On May 2, I got tagged into a thread on Queer Exchange Boston ("A couple friends and I are looking to build intentionally radical, queer space for folks who identify as LGBTQ and Christian to come together in Boston. Are there folks that might be interested in thinking this through with/joining us?").
I went to the first one (Sun May 15) and then to the first planning meeting (beyond the core group of folks who'd been dreaming up the first one) on Thurs May 26 (house church was meeting every other week).
By virtue of being one of 2 people at this planning meeting besides the 3 core organizers ... I got voluntold into giving the reflection this Sunday evening?
Because I had 2 and a half days to pick a text and come up with something to say about it, I attempted to crowd-source, but one of the organizers said she'd really like for people to reflect about what's truest for them, which is totally fair, but somewhat challenging. I came up with an idea by the time I got home that night, though. The reflection I ended up writing wasn't the one I'd initially intended to write, but I liked it, and it got positive feedback in the room.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (NRSV)
Content notes: mention (no dwelling, no details) of suicidality, self-harm, eating disorders, getting kicked out by your family, sexual assault
Now, will you pray with me? May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of all our hearts, be acceptable to you oh God, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.
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2 sparks of | knowledge
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Way to make me feel so nervous about what you're going to ask me!
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I was getting tea this morning, and one of the faculty members was getting coffee and said he'd noticed in my email signature that it says "please refer me to use the pronouns she and hers" and asked, "as opposed to what?"
In fairness, I felt way more nervous while actually answering the question than I did in the lead-up but still, I do not recommend, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way" as, well, as something to say probably ever really. (Certainly I've said things like, "This is going to sound meaner than I intended, but I can't think of a better phrasing," so I'm not saying you shouldn't acknowledge when you think something will be taken more negatively than you intend, but...)
I started with saying that people's genders aren't always clear from their names, that some people have gender-neutral names & warmed up to saying that not everyone uses binary pronouns and so sometimes people will volunteer that in their email signature, asking people to refer to them as "they" or "ze" or whatever and that it feels important to me to normalize that practice of volunteering one's pronouns rather than leaving it as something that's only done by people with unexpected pronouns -- "Does that make sense?" He said yes and seemed placated.
Hi, I'm your resident radical queer, I'll be here all forever.
(At coffee on Monday, some folks were talking about the Stanford prison experiment and whether it would replicate today and I literally chimed in with, "police brutality -- people are given power, in a system that dehumanizes certain people, and they abuse that power," and I had never felt so out-of-place far-left at work -- not that anyone pushed back, I don't even remember what got said next, but I just had this sense of total non-engagement.)
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I probably could have biked yesterday (it got close to freezing -- as opposed to the previous day when it topped off at low 20s and was more consistently windy) but I wimped/lazed out, so as we dispersed from Mike's at literally 11:30pm I asked FCS-Ian if I could drive his car home. It was basically uneventful -- though when I take a right turn onto a street that has a lot of parked cars I go kind of slow 'cause I wanna make sure I don't hit any of the parked cars, and FCS-Ian reminded me to go faster 'cause there was oncoming traffic (slow/far enough away that I wasn't in danger, but I was gonna piss them off).
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I drove for about an hour and a half today -- after having not driven for almost two months, so I was feeling nervous leading up to it. Actually driving, I felt fine -- though interestingly, after I was back inside my house afterward I felt high heart rate etc.
I still felt a little nervous on roads where I was going more than ~30mph, but I was routinely in the lefthand lane on major roads and didn't feel nervousness about the oncoming traffic (well, I sort of felt it, but it was sort of like there was a wall separating me from that feeling).
I was fine pulling into parking lot spaces, but less good pulling out, so that's probably worth practicing -- and FCS-Ian wisely suggested consulting the driver's manual about the official most correct way.
On reflection, I'd also like to pratice 3-point-turns and parallel parking once more before I actually take a road test.
I feel like I'm a (at least) minimally competent driver at this point (and FCS-Ian continues to be mostly wholly unworried while I'm driving), but I'm not sure how stickler/demanding the instructor will be (despite trijinx's assurances that her road test was "basic and boring," I'm still partially convinced that I'm going to fail my first road test).
Edit: I went online to schedule a road test for over the Christmas Break and apparently the next available road test is January 27 in Cambridge -- I don't even know when the next one in Watertown would be. :/
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I started marathoning this after I got home this afternoon, except I thought it was only 9 episodes -- so when I hit episode 10 and it was midnight I was kinda regretting my choice. So I definitely don't have a lot of brain atm. Edit: [Edited to add more commentary after some sleep and backreading on Tumblr now that I can take "jessica jones" off my blacklist. This post covers a bunch of the thoughts I had.] /edit
One of my early thoughts was: This show is as dark as the gif sets I see on Tumblr indicate Daredevil to be -- but it's full of ladies! Edit: (Including canon queerness -- where the queerness isn't the primary character/plot element about the characters. I appreciate that the background feels more multi-racial than MCU/tv often does, but the primary cast is still primarily white -- and here's some good critical commentary about some the problematic racial dynamics of the season.) /edit
I also appreciate that it does some work deconstructing the Nice Guy trope -- and does some important stuff around consent. Edit: (I concur with the stuff I'd read before watching the show about how if you have a history of sexual assault, or abuse generally, this show is highly likely to trigger you. Not only is Kilgrave's mind control a stand-in for mundane abuse dynamics, but the show also does a lot around manipulating/controlling/abusing people even when you don't have superpowers to enforce it. There are also some serious elements of family abuse, which I didn't really see mentioned in the initial buzz around the show.) /edit
Edit2: This post -- and lots of the stuff about "Smile" incl. e.g. this and this, and this on catcalling; and this on believing victims. /edit
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(I looked up the episode number/title and was surprised we were in a third season already -- this is what happens when I only watch sporadically, I guess.)
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|Subject:||[Reading Wednesday] Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie|
I don't actually have a lot to say about the book, but I just finished it and am happy to chat in comments.
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I've been thinking of the Ani DiFranco song "hour follows hour" recently:
and maybe the most that we can do***
is just to see each other through it
we make our own gravity to give weight to things
then things fall and they break and gravity sings
we can only hold so much is what i figure
try and keep our eye on the big picture
picture keeps getting bigger
and too much is how i love you
but too well is how i know you
and i've got nothing to prove this time
just something to show you
i guess i just wanted you to see
that it was all worth it to me
As has become my custom, reposting this from Amy:
One of the big pieces of the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that you reflect over the past year, and you attempt to (A) accept and forgive anything that has been done to you, and (B) apologize and ask forgiveness for anything you have done to others.***
Anonymous is enabled, and all comments are screened. If I've done anything to hurt you this year, let me know. If there's anything you think I might still be upset over, let me know that too. I won't unscreen unless you specifically request I do [...] The goal isn't to start fresh- that's often not possible- but to acknowledge what has happened over this year (or any previous time, if you so choose) as an attempt to not have it happen again.
I promise to treat anything you say seriously and respectfully, and I will seriously be considering it over the next ten days.
From Scott: "May your 5776 be as sweet as it is square."
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In the melting pot of Venice, trade is God. With its ships plying the globe, the city opens its arms to all—as long as they come prepared to do business and there is profit to be made. When the gold is flowing all is well, but when a contract between Bassanio and Shylock is broken, simmering racial tensions boil over. A wronged father and despised outsider, Shylock looks to exact the ultimate price for a deal sealed in blood.( All that glitters is not goldCollapse )
Polly Findlay directs Shakespeare's uncompromising play, with Makram J. Khoury, one of the most celebrated actors in Israel, in his Royal Shakespeare Company debut as Shylock.
[from ArtsEmerson] [RSC link]
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( Episode 1.08 -- Girl Meets SmackleCollapse )
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( Episode 1.09 -- Girl Meets 1961Collapse )
( Episode 1.10 -- Girl Meets Crazy HatCollapse )
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I am definitely kind of burnt-out and in need of a vacation. (I've had a pretty good summer, but I've definitely been noticing myself feeling not super into working on stuff, so I think it's low-level burn-out. It's also possible that I'll feel better once the school year starts up and I'm busier, so weekends are a balance between suspecting I'll feel better if I'm productive vs. suspecting I'll feel better if I give myself some sabbath.)
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I finally got Netflix, and inspired by escritoireazul's post, I watched a bunch of Girl Meets World. (And then proceeded to comments dump in her entry.)
( episode 1.01 -- Girl Meets WorldCollapse )
( episode 1.02 -- Girl Meets BoyCollapse )
( episode 1.03 -- Girl Meets Sneak AttackCollapse )
( episode 1.04 -- Girl Meets FatherCollapse )
( episode 1.05 -- Girl Meets the TruthCollapse )
( episode 1.06 -- Girl Meets PopularCollapse )
( episode 1.07 -- Girl Meets Maya"s MotherCollapse )
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Having learned from last time, the plan tonight was that I would drive wherever I wanted and FCS-Ian would read facebook on his phone. He was remarkably attentive to what I was doing, though -- like, could give me detailed critique about why/how I'd ended too far out from the curb when pulling into the space or whatever.
My first attempt tonight was good but room for improvement. My second one was perfect.
The rest of the night was a mix. After having gotten good [tonight] at parallel parking behind a vehicle when there was no vehicle behind me, I got way less good at parallel parking between spaces. I got better again -- though having a car over to my left also makes me nervous (yay, narrow streets!). But my last 2 parallel parks were perfect! \o/
And FCS-Ian commented multiple times during the night that I seemed to be operating a lot more intuitively -- parallel parking was more of a single step ("to parallel park") rather than a 3-step process ... which was a little problematic because I was paying less attention to the individual steps, but I was also developing some intuition about how to fix things.
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FCS-Ian and I did driving practice this afternoon. More traffic than we were expecting, on the residential side streets we were attempting to practice parallel parking on, which made it challenging. After a while, he reminded me that I tend to do better when I'm making the decisions and he's not talking to me all the time, so he told me to just pick streets and spots to try, and he wouldn't say anything (unless, e.g., I had the wheel turned the wrong way when I was about to reverse and thus would be about to hit another car). Apparently his checking facebook etc. while I was doing this was not just because he trusts me but also to keep him from talking -- but he did trust me enough that he could be on his phone most of the time. And I definitely got better as we went along. (And after like the 3rd time I consistently remembered which way to turn the wheel -- to my right when reversing to parallel park on my righthand side -- which I have no optimism I'll remember next time, hence writing it down now so I can refresh my memory before we go next time.)
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FCS-Ian and I were gonna go driving yesterday before church, but after much back and forth we ended up rescheduling to 7:30pm tonight. Now that it's still light out at that hour, it works well (after his kids are in bed, etc.).
5 sparks of | knowledge
He'd had a lot of coffee today, which was fine except that he wasn't super-focused and so would be like "pull over here" practically as we were passing something, and I need to get better at being like, "Explain to me exactly what you're about to ask me to do" (and make sure I actually understand! like have the correct visualization) instead of just following his instructions and ending up being llike, "Yes, I totally overshot that, in part because I had literally no idea where I was supposed to be aiming." (I reminded him at the beginning that last time we spent the first half on the street and the second half in a parking lot and realized after we were done that it would have been much more effective to have started in a parking lot. He decided that we would drive until we found an acceptable parking lot -- since our usual would probably be full/busy -- and I was fine with getting street practice, but e.g. "drive until forever, don't worry about turning" followed almost immediately by telling me to turn somewhere is suboptimal.)
Near the beginning, he commented that my actual driving was fine -- that I haven't put in a lot of actual hours on the road, but I've improved significantly since I started. And near the end (driving back to my house) he commented that I'm much more confident driving when I know where I'm going, to which I said that we learned this when I drove through the Powder House Rotary of Death at like 4pm on a holiday.
At the end, he said I'm doing great with k-turns (aka, 3-point turns -- which, along with parallel parking, was what I'd said I felt stood between me and passing the road test).
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Huh, I woke up his morning to an email that a Guest had left kudos on 10 of my fics.Edit:
An eclectic collection (not that I have a deeply coherent catalog to begin with, but still). I mean, I suppose it's possible that it's multiple anons, but that seems unlikely.
Looking at my AO3 account to remind myself of which pairings some of these stories were (forgetting it would be easier to just check my website), I looked at my Stats. ( fandom is perverted and I"m helpingCollapse )
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Biking home after work on Friday, the sidewalk on the east side of the bridge was open, and the construction had moved over to the west side.
Only 2 years behind schedule.
It still needs some cosmetic stuff (the walls seem to just be cement or whatever, no decorative brick; and the sidewalks are nice cement immediately adjacent to the road but just asphalt adjacent to the wall) but it's functional -- and the new lampposts are really nice.
So do we think the final product will be ONLY 2 years behind schedule (thus being completed Fall 2016) or more? I don't remember how far behind schedule the East Side construction began. (The schedule was that everything would begin June 2012 and then East Side construction would be Aug 2012 - May 2013, West Side: June 2013 - March 2014, Center: March - April 2014, Completion: Fall 2014.)
Edit: One of my co-workers is investigating and apparently the new end date is Spring 2016 (citation).
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This morning, we drove to FCS-Ian's neighborhood and spent about a half an hour trying to practice 3-point turns & parallel parking. I can follow really explicit instructions, but I have basically no internal understanding of why the car is doing what it's doing when I'm going in reverse, so after about a half an hour (at which point I was half-expecting FCS-Ian to say we'd maxed out his anxiety quotient for the day) we went to a parking lot so I could just practice reversing -- in retrospect, it would have been more Effective to do the parking lot first, but live and learn.
Doing 90-degree turns while reversing, I quickly internalized (well, after I got through the part where I was just memorizing -- which was less helpful) that I turn the wheel the opposite direction of where I want the front of the car to be pointing. Which, in retrospect, probably people had attempted to explain that to me before? And it's probably more nuanced when you're making less than 90-degree turns. But hey, I have learned a thing.
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