sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
A friend asked me about dealing with chronic illness and fatigue, which I manage largely though scaling way way back on my commitments and resting a lot. I have some other practical tips though, which I thought I'd share. Some of these things I learned from [personal profile] jesse_the_k and other people in my life. Not all of these will be possible or relevant for everyone.

1. For light sensitivity, wear a hat with a brim. (I go almost nowhere without one.) I also sometimes wear sunglasses indoors and I use lamps rather than overhead lights in my apartment.
2. Carry chewing gum. Not great if you have TMJ, but if you have migraines/headaches, chewing gum can loosen up your stiff jaw muscles.
3. Carry food and water. When I was working I often carried granola bars, cheese sticks, apples, and chips. I also would try to have some change for the vending machine.
4. If you have trouble remembering to eat (or take meds, etc), set a timer on your phone to remind you.
5. Leave work, literally, and take breaks. Go for a walk, find a quiet room away from your desk. Find a sofa and take an actual nap (again, use the timer on your phone).
6. Stock up on ice packs and hot packs. Invest in a good electric heating pad.
7. Ask for, and accept help. (this is one of the hardest ones on here.)
8. Get grocery delivery if you can.
9. Wear comfortable shoes, and rotate them. Wear comfortable clothes in general.
10. Give yourself permission to rest. (this is also hard).
sasha_feather: by Such_heights (Dani Sense8)
Your jokes have brought you fortune and fame
but today you should be feeling some shame
if your punchline is "fat"
get off the damn mat
and come back when you've brought your A game.

CC commons licence, share and share alike, 2015
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Just for the record, I hated "Ex Machina". It was a science fiction movie about straight male fantasies come to life and gone wrong. It was gross.

This blog post gets into some of the racist stuff in the movie:
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
I'm going to write about seeing Mia Mingus! She is so awesome, has so many great ideas, such great open energy. By culture and personality, I am somewhat conflict averse, and yet also drawn to things that involve cognitive dissonance, which is a problem. Mia has this way of being hungry for the conflict, of digging into with enthusiasm. Like, YES, let's TALK about that uncomfortable thing! And it is just honestly such a relief.

I went to a small group session where we talked about a couple of her essays from her website:
1. Changing the Framework: Disability Justice

2. Access Intimacy: The Missing Link

3. Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability

The third one really blew my mind. LOVED it. Here is another way of resisting respectability politics: embrace magnificence instead of prettiness. Be memorable, own the way you look and are.

We talked a bit about being uncomfortable with "body positivity", and the intersection of disability and fat politics. This is an exciting area to me and I'd like to see more people talking about it. These are both highly stigmatized categories and activists from the two groups seem to want to avoid each other due to this stigma, even though the intersection between the two groups is pretty readily apparent. Think of fat activists emphasizing "health at any size" and talking about how they are healthy and active at their weight--centering health, which is not exactly friendly to those of us who are not in good health. Meds can cause weight gain or loss; weight (high or low) itself can be associated with certain illnesses; etc. Anyways, Dave Hingsburger writes about this a bit (mostly the stigma of being a fat wheelchair user). And I always, always rec The Fat Nutritionist, especially this post: You have no obligation to be healthy.

Mia Mingus talked about how when we are so committed to the social model of disability (or any kind of social model), we can run up against the wall of our bodies. And so we need to talk about embodiment. I think part of loving and caring for our bodies is acknowledging that being embodied can totally suck sometimes. It is ok to feel negative.

During her key note, Mia Mingus talked about transformative justice and her work using it to address child sexual abuse (often adult survivors of same). She works with Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective. One of the themes of her talk was building alternatives to our state institutions, because how can we depend on the state to address violence when the state uses violence and oppression against us?

This event was part of the Gender and Women's Studies 40th anniversary event on campus. I went to some of the events the next day, but they were... much more academic and kind of not my thing.
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
Lately this song appeals to me as an activist and person:

Am I Wrong (Nico & Vinz -- Official -- You Tube)

The video shows two young black men searching for and eventually finding each other. At the end, they joyfully reunite. Through their journeys, they are each carrying around an old black and white TV that seems to be giving them clues to the other's location. They set these TVs down at the end. They also seek advice from villagers and various people.

Lyrics version:

It can be hard to have different opinions, desires, ways of being than the rest of the culture and especially from your friends. If fandom, and all subcultures, the feeling to go along with the crowd is strong, because you feel like these are "your people". We all seek connection with our friends. But for many of us we can't just go along with the crowd, because we have different beliefs, or we just aren't into what the crowd is doing, even within our own subculture. This can be painful.

We can still connect and love each other even when we disagree. It's hard, it's confusing and there is no script. The signal is fuzzy. But we can do it.
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
Oct 10 2005
I had a lovely weekend at home. It involved a night-time chicken-catching expedition: picture Sasha crawling around on a haystack, wearing an odd assortment of warmish clothes, clutching a flashlight in one hand and prowling for sleepy chickens. We gave a few hens away to a kid who wanted some (for his birthday) to round out his flock. My weekend also involved fun digital photography, banana bread, fudge, chinese take-out, clothes-shopping with mom, and general recovery and escape. Ack, I want to move back home.

Oct 11 2006
Some of my favorite science fiction and fantasy stories deal with connections between humans and animals, notably David Brin's Uplift series, Tamora Pierce's Wild Magic, and the books I am reading right now, Robin Hobb's Assassin trilogy.

Oct 12 2007
I am writing a lot today-- it is going well. I'm having fun with my story, and I think I might be able to actually finish it at some point, maybe even this weekend.

Today's word count so far is: 1,933
Total word count for story: 5,036 (10 pages in Word) [this is before I gave up writing fiction]
Things I'm learning:

--Some days it just goes better than others, but there is no way to predict which days these will be, which is like a lot of other stuff in life.
--It's easy for me to write about horses. The visual and sensory details are all right there in my mind, they are inherently interesting to me, and it puts me in a good mood.
--I lack practice in writing. This is what I need to work on: just building up some experience and confidence. This is also very similar to a lot of other stuff in life.

Oct 10 2008, writing a long entry about my abusive job:
Still. I'm coughing now, the mouth sores came back, and I'm punchy with exhaustion. I want out. Now.

Oct 10 2009
Maybe last week? I finally changed my OK Cupid profile to say "bisexual". [I now prefer "queer"]

About 2 or 3 months ago I changed my facebook profile to say "Looking for: Friendship" only and eliminated the "interested in" portion. (This also has the nice side effect of reducing dating ads in the sidebar.)

Oct 10 2010
--I really do have a lot on my plate. I am responsible for 3 studies and helping out with a 4th. I also write and edit papers (which I enjoy). The hardest, most exhausting part is talking to people I don't know, which I have to do a lot of lately, and that will get easier with practice. I am learning new software, learning to read medical charts, asking questions constantly.
--I am very sensitive to criticism
--I was very burned by my last job
--It's still a new job. I do really enjoy it! But I'm currently putting most of my energy into the job and need to rest and do self-care a lot. I'm pretty good about leaving on time and not going in on my day off. I don't make enough money for that.

Oct 12 2011, writing about a performance
Mostly what I got out of this show came during the panel and Q and A at the end: the panelists talked about how people of color don't have the luxury of leaving behind their families or their faith when they come out, because those institutions are so necessary when navigating a white supremacist society. Communities of faith, nor queer communities, aren't going away, and interstitial, compromise spaces are needed.

Oct 9 2012
I was super anxious at work today. Sometimes I get this fear/feeling that I am bad at my job, and I am going to get reprimanded or fired or something, and it makes me not want to go to work at all--self-destructive tendencies, etc.

I guess it's a good thing I have therapy this week.

Oct 8 2013
I am happy to be working again. So far work is not very social, and I stare at a computer too much. I will have to look around for people to talk to and places to walk. I don't know why sitting at a desk is so hard on my body.

Oct 9 2014
I met a very lovely Greyhound today that I will hopefully get to adopt. She is an almost-3-year-old girl, black, a bit timid. She has a playful side that I think will come out once she settles in. [personal profile] were_duck came along to meet her.

Oct 11 2015

Today is unseasonably warm. I'm farm sitting. It's quiet and peaceful, perhaps a bit lonely but at least there are plenty of animals around, and also the internet.
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
I went with some friends to WtNV last night at the Barrymore. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I recognized a lot of people there. I was really stoked to see Dessa as the musical guest.

I've seen Dessa in concert, and some nice things about seeing her as part of a WtNV show are: it's not quite as loud as a music concert. One can sit rather than having to stand. (Although I enjoy dancing, my body is not quite up for it these days.) You don't have to deal with opening bands if those aren't your thing. And it's a shorter set, she did maybe 6-7 songs all together. The disadvantage is there isn't a full band-- it was her and one other musician who did percussion and background vocals.

For the Night Vale show, we got to see and hear Carlos, Kevin, Tamika Flynn, and Meg, in addition of course to Cecil. It's always striking to me how much better and different it is to see the actors live rather than just listening to the podcast. Cecil can hold the attention of a huge auditorium full of people. Carlos (Dylan Marron) is just the cutest person who ever lived; he seems like he is made from sparkles and sunshine.

The venue's main problem is that there is one small bathroom in the basement, so for people using the women's room the line goes all the way up this set of stairs (I don't know if there is an elevator or not).

Tons of queer people at this event! Two adorable, fat gay guys sat behind us. They were probably in their 40s, friendly and fun. A kid over to my left held her book in the air when Tamika talked about the power of reading. The show involved a bit of audience participation and the crowd felt really into it.

This show is recommended, even if you are not caught up with the podcast (which I'm not).
sasha_feather: aldis hodge wearing shades (aldis hodge in the matrix)
Some previews we saw:


Man pain dick flick! Set in the old West, starring Leo DiCaprio. Based on true actual man pain events!

Crimson Peak:

A horror film by Guillermo Del Toro. I love GDT but don't like horror films. Torn. Maybe I'll see it on DVD during the day time.

Bridge of Spies:

Looks boring to me. Lots of old white dudes and cold war stuff. *shrug*

Point Break:

A remake with a bunch of young unknown actors. Might be a fun popcorn film.

The Woods:

Horror movie.


This director is making movies with the same two people, over and over-- Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Well, I guess if you have a working formula! This does look like a fun movie, but the preview didn't give us much to go on.
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
Mouth pain, 'nuf said. It's so exhausting and demoralizing.

Good things:

--Saw an old friend at the dog park, unexpectedly!
--Saw The Martian tonight with [ profile] trinityclare. We both liked it.
--Really, really enjoying Elementary. I'm in season three now because I watch it every day. There is a scene where Sherlock tells Joan that she shouldn't try for a conventional relationship, that it goes against her eccentric, adventure-seeking nature. She feels that her family wants her to have a conventional relationship but she ends up sabotaging her attempts at them. And that this makes her a more interesting person; it's a feature not a bug.

a nice day

Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:47 pm
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
--I really enjoyed going to comics club today. Some of us had ice cream afterwards. It's a great group of people that I probably otherwise would not have gotten to meet. I took a pleasant, dozy nap afterwards.

--The weather is really nice and I can wear my jackets and sweaters.

--Do you ever look in the mirror and think, ooh, yay, I'm getting wrinkles! just me?
sasha_feather: Daredevil in a suit (Daredevil)
I took a bit of an internet break largely because my internet (or computer? who knows) was being troublesome. Still is, but there seem to be periods where it works OK. I don't know what is wrong, so don't know what to do about it.

On Saturday some mysterious energy appeared in my life/body/mind and I cleaned my apartment, in anticipation of having a few friends over. It was very nice to see them. I've been feeling a bit isolated, so I'm going to try and make more of an effort to get out and see people. One of the great things about my friends is not only do I like them-- I also like the people they introduce me to! quality all around.

Of course I overdid it yesterday, and today I am exhausted. Today has involved sleeping and resting.

A project for when it is slightly cooler: I want to take pictures of my coats and post them. coat fandom yay.

I am trying to get rid of things out of my apartment and make space for as yet unknown new things. It's that time of year.
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Comparing Mad Max: Fury Road to Snowpiercer. This post contains small spoilers for both films.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
My breathing was crappy yesterday due to wildfire smoke coming in from the West. The sky was gray and hazy at 5 pm and the sun was orange. Today seems a bit better.

The internet still randomly cuts out on me, but the good news is the upstairs neighbor wants to share so at least it isn't costing us as much.

Trees are being cut down in our neighborhood; I think they are Ash trees, at risk from Emerald Ash borer.

Have a Teen Wolf Rec!

Electricity in the Contact by ladyblahblah

Derek/Stiles, Pretend Relationship, 27K.

One thing I loved about this story is that in their pretend relationship-- which is for the benefit of making Derek appear less vulnerable at a werewolf event-- Derek and Stile have safe words which they use to express their discomfort with something in front of others who are not in the loop. Then they go away in private and discuss the thing. It's a very healthy approach to a pretend relationship! Heh. I loved this story.
sasha_feather: "The heroine's achivement of autonomy and self-actualization was the point of the narrative" (heroine)
Content note for discussion of cursing, violent language, rape culture.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: beautiful gray horse. (majestic horse)
Cute little milestone.

Abbie laid down in the creek to cool herself off. She oh so carefully sat her haunches down, then experimentally, slowly sat down into "sphinx pose" with her head just above the surface.

She zipped around the narrow side park, running in loops. Someone walking along the bike path on the other side of the creek stopped to admire her run.
sasha_feather: "subversive" in rainbow colors (subversive)
So sometimes around the internet I run into this Problem statement:
Something terrible happens in (usually the South or SouthWest).
Some people will respond with "Why do people even live there?" or "just let them secede".

I find this so problematic in so many ways.

-- These folks are essentially writing off whole swathes of people and places. There are many activists working hard to make those places better. There are people all over the country who *can't* move away and who don't want to. There's history and culture and resources in those places and why would just let the haters have those things? And even if the good folks were to move away....

--Assuming that where you live is better is so wrong.

In the important essay I, Racist by John Metta, he quotes his sister:

“The only difference between people in the North and people in the South is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”

--White people where I live (Wisconsin) are sometimes smug and think that there isn't racism here. But Wisconsin is the worst state for mass incarceration of black men and Native American men (source: NPR 2013). And we're the worst for having a gap in graduation rates between black and white students (source: Madison newspaper 2013). It isn't different in other parts of the country. Racism is everywhere. It's in your hometown.

--This framing falls into "us vs. them" thinking. "Those racists over there" are the problem. I was taught that as a white person growing up in a racist society, I *am* racist; it's what I do about it that matters. I must actively combat racism within myself. That is where I begin.
sasha_feather: Bright green grass (green grass)
I spent a good chunk of the day outside today, because it was a cool 70 degrees F (21 C). So great.

This purple plant is a new one for me, it's called Persian Shield. Whether or not it's actually Persian, I have no idea. It's growing very well and I plopped it in a bigger pot. A sprig broke off, so I stuck that in water and will see if it roots.

picture of Persian Shield plant )

I sold a few plants on Craigslist: some purple queen and one of my palms, and even one big spider plant, to 2 different people for a total of 60 dollars. The spider plants, I have so many of, that the supply is much greater than the demand. I really love how vigorous they are. They seize life. If they could survive the winter, they'd be invasive.

I need more pots and potting soil. In my dreams; I would have a big green house and growing magic!

Good things

Aug. 2nd, 2015 12:49 am
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
1. I've really enjoyed seeing my pals lately. I went to the cheap seats to see Mad Max (for the 3rd time); saw some friends and acquaintances at Comics Club today, and saw the film Mr. Holmes yesterday. Gabby is back in town which is great.

2. I got an awesome haircut which was a collaboration between Jesse and my neighbor Devyn, both of whom own clippers.

3. I read Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley and loved it. It features a talented, flawed woman as the main character. Katie is the main chef at a successful restaurant called Seconds, where she also lives. She wants to strike out on her own with a new restaurant, but is having trouble with that venture. Her ex-boyfriend is hanging around and things are awkward. When a young co-worker gets in an accident, party due to Katie's negligence, a house spirit appears and gives her the opportunity to fix it. Katie then gets addicted to fixing all the mistakes she can, and things start to go bad. This book is funny, charming, affecting. I loved it.
sasha_feather: Janelle Monae against a blue background (Janelle monae)
I read a few books and comics about black history lately. I recommend all of these. This are all fairly easy from a reading-level standpoint and are suitable for middle-grade readers and up.

Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long.

An openly gay black man in the 30s, 40s, and later, Rustin was a Quaker peace activist. He was the main organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He also worked to integrate buses in North Carolina 8 years before Rosa Parks, and for that he spent 3 weeks on a chain gang. He was a talented singer, speaker, and organizer, who also protested against nuclear testing. This book is a quick read and beautifully done.

March: books 1 and 2 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell.

Beautiful and interesting comics about John Lewis' life as an activist. The first book is about his early life growing up on a farm in GA, and working as a college student to integrate lunch counters in Nashville. The second book is about the Freedom Riders, which was pretty intense, and the March on Washington. The third book is forthcoming.

Strange Fruit vol 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill

Vignettes about black people (mostly men) from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Includes the man who was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger; the Black Cyclone (a competitive bicyclist); and a chess master. Some stories are sad, some are funny, some are inspiring. My favorite part is the sly, off-beat humor. For example, when a boy's parents send him off on a train trip, a sign declares the platform as 9 3/4.


sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)

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