sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
Unexpectedly, I feel relieved, like there is a weight off my shoulders.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
Feeling like I'm on doggie death-watch. Sorcha was doing pretty well up until this weekend. in case you don't want to read this )

...and now she's eating some kibble, so who knows what tomorrow will bring?

previews

Aug. 24th, 2014 01:02 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Previews we saw yesterday before Guardians:

Interstellar:
This looks wonderful! An SF movie about a mission to find a habitable planet for humans to live on. Unfortunately it is directed by Christopher Nolan (man pain expert) and stars Matthew McC. The words "family" and "love" were used a lot in the preview. It will probably have a terrible, white dude story and great special effects.

Big Hero 6:
An animated film. Looks very cute. I look forward to reading meta about the inflatable robot and depictions of fat characters.

Dracula Untold:
Looks boring and gross. Again man pain central. Some medieval dude needs to protect his wife and kid so he becomes a vampire! snooze.

The Hobbit next chapter:
I'm not paying much attention to these tbh.

The Hunger games next chapter:
YAAAAAAY!

Into the Woods:
Has some cool actors and looks neat; the preview was minimal.

Night at the Museum sequel:
Looked cheesy to me and not funny? There was a joke about a monkey peeing on some miniaturized characters, which... I guess if you find that funny, you'll like this film. I never saw the first one. Has Robin Williams in it.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
I saw Guardians of the Galaxy tonight with my roommate. This was a fun movie with a lot of great effects, action sequences, and good music.
Read more... )
sasha_feather: Clint from the Avengers drawing his bow (Hawkeye)
Given how stressed and sick I've been, I guess it's no surprise really that my period is 10 days overdue. Normally it's very regular. (no I'm not pregnant).

It's been a stressful summer.

I'm back on Prednisone for a few days and already feeling somewhat better. Getting hit with the RA/asthma truck has been no picnic.

I'm following the Ferguson news on Twitter. It's difficult to read, and difficult to not read.
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
I got most of my thinking on this topic from [personal profile] jesse_the_k; also some folks on twitter and at conventions.

A disability exercise is a training for abled folks, where a teacher or leader encourages people to take on the trappings of disability for a short time in order to learn about what it is like to be disabled. This might take the form of tooling around in a wheelchair, wearing a blindfold or ear muffs, or some other form of what is essentially "crip face": taking on part of the identity of a disabled person without experiencing the fullness of that identity.

I highly dislike such exercises and this post is about why. First off, I don't think that they are 100% bad or wrong, and I don't think it is always wrong to play with one's identity. I have written elsewhere about how I approve of abled people helping to make assistive technology cool, as does Ben Mattlin is his Op-Ed piece, When Wheelchairs are Cool. I think there is nuance and shades of experience everywhere.

But the main thrust of disability exercises-- to think that in a short space of time that one can teach a group of people about what it's like to be disabled-- is basically wrong.

* When you first becomes disabled, and/or first start using assistive tech, you are likely to be bad at it. There is a learning curve, just like learning to dance, swim, or ride a bike. It takes a while to become competent at adjusting to your body's differences and the tech you are using. But eventually you do become competent at life. Doing a disability exercise for an hour, day, or even a few days gives you only the experience of incompetence, and likely will lead you to believe that disabled people live very hard lives-- the lives of doggie-paddle swimmers instead of practiced butterfly-swimmers.

* Many disabled folks live in a community. We have the support of friends, family, and a disabled community of our choosing. I have a chosen internet community and political identity that I value very much. I doubt that such disability exercises present or explore these identities and networks. Separated from them, again my life would be much harder than it is.

* The social justice model of disability can be shown in other ways. If disability is created in the environment, this can easily be created in an exercise to make abled people disabled. Have them, in order to get onto a stage, be required to climb up a knotted rope, for instance. As one friend said on Twitter: in order to simulate my disability, wait endlessly in a doctor's office and then be scolded for taking pain meds. This is a way of expanding our ideas about disability and accessibility: requiring to fill out complex and endless paperwork for Medicare is way of disabling people. It's a more political thought than putting a blindfold on someone and having them stumble around a room.

* Some of the supposedly abled people in any group may be disabled and not know it, or may not identify as such. Learning about the social model of disability will likely help them. The social model helps me frequently identify barriers in the environment and think about ways to lower or deconstruct such barriers (not "overcome" them, a term that focuses on personal triumph rather than community or political will).

* I do think that exploring stigma is valuable. For instance, even using a cane, for me, will get me questions from strangers and acquaintances as my disability moves from invisible to visible. People will open doors for me and treat me differently. Walking with a friend in a wheelchair (when I'm not using a cane) means that people think I am a personal carer. Observations like these are valuable.

* However, simply listening and believing disabled folks when they speak and write about their experiences is sufficient. One does not have to do a "disability exercise" which is essentially disability tourism, and can be exotifying. The same is true for listening to stories and experiences that are different than your own in any way.
sasha_feather: neat looking overcoat (coat)
Quoting [profile] firecatstef:

This "spoon shortages explained" poster is good, but I'd prefer a poster that also mentions that any of these activities could randomly develop a spoon leak.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657536917659006&set=a.471348919611141.1073741826.345920125487355&type=1&fref=nf [image is below if you don't want to click]
In fact, I am going to generally ponder thinking about disability-related energy shortfalls in terms of liquid rather than discrete entities like spoons. Some liquids evaporate/freeze/boil/expand/contract at different rates depending on conditions. Some liquids interact with their containers. It's easy to spill liquids of the containers aren't handled properly. And so on.


I also liked this image "Understanding Invisible Illness", which shows an iceberg, things above the surface and those below. Taken from FB's "Chronic Illness Cat" page.

image )
sasha_feather: neat looking overcoat (coat)
This has been one of the more stressful few weeks of my life.

I am pretty sick. All-over achy and tired. I took two days off of work (yesterday and today) but not sure how much it helped. I'm afraid that I am under-performing at work at that shit is gonna hit the fan. Well, it won't be the first time that has happened I suppose. Being chronically ill and trying to work and survive on your own is something that there is not a lot of room or support for in society. Right now I am really longing for a different way to live.

This week on the WisCon ConCom list I got really angry, fought with people I respect, and well, made myself sick I guess.

Possibly I am not eating enough protein.

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me in various ways. Thanks also to everyone who writes about things like:
Tone argument
Gas lighting
Microaggressions
Man-splaining
Concern Trolling
Derailment
White woman's tears
Boundaries
Victim blaming
etc
...
because I've been listening and learning.
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
I went to an event today at a park called Disability Pride. I'm friends with one of the organizers but have a weird avoidance relationship right now with another of them. They have a performance stage with loud music, food and booths, and people mill around and chit chat.

I am very tired and was not quite firing on all cylinders. I sat and talked with [personal profile] jesse_the_k and a few others. One woman I met, Kathleen, used to go to WisCon and it turns out she started childcare there. We asked her when this was, and she wasn't sure, maybe the late 80s. She doesn't have kids, but her friends in the dealers' room did, and they were having an issue trying to make money there and find child care. The concom was comprised of people who did not have kids and it apparently hadn't occurred to them to provide child care. Now, 25-ish years later, child-care is an inherent part of the con. (I tried to take a break from WisCon today, but this was a nice thing to talk about, actually).

I got a free massage and tried some yoga (painful). Later I walked the dog briefly and took a nap. I'm having a lot of pain and fatigue.
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
After reading [personal profile] thingswithwings' latest fic, Odd One Out, and relating a lot to Eliot in that story, I am idly wondering if I am perhaps aromantic.

It seems like a simple relationship style that would work for me.

There is a lot of upheaval going on in the world and in my community right now. Things are rapidly coming into hard focus. Sustained anger seems to be really working for me right now actually. *Imagines Eliot growling*
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
Season 1 of Hemlock Grove: I liked it! With some reservations. I find the characters and world very compelling and will keep watching. There are a couple of BSG alum actors; also Famke Janssen from X-men.

If you decide to watch, be aware that at the end of episode 7 there is a disturbing rape scene.

other content notes )

chatter about the show with some spoilers )
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Short-term 12

Recommended to me by [personal profile] jesse_the_k; this indie film is about a short-term care facility for foster kids. It's from the perspective of a young woman who works there, Grace, who is a survivor of abuse and spent time in foster care. She is dating a fellow employee, Mason. They and their fellow employees clearly care deeply about the kids they are working with, and there is a lot of inherent drama and reality in the situation. I loved the way this film focused on relationships and the struggle to express oneself after experiencing abuse and trauma. It is a quiet film that focuses on hope, while not shying away from reality. I think this would make a good TV series too! Content notes for: self-harm (on screen), discussions of incest, discussion of abortion, physical abuse.

The History of Future Folk: Anti-Rec

I thought I would love this: a silly comedy about a space alien whose plot to colonize Earth is foiled when he discovers music. Unfortunately, the writer, John Mitchell, is one of those people who apparently thinks that stalking is romantic. Don't watch it.

upsetting details )
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
I said earlier on twitter that I hate the internet meme-speak that goes, "you're all fired for not telling me about" X thing.

I could probably write hundreds of words about why I hate this phrase, some of which have to do with how I was fired and how horrible an experience that was. Some of which have to do with guilt, and entitlement, and how instead we should be supporting each other.

I'm going to skip over that and say: thank you to all my friends, acquaintances, and internet strangers who alert me to cool things. Thank you to those of you who post reviews, recs, and anti-recs of media in your journals and on Twitter or Facebook or Pinboard or anywhere else. Thank you to those of you who maintain and moderate communities, web sites, and blogs such [community profile] fancake and Geek Feminism. Thank you to people who run fan works challenges. Thank you to those of you who code, or work on anti-spam, or tag wrangle for these websites that I use and love. Thank you to people who help run conventions.

You're not hired, or fired, because most of you do this for fun-- without any kind of material compensation. I don't consider it your job to tell me about something that I could, after all, look up myself (but it would take a ton more time, and I might never find that awesome fic!). You do this to contribute to your community, and because you feel passionate about the things you like and love, and I appreciate and value that.

Just so you know, I would never fire you. ^_^

Tiki

Jun. 22nd, 2014 10:04 pm
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
family horse died )


[Tiki, a chestnut Quarter horse, standing in a green pasture on a sunny summer day.]
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
I am enjoying watching "Longmire" on Netflix. I started watching for Katee Sackoff and Lou Diamond Phillips, who are great; they play a Deputy and a bar tender, respectively. The main character is Walt Longmire, the sheriff, and he's grown on me. He's portrayed as a man who has a lot of integrity and a deep respect for other people.

I like the beautiful Wyoming landscapes. I'm seeing more portrayal of Native American culture in this show than I have in a while. Some other cultures are also given representation-- Basque immigrants, Amish people, etc.

The man pain is a bit ridiculous at times. Walt's wife died, and he has issues with his daughter. There are times when Walt's daughter, Cady, seems like a plot device or an item for the men to bicker over.

In contrast, Vic (Katee Sackoff) gets to be her own person and is portrayed as a complex and normal person. She's married, and her husband is only occasionally around. Her love life isn't really at issue. It's just so refreshing.

I'm having my usual reservations about watching a show that is centered on murder. Not just crime, but a murder every episode. You'd think these people would start to get concerned considering they live in a rural county with, presumably, a fairly low population! One episode in season 2 seemed like it was going to be about preventing a murder--yay--but then someone got killed anyway. Sigh.

We, the audience, don't really see the ripples that such violence creates. It seems like the story is done once the killer is caught, which is the structure of murder mysteries. The story is most definitely not finished.

I would like to see more mysteries not involving murder or extreme violence. I would also like to see stories that explore the consequences of violence in communities, and how it ripples outwards.

One of the only portrayals I've seen of restorative justice is in a movie called "The Angels' Share", which is available on Netflix. The movie is an enjoyable tale about petty criminals trying to steal some valuable whiskey, earn some money, and start new lives for themselves.

Robbie, the main character, did some time for assault. He is trying to get his life on track and has a supportive girlfriend and new child. In the scene I'm thinking of, he is required to go to something called "talk back after serious crime".

In this scene we see Robbie's victim and the victim's parents confront Robbie. It is an emotional and complex scene, and I wish there were more models of this in media and life.

SDS 2014

Jun. 15th, 2014 07:32 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I attended the Society for Disability Studies conference with my friends [personal profile] jesse_the_k and Barb, which was in Minneapolis over 4 days. My impressions were that it was highly academic, rather expensive, and quite thought-provoking. I experimented with live tweeting some sessions under their hash tag: #Sodist2014.

My impressions on accessibility at this conference:
--Nearly every panel was live-captioned via CART.
--There were many interpreters.
--Mics were in every room and were used by everyone.
--Presenters were pretty good about spelling difficult words for the captionists, elegantly describing images, and checking to make sure they were heard.
--@PriceMargaret was especially good about checking in for access: when presenting, she would say such things as: "Please do what you need to do for your own comfort in this room; such as moving chairs around, getting up to stretch, zoning out, or whatever. Also feel free to interrupt me for access needs."
--At opening ceremonies, all the aisles (both directions) were wide enough for wheelchairs to pass.
--Water bowls were available for service dogs.
--Scent-free soap was provided to registrants.
--It was great being in a place where disability is normalized.

Negative things:
--As Jesse noted, wheelchair seating could have been better. There were no designated seats in front for those who needed the captions; and no marked out boxes for wheelchairs. At the luncheon, no chairs were removed from tables for wheelchairs, and the tables were set pretty close to each other. This seemed odd. There were no marked lanes for crowd control.
--Signage was bad. It was difficult to find the bathrooms, elevators, and program rooms. There was a map in the program book, but it was buried on page 17.
--The program book was difficult for me to use/navigate.
--Many of the presentations were in an incredibly high academic register and were incomprehensible. I tried to avoid these and go to more understandable ones.
--Interesting meetings were scheduled over meal times, which is fine, except that it was difficult to find fast, cheap food. So I did not attend these meetings. Not much food was provided by the conference. We thought that probably the money for food went towards CART and interpreters instead. I am happy to pay for my own food; what I suggest is that the conference work with the hotel to provide box lunches for a fee, so that people can attend these meetings without having to use spoons to hunt down a meal.
--The hotel, hotel restaurant, and many nearby restaurants were quite pricey. I keenly missed the free food and booze that is offered at WisCon, and the nearby Noodles and other less expensive eateries. Economic accessibility matters too.

I had a really great time and learned a lot! I left my dog with a dog park friend and now she is back on the sofa with me.

My favorite presentations:
Disability in 5 objects
Disability and Shoes

:D
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
I saved money this WisCon by having a couple of meals at home, which also allowed me to walk the dog during the supper hour. My house guests were the super awesome [personal profile] thingswithwings and [personal profile] eruthros who helped me make meals. One night we had home-supper with [personal profile] futuransky and her partner K; another night we had supper with [personal profile] owlectomy. I really enjoyed this as an alternative to all the restaurant-ing I've done in the past.

I hung out with [personal profile] meloukhia quite a lot and succeeded in meeting a few new people too!

I don't know if I felt more ill this WisCon, or if I simply listened to my body more and took care of myself better-- ie, I took more breaks, went to bed earlier, and did not push myself as hard. I didn't party as much. The most I pushed myself was for the vid party, which was really amazing. I was very pleased to see many vids I've never seen before!

I sat on a panel about Radical Queer politics which was quite thought-provoking. We talked about the meaning of the word "radical" and how it is used to boundary-police queer spaces and identities, and how it doesn't have to be that way.

The guest of honor speeches were effing amazing and the texts are available online. I don't think Nike Sulway's speech is up anywhere yet (Tiptree winner) but hers was really great too!

I find the culture of WisCon to be very refreshing and sustaining. It is physically exhausting but tends to re-ignite my confidence and ideas.

I am resting now and a storm is coming up. Good time to sleep.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
So people on Twitter have been like, "Say it with me, vaccines do not cause autism." Which is all well and good, but for years I've been thinking that the better strategy is to completely separate the words. Don't even say them in the same sentence at all.

Think word associations. Remember those Wordles that were popular a few years ago, that make an artistic picture of all the words in your document or story? They are a word association picture. By putting words into the same sentence (even with a "does not equal/cause") you are associating them.

Instead substitute things that are like are equal.

So, associate vaccines with, say: normalcy, goodness, hygiene, civic duty, scientific development, the fight against infectious diseases, etc.

ALSO

Associate autism with good things like equality, support, creativity, love, life, diversity, justice.

Just don't put them in the same sentence.

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