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This is related to a discussion on potential child abuse in a Carolyn Hax chat, with someone asking what to do if you're unsure of the situation.


You can also be nice to these kids. Past discussions of dysfunctional households have turned this up as a theme, that the kindness of outside adults is a lifeline, even if you don't get any more involved than to say hello.


I want to witness for the fact that this is TRUE. A kind shopkeeper who gives you 6 lollies for a cent, instead of 5. A friend of your deceased grandmother who holds your sweaty little hand as you cross the big road. A teacher who tells you in primary school that your test results are off the scale, and you start believing that maybe you aren't "as thick as pigshit" after all. An unfailingly gentle and kind young male teacher who makes history come alive with medieval dress-ups and facts disguised as stories. A young hippy-ish couple who pay a few dollars semi-regularly for me to baby-sit their toddler, and in doing so, and much more importantly, provide a quiet safe space away from the chaos at home.


These moments add up. They give you hope. They help you understand there are some decent caring people in the world. That some people live without constant violence, or the threat of it. And that maybe one day, there is something better to look forward to.

trixtah: (boom)
[A bit of 101 cross-posted from Fetlife]

I'm really sick of some individuals bitching about the term "rape culture". I realise it's confronting and in-your-face. It's intended to be.

It doesn't mean that women are labelling all or even most men as rapists. It certainly doesn't mean they are labelling YOU as a rapist - if that's the case, and they are speaking up, they won't be faffing around with that term - they would just say that "you're a rapist/abuser/creep". Simple.

But here is a nice concise definition to help explain the concept:

["Rape culture" is] referring to the culture that makes rape incredibly common, blames the victims for putting themselves in a position where they could be raped, and teaches women to avoid, at all costs, making a fuss over things that make them feel threatened, because they won’t be taken seriously anyway. It’s the culture that lets men get away with doing the things that make women feel threatened, because their feelings are so much more important than the women’s feelings.

To add to that, it's not just women (and trans* and gender-ambiguous people) who are subjected to the fallout of rape culture. It's the men who are supposed to believe they "can't help themselves". It's men being told that women have amazing skills at reading body language that men can't attain [1]. It's the decent guys who are supposed to yuk along with their mates making the shitty unwanted sexualised jokes and remarks [2]. It's being tarred with the same brush as that minority of men who go beyond the jokes and skeevy behaviour to actual sexual assault. As Kate Harding says:

...You and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…

I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.

But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.

And that guy? Thought you were on his side
.

And that is rape culture - the guys who do this shit thinking you and society in general [3] ARE on their side, implicitly. That "most guys" would do the same thing if they weren't too "pussywhipped" by "PC" or fear of the law.

Actually, most men don't rape, not because they are afraid of the law, but because they are decent. It's very simple. But given the constant harassment of women and other marginalised groups on the street, on public transport, at parties, at clubs, in the work place (if it's one of those work places), the low-level crap is part of the culture.

And that culture helps enable the men who do actually do the rapes and assaults because of the reluctance of us in society to follow up on the small shit and "have each other's backs". How many times have you laughed off some obviously-unwanted shitty remark or grab that a mate made? Every one of those occasions was when you had his back, not hers. It adds up.

And for the guys who get all up in arms and say "I'm not like that wah wah wah", well, if you're NOT like that, then any post on the internet discussing the problem is not about YOU. Really and truly. Does that help you focus on the actual problem now?
 


[1] Actually, men read body language with no problem pretty damn well constantly - you know when some dick at the pub is starting up the "are you looking at me?" routine, without him saying a word. You can walk into an office or a building site and spot who the bosses are. Etc etc.

[2] Sure, sometimes it's not unwanted, but there's a time and a place and the right jokes and right people.

[3] Yeah yeah, some few get prosecuted for rape - a minuscule proportion of the actual offenders.

trixtah: (Default)
- I like abstract art, or more or less representative art using weird shit (sometimes literally) as media. Or just random stuff thrown together and labelled as "art".
- I like modern classical music with its dissonances and weird time signatures. Stockhausen launched a thousand WTFs? from the critics.
- I like annoyingly-egotistical abstruse jazz.
- I like electronica that just consists of strange beeping sounds or disconnected samples with no rhythm.
- I like confronting mixed media art and performances that might consist of people cutting themselves and filming the results and playing the video and hanging up the bloody bandages as part of an installation.
- I like awkward theatre that might consist of accosting people in the audience or the streets, with varying degrees of method performance, unformed scripts, yelling and odd physicality.
- I like architecture that is challenging and odd and makes you wonder how it can function as a building. Or wonder if the prison plans got lost and got inadvertently turned into actual residences or commercial buildings.

Would I like to personally consume all of these things myself? Frankly, no.

I love Pollock and Rothko and Hotere, but I think the whole 90s Britart scene was utter wank. Not to mention Picasso. I listen to some musique concrète, but just the stuff with rhythm, and a bit of something "going on". Zahar Hadid's architecture is like the equivalent of glossy souless Helmut Newton fashion photography. I wouldn't live in a Corbusier building, but Habitat 67 is fucking awesome.

So why do I like all the things? Because they fertilise the arts. They mix it up, they oxygenate, they inspire others to riff off it to create their own (possibly more palatable to more people) creations.

Imagine what it was like when the Europeans broke away from the monks' plainsong by developing polyphonic songs and music. We've heard of the impact of the Impressionists over and over and over. Stravinsky had run-ins with the police because of his music.

If it weren't for the people way out on the fringes, the arts would not evolve. I certainly don't situate myself on the fringe at all, in terms of what I like to consume, but I'm glad it's there.
trixtah: (Default)
So, here is my wee guide to letting us use the data plan we want after having purchased a USB modem - with actual money - but no longer wanting to use Telecom NZ's data services. I feel that if I've bought the hardware, I should be able to do what I like with it.

This describes setting up a connection to 2degrees Mobile Broadband in NZ, using Telecom GPRS USB modem (ZTE is the hardware brand) on a Windows 7 computer. You will probably need to run the following with Administrator rights on the PC.

Read more... )

Diaspora

Sep. 27th, 2011 12:07 am
trixtah: (Default)
As a social networking option, it's starting to get mature enough that I'm thinking about investigating it. I know some people have already joined up some pods, but if I made a pod of my own, would anyone else be interested in using it?

I'd be hosting it on my US-based hosting site, so it would be subject to their laws and whatnot, but not being commercial, it wouldn't have the problems that offerings like FB, LJ and G+ do in terms of satisfying advertisers. Also, being hosted means I can have a reasonably high uptime once I get it up and running.
trixtah: (Default)
So, the last few weeks have been a real rollercoaster for me - mostly sailing way up on the fast switchbacks, but there maybe some swooping down low coming along imminently.

The thing with The Artist (performance, sculpture, textiles, print, paint, you name it...) has in fact turned into a THING. It's gone beyond kinky funtimes and sexy funtimes into something else quite serious, quite fast. In fact, very fast. I'm not sure whether it's because of the compressed timeframe - certainly, the quantity of the time we've been spending together and the actual content of that time spent is due to that - or whether it's because we seem to be very compatible in a still-surprising number of ways. Or a combination of the two things. But I don't normally get so emotionally engaged with someone quite so quickly - in fact, I can only think of one other example when I did.

I'm surprisingly unfreaked-out by this turn of events, because we both seem to be sane people who are trying to do the best we can in this slightly insane situation. If you're both bright, and rational, and trying to do your best, even if it doesn't work out, you haven't fucked each other around. Because of that, the good stuff will always be a pleasant memory even if you can't make it work due to whatever circumstances - I don't think I'd let it get this far if I didn't think that would be the case. In addition, The Artist's partner, The Scientist, is completely fabulous and very tolerant of the general air of sane-insanity that is going on at the present, which, frankly, I'm incredibly grateful for.

So, there's a 2-3 weeks to go. This is a VERY SHORT time. We've agreed that something will continue after my return to NZ, but as to what form that will take, who knows. I do know I'm going to crash a bit when I get there, although I hope that the focus I'll have on getting to grips with my new job and finding somewhere to live will be in the nature of an interesting way to keep my mind off things rather than adding to a difficult burden. Here's hoping.

As it is, I think peeps should be expecting to see me on this side of the ditch much more frequently than I originally anticipated, leave permitting and all (one annoying about a new job - you lose all your leave reserves). And I'm feeling surprisingly optimistic, although these next few weeks are going to be hard. I need to balance the sense of realism with not getting bogged down in unnecessary - at this stage - sadness. I do, however, expect some random outbreaks of SAD in the general way of things, but it'd be frigging odd if that didn't happen.

In the meantime, must finish packing. I'm getting a bit stressed about stuff I need to get rid of/pack - including my car, fuck it - and my energies are very much going in the wrong kind of direction for good organisation in that area. I'm sure I'll get there in the end, though.
trixtah: (Default)
I am packing semi-earnestly now, so here are about 6 months of books that have landed on my bedside table that are going to be packed shortly. This in no way represents the sum of books I've read in total at that time - just what I finished while I was sitting in bed.

Rough chronological order, lots of re-reads. I've marked those with asterixes.

Kinsey - Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.* This is the Kinsey biography, that they based the movie on. Very humanising and well-researched.
A History of Britain, pt 2 - Simon Schama. One of the books accompanying the TV series, which I didn't watch till recently. From Cromwell to the War of Independence in America
Starbucked - Taylor Clark. History of the rise of Starbucks, which is thankfully not a hagiography.
The Complete Book of Knots - Mario Bigon and Guido Regazzoni. What it says, as shown by a pair of Italian sailors. Not the best knot book, but is decent and has some interesting variations.
The Herrano Legacy - Elizabeth Moon. Elizabeth Moon can be a bit hit-or-miss for me - ex-military people with writing that implies only military types are effective and get things done has this effect on me. But these books are entertaining space opera.
Time of Death - Jessica Snyder Sachs.* Popular science book on the historical difficulties of defining death and when it's actually happened.
Erotic Bondage Handbook - Jay Wiseman. I don't know why I got this. I don't like Wiseman's writing, and it's actually pretty useless for explaining good bondage. There are lots of options/positions described, but diagrams are very limited, nor are the instructions step-by-step. So, meh. Also, for someone who is supposedly safety-minded, he recommends a clove hitch a lot, which is a knot that tightens (not that great for limbs, frankly)
Phryne Fisher Omnibus - Kerry Greenwood. First three Phyrne Fisher books, which I'd not yet read in sequence.
Kindred in Death - JD Robb. Totally escapist entertainingly-written not-exactly-trash.
Screw Inner Beauty - Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby.* Good book on weight issues and the "Health at Every Size" (HAES) philosophy.
A History of God - Karen Armstrong. How "god" has been constructed through the ages, particularly in relation to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but with reference to many other religions.
Betrayal in Death - JD Robb. More fun reads. Like potato chips in terms of their satisfaction in consuming.
Smile or Die - Barbara Ehrenreich.* Great book debunking the whole "positive thinking" movement that is so popular. Starts from the context of her encountering it in overdrive mode as a cancer patient, but she reaches right back to sources like Christian Scientist teachings for the origins over the whole "mind over matter" school of thought regarding health.
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson.* What it says on the tin! It's really a short scientific history.
The Complete Mary Poppins - PL Travers. Such classics. If anyone wants a Potter replacement for 5-10 year olds, this would not go amiss. And the movie isn't in the same league. This omnibus has 4 stories in it.
The Rowan - Anne McCaffrey.* Yes, I still read some of her tripe, but at least it's completely mindless and only mildly irritating in parts.
Bath Triangle - Georgette Heyer. Eh, not as elegant as some of her others. I mean, you could see how everyone was going to end up as soon as the primary characters were introduced, and how they got there in the end wasn't particularly entertaining. No shootings of love-interests, alas.
Santa Olivia - Jacqueline Carey. Really cool post-apocalyptic story which is not part of her two main series. Hope this one continues!
The Nearly Men - Mike Green. History of scientists and inventors who didn't profit much from their inventions/discoveries. Eh, I wasn't taken by the overly-laboured writing style and the examples weren't that interesting. Also, all MEN, as it says - not even sure why I picked it up. I'm not packing this one.
At Home - Bill Bryson. A social history of the (English) home, and how it got populated with the items that are typically it them now.
City of Sin - Catherine Arnold. A social history of London, focussing on sexuality. Stories of prostitution, homosexuals (yeah yeah, I don't care if the term is "anachronistic" - queers have always existed), kinky sex. I dunno, kind of interesting but lacking something.

trixtah: (Default)
Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own (or have owned)

Read more... )
trixtah: (boom)
Apparently - for "Butch Appreciation Day" - we only define ourselves by femmes. Because we're butch so we can run around protecting those delicate little ladies and wear big stompy boots that make our feet hurt.

Too bad if you're into butch-on-butch, eh? Or somehow manage to retain your butch identity without a femme hanging off your arm?

Note: SURE I get dressed up in spiffy outfits if there is someone I want to impress. Even with stompy COMFY boots. But, FFS, my entire life and style is not a performance on the off-chance I'll catch the eye of some random femme.

Seriously, what the fuck is all this about? It's not 1955, where if you didn't conform madly to gender- or role-identity, you'd never get laid. I think we're a little beyond rigid notions of what butch-femme is about. I was glad when feminism relaxed enough that b/f wasn't instantly problematic; I don't want things swinging back into stupid sexist territory.

I'm butch because I'm gender nonconformist, and there are some aspects of the standard butch definition I relate to a lot. But I'm uncomfortable with such labelling as "female masculinity" - for reasons I can't quite enunciate. While it's cool to ID with a label, it doesn't mean have to buy into a whole lot of baggage that may or may not be relevant. Same applies to gender stereotyping (not all men like sport, of any description).

UGH

Jun. 19th, 2011 10:27 pm
trixtah: (Default)
I have been "invited" by no less than three people to the "Femme Appreciation Day" event on Facebook. While I think the femmes in one's life should be appreciated for their awesome selves - and their lovely presentation is definitely a part of that - I really can't get behind something that promotes itself with this horribly saccharine glurge:

"…Vying for her princess kerchief
"May I ride for you, m'Lady? May I ride for You, today?" [Many femmes would laugh in your face if you called her "princess". And sure, I'm totally on my white horse at all times.]

To impress her, even if it's only in our heads... 'cause we're wired that way and can't help ourselves; and we know it, can't admit it half the time, have conquered kingdoms, started wars [Yeah, that punch-up at the dyke bar was srs bsns], learned to cook (maybe not so well) [speak for yourself], given up all days off & driven miles and kilometers just to fall for moments near her eyes...

…Because femmes have this amazing power to inspire, to comfort, to tease, to hook, to care for; to freeze us in our tracks with a single smile or a fleeting sidelong glance.... We protect our own protectors when we defend our femmes. [Oh wait, it's the Western frontier?]

'Cause a femme can stop time with a tiny wave….all effortless yet all powerful[Totally, no matter what her life circumstances, and because being awesome requires no effort whatsoever, nuh uh]...

...The Fire in her soul, the hearth around which the universe turns"
[Great, we'll throw in some goddess-worship as well]

Yeah, I can't even get behind the actual sentiments no matter how much I think many femmes rock. I'm not anyone's knight in shining armour, I do not have submissive tendencies, and I'm not into goddess worship, unfortunately. What a waste.

Yay

Jun. 13th, 2011 11:27 pm
trixtah: (Default)
Some good news finally: someone I've been online-friends with has finally kink-propositioned me (after a few months of build-up), so I've got something to look forward to there.

This is good, because my other two regular kink partners are both unavailable (for different but kind of similar reasons) and I was feeling a bit despondent about that. And my usual inability to go out and chat up random people doesn't help - I attended a BDSM event a couple of weekends back and was basically unable to speak to anyone other than the bar staff. Still, it was good to check out a really well-done bondage scene. The drawbacks of attending events where I know NO-ONE.

Anyways, yay good news - we had an excellent chat over coffee for a few hours yesterday, and it seems that our various needs and goals are very compatible. I'm still not really going there with d/s, but that doesn't appear to be the most crucial thing required on the menu in any case.

In other news, I've had follow-ups with two more jobs, with a video conference interview on Thursday, but I'm not going to get too excited about that. I've had 3 sets of meaningful contact from recruiters and none of them have panned out. Well, I'm assuming not - if they ring for a half-hour's conversation and then I don't hear from them for a few weeks, it's not looking great.

Also, while I expect to take a big pay drop returning to NZ, there is a lower limit I'm not keen to go below (because I think even a decent desktop support person would earn it). It also doesn't help that I'm not up with the very latest Exchange stuff, nor do I know much about server virtualisation (well, I do know how to create basic virtual machines and so on, but I'm hardly a guru, nor have I done formal training in it). I had one job knock me back because I'd get "bored" with my experience. Frankly, I'd be happy with a bit of boredom right now. Sure, it may mean I won't stay in a boring job forever, but if you expect most people to stick around in a particular role in this industry for more than 3-5 years by default, you're going to be sadly disillusioned.
trixtah: (Default)
Have kind of just realised that I'm not very good at dealing with emotional stuff. I mean, I was ROTTEN at it up until my early 20s, but after having my butt kicked by one of my girlfriends, kind of got myself to the point where I thought I was at least average. Actually no.

In summary:
  • Quite often, it takes a long time to realise I'm feeling unsettled about something.
  • When I do realise, I often don't know WHY I'm feeling that way
  • If I figure out WHY I'm feeling that way, I often have no idea whether my interpretation of the other person's actions or words has any basis in reality, or if I'm projecting crap.
  • It's difficult to ask, because then it's like I'm potentially accusing them of something I'm probably completely mistaken about.
  • I find it almost impossible to express myself verbally when it's important (and yes, both negatively and positively).
  • I'm not at all good at "calm and rational" discussion (I am not a calm person), but I have an absolute abhorrence of screaming fights - this doesn't leave much in the way of mechanisms for resolving things.
  • My first (and second and third) reaction, on feeling guilt or shame or embarrassment or stupid, is to hide. And quite often I do feel stupid and embarrassed, with emotional matters.
  • I'm useless at devising strategies for fixing emotional issues.

I'm nearly 43 - I wish I could get my shit together.
trixtah: (Default)
So, I was at a kinky party last night, and there was a lengthy quote written on a board from Proudhon, the anarchist, on the nature of being governed (controlled). Now, I assume it was there as an homage to the joys thereof in an interpersonal sense. Of course, unfortunately, Proudhon himself was defining it in order to diss it.

It did make me laff. To myself. Of course, if it was intended as irony, AWESOME.
trixtah: (Default)
Here is a pic of them today, with the surgical tape off. The lighting isn't that great, so you can't tell that the left areola in particular is quite discoloured, but that was the side that had the top layer of skin come off the nipple. The areolas themselves are at least half of their previous size as well.

The ridge marks in the lower part of my breasts are just the imprint of the compression garment. You can see a little bit of the swelling to the side of my breast on the left of the pic that hasn't gone down yet after the lipo.

Obviously, NSFW and not great if you're squicked by naked breasts and/or healing incisions (no blood, gore or stitches at all though): http://flickr.com/gp/-trixtah/4r59hU
trixtah: (Default)
So the stitches came out today, which is great. The first thing the doctor said to me was, "Feeling lighter since we removed nearly 2kg off your chest?"

And yes, actually I am. :-)

I need to keep wearing surgical tape over the wounds for the next 6 weeks, which is when the next checkup is due, but they're feeling much less Frankenboobish. I'll take a pic of them in the raw sometime next week, when I need to replace the tape (each application lasts about a week - I just shower over the top of it).

The only minor thing is that I still have slightly lumpy areas under my arms where they did the liposuction. Apparently I have fairly tough subcutaneous tissue (that wasn't quite the way the doctor put it), and it doesn't drain fluid as readily as usual. The lumps aren't spongy; they're more that tight feeling you get when you've banged something and it's come up in a bump. Apparently they'll resolve themselves over the ensuing weeks.

I also got about $1500 back from Medicare for the treatment, and a few hundred bucks from my health insurance - my insurance only covers hospital stays, so anything I got was just fine. Also, it's apparently over some threshold where I can claim it on my tax this year as well. Seriously, WTF?, but I'm not going to quibble. :-)

trixtah: (octopus)
I wore a t-shirt for the first time today since surgery and it looks fab. Although I will be happier when my breasts settle into a more natural configuration over the next few months - my chest currently looks a bit like a 16-year-old's (in terms of aggressive perkiness rather than just being smaller) and I'm finding it vaguely off-putting when I take my top off.

However, must stop looking DOWN at myself, especially if I'm going to venture out in public! :-)
trixtah: (Default)
The women I fancy often seem to have one of two main musical genres they like:
  • Heavy metal/rock; OR
  • the Leonard Cohen/Nick Cave/Elvis Costello/Johnny Cash/Tom Waites intersection
However they often cross over with liking one or more varieties of classical music.

(And of course there are umpty billion other genres they like - one likes new age, another likes classic funk, another lounge music. But I can divide nearly all of them between those two major groupings.)

At least I like some of the more accessible - but not overly cliched or soupy-romantic - varieties of classical music. The two major categories there, not so much at all.

Obviously I like women who are quite different to myself in some ways (although very similar in terms of politics, feminism and sexuality), and music is definitely one of those distinguishing factors.

So yeah, narcissism ISN'T the reason I'm queer. lol.

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