marnanel: (Default)
some things to know about me:

* I may be wrong and often am. If I am, I would like to know, and learn better. But...
* I hate conflict. If you are rude, aggressive, hostile, ridiculing, I'll probably not talk to you.
* I am aware that I am privileged in many ways; if I show unchecked privilege, I appreciate hearing about it and I promise to take it seriously. I expect the same from you.
* Autonomy is important. I would like to hear your stories rather than tell my own. But if your behaviour involves nonconsensual damage to others, especially children, I am unlikely to be sympathetic (to put it mildly). Anti-vaccination people are specifically included here as people who damage children.
* I love hugs and cuddles, but please don't touch me without asking.
* If I have a panic attack, please hang around. Afterwards I will probably go and hide somewhere for a bit, and then I probably won't cope too well with people talking to me.
* If I'm occupied with nothing but my phone in public, that's probably a way of hiding.
* I hate phone calls. I hate making them, and I hate receiving them. Text or email instead, unless it's urgent, or you've arranged it otherwise. (To my parents: yes, you count as having arranged otherwise. But I still prefer email.)
* My pronouns are they/them, though zie/zir is fine too, and other pronouns are all right where I'm not out as genderqueer. If you get it wrong, that's fine. But don't get it wrong on purpose.
* Do not shout at me. Ever.
* I like reconciliation. If we were friends in the past, I probably want to be friends again. There are a very few exceptions, but you know who you are.
* I like vegetarian food, but I'll eat some kinds of meat if that's all that's available. I'm allergic to uncooked egg (and this includes scrambled eggs, for some reason). Eggs in things like cake are fine. Actually, cake is lovely in general.
* I have a bad habit of avoiding dealing with things I don't know how to handle, especially emails I don't know how to answer. In particular, I love getting fanmail, but I'm rather bad at answering it. I'm really sorry: I'm working on it. I do read it all, and it does make me happy, and I love you all.
* Please don't assume I can pick up on hints, or flirting, or that I know any particular social conventions about conversations; please be explicit. If there's something you can't or don't want to talk about, I will pick it up and worry about it if you lie about the things round the edges in inconsistent ways. I really like it when people talk to me about how they want to talk to me and how I want to talk to them.
* I'll try to add trigger warnings to posts and pictures. Again, if I get it wrong, let me know.
* I have triggers of my own. I may have to leave a conversation because of them. It's a PTSD thing.
* Reciting poetry and singing and scripting/echolalia are coping habits.
* I apologise too much. I'm working on it.

Did I miss anything? Questions and comments and suggestions are welcome.
marnanel: (Default)
MINIVER CHEEVY
by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam’s neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediæval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.
marnanel: (Default)
[suicide mention]

In counselling today we started going over the timeline of my life I drew up. We only got up to the start of sixth form, and about my early suicidal ideation, and how I set myself free by giving up having ambitions. We'll carry on next time, which means we're five sessions in and still haven't finished talking about why I'm there!
marnanel: (Default)
In a waiting room. Marn is wandering around listening to music.

Woman in top hat: (something)
Marn (removes headphones) Sorry?
W: I said, hi!
M: Oh! Hi. Awesome hat, by the way.
W: Alcoholic.
M: Your hat is alcoholic?
W: No, me. I've been in jail. I have DTs.
M: Oh, I'm sorry.
W: Don't be. It's a self-inflicted injury.
M: (randomly) Well, what isn't, in the end?
(W smiles and wanders off while M is still considering whether all injuries are self-inflicted by virtue of the will to live)

UPDATE: W returned and started telling me her life story. She says I'm goodlooking and that she'd go out with me. She also showed me several of her tattoos. On enquiring as to whether I'm unattached, she looked crestfallen, and then said that if that ever changes I should contact her. She appears to be entirely serious. During part of the story about school bullying she abruptly got up and went outside to smoke, leaving me to look after her bag. When I had to leave, she hadn't returned, and I couldn't find her outside, so I handed in the bag at reception. Reception said yes, they knew her quite well.
marnanel: (Default)
[teeth, dentistry, violence]

I have a wonderfully chatty dentist. Recently we have discussed:
1) the problems of being a dentist in Pakistan. Apparently some people's first resort for toothache is an amateur tooth puller. If you're his first patient of the day, you have to wait until the second patient turns up. Then the second patient holds the first patient down, while the tooth puller attaches string to your tooth and pulls very hard. When most of the tooth is removed, the first patient gets up and punches the second patient for holding him down. After all this, the dentist has to fix all the damage.

2) the political situation in Burma, and why the news here doesn't report it much, and how come westerners think Buddhists are never politically violent.

3) why Camden, New Jersey is such a terrifying place.

"busy"

Sep. 5th, 2016 12:08 pm
marnanel: (Default)
KIT: And how are things with you?
PRACTICE NURSE: Oh, the usual. Busy, busy, busy. Though I don't mind busy-- it's when things are over-busy, when I'm running late...
KIT: Busy good, stressed bad?
PN: Right.
MARN: It's interesting how the sense has shifted. If you look at how Spenser uses it in the "Fairie Queene", he's using it in your sense of "over-busy". Which is odd, because words usually become more negative over time...
KIT: Marn? If we stay here talking about etymology, she'll be running late and then she'll get stressed.
MARN: Oh yeah. Sorry.
marnanel: (Default)
filk: "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats.

now the silicon chip inside your ship
gets switched to overload
and nobody's gonna leave the Earth today
you're gonna make the place explode
and your latest verse is a Vogon curse
with a pain that you can't resolve
you can see no reasons
cos there are no reasons
what reason do you need to evolve?

Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
I want to shoot the planet down.

well it's not too far to the local star
where the plans were on display
so your sympathy for their apathy
just blows them all away
it's okay with you
cos you've just gone through
a painful love affair
you can see no reason
cos there is no reason
what reason do you need to care?

Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
I want to shoot the planet down.

six billion folk go up in smoke
and a trillion angry mice.
you were bought and bribed
it was all prescribed
by the man who paid your price:
there's a secret link
to a scheming shrink
but Halfrunt's just this guy
who has every reason
to destroy the reason--
what reason do you need to die?

Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
Tell me why. I don't like Thursdays
I want to shoot the planet down.
marnanel: (Default)
I've seen this sketch many times, but I only just realised that the judge is Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor from Dr Who).

Some of the gameshows are largely forgotten:
1) What's My Line? (guess someone's job)
2) Mastermind (rapid-fire questions on a subject)
3) Call My Bluff (guess the definition of an obscure word)
4) Blankety-Blank (guess what word someone else used to complete a sentence)
5) Give Us A Clue (charades)
6) It's A Knockout ("play your joker" in a round to double your points)
7) The Price Is Right ("come on down!")

Gaffes:
1) the judge is wearing a barrister's wig
2) no judge in England uses a gavel
3) the defendant is standing in the witness box
4) lawyers don't walk around the courtroom
5) er, court trials don't include gameshow references.

marnanel: (Default)
Psalm 73 was in this morning's readings. The poetry remains bitterly relevant to today's society.

For I was envious of the proud;
I saw the wicked in such prosperity;
for they suffer no pains
and their bodies are sleek and sound.
They come to no misfortune like other folk;
nor are they plagued as others are.

Therefore pride is their necklace
and violence wraps them like a cloak.
And so the people turn to them
and find in them no fault.
Behold, these are the wicked;
ever at ease, they increase their wealth.
marnanel: (Default)
the animation of little!me, for the start of the nonbinary song. rough draft!

dentist

Jul. 12th, 2016 06:10 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[dentist]
My dental appointment is on Friday, but I went in for an emergency appointment today because of the pain. The dentist said I did the right thing, and the whole of that tooth had to come out. He took an x-ray and I had to hold the plastic bit in place with my tongue-- he said I have a strong tongue. I'm so glad I can suppress my gag reflex! [Edit: my goodness that sounds suggestive] Anyway, he said it was the most complicated extraction he'd had to do since he started working there.
marnanel: (Default)
While looking through back issues of the Times for etymological citations, I discovered a rather strange classified ad for 23rd May 1786:


"This day is published, price 1/6, a letter to John Hunter Esq., FRS, [...] respecting his treatise on the venereal disease; shewing him to be highly erroneous in his observation of impotence, and more particularly pointing out the absurdity and immorality of his doctrine in favour of onanism or masturbation. By Duncan Gordon, MD."
 
Of course, I went to find out what Dr Hunter had said. Earlier that year, he had published a book about venereal disease, which made some shocking claims: masturbation is generally harmless, and the worst thing you can do is worry about it.

"OF IMPOTENCE: This complaint is by many laid to the charge of Onanism at an early age; but how far this is just, it will in many cases be difficult to determine; for upon a strict review of this subject, it appears to me to be by far too rare to originate from a practice so general.

How far the attributing to this practice such a consequence, is of public utility, I am doubtful, particularly as it is followed most commonly at an age when consequences are not sufficiently attended to, even in things less gratifying to the senses; but this I can say with certainty, that many of those who are affected with the complaints in question are miserable from this idea and it is some consolation for them to know that it is possible it may arise from other causes.

I am clear in my own mind that the books on this subject have done more harm than good. I think I may affirm that this act in itself does less harm to the constitution in general than the natural. That the natural with common women, or such as we are indifferent about, does less harm to the constitution than where it is not so selfish, and where the affections for the woman are also concerned.

Where it is only a constitutional act it is simple, and only one action takes place; but where the mind becomes interested, it is worked up to a degree of enthusiasm, increasing the sensibility of the body and disposition for action; and when the complete action takes place it is with proportional violence; and in proportion to the violence is the degree of debility produced, or injury done to the constitution. In the cases of this kind that have come under my care, although the persons themselves have been very ready to suppose that the disease arose from the cause here alluded to; yet they did not appear to have given more into the practice than common; and in particular, the worst case I have ever seen was where but very little of this practice had ever been used, much less less than in common among boys or lads. The only true objection to this selfish enjoyment is the probability of its being repeated too frequently."

Hardly surprising that it raised a furore!

marnanel: (Default)
“Do you mean to say that you’re going to sit quietly down and paint that ox while it’s destroying my morning-room?” Let’s start the new series of Gentle Readers with a story in which absurdity is tamed by embracing it.

Full text: https://gentlereaders.uk/the-stalled-ox

marnanel: (Default)

I was reading this two days ago. It needs saying today.

“Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles… not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another.” - George Orwell, 1943.
marnanel: (Default)

A story I was told at St Mark’s, a “high” Anglican church:

St Mark’s has a rather large contingent of de jure Roman Catholics in its congregation, who argued with the local parish priest or the Vatican and just decamped down the road. Many times this only gets discovered when they die and ask for their ashes to be interred in St Mark’s columbarium, whereupon the local RC priest turns up and objects.

So after this had happened a few times, they agreed that a small part of the columbarium would be dedicated as a RC burial place. And so that God wouldn’t get confused, they put a cardboard divider between them.

The person telling me this story concluded, “So apparently cardboard can block the Holy Spirit, just like alpha particles… wait. Don’t mitres have cardboard inside to keep the shape? I think we’ve discovered something here…”

marnanel: (Default)

If I had to choose either Strasbourg or Westminster to run this country, I'd choose Strasbourg. It has a better separation of powers. Someone asked what I mean by that, so I'll explain more fully.

A bit of civics background-- sorry if you know this already: There are three branches to every government: the legislature which makes laws, the executive which implements those laws, and the judiciary which deals with people who break them. In a carefully-designed system such as the American federal government, the three branches act as checks on one another's power. (In the US, executive=President, legislature=Congress, judiciary=federal courts.) This means that it's much more difficult for one or two people to fuck up the system.

But in the UK and the EU we don't have a complete separation of powers. In particular in the EU we have the executive (the Commission) having the sole power to propose bills to the legislature (the Parliament). This is undemocratic, and it's a problem. The legislature can veto bills, so it acts as a check on the power of the executive. But it cannot act alone.

In the UK, however, the problem is even worse. In our case executive=Downing Street, legislature=Parliament, judiciary=courts. Parliament was originally a check on the power of the King (when the King was the executive). But for the last few centuries, the Crown's ministers have effectively been the executive, and these ministers are always drawn from Parliament. A PM must necessarily almost always be able to order Parliament to do anything they wish, because they must belong to the majority party in the Commons, and MPs almost always vote as the whips tell them to.

So if for example we happened to get someone as PM who was determined to starve the poor and destroy the NHS, there's nobody at all who can stand up to him. In the US or in France it's routine for the legislature to say no to the executive (and vice versa). But it's near-impossible in the UK.

Except...

...there is, at present, one organisation which can say no to the PM.

That organisation is the EU.

That is why I'm voting Remain.

 

marnanel: (Default)
I was once in a psychiatrist's waiting room and they had a coffee machine with enough buttons to belong to Captain Picard. You know the sort of thing-- buttons for white coffee, black coffee, cappucino, hot chocolate, and so on and on. But one of them was unlabelled, and THAT was the one I wanted.

It took a while to brew me a cup. When it had cooled, I took a sip. The stuff was utterly foul-- like a sort of hot instant coffee made with lemons and ammonia. I can still taste it in memory.

Just then, the psychiatrist arrived, and asked what I was grimacing about. I explained the story and showed him the button. "Right," he said. "That's the self-cleaning function."

pig blood

May. 28th, 2016 03:19 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[blood, guns, Islamophobia]

February 2016: Trump tells (untrue) story about General Pershing stopping terrorism by shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/feb/23/donald-trump/donald-trump-cites-dubious-legend-about-gen-pershi/

May 2016: Texans are dipping their bullets in pig blood. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/texas-men-train-to-shoot-muslims-and-dip-bullets-in-pig-blood-so-victims-go-straight-to-hell-a7053086.html

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