( 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 )
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.
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.
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.
( 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. )
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.
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.
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.
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.
And of course, I'm stuck at my doctor's in California, so I don't get to meet her until Sunday. Until then, I am relying on the pictures my sister-in-law has been sending us. My favorite one is of her mama holding her, and she's yawning. I love her little yawn.
Anyway, if you can't tell, I'm smitten.
A couple of weeks ago, my grandmother was driving past a construction site when she spotted a beautiful little wild mimosa tree that was slated to be bulldozed. She asked the foreman if she could dig it up and take it home, and he gave her the okay. Our yard man agreed to pick it up for us, and the next day, he went out to get it. Well, when he dug out around it, he discovered that its roots were wrapped around concrete, and he had to cut most of them of to pry it free. There was only this little stub of root material, and he never would have done it if the tree weren’t going to die anyway.
So he brings it over to our house, and plants it, and immediately, all of the leaves on it shrivel up, die, and fall off. The yard man says he gives it maybe a ten percent chance of surviving. The outer branches started to go brown, and it looked like he was right, and there was no way that tree was going to survive.
Then last week, the buds started to appear. And they grew, and grew, and grew, and now look at it:
This little sucker is actually going to make it.
Anyway, back when it was still this bare stick my grandmother had insisted on sticking in the ground, she told the whole story about seeing it and rescuing it from being bulldozed, the poor thing. My dad took one look at it, sighed, and said, “And here we have the start of the North Alabama Tree Rescue...”
Also, I'm jealous, because I'm stuck at home finishing up the summer semester, instead of at Comic Con with all the cool kids.
( Cut for All The Spoilers, and I'm also starting to think I need a Jewish tag )
In all the awesome that is the new season of The Legend of Korra (and after all the problems with Books One and Two, it’s good to have that awesomeness back) I feel kind of like an ungrateful jerk for complaining about anything, but I do have a minor quibble: the Earth Queen’s allergies. I’m getting a little sick (no pun intended) of seeing my disability played for laughs, and used to make the suffer look like a buffoon. There’s a part of me that’s just glad that there isn’t any suggestion that the Earth Queen is faking her allergies, and in fact we get to see her allergies know Pabu’s around, even when he is hidden away. But I don’t like the way my disability only ever seems to show up as the butt of a joke. Also, lot’s of nice people who love animals are very allergic to them and have to avoid them because of it, like me with my birds, which I had to give up because allergies to them almost killed me and my mother.
tl:dr The Avatar franchise is usually so good with disability, why aren’t they good with mine?
However, all of us, my father included, are grateful it fell when it did, because I rushed downstairs thinking Amy, our elderly Chow/Akita mix had fallen, and when I couldn't find her inside, I went outside, where I found out that she had fallen, down the stairs that lead up to the porch. Mom forgot to tell me she was outside when she left, and in this weather, Amy could have gotten heat stroke very easily, and died. Because of the falling shelf, I got out to her in time, was able to cool her down with a wet towel and plenty of water, was able to call the vet and my parents, and got her leg, injured in the fall, checked out and treated quickly.
Amy is my dad's baby.
But it serves me right for watching it on livestream. Some creepy 4chan types put homemade Korra/Amon rape porn over the commercials, and I had to find a new stream right in the middle, because fuck no.
Comments should be presumed spoilery.
And now it's done, so there.
Anyway, my sister in law's doing the kid's room in a jungle theme with elephants, I made the aliens for my sister who loves aliens, and the owls for myself, because I've been collecting them since I was nine. So there's something to represent each of her paternal aunts, and something her mother likes.
Anyone thinking of making your own, remember to keep them six inches or less when finished, otherwise they're a strangulation hazard.
Pacifier Holders by Attackfish on deviantART
I miss my babies terribly, but it had literally become life and death, and my mother and I were at risk of permanent lung function loss. I have had birds my entire life, and it really hurts that I will never be able to have birds again.
After we found homes for the birds, we had the entire house cleaned, washed all the sheets, and blankets, and curtains, rented giant hepa filters... I;m starting to be able to breathe again. But I still miss my birds.
No, seriously, utterly non sarcastically, for freedom. Passover is about freedom and escape from slavery. It's a holiday about the world, and social justice, and remembering that although we are free, other people are not. It's a holiday about freedom for all mankind, and a recommitment to try to free others who are still in bondage or are oppressed, and to not oppress others. It reminds us of our duty as human beings, that we who have suffered oppression are not so powerless that we cannot oppress others. It reminds us that we must not use that power to oppress others, that we must look at all the peoples of the world as people, even when we think they are our enemies. It reminds us how hateful our own oppression was and is to us.
And it reminds us of our duty not to do to others that which is hateful to us.
So I am not performing a single Passover ritual, but I am doing my best to celebrate the spirit of the holiday and observe it in my own way.
Chag Sameach, everyone!
Once again there are three people dead because someone decided they should die for being Jewish or in this case, daring to associate with Jewish people, and part of me is intellectually going over the reasons why there has always been an uptick in anti-Semitic violence around Easter and Passover, for as long as there has been Easter. Part of me is busy being angry and making sarcastic quips like the title of this post. Part of me is again reminded that I should be afraid. But most of me is just so tired of it all, and wondering if it will ever stop.
And that part of me just hurts for the families of the dead. Zekher kadosh livrakha, May the memory of the holy be a blessing.
And I’m not really sure what other people see in it.
Maybe it’s because I never really celebrated Christmas or Easter as a kid, but Rise of the Guardians seems even more culturally specific and alienating to people outside of the culturally Christian European and North American mainstream than the current Hollywood norm. Two of the guardians are specifically tied to Christian holidays. Great. Little kid me would have felt very welcomed.
And then there’s the fact that of the main characters, there are five guardians, Pitch, and a kid. Of those, all but one of them are male. One out of seven is pathetic, especially in a movie about people who guard and take care of children.
Plus, I didn’t like the movie’s attitude towards fear. Fear itself is a protective force. Yes, it can become toxic and put you in danger, but as anyone who has ever had a manic episode can tell you, so can the “positive” emotions. Fear protects children. It helps keep them safe. I would love to have seen a dark, terrifying, but ultimately good guardian embodying fear, and instead we got the sinister and one note Pitch.
There were things about it I did like. I liked the animation, I liked Jack’s story and why he was chosen to be a guardian, I liked a lot of the imaginative details, especially he hummingbird themed tooth fairy. It was fun, it was diverting, but it didn’t do much for me, and I don’t feel the need to rewatch it. *shrug*
So last night, we got about five inches of snow, most of it in less than an hour. It's ten o clock at night, and I round up the five dogs for their last excursion before bed. It's snowing buckets, freezing, and my boys and Teddy are shivering pathetically in their little sweaters, going, gee it's cold out here, lets do our business and get back inside as quick as we can. Suzy is doing contortions, trying to pee without touching her lady bits to the snow and cursing her two inch long dachshund legs, and Amy... Amy, who is supposed to be recovering from pneumonia, that stinker, takes off barreling into the night, singing "LET IT GO, LET IT GO, I AM ONE WITH THE WIND AND SKYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" And I'm standing there wondering why I decided to wear a bathrobe that only goes down to my knees, shouting at her, "Yeah, the cold never bothered you anyway, but but the rest of us would like to go back inside now, you miserable puffball, so get your fuzzy black chow butt up here! Yes, I can totally see you there in the snow. It's white, you're black, you are not hidden." And then she swaggers back inside and gives me this little smirk.
Anyway, its the day before Valentines day, and only two of the characters from my Valentines Crossover Crack Mix and Match Shipping Meme of Doomy Doom have been guessed. Go over there and try your luck.
Most people want to become teachers because public school was a place of joy for them. I feel a little alone right now.
( Cut for image size )
I was listening to a lot of The Mamas and the Papas at the time. Yes, most of these are portraits of real people, including myself, my parents, childhood friends, my elementary school band director, Harpo Marx, and Tony Curtis dressed as a woman from Some Like it Hot.
( You have to understand, this is the kind of thing my sister likes )
For those of you wondering, some of the local radio stations have been playing Christmas carols since just after Halloween, and listening to the same twenty songs for two months straight is really starting to get to me. This may or may not have been a contributing factor in my sister's zombie sock baby doll.
Perhaps nostalgia isn’t quite the right word, but I don’t know if there is a word for what I feel for turkey meatball soup. When I was ten, my illness was finally diagnosed, and I began treatment. At the time, my immune system was in such poor shape that there were only a very small number of foods I could eat, turkey, rice, salt, grapes, spinach, scallions, and oregano. This became even worse once I became dangerously allergic to grapes. By the time I could begin to add other foods to my diet, I was so thoroughly sick of all of these foods that I didn’t eat rice for years, for example, and I still hate turkey in every form but gravy, and strangely enough, turkey meatball soup. I ate it every day for breakfast for more than a year. When the time came that I didn’t have to eat it anymore, I didn’t even want to look at it. Then, I years later, I started craving it. I made it today with no idea what to expect. I added pearl couscous to make it a little more filling, but other than that, it’s exactly like what I ate every morning, turkey broth, ground turkey, scallions, spinach, and oregano. And as soon as I took the first bite, it all came rushing back.
In retrospect, it wasn’t a good year for me. Not only were the foods I could eat limited, but so were their amounts. Even as my immune system became healthier, the rest of me sickened. I was constantly hungry. My hunger drove my mother on the phone to my doctor at least weekly, crying, because she couldn’t feed her child. Also, I was trying to catch up on ten years worth of social skills overnight, and painfully shy from being bullied at my previous school. It's no wonder this was the year my first stalker would attach herself to me.
But this isn’t what I taste when I eat turkey meatball soup. Turkey meatball soup tastes like sanity. It tastes like my brain waking up for the very first time. It tastes like discovering books and trying to read them while I ate on school days before my mother saw them and too them away so I wouldn’t be late. They taste like getting up early on Saturday mornings to go to the doctor, knowing that I would come home feeling weak and sick, but that there was a book the Rabbi had lent me waiting for my Sunday in bed. It tastes like Sundays in my bathrobe, with my parents at the table. It tastes like everything’s going to be okay, and no matter what the problem is, I’ll get through it. So no, I have no idea if my turkey meatball soup tastes good. I just know it tastes right.
My vids were not full episodes, trailers (fanmade or otherwise), or any other form of illegal piracy. They were vids, and as such are considered to be fair use transformative works. They are a critical engagement with the source material, in this case, Avatar: the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. I use them to point out and highlight things about the source material that I like, that I consider problematic, or that I don't think other fans have noticed. For example, in "Azula's Jar of Hearts", I argue that one character, Ty Lee was in an abusive relationship with another character, Azula, and what some fans see as Ty Lee betraying Azula is in fact Ty Lee standing up to her abuser. In "Learn to be Still Korra", I argue that Korra did not learn the lessons in the first season of Legend of Korra that I thought she should have, and that I found her character arc unsatisfying.
Vidding as a form of fair use has been recognized in the United States in a statement by the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, on July 26, 2010, ( http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2010/
"Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
"(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
"(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
"(iii) Noncommercial videos"
Vidding falls specifically under the third example, and I have already explained how I use the short clips "for the purpose of criticism or comment".
Having read your guidelines, since my works are vids, and not a straight up rip of a TV show, and the clips within them are rearranged, edited, and cut to tell a new story with a new narrative, they do not violate your guidelines, US copyright law, or current international copyright law. Also, your site has already carved out an exception for "Machinima videos with a story" as long as they are labeled as such. Vids are equally a creative fannish endeavor, that use images from a source material in a similar way, and in my view, should be afforded a similar exception.
Please consider returning my vids to your site, or amending your guidelines to make it clear that vids and transformative works like them are not allowed.
However, in a herculean fannish effort, I rewatched the finale and managed to put some thoughts together here for all of you. What follows is obviously highly spoilery.
( Things I didn’t like: If you’re just here for the squee, feel free to skip this part )
( Everything else (don't worry, this list is much longer) )
Well this season has certainly played holy havoc with my spirit and spirit world canons, that’s for sure. *faints with exhaustion.*
And if you're a student at Athens State, drop me a line. Maybe we can get together some time.
Anyway, I had a huge rainstorm, broken, leaking, windshield, and glass all over my car, not to mention a family making jokes about my fourteen year old beat up car being totaled (the branch did $330 in damage. It wouldn’t take much to total my car, but it would take more than that). Dad quickly sealed off the hole with polyethylene foam so I wouldn’t get water all over my car, and I spent Monday on the phone with the insurance company trying to get my window fixed. Turns out something else happened on Sunday, like I don’t know, maybe tornadoes tearing apart a couple of small towns in Illinois, which makes my car into small potatoes, and also overloaded the insurance company computers, so when the nice lady from the insurance looked up my name, all that popped up was my old New Mexico policy that ended more than a year ago. So she filed the claim anyway.
And instead of someone coming to replace my windshield on Tuesday morning, I got a solemn phone call from another nice lady at the insurance telling me that I did not in fact have car insurance, and did I know that driving around without car insurance and attempting to file a fraudulent claim were illegal?
After a small freakout, I got it straightened out, filed a claim with my perfectly up to date thank you very much auto policy, and had someone come out to fix my windshield yesterday instead.
I feel disconcertingly like an adult right now.
It's run through fandomaid and they're not running an auction, just a buy-it-now section, but here's the link if you want to look around and maybe shop or offer. Typhoon Haiyan buy it now fundraiser