The problem

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:16 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
Sexual violence against women and girls is endemic. There's an absolute mountain of evidence that this is the case, from the experiences of my friends to any number of posts on social media to rigorous studies. A big part of the reason I decided to identify as a feminist is because women are routinely denied bodily autonomy and feminism seems to be the only political movement that cares about this.

links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )

I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.

another post that is not about media

Oct. 15th, 2017 02:43 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I've been struggling a lot this week. Yesterday I went back to work after nearly a month away, due to holidays and travel, and that's definitely landed on me like a very heavy truck. But in general, settling back into my life after the madness that the last 6 months have been is... a little difficult and disorienting. I've had a lot of see-saw feelings of "everything is great!" and "everything is awful!" and I'm kind of constantly exhausted and my tolerance for deadline-related stress is close to zero, and well.

more details )

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:28 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I've been more or less offline for about 3 weeks. A lot of things have happened. I spent 2 of those weeks traipsing through Ukraine, visiting two big cities, one small town and one tiny, itty bitty place where I stayed for 3 days and where I got to put a stone on the grave of my great-great-grandfather.

I came back sick as a dog, of course. (Got sick on the day-before-last of the trip, got REALLY sick on the very last day - the flight home was an actual hell dimension.) 3 days after I landed I was scheduled to give a brand new lecture at a con. 11 days after I landed I was scheduled to submit the thesis I've been working on for 2 years. (This last one is still in progress.)

So, it's been super hectic and busy (I look forward to November when I will have NO MORE URGENT COMMITMENTS and only... 5 straight months at work... with no vacation days... x_x)

But! I've been watching a lot of things, between small towns with no nightlife and being sick and bedridden.

So, some very brief thoughts.

* Person of Interest - I finally finished the last season! It was mostly blah with occasional bouts of "oh right, I remember why this show was so unique, in its own way". I'm still here for the special-ops-doctor-who-isn't-capable-of-feelings and tech-genius-who-spent-years-playing-by-her-own-rules femmeslash ship. Here for it LIKE BURNING.

* Straight Outta Compton - finally watched this! It wasn't the best movie, and the fact that they completely glossed over the IRL violence against women is... yeah. But it was cool to see a "documentary" about the period of hip-hop history that directly preceeded my introduction to hip-hop. Like Snoop showed up, and Tupac, and I was like - OH RIGHT! Dr Dre made both of them happen! And it was fun for like... getting a fuller context for the music I remember loving in middle school.

* The Good Place - I enjoyed this a lot (am enjoying this a lot?) but if I hadn't been spoiled for the twist at the end of S1 I... would have probably hated this show/been blah about it for a good long while. IDK how they're going to sustain the level of commentary they had in S1 - I don't really care that much about the characters? - but I will say I'm on the Eleanor/Tahani train for now.

* Keanu - another movie I've had on my to-watch list for a long while. I watched it in fits and starts while traveling - it was very cute and occasionally funny, and I did enjoy the commentary and the cute kitten. I could very easily see how it sort of "led" to Jordan Peel's Get Out, since I felt like in Keanu they were sort of figuring out how far they could take it in a mainstream comedy, and Get Out was like the progression of that.

* Top of the Lake - watched S2 in a single evening in Ukraine. It was less good than S1, while doing essentially the same thing. I can't speak to the racism and whether it was worse than in S1 (like, it seemed to me that it was? But I don't know enough about Australia) but the rape culture stuff was... more of the same, except done less well. Also, all of the parenting choices on that show were like 100% culture shock to me, which is a reaction I apparently often have with Australian shows lol.

* Outlander = I'm watching S3 and OMG. This show's perfect blend of "fanfic tropes come to life" and "boring content I'm fast-forwarding through" is baaaaaaack. I'm obsessed with it and simultaneously uninterested in like 50% of what happens on screen.

* Star Trek: Discovery - I've only watched 3 episodes so far (there are 4 out) but... sweet lord. Look, I was never a Star Trek fan, so I didn't expect much from this show, but it definitely has that Stargate feel of "if only someone with half a brain was writing this I'd really love it? As it is, I'll see you on AO3". Like the characters are SO GREAT, Michael Burnham is literally ALL MY DREAMS COME TRUE, but the writing is just so mediocre and blah. Perfect fanfic fandom I guess? I honestly ship everyone on that show with everyone. I shipped Michael with her first captain, I ship her with Jason Isaacs. I ship the science dude with his "warmongering" captain. Give me any pairing.

(Also, I wish this show didn't take Trek into a war direction? As if I didn't have enough to nitpick and be annoyed by, we're in straight up stargate territory now where they're all essentially soldiers? UGH.)

* Atlanta - OH MY GOD. I've watched 8 episodes of S1, and THIS FUCKING SHOW. THIS AMAZING FUCKING SHOW EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH. IT'S SO FUCKING BRILLIANT AND GREAT AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I know everyone's been on this train for like a year, but HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I've missed TV that was this sharp, this clever, this stylish, this full of humor and also things to say. God a show with THINGS TO SAY that's light as a feather and heavy like an ocean at the same time. With a show this good, even when it fails it does it in interesting ways. There's no real way of describing this, it's just... you need to watch it.

(In a way, I've realized Atlanta is the universe making it up to me for Master of None. Same concept of a 20 minute comedy show made by an alum of a popular mainstream comedy show, touching on deeply personal topics and personal stories, dealing with success in the entertainment industry. Same experimentation with format, visual style, characters. But Master of None was so deeply Not My Thing, while Atlanta is just... EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. God that show is STUNNING.)
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Takes place about a year (I would say, give or take) after the previous book in the series. What happens if you kidnap the wife of the head of a government agency, and the first child born to any two members of said agency? In front of the mother's child?

I wish I could say "hilarity ensues", but I guess "calamity ensues" has about the same ring to it. I think I've said that I like this series? Hm? You probably want to read ALL of them. Right now.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

The third book in Spangler's Rachel Peng series. This time it looks relatively innocent, "just" a murder, and some suspected theft. Unfortunately, the crime scene is in the basement of the White House. Again, a most excellent read. I could try to say more, but, you know, I can't quite figure out how to say it while remaining both entertaining and non-spoilery.

Oh, yes, there's one thing. This is, I believe, a point where the bok series forks (in one fork, the next book is Greek Key and in the other, it is Brute Force, the latter will soon have an entry all of its own).

On the whole, I quite like this series.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the second book in Spangler's Rachel Peng series. All in all, eminently readable. It takes place a few months after Digital Divide and starts with a series of explosions "somewhere in DC" (sorry, can't be more precise, there's a specific street mentioned, but, you know, I am sufficiently unfamiliar with DC that it pretty much has escaped my mind, now that I get around to do the write-up several books and days later). Not entirely surprising, this ends up being very investigated and we get a ring-side seat, as we see Agent Peng, members of the MPD and several other Agents from OACET follow up and try to solve the crime.

Journaling prompt

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:52 am
hillarygayle: (Agent Smith Not So Bad)
[personal profile] hillarygayle
I got this journal prompt from my friend Tab, & I use it when I feel like journaling but I don't know what I want to say.

Outside my window…
It's quite a sunny morning. The leaves are starting to go a bit yellow & lots of them are falling. We've had a few cool mornings but it's warming up almost to the 80s by the afternoon, and this weekend is supposed to stay pretty warm.

I am thinking…
There's a huge pile of clean laundry on the bed in the extra bedroom, and I should really fold it up & put it away. My bedroom gets the full morning sun and I don't have blackout curtains right now, so I may have to sleep a little in the extra bedroom this weekend due to night shifts.

I am thankful…
For coffee, experienced colleagues who don't mind teaching me new procedures or tips & tricks for the ones I already do, and a paycheck that allows me to pay my student loan bills!

In the kitchen…
I got a new Instant Pot! We've made Mexican chicken, rice, and experimented with rice pudding so far. I'd like to try a pot roast!

I am wearing…
Nothing special. A pair of black capri pants and an ivory tank top.

I am creating…
I'm not feeling all that creative right now & I think that's okay. I may create another cup of coffee. :)

I am going…
We have a trip to western AR planned! We'll be staying at the KOA in Salisaw, Oklahoma, which is in the Fort Smith, AR metroplex. We wanted to stay up in Fayetteville/Bentonville/Rogers, but it turns out our 3 day weekend just happened to coincide with War Eagle Craft Fair, which is in Rogers. It draws a TON of people annually to that area. No wonder I wasn't finding any good RV spots! So instead we opted to stay in the Fort Smith area, which is only about 45 minutes to an hour from the museums in Bentonville that we'd planned to visit.

I am wondering…
How my patient from last night is doing. Oldest patient I ever sutured!

I am reading/listening…
Not currently reading anything, but this prompt made me realize I wasn't listening to anything either, which is unusual for me. It then got me started on a small music binge during which I listened to Elle King, then Dave Matthews Band, and now Deedee Magno Hall (Pearl) from the Steven Universe soundtrack. I love music. Sometimes I wonder if I could've sung professionally; I absolutely have the raw talent but no training. I never tried because I simply never had the ambition for it. I still don't. That takes a lot of commitment & there are no guarantees. But still, I do so love it.

Oooh now I'm listening to "Gun in my Hand" by Dorothy (a band, not a solo artist). It's gritty, jukebox sounding rock.

I am hoping…
This weekend goes well. I work Saturday & Sunday nights: 5pm to 3am! I've worked nights in my career, but never in the ER and never as a nurse practitioner. It's me & one of the very experienced APRNs with 2 of the most abrasive physicians the hospital has to offer. Pretty sure they picked the backbone-having nurse practitioners on purpose. Here we go!

I am looking forward to…
Our trip over to Fort Smith. We are planning to go to the Amazeum, maybe Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art, and to eat at places we don't have in northeast Arkansas.

Around the house…
I have quite a bit of laundry to do. Also, the people from the pest control company are coming to look at the outside of the house where we have some potential places for critters to get under the house, where they make noise and generally exist with their flea ridden selves. This may be a major contributor to our summertime flea problem, which persists even when the dogs are well-treated.

I am learning…
A little more about myself as an APRN each day! I was upset at a very very bad shift a couple of weeks ago, but I can look at it now and realize that I did manage all those patients decently; I simply couldn't do it fast enough. That won't come without more practice, so practice I will!

I am pondering…
How anyone ever gets up the nerve to use an 18 gauge needle to scrape metal off someone's eye for the first time. I won't, because I have nerve damage in my hands and therefore don't trust them to safely do that.

A favorite quote for today…
"What's that got to do with the price of tea in China?" --this is something my DNP classmate Hallie said a lot and it always made me giggle. It's said in the place of "What does that have to do with the topic at hand?" It's so quirky.

One of my favorite things…
Blankets! With the chilly evenings & mornings it's been actually worth getting the blankets out!

A few plans for the rest of the week…
Work the night shift, play Splatoon 2 on the Switch, and try to figure out some ARNA stuff in between times.

on card and board games

Oct. 12th, 2017 11:33 am
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Variations on a theme (the Great Board Games Desensitisation Process post), by [personal profile] kaberett. If you love card/board game socials, or if you are reluctant to play card/board games with others, this is worth reading.

Music meme: day 24 of 30

Oct. 12th, 2017 02:40 pm
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[personal profile] liv
Another song category I disagree with: A song by a band you wish were still together. A band breaking up is like any relationship coming to an end: if the people involved don't want to be together any more, who am I to wish they stayed in a situation no longer good for them?

It's also partly another example where I don't have the relationship with music that the meme seems to assume. I don't really have any bands that I follow in the manner of eagerly anticipating a new release, therefore none that make me sad if they split up and there won't be any new material coming. The existing songs that I like are still there for me to listen to. I do occasionally go to live gigs performed by ageing rockers, and that's cool, but it's not something I wish for more of in my life.

So I'm going to pick Joy Division. I wish at least that Curtis had lived for the band to split up due to creative differences, rather than coming to an end with his death. He'd be 60 now, and it's hard to imagine what Joy Division might have done if he'd had even one more decade with them let alone four. A lot of other bands from that sort of era, if they have carried on, have tended to get more bleepy and less raw noise, and New Order certainly went in that direction, but Joy Division were something else, and I imagine that they might have continued to innovate musically, maybe not all the way through to the 2010s but through the 80s and 90s at least.

Here's something a bit more gentle and thinky than their big hits like Love will tear us apart: Passover, by Joy Division.

video embed (audio only) )

Music meme: day 23 of 30

Oct. 11th, 2017 05:15 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
Things that are not helpful to a [personal profile] liv recovering from an asthma attack: Cab drivers who smoke in their cars. I took a taxi to work yesterday because I wasn't sure I was up to cycling, and the cab smelled of smoke and air freshener, which maybe makes the smell less bad but also makes my breathing even worse than just stale smoke.

Things that are even further unhelpful: colleagues who observe that I am coughing a little bit (due to the smoke exposure), and passive-aggressively tell me that I ought not to be at work while I'm sick. I mean, I agree with the general principle that people shouldn't come into work with colds and infect and annoy everybody else. But nobody realistically expects anyone to actually stay off work for the several weeks it can take for a cold to completely clear from one's chest, once past the stage of being actively infectious and unable to think clearly. And I'm annoyed at not being believed when I said that my asthma was making me sound sicker than I really am.

To be fair, I'm annoyed at busybody colleagues due to factors which are not entirely their fault. Not their fault that I'm sensitive about being told off (even gently) for having asthma, due to a miserable year when I was 9 and my class teacher was convinced I was faking not being able to breathe for attention. (I certainly didn't want the kind of attention that involved an adult in a position of authority standing over me and yelling my face and never letting me be absolutely certain she wouldn't hit me, though she never quite got to the point of physical violence.) Not their fault that work has an annoying policy where being allowed to work from home is reserved for people more senior than me. But the upshot is that I've been given special permission to work from home today, and I resent being made to look like a slacker, but there you go.

So I have a moment to catch up with the meme that I've entirely abandoned for a month and a half while in the middle of moving jobs. And I find that I'd stopped just before the section where I have philosophical objections to the questions. A song you think everybody should listen to: there's no such song, because everybody has different tastes in music! And I don't believe in a moral obligation to listen to music, because it might be very good, but people get to decide what to do with their own listening time.

But let me try and post something anyway, cos I am completionist even when I'm very slow. I have sometimes wanted to sit people down and make them listen to The house of Orange by Stan Rogers. It's a very good song, with a message I think is important. But by no means everybody should listen to it, only people who have managed to pick up the foolish notion that sectarian violence is romantic. And, well, people who appreciate well-written but hard hitting songs might get something positive out of it, but I wouldn't go as far as to say should.

I think if I have to pick one song that if not everybody, then at least lots of people who are generally in political and musical sympathy with me might appreciate, I'm going to go for Tam Lyn retold by The Imagined Village and Benjamin Zephaniah. Because Zephaniah is an amazing poet, and The Imagined Village is an exceptionally interesting and innovative folk project. And because it's a really brilliant reworking and interpretation of the Tam Lin story, which itself one of those core folk pieces. I recommend it even if you don't generally like folk music; it's not in the musical style associated with folk at all. And because it's musically great, it's nearly ten minutes long and I usually have to repeat it several times every time it comes up on my playlist. And finally because I agree with its pro-refugee and pro-migrant message, so if I'm going to impose one song on everybody, this is my pick.

video embed )
jo: (Default)
[personal profile] jo
Here is a really detailed piece about how Canadian Thanksgiving came to be. It also discusses US Thanksgiving a fair bit, so Americans might want to read it since it might not be the story they're typically familiar with.

This, of course, alludes to the thing that so many people seem willfully blind to in the debate about who had Thanksgiving-style gatherings first: that they were well-established long before Europeans ever got here. Specific rituals differ from region to region, of course, but festivals that saw people expressing thanks for the bounty of the land are a common feature of most pre-contact societies in Canada and the United States.

This may be starting to sound like an argument for the abolition of Thanksgiving, given that it is textbook cultural appropriation, one that’s been repeatedly used as a tool to promote political ideals, often tied to ideas of racial and cultural superiority. The flip side of Thanksgiving’s shaky foundation, though, is that, in its modern form, it’s an invented tradition—like all holidays, really—that’s been tied to all manner of mythical stories to promote whatever vision of national or cultural identity needed at the time. That means it can be re-invented again to mean what we need it to mean now.


Not the weekend I hoped for

Oct. 9th, 2017 02:32 pm
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
TL;DR: I had a medical problem, I got appropriate treatment, and I'm now safe and recovering.

includes breathing difficulties, but not gory )

At this point, comments I would find helpful are: expressions of sympathy; discussions of healthcare policy. I would prefer if you could skip telling me your own stories about asthma and breathing troubles, and I don't really want to hear any experiences with prednisolone right now. I know that's not very socially appropriate of me when I've just told you a long story about my asthma experience, but I find other people's descriptions of asthma triggering and my breathing still isn't quite right. And prednisolone has an effing scary side effect profile, so I'm trying not to scare myself into believing I have any symptoms, so I would rather wait until after I've finished the course to compare experiences.

3 Good Things

Oct. 8th, 2017 10:50 pm
hillarygayle: (Default)
[personal profile] hillarygayle
1) Today I set up my Instant Pot. It claims it can make rice in 12 minutes, where my rice cooker takes 40!
2) Aired out Beatrice & hung out in there, getting ready for an upcoming trip to northwest AR to see the foliage & the museums!
3) Set up a reasonable, logical consequence for Ganon since he didn't meet his Accelerated Reader goal for the first 9 weeks. He agreed that it was reasonable & logical, too!

2017 - #93, "Provenance", Ann Leckie

Oct. 8th, 2017 04:43 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Leckie is back! We're in the same fictional universe, but we're not in Raadch space (I think?) and we're pretty much not seeing anyone we've seen before.

Anyway, our primary viewpoint character (and, thinking about it, I think only viewpoint chaarcetr) is Ingray, the foster daughter of a Hwae politician, second in line (as it were) to be named heir, after her brother Danach. And she has an audacious scheme to further her prospects of becoming the named heir.

Then, things outside INgray's control start interfering with her best-laid plans.

Eminently readable. I can't say if I like this better than the original trilogy, or not. They're all good, so it's hard to do internal ranking here.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

What happens if you let the US Military-Industrial Complex play with biocomputers implanted in people's brains? Maybe you get cyborgs with... interesting complications. That's certainly the tack that Spangler has taken in this book (as well as in the A Girl and Her Fed web comic). And I just realised I'd left this in "compose" mode for several days.

No matter, eminently readable book. Based on this, I bought the following three volumes the other day, going "you know, it's time I read the sequels".
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is a book that takes place in (presumably) the same world as the Mistborn books. There's still allomancy and feruchemy, although it seems (FSVO of "seems") that the rules of allomancy have either changed or expanded. Or we simply had an incomplete picture in the first books.

All in all, eminently readable .All things considered, I would not mind more books tightly coupled to this one, sinc e it felt as if there were many more stories to tell, but I have not (yet) checked up on what the status there is.
stresskitten: (Default)
[personal profile] stresskitten
I'm beginning to worry that I'm a bit of a pessimist.

Or, possibly, I saw too much of myself in the article I just read, but at the same time am having trouble releasing the power involved in wanting to fix situations.

Or maybe I'm just a little disillusioned with the idea of finding people willing to volunteer their time in any organized way.

Except, I know people do. But I also know how often it is a struggle to get people to step up, and how people end up burned out because they end up taking on so much to compensate, because of how much they believe in what they do.

Block's certainly correct on that part... engagement in real change is a self-inflicted wound. You have to buy in, and you have to commit, and there's a cost. There's always a cost.

Block's book was talking about how, to foster real change, building a sense of community is important, and that in order to do so, we need to stop looking for solutions. That we need to worry more about the questions being asked, and not on answers. That we need to build community, because from that community comes those committed to change.

And through the chapters I read, I found myself wondering how it applies to me. How that affects my classroom community and my ability to accomplish the very precise task appointed to me (and also in my role as president of myPITA, with the requirements that myPITA complete certain complex tasks within a finite timeframe, how this viewpoint works in my current world.)

Because it comes down to time. I understand why people don't volunteer to step up and take things on. Hell, I have stepped back from volunteer opportunities, as I just didn't have the time to accomplish them and still maintain anything remotely resembling a work-life balance. I get teachers who are feeling too frazzled to do more than collapse when they get home in the evening. As Block says, we have to trust that there are good reasons why people aren't stepping forward to accept invitations to volunteer.

It still leaves too few people doing too much in the volunteer field.

One thing that I did like about the article was the commentary on how to frame questions. Say "what do you plan to get from this session" rather than "what do you hope you will get" and "what do you think you will get". The first requires active engagement from the participant; they are required to acknowledge that they have a part to play in what is to come. The other two questions are regarding wanting or predicting, both of which allow for the participant to sit back and see what happens.

I like that; I'll probably end up trying to use it in my classroom.

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