lonespark: (Default)
This is not a thing.

No one ever throws money at problems with no strings attached.

"We can't just throw money at (thing we have defined as) problem!" say people who will never, ever, ever, provide significant resources for actual problem to people actually involved who know a single mortalfucking thing about the situation.

"Social problems" are a result of 1. Violence and 2. Poverty, which is another word for economic violence.

So Rule 1 is "Don't be an asshole." Or, more realistically, "Take note of the ways in which you are being an asshole/supporting people and systems that are, then Make Sustained, Accountable Efforts To Be MUCH LESS OF AN ASSHOLE."

And Rule 2 is "Throw money at problems. Don't stop. If you run out of money, find more. If you stop, DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE BE SURPRISED THE PROBLEM DOESN'T STAY FIXED."
lonespark: Toph in Dai Li uniform (Toph)
Lady of the Golden Apples,
Lady of the Golden Grain
May you bless us with your bounty
May this harvest speak your fame

Lady of the Golden Apples,
Lady of the Golden Grain,
By your kindness do we prosper
May you smile upon this land

Lady of the Golden Apples,
Lady of the Golden Grain
May you guide us through the dark time
Til the Spring shall come again

Lady of the Golden Apples,
Lady of the Golden Grain,
May we earn your favor always
And ever gift for gift return

Hail Sif!
Hail Idunna!
lonespark: Suki in Kyoshi Warrior garb with two fans (Suki)
So, Tuesday = Tyrsday. But why Tyrsday for Justice?

It's a tradition I started before I moved here from Arizona. Then it was more like Tyrsday for Activism, which I guess it still is, but justice is the point of the activism stuff, plus sometimes I get caught up whether I'm actually DOING anything/enough. So I decided that doesn't matter.

Because one honors Tyr (and Zisa...who I will get to in a moment) through the whole range of ways of being in relation to justice... From contemplation to meditation to study to prayer to magic to song to speech to writing to donating to marching... to dusting the Black Lives Matter sign on the porch...to, as today, discussing with one's child that yes, Christopher Columbus sure did order people's hands cut off.

Originally Tuesday was Healthcare Activism Day, and I would light candles on the altar for Tyr and Eir and then make phonecalls (MOST DIFFICULT QUEST EVAR!!!) in support of what eventually because the Affordable Care Act and its dearly departed relation The Public Option/Medicare for All. (She will live again in the fullness of time...)
lonespark: Miko from Stargate:Atlantis (Miko)
There's this thing people do that's pretty awful.

I myself have done it lots (I hope not lately? Or at least less... Argh, of course I've done it on recent occasions, at least to my kids...)

Where you do something that someone asks or you offer, that's good for you and them and helpful to them in that instance.

And then you keep doing it, but the cost adds up, or you say yes when you don't want to, and each time it builds to be less "This is thing that's mutually good and we are friends or friendly acquaintances/neighbors/colleagues/etc," and more "I am SUFFERING to HELP YOU and YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL!!!"

And one day it's too much, and you have to stop or say no. But probably for whatever reason the other person doesn't understand that you were doing this to help them or it was hurting you. They think you're still in Mutual Benefit Land because they like you and don't want to hurt you or take advantage. And maybe it's not even particularly helpful at all or anymore? Certainly not to the extent you feel like it needs to be to justify your efforts...

And misunderstanding and hurt and ROCKS FALL EVERYTHING IS CRAP.

Please don't do this.


Fill your own cup first! Keep yourself happy first!
Very few people want your magnanimous pity dressed up as help or friendship.

And if you are doing this you are making any issues in their life about you. Whereas your life IS about you and you don't need to justify that!

In my experience, recent and lifelong, this is a huge thing with a certain variety of Nice Liberal White Lady. The ones I've known and been have been Protestant and New England-associated... (My mom is a champion of this, sometimes in a really passive-agressive conflict-averse communication style way, but more often just a... Selfishness is the worst! sin! ever! kind of way...)

And of course organizations and institutions do this, from churches to governments to extended families and political tit for tat. The actual politician version makes more sense to me because it's obvious and calculating and people aren't expecting the same degree of good faith.
lonespark: Reboot Uhura pwning the world (Uhura)
Sort of Tyrsday for Justice, tho it's Wotansday now...
I did finally put up the Black Lives Matter sign.
And I hope to make Tyrsday for Justice a regular thing.

Inspired by this article:

Avoiding/fleeing police is absolutely a rational action for black people in the USA, and often for other people of color, people with a range of identities, including disabilities, gender presentation, etc. that make them fear or even "know" beyond reasonable suspicion that they will not be able to present as "compliant" in a satisfactory way.


But it IS this way.

In spite of many decent people with good motivations throughout the system.

We are still moving toward militarization, toward escalation, toward violence and imprisonment as the answer to a huge range of social and economic and health issues. As we have been doing the whole time I've been alive...

I think we are moving less quickly now? I hope...
That these trends are slowing and will be reversed.
That we are standing and living here in a pivot-place, a tipping-point....
A way to truly live in the world younger people have known.

It takes everyone to reach that, find that, build that.
Every voice is important.
Every teacher.
Every student.
Every parent.
Every child.
Every single and act and word.

Whether you are are using your body to slow and stop the machinery of violence,
Or you are supporting those who do...
In one of a million ways,
On any of a million days.

With what you have,
With what you can do.

Not more than that.
Not less than that.

With who you are.
From where you are.
Bigger things when you can,
Small things too.
They matter.
They add up.
lonespark: Cassidy from "Far Beyond the Stars" (Cassidy Yates)
Originally I was thinking about business branding when I came up with this, but now I am going to an SCA event, so it's back to more like banners and heraldry... Same ideas tho... How shall Lonespark the Friendly Kraken be seen in the world?

Kraken (bright turquoise, of course...)


Chalice/goblet/cauldron (with fire?)
Sword (dagger? knife?)
Queer symbol... (I like the one Break The Chains has... and actually I have a friend who combined something like it with the hammer and sickle for an anarcho-socialist flag thing that was awesome... Which makes me think of Mjolnir and Frau Holle... Synergistic awesomeness...)
lonespark: (Default)
Loki - laughs, revenge, His kids(?)

Odin - knowledge, advantage in battle, to avert Ragnarok(?)

Frigga - frith, an oath, to answer prayers (especially from women?)

Tyr - loyalty, justice/law

Frey - love, frith, new life

Freya - power, beauty, magic, wealth(?)

Thor - food, victory, honor, esp. vengeance for loved ones

Skadi - honor, family, freedom, sexy menfolks, a REALLY good laugh

Geifjon - To prove your ass wrong, her own space and sovereignty

Idunna - ?

Bragi - ?

Baldr - ?

Hel - ?
lonespark: Cassidy from "Far Beyond the Stars" (Cassidy Yates)
so of course the movie is not about him.

What I mean is...
George Washington Williams, or some fictionalized pastiche of him, is apparently being portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in a movie.
Unfortunately that movie is some weak-ass Tarzan reboot shite.

George Washington Williams was the kind of guy who could be the star of a whole series of movies, I think... and that's despite the fact that he died fairly young. Because he did ALL THE THINGS.

The main reason I know about him is because he is one of the primary heroes whose stories get told in King Leopold's Ghost. If you didn't know that much about the history of the Congo, and/or got caught up in the narrative, you would get hopeful when George Washington Williams got involved...

But GWW was an American, and he had a few other awesome careers before he made it to Africa and Europe. As SLJ says in the interview I just read on the subway, he was "a Renaissance man" who "wrote an interesting treatise on being Black in America. Very, very interesting guy..."

I just looked him up on Blackpast.org and that mustache is just killing it. I don't even like mustaches! WTF, long-dead charming dude?

He died at 41. He was a pastor, a legislator, a historian, a journalist... Dude was non-stop!!!
lonespark: (Default)
aka "Insert Darmok reference here."

I am thrilled to bits with the Tumblrization of our wider culture in some respects. Specifically, meme use, which of course is way older than Tumblr. (Lol DW doesn't think Tumblr is a word...)

Older than written language.

Maybe, in some respects, more basic than spoken language for humans? Or not; I don't know much about linguistics and brains... Paleopsycholinguistics? (Also apparently not a word? Just you wait...)

Anyhow, I love memes and communicating thru movie quotes, song lyrics, etc., because it helps a ton with connotations. Text leaves a lot out, tho we can put it back in with emojis, which also go along with what I'm cheering for...

Phone is the worst because there's no body language. Some would say phone is better than text because you can get stuff from tone, but I guess that doesn't work for me? Either that or any phone pluses are overridden by the horrible experience of using the damn thing and trying not to combust from anxiety.

Even in person body language is hella difficult. I know I don't send the signals right. I am one of the many people in my wider network of friends and family and erstwhile classmates and colleagues who is delighted to talk without making eye contact. Sometimes it works to do it while playing a game, perusing the internet, driving, etc., but usually something pulls the focus too hard and something important loses out. And I have a hard time receiving signals that are in any way subtle or open to interpretation.

Is body language ever not subject to interpretation? I'm thinking not, except in very stylized interactions. Like, a puppet show. Puppetry boils body language down to some broad basics, but that doesn't help too much for interaction with people. It might help with robots? IDK...

But anyway memes. You can communicate a complex set of circumstances and feelings without having to try to make words for all or most of it. The words are much more signifiers than pieces of some exact thing you're communicating. I love it so! And I love advertising and all kinds of art and graphics where we combine text with other, more rich and varied ways of communicating.

I'm not saying text isn't a rich and varied method of communication. It totally is and I love it. Text is my jam and the early internet was therefore my favorite playground, to the extent that I could interact with other people who thought similarly and had similar relationships to text. Most people don't. And they shouldn't have to.

I guess that's part of what I love about the new, image-rich internet: It lets me have complex and meaningful communication with people who don't relate to text the same way I do. Including many brilliant people, like my son, who for whatever reasons are not comfortable with text as a medium. Some interaction between natural inclination and unfortunate circumstances around being trained to read and write explains it, I guess.

And image literacy is vital. There is so much that can never be expressed using words at all, and so much more where an image or a graphical representation of the data is worth reams of sentences in 12 pt. font. This is crucially important for STEM subjects. And the arts. And religion. That just about covers all of human experience, doesn't it? Everything relates to design, to communicating in 3 and 4 dimensions...

Politics OMG. Expert use of memes/imagery/music/pop culture can make or break a campaign for any candidate or issue. Many successful assholes for good or evil have had the best of grips on this. Kennedy and Johnson, and Nixon Strikes Back, and Reagan and Clinton and Obama...

I can't do video, and that separates me from a lot of the internet-using young whippersnappers these days, as it also separated me from the TV-consuming mainstream culture I grew up in... And I can't do videogame type stuff well. It's a deficit. Those spatial skills are distinct and learnable, tho of course we vary widely in how adept we are, as well as how able.

I think part of why I hate phone is related to similar issues about processing speed and concentrating on a certain sense without being distracted by information received thru others, or from my bored brain itself.

(Random point, putting "Tumblr" in my search bar got me this post, about Starfleet officer Vilix'pran which is always worth revisiting:

http://froborr.tumblr.com/post/133627777791/tinsnip-katherinemansfields-the-subtitles )
lonespark: Cassidy from "Far Beyond the Stars" (Cassidy Yates)
My cousin (technically my cousin's wife but she is awesome and the kids are adorable and there are different cultural conventions and anyway I claim her NO TAKEBACKS!) posted on FB about not having White History Month. I guess it was a link to a Kat Blaque video I have yet to watch, but anyway, it reminded me of these ideas. (This is really incomplete but I have to file taxes and deal with my daughter's science fair. Hope to get back to this today or tomorrow...)

My proposal is as follows:

December has Kwanzaa, so that can be like, Intro to African Heritage Month, with an emphasis on Swahili and East African history and culture.*

(There was something for January, too, but I don't remember what. Is it Women's History Month? Or is that March? Or maybe just spread what I'm saying for December and February out. There's more than enough!)

Then February is Black (U.S.) American History Month, and because it was made then for Frederick Douglass's birthday, there should maybe be something of an emphasis on the diaspora related to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery in colonial times and thru US history, abolitionion movements, U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction. This would cover the histories of different communities...

A lot (most, I think) Black Americans are of West-African heritage, so there could be emphasis on the histories of West African peoples and civilizations, as well as the cultures formed in N., S., and Central America and the Caribbean by people with that heritage.

Resistance figures importantly here. Students tend to ask, "Why didn't the slaves fight back?" And the answer is always that they did. But those rebellions were brutally suppressed, and their histories are constantly erased, minimized, or occasionally presented in a whitewashed, token fashion, usually fitted out with White Saviors. Sucessful rebellions are erased, misrepresented, denied and defamed most of all, and colonialism is brutal and ongoing. (Just. Fucking. Look. At. Haiti!)

Some African leaders supported the slave trade. Others fought against it. Some supported in the beginning then changed their minds. Different ethnic groups and conflicts among them are relevant.

European contact, trade, attempts at conversion, the development of capitalism, racism, and chattel slavery, as well as the Doctrine of Discovery, the systems of racial oppression that would eventually support the white supremacist slave societies of the Americas under European and later White European-American colonization... These are all important concepts to explore in detail... (I am kind of feeling like there might not be enough months in the whole year for this...)

*(This might also be where to explore additional stuff related to Islam, Arab and other Middle Eastern peoples, East African and Middle Eastern slave trade, and maybe history dealing with North Africa & the Mediterranean, contact with Rome as a city-state and an empire and possibly Hellenistic societies, too? Or not. Obvs. a lot of that belongs in the various Whiteness and European Heritage Month(s)...)
lonespark: Suki in Kyoshi Warrior garb with two fans (Suki)
By a circuitous route, I was led back to some vids in my old fandoms, and then to a bunch of Steve/Bucky Winter Soldier vids...

Basically fandom vids are the main way I expand my knowledge of music, but then usually if I ever see the video the artist made for the song I'm disappointed.

Anyhow, have some angsty, pretty white guys in a nonsensical universe:



lonespark: (Default)
A thing I really hate about work in general and household organization in particular is the fact that the most important and critical parts of a task tend to
1. Happen before you get started on what looks and feels like actual work and/or
2. Not produce progress or results that are easily measurable/observed.

Case in point: I just got a replacement library card, so I reorganized my wallet. This will make things go much better, or at least much less badly, in many ways for months to come. But it doesn't look like I did anything. The dishes are still dirty, there are still crayons on the floor, and it's not going to make my mom feel better about the state of her living space.

My mom wants things to look neat. She also likes things to be organized, but she's totally capable of throwing stuff in a box to sort later. My dad and me...not so much. Containers are like black holes. The whole house is one big Invisible Corner, or at least all the parts we don't use every day. Make that the parts we don't have to use every day.

All times that are not Now are also black holes. There's Now and Later, and it's never Later, because it's always Now. But when something that was left for Later gets brought up, the crushing weight of negligence and shame make us want to do it Right Now Already, even if the urgency, or even the importance, of the task is low...
lonespark: (Default)
Nat Harris asked for a definition of religion in 3 sentences or less.

1st attempt:

A religion is a model of... well, Life, The Universe, and Everything. In particular, a model of human life, connection to other life, to nature, and time, and a model that usually provides some answers or at least guidance on the meaning and purpose of L,T, and/or E. Religious beliefs and practices integrate and express human emotions and abilities, and, like scientific models, different religious models are suitable under different circumstances.
lonespark: (Default)
Hail to the Birch Goddess, Snow Mother, Lady. Hail to the Scythe Wielder, Night-Rider, Child-taker. Lake Mother, Spring Waker, Queen of the Loom.

Hail to the Huntress. Hail to the Mountain Goddess, companion to wolves.
lonespark: (Default)
It's like a crossover between Tam Lin and Beauty and the Beast. And it may be more similar to the plot of some other folk or fairy tale I don't know or remember...

So, basically, in the part of Tam Lin where Tam Lin gets transformed into a bunch of different things, generally wild and/or dangerous/harmful, that lasts a really long time. Janet (for our immediate purposes, although I don't think I'd want the characters in my story to actually be Janet and Tam Lin) has to live with him, and love him, when he's a bear/lion/snake/fire/etc. For weeks or months at a time, and they have to negotiate all the different challenges.
lonespark: Suki in Kyoshi Warrior garb with two fans (Suki)
I was crying earlier because I had too much emotions, even though they were happy.

But now I am crying from lack of sleep and frustration.

A friend was trying to give me "pointers" for my interview. She said "Find out everybody's name and send thank you notes." I know this. I know lots of things about how to look employable, and they aren't all skills I have, but sending frakking thank you notes is not that hard.

It's not that hard if you have the energy. If you can concentrate. There are a lot steps, and if you don't complete them all, you may as well not have completed any. You have to have thank you notes. You have to get the names, and keep the cards, and remember where you kept them. (And not leave you briefcase on the subway, or get your van towed.) You have to write the notes. You have to address them. You have to put stamps on them. You have to mail them.

I have done all these things before. I had a fun time writing individual notes for everyone from 3 interviews at my first professional job. I had fun selecting the fancy paper and envelopes, and signing my name with a fancy pen. The interviews were all fun. I knew my shit. I looked good. I even wore lipstick.

But since I got laid off and we moved and moved in with my parents, I've had interviews where I learned everyone's name and wrote awesome individualized thank you notes and addressed and licked and in some cases stamped the envelopes but never mailed them. Or never mailed them all. Or never completed one or two out of several, and didn't want to slight someone by not sending theirs at the same time, but I just couldn't find the right words and then it was kind of too late and then it was really too late.

(I have stacks of birthday cards and sympathy cards and Rosh Hashana cards in similar stages or incompletion. Or I did, before we moved. I don't try sending those anymore. Sometimes I say "happy birthday" on people's FB walls...)

In conclusion: brain weasels. They ruin all the things.


Aug. 11th, 2013 10:19 pm
lonespark: Cassidy from "Far Beyond the Stars" (Cassidy Yates)
Things are changing. Slowly.

This house is full of books and magazines from a new career that I also love.

This house is full of the chaos that happens when my parents are gone and the kids get their way a lot, and we bond through our love of messing around with computers, and watching movies and shows, and geeking out.

This house is full of the mess that results when I'm too sick or tired to make dinner or put the kids to bed and they do that stuff for themselves and each other. This mess is rarely as bad as I think it will be. Once in awhile it's worse.

This house is full of pictures. My kids will draw and paint at the drop of a hat.

This house is full of experiments and collections.

This house is full of memories, shiny and new.

There is honesty (and awkwardness.) (Not about everything, with everyone, yet. Baby steps. Sometimes it's hard to tell which omissions are lies, but it doesn't matter, when they need to be corrected. But catching people up on years of truth takes time.)

There is laughter, and strange juxtapositions of personal stuff and movie quotes and history and zooology and many other subjects.

There is more time spent on the phone than I ever imagined I would tolerate this side of Hell. More time at the bus station, too. And on the gorram frakking turnpike.

There is love I wasn't looking for, better than I could have imagined. (It doesn't fix everything. That's not how it works.)

This house is full of hope.

This house is full of love.


Aug. 11th, 2013 10:00 pm
lonespark: Cassidy from "Far Beyond the Stars" (Cassidy Yates)
This house is haunted with memories. Even when my parents aren't here, this house is the house where I was a child, and where I am not a fully independent adult.

This house is where my parents fought, and where they still do, except it's less fighting and more...being upset in their incompatible, conflicting ways. So it is a fight, but they're not upset at at each other. They're upset at other things, but they're hurting each other.

This house is where I hid my boyfriend from my parents, but later didn't hide the condoms well enough, and I learned (but had to learn again, and again, forever) that conflict is better than secrets and lies.

This house is where I fought with my parents, and lied to them.

This house is where I started sliding down the slippery slope, away from mental and emotional well-being. And that's simplistic, I guess, because this house is where I learned a bunch of coping strategies before I learned to write my name, but no one told me what coping meant, or that if you couldn't do it there was help.

This house is where I have been too many times caught between my husband and my parents, and no one seems to realize that I'm not on anyone's "side" because I get to have my own voice.

This house is the place my grandmother left for the hospital to die. But she always wanted to die at home, hopefully in her own home in another state.

This house is full other people's stuff.

This house if full of my stuff. Stuff in boxes. Stuff that needs sorted but I can't do it, in large part because this stuff is what's left of a life where I felt I had a purpose and an identity beyond "mom who doesn't have her shit together." It's outdated paper that needs recycled, but it's relics of a vocation I loved and lost.

This house is full of my kids' stuff. Stuff that gets broken and lost. Stuff that needs sorted but won't be, because I can't teach them how to do things I can't do myself.

This house is full memories that hold me back.
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