Got the brushes.

It’ll be nice to see what happens. I do think that the makeup brush I was using before was a bit too dense.


Ah, the blind audition. And guess what happened again?

Hubble Cycle 26 TAC and Anonymous Peer Review


Statistically, 138 of the 489 submitted proposals (28%) were led by female PI — as a comparison, in Cycle 25, female PIs led 46 of 167 Medium and Large proposals (27.5%).

Twelve of the 40 proposals selected for execution are led by female PIs, a success rate of 8.7% (12/138); for male PIs, the success rate is 8.0% (28/351).

This reverses the trend seen in the past 15 cycles. Specifically, in Cycle 25, 13% (6/46) of Medium and Large proposals submitted by female PIs were approved while 24% (29/121) of proposals submitted by male PIs were successful.

Can I just bitch about Intellicast for a second here?

This was the weather site that I went to — full-screen draggable radar maps and everything. Now, they fucked everything up, I can’t find my old maps, and they insist that they still have the exact same maps, but when I go to look at the current radar map, it’s an eighth the size it used to be, doesn’t drag or go full-screen, and gives me an almost preposterously limited number of cities to zoom in on, including such pulsing metropolises as Bakerfield and Little Rock.

I used that site since around 2008, and it’s gone completely to shit. Now, I’m stuck with Accuweather, which is considerably crappier and still doesn’t give me decent-sized draggable radar maps.

I mean, Intellicast was the best weather site around. It’s gone literally to complete shit, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why they would utterly ruin it by destroying their maps page. Do they seriously think that the half-assed crap they are putting out now comes even one-tenth of the way to what the site used to be? It’s 100% trash at this point.

Unless you live in goddamned Little Rock, I suppose.

So I went looking, and there’s Weather Underground, which shows you a map with what appears to be scattered little bits of plastic shit with numbers in them literally all over the place, so that you can’t even tell where you are. Try dragging it, and it stalls on you.

God, fuck this shit.

Anyway, I really want my old full-screen draggable radar maps back if it’s not already obvious.

Those travel watercolor brushes

So I’ve got them in my cart. I’ve just got to actually get them. 🙂

Until then, I’d like to just use the waterbrushes without filling the handles. They have a nice feel to them and seem to be able to hold a lot of water even by dabbing into a saucer.

I admit to a feeling that I should just stop buying shit because I clearly have little time to work on this stuff as it is. I have that sneaking suspicion, and buying little irritating things like this makes me feel nickeled and dimed, even if these things aren’t that much money. I just dislike accumulating crap that I’ll never use and wonder if I’m not buying them for no good reason. I’ve still got at least four things to spend my evenings on as it is (music, crafts, art, language), and not enough evening to spend.

And “music” includes three freaking instruments, for pete’s sake. “Crafts” include two current projects plus more than enough UFOs to push to the top of the stack when they are finished.

“Art” currently includes graphite, watercolor, ink, and graphitint. “Language” thankfully includes only one language currently, but there are at least two more that I need to stay up on.

And yet here I am buying g/d watercolor brushes. While having to practice long tones on a new flute, when I ran out of time and emotional energy to work on the harp. (I don’t know why the flute doesn’t take as much emotional energy. I think it’s because I’m not taking lessons on it and hence turning it into one more chore that I can only either stay even on or fail to measure up to. The flute is just pure fun for me.)

I think what I need to do is to schedule my time better, and not just go home at night without a clear idea of which of these I will work on. But then I end up feeling once again overcommitted. When I’m home from work, I want to be able to tell the g/d difference.

Wow, I really can’t recall how to use these things.

I’m really very surprised, but I can’t quite recall how to use watercolors. Isn’t that silly? I’ve got a lot of remembering to do. I think I’m both using too little water and much better quality watercolors (the Sennelier Aquarelles, which are extremely concentrated), and so I’m just not used to how they handle.

I also tried using the waterbrushes, but they just do not give me enough control over how much water comes out. Sometimes I need to squeeze the handle a bit to get water out, and other times I daub the water off and then it just keeps coursing out of the damned brush and peeing all over the paper like an overexcited puppy even without any pressure from my hand. It’s extremely annoying and hard to control.

I started using instead a double-ended makeup brush that probably has sable hair, which was much better but a little strange and I think denser than a watercolor brush and hence unable to carry very much water. The nice thing about it is that it’s extremely compact and has a cap on it although I’m slightly bugged that it’s juuuuust too long to fit into the Sennelier tin. 😦

I might just use the waterbrushes with no water in them, or with just enough water to clean the tip when I squeeze them. I do like the feel of the bristles on the waterbrushes, but the lack of control will never sit well with me. And they are also too long to fit into the tin.

I’ve found some smaller waterbrushes that are more likely to fit, which I like, but I may see if I can’t find a portable regular brush of some sort that will fit in there. I just love the idea of everything being as compact as possible.

I also think I will like using the ink brushpen with the watercolors. I think I’m going to try a picture of a cherry or some leaves or something tonight and just see how it goes.

Sort of excited

A little half-pan set of nice watercolors

I remember this and pastels being the only color medium I could work with. I always say that I dislike color and prefer graphite and ink, but there were color media I liked. I just liked ink and graphite more and still do, and despised acrylic, oils, and colored pencils.

But I thought it might be fun to do something, especially something conveniently small and neat that takes very little clean-up. One of my big dislikes of wet media is the mess of them and how they swallow up entire areas of a house or apartment when they are used. Once you take them out, shit gets everywhere. (You’d think I was some kind of neatnik from the way I talk, but I’m not. I’ve got plenty of little bits of clutter lying around, but there are limits.) To be able to pack this away when finished with it and have it leave no trace is very attractive. Pastels are of course out of the question due to the sheer mess of using them and how once you start, you can’t even scratch your nose until you wash your hands. I always say that using pastels is like doing an EVA on the international space station; once you start, you’re committed and you can’t even blow your nose until you finish. Plus, the stupid piece isn’t ever really finished since even years after completing a piece, you can still smudge the hell out of it. Unlike paints or ink of any kind, you can’t ever consider it finished. Of course graphite is the same way, but not nearly to the same extent.

I think I’d like to try that same berries-and-leaves thing that I did in the graphitints and see how it turns out and how much fun it is.

I wish that coleus book had arrived; I ordered it, but it never got here and I ended up having to request a refund from Amazon. 😦 I really wanted that book. I did get a nice coffee table book of very pretty landscapes, but literally none of the photos really lit me up, which surprised me.

Is this what “oh, snap!” means?

From the Wikipedia page on Sarah Bernhardt:

[Bernhardt] attended a masked ball in Brussels where she met the young Prince de Ligne, a young Belgian aristocrat, and had an affair with him. The affair was cut short when she learned that her mother had suffered a heart attack. She returned to Paris, where she found that her mother was better, but that she herself was pregnant from her affair with the Prince.

Many years later, when Bernhardt was famous, the Prince came to Paris and offered to formally recognize Maurice as his son, but Maurice politely declined, explaining he was entirely satisfied to be the son of Sarah Bernhardt.

I think this is what Kids Today refer to as an “epic burn.” If it’s not, it should be. An insult like that needs a linguistic encoding dedicated to it.

Statistics that make you go “hmm”

Abuse of Faith: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms

Look at the percentages of perpetrators that were men and the percentage of victims that were women and tell me there isn’t something going on.

Then, find me an article in a mainstream publication that points this out.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Then, say this out loud and wait until someone points out the tiny, tiny minority of female perpetrators against either sex and male victims of women abusers and says that this proves that women are “just as bad.”

Oh back already, huh?

And yes, I know full well that women can be abusive, too. I went to 12 years of catholic school. I know that quite well. But statistics are statistics.

“Getting it out of your system”

Let’s just say this out loud: there’s no such thing. If you do it, whatever “it” may be, you are grinding it into your system. Otherwise, the membership of the KKK would be the least racist people around.

There’s this uncomfortable doughnut-hole area between “hasn’t yet figured out what the problem is” and “has managed to solve the problem and is living without it.” That doughnut hole is where 1) you’ve wised up but 2) still haven’t figured out how to live without the problem. It’s where you know you shouldn’t do something but are still unwilling to confront the hard work you have to do before you are willing to let go of it.

It can be really attractive to fill that doughnut hole with the bullshit of “getting it out of my system.”

The thing is, if you are doing X, and you know you shouldn’t be doing X, eventually you will have to live a life in which you are deprived of X. And you will feel that deprivation for a time. Make friends with that realization, or else just fucking own the fact that you are an X-doer and stop telling yourself and others that you are “getting it out of your system.”