My relationship with holiday decorations has always been tense.
The ring-shaped coral islands called atolls are a defining feature of the South Pacific, put on magnificent display in the recent Disney-Pixar film Moana. Atolls are known for being convenient harbors almost by default, rich habitats for marine life, and the source of the famous stark line between blue-water and green-water regions that surrounds Pacific islands. Atolls are also extraordinarily rare outside of the South Pacific, which is curious, because neither coral nor islands are similarly restricted. Other warm regions should have their own atolls, but they almost always don’t. So the question is…where are the Caribbean atolls?
It turns out this is a fairly involved question.
If you know someone who was involved in resistance of some kind: Solidarność, Black Panthers, resistance movements in WW2, people who hid Jews during WW2, and so forth, NOW is the time to find out how they organized. How they got the systems in place to get people out. How they created the networks of information gathering and distribution.
While I hope that I am wrong, I fear that things are about to become even more difficult for oppressed minorities in the next few months. The global political climate is distressingly similar to the times leading up to both World Wars. There has been a trend towards fascism for some time now, with major political parties veering dangerously right. Essential human rights are treated as negotiable burdens by different governments. Too many people live in desperation borne not out of a lack of resources but because of restricted access with the majority of the world’s wealth concentrated in the hands of a privileged few, and their followers.
We have a new aristocracy, only now we call them CEOs, we call them politicians, and we call them “self-made men”. The sense of entitlement and of receiving what they’re due despite no actual merit remains the same. The greed remains the same, and so does the use of manipulation to convince those they have enslaved that their suffering is caused by those worse off then them. Continue reading “This is the Time”
I received your letter a few days ago, and have spent the ensuing period formulating a response in my mind. That response is ready now.
For the last week, week and a half really, I’ve been in a bit of energizer mode. Alyssa calls it my productive phase. We’re celebrating the holidays at home this year. For the first time in a while, and I don’t want it to feel like we’re just too poor to go somewhere like some holidays seem to feel. The sad truth is, though, that we are broke. We haven’t really been able to afford to get each other gifts for some time.
Still, I’ve been diligently working on trying to make it feel like the holidays, while also putting together little somethings for the wonderful people in our lives. And that has meant – cooking. And baking. And some crafting.
It’s been serving two purposes. At the same time that I am making a whole host of Christmas food, I’m also making a bunch of frozen meals and whatnot for future low spoon days. So far I’ve managed to freeze some Kluski (Polish Potato Dumplings) as well as some fries that just need to be popped in the fryer. All at the same time as preparing the filling for a batch of pierogi: which I haven’t really made since that time years ago when I sold them for a while and ended up making over 744 pierogi by hand.
If you’re building a marine aquarium and the thought of putting an octopus in it crosses your mind, consider not doing that. Consider not doing that so hard that you put this ill-conceived notion to permanent rest, no matter how much fun Finding Dory made it sound. An octopus makes for a difficult, finicky, and potentially even dangerous marine-aquarium inhabitant, best left to nature and specialists.
Images of people in my culture don’t look like me.
There’s a trivial sense in which that’s not true. My dark, angled eyes, curly hair, curvaceous figure, and diminutive stature all betray my origins. Our beauty queens and pop stars in particular look like me, conspicuously lighter in hue than even our own relatives. As distinctive as I always am in family photos, someone else who looked like me would not have seemed out of place.
But the image of us isn’t a scientist. She isn’t an atheist or a socialist. She isn’t dating outside her race. She isn’t deliberately far away from her parents. She isn’t autistic. She isn’t transgender. She isn’t gay.
There are many little bits and pieces of growing up transfeminine in a hostile world. Recognizing ourselves early as pressed into a gender we neither desire nor understand is not always a blessing, and often merely changes the character of our seeping hurt. Our youthful relationships with boys, our youthful relationships with girls, how we feel about clothing and sport and our parents, all get colored through these lenses, already complicated and made more so by inept striving toward a less horrid vision of the future.
In her novel For Today I Am a Boy, Kim Fu finds them all.
Chandelure followed the sobbing. The lights of the flames on his chandelier-like body made for an obvious approach, even as his ghostly arms and flames left no marks on the wet trees. He paused, reaching the small gap where the sounds began.
The creature resembled a small tree stump with a stubby black body extending from one end. It held its tiny arms up to its wooden face, wracked with its sadness, its tears scarcely noticeable against the chilly damp. Chandelure weighed his options.