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bokunenjin July 11 2014, 17:42

temporary tea spaces

I'm planning on doing a public chado event or two this year at Burning Man, tentatively in the base of Cosmic Praise, a climbable 50-foot tower with a spark chamber in the cupola that will be located at the 6-o'clock keyhole overlooking center camp. It won't be in the printed program—which filled up faster than I could find a venue—but I'll add it to the online event directory once I figure out when it'll be. The bottom of the tower will have a 12-foot diameter open space with a single doorway and 14-foot tall cloth walls, for reference. xuth , who will be part of the build team, points out that I may get too many people if I do this in such a central location, so I'm thinking about how to delineate the space so it isn't too inviting to casual passersby.

This challenge has me reviewing temporary tea spaces that others have built, and I'm so impressed by their creativity and beauty that I wanted to share:



more photos beneath the cutCollapse )
Incidentally, I'm trying to think of a name for my tea event. It should distinguish this from other on-playa tea events by referencing chado / chanoyu / Way of Tea. It isn't going to be ceremonial, so I think "tea ceremony" would be inaccurate. And ideally it would tie into cosmic rays. Any ideas?

This entry was originally posted at http://bokunenjin.dreamwidth.org/53973.html.
sol3 July 10 2014, 23:20

No subject

(expanded from a post on secret, some things shouldn't just be said anonymously[1])

I know I'm nowhere near the first to say this, and I hope to be far from the last - but I would rather wrongly uninvite someone from my parties than provide a welcoming space for abusers, or even give the appearance of being a welcoming space for abusers.

When I see people have conversations on this, I find myself more and more looking into the undertone of the conversation. Do they appear to be coming from a space of "how can I make my space/party/event/home/workplace/environment a safe environment?" or are they coming from a space of "how can I minimize the boat rocking," or worse, "how can I avoid hurting anyone's feelings[2]?"

It's bullshit that there's a default script and instinct in many situations to try to pick apart the story or actions of someone who's been abused by someone else. It's bullshit that there's such a strong push back when this gets pointed out. This is part of what rape culture looks like, and it is a social conditioning that permeates so much of our society.

I am certainly no saint on this front. My brain always, always wants to leap to the "best possible interpretation," assuming best motives, hoping for misinterpretation, etc... etc... However, this is the unobstructed, HOV on-ramp to gas lighting, and is something that, to this day, I still have to push back pretty hard against[4]. It is unclear to me how much of this is an innate attempt to find the best in people/situations, and how much of it is a social conditioning (see rape culture) that simultaneously manages to blame and disbelieve targets of abuse.

The conversations going around today are on the far edge of my social circles, but they're still connected, and while the incident in question did not happen directly in the circles I swim in, I fear it's more of a "not this time" than a "doesn't happen here"[5]. Which, in some ways, makes it feel a bit more important for me to raise this conversation in the circles which I am in more directly - because we should be actively working on being better about dealing with this, about the spaces we provide, about the people we choose to protect and shelter and endorse. All the time. Not just when a situation blows up in people's faces.

[1] though part of why I posted this there as well is because I suspect there are circles that secret reaches that need to have these conversations that my normal social media channels don't.

[2] because, you know, the feelings of an abuser are of more concern than their victims[3]

[3] The incidences of false reports is so stupidly low, that if you are going to prioritize protecting against false reports over the much wider scope of people who have been victims of abuse, well, you're telling me quite a bit about yourself. Things that you might want to sit back and examine a bit more.

[4] starting with keeping my mouth shut, stepping back and looking at things further, listening, listening, listening, and defaulting to a place of believing, or at least not skeptically trying to pick holes in, when I hear about something a person has done. And I apologize for the times that I still trip up on this.

[5] even as I feel that there are subsets of our greater social circles and climates that are trying to push back on this. There's still a ways to go, sadly.
hukuma July 10 2014, 17:07

My tweets

tristia July 7 2014, 16:52

talking to a wall;

i am talking to a wall. the wall is cracked, covered with chipped paint and mysterious indents. it has been standing there a while, waiting, aging. the wall is a shade of grey or blue, or grey-blue, the colour of clouds before a mid-week summer storm. if i look closely, i can see traces of fingertips left behind on the fractures. who left them there, the wall would not tell me. the wall says he does not remember how they got there, though it is hard for me to believe him when i know the wall has ears if not eyes, and the wall never forgot a single word i said.

http://www.meryemyildiz.com/2014/07/07/talking-to-a-wall/

porphyre July 6 2014, 20:24

I took pictures, but when will I ever see them?

My last post aside, this summer has been gloriously refreshing. I have been living out of a suitcase for near on two months. First was Seattle for a quick visit before Sasquatch, then San Francisco for two weeks, then Seattle for a week. Then I was in Vancouver for less than fourty-eight hours, long enough to sleep, do laundry, walk the length of Commercial Drive's Car-Free Day and head to the airport to sleep on a bench for my flight to Ontario early the next morning. Then I was in Waterloo, then Toronto, then Montreal, then Waterloo again. When I got back on the 3rd, I was only in Vancouver for approximately twelve hours. I refreshed my suitcase, dyed my hair, and left for Seattle again, this time for ToorCamp.

I probably should have sublet my room.

Sasquatch was a good little road-trip with my pal Nathan, though we were surprised to discover it was an absolute bro-fest. Beer-pong and every vowel possibility on "bro", (like "bru" and "breh"), were absolutely everywhere. One morning we woke up because someone walked by, drunk off their face, shouting, "On a scale of one to bro, you are a brah!" Even many of the women seemed to be bros. Bro-ettes, perhaps? We are not familiar with the parlance.

I've never been to The Gorge before, nor to anywhere remotely like it. It really is a breathtaking venue. The main stage rests against a backdrop of staggering proportion, the gorge a literal slash through the earth too big to easily encompass, precisely in the right place to be framed in summer sunsets. We didn't speak with too many people, what with the persistent bro-itude, but we were there for the music and we like each other's company enough not to mind. (Nathan is pretty great, he's a bestie for a reason). We didn't find anything new that blew us away, the shows were lots of big names, like Outkast, Kid Cudi, MIA, and Die Antwood, but even the groups we'd never heard of were mostly good. Elbow was my big best, followed closely by the tUnE-YaRds and Mogwai. (The Super Geek League had a whole stage to themselves, too. Wacky Seattlites, heavy on the freak show factor. Lots of clowns and fire effects, like GWAR via the Simpsons.) My biggest surprise was that I had fun camping. No showers, bathing in a sink, snacking on questionable snacks, walking over to the festival grounds - we were always surrounded by enough people that being in a tent in the middle of nowhere didn't feel like a death sentence. It was nice.
porphyre July 4 2014, 19:41

That which the inferno does not consume, it forges.

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them." ~ Maya Angelou

"What are you doing, can I help?" I murmured, softly pulled from sleep by the man who was quietly getting ready to leave for work. It was the day before my birthday. He had been very careful, but the sound of a suitcase zipper had been enough to wake me. He chuckled and sat down on the hotel bed beside me, his weight creating a curve in the mattress that pulled my body to his. I gratefully curled against his broad torso like a cat to warmth in the winter. "You sweet girl," he said, "how delicious of you. I can think of a way." He reached out and stroked my hair, then leaned down and tilted my face to meet his. I was sleepy and soft. His hand was gentle on my face, as were his lips on mine. It was perfect.

(Writing this is difficult.)

Another hotel, another man, someone I used to love. We unexpectedly tumbled into each other years after we had last been close, a surprise coda to an awful time, and after I remarked on how strange a beast memory can be. "This." I said, pressing my hand against his shoulder for emphasis. "I remembered exactly how your hands fit with mine, the geometry of your fingers, but this, how the length of my arm is precisely the width of your shoulders when you cradle in my grasp, this I had forgotten. I still know you while I do not. It surprises me." He smiled wryly, "You're not writing about us in your head again, are you? Writers. Incorrigible." But I hadn't been. I had lost the knack when I lost my heart. Yet now I am, months and months later. My time since has opened the gate.

(Writing that was easier.)

Neither of these men are people I could claim as mine, but they were, just as I was theirs. How near we all are to disaster at all times. I'm starting to type this from a plane, finding comfort in the turbulence that is distressing the other passengers. To such tolerances airplanes are made! With such cleverness and scientific understanding! The wings flex even as the snout pushes forward through the air unconcerned, the shaking accounted for, the math figured. This is not how airline disasters are made. Each engineered piece interlocks to create a miraculous whole. The more we jostle, the safer I feel.

If only it were so in relationships.

My heart, lightly returning to me, feels haunted. I shuffle through our time together, examining every interaction and conversation like tarot cards for clues. I find nothing. He was honest in every particular, but one. His family.

-::-


I met him on the dance-floor at a conference, completely unexpected. (The odds are good there, but the goods odd.) I wasn't certain our first few dates. I was hesitant to kiss him goodbye, hesitant to start something long-distance again, yet we found magic writing together on-line. He was well read, political, and his sharp wit inspired me. He was smart, funny, and harassed me without mercy. Eventually I point-blank asked what the catch was, "How is it that you're single?" He explained that he travels too much for work, the same problem that plagues plenty of my more interesting friends. I felt encouraged, cared for, and delighted, enough that I shelved my long-distance relationship concerns and replied, "I can live with that." "I hoped so." It was two in the morning. He got us a hotel room. We had a pillow fight. It was on.

We were meant to have another night together for my birthday, I was going to ditch Vancouver to travel down to see him, but he had to cancel. Work scheduled him away that week. This was not unexpected, this was part of the engagement, so I told him I understood and expressed the appropriate California-envy. Fourty-eight hours later, he proposed flying me down with some of his endless air-miles. If I could find somewhere to stay after he head home to Seattle, he told me, I could stay as long as I like.

I stumbled, but I recovered. Gladly, gratefully. And blind. I didn't know where we were staying or when I was flying out. I knew nothing. Eventually it was puzzled that my flight left on a Tuesday, but I didn't have an itinerary until 4:30 Monday morning. And that was fine. It's was trust exercise. It was fun. I was happy.

He picked me up at the airport, checked us into a hotel in San Jose, and kissed me like I had been missing for years. Once his work-trip was done, we moved into my ex's flat in the Castro in San Francisco.

I was smitten. I hesitate to speak for him, but he seemed equally so. He met my friends, we went on little exploratory ventures, he sang flawless, soul-shattering, classically trained opera in the shower. Everything was all splendid. He was incredible. We, together, were marvelous. We get on so well it was improbable. He was generous, kind, and effortlessly carried me up a tall flight of stairs when my ankle gave out like I was stuffed full of feathers instead of chagrin and admiration. I felt blessed and adored and adored him in turn. We didn't sleep at night. He smiled all the time. I blossomed.

-::-


My urge to write about us is basic. I can’t not. He's not mine, but he was. And he risked his entire personal life to be. It is sad and tragic and hurts, yet I respect how much that’s worth. I want to write about everything. Honor his indisputably stupid sacrifice by capturing every moment of our time together in amber, sweetly displayed in this glass screened case as an exhibit of That Time. “This is what he risked his world for. It was not small, nor tawdry.” We felt lucky, we found joy, what we made together was satisfying and darling. Was it worth it? It's not for me to say, but I would guess no, not for him.

He didn't betray me, but himself. The tragedy isn't mine, but his and theirs.

-::-


He left after a week, singing so loudly out the window of the rental car that I could hear him from a block away. Even as he left, he made sure I was alright. Then I moved in with Heather for a bonus week full of good people and happenings. It was an enriching time. There were long walks through new places, a cocktail party, a rooftop BBQ, a rave in an abandoned train station, time with new friends and with people I already love. Then I flew back to Seattle for more fun and good people. I went dancing, I made new connections, I had a tai chi lesson on a roof downtown in the sunshine. Life was good. My sweetheart was in Colorado for work, but I was looking forward to seeing him the next time I could.

Then I went for lunch with a friend who I met through the same conference, though years ago. New information. To say I was suddenly having a bad day is an understatement. We were hopeful, there was a lot of benefit of the doubt, but then the phone numbers matched. The phone number of my sweetheart and "my friend of ten years whose wife is..." Oh. Pregnant. Not with their first child.

Our relationship was obviously not a thought out decision. Aside from the deletion of his family and claiming to be single, he didn't hide a thing. Everything else he told me checked out.

-::-


I was in Vancouver less than 48 hours once I came back from Seattle. Time enough to put my passport in for renewal, basically, then repack and head to an airport to sleep, so I could head back east to visit Toronto and Montreal for Recon.

My plans shivered a bit once I was out there, and I ended up spending more time than expected in Waterloo with one of my best friends, Ian, his charming wife, and two lively children. We all spent one warm night in his back yard, their daughter cuddled against my body, our feet in the pool while Ian dove and twisted like an otter through the water. We lay on our backs and watched the sky. I pointed out the International Space Station as it drifted overhead. Their daughter sighed and lay her head on my shoulder, asked about the stars as I explained constellations. His wife’s laughter was just beautiful as the heavens.

Is this what my lover had balanced me against? This sort of home? This ease and grace and care and trust? I've never had anything so honeyed as this small slice of family. No one has ever tried to build so much with me. How divine it seemed! I wondered what my presence could have pumped through his veins. How much did his heart race? There are easier ways to find adrenaline. Lying there, surrounded by their life, I didn't feel worthy of the sacrifice. I was grateful the darkness meant that no one could see me cry.

-::-


I was attacked the morning of my birthday on my way to the Facebook campus for lunch. Pedestrian sexual street harassment that I stood up against until he escalated too far, until I had to run. Eventually I fled along a train from car to car, concerned for my physical safety, desperately searching for a conductor while a stranger stalked after me shouting awful things, "Cunt, whore, I'm going to break you."

He was thrown off the train, but it rattled my entire day, threw me off my stride.

My lover salvaged even that. He arrived too late to join the hot-tub evening, I was being kicked out for the night when he came to the gate, but he was late because he’d brought a surprise. We sat at an iron table outside my friend’s apartment, (an anonymous place in a terrible suburb of anonymous buildings and fussy street security), while he produced a tub of ice-cream from a bag, then a package of candles that spelled H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y, and a birthday card and a lighter.

No one sang and I forgot to make a wish, but I felt more cared for in that gesture of grace than I had in a very long time. It was darling and sweet. "I understand it's late," he said with some satisfaction, "but we had to celebrate!"

My distress fell away. I may have been attacked, but I was in California, swathed in adventure, and this man had sent for me, flown me down for a romantic birthday get-away, to be embraced in his care. This man, this thoughtful, considerate, and brilliant man, he liked me back. The world was unexpected, but finally benevolent. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had.

-::-


(Have mercy on me, even knowing the truth, I do miss him.)

-::-


Everyone else who knows is furious, but I have a lot of hope for him. For his relationship, for his family. (He’s a good communicator. I don’t know anything about her as a person, past her name, but if they’re together, I expect she must be excellent as well.) It’s going to hurt, it’s going to be hard. As it should be. I am sorry that his choices led him to test his home in this fashion, but I don't hate him, I'm not angry, and I'm not bitter. I feel for him, even. How afraid and sad he must be.

I'm down a relationship that was gracious, compassionate, and loving, and a friend, but it was a new thing. I'm just abruptly single again. New things fail all the time. He may have lost something much greater.

So that's that. I am disappointed, but mostly I am sorry for his partner. I've been somewhat in her position, though certainly never to such an extreme. I wonder what will happen. If it has happened before. If this will be the end of either his affair(s?) or their relationship.

I wonder and I wait and I know, soon, we will again say hello. It took a few weeks, but he finally reached out and replied to one of my messages while I was in Toronto. I'm leaving for Seattle today for ToorCamp. He has asked to meet up to talk as soon as our schedules can allow. I gratefully said yes. He is cancelling travel in order to make it right away. We should be in the same place at the same time next week.

I can barely wait to find out what he has to say.
hukuma July 3 2014, 17:01

My tweets

lolla July 3 2014, 12:00

My tweets

lolla July 2 2014, 12:00

My tweets

theducks July 2 2014, 06:03

Arrogant Worms!

I've been a fan of the Arrogant Worms for at least 8 years now - back on Canada 2006, we wandered through the streets of Airdrie Alberta, singing "Canada is really big" to the applause of passers by.

Annnyway, I picked up the newspaper in the lobby yesterday, and saw the 'Worms were playing at the Steveston Salmon Festival Canada Day concert. Count me in!

Best band ever to book for a Canada Day concert. They didn't play "Canada is really big", but they did play a bunch of other ones. I posted an Instagram on Facebook, and found out one of my friends works with the lead singer - he's an English teacher in Ontario! Small world - wish I knew beforehand - I would have said hi.

(This friend - I don't think we've ever met in Canada - but she was one of the incoming exchange students at ECU when I worked there in like 2000, so we hung out in Perth a few times. Added difficulty of Perthing.)

I love all the concerts we've been able to go to here. Canada is really bigawesome.
bokunenjin July 2 2014, 01:59

some good stuff I've come across on tumblr lately

bevsi:
Less “your sexuality/body/race/gender, etc shouldn’t matter” and more “your sexuality/body/race/gender should always be respected”
Don’t equate refusing to acknowledge differences to respecting them


hawk-and-handsaw:
just saw an anti violence campagn that said “real men don’t hit women” like???? yes. yes they do. those are real men doing those things, and that’s why i don’t trust them. stop appealing to men’s fragile masculinity in order to coerce them into being decent human beings 2k14.


almost-always-eventually-right:
collaterlysisters:
maxistentialist:
horriblewarning:
DEATH TO TRANSPHOBIA
I regret writing this card, it was a mean, cheap joke. We took it out of the game a while ago.
thanks! I wish that more people in comedy realized they could just, uh, do this, and not throw a big fucking stink about it, and go on to make more jokes that are good instead of bad. It is strange that so many people seem to imagine that a simple and sincere apology is a difficult or terrible thing to give.
Cards Against Humanity is a group of people writing immensely offensive joke prompts and punchlines for a living, and if they’re collectively a better person than you are when it comes to being called out on offensive language and jokes, you should really reconsider your behavior.
More on the apology and the culling of problematic cards from the game here.

This entry was originally posted at http://bokunenjin.dreamwidth.org/53307.html.
porphyre July 1 2014, 18:19

Artpost: An Interactive Thunderstorm in Your House



From multidisciplinary designer Richard Clarkson’s website:

"The Cloud is an interactive lamp and speaker system, designed to mimic a thundercloud in both appearance and entertainment. Using motion sensors the cloud detects a user’s presence and creates a unique lightning and thunder show dictated by their movement. The system features a powerful speaker system from which the user can stream music via any Bluetooth compatible device. Using color-changing lights the cloud is able to adapt to the desired lighting color and brightness. The cloud also has alternative modes such as a nightlight and music reactive mode."


Cloud from Richard Clarkson.



via thisiscolossal.

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