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An anniversary

My sister died two years ago today. I've been thinking about her a lot. I write these long meditations in my head about our childhood, and our relationship (or our lack of relationship) as adults, and how and why things turned out that way between us, and then don't post them. The truth is, I don't know, and will never know, because half of the equation is, and always will be, missing.

Yesterday was Mom's birthday. I really didn't know what to get her; her place is tiny, and she doesn't have room for a lot of stuff. She doesn't really need much any more. I'd thought about getting her a new desk chair, because when the technician came out to look at her reading machine (which was, of course, in perfect working order) one of her suggestions was that Mom sit higher. She also showed Mom where the brightness knob was, and that seems to have made Mom happy, so she said she didn't want a different chair. And we've thought about replacing her little refrigerator with one with a better freezer compartment, but haven't got around to that. But when we went to Costco to get dog food, the jewelry place that does periodic table shows was there, and they had some turquoise rings. Mom's alaways loved turquoise, so I got her a ring, and she seemed pleased with it when i gave it to her. She called me back later to tell me it was a close match to a bracelet she already had, at any rate. So I count that as a win.

I need to go back and answer comments. Bad Barb.

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Testing

Dreamwidth's new image hosting:

[gigantic image redacted]

No way to automatically add images to a post, you have to copypaste the embedding code, but it's better than it was...

Whoa, and no automatic resizing of images either...

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Dream

I dream I'm at some kind of amusement park with a couple of friends. We are going into a funhouse type thing where, for some reason, you have to twist and bend around to get inside. It's dark inside, and the friend who went in first is helping me. The friend behind me is getting impatient, and makes some kind of comment telling me that I should hurry up or I'm doing it wrong, I can't remember what. Exasperated, I mutter under my breath, "Oh for God's sake shut up, I can't see where I'm going!" But they hear me, and stomp off mad.

I run after them, trying to apologize. I finally catch up to them in a ramshackle building, and try to explain that I'm sorry and it won't happen again. They refuse to accept the apology, and tell me I'm being threatening. I ask them what I can do to make them feel safe, and they somehow grow to be much taller than I am. I understand that what they mean is, they want me to get much smaller. I tell them I can't do that. They finally shrug and tell me there is nothing I can do to make things right; they have hated me for a long time, and this finally gives them the excuse to tell me so.

Suddenly we're in a hotel room. I am trying to be sensible and calm, explaining to the friend that I left behind at the funhouse that Friend #2 hates me, so I won't be hanging out with them any longer, but that doesn't mean that I expect Friend #1 to stop doing things with them. The hotel room gets more and more crowded, and people are wrapping presents. I am trying to help them wrap, but I can't get the ribbons to tie. It's a party for Friend # 2, and all the people crowding in are people I don't know, friends of Friend # 2. I think a little sadly that I don't have anywhere near that many friends, and that's probably my fault. They all start talking about what a terrible person I am for hating Friend #2. I protest that I don't hate Friend #2; it's true that they annoy me sometimes, but everyone annoys everyone else sometimes. They turn away from me in contempt. I realize there's no point in trying to explain myself; they won't listen.

I wake up. It takes me several minutes to realize that it was only a dream.

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Ancient comics edition

I've been catching up with the Lucifer TV show over the last few weeks, and having caught up, I was inspired to go read the comic series it's very loosely based on. I read the Lucifer bits in Sandman back when it first came out, but I never read the Mike Carey-written series which came out some years afterwards. There may be some general spoilers below, but nothing really specific.

I'm about two thirds of the way through, and it's an interesting contrast. The comic series is in every way a more imaginative and far-reaching story, but I find I don't enjoy it as much. Carey is one of those 'edgy' grimdark writers whose work is very casually rapey and obsessed with monstrous pregnancies resulting from those literal and/or metaphorical rapes, and it often leaves me feeling like I need brain bleach. Every single female character, even the pre-teen girl, gets referred to as a slut, a whore, or a cunt at some point. The main characters are self-centered assholes who leave trails of death and destruction behind them (I'm talking genocide on a massive scale as well as your usual ultra-dark-n-gritty supernatural noir death toll) so I find that I only really care about the minor and supporting characters. I'm not particularly invested in whether comics Lucifer achieves his goals or not; it's interesting watching him for the worldbuilding and use of mythology Carey does (which really is pretty stunning) but this version of Lucifer is so all-powerful and all-knowing (just ever so slightly less all-powerful and all-knowing than God) that there's not a lot of tension in watching him defeat his enemies. Also their regular artist's style just does not do it for me. (My memory may be failing me, but I don't remember Gaiman's version being quite so much of a dick.)

TV Lucifer, on the other hand, is a supernatural iteration of every formula "Wild and crazy male character is paired with straight-laced by the book female character, and together they fight crime and have UST!" procedural show ever made. Luckily the main character's played by a personable and talented actor who manages to make him sympathetic even when he's also being a self-centered dick. TV Lucifer has a sense of humor, which Comics Lucifer decidedly does not, and TV Lucifer does care about a few people other than himself, which Comics Lucifer also decidedly does not. (Well, maybe Mazikeen. But if Mazikeen were not useful to Comics Lucifer, I suspect he'd sacrifice or betray her in a hot second. He pays his debts, grudgingly, but not a penny more.) Plus 357000% less rape/slut/whore stuff directed at the female characters, who are varied and interesting. Also, TV Amenadiel >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Comics Amenadiel. (I think they've made TV Amenadiel a lot more like Comics Michael.) It's not as daring or innovative as the comics by a long shot, but it's a hell of a lot more fun.

Anyway, I'll probably finish the comics off by the end of the week, and I'm interested to see where the TV series goes. Somehow I have my doubts that an American series on network TV would have the balls to make God as malevolently indifferent a character as he is in the comics. But it occurred to me that as different as the two versions are, they both have something of the same limitation: they're both centered around characters who are immortal and godlike, if not outright gods (the comics much more so than the TV series.) And yet those characters are just as limited and petty and cramped in their worldview as any human. The same goes for the world they inhabit. I suppose it's an inherent limitation of the subject matter; the myths surrounding the Christian God were accreted during a time period when humanity saw the universe as a relatively tiny place. When the universe was only six thousand years old, and small enough for a man to traverse one end to the other in a year or less, gods who fling lighting bolts and destroy cities loom large. When the universe is inconceivably old and inconceivably vast, and we command city-destroying lightning ourselves, such gods as we imagined in our collective youth look much, much smaller.

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Fic rec

shapinglight has just posted a brilliant-as-usual historical Fanged Four fic, House-guests From Hell And How To Send Them Back There. Now with bonus Dracula! Go, read, and tell her how awesome it is!

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Today

Kathy has a cold, so I got up, made breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, did a load of laundry, cleaned up dog poop from the back yard, cut down the branch of the mesquite tree which was squashing the fig tree, and managed to slice up ANOTHER finger with the pruning saw (but it was just a flesh wound, so I just cleaned it and bandaged it up this time.) I am a menace, I need to be stopped. While I was out there sawing up branches, an elderly woman in a red Nissan (I think, I don't know from cars) kept driving up and down the block, apparently waiting for someone in the apartments. The someone never appeared, alas, and who or what she was looking for will forever remain a mystery. After the finger-slicing incident, I made lunch, went out and did Mom's shopping, and then our shopping, came home, put everything away, and here I am. As Kathy's ill and I'm wounded, I declare tonight canceled.

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Shocked, shocked I tell you

I am watching this saga on Facebook where three people I met in BtVS fandom Back In The Day are arguing about Trump. Two of them are people I just didn't have much in common with once we drifted out of the same fandom. The third is a person I cut ruthlessly out of my life after she informed me, in 2004, that of course she'd voted to make gay marriage illegal, because the mere existence of married LGBT+ people would pollute the sacred nature of heterosexual marriage. And I shouldn't take it personally. Needless to say, I took it personally.

I never tried to make anyone in our circle choose between me and Person 3, and most of them remained friends with her. So I am now watching with both amusement and contempt as Person 3 praises Trump and his policies, and Persons 1 & 2 are all, "What? How can you say that? You're a better person than this!"

No, Persons 1 & 2, she is not. She never has been. You just didn't care all that much because you're straight and white and until now, not personally affected by the shitty stuff she's espoused in the past. For the last decade and more, it's been we can agree to disagree! She's just so nice and polite! She loves [fill in the blank]! Some of her best friends are [fill in the blank], after all! And now all of a sudden they're shocked and surprised that she's a massive Trump apologist who's just fine with banning all Muslims from the US. Unless of course they're Muslims that Trump can profit from. That's just good business!

Ugh.

Anyway, we went to our LD subcommittee workshop last Thursday. My subcommittee still does not have a chair, but supposedly one will be appointed soon. We talked a little about what we want to accomplish, and what we need to accomplish it. I'm the only woman on the committee (I think a few others signed up, but none were at the meeting) and possibly the only one with any experience creating and running basic reports. Everyone else is into statistics or higher-level data stuff, it sounded like. We're supposed to be getting a training on the database that has all the Democratic voter info, but no word yet on when that will be.

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Tuesday activism/politics roundup

Originally posted by snickfic at Tuesday activism/politics roundup
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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

They don't make it easy...

I just used the Request To Speak system for the first time, to register my objections to HCR2004, yet another attempt by our fine legislature to defund Arizona's Clean Elections Commission. Basically you sign up (AZ requires that you go down to the Capitol in person to do so, but there are advocacy groups who will cheerfully collect your name and email and do it for you if this is not something you can manage easily) and then you can log into the state legislature's website, look up the bill you want to comment on, and register your support or opposition. I don't think too many people know about this -- I had certainly never heard of it until one of the aforementioned advocacy groups spoke about it at the last legislative district meeting -- but once past the initial inconvenience of signing up, it's a great way to make your views known.

(In fact, she says in a burst of civic duty, if anyone in AZ is interested, and can't get to the State Capital, email me and we can work something out -- I could easily take an afternoon off and sign people up.)

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The organizers of the Phoenix march were expecting five thousand people. Estimates are they got at least twenty thousand in Phoenix, and sixteen thousand more statewide, in Tucson and Flagstaff and half a dozen smaller communities. That's nothing compared to the big marches in L.A. and Chicago and New York, of course, but for a red state not given to protesting it's pretty impressive. We couldn't hear any of the speeches, because the audio system was totally inadequate for the size of the crowd, but it was an incredible experience anyway.

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