Mar. 10th, 2017

I have a head cold that really really, really really wants, as all head colds always do, to become a chest cold, and do that thing that chest colds do in lifelong asthmatics, where it settles down in your chest and moves in and stays there forever, while you sound like a fucking seal barking every time you try to breathe.

I am Not Best Pleased. I’ve staved this off in past years by being on maintenance inhalers for my asthma, but for years couldn’t afford them. I stopped trying, eventually; I have no idea whether they’re covered under my current insurance or not.

I feel like this was a mistake, but in my defense, I made it through last winter without finding out. It was a gamble.




Today in the office we have mainly been fatshaming each other’s cats with this helpful infographic. How fat is YOUR cat in Spanish, friends?

sobrepeso y obeso.

We’re all at home now and my friend just sent 2 photos of her cat to the group chat, where debate rages! Controversially he is sobrepeso from the side, but delgado when viewed from above. So what is the truth.gif?????

this is the face of a cat who knows people are talking about him on the internet


why is there a cat fat-shaming chart! that’s terrible. Spanish or no.

I. Now I know how to say overweight in spanish. As with saying many things in Spanish, it’s one of those things where you think, did i already know that? and then, if no, why not, that’s really obvious, but. Maybe that’s just me? I took five goddamn years of Spanish and can’t hold a conversation or remember the difference between ser and estar. 

Also no lie though, that cat is in no way sobrepeso. 
we’re out of half and half for the coffee. 

this is the way that we sad gen-y pathetic double-income no-kids cat parents without our shit together live our lives, we only go to the grocery store when we need cream for the coffee

so yesterday i drank my coffee black. dude said, don’t worry, i got this, there’s  convenience store literally in the same building where I work. (i don’t know that i’ve mentioned it on here but his company, which up til now had only one office in Connecticut somewhere and had all the programmers working remotely, just got an Official Branch Office here and rented space in a lovely old office building that happens to be owned by a reprehensible racist troll, whose son assures them isn’t involved but still, uggggghh. In an amusing twist, my mother, who has visited me all of twice in the twelve years I’ve lived in this city, has declared that she must come see this building, so I guess I gotta get ready to host a visit from my mother.)

Anyway. They just moved into this building, and don’t have a fridge in the office. So he bought a pint of half and half, and then set it out on the windowsill to keep it cool, he only just now confessed to me. Naturally he forgot, and came home without it.

… Now the day before yesterday, we had some record-breaking wind gusts, and all, so that little pint would be toast. But there’s a chance the thing is still there. His office, by the way, is on the ninth floor. 

So stay tuned, I guess, folks, and we’ll find out the conclusion to the thrilling saga. 

(below the cut: a view out the office window, so you get some idea of what kind of windowsill this is.)

Foreground is the windowsill, how prescient of me (I took this on Sunday). Background is Lake fucking Erie. Out of frame to the left is the baseball stadium. (Yes, ours is right downtown, we have the BEST urban planners, shut up. FYI the Sabres play right downtown too. Well, we weren’t really using our downtown for anything else, why shouldn’t they? [Parking? what parking? parking what?])
boogiewoogiebuglegal reblogged your photoset and added:

Ser is used when the condition is permanent, estar is when the condition is likely to change.

Oh, I know. I just can’t keep them straight. What if I might lose weight, does that mean soy sobrepeso or estoy sobrepeso? What if I’m a chronically sad human, soy triste or do you still say estoy triste? What if my pencil-sharpener is permanently, fundamentally broken? El sacapuntas es descompuesto, or would I still say el sacapuntas esta descompuesto? and, lazily, I’m leaving off all the accent marks, so… 

I mean. I should really just get duolingo or something and brush up, but that involves like, getting my shit together. My mother’s a Spanish teacher, and it’s not that there’d be no utility for it in my life, I’m just super lazy.
replied to your post “Today’s outfit includes snowflake-patterned socks, denim jeggings, a…”

I would like to be wearing any or all of these.

I forgot, I took a photo yesterday. I am Not a Fashion Plate. Maybe today I can muster something but ugh, unlikely. My chest is full of wet concrete. I shouldn’t have wasted my sick day on Wednesday. (Not that I get sick days, mind; it was unpaid. But I feel bad calling off a second one, besides not getting any money, you know?)

It is also snowing real hard now, ugh. 


Kestrel fights winds to see reflection in traffic cam. [full video]

This is me trying to talk to people with no interest in birds…




I think we could all use a gif of Richard Spencer getting decked.

man, I bet he did nazi that one coming! 




oh boy it’s snowing

It’s 26 degrees C where I live

It was 13 C yesterday. It was 23 C last week. It’s -3 C today. I used to be able to move my summer raincoats or winter heavy coats to the attic for storage. Now I can’t. I just have to be ready to wear anything every day.
ineptshieldmaid reblogged your post and added:

This is the most amazing semantic distinction in a verb I have ever heard of. It beats French having two ‘know’ words, one for knowing-being-aware and knowing-understanding.

Oh Spanish has that too. saber is for like, learning I think, and conocer is like, when you know somebody, but I might have that backwards.
For the thrilling followup to this post that I can’t believe literally nobody asked for (come on, I was in such suspense!): 

The half and half didn’t blow off the windowsill and is still there.

Now, I’ve scheduled a text in my phone to remind dude to retrieve it, but who knows: will he?

Also it’s been below freezing so that shit is probably messed up, but whatever.

Yurie Nagashima / onnanoko shashinka

“It is has been about a decade since the debut of the onnanoko shashinka, an immensely popular group of young Japanese female photographers whose work was largely characterized by simple subjects reflecting their everyday life, captured with a point-and-shoot aesthetic. Initially, the best known of the lot were the movement’s founder, Yuri Nagashima, and the teenager Hiromix, the latter having since achieved a measure of international recognition to complement the superstar status she enjoys in Japan.

The onnanoko shashinka (the term, coined by critic Kotaro Iizawa, is often translated into English as “girlie photographers”) quickly realized that the less clothing they wore in their self-portraits, the more support they received from the male-dominated photography establishment. In time, candid snapshots became bra-and-panties pictures, then nudes. Finally, with their own bodies no longer schoolgirl fresh, a number of thirtysomething onnanoko shashinka turned to younger models, effectively becoming the very type of photographers they had originally seemed to be rebelling against.”

I copied this text from an editorial to highlight a problem that, I think, is relevant to the art world, and to fandom, and to any space where women are acting and building and making work.

“effectively becoming the very type of photographers they had originally seemed to be rebelling against“

Sure, that’s what rebellion is.  Stepping into the roles of your oppressor.

The picture above speaks about those roles, too.  There’s: mother and child.  Self and other.  Power and powerless.  These are the roles in this picture, and in the text of our culture and our history.  But I think this photo shows this battleground as a space where the binary in those roles is irrelevant.  Everyone is breathing the same air.

You know people say, “you have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others?”  I look at this photo and see someone trying to breathe the way they want to breathe.  Someone for whom the Other is a parasite.  Someone who already feels they’ve given too much of themselves.  A villain.  A self, breathing their own air.  A rebel stepping into the role of power.

And because I see the photo that way I also see the unborn child as an uninvited guest, making its own way.  Taking up space.  An imposition on the female body.  A fighter and a survivor, already.

There is conflict.  Nobody has enough.  But I don’t think there’s another choice.  We try and make this about choice, like, “oh, you can choose to help others.  She can choose to put that cigarette out.”  Framing that as a choice–I think it shunts people back into the binary roles.  Me vs. you.

They are breathing the SAME air.  If the cigarette is easing the mother’s pain, then the child’s pain must also, to some extent, be eased.

Rebellion is stepping into the role of the oppressor.  Subversion is destroying roles completely.  Both are important.  It’s a two step process.  I’m talking about this natural binary that exists everywhere.  "Me vs. you" and “all of us together” find their way into every kind of theory I encounter and I am more than a little fascinated by it.  Maybe here it’s best described as agency feminism versus radical feminism, or first wave versus third wave, whatever the theorists are calling it.  Stepping outside the photo, it’s also part of the conversation around the photo: did the onnanoko shashinka chose to sexualize their work, or did the culture coerce them?  Both, certainly.  "Me vs. you" exists and “all of us” exists.  Both exist.

This article (and a lot of contemporary photographic criticism) also see self vs. other in Photographer versus Subject.  I have a problem with that.  When a photographer makes work with a subject, that’s not a parent/child relationship.  It’s a co-parenting relationship.  The WORK is the child.  The photographer tells part of their story and the model tells part (usually, substantially less) of their story and the result is a story with a life of it’s own.

So here is what, I feel, is very important to say.  Self portraiture can be executed with models who are not the self.  Just as photographers like Cindy Sherman used themselves to create images of other characters, it is possible for artists to speak about themselves by depicting other bodies.  When it was active, my photography practice was a self portraiture practice–even though I almost never photographed myself.  I photographed other women.  Sometimes I shot men, sometimes animals, and sometimes abstracts, because that felt like a more accurate representation of who I was and how I felt.  

Despite being 5′10″ and–there’s no other word–stacked, I think of myself as small, young, spritely, pretty.  I’ve felt that way as long as I can remember.  I think there’s something very Lacanian in this; when we become aware of ourselves as individuals, we’re infants.  Adults and the way they look are “not like me,” whereas other children (and even animals) feel like they have similar physicality, social roles and understanding of the world.  Being in the body of an adult human is dysphoric.  I don’t know how much of that is internalized from media and culture (which presents fashion and beauty models as huge-eyed, airbrushed infants) versus how much is just part of our neurologies imprinting on the self during childhood.  I know there’s something that MOST PEOPLE find inherently repulsive and terrifying about the image of normal adult humans.  The more different they are from the way we look (or looked, as children) the more terrifying we find adults.  Gender presentation, fat, signs of aging, disability, and differences related to race all seem to trigger this.  Meanwhile, most people seem to find children and babies inherently attractive, regardless of race or gender.  There is some kind of instinctive and near-universal impetus to offer them empathy and support.  

In other words, young people are beautiful to us.  When photographers retouch for beauty, they enlarge eyes and forehead, clear and brighten skin, plump lips, soften wrinkles, and add rosiness to cheeks.  Many cosmetic processes (application of make-up, surgery) simulate these youth-exaggerating effects.  Questions about the realism of this are complicated by the fact that most of us store memories of our younger selves as “how I look.”  In a world where women compete with images for acceptance and approval, media proliferation of the youthful female body in fashion and art photography has power.  It constructs unrealistic beauty standards for our actual, physical bodies.  But in a world where people are not in competition with fiction, where we all breathe the same air, self portraiture acts as a transhumanist tool for manifesting the bodies that we want ourselves in.  



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