May 9th, 2006

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Frickin' PACKAGING

Tell me, what the hey is the point of wrapping a tight little plastic seal around the lid of a vinegar bottle? (Like, it's going to go BAD?) And what's the point of making that seal so tight that it's hermetic, and nto perforating it so that you can actually, yanno, REMOVE the damned thing with just HANDS? Hands weren't working, my fingers weren't flat enough to get between plastic and lid to get enough leverage, so rdeck handed me a pointed kitchen knife to pry the edge off. But the edge would not be pried, and the knife would not go in, and instead slipped beside it and off the lid and stabbed me in the ball of my thumb.

Where now I am wearing a large bandaid which precludes me from picking anything up with any kind of degree of grace or certainty. Ferget TYPING - my left hand is down to hunt and peck because that bandaid gets in the way of everything. Dammit.

And while we're on the subject - can parents just take tesponsibility for their own offspring, please, and thus remove the need for the rest of us to deal with "child proof caps"? Who was the idiot that thought the instruction "Press down firmly and then lift off" - at the same time - made any kind of sense? How do you press DOWN and lift OFF (i.e. UP) at the same time? And if you're opening up something like a bottle of Drano, which tends to be a tad corrosive on skin, shouldn't it be the idea to make it EASY to open instead of likely to have it pour itself all over your hands as you struggle with the verdammt cap? And we won't even talk about aspirin. If you have a headache bad enough for an aspirin, you have a headache that's bad enough for you NOT to have to cope with opening recalcitrant bottles. They should just lock up the cupboards where dangerous stuff lives until such time as kids are human enough to understand and obey "don't go there" - hell, even cats are trainable. Don't tell me kids aren't. And life becomes SO much easier for the rest of us.

I don't have kids, am unlikely to have kids, and my household is a child-free zone - unless someone brings one to visit, in which case that person is responsible for that kid's actions. I shouln't have to put up with living in an Escher world because some parents find it easier to booby trap everything rather than to educate and/or discipline their children...

I'm sorry for being snarky, really, but my THUMB hurts.
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

We are not alone...

I just gacked this article from another LJ blog:

http://www.divemagazine.co.uk/news/article.asp?UAN=2774&v=2&sp=332690698935330728478

I believe it. I believe it with all of my heart.

Let me tell you about me and dolphins.

When I was living in New Zealand, I was (technically) in the South Pacific - or the fringes of it, anyway. I figured, if I don't go and see Tahiti now, I never will - this is the closest I'll ever be to it. So I investigated what was available - and it took me less than 24 hours to dismiss all the vaunted wild beauty of BOra Bora in favour of a fairly ho-hum resort hotel on Moorea - not because of anything to do with the actual setting itself, but because of one incredible fact: the Moorea hotel actually had a dolphin research and rehab center built right into it. And there would be a chance to swim with dolphins.

Forget everything else.

Dolphins.

I spent maybe 9 days on Moorea, but by the time I left the staff at the dolphin centre knew me by name. I was always there, watching them play, watching them leap, watching them BE - and twice, despite the relatively steep price tag, I went in to swim with them. I hugged a dolphin, and I have a photograph where he and I are nose-to-nose in a kiss; they look at you... LOOK at you... and you realise that behind those eyes is a mind that knows things, understands things, recognizes you. There are no words to describe what it feels like to share the water with these animals, I can only tell you that it's so huge and so wonderful that you find yourself with tears in your eyes and bereft of any other feeling except this huge bubble of love and belonging and elation and sheer joy of being alive and sharing this world with them. They are bigger than you think they are, and gentle, and playful, and - I know I've said this before - they just... they KNOW. They understand.

Years later I came down to Florida to visit my then husband-to-be, and he took me down to the Florida Keys - and one of the first things I noticed by the side of the road was a dolphin centre where you could go and swim with them. I jumped at the chance, despite another steep price tag.

They asked us in the pre-swim talk if any of the women were pregnant. We all said no, and they said, "Are you sure?" Apparently dolphins can sonar-recognise the double heartbeat emanating from a pregnant woman and they will cluster around one, fascinated, ignoring anyoen else - which is why they wouldn't allow pregnant women into the water with them. They told the story of how one woman said she wasn't pregnant, and yet when she went in ALL the dolphins went for her - and they said, do a pregnancy test. And she said she wasn't pregnant, swore up and down that she wasn't, right until the day she phoned the centre, about a week afterwards, and said, "um, you know those dolphins of yuors...?"

My pair of dolphins at this place were a mother and son tag team, and I swear, they behaved precisely like a human family might. They get fishy treats for the things that they do during the session, and every now and then the son would elbow momma aside and snatch HER treat, and she'd just "sigh" and swim off, letting him have it. These guys were trained to signals - if you kind of hung vertically in the water and put out your arms they'd swim up and tuck their dorsal fins into your hands and start motoring off with you at speeds that were startling; another thing was the instruction to float on your back, your arms crossed on your chest, and your feet straight out in front of you - and they would swim around the bottom end, poke their snouts into the soles of your feet, and PUSH. After you recovered from swallowing half the ocean that came whooshing over your head as they gave the first shove, it was absolutely exhilarating - especially when you watched the telepathy and teamwork that went on, for instance when they needed to turn a tight corner the inside dolphin would slow down while the outside one sped up a precisely matching amount and there you went, angled around a corner with a precision that was breathtaking.

At the end of my session I was kneeling at the wooden dock with my arm out over the water, and the kid-dolphin basically leapt out of the water and parked himself on the jetty beside me, tucking himself into the curve of my arm, essentially leaping into a ready-made hug - and just sat there for a moment flapping his tail and looking at me out of those I-know-you eyes before backing up and flopping back into the water again.

If ever, ever,, you get a chance to get into the water with a dolphin, pay whatever is asked of you and grab it with both hands. It is something so very special, something that will never leave you, something that you will always return to when you feel lonely or adrift. WE ARE NOT ALONE. They see us. They know us.
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Rehashed the early chapters with the insertion of a Good Idea...

...and now, with the new stuff, the tally is as follows:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
47,300 / 95,000
(49.8%)


I plan on forging ahead tomorrow, finishing the current chapter - if not tomorrow then by the end of the week, dammit - and then I WILL write another chapter before I leave for Wiscon. I will, I will, I *will*.

Either way, it'll be well beyond halfway by that point.

Got work to do.