June 25th, 2017
bcholmes: I was just a brain in a jar (brain thoughts)
posted by [personal profile] bcholmes at 10:57pm on 25/06/2017 under

Lately I’ve found myself spending too much time arguing with “allies.” Whether it’s explaining to them, as a black gay man, why racism in the Gayborhood is a serious issue or why nondiscrimination laws should be statewide, it feels as though I’m having to defend myself to those who should be advocating by my side. What I have realized is that too many allies conduct themselves as service providers: They show up only when there’s an immediate need, they require me to explain the problem again and again, and they may or may not actually fix anything.

In other words, allies are more trouble than they’re worth.

— Ernest Owens, “Why I’m Giving Up on ‘Allies'”

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

June 24th, 2017
serene: mailbox (Default)
posted by [personal profile] serene at 10:50am on 24/06/2017 under , ,
My sister died yesterday, a few minutes after Munchkin The Elder left to pick up his father from the doctor. She died while being given CPR, which strikes me as a violent kind of way to go, but she had been unconscious for hours at the time, so I doubt she felt anything.

Today, James and I will go to the hospital to fetch her belongings. Monday, the social worker will contact me about arrangements for her disposition.

The kids are fine. James and I are fine. My mom is alternately fine and wrecked, which will probably be the way of things for a while.

We lost her a long, long time ago. There's some finality in the past day's events, but not much has changed.

Munchkin the Younger came up yesterday to check in, to tell me that I am her real mother, and to get comfort in talking to someone who understands not having any emotion left for the person we lost all those years ago.

I'm sorry there was no way for us to reach her. I'm sorry her life was sad and hard, and that she caused so much damage in our family.
Mood:: fine
Music:: Parents are people; people with children
location: 91911
June 23rd, 2017
serene: serene (ooh)
posted by [personal profile] serene at 01:18pm on 23/06/2017 under , ,
If you and I are close, you probably remember first hearing about my sister and being kind of surprised that my feelings for her range from deep apathy (almost all the time) to raging anger/hatred (during any of the crises in my family that she caused or precipitated over the years). Mostly, once the kids I helped raise were 18, she hasn't affected my life in any direct, practical way, but her fingers are in most of the shitty turns my family's lives have taken, for as long as I can remember.

She's in ICU right now, unlikely to regain consciousness, unlikely to live out this day, and I'm sorry that she had such a mean, small, painful life, but I'm not at all sorry that she'll be gone, because it's hard to cause fresh hurt and injury once you've died. Not impossible, but hard.

I'll go with my mom this evening so she can say good-bye. For myself, I don't find it necessary; Barbara's been out of my life since my kid turned 18 (gosh, almost 8 years ago), and for the last couple years, she was in prison, so there's nothing to say good-bye to. For my mom, this is so so so fraught. She blames herself for my sister's mental illness, dissipation, and alienation. She feels like if she'd been a better mother, it would have gone better.

Honestly, my mom was a better mother to my sister than to me -- children who act up often get more attention and effort than the compliant, goody-two-shoes ones. I haven't made any secret of my sorrow over my mother's mistakes in parenting, but they're not the reason my sister is who she is. Not saying none of it was ever a factor. Just that picking one person as the cause of another's bad deeds is pretty much never the way to bet.

Anyway, I'm totally fine, emotionally. I'm just feeling pensive about the ripple effects we all have on the people in our circles, even years after we have any contact at all, and I'm feeling a renewed desire to be a positive force in my loved one's lives, instead of a negative one.
Mood:: fine
Music:: "Dream On" earworm because they played it at the grocery
location: 91911
June 17th, 2017
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
The Nolose board is looking for expert advice in making a plan for our organization to work more effectively for trans justice and address transmisogyny and cissexism in Nolose. The board is looking for a group of thick and fat trans folks, especially trans women and transfeminine people, especially people of color, especially folks with some experience either with Nolose specifically or with transmisogyny in queer fat community/movement spaces, to meet via conference call and/or group chat to generate formal recommendations for the Nolose board to address transmisogyny and cissexism, and work for trans justice, as an organization.
Nolose has budgeted for stipends of up to $250.
Application details at link.
June 15th, 2017
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
posted by [personal profile] firecat at 03:24pm on 15/06/2017
Not a review, just a couple of reactions and a list of subverted tropes.

I liked it quite a bit.
Spoilers ho )
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pauamma in [site community profile] dw_dev at 08:32pm on 15/06/2017 under
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
submarine_bells: jellyfish from "Aquaria" game (Default)
posted by [personal profile] submarine_bells at 07:21am on 15/06/2017 under , ,
It's a challenging time for me at present. I continue to battle with my PhD thesis, a.k.a. The Thesis That Will Not Die. It's almost done - I'm on the very final edit, which sounds like it should be a fairly quick buff-and-polish, but no. My supervisor Wendy is going over each chapter with a micrometer (as she should), and while this results in the numerous error corrections and polishing of phrasing and so forth that I expected, she is also finding sections that need to be completely rewritten, and suggesting new bits of data wrangling for me to do when she decides that yes, it is necessary to analyse this bunch of stuff over here that we hadn't focussed on during the actual data analysis phase Because of Reasons. So there's a lot more work in this final "polishing" phase than I expected.

I'd be annoyed with Wendy's perennial cry of "here's another thing you need to add/totally change in this nearly-finished chapter!" if it weren't for the fact that these rewrites really improve the end product. It's evolved from a pile of loosely-related findings and observations-of-interest into an actual, coherent thesis in every sense of the word. I'm very happy with the end result; I just passionately wish that the process of getting there was a bit faster. But she's (nominally) retired, and I have ADHD, so nothing happens quickly.

I'm honestly not sure if I'd have ever started this PhD if I'd had any inkling of how long it was actually going to take. I'm in Year 18 of it now, which is kind of ridiculous... but on the other hand, Wendy has been saying lately that she is very happy with the results that I'm getting with this ridiculous project - I'm doing something here that nobody else has ever attempted. It's unique, because the particular methodology I'm using is so very very time consuming and intensive that it would be impossible to do under normal circumstances. I guess most people doing PhDs don't have partners willing to support them for "as long as it takes" without complaint. Truly, I am fortunate in that respect. Also, I'm stubborn and persistent beyond reason when it comes to working on something that matters deeply to me. Which is why I'm here, still working on finishing a thesis that itself is now old enough to drink. :-)

Things have been a bit more stressful than usual lately on a non-thesis-related front, which adds to the difficulty. I'm in the throes of full-on menopausal symptoms, which includes hot flashes fierce enough to melt iron in frequent, regular succession... which is not conducive to good sleep. So I'm tired, irritable and hormonal, which I'm told makes me a real joy to be around at times. I'm beginning to understand why a webforum discussing such issues is named "Perimenopausal and Semihomicidal". :-7

Things are also stressful on the financial front. Until recently, household income has been sufficient to manage just fine as long as we're pretty frugal. But public service pays haven't risen (even for cost-of-living increases) for some years now; and at at the same time, power prices in South Australia have risen from "stupidly high" to "insane", as have health insurance premiums. The result of this is that things are really tight financially, and we now have sod-all in the way of financial buffer, it having been chewed away over time by various necessities. So we're having to pull in our heads financially, and figure out what expenses can be reduced. I realise that "being able to fly gliders less frequently" is the ultimate "First World Problem" (I hate that phrase but it's actually appropriate here) but yannow, I live for my airtime, and it brings me joy in a way few other things can, so it's a bitter pill to swallow. And I'm gonna have to decide whether I need to get a job to keep our heads above water, which sounds simple enough but I fear that if I do that, I won't have the mental energy to be able to finish my thesis at the same time. It's... not as simple as it sounds, as a solution. But it's on the table, along with other things, so we shall see.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
June 12th, 2017
wisconsf3: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] wisconsf3 in [community profile] wiscon at 10:56pm on 12/06/2017
Did you attend WisCon 41 just last month?  We would love your feedback!  We have 2 surveys:

General Survey:  This is about all aspects of the convention, from how you got your information about WisCon to what you thought of the hotel to what you liked / didn't like about our various spaces and events.

Programming Survey:  This is for everyone who attended programming or was on a panel or modded a panel.

Surveys will close on July 15.

We always read all your comments and take into consideration every ranking so that we can continue to shape WisCon into what our members want.  Thanks for taking the time to give us your thoughts!


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