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I have no time or patience for people who decide to champion a marginalised cause - even a worthy cause - by attacking another marginalised group.

I have no time or patience for people championing a marginalised group by declaring this particularly group has the worst oppression ever and other marginalised groups are less important

I have no time or patience for people championing a marginalised group by declaring the campaigns of other marginalised groups to be over, unnecessary, pointless or less important.

I have no time or patience for people championing a marginalised group by picking out another marginalised group or people specifically to attack in the process

I have no time or patience for people championing a marginalised caused but who can't resist throwing in a dig at another marginalised group.

I have no time or patience for people who hear about a marginalised groups victories, struggles or defeats and decide to dismiss it, speak over it or other wise distract from it or put it down.

I have no time or patience for people who only mention a marginalised group to say bad things about them - even if the criticism is valid or sometimes accurate.

I have no time or patience for people who fight for marginalised causes by deciding another marginalised group has "won enough" or "got enough" (especially if that group is fighting for rights or protections the person already has).

I have no time or patience for people who appropriate marginalised causes to try and use them as weapons against another marginalised group

I have no time or patience for people who engage in bigotry while trying to call out other bigotry. If you can't fight oppression without engaging in oppression then you're doing something badly wrong


If the only way you can champion marginalised people or marginalised issues is by throwing shit at other marginalised people and marginalised issues then you are failing at activism. Equality is never going to be achieved by throwing rocks at people who are also struggling. Nor does claiming to be fighting for equality disguise your not very subtle bigotry.
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I’m breaking my annoying silence (so much to do, so little time) because something has annoyed me. Actually it’s a string of people annoying me the same way; that perennial call that we need to be nicer to bigoted straight people who do and say bigoted things and really aren’t we great big meanies for daring to judge people for using slurs or avoiding or telling off these bigots when they show their bigoted arses in all their scabby, bigoted glory.

Above all, I’m tired of the dreaded “teachable moment.” I’m tired of when yet another person decides to yell “f@ggot” in whatever media is open to them, it’s demanded that we nicely teach the bigot why that’s not a nice thing to do. I’m tired of being expected to look on a long screed on why I don’t deserve the same rights as anyone else as some kind of opportunity to educate rather than the vicious attack it is. I’m tired of seeing yet another attack against us and being expected to be SYMPATHETIC to the bigot who just trampled all over us.

Because of fucking TEACHABLE MOMENTS.

So let’s talk teachable moments. Mainly let’s talk about how I have absolutely no inclination to take advantage of “teachable moments” provided every time some straight person marauds around with little or no regard for us YET AGAIN.

That’s not to say I don’t want straight people to LEARN a whole lot of things. But teaching can’t happen without willingness to learn – and if there is a willingness to learn then I and a gazillion other LGBTQ people out there have written blogs, books, articles, videos and just about every damn resource possible for straight people to ACTUALLY want to learn. They don’t need “teachable moments”, they need to respect us enough to put some damn effort in.

The problem is not, as the apologist always cry whenever a bigot does anything, IGNORANCE; the problem is RESPECT

It is not having RESPECT enough for us to care whether their words and actions hurt us

It is not having RESPECT enough for us to consider the consequences of what they do or say

It is not having RESPECT enough to learn about us before presuming to insert themselves in our lives and our issues.

It is not having RESPECT enough to recognise that we are the experts in our own lives and when we say something is so, then is it so.

Because of this, the only “teachable moments” I want to have with straight people are:

1) Don’t say/do bigoted, dehumanising and disrespectful things
2) Don’t involve themselves in or claim opinions on or cast judgement on community issues that have absolutely nothing to do with them.

That’s it. Because those are basic milestones of respect: not doing harmful things and not arrogantly and paternalistically assuming expertise in someone else’s life. And I’ve found the most simple “teachable moments” for his is to either shun transgressors or make your anger known in most clear and adamant terms.

Read more... )
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Hammersmith and Fulham Council are considering closing their only shelter for domestic violence victims who are gay and bisexual men. This will leave gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in the borough forced to travel considerable distance

This is terrible, homophobia and shows how low we stand in the Council’s priority list.

HOWEVER, what is more terrible is the fact that Hammersmith and Fulham have (had) even one shelter for gay and bi men means they are actually far far far more concerned about gay and bisexual men needing shelter than every other London council. This shelter is the only shelter for gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in London.

The only one in the entire capital. 13,000,000 people live in the greater London metropolitan area and there is (was) one shelter. And at that it is better served than much of the rest of the country (there’s certainly no such shelter near me).

Stonewall Housing also notes there is no commitment for government funds to any kind of LGBT housing or shelter across the UK – domestic violence only makes us more vulnerable to homelessness – and we’re already grossly over-represented in the homeless population. But, hey, the Salvation Army still gets funding so straight folks will be fine.

In addition, the LGBTQ domestic abuse charity Broken Rainbows is also facing closure after failing to gain government funding. There are not enough words in the world to describe how vital Broken rainbows is; when you are LGBTQ and face domestic abuse there are next to no services – and services that are there for domestic abuse victims are ignorant, prejudiced or incapable of helping us – or outright unable to understand that we exist (certainly not as more than an after thought).

Broken Rainbows is one of the very few sources of support out there, one of the very few organisations that knows about the paucity of services – and their reduction – and how utterly isolated and lacking in any options LGBTQ victims of domestic violence can be. They can perform small miracles against a backdrop of absolutely nothing.

It is essential that we do what we can to keep Broken Rainbows open. If you can, please help.

We cannot rely on straight government funding or straight charities, we know this. Nor can we rely on straight domestic violence charities to be remotely capable of helping us – let alone willing to do so. We need Broken Rainbows, we need this organisation to be a whole lot bigger than it is, not reduced still further. It’s one of the few lifelines we have – and it’s being cut.
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Douglas Carswell, UKIP MP who defected from the Tories seems to be finding his new home somewhat… uncomfortable. He’d quite like it if his new party could just stop spouting ridiculous racist, homophobic and misogynist bullshit; you can understand his plea since barely a week passes without yet another UKIP candidate spouting some really extreme, disgusting bullshit. And every single time it happens a huge screed of their membership – AND leadership (including the vile troll, Farage) stomps out to defend it.

He wants UKIP to instead have “an optimistic, internationalist and inclusive agenda for the whole country.”

To which I ask – Mr Carswell, can you possibly be this clueless as to the nature of your own party?

It quite simply cannot have an “optimistic, internationalist and inclusive agenda” because the foundation nature of this party is the very opposite of that. UKIP was created without any kind of exclusive agenda – UKIP was created as a REJECTION. Rejection of Europe. Rejection of Immigrants. Rejection of POC, Rejection of LGBT people. The backbone of this party is one of rejection – it is one of scapegoating

It cannot be optimistic, internationalist or inclusive because it’s defined by what it hates, by what it rejects by what (and who) it blames for everything. Someone tell me what UKIP’s manifesto is BEYOND hating minorities, immigrants and Europe? Because UKIP certainly don’t talk about it (and if you go digging for it you find some truly terrifying things). They don’t talk about it because it’s not relevant to the party and not what the party about – the party is all about who they hate.

And, yes, that is its appeal

Let’s not pretend this doesn’t work and hasn’t happened before. Look at the US Republican’s “southern strategy” and “guns gods and gays”. Look at the rise of fascism. You can look around the world and see a gazillion examples – one of the easiest ways to rise to power without any kind of positive message is to pick a scapegoat and hammer it with hatred. Minorities are good targets, as are foreign powers, or nebulous, ill-defined threats. Fear and anger, hatred and blame have always been the keys to power, especially in hard times: it is far EASIER to pretend that all our problems are the fault of immigrants or gays or women or POC than it is to admit that the system has some major flaws. Especially among a cis, straight, white male population that finds it easier to revel in prejudice rather than confront their actual privilege.

Let’s face it, there’s a hugely significant chunk of the population who are ragingly pissed that they can’t “bash queers, or slag off the darkies, or tell them uppity tarts to get back in the kitchen” and an equally huge number who loathe those “frogs/krauts/dagos/whatever”. That is what UKIP appeals to – a world where such language is ok, where such attitudes are excused and whether the minorities are just being “sensitive” or “PC” when we object to such dehumanisation. And that is why their candidates continue to spout the same vile trash and why the leadership cannot sweepingly condemn it or stop it.

Mr. Carswell, UKIP cannot change – because those very things you want it to change are the very reasons why it is doing as well as it is. Better get used to it, because this is the bandwagon you’ve leaped on.

I also say the Tories aren’t blameless in this. They’ve always played to prejudice, xenophobia, scapegoating et al. If appealing to fear, hate and prejudice is a common tactic to power, it’s more so for the right wing because it’s damn HARD to convince anyone earning less than £100,000 a year to vote for a party of more tax cuts, more slashed services and more wealth inequality. That’s a hard sell. So the right wing has always played to the worst kind of prejudices to fill the numbers – that’s why whenever Cameron tries to throw in anything remotely progressive (rare indeed), he has to do it in the face of his own party. That’s why the Lib Dems were well and truly screwed when they formed a coalition with the Tories. That’s why every Equality Minister inevitably has a record of bigotry.

UKIP is the Tory teaparty – all of that frothing, hateful extremism the right wing loves to use to whip up votes has grown up into an actual thing beyond your control. You’ve fed it, it grew; you encouraged it, it grew; you resisted any attempt to educated it, to change it, to diffuse it – and it grew and grew and grew. Dr. Tory Frankenstein, UKIP is your monster and it’s no longer under your control. And you're certainly not going to do it by continuing to play the same hateful rhetoric
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The holiday season is always stressful, but I think for a lot of LGBT people it has a greater chance of being full of badness or being full of more badness. It occurred to me over the weekend when several friends and I ran round to another LGBT friend’s house as an emergency “it’s not all shit” party to remind him he had family, even if not in the conventional way

The thing is, we were ready or expected it. Not necessarily for him – but for one or more of us; because this time of year hurts all of my LGBT friends, every last one – and some of us it hurts very badly. No-one made any plans, we didn’t sit down and draw up battle plans or charts or anything else (and I plan EVERYTHING) but we fully expect one of more of us will break every season, and several of us will crack – ‘tis the season for having one another’s backs and being ready to pick up the pieces

It’s fraught for several reasons

There’s family. Family you can’t be with because their hatred won’t allow it. Family you HAVE to be with despite their hatred making the turkey feel like acid on your nerves. Extended family who are more vicious than a rabid wolverine will suddenly be at unpleasant mauling range. Many couples are forced to split up for the holiday because their families won’t tolerate a partner – or because they have to closet for safety and can’t even admit to having a partner.

Family is far too often our greatest enemy. Many tongues will be bitten through before we can finally break free of them

Then there’s a whole lot more overt religiosity, Christianity will be blared at us from all angles – and people who spend much of the rest of the year telling everyone who we’re inhuman dirty monsters that should be shunned and persecuted will be given a high profile. Sometimes they won’t even pause in their vitriol and their joyous Christmas messages of peace and goodwill for all will come with a heavy “except LGBT people” disclaimer. Wall to wall broadcasting of a religion which loathes every breath we take is mind numbingly awful for many of us. And people will, of course, take great pleasure in telling us how very important this religion is to us all.

As a bonus, Christmas programming is generally even more heteronormative than the rest of the year (which is saying something).

Top it off with the freaking Salvation Army everywhere, which is permanently headache-worthy. They’re the worst, but you’ll be tripping over a lot of religious charities this time of year (as a bonus, the Blood Service also likes to step up their donation advertising, just in case we’re not getting enough “evil sinful homos!” on airwaves).

Our already disproportionate homeless rate becomes even more pressing in this colder months, and family tensions and forced family mixing can cause more than a few of us to be leaving their homes unplanned at this time of year – and the safety nets are too often manned by those very say bigoted charities.

The season of goodwill is often worse than any other time for LGBT people – make sure you look out for each other guys because some of us will crack and break under the tinsel and the holly
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It's now legal, it can now happen.

We haven't planned on a date to do it - we were tempted to make sure we got in asap, but it felt like jinxing it - like if we made plans then we were just asking the powers that be to knock us back. Planning seemed too hopeful and I'm leery of hope

But it's here, the law has changed, it is in reach and we have so many decisions to make - on when and exactly what we will do to commemorate this - whether to go full on ceremony (and if so, does that remove the ceremony we had? Do we have two? Which one should we count for any kind of officialdom? All these little questions and poking we have to work through caused by the confusion of the broken laws)

The law has change and it's going to happen - and I don't think that will sink in until I have the paperwork in hand.
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*After some commotion*

Beloved: *hurrying in* what happened?

Sparky: Nothing... *irritated voice*

Beloved: yeah... loud swearing in the bathroom is generally bad

Sparky: I'm shaving.

Beloved: *checks the scene* hey, this foaming bleach bathroom cleaner tin is the same size as your shave foam tin!

Sparky: I noticed...

Beloved: I bet that's an awful thing to smear on your face.

Sparky:... yes...


Of course, Beloved is smug because he thinks this proves him right about my not wearing my glasses when I shave (hot water = steam = useless glasses ANYWAY and I don't wear sideburns so shaving the sides of my face while wearing glasses is impossible and annoying). Though his previous arguments were that I would cut my throat which would a) be an impressive feat even as my razor seems to grow an extra blade every time I blink and b) means Beloved apparently doesn't know where his face is unless he can see it in a mirror. Of course, this may be due to his inexperience of actually SHAVING since you can hardly call the removal of patchy, downy fuzz "shaving", right?

Personally I think this is proof of the chaos Beloved causes when he creatively hides things (which he calls "putting things away")

Clearly I am right.
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Let's put a trigger warning for rape on this one

I shouldn’t be making this post, the chances of me not regretting it in the morning is slim to non-existent – but I’m making it because I’m cresting a vast wave of rage that needs venting as a way to delay/help/avert/deal with the brain crash that is looming in my thoughts right now. I’ve also had a couple of drinks, yes it’s before 1:00pm, yes I know that’s not good. No, it’s not a great coping mechanism. I thought I was doing well, it has been so long since a major incident – not every day was perfect, but I had a handle on it and then one thing and all the flimsy walls come down.

There has been a few trainwrecks of articles about Shia LaBeouf and being raped during the performance art piece he did and my gods has the response been pretty terrible and has danced on my triggers and bad memories to put me in a special kind of hell.


Read more... )
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 And this is accompanied by the insomnia of doom. Which is very very irritating.

 

Because of a weird quirk of Sparkiness, sleep deprivation is also accompanied by the hyperactive libido. This is not a good combination

 

The UK has had our first "Black Friday" thanks to shops copying online retailers who are, in turn, copying the Americans. We are all reminded that copying the Americans is never a good thing.

 

Despite these.... distractions there have been lots of preparations for the 3 stages of the Holidays:

 

Stage 1: The Family, where I realise that a terrible apocalypse wiping out all humanity does actually have it's good points.

 

Stage 2: Good Friends: where I realise that some people surviving this apocalypse is not necessarily a bad thing, though we're all very inept at killing zombies (but we will have immense fun doing it

 

Stage 3: Beloved and I: where I realise that reducing the entire world to our silent house would be a wonderful wonderful thing

 

 

All stages require immense amounts of baking and freezing. In years past I used to cook a ridiculous amount and then spend all January trying to find more and more creative ways to use up the leftovers and resolving not to cook/bake/construct so much for the next year. But the last few years I've found more and more people eating my food in vast amounts so even greater preparations are needed

 

F have kindly volunteered to test all food in case it's poisonous. She's a generous, self-sacrificing soul like that.

 

At the moment this has meant everything that can freeze and cakes and puddings that will nicely preserve and age and get even better (full of boooooze) as well as vast and vats of soup to freeze because Beloved has become enamoured of soup. I don't know why he is enamoured of soup. I'm not even sure I understand enamouring of soup. I'm pretty sure being enamoured of soup is illegal or should be. I also have a creeping fear that he will suddenly decide he doens't care for soup any more (as is his wont) and I will have oceans of soup and nothing to do with it.

 

Also the enormous ham (which Beloved got as part of his much-to-be-regretted meat haul) was too big for my biggest pot. Yet Beloved insisted I not cut it up because it was so impressive (I think this is Silly as a bigger ham rather than 2 small hams simply means less yummy yummy glaze, but I humour him constantly because I a) love him and b) enjoy telling him he's being humoured). Cooking a ham in a pot that is too small for it proved to be an... interesting experience.

 

Beloved wants to try layering a boozy fruit cake with boozy cream. I told him no. I fear he may try it on his own.

 

Beloved wants a BBQ next weekend. In December. Yes he does. F agrees. We may need the booze ocean we have acquired

 

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 Beloved called... he has shopped...

 

He has a network of friends who work in various food service industries – butchers, abattoirs, someone who does something unspecified with fish. No doubt there are others. While I appreciate the yumminess, it does mean there is food shopping going on I am unable to supervise.

 

And with the holidays coming up, it is the season to eat until we explode in big messy chunks. There's a lot of feasting, a lot of hosting and enough left overs to last until February, it's always how we keep the holidays.

 

So high quality but heavily discounted meat is definitely high on my bonus list

 

Beloved buying it though?

 

His message (he is now out of contact as he always is when he suspects I may Ask Questions) tells me he spend "over £100".

 

"Over" is a vague word. Over can mean a lot. Over could mean we have a new mortgage. 

 

But it's not actually the money I'm too worried about - yes, despite Beloved's previous... issues. I am concerned that if he has spent a copious amount of money on high quality HEAVILY DISCOUNTED meat that that means he has bought a lot of meat

 

The man who bought the 22lb Turkey

 

The man who bought the 8 whole chickens

 

The man who bought the 5lb ball of mince

 

 

 

I fear there may be a whole cow in my kitchen with Beloved next to it saying "at least it's dead!"

 

I fear even more there may be a whole cow in my kitchen, with Beloved next to it saying "it's alive so it's fresh!"

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 ...but I don't see it? What am I missing?

Article after article start off with "there's so many gay people on TV!" "there's so many LGBT characters on TV!" "ZOMG SO MANY CHARACTERS!" but usually very light on specifics.

And I'm not seeing them - not only am I not seeing them but I'm reviewing a vast amount of media for 
Fangs for the Fantasy and still not seeing them. We're reviewing 14 shows at the moment: Walking Dead, Z Nation, Resurrection, Once Upon a Time, Forever, Originals, Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, American Horror Story, The 100, Vampire Diaries, Grimm, Haven and Constantine and only 4 of them have LGBT characters: Walking Dead has a background, near-silent lesbian who makes T-Dog look positively involved in the group. Vampire Diaries and Originals have GBFs who do nothing but support the straight characters and disappear for several episodes at a time and American Horror Story has a sexualised intersex woman who tried to "convert" gay men and 2 gay male villains (and several murdered gay men).

4 of 14 and none of them a major character. Most of them really really tiny tokens.

And this isn't just a bad season. Summer had precious little extra - in fact all year the only notably LGBT characters we've had were on In The Flesh (a mini-series) and Orphan Black (which came with the bitter taste of a grossly stereotyped and walking joke, Felix).

In fact, in
 2012 we looked at the LGBT characters on all the shows we'd covered at the time - when we'd watched 39 TV series and it was pretty dismal. Well, it's 2014 and we have now covered or looked at 81 different TV series - and of those 81, a full 41 have not one single LGBT character. A further 9 have a tiny LGBT character for 1 single episode and 11 have an LGBT character as someone minor lurking in the background (like Tara on The Walking Dead or Carolyn on Under the Dome).

That's 61. 61 out of 81 have no LGBT characters or teeny tiny walk on roles. Of the remaining 20 with meaningful LGBT presence, 11 (maybe 12) of those shows have been cancelled and 1 is on its last season. 3 of them had a bisexual female characters briefly mention their bisexuality before the whole show focused ferociously on opposite-sex relationships and lots of we-shall-never-speak-of-this-again so while they had a major LGBT character (which was great) if you missed one episode you'd probably not know it. There's also a lot of dubious tropes in the remainder

So, I'm not getting the hype. Is it the genre? Are there lots of LGBT characters out there but if you're a fan of speculative fiction then tough? LGBT characters have always been more common in soaps (large cast, no focused protagonist - lets you "dilute" the inclusion) and sitcoms 
(LGBT people in general and gay men especially are a common and cringe-worthy thread of dubious comedy). Which always leaves me having to choose between shows that annoy me (because a lot of these shows rely on offensive tropes - like the sexually predatory lawyer apparently solving every case with his cock) or shows that completely erase me - and if I want a show that's actually in a genre I enjoy AND acknowledges I exist? Well... they're rare. If I want that AND without homophobic tropes as well? Yeah, it's slim pickings

But even considering the possibility I just enjoy a very heterosexist genre, I look at 
GLAAD's extremely generous report and I see Under the Dome, Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Dracula noted as highlights... and... damn. It would almost be funny to have these teeny, tiny and often insulting tokens be considered "highlights". So is it even a genre problem so much as even a minority of shows including near non-existent tokens considered something to jump up and down about?

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Since it's that time of year again, we're looking at presents and Beloved, very kindly, wants to upgrade my tablet.

 

The thing is, I'm not convinced that a newer tablet is especially necessary given my current - so I need people more technically minded than I to counter Beloved's shiny addiction.

 

My tablet  is

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

 

One of these: http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/mobile-devices/galaxy-note/tablets/GT-N8010EAABTU

 

Beloved is thinking of the new google Nexus 9


One of these: https://play.google.com/store/devices/details/Nexus_9_32_GB_Wi_Fi_Indigo_Black?id=nexus_9_black_32gb_wifi

 

To my untrained eye, the difference between the two appears to be pretty negligible - and certainly not worth £399.

 

 

Other things to note: 

The smaller screen doesn't bother me

I do not need 3G, 4G or any number of Gs.

My current tablet DOES have a damage screen (all the colours are wonky after being dropped) which means I want to get this one repaired anyway... which may end up cheaper.

 

By all means do run in and say "no, forget Samsung and google, you need this one!" but I do prefer Android over IOs and Windows

 

So techie people, help me out - is Beloved being wise and prudent as well as generous? Or is his shiny addiction overcoming reasonable common sense?

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 Things that annoy:

 Metal handled pans. Why why why would you make a pan handle conduct heat? Isn’t that one of the most ridiculous design ideas in the history of the world? Isn’t that up there with chocolate teapots and fireguards?

 Metal handled pans that are also supposed to be oven safe – so you put said pan in, say, a 200oC for that handle to get stupendously hot.

 But what really really really annoys is that, despite the aforementioned ridiculousness of metal handled, oven-safe pans, if you firmly grasp said handle, after it comes out of the oven, with your own bare hand you really have no-one to blame but yourself.

 And that’s really really annoying because that kind of screeching pain of quite nasty burns over the entire palm of your hand and fingers really really REALLY demands you scream at SOMEONE. Screaming at one’s self is not sufficient.

 On the plus side, I didn’t spill dinner.

 On the minus side even an hour after the burn, removing my hand from a bowl of cold water or an ice pack was quite painful – to an extent of not being able to keep it out of water for more than 5 minutes before being quite willing to murder a rather large number of people if they were stood between me and that water. This was not a productive way to spend the evening.

 Thankfully, it has reduced to being merely excruciatingly painful so I am not forced to keep it stuck in ice – but typing one handed is vexatious. Typing two handed is… unpleasant. The cold water is still nearby to top up.

 What does surprise me is the relative lack of blisters – I mean, there’s a lot of redness and several blisters all over my hand –but the blistered areas are no more/less painful than the none-blistered. The blisters seem to be quite quite random.

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 My cousin is getting engaged and, against my usual habits, I am getting her a congratulations card (I disapprove of cards for various reasons)

 

I just need to find the right one. I need one that says:

 

"Congratulations on the whole wedding thing" while at the same time also saying "good gods girl why would you do this? Were you drunk?!" and "STOP! STOP! IT'S NOT TOO LATE!" with a nice subtext of "when the time comes, I will help you bury the body."

 

And, of course, "just because I'm willing to help you bury the body doesn't mean that, in 18 months when you realise what an arsehole he is, I will be saying 'I told you so'"

 

See this is the problem with cards, they lack eloquence.

 

 

Maybe I could go with a cake - it could be full of butter and sugar symbolising something you will definitely regret later with a heavy lemon kick for the bitter bitter regrets that are sure to come and maybe some spiced caramel for the warming assurance of murderous support in the future.

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 Thankee to everyone sending good wishes for this weekend, I managed to escape most of my usual angst by being ILL WITH THE NINJA DEATH FLU!

 

Honestly, this was the stealthiest disease ever. Here I was, healthy and fine, ready to actually go out and be social. Yes, I was not only strong enough to go outside without worry but I was *gasp* almost eager to do something vaguely social.

 

Yay!

 

And then the DISEASE HIT. And it was like being hit with a sledge hammer. My nose became the evil volcano of erupting snot of doom, gushing like the Niagara Falls of mucus. That was unpleasant.

 

My energy crashing like I’d just run 3 marathons while juggling elephants while singing opera and wearing cement shoes. It was not good. It was very not good.

 

But the worst element was the sledgehammer to the gut. No, really – it isn’t a sharp pain, it isn’t a twisty pain or a burny pain. It just felt my whole abdomen was one huge nasty bruise (it wasn't, but it felt that way) with the joyous side effect of EVERY position hurting and not having the energy to move but having to move anyway and then moving not actually making anything better.

 

This all came along in the period of 2 hours much to Beloved’s shock and F’s incredulity

 

In fact while I was convinced the end was nigh, cowering in bed making a positive art form out of self-pity, F arrived at the door and loudly declared (F does everything loudly. Low volumes are for people whose voice and ideas are not wonderful blessings to everyone within a 5 mile radius of them) that I was definitely faking to try and avoid the evils of socialism

 

One of the terrors of illness no doctor will tell you about is a bellowing F bursting into your bedroom while you’re naked, cowering in bed and feeling like death. It’s a terrible terrible thing to face.

 

Of course afterwards she had to be stopped from running down the street ringing a bell and yelling “UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!”. Also no painting red crosses on our doors. I heard Beloved and her have a spirited discussion on the subject

 

Of course, Beloved, seeing me suffering so badly, naturally hid as far away as he could. Loving and supportive through the worst of my mental illness moments, but the minute anything germ related rises its head he will hide in the basement (we don’t have a basement, but he would dig one so he could hide in it).

 

 

 

Cats!

Oct. 1st, 2014 07:30 pm
sparkindarkness: (Default)
 So I am cat sitting sibling kitty and she and my old mog are doing their usual posturing and duelling. The worst thing is getting used to the old mog’s habits and finding they don’t work with the bundle of (aging but vibrant) energy from the sibling kitty.

 

For example, Old Mog likes to be petted – she shows this by laying next to you and staring at you. When you stroke her she melts into a puddle of contentment and you occasionally stop so she raises her head in outrage and you can confirm she’s not actually dead and you’re not actually petting a corpse. Because that would be creepy.

 

Now Sibling Kitty screams and begs for attention until you finally pet her at which point she has a near seizure of joy because ZOMG HUMAN TOUCHED HER AND IT’S AWESOME! All four limbs flailing as she twists around and probably does herself an injury. The worst part is she kneads with all four claws – the air, the sofa, cushions, fleshy bits of human – just flexing away little razor blades in every direction. She also demands attention because while the Old Mog will just puddle, Sibling Kitty will not only flail around with razors but every now and then will suddenly decide “KILL THE HUMAN!” and you need to pull your hand back quickly or be flensed to the bone. Doubtless this is to ensure human reflexes are kept at peak efficiency.

 

Old Mog is tolerating Sibling Kitty’s presence. She still hisses, but it’s more a “I would like to formally announce that your presence in this house is unwelcome and I disapprove most strongly” hiss, rather than a “I will kill you and wear your skin on weekends and high holidays” hiss.

 

However, she has developed a “you have betrayed all that is good and pure in the world, there is now a desolate wasteland where hope once resided and barren void where kindness once lay” glare every time she sees me or Beloved with Sibling Kitty. It’s a very eloquent glare.

 

Feeding time is… vexing. Both kitties will appear at exactly the same time and demand food. At which point both kitties are convinced that a) I have put the sublime ambrosia that the gods would kill for in the bowl of the other cat while simultaneously dumping goat excrement in their bowls; and b) that their bowl must be protected at all cost, under no account must the other cat come within a yard of their bowl or Death Must Follow.

 

This is more complicated by Old Mog needing medication for her super-scabby skin which now has to be hand given to her (oh dear gods cats and pills) because there's no guarantee who will eat the food

 

The most annoying habit of Sibling Kitty is her yowling. Now Old Mog yowls. Old Mog yowls a lot – but she’s adept at communicating what she wants with those yowls. If she yowls near her food bowl, she wants you to fill it (that doesn’t mean she’s hungry and she will, inevitably, walk away from said food. She just wants to test her human’s obedience). If she stands near a door and yowls she wants you to open it (again, not necessarily to go through it, she just wants it open). If she yowls near a chair she wants you to sit down and pet/comb her.

 

 

Sibling Kitty will sit in the middle of the floor and just yowl. She can keep it up for hours while you play a guessing game as to what this silly creature actually wants. I suspect she likes to hear her own voice.

Berries!

Sep. 1st, 2014 10:04 pm
sparkindarkness: (Default)
 The beginning of September's coming up which means I should be seeing the end of Beloved's first harvest from the garden. I could ask him if there's a lot more summer fruit to pick, but I live in fear of him saying "yes."

 

Don't get me wrong, i mean he has managed to stick to this obsession for years now - that's almost unprecedented with him! Normally his attention span wanes 12 minutes after he's found out how to load the credit card with useless things we'll never ever use (like his tropical fish which are still in our living room and he still has little to do with them). So a hobby that lasts this long? Excellent!

 

And he's shockingly good at it- at least, so I can guess from the actual harvests he produces which is a) bountiful b) tasty and c) not mutating into evil monstrous plants that try to eat us. Now, my gardening prowess involves going to a wonderfully "wild" (i.e. "completely ignored") part of the garden and sitting down with a book (sitting on a blanket or bench - not on the actual GROUND with the DIRT and the INSECTS!) and I would actually rather murder the neighbours and be covered in arterial spray than get covered in dirt and fertiliser - so I admit some level of being impressed by this.

 

So this is all of the good, yes? Well, yes. It's just... too much of a good thing hits at times. And in July and August we have the SUMMER FRUITS DELUGE! Cherries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Brambles, Gooseberries, Black Currants, Red Currants (what do you actually DO with these anyway?).

 

Last year I made a lot of jam. Which we still have because we don't actually eat much jam; I gave some away but everyone starts to get that "looking for the exits" look because they fear I may press more fruit preserve on them. Also, jam is one of those things that you never ever wants to eat again once you've actually made it (and realised that it's actually 50% sugar. You thought you were eating healthy fruit? Ha! You might as well crunch your way through a bag of caster sugar).


And yes there's loads of cakes and pies you can make with fruit - and we have, all the lovely things. But there comes a time when you've eaten the 9th creamy, meringuy fruity desert that you just crave chocolate. Or treacle. Or cheese. Or anything without berries. 

 

There is one solution to this inundation - ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream. Exactly how long can ice scream freeze anyway? I worry about the ice cream. Ice cream always seems to be something that is oddly random compared to most of what we make - there's always chance of us producing odd, pykrete like blocks of indestructible yumminess

 

So... either I have a freezer full of tasty, fruity ice creamy goodness

 

Or I have the makings of a Summer Fruits Aircraft Carrier.

 

And gooseberries. Why do we grow this many gooseberries? Does anyone truly love gooseberries this much? I don't know what possesses him, I mean between us we eat just about everything. We're not fussy eaters, we'll try anything 3 times (the first two times it could have just been cooked badly. Third time and still awful? Yes, that's just awful). and usually like what we eat - yet he has this truly magical talent for producing large amounts of the few things we don't love: Gooseberries, Kale, broad beans and worse.

 

It's a special talent.

sparkindarkness: (Default)
 Some people probably know Steam had a summer sale

 

It was a very good summer sale. 

 

So many shinies. So very many shinies. I had my usual conflict - I see a shiny. I sensibly tell myself that I don't need said shiny. I don't want said shiny. I don't have time to play the shiny. So I will ignore the shiny

 

Then I spend the next several hours doing nothing but obsess over the shiny, staring at the shiny, checking the shiny every 5 seconds, until I finally give in and buy the shiny

 

This time was a little different because I rarely had to perform the last step - because Beloved had got there before me. Naturally, since he is irresponsibly buying a megafuckton of games on Steam that he will never play and this is Irresponsible and something I would Never Do, I confronted him ready to Shame Most Cruelly

 

He does have a good excuse - having seen my constant agonising over not buying these he has decided that I waste far more time, energy and productivity than I would actually lose if I just bought them in the first place.

 

He is SAVING me from MYSELF. Oh what a saint he is. And there is absolutely NOTHING self-serving about this excuse, of course

 

Needless to say, these excuses do not work. Especially since we know, oh boy do we know, that Beloved has absolutely zero impulse control when it comes to shinies and credit cards (do I need to mention the BBQ again? Because the BBQ is totally relevant here).

 

So now we have a gazillion games I do not have time to play and he does not have time to play. I haven't actually had time to play any computer game. But we have them, taking up hard drive space. And they're caaaallllling to me. 

 

See, for this you have to understand the Sparky brain. The Sparky brain likes - no - NEEDS things to be complete. This is why when I start reading a series of books I have to finish them EVEN IF EVERY WORD IS AWFUL. The incompleteness nags at me. As to how this affects me with computer games?


I have Civilisation V. I have played it several times. I have played as the Moroccan, Greek, Assyrian Songhai, Hunnic, German and Celtic Empires. What is the connection? Their leaders are in alphabetical order. No, really. The next one is Casimir of Poland.

 

This is how my brain brains. It cannot be healthy

 

And now I have games. Games that haven't been played. Games that need to be played. Games with Steam achievements that now need to be filled. They're calling to me...

 

Of course this is helped a lot by Beloved reading my Steam library aloud, reciting achievements I don't have and, occasionally, just saying "plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay meeeeeeeeeeeee! Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaay meeeeeeeeeee!" in a ghostly voice. 

 

sparkindarkness: (Default)
 Time to add another line to the very very long list of things cis, straight people need to stop saying. These are generally not things said by the homophobes or even the completely clueless who refuse to analyse their prejudice – these are things said by people who probably mean well and probably try – but may not see the full implications of what they say.

 

“I’m not gay, but if I were I wouldn’t be ashamed/wouldn’t hide/I’d be out”.

 

Or words to that effect. Generally a straight person asserts they are straight and goes on to “prove” it by assuring us that if they weren’t straight they would tell us, because they’re totally cool with people being gay.

 

In some ways this is a better form of the panicked “zomg you called me gay, how very dare you!”. And in many ways it is better – people who treat the suggestion of being gay as an insult or an accusation are being homophobic and need to be hit repeatedly with a tuna. Denying the information while making it clear you don’t consider it an insult (even if it does sometimes feel like a belated “not that there’s anything wrong with that” seems better).

 

But…

 

Yes there’s a but…

 

“If I were gay I would be open”. No.

 

I call shenanigans. The vast majority (if not all) of everyone who is GBLT out there has spent some time in the closet. We are pressured into it since birth in an extreme manner cis, straight people can’t even begin to imagine. It takes extraordinary courage to come out. It is risky to come out. It is usually pretty hard to come out, to say the least.

 

If you were LGBT, dear cis, straight folks, I can nearly guarantee you would have been closeted at some point in your life and you’d probably still be closeted now. And that applies double if you’re in a big public situation where cameras follow you.

 

You’re not special. The chances are you wouldn’t dodge the bullet that hits 90% of us. You are not better than those of us who have been closeted, are still closeted or will continue to be closeted. If you were GBLT, you would hide. If you were LGBT and out at some point you would have hidden – at some points you probably still would. That’s not a judgement on you – that’s reality, the reality of a deeply hostile, bigoted society, the reality of what the vast majority of us have had to do or continues to do to survive. If you were like us, you would have to walk that same road

 

 

By saying you wouldn’t, you just show how little you actually understand the closet, what drives us to closet and the risks involved in being out of the closet. 

sparkindarkness: (Default)
 Beloved: What's for dinner?

 

Me: beef wellington, wine sauce, sauteed spinach, sauteed potatoes and cauliflower puree. Also pate, crisp bread and cake.

 

Beloved:.... Marry me.

 

Me: I already did

 

Beloved: That's because I'm awesome and have super power of foresight.

 

Me: And saw this meal?

 

Beloved: Exactly.

 

Me: But you haven't eaten yet, it could be awful?

 

Beloved: if it is then I would have foreseen it and wouldn't have married you so you wouldn't have cooked it.

 

Me: So... if this meal is bad we have a paradox?

 

Beloved: Yes, the whole timeline will collapse and the world ends.

 

Me:... I better check the seasoning then.

 

Beloved: uh-huh. OR the Doctor will come and put things right and we can them ambush him and become Companions

 

Me: Do you think he'd take us?

 

Beloved: he took Pond.

 

Me: Gods no - I'm not getting all excited hear the Tardis arriving, running out and seeing the 11th doctor. That'd be cosmically unfair.

 

Beloved: then you better check the seasoning - end of the world or being stuck on the Tardis with Pond and Not!Tenant.

 

 

 

Thankfully for the world (and our not becoming the first companions to murder the other companions, imprison the doctor and repeatedly kill him until he regenerated into Tenant again) the seasoning was perfect.

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