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Time:04:02 pm
Bytheway, since I love my LJ friends far more than I love my Facebook friends:

Mad Max was the BEST EVER. I am planning to go see it again, but this time I'ma dress up with the proper post-apocalyptic dieselpunk aesthetic. Y'all should hella join me!

From the book of faces:

Mad Max: Fury Road is the finest action movie I have seen in my entire life. I can squee for hour about all the greatness, especially about the fact that it has multiple well-rounded female the extent where it barely passes the reverse bechdel test.

No, the movie is not perfect, but so far, it's the closest we've ever come to the platonic ideal of River Tam Beats Up Everyone. It is goddamn fucking delightful.

I'm gonna go see it again on Sunday, because *damn* but it's great. I'm gonna dress up in costume, because I'm a Big Fucking Nerd and the dieselpunk post-apocalyptic aesthetic makes my heart flutter. YOU SHOULD ALL JOIN ME IN THESE THINGS!

(Seriously, I found some silver non-toxic spray stuff for witnessing and everything.)

Somerville Theatre, 7:30 pm showing, Sunday May 31st. BE THERE, MY FRIENDS!

(And like, if you want to go, but can't afford to, let me know I will one hundred percent seriously start a scholarship fund for helping people see this movie.)

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Time:07:13 am
Fugging weird anxiety dreams. I had biked home, and then parked my bike in the house briefly while I went off to a corner and had a good cry. When I got back to my bike, my keys and light were missing. I wandered around and accused a friend of Aly's of stealing them. Everything was dramatic and fraught and uncomfortable.

Eventually, I decided (someone convinced me?) to retrace my steps to see if I had dropped them. I opened the front door, and could see the light blinking just in the street. my keys were spilled next to it.

I feel like there's supposed to be some deeper meaning I'm to grok, about what it takes to solve problems like this, but the narrative is already slipping away like sand...


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Subject:Balticon 2015 con report
Time:01:01 am
Balticon is my Home Convention. Like, there's many cons that feel like home to me, but Balticon was the first con I ever went to as a Real Person (and not a kid-in-tow), and it's close enough to the homestead that I always see a lot of my lonnnnnng-term Maryland friends.

Plus, it's the con where I've got the most friends who I made at a con. Arisia, I generally spend a lot of time hanging out with friends from outside the convention scene, who I already know through dance or burns or parties or whatever. Balticon has the werewolf group, and the Balticon Kink Collective, and the Giggle1, and a TechnoFandom subset that feels warm and vibrant and welcoming, and a handful of costumer acquaintances, and it's just such a wonderful reunion, every year!

This year? No exception. This year was _incredible_, not just one of the best Balticons I've ever had, but probably one of the best *cons* I've ever gotten to enjoy. It was my tenth year, and I am so incredibly glad I made it.

Now onto the report! I"m cutting the Ugly section separately, since there"s a tw for creepy rape cultureCollapse )

Someday I'm gonna have a con report that doesn't have an Ugly section and it's gonna be awesome. :/

Bad-Meh-Good-Awesome-Transcendent below this cutCollapse )


This is already a pretty long con report, and I keep finding new bits and remembering other lovely pieces and I LOVED THIS YEARS CON SO MUCH.

Hopefully pictures will forthcome. For now though, sleep!


1: I only learned this year that there's a name for 'em, and also just how vast the conspiracy goes. H'apparently, there were five girls born to fannish parents in a span of about 54 weeks back in 95ish. I've been friends with Nikki and Maura for ages, and got to know Victoria a lot better this year, which was great.

2: I may have met Matt at my first Balticon, I have known him _forever_.

3: Did you read this line and immediately know where I got it?

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Time:01:42 am
It's Balticon! How did I get to Balticon you ask, when I had two separate ride-structures fall apart on me and couldn't leave Boston until about 4:00 PM? WELL LET ME TELL YOU!

See, about ten days before the con, I posted on my Facebook being all "boo, my second ride-structure has fallen apart I just don't think I can go since every method is too expensive right now".

And then my friend Dan posted a comment. (paraphrasing) "Well, Abby and I have been meaning to go to Balticon for forever, why don't you fly down with us."

Fly. Because Dan, in addition to being good at tech and photography, owns a plane. And he's been offering to take me up for a right age, we've just never made it work out. So here we go, I have an opportunity to get to the con I love above most others, and an opportunity to fly with a pocketknife. HELLS TO THE YES ON ALL ACCOUNTS.

So at about six thirty this evening, I was sitting in a teeny-tiny four person one propeller plane --the interior is smaller than the minivan I grew up in-- about to take off. I don't think I stopped smiling until the sun set and I immediately conked out because I do not have enough sleep in me.

It was _glorious_. It was so extremely glorious. The windows are so SO much bigger than on a commercial jet, and I can twist around and see out of all of them, even out of the back a little. We cruised at about 6,000 feet the whole way, close enough to see trees and rivers and mountains and farms --David reported on which farms had red barns. We flew over the Hudson and Mount Monadnock and watched a just _beautiful_ sunset.

(and I get to do it all again on Monday, squeeeEEEEE!)

This was the best fucking trip to Balticon I have ever taken, beating out (by far!) the year where I arrived on Thursday through a hilarious series of transportation options and beat everyone else to the con by a full hour. Riding in a tiny plane has done nothing to dissuade me from the opinion that planes are the Very Best Things.

I want to learn how to fly. I still can't afford to learn, but it's on the list, and higher than it was before.


As far as the con itself is concerned, well...

The Hunt Valley Inn was bought a few years ago. Between last year and this year, they...redecorated. It is _very_ awful. I described it as "the sort of hotel people who like the place I grew up in go on vacation". Galia described it as "do you know how many little girls are going to have their Bat Mitzvah's here?". It's...insipid and boring and drab. The new scheme is slate grey, cream, and navy. It's grown-up, in the worst way possible.

I miss the ugly carpets from hell. I miss them so _very_ much.

The only upshot of the redecoration is that they have started up this fabulous horse theme, and like all the art hangings are these vaguely sensual close-up pictures of horses. It's completely disturbing and utterly hilarious, and I am SO SAD I did not bring my Equius cosplay, because can you even _imagine_ how much fun that would be to play with?

Anyways, I'ma get Galia to help me take a video of me doing an appropriate big-no vis-a-vis the carpets. She seems to be the only one who feels the depth of my pain (I knew there was a reason she was my favourite robot).


I arrived at the con a bit after 10:30 at night, which was very late. I dropped stuff off, wandered around, and was just...home. I haven't managed to find Kitty-Aaron yet, but I played Junglespeed (with breadMarc and Sonya and Tucker and other people who I should remember the names of) and chatted with Lanthir and Ian-Beastie and Galia, and did my push-ups with Galia's encouragement and got some lascivious hugs from the pervy artist, and oh, it is wonderful.

About the only thing I haven't managed to do yet is dance with Larry or Chort --they weirdly frontloaded on the dancing this year, so I think I've missed the swing dance (BOO!) and the time travelers ball was more'n halfway through by the time I stopped by (I was just too late to get into a quadrille) and the teen/college club dance required you have a special thing on your badge --I have no badge, so none for me.

People are friendly and wonderful. I am happy. Even if the new carpet is the most boring and awful carpet ever. The older carpet may have been ugly as sin's baby, but at least it had character and was interesting! This is so very derivative and insipid I don't even know where to start.

Hope all y'all are okay.


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Time:07:33 pm
Tamra looked at me a couple times while she was visiting, and pointed out that I get really passionate when I talk about dancing. Like, she can tell it's important to me --tell that it's one of the most important things in my life-- because of the way I light up, and start moving, and stumble over my words in my haste and enthusiasm to explain everything I love about it.

During the social part of professional development this afternoon, I found myself doing it again. I was talking with one of the ELL specialists, about language and music and dance, and my whole body just felt electric and engaged. She seemed entirely charmed, and not at all horrified by my exuberance, which I found very polite. When I think about it harder, I find it not polite but _correct_ that she be charmed, because people being passionate and sharing knowledge is the most charming thing, and yes Kat, that applies to you too.

(I will never win the war against my own self-esteem, but I'll be damnded if I give up on it without a fight.)

Dancing is important.
Dancing is incredibly important.
Dancing is, if not the single most important verb in my life, certainly in the top three1, and my life would be radically, shatteringly, different (and worse) without it.

Dancing is an activity that has significant connections to freedom, sex, kink and power dynamics, kinesthesia and body awareness, gender, GENDER, costuming, teaching and learning, performance, mathematics and patterns, joy, flirtation, and fun. That list is basically the complete "things wot Kat will perk up for", minus the spiders and board games, and both of those can be found in spades at Pinewoods.

I love dancing. If this post somehow does not convince you, catch me in person and measure the jump in wattage behind my eyes when you ask me to explain the differences between "allemandes" throughout set dances. I love dancing and I am fucking passionate about it. If I could spend all my time and energy on it, I easily would.


I have been spending a lot of serious time with people who are serious believers in Getting Things Done and changing the rules of the world until it is working for you and your passions. I don't know that Tamra was specifically scouting me for life-coaching, but then again, I don't know that she wasn't either, and a lot of her other observations/suggestions re: my life were the sorts of things that made me wish it was socially acceptable to carry a notepad and transcribe constant notes from casual conversations.

I am passionate about dance. What can I do with this. How can I --for lack of a better term-- monetize my passion.

(It's not about making money. It's about taking money. Destroying the status quo because the status is NOT quo It's about creating a world for myself where I can spend as much of my time as possible doing things that make me wave my hands around and physically bounce up and down. There are two ways to find this world, and one of them involves finding a method of capital acquisition that I love so much that I feel genuine joy participating in it2.)

How can I work out my world so that, at the very least, I get to engage, and meta-engage, in this most wonderful activity as often as possible.

How can I bring my passion to other people, how can I find other people with similar minds, how can I better do teaching, and outreach, and gosh I don't even know.

Dancing is important. How do I bring it to the rest of the world?

I'm gonna keep mulling this over in the near future. In the meantime, well, if only there were some sort of dedicated space online to put these sorts of thoughts.


1: It ranks behind writing and ahead of teaching, but then we get into verb-combination and sometimes I get to teach people to dance.

2: The other involves finding a method that will get me as much capital as possible, in as little time as possible, and then spending all of my non-capital-achieving hours engaging in activities that bring me genuine joy. There's a third method, but I'm no good at dismantling capitalism.

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Time:11:37 pm
My room is fantastically clean. Like, I actually vacuumed, which I'm not sure I've ever done since moving in a year and a half ago. The desk is cleaned off. I straightened the storage/crafts corner. There is one small load of laundry in the dryer and the rest is all hung up and put away. I made the bed.

It's really quite brilliant, and one of the most striking examples of the "my room is a metaphor for my life" observation I've been putting together for a few months now. Because, see, my room is clean and organized and livable and homey and lovely and happy.

Things are feeling _really_ good just now. K and Tamra1 have been visiting, and I've gotten lots of really lovely time with them, with just heaps of good compersion feels. My work life is tough but not awful, and there are some students who are making it actively delightful. I passed my candidate class exams. Balticon and Pinewoods are coming up, and even though this summer's going to be money-tight and probably stressful, it's also going to be a lot of fun.

Everything feels like it's working out correctly, and I feel like my baseline mood has stepped up a few degrees closer to happy.

And so gosh-darnit, I gave myself over to the Spider Monarch this morning (aided by awaking mysteriously early) and left myself in their control from approximately 8:30am to 3:45. You can get a _fuckton_ done if you're properly motivated and have seven hours to spare. I feel really good about it.

And because I did so well, they let me go guilt-free off to PorchFest, where I hung out with some lovely friends (Stephen, my dance-brother, was playing pipes and half of Dance House was there to hear him) and then hung out with some different lovely friends (There is a quite lovely girl I know, and she found a quite lovely boy she knew, and I got to have *all* the voyeur feels and gosh but it was nice.

Eventually I wandered home, where I gathered up my hippies and we all went off to dinner and to the rest of the evening. All that was quite good too.

But damn, nothing is hitting me quite as satisfyingly as the fact that my room is super clean.


1: K is a partner from Seattle, Tamra is his home/partner.

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Time:12:54 am
It's mother's day! It's mek's birthday! I have not been particularly accomplished about anything including those facts today!

I'm sorta torn, because on the one hand, I definitely spent a really substantial amount of today lounging around in bed doing fuckall. On the other hand, I did go to the grocery store, put nearly a thousand dollars of cash into the bank, send one necessary check, scrub the bathtub clean, and eventually call my mother. So, you know, not completely awful?

And yesterday, the household did a bunch of work towards cleaning off the back porch, and I went dancing (to the Salem class dance, where I got to see three out of my four dance-sibs *and* dance-dad, and we all hugged and squeed because we passed, we passed, we passed!)

(As an aside, do I know anyone who'd be willing to help do fancy layout work for a nice copy of the dances we wrote, suitable for framing? I wish I knew anyone who did nice calligraphy for commissioning, but my one friend who I know does it charges (an entirely reasonable price) outside our budget. Our goal is to get those put together nice before the twentieth, so yeah.)

Anyways, that's me. I am doing pretty well. I am much less stressed, which is brilliant, and now I can find new things to be stressed about, like the fact that MCAS is in three days and I don't think my students are prepared and I don't think I can make them be thusly. YAY STANDARDIZED TESTING!

My job is depressing just now. I hope I can find a less depressing job.

Anyways. I hope the rest of y'all reading this have a good span of time, with good things happening in your lives.


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Time:03:06 am
At 6:56 this morning, I finally dragged my bleary ass upright. I have found checking my email early in the morning can help jumpstart the "actually awake" part of the day, so I glanced at my phone.

Just 7 minutes prior, Julie Parr had sent me an email with a subject line of "Unit 2/3 Results". Oh gods. I always thought I was going to be the last to know, that they were going to come while I was at work and not able to check my mail. I never dreamed I'd be the first to see 'em.

And I read the email...and it doesn't matter what it said, because I am only one person out of a team. The thing that matters is that my brilliant and talented dance-sibs made it, not me.


(An aside that I find fascinating: I have been having serious brainweasels about the fact that I have seemed to myself to be far more mean then I would like. It's not a matter of girl socialization per se so much as a wish, a desperate wisk, that I were a better hufflepuff. Being as I have been worried by this latent capacity for brusqueness in myself. (not cruelty, never intentionally cruel, but I have been impatient and more efficient lately than nice --some would find it admirable, I am not sure it's a change for the better, even as I recognize that nice should only be a baseline and is not as important as kind.)

So it was unexpected, and deeply reassuring, to realize that my empathy was in force in such a capacity as to make it actually impossible for me to think about my scores. All my anxiety and hope and fear and crossed fingers and whispered prayer (St Genesius, pray for us) was bound up in THEM. My classmates, my team, my family, my nakama. My own scores are irrelevant as long as THEY made it.

The depth of emotion I feel about this is astounding to me. If you ever wondered, I am not a sociopath. (If you've never wondered, suffice it to say I have.))


So there we go. Just short of 7 AM, I've pulled out the real keyoard (too important to type on the phone) and sent off the first email in the "congratulations/commiserations" thread. And then the hard part: Waiting.

At 9:30 AM, I'm standing in the copy room as the RISP whirrs. I check my email again.

All of us.
All five of us.
Both units, ten total exams out of ten, perfect score. We all made it.

I want to cry, and I don't, because that would be hard to explain even as a good thing what with the red eyes and runny nose. I also want to jump for joy, and I do because dear goddess, I am so happy and pleased for this and I've never really let the presence of other people dictate my reactions of happiness. The teachers standing by the main copier do not seem to notice, anyways.

We passed. We all passed. There are five new level one teachers in the Boston branch and they are us!


We hauled our collective asses to Stow, and if you're local and thinking "that's so far!" oh honey, Connie drove down from motherluvin' Burlington VT! Stephen and I had the short commute, "only" an hour each way to bracket our five plus hours of dancing.

In the weeks between those Saturdays, we read and read and read and read and wrote lesson plans and talked our dances and sent each other snarky texts and practiced our dancing at our own weekly classes --o gods, did we practice.

Hit your thirds, more extension, sink and surge, THIRDS, hands up, hands in, hands relaxed, DON'T LOSE THOSE THIRDS, turnout from the hip, lift from the ankles, tuck in the tuchas, you're still hitting third position, right?, make eye contact across the circle, cover across the set, smile at your partner, and don't forget this is fun, look like you're having fun!

(it was fun. It was also intense. The two states are not mutually exclusive.)

Maybe sometime I will scan and put up the weekly quizzes Gregor wrote for us, every week talking about more figures and our 12 candidacy dances to perform and how to teach better and dance better and BE better. They remain ridiculous, so much of the work remains ridiculous, but every single one of us passed and I can't speak ill of our training, not with that in mind.

I have not been so proud of myself since I realized I knew how to juggle. I am so, so happy words can't even say that our little congratulations party is going to be only that when we have it. I am looking even more forward to ESCape than previously, because daaaamn, we're all gonna be there and it's gonna be *great*.

I'm a certificated dance teacher. Fuck. Yes.


(Of course, this is only my level 1, there's still 2 years and two more units before I get my level 2 and full teachership. It's okay, it'll come. I've been spending way too much time this week hyperfocused on the future. It is nice to think just about being happy with the present for a little while.)

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Time:07:28 am
Have you seen that fun fact about cats floating around, the one that talks about how cats don't have enough object permanence to understand that different doors can lead to the same place?

I kinda feel like I have that problem with browser windows sometimes. "Oh, no one has updated about their life in this window, but I bet if I close chrome and immediately reopen it, they will have!"

Clearly the subsets of people I follow on LJ/Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook/ecc just need to update more. ;)


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Time:01:26 am
Heyo! It's about that time again, have some resolution updates:

85 days. That is beginning to turn into real numbers. I am beginning to actually worry about what variety of stupid I'm gonna do involving Pinewoods. Like, there is a little internet booth at Pinewoods I could upload from, if I wrote the words earlier or later. That would totally work. That would totally not be an incredibly stupid plan. I have lots of free time at Pinewoods to write!

Sparr bought me the two s00j albums I'd been eyeing, and so now I have four/five1 of them, and yay. Sometimes I listen to other music too! I can probably stop updating this one, I think it's done.

I have a bike again. I have a bike that runs again. It is amazing. Tyrian is the best. Also I got something like three flats in six days, I am not even kidding and that was super bullshit. But I think she's better now.

Candidate Class:
My exams were on Saturday. People keep asking me how I think I did, and I just...I really don't have an idea. I can't let myself have an idea, because I'm already more anxious about these than I've been about anything in the last ten years and thinking in depth about whether I missed important things will make me _actively crazy_. I should know my results in six to eight weeks, or possibly as soon as the end of this week.

There are a lot of combinations marked "failure" in my mind, and only two marked "success"2.

I am accepted to ESC, Scottish 1, and Scottish 2. I may be running a bug-themed party at ESCape, and I am super excited about that. It'll be really good!

Seann Triubhas is only slightly easier to dance than it is to spell. >:|

Being awesome/mental health:
I have been an anxietyball the last week/month. It's very exciting. I am so sorry to anyone who has to deal with me, since anxietyKat seems identical to regularKat except I no longer smile as easily and the words that fall out of my mouth have a tendency to border on the _very_ dark.

But you know, I'm fine. Nothing going on is even a little bit worth killing myself over, and if it's not that bad, it ain't nothing in the long run.

I have made posts! I have made posts about the exam and posts about dances we wrote! I am hopefully going to make more posts, maybe about writing a grand march!

Making money:
I am the Bananager, I belong to the Bananamines, and also I'm pretty perpetually broke so if you have stuff I can do in the afternoons or evenings in exchange for your dollarbucks, I'm kinda intrigued.

Well, NEFFA didn't suck. Other than that, it's a real good thing I adore my fellow candidates, because I have seen NO ONE ELSE.

So, my dentist was all like "you need a crown" and I was all like "I KNOW, RIGHT!?"
So now I have a temporary crown and the real one will appear sometime in early June, probably.


No progress:
Dante editing
Paper sorting --I have, in fact, made negative progress by taking things out of my filing cabinet
Grad School
Dancing --I mean, I've been doing a ton, just not outside of Greater Camberville and also Stow yet.
Stiltsing --I was not allowed to make stilts before taking my exams.
ADHD management --no, and my executive functioning has been completely shot
Social Justice
Inbox 0
Activity vs Passivity online
Tracking media



1: Susan dG sent me Sirens, I just bought Stolen Season when it came out, and Sparr sent me Tangles and Haphazard as CDs. So I have four. HOWEVER, at Balticon 2012, s00j sold out of Mischief and I managed to unfold my tongue long enough to be all "can I just hand you money right now and then get my friend to email me a zip file is that okay?" and she was like "sure, sounds great and very convenient!" So I have Mischief, legally, as a digital copy. (I will probably buy a physical copy when I get a chance both because I'm a completist and because it's actually my favourite, apparently)

2: Success 1: All five candidates pass their unit 2 and their unit 3. Success 2: All five candidates except me pass their unit 2 and their unit 3. Failure: Any other candidate fails either of their tests, because damnit, this is so important to all of us and yet I'm really the one for whom it matters least, Cambridge _has_ teachers.

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Time:08:50 pm
Trigger warning: You know, the usual mix of depression and ferocity that I display when I talk about being a survivor of rape and emotional abuse

I spent much of yesterday trying to eloquent the relationship between s00j's music and my rape scarring1 process. I...didn't really get anywhere. In October of 2009 or so, I wrote briefly that I had to figure out the words to say to thank her for "Go Away Godboy". It's been six years, and I don't think I'm any closer in the process.

If anything, it's worse now. Because now I have Neptune to croon too, and that does seem to be the next logical part of the musical path I've been taking (Oasis and Godboy and Are You Out There and Lucky and Lisa Carew and...2) as I fight my way through this mental mire.

I mean, goddess above, have you read the lyrics?

Time I lost, just fussing over
every little thing you asked for
let myself keep fading,
silver fishes through my skin.
Somewhere I stopped breathing
but I missed the kiss of air
I cut the waves and left you there
and ne'er returned again.


Because that was always the problem, wasn't it? The whole point was that I was to do whatever he asked and make him happy and at least one of us would live happily ever after. But then I had to fucking go and ruin it with my petty need for air.

("Thin air's as sweet as water when your body begs to breathe.")

It doesn't really matter what we're using air as a metaphor for here. Independence, respect, freedom, the ability to live my own life and make my own decisions, just a world larger than the place I hated.

(He was so devastatingly upset that I wanted to go to Boston for college. He couldn't see that it wasn't about leaving him, it wasn't about leaving anyone, or anything, or anywhere. It was about flying to a city that feels like Home. And of course, his sadness was always my most pressing problem, gods I try so hard not to succumb to hate, but sometimes I hate that man.)

(Mom never accused me of leaving her.)


I believe in multiverses and I am terrified of the one where I never got into Lesley and had to stay in Maryland and he just worked his hooks deeper and deeper into me until I drowned. There is no good path where we are still together. Maybe the best case is that we have children and we just don't fight about how to raise them any more because it's not like my input was ever right.

(Maybe the best case there is the one where I've just left the world, because I know how hurt and damaged I am as me, having escaped, and the idea of being trapped for so much longer in his web of bullshit and pain and accusations is just...I can't. I couldn't. Endurance only sustains so long.)


And of course, s00j has to be a clever essayist as well as lyricist. In her liner notes, she says:

"Neptune" is the story of what can happen after you've drowned yourself willingly in someone else's hopes and dreams, and you find that saltwater and shadows no longer sustain you.


It is a dangerous thing, wanting to make someone happy, and I cannot turn it off. Most people seem to recognize the potential poison and do not ask more of me than I can give. Most people give back enough that it isn't just saltwater and shadows, its proof my energy has created something real, and live, and good.

But damnit, it's been over four years since the Last Time and I have a small purple elephant patterned with jungle animals who says I never have to see him again. The process is treacle-slow, but I am getting him out of my life, piece by fucking damaged piece.

I am back where I belong.


1: Here's a thing I don't think I've ever made explicit: I don't generally refer to this process as "healing". To me, "healing" in the present tense implies that I will someday reach the past tense of the word. I won't. I will never be healed of this. Tears I cry and words I write can help, but they can't erase the toll trauma has taken on my mind.

Besides, the crescent mark that curves under my left shoulderblade is far and away one of my favourite features. Why should my mental scars be thought of any less fondly than the physical?

2: Oasis, Amanda Palmer, "And it isn't my fault that the barbarian raped me".
Go Away Godboy, SJ Tucker, "Hail Mary2.1 wise and free, save me from this freak".
Are You Out There, Dar Williams, "And I will write this down and then I will not be alone again".
Lucky2.2, Bif Naked, "How can I ever get over you, when I'd give my life for yours"
Lisa Carew, Jekyll and Hyde, "I am not the sweet young thing you're seeking Simon2.1. Someone seventeen, obedient, and sweet. I am not the protégée to waste your time on, I'm complete."

Neptune, SJ Tucker, "And all of us who dare to lovelive are brave.

2.1: These names are struck through because they are not the names I use. If you want to know, you'll have to convince me to sing for you. Both my replacements scan, of course.

2.2: This is not a song that is about rape or abuse or trauma or anything, at least, not according to the lyrics. But o gods, the ache in it makes my heart sing. Something about it has always seemed broken to me.

Doesn't everyone read their friends page bottoms up? TW for rape and emotional abuse.

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Time:06:48 am
I want attention, but mostly just from a small handful of specific people, and I want to get everything done on my to-do list and I want to not be anxious right now and I want to be caught up and right now I want about seven more vacation days, since spring break wasn't enough.

On Wednesday morning, I get my assignment for my candidate class exam. This is somewhat of a big deal.

Tuesday morning, grades are due for the third quarter. This is also somewhat of a big deal.

I have a package to mail, I have to get the house looking like it's a place for respectable adults by Wednesday evening, I have to get my room back to a state where I don't feel unsettled just being within its confines, and I have to do it all without my gods because I lost the totem I use as a physical connection, and nothing else has the strength of history in quite the same way.

It's Monday morning. Let's do this.


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Time:12:01 am
NEFFA was pretty great, despite missing all of Saturday first-session (we stumbled in just before the 5:00 medley, yayyy candidate class.) I will try and write a proper good-bad-ugly report, but mostly it was quite great.

On a no way whatsoever related note, it's been a while since I reminded folks that I keep a sexfilter here. It's a combination of opt-in and opt-out, which is to say that when I friend people (and periodically when I think about it) I decide whether I think they'll want to be on the filter, and whether I want them there. Regardless, you are welcome to ask me to change your status, in either direction. (I have had people explicitly ask to not be on it anymore, and that really is completely fine.)

I don't post in it much usually. If you wanna see if you're currently on the filter, check the "sexfilter" tag.

Comments on this post are screened, for people to safely say "oo me" or "no thanks" as suits.


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Subject:"I wanna see you doing your thing and enjoying it."
Time:03:22 am
At demo team practice, I happened to have a camera when we wanted to record our dress rehearsal (so people can study it and see what they can do better in the future). Because I was the one with the camera, it was somehow my responsibility to upload the video. Because I suck at responsibility, it took me from Sunday until about an hour ago. Because I don't *totally* suck at responsibility, hey, only two days!

Anyways, Tailsteak was on chat, drunk and entertaining, so I tossed a link at him as a sort of casual "wanna see me dance?" thing. He...really liked it. He was excited and pleased to watch me doing a thing that I am not just competent but actually good at.

I really didn't expect him to watch the rough cut of our whole 14 minute piece for NEFFA1. I told him such at the start. He watched the whole thing though, and made insightful comments (okay, a lot of them boiled down to "wow" but he also noted that Andy was calling through the dance and asked me about a couple terms and stuff) and then when it finished, asked me if I had any other videos of me dancing.

So I dug up one of the videos Gregor took of me at candidate class (which was embarrassing, because I would nab one where I was totally fucking up Woo'd and Married and A') and he liked that and then I poked around online a bit and it so happened that pretty much the first video I clicked on YouTube had me and Malka dancing just about front and center from last September.

Tailsteak watched that one too, and liked it, and told me so. He said I was "one graceful motherfucker" (this is true) and "You are officially better at dancing than I am at comics." (this is probably not true2)

He told me that I could throw videos like that at him anytime, that he liked my dancing, "and not just because it's you. 3It is straight up competent and I respect that."

I...really honestly truthfully did not expect the response I got. Like, not even knowing that he thinks I'm rad, not even knowing that he was a little drunk and therefore pliable, there was no frame of reference for me showing a video of me dancing to someone and them actually really _getting_ it and thinking it's a cool and worthwhile thing.

He thinks I am good at my passion, and he likes watching me engage in my passion, in this thing I have put _so much_ work into. He is consuming the media I create4.

Asdf. I'm gonna start crying.

I'm just...I don't know. Except for the people I dance with, I don't really think anyone understands just how gosh-darn important this is to me, and even some of them don't necessarily get it. He...he gets it.

I've never had someone who wanted to see me dance before, who expressed that want so clearly and sincerely and honestly. I've definitely never had a non-dancer want to see me dance.

I am good at Scottish Country. I wasn't lying about that 15% below down there. I am on demo team because I am good enough to be worth watching. I am in candidate class because I am good enough to start teaching. I am a good dancer, and yes, I can definitely become a better dancer5 but damnit, saying that the seven years of work I have put into this has made me good isn't arrogant, it's accurate.

But jegus christ, I never in a million years thought I'd actually be good enough for someone to get aesthetic joy out of watching me dance. For someone to _want_ to watch me dance.

I am not very good at being wanted --it is too much like desire, too much like admitting that I have some form of worth. The further the reason is from sex, the harder it is for me to reconcile that people might want me for it. Dancing? Pretty fucking far from sex6.

But Tailsteak wants to watch me dance, because it important to me and I am good at it and watching that makes him happy.



1: Strictly speaking, I probably shouldn't have given him the link, because blah blah, internal documents, etc (and also I didn't check with any of the rest of the demo team about showing rough cuts to other people). But he's my friend, I trust him, and if he was in the same room as me, I totally would've shown him without a second thought.

2: Okay, so, I'm gonna ballpark myself as being in probably about the top 15% of dancers in the Boston branch, which is arrogant, but if we're considering everything, footwork and mental flexibility, and timing, and ability to learn new dances, I think it is *probably* not too much of a stretch to say I'm one of the best 30 dancers in the branch. I'll stretch it out and suggest that --based on the fact that Boston's a pretty high-caliber RSCDS branch-- I'm gonna be in about the top 30-25% of SCDancers in the world.

By contrast, Tailsteak is making money from his comic, which already puts him in the top, like, 10% of cartoonists worldwide and probably even higher. That shit is hard to do! I would guess that there's maybe 500 SCDancers in the US Northeast, I am quite sure that number is no more than half the number of aspiring cartoonists in the same spread. Plus, he wins on straight up experience --he's been making cartoons since like 2002, which is half a decade longer than I've been dancing.

So, I don't think that I'm a better dancer than he is cartoonist, and I do think that it's kindof an absurd comparison to make in the first place.

3: Things I did not know about Tailsteak until just now: he uses double spaces after periods. I may have to tease him for this later.

4: an interesting debate I absolutely don't feel like getting into just now, but feel free to have at in the comments.

5: demo team problems: I am the limpiest-wristed mofo on the planet. There are total gay stereotypes who are feeling mocked by my godawful inability to bring my damn hand up in an attractive and subtle manner instead of looking like I'm about to demand you kiss my bloody ring.

6: ...erm, in this situation, at least.

7: This is a quiet yay. It belies the fact that I am screaming internally, that my joy cannot really be handled, but I know that kind of outburst would be unseemly. It means that the thing giving me joy _matters_, not like comic books or tv shows could matter, but like the real world recognizing me matters.

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Time:10:51 pm
I just went to a Vienna Teng concert. It left me wrecked, not unlike s00j concerts tend to. This is interesting.

I think it was the last Vienna concert I went to (her Aims tour) where I realized that I really don't have any interest in going to concerts and just sitting passively. I did a lot of dancing at that one, and it was pretty excellent. This one, I was hoping to dance, but what mostly happened was I cried.

Regardless, it's not just a passivity that is bothering me about the concept of going to concerts. I have also realized (sometime before this concert, but this one crystalized it) that I have pretty much zero interest in going to a concert _with_ anyone. Especially if it's a concert of one of my goddesses, or other somesuch import.

Going with people means you need to talk to them at some point, and socialize, and interact a bit. I'm not necessarily down for that at concerts. I largely go to concerts to do one of a very limited number of things: dance, more differently dance, sing along, or sob. Usually I do multiple of those, sometimes even at once. I am there for the music, and my reactions to certain musicians are...not on the scale of polite or appropriate public behaviour.

(I'm not joking about that. Crying is barely a socially acceptable thing to do and people will inevitably try to fix it for you1 Sobbing so hard you can't breathe while digging your nails into your arms to try and contain the amount of existence you're feeling just now...even less so.

Dancing like an idiot also does not tend to be on the list of expected(both) behaviours at many concerts I attend, which is pretty tragic for everyone who hasn't made that breakthrough2 but also can get me Confused Looks and may even result in some embarrassment-by-proxy for my less shameless friends.)

I don't think I want to go to concerts _with_ people anymore, is what I'm saying. Which I already knew about s00j --Balticon '12, last time I saw her, I spent the majority of the concert in the spot tower, which was a _brilliant_ decision. But now I've added Vienna to that list for sure, because if I'm not with anyone (by which I mean, not sitting next to them, like, I'm totally fine with people I know being somewhere else at the concert. This is part of why I intentionally choose shitty seats.) then I can react to her however I damn well want, and not worry about how I am supposed to be reacting, and if this is weird.

Like, I know it's weird, normal people do not typically go to concerts and cry so hard they can't breathe, no matter how much the genre is "sad girls with pretty voices". But it's how I react to Vienna, and how I react to s00j3 and how I would probably react to certain other musicians (like if I ever heard Amanda play Oasis live...).

And it's a really good reaction and I feel really overwhelmingly positive towards it. I mean, my eyes hurt a little, but whatever, I'm hells to the used to that. Sobbing uncontrollably is just a thing I *do* given certain input stimuli, and Vienna is one of the more calming ones. It bothers me not at all that I do this.

I just recognize that it's weird. And I have no interest in giving anyone else power over my by doing it with them. I react for no one but myself, thanks.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post, it's kindof a mess. Anyways, Vienna played like five of my top seven Vienna songs, which was pretty damn great. She did not play Between (which is okay, I don't have anyone to waltz with4) and she did not play The Tower (which is okay, I was wrecked enough from Whatever You Want, jegus). We all sang along for City Hall. I was able to leave my hands at peace for Lullaby for a Stormy Night. I danced for Level Up (though weakly, the dancing was not quite there for me, which happens sometimes). And she opened with Harbor, which took me years and years to realize was not a song for me and Marc or me and mek or me and Sparr or me and any insignificant boy when it could be a song for me and Veronica.

It was a good concert.


1: Which is not unwelcome in general, but at a concert, it's pretty deeply distracting from the whole "getting into the music" thing.

2: If I want to dance, and am in a space where I would not be in people's way to dance, I will dance. It may be the most powerful thing about me.

3: It's actually a little frustrating that I cannot interact with the concept of s00j-as-musician without sobbing. I look forward to this getting me in trouble someday, I'm expecting Balticon '16 or sooner.

4: There are some few dancing with people exceptions I would make, yes. But I won't waltz Between with just anyone. I'm pretty danceslutty about Alligator in the House though, if s00j plays that, I'm plenty down for tangos. And I will probably acquiesce to some blues next time I hear her in concert, but all my normal weird ass-blues stuff will apply.

4: This sentence is entertaining to me, because it is true.

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Time:11:33 pm
This weekend has been awesome for productivity!

So, I am at the Bananamines for ten days, to catsit. Being as I am pretty much forced to be staying in a strange place for that span of time, I decided to try really hard to actually get stuff done in a dedicated kind of fashion.

This...worked out surprisingly well for me! I did not realize it would actually work, and I am happy for this. Yesterday, after Candidate Class, Lauren came over. We watched Wolfcop and Treasure Planet (while I graded half of the 7th grade tests, which is more than a little bit excellent.)

Tonight, I finished grading those (yay!). But before that, Lauren and I ran a _ton_ of errands. Most important of these was getting out to the bike shop and buying all the things I need to make my bike ridable again. Tomorrow, I go to the Asylum with my rad bike friend Scott, and he works his magic.

We also got excellent social time, and went out for Chinese food. By the time I went to demo team practice, I was already feeling like I'd gotten things done. Now, at 11:30? Oh yeah. I am awesome.

We'll see if the trend continues. And if it does, I may just have to move in full time.


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Subject:Begging letter!
Time:11:50 pm
So! You like some sort of dancing! You've always wanted to learn Scottish Country! Or maybe you just like me and want me to be happy. Whatever the reason, you're want to come and be a volunteer dancer so that I can do well at my SCD1 teacher exams.

So here's the spiel:

Friday, May 1st is the night before the exam. I am planning to celebrate by gathering as many of the five Candidates2 as I can at my house, and at least nine total bodies so that we can each of us take a turn walking through our lesson --sort of a dress rehearsal, if you will. It would be helpful if you were available to come dance in my backyard, but not nearly as helpful as if you can come dance...

...Saturday, May 2nd is the day of the exam! We need stoogesvolunteer dancers that we can teach, to prove we know what we're doing. In theory, we pretend they are all beginners, in practice, the lessons move quickly enough that they're not as beginner friendly as they might be. It is still a good introduction to SCD though, especially if you have contra or squares experience.

If you are available to dance on May 2nd (and I mean really actually, no "maybes), in Stow3 from 1-5PM, please please PLEASE email me or leave a comment here, and I will put you in touch with our volunteer coordinator, Roberta. There will probably be cookies. There will certainly be good basic teaching for SCD. You will be doing a big favour for me and my fellow candidates, helping us become Real Dance Teachers. We need at least 20 people to sign up, and right now, we have about eight.

...and if you find you like it, there's another batch of candidates taking the second level exams on May 3rd, and they need dancers too4. I myself will be dancing for that one (I can't dance for my own candidates, unfortunately) and would enjoy the company.

So seriously. TL;DR: Come dance, in Stow, May 2nd, 1-5PM, cookies, free. Thank you!


1: SCD = Scottish Country Dancing, probably my favourite dance form, probably in the top five of "important things in Kat's life" right up there with writing, sex, and spiders.

2: Candidates! We are candidates for our preliminary dance license! We have three units to pass --the written exam, which we took in October (I passed!), the dancing exam, and the teaching exam. The exam I need volunteers for is the teaching one.

3: If the only thing preventing it is the Stow part, please sign up anyways and I will find you a ride somehow.

4: Although much less badly, because their exam date doesn't compete with any branch events like ours does. No bitter here, just...PLEASE COME DANCE FOR US.

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Subject:This resolution nonsense has gone on far too long!
Time:12:24 am
Ohhhh right, there's this whole "go big because we're not going home" list on my computer and I'm making monthly updates to it. I haven't actually looked at the list since the end of March, I don't think I've been working towards it very well.

I've missed a day and a half this calendar year. None of them were in March. I have a 53 day streak right now, which is the longest I've had in...gosh...since Feb-Mar-April of 2013, apparently. Yay me!

DID I MENTION HOW GOOD IT IS TO HAVE ALL MY MUSIC?! IT'S REALLY GOOD. Next on the music front is figuring out whether or not I have fifteen dollars spare to throw at s00j for at-least Digital copies of Tangles1 and Haphazard.

Dante, Papers:
Nope. I put all the papers in a box, that's progress, right? (previously they were in a pile, huge difference).

Sigh. My bike got a nasty flat a few weeks ago, and I gave up on biking for the winter. It was just...cold and miserable and in terrible shitty shape and I decided that I would just do all the repair work. But! On Wednesday I had Scott take a look at it, tell me all the things I need to replace, and once I get to the bike store and buy them he will do much of the replacing work for me. Scott is the best and I am going to buy him dinner _twice_.

Haven't made any more nifty modifications, but I actually think I've been doing a decent job at keeping it clean.

Candidate Class:
FIVE WEEKS, FOLKS! Probably by the next time I write one of these updates, I will have TAKEN THE EXAMS. I am quite terrified. Expect this to eat all my brain and time this month.

I have sent in all my applications and been accepted for one of the three (dining hall manager session 1, yo!). I think I've decided that I'm not gonna try for Firefly this year, mostly for reasons of "I may very well be gone _the entire month of August_ I don't need to do that in July too".

Grad School, Push-ups:

We actually had it this week! By which I mean, we were off due to snow for like six weeks, and then I was sick, and then I had an Exec meeting, but this week I could dance! I did...far better than I ought've. I should practice sometime.

Dancing, stiltsing:
meh, these are warm-weather activities. Also, if I go to Seattle in August, I will be _hella shamed_ if I can't make it out to dance at least once.

Being awesome/mental health:
Oh lord, I don't know. My day job is sapping some of my awesome strength, but music is helping me stay with it. I...think I have been happier, and I think part of that has been walking to and from work every day (since my bike is fubared). It's only maybe half an hour more of daylight then I'd normally get, but I think that's more important than I realize. All my depressive has been numb rather than sad, which I think is...not good actually2? But I've been having 2-3 star days3 every week since the start of March, and that's a pretty good sign that I'm not completely losing mySelf.

ADHD management, Ambidance, Morrowind, Social Justice:
Eh, not really anything on any of these fronts.

Making money:
Hahahaha oh gods, money is terrible and I am going to spend all of it and be broke forever. Especially since I have not even begun to figure out the weird nightmare that is "THO IS GOING TO BE IN THE STATES" vs "yes but in fucking _Ohio_, in the middle of the school year, two weeks after I've already taken off too many days". I might make a weekend trip to Columbus? Then spend the entire time hanging around North Market and seducing EnZeders away from gaming.

Inbox0, also mailing lists:

Really good, actually! I saw so many people I like last weekend! Sparr should visit more often, he makes good parties happen.

Activity vs Passivity, also commenting on other people's posts:
Ughhhhhhh I have not been very good at this _at all_. I should work on it more.

I had an appointment on Thursday and I've another on Monday. I am so good, you guys!

Tracking media:
Nope. I have been listening to s00j and I read Newsflesh and Methods of Rationality, and that's my media.

So, you know. A little progress at least.


1: There is a song on this album called Weightless and I am having some extremely hilarious feels about it and oh, apparently the question I was wondering is in fact answered right there on the bandcamp page. Oh my god. Bahahah, please hit me up on IM about this, I think it is the funniest spellcaster/ritualistic shit I've run into in a long time, and I'm not *quite* willing to share on LJ.

2: Sad at least I am doing things, even if those things are crying. Gabriel and Alis have been helping me figure out sad for over a decade now. The Spider Monarch is here to help with numb/absent, but it's really hard to make it happen, because, you know. No incentive to do anything.

3: There is literally a magnetic calendar hanging next to my bed with star magnets on days that I felt I did a particularly good job of human or productiving. I don't normally get stars for social stuff (since I don't need incentive to be good at it)4 so it's pretty backloaded --not a lot of Monday/Tuesday stuff.


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Time:12:24 am

But here's some good things:

First good thing: I wrote my words every day in February. Some of them were sortof exhausted bullshit cheater days, which is what happens when I write my words intermixed with actively falling asleep, but on the whole, I am quite proud of that particular record. It's been way too long since I could say I actually made every day in a month.

(Dear 750words: Why the fuck have you gotten rid of the Eternity tab. That was useful, and important and told me how many words I had pumped into your site. Now all I know is that it's "somewhat more than a million".)

Second good thing: I went to Highland dance for the first time in approximately eight weeks. The first six of those were because _snow_. Two weeks ago, I was desperately sick and knew better than to go exhaust myself with Highland. Last week, I had an Exec meeting. I did...way better than expected, and definitely have not forgotten how to do the Fling or the Sword Dance, and that's a pretty great thing.

I am two weeks behind on learning the shuffle step, and the sequence is _kicking my ass_ (assemble, lift behind, move to front, step, close, shuffle x4). I will have to practice or whatever. But for now I rest my legs.

Third good thing: My friend Scott is more or less the greatest. He is also an expert at bicycles, and so he was willing to ride out to a strange garage in the middle of nowhere (see also: Narwhal Promenade1) and examine my bicycle and tell me how fucked I am. He is also the greatest because after I go and buy some things (on his say-so), he is going to [help me/] strip my bicycle down and replace various bits that I have no idea how to replace, like the cassette.

Fourth good thing: Coming home from bike-examinations, I took a wrong turn and found myself starting to walk through a graveyard.

Now, I spent like an hour this afternoon reading creepypasta stories, because of course I did, and so there was a very conscious decision to be made as to whether or not I would keep walking through the graveyard. Ultimately, I decided to wander the long path (I mostly knew where I needed to come out, I just didn't know if fences and graves would be in the way) alone, late at night, betwixt the graves.

After all, it's not the dead I'm scared of, it's the living. Just to be on the safe side though, I set my music to loud and my psychic residue to "wouldn't it be awesome if all you ghosts were having a mad rad dance party?"

It felt brave, and good.

Fifth good thing: mini-date with mek! Watchin' Elementary and falling asleep, because it's me. Yay!!

Sixth good thing: Not actually my good thing to share, so I won't yet, but someone I love very much called me with a really exciting and lovely piece of news, and I am proud of them.

I think that's a good place to stop for the night. I wrote most of my post about pronouns last night, I'll try posting that tomorrow if I can.

(tomorrow I do not have dancing plans, just go to work, go to the dentist, go home and lounge and maybe do some laundry or room cleaning if I'm *really* impressive. I am quite looking forward to the change of pace.)


1: The spiritual successor to Dinosaur Sashay, which was the house I lived in before I lived in Abbess Radcliffe's Sanctuary for the Encouragement of Sin.

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Subject:State of the Gender, March 2015
Time:06:55 pm
Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility and I feel like I should probably write a thing. Mostly because I think it's been a while since I last sat down and talked about my gender with y'all, and this is as good an excuse as any.


I am not trans.

But I am sure as hell not cis1. The short version is that I'm genderqueer. The long version is that I'm primarily agender with binary genderfluid tendencies. The longer version is that I'm a FAAB, enby/agender, societally-identified boy who was raised with a lot of (sometimes toxic) traditional female socialization, and who sometimes experiences strong periods of being male or female...and I'm not very serious about it.

Let"s try breaking that down a little more. (and if you were wondering, they/them/their)Collapse )

~Sorcyress (sometimes PopTartsKing)

1: Cisgendered: having a gender identity that aligns with the gender assignment you were given at birth.

2: I am into neither "anything goes" nor "piercing", so I suppose an argument could be made that this is me fucking up the Handkerchief Code by flagging with my own weird bullshit. I don't much care.

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