jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
In the shower last week she carefully wielded her razor. She commented: Either shave it or braid it!

In the locker room today, she was telling of visiting a large store on a busy day. Well, she sighed Play hard or get out.

A crude admonition against workplace harassment is Don’t shit where you eat.

[personal profile] sasha_feather reminds me of a lesson learned in the lab: Hot glass is still clear

I’m seeing a pattern here. A message squeezed so tightly is easier to remember.

Got any to add?
jesse_the_k: The words "I told my therapist about you" in Helvetica Bold (told my therapist about you)
Every morning I have the same darn thing for breakfast (steamed squash, amaranth, blueberries, broiled chicken, nuts). I daily wield my favorite Santoku knife to turn a lump of chicken into shreddy bits.

This Monday I experimented and simply positioned the knife edge on the chicken. The weight of the regularly-sharpened blade was enough to do most of the work, making a clean cut. I realized that I had been holding my arms and neck and back tense, guarding against a slip or a tremor or weakness.

When I let the knife lead the way, it's much less work. This is probably also true in many other areas of my life. This will be interesting to learn.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (bi doubles chances)
is the word you didn't realize you needed to have. It's been crowd source by the o-so-classy folks over at Effing Dykes. Not work safe. Finish all food and fluids so as to prevent choking hazards.
jesse_the_k: Dreamy photo of playground roundabout in rosy foggy light (lost youth)
an obituary over the weekend introduces me to a writer worth finding )
begin quote When filling out a form for the Ministry of Justice that asked [the deceased woman] to report any losses inflicted by her husband’s arrest and execution, Ms. Kovaly drew up a list that included “loss of honor,” “loss of health” and “loss of faith in the Party and in justice.” Only at the end of her 10-item list did she write “loss of property.”

“I carry the past inside me like an accordion, like a book of picture postcards that people bring home as souvenirs from foreign cities, small and neat,” she wrote in her memoir. “But all it takes is to lift one corner of the top card for an endless snake to escape, zigzag joined to zigzag, the sign of the viper, and instantly all the pictures line up before my eyes.” quote ends

Hida Kovaly was a Czech woman of letters, who translated the "great men" of the 20th century from English and German into her native tongue. She lived through her country's occupation and destruction by two totalitatian regimes, and died there free.

A unauthorized scanned reproduction of a CPJ rave review essay by a U.S. think-tanker meditates on the importance of understanding the delicious appeal and the ultimate weakness of totalitarianisms, which we may think we already understand. But could it hurt to learn more? Significant portions of that same article are in text in this blog post. There's a typically detailed and footnoted review from the wonders that is the H- lists (in this case founding mama H-NET)

While I want to steer a course away from an unthinking elder-worship, most people who have survived that long have learned many things worth learning. (While having had an exceptionally strong body & mind as well access to food and travel at crucial times.) There are literally uncountable millions of 90-yr-olds whose wisdom we'll never hear from the short and brutal 20th Century.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (toast & bread sexy times)
Loud as lightning! Bright as thunder! Major hat-tip to [ profile] browneyedgirl65 for the link to this wonderful essay

begin quote Disability Dharma: What Including & Learning From Disability Can Teach (Everyone) About Sex
by Heather Corinna

Sometimes we also need to accept what our body does totally out of our control, whether we like it or not. That might be ejaculating before we'd like, farting during sex, making certain noises or things like muscle spasms, urinating during some kinds of sex or having certain body parts just stop working when we're not done using them yet. Some people with some kinds of disabilities need to accept that it might take them longer to connect with their own bodies sexually or with someone else's in some ways, or take longer to learn to be sexual with others: this is a flexibility a lot of people, especially young people, could benefit from nurturing with sex and sexuality.

Know what else inclusion helps with? Acceptance of everyone's sexual variation, including your own. Like understanding that we or anyone else can't "make" ourselves like things or people we don't like sexually, can't willfully change our sexual orientation or gender identity, or that something one person finds to be very sensitive on their bodies is not on our own or on a partners' body. Sometimes a given variation can be far outside of our experience or awareness, but rather than viewing that as cause to freak out or run away, we can view it as an adventure, as a whole new avenue for us to learn and experience things about ourselves or others we might not have had the opportunity to otherwise.
 quote ends
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (pin oak leaf)
As I wander the time and space of my net-mediated community, I encountered a new reader from Portland (*waves* @ S!) and she had some excellent words of wisdom to share. I read some in haste, wrapped myself in quite a few layers and zoomed off to the bus this A.M.

Evidently, even wool and fleece and leather and cotton and some more wool and scarf and nope no match for our January-like weather this morning. But the meaning of the sayings had stuck. I remembered them as:
begin quote  When challenged by the hectoring voices
reply: I am doing the perfect thing! quote ends

So I heard the hectoring voice and replied, "I am doing the perfect thing!"

Maybe I can miss preparing perfectly and still be perfectly me? It is always true. A new mantra when the rabid squirrels get the cage squeaking.

Sonia puts it at Calming your inner critic...
begin quote  For me, the magic words are "I am already doing the right thing." This simple sentence creates quiet out of chaos, and lets me notice what I want to do next.
 quote ends
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (JK oh really?)
with delightful intellectual stimulation: silk, warm, soft, familiar enough to calm, new enough to soothe. Just the thing for post-election blues

You Can't Say That

Its maintainer, John Dierdorf,, warns:
 begin quote I hope writers will find this site helps them to avoid missteps, but I understand how difficult it would be to attempt to eliminate all errors without spending more time reading the Oxford English Dictionary than writing books. In theory I approve of accuracy, and I will admit I’m obsessive, but I will also admit that I like to read, and I really don’t want my favorite authors to starve — I want them to write more (possibly inaccurate) books, not fewer accurate ones. quote ends 
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (volunteer)
There are many things we can do to improve everyone's lives. Voting is not the only thing, but it sure is hell is easy to do. Many have given their health, their peace of mind, and their lives for the right to exercise the franchise. If you're a, head on down to the polls in your municipality this coming Tuesday. And while you're there, you might be wondering, "Gee, just how do people with disabilities vote?" As it happens, I know a little about this. And this time, dear readers, I've put it behind a cut. )
jesse_the_k: harbor seal's head with caption "seal of approval" (Approval)
Yesterday met someone new at [ profile] beer_marmalade Feminist SF book group. He asked, as you do, "so where do you work?" I replied "I'm too disabled to work."

Asked and answered, no angst, no regret, no hasty explanation of all the things I did do that made me worthwhile once.

That only took 20 years!
jesse_the_k: White bowl of homemade chicken soup, hold the noodles (JK's chicken soup)
My "internet budget" (no access during the day) has been enlightening. When the access turns off, I feel an enormous burden lifting from my shoulders.

I find I'm posting *more* because I have a limited amount of time and therefore don't revise, reword, edit, rethink and (65% of the time) abandon my responses.

I've so enjoyed the poems popping up all around my d-roll. Let me share my enthusiasm for Lucia Perillo.

The Sweaters -- 1989

Used to be, fellows would ask if you were married--
now they just want to know what kind of diseases
you've got. Mother, what did they teach you of the future
in those nun-tended schoolrooms of the Sacred Heart?

Nobody kept cars in the city. Maybe you'd snuggle
when the subway went dark, or take walks
down castle Hill Avenue, until it ran into the Sound--
the place you called "The End": where, in late summer

the weeds were rife with burrs, and tomatoes ripened
behind the sheds of the Italians, beside their half-built
skiffs. Out on the water,
bare-legged boys balanced on the gunwales
of those wooden boats, reeling in the silver-bellied fish
that twitched and flickered while the evening dimmed to purple.

What sweater did you wear to keep you from the chill window
blowing down at The End, that evening you consented
to marry Father? The plain white mohair, or the gray
angora stitched with pearls around the collar?
Or the black cashmere, scoop-necked
and trimmed with golden braid, store in a box below the bed
to keep it hidden from Grandma? Each one prized,
like a husband, in those lean years during the war.

I see him resting his face against whichever wool it was,
a pearl or a cable or braid imprinting his cheek
while the Sound washed in, crying _again, again_.

Mother, we've abandoned all our treasured things, your sweaters
long since fallen to the moths of bitter days. And what
will I inherit to soften this hard skin, to make love tender?

Resource: Whoever is running her website is stuck in 2000: frames and bitmapped menus. Here's a page of audio links, and she's got a mittful of books available as well.
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
[personal profile] kestrell introduced me to "exo-cortex," a handy term to cover any external device that augments our sometimes-iffy human brain function. The initial exo-cortex was probably the sand-clock. Pen and paper is generally reliable, as long as one doesn't leave them somewhere. (Yesterday I lost track of both my keys and my debit card. Got 'em both back.) More recently, I've used Palm devices (in particular, my late lamented AlphaSmart DANA) and now an iPod touch and cellphone.

I just stumbled on The Quantified Self website. I can't describe it in a sentence: that link is a mittload of web- and phone-enabled tools to track one's health and well-being. These are the sort of tools I love to use, but hate to evaluate: short-term memory loss means I need exactly the sort of tool I'm testing to remember whether it was effective.

One of the hosts is a BNF in the dot-com world: Kevin Kelly, who helped start the pioneer online comm the Well, thence to Wired and hence here. He's an alpha alpha geek. The other is Gary Wolf, of whom I know nothing.

Self-efficacy is a term which keeps popping up on the site. As Wolf writes:
 begin quote Self-efficacy is different than self-confidence or self-esteem. It is not a personality trait, or a set of general beliefs about oneself. Rather, it is a subjective expectation of how likely you are to succeed at some specified goal. quote ends 

It seems the Quantified Self is about how to increase one's self-efficacy, and therefore, one's quality of life. Many of the articles are quite meta: people addressing the "how do we monetize personal health informatics?" question. But (as Tara Calishain's weekly newsletter used to remind me) worth a look.

Edited because I used "Qualified" instead of "Quantified" in the title, which is a pretty dorky error, yes?
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
This Johari Window test purports to educate me about the difference between how I view myself and how others view me.

Does it? I need players to find out. Go! Click! You can be anonymous!
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (loved it all)
At my new favorite blog, FWD / Feminists with disabilities for a way forward, there's an intriguing participatory thread:

What assistive technology do we use as we move through our lives?

"Assistive technology" has traditionally meant "special devices," crafted by engineers and prescribed by doctors, priced to be purchased by agencies and serviced by nobody. This discussion demonstrates that women are tool users, and there's plenty of great utility to be found in simple, everyday, general-purpose stuff.

As with tech, so with our persons: we are not "special," we do not need to be the segregated subjects of purpose-schooled shrinks and doctors and schools and workplaces.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
All-of-a-sudden, I'm ordering a new wheelchair: a Quantum R4400. (Well, maybe. The distributor promised that if I didn't like this one, they'd let me "unbuy" it. We have to spend the money before 31 December in order to get any tax advantage.)

My previous chairs have been: bright red; English racing green; black. They never regain that fresh-from-the-showroom shimmer, mainly because one can't powerwash a wheelchair. Or maybe someone can, I certainly can't.

Hence the angst: what color? Glance at this not-particularly-accurate palette of possibilities ... or just base your decisions on the color names.
Poll #1647 Color JK's World
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Access List, participants: 25

What color should my next wheelchair be?

Candy apple red
7 (28.0%)

Viper blue
8 (32.0%)

Onyx black
3 (12.0%)

3 (12.0%)

Sunburst orange
3 (12.0%)

1 (4.0%)

Ticky box is worried about color clashing

Orange shoes with a blue chair is the height of fashion
14 (63.6%)

Blue shoes with a blue chair is boring.
5 (22.7%)

Ticky box wants to go to K-Mart
7 (31.8%)

Champagne is the new gin.
8 (36.4%)

jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
Any reader of this journal won't be surprise to hear how I feel about feminism and disablism. I've ranted many places about the harm caused by disabling metaphors.

I care about feminism because it saved my life: provided connections with women who helped me think and learn the world. It was feminism that taught me to challenge received wisdom; that the personal was political; that language mattered. As my impairments worsened, I began to experience disablism on the job, among my friends, from the medical establishment, on the bus, and most troubling of all, in my soul.

Women are definitely more likely to live with impairment in all societies. Our lives are longer, so we have a better chance of experiencing hearing and vision and stamina losses. Women get significantly more auto-immune illnesses (arthritis, diabetes, MS).

Even if you have no impairment now, chances are excellent you will be later in life. Losing one's typical privilege is a difficult experience without battling the bad attitudes inside one's own head. Learning why disablism is wrong now will make your life easier later.

The occasion of impairment offers Western society ample opportunity to poke into women's lives, even if we are ourselves typical. Three top intrusions:

1. The default responsibility to provide unpaid care to family members
2. Our duty not to have disabled children
3. The expectation that the final years of our lives are "useless."
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Flashy Bipolar means 2x fun)
is available in this thread from Alas, a Blog, hosted by Wheelchair Dancer with major lifting from Leora.

Yes it's long, but for analogy-loving me, it's a gold-mine. Commenter Leora, in particular, explores the "disability is a natural part of life" issue by comparing "mental retardation" to math skills; using public transit vs driving; differential muscle strength between men and women; black and white; and most memorably, the "loss" of disability to the death of one's parent:
 begin quote  For example, my mother died [... snip ...] and I grieved that loss, not unlike the times I have grieved for the loss of my sight. But people’s parents die. It happens to all of us. And others might say, how sad that your mother died. But after the initial grieving period, people don’t think about it much in regards to you. They do not define you by what they perceive as what they think your loss feels like. Different people are going to react to losing a parent differently. Some might find relief if their parent was abusive, some might be devastated for years, some might be sad about it and then move on. Other people allow you to do that. They don’t define every conversation, every thought, every perception and judgment about you by how they think THEY would handle your loss. Would you like it if five or ten years after your mother died, every single person you talked to said, “Gosh! I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother. It must be so hard to get through the day. Oh? You’ve moved on and now you want to talk about the job opportunity? Well, I just don’t know if we can do that! If I had lost my mother, it would be such a loss. I don’t know how I would even work and enjoy life if my mother had died. I mean, having a mother alive is so much better than having a dead one. There is no way you can say that you’ve learned and grown from the experience and you are a better person for it. I think you are wrong about being okay with the loss of your mother.” And on and on and on infinity with every single person you ever talk to for the rest of your life. quote ends 

Foolish me didn't research in the blogosphere before the "Disabling Metaphor" panel, and it turns out there's tons o' post on this topic. And that's probably why so many of the folks at the panel were so primed to discuss it!

The Feminist Philosophers' take on the topic includes some close reading of the language that I'm too medicated to decode. Commenters to Tekanji's post at the Official Shrub Blog unlike the folks at Alas, are not too painful to read.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Flashy Bipolar means 2x fun)
...I've been obsessively contemplating and editing and researching, I must fling this out from Mandolin at Amptoons :
 begin quote It’s not okay to call a coward a pussy, or a bad thing gay, they argue, because there’s nothing bad about having a vagina or being homosexual. But there IS something bad about not being mobile! In fact, it’s no fun at all, just totally miserable. All other things held equal, isn’t it better to be not-lame than lame?

[... snip ...]

But even accepting that impairment to mobility is itself a sucky thing, MAYBE DISABLED PEOPLE DO NOT APPRECIATE BEING THE CULTURAL GO-TO FOR THINGS THAT SUCK. quote ends 

Yes yes yes yes yes! This post (as supplemented by commenter Lexie) succinctly explains why epithets-based-on-impairment* are not just rude, but actively disabling—they create the social conditions that make living with bodily difference difficult.

* E.G., "Iranian ruling classes are deaf to the chants of demonstrators."

ETA Hah! Mandolin's insight was nourished at WisCon!
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Sally French makes the case that assistive technology can get in our way. Her brief paper is well worth reading in its entirety
 begin quote  On various occasions when, as a student, I have struggled to read something on the blackboard with a small personal telescope, lecturers have enthusiastically remarked "You're doing really well with that little gadget"--a conclusion reached more through wishful thinking than knowledge (French, (10)). A. T. Sutherland believes that this type of response is very convenient to non-disabled people because it means they do not have to help or adapt. quote ends 

She also addresses the "independence double-bind": how disabled people must sometimes spend more effort doing things ourselves than simply asking for help. The North American ideal of being able to do it all myself is deeply rooted. Unless it's in the hands of one of my intimate friends, I'm very uncomfortable with people holding open doors. I think this is partly due to second-wave feminism's rejection of formulaic male chivalry, but at heart I feel I must upend nondisabled people's expectations of what I can and can't do.
jesse_the_k: Slings & Arrows' Anna sez: "I'll smack you so hard your cousin will fall down!" (Anna smacks hard)
If I spent less time browsing Shakesville, I might have missed Paul Campos' excellent analysis of the offensive things men feel comfortable saying about women's bodies—even when those women are being seriously considered for the US Supreme Court.

Before you follow that link, take a gander at this picture of the current court members. Eight "white" guys, one African-American, and one tiny white woman. They all look well-nourished; Scalia and Thomas are broader than your average football player, and probably that's not due to 5 hours a day of physical training. It does seem that the current court plays havoc with one's hair--only the youngest, Chief Justice Roberts, has a full head.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
I have nothing to contribute to the major ongoing pantslessness in progress.

My favorite four posts (today)

[ profile] asim's exploration of MLK's radical rhetoric and its relevance to the matters at hand.

[ profile] pats_quinade's side-splitting Onion News Network rundown (complete with Stargate Atlantis references):: You Can't Spell RaceFail without "I".

[ profile] sparkymonster's incisive summary RaceFail, Silence and Words demonstrates yet again her deft ability to make the reader think and then sprinkle them with an exquisite link assortment.

[ profile] miriam_heddy ponders where the tipping point is: if fans of color are disrespected, that may be too bad but a distant issue; when a white fan's privacy is threatened, then it becomes "real."

ETA: For anyone who doesn't understand the weariness many people feel re: these issues of privilege, power, and oppression in fandom, [ profile] rydra_wong's two years of link spam on these topics is enlightening.

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Jesse the K

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