sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
My photography tips. All of these are guidelines not rules!

1. Take more pictures than you think you will need. Then take even more.

If you grew up before digital photography, you'll probably feel like you are "wasting film"-- you'll have a conservative approach to hitting the shutter button. Film and printing photos were expensive. It's a process to unlearn those old habits and take more photos, to take a liberal, abundant, and playful approach to taking photos. To snap with abandon.

2. It's not a rule to have fun, but being experimental and playful can help.
(Have fun should not be a rule from real social skills)

3. Get closer, especially to people. I want to see their eyes and faces and expressions. I want the subject to fill most of the frame.

4. If you are able, get at eye level or a little above. Taking a photo from below the person's eyeline is rarely flattering. One reason the Dogist (thedogist.com) is so great? He has hard knee pads. He gets down on the ground to get on the dog's eye level. Then he squeaks a toy so they will look at the camera. (I know that not everyone can kneel.)

5. Pay attention to what is in the background of your photo. Junk and clutter are distracting. There are many funny photos online of mirror reflections of people's naked butts, or sex toys sitting out on the counter, etc, that they missed because they didn't look at the background.

6. Natural light is best! Flash tends to wash things out. Sometimes bathrooms provide good lighting too; I think it's the mirrors and the typically white walls that reflect the light around.

7. If you want to try the "Rule of thirds", dividing an image into 3 or 9 parts, or aligning the eyes on the top third line, (again this is not really a rule but a guideline), many cameras and iPads have built-in guides-- superimposed lines over your screen that divides the image into thirds both vertically and horizontally. I think that the iPad also has a Fibonacci spiral guideline on it!

Some of the reasons I got more into photography:
It doesn't hurt my body (unlike other hobbies like knitting)
You don't have to learn much to see some results (low point of entry)
It's relatively cheap and portable, due to the advent of digital cameras and phone cameras
I find that it helps me pay attention to my environment, in a meditative, mindful way: even on horrible days I can find interesting things to look at and snap photos of.
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
My battery cord came in the mail today! After about a week offline, I'm not planning on catching up with the internet.

I read:
The Inexplicable Logic of my Life, by Benjamin Alire Saenz (disappointing)
The Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer -- fun and fast read
Thor, goddess of Thunder -- super fun, irreverent, great art
(logging these on goodreads if you want to read more of my thoughts)
some fanfics

I watched some mediocre movies from the library, and watched the Oscars. I am, naturally, very proud on Moonlight.

The best thing I watched was "Legion" on Hulu, which I'm excited about. It's a beautifully shot, stylish superhero show. The first episode is like a short movie. There are some scary scenes (psychological horror), but not much gore. David has been in and out of mental institutions for most of his life, told that he is schizophrenic. Later he's told that all of his strange experiences are due to his powers as a mutant who has pschic powers. But he's not sure: just because you have powers doesn't mean you're sane.

It's a fascinating premise, very suspenseful, and I can't wait for the next episode!!
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Previous post on this subject: https://sasha-feather.dreamwidth.org/1025648.html

While talking with Jesse about how to *really* get at what I want to describe, rather than male gaze or female gaze, what we came up with was empathetic or empathizing gaze vs. Objectifying gaze.

I like accuracy of language, as you have probably figured out if you've known me a while.

You can divide any image into thirds. Your eye will fall onto the top third line or bottom third line of the frame. What sits on this line? Objectifying images often have breasts and hips of women at the top and bottom thirds. Empathethic gaze images will have the subject's eyes at the top third line (or sometimes the center or bottom third) of the image; the point is that you are focusing on their eyes and that encourages you to feel what they are feeling.

TJ and Amal (http://tjandamal.com/) is a good example of empathetic gaze in a comics medium.
Also see:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Moonlight - notice the focus on eyes and hands in the trailer (https://youtu.be/9NJj12tJzqc)
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
(I left this as a comment on facebook)
Thinking this through, I think these "standing wheelchairs" are less about the "health" or "independence" of disabled people, and more about making disabled people conform to non-disabled standard, to make us more acceptable to non-disabled society. If a few individuals get benefit from them, OK. But they are not part of the social justice model of disability.

Instead:
Imagine altering the built and social environments so that wheelchairs are normal. No one comments on them in hostile ways. There are ramps and elevators aplenty. Everything is reachable from wheelchair height, or if not, someone is around who can help reach, or there is assistive tech for helping with that. This would be probably cheaper than providing these "standing wheelchairs" and benefit many more people, including kids, people with fatiguing illnesses, short people, etc.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
The original La Cage aux folles (the birdcage) (1978), in French with English subtitles. A little slow to start, but delightful, warm, and hilarious.

Renato owns a nightclub, mostly featuring drag queens. He lives above it with his long-time partner Albin. Renato's son Laurent comes to visit, announcing his engagement to Andrea, whose family are stuffy conservatives in the government. Andrea lies to her parents and says that Renato is a cultural attache. Laurent (who should feel BAD about himself) talks his father into making the appartment look like a hetero den and having them over for a fancy dinner, continuing the lie. Farce ensues. I notice this has an R rating because GAY but it really doesn't deserve it.

Elementary Season 4

Joan Watson!!!!

The Good Place

This was just OK, and some things about it bothered me a little, but I really liked the characters and the diverse cast. I especially liked Chidi, a black nerdy philosophy professor who clearly has an anxiety disorder. He tries so hard.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
1. I managed to cut my song down! yay! It's now at 2:50 instead of 4:30 (thank you vid club!)

2. I fear that using Windows movie maker isn't going to work out. I mean, maybe there's a way to use it and I'm just not seeing it. I watched some montage tutorials on youtube, but they are people doing pretty short montages of video game segments. I have a full movie in there. *head scratch*

I also don't know how to remove the movie sounds.

3. As usual my main barrier is my own anxiety, frustration, fatigue, etc.

Not unrelated, my mouth hurts, and staring at screens doesn't seem to help my nerve pain.

Media

Feb. 4th, 2017 12:06 am
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
I finished reading the Ancillary books and just loved them. They are so thoughtful and interesting, and Breq is such an appealing character, partly because she is angry all the time. She is allowed to be angry. She is competent and effective. She's a wonder.

Yesterday I watched Crimson Peak, which I mostly liked, but the ending was quite violent. The cinematography was beautiful, with strange bright colors, like the heroine's yellow dress.

I've been catching up on Elementary Season 4. I loved the episode about a local superhero, "You've Got me, Who's Got You?" I love how Sherlock takes care of Clyde the turtle (tortoise? don't know). I catch myself thinking about Joan's outfits at odd times. Just when I think, oh, that dress is my favorite, she'll wear another one that is even better. She is my favorite in all ways: a badass brilliant mature woman who can handle anything and uses fashion like a weapon.

Dream job

Jan. 31st, 2017 06:28 pm
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
I dreamed that I was interviewing for a job with Barack Obama and former sec. of health and human services Donna Shalala.

If you had *asked* me who Donna Shalala was, I would have been like, uh, some politician? But apparently my unconcious brain knew this datum. (In the dream, we talked about rabies risk.) (Interestingly, she also used to be chancellor of UW - Madison and now heads the Clinton foundation. )

As part of this dream job, there was a uniform / dress code that involved wearing cashmere and leather (paid for by the job).

So, I guess that's my "dream job".
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
How do I cut down a song? The song I have (am deeply comitted to) is over 5 minutes long.

I have been clipping, at least I think so. I won't be super surprised if I have to redo this part. You know why they call it research: you have to do it again. I haven't gotten to the end of the film but I'm close.

I don't really know what the next step is but I'll get there... eventually.
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2018, er, 2016) is on Hulu. It's a New Zealand film about a kid, Ricky, who is in the foster system and goes to live on a farm with an older couple, Bella and Hector. Bella is loving and exuberant; Hector (Sam Neill) is standoffish. Ricky is settling in and starting to be happy, when Bella suddenly dies. A letter comes saying Ricky will have to go back into foster care. He decides to run away into the Bush. Hector comes after him, but neither really want to go back to society, so with one thing and another, they spend five months in the bush, encountering wildlife and eccentric people. They evade the authorities and become minor celebrities.

This film is at turns hilarious and poignant, with real heart all the way through. Ricky shines as a fat, Maori kid who likes rap and haiku and reading-- a misfit looking for acceptance. Hector is also a misfit and their scenes together were wonderful. It's quirky and the landscapes are gorgeous.

I loved this film, laughed my butt off, and will watch again.

content notes )
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
1. what are the words you do not have yet? [Or, “for what do you not have words, yet?”]

Those things that are small traumas, "it's not really a trauma but"; like microagressions but not so micro.

More words for coming out: are you coming out to yourself? to others? Are you in the long process of de-brainwashing yourself? Are you still de-brainwashing yourself after years and years? Do you hear a song on the radio, a love song without any gender specified, and assume it's about straight people?

More words like "Hangry", which is a good word; I'm cranky because I'm hungry, I'm cranky because I'm in pain; I'm cranky because....

More words for different kinds of love. Love is love doesn't work for me. I like distinctions and nuance. Love for the world; love for nature; love for friends; love for fandom; sudden and gradual loves; ones that fade and ones that endure. And what are things that help make love happen? What are those things?

Words for surviving, for getting through, for recovering, for dealing with shit that you have to do but can barely get yourself to do.

And more words for physical, chronic pain, which is so boring, and so difficult to describe.
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
Saw this on Tumblr and posting it here as a writing / blogging challenge:

The Audre Lorde questionnaire to oneself.

1. what are the words you do not have yet? [Or, “for what do you not have words, yet?”]

2. What do you need to say? [list as many things as necessary]

3. What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? [List as many as necessary today. Then write a new list tomorrow. And the day after.]

4 If we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language, ask yourself: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” [so, answer this today. and everyday.]
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
Seen on Tumblr, posted by chameleonchild:

"Being chronically ill and having to stay at home a lot doesn’t mean I have more free time. The chronic illness occupies that and the rest of my time."

Bit of an "aha" moment for me.
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
I have never in my life owned a console gaming system. That has changed today!

At St. Vinny's yesterday stood a whole shelf full of Xbox 360s. I bought one for 35 dollars. With a few games I spent about 50 dollars, including controller and cord. The first one was faulty, so I went back today and exchanged it, and this one seems to work. My roommate and I just tried out Lego Harry Potter, which is silly and fun.

I have found over the last few years that gaming is a great way to cope with pain and fatigue. Sometimes it's the only thing I have energy for, or the only thing that can really take my mind off my pain. Some games are too technically hard or require too much dexterity, or are too stressful. Ones that I really enjoy are silly and not overly difficult.

I'm super excited!! We are still figuring a few things out and I need to get an extra controller yet. Happy new year to me!
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
Films:
MOONLIGHT omg sublime
Arrival
Ghostbusters 2016
Rogue One
Zootopia

TV:
Luke Cage
Stranger Things
Brooklyn 99
Elementary
@midnight
Yuri!! on Ice

Books:
Saga by Vaughn and Staples
TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver
O Human Star! by Blue Dellaquanti
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
March book 3 by John Lewis et al

Games:
Stardew Valley
Gone Home
Children of Ur
Candy Crush
Hexels http://benhardy.github.io/hexels/

Personal/social:
Walking at the dog park
[personal profile] were_duck's baby, the bleb
Visiting and having lunch with [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Visiting my parents on the farm; seeing family members over Labor Day weekend
My dog park friend got a kidney from his daughter
Making up with and walking with my friend R.
I had a sort of emotional fling (as opposed to a physical fling); which fizzled out but was fun while it lasted, this happened last winter.
I saw [personal profile] anna_bird for the first time in years!
Visited with many friends at WisCon
Gardening and hanging out with my roommate
Comics Club!
Socializing with old friends, and making new twitter friends
2 of my friends got their surgeries funded using social media!

Work and creative:
Volunteering at the humane society
Starting a fan vid! And perhaps more importantly, starting a fan vid club!
I posted one fic on the Ao3 this year (nsfw), and I think it's probably my best fic, idk.
As always, I enjoyed taking pictures and posting them to Flickr!
Meeting with the Anti-Abuse sub-committee for WisCon
Lots of health work, most of which is tedious, except for water bending class which is fun.

ETA:
I also read a lot of fanfic. The standout ones are:
Stuck on the Puzzle by the spectaclesofthor

Known Associates by thingswithwings

Ain't No Grave by spitandvinegar
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Been away for a week! Not planning to catch up on social media.

I saw Rogue One and enjoyed it. I did start to get a headache (due to driving too long, probably) while watching it, which definitely reduced my enjoyment. The last act was excellent and reminded me of

possible spoilers )

My parents and I have picked up the American Jewish tradition of going to a film on Christmas day. A lot of other people seem to be doing this; we've run into neighbors at the theater and there was a decent crowd. It's a great tradition, but I wish the studios would release more happy, upbeat films to coincide with the holiday. Last year we saw Concussion, this year we saw Fences. Neither of these were particularly happy films. We would have loved to see Hidden Figures, but it doesn't come out for another week.

I don't know what I thought of "Fences." It was very much a play put on film. As a story about a family with problems, it wasn't really my kind of thing. But the cast and performances were excellent.

My dad and I watched a couple of episodes of "Vikings" on cable, but found it to be too violent for our tastes.
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
Yesterday as I was driving to the Humane Society for my volunteer shift, I saw a cop car pulled over on the bridge over the highway. I glanced over to see two officers with their arms spread wide, making that classic herding gesture. In between them was a goose. Not a common Canada goose, but a light brown and white, beautiful goose. I laughed aloud and figured they'd be going to the same place as me. When animal control or the police pick up strays, they bring them to the humane society.

A few minutes after I'd started my shift, I saw one of the officers walk in. I was the only person sitting up front at that moment so I asked if I could help him.

"Yeah, I have a... duck? Goose?" he said. "It's in the back of my vehicle." I imagine it's one of the stranger things this officer had done.

I went and got someone and it turns out the goose was a domestic, barnyard goose that had gone astray. She seemed quite calm. How she ended up on the bridge over the highway is a complete mystery. Now she is safely ensconced in the barn at the humane society. After a stray hold period she will be up for adoption.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
Possibly overdid it today.

Started my new shift at Humane society, which will be Tuesday 1-3, sorting donations. Really liked the woman doing orientation, and enjoyed the shift. She explained things well and was friendly. She told me a little about her former job (before she retired) which was doing labor audits, investigating things like overtime and child labor violations.

I went to the vet to pick up more Apoquel for Abbie (this helps her allergies).
Next I stopped at the post office and waited in line about 20 minutes to mail a couple of things.

I forgot about swimming until I got home, and decided I would lay down for a few minutes before hand. Well, I fell right asleep and slept right through swim class. I'd set an alarm but turned it off. Abbie woke me up to go out a while later, at which point I watched a little TV and changed into my PJs.

Even after being sick for years, it's very difficult to gauge my energy. I'm hoping by writing down my activities I'll get a better idea.

It is very cold today; I'm grateful for central heating and indoor plumbing and warm wool clothes. I think about our ancestors surviving this weather (and worse) and I think about homeless people.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
It's gotten cold, and there's something exciting about the wind and the snow, the bundling up and layering yourself, fortying yourself against the cold, lacing your boots, doing up your zippers, tying your scarf. The feeling we're all in it together, us against the cold.

[personal profile] jesse_the_k gave me Carhartt overalls in blue-gray. They are everything. I put them on over my jeans and liners, put on my wool sweater and coat, hat and mittens, two pairs of socks and boots, and I was almost too warm for my night dog walk with my friend R. Abbie wore all her layers too.

The dry cold air is not great for my sinuses and breathing, but what are you gonna do. At the pool on Tuesday, the warm humid air was a blessing.

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