Autumn is a fraying time. I’ve never really consciously noticed it until now, because it’s not like I get sad with the greying of the days. Quite the opposite, actually: I get sad in the Spring, stay sad in the Summer, and then — well, I fray, and sadness isn’t exactly the right word anymore.

Maybe you’ve seen me during those sunny months, and you’re thinking: that doesn’t sound right, she always seems fine to me! The fact is my life is packaged up into many different boxes, any combination of which can be taken out or put away. Sometimes whole swaths of my identity are shoved into a closet and lost for months, or years. Usually this is because I’m scared of what would happen if I left them exposed to the world, or maybe I’m reacting to that thing actually happening. In the warm times of year, when everyone else is out and about and full of energy, I’m absolutely terrified. Of them, of me, of any opened box. So everything goes, except the autopilot. She does put on a good show, though an empty one.

But when the rest of the world huddles indoors, those boundaries start crumbling. The timid parts of my persona start leaking out and mixing with each other. It’s always confusing, sometimes depressing, usually explosive. I see people! I do things I would never normally do! I start twelve different projects at the same time! I start thinking. A lot. Maybe too much.

(That thing where I posted a picture of my face to Facebook, which I said I would never do? That was a definite warning sign.)

Usually, the end of this cycle is an abrupt and painful crash. Can I avoid that this time? Maybe writing about it will help. Or maybe writing about not-it will help. Whatever happens, I’m going to try and write here more often. I accept that there will be inanity, and I hope you’ll forgive me.

Speaking of epiphanies, and action plans: “Answering yes to three of these six questions strongly indicates clinical depression, and you said yes to all of them.” So that happened. Time to do something about it.



So I turned thirty-eight. Thirty-eight! When I started this blog, ten years ago, I was firmly twenty-something and it seemed like that would go on forever. Now I can’t help but think I might as well give up and just call myself forty. On the other hand, I’m strongly considering dyeing my hair purple. Is that a midlife thing?

Also, ridiculously awesome boots.

On my birthday, I got carded twice, once at the Pine Box and once at the Hard Rock. So at least I have that going for me.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done the traditional birthday retrospective, but a lot has happened this year. So here goes:

1. I learned to appreciate coffee, after a lifetime of not. Pro tip: telling people this is your goal is like being the girl at the comic store, ca. 1989. Lots of mansplaining, but lots of free, delicious coffee.

2. Sucked it up and got help. Real help.

3. Started a Project 365 and only half-failed.

4. Told the truth to people I cared about, even when it was hard — the hardest — and left me wide open.

5. Started singing again.

6. Saw so many people again for the first time in years.

7. Got smashed into pieces, just a little. (Not just a little.) See #4.

8. Started learning to appreciate beer. See #1.

9. Survived.

There’s a lot hidden in there than I really want to just say out loud, and so much more just on the cusp of happening. Maybe it’s not time to give up just yet. And purple does seem like a nice color.

Love you all.


NaCl (19/365)


I had thought I didn’t have a picture at all from yesterday but it turns out I had this [of salt dishes at John Howie Steak in Bellevue].

So for now I’m still golden, as far as the streak goes. But I’m putting up this thoroughly mediocre picture as a testament: From now in, I’m going to adopt a sanity-keeping measure where I may (will!) reserve the right to days where I don’t share my photo. At least not here.

Will: stick with the project, put up as many as I can, but this pressure (from myself) to publish, publish, publish is killing me inside. I can’t bear putting something up without trying to say something interesting, and if the picture isn’t, it means I have to come up with words that are. And well. Words Are Not My Thing.

A very dear friend* told me:

The /365 projects aren’t about art, though. /365 can help perfectionists learn the ebb and flow of creativity.Self-kindness. etc.

If you can; keep up the process, f*ck the product. Choose “only me” option some days, but keep doing it.

This is for me. This is for me. This is for me.


*will update with attribution if she gives permission.


Complexity (10/365)


Tried to go into work.
Tried to work.
Tried to leave work.
Got stuck.
Abandoned car.

(…the rest of the story…)

Got home.

I’m too tired to get into any detail right now, but somewhere along the line I did manage to snap a picture. Which I guess is how it’s going to go, sometimes.

So I know Cliff Mass has downgraded his forecast to two to five inches, but I’m staying home as long as there is white on the ground, thank you very much.

…I hope my car’s okay.

OMG, Sherlock series 2 finale. You guys, watch these episodes now so I can gush about them in detail, okay?

I’ve added some social media button thingies on my entries. I’m feeling a little dirty about it, and I don’t make many lolcats, so I’m not sure why I’m bothering. We’ll see how it goes?


On comments

I do miss the days when there was only one place to leave a comment. These days you can post an entry and people will comment on Facebook, on Google+, on Twitter, on Livejournal, Plurk, here. There’s so much more feedback and lively conversation, but there’s no one all-up view of the conversation, people talk in small pockets, unaware of other participants, and a year from now it’ll be nearly impossible to tell what was talked about.

If I were more web-savvy, I’d write a script to mirror those conversations here, but… well, on the other hand, that sounds like a giant privacy headache. Table that.

This isn’t a complaint or a call to action. It’s more just a wistful look at the state of the social web nowadays. And blogging is dead, anyways, right?


Moar backlog

I’ve backfilled a few more entries. I tend to favor the ones with pretty pictures:

I’ve noticed that at least one part of the Disqus import did not go smoothly. I had a bunch of manually ported comments from other services, all of which shared a dummy email address. Disqus seems to assign all unauthenticated comments using the same email address to the same identity, namely the first person commenting with that email address on an entry. It basically ignores the name field on those subsequent comments. Little Miss Edge Case strikes again!

So for now there are a bunch of entries between 2009 and 2011 where you can’t really trust that comments are attributed correctly (here’s an example, with “David” replying to himself). Yuck.

I’ll be trying to fix this by making the dummy emails unique and then re-importing. Will let you know how it goes?


Couque d’What?

I was at Uwajimaya, and… uh, what?


You may notice that I occasionally insert new stories into the backlog. The last few years I’ve spent mostly microblogging and leaving neon epiphany neglected, and that makes me sad. I’m patching in the holes with some of the more amusing or substantial entries, but only a few.

First dump, in case you’re curious:


You win, spammers

Hey, comment spammers! I hate you so much. You win.

I’ve moved comments for neon epiphany over to Disqus, even though it’s not officially supported for Movable Type 5 (But what is? Seriously) and took a lot of ugly hackery to get working. On the net upside, though, there should be plenty of sexy new features, and hopefully less spam. If you get a chance, please do try posting a comment, just to make sure everything’s still working. Also you should now get notifications when your comment is responded to.

If you’re using Disqus and MT5 and are having problems (particularly when trying to enable server-side rendering), I’ve put the contents of my mt/plugins/disqus folder as a gzipped tarball. Maybe it’ll help you out.

LET ME ITERATE: I do not know from perl. This is ham-hands.

Finally, I just watched “A Scandal in Belgravia,” the first episode of the new series of the BBC’s Sherlock. Hello, Irene Adler. LOVE. And umm, riffing on “The Hound of the Baskervilles” next Sunday? Be still my heart!



Klout says my single most influential topic is “ohmygod ohmygod.”



I’ve unhorked my blog archives, after more than a YEAR. Not that I’ve posted since 2008. Worst blogger, ever.





Where’s yukino? For now, she’ll be posting at:



The haberdasher’s wife

Vox (the new project from the folks behind TypePad, Moveable Type and LiveJournal) looks really neat, to the point that I think I would move over there on a trial basis if I ever got the ability to post. Not that I’ve done a very good job here! But I’m a sucker for new toys.

Finished Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World — read the last page over a plate of homemade loco moco, yum — and as the unnamed stranger who bought me the book noted, it is a hell of a novel. Thank you!

Off to China for three weeks very, very soon. I hear the weather is awful this time of year! Fretting over packing.


The lost weekend

I’m back. Did you miss me?

No, I haven’t been suffering a month-long headache — not literally, at least. However, I have been feeling profoundly uncreative, detached from myself, and acutely aware of the bleakness of the season. I’m very good at making shells, and this is one I’m still trying to chip through.

More to come. Promise it’ll be lighthearted.


Token effort

I wish I were…

… but not like this.

Busy busy and sore eyes sore. Hence this token effort, but sometimes you need to push off a little or risk sitting forever, sunk halfway below ground.

Overheard: “…that’s bad, because flying is a terrible hobby to suck at.”

Spent too much time trying to get LiveJournal and OpenID signins working for commenting here, thanks to Mark Paschal’s’s nifty OpenID Comments plugin (version 1.2 is bundled with MT3.2). It still won’t work correctly if your LJ name is too long (for example, neon_epiphany), but Mark’s next release should fix that. In the meantime, feel free to give it a whirl.

Have also been helping out behind the scenes at Strange Horizons, which has been secretly titillating. I mean, talk about rock stars!

Latest rumor is that Miyazaki may be planning to adapt the Earthsea cycle. Probably nothing to it, but wouldn’t that be a thing?

…other than that, really liked American Splendor, am starting Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and may soon be joining the modern age and getting a cameraphone. Maybe.

As for poor Ariadne, she’s still finding her way out.


Tags and Movable Type 3.2

If you’re using Brad Choate’s Tags plugin and MT3.2, you might have noticed that the alternate “edit entry” template provided by the plugin leaves you with an outdated MT3.1x-era interface — without hotkeys, a working tab order, and the fancy management pages for comments & trackbacks. With apologies to Brad, I’ve hacked together a version of the template that uses the MT3.2 template as a basis and adds the plugin behavior back in. Just in case anyone else has had the same problem, here it is:

To use, just overwrite the edit_entry.tmpl file in your path-to-mt/exttmpl/cms/ directory, or wherever you placed the file included with the original plugin package. And please don’t do this unless you’re running MT3.2, because, well, it won’t do good things for you…

Something you might want to look at if you use TypeKey on your blog — I’ve also noticed that the new individual entry template produces pages that load complete & immediately, unlike the old one, which stalls before loading the comment form (because it blocks on a call to mt-comments.cgi). So that might be reason enough to look into upgrading your templates along with your installation.


On demand media

Experimenting with Movable Type’s dynamic publishing mode. Monthly archives are now generated on-the-fly, and I can also join all the cool kids and keep tag-based archives without bogging down rebuilding. Now all I have to do is go back and tag all my old entries! I’d meant to do individual entry pages too, but so far I’m in love with too many plugins that won’t work under PHP.

Incidentally, commenting should now be somewhat faster.

In media news:

Criterion has just announced they’ll release two all-time greats on DVD: Ran and Ugetsu. The Mizoguchi is a real gem — supernatural, mysterious, and intensely sad, I haven’t seen it in years and yet it’s haunted me in some way or another ever since.

Have actually been enjoying (non-Katrina-related) television recently: Slings and Arrows on Sundance, very Canadian, really good (and lord knows I have a thing for Paul Gross); Rome on HBO is right up my historical alley, and I’m also enjoying the slew of tie-in documentaries on History Channel; Transgeneration will be airing on Sundance starting September 20.

Books keep rolling in from the library, god bless: Kare Kano in English (it is my blog namesake, after all), Spring Snow, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Never Let Me Go. Clearly something has gone terribly wrong and I’ve had to put a freeze on my holds, as I despair of finishing these all in time…


Fretwork and synaesthesia

[Nails on bones]

I just realized that for about three months now, I’ve stuck to a pretty good average of one post every two days. Not being a very inspired writer — or rather, being the kind of person who frets nervously for hours at the keyboard for every single sentence produced — that comes as a total surprise to me. I never realized how much work that kind of output requires! I have no idea how all of you superstars do it!

At any rate, I’m in a full-on fret right now, so please, please let me know if you think the quality’s gone down over that time. Because, you know, I still want to be interesting.

But I guess I’m in self-evaluation mode anyway, since it’s annual review time at work — the absolutely worst time of year for the insecure.

On the bright side, I shook Hélène Grimaud’s hand yesterday. I wonder if she saw colors? Because I know I did!


congratulations, lia!

Congratulations on graduating, lia (and jarvis too)!


Random recent experiments in blogging and social networking:

I am lately in love with these web comics:

What are your favorites?

Also, yay for Family Guy being back on the air!


Denying allegations

Is ne(one)piphany turning into a photolog? No, I’ve just been busy. Also killed my poor router during firmware update shenanigans and no internet access for awhile. I promise to get back on track soon, but in the meantime, enjoy the cute bunny, or seek drama elsewhere.

In other news: Ronald Reagan died, which made me feel a little sad as his election in 1980 was pretty much my first political memory. But Peter, of course, says it better. Ray Charles died, which made me feel a lot sad. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was fabby — little Danny Radcliffe is turning into Tobey Maguire (and yes, K. D. Lang). Jet brought a suitcase of Italian Beef from Chicago. Genie immigrated from St. Louis, while Kurt is moving back. Six Apart made things all better. This game is unexpected goodness, and I seem, after all, to have no natural talent for poker.

Finally, I’ve spent entirely too much time paper shopping, and not enough crafting. This will change soon enough, oh yes.

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