don't throw away your eclipse glasses! mail them to Astronomers Without Borders, or deliver them to the nearest organization (most likely a local school) collecting them for AWB, so that students in South America and Africa can safely watch the next eclipse!
Mixed in with the fashion tips and celebrity gossip, they have some terrific "celebrate yourself" pieces and amazing current events articles.
Their celebrity news mentions the importance of consent and all-around not being a jerk. Their makeup and fashion articles talk about individuality and bringing out your best features - which are not expected to be the same as everyone else's. They mention how disabilities and different cultural backgrounds interact with popular trends. Their photos aren't all of white people, nor thin people, nor young people. Their target demographic is definitely "teenage girls" - but they don't make everything pink, and they don't have "how to catch a boyfriend" articles.
I'd been meaning to subscribe since campaign season and never quite got around to it. Fixed that today.
Location: Anywhere in the world if you're a UK citizen
Deadline: Varies, but there will be some this autumn
Time estimate: 15 minutes
Requirements: money / mental / personal information / decision-making
Anything else: It may be a while until the next general election, but local elections can make a difference to people's lives. Joining an imperfect party and campaigning for change from within is usually easier and more effective than starting a new party from scratch or trying to get an independent elected. Being a member for a few months before the election gives you opportunities to help influence things when it comes, whether that's by voting within the party for a particular person to be the party candidate for your area, putting forward or voting on topics for policy discussions and campaigns, or by getting information about ways to volunteer and increase voter turnout.
In lieu of this (because TELEPORTER!!! *shakes fist*, and also all my immediate family are Occupied Elsewhere today):
Would any y'all who believe in and understand how to accomplish the "sending healing energy over a distance" thing please do the thing for me? Not necessarily healing, though I wouldn't exactly say no to that; strength, resilience, anything that you have to spare at the moment and that you think I could use in order to get all my stuff moving-ready and the apartment sparkly clean. Protective and cleansing energies would also be welcome.
If you want to do a trade, drop me a comment with a prompt: a single word, a brief phrase, a song lyric, an evocative image. After I'm all moved, I'll stitch all the prompts into a story and post it for all y'all to see. :)
This is maybe oddly specific and I imagine fairly low-stakes, but I genuinely have no idea how to handle it. My boyfriend and I are both busy people, and planning time together can take some doing. We live together, so while we do see one another a bunch in passing, it’s rare to have a genuine night in or a date. He is also a lot more spontaneous than I am; I’m a planner, mostly because I work a lot more hours than he does and also in part because having a rough sketch of what my next week looks like helps me manage my diagnosed anxiety.
Here’s the issue – oftentimes, I’ll really be looking forward to spending some time with him (may be structured or unstructured) but he will, at the last minute, essentially ask to cancel. Oftentimes it’s stuff that I’m invited to, too, but here are some examples:
1. At the last minute, his sister called and could we go have dinner with his family that night? Bonus points if I’ve already started cooking dinner for us (“can you just freeze it or use it tomorrow?”)
2. He got a text from the softball team he subs for, and they urgently need one more tonight or they need to forfeit.
3. His friend is in town for the weekend unexpectedly and he wants to hang out – since we’re just chilling at home/the corner bar is it cool if he and his girlfriend tag along?
4. His coworker ended up with an extra ticket to [sport/concert] and he just has one but it’s tonight only.
Like I said, in all but the last example he does invite me to tag along, but it really throws me. I’m not exactly introverted, and I do like to socialize in groups, but it really changes the character of our plans and can be a major re-adjustment of the dynamic – group vs. solo, going out vs. staying in, getting a chance to talk to him vs. spending most of the night watching him play a sport. Sometimes I feel like the third wheel to my own date night. I also feel like it’s a lot of extra effort to re-arrange things at the last minute and I usually shoulder that.
To be clear, it’s not a double standard. He is really laid-back and rolls with the punches, and any time I do have to change plans for my own reasons he takes it totally in stride. Also, it’s super apparent through our years of relationship that this is the way he was raised. His family seldom plan anything more than a day in advance, usually less.
Here’s the issue:
1. His position is that, since we live together, we can *always* reschedule or easily spend time together whereas the things that come up are usually time-sensitive or urgent (friend is in town just one night! team is in danger of forfeiting!). My position is that this happens often enough that I feel like I’m constantly being moved down the priority list and taken for granted. Also, I don’t have time to make a back-up plan for myself so if I beg off because the new plan doesn’t sound especially fun I’m effectively ditched.
2. His additional position is that, well, he is just asking and I have ultimate veto power. If I say no, he won’t do it. My position is that, by putting out there that he has this unique and time-sensitive opportunity and asking to do that instead, he’s putting me in the position of having to tell him “no, don’t do this thing you’d rather do – hang out with me, which you can do anytime.” It’s uncomfortable, and I’d rather not have the weight of his experience on my shoulders.
The (very!) few times I have said I’d rather we stuck to our original plan, to his credit he hasn’t complained or sulked or made me the bad guy to his friends. He’s taken it pretty much in stride.
But I still don’t like it, and I’m having a hard time finding words for why this feels unfair and crummy. He’s right that he’s just asking, and he’s also right that we see a lot of each other albeit incidentally. But what I’d like to see if occasionally for him to just say, “hey, sorry – we have plans already” to his friends without putting it on me. I’d like him to feel like our time together is an important enough commitment that it’s not on the same tier as “free time” in his calendar.
But it’s not getting through, and I often end up sounding like I want him to read my mind (“how was I supposed to know you wouldn’t want to without asking you?”). How do I articulate this in a way that still leaves room for who he is as a person (to be clear, sometimes I love his spontaneity!)? How do I manage this without being too high maintenance? To be fair, I can see how sometimes I say yes when I mean no and then end up resentfully picking a fight, which isn’t especially cool of me.
Thank you for reading my letter. She/her pronouns, please.
It’s easy in a long-term relationship where you live together to fall into the pattern of “Why should we gotta make the plans when I can see you any old time?”
It’s also easy to fall into the idea that Group Social Time counts as Together Time if he is there and you are there, and I know I’ve personally had to make it clear that “Hey being invited to be a spectator at your band practice is not the same thing as a date, hard pass btw, call me when you’re actually free.” Go in peace, hot-yet-oblivious-bass-playing-almost-
My first suggestion is I think you should start taking your dude at his word and saying “I’d prefer we just continue with our solo evening, is that cool?” when you don’t want to change plans. At least sometimes! Like, family dinners are great, and family dinners can also come with 24 hours notice or else he might have to miss one because he has other plans (plans with you). If his claim is that he’d be cool if you said no is true, then see if he’s actually cool when you say no. You say he usually is, and if he continues to be, that’s good information. If he starts “resentfully picking a fight” when you say no that’s also good information.
My second suggestion is to ask him to clarify his question when he asks. “Are you asking me if I’d like hang out with your friend who is in town or telling me that you really want to hang out with your friend who is in town?” Get him to own the fact that it’s not just a simple question. Depending on how he responds, you can respond with what works best for you, like, “Can you and I have dinner together, just the two of us, and then you can peel off afterward and meet them?” or “Hey, I’m out, but go and have fun!” or “Sure, the more the merrier!”
I think the thing that’s bugging you is that he’s checking in with you to ask you what you think when it’s clear that he wants to go do the other thing. He says it’s a real “ask” situation but you don’t feel like it is, and right now, “Love, is it cool if my friends join us for drinks tonight?” = “My friends will be joining us for drinks tonight.” It would be more honest if he said “Babe, I can’t make dinner tonight, I gotta go play softball or we’ll forfeit” rather than going through the rigamarole of asking you thereby putting you in the role of Chief Timecop and Funkiller.
You say sometimes you feel like a third wheel to your own date night and you sometimes get resentful and pick fights. My third suggestion is, when date-plans turn into group plans, don’t go. You know you don’t like it except on rare occasions, so, turn “Sure, it would be cool if we all went together…I guess” into “Not for me, but you go and have fun!” and then stay home and do something else.
Fourth suggestion: If you do say yes to changing plans, can you add a request to reschedule right then? You say that you’re doing a lot of work of re-accommodating things, so, can you explicitly place that work on him? “Okay, cool, have fun. When you get home tonight, can we put something else on the calendar for just you and me?” His logic is that you can always reschedule something with each other, and yours is for that to happen on the actual space-time continuum it needs to be scheduled.
Fifth suggestion: Your letter is crying out for a regular, sacred Date Night, something where you both agree that On Tuesdays We Hang Out Together Come What May, and you both agree to say “that sounds great but I have plans” about any other plans that come up during that time window unless it’s a true emergency (involving a hospital) or a fun emergency (“I know we said dinner at home but I have Hamilton tickets, meet me at 7“).
The script for asking for a reset is “I am happier when I know that I will get at least one evening/week where it’s just you and me at home together and when I can put it on my calendar in advance as a done deal to look forward to. And it does bug me when we carve this out and then you want to bail. I feel like the bad guy who is holding you back from a fun thing if I say no, but I get annoyed if I say yes and now my evening that I looked forward to and carved out of my schedule to spend with you is shot. I want to make room to be flexible and spontaneous, but it would mean a lot to me if you would treat x, y, z as pre-existing plans that we have together that can’t be ditched so easily.”
And then ask him what he thinks would fix it. “Do you have any ideas for how this can work better?” “In a perfect world, how could we fix this so there is some room to be spontaneous but we also make sure that we put each other first?”
Sixth, I know I say this a lot, but make sure you are getting some time for yourself and that you have time & room to nurture your other social relationships. If you institute Date Night Taco Tuesdays over time you can also institute Go Have Fun & Give Me The House To Myself Fridays or Saturday Morning Best Friend Pancakes. It sounds like you’re busy and as a result a lot of your social units are couple social units. Make sure there’s something in there just for you.
Seventh, do what you can to delete the idea that having needs and desires inside a relationship makes you “high-maintenance.” What can survive without maintenance? “Boyfriend, I feel like I work hard to set time aside in my schedule for you, and when you keep rescheduling me or telling me that we can always hang out later, it hurts my feelings, can we figure this out together” is not the utterance of some witch-harpy-fury-gorgon-insert the scary mythological being of your choice*- hybrid, ok? These are normal human feelings and they are important because they are yours and they are real. ❤
*Friend-of-Blog Jess Zimmerman is writing an awesome series about female monsters at Catapult these days. Collect them all!
It is now time for the summer Captain Awkward Dot Com pledge drive, where I shake the tip jar in the general direction of all of you kind readers. If you like what I do here and are able to support the work, please visit my Patreon page or make a donation via PayPal or Cash.me. Thanks to your support, we’ve made the blog ad-free. My next goal is to take a sabbatical from teaching in 2018 and work on a CaptainAwkward book and other writing projects. Every little bit counts, and I’m grateful for it.
The Complete List of Racists by Michael Harriot at the Root:
If the alt-right were a family, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and skinheads would be the grandparents, aunts and uncles who get their plates fixed first, while the anti-globalists, anti-feminists and “racialists” would sit at the kids’ table and have to drink out of paper cups.
Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language by Liam Stack at the New York Times:
Both phrases are part of a broad lexicon of far-right terminology that has become important to understanding American politics during the Trump administration. Many of these terms have their roots in movements that are racist, anti-Semitic and sexist.
How to describe extremists who rallied in Charlottesville by John Daniszewski at the AP blog:
"alt-right" A political grouping or tendency mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism; a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States.
Alt Right: A Primer about the New White Supremacy at the Anti-Defamation League:
Though not every person who identifies with the Alt Right is a white supremacist, most are and “white identity” is central to people in this milieu. In fact, Alt Righters reject modern conservatism explicitly because they believe that mainstream conservatives are not advocating for the interests of white people as a group.
A Deconstruction Of The Alt-Right Movement by Rachel Toalson at Huffington Post:
The problem, see, is that while Spencer appears to be an intelligent human being, he also appears to be well practiced in manipulation and rhetoric — which, unfortunately, those who are unpracticed in the art of writing and the training of rhetorical composition, will be unable to recognize. So this is my humble attempt to do it for them.
It is time to stop using the term ‘alt right’
In recent years, American racists have taken pains to come up with new terminology to self-identify with—such as the so-called “alt-right,” a phrase credited to avowed racist Richard Spencer, who famously celebrated Trump’s victory with Nazi salutes.
**** ( A few thoughts inside )
Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.
I was accustomed to asking myself the question “what the fuck is wrong with you?” In the past that had been because I’d swallowed a lot of society’s bullshit that made me think that there was something wrong with me. It was a pretty recent thing for me to have decided that the answer to the question “what the fuck is wrong with you” was “nothing.” Nothing was wrong with being gay or being artistic or any of the other things society–or Digger or whoever–wanted to judge me for.
But bursting into tears because of a near-hallucination? What the fuck was wrong with me?
Nothing, I decided. There was nothing wrong with crying, right? Digger would have called me a sissy and Digger would have been wrong.
I wiped my eyes and decided I should try to look on the bright side. So few people got the chance to do what I was doing. I was being a dick if I didn’t try to appreciate what was going on. I got down from the stage onto the grass and made my way around a barrier and climbed my way up into the empty stands. I went up and up and up.
My chest twitched like my heart still hurt, though, like a sob was trying to get out. I ignored it. It made the climb to the top slow going.
Hah. Great metaphor.
When I was up high enough I turned around and looked. It was a sight worth seeing. The sky was streaked with post-sunset purple, the soccer field was green, and the stage set was a black structure in the center of a multicolored bowl. I sat there for a little while appreciating the sight. And then I felt better.
I took my time going back down. I felt cold–the temperature was dropping as night came on–but I didn’t want to rush. My feet were not very steady, probably from the mix of Vitamin F plus being shaky after an emotional outburst. I wanted to pretend if no one else had seen it, it hadn’t happened, but it had.
Eventually I made it back to the dressing room. I decided keeping my leather jacket on during the Star*Gaze set was a wise idea.
What I would have normally done during a time interval like this in the past, of course, was sit around and play the guitar. That was not a good idea if I wanted my hand to last through the main set. So I sat down to try to memorize my own lyrics again.
Fear of forgetting them was worse than opening night. And you know what sucks? I was more likely to forget the words when I was nervous, so if I was afraid of forgetting them it became a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Ouch.
I went to Flip in the green room, who had a guitar in his lap and was, I think, obsessively working on one of tonight’s songs, but still looked cool as a cucumber about it. “I’m wound so tight I’m like a watch about to break,” I said.
“Fortunately the cure for that is legal and on hand,” he eplied. He set the guitar in a stand and then got up. He produced a flask from his guitar case and then I followed him to another set of road cases. He cracked open a Gatorade from a stash he’d brought with him. “Drink a mouthful of this.”
I did and then he took the bottle back, poured a splash of alcohol into it and another splash into a plastic cup. He put the cap back on the bottle and handed me the cup. I watched him write my name on the bottle in black sharpie. That would become my usual mid-show Gatorade.
By the way, if you think we discovered a new and exciting cocktail mixer… we didn’t. Gatorade and whiskey is not delicious at all. When I say it’s purely medicinal it’s because there’s no recreational reason you’d drink it that way. It was Flip’s way of making sure I’d drink both later.
I knocked back the straight whiskey from the cup, then exhaled like a dragon breathing fire. That solved the problem of me being cold, too.
I put my own eyeliner on. Dawn, Skyward, Time Line, Shape of Space, Shock Diamonds. I knew that the set list, along with the lyric sheet Bart had written out, would be taped to the wedge in front of my microphone, but I repeated the song order to myself anyway.
Hm. I took the eyeliner pencil and wrote some of the words to “Shock Diamonds” on the backs of my hands. Just a few of them as mnemonics.
And then suddenly it was time to go on stage.
The nickname for booze is “liquid courage,” right? It felt more like “liquid stop giving a fuck.” As I went up the stairs from the grass level onto the stage, I could feel it pumping through my bloodstream.
“Dawn” starts slow and quiet, you might remember. I hung to the side and just watched the others touching their instruments, making the sounds that were music. They were looking at each other and not me and I felt like there was an invisible ice wall forming between us.
I had to shatter that ice before it got too thick or I’d be trapped in it. I grabbed the microphone and walked to the edge of the stage. Maybe walked isn’t the right word. Strutted? I stepped in time with the electric drum heartbeat that was kicking in and I started talking to the crowd. In Spanish. Simple stuff. To a guy hanging on the barrier in front: hey, how are you. To a woman a few feet over from him: nice night, yeah?
Because I wasn’t worrying about forgetting the words–or getting the grammar wrong–I did fine. Really simple stuff since that was what my Spanish was good for. You like Ziggy? I like Ziggy, too.
Interestingly enough, people seemed to be paying attention to what I was saying. Even though I was–in my mind, anyway–talking to individual faces I could make out along the barrier, I could hear the smattering of cheers on each thing I said. Approving-sounding cheers. That felt really weird.
Like I was winning them over or something.
I started to think about that a little and almost missed where the first lyrics were supposed to come in, but I turned around to face the band in time.
My pitch was off and I could tell, but that just made me more determined to break through that ice. Words that should have been sung were shouted, and when I came to the high note that opens the chorus I let out something I suppose should be described as a primal scream. Who the fuck cared about the lyrics? The crowd didn’t know the songs and I guess you could say neither did I. They’d poured out one night when Jordan had squeezed me like a toothpaste tube to see what came out.
I might have been channeling a lot of anger during those recordings. I’m not sure. I was definitely channeling a lot of anger on the stage that night in Bogota.
As we moved into the faster-paced songs I tossed my hair and screamed and banged the mic stand against the stage–which probably wasn’t a good idea, by the way, but live and learn. And by the time we got to “Shock Diamonds” I had winded myself for the first time ever. So there was no way to really sing it anyway, and I ended up just shouting the words on the backs of my hands to get the crowd to shout them back. This wasn’t even an English-speaking crowd but it was obvious enough when I wanted them to answer.
One of the words was “Jet.” I know because I’ve seen a photo of me, sweat plastering a lock of my hair to my forehead, my fist clamped around the microphone as I’m screaming into to it. And the word is visible on the back of my fist. The first time I saw the photo I barely recognized myself, honestly.
What you can’t see in the photo is that I’m on my knees because I’m too winded to stand up. My heart is beating so hard it feels like it’s going to crack my sternum. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, you know, maybe this much screaming isn’t a good idea because I feel like I’m about to pass out.
The crowd liked it, though.
(Thank you so much to sanders and s–aka as stef–for organizing the DGC meetup in Louisville! Four of us got tattoos including me, many cupcakes were eaten, I made everyone take a few trivia quizzes about 80s music and DGC itself, and a grand time was had by all. I’ll post a full recap and photos later this week! -ctan)
Corinne Duyvis and Kayla Whaley, writing at Disability in Kidlit:
We didn’t make it down to see totality, but my part of Michigan got about 80% eclipse coverage today, which was still pretty sweet. My son and I went to a library presentation this morning, where I was reminded about pinhole viewing, which led to this:
I’d ordered a solar filter for the 100-400mm lens on the camera. We also had some eclipse glasses from Amazon from a few weeks back.
I took a little over a hundred pictures, and was able to stitch some of the best into an animation.
Those black spots are sunspots. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!
I also stitched together a static time-lapse, and added back a bit of color the filter stripped out. (Click to enlarge this one for a much better view.)
Didn’t get much else done today, but I’m okay with that. And maybe for the 2024, we’ll be able to make it down to see the total eclipse!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Cross-post from my archive.
Fandom/Arc: Nirvana in Fire, In Every Time and Season
Characters/Pairings: Jingrui/Yujin, Lin Shu | Mei Changsu, Meng Zhi, Xiao Jingrui, Yan Yujin
Summary: Jingrui is finding himself drawn back toward a military position, after fighting at the northern border, and Yujin follows along, as he always has, despite his own reservations. Along the way, the two of them get into trouble, politics, and eventually a deeper understanding.
Meta: Drama with Politics and Romance, and also a Sprinkle of Porn, I-4
( Candles Lit at the Doors )
Very few of Yujin's reservations had ever held up in face of Jingrui's smile. Not when they were little and stealing sweets off Aunt Jing's table (with her amused connivance, Yujin had realized years later); not when they were a little older and Jingrui had dragged Yujin everywhere after their glamorous, if also sometimes alarming, older cousins; not when they'd come of age and Jingrui hauled Yujin out onto the roads to wander the country with that very same smile. He could barely imagine leaving Jingrui's side, at this point. So there was really nothing else to do but elbow him back until they managed to shove each other into the shallows, laughing.
Yuletide 2017 schedule - Link with updated schedule
Nominations Friday Sept 8 - Saturday Sept 16
I keep a locked post on my journal where I throw notes, over the course of the year, of fandoms I'm considering for Yuletide. This year's options include:
* Midnight Cinderella, an otome game
* Sunstone, a lesbian BDSM comic book
* 21st Century Political RPF, because I'd love to read fic of the non-mirrorverse USA
* They Might Be Giants (1971 movie), which would make some hilarious Sherlock fusion material
* Season of the Witch (book) by James Leo Herlihy, a hippie adventure novel
* Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I would love to see considered through today's fannish tropes
Fandoms I've nominated in the past and might try again:
* Liquid Sky (Movie)
* Never Promised you a Rose Garden (book)
* Schoolhouse Rock
* Elfquest, for specific characters
* Ghost Soup Infidel Blue (or some variation thereof; maybe I'll nominate the book series)
The Yuletide comm might have a "promote your fandom" post, but since the bulk of the discussion happens on LJ, I don't usually bother.
Looks like I need... *squints* one dentist and two assistants, at the most.
Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.
At the moment when the light returns, flaring bright and blinding, the breath comes back, too, all in a rush. It is not that the breathing stopped through the peculiar gloom of it, but somehow it was not enough, there was not enough air, something subliminal and only noticeable in the moment that it disappears.
The light comes back. Perhaps there is a deep and instinctual part of the spirit that holds its breath, not sure whether that would be the case.
But the light comes back. The light comes back and everything seems different, now.
Slowly, slowly the sense of normality reasserts itself. The quality of the light goes… natural… so quickly, by comparison, returning to some sense of the expected, the everyday.
But there is still the knowing. Knowing that one has gone down into the dark, through the dread of it, down into the dark and seen the wonders there, and has come back.
With the light.