I am diva, see me strop

Jul. 27th, 2017 07:45 pm
oursin: Photograph of a spiny sea urchin (Spiny sea urchin)
[personal profile] oursin

No, really, if you return to me a copy-edited article for my attention, and mention that you have made changes to the text (as well as changing the title to one that I think is misleading), please to be sending it to me with your changes tracked and marked up.

For if you are going to insult my ability to write English prose, I think I should be able to see how you have 'improved' my text without having to compare it line by line with the text I sent you.

I may possibly have dumped my bibliography on this editor's head...

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Posted by Jessica Lachenal

Listen: I’m a terrible chickenshit.

I don’t particularly like being afraid of things, and I usually go out of my own damn way to avoid having to scroll past Netflix’s Horror offerings. Like, my overactive imagination just clings to that stuff like instantly.

So offered to you here without further comment are my various reactions while watching this new trailer for the remake of Stephen King’s It.

Why does nearly every scary movie take place in a small town? Like, do people not trust nature and that idyllic-ass setting right there? That’s gorgeous.

Yeah, I like Paper Girls, too.

Okay, kids cliff diving like they’re getting ready for their Cancun vacation? Sure, okay. They’re already braver than I am.

Is this It or Stand By Me? I can’t tell.

Sorry, but every time I see Finn Wolfhard, I’m just going to think I’m watching Stranger Things. Like, I know I’m not, but—wait what is up with everyone just looking so menacingly at kids, is that what happens in small towns?

Dude. Kid. I know you liked that boat, but it’s gone. Don’t … NO



hey wait why are the storm drains so hecking tall in this town





You know he’s dead.

See, it makes sense that this thing is set in the 80s because you just know kids of today would be like “fuck this, I’m out” but not before trying to capture Pennywise on Snapchat.

Note to self: pitch “How Millennials Are Ruining Horror Movies” later today.

“My grandfather thinks this town is cursed.” LISTEN TO YOUR ELDERS, KID

The sad thing is that run down OBVIOUSLY HAUNTED house would totally go for $3.4 million where I live. Like yeah, you’d have to deal with demons and occasional wall-bleeding, but central air and heat don’t come cheap, you know?

So wait, is Pennywise like some kind of immortal clown? Like, I don’t know, Keanu Reeves or something? Is that where they’re going with this?

I didn’t think it was possible for a trailer to instill a fear of red balloons into me, but here we hecking are, I guess.

Someone tracked mud all over the floor and the real horror here is that Rug Doctors are a total pain in the ass to use.

You know how trailers always go silent whenever something scary is about to happen? Yeah, no, forget it. I’m noping real hard right now. REAL HARD.



You know when you were a kid and you were afraid to go to the kitchen to get a drink of water in the middle of the night BECAUSE OF THIS EXACT SCENARIO? YEAH. THAT’S IT. RIGHT THERE.


I don’t know but that is a real fear I have now. I can’t walk past playgrounds anymore. It’s too much.

Wait, no, I take it back, the real horror are all those LEGO pieces on that hardwood floor now. You’re going to be running from that clown and guess what? You’re gonna step on a LEGO piece and it’s curtains. Curtains.




Oh, okay, the basement’s flooded, and my little brother who I thought was dead is just standing in the corner, let’s not tell anyone and let me go ahead and handle this myself.



That’s a pretty rad lineup of kids, though. They’ve got some Breakfast Club vibes coming all off of them everywhere. Like for real, Sophia Lillis is totally a dead ringer (haaaaa) for Molly Ringwald right here.





“Are you just going to pretend it isn’t happening like everyone else happening in this town?” No, I’m going to move the hell away and seriously what no stop.


If you’re wandering through a haunted hecking house, you do not (I repeat, do not) ever walk into the CHAPEL-LIKE room full of creepy clown dolls good lord I know you just saved your best pal from the Upside Down but man that does not make you invincibl—


I’m not going to sleep tonight. That’s for damn sure. I hope you’re happy.

It floats into theaters on September 8th.

(via io9)

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Posted by Vivian Kane

J.K. Rowling, like the rest of us, has no patience for the hateful Trump-supporting right-wing bigots trolling Twitter, spewing hate through misinformation and empty bumper-sticker platitudes. Like, for instance, the insufferable Tomi Lahren, who once described her specialty on Fox News as “melting snowflakes.”

Lahren took to Twitter yesterday to support Trump’s tweets banning transgender individuals from serving in the military. In between some total bullshit about how hormone treatments have any correlation at all to “veterans dying on VA waiting lists” and that “Political correctness=intellectual dishonesty,” she also went with that old standby line about Obama’s legacy involving “putting men in women’s restrooms.”

If you’ve spent any time at all scrolling through pro-Trump Twitter (please don’t do that to yourselves!), you’ve seen it. “JFK wanted to put a man on the moon, Obama wanted to put men in women’s bathrooms.” “Trump wants to defeat ISIS, Obama wants to blah blah blah.” It’s ridiculous, it doesn’t make any sense, and JK Rowling is here to let you know it you look like a fool.

Yes, thank you Tomi Lahren for regurgitating a meme, despite its total lack of basis in anything resembling reality. What a hero you are.

While we’re looking at Rowling’s Twitter timeline, let’s not ignore that she also pointed out what is clearly Trump’s Patronus.

While most of Rowling’s fans are fully into her takedowns of the orange amphibian, there are apparently some who want her to leave us to wallow privately. Yeah, that’s not how this works though.

J.K. Rowling is a true Twitter inspiration and we are lucky to have her.

(image: Shutterstock)

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Posted by Charline Jao

“I think it’s given me a lot of perspective in life.”

“It took everything from me.”

“It made me understand that I’m ok with being opinionated.”

These are a few of the responses from the jurors who told their stories on The Jury Speaks, an Oxygen special that aired last weekend about the juries behind famous trials. With a wide array of criminal cases and jurors from different walks of life, the impact of these high-profile cases was different for each person, yet they all fit together to form a more complete image of our justice system. Last week, I had the opportunity to talk to producer Nancy Glass about why this perspective was valuable. Talking to the jurors, they expressed similar sentiments about the double-edged sword that is the media and what they hope people will take away from their stories.

Robbie Nelson, who stands by her decision on The People vs. Robert Durst, said she trusted Oxygen because “all the other news outlets that had ever asked us to do interviews we’ve always had to be on the defensive, we’re always having to defend what we said. “So when they came in and said, ‘We really want to tell the jury’s side of everything’ I think that’s really what changed it. I was really hesitant at first to do it—but then I decided, no it’s time. Let’s get our side out.”

Pauline Coccoz of The People vs. Michael Jackson, who is a mother of three children, echoes this, opening up about the paranoia she and the other jurors felt after deliberations. “Throughout the years I’ve turned down a lot of interviews because intuition has become a great thing for me. There’s certain times, certain people say certain questions and instantly you’re defense mechanism goes up…you choose your words very very carefully and when it came to Glass Entertainment I point blank asked them, ‘Are you wanting to hear what I have to say or is this your story?’ It was clearly said to me that they wanted to hear what I had to say. So I took a chance, I went with my gut instinct. I felt that they really wanted to hear what I have to say.”

Maddy Rivera, of The People vs. George Zimmerman, had perhaps the most reason to be cautious. After the case, Rivera lost her job, home family, and friends. When people found out where she lived, she was threatened and feared for herself and her children who were 8, 13, 16, and 17 at the time. Rivera’s case feels like the most raw, an open wound that became symbolic of a greater problem within the United States. She felt safe telling her story to Oxygen because she had seen how detailed their other shows were, explaining:

“I grew a bond with the production and the person that spoke to me. As long as I’ve been here, they haven’t twisted my words. That’s my fear, I’ll say something and they’ll switch it up and it’ll say something else. But I trust them a lot and with this opportunity allowing me to be me, not having to lie and say, ‘this is what really happened, this is not what happened’ and they gave me the platform for it. How would I not trust a person who’s actually trying to listen to me, not what everybody else is saying?”

The caution of choosing words carefully is evident during our conversations. Rivera is quick to correct herself at a few points, and it echoes what the producer’s statement that this perspective is one that’s often filtered, judged, or completely absent.

As I wrote about in my interview with Glass, the power of The Jury Speaks is that it moves away from individualistic blame and instead focuses on the format of the justice system as a whole. Nelson says she hopes people understand “there’s a tiny line that you’re given. Instructions on what you’re supposed to judge them on and how you’re supposed to judge them and you have to look at that because you want to stay within the law.” She elaborates, “If some of that law wasn’t there then there’s a lot of things that would change on all kinds of verdicts, not just ours.” These high profile cases might be milestones, catalysts for movements, and gripping, but they also gesture to the countless cases may have just as much crime with none of the media attention or retrospective scrutiny. Not everyone get a highly acclaimed documentary series like The Jinx to deliver accountability.

“I really think it is the justice system because finding someone guilty or innocent really doesn’t mean that they aren’t guilty or that they were innocent. It’s based on the facts of what the prosecution tells you and what the defense presents. So, you have to still hear both sides of that story and like everyone says, there’s always three sides of every story.

Soon as we got done with the trail, friend and family were like, ‘How did you not convict him? He was guilty! He dismembered the body, how are you not finding him guilty?’ And then I had to tell them, we were specifically told that we can not use that part of the case. ‘But why?’ I don’t know why! That’s what we were given. I think every trial, there’s so much information given that then there’s only a little part of it that you actually have to listen to. So that’s the hard part.” Nelson was told that the dismemberment would be taken care of at a different point, though it never went to trial.

Coccoz speaks most positively about her case. As an analytical person who prides herself on being able to look at both sides and identify facts, she says, “I kind of felt that maybe this was my mission in life, was to be there and to hear all the facts and make an educated decision. And somebody’s life was in my hands….I do feel that it changed my life because it made me understand that I’m ok with being opinionated as a woman. As we get older it seems we become more and more opinionated but it’s ok, because we are confident and it makes us feel like our voice matters.”

She found herself “deeply saddened” by Jackson’s death. Coccoz adds, “I hope to never have to be in that jury position again, but I guess maybe that was something I had to go through.

Rivera calls her case “delicate,” and says she wasn’t expecting the case to have the impact it did.” After that situation, it brought Black Lives Matters and as African-Americans they felt like no one was listening to them and people were just able to shoot anybody and just do what they wanted to do,” she says. Rivera wasn’t permitted to look at the 911 call or when Zimmerman followed Martin. She laments about the prosecution, “Trayvon Martin never had a chance.”

“We didn’t make the decision, the decision was made so you follow what the law says and I did my job. And no one knew that after I did my job that it was going to come out to be more of an impact, more hurt…It was 5, 6 women and we followed what the law said. The law stated we couldn’t look at certain parts, there was a lot of evidence put to the side so we had to follow that.”

She confesses, “a lot of times I felt like I was manipulated because I didn’t know the law. I hate to say it didn’t happen—it might have happened, but because I am here now, I’m trying to make a difference.”

“The system fails in communication. They’ll tell you what a manslaughter is, they’ll tell you what murder is, but a person like myself who doesn’t read the law books and don’t know anything about that, it’s hard for you to have to make that choice.” On what she hopes people take away from her story, she says, “I would want someone else, whoever else is involved in jury duty, to speak up when they want to say something. I didn’t speak up. I was one of those that really let everyone else speak for me.” The mother of eight is currently preparing to become and teacher and working on outreach programs for youths.

You can watch episodes of They Jury Speaks on Oxygen here.

(image: Heidi Gutman/Oxygen Media)

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Jul. 27th, 2017 09:15 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I meant for this to be two separate posts: one for the fun stuff, one for the Ninth Fort, which is the most harrowing, emotionally devastating place I have visited since Buchenwald. But of course image hosting isn't cooperating, so unfortunately at the moment, if you want to see the fun pictures, you will also have to see the depressing pictures (which I promise aren't actually that bad, as I only really took exterior shots that are only disturbing if you know the context). This said, here is the gallery, and content/trigger warning for some of the photos being of a place where 30,000-50,000 people were murdered.

(Of course, I have no idea if you can even view the photos. I really need to work out my image hosting issues. Flickr is an impossibility at the moment while I'm out of Canada.)

Anyway! I'm sure somewhere in your mind, you were wondering about the fact that I keep posting pictures of pretty buildings and lovely, walkable cities. Admit it--you expected a bit more Soviet brutalist and you were wondering where it was. The answer is that it's all in Kaunas. Kaunas does have a cute Old Town but the stuff we wanted to see wasn't there, and where we're staying is pure 1960s poured cement. I will admit a slight fondness for it, though I wouldn't want to live there.

Our first stop was the Devil's Museum, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It's an excellent collection of devils of all sorts. Our one criticism is that the gift shop was missing some obvious opportunities as it practically didn't exist.

Then we went across the street to the museum of M. K. Ciurlionis, a Symbolist artist and composer. Cool, not the most exciting, but some lovely work.

We also rode a funicular, which is kind of like an amusement ride except not very good. But it's one of my favourite words now.

The main event was going about a half-hour outside town to the Ninth Fort. It's an early 20th century fort that became a hard labour camp, then a transfer point for deportations to Siberia during the first Soviet occupation of Lithuania, then basically a killing field under the Nazis. The second time the Soviets occupied the country, they turned it into a vast and ghastly monument to the victims of fascism, which subsequently was expanded to include evidence of their own crimes after Lithuania's independence.

I can't really describe it to you properly. Unless you've been in the remnants of a concentration camp or similar, you won't be able to get what it's like to stand in a place that is well and truly haunted by the unquiet dead. The museum consists of one building that's an overview of the atrocities committed on the premises, but focusing mainly on the Soviet occupation, several vast, giant sculptures and plaques describing the Nazi massacres, and the fort itself, which shows prison cells, interrogation rooms, a recreation of a Kaunas Ghetto house, and informational rooms with the requisite belongings of the victims. It's cold, and damp, and good luck ever not feeling that bone-deep chill again. Also, this is why we don't fucking compromise with fascists, okay?

Anyway we coped really well after, which is to say I had 1/3 of a bottle of wine and I'm just about shaking history from my head. Tomorrow it's back to Kiev, and then home.
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Interlude: Luke
by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Monday, December 11, 2000

He thought he might hit something.

He was certain he was going to hit something.  The question was whether or not he was going to manage to wait until he was out of Regine’s office.

“I know.”  He spoke very carefully, because if you got “emotional” around Regine, she stopped listening.  “Emotional” meant that you weren’t being “rational,” and that meant that she could discount any and everything you said.  “I’m aware that the Student Council interfered in the matter of Zita.  But they don’t see the same things as we do, and they’re — they’re biased.”

read on...

Writing in my sleep

Jul. 27th, 2017 01:53 pm
nineweaving: (Default)
[personal profile] nineweaving
I dreamed that all the personal names in a mystery manuscript were wrong, and called my dream-editor with changes:  the middle-aged detective-figure and her brother the Duke were now Helen and Humphrey, and their eccentric brother, Lord Instead.

I wish my waking muse were that inventive.

larryhammer: Enceladus (the moon, not the mythological being), label: "Enceladus is sexy" (astronomy)
[personal profile] larryhammer
Three useful links:

The myth of force-quitting apps on iOS will save battery life. (via)

Subway-style maps of Roman roads of Britain (via) and
US rivers. (via)



Subject quote from "Harbor," Vienna Teng.
elisi: (Stepping Sideways)
[personal profile] elisi
Forgot to mention that I have this whole fic written & finished, which is nice. :)

On AO3 this is tagged with 'Aggressive Sarcasm' and 'Mutual Antagonism'. In other words: I had a lot of fun writing this.

Summary: How do you save people that don't want to be saved?

For info etc, please check out The Prologue.

Note: Gallifreyan will be indicated by the use of « and » rather than "". It seemed the simplest solution.


A Long Way from Sherwood: Chapter 1 )
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Posted by Dan Van Winkle

Yes, we’ve all noticed—and rolled our eyes at—people online warning us about what Trump and co. are “distracting” us with while they try to accomplish whatever the messenger believes is more important. Even Stephen Colbert said as much about Trump’s statements on transgender troops in the military yesterday, but that ignores something very critical: It’s all important.

Does Trump try to manipulate the media, and the public, by creating a smokescreen? Absolutely, but just because he sees issues that affect people’s lives as no more than political ammo doesn’t mean the rest of us should sink to that understanding. No matter how he intends them, his words and actions have real consequences for real people, and it’s often the most vulnerable among us who he tries to use for his political gain, or who he’s actively trying to hurt—or both, depending on the situation. He sees them as a distraction because he doesn’t care who he hurts, and that’s not something the rest of us should be trying to emulate. If we stop holding him accountable, things will only get worse, not better.

Donald Trump won the election in 2016. Even while he was a candidate, everything he did had real-world consequences as he emboldened the worst among us, and he’s only grown more dangerous now that he has actual power in our government. Ignoring him is not an option. The Pentagon spent several minutes yesterday worrying that he was about to start a nuclear war on Twitter. As easy as it is to scoff at that, it’s still a very real possibility that we have to deal with, whether we like it or not, and it drives home the fact that we can’t just write off what Trump says.

He won the election as much on “identity politics” as anything else, no matter how much his supporters claim to hate that. (They only hate it when it’s someone else’s identity.) These things that we’re so often told are “distractions”—usually marginalized people’s rights—are also rallying cries for the worst of his supporters and are much too easily ignored by those who are ambivalent towards him or politics in general. If anything, the way we ended up with Trump was that too many people either didn’t care or were actively enthusiastic about the harm he would do to groups less privileged than themselves.

It’s no surprise that general economic policy and healthcare are treated as the “real issues,” while the rights of marginalized people are “distractions.” That’s the very perception that we need to fix, and it was illustrated again yesterday, as Trump tweeted about banning transgender people from the military while the Senate debated over health care. Whether or not Trump’s cynical intent was to use trans issues to distract from health care—or to play on voters’ bigotry to gain support, as a quid pro quo for other bigots to get his ridiculous wall built, or just because he’s a bigot himself—we can’t ignore either of them. Honestly, believing otherwise reveals more about the person pushing that view than it does about what Trump is up to.

I have no doubt his intent, or at least a fringe benefit, was to create too many fires to put out, as usual—the joint chiefs have said that they’re making no modifications to policy based on Trump’s words, and I hope it stays that way—but the solution isn’t to let his hateful words go unchallenged. If Trump’s opponents won’t stand up to his attacks, those attacks will succeed whether he’s really invested in them or not. We can’t let him burn down the kitchen while we put out the garage. We need to have what it takes to save both, or we won’t wind up with anything left worth saving at the end, because he’s not going to stop.

(image: Hayk_Shalunts / Shutterstock.com)

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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

 “Soon I will bench press a tank”

Whatever you might be working on, we’ve discovered the finest possible motivation out there.

When I saw this comic on Tumblr my first reaction was “awww!” and my second was “YES” and my third was “wow, also, same.” I found Wonder Woman to be hugely inspirational—and not simply in that it made me want to get stronger and be able to leap vast distances. Whenever there’s something that seems hard to accomplish now or a particular injustice to address, I like to think: “What Would Wonder Woman Do?” (WWWWD)

I also love that this comic subverts the usual societal expectations that anyone—especially women—would be working hard in order to impress  “a certain someone,” rather than for themselves. That we get to see the motivating factor here and it’s Diana Prince makes this all the more glorious. Diana Prince has a long history of subverting societal expectations where women are concerned.

Credit belongs to Tumblr user artandmartini, a 20-year-old artist who graciously gave me permission to post her work. You can find her on Tumblr, Twitter, and commission her to draw something for you. This comic definitely struck a chord across Tumblr—it has 88,000+ likes and reblogs and shows no sign of slowing down. As for me, I’m considering printing it out and taping it to the wall near my desk.

No matter what you’re working on, consider doing it for Diana. It’s wonderfully effective.

(via Tumblr, image: artandmartini, DC Comics)


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Posted by Jessica Lachenal

After Donald “Soggy Bottom” Trump tweeted about how transgender people will be barred from serving in the military in any capacity, outpourings of love and support from various celebrities and prominent figures came from just about every conceivable angle. Last night, many late night show hosts found their own ways of showing their support for trans people, and James Corden, ever the lovely cinnamon roll, made a beautiful tribute on The Late Late Show riffing on Nat King Cole’s “L.O.V.E.”, changing the lyrics to suit a new acronym: “L.G.B.T.”

It’s lovely, to say the least. It strikes me what a USO show might be like in our day and age. What’s more, it looks like it was pre-recorded, as there wasn’t any audience response to a few of the jokes laid within. That’s not a knock against it—it’s a pretty nice bit all the same.

The song covered many of the talking points that have come up since yesterday: that covering medical costs for trans service members would constitute a drop in the budgetary bucket; that Trump himself has never shown the bravery displayed by trans service members (or service members in general, period); and that trans vets have existed and served in the military for forever now with little to no ill effect on morale.

It was kind of a wonderful thing to see, and if I could take a tangent for a moment, I wish we’d get to see this kind of outpouring of support when trans women of color are murdered in and around our own neighborhoods. If you want to talk about bravery and shows of courage and strength, look no further than the trans women of color who disproportionately face threats of violence and murder nearly any time they step out of their front doors.

Just a thought.

(via LGBTQ Nation)

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Up, up, and away

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:47 pm
[personal profile] herooftheage
This is going to be my 44th Pennsic, though to be honest about it, cancer year was pretty marginal.

I have, finally, figured out how to correctly thread and efficiently use a rachet tie. Apparently, I'm a slow learner. It probably would have gone faster if I'd ever read the directions. Like Calvin, apparently I go with "Live and don't learn, that's my motto!"

Anyway, the truck is all packed. In short order, I'm going to turn off the computer and start driving to Pennsic. I hope to see many of you there.

Hey, cis allies!

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:38 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
In light of the trans military ban, a lot of you have written things on social media along the lines of, "Trans people, I love and support you, you're not a burden, etc." That's nice, but it would be nicer if you told your fellow cis people that disrespecting trans people isn't behavior that you accept. Another thing you can do to show that your words aren't just words is to give a trans person money for necessary medical care that many trans people can't access (and accessing it will almost certainly become harder in the next year.)

Here's one opportunity to do just that. Rory is an acquaintance of mine and I can vouch for them being a legit person with a need.
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Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain Awkward,

My wedding is in a month.  There is new parental drama that makes me wish we were eloping.  How do I still enjoy my wedding?

Fiancée and I are introverts and did not want a huge wedding.  My parents do not understand why we would not want 300 guests (despite numerous attempts to explain). We compromised and invited almost everyone they wanted.  We will have 100 guests (a lot!).

A few days ago, amidst a calm discussion about wedding logistics, my dad got unexpectedly angry and bitter and said (I quote) “You have made a lot of choices about this wedding that your mom and I would not have made and you just have to live with the fact that you can’t make everyone happy.”  He said it in a way that clearly indicated he was bitter and resentful and unhappy.  It was out of the blue and really upsetting, very much the “you are a child and I am not going to engage with or respect you” tone of voice.  I am about to be 30.

I tried to engage in calm, thoughtful conversation (through tears) about his concerns, but to no avail.  He does not communicate about feelings, apologize or have discussions about his behavior.  My mom did not get why I was upset (???), but when I talked to her later she did commiserate that he does not apologize for things.  I assume he is still upset about invitations, which pisses me off because we invited all of his family (except for some adult children, which caused other drama, long story).  I may never know.

My primary concern is how to still enjoy my wedding next month. My mom is confident he will behave and be gracious, and she is probably right, but this outburst was unexpected so I am worried (A++ at anxiety). I also know that any conversation with my dad about this will a) not go anywhere, and b) make it take longer for things to cool down, making day-of wedding drama more likely.  But I am both a strong communicator and a strong woman and it is hard to feel like letting it go is letting him win.  Wedding planning has been a large source of stress for me (we had a variety of other family/friend invitation drama despite our best attempts), and this is just the icing on the cake.  Right now I feel like I am going to burst into tears from one unkind word at the wedding.

 I talked about this with my therapist and we are working on practicing being okay with people I care about being upset at/angry with me. I care about my parents very much, but my dad has been the largest source of wedding-related stress, and telling him that will only make things worse.  I have a good Team Me in my fiancée and close friends, but it is hard to know what to do so that I can enjoy my wedding while also feeling angry.


Thank you,

Maybe I Should Have Eloped

Dear Maybe,

Your dad gave you an (unintentional) gift with his words. I’ll explain later, when we talk about feelings. For now, you’re 30 days out from your wedding, so, let’s make lists and check things off them.

A. Choose a date, reserve a venue, invite people. DONE! You have compromised all you can and invited all you can invite. This is the final guest list, for better or worse. From this day forward I give you absolute permission to concentrate on the people who will be attending and more specifically the people you are excited to see that day, and let everyone else fade cheerfully into the general fog of well-wishers.

If your parents are continually passing on news of the “Well, I talked to so-and-so, and they are still upset about not being invited” variety, it’s okay to say “We are not changing the guest list. It’s done. If so-and-so is really that upset, tell them to take it up directly with me… after the wedding.” There is an 90% chance that So-and-so doesn’t give a shit about your wedding and your parents are using their name to chew on the drama of it all again.

B. Make sure people have places to sit and pee and stuff to eat and drink.  DONE! You’re 30 days out, you have doubtless locked almost all of this stuff down. Your obligation to your guests is fulfilled. Your job from here on out is to show up and get married.

C. A ceremony of some sort with legal documents. I’m also assuming this is being handled. Great job!

You’ve done the hardest part! This event is situated on the space-time continuum and people are coming to it.

D. With the help of your fiancée, make a list of anything & everything logistical that it’s essential to discuss with either of your parents between now and the wedding. Is there something the parents are bringing? Is there transportation stuff/clothing stuff/hotel stuff that needs nailed down? Put it on the list! Is there something that isn’t really important and can be deleted from the list or solved without consulting them? Great! Cross it off the list.

E. Now, use the list and generate a cheerful, joint, “We can’t wait to see you! Here are all the last-minute details in one place!” email to your folks. From now until the wedding day, there is nothing to negotiate or deeply discuss, there is only implementation of decisions long past made: “Are you still good to pick up the cake? It will be ready at 10am that day. Let me know, thank you!” or “Don’t worry about that, it’s all handled! Just come and enjoy yourself.” 

F. One of the benefits of marriage that people tend to undersell: You now have a built-in buffer and teammate and stressful-relative-switch-hitter, for life! Your dad is stressing you out right now, so, maybe your fiancée can take point. “Hello, how are you? Nice to hear your voice! Letter Writer is driving/asleep/I just pried the phone out of their hands and made them take the rest of night off from wedding crap, but I’m here! What’s up?” You can do the same with her most stressful relative. If the person is calling to be pleasant, everything will be pleasant. If the person is calling to shower disappointment on you, they can be disappointed about how they didn’t get to do that.

G. Do you have a wedding party person or gregarious friend who can be Dad-buffer at the wedding? This is not an uncommon or unusual request! Even nice families where everyone likes each other stress each other out around big life events. The designated person makes pleasant party small talk with your dad – “Your child looks great! I’m so happy for both of them! What a great party this is! What is it that you do, sir? Wow, that sounds interesting, how did you get into that?” – and you get a little breathing room and permission to relax between now and then. Your dad will most likely pull it together and behave himself on that day, so this is just a security blanket, but if for some reason he doesn’t your buffer will handle it and you’ll never even know.

Parent logistics stuff, solved! We’re almost there! Let’s talk about enjoying yourself.

H. Make sure that on your wedding day you and your fiancée have some time that’s just by yourselves, for yourselves, with no one looking at you. The great Offbeat Bride team has some pieces about how to implement this:

1) “Introvert wedding survival tips and weddings for shy people”

2) “Avoid wedding day memory loss: How to slow down and actually remember your wedding.” If you’re only finding that site 30 days before the big day, I’m sorry! It helped me so much.

What I’d add to Offbeat Bride’s lists for introverts:

3) Give your eyes breaks. Our ceremony was probably 10 minutes long? Turns out that is much too long to look deeply into into someone’s eyes, even the eyes of your favorite person. Just know that going in.

4) Talk to your photographer. I don’t know if you have photography anxiety, but I do. Our photographer knew and he was great at gently and quickly getting the stuff he knew we’d want someday. He made it fun and low key and gave me breaks and I didn’t feel surveilled or pinned down by a lens the whole time. Your photographer wants to know the bare bones of awkward stuff like “Spouse’s parents are divorced, so, we’ll definitely take some with both parents but make sure we get some with Just Mom and Just Dad.” A pro will take all this in and make it go smoothly. Also, you do not have to pose for pictures with every single person who came to your wedding. Have mercy on yourselves and all these people, let them get to the buffet and the having fun part.

5) Let your officiant officiate. We…okay…I…wanted to go no-cameras (except for our pro) during the ceremony itself. If I’d told people that ahead of time I’d have heard a whole bunch of jibber-jabber about it but having the officiant spring it on people right before the ceremony meant nobody could grumble at us where we had to listen to it.

Okay. Now is the time in this list/pep talk where we address what your dad said:

“You have made a lot of choices about this wedding that your mom and I would not have made and you just have to live with the fact that you can’t make everyone happy.” 

He meant it as a “neg.” He meant “you’re gonna have to live with my/our disappointment.” He meant it to get you to apologize for something or give in on some point of negotiation (or to stop insisting on making yourself happy).

But the words say: “you just have to live with the fact that you can’t make everyone happy.And these are true words. These words are a gift. They can be a shield, or they can be ammunition. As in, the next time he’s a pill about something wedding-related you can remind yourself, that hey, you can’t make everyone happy, and some people might be disappointed no matter what you do, so stop trying to win their approval (INCLUDING YOU, DAD). He probably will never apologize or get it and things might stay a little strained for a while. But you have a secret weapon when things get tense, and that weapon is “Hey, Dad, thanks for the suggestion, I’ll think about it!” (You will think about it, and quietly not take the suggestion).

He’ll grumble, and you’ll say, “Dad, I know that’s not what you want to hear, but like someone very wise once said, I have to stop trying so hard to make everyone happy.” He’ll grumble more – he didn’t meant that you should stop trying to make HIM happy – but you can smile and keep saying “Thanks Dad! Those were really wise words, you helped me a lot. As long as fiancée and I are a team, we don’t have to make everyone happy,” and eventually he’ll STFU. Weaponized filial piety as judo, where you use your opponent’s strength and aggression against him.

It’s not the job of your wedding to make everyone happy or to express your exact social class markers and culture and perfect taste with just enough individual touches to feel really authentic and just enough tradition that it will still be recognizable to the olds as a wedding. It’s not your wedding’s job to spackle over the awkward patches in your family, to make up for lost time, to bring you all closer together, to make the unsayable sayable, to provide reconciliation and catharsis. It’s not your wedding’s job to be your happiest day of your life or to live up to some fantasy. It’s one day, hopefully a happy one, in a hopefully long and happy life.


OK STORY TIME in the style of bitchesgottaeat.

I hated wedding planning. I resented every second of it. I had no dream or fantasy wedding from childhood. I was also in pain all the time, and had weekly physical therapy for an injured knee and shoulder injury that made it hard to put on a bra by myself or reliably wipe my butt for months. My future mother-in-law was in and out of the hospital for a persistent MRSA-like infection. Would she even be able to come? I was working four little jobs that almost but not quite made a whole job pay-wise but made 1.5 jobs time-wise, now with extra commuting! Our wedding was exactly one month before Election Day, 2016. My dentist: “You’re grinding your teeth.” No shit?

I hated all the gender expectations around it, like, why are people asking me what our “theme” would be? Is it because I’m the lady? Why do I have to know this shit? (Me: “WTF is theme.” Commander Logic: “You don’t have to have a theme.” Me: “THANK YOU” Note: We did sort of end up with one? Lyrics here.)

I knew I was the one stressing MYSELF out, like, nobody was making me do this, if you’re planning a party about love you have good problems, we had survived some very hard things together especially in 2014 and really did want to celebrate with our friends and families, so why was I making it so much harder on myself than it had to be? Because my brain has a hateful shitlord lodged inside it that second-guesses literally everything is the answer to that question.

I had many conversations with my mom where she was disappointed in or unable to understand my choices (to not spend a zillion dollars that I don’t have, to not add starving myself to my already full to-do list). In one phone call she told me people in our family might not want to come if it wasn’t going to be “enough like a wedding.” She started apologizing to family in front of us when told them we’d set a date and a place – “Well, it’s going to be very rustic!” – and tried to talk us into her throwing a second fancy party where they live in case family didn’t want to make the trip here. (Note: My family is not actually fancy, this was all projection.) She was also hurt and disappointed that I was having a civil ceremony instead of faking and lying my way through a Catholic wedding and wondered aloud, on Mother’s Day, if she was a bad parent because somehow all of her kids had rejected God, or did we do it on purpose to hurt her feelings. (My suggestion that my younger brother who runs his own church called Warriors 4 Christ and sells Christian-themed camping and fishing gear loved God enough for all of us was not received well).

She did not body-police me…much…but she about bit through her tongue to not do it and would always mention conspicuously how she wanted to lose about x more pounds before she bought something to wear. Me: “Mmmhmm.” About a year beforehand I brought a $40 wedding dress on clearance (literally the first thing I saw online that met the criteria of “might fit” and “don’t hate”) that I ended up wearing on my actual wedding day (yay!) but I would have paid 10x that even if I didn’t wear it because it allowed to say, truthfully, “Aw, thanks for the offer to go wedding dress shopping, that’s so sweet, but I already have my dress!” for a calendar year.

My mom came out for a nice shower that my friends threw in the summer. It was so sweet of her to come. She helped me pick out my wedding ring. She gave me a generous gift. She also did the maddening thing she does where she walks very very fast until she’s far ahead of me and then stops and impatiently glares at me until I catch up. My knee had been healing but I re-aggravated it trying to keep up with her the whole weekend. Mr. Awkward put a stop to that when he came out with us on the last day. When she’d walk ahead, he’d stop walking and wait for her to do the glare thing. “Where are you going? Jennifer’s the only one who knows the way, so, you’re going to have to walk with us if you want to get there.” And he’d stand until she had to walk back to where we were and before we’d start off again. And you know, it turns out she can modulate her walking speed after a couple rounds of that? Who knew?

Like you, I had a lot of anxiety about would my mom freak my shit out and make me cry on the day itself. One hint of “Wait, is that what you’re wearing?” (and it wouldn’t have to be in words, it could be a look or a sniff or a sigh)  and we would have deeply tested the waterproofness of that expensive mascara. One thing that helped, I guess, is that I saw her at breakfast but I didn’t see her at all during the girly-getting-ready part of the day. I had invited her to stop by our hotel room but she never came. It infuriated my wedding party ladies that she didn’t but I think it was a gift that she didn’t, the gift of breathing room.

A week before the wedding Mr. Awkward asked when we were going to have people throw rice. I was like, throw what? And he was like, you know, when you leave, and people throw rice. And I was like, um, are we doing that? And he was like, well, in my family, we make little bags of rice, and then we throw it when the couple leaves the venue, and that thing where it supposedly hurts birds is not real, so, I’d like it to be rice and not glitter or bubbles or whatever. And I was like, okay, I understand that people do that, but again I ask you, what? And he was like RICE, WHEN THE PEOPLE THROW THE RICE. FOR THE LUCK. And I was like OKAY, WHAT FUCKING RICE? WHERE IS THIS RICE COMING FROM? I SEE NO RICE IN MY BUDGET, THE ONE I LOOK AT EVERY DAY. WHO WILL BE CREATING THESE CHARMING LITTLE BAGS? and he was like My mom and sisters can do it and I’m like okay, did you ask them, and he’s like well, it’s a little late for that now, and I’m like okay, so…


“no rice?”



He stormed off and called his mom for their weekly chat.

I googled “Is rice a grain or a seed?” and “Can you die of decision fatigue”

When he came out of the bedroom after the phone call he apologized for yelling at me and for introducing changes to the wedding plan past the statute of wedding planning limitations and we both said a bunch of mushy stuff that I don’t remember and fell asleep in front of the TV.

And then a week later, we had a party where we got married at it. Everyone who came had a chair and enough to eat and drink. Our dirtbag friend taught all the 10-year-old girls to throw a real punch in case Trump won the election and they had to fight Nazis someday. My mom was pleasant and kind and after the ceremony she told me she loved what we’d done and went to go tell our officiant. She said that she could tell Mr. Awkward and I were two of a kind and she loved the way we always had each other’s backs and looked out for each other. My dad went to Extrovert Mustache Dad heaven, where it’s surprising that the collected guests did not carry him around on their shoulders singing “For he’s a jolly good fellow” by the end of it. When I see my friends now their first question is “How’s your dad? Tell him I said hi! Is he visiting soon? Can we visit him in Massachusetts?

It was, in the end, not “just party, ugh, what’s the big deal?” as I’d said to myself for the better part of a year. It was overwhelmingly beautiful and cool to have all these different people from our lives in one place at the same time. It was overwhelming and cool to have our friends and family help us and come through for us in all these small and big ways. It was a very big deal. It didn’t hit me how big until it was actually happening, and then it went by so fast.

And now it’s over, and Mr. Awkward and I are like “Thank you for helping me lock it down before I had to learn about Tinder” and “We never have to plan one of those again, HIGH FIVE (never leave me).”

In closing:

  • Wedding planning CAN SUCK SO BAD. Especially if it’s not in your wheelhouse and you don’t have “eh, let’s just throw money at this problem” money.
  • Eloping is still an option. You probably won’t do it because you’ve already spent so much money. But you can! As commenters suggested, maybe have a relaxed secret courthouse jam next week, or some other private ceremony?
  • Weird family stuff won’t get magically fixed but people can surprise you.
  • Small weddings are great, big weddings are great. I know the size of yours is freaking you out, but the benefit of having a lot of people around is that any one person doesn’t stand out that much. Also, wedding guests are extremely self-amusing.
  • If you hang in I basically promise you something lovely and enjoyable will happen on that day.

Come back in a month for your official IT’S OVER high-five.



Jul. 27th, 2017 11:54 am
readinggeek451: (square of the hippopotamus)
[personal profile] readinggeek451
I made a pandapotamus! (Hippopandamus might be better, but I thought of the other name first and can't make the switch.)

hippo in panda colors

It's about 18" long and took a *lot* of stuffing to fill.

NIF: eps 17-19 the hiltless knives

Jul. 27th, 2017 08:55 am
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
There is plenty of action in these three episodes, but what really strikes me is the emotional complexity. More is revealed about the past, which reverberates deeply in the present day--these are the hiltless knives, memory, regret, emotion made exponentially intense by being hidden. There are confrontations that demonstrate these hiltless knives, beautifully broken up by hilarious episodes: there is no lugubrious all grim all the time.

Altogether the emotional rollercoaster is exhilarating, and it shore doesn’t hurt that everyone, and everything, is so very beautiful.

Read more... )


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