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Bring On The Beach!

I now have a fabulous 2 piece bathing suit. It's not a bikini (it's a tankini). I wanted a bikini. I told my mom such and she's like "I don't think you're quite there yet". (She knows I've lost some weight.) I told her about the new "fatkini" movement, the whole "this is my body and I'm going to wear what I want" movement. She was like "ok". (She knows once I have my mind made up on something, I'm going to do it and there's no talking me out of it.) Anyway, the reason I bought this suit is because it was an amazing price, it fit me fabulously (and gives me a reasonable amount of support on top for being active), and it has a gorgeous print and colors. I liked it & looked good in it and that mattered far more to me than the fact that it happens to cover my stomach. It's something I don't feel bad about wearing on the beach. (I was only going to clothing optional beaches because I felt more comfortable with my body while naked than while stuffed into an ill-fitting bathing suit with a design that I didn't like [that I had because it was a hand-me-down].)

Pics here!

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/11198.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Update on Living Situation

So I'm crashing with my It's Complicated in NJ until I can find somewhere else to stay. It's not optimal, as we were planning on spending some time together and now that time has turned into 2 weeks (which is quite a bit much) but I'll try to make plans with friends in the area to keep us having separate lives. (BTW, I'd still like to crash somewhere else for a few days in there. If you can take me, let me know.) Still haven't heard if I have power yet or not. Pepco isn't being helpful, but they're probably so ridiculously overwhelmed that they can't keep the info up to date. I don't blame them. This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/10950.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

URGENT: Need a Place to Stay

Still no power. No idea when it will be back up. (Vague rumors about 11pm tonight, but that could have been misinformation.) Desperately looking for a place to stay for a few days. Looking at Philly/NYC area as I was planning on travelling there for vacation at the end of the week anyway. If you can put me up, please send me an email (this username at gmail), or, better, text or call my cell phone. I can contribute food and/or a little money in exchange.

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/10681.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Fat Shaming Ridiculousness

Warning: this is pretty evil. You might not want to read this. (This is as close to a "trigger warning" as I get.)

So MikeJMyers (I refuse to protect the guilty) just wrote me this publicly on Fitocracy:

Size positive? Really? That's a thing we have to deal with on FITOCRACY now? There is nothing positive about being fat. It's not healthy. It's not attractive. The only places it can benefit people are cold water swimming, being a lineman on a football team, or being a Sumo.

This really touches a nerve for me. You should no more accept being a fat person than one should accept being a drug addict or alcoholic. Fitocracy is supposed to be a place where we motivate each other TO GET BETTER.
Wow.

1.) Attractiveness is an extremely subjective thing. (I just want to blow this guy's mind with the entire FA and feederism thing. Seriously. I mean, if I end up replying to him, it will ONLY be about this point. I really would love to see his brain explode when he learns there are thousands, if not MILLIONS of people who find fat attractive.)

2.) Being unhealthy is unhealthy. Sometimes unhealthy people are fat. Sometimes they're skinny. Sometimes they're inbetween. There is some correlation between fat and health, but it's far from direct. There's FAR more correlation between exercise and health, and even that isn't 100% direct.

2.5) Whether or not someone is healthy or not is between them and their doctor. AND THAT'S IT. It's no one else's business. It's a CHOICE.

3.) "You should no more accept being a fat person than one should accept being a drug addict or alcoholic." WOW. SERIOUSLY? WOW. I wonder if all of your friends and family and coworkers are skinny. Do you feel the same way about them? Do you speak to them in that way?

4.) Fito is there to motivate people towards their fitness goals, whatever they be. Everyone gets to define for themselves what "better" is. (Fitocracy calls it "awesome". Their motto is "making you more awesome". I like that.)

5.) Skinny != better. Fat != worse.

You know, I might have to make a "the stupid, it burns" tag JUST for this post. What a small little man who lives in a small little world.

(I don't want you to think this person is representative of Fito at large. Fitocracy is one of the most awesome communities I've ever been on... supportive, welcoming, friendly. I love them so much. Most groups focus on the positive and on supporting people, regardless of their size or fitness goals. Some are intentionally size positive. This is just 1 of a few assholes who don't seem to get that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything.)
This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/10331.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
I originally posted this in my Tumblr on June 15th.

I wish I was stronger. I wish I had more emotional energy to deal with arguments. You have NO IDEA how much I don't reblog with my own take because I simply can't deal with backlash. ESP. when I know the backlash will be from people I consider to be "my own people." Esp. when I know the battle will be long and hard and it seems like I never change anyone's minds anyways. Yes, I know, others not involved in the battle may read it and have their minds changed instead, but I just can't cope most of the time.

I feel like such a bad activist. I feel like such a bad person.

It is SO HARD being different amongst the different. It is SO HARD seeing things differently and not toeing the line of liberalism/feminism/queer theory/fat liberation theory/whatever. And don't tell me there isn't a line... there very much IS a line. If you're liberal/feminist/whatever, there are certain things you're expected to believe or take at face value or not argue with otherwise you're "the oppressor"/"bad"/"not really a feminist"/whatever. And I find that kind of "accept it w/o questioning" just as bad as the conservatives. Yes, I said it.

Remember folks, it's called THEORY for a reason. (Theory as in ideas, not "theory" as in science where a theory is 1 or 2 steps away [if I remember correctly, which I may not] from fact.)

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/9989.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
This is VERY VERY VERY VERY hard for me to go public with, so please, please be gentle. This is something that has bothered me for a VERY long time, and I have never said a WORD about it (because of, well, some of what I’ve written below.)
 
I feel the “calling out” culture we have is contributing to censorship, self-censorship, and a chilling effect amongst people. I feel this way because I know it has for myself. (Please let me finish.)
 
As someone who struggles with social interaction and who struggles with understanding people’s reactions to my words, I have to think about everything I say before I say it. I have to second guess EVERYTHING I say, because I simply don’t get the social nuances sometimes. (I’m sure my friends can attest to this. I mean, just Tuesday night I said something to 8T, that after it came out of my mouth, I realized how awful it sounded, when that wasn’t at ALL what I had intended. I’m glad my friends understand I don’t mean things the way they sound sometimes.) I’m constantly wondering if I’m talking ok. I’m constantly second guessing myself and what I’ve said. It’s not just about oppression based speech, it’s just putting my foot in my mouth and other things. (Honestly, it’s amazing I talk at all. If I wasn’t such an extrovert, I’d probably be HORRIBLY shy. Hell, I GET horribly shy in certain company. Which is saying something.)
 
I also have depression, which saps my ability to deal with debate, discussion, and other forms of social conflict. (Note that my use of the word “conflict” here, I don’t want to have a negative connotation. I just mean 2 people disagreeing on something, with no judgement to either side.)
 
Between the 2 of these things, I do a LOT of self-censoring, even at times when I probably didn’t need to, because I’m never sure what’s going to set people off (because it seems to me that the rules are always changing and different people accept different things as being offensive) and because I often times don’t have the emotional wherewithall (“spoons” to people who know the Spoon Theory) to deal with repercussions of what I’m saying, even if I didn’t say anything offensive, and I just expressed a controversial opinion. So I shut up. Because I’m afraid.
 
Yes, calling out culture has made me afraid. I live in fear of expressing my opinions. Congratulations. (And, for what it’s worth, I’m SURE I’m not the only one. I want all of you to think about that and think about what the repercussions of your actions are.)
 
I understand that the reaction to being called out is supposed to be “oh, thanks for telling me”. I realize you’re not supposed to take it personally. I am OFFENDED at other people telling me what I’m supposed to FEEL about their words, in the same way that they are offended if I would say “Oh, well, it’s just a joke… don’t take it so seriously”. I find that to be highly hypocritical. I am allowed to feel what I want to feel, and I refuse to make it so your words don’t have consequences (because that’s EXACTLY what you’re telling me to do there.) If my words have consequences, so do yours. Deal with it.
 
I DO take it personally. VERY personally. I feel like a failure and a loser and like all of my hard work that I’ve done and all of the progress I’ve made has just been a delusion in my mind and I wonder why I even bother talking at all. Sometimes I don’t bother talking at all… I just walk away (metaphorically, if it’s online). More often than you might think.
 
So… I would appreciate it if you DID NOT “call me out”, especially in public. It’s not that I don’t care… truly. You must believe me in this. It’s about the METHOD used. If you wish to simply inform me that, hey, someone might find ABC offensive because of XYZ, I’m fine with that (truly), but it must be handled with great tact. Doing it highly non-confrontationally in private after the fact would probably be the best way to handle it.
 
Thank you. (And now to get up the nerve to press “create post”. Ahem.)
This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/9870.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

When Trolling Hits Home

Last night I was video chatting with 8T, my "It's Complicated". We had been talking about videos of ourselves on YouTube, and he found a video of himself teaching how to make a Rorschach costume up that he forgot that he had made for his hackerspace. The other hackerspace videos had between 7 and 54 hits... his had 74,450. It was... well, it was ok. Even he admitted it wasn't his finest work.

But the comments. OMG the comments. Some of them were pointing out the mediocrity of his work. Others were just dumb. But quite a few were downright abusive. Making fun of him and his looks. (Some of them were a bit astute and made me giggle a little, I must admit.) Calling him fat. Calling him an idiot. Calling him a failure. Questioning his sexual orientation. (As if being gay is an insult.) Questioning his mental competency. I could only read about a page of them before I had to stop. (I've gone back tonight to read more and gather more data for this post. It's been very hard.) I was hurt. I was angry. I wanted to don the costume myself and go fuck some assholes up. Sneak into their houses and avenge him. (I'm loyal to the people I care about.)

These people don't know him. They don't know that I and others find him quite handsome. They don't know that he's kind and sweet and generous and funny and silly and a lot of fun. They don't know that he likes nerdcore hiphop & video games & taking pictures of graffiti or that he loves to Kickstart things. They don't know about his awesome collection of nerdy Tshirts, which, I swear, is almost half from w00t, almost half from Kickstarter, and the rest from donating to Off The Hook. They don't know how much he means to me or how much he's helped me in the past couple of months. They don't know that sometimes he's my lifeline to this crazy spinning rock we call Earth. They don't know that he strives to be a better person in many different ways and beats himself up over it a little too much because he's not doing as well as he hopes to. All they really know is that he took the time to put an ok video of how to make an ok Rorschach costume up on the Internet for his hackerspace 2 years ago. He took the time to create & share. They took the time to destroy.

To be fair, however, a commenter called MGTGR123 came to his defense and said the following:

A lot of the people commenting on here are such douches.
So it doesn't move...Duh. You are also not Rorschach. The comic is fiction!
What does the guy's weight have to do with anything? Just because you're hiding behind a computer does not give you the right to be a jerk. Let have you upload a video of you doing anything besides talking crap. No regard for people's feelings... terrible.
Keep doing what you're doing , I used this tutorial and I got many compliments on my mask. ;)

I asked 8T how he felt about it. He didn't seem phased by it. I asked him how he did it... how he just didn't care. How it could just not matter to him. I don't exactly remember his answer, maybe because it was simply "I don't. These people don't matter." He even mentioned that he trolled himself a little in one of the comments (using his personal username instead of the hackerspace's username) and pointed it out to me. (I read it and laughed.) I told him that I can't do that. I can't just "not care". And that I can't abuse that way... I remember that it's NOT "just the Internet". I remember that at the end of every keyboard is a person with thoughts and feelings.

I was so shook up by this that I took the videos I made (that have been luckily ignored) and made the comments moderated. Sadly, this won't actually stop people from being abusive. It won't even stop me from seeing it. But maybe it'll make someone think 2x. (Probably not.) I wonder if I could find someone to do my moderation for me.

So, yeah. I don't get this bullying & abuse culture. But I know it absolutely must stop. And the only way we're going to get it to stop is to make people genuinely feel and understand the inherent worth and dignity of all other human beings. (Which, BTW, is the First Principle of my religion.) How to make people stop and think and empathize, well, that's the trick, isn't it.

In the meantime, I think I might go watch Watchmen. And maybe afterwards I'll make myself a neat costume. Thanks for the instructions, 8T.
This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/9578.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

New Yorkers & Philadelphians!

I'm trying to plan a NYC vacation around the HOPE conference. I'm not sure if I'm going to plan it for the week before and the week of or the week after and the week of... I'm flexible. (Or both, depending.)

Anyway, I'm looking for different people to stay with in NYC. I'd prefer to stay in Manhattan the week of... during the conference (from Thursday night the 12th-Monday morning the 16th) I'll be at the con hotel, but otherwise I'll be crashing with you. On at least one of the weekends other than the con weekend, I'll probably be staying in NJ (and would like to keep the majority of my stuff at your place and just take a weekend bag). I'm happy to stay in the other boroughs the other times... in fact, I think I might like that because I have little experience with Brooklyn & I've never stayed in the Bronx or Queens. (I suppose Staten Island is doable, as long as you have transit access.) I do require transit access, obviously, and I prefer a more urban environment than the suburbs.

As per Philly... I wouldn't mind making part of my trip a Philadelphia trip. Esp. as it's so easy to get to Philly from NYC and DC. So the 1st or 3rd weeks in July... do you have space for me?

I'm happy sleeping on a couch or an air mattress. My only unusual need is that I sleep in a room that a cat can't access... I have phobias around cats crawling on me in the night. I'm a good crasher.

So... can anyone put me up for even just part of the time?

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/9233.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Achievement vs. Personality/Interaction

I seem to be one of those people who doesn't care what you've contributed to the world... I care if you're a nice person or not. I've met a person who everyone else raves over... she's made some seriously important contributions to tech. I can't deny that. But she was downright rude to me when I met her... and I simply don't understand why everyone else likes her so much because of such. I mean, people rave about her. Magazines rave about her. But all I can remember is how she gave me the brush-off. Maybe I'm the only one she's done that to? Maybe she wasn't rude to everyone else? Of course, maybe she's the type that only likes talking to you if you've done something important or if you want to talk tech, and, frankly, I don't like those type of people at all. And this isn't the only person such a thing (or a similar thing) has happened with.

Am I the only one who cares more about how a person is as a person rather than what they've done? I don't care if you've done something that improves all of humanity on a daily basis... if you're rude or mean, then I think you're an asshole (who made a major contribution to humanity. I mean, I give credit where credit is due.)

It's frustrating. Sometimes I want to go up to people and say "you think they're so great... you don't know how they've treated me." And sometimes I think if I did that, the other person would be like "so what?"

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/8997.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Argh.

So we lost the Internet in the middle of a thunderstorm and, at the time, I was just finishing up a long post for my Foodie, Interrupted blog (which, btw, you should follow and read. ‘Cause, ya know, no one’s following it yet that I can tell and I’m pouring my little foodie heart out into that thing.) And, instead of remembering to copy & paste the text into a text editor to save until the internet came back, I forgot I was even working on it (because I was doing something in another tab at the time, which, btw, I remembered to save) and shut down my computer so I could pull it out of the wall so it didn’t get zapped (because I’ve lost computers before that way, yes, even despite having a surge protector).

So, yeah. I’m a moron. Damnit. I hate rewriting things. They never come out as long, detailed or good as the first time I wrote it.

This entry was originally posted at http://c4bl3fl4m3.dreamwidth.org/8913.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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