attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
2015-04-08 04:57 pm

The Three Pillars Theory Of Azula

So during an *ahem* discussion of Azula and her abusiveness, I realized I have never sat down and written a comprehensive version of my particular theory of Azula's breakdown. I've talked about it in comment threads a lot, but I have never dedicated a post to it. So in response to a user on Tumblr who blogs under the name fireroyals, I wrote it up. I figured I should probably post it here The discussion this post is in reply to can be found at my tumblr [link].

The Three Pillars Theory of Azula, or Ozai is Horrible, Azula is Scary (but also Scared), and I Will Hurt Anybody Who Claims Mai and Ty Lee Betrayed Azula )
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-12-31 09:17 pm
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And the holidays will be over soon, please?

For those of you who wanted to know, the Holocaust menorah remained safely hidden away.  Mom seems to have forgotten about it, probably because I cut off the tip of my finger (not as bad as it sounds but there will be a scar) mom set fire to the oven, and I had a seizure, and then word came in that my dad's good friend, who has been a good friend to the whole family finally succumbed to his lung disease and passed away on the 26th.  My mom and dad drove to Albuquerque so my dad could give the eulogy.  So on the plus side, I tossed the horrible menorah in the trash, on the minus... everything else.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-12-17 05:53 pm
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Obligatory Hanukkah Post: I'm getting worried plotting against Mom's menorah is a family tradition.

Once upon a time, back when my mother had newly converted, and we were still attempting to accumulate all the judaica we needed to set up a ceremonially functioning Jewish household, my mother bought this beautiful menorah. No, seriously, it was gorgeous, very aesthetically pleasing, unfortunately. Each candle is held by a replica of a synagogue destroyed by the Nazis.

Now the last thing I want to think about during one of the few almost unshadowed holidays Judaism has is the Shoah. Really, no. This menorah became legendary among my Jewish friends in high school, in a sort of "Oh how was your Hanukkah?" "Well, my mom brought out the Holocaust menorah again," kind of way. The sociologist in me wants to say that I bonded with my fellow Jewish kids, and affirmed my Jewishness by talking anout having the kind of quirky Jewish mother who had a Holocaust menorah. I'll leave it to you to decide if that's what I'm doing now.

Anyway, ever since my mother bought the thing, I've been plotting its demise. First I tried to reason with Mom, by explaining to her just how horrifying it is, but sadly, she has remained intractable. In addition, each year, I have attempted to replace the Holocaust menorah, including one year when I made a confection of copper and brass wire that I still consider the single best example of my wirework. [link] That thing nearly killed me, literally, as I developed an asthmatic reaction to copper while making it, and really, that should have been enough right? No. Mom loves it. She says it's too pretty to use, she doesn't want to ruin it.

So at that point, grinding my teeth, I was almost ready to conceed defeat. But not quite. Sadly my grandmother caught me trying to lose it during the move, but I have other similarly ethically dubious tricks up my sleeve. This year I may or may not have hidden the Holocaust menorah in an undisclosed location, and while my mother is out of town visiting her father, put up every single other menorah we have, which given that I tried for ten years to replace my mother's inexplicably beloved Holocaust menorah, is kind of a lot of menorahs. I think I've done it this time. We'll find out when Mom comes home Friday. Wish me luck.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-11-24 08:29 pm
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No Indictment

Darren Wilson murdered a young man, and the fine citizans of this country can't even get their heads out of their backsides long enough to indict?  Why do things like this keep surprising me?  Michael Brown's family deserves some measure of justice, and the prospect of them getting any has become just that much more remote.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-11-19 07:06 am
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Minor Family News

My cousin, specifically my father's sister's daughter, got her mitochondrial DNA tested for heritage markers, and it came back that she was of German Jewish extraction, through her mother's mother's mother, etc., which makes me of German Jewish descent through my father's mother as well.  This doesn't surprise me in the least, since I have certain genetic issues much more common among Ashkenazi Jews that don't show up on my mom's side, but I thought it was through my father's mother's father, not her mother.

I'm delighted to have proof however, not because I'm glad to know I have more Jewish heritage (being Jewish isn't exactly something I feel insecure about), but because my paternal grandmother was a horrible, abusive woman who gave her children and grandchildren deep, lifelong emotional scars, and the only reason I was spared the same was because my dad cut off contact with her after she went after my sister.  Anyway, she was also deeply anti-Semitic, and it gives me a rush of spiteful pleasure to know she's of Jewish descent, and I only wish she could have known before she died.  I hope she's rolling in her grave.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-11-17 07:14 am
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Now if I could just stop coughing

I am officially out of voluntary quarantine and no longer contagious!  Yay for antibiotics!
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-11-16 08:51 pm
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If anybody out there wonders what my parents do for fun...

They make things like this:

My mom's dog Suzy with a goblet on her but in a shallow parody of a certain Kardashian.

Explains a lot about me, really.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-11-11 08:55 am
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So I probably have whooping cough

I just did field experience in an elementary school that had it going around (thank you anti-vaxxers) and I had never completed my vaccination schedule for it since I reacted so badly to the first shot, and I have all the right symptoms.  I feel miserable and gross, and have an appointment with my NP this afternoon for final diagnosis.  I'm coughing until I can't breathe, and I think everybody should pamper me and write me fic, you know, to keep my spirits up.

Also, I'm probably never going to get to see my baby niece again.  Damn it.  Good thing is, I've been staying away from her because I was worried I'd pick something up during field experiece. Turns out I did.

EDIT: Diagnosis confirmed.  I have whooping cough.  Big whoop.
attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
2014-10-12 02:11 pm

Frozen, Legend of Korra, Avatar: the Last Airbender, and the Narrative Right to Trauma

Trauma in modern American media is a tricky thing. On one hand, the backstories of nearly everyone, heroes and villains alike are full of it. On the other, trauma is heavily shamed, and leaves characters open to accusations of weakness, or of being whiny. This means that while we want characters who go through traumatic experiences, we are extremely uncomfortable with expressions of trauma. Also, we are much more comfortable with some expressions of trauma than with others. Only certain kinds of traumatic expression are allowed, and like so much about culture, who and what a character is determines what kind of traumatic expression we as a society will allow them to have. Straight white men are given the most freedom to be traumatized, and stereotypically masculine trauma is the most widely viewed as legitimate within fandom in my experience. A character who was in battle and suffers symptoms of PTSD for example is much less likely to be called weak than a character recovering from an abusive relationship who has the same symptoms. A character who lashes out is much less likely to be considered weak than one who breaks down crying. A character who reacts with anger is seen as stronger than one who reacts with fear. There are very few roles for the traumatized woman or girl in American media. Traumatized women can be broken damsels in need of rescuing, but then once the danger is past, the damsel either recovers quickly, or disappears. They can be villains, who use their trauma as an excuse to hurt others, or they can... well. This isn't to say that portrayals of men coping with trauma are all that great either. For all there are so many more of them, they are usually not especially nuanced, though of course some are.

This is why I was so amazed and grateful when I saw Avatar: the Last Airbender for the first time, and why Frozen struck such a chord with me as a woman dealing with childhood trauma. Now, in Book Four of Legend of Korra, the narrative is once again giving a female character, this time its heroine, Korra, the space and the right to be traumatized. )
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-10-03 01:23 pm
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To my Jewish Followers

I am not fasting for Yom Kippur due to my chronic illness (funny story, I mentioned the possibility of Yom Kippur fasting once to my doctor, and she started muttering about obviously suicidal patients), and this year, Mom’s joining me in not-fasting for the first time due to recuperating from the lung disease, and I would love it if anyone has any thoughts as to other ways the two of us can observe Yom Kippur without fasting, aside from the contemplation and seeking to right wrongs, and donating to the food bank, especially since Mom is still too ill to attend the longer service.

Also, I hope all of you who are fasting have a quick and easy fast.

attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-10-01 09:24 am
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Temple Threat Update

For anyone concerned after I mentioned the threat against my synagogue, the FBI figured  out who made  it, and it turns out it wasn't a threat.  The person who made it has a mental illness that features hallucinations, and they had a vision of the temple being attacked, and called to warn us.  Since this person is well meaning, and severely mentally ill, no charges are being filed, and hopefully, the person involved will be able to get the treatment they need.  Anyway, this means I will be going to Erev Yom Kippur services this year, though the full Yom Kippur service is still too much for Mom's health. She's  doing very well, by the way, and recovering from the lung disease with very little scarring, but she still thought it  best we pick the shorter service.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-09-28 12:09 pm
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L'Shana Tova

I know I should have made a Rosh Hashana post earlier, but first services were canceled Wednesday because an  anonymous someone made threats against the temple, and the FBI had to be called, so I went to class instead,which was canceled because my teacher's husband was in the hospital, and the school email was down, so I didn't find out until I showed up.   Then I got home and sprained my ankle taking the dogs out.  At that point, I was kind of feeling like "And happy blankity blank new year to you too, universe!"  Thursday, I had a  bunch of appointments and a sick dog, and Friday I had a seizure, which I spent  yesterday recovering from.

But anyway, L'Shana Tova, everyone, may the new year be sweet, and to those of you who aren't Jewish, Nyah nyah, no new year for you.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-09-17 05:14 pm
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A Question about Fannish Terminology

[personal profile] sholio wrote an essay just recently about why Steve/Bucky AUs don't work for her (the AU part, not the Steve/Bucky part) and quite apart from the contents of the essay, it got me wondering about what we call AUs in fandom currently.  Back when I got started, *crotchety old fan voice* things like high school AUs and coffee shop AUs were called "ARs", or Alternate Reality fics whereas  "AU" referred more broadly to both ARs and also "what if" stories.  However, [personal profile] sholio only talked about AR-style AUs, and a number of her points don't really work for what if AUs.  A while back, I ran an Avatar: the Last Airbender AU meme, and after getting almost exclusively AR prompts (and most of those for fusions) I had to explain that what if prompts were definitely also accepted.  I periodically see meta about how the writer of said meta doesn't think AUs are enough like canon, then goes on to describe only AR-style AUs.

Did the meaning of AU narrow  and I didn't realize it? I would kind of like to know, most of what I write other than drabbles are what-ifs.  What if Lupin bit Snape when they were in school, what if Azula captured Zuko at the beginning of  "The Southern Raiders," what if Iroh died when he drank white jade tea. The story I'm working on right now is a what if: what if those Earth Kingdom soldiers in Book One had managed to capture Iroh and Zuko and take them to Ba Sing Se.  If these aren't AUs, I kind of would like to know what to call them.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-09-15 03:50 pm
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The Highs to the Lows

Not only did I wake up this morning and it was hot again, but also my oxygen concentrator is on the fritz and I have to send it to a repair shop in Tennessee.  I know this of course because I needed it.  Fortunately, it concentrated oxygen just fine for me, but it has a problem detecting my breathing, and it beeped at me constantly, which was not conducive to sleeping or reading, or thinking about anything.  So I have to arrange temporary oxygen now, for while it's gone.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-09-13 06:46 pm
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Ahhhhhhhh, Bliss.

It's gray, drizzling, and cool outside, and I just turned a bunch of chicken bones, a head of celery, two lemons, three cups of wild rice, a bunch of parsley, two onions, and five pounds of chicken into ten servings of fantastic soup. Fall is finally here, and it's not allowed to leave.
attackfish: Ron, drinking "felix felicis" while Harry watches, text "Always be specific when you lie" (Harry and Ron Rule 7)
2014-08-16 11:42 pm
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Dear Anonymous Reader Who Commented on a Six Year Old Fic to Say I Wrote Lily as a Bitch and a Whore

Thank you for reminding me why I haven't tried to finish those two WIPs I have in the Harry Potter fandom.

At the risk of sounding too much like a Precious Princess, especially after I started Children of Mars, I attracted a lot of virulent partisans who slammed me every time I posted anything, because they didn't like the way I portrayed their special favorite baby.  One of the reasons I stopped writing Harry Potter fanfic was I was just tired of dealing with it.  I had to delete so many anonymous comments full of profanity and slurs that posting a new fic or a new chapter was something I dreaded instead of looked forward to.  Every so often, I get comments on my old Harry Potter fics, and most of  those comments are absolutely lovely and can brighten up my whole day, but sometimes they're that same old nastiness.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-08-14 05:49 pm
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Ferguson Missouri

I am too sickened to say much about the pseudo-military police occupation in Ferguson Missouri, except that I would love to know who the police think they are serving and protecting with their tear gas, assault rifles, and armored vehicles.  The only thing I can see being protected is their own power, and their own supposed "right" to murder young black men by shooting them in the back.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
2014-08-11 12:22 pm
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This tree, everybody!

Look at it!



It's been two and a half weeks since the last picture.  This tree's just going wild.