kiriamaya: (Default)
So yesterday, I was playing Street Fighter with [livejournal.com profile] thello (with him handing me my rear end, as usual), and he gave me tips along the way. The thing about playing [livejournal.com profile] thello is that I get scared sometimes because he's so good, and so I kept playing defensively. So, a couple of times during our session, he'd be like, "Don't forget to go on the offensive!" And I started doing that, and I started playing better.

And it occurs to me that I could also stand to do that in, well, life.

You see, I always plan to do things, but I almost always chicken out because I'm worried that bad things will happen to me. And so I calculate my every decision in such a way as to avoid negative possibilities, and so I almost never get anything I want.

In Street Fighter, going on the offensive is risky. There's always a chance that you'll do something embarassingly stupid, or that your timing will be off and your moves will get beat, or that there'll be some glaring flaw in your offense that you won't see until it's exploited, or that the opponent will simply know how to beat anything you try. But if you just sit there, merely blocking and trying to counter stuff all day, you won't win anyway. And besides, you know what they say about the best defense...

At the risk of sounding sappy, I think there's a definite lesson for me there.
kiriamaya: (Default)
Here's a bit of what's been going on with me lately:
  • My lovies and I are fixing to go into freelance software development. Jess has experience with the business side, which will be helpful and what I was lacking before, and Grace and I are helping each other learn the stuff we'll need. :) I am excited about that.

  • As soon as I can (probably won't be until next month, though, due to extenuating circumstances which I've made filtered posts about), I am going to register a domain for my game site and finally get the freaking thing up and running. I've made excuses for long enough, and there's really no reason I can't get this thing started.

  • Speaking of website stuff, I'm considering doing guests posts for some blogs I admire. :) Mainly FWD, as I have a few things to say about mental ableism. After that, maybe I'll get off me arse and start blogging more regularly at my own places... Which would be a first XD

  • This is the scary one -- I am going to force myself to meet new people! *gulp* You see, it has come to my attention that the local LGBT org (mainly cis LGB, of course -- no, I'm not going to support ENDA as it stands, leave me alone!) hosts a trans support group. My attendance there will be mainly about meeting other trans people here. :) It is honestly terrifying to me to meet new people, but I've gotta do it. And I think I can. :)
Last year was the year of fixing my life, and so this year is the year of getting on with it already! So, umm, I need to do that. >_> So I will! :)
kiriamaya: (Allie Fwee)
It's Grace's birthday today!

I do not know if it's possible to express just how much I love this woman. I hope you have a wonderful day today, dearest. :)
kiriamaya: (Default)
Indiana might be adopting Arizona's immigration law.

I overheard my boss and his wife talking with a client about the Arizona law, and how it's basically racist and grossly unfair to POC, so at least some people here get it. Alas, I fear that many more don't. I've seen and heard far too many Hoosiers complaining about the "invasion" of "illegals" who are supposedly stealing everyone's jobs and forcing everyone to speak Spanish and blah blah blah. And knowing how conservative the Indiana legislature tends to be, I'm really not expecting them to do the right thing here. :(

So sick of this racist bullshit.

On ENDA

May. 13th, 2010 10:26 am
kiriamaya: (Default)
So, we finally have a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that protects gender identity as well as sexual orientation. That's a great thing, right?

For the most part, yes... but not entirely.

You see, the bill includes language codifying a "separate but equal", genitally-centered bathroom policy, as a sop to "moderates" who are obsessed with what's in trans people's pants.

*sigh*

Time and again, trans people have fought tooth and nail along with cis LGB people for LGBT rights, only to be screwed over when the notion of trans rights became politically inconvenient. With ENDA, it's happening all over again.

The language doesn't seem likely to change at this point, so I won't hold any of my friends' support of ENDA against them. I can't in good conscience fight for the bill as it stands, but I understand those who do. Federal employment protection for LGBT people is vital, and it's about damn time it's happening. But if you do choose fight for this, please, don't try to ignore or downplay what it will cost.

And don't forget who's paying that cost. Again.
kiriamaya: (Default)
So um.

Why am I being told to support the current ENDA if it's basically going to codify "separate but equal" for trans people?
kiriamaya: (Default)
Here is an example of how great humans can be. :)
kiriamaya: (Default)
I need to start doing these posts again.


Star Trek Online
Despite having done about a million zillion posts about this on my old LJ, I still have yet to write a proper review. Here's a short version: It's not the grand space simulator a lot of us were hoping for, but it is a very fun game that blends the naval-style space combat of Starfleet Command with ground mechanics similar to the Phantasy Star MMOs. Oh, and it's fun to play around with all the character customization options. :D The only reason I might (depending on the audience) hesitate to recommend it is because it doesn't have quite the amount of items and ancillary features that MMO players expect; this is not so much an issue for me but it may be for others.

The Movies
This is an old tycoon-type game where you run a movie studio. You have to build sets, commission scripts (or write them yourself -- this is way fun, as you basically get to make your own little mini-movies!), keep your stars happy, and build your studio's prestige, all without going bust. It's a tricky balancing act, and quite often a frustrating one, but that's exactly what I find so compelling about these sorts of games. I do wish it was easier to hire new stars, and that the sandbox mode would let me play with everything without having to unlock it first.

Fable II
I don't know why I got back into this. I really don't care for it all that much, mainly because it's so easy. Although there's a lot of neat stuff you can do on the side -- getting married, buying property, training your dog to do tricks and the like -- the core dungeon-crawling and hack-and-slashing just isn't very challenging or interesting at all. I wish the enemies were smarter and put up more of a fight, and I wish the puzzles and mazes were more complex. Oh, and screw the game's fat shaming. Yeah, if you eat enough food (which you need to heal yourself), your character will get fat and the game will shame you in various ways for it. >_< Grr.

Mega Man 10
What can I say? It's Mega Man. It's fun. :) The weapons aren't as useful as in Mega Man 9, but the stages and bosses are more creative, albeit silly at times -- beware Sheep Man, whose wool shoots thunder! No, I'm not making this up! XD But yeah, lots of fun. Playing as Bass is pretty neat, too, as is hard mode (though it hands me my arse more often than not!). Can't wait to get the endless mode for this, as that was my favorite thing about MM9. Now, if they'll just add a female playable character...

Super Street Fighter IV
I traded in a bunch of old games (including my original SFIV) to get this. It's definitely an improvement over the original -- the netcode is better, it doesn't look squished on my SDTV anymore (I think they pulled the camera back instead), it has more characters (yay, Ibuki!) and they're all unlocked from the start. Still annoyed that it's so hard to do links, though; I was really hoping they'd do something about that. And they nerfed Ryu! I get why, but still, boo to that. Ah, well -- I'm having all kinds of fun playing online, even if I still kinda suck. ;) Yes, still! Maybe these games just aren't for me...

spoons

May. 5th, 2010 10:28 am
kiriamaya: (Default)
I'm fond of the Spoon Theory as an explanation of what it's like to get through a day as a disabled person. I've used it a lot myself, to describe what it's like to live with my depression.

I'm wondering if it's appropriate to do so, though. I mean, it's not that I think that clinical depression isn't a "real" disability; it very much is. But the spoons metaphor was created specifically to refer to physical disability, and I'm worried that I might be appropriating an experience that isn't mine by using the metaphor.

What do you think? Is it appropriate to use in my case?

I suppose I should be asking this in a different venue.
kiriamaya: (Default)
I'm a little late to this conversation, but I'm going to go in a slightly different direction with this post, maybe.

First, I'd like to point you to an excellent post by [personal profile] meloukhia on this subject. A quote:
Bullies use the tools and the language of social justice to do their work. They literally weaponise the very tools we have fought so very hard to create and work with. And they rely on this to maintain the culture of silence.

Because when someone uses the right keyphrase, anyone who speaks up and says “you are being an asshole” is clearly Not A Good Ally. If someone claims that something is a social justice issue, people who care, passionately, about social justice will remain silent because they think somewhere deep inside that maybe the person has a point. Because they don’t want to seem like they are using a tone argument.
Like [personal profile] meloukhia, I'm kind of afraid to give concrete examples. Of course, I hardly need to; I'm sure you can think of examples on your own.

And some of my own words and actions may be among them. Although I have been a victim of this bullying, I must admit that I myself have, at times, been a bully. I myself have, at times, abused the tools of social justice to attack other people or silence them. I'm confessing this publicly because I want this bullying problem to end, and I want to be part of the solution.

And so, here's my contribution: a look at not just how this happens, but why people do this. At least, why I did it.

Engaging with people -- actually discussing the topic with them, actually refuting their arguments and strengthening one's own -- takes a lot of effort. Sometimes, quite understandably, this is effort that folks are not able or willing to undertake, and I'm not saying that anyone should have to engage when they can't or don't want to. But, quite often, folks feel that disengaging is tantamount to losing, and so we get the "someone is wrong on the Internet" phenomenon.

The easy compromise, therefore, is just to intimidate people into shutting up. And that's bullying.

In social justice communities, this intimidation usually takes the form of guilt-tripping. It involves painting the victim as a Bad Person who is imposing their Badness on the innocent, pure Good Person doing the bullying. This tactic is effective because, more often than not, the victim will be one who cares about social justice issues and wants to help, so when they're told that they're actually harming the cause, they will naturally want to back off.

And like [personal profile] meloukhia said, one of the ways in which this is done is by pulling out the typical keyphrases of online anti-oppression. You know the ones: Tone argument. Intent doesn't matter. It's not my job to educate you. Derailing. Check your privilege at the door. And so on. All of these were conceived as crucial boundaries for anti-oppression discourse and practice -- and they still are -- but now they tend to be invoked even when barely relevant (and sometimes irrelevant) just to paint the victim as Bad. And it's tough for the victim to argue against that, because then the bully can just go, "So are you saying you shouldn't check your privilege? What a douchebag!"

And others, who see what's really going on, are afraid to speak up -- because, if they do, that will make them Bad as well. And so it continues.

And like I said, it's easy to do this. For example, when somebody tells you that they disagree with your interpretation of XYZ because there are variables you haven't considered, it's easier to just yell at them for not accepting your certainty than face the possibility that maybe, just maybe, your interpretation isn't so certain after all.

It's not easy to consider the possibility that we might be wrong, especially about something as important as social justice. It's not easy to admit that we don't know everything about the beliefs we defend. It's not easy to say, "I'll have to research this more," or even, "I don't have the spoons for this right now." Because the fear is that people will interpret this as a loss, an admission of defeat, and that the cause will be harmed as a result.

For me, getting over that fear has entailed realizing three things:

1. People who are going to give up on social justice that easily probably didn't care much about it in the first place.
2. Bullying itself harms the cause!
3. My understanding is strengthened when challenged, not weakened.

So, yeah. If people engage us in good faith, I see no reason why we shouldn't respond in kind (when we respond at all, of course). People who have been bullied all their lives should know better than to turn around and do it to others. Alas, we don't. This needs to change.


ETA: If you're interested in reading more on the subject, this post is way better than mine, and looks at the issue from a different angle. :)
kiriamaya: (Default)
I said on a filtered post that I can sometimes be too full of myself and need to be reminded that I'm not really that great. Why in the world would I say that when my self-esteem is already in the toilet most of the time?

This sort of thing has been a topic of discussion in a lot of social justice communities lately: many of us (women in particular) are taught that we shouldn't toot our own horns, as it were -- we shouldn't be proud of ourselves, we shouldn't own and internalize our positive qualities, we shouldn't love ourselves too much (if at all), etc. And a bunch of writers whom I admire (such as Sady Doyle and Kate Harding) have basically risen up to say, "No, that's bullshit! I'm fucking awesome!" And indeed they are. And this is crucial as an inspiration to those of us who aren't quite convinced that it's okay to like ourselves -- after all, if they can do it, maybe we can too!

Problem is? During those (still somewhat uncommon) times when I do feel comfortable liking myself, I am usually kind of a jerk. This is what makes me think I am too full of myself, at times. But is that really the problem?

Or is it that my pent-up resentment at being denied a generally healthy self-esteem basically explodes during those times?

I use the word "denied" very deliberately, because there's really more going on than just an internal struggle. The problem is one of social expectation. If Bob tells Alice that she's awesome, and Alice says something like, "I really am, aren't I?" he's probably going to conclude that she's a giant stuck-up bitch. Which is ridiculous, because she's just agreeing with him. If she really is awesome, why shouldn't she be allowed to show it? And it's not even just about what you say, either; sometimes, merely doing something cool -- writing something intelligent, or building a cool website or program or whatever -- will enrage people, make them think you're showing off or whatever.

And this is where people will try to tell me that I just shouldn't care what other people think. That's all well and good if I'm dealing with random people on the Internet, but it doesn't really work when I'm trying to find a job, or work with a team on a project, or convince new people that I'm worth getting to know, or any number of other situations where I don't have either the time or the spoons to be an Anti-Oppression 101 teacher.

So yes: resentment builds up, and that resentment ends up exploding when I'm actually in a safe space (as an aside, I think this dynamic may account for a lot of anti-oppression blog drama).

And the solution I'm proposing to myself is... to lower my self-esteem even more?

That's incredibly messed up.

It's true; I do need to be less self-absorbed. But getting down on myself isn't going to fix that! Unwarranted self-aggrandizing and self-bashing are both caused by the same thing: an unrealistic appraisal of oneself, rooted in a desire to appease others.

I'm not really sure what to do about it. I guess, just... like myself more? Do and share the things I enjoy more? Take better advantage of those safe spaces I do have?

I don't really know. Thinking.

[Commenting Guidelines: Discussion of this topic is welcome. Self-help platitudes are not.]
kiriamaya: (Default)
So umm. Yes. I meant to write a lot more than this, this week! And didn't! What else is new?

I confess, part of it is my usual fear of new people, which is only intensified when those new people are awesome. See, [personal profile] annaham and [personal profile] kaninchen and [personal profile] lisaquestions are all people whose writing I've long admired, and, uhh, they've subscribed to this thing. So. Yeah. ^^; Hi, folks! I will endeavor not to fail too badly!

Oh, and speaking of [personal profile] annaham, there is this. Which, if you're not sick of hearing about Amanda Palmer and/or Internet harassment, you should totally read. :) And speaking of [personal profile] kaninchen, she basically went and wrote a post I've been trying and failing to write all this week, about the whole "You're so smart so why can't you do X?" thing.

Anyway, yeah, I have to catch up with the stuff I meant to do this week, now. That is, if I don't get distracted by videogames. Which I will. Because I am an Allie, and that is what happens. But I'll try to mitigate it somewhat! And if I fail... well, I've just pointed you to some cool writings by some cool people. That counts for something, right?
kiriamaya: (Default)
It's a remix of a Sonic Advance 2 song... in the style of the Genesis games! :D

(Now, let's see if YouTube embeds work any better on Dreamwidth...)

kiriamaya: (Default)
So, apparently, LJ's giant transphobic fail was the push I needed to move to Dreamwidth more completely.

I'll keep my LJ account around and check its friends page every so often. I've also set up a crossposter so my LJ friends can continue reading and commenting on my posts. However, I think I'm done with my LJ otherwise. I mean, never say never, I guess, but I'm certainly not planning on coming back.

A question: I've noticed that people with LJ accounts have sometimes commented on people's Dreamwidth posts. How does that work, exactly? Seems like it would be easier to have all the comments in one place...

Another thing I want to know is, do security settings carry over? In other words, if I set a DW post to be access-locked, will it be friendslocked on LJ?

Anyway, gonna fix up some stuff on my LJ account now. Don't worry, LJ friends; I'll do everything I can to make sure we don't lose contact. (And I mean, since I'm crossposting, it's not like things will be that much different from your perspective anyway.)


ETA: Mostly got it figured out, I think, but I'd still welcome any suggestions/advice. ^^
kiriamaya: (Default)
With LJ ever the drama cesspit, and with my "real" blog being very political (and thus often depressing) in nature, I figure my Dreamwidth account will be what I wanted my LJ to be originally: just a place for me to relax and type whatever, whenever.

The idea feels almost foreign to me now, as I'm so used to emotions (mine or somebody else's) running high whenever I write something. But, I think it will be nice to just have a place to write "for fun" with no pressure or anything.

Dreamwidth certainly seems suited to that.

Just FYI

May. 26th, 2009 09:28 am
kiriamaya: (Default)
I won't have Internet for a while. There was a fire in my building yesterday. I'm okay, and so are my room and stuff, so please don't worry. But you probably will see me online only sporadically, and not at all on IMs, until stuff gets fixed.
kiriamaya: (Default)
Allie: I find that the more I'm willing to stand up for myself and take no crap, the easier it is for me to be nice, and to listen and be patient.
Allie: I find this curious.
Trice: Hm, interesting.
Trice: Possibly that makes sense.
Trice: If you are willing to stand up for yourself, you can deal with things which bother or hurt you? Whereas if you do not, it needs an outlet elsewhere and continues to bother you?
Allie: Yeah. And ends up exploding when I don't want it to.
Trice: I should try some more of that. Am aiming to be quieter, calmer and more patient.
Allie: *nod*
Allie: It also became a lot easier when my response to people calling me "fag" or "retard" changed from "OMG HOW COULD YOU??? ;_;" to "meh, whatever *ban*"
Allie: Though that change was long, gradual, and difficult
Allie: And the ban is important. That's another thing I learned--"letting insults roll off my back" doesn't have to mean putting up with them.
Trice: Ayyyye. *nods*
Allie: Of course, the very idea of "growing a thicker skin", etc. is tainted by all the jerks who use it to try to convince us to just sit there and take it
Trice: Aye. But this is not the same thing?
Allie: Right. They want us to simply be used to being victims and stop complaining about it. I want to stop being a victim.
Trice: Yes! :)
kiriamaya: (Default)
Stuff I like about Dreamwidth:

- The "Friends Page" is instead called a "Reading Page", and adding others to said page is called "subscribing". That way, if you no longer want to read someone's journal, you can just remove them, and they won't be all "OMG UR NOT MY FRIEND HOW COULD YOU!!!11!eleventy"
- Subscribing to someone and letting them see your locked posts ("access") are two different things. You can do one and not the other. Huzzah for drama-defusing!
- No ads.
- They let you post anything that won't get them in legal trouble (now, we'll see if that lasts, heh).

'Course, you know all this already; I'm just taking a moment to fangirl about it ^^;

Anyway, so this means I will need to post here more! Dang, I'm enjoying it already. o.o Just knowing that it's a fresh start helps a lot... and it's making me write a little sloppily, but oh well. ^^;;

Stay tuned, for I will be posting here more if I am un-lazy enough to do so! XD
kiriamaya: (Default)
...and here I am. Go me. And stuff.

Real post coming later, most likely ^^