lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
Hi! I may have subscribed to your journal because you wrote something interesting that showed up while I was browsing dreamwidth or reading my network page. Perhaps you're reading this because you think I wrote something of note. Either way, welcome.

I try to avoid hate speech of any kind on my journal. If I slip up and say something heedless of my own privilege, please tell me - in a non-flaming way. These are teachable moments, not times to whack people over the head with a newspaper.

I could list an alphabet soup of identities, but suffice it to say thatRead more... )
lizcommotion: Agent Carter, in white blouse, looking determined (agent carter determined)
Seasonal depression hit me like a sledgehammer a few days ago. I'm coping, but it's a lot harder than usual. I was talking to a friend today and I mentioned that thing where you are so anxious-upset-whatever that it doesn't feel safe to go to sleep, even though sleep is probably something that would help your brain and my friend went OH THAT THING THANK YOU FOR NAMING IT. So yes, sleep is hard.

I'm having to do some things to cope with the current weight of the world, and I'd appreciate your help ~
  • currently on as much of a news fast as I can manage with the news everywhere. It's fine if you want to talk about the news in your own space, but please don't mention current events here unless it's on a post specifically about a news item. (For others on news fasts, I'm trying to keep them behind magic cut-tags.)
  • please do not link any of my posts (even public ones) out at the moment without checking with me first; I'm having trouble people-ing right now.
  • writing is helping! I just keep getting stuck. talk to me about writing, though general awareness of "different brains work differently" is greatly appreciated.
  • as always, cute photos of animals, humor (light and dark humor), poetry, amazing!science and other things that make the world worth living are amazing and I appreciate you sharing.
thanks for reading!
lizcommotion: Pile of books (book)
I had complete sensory overload last night so I found a few random books available on Overdrive and checked one out. The first I was going to try had all these "what a great Christian fairytale!" things in the beginning and I went...OK NOPE not my jam. So I read Soundless, which I was hesitant about because it had the capacity to be so very bad if the author didn't do her research.

(She did her research, as far as I can tell. But if you disagree, please lmk.)

Soundless
is about a small mining town high in an Asian-inspired-fantasy-setting. The town is completely cut off from outsiders, and their only communication is a zip line: they send minerals down, they get food back. (Their soil is too poor to grow any food.) Other than miners, those who work the supply line, and servants, the other main job is as an artist/calligrapher. Everyone in the town is Deaf, and has been for centuries, so they have artists observe the day's events, record them meticulously on scrolls every evening, and put them in the town square every morning so everyone knows the day's news. Then the scrolls are kept for future generations.

Everyone has forgotten what sound is, and everything is completely designed to be accessible to those who are Deaf, and there's no stigma about it. However, some people are beginning to lose their vision, which means they can't work in the mines. As there are less minerals to trade, this is creating a food shortage for the entire community.

The main character mysteriously regains her hearing. There is a good bit of time dedicated to her having complete sensory overload, and wondering why their ancestors ever wanted hearing in the first place. However, she might be able to save her people, because it's always been too dangerous to climb down the mountain when you can't hear avalanches.

The author avoids tropes like "hearing is better" and "people regaining their hearing is the only happy ending." Also, vision loss is only tragic because there's resource scarcity (and prejudice against those who can't work). There's some pretty great stuff when the MC interacts with hearing people along the lines of "UGH why don't they understand these BABY SIGNS they are so obvious" and also when meeting other people who have lost their hearing some "look your sign language is not exactly the same as mine let's figure out what this sign is." Also, "learning the words for sounds."

It also doesn't romanticize the mountain town as being full perfect magical disabled people: there's injustice and mean people, too.

A fun book to get me through sensory overload that did not make me shouty and was a good example of "hey look at the social model of disability in action" for YA lit. Also, yay for "not another generic European fantasy setting." Planning to get it for my nephew once he can deal with a het romance plotline.
lizcommotion: Agent Carter, in white blouse, looking determined (agent carter determined)
There's a post on tumblr about Lady Rage that is worth a read. (cn: gifs, cis-centric in that it doesn't explicitly deal with trans issues but touches briefly on "other marginalized groups" specifically women of color, but I think the form of socially accepted anger they speak to is relevant to many and I did not note open transphobia just more...writing from an AFAB perspective? ANYWAY IDK DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES IF THIS IS FOR YOU).

DM: How often my friends and I seem to ask each other permission before we actually admit that we’re experiencing anger. “I know ___ was just trying to help, but isn’t this email weird?” or “I’m sure I’m blowing this out of proportion….”, etc. etc. I sometimes feel like IT TAKES A VILLAGE [of HARPIES and SHREWS and VALKYRIES and VIRAGOS - every last one of them terribly, terribly shrill] for a woman to admit that she is feeling mad!

DS: Yeah, there’s our feminine socialization in action right there. “Is this emotion that I’m having actually the emotion that I’m having? Am I authorized to have this emotion? I’ll need that emotional authorization form filled out in triplicate before I can actually experience it without feeling bad.” This is a huge benefit to back-channel communications with fellow ladyfriends. It’s almost worthwhile to get mad, if only because of the loud communal cackling I get to do by processing that anger with my pals. And I do think there’s something valuable about the way women respond in undercover, subtle & funny ways to the ridiculousness we witness daily. For one thing, so much great art has arisen from feminine rage. For another, I don’t want to go around actually Hulking out all the time, but I do want to acknowledge my negative feelings more honestly in public. I think. I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about this.
the h/t #NormalizeLadyRage on Twitter also has some good content and hopefully someone will storify that shit.

also touches on fandom, dismissal of female fans, and HULKING OUT.
lizcommotion: A black-and-white photo of a Victorian woman (victorian lady)
I ran out of new episodes of Orphan Black (which I enjoy but does make me so twitchy about eugenics and creeped out), so of course I watched seven episodes of PBS's Mercy Street last night. It's a period show set during the Civil War at a Union hospital in Alexandria, VA (though filmed in Richmond). I have mixed feelings. Spoilers within.

tw: on-screen period racist violence, sexual assault and why this makes me shouty, also the copious white tears of Confederates including PTSD and SI, all the mental health triggers )

tl;dr However historically accurate or not Mercy Street may be, I did not like it and it made me shouty. It did keep me occupied during a pain flare but uh. Would not rec.
(this is a show where my partner looks at me and goes, "Why did you watch this?" and I go, "Um, pretty skirts? Filmed locally? Shouty historian? I...don't know.")
lizcommotion: typewriter on a table, faded (writing)
Midsomer Murders x Dr Who

Why does no one move from Midsomer? Why are only two bumbling yet affable detectives in charge of a string of seemingly unrelated murders instead of a giant task force full of forensics people? Why is it still seen as a pleasant destination?

The Doctor knows some deeper work must be at play. His only regret is that it has taken him so long to investigate...better get ready to RUN.
lizcommotion: a raptor silhouetted against a sunet over the beach (bird sunset)
so my mom went to the ER because her Super Bad Lupus Flare is maybe gallbladder related. I'm hoping it's "just" gallstones or something necessitating a gallbladder removal, and not Lupus that has progressed to organ attacks.

also, a part of me that I am not entirely proud of is SUPER HAPPY that at least it's not me in the ER the Friday of a holiday weekend.

good thoughts appreciated. leaving comments off because my email is overwhelming as it is right now and I am already hiding from it.
lizcommotion: a photo of a globe (world)
So I haven't seen a lot about this recently on social media, which makes me think that the organizers of this campaign are just bad at social media. BUT it is an important issue, and I can't deal with tweeting about it in 140 character chunks, so I'm just going to share here for now.
cn: cut for those on a news fast, but with a request for signal boosting about DC Statehood and budget issues )
lizcommotion: Agent Carter, in white blouse, looking determined (agent carter determined)
Conveniently, [personal profile] davidgillon made a really good post yesterday about the 2016 US Presidential election and candidates' attitudes towards disability rights/platforms/activists.

(Conveniently because I always mean to make Follow Friday posts but then forget to ask people permission, or forget what day of the week it is.)

[personal profile] davidgillon is worth following for other posts too, like about writing and SFF and disability also other activist issues of note.

Also, to combine a short and related linkspam, two articles and a storify that may be of interest (though these are non-dw):

7 ways my non-disabled friends get it right

Why disabled people write about ableism

Storify: #DisabilityTooWhite (a twitter conversation about intersections of race, disability, erasure, and white privilege)
lizcommotion: A black-and-white photo of a Victorian woman (victorian lady)
I can and will try to write a short answer to this, as I have Many Thoughts on the US ideals of "progress".

(Note: I am writing from a US history perspective here, so I use the word "we" in places to mean "the US mainstream narrative" but it's to save lots of words; I know there are a lot of other perspectives throughout the world and even within the US and I don't want to discount them. Just, language is hard, and expanding beyond the US begins to be beyond the scope of one blog entry.)

Much of the ideas we currently have about progress coalesced during the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s), though they draw from other times and have morphed since then as well.

The Progressive Era was kind of a mixed bag, in a "tally up how we did by today's moral standards" measure. tw: there are some good things here, but gear up for All The Grossness of Historical and Modern Racism, Classism, Sexism, Ableism, anti-NDN policies et al herein, you have been warned )

So, do I think "progress" should be a taboo word like "f-g-t" or banned from the language? No. Plus "I'm making a lot of progress on my life goals" is certainly a fine use of the word.

But I think that knowing the history of how the idea of Progress has been misused is important. (It can have its good points, too.) When I reflexively flinch at the word, now, I also look very carefully at how people use it -- because the speaker can often betray traces of progressivism's history without meaning too.

David Brooks is a soft targettw: yes expect David Brooks to be gross and racist and ethnocentric )

*twitch*
lizcommotion: Fandom is the universe's way of making up for family (fandom family)
Relevant to everyone's interests:

Here is a Gollum 2016 Campaign photo that is amazing and has had me giggling since yesterday:


Image reads
Gollum 2016: a look at the issues
table has two columns: Yes, my precious and WE HATES IT!
In the Yes, my precious column: The precious, Fish, Riddles,
WE HATES IT, column: Bagginses, The Fat Hobbit, Hobbitses in General, Elves, Taters
lizcommotion: Agent carter, in white blouse, looking amused (agent carter amused)
Despite the fact that MCU is pissing me off with various decisions and I kind of don't want to support them by writing tons more fic in their universe, and I am also focusing on writing more femslash...

I do NEED this fic. Like, need it.

The idea: Tony Stark does not make bad life choices Tony Stark uses his inventive powers to make lots of accessibility devices for Bucky and his PTSD/arm and also for any residual Steve/Falcon/Bucky I-have-been-in-war pains. And lbr, also probably PTSD. Like not "let me put a power supply in your body" but like actual accessibility devices.

I leave the bulk of What Accessible Devices Would Tony Stark Make up to the creator of the fic, but I can think of some. (Like for PTSD, noise cancelling devices, but also store walls that are designed to absorb noise rather than reflect it. Maybe some sort of sonar device that clicks to let you know someone is coming up behind you, to help with startle reflex. But then Bucky is like, no Tony, that is actually just making me twitchier, sorry.) For pain? Maybe a glove so that when people rush up to shake Falcons' hand with crushing excitement, it doesn't set off pain because the glove absorbs the force.

Also, perhaps Falcon is like, "Hey, I have some friends from the VA, maybe you can help them out, too." And Natasha is like, "So, it's not just war heroes who have PTSD you know." And maybe Pepper and Natasha and Maria Hill all share a moment of, "Ha, even the Shield doctors don't take women seriously. *shared eyeroll*"

AND THEN Tony Stark gets all mad because WHY IS THE ADA SO POORLY ENFORCED and and UNIVERSAL DESIGN IS BETTER ANYWAY and WHY IS THERE NOT MORE FUNDING and he uses all his moniez to go on a media/lobbying blitz about it. And eventually he gets super angry about it and Pepper's like "Tony, Tony. You do not need to destroy a building with your metal suit to make a point." And Tony Stark is like, "WHY NOT. Why is the system so fucked up! It is infuriating! Also they keep putting displays in front of the automatic door and will not listen to reason!" And then Pepper goes in and uses the art of Diplomacy, and there is also maybe a deployment of Maria Hill or perhaps even Natasha Romanov to certain lawmakers to pressure them into better legislation.

OK yes I need this now. To wash the bitter bitter taste of CA: CW out of my mouth (which I have not even seen).

Dribbles/etc appreciated as well.

*puppy dog eyes*
lizcommotion: A hand drawn terrier "smiling" and looking slightly cross-eyed, shown from the neck up (dog terrier djinni)
Signal Boosting for [personal profile] raze:
Crowd funding for surgical costs incurred by a small scale animal rescue in central Alabama
(content note: please note that an image of a stitched surgical incision appears at the end of the post, since the cut is bypassed by my direct link)

For those of you unfamiliar with [personal profile] raze, please know that they do AMAZING work for many, many animals that would otherwise be completely abandoned or unnecessarily euthanized. Any donations made will go a very long way; they are currently trying to raise $500 for vet bills.

You can also find more about [personal profile] raze 's animals -- including animal rescue and animal care info -- via allcreaturessmall on tumblr (there is also a dw feed for the tumblr if that's your jam). There's miniature pigs and all sorts of creatures, it's worth a look.
lizcommotion: A hand-drawn/colored lovely little creature with a knitted cap and piles of yarn behind it knitting a scarf (knitting creature)
Cat Update )

What I have been knitting lately )

Writing Meta )

Here's a short excerpt I wrote the other day that I am particularly proud of )

I've been on Twitter a lot in the middle of the night when I can't sleep because of hip pain, because there's lots of other people who can't sleep either, and also because when I have brain fog 140 characters is easier to handle than larger chunks of text.

However, joyously! my brain is letting me read now. Possibly because I am utterly sick of television, as for months I couldn't really do anything after 6 pm other than watch Netflix under a pile of cats. So, rec me your books! Quick, while I can enjoy them!
lizcommotion: A hand drawn terrier "smiling" and looking slightly cross-eyed, shown from the neck up (dog terrier djinni)
so I really like good stand up, by which I mean stand up which makes me laugh really hard and is not reliant on gross racist/othering jokes.

if this is also your jam and you have not watched Maz Jobrani, then let me take a moment to rec his stuff to you! he was part of the original Axis of Evil comedy tour (formed in response to George W Bush's infamous state of the union speech as a way to humanize the alleged evil terrible people in said countries, though I do not think they ever managed to recruit a Korean comedian?)

anyway, one of my personal favorite skits is about Middle Easterners and dancing. Partly because I have had this exact experience at several weddings.

(Pro tip: if the clapping gets to you, [personal profile] maramcreates very rightly pointed out that no one will know if you fake clap to save your hands.)
lizcommotion: A Japanese schoolgirl overlooking a harbor and a figure with wings (Choice)
The Toast has a recent post on The Holidays Sad Fictional Characters Deserve.

I now need a fleshed out version of this Bertha Mason one, though the paragraph from the Toast is perfect and I am rolling it around in my mind periodically.

cut for feelz )
lizcommotion: historic-style drawing of a woman with long hair dressed in purple robes sitting in a field (pagan woman)
I read about the Dwarf Tomato Project in my mom's American Horticultural Society magazine (which comes to my house for free, it's a good magazine, but I would not necessarily put it at the top of your "spending moniez" pile).

anyway, the dwarf tomato project was a collaborative multi-gardener project to create tomatoes for small spaces. most tomato plants like to sprawl everywhere/require a lot of ineffective "caging" and whatnot, and even in a small space do not produce a lot of tomatoes. it is basically citizen science in action. the seeds are now available through several heirloom seed companies (but the seeds themselves are open source, which is a whole different topic if you want to delve into it). the tomatoes are based off heirloom varieties, so there are a lot of cool purple ones and such if that's your thing.

one of the coordinators of the project has a list of all the dwarf tomato project varieties and where they are available on his website.

Anyway, I know this is way too late in the (US) season to start tomato seeds, because actually it's more like "stick tomato seeds in the ground a couple weeks ago" in my zone, BUT i pass on this information while I'm thinking about it and also because you can get some seeds in Australia -- which is a big thing because of the seed import ban that I hear is there for good reason -- and I have *no idea* when you start tomato seeds in AU. (not sure about elsewhere in the globe.)
lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
so i keep having what i think are pretty good ideas for Giant Projects to save the world as a Gryffindor is intended to do or maybe not so giant ones, but I definitely don't have the spoons for them, and then they keep rocketing around in my head going "but i'm such a good idea don't you love me??"

anyway, I'm sharing some of these ideas here in case anyone wants to adopt a free plot bunny that's not actually for a fic:

  1. Make Call Button Pendants Not Ugly: so those call button necklaces people are supposed to wear when they fall? my gran has one and it's super spendy and she never wears it. hell, if i got one, i wouldn't wear it. the necklace screams is just a reminder of your vulnerability or whatnot. SO my idea is to make them actually decorative instead of grey and red. Sportsball stickers? A crochet cover you can slip over the top? Bedazzle them? IDK, but something so you can reclaim the damn thing.

  2. an app or a service or something that is just videos of animals sleeping. like three hours of the same animals. to relaxing music, tuned so you can hear them snoring. i am convinced this would help treat many sleep disorders. because i always get really fucking tired when i watch my cats sleep.

  3. Cats on Campus: Currently, to rehome every single adoptable cat in the US, you'd need to put like six cats per home. This is why people are putting cats in settings like prisons and retirement homes. So I thought...if one could overcome the legal hurdles, why not a college campus? I mean, my college has a giant feral colony because of undergrads who thought they could sneak a cat into their dorm room. SO the way it could work is in partnership with maybe the counselling department/psych/any kind of veterinary sciences or whatnot. It could be a living-learning dorm, or it could be a cat room that students volunteer in and there are appointments to visit. BONUS: some slots could be reserved for students from the counseling center who need a fuzzy cat in their arms right away. People can put down resume experience, and I know I for one would totally have chosen a college based on "ability to cuddle animals away from my own fuzzy animal." The hardest parts would probably be funding, legal, and making sure the cats didn't get overstressed (also making sure you got extroverted cats).

  4. Foundation that gives grants to research studying health issues for minority populations (if this does not exist already) or if it does already exist, all the fundraising for it and also ask them to put more money into endo research after doing the fundraising

  5. Reduce Con Crud: You know how certain cons are cesspools of disease? And everyone gets con crud? So my idea is to do some disease prevention at the con but make it cool so people actually do it, public health style. Idea the first: sell reusable water bottles with the con's logo and a space for ppl to write their name and also get an artist to sketch something in sharpie. Boom, you get less "I'm finally drinking water but it's form cups that everyone has fondled." Idea the second: Enlist cosplayers as minions, have them go around with reusable hand sanitizer and offer it to people along with reminders (maybe on a card in cute anime type drawings, maybe verbally, idk) to wash their hands and stay hydrated. Idea the third: Enlist your public speakers, especially the big name ones, to make it a Thing when they talk to ask everyone to prioritize being healthy so they reduce the amount of con crud. After all, then their favorite artists will have more time for art and less time/$ spent at the doctor! In sum, make it con culture that at least two things (drinking water, washing hands) are The Thing Everyone Does This Year. Try to get that ingrained, then move onto things like "covering your mouth when you cough" and "have vitamin C." (though, if it's an anime con and you have those cafe things, maybe make sure to serve things with vitamin C)

  6. Some sort of "how to inexpensively make your house more accessible/universal design on the cheap" how to guide (for disabled and nondisabled people alike)


i have other ideas but these are the ones that have been headbutting me the most (and that I still remember).

oh, and I think that a great Talking Point for "why Congress should fund the interstate highway system repairs" is "because Eisenhower was a Republican president; it was his greatest legacy; rather than fighting about what kind of monument to have for him in DC we should just repair bridges; also it's a matter of national defense because a lot of US food supply travels via truck plus collapsing bridges cause public panic."

because apparently when I'm bored and my body won't do anything, my brain decides it should try being C.J. Cregg.
lizcommotion: a hand drawn/colored happy cane (disability cane happy)
Hey,

I'm going (finally! hopefully!) to Maryland Sheep and Wool in a few weeks. I'm just wondering if any of you fine people have gone, and if so, if you know what the state of the bathrooms are? The friend I'm going with has Crohn's, so having a not-porta-potty is VERY important to our enjoyment of the festival. The fairground map looks like it has bathrooms, but I have no idea how many or if they are totally gross or if the lines are out of this world.

If the bathrooms are ridic at the fairgrounds, does anyone who has been know of a nearby-ish place with public-ish bathrooms that are non-icky? Say, a Starbucks or a McDonald's?

Thanks.

(and if you know someone who might know, feel free to DM me or send them a link to this)
lizcommotion: a forest filled with sunlight and small purple flowers (spring trees)
Happy things:

US ex-Senator, 90, to remarry his male partner
Mr Wofford said his life was "a story of two great loves" - with his wife Clare, who died of leukaemia in 1996, and with Matthew Charlton, 40.

He wrote: " I don't categorise myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness."


LGBTQ books for middle grade readers

Thomas Jefferson Uptown Funk - from Hamilton by [personal profile] heresluck

In honor of Shakespeare's Deathiversary:

Secret lives of women who broke taboo to act in Shakespeare

Which Shakespearean play should you see? An illustrated flowchart

Prince

ETA to add: Prince Wrote About Women in a Way That Most Contemporary Male Artists Still Can't (via Captain Awkward's twitter)

Writing:

Why knowing the history of history is vital for any writer drawing from the past

Signal boost for Beyond the Binary: help a UK magazine for non-Binary people continue running, pay its authors

Social Justice & Feminism:

Hermeneutical Injustice in Consent and Asexuality
Similarly, an asexual’s sense of self is formed by collective understandings of sexuality, leading to feelings of brokenness, abnormality, and isolation. When the collective hermeneutical resources construct sexuality as default, there is no way develop a healthy asexual selfhood. Moreover, asexuals are socially constituted as sexual where, particularly in intimate and physical relationships, it is against their interests to be seen as such. We see the harm in this played out again in issues of consent.

How Medicaid forces families like mine to stay poor
(note: might make you ALSO rage on Twitter. if you are looking for a good article to explain this dystopian system to people who don't have to deal with it, or you would like to better understand how messed up Medicaid is, then by all means.)

The secret rules of the internet: The murky history of moderation, and how it’s shaping the future of free speech
my conclusions: hire some damn anthropologists (and other social scientists) to work on moderation ethics. it is their jam.
lizcommotion: A microsoft paint drawing of a muscle person that says "Xtreme muscle product" (Xtreme muscle product)
Sometimes when I am driving with my mom or my partner, one of us issues a string of invectives because we see a pruning job like this:


mature tree with a beautiful canopy except for the giant hole cut out for a power line
(see a full ranty pinterest board by someone else like us!)

Why "tree trimming" doesn't actually prevent power outages (and what will)
Read more... )

How perfectly nice people can make bad tree choices: story time
Read more... )

Choosing the Right Trees (preferably not for your hell strip)
Read more... )

tl;dr If this seems like Too Much to Think About, here is a simple guide with pictures and less wall of text about picking the right tree for the right place. And remember, you can always ask a local botanical garden or garden group or internet hive mind for help. I wouldn't necessarily trust a landscaping company as your only source, as their main job is to sell you plants (even if they're not the right plants for you).

If you're thinking, lizcommotion, I don't have room for trees! All of this applies to houseplants or smaller plants as well, just on a less-huge and less-long scale. More on picking houseplants and veggies and things later. But it is good to pay attention to the labels on plants, because if you have a shade-loving plant in the sun, it's going to be a sad sad plant.

P.S. Also, even if you don't have space, you can be like me and come up with a mental list of gorgeous trees you'd plant if you did have the right space. It is a good game.

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lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
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