[for those unfamiliar with C6DVD, it's an exchange where fans send each other cards in character, from one (or more) C6D character(s) to another(s)]

I received my card a few days ago, but the envelope said do not open until Valentine's Day )
So I held off until last night (after midnight--it counts, right?), and found this lovely card with fireworks on it )
Then I read the inside and my heart leapt into my throat )
Like, a had a serious moment of panic, both "HOLY SHIT CAN YOU DO THAT? ARE WE IN TROUBLE NOW?" and "AUGH SOMEONE IS DEAD" even though I knew it was only a fictional character and based on my exchange sign-up I was pretty sure I knew who. I didn't know if the notice would be online or only in print or whatever, so I checked the Star website )
It took a while to find the In Memoriams section proper (distinct from obits, for example), but once I did I found the entry I was looking for pretty easily: Lew )
Which, eee, is so heartbreaking and so believable and so lovely (and also now that I think about it makes the fireworks card really fucking morbid and I'm flabbergasted by the creativity and effort and the, I don't know, courage that went into this gesture that is, did I mention, so believable and in character? (Also, the birthdate. I know that's Mark Taylor's birthday, but it's also the day I was supposed to be born before I hit the snooze button for three days--Pisces coincidence powers, activate!)

Spiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike :( Thank you, mysterious benefactor!

ETA: So, just when I thought I had the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE from the Spike/Lew loveliness under control, I went downstairs to refill my water bottle and saw that lo, my roommate had brought in today's mail (it's raining, I'm unemployed, and I have leftover chili with quinoa--why the heck should I go outside?), and there was another card for meeeee--or rather, for Vic, from Kat (oblique spoilers for the movie, that is, Trigger [2010]).
behold! )

inside! )

the note! )

the signature! )
AUGH, people, MY HEART. My heart cannot take this, it is too much love and too much anguish for what has happened (Lew, and more truthfully Tracy) and what is happening/will yet happen (Vic). Thank you both, senders, so very very much, for punching my heart in the face! (Seriously, no sarcasm, thank you!)

Truly, this is the best/most saddest Vamlumtimes Day ever.
Day 2
In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Drop a link to your post in the comments. See if you can rec fanworks that are less likely to be praised: tiny fandoms, rare pairings, fanworks other than stories, lesser known kinks or tropes. Find fanworks that have few to no comments, or creators new to a particular fandom and maybe aren't well known or appreciated. Appreciate them.

While it's emotionally easier to rec works by other people, it is logistically more difficult (pool of things to choose from the first day: stuff made by me; pool of things to choose from for this one: EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD). I have decided to take a slightly crooked approach by tying this into the following two days and reccing three totally awesome people who you should deffo check out and maybe think about following. None of them are new to fandom or particularly obscure or unknown, though they do all at least dabble in small fandoms.

First in reverse-alphabetical order (while we're being arbitrary) is [personal profile] toft, whom I met online I think after [personal profile] nixwilliams (also awesome) recorded her poem The Lay of the Turkey and the Moose about Robarts Library (a giant concrete "peacock" full of books on campus at U of T) and the moose silhouette across the street, for the bukkake square on her card back in the very first round of Kink Bingo (when we were young and carefree [ha] and bukkake was a square), and then met in person through other new mutual friends when I moved to Toronto that same summer. Toft is amazing and brilliant and an astonishingly talented storyteller and also one of the funniest people you will ever meet. Toft didn't post many fics last year (though the ones she did were mostly very long and uniformly very good) so if that's your primary interest in subscribing you might be disappointed (though the back catalogue is not empty), but every post is worth reading. She also periodically posts curated collections of favourites from [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets.

Second is [personal profile] petra, who wrote the fic that I think I have recced more than any other and in more diverse circumstances (barring perhaps Toft's poem above): Were He Not Romeo Called, which is Patrick/Sarah (Slings and Arrows S2) in which Patrick is a trans man, that fits rather beautifully into canon (to me it is canon) on an emotional level . . . it's in some ways so simple, and so small, and yet it's so precise--really a beautiful little story. Petra also writes poetry (mostly limericks), a skill that I greatly admire especially because it is one I feel I do not possess, and posts such other amazing sundry things as Authorial Math (fascinating and prompted some scintillating and polite debate) and A proposed amendment to Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Tasty brainmeats!

And third is one of my faaaavourite writers of the decade, [personal profile] helens78, who I am again reccing not just for the fanfic (although it is always good and appears rather frequently), but also for the podfic, original novels, cat pictures and anecdotes, liveblogs of awful movies and other delicious meta, and other awesome stuff like, for example, this one-take acoustic Ani DiFranco cover. Kinky knitter solidarity high-fives!

Can't do the other two right now because I am freaking out about my asshole landlords. Maybe there will be spoons tomorrow.
Find enclosed two mini-picspams (four pictures each) for the [community profile] kink_bingo December mini-challenge (tiny fanwork bingo), using stills from the first two episodes of Flashpoint. I apologize for the somewhat scuzzy image quality; I'm still getting control of my new computer (think I've figured out now how fix the interlacing problem, but can't be arsed to go back and re-cap). No standard content notes apply; picspams also feature uniforms, guns, and cameras.

Mini-picspam #1: Authority Figures )

Mini-picspam #2: Exhibitionism )
Title: I'll Follow You into the Dark
Fandom: Blood Ties
Characters: Vicki Nelson (Vicki/Coreen, Vicki/Henry, Vicki/Mike, Vicki/Henry/Mike)
Kink: sensory deprivation (wildcard)
Summary: Rambly meta speculating on how Vicki's retinitis might affect her play relationships with three of the most significant others in her life (might edit later for improved coherency)
Content notes: No standard warnings apply. Spoilers for the series generally and the pilot specifically.
Rating/wordcount: G/2000ish

cutcutcutcutcutcutcutcut )
Oh, /o\ .

There are so many things I've wanted to post about but haven't allowed myself to sit down and write, and some of them may still get posted evenutally but today there is only one thing I can talk about, because today has gone like this:

*wake up*
*evict cat from comfy perch on my bladder*
*go to the bathroom and have a shower*
*turn on the computer and read about Jack Layton's passing*
*cry forever*

You guuuuuuys I am so sad and so scared and my heart is breaking for all of us but especially for Olivia and his family and then I read the goodbye letter he wrote two days ago and I can't, I just can't. The sun is beaming bright outside but it feels like a mockery. I never met him personally but I know a lot of people here in Ontario who did and who confidently attest that he walked the walk he talked. I'm going to the gathering at City Hall at 4pm if I can manage to stumble my way there through the blur of my tears, and put my hope in the axiom about shared pain etc.

As [personal profile] zingerella said earlier today in another forum, "I've said fairly often that the best friends are the ones who show you your better self--the parts of you that are stronger, braver, more honest, kinder, more generous--and help you to be that person all the time. By that metric, I think Jack Layton was a pretty good friend for a country to have."
So I've been watching Lost Girl, right? And it's still cheesy and ridiculous but mostly, apart from the absurd fat-hate in the second episode, it does a pretty good job of avoiding fail (at least it tries *so hard* that I want to offer it a Milkbone and a scratch behind the ears). In particular, the series' dedication to sex positivity and female sexual agency--manifested in the premise of a female protagonist whose supernatural abilities and, often, survival depend on feeding off others' libidinal energy but who is not reduced to a victim or an addict but who actively enjoys sex and whose choice between a prospective male love interest and a female one was, for as long as the angst-hungry machine of genre TV narrative conventions allowed, "both"--is pretty exceptional. This is why the appalling, and appallingly cliched, kink negativity in last week's episode was not just disappointing but actually surprising. summary of offending incident = spoilers )

This bothers me enough for what it is in itself (a baldly pathologizing sentiment); it bothers me more for what it is in the context of a media meta-narrative (bad guys = perverts & vice versa, lazy storytelling); and it saddens and confuses me because of its program-specific context (Bo is supposed to be such an ambassador for broad sexual appetites, and she suggested a safeword prior to enjoying a raucous one-night-threesome in a previous episode; why is she so down on this? why doesn't she distinguish between what the baddies are doing in the club and consensual SM?). The part that actually rather hurts me, though, is that this time they're not just maligning abstract concepts to which I have an intellectual affiliation. They're doing it to actual, local, human communities that I and many of my friends belong to.

I know Lost Girl doesn't claim to be set in Toronto. The characters have mostly accepted that they're in Canada, I think, after the whole "across the border" execution issue, though the series is still faking up details & aiming for Generic North American City, Unspecified Region, Fictionworld. But come on, who do they think they're fooling? They may not be as explicit as Flashpoint (which, for all that they may have dodged actually using the word "Toronto" until--I think?--the second season finale inside not!Maple Leaf Gardens, never really pretended to be anywhere else: within the first sixteen minutes of the series, we're shown the inside of the Spadina-University subway line, with stop announcements; Timmie's cups; Canada flags, "Metropolitan Police" badges and red trouser stripes; Ontario license plates on familiar EMS vehicles; and, oh yeah, throbbing luminescent cock of our nation, the CN Tower), but the locations are easy for anyone to recognize who knows what they're looking for (like that walk'n'talk down Queen West at the end of the pilot, hello!). Which means that goth club is supposed to be a Toronto goth club (it isn't, not a real one; the interiors are mostly The Opera House with some overstated set decoration and I dunno about the alley), and the shit they're saying about kinky people they're saying about Toronto kinky people.

Now, I'm not saying that all the goths or all the kinksters or all the dwellers of the overlap in this or any city are good and loving people. There are far too many folks who fit those bills for me to vouch for them all personally, and there are certainly some dense and unpleasant specimens in the sub-clusters of people I have actually met. But it does smart more than usual when TPTB aren't thumbing their noses just at people who like the same stuff you like but at you and your friends, more specifically (and maybe I'm spoiled not to have encountered this before, it's never occurred to me to ask people who live in big American cities where ALL THE TV happens). I'm sure it wasn't personal, just another symptom of how much many people think they know about kink and how little they care that there are actually millions of people in the world who do choose to do it and deliciate in it.

I'm not even sure where I'm going with all this tealdeer anymore, except perhaps to put it out there: Hey TV-making people? We're here, we're queer (well, some of us), and we'd be happy to look over your scripts and tell you whether they're bullshit before you hurt us by putting them on all those screens.
We had a test in my copyediting class last week and at the time I thought I did pretty well, but the instructor posted an answer key today and I don't remember answering many of the questions in the way the key indicates . . . I have a tickling feeling that some of these are not the same questions I answered at all, like she posted the key to a slightly different version of the test or something? But I think that is unlikely. I will just have to wait until the end of class tonight to find out how I really did. ETA: tests have not been marked yet, so I still don't know how well I did, but it WAS the wrong answer key, so in that I feel vindicated.

Speaking of failure, the city of Toronto dropped the ball hard last night. According to the CBC, only 53.2% of potential voters actually voted (and that's up from 39% in 2006, ugh, how are so many people so apathetic?), and 47.1% of them voted for the florid windbag.

I shouldn't need to tell you, I'm pretty grievously bummed about this. I'm trying to take comfort in things like knowing that he's only got one vote on the council, and if he never passed a single motion in ten years as a councillor, how much better are his chances now? I'm not cheered up by the fat-bashing. First, the guy has so much going against him (racist, homophobic, anti-immigration, anti-environment, cyclist-hating, wife-beating, drunk-driving, mud-slinging, tantrum-throwing, wannabe–activist-murdering, shit-for-brains, goat-raping* NIMBY liar toad festering like an infected ingrown hair in the ass-crack of the city) . . . is "fat" really the worst thing you can think of to call him? Second, yes, he is fat, we can see that, incorporating it into any of the epithets we use to describe him is really unnecessary. THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: what does it matter if he is fat? "Fat" is not a moral condition; we should not ever mistake its presence or absence for evidence on which to build a moral judgment. The fact that he is a grotesque parody of a human being has nothing to do with the fact that he is fat. Even the people who say "well, he's fat, he'll probably have a heart attack and die before he gets the chance to do much damage"--I'm sorry, but fuck right off with that noise, size and cardiac health really do not correlate as smoothly as you'd like to imagine. He might be unhealthy, heartwise, and that could have as much or more to do with genetic predisposition or the fact that he is EVIL AND WHOLLY DEVOID OF COMPASSION as it does or doesn't have to do with his BMI.

I'm tentatively okay with names like "Mayor Quimby", "Mayor Double-down", "Mayor Farley" and "Mayor Cartman" because I've heard those all justified with reference to similarities of character beyond coincidences of shape. I have no intention of using any of them myself, but I won't automatically step in when others do. I am not okay with "Fat Fuck", because I don't want to associate two such lovely concepts as "fat" and "fucking" with that kind of reprehensible squawker.

(seriously though, Toronto. This guy? REALLY?)

*citation needed
theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (Default)
( Aug. 27th, 2010 08:15 pm)
This started as a footnote on my post about this year's Folk Fest, but it got too big and too tangential, so I shuffled the bits around and now it's over here.

Okay, where are all the songs about polyamory? Or other forms of/more general consensual non-monogamy? There are gazillions of songs about kink, whether explicitly about actual kink practices & practitioners (either laughing with or laughing at), appropriating kink imagery for "poetic" purposes, or just handily lending themselves to kinky readings (pervertibles for your ears! :D ) --c.f. the enormous Kink Bingo playlist and participants' further suggestions in the comments. There are songs about serial monogamy. There are songs about jealousy, and about "cheating", which mostly imply a very narrow understanding of "fidelity". But I don't know of many songs about multiple concurrent, low-conflict loves.

I'm thinking about this because Romi Mayes has a song called "Sweet Somethin' Steady". I didn't hear her play it this year, but I mentioned it to a couple of people while in Winnipeg because it is the most interesting thing she's done that I know of. I have mixed feelings about it. I feel like it could be nudging towards a consensual non-monogamy anthem, at least the first verse, but the songwriter had no such aspiration. Here's a video of her playing it live in Nederland; skip to ~3:45 for the song, ~2:00 for her not agreeing with me (with annoying gender normativity on top of the mono-normativity), or ~1:00 for her pestering Danny Michel into doing a Christopher Walken impression:

The part that tickles me is:
don't want no fancy diamonds, don't want your mother's pearls
I don't want you to tell me that I'm your only girl
just want [someone] to come on over, pick me up and take me for a ride
why can't you be my sweet somethin' steady on the side?

And then it kind of goes downhill (I guess it still works as far as empowering women to enjoy 'casual encounters', which is what Mayes seems to want from it, but it in a way so detached as to be potentially exploitative?), and I ask, is this the best we've got?

I thought about it briefly, and put together a handful of examples of could-be-poly-if-you-read-it-right songs. The download link is here (32mb zip), my notes on why each track is included are behind the cut.
who are we noisy fools who laugh and bend the rules )

Your turn now, dear readers; anything to add?
You know this meme:
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

[personal profile] curgoth gave me the letter "T"

I delayed a bit on posting this, given that apparently at least one of the people I didn't realize was still reading my journal(s) thinks I yammer about politics (or particular political issues) far too much. I am willing to have that conversation but not here and not now (yes, passive-aggressive statement is passive-aggressive). For now, this is my journal and I will post what I want and given the situation that I am living just blocks west of, I feel this is plenty appropriate. Here's the Three Times Too Long, Too Political playlist: )
I can figure out how to upload all files in a .zip, if there's a desire. zips ahoy! I hope. Somebody lemme know if that worked?
This might be my last or second-last post to this LJ that isn't cross-posted from Dreamwidth. I'm going to be shifting over soon, anyway; I just wanted to get this out of my saved drafts pile first.

You may or may not recall that on January 26th of last year I posted a meme promising to Make Stuff for anybody who commented. The one year time span has come and gone. I never forgot about it, though I did get thoroughly sidetracked several times. I still intend to fulfill my promises, as soon as I'm able; this is an update on my progress.
[livejournal.com profile] pyroclasticgrub: I think you already know I was knitting you a vest. I had mostly finished it this fall, then ran out of yarn, and because the yarn I'm using was thrifted and old and I don't know where it came from, I cannot buy more. I've tried it on (we have pretty similar circumferences, I think?) and there seems to be a lot of positive ease, so I'm going to try frogging and restarting it with fewer stitches. I have a few other projects with stricter time limits to finish first.
[livejournal.com profile] prairiedaun: I had a lot of trouble deciding what to do for you. You can do your own knitting and many other crafts, you're good at finding music, you cook and bake, I don't know what your current fandoms are. I settled on designing a hat in your honour. Not sure it's the kind of thing you'd wear, but I hope you'll enjoy the premise at least. I'll put the pattern on Ravelry when I'm done. I'll probably donate the first prototype as a raffle prize for a pet rescue fundraiser coming up in a couple of weeks in Ottawa.
[livejournal.com profile] johnnypurple: A mix! This one has actually been technically finished for ages, aside from some minor picking and poking. It's big (30 tracks) and maybe a little weird; it started with me looking for a theme to work around and deciding somewhat arbitrarily to use only Canadian artists, and then it mutated into this big thing about Canadian identity, or my experience of living in a country with A Certain Reputation and trying to reconcile (or not) my love for so many of the people and places and words and ideas and bits of art that get flagged "Canadian" (willingly or nay) or that entangle in the rhizomatic tendrils of my "Canadian" experiences, with all the things I hate about that Reputation and about the realities of actually living here (many of which, such as sabotaging climate talks in Copenhagen, sabotaging post-secondary funding especially for social science and humanities students, denying Canada's history of colonialism, denying Canada's abuse of Afghan detainees, and proroguing parliament AGAIN to avoid talking about this stuff at least until the fucking wasteful destructive celebration of nationalism known euphemistically as the 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Olympic games are over, can be credited to the Harper administration's reign of bullshit; others, like performing pelvic exams on unconscious surgery patients without our knowledge or consent are less new [this example is pretty new to public awareness] but still fucking GROSS). At different points the playlist was much longer (but I don't need to include songs from every Canadian artist I kinda like) or much more angrily political (but that's hijacking, and there are better fora); I've tried to tame it down to artists or tracks I'm really fond of right now and which I feel stand out in some particular way, and use the Canadian identity issues mostly as a substrate. I'm posting it for everybody to enjoy, although I do especially hope that you specifically, [livejournal.com profile] johnnypurple, find some tracks or artists really warm you (or cool you, or whatever you need most this week). My title for the project is "A Case of You".

music and stories )

ETA: BONUS TRACK! This totally should have been on the list, except that I hadn't listened to the album all the way through before I posted:
The Cliks (Toronto), We Are The Wolverines
We all come from the wheel and fire
We are, we are, we are the wolverines
Burning in your heart's desire
We are, we are, we are the wolverines

Because the Cliks are awesome and Lucas Silveira is a rock'n'roll god in the ascendant phase. Because Wolverine is a strange kind of Canadian icon even when he's played by an Australian in American movies (comic books do weird things to geography--cities, worlds, bodies, plausibilities). Because the first year I volunteered at the Winnipeg Folk Festival I had a conversation with Billy fucking Bragg about how he hadn't been a very good goatherd (no joke) and he hypothesized that in Canada wolverines would be the dominant menace re: disinterring livestock, rather than foxes which were the problem where he'd worked (they're not). Because the wolverine at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg is a total camwhore. Because the song is sexy and somehow inspiring even if I'm not sure I quite get it. Wolverines!
A while ago I suggested that the members and supporters of the Beta Colony Stitch&Bitch (and anyone else who wants to be nice) might make a collective donation to Heifer International (thinking specifically that we could pool for a
knitting basket) . . . and then forgot to actually organize anything. I'll happily act as treasurer for this endeavour, if folks want to contact me (comment, lj message, facebook, email) with the value for their contributions, though I don't have to be the one to actually make the donation if somebody else needs the tax credit.


theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (Default)
roses, bruises, 'bout your shoulders


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