"The support I received from CIA draws a damning contrast to the treatment of other transgender Americans. If trans soldiers can serve in Afghanistan and Iraq, and LGBT intelligence officers can risk their lives hunting terrorists, why are trans teens like Gavin Grimm still fighting in court for the right to pee? If Langley and the Pentagon can use common senseâletting transmen use the men's room and transwomen the ladies' -- surely a school district can figure it out." -- Jenny Hall, "Coming Out as Transgender Made Me a More Effective CIA Officer", The Atlantic, 2017-03-20
- The English sofa is a loan from Turkish. The Turkish for the English sofa, however, is kanape, as a loan from the French canapé, which has the original meaning of English sofa and, by figurative extension, the meaning of English canapé, because you've got a little piece of bread or pastry or something that looks like a sofa with the topping perched on top of it. (sebastienne conjectured this etymology when I was grumbling about the Turkish last week; they were surprised and delighted to be correct.)
- Fox/vixen is the solitary surviving example in modern English of the Germanic feminine suffix -en, -in: Fuchs/Füchsin.
- The English/French foyer is rendered, in Swedish orthography, foajé. It is pronounced the way one might reasonably expect foyer to be pronounced. See also: restaurang.
1kg bag of baby spuds
3 small carrots
1 large leek
Odds and ends of fish from the reduced section. In this case:
2 fillets of salmon
3 smoked cod loins
1 haddock fillet
most of a bag of prawns
half a bag of mussels
1 pint boiling fish stock
1 large tub Quark
2 tbsp cornflour
Cracked black pepper and salt
Heat oven to 200C
Put the potatoes to boil until nice and crushable.
Cook the leeks - slice them, fry them till soft, then add a little water and evaporate that off. Put in the large pyrex that I hope you're using for this dish. Small one won't cut it.
Meanwhile put the boiling fish stock in a pan with the odds and ends of fish and chopped carrots, and cook them through. With a slotted spoon, lift out the fish, and put in the pyrex with the leek.
Put the prawns and mussels in for a couple of minutes into the hot stock and fish them out as before.
Now, make up the cornflour with some cold liquid, and then add to the hot stock, along with half a tub of the quark. Pour over the fish mixture.
Drain the potatoes and crush with the rest of the quark, and some salt and pepper.
Place over the top of the fish mixture, and put in the oven for 35 minutes till golden.
I'm not "in the wrong body"; this body is very much part of me, and there are things I really like about it. But there are parts that feel stunted, like they never fully developed like they were "meant" to, and at times they ache as if they were still desperately trying to. Descriptions of phantom limbs from amputees often resonate with me. I assume this would not go away in a perfect society. It has got worse with perimenopause and seems to show some cyclical variation, so I imagine there's a hormonal factor involved.
Also, some of the parts I really like are the very ones that cause people to guess my gender wrong, and that causes a real psychological tension. I have to choose every day whether I want the cognitive dissonance of hiding those parts as if I were ashamed of them, or the cognitive dissonance of leaving them visible and being misgendered. This part would clearly improve if societal etiquette changed so that it was understood to be rude to guess someone's gender without being told, or at least rude to voice the guess.
Then there's a gender role/performative component, which expresses itself as a feeling that I'm constantly failing at "being a girl" by looking wrong, acting wrong, thinking wrong and just generally Being Wrong. This part has improved considerably since I gave myself permission to stop trying to be one, but there's a residue that would probably require societal permission to get rid of. For me, full societal recognition of nonbinary gender(s) would probably do it, but total abolition of the gender binary would also work for me (and for agender people? but maybe not for strongly binary-identified people?) Even then, there may be a biochemical component that would not disappear, because I feel the looking wrong part is linked to my bulimia, and that gets worse with certain nutritional deficiencies and could presumably still happen without sexism. Society not being so damn fat-shaming would surely help, though.
Summary: In a perfect society I'd probably still have body dysphoria and maybe a small amount of psychological discomfort. I might still define as trans because although we wouldn't be assigning gender at birth any more, I might still have self-assigned as a girl before the hormones kicked in enough for the body dysphoria to become noticeable. But I'd have much less cognitive dissonance and everyday life would be much more comfortable, so none of these issues would be the grave threats to mental health that they are now.
The February-like weather has helped nothing. We've had to keep the heat on pretty high, and that dries the air out, and that plus mouth-breathing because of stuffy noses has been just dreadful. We're cranking all our humidifiers and drinking gallons of water. I even got a bout of February-like depression, which totally missed me (and I did not miss) in actual February. But this weekend looks to be the start of a warmer, wetter stretch, so hopefully that will make everything better. I am putting considerable effort into planning a Brooklyn Botanic Gardens trip in mid-April with saraeileen and maybe vschanoes and their babies, because all I want right now is to be sprawled on the grass under the cherry trees and if I can't have it right at this moment then I will make very sure I get it as soon as possible. Spriiiiiiing, I neeeeeeed it.
I went up to Hunter today to do live-action Story Hospital with a group of teens I hadn't met before. It was amazing and great and emotionally exhausting. I came home so wiped out that after dinner I took a 90-minute nap on the couch—from 10:30 to midnight, not exactly prime napping time—because I was genuinely too tired to get up and go to bed. That is absurd. Of course then the nap wired me up, so I took the trash out and started laundry and did the dishes and took a shower and now it's 4 a.m. and I ought to go to bed for real. I hope writing this entry will help wind me down.
My day job workload is going to be decreasing after next week (YAY), and I plan to put all those hours toward sleep. That will help.
Kit's body continues to think it's older than it is. In addition to being the height and weight of a two-year-old, they've got the teeth of a two-year-old. All eight incisors and three of the four first molars are in, and their lower canines just cut through, which apparently hurts a whole lot. Poor sad bean. :( But ideally this accelerated teething schedule will mean they get all their teeth in quickly and then they can just enjoy having them.
I got new glasses and they keep feeling like they don't sit on my face quite right, even though I've had them adjusted several times at different shops. Maybe I just need to get used to them. They've got plastic frames and I think the last time I wore glasses with plastic frames was close to 20 years ago. I do really like the way they look. The neighborhood eyeglass shop where I got them completely messed up my beloved prescription sunglasses, so sometime this weekend or next week I need to go shake them down for not only a refund of the lenses (which make my eyes physically hurt, and made me dizzy when I switched back to my regular glasses) but the cost of replacing the frames, which they managed to warp while trying to fit the lenses in. So much for patronizing my little local business.
When I was sick I missed my regular manicure appointment and went a full 2.5 weeks without a manicure, but I didn't bite or break my nails; I was very proud. This week I had them done up in H&M's Wildwood polish, which is my perfect green, and have been wearing green clothes that match them exactly and feeling excessively stylish. Alas, the polish has already been discontinued, so I will cherish this bottle of it and try to find the right balance between not using it all up right away and not letting it sit so long that it becomes unusable.
I think I have wound down, finally. Time to refill the humidifier and get a great deal of sleep.
Then I had a meeting with 2 of the other composers on the Beethoven project with me. That went...reasonably, but we need more information to proceed.
One of them has an upper-voices choir and asked if they could perform O nata lux, so that's pretty neat.
"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them." -- Mark Twain (pen name of Samuel Clemens, b. 1835-11-30, d. 1910-04-21), Mark Twain's Notebook (pub. 1935)
[Thanks to fidhle for calling this to my attention after he saw it at DK.]
The concert was also good: Juice vocal ensemble doing their stuff excellently despite malfunctioning lights and heating (actually rather appropriate for the spookiness of the programme they were singing). I particularly enjoyed Philip Cooke's premiere... perhaps because in a programme that used what I would think of as non-standard techniques in almost every piece, something a little more normal was welcome.
In the interval a cathedral organist was talking to my someone else and asked about an unaccompanied Nunc dimittis suitable for Compline, which the someone else hadn't written; so I piped up and said he could have mine if he likes. I sent the e-mail when people were leaving the concert, then went along to the pub. I hope I didn't appear too keen, but... it's a risk, I guess.
On the way home from the pub I was caught up to by another PhD student who studies remotely, and who is staying in the same place as me. Lovely stuff, and good not to walk on my own. And we'll breakfast together with a third person, who I also met (earlier in the day) and who is staying here... good. I mean, I'm also perfectly happy to breakfast alone, but part of the point of being here is networking, and I may be better at this over breakfast than in a noisy crowded pub anyway.
Tuesday: My Evening Canticles were sung at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Parliament, by ULCC Choir (in which I sing tenor, unless I'm singing alto). This was very nifty. I couldn't hang about afterward but I am told that the chaplain (one Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who I believe liv encountered recently) was pleased, and that one person in the congregation asked if they could have Evensong every day. That latter strikes me as a bit odd as Westminster Abbey does, in fact, have Evensong most days. And it was good to see Nicholas O'Neill again, and I met a former member of the choir who is interested in hearing more of my work.
I then went and caught a train to Aberdeen. I think I like the concept of the Caledonian Sleeper more than the reality; and that is mostly because, well, I don't get a lot of sleep on it. I have been contemplating alternate names, like the Caledonian Lie-er Awake All Night, or the Caledonian Tosser; obviously these would be unsuitable for promotional purposes. But I think I am gradually settling on the Caledonian Dozer, as that was what happened last night; I dozed for a few hours, then gave up on trying to lie down and read a book for a while, and then dozed a bit again before the 6.30am breakfast call.
Tomorrow I have a supervision, a tutorial with Michael Zaugg, and there is a concert by Juice vocal ensemble in the evening. So I am attempting to take today gently; I'll mooch around town a bit longer, then when I'm allowed to check-in to where I'm staying I'll do that, hang up clothes so the wrinkles come out (they'll have been stuffed in a bag for 24h by then), have a nap, and then figure out whether there is a concert I'm suppposed to attend tonight as well.
Internet here is rather bitty, so I may end up posting this later.
5 medallions of bacon
1 large leek - sliced
3 small carrots - chopped
1 large parsnip - chopped
1 small red chilli - chopped
half a dozen small potatoes
1 box of passata
garlic salt & pepper
boiling water to fill the crock pot
Put the crock pot to heat on high
On a high heat, spritz a pan with frylight, and fry the leeks and bacon.
Put the carrot and parsnip into the crock.
Add chilli and venison to the pan and fry with the leeks and bacon
Put all the ingredients into the crock and cook for ~4 hours on high.
"There is a thread of cultural reality in the U.S. that I think most Europeans don't see: the rural/urban split is not just about farmland and sidewalk, or even about the simple economic issues involved in the same split in, say, England.
"When it comes to social issues, different parts of America are living at different points in history. You can almost literally engage in time travel by moving around the country."
-- Elliott Mason, March 2017
"It's not about any actual trans people, or their safety. It's about fighting over whose vision of America should win: a remembered prosperity we must strain to reach anew, or a step forward from existing problems into an ever-more-just and ever-stronger future." -- ibid.
|@StripeyCaptain:||"Oddly, they never seem to want testing for anyone who gets more than a couple of grand a month from the state."|
|@tjathurman:||"I think they're worried about a mythical beast called The Undeserving Poor."|
|@StripeyCaptain:||"No one deserves to be poor. Oh right, that's not what they meant..."|
-- Tigerfort and tja thurman (@StripeyCaptain and @tjathurman), 2017-03-20
What a time to witness history...
110ml soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp harissa powder
6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
Garlic, pepper and salt, combined in a pestle & mortar
Make up the marinade with the soy sauce, harissa, Sweet chilli and seasoning, and toss the chicken through to coat, then leave for a couple of hours.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6, and place the chicken as a single layer in a non-stick baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or so.
I served with Thai rice and ratatouille. Would work very well with Quorn fillets or tofu.