xenologer: (happy!)
So rings are a thing for me. They are a Thing, even. I have rings I wear every day and they mean specific things or help me keep my focus on certain tasks, all that. I only have one or two that I switch out to any degree at this point.

Well, I have a spoon ring that I got when I was five, my mother hid from me for more than a decade so that I wouldn't lose or break it, and which I have worn every day since I filched it back for myself as a young me. But it's so old and made from an actual spoon, so it's kind of bendy and ready to snap.

Brian bought me this.

He knows rings are a big deal to me (I have three I wear at all times and another that I wear every day in addition) and that if he wanted to get me one he'd have to get one that replaced a ring I was going to have to stop wearing anyway soon so that I "wouldn't have to make any hard decisions." That is so many things he paid attention to! That makes me feel good. He saw me favorite it on Etsy and apparently went into the bee folder in my favorites and ordered this one for me!

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
xenologer: (bye bye)
Great Pervocracy entry on escalation and de-escalation of conflict.
How much conflict there is in a relationship, or the seriousness of the conflict issues, are not predictors of whether there will be violence. The biggest predictor is the degree to which conflicts in the relationship escalate. (...)

De-escalation means bringing someone down from an irrational, emotionally hyperaroused, screamy-hitty state, but it does not mean appeasement. It can sometimes mean talking someone down by comforting and reassuring them, but that's far from the only method and it's only useful if they're just mildly agitated. If they're screaming or threatening violence, saying "honey please honey it's okay" is usually not the best way to de-escalate them. Setting firm limits is not just more empowering for the de-escalator; it's more effective.


This is a skill I have, but now that I'm an adult? I don't use it with the same person more than once or twice. If someone is up in the crazy tree and it's my responsibility to pull them down and keep things from getting ugly, now that I'm an adult and have some agency in my life? Nope. Screw it.

I've watched too much of this crap in my young life and been trapped in with too much of it, too. Tolerance = gone.

I think that is the thing that's hard about having these skills: knowing when it's okay to stop using them. Just because someone can de-escalate like a frigging conflict sorcerer doesn't mean that it should always be their job, and it certainly doesn't make it their fault when the other person doesn't dutifully submit to their wiles and act like a grown-ass human being.

That was my big realization. Yeah, honestly, I can corral and manipulate people into being less awful to me. But who the hell are they to make me need that skill all the time? Who are they to put me back in the kind of circumstance that taught me how to do it in the first place? Do I really owe them shit?

A lot of people asked Holly to write this entry on de-escalating oneself, and I think that it's really important so I'm going to link it as well. The Pervocracy Guide to Not Doing Stupid Things Because You're angry. Or, as I like to call it, how not to be the kind of person I kick out of my life.

Part of the reason why I'm so happy in my current relationship is the way we handle conflict. My super-cool headshrinker calls it "sophisticated." I call it "problem-solving." Identify problem. Solve it. Be less upset, due to absence or at least reduction of upset-making stimuli.

FUCKING TALKING. HOW DOES IT WORK.
xenologer: (snail cuddle)
I don't talk about my relationship very much, which is probably a good sign, no news being good news when it comes to journal site entries about a romantic relationship. That doesn't mean there's nothing to say, though. It's just that the years have been kind, and I suppose that doesn't motivate me to write as much as the years that came before.

It occurred to me tonight that I think the very best part about my life is how long it has been since I was truly lonely.

Thinking about the world we live in and what an ugly mess it can make of people, it's been years since I wondered whether there were any intersection between the set of people who knew me and the set of people who loved me.

It's been years since I had to live without the certainty that there is someone who wants me to trust them badly enough that they will actually be trustworthy, who wants to be reliable badly enough to be it.

It's been years since I realized I'm beautiful.

It's been years since the old days when I had to promise someone my own destruction to keep them from theirs.

It's been years since the first time I realized that someone else could want me to succeed simply because they wanted me to succeed, and that they could want it without mixing it with resentment.

It's been years since I lived a life that was deformed around the fear of ugly things, and it's been years now that I can twist a life around the lovely ones. My life is slowly losing the shape of those pained and straining habits, those razor-edged defenses that I never used on the people who deserved the blades. It's losing that incessant keening stretched out wordless rage shrieking day and night behind even the best of hours.

It's been years since I figured out who I am when I'm happy and for years now, despite all of the areas for improvement and all the old growth that may never fully unknot itself, I've been someone I could respect and call good.

It'd be easy to believe that these are the best years of my life. They could be the best years of anyone's life. But y'know, we're still going. I see no reason to stop. We never promised forever, but we made certain promises for now, and as long as they're still working... so will I.

It's been more than worth it so far. Even if it ends, even if it somehow ends catastrophically with us somehow hating each other or the world or something equally enormously bad, these years... these years will always have happened.

Wherever the time goes, whatever the world does to me or to him or to the other people we love... we have been traveling a particularly breathtaking stretch of the path, and it has already happened. Wherever we go next, at least we got to be here. Whatever happens to our bodies in the distant future, whatever we become will have at some point in its history been as happy as I have been with Brian these last several years.

So to whatever we'll become whenever we become it, you're welcome. Try to pass it on.

So... huh.

Sep. 13th, 2011 03:05 am
xenologer: (happy!)
I am using Facebook more and more for political links and stuff since people actually seem to get more use out of it there. People on DW/LJ who want politics are probably going to get their links from some of the same excellent sources I do, whereas the people I know on Facebook really... don't.

I didn't think people would like that my Facebook feed is ALL LIBERAL ATHEIST FEMINISM NEWS ALL THE GODDAMN TIME but I keep getting little notes of appreciation and admiration for it. I have had people tell me that I'm their main news source, which is terrifying but at least I am gratified to be providing a service in a way that works for them. If what they check is Facebook and the news they want is the sort of issue-based stuff I care about, I guess it's good that I'm bringing it to them.

What this does mean is that I am not using my journal for that so much these days. As I look over my last several entries, they've come about every two weeks and they've been *gasp* about me.

I know, fucked up, right?

That's what I've done for the past few years. I haven't had much else to say because like a lot of people... I don't post too much about myself when I'm happy. I have been. I have the kind of marriage that parents should tell their kids they may not have because it's so unrealistically great. I don't even really have much of a list of First World Problems. I'm... happy. I'm happy and I'm pretty stable and I've got a bunch of new hobbies that have brought a lot of joy to my routine.

I go to burlesque shows now. I will inevitably start performing at some point. It's a matter of time, because we're all just so fucking happy when we're there and I want to be part of the happy. Also, as I told the members of a local burlesque troupe where I have friends, I am really amused by my own ass, and would like to share that with the world.

So maybe you'll be hearing about that! Or maybe I'll just post to tell you how much I love my new bicycle, my new home, and my husband. Maybe my journal will be about me again.

Wild.
xenologer: (cocky Kamina)
Went to see Thor with Brian and it was entertaining but I think I only really liked it because I like comic book movies.

I think they tried too hard to make Loki pitiful, which is why I didn't give a fuck about anything that was going on with him. The amount of "show, don't tell" failure with Loki was disappointing. "Oh well you know he's always been a trickster, but--" Really? You're just gonna say it, and then show nothing but him moping.

They could have spent the same amount of dialogue and screentime and made him obnoxious but charming with a big presence, the kind of guy who pisses people off even though they're definitely still going to invite him to parties because the dude's amusing when he's not picking on you. Of course, then he can get nastier and more callous and damn it could almost be interesting.

Instead we got to watch younger less-hairy Mufasa and Scar duke it out in space over whether the big simple but noble brute of a guy or the thin but cunning mincing brother should inherit Pride Rock.

It's telling that when I look back to my favorite bits about the movie, I think of the proud, "Yes I did," confirmation of tasing Thor, and the words "pretty blue eyes pretty blue eyes pretty blue eyes" repeating over and over again. She was glad she tased him and I was glad for her. I was also glad to stare at pretty blue eyes. That's... I mean, it's not really a life-changer of a film experience, is it now?

Also, fengi is right. Laufey is Mister White Christmas; he's Mister Snow.

Thankfully, as soon as Brian is not working, he and I are going to go bask in Magneto's warm glowing warming glow. We haven't seen it yet, but I have it on good authority that this will be a fine addition to my collection of X-Men Movies That I Will Admit Exist.
xenologer: (YAY)
...I am now legally married.

How awesome is that?







(Now for the rest of my LGBT family who aren't allowed to. Need to get you in on this shit, because this fun should be shared. Your inevitable marriages will lift something of a shadow from everybody else's, so we've got some politicians to harass until they explode. Let's do this shit.)
xenologer: (vagina)
Had to get up really early to be at the state house this morning, but it was worth it. I was testifying against a bill in a committee hearing to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana, and I got to be the first of the opposition to speak (right after the lady from Right to Life, sitting there with her mouth all pinched up tightly as a cat's asshole).

I'm pretty proud of how I did, and I think I helped. One of the Planned Parenthood lobbyists asked me to email her my testimony so that they could use it as an example of How It Is Done (eeeeee!) and so I thought I'd relay it to y'all as well.

My name is [my name], here on behalf of Planned Parenthood, mostly because of how much I owe of my own health and success to Planned Parenthood. I'm the first woman in my family to get a college degree. My parents were supportive, but we're a military family and as you're all aware, people don't enlist for the money.

My parents were proud, but when it came to the financial end of a $120,000 education, that was entirely up to me. I had no money left over for doctors. I literally endorsed my paychecks and physically handed them over to Butler University.

It would have been easy to sacrifice my health for the sake of being the first woman to finish, but thanks to Planned Parenthood it wasn't necessary. They clearly don't believe young women should have to choose between an education and basic preventative care, and Planned Parenthood are the people doing something about it.

I'll be 25 in a month and I've only had one routine pelvic that wasn't provided at reduced cost by Planned Parenthood. For years, that made Planned Parenthood the only place I could afford to get checkups. I had one shot to get a degree, and I was willing to put everything else second.

I still did do it. My late great-grandmother, who was a young woman during the Depression, got to see our family, after almost eighty years, produce a woman with a college degree. We're talking about a woman for whom birth control pills might as well have been magic. I wasn't stopped by poverty. I wasn't stopped by the looming threat of pregnancy derailing this dream for yet another generation.

If not for Planned Parenthood, I might have been. I see in this legislation a clear statement that women in my position should have to choose between our health and our education, that I should have had to choose: either I can have doctors or knowledge but not both.

It's 2011... and we can give women better options than that. Planned Parenthood are the people offering better options.

Reliable access to preventative care and birth control were the difference between the women in my family for the past eighty years and this woman now. When you're asking yourself whether you approve of Planned Parenthood's impact on this state, you are asking yourself about me.

Do you approve of Planned Parenthood's impact on my life? Or don't you?

Because Planned Parenthood gives women access to a legal procedure that some people may wish you could keep them from having, are you really going to let my success story be one of the last?

This bill has to go, and by saying so here today I hope to repay in small part the debt I owe to this organization. I'm proud to give this act of testifying and my tax dollars for Planned Parenthood and the patients who need them. Thank you for your time.


There's a chance the bill will indeed fail, because the Democrats on this committee are people I pretty much trust not to be horrible shits. I also don't think it'll pass because they try this every damn year. However, both the House and Senate in Indiana are controlled by Republicans, so there's no saying for certain what fuckery they'll get up to.

I'm going back tomorrow, and this time the mister is coming with me. I mentioned offhand to the Planned Parenthood people that he's a pharmacist, and they told me the House added a bill regulating a RU-486 in a particular very stupid way to the committee schedule at the last minute. I got an emphatic Facebook message from the Planned Parenthood lobbyist ("CALL ME" and her phone number. "Right now?" "YES."). She wants him to be available to read a statement on the bill written by one of his former professors and answer questions if the representatives have them.

The Planned Parenthood lobbyist who alerted me to all this told him that we're her new favorite couple. We're my favorite couple, too. The couple that cockpunches the patriarchy together stays together, yeah?
xenologer: (angel/11)
Brian, after a long silence, blurts out, "...We should kill some merfolk and make suits out of their skin."
xenologer: (ooh!)
"We will not survive in this apartment without locomotion," Brian says, after I tried to convince him that I cannot get up and make food, because I am sessile now.

He offered to go make rice, since now that I am sessile he must provide for all my needs.

I told him no, because I want him to be sessile too.

Evidently this would result in our deaths.
xenologer: (everybody's aunt)
Back in the long long ago, in the beforetime, [livejournal.com profile] kingofdoma asked me meme-questions here. The whole answering and fulfilment bit of this kept not occurring, but now it will!

1. What is your favourite novel?

Right now? I'm going to say Ender's Game, even though its author is a gay-hating fundie prick that you should never ever ever give money to, no matter what.

2. Pick a treasured person in your life, and tell me what you'd say for their eulogy.

Come on. Who'd you think I'd pick? Assuming I'd be there for it, anyway.

[livejournal.com profile] archmage_brian. He was everything that matters.

3. If you could go back in time and take a tire iron to any major philosopher, who would you bludgeon senseless, and why?

Kierkegaard. Because FUCK YOU Kierkegaard, that's why. Abraham's God made me do it.

4. What is your biggest problem with me? What about me would you have me change or at least look at more critically?

My biggest problem with you? Oh, dude. We hashed that over and discussed it and settled it years ago. I mean actual, literal, 360-something-day-long years. It will probably take you long thought to even remember wtf I'm talking about, which should be a clue as to how much bad blood there's ever really been between us.

If I wanted you to change who you were now? I wouldn't be friends with you.

5. Let's say you can only drink one brand of beer for all eternity. What brand is that, and what about it earns your eternal devotion?

Oh, hm. Off the top of my head? Kingfisher. It's a very lagery lager, and goes well with food or on a hot day without it.
xenologer: (Default)
This entry started as a comment on this entry about what "Progressive Christian" actually means. It's a subject about which I've given a lot of thought, and I've held this opinion for a pretty long time before being willing to say anything about it. There's a lot that I believe that I'm unwilling to say, for fear of alienating people who would otherwise be my allies.

Isn't that silly? Once I really looked at it, I realized what a condescending and nasty thing that is for me to think about my moderate theist friends. If you learn what I really think, you'll stop caring whether the courts blame rape victims, whether our judicial system executes an inordinate number of mentally-challenged and black or latino convicts, or whether gays ever have equal contractual rights in this country. You'll stop fighting with me if you hear the things that I didn't want to hear back when I was a theist.

I didn't, though. When I was a theist, I listened. Eventually. Brian can attest that it took a lot of time and patience on both of our parts before we came to a meeting-place on the question, but I didn't abandon the people and causes I cared about, so I'm going to trust the people reading this not to do it either.

Cut for fragile things. )
xenologer: (snail cuddle)
And this one is for today.

The Gratitude Project was begun several years ago by a LiveJournal user called estaratshirai . The rules are simple. Every day between Lammas (August 1st) and Mabon (the Autumnal Equinox) one must find something to be grateful for in life. No repeats - one can be grateful to people more than once, but it has to be for different reasons.

Brian.
xenologer: (vengeful)
I seriously would just like to go a few hours today without something making me want to scream. I want to sit down and eat. I want to see Brian. I want to have a conversation with somebody who isn't going to treat me like a half-human pitiable monster for being a woman, or who isn't going to completely blow past all my clearly-stated boundaries, or maybe just somebody who can actually listen to me without me needing to protect them from the added stress of me being affected by their actions.

There is no way to have a problem if everybody around you has too many problems to deal with you having your own. How can you ask for support? How can you ask for consideration? How can you ask for anything, when the mere revelation that you have a problem is going to create still more exhausting drama?

Dear Universe: Don't call me this weekend. Seriously, don't. If my phone by some miracle is not off or broken into a million pieces, I will somehow find a way to travel through the airwaves and detonate your phone while you are still holding it to your face. Assume that I don't want to talk to anybody. I am done with this week, and I only wish it were done with me already.

If I can't go to anybody for anything because you're all big balls of drama, then don't bring your damn drama to me, either. I don't owe you CRAP.

Signed,

Ashley.

P.S. Also, universe, way to remind me that there are people who actually believe and are willing to tell me women should be seen and not heard or they're harder to love. Keep it classy, universe.
xenologer: (vengeful)
I seriously would just like to go a few hours today without something making me want to scream. I want to sit down and eat. I want to see Brian. I want to have a conversation with somebody who isn't going to treat me like a half-human pitiable monster for being a woman, or who isn't going to completely blow past all my clearly-stated boundaries, or maybe just somebody who can actually listen to me without me needing to protect them from the added stress of me being affected by their actions.

There is no way to have a problem if everybody around you has too many problems to deal with you having your own. How can you ask for support? How can you ask for consideration? How can you ask for anything, when the mere revelation that you have a problem is going to create still more exhausting drama?

Dear Universe: Don't call me this weekend. Seriously, don't. If my phone by some miracle is not off or broken into a million pieces, I will somehow find a way to travel through the airwaves and detonate your phone while you are still holding it to your face. Assume that I don't want to talk to anybody. I am done with this week, and I only wish it were done with me already.

If I can't go to anybody for anything because you're all big balls of drama, then don't bring your damn drama to me, either. I don't owe you CRAP.

Signed,

Ashley.

P.S. Also, universe, way to remind me that there are people who actually believe and are willing to tell me women should be seen and not heard or they're harder to love. Keep it classy, universe.
xenologer: (vengeful)
I seriously would just like to go a few hours today without something making me want to scream. I want to sit down and eat. I want to see Brian. I want to have a conversation with somebody who isn't going to treat me like a half-human pitiable monster for being a woman, or who isn't going to completely blow past all my clearly-stated boundaries, or maybe just somebody who can actually listen to me without me needing to protect them from the added stress of me being affected by their actions.

There is no way to have a problem if everybody around you has too many problems to deal with you having your own. How can you ask for support? How can you ask for consideration? How can you ask for anything, when the mere revelation that you have a problem is going to create still more exhausting drama?

Dear Universe: Don't call me this weekend. Seriously, don't. If my phone by some miracle is not off or broken into a million pieces, I will somehow find a way to travel through the airwaves and detonate your phone while you are still holding it to your face. Assume that I don't want to talk to anybody. I am done with this week, and I only wish it were done with me already.

If I can't go to anybody for anything because you're all big balls of drama, then don't bring your damn drama to me, either. I don't owe you CRAP.

Signed,

Ashley.

P.S. Also, universe, way to remind me that there are people who actually believe and are willing to tell me women should be seen and not heard or they're harder to love. Keep it classy, universe.

Foodings.

Mar. 17th, 2010 11:21 am
xenologer: (cocky Kamina)
So I was spazzing in this entry about what I'm gonna feed people for my handfasting. Thanks to the people who have suggested things, because I think I had my head locked into this track where we had to feed everybody a meal, and it was making me crazy. Thank you for giving me other options and helping me get my head on straight.

[livejournal.com profile] archmage_brian to the rescue!

"Let's just serve edamame, brie and boursin cheeses with crackers, and peanut butter gelato. That way we can make sure everyone has at least one food they're afraid to eat."



I love Brian. I'm so glad I'm with him. Obviously we can't actually do the peanut butter gelato because we have someone who can't even be in a room with peanuts without having an allergic reaction, but y'know. The principle is perfectly fucking sound. Wouldn't be our handfasting without weird munchies.

Good day.

Mar. 3rd, 2010 01:22 am
xenologer: (let it be)
People today didn't have much money, but they were cool as fuck and were really into what CAC is doing. So hooray for that! I didn't raise a lot of money, but I really felt like I was connecting with people, and I felt like they appreciated the opportunity to stand up for themselves.

Really, that's all I can ask for from a day. I won't get paid much for today, likely, but I feel damn good about my job and the work we're doing.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] archmage_brian and I are going to try and figure out some ways to see each other on weekdays, which should be good. This schedule is going to be hard for both of us, but there's no sense spending energy on getting all bent out of shape which could be used thinking of ways to actually solve it.

Thanks to those who've been supportive of me while I was kind of emo about stuff, and I think we'll figure this out. Hooray for being in a relationship with someone who is a good problem-solver. I'm a lucky woman, that I am. Got a great job, got a great partner, and now I just need to make sure I have time for both.

Good day.

Mar. 3rd, 2010 01:22 am
xenologer: (let it be)
People today didn't have much money, but they were cool as fuck and were really into what CAC is doing. So hooray for that! I didn't raise a lot of money, but I really felt like I was connecting with people, and I felt like they appreciated the opportunity to stand up for themselves.

Really, that's all I can ask for from a day. I won't get paid much for today, likely, but I feel damn good about my job and the work we're doing.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] archmage_brian and I are going to try and figure out some ways to see each other on weekdays, which should be good. This schedule is going to be hard for both of us, but there's no sense spending energy on getting all bent out of shape which could be used thinking of ways to actually solve it.

Thanks to those who've been supportive of me while I was kind of emo about stuff, and I think we'll figure this out. Hooray for being in a relationship with someone who is a good problem-solver. I'm a lucky woman, that I am. Got a great job, got a great partner, and now I just need to make sure I have time for both.

Good day.

Mar. 3rd, 2010 01:22 am
xenologer: (let it be)
People today didn't have much money, but they were cool as fuck and were really into what CAC is doing. So hooray for that! I didn't raise a lot of money, but I really felt like I was connecting with people, and I felt like they appreciated the opportunity to stand up for themselves.

Really, that's all I can ask for from a day. I won't get paid much for today, likely, but I feel damn good about my job and the work we're doing.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] archmage_brian and I are going to try and figure out some ways to see each other on weekdays, which should be good. This schedule is going to be hard for both of us, but there's no sense spending energy on getting all bent out of shape which could be used thinking of ways to actually solve it.

Thanks to those who've been supportive of me while I was kind of emo about stuff, and I think we'll figure this out. Hooray for being in a relationship with someone who is a good problem-solver. I'm a lucky woman, that I am. Got a great job, got a great partner, and now I just need to make sure I have time for both.
xenologer: (snail cuddle)
Look what we have!



Handfasting hasn't happened yet, and we won't be doing any of the legal end of things for quite some time (changing of names mainly, since we aren't signing a marriage contract as long as the laws are discriminatory), but we have our indestructible engagement rings. Look at them!

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