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([personal profile] tsuki_no_bara Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:36 pm)
the meringues went over well at my sister's rosh hashanah dinner last night (my aunt, who says to me "you know i'm diabetic", and who does mostly take care of her health, had one and took one home for later) and almost no one ate the honey cake! everyone might have been too full of roast. consequently i have a lot of honey cake in the freezer. but it was good! and not as overbaked as i thought! i'm still going to try and find a 10"x10" cake pan for next time, tho.

glitter!

i'm watching battlestar galactica the miniseries, and everyone looks so young! aaron douglas is a baby! i never saw the miniseries and i think i started watching the series in the middle of s2 so i was always a little confused, but a lot of this is familiar, and mostly it's nice to see how thing started. i always liked how the space battles were shot, and i loved that your superior was always "sir", even if they were female - like, the pilots all called roslin "sir", and i thought that was great - and baltar is still nuts. i think there's a bsg marathon all weekend on the syfy channel.

[livejournal.com profile] spn_reversebang claims open tomorrow morning and i may or may not have set my alarm clock to guarantee i get my ass out of bed on time. there are a couple of pieces i really like as art but have no story ideas for, and a couple more i totally could write for. one of them is so far in my wheelhouse it isn't funny. fingers crossed i get one of the arts i want.

now the dark knight returns is on and i'm always so disappointed they covered tom hardy's face with a mask. i know it's part of the character, but still. his face! also? i hate christian bale's batman voice.
rosefox: A bearded man in a yarmulke shouting L'CHAIM! (Judaism)
([personal profile] rosefox Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:07 am)
Selichot )

Rosh Hashanah )

It's genuinely disorienting to encounter all these spaces where I don't have to educate anyone or fight to be seen for who I am. Other people have already done that work, and leaders have clearly been receptive to it. (Rabbi Lippman is queer, but I don't assume that cis queer people will be welcoming to or understanding of trans people, especially nonbinary trans people.) I get to just show up and be a human being in human community. What an immense privilege. What a gift. Honestly, that might be the thing that gets me to stick with this—just the pure pleasure of being in a place where I didn't personally have to claw out a space for myself.

Josh met me and Kit in the park and we walked for a while (GMaps Pedometer says I walked 3.2 miles today, most of it pushing a heavy stroller with a heavy toddler; my feet and arms are very tired). I teased him that he should be glad I didn't make him meet the rabbi. But this is my thing, really. Maybe it's my latest three-month hobby. Maybe it'll be more than that. We'll see.
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([personal profile] tsuki_no_bara Sep. 20th, 2017 11:46 pm)
i'shanah tovah, my fellow hebs! may you be inscribed in the book of life for a good year. :D

in sort of the same vein, you can get kosher pot products from a canadian medical marijuana company. i love that there's such a thing as kosher pot buds.

in sort of other news, my meringues came out well except they are VERY SWEET. O.O (not surprising considering they have a cup of sugar and almost nothing else in them.) they're easy to make: first, preheat the oven to 350º. then beat three egg whites (i used four but i was told three) until stiff, then slowly add a cup of sugar and a tsp of vanilla extract while still beating. when that's all mixed, fold in 3/4 cup of chocolate chips and drop by spoonfuls onto a tinfoil-lined cookie sheet. stick the cookie sheet in the oven, turn the oven off, and leave it there at least overnight. don't open the oven. don't peek. i made the meringues last night and took them out of the oven after i got home tonight, so they were in there almost twenty-four hours. and now they're nice and crisp on the outside and light on the inside and did i mention they're REALLY SWEET? but also full of mini chocolate chips. next time i'm going to use peppermint extract instead of vanilla.

i have to get up early tomorrow because my sister and i are going to the early service for rosh hashanah, and i'm not looking forward to it. well, i'm looking forward to the holiday, just not getting up early.
the honey cake is slightly overbaked. >.< i think i'm going to cut off the ends and sides and (if i can) the top, so at least it doesn't have the tough bits still on when i slice it for company. the recipe says you can bake it in a loaf pan but i'm not sure. at least i know for next time not to bake it so long. but! it doesn't taste like coffee. :D

now i have meringues in the oven, and can i just say, egg whites+sugar+vanilla tastes a lot like marshmallow fluff. i put tiny chocolate chips in the batter and am now wondering if i should have used peppermint extract instead of vanilla. minty!

at work i'm learning how to organize the weekly "how many hours do you have scheduled for clients" emails, which entails figuring out who exactly gets the aforementioned emails and then, you know, sending them out. the application we use to track which team is working on which client (and which returns have gone out/been extended and which haven't) is not totally forthcoming with the names i need. it's a tch frustrating. just a tch. on the other hand, i'm learning how to do something new and i've gotten a new responsibility, and i'm certainly not going to complain about that. i'm not 100% sure what i'm doing, tho.

i'm watching lawless (the perks of suddenly getting a bunch of starz channels plus the sundance channel) and i can't get over tom hardy's nose. it's a nice nose.

the business of fandom - an interesting article about how teenage girls' fannish pursuits can be predictors of the next big thing, and how girls use fandom as a way to socialize with other girls. (that second part is not going to be a surprise to anyone who's spent any time in a fandom. i mean, of course girls use fandom to socialize with people. "i love this thing! who else loves it?" that seems pretty obvious.)

(posted this to lj last night and totally forgot to copy it over. >.< )
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([personal profile] dpolicar Sep. 20th, 2017 10:13 am)
I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

Here's the thing: there's a difference between a group of people and a system of people. The difference is that a system of people comprises not only the individuals, but also the social constructs that guide the behavior of those individuals... in other words, the system itself.

For example, a company isn't just a bunch of people who coincidentally happen to work on the same projects in distributed ways. A school system isn't a bunch of teachers and administrators who independently happen to work the same way. A police precinct isn't a bunch of officers who just happen to follow the same rules.

In each of these cases there are policies and guidelines and hierarchies and informal structures and so forth that shape behavior. There's a system.

And when we praise or condemn the public school system, or the police, or Microsoft, or etc. we mostly aren't praising or condemning a whole group because of some good or bad individuals. I mean, sure, those individuals exist, but they aren't the reason. We are praising/condemning a whole group because of the system that organizes it. And the larger the system we're talking about, the more true that is: when we say that democracies are more just than totalitarian states, or that capitalism is more efficient than communism, or that communism is more humane than capitalism, or various other claims along those lines, we're basically not saying anything at all about any individual.

Or at least, that's how it should be. I mean, sure, sometimes we praise or condemn a group of people just because we're applying aggregate-level stereotypes to all the individuals in that group. And in those cases the "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group." narrative makes sense: we really shouldn't! Or at least, we're overwhelmingly likely to be mistaken when we do; we can draw our own ethical conclusions from there.

(I am reminded now of a friendship I broke some time back by expressing both the idea that condemning individuals because of their group affiliations is bad, and the idea that analyzing the common behaviors of individuals is the only way we can identify pathological systems, in ways that struck them as infuriatingly and relationship-endingly hypocritical.)

And sure, sometimes we make analysis errors in this space. Sometimes there's a system operating we're unaware of. Sometimes we infer the presence of systems that don't actually operate, or aren't relevant to what we're talking about. It's easy to talk about the behavior of people while ignoring the systems that shape us, and it's easy to handwave about notional systems without actually making any concrete or testable claims about whether they exist.

I'm not saying I expect us to be perfectly accurate when we describe groups and systems. But I want us to be better about acknowledging that they are two different things.

When someone condemns racism as a systemic attribute of a society, for example, there are folks who reply that no, racism is a property of individuals, end-of-story.

And in principle that can be a legitimate disagreement; if someone wants to argue that there really aren't any social systems underlying/guiding/constraining/coordinating the racist behavior of individuals, for example, that's a totally relevant argument. (Mind you, I think it's obviously false, but that's another matter.)

But usually they aren't arguing that; rather, they are simply insisting that we can only talk about individuals, because when we say that racism is also demonstrated through the systems that essentially all white people in this country participate in, we're talking about a whole group, and (all together now) "we shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."

And I don't know how to say all of this, or any of it, in ways that are at all useful within the conversation itself. And I watch other people trying to do it, and not getting very far either.

And I understand that often that's because other people just don't want to hear it, and in general I don't believe that there's a way to say everything that will be accepted by the person I'm talking to and that it's my job to find it. But still, I try to express myself clearly and compellingly.

So, anyway. I am so very tired of the narrative of "We shouldn't condemn a whole group because of some bad individuals. There are good people and bad people in that group."
(A comment from another discussion)

I acknowledge, of course, that we are all imperfect humans, and what an individual officer does in a specfic situation is always the result of a million variables that are impossible to predict and often impossible to determine after the fact.

That's why I tend to focus more on training and evaluation protocols than on specific events. It's unjust to expect officers to do X in a sitution if they've been trained to do Y, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect officers to be trained to do X if we prefer that they do X in a situation.

I would prefer that police be trained and evaluated as peacekeepers rather than killers. So I would prefer, for example, they be trained and expected to identify situations that don't require a death, and to act so as to not create a death where none is required.

That said, how police are trained and evaluated is a collective decision, and if we collectively prefer police to choose deaths that aren't required -- for example, if we prefer to train and equip police as military officers who happen to deploy among civilian populations -- then that's how we should train and evaluate them, regardless of my preferences. That's part of the price I pay for living in a collective.

If police _are_ trained to choose unnecessary deaths, we should (individually and collectively) treat calling the police, permitting them into our homes, and otherwise making use of their services as a use of deadly force. Consequently, if we don't individually endorse the use of deadly force in those situations, we should not call the police, any more than we would fire a gun.

Those are individual decisions, not collective ones, and it's perfectly reasonable to hold one another as individuals accountable for them.

I acknowledge that this means that individuals who eschew deadly force in a situation may find themselves in conflict with any police who may arrive. I don't like this, and I don't endorse it, but I acknowledge it.
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([personal profile] tsuki_no_bara Sep. 18th, 2017 01:52 am)
my sister and i saw wind river last night and while i can't say i really enjoyed it (it's a harsh, sad movie), i thought it was well-done and well-acted and i'm glad i saw it. because it starts with jeremy renner's character finding a dead native american girl in the snow, it made me think of the beginning of louise erdrich's love medicine - "the snow fell deeper that easter than it had in forty years, but june walked over it like water and came home". totally different circumstances, but the end result is the same. it's a good movie and apparently based on true events, which is one of the things that makes it so sad.

today i helped [livejournal.com profile] tamalinn and [livejournal.com profile] lbmango put together tamalinn's new bed. we celebrated our successful furniture-building by going out for nachos and beer. (they had beer, i had a ginger ale.) and tonight i baked a honey cake - technically two, because i made it in a loaf pan and there's more batter than there is pan - it's my grandma's honey cake and because it calls for a cup of coffee, and i don't have a coffeemaker because i don't drink it, i went across the street to the dunkin' donuts for a black coffee. of course that made my kitchen smell overwhelmingly of strong black caffeine.... and then the honey cake smelled kind of coffee-y while it was baking. it's not pretty but i don't think it's overbaked and mostly i hope it tastes like honey cake and not, you know, coffee. (my sister is having people over for dinner after rosh hashanah, which is thursday. one of her friends has celiac's so i'm also going to make meringue cookies because we need a non-gluten option.) if it comes out ok i'll share the recipe.

last friday, a week ago, i went to a combination housewarming (for tamalinn who'd just moved in upstairs)/housecooling (for lbmango who was about to move out downstairs) - it was a house homeostasis party - and saturday i spent walking the freedom trail because that's how one of the girls in my writing group wanted to spend her birthday. i had a parfait for lunch and it was delicious. last sunday i went to a greek festival put on by a local church and stuffed my face with pastitsio and baklava and, uh, rice pudding. fun was had! it was a very social weekend, so the fact that i didn't have anything to do or anywhere to be (besides the movie and i guess tamalinn's house) this weekend was really nice.

in totally other news, the preacher season finale made me go "THEY CAN'T DO THAT" and "THAT'S NOT FAIR". i hate cliffhangers. cm ended on a cliffhanger too, but it always does.
At least it is here in these Northeastern United States. You may recall from previous adventures that this home is fuckin' full of arachnids. Do not fear, there will be no photos in this post. I am cutting it ANYWAY. )

So...yeah. I have used up all my tolerance. I have nearly dropped two writers from my reading circle over uncut spider photos. I am back to alternately Staring at everything in an obnoxiously hypervigilant fashion or carefully not looking at Anything, because I think if I find another fucking spider Where There Must Not Be A Fucking Spider I will lose my last shit, punch everyone, kick all the tables over, set shit on fire, grab my rum and move to the gods-fucking-damned Moon, where I will drink rum and give Earth the fucking finger for the next decade, until some grizzled old Earthling Commander informs me that I have to come back and destroy a gang of evil terrorist spiders because apparently I am the only one who draws them out.

Fuck you, spiders.
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([personal profile] tsuki_no_bara Sep. 16th, 2017 02:32 am)
first fall busy season successfully survived. my brain is tired. i made some overtime, tho. :D i feel like it's been a week, but mostly it's been a week of staying late at work. wednesday was the worst, and today was a lot of "hurry up, wait", and "WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING" and we had pizza for lunch.

also today the cassini spacecraft came to the end of its cruise around saturn, after almost twenty years of exploration and data collection and some fabulous photos. yesterday was the anniversary of giovanni cassini's death, and today the spacecraft named after him took a swan dive into saturn. (it did that so as not to potentially crash into one of saturn's moons and potentially contaminate it when it could potentially support life.) its mission was only supposed to be four years but it was so tough and the science it discovered was so fantastic that it stayed out for almost twenty years.

have some vintage style nasa posters in honor of voyager. speaking of spacecraft.

in other science news, the natural history museum and the science museum in london had a super cute fight on twitter and it was fabulous. who would win in a staff battle? anyone reading twitter. :D

i know this is old news, but my parents survived hurricane irma (they spent the night with friends who had hurricane shutters on their house) and so did the house and apparently the whole subdivision. the power came back on after about a day. jacksonville however is probably still half underwater and the keys were mostly destroyed. hemingway's house and the descendants of his polydactyl cats on key west are all fine, tho.

the bahamas, not so much.

there's a nun with a chainsaw down in miami cutting down fallen branches and generally being helpful and kind of badass. roosters were evacuated from key west wrapped in paper like rooster burritos so they wouldn't attack each other. roosterritos?

a southwest flight saved a bunch of shelter dogs and cats after hurricane harvey. i wonder if anyone did that after irma. because you know a lot of pets were separated from their people, and animal shelters in evacuation zones would have to be evacuated too.

so many free stock photos.

did anyone else read strangers in paradise? there's going to be a movie and i'm not sure how i feel about it. on the one hand, i really loved sip. and one of the leads is queer, and one of the objects of her affection is a (totally adorable) japanese american guy. on the other, the story turned into a convoluted mess. and i don't remember it being a "comedy of errors" or about katchoo having to choose between david and francine as her two suitors as the article says. i'm curious about it, anyway.
More bad news, so I'm indulging in wine and escapism via fic.

Stone & Fen/pre-Z-Corp (reboot 'verse): "Davy Meets The DisOrganization Pt 1" - Stone, Adavidarian, various members of The DisOrganisation. [community profile] origfic_bingo prompt: Adventures. 544 wds. Gen.

Context: It is 1979 and Stone had previously agreed to do a job for Mark because he's bored and misses his old life (just not enough to go back to it), teenage pre-Z-Corp Adavidarian (Davy) wants to know what they're doing but his big brother has already said he's not to be involved and Stone likes living, despite all evidence to the contrary. Davy is determined to pry it out of him regardless and has, as literally nobody is shocked to discover, resorted to becoming annoyingly stalkery about it because adolescent faery humanoid dragon-boys are not known for their social skills even when they don't happen to be the legendary Aggirach.

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Am alternating back and forth between the [community profile] origfic_bingo card and the [community profile] ladiesbingo card. Hopefully there's not too much evidence of the ongoing battle with words and lack of experience with these particular characters.

Stone & Fen/Indirect Force: "The Investigator" - Lindy Hop, Soloni, mentions of Luce. [community profile] ladiesbingo prompt: Early Morning. 1903 wds. Flashback fic of reboot character. Completely Gen.

Summary/Context: Aliases are a complex matter for sidhe. Back in 1971, Indagatrix (Investigator) Lindy Hop has a chat with Soloni right before leaving Faerie for a historic UC mission involving a long-term stay in an industrialized city in the human world in order to track a particularly persistent and frustrating rumor of a sidhe unsub involved with Organized Crime (think federal levels of deep undercover work, but at the International Space Station, if the ISS was a city. Or the Mars, for that matter.). Soloni previously appeared in Random Exercises Featuring The Indirect Use of Force: The Lady Liar. When she not playing the grifter in a faery Leverage team, she is a high-ranking operative of the Sgathan, the Rian's shadowy, mirror-wielding left hand.

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text )
klgaffney: cropped detail of medieval manuscript (illuminated)
([personal profile] klgaffney Sep. 15th, 2017 09:41 am)
Cassini has completed its mission at Saturn. As predicted, the spacecraft lost contact with Earth at 4:55 a.m. PDT (7:55 a.m. EDT).

Cassini was launched back in '97 (I was in college); it was the first spacecraft to enter Saturn's orbit back in 2004 (We'd moved back to Jersey from Sacramento and Mousie started school).

Back in April, Cassini provided one of my new favorite space images--Earth as a bright little dot between Saturn's rings.

There was one taken in July that they processed as a natural color image and it is spectacular (and if I can locate one without the annoying intrusive "we are here" arrow it will be my new desktop).

There are certainly more spectacular, rare and dramatic finds in Cassini's photo gallery, but that's what struck me on a particularly rough day, and the images lingered in my imagination after.

Cassini lacked the power to return, and there were concerns of it crashing into and contaminating either one or more of Saturn's moons (which might possibly have conditions that could support life) and/or damaging Saturn's delicate ring system, so the safest and most reasonable solution was to let the craft burn up in Saturn's atmosphere. So long Cassini, and thanks for all the pics.

[edit: The original sans arrow is in the photo journal, but it's not a good format for desktop, unfortunately. It might work for my Nook tho.]
Beware, I've got 2 bingo cards and I know how to use them. Responses will take any form that I feel like giving, whether it's visual or writing or worldbuilding or something else.

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Stone & Fen: "Lèse-majesté" - Stone, Fen, Slit, The DisOrganization. [community profile] origfic_bingo prompt: Beauty.

1647 words of Stone being as real as he'll likely ever get re: his appearance and choices relating thereof--at least where he was mentally when he first went punk (okay most of the words are about that; there are tangents because Stone).

text )
I don't want to write another huge long entry tonight, because last night's took 90 minutes and then I went to bed super late, but I do want to leave myself some quick notes on a thing. When Kit was off from daycare for a week, I was up and dressed by 11 every morning so I could do childcare. I put on real clothes and left the house every day. I did social things and I did actively fun things (not what I'm coming to think of as enjoyable sloth things, like playing video games or hanging out on Slack). My body and brain were engaged. I felt GREAT. I enjoyed every day and ended the week feeling like I'd been on vacation—like I'd gone on a holiday to New York and done all those things I'm always too busy or tired or whatever to do. And I did it while working (at night) and staying totally on top of my deadlines, even the ones accelerated by the holiday.

So I need to figure out how to do that more. I hoped a week of early rising would reset my body clock but of course I'm right back to going to bed at 5 a.m. (or later—Monday morning I went to bed at half past nine, which is not okay and has set me up for feeling like crap all week) so I will have to work on that part because I think it's pretty essential. Having something fun to get up for really helped, a thing that has been true going back to my childhood; I would be late to school every weekday morning for months but happily get up at dawn on a weekend to go to the Stormville flea market with my mother. Even more crucially, I would care enough to go to bed early—a thing I did during Kit's week off too—so that getting up early didn't wreck me and wreck the event I was looking forward to.

I don't think I can get up before 10 on a regular basis, but if I got up at 10 or 10:30 to be out the door by 11 for a ~12:00 thing someplace, that sounds doable. It just has to be a fun thing. I have an OT appointment at 13:00 and I genuinely enjoy OT in addition to it being kind of vital for my health and well-being, but it's not the exhilarating kind of fun, so going to bed early and getting up early and getting there on time are all challenging.

What are exuberant fun things that could happen around noon? I think I need something where I'm making a commitment to someone else, at least at first; I've tried setting schedules through sheer willpower before and it's never worked out. Lunches with friends? Classes of some kind? (Ideally free or cheap ones.) Swapping language lessons with someone who wants to improve their spoken or written English and help me learn to read kanji or sign ASL? A teaching or tutoring gig? (Maybe the local library needs volunteers in their adult learning center. I've sent them a note.) A crafting meetup? A chorus or other singing group? A walking club? Doing storytime or otherwise helping out at Kit's daycare? It doesn't need to be a big thing or a long thing or a very structured thing. It just has to start at around the right time of day and get me out of the house and engage my body and mind and bring me real joy. Nothing will do that as well as time with Kit, but some approximation should be possible. Suggestions are very welcome, keeping in mind that I used to write the learning section of the nonsense nyc weekly events newsletter and already know about basically every source of free and cheap educational experiences in the city. :)
rosefox: Autumn leaves on a wet sidewalk. (autumn)
([personal profile] rosefox Sep. 10th, 2017 02:45 am)
What a lovely week it's been. What a lovely thing to be able to say that!

The weather has been 100% autumn and I am HERE FOR IT. Today I wore my hoodie! And zipped it up! While it was still light out! I've had my window open for three nights running. So much delicious aaaaaair.

J and I had a real date last Saturday (we went to a friend's BBQ for a bit, which doesn't sound like a date but was amazingly nice to do as two adults with no child in tow), and X and I had a real date today (we went to Coney Island for the first time in ages), and we even got a real family date last weekend where we snuggled up in my bed and watched Pacific Rim and ate popcorn. There have been lots of cuddles and hugs and smooches lately as we all savor finally being healthy. The week Kit was off from daycare was splendidly vacation-like and I came off of it feeling rested and relaxed and happy; now they're adjusting well to being back in daycare, and eating and sleeping like they're being paid for it, which means they should have a big growth spurt pretty soon. I'm having lots of fun writing fanfic for [community profile] crossovering and I just nominated fandoms for [community profile] yuletide for the first time in something like 12 years. J has been cooking a lot, and tonight we axed our towering tottering basil and made pesto, which was easy and delicious; I threw in some macadamia nuts on a whim and didn't bother measuring anything and it worked out great. [twitter.com profile] schanoes came over on Friday and we had lunch and talked nonstop for three hours. I figured out how to comb my hair while it's starting to grow out. The meeting for Kit's IFSP went extremely well and all their PT services have been renewed. They're starting to play with their food sometimes, which is a big improvement on being wary of it. It's just been a nice week.

I have to keep the focus pretty tight to write about things this way, because the land is being destroyed by fire and storm and a great many people we care about are having a really hard time right now. But that makes me cherish our little oasis all the more. We're able to offer other people shelter and support again, after months of barely being able to cope with our own stuff, and it feels so good to be able to help our friends and to have our feet on stable ground. For however long this lasts, I plan to bask in it and store up good memories to get me through the next round of challenges.
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