Afterland: Chapters 24-25

[Content Note: Transphobia, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Rape]

Okay. Deep breath. Is this still helping anyone? I'm doing a good by continuing? I like to check in.

AFTERLAND. Chapter 24.

"24. Cole: Shotgun Sally"

Cole teaches Miles to drive because it's not like they're in a hurry to get where they're going, and a little old lady materializes out of nowhere to invite them to dinner for no reason. The narrative is *still* misgendering Miles constantly. We come to the second, and last, mention of the word "lesbian" in this novel when the Little Old Lady has to clarify that when she says a neighbor "family" comes over on Tuesdays, she means a LESBIAN couple, because I guess the concept of a family without men confuses.

The Little Old Lady sets out christmas crackers for the occasion, and can you even get those in America? She roasted a chicken and wasn't counting on every bite for herself, so again this is a very cozy apocalypse. It's all very nice but also a trap: the Little Old Lady locks them in and menaces them with a shotgun because she doesn't want them to leave. Cole instantly and easily disarms her and they're off again, only briefly inconvenienced. End of chapter.

I guess we'll do another chapter, since the last one was so very short and so very pointless.

Afterland: Chapters 20-23

[Content Note: Transphobia, Toxic Masculinity, Homophobic Slurs]

Okay, so what I'm going to try to do today is summarize a chapter in the fewest tweets possible, unless/until more transphobia crops up to talk about. This means I'm going to necessarily have to skim over all the other problematic stuff, but this book is starting to wear me down with its badness.

AFTERLAND. Chapter 20.

"20. Cole: Find A Crack and Fall Through It"

I thought Patty's reference to "husband and boyfriend" indicated polyamory, but no, it was an affair. Sigh. Patty has nothing more valuable to do with her life than help Cole, so she gently pressures her to tell her the truth about where she's going. Cole declines, and Patty good-naturedly gives her cash and a car. That's the entire short chapter.

The only thing of note here is that Patty says they've helped people get away from "[s]talkers, abusive exes, toxic families" since the plague and I wonder what that would even look like in a world where all the cis men have died. Like, women can absolutely be abusers, but by definition a LOT of the abusers in the world are dead (because half the population just died) and this Utah "commune" of roommates didn't see a drop in business? Whatever.

By the way, Michelle never showed up again in this book. That fourth roommate literally only existed to talk about masturbation and semen to Miles so he'd get uncomfortable and they'd all take him to see modern art and his social media leaks could then happen. Like Richie Cunningham's older brother Chuck, she just disappeared back upstairs and out of our lives forever.

Film Corner: Kill Bill 2


Kill Bill: Volume 2

[Content Note: Rape, Racism, Gore]

(Kissmate) About to start Kill Bill Volume 2. I've been told it's worse than the other, but nothing else. Volume 1 exhausted me, so let's see if I can power my way through this one! I'm going to assume that the previous warnings of rape, gore, and racism still apply. And that the dialogue is still horribly written from before. And that the director is a GIGANTIC weaboo. So if the same still applies, I may not mention it too much.

Uma catches us back up on what happened in Volume 1, and mentions Bill is the only one left. What happened to the other two? CHAPTER SIX. Uma mentions that her attack became infamous, almost like an urban legend. So many versions, but she's telling us the facts. The shooting happened during a wedding rehearsal. Bill finds her. Uma wanted out of the killing business, and was getting married to keep out of it. Bill is introduced as her father to the groom (a lie). I've noticed that the camera loves feet for no reason.

Afterland: Chapters 18-19

[Content Note: Transphobia, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Racism]

I took a few days off from this Afterland book because it's just so awful and I feel like the previous chapter 17 broke me. The email between Cole and Keletso isn't just bad--though it is--there's this layer cake of issues where a white woman is calling on her 2 best Black friends to ride-or-die her out of major crimes on the grounds that they were playground buddies back in the day.

I know that internet naming sites are often riddled with inaccuracy so take this with a grain of salt, but Names dot org says Keletso means "advice" or "wish". And this is the friend who answers Cole's wishes by laying out her advisory plan for leaving the country. Names dot org says that Sisonke means "we're all in this together" / "all of us", and this is the woman who convinces Keletso to stick with Cole in spite of the immense personal risk involved in abetting major crimes. These Black women aren't *people*, they're plot devices. The one named Advice gives advice and the one named, basically, Solidarity stands in solidarity. They're magical Black best friends to call upon when the white protagonist needs a mountain moved. I hate it.

At no point does Cole ask how either of them are doing. What their lives are like. Who they've lost. Whether now is a good time to be involving them in federal crimes. Nor do they volunteer this information, because they don't exist outside of Cole's story. Keletso gushes about "fascinating stuff about alternative economies" because that's of interest to Cole and the author, but we don't know about her family and friends and life. Does she have kids? Did she lose many loved ones? We don't know. She's a cipher.

I started this read to talk about the obvious transphobia, but there's so much racism. I don't feel qualified to unpack it properly, but at the same time I'm frustrated with the white authors who effusively praised this book and seemingly didn't care.

Afterland: Chapters 16-17

[Content Note: Transphobia, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Racism]

I have to break off another new thread. This one will be Chapter 16+.

I care a lot about writing as a craft, which is why I think these deep dives tend to end up being more about writing as art rather than the transphobia that drew my attention. Like, the transphobia in these Gender Plagues is usually the same stuff repeated ad nauseum, but there's so many more and varied and interesting ways in which a book can go Terribly, Terribly Wrong.

Here at Chapter 16, I believe something happened. Maybe the author read back over her previous stuff real quick before churning out a chapter. Maybe a writing partner looked at it. We'll probably never know. But somehow the idea was implanted that, just maybe, the American government hadn't been made villainous enough for Cole to hate and fear them so much, when all they've done so far is feed and shelter people and protected Miles from violent cultist mobs.

Most books would have some sort of editing process to go back and tweak what has come before in order to better align to the story you want to tell, but this book is written by Retcon Fiat where new chapters just overwrite old ones. So here we go.

Open Thread: Clouds


Picture taken on Sunday.  They didn't actually look like that, but I couldn't get the picture to look how they did look, so I went with that.

-

We sometimes have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  That said, we do not currently have any.  You do not need such a 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.  Be aware, however, that I'm not remotely on top of things right now, it's probably best if you @ me (chris the cynic, not Ana) to get my attention.

-

Friday 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, 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!

Afterland: Chapters 11-15

[Content Note: Transphobia, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Racism]

Before I get to Chapter 11, I want to talk about LEFT BEHIND. This is ancient history now, but I got into deconstructing books because I loved @SlacktivistFred's amazing deep dives into the LEFT BEHIND books.

LEFT BEHIND is about the Christian rapture, in which every child under the age of 13 or so, plus every True Believer adult, is summarily slain by God and taken to heaven without passing Go or collecting $200. (A little Monopoly game joke for you there.) This AFTERLAND book actually shares a lot in common with LEFT BEHIND. Not all the children are dead of course--only 50% of them--but all the fathers are gone. All the uncles and brothers. Every cis man minus a few million exceptions are dead.

Fred Clark talks about how the LEFT BEHIND books don't grapple at all with the kind of worldwide grief this would entail. The characters have all read the back of the book, know it's a Rapture story, and dutifully go back to their jobs and lives. No one ever breaks down in the middle of public life sobbing "the children, the children are all gone, I miss my daughter, please bring back the children." Everyone is almost eager to get back to their day job. It's obscene, like a capitalist wet dream.

In reality, it's just bad writing. The authors don't know how to depict this unprecedented magnitude of grief, so they don't try. They model their cab drivers and septic tank workers off the ones in their daily non-Rapturey lives. You probably see where I'm going with this, yeah?

Afterland: Chapters 6-10

[Content Note: Transphobia, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Racism]

Before I start on Chapter 6, I just have to revisit how very bizarre it is that everyone is just bovinely assuming that no one will ever get pregnant again. This isn't a fertility plague. This isn't even a situation where all sperm is gone: we have IVF banks, yes, and frozen embryos, but by the book's own admission there are a million or so American cis men still alive.

I only know that the government has outlawed pregnancy because a review mentioned it; the book hasn't seen fit to tell me this yet. Which...I can't really blame it for being shy of that plot point, given that Quiverfull groups would never respect this law. We can't even get people to wear masks, and this book wants me to believe that everyone just accepts that the human race is done and no babies ever again because the government says so. What the actual fuck.

Given how much this book was compared to HANDMAID'S TALE, I was expecting impoverished women to be recruited as wombs for the rich while the surviving cis men are milked for sperm. This is... apparently not the case??? Furthermore, we have a zillion frozen embryos in storage. We have embryos whose gender we know, if you're that concerned about not birthing boys who will die (unless you take their prostate out). It's- none of this makes any sense.

Film Corner: Kill Bill 1

Kill Bill: Volume 1

[Content Note: Rape, Racism, Gore]

(Kissmate) There's a tradition where @AnaMardoll watches the "Kill Bill" movies (2003-04), just to remember how bad a director Quentin Tarantino really is. Now it's my turn! I know about maybe one scene in Volume 1. I remember these movies advertising, but nothing else after that. I haven't seen any Tarantino directed movies, but I did see "Sin City" and "From Dusk Til Dawn" which he helped write. I'll give my ratings to each individual Kill Bill movie, then to both together. This one is gonna be a helluva ride, so let's go!

Oh good, the first thing we see is a quote about revenge while a woman is covered in blood and sweat. Oh, Uma Thurman, you deserved better. "I bet I could fry an egg on your head right now if I wanted to." Was that meant to be intimidating? That was silly! Looks like Bill is wiping up blood from her, but it's so hard to tell since all we see is Uma's face up close and beaten to hell. "Bill, it's your baby-" GUNSHOT AND CUT TO TITLE. OH OK JUST DO THAT I GUESS. DON'T GIVE ANYTHING TO THE VIEWER JUST YET.

Credits to "Bang, Bang" by Nancy Sinatra. "CHAPTER ONE (2)"??? Pasadena, CA. The Bells, residence. Uma walks up, rings the bell, and is greeted by Fox. Suddenly SIRENS AND RED FLASHES TO FOX STANDING OVER UMA'S PREGNANT BODY READY TO STRIKE HER DOWN. FIGHT!! Already, I feel like I'm not given any chance to breathe or enjoy the story. It's "THINGS ARE HAPPENING SO ENJOY THEM" and I'm not ok with being constantly shoved into a fast-flashing light-up screen.

Uma and Fox fight with no music, save the shattering of glass and the occasional "come on, bitch" from Fox. A bus rolls by and Fox's child walks in and starts asking questions. Uma tries to introduce herself and the name is bleeped out. Why? Is it a bad word? Fox's child (Nikki) says she's 4. I immediately call BS as Nikki looks 8-10 and got off a school bus alone. 4-year-olds don't even go to school. In fact, the actress was 8 years old! What the fuck, who made this choice?! Why am I pissed about a blatant lie???

Fox tells Nikki to wait upstairs, then offers coffee to Uma. And the dialogue begins. It's so BAD! No one talks like this. It's full of preteen-level cussing and crudity. I feel *numb* for having heard it. All I know is that these two women hate each other. Uma tells Fox that she plans on killing Fox and her family to "get even". Fox plans a fight date, then pulls out "Kaboom" cereal for Nikki. Uma mentions Fox being the best with an edged weapon. "Fuck you, bitch" is the response. GUN IN THE CEREAL BOX! Fox fires! Shot goes wide, Uma kicks the mug to distract, and throws a knife from her belt into Fox's chest! Nikki saw everything, but Uma reassures her.

"I didn't mean to do this in front of you... I'm sorry. But your mother had it coming." I HATE THIS WRITING!!! Uma tells Nikki to fight her if she grows up and still feels "raw about it". Uma gets in the truck and crosses off name #2. (Oh, like at the title card.) Name #1 is already crossed off. When did that happen? Are we time-jumping? ….A-Are we time jumping? Japanese is being said. Something about how a warrior must do everything (including getting rid of emotions) to vanquish every enemy (even if it's God or Buddha). That... is a very White Man thing. Shinto, Buddhism, and Bushido do NOT agree with this!

Uma rides a Pussy Wagon? Is it a reclaim of the word? I doubt. CHAPTER TWO. El Paso, TX. Uma dressed as a bride lies in a crime scene. A sheriff with a ton of aviator glasses drives in. Nine deaths with a ton of bullet casings. Sheriff says it was the work of professionals because the "colors are all in the line" with a steady hand. What? Then he's creepily mentioning how pretty the bride is. Ew, dude, be professional yourself! Then he calls her a cocksucker!! WHAT THE FUCK?!

I'm just going to make a tweet about the dialogue or I'm here all night. It's SO painful! Every line is either crude, creepy, racist, sexist, childishly-written, or just plain bad. And it wouldn't be terrible if it wasn't so damn PROUD of how ""adult"" it sounds! Turns out Uma is alive! She wakes in a hospital bed.

A woman with an eyepatch walks in and her clothing looks like it's outlined like those "cartoon 3D backpacks". The other nurses aren't dressed like that. Oh, but she dresses like the other nurses now! With- omg- She looks REDICULOUS! An eye patch with the Red Cross on it and one of those little white cotton hats! She looks like she's about to perform a strip tease to "Doctor, Doctor", not commit murder! I'm laughing at how silly this looks! So the nurse, or Elle Driver, walks with a needle full of poison to Uma. A call from Bill interrupts the act. He refuses to Uma in her sleep because it would lower them (or dishonor them, maybe?). Miss Driver isn't happy about that, but leaves all the same.

FOUR YEARS LATER. A mosquito wakes Uma and she gets some violent flashbacks to the moment she was shot. After mourning the loss of her child (don't know what happened to it), she mentions "four years". How does she know how long she's been out??? [CW: Rape] Two men walk in (trucker and nurse) and start talking. The nurse is basically running a HORRIBLE side-business of coma patients getting raped for a price. It took me a long time to say that without puking. That should explain my thoughts.

[CW: Infertility and Rape] Oh, and the nurse says the trucker can cum inside her all he wants because "her plumbing doesn't work". Can't hit her or leave marks, but leaving behind physical evidence because she's infertile is totally cool! EAT SHIT AND DIE. Can we also talk about how she had to lay there mourning her life and baby while listening to someone sell her body like he's done it a million times? Because that also happened. And he probably has in the last four years. THIS IS SICK AND WRONG AND BAD. This is handled like a shock value torture scene rather than the serious subject it is. This doesn't belong in an over-the-top action B-list movie, it belongs in serious-toned movies!

Moving on! Uma falls out of bed, her legs not working yet. She hamstrings him and bashes his head in the door. She steals the "Pussy Wagon" keys, scrubs, and a wheelchair and goes to the Pussy Wagon. I don't think this was to reclaim the word anymore. The main heroine (known only by her relation to a man) is forced to struggle into a misogynistic and sexist vehicle in order to survive and exact revenge against those who tried to kill her. This is a horrible metaphor and I am already dreading the rest of this.

Now Uma wiggles her toes to get out of coma atrophy. She waxes poetic about how revenge going in one's favor is proof that one is doing god's will. She remembers that The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad attacked her, so she's going to kill them first. I know I'm white, but you're not supposed to pronounce both i's in the name Ishii, correct? O-Ren I-Shi vs. O-Ren I-Shi-I. That... That sounds like anyone could've researched, found that flaw, and edited it easily enough. So what the fuck?

They show O-Ren's backstory in artsy anime form. Her mother and father were killed in front of her at the age of 9 by Yakuza. This feels not only cliché and arrogant, but racist. Appropriation of animation style, inaccurate Yakuza depiction, and "Dragon Lady". [CW: Pedophilia] "FORTUNATELY FOR HER, THE BOSS WAS A PEDOPHILE." Just fucking punch me in the throat already. While fucking the Yakuza boss at age 11, she kills him with a sword. Then becomes a top assassin by age 20. Then attacks Uma.

Uma gets on a plane and goes to Okinawa. CHAPTER FOUR. She walks into a Japanese bar where the owner talks to her and teaches her some Japanese. He then bickers on and off with a seemingly lazy worker. This is a funny scene. "How is it ruined?" I say with a sigh. Uma mentions she's looking for Hattori Hanzo's steel to get rid of vermin. His whole demeanor changes and he's suddenly taking her more seriously. So she faked not knowing Japanese the whole time because... why? As a gotcha? It wasn't very good, nor subtle.

Wait. Needless Japanese comedy routine, Fascination with Katana and similar swords, Obsession with Japanese media, Inaccurate but Constant push of East Asian morals and teachings... IS QUENTIN TARATINO A WEABOO?!

Hanzo says he doesn't make swords anymore, but she pushes for him to give her one because Hanzo taught Bill (fighting lessons, I'm guessing?). Uma's character feels like a Karen getting a manager (or BEING a manager) to fire the people who attacked her from LIFE. Hanzo agrees to make her one, even though he's done making killing weapons. Because this trope isn't overdone to shit. Wow, they got actual Japanese actors in this. I feel sorry for the director fetishizing their culture so openly in front of them.

CHAPTER FIVE. There's a female lawyer named Sophie Fatale. And a 17-year-old Japanese schoolgirls named Gogo who kills perverts. And some guy named Johnny Mo, nothing else about him. All of them work for O-Ren. A Yakuza boss mentions her mixed blood, and she kills him in a very anime-esque way. Ever since I realized I'm watching a Weaboo movie, I've been SUPER uneasy. There's nothing wrong with appreciating other cultures. Never fetishize it. Realize it's not YOURS.

[CW: Racism] There's a LOT of Japanese culture and media appropriation here, to the point I have to not keep pointing out every little thing. This is SUPER racist to Japanese people and insulting to the culture. I'm super angry about it, but I have to move on. O-Ren tells them all to go fuck themselves if they hate her heritage. Cool. Uma goes to Tokyo and- Is that a Jazz version of "Bee Chasing the Czar"? What the fuck??? And Uma has a sword ON THE PLANE WITH HER?! POST 9/11?! This is ridiculous and surreal!!!

If there's ONE GOOD THING about this movie... the soundtrack is awesome. Uma tracks O-Ren to a club. She finds the lawyer in the bathroom and gets the sirens again. Maybe something cool will finally happen? Uma cuts off Fatale's arm and I can finally talk about the Tarantino Squirts! Blood loves to pour forth from a wound like a fire hydrant in Tarantino films. And I feel it's a part of his weaboo side. Old ultra-violence anime titles LOVED to have blood like this. The problem is: media style makes all the difference. Blood gushing out in animation gives it expression and a feeling of quantity and panic. In live-action, it's unnecessary. The unneeded blood amount here just makes it look silly and over-the-top. And having it be over-the-top is FINE, if your WHOLE MOVIE can be silly and over-the-top. But again, Kill Bill is trying to take this and be PROUD of how SMART it sounds while also showing off its anime figurines in its filthy, odd-smelling room. So no points!

The club clears and Uma fights the Yakuza under O-Ren. Soon, it's just O-Ren and Gogo. Gogo fights Uma with a spike-ball-and-chain. If this was JUST an action movie, it wouldn't be too bad. The fight scenes are actually decent! But it's NOT and it SUFFERS. Gogo dies in a very BS way (really, THAT killed her?!) and now it's just Uma and O-Ren. After a REALLY SILLY Trix Rabbit line, the rest of the Yakuza storm in and... a boring fight scene happens. I just praised the fight scenes! Why is it failing to deliver?! I think the movie went black-and-white to lessen the gore but it comes off as artistically pompous. We're not allowed to take in anything because of all the fast cuts and editing. If we were allowed to sit back a bit and just soak it in, it'd be FUN!! Instead.

After a LONG FIGHT SCENE where NOTHING happens of consequence (they got a lot of trailer-shots here), Uma makes her way to O-Ren. They go back and forth in a mix of Japanese and English. And I have to take back my music like! Bad music choice! Latino mix? Here? Also, there's no tension here. WE KNOW UMA WINS. She kills Fox after this! Dragging this out is BORING, not COOL. Oh, and gore happens. Like, "see O-Ren's brain" gore. And with that, O-Ren is dead.

Uma throws Fatale at a hospital after torturing her for information. Bill finds Fatale and knows what Uma knows. Because Uma wants him to know that she plans on killing them all. That's a bad plan, because now they can all prepare for your attacks! DUH! We see Uma making the Death List and hear Bill ask Fatale "Does she know her daughter is still alive?" Then Credits! SWEET BLESSED CREDITS! This movie is SHIT! I feel like I lost a part of myself for having watched it.

0/10 NEVER AGAIN! Every time it was good, it RUINED! AND IT WASN'T GOOD OFTEN!

But there's still Volume 2. I shall tackle it tomorrow. I need a LONG SLEEP after that marathon of BAD.

Afterland: Chapters 1-5

[Content Note: Transphobia, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Racism]

Kissmate is down for us to read Afterland and report on the handling of gender therein. My plan is to read one chapter a day unless my willpower breaks and I either have to quit or end up maranthoning the entire book just to get it over with. Why are we reading something we expect not to like and which may cause us pain? I don't want to upset anyone who likes the book and/or the author, but this sort of transphobic premise keeps being mishandled and we need to talk about it.

AFTERLAND. Chapter 1.

"Cole: Naming Rights"

Cole is the mother in our apocalypse scenario. She has blood on her shirt and is anxiously checking over her son, Miles, who has unspecified drugs in his system. Cole, a white woman, is worried about Miles being taken away from her by the government. "She’ll be arrested. Miles will be taken away. In America, they steal kids from their parents. This was true even before all this."

Cole is described based on her reflection in a mirror. "She looks old. Worse, she looks scared. Cole doesn’t want him to see that. Maybe that’s what superheroes are concealing behind the masks: not their secret identities, but the fact that they’re scared shitless." They're hiding out in a "looted gas station store". I'm a little surprised because I thought this was a relatively orderly apocalypse. Apparently not, okay.

Open Thread: Pony


This is not the first time Elliot here has appeared in an open thread.  I was so focused on making sure that the colors came out right that I completely missed his halter hanging off of him.  Apparently he doesn't like having it on his nose.  (I wouldn't either.)

Picture taken this morning.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

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 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, 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!

Afterland: An Announcement

[Content Note: Transphobia]

AFTERLAND. The Announcement.

This book is being described as "a world without men" because...nearly everyone with a prostate dies. *deep breath* So most trans women are dead and...trans men just don't exist, I guess? Because it's a world "without men"? I'm especially hurt because I saw several cis authors praising the book earlier and they're people I thought were trans allies. But I guess we're an afterthought when those folks aren't on Twitter.

I can't get past "cosmetic beard stubble". Prescription testosterone is made from soybeans and yams and plants. Did they get wiped out by the prostate plague??? Folks could be growing their own beards, but instead they're using eyebrow pencils to dot one on?!?!

The problem with these Gender Plague books by cis people isn't that they aren't "inclusive enough" because of social justice! The problem is that their total ignorance about gender issues makes the world-building laughably bad. You can't solve the problem by wiping out trans women via protates or trans men via uteruses and be like "see? I love trans people enough to know they exist!" Like, first of all, don't do that. It's harmful. Second of all, you still need to research this stuff.

August Newsletter (2020)

August is here! I'd say welcome to the summer season but it's been 100 degrees fahrenheit almost every day here for what feels like weeks so the welcome would be remarkably late in coming at this point. Kissmate and I spent the morning trimming the willow tree in the backyard (a lovely monster that never stops growing and threatens to consume us all in its soft, susurrating embrace) and even though it was very early in the day we were still dripping with sweat by the end. It's hot out there and very humid. (At least by my standards.)

Kissmate and I are doing well! My allergic reaction to the surgery sutures is starting to calm down, which means the sutures are starting to dissolve as intended. We still can't lift our arms above our heads and mobility is somewhat limited (this, too, will fade with time) but the pain has become much more manageable for me and is entirely gone for Kissmate. Best of all, we both still love our new look! Dysphoria levels have gone way down and it just feels so amazing to not have breasts anymore. I don't even really remember what it was like to have them. I recall not enjoying the sensation, but it's like a memory of a dream: hazy and faraway and uncertain.

If I have any complaints at all, it's that I still have to sleep more than I would like and it's slowing down progress on all my projects. But that's getting better over time; this last week I stayed up late writing on three different nights and it was wonderful feeling the words flow. I haven't really been up to my old word counts since the 2016 election, and covid has not helped at all, so feeling the urge to write again has been fantastic.

I have some thoughts I want to put before you all about a book I'm planning, but that's another post.

Patreon News

All Patrons: We have some wonderful live-watches of bad movies scheduled for your reading pleasure this month. Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, Eurovision Song Contest on Netflix (warning: I do not recommend this one if you have triggers around sexual assault), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and VelociPastor. Some of these are from Kissmate and some from me; he is really enjoying writing live-watches for you all and loves your comments.

$5+ Patrons: I'm working on another installment in Miriam and Emil's story but have fallen behind. I am almost done with--and hope to post this week--a lovely fanfic about Medusa and a blind trans boy who comes to her island. This one was inspired by the utterly dreadful 2010 Clash of the Titans movie. In other news, I'm working on a sequel to No Man of Woman Born but would like to get your opinions on some things. A post will be going up about that.

Older Links

My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here. A new one is going up soon about Afterland, yet another Gender Plague novel in the vein of Sleeping Beauties.

My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.

My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.

@DivorceKittens: Here.

---

Please continue to stay safe out there, and please wear a mask! I am so worried about all of you and have already lost a couple friends to covid. Please take care. I love you.

Index: Afterland


Afterland


Source: Afterland
Label: Deconstruction (Afterland)

» An Announcement
» Part 1, Chapters 1-5
» Part 1, Chapters 6-10
» Part 1, Chapters 11-15
» Part 1, Chapters 16-17
» Part 1, Chapters 18-19
» Part 1, Chapters 20-23
» Part 1, Chapter 24-25
» Interlude, Chapter 29
» Interlude, Chapter 30
» Interlude, Chapter 31
» Part 2, Chapter 32
» Part 2, Chapter 33
» Part 2, Chapter 34
» Part 2, Chapter 35
» Part 2, Chapter 36
» Part 2, Chapter 37
» Part 2, Chapter 38
» Part 2, Chapter 39
» Part 2, Chapter 40
» Part 2, Chapter 41
» Part 2, Chapter 42
» Part 2, Chapter 43
» Part 2, Chapter 44
» Part 2, Chapter 45
» Part 2, Chapter 46
» Part 2, Chapter 47
» Part 2, Chapter 48
» Part 2, Chapter 49
» Part 2, Chapter 50
» Part 2, Chapter 51
» Part 2, Chapter 52
» Part 2, Chapter 53
» Part 2, Chapter 54
» Part 2, Chapter 55
» Part 2, Chapter 56
» Part 2, Chapter 57
» Part 2, Chapter 58
» Part 2, Chapter 59
» Part 2, Chapter 60
» Part 2, Chapter 61
» Part 2, Chapter 62
» Epilogue, Surfacing

Note: Last updated 8/1/2020.

Film Corner: Rise of Skywalker

Rise of Skywalker

(Ana) During quarantine, I found out that Kissmate had never seen the Star Wars prequels (which was a disappointment to him because he wanted to hate them properly) nor had he seen the "unaltered" original trilogy (noooo!) nor had he seen the newest Star Wars except The Force Awakens. I had the pleasure of conducting a 9-movie marathon with him, and there was much love and hate. Kissmate decide to live-tweet Rise of Skywalker to cheer folks up during a difficult week.

(Kissmate) Since we're in a hellscape right now, I figured a ragewatch of "The Rise of Skywalker" (2019) would be appropriate. I know this is a BAD one. "Ruined the franchise" kind of bad. "Pandered to the racist/extremist/fascist fanboys and no one else" brand of terrible. So I'm already prepared to hate the SHIT of this. A bit of background: We did a marathon of all the main 8 movies before this. All three SHITTY prequals, all three of the original cut of the original trilogy, and both newer Rey movies (which I ADORED!). I could not be more prepared for this.

Open Thread: Fibers


I may, possibly, be attempting a project that uses stuff meant for a violin bow.  On arrival, some of the hairs were tangled, and not all of them survived the untangling process.  These are the ones that didn't.  I think the the curves and whatnot here look cool, not sure if anyone else will.

Sorry this is late; really thought I was going to get two weeks in a row on time.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

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 Saturday 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 here, 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!

Open Thread: Fur


Picture of my cat, taken on May 13th.

The open thread is on time for once.  Woo!

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

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 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, 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!

Open Thread: Glass of Pencils


I have a great fondness for faceted glass, which is probably why I ended up with the set of faceted glasses that pencil-holding glass in the picture is a member of.

Sorry about the lack of open thread last week.  Sorry this is late.  Hope you like the picture.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

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!

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.

-

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.

---

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.

---

(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.

Open Thread: Something In Bloom


In one sense I know exactly what I took a picture of: it's a tree.  In just about any other sense, not so much.  Picture taken nine days ago on the way home from my pharmacy.

I am so, so sorry about missing last week's open thread and then having this one be late on top of it.

-

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 Saturday 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 here, 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!

Open Thread: Sleep


I haven't exactly been getting outside to taking pictures lately.  Therefore, have a picture of my cat.  It was taken on Tuesday, from the very same spot in which I currently compose this post.

-

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 Saturday 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 here, 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!