sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
MOONLIGHT omg sublime
Ghostbusters 2016
Rogue One

Luke Cage
Stranger Things
Brooklyn 99
Yuri!! on Ice

Saga by Vaughn and Staples
TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver
O Human Star! by Blue Dellaquanti
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
March book 3 by John Lewis et al

Stardew Valley
Gone Home
Children of Ur
Candy Crush

Walking at the dog park
[personal profile] were_duck's baby, the bleb
Visiting and having lunch with [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Visiting my parents on the farm; seeing family members over Labor Day weekend
My dog park friend got a kidney from his daughter
Making up with and walking with my friend R.
I had a sort of emotional fling (as opposed to a physical fling); which fizzled out but was fun while it lasted, this happened last winter.
I saw [personal profile] anna_bird for the first time in years!
Visited with many friends at WisCon
Gardening and hanging out with my roommate
Comics Club!
Socializing with old friends, and making new twitter friends
2 of my friends got their surgeries funded using social media!

Work and creative:
Volunteering at the humane society
Starting a fan vid! And perhaps more importantly, starting a fan vid club!
I posted one fic on the Ao3 this year (nsfw), and I think it's probably my best fic, idk.
As always, I enjoyed taking pictures and posting them to Flickr!
Meeting with the Anti-Abuse sub-committee for WisCon
Lots of health work, most of which is tedious, except for water bending class which is fun.

I also read a lot of fanfic. The standout ones are:
Stuck on the Puzzle by the spectaclesofthor

Known Associates by thingswithwings

Ain't No Grave by spitandvinegar
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: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k asked: Is there a childhood goal/ambition/undertaking you're still interested in doing?

Or if not, how do you feel about setting out goals/ambitions/undertakings?

Goals make me nervous and I avoid them unless absolutely necessary.

I asked for an easier question, and she said "How did you decide to become a scientist?"

In junior high, my two favorite subjects were biology and English, which is still basically true, although now I would replace English with "social justice" or media studies, which were not school courses back then. I've gotten less interested in science for science's sake, but I'm glad to do it for my job, and I'm glad to have a job that is just my job, which I don't take home. I like having hobbies and interests that are distinct from my paid work. I'm more of a small-s scientist, and that is fine with me. I have a lot of interests and I don't want my job to consume my whole life.

I like biology because I love nature, and I have a suitably analytical and equivocal mind. I went with biology because it seemed like the work would be more secure than a creative field. I also had an idea that research might be a way to leave the world better than I found it, so to speak. I went with epidemiology because I am good at, and like, seeing the big picture and connections between things.

As a kid I wanted to be a (published, fiction) writer, and it took me until my 20s to give that up. Once I met fiction writers at conventions, and got a handle on the reality of the profession, I realized I didn't fit in with them. I fit in with fan fic writers, and this is where I belong. I actually have published a couple of non-fiction essays and one scientific article, so there's that. I like blogging, writing fan fic, etc, more, because it involves hanging out with other people. I like collaborative work and being around others, sharing in the creation and enjoyment of the work. Anyways, it was actually a big relief to give up that goal! Which is part of why I distrust goals.

I'm a generalist, and as such, I did well in school up until graduate school-- because graduate school encourages hyper-specialization and single-mindedness. I wasn't happy in grad school. I'm pretty happy with the type of work I do because it has a fair amount of variety to it.

I remember thinking that it would be great to be a "Steerswoman" from the Rosemary Kerstein books: a true generalist, who explores, makes maps, collects information and stories, does experiments, and is widely respected by her people. I'm maybe a bit too shy for that job (Rowan has to do some very brave things!), but maybe I could be part of a two-person team and that would make it easier.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Today I read an obituary which said, despite the person's chronic disease, "he rarely missed a day of work."

As someone who has often called in sick, I'm always bothered by this common phrase; it praises people who put work before health. Not just their own health, but the health of others: coming to work while having a communicable illness puts others at risk too.

This phrase serves to enforce our place in a capitalist, production-oriented society, where work is the most important thing, and health and rest are distant followers. Workers are granted sick days, but to take them is some sort of indulgence rather than a necessary part of being a human being with a body. We also forget that sick days are something that unions have fought for.

Because I'm always sick to some degree, I often struggle with deciding whether I am sick "enough" to call in, sick "enough" to stay home and rest. Typically I will feel guilty if I call in sick, even though my body demands rest. Having a chronic illness means that I need much more rest than the average person, and something like a migraine or cold will add to my need for rest. Language valorizing people who don't call in, ever, doesn't help to alleviate my guilt.

As I saw someone say on twitter: self care is a radical political act.
sasha_feather: Toph and Katara from avatar: the last airbender cartoon (Toph and Katara)
I went and saw Thor. It was as expected: silly, fun, and definitely worth the $2.50 I paid for the cheap seats matinee. Surprisingly good actors populated this movie. Four, Four, femail characters appeared in this movie and it's a surprise Bechdel pass for a couple of scenes where Natalie Portman talks with her research assistant, Darcy. Lady Sif and Darcy have no love interests! And there are two people of color that we see in Asgard: Tadanobu Asano as one of Thor's buddy warriors, and Idris Elba as the guy who guards the gate and operates the magical wormhole device. Not bad.

Today I slept a lot and went to a board game gathering. I avoided working on the paper of doom that has been weighing over my head for a long time. Unfinished projects, argh, why must you be so stressful. I had previously used a free trial of EndNote, but that's expired, so now I think I'm going to switch over to Zotero. Re-enter the references. *sigh*
sasha_feather: trinity from The Matrix (trinity)
Or, spirit of the staircase!

I participated today in a free screening for oral and throat cancers. It took 5 minutes and I was feeling uncharacteristically talkative to the people running it. For example I told the woman taking the forms: "You should have check boxes for male, female, and other." (I doubt she took me seriously.)

So after I finished having the screening (the doc looks in your mouth with a flashlight), I was talking a man who was passing out the flyers. He was a friendly middle-aged guy that was sort of easy to talk to. He told me the risk factors for these cancers are tobacco use, alcohol use, and HPV (human pappilloma viruses).

"Well," I said, "Hopefully that will go down because now there is a vaccine." (Gardasil.)

"Or, teens could just have regular sex!" he joked, and laughed. He was referring to the fact that oral sex, ie blow jobs, are a risk factor for HPV causing cancers of the mouth and throat.

"Well, that's not going to happen, they just need to get vaccinated!" I said at the time.

What I wished I had done is either gotten scarily calm, or scarily angry, and scared him into NEVER SAYING THAT AGAIN. It was totally inappropriate for a number of reasons.

1. "Regular sex" is a figment of the imagination that exists in a subset of straight people's minds, and is centered around penis-in-vagina hetero sex. It erases queer sex, oral sex, manual sex, kinky sex, etc etc etc.

2. His so-called "regular sex" still transmits HPV-- to women, who can then get cervical cancer.

3. There was more than a strong whiff of victim-blaming to what he said-- if people get cancer from HPV, it's their fault.

People are such assholes! This guy told me he used to be a study coordinator!

ETA I just occurred to me that this man could have been attempting to flirt with me by making a risque joke about blowjobs. Such a lesbian am I-- I was totally oblivious.
sasha_feather: "subversive" in rainbow colors (subversive)
I had a good day. I got up and went to a work class early, which while I had been dreading, turned out to be really good. The teacher was entertaining and patient, and since I already use the software in question daily, it was good to learn new things about it.

After working a little bit more, I decided to head downtown for the rally/protest against Governor Walker's proposed budget bill. This is the first time I've been part of such a huge protest. Thousands of people converged on the state Capitol, many with signs, many chanting. I took some pictures and posted them to Facebook and Flickr. Firefighters, many union members, high school students and teachers, many UW students and staff were there protesting-- people of all ages. Very thrilling! The Capitol here is an open public building, and people packed inside to chant and sing. I hear that some are still there for a sleep-in! And there is talk of a sick-out tomorrow for local schools as teachers go to protest. I stayed for a little while, until I got tired of the crowd and ducked out a side door.

I met up with F. and walked back down State Street. We ran into at least five people that she knew. So far, I have to say, it is nice to walk around holding hands with a woman. I could have gone back to work but I was feeling tired and stressed out by work so I hung around in the student union for a little while, then rode the free bus back to the parking lot (effing buses though, they are overcrowded and make me feel sick). I ducked into the Pharmacy school to use the bathroom and look around a little-- I love exploring campus buildings. I like having days where I am not rushed all the time, where I can walk around and look at things, talk to people, take photos, sit and do a crossword, attend a protest, have time to think. Most days at work are not like this at all! They are rush, rush, rush, which is part of why I get stressed and anxious. I need to remember to slow my pace and take things easier.

When I got home I felt extremely tired and I napped really hard. I still feel kind of sick.


Oct. 28th, 2009 10:09 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Does anyone have ANY advice for me regarding my Open Office problem with spreadsheets? I could simply redo all the work, but I'm quite aversive to work atm (especially sit-still-and-concentrate work), which is why I am putting it off and putting it off, and I feel bad for the person wanting the data. I need to put my own identity-crisis needs first however!
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I am having this thing where my work looks fine in Open Office (ods), but when I go to save it to xls format, my pie charts disappear and are just blank squares! What is going on?!

ALSO where is "track changes" feature in Open Office??

*remembers to breath*
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
This entry is for the Disability and Work Blog Carnival. Thanks to Liz for hosting it.

In Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed, in the Pravic language, the word for "work" is the same as the word for "play".

There are a lot of ideas in this book but that one stood out for me because right now I am unemployed, and that has forced me to reevaluate my identity and what it is that I do. It seems to me that in The Dispossessed, work/play is what occupies a person's time, and what one does with the people in one's community, because community is very important to the culture of Anarres.

So, what do I do?

Like many chronically ill people, the first thing on my mind a lot of days is management of my disease. It's a complex and demanding job in itself. Some of it you might expect: I make doctor's appointments and try to keep them, I manage my medications and supplements, I try to keep some sense of my symptoms and how they are changing. I try to exercise moderately, get enough to eat and drink, avoid foods that I think will make my symptoms worse. I try to get enough rest, think about pacing, try not to overextend. All of this can get complicated because my symptoms keep changing, but it's not really an unexpected part of living with illness.

What has been more unexpected for me is the huge emotional toll of chronic pain and illness. Particularly this year, I've done a lot of emotional work around this issue, which has taken a lot of time and energy. And I've learned that emotional work is hard work, undervalued work.

Those things are very hard to talk about in casual conversation, like when someone asks, "What do you do?" So here are the things I talk about more often:

*I volunteer for WisCon, the World's leading feminist science fiction convention. I read feminist SF/F novels, graphic novels, and other books. I am a member of two book clubs (although I don't always read the books.)

*I am a disability and anti-oppression activist. I've been learning more about this mostly through reading the internet-- people's journals and blogs. I also listen and talk to people face-to-face. I usually follow (at least somewhat) whatever the latest internet imbroglio is, and sometimes I will go back and read older ones ("Feminist history needs to be written down!"). This also takes a lot of time and is something that can be painful for people: although I seem to be in a place where I can do it now, easily, this hasn't always been so, and it's not something everyone has the time or emotional resources or interest to do. Lately I am thinking about it a lot in terms of community.

*I am a moderator of [community profile] access_fandom, a community for talking about access and disability issues within fandom. I intermittently work on the Wiki associated with this, Access Fandom Wiki, which is a place people can go to figure out how to make events such as conventions more accessible. So far there are two pages up, Attitudes and Signs; those were written by [personal profile] jesse_the_k.

Right now in the comm three of us are doing in linkspam on Feminsting and disabling language, check it out.

*I'm involved in Media Fandom: I read and write fanfic, I beta read fic, I make icons, and I consume other fanworks such as podfic, fanvids, art, and meta. I must recommend right now [personal profile] dira's post on fanfic and the suppression of women's writing. Fandom is mostly (but not all) women, and fannish work is devalued work.

I enjoy the community aspect of fandom particularly, and so I try to support the community by going to fan gatherings, by leaving feedback, by being welcoming towards people, by being respectful. Fandom is a particularly supportive community, at least for me, because individual members have worked to make it so. (You see what I did there?)


I have personally benefitted from the feminist idea of work being a socially constructed idea, and "women's work" such as housework, childcare, and care of the elderly and ill being often unpaid or underpaid and devalued by society. The reason women are paid less than men is because women's work is undervalued. Women often provide emotional support for others, they build friendships, they build communities, they build homes. All of this takes time and effort.

The categories of women and disabled people intersect hugely. The work of disabled people is also devalued, and disabled people face huge barriers such as pain, exhaustion, mobility and cognitive impairments, communication differences, discrimination in the work place and the wider world, and a lack of basic access to buildings, services, and transportation.

These oppressions also intersect with race, class, sexual orientation and identity, age, and probably other factors that I am unaware of or forgetting.

So I think that the work I am doing right is pretty important, interesting, and exciting. It's just hard to sum up with a job title. :)


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

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