sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
*I'm trying out lowering my topomax dose from 75 mg to 50.

*The weather is cooler thank goodness.

*I survived a large family gathering over Labor Day.

*I called Building inspection for city of Madison; a guy is coming tomorrow to look at the AC unit.

*Forgot to link it here-- I wrote a blog post at WordPress about working on anti-harassment for WisCon; in response to Jim Hine's io9 article. He RTed it so it got a fair number of hits!

*I'm reading a long DA:I fanfic called "Stuck in the Puzzle". I don't know this fandom at all, but the fic is really good so far.

*New photos of the dog:
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
Captain Phillips
This was even more racist than I expected. I mean I think the movie makers were *trying* to make a story about an "ordinary" guy who keeps a cool head in a tough situation. But what I saw was that there is a huge mobilization of the American military (a Navy ship, helicopters, SEALS, etc) to save this one white dude from people who are in a desperate struggle. I would have liked to see some more de-escalation techniques, more nuance when it came to the pirates and their reasoning, more contextualization of their lives. Instead we see wealthy white heroes and poor black antagonists... sigh.

I loved this to pieces. The story of 6 journalists from the Boston Globe who broke the story of the Catholic abuse scandal in 2001-2002. This film handles a tough subject in a sensitive and intelligent way. It's empowering in that it makes you believe in jouralism and the free press-- although the journalists struggle and encounter barriers, the first amendment is on their side and they are able to succeed. This film is chilling, subtle; highly recommended.
content note: detailed discussions of child sex abuse (not portrayed on screen)

Cradle will rock
Loved this ensemble film about the federal theater company in the 1930s. A playwright creates a musical about a union struggle in a steel town. Meanwhile Rockefeller hires Diego Rivera to paint a mural in his lobby. Congress investigates the theater company regarding concerns of communism. Orson Welles dreams up production designs. Super fun and inspiring.
Content note: brief scene of police violence against protestors
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
Sometimes people think they have to choose between social model of disability and medical model: all one or all the other. I believe they work best in concert. Neither model explains the entirety of the experience of disease, illness, and impairment-- perhaps nothing ever will because these experiences are so complex and involve both individual and community experiences, and the many vagaries of our human bodies.

I think that all categorization and models break down with enough analysis... our human understanding of the universe is ultimately quite poor. We stumble in the dark. We stare at shadows on the wall of a cave.
But. We can try.

The social model works for me largely because medicine has failed; there seems to be little to nothing that medicine can do for my pain and fatigue. There are no medicines beyond caffiene that treat fatigue; and I've tried many many things for pain with little benefit. What helps me most are lifestyle interventions: resting a lot, essentially. Reducing my stress way, way down. Very gentle exercise. And when I read about the social model and disability activism I feel validated, comforted, more secure. I feel my world become wider. I feel a connection to others.

Trying to pursue medical interventions feels like exercise in failure. I do go to the doctor but mostly it's to make sure nothing worse is happening to me, rather than to try and get better.

I do think that most disabled people visit the doctor and believe in the medical model to an extent: we have to deal with doctors and providers to get needed medicines and therapies. We must believe in them as a matter of survival.

I'm trained as a scientist and I worked in medicine for a long time. I understand the limits and the benefits of this realm.

What I don't see enough of, is the medical field embracing-- or even knowing about-- the social model. It would be so interesting to see what could happen if practioners listened to disabled people and learned from our expertise.

When I worked in a hospital I noticed that universal design was (perhaps ironically) apparent there, because injured and ill people are normal in a hospital setting. So there is abundant signage. People are encouraged to use the elevators, and the elevators are big enough to fit wheelchairs and gurneys. There are places to sit and rest at the ends of corridors. Doctors offices, on the other hand, even my pain clinic (!) still seem comitted to using bright fluorescent lights. And of course the standards are different for staff versus patients, even though staff memebers certainly may be disabled as well.

--You don't have to choose between the medical and social model
--The medical world could stand to learn some things from the social model and from activists

uh huh

Aug. 24th, 2016 07:25 pm
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
After my 2nd session of PT, I am still aggravated and thinking of quitting.

While she seemed a bit taken aback that I didn't like the reading, she did manage to roll with it. I said that it was too basic for me and that I have read better books about pain. I said that I did like the part about the body map.

She recommended I try an app in which the user practices Left/Right sorting of body parts; there is some evidence this supports correct functioning of the body map. I explained that I only have a PC, not a smart phone nor tablet. She didn't think this would be a problem.

So I look at the website for the app (which costs about 7 bucks for each body part featured)

And it says it's only available for Android and ioS. (Am I wrong about this? plz correct me if so!)



fuck PT.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I have PT homework that involves learning about some pain research.

Why Things Hurt - Lorimer Moseley (14 min Tedx Talk)
Understanding Pain in less than 5 minutes (whiteboard by PainAustraila)

Read section one of "Explain Pain" by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley (done)

What I struggle with here is a) the feeling of being talked down to, and b) Feeling like being told that pain is your fault. When in reality we don't actually know that much about it from a scientific perspective.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Stranger Things is an 8-episode show on Netflix. It's a fun horror show that takes place in 1983 and is reminiscent of movies such as E.T., the Goonies, and Gremlins.

In the first episode, we see a group of four boys, around age 12, playing D&D in a basement. On their way home, one of the boys, Will, takes a shortcut home and in a scary scene, is nabbed by a mysterious monster. The remaining three boys decide to help search for him in the woods and run into a girl with a buzzed hair who barely speaks. The show follows this crew of kids, the police chief, and some towns people and they investigate the disappearance of the missing boy and try to track down the monster.

Content notes: child endangerment; flashing lights; scenes of bullying

What I liked and didn't like, with spoilers )

Overall this is a clever, suspenseful, and well-done SF/horror show. Recommended.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Have headache, can't sleep.

Good things:

Going to the movies. I saw X Men Apocalypse at the cheap seats yesterday, and Star Trek Beyond today. Good way to escape the heat, and both were enjoyable films.

Pretty sunset tonight.

sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)

Hunger Makes Me by Jess Zimmmerman.

Content note: discussion of disordered eating.

For a woman who has learned to make herself physically and emotionally small, to live literally and figuratively on scraps, admitting that you have an appetite is a source of cavernous fear. Women are often on a diet of the body, but we are always on a diet of the heart.

Comic (web and print)

O Human Star by Blue Dellaquanti

Robots, roboticists, queer and trans experience, relationships, wonderful art. I want the goddess print that is over Alistair's bed.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Spoilers for Ghostbusters ahead. Overall I loved this movie but there was some weird racist stuff going on.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
A memory.

You know when they make you run in elementary school? Sometimes when I ran hard my bottom front teeth would hurt for a little while, in the same nervy way they do now. But now it's most all the time.

Good things:
Seeing Tempest today
Cooler weather
Working in the garden with my roommate
Reading a good comic book -- "O Human Star"
Seeing my dog park friends yesterday
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Feel free to add more in comments

--It's based on a true story
--It's more believable / realistic / serious / true to the narrative
--It has more artistic merit if it's tragic
--The actor was leaving the show
--It's a French story
"It's dangerous to tell the showrunner how to tell a story." --

--"Anyone can die in this show"

--"we didn't anticipate this sort of level of pain over this fictional death," --Jason Rothberg, the 100

--""It’s a really important thing to note that it wasn’t in any way an attempt to aggravate a social situation," Alycia Debnam-Carey, the 100

--"This was the ultimate compliment for her character to have a higher purpose. " --random commenter on Root (Person of Interest)


Jun. 18th, 2016 02:38 pm
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
currently blooming:

Pink campanula (volunteer perennial)
Peace Lilly (house plant)
African violet (house plant)
Orange day lillies

Lettuce is growing in the vegetable garden

sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Decided to try using Tumblr a bit more.

I put up a couple of WisCon-related / disability posts at my Wordpress blog:

An apology

May. 31st, 2016 04:51 pm
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
At opening ceremonies I attempted to give an "elevator talk" (2 to 3 minutes) describing the social model of disability.

The metaphor I used was eye glasses and contact lenses: many of us wear corrective lenses and do not consider them to be a marker of disability. While impairment exists in my vision, my eyesight is not disabling because society does not make it so. It is relatively easy to acquire corrective lenses in most cases, because both brick-and-mortar stores and online stores supply them, and because doctors and community members encourage you to use them. There is wide support for these pieces of assistive tech in the society I live in, and they are mostly non-stigmatized, with some exceptions such as very thick lenses.

I contrasted corrective lenses to wheelchairs, which are highly stigmatized. Doctors and community members will generally not encourage you to use them; they are expensive and difficult to acquire; difficult to fix when broken; and infrastructure in our society does not support them, unlike corrective lenses.

A WisCon member pointed out to me later that I missed an intersection having to do with race: Glasses are designed for white people. People with flatter features (for instance some Asian people) can have a lot of trouble getting glasses that fit correctly, as glasses tend to rest on a prominent nose.

I completely missed this intersection of oppression and I apologize for causing pain. I will be more mindful in the future.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I caught the end of Sofia Samatar's q and a

Sofia Samatar:
we are all critics
It helps to talk about the guilt of enjoying problematic things
Constance Garnet translations are the best
"I'm derivative, and it's great."
Tolstoy, Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy are influences for her

Aud: Separating artist from work?
S: she doesn't. But she doesn't always cut that artist from her life. b/c she can learn from it.
But don't hold that person up to unthinking adoration. Tolstoy abused his wife and that's related to his
portrayal of women. Let's admit it and look at how it affects us.
She teaches HP Lovecraft and talks about his racism. Use as a tool to examine our society and ourselves.
Don't stop looking at it.

Aud: is your work a sort of fuck you to those writers?
S: yes, she is writing back. It's risky b/c you may think you're transforming it and maybe you aren't. Maybe
you are just repeating it. That's why you need readers and critics.

Aud: do you find it therapeutic / cathartic to work w/ these problematic works. like a gotcha moment.
S: yes. Olondria books engage critically w/ epic fantasy which is a genre she loves/hates. She's said what she has to say
about this genre and those authors. Doesn't feel urge to return to them.

S: Future is unpredictable, she can't do a pre-emptive block of things that will be problematic later.
"Man of his times" argument. Don't excuse Lovecraft b/c he existed at the same time as progressive anti-racist
white ppl. Be the best you of your time that you can be. It's not a guarantee that you won't be judged severely later.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Thuvia, Laura Shapiro, Nelle

Nelle has made 1 vid, goes to VVC, is a 14 yr vid fan
Laura has been watching and making vids since 2000. Mac vidder. made about 50 vids
Thuvia has been vid fan for 10 years, made some vids.

Hillary has made 1 still source vid. wondering about free programs. Windows: Cinelerra. Beccatoria has done tutorials.
iMovie is linear, free.

Thuvia: still vidding is harder b/c less visually interesting.

Aud: how easy to get legal source?
Thuvia: ripping from DVDs is easy. can do w/ freeware. DVDfab and vidcoder.
Mac the Ripper-- works before 10.7. newer don't have Rosetta Stone.
Google "remove DRM iTunes" etc. People in the community will help you:
The tech keeps getting simpler.

5 things you wish you'd known?
Laura: That you can do it! Technical hurdles are surprassable. It's going to be as satisfying as you think it is.
You are going to really enjoy it. You don't have to follow the rules.
AMV ppl are into high quality source and high tech. that's not true. can use shitty quality, VHS, old computers.
Put an ice pack under her first vidding computer, taped the power cord.
Instead of fade to black, dim to a specific color.
Play around with your program. If you hate a beta suggestion, try it, you can still throw it out later.

Your vid is OK! if it makes you happy, it is OK!

Laura: sometimes the hard way is the easy way, and vice versa. her ex. is drawing on paper and scanning something
in instead of rotoscoping it. ie old school animation took a day instead of 9 months of digital animation struggle.

TWW: creaky door sound example. Recorded their back door squeaking (analog) instead of digital source.
Key framing is changing something over time in the vid. Telling the program what rate to progress. Can do this with any effect, making colors change,
fonts bigger and smaller. "Your Disco Needs You" titles.
Image: building vertically. an image is 4D. build up layers.

After Effects is a compositing software; not needed for most vids.

motion is visual interest. Light changes are motion. face changes are motion.

Titles? Many programs have their own tools for titles. Laura: try to make them part of the vid, not stuck on. It's a text tool.
Text takes longer to read than you think it will. read it out loud! can also build title in any other program as a graphic file and import.
Can draw titles on paper, photograph and upload. can also outsource: Kuwdora makes titles for a few dollars. Some friends are just really good at
stuff and will do things for you.

best vids are done w/ careful consideration of clip choice, how they are juxtaposed and matched w/ the music. effects are not needed.

Thuvia thinks that premiere is easier than photoshop.

Thuvia: makes an outline w/ lyrics, major time breaks, specific clips, mood. keep some notes. Now she is more comfortable and does
more direct to timeline vidding.

Thuvia: lots of different processes.
dualbunny said she just threw clips onto the timeline and it looked ok.
Laura started out doing a ton of planning. Months of work. With more practice, less planning needed.
Collaboration can necessitate more planning.
Start and end images, idea for bridge are often most important.

Aud q about exact timing. matching lyrics.
Thuvia: gets easier. you get better at it as you learn. Can look at wave form for the music. Techno and hip hop have strong beats, almost
rectangular wave forms.

Laura: be familiar and comfortable with your source.

process. Makes small clips, about 2 sec clips of useful things in the movie. Clip library, watches this with the song on.
Grounds her in how song connects to source. Categorize the clips. Setting up folders, like "Fury face reaction shots".

Thuvia: can be easy to get caught up on individual words / lines. The argument is an entire chunk of the music, not one line.

Temptation to get too granular. Pay attn to how things build. She has an example from her vid "Hey Ho." 5 betas hated something so
she finally lost it. Laura: many vidders are lyric / world people. Avg viewer won't catch all lyrics (or even any), may watch vid once.
Vids can be matched to the music also, can be very powerful. Visceral level of music.

Me: sometimes we hear lyrics wrong - subtitles.

TWW: you can vid instrumentals!
song choice is super important.
Dessa and Vienna Teng get vidded a lot; they are complex lyrically and have big motion and changes
A capella version of pop songs; covers work well

TWW: cut songs down; take a verse out. thuvia did this for "Hey Ho" to make the climax happen elsewhere.

Cutting and adding to songs is common. Laura has made long vids. Just make sure you have enough ideas. Waveforms help with this.
If you are cutting too much song; maybe there is a better song. that's tough b/c you have to break up with the song / vid pairing.

L: The bridge is the key; say something new and different.
Tempo change or guitar solo.
in Beyonce's "Freedom", kendrick lamar raps on the bridge.

Thuvia: bridge doesn't have to be "change" in the story but should be visually different
break out into different characters, for ex. Poetic b/c can be free association of images, improvisation

TWW: vidding as an argument. song gives you the structure, can radically change your argument.

Mashups usually have a bridge.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
First minute and a half of "Underground" are like a vid #HowtoVid #WisCon40

Internal and external motion add visual interest to a vid
Narrow focus. Close ups emphasize something; create a sense of intimacy and emotional connection.
Melissa adds that a close up of the eyes creates empathy with the character.
We see the slave hunter from a distance, from below, we don't see his face b/c he's a monster.

Cut to titles on a big, different sound.

Establishing shot: Bright, peaceful, big. calm. soothing. close up on cotton, tells you the importance.
emphasis on the cotton (extreme close up)
black hands on the cotton tells you who is doing the labor
Group, community shot, hidden in grass. hidden, overlooked community. White person is above on a horse, slight angle
no white faces
Historical, cultural, context
Vids often have canonical context: are you aiming at ppl who only watch your show?
Disruption onto peaceful scene
One shot with exposition
Visual metaphor: she's running to a child birth (turning point) and he's also running to a turning point; these two characters are on a parallel
you already understand the grammar of film
M. found it useful to storyboard. gives your anchors
Alexis says a vid idea is images, song, feeling

A. is now talking about Premiere. non-linear editor has multiple tracks
free software tends to be linear, but there are free non-linear editors
put some music and video in your timeline
can create clips in premiere. depends on how much hard drive space you have. external hds are recommended.
Clip - make sub clip - give it a name
Folders are called bins. Sub clips go in bins

Where do you get source material?
Alexis talks about legality
Problem is that it's easier to manipulate source that is acquired illegaly
Sometimes You Tube is the only source (ie J Monae's Many Moons)
panelists say, please email them with questions

The song shapes the images; it is the structure or the container for the argument
Editing the audio to shorten the song; can do in premiere
thuvia says you don't have to clip-- you can pull straight from source and put onto time line
m key creates a marker in premiere
a. taps the m key to the beat to help her vid to the beat; thuvia does this to big sounds
M: Wave form tells you info about the song's big sounds
You will run into speed bumps

3 recs:
Do a movie vid - limited source (or a single season show)
Do a simple vid with a clear idea, won't require a lot of tech - just str8 cuts
Have a v. passionate idea that carries you thru tech problems and frustrations

Tutorials are not basic enough for technical stuff. any recs?
panelists could put something together.
Alexis says biggest obstacle is fear usually.
Thuvia says the tech is getting easier; but getting source is harder
some TV shows are not shot in good quality
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Hello friends! I thought I'd crowd source a request for films for a movie night with some friends. Our criteria are:

--Shorter movies; about 1.5 hours is ideal (this is a major sticking point and I'm not sure how to find shorter films)
--In English
--Live Action (not animated)
--No horror, major violence, or super-downer films
--Bonus points for women
--Drama, comedy, documentary, preferred


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