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Yeah Risque Yeah

Vivi, Ama e Conquista!

Please don't compliment me about my weight loss.
As many of you may know, I've had issues the majority of my adult life with food, which is to say usually I do not eat enough/regularly. I've been particularly bad about it the past few months which became sort of glaringly clear because I spent several weekends away from home, in which during this away time I was eating properly. So weight was yo-yoing something awful, down when I ate properly, back up when body thought I was starving myself.

I've thrown in the towel on the idea that I'm ever going to master this by conventional means. When I get attacked by depressed or a bad flare I do set food and med timers, however that's just not a sustainable thing for me long term. For years and years I have also tried various ways of preprepared meals so there's always something easy to grab, that also has not been sustainable. I kept labouring under the assumption that I was just going to eventually get a handle on it. That I'd magically turn into Mary Poppins or something, I don't bloody know. So I've developed an alternate plan.

I'm supplementing with protein/fruit shakes. Had a package of Soylent to try given by friend and that's AMAZING, so I'd love to get my hands on more of that. However the goal here is STEADY FUEL INTAKE, no more "Eh, I don't feel like eating today." The shakes aren't quite as satisfying and OMG FEEL GREAT as the Soylent (except tastier), however they are much better than what I was doing and are being a serious help and I finally feel like I have a sustainable solution.

Eat foodfood in proper intervals when I can/want to. If I can't/don't want to SHOVE SMOOTHIE IN FACE AND SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

This has apparently led to noticeable weight loss, allegedly. As housemate (who is leaving in a few days) keeps complimenting me on such. I have repeatedly explained that weight loss isn't, and never will be a high priority for me. The priorities that are at the top of the list, however, will have that side effect which is nice. Yet she continues to specifically compliment just that, and it's become uncomfortable.

As my close friends and family, when you see me I'm sure you will be happy if I'm noticeably feeling better, look more alert, have more energy, and an obvious marker to point to this may be my weight. I understand this is the easy thing to compliment. However I am asking you please not to do so. Since I am doing nothing specifically for that goal, and it is not a priority for me. Better quality of life, more energy, being able to keep up with niblings and hopefully eventually foster/adoptive children: THESE ARE MY PRIORITIES.

Thank you.

Mainsplaining award of 2014!
This was a bit amazing. This was on fb (natch) in response to a friend posting the first of the two sexodus articles

The actual thread is much, much longer, as our dude highlighted here was (thank glob) actually a small fraction of the commentors, and notice there are no likes on any of his comments. You'll have to take my word for the fact that nearly every other comment was filthy with likes. Our OP appears as "D" in the first entry, and that's just a small amount of his wonderful comments. Some of OP's replies to T were larger than I could even screencap in one go.

While I normally try to highlight the wonderful rather than yet another mansplainer, these were just sort of amazingly beautiful textbook replies, as if there's a playbook he's just copying out of.

At one point I gave up and simply replied with the recent chainsawsuit which references more the racial issues in current news, but seemed ridiculously appropriate to this.

And our 'splainer T actually replied almost identical to some of the hilarious sarcastic comments actually on Straub's site to that comic itself.

I said I was done and just pasted some of the particularly relevant sarcastic comments, which resulted in the final comment in which he calls me out for being a weak woman who needs coddling. Which is so hilariously beautiful that I can't even reply even if I weren't already done encouraging him to wave his arse about. What's extra brilliant is our OP is one of my super long term friends from the early 90s, so there's levels of amusement for me there.

In which we ... talk about sex, baby. Sort of.
The False Correlation Between Polyamory and Better Relationships:

It has been often said, in emulation of the Fight Club rules:
The first rule of poly is communication.
The second rule of poly is communication.

It is a tendency among some who prefer non-monogamy to see it as a higher evolved relationship form. I could easily digress at this point into several paragraphs about how this can end up being harmful and problematic when one doesn't live up to the ideals one thinks one should. However that is not the point here.

It comes back to that first rule. A more accurate way to put it is The first rule of a successful *ship is communication. I personally think it's communication and healthy privacy/respect. Which is another digression on which I could ramble for paragraphs.

The other side of this is those who dismiss the idea of polyamory specifically (while not always dismissing non-monogamy, oddly), firstly due to social stigma, and secondly due to anecdotal evidence. I myself have removed poly/polyamory as a self identifying label in part due to said stigma. I really prefer responsible non-monogamy; so for brevity let's put poly, swinging, open relationships, et cetera under that label for this ramble and shorten it to RNM, shall we? Yes, okay.

All *ships are complicated, each addition of something adds more complexity and more potential problems. Starting with the base of friendship. This underlying *ship can be complicated and sometimes rocky as it is, though we must accept it is the simplest of the *ships. Think of everything that can cause strife in a friendship, add sexual activity of any level to that causing it to evolve into relationship. I would posit that this doesn't just add a few more possibilities for strife, but at least doubles it. Then add any or all or anything in between of the following toppings:
religious differences
cultural differences
ethnic differences
age differences
long distance
income disparity
health problems

And this is to seriously simply name a few and not even get into the possible sexual toppings on your *ship sundae.

For lack of a better term, each of these things are complications. I am struggling to find a word that means the same but without negative connotations, alas it eludes me. So for the duration of this let's assume there are no negative connotations to this word, as I do not mean any implicitly.

Each complication comes with another whole set of benefits and potential pitfalls. Let's take a reasonably neutral one like kids. Kids are a life complication. Things as simple as driving a car now come with specific seats for the small ones until they're of a certain size to not be dangerously harmed by air bags. Even though there are public toilets everywhere, these miniature people cannot use them for quite some time and this requires supplies to be brought along. They also don't always eat at convenient intervals so those supplies need to be brought along as well. They add numerous complications to your life that did not exist before. And doubtless a great number of parents would agree that these are absolutely acceptable, and sometimes enjoyable, complications given the benefits that also come with it all.

To get back to the topic of effects of complications on *ships, they also add a whole extra set of things that can cause strife. Please do not read this to mean that kids themselves are to blame for any damaging or ending of their parents' *ship. However, now extrapolate this to any other *ship topping on the list or not mentioned here or yet.

Therefore there are many more things that can go "wrong" in a ship when has the added topping of more than two people. Or even if it still only contains the original two with temporary, or semi-permanent other individuals involved on any number of levels.

Which brings us back to the idea that RNM is inherently either a better relationship form due to ostensibly more communication and honesty, or that RNM is clearly flawed and doomed to failure due to the exponentially larger amount of possible issues that can arise.

And now we digress our way around to the point. When I was young, dumb and full of .. bad ideas and overwhelming idealism, I was admittedly one of the RHM is OBVIOUSLY BETTER FOR MOST PEOPLE! And while I abandoned this nonsense at least a decade ago, some vestiges of it remain. I've come to realise, however, that it's become drastically simplified to *ships with healthy communication and healthy boundaries/privacy/preservation of individuality are BETTER FOR EVERYONE. This then encompasses every.single.bloody.permutation of *ships and does not posit any particular form as superior or inferior.

This is a result of a several months' long background brain noise ponder. In which I have been noticing *ships that I would not unnecessarily participate in myself still having a lot in common with my own personal code of ethics. Which led me face to face with the fact that they have absolutely nothing to do with RNM, but rather simply contain the same behaviours which make any form of RHM successful.

This just simply scales. A friendship is going to be better if you consciously employ good communication, respect of boundaries, honesty, reasonable privacy, and a general willingness to confront any issues rationally and calmly. Though sometimes some of us who strive to practice this (pointing the finger of blame at myself) will still explode into a dramaball prior to said rational, calm discussion, it's still eventually arrived at, or at least noted to attempt to improve upon later.

We're divorcing societal impact entirely from this, simply because that's again more paragraphs, and there's no real conclusion or point; it's a separate thing, it informs every aspect of our lives and is either something in which we find a comfortable niche or just constantly learn to live with/around. Additionally the idea that a specific form of societally acceptable *ship is better on the macro level for society as a whole is irrelevant to having productive, happy, and healthy individual relations with other persons. I don't believe that there's a natural progression of healthy relationship to RNM, because that circles us back to holding RNM up as an ideal. When it comes down to it we only have a *ship with one other person at a time, even if they may end up happening concurrently, each is a separate process. Much like computers don't actually multitask. AND I'M ALREADY DIGRESSING EVEN FURTHER, moving on.

In conclusion, and in another HUGE SIMPLIFCATION, the *ship configuration or lack thereof doesn't enter into this. There's no secret formula about one configuration that makes it more or less successful than another, any and every *ship is improved by even the attempt at better communication and respect.

And lastly, to mitigate this potentially sounding like I've achieved the nirvana of *ships, which those of you who know me personally know is patently untrue (see aforementioned dramaball), it's a process. Nobody's going to be a good communicator all the time. We're all inherently selfish, we're all the center of our own universe, everything really is about ME/YOU. Just that the attempt and the process is goddamn worth it.

If it feels good and hurts no-one, do it.
Be excellent to each other.
Don't be an asshole.

Well now.
This is sort of a meta-scam, here.

In which we (again) ramble about jealousy.
A secret little (mostly naughty) group on fb had a discussion post regarding jealousy today, as in how do you deal with it. I put a lot of thought into my replies and thought that they needed to be saved in journal.

Though I have opined at length on this subject before, I don't believe I have written out the exact steps I use to deal, and sometimes I ignore the process and just be a dramaball and start a fight. So this will also serve as a good reminder to self.

My first comment:

I had serious jealousy issues when I was younger (17-25), and at the same time that I was attempting my beginning foray into responsible non-monogamy. I decided jealousy was a character flaw that I just needed to be stronger than, or tough guy it out. Which made things fester, which made me feel worse, which contributed to the erosion of more than one relationship.

As I aged I came to realise that when these feelings were felt I needed to confront and dissect them. And discovered (for me at least) that jealousy is always creative excuses for insecurity (excepting when it turned out not to be jealousy at all but me sub-consciously noticing something was going pear shaped).

So by most outward appearances I haven't a shred of jealousy about me. However, the reality is that I've just gotten good at acknowledging/confronting the feels and finding what insecurity is spawning it and address that.

tl;dr: Early 20s me thought that If I ignored it long enough it'd go away, older me has accepted it as being human and developed ways to address it.

And then ...

Rereading my own comment I also notice that my summation makes it sound as thought it was easy. It wasn't; it isn't. It's never easy or comfortable to grab a bit of your own insecurity and interrogate it. Though many people have told me that they believe I'm a master of this skill, it's probably an ongoing process. Maintaining self-awareness requires work and uncomfortable realisations.

The above applies to a lot of things; it has recently been a bit of a topic of discussion with some friends about being objective regarding political or ethical/moral issues. I am guilty of sometimes scoffing and those unable to see multiple sides of an issue or put themselves in another's shoes; forgetting that this is a hard learned skill that requires constant maintenance. And which also involves a lot of uncomfortable self-confrontation.

And finally, I wrote out my steps:

My personal process:

1. Admit what I'm feeling, stop ignoring it because it's uncomfortable and I think it's silly. This is the worst part for me, like purposely poking an open wound, every instinct wants me to just shy away from it, avert my eyes.

2. Identify the incident or action from which this feeling spawned and determine whether the source is external or internal. As in was there an actual slight that occurred, or did my insecurities translate something benign into an issue? Possibly because it was similar to a real issue in the past and insecure brain likes to wildly jump to conclusions.

3. Based on conclusions above, TALK TO SOMEONE. If there was at least a slight external factor then talk to the person with which I'm involved. Tell them, "When you did this/when this happened, I felt this." Acknowledge that while the bulk of the responsibility is on me to decide how I react to a thing, I'm not the only one in the *ship, other person likely cares that I am hurt, even if irrational.

If it's absolute, complete crazy brain, possibly still tell other party "I'm having an insecure moment, can I have a hug?" and then find unrelated close friend to vent to.

When it's something that is entirely my fault, like I reacted to a completely innocuous thing, I feel like it's counterproductive to tell the other party "I felt like an ugly, ignored cow because you used the word 'the' to someone other than me!" Because how are they going to stop saying "the"? That's preposterous and MY issue. But I find it still incredibly helpful to express the "I felt like ___ because ___" to someone because it completes the process which began in #1. These are my feels, though they may be crazy and illogical, they're MY feels, I felt them, I can't unfeel them, I have to deal with this now.

I should possibly print and laminate these steps and keep them in my wallet to remind myself, maybe.

Doing what I can.
One of my best friends had an unexpected medical emergency with her kitty Shiloh which was happily resolved without complications by surgery, but left a painful bill.

Please help and/or pass this on if you can.

GoFundMe link

In which the Russians win.
Hello all my journals, this is what's going on.

I am sorry livejournal, you had your place and time, but I don't think you're long for this world. I have a bit over A DECADE of history in this journal, and it was recently pointed out to me that if the issues in Russia escalate and the lj servers are borked, I'd lose it all. I managed to import a fuckton into deadjournal with a third party thing some years ago, but a lot still got lost in the xfer. So I finally up and did the import to dreamwidth thing

Deadjournal, we cool, I'm sorry I haven't kept up on xposting to you but I think I've fixed that issue now.

I intend to keep putting content into livejournal until it dies but I'm likely to not visit the actual site as much. I'm user #2 on deadjournal and have a lot of loyalty to its masters. Dreamwidth was the easy to import to thing and I managed to hook up a chain xposting dealy so I can just post once in semagic and it goes to all three. If you're my friend on lj then you can openID sign into dreamwidth and you'll see all the previous things you could before, I'll try to figure out how to do that with deadjournal friends as well.

I'm a little sorry I didn't jump ship when dw first came on the scene because someone took eris, and her dw account is full of entries that are NOTHING like me, alas. But having eris accounts EVERYWHERE doesn't really matter to me like it once did, so I'm fine with that also.

This means I may start posting more, as I've recently re-noticed how much this bloody journaling thing helps my memory stick together. If anyone can tell me how to make semagic automatically insert a footer on each post that'd be briliant. For now the thing below is simply

(Cross posted on dreamwidth/deadjournal/livejournal)

In which we revisit females in entertainment.
This is a follow up on a prior entry in which we discussed a Grand Unified Theory of Female Presence.

Recently in my local IRC channel a question was posed, or rather a challenge; to name a piece of SciFi/fantasy/speculative fiction in which the lead character is a mother. I posed this to the ama community but I didn't elaborate properly and several people missed the point. But I wasn't about to jump all over that because of the aforementioned lack of elaborating, and because there is absolutely value to discussing the presence of a definite mother character in any entertainment in any role (as in lead vs supporting/member of ensemble cast).

I shall now elaborate. The point being the character not just be a mother, but it is an integral aspect of her character. Not just tacked on to further the plot or to add angst points.

A great example of a male gendered version would be a movie I recently saw because I'd never see it all the way through and the lead's recent passing made me aware. Hook. The fact that Peter Banning (Pan) is a father is absolutely integral to his character and the story. As much as I loved the film, it is a terrible example of female/mother characters in the supporting roles. Peter goes back to Neverland, risking his life to save his kids. Mother simply wilts and mopes whilst they're away. This is rather faithful to the source material in style though, so it's all right. But I digress; the point being that if Peter had been female, this would be a good example.

I'd LOVE to accept Ripley of the Alien franchise, as she's an amazing strong female lead, but the fact she's a mother is throwaway backstory and doesn't inform her continuing life.

The TV show Once Upon A Time is a good example which was mentioned in comments to my ama post regarding this. I hate that it is simply out of spite, because I think they're shitty mothers. But yes. Whatsernamme's entire purpose of being in CrazyTown was to find her son. Additionally the evil queen being said son's adoptive mother is also an integral part of her character.

On a logical level I understand this disparity in female representation as a parent simply being part and parcel of the disparity in strong female roles being in existence as compared to the glut of such male roles. However it boggles me in that females are the ones who (usually) contain the damn baby factory. Dramatic fiction often uses this to portray a stronger relationship between mother and children than with their fathers, but when the woman character is fully developed and/or an ass kicker, the mother factor drops off to near non-existence.

I haven't a particularly good way to end this except in that I think this is a valuable addition to said grand unified theory, and it will definitely be something that I will be noticing/looking out for in future entertainment consumption.

I'm amused at how my TV schedule handles NetFlix shows.

on-my.tv simply pulls from advertised schedule feeds, so this appears to translate into THEY'RE ALL AIRING TODAY in regards to streaming shows. I'm incredibly easily amused, okay. Also RIGHT CLICK OPEN IMAGE IN NEW TAB FOR LIFESIZE FOR YOUR PIXEL VIEWING PLEASURE.

[x-posted from imgur]

Yes, all women.
I've been deeply distressed by the Elliot Rodger thing, which is a strange experience for me. These large tragedies are always sad, but they don't tend to affect me personally if I haven't got any connections to anyone remotely involved.

I've got trauma in my past, starting at 4-5 years old, and again at a few points in late teen and early 20s. For a while this made me incredibly wary of a certain type of man (tall, light hair, light eyes) due to associations. But I've never felt particularly unsafe being Female In Public. I get hit on or hassled at least once every time I'm out alone, but it's never been super aggressive. Men have occasionally gotten very rude and insulting when I ignore them or turn them down, but then they just walk away. As such this hasn't been a thing about which I've worried overmuch.

I read the entire 140 page manifesto and watched several of the videos. I was distressed, but mostly sad. It seems to me to be a clear case of a domestic terrorist who did not accept the mental health help he sorely needed.

Then I read THIS. Logically I realise that these scary men are likely just an incredibly vocal minority due to the magic of the Internet. But it's incredibly disturbing.

Initially I'd hoped that similar men would read Rodger's screed, see themselves in it and have an epiphany of "I'm being an idiot" or "I need help!" but after reading that Jezebel thing I'm now more than a little terrified of those who are looking up to him as some sort of hero, and very worried that the next hassling dude that I ignore is going to decide to To Something About It.

I'm not sure how to deal with this. Do I arm myself when I go out alone, or do I just get over it? I don't know. I've never experienced this much fear simply for being female, and I don't like it.