sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
1. What's the happiest thing to ever happen to you?
Getting a horse for Christmas when I was 11. Penny and I were soul-friends and I had so many good times with her. Here is a photo of us the next summer:

2. What's the saddest thing to ever happen to you?
Maybe when my 2 best friends broke up with me when we were 11-ish (6th grade). In therapy, I determined this to be a watershed event for learning to shut down my emotions; and also the ringleader probably sensed something gay about me, and that is why she decided to stop talking to me. Also, the way they did it! They just stopped talking to me one day. I was bewildered more than anything.

3. What's the thing that got you the most angry in your life?
Probably at a therapist. I was about a day or two into a hypo-manic episode (?) after coming out and I thought she could help me. She didn't. I did write about it at the time (post was filtered but it's so long ago I will unfilter it, temporarily. Many of my older posts are locked down to private).
I got so angry about the Vivid Con ableism stuff in 2010 that I made myself ill. But, that anger has faded. I don't really feel it anymore.
I didn't get angry a lot before I came out; and then I was angry *all the time*; it seems better now a few years on.

4. What's the most frightening thing to ever happen to you?
Scary situations don't really "happen to me" so much as arise from my anxiety. I have gotten super anxious in totally mundane situations. It seemed like the only way out of the problem was to speak, and I was so anxious I could not speak, so I was stuck and frozen. Also, I didn't know why this was happening. Everyone else seemed to have no problem in these ordinary situations, like speaking to a teacher or knocking on a door. Then having random panic attacks sent me to therapy.
In a more traditional sense of frightening-- there was some scary-to-outsiders stuff with the horses, like getting bucked off. But it never seemed scary to me. Animals are easier than people, and that basic fear is easier to deal with than anxiety.

5. What's the most unbelievable thing to happen to you in your life?
a. Getting scholarships that paid for my college education
b. Getting a horse for Christmas!!!11!1!!!
c. Not realizing I was queer until age mumblety
d. getting facial pain that has no real diagnosis
e. Being on the State Champion poutlry quiz bowl team!
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
[personal profile] boxofdelights asked: Is there a book you loved, as a kid, that you would still recommend to kids like you were?

Lots of them! I loved reading had access to lots of books. I'm focusing here on books I read in elementary school.

Some books are classic for a reason. Written in 1900, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a childhood favorite of mine. I also read the sequels. I enjoyed the fanciful characters and illustrations and the wildly imaginative world. There were quite a few girl characters besides Dorothy. Ozma, for instance, starts out life as a boy but a spell is broken (or something) and she is revealed as princess Ozma.

Marguerite Henry has many rather sentimental books about horses; I especially loved Born to Trot, which again had wonderful illustrations. King of the Wind, Brighty of the Grand Canyon, and San Domingo: the Medicine Hat Stallion were also favorites.

I read many of Roald Dahl's books, which are fun and clever, and sometimes have a bit of a dark side. Matilda was a favorite of mine, and there are many many more to choose from.

I was just discussing with Jesse how I loved reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, about a boy who survives alone in Alaska after the small plane he's in crashes into a lake. It's the details of living in the wilderness the were great to read about. I read some other Gary Paulsen books but they didn't stick in my mind the way this one did.

I have not gone back and re-read most of these; but I have very fond memories of them; some of them I read repeatedly. I use to enjoy taking all my books off the shelf and re-arranging them.
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: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
Words and Deeds Love Meme 3: May 31st - June 13th; Hosted by J.J. Hunter at Dreamwidth

[Banner and link for the Words and Deeds love meme, hosted by jjhunter. It runs May 31st to June 13th. The Banner features a Monarch butterfly.]
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
Recently Finished

About a week ago I finished The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski. Mostly I liked this book: the main character was sympathetic, the setting interesting, the ideas cool. It was slow at times, and there were too many ideas. So much was going on, and so many ideas were packed in, that the emotional arc was at times lost in all the detail.

I liked reading about the ultraphytes and the risks and rewards of living on a space habitat, especially going to college there. I liked the many characters: disability was normalized, as were different races, religions, and orientations. People of different classes were represented, and a new class system seemed to be emerging based on genetic cultivation. Scientists were well portrayed. Jenny, the main character, is mostly interested in botany and politics. She volunteers for EMS and a Habitat-for-Humanity-like group, and plays slanball. Meanwhile she has obligations to her famous political family and is mourning her deceased brother.

Whole sections of this book, however, could have been cut out and replaced with things that fleshed out the characters better, spending more time on their emotional development. Ken and Yola, for instance, are pretty 2-dimensional. Or just cutting those sections and not replacing them would have worked also. There is a good emotional arc in this book, and it would have been better served with more attention.
spoilers )


Today I spent the day reading Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore and I freaking loved it. It is brilliant. I don't want to give too much away, and I need to think about it some more. But in brief: it focuses on a young queen, bringing her land back from the disastrous rule of her sociopathic father. I loved the central conflicts in this story: truth and lies, seeking out painful memories versus covering up the past, how to heal and move forward when awful painful things have happened to a whole country. And this somewhat sheltered queen trying to figure things out. It was great!

Didn't read

The Female Man by Joanna Russ. I stopped after 50 pages. Couldn't get into it.

What I'll read next

Not sure! My girlfriend and I have been talking about reading a book simultaneously (you know what I mean), but haven't for sure decided which book. She reads mostly history, biography, memoir, some fiction. I read almost exclusively Sf/F but am also interested in books about social justice. Any suggestions?
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
This is a meme orginally from [personal profile] dingsi. It is making a "permanent wish list" so that people can get you things if they want to! Also, if you make such a list, feel free to drop a link in comments here.

1. It is okay to want nice things. Post your wishlist! You don't have to be/do something special to "deserve" one! Just accept that sometimes people want to give you nice things! Because it makes them feel good, and/or they think you are rocksauce, or: because!

2. It is okay to not give someone what they want. People can be broke, out of energy, too busy, or simply go "eh, I'm not feeling particularly close to this person" and shrug and scroll past. Doesn't make them bad.

my list )

I guess I will add to this list later! I am having a hard time thinking of anything.

Good one

Jan. 14th, 2012 05:07 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (neko case with glove)
"Find the nearest book to you, turn to page 45, and read the first sentence: this describes your sex life in 2012."

I saw this several times but right now the nearest book to me is an old Merriam-Webster dictionary.

arabesque n 1: an ornamentation or style that employs flowers, foliage, or fruit and sometimes animal or figural outlines to produce an intricate pattern of interlaced sometimes angular and sometimes curved lines 2: a posture in ballet in which the body is bent forward from the hip on one leg with the corresponding arm extended forward and the other arm and leg backward.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (neko case with glove)
These icons chosen by [personal profile] thingswithwings! Leave a comment telling me your favorite fruit and I will choose 5 of your icons.

A monster muppet on the phone, with mouth wide open. This icon makes me laugh and laugh. Is the moster surprised? Is he freaked out? Does he just normally talk with his eyes and mouth wide open, in the way of muppets? So much emotion can be conveyed or interpreted with so little information. I think it's from the [ profile] iconomicon.

A picture of Gaeta from Battlestar: Galactica, blue-lit, serious expression.

Unfortunately for me, one of my favorite characters from BSG was Gaeta. I love how this icon looks like a photograph that's been folded and worn, like maybe someone carried it around in their wallet; but it also has that blue-lit intensity, that sadness of the show. Made by lunar47.

Leelu from The Fifth Element, holding up her Multipass Card.

I've always loved this movie, except for the ending (hetero love solves everything! whee!), and I love this icon. The Moooooltipass can be used for everything! It makes me laugh. Plus Leelu is such a badass. It's simply a solid, entertaining SF movie that's pretty to look at and is set in an interesting world. I'll watch it any time. Another Iconomicon icon.

Neko Case sitting in a pickup truck, looking into the distance. The purveyor of the Iconomicon made this from an image I found (he's a buddy of mine).

Neko, also known as my future ex-wife, sings alt-country music that is full of longing and loneliness and it makes me, you know, actually feel something when I listen to it. She also has songs with a queer vibe to them-- "Not the man you think I am / My love has never lived... indoors..." She also tweets about her dogs, fixes old trucks, and is generally a lesbian magnet. ANYWAYS.

Aldis Hodge, who plays Hardison on Leverage, wearing sunglasses and looking like a BAMF. I made this icon from some promotional picture I found.

I call this "Aldis Hodge in the Matrix." I would like a crossover/fusion where the Leverage team at least gets to wear the black leather, sunglasses, and boots, y/y? Hodge has a great sense of style; every time I see him I think this!
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy?

This question hits home; there is a lot I don't talk about generally. I'm in therapy largely for this reason: I need to talk, write, and open up more. It's usually easier for me to write about things than talk about them.

19. What are you most interested in reading?

My reading interests seem to be shifting and changing, so I'm not sure how to answer this. I love reading fanfic and truly engaging novels. I've been reading a bit more non-fiction lately. Fatigue has interfered some with my reading.

20. Any questions from the audience?

21. What's your favourite thing about Dreamwidth?

Cool people!
Cut tag expander
No ads!!!
Diversity statement!
Responsiveness to feedback
The sense of community
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
13. Do you have any unique interests on your user profile? What are they? How'd they get there?

No, but "queering up straight people" is one that only me and [personal profile] were_duck have; I stole it from her.

14. What is your favourite subject to discuss on Dreamwidth?

Judging my from most popular tags: Health, living with pain, friends, work, articles, books, tv, memes, "personal", pictures, recs, feminism, wiscon.

Personal is kind of a big category, encompassing emotional reflections and things-- I do use writing here as therapy sometimes. I like doing movie and TV reviews, panel write-ups from conventions, and chatter about my life.

15. What 5 things are you obsessed with currently?

Obsessed is way too strong of a word for me. But I'll play anyway.

Breaking Bad, a tv show about a high school chemistry teacher who cooks crystal meth
My plants, and gardening. I'm waiting for it to warm up enough for serious gardening to begin!
Sim City, a way to shut my brain off and build virtual cities
Turkey sandwiches with mustard
Vests and jackets and coats; style in general.
sasha_feather: "The heroine's achivement of autonomy and self-actualization was the point of the narrative" (heroine)
11. What features do you think Dreamwidth should have that it doesn't currently?

Not sure.

12. What do you consider the 10 most "telling" interests from the list on your profile? Why?

Since I only have 33 interests at present, I am reducing this to 5:
access, as a tenet of disability activism
living with pain, which is my life
wiscon, where I met a lot of friends and was introduced to a lot of important concepts in my life
queerness, obviously
meta, because I tend to be a conceptual thinker
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
9. Tell me about your default icon.

"Ski Pluto" is from the [ profile] iconomicon. At one point I think I saw the series of posters this came from-- An SF take on vintage travel posters. I simply love the image and have had it long enough that it's come to be "me".

10. Pick 10 random icons from your userpics and tell me about them.

This is the kid from Pitch Black, one of my favorite movies. I read this kid as queer and/or genderqueer.

The cover from Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan.

Amelie, from the film. She's a character I identify with, or have at certain times of my life. She's painfully shy and has a hard time connecting to others.

Sam from True Blood. I identify with him too. I don't want to spoil anyone who has not seen the show; perhaps I'll write an entry about his character and why he's so interesting to me. But first I need to catch up on True Blood!

This is the actor who plays Godric on True Blood. I love his expression here, the reflections on the glass; it's an arty and moody image and for some reason I loooooove it.

My childhood hero, Amelia Earhart!

Horses are simply the most beautiful animals in the world.

Simon from Firefly, a character I strongly identify with. One day I will write a public entry about how I view him as a closeted gay character.

Neko Case in a pickup truck. I love her so so much I cannot even say.

It's a fuzzy monster talking on the phone. It needs no explanation.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
6. What do you wish people who read your journal knew about you?

That I'm shite an answering comments, but I appreciate all the comments I get. If you don't know me, feel free to leave a comment!

7. What is your favourite community on Dreamwidth?

This may seem really self-absorbed, but [community profile] access_fandom and [community profile] shutterspeed are my favorite comms. I do devote a fair amount of time to them, so it makes sense that they are my favorites.

I also like [community profile] kink_bingo a lot. I just joined [community profile] fancake and have been enjoying it.

8. What community do you wish was more active?

All of them? [community profile] disability, [community profile] style_salon, [community profile] horses, [community profile] queer_as_dreamwidth, or any of the queer comms.
sasha_feather: Sheep with Dreamwidth Logo (Dream sheep)
4. What do you do online when you're not on DW?

Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Netflix

I am ambivalent about Facebook but have warmed to it some recently; it's OK as long as I keep certain boundaries. I also like playing Scramble there. I don't really keep up on Twitter but do try to check in on it once a day at least (same user name as here). I have G-chat but I'm not always the best chatter; I think it goes with me just not being that verbal/chatty of a person. Some people I do really like chatting with though! I use G docs for writing and making lists, and Flickr for photo hosting. I read fic at AO3 or on DW (or sometimes on my Kindle).

Bonus 4.5 On the computer, not online: Mostly playing SimCity! Sometimes watching movies on DVD.

5. How about when you're not on the computer?

Socializing (including hanging out with my girlfriend), walking, reading, working, sleeping, or eating. I'm afraid my life is not very exciting, but I like it this way. I rest a lot. This summer I hope to garden, and of course I'm always taking pictures.


Apr. 29th, 2011 12:24 am
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
1. Why did you sign up for Dreamwidth?

Because someone sent me an invite code! That's the real reason. Once here, I warmed up to DW really fast; now I hardly ever go to LJ.

2. Why did you choose your journal name? What does it mean?

Sasha is a variant of Alexander, as is my given name; Alexander means "protector of mankind." No pressure.

Sasha was bestowed upon me by my friend Esther in college. The Feather part I added later because it sounded nice. I do answer to Sasha in analog world.

3. Do you use other blogging sites? Why or why not?

Um, I do cross post to LJ but I'm trying to abandon it. Someday will be the LAST DAY I CROSSPOST. Maybe yesterday will be that day, who knows. So far I do not feel any need to have a separate blog. Perhaps one day I will.
sasha_feather: Legend of Korra promo  (Korra)
[make up your own question!]
A vid you can't believe you haven't recommended yet

Big City Life by lithiumdoll. Dark Angel.

It took me several views of this vid to key into the use of text. Brilliantly done. I keep watching this vid and seeing new things in it. There are so many great character moments here, so many moments of connection.


There you have it, three weeks of vid recs! I enjoyed doing this meme, I hope at least some of you enjoyed playing along. <3
sasha_feather: black and white image of female general (lady general)
[Make up your own question!]
Women-Centric vids that you love

Around the Bend by [personal profile] danegen. A VividCon premiere this year. Multifandom.

Super sexy and awesome vid of women and their engines, women driving and flying, many women together, both fannish sources and real life images, current and historical. I love the song which was totally unfamiliar to me. A very empowering vid that cheers me up every time I watch it.

Ladie's Night by [ profile] counteragent. Multifandom.

A fun song with women dancing and having fun, and some images of men being impressed with them. What makes this vid stand out is all the unusual sources: His Girl Friday! Legally Blonde! Ugly Betty! Scrubs! Dr. Quinn! Along with some more "conventional" fannish sources. Two of the sources were movies I found kind of skeevy for one reason or another (True Lies and What Women Want), but this is the sort of vid that reclaims such movies for me, takes the source, cuts it up, analyzes it from the female gaze, turns it into something I can enjoy.

One Girl Revolution by [ profile] arefadedaway. Multifandom.

Women are awesome, fuck yeah. A gorgeous, stunning vid with tons and tons of sources. No power in the 'verse can stop me. I watch this one a lot.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
A narrative vid you love

Half the Man by [personal profile] isagel. Multifandom.

This is a vid done for [community profile] kink_bingo, what used to be the "amputee fetishism" square (which has now been incorporated into body alteration/injury). I recommend reading the warnings and notes at isagel's journal.

I love this vid for many reasons but partly because it's a great disability narrative. At the beginning, there is fear, horror, villains with hooks, violence. Moving onto living with a lost limb, darkness, despair, pain and isolation. Then the turn, shown in the putting on or taking off of clothing and prosthetics: owning one's body, acceptance, even pride. And the variety of the prosthetics here is awesome (chainsaws!). Then onto images of awesome, of romantic success, of conquering one's enemies, of playing the piano and the guitar, of enjoying life. This vid makes me want to cheer.
sasha_feather: Avatar Kyoshi from avatar: the last airbender cartoon (Lady avatar)
A movie vid you love

Heart of Funkness by [ profile] absolutedestiny Apocalypse Now.

I hated this movie, but I love the vid. The vidder's description is priceless:
Things I tried to do in this vid? Well, for one I wanted to make a vid that was all about war equating to male sexual frustration, putting in as many phallus images, ejaculatory explosions and finally spiralling into some tribal, primal hell of fleshy frustrated insane homo-eroticism.... and animal slaughter.

Fever by [ profile] talitha78 Sherlock Holmes (2010).

There are several great Sherlock Holmes vids in my folder, this is just one of them. The Adam Lambert song is fun, the visual effects of this vid are incredibly well done and make it stand out.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Day 18 - A vid that made you investigate that vidder's other work further

Seven Nation Army by [ profile] charmax. Multifandom. "The rainbow coalition vs. fascist robots."

I can't get enough of stories like these, about people living under and fighting back against SF-nal oppression, and this vid is so defiant and awesome. Also gorgeous. Multifandom vids are my favorite.

Eventually I found what seems to be the companion piece to this vid:
Unnatural Selection, also by Charmax, BSG/Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I freaking love this vid. I love the song, the use of text, the anger and horror and desperate hope.

Both of these vids have violence and disturbing imagery in them, particularly the second one.


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

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