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

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September 19th, 2016
10:20 pm


free memberships to Boskone; note on gaming cons
Originally posted by kate_nepveu at free memberships to Boskone; note on gaming cons
Originally posted at Con or Bust by Kate Nepveu. All comments must be made there.

Fans of color/non-white fans, the following new free memberships are available now, first-come first serve:

  • Boskone, February 17-19, 2017, Boston, MA, USA. Boskone is an annual science fiction convention, the oldest in New England. Its 2017 Guests are: Guest of Honor: Brandon Sanderson; Official Artist: Dave Seeley; Special Guest: Maryelizabeth Yturralde; Featured Filkers: The Fabulous Lorraine & Lojo Russo; Hal Clement Science Speaker: Milton Davis; and NESFA Press Guest: Ken MacLeod.

    Boskone has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page.

Finally, a note on gaming cons: Con or Bust is semi-regularly asked whether it can distribute donated memberships to cons solely focused on gaming. Unfortunately, Con or Bust doesn’t have the resources to expand to gaming cons, and so we’ve had to decline these generous offers. But our friends at I Need Diverse Games — newly set up as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization! — are delighted to accept donated memberships to gaming cons to distribute to POC/LGBTQIA/Disabled/other marginalized people. Please check out their assistance page for details!

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August 28th, 2016
12:08 pm


Rosie's... 3rd 6th birthday party
Rosie turned 6 this year, and as usual she has a birthday Season rather than one party. On her birthday proper, it was a Thursday and she had dance class, so she just opened presents from us and Grandparents, had dinner with me and her dad, and Uncle Chris skyped in to join in singing Happy Birthday before she blew out six candles stuck in a slice of cheesecake.

That Friday her aunt Sarah flew in for a visit, so Saturday we had a sort of "family" party with some close friends, and we had a small ice cream cake with strawberries, and another round of singing and presents. And having Sarah visit was a gift in and of itself.

TODAY we have the "friends from school" chaos, I mean, party, and it's going to be here at the house as well. It would have been easier to go to Chuck e Cheese or a similar place like most of her classmates have done, but once we got a house with a pool she had her heart set on a pool party, so we have a lifeguard friend coming over as well as 8-10 school friends, and we got a Slip and Slide type slide which we still haven't set up yet, in case the pool gets boring. There's still a big pile of boxes in the living room but I worked hard the last few days getting boxes *out* of the playroom downstairs and setting it up with toys, and Brian installed the cat door to the utility room, so we can lock them out of that, so I'm hoping the kids will pretty much stay out of the living room because it's boring compared to the pool, the sun room, and the play room.

I just really hope no one sprains or breaks an ankle or anything, because the yard is full of trip hazards we haven't resolved yet. And the party starts in 3 hours and I'm still cleaning.

I'm trying not to freak out, though. Or as I imagine Chuck Wendig might write, "I'm not freaking out! YOU'RE freaking out. Just shut UP over there with your stupid 'freak-out' face."

Cupcakes are made and will be frosted once Brian and Rosie get home. I'm going to get back to sweeping and vacuuming, and then we will put up decorations.

Wish us luck!

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August 21st, 2016
08:32 am


NorthAmericon '17 will be the next NASFIC!
Because of the nature of my smoffing, my participation in fandom is not always very visible, but it continues. I am proud to have been part of the bidcom for the next North American Science Fiction Convention.

Early this year I had to ratchet that participation way down due to other things in life, but I was still the person holding the webhosting account where the website was, so last week Pablo contacted me about helping move the website to being under a new domain name, in case we won. I already had a busy week coming up --Rosie's 6th birthday, my sister coming to visit, painting and cleaning yet to do in the new house to get ready, but there is family, and there is familia de corazon, so I stayed up late friday night completing the migration to http://northamericon17.com

I'd never migrated a Wordpress install to a new URL before. For Detcon1 we just created a new site from scratch. Thankfully Dreamhost had a page of instructions, and I'd gotten the 'this info takes time to propogate' steps done earlier. I hit a couple snags, but their online chat accessible support folk were terrific, and I got it done. Just a small cog in the wheel, but it's still nice to do my part.

I'm very pleased the convention is going to Puerto Rico and I'm proud of our guests of honor. It was both a disapointing yet also cool moment to realize we had to take Nalo Hopkinson off the long list of prospective GoHs because *she was already a Worldcon Guest of Honor* for next year. Go Helsinki. :) Despite that, our Guest list is really rockin' and I know it will be a great con.

Pablo and I are also hoping this will be a good opportunity to finally get the Latin American Fan Fund rolling, so if you're interested in helping with that, please let me know.

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May 18th, 2016
03:06 pm


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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