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(no subject) [Dec. 21st, 2010|01:50 pm]
Two weeks since this letter, no response. Mutual friends tell me that the sleaze in question has been banned from Corset's future events, and also that one of the band members wants to talk to me personally about this...but no contact since last week, when I was advised that said member wanted to talk.

At this point I'm just rolling my eyes, putting the band on the "do not recommend" list, and updating the event promoters I advised about the original situation. Should I bother with any more than that? It's hardly my responsibility to coach people in how to handle PR disasters.
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ok so [Dec. 14th, 2010|11:28 am]
It's been a week since I sent this letter. No response, though I'm told by a friend of a friend of the band that the troublemaker in question has been banned from their events. Yay for them realizing what's good for them, but I personally am not going to feel very friendly toward the band unless they actually respond.

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(no subject) [Dec. 6th, 2010|12:48 pm]
Letter to the local band Corset.Collapse )
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Patina Venetian Mask [Nov. 28th, 2010|06:09 pm]

Patina Venetian Mask

A piece I created for sale through Art of Adornment.
Currently available here.
Photograph by Elaine Barrick of Art of Adornment.
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Opium Venetian Mask [Nov. 28th, 2010|06:09 pm]

Opium Venetian Mask

A piece I created for sale through Art of Adornment.
Currently available here.

Photograph by Elaine Barrick of Art of Adornment.
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(no subject) [Nov. 2nd, 2010|03:59 pm]
He Tells Her

He tells her that the Earth is flat--
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round.

- Wendy Cope
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(no subject) [Aug. 7th, 2010|08:43 pm]
Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech
I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work.

But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer - not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition - a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it.

So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared.
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I made a pretty [Aug. 6th, 2010|01:00 am]

For sale on the Art of Adornment site. [Flickr photo page.]
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"call me selfish, but..." [Jan. 6th, 2010|09:57 am]
I was reading in childfree today, and came across an introduction post that used the phrase, "Call me selfish, but..." and it occurred to me how many people have accepted that they're selfish and therefore bad when they've made a decision in their lives for more happiness or convenience that actually doesn't negatively affect other people much, if at all. (I'm going to leave aside the idea that every action one takes has a negative effect on someone else somewhere.) Here is the comment I spat out:
You know, honestly, after spending most of my life living to make other people happy, I have to call bullshit on the validity of the "[overtly] selfish = bad" idea people have going. This is for a couple of reasons.

1. Evolution, etc. Selfish means you survive, altruism toward specifically your own genes (offspring or close relatives) means your genes "win," blah blah blah whatever I don't give a fuck, pick up an evolutionary psych text if you're really interested. (I used to care about evolutionary psychology until I discovered the extent to which people use it to justify being assholes to each other. I don't like using the "evolution" argument but I feel obliged to include it.)

2. Social manipulation (and this is my biggie). In my experience, the only times people have called me selfish was when they wanted me to do something that would make their lives easier while making my life harder, and they needed to use that extra guilt-trip to get me to do what they wanted. Whether it was a conscious manipulation ("I'm dating you but want to have sex with your friend even though you're super not good with that [so I'll guilt-trip your poly ass so hard you won't know up from down]" -- yes, it actually happened, I live an interesting life) or whether it was unconscious ("I need you to make the same decisions in life that I made or think are valid because otherwise I'll have to question my entire outlook"), it pretty much boiled down to the same thing.

In short, I don't have a positive view toward others who use "that's selfish" as shorthand for "you are a bad person to do what's in your own interests, especially when I think you ought to do otherwise." But that's because I'm a bit of an asshole and not inclined to lie to myself, and freely admit that other people's morality doesn't actually matter all that much to me except when it gets in the way of my own ethics and morality. Guess I'm just selfish that way.
Thoughts? (No, I'm not interested in hearing issues re the concept of "childfree.")
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eureka [Dec. 2nd, 2009|03:35 pm]
For months I've been beating myself up over why I ever let He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned* into my life. He first messaged me in November, 2008, and I kept him at arm's length for a couple of months as we talked. Something about the way he was talking and acting didn't feel right to me, but because I didn't have any logical, concrete reasons for my feelings, I didn't pay attention to them even though they persisted (a legacy from a previous relationship).

Then we had a conversation during which apparently my gut was trying to get me to pay attention, because I was tart-ranging-to-vicious to He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned, deliberately misunderstanding his compliments (I don't trust them) and strongly challenging his assumptions about me (pseudo-intellectualizing psychoanalysis). At one point he invited me for a drink, since he'd finally moved to town after months of stating his intentions, and I declined firmly, stating that I wasn't comfortable with the idea. Then he pulled a guilt trip on me, about how he was new to town and staying in the spare room of a geriatric alcoholic queen who was trying to pimp his ass out and he was sick with continuous migraines and all he wanted was to just be nice and buy me a drink. And I fell for it.


It's been 11 months since that day, and the entire time I thought I'd been duped because he'd managed to make me empathize with his situation, so I hated the part of me that had me actually caring about others. I no longer believe that. I finally understand why the switch flipped from "keep him away" to "meet him," and the realization was because of reading this post (note: discusses rape and rape culture), and seeing my situation almost mirrored in this comment. When the lightbulb went on in my head, I called the Bard immediately, and solved the puzzle for him as well.

In the emotionally gory aftermath, neither the Bard nor I could figure out why I'd changed my mind from "I don't think I like him" to "I really feel I ought to give him a chance." Now I'm aware that it wasn't my better nature that was at fault -- the sense of fair play and empathy I've been loathing in myself this past year -- but rather the fact that I've been brought up to prioritize the feelings and desires of others above my own in almost every respect. The implication that I was causing anguish to a total stranger who spent two months refusing to accept my standoffishness as part of my necessary boundary for dealing with him was enough for me to completely and utterly discount my feelings of moderate suspicion and very high irritation with him, which was my intuition telling me "No good. Bad news. Do Not Want."

(Side note: how was it my problem that he'd made a series of bad decisions leading to his current unacceptable living situation? It wasn't. And how much reasonable obligation did I have to override my boundaries and safety mechanisms just so he could make himself feel better by thinking he's doing me a favour by buying me a drink? Zero. Nobody has the right to use me -- or you -- to feel better about themselves, and you never have the obligation to sacrifice your emotional or physical safety just for that purpose, either. You can choose to, but make sure you know both that you don't have to and that you are choosing to. And if it seems that someone else is trying to make you feel obligated to do something, that's a giant huge fucking red flag right there.)

I think that, at base, I'm mostly upset that I've been taught by family and previous partners that my intuition is just some stupid girl thing (and girl things are bad, especially if they're stupid) to the point where -- not for the first time -- I've ignored it because "logic" told me I had no good reason to be nasty. Combine that with my upbringing/custom telling me I have an obligation to be "nice" to anyone and everyone, and you add shame to the brew when the aforementioned guilt trip takes place since I'm not being "nice." Stir in a heaping dose of inexperience so that I can't actually pinpoint what it is about him that's making me skeeved out and nervous, and what an easy mark I make. And it's really hard for me to admit to myself just how much, with my naïveté, I resembled a young, plump lamb wobbling around on unsteady legs while something with large, sharp teeth watched and drooled.

At least now that I know what strings he pulled to snare me, I can fight against it. And in the meantime, I survived it, and am living well...and that's the best "fuck you" I can hope to give him. (Accidentally making friends with a good number of the people he's tried to ingratiate himself with, but actually just pissed off because he's an arrogant narcissistic douchecannon trying desperately to cover his inadequacies up with bluster, is just the cherry on top. It's nice to be able to provably assert that, through absolutely no intentional action of my own, they like me better.)

(This commenter is my hero.)

* I don't mention his name for your own good and mine. If you utter his name too often, it summons him and he starts talking to you about what an awesome performer he is. You'll need to make a Reflex save (DC 25) to escape; failure means you are incapacitated for 1d4 hours by crippling boredom and embarrassment for his utter social obliviousness and painfully obvious narcissism. After that period is up, you'll need to make a Will save (DC 25) to avoid flying into a rage about the fact that those are 1-4 hours of your life you'll never get back and choking the living shit out of him, thus running the risk of introducing an entire judicial system story arc/adventure that this campaign does not have time for, people. Fuck it, I'm the DM, I'll just fudge your roll and say you made it. And extra XP to the one who gets me my kimono back. I'll make it a side quest and everything.
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