Life Updates

Sep. 23rd, 2017 02:15 am
ideallyqualia: (Default)
[personal profile] ideallyqualia
Because of my hand, like last time, warning for gore/blood under the health cut.

Health )

Animanga )

Fandom )

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:38 pm
pipibluestockin: (Default)
[personal profile] pipibluestockin
First stinking hot day of— Spring?

32 degree C day here and I’m sure it has been far worse inland. 

Unusually hot for this time of year.  What will happen when we reach summer proper?

(So I’m reduced to talking about the weather.)

I’ve been keeping up with my friends list, but I’m falling behind on other things. 
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
[personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
Usually, when I do ritual, creating sacred space is easy. I hold my intent softly and gently in my mind, and I am there. Day or night, private or public space, the presence of candles, incense, or other sacred tools--it doesn't matter.

Except when it does.

Being able to do it so casually most of the time can make it harder to notice when it isn't just happening, much less to figure out why. Especially since life is usually unusually hard at that point--and isn't that when we need our sacred spaces the most?.

This is complicated by the fact that I find that living my life with the awareness and intent that each moment is sacred to be more important than formal ritual, which so often can be empty, or filled with a sense of bored obligation rather than an awareness and celebration of the divine within and without. Yeah, there's boredom and drudgery in any path--it's impossible to convince myself that washing dishes is sacred on an experiential level, no matter how much I agree it's sacred on a logical level, for instance--so it's a challenge to try to stay in that mental space, even when evil is not on the rise, even when there's no clear and present danger that in the near future I won't have the money and healthcare I need, and even when there's no urgent worries about the health or well-being of people I care about.

Add those things in, and that sense of wonder, of the sacred, can slip away like a well drying up in a drought. It's there, and it's there, and it's there (though you have to work harder and be more patient to drink your fill), until, one day, it's not there, or at least is not enough.

And for all my belief that we can defeat this evil and all my determination that we will (because we must), it's taking its toll. I don't want to have to spend time on politics, not day in and day out. I don't want to be looking at my dwindling income and the threats to Obamacare and the threats of violence to queer people and worrying about the future. My health issues affect my sleep on my best nights. Worries don't help at all, and exhaustion mimics depression remarkably well. It's no wonder I've been feeling worn, overwhelmed, uninspired, and distracted.

But my good friend Susan Urban and her husband were playing at Pagan Pride (as a group, they call themselves February Sky), and though I overslept and we got there late, I was determined to get there. And we did get there, and I was walking around listening to the music, looking at things and talking quietly to the vendors, and the sweet old lady doing readings talked me into a discounted reading. She assured me her cards could give me insight into what I most need to know, and that's why I was at her table. Then she asked about my question. Half of my focus was on the music and the other half, the part thinking about my life, was just kind of overwhelmed. I stuck with that question: "What do I most need to know?".

She does readings using three decks. She had me shuffle the first deck, fan them out, and draw cards one at a time, three from the first deck and one each from the other two. First, I drew Armadillo, which she said was all about setting boundaries appropriately, but also a warning to face my troubles and not try to hide in my shell. Armadillo was flanked by cards for the mental and practical, lizard, for dreams, and snake, for rebirth. A lot of reptiles--maybe signifying that I'm naturally more affected by the metaphysical weather than I thought? I don't know. But the boundaries thing, that rang true in lots of ways, from keeping the boundaries on my food intake I need to stay healthy to limiting my exposure to all the upsetting news happening today. I've also had a task to organize my writing and arting better that I set into my Google calendar. It's been recurring as instructed for a few weeks now, whether or not I had the time and energy to do it, and that is also essentially an issue of boundaries, of carving out time and focus so I get more done. Not that I saw all that in the moment, but I felt at least some of it, on a deep, wordless level.

And then she had me draw a card from the second deck, the deck she said was Spirit Guides. I've never felt a particular affinity to Panda, but the advice that I need to create a sacred space in my home and place of work, that certainly rang true, and continues to ring true. There are plenty of things that have been making me crazy about my work and living spaces. There's reasons for all of that, of course; I've been focused on accomplishing urgent things. But that doesn't leave much space or time for thinking about making sacred space and sacred time where and when I most need it. That dovetails right into the need to tend boundaries, really, in my mind. I've started to act on that part. Since the reading, I've prioritized putting at least a little time every day into finishing the plaster work on our currently deconstructed dry goods closet (I pulled it apart when I didn't have time because the detritus made it clear it had become a mouse haven, and wouldn't be a safe haven for our food and oven parchment and so forth until the holes were fixed), and cleaning my office (I'd kept enough space for writing, barely, but had started sorting old papers and cluttered things up quite a bit. Mind you sorting those papers is a legitimate business activity, but having them clutter up my creative space was far from inspirational. I will just have to refuse to pull more stuff out to sort than I can finish in one sitting, not to have my office look like it belongs in some yuppy magazine, but because I need the space to feel inspired.) There's work yet to do on both of those things, and other stuff to do after, but at least I have started. Some of this was clear to me when she turned Panda over for me to see, but it reflects into other things too, into my goal of giving away or throwing away stuff I don't need and even into remembering to go out and pick up the trash that blows into (and gets stuck in) my rose bushes.

Finally, from a deck that's all wolves, I received the advice that I'm at a crossroads, with an emphasis that I am not at a dead end, I am free to choose my new direction. Additionally, the card advised me to plan and to keep focused on what's practical. I'm not sure what to make of that yet, but I'm still working on the boundaries and the sacred space. I expect that once I get those things in order, I'll start to see what paths are available and what choices I have to choose between. And certainly, with the danger of having less resources in the future, keeping practicality in mind matters.

I suppose that now I should go check on that drying plaster. It would be nice to paint the closet tomorrow, or at least very soon. Once it's dry, I can put stuff away that's currently hard to find and underfoot in the library.

And then I'll remember a lesson learned in my divorce, and do some formal ritual to help things along. Candles, incense, statues and so on are only symbols to help me focus (I learned, long ago, that if I tried to rely on an object for my magic, it would break or disappear all too soon)--but when I'm having trouble focusing, they are powerful symbols. And the tools I use are all, in and of themselves, beautiful and in alignment with my higher self, or I wouldn't use them in the first place.

They'll still be in a space that's imperfectly cleaned and sorted, but I can celebrate the progress I've made and plan for what I need to do to move forward, in whatever directions I will choose along the way.

Blessed Be to all of you, my friends. May you have the sacred space you need, and may your boundaries be wisely set and wholesome. May your dreams be strong, and if you need to shed a skin or two, I hope it won't itch too much as you shed the old and grow into the new. And when you face a crossroads, may you be aware that very few choices are between a good path and a bad one. May you see clearly the risks and benefits of your choices, and may you find inspiring and practical ways to work to achieve your dreams, and kindness along the way.

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:07 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open with a theme of "black swans."


What I Have Written


From My Prompts

Colorado Energy Freedom Tour

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:32 pm
flwyd: (1895 Colorado map)
[personal profile] flwyd
Last November I was really disappointed with the election. Not so much the results, but the way the whole year and a half had gone. People weren't listening to each other. They were shouting to their friends and painting folks they didn't know as terrible people. I managed to mostly avoid the commercial media, but the ads I did see were almost universally against an opponent rather than in support of a good idea.

So I decided that after I got healthy, I was going to be the change in political discourse I wanted to see in the world. As a left-leaning Boulderite who rides in technolibertarian cirlces, I wanted to come to a better understanding of conservative points of view and then find some conservatives to have some non-confrontational conversations with.

Since I was still moving slow from my year of illness, I realized that I shouldn't put the bulk of my energy in an imminent fight like health care or immigration. So I turned my attention to climate change, a systemic problem that doesn't require action tomorrow, but definitely requires action soon. It's also a problem that's not rooted in liberal or conservative values: every human has a stake in the outcome.

I connected with Citizens' Climate Lobby a non-partisan group focused on both national climate change legislation and cooperation across party lines. I realized that waiting for Democrats to take all three houses of power wasn't an effective strategy for addressing climate change. Not only would it delay action until the 2020s, it would be an easy target for repeal when the winds of change shift in Washington. CCL's carbon fee and dividend proposal is structured to be attractive to members of both major parties and therefore stands a chance of remaining on the books as people come and go from Capitol Hill. Plus, with the revenue generated from pricing carbon going to households, it could become a widely popular program, meaning constituents will speak up to keep it in place.

For the last few months I've been working with several other CCL volunteers to organize the Colorado Energy Freedom Tour. Following an outreach model that CCL has used from the Gulf Coast to Kentucky to Alaska, we're visiting a handful of towns in eastern Colorado. We'll be giving presentations in Erie, Fort Morgan, Greeley, Parker, and Sterling (and hopefully more to come). But more important than the information we're sharing, we'll be having conversations with folks about climate change, energy policy, and engaging with our elected representatives to ensure that Coloradans voices, whether urban or rural, are heard.

If you know anyone who lives near these towns and is interested in energy, climate, or market solutions, we'd love to see them at one of the presentations. We're also hoping to meet with organizations like city councils, newspaper editorial boards, chambers of commerce, and growers associations. Tell folks to check out Colorado Energy Freedom Tour on Facebook or on our website.

Crush

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:36 am
zhelana: (Original - Gatlinburg)
[personal profile] zhelana
Write about your first crush. Who was it?

I don't recall ever having a crush on anyone I knew in person, because I seem to have always recognized that that way lay sex, and I wasn't interested. I did have a celebrity crush on Jonathan Brandis, and his character Lucas Wolenczak from seaQuest DSV, which was probably my first and only crush in a way that you'd actually think of as a crush.

the rest )

90F - 66F : Sunny

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:07 am
zhelana: (original - handbasket)
[personal profile] zhelana
I woke up at 2 this afternoon because Kevin woke me up taking a shower. He was working from home and apparently decided the way to deal with this was to wake up at the moment he had to be at work and then take a shower on his lunch break. We got subs from Jimmy John's which I was able to shove in my mouth just in time to walk out the door.

Stop one was my therapist's office. Traffic made me a little late, but since it was apparently a 60 minute appointment instead of my usual 30 minutes, that was fine. We talked about goals, and talked about writer's block. She basically wanted me to look at what I have accomplished instead of what I haven't accomplished.

I came home and talked to Kevin for half an hour before heading out to my father's house. I got to my father's house a little early and he was in the shower, so I entertained myself with his dog until he was ready to go. Tonight's adventure was the Temptations and 4 Tops concert. Of course it's more like Temptation and 4 Top because only one man survives from each group, and they've filled their ranks with younger men. I thought the concert was alright, but the 4 Tops for some reason were singing everyone else's songs. I mean, I know you could fill an hour with 4 Tops hits, but for some reason they played Mack the Knife, and My Way and several other songs that I didn't even know that weren't their songs. My dad was pretty disappointed, and he wasn't alone - people were leaving the concert in droves. Our entire aisle emptied out before the end of the concert.

I got home at midnight, and talked to Kevin for an hour since the dogs woke him up barking when I walked in the door. I immediately took my meds, as I had forgotten both at lunch and dinner (since I never ate dinner), and I was starting to go into withdrawals. I'm still clenching my jaw and pretty uncomfortable, though it's starting to get better.

[personal profile] archangelbeth on cats

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:19 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Cats can reproduce by budding. Make sure to dispose of all brushed fur properly.

Context needs to comb her cat more often.
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
1. Hillary Clinton is coming here to speak, as part of her book tour. I have a ticket, which also apparently means a copy of her book, *and* since my dad is a Very Big Donor, I get to meet her. Pay, I'm not as excited about this as I was about George Takei, but still. (N.B. I am also feeling ridiculously defensive about this, so please no HRC-bashing in comments. I probably don't need to say that but I'd rather preempt any drama)

2. Getting close to done with the bunny I'm making for the now-12-year-old kid with fop who's still in the hospital. I have an ear I'm satisfied with, so just have to make a second ear and then attach them. And then do the trach, if I can figure that out. "

3. Getting my first delta. Er, okay, that requires explanation. There's a subreddit called cmv -- change my view -- where people post their opinion on something to get other people to chsnge their mind. (Basically, "I believe X, and it's an unpopular opinion and I'd like to believe something else, so persuade me otherwise".) If you feel a comment has changed your view, whether or not you're the op in the thread, you can award a delta, kind of like a kudos; this is separate from the upvoting/downvoting that all Reddit uses. I've posted a few things ere or there as responses, but mostly they've been un-responded to, much less in-delayed, until tonight. Which is trivial and yet super exciting.

4. The realization that I can order another tube hydration system thing (like what I use at night) for choir rehearsals. Hydrating during choir is awkward because I need both hands for the iPad, which means my drink has to go in my hip pack drink holder thingie, but the ridiculously straws I have aren't long enough to reach without me holding the bottom of the cup; and it's really hard for me to get the cup out when there's an iPad in the way. But this tubing system is stiff enough that I can get it to my mouth -- I'd gotten it for bed because the water bottle hangs above me and the tubing hangs down from it and I just need to move it laterally to get it to my mouth, but this particular system is nicely sturdy enough that I can hold it pointing up without it immediately flipping -- and then I wouldn't have to get the *bottle* out, just wave the tubing in my face, and otherwise have it in my lap within easy reach.

5. The fact that Phantom Tollbooth is available in kindle format. 😍 It's been ages since I read it and it's just as charming and wacky as I remember. (And it has a great first sentence: "There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always.")
umadoshi: (Tohru & the pretty boys (flamika))
[personal profile] umadoshi
We have a window in our bathroom! (A skylight, technically, since the exterior bathroom wall slopes outward and is shingled.) Except I have yet to see the window, because it's on the front of the house and I came in through the back door when coming home tonight, and there's still a bathroom wall between the room and the window/exterior wall. Getting the actual window in was the only time-/weather-sensitive part, and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and the contractor agreed that the drywall would stay intact for now. (I wasn't here for the discussion, so I don't actually know if that's because [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I haven't finalized what we're doing with that part of the room (the extra floor space we could gain by removing the existing interior wall and just having the sloped wall), or because of time constraints, or because that's just not being part of what that contracting company does...? *shrugs* But we have a window.

K.B. Spangler has a new book out this week--one that's not connected to A Girl and Her Fed. (Digital only right now, but a print version is coming.) [twitter.com profile] seananmcguire wrote a short Twitter thread in response when Spangler announced the new book's availability; the key takeaway about the actual writing is "If you want some of the most elegantly written, internally consistent, funny, touching, TRUE science fiction coming out today, you should take a look at @KBSpangler. She's the real deal, y'all. She's writing shit that breaks every rule, and still works."

In related news, I just spent a vile amount on US-to-Canada shipping* to get a print copy of Rise Up Swearing (so far the only compiled volume of AGAHF) and a little pin of Bubbles, the Fed's digital clownfish...avatar? (I'm blanking on the correct word. "Avatar" is applied to something else in that 'verse, though, IIRC. Hmm.)

I was spared having to decide, in this time of "yes, I swear, I'm trying to cut back on spending", whether I was going to get a "Literalists do it with their genitals!" shirt; the shirt is currently unavailable (as in, no longer showing up on the site at all, not just out of stock). My wallet is grateful.

*Ordered directly from the AGAHF store, and she was as appalled as I was at the shipping cost. It wasn't surprising, though.

The first week at Casual Job is over--all two days of it! (Four hours yesterday and eight today.) I'm having some tech frustration at the office that would take ages to type up and is not terribly interesting, but I'll say that I really, really hope the person who sometimes does on-site IT support for us is around on Monday, because WOW, calling the help desk was useless. -_-

So far at Hal-Con I've seen several people wearing geeky shirts from stories I know, and things like a Sailor Saturn costume down in the mall food court. (A moment of respectful silence for the food court workers this weekend, who'll be slammed.) But the best was when Ginny and I were running down from work to get lunch and ran into someone in Tohru cosplay! The cosplayer mentioned that she was off to get her Yuki and Kyo, but Ginny and I were then unsure if she'd meant plushies of the boys in their cursed forms or fellow cosplayers.
amyvanhym: Matt Taylor is life (rockabillyscifi)
[personal profile] amyvanhym
"Pickle Rick" was a groundbreaker: it was the first episode of Rick and Morty written for fans of Rick and Morty who hate Rick and Morty. Or at least, it was the first episode written for fans who hate Rick and aren't interested in anyone else. Beth flipped wildly back and forth between being a deranged jerk and being absolutely right, the kids were mentally retarded, Rick was plain, and Jerry was absent. All to make way for...

the therapist

Behold this enormous sack of cringe and nope they've tried to pass off as a rhetorical crescendo:



Or read the transcript:

"Rick, the only connection between your unquestionable intelligence and the sickness destroying your family is that everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness. You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force and as an inescapable curse, and I think it’s because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it’s your mind within your control. You chose to come here, you chose to talk, to belittle my vocation, just as you chose to become a pickle. You are the master of your universe, and yet you are dripping with rat blood and feces, your enormous mind literally vegetating by your own hand. I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way I am bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass, because the thing about repairing, maintaining and cleaning is: it’s not an adventure. There’s no way to do it so wrong you might die. It’s just work. And the bottom line is: some people are ok going to work and some people, well... some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose."


Here's what the diatribe's writer, Jessica Gao, said about it in an interview:

Gao: I wanted the therapist to have the last word over Rick because Rick always dominates every single person [No he doesn't. -AVH], and so I really really wanted some person in the world --

Host: She trumped him!

Gao: Yeah, totally!

Host: An' it was dope as fuhhk.

Gao: I love that moment--

Host: No it was, cuz it was such a dope little turn, cuz she trumped him.

Gao: I love the moment when Rick says his shit, and then he sits back, like so pleased...

Host: Yeah, he had to eat what she said.

This writer openly admits that she fails to distinguish between fiction and reality. Rather than use these fictional characters as the relatable lifelike tools for cracking jokes and addressing the human condition that they are, she felt a need to vindictively single one out and give him what-for, as if he was a real person. And then, because he's not a real person, writing the episode allowed her to effortlessly strongarm her way to the last word by just... not writing Rick any more dialogue in the scene. Voila: victory. Against a cartoon character. You go, girl!

She also confessed in the interview that her artistic choices are driven by racist and sexist nepotism: "So when I wrote it, I specifically named her Doctor Wong because there haven't been any Asian characters, and any time I can, I want to give an Asian actor (who isn't a male) a job." Integrity's for white men, amirite? One can't help suspecting that this same sort of cancerous nepotism is what elevated her to her esteemed position. But that's beside the point of this writeup, which is to discuss artistic merit.

I'll address Gao's utter disaster in segments.

"Rick, the only connection between your unquestionable intelligence and the sickness destroying your family is that everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness."

No, they don't. This is a lie. Think about it for three seconds. They all, including the conveniently absent Jerry, regularly attack the notion that Rick's intelligence is an excuse for bad behaviour. "It's not right for Rick to do _____ just because he's smarter than me," is practically a mantra for Morty (who can argue the point well), and also for Jerry (who can't so much). Jerry would have loved this massive non-sequitur of a monologue, because just like the woman who wrote it, he resents Rick for his intelligence. It's easy to imagine him sitting on the sidelines munching popcorn and giggling to himself, steeped in a schadenfreude inspired solely by tone of the therapist's endless droning. But oh wait -- Jerry's the only family member who wasn't there. Why might that be? I know why: there was no way to keep Jerry recognizably in character while simultaneously making the therapist look smart. And still Jerry would have come off as a better person than she, because even Jerry is sometimes right, and when he isn't he at least remains lovable and forgivable.

At best, Rick's intelligence explains his alleged 'sickness.' Explanation is not justification, but this writer (and thus her petty Mary Sue) suffers from the borderline thinking styles produced by popular authoritarian philosophies. She is either not intelligent enough or not sane enough to appreciate the value of understanding in itself. People like this mistake mere explanations for justifications because they practice deconstruction, which means they explain things not with the purpose of understanding them, but with the purpose of destroying them. The Smith family doesn't understand Rick's character with the purpose of destroying it, they understand it for what it is as best they can, and are thus both frustrated and fascinated by him. That's not good enough for this judgmental stranger -- in her view, if you're not destroying, you must be justifying. There is no room for objective understanding, and certainly none for intellectual humility. There is no middle ground. If you're not with the deconstructors, you're against them. Black and white. Judge first, ask loaded questions later. Zero tolerance for mystery.

The phrase "justify sickness" is also nonsensical. Sickness is not a matter for moral justification. It's just sickness. Maybe the word Gao was looking for when she wrote "justify" was "rationalize," or maybe she just enjoys vilifying people for not knowing how to be happy. But it's probably both. Stupidity and cruelty are the two halves of the Cunt Yin Yang.

The word "sickness" most likely shouldn't have been used either. It degrades humankind to treat Rick as sick in any conventional sense of the term (aside from the alcoholic puke burps), as his superhuman intelligence causes him to suffer a condensed and magnified caricature of an inescapable element of the human condition. The fact that great intelligence produces nihilistic existential crises is a thematic cornerstone of the show. Doctor Wong didn't even bother telling anyone what the "sickness destroying the family" is, but I will. The "sickness destroying the family" is the nihilism that is a byproduct of so thoroughly understanding the universe that one gains the powers of a god while simultaneously operating within that same universe as an intentional agent trapped inside a frail mammalian body while helplessly loving the agents inside other frail mammalian bodies. The "sickness destroying the family" is the existential threat posed by curiosity and power (via science and technology) to the human sense of selfhood and meaning.

And on top of all that, it's not fair to say that the family is being destroyed. They're taking care of themselves pretty well considering their circumstances -- that is, when they're not being written as pants-pissing, glue-sniffing retards, as they were in this episode and this episode only. The wonderful thing about Rick and Morty is that it so consistently uses its strong and complex characters to make some of the most terrifyingly poignant concepts in science and philosophy hilarious. And of course there's a bunch of other stuff too, and then the occasional lowbrow fart joke appears as blowback to prevent the show shoving its head up its own ass.

The writer of that abhorrent lecture, on the other hand, stores her head up her own ass. She is too dense and self-important to relate to any of this. She should not be a part of the writing team. She does not understand the show. In this race, she has been lapped. She is so far behind that she thinks she's in first place. She even tripped up her grammar right out of the gate: because the "you included" was an aside, "use" should instead have been "uses." Her style is graceless and her content is simultaneously confused and boastful. This writing is worse than bad: it is deliberately destructive. It is metastasizing and its source must be cut out before it kills everyone we love. Onward!

"You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force and as an inescapable curse,"

Rick's mind is both of those things simultaneously. People can not naturally control how intelligent they are. This "therapist" Mary Sue (and implicitly Gao herself) mistakenly assumes that they can because she has artificially constructed her own 'intelligent' persona. She has not felt the paradoxical pressure to make herself stupid to maintain her sanity, because she is naturally stupid. The pressure she feels is not to be stupid, but to appear smart. She is an impostor among intelligentsia. Conversely I, though not as desperately as Rick, need to drink. I'm not exaggerating much: after enduring the Pickle Rick episode, my fiancee and I dragged ourselves down the street to the bar and ranted exclusively about this speech over a few pitchers of beer. That was how distressing it was to watch Rick and Morty develop potentially terminal cancer in real time. The way to endure people like this shallow, stupid, boring, "non-judgemental" hypocrite is by drinking -- or by writing about them, but the rage needs some time to distill first, hence I'm writing this at least a month after the episode aired.

"...and I think it’s because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it’s your mind within your control."

This woman knows nothing about the nature of the mind. No, a person's mind is not under his own control. That's the very first step. That's the preschool of psychology. That's the potty-training of psychology. No, that's the fucking opening your eyes and screaming at the first touch of the cold world outside mommy's womb of psychology. Are you the Buddha? Are you God? No? Then your mind is not under your control. She doesn't have a clue what a contentious rabbit hole the very concept of controlling one's own mind becomes when it is subjected to even a faint sliver of skeptical inquiry.

"You chose to come here, you chose to talk,"

You chose to write for a show you didn't create, disparaging a main character you don't understand, in a genre where you don't belong, and you chose to expel meconium all over it. Rick, conversely, did not choose to go to therapy. He went into the room to get his depickling serum back because his daughter stole it. He did not "choose to talk" in the therapeutic sense that is implied by the phrasing.

"to belittle my vocation,"

That's right, you brain-eating parasite.

"Just as you chose to become a pickle."

While smart people can choose which challenges to seek out, and while some choices are better than others, smart people must choose to seek out challenges because they psychologically need challenges. The need for a challenge is not a choice.

"You are the master of your universe..."

"Your universe" is a solipsistic concept for the same solipsistic morons who say shit like "I respect your truth," and "Let's agree to disagree." Rick is a master in one sense and a slave in another sense, just like all conscious mortals in this universe (or transfinite-curve multiverse), only the dichotomy is made more extreme in Rick's case by his intelligence and his old age, which is what makes him such a chaotic yet sympathetic character.

"...and yet you are dripping with rat blood and feces..."

No woman who conflates getting your hands dirty with wallowing in filth has any business writing in the field of science fiction.

"...your enormous mind literally vegetating by your own hand."

No woman who participates in the zombie horde that is reducing the word 'literally' to yet another solipsistic emotive cliche has any business writing at all. No, I don't give a fuck that the dictionary now acknowledges the popular backwards misuse of 'literally.' Explanation is not justification. It remains misuse. Tear that weed out by the root, writers. File it away next to your historical misuses of 'ignorant' in place of 'rude' and never touch it again.

"Your mind literally vegetating" is a humorless attempt to riff off Rick's body having been transformed into a physical vegetable despite the fact that this is not what "vegetating" means. Nothing about Rick's pickle-Rick circumstance caused senility, dementia, or any other mental laziness or degeneration. Rick's mind was not "literally vegetating" in any way. In fact he was doing the opposite: feeding his intelligence by presenting it with the challenges it needs. The only evidence that he was getting dumber in any way by his circumstances was that he sat there and silently tolerated this cheap and condescending tirade.

"I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way I am bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass, because the thing about repairing, maintaining and cleaning is: it’s not an adventure."

Reducing the mind to an inconvenient object that must be maintained by scrubbing it is the epitome of misanthropic anti-intellectualism. This "therapist" is a monster. And yes, I mean that. People who think in this dehumanizing way, who reduce human beings to objects, who conflate mental health with brainwashing, become just as monstrous -- and contagious -- as the power they are given will allow.

"There’s no way to do it so wrong you might die."

There's no way to do it so right you might live.

"Risking death" is not what the word "adventure" means. That Rick's adventures are extreme does not change the meaning of adventure itself. Adventure is play. Self-directed, creative pay, both solitary and cooperative, is how people freely and constructively go on adventures to develop themselves. The source of humor here is that Rick is paradoxically so insanely intelligent that he must risk death in order to play. And he must play, because play -- from dollies and dumptrucks, to games and sports, to sexuality and ritual, not to mention the arts -- is how people take care of themselves psychologically, a truth which renders the world's unimaginative, unqualified, self-aggrandizing "therapists" absolutely useless.

Hey Gao -- want to know how real human beings play, in a safe and psychologically self-sufficient way, with ideas that involve risks as steep as life and death? They do it through adventure stories. Through make-believe. We need Rick and we need the Smith family. We need them to be exactly who they are, unmarred by the indignantly nihilistic vandals who seem to have invaded the Rick and Morty writer's room. Complicated, flawed, vulnerable characters make us better, and -- I know this will be hard for parasitic quacks to understand, but -- they do it by inviting us into their world by making it experimental, argumentational, funny, heartwarming and ultimately interesting. They don't need to lecture us, threaten us or demean us in order to convince us to grow. They just do it, by reflecting us in ways that help us understand ourselves by relating to them. And because they make it so much fun, we love them for it. And you hate them for it, because they are threat to your cynical ruse: that is, the facade of usefulness you authoritatively project to enable your social parasitism.

"It’s just work."

The scrubbings will continue until morale improves? I don't think so. The smart people don't work for you. They value their freedom, and they have playing to do.

"And the bottom line is: some people are OK going to work and some people, well... some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose."

Once upon a time, Doctor Wong -- throughout most of my youth, in fact -- I thought that becoming an adult necessarily meant turning into a droning, entitled, purposeless, parasitic authoritarian like you. It made me want to die. I was suicidal for quite a while. But I never took the addictive psychoactives that your zealous contemporaries prescribed. I did not accept these strangers' claims that my uncomfortable thoughts and feelings were diseased, nor that the physicality of my brain was the primary source of my unhappiness. I did not submit. I kept searching. And searching. And then finally, I grew up: I broke free.

"Don't make a distinction between work and play. Regard everything that you're doing as play, and don't imagine for one minute that you've got to be serious about it."
~ Alan Watts

sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
[personal profile] sovay
In about an hour, I am going to see Howard the Duck (1986) on 70 mm at the Somerville Theatre. It's part of their second annual 70 mm & Widescreen Festival, which started this Wednesday and runs through the rest of the month; last year it offered me such superlative viewing experiences as Lord Jim (1965), Spartacus (1960), Sleeping Beauty (1959) and Tron (1982), and this year I am starting with a duck from another planet. We're meeting my parents for it. My father unironically loves Howard the Duck. He ranks it with '80's cult classics like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) and has always felt it deserved a sequel. I have not seen it since high school at the latest and have peculiarly fragmentary memories of the plot. The opening sequence is picture-clear: Howard on his home planet greeting a Playduck centerfold with "My little airbrushed beauty!" before being sucked through space and time into Cleveland, Ohio where he rescues a new wave chick from some lowlifes with the ancient martial art of "Quack Fu." She has a band. I want to say he ends up managing it. After that things start to break up. I remember that an eldritch thing possesses Jeffrey Jones—and that it happens for the decently Lovecraftian reason that it is never a bright idea to open a door at random into the deep reaches of space when you don't know what might be on the other side—but I don't remember the mechanism or the immediate consequences, except that I have the vague sense of a road trip. I remember that Chip Zien voices Howard, when I know him much better for his work in musical theater. IMDb tells me that this movie was also the first place I saw Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins. I'm really looking forward. Other films I am planning to catch on 70 mm include Wonder Woman (2017) and Cleopatra (1963), which should really be something on a big screen, as should an IB Technicolor VistaVision print of North by Northwest (1959). I am a little sorry to have missed The Dark Crystal (1982) earlier this evening, but it has been a long and stressful day. There's always the matinée repeat on Sunday if I really feel like it. In the meantime, there's a space duck.

[edit] Yeah, sorry, haters. Howard the Duck remains a really delightful sci-fi comedy. Lea Thompson makes a surprisingly credible new wave/punk frontwoman. Tim Robbins is so young and so gangly. Jeffrey Jones is no Emilio Lizardo, but he chews good scenery as the possessed scientist. There are practical effects. There is stop-motion. (There are too many fight scenes and things blowing up, but I feel this way about most movies with any action quotient.) And there is a road trip, with a pit stop at a nuclear power plant. The script is sweet and full of consciously comic-book dialogue and it plays its interspecies romance straight; the only joke that really pulled me up short was a tossed-off sex-change line which mercifully goes by fast. I can't imagine swapping out any of the actors, especially Zien. I had completely forgotten about Richard Kiley as the introductory narrator, B-movie style. I don't even think it's an enjoyably bad movie: I just like it. And I have seen perhaps the last remaining 70 mm print in the world. No regrets.

this week. month. season.

Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:20 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
The weekend was alright-to-good. I'd moved my dentist appointment to Monday from the middle of next week, and that went fine except for some gumwork that I'll need to have done in a couple of weeks. Then come Tuesday night the stress stacked up again. Emily's successfully located a subleaser, at least for a couple of months: yay! I won't have to pay half the mortgage in addition to Vancouver rent, and I might even not be dipping into savings. At least for that couple of months.

Trouble was, the subleaser wanted in on 1 October, and I was scheduled to leave Thursday evening and not get back 'til next Sunday. The first. Panic ... did not exactly set in, though stress certainly did.

Over the course of Wednesday I:
  • Got a couple of friends to hang out with me Wednesday night and help finish packing, which otherwise would have been a) slow, b) frustrating, and c) generally sad-inducing.
  • Acquired a small storage unit on short notice.
  • Decided to just call in exhausted on Thursday due to not sleeping well (this is not a lie), and just go in for my early-morning meetings.
So that happened and the packing went fine, and the move itself went fine. I left the bookcases and coffee-table there for the subleaser's use; the bookcases might fit into the storage unit if necessary. I'd intended to find myself a new better bed and move the old one to the condo so the subleaser could use it but given my state the last week or so, finding a decent bed was Not Happening. I'll throw money at Emily to find a bed. And then I guess I'll have two low-end beds.



After all that I made it back to my basement apartment about an hour before I'd expected, with plenty of time to pack for ten days up north. Indeed, I managed to leave about an hour early to get to the airport, so I'd have plenty of time to grab a leisurely dinner before my flight.

Except that when I got to the airport I realised I'd forgotten my viola, which would make it difficult to a) practise and b) have a Skype lesson on Tuesday. So, half an hour transit back out to the apartment and half an hour back to the airport, and there went all the extra time I'd built in for dinner. I did manage to grab something to eat anyhow but it was a close thing.

I then discovered, once I got here, that I'd left my glasses at home as well. This is deeply frustrating, as it rather limits my late-evening options. It's also gonna make things interesting if my contacts self-destruct again.

(I briefly thought I had lost my Nexus card, but it turned up again. Still not sure what happened there. I'd blame my lack of glasses except that I generally find things by touch and not by sight, so.)



But the weekend was pretty good: reconnected with Erin, went out to a couple of events to start trying to make connections in the local kink community, generally got a little more sociable and a little less stuck in my own head.

And today's the equinox, so maybe the horrificness has just been the fault of summer and it'll start to settle out now. I can hope, anyway.
thanate: (bluehair)
[personal profile] thanate
The world is talking to me about petroglyphs (in that way where things line up a little and then you start noticing more of them.)

There was a glorious tunic dress I got at the thrift store with hand embroidered petroglyph-style fabric, which I passed on to my mother since it fits her without alterations. Pinterest and now the craft stores are full of ideas & paint markers for drawing on rocks. There was the paleoart take on what we can learn about the woolly rhinoceros from looking at art by its contemporaries. And then this glorious article came across twitter the other day: What the Caves are trying to tell us, and I don't remember hearing about the liner scratch marks before either, but they remind me of the reindeer birthing goddesses & the various stone-age petroglyphs that still carry the old gods through into modern central European cross stitch patterns.

Also, I want more fiction weird edge-of-the-imagination speculative stone age cultures and a world where every rock & maybe tree used to be covered with herds of ice age large mammals and the ones in the deep caves are just the only ones we have left.

I am restraining myself from finishing up getting rid of the wallpaper on the stairs (a noble goal, but not today's priority) so I can paint cave art all over those walls. I *might* have to use that as a theme for another pair of painted jeans, tho. Except that then I'd need to make a string skirt to wear with them... (We'll see how long this lasts; so far I'm just at the stage of google image searches & requesting library books.)
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Jane and I went up to Nethy Bridge, near Aviemore, and stayed at the Lazy Duck in one of their Eco-Lodges. Which is a cabin built for two, with electricity, gas cooking, and (distant, wobbly) wifi, right next to a large duck pond full of a variety of different species of ducks.
Loads of photos and four videos )

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