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Utena: Meet the Sex Car

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 25: "Their Eternal Apocalypse"

Third arc!!! Streetlights and a car. ["The car is sex," I tell Kissmate.] Touga and Akio ride together and Akio offers to let him take the wheel. At the Chairman's apartment, Wakaba arrives looking for Utena and ready to help: the girls are moving in. Akio says he wanted his sister to live with him but couldn't separate her from her friends. Wakaba falls all over herself demonstrating her friendship with Anthy in order to justify coming up to visit the pretty Akio. Anthy giggles and Akio stares at her in a worrying manner. [Kissmate: "That was horrifying."]

Student Council! Saionji is back... somehow! I mean, Mikage got him accepted back so either we go with my theory that the events still happened but the memories faded, or the events didn't happen and Saionji came back via a different route. He says he's through with the duels while baseball is played in the background. "Strike!" when he says he can't trust the letters from the End of the World, and Juri notes he was fooled by a false letter. Miki says he's verified the latest letter: he passed through the gate to the arena and found a gondola in the spiral staircase. Confetti appears when Saionji refuses to fight anymore just because someone tells him to. They're playing a game they don't understand and the only way to win is to stop?

Film Corner: Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

Doing another round of #Kissmatewatches! For those who want to join, tonight's entertainment is "Sleepy Hollow" from 1999, directed by Tim Burton. I have seen this before, but not in YEARS, so this should feel new enough to me! We already owned the DVD from awhile back, so here's to seeing if it's worth staying on the shelf!

A will is signed and sealed. Old VanGarrett notices a spoopky pumpkin scarecrow. The driver of the carriage is beheaded, leaving Old VG to run through a cornfield, coming across the scarecrow again. Then is beheaded from behind. Already feels fun and campy!

NYC 1799. Ichabod Crane has found a body in the river. It seems Crane wants fair treatment of prisoners and autopsies of bodies and- CHRISTOPHER LEE! How did I get him twice?! And the way the wings in the background make him look like a dark angel just- *MWUA!* *ahem* The judge lets Crane take his fancy detective work to Sleepy Hollow so he can find the killer who has lopped off three heads in a fortnight. It's a test to see if science and logic is better than traditional cruelty. This trope feels... hollow. I guess I've seen the "lone genius" trope for so long that it no longer packs a punch, especially when there's nothing showing the good of the "traditional" side, just the bad. It's written so we're already on Crane's side before we know him. It's cheap.

Utena: Flashbacks Galore

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 24: "The Secret Nanami Diary"

Now that the entire arc has been undone, it's time for a recap episode...of sorts.

Tsuwabuki begins the day prepping Nanami for her day. She at least thanks him this time. A runaway horse lunges for her and Tsuwabuki pushes her out of the way. He tells us he has a secret nobody knows. In the hospital, Tsuwabuki watches the shadows of Utena, Nanami, and Anthy talk about him. (Anthy asks if he's dead and Kissmate loses his shit laughing.) The heartbeat monitor starts beating faster as the girls find his diary and begin reading it.

He's always watched over Nanami. We see a flashback of Keiko slapping Anthy for hurting Saionji. Nanami saves Anthy and we see Tsuwabuki recording the incident. He says he knows Nanami's image and her true face, recording how she "rules the school from the shadows". We see new information about the curry incident, and how the boys and the elephants ate the curry and... switched bodies before then spending the entire episode chasing Nanami and Tsuwabuki.

Film Corner: American Psycho (Redux)


American Psycho

[Guest Post by Kissmate. Previous live-watch by Ana is here.]

[Content Note: Racism. Murder. Stereotypical movie sociopathy. Misogyny.]

I'm attempting a live-tweet of American Psycho. First thread and first watch, so let's get a feel for it and get rolling with dead-eyed Christian Bale! All I know about this movie is nothing or everything is real, and it's up to the viewer to determine what is or isn't. I think.

Utena: Unreliable Memory

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 22-23: "Nemuro Memorial Hall" and "The Terms of a Duelist"

We open with Dios and Akio again. Akio observes they're at the last of the black roses and questions whether Mikage will fight. While Anthy tends pastel pink, orange, and yellow roses, the council members researches who these new duelists are.

Juri notes that Nanami seems especially irritated after her brother was targeted. Symbolism returns in full force, with a railroad crossing flashing as Juri observes that she'd thought Rose Crests could only be possessed by those chosen by the End of the World. Miki suggests that perhaps this is still true and the EOTW is moving in shadows; behind him, the gate arm descends to block traffic. Nanami says it's obvious that the EOTW is backing the duelists as wind from the railroad almost completely blocks out her voice. [Kissmate: "She's so childish and ill-informed that her opinion adds nothing but wind?"] Miki adds over the wind that the instigator must be on campus. The wind stops, the gate arm rises, and Juri apologizes for being unable to hear them. Not entirely sure what to make of this one: something deadly is rushing by them?

Open Thread: Pink


Another picture from the cheap USB microscope.  I think this one was actually taken before the cookie picture.

This, from last week's open thread, is just as relevant this week: Surprising no one, this is late again and I'm sorry about that. As always, I hope you like the picture.

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We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Birds of Prey
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us basically over, so but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man

[Guest Post by Kissmate]

Hey, guys! I figured I'd start a new tag, #Kissmatewatches, for live tweeting movies! Since I just finished Midsommar, I think a nice change of pace is due. Here's a shot at "The Wicker Man" from 1973! All I know of this is the premise and there's a burning man made of wicker with a man inside. That and this is NOT the Nick Cage one, so... no women-punching bears. Let's go take a look!

Utena: Roots of Hatred

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 21: "Vermin"

We open with Nanami walking in her dueling uniform. (I would love an analysis on when she wears her duelist uniform vs. her girl uniform with the skirt and tie.) Her cadre of three girlfriends appear behind her and walk in silence before effusively praising her. Kissmate points out that they're ten or even fifteen feet behind her while enthusing how happy they are to "be near" her; the juxtaposition between their words and their actions is noteworthy. Everyone else in the school gives her a wide berth--Kissmate notes that *no one* is close to her, not even the people who claim to be.

Open Thread: Cookie via Microscope


In the upper right corner you can see a bit of chocolate chip.  I got a cheap USB microscope for reasons, I had a cookie at the time.  What you see above is the result.

Surprising no one, this is late again and I'm sorry about that. As always, I hope you like the picture.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Birds of Prey
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us almost over, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Midsommar

Midsommar

[Content Note: Self-harm. Gore. Ableism. Incest. Rape. Drugs. Pandemic.]

I haven't had a live-watch in a while. I was getting married to Kissmate (which was very distracting), but today we're sick from some delivered food that maybe wasn't reheated enough, and the point is we have time AND stomach pains. Let's do this. I've been wanting to do MIDSOMMAR for, like, forever now and also before it stops being on Amazon Prime. "An American couple, their relationship foundering, travel to a fabled Swedish midsummer festival where they become trapped in a sinister nightmare." This is obviously the best choice for something to watch while dealing with food poisoning, as we are right now! (I do want to say that covid has entirely fucked up how I watch movies now. A fictional governor ranted about "200 Americans dead" in a movie the other day and I was like "pffft, like you'd care" because I mean. *frantic gestures at covid count*)

Utena: Princess for a Day

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 20: "Wakaba Flourishing"

School rumor has it that Saionji has been expelled, but they're not sure how or why. Wakaba hears the rumors but stays aloof from them, leaving school to shop for him. When she returns to her room, he is sitting on the floor waiting for her. He looks softer: casual clothes instead of the uniform, soft eyes, loose hair. He's wearing black as a social outcast and blue: he's staying with her out of logic (necessity) rather than love. The yellow sky behind him is her own adoration.

Open Thread: Spherical Astrolabe


The major drawback of a planispheric astrolabe is that the projection used to make it flat is different for every latitude. (This is dealt with by having interchangeable plates.) If one doesn't need the astrolabe to be flat, and instead allows it to be spherical, that drawback disappears.

While we have a fair number of documents about spherical astrolabes, this is the only intact one to survive. It was made by someone named Musa 540 years ago, it's about the size of a baseball, and I want one.

While they eliminate the major drawback of planispheric astrolabes, spherical astrolabes have problems of their own. Notably, the fact that only one survives intact should give you some idea of how durable they are, and flat things tend to be more convenient than spheres.

I'm sorry this is late again. I hope you like the picture.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Birds of Prey
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us almost over, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Storify: People Who Menstruate

Just a reminder to folks that JKR's "people who menstruate are WOMEN" tweet hurts trans men and many nonbinary folks by misgendering us into women just because we menstruate. Menstruation terfery of this sort is not about trans women, though the terfs often want it to be.

A lot of folks get confused and think the "people who menstruate" language was created to appease trans women who didn't want womanhood defined by menstruation. Wrong. The "people who menstruate" language was created to talk about menstruation without misgendering non-women. I'd like it if folks could stop erasing trans men and nonbinary folks from the damage terfs do. They come after ALL of us. There is no flavor of transness which terfs won't attack.

Some folks have asked for more clarity, so let me break down the two most common terfy rhetorics surrounding menstruation:

TERF Menstruation Myth #1: "People who menstruate are women." This misgenders people who aren't women, but menstruate. This includes many trans men and nonbinary people. It also assigns "womanhood" to young cis girls who menstruate early. That in itself has a bad history.

TERF Menstruation Myth #2: "Women menstruate. If you don't menstruate, you aren't a woman." This strips womanhood from every woman who doesn't menstruate. That includes *many* trans women, intersex women, menopausal women, infertile and/or disabled women, women w/hysterectomies.

TERFs use both these myths to attack trans people, and it's important to understand which is which. And, again: using the precise and inclusive "people who menstruate" language when talking about menstruation is a good thing for EVERYONE, not least because many of us had the traumatic experience of "womanhood" thrust upon us at a very early age when we began menstruation. Being told I was "a woman now" when I was (a) a trans boy and (b) only 12 years old was not good for me. (Your mileage may vary.) "You menstruate now" would've been far more useful and factual, and less fraught with expectations of gender and maturity.

Utena: Onion Prince

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 19: "A Song for the Kingdom Now Lost"

Just to recap, season one had the following duel schedule: Saionji, Miki, Juri, Nanami, and Touga. So far in this season we've had Kanae (no relationship to Saionji that I can fathom), Kozue (Miki), Shiori (Juri), and Tsuwabuki (Nanami). If we follow the pattern, this could be a Touga episode--and we start with red roses. A man with a red cloak holds a girl dressed in yellow adoration. She looks like Wakaba and I'm confused because I thought her episode was the next one.

Open Thread: Alphabet


Still not getting out much, but there are some interesting things to look at in the public domain.  This is from a handbook on handwriting.  I'm not entirely sure why it's in there, actually, as this isn't the kind of handwriting the handbook is for.

Anyway, it presents an opportunity to learn one's i jod kas, which seemed kind of interesting to me.

Sorry this thread is late again.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Birds of Prey
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us almost over, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

June Newsletter (2020)

I always try to write these with postitives in mind, without getting bogged down in bad news. It's not easy sometimes when you live with chronic pain to stay cheerful, but it's a big part of my mental health for me and I hope it makes these newsletters more fun to read. Yet tonight as I sit here a few minutes before our citywide curfew takes effect, listening to the latest attacks on peaceful protesters on the news, I'm struggling. Things aren't okay right now and it wouldn't make sense for me to pretend otherwise. I hope you are all safe and as happy as you can be under the circumstances, finding moments of joy within the storm.

We're doing well, physically. Kissmate is recovering from his top surgery and looking for remote work he can do from home. (If any of you have any good leads along those lines, I'd be eternally grateful if you wanted to share, drop us a link, or send me a message.) I've been picking up extra hours at my day job and trying to write in the evenings. I have another Miriam and Emil chapter almost ready for you--I wanted to have it ready for you today but it's not quite finished yet. It will be soon, though, and I'm very excited about it. In the meantime we have more Utena posts and some movie live-watches from Kissmate! So we definitely have content to, you know, distract from *waves hands* things.

As far as June plans: My own top surgery is the last week of June. (More details here!) That will be exactly 8 weeks after Kissmate's top surgery and they think he should be back to full capabilities at that point, so he should be able to take care of me and the cats. If my surgery goes anything like his, there ought to be a lot of pain for the first couple of weeks but eh, it's nothing I haven't done before at this point. I'm not worried. Actually, I'm really excited! I can't wait to let you all know how it goes. (Kissmate says I have to tell you all we're still ridiculously cute and in love, and that's exciting too, haha.)

We haven't been able to get to the post office much because of everything going on with covid and my increased work hours, but I plan to get out there this week to ship out books and bookmarks to everyone who hasn't gotten one yet. Check your messages and if you haven't heard from me, give me a ping? I don't want to miss anyone. I love you all.

Older Links

My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.

My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.

My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.

@DivorceKittens: Here.

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Please stay safe out there, friends. I can't bear to lose any of you. I love you.

Utena: Paths to Adulthood

[Utena Content Note: Sexual Assault]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 18: "Mitsuri's Impatience"

We start in a council scene where rain drenches the balcony and the members wonder if they've been abandoned. The enormous stained glass rose on the wall has changed colors: everything is darker and the yellows have turned to green. The mood is gloomy and doubtful. Nanami doesn't understand who the End of the World is and why he has any say in how the school is run. For the second time, Nanami asks a blushing council member whether the en-swordening hurt and they decline to answer; the question always reminds me of a virgin asking someone whether their first time hurt.

Open Thread: Old Shorthand


I give you a one thousand year old lexicon of two thousand year old shorthand.

Sorry I've been doing such a bad job of keeping up with the open threads of late.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Birds of Prey
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us almost over, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

May Newsletter (2020)

Hey guys! Kissmate here, reporting from the Mardoll household. Let me tell you, it has been a wild month! April and May so far have been huge, so let's not waste words or mince time!

Just last week, we got in front of a Justice of the Peace via Zoom and pronounced our love and devotion to each other in holy matrimony. WE'RE MARRIED! Silicone rings to adorn our fingers and homemade wedding cake to ring in the sweet days to come! Of course, we're going to have a bigger and better handfasting when we're out of this pandemic, but for now it's legal and official! Now if we can get the insurance to see that. *eye roll*

My Top Surgery has been healing as fast as it can, but it doesn't feel fast enough. I can do more things on my own, but still not back to 100%. Hopefully it'll be all better in time for Ana's surgery come next month! We'll let you know more on that as it comes along. For now, it's scheduled to be at the end of June and we're already buying out the freezer sections. My cooking spoons and skills are not the greatest, so it looks like a ton of frozen meals are on the menu around that time. At least I know how not to burn them!

Anywho, coming back to more creative works, there have been a few problems. Amazon has slowed down shipping the paper books to send out to those who donated $25+ to the Top Surgeries. That means it's slowed us down getting the books out to those people, unfortunately. But we're getting them out as fast as we get them in, so all we ask for is a little patience! For those who want their own signed copy of No Man Of Woman Born, donate ~here~ for GoFundMe and ~here~ for PayPal! We'd both appreciate a little love headed our way, so please don't hesitate to offer support in any way!

There's also been a hit in the creativity side of it all concerning all the covid news lately. There's a TON of covid cases in our area, as well as a ton of deaths. Not to mention my job is already asking some people to come back to work in July, and that might mean me. We're staying as safe as we can, but it is scary. And scary means that not a lot of creative writing is flowing as freely as we'd like. Again, we just ask some patience while we hammer those keys and gather our muses into a working order. Who knows, maybe you just might see some of my work flowing here! I'll leave it up to you guys whether that's a bonus or not. :P

That's about all we have for now, so I wish you all safety when you head out there. And I do mean besides covid. Be well, do well, and live well!

~Kissmate of Mardoll

Older Links

Index to Blog-Reads: Here.

YouTube Let's Plays: Here.

Tumblr Funnies: Here.

@DivorceKittens: Here.

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(From Ana) I love you all and I hope you're all keeping safe. This month is kicking my ass in both good ways and bad, but I'm grateful to be alive and part of your lives. Stay safe out there.

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