April 17th, 2014
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 12:22pm on 2014-04-17 under ,
Term has ended, and I was able to wrangle things so I could take my marking to Cambridge and live at home for a week, leading up to the beginning of Passover this Monday.

diary stuff )

Thank you to everybody who was friendly and comforting this week, it really does mean a lot, and I'm feeling extremely blessed to know you all. I still have a lot of things I need to deal with, both workwise and in terms of selling my house here and hopefully buying another one in Cambridge. But basically I'll be ok, and at least I don't have all that on my to-do list plus Passover prep.
location: Cambridge, England, UK
Music:: Neuroticfish: Waste
Mood:: 'stressed' stressed
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-04-17

Posted by Monica Roberts

Photo: Equality for all: whether you want to be called Sarah or Sean. Let's support the Josephine Tittsworth Act and help improve the UH-system.Was on the University of Houston campus to watch a little history being made in the ultramodern UH SGA Senate chambers in the UC North as UH 51.001, the Josephine Tittsworth Act came to a final vote

The SGA meeting started at 7:30 PM with the TransGriot an overflow crowd anxiously watching the proceedings.

The Tittsworth Act sought to have The University of Houston follow its existing EEOC and non discrimination policy by allowing trans students to update their university identification with their preferred name, discerned gender and titles. .  
But this simple turned into a surprisingly contentious issues that plucked nerves on both sides of it.

The frats and sororities were the initial Tittsworth Act opposition, and there were reports the UH campus Republicans were also stirring the injustice pot as well.  The opposition initially went to the all too familiar play to the trans community and our allies of 'fear and trans smear' along with complaining about being called bigots during the debate.

Well opposition people, when you actively oppose a measure for a marginalized group by throwing long ago debunked trans bathroom and sexual predator myths as you did in last week's town hall (which I made my pissivity about that stunt clear), it's not a good look and puts you on the wrong side of the arc of the moral universe not only in my eyes as a trans person but in the court of public opinion.  .

I also noted that the UH frats and sororities 45 years ago were on the wrong side of history when they opposed the election of Lynn Eusan as UH's first Black homecoming queen, and sadly, they were repeating that history by attempting to oppress another on campus marginalized group.  

The opponents sought to delay the vote, claiming that the Tittsworth Act 'had been rushed', with many of the junior SGA senators complaining they 'hadn't had enough time' to present the issues to their constituency groups

SGA President Charles Haston and Tittsworth Act lead sponsors SGA Senators James Lee and Guillermo Lopez  were having none of that along with the senators who supported the bill .  

President Haston spoke eloquently during his time in favor of the bill to a standing ovation when he concluded his remarks.   He also wrote this op-ed concerning the Josephine Tittsworth Act.

The Senate will vote tonight on a bill that, unfortunately, a small group of students has voiced visceral opposition to. I'd like to make some things clear. 

I have had several conversations with CFSL (Center For Student Life)  and this bill literally has NO impact 
on fraternities or sororities.

A student said today that Greeks would be "discriminated" against if they chose not to admit a trans student to their organization. This bill is about protecting students who are actually discriminated against and the notion that we shouldn't protect those students because an organization is worried about bad PR is disgusting.

Over the last 237 years, 1,264,000 Marines, soldiers, and sailors have died to protect the freedom of all Americans, but especially the freedom of those the majority may disagree with. That includes everything from Westboro Baptist Church's right to protest military funerals, to women and minorities right to vote.

You don't have to agree with the personal choices of others, but as an institution we have an obligation to promote tolerance in order to ensure that all students can thrive at the University of Houston.

***


After handling the initial business items on the meeting agenda, the meeting turned to the issue the overflow crowd was waiting to see, the outcome of the Josephine Tittsworth Act.  

The initial plan was to allow three speakers from each side to speak for two minutes for or against the bill.   But after none of the peeps flapping their transphobic gums on social media stepped up to speak against it (surprise, surprise), an additional three speakers in favor of the Tittsworth Act filled that time.


The first and most moving speaker of the evening was Autumn Packard.  She is the mother of a trans child who urged the UH SGA to pass the bill so that her trans daughter, should she grow up and wish to attend UH someday could do so in safety.  Becca Keo-Meier spoke about the problems she encounters as a person who has androgynous appearance on campus and read a statement from her spouse Dr. Colt Keo-Meier.    After the rest of the affirmative speakers had their say (I was on standby),  the debate shifted to the SGA senators who would determine the fate of the bill.

Senator Pooja Magadi in response to an opposition senator who stated he was voting against the bill 'for his constituents', reminded the senators to a standing ovation that the trans students on the UH campus were also their constituents, too.

After some final questions and answers, the vote on the Josephine Tittsworth Act finally happened a little after 9:15 PM    The vote was 11 in favor, 4 opposed and 2 abstentions.

The Josephine Tittsworth Act now goes to the Faculty Senate and up the UH administrative ranks before it becomes university policy.  

Photo: Tonight the University of Houston Student Government passed the Josephine Tittsworth Act further protecting the privacy of transgender students. Well done to those student Senators who spoke out in favor of this bill and its benefits to students. We want to point out the tremendous leadership of James Lee in particular for his work in helping to carry this bill.But I'm so proud of my Coogs and the UH SGA for passing the Josephine Tittsworth Act.  Thanks to James Lee, Guillermo Lopez, Yesenia Chavez, President Charles Haston, the 11 SGA senators and all the people who were drum majors and drum majorettes for justice that got this done.  

It was a deeply appreciated step not only for the safety and security of UH trans students, but also resonated beyond the campus with alums and supporters of the University of Houston and the Houston TBLG community.

Tonight you proved that the justified pride in UH being one of the most diverse campuses in the nation isn't empty rhetoric as far as trans students were concerned.

Go Coogs!
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-04-17
April 16th, 2014
gorgeousgary: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] gorgeousgary at 09:09pm on 2014-04-16 under , , ,
Twenty years ago today I was awakened by a 7:30am phone call from my mom informing me my grandmother had died of a heart attack the previous evening.

At the time, I was in a hotel room at the Regal Constellation just outside of Toronto, attending FilKONtario 4. I had been attracted by the opportunity to see Kathy Mar, who I'd previously met at ConFrancisco, and to meet for the first time several denizens of the Filk Category on GEnie's Science Fiction Round Table. With a chance to schedule a few days between the end of a long-term temporary desktop publishing job and the start of a permanent structural engineering position, I'd rounded up Sue Cochran, Steve Brinich and Bill Wells and driven north to the wilds of Mississauga. (With a sleepover at Eli Goldberg's house in Pittsburgh.)

So, having enjoyed a Friday afternoon and evening of introductions, fun and music, I now found myself turning to my new friends. In particular, MEW (who I'd actually met at the first Conterpoint) and Judith Hayman provided shoulders to cry on and advice on making the decision to stay, while folks like Urban Tapestry, Andrea Dale, and Dave Clement provided friendship and fine music to carry me through the weekend.

By the time Sue, Steve, Bill and I rolled back down the QEW on Sunday evening, FilKONtario and the Southern Ontario filkers had established themselves for me as the models of what a filk convention and filk community should be.

I've been back every year since. FilKONtario's one of the most eagerly anticipated cons on my schedule, and the list of memorable moments grows with every visit. (And then there was TorCon III...)

And in just over a week, I'll be joining friends both old and new for another weekend of fun, music and memories!
posted by [syndicated profile] revlyncox_feed at 06:05pm on 2014-04-16

Basket weaving and growing the power of hope in community share some things in common. Both require preparation, structure, change, and repair. This sermon was written for the UUs of Fallston, April 13, 2014.

Some years ago, at an all-ages UU retreat, I was introduced to the spiritual practice of basket weaving. I thought it would be an easy break in between the workshop on Paul’s letters and our hike in the woods. People from age eight to eighty sat around the table with various kinds of ribbon, natural and artificial reeds, and coils of rush fibers spun into long strands. Such simple materials! The most complicated piece of equipment was a pair of scissors. What could go wrong?

The leader was an artist who worked in all kinds of folk media, like pottery and quilting in addition to weaving. She started with the twining technique of basket making. There are other ways to make baskets, such as the coil technique and the plaiting (braiding) method, but twining was a good place to start. To make a basket using the twining technique, we would take flexible strands, arrange some of them into a framework of spokes, and use other strands as weavers to bring the whole thing together. Finally, we would look at our creations and practice forgiveness and repair. In my first few attempts, I needed to practice a lot of forgiveness and repair.

Being an adult did not bring me any advantages in learning how to weave baskets. If you know any young people who have a rainbow loom, it will come as no surprise that children and youth are capable of beautiful and complex fiber arts. I hope the math teachers of the world are taking notice of how many eight- to fourteen-year-old people are spending hours of their free time thinking about patterns and showing great attention to detail.

I took four green rush fibers and four brown rush fibers to make my spokes. I laid them out on the table in a circle. They looked like a nice, round compass. I found a strand of rush fibers printed with a nice pattern and chose it for my weaver. I threaded the weaver in and out, over and under. Despite my experience with braiding long hair, I seemed to run out of fingers for keeping track of my project. The basket started to take on an oval kind of shape, like the old weeble-wobble toys from my childhood. I had envisioned this sacred, meditative process, but it was more like building a tower of wiggly blocks. Once again, the “practice” part of spiritual practice turns out to be key.

Even in my struggle, I couldn’t help but think of a song from earth-centered spirituality, written by Shekhinah Mountainwater. It goes:

We are the flow, we are the ebb
We are the weavers (and) we are the web
We are the weavers, we are the web
We are the spiders (and) we are the thread
We are the spiders, we are the thread
We are the flow and we are the ebb.

Here I was, connecting with people of different ages, weaving invisible relationships along with a visible object. Neither the container I made with my hands nor the container of community would be perfect, yet there is beauty in the flexibility, shape, twists, and mercy of weaving.

Looking back on that experience, I think twining baskets has a lot in common with extending the power of hope in community. We begin with softening, with preparing for a mission by cultivating flexibility. We work together to create a framework, a system of spokes, perhaps organized around a home base. We connect with the framework and each other, turning backward and forward. This would be impossible without changes in direction and position, sometimes leading and sometimes following. At the end of the day, we appreciate what has been created, we make repairs by reinforcing connections, and we find grace in the absence of perfection. Preparing, structuring, turning, and repairing are four steps in weaving baskets and relationships.

Preparation (Softening)

Preparing is the first step. In many cases, the fibers for a basket have to be softened to get them ready for weaving. That might mean soaking or even boiling the vines, branches, reeds, or rushes in water so that they can bend without breaking. Creation takes flexibility. Transformation begins even before the first connection is made. All of the fibers are prepared together, joined in a common process even if they don’t yet touch.

Spiritual journeys can also begin with this kind of softening. Seekers in all kinds of traditions— from Hindu pilgrims bathing in the Ganges River, to Shinto practitioners at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine standing under a waterfall for the purifying Misogi ceremony, to Pagans who soak in chamomile water before a full moon ritual— many kinds of religious and spiritual people move through water as they prepare to receive new insights.  

In this morning’s Time for All Ages story, we heard about John the Baptist, and of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. John did not come up with this idea all on his own. Judaism already had a ceremonial bathing ritual, and still does. John and Jesus both were calling their people to a renewal of the spirit, a more personal involvement with faith and a more evenly distributed network of religious authority. Here were the seekers, all gathered together on the banks of the river. Here were the leaders, emerging from among the people, practicing their faith out in the open without waiting for official channels. Immersing himself in water was an old tradition that connected Jesus with his heritage and with other people.

His experience of was new as well as traditional. Immersion loosened his grip on old ways of understanding and awakened his sense of relationship with the Divine. The one story in Luke about Jesus as an adolescent shows a guy going off on his own, acting like he was smarter than everyone else. After baptism and his subsequent 40-day retreat in the wilderness, Jesus is a connecter. He heals, he teaches, he gathers people and helps them to build a movement that outlasts him. All of that starts with softening, like reeds being prepared together in water for weaving. Preparation helps the seeker to find the flexibility needed to fulfill a mission, because changing the world requires us to be open to new ideas.

Here at UUF, we immerse ourselves symbolically. We drop stones in the water to represent the joys and sorrows we bring here each week. The significant events we name (or don’t name) are part of who we are. The water we gather every September, the water that receives our joys and sorrows, that’s us as well. The same stones represent sorrows one week and joys the next, symbolic of the transforming power of water. We change. We are changing. We create the container for change. We are the flow. We are the ebb. May the rituals of our community join us together, soften our hearts, and equip us with the flexibility we need for weaving hope.

Structure (Spokes)    

One of the paradoxes of faith, art, and community is that we need to be able to bend, but we also need to be able to incorporate firmness. Structure, boundaries, and planning are part of the process just as much as inspiration, flexibility, and listening for the spontaneity of the spirit. In the twining method of basket weaving, some of the structure is provided by spokes, the fibers radiating out from the center of the base. The way you arrange spokes to begin with influences the shape, symmetry, and rhythm of your weaving. The structure or the spokes aren’t the end of the basket, they aren’t the goal, they are just the beginning. The purpose of structure is to make other things possible, not to create a perpetual structure maintenance machine. I am reminded of a passage from the Tao teh Ching:

Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub;
It is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.
We make a vessel from a lump of clay;
It is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.
We make doors and windows for a room;
But it is the empty spaces that make the room livable.
Thus, while the tangible has advantages,
It is the intangible that makes it useful.

(Tao teh Ching by Lao Tzu, verse 11, translated by John C. H. Wu)

We need structure and boundaries, yet openness is at the core of life and spirit. Baskets begin at the center of the foundation, and that’s also where we begin when we’re ready to start a new mission of hope. We think about what’s most important and what we need to accomplish our goals.

L. W. and I went to a meeting last weekend of congregations from the greater Baltimore area. Ours is just one of the new metro-area groups of congregations called clusters. Organizational meetings are not everyone’s idea of a great way to spend a Saturday in April, but we need the nuts and bolts work in order to create space for the movement of the spirit. In small group discussions and large group sharing, we were able to process our hopes and fears about working in a cluster, and we were able to outline the geographic boundaries, scope, and priorities. Participants brought up ideas like sharing an accounting service, doing leadership training together, inviting all of our middle schoolers to a board game night, or planning a local spiritual retreat. We were all commissioned to return to our congregations as spokes people, bringing more folks into the relationship. We can weave together the longings, the enthusiasm, and the talents of seven different congregations to accomplish more as a whole than we could alone.

The small group that L. W. and I were in took an inventory of the gifts our congregations could offer. We agreed that music is something we can bring, and that was true for two of the other congregations at our table. We came up with the idea of hosting a UU music festival here at UUF on our outdoor stage, maybe in the late summer or early fall. The house bands of three different congregations could play, including our own UU2, and perhaps some musicians from other congregations as well. It’s a very exciting idea, and I hope we go for it. Not only would the event itself be fun, the partnerships we would cultivate with other UU congregations would help us pull together support and wisdom from nearby, exchanging energy and ideas and resources with people who actually know us. We have an opportunity to create an opening if we’re willing to lay down the spokes.

In a spiritual community, the tension between structure and openness is constant. We need planning meetings and organizational methods, but it’s easy to mistake the maintenance tasks for the mission. There is a star burning in our core, one that anchors everything in its orbit. We are here to minister to wandering, hungry souls, including our own and those among us. We are here to comfort and challenge each other and our larger community as we make room for every spirit to thrive. A building, a leadership structure, a formal relationship with nearby congregations can be handy tools. The place of unknowing, the sacred circle we create with those relationships, is the part at the center that gives life.

Turning and Connecting (Weavers)

After we’ve prepared ourselves with immersion and flexibility, after we’ve laid down the structure that will support the mission, we’re ready for the twining. The fibers that run over and under and around the spokes are called weavers. Weavers turn, trading places, emerging and disappearing into the matrix of the basket. If strengthening the power of hope is a process of weaving, we need to be able to turn, to step forward or back, to embody the dance of transformation. Sometimes what looks like a new direction is a return to the pattern.  

All of that is to say: I believe this church is at a turning point. We have an opportunity to try some things that are new to us, yet fit our pattern of outreach. I’ve been thinking lately about some of the turns our congregation has danced through, and the ways Harford County has shifted in the last several years. Our church’s commitment to relieving poverty and to building relationships with our neighbors has not changed. Our leadership has rotated, members are discovering new talents and passions, and we may have some new perspectives on the best way to pursue our mission.

Meanwhile, the economic profile of our community has more urban and suburban elements in addition to the historic rural elements. With the Base Realignment and Closure process that brought people to our area beginning in 2011, we also have more neighbors who are connected with the military. There might be ways we can reach out to our neighbors in keeping with how we have grown within these walls and how our community has changed.

I participated recently in an on-line conference organized by the VA Office of Rural Health and the VA’s National Chaplain Center. The training was aimed at helping clergy care for veterans and their families, especially recently returned veterans. People in general, and rural veterans in particular, are likely to speak to their clergy person as their first contact if they are having adjustment difficulties or struggling with a mental health issue. I’d like for us to be ready to help if needed.

One of the workshops was on “Building Community Partnerships” with Chaplain Steve Sullivan of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. Congregations and clusters of congregations are doing some great things to strengthen the web of compassion. Faith groups are serving breakfast to National Guard members on their drill weekends. Churches are hosting support groups and family communication workshops in places the VA clinics can’t reach.

I got to thinking, “Where can I find a group of people who are committed to serving their neighbors, who know something about the military and veterans, who have some training in physical or mental health, and who accept people with open arms, regardless of their religious background or what shape they are in? Hmmm.”

Something UUF might have to offer is a meeting place for clergy and mental health clinicians. When religious and mental health leaders have a chance to sit down and talk, some of the gaps that veterans fall through in their spiritual and emotional care start to close.  Looking around, I suspect we know a few mental health providers. Through our congregation’s involvement with the Sharing Table and the church musicians who show up to Open Mic Night, we might know a few clergy. We have connections and a passion for hospitality, and I think we can use those gifts to benefit our neighbors.

Supporting military and veteran families could be a natural outgrowth of our mission to relieve poverty. Poverty is not unknown among these warriors and their families. We may already be assisting them through our involvement with the Sharing Table and Harford Food Pantry.

If we wanted to do more, we could sign on with the Maryland National Guard Partners in Care program, in which faith-based organizations identify what kinds of services and support they are able and willing to offer for free to any National Guard family, regardless of religious affiliation. Families might find pastoral counseling, emergency babysitting, or even auto repair through Partners in Care. Our friends at the UU Fellowship in Churchville have been in the program since 2008, helping families with food and supplies during transition times. Rev. Lisa said they have not been called to serve very often, but the program has raised awareness.

We might be at a turning point as we figure out the best way to pursue our mission as a congregation. You might be at a personal turning point in your spiritual journey. Sometimes a turn brings us back into the larger pattern. Let’s keep our weavers moving.

You have probably seen the bumper sticker, “Maybe the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about.” There is a way in which that’s true. We might try new things in small ways first, putting a left arm in or taking a left arm out. There are occasions in life for the intellect and occasions to lead with emotions. You put your head in. Notice when you put your head out, you open up your chest and your heart goes in and up. The dance can be about leading and following, sometimes taking a step forward and sometimes taking a step back. In the end, it’s about our whole selves, committing fully when we’re in, and knowing clearly when we’re out. Changing, turning, and connecting are at least part of what it’s all about. When this dance is over, we may find ourselves back where we started, breathless and joyful from the transformation that brought us full circle.

Forgiveness and Repair

The final step in weaving hope, before we come around to start over again, is forgiveness and repair. Most of us are beginners when it comes to hand-made baskets, to managing a congregation’s institutional relationships, and to strengthening communities. The work of our hands will not be immediately entwined with perfection. That’s OK. Baskets do not have to be flawless in order to be useful, and quirky communities can be containers for hope.

In my very first basket, I ran out of pretty weaver strands way before I reached the ends of my spokes. Now what? My friend leading the workshop showed me how to bend the spokes back into the basket, re-integrating the ends into the rest of the work. If there were any gaps or tears, add a little extra matching material. Tie extra strands together inside the basket, where it won’t show. Repairs are accomplished with extra connections.

Human relationships are the same way. Repairs are accomplished with extra connections. Clearing up misunderstanding takes energy. Reconciliation is hard work, and usually inspires some anxiety at least. We can start by forgiving ourselves and each other for not being perfect. Examine the broken places. Where is there a gap in the weaving? Where is the web of compassion so loose that the container doesn’t hold? Where can we make a turn and bring things back into the pattern? How do we create space in the center where the spirit can thrive? When it comes to forgiveness and repair in community, we’re especially looking at ways to improve the container for hope.

As we turn toward the next chapter in our weaving, we might look around and see if there are places that need repair. There may be water under the bridge among ourselves, or with another congregation, or out in the community; water we need to draw from and flow along with in grace. As Unitarian Universalists, we have both faith and reason to guide us on the path of healing. Let’s make the extra connections of forgiveness and repair so that we can go on offering the ministry of hospitality to all of the wandering souls within us and around us.

Conclusion

My inaugural basket might be described as kittywompus. The opening at the top is much smaller than I had intended. (Much like my weeble-basket, I’m coming quickly to a close here.) My friend said it looked like a basket used to catch fish, something designed to hold things securely.  And it has. Over the years, this basket has held sacred stones, fragile keepsakes, and bouncy superballs. Very few things escape this basket by accident. My accidental mismatch of weavers to spokes resulted in kind of a neat two-tone effect near the mouth of the basket. Its flaws turned out to be features. The thing I like best about this basket is that it reminds me of a day when I sat in spiritual practice, side by side with children and adults, weaving community. Each strand is part of something larger. Our congregation is part of something larger. We are each part of something larger than ourselves. Connection is part of faith. May we go forth and seek connection. So be it. Blessed be. Amen.

marnanel: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marnanel at 11:02pm on 2014-04-16
Most of my set last night wasn't quite this lewd, but this was the only song that got recorded!

misschili: (Default)
twistedchick: women of Eastwick (Eastwick women)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 10:59am on 2014-04-16
I got into a discussion the other day about violence against women with someone who lives in the midwest, in a small town -- a vet, a nice guy, a responsible guy who is well-read in terms of books but doesn't really look at the news. And he could not believe the stats on the percentage of women who, at some time in their lives, had to deal with a rapist, an assault, a guy who would not take no for an answer, someone who was bigger or stronger or taller or who manipulated or forced them into sex against their consent.

"Those stats have to be biased toward the cities. I know this town. We've only had two rapes in the last 50 years."

Only two. Only two *reported*, in a small town where everyone knows each other's business. In a place where, if a woman needs to leave a violent husband, she'd better have her own transportation to get to another place because there isn't any public transportation. Where if a girl gets pregnant in high school, she has nowhere to go and might get pressured into marrying her rapist.

It made me wonder what the suicide rate is for girls and women there, and the number who leave town suddenly and don't come back. and further thoughts on the difficulty of communication without shared experiences )
And I hit a wall, a big concrete-block conversational wall -- because I could not find a way to tell this nice guy that every woman I know has had to deal with men who wanted more than they want to give, and far too many of those men did not understand no. I couldn't find a way to do it that he would comprehend. I couldn't find a way to say to him that yes, even his girlfriend very likely had had to deal with this from someone else. Or his sister, or his mother. Or all of them.

If he had tried to explain to me how it felt to have to sleep on the hood of a Jeep in Iraq because it wasn't safe to sleep on the ground, and why, it would have been the same kind of mental block for me. I can try to imagine, but I have not been there. I'm not military; I do not have a gut-deep comprehension of that kind of life -- just as he does not have a gut-deep comprehension of what women face, day in and day out.

And that made me realize what activists are up against in conservative states, when they try to advance women's rights, choice, transitional shelters for women with or without children who need somewhere to go. It's not just the Sarah Palins and the jerk-off Republican mouthpieces who say outrageously stupid stuff to get attention; it's the ordinary people, the well-meaning ordinary people who just don't see that there's a problem because the water isn't rising around their own necks.
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 09:38am on 2014-04-16
Are we back in the '50s? The 1850s? Sexual violence is not normal.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 01:27pm on 2014-04-16
All that bird watching wore her out.
Read more... )
twistedchick: watercolor painting of coffee cup on wood table (coffee)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 12:34pm on 2014-04-16
We spread birdseed on the office windowsill. Birds get fed (and stop flying into the window as frequently), cats get entertained. there are 2 pigeons and 3 starlings on the other side of the sill right now.
Read more... )
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 06:00am on 2014-04-16

Posted by Monica Roberts

TransGriot Note:  I read this essay Fallon Fox posted to her Facebook page concerning the still simmering controversy over serial transphobe RuPaul's use of terms the trans community has repeatedly told him were dehumanizing to our community and his white gay male fanbase rushing to defend him. 

The predominately white gay male supporters of RuPaul are holding up any trans woman who seems to side with him as a human shield to bash the rest of us with.  

Why?  Because they are hypocritically pissed off transpeople of all ethnicities had the temerity to do what they have done for decades.  We called and are STILL calling his azz out for using the 'shemale' and 't----y' terms we find offensive to our community and LOGO listened.

LOGO pulled the offending show with the female or shemale game form their site and will no longer used the offensive words on it and elements of the white gay male community are tripping.   What part of 'the trans community will decide what words are or aren't offensive to it' do you not get?  

The latest entry in that small minority of RuPaul trans defenders besides Calpernia Addams and Andrea James is Our Lady J, who recently penned an essay published in the Huffington Post that Fallon is rebutting here.

It deserves a signal boost.   And now, here's Fallon's essay.

**Warning - I'm spelling out derogatory words in this post in order to discuss an important issue.****

Is it true that Ru Paul recently complained to Amanda Byrnes use of the term 'faggot' in a tweet, stating: "Derogatory slurs are ALWAYS an outward projection of a person's own poisonous self-loathing." Just saw that online. That, and the Huffington post article by Our Lady J. I know, I'm a little late on that one.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/our-lady-j/rupauls-drag-race_b_5148719.html

I disagree with Our Lady J on this. 'Drag Queen' is an occupation created primarily in gay culture, in similar fashion, 'Rap artist' is an occupation created primarily by black culture.

Some people argue that 'shemale' is a harmless fun word. You ever Google the word 'shemale'? If not, then I suggest you do. See what you come up with. It's pages and pages of porn. While I like porn myself and see nothing intrinsically wrong with it, (other than the exploitation some porn entities use) - I do not appreciate the language alluding to me being a porn star or sex worker. Because that's what that word actually means.


It's that whole 'chick with a dick' derogatory language from cisgender people I've had to endure for years. No, there's nothing wrong with a woman with a penis. Nothing at all. But, that whole she-male term is wrapped around a very real history of forced sex work and porn. I say forced, because for the most part the trans women who have engaged in those occupations over the years have done so, because of lack of opportunity as trans women. It's pretty much slavery or a type of servitude in some situations. One needs the money to transition or risk losing ones sanity. One needs a job for that. But, one can't find or hold down a job in many situations if one is trans. So, where does that person go...? No other options but sex work or porn in many situations. Trans women are forced out of the openness of general society into a narrow channel that leads to sex work of some kind. And we are forced to endure the labeling of those outside of us. Labeling that seeks to never let us escape us being reduced to genitalia.

Look at the word shemale. We didn't pick this word for ourselves.
SHEMALE = "She" (female in mind ) + "male" (in the pants).

It was meant to mark trans women, and pin us down to what's in our pants pre-surgery (if we elect for it). It was derogatory.

See here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shemale
I remember when I first stepped foot in a drag bar. It was the only safe space I could find in town that I lived. Yes, some drag queens called themselves tranny, or she-male. And they got me to do it very briefly. But, as time went on, I realized how different I was from that drag mentality. I realized that I was trans, not gay. I was offered many times to be a performer because of my potential 'passability'. However, I declined, as I also realized one important thing about myself. I was not a parody of a woman. I was not seeking to be a parody of a woman even temporarily. I wanted to embody 'woman' both inside and out at all times. And not a hyper feminized, non realistic, rigid unmalleable version of one confined to a bar in the secluded side of town either. No, an intelligent, respected woman who had 'options', and held an occupation in spaces straight cisgender people did.


One thing is for sure. If I ever see a Cuban rap artist hold a TV show, have other Cuban rap artists come on the show, then tell those rappers to pick which rap artist in ANY ethnicity or a "nigger", depending on the partial photo presented, I'm going to lose it.

I don't care if Cubans and blacks are under the same umbrella of 'people of color'. I don't care if both of us face discrimination. I wouldn't give Cubans a free pass to hold a tv show and use that harmful word at blacks expense.

Let's look at the word 'nigger'. Where did that come from? The exploitation and hatred of black people in this country. Yes, they loved the benefits they got from us when we were slaves. They marketed us as 'niggers'. I'm quite sure if slavery was still in use today, you could do a google search for 'nigger' and come up with pages of pages of people trying to sell you a 'niggers' service.

Again, where did 'she-male' come from? The exploitation and hatred of trans women in this country. Yes, they loved, and still love, the benefits they get from us as sex workers and porn stars. They market us as 'she-males'. Some of us got lucky. We found ways around this horrible servitude. But, many of us would like out. Many of us want an education. Many of us are stuck, and living similarly to newly released slaves. Some of us see no potential for escape of the framing, no potential life outside of sex work, porn, or drag and accept the term. Some just decide to embrace it. Some, (and this is very, very rare) just like the ring of it. You can find some of them online if you search. Don't worry, it's not hard. Just type in 'shemale', and observe pages and pages of entities trying to sell you a 'shemales' service.

I realize that black oppression and trans oppression are different. But, they do have very striking similarities. And as a black woman I have no problem with pointing them out. It makes sense, and is important to do so in order to attempt to fix the similar problems that plague both minority classes.

...But wait, there's more.

I ask a few questions. And they are open for anyone to answer. And you may have already thought of it.
Are black people who call themselves 'nigger' or 'nigga' (and identify as such-which is rare), similar to trans women calling themselves 'she male' or 'tranny' (and identify as such-which is rare also)?

Are black people who call themselves 'nigger' or 'nigga' (and identify as black- which is common), similar to trans women calling themselves 'shemale' or 'tranny' (and identify as trans - which is also common... Kind of)?

I think so. And how does all of that relate to the topic of Ru Paul's she-male game?

synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 07:01am on 2014-04-16
Someone is grumpy about all the attention being paid to the upstart.
Read more... )
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-04-16
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 01:49am on 2014-04-16 under , , ,
location: Home and on my corner of the couch
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-04-16

Posted by Monica Roberts

I'm so tired of this 'Revenge Of The Conservafools' horror movie that has been playing for far too long in America's political life

Because the conservative movement is pissed off a Black president got elected in 2008 and reelected despite their millions of dollars, loud propaganda and Massive Resistance 2.0 in Congress, they are taking it out on Black people and the country.

Conservatism is a failed political philosophy, and they can't win elections without cheating. 

See them cut the social safety net! See them diss women and eviscerate a woman's right to choose! See them roll back voting rights! See them brazenly suck up to billionaires while hatin' on the poor. See them kill union organizing rights! See them refuse to raise the minimum wage while their obscene corporate profits grow.

See them lie on cable news and talk radio while doing all that shady crap. See them claim they have the support of 'The American People' while doing so.

See the horror of large numbers of stupid, racist tea bag holding bigots voting for them against their own economic interests as the 1% maniacally laughs at them from their quiet rooms.

Rated GOP

Starring John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh and Reince Priebus.

Produced and directed by the Koch Brothers.

Time for this horror movie to end.  You can make that happen by voting to throw the GOP bums out on November 4. 

April 15th, 2014
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 11:15pm on 2014-04-15

Posted by Paul Taylor

Pre-orders for Monica’s Eightball Tees now open and will run until May 10th!  Two styles (Junior/Girly fit and Women’s size) will be available for purchase in a variety of sizes (Fit charts below).

New to the Eightball shirt?  It’s from a joke my wife came up with regarding Monica wearing said shirt:  SEE HERE

Junior Eightball Tee

wapsi tee


sizes



Women’s Eightball Tee

wapsi tee W


sizes



Click to see larger Juniors chart

Click to see larger Juniors chart

Click to see larger Women's chart

Click to see larger Women’s chart

Expect delivery within 4 to 6 weeks after ending of pre-order.

Posted by Monica Roberts

Monica JonesNow that Monica Jones has been found guilty of 'Walking While Black Trans' in Phoenix, the question that comes to my inquiring mind is what are we going to do about getting the word out about this injustice being aimed at her and frankly, all trans women of color at times?

Yes, it's easy for all of us to say that we stand with Monica Jones when this obvious injustice is being aimed at her.

But I just feel we need to do more.  I think we can start with a national, coordinated 'Walking While Trans' protest events next month before the May 28 sentencing date of Ms. Jones.  

Photo: I DO!We could have walks that lead to rallies decrying what happened to Ms Jones.  Put together a coordinated campaign that calls for an end to the 'Walking While Trans' profiling.

Since trans human rights issues are suddenly getting national and international media attention, let's use this moment to do more education about our trans lives. 

I believe we have been given another opportunity to attack and destroy another meme deployed against us that feeds into the unjust treatment being aimed at us.

It's the 'all transwomen are sex workers' meme.   

And before I get accused of pushing 'respectability politics' or attacking sex workers, let me make crystal clear that's not where I'm going with this post.  I am already quite aware of the fact that some of my trans sisters engaged in or still do engage in sex work to pay the bills.   I'm also quite aware that transphobia, racism and gender policing also play debatable levels of a role into the 'Walking While Trans' issue

What I'm focusing on in this post is attacking is the 'all transwomen are sex workers' meme that feeds into the 'Walking While Trans' harassment and arrests that are far too often aimed at transwomen of color.

In New York, the NYPD stop and frisk shenanigans were disproportionately aimed at Black and Latina trans women because in the cops minds, 'we're all potential prostitutes'    

In New Orleans trans women who are just minding their own business are routinely arrested and harassed by the city's police force on prostitution related charges.. 

The 'transwomen are sex workers' meme is also front and center in the ATL 'Queen of Mean' Peggy Denby's efforts to get a draconian law passed that would permanently banish persons convicted of a second prostitution arrest from Atlanta.  

That meme was on a drunk Kenneth Furr's mind when he propositioned a transwoman in a northwest Washington DC CVS store.  It led to an ugly incident in which he ended up firing shots from his police  service pistol at the vehicle the trans women were traveling in. 

There's also a  2012 study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) that found transgender people across the United States experience three times as much police violence as cisgender individuals.  Not surprisingly to moi, those numbers are even higher for transgender people of color.  

Even when transgender people were the victims of hate crimes, 48 percent reported receiving mistreatment from the police when they went for help.

So in order to confront the Walking While Trans issue plaguing the community, we will have to attack the superstitions and myths that undergird it. 

One of the major ones buttressing it that needs to be destroyed is the 'all transwomen are sex workers' meme.
redbird: full bookshelves and table in a library (books)
posted by [personal profile] redbird at 10:59am on 2014-04-15
I would like recommendations of short fiction (individual stories or collections) or nonfiction for the kindle, to use as airplane reading. Most of the fiction I read is sf, fantasy, and mystery, but am open to other genres (including "mainstream"); nothing too dark please.

Posted by Monica Roberts

The town hall event was packed last week, and I expect the same thing will happen tomorrow when the UH SGA Senate returns to their ultramodern Senate chambers in the UC North to vote on the Josephine Tittsworth Act tomorrow.

That meeting will start at 7:30 PM.

Just as a reminder, the UH SGA proposed this piece of legislation that seeks to have the University of Houston follow its existing EEO and non discrimination policy by allowing trans* UH students to update their university identification with their preferred name, discerned gender and titles

This should be a non controversial issue, but falsehoods have been spread by agent provocateurs who have gotten the white frats and sororities riled up.

And as I reported last week, the bathroom predator and sexual predator lies have been deployed as well.

All this over the top transphobic hatred for a measure that would simply allow trans UH students to update their university ID's to match the people they are now.

Hope that the UH SGA is cognizant of the fact they have an opportunity to be drum majors and drum majorettes for justice and do the right thing.  
nancylebov: (green leaves)
posted by [personal profile] nancylebov at 12:42pm on 2014-04-15
Or a student of Gnosticism? Preferably one who's seen the movie Noah.

Here's a review of the movie which claims it has a tremendous amount of Gnostic/Kababalistic symbolism: bodies are inferior to being pure spirit, the snake was right, God the creator is bad....

And some ranting about how Christian pastors and leaders couldn't tell how heretical it all was.

Anyone know whether this is a reasonably fair interpretation of the movie?

Posted by Monica Roberts

It took them long enough, but Logo has pulled the problematic episode of RuPaul's Drag Race featuring the 'female or she-male' sketch.  

In addition, they will no longer use the term 'she-mail' in the show after trans community members and yours truly spoke out and GLAAD met with MTV and Logo
to discuss the issue.


Still boycotting RuPaul's Drag Race, but happy they made the announcement.

To all you predominately white gay menz pissed off they are dropping those offensive to the trans community terms, have several seats and a nice tall appletini flavored glass of STHU.   I'm getting sick of y'all tripping because we transpeeps expressed ourselves about this issue and people actually listened this time.

As I said last month and will repeat, we trans people have every right to call out friend, foe and frenemy who offend us and expect action to be taken on it.  You don't like the fact it was your boy RuPaul, too damned bad.  You don't get to tell us what is and isn't offensive to our community, and it's past time for y'all to deal with that reality.  

For those of you who kept throwing the shady comment 'the trans community has better things to do than call out RuPaul's media transphobia', I call bull feces on that.   I've witnessed far too often the numerous times you gay peeps have straight up acted the fool anytime a straight celeb utters the gay slur words that offend your community. 

It is also the height of vanillacentric privileged cis gay arrogance to presume we trans folks don't have the right to do the same.   

New year, new rules.  As Katie Couric, Piers Morgan, Wendy Williams and now RuPaul have discovered, we trans people are not tolerating ANY disrespect aimed at our community from friend, foe or frenemy.

You can call that 'bullying' all you want.  I call it standing up for our humanity. 
 
mneme: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mneme at 02:19am on 2014-04-15 under , ,
I wrote this for Alarums and Excursions a few months ago but it seems appropriate to post it tonight.

The good player asks, "what are the rules and customs at this table?" To them, you must explain how the game works, both that which is written down and the rules of gaming etiquette and give them all the responsibilities they can handle and your game supports.

The simple player asks "what do I do next?" To them, you must explain only that which is necessary to plan their next move and begin roleplaying in earnest—If you confuse them with too many options, they might cease playing and/or think the rules are the game, rather than the platform for the game.

The wicked player asks,"what can I get away with?" By framing the game as a source of loopholes to abuse they subvert the purpose of the game and attempt to hurt everyone else's play in favor of their own fun, and you should teach them their error—or even exile them from the table—as soon as possible.

As for the player too shy to ask questions, you must treat them gently, but try to draw them into the game, asking them "what are you doing now?" and "what would you like to do next?" In so doing, you can allow them to develop into a productive player whether or not they give up their shell..
location: Next Year, in Jerusalem
Music:: Something about a goat
Mood:: 'full' full
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-04-15
April 14th, 2014
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 08:34pm on 2014-04-14 under
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2014-04-14

Posted by Monica Roberts

Have a new clue for you in TransGriot Jeopardy.     Remember,  your answer much be in the form of a question.

The category is Black Trans History and the Final Jeopardy answer is.

In June 2014 Tona Brown will become the first African-American trans woman to do this.



Time's up.   The Final Jeopardy answer is:  What is play at Carnegie Hall?

Tona is quickly raising the money she needs in her indiegogo campaign to make that dream happen.   Thanks to everyone who has made videos supporting her and who have contributed for her to stand on that hallowed stage on behalf of our community. 

Speaking of videos, here's the latest from the host of Denver's InFocus program,  Eden Lane.



Going to be wonderful to see that happen.
twistedchick: abstract sunrise -dance, then, wherever you may be (dance then)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 01:32pm on 2014-04-14
I just played cello for an hour.

First time in at least six years.

Bach, Vivaldi, a little of Gabrielli's Ricercari (probably what Bach was thinking of when he wrote parts of the Unaccopanied Cello Suites -- also unaccompanied and a generation earlier), Barbara Streisand's 'Evergreen', and the Fishers Hornpipe.

Arm is tired, a little sore (good kind of sore) and DOES NOT HURT.
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:42am on 2014-04-14
I just realized that my mother's parents were married 110 years ago tomorrow. :)
misschili: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] misschili at 03:40pm on 2014-04-14 under
jbsegal: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jbsegal at 02:15am on 2014-04-14 under ,
A a lot of shopping today… More time than I meant to spend, but no one had matzo! Finally found it at the Watertown Shaws.

A quad batch of matzoh balls is in the fridge. The haroset hasn't been started. The brisket has been procured, but I'm still unsure what recipe I'm going to use – yes this is kind of a late decision… That means I'll probably fall back to my traditional one, but maybe with some tomatoes in it this year.

And the soup… I'm trying an experiment this year which I'll discuss in more detail later. I think it's going to work out well but we'll see.

I had a big plate of shrimp for dinner because you know... And I failed to actually have any of the borscht that I bought today. Maybe that's lunch while I'm cooking.

(Oh, and as I just told G+: I expected it enough to search for it but I didn't expect to actually find it… http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/11/fun-with-matzo-balls-stuffed-matzo-balls-deep-fried-matzo-balls.html )
location: Almost in bed, sort of.
Music:: Billy Bragg
Mood:: 'tired' tired
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-04-14
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-04-14

Posted by Monica Roberts

laverne-cox-25th-annual-glaad-media-awards
Saturday night on the Left Coast the GLAAD Media Awards, LA Division were held in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  My category will be announced May 3 in New York, and won't be done during the live event. 

Jennifer Lopez was presented with GLAAD's Vanguard Award by the legendary Rita Moreno. 

The Vanguard Award honors efforts to increase visibility and understanding of the TBLG community.   In addition to being an outspoken advocate for the community, Lopez serves as executive producer of the ABC Family series "The Fosters," which centers on a lesbian couple raising their children.

"The Fosters" also won the award for outstanding drama series.




Laverne Cox was presented with the Stephen J. Kolzak Award,  which is given to an openly trans, bi, lesbian or gay member of the entertainment community who have made a significant difference in promoting equality for the TBLG community.   The previous recipients of the Kolzak award have included Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres and Ian McKellen, and Laverne's name has now joined that distinguished list..

April 13th, 2014
redbird: a male cardinal in flight (cardinal)
posted by [personal profile] redbird at 07:35pm on 2014-04-13 under , , ,
We took the bus over to Seattle and spent a couple of hours wandering around the UW arboretum, starting at the north end of a waterside trail (271 to Montlake Freeway Station, if locals want to try to visualize this). Nice long walk along and above Lake Washington, including some rather muddy bits that need more wood chips scattered, and then some floating footbridges, one of which was slightly below the surface for a few meters. I looked at it, decided I could deal with the wet metal surface and no handrail, and went through. (Temperature around 70F/21C, so I figured wet feet would be all right.) We saw a few ducks, some cormorants, water lily pads, but to our surprise no turtles.

Then we walked through some of the drier parts of the arboretum, with more grass and shrubs and spreading trees (and fewer ferns and moss). Some of the trees there are actually labeled, though a few of the labels felt mostly like a starting point for googling. (I thought I had a picture of the one that identified a tree as being a cross between two species I didn't recognize, at least not by Linnaean binomial, and added that this cross had been created at the Arboretum. If I can get it off my phone, I will update this point, for my reference.) There were lots of cherry and azalea and the other usual suspects; and the first we've seen in Washington of a tiny purple wildflower I don't have a name for that was always one of the first signs of spring back in Inwood. We saw some periwinkles of an unusual shade of purple, but I think that was before we got to the Arboretum. We stopped in at the visitor's center to use the bathroom, then walked out along Azalea Way and caught a 43 bus downtown and the usual 550 home.

It was a gorgeous clear day: we got excellent views of the nearby Cascades, the Olympics, and then Mount Rainier on the way home, the latter clear enough that [livejournal.com profile] cattitude pointed out that he could see two peaks, the lower one on the north side of the mountain as well as the usual fine glaciated cone that stars in all the photos.

I hadn't been to the arboretum in more than a decade, and this was Cattitude's first visit, though we've been living out here for a year. Next time we may try coming in from the other side and visiting the Japanese Garden.
Mood:: cheerful
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 10:00am on 2014-04-13

Posted by Monica Roberts

Laura Jane Klug52 year old Laura Jane Klug had been a substitute teacher in the Lumberton Independent School District near Beaumont teaching without incident until last week.  Some transphobic parents complained after she substitute taught a fifth grade class at Lumberton Middle School and ignited a kerfluffle that roiled the area.

“I have always conducted myself in a professional manner and would never discuss my gender identity in school,” Klug was quoted as saying in a 12News story.

She also told Lone Star Q in an interview that she suspects it was one of her neighbors who outed her and contacted the media.

After meeting with Lumberton ISD Superintendent John Valastro she was suspended pending a meeting held on Thursday to determine whether she can continue to teach in LISD. 

As the story began to get national attention, Valastro then claimed Klug wasn't suspended as TBLG people in Southeast Texas and the rest of the state mobilized in response to the unjust treatment of Klug.  

Lambda Legal, and Equality Texas pointed out that LISD was in violation of Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled in Macy v. Holder that the provision covers transgender people. In addition, courts have ruled that government employers can’t discriminate against LGBT people due to the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

MeetingThe PFLAG Beaumont chapter sprang into action to coordinate a rally that happened before the 7 PM LISD board meeting that would determine Klug's teaching fate.  

That Thursday board meeting happened in front of an overflow crow in which the purple clad supporters of Klug outnumbered the transphobes.

After 13 speakers pro and con expressed themselves during the 30 minute public comment period, the LISD board went into a lengthy closed session to discuss her fate..

Klug was informed that she was reinstated, but told not to apply for the first open position in LISD until Superintendent Valastro meets with the district's principals on Monday.

“Hopefully this is going to be a really good learning moment for everybody involved,” Klug said. “It’s certainly an opportunity for principals to address the issue of people who are gender-nonconforming. Also, it might encourage somebody who is questioning their gender to maybe come forward.”

Whether Lumberton ISD was motivated by doing the right thing by Klug or a possible lawsuit is a moot point.   The bottom line is in this instance, the evil instigated by whatever transphobic troll jumped this off did not triumph and Laura Jane Klug is still able to teach. 
misschili: (Default)
filkerdave: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] filkerdave at 08:02am on 2014-04-13 under , , ,


I finally saw Gravity on the plane ride home yesterday, and I really enjoyed it a lot. For someone who grew up when I did, seeing space is a pretty cool thing. BUT...I had some thoughts about it.
Here there be spoilers )
location: Syosset, NY
Mood:: 'calm' calm

Posted by Monica Roberts

Read some interesting news out of Alberta concerning a north of the border transphobic foe of ours in Conservative MP Rob Anders.

He has held his Calgary West federal riding since 1997 and been a lightning rod for criticism during his time on Parliament Hill.

In addition to insulting former South African president Nelson Mandela and Canadian veterans, and making a long list of gaffes, Canadian transpeople and their allies around the world remember him deploying the 'bathroom predator' meme when C-279, the Trans Rights Bill was introduced. 
The bill eventually passed the House of Commons in March 2013.

But his riding was recently redrawn, renamed Calgary Signal Hill and he faced stiff competition in this Conservative Party nomination fight for it against Ron Liepert, who was a cabinet finance minister in Alberta's Progressive Conservative provincial government.

It was a nasty intraparty battle that received national media attention in Canada.  Prime Minster Stephen Harper endorsed Anders, but it didn't help.  There were 3250 card carrying Conservative Party members eligible to vote in that nomination election yesterday, and 2400 voted.  

For the first time since 1997 Rob Anders has lost an election, and joy has broken out in the riding and elsewhere now that it has happened.  .  

While Liepert becomes the Tory nominee in Signal Hill when the next federal Canadian election is called in 2015, as for Anders, he still gets to serve as the MP until that happens. 

Anders also hasn't announced whether he will try to run for the Tory nomination in another riding in an attempt to get a seventh term in the House of Commons.  But based on the tweets I read and the joy being expressed over his defeat, he may want to reconsider that.    .
  
April 12th, 2014
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 07:36pm on 2014-04-12
Farmers' market: mixed salad greens, oak-leaf lettuce, baby dinosaur kale (love that name), pain chocolate, farmstead cheese, fresh oyster mushrooms. mmmm

The good things: I am not sneezing, even in cherry blossom season! In SL, I found the stupid bit of coding that was making my cups of tea say "What wonderful hot chocolate!" and got rid of it -- which means I can finish the teapots I was making for myself and others and for the shop. And I have finished reading C.J. Cherryh's 'Peacemaker', book 15 in the Foreigner saga, and still enthralling. I have so many words for how I love these characters, and the thoughtful and deeply politically conscious ways in which the stories are told that if I got started I would not shut up for days. So let's just say that I have no (brief) words, and leave it at that.
maevele: (rockout)
posted by [personal profile] maevele at 02:02pm on 2014-04-12
holy shit I have not updated in FOREVER. Here is the short form update, and I am hoping to start posting more often again, but make no promise. I've been reading on here some, mostly on my phone, but not commenting or posting.

anyhow. Got an apartment in january, living right downtown again. Am burning through what I saved up because living downtown is really pricey if you aren't in a co-op, but we're squeaking by.

Shortly after I moved in here, we found out that MCC was proposing selling the co-op because of how much the repairs could be, so I have spent the last couple months doing everything I can to stop that. We managed to get the general membership to vote down the proposal to sell for the time being, but we are still working on putting together a passable repair proposal that comes in cheap as hell before another proposal to sell comes up. That kinda ate my life.

My apartment got broken into last month, and they took both my and my friend's laptop, which really fucking sucked.

But having a place downtown again means that even without the co-op, I have a social group that drops by. When I was out on the edge of town staying with someone else, random friends couldn't just stop by and visit a bit, and now they do it a lot. almost too much some days, but I am learning that it is ok to tell people "hey, you are awesome and I like hanging out, but I need some down time so please go away for a while" I'm not great at it yet, but getting better.

When my sublet here runs out, if I can't get back into my co-op yet, I'm going to membership at one of the indie co-ops that we've hung out at a few times, rather than sign another lease here.

Other than that, it's spring and it's glorious and it's almost time for wiscon. Life is sweet. Love you guys.
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 07:45pm on 2014-04-12 under

Posted by Monica Roberts

And unfortunately it won't look like this Snohetta design.  It'll be just another standardized cookie cutter generic design of the current METRORail stations with art work added. 

Central Station's design was supposed to be selected from a competition in which five finalists  presented futuristic designs that they hoped would become the signature station of the METRORail system.  

But delays, cost overruns, the winner not being selected until September 2013 and fears that Central Station wouldn't be completed in time for the third quarter 2014 opening of the Green and Purple Lines to revenue service led METRO to scrap it last November and replace it with the generic stations platform 

The Red Line is shut down this weekend from the Downtown Transit Center to the Northline TC to begin construction of the Central Station platforms.  

But it would have been nice to see the signature Snohetta design going up.  
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 01:55pm on 2014-04-12
So the Great Password Changing of '14 has brought up some of my huge bugbears with sites that poorly handle passwords...

Sites that limit the length of the password.
There's no reason to do this. Seriously, arbitrary long strings entered as a password is a solved problem. It only requires a little extra coding effort to do it right and do it securely. Failing to do so suggests that the password system you're putting these passwords into was written in a weekend by someone who has no experience with setting up secure systems.

Sites that allow you to set an arbitrary long password, but silently truncate it and only work if you used the truncated version.
See above but worse.

Sites that mandate the use of punctuation marks, numerals and capital letters - but only allow eight to sixteen character passwords.
See XKCD 936

Sites that for any reason at any time can send your password in a clear-text email.
Say you happen to be on a public wifi-network at the time you get that email. Say someone else on that network is packet snooping. Say they're looking for email address and password pairs. Say they just got your account details. Say they quickly log on with them, change all the settings to appropriate that account away from you.

Sites that allow you to reset a password using some code sent in a clear-text email, without a follow up verification of some kind.
See above.

Sites that allow you to set a password, but never, ever change it. And just send you the password in clear text when you say you've forgotten it.
I'm looking at you Costa Coffee you bunch of morons.

Posted by Maria

I had a "banging my head against the wall" moment with Microsoft.  The kids both received Windows Surface tablets for Christmas this past year.   Great product and perfect for our needs - which is mainly keeping the kids entertained on airplanes.  Unlike the Kindle Fires, which I was told would hold ten movies but actually ended up holing 3, I can load these babies up.  With movies averaging a gig each, I can put around 64 movies on the micro SD card.  Plus, there is plenty of room for games. 


One negative is that the Windows mobile platform is relatively new tot he market and while you have access to literally thousand of apps in Android and iOS, we are still waiting for Windows apps.  But, the kids can still get some of the staples like Angry Birds and such.


I know that one of my best friends, Win, is reading this and rolling his eyes at the screen - the screen of his Mac or his iPad or his iPhone.  This is because Win is a die hard Apple loyalist and a computer guru.  Therefore, I must take a moment to defend my decision to spend money on the Surfaces over an iPad:   they were only $250 each!


Yes, Santa scored them on Black Friday for $250 - and they are pre loaded with licensed copies of the Microsoft Office suite.  Santa pretty much said that the kids can get iPads when they get jobs and buy them for themselves.


Plus, with the micro SD slot, we can carry around enough movies for two flights to Alaska.


One might wonder that if I am so happy with our surfaces, where does the "hate affair" come in.  We were happy with the Surfaces and they worked perfectly for a bit but then Big Boy's SD slot got wonky.  It would only read the card if you held in in with your finger - not conducive to movie watching.  Internet research revealed that this was a pretty common problem and one fix was to use teeny, tiny bits of paper to made the SD card thicker.  People also reported that if you took your Surface to a Microsoft store, it would be exchanged.  Well the paper trick would only work for so long with an 11 year old so I decided to go for the exchange.


I have had great experiences with Amazon customer support when it came to issues with the Kindle's.  They will try to resolve your problem and if your Kindle needs to be replaced, they will quickly send you a new one on your promise to send the old one back within 30 days.  But, I have not dealt with Microsoft customer service yet so I decided to try to handle this in person.


The nearest Microsoft store is in Christiana DE, about an hour from my house.  I packed up the surface and the kids and we set out for the mall.  Upon arrival in the Microsoft store, I was quickly greeted and found the staff to be very helpful.  I was promised that my Surface would be exchanged with no problem.. well, one little problem.  They don't carry this particular Surface anymore so they would have to have one sent from another store. 


This is where things began to fall apart.  I was not happy that I would have to make the two hour round trip drive again but, it is what it is.  The employee promised that they would have the upgrades installed and the new Surface set up for me when I came back.   I left with the understanding that it should only take a day or two to get it in and they would call me when I could come pick it up.


I waited a week.  No call.  No email.  I called the store 8 days after I had been in and after telling my story a couple of times and waiting on hold, I was told that there was no new Surface.  They don't order them for exchanges.  I was hopping mad.  I didn't want to take it out on the person helping me at the moment because she was very nice and was really trying to help me but I was livid.  I wasn't mad that the store doesn't handle exchanges if they don't have the product.  I wasn't even mad at the initial employee who erred in telling me that they could do it.  No, I was angry that no one bothered to call me and tell me while I was sitting by the phone like a teenage girl without a prom date, waiting for the call to come pick up my new Surface.


And then, already being in a negative state of mind, I called Microsoft help and was told that they would gladly do the exchange by mail but I could either send them my old Surface and wait for a new one or they would send me a new one first and I could send in the old one - if I let them put a $400 hold on my debit or credit card.   Of course, I don't actually have $400 so I had to transfer money from Lil' Bit's account to cover the hold and now my money is tied up until they receive the returned Surface.


I will say they the new Surface came quickly and appears to work perfectly but that doesn't mean that I am thrilled with Microsoft right now.  I truly appreciate Amazon's customer service more than ever.
nancylebov: (green leaves)

Posted by Monica Roberts

It's the day we women's soccer fans have been waiting for ever since we found out in December we would be getting a National Women's Soccer League expansion franchise in Houston. 

The Houston Dash will run onto the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium later tonight for their first ever match against the NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC.  Interest in the game is high enough that the Dash are working on a sellout of the game and have opened up the upper bowl of BBVA Compass for ticket sales..

Their home games are also being broadcast on local television.   The Dash are the second NWSL squad to have a local television deal.  

Head Coach Randy Waldrum wants to put an exciting attacking squad on the field, and that has been the case in the Dash's preseason matches.   

As the Dash's roster took shape, we ended up with Canadian national team members Lauren Sesselmann (who is hurt right now) and goalkeeper Erin McLeod and Mexican national team member Teresa Noyola via trades, and interestingly enough via the NWSL draft with the second overall pick the sister-in-law of Texans linebacker Brian Cushing in Kealia Ohai  

Now the level of competition ramps up from the upper level college teams they played in preseason .  The Dash will get a major measuring test of where they are when they face off against the Thorns, who like themselves are also affiliated with an MLS team..  

Houston DashDespite their expansion status, the Dash players have set lofty goals and are aiming to be one of the four teams left standing for the playoffs when their inaugural 24 game NWSL regular season concludes.

They are not only being watched by Houston sports fans, but other teams in MLS who are considering starting their own NWSL affiliated women's teams from scratch like the Dynamo did.with the Dash.

Best of luck in tonight's opener and hope it's a successful debut.  

TransGriot Update:  The Dash had a tying goal in stoppage time wiped out by a questionable offsides call and lost 1-0 to the Thorns 


synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 08:49am on 2014-04-12
Can't type. shes asleep on my hand.
Read more... )
jbsegal: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jbsegal at 11:22pm on 2014-04-11 under ,
Just put the 1st soup on the heat - 18.25# Fowls (McKinnons), 15q water, about 4-6x veg.

I realize I never posted about my pork and Dairy and matzot from two years ago. I got the idea to do bacon cheddar matzoh balls and you know, they really work.
I preferred the bacon, and I mixed in some shredded cheddar into some leftover matzo Ball mix boiled them up and really, Yum!

For the hell of it I also had the idea of steaming a couple of them and I've never seen the 'thing becomes giant when you steam it' thing happened before but this did it. Someplace around I have video of them "breathing" when I pull the lid off of the steamer. It's funky.
location: Home
Music:: Annbjorg Lien - Baba Yaga
Mood:: 'quixotic' quixotic

Posted by Monica Roberts

Monica JonesHave another reason to not like Arizona despite some of the cool people who call it home.

Been keeping an eye on the ongoing case of ASU student Monica Jones, who was accosted on the street while walking in her Phoenix neighborhood during a sting operation and charged with 'manifestation of intent to prostitute' the very night after she spoke at a May 2013 rally denouncing Project ROSE.  .

Project ROSE is a program created with 15 partner organizations including the Phoenix Police Department with the goal of avoiding filing charges against adults engaged in prostitution, providing an opportunity for medical and social services and assistance in helping them exit the life of prostitution if they choose.  

In practice, the program and its profiled prostitution sweeps target trans, SGL and low income women far too often and has a 30% success rate, the same rate as a woman who goes before a judge and hasn't gone through the unjust Catholic Charities supported program.  


Jones believes she was unfairly targeted for arrest because of her outspoken criticism of Project ROSE.   A Change.org petition was created urging the Phoenix city prosecutor to drop the charges against her..    

The ACLU of Arizona joined Jones’ lawyer in contesting the constitutionality of the manifestation statute. Dan Pochoda of the ACLU explained in his arguments, “The statute eviscerates first amendment rights.”

In a packed Phoenix municipal courtroom this morning filled with supporters wearing “I Stand With Monica Jones: Stop Profiling Trans Women of Color”shirts, Judge Hercules Dellas found the 29 year old Ms. Jones guilty based solely on the statements of the police officer who targeted her. 

Gee why am I not surprised?   Jones' trial is also being monitored by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders as an example of discriminatory policing and retaliation on activists organizing for human rights.

She is appealing the ruling because she faces time in the men's jails, and Maricopa County has a less than stellar human rights record in their penal system.  

Ms. Jones stated, “I am saddened by the injustice that took place at my trial this morning, but we are not giving up the fight. It’s time that we end the stigma and the criminalization of sex work, the profiling of trans women of color, and the racist policing system that harms so many of us.”

Hope she has better luck with her appeal.
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 01:58am on 2014-04-12
Thing I had to look up for a screenplay: Those things red ropes hang on in museums are called stanchions.

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