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Zer Netmouse Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Anne" journal:

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May 18th, 2016
03:06 pm

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Has anyone taken the Challenge?
In February 2015, K. Tempest Bradford issued A Challenge: Stop Reading White Straight Cis Male Authors for One Year.

Did any of you try that? Or something close?

If you're still looking for things to read, there's a list at the bottom of that article, or you can subscribe to Tempest's web series on her Challenge page.

I sometimes post reviews of what I'm reading on Goodreads. I will try to make more mentions of things here.

What are you reading?

What did you read in the past year that maybe changed your perspective on things?

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May 15th, 2016
05:32 pm

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Just back from the Front
Still fighting in the War against Garlic Mustard.

Take no prisoners!

No, wait. Take lots of Prisoners! Lock them up and throw them in the trash!

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May 13th, 2016
07:44 am

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Rapid costuming
Huzzah. Last night my 5-y-o announced she wanted to wear her Rey costume to free dress Friday today, so I stayed up late making a velcro extension for the bottom of the two built-in "belts", because the bottom belt was clearly sized for girls whose hips are if anything more narrow than their waist. The extender kind of looks like a hot mess, stitching wise, to put the velcro on, but it is DONE!

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May 12th, 2016
11:16 am

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SF Bios - moving from print to online
One of the projects I have not posted on here about is SFbios.com -- as with many projects, this is one I have mad phases of great progress on, then periods that slow or where I am frustratingly unable to make time for it.

If you have collections of old con program books, especially ones you edited or wrote for or otherwise have digitally but even just hard copy, I'd love help identifying gems to put up on the site.

We need to know the author. Aside from that, all bios published in sf convention program books are potential fodder.

Some cons have digital archives. Most do not. If you run across something by someone you know I encourage you to go ahead and ask them if we can reprint it on sfbios.com - one of the slowest parts of the process is getting permission. If you can forward me a message from them, giving permission, we're a long part of the way there.

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February 5th, 2016
10:06 pm

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Being overly empathetic is not a disability. But it could be a psychological dysfunction.
So, yesterday I read a post by Jim Hines reacting to a column by Amy Sterling Casil called "We are All Disabled." The original post has since been taken down, as you'll see at the top of Jim's post, and an apology has been put up by SFSignal, which published the piece. I didn't feel moved to post about it by Jim's commentary, which seemed pretty complete in and of itself, but then I read this commentary by Foz Meadows, and it caused a completely different thought process, which I thought I would share. (originally composed as a comment on Foz's blog entry)

Though I had read other commentary on this piece, it was only when I read your story about the comment you made when you were young and maybe more of an asshole that I cast my mind back to how I myself thought I was highly empathetic when I was a teenager. The phrase I used at that time was that I was an "empathic receiver."

Come to think of it, that was not long after I read _To Ride Pegasus_and was generally engaged with the idea of someone's being an empath. As in a number of stories I read, it did not always feel like a positive thing to be so affected by other people's feelings. In particular as I became sexually active, I had a hard time telling if I was actually excited/doing what I wanted, or if I was just echoing the other person's desires. I felt like I could actively draw energy off someone else, if I tried, but had no way of dampening the effect (aside from physically leaving) if an empathic projector I was involved with was unhappy.

Now, as an adult, I understand that what I was suffering from is known as a dysfunctional pattern of behavior and thought. It's psychology, and it's not a disability, but it is hard to change. The most closely related named dysfunctional pattern that I know of is called co-dependence.

Co-dependence is not narcissism, as another reader suggested above, rather it is a behavior pattern in which you have been trained to focus your attention outward. To try to anticipate what other people want and feel. At the same time there is a tendency *not* to state what you want or need, but to expect other people to "read" it from you, the way you would try to, and if they fail to do it you often conclude that they don't care or don't want to. Just like the OA, talking about her conversation with the autistic person, projected onto him an uncaring attitude despite the way she did not tell him what she was thinking and feeling.

As I grew older, I have continued to struggle to *know* what I want and how I feel, and to express those things, despite being raised in a family culture that has often presented serious backlash if I ask for something significant, while at the same time implying I should care more about how others feel than how I do.

I understand how this young woman has come across as a big asshole, and I agree with Jim Hines that her essay was really misguided and wrong. But I also hope people might consider her description of her own lived experience with a little more sympathy. And I hope she gets a good counselor, who can teach her how to set boundaries and learn to pay attention to other's feelings when appropriate, but also to ask what those feelings are and talk about your own feelings. To understand that none of us can actually read the minds and feelings of others - that even if you feel bizarrely good at it a lot of the time, it's better to cultivate behaviors of talking about things - asking and telling. It is only through discussion that you can become aware of when you're wrong. And you will be.

Because there are no real empaths. That's just science fiction.

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November 10th, 2015
10:03 am

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Music in my Life
This morning I was feeling better than I have for a long time, and found myself singing in the shower. "Somewhere that's Green" from Little Shop of Horrors, the jazz classic "Four", followed by "We'll be Together Again" (this is how you sliiiide your voice, kids), and finally a bit of fun scatting! Mike Grace and Betsy King (my high school Jazz and Voice teachers) would have been proud. And I bet Mike would have been surprised. He really had to twist my arm to get me to scat improv in class.

The ability to sing, and yes, to improvise, has been a treasure, and for me it's also something I grew up with. Music has just always been a big part of my life. As I was reminded when, half an hour later, I was looking for a file on my computer and came across one titled "Essay on Music" from 2004. It was written like an email TO someone that I saved, but I no longer remember to whom, and anyway I thought I would share it more generally. It's about me in 2004, not me now, but these little glimpses of my past self are interesting.

a bit of an essay on Music...

You asked me a couple times this past weekend what music I like, and I never really answered. I was thinking about it this morning and thought I would type up those thoughts. It's not a simple subject, as my tastes in music are as diverse as my interests in everything else.

I was raised on a steady diet of Rush, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Doors, U2, Talking Heads, Yes, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, The Pointer Sisters, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Mozart, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Paul Winter, Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Janis Joplin, Lena Horne, Billy Holiday, and of course Bill Cosby, included because the music of laughter is one I most miss in the seasons when it is rare, and we had more of his albums in the house than we had of any other single artist.

Oldies such as are compiled in the soundtracks to The Big Chill, Stand By Me, and Good Morning Vietnam were also popular around the house and are still favorites of mine. When I say steady diet, I mean it - there is rarely an occasion or meal when the family gathers together when there is not music on, and often loudly; we might use Aerosmith to wake the house during the holidays, for example. Every birthday or other occasion sees gifts of music; there is a lot more jazz and classical material than I have suggested so far, and other material harder to classify, like Blue Man Group.

In my family, all of us sing and all of us dance. I danced a hundred times to the soundtracks of Footloose, Fame, and Flashdance, to Michael and Janet Jackson, Depeche Mode, and other artists named above. WHAM, Billy Joel, Phil Collins, Pat Benatar, and Huey Louis and the News also come to mind. I enjoy Musical soundtracks, and can sing a lot of songs from many of them. Favorites include Chess, Blues in the Night, Les Miserables, Free to Be You and Me, The Sound of Music, and Peter Pan (I don't know that much about taking care of kids, but I can sing to them). My dad played self-taught piano of the boogy-woogy and jazz varieties, and rock and roll on the drums. My feet could keep up with any rhythm, more facile than my hands even, sometimes. I never got that far learning any other instrument than my own body and voice.

As I headed into college, I further developed tastes for Queen, They Might Be Giants, REM, Sarah Vaughan, Indigo Girls, Tori Amos and Loreena McKennit, Santana, Cake, Chopin, and others. I learned to sing Rachmaninoff and several bawdy ballads, and continued to be touched by the soundtrack of The Color Purple. I really like driving to the soundtrack of The Matrix.

I have become particularly fond of certain selections by Joan Osbourne, Greg Brown, Randy Newman, Boiled in Lead, and The Proclaimers, and I appreciate the musical taste of Quentin Tarantino. Steven Brust did a song called "Neil Gaiman Pastiche # 27" that I like a lot...

Currently, I most commonly dance to Pat Benatar, Shania Twain, Music from Moulin Rouge, and Pink. I think you might like some tracks from Pink: Try This. I was pleased to discover that Right Said Fred: Up and Shania Twain: Up! are both sexy, danceable albums. Seems appropriate, what with nearly the same name and all.

When I try to think of a favorite, Paul Simon comes to mind. I never got into Simon and Garfunkel but rather prefer his solo albums, especially Still Crazy After All These Years, and Graceland. Simon probably laid down the base of whatever spirituality I have, since I was raised by two slightly pagan agnostics, and he gave me some of the language with which I relate to love. I once used "Goodbye" to split up with my boyfriend. He's really been very influential on me...

This is the story of how we begin to remember.
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein.
This is the dream of falling and calling your name out --
These are the roots of rhythm, and the roots of rhythm remain.

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September 11th, 2015
08:33 am

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I know I'm not necessarily expected to comment or have an opinion on this, but...
I'm really tired of seeing over the top, demeaning posts about Kim Davis.

I mean, I have nothing but disdain for the politicians who are using her to rally their troops (especially the ones who keep forgetting to get permissions from musicians before using their work as fight/victory songs). They are manipulative, spiritually ugly people fomenting hate and divisiveness.

But fundamentally, Kim Davis was doing something called passive resistance. And if you want to politely refuse to do something that's morally objectionable to you and go to jail for it, I think that's an ok way to protest something. Much better than yelling at people, or shooting them.

A lot of people are talking about how she swore to uphold the constitution when she was elected, and follow the laws. And from the perspective of those of us who ALWAYS believed that the constitution's guarantee of equal rights should be interpreted as extending to all people in the country, for all aspects of the law including marriage, it looks like she then refused to do that - refused to do her job.

But it doesn't take much stretching to understand that from her perspective, interpretation of the law and the constitution *changed* while she was in office, and was not the same as what she swore to abide by and protect.

I see people dissecting her life, suggesting that because she has been married and divorced multiple times it is hypocritical of her to treat marriage as something special. But I've been divorced and remarried, and I don't think that has damaged either my ability or my right to define my own opinion of marriage as an institution.

People have criticized her religious views because she only became devoted to them recently, but I think, if someone has had such a shitty life, and they find a doctrine that seems to improve things significantly, it only makes sense that they would try to adhere to that doctrine firmly. A relatively new faith probably even more than any other, if it seems to have saved them from a worse situation. Sometimes people struggle to find a path, and something that can guide you helps.

I hold the people who teach and spread that doctrine responsible for including the message that behavior I see as loving and fine is somehow morally deviant and inappropriate. I resent that they teach that, and I disagree with their ethics. I know plenty of people who believe themselves to be devout Christians who don't interpret the texts of their faith that way, and I have studied the text and discussions of it and found the arguments against homosexuality based on it weak or nonexistent, myself (especially once you look at the original text, before it was translated).

But I don't think that's a valid reason to hate on someone's hair style or personal lack of beauty. If camera crews descended on you some random day at work, look beautiful you might not, either.

And "furthermore, she ugly!" does not really forward the cause of civil rights.

Please, give it a break.

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July 27th, 2015
07:26 am

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I Hope You Dance
The other day I caught the second half of this song on the radio and thought, "That would make a great open letter to President Obama." The week after that I read an essay about his presidency (What Went Wrong, Harpers June 2015, by David Bromwich), that described Obama's policies as taking the path of least resistance, which of course resonated with the song. (I disagreed with the article sometimes, especially regarding the most important issues on which Obama got elected, about which he completely omitted the question of Supreme Court nominations, for instance, but it was still an interesting read.)

This past weekend I attended a memorial service for Chloe Duke, someone I knew as a child, though not well, and re-encountered just in the past two years after I ran into her husband, a friend of mine from middle and high school, at the natural foods store, already struggling with their inability to stop her from dying of breast cancer. Chloe was a life organizer, a gardener, an adventurer, an indomitably cheerful spirit, and mother to a gorgeous young girl named Rosemary. Her daughter and mine have different names but the same nickname, "Rosie", and they made good playmates too. During the "Chloe the Mom" section of a video review of pictures from her life, they played this song, and I held my own daughter and let the tears roll down my cheeks ("all the way down to your chest," as my Rosie pointed out). It's a good song. Especially for those of us who love to dance.

After the service Rosie and I went back to mom and dad's and did just that.



"I Hope You Dance"

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed.

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance.
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin'.

Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance..
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)


Writer(s): Mark Daniel Sanders, Tia Sillers

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June 2nd, 2015
03:50 pm

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Some past TAFF Trip Reports now available as ebooks
Dave Langford has created a free ebooks page at the TAFF site! Download of both TAFF trip reports and other fannish publications are free (but there is a donation button if you wish to donate to TAFF in appreciation). Be sure to click on your preferred format before you hit the download button.

taff.org.uk/ebooks.php

Current offerings:

H. Ken Bulmer – TAFF Tales (1955 TAFF trip report)

Chris Evans (editor) – Conspiracy Theories (1987 symposium)

Rob Hansen – On the TAFF Trail (1984 TAFF trip report)

Rob Hansen – THEN (History of UK fandom 1930-1980)

David Langford – The TransAtlantic Hearing Aid (1980 TAFF trip report)

Peter Roberts – New Routes in America (1977 TAFF trip report)

Jim Theis – The Eye of Argon (1970 fanfiction "classic")

Walt Willis & Bob Shaw – The Enchanted Duplicator (1954 fanfiction classic)


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April 27th, 2015
10:30 am

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Biking along Codorus Creek
Codorus Creek was once a bustling thoroughfare of York, PA. They built a canal from the Susquehana to make it a very good way to transport timber and other goods in and out of town. The creek powered mills and forges, and helped make the region a center of industry and invention in the 1800s.

The railroad came in and made the canal and creek an outdated way to move stuff around. The railroad here from Baltimore and DC helped the county to continue to surge in population growth, as people traveled here on their way to Harrisburg and further destinations, and some stayed. Eventually the town spread even more, freeways came in, and trucks, and at least part of the rail system was changed into a biking and pedestrian trail. In town it's known as the Heritage Trail park.

Alongside Codorus Creek

Down the hill from the outdated transformed railway, Codorus Creek now has a cement bed as it passes through town. But it's still lovely to bike alongside it.

Getting back to it, giggle style

And to sit for a minute to take a break...

kickin&quot; back by the bike trail

And people interested in history are actually reactivating the rail line to Steam into History.

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