Found at the Forbidden Corner
Found at the Forbidden Corner
2. I finished a book last night!
3. Look at this cutie Molly! We left the packing paper in this box that came the other day and they just love how crinkly it is when they get inside.
2. Busy day at work, but I feel like I got stuff done (and didn't have to stay late, though I almost never do on weekends, since I work until closing).
3. So glad I got my hair cut. The heat and humidity have been that much more bearable.
4. Look at this cutie Chloe peeking under the bathroom door!
Currently reading: Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer; Meanjin 75.2
Recently read: You know how I said I was going to read Phryne Fisher while travelling? Yeah. I didn't. First I read a stack of magical-realism queer erotica set in London, and it gave me the literary equivalent of the "at once, to Pink Flloyd!" reaction I get from listening to MCR: at once, to Ben Aaronovitch! I almost resisted, but then I was *in* London watching my Dad have the surreal experience you have when you, an antipodean, arrive in London and find that the reality does actually look quite like the version in Neverwhere. I already own a hard copy of Neverwhere, so do not need a kobo copy, but the e-books of the Rivers of London books, they called out to me. So I bought them all.
Reviews, going back to where I last left off:
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Update: gave this as present to Miss Seven for her birthday; re-read it before doing so. All sentiments of previous review still stand.
Oh, this was absolutely adorable. Flory, an injured juvenile night fairy, adapts to life in a giantess' garden. Flory's quite a character: she's not nice, nor often kind, but is engaging to read about. Even her acts of generosity don't seem to come as *kindness* so much as determined altruism.
I'm not convinced that the feature of the ending wherein she discovers her wings are growing back was actually necessary. She'd made friends and found several alternative means of mobility - adding 'and also her wings are cured!' doesn't add anything, and does repeat the magically-walking-cripple trope.
The illustratons were wonderful.
The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oh now this I liked a *lot*. It had something that the Alpennia romances don't: grit. It's not *sweet*, and it's not really a romance, it's definitely erotica. It was gritty, not just in the sex - there's quite a lot of blood and violence involved in the general plot, too.
The magical realism worldbuilding was good, for the price mark; the detective plot sound, and didn't try to over-reach itself.
The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Now this was gripping! Plot solid, world-building solid, and character work really interesting. I love that the book took a difficult-to-like character from the previous book, and while making her *sympathetic* did not necessarily make her *nice*. Some of my quibbles re: the ending of book one were also smoothed over, as Jones has clearly put actual thought now into how you go about constructing a partnership as ladies of independent means in the 17th century.
A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Excellent follow-up to the Magpie Lord, in every possible way.
A Case of Spirits by K.J. Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cute, short, and a bit lighter than the others. Good work for a short splice-in story.
Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This one I am less happy with, largely because of the ending gambit. Obviously, IRL, if a job is making someone unhappy and their significant other has the money to support them, well, quitting is fair enough.
But I wanted Stephen to be Magical London's Commander Vimes, dammit. And I *don't* count 'rich lover whisks poor clerk off his feet' as a good romantic conclusion.
The gritty, not-sweet aspects of the sex that I liked in the previous two pushes a little further into unhealthy here, too. Not badly written, but a little more difficult to get into (for me, at this time, idek).
(FYI, the Alpennia books are on Amazon and Kobo; the Charm of Magpies ones are at Samhain Publishing's website)
Stacked-up reviews of the Rivers of London series to come when I've finished Foxglove Summer.
Up Next: I got partway into KJ Charles' Jackdaw before buying up the Rivers of London books, so I'll go back to that. I've got a couple of books to read asap for work, and I seem to have bought Gentleman Bastard in a fit of... something.
Fixated on Amy MacDonald at the moment. Picked up the best of Katrina and the Waves, because of a craving for 'Walking on Sunshine'. Not sure if that warranted buying the ENTIRE CD, but anyway.
Also, it turns out that an unsweetened jasmine tea ice lolly is an unusual and refreshing thing (yes, it's just frozen tea-on-a-stick; given the basic goal of reducing body temperature as much as possible, this totally works for me).
Btw, I reiterate the lido offer for DW peeps in London (for upcoming weekdays, anyway -- getting too crowded at weekends).
Edge lace for my sleeves - I did this on my embroidery machine, on a poly organza with heavy wash-away stabilizer, and then cut the diamonds out and hand-sewed them on.
After much experimenting, the tricks to using metallic thread without it snapping are to keep tension super-low, let the thread spool out from far away (I have it in a mug about a foot away), and don’t make your stitches too dense.
2. The heat's supposed to peak today and it should be cooling off next week, which is nice! I really hope the humidity goes down as predicted as well.
3. I've got a few days of sleeping in coming up!
4. I have sweet kitties. :D
Haven’t been posting much about cosplay, but I’ve been working on stuff so expect some photos over the next few days.
Tonight’s lesson: sometimes you have to try something, and fail… and try something else, and fail… and then keep trying to get it right. Four iterations of rosettes later, I’m finally happy.
When it comes to reproductive rights, even liberals are likely to hesitate, to cite bioethics, or to say that abortion is a necessary evil. They're likely to say that it should be safe, legal and rare.
But here's the thing about abortion: the only way you could possibly have doubts as to whether everyone should have completely unfettered access to it is if you're either uncertain about bodily autonomy as a right everybody has, or if you're uncertain about whether it's something people other than cis men should have.
I don't think anyone is really uncertain about bodily autonomy. At least for cis men, we're generally in agreement that one of the rights that all human beings have is to not have any other person in their body without consent.
One of the times when we decide to suspend personhood is when somebody is imprisoned. The widespread acceptability of prison rape jokes shows that the one situation when we consider suspending bodily autonomy okay is when we think somebody deserves to be punished.
So there are really only two reasons for thinking abortion is a moral gray area:
- You don't think women are really people.
- You think women should be punished for having sex.
Of course, cis men don't get punished for having sex with other consenting adults, because having sex with other consenting adults is something that human adults get to do. So it comes down to whether or not you're sure women are really people.
(While the effect of forced pregnancy is that everyone with a uterus, including cis women and trans men like me, as well as genderqueer people who have uteruses, the intent behind the pro-forced-pregnancy movement is to control women and punish them for existing as sexual beings. We need to be aware of both effects and intent here.)
Are you sure that women are people? Then surely you believe that nobody has a right to be in a woman's body without her consent.
Do you think that having sex grants implicit consent to pregnancy? Then you don't really think women are people, because we're all fine with men having consensual sex and don't, as a rule, believe they waive any of their basic human rights by doing so. Thinking women waive their bodily autonomy by choosing to have sex really just amounts to treating pregnancy as a punishment for sex.
I'm assuming that people who have doubts about abortion believe that fetuses and embryos are people. If they don't think that, then I really don't know what they're on about (although there is plenty of evidence they don't really think that -- ask a pro-forced-pregnancy person whether they favor punishing somebody who has an abortion in the same way that people who commit murder are punished.) Believing that fetuses are people poses no threat to my believe in the fundamental right to an abortion. Like all people, fetuses have no right to be in any other person's body without that person's consent.[*]
And yet, in 2016, I still live in a country where people considered liberal, progressive, in favor of civil liberties, and so on can still say abortion is a moral gray area with a straight face. I still live in a country where even liberals, even people who support personal freedom, haven't made up their mind about whether women are people.
[*] In answer to the question, raised elsewhere, of what we say if we believe fetuses are people and recognize that they didn't consent to be in the body of their gestational parent: I'd say three things to that. First, the concept that you have the right to self-defense isn't too controversial. You can come up with plenty of reasons why an adult person who is posing a threat to you might not be a totally free agent, but ultimately, your right to defend your body against invasion by them is considered sacrosanct. Second, fetuses don't have the ability to defend themselves, and I'm happy to defer that particular what-if to the time when that changes. And third, being in a situation you didn't consent to doesn't generally confer the right to use somebody else's body -- for example, if you would die without a kidney transplant, and if you didn't consent to have kidney failure, that still doesn't give you the right to force someone to donate their kidney to you if they don't want to.
( Who comments the most on this journal? )
But now we have someone new. There is this Quaker girl (mentioned over here and over here) who isn't sure what she wants to be called, but I'm clear that I want to talk about her. She's narrowed it down to either Quaker Girl or Sunrise Princess.
I'm not fully sold on either, but I do like representing folks the way they want to be represented.
2. We had kimchi fried rice for dinner and it was super tasty.
3. I managed to get a little bit of translating done this evening, which is more than I've done the last few days.
4. I always try to get pictures of myself and the kitties, but since they don't like to be held, it's hard! I did finally manage to (sort of) get a picture of me and Molly today, though. :D
Here is a guide to the care and feeding of a sourdough starter, in the form of a downloadable booklet. It contains most of the advice I’ve been sharing with people for the past few years, whenever I give them some of my starter.
This sourdough guide contains:
- How to store your starter
- How to feed your starter
- An easy method to make a basic loaf of bread
- Scheduling/timing for making bread in winter and summer
- Tips for better sourdough bread
- Adding flavour
- Out of bread? Can’t wait two days for a loaf?
- Health and wellbeing of your starter
Download the sourdough guide:
- Spinster’s Bayley Sourdough Guide – A5 folded booklet (choose this if you use A4 size paper)
- Spinster’s Bayley Sourdough Guide – plain document (choose this if you use letter size paper – the foldable booklet probably won’t work for you)
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Some examples of my sourdough
- Fresh baked sourdough bread
- Pumpkin and rosemary sourdough bread
- Baguette style loaf
- No-knead style loaf baked in cast iron
- Crostini with garden tomatoes and ricotta
- Dough rising
- A dryish starter
- Sourdough veggie fritters
- Sourdough pancakes with caramelised apple
- Long rolls replace crackers in my house
- Sourdough foccacia with leek and olives
- Walnut and rosemary bread
Third and so far final volume in the Drake Maijstral series. Drake is holidaying on Earth and most decidedly not partaking in any crime capers, because vacation. As he's strolling through the Louvre, a painting is stolen and investigation ensues.
He leaves his current host, visiting Joseph Bob, the Prince of Tejas (and his brother Will, the Bubber (the "r" is silent)), where hopefully no crimes will happen...
Drake's hopes may possibly be less than intact, as the book proceeds.
Still an excellent read.
So because of reasons (mostly involving PCOS and my desire to maybe #bloodcannon a little less), I've been thinking about an IUD for a while. And since a few of my friends and I have entered into a mutual support pact about embodiment issues, it was well time for me to schedule an appointment for that.
Having determined to do the thing, I was rather in mind of doing it promptly, and since there has not in fact been any reason to suspect I might be pregnant (owing to not having been around any unchaperoned sperm since 2004-ish), sooner was better than later.
Unfortunately, the online appointment booking thing was down at the time I tried to get an appointment, so I wound up calling in; because I called in, I got an appointment with some random person from the office, rather than the uterus inspector I'd painstakingly picked out from the list. (The painstaking process went like: are they in this office? Do they not go on about how much they like babies? Does something about their profile strike me as friendly to me and people like me? OK then.)
Since it had been a while since seeing a uterus inspector when not in a highly traumatized and upset state of mind, and the state of the sexual health care art continues to change, I came prepared with a short list of questions whose answers I actually rather thought might apply to my current life. (I also have come to the conclusion that while I have no particular wish to get surgery which is super optional, I want to carefully monitor the risk & pain tradeoffs between keeping the uterus in and having the fucker OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT, and remove it as soon as it tips, rather than attempting to keep it around much past its best-by date.)
( Read more... )
That was about that. I collected my things and headed out, leaving promises to get the sex ed hat properly up on Ravelry someday. And I headed for home, a little disoriented and definitely feeling profuse bleeding, but not feeling kicked anywhere tender.
I came home to assorted encouragement on Twitter. Of particular note were the "uterus explosion" misreadings, and then a bit of sublime silliness with atavistique.
azurelunatic I think it will be time for tea when I get home.
atavistique and indeed there will be time/ to murder and create/ before the taking of toast and tea
azurelunatic Do I dare/ Disturb the uterus?
atavistique I have lingered in the chambers of the womb/ by follicles wreathed with endometrium red and brown
azurelunatic Till the speculum is lowered, in the gloom.
After the alluded-to pot of strong tea, I felt equal to dinner out with Purple, which was largely pleasant. I finally got to introduce him to the bread pudding, which was spectacular and my entire reason for bringing him. After dessert, I looked at my phone when Purple stepped away from the table, and found that I had received an emotionally jarring text. I showed Purple, and reached across the table to take his hand while I freaked out gently, and mourned the world in which certain terrible things had not yet happened. Eventually we repaired to the parking lot, to discuss the hardships of having been the kind of grownup who lost the rock-paper-scissors for presidency of the HOA board (this was the "bagsy not-it" game), pie that has tentacles, and the way he's *mostly* a well-behaved grown-up, but there are just moments when he has to fuck with people's brains. I have rather more of those moments, and mostly I let them off harmlessly, but every now and then there's something like the helldesk software, or ... other, less innocent forms of fuckery ... and I aim myself carefully before going off.
A good 12 hours on, and the bleeding's slowed to something more normal. And now, having written all this, I shall perhaps consider bed!
Second of three books in the Drake Maijstral trilogy.
We're at Silverside station, a newly-opened luxury resort, owned by Baron Silverside. It's located near a star being consumed by a black hole (I think, maybe a highly dense dwarf star or something).
Baron Silverside is obsessed with security and the safety of his highly prolific guests. With both Maijstral and Fu George in attendance, things are obviously a bit tense (Geoff Fu George is the #1 Allowed Burglar in the galaxy).
There's an assortment of other people available, like Roberta Altuinn, Duchess of Benn. She's young and will do her official debut as host of the masquerade ball, during the grand opening of the station. She's also an accomplished amateur null-G runner.
Naturally, things get horrendously complicated, really really fast.
I think this was actually the first Maijstral book I read, so clearly it works. I would, however, recommend reading the series in order, since I think it's more delightful that way.
2. Carla grilled some hot dogs tonight for dinner and that really hit the spot! (Especially since I hadn't eaten since early morning.)
3. Tomorrow's my day off and I have to go in to work, but I'm really hoping I can keep it to just a couple hours.
4. Sleepy Chloe snoot!
The medium that I've chosen for scheduling office hours is a site called Sign Up Genius. It is pretty easy to use in my experience, and all of my kids' teachers use it for conferences, parties and such. You don't have to have an account on the site to sign up for time slots, which is pretty great - just give them your email address. They will send you a confirmation and a reminder, and nothing else. But if for whatever reason you have trouble claiming a time slot using that site, you can also comment here and I can take care of it for you.
I am only doing signups for a week at a time, because that's about how far in advance I can be fairly confident of my availability. Each week will start on Friday, and I'll post the signups for the following week on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Each signup slot is scheduled to run 90 minutes, but since they're non-adjacent, it's OK if we need to go longer. Anything Dreamwidth-related is fair game: we can talk about code you're writing, code you want to write but don't know how to proceed, code someone else wrote, or things that don't involve code at all (I hear such things exist). My only request is that you don't take more than two slots in a single week, to make sure there is enough of my time to go around. Of course, you're still welcome to catch me on IRC at other times if I seem to be around, and PMs are open 24/7. :)
Here's the link for my available meeting times for the seven-day period starting July 22:
The kids seemed to enjoy their day camp at McWane last week learning about computer animation, but they wouldn't tell me much about the curriculum. Meanwhile I enjoyed having some time to be out of the house without having to look after them. Simple pleasures.
Still doing swim lessons on Saturdays. Both kids are making slow but obvious progress.
I've seen the new Ghostbusters movie twice, once with a group of girlfriends and once with Robby and Connor. Holtzmann is my new hero.
I've decided to get a used Playstation 3 for my birthday and I already have a list of 4 games I eventually want to get for it. I should probably finish at least one of my LEGO games first before starting something new, though...
My sister-in-law and her family are visiting from Texas, arriving tomorrow and staying through Sunday, so we will probably be hanging out with them most of the coming weekend.
August will be here before we know it.
Listening: Welcome to Night Vale - I confess I'm struggling with this a little. I know lots of people rave about it, but at the moment (about 6 episodes in) it's starting to feel a bit like a cool idea that has run its course.
Watching: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D season 3, thanks to Amazon Instant Video. The Melinda May fan club is still out in force around here, though Hunter and Fitz are also getting a lot of love.
2. I haven't started writing yet today because I have this one spiky chin-hair that's juuuuuuust too short to pluck but I can feel it whenever I touch my face and I cannot. I CANNOT. It is driving me bonkers.
Yes, it went well, aside from one of our friends getting a sprained ankle walking in and having 3x the amount of food we needed I think.
No, there are no honeymoon plans, as I need my vacation for family this year. Perhaps another year.
Yes, I did make my own dress. Note the pocket I added the morning of my wedding day. It was invaluable as it meant I could carry my cell phone and give my parents and grandmother a bit of a personal tour of the site.
No, I am not becoming American at this time. Do you people even know how long that takes? (But I don't want to anyhow, so it's moot.) I got my green card some weeks before the wedding, so this does not affect my immigration status in any way.
Yes, I am still recovering.
I think my circle are nifty people who might possibly get along with each other. Feel free to introduce yourselves in the comments, and get to know other potentially like-minded people!
My crowd includes a lot of people who are tech-ish, who are writer-y, and who love a
Here. In me. As I know me, there are buried threats that I am still finding as I skim and skip along the surface. I can only imagine how dangerous it is to be someone other than me, sliding along. The Farmer hammered it in that I am not full of safe responses because there was always something strange cropping up. A landmine. A cavern. An explosion. Something that wasn't there before but is there now but won't be there again.
Something to warm him off until he was no longer available to explore me or with me. He'd been reduced to pieces one too many times.
There are landmines here.
Maybe you shouldn't try.
Because there are landmines here. In me.
Interesting, if depressing, summary of some of the numbers in a Centre for Cities report on economy taxes with some nice infographics.
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PHD Comics: Doing vs Writing
This isn't entirely accurate for Computer Science, but I do sometimes get frustrated that the "doing" of programming up case studies and examples yields comparatively little in terms of publishable results.
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Britain is changed utterly. Unless this summer is just a bad dream | Ian McEwan | Opinion | The Guardian
An extraordinarily cynical piece but one which sums up a lot of what I've been feeling the past couple of weeks, right up to the final paragraph which sounds a note of, I would say, unwarranted Remainer optimism.
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The Corbyn Dilemma — Dan Rebellato
I agree with about 75% of this. I got myself a £3 special for the last Labour leadership election but didn't use it to vote for Corbyn. I find it hard to get a good grip on his policies or leadership, in part because most commentators treat him as either a saintly martyr or the devil incarnate and he clearly is neither. He comes across to me as a political scrapper with steely determination and some distinctly dubious allies but nevertheless an idealistic one. Where he seems to have failed is raising his game from backbench "in the trenches" activism into a frontbench grand vision. I'm not, personally, very taken with him, but just at the moment the PLP and Labour NEC seem to me to be worse.
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Forget Brexit — Italy is poised to tear Europe apart | Europe | News | The Independent
There's another referendum coming up which may topple a government...
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Can Theresa May make it to the top? | Gaby Hinsliff | Politics | The Guardian
Recommended by my sister, an insightful profile of Theresa May from 18 months ago.
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How the BBC's obsession with balance took Labour off air ahead of Brexit
I have huge sympathy with the BBC's nigh on impossible task of being "balanced" so what particularly interested me here was not the general thrust of the argument but the stats comparing the number of media appearances by Corbyn in contrast to Johnson which rather undermines the suggestion he didn't campaign hard enough for Remain.
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Theresa May reshuffle: what is behind the PM's top appointments?
Interesting analysis of Teresa May's appointment of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary which avoids the tempting (but probably incorrect) idea that she's merely giving him the rope with which to hang himself when Brexit fails (for some meaning of the word "fail").
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Doctor Who | Punishment - YouTube
I'm not much of a one for fanvids, but his Doctor Who one is excellent - very angsty mind.
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(Cue someone in the background--probably grrltastic if we're being honest--yelling "awoowoo" and snickering.)
2. I got my haircut, finally. It's been really muggy lately and although my hair was by no means long, it was really bugging me, so it feels so nice to have it nice and short.
3. Super cute kitten alert!
Not your feminist dream girl, by Raquel Rosario Sanchez (2016-07-13). "Like men, women are multifaceted people who can simultaneously support terrible policies and empowering ones. They are political candidates whose personal and political lives may make us cringe at points and cry with emotion at others. Feminists have pushed for more strong, complex, imperfect female characters on TV and in film, in order to get away from the one-dimensional women we are usually presented with in media. In Hillary, we have an influential woman who is just that: she is not the easy-to-figure out stereotype we expect women to be."
Invisible Talent, by Kaya Thomas (2016-07-14). On the frustrations of being a Black female computer science major and being told by an industry desperate to pretend its cultural failure is a "pipeline problem" that you don't exist.
Evidence, by feministkilljoys (2016-07-12). "My proposition is simple: that the evidence we have of racism and sexism is deemed insufficient because of racism and sexism." Long, meaty article about the function of demands for evidence of racism and sexism.
"The Best Time I Pretended I Hadn’t Heard of Slavoj Žižek", by Rosa Lyster (2016-07-14):
My advice is intended only for special occasions. It is for when you have an itch to scratch, and that itch is called, “a puerile desire to get on other people’s nerves.” All you do is stonily deny any knowledge of a person or cultural touchstone that you should, by virtue of your other cultural reference points, be aware of. These will of course be different for everyone, but my favorites include:
Žižek, John Updike, MORRISSEY (only for experts), Radiohead, Twin Peaks, David Lynch in general, Banksy (only for streetfighters), Withnail and I, Bauhaus (movement), Bauhaus (band), Afrika Burn, the expression “garbage person,” A Clockwork Orange, Steampunk (this one is really good), Jack Kerouac, “Gilmore Girls,” Woody Allen, the expression “grammar nerd,” the expression “grammar Nazi,” cocktails, bongs, magical realism, millennials, Cards Against Humanity, trance parties, bunting, many comedians, William Gibson, burlesque, the Beats, The God Delusion, sloths, anarchism, Joy Division, CrossFit, “The Mighty Boosh,” and Fight Club.
A White Male Led Revolution Against American Inequality, You Say?, by D Frederick Sparks (2016-05-22). "This blind spot, not being able to see these things because they don’t have to, is why I find it highly unlikely that white male left progressives are going to be the ones who identify and anoint the messianic figure in American politics who will lead the revolution against inequality. And if I had to wager, I wouldn’t put my money on said messianic figure being a privileged white male from the Northeast. I’d put my money on a black woman from the south or a Latina from the Southwest, someone who on an ontological and inter-sectional level understands the various power paradigms that contribute to unfairness in this country and can competently speak to and address all of them, and not just get fixated on one."
Dissociation is scary. Dissociation is safety, by Sarah Gailey for the Boston Globe (2016-05-08). CW: firsthand discussion of having PTSD and being triggered. This article describes what it's like for one person to have PTSD -- it's only somewhat close to my own experience, and if it isn't like this for you then you shouldn't assume it means you don't have PTSD, but more stories are always useful.
Martin Luther King’s hate mail eerily resembles criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement, by David Matthews (2015-08-18). Title says it all.
2. It's been super muggy lately, but still fairly cool weather. Hoping that will continue for a while longer.
3. This cute Chloe!
I think I've got the factory-default uterus setup pretty well covered, but I want to make sure that I am representing (as best I can) trans people who *don't* have that set of factory-default anatomy, and their/your concerns about accessing gynaecological health care.
If you would be willing to drop me a line about your thoughts, in comments here or in private message or in e-mail, I would be super grateful. <3