aunty_marion: Heaps of blue cats (Smokey Mountain Cats)
[personal profile] aunty_marion
Did YOU know there's a right and a wrong way to sit on a sofa? No, nor did I till I started this cat-sitting gig. Now, Caz's mogs are obviously either less or more classy, because they don't much care as long as you're providing a warm lap. Horizontal/lengthwise is probably top-notch for them - more room to stretch out on, and an easily-reachable face to purr in. Zanda & Janet's cats are much the same, though sometimes they barely wait for you to sit down - they're there, waiting imperiously. Also, once ensconced, you're not allowed to get up without due care and attention, and will be immediately cat-lapped again once you've sat back down.

Smokey, however, is having none of that. When Ruth sits on the sofa, Smokey will get on with her, walk across her, sit next to her (if not quite ON her). When I do it? I get this look of horror and disgust. "UR DOIN IT RONG!" it shrieks. I've tried using the footrest, not using the footrest, knitting, not knitting, reading, watching TV ... nope. I'm sure part of the problem is that I'm a different shape from Ruth, and not as tall, so I'm inclined to slide. But still - "UR DOIN IT RONG!"
No, I don't know either.

Today she has been also disgusted that I didn't have steak, I had smoked haddock risotto, and didn't offer her any, and Felix Tuna flavour cat food with dentibits is no fit substitute. Hard cheddar, Smokey, my lass. She'll get a few more bits of *whisper* Thrive if she comes and asks nicely.

In other Far East news, I arrived this morning, dumped my bags, got my breath back, set the laptop up (for some arcane reason it had forgotten this wifi - probably something to do with the software upgrade earlier this year...), had coffee & a snack, and then went out to Westfield. I returned, somewhat knackered from stairs and a bit infuriated that the signs direct you to Central Line - Eastbound, and not till you GET there do they say 'step-free access via the other corridor' by which time you'd have to turn round and walk twice as far as you already have. So I struggled slowly up the steps, and by the time I'd got down the ones at Leytonstone, my knees were killing me. Also now my right ankle is sulking. However, I got what I went for - another backpack from Claire's, this time in plain beige fabric, a slightly different construction; it's got a stiffened top opening with free ends to the zip, and the front pocket is a full U-shaped opening rather than just a rounded-corner straight-across; also, no detachable pocket inside, just a padded internal pocket. £15, reduced from £35, which is OK. I've transferred everything over, and as far as I can tell, all the pockets are a bit larger, which is good - means I may be able to fit three knitting projects in instead of two! Also I got a bag of soft brown sugar, which is what I like on my morning cereal - I'd been meaning to bring a small jar of it from home, but forgot. That's OK, I'll open this carefully, seal it back into a ziplock bag to go home next week, and it can go off the shopping list for a while longer.

Last one, last step

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:26 pm
pinesandmaples: A silver necklace in the shape of a Louisiana with a heart cutout. (New Orleans: heart)
[personal profile] pinesandmaples
Highlights of my day include:
  • leaving my lover in Atlanta while I am back in New Orleans for the summer.
  • having two of my knives stolen from my knife roll while it was checked baggage. (I fucking know, right?!)
  • saving myself some serious cash by switching from one insurance agency to another for my renters insurance.
  • figuring out how to get my fall grad school experience together after a really weird summer of...well, that deserves to be unpacked. But not now.

    But I'm home. My house isn't a disaster. My housemate is in good spirits and is not the Bro. I didn't spontaneously move to Atlanta. Everything will be okay. My Christmas tree might even recover from being unwatered for far too long.

    It's not all disaster and pain. Just some head-scratching weirdness.
  • Savage Love

    Aug. 16th, 2017 04:00 am
    [syndicated profile] savagelove_feed

    Posted by Dan Savage

    Woman's husband did a political one-eighty and is now a Trump supporter. by Dan Savage

    I've been wondering: Since there are lesbians out there who occasionally crave cock, does the reverse also happen? Are there gay men who occasionally crave pussy?

    This Possible?

    There are gay men who watch football—hell, I have it on good authority that some gay men play football, TP. So anything is possible. (Also, there are lots of lesbian-identified bisexual women out there, a smaller number of gay-identified bisexual men, and a tiny handful of bisexual-identified football fans.)


    I've been seeing a lot of articles in the media about men "dropping out of the dating-and-marriage game," and the conclusions always point to porn as the culprit. This seems like a simplistic explanation. Do you have an opinion on the effect of porn on men?

    Pondering Porn

    I dropped out of the forming-opinions-about-porn game—far too busy consuming porn these days, PP. It's the only way to keep myself sane here in Trumpsylvania.


    I'm a 26-year-old woman. I started dating a fantastic guy a month ago, blah blah blah, we've already talked about marriage. The problem is that his dick isn't up to par size-wise or staying-hard-wise. He was aware of this before I came along, and it made him an enthusiastic and skilled oral performer to make up for it. So for now everything's great, plenty of orgasms, and we're lovey-dovey. But eventually I'll need that filled-up feeling and I'll have to ask for some dildo/extender/strap-on action. The question is when to ask. He's a secure guy, and we've both been honest about our flaws. If I wait too long to ask, it might make him think I've been faking the whole time. And if I ask too soon, I could scare him off or make his performance anxiety worse! How do I know when the right time is?

    Half Full

    If you were talking about marriage after a month, HF, odds are good this relationship is doomed anyway. So go ahead and ask for dildo/extender/strap-on action now. Don't say, "Circling back to your subpar dick, darling, I'm gonna need some compensatory dildo action soon." Instead say, "I'm into penetration toys, and I'm looking forward to getting into them with you—getting them into me, getting them into you. Anything you want to put on the menu, darling?"


    Two friends can hook up with a girl or two girls from a bar and have a threesome or a foursome. But can two brothers—with opposite sexual preferences—hook up with a girl and a guy from a bar? Would this be considered wrong? No touching between siblings would occur.

    Basic Bros

    It would be considered wrong by some—but those people aren't you, your brother, or the girl and guy you hope to pick up together. Personally, BB, I can barely get an erection if one of my siblings is in the same zip code; I can't imagine getting one with a sibling in the same room. But if you're comfortable doing opposite-sexual-preferencey things in close proximity to your brother, go for it.


    I am a bisexual man and recently divorced my wife of 30 years. I am currently seeing a very beautiful lady. I satisfy my bisexual desires by going to sex clubs and I always practice safe sex. I don't have an issue, I just wanted to tell you I remember one time when you had a column about two guys performing fellatio on another man at the same time. I found it to be such a turn-on and even fantasized I was doing it to you. Hope that doesn't offend you.

    Loving Life

    Um, thanks for sharing?


    I'm having an extremely difficult time getting intimate with my boyfriend of four years. I'm in recovery for an eating disorder, and part of my treatment is Prozac. It's working great and helping me make healthier choices. However, the Prozac is severely affecting my sex drive. I have little to no desire to have sex. And when we do have sex, I rarely orgasm. This is frustrating and, frankly, harmful to my recovery process. I'm already dealing with my shitty eating disorder telling me that I'm fat, ugly, and not good enough for anyone, anything, or even a decent meal. Now it's taking sex away from me, too? I also feel terrible for my boyfriend, who is endlessly patient and understanding but wants to have sex. I've suggested opening up the relationship for his sake, but he doesn't want to do that. I feel guilty and sad and frustrated. Any thoughts?

    Prozac Lover/Healer

    If the benefits of Prozac (helping you make better choices and aiding your recovery process) are canceled out by the side effects (leaving you so sexually frustrated, it's harming your recovery process), PLH, you should talk to your doctor about other options—other drugs you could try or a lower dose of Prozac. If you doctor dismisses your concerns about the sexual side effects of the drug they've got you on, get a new doctor.


    I have only one concern about Donald Trump getting impeached: Do we get Mike Pence? Is he not just as bad? Or worse? On a more personal note: I don't think I've gotten a good night's sleep since Trump got elected. I wake up every morning next to an avid, Fox News–watching Trump supporter. I'm married long-term (35 years!) to a man who pulled a political one-eighty. This is about to make me crazy. Really. I'm not kidding. Do you have any suggestions for me? I don't want to DTMFA. Although after a most nauseating discussion over dinner, I did actually give it some thought.

    Liberal Grandma

    Mike Pence, as awful as he is, oscillates within a predictable band of Republican awfulness. The reason no one is getting any sleep these days—not even folks who don't wake up next to Trump supporters—is because no one can predict what Trump will do next. Not even Trump. That's what makes his presidency such an existential nightmare.

    As for your husband, LG, your choices are binary and rather stark: Either you divorce his ass and spare yourself the grief of listening to his bullshit, or you stay put, learn to tune out his bullshit, and cancel out his vote in 2018 and 2020.


    What's the best dating site for a slightly cynical, tattooed, fortysomething woman looking for a guy?

    Tattooed Lady

    It depends on the kind of guy you want. Closet case? ChristianMingle. Fuck boy? Tinder. Trump voter? Farmers Only. Compulsive masturbator? Craigslist. Unfuckable loser who is now and will always be a socially maladapted virgin? Return of Kings.


    On the Lovecast, Dr. Samantha Joel on the psychology of ending relationships: savagelovecast.com.

    mail@savagelove.net

    @fakedansavage

    ITMFA.org

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    Back to school on Thursday

    Aug. 15th, 2017 07:22 pm
    pinesandmaples: Cartoon cupcake with chocolate frosting and many hearts.  (us: sweet gifts)
    [personal profile] pinesandmaples

    I am, by some magical fluke and a few mystical moonlit nights, the apple of this lady's eye. We've spent the summer just...together. All of July, most of August, a hint of June. Nearly 2 months of going from a time-zone away to being across the room from each other most of the day. She's lovely and smitten. Today, because I felt pretty crummy, we spent a few hours sitting in the sun on the Chattahoochee River. Our last day of summer. Back to replying to emails and updating the blog and keeping up with my life instead of just being an unreachable, low-key mess. Back to...not being with her.


    A little motivation for The Intern, who just f'ing loves nature, you know? Also, my view for the afternoon. What a treat!

    Rest

    Aug. 14th, 2017 08:56 pm
    [syndicated profile] yarn_harlot_feed

    Posted by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

    I have been taking a few days off. Well, I’ve been sort of taking a few days off – I think they only feel like days off because I’m not riding really far, and putting up a tent and taking it back down again and trying to manage email and doing nine jobs all at once. Instead I’ve been riding my bike a little, to get around town, and to the beach, and to the marina to sail with Joe. The house is a still a disaster, the mountain of neglected work on my desk needs my attention now, but it has felt good to snuggle a baby, come up with a plan of attack, and enjoy the summer a bit. Also – knit. Not little bits of knitting found here and there, not just a plain sock because it’s all I can muster, but real, proper knitting – done in nice chunks, with a fancy pattern and beads and concentration and without worrying that the needles will puncture an air mattress.

    startshawl 2017-08-14

    I’m tackling Snow Angel (a little ironic for a summer knit, I know) and it’s lovely. I had about ten million balls of Findley left over after Elliott’s blanket, and it’s such a pleasure to knit with that I’m using it again. (It’s got 730m per ball. I can’t explain the yarn insecurity that led me to buy so much. I’m rather glad I like it, because I’ll be knitting with it for the rest of my life.)

    lacedetail 2017-08-14

    I’ve still got a pair of socks running in the background, because beaded lace isn’t exactly the sort of knitting that goes well with taking the subway or walking or going to meetings, and also I’m me, so I wouldn’t quite know what to do with myself without a pair of socks in my bag, but I’m mostly knitting on this, and hoping to get it bashed out pretty quickly. The first section went by so fast that I got optimistic about it only taking a few days, but as with all things top-down, that initial thrill’s worn off as the rows get longer.

    I’ve got just a little time to knit on it today before I head out for a meeting (and I have to do something about the kitchen. It’s sort of sticky. All of it. I don’t know how cupboards get sticky, but they are.) Maybe I’ll finish the first big chart – but I’m already dreaming of what I’ll make next. Shall I finish the paper/linen Habu thing? Maybe a pair of fancy socks? Perhaps a sweater for one of the littles, or a hat for the Christmas box, or… What are you making?

    I promised I’d wrap up the Karmic Balancing gifts when I got back – so here’s a start. (It’s going to take a bit. You’re a generous bunch – I’ll do as many as I can each day.

    Mary S found a wonderful way to give this year, she went for a nice long stash dive and came up with five (yup, five) beautiful presents for her fellow knitters. (Doesn’t she seem like a lovely person? Good taste in yarn, too.)

    2 balls Suri Merino Luxury Indiecita, 55% suri alpaca, 45% extra fine merino (deliciously soft) for Lori N.
    marysurimerino 2017-08-14
    3 balls Woodland yarn, 65% wool, 35% nettles for Sarah M.
    marynettles 2017-08-14
    4 skeins Plymouth Earth Alpaca “Ranch” she’ll be mailing to Ariela G.
    maryearthalpaca 2017-08-14
    10 balls Libella Ballet, 74% viscose; 26% cotton for Cindy M.
    maryballet 2017-08-14
    1 hank Berroco Hip-Hop, 100% Wool for Flannery C who I hope makes a hat. (It would be gorgeous.)
    maryhiphop 2017-08-14

    (no subject)

    Aug. 14th, 2017 08:12 am
    copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

    Ways To Give:

    Anon linked to a fundraiser for Mike "Mictlan" Marquez, one of the MCs in the rap co-op Doomtree (featured several times on Welcome to Night Vale's weather reports). He was recently diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and like many artists is uninsured; he's expecting significant expenses for treatment he's already had (an ER visit and Diabetic Ketoacidosis) as well as ongoing treatment. You can read more and support his medical fundraiser here.

    [profile] demond119 is raising funds with husband Jeremy to help with after-care costs of his heart transplant; he's currently on the waiting list at the Mayo Clinic, and once he has the transplant, he will need an extended stay at a transplant house (Gift of Life) for several months. You can read more and reblog here and support the fundraiser here.

    [profile] emeraldonyxdragon is raising funds to support herself while studying in London this fall. She was accepted to a graduate program there but her savings have gone to help her parents with debts; in joining the program she would also be able to escape an abusive household. To help raise awareness, she is holding a contest -- reblogs and likes on her fundraising post could win you a fanfic of your choice. You can support the fundraiser directly here.

    [tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

    Activism

    We're all aware of what happened in Charlottesville this weekend; there are some concrete ways to take action here and orgs to support here and just in case you need a little encouragement here is Asiatic Clam Man to remind you that you can do it.

    Buy Stuff, Help Out:

    [tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

    News To Know:

    Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

    And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    I am home! 

    I broke camp around six this morning, and when I started the hike it was 6:35 exactly, because I for once had the presence of mind to log it. Just getting to the trailhead was a couple of miles, due to some unforeseen obstructions (I did not get lost, there were just two unexpected fences, and also a long stretch of “closed” road that was a weird little detour through a post-apocalyptic landscape), so while I had planned to do about six miles, I ended up doing a little over eight and a half in three and a half hours, which considering I was carrying a 40lb pack I think was pretty good. 

    I missed the 9:49 train to Chicago by two minutes. I literally saw it pulling away from the station as I arrived. The next train was at 1:15, but it’s just as well I was delayed, since it meant I got to rest my feet for a while and also got to help at least a half dozen people figure out a) how the train worked, b) how much tickets were, and c) which train to get on. 

    So, I think the trip was a success. I worked out how the camp-reservation system at Dunewood functions, I tested out all my equipment (all remarkably functional, though I think I need to work on sleeping comfort issues), and I measured my endurance limit for hiking with a weighted pack. 

    It is about eight miles. That last half mile nearly killed me. 

    Also I got to return the Diane Mott Davidson book to the donation rack so someone else can enjoy it, and I added a book or two as well, which is a good thing since someone just offloaded a shitload of Clive Barker and it’s nice to have a little variety. 

    Now I am going to sit on the sofa, possibly order a pizza, and deliberately not empty out my pack until tomorrow. 

    from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2wG4KQO
    via IFTTT
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    So I got my new temporary crown put on my molar today.  

    Me before the procedure: So are you taking off the old one and putting on a new one, or just like, remolding the old one?

    Dentist: We’re putting on a new one. Unless we can somehow fit your head in an eight thousand degree oven.

    Me: Don’t do that. I sunburn easily. 

    At which point the dental assistant lost her shit and let out the loudest cackle I’ve ever heard in a dental office. 

    They put the temporary crown on and told me to bite down to affix the glue, but when I bit down I cracked the damn crown in half. Apparently it was a defective crown, but many jokes were made about my jaw strength and how maybe I should fuckin’ relax a little if I can bite through a crown while off my face on nitrous. 

    Even with insurance it ran me $400 for the temporary crown, the permanent crown, and a surcharge for nitrous (because fuck having dental procedures without nitrous). That hurt worse than my tooth does. Fortunately for my pocketbook I have a medical flex-spending card, but I used up the last of it today, so let’s all hope I don’t break any limbs between now and January. I’ve gone over a year without having to have surgery upon my insides or a cast affixed to my person, so I think we can keep the streak alive. Traditionally I only get seriously injured in the summer months at any rate, so there’s that at least. 

    from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2wN03Eg
    via IFTTT

    Sheltered

    Aug. 10th, 2017 08:35 pm
    [syndicated profile] yarn_harlot_feed

    Posted by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

    I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am pretty much a coward. I spend a lot of time worrying, and a lot of time being afraid, though I am afraid of regular things, I think. I am afraid of getting hurt physically- when I ski I worry about falling, about hurting myself (mostly I am afraid of breaking an arm. If I broke a leg I could still knit, so I think it would be ok.) I am afraid of not fitting in. I am afraid of love or respect extended and not returned. I am afraid of spiders. (This one I don’t worry about. I think that if you’re not afraid of spiders you just haven’t thought enough about it. They can walk on the ceiling. That’s not right.) I am afraid of not measuring up, of doing my best and still falling short of the mark. (There’s a joke in there about how I’m only 5’1″, but let’s leave it.) I am afraid of disappointing people, I am afraid of letting them down. I am afraid that trust will be given to me, and my best self won’t be good enough, and I that I won’t be able to rise above petty thoughts or small mindedness, or that in a wild effort to live a really decent life, I’ll miss things, or grow old with regrets that all this fear held me back from amazing events, and that I’ll be some old lady with a pile of things left undone, because my cowardice kept me home. I worry that when handed a microphone I will say something stupid, or that I will hurt someone with my words, and I am always afraid that I won’t understand someone else well enough to spare them pain, or find enough understanding for them to ease the fear I feel they must have – because I have it. I worry that we are all afraid, and I don’t want us to act out of that fear, personally, socially, or politically.

    All this was on my mind on Sunday, when Jen picked me up, and we gathered the few essentials we hadn’t put in the trucks the day before, and we drank coffee quietly in the backyard, reflecting on the challenge ahead of us. Let me be absolutely clear about this next one… riding more than 600km doesn’t get easier with time. As a matter of fact, I’d say it gets harder. The experience you have from the times before is enough to give you the screaming willies, and the two of us sat there knowing exactly what was ahead. “It’s going to be okay,” Jen said. “We’ve done it before. We can do it again.” Then we strapped our bikes to her car, gave a nod to the fear we both felt,  and drove to the departure point at Allan Gardens.

    The minute I arrived, I remembered everything. I was nervous, and scared, and my back hurt already, and I started to be afraid of all the things I always am. (In the short term, I worry that upon departure, as a whack of riders all leave together, I will do something stupid, mostly I worry that I will fall off my bike and become a human speedbump. This has never happened – to me or to anyone, but I still think it’s a real risk, and if anyone is ever going to do it, it’s me.) Meg, Alex, Amanda and Elliot turned up to say goodbye, and we took a group shot, and I darted out for a whole rally selfie, covering (as I so often do) my nerves with humour. Then we left, and almost immediately, it started to change.

    Wholerally 2017-08-08

    My friends were with me. Not just the ones that I have every day, like Ken and Jen and Cameron and Pato (and when did he grow up enough to be my friend?) but the magic of the Rally that over the course of six days, makes everyone present your friend.

    For six days, you are a small travelling town. A group of people committed to one thing, all living the same life, and all held by one goal, one experience. From the fastest rider to the slowest, we’re the same. We’re all trying to ride our bikes to Montreal – we’re all in debt to our donors, to the people who put faith in us to make this happen (that’s you) all of us trying to fulfill a contract.  I’ll do this hard thing, if you’ll help me by contributing. There’s nobody on the Rally who doesn’t feel the honour or the pressure of being the midpoint of those donations – and nobody who isn’t in it for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation as the end. There were moments when the gratitude I felt to all of you is overwhelming, and moments when only the deal I’d made with you kept me going, and I know I’m not the only one.

    I know I’ve written about this before. I’ve told you that every year is different. One year it’s about perseverance. (Or rain.) One year it’s about the people I know who are HIV positive, and and making a personal commitment to making their journey better –  one year it was even about loneliness, about finding strength within myself to do it by myself, a fear I freely cop to. This year, the theme was apparent from the word go. It was friendship.

    Jen gave me a ride that morning so I didn’t have to ride an extra 14km. Cameron changed my tire on Day two. He knows I can do it, but he can do it faster, and it was a gift of friendship to do it for me. Jen knows I was struggling with my back, and was generous and sweet with her patience and words – cheerful to the end, that one. (You should all be so lucky to have a friend as deliberate with her love as Jen.)

    camtire 2017-08-08

    Both of them rode sweetly behind me on Day two, when my back really hurt, and I pulled ahead for a bit to have what I was hoping was a secret weep, and though both of them could easily have caught me, they lagged behind, knowing I was crying, knowing I’m afraid of that weakness, and letting me have that time to pull myself together. Darling friends.

    Ken, faster than the rest of us, came into camp early each day, and together with the faster riders, collected our bins, and set up our tents, making sure that by the time Jen and I staggered into camp, things were as beautiful and welcoming as they can be if they are also covered in spiders.

    krillknits 2017-08-08 Brandonknits 2017-08-08 jenknits 2017-08-08

    For the first time too – a special little treat, knitting was normal on the rally, even desired – two more riders asked to be taught as we travelled along, without anyone making fun of it, or suggesting it was an old lady thing, or anything other than a way of making and being and doing. (Note to self, pack more yarn and needles next year. Best to be equipped if the plan to take over the world is finally taking hold.)

    knitcamp 2017-08-10

    It was more than this though, it was watching everyone do the same thing – over and over and over, fear and struggle and concern were met with kindness and a gentle word, and respect and a soft touch. Struggling riders were encouraged, crew was thanked, flat tires mended, patience given, smiles offered at the port-a-loo lines, coffee fetched, complements freely given, and so quickly, kindergarten rules took hold. Take turns, be gentle, use your words, big ones take care of the little ones… anyone who strayed from the path of this softness was taken for how they were in that moment. Tired, overwhelmed, exhausted, wet, hot, afraid… and their problem, rather than their behaviour – was addressed with compassion, and do you know, it worked the way with grownups that it does with little kids when you hold who they are, rather than how they are behaving in your mind.

    topfundraiserhug 2017-08-08

    teamknit 2017-08-08flockall 2017-08-08

    Quickly, over the course of the six days, this world took hold. They don’t call it the Friends For Life Bike Rally for nothin’ I remembered – and the power of friendship moved all of us, so much so, that by the last day, when the heavens opened and unleashed a torrential downpour upon us, the whole Rally pulled into a the shelter of a gas station and stood there, wet, cold, our final approach spoiled, the moment of glory delayed, the lot of us drowned rats by at the side of the road, it would have been easy to feel sad, or disappointed, or afraid, or something negative, but friendship had owned us all by then, and there was singing, and laughing, and smiling faces, and arms round cold riders and a grand explosion of joy as applause and bike bells rang out. Together was enough. Friendship was enough. Doing the right thing for PWA and the clients who need us was more than enough.

    gasstation 2017-08-08

    Eventually the rain stopped, and we rode on, those few kilometres to the end, and were welcomed in in grand style, and there was Kim – from Indigodragonfly, who’s own sense of friendship and commitment had led her not just to donate the profits from her Rally themed yarn, not just to sponsor our tee-shirts, but to actually turn up to hug and welcome all of us. She’s a grand friend, and a good person.

    withkim 2017-08-08 teamknitskeins 2017-08-08 teamshot 2017-08-08

    All week long, I felt it. Moments of fear supplanted by camaraderie and friendship. We are all cowards in some way. Me, I’m a dumpy middle-aged grandmother who has almost no business cycling 600km. Jen’s a mother of two walking away from her family for a week to model fierceness for her young daughters. Pato’s a young man trying to shape a world that he wants to live in, Ken is still recovering from the shoulder surgery that put him back together after his accident and showing up anyway. Cameron packed his work laptop and somehow carved out the time to do his job and the Rally – and everyone else riding met their own personal challenges. Again and again, why we were doing it came up. At dinner, at breaks, at our celebration in Kingston… and the thing we talked about was this: People are living longer with HIV/AIDS. It isn’t the death sentence that was when the Rally started. There are good drugs, help, and a sense of hope, and most of us realize that presents a challenge. In a way, supporting people with HIV/AIDS used to be sadder, but cheaper, not to put too fine a point on it. People didn’t live long enough to need years of support. The crisis was clearer, it had people’s attention. Now it must seem to so many people as though that time has passed, and it has – only to be replaced by a different need. Now grownups and children with HIV/AIDS may need a lifetime of support. They need years and years of medication, years and years of help living with the stigma that it brings, years and years of our help and belonging. It is still important.

    patorides 2017-08-08

    We all shared this fear. That even though there are still a very great many people who need help, that they will be forgotten, and that sense of fellowship further strengthened our resolve, and made us braver. For me and Jen, we reflected often on the ride that so often, given the way the world works, women lack the personal power to make choices in this way, and that riding for them felt like something a woman in a strong, privileged position could do to help lift other women up too. It felt… feminist to us. It felt like the right thing to do, despite our own fears.

    It was, despite the rain, the work, the fear, the pain, and the difficulty… a wonderful ride, and I spent much of it reflecting on if I’d done the right thing. Not just in riding, or in fundraising, or in doing my best to be kind all week, but in thinking of a decision I’ve made that will shape a part of the next two years of my life.

    I’ve been accepted as a Co-Chair for the Rally. I’m putting my time where my heart is. I am pretty young, and pretty strong, and pretty privileged, and I have time and energy to put towards being the change I want to see in the world. It was a big decision, but I’m doing it, despite fear, despite being a great big chicken, and despite the fact that inevitably someone is going to hand me a microphone and I’ll say something stupid.  I’ll have to count on my friends when that happens.

    I do this because the rally is the world as it should be, for six small, wild and wonderful days. It’s why despite the difficulty, so many of us suffer the “Bike Rally Blues” when it’s over. The Rally is challenging, scary, disarming, powerful, heartwarming, supportive… so many ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing, all powered by nothing but friendship to moderate your cowardice, and that is a strong thing indeed. Blog, my dear ones, thank you for being my friends on this side. Thank you for the donations, the comments, the emails… All the kindness in the world is meaningless in this without you, riding is meaningless without you, no change happens without you. You’re the magic that makes this work.

    You are amazing.

    (PS. Obviously I signed up for next year.)

    (PPS. I am going to knit the snot out of the rest of this month.)

    (PPPS. When I came home, tired, bedraggled and with all our camping stuff in disarray, Joe had cleaned the house, filled the fridge with my favourite food and wine, and bought me flowers. It takes a big man to support ideas this wild. He’s wonderful, and my friend too.)

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    Aug. 10th, 2017 11:30 am
    killing_rose: Raven/corvid in the frozen surf (Default)
    [personal profile] killing_rose posting in [community profile] knitting
    Strange benefits to having been a competitive baton twirler for a decade:

    I needed a 32 inch cable for a magic loop project. I don't have them specifically noted in lengths (I probably should, but there are a lot of things I should probably do), so when eyeballing failed, I took the cable most likely to be 32 inches long, and held it from fingertip to armpit.

    Success! It was just a hair longer than fingertip to armpit, which meant that it was 32 inches.

    I used this method, as this is how you determine how long your baton needs to be. It has to match your armspan, otherwise it won't work correctly. My armspan is 31 inches long, which meant I was That Twirler. (95% of twirlers clock in with a 29 inch baton, which means if you're doing exchange work, a 31 inch baton throws everyone off. I had a secondary baton for exactly that reason and hated it with an undying passion.)

    But yes. Strange benefits I hadn't been expecting, much less half a decade on since I finished twirling.
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    I am going CAMPING this weekend, I am DETERMINED, and I take it as a sign that after having bought a whistle and promptly lost it, when repacking my backpack tonight I FOUND IT AGAIN. (It was, for some reason, in the very bottom of the bag. Why would I put it there? Nobody knows.) 

    I have the third Diane Mott Davidson book from the library, ready for reading, and also I’ve packed the second book and an additional book to leave at the Dune Park train stop, to repay the world for the joy I had from reading Dying For Chocolate. 

    I have spent all summer doing recon and building up my supply stash, and now I AM READY. 

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    Savage Love

    Aug. 9th, 2017 04:00 am
    [syndicated profile] savagelove_feed

    Posted by Dan Savage

    Woman in polyamorous relationship worries she is too needy and grasping. by Dan Savage

    My boyfriend of eight months, K, and I are polyamorous. We started the relationship on that foot, and for a while I was the partner he spent the most time with. There have been ups and downs, but overall our relationship is solid and loving. However, recently we both started dating the same woman, L, and they have been spending more time together than with me due to my work schedule. They both reassure me that they love me and care for me deeply, but I am an anxiously-attached person and sometimes I have panic attacks when they spend more time with others/themselves and fear that they're going to leave me. I'm working on becoming more secure via books on cognitive behavioral therapy, and I'm looking into in-person therapy. This is my first serious relationship, but not his (I'm 22, he's 35). And while K has been super patient with me, my worry and grasping is a point of friction in the relationship. K has told me he doesn't want to be solely responsible for my sexual satisfaction and my need for constant reassurances that he cares. The anxiety has been flaring up most strongly concerning sex—we're all switches, and K and L are both professional Dominants. I feel neglected if K doesn't penetrate me but he penetrates L, or if L gets to penetrate K via a strap-on and I don't. He's very good about voicing what he desires, while I'm learning to speak up despite feeling like I'm just being needy and grasping again. I love both my partners, but I've been feeling sexually neglected—and with a HIGH sex drive, it's been quite painful. This is my first "trio rodeo" and I really want to make it work—I've seen a future with K for a while (the I-want-your-children kind), and L is joining those future visions. How can I find a way to create more opportunities for sexy-time and not ruin it with anxiety attacks?

    BDSM Enthusiastic Lover On Voyage4 Emotional Durability

    I'm always suspicious when two (or more) people claim to be deeply in love after dating for a short period of time, BELOVED, and eight months qualifies as a short period of time. Premature declarations of love—to say nothing of premature commitments—up the emotional stakes, which can place a strain on a newish relationship (or a trio of them) that it may not be strong enough to bear. Not yet.

    You'll feel a lot less anxious about this relationship, BELOVED, if you make a conscious effort to lower the stakes. In other words: Dial it way back, girl.

    You've been dating K for a little more than half a year, and you've been dating L for whatever "recently" adds up to in a world where eight months equals LTR. It'll reduce your anxiety levels and soothe your insecurities if you tell yourself you aren't committed to K and L as life partners. Not yet. This is the beginning of both these relationships. All you're committed to right now is continuing to get to know K and L. You're committed to dating them, you're committed to exploring where this might go, you're committed to enjoying your time with them, however long it lasts.

    But you are not committed to them. Either of them. Not yet.

    Committing yourself to therapy is a good idea, BELOVED. Everyone should commit to working on their emotional and mental health. You and your therapist can start by reevaluating whether a poly relationship is right for you in practice. In theory, you understand poly and you may want a poly relationship. (Particularly if it's the only way you can have K.) But as someone with anxiety issues and hang-ups about all sex acts being divided up equally, poly may not be right for you, or it may not be right for you right now. After a little therapy (or maybe a lot), who knows? (Also: Trying to portion out sex between three people like you would ice cream for three small kids—making sure each kid gets the exact same number and size of scoops—is unrealistic. Sometimes you'll get more; sometimes you'll get less. Eyeing those scoops too closely is only going to generate conflict.)

    You've been at this rodeo for only eight months, BELOVED, and if these problems are already coming up, it might not be your attachment style or your anxiety. It's possible this rodeo isn't for you.


    This is about your Campsite Rule. I think you should amend it. In 1984, when I was 20 years old, I met an LGBT rights activist who was 53. He was working with the group I contacted after I'd called the local youth crisis hotline here in Baton Rouge and got called a faggot. (I hadn't realized they created youth crises rather than fixing them—my bad.) We had a summer fling (initiated by me), and then I went off to study in Europe. Because of him, I knew the difference between making love and getting your rocks off, and I moved through the world with the self-confidence he told me I deserved to have. I ended up working in national politics for 30 years, and I did all of it as an out gay man. I moved back home a few years ago and tried to find him with no luck. Finally, about a month ago, I did. He's in his mid-80s now and under hospice care, but he does remember me. I got to tell him everything I'd done with what he taught me. I only got about a third of the way down the list before his eyes filled with tears—and pride. To call that a special moment would be an understatement. So here's my suggested amendment: If you benefited from the Campsite Rule—if someone left you in better shape than they found you—look that person up and tell them what they meant to you. And if he's alone and in hospice care, spend some time being there for him and holding his hand.

    Can't Think Of Funny Acronym

    Your old summer fling left you in better shape than he found you—the heart of my Campsite Rule—and the lessons he imparted had a hugely positive impact on your life. But instead of amending my Campsite Rule, CTOFA, which covers the conduct of older and/or more experienced people dating and/or fucking younger and/or less experienced people, I'm going to amend my Tea and Sympathy Rule.

    "When the younger person in an older/younger affair speaks of it in future years, they have a duty to be kind," goes the Tea and Sympathy Rule, which covers the conduct of the younger/less experienced partner. "If you were left in better shape than you were found, strive to do no harm in return. And don't speak of your affair—not even kindly—if doing so will wreak havoc on the life of a former lover who honored the Campsite Rule." And today, by decree, I'm adding CTOFA's amendment to the T&S Rule: "And if you benefited from the Campsite Rule—if years ago a lover left you in better shape than they found you—look that person up and tell them what they meant to you."

    Advice professionals often urge us to confront exes who did us wrong—many find closure in those confrontations—but we rarely talk about reaching out to people who did us right (in every sense of the term). My first truly serious boyfriend, who I met at college, was a wonderful and very sexy guy who helped me grow in so many ways. He definitely left me in far better shape than he found me—like CTOFA, I was able to express my gratitude to him before he died and I'm so glad I did. (RIP, Tommy Ladd.)

    If you were lucky enough to have a Tommy in your life, dear readers, if you were lucky enough to have an early sex and/or romantic partner who left you in better shape than they found you, reach out to them and express your gratitude. You'll be glad you did. recommended


    Listen to Dan on the Savage Lovecast every week at savagelovecast.com.

    mail@savagelove.net

    @fakedansavage

    ITMFA.org

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    Fings wot've happened recently.

    Aug. 8th, 2017 10:37 pm
    aunty_marion: Loki made me do it (Loki made me do it)
    [personal profile] aunty_marion
    I applied for the RADA ballot for a chance to buy tickets to see Tom Hiddleston in Hamlet. Alas, this evening I got the email saying I'd been unsuccessful. There may be another chance by next Tuesday (presumably for people who were successful in the ballot but couldn't actually buy tickets), but given that there are only about 3,360 seats available (about 160 seats in the RADA theatre, and 21 performances), I think it's highly likely that I won't be going. *sob* At least 4 Hiddlestoners that I've seen do have (the chance to buy) tickets, though.

    I realised yesterday that my EE mobile broadband dongle hadn't been used this year, and the number had therefore expired. So this morning I went down to the local EE shop, where I was unimpressed by the changes to their top-up conditions and charges. I therefore toddled 50 yards down the road to the O2 shop, where they were somewhat slow at understanding exactly how I needed to make use of my dongle, but eventually we compromised, and I now have an O2 mifi dongle, and a SIM with £12/12Gb of data on it to last (guess what?) 12 months. I've used the original up at the archery club when scoring before now, and there's still a possibility they may want me again this year, though I've not heard from them. However, I'll work out how to activate it this weekend, and make a note in the diary that I need to buy more data (or another SIM, if that's how it works) in just under a year's time. (Assuming I haven't used it all up by then, of course.) I'm thinking I can carry it with me, and then if the wifi in (e.g.) the RFH or Kentish Town Community Centre goes on the blink, I'll be sorted.

    I was on the bus down to the RFH today, and (I think) at Euston, two men with three young boys got on. I noticed that one of the men had dark short hair and glasses, and the other had longish blond hair. Oh, thought I, Harry and Draco. They went upstairs, anyway. And then I saw them get off, at Aldwych ... and got a better look at the boys. One, dark haired, a bit older than the other two, who seemed to be similar in age and of whom one was dark haired with glasses, and the other blond. Merlin's balls! James, Albus and Scorpius!!! I mean, honestly, they were in ordinary Muggle casual clothes, but if they'd been in robes... (I didn't spot any concealed wands. But then, you know, magic.)
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home tonight and bought a box of mushrooms, two chicken breasts, a bottle of General Tso’s sauce, and a ciabatta baguette. (Bet some of you didn’t even know you could get a ciabatta baguette, but you can! Delicious cultural blasphemy!) 

    I came home, chopped up the chicken and mushroom, stir-fried them with some roasted garlic, added the sauce, and ate the results with avocado slices on the ciabatta baguette. I am telling you all this in the spirit of bragging because it was AMAZING. 

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    Nicole

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