Posts Tagged ‘composite’

Garage Sale for Obama

I saw this flyer up on a post outside of the Safeway at 29th and Mission, a garage sale to raise money to give to the Obama campaign.

Garage Sale for Obama

The other day in a friend’s blog I noticed her thinking of saving money for some expensive Fluevog boots, but then she reconsidered and decided to give that money to the campaign instead.

I wear a size eight and covet these boots. How can I justify spending over three hundred dollars (that I could conceivably have in a month or so) on boots when I could give that money to the ” Obama FTW ” fund. Its true…. So maybe no boots for me right now. Woe.

Don’t they both seem like very Gen X middle class fundraising ideas, more than bake sales or auctions or whatever? It struck me as something I’ve never seen before.

Today I did a little housecleaning to get ready for Bork to come visit, finished reading I Am a Cat, thought more about Random Acts of Senseless Violence, had lunch with Bork who is here now, yay! Did a driving lesson with Zond-7 and we drove around Pee’s harbor and Ducktown Marina to look at what it is like to live there. Pee’s Harbor was more posh. Ducktown was more the sort of thing that appeals to me especially “Nancy and Jane’s garden” and how everything is a bit half-assed and jumbledy. Apparently the politics of Ducktown are: the owners are a big fancy trust, and want to sell. the people offering are offering a few million too low. Meanwhile there is Measure You-Know-What that defines that area as open space. How could they evict the people who have lived there for 30 years and have giant floating houses not just little boats on their bit of dock?

Then up to the city – rested – had dinner with vito_excalibur – went to SFinSF and liked nihilistic kid and dlevine’s stories – T.B. was very funny and scatterbrained – had a little of Vito’s whiskey – was in pain – didn’t know what to say to people who congratulated me on my verticality – gave out handfuls of Obama buttons. N.K.’s story was a Raymond Carver – HP Lovecraft mashup with 3 people drinking whiskey in a cave. I am sure Ken H. should read it if he hasn’t already. He must have? He’d like it. I shrieked “Wooooooo!!” way too loud when the chick took a mouthful of whiskey and there was mention of a lantern because I am a gamer and knew what was coming, but then felt silly. Then like 5 minutes later she spewed fiery death over a shoggoth and I was vindicated. At least vito got it. We gave dlevine hell teasing him about how he was flying colors (yay sf hanky code) but guessed his code slightly wrong. NK’s comments during the slightly doofusy “question and answer” period were awesome. Yay for people who make sense and are funny. At one point I just wanted to smack dlevine for his comments on the obviousness of deism and then his attempt at a save in saying some people did not think so but there was always room to change one’s mind. Boooo from the row of atheists! His story rocked – he read Charlie the Purple Giraffe, which I enjoyed. Zond-7 asked how one could sustain this sort of meta narrative for a much longer story which led us to some mention of Don Quixote, She-Hulk, and I brought up The Great Good Thing which while it has some twee elements was well done. Vito had some muttery comments about alternate histories and time travel and the point not being the Twist. I cannot remember the other people’s questions or comments all that well or if I do I will remain mercifully silent because some of them were embarrassingly silly. Saw Rina, J.W., klages, whump, cyn, nk’s friend who i can’t remember but who was introduced charmingly to me as my secret stalker, so I hope she comments somewhere, kate, and a jillion other people. Home, bed, merciful horizontalness, lovely warm electric blanket.

Also watched a ton of Sarah Haskins Target Women – go watch them – they’re great. The cleaning and yogurt ones were the funniest.

Tomorrow will do lots of hard work – Rook and Moomin are out camping for the rpg nerdy beach party – I will meet up later on with them and Bork – I’d like to go to the Emperor Norton party at Borderlands for a bit but it might depend on working on the book and how much I get done.

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Uneasy need for rest

I spent yesterday in bed writing drafts and abandoning them, watching feeds, absorbing too much information. After the long intense weekend, complete rest might have been a better idea. Last night in sleep and waking I scrabbled an endless round of anxiety dreams about airports, schedules, missed trains, my wheelchair being taken away from me, being lost in cars, and stressful arguments. I don’t want to get out of my pajamas. My mom and dad are here, planning to take Moomin to the giant complicated indoor playground-inside-a-swimming pool in the East Bay, meeting Minnie and her baby, going back to her house, so I also feel torn and sad and want to be with them and that I am letting my family down, my child barely missed me, I am not needed, I did not organize, I didn’t invite, I didn’t cook or shop or prepare, I’m not participating, I’m not paying attention, I’m letting the moments slip away.

I made hundreds of shallow connections, but not enough deep ones. Nothing felt like it bore fruit in the moment. But, it will, and I trust that. Instead I was a conduit and a connection point. I didn’t do anything, make anything, fix anything, build, create, even in my imagination it all remained inchoate — but I took the quick evaluations & shallow connections and said here, you talk with her, you need to know this, read this, are you aware of exactlywhatyouneed.net, and people lit up as they connected, as if I were a telephone switchboard. If I am invisible in that, I have to still be satisfied with my role and abandon my ego. It is hard to be visible, but invisible. A sort of conspicuous mascot, seen but not known. I could cry on the shoulder of everyone I met but did not get to know. Is it possible to love everyone? Maybe, but not to love them right. There is too much, there are so many of us, I am starving to know everything and everyone.

Oh poor me, a weekend of hundreds of people telling me I’m super awesome!

Ugh! But am I… I’m so not… they don’t know… Is it enough? Am I enough? Can I ever do enough to be satisfied with myself? Can I at least finish a few projects, follow through on anything? How do I know that people like me for the right reasons? What if it’s all flash and show and surface, and false?

Where is my discipline?

What if I am making all the wrong choices?

But back in real life and out of my theoretical identity tailspin:

Aside from catching up with some regular work, I want to continue trying to synthesize this weekend and some general thoughts about blogging, gender, class, and digital divides. And I’d like to look forward as well into planning some things to do or suggesting directions.

I have an awful lot of blogging cards to look at. Blogs to consider and link to. Notes from conversations to write up. Thoughts to gather and express.

Meanwhile the book project is on the back burner, a constant torment and source of guilt.

I am comforted yet perturbed as the hypothetical of “at some point in next few years Rook might switch career tracks and have a break” becomes “Now I support the family for a while and switch roles myself.” Can I do it? I’m a little scared. It might be a very good thing in many dimensions.

I might need in a big way to migrate all my blogs back into a single one, clean up this one big time with proper tags and categories even if most of the categories are nebulous like “Long Philosophical Rant Mixed with Daily Life and the Juicy Bits Buried Baroquely”. Badgermama and Composite feel so cramped and sterile and thank god I still ramble on at length without trying to narrow the focus here, where I say whatever the hell I want (barring a couple of limitations which i will keep trying hard to think of as Tact).

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Boasting on blogs; the perils of condescension

Help! I can’t find the inscription that Ashurbanipal had in every room of his palace. It’s one of those long recitations of boasting and praise, listing all the things he built in his cities, the places he conquered and how he puts his foot on the neck of his enemy and is like the wild lion of the mountains. It was at the end of the room with Assyrian friezes in the British Museum! Somehow I failed to take a photo of it and its translation.

I want it for nefarious purposes, to make an Assyrian inscription boast-about-your-blog generator widget.

Open Tech was fun; I met a bazillion people, got to see my friend cdent, saw D. fizz up with ideas and charismaticness on stage, and took notes on some interesting talks. I’ll post my notes on Composite, but the strangest and most interesting talk was from a guy who does screen scraping on Khandahar airport, filters out the obviously legitimate commercial flights, compares them against lists of planes that have open credit to refuel at U.S. army air bases, and then somehow uses that (I don’t think in any automated way) with other data from looking up airplane ownership and company records to help track down international arms dealers. So, somewhat to my amusement this was back to back with an eco-activist from Bristol who does some work on paths and public access (bike trails? foot paths? something) and while his work sounded very smart and effective I did marvel at his level of paranoia about government spying and infiltrating of his activist efforts — in sharp contrast to the dude who reviles and stalks the scary thuggish illegal arms dealers’ corporate activities, who just shrugs and says “Oh well, no one’s come after me yet.” It was explained to me at dinner that with all the strange monitoring and cctv and the power that local councils have, it might not be unreasonable for the Bristol guy to think his local cops are sniffing his traffic or tracking who he calls on his cell phone.

I missed most of the MySociety talks and regretted it… they’re amazing and also are nice

I liked S.G, D.G, and L. and J. right away but most people are (surprise) reserved. Some people assumed I was not techie and was just “there with D.” like some sort of fangirl escort, so that I was kind of ticked off — was it not enough that I drip with computer equipment – and work in a startup and have been a computer nerd since 1980 just like the rest of geekdom – instead, often, condescending small talk about Travel while the rest of people in a group are talking about dorky computer stuff and gossiping about icann. I also had the problem at the conference of, whenever I’d wander up to people who I’d vaguely met, they’d leap to open the door for me assuming that I needed help to leave the room, when… actually… I was just coming up to hang out and talk. So it was nice to hide a while in the corner gossiping with cdent and recharging my batteries. But, all that was minor compared to the people who were interesting and friendly.

Actually the polite small talk about Travel (while puzzling as I never would whip that sort of thing out to someone from out of town who worked in my field who I met at a conference in SF) was far preferable to the open and obnoxious condescension from what’s her name at the first thing I was at who after an entire dinner of me interestedly listening to (and sometimes commenting on) their talk of points of international law and the net, turned to me over dessert and said with a pitying smile “You must be SO CONFUSED by ALL THIS TALK.” Oh!!! I could have smacked her! I thought of the million times I read Quilty’s million-million page white paper on ISPs – and all the times I have had useful things to contribute to discussions that are out of my depth – and when they’ve been appreciated – and coldly analyzed this person’s little gambit, realizing how many times *she* must have heard it in her career and lifetime – her loss that she chooses to apply it to other women.

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Reflections on family relationships and acceptance

My parents were here and I have been doing a million things. I’m so tired that I’m a little bit emotionally flat.

Physically: I’ve been walking around, but I don’t feel very confident to do more than go from my car to a cafe table. So, when I am out of the house, mostly using the wheelchair.

I’m doing some writing, thinking about translation, looking over old stuff, and wondering where to take it. Probably there will be a series of translation posts over on Composite.

I read Blood in the Fruit which continued the magnificence of the Marq’ssan cycle. Though I babbled all weekend about it, nothing coherent is coming so far. Certainly not tonight… exhaustion is total. But it’s good, and you should read the entire series if you like staring hard complex truths in the face and coming out okay (yet not unscathed).

Got along sort of okay with my parents. I tried hard to not be a jerk. A lot of the time with them I was also exhausted and withdrawn. But on the last 2 days I perked up a little and talked with my them about books or politics and with my mom also about cooking, the brands of things that are best, listened to her Fashion Ideas for me which admittedly didn’t make me completely puke but which I still couldn’t deal with (i.e. that I must go to Ch1co’s or Barf-me-T4lbot’s to buy “fancy jeans” which would fit me “right” and which leg straightness style were exhaustively described). I dyed her red streak and I demonstrated how to make sugar face scrub with lemon and olive oil… I CAN HAS GIRLY SKILLZ.

Also she kept going “I was GOING to do XYZ for you… but looks like you already have done it.” Which was satisfying. We also all went to the bookstore and next-door-cafe, and the beach. Pi11ar Po1nt has an extremely accessible path! I had remembered it as more difficult. But gravel was minimal and the dirt packed & hard, very easy to wheel down. Then, a short somewhat difficult slope and the beach right there. I crutched down it. Up was harder. I found both up & down to be very scary and next time it would be better if I hung onto a person’s arm on one side, like a handrail. It was a little hard to be at the beach and not be able to run about and dig and climb on the rocks.

At one point we were at the cafe and my parents both were telling me perhaps pointedly of other people’s terrible divorces and how dumb they were and how divorce was a stupid idea and bad for everyone and meant that people were idiots, and divorce only justifiable if someone were like being BEATEN. I listened to this for a while and then reminded them gently that I HAD A FIRST MARRIAGE WHICH I LEFT IN A DIVORCE KTHXBAI. So then my mom shifted to talking about how sometimes people have disgusting affairs that ruin their lives and how dumb it is and how she for example would never and how pointless it would be and how she can’t even imagine why a person would either have an affair or leave their marriage for some silly attraction that would probably be over soon anyway. (Subtle!) I listened to that too and then said something like “Well, I completely disagree with that way of thinking, fundamentally, on many levels, and don’t think that having one relationship puts limits on other human relationships people can have, and I’ve always thought that and still do.”

Then we talked about other things real quick!

Then Zond-7 came over for dinner. Jo’s kids were also here and the Acrobat came over to tell us about his bridge made of popsicle sticks that he made at his management training seminar and brought us the bridge made of popsicle sticks that he made the week AFTER the management seminar when he got home, to bring his vision to life, and we tested the bridge with half gallon juice bottles, and the kids put on costumes and made a Clothing Shop at which we were forced to buy things. So, everything was lively and cheerful.

E. complained to me that she could not get on the internet because her parents wouldn’t give her the password! Just as I was going O rly no really srsly and exchanging warning looks with Zond-7 as we realized we could not teach this child how to hack (it is best learned from other children who have no grown up morals) Jo came back and it was revealed that actually this is not all the way true and it is just that the wifi station has a password. Well call me gullible! I gave her the first Runaways comic books anyway and then Zond-7 later told me stories of how he and some other 12 year olds social-engineered a 12 digit password at some demo by each watching for 4 of the digits as the grown-up typed them in.

Anyway about poly things and family, I do not want to be closeted but I also feel a bit more temperate in being in-your-face. I hope it will just become sort of accepted over time and that no one makes a big deal.

One thing that was a big huge deal for me and made me cry was that my parents used to be super super homophobic and they did not acknowledge my relationship with my ex-girlfriend Misha when we lived together and moved to CA together. (Actually, we made each other marriage certificates, which I think of without saying anything whenever people ask me how many times I have been married. Maybe I should make her a really cool and sentimental divorce certificate several years too late.) And then for years my mom would go “Who? ” in a totally fake, fake way whenever I talked about what Misha was up to (which was frequently lovely news to be proud of). And then we had some fairly hideous fights (me and my mom) when she would say things about “gay people” being disgusting or … when I would mention other friends being pregnant … she would say things like “that’s disgusting, how could anyone DO that to an innocent child” (i.e. be queer and raise a child.) This is over 15 years, please realize. Then in the last couple of years my mom has been much more mellow about gayness and seems to have relented. Progressing from “well I don’t see whose business of anyone’s it is as long as they keep it quiet” to asking me how Dr. B or Misha are doing. Not exactly going to PFLAG meetings, but major progress, meaning a major relief to me. Well when I mentioned Misha’s pregnancy and how there was a cool wiki with pictures my mom instantly was all excited and happy and demanded to see the wiki and leave congratulations on it and she referred to their little yoohoo as “another grandbaby”. That was the part that made me cry with relief and happiness. What happened there? Isn’t that amazing?

I don’t require that a person realize that when they are hating-queers to me it is like they are stabbing me personally since they are talking about ME. It is quite a relief when that finally eases up.

I have often wondered at my own motives and worried that it was wrong for me to establish a relationship with my parents again after twice being thrown out of the family and then the years of painful semi-inclusion and tension. And in some ways for years it has felt like a mistake-ridden compromise that might be more painful to me than it is worth. But in the long run I think it’s good (and it would also of course have been horribly painful to keep my distance and to know how much it would be paining them if I had.) Also, I felt (and still somewhat feel) that it is just a matter of time before some other Outing (like poly relationships, or blogs that are certainly easy enough to find once my anonymity was unfixably broached) would mean another confrontation, and being thrown out again. I understand it must be hard to find yourself a parent to someone like me (not because of queerness so much as because of annoying relentless uncompromising unquiet passionate uppityness, set permanently on public broadcast turned up to 11.) On my end, I think I have learned to throttle myself down a little bit when around them. (I was very interested to see Zond-7 do that same kind of muting around his family and how well it worked, and it struck me as being a very kind thing, difficult to do with sincerity, but not impossible.)

Rook had a cold the whole time and so did Zond-7 (who slept for almost 2 whole days, freaking me out somewhat.) I keep getting the feeling of almost-a-cold.

The weekend was as low key on the surface as possible, most of the time, but very intense underneath the surface.

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A day of doing everything superwoman style

Today I blogged a bit over at feministsf.net to post the Carl Brandon Society booklist of speculative fiction for Black History Month, adding links for all the books and authors and a few notes. I had coffee with Mark and gossiped somewhat harshly and honestly about literary things. I was really glad he called and pried me out of my comfortable electric blanket cave, because it was a beautiful day and that was some good pie. I was on crutches, and I might add, only halfway so and very nimbly.

Then I came home and rested a bit and tore apart the bathroom “closet” which is actually the bathtub and shower with a clothes-hanging rail thing and some boards on top and milk crates in the bathtub. Oh, my god, what a lot of crap got thrown in there over the last year. At some point, something dripped or condensed. Mold grew. There is still mold. I threw away 4 enormous bags of stuff, and put the rest in bins, in rough order, and washed some things to put elsewhere. Everything in there needs to be removed & washed and the tub blasted with anti-mildew cannons. For now, it’s at least decrufted and orderly.

I did much the same thing to the hall closet, in which some months ago my parents labored to install shelves. Those shelves were buried in stuff that has not been put away in the intervening months. I threw out a lot of sheets to make everything fit in the little bins for sheets and blankets and pillowcases. Whew! Most of it I did sitting down, but it was still a lot of physical work.

Then, feeling like a huge weight was off me, I rested a tiny bit more. And then drove off to deposit checks and to vote. (Checks, on crutches! Scarily! Voting, in the chair, because it was too far, and I didn’t think I could stand there and if there was no chair to sit in I’d be screwed.)

I snapped at the same “nice” volunteer lady I snapped at last time. She was weirdly holding the door for me even though the door was propped open (and she was in the way doing it.) I stopped dead and just stared at her in a fake polite way… waiting. Her smile got tenser. “Go right ahead!” I said. “Go on in! After you!”

Nice Voting Lady: Oh! *MASSIVE FLUSTERMENT*
Me: …. (waits)
Nice Voting Lady: Let me help you, here!
Me: Excuse me! *waits attentively*
Nice Voting Lady: I’ll just hold the door for you!
Me: Hmmm. Why? It’s propped open. (beginning to crack up laughing)
Nice Voting Lady: (with goose-hissing hostility, now) Well, why don’t I just hold it.
Me: Why? Does it make you feel good about yourself, like you’re helping crippled people? *completely loses it laughing*
Nice Voting Lady: *Ladylike sputtering* (Finally gets out of my way)

I am afraid I do not respect my elders sometimes as I should. I do not always spare them when they act weird because they are uncomfortable with me. Their pity is only a thin veneer over the anger they seem to have at me for being unexpected, and for causing them confusion and discomfort.

Oh well, usually, I’m super nice.

Then I drove off realizing there was no way I had it in me to go to the beach. I thought of the ocean and how nice it is to gaze at. I want warm sand against my cheek as I close my eyes against the sun and hear shrieky seagull noises and distant kids playing. I want to smell the clean but seaweedy smell and bake myself for hours like a dead thing washed up by the tide or a loaftastic elephant seal. No… could not make it. So I drove up to where 92 meets 280, where the bike riders park, and sat on the gravel next to my car, overlooking the reservoir & its sparkles & flocks of birds. Nearly as good… It’s a good thing I keep that picnic blanket in my car. I wished I had the perfect turkey sandwich at that moment and also that I was sweaty from physical exertion, hiking or swimming. Alas no. Just stiff and hurty from walking. I wrote poetry and thought about poetry and translations and looked at things I’d written. I felt so glad that there are always new things to think and that I can write them all down, and that I’m not bored with my own mind. In some ways it’s like tracks deepening, but there are still wild forays outwards.

I wrote poetry and also some musings on poetry and I thought about putting my essays-on-poetics and a whole jesusfuckload of translations up on Composite. I have an enormous backlog of translations and could post one every day for months without breaking a sweat. So… I might just start slammming them up there. Translation & publishing and international copyright are so fucking broken. I am done with that as a worry. Seriously, fuck it.

Anyway, writing was glorious. I stayed up there about an hour in the beautiful beautiful warm sunlight. My bones rejoiced. Even with my butt on a picnic blanket by the side of the road in the gravel & broken glass.

I crutched in to get Moomin! For the first time since mid October! Then I wished I hadn’t. I got out my chair and watched him run around the playground with some other kids. The other kids’ mom talked with me, when we both started laughing at Moomin who cannily pretended he wasn’t it, sidling up to his classmate’s little brother to tag him and run. Moomin was consistently the slowest runner, but excellent with strategy. He would stop and consider and plan.

At home he read a little bit and then I ripped him away from his book to play Crazy Machines, which came in the mail today! It was just his speed. He played without stopping to Level 16. I helped explain the way gears and rotational direction work. A perfect game for him, with no time pressure or THINGS COMING AT YOU OMG OMG ADRENALINE.

He did some homework and I rested and then I started cleaning obsessively again. I am freaking a bit that I will be working again, and not really better, and all the housecleaning and child care will fall on me and I’ll be completely fucked.

IN between that, while I was trying not to grab the mouse from Moomin and take over his Crazy Machines game, I modded up my wheelchair Barbie (aka “Becky”) with a black macbook with stickers:

with laptop

I’ve had this barbie doll since about 1993 when I was disabled the first time. She had my exact outfit with jeans, backpack, converse, and plaid flannel shirt. Also, my wheelchair at the time was red. And… it sounds corny… but I really did like having some kind of pop culture object that reflected something of my reality. She needs a haircut and a dye job don’t you think? Is it insane that I want to print out a tiny bit of text… I was thinking maybe a very-tiny screen shot of some blog that I read plus ecto in the background, and a term window, to paste into her computer screen…

Yes you heard me. I play with Barbies.

Then I made dinner for Moomin and then dinner for me and Rook (who has been at horrible late meetings) and tried to clean a little more and collapsed into a little heap. I should not have done anything else after dinner. And, I should not have done an errand AND gone to coffee AND voted AND picked Moomin up AND sat at the playground for so long AND made dinner. That was like the old me, trying to bust out, but I’m very much not there yet. Really, I can do *one thing* and pick up Moomin. There is no room for all that hauling ass. I was doing all that y’all and also working like 3 jobs … how?

I got cranky after about 8pm as I realized that there is so much to do. And i could just keep doing it. And I began to fret that I will not know how to manage things and that Moomin will not learn how to pick up after himself and neither will Rook and I will be their servant for the next 10 years. I unloaded the dishwasher and washed the dishes rather bangily and with a heart full of bitchiness. Oh where is my beautiful commune in which all the shit work is done together with hearty socialist gusto? And we don’t unload it all off onto someone of lower status? Where? Then I knew I was over tired and it was time to stop.

Also I was hurting like fuck and just disassociating as best I could in the name of “pushing myself to walk more” but also I think because I feel weirdly driven.

I still keep thinking… a million times a day… what if I had been dying, or degenerating as rapidly as I had feared… and never got time in this world to get my shit together. So much of the time I felt so helpless and frustrated. I have just got to do this and get my life in order while I can.

As even more of an excuse I offer to you that my parents are coming and I especially cannot take any crappy pity or condescension and so my plan is that everything is astonishingly clean. Or at least more of it.

So I will take a painkiller now and maybe cry recreationally while holding onto a pillow, and have hot chocolate in the bath.

It was nice to feel like my old self for most of the day.

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Rivers of blood in the worst places

Today was nice… and yesterday… we hung out all Friday, had lunch in the cafe, did some setting up of computery stuff which I’ll blog up thoroughly later, but which was basically insane yakshaving necessary to even make me have the stuff I needed to set up to do some programming. Oh and he read me from the bees and siggraph pong game chapter of Out of Control which I really loved… and he looked at my Composite #2 but I still need to get him to read the preface.

We drove up 280 in the gorgeous afternoon sunlight and watched the hang gl1ding people zipped into bags flying around at Fort Fun$ston and were very silly about them being in bags. If I were about to crash and die I would not like for my legs to be zipped into a bag though I suppose it might make collection of the parts easier for the people who clean up smashed hang gliders off of beaches. But we also were thinking how they looked like ovipositors and then invented the strange rituals of hang glider mating and fertility rites. Possibly you had to be there. We talked about preteen obsessions with big grand overarching systems and pulp books like M. Moorcock and how at that time it was hard not to write like that… At least it was hard for me not to. Also about our families and childhoods a bunch more… all that sort of thing… I hung out in a cafe trying to go through two different python tutorials. The Learning Python book blew chunks, much as I remembered it doing. My god! Awful! Dull! Pompous to boot! Condescends one minute, then assumes you have C and Java and Fortran, the other! Bah. Diving Into Python was much better. Though I did not love the comment on the guy’s wife. Why must they do it? What kind of relationship is that? And anyway it was like i was supposed to chuckle in sympathy and yeah, I know how that is. Instead I was just massively annoyed. Fog rolled in. Off to Zond-7′s house to provide laps for cats and eat some dim sum. Then we realized he thought we were staying there and I wanted to go home — so as not to ahve to drive huge distances in one day. So, my house – tired yet amiable – talking about all sorts of things – This morning we woke up quite late and went to deal with the hot tub – and I started to bleed through all my clothes and was going through super size tampax like once every half an hour to an hour. I tried to like vacuum the junk out of there and wished for one of those extraction kits like we got in illegal abortion feminist training camp, which most of the point is they can suck your whole period out in 1/2 hour. Soooo I managed to make it through the geek party with only minor difficulty! Plus, was walking! Oh and we ran into Liz Ditz’s daughter at Buck’s, and looked at me and Minnie’s geocache, having breakfast with Skud. SOOO the party was fun, I did not go around meeting a ton of people, but talked with Adina, Zond-7, Skud, Kragen, and some others. We did get to teh point I wanted to get to, of poking at the rest api for my work thing and making it spit data back at us. Now maybe tomorrow to do something with it. I think Zond-7 and I will pair very well on projects once we get going.

I also need to:

* fax forms to blogher!
* maybe cook something big like chicken soup
* write blogher posts
* set up feeds properly for them
* write up stuff I learned about python including all the links and tools

We picked up Rook and Moomin at the airport and headed home. Moomin got the 1st chapter of Dr. Doolittle on the Moon and then read a bit…. he was happy to be with his animals & books & to cuddle with me. Rook is miserable with lingering airsickness which he always gets – dizzy, vertigo, sick-feeling, and I think sinuses messed up like altitude sickness. He fell asleep over a book and Zond-7 and I hot tubbed. Talking a bit about kids and parenting again.

OHHH meanwhile all the blood in the world is crawling out of me as if wanting to evolve amphibiously from the primordial soup. All at once, out of my poor cramping suffering cervix. Enormous glistening things…. with eyes… okay not with eyes but they might as well…. schlooping out of there. So I’m staggering around doubled over in pain with blood pouring out of me. I feel very studly and keep holding up these baby-fist-sized clots to the light. Shimmery and amazing! Let’s make blood sausage! Well, days 2-4 of my period will be like “something vaguely pink happening in one’s underwear” time if this is any indicator…. entire period happening in one goddamned day. Apparently my uterus is an efficiency nut and read that GTD book when I wasn’t looking.

Thank you god for not making me bust through those tampaxes right onto the suede couches at the geek party mansion.

I’m falling asleep so this is just sort of a graceless brain dump of what was a couple of awesome great days with many happy shiny moments. What are we? What will we get to be? Those sort of thoughts, incredulous ones.

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In class today

I rambled a bit ineffectually about revision. Exercises. No time to trade papers and try to critique or workshop. Process exercise review of topics. I felt like I lectured boringly today and was a little mean about “look it up in the book!”. But on the other hand, they almost all raised their hands and said they felt confident they could write this paper.

I haven’t thought of paper #3 yet. I suppose a compare and contrast. Then we launch straight into the research paper, which I haven’t the faintest clue how to teach. I’ll swipe a lot from JM’s material. We’ll do “argumentation” in the computer lab. Arguing on the net disinhibits people…well, some people.

I thought of switching my realname blog over to a new name – I could use “integry” since I like the idea and no one else has it – while “composite” is used everywhere and I couldn’t get any good domains for it.

My goal tonight is to be in bed reading and ready to sleep by 10:30. All my bright sparky ideas, drained and sapped. I could be organizing papers and going through school stuff, instead of trying to force myself to blog something intelligent.

The class is still lovely but I think too exhausting and I’ll be glad when it’s done. I won’t miss the brutal commute.

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Blogging & Feminism

I’m on my way to the Blogging Feminism panel tonight – I’ll liveblog it a little bit over on Composite. Jessica Valenti (feministing), Liza Sabater, (Culture Kitchen), Alice Marwick (Tiara), Lauren Spees, and Michelle Riblett (Hollaback) will be on the panel.

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a nice morning thinking poetics and bio

Mashups and poetry. Black bread toasted to just burned. Wanda Coleman blowing me up with relentless torpedos. As I peel off the “made in china” label, I say a prayer to appease the spirit of the human being who with personal patience in a factory stuck the little bits of colored mirror onto the miniature mirrored disco ball that I bought for 6.50. Surely she heard me.

Was thinking that for me the point of poetry is to integrate my reality. Blogging is good because it’s helped me open to more real-world people and more being-in-the-world. But poetry is my way of synthesis. I always think “Oh shit I haven’t been writing! This is the end!” but then dig around and find that I’ve been writing what I haven’t been saying, and have written more of it than I think I have. I don’t always like where I’ve been or what I’ve put into the mix. Periodic re-assessment by poetry keeps me on track.

I also realize I made the Composite blog to talk about these very things but then I don’t so much. It gets kind of raw in there. I read a poem by edwin torres and I’m thinking about it for days and yet find it impossible to talk about and then my next poem is a response to it so i’m talking to and about torres. or some imaginary construct. But the words don’t come out so analytic or understandable and usually no one around me would get it without hours of demonstration and explanation. I don’t know a lot of people who would follow me there, but I’d like to get some of that process and thought out on the table. It seems important. Diane Di Prima says there is no way that anyone can avoid having a poetics and I believe that. It’s a war and a revolution, poetics and what goes on in the space between non verbal understanding and verbal which is where your will and judgement make the poem, or action. Anyway, there are other reasons not to talk about it, and why it’s private. It’s boring to anyone who’s not going to follow and whoever doesn’t want to get lost.

Read a bit more of Tiptree bio… extremely good… sensitive and complicated treatment of people… However — I get uncomfortable with mother-blaming. Her mom was too big, so it warped her. Well, I fucking hope not, because I’m big myself and I have a kid and I don’t like to think it dooms him so that no matter what things always reflect on my motherhood? I think not. He can be his own person. Well, but that’s how she saw it. She chose it in her relationship, to keep the relationship important. I get mad about this stuff but part of it is the pressure of family and the wrongness of the way we construct family so that selfabnegation is crucial. I was seeing during Julie’s reading the other day that in order to be big – for anyone to see you as big – you better not have a family in some ways, the way that geneological research is so hard because people want to keep their great-aunt’s sdecrets and because shame contaminates everyone. If Tip had a kid or even a nephew you can bet this story would not be written. If she died before her parents it would not be written. It’s not right!

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rambliness elsewhere

I went to the Deadwood art co-op and poets’ collaboration performance thing which I almost forgot about, and would have forgotten if I’d driven to Oakland though originally i had a half-assed plan to do both. It was great – really interesting – it improved everyone’s work, i thought – I wish I had participated but it was one of the things I said “no” to b/c of my thesis in the spring – during the reading I took notes and will write it up tomorrow.

“We will reclaim the power animal!
Body-vulnerable        spirit-fierce!
Being about new industries of love
The Soul Book’s blank pages    ready”

- (by my friend Antzen)

*at which i swoon with pleasure*

Is he copying me and my hyphenating thing? that’s okay because i copy him all the time. coolio, we’re literary influences on each other. he’s better though – he knocks my 8 ball into the pocket every time.

Meanwhile, I wrote up last night’s reading over on Composite.

what more can I say… i should add more links to that… and you should all go buy zamora’s books… start with “violent foam”.

*huge face splitting yawn* must go to sleep

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