Tags: rl

mass effect shepard

Update

Hi LJ! Long time no talk. :) I've missed you.

Lately, I've really been missing livejournal, and posting here, and the feeling of writing down things that are somehow important to me in the moment and sending them our into the ether, and reading my f-list and...well, you get the idea.

So, lately some things have been happening that I'm pretty excited about. Bullet list update, I think.

~ I am about halfway through my Masters program. God, I am so tired of school. But at the same time, uber excited about applying to a second Masters in Popular Fiction, so I can get back to my one true love: writing popular fiction.

~ Our pellet grill of awesome continues to be awesome. We are going to build a permanent shelter onto our deck for it for next year, that's how much we love it. Because it rains a LOT here, and we do not want to give up year round grilling. I am cooking filet mignon and lobster tails on it tonight, because the grocery store had a post-Valentine's Day sale. It just doesn't get any better than that.

~ In approximately three weeks I'm going to be in Disneyland!!! I am so excited, I am obsessing about it. I dreamt about it last night. I cannot WAIT to be there. We are buying annual passes, because this Christmas, we are going back with family. Yes, Rhien will be spending Christmas in Disneyland. :D

~ I may have a job soon. TA-ing online. My first job requiring the BA. The pay is not great, but that does not seem to diminish my excitement. Maybe it's just the idea of actually earning money again? I should find out in the next few weeks, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

~ I am possibly having too much prosecco tonight. Is an entire bottle too much? I suppose I will find out in the morning.
wardrobe - jinxed_icons

Hmm.

 So, this morning one of MSN's headlines was something like "jobs that make $30 an hour", so curious, I clicked on it.  It's an interesting, but I suspect not exactly conclusive list.  Why?

Well, #10 on the list was:

Writers and authors write material for scripts, magazines, books, websites and other publications.                 

Hourly pay: $31.04         

Annual salary: $64,560

Really?  How did they come by that number?  Is that an average of some kind?  Like, take all the script writers in Hollywood, some of whom might get paid six figures for a single script that may never even get made into a movie, and average them with all the authors out there who can't afford not to quit their day jobs - something like that?  (Disclaimer: I'm sure there are script writers out there who can't quit their day jobs, either.  I'm just saying.  Usually a script sold in Hollywood goes for a LOT more money than the average book contract.)  

Just how did you get those figures, MSN?

Also as an aside, I happen to know that a teacher equipped with a Master's degree and seven years of teaching experience doesn't even make the National average income.  At least in this neck of the woods.  How freaking sad is that?  Teaching is ridiculously low paid.
fredgeorgenhermione

Update

 Still sick.  This is NOT a fun bug.  (Not that any of them are.)  I'm on day five, and yet fever still comes and goes, although less often than it used to, and mostly only in the evening as I get more and more tired.  My sore throat has become this almost-laryngitis thing that I can feel on my vocal cords...just in time for a weekend filled with Christmas festivities with friends!  No, no laryngitis!  Ugh.  

My paper on Beowulf...who knows how it turned out?  I was half delirious with fever at the time.  I can tell you that for the first time in this class, I did not get full points on my other assignments for that week, which does not build my confidence overmuch.  This particular professor is hard, and a real stickler for late work.  He let everyone know he did not consider wintertime illness an excuse for it, which is why I did the thing instead of e-mailing him and asking for an extra day.  Which wouldn't have mattered much anyway, since I was just as sick the next day.  

As several people have asked me about my comparisons of Luke Skywalker and Beowulf, I may post it here under a locked entry after grading.  You know, if it's fit for reading.  We'll see.  I can tell you my comparisons had to do with good vs. evil, heroic sacrifice, and the hero's journey.  (My essay focused on Beowulf as a heroic figure.)  What I can't tell to you, is if it turned out mostly coherent or not.  I really hope so, since it would suck to go from a 100% in the class, to dropping a whole letter grade because I caught the stupid flu during the final week.

In other news, I managed to break my little toe a couple of days ago.  I stubbed it on the coffee table.  It hurt just as bad as those things usually do, but the thing is, it continued to hurt whenever I put pressure on it, and now it's blooming these lovely deep purple colors from my toe, all down the top portion of my foot.  Nice!  First broken bone in my life.  I wonder if this is a sign my bones are starting to get more brittle?  I am *cough* in the upper half of my thirties now.  

In other, BETTER news: OMG, MASS EFFECT 3 has been announced for Christmas of next year!  *clasps hands together*  I know what I'll be asking Santa for!!  The teaser trailer already looks awesome!  Shepard!  Garrus!  Kaiden!  (Oh, Kaiden; there better be some kind of payoff for the ME2, Bioware!)  Watching the trailer made me want to replay ME2.  That was such an awesome game.  (Other than my Kaiden quibbles.  And really, Bioware even got me to care despite those, those manipulative [bleeped].)   A WHOLE YEAR AWAY!  Well, I'll have Dragon Age 2 come March.  That'll occupy me for a few months, anyway.  And then I'll replay ME2 right before ME3, I'm sure.  Maybe I'll even start with ME1, although the mechanics of that game piss me off, so maybe not.
Sokka_awesome - dolphin__girl

AWESOME!

 I have, more than once, had issues with our local post office.  Issues of packages mysteriously not arriving at their destination, or taking two weeks, when it should only take two days.  This all might be just one random post office worker causing me grief, but the upshot is, I hate going to the post office more than most people.  Every time I have to go there and mail something for a customer, I get irritated and grumpy for no good reason.  

Recently, Amazon offered a postal scale for $20 during their Black Friday deals.  I thought, what the heck, and picked one up.  I was fairly disappointed when I signed up for the USPS's Click n Ship service, only to discover they didn't offer the affordable first class mail option, and the cheapest I could print from home through them was the more expensive priority mail service.  So, I thought I'd give paypal's shipping option a try.  OMG, it's awesome!  In about five minutes, I just packaged and bought postage for my most recent Etsy sale straight from my paypal account, so it comes right out of the money paid to me for the item.  It came with delivery confirmation, an e-mail to both me and the customer, and even tracking, for the same or less than it would have cost me to drive to the post office, stand in line, and basically spend an hour of my life getting something mailed.  

Janice, please let me know if you received an e-mail with tracking capabilities.  Because if so, that is the most awesome feature of this entire thing!  

I may (almost) never go to the post office again!  *is off to go put the package into outgoing mail*

Reaper

(no subject)

 My husband is 36 years old.  The man still wears some clothing he had in high school.  When he leaves for Japan every year, I used to clandestinely go through his socks and throw out all of the unacceptable ones - because he would just keep wearing them until he literally couldn't because of the holes.  He buys a vehicle, and then drives it until it's old enough and broken down enough that the upkeep is more hassle and expense than the car payment on something new.  In recent years, this pathological need to keep and/or use things until they are completely used up has eased up slightly - for instance, now I can go through his sock drawer when he is home!  

Until yesterday, he'd been using the half sized kid's chest of drawers he's had since he was five.  Four drawers about three quarters the size of a regular dresser drawer, maybe, and one of the drawers completely broke apart a few months ago, making it impossible to use.  He needed a new chest.  He's needed one for years, but this was really, really bad.  Last week, he kept complaining about how cluttery our bedroom is.  But when I looked around the room, the majority of the clutter involved piles of his folded clothes all over the floor.  Unfortunately, we can't really afford to buy anything right now.  On the other hand, if unemployment extensions remain in limbo, we really won't be able to buy anything anytime soon.  So, yesterday I stopped by a local furniture store that is family run and buys directly from the distributor, offering lower prices than most of the big chains.  I looked at all their chests of drawers and tried to figure one into our budget.  I found one marked down to clearance out for $180.  Ouch, even at a really good price.  But we cannot continue stacking his clothes on the floor.  So, I came home, and strategized how to convince my husband of this.

I started off by measuring the space his old dresser occupied.  Then I told him "I have a proposal for you."  

Immediately wary, he waited.  I went on, explaining very logically about the clutter and his clothing, and his broken childhood drawers.  He looked at me, then stared at his chest of drawers.  

"But, I drew a picture of the Millennium Falcon on the back of that when I was seven," he said.  

I put my hand on his shoulder and answered, "Yes, precisely."

He went on, not wanting to spend the money, etc, but I did, too, explaining how he cannot continue using the floor as his dresser drawers, and that chest is a broken down piece of old furniture that no longer functions, yet takes up space.  He didn't want to spend the money right now.  I countered with "Yes, but if not now, when will be able to?"  He had no good answer, and in the end, we went and picked up his new chest of drawers.  He took some of his Japan money for it, even though he is nervous about having enough this year, with the exchange rate.

Now, of course, he is very pleased with just how much he is able to fit in it, and how un-cluttery our bedroom suddenly is.  Amazing, when you have six full sized drawers to put things into, more than doubling his previous space.

My husband is 36 years old, and this is the first time in his life that he has ever used a full sized, adult chest of drawers.  Sometimes his need to hang on to the past is annoying, and other times it is endearingly amusing.
Reaper

New dinnerware!

I have new dishes!  Or, I will as soon as they arrive.  Macy's had a great one day sale today, so not only did we get them for 40% off, but we got an extra 15% off at checkout.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the colors I wanted to buy, so we ordered them, and they'll be delivered to my door in five to ten days. :D

Now I have to try and decide what to do with my old dishes.  They're Mikasa, a retired pattern called Casa Blanca.  Even used-like new, they sell online for $59-69 a five piece place setting!  I just about choked.  So, my initial inclination to just toss them seems a little...wrong.  Just because I don't like my dishes doesn't mean someone else out there isn't coveting them as much as I coveted my lovely square Fiestaware!  (Although why, I'm not sure.  Sure, it's Mikasa, and pretty.  But the plates are too flat, the bowls are too shallow...anyway, they just don't work for me, however collectible they might be.)

And I have twelve place settings of the dang things.  Twelve!  Not to mention the sugar bowl and creamer.  And....maybe something else, I'm not sure.  But anyway, I have a lot.  I wonder if there is some special site on which to sell dishes?  I don't want to charge that outrageous $50 a place setting.  That's ridiculous.  I think my m-in-law got them all on sale for the wedding, anyway, so she probably spent $30 a place setting.  She suggested I find a way to sell them for $20-25 and I was like "What?  No one's going to pay that for used dishes!"  And then I went online and looked.  Boy, was I wrong.

Anyway, I'm in a quandary about what to do with them.  I know I don't want them anymore.  And regardless of my own feelings for them, knowing what they're being sold for elsewhere just makes me cringe at the idea of throwing them away.  Craigslist?  Ebay?  Amazon Marketplace?  IDK.  I have a few days to figure it out, while I wait for my lovely, lovely new dishes.

Two sets each of cobalt, paprika, peacock, and chocolate.  In the square, did I mention that?  I adore them.  It was actually really hard for me to decide, not just on colors, but also between the round and square sets.  But the round came with these shallow bowls that seem kind of useless to me. (My problem with my current bowls.  I think most of them have hardly been used.  I know my cups and saucers haven't been.) I like deep, substantial bowls.  Soup bowls.  The square Fiestaware bowls, while hard to stack, are really cool looking, and substantial.  I also liked the coffee cups with the square set better, and my m-in-law and I both decided that ultimately, the square plates just have more character.  I am so excited for them to come!  I can't wait to eat off of them.  Does that seem silly?  Now I have all sorts of things to ask for on my Christmas list.  My m-in-law told me today "if you want a good Christmas, write down numbers and colors of what you want and get me a list by November.  Macy's always has a great sale in November."  Hee! :D

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Reaper

(no subject)

 I am so excited!  Through the convoluted twists of fate, a good friend of mine who is a semi-professional photographer, and a connection made through him, I am getting a new/used camera, as in new to me, but gently used by the previous owner.

I've been complaining to my friend for probably two years that my pictures for my jewelry just are not all they could be, and he's told me time and again that a point-and-shoot like my little Canon Sd700 isn't going to give me the sort of shots I want - sharp, macro, colorful images.  They're okay for what they are, but I see other jewelry artists' photos and know they could be better.  Anyway, I've had many a long conversation with my friend about what I'd need, but the short answer is, a digital SLR camera and some different lenses, which no way can I afford right now.  While most photo hobbiests and pros go for Canon or Nikon, my friend swears by Pentax.  He's played with them all, and he says his Pentax gives him just as good a photo as the other two brands, but for whatever reason, the company does not choose to spend $$ on advertising the way Canon and Nikon do.  The plus being, you are not paying for that advertising when you buy the camera, meaning the camera's are slightly more affordable.

But let's face it, still outside my price range.  Which, being currently unemployed, is zilch.  However, I've still talked with my friend when we've seen each other, and he's taken the time to let me play with one of his 35mm cameras taking some simple macro shots by turning the lens around backwards.  (I know, it didn't make sense to me, either.)  Yesterday he was over here again, and we talked some more.  He let me know Pentax had come out with an entry level DSLR he thought might be good for me (the K-x), as I could find a body for about $500 if I hunted around.  This is still too rich for me right now, sadly.  He said my other option is to find a good older model, used, which could be had for anywhere from $300 on up depending on how old I wanted to go.  Me being me, I did a bunch of research and found some forums and talked to some people about what I would need, and I ended up making a deal on a couple years old model, in trade for some jewelry!  It is in fact the very same model my friend uses, so he should be able to help me if I get totally lost or stuck!  Very soon, a Pentax k20d will be mine!  14.6 megapixels to replace the 7 I've been using for the past several years.  My friend is setting me up with extension tubes, and the camera is coming with a vertical grip (extra battery) and a fixed 50mm lens that my friend says will work great for what I want to do.

In a few short days, this will be my new toy:



I wasn't even really looking for a camera right now.  I just knew eventually, I would need to upgrade, and I was researching with that eventuality in mind.  My little Canon's been great for like five years, but it has its limits, and it's getting kind of old.  I used my sister's new Powershot this past weekend for Rosalia's birthday, and I was totally impressed and jealous at the photos it took, and that was just a newer point-and-shoot.  This whole DLSR thing has just kind of fallen into my lap, and while I'm ridiculously excited, I'm also pretty intimidated.

Honestly, I am a little worried this is too much camera for me.  My picture taking skills are pretty terrible.  I don't even mess much with my Canon settings, and the whole point of a camera like this is the customization it allows the user.  But playing around with my friend's 35mm and lens has been pretty neat.  I don't know.  It has a completely different feel than my pocket camera that is just....fun.  It's hard to explain.  For someone who takes crap pictures, I'm pretty excited to get it and play, and I'm already planning how to pack it to Disney in March.  I'm playing with the idea of adding foam inserts to my purse.  I did that to a gym bag for Mark's big video camera, as any of the pro bags for it were stupidly expensive, and it worked out really, really well.  It also doesn't (and wouldn't) look like a camera bag, which makes me feel better as far as potential thievery goes.  
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aang - kelpchen

*waves*

 Why hello f-list!  Long time no talk.

Well, see, Mark just got back from his annual three week trip to Japan.  And like most years, I didn't have time to be bored while he was gone.  It seems like my friends and family take turns making sure I'm not lonely when he leaves, which is very nice of them, and leaves me with little time for things like checking and posting to LJ. :)

It also left me little time for writing.  Well, what time I had for writing was totally disrupted by that first week of stress over the trial, if anyone remembers me posting about that.  A brief recap: a tenant owed us a couple grand in back rent, and yet instead of quietly leaving when we filed for an eviction, she instead filed a motion and took the thing to trial.  An actual trial.  It stressed me out to the point where I made myself sick for about a week.  And at the trial, she basically had her Mom and boyfriend testify to how nothing in this old house works or has ever been repaired (complete BS).  It went on over the allotted hour, and so we had to break for a 2 hour lunch and come back for more.  In that time, she went and researched a bunch of oregon laws, and quoted them (they had nothing to do with her specific situation, actually).  Since she did this, instead of making a ruling, the judge said he needed to review the new things she'd introduced (he seemed quite irritated) and he would be issuing a verdict by mail.  

That was almost two weeks ago.  We still haven't received a verdict, but my m-in-law called the courthouse today, and while the judge hasn't filed the paperwork yet, he apparently ruled in out favor.

Now realize, we filed for eviction in the first week of June.  It is now the first week of July, and do you think this woman has paid a dime for June's rent?  This thing just dragged on and on, and we got totally screwed for another long month.  Her ex-roommate has also warned us she's very likely to destroy whatever she can just to be vindictive as she moves out, ie holes in the walls, broken doors, trashed carpet, etc.  She has officially become "worst tenant ever" in our mental record, and that's saying something.  

Anyway, best I can say is it's finally over, and I can't wait to see the back of her.  Also, my f-in-law is back, and that means he can deal with any personal confrontations that might have to happen to actually remove her from the unit.  Yay.

In the meantime, I am enjoying having the husband back, and looking forward to being able to write again now that I have some down time. In fact, for the first time in a really long time, he and I will be writing together!  Separate projects, but still.  It'll be nice.

In other news, I'm eating lettuce out of my garden, and the tomatoes have flowers but no fruit yet.  :)  And my green beans are growing!  

Oh, a book rec: while trying to take my mind off stressful things, I recently read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I gather this new series has been getting a certain amount of acclaim and hype, although I had no idea until I was already reading it.  It's a very interesting first person narrative in something of a post-apocalyptic future, in which children between the ages of 12 and 18 are forced to participate in a lottery each year for a reality show called the Hunger Games.  It's sort of like Survivor, if instead of voting and eliminations, the contestants are literally vying to be the last person standing and thus attempting to kill one another.  

I absolutely loved it!  A very gripping voice in the MC, Katniss, great characters (Peeta!  Cinna!  Rue!) good writing, and a rather different sort of book than a lot of what's out there right now.  It also ends on something of a cliffhanger...okay, maybe not a cliffhanger, but when I reached the last page, I actually let out a small scream and said to no one in particular "No!  You can't end it there!"  Lucky for me, book 2, Catching Fire, was already out.  Alas, the third and final book doesn't hit shelves until August, which can't get here soon enough for me.  Another sort-of cliffhanger!  I must know what happens!  Gah!

Saw Knight and Day.  It was totally unbelievable and all kinds of awesome and fun.  In a Mr. and Mrs. Smith sort of way.  I would see it again, and I don't even like Cameron Diaz, normally.  

I also saw - and yes, I know this is dangerous ground, but I just couldn't not see it - The Last Airbender.  What to say?  Collapse ) 
sarah - charming_syrai

Addendum

 I went to bed last night thinking about all of this, and woke up wanting to add to my post yesterday.  

I am a very aware and proactive person when it comes to my personal safety.  I've studied a martial art for going on 16 years.  I have a CWP, and I almost always have a weapon on my person, though it is more often my Benchmade than a gun.  I am careful.  I try not to put myself in potentially dangerous or risky situations.

And yet, even with all of that, sometimes I still do.  Saying someone should remove themselves from a situation, or not get in one in the first place is all well and good, but 1) It's not always as easy as you think, and 2) Everyone makes mistakes, and they're always easier to see in hindsight.  

 As you may know, my husband and I manage rentals for my f-in-law.  Now, both Jim and Mark have said they're not really comfortable with me showing units to prospective tenants alone.  Sometimes, I do it anyway.  Why?  Because it's sometimes just easier for me to get to it now, than to try and schedule something when my f-in-law, my husband, or our on site manager can be there.  Especially if I've talked to a woman on the phone, I feel safe.  Plus, I'm trained, right?  And there are other tenants around, usually, in the units next door.

But they might not hear anything.  Tenants in rentals tend to tune out noise unless it gets really obnoxious.  That woman on the phone?  She could be setting me up.  She might not come alone, or someone else could come in her place.  In the ten years we've been doing this, not once has it been a problem.  But it could be, and I know it.  

Worse than that, last year when I was visiting our on site manager, who happens to be one of my best friends, at about midnight, we had a noise problem.  One of our tenants, a Mexican man who DJs and looooooooooooooves to share his music with the whole neighborhood during the summer, had begun blaring said music.  It's pretty distinctive, so I knew who it was, and I knew right where to go to ask him to turn it down.

We'll call him B.  B also really likes his drink, and in the summer he likes to party, drinking and sharing his music.  I've dealt with him on more than one occasion, and I already know going in that he's a very friendly, happy drunk, who always tries to press a drink into your hands when you tell him to please turn down his music.  Other tenants often party with him, so there are usually people going in and out of his garage, where his DJ equipment is set up.  Now, I personally don't care much for B.  Whenever there is a real issue, like he's late paying his rent, or he's parking in the wrong spot, he has this attitude about him that says "You're a woman, and therefore I don't have to listen to you."  No, really.  I've made my husband go and deal with him before, because he won't really listen to me.  But he's always turned his music down when asked, so walking down there on that particular night didn't seem like it would be a problem. 

But, when I asked him to turn it down, he couldn't hear me.  He was in the back of his garage.  Some guy I'd never seen before was sitting in a chair back there with him, and there were a couple of other tenants outside their own unit smoking, and drinking from cups that looked like they'd already visited B and gotten a little something.  The garage door was halfway down, no doubt in a vain attempt to control the volume coming from inside.  I walked into the garage so he could hear me.  Mistake #1.  Of course, Mr. Happy Drunk tried to give me a drink, which I refused, and wanted me to listen to this one song before he turned it down.  Because it's a good song, you know.  And then he has to introduce me to his cousin, and when I shook that man's hand, he said something in spanish I couldn't understand, but B was happy to translate once he found out I didn't speak Spanish (which he already knew, but had to ask again due to the copious amounts of alcohol keeping him from walking straight.)  

His cousin thought I was very, very pretty.  Now, about this time was when I realized just how dangerous a situation I had walked into.  I knew, some part of me recognized it all before then, but that cousin was nowhere near as drunk as B, and he kept trying to touch me.  A hand on the arm, on the shoulder, but still, it made me very uncomfortable.  He was also huge, much bigger than me.  B kept laughing and telling him to leave me alone, but really, it was obvious he'd be no help if something happened.  That damn door was half down, the music was really loud, and something awful could happen before anyone else got to me.  

It was about then that my friend decided I'd been gone for too long and came looking.  I still remember the sense of relief when she walked into the garage, we reiterated the need to turn down the music before the cops were called, and left.  Stupid, I thought.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  To walk into that garage in the first place.  To stay there to be polite and listen to some song I didn't care about.  To not get the fuck out the instant I felt something off.  Stupid, and it could have ended very differently.

If something had happened, I admit, I probably would have partially blamed myself.  Because I should have known better.  It is a common victim response to blame yourself.  But the fact is, whoever decides to bully, attack, or rape you is the one to blame.  Should I have not walked into that garage?  Absolutely.  But I did.  That doesn't mean I gave any kind of consent for anything that might have happened. I am a smart, savvy woman who takes a very proactive approach to personal defense, and yet...it still happened to me.  

The victim is never to blame.  
sarah - charming_syrai

The victim is never to blame. NEVER.

Apparently, there has been another Con-related...thing.  (I say another, because of the Boob Incident two years ago.  My post on that here.)  I came late to the explosion across LJ this time, but from what I've been able to piece together, it actually has to do with an incident that happened two years ago at a Con (NOT the aforementioned Boob Incident), and someone subsequently being banned from said Con now, in 2010.  I'm only getting things fifth hand, apparently, so I don't want to go into the specifics here - it does appear no one was actually raped, but there was a situation with sexual or potentially sexual overtones.  More than that, I'm not going based on fourth and fifth hand accounts from other people's journals.  I wasn't there, and I have no eye witness posts to link to.  

But the responses to all of the above are what apparently has a lot of people really upset.  It seems the word "responsibility" has been bandied about, leading to discussions on victim blame.

I would think anyone who's read this journal for awhile would know my stance on that, but just in case, read the subject of this post.  

The victim is not to blame.  I say this as a 36-year-old woman who has been the victim.  As someone who has a concealed weapon's permit, regularly goes shooting, and has taught a women's self defense class multiple times.  I say it as someone who believes with everything I am that all women should be trained to protect themselves.  NOT because if they don't take that step, they're responsible if something happens.  NO.  But because I die a little inside with every story I hear about another victim, and there are a lot of us.  Because I want to hear more stories about how a potential victim escaped her attacker, or situation.  I do not care if a woman parades naked down the street, or goes out clubbing in pasties without underwear.  I don't care if she walks home to her apartment at 2:00am, alone, after six drinks in that exact dress. NONE OF THESE THINGS MAKES AN ATTACK HER FAULT.  

Are they risky behaviors?  Yes.  Absolutely.  I would always advise a woman to never walk home alone at 2:00am, drunk, or not.  But if she does, and something happens, it is NOT her fault.  Whoever robbed/raped/beat her is at fault.  PERIOD.  

So, I think I've stated that as clearly as I can.  

At the same time, I still advise women in general to take a self defense course - preferably something ongoing, as it is unlikely you'll recall something from a two hour class you took four years ago.  Get a concealed carry permit, go shooting, be familiar with whatever weapon you do carry, whether it is mace or something else (I know someone who got a face full of her own mace, because she used it when the wind was blowing toward her, instead of toward the guy who was threatening her.)  Don't walk home from the bar by yourself at 2:00am - in fact, don't go to the bar by yourself.  Go with three or four friends you trust, one of them a designated driver for more safety reasons than just driving.

But, that's just advice.  It has nothing to do with fault or blame.