tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
[personal profile] tuftears
I did not so much wake up as toss and turn all night, despite my determination to get to sleep. Partly travel stress and jetlag and being in a tiny hotel bed, partly my cold and drinking lots of fluids meaning that I also needed to go to the restroom frequently. It wasn't an awesome night.

Since we had taken showers immediately before going to bed, so we could get up and out the door bright and early in time for the breakfast buffet and tour group departure... we had pretty bad bed hair.

I should note here: we were strictly warned not to drink the water in Malta, and that goes for the showers as well. It was rather discomfitting. I was glad my older bro had provided me a large refillable water bottle that allowed me to stay hydrated, especially as I was fighting off a cold.

There are no pictures of this. Just the fact I had to ask for a comb from the hotel staff (and thanksfully they were able to provide one) is sufficient shame for me. x_x

Cut for images! )

Pride 2017

2017-06-24 21:23
joshuwain: (Playfully Predatory (WereWolf Me))
[personal profile] joshuwain
Today worked out well. Even with this really bad back pain of mine, I managed Pride. I did it!

I even felt a glimmer of my old self for a few moments.

That's ... good. Really good.

Yours,
Sylvan (Dave)
joshuwain: (Default)
[personal profile] joshuwain
This isn't a negative thing but I'm thinking I may have let my celebrations, some of them at any rate, trap me rather than set me free. So many things that I do every year feel like rote repetitions. So many celebrations are things that I do because I fear that not doing them would hurt. But they're not really fulfilling any more. Perhaps I need to let things go and try something new. But I'm not sure.

That also sounds like "giving up" to me ... like I'm not trying to find the good in things. I really don't know.

But it's something to consider.

Yours,
Sylvan
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's Friday. The fourth Friday in Pride Month. That means this weekend is when a lot of Seattle's Pride Events are happening! Happy Pride!

We have a full schedule with Locus Awards Weekend, some Pride events, and fun things with friends.

Anyway, here are the links I found interesting this week, sorted into categories.

Links of the Week



[Comic] Robot Hugs: There is no one right way to Pride.

It's a joy to watch this guy's Hot Wheels restoration YouTube channel .

This week in international hate crimes



European Court Condemns Russia’s Gay Propaganda Law.

Happy News!



From Oval Office, teacher of the year delivers a message on transgender rights.

Teenage boys wear skirts to school to protest against 'no shorts' policy.

This week in awful news



Funeral, vigil reveal depth of sorrow at Muslim girl's death.

Killing of Muslim teen stirs questions about hate crime prosecutions.

Manchester attack: Islamophobic hate crime reports increase by 500%.

Portland police investigate menacing letter sent to Islamic center as hate crime.

A Muslim Teen Was Kidnapped And Murdered Outside A Virginia Mosque.

This Week in Restoring Our Faith in Humanity



'Hero' imam praises group that saved Finsbury Park suspect from angry crowd.

News for queers and our allies:



Boomer Banks On Why We Shouldn’t Say ‘No Blacks, No Asians, No Fats or Fems’.

Being Offended by Black and Brown Stripes on the Pride Flag Proves Why They’re Necessary.

Controversy Over Philadelphia’s Racially Inclusive Pride Flag Highlights LGBTQ Community’s Problem with Racism.

A wave of states consider legislation recognizing the nuances within gender.

This gay coach and his gay son marched together in Pride for Father’s Day.

Bathroom bill another way to 'bully' transgender kids, mothers say.

Standing Up for Our Communities.

After outcry, an LGBT survey question is restored by HHS.

Ryan O’Callaghan and Finding Life Beyond the Closet.

Openly Gay Skateboarder Brian Anderson Bares All in His First Zine.

Apple Confirms Sales of Apple Watch Pride Edition Band Will Support LGBTQ Groups.

LGBTQ teens share what Pride Month means to them in powerful campaign.

'Strands For Trans' Supports Transgender Community.

What LGBTQ Teens Wish Their School Knew About Them.

The Beauty and Terror of Passing as a Woman.

Chadwick Moore: LGBTQ People "Don't Know What The Second Amendment Is". Actually, it's Moore who doesn't know what the Second Amendment is, it's history, it's original intent, and so on.

Are You The Husband Or The Wife?

KKK members protest LGBTQ pride march in Florence: Hate 'reared its ugly head' .

See how the world celebrates Pride .

Philadelphia Mayor Will Sign Bill Prompted by Gayborhood Racism Complaints Into Law.

'Babadook' Is Returning to Theaters, And Proceeds Are Going to LGBTQ Groups.

This Gay Couple Re-Created Their Pride Photo 24 Years Later And It Has People Emotional.

Three Men Become First 'Polyamorous Family' Legally Recognized in Colombia.

AMA approves resolution against anti-trans bathroom bills.

This week in cool information



Why didn’t great painters of the past reach the level of realism achieved today by many artists? .

National Martini Day: The 10 Most Famous Martini Lovers.

7 gorgeous photos of redheads that challenge the way we see race.

Science!



A PASSEL OF NEW PLANETS SHOWS OUR SOLAR SYSTEM IS VERY WEIRD, AND WE DON'T KNOW WHY.

What Is Space? - Issue 49: The Absurd.

Goodbye Planet Nine, Hello Planet Ten.

Researchers Are Using Viruses to Make Superbugs Commit Suicide.

Gangs of aggressive killer whales are shaking down Alaska fishing boats for their fish.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



GEEKS OUT EMPOWERS LGBTQ+ GEEKS AT FLAME CON AND BEYOND.

And other news:



Amazon’s move into groceries could squeeze Costco.

Idaho sequoia in way of expansion to be moved 2 blocks away.

This week in Words



A Word History of 'Pineapple'.

Whichbook enables millions of combinations of factors and then suggests books which most closely match your need. Go try this site! You click on a few options, and it gives you a bunch of suggestions. It's like a video game for book nerds!

This Week in History



Juneteenth: The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate but Doesn’t.

This Week in Tech



Apple accuses Qualcomm of double-dipping, wants end to pay-per-iPhone deal.

A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For.

Did you get letter? WSU sends warning to 1 million people after hard drive with personal info is stolen.

'Internet' or 'internet'? The Supreme Court Weighs in.

This Week in Misogyny in Tech



The myth of the ‘cool tech girl’ .


This Week in Covering the News



Lesson in bias: Columbia City, I hear you loud and clear - Sometimes being called a racist is just the jolt you need.

This Week in Inclusion



Movies Featuring Male Action Stars Faltering at Box Office This Season.

This Week in Police Problems



Seattle Police Officers Fatally Shoot 30-Year-Old Mother Near Magnuson Park.

Culture war news:



Men Legally Allowed to Finish Sex Even If Woman Revokes Consent, NC Law States.

No Religious Majority Backs Anti-Gay Discrimination by Business Owners Anymore.

Missouri Lawmakers Are Trying To Roll Back An Anti-Discrimination Law That Protects Reproductive Health Choices.

Jesse Lee Peterson Says Democrats At Congressional Baseball Game Were Praying To Satan.

The Hoarding of the American Dream .

This week in rape culture



I believe Bill Cosby. He said he drugged women for sex. So why the mistrial?

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



Trump's Carrier deal is not living up to the hype — jobs still going to Mexico.

The Fact Checker’s tally of Trump’s false claims since becoming president .

News about the Fascist Regime:



Democrats Seek Records On Jared Kushner As Administration Tries To Stifle Oversight.

The ACLU is suing the Washington, D.C., police for violating the rights of Trump inaugural detainees.

This week in Politics:



GOP Unveils Health Care Bill While Protesters Bleed and Scream: ‘The Government Wants to Kill Me!’.

Senate health care bill: watch Elizabeth Warren school lawmakers on Planned Parenthood.

The Senate health bill takes what Americans hate about Obamacare and makes it worse .

Andrea Mitchell: 'A Brutal Image For Republicans And Supporters Of This Bill, Frankly': Disabled protesters forcibly carried out by Capitol police.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act: the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, explained.

Secret Government Report: Chelsea Manning Leaks Caused No Real Harm. And this surprised who?

This Week in Racists, White Nationalists, and other deplorables:



Trump supporters and the empathy gap.

Trolls, hypocrites and performance artists are trying to hack our lives. Don’t let them.

Things I wrote:



Sunday Funnies, part 24.

The long, lonely death spiral of the anti-gay defenders of “traditional” marriage.

Gay it forward.

Gay It Forward, part 2.

Queer Plus, or Intersectionality Isn’t Just a Noun — more adventures in dictionaries.

Videos!



Beth Ditto - Fire (Official Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Cazwell - Loose Wrists (Official Music Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Really!?! with Seth and Amy: Julius Caesar Protests:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Gay pride || Fight song:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me (Gay Version):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Matt Fishel - "Finally" (Official Music Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Benny - Boys Will Be Boys (Official Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Steve Grand - We Are the Night (Dave Aude Remix) (Official Music Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Show Me Your Pride - By Miss Coco Peru - OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
When I first saw a link to an article about the More Colors More Pride campaign and their new flag, I admit I was a bit confused. My specific thought was, “But the black stripe goes at the bottom…” because I’m already very familiar with the Victory Over AIDS version of the Pride flag. In that flag, the black stripe represents our being in mourning for the loss of hundreds of thousands of members of the queer community due to AIDS, and it is the bottom stripe on that flag because the idea is that we are determined to be victorious over AIDS, right?

Anyway, my confusion lasted only milliseconds...

(The rest of this post about intersectionality and other things is at FontFolly.Net.)

Gay It Forward, part 2

2017-06-21 22:55
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
The original Stonewall protest was a riot. Some people want us to forget that. They want us to be polite, not to make waves, and not to upset or scare “ordinary” people. But make no mistake: the only reason we queer people have any legals rights now is because we refused to be quiet, we refused to be invisible, we refused to go quietly...

(This post about the first Pride, about people who don't conform, and other things is at FontFolly.Net.)

Gay it forward

2017-06-21 13:38
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
The Department of Justice estimates that about 1.7 million teen-agers are homeless in America at any time. Of those, about 40% identify as queer (that’s 680,000 kids). According to research by the True Colors Fund and similar groups, the single biggest cause of those queer teens being homeless is family rejection because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But note that the next most common reasons are abusive homophobia or transphobia in their school, church, or community, even when their parents don’t go to the extreme of kicking them out.

Growing up in Southern Baptist churches in mostly redneck communities, I knew from a very early age that I didn’t belong...

(The rest of this post about queer history and very real current problems for a lot of queer children, and what we can do about some of it, is at FontFolly.Net.)
tuftears: Happy Lynx (Happy)
[personal profile] tuftears
Per Dracosphynx, we had made reservations for this trip well ahead of time-- early in 2016, I think. So I was not thrilled when my co-workers managed to give me a cold just before the trip. Thanks, you plague rats. :P

Fortunately the symptoms appeared to be treatable with DayQuil and NyQuil, and in hope of shortening the duration of the cold, I packed along some zinc lozenges as well. Thus fortified, I shipped out Monday, meeting Dracosphynx at the airport.

Cut for images! )
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
So the so-called National Organization for Marriage hosted an event in Washington, DC that was supposed to be a March for Marriage (as a protest against Marriage Equality), and the attendance was even worse than last year: March For Marriage Draws Tens, But Promises Ultimate Victory...

(The rest of this post is at FontFolly.Net.)
the_gneech: (Default)
[personal profile] the_gneech
So, last week was a challenge. >.> Messed up sleep, a cat-in-crisis (Lady) dropped in our lap, job hunt frustration, and a general lack of fucks to give led to me basically chucking everything out the window (everything I could chuck, anyhow) and playing video games. (Other than Overwatch, because that particular game is often the opposite of relaxing.)

However, I only let myself do that with the promise that I would be back to work on Monday and get things done that need to be done. So step one is: organize! Thus, the Too Much To Do List for the next two weeks:

  1. Do some kind of workout.

  2. Take a shower and get dressed.

  3. Issue six page nine

  4. Job applications

  5. Blacktigr commission

  6. Overwatch competitive stream/Mastering Mercy vid

  7. Mooncat Timey-Wimey badge

  8. LKCMSL Timey-Wimey badge

  9. Graveyard Greg IBMBA commish (NOTE: send bill for this)

  10. PTBAF panel agenda

  11. Print for AC: button restocks, Best Bodies Contest flyer, Timey-Wimey badges

  12. BtA YouTube banner

  13. BtA Patreon banner

  14. Read books for Rainbow Awards


Right ho. Time to get started.

-The Gneech

Fathers' Day

2017-06-18 22:18
joshuwain: (Galliard)
[personal profile] joshuwain
Dr. Lawrence W. Rust Jr., my Dad, on his wedding day.
Dr. Lawrence W. Rust Jr., my Dad, on his wedding day.

Dr. Lawrence W. Rust Jr., my Dad, at his office.
Dr. Lawrence W. Rust Jr., my Dad, at his office.


Say, Dad: Happy Fathers’ Day!

I truly miss you.

You’ve been gone, now, for sixteen years. You died just as Mir de-orbited but before 9/11. You never saw the state of our nation. I don’t know what you would have said but I suspect it would have broken your heart. You worked as an aerospace engineer (designing parachutes) for the Apollo Program and, later, became a world-class computer programmer. Moreover, you loved me and I, you. You had the worst (ie: “greatest”) puns and I’ll never forget how you one-upped me that time you dropped me off on campus as a hearse drove by pulling a U-Haul.

Me: Now, THAT’S a cheap funeral!

You: Nah: He just found a way to take it all with him.

And when I came out of the closet and told you I was bisexual (over the kitchen table as you were reading the funnies) you just contemplated what I said for a moment, paused, and then asked, “Like Elton John, right?” I have told that story a thousand times and will continue to tell of your unconditional love and support until the day I die.

And when I was even younger: when we were on that trip ...I can’t exactly remember where... But there were wild horned toads nearby and you picked one up and showed me how it clung to your hand for warmth. You and Mom instilled, in me, a perpetual love of nature and animals. Heck, you would wake up early on Saturdays, when I was very little, and watch “The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show”. These days, I’m a furry. Your love of humor made me a Warner Brothers/Looney Toons fan ... that has influenced me ever since.

You pulled me out of my great uncle’s lake after I fell off the dock; you grabbed me by my hair and just >swoosh< lifted me to safety.

When we rented “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” you not only loved the science fiction but you tried to figure out how plausible a T-1000-like robot would be. I remember you saying, before the movie ended, that it would constantly be shorting out ... and that to defeat something like that you’d probably have to melt it into slag. (Spoilers: you were so right!)

And that time when I picked you up from radiation therapy: when you joked that you should just go limp in your wheelchair as I took you out from the back through the lobby, lolling your tongue to one side and looking dead: damn ... that was hilarious! (You should totally have done that!)

Sixteen years and three months after speaking at your funeral and I’m still able to tear up at the fact you’re gone. I’ve come to really hate Father’s Day in some ways. It’s one of the toughest times of the year for me. I can’t really let you go. But at the same time, it’s one of the best times because I get to really, deeply, re-live all those wonderful memories. And in those memories, my tears may not stop flowing but they feel happier.

I miss you, Dad.

I love you, even more.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Sunday Funnies, part 24

2017-06-18 19:06
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read...

(The rest of this post is at FontFolly.Net.)

I m back!

2017-06-17 09:19
tuftears: Sleepy Lynx (Sleepy)
[personal profile] tuftears
Trip report soon. For meow, I am sleepy. x_x 13-hour flights are annoying, but Economy Plus is definitely a big improvement over just plain Economy.

Past couple of days

2017-06-16 22:27
falcongrrl: (Default)
[personal profile] falcongrrl
So, I went to the U2 concert in Tampa with my cousin, through a series of events that involved her breaking up with a boyfriend and me leaving two teenage kids alone (it went better than you might expect). My mom and stepdad wanted us to make a little vacationlet of it, and graciously paid for a couple of nights at The Birchwood in St. Petersburg.

It was a lovely hotel, the decor and service absolutely amazing. There were chocolates and fancy bottled water and a clawfoot tub that proved to be very nice for soaking in.

My cousin and I marveled at it and thought we'd never stayed anywhere as nice. I remembered later that the hotel Dave and I stayed in for our honeymoon was arguably just as nice, especially with a view that overlooked the beach. But that was back in January of 1998, just shy of twenty years ago, and it might as well have been another lifetime.

But that was kind of the theme of the vacation. My cousin and I hadn't spent any extended time together since we both were teenagers. And The Joshua Tree tour is the thirtieth anniversary of the release of the album.

***

The thing about the Joshua Tree album is that, as I recall, it wasn't even mine. My stepmom bought the CD. But I played the hell out of it, particularly cranked up on my parents' stereo at full volume when they weren't home.

There is a certain feeling that I associate when the guitar kicks in, with its haunting echoes, and it reminds me of what one friend calls Sehnsucht and another friend and I call (for reasons that have been lost in the mists of time) "sun dog", loosely after the atmospheric phenomenon, but for us it means a very wistful state of longing.

I didn't listen to the album before the concert at home or in my car, and it wasn't until I was in the car with my cousin headed to St. Pete that I heard it recently, though then it was mostly in the background while we chatted. We did belt out "Red Hill Mining Town," a favorite of both of ours.

I felt a little bit like a poser. While I'd loved the album, I hadn't listened to U2 in years. My last album in heavy rotation was Achtung Baby, which was the soundtrack for part of my college years. I felt like I'd lucked into getting to go through a series of events but that maybe I wasn't enough of a real fan. Still, the moment the concert started, I was mesmerized. Despite not having heard the album in probably close to the thirty years since it came out, I was able to sing along to every word.

There was something odd about it, like inhabiting my big, ungainly 45-year-old body with glasses and brown hair streaked with gray...at the same time as I was inhabiting, or imagining, my 15-year-old thin body with its contacts and makeup and long permed hair.

I wanted to do justice to that 15-year-old young woman, wanted to bring her forward in time to hear with me. I wished that she had been able to hear the concert back when the album came out. I wished so much for her, this being both me and not-me, the same age as my daughter. I sang my voice out for her, and I danced for her, and I closed my eyes and savored each note, each one of Bono's words, each guitar solo from The Edge, for her.

***

The next day my cousin and I took a trip to the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Pete. It was within walking distance of our hotel. Walking in the hot Florida sun - though there was a breeze - made me a little cranky, but the view of the marina and the bay was pretty.

I hadn't been to the Dalí Museum since I was in my twenties, and it was actually in a different location in St. Pete back then. I can't remember if Dave and I were married yet or still in college when we went there. I just remember being on a tour with the docent and having them say, step forward and you'll see this, step backward and you'll see that, and doing so and being mesmerized by the genius that is Dalí at his best. Before, the only thing I'd known about Salvador Dalí was that he was a Surrealist and had a funny mustache. But being at the museum made a whole world open up for me, and one of the best parts what that Dave was there with me and seeing all the same things too, feeling that same sense of wonder.

I was really hoping to expose my cousin to that, to see her face light up with that same feeling, but it wasn't the same. The docent we ended up with was more interested in telling us about all the places in Spain he'd visited than analyzing the paintings...either that, or we bailed before he quite got to that part. My cousin and I explored on our own. She liked his early, more impressionistic pieces...but she found the breasts and penises hidden and not-so-hidden in the larger body of his work pornographic and agitating.

And I realized - even as the twenty-something part of me was disappointed - that my cousin gets to have her own experience and perspective. That part of going to something like the Dalí museum is what it does to and for the individual, that people get to have their individual experiences of that.

We did both enjoy the food in the cafe, the view and the architecture from the building, and the garden with the Spanish guitar music playing.

***

My mom's family was very close, and my maternal grandparents were an integral part of my life growing up. I spent most of the time I wasn't with my parents with my grandparents, and so did my cousin. We practically grew up together; we were like sisters. I remember playing with her Barbie dreamhouse, swimming in my grandparents' above-ground pool, watching all the same reruns together after school, fighting with her over practically everything: including the way she would follow me around everywhere and try to boss me around, even though she was three years younger than me.

And then my parents got divorced when I was eight, and I became more like a visitor to my grandparents' house than an inhabitor of that world. It was still home...but not quite. I was feted and treated like the prodigal daughter when I went over there on my mom's weekends, because they weren't seeing me everyday anymore. All my favorite foods were served, chicken and green beans and macaroni and cheese. Lemon cake. My grandmother fussed over me and tried to fatten me up, because at the time I was painfully thin, all bones and arms and legs.

My grandparents were just so excited to see me.

And then when my cousin's parents got divorced when she was twelve, my cousin ended up living with my grandparents. She inhabited that world that I just visited, her home my home-but-not-quite-home. But we were still close as teenagers, still almost like sisters, and we talked a lot about boys and clothes and school.

Being together over these past couple of days, now in 2017, we laughed so hard that we cried, and in some ways it was like being that close again. And yet there were reminders, for me, of how the world I live in is much different. I like to think that despite being in a heterosexual marriage, my life isn't heteronormative. I don't identify as Christian anymore, and she's a Baptist. There are similarities in terms of how we raise our kids, but there are vast differences too. And we're on completely different sides of the political spectrum. I would be shocked to find out that she didn't vote for Trump. She fat-shames herself and doesn't seem to realize that I'm almost a hundred pounds heavier than she is. (Yes, really.)

There are things that my cousin knows about me that no one else knows quite so well. Even though I can describe it here, you won't quite get the way I could climb a guava tree to the very tiptop when I was eight, or my very intense longing to be able to inhabit the world of Battle of the Planets and be another member of G-Force, even if it was only in my mind. My cousin knows those means of escape from the dance that both sets of our parents did, that our grandparents did. Both of us can recite most of my grandmother's chronic illnesses and the drama that went with them, some of which I share (and some of which I'm just finding out about now.) Our childhood and adolescence is hopelessly intertwined.

But there are also so many things I can't share with her anymore: a love of Jesus, a love of new clothes; being thin, being excited over boys. I love my cousin deeply, but it's a love grounded in the past more than the present, and there are sides of myself that I don't know how to present to her now. Being around her is a little bit like squeezing into the too-tight clothes you used to wear everyday but haven't quite fit into in a while.

***

Last night my cousin and I had dinner together and we ordered alcohol with dinner and went to the rooftop bar after dinner and drank more alcohol and laughed until we cried.

For me, it was coming close to exceeding my limits with alcohol but being responsible enough not to, something I couldn't quite figure out in my teens and twenties. For her, it was the first time she'd ever been drunk. She said, "Wow! Now I know why people do this!" while I kept giggling.

She was responsible enough to know when to stop, and I plied her with advil and water to try to prevent a hangover, and we woke up in the middle of the night and started reliving all our experiences and laughed so hard again I couldn't catch my breath.

***

The past couple of days have been a combination of returning to my younger selves, seeing life both through my eyes and their eyes, and getting dizzy from the combined juxtaposition. (Or maybe just from the alcohol last night.)

***

I don't know quite how to end this. But here's a quote from a short story I read a long time ago, "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros.

What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven.

Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay. That’s what I tell Mama when she’s sad and needs to cry. Maybe she’s feeling three.

Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is.

You don’t feel eleven. Not right away. It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say Eleven when they ask you. And you don’t feel smart eleven, not until you’re almost twelve. That’s the way it is.


***

I'm forty-five. And I'm also eight, and fifteen, and eighteen, and twenty-something, and all the ages that make up the entire span of my life.

That's the way it is. And that's okay.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's Friday. The third Friday in Pride Month. And both my husband and I came down sick this week, but I still have impossible deadlines at work, so you'll notice a lot fewer links this week.

Anyway, here are the links I found interesting this week, sorted into categories.

Links of the Week



The Surprising Controversy Surrounding A More Inclusive Pride Flag.

The Pulse "Kids," and the Caretaker Who Watches Over Them in Orlando's Greenwood Cemetery.

Awful Anniversary



Commentary: Pulse, and the Beautiful, Sad, Joyful Tradition of Queer Grief

I Couldn't Write About The Pulse Attack Until Today

A Letter to My Queer Family After Orlando

This week in what the Frak?



Man Suspected of Drunk Driving Crashes Into Patrol Car of Cops Investigating Another Suspected Drunk Driver.

This week in Comments, Trolls, and Wankers



‘That’s our word, and you can’t have it back’: Ice Cube confronts Bill Maher for using the n-word.

News for queers and our allies:



Caelan Conrad On Obvious Queers and Missing Points.

Just A Bunch Of Really Good Parents Supporting Their Kids For Pride Month.

The Babadook as an LGBT icon makes sense. No, really .

'Gay marriage' bill will also see progress in rights for heterosexual couples.

Science!



Found: Never-Developed Photos of Mount St. Helens Erupting.

Endangered beluga rescued from N.B. river, returned to St. Lawrence Estuary.

If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it.

This Colossal Gas Filament in the Orion Nebula Is Some Kinda Cosmic Dragon.

Johns Hopkins researchers say they've unlocked key to cancer metastasis and how to slow it.

Baby Star's 'Crying' Solves a Stellar Mystery.

Insect Walking Dead: How a Fungus Turns Beetles into Killer Zombies.

This week in Wonder Woman



Some Asian Superwomen Films For After You’ve Seen WONDER WOMAN Several Times.

Wonder Woman's Second Weekend Breaks Box Office Records.

This week in Writing



There Is No Secret, There Is No Con.

Five Things about Writing Fictional Cultures.

This week in Words



Yes, You Can Use 'Is' Twice in a Row in a Sentence.

This Week in Tech



How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store: It’s far easier than you think. No luck or perseverance necessary -- just a scam.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



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typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It happened after a committee meeting for the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus when we had devolved to chatting. I don’t remember exactly what was being discussed, but one of the women got upset when I used the word “gay” to refer to the entire community. “That excludes women,” she said, icily. I apologized and said I didn’t mean to do that, it was just fewer syllables and sometimes I just wished there were a shorter way to refer to everyone, and homosexual is so clinical. She interrupted, leaning in and getting much angrier. “Another word for men! Geeze, how can you do that?” When I protested that it was a clinical term originally coined to refer to both men and women she really got upset, insisting, “Homo means man! Yeah, yeah, it’s like mankind means everyone because men think they’re all the matters!”

At this point I was no longer feeling defensive, I was feeling angry. So I explained that while if one were speaking Latin, “homo” meant man, but the word wasn’t built from Latin roots, it was from Greek roots...

(The rest of the etymological post is at FontFolly.Net.)
joshuwain: (Gamer Pony)
[personal profile] joshuwain
 

Start of run … the 13th of Navril (11,134 p.f.), morning - 3rd day after the siege

 

Kodiak greatly regrets not going back to report back to the Amberspire seileni because more urgent matters have arisen in Thornwall Keep. He looks into the cost of sending a message, overland, via a messenger or some other service. Meanwhile, Marco (who has recovered from the nerve-rattling, shadow siege) rejoins the group for breakfast at the Oasis Inn. The group discusses the goals of their opposition, Adjutant Coal, to try and figure out what he might do, next. Since he apparently thought that Jollundar: the Temple of Memory might have been the resting place he was looking for, now that he has apparently found out it is not, the Seekers want to try and get ahead of him and anticipate the adjutant’s next move. Klaus suggests luring Coal into the open.

The group also discusses looking into the Foundationists as, more and more, the ancient organization’s legacy (and how they were ended by the Order of Eyes) seems to be involved with what’s happening in Thornwall Keep. The Seekers eventually decide to see if the druids have more information on this. They decide to ask the druids, in their grove, if they possess their own library or, at least, a section of the libraries located within the Salaxis school. Arii plans on contacting the druids (accompanied by Tan) to see if they have a library with which they may research the Foundationists. Before the leave, however, Kodiak requests Tan cast animal messenger to send a desert hawk with a note to the seileni giving a summary of the shadow threat and the urgency to resolve the situation within five more days: before the end of the cease-fire between the living and the dead.

Klaus picks up the Holy Weapon Balm that he arranged with the local alchemists and then goes to assist Arii and Tan with research at the druid’s grove. Klaus distributes the Holy Weapon Balm (1 application, each) to Tan and Kodiak. Klaus then goes to join Arii and Tan.

In the Salaxis School for Arcane Mastery, Kodiak (with Grymaldi’s help) reverse-engineers the basics of the Holy Weapon Balm and begins mass-producing it while Marco watches out the lab windows and Grymaldi stands guard against potential magical threats.

Arii and the rest go to Ahran’s Grove where they meet, again, Mirras (the druidic acolyte) near the statue of Ahran Thornhand at the Grove’s entrance. They ask whether or not the druids possess a library and Miras tells them that they have one, “of a sort”. They are told to go to the Stone of Memory. Each Seeker is given three tokens with which they may use to ask questions (as per stone tell) of the rocks in the clearing with each person making a Knowledge Skill check to determine what info they get (limited by what the stones in the grove, know). They are told that druids bring new stones to the grove all the time where they are tied into the communal, central Stone of Memory. Arii, Klaus, and Tan leave their weapons outside the bamboo wall and proceed to the Stone of Memory for their research. Some of the stones have iron ore and coal in them as they come from the mines, below. A few have elemental crystals, within. They only really know information gathered across the Indramael although any single stone has a small chance to have overheard a conversation regarding something beyond the local borders.

Each requestor, the first time they use the stones, may use a Knowledge (nature) check (DC 22) to become “in sync” with the Stone of Memory and, thereby, gain a +2 (per 5 over the DC 22) to their subsequent Research checks. This bonus only lasts for 1 month.

Arii, not in sync with the Stone of Memory, asks who violated that which Laia Echt was guarding and what the undead Laia Echt guards. For both questions, the rocks answer that Laia Echt died over a hundred years ago and, if (after her death) she was tasked with protecting something, it is beyond the knowledge of the stones. Then, Arii asks if any in the city serve the Order of Eyes. The stones respond, “We know, not, of this Order of Eyes”.

Tan, greatly in sync with the stone library, asks who the violator is that Lecht asked for. “The violator is unknown to the stones.” He then asks what it was that was violated. “The nature of the violation, is not known.” Finally, he asks where the skyships, reportedly in the mines, are located. To this, the stones reply: “In the year 11,081 pf: Two bows, two hulls, and two prows were brought, below, bearing crates upon crates of crystals. They never came back out but were last seen beneath Cathar Dwarven Mining. Upon the prows were written the words,  the Omris and the Dairis. The exact location of their resting place is unknown.” Arii is stunned that they discovered what Bael was looking for.

Klaus, also in sync with the stones, asks his questions. He asks where the tomb of Lyra Daisana, founder of the Order of Eyes is located. The stones respond:

“Lyra Daisana:

DC 12 (common knowledge):  Lyra Daisana is the name of an ancient priestess of Versummus from over seven millennia ago.

DC 15 (basic learned knowledge):  Lyra Daisana was a kitsune and served alongside the first female knight, Saya Polemone and her twin sister, Maia, to stop a mad titan in the third millennia, post-Fall.

DC 18 (specialized knowledge):  Vandis, a demi-god born of Versummus and a mortal, had been driven mad by his half-divine nature and railed against the gods. His campaign to punish them for toying with mortal lives was ended only with Lyra Daisana’s assistance in 3,837.

DC 21 (difficult):  Lyra Daisana led the mortals who were charged with the disposal of Vandis’ body.

DC 30 (hard):  Lyra Daisana was said to have been founder of an ancient order devoted to keeping divine or potentially world-shaking magics out of the hands of mortals. This order was said to have eyes, everywhere. In the end, it is said that she left them, nearly eight hundred years later, as they had lost their way.”

Klaus continues, asking what is known of the three Dynn brothers … miners who have taken up residence in Thornwall Keep?

The Stones replied, “The Brothers, Dynn:

  • Fahlahzazz “Fahz” Dynn (m. terrmorah … a highwayman and mercenary)

  • Pehleit Dynn (m. terrmorah … an arcanist and cut-throat)

  • Reid Dynn (m. terrmorah … a raider)

The stones continued, after that, adding that “all three brothers work for the Amber-Wille Mining Consortium but, moreover, are major shareholders in its operation, much to the frustration of the overseer of the mines, Lord Montag Satchin Feldspar.”

Finally, Klaus asks what is known of the Foundationists: enemies of the Order of Eyes and creators of the Midnight and Day Temples.

The Foundationists:

DC 21 (difficult):.

2. The Foundationists organized in an ancient cloudland called Haliland following the discovery, in the old, crumbling Ullit city of Sabelford (which possessed foundations dating back to before the Fall) of three-millennia-old texts describing gods who predated the Hexagon. One therein-described ritual talks about the ability to conjure and restore lost knowledge as if resurrecting it.

 

DC 33 (obscure minutiae):  The Order of Eyes sacked a Foundationist stronghold called “the Day Temple” around 4,590 pf, and caused the cloudland it was located upon to crumble and fall into debris: lost in the Deep Blue. + one of the following…

  1. Around 3,250 pf, the Foundationists completed their Midnight Temple.

  1. The Midnight Temple was built in the northeastern region of a cloudland called Thracine on a flat, salt-soil region they called Dragonmere.

2. Around 3,260 pf, the Foundationists completed their Twilight Temple.

After the three Seekers end their consultation with the stones, Klaus, Tan, and Arii return to the Salaxis School to compare notes with the other three. Klaus, keeping himself vague out of concern for people overhearing him, confirms that the ships were disassembled and secreted in Thornwall Keep where the three terrmorah Dynn brothers are apparently seeking the crystals. Klaus further tells the others that the Foundationists were “enemies of nature, the gods, and all mortalkind.” They had built at least three temples: the Day, Midnight, and Twilight Temples. The founder of the Order of Eyes, Lyra Daisana, has her resting place, down below: buried and hidden by the fractured and re-arranged tunnels. Kodiak summarizes their needed actions as having to go deep inside the shadow-infested mines for at least two, deliberately hidden things: the lost ships of Velar Santorissi and Lyra Daisan’s tomb. They now know that they have rivals, the Dynn Brothers, in their search for the hidden ships. Klaus, to add confusion for any unseen scryers or eavesdroppers, adds something untrue to his re-cap: that he now knows where the tomb of Vandis is. As he says this, Arii and Grymaldi detect the presence of a scrying sensor in the corner. Grymaldi suggests, simply, that now would be a good time to get lunch.

As the group descends the rope bridge to the Oasis Inn, Grymaldi tells them that they were being watched towards the end of their time in the laboratory. Klaus confirms that he purposefully led them astray by making the watcher think they may have a map to where the tomb is. They decide to contact Selig to confirm some of their suspicions. They leave word with one of Selig’s people who tells them the skulk will return from his daily deeds by sundown.

In the meantime, Grymaldi learns that word on the street is that known and respected miners, the Dynn brothers, have been reported lost: they did not report back to the Amber-Wille Mining Consortium after their daytime work shift. He gets into an argument with one of the miners (who blames the disappearance on the High Council who, the miner says, aren’t doing anything but negotiating with undead monsters) before going back to The Oasis Inn. He passes a few of Sohnne’s men who are making repairs on two of the Portmire Caravan’s wagons. He goes in and sits down by the others (who are waiting for word that Selig has returned). He says nothing about the Dynn brothers to the others at this time.

During the afternoon, Klaus helped the caravan members by using mending to help fix the wagons. He spends the afternoon with the Portmire Caravan workers.

Selig’s messenger finally arrives an hour before sunset saying that Selig will meet them in the Evershade Bathhouse in public bath chamber #2. The Seekers go there to bring Selig completely up to date. Grymaldi tells them all about the Dynn brothers having gone missing. Selig agrees to watch the students of Salaxis since, clearly, at least one of them is probably involved with the attacks upon the Seekers. He also warns the outsiders to hide, since they are being hunted. Selig, who purchased time in the bath until midnight, departs and leaves the Seekers to figure out what they will do next.

<In secret, Klaus messages Selig, telling the skulk that Emris Dynn, patriarch of the Dynn Brothers, is a member of the Umber Guild.>

The Seekers, in the bathhouse, talk and compare notes figuring out what to do, next. They talk about, ostensibly, going into the mines on a rescue mission (for the Dynn brothers) so they can search the mines for one of the things they need. They head for the Amber-Wille Mining Consortium entrance. Over the gate are the words, “From the Gods … For the People”. There, they meet the Consortium mine supervisor, Gahrtek Behrgalde: an old troll who has been working the mines all his life. He, at first, refuses to grant them entry. Klaus promises to save the Dynns (diplomatically attempting to influence Gahrtek in their favor). After a moment, Gahrtek says “I never saw you”. He provides them with work vests and mining helmets. He then shows them a map of the tunnels and points out where, on level 13, the Dynns were assigned to be working when they vanished. He tells them that there are many levels, deeper, but they are unsafe. The tunnels of Amber-Wille extend for miles under the desert but stop at level 15, below. There are some 83 to 100 levels, in total, of the mines which spread out for many miles under the nearby desert.

The Seekers descend into the depths and make their way to the River Room on level 13 where the Dynn brothers were last seen. There, they find remains of work (but not much) and discover that a boarded-up exit tunnel (marked with a skull symbol for “danger”) was actually a concealed passage through which the Dynn brothers departed. The Seekers are about to follow the path when attacked by a Weird from the elemental plane of water. They manage to fight it off and, subsequently, do not find any evidence that the Dynn brothers had fought or been injured by the thing.

The Seekers collect themselves and proceed into the dark tunnels in the wake of the terrmorah brothers.

 

----- STOPPED AS THE PCs START FOLLOWING THE DYNN BROTHERS’ PATH INTO THE MINES


typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It’s that time of year again. The perennial question arises: “If you get a Gay Pride Parade, why can’t we have a Straight Pride Parade?” I can’t decide which is the saddest aspect of this question: 1) that they think this tired old canard is clever, 2) that they don’t understand that 99.9% of all television, movies, news, and other public discourse is geared toward affirming heterosexual life, including straight sexuality (so every day is already Straight Pride Day), or 3) that they don’t understand that Queer Pride events are about our very right to exist—an act of defiance against those who want us to be invisible or dead—not merely our right to party...

(The rest of this entry is at FontFolly.Net.)

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