Sep. 19th, 2015 09:46 am
sidravitale: BBC's Coupling icon by aryas_icons (BBC Coupling)
There's this annual gathering in honor of a dead friend of mine, someone from the law school, and I want to be there, I want the feeling of community and friendship that these women seem to have when I'm there with them, I can see it in front of me, but it's like there's a missing piece inside me. The thing that would let me connect is a hole instead of a cog, so I don't actually fit, and I'm holding myself in position for a little while just by luck, but any second, any tiny twitch and I'll be brushed away, I won't pass as normal, or connected, or whatever, and these people will keep rolling forward in this framework they're living a communal life in and not even realize what happened. So, even when I'm there, I feel so alone.
sidravitale: BBC's Coupling icon by aryas_icons (BBC Coupling)
I outed myself as bi without trying much the other day and got chastised for not having told this (gay) friend earlier.

I'm annoyed by this response, since my policy is pretty much, unless I'm asking you to sleep with me, my orientation isn't any of your business and continues to not be an important part of my identity. I recognize that I'm also annoyed because the exchange reminded me too much of my former boss verbally armtwisting me until I caved and told him. Which, as time passes, I get more angry about, not less.
sidravitale: flowers LJ icon by musesrealm (flowers musesrealm)
I find it much easier to contemplate deities or other spirits who are not expected to be perfect, neither omnipotent, omnipresent, nor omniscient. I think the insistence of much of judeo-christianity that a one true god exists and planned everything - every pain you and anyone else has suffered - is insulting to the idea of a such a being, that it must be so cruel.

I don't meet a lot of pagans or other non-monotheists who suffer crises of their faith. It mostly seems to be people struggling with the internal contraction in the idea of an All that spends its time hurting everyone.

I'm very grateful my mother raised me sans religion, so I simply don't suffer this moral quandary of judging my deity and finding it wanting, and then not knowing what do to about it.

Deep thoughts on a Wednesday morning, I suppose.
sidravitale: tree user icon by quiettype (quiettype-icons)
My dead alter ego, the International Electrophobe (host of a very sporadic epistolary tale that I am, frankly, not a good enough writer to tell yet) on Tumblr and my non-Internet-enabled twin and I have been admitted to the Birthday Unending.

Reading the welcome actually made me cry a little, because my twin and I don't get to see each other very often anymore, as I'm hunched over the Atlantic Ocean and he's perched over the Pacific, and there's this vast continent between us, so that to offer us two seats at the same table (pretend or real) is a huge deal for me.

So, thanks Seanan.

sidravitale: tree user icon by quiettype (trees icon by quiettype)
My birthday is next week, and I was exploring the Viking Society for Northern Research's website and publication list (very exciting stuff) ( and decided, OK, so I probably won't be able to attend any annual meetings in UK anytime soon, but I can still join. Lovely!

And, so, it is so.
sidravitale: Wonder Woman "girl power" LJ icon by tetrap (Wonder Woman girl power)
I was watching a snippet of a film wherein Dad is saying good-bye to his son, and tells his son he's too young for women now, but someday, he'll meet someone, and when he does, he must treat her like a princess, because that's what she is.

And I thought, yes, we are all princesses. Yes, yes we are.

For when I ride into battle a great force rides at my back, spears bristling, and the sun itself is fearful of the sharp gleam of my breastplate, the sharper edge of my sword, and my opponents shake in terror at my approach, for none shall stand against me and live.
sidravitale: peony user icon by vivmuffin (peony icon by vivmuffin)
Nefertiti Regina Cumin, aka 'GinaCat', 'PearBlossom', 'The Tortoiseshell of Gondor', 'Cactus Flower', and 'Tropical Cat', Queen of the Upper and Lower Deltas, beloved avatar and priestess of Bast, has gone to the hall of the Lords of Judgment, with no fear of her heart outweighing Maat's feather, for she was a kindly spirit in all things.

photo of Gina
sidravitale: B5 "WWID" icon by always_a_boom (B5 always_a_boom ivanova)
Graphic novel. I got the chance to read this through my subscription, and I'm so glad I did. It's a fascinating premise by Max Brooks (World War Z), even for those who aren't huge fans of zombie stories (like me). The zombies aren't really the point, or at least not so far. What is, is the threat to the way of life of vampires. Equally fascinating (and quite logical) that the main characters, as vampires, live in the developing world or elsewhere where there is sufficient room to fake papers and never seem to age. A very nice change from the traditional European motif.

Well-written and lovely art.


Mar. 18th, 2014 12:25 pm
sidravitale: the_dibbler's Labyrinth 'goblin in hat' LJ icon (Default)
I keep seeing older models popping up, or young models with platinum or grey hair, and I have to say, I'm almost tempted to grow my hair out (I use henna to turn it an orange-y red) and see if I can be a fashionable, elegant older attorney instead of a fashionable, elegant, deceptively youthful-looking attorney.
sidravitale: the_dibbler's Labyrinth 'goblin in hat' LJ icon (goblin in hat)
I didn't even make it more than 5 or 6 'celebs who are gay' into some tell-all slideshow before spotting two that are more properly described as bisexual. If you're breathlessly telling us that before so-n-so dated him, she dated *her*, maybe 'gay' is not the right word to be using.

sidravitale: firefly kaylee "cheerfulgirl" LJ icon by counterglow (firefly cheerfulgirl kaylee)

My folks sent me a belated birthday present care-package! How nice!

Contained within:

  • Movie swag:
    • 'Gravity' T-shirt and matching baseball cap;
    • 'The Hobbit' movie soundtrack including complete score by Howard Shore
  • Two tickets to any AMC or Leows Theater;
  • A copy of Margaret Atwood's _The Handmaid's Tale_;
  • And some homemade goodies from the garden:
    • sundried hot peppers,
    • dried figs,
    • spiced dried apple slices,
    • along with a jar of hot pepper jelly.

I am one lucky duck.

sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
I tweeted a while ago to @EverdaySexism about getting hit on and the guy not taking no for an answer (escalating to a proposal of marriage, a promise to cook dinner for me, and that he knew how to "treat a woman right" - the tone clearly encompassed "in bed" - in that order).

So, two men respond to my tweet (I didn't notice this until much later) in the "maybe it was a misunderstanding, it's not wrong for a guy to ask you out, is it?" type vein, which is just another way of telling me not to be so uptight. Which makes the interaction MY fault, and conveniently lets these men ignore any possible culpability or responsibility to change on THEIR part.

So, I respond this past week about the escalating to a marriage proposal part. This is Twitter, there's not room for me to say more. (Instead of accepting 'no', my self-proclaimed suitor escalated, basically, nagging me to get me to break down and say yes, or at least validate his value as a potential date/suitor/etc. Common tactic. We get it all the time, woman says 'no', man doesn't take her seriously because HE wants her. Her wants aren't part of the equation.)

I don't know why I bothered responding in the first place except I thought I was potentially dealing with an ally. I wasn't really thinking it through.

What do I get in response? "Well, if a guy asks you to marry him after you turn him down for a date, that's not sexism, that's insanity." Which, again, pushes any possible responsibility for accepting a woman's 'no' off men's shoulders, by marking the behavior I criticize as outlying or "insane" so as to avoid having to examine it and accept that this kind of nagging or escalation IS a common tactic that needs to stop. It's not like the proposal was sincere, the guy just didn't pay attention to my 'no'. It's the escalation, not the fact that the escalation included a cutesy proposal of marriage. That behavior IS definitely sexist.

No means no. In fact, unless there is a clear 'yes', any non-no, silence, polite disengaged smile, etc., ALSO means no.
sidravitale: the_dibbler's Labyrinth 'goblin in hat' LJ icon (Default)
That was disappointing.

A clip of President Obama (at a graduation? I think,) was just played on NPR, and in it he says to his audience no one cares how tough your upbringing was, it wasn't as bad as what your forefathers went through, and if they overcame it, you can, too.

That's the wrong principle being expressed. That's the idea that it's up to the individual member of an oppressed minority to exceed in spite of the barriers prejudice placed in front of them. It places the onus on the minority member, not the system enforcing and perpetuating the prejudice. It places the responsibility for failure on the oppressed individual, not the prejudicial system operating to suppress any success.

That's wrong. It makes it easy for the white American to ignore the systemic problem, and someday, write a blog with a title like, "where are all the black people at?", cluelessly wondering why there aren't black CEOs, etc.

That was more than disappointing. That was colluding with the prejudicial system.
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Oh, this is a fascinating book, laying out the evolution over time in the course of multiple gospels (each written later and later from the events they described) of the rhetoric used in deflecting blame for the Crucifixion from Rome to Jews in a region suffering from a Jewish rebellion against Rome, where there were political reasons for wanting such deflection, and the concurrent development of the idea of 'satan', of Hebrew origin, from an angel placed by God as an obstacle to someone, to an adversary of God's.

Genuinely fascinating. I really like Elaine Pagels' writing, I felt the same way about her book _The Gnostic Gospels_, which I read a few years ago.

Now, I'm not a scholar of Christianity, so I don't know how much about the timeline of writing the gospels is taught to the typical Christian, but I had always assumed that the gospels were stories of people with first-person experience, so I tend to be astounded over the fact that that isn't true.

I'm not done yet, but I just had to stop and write about it anyway.
sidravitale: iconzicons Labyrinth "simply dying of excitement" LJ icon ("dying of excitement" Labyrinth iconzico)
I just HAD to stop and download Queen's Flash Gordon soundtrack album on iTunes yesterday. I dunno why.

But apparently Flash's Theme frightens the Guest Chihuahua, so I can't play it when she's visiting.
sidravitale: the_dibbler's Labyrinth 'goblin in hat' LJ icon (Default)
I've been reading YA books in electronic format, they're usually a quick enough read that I don't mind sitting at my desktop to do it.

I enjoyed Divergent and Insurgent very much. The factions people of this dystopic Chicago live in, as groups who model one trait above all others - Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Amity - and perform the functions of urban society (who grows the food, who cares for the sick, etc.), make sense, as does the fact that such a system fundamentally doesn't work for a couple of reasons but, in particular, because there are always corrupt people somewhere who don't buy into the goals of the system, whatever the system is, whether it's because they "know best" above everyone else, or are operating from a more base sense of self-interest.

Anyway, a fun, engrossing read, and I'm looking forward to Allegiant, the third book in the series, due out in October.

Interesting, too, the use of dystopic futures in YA.
sidravitale: due south LJ icon by musesrealm (due south musesrealm)
This was the first time I'd ever read it. Magnificent book, so compassionate and loving toward the characters. You just felt, everybody, even though you knew the tragedy that was coming. Magnificent book.
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Hamcat: What a piece of work is a cat, how serene in countenance, how
infinite in stretch, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like a feather, in shedding how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of hunters—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of fur? Cat delights not me—
nor dog neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

Rosencatz: My lord, there was no such whisker in my thoughts.
sidravitale: japanese lady2 LJ icon by musesrealm (japanese lady2 musesrealm)
Even though I believe my species has lost its chance, destroyed its world and failed, abjectly failed, to develop an exit strategy by basically shutting down space exploration instead of ardently pursuing it, I am incapable of walking away. I want to walk away, but I just...can't.

Why? Because I'm Eddie Willers in _Atlas Shrugged_, the only character aside from Cheryl Taggert worth knowing at all in that book, the only real person in the book, and the man left weeping in despair because one man cannot make the engine of the entire world turn. John Galt dealt with it by creating a fucking commune and sticking his head in the sand in the stupid belief that if he did it would be all over someday. Fool. Eddie kept trying, and trying, and trying, and couldn't stop trying, in the real world. Fool, in a completely different way.

I can't stop. Not sure what to do next, lawyering isn't a good enough answer, apparently. There must be something, some way, to pull us back from the cliff we keep insisting on jumping off, if only I can find it, no matter how much I yearn for a little cabin in the woods of British Columbia somewhere and to bury my head in the sand, too, just like John Galt.

The fact that that idiot Galt has been lauded so by right-wingers in the past few years tells you everything you need to know about the decline and fall of the Republican Party.


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