November 27th, 2014
twistedchick: (Uhura in ST2009)
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 01:37pm on 2014-11-27
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2014-11-27

Posted by Monica Roberts

Happy Thanksgiving Day TransGriot readers!

Turkey Day 2014 has turned out to be a little different than I expected it to be.   In addition to now living in a new place, I moved into it just last Monday.  

I'm also now looking at the stress inducing prospect of having to break bread with the two transphobic relatives who caused the drama in the first place.

Well, I'm planning on breaking bread elsewhere on Turkey Day because the crap they put me through is still too raw emotionally for me to be able to sit across the table from them. 

But for those of you in non-stressful family situations, be it with chosen or blood family, hope you are having a wonderful holiday full of good grub while surrounded by good people. 

Despite how it happened, I am thankful today for the roof over my head and the local, national and international help that made it a reality.  I'm thankful for relatively good health, my friends and supportive family, and all those people that I've met during this amazing year.

Happy Thanksgiving people!
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
I have just install Template Toolkit 2.26 on the Dreamhack machine. We were previously using 2.20, which is still installed but in such a way that the later version should take precedence.

As this is a core module for Dreamwidth, it's recommended that you restart Apache when possible. Things won't break just yet if you don't (since the old files aren't gone just yet), but according to my sources, the Dreamwidth codebase will require this new version of Template Toolkit soon, so things may break in the future.

As always, if anything breaks on the Dreamhack machine because of this change, please comment to let me know, or open a GitHub issue.
filkerdave: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] filkerdave at 10:15am on 2014-11-27 under

Never mind that I haven't properly trained or that I've been in London where it's flat. Today, I did 5 hilly miles in 50:30 gun time, 49:10 chip time.
twistedchick: Cary Grant looking scrumptious (yes dear)
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 01:28am on 2014-11-27 under ,
location: Anderson, Indiana
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-11-27

Posted by Monica Roberts

Today is Thanksgiving Day and the start of Turkey Day weekend for those of us in the USA.

You TransGriot Canadian readers got your Turkey Day grub on last month.

So we get to do so by eating mass quantities of food and checking out NFL football on the television.       

Well, if I had a TV, I would.  But that's another story.   One of the drawbacks of moving just before a holiday.   But then again I'll be able to get one on sale Friday.

And it's probably a good thing I didn't have a TV last Sunday, otherwise I may have thrown stuff at it in reaction to another frustrating Texans loss.

Anyway, had another amazing week of picking NFL games, but definitely didn't see Oakland finally winning one against all peeps, the Kansas City Chiefs.    But unfortunately Mike had an even better 13-2 one than my 11-4  and I'm running out of time to catch him.

Well, Week 13 is now here and everybody's playing games for the rest of the season.   16 games to pick, mine's will be in underlined bold print.   

Week 12 Results

TransGriot    11-4
Eli                 8-7
Mike             13-2

2014 NFL Season Record

TransGriot     112-63-1
Eli                   107-68-1
Mike              121-54-1

NFL Week 13

Thanksgiving Day Games
Detroit  over Chicago
Philadelphia over Dallas
Seattle over San Francisco

Sunday Early Games
Indianapolis over Washington
Houston over Tennessee
Cleveland over Buffalo
San Diego over Baltimore
NY Giants over Jacksonville
Cincinnati over Tampa Bay
St Louis over Oakland
Pittsburgh over New Orleans
Carolina over Minnesota

Sunday Afternoon Games
Arizona over Atlanta
New England over Green Bay

Sunday Night Game
Denver over Kansas City

Monday Night Game
Miami over NY Jets

posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-11-27
November 26th, 2014
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
posted by [personal profile] redbird at 05:40pm on 2014-11-26
I just heard via the Vanguard email list that Stu Shiffman died today. I didn't know him as well as I'd have liked (geography can be like that); I am now very glad I dropped in and visited him at the nursing home this summer, after not getting to say more than "congratulations" at his and Andi's wedding in the spring.

[I'm posting this mostly because I don't know who sees what information sources. It's been a hard few months.]
mneme: (Default)
[personal profile] drcpunk and I will be at Chessiecon. I'm running music, so I'm not sure how much attention I'll have to spare, but still, it should be fun.

Also, we could use lifts. We're arriving at the train station (Baltimore Penn, natch) at 10:37pm on Thanksgiving, and the light rail isn't running by then. We can take a cab, but a lift would be better, if available.

And going back, we're on a lovely 4AM (almost) train, Which is a minor, if soluble problem, as there's no light rail that late and Penn Station closes for an hour between 2AM and 3AM [for cleaning]. We can finesse this if we need to; there's a walkable Korean restaurant that's open until 4AM that we used last year for this purpose; however, if anyone has a better plan, I'd love to hear it [one where we get to sleep? Even better!)]
jbsegal: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jbsegal at 04:29pm on 2014-11-26 under ,
Unless something changes - and that's always possible - we intend to haul the contents of a 10x10 storage unit to a different storage unit, and we need some folks to help do this. We'll have a truck, and we need you to help load and unload it.

We hope to start around noon, and I don't expect that this will take more than 3 hours?

Most of this is already packed, there are flatbeds (and elevator where needed) on either end.

I feel like 3 more people is a maximum we'll need to have this go fairly smoothly.

I don't know what the right amount to pay for this is, but this is a paid thing and we'll provide some food, too.

We'll be starting in Medford/Somerville and ending in Stoneham.

Comment here, or mail me (jailbait, gmail) if you're interested.
location: Work, for a few more moments
Music:: Numberphile
Mood:: 'tired' tired
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default) they sent a cookie bouquet. So awesome.

Read more... )

Posted by Monica Roberts

Was indict Darren Wilson.

But because whiteness and white supremacy was at work in this whole sorry affair, they didn't, and now you have another series of protests and riots breaking out in the city of Ferguson and elsewhere around the country

But it was clear that the fix was in when a biased prosecutor with a history of not  indicting police officers involved in shooting of civilians did everything possible to ensure that justice was not done in this case.  

And meanwhile, another African-American family is burying their son who was taken away from them by a racist cop, and then have to watch as FOX Noise and the rest of the media demonize their child.   And you wonder why I and a lot of other African-Americans today are singing along to NWA's lyrics today.

Yes, the POTUS has spoken and appealed for dialogue.   The Department of Justice is now investigating.  But we're tired of talking about our kids dying at the hands of white po-po's, and seeing vigilantes and those offices walking the streets with shyt-eating grins on their faces after they get acquitted by grand juries or juries more inclined to nullify than indict and punish their fellow white peeps.  .

Yeah right, the justice system worked.   But tell that BS to the parent who lost their child at your hands and you show absolutely no remorse for it. 

As Dr, King once said, "A riot is the language of the unheard."  Can you hear us now?

There have been protests in other cities including Houston over the non-indictment, but what we need to happen right now is the police departments of this country to stop treating African-Americans as live fire targets, and stop hiring bigots and giving them badges to patrol our neighborhoods.

jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 04:14pm on 2014-11-26
Argh. What the hell are 38 Degrees playing at?

First they decide to put out a 'petition' to attack a charity and Tony Blair, *because of a Daily Mail Article*... Then they send some idiot to a Parliamentary Oversight Select Committee on TTIP, who hasn't been briefed, has no evidence to present, and instead berates and talks over them.
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 09:22am on 2014-11-26 under , , ,
location: Work
Music:: Best Dubstep Remixes of Popular Songs Vol. 1
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 12:10pm on 2014-11-26 under
Homestuck is this... work of fiction, which is sort of like a webcomic, only it's also sort of like inventing an entirely new medium for telling stories. [ profile] rysmiel, who calls this new artform a hypercomic, persuaded me I should read it. I was dubious, partly because I am not a very visual person and I don't always get on well with comics.

And partly because it starts off kind of bad. more thoughts )

In other news, I have only a couple of slots left for Daily December posting. Anyone want to suggest anything to complete the month?
location: Sburb
Music:: October Project: Forget you
Mood:: 'impressed' impressed
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
posted by [personal profile] firecat at 09:51pm on 2014-11-25
They stuck real-time translators into fMRI machines to try to figure out how they can do such a complex task. They found out a little but not as much as they hoped. Meanwhile, translators talk about some of the more difficult aspects of the job.
Word order is a particular problem in fish meetings, which Miles said she dreads. In a long sentence about a particular variety of fish, and in a language where the noun – the name of the fish – comes towards the end, the interpreter is left guessing about the subject of the sentence until it's completed.

I've heard of most of these words but not all, and I had no idea in some cases that they were considered native to one side of the pond or the other (e.g. "jaywalk" is American, "dodgy" is British).

Kelli Dunham writes brilliantly about Heather McAllister, Brittany Maynard, and assisted suicide

Here is a comic that seems to do a pretty good job of explaining asexual orientation.

Jonah Soolman is a nutritional counseling practitioner who works in the Health at Every Size paradigm. He attended the Cardiometabolic Health Conference, at which various procedures and products aimed at "weight loss" were much discussed. He writes: "Following this paragraph is my list of key moments from the conference. By default, I was going to group them by disease state, but given the circumstances perhaps it is more appropriate to categorize them by the emotional state they created." The headers for the article are "Interesting," "Startling," "Disappointing," "Frustrating," "Horrifying," "Infuriating," and "Made Me Want To Throw Something."

Paintings of migraines by artists who experience them.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
posted by [personal profile] firecat at 09:22pm on 2014-11-25
I've been vaguely trying to learn the ukulele, and I discovered this guy Alistair Wood, a musician and writer who maintains a web site called Ukulele Hunt. Here he performs his beautiful adaptation of Led Zeppelin's "The Rain Song" for the ukulele.

DapperQ calls itself "GQ for the 'unconventionally masculine.'" This post discusses masculine fashion for people whose bodies don't conform to the tall, thin stereotype of androgyny (which just so happens to match the tall, thin stereotype of every kind of fashion).

Proof that political sensibilities and entertainment can mix with hilarious results: Unused audio commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky for The Fellowship of the Ring DVD. Excerpt:
Zinn: You view the conflict as being primarily about pipe-weed, do you not?
Chomsky: Well, what we see here, in Hobbiton, farmers tilling crops. The thing to remember is that the crop they are tilling is, in fact, pipe-weed, an addictive drug transported and sold throughout Middle Earth for great profit.

By the Racialicious Team: Voices: The Michael Brown protests you didn't see (because the media were too busy showing violent protests instead).

By Janee Woods: 12 things white people can do now because Ferguson

A fat guy who is an employee of a Sam's Club in Mexico dances with great enthusiasm in front of a display of stereo equipment (the song is "El Serrucho" by Mr Black).

Yudkowsky does a great job of explaining a way to approach the hateful voices that people sometimes have in their heads. (I call them my brain trolls.)
"when you have a thought, you write it down
like, say
'You are different from the others. You will never know their innocence… and that is why you should hate your own existence. Die. Die. Die.'
then you figure out whether, if your life were a fantasy novel, these words would be spoken by figures wearing black robes, and speaking in a dry, whispering voice, and they are actually withered beings who touched the Stone of Evil
and if so then you don’t listen"
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-11-26
November 25th, 2014
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 10:35pm on 2014-11-25
I have dyscalculia, which is a form of dyslexia that scrambles identifier-lables. It's called dyscalculia because it was long thought that it was problems doing mathematics, but actually we can be really good at that. So long as you give us a calculator, because we can't memorise numbers very well, so never really learned the times table like you did.
We also have problems remembering people's names. In that it takes me conscious effort to remember which one is Sam and which one is Dean in Supernatural. I know which character is which, I just have to think real hard to assign the right names to them. All characters can end up being Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to us. This is fun for me because I'm trying to be a writer, so sometimes I lose track of what I named my own characters.

I once hugely embarrassed myself by getting the titles and authors of "Future Track 5" and "Neuromancer" confused asking a question at a Worldcon Panel, being entirely confused at the answer I received, and not noticing my error until ten minutes after the panel had ended.

But one major thing I always worry about is my non-cis friends, because I might accidentally mis-gender them. It does not help that the pronouns are only one letter apart. And I'm genderfluid myself, so I'm hyper sensitive to misgendering, and understanding what that feels like.

So this is my apology in advance, or to be viewed in retrospect, for any time I do this or have done this. I don't think I ever have. I really really really try not to as hard as I can. But the worst part is sometimes I don't even know I've done it.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 03:19pm on 2014-11-25
...always knows when you're wearing black.

Read more... )
maevele: (lamberdroogie)
posted by [personal profile] maevele at 07:54pm on 2014-11-25
so I am doing the rocky again this friday! as columbia once more, but I have agreed to try being frank next time. ack. and at rehearsal, we were discussing doing the show at geek kon this next year, which might be awesome. But I didn't know when geekkon is, so I went to look it up, and found out who they have recently named as one of their GoH. I'm not saying their name, but um, yeah. I don't know what to think
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
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!)
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 10:03am on 2014-11-25 under , ,
Click here )
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 08:04am on 2014-11-25
I am deeply upset (but not at all surprised) by the grand jury in Ferguson declining to indict Darren Wilson for shooting Mike Brown. (Everything I read about how the grand jury was convened and how the evidence was presented makes it absolutely crystal clear the prosecutor did not want the indictment. Which, again: heartbreaking, but not at all surprising.) I'm more upset by the fact that county prosecutor Robert McCulloch made the announcement at 9PM -- that was such a bone-headed move that even before I saw the announcement there was absolutely no doubt in my mind the timing was deliberate to provoke the very response that happened last night as protests erupted into violent confrontation. You don't announce news like that at 9PM unless you want an explosion -- every conflict gets escalated after dark -- and it's yet-a-fucking-nother example of how badly the whole thing was handled from the beginning.

I'm posting, however, to let people know about the Ferguson National Response Network, which has a coordinated list of protests being planned across the country, mostly for today. I don't know if I'm going to be physically capable of attending Baltimore's tonight, but there are planned protests in loads of locations and judging by my reading list I know a lot of you are just as upset as I am.

(And if you're looking for something you can give to people in your life who don't get it, I thought this article by Janee Woods, 12 Ways to Be a White Ally to Black People, was a really good attempt at being concise and clear about a very complicated subject.)
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-11-25
November 24th, 2014
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 04:43pm on 2014-11-24
Although I had planned to be at ChessieCon, and had been thinking of things to do at it and people to meet for most of the last year, I am just not up to dealing it. Even though I would love to see all of you, whom I have seen at Darkover from year to year in the past, and to meet those of you I haven't met yet -- I need the time for resting and regaining my strength, instead of wearing myself to pieces, because when I am this tired and worn I would not enjoy being there. So, if you were planning to see me there, this is why I probably will not be, barring divine intervention and a miraculous healing from exhaustion between now and Friday.
nancylebov: (green leaves)
posted by [personal profile] nancylebov at 03:21pm on 2014-11-24
I'd rather have half a bed, but floor is alright.

By the way, Chessiecon is a good convention, with a focus on fantasy and music, and it's this weekend near Baltimore.

Posted by Monica Roberts

The Progressive Open Door Christian Center during this TDOR 2014  season has really stepped up under the leadership of Deaconess Dee Dee Watters its advocacy for the trans community of Houston.

Dee Dee was one of the peeps that helped push for the passage of the HERO, and the POD and Pastor Freedom Gulley was one of the progressive congregations and ministers speaking in favor of the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

In addition to hosting a well attended Wednesday TDOR service for the second consecutive year, it also hosted  it's first annual Transgender Outreach Service that featured the Rev. Carmarion Anderson and Rev. Raymond Walker III.

I was happy to be there in attendance for yesterday's  service along with other members of the local trans community and our allies, and hope it grows next year.

In addition, at this Transgender Outreach Service that featured the trans reverends speaking and the trans deacon and deaconess of the POD, a resolution  was read at the service that not only declared the POD as a safe worship space for the Houston trans community, they committed their church to being an inclusive and outspoken advocate for the Houston trans community and the trans human rights movement and deplored the acts of anti-trans violence aimed at us.. 

It also committed the POD to having this trans outreach service every year at this time.  I will post the language to the declaration when I receive it so you can do the same for your faith community.

But it is nice to know that at least one Black church in the Houston metro area has stepped up to say boldly that trans people are children of God who are part of our kente cloth community.

The POD in its message of radical inclusiveness is also boldly proclaiming they will have no problem saying it to their fellow Christians who seriously need to hear that message.

Because like many of us in the Houston trans community, I'm tired of the current status quo of either trans hate speech or silence from the pulpit on trans human rights issues that far too many congregations get from their pastors these days.
twistedchick: Cam Mitchell pitching a holy fit in the kitchen (pitch a holy fit)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 12:42pm on 2014-11-24
Farewell to the Mayor for Life.

I went out this morning in search of three things: a filter for the humidifier, a new wallet, and moleskin to repair the insides of two pairs of boots... cut for length, and not just a little exasperation )

ETA: Aaaaand that was the last of my energy for today, and probably till Thursday.
misschili: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] misschili at 04:25pm on 2014-11-24 under
Cats all seem to believe that they are Jedi masters, but they are overwhelmingly wrong about that.

Moxie is just like the others, except she has a quirk that sets even her apart: she seems to be a raccoon in a cat's body.

In making that statement, I'm not trying to belittle anyone in the transgender field, really really not.

But Moxie seems to follow certain tricks not necessarily shared by others in the feline world, such as her predisposition to wash things. Raccoons are known to wash their paws, so much so that Danes refer to these animals as 'washing bears'. Moxie doesn't really wash her paws, unless her paws are holding something that must, absolutely MUST be washed, by whatever strictures she follows.

Things that Per and I have found in Moxie's water dish lately:
  • hair scrunchies
  • a plastic label for marking the recharge cord for the iPad
  • her trilobite, which she loves carrying around the place in her mouth, as she yowls to announce her presence
The trilobite is a knitted soft toy for cats, possibly with catnip, though I can't remember. At any rate, the trilobite needed to not only be wrung out and dried but also washed in the washing machine because it did not smell at all good, even before Moxie washed it in her water bowl!

So our little Moxie might be a raccoon on the inside, or at least her personality is matching up with her stripey tail!

And back to Jedi cats!

Jedi cat 1


Jedi cat 2
Mood:: 'amewsed, what else?' amewsed, what else?
maevele: (singingfrank)
posted by [personal profile] maevele at 03:37am on 2014-11-24
1: still living in someone's basement.
2: haven't killed myself, but three+ close calls in six weeks means I need to fix my head.
3: best friend is about to be legit homeless, can't fix.
4: need to fix sleep issues because 6 hours every two days for a week, followed by 14 hours is not how we do
5: need to fix food issues, because of similar.
6: need to fix life, because fucked.

still alive though, and the parts that are good are amazing.
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-11-24
November 23rd, 2014

Posted by Monica Roberts

InjuriesBecause of the anti-trans hate speech coming from the kneegrow hate ministers of the Baptist Minsters Association of Houston and Vicinity in relation to the HERO passage battle, and it being greeted with silence from other local Black ministers and Black media outlets not called TransGriot, I was beginning to wonder when it would result in Houston area transpeople being attacked or God forbid, killed because of it.

Unfortunately, I got my answer Thursday.

According to an About magazine article, a  gang of seven people attacked Thailand Warr, who is also known as the popular Houston based female illusionist DeyJzah Opulent Mirage,  in the lobby of her Southwest Houston high-rise condo complex as she was preparing to get into a waiting cab for a performance at the Houston Improv.

She was confronted by a group of five Black men and two Black women, all in their late teens to early twenties, who she said smelled of marijuana.   She sustained injuries to her head, upper body and breasts, along with scratches across her chest when they tried to expose her breasts.

I'm attempting to get in contact with Ms. Warr and find out how she's doing along with the rest of the Houston area TBLG community.  If there are any efforts organized that need some additional love from y'all locally and nationall, I'll let you know ASAP.

But right now I'm going to focus the rest of this post on the kneegrow ministers that have been priming the pump for anti-trans violence to erupt with their hate speech as many Houston Black church leaders, our leading organizations like the local NAACP and Urban League, and media outlets like KCOH-AM and KMJQ-FM among others say nothing to condemn the sellout pastors..

Well, if y''all won't say anything, Moni will.

I and the Houston Black transgender community, in a year in which we lost 11 trans people of color in the USA, and with ten of them being African-American, are beyond sick and tired of the cricket chirping silence coming from the Houston Black church about these murders and assaults on trans people when y'all always have a fracking opinion about other crap as demonstrated in the HERO battle you know nothing about

And the fact this attack happened to Ms Warr on November 20, the day we memorialize our lost sisters, wasn't lost on me or anyone else in the trans community and our allies.

Voices and Bibles are raised Tuesday after a the mayor announced a compromise to her proposed nondiscrimination ordinance.What angers me still further is because of your hatred, (yes, hatred) of transgender, gay and lesbian individuals, you real life Uncle Ruckuses have entered into an unholy alliance with Dave Welch and his conservative Republican friends to attempt to kill a much needed human rights ordinance we have NEVER had for our city. 

The attack on Ms Warr is a prime example of exactly why we need the HERO to be implemented without further delay.

And I have nothing but contempt for you for doing so and allowing yourselves to be the useful fools fronting this effort to kill HERO.

Thailand Warr is one of the few anti-trans assaults we are aware of.   How many more have transpired since you started your rhetorical attack on the Houston trans community that we are not privy to and the victims have declined to report them?

Yes, I'm grateful that Ms Warr survived the attack and I pray for her speedy recovery.  I hope the ignorant wastes of DNA who did this face justice.  But I blame the Baptist Ministers Assn. of Houston and Vicinity for sowing the anti-trans seeds at the behest of their massas in the white conservative led Pastor's Council that have now borne poisonous fruit in Ms Warr's life.

The next trans person that gets attacked by a gang of people inside Beltway 8 may not be so fortunate.

Where you at Houston Black church?    Where are your voices of condemnation for this attack Houston NAACP and Houston Urban League for starters?   Where are you Houston Black Area Democrats?  

And where are you Majic 102 and KCOH-AM?   Both of your stations can provide platforms for the sellout ministers and HERO opponents to speak and demonize the Houston African-American trans community, but you can't (or won't) provide a platform for us to rebut the scurrilous and demonstrably false charges aimed at us?

I' eagerly await the answers to those questions along with our allies
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 10:22pm on 2014-11-23
gingicat: (girlochka - mischief)
posted by [syndicated profile] revlyncox_feed at 04:45pm on 2014-11-23

As we approach the holiday season, we might be reminded more often of family myths and stories. We have choices about how to emotionally and spiritually prepare for this season of reflection. This sermon was written for the UU’s of Fallston, November 23, 2014.

* * * *

Sometimes when I am working on a sermon, the subject will make me think of some music that gets stuck in my head for a few weeks. This time, one of the earworms was “Memory” from the musical Cats (by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Trevor Nunn, T. S. Eliot, and Zdenek Hruby), based on poems by T. S. Eliot.


All alone in the moonlight

I can smile at the old days

I was beautiful then

I remember

A time I knew what happiness was

Let the memory live again

The song evokes painful nostalgia, but also a sense that the way we bring up and reflect on the past has implications for how we can move forward into “a new day.” With the holidays approaching, there will be advertisements that encourage us to make positive memories with our extended families, revisit an idealized past, and reconnect with the people who have known us the longest. Whether that is a good idea or even possible for any of us is kind of beside the point. Memories, especially family memories, are likely to be a factor this holiday season. We have some choices about how to emotionally and spiritually prepare for a period of reflection.

In my family, musicals are part of the story. My middle brother’s elementary school class took a field trip to see a performance of Cats when it came to DC. To prepare, they studied T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and did an art project on the poem of their choice. One of the actors from the touring production visited his school and led a workshop in which the children pretended to be cats. The same actor met the children at the dressing room door on the day of the show. I remember seeing the book of poetry propped open all around the house, clearly getting some use. I also remember my brother coming home that day, exploding with descriptions of the special effects surrounding the character of Mr. Mistoffelees.

My brother (who gave me permission and additional material for this story) said that everything about the show met him right where he was. He wrote to me:

“In the theater I was sitting next to dad in the balcony. It was awesome. Magical. I loved cats so much as a kid, and here were all the things I could ever imagine springing to life in glorious costume, song, dance, and spectacle … the thing I focused on overall was the stories … that each cat was amazing in its own unique way. Still kind of the message of my life.”

My brother vividly remembered details from that performance, about thirty years ago. He has gone on to be an artist, a puppeteer, an educator, and a teacher of teachers. Don’t tell him I said so, but I am very proud of him. I have no doubt that the artist-in-residence experience and the performance represented a turning point for my middle brother. (I feel compelled to mention here that I also have a youngest brother, who was three or four years old at the time. I’m proud of him, too.)

My dad, on the other hand, was kind of confused. He went with my brother’s class as a chaperone. He didn’t get it. When he got home, my Dad talked about feeling a bit anxious when he realized that he hadn’t instructed my brother to dress in church clothes, as the other parents seemed to have done. As I recall, he didn’t have much to say about the performance itself.

A few months later, in his ongoing quest for fairness, Dad took me to see Joel Gray in a revival of Cabaret at an outdoor theater. Remembering the wardrobe conversation, I tried to dress nicely. I remember being cold and enjoying the show anyway, although I am sure I complained. Dad loved the show and thought it was much better than Cats. In later years, Dad mentioned the comparison many times, to my brother’s sadness. (Dad mentioned the comparison again when I talked to him about using this story in today’s sermon.) It is hard to love something so much and not have your parent share your enthusiasm. I know when I’ve introduced him to things I’m devoted to (like the new Doctor Who), and he didn’t turn into an instant fan, I’ve been disappointed. It can feel a little bit like a negative judgment from someone whose opinion matters very much.

Now that we are older and have some practice thinking about our dad’s needs before our own, my brother and I have more understanding about why he enjoyed one show more than the other. Cats is episodic. It doesn’t have a traditional plot arc or realistic characters. Cabaret has a narrative with plenty of room for emotional distance. My dad likes stories because of the way they help him make sense of the world. If he wants to remember something, he contains it in a story. It’s still sad that he doesn’t feel the same way about some of the things my brothers and I all enjoy, but it feels a bit better to realize that his preferences are about him, not us. That sounds obvious, but I don’t think we’re the only kids in history for whom that lesson comes late in life. I appreciate that he has been willing to try things out with us, even when they aren’t his cup of tea. When I think of all the art shows, school plays, scouting ceremonies, and who knows what else he showed up for, I am in awe.

Looking back on our family’s exploration of music theater in the late 80s, it is interesting to me that we were all arranging our memory of that experience as it was happening, and that our memories of that time have been continuing strands of conversation in our relationship since then. The way we create memories influences us, the way we talk about them later affects our relationships, and our ability to reframe those memories in later years impacts our ability to heal and grow. As we encounter live and remembered family members over the next few months, we can try to construct new memories with care, to be curious about the perspectives of the people we’ve made memories with, and to reframe negative experiences with compassion and understanding.

Construct Memories with Care

The first step in having memories that strengthen a relationship is in the way we tell ourselves the story of our lives as it is happening. Once we have interpreted the facts a certain way, it is hard to separate the raw data from our interpretation of it. When we ascribe motives to others, group an incident with our understanding of a larger trend, or make inferences about information we don’t have first hand, we are making choices about the internal monologue of our life stories.

Recently, I received an email inviting me to an event and asking if I could help out a bit. There was a flyer attached, which I didn’t open because the relevant details were in the email. I replied that, yes, let me know what I could do, and I wrote the date and time in my calendar. The day of the event, I got another message with  more information about how I could help. I responded that I would be there and at what time. When I parked the car, I was feeling pretty good about being early enough to help. As soon as I walked in the door, I knew I had made a mistake. The event was in full swing, almost half over. I had missed some meaningful content and let people down who were hoping for my help. In my calendar, I had written that the event started at 8:00. The email I received had said 7:00. The flyer that I didn’t read stated the actual start time, which was 6:30. It was an exercise in humility. My friends love and forgive me anyway.

I was reminded that I might be more skeptical of the things I am absolutely confident that I know for sure. It’s possible that I need to be more careful to wear my reading glasses when I am entering dates into my calendar. If I want to confirm information with someone, I need to ask directly rather than assuming they will correct me if I’m wrong. Although this time I didn’t do it, I’m usually in the habit of checking multiple sources for event information. Now I know why.

How similar is this to the way we construct family memories. Two people in the same conversation will remember it very differently. The words get mixed up in our minds with our interpretation of those words, which are in turn influenced by all the other conversations we have ever had with that person on that topic. Those two people might come away both being absolutely confident that they know for sure what happened, even if the other person disagrees. Yet we can always back up and try again with our glasses on, or at least with an ear toward checking interpretations. We can talk about the multiple layers of meaning going on in a single conversation, before those layers get compressed into one story that may be true in some conflicting ways. Just like checking multiple sources can improve the accuracy of a calendar item, asking for different perspectives can bring more fullness to our understanding of a conversation we’re having in that moment.

In a sermon last year (“Siblings/Sharing,” November 17, 2013), I mentioned the work of Deborah Tannen, a linguist at Georgetown University. Her insights bear repeating, and I’d like to go in more depth about them this morning than I was able to before. (I’m drawing mostly from her book I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to your Parents, Partner, Sibs, and Kids When You’re All Adults, but I have also found her other books, such as Talking from 9 to 5, to be very helpful.)

Tannen says there are always cross-cultural forces at work in conversation, even within the same family. People of different generations and geographic backgrounds will bring different frames of reference, different assumptions about the way life works. Because these assumptions are part of the fabric of how we make sense of the world, it can be very difficult to articulate why we’re not finding common ground. Tannen relates an anecdote (p.164) about Albert Macovski, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University.

“His parents warned him he’d be making a big mistake if he went ahead with his plans to become an electrical engineer because it was too hard to get into the electrician’s union. Working class immigrants from Poland, his parents had only one frame associated with things electrical. The worlds of engineering and of universities were outside their experience.” Tannen has other examples of the ways parents and grandparents and children miss each other’s meaning because their frames of reference don’t match, like an absent stair step.

There are also differences in the type of conversation people expect. Tannen identifies report talk, the kind of words that convey bare information or that are used for holding forth on a topic, contrasted with rapport talk, words that mark and deepen relationships with the sharing of intimate information or that explore personal choices through open-ended conversation. When one person is trying to establish rapport and the other person answers with a concise report, that is frustrating. When one person is looking for a report of needed information, it is annoying to instead receive a rapport response, long and not necessarily decisive.

A big theme Tannen found in family conversation was the axis of connection and control. These are two forces we seek and we try to escape in the dance of family dynamics. Furthermore, a family member can easily reach out with what they think is a form of connection and have it come across as an attempt for control. In her chapter about adult siblings (p. 257), she writes:

“Parents in general, and mothers in particular, find themselves nicked by the double-edged sword of connection and control. If you care about people, you have opinions about how they should live their lives, but expressing those opinions can come across as interfering or controlling rather than caring … [Tannen explains that this double-edged sword gets passed to oldest siblings, often but not exclusively oldest sisters. She goes on:] Along with the responsibility of caring for younger sisters and brothers can come the habit of judging their behavior and telling them how they can do things better. When these habits continue into adulthood, older sisters can be resented for taking over and telling others what to do.”

“Rose, an older sister in her fifties, was telling of the strains that had attended a family gathering. ‘I felt vaguely unhappy the whole time,’ she said, ‘because I couldn’t make everyone happy.’ Then she added, ‘I realize this is very narcissistic of me.’ Narcissistic—that is, self-centered—because she was worrying about everyone else? In a way, yes: Thinking it is your job to make everyone happy puts you at the center of the family. In that sense you are being self-centered. But it’s a particular kind of self-centeredness when the power you seek is to make everything okay for everyone else—a benevolent dictatorship. That is what parenthood is. And that legacy is often passed on to the oldest child, especially the oldest sister.”

I think Tannen’s story about Rose shows tremendous insight on Rose’s part. She stopped to ask questions about the role she had been playing for fifty years. She questioned her assumptions and moved toward seeing things from her sibling’s perspective. As that family gathering goes from being a present experience to being a memory, Rose will have an added dimension of understanding. When we don’t talk about our frameworks, our intentions, or our true feelings, we risk entering mismatched data into our permanent memory banks. If we’re in the middle of an emotionally powerful conversation, it is worth stepping back to identify where we’re coming from and to check our assumptions about the other person’s meaning. We can create three-dimensional memories with all of the richness of human care rather than flattening our family narrative into a single story.

Be Curious

Another practice for memories that strengthen relationships is to be curious about the stories we think we already know. Just like we can change our understanding of a conversation before it becomes a memory, we can go back and listen for missing information to add to a past chapter. It is more difficult to reinterpret a memory than a present experience, but we can do it. If we’re in a position to talk with family members about the past, we can ask questions, listen, and be willing to let go of the meaning we constructed out of that story. Tannen shares one such reconciliation from her own family (p.223):

“As an adult my father became acquainted with a cousin whom he had met only once, when they were both small children in Poland. This cousin had harbored resentment from that one meeting because, for a long time after, their mutual grandfather had used the visiting city cousin as a remonstrance: ‘Why aren’t you religious like your cousin Eli?’ But the story behind that meeting shows how mistaken his grandfather was.”

“My father was living in Warsaw with his mother’s family. This cousin was living in Kielce, where my father’s father was from. When my father was six his mother took him to visit his father’s family. The favorable impression was made when the cousin (who did not normally wear a skullcap) tried to snatch the skullcap off my father’s head. As my father tells it, ‘To prove how serious I thought it was, I hauled off and smacked him.’ The irony is that my father did not normally wear a skullcap either. But when his mother took him to visit his deceased father’s relatives, she had warned him that his grandfather was very devout, so he had better wear a yarmulke at all times. When he fought his cousin who tried to knock it off his head, it was his mother’s anger that he feared, not the Almighty’s.”

What a revelation it must have been to her father’s cousin to find out that the famous cousin Eli from Warsaw was just a regular person trying to avoid his mother’s punishment. Similarly, I imagine it was strange for Tannen’s father to find that he had been an unwitting character in a myth constructed by his grandfather. It is a blessing to have one of those flashes of insight about the past, like suddenly realizing you’ve been holding the map of your journey sideways.

Here is where our UU spirituality comes into play. When we have a memory of someone in our family that seems to follow a well-known dramatic trope, like the perfect do-gooder or the underhanded villain, it might be worth questioning our assumptions. Universalism teaches us that people are human, that we all have imperfections and that these imperfections do not cut us off from the human family or from the Divine. The Source of Love is always available to us, if we choose to reach back to its open arms. Therefore, if our personal stories seem to replay a melodrama of universal values, chances are we’re missing some information. People have reasons for committing unkind acts or making bad choices. That doesn’t mean we should put ourselves in harm’s way around people who can’t seem to stop hurting others, but it does mean we should be suspicious of an internal monologue that labels family members as purely good or evil. Fill in the blanks of the old stories if you are able. Be curious.


The third practice for using our memories to strengthen relationships is to reframe. This is sometimes possible even if the other people in the story are beyond reach, cut off from contact or dead. If there is an incident from the past that still holds the weight of sorrow or disappointment, try taking another perspective. Create some alternate hypotheses about what the events might have meant to the other person, both their actions and yours. Try to remember what else was going on in the world and in your lives at the time; give the incident context from that moment rather than cataloguing it with other episodes that seemed to have a similar meaning.

My mother passed away six years ago. I miss her very much. We got along well for the last 15 years of her life, and I have happy memories of her from childhood. When I think back on some of the fights we had and the ways I avoided closeness when I was a teenager, I sometimes feel betrayed by my younger self over the time I wasted. There were the occasions when I was supposed to wait for her somewhere and found my own way home instead. As an adult, I figured out that I did that because I didn’t want to look conspicuous or vulnerable in public, and I also realized how frantic she must have been and how much chaos my absence introduced in her busy day. As a teenager, I didn’t have the words. I probably rolled my eyes and shrugged or stormed out of the room to cover up my inability to understand my own mind. There were also the arguments over how I should be allowed to go wherever I wanted with whomever I wanted at whatever hour.

The reframing part comes with knowing that arguments about freedom are predictable. Those negotiations are part of growing up, and my parents did the best they could to talk things out with me after the shouting stopped. I would have lost my temper with myself sooner than she did. The time we spent arguing was not wasted. It was a symptom of vertigo in the middle of a sharp turn toward adulthood.

Tannen writes that relationships operate along axes of connection and control. The connection continuum ranges from suffocating closeness to estrangement. The control continuum stretches from hierarchy, where the up and down positions bring responsibilities, to equality, where members protect and empower one another equally. Moving along either continuum requires adjustment. Furthermore, any time one family member says something to another, there is the potential to confuse the literal meaning of their words with the metamessage, or heart meaning. Comments meant to protect or to be attentive look like control maneuvers. Actions meant to fulfill a familial obligation come off as reminders of the hierarchy. There are many ways to tell the story of the same set of actions.

If we’re ready to consider reframing a past experience, ask whether something that felt hurtful could also have been an attempt at closeness. Consider the possibility that a misunderstanding could grow from shifts in hierarchy or frameworks that carry different assumptions about one family member’s responsibilities to the other. We may never know the final answers, and an explanation doesn’t erase hurtful behavior, but we might be able to increase compassion for the people who populate our earliest memories, including ourselves.


Antoine de St.-Exupéry, the author of “The Little Prince,” wrote:

In a house which becomes a home, one hands down and another takes up the heritage of mind and heart, laughter and tears, musings and deeds. Love, like a carefully loaded ship, crosses the gulf between the generations. Therefore we do not neglect the ceremonies of our passage: when we wed, when we die, and when we are blessed with a child; When we depart and when we return; when we plant and when we harvest … We live not by things, but by the meanings of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords from generation to generation.

As we are creating and reflecting on family memories, we are sifting out the passwords. These keys open doors to strong relationships, growing interdependence, and insights into the people we would like to become. “We live not by things, but by the meanings of things.” The meaning of a family member’s words or actions might not be what it seems. We live by the meanings of connection, nurture, and protection, yet also by the new meanings of cultures and frameworks that are changing as we speak.

Construct your new memories with care. When conversations become intense, consider stepping back to talk about the frameworks you are working with and the heart meaning behind your words. It’s easier to correct a misunderstanding before it becomes a story.

Be curious. Be open to new ways of interpreting family myths and stories. Rest in the unconditional acceptance of the Spirit of Life and believe in the three-dimensional complexity of loving, flawed human beings.

Reframe, even the oldest stories. Take another look at the context around a memory, investigate the dynamics of connection and control that might have been in play. Compassion for the people involved in a painful family story won’t change the past, but it might make it possible to move into the future.

May we write ourselves into long, meaningful stories, filled with mutual respect and care. May our memories lead us into a better future.

So be it. Blessed be. Amen.

synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 09:07am on 2014-11-23
They've developed a blight-resistant American Chestnut tree! That link goes to a fundraising page -- the team behind it, at SUNY-ESF, is trying to start a reforestation plan. Contributions are tax-deductable, and they're so close to being funded.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
I'm trying to be more diligent about reposting these regularly, really I am.

Behind the cut: reviews of Old Demons of the First Class, Dwarf, The Lion, Rage, Half-Elf, Morocco, Lear, Blood, Sjöfn, Haunted, Good, Elf, Mr Vandemar, Black Lotus, Coyote

15 reviews )

Posted by Zoe Brain

I was recently asked
are you really saying that the flat earth people represent the majority of Christians?
Here's my answer:
No, not at all. Only the ones who take the Bible literally.

Very few do. Many say they do, but ask them if they believe snow and hail come from storehouses in the sky, as clearly stated in the book of Job, and they say "that bit's metaphorical". Yet Adam and Eve is not. Neither is the Great Flood, though that depends on the existence of a Firmament with valves in - the ""Windows of Heaven" to let the Waters Above in.

Martin Luther had it right. Either you can believe in scripture as inerrant and literal, or you can rely on "natural Philosophy" - science -, observable facts and reason. The two ideologies are irreconcilable. He therefore rejected reason and natural philosophy.

Natural philosophy because it was wicked,as it contradicted scripture. Reason because while it sometimes supported scripture, it just as often subverted it, it could never be relied on to tell you what you wanted to hear. It was, he said, a whore in that regard. The greatest enemy Faith has.

    "Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters...
    It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night... We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things. And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding."

- Martin Luther, Luther's Works. Vol. 1. Lectures on Genesis

    “Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

- Martin Luther

He was quite right. Reason will only tell you how things are, not how you know them to be through Faith alone.

To take as one example, the facts say that Herod died in 4BC, and that Quirinius became governor of Syria in 6CE, ten years later. The Bible says that Christ was born during Herod's reign, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Reason would point out the contradiction. But Faith says the bible cannot by definition be erroneous or contradictory, so Reason must be abandoned.

Christ was born before 3BC, and also in 6CE, And if ( these facts) are beyond our comprehension we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding.

Posted by saraelisheva

I’m very glad I made it to shul today, despite the horrible raw (and slippery) weather — when I was traversing downtown, a lady slid beside me and almost crashed into me. I’m very glad she didn’t, because then probably both of us would have gone down, and that wouldn’t have been good on a number of counts.

The service was good — I really like the Rosh Chodesh blessing when the rav does it — that man has an exceptional set of pipes, and his voice is particularly well-adapted to Jewish liturgical singing (in the same sense that Nina Simone’s voice is perfect for jazz).

There was also a nice kiddush afterward with smoked salmon, salads, and various other things (hey, I like food as much, maybe more than the next person!), and a technically-meat cake (baked in a meat oven, according to M, the lay kashrut expert). Funnily enough, in the kitchen afterward where I was helping to clean up, M. stopped one of the women from filling up a slow-cooker liner with (even cold) water, on the grounds that you can’t do that on Shabbat. The woman said, “I did not know that.” I said, “Yeah, M, I learnt that from my giant set of books on the halacha of Shabbat, which I’ve read already,” and she said, “You have? Good for you!” Then I said to the other woman, “According to the book, you’re allowed to fill up something to soak it if you’re using the water for other purposes, so you can kind of direct the water into it, but you can’t fill it up directly. You have to sort of do it ‘accidentally-on-purpose.’” They laughed. Go me. I’m learning this stuff!

During the kiddush, we had a guest speaker come in, who happens to be the archivist for the local Conservative congregation (and by extension the whole kehila), and talk about some local Jewish history, particularly pertaining to a landmark legal case here in Canada that helped overturn restrictive covenant deeds (in 1951), where one of the people involved was local. The archivist noted that Mitt Romney’s parents had at one time owned property in the contested development, and someone said, “I guess covenant deeds didn’t exclude Mormons, huh?” and everyone either sort of laughed or went “Ooooh…

The rebbetzin also invited me to come to a “women’s lecture night” that includes a dinner, and said that since I had lost my job, I could pay a donation of whatever I could afford rather than the full price (which is ridiculously cheap at $25; I was expecting it to be at least twice that). I’m going to take that as a step forward in terms of being integrated into the community. It’ll be nice, assuming I’m not living elsewhere by then.

Which brings me to my titular reference (l’Mitzrayim means “to Egypt”). I told the rav that I had lost my job about six weeks ago and that it was looking very likely that I would have to relocate. He said he’d make sure I was referred to another rabbi there (eases my mind) and then gave me a personal insight. He said, (and I think this deserves a really big lehavdil) “It was in G-d’s plan that Joseph went to Egypt, but there was no way Joseph would have gone to Egypt of his own accord. If it had required him to be dragged there in chains, G-d would have caused there to be chains. As it was, the only way Joseph would go there was for there to be a famine… G-d has arranged for your own personal famine and shortage.” That’s not quite his exact words, nor is it the whole thing that he said, but what he said did manage to move me almost to tears. He has quite a talent for that when it comes to me.

I always feel slightly weird emerging back into the “secular world” after one of these powerful experiences. (I actually wish I could just walk home and be alone with my thoughts, although today was really not a good day for me in terms of walking; I had to stop a couple of times and shake out my bad leg, since it seemed to want to be painful and sore. But now is also not the time for me to consider an intra-city relocation. *sigh*)

Then I went home and got under the covers with a couple cats (who follow the lenient ruling regarding pets and Shabbat) and slept until well after motzei. I made Havdala and then ate something, then called my mother, and now I’m writing this and listening to Marvin Gaye.

More days like this, please. Also a new job, while You’re at it. ^_^

November 22nd, 2014
redbird: SF Bay bridges, during rebuilding (bay bridges)
posted by [personal profile] redbird at 08:28pm on 2014-11-22 under , ,
It's Dungeness crab season here; [ profile] cattitude and I bought a nice big cooked crab this afternoon, which I took apart and he is making into crab cakes. It will be good, but while I was taking the crab apart, I remembered that some months ago, talking with [personal profile] roadnotes, we agreed that he would make some for her and Scraps, this winter.

There's grief as a background, right now, and then there are odd sharp moments, like that. But we go on, and we are going to eat crab cakes.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 04:11am on 2014-11-22 timing schedule for thanksgiving. A surprising amount of blank space! That's with 10 min slots. Next step: shopping list.

Read more... )
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-11-22

Posted by Monica Roberts

Yesterday afternoon I was waiting from my bus downtown to take me back to my new crib in the Heights.   

One of the things I have been battling in addition to my transphobic aunt and uncle is the misgendering I endured while I was there for the last four years. 

It had a much deeper effect on me that I expected    I'd stopped getting my nails done (and some of that was for fiscal reasons) and was having more of those unpretty episodes than I cared to admit.

Lately I wasn't feeling like the fly Black woman of trans experience  I've been evolving into for the last 20 years, and that was bothering me as well.

While I was waiting for the bus, I noted this fly sister with a cinnamon brown skin tone strutting north up Travis St in her nice dress, black patent pumps with bare legs, and perfect makeup and nails.

I'm always on the lookout for sistahs who got it going on in terms of their feminine presentation to see what lessons I can learn and implement in my own routine.  While checking her out noticed that she had the white uneven skin patches around her feet and the back parts of her shapely legs of vitiligo.

She held her head high and kept strutting up that sidewalk as if she was the finest thing walking in Downtown Houston that particular moment, and frankly, girlfriend had curves to go with it. 

Monica RobertsShe did teach me a lesson that I took home that afternoon   Some of us trans women get so beat down with all the negativity we experience, it sometimes causes us to question our hard won femininity and try to tone it down to please others. 

The only person I have to please is myself.    Now that I'm taking my first steps back to being on my own, I'm going to do a better job of rocking my inner diva.  

Not just for me, but hey, I have competition.   My little sisters ain't playing, they are bringing their A+ beauty games to the transfeminine party, and I have younglings that look up to me as a role model now.

Some of my trans sisters in my age group are no slouches either when it comes to projecting the types of women they want to present to the world either.

So yeah, gotta role model what aging gracefully looks like.    So where's the nearest nail shop to my new place?
November 21st, 2014
tb: (law)
marnanel: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marnanel at 10:06pm on 2014-11-21 under
by Charles Causley

When I was walking by Tamar stream
the day was as sweet as honey and cream.
The air was brisk as a marriage bell.
(Kiss if you must, but never tell.)

When I was walking by Tamar flood
I plucked a rose the colour of blood.
The red ran out and the thorn ran in.
(Finish all, if you begin.)

When I was walking by Tamar brook
I met a man with a reaping hook.
The beard he wore was white as may.
(The hours they run like water away.)

When I was walking by Tamar race
I met a maid with a smiling face.
Out of her eyes fell tears like rain.
(You will never see this road again.)

When I was walking by Tamar lock
I picked a bunch of sorrel and dock,
Creeping Jenny and hart's-tongue fern.
(Days they go, but cannot return.)

When I was walking by Tamar spring,
I found me a stone and a plain gold ring.
I stared at the sun, I stared at my shoes.
(Which do you choose? Which do you choose?)

[I don't know whether Causley thought of the Tamar as magical because it's liminal, but I do. TJAT]

filkerdave: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] filkerdave at 02:44pm on 2014-11-21 under , ,

I've been super-busy since I moved back to New York from London. I haven't finished unpacking yet, and in addition to doing support for the London project, I've jumped right into another project. Also, the day after I got back I drove down to Maryland for the baby-naming of my brand-new niece. (Nothing like a 5 hour drive on jetlag. Thankfully).

But I'm back and ready to party, promise. More real content soon, including my farewells to London, stuff about Worldcon and Worldcon bids, musical things.

Watch this space.
location: Uniondale, NY
Music:: Hawkwind, "Who's Gonna Win the War"
Mood:: 'busy' busy

Posted by Monica Roberts

I was sent by one of my readers this copy of one of the letters to the editor section of ESSENCE.  She asked my thoughts about Betty Buccaneer's negative comments about the recent cover shoot in which Laverne Cox was one of the four gorgeous women on it along with Alfre Woodard, Nicole Beharie, and Danai Gurira.

First, here's that TERF's comments before I properly eviscerate them

I found Laverne Cox's image on the cover disrespectful to Black women   I support trans women in their quest for civil rights but I do not support them occupying women's spaces. There are serious inequalities in this country that come with being female. I cannot and will not accept someone who was born a man having privileges over a woman.

Moni laughs,  cracks knuckles, assumes optimum typing position.

First up, I called Ms. Buccaneer a TERF because this so reeks of trans-hating TERF feminazi crap that even Stevie Wonder can see it . 

Y'all really need to get some more creative assumed names, or better yet, attach your real names to your transphobic crap and own it.

|Assuming you even are a Black woman, and that's highly unlikely since the only people I see front and center as leaders in the TERF movement are white, the Black women cis and trans I know have applauded the ESSENCE cover and I have yet to see any prominent African American women expressing the view that you have.

Frankly, I applaud Ms. Cox for making history once again and being on that ESSENCE cover with three accomplished women.   It sends the message that trans women are women, and Black trans women are part of the kente cloth fabric of the African-American community.  

You don't like that, too damned bad bad.

What, you jealous because the fabulous Ms Cox  was on the cover of TIME, now is on the cover of ESSENCE and you'll never will be?  And at the rate Laverne is piling up honors this year, probably won't be the last time she's honored with an ESSENCE cover.

FYI to you Ms. Buccaneer (or whatever your REAL name is), Laverne is only the first OUT trans woman who has appeared on the cover of ESSENCE.    Tracy Africa Norman appeared on five ESSENCE covers back in the 80's    

So keep on hatin', transhater.

As for you fake support of trans rights you claimed in the short letter.  You either support trans rights or you don't without equivocation.

We have no room in our international trans human rights struggle for lukewarm, squishy alleged 'allies' because we have serious issues that we need to tackle and solve.

What are those issues?   A 26% unemployment rate, off the charts anti-trans murders and violence aimed at us, and ignorant comment like yours and from sellout kneegrow ministers that help fuel that anti-trans violence. 

You're either ride or die with us human rights wise as fellow African-Americans or you aren't. 

'Serious inequalities with being female'?   Tell me and Black women cis and trans something we don't know already.   Try walking in out Black female pumps, Miss Thang.   You couldn't handle ten seconds of it without crying white women's tears and running to clutch those pearls.

And there you go again TERF with that 'male privilege' thang.   That died the nanosecond we started undergoing HRT and we morphed into our female bodies.    So you can stop telling that lie, too. 

Laverne, like all trans women, was born as an infant.   You become and grow into the roles of a man or a woman, and Laverne is one fabulous looking sister any cis or trans woman with common sense would enjoy counting as one of her friends.  

Thank you for playing, and we have lovely parting gifts for you.  

TransGriot Note: TERF=Trans Exterminationalist (or/Exclusionary) Radical Feminist

Posted by Monica Roberts

This weekend all over the planet our trans community and our allies are pausing to remember our trans brothers and trans sisters around the world who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence.

These Transgender Day Of Remembrance events have be held around the world around the November 20 date of  TDOR and continue through Sunday in many locales including Houston.

The HTUC organized TDOR will take place tomorrow at the AD Bruce Religion Center on the University of Houston campus starting at 6:30 PM, and there will be a Transgender Outreach Service Sunday featuring Rev Carmarion Anderson at Progressive Open Door Christian Center on the TSU campus. 

Whether it's TDOR or whatever other event, my usual Friday TransGriot business of calling out fools happens.   So let's get to it.

Special Drop Dead Fools award for all the peeps who murdered my trans sisters around the world who so far have eluded prosecution for it or got a slap on the legal wrist. 

May you rot in hell for what you've done, and may it be sooner rather than later.

Honorable mention number one goes to the as yet still unidentified Norfolk, VA school official who let loose a racist tweet that called young Black men a 'nightmare' for fathers of young white women.

It led to a Monday walkout of Black students at Booker T Washington HS. 

I think you got it twisted.  It is white men of who are a nightmare for young Black men.   As the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael brown.

Honorable mention number two is Don Lemon.   He regurgitated more of his bitter CNN Lemon-aid when he made a victim blaming comment to a woman who has accused Bill Cosby of rape

Honorable mention number three is Kentucky's junior senator Rand Paul, who claimed that no one in Congress has done more for minority and ethnic rights than he has.

After I laugh my ass off at the incredible ignorance of that statement, may I point out Senator Paul, that you are not even close to being Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) who too a beatdown from the Alabama State Gestapo Police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge for voting rights and was a Freedom Rider. 

So have several seats in the House and Senate chambers and never part your lips to say something that stupid again.

Honorable mention number four is one in which we go to the Houston area for and roast Kelley's Country Cooking.   Instead of standing up for 19 year old Blake Butler after a homophobic customer wrote on their receipt, “Don’t want to listen to a f*ggot through my whole meal,” the restaurant's manager instead APOLOGIZED to the homophobe

WTF?  Do fries go with that homophobia?   

Another sterling example of why HERO is necessary.

This week's Shut Up Fool Winner is incoming Nevada Speaker of the House Ira Hansen

Nevada Assembly Speaker-dessignate Ira Hansen (R)Remember when I urged peeps to run, not walk to the polls and many of you sat your asses at home anyway?  

Well, this is what your lack of attention to your civic duty got elected in Nevada.   A longtime unrepentant racist who has a long history of homophobic, racist and sexist statements will now that the GOP has control of the House.has the political power to mess with the lives of many Nevadans he doesn't like.

Hansen let loose with this latest racist statement that Democrats 'have a master-slave relationship with simple minded darkies'

Again with the plantation references.   And you wonder why I call the Republican Party the political arm of whiteness and white supremacy.   They keep proving it every day.

Ira Hansen, shut up racist fool!



2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28