Log in

No account? Create an account
< back | 0 - 20 |  
the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

December 3rd, 2018 (02:07 pm)

Recently I’ve been trying to get back into writing, and I thought doing a 90-blog-posts-in-90-days thing might be one way to do that. So of course I thought of LJ, where I used to pour out logorrheic floods of words every day. And, hey, this place does still technically exist, although by now, when LJ sends me helpful emails with links to journals I might like, the text of the emails are about as coherent as second-tier spam messages and half of the journals they recommend are in Russian. But if anyone is here at all, it’s probably easier for me to post here than to try to figure out somewhere else to be, because let’s be real, blogging is pretty much a thing of the past anyway, no matter where you go. Accordingly:

Are you still here?

Did you really expect anyone to say no? What is this, Schrodinger's poll?

OK but I'm legitimately excited that LJ still has polls and it may be clouding my judgment on whether to come back here

That's very nice for you, Kylie
Polls don't mean much when there's no one to vote in them

I think I'm supposed to say something about wombats now but tbh I've kind of lost the knack of this


If I were to blog somewhere that isn't here, where should it be?

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

now Russia, in addition to Julie, Carol, & the photographer, can probably sue me for this icon

April 14th, 2017 (01:19 pm)

So as I mentioned in a previous histrionic post (whose histrionics I continue to defend, but it's time to move on), now that LJ is no longer a safe home for my queer self I have imported my LJ over to DreamWidth and am now slammerkinbabe over there. My plan is to post there when I post at all, but to set it up to cross-post to LJ by default, so people can still follow me here; I'm just not clear on whether LJ can or will delete my journal for making posts that are in violation of their TOS (as will probably happen, because, uh, I'm gay) and I would rather settle in at DW on the understanding that my LJ might get scrubbed. I am seriously bitter about the fact that here I have a permanent account and 172 icons and over there I will have to reduce that number to 15, but never mind. Part of the point of my moving to DreamWidth is to try to build some kind of community over there, so if whoever's left reading this wants to fill out a last slammerkinbabe-at-LiveJournal poll about what you intend to do/where you intend to be from here on out, I would appreciate it.

What are your LJ-related plans for the future?

I plan to stay on LiveJournal and continue on as normal for now
I plan to create a blog on DreamWidth, but will primarily maintain a presence on LJ
I plan to create a blog on DreamWidth and maintain simultaneous presences on LJ and DW
I plan to create a blog on DreamWidth and maintain a primary presence there
I plan to delete my LiveJournal entirely
I plan to maintain a primary presence on a site that is not DreamWidth or LiveJournal

If you are going somewhere, what site are you going to and what is your username?

Choose a wombat.

 photo wombat 1 carrots_zpst7nt2tjf.jpg
 photo wombat 2 running_zpstbapfr3o.jpg
 photo wombat 4 inspecting_zpstf6vygnv.jpg
 photo wombat 4 sleeping_zpsmnkvwuzn.jpg
 photo wombat 5 smiling_zpsvo1ok1sl.jpg
 photo wombat6 wave_zps9t8gi11m.jpg

I hope I will see you all somewhere in the future.

ETA: I accidentally posted an older draft of the poll than I meant to and it doesn't cover all the options from here on out wrt where people might be maintaining a presence and to what extent but I had so much trouble getting the poll interface to work that I'm not deleting it and starting another. Just tell me in the comments if your plans from here on out are not covered in the poll. Thus ignominiously concludes my once-august lineage of LJ polls.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

April 11th, 2017 (02:48 pm)

Crushed by what I've just learned about what LJ has now become. I created a DreamWidth, username still slammerkinbabe*, and am trying to export my LJ to there. I haven't been using this regularly for a long-ass time anyway but I still have no words for how sad I am that my happy place has turned into this. My future plans wrt whether I'll delete this account entirely, cross-post sometimes, etc. are nebulous. I feel like I need to spend a little time mourning. I know I sound super melodramatic** but it's kind of hard for me to overstate how important LJ was when I was in my twenties and figuring out who I was and how to navigate the world. I went through a lot of crappy stuff in that time but LJ was always the place I came back to to breathe and find the good. And to stick my head in the sand, too, sometimes, depending on what life required. But it was nice sand and a nice place and I had friends here and I had a voice and a home. And of course all of that is inextricable from _____ness, because I am _____, and I was as open about that here as I was about everything else, and now to be told that is not allowed here, that I am only allowed to be me as long as it doesn't conflict with fucking Russian law, and by the way, just be grateful you're not in a fucking concentration camp!*** -- it's a lot. Anyway. See some of you on DreamWidth. I am really unhappy about this.

*IT WAS NEVER EVEN A GOOD USERNAME but I was happy here anyway.
**Though not as much so as I did before I deleted the original ending to this post!

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

November 10th, 2016 (12:34 pm)

It's been a time.

I have been having a lot of difficulty just moving through life in the most basic ways since the election. I made a post to Facebook about that, and announced I was going on a social media hiatus because I am going full-on ostrich about politics for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure that was the best choice; I've been so depressed, in a way I never have been before -- I have experienced biochemical bipolar depression for perhaps the majority of my life, but I've never had situationally-triggered depression like this before, not that I can remember -- and I know there are others in the same boat with me, and many of those people are people I primarily or entirely connect with on social media. But I just can't deal with the storm right now, so I've tentatively decided to stay off Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr. LJ is much less political and much more personal than those three sites, so I'm going to try to hang around here. We'll see how it goes.

(This, by the way, is one of the main reasons I put off the kindness project I was talking about: I knew I wouldn't have the reserves to be trying to be kind and nice to Trump supporters in the immediate aftermath of a Trump victory, should it occur. Right now I'm adjusting a little bit to living in a world where people share my grief and horror, but I am entirely unprepared to try to connect with people who are smug and self-righteous and high on their victory over POC and queer people and disabled people and all the rest of us who stand in the way of America's return to an imaginary historical greatness. I do not have what that takes. We'll see where I am in December; I may have to reformulate the project. Tbh I really thought I would be trying to pour gentle balm on the souls of people who thought Hillary was going to plunge the country into a nightmare hellscape of mutilated babies and, I don't know, private email servers. I was afraid we'd lose, but I really thought we'd win. I don't know what to do with this.)

Last night λ and I decided it was a night for ice cream sundaes but also a night for not leaving the house, so we ordered sundae supplies from Instacart, a grocery-delivery service new to our area. We ordered Breyers cookies and cream ice cream, or we thought we did, but when it arrived it turned out to be Breyers "frozen dairy dessert," a fact Breyers has tried very hard to conceal by means of packaging that looks identical to their old ice cream packaging except it says FROZEN DAIRY DESSERT in tiny letters at the bottom of the carton. It turns out it doesn't meet the legal standards for "ice cream," having replaced a lot of the actual cream with a variety of polysyllabic lab-produced ingredients like HFCS and carrageenan and, further, having whipped way more air into the product than is typically done with ice cream. The PR guy for Breyers staunchly declares that "people" have been asking for a product that is smoother than ice cream, and Breyers is only catering to the demands of the public. He does not explain why, if this is the case, they have tried to hide the fact that the product inside their traditional ice cream cartons is not actually ice cream, but instead a "frozen treat" happily devoid of all those pesky lumps that have persecuted ice cream consumers for so long. Anyway, we didn’t notice the little FROZEN DAIRY DESSERT label at the time and probably wouldn't have understood its import if we had, so we settled down to our non-ice-cream sundaes. And they were awful. Really awful. It was clear to us early on that whatever we were eating, it wasn't ice cream, and we didn't finish the sundaes, but the hot fudge and sprinkles and so on sort of camouflaged the awfulness of it for a little while and we ate a decent amount. And a half hour later, *man*, were we feeling it. I don't know what the hell it was in that pretend ice cream with the Orwellian label that wreaked that much havoc on my stomach but it was definitely doubleplus ungood. Uuuuuugh. Least said is soonest mended about the effects of that shit, but -- steer clear of "frozen dairy desserts." Really.

A part of me, even as I was writhing around clutching my stomach or doing other things still less appealing to relate in a LiveJournal post, was drawing a Trump metaphor. That all the people who voted for him thought they were getting ice cream, a happy ice cream sundae with a perky cherry perched on top, and instead they are getting something that is going to set their gastrointestinal tracts on fire and leave them crouched over their toilets convulsing with explosive liquid napalm shits. My faith in this Trump-as-frozen-dairy-dessert concept though was mitigated by the fact that on the night of the election, after it was clear which way things were going, Maggie* jumped onto my vanity table** and, in batting at a dangling necklace on a jewelry tree, managed to knock over the jewelry tree, which knocked over another jewelry tree, which knocked over a stack of books; necklaces and bracelets and earrings and books cascaded everywhere, making a noise like Tiffany's just blew up, and Maggie streaked out of the room amid a rain of jewelry, terrified. The noise was really appalling and my brain immediately went SEE, THAT'S YOU, TRUMP SUPPORTERS, THAT'S WHAT YOU JUST DID, YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN BUT ACTUALLY YOU JUST KNOCKED EVERYTHING OVER INTO CHAOS AND SOON YOU'RE GONNA BE RUNNING SCARED, but I am perfectly aware that that's not true at all. Trump supporters are not running scared and they're not going to be for a while; they overturned America, took a country that has been struggling slowly and fitfully toward justice for 240 years and knocked it into the sewer, and even though they're right there in the slime with us they haven't even noticed that's where they are. Maggie had the sense to run when everything came crashing down, but they don't. I guess they like the mess.

Anyway, enough of that. Metaphors aside, don't buy frozen dairy dessert. It's very bad. So check the label. We Americans are facing four years of Trump presidency no matter what we do, but at least we can still have real ice cream.


*For those not on Facebook, Maggie is our new cat. We got her a few weeks ago, not long after Ariadne died. I definitely don’t feel like going into that now.
**In reality this is just a desk that I keep my jewelry and makeup on and which we have been swearing we are going to paint white and set up with a mirror for years now.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

November 1st, 2016 (05:33 pm)

current mood: hopeful

Change of plans. Kindness Project is happening in December. NaNo is happening this month. Is anyone doing it this year besides me and ganimede?

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

Experiments in Kindness, Part 2 of ?

October 25th, 2016 (04:09 pm)

Well, my lunchtime kindness experiment didn't go very well. I went down to Burger King to find a woman standing at the counter, ripping the clerk a new one because her sundaes had come without hot fudge. She was clearly strung out as hell, with leathery skin stretched drum-tight over her skull but still marked with wrinkles like razor-cuts in clay, and I do not know what her drug of choice is but I know neither her appearance or her manner suggested sobriety. She was fit to be tied because she had paid $1.29 each for two sundaes, and the clerk had given her two cups of plain ice cream and was telling her that the hot fudge cost extra. "That's not a sundae, that's ice cream," she kept saying, reasonably enough, and then she'd lean over the counter to try to poke the picture of the sundaes on the screen and she'd yell "That's FALSE ADVERTISING!" The poor clerk, who is not at fault for Burger King's sundae-toppings policy, kept reiterating again and again that it would cost more for the hot fudge, and the woman was yelling, and everyone in line was shifting from foot to foot and looking in other directions, and oh.

So I dug what change I had out of my purse and laid it on the counter next to the woman. I happen to agree with her that a cup of plain ice cream is not a sundae*, but more than that, I mostly wanted her to just leave the clerk alone. I figured I was doing them both a favor. "I think that should cover the hot fudge," I said.

She glanced down at it, said, "Aw, thank you, sweetie," and pocketed it. Then she resumed fighting with the clerk.


Well, you win some, you lose some. I just contributed 87 cents toward her next bag of whatever, and I hope it doesn't kill her. She eventually left with her two cups of plain ice cream, and life moved on.

I knew from the start of this that naivete was going to be a big stumbling block in my attempts to be kinder to people, and nowhere is that likely to be more evident than in my attempts to treat homeless people and drug addicts, who flock around the block where I work by the dozens, like ordinary human beings and not crafty con artists who are always looking to take advantage of you and who, if you give them money, are going to immediately use it to overdose. I have a cousin who works with addicts for a living and man does she ream me out for giving money to homeless people. I have taken what she says more to heart than I meant to, and so in recent months I've taken to buying little gift certificates to Burger King and giving those out to panhandlers,*** figuring it would be a hassle to try to trade those for money or drugs or anything else and so the odds are good they'll just use them to eat. I like to think that's a good balance between naivete and cruel skepticism. But every so often I do something like I just did today, and sometimes it goes stupid, like it did today. I'm not really sure what the moral of the story is, but I'll file it away. Maybe by the end of a month and change I'll have an answer.

*I just got into a thing with JP Licks because they are out of hot fudge, whipped cream, or both half the times I go there. I wrote a letter of complaint about that and the fact that they were playing obscene Chris Brown music really loud the last time I went there, and then I realized that I had become A Person Who Writes Complaint Letters to Proprietors of Ice Cream Parlors and I had an internal crisis. Point is, I too feel it is an important point of principle that a sundae is not a sundae without *at least* one wet topping.
**Why does Microsoft's version of the crying-laughing emoji look like an emoji wearing streaky face paint at a football game?
***Actually they happen to have had a couple of promotions where they gave away tickets for free food -- one of them a promotion where a dollar gets you a scratch-off ticket and scratching it reveals what free food item you get, and the other just a "give us $1 and we'll give you a booklet of coupons for free food" thing, both of them benefiting the Jimmy Fund. I LOVED that because it meant I could buy a bunch of them to give out to homeless people and even if they didn't use them or bartered them or someshit I was still donating to the Jimmy Fund. But now both those promotions are over and I only have one coupon book left so I don't know what I do next.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

October 25th, 2016 (02:39 pm)

So last night I got Capital-Letter Mysterious about a Thing that I might start using LiveJournal for. It's kind of laughable, because in a way it's the simplest thing in the world, and yet it's weighing on me. I am looking around at the world right now and I'm not liking what I see. This isn't terribly new, but the degree is new. Donald Trump honestly has ushered in what I think is a very, very scary trend of thought. He is fomenting a wave of hatred that is like nothing I've ever seen in my lifetime. Creating and spurring on paranoia, as well; λ and I were just having a discussion last night about what under the canopy you're supposed to do with people who believe that every single major news outlet in the country is in collusion with the Clinton campaign to hide the truth from the American people. You can't believe anything anyone except Trump and his surrogates tell you. Isn't that clinical paranoia? I have read about Trump supporters who have been sent to psych wards for homicidal ideation and been really pissed off about it because what they say and think is no different than what every Trump supporter says and thinks. What do you do with that? The paranoia, the fury, the hatred?

I am terrified of Trump supporters, but to be honest, I am almost entirely out of patience with the way that a lot of liberals, including myself sometimes, respond to them. Look at how stupid they are! we say. Look, look how ridiculous, look how dumb, look how offensive, these mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers left over from the Pleistocene era. They are racist to the rotten core, their hearts pump curdled blood spiked with venom, they are a shouting, cursing, scrabbling, red-faced horde of morons led on by their own personal orange-hued Pied Piper. If we interact with them at all, it's to score points off them. We make fun of them, point out how stupid they are, then high-five the people who agree with us. We’ve given up on thinking of them as fellow human beings with real concerns -- how can we focus on that when they are being so awful? Trump is the worst and his followers are the worst and we need to take the presidency and the House and the Senate and then they will be rendered effectively voiceless, which is good because they seem to be mainly using their voices to scream racial slurs and "#MAGA". The problem is with them, them and their hatefulness, them and their racism, them and their hero-worship of a monster.

I couldn't write this so passionately if I hadn't lived it. But I'm growing tired of it now, and frustrated. Something has been rising up in me over the last few months, a sense of -- this can't be all there is. We can't stay this polarized, this hateful, this dismissive of 40% of the country. Hillary is probably going to get elected but Trump's supporters will still be out there, probably watching Trump TV, cheering him on in bitter tones. Convinced the election was rigged. Convinced they have been shut out of the paradise whose doors Trump would have thrown open for them, if Killary hadn't stolen the election from him. Trump will not be as dangerous to the country on Trump TV as he would be as president, but what he has set in motion, this rolling boulder of hatred and divisiveness, is not going to go away if November 9th sees him writing the least gracious concession speech in US history.

I want to be kind.

That's what it's been coming down to for me lately. I want to choose a different path. I want to stop dehumanizing Trump supporters, stop reflexively dismissing people who disagree with me. I want to talk to those people like they're not idiots, even when they're talking like they are. I want to see how far kindness and openness and a nonjudgmental approach can take me. It might take me precisely nowhere. But I want to try. I don't think I've ever consciously tried that before, except in scattered bits and pieces here and there.

I like to start things with round numbers, with fresh page-turns, so that means I would like to start this on November 1st, about a week from now. And to be honest, there are a lot of directions I could take this in, but I'm kind of thinking the best test there could possibly be is comments sections. They are seething cesspits of the worst aspects of human nature, and I want to see what happens if I go in calm and assuming other people are arguing in good faith, attempting to change minds (and at least leaving open the possibility that my own mind will be changed) instead of taking out my resentments and aggressions on people who think Hillary Clinton has had 200 people killed. I've tried this a little in recent months, as I've been getting increasingly frustrated with the normal tenor of online conversation. I had a conversation with an "All Lives Matter" person that actually went pretty well. I got in a conversation about reproductive rights that ended up with each of us treating the other like a human being. That's mostly what I want anyway.

This isn't just about kindness, of course. I'm not that naïve. It's kindness and rationality (equally difficult to use effectively in these situations) and, crucially, psychology and guile. I have been reading articles about the best ways to convince people to listen to you when you're disagreeing with them, because we've all seen what happens when, to take a non-Trump example for a moment, you tell an anti-vaxxer that there's no scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism. They dig in harder. They believe it more. This has been shown in multiple studies. When you challenge someone's beliefs, you are challenging part of their self-image, their understanding of themselves and the world around them. You have to be incredibly careful how you do it, or you're going to make things worse. And most people don't have that kind of time or energy to spare on randos in comments sections. I get that.

But I look at discussions where people are saying, for instance, that 14 women have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual abuse because they want attention. And I want to say -- what? Are you seeing the kind of attention they are getting? Why would anyone want that?! I see people who question why these women are just coming forward right now and the answer seems so clear to me and if I have the spoons for it, isn't it my duty to try to talk them around, try to make them understand, try to defuse this anger that's being channeled toward these women?

Carefully. So, so carefully.

When I came up with this idea one night last week -- I couldn't sleep, was stewing over this, and slowly something began to cohere in my mind -- I thought I would engage in one discussion per day that I would normally roll my eyes and use the block key on. I thought I would try to ramp up slowly, first on conversations like the "All Lives Matter" one -- where I was pretty sure from the start that I could talk her around if I worked at it because she didn't seem like an unkind person herself, just an oblivious one -- and then, as I figured out by trial and error what the best ways are of talking with people who disagree with you, talking to people who are angrier or meaner or more set in their ways. I have to admit I'm kind of quailing as I think of that later stage. How do you talk to hardcore white supremacists? What happens if you try to bring a breath of fresh air into the fetid wankfests on 4chan?

I don't know. I just know I want to try. It may not be all one-comment-discussion-per-day; there are lots of real-life things I'd like to talk about that fit within the theme of being kinder and reaching out more to people I would normally laugh at. But this is where I'm at right now, and this is what I want to try to do. And one comment-discussion-per-day seems like a good attainable goal, so, I guess, stay tuned. I'll probably be sharing commentary and screenshots. At minimum I hope to gain some insight into the best ways of talking with people who disagree with you. At maximum... well, maybe some people will be different at the end of this. Me, at least.

I wish I were certain that everyone reading this isn't laughing at me.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

October 1st, 2015 (01:24 pm)

Well, it’s October 1st, and I’m tentatively back on other social media. But I’m still not sure I like the role Facebook and Twitter play in my life, so I’m posting these could-have-been status updates here, not there, even as their content is informed by things I came across on Facebook and Twitter. Hmm.

1. MOCKINGJAY 2 TICKETS ARE ON SALE WOOHOO! I have no idea if it’s going to be any good, as the other Hunger Games movies have ranged from very good to mediocre, and I am forever and always a hardcore diehard books fan and will probably be whispering furiously to λ through the whole thing about how they shouldn't have changed that what are they doing, but TICKETS ARE ON SALE LEMME AT ‘EM I ALREADY HAVE A GIGANTIC HONKING BIRD NECKLACE FOR THE OCCASION

2. Today is Julie Andrews’ 80th birthday and my major takeaway right now is that I am a bad fan who REALLY needs to remember when her birthday is because when I saw her trending on Twitter I freaked out completely, terrified that she was dead

3. Lin-Manuel Miranda just tweeted that there is a third, deleted Cabinet rap battle from Hamilton, in which Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson go at it over slavery, and I NEED THIS YESTERDAY

4. Everyone is all over the Pope for visiting with Kim Davis, posting “He’s dead to me now” and “Never respect this guy again” and so on, and. Like. People. He’s the Pope. That means that by definition, he is Catholic. And that means that, if he upholds his own Church’s teachings, he is going to be super-liberal on certain stuff, like income inequality/poverty and the death penalty, and super-conservative on other stuff, like reproductive issues and women’s rights and, yes, LGBTQ stuff. That is the Catholic package. The trouble has been that in recent years, before Pope Francis, the Church really, really slacked on the income inequality etc. side of things and only focused on the stuff that fits neatly into a Republican party platform. So Francis shows up and he’s legitimately amazing with respect to actually upholding the whole “feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit those in prison” side of things -- like the traditional works of mercy and the command to treat “the least of these” as you would treat Jesus is really, truly top priority for him. And people see that and they think, oh, the last Pope was conservative, now this one is liberal! And they somehow expect him to support gay marriage. Guys, “Who am I to judge?” is the absolute best you can ever possibly expect from the Catholic Church, and is so much better than anything I have ever seen from it before. Judging gays is not a priority for him. But just because he’s not passing judgment on whether gays can be close to God doesn’t mean he doesn’t think gay marriage is wrong and a threat to the family, and doesn’t mean he’s not going to stand in solidarity with those who oppose it. I think it’s important to note here that Kim Davis is not one of the people who’s been spewing hate. She’s just a person who didn’t want to give licenses to marry gay people because that’s against her religion, but she got befuddled on what the definition of “conscientious objection” is (hint: it means quitting your job.) And apparently Pope Francis shares her befuddlement over conscientious objection. And he shares her conviction that gay marriage is wrong. Because he’s a Catholic. He is also not going to be tweeting #IStandwithPP in Latin anytime soon, if anyone was wondering. It’s time people stopped expecting him to adhere to the Democrat party line just because he cares about poor people. He’s never going to. No pope ever is going to. Time to accept that Catholics exist, and that the head of the Catholic church is one of them, and then appreciate the hell out of him for all of the good he is doing for the world. Because it’s a lot.

5. Wow, that item was a lot longer than I meant it to be and it probably should have been its own post. And now I am out.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]


September 29th, 2015 (12:10 pm)

Things I want to be doing with my day:

-Listening to the newly released Hamilton soundtrack
-Reading the newly available Hamilton lyrics
-Making Hamilton icons so I will at least have an appropriate icon to attach to this post
-Reading about how Lin-Manuel Miranda is getting a MacArthur Genius Grant for Hamilton
-Reading Tumblr posts about Hamilton
-Going to New York and winning the Hamilton lottery so I can actually see Hamilton again

Things I do not want to be doing with my day:
-Anything else

Things I want to be doing even less than anything else:
-My job


Seriously, though, you guys, if you have the tiniest speck of interest in American history, you need to check this show out. And if you don’t have the tiniest speck of interest in American history, but you like Broadway, or hip-hop, or things that are brilliant, you still need to check this show out, because I know absolutely nothing about American history and I am addicted to this show. Because it is a hip-hop retelling of the story of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers and it is amazing. Seriously, just go on Spotify and listen to Cabinet Rap Battle #1 or #2. See, here are Jefferson and Hamilton, having a rap battle in the Cabinet:

I could link you to about 500 phenomenal reviews of this show because I have not yet seen a review of the show that did not say it was the most amazing piece of theatre to come along in a really long time. No, like, seriously, the New York Times was like “I really wanted to hate on this show because I am getting so sick of everyone talking about how it’s the most amazing thing since sliced bread but I can’t really do anything about that because the truth of the matter is it’s actually more amazing than sliced bread.” Unfortunately I can’t do anything about getting you tickets because it’s sold out for like the next nine months or something and prices are high as fuck, but you can listen to the soundtrack, and since the show is sung/rapped through you will basically know everything that happens and then you can become an addict just like me and you can spend your days at work trying to get the lyrics to load properly in the Web browser so you can reread them and catch more nuances, and in fact they won’t load properly about halfway through, but tip: you can select the text that doesn’t show up and then paste it into Notepad and then you can read it! This has been a time-wasting tip from me to you!

Aaaaargh guys I have seriously spent most of my morning just rereading Broadway rap lyrics and I am so far behind on work now and I really REALLY should get down to it THIS IS NOT FAIR WHY DOES THE WORLD NOT STOP FOR THE AMAZINGNESS OF HAMILTON

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

September 22nd, 2015 (02:53 pm)


Like I have not had a chance to go through the new site yet so I don't really know exactly how it works and I suppose it could be just as bad as the old one for all I know but HEY IT'S NOT THE OLD ONE AND THE OLD ONE WAS THE WORST SO YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY SITE REDESIGN


(but someone please tell me how the hell I'm supposed to get any work done for the rest of the day)

(or for that matter the rest of the week)

ETA: OK, so I just took five minutes I don't really have to try to surf the new site and I'm... confused. I'm not finding it that easy to find the new material that I know was on the old Pottermore site, like the extended bio of Umbridge or the background on Azkaban or on thestrals or whatever -- I'm assuming it's all there somewhere, but I don't really know where, and the site seems to be very graphics-heavy and not so heavy on Straightforward Textual Lists of Things I Want to See, so I'm kind of lost. But it's got to be better than the old site, because the old site was horrendous. I will explore this later. *Xes out of Pottermore window VERY EMPHATICALLY*


the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

you know I bet I'm actually right about 20 in this icon

September 22nd, 2015 (01:15 pm)

current mood: calm

Hi, all! Have a meme, courtesy of celandineb!

How this works:

You comment, I give you an age (please tell me how old you currently are - I don't know all of your ages, unfortunately, so I don't want to pick an age for you that is impossible) and you fill out the meme questions with what applied to you back then, and now.

celandineb gave me age 20.

At 20, at 34 -- meme this wayCollapse )

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

September 9th, 2015 (06:11 pm)

current mood: exanimate

1. CVS is currently displaying Halloween items... and also Christmas ornaments. What is happening why is happening

2. However, they also have at least three cards specifically for same-sex weddings, which is new since I last looked. So that made me happy. Maybe they finally figured out they needed them when gay marriage became Officially Legal Everywhere No Really 4 Srs Now?
2a. There are no same-sex anniversary cards, which made me roll my eyes for a minute until I remembered that anniversary cards for one's spouse tend to be written in first-person and "I" is not a gendered word.
2b. Are there languages in which "I" is gendered? Interesting question. I'm glad I don't have to buy cards in one.

3. The 5:55 Needham Heights train is chronically delayed lately and I Do Not Like It, mostly because if the T can't get its shit together when it's 95 degrees out, I shudder to think what the winter will bring.

4. These are the sorts of things that would really be better posted on Twitter. Sorry, LJ.

5. Another thing that would be better posted to Twitter, and better still not posted at all: I was in Target over the weekend and they were selling posters of Anna and Elsa with the caption "An act of love will thaw a freezing heart." You know, from the hit movie, Freezing. I am Frozen trash and could not rest until I told somebody this.

6. Happy Wednesday.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

yes I already posted about this & yes my point is too big a deal's being made of it, WHAT'S UR POINT

September 9th, 2015 (03:05 pm)

current mood: annoyed

Continuing to read about the Kim Davis thing, which is one of the stupidest three-ring circuses I've ever seen, and I'm particularly hung up on Mike Huckabee offering to go to jail for her. Like I don't even know which part of that is the stupidest part. Is it the fact that it is the emptiest promise possible, since we do not actually live in a society where we let people send in designated hitters for jail sentences? Is it the fact that he offered this as she was leaving the jail? Is it the fact that news stories are all pulling that one quote and publishing it as though it bears a single scrap of relevance, or demonstrates even a passing connection with reality? I DON'T KNOW, GUYS, THERE IS SO MUCH STUPID MY HEAD IS SPINNING

This is seriously one of the biggest tempests in a teapot I've ever seen. One city clerk in one tiny county decided one day to make a Big Principled Stand, and when it turned out that the actual principled stand that would have made sense, aka resigning, would not kick up a giant media hullabaloo and get her national attention, she decided to take a principled stand that does not make any sense and insist that she should be allowed to get paid for her job while refusing to do her job. And then assholes on both sides got involved* and she wound up in jail for a 100% preventable and 1,000% stupid situation, and then she got out and held a fucking rally while playing "Eye of the Tiger" because she apparently thinks refusing to issue marriage licenses is the same thing as being Rocky??? and now Survivor is mad and I just cannot even with this whole deal. And now I'm talking about it too, and not for the first time, because I just do not understand how something so trivial turned into something this overwhelmingly silly.

I don't know. I guess the simplicity of the narrative appeals to people. Depending on your perspective either she's a saint and gay people are the devil or she's a devil and gay people are saints. And it's just. Like. I actually respect the fact that she is willing to stand up for her beliefs on this. I don't think she's probably a bad person. I don't think she's necessarily a big hypocrite; yes, she has three previous marriages, but she was only born-again four years ago, so within her framework, those are sins she committed before she found Jesus, and now she's living a different life. I am willing to believe that her faith is a real thing to her and that she really feels that she would be committing a terrible sin if she gave out gay marriage certificates. My two complaints about her really are these: a.) I think she's getting off on the media circus, and b.) I don't think she's very smart. She is also surrounded by people who are hungry for more media circus, and who are hungry for money (I am thinking specifically of her lawyers here). They have a vested interest in protecting her from the undramatic truth that the only thing she can do here, ethically, legally, or logically, is to quit her job.** And Republican presidential candidates can grandstand on this because of the aforementioned simplicity of the narrative: Saint Kim! Demon Gays! IT'S THE EYE OF THE TIGER, IT'S THE THRILL OF THE FIGHT

*sigh* Whatever. I keep reading the news stories about her, so clearly I've fallen victim to this just like everybody else. And it doesn't show any signs of ending anytime soon; she's going to go back to refusing to allow her deputies to issue marriage licenses, and she'll go back to jail, and presumably she will eventually get out again, and they'll play Don't Stop Believin' that time, and we'll rinse and repeat and they'll start pawing through Bon Jovi's back catalogue, all while the Kentucky legislature refuses to impeach her and put an end to this nonsense. And meanwhile everybody except six couples who are actively involved in this lawsuit*** (well, plus however many more of them decide to try to shove their way into the spotlight by seeking out their own licenses from her) will get married as they please, gay and straight alike, and the world will continue spinning and the climate will continue rising and refugees will keep fleeing Syria, but nobody in America will care. Our eyes will all be glued on the nonstop coverage of the nonsituation in Rowan County, Kentucky.

Whatever. Today is my eight-year anniversary with λ and I am heartily, heartily glad that we live in Massachusetts, where none of this nonsense applies, or has applied for eleven years. And I'm very glad that everyone in this country who is willing to get a marriage license somewhere other than Rowan County has the same rights that we do.

Take that, Mike Huckabee.


*I have absolutely no use for those gay guys who traveled halfway across the country to try to get a marriage license from her in the middle of all this, and then claimed to be "devastated" by the fact that she wouldn't give them one. I understand wanting a marriage certificate from your home county, and I understand deliberately seeking a license from her in order to keep the system honest, but one of those circumstances doesn't apply here and the other was already being taken care of. Stop media-whoring, assholes.
**The only other potential logical solution I have seen from anybody was one lawyer who wanted the Kentucky legislature to pass a law that marriage licenses would be changed to read that they were issued under the authority of the state and not the authority of the clerk. But they're not meeting until January to discuss that, so we've got a long 3-4 months of silliness before that potentially comes about. I still think that her quitting her job makes more sense than passing a whole new law, but whatever, I don't care as long as everybody can get married and nobody gets to defy the law. I would be interested in hearing more about whether it actually matters in any way whether the certificate is technically issued by the state or by the clerk.
***I know they got their licenses from the deputies, but apparently there's debate over whether those licenses are valid since they were issued without her authorization while she was in jail, or something? So I guess now those people get married, but then her lawyers go after them and seek to invalidate their marriages? At which point presumably they go back to her office and start all over again? God, this is stupid.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

September 9th, 2015 (12:14 pm)

current mood: happy

Happy happy eighth anniversary to my beloved λ, eigenkumquat! I am so blessed to have met you (and in a state that let us get married eight years ago, no less). By now I have no idea what I would do without you, so let’s not find out. This year is apparently our pottery anniversary, and though I expected in two years we would get some kind of great traditional present, it turns out ten years is tin. So that is disappointing. But I vote that we keep giving each other tickets to Broadway shows and the like (I can put your card this year in a clay bowl if you like?) and just hang in there until we hit gold. Love you, bean!

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]


September 8th, 2015 (01:45 pm)

So there was a study done on cats recently, a study that seems to have thought it was about whether cats care about their humans. What the people running the study actually did to determine this was that they put cats in an unfamiliar environment with their owner, with a stranger, and alone, and then monitored how they behaved in this situation. Their theory was that if cats cared about their people, they would go to them for comfort. If they didn’t go to them for comfort, it must mean cats don’t care about their people.

First of all, this is some serious anthropomorphizing shit that they are pulling right here. They are assuming that when a cat is stressed out, instead of going into hyperalert mode to assess the situation (as our Basil cat does) or just hiding from everything entirely (as our Ari does), they are going to run to their human companion like a kid hiding behind its mother’s leg. Apparently dogs do that, and, I mean, good for dogs. But the fact that a cat doesn’t turn to its human in that situation doesn’t mean that cats never care about humans. Other, better studies have shown that cats pretty much perceive their humans as being basically the same as themselves -- they think we're big giant clumsy bald cats, basically. You wouldn’t study whether cats cared about each other by putting them in a stressful situation and then watching to see if they cuddled close together. You would just observe them in their daily lives, wouldn’t you? See if they spent time together, see if they groomed each other, see if they played together, see if they enjoyed each other’s company? How did this study get from “cats don’t turn to humans for comfort in this one specific stressful situation” to “cats don’t care about people”?

And then the news reporting! The study is stupid enough, but the reporting! Sorry, but your cat really doesn’t need you, says the Huffington Post. Really? Because right now I’m the reason they have food and water. Research suggests cats don’t miss you when you’re gone, says the San Diego Tribune and half of the other articles on the subject, and just -- really? How in the world did they get to that conclusion? No one studied the cats being left alone for an extended period of time in their normal habitat! That is not even close to being what this study was about! And my personal favorite, from the Hindustan Times (for some reason several Indian newspapers picked this up, all with similar headlines), and bewilderingly classed under “Sex and Relationships”: Mean kitty, bad kitty: Your cat doesn’t mind your absence. Yes. Yes, that is exactly what we have determined. All cats are mean and all cats are bad. Because they become alert and wary in strange situations, instead of seeking comfort from humans. They are bad. Bad, bad creatures. Go kick that cat you’ve got right out on the curb and get yourself to the shelter to pick up a nice dog. Don’t worry. The cat won’t care.

*sigh* Cats are cats, guys. They are naturally independent. They are also capable of forming emotional bonds with their people, and liking to be around their people, and missing their people when they’re gone. We had to hospitalize Ari once and you should have seen her when we came to visit her for the first time. Even before she could see us, the second she heard our voices, she bolted upright in the cage and started jumping up and down, trying to see us. When we got to see her she ran all around the cage (with an IV in her foot, no less, which was knocking everything all over the place) and then kept shoving her head in our hands over and over, begging for pets. She kept doing that for maybe 15 minutes, and then she got up and ate for the first time in weeks -- that was why she’d been hospitalized, because she had some illness, probably pancreatitis, that was keeping her from eating. The illness had settled down when she was in the hospital, but she still wouldn’t eat until we got there. She was as excited to see us as any puppy could be. But most of the time, in less extreme circumstances, she doesn’t jump up and down and thrust her head into your hands like a puppy would. She expresses her love and affection like a cat -- by following us from room to room, walking with her tail straight up and a little crook in the tip, by crawling on us, by exposing her belly, by blinking slowly. Basil is less affectionate but uses the same signals. And when we go to the vet Basil explores things with his tail down and Ariadne hides wherever she can, and we do not take that as a sign that they don’t love us. We take it as a sign that they are cats.

It is unsurprising that this particular study was originally designed, not for assessing the emotions of cats, but for assessing the emotions of humans. It was supposed to gauge how kids behaved in a weird situation, whether they'd cling to their parents or not, and was supposed to be an index of parental attachment.* The idea that you can just grab a study model like that and impose it on species it was not designed for is kind of ludicrous. The fact that there are like 300 articles about it today is more ridiculous still. And people will continue to think that animals should behave just like people, and they will continue to miss their cats' affection signals, but there probably won't be that many of those anyway if they keep treating cats like people instead of like cats.

Anyway. Tl;dr, there is bad reporting about cats in the world, and I am salty about it.


*Which seems like bad study design even for humans? What about kids who respond to unfamiliar situations by exploring them instead of running to their parents for comfort? What does the study say about them? What about parents who are *deliberately raising* their kids to respond to unfamiliar situations that way? Do they love their kids less, do those kids love their parents less? WAAAAAAAT1

1Except apparently that is not even what the study is supposed to measure, and kids who are close to their parents are supposed to explore a strange situation confidently when a parent is around, show distress when they leave and run to them when they come back. This makes more sense, but this is not what three of the articles about the cat study that I read said. They clearly stated that cats were not seeking comfort from their humans when their humans were in the room. Did they take the same study model that they used for studying humans but change up the expectations for cats? Because if so they did a terrible job and basically I don't understand anything about this study except that it sucked.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

Appropriate icon is appropriate

September 4th, 2015 (01:03 pm)

current mood: lonely

So it turns out that according to my recent poll, of the 300 people I used to have on my flist, 16 of them are still here at least occasionally. O LJ, my LJ. Anyway, so I thought it would be a good idea to seek out new LJ friends, so I am doing a... well, not so much a friending meme... more a thing where I ask you guys to tell me people you know who are still on LJ that you think I would like, and then I go friend them. It wouldn’t be much of a meme. But I am seeking recommendations! Friend recommendations! Whom should I friend? Speak to me, beloved 16!

(also if you want to tell people to friend me I would accept that as well)

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

September 3rd, 2015 (11:27 am)


(well actually the subject matter is more desperate than celebratory BUT MAKING IT FELT CELEBRATORY ANYWAY)

Are you still here?

Yes! I am here! I am here all the time!
I'm here once every day or two, probably
I'm here occasionally
I am hardly ever here
I am not here but I have set up a bot to answer all your polls because they are just that special to me
Wherever I am is here so I'm not quite sure what you're getting at
You would have a lot more responses to this poll if LJ would let wombats get accounts, I bet

What killed LJ?

Fandom drama
Six Apart (remember them?)
Humanity's waning attention span in the smartphone era
Video, flushed with its success in killing the radio star and yearning to be a serial killer, launched itself at LJ
No seriously, YouTube actually probably had something to do with it
The fact that people like YOU just LEFT, Kylie
SUP wants you to know that LJ is actually VERY ALIVE in Russia
There is no wombat option in this question because wombats would never kill LJ

Why is the create-a-poll form so weird and confusing now?

Because you have been gone for five years, Kylie
But I don't think that's any excuse, LJ

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

News in Brief: God Wondering How Far He Could Throw Earth

September 1st, 2015 (05:41 pm)

Honestly, after glancing over the headlines on Google News, I'm rooting for God's throwing arm here. People are actually taking that clerk's "religious freedom" shtick seriously and there's a new shooting every five seconds in this country and there's a trans teenager who is apparently at the center of a national firestorm for daring to want to use the bathroom and Donald Trump is running for president and this is so far from being the worst country out there that that's it, I'm out, pitch us into a black hole.

(Hi. This share feature is new since I left. Does anyone actually use it? It makes LJ feel much more like Facebook and Tumblr, but I have developed some strong habits in my years of using those sites and neglecting LJ, so. Whatever.)

Originally posted by theonionfeed at News in Brief: God Wondering How Far He Could Throw Earth

THE HEAVENS—His gaze shifting from the terrestrial planet out to the expanse of the universe and then back, The Lord Almighty, Our Heavenly Father, reportedly wondered aloud Tuesday just how far He could throw the Earth. “Oh, yeah, if I got a really good windup I bet I could chuck it four or five thousand light-years,” said God as He eyed the third planet from the Sun, adding that He could probably toss it right into the Pleiades star cluster with His eyes closed. “This thing weighs, what, 6 sextillion tons? With a running start, there’s no way I couldn’t get it past the Crab Nebula. Probably farther.” At press time, the Lord was loosening up His arm by lobbing Mercury and Venus into the nearby A0620-00 black hole.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

can you impeach a county clerk?

September 1st, 2015 (02:00 pm)

Hi, guys. I’m thinking of coming back to LJ for awhile. I’ve been doing a project of staying away from Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter for a couple months, to see if it helps with my concentration. More about that in a later post, maybe, if I feel like soul-baring. But I took August off from all social media and am now reintroducing LJ because I think long-form blogging is better for me than status updates, tweets and gifs.

ANYWAY, right now I am kind of losing my frigging mind over this case with the Kentucky clerk who is refusing to do her job, refusing to quit her job, and refusing to admit that she is, of her own free will, digging herself into a really big hole. Specifically, for anyone who’s missed it, she won’t issue marriage licenses to gay people (or to straight people either, on the hilarious notion that this is going to protect her from lawsuits) and every court up to and including the Supreme Court has said “No, your religion doesn’t give you the right to not do your job,” but she is Adamant! I just cannot get over the fact that she thinks she has the right to retain a job she is openly avowing she cannot do. Your God may be telling you not to license gay marriages, lady, but I will need to see the Bible verse where God insists that the only job on His green earth that you can ethically hold is that of county clerk. Because I really, really don’t think that’s part of His dictate. Resign your fucking job and find a new one. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, right? Go work for the Family Research Council. I’m positive they can fit you in.

Anyway. So there’s this whole kerfuffle, but the thing I have been thinking about the most is a story I found on Snopes a few months ago, when I was reading Snopes chronically because I have been feeling very dumb lately and I was enjoying reading about people who are dumber than me. This particular story about people dumber than me was a story about a guy who went to a WalMart and, when he got to checkout, found that the clerk in his lane was not checking out alcoholic beverages. He saw the clerk’s name on his nametag, noted that it was “not Steve,” and concluded that a.) the clerk’s name was Muslim, b.) the clerk was not checking out alcoholic beverages in accordance with his religious beliefs, and c.) SHARIA LAW WAS BEING UNLOOSED UPON THE NATION.

Well, it turned out that the clerk’s non-Steve name had nothing to do with why he wasn’t checking out alcoholic beverages. He wasn’t checking them out because he was underage. But the conservatives got a good fury-boost out of it anyway. Which leads me to this: here we have a situation where a clerk -- in a private establishment, no less -- was purportedly refusing to do a portion of his job because of his religion. Alcoholic beverages were being checked out by other clerks in other lanes, just as, we are constantly told by conservatives, gay marriage licenses are being issued by other clerks in Kentucky.* Furthermore, another clerk could quickly step into that clerk’s lane and check out the alcohol if a transaction was already in progress, just as, as Kim Davis’ legal team notes, a clerk from a neighboring county could be deputized to issue Rowan County gay marriage licenses so Davis wouldn’t have to do it. I mean, it’s a really small concession to make to protect someone’s religious freedom, right? Just go to the next lane, or the next county? Everybody gets their alcohol, or their gay marriage, and nobody has to violate their religious freedom? What could possibly be wrong with that?

Well, in the case of WalMart, it’s that that would apparently be a forerunner of the establishment of sharia law in the US, despite the fact that it was a private establishment (unlike the county clerk’s office) whose employee was not doing anything in the name of the government (unlike Kim Davis) and that was not trying to establish a legal precedent that would impact the country at large (unlike Kim Davis). None of those last things matter because it would be fundamentally wrong to allow someone to plead off from doing their job because of their religious convictions!

But Kim Davis? I mean. She’s Christian. So none of that applies. Right?


*Which argument makes me BATSHIT because WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY START REFUSING GAY MARRIAGE LICENSES EN MASSE, AS COULD WELL HAPPEN IN A HEAVILY CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE STATE. The argument “there are other people who will do this” only holds meaning if THE LAW IS MAKING THEM DO IT. But anyway.

the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

(no subject)

June 30th, 2014 (03:05 pm)

LJ Idol Week 13

Topic: Open topic
Keywords: fiction, teen, bullying, suicide, gossip, pastiche, dialogue, newspaper article, people being assholes
Triggers: attempted suicide, homophobia, bullying
Notes: This is part of something I'm hoping to make into a longer work. I've had some trouble getting motivated on it so I decided to use "open topic" to prompt me to give it another go this week. So, uh, here's what I managed.  Hope you like it.

JasonCollapse )

< back | 0 - 20 |