More booky thoughts

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:42 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin ranting tonight a bit (charmingly) about wishing his class was broader than just European fairy tales but he also appreciates that it is focused and grounded in particular history.

I was thinking how I came up against that wall around the same age, a bit earlier, and went looking for "world" stuff or just anything not English, US based, "western culture" wanting to see anything possible. Anthologies were good or looking by specific country or ethnicity. I would root through any library or bookstore. Encyclopedias too. The indexes of books were super instructive. It took just years for me to have any real handle on the depth of the problems of histories but it was clear from the beginning that A LOT WAS WRONG. I didn't go into that (right now it is better if I listen to him than talk about my own thoughts)

Anyway! I'm so, so proud of Moomin and his excitement about scholarly things. I feel like no matter what he does in life he will have that kind of love of books and knowledge and stories.

He also really loved Gilgamesh so I am going to show him those awesome debates online between Hoe and Plough, Fish and Bird, etc.

Mermaid points

Oct. 21st, 2017 04:22 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin convinced me that the HCA Little Mermaid story is actually amazing because she just feels her feelings but isn't an asshole, doesn't get married, and becomes foam on the sea and an air spirit who helps people so basically her story NEVER ENDS and she is a SUPERHERO who flies around with air powers, doing good in the world! I started out with the complete opposite point of view on this story.

Also when he said he thought of me in relation to her feeling like she is walking on knives..... i actually think of that sometimes so that kind of touched me.

He is also reading Gilgamesh and some Bible stuff for philosophy class and seems to be keeping up in his other math class! So nice to have him here even for a day. <3

self-compassion

Oct. 20th, 2017 03:25 pm
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[personal profile] alexr_rwx
Probably the most important idea I've gotten out of therapy is this idea of self-compassion. I've been especially bad at this, basically forever. It's not healthy.

The idea, roughly, is that you want to treat yourself the way you would treat a close friend; we're good at extending kindness, understanding and encouragement to other people! But we're often so harsh to ourselves; our internal monologue can be like a stream of verbal abuse.

But you can't help your friend or loved one by browbeating them. Same with yourself! You're like your own child, in a sense; you've got to take care of yourself.

Also like your friend or your child, you don't want to encourage yourself to fall into a pit of self-indulgence. Your wouldn't be happy to find your respected friend, or you child, wallowing in a mire of ice cream and porn -- at least not for too long! You want them to eat healthy foods and get sensible exercise and read a book! And you certainly don't want them to crunch up into a ball of self-directed rage and despair of ever feeling better and keep punching walls and/or their own body.

You can extend this compassion to yourself too! You deserve, as a human being, this kind of compassion, whether or not you're currently winning at whatever.

The TEDx talk on the topic is definitely worth watching: https://youtu.be/IvtZBUSplr4

The speaker, Kristen Neff, is a psychology researcher, and this is her primary topic: she writes about it all the time and has possibly-helpful exercises over on http://self-compassion.org .

No excuses every day

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:37 am
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[personal profile] badgerbag
Cannot quite work up the oomph to fix my various Wordpress problems.
Yesterday was a nice office day, tho my face still hurt I had a good afternoon there.
The smoke blew away from here over night and now it's foggy and rainy. I can't find my face mask.

I'm on 100mg neurontin at night for the face nerve pain from shingles. Taking it at 7pm isn't quite early enough (i am still groggy and weird feeling now) I'd like to go off it by the end of next week or decrease the dosage. My face really hurts..... and is cold sensitive. I need one of those microwaveable pillows.... my old one got moldy I think. the actual heating pad is huge (the size of my entire back) and rough textured. My eye is twitching.... it feels tired. I guess all the muscles around my painful face are tensing up. The skin is not too bad now but the pain has moved to a deep ache in my jaw like a toothache.

Working in little fits & starts on my new writing project (a novel)

Actual work still looming though right now I have a little bit of a break. (mid cycle, no dot release so far for 56, the lull before a big push to release 57)

Nazi rally in Gainesville is pissing me off. Hundreds of cops mobilized for this bullshit. It just helps militarize the situation even more.

Reading - Squirrel Girl novel, which was beautiful! Last night read The Lucky Stiff by Craig Rice and this morning The Fourth Postman. Hardboiled detective. But also funny! Craig Rice is Georgiana Craig.
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[personal profile] alexr_rwx
You know, I logged out of Twitter a few days ago to support the #WomenBoycottTwitter thing, and I can't bring myself to log back in.

I think it's been pretty good for my mood. It just seems like a constant stream of anxiety-fuel, that site.

Feeling pretty calm, which is nice. Weird.

Book review(s): Steinbeck

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:35 am
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[personal profile] gfish
I just finished a Steinbeck binge, working my way through Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden. I think I had read Of Mice and Men before, sometime in high school? I certainly knew the story, anyway. Still good. The dog shooting part was hard, since I experienced exactly that as a kid, waiting to hear the shot. The dog ran under the truck one day, so my dad had to deal with it. I had been in the truck when it happened, and I didn't handle it well.

East of Eden I enjoyed, but it didn't really feel finished. The biblical parallels might be more interesting to other people, but it wasn't enough for me. I liked the people and the stories of their lives, I just wanted a meatier backbone to the whole thing.

The Grapes of Wrath blew me away. I was utterly hooked from the very beginning. The socialism/anarchism/questioning of capitalism that is a steady background for the story was a pleasant surprise. Many of the points it brings up are every bit as relevant today as they were then.

I found myself so engrossed in the story that I experienced a certain amount of culture shock. After one day of listening to several hours as I drove down to Tacoma and back, I walked into a grocery store and felt disoriented by the amount of food available. The contrast was just too great.

It helps that I have some personal ties. My dad's family were Okies, oil field workers who moved to California just a few years later than the book. I never knew them, but from all the family stories, they sounded much like the Joads. I even managed to inherit a minor linguistic quirk from them: I pronounce and hear "pen" and "pin" as the same word. /I/ and /e/, before a nasal consonant, are non-contrastive for me. If I focus, I can certainly hear the difference, but it's like hearing the difference between a short and long vowel in Japanese. Turns out that is an Oklahoma thing, and my dad does the same thing.

I grabbed a copy of the movie, because I was curious how it could have been adapted, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was very faithful, in a respectful kind of way, and I really liked Henry Fonda as Tom. It kept a lot more of the socialism than I expected, and stuck the ending pretty well, given that there was no way they could have kept the original ending.

He definitely gets added to my list of authors I'll read more of in the future, as I happen to find their works on sale.
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[personal profile] jewelfox

Allow me to take a moment off from talking about game consoles in human form, in order to talk about game consoles in game console form. Specifically, the Nintendo Switch, and how Sony basically handed the market to them.

Discussion of expensive personal electronics and capitalists behaving badly )

By making the "Switch" functionality core to the console itself, Nintendo is neatly sidestepping all the incompatibility BS that Sony built in to their products. It's a fresh start, a requirement for all Switch games going forward, and it's one that I strongly approve of.

Now I just need to cross my fingers, and hope that either the Neptunia series winds up on the Switch like the Atelier series already has, or that Sony gets their act together. Portable game consoles have been my treasured companions and comfort objects ever since I was little, and while I like being able to stream my games on Twitch or a TV I don't like being disconnected from them when I can't get to one.

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 07:49 pm
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[personal profile] yam
Hi dreamwidth! Apparently I post once a month now.

Things are not going so hot. I asked to have my hours at work cut back by two thirds because I can't handle my already much-reduced schedule any more. I'm still working the old "long" hours this month while they find someone to cover my shifts, and it feels like it will be excruciatingly long until Remembrance Day, the deadline I gave them. Playing a fun game of "Diagnosis! Of! Exclusion!" with my doctor to see if maybe I have chronic fatigue syndrome - or one of its hard-to-pin-down diagnostically-wishy-washy cousins - on top of chronic migraine. 'Cause my head hurts, yes, all the time, but also I'm so goddamn TIRED all the time. I have no stamina and any kind of exertion puts me in bed for days recovering. So. Cutting back on work. I will need to apply for disability. I sure as heck hope I am /approved/ for disability, because I already did the sell-my-house thing once and I can't move to Abbotsford. My doctor of 19 years is supportive, I don't have any reason to think I won't be approved, just... it's a big depressing discouraging deal, is all. With a lot of paperwork and gatekeepers.

I'm glad I can still work a LITTLE - the idea of not being a pharmacist at all is very distressing - but my ideal balance involves a lot more apothecary-ing and a lot less lying in bed half-asleep clutching my head in pain. At least flu shots are in! I can spend all 4 weeks of my remaining higher-hour schedule stabbing people in the public interest.

My fiddlar-visit was fantastic/depressing/fantastic! Depressing only because I wanted to be AWAKE for more of it. But like, I got serenaded, she stuffed my fridge full of coq au vin and sammiches, and patted my head and brought me advil. I love you too, honey.

Greg is a radiant ball of sunshine in my blackout curtained off life. We're up to book 11 of the Oz books - he just ran in here and snuggled up, demanding another chapter, before racing back to making more elaborate, tricksy Mario Maker levels. (Note to Juli: he has hit his limit of uploads and refuses to swap out old ones for new ones. I'm working on him! You should come over and play them locally some time, there are some maze ones that really... make me super dizzy? I'm not selling this well, am I.)

OH OH! And my parents are moving IN TO MY BUILDING next month! I know for some people this would be terrible news, but I am ECSTATIC. If you know my parents you know that I won the parent lottery - the idea of being able to visit even when I'm totally wiped out by just hopping in the elevator is pretty amazing. Greg has been cracking himself up by saying every time we get home from school "We're not home, we're at GRAMMA AND PERRY'S HOUSE!" ("Grampa" never sticks for long. Possibly the fault of Phineas & Ferb.)
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[personal profile] jewelfox

So I was browsing through an online copy of the New Era, the Mormon church's youth magazine, because when I'm anxious and depressive I sometimes regress. This time it actually helped, though, to take a look at this stuff in hindsight.

Mild homophobia and family stuff, and brief mention of suicide )

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[personal profile] jewelfox

Hyperdimension Neptunia and its spinoffs have a lot of material that might make people uncomfortable, from skimpy magical girl costumes to scenes where kids get abducted. I personally cringed during Anonydeath's introduction in episode six of the anime, for reasons I discussed in my last entry.

Despite that, the world of Gamindustri has become a haven for me in the last few months. I can go on adventures there with a cast of mostly good-natured female characters, who don't answer to men and aren't trying to seek male approval. They don't have to deal with oppressive societies, either, because they're literal goddesses who each rule a whole country. Sometimes they have to deal with existential threats, but they always manage to overcome them by working together.

Now, that sounds a lot like the premise for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which most people would probably agree is more kid- and female-friendly. But I personally had a lot of trouble watching the pilot episode of that series. There was so much boundary violation and forced friendship, where the characters have to get along no matter what.

Read more... )

tl;dr; I feel like it really shows that "western fantasy" stuff is designed by regressive men who long for the days of bikini armour and Conan, and modern MLP is made for "bronies," while Neptunia's characters were designed by a woman to appeal to herself. Someone please tell me I'm not just being creepy and blind here.

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[personal profile] jewelfox

Technology Tell's Jenni Lada tells all:

Finding it passed the Bechdel test was only the start. Hyperdimension Neptunia games offer a pretty positive view of women, once you get past the innuendo and outrageous costumes. It does something that’s practically unthinkable in the world of games, for starters. It features an all-female cast. Neptune and her sister, Nepgear, are always the stars. Their friends and rivals are all women. The only time men show up are as an occasional villain or ancillary character. Male characters often don’t even merit character portraits.

More quote and some of our thoughts, on the games and the anime )

tl;dr I love these stories and characters, I like the all-female cast of incarnate deities, I even like some of the lesbian fanservice, but some of the male fans skeeve me out and I want to find other women / enbies who appreciate these games? Also I've ordered the fake-MMO 4 Goddesses Online and may be playing it online soon.

Marcus Wicker, Silencer, 2017

Oct. 12th, 2017 09:38 am
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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
I read this on the recommendation of the great Roxane Gay. Like everything she recommends, it's excellent.

grant me a few free hours each day. Grant me a Moleskine pad & a ballpoint pen with some mass. Grant me your gift of this voice. Pages & pages of this voice, in a good book from a loving press. & grant me a great love, too. Grant a way to provide for my love. Like, a tenure-track job at a small college in the Midwest.

Wicker draws the reader in with this likable, conversational-confessional frankness. His project isn't to emphasize our shared experience, though. It's to draw attention to the cracks.

The danger in consuming the Grey Poupon is believing that you, too, can be a first-generation member of the elite, turning your nose up at soul music, simple joy, fried foods, casual Fridays—essentially everything I’m made of.

Under late capitalism, we are all subject to precarity, but no one more so than a black man in a police state. Wicker challenges us not to look away.

What’s the use in playing it like everything’s going to be OK for me in the event of mortal catastrophe

Grant this guy tenure, and bulletproof skin.
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