walrus

Puella Sapiens

Supspecies Rhodeislandensis

(no subject)
walrus
maenads_dance
So pissed off right now --

I pre-ordered The Wise Man's Fear off of Amazon in early February, and was told that, because I'd pre-ordered it, it would be delivered on March 1st. Perfect! I'd have it in time for my long plane ride home.

Well, it's March 1st, and I went online to track my order since I hadn't gotten it through campus mail yet. Lo and Behold, I'm apparently not getting it until March 7, at which point I will be in RI, and not MD, and therefore will not be able to read it during my long break. Oh no.

I am SO FUCKING PISSED right now - what the hell's the point of pre-ordering a book if you're not going to get it until after most people who order it on the day of its release?

(no subject)
walrus
maenads_dance


Made my day. Go Egypt! Go human ingenuity!

From There I Fixed It.

(no subject)
walrus
maenads_dance
“Eighty-five million people live in Egypt, and less than 1,000 people died in this revolution — most of them killed by the police,” said Mr. Ghonim, the Google executive. “It shows how civilized the Egyptian people are.” He added, “Now our nightmare is over. Now it is time to dream.”

(no subject)
walrus
maenads_dance
Today I was at Colt State Park with my dog. It's a very busy place in the early mornings and late afternoons, when dog owners bring their pets for walks and exercise; I came at about 4:15, with the sun just starting to sink and the bright blue sky fading into that palest, iciest blue of New England winter. Standing by the shore today looking across the Sakonnet to Aquidneck and Connanicut islands it felt like the sky would go on forever - just this great huge clear vault. It's been so cold and dry and clear the past few weeks it feels like I could fall forever up into the sky.

I've been reading up on animal psychology and have started clicker training Romeo. I'm a total novice, and he's completely clueless too; we have fun messing around together, though, and it's an awesome tool; in just a few sessions I've finally gotten Romeo responding to verbal signals alone on some of the basic commands - he's been dependent on physical commands for a while, and since I want to start some distance work, I really really would like him to heed my voice. This is hard for a beagle, but he's got an INCREDIBLE recall, which he demonstrated this afternoon.

He's running in big circles around this huge beautiful field, and I'm keeping an eye out for any trouble, so that I can leash him if necessary; I notice in the waaaaay distance a leashed dog walking with its owner. I glance to Romeo, and realize that he's just noticed the dog too - he's gone still, and his eyes are locked on the dog. I call his name, and the recall command (Touch!) and crouch with my hand extended toward him, my signal for him to call. He's about fifty yards away from me, mind, and maybe a hundred yards away from the dog in the distance.

And he races toward me with this happy, trusting look in his face, and I give him a whoooole bunch of kibble and leash him up, and tell him what a fabulous dog he is.


Although he's not liking being on a diet one bit, lemme tell you. For all that he's great out on a walk, he's got rotten house manners because he's spoiled rotten. Since I've been cutting down on the table scraps and cat food and shit, he's been mugging everyone, but particularly my mother, for food. At dinner tonight (pot roast) he lay down by her feet and kept moaning. I don't know how else to describe it - it was throatier and louder than whining. I mean, he was practically yodeling; it was so loud we couldn't even talk. If I were a proper dog owner I would've given him a time out or something but it was so funny I couldn't talk for laughing.

So there you have it.

Beauty
walrus
maenads_dance
Svetlana Lunkina, Nikolai Tsiskaridze

Ballet is godlike; it is a series of astonishing, fleeting images, set in motion to splendid music.Collapse )

(no subject)
walrus
maenads_dance
So I was in a local library today (you can use your card at any library in the state) dropping off some pamphlets for my place of work. I stopped by the FREE BOOKS table on the way out, because you never know, right?

There were twelve or fifteen books of feminist scholarship on that table. Some were in bad repair, but many looked to have years of usable life. They were a bit dated, on the whole - 60s through 80s for most - but there were some important authors in there: Shere Hite, Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, Shulameth Firestone, Marcia Cohen. Whether or not you like those women's work (and there's a lot to criticize in second wave/radfem scholarship) they are important figures historically.

Still, I went inside the library to check out their women's studies section, in case they'd replaced the discards with more current books.

There was nothing.

I asked the Reference Librarian - who referred me to a university library.

It feels like our history is being erased.

I took a lot of those books home.

TRIGGER: Depression/Suicide.
walrus
maenads_dance
Dason is dead. I didn't know him well, but I knew him well enough that it hurts me that he's dead. I went to school with him. He was a friend with a good friend of mine. I worked the night shift with him for the past six months. I would have liked to know him better. And he's dead. By his own hand.

He was only nineteen. He was going to school, he was in a band; he was finally going to get out of low-end, fast-food jobs. He was talented - his music was good. He could have gone somewhere with it. He was smart (he thought he was smarter than everyone around him, which irritated me to no end), and if you got him alone, he'd talk about Shakespeare and art with you. He had this infectious smile, and he was funny. He could talk at length and profusely. He was so tall, and so very good-looking. I won't lie, I'd been crushing on him for a while. And he's dead. It all feels like a bad joke: like I'll wake up tomorrow, and go in to work, and he'll be there, all, "You thought I was dead? God, you're gullible!" But I know I'm fooling myself.

I'm angry. I'm angry at him - how could he be so stupid? He broke up with his girlfriend, but so what? There are other girls out there. Plenty who'd jump at a chance to date someone as good-looking and charismatic as he was. Jesus, I'm saying "was". It's unreal.

But mostly I'm angry at this fucked up society that treats mental illness as a joke. Like most people with "problems", Dason didn't talk about it much. He mentioned once that some shrinks had wanted to diagnose him as Bipolar, but that he thought it was bullshit. The thing is, we live in a world that assumes that all young black men are angry black men, or criminal black men. So when a young man is angry and breaks the rules, nobody wonders at it. Nobody questions, "Is this guy mentally ill, maybe?" Unless you meet the stereotype for depression - which is, as far as I can tell, white, middle class, and frequently female - people just don't see it. People don't take mental illness seriously. "Get over it." "Man up." "It's all in your head."

But depression - unipolar or bipolar, organic or situational - kills people. This is a disease that can be fatal. How do I make this clearer? Death by suicide is as much a risk for people with depression as gangrene is for people with diabetes, as cardiac arrest is for people with heart disease. This is a serious fucking disease. How many more young people have to die before you believe that our problems are real, that it's not a case of entitlement or attention-seeking or whining? We are dying. I've been in hospital twice. Once I tried to throw myself off of a highway overpass. Once I came this close to swallowing a bottle of aspirin. Both times, only my soberness saved me - if I'd been drunk or high enough not to care about pain, I would have killed myself. I would have murdered myself out of self-loathing and pain.

And Dason is dead. When it hits me, I find myself hyper-ventilating, sobbing. Stupid things remind me of him. And I didn't even know him that well. I wish I'd known him better.

God fucking damn it.

I wish you well, Dason.

(no subject)
walrus
maenads_dance
So I'm really getting into birding!

I've got a guide book and everything, and I've started a (so far extremely short) list of the birds I've positively ID'd.

Yesterday I saw two Glossy Ibis overhead, which were spectacular - the red, hooked beaks in particular! - and today I saw four (!) red-tailed hawks perching on telephone posts by the water. I had a hard time ID'ing them at first, but after a bit of searching I realized that there are so many different kinds of morphs regionally that not finding a picture with the precise markings I saw wasn't a huge deal - I went more on the shape of the wing, general size, and the fact that red-tails are common as all fuck.

I've also seen purple martins and a variety of small yellow birds which I think might be tanagers. So beautiful!

Took my dog for a walk this morning in a small 10-acre wood which has the distinction of being the only "virgin" patch of forest on the island (although the local Narragansetts might choose to take issue with the "virgin" part). I call my dog "the worst beagle" because he has absolutely no hunting instinct -- I was the one who spotted the deer tracks and scat, and had to point it out to him. He went nuts when he smelled the deer, dug up the tracks and everything to get at the smell, but by 7:30 in the a.m. the deer were long gone - you'd have to get up at 5-ish to see them at this time of year.

(no subject)
walrus
maenads_dance
My mother is a jackass.

She refused to come to my own goddamned birthday party because she'd have to be in the same room as my grandmother - her own goddamned mother.

I'm just ... I'm not even "hot" angry about this, I'm so gob-smacked.

Eep!
walrus
maenads_dance
So I learned something fairly disturbing tonight: my mother is being stalked. I came home from work at 1:30 a.m. (don't ask me why I'm still up, just don't) and was surprised to find my mother awake also. She told me that she had been staying up reading excerpts from The Gift of Fear because tomorrow she's going to go down to the police station and file a report with an eye toward getting a restraining order if necessary.

About a month ago, my mother bumped into an old college acquaintance and invited her home for dinner. Everyone in the family liked her - she was funny and friendly - and I know my mother felt bad for her since she'd just divorced her wife of several years (partner for far longer). She went her way, I thought that was the end of it.

Apparently she's been harassing my mother by e-mail for weeks, saying that she's sure my mother is her true soulmate, that my mother, despite years of total heterosexuality, has been sending off "hidden signals", etc. etc. Lately she's escalated - she sent roses and a letter to my mother's place of work; yesterday, five minutes after my mother arrived at my uncle's house to visit her nephew (my baby cousin), the phone rang - and it was this woman, calling for my mother. That is serious levels of creepy, and I'm freaked out. I don't think this woman would get violent, but I'm still scared for my mother.

So: FUCK YOU NANCY TOWNSEND, YOU CRAZY ASSHOLE. How DARE you intimidate and stalk my mother? How DARE you presume to contact my uncle's family? How DARE you follow her to her place of work? What the FUCK is wrong with you?

Gahh, I've been freaking out all night.

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