|christmas movies and specials
||[07 Dec 2013|05:54pm]
I admit it - I'm a nut for Christmas, especially Christmas movies and specials. Here's what I've got going so far this season...
Currently watching: The Ref
Already watched: Baby's First Christmas, Battle of the Bulbs, Call Me Claus, A Carol Christmas, Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas Magic, Christmas Ornament, Christmas Wedding, Christmas with the Kranks, Crazy for Christmas, Dear Santa, Help for the Holidays, Hitched for the Holidays, The Holiday, Holiday Spin, Holiday Wishes, I'll Be Home For Christmas, It's Christmas Carol, Kristin's Christmas Past, Love at the Christmas Table, Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, The March Sisters at Christmas, Matchmaker Santa, Merry Daughter of the Bride, Mickey's Christmas Carol, On Strike for Christmas, The National Tree, Planes Trains and Automobiles, The Polar Express, A Princess for Christmas, Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, Road to Christmas, Scrooged, Shrek the Halls, Snow Bride, Surviving Christmas, The Thanksgiving House, The Three Gifts, Trading Places, The Twelve Trees of Christmas, Wishing Tree, A Very Brady Christmas, A Very Merry Mix-up, Window Wonderland, Winne the Pooh and Christmas Too
Recorded: 12 men oh Christmas, All About Christmas Eve, All She Wants for Christmas, Annie Claus is Coming to Town, Bad Santa, Bride for Christmas, Boyfriend for Christmas, Call Me Mrs. Miracle, Catch a Falling Star, Christmas Box, A Christmas Carol (2004, Kelsey Grammer), A Christmas Carol (2009, Jim Carrey), Christmas Choir, Christmas Crash, Christmas Cottage, Christmas in Boston, Christmas in Connecticut, Christmas Kiss, Christmas Miracle, Christmas Snow, Christmas Song, Christmas Spirit, Christmas Wish, Christmas with Holly, Comfort and Joy, Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle, Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas, Dear Secret Santa, Deck the Halls (2001, Gabrielle Cartier), Deck the Halls (2006, Danny Devito), Defending Santa, Diva's Christmas Carol, Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Elf, Eve's Christmas, The Family Holiday, The Family Stone, Fir Crazy, Frosty the Snowman, Holiday Affair, Holiday Engagement, Holiday High School Reunion Holiday Road Trip, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated short), It Happened on 5th Avenue, Karroll's Christmas, Jingle All the Way, Let it Snow, Lucky Christmas, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Mrs. Santa Claus, Mrs. Scrooge, Muppet Christmas Carol, Naughty or Nice (2002, Hillarie Burton), A Nanny for Christmas, The Night Before the Night Before Christmas, Nothing Like the Holidays, Perfect Holiday, Pete's Christmas, Prancer, The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 3, A Season for Miracles, Sons of Mistletoe, This Christmas, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, While You Were Sleeping, Will You Merry Me
Set to record: 12 Dates of Christmas, Angels Sing, Chasing Christmas, Christmas Belle, A Christmas Carol (1938, Reginald Owen), A Christmas Carol (1951, Alastair Sim), Christmas Carol (1999, Patrick Stewart), Christmas Consultant, Christmas Cupid, Christmas Do-over, Christmas Every Day, Christmas for a Dollar, Christmas in Conway, The Christmas Toy, Christmas Wedding Date, Different Kind of Christmas, Ebbie, Finding Christmas, Guess Who's Coming to Christmas, Home Alone, Holiday in Handcuffs, Holidaze, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (life action feature film), Just Where I Belong, It's a Wonderful Life, Merry Madagascar, Miracle on 34th St. (1994, Mara Wilson), The Mistle-tones, My Santa, Picking Up and Dropping Off, Remember the Night, The Santa Clause 2, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Scrooge (1935, Seymour Hicks), Scrooge (1970, Albert Finney), Secret Santa, Snowglobe, A Snowglobe Christmas, Stealing Christmas, Together Again for the First Time, When Angels Come to Town, White Christmas
Hoping to record: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Christmas Bounty, A Christmas Carol (1984, George C. Scott), Christmas in Wonderland, Four Christmases, Holiday Inn, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Little Drummer Boy, Love Actually, Meet Me in St. Louis, Miracle on 34th St. (1947, Natalie Wood), Olive the Other Reindeer, Pluto's Christmas Tree (an animated short that appeared in a few different Disney specials but is hard to find), Santa Claus (1985, Dudley Moore), The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve, Undercover Christmas
AND I KEEP ADDING MORE TO THE LIST.
|ten things in my life
||[06 Dec 2013|08:57pm]
Finally back to actually try reading posts! Did not realize it's been OCTOBER since I last did that - my flist only goes back as far as mid-Nov. but I tried to click and read through on some of your entries farther back than that to catch up. It was good to read how you've all been doing, and I'm so sorry to know that things have been rough for many of you.
I've a lot to update on myself, so lemme do a numbered list as I've found that makes it easier for me to organize my thoughts:
1. I HAVE A LAPTOP!!!!! Early xmas present from my mom and step-dad. They know how badly I've been needing something to connect to the net from the sofa or bed with and it is SO. Nice. to be able to do that now! It's new, and it's very nice - just basic stuff because I don't do any hardcore gaming or graphics work or anything of the sort. So it's simple, but it's got Windows 8 (I'm running XP on the desktop still) and I've got a nice lap desk to keep it on and that makes it very comfy on the sofa.
It's just so exciting and wonderful and now I can have access to the net and the games I like to play even when I go away from home. Aaaaannnnnd - my hope is that this will mean my keeping up to date with stuff a lil better since I can do so from the sofa where it's more comfy and where I can do it while watching TV a lil easier.
Dave kindly got it all set up for me and synched my firefox browser up with the desktop so all of my preferences and bookmarks and such came right over and when I change something on one - it changes on the other automatically.
I've been sick all week, so it's just been so nice to sit on the sofa watching Christmas movies and clicking on games or scrolling thru my tumblr dash.
Cleo keeps stepping on it tho, which is driving me bonkers! *-9- (see? she just did that and also pulled up the options menu and switched me to a different tab and scrolled down the page! arrrrgggggh!)
2. Thanksgiving itself was very nice. That evening, my mom and step-dad and I went out to eat at a local place (The Great Dane in Fitchburg) that had a T-day buffet. They had loads of vegetarian and vegan options and it was all so delicious! My fave was the lager mushroom gravy over their creamy mashed potatoes.
Friday, I mostly lazed about mom and step-dad's house while they did holiday prep and then Saturday everyone (step-bro and his fiancee, bro, sil, and nieces) came over. I had a blast with my nieces, as usual. Monkeyniece is getting so big and mature like a little lady. She still gives me lots of hugs and likes to play and color with me, which is nice. Flowerniece is still uber shy when she first meets us, but she gets over it quicker and once she's out of her shell - she is OUT - hams it up, screams like a banshee, jumps on the furniture, makes everyone laugh, demands attention, etc. I spent a bit of time splitting attention between the two but also managed to visit with the adults here and there. Sunday was computer shopping time and then home. :)
3. On Monday, my mom is coming to spend the day with me. I have a doc appt. but we're also going to do our big annual Christmas shopping trip. I have not started yet, so hopefully my energy lasts long enough to get a big chunk done.
Also hopefully this cold that I brought home with me doesn't linger through till then. My voice is all but gone and my face is a big ball of phlegm. I'm taking extra vitamins, putting raw garlic in all my food, doing salt water gargles all day long, and trying to drink lots of fluids between administrations of cough drops.
4. Christmas movies!! I've gotten very organized about it this year. I have a little notebook where I keep track of what I still need to record, what I've gotten, what I've watched, and little reviews to remind myself what I like most and least for next year. There are SO many Christmas movies and specials - with new ones coming out on multiple networks each year. And I just love them!
I haven't started decorating yet. I won't do the tree again this year because of how Cleo eats them - but I'll get some lights to put up and the non-tree decorations, and some ornaments up on hooks on the wall. Hopefully I will, anyway, if my energy levels allow me to.
Also still hoping to do cards this year, but we'll see. Right now I'm lucky to get my teeth brushed every day and a load of dishes done once a week.
5. TV shows, too. I'll try and do an update post of what I'm watching soon.
Oh, and books! And movies!
I spent about a month re-reading The Hunger Games series in preparation for the movie - reread all three of them several times. And then went to Catching Fire with friends opening weekend. It was AH-MAY-ZING. Maybe I'll make a post about that sometime too.
6. Still really enjoying tumblr a lot - forming some good communities of folks - especially a group of fellow Veronica Mars fans who are doing lots of fun metas and gifsets as we all freak out about the movie coming out (MARCH 14TH). And it's fun to have folks to talk with about any fandom or other interests I have.
I've never been great at graphics and don't really do fanfic, but I've found I have an affinity for meta. I like that tumblr is very into the meta, much as it's such a visual medium. But people are still happy to read long rambling thinky thoughts about fandom and pass them on and add to them and discuss things in tiny detail at great length. I like how preparing a good meta gets me thinking productively and creatively again. It's like working on a research paper for school - only it's about TV shows and books!
7. Because I'm sick, Shay isn't coming to our place this week. Our other friend that she stays with is finicky about catching things and since I've set a 3-day-ish limit on how long she can stay here - getting sick is problematic. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better by next week so she can come again. Especially since Dave will be gone from Weds. to the following Weds. - going to visit a friend in AZ. It'll be nice for Shay to stay in his room while he's gone since normally she has to either sleep with Angie or camp out in the easy chair. We're still working on getting her on disability (she's had her first denial and having trouble getting a lawyer to take her case) and into some housing and other forms of assistance. It's going to take some time, and it's not easy going for any of us - most especially for Shay of course. So continued good thoughts, advice if you have it to share, financial assistance if that's a thing you can do, etc. are still very welcome.
8. Cleo continues to show many symptoms of aging. She howls all the time, has clumps of fur coming off all over the place, and gets easily confused. But she's still her usual mischievous self - getting our attention any way she can for snuggles and occasional play time, so that's good. We're due for a vet check, but we're putting it off until January. I hope she'll be okay until then.
9. Physically, even without this cold, things are rough. Energy continues to be low. Pain continues to be high. I think my opiates aren't working as well - I think my tolerance levels have increased because not only is the pain worse but the constipation side effect has gotten better. I could live with the latter - but not when there is such poor pain control alongside it. Also, I'm getting more migraines than migraine meds per month. So my doc appointment on Monday should be interesting. He's usually so great about this stuff, but it's still scary to go in knowing I have to ask for more meds. blah.
10. But I am doing better emotionally. Things got a bit overwhelming for awhile there, and they still aren't exactly easy right now, but they're more stable. I've even had some success working on some PTSD issues on my own - some body acceptance exercises finally sunk in some important messages and have made me more comfy with my body. I need to keep going with it while I'm on a roll before I close back off again, but it's been pretty amazing. :)
That's enough for now and probably everything possible I have to talk about anyway!
|Hello and Happy T-Day to those who celebrate it
||[28 Nov 2013|02:37pm]
Hi LJ-land! Ugh, I really need to work on getting a routine down for checking and posting to online places. I seem to have finally normalized my tumblr experience enough that I've started doing my usual over there now too of missing a few days and then not coming back because I can't catch up so missing even more days and then stopping in briefly and then stopping again. Some day, I'll figure out how to just moderately stay connected to things instead of this weird all-or-nothing binge-and-purge style I've got going now.
ANYway, I know my last few posts here were emotional and sadface. I'm doing a little better on the emotional front now, though physically things are still very rough. I ... IDK, maybe I'll get more into all of that later but I wanted to at least stop by to do my traditional Thanksgiving list of things I'm thankful for post. And while some days it's easier to remember all of the things I'm NOT grateful for - there is still plenty of good stuff to make into a list.
1. My cat, Cleo. She's still hanging in there despite her old age and failing health. She does howl a lot now, but she still enjoys eating food and snuggling her people and even occasionally playing - which doesn't last long these days, but that she can still feel playful at all is so encouraging. Cleo is just the light of my life and if she has 10 years left or just 1, I'm incredibly blessed to have had her for as long as I have already.
2. My roommates and local friends who keep me sane and do so much for me - from keeping me laughing to running me on errands to bringing me yummy foodstuffs. I don't know what I'd do without them! They are as much my family as my family is and I'm just super lucky that they continue to put up with me.
3. My family. My amazing and wonderful mom and her kind and loving husband, my awesome brother and sister-in-law and their two kids whose presence and love keep me going on the hardest of days, my step-siblings who are such fun to be around, and more distant family members who I'm not as close with but who I know love me. I'm especially grateful that my brother and his wife and kids live close enough that I get to see them every few months and actually be a present aunt in my nieces lives, and also for my mom being close enough that I get to see her fairly regularly as well and that she's both willing and able to drive around picking me up and dropping me off for family get togethers despite the extra driving that entails. I so love to be able to see and spend time with folks, and it would be much harder to do without her help.
4. My other friends - long-distance friends who I'm either able to keep up with via online means or met in the first place through online means. You all mean so much to me, and I'm sorry I can be so crap at showing it sometimes. But I appreciate you all and all that you've given me over the years in friendship.
5. I'm very fortunate to have the assistance I need to live and support myself - disability and medicare, food stamps, roommates who don't mind my paying less in rent than they do and who share utility payments so I can actually afford cable and internet, and good doctors who understand my ailments and treat them responsibly and carefully.
6. I'm grateful that I got so many years of good therapy in before I became too disabled to get out much. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as there are some things it would be good for me to be able to talk to a therapist about right now except for how I know I wouldn't be able to get out of the apartment to get to appointments reliably. But I'm still so fortunate because while it would be beneficial to do some therapy at this point, it's not a necessity. I got all that super necessary therapy work done already. And it taught me so many useful things that I can keep my mental health maintained fairly well on my own (and with meds). So thank goodness I managed to do all of that good work while I was still physically able to do so.
7. Speaking of which, I'm also really grateful that I packed in as many good experiences as I did before I became this disabled. Because while I can sometimes get grumpy and frustrated by how little I'm capable of doing these days - I still have so many wonderful memories of all the crazy stuff I did in my youth. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot of things and did a lot of cool shit and I'm really really glad for that.
8. And of course, despite all the things wrong with my health - I am still so incredibly grateful for the things that are right. I don't have many issues with internal organs and such. I always have really good blood pressure and cholesterol and things of that nature. I don't get sick with colds or flus very often, nor have I had any broken or sprained bones in my life. For such a sick girl, I'm fairly health. heh
9. I feel very fortunate that I've never really had to struggle with my gender or sexual identities. My family and friends have always been very open minded and compassionate people and as I've discovered more about myself (bisexual - no wait pansexual, polyamorous, genderqueer, etc.), no one in my life has ever told me that I was wrong about who I thought I was or told me that they didn't like who I was. It's always just been accepted and okay and I know not many people have that experience, so I know how lucky I am on that front.
10. I'm really really thankful for the winter holidays. I know for some people they cause more pain than joy, but for me there are salves for all of the things that hurt about winter itself. I don't know how I'd get through these cold dark months without Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years to look forward to and celebrate and enjoy. But even more than the holidays - I am so incredibly thankful that spring will always follow winter and that winter never lasts forever. I go into every winter reminding myself of that and it helps. It helps so much.
Lastly, I just want to quickly say that I've been organizing and updating my Amazon wishlist - including adding into the profile non-Amazon things. I honestly do this more for myself than anything else because it's so handy to have good lists of things I want and need (and I love making and organizing lists). But I like to mention it because someone inevitably each year will ask me what I want - and I never can think of things on the spot like that. So, please know that I don't expect anyone ever to get me anything, but that if you were one of those people who were planning to anyway - well, my list is organized and up to date. :)
Also, if you all are doing the "reply to this post if you want a card" thing this year - I, um, am probably not seeing those posts. But I love cards! So if you want to send me one and don't have my address, feel free to ask.
And also feel free to give me yours! (you can PM it for privacy's sake) I can't promise I'll get cards out this year. I haven't the last couple of years, and the the few before that were sent out late, but it's always a possibility and I DO like to send snail mail at any and all times of year when I have the energy - so yes. Drop me a line if you want to make sure I have your address just sort of in general (and conversely, if you know I have your address but for whatever reason you DON'T want anything sent out - lmk that too).
I guess that's all. I'm off this afternoon to spend the weekend with my mom and step-dad, and Saturday is the day the rest of the fam will be joining us for the big T-day feast and gathering. Hope you all have lovely weekends, and hopefully I'll be back sometime in the near future to touch base again and see what you've all been up to as well. Miss you!
||[08 Nov 2013|09:08pm]
I can tell the PTSD is swinging up now.
Today, I was taking a shower, and the water happened to hit me in a way that sort of tickled (tickling is a HUGE trigger for me) and I flinched and screamed and got very upset.
Then, just now, my foot got stuck in the blanket I have wrapped around my legs and I almost had a full on panic attack - making it that much harder to get the foot loose - which panicked me even more, etc. Still working on getting my breathing back to normal.
Sooooo, how are you? (I am, of course, very behind on reading your posts)
|More TV Talk!
||[05 Sep 2013|08:09pm]
Returning shows for fall and beyond, canceled summer shows and shows that may or may not be coming back, and my fall TV schedule.
( returning show premiere datesCollapse )
( canceled or unsure if coming back or not showsCollapse )
Next, the fun part for my OCD, is going over the schedule and seeing what I'm gonna watch and record each night this fall! Keep in mind I'm one of those funky "central" time zone people, so my times might not match yours.
( my scheduleCollapse )
There's also a long list of new shows slated to premiere in 2014 and beyond, but I'll wait a few months before getting into those.
Love to know what you all are planning to watch this season, so let me know!
|outings, me days, ocd rules
||[12 Aug 2013|09:27pm]
Today was a big day. Well, big day in me-terms, since mostly I just sit around and watch TV or read or play on the computer all day.
Earlier in the day, Shayla and I bussed to tenant resource center to get some forms for her to work on re: low income housing and transitional housing and stuff.
Then this evening, Shayla, Dave, Carrie, and I got to have dinner with my bestest friend Michelley and her friend Michelle. My Michelley has specific eye care needs that she sometimes has to come to Madison for (she lives in Oshkosh, which is an hour and a half-ish away) and so her friend Michelle will come with her to drive home since they do things to Michelley's eyes which means she can't drive herself home. It was so good to see the bestest, if even for a short time!
So that was two big outings in one day. And I think some time later this week, I'm getting a family visit (mom, bro, sil, nieces) which will be a big out-of-the-house active day, too. I'm very excited for that, but it does take a lot out of me physically.
And so, I have decided to take tomorrow as a Me Day. Not sure what I'll do yet - but I'm considering starting my Veronica Mars rewatch, which I've been itching to do ever since the movie was announced. I want to rewatch the series at least once before the movie comes out next year. So perhaps tomorrow I will marathon as much of that as I can. Or possibly, I'll finally sit down and start watching the Harry Potter movies. Or catch up on my reading. Or watch all of my favorite Buffy episodes. IDEK. I'm just happy that I'm taking a day off to do something or other fun.
Which still sounds silly to me sometimes based on how sedentary my life is. But, like, even if I only get one small thing accomplished in a day - I'm still spending that entire day on working up the energy to do that thing, doing that thing, and then resting up from having done that thing. And if I have the ability to do more things, then I spend the entire day working up the energy to do things, doing things, and resting up from having done things.
So the idea of taking an entire day off, once a month, where I have zero expectations for myself and can not have to worry about working up the energy to do things... it's just really nice. So if I DO have energy on a Me Day, I can do something fun that takes energy. And if I Don't, then I can do resting fun things. And even though I spend most of my every day doing resting fun things - it still makes a huge difference when I know I'm allowed to do those things and only those things. YKWIM?
I also give (most) all of my OCD rules and rituals the day off on Me Days. So, like, I can eat whatever I want whenever I want and I don't have to do a little ritual to decide which TV show I'm going to watch or how much of a book I'm going to read. It's this little freedom day of no rules, which is so happy making. And, like, I couldn't really function long-term like that, and sometimes by the end of a Me Day I start getting angsty and have to start abiding by the rules again - but it sure is nice to take some time off from them every now and again. [Like, I don't even know how to express to you all how many itty bitty rules I have for myself - they're so ingrained in me that even if I spent six hours listing them all off, I'd probably forget over half of them. I have a lot of rules, okay?]
|5 thing post
||[07 Aug 2013|07:55pm]
Well hello LJ - glad to see you're still here! I guess it's time for a five-point update.
1. Finally recovered from that cold, but the ears are STILL clogged up and all pressure-ey. So I set up an appt. with my pdoc to see if I have an infection or if maybe I should try one of those ear cleaning kits or whatever. That's not for another couple of weeks, though, so in the meantime, my ears feel funky.
2. I've been enjoying summer TV! Eventually, I'll make a bigger post about it, but here are some of the shows I've been most enjoying:
*Burn Notice - this final season is shaping up to be a whopper with so many guest stars I love like Jack Coleman and Alona Tal. Each week has me Freaking OUT.
* Camp - this Meatballs-ish show about a summer camp is really addictive. Rachel Griffiths is her usual stunning self in her role as the recently divorced single mom camp director.
* Covert Affairs - no spoilers, but the relationship entanglements this season are Killing me! Ugh! Moar plz.
* Fosters - wonderful little ABC Family show about a lesbian couple and their mix of bio, adopted, and foster kids. Mixed race family, dealing with all manner of complex issues from addiction to shadeism and the youngest kid in the family is a gender-non-conforming boy. I just ... ahhhhhh!
* Graceland - new USA show. I started out kinda meh on it, but am glad I stuck with it. It has had some terrific twists and turns!
*Pretty Little Liars - cracktastic as always. This season is doing a lot of mother-daughter exploration as well as blowing up the comfort of the main character's romantic relationships that had been solid last season.
* Siberia - fake reality show that gets WEIRD. This show is part Survivor, part Lost, and part Blair Witch Project. It's amazeballs.
* Teen Wolf - third season of this little gem and no, it has nothing to do with the 80's movie of the same name. It does do interesting things with turning the "male gaze" around on it's head and also has some kick ass female characters.
* True Blood - I'm a couple eps behind, but this season has had much that I've enjoyed so far. All I can really ask for is more of a storyline for Lafayette Please.
*Twisted - new one on ABC Family and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it yet, except that I dig how they don't quite let the audience know one way or the other if the main male lead is really a sociopath or not. Like, everything that happens could either be him being a stand-up guy or a really charming bad guy. WE DON'T KNOW!
3. Still enjoying exploring the world of tumblr. I kind of love it. There's a lot of pretty gif sets and vids and things of all of my favorite characters and ships. And people ranting about things I also like to rant about. And adorable kitten pictures. And pretty art pieces. And lovely fandom metas. And boys in dresses taking pictures of themselves. And the overarching tumblr community has this quirky sort of sense of humor that amuses me. It's kind of the whole package. Except for actually connecting in meaningful ways. But for that, I still have this place, so it's all good.
4. Shayla's been at Carrie's place all week, but will be back here tomorrow night, I think, for a few days.
5. Let's not talk about how I'm doing physically. Let's just ignore that for now.
|Post Two - Shayla
||[24 Jul 2013|05:52pm]
This is a help request post - mostly for local folks, but in general, as well.
My super good friend Shayla is struggling right now. She has health issues which have made working really difficult and eventually impossible, so she's taken a leave of absence from her job. She hasn't been able to pay her rent, and her landlord would not renew her lease, so she has to be out at the end of the month, which is just one week away now. She has no money, no income, nothing to fall back on.
She is working on applying for disability and friends are helping with temporary shelter for her until that comes through, which will likely be quite awhile. She needs financial help and help with other things and I'll include some links at the bottom of this for anyone who can help with that.
But the main thing is that she desperately needs a temporary foster home for her cats. She doesn't have internet access at home and can't afford a lot of minutes on her phone and frankly has a lot to do with very little energy with which to do it in a short frame of time, so I've been trying to help with finding resources for her.
I've been calling and emailing everywhere in town I can think of, put up a craigslist ad, and all of her friends have been posting around on FB and other sites trying to find someone who can take them in. I have a few more leads to follow myself, but it's getting very desperate.
Does anyone here have the ability to temporary home two wonderful cats for my friend while she works on getting stable housing again?? Do you know of anyone who can?? Do you have ideas of who else I can contact?? (already tried all of the shelters and foster agencies in town, some out of town, boarding places, a feral cat program, my vet's office, and am going to just start calling random vets and pet stores soon).
This is so important. She needs her kitties and they need her. We really really don't want her to have to surrender them to a shelter for re-homing. That would be such a tragedy. We just need a nice foster home to take care of them until she can do so herself again.
Please, if you can, spread the word. You can contact me directly for more info. Thanks.
To help financially, this is the fundrazr site.
She also needs help with her belongings: storage, moving, getting rid of some, etc. Most of us in her circle of friends are also physically limited, so some able bodies to help with the moving stuff would be much appreciated.
Mostly, though, these cats are top priority now. PLEASE let me know if you can help. Thanks!
|Post One - Me
||[24 Jul 2013|05:36pm]
I've not been around on LJ very much due mostly to general energy issues, but also I was gone a few days last week and then came home with a cold that's kept me extra fatigued and I've got some important projects taking what little bits of energy I've got. Somehow it's easier to skim/reblog things on tumblr and FB and the like. But I've been wanting to catch up.
Just doing a brief skim through of my flist here shows that some of you are having some major life things going on. I plan on going back and reading about that, but I'm prolly skim over most of the other less important-ish posts for now. Just FYI.
Nothing major to report about my own life right now, to be honest. I'm very very worried about a friend right now and that's gonna be my second post in a little bit, but in case anyone wants an update on me - I'll try and come up with some things to say.
1. So, yes, still fighting off this cold I caught. I'm thinking it might be a lingering infection from that cold I had back in January, but not sure. If the symptoms persist, I will call my freaking doctor. Which I hate doing so much. But if antibiotics can clear this up, that'd be a good thing.
2. Last weekend I had some family time - spent a day with my mom, bro, sil, and nieces. It was a short visit and I hadn't seen them in months, but we packed a lot in to a few hours and hopefully the next visit won't be too far off again. I miss those kids SO much. And they are growing so fast - especially monkeyniece who is starting second grade come fall. She is all arms and legs and hitting that sort of awkward stage of not being a lil kid anymore but not being an older kid yet. And flowerniece is still really shy upon first seeing us, but she warms up quicker and quicker each time.
Then I spent a couple days with my mom and step-dad, and the step-sibs and their mom came over for a day to visit. My step-bro and his long-time gf have gotten engaged, so there was lots of wedding talk, which is exciting. And my step-sis is working on her dissertation for her PhD now, which is also exciting.
3. My cat howls all the time and it makes me so sad. I know some of it is age-related, she can't hear much anymore and she gets disoriented sometimes. But I feel like some of it is pain stuff, too. She always howls after eating, drinking water, or using her litter box. I don't know how to make it better for her, and it sucks. :(
4. I've been feeling very isolated lately and frustrated with how my mobility issues affect my ability to socialize. If people don't come to me and drive me wherever we go, I can't do much of anything anymore. I have a close friend who isn't comfortable coming to my home much anymore due to allergies and she was one of my big social outlets. As noted, I'd gone a long time in between visits with the nieces until recently. I can rarely get out to social events that happen around town that people I know go to and invite me to. I can't get involved in groups of people with similar interests to meet new folks. I can't get to church or book club or even just, idk, to a store to wander around and see people to make eye contact with or whatever. I see my roommates and my one friend who comes and stays a couple of days at a time to visit and that's about it. I'm lucky to have that. But I still miss, so much, having more than that.
I find myself wishing all year that it was WisCon time again, because then I socialize non-stop for four days straight with mostly people I admire and who share my values and interests and it's so amazing. But it's only four days a year. And it takes SO much of my energy. And I live right here in Madison where a lot of the people who go to this con live and I could go to social events where they tend to hang and visit with some of them more frequently and stuff. Except that I can't. Because while I'm able to make myself go-go-go for a few days at a time for something like a con once a year... in my daily regular life, just making sure that my cat and I get our food and meds every day is about all I can manage.
Anyway, pity party for me. Sorry. Just stuff I've been feeling lately.
5. That and ... I want to be dating so badly. I want butterflies in my tummy and first kisses and cuddling on the sofa and getting to know each other on intimate levels and talking all night and all of that good stuff. But like. Even if I found someone who'd be compatible with me (which seems like an issue in and of itself these days), there's still the issue of my not having the energy to socialize. So. Dating = socializing, yea? Yea. Blah.
So that's a bunch of whining and complaining. And my next post isn't gonna be much happier. But I'll make a big summer TV post sometime soon, and that will be fun at least. :P
Please feel free to drop me comments with how you're doing and links to important posts I've missed. I'll try and suss them out myself, but it helps to get those! Thanks, and I hope you're all hanging in there.
|Rage Quitting Big Brother
||[03 Jul 2013|11:47pm]
My last post here was about how I was starting to blog about Big Brother, and the one before that was preparing everyone for my summer-long obsession with the show. But I think I'm done with it.
I don't know if any of you have heard, as it's been making headlines, but a rather large number of the houseguests (what the competitors of the game/show are called) on the show this year are spewing all manner of horrible, hateful, bigoted things.
Now, this is a reality show. And as I've mentioned before, there are live feeds with cameras and microphones recording these people's every move 24/7 and people are watching at home on their computers and talking about what they're doing online with one another. BB has a very active and inter-active fanbase. It's a unique sort of sub-culture, really.
And usually there's one or two people in a season of BB that have a random racial or homophobic comment here or there, as even the best intentioned people slip up at times. Sometimes, someone even throws a disturbing slur directly at another houseguest. This usually causes lots and lots of drama and gets that person kicked out of the house (not by production, but by the other houseguests as part of the normal game play - basically the bigot gets a target on their back for eviction). Always, there is a lot of unchecked misogyny amongst many of the male houseguests - this gets commented on around the internet fan sites, but I guess that's just so common place that people rarely blink at it. One time, a houseguest (who actually won the game that season) got fired from a job working with people with disabilities due to using the r-word in a negative light on the show.
How the producers of the show handle these bigoted events varies depending on how the events fare in the overall narrative they are selling to the viewing public (those who only watch the show on TV and don't pay attention to all of this live feed/internet discussion stuff). Sometimes it fits, so they edit it in to the show, sometimes it doesn't fit so they don't. Sometimes it fits but the person who said the hateful remark is someone they are trying to sell as a hero of the story, so they edit it in, but shape the edit in such a way as to make it look less bad.
So, on to what's happening this season.
I'm not even sure how to get into this.
There are 16 houseguests this year and so far only 4 of them have yet to say something bigoted and only 3 of them have bothered to even half-way attempt a calling out of what they've heard.
I started typing up some examples, but I really don't want to traumatize all of you the way I've been traumatized with this. Suffice it to say [TRIGGER WARNING FOR RACISM/SEXISM/ABELISM/HETEROSEXISM: that there have been multiple racist jokes and epithets said behind the backs of the black and Asian women in the house, the n-word has been dropped a few times, multiple rape jokes by the guys, men calling women the c-word, straight people calling the gay man the f-word to his face in a joking manner, the r-word being thrown around willy nilly, one guy has defended Hitler and the Nazi's a couple of times, some of the guys have laughed about praying for one of the women in the house to get beaten up badly enough to be hospitalized, one woman using the word queer in a derogatory manner, one woman saying she was going to punch the Asian woman in the face to see if her eyes would straighten out, one guy who talks non-stop about being 1/16 Cherokee and perpetuates Native American stereotypes about scalping people and living in teepees, folks saying that the poc in the house were fake because they were "acting" white, and.... I could go on.
And THAT is my less traumatic version. So. Yea. And also, this is only the first week of what's an extended 90 day season this year.
I feel like in some ways this is fascinating microcosm example of how privilege works, right? In the past, when one person said a bigoted remark publicly in front of people who disapproved, it got blown up into a big deal and the person was punished for it. This season, however, these bigoted remarks are going unchecked. So the privileged folks saying these things continue to think that they are in the right, that they are being funny, that the audience watching them will approve - so they continue. And it gets worse. And worse. And worse. So, interesting social experiment perhaps, but sickening to have to listen to.
Fortunately, most of the internet has been up in arms about this. There's a petition going around to try and get the worst offender taken off of the show. The press has picked up on it, two of the worst offenders have been publicly fired from their jobs (they won't know this until they leave the house as they aren't allowed outside contact/news from the world at large), and there have been many tweets and tumblrs and FB messages and open letters on blogs, etc. asking CBS to address this in some way - whether it's taking the houseguests to task for their language, kicking the worst offenders out of the game, or even at the very least SHOWING in the show edits these people for who they really are.
So far, all CBS has done has said that they are certainly offended by some of the remarks of the houseguests and they surely don't represent their views and blah dee freaking blah. It's too early to tell whether they will show this stuff in a realistic light or not, but I'm starting not to even care.
The last straw for me came tonight, since one of the worst of the worst just won a competition (Head of Household, HoH) that ensures her safety for another week, and makes it likely that her cohorts will be safe as well. Which means at LEAST 2 more weeks of this (this week and next since she won't get evicted this coming week).
To top it all off, the chat that I'm a regular of - while full of some great people that I've become friends with over the years - is also full of a lot of apologists, trolls, and people who just find the whole thing funny or who rail against the "pc police" for wanting to "censor" "free speech." And I find myself just less and less able to sit in there and constantly have to explain to people super basic things like RACISM IS WRONG and RAPE JOKES ARE WRONG. I can do that a few times a day, sure. But not all day long. I just can't anymore.
And I ... just don't think I can sit around and pay attention to these bigots any longer. It's not a fun experience for me anymore. I am not enjoying myself. The opposite actually - I'm stressed out and feel like crap.
So I'm done. With the show. With my chat that I've been a regular of for years. Possibly with the fandom as a whole. I've written to the runner of the site I started blogging for and apologized, offered to write one more post, but said I'm done.
I feel the need to write up some last summations of my decision, like this, on a few sites. And then ... I don't know... I guess I'll relax and settle in to watch my other TV shows and actually continue catching up with my non-BB friend's lives all summer for a change. It feels a little bit like freedom.
||[27 Jun 2013|06:05pm]
Soooooo.... you know how I'm really obsessed with Big Brother?
Well. I noticed a fan site (not one I was already familiar with) was asking for volunteer writers. And I volunteered. And now I am officially blogging about BB on a fan site. I ... dunno. It's kinda weird. I've only ever done personal blogging before. So I hope I'm doing a good enough job.
We decided I'd focus on episode recaps and I'm doing one right after the episode airs (what I'm calling my quick and dirty just the facts ma'am post) with just lists of the important info, and then one within the next 24 hours with more content, commentary, and collections of things former BB contestants have said around the web (BB is an active lil community with many of it's alum being big fans of the show themselves who tweet, blog, and even have podcasts and vlogs about the show themselves).
Yep, so that's a thing I'm doing now. And feeling weird about. Because maybe I suck. Or IDK. Stuff.
Anyway. The website is thebigbrotherforum.com and I'm writing under "sophb", which is the handle I use around the various BB fan sites and chats and forums (and YES okay I participate in a lot of these shut up).
If you're interested, check it out. But I understand if you're not. Mayhaps you'll check it out anyway so you can give me some con crit on my writing? Check me for typos, lmk if I goof something up or sound ridiculous or w/e.
In other news, the biggest part of my BB fan experience is back in full-swing, which is this chat room I've been frequenting for a few (6) years. There's always lots of drama and it can get even more intense than the show we're supposedly there to chat about at times, but it's also a lot of fun. Usually. Until it isn't anymore. And then I become a dramallama myself. And then I need a time out. And then the show is over anyway and most of us go to our separate corners for nine months. Right now it's all happy like a big dysfunctional family reunion, but I know the trolling and in-fighting is gonna start soon. I guess it's to be expected by a group of people who are primarily tied together because of our love for a show that's all about people shoved into a house in the hopes of creating drama. heh
|Big Brother and other obsessions that keep me going...
||[21 Jun 2013|07:17pm]
This is your official warning that Big Brother season is upon us and I will either be totally absent or present but talking only about BB from now until September. I apologize.
Roomie Angie has observed that my year is basically built around my various obsessions and she's totally right.
Basically my year goes something like this:
- post-holiday winter slump
- brief glimmer of excitement over midseason TV schedule
- complete obsession over Fandom March Madness
- normal stage of either late winter slump or early spring renewal of energy depending on weather and other factors
- complete obsession over WisCon with a little side excitement over summer TV schedule
- post-con slump
- Big Brother complete obsession freak-out time
- which leads directly into excitement over fall TV schedule since they overlap a lil
- then late fall slump
- then excitement over holidays
So, my basic seasons are: Depression, TV, Fandom, Depression/Spring, WisCon and TV, Depression, BB, TV, Depression, Holidays.
I notice a pattern here, do you?
When I'm not actively obsessed with something - I get depressed. I guess it's good that I have so many obsessions, then, right? And it does make sense since my life is, let's face it, kinda blah most of the time. So I find things to get excited about, my OCD goes into overdrive, and then when the thing is over, I get sad and mopey again.
At any rate, I HAVE been in a bit of slump (which I've been mitigating with my newfound Tumblr obsession) and I'm looking forward to my manic obsessive BB fandom stage now.
I've got all my fave BB sites open up in my tabs, I'm reading all the news and gossip, watching the various cast interviews, getting back in touch with my BB chat buds who I seem to only socialize with during BB season, and am just generally all pumped up.
I know a lot of you do not get this obsession. It's so different from some of the other things we may share in common. I might make some meta posts explaining why I'm such a sucker for this show, but even then - I don't really expect you all to get it.
Just know that it makes me happy and keeps me from having a major summer-time slump, okay? :)
|Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections and Social Justice
||[09 Jun 2013|05:04pm]
There's a thing I've been meaning to talk about.
And it's kind of embarrassing. Because it took me a long time to realize this, even though so many other of my political and philosophical leanings should have had this thing been innate to me. But. It wasn't. For a long while. And that's embarrassing.
So the reason I want to talk about it is that perhaps it will reach other people who, like me, just didn't get it but who will absolutely get it once it's explained.
And the thing is... it's not okay to make STD/STI jokes, or judge people who have STDs or judge people whose sexual practices you might think would lead to getting STIs, or do anything that furthers the stigmatization against sexually transmitted diseases/infections.
I'm realizing I've been guilty of some of those things and it makes me feel ashamed because my feminism, my sex positivity, my anti-abelism, my anti-slut-shaming-ism, and my general all around be a decent person to other people philosophy should have made this an obvious thing to never do. I'm not saying this was a massive problem of mine in the past, but I can remember times when I've used an STI as a punchline or laughed along when someone else made a joke about someone probably having one. Gross, self, gross.
And here is why that was gross of me:
1. STDs are super super common and normal. So by judging and stigmatizing folks who have them, I was statistically very likely judging and stigmatizing folks I know and care about and love. Also folks around me who I didn't know but who still deserved not to be treated in those ways.
2. Because STIs are super common and also because even with all the protection ever you can still contract them, what stigmatizing STIs comes down is a negative attitude towards sex in general and certain sexual practices that are deemed bad by our culture specifically, such as having multiple partners. This does not at all in any way whatsoever ally with how I feel about sex or about things like having multiple sexual partners. So why in the world would I contribute to that kind of thinking?
3. Because STDs are often associated with things that our culture deems to be bad, such as having multiple sex partners, it's also associated with blame. The idea that we can blame someone for the spread of STDs because of something they did wrong is both false and contributes to the culture of sexual shame. I should have known better.
4. This kind of culture of shame around sex and around STIs directly affects how people get tested and treated for these illnesses. Because there is shame around the idea of possibly having one, many people don't get tested. Because people don't get tested, they are more likely to spread infections to their partners. Because people are likely to shame and blame their partners if they infect them, more shame and stigmatization is created. Because doctors sometimes won't test someone unless they have "high risk" behaviors, people aren't always honest with their doctors and don't get the full testing done. Because people are made to feel dirty and shameful for something that isn't their fault and isn't inherently morally bad, fewer people get treated for what is a health issue - not a moral one. I do not want more people to be sick or for people to be going untreated for their sickness.
5. This also contributes to a culture where sexually active folks of all ages are unaware of the facts around STDs including not knowing the best safer sex practices, not knowing that they can contract an STD even with those safer sex practices, not knowing how often they need to be tested, not knowing if or how certain STDs can be treated, not knowing how they spread and how they don't, etc. The way to stop diseases from spreading isn't to judge the people who have them, close your eyes, and pretend it doesn't exist. The way to treat an illness isn't to moralize the illness itself and therefore cloak yourself in pretend protection against it.
6. Even if it were true that only people who participated in sexual behaviors that society looks down upon were capable of contracting STIs (and it's NOT), that's no reason for someone who doesn't agree with those social mores to judge a person (consensual sex is okay!). In fact, it's no reason for someone who Does agree with those social mores to judge a person (judge not lest ye be judged anyone?).
7. And like, let's not even get into the fact that someone can have an STD due to rape or sexual abuse. Not to mention the fact that in this sexist rape culture we live in, folks are often coerced into sex not by specific individuals but by cultural forces insisting that we should do things we don't really want to do. I myself intend to get a full test done someday due mostly to sexual abuse and coercive sex in my past (the reason I haven't yet is due to my PTSD and resulting vaginismus, but me and my doctor are working up to it!). It's actually entirely possible that I have one myself.
8. Judging someone for an infection or illness that they have is pretty effing abelist, don't you think? Laughing about an infection or illness that you yourself don't have is pretty effing abelist, don't you think? I remember the time my doctor thought I might have bacterial vagnisois (thought maybe because due to aforementioned issues she didn't get a full scan done) and how awful I felt about my vagina then and that's not even an STD, so imagine what I'd have to work through if I did/do end up testing positive for one. So, yea, any jokes I ever made? Pot kettle black and alla that.
9. Dealing with the symptoms (although not everyone has them) and other affects of an STI is enough for someone to have on their plate. They don't need to put up with casual jokes made about their infections in social situations, or with being shamed and judged for their condition. I get a certain amount of social stigma for having an invisible illness that not everyone believes even exists and for the effects of the severity of that disability. Why would I ever want to make someone else deal with stigma for a health issue?
10. Honestly, I try not to be a bigot about things, and laughing about STDs or making assumptions about the kinds of people who might have them made me one. So I'm not gonna do that again.
* Planned Parenthood's STD portal
Re: usage of STD/STI: These infections often do not cause any symptoms. Medically, infections are only called diseases when they cause symptoms. That is why STDs are also called "sexually transmitted infections." But it’s very common for people to use the terms "sexually transmitted diseases" or "STDs," even when there are no signs of disease.
* Scarlateen's Infection Section - Scarlateen is a sex education site for teenagers, but I've found it to be a very useful info source as an adult, as well. This section has links to many pieces about STIs. Including:
* Can I Get Pregnant, or Get or Pass On an STI From That? which gives a thermometer to certain sexual activities based on the likelihood of pregnancy, or getting/spreading STIs.
* Misconception Mayhem: Separating STI Myths from Facts which gently corrects many myths about STIs, such as not being able to get one via oral sex and the fact that you can't tell by looking if someone has one or not, etc.
* I feel dirty and irresponsible because of genital herpes which is an advice piece answering someone who is dealing with some of those shame issues. Chock full of info!
I don't think sex is dirty (messy, sometimes, sure, but not dirty). I don't think illness is dirty. And I don't think you're dirty. You're a person who has engaged in sexual behavior the vast majority of people around the world and through history have, and in doing that, you acquired an infectious disease, one of many -- some sexually acquired, some in other ways -- in our world people get and pass along just by being in close contact with each other, be that sexual or not sexual at all. Herpes, like other infections, is an illness. It's not a judgment from on high, any kind of mark on or of your character, and it doesn't have a thing to do with what kind of person you are.
* The STD Project -
Through The STD Project, we post interviews with and the stories of those who have sexually transmitted infections or diseases, viewpoints from the people who have loved someone with a sexually transmitted infection or disease, as well as a plethora of news and resources related to STIs/STDs; testing, treatment, prevention, and more.
STDs are Normal: Reducing the stigma of STDs. at Psychology Today.
The reality is that there always exists a chance of contracting an STD through sexual contact, even with the use of a condom and even when there is no intercourse. Similarly there is a high chance of contracting a cold or the flu during the winter when one is in close contact with others, such as on a bus or in a classroom. Illnesses and infections are part of life.
* The Shame Game: The Reality of Testing for STIs at Loving More.
I have heard many stories from other women and a few men of the medical personnel heaping on shame and judgment when a person needs testing and even when needed medical attention requires a medical history. Many folks are much are very challenged by all the hostile treatment and judgment.. This conduct is disrespectful and demeaning. Our sexual behavior is categorized as “high risk sex.” The terminology itself is somewhat shaming. When I travel to certain parts of Mexico they recommend caution due to malaria but they never say “high risk” travel. Disease is part of the human condition; it is why we have an immune system. We can catch a cold or flu by shaking a hand, hugging someone or going to the grocery store but we do not categorize hand shaking as “high risk” behavior nor do we question why someone needs cold medicine or a strep test. Sending my kids to school puts them at a significant increased risk of catching a virus or bacterial infection, some that can be very deadly, yet no one recommends keeping kids away from school.
* STI-ism (STIsm) - How checking your shit can create a more sex-positive community. a Tumblr post.
This shouldn’t be such a taboo subject, especially when so many people have first hand experience with STI’s. There needs to exist acceptance and recognition that individuals who have STI’s have sexual validity and there also needs to exist positive dialogue around the subject of STI’s where it is repeatedly stated that a high percentage of individuals will get an STI at some point in their life, and in no way does this make them “dirty” or less sexually desirable.
* #484: “How do I minimize embarrassment when telling a partner that I have a body and a past?” - at the advice column Captain Awkward. Also chock full of info and good things.
There is space here for a young lady-type with genital herpes who likes sloppy makeouts and cuddling and safe, comfortable PIV. There is room. If you feel that your stress about having this future conversation is coming from shame that you are not the perfect sexual partner that you were raised to be – well, it is time to drop that burden and stand a little taller.
You and I, Dental Dams, operate in a system where STDs are perceived as being incredibly shameful. Got chickenpox? That is a cute disease invented so that children can stay home from school and watch Disney movies! Got genital herpes? THAT IS A DISGUSTING WHORE DISEASE INVENTED TO PUNISH WHORES. Chickenpox and genital herpes are caused by the same family of viruses, the Herpesviridae. The only reason that we think of them differently is because we pass judgement on how people get these diseases, and what they “mean” about the person.
|Personal WisCon Wrap-up Post
||[07 Jun 2013|03:49pm]
Finally going to do my more personal WisCon wrap-up. It's now two weeks past, so I'm probably forgetting stuff. But.
On Friday, at The Gathering, I got the word "Imposter" painted on my chest. This was my way of coping with my imposter syndrome and it ended up being quite symbolic as it was bright and clear the first day, fading the second day, and totally gone the third day. :)
Also at The Gathering, I helped Shayla with the Ice Breakers table again this year. She was trying to run both that and Carrie's crafts table since Carrie was unable to do that this year. Mostly, for the ice breakers - people just sat around and talked. I guess it was fairly successful, though, since most of the time the table was crowded and people were engaging with one another! :)
Obviously, already did my panel writeups so you can easily see what I thought/felt about them.
One thing of note about panel participation in general, though, was something my friends started teasing me about.
Apparently, I have a very active listening face and very emotive faces as well. So, when I'm in the audience, I make very colorful faces based on how I'm feeling about what folks are saying. I've realized this before when panelists have come up to me after a panel was over to comment on things they could tell I was also reacting to! It's good that I give people feedback, I guess? heh
Also, and I know I learned this in my forensics training, but I engage my active listening face. We were taught that when someone else was reading, we were to show that we were listening, nod along at important points, make appropriate emotive noises, etc. And I know I've taken that training into lecture classes at college, sitting in a church congregation, any kind of audience where the person speaking is live and in front of me.
And apparently this also happens when I'm sitting ON a panel. I will stop and look at my fellow panelist and nod and go "mmmmm" and "oh hunh" and whatever. My friends teased me about this, but that's a good thing, yea? I mean, silly at times. Especially, you know, I'm kind of a silly person. So I'm sure some of my faces and noises come off as kinda silly. But still. It's good to show I'm listening, right? ;)
I wasn't as party-active this year. This was due in part to my main group of friends not being up to it, and I do better in social situations with folks I already know around me. Also due partly to having evening panels both Friday and Saturday night, and so had to work socializing in around those. Also due partly to the fact that so many of the parties were of the "sit around and talk" variety which always leave me feeling very awkward. Like, I'll step in, grab a snack, scan the room, see that anyone I know well enough to actually walk up to and approach is already in active conversation with people, stand around for a few minutes to see if anyone will approach me, get intimated and leave.
I much prefer parties where there is something to DO because 1) you have something to keep you busy in those awkward intimidated moments, 2) doing stuff can spark conversations with other people, and 3) it's not as awkward to leave if you start feeling uncomfortable because you can just be all "oh, I made my thing and I'm done now so I'mma go" instead of being all "oh, no one here is talking to me rn so I'mma go." I dunno, just has a different feeling to it.
One party I did enjoy, but only stayed briefly at because it was at the same time as the genderfloomp dance (and that's my jam!) was the FemSpec party because they were doing readings. I miss reading things aloud a lot. I was in forensics in high school and my first year of college and have since really missed getting up in front of people and doing dramatic readings. Sometimes I make my friends suffer through my reading something just to get my fix. So it was fun to get to read a couple of poems and listen to other people read stuff, too.
Gender and clothing was again a thing for me this year. I spend so MUCH of my time at home in my pajamas, and even when I go out to run errands or whatever I generally just dress for comfort. So it's really exciting to me when I get to dress for fun! I like creating unique outfits, and I like blending gender presentations, and I like getting gussied up, and so any occasion becomes an excuse for me to do those things now.
And WisCon is FOUR WHOLE DAYS of getting to do this. I bring outfit changes for evenings even if the parties don't have dressy themes. BECAUSE I CAN. So I got to put together Seven whole outfits this year - two for Friday, two for Saturday, two for Sunday, and one for Monday. It was excellent.
Friday day I wore a skirt, tank top, and big denim men's shirt for layering/warmth as needed purposes as well as my pink flower sandals. That night I changed into a different skirt and tank top with a fun sweater-cover top. Saturday day I wore a flowy white skirt, tank top, sweater tank with a hood, and some fun jewelery. For night, I changed into a long black sleeveless dress and matched it with a sparkly shawl. Sunday day I wore my gray pinstipe pants and vest with my gray Blondie T and some fun accessories. That night I changed into my dressier black and magenta pinstripe pants with a black tank and long silky magenta and white splotched shirt. The long sleeved shirt combined with long pants for a dance party was kind of a mistake, so the shirt got removed fairly quickly - as did my shoes. Monday I wore... now I don't remember. I think it involved my slightly above knee level skirt and some stripey slightly below the knee level socks, though.
Anyway, I got to wear a lot of my fave things - inlcuding some I hadn't had the chance to wear at all yet. Of course, I neglected to get pictures taken of any of these outfits because my brain is a muddle and I didn't remember to bother. BUT. I did get to wear them!
Also absolutely adored seeing other people's outfits! There are some very fashionable people who come to WisCon, guys. And lots of them do fun genderqueer-ey things, too, which, as you know bob, I am attracted to. Especially at the genderfloomp when even non-gq folks get gq-ed up. I love it love it love it so much. I worry about maybe seeming creepy about it, but honestly WisCon generally and the genderfloomp specifically has the BEST people-watching and most crush-worthy people-watching at that. *ahem*
Food! Let's see, Friday I grabbed a slice at Ian's for lunch - since they don't deliver this far east I always make sure I get there for one meal during WisCon now. Dinner I think was combo consuite and food from home in the hotel room. Breakfasts were generall combo food from home and consuite stuff. Saturday lunch I went out to a delicious foodcart advertising it's sliders. I gave it a shot that here in Madison they'd have some veggie versions and they did! I had a beet slider and home made potato chips with a wasabi garlic dip. Also handmade pickle slice! Mmmmmmmm. Will patronize again! That night went to Noodles & Co. with the trans and genderqueer dinner group. Sunday went to Sunprint for some nommy breakfasty foods. Was going to take the girls out to The Fountain for dinner that night, but that didn't work out. Then was going to consuite it, but that didn't work out either (long story). So I got grumpy and ordered room service. I noticed they had a BBQ jackfruit sammy and since that's my fave at my fave restaurant Green Owl, I decided to try it. It was good - not AS good - and different in ways, but it sufficed. Monday, tried again for The Fountain but it was still closed, as were several other places we wanted to try, but we ended up at the east side Great Dane and that was fine.
What else? IDK, what else do you wanna know??
Stuff I got:( clothing swap and booksCollapse )
Panel Ideas for next year:( under the clickyCollapse )
Lastly, just wanted to remind folks that for adding purposes I am sophygurl most places (DW, twitter, tumblr, etc.) and I like adding new folks but have a bad memory, so you might have to remind me how we know each other.
|Buncha TV related links (and some vids)
||[05 Jun 2013|08:34pm]
Some interesting TV notes:
Well, first of all. I was looking back at my post about returning, canceled, new shows last month and I realized I messed up a lot of the premiere dates for summer shows. So... if you were counting on me as a source for that, I apologize. I was very tired when I made that post and did some goofy things like swapping June and July and turning 13th into 3rd, etc. If you want to make sure you're getting the right dates, I always recommend The Futon Critic.
Also, before I get to the linky bits. I want to say that I, and my friend Shayla, went about on a campaign to plug the show Men at Work all WisCon long. And I want to talk about that quickly, and why I would do such a thing.
So, okay. Men at Work is a TNT comedy created by a dude (Breckin Meyer) and starring four dudes (Danny Masterson, Michael Cassidy, Adam Busch, James Lesure). It started last summer and I went into watching it thinking I'd hate it. But I didn't.
And part of why I love it so much is because it finds a way to question or lamplight gender issues in a progressive way in every single episode. This can be anything from a single moment to the main plot arc, but there's at least something along these lines every episode. But it's super super subtle. So, like, dudes watching the show might not even realize it's happening. But it is!
Examples: ( spoilers under here if you care about such thingsCollapse )
Anyway. I recommend it. It's not perfect. I mean, despite all of the above, it does have it's sexist and heterocentrist moments as well. But ... it's still pushing things in some interesting and positive ways.
Patience Pays for TV Shows is an article at Variety about how more networks are giving shows a chance even with lower ratings, especially if they are critically acclaimed or there is lots of social media buzz about them.
"These days, low ratings don’t necessarily mean a show’s days are numbered. There are so many ways to keep a series alive and to build its audience that if it demonstrates creative potential amid ratings bumps, chances are good it will stick around."
Now, this goes mostly for cable networks still. And is more likely for cheaper shows, such as comedies. But still. Networks are taking more chances with serialized television shows now and I think that's a very good trend and hope it continues and that broadcast networks start catching up, as well.
Tatiana Maslany of ‘Orphan Black’ Could Shake Up Emmys - also at Variety, and just so on target.
Like, if you have not been watching this show, you must correct this error immediately. Tatiana Maslany is an amazeballs actress who plays all of these different characters that are clones. She does it with such subtlety and nuance and like, you can tell who she is playing at ALL times - even when one of them is pretending to be someone else. Her everything changes - accent, body language, facial expressions, mood, stance and gait, reaction time to things that happen around her, etc. She just TRANSFORMS and ugh. UGH. When she interacts with herself? It's like - I know they probably have a stand-in reading lines with her so she's not just reacting against nothing, but she has all this amazing chemistry and like....UGH. I keep forgetting she is the same actress - even when the two clones who look most alike are standing right next to each other - I literally FORGET that it's the same actress.
Yea. Watch this show.
And she deserves all of the awards ever.
The CW Releases Full Promos For New Series
Watch trailers for The CW's new fall series: The Tomorrow People, The 100, Reign, The Originals (although if you saw the sleeper pilot episode of TVD this trailer will have no new content for you), and Star-Crossed.
So, I rarely make it to/stay long at the Vid Party at WisCon because it happens right at the same time as other fun parties and interesting panels and also omg I have to go rest in my room for a few moments, etc. BUT I think it's super awesome that it happens, and that they do a panel discussion after now too and playlists go up and YAY vids.
Here are some of the vids played at the vid party this year that I watched and wanted to share because WOW, guys, WOW.
"Starships!" multifandom SPACE - all your favorite space fandoms set to brilliant pop song about starships.
Gingerbread Coffin (pretty little liars) - wonderful vid, and at that link there are links to some general PLL posts, too, so check those out. I'm squeeing.
Keep the Streets Empty For Me [Twilight] - unique perspective on Bella as predator.
"Boy with the Bubblegun," The Hunger Games, Katniss-centric - *taking deep breaths* I can't even with this OMG omg OMG.
||[03 Jun 2013|09:33pm]
Just had an accidental nap, which is not a thing that usually happens to me. Neither do on purpose naps. I'm not a napper. I don't generally require or even like naps and they mess up my sleep schedule.
I wonder if finally finishing up my panel write-ups sent a signal to my subconscious that I was done with WisCon and it was time to crash or something.
Also, I was reading and Cleo likes to snuggle with me when I read, and she is a sleep temptress. A sleep-tress, if you will. She sat curled up with me sleeping on the sofa for three hours.
I had a strange run-on dream about living with some folks I don't know why I'd be living with, but they had a huge party and ... most of WisCon was there. Which was problematic because no one had their name badges on, so I couldn't recognize anyone and I felt really stupid. Also, we had trouble fitting everyone in the house at the same time, especially since so many folks had mobility devices to make room for. IDEK, guys. Apparently my brain wants to WisCon again so badly it's figuring out ways to do it in my sleep!
Aaaaaand, my cat is insta-grumpy because I'm no longer snuggled up against her, so must go remedy that again.
Later I'll do more of a general, personal, me-centric WisCon post or three, and also my links-to-my posts post and then I'll move on to other topics again. For those of you are sick of hearing about it. :)
|WisCon Panel How and Why We Use Tumblr
||[03 Jun 2013|02:40pm]
Panel Write-up General Notes and Disclaimers:
1. These are my own fallible notes and memories of the panel. I did not get everything said written down. I probably made some mistakes. If you were there, please please feel free to correct me.
2. I will use panelist names as listed in the programming booklet because they are publicly available. All audience remarks will be generic until/unless the audience member comments to claim them.
3. Personal impressions or notes will be put in [bracket marks].
WisCon Panel How and Why We Use Tumblr
[As many of you know, I just started using Tumblr recently. I am also sort of instantly addicted. But I also don't really get it yet. Like, I made the account initially because I've been saying for years now "I don't GET tumblr!" and decided it was time to go see for myself how it worked. And I'm getting there. And really Really enjoying it. But there's still a lot that's frustrating and that I don't quite understand about it. So going to this panel seemed especially apropos.]
Moderator: E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman
Panelists: Becky Allen, Tanya D., Samantha Haney Press, Dira Sudis
Samantha talked about using tumblr as a curation tool - specifically for fandom stuff.
Cabell talked about using tumblr for a mix of fandom and social justice, as well as using it as an educator at times.
Becky said she uses it primarily for the Teen Wolf fandom, but also others.
Dira also uses hers for Teen Wolf, and "shiny stuff".
Tanya uses it for Dragonage fandom, as well as for social justice.
Samantha talked about having 3 different ones - a fandom one, one for her publishing company, and one for generating art content for other people to curate.
Cabell asked the panelists what first appealed to them about tumblr.
Dira said it was gaining critical mass with fandom due to being very visual, she liked the fan art.
Becky said it was a great place for squee. If a promo is out for .02 seconds, someone on tumblr already has gifs of it. She also talked about tumblr tag culture. Unlike with sites like LJ, where you have to join a community, on tumblr you can just track tags.
Tanya said it was fandom - art and fic.
Samantha also said fan art. Also having access to a group of people who are all focused on any topic at any time. You can fall down the rabbit hole or just do a quick check. LJ is more text-based and you have to sit down and read.
Tanya talked about building community and finding friends.
Cabell said the squee goes beyond traditional fandom. She started using tumblr shortly before she became pregnant and around a time when her friends were leaving town. Tumblr was great for her for community building.
Becky said it took her a few years to feel a community on tumblr.
Dira said she doesn't feel that.
Becky said that it's hard to talk to people on tumblr, learned how to do asks, etc.
Cabell talked more about asks. You can answer privately or publicly. When you answer an ask, it disappears, so if you answer privately, you lose it.
Cabell also talked about cross-platform interaction. Twitter and tumblr are often used together.
An audience member asked the panelists to address fanmail vs. asks, etc.
Tanya said that an ask is 200 characters or less. You can have a longer conversation in fanmail and also send links. There are more options.
There is a discussion about how community can be built with follows, reblogs, etc. One audience member talked about one-on-one interaction vs. totally public ones.
Samantha brought up how conversations can branch on tumblr - they are not threaded.
The next topic was problems and fixes. The panelists talked about missinge (which seems to have died) and xkit. Tanya Tanya said xkit gives you back functions that tumblr used to have - blacklists, tag wrapping, the ability to reblog yourself. Becky talked about tumblr savior so that you never have to see a thing with certain words (if tagged correctly), which helps people to avoid triggers and things that they are so annoyed with that they just can't anymore.
An audience member said that the people running tumblr think that people are using it wrong.
Cabell said that she studies FB via sociology and talked some about how the mentality of people using your site wrong is what killed friendster and got people to move to myspace. She talked about the decent Yahoo acquisition of tumblr and she is not panicked about it because she is not sure how they can make it worse. She is interested to see what they'll do.
Tanya said that she has a background in usability interface. She is frustrated about being told she is using the site wrong. How do they think we're supposed to be using it?
An audience member said that they want to kill conversation - they want micro posts with no community or serious discussion, they want to be like pinterist, they want people to use the site to curate stuff and not discuss it.
Another audience member said a clue was that their suggested blog was always something artsy.
Cabell said they seem to want to enable squee, but don't want discussions or critiques of the subjects. The text can be truncated, and so people add pictures to avoid that (I feel I am missing context/getting this part wrong, corrections particularly wanted here).
One audience member talked about the accidental porn aspect of tumblr.
Another audience member phrased the tumblr experience as: "corgi, corgi, hedgehog, porn!, emergency kitty, social justice, porn!"
Becky dubbed this "tumblr roulette".
Cabell talked more about the conflict bewteen what creators of sites want and what the users do. "We are dedicated to doing it wrong."
Samantha said she is okay with a site tailoring things certain was, as long as they don't disallow how people are already using the site.
An audience member talked about the missinge and tumblr guys hate each other.
Becky talked about tags as commentary and expression, but you only see the first few.
Samantha clarified that only 5 tags posted count on an original post as far as reaching a new audience. Other ones don't show up when you search and reblogged tags also don't show up. When a new person looks at tumblr - only 10 tags count. [I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT ANY OF THIS MEANS.]
An audience member addressed the culture of only putting commentary in the tags and not in the text of the reblog - this ends up limiting commentary.
Dira and Samantha agreed that authorship on tumblr is a hot mess.
There is a discussion about social justice on tumblr - there is lots of this discussion on social justice, but that discussion is HARD to have there.
Tanya also talked about the etiquette of "don't tag your hate". She said that social justice conversations range from good critical discussion to dogpiling on people for daring to ask a question.
Becky said there is no room for nuance.
An audience member talked about the Glee fandom and people saying things like "if you don't agree with me about gay rights in this specific way, then you are a bad person." Her response - "bitch, I'm a lesbian!" Sometimes this comes from a place of allies trying too hard and shutting down people within the marginalized group themselves.
Someone in the audience talked about tracking who is reblogging their original content and makes sure that they are all heard because they are only one who can see all of the branches of the ensuing discussion. [I like that.]
Another audience member talked about how tumblr tends to skew young. This might be why a lot of people on tumblr get things wrong. There is a stage of thinking that you must be more progressive than anyone who is older than you.
Cabell talked about logical breakdowns of social justice issues in order to reach the movable middle.
Samantha stressed that the shutting down with "go educate yourself" might mean that the person is just out of spoons and can't do it or it can be the only tactic someone ever uses.
Cabell talked about there being an emotional recharge in sometimes saying "just go fuck yourself in a giant fire!" [hee]
An audience member pipped in with - this is what allies are for. When the marginalized person gets to the "shut up" stage, an ally cam bring out the information.
There is discussion about how social justice conversations on tumblr tend not to be good for overall discussion, but can be very good for awareness raising.
Cabell said that younger people have a tendency to be both ignorant and arrogant - but they are also more malleable.
Tanya talked about the assumptions of who someone is, such as telling someone who is in the group in question that they don't get to use a word to describe themselves.
Cabell said the biggest fights have been about border and identity policing. Possibly, these happen when folks don't know who they are talking to. An example is asexual people being told they aren't queer.
An audience member said that the discussion aspect can be bad, but tumblr can be good for education. You can follow people who are talking about the things you want to learn more about. Becky added that she learns by listening to smart people talk.
Cabell said it can also help with learning about your own identity and used the example of awareness about mental illnesses.
Samantha said that the pace of tumblr is very rapid. WisCon is only once a year, but these conversations are going on 24/7.
An audience member asked about using tumblr educationally.
Cabell talked about using hashtags, but said searching on tumblr is hard - this is something that twitter is better at.
Cabell also cautioned about the fact that people often use pseudonyms. Using their work as a source can be problematic.
One audience member talked about the culture of personal blogging vs. academic writing. With personal blogging - the whole world can see it, but you're not talking to the whole world.
Samantha talked about the importance of twitter and tumblr in disseminating non-traditional journalism.
An audience member said that Yahoo wants to disseminate tumblr material to the wider Yahoo community.
Another audience member talked about the reblogging culture and the importance of giving credit to who wrote something. Not citing or finding out who wrote something means that often marginalized voices can be erased.
I believe the closing statement was: "oh, tumblr."
[Great panel. Although I'd still like for someone to sit down with me and hold my hand and explain tumblr to me and how best to use it and what this thing is for and how that works and why not to do this over that, etc.]
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