sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Personal bingo meme that people are playing on Twitter and elsewhere!

You can google "bingo card generator" and fill one out with your interests. Then you can use a photo editor to check off interests that you have too.

My card is also at Flickr:
https://flic.kr/p/VL1xcd

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 2.37.46 PM

transcription )
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
I bought a used Xbox 360 at the thrift store a few months ago, which has opened up to me the world of gaming. My roommate and I have been enjoying Lego Harry Potter. We started with years 5-7 which I found in a bargain bin, and then moved on to years 1-4.

The game is easy for us to learn, whimsical and funny. It's just plain fun to run around Hogwarts and revisit the story. There are a few parts that are tricky / fussy, especially timed jumping. I realize that platform jumping is a gaming tradition going back to Frogger and Donkey Kong, but it is not friendly to people with arthritis or dexterity issues. I wish games would rely on it less, or have easy jumping modes. Last night I spent way too long trying to jump over a required barrier and got frustrated.

Lego HP requires little to no reading and no listening. Information is conveyed through pictures. So, you can play with the sound off and you don't need captions. There is one game aspect where it's helpful to distinguish red from green (Parseltongue cabinets), but not strictly required. The parts where you fight a "boss" (often at the end of levels) tend to be much easier with two players. This game can be played with one player, but seems designed for two players. Levels are not timed-sensitive-- in fact you're rewarded if you spend more time looking around and exploring. You can't save mid-level, though, so if your game freezes or you have to leave for some reason, you will have to replay that bit of the story.

For my roommate and I--we are novice newbie gamers-- Lego HP has been a really great entry point. I definitely recommend it.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Two episodes this season really stood out, and they are episodes that do not focus on Dev.

"New York, I Love You": vignettes about 3 working-class black New Yorkers. A doorman in a fancy apartment building deals with the strange requests of the tenants he works for, and he talks with his co-workers. A Deaf woman finishes her shift as a clerk at a bodega, goes to have coffee with a friend, and later goes shopping with her husband. A Kenyan-American cabbie finishes his shift, takes a nap, and then tries to go clubbing with his friends. This snapshot into regular people's lives was funny and endearing, and shone a light on people who are often invisible in media. A beautiful episode.

"Thanksgiving": Denise and Dev growing up and having multiple Thanksgiving meals at her mother's house. Denise deals with coming out to her mom and later bringing girlfriends home. We see Denise's grandmother and aunt at each meal. Denise talks about how being gay in her black community is not widely accepted. A funny and moving episode, that again features people we don't normally get to see on TV. This episode stars many black women.

I also enjoyed "Religion": Dev struggles with lying about being non-religious to his extended family. At one poing, Dev and his cousin sneak out from a religious event to go to a barbecue and eat lots of pork together.

Episodes about how Dev struggles with dating and finding love bored me epically. I realize that Aziz Ansari finds this subject fascinating and wrote a whole book about it. But there are three whole episodes (out of 10!) focusing on Dev's love life: "First Date," "Amarsi Un Po", and "Buona Notte". yawn.
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
Do you feel like re-distributing wealth?

Do you like giving money to poor people, directly, rather than through a charity?

Do you have some money burning a hole in your pocket?

You can give money to me at my paypal: sandphin@gmail.com

You can also support my friend kuwdora by taking a look at some art for sale!

http://kuwdora.dreamwidth.org/tag/%5Bart%5D:sale
sasha_feather: Daredevil in a suit (Daredevil)
One of my highlights of WisCon 41 was the [community profile] wiscon_vidparty. There were 19 premieres, discussed at a panel the next day. Tweets of this panel in storify form:

https://storify.com/sasha_feather/wiscon-41-vid-party-discussion

There was also a new-to-me vid, Gloria by sweetestdrain, Sarah Connor Chronicles, that I absolutely adored:
https://sweetestdrain.dreamwidth.org/461948.html

What is amazing about the vidshow is the intense feeling of being in community and enjoying the vids together with people I love; being at a party but not having to socialize; and singing along with abandon. We were also in the biggest room this year!
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
Having a weird mood crash. It helped to get out of the house and do things, so I picked up another shift at the humane society. Also: air conditioning. It was 85 degrees F today (29 C), which is hot for this early in the season, and I'm not used to it yet.

I dropped off some clothes at Good Will and went inside to admire their newly remodeled store.

Went to the dog park. Mostly sat on a bench in the shade, and eventually some of the regulars came by so I sat and listened to them chat. Ended up spending close to two hours at the park.

Watered some plants. It's time for this asparagus fern to get rehomed, because it just stabbed me in the finger with one of its thorns. Some of the other plants I have look a little rough from being newly placed outside.

Picked some strawberries from the back garden and am eating them right now!

I broke a glass today and a plate yesterday. Dropping things and not-quite-grasping things is one of those weird RA symptoms. I think my anxious/depressed mood is a combo of missing WisCon people and having inflammation and the hot weather.
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
"Lazy Eye" (2016)

This is a somewhat slow, sweet film about two ex-lovers who reconnect over a weekend. They were together for a summer 15 years ago; now they meet in Joshua Tree at a small house. The landscapes are beautiful and the production values are high. The two are very loving and affectionate with each other. They reflect upon their lives and choices, and at the end of the weekend must decide where to go from here. It met what I was looking for: emotional, sexy, and with queer (this was sort of a typo but I'm leaving it). I got a bit impatient with the cheating story line (one of the two of them is cheating on his husband who is abroad), mostly because, sigh, why this tired trope? Why can't writers be more creative and interesting?

Content notes: animal harm/death (mice). cigarettes. Rich people. One person teasing/doubting another person's professed bisexuality. One character describes an anxiety attack in broad terms.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Ways WisCon has changed from 31 to 41 (which are the years I've attended).

--Gained an Anti-Abuse Team
--Gained live captioning
--There's a vid party! [community profile] wiscon_vidparty
--More safer spaces
--More media/fandom panels
--A gaming track
--Many more people of color in attendance
--More people of color as Guest of honor (I wrote about this in 2015
at my Wordpress blog and will update the spreadsheet shortly.
--Pronoun stickers!
--Social Interaction badges (these are explained at my wordpress blog
Part one and part two and with pictures.

Those are just a few of the more obvious changes. I look forward to where WisCon is going in the next ten years! :D
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Nerve block #3 today. It went well.

The doctor had a resident with her again, and she explained everything she was doing. I think the combination of that and the fact that I had a vasovagal reaction last time, made me a little nervous. But I did OK and only had to lay there for a couple of minutes before I could get up and go. The whole thing was fast and pretty easy. I felt sort of euphoric; my pain lowered dramatically and it was easier to breathe. The resident said that my case was the most interesting one of the day.

I am waiting for the headache to come, the one that follows after the nerve block. My mouth hurts but so far, no terrible headache. I think it's just on the edge though. I bought a bunch of popsicles and plan to keep eating them.
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Getting sick, getting poor

You cut back on your work hours because you’re sick. Your income drops, but it’s worth it for the extra rest. You know you aren’t getting better; you won’t ever get better.

You cut back on expenses little by little. You already don’t much like drinking alcohol or coffee, so the articles advising you to cut back on lattes or cocktails are lost on you.

You already buy most of your clothes from the thrift store. You stop using the coin-op dryer and hang your clothes on the line to air dry. It makes your shoulder hurt but saves you a few bucks in quarters. You dilute the laundry detergent with a little bit of water.

You share your Netflix and Hulu accounts. You stop paying for internet sites that you used to throw a few bucks at when you liked their service, like Dreamwidth and Flickr. They have free versions available.

You ask your parents for money, again, knowing how fortunate you are that they can help, and that you have a good relationship with them, and that they don't hold back financial support due to your queerness.

You run up your credit card buying gas. You think about taking the bus more, but the stops and starts make you nauseous. That’s not a new thing, not a chronic illness thing. The school bus made you nauseous as a kid. But it does seem worse now.

You stop working for a while because you get laid off, and anyways you need to take a break: you’re really sick. Sicker than you want to admit to anyone, even yourself. A while becomes a longer while.

Your main entertainment is the dog park (Permit: $32 / year), Netflix ($10/month), and reading fanfic and the internet (mostly free - wireless internet $21 for your share; electric bill $16 for your share). You use the library more and more for comics and the occasional movie.

You reluctantly go on food stamps. You notice yourself eating the heel of the loaf of bread, which you used to give to the dog because it was “all crust”.

You ask your friends for help paying your medical bills and other expenses. They come through, and you think about how fortunate you are.

You feel guilty.

You learn about anti-capitalism. You feel less guilty.

You learn about the emotional costs and structural sources of poverty. You begin to feel empowered.

You read about the Mortgage Interest Deduction in the New York Times Magazine. You get angry, and anger is fuel.

You stop and get a fucking ice cream cone.
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
At a local dog park the other day, I looked out at the rise and fall of the land. The oak savannah giving way to open farmland. The sun shining on dandelions' happy faces. I felt an expansive joy that landscapes and nature give to me; a sense of peace. Almost an aching kind of happiness.
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
I am signed up for one panel (as a panelist) at WisCon. Come see me if you like!

Power, Privilege, and Oppression (Feminism and Other Social Change Movements)

Description: We will discuss types of harassment such as gaslighting, stalking, bullying, concern trolling, sea lioning, etc. We'll discuss ways to respond to harassment both as victim/survivor and what to do if you recognize yourself as a perpetrator.

Location: Caucus
Schedule: Fri, 1:00–2:15 pm

One thing I hope to discuss in this panel is the power of language which is something I love talking about.
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Volunteering at humane society today. A newer employee, J, is a young man who plans to someday open his own veterinary practice. I don't quite have a handle on him yet as a person. Today he said the job as a admitting tech was "too easy" and he's sometimes bored by it. So he's goofing around with the lab supplies and says, "I wonder what would happen if you injected yourself with alcohol. Like, I know you'd get drunk, but how fast?"

Me: "Well, what kind of alcohol is it?"

J: "It's just regular alcohol."

Me: *looks at label* "Um, no. That is isopropyl alcohol. It is not the same as ethanol. Do NOT do that."

It is amazing that human beings have survived as a species much less come to dominate the planet.

tv

Apr. 29th, 2017 01:50 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I tried a couple of shows out and rejected them:

Hap and Leonard (on Netflix)
I wanted to like this because the guy who plays Omar on the Wire (Michael K. Williams) plays a gay Vietnam vet. But after a couple of episodes, I didn't like any of the characters. Williams' character, Leonard, was OK, but everyone else was mean and horrible.

Limitless (on Netflix)

A movie spin-off. Brian thinks of himself as a loser and a disappointment to his dad, even though his dad is supportive. He takes a drug called NZT, which temporarily turns him into a super-genious. I enjoyed the pilot because he used his genious for a bunch of things, like diagnosing his father's illness, solving a murder, playing music really well in a park, and talking to people about their problems (social intelligence!). But in the 2nd episode, it's clear that this is just another procedural about a white guy who is a rule-breaking genious for the FBI. He gets away with his rule-breaking because he produces results (and also b/c privilege). The science in the 2nd episode was also pretty bad: an engineered flu strain that was supposedly used for assasinations. Riiiiight. I stopped watching.

I settled on an addictive, violent, perhaps overly dramatic, gripping show on Hulu: BLACK SAILS. This has lots of queerness and is very pretty.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
--Visited a local computer fix-it store that has lots of plants and a dog in the store! They said that while the part is cheap, the labor for replacing the port is several hundred dollars. And there may be other things wrong with this computer too. Told them I'd think about it.

--Started watching Black Sails, which is violent as all hell but I like the queerness and the politicking and the glimpse into pirate society. They must use a filter that makes blue really shine, and there are plenty of blue-eyed actors on the show.

--Playing Dragon Age: Inquisition on the xbox 360.

--It's been about 3 months since my last nerve block (already!) so it's time for another one; but I won't be able to get in for the appt for another few weeks.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
I have been getting more into gaming lately. It's the best thing to do when I'm especially ill because it distracts me from feeling terrible, and it's just plain fun. Naturally, I think about accessibility in gaming.

I usually play with the sound off because I'm not super into the music on games. When on my PC, I'll listen to my own music while playing. I have arthritis and some dexterity-driven games are not for me. Very stressful games aren't for me either. The games below, I played on PC and purchased through Steam.

Stardew Valley: This is a wonderful, low-key game that involves farming, fishing, mining, and scavenging, and occasionally interacting with villagers. You can play at your own pace and sound is not required. I use my mouse left-handed*, and this game is designed for a Right handed mouse. Although I found a page for switching keyboard commands, I couldn't find a way to switch the mouse buttons. I ended up leaving the mouse button commands alone and still playing Left handed, and switching the keyboard commands to accommodate my right hand being on the keyboard. Fishing is difficult and requires dexterity. However, there's a mod that makes all fishing easy. I downloaded and installed this mod with the help of some internet tutorials. I played this game a lot and it was very relaxing.

Undertale: I gave up on this game mostly because it requires high dexterity. I admit that the art wasn't really my style either.

Never Alone: I gave this a try and it was rather stressful, as it involves a lot of running away from polar bears and such. The game play is also sometimes difficult and requires dexterity, and again I was using left handed mouse which didn't seem natural for the default controls. It's very beautiful and I might try again someday, but my favorite part were the "cultural insights" (Northern indigenous people talking about their cultures) which I could probably just watch on YouTube.

*I am not technically left-handed; but I have pain in my right shoulder so made this switch years ago. These days my left hand is my "good hand".

post is to be continued as I have more games to write about!
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
My computer started today after a couple of days of not starting. I think the problem is the power port. I was trying to positive-talk myself about it but let me tell you, once it started up, I was instantly so relieved and 100% less cranky. The internet (ie my people here and writing about things, and distracting myself, etc) is such a huge support system for me!!

I had a terrible arthritis week, but things seem to be improving today.

I've been plaing a lot of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Probably too much. But I'm really enjoying it. I've never played a game like this before. It's so huge and so much fun to explore. I love the landscapes. My inquisitor, whom I've called Althea, has dark skin, green eyes, and almost no hair. I started as an archer but ended up having her fight with two blades.

Things to do
Read more... )
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
http://velamag.com/superbabies-dont-cry/

SuperBabies Don't Cry
by Heather Kirn Lanier

"With my woo-woo belief that the mind could control the body, I’d pushed disability away. I’d done this by subscribing to the belief that disability always had an avoidable cause. I’d believed I could control the body because I could not stomach the truth: that the body is fragile, ephemeral. I had not realized this about myself. I had not realized this about my parents. I did not see our adamant devotion to vitamins and affirmations and organics as fear-based, as an attempt to control the uncontrollable. I also did not see it as political. I saw it as morally good. I was making a SuperHuman. What was wrong with that?"

Content Notes: Pregnancy, Birth, Parenting, Internalized Ableism

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