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

thank you

Apr. 2nd, 2017 12:24 pm
sasha_feather: Road and thunderheads (big sky)
Thank you SO MUCH to folks who have contributed to my medical fundraiser. I'm so relieved and humbled and heartened.
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
I am going to need to process some shit regarding my mom, and process it a lot. But I'll save that for another day and tell a nice little story.

Today I caught a stray dog in the dog park. This little Yorkie was following Abbie around, annoying her, sniffing her rear, etc. He didn't seem to have an owner. I asked around and no one recognized the dog, and he didn't have a collar. The Yorkie followed us to the gate (I intended to go get my phone and call animal control). He followed us into the "airlock" (double gates), so I threw my coat over him and picked him up. Someone lent me a leash and we looped it over his head.

He was a little snot in the car, trying to bother Abbie (who rides in the back seat). I kept one hand on his leash and made him sit in the front. He got dirt everywhere.

I thought I could just drop him at the Humane Society and leave, since I was on a short schedule. I had to get across town to the Barrymore by 4:45. Well, the HS was super busy. There was a dog out in the animal admitting area so I had to wait. But strangely, the Yorkie calmed down once I had him on the leash and walking. He was friendly and nice. I also had to fill out a little bit of paperwork. Finally I dropped him off and went home to drop Abbie off. Abbie was pretty annoyed and stressed at this point but I figure she'll get over it!

Then I buzzed through Arby's to get a sandwhich real quick and drove to the Barrymore. I was late but JUST on time to sit down before the movie started. I had a weird moment outside the theater where I shook the hand of some judge who was campaigning, and I thought she wasn't going to let my hand go. She's an old lady but she squashed my hand kind hard. Whatever, I'll still vote for her.

So then I went to see a documentary about Ferguson and sat through the super awkward Q and A. Whew! That was a packed-full day. And I also went to comics club!

eta: the Yorkie was adopted from the humane society in late April. :D
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Game Face - on Netflix

A documentary about two athletes who are coming out. It focuses on Fallon Fox, a lesbian trans woman who fights MMA, and Terrence Clemens, a basketball player at a 2-year college. Both are black. This was very sweet and nice. There was some anti-trans language (clips from the media talking about Fallon) but it really focused on the athletes and stayed upbeat. Recommended.

Chef - on Netflix.

A sweet comedy / drama about a man who is a chef at a fancy restaurant. He feels that his creativity is stifled. He gets into a Twitter war with a reviewer and eventually quits his job. Later, with the help of his ex-wife, he starts a food truck featuring Cubanos, working with his son and a sou chef from the restaurant. This is a well-done movie with an all-star cast. I was irritated by the male fantasy aspects of it: John Favreau is romantically paired with Scarlett Johanssen and Sofia Vergara? And they are the only two women in the film, except a tiny role for Amy Sedaris.
sasha_feather: Furiosa at night (Furiosa at night)
Raising money to pay a medical bill. Paypal info below the cut.

money )

eta: unlocking this post

OMG thank you friends ILU you are the best :D :D :D
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 )

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