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flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I like to talk about stuff that won't leave my brain alone, earworms, kvetching about fic I'm writing, and recs and links. Sometimes I write about meditation and rationality.

Comments are welcome here, and I will try to reply unless you are probably trolling. As long as you apologize when you hurt someone then we're cool. If all you want to say is a heart/emoji, that's super fine by me!

If you need cuts with trigger warnings? Please let me know. I like y'all and want you to feel safe. As someone whose body does not always work like it says on the label, I will try to put whinging about that behind a cut, also.

Fandom stuff: Lately, I've been into Daredevil, MCU, Teen Wolf, The Good Place, and sometimes I go back to that old standby, Harry Potter. Fandoms I'm not in anymore where you may have seen me include: Smallville, X-Men, Stargates SG1 and Atlantis, and random comments on your 80's movie fics. If you want to podfic, remix, translate, make fanart, or in any way transform any of my fan works, you go right ahead! Link me and I will be overjoyed to share it.

I do beta reading, too. Just PM me.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
My sedimentation rate is normal, according to the recent blood tests, and I am negative for antinuclear antibodies and rheumatoid factor. But my C Reactive protein is testing higher than it should be. 😣

Since there is now a possibility that I could have something like lupus or another inflammatory condition, I have started on the dietary restrictions recommended for lupus. Which sucks, because it is a sugar-free diet with no fried foods and no *garlic*. I'm gonna be bitchy about this for a while. Garlic is apparently an immune system activator? Which makes it healthy for people who don't have an autoimmune condition, but I am not one of those people. Boo.

I went off of the gabapentin for a few days, and my anxiety did not change much but my pain did and I immediately had a migraine, so apparently that is working fine. But yesterday was the first day in a long time when I haven't felt like my life was a comedy of errors written by a sadist, and today I feel back to my previous version of normal, so the dietary changes are working ... dammit. Which means I have to keep them.

Time to invest in some sugar free chocolate, I guess.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Hello friends! I have been reminded that Dreamwidth has private messaging, so I can ask you questions that you may not feel like answering in public! Huzzah!

Do any of you have pinterest boards, trello board, del.icio.us lists, pinboard etc. that I can go wandering through? I am about to change another medication in about a week here, and I need new fluffy things for my brain to chew on during the inevitable mental wobble and headache.

Let me see the insides of your head? I don't judge.
flamingsword: Tiny!Steve captioned Bad Body Day (Bad Body Day)
I am going to take yet another page out of [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's book and start blogging answers to some of the prompts on how to encourage more meaningful conversation.

I am, however, having decision paralysis like a big dog. Anybody want to ask me one of these or should I just wait 'til my brain starts tracking?
Huzzah! We have a volunteer from the audience! Thank you [personal profile] brightandravenous

5. What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before?

I want to dress up like a girl voluntarily, as a way to start exploring gender. I am now comfortable enough in myself, now that i know why it has always been so uncomfortable to hold myself up to other people's standard for my supposed gender, that i can now separate playing with the behaviours from trying to hold myself to that unfair metric. I will be trying out classic lolita fashion. I have a whole pinterest board for this, just wait. There will be pictures and awesomeness.

8. What makes you happy?

Sunsets, perfumes, complicated flavors, not being in pain, making people smile, destroying things what need destroying, and being silly. I have a Good Things List somewhere with all the things that are always soothing and good on it. It is helpful as a self care guide for really bad days when self care can't be therapy and dealing with trauma.

14. What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Watch where people's eyes go. Clock how long they linger on other people and things to guage how much they want that thing or that person's attention. People are made to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable stating their desires, so sometimes if you want to know you can't just ask. Knowing what people want is part of the four part personality metric for behaviour prediction that I was taught by my friend Jenn. It has stood twenty years unchallenged as a great way to know what was going on.
flamingsword: Tiny!Steve captioned Bad Body Day (Bad Body Day)
Today I am grateful for thrift store silk shirts that don't set off this recent resurgence in sensory issues. I am grateful for lap-monsters and their furry kitty warmth. I am thankful for naproxen and the people who developed it. I am thankful for the internet and it's ability to connect people and information.

(At this point we are hoping that my return of symptoms are caused by medication resistance. We are still testing things and changing medications. We'll see how stuff turns out.)
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Someone I follow is doing tarot readings to raise money for getting necessary dental work. Stop on by if you've a dollar or two to throw around.

If you're a writer, have a good read on how to write characters while finding believable balances of competence and vulnerability.

I am getting into Japanese lolita fashion, and will take pictures when I get dresses and accessories in the mail. Wish me luck.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
So apparently that antidiscrimination stuff in our code of conduct only applies to what we are allowed to say to clients, and it is "unprofessional" of me to *very gently* ask someone to not discriminate against me. I was threatened with firing today if I even talk about the subject with her or another client. Thanks for making me complicit in my own dehumanization, FailBoss.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Almost all of emo's early work is about resonant pain, because emo has this aesthetic of "here is my trauma, listen to me grapple with it and try to cope". And My Chemical Romance did that better than most. In some ways they were the most distilled form of emo. Their band exists because Gerard Way was on the ferry from New Jersey into Manhattan the day the twin towers came down. He had a front row seat to our national tragedy, and he was so shaken he couldn't stop talking about it to his former garage band members at church, one of whom told him to write a song about it and he'd play it.

That legacy of bearing witness to trauma, of singing out the pain you can't keep bottled up: that's emo. My Chemical Romance was just pain on a grand but relatable scale, the pain of seeing something that left scars, of having disappointed your grandmother and yourself because you weren't there when she died, the pain of having to carry on when those you love die.

Like all music seen as "feminine" and therefore threatening to the toxic cocks of rock, My Chem, and emo in general, faced some strong pushback. Every bit as strong as the riotous backlash against disco were the attacks against emo kids and the cyber-free-for-all of terrorism against 'netizens like Boxxy. Artists like MCR had songs about ~emotions~ and that was Not Okay.

One of the basic premises of emo is that working through your trauma onstage is valid art. Having feelings in public is seen as feminine and icky in popular culture, so rebelling against that norm is punk. Doing the work of publicly processing trauma is both punk artistry and the feminist act of using your emotions to create instead of destroy. Doing it where other people are paying to watch it forces that feminism into the cultural conversation, making the world better.

Until some assholes decide that straight masculinity is all that music ever needs to represent.

But we've heard that one before. ;)
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I know that for some folks, Gratitude Lists Don't Work, partially because if you are even a little given to shame, then any difficulty you have in being grateful is going to set you up for a shame spiral. Shame is a normal enough emotion, but it was shitty for me. So I got rid of it *because I can do that*. Not everybody is lucky enough to have a superpower where they can follow their feelings along neural pathways and deliberately starve those pathways of reinforcement.

My gratitude posts are my attempts to balance out the negativity in my life by acknowledging the beauty and sensuous joys that are available to me even though I am in pain. I don't judge you, or advocate for you to make gratitude lists of your own. If that is not how you find joy and connection, then it is not. And I am okay with you living your life in any way you like. I highly advocate taking any of my actions with a grain of salt. Your cost-benefit assessment is unlikely to be anything like mine.

And I'm cool with that, too.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I woke up this morning and my joints did not hurt for the first time in weeks. *deep breath*

Links from this week behind the cut.
Read more... )
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Your mouth is not red when you take your gender off.
You are shell pink- gentle but tough, hard around soft.

Make up, making up, made up: words for reconciling what is real with what could be.
I might be imaginary; you might like that better.

I have learned how to change clothes, like lipstick stains wiped away.
Not without joy do we apply the artistry of our faces.
Not without joy do we remove the mask.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Okay, let's make a game of spotting neurotypical versus autistic social skill failures!

Study the person you suspect of being neurodivergent. If they interrupt those whose opinions don't matter to their job or lives when they are speaking, they have bad social skills. If they interrupt their boss, those bad social skills aren't necessarily associated with the power heirarchies in which you only disrespect those below you. If someone has a delusion like racism or sexism, then they will reflexively estimate themselves higher than their bosses if their bosses are below them in the delusionary hierarchy. If they don't even recognize that there is a power dynamic in play, and will interrupt anyone including straight white male bosses, then they are probably autistic.

If you watch where people's eyes go, you can often deduce what they want. If someone stares at the gender of their preference for longer than two seconds at a time, they have bad social skills. If they stare longer than ten seconds, they are either being intentionally intimidating or they have no clue that social predators do that, and are behaving that way by accident. This does not have a clear demarcation between neurotypicality and autism, but it is worth noting that while predators can pretend to have bad social skills, their bad social skills don't extend to people they aren't attracted to who have the social capital to push back against them. Autistics with bad social skills dont tend to be able to hide that they have bad social skills. In order to learn to fake social skills you have to actually understand the social dynamic at play, which means really having the social skill.

If someone has anxiety and chooses to deal with that anxiety by avoiding the conditions that give rise to the problem, that person has poor ways of dealing with their own feelings. If a person gets into those situations because they can't predict them, but then will avoid actions that alleviate the underlying problem, they have bad social skills *and* bad ways of dealing with their own feelings. Neurotypical people do not often get paralyzed by the intensity and number of their own feelings, so the latter indicates autism in a way that the former does not. If they avoid confronting their feelings and the situation to the point of collapse/missed deadlines then they have executive dysfunction and are not neurotypical any way you slice it.

When you point out a small error and the person gets upset with you for pointing it out, that person has bad social skills. If the person doubles down on the error or tries to make the error someone ELSE'S problem to fix, that person is probably neurotypical. Autistic people, in general, tend to think that if other people's actions are giving rise to a problem, then they can't fix it themselves and it's up to us to do so. We get used to being the only one who can be counted on while young, and if we don't find others who can be counted on, we often don't ever outgrow that assumption.

If the subject of study reacts to uncertainty/not knowing the answer to something by being extra certain in the absence of evidence, they have bad emotional intelligence. If they react to uncertainty by stalling out or insisting stonily that there is no way to be sure, they are probably neurodivergent. If they do that and then propose ridiculous and complicated ways to get data about the area of uncertainty, they are not wasting your time, they are trying to help everyone be informed about what they consider a dangerous risk. It is a grey area, but does indicate autism as it disregards other people's feelings about the risk.

(With credit to [personal profile] bestmiaou for getting the conversation started and some of the distinctions.)

(With credit also to [personal profile] feotakahari for the good point about which hierarchies get recognition and respect.)
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I have some thoughts on Sick Woman Theory and some things implied by it. I agree that sickness intensifies the invisibility of the individual, and that sickness feminizes masculine-identified people. But I think the author doesn't go far enough. Sickness adds a degree of invisibility to women and nonbinary people because we are already supposed to be invisible. "Women's work" is unpaid and thankless because it is supposed to be invisible. We are all expected to be blind to the gears that keep the world turning.

When was the last time you saw a grown man told he was "making a scene"? I have never seen it, personally. It has always been weilded against women and children, always weilded by the party with more power against the one with less. It basically translates to "stop calling attention to my unacceptable behaviour/stop undermining this power imbalance/stop asking for attention". It says "you are embarrassing me and I will punish you for it". When are men ever punished for those things? When are a man's actions seen as a reflection on those he has privilege or power over?

When have you heard a man described as "doing it for the attention"? Women are said this of frequently, because the unspoken assumption is that *women never deserve attention* for their actions. Only for their appeal to the male gaze are women seen as deserving attention. And nonbinary people are never acknowledged at all. Our very existence undermines the binary dynamic of the abusive, gendered power imbalance endemic to most societies.

The future is nonbinary.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I am grateful that my friends lives are so rich and interconnected. We all have different interests and strengths to share. Our connections create a network of support that helps us all to thrive. We distribute our abilities to handle different kinds of adulting and teach each other life skills that parents assume are "common sense" - even though they were taught those things explicitly.

I am grateful for our similarities for bringing us together, and for the differences that make us useful and interesting to each other. I am grateful for diversity and neurodiversity. I am grateful for my ability to belong and for the chance to feel useful.

I am grateful for my friend T who will be buying my business and taking a major source of worry and anxiety out of my hands. I am grateful.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
"Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do? Is there anything your online friends could do to make your hard things a little easier?"
- [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
The world is a question you can pour and pour yourself into and never answer.
Sometimes a different story -question, world- will arise and ask of you a new thing.
It is a respite.

My tongue tells a story that spins a new world up out of nothing.
You hear, and respond to that nothing-something with yourself.
It is an answer.

The taste of my own mouth is comfortable and familiar, until I question it.
To question is to become a world, to demand an answer.
Have you earned worldhood?

We are each made anxious in questions,
But can be lionized in having answers.
We cling to our answers.

My tongue clings to the roof of my mouth in fear of the wrong word.
I answer the world with other worlds, pouring and pouring.
From out the deeps come no words to save me but your answers.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)

Finally The End Of Counting Calories relates the nutritionist and dietitian research about how calorie restriction works initially but causes bounceback and, for some, long term weight gain. We have better ways to be healthy. Let's use them.

Did you know there is a site you can go to to send your pics of friendly neighborhood bees and get information on them? And help scientists at the same time? BumblebeeWatch.org would like to establish this mutual aid.

Whales trade songs! Whales have oral traditions and hip new tunes! Whales are people! AAAAHGH!!! *sword proceeds to lose their shit*

The Epic Of Gilgamesh, sung in the original Sumerian.
flamingsword: Geek pride with glasses (geek pride)
Books 3, 4, and 5 in the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger

Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada

David And Goliath and What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

The Watsons And Emma Watson: Jane Austen's Unfinished Novel Completed by Austen, Jane/ Aiken, Joan (2008)

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble To Get Inside Our Heads by Wu, Tim (2017)

Wishful Drinking by Fisher, Carrie (2009)

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Boo, Katherine

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

A Truly Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Bonus music for those of you who read this far.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Since my brain is not yet spun up to its daily fly wheel imitation, it's probably the best time I am going to get to do some of the Snowflake Challenges that I missed.

Day 13

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year.

I want to complete Brookly of Ample Hills Was Mine. I want to learn how to drabble, and how to manage plot and pacing. I want to sell either a whole or half of my business so that I have time to do this stuff. Or if I can't do that, to just bankrupt/close the business and give away all of the products to friends. I want to keep or rename the Slack channel that I made nominally for the business.

Day 14

In your own space, talk about what you think the future holds for fandom.

I think we are finally going to be cross posting fannish stuff in fan-owned spaces when we create anything. We have lost so much of the product of our labor to malice and mismanagement that we have mostly learned our lesson about backing things up on multiple platforms. We know now that these are not isolated incidents, they are market forces. We're better prepared for them now. It has also gotten easier to back things up, using export services and cross-posting. So let's normalize that.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Leftover from the holiday shopping excursion I had a bit of milk, a bit more heavy cream and some half and half. They have all been mixed up and made into something more properly called three quarters and poured into my decaf coffee. (Caffeine, how I miss thee!) It is delicious, as expected.

I have been going through people's pinterest tags looking at pinned types of yarns and easy sweaters to make to replace a sweater of my friend J-, which I washed in the washing machine back in college before I had ever owned a sweater that was not made of acrylic. It ... still fit her after it shrank, but was no longer her cosy evening at home oversized sweater. I have found a Malabrigo Caracol yarn that I think she would love. And several things that have set off my craft project lust. But I currently have enough yarn that I dont need to go do that. I really want that silk/merino mix of peacock greens blues and purples, though. I just want to stroke it and call it pet names and probably never actually make anything out of it, more's the pity.

The cats continue to be cats, I am going to see Mom later with Ghost since he is off work, and I have temporarily given up on doing heavier or fandom projects until my brain stops spinning too fast to be useful and only catching on shiny things.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I have questions on how to make a white character participate in an African culture non-appropriatively and the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct has given me some ideas about how to do that. Humorous and thinky. Highly recommend.

Have you ever needed to make a smart person sound bleeding-edge-of-science smart but you are not a technical or hard science person? Read a few of the abstracts from the Science Research Network - it's where the science fandom go to have meta discussions and flame wars, so get your science character some sciencey opinions to hold and look smart about, while spreading the science around so nerds can squee about it to you in comments.

Who was it that linked me to A Bright And Bitter Flame, the fic about Loki getting reincarnated as a female human magician? It is a fucking delight! Everyone who wants to giggle and guffaw and ugly laugh their way through a fic needs to put this on their reading list.

And some writing advice that I will be taking to heart as soon as I am ready to go back to writing and not being the sole owner of a business that I dont have the energy to keep up with. :(


flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)

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