lonespark: (Default)
Poe Dameron was mostly dead once.

And he woke up Somewhere Else. A pilot's lounge beyond the end of several verse's? Something like that...

There were so many people there, happily mingling and passing through...

...and some of them had wings...

...and most of them had regrets...

But nearly all of them were friendly...

After a while Poe had to leave. Someone punched him lightly on the shoulder. "Good luck, buddy." "Be a leaf on the wind." "...so say we all."
lonespark: (Default)
Folks talking about princesses. Sometimes I think about princesses a lot, like that time I missed the exit and almost drove to Canada...

I thought Moana did a good job of showing skills she could have, and setting them up ahead of time.

It made me think of other things that showed skills princesses would be trained in... I can't remember what, tho. Another Disney movie? Narnia movies or fanfic? Brain is failing me...
lonespark: (Default)
(aka "I do not like this Game of Royal Stools")

So I finished Meji Part II the other day.


And I liked it tho I think not as much as the first one. Some parts that weren't my favorite or just in general made me think, "This is probably what ASOIF is like?" Mostly the scheming and murdering people so your kid can be the ruler or whatever bits...

But IDK if I know people familiar with both who can speak to that?
lonespark: Nani in swimsuit (Nani)
The Plan involves caring for one's Self, Body, Mind and Soul, and supporting one's People in doing the same.

Both of those things are hard. They are struggles that are worthy and necessary and honorable urgent. Especially so in difficult times we know will continue for a goodly while.

My list of Things To Do:

1. Collecting and utilizing music and art that feeds my soul and connects me with my values, my gods, and my folk

2. Making the effort to show up in person to events when I can.

3. Using online communication that helps, and reconfiguring stuff that offers distractions, however worthy.

4. Making the effort to maintain connections with friends and allies who are 100% worth it, and making the effort to be 100% worth it right back or at least to make it clear to them where I stand.

5. Accruing resources when I can, and sharing as much as possible, and not getting caught up in what I worry it might say about me when I succeed or fail, because it's Not About Me at all.

These things are not going swimmingly at present, but that is a reminder of why they are important, and I am mostly in a Planning to Plan stage...

Immediately upon reviewing these I note there are Invisible Staircase problems. By which I mean, there are steps that must be taken before I would be able to implement these things or even figure out how to implement them...

Like, so, 5 is kind of the easiest, maybe, because it's so general? I have lots of privilege. That's a kind of power, and I can make efforts to use it for good. Futhermore it's a springboard to greater power and thus more opportunity to help others. More life stability, better job, etc. will help with that. And I am working on that anyway, but it helps to be able to remind myself of truly important motivations and goals.

2 is the most concrete and specific already, and I am already doing it but not nearly enough, so that is the most actionable. Imma put "Listen to inspiring music" on my Daily list in Habitica. So I will get rewards for doing it, and I already have it set up so rewards I earn for doing stuff include "song," "album" "ebook" "poster" etc... Other things I need to do to make this work include improved organization and access. My room and especially my books are not well-organized. And music is even worse. So those are related sub-goals...

I will look at the other stuff another time. Soon, hopefully...
lonespark: Toph in Dai Li uniform (Toph)
The PTO is sending me repeated requests via email and Facebook and possibly papers in my kids' backpacks for donations to needy families for Thanksgiving. As one of the eligible families contemplating filling out the request form for the first time ever, I find this somewhat annoying. (While I was typing this I just got another forward of the same message, LOL)

They are trying to collect gift cards to grocery stores, which is a pretty good thing to give people, I think.

For Christmas, they instead take requests for clothes and toys and then fill them, which is annoying on several levels. It could be helpful with clothes, and I might do that... They have a space to fill in children's genders rather than just their toy preferences and clothing sizes/needs. And of course they give you two options, which are actually sexes... I'm sure you don't have to fill out that part, but it's still bullshit. (And it doesn't even say it's optional, so people probably do feel like they have to fill it out.)

They may also do gift cards to Target or whatever, which would be awesomely much better... I know some places do that...

What I really think they should do is give gift cards or credit or whatever for things actually related to school. So far, based on personal experience, I recommend

1. Books at the book fair.

(Book fair is today. This is one of the few things I am still borrowing from my parents for, because there is nothing like books and book-related stuff you yourself chose, without judgement or restriction. New books! Hardcover books! Coloring books! Posters! Fancy journals! Fancy pens! Things that look like books but really hide secret spy equipment! Books that, if you drop them in the toilet or spill hot chocolate on them, or trade them or sell them or rip them or break the spines or dog-ear your favorite pages, no outside authorities will bring their judgement/disappointment/consequences to bear on you...)

2. School supplies for the beginning of the year.

(That's a huge, concentrated expense! And there are all these charities you can get hooked up with that get you stuff, but it's never based on the list of required stuff from your particular school or even this town's district.)

3. Actual fucking help with childcare.

(So far AFAIK (after 5+ years of asking) there is NO sliding scale or scholarships for the school system's official after-school programming, which includes holidays, vacations, summer and now I think the many, many half-days that creep up. It is possible to get scholarships, at least for the summer, from charities and from the town's Emergency Fund*, which is run thru/with the Red Cross in some convoluted way that involve me having to go to an office in a church to request it.)
(There is a morning program but the kids can't bring their own food let alone have the free breakfast some qualify for but the school doesn't serve, and they charge for it and like a million things you can get that fee waived but no one communicates about this; you're supposed to just know...)

*I originally typed Emergency Funk, which is definitely a thing, I think...
lonespark: Toph in Dai Li uniform (Toph)

This is what our Powers That Be are declaring war to protect.
This is what pipelines DO.
This is what petroleum storage and transport does.
(And extraction even moreso...)

I worked with it, and so did and so do lots of other people who do their best safeguard health and the environment...
But it's only ever harm reduction.
If it was worth it once, it cannot be now.

Why are we letting them fight the future?
They are doing it in our names.
We have to stop them.
lonespark: Cassidy from "Far Beyond the Stars" (Cassidy Yates)
(Watching this Jon Oliver segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8yiYCHMAlM&feature=share Good so far. I have had to stop halfway thru to scream...)

Look, White people. There have been too many centuries of us being represented by the very worst jackasses among us. Race Traitoring is hard, but how else can we have a sliver of self-respect?

And I think I am probably not the only one who reads about (dudes, usually) who remember growing up in "safe" "good" neighborhoods and wants to know exactly what was good about it.

Safe only means safe for straight cis white dudes.
Except not them, unless they're very rich.
Except not them, if they're disabled or neurodivergent.
Except not them if they have feelings in public. If they're not gender- and culture-conforming in exactly the right way every minute, which is impossible...
Except not them if they care about anyone else. Which of course they do because they're people.
Participation in an evil system destroys people and souls and potential and creativity and so many beautiful futures and exciting, fun journeys to get there.

If you're near the top it might not kill you.
It might not hurt you quite as much as others.
It might not make you hate yourself and all the things you are in quite the same ways.
But that's still nothing like winning.
lonespark: Toph in Dai Li uniform (Toph)
AtLA videos to Hamilton songs!

This one is good I think? Many feels...


This is very good yes. My fav bit is the "...fire and brimstone..." at the beginning.


This one is horrible and perfect and makes me cackle with evil glee and if you a particular sort of Roku/Sozin shipper you might too?


Too short, MOAR FEELZ...

lonespark: (Default)
(Watching Hamilton's America)
POTUS talks about Founding Fathers "flying by the seat of their pants." Which, YEAH, THAT.

That's the thing to get about history, and it's so hard. Textbooks don't do it. Primary sources can, and museums, and immersive living history stuff.

But none of those are nearly as effective as REINTERPRETATIONS, like Hamilton. Critical to religion, to history too, to storytelling in general.

Also this is something Heathenism desperately needs. Marvel did add a tiny bit, for those willing to dig out the gems. American Gods probably will, too.

But how fucking amazing and wonderful and reaffirming of a vibrant Heathen culture in the modern world would it be if we had multiple interpretations of the gods in our cultural context, in our vernacular?

This is necessary. Anything less abandons our connection to gods, wights, ancestors, mythic truth, to those who want it trapped in distant past they can recast in their own stupid, racist image.

So that's an ongoing goal for me, to look for the excellent modern stuff and spread it around, and commission it if I ever can...

Incorrect Edda is cool in this regard.

So are modern historical fictions like an awesome one a friend is writing...

And I know I've been involved in discussions and read articles about where the gods are really seen in our everyday lives, and how to meaningfully answer question like my "What Would Frigga Do?" shirt asks...
lonespark: Reboot Uhura pwning the world (Uhura)

Flexiblility in rates of doing things.
So, "Complete Task X by Time Y" generally ok, but not for particular subtasks or activities.
Not "spend 30 to 45 minutes accomplishing X." (I think this means NO BILLABLE HOURS!!!11, but maybe it depends how it's allocated?)

Similarly, flexibility in ways of doing things.
"Accomplish goals Q thru X" ok.
"Follow this flowchart" super-great, assuming it's a good flowchart.
"Follow Procedures in Manual, consulting subparagraphs and subsections as necessary" also good, tho I may need some options for information other than "Black and white Walls of Text.l"
"Go thru the following motions like a robot at X speed after learning them from reading or watching someone else" will ABSOLUTELY NOT FLY, and things that come close in any respect are also DO NOT WANT.

A schedule that is consistent in some major respects.
So, always the same every day = good.
Always the same every Tuesday, etc. = good.
Always the same under X circumstance and different in Y way under Z circumstance = ok, tho there could be issues with the amount of varying and amount of warning.

An alternate schedule thing that has worked in the past is,
Completely flexible as long as meeting conditions A-D.
But, I think it's not ideal, and it's really impossible given my current life situation with obligations with kids and stuff. It has allowed me to trick myself into severe procrastination, and even if that's avoided, it leads to spending a lot of mental effort and energy on decision-making. This is usually not worth it. It could be if flexibility offered huge advantages for the particular field?

Bonus considerations:
Food available onsite = super-great! Totally worth a lot of money to me.

Able to commute by public transportation = awesome.
Able to commute by walking or biking = good, tho tricky bcuz weather...
Able to commute by anything involving me not having to drive and park = good.

Having to drive as part of the work = somewhat ungood, but it really depends.
Going to certain worksites periodically, especially in a company vehicle or rental = fine.
Having to drive a personal vehicle to certain sites just to show up = meh.

Having to drive a personal vehicle and transport equipment, or having to arrange rentals, or having to coordinate by phone with others = NO DO NOT WANT AAAARGH!!!

Most things involving talking on the phone = ROCKS FALL, EVERYTHING IS CRAP! (Sooo much more to be said on this subject!)

Things involving extra effort around communication and logistics = Probably not worth it if I'm still having to meet other people's standards.
Probably very worth it if I get to be my own boss/other people's boss. (More on the other people's boss thing later...)
lonespark: Suki in Kyoshi Warrior garb with two fans (Suki)
33 When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

If I am keeping anything from my Christian upbringing, it is this.  

The place I remember most as home, as the place that smells and tastes like home, with the first language I learned to read and my first friends, was where my parents worked in a refugee camp.

I have a lot of informally adopted extended family who came to the US as refugees, often as unaccompanied minors.

I spent a lot of time and effort on a UCC confirmation retreat looking for this verse.*  It meant everything to me.  It still does.

It has relevance in a Heathen context, too.  Hospitality is a holy obligation.  

And it echoes through my heritage, too... From barbarian ancestors begging Rome for bread... To the many branches of my family that landed on these shores fleeing repression, conscription and reprisal in the mid-19th century...**  

Actually, the version I learned said "stranger," instead of "foreigner."  We all were strangers. If we are not, just now, we will be again.  And judgement here or in any hereafter is meaningful as it relates to our treatment of the Least and Last.

True for all and triply true to those who have much.

*I have a vaguely-related rant about that exercise...

**I know two branches of my family came here in 1848ish, one from Berlin and one from Bavaria, so I started looking up what was going on that would have involved people being conscripted into some kind of counterrevolution and it is a vast and fascinating subject.  

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 )


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