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20th March 2015
Furry Theory Online Reading Group
word y'all I've been talking forever about doing a furry theory online reading group and well if I don't get to it sometime I'm never going to get to it so. Apparently the time I start planning stuff is now. I'm imagining something where we have both a synchronous and an asynchronous means of communication --- we pick something to read and maybe talk about the process of reading it for a couple of weeks on something like dreamwidth, and then have a loose "meeting" on IRC or skype or something? Maybe that second part is optional? :
I have some ideas for where to start although I'm not sure if folks are more interested in reading Things That Help Other Theory Make Sense, or Things Specifically About Human-Animality, or Things Rax Likes, or Getting Our Feet Wet Head First, or? I dunno lemme know what you think. I'm happy to drive things like what to read or where to discuss at first to get things happening, and also happy for other people to do that. Left to my own devices I'd be like "let's read some weird Deleuze and Guattari shit!" but I dunno if that's actually what folks are interested in. :)
Also: I know a lot of academic-y texts are inaccessible both in terms of how they are written and how much they cost. The first part the best way to deal with is by reading and discussing, and maybe a little bit of rolling our eyes at how Judith Butler's early work probably was overcomplicated so that people would respect its intellectual rigor even though there is no simple way to say those things. The second part can be mitigated with PDFs!
Basically: Poke me or comment here and let me know if and how you're interested, and we'll figure it out from there. :D I'd love to have some people together and pick something to read by the beginning of April. You don't have to be a furry to join!This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/138830.html.
23rd January 2015
So if the stuff earlier this week wasn't enough, I found out soon afterwards that Krinn isn't moving to Tucson, you know, : Monday
as previously planned. This is for a great reason --- she got offered an awesome job in Seattle --- but it still sucks for me, since I was really looking forward to her being here and now... that's not a thing I am doing. :/ (We'd negotiated that she could and should hunt for a job elsewhere up until the deadline, which in retrospect was a really dumb thing for me to negotiate because I hate uncertainty, but, well, education is what happens when you don't get what you want, as Rik likes to say.) This leaves me with a few options, which I'm going to discuss here, in part because it's a useful way to organize my thoughts and in part because I really would like some help figuring out what the heck to do here. Krinn and I are pretty committed to living together, and we're both willing to move to do it, although it would be a bit of a stretch to say that either of us wants
to move. (Separately, I am so ready to be done living airplanes-only distance from all of my partners. I would like to be done with that... Well, I was kind of looking forward to Monday. Still a little
bitter. If this is still the case for me in 2016 I will be very unhappy
Option one is --- I could just move to Seattle! There are some things about this that are awesome: Krinn loves Seattle, I have some friends in Seattle, there's good vegan food, there's a good Pokemon scene (although I wouldn't be nearly as in charge as I am here), there's decent public transit in the city itself, Rik is, at least right now, there. (He, Rowan, and Timber, all of whom I count as important to me, may be leaving at some point, so I'm hesitant to be like "I will settle there!! Rik will be there!!!" but... seeing Rik all the time, that would be pretty great.) The biggest downside is the climate. I get sad in the winter in ARIZONA. I get cold at night IN ARIZONA. I'm actually allergic to the cold, like, I break out in hives, it's bad. I hate rain. I hate clouds. Climatewise, I know with certainty, I will hate Seattle. Seattle's also much more expensive than here; between Krinn and I, we can afford to live somewhere almost as nice as where I live now, but a lot of incidentals are more expensive and owning a car would not feel effectively free  --- although maybe I could just not own a car, which frankly, would be kind of okay. (In a city with goodish transit, I would mostly need a car for getting to card game tournaments and for carrying large objects; these can be accomplished with zipcar and asking friends for favors. I'm used to being the friend asked for favors and I don't mind that role --- 1 car per 4-5 people in a social group seems right to me --- maybe I could just not be the person with the car for once?) There are also social issues: Some folks there don't much care for me, which is fine, h8rs gonna h8, but they're in Krinn's social group and figuring out how to handle that is not a thing I look forward to? I think it's perfectly manageable, just, not a source of warm fuzzy feelings, you know?
Option two is --- Krinn could work the job in Seattle for a year, settle debts and accrue savings, and then move down to Tucson in December or something! In some ways I like this solution the best, because dude, I'd get to stay in Tucson. I love Tucson most of all the places I've lived by a wide margin. I have a community here, I'm making the community here better by running events and taking care of children and I'm like. a mentor? I am a mentor here. It's bizarre, it's not what I imagined myself doing, but it's super important to me and I don't want to leave and also the sun is bright and the skies are blue and the mountains are beautiful and I will miss my mountains if I leave oh god. Krinn didn't have a great time when she was here a couple of years ago --- it's a little small for her, it's hotter than she'd like in the summer, and it doesn't have the kind of tech industry that would like to give you piles of money to play with fun computer problems. There's also not much of her
community down here, which is a major thing. At the same time, she could build a community, and taking a stab at that while less depressed would probably work better, and she's had a great time when she's come to visit while in a better headspace? So it's not such a bad move for her that I think it would be terrible for her to take it, but it would definitely involve sacrifices for her and that's a thing I'm very mindful of. ...Also we wouldn't get to live together for another year. That part's ass.
Option three is --- We could wait a year and then both move to a third place. We were originally considering a third place before she got an awesome job and my financial situation got tighter, and it's something we could still work towards and achieve. It would probably take around a year, so similar to option two. (And part of the negotation for either of the first two options is that if one of us was like "I just hate this place" we'd move together.) This has a lot of potential upside, but I think we're both pretty much in our favorite places to live now? (Krinn might prefer San Francisco by a hair, I don't think she's sure.) There's also the weird thing that our lists of places we're willing to live are pretty divergent --- mine is like "Tucson, Providence, ooh, maybe Albuquerque, I could survive with Phoenix or I guess LA" and Krinn's is "Seattle, San Francisco, maybe Portland?? San Diego's probably tolerable" and there's a clear pattern where I want to live either in the desert or in my homeland and Krinn wants to live in a large West Coast city.  It's likely that we'll live in a large West Coast city eventually because I worry Krinn would like Providence less than I'd like Portland, Oregon? And I want us to find the thing that's net best for both of us but not gonna lie kinda wish I didn't feel like I was going to end up not getting what I want.
Option four is --- We could not live together full-time? The most clear thing in this space, which is really more of a space than an option, would be me being a snowbird at 30 , keeping the house down here in Tucson, and living here November-March and whenever I needed to come back for some event or just wanted a few days to myself or whatever, and otherwise living in Seattle. If money weren't an issue this might be the best plan, but money is decidedly an issue. It's one thing to keep the house down here and rent it for a little less than my mortgage payment in exchange for some long-term value and it's another thing entirely to keep it habitable by _me_ while paying to live somewhere else. Maybe we could swing it. Maybe Krinn'd even be able to convince her job that it was reasonable for her to work remotely a bunch of that time and she could come with me. I'm not sure I'd be able to convince the cats this was a reasonable plan, though. :( Can cats actually get used to a thing like that? Selene's almost 12.
Ooh, or I could move to Providence and then move somewhere else with Krinn in a year, and that would get my "not have to fly to get physical affection" box checked off which let me tell you is a big deal, but two moves in a year and change, especially when you own as many nouns as I do (I have a lot of nouns), suuuuuuuuucks. I guess Krinn could just come to Providence after that year? That's a line we could consider? Providence has all the climate problems that Seattle has and then some, though, so I'm not sure that's the best choice for me anyways, and while I think and hope they'd leave me alone there are people there I don't really want to be spending time with, either. So it's not as slam-dunk as it might be even though there are some really great things about it; I'd need to take a room in my place and paint it the colors of desert noontime and just leave a space heater and a sunlamp on basically all the time. And then live in that room in the winter pretty much. The cats, I bet, would really like that room too. I guess that's actually a fine room to have in your house and maybe I should consider having that room here
We could also just... not live together? But we really don't want to do that.
Any thoughts? ...Help? :P( footnotesCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/137445.html.
27th December 2014
quick notes: out of hospital
So people know: I was in the hospital in California yesterday for a kidney stone. I've had them a few times before and usually can push fluids and tough them out. In this case, pushing fluids and trying to tough it out had my heart rate and blood pressure at kinda scary-low numbers and it was very good that I went to the hospital. I now have a bunch of meds and also a built-in excuse for not doing any of the 8000 intense family activities Krinn's family have planned. (I really appreciate being able to go to like... 2000-4000 of them? but they're very intense and family stuff in general is kind of PTSD-y for me for Reasons.) I mean, don't get me wrong, : I would rather that this had not happened
, but I am okay, and should continue to be okay, and thank y'all for the well-wishes &c.
More later. (If you're not on my life updates email list, and want to be, poke me.)
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/135948.html.
25th December 2014
Magic, travel, and community? or something? I don't know
I spent this past weekend at a Magic tournament called "Cardmaggedon" which was... much smaller than expected, but that meant I won $150 despite not doing super well, so, hooray? I've gone to big tournaments a few times in the last couple of months (one in LA, one in Oakland, and this one in Las Vegas) and the LA trip I took with a group of friends and the other two I was supposed to end up with friends but ended up alone. Not totally alone --- a friend from outside Magic happened to be at the first day of the Oakland event and that was great, and people I know but don't consider (close?) friends from Tucson were in Vegas --- but pretty much "done playing cards, walk/transit back to place I am staying, order food, read more about magic" alone. This kind of sucks, as raxes are extroverts and really like having people around for that kind of recharge time. But I would do it again. (And, in fact, am doing it again in Denver in less than three weeks.) :
I really enjoy games --- you know this if you've known me for any period of time. I particularly like this game, in its many formats and its different types of skilltesting and its pushing my collector/accumulator/sorter buttons. I have strong mixed feelings about travel. I would have expected that I would not be about all of the travel required to play in big Magic tournaments very often. I... think I actually am? It's tricky, because the people I have to travel with are mostly acquaintances who I may like rather a lot but have no idea how to interact with --- they have very different social norms and expectations from me, and while we're on a team together, they've all been friends for a long time and they're all guys and probably it's as hard for them to figure out how to interact with me as it is for me with them. We're not close enough at this point that I'm invited to share rides or hotel rooms (I've offered, but been declined) --- so I'm mostly on my own for that. 
Something else I've noticed about this is that when I go and play or judge card game tournaments for a while I drop everything else on the floor because it is just less important. I send some <3 texts or IMs or something to my partners and might have a lazy conversation in the evening or something, but unlike most of my travel, I'm not staring at work email, I'm not trying to get a bunch of other things done, I am engaged and deeply focused in a way that is really rewarding and makes me want to do more of it. So even with all of the downsides I described up there I'm kind of tempted to structure my life to involve more going to these tournaments and trying to get better at this game, in combination with the Pokemon judging I already do (which is also increasing in intensity both in terms of how much of it I am doing and how much I am enjoying it/engaged by it). How bad of an idea is this?
(ps this is posted on Christmas morning because I had all but a couple of sentences done and I am waiting for a server install to finish, not because this is _particularly_ on my mind today, but because I am starting to stretch out for my end-of-year-email --- it's going to be a long one this year, y'all.)
 I do have the friend I keep trying to go to these events with, but we're obviously cursed as this time she had to say "I can't come play Magic because my mother is in a coma" (her mother is out of the coma now hooray!); I also have some friends locally who are totally down to come to one or two events a year with me but uh. I would use up my one or two events a year in a month at the pace I want to be going. :PThis entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/135869.html.
22nd November 2014
Catgirl Goth Rave X Happened
If you're interested in my main set: You can : listen streaming here
, download here
, and see a tracklist here
. If you're interested in other people's sets... I'll try to get copies and post them here? :)
What the party was like: It was kinda small and cozy, reminded me of CGR 4 or 5, where there was more socializing than dancing but a lot of the socializing was structured around the presence of music and the possibility of dancing. People seemed to have a lot of fun, and I got rave reviews, which always makes me really happy. Throwing parties that encourage people I care about to do different kinds of things than they usually do is super awesome to me. Would do again. Will do again. (I'd been feeling before the party a little like "ugh, will this be the last CGR? am I done with this?" and my answer is emphatically no. So that's cool.)
What DJing was like: It's interesting how much better I am at this than a year ago and just how much there is left to learn. Listening to last year's set
as well as this one, I can tell that last year I took risks all over the place because I didn't know what I was doing, and some of them paid off in really interesting ways and others... Worked out okay. :P This year I was more careful, and while I think that paid off overall, it means I didn't do things as complex or reach-y as last year? Which maybe is related to how I'm approaching the world lately, or maybe isn't? Check back in a few months? (Also I whiffed the transition into Lights. Oops. The perils of going live; I brought in some stuff I hadn't expected to actually use at the end, so I was _way_ off script.) It was SUPER FUN. I did a second set at 3 AM or so, but it was just a reprise of half of the stuff from Laura's wedding afterparty, so while I did save my work for private review I'd much rather get a good mixdown of the whole set and share that later.
What CGR is growing to mean for me: A changing of the seasons. A chance to see old friends. A way to share what I'm learning about music with said friends. A way to bring people together. An excuse to put cat ears on everybody. One of the anchor points in my year, something I plan around even when I don't do a _good_ job planning around it and only get a venue locked down two weeks in advance. Sorry about that. I hope it can be some of those things for some of you, too, and is at least interesting to read about for everyone else. :P
What sucked this year: ( vague discussion of sexual assault/harassmentCollapse )
Why this post is in this format: I have no idea. I'm pretty tired, time to go to bed.
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/134646.html.
1st September 2014
request for assistance: HES/clinical psych programs in Boston area?
Hi again y'all! :
A friend of mine just moved to Boston and is considering various clinical psych MA programs in the area, particularly through Harvard Extension School's digital program. Does anyone have suggestions, advice, or resources to pass on regarding either of those things? I don't know anything personally but I know some folks here have experience with both clinical psych and HES. :)
-r.This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/131752.html.
28th July 2014
a post that is not a tasklist!!
Life is pretty good! Here are some updates that were too large to send to Twitter! It’s an exclam day! I'm vaguely sick but I took cold medicine so I'm still enthusiastic and excitable and a bit loopy! :
- Magic: I’m playing Magic! I meant not to get into it super seriously, but I got recruited into a team, cardagain.com, and now I’m editing for their website and sponsored to play in major events. Oops! It’s super fun, and while if you don’t play Magic you don’t care, we recently got Travis Woo as a writer, and you can see a cool new article of his here! If you like it and want to share it around that would be awesome too I guess? I dunno, I'm terrible at social media. cardagain wants to be, like, magiccards.info plus tcgplayer when we grow up, and some of the features (visual decklists sorted by CMC) are already very cool.
- Computers: The Homestuck Shipping World Cup kind of took up a hobby slot this summer. I don’t really care about the event at this point, and didn’t really participate as a fan, but I’m on the mod team, and did almost all of the coding. I feel like a way more proficient programmer than six months ago. Not _good_, but proficient, which feels nice. I can take python and sqlite and make them do things that someone might want software to do. It’s been very confidence boosty, and I _finally_ learned git. I’ve also gotten to play sysadmin, since it’s all hosted off of my server. I originally planned this as a way to have a record of me being able to do things with computers if I lost my job, but…
- Work: I was worried I might lose my job because the work I had been doing was kind of drying up, but instead, I got promoted into new responsibilities! I’m doing new and different stuff, which is really refreshing! I’m not good at it and that’s mostly great because I get to learn things but it’s occasionally terrifying!
- Therapy: I’ve been doing the therapy thing again after all the horrible bullshit from a year or two back. In the past I used to do mean things to future rax, and in the more recent past, I started doing nice things for future rax, and that’s treated me very well for the last few years. Right now I’m trying to figure out doing nice things for past rax. It’s super cool. It’s definitely hard and going to stay hard and… intersects with some kind of spirituality in weird ways I haven’t figured out yet? I dunno. I’ll talk more about that if I figure it out, maybe.
- Travel: Has been awesome!!! So many wonderful people and I get to see them in so many wonderful places, between Boston and SF and Seattle and random road trips from those places and so on and so forth. (Also, I edited /home/rax/random-text/people-history/people-i-have-kissed for the first time in a long time, and it was great. <3)
- Music: Has taken a bit of a back seat! But I’m getting back in the groove and have two DJ sets in September and one or two in November and I’ve already started working on them because it remains _super fun_.
That’s about it. Hope y’all are doing wel!
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/130347.html.
30th April 2014
no phone EDIT: PHONE
EDIT: HAVE PHONE WILL TRAVEL FUCK EVERYTHING SEE YOU AT ROAST <3 :
Lost my phone between the airport and Ruth's house. It's probably in the cab? I don't know where else it would be? I called the cab company and asked and they hung up on me, and I had someone text the phone with my email address and an offer of money. I think other than calling the cab company back tomorrow morning and hoping to get someone who's less of an asshole, that's about what I can do? It looks like there are other things I could have done if I had thought of this in advance?
I would really, really not like to get another phone right now.
I guess I should check outside and then go to sleep.
Edited to add: It rang a bunch, then twice it rung once or twice and then hung up, then it went back to ringing forever. Someone found it and silenced it. Whether they'll contact me or not, I don't know. :(This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/128223.html.
25th March 2014
Not going to Boston
Hi all! I'm not taking my planned trip to Boston this week. If you were expecting to see me, sorry. :( : ( boring reasonsCollapse )
I'll probably be there for Steer Roast (beginning of May) but I'm not committing/booking flights at this point. Also, there are baby bunnies in my yard. BABY BUNNIES THEY ARE SO ADORABLE. I am terrible at taking pictures of things but I will see what I can do. They might
be more adorable than the baby quails from last year. I haven't decided yet.
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/126788.html.
8th December 2013
Totally nailed it
The CGR set wasn't perfect, but it was flawed in an excited-to-get-better kind of way and not an embarrassed or ashamed kind of way. I think it's worth listening to, maybe you will too? : Here's a link.
The other sets were awesome too, and hopefully the other DJs remembered to record them. We even had a brief Speed DJing session at the end where I quickly warped six tracks and played/mixed them live, though Ableton crashed during the sixth one so I didn't get it recorded. :/ To everyone who came, thanks for coming and I hope you had a wonderful time, and to everyone who didn't, thanks for supporting me through this. :D
If you're curious, tracklist under the cut:( RAX"S CATGIRL GOTH RAVE SET 2013 YOCollapse )
"FUCKING ANNOYING PHONE SONG" is something we found on Napster by that name in 2000. I've never been able to figure out what it is by searching on lyrics or words from the samples or anything. It is a secret to everybody, but it is a surprisingly danceable secret.
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/123748.html.
7th December 2013
why this CGR is a big emotional deal for me
Every year Catgirl Goth Rave is a pretty big deal for me, and y'all who don't go probably get annoyed with me for posting about it, emailing about it, &c. so often. For me and for a lot of people who attend it's a chance to see a lot of friends in a type of environment I don't often get to spend time in, and to have friends share artistic/musical creations and, increasingly, traditions with each other. (I think everyone spends at least some time watching Kim's ridiculous video loop, which was first made for, like CGR 3?) But this year is especially a big deal for me, and I can tell because I'm alternating between bouncing hopelessly and kinda freaking out, and I want to share why to combination share myself/steel myself/understand through writing. Once I'm done with this post I'm going to go find something spicy and hearty to eat, then it will be SETUP MODE followed by PARTY MODE followed by SLEEP MODE. :
This year I am DJing. I am learning to DJ for this party, and it will be the first time I've played music in front of other people in any significant way in like... fifteen years? Maybe only thirteen. "A long time." I had a pretty hardcore music education as a kid, getting steeped in music theory as well as reaching a pretty high proficiency level on a number of instruments (violin, piano, voice, tuba...) --- this is one of the tremendous gifts my parents gave me. Unfortunately it came along with one of their tremendous ungifts. ( cut for vague-ish descriptions of abuseCollapse )
I've tried to get over this a bunch of times, between occasional plucking away at a bass while listening to music and trying to start a band with friends and having all of one rehearsal and keeping a tuba in my cramped dorm room for years while basically never touching it and all manner of other things. None of them took; I couldn't do it. I actually bought the equipment and software that I'm going to use to DJ tonight in order to try getting over this with electronic composition, which hasn't worked for me yet, but has a little for my brother
. Two things are different this time:
- I'm back in therapy dealing with other abuse, and weirdly (or maybe not-so-weirdly), that's helped me manage my feelings around this and take care of myself while also pushing myself.
- I'm doing this for CATGIRL FUCKING GOTH RAVE --- I'm not doing this (just) for me, I am doing this as a gift to all of my friends.
Typically the gift I've given is finding a bunch of real DJs and getting them to entertain my friends, and running all of the logisitics, because that's the sort of thing I genuinely like doing. This year, for a host of reasons, there weren't enough people to make music, and for a while I was worried we wouldn't really have anyone at all. Luckily a couple of good friends are back to spin, and I'm filling in a slot --- at 10 PM tonight, I'm going to get in front of a bunch of people I care about, and share music with them, and after the party's over, I'm going to upload it, and share it with all of you, mistakes and all, and if you take the time to listen to it, I hope you enjoy it.
And if, after I'm done, I find myself on the floor crying, this time it won't be because I'm afraid. <3
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/123403.html.
18th November 2013
It wouldn't be a CGR invite if it weren't late.
Remember, remember, the 7th December,  :
Catgirls, glowsitcks, and goth.
No justification why catgirl goth ravin'
Should ever be forsought.
Short version: CATGIRL GOTH RAVE NINE / address in friends-locked post
/ doors at 9 / wear cat ears dress goth / volunteers wanted  / invite individuals / ask before passing on to groups / party theme: UNDOMESTICATION
Returning Catgirl Goth Rave to its ancestral home in Boston offers us an opportunity to re-examine the founding principles of the occasion and our positionality with regard to them. Have these principles changed? Have we changed? While the history of such an event is important and there is value to keeping a line of continuity, we should also examine the possibility that bending or forking our collective line of flight may be the best way to proceed. In light of this possibility, I offer this digression on the concept of UNDOMESTICATION, particularly as applied to the cat/girl identification presented in the event's name.
The catgirl plays on tropes of femininity, vulnerability, and cuteness in order to establish agency and power --- balancing the double domestication of female and feline against the allure and intimidation of the feral unknown. I've found this position exceptionally useful in a number of contexts. It's allowed me to smooth the edges of my gender traditions, it's made it easier to enforce boundaries in social situations while feeling safe, it's made my sex life infinitely more interesting. Perhaps most importantly, in the context of this missive, it's allowed for a rockin' party entering its ninth year.
Domesticated animals behave in ways that are, for them, childlike and significantly more open to social hierarchy. Neither of these things is automatically bad, but it's worth considering the ways in which we, partially, domesticate ourselves, and whether those actions always serve our needs and desires. Domestication --- the taming of the Little Prince's fox, growing comfortable in a particular family structure, holding out a hand so that the neighbor's cat will let us pet them --- is about shifting boundaries from one state to another. When we are domesticated, consensually or otherwise, the boundaries between us and other entities are altered. Are they being altered in ways that we want them to be? How do we balance the possibilities and the dangers of mutual vulnerability?
For me personally, the challenge is in feeling empowered to sheathe or loose my claws, in learning the difference between my nervous and comforable purrs by taking the time to listen to myself, in understanding my own desires enough to own the domestication I want and reject the domestication that hinders me. I have some idea how this works for others, but everyone has their own metaphor-space, their own relationship to power structures, their own desires. What does undomestication offer to you?
Want to dance about it with me?
 The Fifth of November, Observed
 We'll need folks at the door, running the bar, and if you're interested in contributing music or art, please get in touch!
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/122683.html.
30th September 2013
I can... eat... food?
One of two things has happened: :
- I can eat nightshades again, due to some bizarre change in my GI system over the last threeish years. Thank my doctor for pushing me to try again I guess?
- It only looks like I've been able to eat nightshades for the last two weeks, and sometime in the next few days I will literally explode.
I'm rooting for 1. I would be able to eat at restaurants again.
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/121263.html.
7th September 2013
Brief recommendations for things
A few recommendations for things while I procrastinate! :
LJ/DW ICONS: A friend of mine, armaina
, is doing a Free Icon Day
, where you can get a free black and white icon of you[r character] drawn for the 100x100 LJ/DW format. If you tip, the icon's in color! If enough people play, then everyone's icon is in color even if you didn't tip! It's like a kickstarter, except free if you want it to be, and instead of getting mailed a video game in two years in theory you get a little picture of yourself in like two weeks in actuality. Feed your vanity! Feed armaina
! Click the link. :P
PESTO SAUCE: Oh my god y'all there's a company in SoCal called BasilTops
that makes vegan organic hydroponic pesto sauce, and you can order from them online and they ship you a bunch of pesto and all of their flavors are awesome. Well, all of their vegan flavors that aren't the spicy one at least, since those are the only ones I have tried. :) Of the three varieties I've had from them online, my favorite is the hempseed --- there's something really nice about the flavor and texture of it --- but they're all delicious. Krinn found a vegan Chia Seed variety locally once, which was really good, but you can't get it online and also I haven't been able to find it again in Tucson? Perhaps it was just an illusion designed to whisk me away into a world of PESTO ON EVERYTHING. (seriously I have tried pesto on a lot of things you should not try pesto on okay)
ALMOND MEAL: Okay so I'm trying this be gluten-free for two weeks thing at the advice of my doctor and one week in I am pretty sure that being gluten-free is not getting me anything? But I've been baking anyway, and my god is almond meal awesome. The pie crusts I've been making aren't as structural as I would like, though I'm trying xanthan gum next, but if you're making a strudel or crumble topping or whatever the heck you call it when you mix flour and nuts and sugar and spices and lipids and put it on top of a baked good and it's awesome? I think I like almond meal better than flour
. Also the fact that I can take ground nuts and turn them into a pie crust and it even 90% works is so cool, food is awesome. PS almond meal is surprisingly cheap at TJs check it out yo
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/120157.html.
8th August 2013
Pokemon Worlds Information
Hi all! Today I am leaving Seattle to go up to Vancouver for the Pokemon World Championships. I mostly won't be answering texts or my phone, since it will cost me money, though I'll try to keep people posted about how I'm doing. I'll post updates to Twitter ( : @raxvulpine
) --- which I otherwise don't use --- and here when I can. The main reason to follow Twitter would be to see if I'm going to be in a featured match --- some matches will be streamed on www.twitch.tv/pokemon
and if I know I'm going to get featured I will let people know. You can also see standings once the event starts Saturday at http://www.pokemonworldchampionships.com/2013/standings/
; I am in the TCG, Masters Division.
I also got some positive press going into the event, being picked as part of a fantasy draft
For the first time, a female player was chosen in our draft! After qualifying through the last chance tournament at US Nationals, Rachel Dillon from Arizona will be playing in this year’s World Championships (and for the Black Ballistas). Historically the Pokémon TCG has been a male dominated game, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change. Rachel did knock Jason Klaczynski out of the last chance tournament, so she’s a great player who’s on a roll.
So that's pretty awesome, although pronouns argh. Expect a post about gender, Pokemon, and competitive gaming in general when I get back.
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/118430.html.
13th July 2013
Book Notes: Beasts; Engine Summer; Little, Big (all John Crowley)
So for a few years I've had a random three in one huge paperback thing including Beasts, Engine Summer, and Little, Big by John Crowley on the shelf, and I've always meant to read them (in my hilarious failure to read speculative fiction a few years back I went to find a book by him and ended up with The Translator ). The last couple of flights I brought the huge paperback with me so that I would read the novels contained therein, and I have thoughts about each of them, so I figured I would blog about it so y'all can read something that's not a tasklist. I'm not planning to reveal any endings or anything, but I will cut-tag for spoilers just in case. : ( Beasts: Meh.Collapse )( Engine Summer: Good.Collapse )( Little Big: Brilliant but gross.Collapse )
Little, Big got me thinking about how fairyland-as-a-parallel-to-here-accessed-t
hough-an-endless-forest functions as a trope, though, and what it depends on. I don't think it strictly requires that most or all of the characters involved be white, although I've always seen it done that way. (Were all of the characters in The Great Night
white? I forget. ^^;;) The Fae can be written many different ways, or maybe not even be there. The forest, though, seems structural; what would it look like to go through desert to get to fairyland? Arctic tundra? Ocean between islands? I suspect that different places grow different kinds of myths but I also wonder about the transposition; I spend time wandering through what feels like endless desert, and I want to know, what sort of Fairlyand would I get to if I walked in one too many circles and didn't come back out at the trailhead? The couple of books I've read like this drew really heavily on First Nations mythology, and that's potentially really interesting (and potentially really exploitative!) but not what I'm thinking of here. Has anyone put the path to Fairyland not in the forest but in the desert, or somewhere else, and seriously explored what that shift would mean? I'm kind of tempted to try, but I'm woefully underread in this genre and don't even really know where to start research.( footnotesCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/116834.html.
26th March 2013
asking the internet for suggestions
I have a few problems/goals I want to ask the internet for suggestions regarding. So, hi Internet! There are a jillion things I could be doing, but these particular things are taking up a bunch of space in my head, so I want to get them resolved or at least in progress so they won't do that anymore. These issues include the emotional and the logistical. :
- I'm making awesome friends in Tucson who do not share the value with me that you should refer to people by the pronouns that those people prefer. This is obnoxious. I don't want to not be friends with them, and occasional requests for correction are doing jack all. I've been trying to present more neutrally with them so that there is some kind of physical cue, but everything I do just codes feminine or butch to them as far as I can tell. Is there something clever I can do here? If I say "I prefer they and would appreciate if you used that pronoun," they sort of nod and say yes and then just don't, and they aren't really open to talking about it. I don't expect to get it 100% of the time and that's fine, but I'd feel more comfortable with it if it happened sometimes, or if I felt I'd exhausted my options. (Maybe I'll ask Zury to pull them aside or something? I don't feel like it's done much good coming from me.)
- I have this water feature --- a little circulating pond and waterfall thing --- and it's full of nasty plant gunk and algae and whatnot such that the thing is kind of clogged and also gross. That's fine, I can clean it! But... how? My current plan is to drain it, let it dry, sweep it out, pull stuff out with gloved hands if necessary, and then fill it back up. This feels pretty reasonable, but how do I drain a pond? I am considering some sort of shopvac, but I don't know what kind to get --- I probably want something where I can just suck up the water and let it go into the ground, not have to fill the tank, empty it out, fill the tank, empty it out a billion times. Who do I even ask this question? A hardware store? (I can't redirect the pump I already have elsewhere because the piping is all underground... I think. I should doublecheck that when it's not dark out.)
- How stupid of an idea is a king-size bed? (I have a lifestyle that occasionally but not often calls for three people sleeping in a single bed, or I would not evenbe considering this.) If it's not stupid, how expensive of an idea is it? I'm used to platform beds with futon mattresses, and knew how to shop for those mostly, but then Dream On Futon in Cambridge closed and it turns out all I know how to do is buy things from them that are good and buy things from Amazon that look good but are actually kind of shitty. It's not even that I expect the Internet to have the answer to the question "what bed do I want, if any" --- that's a synthesizing-information thing that I'm good at --- but I don't even know where to start. Bonus points for things that aren't "go somewhere where people will try to sell me something," although I guess at some point if I decide I want to upgrade I will need to patronize an establishment and disburse funds.
- I think I answered this last one with a duckduckgo search, so nevermind.
Thanks for reading, even if you don't have any suggestions. :)
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/113308.html.
12th February 2013
Random things: :
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/111367.html.
- This morning Krinn convinced me not to write a mail client with the most effective threat I have ever had made to me. (Recently our office mail server upgraded, and while in theory getting new webmail and access to Apple Mail and Outlook 2012 should make things better, each of those three clients has some critical flaw I can't chase down that makes me have to run a minimum of two of them at all times. I now understand why people write mail clients.) She said: "If you try to write a mail client, all of your Shaymins will stop smiling." I think I actually gasped. The image is SO SAD. Good work, Krinn. <3
- I dreamt last night about being part of a band that did abstract process-as-performance shows where we dragged beanbag chairs on stage and had shitty rehearsals at various venues. It was awesome. I think the other members of the band were punk kids from our Pokemon league and from Albuquerque's. If no one has done this schtick yet, someone should. *finger on nose*
- rushthatspeaks 's blog (and in particular this book review) got me thinking about generation ships --- which, if I understand correctly, are giant spaeships meant to serve as a habitat for many generations of human as they go off to colonize some new planet. I mean, I have never actually read a book or really consumed any media that used generation ships, because I'm a very sporadic consumer of science fiction, but the idea in and of itself makes sense and has some plausibility benefits over AND THEN THEY WOKE UP FROM CRYOSTASIS ON "EARTH, BUT WITH CAT PEOPLE" or what have you. What it did get me thinking about was Lyotard's essay "Can Thought Go On Without A Body?," which I am pretty sure is in The Inhuman. He talks about the difficulty of producing machines capable of thought, with the idea of sending them outside of the sphere of influence of the sun so that thought will persist after the sun explodes/implodes/whatever. The reason he thinks it wouldn't work is that machines don't have gender --- that is, some difference between some fo them that has an almost religious inscrutability and implies the imbrication of the other with the self. Or something, I'm butchering his argument. The point is, if I take that argument at face value, I actually think generation ships could be the cure for gender, if that inscrutable difference as expressed in the people on the generation ship was the difference between the people who did and didn't stay on Earth. Maybe? I dunno. Been chewing on it, figured I'd share. (Also: Does gender need a cure? "Curing gender" is not unproblematic, but boy are there some interesting thought experiments and maybe stories in here. Haha. "Boy." GENDER WHY)
- It turns out I can make fairly spicy lentil curry by just milling good black pepper into it until my arms are tired and then asking someone else to do the same. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I have been trying and failing to make reasonable curry since losing nightshades from my diet, and apparently the trick was to start from an Ethiopian recipe and modify, rather than starting from an Indian one? Once I've got it at "I know what I'm doing" I will post a recipe or something.
- I hate to do anything that even comes off as complaining about weather when I know a number of my friends are still stuck under snowdrifts, but on Sunday Rik and I walked for five miles or so and it was cold enough with the wind that my legs were covered in hives. Stupid cold allergy, and arguably, stupid me for walking five miles in shorts in February. It seems mostly better although my calves are still itchy as all get out, and while this is mostly not a huge deal I scratch in my sleep. :( I think as fashion disastery as this is, the best solution I have without spending money might be shorts, leg warmers, and sandals. ... ... ... how does one go about selecting good hiking pants? I don't know how to garment.
- There's still a long-form life update email... coming... soon... ish? Hope y'all are doing well!
12th November 2012
I am alive.
Today we're going to be talking about what it's like coming out of the hole I was in! :
For a while I blamed the hole entirely on grad school but that's not entirely fair. I was already pretty fucked up when the first PhD program started, from a few things. First, the MA program, while not as stressful/bad for me as the PhD programs by far, was a lot of work, and that whole thing where my advisor refused to read my thesis or show up to my thesis defense was pretty bad. Second, the whole moving-to-Indiana thing (not helped by leaving a year later) was pretty draining and was kind of the worst a move could have gone without technically being entirely successful: no one was injured, no significant objects were broken or lost, no major unexpected costs were incurred. And yet. Then there was the dissolution of my relationship with Cassandra, which, well. I am going to continue (and make spoken) my unspoken policy of not talking about it publically on the Internet, but it made me very sad for a very long time and in some ways I am still recovering. I do not regret it, but I do regret that it was the right choice.
Which is remarkably like how I feel about leaving school.
When I left, I expected that things would get better, and then they would get worse, and then they would gradually get actually better again. I had the general gist of it right, but it turns out that I misunderstood just how poorly
I was doing. I did in fact have a rush of energy for a few days, and then plunge into a hole of "oh god all of the things I have been putting off indefinitely are still real and still problems and they are my problems and I cannot escape them by working on grad school anymore." That was ugly for a while and I was worse for longer than I expected. I'm still not done, but I can tell that I'm doing better, weirdly, by noticing myself doing things that a few years ago would have been signs I was slipping down from where I wanted to be:
- actually taking time for myself to just fuck off (more on this later)
- putting every single little five-minute task on my tasklist
- isolating myself from other people more than usual
- caring an unproductive amount about cleanliness/organization
- a couple of other things that aren't important to this blog post
Right now though these are all improvements. I've been doing things that I've wanted to do since I moved here --- there is now a working hot tub in my yard, and after today the circulating pond next to it should work as well. The leak in the irrigation system is (a) found and (b) getting fixed. (That was a huge pain, it was hidden in this really random place and only came on at 4 AM and ugh. I happened to wake up ridiculous stupid early one morning and realize "wait why does it sound like it is raining when I go to do dishes at 4 AM because I am a weirdo.") The house is clean...ish. (Waaaaaaaaaaaay better than it was.) Today, assuming the ibuprofen
I'm about to take
I just took fixes this weird headache, I'll be putting up shelves, reorganizing my Shaymin collection, and starting to put up art in rooms that aren't the dining room. I've lived here for how long and a lot of my favorite art is still sitting on the floor next to the walls I want to put it on? More than a year? Yeah fuck that. I'm nesting
, yo. It is avian as shit up in here.
Also I make kombucha now (anyone local want a SCOBY
?). And am starting to do hikes with a lot of vertical in them instead of just flat ones. And am starting to cook interesting things again. And am still making a play to qualify for the Pokemon World Championships in the summer. And all of this is good.
The thing where in the evening after dinner I pretty much do whatever I want and don't feel obligated to be productive is really nice. I've been reading, talking to friends, playing silly games (including the occasional "Watch Rax Beat Some Old NES Game In One Sitting" in the living room, which is hilarious --- I might give the Zelda Second Quest a shot someday soon if I feel like it), sitting in the hot tub, cleaning things up in a leisurely way... It's really nice. I'm not sure this is actually bad
. I do think it's important that as I pick up projects and work I care about, that it take up some of this time. But right now I am recovering, and part of the work of recovering is to chill the fuck out. And that's really, really good.
I have to decide in the next couple of weeks whether or not to permanently withdraw from grad school. I'd hoped that I would be able to take one or two extra classes and get an MA, but it turns out I'd have to take like four, because of UA's transfer credit rules. That's annoying --- between UA and IU I have enough or more than enough classes for an MA at either university --- but I cannot get one at either. Luckily I already have an MA, and while a second one would be nice, I don't need it. What I value the most is what I've learned. I went to grad school to make myself a better person and hopefully to make the world a better place. I don't think grad school is a useful way to do either of those, for me, anymore; I've learned a lot but I experientially know that this program, and the last one, made me worse off in more ways than they did better, and I don't think I was doing the rest of the world any favors by being there either. I should move on, let someone else have the funding slot who needs the money, read books on my own, and continue my scholarship in a different way.
So... yeah. That's the last while in a nutshell. How are y'all doing? <3
This entry was originally posted at http://rax.dreamwidth.org/109340.html.