metaphortunate: (gryffindor pride)
You know, another thing about Fury Road:
The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.
- Niels Bohr
When Nux is discovered on the war rig, Furiosa roars with anger and lunges to shank him. But she can't; the Wives won't let her. They agreed, Splendid reminds her: no unnecessary killing! They throw him out of the rig instead. And Furiosa's not wrong. He was there to stab her in the back and return the Wives to a life of slavery and rape. They throw him out; and he goes back to Immortan Joe, helps his army find the war rig, and comes back re-armed to try again.

But the Wives aren't wrong, either. It would be quite easy for the movie to endorse the opinion that the Wives are being foolishly sentimental, wanting to avoid killing, because they're not hardened to the necessities of the post-apocalyptic land like Furiosa and the Vuvalini are. Furiosa says it: oh, you got shot, boo hoo, out here everything hurts. The Keeper of the Seeds cheerfully tells the Dag, "Killed everyone I ever met out here." And when the Dag says, "Thought somehow you girls were above all that," how much do I love the Keeper's wry smile, her head tilt that says silently and eloquently that if they were above all that they'd be six feet under all that by now. She doesn't have to say it. I can't get over this movie's parsimonious elegance; it's clear, no words wasted.

But what the characters say isn't necessarily what the movie says. And it's also clear that while the movie supports the Vuvalini in their casual murder; it also supports the Wives in their mercy, in their humanity, in their goal to be above all that. Because what the movie tells us is that the Wives were quite right to spare Nux. Nux is the one who gets the war rig unstuck out of the mud. Nux gives everything in the end to stop Joe's raging son and blow the rig and block pursuit and give them the chance to get home free. Generosity and mercy directly make our heroines' triumph possible.

Furiosa deals violence and death to rescue and protect the Wives. But then Angharad protects her with the physical fact of her vulnerability: she puts her body between Furiosa and a gun, she literally saves Furiosa with the power of life. The power of death and the power of life are explicitly opposed: the Dag says that Angharad used to call bullets "antiseed"; Cheedo explains, "Plant one and watch something die." So, Furiosa and Max plant bullets and watch the flowering of explosions. And without that, none of our heroines would survive. But the future is going to be the seeds planted by the Dag.

The Vuvalini, who live by violence, die by violence. The Keeper of the Seeds has never been able to successfully plant her seeds. The Dag, who rejects killing, is the one who can finally take the seeds to the place where they will grow. There is a generational thing going on here!
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
- John Adams
Furiosa's politics and war make it possible for the Wives to move forward with philosophy and agriculture. Neither of them are wrong. And how much do I love this movie about generations of women disagreeing with each other and caring for each other? My god, compare the way Charlize Theron's character feels about younger women in this movie vs. Snow White and the Huntsman. Why can't we see a million more stories like this one?

No, instead, of course, they made a comic book prequel and got rid of every single goddamn good thing about the movie. I knew they would. There's going to be a tie-in game and I bet there's no playable female characters in it. Let us never speak of these things again. Let's just enjoy every beautiful facet of the film itself.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Building on my last post, one thing I'm not sure that the Junebug realizes is that he actually gets more physical liberty than a lot of kids. And I swear I'm not judging. I know that other parents know their kids, just like I do. And I have seen the kids that never stop running and that will fling themselves off any heights whatsoever. I would attach a kid like that firmly to me at all times with handholding or a leash or possibly a clamp. But that's not the kids I have. I have kids that want to climb everything, but carefully, and testing their weight on each step before moving on. The Junebug wants to run and run and run, but he is reliable about stopping at the end of each block before the curb cut! And because he is reliable, I trust him to run down the street by himself. And climb on things. And other things that not all other kids get to do. And we've had some conversations about contexts in which he has to wait for me; not because he's not okay, but because it's scaring adults to see a kid by himself when I've yet to turn the corner, etc.

And we've also had talks about how different families have different rules, mostly around things he's not allowed to do, such as when the school has asked us to hold hands while walking through some areas and some other kids don't do it anyway but we do. Other families make their own decisions; we don't make decisions for them, but we don't have to do what they do, either.

Which is fine as far as it goes. But then something happens like Rocket and the Junebug walking on top of a waist-high wall next to the sidewalk, and his little classmate friend and her sister walking next to him on the sidewalk with their mom, who does not allow them to walk on that wall, and his friend saying sadly, "We're not allowed to do that because we're girls."


I will not criticize other people's parenting!

I will not.

It doesn't help. It never does.

metaphortunate: (Default)
Last night I got to go out with destinationtoast and she let me harangue her for like half an hour about Fury Road and just why it was so amazing! I HAD MORE TO SAY. I had to stop because the performance we actually went to see had started. She is the most patient friend. <3 Also she is way more plugged into fandom than me right now so has the most interesting things to say about wattpad (I'd never heard of it!) and Tumblr gossip and so on.

I've loved fandom for ages, but lately I have loved fandom, not so much the things people have been fans of! Fury Road is the first thing in ages that has grabbed my mind and not let go. I can't remember the last time I wanted to go see a movie in the theatre again AND AGAIN. And I don't have time, but I want to so badly!

She also asked me about how the kids were doing. Rocket is having this unbelievable word explosion and it's wonderful. He is my adorable squishy jellybean. The Junebug is….

So, as a mother who wants my child to be self-reliant and have initiative and not be swayed too much by other people and be resilient and not a wilting flower overwhelmed by other people's opinions and to have thoughts of his own, I am delighted, because this is all proceeding apace.

As a mother who wants him to WASH HIS FUCKING HANDS AFTER WIPING POOP OFF HIS BUTT BEFORE RUNNING THEM THROUGH HIS HAIR, and wants him to use the potty - or do ANYTHING at this point - without being yelled at, and wants him to respond to very serious corrections about how he needs to not hurt me or his brother or do some incredibly dangerous thing, with alarm or maybe even remorse, instead of laughing his ass off and calling me a poopyhead; as that kind of mother, I AM GONNA BEAT HIM UNTIL CANDY FALLS OUT.

No, no. I will not do that. I will power through this phase with the power of whining on the internet! And with gin. Oh god.

I mean, it's not all bad! This very morning he saw toys lying on the floor and announced that he was going to put them away so no one would trip on them and then he did so! I mean - parental dancing of joy! He is a good kid. But he is in a phase where he is not at all, not even a little bit, interested in pleasing me or following instructions. If I ask Rocket to throw something away for me he drops his toys and comes to grab the thing and toddles over to the trash can, because he is so delighted to be included and then he gets clapped for and cheered. The Junebug just wants me to stop making noises come out of my mouth. Like, literally, I will be trying to get him to bed and he will go all annoyed "Stop that." Kid, you & me both, but I CANNOT.


Jun. 18th, 2015 11:35 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
I said I would do a thing but then I didn't do it yet. But I can't go to bed until I do it. But it's going to be hard so I'm putting it off. And the more I put it off, the later it gets, and the more tired I get, and the longer it'll take. Oh, and the worse job I'll do. But I've been putting it off for days.

I'm so tired. Clearly the thing to do is whine on the internet.
metaphortunate: (Default)
To celebrate the end of nursing (the end of nursing!) I have been trying to buy some new bras.

Did you know it's a quest, trying to get a bra? It's a quest. The Size F Cup Geas has been laid on me. I'm searching.

I got a painfully expensive bra from Figleaves, which does not fit and I will have to painfully expensively return, but the thing is: it does not fit, and it is not comfortable, but when I put it on, holy shit my boobs looked good. !!! I had forgotten they could do that!!! They haven't done it in years! If this bra can do it, maybe one that actually fits could do it even better!!

I asked people on Twitter if they actually hand wash their bras like every single brassiere washing instruction set implores you to do. Because who has the motherfucking time, oh my god.
Of the 16 of us who I know about:

3 said yes they do hand wash their bras, and I'd like to know more about their system and their time management. Frankly that was more than I expected.

2 hand wash their nice bras only, and machine wash the rest.

8 of us machine wash only, with most specifying that we use a lingerie bag and hang the bras up to dry rather than putting them in the dryer. I will go further and say that that happens except when someone doesn't notice the lingerie bag and tosses it in the dryer with the rest. I wish bra manufacturers would face reality.

3 of us just said "lol no."

This is a really good article that captures the ambivalence of the end of breastfeeding, for me. E and I were talking about how hard and awful it was in the very beginning, when the Junebug was learning to breastfeed. The nipple shields. The pain, and the never sleeping, and the terror when he lost weight. Looking back, I can't believe we kept going. How did I do that? Couldn't have done it without Mr. E. I remember there was one bit where I had to hold the Junebug's head with one hand and my boob in position with the other hand but while his head was desperately trying to suck, his little hand, under its own control apparently like Doc Ock's tentacles, was trying to rip the nipple out of his mouth. And succeeding! So Mr. E had to hold his hand still so that he could nurse, till he got better control over his hands. It was ridiculous. And now I'm done breastfeeding. Forever, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Wow, do I have a lot of feelings about that.

Some of them just involve how nice it is to be able to sleep on my stomach again.

Also I want to goddamn know why we as a people have decided that we can only have non-underwire bras in large sizes if they are nursing bras. I used to wear underwire bras, but I switched to wireless because most nursing bras are, and OH MY GOD THE COMFORT. Why do we even have these wires?? I don't want them!
metaphortunate: (Default)
I finally got a drawing app on my phone! It's called Procreate, because someone thinks they're funny. And I'm drawing more! Because I always have my phone with me, you know? And the challenge of learning to use this app is fun. Also basically learning to fingerpaint. It's funny the things that provide motivation. Anyway, I'm trying to take 15 minutes a day to do the @sketch_dailies prompts. I've started posting them at my public twitter and my tumblr. Dunno how long I'm going to keep it up, but I've got 3 so far!
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
[personal profile] brainwane premiered a new vid at Wiscon 2015!

It's called "Pipeline".

Because the tech industry's got a blank space, baby. And it'll write your name.
metaphortunate: (wonderful)
Everyone who has been needing to see characters with disabilities in more fiction knows that MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is all made up of disabled characters, right? 
  • Furiosa uses an artificial hand. (Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it was Valvoline (exploding.))
  • Immortan Joe uses some kind of assisted breathing device.
  • Joe's brother or whatever is a little person in a mobility chair.
  • Nux has tumors on his trachea that affect his breathing.
  • The warboys in general have some condition that causes them to require regular blood transfusions. (Admittedly, that condition could be "very dangerous lifestyle.")
  • The Doof Warrior has no eyes.
  • The leader of Gas Town has a Tycho Brahe-style decorative metal artificial nose and a wicked case of foot edema.
  • Max has intrusive hallucinations, possibly PTSD flashbacks.

And I'm resigned to the fact that we're about to see a glut of movies made by people who saw FURY ROAD & thought "Great! People don't WANT explanation or backstory or worldbuilding or character or reasons for anything to happen!" Because moviemakers are going to notice that this movie did not stop to provide any infodumps and people loved that. And the kind of hack-ass storytellers who can't provide information except in an infodump are not going to bother noticing the wealth of information that the movie steadily, nonverbally, delivers.

The obsessive ornamentation on everything drives home that these are a people who have lost television. They aren't spending their evenings playing World of Warcraft, they're spending it painstakingly coiling recycled metal wire into skulls to enhance the fetishistic power of their steering wheels.

Furiosa has one word about her character arc: "Redemption." One word. The movie then goes on to reveal, in a completely non-Joss-Whedon-clever-dialogue kind of way, that spoiler ) I could see how that would leave a person with a score to settle.

Joe - I know I keep coming back to Joe, but since he is the one who ran the citadel, the citadel and the army speak most to his character. And - weirdly, considering his motivation in the whole film is spoiler ) - his character is that of a despot who allows his subordinates considerable initiative.

Consider the argument that ends in strapping Max to the front of Nux's Chevy:
spoiler )

Mallory Ortberg correctly noted that if Joe had been serious about spoiler ) And all of this the movie suggests without a spoken word.

And all the characters with disabilities, are not there because this is a Very Special Episode of the Apocalypse. They're there to show that this world is goddamn hard on human bodies - and to show the state of medical and assistive technology - and to show priorities. The people are like the things in this world in one way: the valuable ones are too valuable to waste just because some part of them isn't working to spec. Instead they weld on part of some other machine, to make it work; and add weapons capability while they're at it. And they don't bother trying to make the prosthetics look naturalistic. In a way, in this mutated world, the aesthetic celebrates physical variety, somatic change. spoiler )
metaphortunate: (wonderful)
  • Fury Road. FURY'S ROAD. It's her road.

  • @xatharine was admiring the near-total lack of worldbuilding & I realized what that was like: fanfic. Fic where they didn't waste more than like a minute setting up apocalyptic yadda yadda or Max's numbingly predictable manpain past because lol, you already know it from canon! Fuck explaining the fucking fridged girls, okay? he's HAUNTED. GO WITH IT. Give it a minute to make it clear it's not an AU, eat that lizard, hit that pedal & chilly down with the warboys! We have some truly great OCs to get to here.

  • …seriously, did this movie remind anyone else of Labyrinth? When the rock dwellers were boppin' their motorcycles all about, IDK, I kind of got "Chilly Down" stuck in my head! The polecats too, man!

  • (Note: in a labyrinth, you walk the spiral all the way in, then you turn around and walk all the way out. I'M JUST SAYING.)

  • You have probably heard the hype and all so let me not oversell it. It's not Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's Aliens. It's a Shit Blows Up Real Good movie. But as an example of that genre, it is GLORIOUS.

  • Let me steal [personal profile] hradzka's thoughts again, because this is perfect:
    FURY ROAD headcanon: Immortan Joe’s obsession w/ perfection gave Furiosa chance to rise. She didn’t lose that hand. She was born without it.
    Right! That's why she got to be War Smurfette instead of just more livestock!

  • Oh, my god, Immortan Joe. I am so sorry for everyone I have been blithering about this to for days. I have Mad Max Mentionitis, it's terrible. But anyway. Immortan Joe. You know who I keep comparing him to? Dr. Doom. Immortan Joe does not have Dr. Doom's problem there. Immortan Joe has an army that runs like a well-oiled machine! His minions are an energetic, competitive, dedicated, psychotically bloodthirsty Cirque de Soleil troupe of hundreds! They are all covered in white clay which is actually quite good thinking because Coppertone is probably not in business anymore and these are all white people (why are these all white people? All of them? I can't help thinking that if anyone was going to survive in an Australia devoid of mechanized civilization a fair percentage of them would be Aboriginal Australians?) and without some kind of sun protection they would crisp like chicharrones. Despite a lot of moving parts and a desperate shortage of fuel, his citadel runs smoothly: he could have used water power, but instead he keeps the young male population busy (good thinking); he's not abusing their strength because the great weights work on a system of counterbalances; the citadel not only functions well but expresses its function through its form in the best tradition of Louis Henry Sullivan! Everything in Immortan Joe's stronghold is horrifyingly beautiful, okay? His armor is carefully designed to look like muscles at the distance from which the plebs get to see him. Every bit of machine or weapon features painstakingly handcrafted skull ornamentation, it's like the Arts & Crafts movement via Iron Maiden. I love it so. This is the setup of an evil mastermind who helps his people to excel.

  • And then there's the way his army rides into battle. What a sense of style! Goddamn, no wonder the warboys are having so much fun!



  • Actually I could not get over the soundtrack in general. I am not usually a big one for movie soundtracks, but I am trying to find a way to make out with this one, because I need to consummate my love for this music.

  • No, seriously, personnel decisions are key to being a successful evil overlord! Even Immortan Joe falls down there eventually. I think his fetish for blood family was his downfall: I think the weird little dude in the chair was his brother or something. Man, if I am ever an evil warlord, and you are my second in command, and my renegade Imperator and a raggedy band of [SPOILERS] shows up with my [SPOILER], like, immediately spray them with gunfire and roll up the gates, okay? Joe was almost a truly great evil leader, but a truly great evil leader inspires his followers to develop the evil from within themselves, not to just kind of run out of evil when the boss is not right there to inspire them.

  • For a while I wondered why we kept coming back to a bolt cutter, of all things, in a Shit Really Blows The Hell Up movie. Then I realized: the movie is about liberation.

  • Speaking of the Anvil of Subtlety, let's not even talk about the seeds. Ah, fuck it, I enjoyed it. :D

  • Really, it's fic. Within the first 5 minutes Max announces that he is going to be the least interesting character in the movie. "The only thing I want anymore is to survive. I am here to provide canon continuity as you meet OCs who actually have desires and will therefore be providing motivation and a plot. In the meantime, please enjoy my muscular physique, my sad, haunted eyes, and my pouty, full lips."

  • Kameron Hurley has more cogent things to say about the film, including just how nice it is that it skips the pervy camera.

  • Seriously. Even when the nearly naked supermodels are cutting off (bolt cutter! Liberation!) the terrifying-looking chastity belts (Arts and Crafts! Iron Maiden!) and splashing water all over their diaphanous translucent gauze wisps. It's a shock! These extremely well-cared-for well-groomed women are the shock they should be, after the way everyone else is living in this apocalypse! But it's not…it's not quite the wet t-shirt Slave Leia scene that every iron-clad rule of genre is straining to turn it into. Not quite. It's a crave-inducing scene, but through Max's eyes, it's honestly a question: are the girls more eye-catching than the water?

  • And the other thing, they addressed my problem with Snowpiercer! They should have been delighted to have nice proteinaceous bugs to eat by then! Actually in this one I was so relieved to see him eat that bug because I know it's set in Australia and I figured either he killed it or it killed him.

  • I saw this movie by accident! I had a plan with @xatharine to go see Avengers! And then we accidentally bought tickets for the wrong day. And then it turned out that Avengers wasn't even showing in that theatre anymore, Mad Max was. And by the time we'd figured that out, we were like, fuck it, we're at the goddamn theatre, we're gonna watch the movie that's here. IT COULD NOT HAVE TURNED OUT BETTER.
metaphortunate: (Default)
1. If the Junebug ever gets comfortable enough with you to tease you, he will call you an eyeball. Or diaper cream. "Hi eyeball!" he will beam. "Hi, diaper cream!" He knows he is being silly and he loves it. I don't know where "diaper cream" comes from, other than that obviously it's a thing we use around the house. Now you might think that "eyeball" grows out of his toddler obsession with eyes. I remember one time L and I took him around the small local aquarium and he helpfully and loudly pointed out the eyes on every fish that had eyes (Spoiler: every single freaking fish in that aquarium had eyes.) That eye interest I think was because he had made the connection that eyes meant alive, as in, if he saw a drawing of a plane that had eyes, it meant that it was a character - "an alive plane" as he says - and a drawing of a plane without eyes is an inert vehicle. So fish that had eyes he knew were alive, and that was very important to him, and he needed to share that information a lot. But this eyeball thing is different. This he picked up at daycare. He came home upset one day and questioning elicited the fact that some kid had called him "one eyeball;" despite the fact that, as he shakily insisted to me, "I am NOT one eyeball." But they grow up so fast; he got over himself and made the weapon his own, and now you are an eyeball and so am I and so is everyone. Hi, eyeball!

2. One day during pickup, as usual, I was crankily chivvying the Junebug through the routine of pee and then are you done? Answer me in words. Are you done? Pull up your underwear. I said stand up. Pull up your underwear and your pants -

"If you don't stop saying that I will show you my butt!"

Then he turned around, bent over, and waggled his naked butt at me.

I lost it. Oh my god, I laughed until I had to sit down. Even though I knew you can't laugh at these things or they will never end. I couldn't help it. Dude. How many times do you think I've seen your naked butt? I still wipe your butt! I could probably draw your asshole from memory! I think the shock value has been lost. Incidentally, I love your tiny adorable butt to pieces, and possibly never more so than when you are waving it at me and cracking up at your own amusingness.

3. When Rocket is very tired and sitting on my lap he will just let his head fall forward into my sternum with a thump. And then of course he has to be hugged very tight and snuggled and have his head stroked. He used to do this all the time as a baby. Constantly. It hurt! Baby heads are big and solid and heavy! And yet….it was his way of asking for hugs. So I loved it. And I had not quite realized that he had stopped doing it. Until this past weekend, when his schedule was all messed up, and he was too tired to fall asleep, and I was holding him on my lap, and…thump. And I realized that it hadn't happened in a long time. So I hugged him very tight and snuggled him and stroked his little head. And I want to write it down before I forget it. Because he is leaving babyhood behind so fast, and I'm not sure it's going to happen again.
metaphortunate: (Default)
For today, a little frivolousness.

I can't remember who it was who had a job interview at a coffeeshop and was looking for a lipstick that wouldn't leave lip prints on a coffee cup. Which is a hell of a catch-22, right? You're supposed to wear makeup to a job interview for ~professionalism~, but you also can't get makeup on anything because zomg girly and "unsightly" and etc. Incidentally, the previously linked site suggests licking your glass before drinking from it to reduce the amount of lipstick that transfers. I can only imagine the tone that would give your job interview.

My own personal lips reject lipstick in the blithe and seamless manner that The Toast rejects asshole commenters. The blogger from Brightest Bulb in the Box (now sadly defunct (the blog, not the blogger (I hope))) used to test the lasting power of lipstick on "four hours and a meal."

Four hours. And a meal. Let me tell you my own personal test on the longwearingness of lipstick. My question is: if I put it on in the morning before I leave for work, is it still on my lips when I get to the office? MOST LIPSTICKS FAIL THIS TEST.

(…this may or may not be related to the amount of child kissing I have to do on the way to work. However, it doesn't matter, as that is a constraint I plan to keep.)

I'm with Caitlin Moran on this one: lipstick is ridiculous. And yet. And yet! I continue to enjoy it. So I continue to look for things that will at least make a freaking gesture in the direction of lasting.

Which takes us firmly by the scruff of the neck and hauls us back to the topic introduced back in the second paragraph! You must have given it up for dead by now. But no, all of this was just to introduce that very holy grail: a lipstick that will not leave prints on your coffee cup! It really exists and it is called Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Lip Color. 24 hours of course is a complete lie, but this is a lipstick that, swear to god, stays on my lips not only through my morning commute but also through cups of coffee and tea and all the way to lunch. It does not survive lunch on me, but now we're back to my radical feminist lips who reject the patriarchy and all its works.

The thing about this stuff is, you have to take the two step process very seriously. You have to get your lips clean and dry, then put the color on, then wait, seriously, at least two minutes, for it to fully dry out. Then, when your lips are fully dry and kind of tacky, you put on the gloss part from the other end, or your favorite lip balm, whatever. And voila! You're done for half a day. It does fade from the outside in so after lunch I do end up with that fun clownlike lip outline which I hate. But if you're not going to have a full meal this is the shit that will not leave lip marks on anything. You have been told.

The other really long wearing thing I know is Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stains. They totally last and they don't leave weird clown lip outlines, but they will come off on your coffee cup, or your children, and I have three colors that I almost love and none that I 100% do. Creating a need and aaaaaalmost filling it so that I keep buying shit looking for the exact perfect solution: since 1776, well done, capitalism!
metaphortunate: (Default)
Advice for new parents:

Learn baby sign. Yeah it's more or less true that it helps the kids communicate earlier than they can verbally. Whatever. The real key is that when your little monkey starts getting large-scale exposed to other adorable gem factories, you are gonna get sick. You are gonna spend a LOT of time sick. And when you've lost your voice entirely, you're gonna be happier if you have a way to communicate with your kid or your partner other than choking out knives.


May. 2nd, 2015 08:09 am
metaphortunate: (Default)
My throat tastes like blood. I'm at my mom's house. I have plans for tonight. I have plans for tomorrow. I have plans for tomorrow night. I have plans for the day after tomorrow. They are all good plans. They involve people I only get to see once or twice a year. I can't talk. All I want to do is lie in bed. This is horrible. I don't know what to do.

I've been talking to the Junebug about how when he was a baby we made all his decisions and when he's an adult he'll make all his decisions & right now he's somewhere in between & we still have to make some of his decisions for him even though he doesn't want us to (this was after some tearful screaming of "I'm cold but I don't WANT to put on my jacket!") And his face lit up & he beamed, "When you're a grown-up you get to make all the decisions!" You do, kid. Mostly on wildly insufficient information and with a heavy cost either way.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he hollers, let him go
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

You knew that wasn't the original lyrics to that rhyme, right? I was thinking about that today, about euphemisms, dog whistles, about thugs, about tigers, because the other saying about tigers is, what do you do when you have a tiger by the tail? Like America has Black people. We can't hold on to him forever. It's getting harder to ignore the hollering. This fear won't let us let him go.
metaphortunate: (Default)
I was using Google Navigation today, and as I drove into the city, the robot piped up, "Faster route now available. Tap to accept." This is apparently because Google bought Waze, which does real-time traffic data.

If enough people buy into this, Google will be doing load balancing for our road networks. Holy shit. I mean, holy shit. That is a lot of power for one company to have. And I really hate that I immediately have to think of how bad actors could exploit this, because also, holy shit, what fantastic power! What an elegant way to optimize our cities! How this could help traffic!

And all of this is financed by people on the web paying a dollar a click to try to get me to buy shoes. Capitalism is so weird.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Today I spent two hours trying to de-rat poop the garage and the basement. I now understand something deeply in my soul that I did not truly understand before. I mean, if you had said it to me, I would have agreed, but I didn't know it. And that thing is: whatever you do not clean will be dirty.

God. Think about all the parts of your house that you don't clean. Under the stove. Behind the refrigerator. The cracks in the windowsills. The space under the sink. The gaps where things don't quite meet. The rot under the plywood, the crumbling of the foundations. Think of the dirt collecting there. Think of the silverfish and spider eggs and black mold waiting there to diffuse out into the air you breathe. It turns out we have never mopped the garage floor and as a result parts of it are made out of humus. There were parts so dusty I went to mop them with my 10% bleach solution and it just beaded up and ran off. Waves of spiders ran from me. I didn't even get to it all, because I would have had to move the 50 lbs of old paint cans that the previous owners left us. I am never going to feel clean again, I am never going to feel safe in my house again, and I kind of want to secede from my skin because it's been touching everything around me.
metaphortunate: (Default)
First of all I'd like to apologize for the amount I've been tweeting about menstruation, and for the fact that I'm about to blog about it.

Here's the thing, though: it's the end of an era. In 2011 I bought a pack of pads from Costco. I remember sitting in my car in the parking lot crying, because I had joined Costco on the grounds that it would be good for buying diapers, and a year later, there I was, at Costco, buying pads instead of diapers because in a year I had failed to come up with any need for diapers and instead I needed pads because it turned out that once again I had failed to get pregnant.

And of course, since I was at Costco, I bought one package and it contained enough pads to absorb all great Neptune's ocean. So it lasted me until I did get pregnant with the Junebug. And it lasted me between when my period came back and when I got pregnant with Rocket. And it has lasted me until now. This will be the first time that I have bought menstrual supplies since 2011. I have one pad left from that package. It is the package that has seen me through my childbearing. And now it's over.

(Costco is great for diapers, by the way, but it's even better for wipes. Not only are they cheap, they're the best wipes I've ever found.)
metaphortunate: (Default)
The thing is, in general, I am fully behind trying to spread knowledge and better understanding of the world.

So I totally understand the knee-jerk reaction that WATER IS A CHEMICAL, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PEOPLE. I Hulk out in a similar manner whenever I hear anyone say the word "toxin".

And yet. And yet, if you are educated enough to know that water is a chemical, you are educated enough to know that some words mean different things in different contexts. You understand that one person may say "I'm suffering from depression" and another may say "God, I'm so depressed today, I hate my job" and that the same word can mean a long-term disease and a bummer of a day. You understand - clever you! - that one person may refer to "the theory of evolution" and it means an understanding of the world that is essentially proven, and another person may say "I've got a theory, it could be bunnies!" and it means that Anya is once again sharing every random neural firing she runs into.

So you should freaking well be educated enough to understand that in some contexts a "chemical" is a form of matter that always has the same proportions by mass of its components and that can't be separated into its components without breaking electron bonds, and in another context, a "chemical" is a substance that has been manufactured or isolated and refined in a lab or a factory and moved into widespread production and distribution without exhaustive long-term testing and has a very good chance of, years or decades after it has become ubiquitous, being declared to have serious adverse health or environmental effects. Because where there's a need for a word to express a concept, language users will create or adapt a word to express that concept. And if you don't understand that there's a need for a word that expresses that second concept, you're not as educated as you think.
metaphortunate: (Default)
This is the pants-shittingly awful thing about depression.

When I have the flu:

What do I need to do in order to get better?
  • Sleep.

What is the only thing in the world I feel capable of doing?
  • Sleeeeeeeeep.

When I have depression:

What do I need to do in order to get better?
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Keep my house in some kind of order so it's not despair-inducing just to sit in my living room.
  • Put in the effort to maintain social connections with my friends.
  • Find a therapist, that my insurance will pay for, who is accepting new clients, and who actually works for me. This may involve talking about incredibly difficult personal things to a number of different complete strangers before I find one that will help.
  • Find a psychiatrist, that my insurance will pay for, who is accepting new clients, and who actually works for me. This may involve talking about incredibly difficult personal things to a number of different complete strangers before I find one that will help.
  • Find psychiatric medication that works for me without unacceptable side effects. This may involve trying a number of different drugs. This may involve getting used to some side effects.

What is the only thing in the world I feel capable of doing?
  • Sleeeeeeeeep.

ETA: I am currently fine! Well. At least, I am having the kind of month that reminds me what a luxury it is to be able to be my own worst enemy.

But, on the bright side, I'm not doing that right now. Just meditating on the shittiness of the disease in general.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Who was it I was talking to about the luck of having two kids of the same sex?

Because it does feel like an escape. See, if I'd had a boy and a girl, I know in my soul that I would be absolutely convinced at this point that there are real differences between boys and girls, even at the age of like a year, and that I knew because I had seen them.

If the Junebug had been a girl I would be convinced that I had hard evidence that it's true that boy babies cry more than girls. If Rocket had been a girl I would be convinced that, wow: girls really do show so much more affection and emotion than boys. Even at such a young age.

But they're both boys, so what I have hard evidence for is that n=2 doesn't mean shit. Kids vary.


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metaphortunate son

July 2015



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