azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
[personal profile] azurite
Ah, I miss Usenet.
What a crazy thing to say, huh? But in the search for some Sailor Moon images, for some reason, the first thing that popped in my head was NOT to do a Google Image search or go to The Oracle or whatnot, but to see if alt.binaries.sailor-moon was still around (assuming I got that name right).

Alas, the vast majority of ISPs these days have discontinued their NNTP/Usenet access service (probably because they never made much of an effort to advertise that it even existed, meaning new users didn't even KNOW about it), and that includes the ones in use (or formerly used) by my grandparents and Mom/Gary. For many alt.fan or rec. groups, access is still available for free from places like Google Groups, but it's not quite the same... plus, there's still the overwhelming problem of SPAM, and in Google Groups' web-based interface, there's diddly-squat you can do about it.

The only other alternative --for general Usenet access to binary groups AND for NNTP access in news programs (Apple Mail doesn't even support NNTP, which had me temporarily thinking I might switch back to Thunderbird... then I wised up and realized that an extra piece of software isn't ALWAYS a pain in the ass, especially with my lack of an NNTP server in the first place)-- is to buy it. Giganews seems to be the one of choice, but I don't have the dough to shell out for Usenet access when it's something that's more of a whim to me.

But I do miss those good ol' days when I could hop on Usenet and find image floods of fanart, or character-specific art, or art themed around a certain event/holiday. It'd be pretty helpful for me now, in my search for Sailor Moon Christmas images. (I know, I know, The Oracle has a whole gallery devoted to it, but it's only 58 images! I *know* there's more than that out there!)

Speaking of SM, I did sign up to be a Sekkret Stalker on Aria's Ink this year. Participation seems fairly low so far for this point in December, but there are still FOUR MORE DAYS TO SIGN UP! Why not?

Plus, [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra and I want to do a holiday challenge or something this year, so why not throw your hat in and volunteer too? We'll probably do something that covers different fandoms-- maybe a Secret Santa or Fic Exchange where all you do is specify a list of fandoms you'll write for, genres/ratings/pairings/warnings you prefer, and up to 3 "plot prompts." How does that sound?

Also, I got an invite from someone named Loki to join [livejournal.com profile] the_circlet and its sub-communities, [livejournal.com profile] silver_circle and [livejournal.com profile] gold_circle, along with a few related comms. It all sounds/looks fairly interesting, but I think I still need a bit more clarification on exactly what is DONE there. [livejournal.com profile] baine, care to comment? I'm confused!

Also, I haven't written SM fic in AGES and going back to Aria's Ink (Loki also reviewed "24" there, which is probably one of my better SM fics to date) and checking out these comms... it's all made me very nostalgic! Hey, maybe we can revive the [livejournal.com profile] smrff in time for the holidays!? That'd be so awesome.

I'm only up now because (as usual) my sleeping schedule's off. I went downtown tod-- er, yesterday to get a December Fast Pass and eat some delicious Tex-Mex. I got "approached" by a very enthusiastic girl from Greenpeace who kept me from getting to Chevy's that much sooner. I'm all for saving the planet, so:

DO NOT BUY KIMBERLY-CLARK PRODUCTS. These are the makers of Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott tissue, and many other products. Why? Because they're clear-cutting (meaning cutting without care to the re-growth of future trees) thousands of ancient Canadian trees. The CEO has reportedly even said that his consumers "don't care about environmental issues." Show that pig he's wrong! Also, find out if your job/school has a contract with KC. Then get them to CANCEL it. There are more environmentally-friendly companies out there.

That said, I think how I acted was the right path. I felt a little bad afterward --I basically let her rant, threw in my two cents every now and again, but in the end told her I couldn't give out any financial information (I am a broke college student, and even if she says she is too, working for a non-profit and going to college full-time, I get the impression that my story does not equal her story). As I was on my way home from Chevy's (yummm steak fajita burrito!), I remembered how I'd been scammed by that guy claiming to sell magazines at CSUN. He got me for over $100. The muggers only got $15 from me and a nice purse, but it's the principle of the thing-- I can't claim to have "learned my lesson" if I still give out my personal information --financial or otherwise-- to anyone, no matter how "official" they look. $15 for a Student Activist membership might be cheap, but that was a $15 meal I had, and I see that as having more of a direct, immediate impact on me than giving to Greenpeace.

What I WOULD be willing to donate to an organization such as that is my time and energy-- which is why I'm bothering to write about it now and pass the Greenpeace Girl's message on (I also feel bad I don't remember her name and she remembered mine as I left). But I'm not the type to intentionally --willingly!-- stretch myself thin by trying to donate what I do have of my money/time/energy. I consider myself already "overbooked" and in need of getting my own personal projects done first. I am taking my own little steps in helping out, though, so it's not as if I'm brushing off everything she said:
(1) I make sure that the products I buy are generally from environmentally-friendly companies
(2) I prefer products made in the USA
(3) I don't use paper to print out emails, take class notes, etc.
(4) What paper I do use I recycle
(5) I spread the word whenever and however I can using LJ, Facebook, and so forth. Messages that are important to me WILL get heard-- somehow, by somebody.

On the one hand, I get where the GG's message that signing up online is not the same as helping out a grassroots campaign, but it's not as if Greenpeace is some upstart little organization. The fact that they're so global and make themselves known everywhere is part of their power and draw. Plus, how can you talk about saving forests used for tissue and toilet paper and then want me to waste a sheet of paper to do an in-person sign-up-- it, like the toilet paper, will only be used once! So I'm standing by my own ideals not to use paper where I genuinely don't have to, or re-using paper whenever I can.

I just wish I didn't keep berating myself for all the "coulda/shoulda/woulda" done it differently things that I go through (I keep thinking about the time my arms were full but I saw a girl downtown twist her ankle. I advised her on where she could go to get ice, but I think they mistook me as offering to get it for them, when I was hobbling myself with my load of stuff! She had her friend to help her and I was rather indisposed, but I thought leaving altogether or ignoring it would be ruder... yeesh, why do I keep thinking about these things?!).

That's probably partly because my mom makes it a habit of saying things like "Well you could have/should have said/done XYZ..." whenever I tell her something that happened where the result wasn't perfect or fabulous. And what am I supposed to do with that "advice," huh? The same situation rarely happens twice-- circumstances dictate that you can learn from a scenario, but the likelihood of it happening THE EXACT SAME WAY to make the advice perfectly applicable is slim to nil. I need to learn to "let go." It's harder than it sounds.

That burrito was my only meal of the day (because of my weird sleeping schedule). I think I'm going to reheat it and try and eat some more (even though I brushed my teeth not that long ago). I'm hungry, dagnabbit!
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