyone NOT believe this stuff?" state of mind. I just, like... don't comprehend how young earth creationists can possibly wrap their minds around the idea that humans sprang into being, just like we are today, 6,000 years ago, with no changes whatsoever over the years. You see those skulls and skeletons of the different branches of humanity and primates or whatever, and it's like, OF COURSE we're all related, and OF COURSE evolution is the only thing that makes sense. DUH.

At any rate, after we finished with the Natural History Museum, we went to my favoritest place in the world, the US Botanic Garden. It's like a giant flower-and-plant house... I guess you can see why I would like it, seeing as how I used to work with flowers. DJ and Lauren were very patient and indulgent with me, as I went around going "Ooooooh!" and "Ahhhhhh!" and "OMG TAKE A PICTURE OF THIS FLOWER!!!", because I'd naturally forgotten my camera. The best part of the place, of course, is the orchid room. It's just gorgeous, with hundreds of huge orchid blooms in every color. There were some that were the most beautiful shade of pinkish purple. I really wish I could've taken some pics. Lauren did take some for me; if she sends me some, I'll post them later.

I had fun today. I really do need to get out to The Mall (where all the touristy sites in DC are) more often. I live here; I should take advantage of the fact and see the sites and stuff. I guess I'm just complacent.

In other news, maggiesox implores you NOT to see the new Pirates movie. Ahahahahahahaha. I wasn't planning on seeing it anyways. I absolutely loathed the last two sequels. Well, I guess "loathed" is a strong word; I just didn't like them at all, and they were such a disappointment after how awesome the first movie was. I don't know what Johnny Depp is doing making these awful movies. Dude, don't you have enough money already? Come on, Johnny, you're better than this.
  • Current Mood: tired tired
  • Current Music: The Police - King of Pain
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*breaks out the wheelchair*

Poll #1728463 How Ancient Are You?

Do you remember a time before.....

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging?
Blu-ray players?
DVD players?
High speed (cable/DSL) internet?
Cell phones that didn't look like giant bricks?
Message boards and chat rooms?
The internet as a whole?
Floppy discs?
Cable television - or at least, when everyone had it?
Touch dial telephones?

... If you checked every single one of those, congratulations - you're old. Or at least you are according to my friend's teenage children, who don't remember any of that stuff.

Seriously though? Recently I was talking to a kid I work with at Starbucks, about 9/11, and they were like, "Yeah, when I was in third grade" or something. I went o.0?!? and immediately felt about 300 years old.
  • Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
  • Current Music: Pearl Jam - Release Me
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Everyone, Say Hello To My Baby Sister!!!!

I finally, finally, FINALLY cleaned up my Facebook page. Somehow it had a bunch of my information wrong - it said I went to Central Virginia Community College instead of Northern Virginia Community College, and that I lived in DC instead of Reston. I don't know if I got hacked or if I just entered the info wrong, but whatever - it's fixed now.

Also, I added stuff like where I worked and what kind of music I listen to, etc. Can't believe I hadn't done that before now.

I still don't really see the point of Facebook, etc, but I do have to admit it's awesome for getting back in touch with random family/friends that you haven't talked to in forever. My sister joined a couple months ago, and recently we've been talking through the site. It's really cool.

I sent her a link to my LJ, so hopefully she'll see this post. Comment on it and let her know how insanely popular and well-liked I am!!! Heh.

Crystal, if you are reading this, I should point out:

1) On the internets, I'm a huge dork. Well, IRL (in real life) I'm a huge dork too, but here I don't even try to hide it.

2) On this blog, I talk a lot about tv/movie/book characters and various band members/celebrities and how much I want to sleep with them. Yes, even the fictitious characters. I realize this is both demented and sad, but whatever.

3) I do a lot of memes on this blog. On the rest of the internets, "meme" means an online fad or trend, but here on LiveJournal, a meme usually means a short survey or quiz. Not sure where the discrepency came from, but again, WHATEVER.

4) My name here is Luna, as it is all across the wide internets and even to some of my RL friends. I told you about my "Luna" tattoo, right? Because at this point more people know me as Luna than as Marie. (I kind of hate my real name. It's a thing.)

5) Most of the posts on this blog are "locked" or "filtered". That means only people that have an LJ account, that I have added to my "friends list", and/or that I have selected for that filter can read the posts. To see them, you need to have an LJ account and I need to approve you. So like, get an account! It's free and easy.
  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
  • Current Music: Queen - We Are The Champions
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Neverending Colds and More Twilight

So like, remember a couple of weeks ago when I had an Epic Cold/Flu Thinger? The worst of it only lasted about three days, but... it's still not completely gone. I'm still congested every night when I try to sleep, I'm still coughing (and coughing stuff up), I'm still sneezing, I still feel very Meh. Not horrible like when I first came down with this, but still not Totally Recovered. It's starting to freak me out.

I feel like this isn't really enough to bother my doctor about, but I'm really starting to get sick (haha) of buying all this cold medicine and cough drops are starting to taste really, really disgusting at this point.

In other news, I'm still in a strange Twilight phase. I've literally watched my Eclipse DVD about 10 times. (I also saw it in the theaters.) I even made my friend Cathy watch it with me, even though she hadn't seen the first two movies. She thought it was cool, but she did have several observations:

1) "Why isn't she with the hot shirtless guy with the motorcycle instead of the pasty stalker guy?" To which I said, "TELL ME ABOUT IT".

2) Me: "The guy who's playing Edward is actually British." Cathy: "You mean he's supposed to be sounding American? WOW." Note: Cathy lived in London for 6 years, so she's more sensitive to accents than most American audiences.

3) "Wait. They just break apart like fucking stone? No stakes to the heart? What kind of vampire movie is this?!?"

I think cleolinda calls this particular game "Horrify The Twilight Noob". Hee.

Oh, and I was just trawling YouTube for "official" (not really) Breaking Dawn trailers and there was one with fuzzy, out of focus but still hot Bella/Edward ocean sexxing... and also a shot of Hobbit children from Fellowship of the Ring. Ahahahahaha.

How am I ever going to wait until November 2011 for my next dose of Sparkle Motion?!?
  • Current Mood: aggravated aggravated
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Comfort Music

Sometimes, despite my chronic verbosity, I don't know what to say. So I let others speak for me.

There's nothing you can make that can't be made
No one you can save that can't be saved

Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
In time - It's easy....

You know what I need? What would really help me out right now? More music. Yeah yeah, I know what you're thinking - "Don't you have like 90 gigs of music already?" Yes, but STILL. I can always use more music.

If you could, please rec me a song or an album to download/listen to. PLEASE. What do you listen to when you're having a hard time? Any and all suggestions are most welcome.
  • Current Mood: scared scared
  • Current Music: All You Need Is Love
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