umadoshi: (tomatoes 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--The Sparkler Monthly Year 5 Kickstarter has only 48 hours left to go, and still needs about $5000. They've made a lot of progress over the weekend, and last year was a nail-biter too (and they made it), but ugh, this is stressful. Here's a post at Panel Patter outlining the awesomeness of the company and magazine, if you're on the fence or haven't taken a look but might be interested!

--I didn't make further Defenders progress over the weekend, so I'm still only three episodes in. But I did get StarCraft Remastered up and running!

--The one thing I miss about having a CRT monitor (yes, I hear myself) is my old document holder, which can't be readily used on a flatscreen. I've been poking around online this weekend (Amazon, Staples, Newegg), and there are so few options for holders that actually attach to the monitor and hold the document you're typing at eye level. [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose looked at the first couple of possibilities I found, and one looks like it needs more of a frame around the actual screen than my desktop monitor has, and the other sticks with something he thinks isn't likely to hold well on this monitor. I have great confidence that he can rig something up and make it work, once we go over the possibilities I've found so far, but I'm baffled by how few options there seem to be. (But maybe my dislike of having the document holder down on the desk--too low, and eating up a footprint of space on the desk surface--isn't widely shared.)

(The above means I fell into the rabbit hole of desk organizers etc. on Amazon. O_O I seem to have escaped alive.)

--AFAIK Nova Scotia won't see much sign of the eclipse tomorrow. I hope all of you who're able to see it, and who're excited about it, get a good look!

[dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are new enough at the whole gardening thing that it didn't occur to either of us to check on the plants after the weather yesterday. Although I suppose a lot of the reason for that is that the weather didn't seem that bad? It was windy and quite rainy, but it didn't seem that windy, and the rain seemed like it'd be good for them. *sighs* But no, a couple of the tomato plants, including the towering Sungold, toppled over. In the Sungold's case, the Smartpot stayed put but the halo and rootball tipped out. o_o

I didn't get a look at it then; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose went out without me at first when I was still hoping it'd be a case of tipping the plants back upright. I'd just been in the shower, and it was dark, and I knew the mosquitoes--which, as we've established, find me tastier--were out. But [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose didn't come right back in, so I put on a thick hoodie, hood and all, and zipped it up so only my hands and face and the tops of my feet were bare.

Hopefully the plants will be okay, now that they've had more supports added. We'll take another look tomorrow when there's light. But at the very least, I definitely have mosquito bites on the backs of both hands and the tops of both feet. Ugh. Sounds like we may have similar numbers of bites despite [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose having been outside easily twice as long as I was.
umadoshi: (Yotsuba&! teddy bear (ohsnap_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I meant to link this earlier, as the current event is only officially running for a few more days, but hey:


For ANY medium of fanwork (fic, art, vid, pod) & ANY fandom!

Interested? Check out our info and rules.
Our first round is 10 August - 24 August.

[dreamwidth.org profile] wip_amnesty is a new community that describes itself as "a place for you to leave the works you'll never finish". The user info (which has full details) also notes, "At the moment, we're running an event from 10 August to 24 August, but generally our comm is open indefinitely." [emphasis mine]

I should probably post at least one thing for this. I started out thinking about the Newsflesh psychic wolves AU, which I've been working on for a couple (a few) years now, off and on. I'd still really like to actually finish it, because there's a lot in there I like and think is worth writing, but OTOH if I cut it loose that's a lot of mental space that could potentially be regained. I don't know. :/

It was only within the last day or so that I thought about the X (TV anime)/Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle(/xxxHOLiC) fusion I've technically had on the go for, oh...thirteen years? Very off and on, as in with years passing between spurts of working on it?

IIRC the last time I really touched it was around when, and shortly after, I was working on the scripts for the shiny (oh, so shiny!) rerelease of X (no longer X/1999, thankfully) VIZ put out a couple of years ago. I think it's safe to say that story is never getting finished, and an event/comm. like [dreamwidth.org profile] wip_amnesty is probably the best reason I'm ever going to get to toss what does exist out there.

But with both of those WsIP, I feel more conflicted than I might if I wrote things straight through, start to finish--and there's a weird, uncomfortable dissonance between the fact that if I post never-to-be-finished WsIP in any form at all, it makes sense to think in terms of "well, someone might read them" and the fact that it seems ridiculous to think that anyone will.

If I wrote straight through, it'd be simpler. There'd be the first part of a story, however long it might be, and then it'd stop and that'd be it. But no, I write in chunks and fragments, with notes everywhere, and so anything I post that's incomplete is inherently full of holes and gaps, so at the very least, I'd want to add quick notes along the lines of "[{x} event/emotional progression happened here]".

(Absolutely any input/idle thoughts on this stuff welcome. I mean, thoughts/comments/etc. are always welcome on my posts, but...you know.)
umadoshi: (Jessica Jones 01 (bangparty))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Such gross weather forecast for the weekend. (Mostly today.) [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose was going to go to the market this morning, but he slept later than intended and then got up and looked out the window, and NOPE. The amount of rain expected today isn't even that ridiculous, but it's dank and chilly and gray, etc. etc. etc.


--Last night I made it through the first three episodes of The Defenders, and might have made it further in that first stint if Iron Fist--excuse me, ~the immortal Iron Fist, as Danny insists on saying every damn time he introduces himself--weren't not only every bit as dull as expected but also a sullen charisma suck. Everyone suffers when he's on screen. The audience has to watch him; the other actors have to try to play off Finn Jones' "energy"; the other characters have to share air with him... If it weren't for Jess I might bail, honestly. But Jessica. (And Luke! And Trish!)

I want to love Colleen Wing on principle, but she's always with Danny, which...is not helpful.

Let's refer again to io9's helpful "Here's the Important Stuff That Happens in Iron Fist So You Don't Have to Watch It".

(I was just double checking Jones' name on IMDb and saw that The Defenders is only eight episodes. That seems awfully short for an MCU/Netflix property. But hey, that means I'm almost halfway through.)


--TBH a bit of me resents that Defenders is taking time I could be spending immersed in In Other Lands, but my mostly-"meh" feelings on the former don't change the fact that I don't have to worry about spoilers for the latter. Although now I'm reminded that I still have two episodes left in season 1 of Black Sails, after which I can (and yes, this is obvious) start in on season 2, where so many people start falling for it.

A lot of my mental energy is still hanging out with AGAHF, about which more later. (O_O)

ALSO, StarCraft Remastered is out, and I haven't even booted into my Windows partition to install it yet! But I really should.


--None of the above helps at all with the amount of work I need to get done between now and the end of September (and most of it by the third week of September, realistically), and there's other stuff happening between now and then too. [dreamwidth.org profile] seangaffney is visiting next week, and Hal-Con is next month, and and and...
umadoshi: (Tutu/ItW "charm for a prince" (bookelfe))
[personal profile] umadoshi
There are only four days left in Sparkler Magazine's Year 5 Kickstarter, and at this point they're still only about halfway to the goal. Please do check it out if you haven't, if the thought of a wide variety of female gaze-centered comics and prose appeals to you. There's a ton of info on the Kickstarter page, including a link to a starter bundle you can download for free.


Fannish/Geeky Things

"Michael Sheen, David Tennant to Star in Neil Gaiman’s ‘Good Omens’ at Amazon". Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens, people, FFS. >.<

"Dream Daddy, a Queer Dating Sim, Might Be the Gaming Miracle of the Year". (I haven't played the game; please don't comment with spoilers.)

"Suits season 7 finale will be a backdoor pilot for Gina Torres spin-off".

"N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ Book To Be Developed As TV Series At TNT".


Social Justice

Great Twitter thread by [twitter.com profile] SmartAssJen, beginning with "To my 'good' white folks scared to speak out about race: no, you won't be 'perfect', you will stumble, but silence is complicity. Speak up."

"Fat-Positive Activists Explain What It's Really Like to Be Fat: Here's how you can be an ally".

"The Recent History of Fat Stigma".

At The Establishment:

--"How To Stop, Drop, And Roll In Mental Crisis".

--"Young Adult Fiction Writers Are (Finally) Ready To Talk About Sex". [January 2016]

--"Your Global Mansplaining Dictionary In 34 Languages".

--"What Happens When Your Biggest Fear Is Something Inevitable?" [Sarah Kurchak] "Sarah, I know your parents are wonderful people, but maybe you can help me understand this,” my therapist asked during a session that happened at some point after the death of my grandmother and the loss of my childhood home but before the death of my dog and the notification that my building’s owners have applied for a demolition permit. “Why did they feel the need to explain the impermanence of the universe to you at such a young age?”"


Miscellaneous

"As a female sex worker, I'd like to propose my own Google-style gender equality manifesto".

"IKEA Releases Instructions How To Make ‘Game Of Thrones’ Cape After Costumer Reveals Actors Wore IKEA Rugs".

"This Brazilian Tattoo Artist Is Horrible At Drawing, But People Still Pay Her To Get Inked".

"Philly company digitizes 25,000 old records and they're free to download".

"Being the Crazy Friend, 101". [Mishell Baker] ["Content warning: blunt descriptions of negative emotions and disturbed thoughts."]

"Story Time: 10 Times Our Favorite Authors Told the Best Stories on Twitter". [Book Riot] (Includes both Seanan McGuire's story about the guy with the lizard in his leg and Ryan North's live tweets when he got stuck in a hole, as is only right and proper.)

"Monkeys, Mermaids and the Evil Eye. Medieval Stone Sculpture at Kilkea Castle and Graveyard". [Pilgrimage In Medieval Ireland]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple". [NPR] And via [dreamwidth.org profile] hannah, xkcd's take.
umadoshi: (nonfictional feeling (oraclegreen))
[personal profile] umadoshi
(I tried to make this post more cohesive than it is. I really did! Pretend it worked?)

At last, I know what a childhood of X-Men reading prepared me for: coping with the severe cognitive dissonance when different components of/perspectives on a fictional world are staggeringly different from each other in tone.

Except that, where X-Men (and similar) comics have passed through countless creative teams over several decades (and are a big enough thing to have all kinds of quirky sideline projects), in this case, said staggeringly-different aspects are written by the same person.

I'm now mostly caught up on K.B. Spangler's work in the A Girl and Her Fed (AGAHF) universe, which consists of the ongoing A Girl and Her Fed webcomic and five novels (so far), one of which is Not Like The Others. Oh, and the first of a planned series of novellas cheerfully (and accurately) codenamed "Joshsmut".

I came at this world...out of order, I guess, in that I started with the novels. I'd heard of the AGAHF comic and had been meaning to read it, but I do better with novels...and I didn't really realize how intertwined the projects are. Here's an io9 review of Digital Divide, the first Rachel Peng novel. (Four of the five novels currently available focus on Rachel.)

(Note: I'd heard of A Girl and Her Fed off and on for at least a few years, and had it on my to-read list before I mentally connected it to the Rachel books, but I never really looked into what it is...even though I always tripped, and still trip, over the title because I always parse it wrong. My instinct is still to read the "fed" as a conjugation of "feed", not as "federal agent", which makes no sense at all. How am I STILL DOING THAT?)

So Rachel was my gateway. Rachel as we meet her is a smart, driven, ex-military federal employee who's working as the liaison between the D.C. police force and her own federal agency, OACET, which is made up entirely of a large group of cyborgs. More specifically, a large group of cyborgs created in a catastrophically flawed project that took some of the best and brightest young civil servants from across the federal government, put chips in their heads, and left them collectively traumatized and disturbingly overpowered.

Emphasis on the "collectively". The (functionally nonexistent) "So You're A Cyborg" manual didn't have a chapter for "Welcome to Your New Hivemind! (Please stop screaming! Everyone can hear you!)"

Rachel's books start several years after all that, and several months after she's joined the above-mentioned police force, for the express purpose of helping to ease the public into the idea that Cyborgs Are People Too!, and super-useful to boot! And guys, I love Rachel dearly, so she was a great gateway for me. I kept going with her books until I discovered that the sole (so far) Hope Blackwell novel is set before Rachel's fourth book, so I opted to both read that book and finally backtrack to read AGAHF...

And it turns out that my X-Men experience is only barely up to this whole experience. cut for length; there's about as much text under here as there is above )

Two things of note:

1) Spangler is in the process of redrawing the first chunk of AGAHF. I don't know when she started doing that, or how quickly it's progressing, but the result is that the first 90-100 strips or so have been redrawn (each one linking to its original version) and have had some dialogue tightened and some plot holes smoothed out, but then you run out of redrawn art and get dropped into the original art style for a while, and it's...well, it's pretty jarring. (Here is the current/redrawn first comic; here is the original version. So you see.)

2) I'm not great at picking up things that call for content notes/warnings, unless they're pretty obvious. But one thing that bothered me, and recurred often enough that I feel like I ought to mention it, is the frequent use of "psychopath" (plus some instances of "sociopath") as a descriptor. briefly expanding on that; not very spoilery )
umadoshi: (mermaid 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Over the course of the day [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I managed to get our wires throughly crossed twice regarding the same thing. It stressed me out horribly, and then I felt bad about that, because he was only involved at all because he was giving me and a friend a hand with something. ;_; But AAAAAHHHH, so stressful.

But that notwithstanding, we got some erranding done and had dinner and saw Atomic Blonde with lawyer!friend, who we hadn't seen in...a month or two? (I can't even with time.) So the day wasn't a wash, just frazzling. ("Just". -_-)

(I didn't know until the opening credits that Atomic Blonde is adapted from Antony Johnston's graphic novel The Coldest City, which I'm wholly unfamiliar with, so I have no idea how faithful to it the movie is.)

Three Amazon-related things, weirdly (and very tangentially, in the third case):

--Question: if you have a trial Amazon Prime account and preorder something that won't come out until the trial ends, and you don't opt to keep Prime, do you then pay for shipping when the item is released and ships to you? Or is it still the free/quick Prime shipping because of when you ordered it?


--I don't know if I'm more confused by Amazon's insistence on sending a separate email for every order represented in a package when they bundle items from multiple orders together, or by the fact that the emails don't all come at once. Did I really need four email notifications about one package? And why did it take over ten minutes for them all to arrive, start to finish? (Don't try to answer the "why they don't all come at once" part; I'm sure there's a technical reason, but that doesn't/won't change my feeling that it's silly for them to not arrive all at once.)


--And finally, Sarah Rees Brennan's In Other Lands (the polished/expanded novel version of The Turn of the Story, which she serialized online and which I love fiercely) is out today! It's a BOOK! A book I'll be able to hold in my hands! With mermaids on the cover! It's been fleshed out/revised and edited, and we'll get the ending from Elliot's perspective! (The Turn of the Story is from Elliot's POV, but its original ending was actually written before TotS and is a story in the Monstrous Affections anthology, and is from Luke's POV.)

...and for whatever reason, at least on Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, the hard copy of the book is still slated to release on August 25. >.< I have a preorder of it via Kas' Prime account, as does Ginny. But the ebook version is already available for both Kindle and Kobo, and the book is officially out today in general...so I think I'm going to cave and buy an ebook copy too, so I can read it.

Here's Sarah's release-day post! The book has received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers’ Weekly, and Sarah says "Bullied due to his personality! Inability to keep his mouth shut! I love how the reviews so far have been like: the hero is a terrible pill, but we are willing to buy this pill and take him home."

And here is Small Beer Press' post about the book's release, which opens with "Five years ago Sarah Rees Brennan emailed Kelly her story, “Wings in the Morning,” for our anthology Monstrous Affections. It was long: 17,000+ words in that early draft — although Sarah told us the actual first draft had been 30,000 words".

So you see, I've both already read and not read this book. I already adore it; I also, unsurprisingly, have a corner of my heart saying "but...but this means the story I already love is changed...?" and worrying a bit. But mostly I'm thrilled about it finally being a BOOK I can HOLD. And did I mention the mermaids? (I did.) Elliot, for all his brattiness and lack of enchantment with the magical place in which he goes to school, is appropriately entranced by and appreciative of mermaids.

Serene! Luke! ELLIOT! My heart...!
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I asked folks what polyamory seminars they’d like me to teach – because I do teach seminars – and got a lot of good suggestions.

Mostly for classes I’m unqualified to teach.

I’m putting this list out here, because I think these are great topics that I’d like to see covered in-depth some day. If these topics are in your wheelhouse, please consider pitching this topic to your local conventions/training sources! And if you do teach them, feel free to leave comments (with dates/locations of your upcoming classes) to spread your wisdom around!

Raising Kids While You’re Polyamorous.
There was an excellent seminar on that at Beyond the Love a couple of years ago, but it was focused on raising kids in a poly commune. Never having raised kids while poly, I’d love to hear more tips and tricks about balancing privacy, childrens’ safety, and potential legal concerns.

Effective Polyamorous Communes.
I’ve seen a lot of poly groups move in together. Most of ’em fell apart shortly thereafter. I’d love to see a discussion of best practices on how to handle finances, romances, etc in a close-contact environment. Bonus if you’re not an extrovert and can tell us introverts how to survive.

Polyamorous Legal Concerns.
Wills and living arrangements and marriages, wow! I’m totally not a lawyer, but this would be a fascinating topic for a professional who’s specialized in these topics.  (I suspect this would only be useful on a state level, but hey.)

Scheduling.
You’d think I’d be good at scheduling, with my many partners, but the truth is that they’re good enough at scheduling to cover for my manifest weaknesses. I’d love to see someone(s) discuss how to schedule time effectively, how to handle conflict in events, how to reserve enough time for each partner who needs it (including you), etc.

Forging Better Bonds With Metamours.
Some of the most stressful situations in poly involve your partner’s partners – and all too often they’re seen as either your BEST FRIENDS EVER or alien beasts you beam communications through a third party to. I’d love to see a class from someone with a long history of effectively communicating with people on the other side of their lovers.

Now, if any of those classes seem like something you could cohere a 50-minute talk on, I’ll note that The Geeky Kink Event is taking applications for November, and though Beyond The Love’s presentation window has just closed, they do have lunchtime pop-up seminars and maybe you might wanna talk to them.

And if you have any questions on teaching, ask me! It’s both simpler and more complex than you think. But not enough qualified people do it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Vigil

Aug. 13th, 2017 11:28 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Went to a hastily organized vigil for Charlottesville. There were maybe about 50 people and almost as many TV cameras. A blessed minimum of speeches as we all knew why we were there. We sang "The Red Flag" and "Solidarity Forever" and marched with drippy candles to City Hall.

it helps, at times like these, to be with folks that get it. There's another demo tomorrow morning but I don't think I'll make it because 8 am is very early. So I'm glad this one happened.

ETA: as I type this, I'm reading of another attack, this time at a solidarity demo in Montreal. Fortunately the victim survived. We must fight these bastards; nothing less than our survival and the survival of the most vulnerable communities is at stake.
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - check this out (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

This link about Carrie Fisher and The Last Jedi was making the rounds on Twitter largely because of the story Oscar Isaac tells about her at the end of the article.

The Hugo nomination stats are out (along with other statistics), so naturally I checked the Best Series category, where I found Newsflesh in the list of top nominees, appearing on 85 ballots. (The category header indicates that there were 1393 votes for 291 nominees.) The Toby books, which did make it onto the final ballot, were on 129 nominating ballots.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] sovay, look at Philip Odango's marvelous cosplay of Maui from Moana.

"Dean Winchester and Commander Shepard Walk Into A Bar: Why Fanon Matters". [Alasdair Stuart at Uncanny Magazine]


Social Justice

"Women Are Dying Because Doctors Treat Us Like Men: For years, physicians have referred to women's healthcare as 'bikini medicine' and assumed they can diagnose and treat both genders the same way. But it's costing women their lives". [Marie Claire]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] wendelah1, "41 Things You Should Know About Abortions And The Doctors Who Perform Them". [Buzzfeed]

"Ready to Ditch White Feminism? Here Are 6 Black Feminist Concepts You Need to Know".

"Battery Theory: For when the Spoon Theory is too confusing".

"Accessibility [of the web] according to actual people with disabilities".

"Are men talking too much?" is an online tool for tracking who's dominating a conversation. (Relevant info at this Facebook post.)

"A post for men about creepy men".

"The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility". [July 2016] (Uses Trump as an illustration, FYI.)


Miscellaneous

Via a post on [dreamwidth.org profile] wotd (Word of the Day), The Phrontistery dedicates itself to "obscure words and vocabulary resources". It includes lists of lost words, obscure words, word lists by topic, short words for Scrabble purposes...many things! I've barely scratched the surface.

"Finding Dory Writer and Hamilton Director to Tell the Story of the U.S. Military’s First Female Pilots". [The Mary Sue]

Via [locked], "Gratitude Lists Are B.S. — It Was an 'Ingratitude' List That Saved Me".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] jimhines, "Incredible Bonsai Trees Made Of 1000s Of Miniature Origami Cranes By Naoki Onogawa" and "10+ Badass Trees That Refuse To Die No Matter What".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] klgaffney, "The Lost City That’s Not Lost, Not a City, and Doesn’t Need to Be Discovered".

An injury to one is an injury to all

Aug. 13th, 2017 02:07 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Like many (most) of you, I'm grieving the murder of Fellow Worker Heather Heyer, a member of the IWW (an organization I was proud to be a member of for many years), the injuries of dozens of others, and the brutal assault of Deandre Harris at the hands of fascists and white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA. Unlike a lot of (white) people, I'm not surprised. This is America with its gloves off. This is what we warned against. It was always going to come to this, and I fear it will get much worse before it gets better, if it does at all.

For a good long time, I've been actively confronting local fascists who organize and demonstrate under the thin veneer of free speech. Plenty of liberals and radicals alike have informed me that this is a waste of time, that the antifa who show up reliably every time the fash demonstrate are not radical enough, are too radical, aren't diverse enough, are too militant, are not militant enough, exclude less privileged people who can't physically show up, are secretly anti-Semites despite a significant number being Jewish, and are just plain doing it wrong. I'm not into calling out individuals and groups, but I have paid careful attention to who I see there, and who I don't see there.

I can only hope that Heyer, Harris, and those standing beside them and fighting back haven't sacrificed in vain. I hope that this is the end of inaction, of false equivalence, of turning our words on each other rather than on the enemy. I hope that this is a clarion call for action.

I'll repost what I said in the Other Place:

Hey GTA people posting your outrage over Charlottesville: did you know that a group of fascists regularly demonstrate at City Hall under the guise of "free speech"? We go to oppose them and try to prevent them from marching. Sometimes we're outnumbered. If you're really angry about what happened, coming out to shut this shit down here before it becomes tiki torches and vehicular manslaughter is a concrete thing you can do.

Also, if you have $ and are not sure which crowdfunding initiatives are legit, this is a good place to start.

Mishmash post before I do some work

Aug. 12th, 2017 02:27 pm
umadoshi: (Tori "freedom" (strangelittlex))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Revoltingly humid today--the kind of day where I'll be so glad to hit the shower, but am also kind of dreading it because getting out of the shower will feel so gross within seconds and the whole thing will feel pointless by the time I'm dressed. >.< (I'm really not good with sweat and stickiness. Why are bodies?)

This weekend I'm on once-a-day cat-feeding duty for friends who live maybe ten minutes away on foot, which is very convenient, but since it's evening feeding, it's too early for me to go and come back and be done for the day (and done being rained on, if that happens). *wry* I'm a procrastinator in many ways, but in terms of concrete things that have to be done on a given day, I usually lean towards getting them out of the way promptly, so a corner of my brain keeps perking up and thinking, "Oh! I could head over there now and be done--wait, no."

I need to post about K.B. Spangler's books/webcomic, and I even have some notes jotted down, but haven't managed to turn those notes into anything yet. (Technically her work all falls under the "A Girl and Her Fed universe" banner--AGAHF being the webcomic, which came first and I suspect is the best-known part?--but since I started with the novels, most of which are about Rachel Peng, who isn't even in the first act of AGAHF, I find myself defaulting to labeling it all as Rachel-related in my head.)

Anyway, I've read almost everything at this point, except that I haven't started the second act of the comic yet, and there are also some bonus comics or something available as pdfs in Spangler's online store, which I should pick up. So in theory, a proper post on it should happen any day now.

--For those who haven't heard, [dreamwidth.org profile] seanan_mcguire won the Best Novella Hugo for Every Heart a Doorway!

--There's a second track available from the upcoming Tori Amos album: "Up the Creek".

--My brain doesn't feel like it even has the memory of how to write fiction. Thanks, brain.

--I'm now three (3) whole episodes into Black Sails. I'm not remotely in love, but I gather very few people are at this point; that said, those three episodes haven't been as bad as I was afraid of. (That said, they've depicted several commonly-triggery things. But I went in expecting that, and am fortunate enough to not have any actual triggers myself.)

--This day is not conducive to staying awake, but Monday's deadline is fast approaching. And in the next month or so I'm hoping to get ahead on my freelance work, in case Casual Job starts up for the fall before September ends...and I just acquired some bonus prose proofreading work to do by the end of September, too. (Yay!)

Millennials are killing

Aug. 12th, 2017 09:34 am
sabotabby: (teacher lady)
[personal profile] sabotabby
 Almost right on schedule, my first back-to-school anxiety nightmare of August. It was not as bad as most, probably because I've been in school-anxiety-mode for a year now and my brain hasn't had a stretch of not being stressed out and anxious. Anyway, it was almost interesting so I'll share it.

First day of class. My classes, as per usual nightmares, were huge, and the kids kept drifting in and out and coming in late and wouldn't stay still or give me their names. One girl had recently lost her brother in a shooting, another had lost her mother three weeks earlier. Her mother's grave was located right beside the classroom, and she had brought several large bouquets of purple lilies that clashed with the red and white flowers on the grave. She kept getting up to shift the flowers around, or curling up in a fetal position to cry.

The principal had decided that class would begin with a personal address from her, and so I was supposed to wait until she arrived to start. But she was late, and the kids were already complaining that they were bored, so I did an icebreaker activity. It was called Millennials Are Killing X and you had to go around a circle and say a thing Millennials are killing and why. For example, "Millennials are killing the housing market because they spend on their money on smashed avocado toast and lattes. I thought it was hilarious but the kids didn't get it, and then I remembered that the Millennials had been years ago and the kids didn't know what they were.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

One of the worst moments in polyamory is the first date.

Not yours.

Theirs.

Your first poly date is usually this exciting squiggle of “Where is this going?” and flirtatious arm-touches and effervescent ZOMG I LIKE THEM and maybe even some hot smooching. And it’s great, ‘cuz it’s you.

But their first poly date, where you’re the one at home cooling your heels while you’re imagining their flirtatious arm-touches and trying not to break down in jealousy?

That can be a long night.

And I get asked, “How do you cope when your partner starts dating?” And the answer is threefold:

I Trust They’d Tell Me If Things Were Bad.
Sometimes I worry that they’re dating because I’m fucking up in some way. Then I remember how honest they’ve been with me. They’ve told me about any issues between us as soon as they figured out what it was.

I trust my partners to come to me when something is going wrong.

So I trust that if there was a problem, I’d know.

A lot of the jealousies swirling around new poly tend to be, “Is there something wrong with me? Is this a prelude to a breakup?” And honestly, if you’re going for the “Hail Mary” of “We’re not getting along but maybe fucking other people will bring us closer together,” it might well be.

But if this has been a studied expansion, where you’ve talked about dating other people and are now exploring it, hopefully you trust that your partner would tell you if they were seeking other lovers because you were failing them. But they’re not. Healthy polyamory’s not an attempt to replace a broken system, but to expand it to include others.

They’re not dating me because I’m failing them, but because we believe a) that having other emotionally-fulfilling relationships is good, and b) those relationships can include sex. (And often, c) we’re both a little slutty.)

It shouldn’t be a threat if my partner has good friends they talk to. Their desire to see a movie with someone else isn’t a refutal of who we are.

This is just an extension of that logic. And nothing has to be wrong with me, or us, for them to desire someone else.

(I mean, I desire other people and it doesn’t lessen my affection for my existing partners. But that’s easy to remember when I’m in the driver’s seat.)

I Trust In My Own Uniqueness.
The media frames a lot of sex as a competition – whoever’s got the bigger dick wins. And if your partner’s girlfriend is hotter than you are, girl, she will steal your man.

That’s not necessarily true, though.

An odd fact about polyamory is that your partners are often drawn to people totally unlike you. That’s often a source of friction – you’re organized and reliable, why are they dating this sloppy hedonist?

The answer is, dating you provides all the you they need. They’re stocked up on “neat” and “reliable” simply because you’re doing a great job! Now they’re unconsciously seeking people who have other traits they find desirable.

And if you’re not careful, you dismiss your own talents and focus on the things you don’t have. Oh, she’s really good at talking dirty, I can’t do that. She loves that country music I can’t stand. She’s a better cook.

When you do that, you forget the things your lover might say about you if they were forced, somehow, to evaluate you as a direct comparison. They’re a way better cuddler. They know how to make me feel better after a hard day at work. They love the movies I do.

You gotta trust in your own uniqueness. This isn’t a zero-sum game where the person who ticks off the most marks on the checklist walks away with the prize. Yes, your partner’s new lover may be a better kisser, but trust that your sexual skills have something to be desired even if you can’t see it right now.

Trust that there’s also reasons to want you.

I Trust That Some Relationships Need To Be Over.
This is the tough one. Because yeah, sometimes when people fling themselves into polyamory, they do find someone more suitable and they do leave the old partners behind and they don’t communicate their problems until it’s too late to do anything about them.

I trust it’s better to know that we’re not meant for each other.

And you’ll see plenty of couples tapdancing around some fundamental incompatibility – he wants kids/she doesn’t, she wants deep emotional relationships/he doesn’t, he wants to get married/he doesn’t – and rather than look squarely at the irreconcilable difference and walk away, they instead push it off for years, grinding agony the whole time.

And in the end, they often give in to something they never wanted to happen, or they break up after years of intimacy.

That’s a lot harder than acknowledging it early and breaking it off while it’s still nascent.

So I take the attitude with relationships that I do with medical tests: No, I don’t want this, but if I have some terminal condition, it’s better to know right away.

Maybe my lover will discover that they’re polyamorous and I’m not. That’s not great, but it’s good for us both to know who we are – and if that’s not compatible, let’s examine it.

I don’t want to lose anyone, but if there are problems in this relationship, let’s highlight what they are and see whether we can fix it. Or not.

And it’s a weirdly calm trust, because this is the one that brings me back to reality: Yes, I love her. But are we really as good for each other as we think we are? Maybe I’m putting this relationship on a pedestal.

And then the old prayer: It’ll work if it’s meant to be.

And honestly, it mostly has worked out. Dating mature partners who discuss things generally turns out to be stable. They can see other people and come back to me and be just as excited – sometimes more so, because I’m actually enabling them to have wonderful relationships and so they come to associate me as “That person I love who wants me to have so much beauty in my life.” And they date other people, as I do, but in the end the thing I have to offer is “I’m that person who really, demonstrably, wants the best for them.”

That’s a helluva strength to bring to the table.

It can be okay.

You just gotta trust.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So for my birthday, I got myself an expensive gift I didn’t want:

A personal trainer.

I don’t want a personal trainer because I hate exercise and I hate going someplace else to exercise and I hate paying money to have strangers judge my body.  But I also recognize that my fitness has never been great, and perhaps I don’t know how to push myself properly (which is a real concern when you have both heart problems and a proven inability to recognize fatal pain), and so I signed up for a couple of months with a personal trainer as an experiment.  Just to see whether it would make a difference.

And this trainer seemed nice.  She told me she was not the ooh-rah trainer who says you’re not done until you’re barfing. She was a physical therapist who’d dealt with heart patients before, and could make long-term changes conducive to my benefit.

So as I went to the trainer yesterday, I was nervous.  I’m not a weightlifter.  Would she have me doing laps around the gym?  Would it be the medicine ball?  Would I be completely useless after the session, my every muscle quivering?

As it turned out, my job was to stand there while they critiqued.

I failed at standing.

“See how his hip is turned out?” she asked her fellow trainer, who was called in for a consultation.  “All his weight is on his left foot.”

“Dangerous to let a man like that exercise,” the other trainer agreed, and I was shuttled off to a massage room where she jammed the inside of my hip, telling me to relax as she rammed stiff fingers dangerously close to my crotch, reminding me to breathe.

“You’re very shielded,” she said, wrenching me aside.  “I can’t get this muscle to release.”  And then, five minutes later: “That’ll do.”

She didn’t get it to release, but apparently she’d given up on me.

Then she had me breathe.

I failed breathing.

Apparently, there’s a way you breathe from your diaphragm in a way that makes your crotch tighten, and if that sounds sexy I assure you it was not.  All my breath was in, apparently, my chest.  It’s supposed to be in my diaphragm, which is to say my belly, and I did that wrong.  She had me on my knees, palm on my stomach, urging me to do something with my belly button to bring it against my spine, and eventually she sighed and called out, “We’re putting him on his back.  He can’t do the APT.”

Even on my back, I didn’t breathe properly.  She said, encouragingly, that I’d learn, but it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’ve just failed standing and breathing. I’m not sure what else there is to fail, but I’m sure I’ll find out.

So I have a sheet of exercises.  When I head towards the bathroom, I am instructed to take a moment in the hall to twist my leg and loosen the hip, or to stand with my back against the wall and press out.  My hip aches from where she pressed hard enough to bruise it.

I thought personal training would be gruelling – and to be fair, I was sweaty and tired at the end of it.  And I’m sure it’ll ramp up over time.

I just thought it would be more “You’re too weak to lift this weight” and less “You’re too incompetent to breathe,” you know?

 

 

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

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