August 2014

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 09:09
And now the carpal tunnel syndrome is flaring up.


Did I mention I work in data entry?

At least I have my wrist brace with me?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 08:24
It's morning, so: COFFEE! See, even Venkman agrees with me.

My weekend started off nice with a Ghostbusters viewing, then my upper back went to the dogs on Saturday and I spent the rest of the 3-day weekend in pain.

I also switched phones, and my new plan, with unlimited calling across Canada (and unlimited texting, photo texting, and video texting, plus voicemail and call display) and 2GB of data per month is actually $10 cheaper than what I was paying (all the previously hidden fees are now either eradicated or bulked into the price of the account, so yay). I took the protection plan for my device (at least for the first 6 months) which puts my account at a single dollar more than it was before.

O_o Well, I'll be damned.

So I have a shiny new iPhone 5, which I paid $100 for (with my accumulated customer loyalty points/dollars). I just need a case for it... which will have to wait until next pay but hey. I might just get a $15 one for now, and spring for a sturdier one in October, when I have an extra pay. I am so paranoid I'm going to drop it, lol.
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 08:09
via at September 02, 2014 at 03:00AM:





During the Bubonic Plague, doctors wore these bird-like masks to avoid becoming sick. They would fill the beaks with spices and rose petals, so they wouldn’t have to smell the rotting bodies. 

A theory during the Bubonic Plague was that the plague was caused by evil spirits. To scare the spirits away, the masks were intentionally designed to be creepy. 

Mission fucking accomplished

Okay so I love this but it doesn’t cover the half of why the design is awesome and actually borders on making sense.

It wasn’t just that they didn’t want to smell the infected and dead, they thought it was crucial to protecting themselves. They had no way of knowing about what actually caused the plague, and so one of the other theories was that the smell of the infected all by itself was evil and could transmit the plague. So not only would they fill their masks with aromatic herbs and flowers, they would also burn fires in public areas, so that the smell of the smoke would “clear the air”. This all related to the miasma theory of contagion, which was one of the major theories out there until the 19th century. And it makes sense, in a way. Plague victims smelled awful, and there’s a general correlation between horrible septic smells and getting horribly sick if you’re around what causes them for too long.

You can see now that we’ve got two different theories as to what caused the plague that were worked into the design. That’s because the whole thing was an attempt by the doctors to cover as many bases as they could think of, and we’re still not done.

The glass eyepieces. They were either darkened or red, not something you generally want to have to contend with when examining patients. But the plague might be spread by eye contact via the evil eye, so best to ward that off too.

The illustration shows a doctor holding a stick. This was an examination tool, that helped the doctors keep some distance between themselves and the infected. They already had gloves on, but the extra level of separation was apparently deemed necessary. You could even take a pulse with it. Or keep people the fuck away from you, which was apparently a documented use.

Finally, the robe. It’s not just to look fancy, the cloth was waxed, as were all of the rest of their clothes. What’s one of the properties of wax? Water-based fluids aren’t absorbed by it. This was the closest you could get to a sterile, fully protecting garment back then. Because at least one person along the line was smart enough to think “Gee, I’d really rather not have the stuff coming out of those weeping sores anywhere on my person”.

So between all of these there’s a real sense that a lot of real thought was put into making sure the doctors were protected, even if they couldn’t exactly be sure from what. They worked with what information they had. And frankly, it’s a great design given what was available! You limit exposure to aspirated liquids, limit exposure to contaminated liquids already present, you limit contact with the infected. You also don’t give fleas any really good place to hop onto. That’s actually useful.

Beyond that, there were contracts the doctors would sign before they even got near a patient. They were to be under quarantine themselves, they wouldn’t treat patients without a custodian monitoring them and helping when something had to be physically contacted, and they would not treat non-plague patients for the duration. There was an actual system in place by the time the plague doctors really became a thing to make sure they didn’t infect anyone either.

These guys were the product of the scientific process at work, and the scientific process made a bitchin’ proto-hazmat suit. And containment protocols!

reblogging for the sweet history lesson

Thanks, History Side of Tumblr!

The Plague Doctors - Creepy, yet Scientific and Functional! 
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 07:05
via at September 02, 2014 at 02:00AM:

My new battle-cry.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 23:29
It was a very Cat Lady weekend. I showed my landlord and some of my roommates episodes of My Cat From Hell to let them know how not to pet and handle Emily. My landlord then latched on to cat furniture as his new way to procrastinate from plumbing the dishwasher. Which I have mixed feelings about--I like neat cat stuff, but I would like a working dishwasher.

Anyway, now he wants to make a cat castle using a concrete pour tube.

This weekend I also fitted the cat with soft nail caps, which she regarded as THE GREATEST BETRAYAL EVER PERPETRATED ON CATKIND, OH THE FELINITY. After that she was almost mild about and the new feeder maze, where she has to flick her kibble through different levels before it lands in the slow-feeding trough at the bottom. It addresses a few concerns I've had, since she gobbles her food like she'll never eat again and then shows signs of upset stomach half an hour later. This one leaves her with enough Fuck It that she walks away between mouthfuls, and I know for a fact that she left some food in the trough tonight when we went downstairs when usually her bowl is empty within ten minutes of food being poured.

Though tonight she's gone upstairs for once, after ages of always following me from room to room. I figure this is progress--she used to sleep on the shelf near my window, but last night she was up late making noise so I shut her out of my room, which she did not complain about; and tonight she came downstairs with me, then left her shelf after about half an hour and went back up. I may be codependent and go find her.

Tonight I also ended up dispensing cat advice on Tumblr, after ranting about my roommates' cat-insensitive ways.

Something made me think about and miss Bert this weekend, but I forget what.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 23:00
1. Did a couple things I've been meaning to do and keep forgetting/putting off: order new jeans and set up and eye doctor appointment.

2. I'm still feeling completely overwhelmed at work with all the crap that needs to be done since the remodelling, but the storage area is definitely getting cleaned out little by little. And the big deliveries that usually come tomorrow won't come until Wednesday because of today being a holiday, so maybe I can catch up a little more tomorrow.

3. Speaking of today being a holiday, I did work today, so that means at some point I can take a day off in exchange for pay. Just have to find a time when I'm not super busy... (Ha!)
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 03:42
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Look up.
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 02:02

Ze Frank - Why Trust Is Worth It
Words by Ze Frank, emphasis my own.
We talk about trust as something you build. As if it's a structure or a thing. But in that building there seems to be something about letting go. And what it affords us is a luxury that allows us to stop thinking, to stop worrying that someone won't catch us if we fall, to stop constantly scanning for inconsistencies, to stop wondering how people act when they're not in our presence. It allows us to relax a part of our minds so that we can focus on what's in front of us.

And that's why it's such a tragedy when it's broken.

A betrayal can make you think about all the other betrayals that are waiting for you, and things that you haven't thought of, and people you rely on. And you can feel yourself tightening up, bracing. And in the worst cases, you might resolve to trust no one.

But, that doesn't really work. Trust is your relationship to the unknown. What you can't control, and you can't control everything. And it's not all or none. It's a slow and steady practice of learning about the capacity of the world. And it's worth it, to keep trying, and it's not easy.


I almost imagine trust as these invisible hands that we stretch out into the world, looking for someone to hold on to, as we walk into the unknown future. […]

So who do you trust, and how can you grow it?

Well, that was a punch in the feels.
"You might resolve trust no one."

Yeah, and someone on the internet says that that doesn't really work, except what if it does? What if that's how some people have to stay safe?

We can't choose who we love, and we can't choose who falls in love with us. People tell me they're different, that they won't smash my heart into pieces like the last person, or the person before that. What if I'm tired of hearing promises, promises held with as little regard as my emotions? What if I don't want to trust anyone with my heart anymore? What if I've grown weary of seeing how people treat each other in this world, and I don't believe that trust offers the payback people say it does?

I just told a friend who's experiencing some similar thoughts that he's not alone, that he has friends who care, and that that's the important thing. That one day maybe he'll be happy with someone, maybe I will be too. That the two of us will probably never find happiness together, but I'm OK with that, as long as we're still friends as long as it feels right for us to be that way.

I said that there's no point in pining for relationships that have gone wrong, that instead we should try to learn from break-ups and bad relationships, and know that we won't always find the answers we're looking for, but unless we stop staring bleakly into the past, berating ourselves for being terrible people and unloveable monsters… unless we stop focusing on past failures, we won't ever find happiness, in ourselves or others.

I told him that he shouldn't beat himself up for loving people who didn't love him back, or for not loving those who loved him. That we can't choose who we love, and we can't choose who'll reciprocate.

I told him that all we can do is to look forwards and be the best people we can be. That if we focus on being as happy as we can within ourselves, then one day, people might come along and tell us they love us, and we might want to love them back. That if love doesn't follow the happiness, then it doesn't matter, because we will be happy in ourselves.

I pointed out that some people die alone, that I probably will, and I may never be OK with that, but I can at least try and be happy with who I am, and what I have, even if it's not everything I'd choose, if I had the choice.

Deep down, I believe everything I said just now, or I wouldn't have said a word of it. But who for?

I know that I'm happier recently than I've been for the best part of this year, and yet, there are these thoughts niggling at the back of my mind. What happens when my body gets old, and I have to slow down? Will there be anyone there to look back on years of adventures with, or will I sit alone, flicking through online photo albums at photos of people who have been and gone? What happens if I never again hear the words "I love you" from someone who I want to repeat them back to, from someone I want to grow old and decrepit with?

I get reminded that other people are worse off than me. I have no doubt about that, and I'm grateful for what I do have. But this world, our society, it isn't set up for people to be alone. We're supposed to trust, to be trusted. To fall in love, to be loved.

I get told that I'm still young, that I've got time, and maybe that's true, but by now, I'm far more used to saying "I love you" and hearing an affirmation that later turns out to be false: maybe they never meant it, maybe they did but realised they were wrong. It doesn't matter, because what it comes down to is that they never loved me, never could, never will.

They love other people, often people I know, but I was not loveable enough for them, I am not loveable enough now, and I may never be loveable enough anytime in the future. The only way I can find out if I can be loved is to trust… but what if that has already hurt me too much? What if I can't? What if trust is too tied up in heartbreak already?

Maybe trust is worth it… for other people.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 20:24
That is Egon Spengler with his shirt off.

Also, his triglycerides are prefect.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 16:06
Of course, I am currently fretting about whether or not I should post the fic from the other day on AO3, because that would mean people reading it and I feel 95% inadequate to post on there.


*makes icons instead, even though she has no idea how to make icon posts*
Monday, September 1st, 2014 15:52
So I've been wanting a new car for a while now. There's nothing objectively wrong with my current one, 'cept for some cosmetic issues. (Okay, and a couple few rusty spots.) I've not even driven 85K miles (~137K km) since I got it. It's 10 years old. I bought it new in 2004 and finished paying it off 5 years ago. Why do I want a car payment? I don't.

But ... I'm bored? *shrug*
Monday, September 1st, 2014 14:32

The prompt is “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard–they don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just the ones that affected you in some way. Tag ten friends.”

My list, in no particular order, no more than one work per author or LeGuin would eat half the list:

  • The Praise Singer, Mary Renault
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
  • So Big, Edna Ferber
  • Monstrous Regiment, Terry Pratchett
  • Tehanu, Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, John Steinbeck
  • The Once and Future King, T.H. White
  • Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold (just edges out Memory)
  • The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

What these books have in common is… not much, really, but they’re all books I can quote substantial segments of from memory. Further analysis of my choices I will leave to the rest of you.

You’re tagged if you want to be, though I suspect this meme has largely run its course.

Monday, September 1st, 2014 20:05
1. I woke up surprisingly easily, especially given how late I got to bed, which is always pleasantly astonishing when it manages to happen.

2. Some of the post waiting for me at work was more rocks! I was delighted, and expressed this delight to a colleague in the lift, and everyone else in the lift just looked... baffled. Which to be honest I found a little surprising given where I work, but mostly? Mostly it was amusing, and also I have lots more rocks. Plenty enough to keep me going until the new year!

3. I got heaps of labwork done today, including lots more tidying up than I normally manage, including making some sensible judgment calls

4. As I was leaving, having tidied up, the skies opened, and it was brilliant - I walked down the middle of the almost-entirely-empty pavement on Exhibition Road in the warm rain with my clothes rapidly getting plastered to me, and oh, it was glorious.

5. I finally settled in with Scalzi's new novel Lock In today, and to my surprise I am genuinely enjoying it. (Why surprise? Because much as I like the guy I didn't expect him to do it well, and so far he is. Also, I'm a fifth of the way through and the protag's gender hasn't been mentioned yet, which is pretty much the reading experience I want.)

6. I got home to find warm couscous left on the table for me, because I have the best housemate <333

7. ... and for afters there is leftover strawberry trifle in the fridge, brought me yesterday by [personal profile] sebastienne and my useless ex when they rocked up to feed me lunch, badger me into wearing clothes, and drag me to a film festival & concert (which was pretty great once the first short was over; Did Not Like). But srsly though, a. CN Lester wrote a song for you and then made a music video, and (b) I got to curl up in a big comfy chair and watch an entire hour of people talking mostly in German about queer & trans stuff, and -- that's not something my inherited language does, we're rural Austrian Catholics, I got to listen to people speaking about queers in German, which was a kind of homecoming even though it was the wrong flavour. (By which I mean: the Berlin accent is not the accent of the stories and the prayers and the songs of my childhood, but nonetheless it is German and therefore soothing.)

8. My counsellor got in touch yesterday about arranging a session with an apology for having dropped off the face of the Earth (bereavement), which saved me doing the reaching out and means we are Working On A Date probably sometime next week.

9. An Elementary fic showed up in my head while I was finishing up the washing up at work; specifically, a story that begins "The first time Joan surprised Sherlock..." with reference to some dialogue from (very!) early season 1, though I suspect I am going to have to wait for the beginning of season 3 to make sense of where it's trying to end up.

10. I really am surrounded by fantastic people, and I am so, so glad of all of you <3 (And I am aided in appreciating this by the bit where I seem to be starting to pull back out of the brainwrong I've been in for the past little bit: hurrah discontinuing the anti-histamine!)
Monday, September 1st, 2014 18:42
A couple of weeks ago I once again enjoyed the "sensible arrangements" (seemingly limitless alcohol on an honesty system) at Schloss Dagstuhl. It occurs to me to marvel, slightly, at the way the Dagstuhl staff ruthlessly organise us. Seminar leads endlessly entreat us not to be late for lunch, supper, morning coffee or afternoon cake and there is the ritual of writing your abstract by hand into the book of abstracts.

This was a particularly successful Dagstuhl from my point of view and I came away with an invitation to give a talk, a revelation about a paper two of us were currently working on, discussions that may lead to two further papers, not to mention a list of references to check out that may be useful for my work.

The seminar itself was slightly derailed when a logician* announced that he couldn't possibly discourse sensibly on the topic without a formal definition of coordination. A working group was set up to come up with such a definition with... moderate success? Accounts suggest the working group spent a lot of time not talking to each other or, at least, all working individually on their own and then having 5 minutes intense argument at the end of the session. I rather liked one of the definitions they came up with but apparently no one else did.

There were three working groups in total but the other two quickly combined, together with some refugees from the "let's define coordination" working group. We decided to tackle the rather easier question of how you should go about engineering a solution to a coordination problem. We were aided in this by the discovery that our meeting room had an entire wall that functioned as a white board** with which we (well I, because I appropriated the whiteboard pens) had a lot of fun.

Pictures under the Cut )

*I was tempted to write a Russian logician since most good logicians in Computer Science are Russian. However this particular logician was Bulgarian with a Ukranian surname (and a family history involving the White Army) who was about to move from Denmark to Sweden. So I'll just go with "a logician".

**This probably also counts as a sensible arrangement.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 11:22
Also, my tutorial on "Building Services in Go" was accepted. Guess I'll be going to Auckland to present at LCA 2015!


Now I'm off to pay rent, get lunch, and go look at motorcycles. I've been thinking about trading mine in (it's paid off and I've had it for 5 years) for a Triumph Scrambler. Pretty bike.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 11:47
There are people in France who decided to start a fan franchise of GhostSmashers.

This is awesome! XD XD XD

GhostSmashers France (Site in French, and hasn't had much on it since April 2013, and I don't know if April's Fools Day is big in Europe, but even if it is and it's a joke, it's still awesome!)
Monday, September 1st, 2014 10:31
So, the other day I mentioned that Steve Rogers almost certainly knows the Little Red Songbook. (You will never, ever be able to convince me that Steve, whose formation of political consciousness would have happened during the Great Depression, is not at the very least extremely pro-labor, if not an outright socialist.) Then I thought, hrm, a lot of what I know out of the Little Red Songbook is quite possibly more recent: what portion of it would Steve know?

Long story short (you should all know how I roll by now), this has led to a week of researching the shit out of things to date particular songs, then listening carefully to as many versions of them as I could find to find the version that would be closest to the version Steve would've known it as. And the next thing I knew, I had a mix. (There's some fic in there, too, and I was going to write more, but I wanted to post this today instead of waiting.)

If Steve was in a union at any point (and I don't think he was, but depending on what Bucky was doing for a living, Bucky probably would've been), he likely wouldn't have been a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies -- the heyday of the IWW was the period from about 1910 to 1924, and what Steve would've thought of as a union would not have precisely been the Wobblies' idea of one. (The difference between industrial unionism and craft unionism is a huge distinction that is waaaay beyond the scope of this entry, but was a major point of contention in labor organizing until at least WWII. Suffice it to say, what you think of when you hear 'union' is almost certainly a craft union.)

Still, even in the post-WWII period when the Wobblies were considered horribly dangerous, seditious and radical, and IWW membership had declined sharply, these songs stuck around and were still sung. (And I think Joe Hill, who wrote a lot of these, would've liked that. As he said, once: "A pamphlet is only read once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over again.")

This is not the entirety of the Little Red Songbook as Steve would have known it; there are about twice as many in the editions from his time that haven't really survived in anything other than lyric form, or that aren't sung or aren't recorded. But everything on this mix is a song Steve and Bucky could have and probably would have known.

And I'm posting this not only to share some of the music Steve would have known, but because today is Labor Day, and because in the US we celebrate a watered-down version of it, Labor Day at the beginning of September instead of International Workers' Day on May 1, and if you brought some of those labor leaders of 1914 forward and showed them the world of 2014, they'd celebrate how far we've come while still being damn upset at how far we still have to go. And because:

When I went to high school -- that's about as far as I got -- reading my U.S. history textbook, well, I got the history of the ruling class. I got the history of the generals and the industrialists and the Presidents who didn't get caught. How about you?

I got the history of the people who owned the wealth of the country, but none of the history of the people who created it. So when I went out to get my first job, I went out armed with someone else's class background. They never gave me any tools to understand, or to begin to control the condition of my labor.

And that was deliberate, wasn't it? They didn't want me to know this. That's why this stuff isn't taught in the history books. We're not supposed to know it, to understand that. No, if I wanted the true history of where I came from, as a member of the working class, I had to go to my elders. Many of them gave their best working years, before pensions or Social Security, gave their whole lives to the mines, to the wheat harvests, to the logging camps, to the railroad. Got nothing for it -- just fetched up on the skids, living on short money, mostly drunk all the time.

But they lived those extraordinary lives that can never be lived again. And in the living of them, they gave me a history that is more profound, more beautiful, more powerful, more passionate, and ultimately more useful, than the best damn history book I ever read.

As I have said so often before, the long memory is the most radical idea in America.
-- Utah Phillips

The long memory is the most radical idea in America. )

Right-click, save as: 18 songs, 47:44 total running time, 87.9MB download.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 09:16
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Monday, September 1st, 2014 14:54
I've been meaning to make this post for a long time. I first started thinking about writing it when I saw posts going around on tumblr about bronies and how they'd essentially taken over spaces meant for 5 year old girls by making their porn too visible and present in the mainstream fandom. I saw some people on tumblr wondering how media fandom, AO3 fandom, majority-women fandom could possibly judge these people when surely the things we would be and are writing are the same sort of "uncomfortable", socially unacceptable kinks like rape, bestiality, sexualized torture. Aren't we just kink-shaming these people for doing what we're doing ourselves? Is it more unacceptable because they're mostly straight dudes? Should we really expect them to change their sexual desires when we clearly make no effort to change ours and only encourage and accept each other instead of using this communal fannish space to "reform" our tastes?

I wanted to write this post then, because I felt like people were missing a crucial axis of analysis. It's become increasingly obvious to me that the idea of avoiding kink shaming, something that I greatly support and that fandom has worked hard to internalize, is being misinterpreted and misused when it comes to critiquing content.

No one should ever be shamed for liking something. Our brains have a tendency to fetishize, among other things, things we find threatening. This can be anything from illness to sexual violence to whatever our culture subtly tells us we should be afraid of. It's not that I'm going to write my master's thesis in sociology on the subject of porn (*cough*) but if you look at mainstream porn produced in different countries and cultures you'll notice a familiar theme of fetishizing, among other things, socially weakened groups. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, whoever the dominant group in that area feels is threatening their dominance. This ranges from fantasies of members of the weakened group being subservient to members of said groups being dominant over the members of the IRL privileged group.

You don't have to sit there and consciously think "I'm afraid that if women have financial independence I'll never find a girl who'd want to date me" to subconsciously internalize the message that financially powerful women are somehow threatening to you as a straight dude. You may even choose to sit down and examine your attitude to women and combat the sexism that hangs like pollution in the air you breathe. But subconsciously, you may start to fetishize dominating women anyway.

If we accept the premise that we can't control what we desire (I mean, we can, but partially and imperfectly) and that people shouldn't be shamed for the things they didn't choose to want, we also have to accept that we have a responsibility for how, when and whether we indulge our kinks.

This applies to the fandom I consider myself part of, AO3 fandom, journaling fandom, media fandom, RPF fandom. We have to examine the way in which we write our fic, the way we tag it, the way we archive it, the way we advertise it. I've been proud to be part of a community that often does that, that has long passionate debates, that changes and adjusts, that refuses to buy wholesale into the idea that the way things have always been is how they should remain.

To me, the guiding question should always be - who am I likely to hurt by enjoying my kink in the way I want to enjoy it? Kink shaming is never OK, but calling out people who are indulging in their kinks in hurtful, thoughtless ways is necessary. To me, no one's ability to get their rocks off trumps other people's need to stay safe, physically, psychologically, emotionally.

Recently in hockey RPF someone wrote a series of fics based on racist tropes. They didn't subvert these tropes in either the story or their author's note, and they posted the story anonymously which already indicates to me that they knew they were going to hurt people and were trying to avoid the blowback. The "defense" this person used was that AO3 contains terrible, horrible things like rape and pedophilia and here we are, focusing on a little racism between characters who are "into it" in the story.

This is a prime example, to me, of the difference between kink shaming and calling out someone who's being an faily asshole, in this case by perpetuating systemic oppression. If we agree that you can't control the things you find arousing, you can certainly control the way in which you express and indulge in those things. If your brain's fixated on racist tropes and started finding them a turn-on, you need to ask yourself when, how and whether indulging in this kink can ever be appropriate. In what setting could it possibly not bring harm to people who are affected by the systemic oppression you're fetishizing, either directly or indirectly. Finding a racist trope arousing is not license to perpetuate racism. It is not kink shaming to call people out on this.

This is why we have debates about warnings and labels and posts about how and why non-con is a turn on and when and how it's appropriate to write it and advertize it. This is why we have kink memes and archive-locking and comments sections. I'm not writing this post to tell you that fandom, the community I belong to, is perfect or excellent when it comes to these things. I just want to make it clear that there are mechanisms that we as a community have developed for dealing with content that's very pleasurable for some and very hurtful for others.

Navigating different, conflicting systems of oppression is not a zero-sum game. It's a constant negotiation. Being respectful of people's kinks is important, but it's even more important to consider which forms of systemic violence you're helping to perpetuate by indulging in your sexual desires. There's no easy, uniform answer to this. There's no one way to do kinks that are based on real life violence "right". You have to be mindful, and to listen to the people who are affected by the thing you're fetishizing. Vocabularies change, standards change, atmospheres change, attitudes change.

I just want people to stop feeling like they can't judge the porn someone's writing because "kink shaming is not OK" and that trumps everything else. I agree that kink shaming is never OK. Perpetuating racism and misogyny and other forms of oppression is also never OK, though. We can ask for better from ourselves and from the media we're consuming.

Anyway, I wrote this post even though I feel like this is preaching to the choir - y'all probably already know all of this and it's obvious, etc. I'm just still angry at that racist hockey fic and the way people were clinging to those stupid justifications of "but there's non-con in this archive! surely that's worse!"
Monday, September 1st, 2014 13:36
Book list )

Second third of the year completed. Linear extrapolation to year's end
says "151 books" (well, 151.5, but I'm in a truncating mode
today). We'll see how that pans out, in about 4 months.

Not necessarily lots of travel this month, but lots of time in
hotel rooms, what with WorldCon and EuroCon on consecutive
weekends. That seems to be good, for driving the book count up. Also a
relatively re-read-heavy month (one new book completed), this probably
helps driving the pace up.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 12:53
Elusive affection: Proposed session for Leeds IMC2015 July 6-9
Organisers: Amy Brown (Université de Genève, [ profile] amisamileandme), Regan Eby (Boston College)
Call for Papers (two speakers sought)
Deadline for abstract submission: 20th September
Send abstracts to: (will be forwarded to Regan Eby from there)

What is affection? Can we reliably locate or describe the features of affection between medieval persons, real or fictional?
Love of God, romantic love, and love between monastic peers or loyal knights: these and other kinds of love are well attested across the range of medieval sources and periods, but historians of friendship recognise the difficulty of bridging the gap between felt affection and the literary tropes of love. Love might be spoken or written of in situations where the parties were unlikely to feel positively toward one another, such as in reconciliations and peace treaties. In other cases, sources might borrow from the scripts of romance, friendship at court, or family in order to characterise a peculiar relationship, such as an opposite-sex friendship. Some forms of affection might be indicated without reference to the vocabulary of love at all.
We invite medievalists from any period or discipline to propose a paper relating to the history of affection, unconventional affectionate bonds, or approaches to situations in which we have insufficient data for firm conclusions concerning the presence or absence of affection in lived experience. The abstract for Amy Brown’s paper (focusing on 14th c english romance) is below, and we would particularly like to complement this paper with evidence from other periods or other literary traditions.

Abstract of paper 'Sir Lancelot in the Friend Zone: strategies for limiting and offering affection in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur' )

Final note, especially since Amy intends to distribute this CFP to swiss colleagues: proposals for papers in English preferred, but we enthusiastically endorse the idea of panelists (esp. early career researchers) unaccustomed to working in English. Amy can volunteer moral support and/or editing assistance if helpful, and we will aim to moderate questions with opportunity for clarifications and translations as needed.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 10:11
We must have an update or I'll end up not recording this turbulent, weird, stressful time in my life at all.

So, yesterday my lease officially ended.

stuff that's been happening )
Monday, September 1st, 2014 08:10
via at September 01, 2014 at 03:00AM:


I will always reblog Fa Mulan.  
Monday, September 1st, 2014 07:06
via at September 01, 2014 at 02:00AM:




holy shit.

For the win


I am so very glad this is back on my dash.

This time my troubles are going to have troubles with me. 
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 22:47
Back from the zinefest etc.

I am reading the three issues of an extremely good zine, Moonroot, some of the best writing I've seen in a while. It's great. I highly recommend it! fucking excellent!!!!

Wish I'd had more time to talk with the folks at their table but I had to scoot off and go to the panel/discussion.


Sunday, August 31st, 2014 22:25
1. I had a nice, relaxing day off.

2. Got some manga posted. I'm excited about being just one chapter away from finishing A Child's Child. It's not the longest thing I've ever worked on, but it's the second series I started scanlating, and it's the longest thing I've ever completed on my own, so it feels huge to be so close to done.

3. This month I walked or rode my bike at least a little bit every day, even on my days off.

4. Irene grilled tonight and we had carne asada tacos. *_*

5. Heidi's eye infection seems to be almost cleared up, thanks to the eyedrops. She's also discovered the joy of boxes, as I gave her an empty Cheerios box to play with today. Here she is inside!
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 19:48
A special bonus this month! Two chapters! So that leaves just the epilogue for next month. We're almost there! :D

Title: A Child's Child
Original Title: コドモのコドモ (Kodomo no Kodomo)
Author: Sasou Akira
Publisher: Action Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 3 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: In a small town in Tokyo, the PTA argues about teaching sex ed in elementary school, but what nobody knows is that eleven-year-old Haruna is already pregnant. When she decides not to tell any adults, it's up to her classmates to help her through this ordeal. (Note: This is not loli. Sex happens off-screen and the artwork is not fan-servicey.)

Chapter Summary: Haruna decides she'll tell her mom everything next Sunday, but no sooner has she made the decision than she finds out her grandpa has taken the baby. If anyone sees him with the baby, the decision about where and when to tell may be out of her hands...

Chapter 27: Haruna's Confession
Chapter 28: Daddy Hiroyuki
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 18:15
John tested the download (we own the film but can't locate the DVD, for some reason), and I did some awww'ing over Harold and his fluffy hair.

I love that college flashback!Egon has the fluffy hair (and looks like Russell in general, so fitting).

 photo College-Egon.jpg
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 17:55
Because I was thinking of each of them recently, and haven't been posting much, so here's a post!

1) I really like my eyebrows. They're strong and nicely arched.

2) I was a legal adult before I was certain that Austin and Houston weren't just different pronunciations of the same city name.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 12:40
Leg not too good, ankle also, painkillering up to cab to the zine fest. I am on a panel at 3pm.

Not sure if I can make it to Oakland today but I will give it a good try.

zach came by to show me his new scooter hacks, which are amazing, and brought me a really big comfy foam cushioned seat back with a wood panel backing, for my travelscoot, which will be really good if I hack it down to half its size and bolt it nicely on. Or maybe a large amount of velcro backing and some sort of clip. It needs to be as portable as possible. i am super touched he brought it. The new hacks are a big power converter so his huge 35 amp hour batteries can now charge a car charger port mounted in the scooter side. There are also new speakers which he scavenged from noisebridge and mounted on the back in older looking cases so no one will steal them. they fit perfectly! soon to come, a microphone (xlr) jack so he can plug a mic straight into the scooter speakers.

hannah's board game party was fun yesterday. i feel glad to hold my friends close.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 13:18
Major, I repeat, MAJOR!!! spoiler for the Mass Hysteria arc (aka, Volume 2, issue #19).


Seriously, I have no idea what is going to happen now... as they can't seem to have any non-lethal way (for anybody, really) to snap him out of that.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 16:14
Previously unread.

This is the sequel to The Quantum Thief and starts pretty much where the previous book in the series ended. We're following either de Flambeur, Mieli or a new character, Tawaddud. I am not entirely sure what happens, in detail, which is not surprising. I recall Quantum Thief left me in about the same state.

I'll probably reread this before going on to the third book in the series, but I am definitely interested in seeing what else Rajaniemi end up having published.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 09:32

If I wasn't the shire webmaster, I swear, I would divorce myself from my shire. The shire voted to deliberately sabotage our bid for Fall Crown List so we wouldn't get it while the KINGDOM SENESCHAL was begging us to make a good bid for it.

Granted, we have a small event right after Crown List, but WE MANAGED TO DO IT LAST YEAR, PEOPLE. WITH NO TROUBLE. A back to back for this shire is not a problem, especially when we have Crown List, an event that practically runs itself. The Kingdom's already made arrangements for the site, we just have to supply the people.


But no, it was 'too much work'.

Also, I just realised that that count up there? Of the peers and proteges? Add three people to that and you've got the count of the shire.

This upsets me greatly. It really does, it makes me wonder what the hell is going on with my shire.

Sunday, August 31st, 2014 12:12
Because there may be more people who would want to know who haven't heard yet:

[personal profile] delux_vivens has died.

I don't have words that can do justice to the loss.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 12:37
I wrote this as a comment on a friends-only LiveJournal post, so I'm reproducing it here.

"I figure that since my employer doesn't monitor how I spend my paychecks to make sure I don't spend it on booze, drugs, porn, etc. but rather only on nutritious food and sensible clothing, I am going to give to people on the street, and in fact I am going to assume giving to people on the street does more good than giving it to white people with good salaries who decide which people on the street are deserving (which is more or less what [REDACTED] said, I'm just agreeing with her).

Since I believe that I am rather good at figuring out how to spend money on things I want and need if someone just gives it to me, I'm not going to condescend to poorer people and assume they're not as good at it. (In fact, they're probably better at it, having managed to survive this long.)"

I'd add to this that I see an analogy: donating money to disease-specific charities (especially for diseases whose cures are open-ended research problems and that tend to affect people who are privileged enough not to die young of an infectious disease) : supporting global public health efforts :: donating money to white people with good salaries who will then decide how to allocate it among the poor (after taking their own cut) : giving money on the street to people who ask for it.

That said, I won't usually give on the street when I'm with other people, since in my experience that leads to pressure on the other people to give too, and I guess I put my friends' comfort first... which may not be the right set of priorities. I also don't give every time I'm asked, but I would like to give more often. My reflex (trained into me through years and years of living in cities and being influenced by people who were anti-giving) is just to say "no". And truthfully, I read this one _Babysitters' Club_ book when I was six or so where one of the characters opens up her wallet to give money to a panhandler and the more street-wise character scolds her with "he's just trying to get you to take out your wallet so he can steal it", which left its imprint on me (the bad thing, of course, wouldn't be losing my wallet, but shamefully being "gullible" which is obviously the worst thing you can be). Anyway, I'm trying to train myself out of those reactions.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 03:01
So, the company that bought the company that bought the company that bought the company that bought the company that I originally hosted with back in 2002 has been getting increasingly emphatic at me about it being time to retire the hardware, and after some thinking, and realizing that I a) do not have the time and energy necessary to continue running a fullscale server, b) do not have the time and energy necessary to do the sort of data migration I'd need to do to move the 200 or so GB of user data kicking around on the machine, and c) really kind of dislike the company that bought the company that &c and don't want to continue hosting with them, I've decided that I'm no longer going to be hosting users outside my immediate household of me-and-Sarah.

What this means:

a) If I don't have current contact info for you, and it looks as though you weren't using the account for email: I'm in the process of archiving the hosted data and removing those accounts. To make arrangements to get the data that was in the account, contact me at

b) If I don't have current contact information for you, and it looks as though you are using the account for email (primary or backup), I'll be emailing you at your kekkai email address and trying very hard to search down any other email addresses for you. If I can't contact you by 10/1, I'll archive the hosted data and your mail spool and remove the accounts. Again, to make arrangements to get the data, email me at

c) I'll be contacting people I still have contact info for over the next month to make arrangements for your transition: I'll give you some time to hunt down all the places you were using that email address, grab all your data off the machine, etc.

d) I will be aiming to decommission the current machine anywhere between 11/1 and 12/31, and no later than that. (It may wind up being earlier if the hosting company decides they can't give me that much time, etc.) At that point, I'll archive any remaining user data and store the archives, then remove all remaining user accounts.
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 23:30
1. I forgot to order stuff last night because I'm not used to working closing shift on Saturdays and there's one order that needs to be in by 1pm on Saturday for Monday delivery. But I did remember in time to go in this morning for a bit and get that taken care of. Annoying to have to go to work, then come home and go back again later, but at least I live close enough to do so. And while I was there, I found out one of the stockers was going to be leaving early, so I was able to contact the closing stocker and ask if he could work a longer shift and come in a couple hours before he was scheduled to start (and he could).

2. The storeroom area is still so junked up from the remodel, but little by little it's getting straightened up. Maybe by next week I'll actually know where all my stuff is.

3. On my way back from work this morning I met Irene at the farmers market where we bought tomatoes and lettuce to make BLTs for lunch. They were super tasty!

4. Now that I have a day when I'm closing, I can get free bentos and meat again! I brought home bibimbap for me and Irene for dinner and that was also delicious.

5. Sooooo glad to have the day off tomorrow. No plans to do anything except grill a bit in the afternoon.

6. It's been a week since we got the kitten and she now seems to be completely at home. Going to try to spend a little time kitten-proofing the house tomorrow, actually, because she's getting into so much stuff! She's also finding lots of new favorite places to sleep. Like the coffee table. Or the corner of the TV stand.
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 06:18
If eyes are the window to the soul, volcanoes are the window to the soul of the planet - or at least to the Earth's interior, which might very easily be the same thing, depending on your definitions. Very well: I define planetary interiors, with their various motion and stillnesses, their complex simplicities, their confusions, as souls.

Brought to you by "ways I am not in point of fact permitted to open my poster"...
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 20:28
Quick note before I head to be bedroom to sleeeeeeeeep:

Buttercup (my beloved bicycle) will probably be no more as they don't make that bicycle in butter yellow anymore. It does come in screaming orange, though. Don't know what to name if I get screaming orange - Brent's vote is for Scootaloo. They're replacing the frame for free as it's got a lifetime warranty.

My iPod also died - logic chip failed - and they're replacing that. I have to come get it as they can't ship it to the house.

Hopefully I can get both of these this week by Thursday because that's when they'll likely have my iPod ready and I'd hate to make two trips up there.

Keeping the same tag "riding buttercup" and the same icon, though. Memory, yo.
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 21:22
Can people, like, talk to me about the economics of doing a PhD part time? Because I think I need to at least consider doing this part-time rather than full-time at least temporarily (witness the last month, the majority of which I have spent asleep and incapable of sitting upright for more than about 5 minutes without noticeable impact on brain function), but I'm terrified because I have no idea which of ESA, Housing Benefit etc I'd be eligible for, and how much of my savings I'd go through before they arrived, and if they'd even make up enough of the shortfall.
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 13:08

Title: Himegoto
Original Title: ヒメゴト~十九歳の制服~ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 7 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Krim + Kurokishi Scans
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.

Chapter Summary: Kaito begins to suspect Yoshiki has feelings for him, but is determined to keep their relationship platonic.

Chapter 25: Suspicion
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 15:26
For $40, I had to get them. THEY ARE SO CUTE!

 photo SDCC2014ExclusivesFunkoPopGhostbusters30thAnniversarySetwithMarshmallowMessGhostbustersfigures.jpg
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 04:50
 It's 3 5am at the end of another summer full of science and conservation. This time heavier on the conservation than the science, but still, there's science. 
Friday, August 29th, 2014 23:05
1. I went in to work an hour early this morning so I could try and get a headstart on redoing the drinks case, which I had to get done by today. Not only is it harder to work when the store is open and there's customers, but there are three big deliveries on Fridays which take up a huge chunk of my morning. I still ended up needing to stay half an hour overtime this afternoon to get the job done, but I think going in early did help.

2. I'm closing tomorrow, so I get to sleep in! And also go to the farmers' market, which I usually can't go to because I'm at work.

3. We walked up to the store tonight and they had a sale on cereal where if you buy four boxes, not only are they $2.50 each but you get a free gallon of milk, too. O_o We've been eating a lot of cereal lately and while the kinds included in the sale were pretty limited, there were some we liked, so we got free milk! (Which is like a $5 value.)
Friday, August 29th, 2014 21:55
I'm having a devil of a time concentrating long enough to work on anything creative, which is annoying as hell. Which I mention because I've opened this "post an entry" page several times today meaning to write something, but given up in frustration after two and a half sentences on a few different topics. (My fandom-as-projective-test post with slash archetypes; an urban fantasy thing-I'd-like-to-see-in-fiction where a couple of grizzled American loner demon hunters go to Italy and are taken out drinking with the Vatican's standing committe on exorcism, who give them tips and try to interest them in celibacy; something-else-I-forget.)

I've ascribed this lack of achievement to my own poor work habits and only after I write this I'm like, "Oh hey, that sounds like a really bad ADHD episode."

Eeexcept I've been taking my meds regularily and my caffeine intake hasn't changed and ?????????

I AM SO FRUSTRATED. And creatively discouraged. I want to be able to write things! I do! But sitting still for very long at all is torture. My hands always twitch to be doing something else, and real work doesn't soothe them. I'm reduced to wandering the house from task to task listening to an audiobook.

I want to have accomplished something so people will pay attention to me and say nice things about it (oh wow that sounds petulant) but instead I got nothin'.
Friday, August 29th, 2014 20:22

I don't understand the rational basis behind people's opposition to Anita Sarkeesian's work, if indeed there is any.

I grant that I haven't plumbed the depths of Reddit, 4chan, and sundry gaming forums looking for reasoned argument, because those places are fucking gross. But what I have found seems to be naught more than a paranoid chorus of "she's out to get our games!"

Some self-identified "gamers" seem to think that Sarkeesian's saying "Stop making games". She's not. She's saying "Games can be better than this. Make better games."

The myriad cries of "censorship!" and "political correctness!" suggest the perceived danger is that games will change as a result of Sarkeesian's critique—that the amount of abuse and misogyny will decrease, and that the number of female characters with agency and development will increase. This makes the rallying cry of "she's out to get our games!" sound more like "she's out to emasculate our games!"

I have news for you, gamer dudes. If gratuitous misogyny and violence is how you define masculinity, then you've got a big fucking problem.

Saturday, August 30th, 2014 00:34
post-tags: instagram, crosspost A lot of people feel this way. #pumpkin #fall #toosoon #psl
Friday, August 29th, 2014 11:46
It's not entirely nice, but these days I am super patronizing to people who try to argue sexism with me.

"I just think the battles over gender are in the past."
"Aww, that's the sweetest thing for you to think."

"Women don't face discrimination anymore."
"You're really cute for having that opinion."

"These days, men and women are treated equally."
"Wow, you're just precious."

Let me tell you, it is super effective in totally disarming these men, because they have no fucking idea how to deal with patronizing contempt. When someone says, "I'm not even going to treat you like a worthy foe; I'm just going to pat you on the head and praise you for thinking you know anything, when really really I am certain you are coming up with fairy tales about the world that are very romantic and noble, but nothing like reality."

I know how to deal with it, but that's because people have been treating me like a sweet-faced girl for my entire life, and I had to learn how to tell whether or not someone was willing to engage with me respectfully or not rather early on.

I'd like to be able to deal with things in a more enlightened and respectful way, but right now... I've got nothing.
Friday, August 29th, 2014 14:29
*insert Bender voice*
I'm back, baby!
*/Bender voice*

And I have another plot bunny that is nagging at me.

Ah, well...

It'll involve flashbacks and nostalgia, brought to you by listening to too much Hedley at work.