stardreamer: animated fireworks (celebration)
stardreamer ([personal profile] stardreamer) wrote2015-07-04 12:58 pm
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Independence Day

Some years back, in one of the Usenet newsgroups I used to frequent, someone posted a "warm fuzzy" description of her town's big 4th of July festival, complete with speech by minister and group-sing of "God Bless America". This prompted a fair amount of discussion on the group, during which I mentioned that it would have been nice had the festival been a little more inclusive. I was promptly called a killjoy, over-sensitive, accused of advocating the removal of all religion from public life, and told that I should go find a REAL offense to be offended about. Other people came to my defense, and it turned into quite a multi-sided discourse. Along the way I came up with the following, which I thought (and several other people from all sides of the discussion agreed) seemed to convey the point I was trying to make very clearly. So I thought I'd repeat it here.

Some 30 or 40 years ago, black people started raising a fuss because almost all children's books -- those in the public schools, and those in most libraries -- contained only illustrations of white people (except for the occasional janitor). They said that the effect of this was to marginalize and exclude black people from mainstream society; in effect, to make them "non-persons".

They were told that they were being ridiculously over-sensitive; that this was just the way things were, and it wasn't hurting anybody; that lack of inclusion wasn't the same thing as exclusion; that they should go find some REAL offenses to fuss about. But they didn't stop fussing.

Nowadays, if we were to pick up a children's book set in contemporary America and find only illustrations of white people, it would seem very strange. We would recognize that the book did not accurately reflect the society in which we live. Black people, and Middle Easterners, and Indian/Pakistanis, and Asians, are no longer "non-persons".

I have a dream -- and some hope of actually seeing it in my lifetime -- that one day it will seem just as strange to think about going to a public patriotic event and hearing only one religion mentioned, for the same reasons. I would like to live to see an America in which Muslims and Hindus and pagans and Buddhists and atheists are not, effectively speaking, "non-persons". But I also know that it will never happen if people like me don't fuss... because right now "Oh, that's just the way things are, and it's not hurting anyone."

In aid of this, I have stopped wearing red-white-and-blue for 4th of July. Instead I wear rainbow colors, because that seems more evocative of the America I want to live in.

Also, I have taken to promoting an alternative Pledge of Allegiance. I believe this was originally composed by Barry Gold.

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, and to the Republic which it established: one nation from many peoples, promising liberty and justice for all.

We have a way to go yet on fulfilling that promise, but I haven't given up hope yet. And while the Constitution is still open to interpretation, it's less corruptible than a symbol that can be assigned any words someone wants to give it.

And this year in particular, I feel as though I have some reason to celebrate -- an entire group of people have just been told that they are no longer second-class citizens.

Rainbow American
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Cubby Sherwood ([personal profile] sine_nomine) wrote2015-07-04 12:21 pm

Along the lines of miscellany

Today started with my doing further tidying of the house in anticipation of my friend BK coming over to help me get the filing cabinets that I never should have bought out of here (it seemed like a good idea at the time: two matching box/box/file cabinets to replace my non-matching ones and from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore so incredibly reasonably priced for what they were... but I waffled extensively on getting them, forgetting that when it takes me that long to make up my mind the answer is "No". And as it turns out, there are very sound reasons why my non-matching cabinets work so thinking about replacing them was ill-advised).

Then off to the Light Rail Station to get BK and home... where we quickly loaded each cabinet onto my folding handtruck (that isn't functioning overly well, as in it's not locking open; when money gets better I should replace it) and brought them outside to the curb figuring some scrap metal guy will scarf them up if someone who wants them as file cabinets doesn't grab them first.

But the best part is I knew they were changing the energy in my house just being here and also blocking my access to my balcony (not overly important on its face except that I like the door being open at night when it cools off so nicely) and my house already feels better for having them gone.

Drove BK home so I could run by an ATM near his house to get money (long story) but it was temporarily out of service so off to another bank closer to home except somehow -- on a national holiday with the banks shut -- the monies for the red light ticket I got when driving a rental car got yoinked from my account in the meantime. Which I wasn't expecting and which let out a bit of a gasp on my part as suddenly money is tighter than I was expecting. Again. Especially as I'm driving into the city for work this afternoon/evening. Beyond the "It's going to be really hard to walk after today's job -- 8 hours playing wandering concierge making sure people don't fall off the deck, go up to the roof for a better view of the fireworks, or making out (or get ill) in the stairwell --- and so having the car close to hand when leaving work at 10 PM wiil be handy", it turns out that it will actually be less expensive to pay the toll than to pay round trip carfare plus what will likely be a taxi home. But it's going to make me shorter on cash than I'd like. Ah well. I'll survive.

Have now had lunch (Variations on a Theme by Posole; accompanied by a trio of buttered corn tortillas) and about to get into suit for work (black suit, white shirt, tie... putting on a vest also in case the jacket wants to come off but it's already cool enough outside that I'm guessing it won't) and head into the city to allow plenty of time to find parking (which shouldn't be overly challenging as it's the Fourth of July and everyone leaves the city but I'm not holding my breath) and find the building and get there early so that I can familiarize myself with people, places and things before my shift goes into full swing. Must remember to bring extra Tylenol/paracetemol and protein bars (likely the only food I'll get to eat in my eight hours working and that snagged in fits and starts likely in the afore-mentioned stairwell).

Working 8 hours today and then home for sleeping and then back to the city tomorrow (though on PATH; note to self: CHECK THE SCHEDULE! It's SUNDAY!) for five hours in a leasing office. And then Monday is at Major NonProfit and Tuesday through Thursday (unless the temp agency comes up with something) likely at CarRental Company and then I'll hope for more work from temp agency.

I should probably get moving... tempus is fugit-ing.
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threeringedmoon ([personal profile] threeringedmoon) wrote2015-07-04 09:11 am

Happy Fourth!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Here is a childhood summer favorite of mine, pineapple upside down cake, that I made to celebrate the holiday.

Mirrored from Five Acres with a View.

snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
Sarah Pin ([personal profile] snarp) wrote2015-07-04 09:21 am

(no subject)

Thank you, nature, for raining all over the place all week, it will probably require more effort than we are willing to put in to catch ourselves on fire today.
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oracne ([personal profile] oracne) wrote2015-07-04 08:38 am

Indepedence Weekend

Not much to report. College friend and her husband are visiting this weekend. Yesterday, I dressed up and we went to High Tea at The Rittenhouse Hotel. I drank a whole pot of Assam with brown sugar and milk. The scones were perfection. The tiny egg salad sandwiches melt in your mouth.

Then we took a walk along the river before bussing across town for Franklin Fountain. It had a huge line due to holiday visitors, but we got ice cream anyway. ...Yes, I had a root beer float for dinner.

This morning, a parade! I hope the rain holds off.
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mummimamma ([personal profile] mummimamma) wrote in [community profile] flaneurs2015-07-03 09:38 pm

June challenge III(b) : Norwegian subtownia

I did the June challenge! Actually I've found doing some of the challenges rather a challenge, since my city (town rather) is rather small, and sooner rather than later you'll have to cross a mountain or swim across a fjord. But then this Monday I suddenly noticed that my regular work-home bus had gotten a new terminus. Which I had no idea were was, so the challenge kind of gave itself:

Welcome to Hesjaholtvegen (The hayrack grove road)! Somewhere in Norway...

Join me on my trip through Norwegian suburban jungle... )
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xnera ([personal profile] xnera) wrote2015-07-03 03:50 pm

Game of the Week: Fluxx

Fluxx at Board Game Geek

Fluxx is a card game of changing rules for two or more players. One of the fun things about Fluxx is that new players can join the game at any time. The game starts with each person being dealt three cards. One player then goes first. The basic rule is "Draw 1 card, play 1 card". In Fluxx version 3.0 (the version I own), there are four types of cards: (1) Keepers; (2) New Rule; (3) Action; and (4) Goals. Keepers are played face-up in front of you. New Rule cards are played in the center of the table. New Rules take effect immediately; for example, if a New Rule says you can only have 1 card in your hand, everybody must immediately discard cards until they have 1 card remaining. There can be multiple New Rules in play at a time, but if a New Rule contradicts an older rule, the older rule is discarded.

Action cards are followed as written when played. An example would be "Draw 2 cards and use 'em" in which you draw two cards and play them in the order you choose.

Goal cards describe the current goal of the game. One of my favorite goals is "The person who has both the Milk and Cookies Keeper cards is the winner."

Play continues, with each person playing a Keeper, New Rule, Action, or GOal card until the current goal is met.

Fluxx was featured on an episode of **Tabletop**, Wil Wheaton's board game webseries. You can watch it here:
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Sarah Pin ([personal profile] snarp) wrote2015-07-03 12:20 pm

A thought about the autisms:

People's reactions to me changed a lot during the ~2 years I spent in Japan - like, incidents in which I was treated badly because it was visible that I had brain issues became much less frequent.

I think I just figured out how to read people and do "normal" vocal intonation better during that period. To some extent that was a biological developmental thing - I was still having hormonal upheavals more common to thirteen I year holds throughout college, and my hallucinations had only just died down for the final time when I moved to Okazaki - but part of it was probably the foreign language immersion.

It's kind of like I got to re-do part of the childhood language acquisition/socialization process, but with better control over my sensory bullshit. In a lot of situations my intonation and facial expressions come across more naturally when I'm speaking Japanese than English, but the connections I was making helped with English, too.
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Cubby Sherwood ([personal profile] sine_nomine) wrote2015-07-03 08:54 am

Passing the hat (not for me)

Today we take a pause from my self-involved whinging and proclamations and ponderings to help out friends of mine.

My friend Ambrose and his wife are people who made a difference in my life at a point when having in-person friends was a serious blessing. I first met them when they lived in the city, arranged for the movers when they wanted out of the city proper, did the first grocery shopping for them in their new place, played chauffeur for outings and job interviews and so on, and then arranged for the cheap car rental when they moved down to Florida because his wife took a job down there. We spent hours and hours together as Ambrose shared his kalimba playing, we all discussed the state of the Universe and country, read books and journaled and did art in silent companionship, his wife shared Pre-Columbian Mexican cookbooks with me (because lo, Mexican food that exists without nightshades!) and more. Really special people. Talented, generous, caring, and more. I'm not expressing well how much they helped me grow, showed me that I mattered, and gave me a destination at the end of a day.

They are also both trans and both librarians and they have little money which is rapidly running out. This is because Ambrose's wife is in End Stage Liver Failure. And so they've started a GoFundMe campaign. This is how Ambrose started his post:
This fund is for my spouse, the love of my life. We have been married since 1995. A decade into our marriage, my partner realized she was a woman, not the male gender she'd been assigned at birth. In fact we both decided to transition in the opposite trajectory. Because she was transitioning, her doctor put her on a high dose of Estradiol. All was fine until May 4th of this year and he goes on from there.

The link to the liver transplant fund they started on GoFundMe is here. My money situation is pretty awful but I'm donating something and, of course, more as I have it. Anything you all can give them will help tremendously but my reach in this here online journal is small. Equally important to any monetary donations is getting the word out for these people who matter to me. Please would you spread the word about this? It is, unfortunately, absolutely true, absolutely something they are wrestling with, absolutely something no one should ever have to face, and my heart is aching for both of them.

As Ambrose put it in a note he sent to me and a stack of his friends, "I hate asking for help, but I refuse to let her die", and I am right there with him on both counts.

Happy to answer any questions in PM.

I cannot thank you all enough for anything that you can do to help my friends.
sasha_feather: "The heroine's achivement of autonomy and self-actualization was the point of the narrative" (heroine)
sasha_feather ([personal profile] sasha_feather) wrote2015-07-02 10:39 pm


I am taking a water Ai Chi class. It is in a warm water pool and the other people in the class are mostly older women. I am by far the youngest person in the class; I don't feel uncomfortable about this though. I like hanging around with older women anyways. It sort of feels like "my mom's friends" age-wise. The movements are very gentle, constantly moving. They focus on deep breathing, range of motion, and balance. It's just my speed, really, because when I've tried things like yoga, it hurts too much to do the movements. This class is challenging, more so than I expected it to be, but doesn't hurt too much. In fact the teacher encourages us not to push through pain, and it's easier to take that advice in a class like this which is aimed at people with mobility issues, than it would be in a standard class.

Sometimes--often-- my internalized ableism tells me that I should be able to do more. After all, I can walk at the dog park, do household chores, drive, etc. But when I'm in this class and focusing on my body, it tunes me in more to how much pain I have and how much I am trying to ignore it all the time. And that takes tons of energy. It's exhausting. Chronic illness reduces your stamina, plus coping with chronic illness takes work.

I have really high standards and expectations for myself, and I should remember to be easier on myself because my life is not exactly easy.
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Sarah Pin ([personal profile] snarp) wrote2015-07-02 09:16 pm
Entry tags:




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Sarah Pin ([personal profile] snarp) wrote2015-07-02 09:30 pm

The chimney birds are back.

And very, very loud. Buoyancy the Cat really wants to get to them.
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Sarah Pin ([personal profile] snarp) wrote2015-07-02 08:28 pm

There are two Nannasprites

Nannapsii is basically canon.
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Cubby Sherwood ([personal profile] sine_nomine) wrote2015-07-03 07:44 am

Thanks but no thanks

Checked my email today when I got done with work. Found the following note:
It was a pleasure meeting you... )

Given various levels of ambivalence that I had about this one, I am not at all displeased by the outcome. Let the job seeking begin in earnest!

eta: apparently my fingers typed the wrong code for what was supposed to be a cut; apologies!
bokunenjin: (cropped from pic with Anna)
bokunenjin ([personal profile] bokunenjin) wrote in [community profile] wiscon2015-07-02 05:04 pm

acknowledging stolen indigenous people's land in public speaking

I didn't make it this year, but past WisCons have been the first and only place I've heard speakers acknowledge the indigenous peoples on whose stolen land they're speaking. I would like to do this in my own speaking, including an upcoming talk in Washington, DC, and I'm wondering if there are tips or resources out there? Is there a name for this practice? I want to make sure I do this in a respectful, accurate, NOT "look at my white tears" way.